Light Envy

Thursday, January 28, 2016

There were so many things we loved about our house when we bought it. Then there were some things that were just okay. One of those things happened to be the lights. They are outdated and just not our style. Now that we have lived here well over a year and because my husband enjoys playing football in the house with our friends and has broke one in the hall, we are finally getting around to updating the light situation slowly but surely.

I want the lighting in our house to feel cohesive but it's hard because I love so many different styles of lights. I always imagined having a rustic, farmhouse table with a traditional, fancy chandelier hanging above it, but I know that is not going to happen. Uh-um, Ryan. After all, he lives here too. So I am attempting to find things he will love as well.

Anyways, I hurriedly rushed into purchasing some pendant lights at Pottery Barn shortly after moving in because the light hanging above the bar was all wrong, hung entirely too low, and because I always envisioned having pendant lighting. Well, the way the lights would need to hang and how the electrical as well as cabinets are situated, it's not going to be possible to hand all 3 evenly and have them look right. Definitely something I rushed into and now regret, but lesson learned.

So this time before I make any more changes, I want to make sure they will work and also that they are husband approved. We are both drawn to the darker, oil-rubbed bronze look and I like the contrast since our house is so light, but then again I am swooning over that aged brassy color as well.

Here are some lights that currently inspire me!

1/ Flush Mount Lights Hallway 2/ Bronze 2-Vanity Light 1/2 Bathroom 3/ Chandelier Dining Room

4/ Round Chandelier Dining Room 5/ Lantern Pendant Entryway 6/ 4-Caged Lights Bathroom

7/ 5 Pendant Light Kitchen 8/ Sputnik Style Chandelier Dining Room 9/ Wine Barrel Chandelier Dining Room

So, which one's are your favorite? Shine a little light on this situation of mine would you? 

Weekend Things & House Updates

Monday, January 25, 2016

Oh, Monday. We meet again...

You guys, this weekend was so fun! Good news to report, I finally decided on a stove and bought it! Wow, that was a long time coming, but what do you expect from Mrs. Indecisive herself? 

Saturday we headed down to the city with my most favorite In-Laws who are just about the funnest people to do non-fun things with (as well as fun things!) like shopping for appliances and checking out design centers. They have a lot more experience than me when it comes to remodeling so they took us to a few places to get some ideas for our kitchen and also to see some new ranges. After our first stop, we already needed a drink.
I cannot remember the last time I had a sucker?
I came across the most beautiful polished nickel faucet! I neeeeeeeeddd these in my life.
We also got some great ideas on granite for the kitchen. This is the lead contender for countertops right now!
We ended the day with some Mexican food for dinner and another tasty libation. I was on a jalapeƱo kick Saturday apparently.

S u n d a y I finally got around to completing my cabinet project. I will do a full recap this week of the before and after, but I am so happy with how they turned out. I smile every time I walk by that bathroom now. I like how they lightened up the small room. Originally I was thinking we would replace the tile countertops but since the cabinet transformation, I actually kinda' like how they go together. Next to come, paint!

We also had an early birthday dinner to celebrate my Daddy. I couldn't help but give him his present early, his requested selfie stick, and I don't think I have ever seen him that excited over a gift. It was definitely a hit. My Sis couldn't make dinner so we sent her a quick hello! Today is his actual birthday so I am looking forward to celebrating him again (well all week really, it's his birthday week!) He deserves it.
So maybe we need a little practice...
I also had a little help making his birthday cake. Hashtag life is short, always lick the bowl.

And with that, I am off to tackle this Monday. I hope you all had a nice weekend as well!

Five Things on Friday

Friday, January 22, 2016

Well this week just about flew by, but I am certainly not complaining. We've got lots going on starting tonight, so let's get down to it. Five things to wrap up this week!

