Friday Photo Dump

Happy Friday!  We have a pretty low-key weekend planned with the exception of Louisburg Cider Mill's Cider Fest on Sunday!  Yay for a fun, fall activity!  Oh, and redoing the frames up our stairs...see below.

Stay tuned for pics of both next week!

Top: New over-sized frames | New football hat knitted by one of Mommy's friends | Chatting with Daddy
Middle: Big KU fan | Like father, like son - Daddy always curls his toes like this! | So human-like
Bottom: Old Navy colored jeans for $19?  Yes, please! | First pumpkin spice latte of the season | Iowa baby

Nursery Additions

I change my mind a lot.  Though I loooove Brantley's nursery, I decided to change it up just a bit.  Added two more wall hangings above the changing table, changed the stuff on the floating shelf, and added a hat rack.  Every boy needs a hat rack, right? :)

We finally stamped his footprints, too!  I meant to do that weeks ago, but never got around to it.

On a related note, have you heard of the website Project Nursery?  My friend Jessica told me about it.  Basically, it's a website with hundreds and hundreds of nursery photos!  And not professional designer's photos, but the average person's nursery photos.  Anyone can upload photos of their own nursery!  I mean, I got some great ideas from Pinterest, but how amazing is this website?  I'll definitely be using it when planning for Baby #2!

Freezer Meals

Remember all those meals I made throughout the month of June?  Well, we've eaten almost all of them! Some were excellent, others just okay.  I thought I'd share some of my faves.  These work very well for making ahead of time and freezing.  Or, of course, you can make them the day of, too!

Chicken and Wild Rice
1 box wild rice with seasoning packet
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can water
1 can mushrooms, drained
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, uncooked
1 cup slivered almonds

Mix together rice with seasoning packet, both cans of soup, and water.  Stir in mushrooms.  Pour in to 8X8 freezer dish.  Top with 6 chicken pieces and sprinkle with slivered almonds.

Cooking Instructions: Thaw and bake uncovered at 350 for 1 hour until chicken juices run clear and rice is tender. 

These next two recipes are ones my mom made often, as I was growing up.

Chicken Pot Pie
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 16oz bag frozen mixed veggies
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken*
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 pie crust, double (Hy-Vee or Pilsbury refrigerated)

Combine first six ingredients.  Spoon into pie crust.  Cover with top crust.  Crimp edges to seal.  Slit top crust, brush with egg.

Cooking Instructions: Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Beef Enchiladas
1 pound hamburger
Shredded Mexican cheese
Chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can tomato soup
1 can enchilada sauce
Tortilla shells

Cook hamburger.  Add onion and Velveeta.  Combine soups and enchilada sauce.  Place heaping spoonful of meat on shell, wrap, and place seam-side down in 9x13 pan.  Spoon soup mixture over top.  Top with cheese.

Cooking Instructions: Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Top with lettuce, tomato, black olives, sour cream, cheese, and other favorite toppings if you wish! 

This last one I got from the Queso Blanco Velveeta box.

White Cheese Chicken Enchiladas
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cooked and shredded*
2 (12 oz) cans green enchilada sauce
6 oz Queso Blanco Velveeta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
12 tortillas

Combine chicken, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, and half the Velveeta.  Pour 1/2 cup of remaining sauce on bottom of greased 9x13 baking dish.  Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla.  Roll and place seam-side down in baking dish.  Top with remaining sauce and Velveeta.

Cooking Instructions: Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, or until enchiladas are heated through and Velveeta is melted.

*The best way {I've found} to shred chicken is to cook it on the stove, in boiling water, for about an hour.  Remove from water and refrigerate; shred once it's cool enough to handle.

Shutterfly Site

It's no surprise I take lots of photos.  If it is a surprise, clearly you don't know me very well. 

Anyway, the format of this blog makes it very difficult to post every single photo I take.  And I'm too indecisive to pick favorites.  And I want to share them all!  Because Brantley is just too darn cute!  So I decided to start a free Shutterfly website to upload and share photo albums of my sweet baby boy.

