Home Studio Progress

 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

My husband is the absolute best. While I was out of town this weekend, he made me this beautifully framed dry erase board. I intend to make it into a large calendar with washi tape.

Lucy Feagins' office in Brunswick, Melbourne

Maybe something like this? // Design Sponge

We have had this dry erase board for a couple years, and it has been collecting dust in our garage. It had been acquired through my husband’s old job, and we always thought we might use it in the kitchen for reminders or the dinner menu. Now, I can see that it was meant to be framed and hung in my studio. I’m so excited about the possibilities, and I just love the way it looks. He did a great job.

xo

 

 

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Homemade-ish // Mini Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

IMG_2616

Usually I’m not one to run out and buy all things pumpkin just because it’s fall, but this weekend I bought a pumpkin spice candle and made pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Who am I?!

You guys, they were so easy and so good. I strongly urge you to give these a whirl. I found this recipe over at Two Peas and Their Pod and it is ridiculously easy. You need some good ole store bought crescent rolls, pumpkin butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. You roll the dough out, spread the pumpkin butter, sprinkle on the brown sugar and the cinnamon, slice them up into adorable mini sized cinnamon rolls and then bake them. Two Peas and Their Pod opted for a cream cheese frosting, but since these went alongside a little at home brunch, I opted for a simple vanilla glaze, using powdered sugar, water and a touch of vanilla extract.

After I made them and realized how delicious they were, my mind began going crazy with the possibilities. Apple butter for apple cinnamon rolls, cranberry apple butter for cran apple cinnamon rolls…the options are endless!

Enjoy!

xo

 

Home Studio

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

We have 1600 sq ft and 3 bedrooms in our home, but we really only use the front room, kitchen, master bedroom and the bathrooms. We have one bedroom solely dedicated to housing our guests, and over time I have learned that it also works great for closet overflow. Although I had always intended to use the guest bedroom as a sewing room, it just never really worked because the priority was always that our guests be comfortable. To be honest, most projects take place on my dining room table, and that needs to stop because it is too hard to keep our house tidy and looking nice when I have multiple projects taking place in our dining room. With that said, I have taken the plunge and started turning our third bedroom (aka extra storage space) into a home studio. *round of applause, heart eyed emoji*

Here is what I’m working with and how it looks today. The table (on loan from a friend), chair, lamp, futon and dog crate are there to stay. I still have plenty of room to work with, so I feel confident that the space will be great. Side note — don’t mind the post its on the walls. I’m very visual and was trying to figure out what would go where. It’s weird but it works for me.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

IMG_2610

peg-board-wall.home-studio

domainehome.com

I am in love with this peg board wall organization.

wall-calendar-clipboard-wall.home-studio

inspiredbycharm.com

This giant wall calendar will be a must, and I’m a sucker for those clipboards.

photo-booth.home-studio

clickinmoms.com

I am so excited about this simple and effective photo booth.

pretty-desk-accessories.home-studio

homeyohmy.com

Pretty desk accessories are going to happen, for sure…the gold, the polka dots…yes please.

I have big dreams for this space, and I cannot wait to get started. I have been pinning ideas but decided to let this space evolve slowly for a few reasons. I have never had a space devoted to my creative endeavors before, and I don’t really know what I need. And probably most importantly, I don’t want to spend too much money up front. I’m going to stick to my usual, “use what you have” and see what I can do with the existing furniture we have. This will only supply me with more content to share with you.

Again, I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about this and am looking forward to sharing my progress and projects. Do you have a home studio? Are there any must haves or advice you have to share?

xo

 

 

Rise & Shine / 6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Mornings

IMG_2537

I have written about my morning ritual before, but it changes over time, so I thought I’d share my tried and true ways to start the day right. Please keep in mind that I’m not the most graceful when it comes to waking up in the morning. My husband laughs at me often with my zombie like stumble to the turn my alarm off –that’s right, it’s not right next to my bed– and my mumbled speech. I’m not chipper in the morning either, and more often than not, I’m upset that I have to emerge from my cozy, warm cocoon. Just ask my mom! She used to have to tear the covers off me and then spray me with a water bottle. And let me say, she is the sweetest, loveliest woman, but I brought this out in her. She would first attempt a sweet, melodic “goooooood morning, it’s a beautiful day. How’s my precious angel today?” And then…well…the spray bottle. I share this because I want to stress that the struggle is real. I consider myself lucky to have a job and a place that I need to be everyday, but in the fog of a good night’s rest, it’s tough to overlook that.

