100th Day of School!

Every year, about mid-January, I start hitting Pinterest for 100th Day of School project ideas. Am I alone? I can’t help but think I’m not! ;-)

Last year, we lucked out and there were no at-home 100th Day projects for my kiddos, but this year my kindergartner has to make a shirt to wear.

In 2013, my Oldest Daughter and I made this shirt for the 100th Day of School.

100th Day of School shirt

So adorable, so easy, so fun!

So stubborn! She won’t release the shirt nor the rights to the idea to her little sister! “It was MY idea, she can’t copy!” (Technically it was someone-on-the-internet’s idea, but no time for arguments now, I have pinning to do!)

‘Tis alright, Middle Daughter, there are loads of new, fun ideas floating around!

100th pin board

Click here to see the ideas I’ve collected on Pinterest. I think my favorite is the shirt with the 100 felt hearts! What cute ideas do you have? Please share them! :-)

Kitchen Update and Sneak Peek

It’s been 3/4 of a year since I last posted. Shame on me! Life certainly hasn’t stopped here though, in spite of my lack of documentation. About the time I posted last, my husband gave me the gift of a kitchen remodel for Mother’s Day! He’s been working hard in his (rare) spare time and it’s oooooh so close! So close!! I wanted to tell you what we’ve done so far and give you a sneak peak! (I promise to follow up with proper After photos when every detail is finished.)

First, here’s a Before photo of the crazy green kitchen we bought in spring of 2012. I’m positive it’s the reason for the deal we got on the otherwise amazing house in an amazing neighborhood. (Well that and the abundance of wallpaper and brass circa 1993.)

green kitchen before

My husband took that photo with his iphone on his first viewing of the house without me. I took the liberty of lightening up the shadows so that you can see just how green it was!

In 2014, we tackled the Big Green Monster as we had nicknamed it.

First and foremost, lots of paint! I chose a two-toned scheme for the cabinets, with chocolate brown on the bottom and ecru on the top. Very practical reasons – to hide little finger smudges below and reflect light around above. The budget didn’t allow us to replace the corian counters yet (we do still have a lot of house to fix up), but thankfully they are a neutral light gray and work. Because we do want to eventually replace the counters, we didn’t want to invest in expensive tile backsplash, so we opted for painted beadboard. I used a crowbar and pulled off that short corian lip/backsplash myself before installation of the beadboard so that we get that full counter to cabinet look! Hubby bulked up the cabinetry by adding trim to the back of the peninsula and to the ends of the cabinets. He hardwired under-cabinet lighting (on a dimmer, even). All new cabinet and drawer pulls, as well as hinges. He painted over the yellow walls I never liked. We replaced the wall oven/microwave combo and range hood (still waiting on the cooktop to go). We added board and batten to the right of the peninsula (that will eventually have hooks for the kids’ backpacks). I’m SURE I’m forgetting things. So much has changed! See for yourself…

remodeled kitchen sneak peek

Still left on the To Do List… two more upper cabinet doors need one last coat of paint, trim added on the bottom of the upper cabinets, a new faucet and a window treatment over the sink. So close!!

Stitch Fix #5

It’s spring (almost summer) and that means it’s Stitch Fix time! Time to revive the old warm weather wardrobe and refresh it with some new pieces!

(If you haven’t read about Stitch Fix before and want to know a little more about how it works, check out my first post about the experience!)

The stylists out there at Stitch Fix have figured me out. This makes 2 boxes in a row that make me very, very happy! I’ll get right to it…

My first impression of the box wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. My first thoughts were, “Why so many dark colors? This is sheer, what am I going to do with that? Oh, this is going to be too short.” Once I started trying things on, though, I was so excited. I think I even once exclaimed out loud, “They really get me!” And this, friends, is why I love my Stitch Fixes like I do. I would have for sure passed all these items up at the store!

The first item is a Daniel Rainn Lenora Crochet Detail Tie-Neck Silk Blouse in black.

Daniel Rainn Lenora Crochet Detail Tie-Neck Silk Blouse

This is the one I thought would be too short, but it’s not! My first thought was to pair it with my new pink shorts, and that was ok. It could definitely go with about every short and pant I have!

Daniel Rainn Lenora Crochet Detail Tie-Neck Silk Blouse

(Pardon the blur.)

