Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Favorites - Dress Obsessed

The one thing I hate is spending money on "work clothes". I can be running around like a mad woman or folded up at my desk, my work day is unpredictable like that so I want to look cute but feel comfy. I also like clothes that can pull double duty so I don't come right home and change, which is hard on the laundry lady (aka, me) and I almost never buy/wear things that need to be ironed or dry cleaned.
Ain't nobody got time for that! 
So when I find something I love, and it actually fits (I'm tall so sometimes dresses look like shirts on me), I go a bit overboard. Enter Gap and Old Navy. I've been a long time fan but when I was younger, I didn't mind dresses and skirts being short... but times have changed and mini-skirts just don't always work. Almost all of their clothes come in petite, regular, and tall... which makes this girl SO happy.  Vast selection and no hoo-ha flashing! YAY!!

I got a bunch of Gap dresses around this time last year and they have easily become the most-worn items in my closet. I cycle through them for work and although they have held up great. There's one bright pink sweatshirt dress that is my favorite... which I wasn't expecting at all. I get tons of complements on it and it's so ridiculously comfy. I wear it with my coach slip-on sneakers, flip flops, over leggings... it's super versatile and did I say comfy? It is the best! Of course, it's the one dress I didn't get in multiple colors.

The good news is that gap has a bunch of great dresses that fit the bill this season too! And they're on sale!

via Gap

I got this one in 2 colors...

via Gap
and this x 2 as well...

via Gap

and definitely got this one in both colors... it can double as a cover up, duh!

via Gap
the only reason I didn't get these striped dresses in both colors is because they were sold out of my size...

via Old Navy

So I went a little crazy... but the last thing I want is to feel like I do with my pink dress... wishing I would have bought it in every color.

However, I subscribe to the Jessica Garvin "Cost Per Use" Philosophy.
Consider this shopping spree justified.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Decisions, Decisions... final touches to the Hall Bath

I'm having a hell of a time picking the decor for our hall bath... hence the delay in the big reveal. I just can't seem to decide on a shower curtain. Which means I can't decide on the rest of the bath accessories.
We painted the walls with a custom mix... a cross between Behr Amphibian (slightly lighter) and Nature Retreat (a bit darker).

I absolutely love the color. It's super dark but looks awesome with the slate tile. With the bright white subway tile, counter top, and bead board ceiling, it all just pops and looks so crisp.

We want to add a shower curtain and accessories that amplify this look and really tie it all together. As usual, we're having trouble agreeing on style/colors and my indecisive nature isn't helping AT ALL...

West Elm
West Elm

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn
P.B. Teen




Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond

These are the ones I've "narrowed" it down to... we all know how terrible I am with decisions. I will pick everything else to go in the bathroom once I have a firm grasp on the shower curtain. We already have these amazing towels in white, so I don't need other hand towels, but I sure would like some as an accent.

I'm totally digging these bath mats from West Elm... so whatever I end up getting will probably match them... maybe?


Zig Zag

Horizon Stripe

Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend and Friday Favorites

I want to send a humongous THANK YOU out to all the service members! I am eternally grateful for everything these brave men and women do to protect our great nation. They sacrifice so much so that our freedom stands unwavering. It is an amazing blessing to have such wonderful, selfless people put their lives on the line for the rest of us. There are not enough words to express my gratitude.

That said, we'll be celebrating one of my favorite retired Sgt. Major's birthday this weekend and I just cannot wait to see him! We also have a big 6th birthday to attend for our beautiful little niece.This weekend is going to be chock full of fun, and loads of time spent with family and friends.

A few of my favorite festive things - totally worth snatching up because you can use them 3 holidays in a row :) Who doesn't love that!?

Red, White and Blue Headband, Star Headband, 4th of July Headband, Memorial Day Headband
Via SolaBowtique
There are plenty more sweet headbands and clips where this came from... I adore this sweet little sparkly one, though, and couldn't resist getting it for little Miss Peyton (my best friend's baby girl). She's such a little doll.  

Painted American Flag
via Pottery Barn

We got this beauty from my Aunt and Uncle as a wedding gift and I just love love love it! We are just finishing up our kitchen and we CANNOT WAIT to get it hanging in there!

I'm hoping that we'll be able to have a party for the 4th of July so that I can also go nuts buying all this stuff!

I will be rocking this dress all at some point over the weekend... 