FACT: Because I’m not a Disney princess when I wake, my morning ritual is my holy grail.

1. Movement // My alarm is across the room from my bed, so I actually have to get up out of bed to turn it off. This is huge. It hasn’t prevented me from crawling back into bed, but it does make a difference. The first thing I do once I’m up is grab my robe and make the bed. Making the bed gets me moving, takes away the possibility of climbing back into that heavenly cloud, and allows me to accomplish something first thing. Win, win, win. Next, I make my way to the kitchen to prepare my morning bevies. While I’m heating water for my tea and lemon water, I do some stretching. I cannot stress enough how good it feels to stretch your body first thing in the morning. If I have time, I aim for 30 minutes of yoga or some sort of workout.

2. Beverages // Some people like cereal, some like yogurt, and some like to keep it simple with coffee and toast. Not me. I like to start the day with a green smoothie, warm lemon water and tea. I mix up my green smoothie recipes all the time, but an old stand by is 1 cup coconut water, 4 frozen strawberries, 2 frozen pineapple chunks, 1/4 sliced cucumber, and a big handful of spinach. While I prep my smoothie, I have a pot of water warming on the stove for lemon water and tea. Warm lemon water has great cleansing and detoxifying benefits for your body. I started drinking warm lemon water every morning after reading about it at How You Glow. I mix up my selection all the time, so with fall here, I have been enjoying Chai tea with a splash of half and half.

3. Reading // This is probably my favorite part of the morning. I take my cup of tea back into the bedroom, prop myself up against a couple pillows, call my dogs up on the bed and read for 10-15 minutes. There is something so luxurious about sipping tea and reading on a weekday morning. I absolutely love this ritual and do everything I can to do this every morning. I choose to read books that are fairly easy to put down after a few pages and that provide some sort of inspiration. To date, my favorite has been The Happiness project by Gretchen Rubin

4. Music // It doesn’t have to be your favorite song, you don’t need to know the words, and you don’t have to blare it. I normally grab my iPad and turn on Songza before I jump in the shower, and I’m able to listen to a good 40 minutes of music while I get ready in the morning. I listen to anything from Motown to 60s rock to 90s hip hop, and I’ve never regretted listening to music in the morning. Sometimes music influences what I choose to wear, a hairstyle or my mood. The power of music is real, give it a shot.

5. Dressing // I love clothes and getting dressed is usually fun for me. When I’m rushed, I have a tendency to recycle outfits and leave the creativity out of it. That’s the worst. Making sure you have ample time, to assemble a look that makes you feel fashionable and polished, is important. I like to lay out my clothes after my shower and give myself enough time to mull it over, try it on and make tweaks if necessary.

6. Snuggling // When I get up in the morning, my husband is on his way out, so I get a goodbye kiss and then it’s just me and the pups. My dogs are my fur babies, this is true. I always make time for them in the morning. I take them outside with me to water the plants, I snuggle them while I read, and sometimes I capture adorable moments on my phone. If you have a pet, make time for them in the morning. If your life is anything like mine, you’re away from home all day long, and they love your attention, so be sure to give them some extra love in the morning. It’ll do you just as much good as them.

Make it a great Monday!

xo

 

 

Taco Tuesday: Curry Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea

IMG_2475

We had a dinner guest last night and she got to enjoy some tasty tacos. Since she is allergic to a whole lot of seafood (so sad, I know), we opted for an all veggie taco with an Indian twist. I found the recipe here at Chezus.com. Minimal changes were made and they turned out really well, so this is definitely on the must try list.

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 lb cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (original recipe called  for 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas
  • Corn tortillas

For the sauce:

  • 8 oz whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons grated cucumber
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha (recipe called for 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • Sea salt to taste

For the garnish:

  • 1 jalapeno
  • Cilantro (we left this out because our guest isn’t a fan)

*As y’all know, I like use what I already have, so the only ingredients I had to buy were cauliflower and Greek yogurt (yay!). I am also proud to say the I used jalapenos from the garden. I only share this tidbit because I hate when you have to spend $40 on ingredients for ONE recipe. Pin this and save it for a time when most of these things are in your kitchen.

