Hi! If you are coming from www.craftychelsea.com, don't be alarmed! This is my new site! You can find all of my old posts here, as well as new ones more focused on pregnancy and babies. If you are looking for something in particular, you can use the search box under my picture. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cheesy Pesto and Tomato Pasta

Last year my husband and I tried to start a patio garden and within a few weeks, everything died. This year I asked one of my friends who had an amazing garden last year for a few tips, and oh boy did it make a difference! We have beautiful flowers, basil, and two types of hybrid tomatoes. And when our basil plant started producing like crazy, plus our tomato plant started producing beautiful red tomatoes, I knew it was time to create my own recipe. I decided to go with a spin-off of the Noodles and Co. Pesto Cavatappi, because it is delicious and I wanted it at home. It turned out AMAZING, and because there are no pine nuts in the pesto, it is okay for people allergic to nuts (like me)!

Let me just tell you, this recipe is amazing. It is creamy and cheesy and full of fresh garden goodness. I have made it several times since coming up with it about a month ago, and I'm sure you will fall in love with it, too! Plus my basil plant just keeps putting out a ton of leaves, and I need to use them somehow!

This dish is delicious at lunch or dinner, and the leftovers taste good, too! That is, of course, if you have any!

Cheesy Pesto and Tomato Pasta
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Serves 4

  • 10 oz. bowtie pasta
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 5 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • 1/3 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1 tomato, diced
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. While pasta is boiling, make the pesto! Combine the basil, olive oil, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and garlic in a food processor until mixed well. Add in 1/4 c. mozzarella and blend until it doesn't get any more chopped.
  3. In the same pan you cooked the pasta, melt butter over medium heat. Add in the whipping cream and let it get thick, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the pesto and let the sauce thicken more, about 7 more minutes.
  5. Add 1/3 c. mozzarella cheese and stir until melted.
  6. Toss in the pasta and diced tomatoes.
  7. Serve!
I seriously hope that you get to try this recipe, especially with basil and tomatoes from your own garden. I don't know why, but it just tastes better when you eat it knowing you grew part of it!

So really, I beg you to try this recipe. You will not be sorry!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Meet Little A

As many of you may already know if you follow me on social media, Little A was born on September 4th!

She was born at 8:10pm, weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz, and is 21 inches long. She is absolutely perfect.

Needless to say, we are in love and I may be a bit busy the next few weeks as we adjust to having two littles instead of one! I will post her birth story in a few weeks, but for now, enjoy the sweet picture!

Monday, September 8, 2014

How to Survive a Third Trimester Road Trip

Two months ago my husband and I drove from Iowa to Colorado to Idaho, and then back to Colorado, and then back to Iowa. Oh, and I was 32-34 weeks pregnant. Driving over 3,000 miles in two weeks while in your third trimester is quite the adventure. It was long, uncomfortable, and it was a relief when we finally got back home! Along the way I learned several ways to make a road trip better during your third trimester, so here they are!

1. Plan on Stopping. A lot. With growing baby pushing on your bladder you will have to pee a lot. So just plan on stopping every hour or so. Add extra time to your plans because if your navigation says it will take 10 hours, you will take 12 hours. Trust me. Just plan ahead and plan on stopping.

2. Wear Pants with a Loose Waistband. I highly suggest wearing sweatpants or tie-pants that aren't tight. You want to be as comfy as possible, and the maternity pants with the over-the-belly band can be hot and uncomfortable when you are sitting in a car for a long time. I just wore some old sweatpants that fit below my belly and that are really loose and they were perfect.

3. Wear Short Sleeves and Bring a Sweatshirt. Any woman knows that you are extra sensitive to temperatures when you are pregnant, especially in the third trimester. So if you are going to be in a car with other people who have normal temperature feelings, you want to make sure you will be able to adjust without making everyone else adjust. So wear short sleeves in case you get hot, and bring a sweatshirt in case you get cold.

4. Wear Flip-Flops or Slip-On Shoes. Do not wear socks. Your feet will get hot, you will want to take your shoes off, and if your feet get swollen from sitting for so long, you will want to make sure you don't have shoes that are too tight or constricting. Depending how far you are in the third trimester, you may be so swollen that you won't even be able to wear shoes other than flip-flops. And even if you can wear sneakers, it's so much better not to on a road trip.

5. Drink a Lot. I know this may seem like a bad idea in a car on a road trip, but when I told my doctor I was going to be going on a road trip, she was very insistent that I drink a lot. Yes, this will contribute to stopping a lot, but you don't want to get dehydrated and start having contractions. Trust me.