And last but not least, my not-so-little brother will be home from Colorado this week! Can't wait to see him. He called me earlier this week to see if I'd be able to pick up shoes at the mall if he ordered them. Turns out, these Vans are super popular and sold out everywhere... and he needs wants them for a party that he is going to on Sunday, which means no time to wait for the 6-9 shipping days.

Van Doren Authentic
Lucky for brotherman, I am an expert online shopper :) I found them at Revolve for the same price, but their free shipping was 2-3 day... BOOM!

Hope everyone enjoys this long weekend :) Remember why we're celebrating and thank any active duty, reservist, or Vets you might come across in between BBQ's and fireworks. They're the reason we all have the freedom to do so!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Should have been a Teacher...

Without fail, when Memorial Day weekend rolls around, I always find myself longing for Summer Vacation.

I start to kick myself and think, "I should have been a teacher!" 
Don't get me wrong, they have it tough and I give major kudos to all those dear souls cut out for the job. Really, the only reason I ever think I'd try to hack it is when I start to see my friends posting on Facebook about gallivanting around town at Christmas time, beach pictures from some amazing spring break,  and general fun all summer long while I'm sitting in my no-window-having cramped office.

Ah... some day. For now, I am going to just enjoy my 4-day weekend and keep dreaming of summers off...

And with that, I need a cocktail...
Citrus Paradise

How yummy does this look!?! I cannot wait to hit our local farmers market tomorrow and pick up some juicy strawberries (may need more than I thought now that I've come across this recipe) and a carful of other fresh goodies!

Looks like I'll also be stopping by the liquor store... and boy am I gonna need it after a fun morning at the social security office... Jay's going to divorce me if I don't get my name changed (especially since next week we will hit the 6 month mark! holy crap! where does the time go!?!?!)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

'Tis the Season... Red, White, and Blue

You know I love a good (and super easy) festive addition to any weekend... I especially love Memorial Day as it serves as the kick off to summer... which now seems to be friend-season. 

We're all so busy with work, family, kids, life, that I welcome this time of year with open arms. It's like everyone just has a little less on their plates and more time to get together... that and it's not frigid outside so you actually don't mind leaving your house.

These patriotic fruit skewers are perfect for BBQs on Memorial Day and 4th of July. #funfood #patriotic #FoodSaver
Via Pinterest
This couldn't be any easier and is super cute for breakfast, or stood up in a galvanized bucket for a festive flag display.

Of course, if I can swing it, I will be making Jessica Garvin's delicious Red Velvet Pancakes... They are just too good! Sidebar - I love how I can make them for just about any holiday, just by switching up the fruit -and- I'll be honest for a minute... she is the queen of festive made "easy"! She has sooo many inexpensive, easy ideas for every holiday.

Besides spending some much needed time with our family and friends this weekend, I also have big plans for tackling our gardens (and eliminating some of the poison ivy/sumac that has come creeping along our creek bank)

pretty composition of flowers in pots
via Pinterest

I'm thinking some pretty red, white, and blue (or purple) flowers may be just the ticket.

If you need some more festive ideas, check out my Patriotic board on Pinterest :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Favorites

Ah, Friday! FINALLY!!!
I have to admit, this was one crazy week and it did FLY by but I'm always so happy when the weekend rolls around, even if it is a super rainy, yucky day.

Days like today I'm happy for warm (if not totally crappy) weather so that I can wear sandals to work. No worries about squishy shoes around the office. Days like this are even better when you have NEW shoes to wear. Target has these babies on sale for 20% off!
OPI Unfor-Grreta-bly Blue, T-Shirt Maxi (Old Navy - last summer)
similar here

Is it ok to put "finished projects" on my favorites list? I'm going to anyways!! We finished our bathroom renovation this week and I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER with the final results! (big reveal coming next week after I really finish... you know, shower curtain, towels, decorations)

sneak peek!

Spending the day with the world's most awesome kiddos! Tomorrow is West Norriton Day and I'm totally looking forward to spending the afternoon with our nieces and nephew! Moon bounces, pony rides, face painting... I'm all over that shit!

Our Wedding Video... I can't get enough! Thank you Saltwater Studios for your amazing amazing work! I watch, and re-watch the video and look at all the pictures over and over again... all the time... I just love it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DIY Spring Green Wreath

I've been on the hunt for a wreath for our front door for Spring/Summer.
I love the preserved boxwood wreath but our front door has southern exposure and gets direct sunlight all day which is brutal on my wreathes... it's been known to melt hot glue and kill live wreathes in a day... so I can't justify spending that much money right now.
Home Decorators Collection

 West Elm
West Elm

  To be honest, though... I kind of have a thing for making my own so that I can create exactly what I want. I also really like the feeling I get when I walk up my front stairs and get to admire my handy work as I unlock the door... and no, my elbow isn't getting sore from patting myself on the back... at least not yet...

