Thursday, September 26, 2013


With the house coming along, I've been spending a lot of time looking at how I can decorate our new space. What I'm currently crushing over right now are all things plum and gold along with cute inspirational prints for my future office/craft/design room. 

Ronald Dahl Print | One of my favorite authors growing up, this chic, fun and brightly colored print from Etsy would be super cute in an office space or a playroom.

Plum Throw | I am a huge blanket hog, it's a weird obsession, but can you really have too many blankets? I love them because they can add the perfect touch to a bed, chair or couch if you need a pop of color, pattern or texture. Plus it makes things so much more cozy and can easily be swapped out throughout the year.

Gold Chevron Tray | I love this tray for keeping things organized on a coffee table. Although I would have to do a lot of convincing The Hubster to let me spend nearly $100 on this beauty. You can easily DIY this at a fraction of the cost.

Vintage Plum Glasses | We will have a bare wall above part of our countertops in our kitchen and we're thinking of doing the whole open shelf concept. It's a great way to display some of our favorite kitchen pieces, and I would love to add some colored drink-ware to the shelf.

Teacup Magnets | I've never been a big magnet person. To be honest I usually hide them all on the side of the fridge, but I think I can change if there were only really cute ones on there. Plus I'm going to need something to display all of Kensi's little pictures!

Paper & Burlap Wreath Kit | Oh Happy Fall! I really love wreaths on the front door, but how come the interior doors always get left out? This wreath is a kit  so you'd have to put it together on your own, but what a cute way to dress up a boring door.


Last week my mama visited us from home. She was our first visitor since moving and it was comforting having her here. We lived with my parents for a year and a half and it was stressful and we're so happy to be on our own again, but there's always something so comforting about having your mama. 

She has only been to North Carolina while driving through on vacation so we had some places she needed to visit. We spent the weekend in Southport, a small town that has been used as a location for filming. Their latest blockbuster was Safe Haven which was filmed last summer. My mom and I are huge Nicholas Sparks fans so we made sure to stop and check out where they did most of their filming for the movie. 
My moms big thing was to eat on the water. There are a few different places to choose from and it's not so much about the food as it is the atmosphere. We were able to watch the sunset and it was stunning. 

We also did some shopping and one thing I miss a lot about home is a store called Tannebaums located in the Old Market in Omaha, it's an all year Christmas store. Well, we found a year round Christmas store in Southport and it's entire two story house! Seriously, every wall to wall and floor to ceiling is bursting at its seams with Christmas! It doesn't hurt either that they also carry almost every possible flavor of salt water taffy, addict right here. Kensi loved the store just as much, but I think her favorite part was dad buying her first candy necklace. 
Do you see all that magical, festive goodness behind them?!?!

I was very grateful to have my mom visit a whole week, not only did she get to spend a lot of time with Kensi and help me perfect some of my patterns, but she gave Mike and I two date nights. Man did we need those! Mike took me downtown to Front Street Brewery, the only local brewery where we live and they definitely delivered. I can't even remember which brew I had because I couldn't pronounce it, but it was delicious. I paired mine with a salmon BLT, uhhhh yum! 
Even though she stayed a full week, and I'll see her next month, I still can't wait for her to come visit again once we have the house done! 
Okay, last picture. My mom caught this one. Kensi was taking her own pictures on my phone while we swung on the swings overlooking the ocean in Southport. She's just a little nugget! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Months ago while catching an episode of Rachael Ray, she had actress Julie Benz share a simple recipe called Chicken Posole. This recipe originally sparked my interest because it's gluten free and having one family member who eats only gluten free can sometimes be a little challenging when it comes to family dinners. It only took one din for this awesome and simple recipe to become a keeper. It's almost like a tex-mex sort of chili, but there's no beans. It has become a staple at our house and finds its way into our rotation of meals quite often, especially now that it's fall and football season.

We had the link saved, but they've removed the full recipe from Rachael Ray and now only have a video. So over the weekend Mike and I sat down and wrote everything out. We've made a few changes from the original recipe, by adding more hominy, using a specific type of tomato and adding diced green chilies. We hope you enjoy this Chicken Posole as much as we do. 