6. Flex Your Legs and Your Bum. Sitting in a car for a long time can cause blood clots in your legs, so every 20 minutes or so, my husband and I always say "Flex!" and we both flex our legs and our bums. It helps with cramping, too, and it is even more important when you are pregnant and can't get up and walk around a lot.

7. Bring Snacks and Drinks. Especially snacks with protein. If you come prepared with snacks and drinks, it will be a lot better (and cheaper) than paying for snacks and drinks at gas stations. And you can bring a wide variety in case you decide you want something sweet, something salty, or something more filling. It's a lot easier and you won't always have to go buy things when you stop.

8. Walk When You Stop. When you stop for meals, try and make sure you walk around. It will help you feel more relaxed, especially if, no when, you get uncomfortable and your legs, hips, and butt start going crazy. Even just a little walking around when you stop will really help.

9. Wear Compression Stockings. Okay, so this isn't for everyone, but if you have varicose veins (thanks baby) or bad swelling, it will really help. This was something my doctor strongly encouraged and it helped a lot. Without the stockings, my veins would have hurt, gotten worse, and my legs would have been way more swollen. They helped a lot. So if you have varicose veins or your legs are pretty swollen already, you really want to check them out. They are worth it.

So there you go! I made it across five states and back, and so can you! Even though it's really hard and not the best way to travel, sometimes you have to take a road trip in your third trimester, and now you can have the best drive possible!

Do you have any other tips about how you can survive a road trip during your third trimester?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pretty Mama #2: Sheer Cover Studio Makeup Review

I received free product in exchange for this post, however, all opinions are true and 100% my own!

Welcome to Pretty Mama #2! This series is aimed at helping busy moms find easy ways to feel and look their best! Three weeks ago I shared with you my new favorite mascara, Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara. Today, I am reviewing Sheer Cover Studio Makeup, an easy way to get a flawless finish without too much work or heaviness.

photo taken by Kandice Stewart Photography

I wish I could say that I have outgrown the pimples and blotchy skin of my teenage years, but unfortunately, I have not. My cheeks do not have a nice natural blush look and I frequently get pimples that turn red and stick around for days. My skin tone is pretty uneven, but I have never been one of those girls who uses a ton of foundation to smooth and even their face because I don't like the heaviness of liquid foundation. 

Chelsea, meet Sheer Cover Studio Makeup. 

The set comes with:
Base Perfector Primer
Perfect Shade Mineral Foundation
Conceal and Brighten Trio
Sun Kissed Bronzing Minerals
Lengthening Mascara
Lash Extending Fibers
A set of application brushes

At first I was a little overwhelmed by all the steps I had to take to get the full effect. As a busy mom, I can't spend too much time getting ready or Little J will destroy our bedroom! But it really wasn't that hard and didn't take very long to get all the makeup on, and oh boy, it was worth it.

The first step is the base perfector primer. I loved this stuff. It smelled amazing, made my face feel silky smooth, and after I put it on, I didn't feel like I had anything on my face. This was probably my favorite step in the whole process because of how it made my skin feel.

Next was the Conceal and Brighten Trio. I didn't think the mirror was very helpful in the compact because it was so tiny, but it wasn't really a problem. I liked that there were two different shades in this for concealing because I was able to blend them to make the perfect match on my face. It didn't take a lot to hide my pimples or uneven spots on my face, either. Once I was done with the concealer I used the brightener around my eyes. It made me look more awake and hid the circles under my eyes from being a busy mom!

Then I used the Perfect Shade Mineral Foundation. I had used a mineral foundation before, but I liked this one because it was so light and really blended well with my skin. It didn't look like I had caked my makeup on, and my skin looked smooth (and might I add flawless). Plus I didn't feel like if I brushed up against something my makeup was going to come off. Because as a mom of a toddler who likes to get up in my face, this is important to me.

The last step in the foundation is the Sun Kissed Bronzing Minerals. I like this one a lot because you can use either a lot, or just a little, and it can be used anywhere else on your body you may want to add some bronzing (I didn't try, but I like that I can). I first blended the two darker colors to contour my face, and then used the light powder to highlight some more. I barely used any and I felt like it made a big difference, which was awesome!

The Sheer Cover Studio Makeup also came with Lengthening Mascara and Lash Extending Fibers. I have used another kind of mascara with the fibers, and I think I liked that one more. This one didn't quite give me the volume or length I wanted, even though it did still put some added volume and length to my normal mascara.

