Friday, July 25, 2014


Tomorrow we celebrate 6 years of wedded bliss. So so much has changed about us individually and as a couple since our wedding day 6 years ago, but I still choose you. 
Love you and happy anniversary!

"We are not perfect
We'll learn from our mistakes
And as long as it takes
I will prove my love to you...

Tell the world that we finally got it all right,
I choose you."

To celebrate, we're going to see one of our favorite artists in concert on Monday, and I figured this song would be fitting in today's post. 
Also, if you haven't seen this video,'s adorable!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I used to love doing my weekly Menu Monday posts and link ups on here, but it became a bit of a pain feeling like I had to have it up here every week by Monday morning, and on top of that I felt like I was recycling the same meals over and over again, and honestly, that gets boring.

I've started sharing a lot of meals on my instagram account, and I thought I'd post a few recent favs on here today with some links to the recipe source so you can enjoy too! I hate that you can't easily link to things on instagram!

Grilled Chicken Marinated in Mojo Sauce with Grilled Asparagus and Summer Corn Salad

Make this summer salad NOW. It's the perfect side for summer! Cold, light, and fresh. It won't fail you!

This is a summer favorite! I love how easy it is, but the chicken is so flavorful (something I can't always say about chicken).

Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce + Snap Peas Sauteed in Coconut Oil

Great salmon, but even greater sauce! This was awesome!

Huge thanks to my pal Katie for sharing this recipe with me. It's a faaaaaabulous summer time meal. Especially if you love the grill as much as we do! I also used chicken breasts instead of thighs.

Not the greatest pasta dish I've ever had, but it's still a good hearty meal. Would be even better in the winter time!

What great meals have you made lately? What do I need to try?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer (toddler) Favorites

There is so much to love about summer, but this here is our list of must haves. 
These 5 items have been crucial for our summer fun!

1. Camelbak Kid's Eddy Bottle: M loves drinking from our waterbottles (and still does), but she also likes having one just like us. It's a great, leak proof bottle, and it goes all over with us!

2. Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch Taffy Turtle Catch and Hatch: My friend Anni has these for her twins, and after playing with them once at the end of May, we knew we had to have these for the pool this summer. We love them (and so do all of our friends at the baby pool!). It comes with 10 eggs and 10 turtles. The eggs float when they're empty and sink when the turtles are in them, and the turtles are 5 different colors, which means we do lots of talking about colors at the pool. These would also make a great gift for a toddler who has a summer birthday! 

3. Crayola Sidewalk Chalk: I know this is nothing new, and every mom out there has some sidewalk chalk in her garage (or utility room for anyone without a garage like us!), but we have spent more hours coloring on our driveway this summer then I can count. For extra fun, we pull out a dollar store paint brush and a solo cup of water and "paint" our pictures for a fun effect!

4. Ozera Ice Pop Molds: What would summer be without popsicles? While I have nothing against buying them, we've had fun making our own this summer. My favorite pop that we've made has been this recipe for strawberry creamsicles. SO simple and yummy! 

5. I-Bert Safe-T-Seat: I've mentioned this bike seat already, but it's worth noting again. M loves her bike rides with her dad so much! If you have a toddler and you've been thinking about getting a bike seat, do it. Last week J took her out to a local greenway into Uptown where they went out to lunch together. She talked about their "bike" adventure for days!

What are YOU loving this summer?

(This post was NOT sponsored and all thoughts are my own, but affiliate links are used!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Playroom/Home Office Update!

Back at the end of May, I shared a few of my priorities for the summer, and one of those priorities was to get our "playroom" up and running. Up until recently, this room has just been a bunch of stuff just thrown into a room. I'm happy to report that we have made a lot of progress since May, and I now love this room!

We have a split level home built in the 1960's, and we use the main living area on the middle floor for most of our day, but I wanted to get some of the toys out of here and into a place for M. We have this large room downstairs that I guess would be used by most as a "den" or family room. We're using it for a mix of home office for J since he works from home, a craft space for me, and a play area for M. Here's a picture I have of half of the room when we first bought the house.

Here's what it looked like two months ago...I'm embarrassed to even be sharing this...this clutter is what it looked like on a daily basis.

And then here it is today...

