Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know I've been MIA this week, but I wanted to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving! This year my SIL is hosting,  (hallelujah!) so I've spent this week catching my breath, relaxing with my little men and even went on a day date (Christmas shopping) with my main man!

And to all the momma's who are setting tables, baking pies, cleaning house....remember even though we all like to make things look our best, (I'm including myself in this)  it's not really about how pretty the table setting looks, how clean the house is, and whether or not your pies are's about who is sitting around the table with you!


Hope you enjoy this precious time with your loved ones! 


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

gift giving and wrapping

I can hardly believe that Christmas is next month!?!? Usually by this time I already have most of my shopping done. Not this year. We're trying something different with our boys this year. Have you heard of this:

We'll see how it goes?? I'm going to really try and stick to it this year. Between Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, they end up receiving way too many gifts and it's just too much. That's not what Christmas is about anyway, right!? So, the four gift rule is really making me put a lot of thought into our gifts for our boys. Do you follow any gift giving rules for Christmas?

Speaking of gifts...last year kraft paper and washi tape were on trend for Christmas gift wrapping and I have to admit it's a trend that I fell for and LOVE! 

Instead of using gift tags, I must have had some extra time on my hands made personalized ornaments for the gift recipient using a photo I took of them from the year. 

These were a hit, especially for the parents. They were very happy to have a picture ornament of their child.

I also made them for the Grandparents using a picture of them with the grandkids.

I made some for our tree, too.

Photo Gift Tag/Ornament

Here's what you'll need to make them:

Wood cutout pieces (Michaels)
old book
I bought the wood cutout pieces at Michaels, but these are similar. I had the pictures printed in black and white. 
I then traced the shape of the wood piece onto a book page, cut it out and then mod podged the book page to the wood piece.
 Then mod podged the photo (cut a little smaller than the book page) to the book page. I brushed on the mod podge to the front, back and sides of the wood piece. You'll want to do several coats of mod podge (drying in between)

 Once it was completely dry, my husband drilled a hole through the top. 

How about making one using your families Christmas card photo and making one every year? Or using a picture of your tree on Christmas morning??

 I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving break to catch up on some Christmas shopping and crafting!


Friday, November 15, 2013

about me

When reading other blogs I love to read about the author of the blog. Since my "about" tab on this blog is still blank and since tomorrow is my birthday, I thought I would make todays post all about me tell you a little about myself.

So here are 20 things about me:

1. Tomorrow I will turn 34. Not sure how this happened, but it's happening tomorrow.

2. My dad and I have the same birthday. Our favorite cake is Pineapple Upside Down cake. 

3. I am "Babe" to my husband, "Mommy" to my sons (sometimes "mamasita" to my youngest), Gel to family and close friends, Nani (Nonnie) to my nephews and nieces

4. I put pepper in my ketchup. 

5. I have 1 older sister and 3 younger brothers.

6. I'm sensitive.

7. I have naturally curly hair.

8. I'm a planner and I still write a 'to do' list on paper

9. I'm left-handed


10. I'm a homebody and a rule follower

11. I hit a parked car going 25 mph and flipped completely over  

11. I don't like to speak in front of crowds...typing my words is much easier

12. I talk to my mom and sister on the phone almost everyday

13. My husband asked me to marry him after dating for 5 months. We were married one year later. We have now been married for 11 years!

14. I'm two years older than my hubs. bowchikawowow

14. I have a degree is in Fashion Merchandising. 
 I had dreams of one day living in New York as a successful Buyer, but instead settled in comfortably at a bio tech company in the accounting department for a few years. I then met my husband and the rest is history.  I lived vicariously through Lauren Conrad by watching the The Hills. Don't judge.

In my heart I always knew that I wanted to be a stay/work at home mom when I became a mother.


15. I am candle obsessed and have a candle burning everyday in my house. These are my favorite!

16. I wear this perfume everyday.

17. I secretly wanted to write a book, be an inspirational speaker and an interior designer (not such a secret) and in some weird way I feel this blog fulfils all of those things.

