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From Pinterest to Real Life: January and February 2012

Posted in AddictionsArtBloggingLife @ The GrandInspirations

A while ago I had a fun discussion with friends about what we might like to do or become in a different life. I said that I would like to be an architect, and while I will stick by that for my hypothetical different life, I will add that curator for some type of museum exhibits (art? history?) would be a close second. As I was thinking about that this morning, it dawned on me that I could realize the curator dream in the here and now to a teeny tiny extent by being more thoughtful, creative, and purposeful with my Pinterest boards.

I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like to be more diligent in actually bringing Pinterest-y ideas to reality (and, yes, finishing projects). I happened across a linky at Simple Organic today about that very thing, so I went back through my boards and was pleased to find that I actually have implemented quite a few things this month (and a few from last month). (Here’s the original linky post, if you want to surf over and see what others have been up to as well.)

Stuff I Made

One of the first things I ever pinned was an infant carseat blanket. I had some fabric that I had intended to make into a baby quilt as a gift a couple of years ago, and, well, it didn’t happen. Then this weekend Jason’s mom showed me the quilt that she is making for Clara, and, well, I just got all inspired to quilt again.

I am really pleased at how it turned out, though if I had it to do over, I probably would have moved the gold paisley fabric more to one side to let the squares be more prominent. I also adore the backing. It took two trips to the quilt store to pick it out because I was overwhelmed (and totally inspired) by all the possibilities.

Clara's carseat blanket

I meant to blog about the boys’ birthdays. We had two family parties this year because work schedules didn’t allow us all to get together at once. I made the same cake twice (and they really did turn out very similar).

Construction cake

The construction cake (original idea from here) was probably the easiest theme cake I’ll ever make. The “dirt” was pretty much impossible to mess up. I didn’t plan to, but I ended up making Jason a construction cake as well (though I didn’t make that one a layer cake). I had wanted to surprise Jason with a cake and told Simon so. After Jason left for work, Simon admitted, “I told Daddy about the chocolate part, but not about the construction part.”

Streamers across Simon’s door for his birthday was also an idea that came from Pinterest.

Recipes I Tried

Source: via Renae on Pinterest

Rice and Garbanzo Bean Salad with Kale :: I have been eating this for lunch (and sometimes dinner) for the last week or so. It is delicious. But I am the only one in my family who will eat it, so I need to beware of burnout. I really want to keep liking it as much as I do.

Moroccan Quinoa Pilaf :: This was my breakfast for several days in a row last week. It was okay, but I wasn’t wowed by it. I like the Rice and Garbanzo Bean Salad with Kale much better and it’s easier to make.

Coconut-Lime Tofu and Rice :: Um, well, I thought this was wonderful. But for everyone else it was probably the most unpopular dish I have ever made. It’s my own fault, really; I should have known better. This is a Renae-only dish if I ever make it in the future (I might).

Buttermilk Roast Chicken :: This was super easy to put together, though you do have to plan ahead to let it marinate overnight the night before. I thought it was tasty, but Jason was somehow expecting more flavor. I probably will make it again.

Bubble-Up Enchiladas :: This wasn’t as big a hit with the kids as I would have expected it to be. It may have been an off night, though. An easy and tasty recipe that I will give another shot.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips :: I am looking for ways to get more vegetables into our diet. I knew I would like this recipe (it had me at “maple-roasted”; it also had me at “sweet potatoes” and at “parsnips”). It was a surprise hit with the boys, though.

Crockpot Chicken :: Easy as it looks. A good go-to way to roast chicken.

Things We Did

Source: via Renae on Pinterest

The boys spent about an hour one afternoon creating 3-D paper sculptures. I would like to try this again, but I need to be a little more organized about it and also need to be a little more involved, especially for Ian. I had hoped to set them up and be able to do something else, but they needed a little bit more hands-on help than I anticipated.


I have a couple more projects in the hopper, but reorganizing and rethinking my boards may just be the biggest Pinterest task I tackle for March. We’ll see.



Sarah M

Sarah M

I love it! The car seat cover up is so cute, and the cake is wonderful. That is one healthy meal list you have there, too, lady. Way to go on the recommends. I’m actually the inverse of you with craft projects: I love finishing projects, but I almost never start them because I hate not finishing it in a good chunk of time (minus knitting as goodness that takes forever for most things). I won’t even get my sewing machine out unless I have 2-3 solid hours alone with her, and that almost never happens, though it did, surprisingly, when our children were younger. Also love the 3-D sculptures. I hadn’t seen that one, I may have to pin your picture wink
Sarah M



Love your follow through!  Love the pinterest idea, but haven’t checked into it.  Afraid I would spend more time dreaming than doing.  smile

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Renae Morehead

My name is Renae, and The Grand is where I keep thoughts, observations, and photos from my life.


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