But...not only does the website allow for photos, but also videos, growth charts, milestones (my personal fave), and more--basically, all-things-Brantley!  Sort of like an online baby book.

Additionally, if a family member wants to order photos of our little man, you can do so directly and easily through this website from Shutterfly.  Cool, right?

So, follow this link ( and browse to your little heart's desire.  I think you can even sign up to become a member so you can comment on photos and write in the guestbook.  Website password is brantley with a lowercase b. 

There's also a link to access the website to the right! ------> 

(Did you notice that link weeks ago??  Sorry, it's taken me awhile to get the website up and running!)


Friday Photo Dump

Happy Friday, followers!

Top: Watching Daddy play softball again | Go Hawks! | Strong neck muscles | Yay colored jeans!
Middle: Daddy and his mini-me | I-O-W-A | Smiles
Bottom: Lots and lots and lots of smiles


Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'

We have a roller!  Last night marks the first time Brantley rolled from his belly to his back!  And not once, but twice!  The first time, I thought it was just a fluke.  But then I rolled him back to his belly and he did it again...and Daddy saw that time!  Of course, once I unlocked my phone to try and record roll #3, he was done. 

His sole purpose for rolling is that he HATES tummy time.  Hates it.  I don't blame him.  I'd hate it, too, if my face was buried in the floor.  However, just this week, I've noticed that he uses his super strong neck muscles to hold his head very high...another milestone in itself! 

Look at me and my strong neck muscles!

And for fun, here are some pictures I snapped of him smiling BIG last night.  Have I mentioned how much I love his smile?? :)  I can't help but take pictures of it every. single. day.  Last night, he was smiling at the blinds.  So funny to watch him smile at the most ordinary, everyday stuff!  Who needs toys when you have blinds, stair spindles, and ceiling fans?

Smiling big at the blinds


My Favorite Things: Pregnancy Edition

In keeping with my 'Favorite Things' posts (here, here, and here), I thought I'd post some of my favorite pregnancy items.  Partially to share with other prego girls, but also so that I remember when it comes time for Baby #2!

1. Preggie Pop Drops - Supposed to help nausea.  I sucked on these things quite a bit in those first few month of pregnancy.

2. Leachco Snoogle - The popular pregnancy pillow.  I didn't use it towards the very end of my pregnancy (it crowded me and made me too hot), but used it from about week 20 through 35.  It was $55 (I opted not to spend $25 more on a pillow case!)...but worth it!

3. Old Navy tanks - Actually Old Navy maternity clothes in general.  I blogged about my love for the clothing line earlier this spring.  Cute and cheap.  I specifically liked the tank tops though.  They are long and extremely comfortable.  Despite packing away most of my maternity clothes, these still hang in my closet and are a staple to my daily wardrobe. :)

4. Old Navy Maternity Smocked-Waist Tiered Skirts - Loved these, as well!  So, so comfortable!

5. Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy - A must-read for all pregnant girls!  Written by Jenny McCarthy, this book is hilarious and very real. 

6. Ingrid & Isabel Bellaband - This thing allowed me to wear my pre-pregnancy pants and jeans for a looooong time!  I loved it!  I would suggest splurging on the Ingrid & Isabel brand name rather than the Target brand.  It was thicker and more snug.

7. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lotion for Stretch Marks - I started using this around 25 weeks of pregnancy and used it consistently two times per day until Brantley was born.  And I have no stretch marks.  Though maybe I just have good genes?

Weekend in Iowa

This past weekend was Brantley's first trip to Iowa!  Can you believe he's been all the way to South Carolina before making his way to Iowa?

Our plans were to go after work (Craig's obviously, not mine) on Friday, but we decided to surprise my parents and pop in on Thursday night instead!  What a fun surprise it was to show up on my parents' porch and spend an extra day with them!  Gramma sure loved seeing Brantley 24 hours early!