18. I laugh at my own jokes.

19.  I finally gave in and started drinking coffee this year

20.  I LOVE being mom to these two boys

Well that's enough about me..

Hope you enjoy your weekend!

{Photo's were taken by my SIL Katie}


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Baked-Potato Soup

My little men love soup!  
My main man (hubby) likes soup as long as it's hearty and filling! 

This recipe is one that we all enjoy!

4 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed
8 stripes center-cut bacon
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (12 oz) can evaporated skim milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon slat
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 scallions, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400. Prick potatoes all around with a fork. Place on the oven rack and jake until tender, about 1 hour. Let the potatoes stand until cool enough to handle, about  20 min. Peel the potatoes, cut 2 into 1/4 inch dice. Transfer the remaining 2 potatoes to a bowl and coarsely mash. Stir in diced potatoes.

Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, 4-5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels; drain. Crumble the bacon and set aside. (drain some of the bacon grease from dutch oven) Add the onions and garlic to the drippings in the dutch oven; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown, 5-6 minutes.

Combine the evaporated milk and flour in a medium bowl, beating with a whisk until smooth. Add the milk mixture, broth, potatoes, and pepper flakes to the dutch oven; increase the heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring until the soup is thick and creamy, 6-7 minters.

Remove the dutch oven from the heat; stir in the sour cream, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour soup into bowls; top each serving with the cheddar cheese, scallions, and reserved bacon.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Thrifted bed tray

Happy Veterans' Day!

Last week when I shared some of the pieces in our living room that were DIY'd I forgot to tell you about the bed tray. I found this at the thrift store for $2.00!  

I was excited when I found this bed tray because it reminded of this one that I had seen from West Elm for $59.

I removed the legs and plugged the holes that were left behind with wood filler. Once the wood filler dried, I sanded the tray with my sander using 120 grit sand paper and then again lightly with 220 grit sand paper. After wiping it down, I stained it with a mixture of two stains (Minwax Espresso and Colonial Maple) that I already had on hand. Once that dried I covered it with a thin coat of Polyurethane.

Not bad for $2.00 and a little bit of elbow grease!

(The bacon and egg stuffed avocado recipe can be found here)

Enjoy your day!



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Living Room Continued

Today I'm going to show you a couple of before and afters of the furniture in our living room that were Craigslist or thrift store finds.

 I bought the white chairs the day after Christmas from Craigslist a couple of years ago. I don't know what it is, but I find the best things on Craigslist right after Christmas. Seriously, first were the chairs, the next year was my desk and last year was a chandelier. I think people get rid of the good stuff right after Christmas, either to make room for the new stuff or maybe to pay for Christmas?? I don't know, but I'm not complaining!


I know that you're probably thinking why in the world does she have white chairs when she has two boys or you might be thinking those must be "for look" chairs. Nope, we sit in them. I don't believe in having a space that can't be used or is just "for looks." But, I also believe in being prepared for accidents (boys will be boys, right!?) and that's why these chairs are HEAVILY covered in scotch guard.  They have been wiped clean several times from candy and dirty hand prints.

 I paid $30 a piece for the chairs.  When I first purchased these chairs my plan was to have them professionally reupholstered. That plan came crashing down when the cheapest quote I could find was for $700. plus the cost of fabric which was $100.  So these chairs sat in the garage for a few months until my MIL had the bright idea of us attempting to  reupholster the chairs ourselves. And by us, I mean my mother in law, father in law and I. It was a family affair. I give them full credit for these chairs. I was there to help, but they did most of the work and came up with "the plan." We took the old fabric off in pieces, saving the pieces and then using them as a template to cut the new fabric and put it back together. I'm happy with the way they turned out!