1 / My heart has been kinda' heavy lately. Never take your health for granted, folks. The health of my friends and family lately has seriously put into perspective that every day is an unrepeatable gift. My sweet, sassy and strong cousin Shanin fell recently and had no feeling from the neck down. You can read more of her story here. Aside from her being a determined fighter, with the amazing power of prayer, we have been encouraged with her progress. My family has been staying as close to the hospital as they can to support her but as you can imagine, the medical expenses are adding up. If you feel it in your heart and want to contribute to her fund, you can do so here. #prayforshanin #teamshanin

2 / Onto lighter things...I have been checking out some new lighting for the house, but then I feel like if I update one fixture that I need them to all be somewhat cohesive and that's hard for me because the more I look the more I LOVE! Like this little gem to replace the hallways lights? Might have to go on sale first, lol, but I adore them! I think I am going to do a post about all of my favorites so far then maybe you gals will help me decide.
3 / I've been on a soup kick this week. Last night was French Onion Soup and earlier in the week I made Tortellini Spinach & Sausage soup. I want soup basically every night when it's winter outside.

4 / We have been getting so much welcomed rain here. So far it's been nice because we have a few good days of rain and then a couple of sunshine to even it out and allow the ground to get saturated. In case you wondered how much of a drought we've had here, this is our lake...It's nowhere near being filled, but we'll take the rain!
5 / I plan on making these this weekend, although I might adapt the recipe a little and add an egg.
I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Ritz Cracker Football Sandwiches

Monday, January 18, 2016

With Superbowl right around the corner, I've got appetizers on the mind. Our old neighbor made these chocolate dipped Ritz crackers for us on Christmas one year and I was instantly hooked. I couldn't believe I had never thought to make it myself because there's nothing better than a ritz with peanut butter. Add chocolate and I am sold. They are my favorite combination of sweet and just the right amount salty. I thought they looked a little like footballs so, using some white decorative frosting, I created "football laces." They quickly became one of my top sweet snacks for football games.

If you're looking for a festive snack then try these football sandwiches. You won't regret it! 
Ritz Cracker Chocolate Football Sandwiches
Ritz Crackers
Peanut Butter
Dipping Chocolate
White Decorative Frosting

Spread a generous amount of peanut butter between two Ritz crackers.
When desired amount of sandwiches are created, melt dipping chocolate and dip each sandwich.
Allow the the chocolate to harden up, then use the white frosting to finish adorning with white laces.

Then try not to eat the entire plate before the game starts.
Bummed we won't be watching our Pack play this year for the Superbowl, but how about that second hail mary!? 

A Year of Dates

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

When Ryan and I were first together I used to do all kinds of fun projects to tell him how special he was to me and how much I loved him, for any or no reason at all. We were going through some old things and he came across one of those projects where I used a deck of cards to create "52 Reasons Why I love you." He also found some old homemade "coupons" for a massage and a new pair of shoes, but I told him he had already redeemed those...

Back to why I am here today. I still love doing those things for him but as our lives have become busier, and since we're together so much, it is hard to surprise him with these things. I wanted to make our date nights a priority again this year and set aside at least one night per month that was just dedicated to he and I. I know there are lots of ideas on Pinterest, but here is what I came up with. I wrote him a letter to go with it explaining what it was all about. He smiled so big reading it. :)

To create the Year of Dates, I gathered 12 envelopes and stuffed each one with a little note card with my date night idea and some money (if the date required it) that way they were all paid for. I sealed them with a piece of washi tape. I also raided my craft box and used some cute stickers I had to decorate the front of each envelope.
Here were my ideas for date nights:
1 / Bowling
2 / Go mini golfing or go out to the driving range
3 / Rodeo tickets (already purchased)
4 / Fancy dinner date
5 / Jeep ride & picnic in the mountains
6 / Kayak down the river & money for sandwiches at our favorite place to take with us
7 / Go to the movies
8 / Target practice or go to the shooting range
9 / Chinese at our favorite spot (the place we always used to go on our regular date nights)
10 / Try something new! Maybe a class or go somewhere we've never been. I'm really hoping we plan a trip somewhere this year!
11 / Game Night In
12 / And finally, I left one date his choice!
He has also been bugging me for some new music so I went ahead and burned him a cd. I remember making those for him all the time too! And yes, we still listen to music on cds if you can believe it!

