The best stormy weather & stay home kinda' weekend.

Monday, October 17, 2016

This weekend was exactly how I picture the perfect fall weekend going. Ryan had been gone all week hunting out of state so I tried to keep myself busy. I am always surprised how at the end of the week it feels like I have no idea how the time passed to quickly, yet how it seems like it takes forever for him to get home. We normally don't have the ability to talk while he is gone, but this trip he got service here and there at the top of the mountains, a.k.a. on top of the world, so he was able to send me pictures and talk a few times. I was only slightly jealous of these views...

His intentions were to be home late Saturday so I planned to get most of my errands done Friday night so I had Saturday to get things around the house ready for his return. I woke up first thing Saturday morning and had a few last minute things to grab at the grocery store, but as I was sitting on my computer sipping my coffee I heard his truck pull in and well, there went those plans for the day! Not that I was complaining ONE BIT! He loves trying to surprise me and I always love it when he pulls it off. 
Since he was running on about 3 hours of sleep, we spent the day together on the couch catching up on each other's week and me getting to hear his hunting stories for the majority of the day. I wanted to make him a special dinner and dessert so I was in the kitchen for a bit, but the weather was absolutely conducive to us just relaxing and doing nothing. We had the doors and windows open and the sound of rain reminded me I was right where I needed to be. We even grabbed our glasses of wine and headed on the porch for awhile and sat with the dogs just taking in each other's company. Just perfect!

Sunday morning I tried to be a little more productive. We slept in, took the dogs for a walk, and came home and I got busy working on things for the week. I put some tortilla soup in the crockpot and made this super easy souffle with ingredients on hand to eat for breakfast for the week. Since I had made creme brule the night before I had about 10 egg whites to use so I mixed in zucchini, spinach, sauted onions, goat cheese, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme and baked at 325 degrees for 30 minutes! 
It was so nice to have a weekend with nothing planned, nowhere to be, and the perfect weather for staying home with the ones you love. Glad my favorite company, and also the dog's, is finally home because life is always better when we're all together.

October, I love you.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Perhaps this post should have been more appropriately titled, "Pumpkins, pumpkins and more pumpkins." I apologize in advance.

Anyways, October has been off to a great start so far! I used to never be as obsessed with the change is seasons as much as everyone else, but lately I can't get enough of it! At first the weather couldn't quite make up its day cool, one day it's back to the 90's, but it seems to have settled right into fall and I'm enjoying every little bit of it. 
There's a small pumpkin patch around the corner from where we live and I've heard such great things about it over the years, but had actually never been. So to kick off the first weekend in October when Ryan went to the mountains scouting, I headed over with our little nephew to check it out. On our way there it started sprinkling (go figure) but it stopped once we arrived. We had so much fun sipping apple cider and picking out the tiniest pumpkins. Mine unfortunately didn't last too long at the house because Avery snatched them from my tray where I had them displayed and ate them ALL. So it goes...

We finished the afternoon in the kitchen cooking, which has turned into one of the funniest things to do with him. Having a mini chef helping me in the kitchen is so adorable. We even held our own olive tasting.
The next weekend I attended Oktoberfest. Ryan was supposed to be my hot date, but he ended up being gone hunting. That is pretty much my normal this time of the year! Instead my adorable Mother-In-Law accompanied me! I was so excited because she is so much fun! My sister, cousin and best friend were all there and we danced, drank some beers, and listened to some awesome bands and then proceeded to leave before the rest of the crazies did, haha! #imold
 Last week I was able to get away from work for a day midweek while Ryan was gone. It was so different and enjoyable to wake up, have a slow morning all to myself to get a few things done and then join my MIL in the afternoon for a pumpkin patch outing. A guy that works for the same company has a private patch he allows some of the employees to attend each year in addition to donating them to schools, etc, and we are so appreciate he let's us come out! He grew over 30 varieties this year and I cannot get enough of the weird ones. If only I had better luck when it came to growing things, I would certainly have my own pumpkins in my backyard. We load up as many as he will possibly allow and have a blast decorating for the holidays with them! 
And thanks to my Best Friend, I had this festive shirt to wear pumpkin picking!

It's tradition for us to hit up the haunted maze every year and I still have that to look forward to! Also, hubby was right on it this year with our Halloween costumes...I am actually ecstatic I didn't have to plan it out and it's actually hilarious not to mention, 100% his idea!