Chicken Posole
originally from Julie Benz on Rachael Ray

5 cups Chicken Broth
2 cans Hominy, drained
1 can Corn, drained
2 cans Petite Dice Fire Roasted Tomatoes, DON'T DRAIN
1 can Diced Green Chilies
1-2 JalapeƱos, chopped
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
3/4 Tbsp Oregeno
1 Rotesorrie  Chicken, chopped

Radishes, sliced
Sour Cream
Green Onions

Bring chicken broth to a boil and add hominy, corn, tomatoes, green chilies, jalapeƱo, chili powder & Oregeno. 
Let simmer for 30 minutes, then add chicken and simmer another 30 minutes. 
To serve put radish slices and chopped lettuce in bottom on bowl. Top with posole and garnish with avocado, sour cream, cilantro, onions and lime. 

Enjoy! Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Yesterday we spent the day in Raleigh since we had to take my mama back to the airport. It was hard to say goodbye again, but it was a good day all in all. We made a trip to the mall and Kensi scored some fun woodland socks at Gymboree. These little fox socks were displayed in the toddler boy line, but they can go either way. What's even more perfect? They go perfectly with our Little Fox Knotted Headband in our Etsy shop! 
In honor of the first day of fall this weekend, make sure you enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte and our sweet discount in our shop! 
Happy Fall Y'all! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013


We decided to build a new house by a local builder. We always wanted to buy an older home and remodel, but since moving to a city knowing no one, it wasn't the best idea for us. We were afraid we'd run into something major and without our family around to help, we felt it had a huge possibility of becoming a disaster. We shopped around and looked at a few homes that have been updated, but they were just outside our price range and we knew we would want to make changes. 
We were very reluctant on building new through a local builder, but after lots of prayer and discussing our options with our closest friends and family, we felt it was the best fit for us right now. One of the big factors in choosing this route was the cost per square foot. We're getting much more house for our $$$. 
You'll find local builders just like ours in almost every city. The houses are definitely not custom, but they do have a lot of potential and we're hoping to show you how. 

Once we decided on our floor plan, we chose our lot and were able to go to the design studio to choose our style. We had our budget set and with the base price of the house, our budget allowed for roughly $10,000 in upgrades. (One tip we picked up from our don't want to spend more than $10,000 in upgrades on your house in order to keep the house relevant and within it's appraisal price compared to what you're actually paying). This can be hard, but it's important to make a list of your must haves and your wants. Your wants can always come later down the road.
|not our actual house, just a spec|

Once we signed our paperwork we were given the ultimate pricing sheet for our layout that had every single possible upgrade. For those who have some knowledge of home building costs, you'd be shocked how overpriced certain items are. But if you don't have much knowledge, you can easily stumble into a world of over priced items that don't have much glitz or glamour. 
That's why we are sharing our experience of home building. Mike and I both come from DIY families and we are very capable of doing things ourselves.
We love learning how to do new things and love to get our hands dirty even more. Much of my family is in construction and have built many homes. So here we are, come along with us and hopefully we can help you turn your newly built house into a beautiful home, saving you cash in the process. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I remember the first time my sister Trish and I had iced coffee, it was completely by accident. You could say we had iced coffee before it became big. We tried to order what the coffee shop called a granita or as most people know as a frappachino and they gave us coffee over ice instead. We thought it was nuts that they would ever think we wanted iced coffee, little did we know it was trend we would come to love.

There are a few different ways to make iced coffee at home. I know the most common one I've seen popping up everywhere is with the Keruig. I have a Kerug and I really like it, but if you're drinking more than one cup of coffee each day then it can get a little pricey. I really love having a pitcher of iced coffee on hand that I keep in the fridge. I originally saw this recipe on The Pioneer Woman. I usually have the FoodNetwork on in the background most days. Ree makes a huge batch and keeps it a large drink dispenser. For Mike and I, we cut the recipe down and keep enough for roughly a week {we usually drink it up before the end of the week} and we keep ours in a covered pitcher I found at Target for $6. I actually love love love the Target pitcher, I have a few of them and keep flavored water, juice & tea on hand.
So in order to make a large batch of coffee you need your favorite ground coffee {4oz}, 8 cups of water, a large container, cheesecloth or a coffee filter and a colander. It's simple, I promise!

A few years ago I found some mason jar glasses with handles that I love using for hot cocoa and tea. They'd be perfect for iced coffee as well. The lastest trend is using mason jars as your cup and you can change the lid so it can hold a straw. There are DIY ways for this {click here or here} or you can purchase a few already made jars with lids from Etsy. My favorite are the little Mason Bar Cozies made by TheMasonBarCompany. They make them in a variety of colors and sizes to fit your mason jar and they couldn't be more perfect for an iced coffee!