IMG_2453

Preheat your oven to 425, and then start by washing the cauliflower and patting it dry. Chop the cauliflower up into small florets. In a medium size mixing bowl, add the cauliflower, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and the curry powder. Toss it well so the cauliflower is evenly coated. Spread it out on a baking sheet and pop it into the oven for 15 minutes to roast.

IMG_2458

IMG_2455

While the cauliflower is roasting, rinse and dry the chickpeas, and set those aside while the cauliflower is cooking. In the meantime, you can grate your cucumber and mix the yogurt and Sriracha together–add salt to your liking. By now, the timer for the cauliflower should be going off, so pull that baking sheet out and add the chickpeas. Add the 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and give it all a good stir. Set the timer for another 10 minutes.

IMG_2460

IMG_2461

Now, slice up the jalapeno and warm up the tortillas. To assemble, add the veggies, a generous dollop of the sauce and some jalapeno slices.

IMG_2464

We all like spicy food, so we added a drizzle of Sriracha. I also made a pot of lentils with extra cumin and served those with avocado slices, to round out the meal. This made 8 tacos easily, and we have leftovers, so we are eating the lentils and veggies mixed together with a French baguette.

I hope you give this a try!

xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, I’m Ready for You

IMG_2365

Snapshot from Saturday brunch

I hope you had a fantastic weekend, the kind that inspires, relaxes and makes you wish for one more day. Weekends truly are the best (especially for those of us who have a pretty normal 9-5 kind of week). Monotony rears its ugly head all too easily, so we must use the weekend or whatever down time we have, as an opportunity to shake things up a bit.

We had the privilege of having some family in town this weekend and we had a nice visit, loads of laughter, too much food, and heartfelt goodbyes–the really good stuff.

At this very moment, it is a sunny Sunday afternoon, about 70 degrees, I’m enjoying some fetamole and tortilla chips as I write, and I’m listening to Bastille. In these moments, I don’t think about Monday, the stress, the work, or the meetings; I just enjoy the quiet in my mind. With this quiet, it is easy to see the parts of the week I’m looking forward to and enter the week with a more positive mindset.

Here is what I have to look forward to this week:

Taco Tuesday
Wearing fall clothes
New Post-It note goals
Craft studio planning
My husband’s birthday preparations

What has you pumped for the week?

With things like this to get excited about, I just want you to know…Monday, I’m ready for you.

xo

 

Summer Bucket List Wrap Up

IMG_2309

I can’t lie, I’m a little bitter about this whole fall thing. I feel like I just need a few more weeks of summer, but the calendar is clear and you can feel it in the air, fall is upon us. In celebration of another fantastic summer, let’s see how I did on the SBL front. Warning: I didn’t do very well.

1. Outdoor movies, SUCCESS // Although I only saw one, it was The Sandlot and a date night, so I am just fine with that.

2. Outdoor concerts, SUCCESS // Again, I only went to one show, but it was a friend’s band, and it was fantastic. Check out Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme.

3. Host a party, FAILURE // We simply weren’t around very much. Maybe I will make up for it this fall.

4. Finish our backyard projects, EPIC FAILURE // I finished nothing. Had I thrown a big party, I believe it would have happened.

5. Eat outside a few times a week, EVERY week, EH // We definitely ate outside a bit, but not a few times a week. I’m giving us a pass on this because I imagined our backyard being a dreamy place, calling to us, and it wasn’t.

6. Go for more bike rides, HUGE SUCCESS // We were so good about going for bike rides and my bike is donning a lovely basket. We had many great evenings because of this goal.

7. Outdoor yoga, FAILURE // Well, in regards to exercise, generally speaking I was extremely fickle this summer. I never got into a routine and never did outdoor yoga, and that’s just sad.

8. Be spontaneous, SUCCESS // In general, I did it. I tried to “go with the flow” and say yes a little more. More often than not, I was glad I did. Perhaps that’s why we were never home though?