On Friday, we headed to Iowa City to do a little shopping while my parents worked.  On Friday night, Brantley finally got to meet his cousin Kellen! We went to dinner with my parents and sister and then attended a Simon & Garfunkel cover band concert at the Fairfield Civic Center - the boys' first concert!  I'm sure everyone was thinking "Seriously??" when we walked in with two babies under the age of four months, but they both did great!  The hubs loved the concert--definitely his kind of music!  Thanks for the tickets, Dad!

On Saturday, Craig and I drove back to Iowa City for the Iowa game.  This was my first time away from Brantley, but I did great knowing he was spending the day with his Gramma and Grandpa - and they were LOVING every minute of it!  The weather was perfect - even a little hot, but I'm not going to complain after last year!  We tailgated with my aunt and uncle - got demolished in a few games of bags and grilled some yummy barbeque chicken.  The hawks beat the UNI Panthers 27-16, thankfully!  It was a great day and I got my Iowa football fix for yet another year. :)

Meanwhile, Gramma had fun dressing both grandbabies in their Hawkeye overalls and taking lots of pics.  They also went to eat Kids' Day pancakes and watched the Kids' Day Parade (both Fairfield traditions).  

We had such a fun weekend with family.  Can't wait to see you all again!


Friday Photo Dump

First: Chillin' at Memorial Stadium | Royals baby | Pretty Iowa sunset | At Daddy's softball game
Second: University of Iowa - Mama's old stompin' grounds | BIG smile | K-Dog | Jeans and a hoodie - so stinkin' adorable!
Third: Boys rule, yes they do | Homecoming Parade with Daddy | Bumbo baby | DIY t-shirt headband
Fourth: J-Simp = my celeb crush | Driveway fire | Mmmm funnel cake | More smiles


There are so many Facebook statuses I think about posting and then want to hashtag #LovinMaternityLeave.  But I don't.  Because I don't want to be that girl.  But since this is my blog, I can be whoever I want to be!  So I'm going to tell you many of the reasons I'm loving my time off!  Besides the obvious, of course!

Lots of time for DIY, crafty projects!  I've made a couple different necklaces (and have supplies to make a few more) and yesterday, I made a DIY t-shirt headband.  I love being crafty!

DIY necklace
DIY headband

This is my next this is not me

I only take showers...ehhh...maybe twice per week.  Three times max.  And it's great!  No makeup.  No blow drying my hair.  Love it.

We get to meet Daddy for lunch sometimes.  Something I never get to do when I'm working.  It's just not probable during a 22-minute lunch break, believe it or not.

Yesterday, B and I did a little shopping.  We went to the Apple store, Charming Charlie, and a new store I discovered, Love Culture!  Fun store.  Check it out.  Just like Forever 21.  I even got a couple of pairs of colored, skinny jeans that fit me really well!  I have a pretty curvy body and I'm super picky about how pants fit, but these are both comfortable and somewhat flattering! :)  Anyway, back to shopping.  I've never been to these stores when they are so empty.  It was great being one of very few customers roaming around.  Especially with a stroller in tow.  And it was a gorgeous afternoon, sunny, warm, very fall-ish.  I love fall.

I get to watch Regis & Kelly Kelly & Michael everyday.  I just love this show!  And I love the new co-host, Michael Strahan!  What I don't love is it's new time.  It's on at 10:00 least here in KC...and it's on Fox.  WTH?

I was also able to watch Jessica Simpson on the Katie Couric show the other day.  And then, on GMA the following morning!  I don't care what you say, I have always and will always love that girl!  She's definitely my celeb crush.  In fact, back in her Newlyweds days, I dressed up as her for Halloween.  And another time, I tried to get in the Oprah audience because Jessica was a guest.  No such luck, unfortunately.

And of course, the #1 reason I'm #LovinMaternityLeave is because I get to look at this face all day, every day.  I'm really going to miss it when I go back to school.

