Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from my super Jack!!!

No trick or treating for  Jackson this year but that doesn't mean he can't have a fun costume right?!?!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

Please indulge me and let me show you pictures of the cutest baby boy EVER in the pumpkins last week! Our church has a BIG blowout pumpkin patch so we went to take pictures. When we went there were actually not many pumpkins and I was thinking, man they are going to run out early this year! Then the next week they replenished. . . . with 1900 new pumpkins! So, um, not the best timing but the weather was perfect so I jumped at the opportunity :)

I die at the cuteness! It was so fun, and there was lots of pumpkin "patting" and grass eating as we went so these are clearly picked through, but I love them. 

 Then we went home and tried to get Sam in on the fun. . . didn't last for long though!

Love that face :) 

Happy Fall to you! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Southwestern Sweet potatoes

I've been racking my brain Pinterest for new recipes lately as I feel like we've been eating the same recipes over and over again for dinner. Does that happen to you? Well I came across this recipe that I pinned back in January from a GREAT cooking blog, Haute Apple Pie, I read and I thought it was the perfect time to make it! 
Y'all!! You must try this recipe, its really easy and didn't require any crazy ingredients! 
Twice-Baked Southwestern Sweet Potatoes
4 large sweet potatoes
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 lb spicy turkey sausage
1/2 C frozen corn
1/2 C black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 C shredded Colby Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick potatoes with a fork in multiple spots. Place on foil lined, rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour or until soft in the middle.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add turkey sausage and cook until no pink remains. Reduce heat to medium and add black beans and corn and all spices (chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper). Mix and cook 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat.
Remove sweet potatoes from oven. With a knife, slice the potatoes lengthwise from tip to tip. Using tongs (the potatoes are hot!), hold the sweet potato in place. Take a fork and mash the insides of the potato until completely mashed. Repeat for each potato. Spoon sausage mixture into the top of the potatoes, working it into the sides a bit. Top each potato with a sprinkle of cheese. 
Throw the potatoes back in the oven on the baking sheet for about 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted. 

So tasty!! 
PS- the original recipe actually called for Chorizo, which would be delicious too but I was trying to cut down on the fat content so I could use this as an any day weeknight meal! For a special meal though I would totally use chorizo.

Recipe and picture from Haute Apple Pie

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hall bathroom

The hall bathroom in our house is pretty much the only room in the house that hasn't really been touched. When we moved in, previous owners had already replaced the vanity and the toilet but the old tiles/ tub etc still remain. It's not terrible, it's just not my favorite thing to look at, and the vanity is extremely poor quality, as is most of the renovations done by previous owners. The veneer on the plywood is peeling away in several spots. It is also really deep which makes the bathroom even narrower than it already is!

So basically I dream about re-doing our hall bathroom pretty much all the time! And it seems we might actually get to renovate in the next few months (hoping!!) So I've started seriously thinking about what I want to do with this room. Beyond using better materials there are some design tweaks I'd LOVE to be able to do, if they aren't too cost prohibitive! But the most fun is looking at all the fun options for everything. So far this is what I'm thinking. . .

  • Dark floors laid in a brick pattern
  • white subway tile
  • white vanity with marble top 
  • pull out toe-kick on the vanity for use as a step stool
  • some marble accent tile in the bathtub
  • towel hooks (we are talking a kids bathroom!)
  • some modern hardware/ faucets
  • a round mirror with dark frame
  • Benjamin Moore's Seacliff Heights on the walls
  • some fun kid friendly fabric to (yet to be determined) that I can make into a shower curtain and window treatment 
  • a built in cabinet where my dinky shelving unit currently lives. 

The tall cabinet is probably my favorite feature that I really want but it will have to be custom built because we only have 12" depth so we may have to come up with a different idea, we'll see! Oh and I would love to have the toe-kick be able to roll out as a step for kids. Thank you Pinterest for such genius ideas.

So that's what I'm thinking, but don't get too attached, I've been known to change my mind a few times before committing :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hallway runner

After building the second gallery wall in our hallway I really wanted to finally finish off the space with a runner. We have been talking about putting down a runner for oh... three years now! So I just want to finish off the space!
I am once again at a point where I just need to pull the trigger but I am having trouble deciding on which one!