I always tell Ryan I love dating him and I definitely wanted to make that a priority for us this year and thought what better way than knowing each month we at least will go on one date. Plus, it was fun making him something, although it was much harder as I had to go lock myself in the office so he wouldn't peek.

I hope this inspires you gals to go out there and plan yourself some date nights as well!

The weekends are never long enough.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Friday night Ryan and his best friend went to see Revenant together so I got to hang out with two of my favorite little kiddos. I thought we would have some fun of our own so I took them ice skating at a local ice rink. It was such a fun experience and we had an amazing time! I loved seeing their little eyes light up at the excitement of it all, especially when it came to them watching them clean the ice. I was so proud of them both! And I didn't even fall once so I'll call that a success. 
Saturday Ryan and I needed to get a few things so we headed down to do some shopping. We had quite a few things on our list we were hoping to accomplish, but I am probably the worst shopper in the history of shopping. We went to RC Willeys to check out some appliances and of course I got distracted and was swooning over all the furniture. We're absolutely not in the market for new furniture, let alone new bedroom furniture, but if we were we would have been bringing this home if I had my way. But back to why we were there-to check out a new stove. We didn't end up seeing one we loved so I'm still without a cooktop. No biggie though! 
Anyways, after a full day of driving around and a fair share of shopping, we were looking forward to lunch at one of our favorites, Yard House. We unfortunately had a bit of a disappointing lunch so that was a bummer, but on the way home we stopped at one more store because, powerball, duh. Um, can you believe nobody has won yet!?
Anyways, the store also happened to have these little gems. 
Dangerous, I'm telling you! They absolutely taste like a soda. I highly recommend!

Sunday was a day to catch up for me. We started off the morning with a nice family breakfast and long walk together then it was home to finish my to-dos. I finished boxing up the last of Christmas decorations (hashtag finally) and getting a box of items to donate ready to drop this week and then continued working on the cabinets. More to come on that, but so far I'm pretty excited!

Hope you had a lovely weekend! 

Wed-nes-Day Things.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A little bit of what I've been up to lately...

- Sunday I had the most productive day. Is it just me or do you get so much more done when your hubby isn't around? When he's home I don't want to do boring stuff like housework, I want to spend time and do fun things with him, so the dreaded laundry was finally caught up on as well as other projects that had been calling my name. I also got the nerve to paint our bathroom cabinets. I wanted to try them first and see how I liked them before I took on the kitchen cabinets, and even though I am halfway through the process, I think more than ever I am leaning towards doing a dark stain instead...too.many.choices.

- I never realized how much curtains can transform or complete a room. All of our rooms in the house have the standard blinds, and lately it's really been bothering me. I have looked and looked for curtains and rods I liked, but couldn't commit. When I did take a leap in our living room and order an extra long rod I was shipped the wrong one, then they were out of stock, so I returned it and left it as is. Then while doing some New Years Day shopping with my cousin, I saw some curtains that I loved for our dining room. I was instantly drawn to the pattern and knew it would go well with the grey walls in the dining room and beige walls throughout the rest of the house. Of course I wanted to hang them Sunday (see what'd I tell you, finishing projects) but Ryan wasn't home, so I did the next best thing and called my Dad for some assistance. Gotta' love Dads! I am so pleased with how it somewhat completed the room. It feels like a new space it and I love it and wish I would have done it sooner! I have been trying to decide on a dining room table for approximately two years now and still can't commit, so there's that. Maybe then I'll consider taking a photo of the whole room. Haha, one step at a time, folks.
- I got the cutest little mini crock for Christmas from my Sis! I decided to use it as a scent warmer like I saw Christina do by turning it on and adding some water, fresh rosemary, cranberries and oranges that I had leftover from the holidays.
- I heard this song over the weekend about a girl and her dad. For more than one reason this song gets me. Warning: tears.

Well, we're halfway through the first week in 2016 if you can believe it! 
Wishing you all the best rest of the week!