But then I thought about that black and white printed skirt I got in my last fix! Oh, I like the blouse with that a lot! New date night outfit!

Daniel Rainn Lenora Crochet Detail Tie-Neck Silk Blouse

Daniel Rainn Lenora Crochet Detail Tie-Neck Silk Blouse

It’s crocheted details are pretty and feminine, it’s light weight (perfect for South Carolina summers) and it’s versatile. The verdict? KEEP!

The second item in the box is an Olive & Oak Kira Mixed Stripe Racerback Tank in navy.


Olive & Oak Kira Mixed Stripe Racerback Tank

Loving this. Love love love. I put it on with my white jeans, but could go with the pink shorts, my denim boyfriend shorts, khaki or yellow or kelly green…

Olive & Oak Kira Mixed Stripe Racerback Tank

And I’m a sucker for a racerback. Love the look!

Olive & Oak Kira Mixed Stripe Racerback Tank

The length is good, the fabric is soft and light, it goes with lots of things in my closet. The verdict? KEEP!

The third item in the box was an instant fave! It’s a Nikkita Sheer Eyelet Back Hi-Lo Tank in pink.

Nikkita Sheer Eyelet Back Hi-Lo Tank

Now the front of this top looks like a plain jane tank. Pretty color, but not much to it. What I LOVE is the surprise when you turn around!

IMG_7770

Eyelet!! My husband said it’s the mullet of clothing… business in the front and party in the back! He’s kinda right, and I guess I love mullets in a weird, indirect sort of way! Ha!

I already had my white jeans on, so…

Nikkita Sheer Eyelet Back Hi-Lo Tank

Plain Jane and then bam!

Nikkita Sheer Eyelet Back Hi-Lo Tank

Pretty eyelet! Now I didn’t wear a cami underneath this for the picture because really you can’t see much, but when I wear it out, I’ll make sure there’s a cami because my kids’ friends don’t need to know what my bra looks like. ;-P The verdict? KEEP!

The fourth item in the box is an Ark n Co Bev Striped Drawstring Maxi Dress.

Ark n Co Bev Striped Drawstring Maxi Dress

I love maxi dresses. I’m not sure they love me though. I felt like this might be too big, like maybe it’s made for a girl with a bigger bust and who wears high heels?

Ark n Co Bev Striped Drawstring Maxi Dress

I love the drawstring detail, and I love the solid black bottom (as a girl with a bubble butt, this is so appreciated).

Ark n Co Bev Striped Drawstring Maxi Dress

It just feels so big on. So saggy. Maybe that’s just the nature of the maxi dress. Please advise! Verdict: UNDECIDED. (This is where I add that if I keep everything in the box, I get a 25% discount and that more than pays for this dress, soooo… )

The fifth and last item in the box is an AV Max Sofie Leaf Cuff in gold.

AV Max Sofie Leaf Cuff

I love this bracelet. Really love it. I normally stay away from cuffs because they’re so often big and chunky, and that just looks strange on my small wrists.

AV Max Sofie Leaf Cuff

This cuff is perfect, it’s dainty and unique with the leaf details. I don’t have anything like it, and I’ll admit I took the tag off immediately and wore it out TWICE already! Verdict is easy: KEEP!

So that’s box #5! Hope you enjoyed, and if you decide to give Stitch Fix a try, will you use my referral link? I’d so much appreciate it! :-)

 

Stitch Fix #4

Stitch Fix time!

I took a short break from Stitch Fix, I felt like I’d shopped enough for the summer and decided to save my money for fall. So I’ll get right to it!

Possibly my favorite box so far!

I’ll start with the easy one. I say that because I got the box, tried it on and immediately cut the tags off and wore it out. LOVE. IT.

It’s a Colourworks Thompson Boat Neck Sweater in a pretty deep purple.

Colourworks Thompson Boat Neck Sweater

I NEVER pick out purple for myself. There’s nothing purple in my closet. Nothing at all. And this is why I love Stitch Fix. They send me things I wouldn’t have chosen for myself and I never would have thought I’d like, and yet I do!

The sweater is so soft, and so comfy. It’s a wool blend, so it’s warm, but not too warm (I’m in South Carolina after all). The shape is flattering., and it’s the kind of sweater that I can dress down with jeans and boots, or dress up with trousers and jewelry. So happy they sent it!

I’ll leave the sweater on for the next one. They sent me jeans! These are Just Black Connely Skinny Jeans in black.