I hope you're enjoying your October so far as well. It's no wonder why it's one of the best months of the year!

Five on Friday!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Hey there! It's been a hot minute since I joined in with 5 on Friday, but here goes with my five this week...

1 | This week I received an email that I had been chosen to be a part of the Junk Gyspy book launch team! I ALMOST FELL OVER! If you haven't heard of Texas sisters Amie & Jolie, their love for all things rust and junk, and their wanderlust souls, you are missing out my friends! Their first book, Junk Gypsy: Designing a Life at the Crossroads of Wonder & Wander, is set to be released in stores October 4th and I am so honored to be a part of this community with advance access to read and help spread the good word! I have taken a peek around and am literally so anxious to read and soak in every word in this book! More to come on this one...#junkgypsyBLT
Preorder here!
4 | Fun little fact...last year when I went to Round Top for the Texas Antiques Week we stopped at the Junk Gypsy headquarters and I met Amie! She was standing on the front lawn mingling and I could not believe my eyes. I acted like such a starstruck kid but she still was nice as pie and took a picture with me! I just realized I never did a post recapping my adventure through Texas and Round Top so I will get on that, but for now I will leave you with Large Marge herself and scenes from the front porch!
3 | In other news, at the end of this month I am headed to another Florida Georgia Line concert and I have been listening to their mixtape station on Pandora so I'm ready to sing my heart out, obviously! That station confused me at first, but I have come to absolutely love it. Now that their new album is officially released, they play a bunch on their new stuff and they have two songs in particular that are really cute and catchy about family. "God, your mama, and me" and "While He's still around." Go listen now.

4 | Anyone ever heard to always leave your house in the morning as if your grandma might stop by that day? Well, I usually don't and I had a neighbor/friend stop by unexpected and she had actually never been inside and of all days wanted a tour! She is the most fun, down-to-earth and about as real as someone could come, but nonetheless I was mortified. She assured me she didn't care, she understands, she has kids, blah blah, and that it was no biggie. But to me? You can bet I won't be leaving the house ever again when it's NOT clean. 

5 | Don't even get me started on our kitchen progress and the fiasco it has been..This seems appropriate for all it's been good for lately.
Off to clean my know, in case someone stops by. Happy weekending, friends!

Linking up with the Five on Friday & Oh Hey, Friday gals!

Easy S'Mores Upgrade

Thursday, September 8, 2016

I'm telling you what, you're not really camping, or living for that matter, if you don't enjoy a good S'more! Have you ever watched the Sandlot? If you haven't seen the S'more scene, you're missing out and need to right now! Although I prefer my mallows golden brown, not entirely flaming. Not that could entirely tell by the photo below...

Anyways, naturally over the years, I have tweaked the standard S'more recipe of graham cracker, chocolate bar, and marshmallow with a few different upgrades.

A few things we have tried include replacing the graham cracker with pretzel thins or switching the chocolate bar for hershey's caramel filled centers and various other candy bars. This weekend we packed Oreos to try which turned out fabulous when the Oreo cream center melted just slightly. Yum!

But I have to say, being a huge graham cracker fan as it is, my favorite combo so far has been switching out the chocolate bar for a Reece's peanut butter cup. I mean...
Another thing I will never understand is why people always wait until later in the evening to bust out the S'mores? The way I see it, when you want something in life, you've just gotta' go for it, hence my mid-day treat.

What's your favorite way to make S'mores?