Now, if  I had forked out the $700 I was quoted to have the chairs reupholstered my two sons probably wouldn't be allowed to look at the chairs  allowed to play on the chairs.  When decorating your house, with kids in mind, you have to be realistic and know that accidents happen, which is why I couldn't bring myself to pay so much money to have the chairs reupholstered professionally. Sure, I could have picked another kid friendly fabric, but I was pretty set on white suede.  There is something so clean and timeless about crisp white chairs.

The T.V tray was a thrift store $5 find. As you can see in the picture there was water damage. I lightly sanded it using my orbital sander with 220 grit paper.

 I then spray painted the tray with white Rustoleum spray paint. The stand was painted in this Gold Medal spray paint.

Here is a list of where items in this room were purchased.

Green velvet pillows: World Market
Pink Ikat pillow: World Market (no longer avail. online)
Knitted Pillow: Ikea
Yellow lamp: Home Goods
Striped throw blanket: Ikea
Gold Lamps: thrifted
Rug: Rugs USA
Curtain fabric: Calico
Tree Stump side table: gift from in laws
(if you are local and interested in purchasing a stump side table please email me)


Friday, November 1, 2013

Home Tour {Living Room}

Happy Friday!

Hope you had a great time yesterday peeking in your neighbors house trick or treating with your family! I know I did!

This has been a long and busy week, but I told you last week that I would show you my living room, so I was determined to post it this week.

Decorating your house often reminds me of the book "When You Take A Mouse To The Movies," but my version of the book would be called "When You Give A Girl A Couch"
Our living room (which is technically our Dining Room) has changed so much over the last couple of years. It all started with the vintage couch that my Grandma gave me. I have LOVED this couch ever since I was a little girl and have many childhood memories of playing Monopoly with my cousin's at the coffee table that sat in front of this couch at my Grandparents house. When my Grandma said that I could have the couch I screamed like a little girl was beyond thrilled and grateful. The couch was actually my parents first couch when they were newlyweds before it became my Grandmothers', who then had it reupholstered many years ago.

Back to why decorating reminds me of a children's book...

Since putting the couch in our living room, I realized how naked our windows looked and wanted to add curtains. After adding the curtains, I then wanted to add an entry table. After adding the entry table, I then realized I no longer liked our end tables.  After solving that problem, I realized I needed an area rug to anchor the space. After adding the rug, I decided that our coffee table was too big and took away from the design of the rug, which now leaves me coffee tableless. (Yes, I just made up my own word)
 Do you see how decorating your house relates to the children's book "When You Take A Mouse To The Movies?"
 My point is one thing/change leads to another and so on. But in the end, if you end up with a room that you love it's all worth it.

We have carpet in our living room, which someday I would love to rip out replace with hardwood floors.  The curtains were made by my mother in law and I using this fabric. I was a little nervous picking such a bold print, but after eyeing it for months and still loving it, I took the plunge and ordered the fabric. I'm still in love with it.

The white chairs are a Craigslist find for $30 each. I'll be sharing more on them next week.

The stump side table was a gift from my in laws. They made it. I know, right!?!  They are both very talented.

The blue t.v stand is a garage sale find for $10.00

The sunburst mirror is from Homegoods and the lamps were thrifted for $15 each. 

Let's talk about the rug! I've been wanting this rug ever since I saw it in the room below.
It was love at first sight. No joke.

But after seeing the hefty price tag, I quickly tried to unlove the rug...but I couldn't stop thinking about it. I fell hard. So I  then stalked it waited for it to go on sale. When it finally went on sale for 65%, plus no sales tax and free shipping, I took it as a sign from above and quickly bought it. Let me tell you, I LOVE THIS RUG! 

Yes, it's pretty light in color, but we don't wear shoes in our house and we don't eat in our living room.

(sorry, I know this is a horrible picture, but it was the only one from this angle and I'm too tired to take another)

So, there you have it, my coffee table-less living room.  

Next week I'll share more details on the pieces that were DIY'd in this room.

Enjoy your weekend!