Month

September 2015

The Adventures of Doodle & Wilbo

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“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

It’s about time I introduced you to the furry members of our family.  Meet Daisy Duke (Nickname: Doodle) and Wilson (Nickname: Willie or Wilbo Waggins…yes this is after Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit, don’t judge us).  We rescued Daisy from an online lab rescue site, found here, when she was 2 1/2 years old.  We were told she was no longer a good addition to their family of 4 kids and caused many issues.  We took Daisy in when Reid and I were engaged and found her to be the sweetest most loyal lab we had ever met.  It didn’t take long for us to become inseparable.  We got Daisy in the spring time right before Reid deployed for 10 months and she was an absolute blessing in disguise for me.  I can’t imagine life without her now!  Her hobbies include snuggling, eating snacks with you on the couch, snuggling, going for long walks or runs, laying in the corner of the gym and watching you work out, snuggling, car rides, napping in any of her 3 beds all around the house, snuggling, barking at her pesky little brother Wilson, spooning with you in bed and sitting in your lap (even though she’s far too big for that) and did I mention snuggling? If you’re looking for a good 80 pound lap dog, this is your girl!

After having Miss Daisy for 2 years, we decided one lab just wasn’t chaotic enough, and Reid and I love a challenge 🙂  We decided last christmas to get an english lab puppy.  We found Wilson through this breeder and have enjoyed every minute of him being apart of our family.  My brother-in-law has an english lab named Rusty with all the attitude and stink in the world and for some reason I have always been drawn to mischievous boys like this.  When finding an available yellow male in this liter, I opened my big mouth and told the breeder I wanted the “stinkiest” one you can find!  Ohhh we got the stinkiest one alright.  I don’t even know how to begin to describe Wilson.  He has more personality than you can believe!  His hobbies include digging up freshly planted flowers from our garden, stealing our socks and running away with them never to be found again, bothering his big sister Daisy, stopping to sniff every 10 seconds on a walk, snacking, digging/rolling in his massive dirt pile in the backyard, hiding sticks and bark in the side flaps of his mouth then chewing them up all over our carpet, being chased, and taking other puppies on walks with his leash.  This little man has a lot of spunky moments but it only makes us love him more.  Am I crazy for saying that?

I know what you guys are thinking, I am a crazy dog lady!!!  I 100% admit to that and am proud of it.  Dogs are amazing animals and spend the entirety of their days trying to please us.  Our family wouldn’t be what it is now without these fur balls and we love them more and more each day.  I cannot wait to see Willie and our little boy (due in 6 weeks!!) run around and cause chaos together…bring it on!  Daisy and I are officially about to be outnumbered 😛

Here’s a little collage of some of my favorite pictures of these knuckle heads!

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“Such short little lives pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.” -Marley & Me

A Birthday Bash for the Best!

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I was super excited to write this post today because I had so much fun putting together this birthday fiesta for Reid.  I got some great photos, but seeing it in person was so much better!  This year for Reid’s birthday I wanted to do something bigger since I didn’t know what next year would bring.  Our favorite “quick” place to eat has always been Chipotle.  Who doesn’t love a good burrito bowl?  It’s so simple yet delicious.  I happened to stumble upon some homemade recipes for Chipotle’s menu items on Pinterest.  I also found a lot of good details about their seasonings & marinades on their website.  The key to this party for me was organization and lots of preparation the days leading up to it (which is a whole new ball park for me!)  My goal was to have everything in crock pots and ready for serving by time all of our family & friends arrived so that I was able to enjoy myself.

As for the decorations, I have always been a lover of chalkboard art.  I thought it added a nice touch to the house & helps guests navigate their way around.  The Corona bottle flower vases I found were so fun for the theme and added lots of color!  Below are some pictures I took  before the party.  I will share some links at the bottom of this post of recipes for this grand spanish fiesta!

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Recipes for the DIY Chipotle Burrito Bar:

  • Chipotle Adobo Chicken & Steak Marinade: I used the ancho chile powder substitute instead of soaking and de-seeing hot chili peppers and it still turned out delicious so I would recommend this option, major time saver.  I quadrupled this recipe for 40 pounds of meat.  For the meat I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and top sirloin, both from Costco)
  • Cilantro Lime Rice: I did this in two different rice cookers using a Japanese long grain white rice we had in the pantry.  After rice was cooked, I added lime juice, kosher salt, and cilantro and fluffed it with a fork…super easy!
  • Avocado Corn Salsa: This was the hit of the party..there were barely any leftovers!  I messed around with this recipe, added black pepper and cumin and more salt than it called for.  I purchased the large frozen bag of organic white corn from Costco, it was delicious and fed plenty of people.
  • Black Beans: Simple canned black beans, no seasoning!  I thought about adding spices such as cumin and oregano but I figured since everything else going in the burritos already had so much flavor it wasn’t necessary.
  • Sautéed green peppers & red onions: I glanced at the menu on Chipotle’s website to see what seasonings they used and just did a simple olive oil sauté with a little salt, pepper and oregano.
  • Queso Blanco: MY FAVORITE!  It is so delicious I can’t even stand it!  The recipe is super simple minus the fact finding a block of white american cheese in this town wasn’t the easiest.  The only place I was able to find it was in the deli and had to ask them to cut me off 2 pounds off the huge block.  Worth it!