My Favorite Things: App Edition

So I wasn't able to watch the Iowa game on my iPhone afterall.  Too many cell phones and I couldn't get a connection.  Boo.  Luckily, I didn't miss much.  And, turns out, it stings less (the loss, I mean) when you don't watch.

Anyway, I still love technology.  Jana's recent post on her fave iPhone apps made me want to do the same!  Afterall, she passed along some great recommendations (the Hobby Lobby app, for instance) and I hope to pass along some of my faves to you!  Bonus - the majority are all FREE!  (Rarely do I ever pay for an app.)

Remote - My super awesome hubs has the coolest set-up at our house.  We have speakers in our garage and on our deck and we can play our iTunes wirelessly through them.  This app allows us to change the song, volume, etc. through it!  So we can be enjoying dinner on our deck or a fire in our driveway and control the music on our iPhone and iPad.  Pretty sweet.  Well done, hubby!

Shazam - Do you ever hear a song on the radio and want to know who sings it?  If so, this app is for you!  I use this all the time to learn the name of a song or just to remind myself to download the song later.

Instagram - Two of my loves - social networking and photos - combined into one!  This app takes really cool, vintage-looking photos and shares them with your followers.  (Side note: I almost gave away Brantley's name in early summer because I wasn't aware that the app shared everything!)  Last week, I discovered this website where you can turn your Instagrams into magnets!  I'll definitely be ordering some of those to take back to work with me next month!  Follow me on Instagram at sarahbsides, or just check out my Instagram photos in the gadget to the right -------------->

Key Ring - Possibly my most favorite, most convenient app!  I think I may have even blogged about it before.  You know all those annoying scan cards you get from practically every store these days?  Hen House, CVS, Lowes, Michaels, Panera, etc.  Well, this app stores them all on your phone so you don't have to attach each and every one to your keychain.  Genius!  I. Love. It.  The only downfall?  Not all stores' scanners will scan them properly, but the cashier can always type in your barcode number.  Additionally, some stores include coupons on theirs.  I almost always get 40% off at Michaels because of this app!

Pinterest/Facebook - Duh.  No explanation here.  My two most-used apps.

Baby Connect - I already described this app in my Favorite Things: Baby Edition post.  To sum it up, it records all things baby-related because mommies (and daddies) know it's hard to remember every little poop, pee, and feed when you have a little one.  I did pay $5 for this app...but it was worth every penny.

Flashlight - Nothing special about this app, but it's very practical.  Just a flashlight.  And a bright one, at that.

Front Flip - Ever seen a Flip sign at one of your favorite restaurants?  Well, with this app, you can scan the QR code and often get coupons on food and drinks.  Who doesn't love discounts on stuff you're already planning to buy??

ESPN ScoreCenter - My favorite part of this app?  You can add your favorite teams and get notifications anytime one of their games begins, ends, at halftime, or even every time your team scores. 

Sitter Seal - My newest favorite app.  Correction - Branley's newest favorite app.  This app includes whitenoise for babies.  Brantley's faves?  The hairdryer and vacuum.  In fact, last night he was listening and I tried to take my phone three times and he started crying! 

And of course, who doesn't love a fun game or two or three?  I get bored easily (and quickly), so I doubt I play these three forever.  (Remember Words with Friends?  Yeah, that only lasted a month or two.)  But here are my current game obsessions:

Dice with Buddies - Aka Yahtzee by a different name.

Song Pop - Sort of like "Name that Tune"!

Draw Something - A Pictionary-ish type game.

The fun part of these games is that you play against friends, but on your own time.  So a game can last an hour, a day, a week, or even a month, whatever works for you!

So there you have it!  My favorite iPhone apps.  Now it's your turn!  What are you faves?


Visitors Galore!

Brantley, you had SO MANY visitors within your first month of life.  So many people that already loved you and couldn't wait to get their hands on you!  My goal was to take pictures of all of your visitors, but I got really lazy and didn't quite live up to that goal.  Sorry about that. :(  But here are the pictures I took.  Just remember, this is only about half of everyone you met within your first month of life!  Popular little guy, you are!