Labor Day Weekend Camping

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Growing up, 3-day weekends were synonmous with camping. As I now have a Husband, 2 dogs, and a house and life of my own, sometimes things come up and we can't always make it. That has definitely been the case this year as we missed out camping over Memorial Day and the 4th of July weekend. Needless to say, after a few hectic months at work for both Ryan and myself, I was absolutely thrilled to get to join our family over Labor Day weekend at one of our favorite mountain spots! Away from cell service, technology, any real responsibilities or chores!
On Friday I got a surprise phone call from my little brother who asked if he and my little nephew could hitch a ride up with us. Ummm, yes! We were planning to take two cars anyways because we wanted to take the Jeep out and there was no way we could fit everything and 2 dogs in the Jeep alone. So he and Ryan rode up in the Jeep while I loaded up the truck and headed out with the baby and 2 dogs. I randomly threw in some old cds I came across and they turned out to be some of my best old tunes so we rolled the windows down, took in the mountain air and in a matter of an hour we arrived and were happy campers in the mountains.
The dogs were so well behaved, got to run and swim until their little hearts were content, and received plenty of love from everyone at camp! We bought this to help keep them contained in camp and it is the smartest, best purchase we have made in some time! They loved it and so did we.
Did I mention our dogs live a pretty rough life?
It was quite the memorable trip though with a little bit too much excitement for me! Ryan got stung by a bee right on his neck Saturday morning and I didn't realize how allergic he was. Since we've been together he was stung once on his arm and although it swelled up, I do not remember it being that bad! His whole neck swelled up and I was frantically looking for Benadryl (luckily I carry some in my wallet at all times since my allergy to walnuts!) 

My Dad busted out his backwoods first aid kid, circa about 1980 and we came across the sweetest forest ranger who supplied us with some topical insect Benadryl and that did wonders. It was a little nerve-wracking for awhile and I felt so bad for him.
Later that night, my Dad, me and Ryan took a Jeep ride to a lookout point and we were feeling on top of the world! Shortly after on our adventure we ended up getting stuck. Getting stuck in a Jeep isn't really a thing, except for some unknown reason our 4-wheel drive went out on us! We were basically stuck on the side of cliff/hill with no way out except to go back up the way we came. Thankfully, due to some expert driving, stick collecting, manual pushing, and the grace of God we made it out! It was funny because on the ride in I was sitting in the back taking in the breathtaking views, fresh air, listening to the guys talk and some George Strait on the radio, and I was literally thanking God in my head for that exact moment there with my Dad and Ryan. Then minutes later we found ourselves in the back country, close to dark, with a major equipment failure. I prayed we wouldn't have to hike out, and could care less about the jeep. I was just worried about all of us at that point. We tried for about 45 minutes; we were all exhausted and it was looking bleak. Then all of a sudden we pushed and were able to get unstuck from the dry dust and loose sheath rock and get back to the top of the hill. Praise God, I knew he had a hand in it! We all hugged and it was definitely a family team effort that I will never forget. By that time, we were all completely covered in dust, but so happy to be heading out of there on 4 wheels and not by foot.

We played lots of Mexican train dominoes, laughed, listened to my Uncle's hilarious 70's spotify playlist, ate some delicious food, and made memories we will never forget.
Mexican Train Dominoes
It was another successful weekend in the mountains with some of my favorite people!

Real Life Family Photos

Monday, September 5, 2016

I apologize for the summer blogging break I unintentionally took! We have been going, going, going nonstop along with working on our house & kitchen so I haven't had time to sit and write out a post. Doesn't mean I haven't wanted to share, but since I've heard about it from a few people now (which is SO flattering), I figured it was time to get back to this space of mine!

I have a few posts lined up already and I wanted to thank those of you who have been reading and following along!

Anyways, I'm coming back today with a glimpse into our real life! We just got back from camping for the weekend and I really wanted to take a family photo with the dogs. Luckily we got one good one, but it took a few tries! #thisisreallife

 Take One.
 Take Two.
 Take Three.
 And finally, Take Four.
Still not perfect, but boy, do I love this little family of mine!

I'll be back tomorrow with a full on recap of our weekend in the mountains. It was a memorable one!

Backyard Updates & Progress

Friday, August 5, 2016

How is it already August?

Life has been busy lately, but good busy! It always seems like there is lots going on this time of year, but come to think of it, I think I say that about every season.

We have been getting our hands awfully dirty around the house with different house projects. I'm not joking when I say we both have project add. We want to do all of the things at once, but we end up starting projects, then halfway through starting another, then going back working on the other, then finish one and start three more new projects. Maybe that's just me who does that???