Dessert: 

  • Reese’s peanut butter cupcakes: Don’t even get me started on these or it’ll make me bake more right now!  These are to die for, also the homemade frosting is super easy and delightful.
  • Funfetti: Boxed funetti cake mix and vanilla funfetti frosting (Hey, I couldn’t homemake it all!!!)

Drinks:

  • Margarita Bar: The idea here was to have a bunch of different options and let people create their favorite type of margarita on the rocks!
  • Silver Tequila from Costco…obviously I cannot drink right now but I was told it was pretty tasty and also only $30 for 1.75 liters, score!
  • Mango Margarita mix from Williams Sonoma
  • Sweet & Sour Margarita Mix from Costco
  • Triple Sec
  • Fresh Limes
  • Salt
  • San Pelligrino: I was told this was a party favorite…silver tequila mixed with fresh limes and flavored San Pelligrino sparkling soda.

This party definitely required a lot of work but it was so fun seeing it all come together and watching everyone enjoy themselves!  Happy birthday Reid!

Signing off for now,

Xoxo

 

 

 

 

HAPPY FALL Y’ALL!

Fall is my favorite season of the year so I was very inspired to do a post this morning when I glanced in my planner and saw it was the first official day of autumn 🙂  Fall is filled with all of my favorite things: scarves, boots, pumpkin baked goods, delicious hot beverages, wine colored lipstick, hats, crisp autumn air, fireplaces, couch snuggles with our puppies, and most importantly, the season we finally get to meet our sweet baby boy!

I thought it would be appropriate if I shared some of my recent fall inspirations with you.  I did a lot of experimenting with pumpkin baked goods last week…healthy pumpkin banana muffins and pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting (super yummy!)  I also have been breaking out the crock pot because there’s nothing like a nice warm meal when the weather gets cool.  It also makes the house smell scrumptious, who doesn’t love that?  Enjoy!

Healthier Pumpkin Banana Muffins, recipe found here.  Heat them up with a little butter in the center and it makes the world of a difference.  (I sound like Paula Dean)
Healthier Pumpkin Banana Muffins, recipe found here. Heat them up with a little butter in the center and it makes the world of a difference. (I sound like Paula Dean)  I enjoyed these with a decaf soy latte from a local coffee stand!  
Willie is always such a good helper when it comes to cooking!  (Praying the skillet of meat drops)
Willie is always such a good helper when it comes to cooking! (Praying the skillet of meat drops)
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Slow Cooker Beef Stew, recipe found here. This was so rich and tasty! I made enough to have for lunches the next few days and the flavor only got better as the days went on. I highly recommend this recipe, it was super simple as well!

 

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Slow Cooker Enchiladas: Shredded chicken with salsa and green tomatillo enchilada sauce wrapped with flour tortillas and topped with remaining enchilada sauce, mild green chiles and shredded cheese…Cook on low for 3-4 hours!

 

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Easy pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting...Recipe found here
Easy pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting…Recipe found here. I had to save the best for last!!!  

I’m going to share some more of my fall inspiration soon, including fun maternity fashion!  Also standby for a delicious post on a DIY Chipotle Bar for my hubby’s birthday bash this weekend 😛  YES PLEASE!

Xoxo

Shabby Chic Farmhouse Inspired Kitchen

 

 

 

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Good evening lovely blog readers! It has been an awesome rainy Washington day here!  People think I am crazy but I love the gloomy weather.  It’s an excuse to drink endless cups of coffee and sit by the fireplace all day! Fall couldn’t come soon enough for me 🙂  I keep meaning to post pictures of our kitchen so I am finally doing it!  My husband and I were sitting at the bar this morning in silence just taking in how amazing it all looks…such a drastic transformation for the price we completed everything for!  I posted a few before and after pictures and a few in between so you can see how the process went.  The house was in shambles and we ate a lot of burritos and pizza for a couple of weeks but the outcome was TOTALLY worth it!

The entire main level of our home prior to update this was a warm tan color with the living/dining room being an avocado green.  All of our decorations were greens, reds and oranges so you could definitely feel the earth tones.  I have been digging the rustic yet chic farmhouse look for years now…whites, grey, rustic wood and little pops of bright colors here and there.  One morning we woke up and decided…you know what, let’s just do this already!  We started off with painting the entire house a very light grey called Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore.  Home Depot did not sell this brand but were able to do a copycat color in their one coat only Behr Marquee which I highly recommend; it is amazing people!  This paint color was the glue to our transformation, it immediately opened the room right up and gave it a different feel.  The next step was cabinet painting.  Reid was able to borrow an air compressor and spray paint the doors of the cabinets which really turned out incredible.  I was not allowed to be a part of this process due to the strong fumes while being pregnant!  I will tell you though that painting your cabinets is a long process.  If you want to do it right you must dedicate yourself.  Reid spent a few hours each day working on them for about 2 weeks. To be safe, you have to let the cabinets dry for about 5 days before placing them back in order to prevent chipping.  Once again, worth it!  Granite is a very large and expensive commitment and since we didn’t have the money for this we decided to stick with our dark counters.  I wanted to find a way to tie in all the white with the dark counters so I pulled it all together with these oil rubbed bronze european bar hardware and dark grey grout in the white subway tiles.  I also did little decorative accents like white oil & vinegar bottles with black writing and a black wire fruit stand.  The final step to this kitchen process was the backsplash.  I have always thought white subway tiles are so clean and fresh looking and can really make a space pop.  Lucky for us, Home Depot sells 3×6 subway tiles for a very reasonable price!!!