9. Plant flowers, beautify the house!, SUCCESS // Thanks to a generous lady named Debbie, I have been a planting fool. I’m terrified that I have killed the peonies she gave me, but I’m confident that the shade garden will survive.

10. Read more books, EH // I did not hit my goal of 9, but I read more than usual. Between my morning reading and one book a month, I read 5. Delivering Happiness, #GIRLBOSS, The LowlandA Homemade Life, The Happiness Project, Blog Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Passion Profit, and to Create Community. I highly recommend them all.

11. Re-apply sunblock, FAILURE // I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

12. Float a river, SUCCESS // We floated a river for the 4th and it was great fun. If you’ve never done it, look into it for next summer.

13. Hike more, FAILURE // There is no excuse. We love being outside but did less hiking, more eating, drinking, and bike riding. I’m not mad about it.

14. Try paddleboarding, FAILURE // We bought a Groupon but could never make the time. Oh well. Next summer?

15. Make three summer dresses, EH // No dresses, but I made jogger pants and a kimono. Success-ish?

16. Take the pups for more walks, FAILURE // We are horrible. There were no more walks than usual. I can assure you that we are doting dog parents though. They also got a whole lot of treats and extra love while my Dad was in town. Please, don’t feel too bad for them.

And just like that, I’m saying goodbye to summer and hello to fall. It’s time for boots, cozy sweaters and rain gear.

xo

Currently.

READING…The Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. This book is full of family stories and recipes. It will tug at your heart strings and make you hungry. I cannot wait to try some of these recipes and visit the author’s restaurant, Delancey.

LISTENING…to the Black Keys, Gotta Get Away and Milky Chance, Stolen Dance. I couldn’t pick just one this go around.

EATING…my veggies! After a long of stretch of not eating very well, I’m back on the veggie train. For this week’s dinners, I’m most excited for my lentil quinoa bowl. I’ll let you know how that recipe goes–I’m winging it as per usual.

IMG_2148

DRINKING…Rose outdoors, every chance I get. I hear pink is the new white, but my girls and I have been loving the pink wine for quite some time now. There is nothing more delicious on a sunny afternoon. For an inexpensive bottle, try La Vielle Ferme Rose, but I also tried and loved our local JM Cellars Mourvedre Rose.

SUCCEEDING…in my post-it project. I know, whaaaa? Check out Why and How to Do a Life Audit here. This is helping me to make small changes for a better everyday, and it’s helping me to prioritize my goals, both big and small.

FAILING…at hanging my outdoor lights. It’s officially FAILED. Summer is basically over and with our random rain storms, it’s not in the cards this year. That’s okay though. We have them and will be ready next summer. Glass half full, right?

IMG_2169

LOVING…all of the renovations at home. With the help of some amazing folks, our home is looking better every day. Check out the laundry room here and the master bathroom here. I’m even planting a shade garden. I got a ton of great plants, including this fern, and they were all gifted by my bestie’s mom. How amazing is that?!

WAITING…to see my family! September is officially the month of family for us. Dad was just here, we’re off to see my mom, step-dad, sis and her bf soon, and then my hubby’s family will be here at the end of the month. SO.MUCH.LOVE.

IMG_2192

WEARING…eye shadow today. My girl brought me the most gorgeous eye shadow palette from her London travels. I rarely wear eye shadow, but these neutrals make it tempting to do everyday.

Happy Hump Day!

xo

Taco Tuesday: Sriracha Shrimp Mini Won Ton

IMG_2191

I decided to go with an Asian feel for tacos this week. I had pinned a recipe for Sriracha Shrimp Lo Mein from Baker by Nature, and while discussing the weekly meal plan, my husband came up with the idea of making them into tacos. I chose to up the ante by making them into the cutest mini won ton tacos you have ever seen. Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but they are really cute, really spicy and quite delicious. The recipe is simple and quick, and could work for a meal, or as an appetizer.

You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 lb Shrimp
  • 1 Medium Zucchini
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Won Ton Wrappers

For the sauce…

  • 2 Tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 1 Teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

For garnish…

  • 3 Green Onions
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro
  • 2 Limes

IMG_2175

Wash, chop and prep your veggies. Get all of your ingredients out and preheat your oven to 400. Spray some cooking oil on a baking sheet and set aside. You will also need 3 mixing bowls and 2 small plates.