Anyways, we are almost done with our fire pit! I use the term 'we' lightly because it's mainly Ryan. I help as much as I can, but let's be honest here, he is doing most all of it. The previous owners at our house had these river type rocks put together like a puzzle, but not a very good puzzle hahaha, Over the years in the large spaces that were left between each rock is where the weeds grew and the grass didn't. As much as we sprayed it still looked terrible most of the time. We basically removed all of the rocks, hand placed them together again with sand, extended our walkway and added a fire pit in the middle using the existing rocks. You can see a preview in the background. I'll wait until it's done to show the big reveal!
See, I help with some things. Peach iced tea? Coming right up!
Last week we added some gravel to the backyard in some worn out spots and it changed the entire look of our backyard. It was hilarious when he was running the equipment because the dogs had no idea what was going on and Avery was especially so protective and growling at it as it went by the window. Other plans for the backyard include adding a horseshoe pit out by his shop and more landscaping. There is an area on our back patio that I have had the hardest time landscaping so for now I have cleaned it up and hopefully this weekend we will be adding rocks until I can figure out exactly what I am going to do there. The rocks will be easier maintenance and since we live in California, lindsay drought friendly and all :) Also, the dogs often use this area to play so yeah, we will definitely have to make it non-accessible when we do add plants.

We have a big backyard with so much potential and I am forever thankful for a handy husband who is truly making it ours. I have so much more respect for him and others who work out in the heat all day because I was outside working the other night in the 100+ degrees and it was MISERABLE and draining to say the least. The fact that he comes home and continues to work for US is just amazing to me.

I am looking forward to many sweet nights enjoying it together. Knowing we did it ourselves makes it that much sweeter and more rewarding. Cheers to another fun & productive weekend of getting things crossed off that to-do list!

That time I painted my bathroom twice in two days...

Monday, August 1, 2016

So in the midst of the chaos of painting our kitchen cabinets (all thousand of them) and updating our kitchen, I thought it would be a good idea this weekend to paint our 1/2 bathroom as well. #projectadd

I had 2 quarts of sample Sherwin Williams paint left and had been wanting to paint this bathroom anyways so I thought I'd just use that and go for it. Not a problem! I was loving how it turned out! Never underestimate a quart of paint I thought. 

Cue Sunday morning. I woke up and started cleaning up and removing the painters tape and I began noticing a few spots that needed to be touched up on the walls. 

Problem 1: I used all of the paint. 

Problem 2: I left the painters tape on too long and it took of some of the paint from the recently updated cabinets. 

I didn't completely lose it at this point. I thought no biggie, I'll get a color matched sample in town at Home Depot and use it to touch up. I would worry about the cabinets later. We ran and picked up another quart and when we got home my darling husband specifically told me to test it out in one spot before I painted all of the spots in case it didn't match and naturally I did the exact opposite. As it dried I could tell something was off. I waited an hour or so and went in to inspect it, and then came the real tears. It was not a match at all!!!
I know it's not the end of the world, it is just paint afterall, but I wasted my Saturday afternoon on this and it was basically for nothing.

To make matters worse I was already feeling off since my kitchen currently looks like this. That my friends is true life living in a house you are trying to remodel one step at a time. The lighting is off because we replaced the old ugly box lighting with can lights and they weren't all installed at this point. As soon as our cabinet is finished being built, we will be having it installed and a few other cabinets moved around, then the fun really starts...Next up will be lowering the bar area, new counter tops, vent hood, sink, faucet, and flooring! So soon this space will look quite different (the sooner the better!)

At least my helpers are cute.
To finish my story, I spent my Sunday afternoon repainting with the color matched quart and learned a hard lesson: Always buy extra paint so this doesn't happen on your next project!

Red, White & Blue Berry Cheesecake Trifle

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It's no secret that I have the biggest sweet tooth! Always have, and I'm pretty certain I always will. I also love when I can dress things up and make them festive for holidays and such so this red, white and blue trifle is right up my alley.

Someone made this once at a baby shower I attended and it was not only delicious, but refreshing and lighter as well! It's so easy and really is another one of my go-to "don't really need a recipe for" kind of thing.
| Angel Food Cake (Store bought or pre-made)
| Cheesecake Pudding
| Fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries + blueberries)

Prepare the pudding as directed and allow time for it to set up. I then break the angel food cake into pieces and simply layer, followed by a layer of the cheesecake pudding and berries. Repeat for at least 2 layers. I try and place the berries especially around the edges so you can see them through the layers better when finished.

That's it! I will say that the cheesecake flavored pudding is what sets it off, but I'm sure if that's not your thing you could use vanilla or even banana flavored pudding!