Family Snowmobiling Trip {Starting off 2016 right!}

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My family has always been a mountain family. For as long as I can remember, and even before that because I've seen pictures, my parents have been toting me and my little sister to the mountains for any and all occasions. So many of my favorite memories take place outside having fun somewhere in the mountains. Annual Christmas tree cutting, motorcycle riding, visiting the snow, swimming in the summer, mountain bike riding, staying at grandpa and grandmas cabin, jeeping, snowmobiling, or simply just picnicking. No matter what we are doing, my favorite part is being altogether.

It felt so, so good to start the New Year in the mountains. I was extremely bummed Ryan missed this trip because it was such the perfect day, minus him being there. The fresh powder snow, the sun shining, my family laughing, smiling, and enjoying our sweet time together, and riding until all that was on my mind was the trail in front of me and the views all around me.

We just got into snowmobiling a few years ago, but the conditions here have not been the best in California the past couple seasons, so Ryan and I sold ours because it seemed like we could never use them. My parents still have two that we were thrilled to finally get to take out! Of course, now we want to get two more except I'm afraid if we do we will hex the weather and it'll go back to being a drought. Ha! We are so lucky we live in a place that give or take an hour in all directions we can be in completely different locations. I love how we can load up in the car for an hour and be in a complete winter wonderland.
Headwarmer / Black Jacket
Black Jacket / Burton Black Snow Pants (old) Similar /
Cozy Leggings / UA Cold Weather Base Layer / Cold Gear Shirt
I would also like to note here that it was blazing cold outside! My not-so-secret to staying warm is layers, layers, layers. I have on two pairs of leggings, two pairs of socks, snow pants, two shirts, one fleece jacket, plus one oversized waterproof jacket. I am plenty warm riding around because you actually get a workout, but sitting back at the truck I was still cold!
Sis and I started the day on a short little ride to check the conditions and check on our grandparents cabin. They close it down every winter since the only way in is by snowmobile and to prevent major issues from the snow, but whenever we're up in that area riding we stop in and make sure all looks right and take some pictures for them. There wasn't that much snow, but we will take what we can get at this point. 
As if it wasn't obvious enough by the parking lot that the entire world was on that mountain for the same reasons we were, the usual riding trails were ROUGH despite being groomed. We made a few pit stops for some attempts at sledding, some quick pictures, then headed back to which we found my parents taking a snow walk. At first I thought Dad was getting worried so he came looking for us since we had been gone so long, but nope. Just thought they'd take a walk.
Then Dad and Sis took a ride together while Mom and I held down the fort back at the truck. When I say hold down the fort I really mean we sat in front of the heater, had lunch, people watched and got to visit. When they returned, Dad and I headed out for another ride. We rode to the dam then did some climbs to the top of the mountain where the views are unreal. I always feel like I'm on top of the world. It should also be noted this is where my Dad told me we need a selfie stick for pictures and I died that he even knew what they were. 
White Jacket (old) Similar / Burton Gloves / Sorel Boots (old) Similar 
On the way back down, as I was literally thinking what a perfect day it had been, how bummed I was Ryan missed it but how proud he'd be of me, and basically feeling relaxed, revived and refreshed, I wiped out and the snowmobile flipped completely over on me. I sunk in the powder so no harm done. I sat there stunned for a minute then had to laugh. That's exactly what I get for not thinking, right? I went off in some powder and failed to see the little well in the snow and before I knew it the snowmobile was completely upside down and I was sitting there, like, "What just happened!?" A nice man stopped and my Dad turned around and we were able to get it flipped upright and back in action. Apparently Dad had just stopped to check on me and saw the whole thing happen in slow motion; great timing. I told him you're welcome because if it weren't for me he wouldn't have met a new friend that day.
Taking a breather after we got her flipped back over.
I wasn't hurt at all, but boy I am not in snowmobile shape by any means, and I am definitely feeling it today. That's the greatest thing about getting out and riding is that you use so many muscles in your body that you never thought possible. According to my Fitbit yesterday I took nearly 20,000 steps! 

Now I'm looking forward to getting back out there! Bring on the snow and bring on 2016! 
I couldn't picture a better start to the year...