Just Black Connely Skinny Jean

Love these jeans, they fit better than any of the skinnies I have so far, and they’re so comfy. They’re more like jeggings than skinnies, in my opinion, but I like them like that.

Just Black Connely Skinny Jean - back

Only problem is, I already have black skinnies, and black leggings, and black pants. Even though these are nicer than my current black skinnies, I don’t know that I can justify them.

Next is another sweater! This is an Under Skies Tuckerman Airy Knit Sweater in pretty rosy pink!

Under Skies Tuckerman Airy Knit Sweater

While I love the color, and I love the “airy knit” aspect of the sweater… I’m not in love with the shape.

Under Skies Tuckerman Airy Knit Sweater

That slit up the side is what ruins it for me. It gives it this boxy, shapeless fit that’s not flattering on me. I feel like I have to constantly adjust it to keep it straight. I think if it were longer, I could tolerate the slits? Like if it were more tunic-like?

Under Skies Tuckerman Airy Knit Sweater

I tried putting a button-down under it to see if that helped, but nope. I think it needs to go back.

When I saw this next one in the box, I wasn’t so sure. It’s a Lily Marieta Geo Print Jersey Skirt in black and white.

Lily Marieta Geo Print Jersey Skirt

I never ever go for prints like this, but I think I love it! The shape is perfectly me with the swingy ruffle on the bottom. It has black lining so that when the skirt swings, it doesn’t show too much leg, and the ruffle has a sweet hint of black edging on it.

Lily Marieta Geo Print Skirt

I put a white ruffled top with it and I think it’s ok. I could wear a black cardigan or maybe even a blazer on a chilly evening. (I also have a black ruched top that would look good, but it’s in the laundry.) I really think a pop of color would be fun, though. Something like this in a silky material? Maybe red for the holidays, and some hot black pumps and dangle earnings?

Lily Marieta Geo Print Jersey Skirt

Speaking of earrings, Stitch Fix sent me some!

These are Bay to Baubles Tear Frame & Stone Earrings. I don’t have a large earring collection. In fact, I just have 3 pairs that I wear (two if you count that I lost a diamond stud earring last month somewhere in the house and I still haven’t found it). I could use earrings. I used to only wear studs or very small hoops and dangles. I’m trying to be adventurous and wear more statement pieces occasionally. I think I like these, but I’m not used to seeing myself wearing something like it so I don’t know!

Bay to Baubles Tear Frame & Stone Earrings

So that’s my fourth Stitch Fix! What do you think? I think they came very close to nailing it! Should I keep the earrings? Any suggestions on how to wear the skirt?

If you’d like to see my past Stitch Fix boxes, click on the Stitch Fix tag below the post, or click here.

One more thing! If you decide to try Stitch Fix, would you mind using my referral link? I get a $25 credit if you do, and I’d be so appreciative!

Family Room Redux

I haven’t shared anything house related in almost a year! Has it really been that long? Wow!

We’ve been busy living life and taking our house projects one baby step at a time, so nothing major has been completed in the last year, but there have been some things that are share worthy. I’ll try to get those up on the blog this summer!

In the meantime, I took one of those baby steps today that I want to share! Last I posted about the family room, it looked like this:

closer look family room July 2012

 

Had my curtains up, had my sand colored paint up, and I had the new Louis style chairs. I don’t know why the TV wasn’t on the bookcase here, I must have taken this picture after we painted and before we set the TV back up.

There have been some changes since then, this was the family room this morning:

family room in July 2013

 

I ended up not loving the Louis style chairs in this room, they weren’t big enough, so I moved them into other rooms. I found a wonderful consignment furniture store in my town and scored these two gorgeous wing back chairs and ottoman! The chairs are covered in a pale blue and white greek key patterned fabric, and the ottoman in a wheat colored linen (scroll down to see a better picture of them). The mirror on the mantel was actually the first thing we bought for the mantel at our last house, it was silver then. I used a combination of gold and oil-rubbed bronze spray paints to give it an antiqued gold finish and now it fits this room perfectly! The white plaques on the wall to the right were clearance finds at Ballard Designs.