Overall, I really enjoy using the Sheer Cover Studio Makeup, especially the primer and foundation parts. It evened and brightened my skin, didn't feel heavy, and was easy and didn't take too much time to apply. I don't know if I would use it every day, but it definitely made me feel beautiful and made my skin look flawless!

And just because I feel like I have to, here is a lovely selfie after using the Sheer Cover Studio Makeup.

See how flawless my skin looks? And right now, the amazing website Modern Mom is giving away a year's supply of Sheer Cover Perfect Shade Mineral Foundation! It's really easy to enter, and ten people will win, so why would you not try to be one of them! Click HERE to enter!!! Good luck!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Easiest (and Best) Burp Rags You Will Ever Sew

When I was pregnant with Little J, I decided I wanted to make my own burp rag and bib sets. So I made a bunch of sets with all these cute boy fabrics I found and I LOVED them. The burp rags I made were incredibly easy, and I used them the entire time I nursed (eight months). The best part was that they lasted that long, and I'm sure they would last even longer if I wanted to keep using them, but I definitely wanted to make new girl burp rags. Hence, this tutorial!

Now when I say these are the easiest and best burp rags you will ever sew, I really mean it. Two rectangles of fabric sewn together, flipped right-side out, and then topstitched. I am not kidding, they are that easy.

So now that you are not scared of this sewing, let's begin!

Here's what you need:
1/3 yard minky fabric, prewashed
1/3 yard patterned fabric, prewashed
Thread to match

Step One: Cut a rectangle 10x18" out of both the minky fabric and the patterned fabric.

Step Two: Sew the two rectangles together, right-sides together, with a 1/2" seam, leaving a 1" opening in the middle of one of the edges.

Step Three: Flip the burp rag right-side out, and topstitch all the way around, including on the opening to close it.

Step Four: Just kidding, there isn't a step four. You are done! I told you that was insanely easy! And they work so well.

The minky is super soft on baby's face, and the cotton is breathable and you can pick any cute fabric you want!

I love the set I made for baby girl and I can't wait to use them!! These also make for great gifts!!

Good luck and happy sewing!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Easy Heart-Punched Dictionary Art

Last month we moved into a three bedroom apartment, which meant that I got to decorate a whole room for baby girl! Hooray! So I set to work trying to find ideas for the perfect room for her.

Last year, I found the cutest little art project. It included punching out words from a book using a heart-punch. I knew I wanted to take this and make it even better for our baby girl. I decided to take a dictionary and punch out words that I wanted her to grow up to be. For example, I punched out "virtuous," "gentle," "patient," and other words like that. It came out so beautifully and I absolutely love it! And I want everyone to be able to make their own personalized dictionary art, so I made a tutorial!

To make this, you will only need a few things. And they aren't even expensive!

A 5/8" heart craft punch
A dictionary (mine was a small one so the words were small and I could fit it into a small frame, and I found it at Goodwill!)
A piece of scrapbook paper for the background (not pictured)
A ruler, a pencil, and scissors (not pictured)
Glue (not pictured)
A frame (not pictured)

Next, pick what words you want for your hearts. Then tear those pages out so you can punch them in the next step. Depending on what size of frame you choose, you may need more words. I did a 4x6" frame, and I had 15 hearts. So pick wisely!

Next, punch out your words. Using the bottom of the punch, line up your words so you can center the word in the middle of the heart. Then punch!

Now, cut out your background from the scrapbook paper. My frame was 4x6", so I obviously cut my paper to 4x6". This is where the ruler, pencil, and scissors come in.

Now you need to line up your hearts so you know how you want to glue them down. Not hard.

Now glue down your hearts!

Put your paper in your frame and you are done! You now have a beautiful work of art for a nursery or girl's room!

And here it is on the wall in baby girl's room! Yes, I know two of the frames don't have the pictures in them yet, but one is going to have her first initial (not sure on that yet) and the other is going to be an actual picture of her (obviously can't get that yet). But I'll update you all later with an actual nursery reveal!

Here's a close up.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope yours is just as perfect for your little one's room!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mommy Moments #2: One of Those Days

It's been one of those days.

One of those days when it rains all morning so you don't get any natural light until the afternoon.

One of those days when you both stay in pajamas until lunch because you don't have the energy to change.

One of those days when your toddler won't eat his lunch, but he wants cookies and crackers instead.

One of those days when you let him color with giant crayons and he sticks them in his mouth, resulting in green teeth.

One of those days when he locks himself in a room and you have to figure out how to get him out.

One of those days when he won't dance to his favorite song.

But you know what makes it all worth it? When he calms down and finally sits still long enough to fall asleep in your arms while you read to him. One of those good days.