Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Last Minute Gift Guide: For a Foodie (Part 2)

Last Minute Gift Guide: For a Foodie

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Black Friday Sale

After a day filled with family time and great food it's safe to say my heart (and stomach) is full. As a small shop owner offering sales is tough but what better weekend to go big or go home? I know from experience that this is the weekend that kicks off holiday shopping and who doesn't love to snag a good deal?! Everything in my shop is on sale up to 20% off from Friday-Monday only. Luckily, you can shop from the comforts of your couch and I'll have everything shipped out by Monday to get these goods in your hands as soon as I possibly can! 

Are you a die hard Black Friday shopper?! I've braved the stores in years past even venturing out late at night to be first on the sales and to be honest, I skip that madness nowadays. But I'm curious if you do and if so, is it for a specific item or are you just in on the adventures of it all?

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Kitchen Remodel: Week 6/7/8

Week 6 was supposed to be the last week and yet, we're dragging it into 7 and 8 weeks. Week 6 took big shape with trim on the cabinetry, hardware, light fixtures, etc. Appliances were installed (YAY!) and were just waiting on a few details like shelves and the hood to be fully functioning. As with any home project there are always surprises that pop up or missing items that require delays in install. I've learned a little patience in this process and have had the mindset of, when it's done, it's done.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Toddler Feeding Essentials

Every few months it seems like your child enters a new stage which requires an update to feeding tools. It can be so overwhelming with all of the options out there let alone dealing with an opinionated toddler who thinks they can dictate what they will or will not use. I'm not sure if I'm lucky with a toddler that doesn't give me too hard of a time or whether my toddler knows I'm not playing the "options" game and deals with what he's given. There have been a few occasions with cups (weighted straw being one of them) that we just weren't ready for yet, but otherwise I haven't had to buy 10 options to see which one he'll comply with.

I have purchased a few options and keep them all in rotation for meal time. I'm fortunate to have older sisters with wisdom to pass down on what's worked for their kiddos but I also like to explore options for myself and find new brands that I like. Here's a handy list of things that are tried and true in our house and thank heavens for Amazon prime. I truly don't know how my mom survived 4 kids- 6 years apart without such a convenient resource of next day delivery!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Thanksgiving/Entertaining Tips

With the holidays quickly approaching it seems like the season for hosting and getting together with friends and family is at an all time high. While I don't host Thanksgiving I will be hosting Christmas Eve this year, for the first time, which I'm very excited about! Everyone seems to stress out about these meals and it's completely understandable to do so. But it doesn't have to be a stressful event to host. Here are a few tips I've learned over the years.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Cookbook Book Club!

I'm the type of person who collects cook books but never actually opens them. If I do, I generally use the recipes as inspiration to create my own. But I've always wanted to tackle a book, like Julie and Julia and actually make the recipes that are in it. So, after talking to a couple friends, we decided we would do just that. This month we're starting with Magnolia Table, and I can't wait to dig in!

After posting about it on social media I'm surprised how many people expressed interest in joining, and for that reason, created a Facebook group for our cook book club! Each month we'll devour a new book and make as many recipes as we can and review them together. There are no rules and this is new territory for me, so I'm excited to get cooking with the community!

Let me know if you'd like to join us!

Adding to the Fun

If you follow me on social media than you've likely already seen the news, we're due with #2! The first trimester is just the pits and I'm happily out of it enjoying less nausea and more energy. Our renovation came at a decent time, as all I was craving was carbs and more carbs. I conveniently frequented the drive through Panera for bagels on most days!

We are so excited to add to our family and Graham seems excited, although I don't think he quite knows whats coming yet! Whenever I ask him, "where's the baby?", he lifts my shirt and puts his head on my belly. Melts my heart every time! Speaking of belly...oh my has it made an appearance much earlier this time around! No complaints, I'm happy to provide a home for this growing babe and I'm not concerned how "enormous" it may make me feel...err look. 😉

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Kitchen Remodel: Week 5

This week was big in terms of transformation! The countertops were installed and so was the tile for the backsplash. Still waiting on the grout but so far, so good! For countertops we went with Calacatta Vicenza by Q and it's beautiful. For backsplash, we went with white subway tile and chose a light grey grout called Frost. It's finally taking shape and I'm thrilled to see the design elements that were such difficult decisions to make, come together! Next week should be the end and I cannot wait to unpack everything and start cooking in it! I'm already debating what to cook first and I'm overjoyed by this difficult decision!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Kitchen Remodel: Week 4

Last week we escaped our remodel and headed to Florida for a few days for a wedding. It was a slow week in terms of progress, so it was nice to get out so I didn't start to lose my mind. The cabinet company came back to finish install, although they have to come back to finish trim and final touches next week. Our island finally took shape and holy moly, it's going to be so glorious! We abandoned the space where a small kitchen table once went by filling it with a larger island to accommodate 4 or so seats. We have a "formal" dining room and didn't find it necessary to have a second dining table when in reality, we eat in front of the TV so often (terrible habit, I know) and hardly have "formal" dining occasions. We went back and forth on the island dimensions for a long time, but so far I'm pleased with the size given the smaller kitchen footprint we're working with. I can't wait to show you the fun surprises we chose for the island!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Kitchen Remodel: Week 3