Back to that baby step today: I painted the inside of the built-in bookcases! This has been on my list of ideas for several months. Today has been a rainy day and the kids have been entertaining themselves with a combo of board games and movies, so I found myself with a little free time. I figured why not? :-)

family room july 2013 with painted bookcases

 

I used a medium caramel brown and I really think it adds depth and a little richness to the room. Well worth the 2 hours of work! Of course, now I want all new tchotchkes. Happens every time I change something! ;-)

family room chair painted bookcase july 2013

 

Here’s a better look one of the chairs and the ottoman. I really do feel like I’ve hit the jackpot with my local furniture consignment store, they always have something I want to bring home!

Still on the list is to replace the green tile around the fireplace, and oh that TV! I think I might have to hire someone to come in and hang it over the mantel, hubby is a little nervous about drilling into the trim work on that wall so it may be better that we leave it to a pro.

More later, y’all! Laundry is calling!

Sparkling Sangria Recipe

If you know me AT ALL, you know I love my adult beverages. I’m mostly a beer girl (none of that Bud Light stuff, give me a good hoppy IPA any day of the week!), but I love my wine too. Something I’m not too experienced with is sangria, and I’ve decided to fix that. This summer I’m determined to try several sangria recipes, at least enough so that I can justify a sangria section in my recipe binder. :-)

I experimented with my first sangria this week and I LOVED IT! It’s a sparkling sangria with cucumbers, radishes, fresh ginger and grapefruit juice. Not too sweet, but sweet enough, and oh so refreshing with the cucumbers! It was light, but still full flavored. Very satisfying on a hot summer evening. I want to share this recipe because I just know there are some of you out there that will enjoy this as much as I did.

sparkling sangria

 

(Never mind the iPhone photo. I’ll take better photos in the future. I wasn’t prepared to love it as much as I did and by the time I thought to take a better picture with the big camera, I’d already drank most of it.)

I purposely didn’t choose a recipe that required liquor; I’m not a liquor girl so I don’t usually keep any in the house and I didn’t want to spend the money just for a pitcher of sangria. Maybe later in the summer I’ll go in that direction.

I can’t take credit for creating this recipe, I found it on the Better Homes and Gardens website, but I have a few small notes I’ll add.

Sparkling Sangria

Ingredients:

(1) large English cucumber, thinly sliced on the bias (approximately 3.5 cups)

(1) 4-6 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

(6) large radishes, thinly sliced (approximately 1 cup)

1 cup grapefruit juice

(1) 750 milliliter bottle brut (dry) champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

Directions:

In a large pitcher, combine cucumber, ginger and radishes. Add grapefruit juice. Cover; chill for 2 to 24 hours. To serve, add ice cubes to pitcher. Add champagne and stir gently.

My notes:

I personally think this is better closer to the 2 hour mark than 24 hours. The longer it sat, the more I could taste the radish. I like radishes, but I preferred the stronger flavors of the cucumber and ginger earlier on. Either that, or maybe next time I’ll use half the radishes.

I used a sparkling Pinot Grigio, by Barefoot Wine specifically. I was afraid to spend too much during my experimental phase! ;-) Next time I might get something a little nicer, but honestly I thought this was pretty good!

Also, I used a store brand, bottled grapefruit juice. Next time I plan to try it with freshly squeezed (I usually have a couple of grapefruit sitting around for my smoothies anyhow), I know it will only make it better!

 

If you try this recipe, I’d love to know what you think and what kinds of changes you made to your taste!

What’s For Dinner: Kale and Basil Pesto

Planning our meal for this evening and I thought, hey! Since I’m on a roll with the blogging, maybe I’ll take a few minutes while the baby naps to share one of our favorite recipes.

One of the best parts about summer for me is growing my own herbs. And I love to cook with them!

My basil is looking so good right now, y’all!

my home grown organic basil

 

We use basil a lot. We tear it over pasta dishes, into salads and onto fruits, over pizza when it comes out of the oven, and I love my strawberry basil scones! I also make my own basil vinaigrette. Even with all our basil use, there’s still LOTS there to be snipped and enjoyed. Perfect excuse to make a pesto!

Here’s a pesto recipe we love: Kale and Basil Pesto I love this recipe because not only is it healthy, but it’s totally delicious and the kids go crazy for it!

Tonight we’ll be enjoying our kale and basil pesto over pasta, and topped with grilled chicken, grilled yellow squash, and some fresh diced tomato. And maybe a good IPA for the grownups.

I can’t wait for dinner! I better go thaw the chicken!