crafts, home

back-to-school book page wreath @ Or So She Says

August 5, 2014

I just love a simple DIY, don’t you?  I am one happy crafter when something comes together in a cinch and this Back-to-School Book Page Wreath is no exception.  I was looking to update the front door a little bit and in a little bit of time (we all know how much extra time newborns give us, right!?!?).  If you like easy and fast, then this is a good one for you.

Back-to-School-Book-Page-Wreath

Seriously, stop over to Or So She Says today to see how I put this door decor together in no time at all.  Perfect for the back-to-school season!

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crafts

straw tote upcycle @ Somewhat Simple

July 28, 2014

Hey everyone.  I am over at Somewhat Simple today, sharing a quick tutorial for upcycling a simple straw tote.  I picked one up at Target a couple weeks back, right before baby girl arrived.  Believe it or not, in between contractions that seemingly lasted for days, I added a little paint here, a little paint there, until I got a fabulous black, white, and gold tote.  We all know how much I love that combo.

Straw-Tote-Upcycle

Stop over, check it out, and say hello!
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life, photography

introducing…

July 26, 2014

I am a week late…more than a week…but today I am finally sharing the big news.  Making the big official announcement.

Last week, July 16 at 8:42 am, Baby Number Three made her way into the World.

in-the-hospitalbaby-and-daddy

That’s right, it’s a GIRL!

Aine-Katherine

Her name is Áine Katherine and she is pure angel.

baby-girl

And we are all in love…can you tell?  Big Brother and Big Sister are totally smitten.  They shower her with gentle caresses on the head, kisses, and soothing words.  They tell her she is beautiful and when she cries they tell her, “It’s okay.”  I am amazed at how quickly and how much my first and second born have grown up since Áine’s arrival.  I am in awe that we all started in this same spot.  I am once again overwhelmed by the unconditional love a Mommy  and Daddy can feel, not to mention that same love from a sibling, grandparent, auntie, or uncle.

first-day-homesiblingssistersbrother-sister

The past week has been full of sleepless nights, postpartum recovery, the occasional visitor, and little milestones.  We are doing well at the Circus Berry household, albeit adjusting to life with a newborn.  Mommy is on the road to pre-pregnancy functioning, and Áine is thriving.  All is right with the World and life is good.

Thanks for hanging in there while I adjust to our new life.  Circus Berry will be back in full action soon.  In the meantime, have a great weekend and enjoy those summer days!

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food

sour cherry & almond coffee cake muffins

July 15, 2014

So, for the last two weeks we have had a hearty stock of cherries in our fridge.  Sour ones to be exact.  If I was in a different state (i.e. not pregnant) I would be concocting all sorts of delectable drinks with the little tarts, but that is not the case right now.  That being the case, I have replaced the cherry cocktail with a cherry treat.

Sour-Cherry-&-Almond-Coffee-Cake-Muffins

As I side note, let me just say that I can hardly believe it is cherry season already, but when I showed up to my CSA last week to pick up our fruits and veggies, there they were!  Maybe it is me, but I tend to measure the passage of summer in two ways…the landmark dates that make up summer (Last day of School, Independence Day, Birthdays, and Labor Day) and seasonal produce.  Before we know it I will be swimming in plums…which is a different series of posts entirely.

cherry-almond-coffee-cake-muffinssour-cherry-almond-muffins

With our first batch of cherries, I made a Sour Cherry & Almond Coffee Cake, adapted from Martha Stewart.  It was delicious but wasn’t screaming out almond or cherry to me, which was what I really wanted.  With our second batch of cherries, I decided to give it another go, making a few more alterations and serving it up muffin style.  Jackpot.

cherry-&-almond-coffee-cake-muffins

sour cherry & almond coffee cake muffins

Yield: 12-15 muffins

sour cherry & almond coffee cake muffins

Ingredients

  • Topping:
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped, raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Muffins:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a muffin tin with paper cups and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the topping by stirring together the butter, flour, almonds, sugars, salt, and cinnamon with a fork. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl using a mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Using a #20 fisher (3 Tablespoons), scoop batter into muffin cups. Top each cup with 4-5 cherries and sprinkle with the topping.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until topping is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool before enjoying.
  5. adapted from Martha Stewart
http://circusberry.com/2014/07/15/sour-cherry-almond-coffee-cake-muffins/

The result is exactly what I was going for.  A little more cherry, a little more almond flavor, and you have a most perfect treat to go with your morning coffee.

sour-cherry-almond-coffee-cake-muffins

cherry-coffee-cake-muffins

If you don’t have fresh sour cherries, you could use frozen.  Either way, whip up a batch and invite someone over to indulge in coffee and cake with you on the back porch.  Ahhhh, summer.