Not sure if I want to go this dark but I like the idea of it. And this one is wool, not an outdoor rug so it is definitely safer for it to be dark ( to conceal Sam's muddy paw prints)

These three are all outdoor rugs which I love in terms of durability! I always just worry about softness, but I know the Dash and Albert rugs are soft so it shouldn't be a huge issue!

What do you think?? 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

baby garden!

For 8 months now I sit in the glider in the nursery and look out the window to an old fence, and AC unit and grass, some dead some alive! Thrilling right??
clearly a SUPER old picture but you can see the dead grass and fence I've been looking at! 

I’ve been thinking about making a little flower bed out there for a while but didn’t really know what I wanted to do. Well a few weeks ago when I was in that chair A LOT while Jackson was sick I decided to do something about it! So I just started!

notice the roof and fence are wet! It started raining on me so I had to stop but it gave me time to figure out a nice shape

I went and decided on a shape and pulled up the grass/ roots (most of which was dead making it a LITTLE easier)

Then I talked to a man at the nursery about what plants would do well here and with some help from Mr. P over the weekend we have a garden J And I LOVE it!

 As an added surprise P picked up some easy to put together vinyl fencing to put around the AC unit! We he didn’t get quite finished this weekend but it already looks a million times better

don’t you think its a huge improvement?! Now I just want to find something fun to hang on the fence! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

house updates!

So I finally took some updated pictures of the whole house! Be looking for them soon in the "Our House" page!

Love my stickygram collage on the fridge

our new reality- bottle drying rack

Breakfast room: 

This is ever evolving and I'm sure will continue to change as Jackson gets bigger! Right now that mat and mirror are where we spend most of our time during the day playing 


Guest bedroom
Didn't realize until looking at this picture I desperately need to fix my bed skirt! 

my office area in the guest bedroom! 


Jackson's photo-bombing already! 

the humidifier is the only thing I really still need to find a good / pretty place for (where the cord isn't hanging out because that's not going to fly once baby J is walking! )

Hall bathroom:
Hopefully we will be renovating this within the next 6 months! 

my favorite part of this bathroom! 

 Master bedroom: 
ugh, still need to get those cords for TV hidden! 

Master bathroom: 

We have now lived in our house behind the ivy for 3 years and its pretty amazing the transformation! I will add these pictures to the "Our House" page so you can see the before & afters! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Gallery wall #2

So I've shown you updates along the way for my first gallery wall which was a work in progress for a while. And that one actually looks like this now!

Just a minor tweak to accomodate a favorite picture of baby boy! 

Well I decided I needed to do another gallery wall. This time in our hallway. We have a VERY long wall in the hallway to our three bedrooms and I have always just had one row of 4 pictures up. But now that I have tons of pictures of Jackson, I felt like there were pictures frames taking over my house and they were all of just him, not even many of the three of us and none from before him! So I needed to house a lot of pictures on the wall so I could de-clutter and free up some other frames! 

My first gallery wall took me forever and I just couldn't figure out the best combination of objects, but this time I knew I wanted only family pictures which made it a bit easier. To keep a cohesive look I opted for all brown frames. Normally I would have done white/ silver frames but I already had 5 brown frames to work with so I just went with it. Then I decided to throw in a few gold frames for some pop. I had a lot of the frames and the rest came from Ikea and Michael's (during a 50% off sale!)

First I just laid it all out on the ground how I wanted it. 

There is a hole in the middle where there was already a picture on the wall! I took down all the rest of the pictures but figured this would give me a good starting point, and this particular frame was really difficult to hang so I didn't want to move it! 

Then I just went in rows from the center out and put them on the wall! This took me about two separate work times of 1.5 hours, to get all of the Ikea frames built, all the pictures in the frames and hung just right. I did everything while P played with baby Jackson, didn't want to wake him up hanging frames outside his room during a nap! 

From way down the hall. I may eventually come further down the hall when I need to add more picture but for now I used the light switch as my stopping point!

I LOVE walking down the hall now and seeing favorite pictures old and new!