I have made this on several occasions and it's always a hit! I love that it can easily be thrown together and doesn't require a ton of prep. Try it out and let me know what you think!

A Lovely Weekend Review

Monday, July 25, 2016

Last week was a whirlwind...but this weekend was absolutely what I needed to decompress and recharge.

Saturday morning we slept in (hallelujah) and woke up slow. Shorty after, we got a call to meet my in-laws at the farmer's market and then go to breakfast. It was my our first time at this one, and we scored so many delicious things including peaches, tomatoes, figs and fresh sunflowers although I was most excited about the Orland Creamery and picking up some of their local cheeses! I've basically been eating it on everything now...

After breakfast, I was planning on staying home to get caught up around the house and continue to work on painting my cabinets, but the more I thought about it I decided all of that can wait. It would be there when I got home, and sometimes you just gotta' go have fun. BEST DECISION. So we loaded up the jeep and met up with some of our friends to head up the canyon to swim. I've actually never been here, but it's something Ryan and his friends have grown up doing so I was excited to go. My sister ended up going too, and my parents decided to take a drive and meet us all, so it turned out to be an unexpected fun and family day. We swam, we laughed, we jumped off rocks, we dove for crawdads, we laughed some more, and we picked wild blackberries.
After getting way too much sun (even with our sunscreen on!) we headed home, whipped up some BLT's with our farmer's market goodies, watched a movie together and called it a night. Wild Saturday night, but our idea of a perfect one.

Repeat for Sunday; we slept in again! After coffee, we decided to head over and do some shopping and pick up the rest of my painting supplies at Sherwin Williams. We stopped at Costco for a "few" things that turned into a car full of things, but we had the best time. There's just something about doing mundane things like grocery shopping and running errands with Ryan that makes them feel that much more fun and dare I say enjoyable. I was also thrilled because I found a new accent chair at Costco for an absolute steal and it matches our couches PERFECT! It's beautiful and comfortable and it was meant to be ;)

When we got back, we did some of those dreaded chores (but only the inside ones because it was sweltering hot outside), prepped for our work week and called it a day. We both kept saying how wonderful of a weekend it was together. For us, being surrounded by and spending time with our parents, my sister, cousin, & friends that are like family is all we ever really need. This world is a pretty crazy place and even crazier when I sit down and think about how sometimes it feels like it's all happening at once, but then I realize I'm pretty darn lucky and sometimes you just have to let go of the rest. Life is just better together.
I hope you all found yourself refreshed after a never-long-enough weekend and are ready to take on another week!

5 on Friday {Pineapple Vibes}

Friday, July 15, 2016

Tonight I am headed to the lake to celebrate one of my dearest friend's birthday! Her birthday is a pineapple themed party which I LOVE so much! Truth be told, if this weren't the theme for her party, you can bet I'd be having myself one. Pineapples are everywhere you turn so planning a party around one is genius. Also, come on, they taste delicious, are so versatile, colorful and just embody summer to me! Who doesn't love pineapple?!

1 | I'm brining a couple drinks to share because duh, can't decide. I was picking up some champs and stumbled across a Barefoot Bubbly Pineapple version! (I couldn't locate the exact one online.) It was even on sale so I grabbed two :) Have you tried it? It's the first time I've seen it and looks like it will be so refreshing.
Tropical Fusion Bubbly

2 | Lately if I am going to drink there's nothing I like more than a Moscow Mule so I decided to pick up some pineapple vodka and do a tropical twist on the original.
Delicious and simple, Pineapple Mule cocktail recipe
3 | Pineapple goes with so many things! I think these recipes look so fun & yum to try. How delicious does this pineapple guacamole sound? SIGN. ME. UP.

Pineapple Guacamole Recipe -- all of the goodness of this classic dip, sweetened up with some fresh pineapple! |
Via Gimme Some Oven
Also, I've heard about these pineapple bowls people are making. I think I need to try this!

Divide the chicken between the two pineapple boats, and serve with a scoop of rice!
4 | I stumbled across some pineapple sunglasses at the Dollar Tree so had to include those, too. I can't wait for the birthday girl to rock them!
Image result for pineapple sunglasses
5 | And last but not least...

Be a pineapple :):
Via Pinterest
Happy Friday & weekending!
Linking with the Five on Friday + Oh Hey, Friday Gals!