So off to the craft store I went. I hit Joann on my lunch break and picked up this wreath form and these 6ft boxwood garland.

I started by pulling each piece off the strip of garland then wrapping wire through the little hole. I probably could have just wired the whole garland to the wreath but I'm anal so I didn't....
ooh look at my chippy polish. yikes!


Once all the pieces were ready, I started wiring them to the wreath form. I started with the middle but if I could do it over, I'd have started on the inside and worked my way out.

I ran out of greens so I need to make my way back to Joann and get one more string of garland but this is what it looks like for now. A little on the wild side compared to the other boxwood wreathes but I kind of love that.
 I haven't decided if I want to add a bow or anything to it yet, and I'm thinking about swapping out my current wreath hanger for this black one so that it matches our oil rubbed bronze hardware better.

Finally,  I REALLY love having apps on my phone to keep track of all my favorite stores... and I never have to worry whether I remembered to grab the coupon off the printer/counter/desk (or where it got buried in my purse) because it's right on my phone. I saved 40% just by opening up the app while I was browsing.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Deal-spotting for the Kitchen

Shopping for appliances is NO JOKE! I thought it was going to be so much fun to pick out fancy new goodies for our kitchen, turns out you need a full gas tank, patience, and a law degree to get the best deals.

I thought I hit the jackpot at Best Buy (read that post here), but after striking out there, I felt confident that I knew exactly what I wanted. I loved the sleek look of this Whirlpool range, the handle was pretty and I liked the stainless knobs. I love the large viewing window and it was convection, with a little extra space...
Sold! (almost)
With one store under my belt, I headed into Home Depot with all the knowledge one can possess on mid-range cooking appliances. The man working there, well he was one damned helpful dude! He recommended this beauty... all the wonderful features that I loved about the Whirlpool, but for less dough! He was totally speaking my language. This Maytag wonder made me so happy - not only did it have a lower price tag, it also had a 3rd rack for the oven, a great parts and labor warranty, and few other features that made me love it more, it was more visually appealing (to me anyways) with more stainless and less black.

Once I was hooked, there was only one thing left to do... convince my husband that he loved it too!
That took me 3 days!
When we went back to Home Depot to buy it, they were SOLD OUT!!! They couldn't even order it for me because of some kind of crazy logistics issues... but they were soooooo amazingly nice about it. They told me they would keep me on a call list for when they expected another shipment and that they would honor the sale price for me. (This is why I love HD!! They have THE BEST customer service)

Of course patience is NOT my virtue, so immediately, I started hounding the other stores that price match (ala- Best Buy, Lowes, Sears, etc) but much to my dismay, they were all sold out too :(

Then my sister recommended HH Gregg. Turns out, they are having a kitchen event this week (lucky me!) and they had the range and microwave we were looking for, in stock! We've my expert negotiator of a husband has wheeled and dealed with them over past purchases so we headed over there last night to see what they had to offer.

I'm usually terrible in this sort of situation where Jay dickers/haggles/negotiates and I think we're already getting a good deal so I feel bad asking for more... we got a significantly discounted price on both pieces, free delivery (usually $80) and the 5-year premium service plan for free, plus a rebate for $100 H.H. Gregg gift card (which we will hopefully use for the dishwasher, but I think Jay has his eye on some kind of surround sound system) The lesson here is - IT NEVER HURTS TO ASK!
 (secondary lesson, if you suck striking deals like I do, take someone like my husband)

Post-shopping victory beers at McKenzie Brew House

We had a "get the car" moment when we left and I had a giant shit-eatting grin plastered across my face. Now, I just can't wait til it is delivered on Saturday!

Dad installing the hardwood floor in the oven alcove
I'm so looking forward to being able to open and close my oven without fear that the door handle will fall off! I'm also really excited to be able to look at the oven and not see duct tape!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kitchen Progress Continues

Remember when I started this kitchen makeover, (post here) I had dreams of a white and wood and stainless wonderland of a kitchen.