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life

life in general: 07/14/14

July 14, 2014

Good morning and Happy Monday. I have clearly been absent from posting and sharing regularly for far too long. Much has happened and continues to happen on the home front here and what I have found is that the longer I stay away, the harder it is to bounce back.  So, here I am today to just give an update, let my readers know I am still here, and to give a glimpse into some of the great things I can’t wait to share.

I apologize in advance for the word-heavy post.

As I wrote before, I accepted a Speech-Language Pathologist position back in April–short term and part-time–that extended to just a couple of weeks ago.  It was a great opportunity to get back into it, to see how much I really missed it, and to give myself a better idea of what I might really want to do with that professional background.  As it turns out, I did miss my SLP work…at first.  Then I missed my blogging life, my creative brain, and being available physically, mentally, and emotionally more for my family.  Trying to do all three (SLP work, blogging, and family) was oh-so exhausting.  I constantly felt like I was spread too thinly and couldn’t get to anything I actually wanted to do.  As Mr. CB put it, I was “neither settler nor explorer”.  Oh, how the tables have turned!  Whereas I was sobbing in my basement over my therapy materials and books several months ago, I am now ready to pack them neatly away for the time being.  I suppose that is the difference between being ready to do something willingly and being forced into it against your wishes.

Since being done with that work at the end of June, I have spent the time nesting, resting, and everything in between!  I have been getting to some of the home to-dos that fell to the wayside, trying to get better at preparing meals (vs the takeout that we relied on for months), getting ready for baby in some ways, and working on posting a little here and there.  You may have seen some of my posts where I contribute monthly, like these:

A-Dozen-Tissue-Paper-Party-DIYs

A Dozen Tissue Paper Party DIYs @ Organize & Decorate Everything

Simple-Abstract-Art-DIY  Simple Abstract Art DIY @ Somewhat Simple

T-Shirt-Beach-Bag-DIY

T-Shirt Bag DIY @ Or So She Says

On the home front I went through a slump of trying to get my head on straight and get my mojo back.  It seems like the anticipation of baby number three coming has stopped me dead in my tracks from getting anything else done.  It could be any day now and that waiting is brutal!  (I am just over 38 weeks and having pretty uncomfortable contractions, sporadically, every day).  And this pregnancy-brain-thing is no joke!  Motivation, inspiration, and general thinking skills were on the fritz for a couple of weeks.  No matter what I thought of doing, I felt like I just couldn’t follow through.  Or remember.  And let’s not forget the last trimester exhaustion.  If I wasn’t going stir crazy trying to figure out what to do, I was struggling just to keep my eyes open and my body moving.  Sure, I am still tired (especially since sleep at night has become more of a challenge–thank you very much hip back and heartburn pain), but full-fledged nesting has kicked in and I have found a little bit of energy to get through my ‘lists’.  What a relief!

muffins

It all came to a head last week.  I snapped out of my stupor, into action, and went from zero-to-sixty in one afternoon, preparing a number of posts to share this week and next…some treats, some crafts, some decor, and some party ideas.  It was a tiring but therapeutic, happy, and fulfilling day.  And it was a gentle reminder of where I want to be right now.  So, what do I have to share?  Some great uses for seasonal fruit (enter: cherries!), a fun and easy straw bag upcycle, and some can’t-go-wrong pieces of DIY abstract art.

In the upcoming weeks, I will also be sharing some of the parties I put together, including my son’s Contstruction-themed third birthday and my sister’s Vintage-lace-style bridal shower.  These events turned out beautifully and I can’t wait to share the details!

construction-birthdayshower-favor

And maybe, just maybe, I can share the announcement that little baby K has arrived, whether I am carrying a boy or a girl, and the big name reveal sooner than later!

belly

See you this week!

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