IMG_2176

Let’s make the sauce. Simply whisk together the sauce ingredients; Sriracha, soy sauce, sesame seed oil and brown sugar. Next, put your stove to low-medium heat and melt the butter in it. As it melts, stir in the red pepper flakes. Beat the eggs, raise the heat to medium and add them to pan. Once the eggs are done, move them to a plate and set aside.

IMG_2178

Add a 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil to your pan and add the shrimp. It should only take 2-3 minutes  on each side to cook the shrimp. You’re looking for them to be firm and pink. Once they’re done, set them aside on a plate. Turn up the heat to high, and add the olive oil and zucchini. Cook for a good 5 minutes and then add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Now, it’s time to combine everything. Turn the heat down to medium and dump in the eggs, shrimp, and sauce. Toss it all together and mix well.

IMG_2180

IMG_2181

Move the pan off the burner and grab your baking sheet. Place won ton wrappers on the baking sheet, as many as you can fit. Add a little water to the last mixing bowl. Now, it’s time to add the filling. Put a generous tablespoon of filling on each won ton wrapper. Be sure to put a little of everything in each one.

IMG_2184

 

Once there’s filling in each one, it’s time to close them up. Dip your fingers in the water and bring the two corners together. The water is like glue to keep the taco shape. Do this to all of them and pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes.

IMG_2186

Pull them out of the oven, let them cool for a couple minutes and then plate them with lime wedges and a generous sprinkle of green onion and cilantro.

IMG_2187

So yummy! I hope you will give this recipe a shot. The recipe made about 20 tacos and I ended up with about 1-1/2 cups of Sriracha shrimp and zucchini, so I put it over rice for lunch today.

Happy Taco Tuesday to you!
xo

Laundry Room, New & Improved

 

DSCF3072

You guys, my laundry has received a pretty serious overhaul. We already had a nice washer and dryer, but the room itself was a disaster. We had not touched a thing since moving in 5 years ago.

photo 3photo 1 (1)photo 4 (1)

The floors were linoleum, but even better, the flooring in the laundry room sat lower than the flooring in the hallway, so dust and dog hair always settled in the laundry room. The room also needed a fresh coat of paint and better organization. The shelving in the laundry room was too high so I couldn’t reach it, and it had become a dumping ground for all kinds of odds and ends…light bulbs, batteries, random tools, dog brushes, etc. It was embarrassing how gross it used to be. I can’t believe I’m posting these pics, but here it is guys, real life.

DSCF3074

I am far from embarrassed now. I’m so proud of this room. I had little to nothing to do with this, but I love it so much. Here is a rundown of what got done…

photo 3 (1)photo 1 (2)

My husband tiled the floor and installed baseboard trim, and that changed everything. It immediately looked so fresh.

He also noticed a leak with the hoses, so he replaced them.

photo 4 (2)

photo 1 (3)

The dynamic duo (hubby + dad) put up the cabinets and added a shelf across the top. These cabinets are just prefab, unfinished cabinets from Home Depot. Dad painted them and added the hardware (leftovers from our kitchen reno). The shelf is made of melamine that we already had, and my husband used 1/2″ round on the outside edge for a finished look.

My dad painted all of the walls, framed out the doorway, and added trim.

My husband also updated the lighting. We had a light bulb there before, and we contemplated doing a pendant light, or a more interesting fixture, but because we weren’t sure about how to work in a drying rack, we opted for can lighting and it’s perfect. The room is so much brighter now.

DSCF3059

My dad built and stained the beautiful shelf and drying rack. Amazing, right?

Using some more leftover melamine, I made this tabletop/ironing board that goes all the way across the washer/dryer. The fabric and batting was on sale, so clearly this was meant to be.

All in all, I did nothing but give my opinion and dream it up, but these guys made it happen. They are the absolute best and ridiculously talented. I’m over the moon with the end result and I haven’t even styled it yet.

*Confession, that basket that appears in some photos really belongs in my guest bath. The jade plant normally lives in my living room. The truth is, I wanted you all to love the laundry room as much as I do, so I staged it a wee bit. 🙂

xo