For the longest time we struggled with Kensi taking any sort of sippy cup that didn't have a nipple. Remember when I wrote the Fabulous Find about meal time? I really couldn't recommend any sippy cup. She had a hard time figuring out the whole tipping the cup up to get any water or milk and she hated it. I felt like giving up out of frustration, thinking it would never happen until one day when she went for my water bottle with a straw and started drinking. Excited doesn't describe how I felt as I watched her finally master something new! I think this bottle in particular worked as well as it did because of the mouth piece, it makes for an easy transition because she's still sucking like she did with a bottle. 
It's now 4 months later and she can successfully drink from a straw, but these are still our favorite. Plus they're great for traveling because they don't leak and they're all dishwasher safe. The only downfall...the cute prints eventually wear away.
You can find the kids sized water bottles almost everywhere now. I always pick ours up at Target, but you can find them at any sports store or on Amazon.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


School has officially begun all over the states. I know our schools went back last week and I'm a bit relieved because the parks and pools are a little quieter now. Kensi doesn't go to preschool yet, but has a former pre-k teacher I love this time of year for all the back to school shopping. And who says Kensi and I can't do a little of our own?!?! 
Each year I restock my supply of pens, pencils, crayons and notebooks. But each year they come out with even cuter items for me and now Kensi. These are some of my favorite current obsessions for our nearly 15 month old.
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |

Each year teachers try and restock different items on the cheap for their classrooms because they get destroyed from the previous year, pieces go missing or all of a sudden you find out you're getting extra students and need more items for them. Some of the items listed are not necessarily cheap, but they are types of items that I believe every child should have to start building their education. 
1. First of all cars and other vehicles that move are not just for boys. These types of toys are great to have at home, in the playroom or even at school because they help your little one understand motion, shapes, transportation and imagination. 
2. Books, books books. I can't say it enough. There's really no other explantation to be added here, except if you haven't picked up a Charley Harper children's book, you're totally missing out!!!! 
3. Matching games (Memory) are awesome for kidlits of all ages! Yes all ages. I'm so over the cardboard ones with all the characters on them.....ekk! But I'm so deeply in love with all wooden sets that are so classic and look vintage. This set is from PlanToys, but there are sets just like this popping up everywhere. Etsy, The Land of Nod, Pottery Barn Kids, etc. They are going to last so much longer than the cardboard tile ones by far. Oh and aside from the cuteness factor, for little kidlits they can begin recognizing the different pictures, begin matching and move into memory.
4. Puzzles....This is just like books....very important! Puzzles help children build their math skills and motor skills. This puzzle in particular has an added bonus of the numbers on the owls which can help with counting and number recognition.
5. Backpacks are a great way to let your little one have something completely their own that they can be responsible for. I know it may sound crazy, but kids do get excited about being able to put all the cool things into a bag all their own. Make it even more fun and exciting and choose one like this that looks like an animal. They can learn to take it with them when they go in the car, on a trip, to the library, and on the plane.

Happy Friday Eve!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


We spent our Labor Day weekend in Maryland visiting old friends from when we use to live up there. It was a 6 hour drive which wasn't too bad, the worst part was the horrendous Virginia, D.C and Maryland traffic. If you've ever driven in it, you know my pain; if you haven't, consider yourself blessed! I swear it has to be the worst traffic in the states, yes possibly worse than L.A. 
Downtown Frederick, MD

It was so hard to believe we moved a year and half ago, it seemed like we were just there yesterday. We drove by our first apartment (bittersweet) where there were some of our best memories from our first year married. We also stopped by my old preschool where I taught and was welcomed back with open arms before I was even through the doors! It was comforting and familiar and I missed it. My students are no longer there as they've graduated and moved on to elementary school. All my babies who were barely talking and walking are now in preschool with long hair and sass! Hardly recognizable. 
The best part of the trip was finally having Kensi meet everyone we left behind in Maryland. Along with one of my closest friends who had a baby just three days before Kensi was born. We joke they'll marry each other someday. 

Together we spent an afternoon at the splash park, which by the way is a great deal of fun, even for the mamas and daddies. Kensi and B loved getting drenched by the fountains and buckets of water.

Both of them were exhausted from all the fun. I know both were cranky and crashed out as soon as they got back in the car. I can't wait for these two love birds to have another play date. 
Saying goodbyes were hard as these two would not stop hugging each other. Totally heart melting! 

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