Week 3 took big changes! Our cabinets were installed and our kitchen is finally taking shape. I was so distraught when I realized how many options existed for "white" cabinets. As an indecisive person, this was a very tough choice in the process to make! I'm happy to report, now the cabinets are here, that I love the color. It's neutral without having a look of blue or gray, or even pink!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Renovation Essentials

I miss the ease of a burner and oven, and a microwave for that matter! But it has been fun to get creative and learn new ways to make things. I have a whole new respect for cooking with minimum resources! Even in my college "dorm" we had a tiny kitchen with dishwasher and all... so I admit I've been spoiled. I decided to make a guide for anyone going through a kitchen renovation, dorm/tiny apartment living, or just looking for simplicity. Some of these are new to me and others I've been using for years and have found a deeper appreciation for the last couple weeks!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Kitchen Remodel: Week 2

The second week of kitchen renovation has come and gone. I'd like to say this process is flying by but  that isn't the case. It's been a lot easier, as we're getting used to our new temporary setup and I realize how much I took for granted, like a big sink and dishwasher. Plastic and paper utensils have been a huge help (I know, not great for the environment, but we never use disposable products so it's sort of balancing out) as is having clearer goals for planned meals in. The first week was hectic but we're falling into a pattern of using our slow cooker and panini press for most meals.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Kitchen Remodel: Week 1

The much anticipated project has officially begun! We moved into our new home in May and knew the 20 year old kitchen needed a facelift. Truthfully, it was a large reason we bought the home. So many houses we looked at had a newer kitchen that just wasn't our style and it was harder to justify putting such a large cost into an update that the sellers were accounting in their sale price. As soon as we moved in, we had the team selected for the job and got in line on their calendars. As we got close to demo day the reality of living without a kitchen for many weeks set in. There would never be a "good time" to be without a kitchen, so it's just going to be a creative few weeks for us!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Hitting Publish on Drafts

If I had a word for the current state of my life it would be "draft". In the literal sense, I have many blog and social media posts just sitting in draft. For most of them, they are either too personal or not "on brand" or the photography doesn't seem good enough of the publish button. In the metaphorical sense, I have a ton of visions for house decor, renovation projects, new products for my Etsy shop, and the like. And yet, when I go to start something, the project seems much more involved than I have the time span for. Every day during Graham's nap I try to tackle one thing off my never-ending list and some days I feel so overwhelmed that I spend the entire nap time with the lowest hanging fruit, like laundry or dishes...while scrolling through social media of course.

I need to set better expectations and break down projects into smaller (more palatable) tasks that will eventually get me to the finish line. For instance, this blog. I have so many recipes I'm craving to share here, but I want to wait until we renovate our kitchen so that the photos are clean and crisp. But with each passing month, no kitchen progress equals no blog posts. I certainly can't post new content without a website "refresh". And I can't do the refresh until I feel comfortable pouring money into it. It becomes a landslide of hesitations that I can't even start one project. Do you ever do this to yourself? It's exhausting!

Today I decided to update my to-do list with much more detail. That way, I can chip away at simple tasks and it's much less daunting to get the finished result! For specific home decor items I've been watching...waiting... stalking for a better deal. But who's to say there will be a better sale or when that may even come? The sale it is today will be good enough, I'm certain. I'm ordering them and moving on! I'm deleting posts that are in draft, they only add anxiety to see them sitting there! I'm already feeling better and more decisive with this small shift in decision making.

I'm curious how you tackle daunting tasks and get yourself out of a rut!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Better Health Habits

In full transparency, I am not a "fit" person. I may look okay in my clothes but I'm not comfortable exposing what really lies beneath the flowy tops, you know what I mean?! Every so often I feel motivated to start some sort of fitness activity but it typically weans by the time I start researching. I was one of the lucky ones and breastfeeding helped me lose my baby weight, although my body is still different than it once was! While I was nursing I would eat whatever, whenever, and there wasn't much fluctuation to my weight.

About a month or so ago I ended my nursing journey with Graham and each week since, I've found the scale increasing a little bit. Not having changed anything about how I was living, I can only assume not nursing was the culprit. I finally hit a point this past weekend that of all the things I can't control in life, my body and health is something I can! I dusted off my Fitbit and went for a long walk (alone!) while my husband was home with a napping toddler. I was only gone for about 35 minutes but I felt so good afterward! Maybe it was simply taking time for myself but I felt so motivated to continue this "health kick". Aside from moving more, I'm trying to eat cleaner/more consciously and taking deep restrain for my after dinner snacking. So far, it's been 5 days and I'm already seeing some improvements on the scale and my mental health.

Anyone else struggle to put yourself as a priority when you have kids? It's much harder to prioritize than it seems! I'm starting small (with walking) so I don't get ahead of what I can actually handle and hoping to add more intensity with running and some sort of routine from there. It's not about weight loss at this point, it's really about carving out time in my day that's just for me and also clear my head in the process. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Favorite Kitchen Helpers Part 2

My favorite things to cook with changes often, due to how I'm cooking and what season it is. But the everyday tools and gadgets that I can't rave enough about, are here in this helpful guide. Let's dive in!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Favorite Kitchen Helpers

As a chef, I love all the tools, appliances, and gadgets! But as home chef and mom, I need things to work double duty! I try to avoid a gadget or tool that only does one specific thing, like a corn husker for example. While I love the idea of so many of them, I just don't have room in my kitchen for single purpose gadgets. I am often asked, what are my favorite tools, and here's my answer! This is a two-part post because I have more to share!