8.31.2012

END OF SUMMER

It's Friday, Friday before a long weekend and Friday before Labor Day weekend!  And boy, am I glad.  It's been a crazy-busy couple of weeks at work and I haven't gotten much sleep this entire week, which we all know I need.  Needless to say, this long weekend timed itself perfectly.

I'm looking forward to the big college football kickoff weekend, lounging around home and hopefully completing a few projects, an end-of-summer pool party and lots of good food and drink.  Sounds like a great way to embrace the last few days of summer to me...

via

As for this blog, we've got some house-related stuff coming back into the mix, so stay tuned!  Is it just me, or does summer kind of throw off the whole blogging thing?

Have a wonderful weekend wrapping up summer!  One reason I love this weekend is because it means fall is officially right around the corner, my favorite season of all!

8.21.2012

THE PARADE OF HOMES 2012

It was the time of year for house-crashing galore, a.k.a. the Parade of Homes.  We headed out yesterday to see what the builders had to offer and enjoyed poking our heads into some pretty fancy-schmancy places... which, in a weird way, make me really appreciate our cozy little home.  I don't think I could live in a huge house... the overwhelming cleaning and lack of coziness just isn't our thing I guess, haha.  Anyone else feel me on that?  Anyway, this is the second year in a row we've gone together and you can check out the eye candy from last year right here.

We only went to five houses this year since we only had an afternoon to wander and let's be hones, you're really only interested in the million dollar ones when it comes to this.

It's safe to say my taste is a bit more modern than a lot of the Parade homes, but I love the details they've got and the innovative ideas anyone could use.  Starting with these attached bar seats.  No more constantly tucking in chairs.


Another genius idea that I've been waiting for someone to come out with, a "hidden" TV.  It looks like a mirror when it's off.  Brilliant.  TVs are quite the eyesore to me, especially in the bedroom (although we've agreed no TV in the bedroom period).



Oh yeah, I WANT this bathtub!


More great tile work...



One of the homes had a completely hidden room.  There were bookshelves that looked completely normal from the outside but open up into a loft.  How fun!





There was also a ton of stenciling, wallpaper and fun paint ideas.



Sweet little desk for a girl and fun buckets of toys for a young boy.


These mini plantation shutters were kind of funny, I've never seen them before.  Love me plantation shutters no matter what though.



This was fun.  Instead of crown molding, there were a bunch of stripes in different colors and widths painted on the wall and ceiling.  So creative!


The picture on the left below is simple but something I definitely want to do when we re-paint our master bedroom: paint the ceiling.  This one was a couple shades darker than the walls and made it completely cozy.  It also makes it look much more finished.  Don't ignore the fifth wall in the room!


Just cute...



Next up, I don't care who you are or what style you prefer... anyone would love this view, right?!  It literally went for miles and miles and miles...


That wraps up our little tour for this year.  Always fun to look around in other people's homes.  Have a great week!

8.16.2012

BUFFALO CHICKEN SALAD

I know summer will give way to fall pretty soon (yay!) but today we're here with an awesome summer salad that's easy to make and delish.  It's the perfect salad when you're craving something fresh but still substantial - my mom's buffalo chicken salad.  Pretty much buffalo chicken wings in a salad, and a healthier version since the chicken isn't fried.  It's definitely a summer staple around our house.  Enjoy!


Ingredients:
  • 2 hearts romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 package, 3/4 to 1 pound, chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
Directions

1.  Combine lettuce, carrots and celery in a salad bowl.
2.  Combine ranch dressing and blue cheese crumbles in a small bowl.
3.  Cook chicken in a hot pan with the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper, sear for a few minutes, add hot sauce and then cook until done.
4.  Toss salad with dressing, top salad with chicken and serve.

Tomorrow's Friday!  Whoo to the hoo. 

8.13.2012

FOLLOW!

Hi everyone!  It was brought to my attention that the link to follow our blog under the "Follow" tab that used to be at the top of our blog didn't work?!  Boo!

No matter, you can follow by click on "Join This Site" on our sidebar.  We'd love to know who's reading this little ol' blog, so join up!


Have a wonderful week!  Our weekend was great and consisted of movies, walking to our local coffee shop for breakfast, an end-of-summer pool party, church, grocery shopping, bowling, house to-do's and homemade pizza making with my parents.  Went too fast, as usual!

8.10.2012

MOODBOARD: BLUE AND GRAY NURSERY

Our good friends, the Arehearts, are having a baby!  A baby boy!  So what do I do but go and throw together a moodboard, and my first nursery one, at that.  We met them about a year ago and sadly (for us), they're moving this weekend.  It will be sad to see them go, but we are so excited for them as they get closer and closer to meeting their baby boy.  And seriously, one of the best parts of having a baby has got to be putting together the nursery.

They're going for gray, navy blue and light blue... with elephants.  Adorable!  Using their ideas as inspiration, it was so fun to put together this moodboard.


Congrats to the parents-to-be and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

8.08.2012

CAPRESE PASTA

Delicious and easy.  Caprese pasta is one of our go-to's during the summer, when you still crave pasta (who doesn't?) but you don't want a dish that's too heavy for what is now two straight months of temperatures in the mid-90s.  Remember pasta parties back in high school?!  Runners, you hear me right?  Those were awesome.  So is pasta.  Ok... I'm done, here's the ingredients and directions, although they can hardly be called that it's so simple:

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound pasta - linguine, spaghetti or rigatoni (or whatever you please!)
  • olive oil
  • cherry tomatoes
  • leafy greens such as arugula (my favorite) or basil
  • fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

1.  Cook pasta.
2.  Lightly drizzle with olive oil.
3.  Toss with cherry tomatoes, greens and mozzarella.
4.  Top with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.
5.  Try not to eat the entire pound of pasta between you and your husband.  Or do, whatever.

8.06.2012

SUMMERTIME IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN

Aplena or bust baby!  We just got back from a wonderful week and a half vacation filled with eating, drinking, swimming, fishing, boating... and cute kids.  My dad's side lives in Michigan and my mom's side drove out from Florida for a mini-family reunion.  It was so great having both sides of the family together.

We celebrated my Gramme's life with a memorial when we got there and even though we were sad, we were all laughing just remembering how sweet and light-hearted she was.

After that, it was up to Northern Michigan for a week on Long Lake.  We stayed in the Friendship Lodge, a log cabin, but a fancy one at that.  It was a blast... I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.



The Friendship Lodge!




We took a day trip up to Mackinac Island - if you are ever in the area, it's a must do.  It's a small, gorgeous island with no cars whatsoever.  Everything, even trash and deliveries, is transported by horse or bike.  It's also home to the Grand Hotel, one of the most stunning places I've seen.  If you do go, make sure you make a trip around the island by bike, they're available for rent everywhere.  Make it a tandem!





Funniest thing ever.  One of the first nights we got there, my uncle snapped a leg on one of the chairs around the campfire.  While that was hilarious in and of itself, it became even better when we figured out that it looked completely normal and still stood in the sand... until someone sat in it and completely collapsed.  One of those you had to be there moments, but a freaking hilarious one at that.  Half our group became victim to that chair and it got funnier each time.  I'm literally laughing out loud as I type this.


These next pictures make me melt...




Many batches of Ryan's infamous Italian mojitos were served... and sangria, lots of sangria.


And apparently lots of beer too...



It was such a wonderful time, I just love spending time with you all!  Until next summer...