I've tackled painting the kitchen cabinets (no small feat!) and we've since scrapped that sheet vinyl flooring (which was a cost saver, but not our top choice) thanks to my Aunt Tracy and her generous donation of pretty hardwood to our cause :)

As you saw last week, I was having a serious dilemma with choosing appliances that are right for our kitchen but ultimately, price won the battle... first, I thought we were totally bringing these home from Best Buy. They were an amazing deal... but we all know what they say about things that are too good to be true... turns out, my cursory look on a lunch time fly by wasn't quite good enough... yea the price was right, but when we really looked at this oven, we noticed that there was a ring around one of the burners. Then we opened it up and there was very clearly spill marks baked into the bottom of the oven... not a great deal when this thing was so obviously used. Gross.

BUT...after some careful consideration, and some not-so-subtle comments from my loving husband about me being bat shit crazy how annoyed I would eventually get that the wine fridge didn't match the rest of the appliances, I'm still sold on stainless.

So this is what we've got so far...

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19

About a few missing links

3 - our curtains are Tahari (TJ Maxx - $24.99) similar here
5 - the wine fridge was a gift from my Bridesmaids (I have no idea where they got it but I think this is it)
18 - 6 boxes of our flooring were given to us by my aunt (who's brother gave it to her when he moved out of his old house) my dad ordered 2 more boxes for the last 40 sq ft of our kitchen and once I know what he got, I'll gladly let you know.. It's 4in planks, I think red oak - similar here

Other points of interest...

1 - If you haven't yet joined the Ikea Family - you are missing out, my friends! I get emails regularly letting me know what items in the store are on special... sometimes it's $2 off, sometimes it's $20+... not to mention, free coffee :) I can always get on board with that! Almost all the Ikea Items in our entire house (and even's Jay's office) were purchased this way... and the savings really adds up... quickly, when you're a shopoholic like me!
2 - the island cart, a hand-me-down from my brother and sister-in-law, is going to get a little make over
6+7 - I scored the island and stools from a couple on Craigslist for $200. It was less than a year old and in great shape! To buy new - it would have cost me $550, so pretty sweet deal! Although, I'm a bit leary of CL and the murder in Allentown the night before I went to get this stuff didn't help... Moral of the story - check out the listings, communicate with the seller via phone to arrange the deal... and NEVER EVER make pick ups with a stranger alone! 
9+13+17 -Maytag appliances - they have all the bells and whistles I want, for a fraction of the cost and May is "Maytag Month", so they have great sales and rebates right now!
15 - I first spotted these pretty knobs at Anthropologie, but they were priced out of my budget (at the time they were $12.50 each!) and that would have been fine if I only needed a handful but I needed 16! I found the same ones on Amazon and got free shipping (thank you prime!) for about $5.75 each

Monday, May 5, 2014

Margarita Monday

 Happy Cinco de Mayo! We are always looking for any excuse to celebrate... and drink margaritas... so that's what we did all weekend! I thought we'd be having a housewarming party this weekend because we were going to be *done* everything we've been working on around this place, but we're not... so we'll just party on our own :)

Saturday, I started off the party with an acai margarita (recipe in this post) and I must say, it was delicious! I added the sugar rim, because, everything looks better dipped in sugar, don't ya think!? 

After a hard day of watching movies (literally, that is what I did ALL day while Jay played golf), we continued the celebration with some regular margaritas and Sunday Dinner at my parent's house. 

Monday has a habit of hitting me like a train... true to form, I got steam rolled yet again this morning. In the words of Garfield, "I don't do Mondays."  The ONLY saving grace for today was knowing that Margarita Monday and Taco Tuesday were going to collide when I got home from work, so I dragged my butt into the office and worked diligently throughout the day... watching the clock and counting the hours, minutes, then seconds 'til I could blow that popsicle stand and celebrate some more!

My sweet sweet husband came home before the sun went down for the first time in almost 2 months! He stopped to pick up some of the necessities for our Taco Night while I got to work chopping tomatoes and lettuce, and more importantly, mixing up a batch of pineapple margaritas!

I don't really do "measuring" so forgive me if this recipe is half assed...

Pineapple Margarita
4-ish cups of pineapple - I used half fresh and half frozen because that's what we had
(and our ice machine is turned off until we get the water line to our fridge fixed)
Juice of half an orange because I don't have triple sec in the house... or OJ
Limeade - mixed according to can... pour in to taste
(you can also use Simply Limeade or Sparkling Ice lemon lime, or make your own limeade if you're up to it... whatever you have on hand, really)
Tequila - we used Hornitos - 2 or 3 ounces per serving... my pour was on the heavy side... at least that's what Jay thought...

Blend it all together - sugar or salt your rim (if you feel like it) - pour - garnish (with whatever fruit is going to go bad if you don't use) - enjoy!