A huuuuge improvement! We bought a sleeper sofa in June, and I feel like having a place to sit in here makes a big difference. Also, I am so glad we went with a sleeper so we have an extra place for guests to stay.

My mom helped me make the curtains and floral pillows for the room when she was here last week (fabric from Hobby Lobby), and I got the orange pillows at Homegoods on clearance. The pouf on floor is from walmart online.

On the wall adjacent to the couch, I put an old shelf (remember this one? I recovered it to match this room and I'm toying with the idea of repainting it. Maybe orange or green?) with some of M's toys and books along with her toy kitchen. We also have an old recliner over here that was given to me by a family I used to babysit for when I moved out on my own after college. It's old and has definitely seen better days, but it's Layla's chair and she would not be happy if we got rid of it. 
I haven't hung anything on the wall above it, but I'd love to put something up that can be used to display kids' artwork in the future.

Empty wall...for now!

On the other side of the room is my craft stuff (which I recently purged a TON of can't tell though!) and J's home office with his standing desk that he built last summer. He made the bottom of his desk a magnetic chalkboard for M. 

My craft area and the back of J's desk is what you see when you go down the steps from our kitchen and enter the room...

We broke the room up with the help of an old 4x2 expedit ikea shelf we had (you can see it in the corner of the photo below). We laid it horizontal in the room and it does a great job dividing the room in two. 

All in all, I am so so happy with how far it has come! I still want some art for the walls, and like I said above, some sort of fun way to display M's art on the big open wall. But overall, it's a huge improvement to the mess that it was before!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Busy and Fun

It's been a fun and busy few days over here!

On Saturday evening we had some friends over for a little cook out and some playing outside.  Faith, Nina, and Elizabeth brought their families over and fun (and good food) was had by all!

My mom came to visit us on Monday morning and she stayed through Wednesday. We had such a nice time with her! M adores her Gigi and they were pretty much glued to one another the whole time she was here. We took her to the pool, our favorite playground, and our library story time. All of our favorite hot spots!

My mom helped me sew some curtains and pillows for our playroom (can't wait to take some pictures and do a post on this!), and I helped her work on a crafty paper project for my cousin's bridal shower later this month. On Monday J used his smoker (that my parents got us for Christmas) to smoke ribs for us and I fixed a few sides. Tuesday evening Mom stayed here with M so we could have a little date night. We went to Beef and Bottle (a Charlotte favorite!) and then to Target to pick up a few odds and ends. It's amazing how much fun a trip to Target is when I don't have grabby hands in the cart!

We came back early from our date so we could finish up watching Fargo! My parents got us hooked on this FX show, and y'all! If you haven't watched, please start if you can find a way to watch it. It's done airing on TV, but you might be able to find it on demand like we did. It got a few Emmy nominations this week, and all were well deserved! I think we're going to start True Detective next....

And just because, a few photos I snapped of M last night. We were outside playing between dinner and bedtime, and I am finding that I have the best light at this time of day. I probably took 200 pictures and only got a handful of non blurry ones, but the ones I did end up getting are pretty great!

Today our niece and J's parents are coming to town to visit for the weekend.
We love having visitors!

Happy Friday!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Living the dream...

We had a super American fourth of July this year by going to Chuy's for dinner for some Tex Mex where M got her first pushpop after dinner. This may have been the best night of her life, yet!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer (Toddler) Reading

As we were checking out a stack of books for M the other day at our local library, our librarian shared with us that M was old enough to participate in our libraries summer reading program. I guess I just assumed summer reading programs were only for older children who could read, but turns out ours starts at birth! She's eligible for a program for kids birth-3, and it's a super simple bingo sheet that is focused on early literacy skills...

The teacher in me LOVES that they offer this, because I truly believe early literacy and language development are so important for classroom success down the road. Sometimes I forget that I'm not just her mom, I'm also her very first teacher and our home is her first classroom, and interacting with her and talking with her are setting the path for her learning as she grows. A lot of the items on this board are things we already do on a regular basis, but it's a great reminder to keep posted on our fridge for the summer. And as an added bonus, we also got a $5 fine voucher card which this forgetful mama loves!

If you have a young child, check out what summer reading programs your local library is offering this summer, or steal this bingo sheet from here and play along!