I included links to all of our updates in the photos below.  If you have any further questions, I would be happy to answer them.  We took a lot of great tips from YouTube DIY professionals or other home bloggers.  There are a lot of creative people out there and lots of good inspiration!  I hope you enjoy the photos.  I posted them in thumbnail size so I could fit more but if you click on the photo you’ll be able to view it larger.  I love making our house a home with my husband, it’s a very surreal bonding experience.  I hope everyone has had a fabulous week…more to come later 🙂

Xoxo

Before: Original oak cabinets & earth tone mosaic glass backsplash
Before: Original oak cabinets & earth tone mosaic glass backsplash
Step 1: Removing glass backsplash & painting all cabinets white (Behr - Polar Bear White)
Step 1: Removing glass backsplash & painting all cabinets white (Behr – Polar Bear White)
Step 2: White subway tile with pewter grey grout complete
Step 2: White subway tile with pewter grey grout & pewter caulk
Finished Product: DIY White cabinets, oil rubbed bronze hardware, white subway tile backsplash with dark grey grout
Finished Product: DIY White cabinets, oil rubbed bronze hardware, white subway tile backsplash with dark grey grout

 

Cravings of the Week

Let me start this post off with saying I am all about eating everything in moderation!  I don’t think you should miss out on the delicious joys of life…a burger every now and then keeps you sane right?  Recently I have been trying out a handful of new recipes that are super tasty yet still have some quality ingredients that our bodies need.  Here are my favorite recipes of the week:

Spicy slow cooker beef, bell pepper, & mushroom (Recipe found here)  I added crimini mushrooms for a meatier flavor and Sriracha on top for a little extra kick.  I placed this hearty goodness over a bed a quinoa for a little extra protein!

Southwest Egg Rolls (Recipe found here)  Her version of this recipe is very simple, I added a few extra things to make it more of a filling meal.  I added lean ground beef, an extra can of mild green chiles, and replaced the spinach with sautéed onion and bell peppers, chopped up finely.  I found the egg roll wraps in the refrigerated vegan section by the tofu!  I tell you this because I literally spent 30 minutes cruising around Safeway on the prowl for these suckers.  After assembling the egg rolls and baking until golden brown I served them with guacamole and a side of greek yogurt and hot sauce (my favorite is Texas Pete).   Ever since I found out about replacing greek yogurt for sour cream a couple of years back that is all I do!  You can eat as much of it as you want guilt free and I honestly don’t think the taste is a whole lot different.

Tomato Avocado Melt (Recipe found here) This recipe is SUPER simple!  There was one day we had zero food in the house and a lack of motivation to go out and I happened to just have the ingredients to make this.  It was so simple, quick, easy and best of all TASTY!

Oatmeal Banana Flax Seed  Mini Muffins (Recipe found here)  These are my go to snack muffins!  I love to carry these around in a little ziplock in my purse, you never know when you’re going to need a quick snack 😉  I have done them regular muffin size as well as mini muffins, totally depends on what you like!  These are super delicious and also filled with lots of good things for you such as oats, greek yogurt, raw honey and flax seeds.  I also love to put a little spread of peanut butter or almond butter on top when they are fresh out of the oven! I swear you cannot go wrong with these guys, plus you don’t have to feel bad if you accidentally eat 10 of them, because let me tell ya, it’s easy to do!

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes (Recipe found here) One of my weird pregnancy cravings has been pancakes!  I can’t get enough of them but of course I can’t eat them every morning.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and was amazed by how delicious they were.  I made enough batter to have them 2 mornings and added either blueberries or bananas to each batch.  I swear to you that you can barely tell a difference with the whole wheat batter!  The key to making them fluffy and super “not dry” (my husband and I prefer to say super not dry instead of the awful M word…you know what I am talking about) is beating the egg whites separately and folding them in at the end, I also let the batter rest for about 5 minutes before cooking.  This lady has a few good tips on making the perfect pancake!

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Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes with hot syrup and a nonfat vanilla latte
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Oatmeal Banana Flaxseed Mini Muffins
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Spicy slow cooker beef, bell peppers, & onion topped with grilled veggies
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Tomato, cucumber dill salad with fresh basil, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper & a pinch of sugar

 

That’s all for now, thanks for checking in!!!

Xoxo

Lean, Green, Pregnant Machine

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I’m not one to praise myself for eating good all the time or having a steady gym routine, but I do think it is extremely important to stay as healthy as possible, pregnant or not!  I have found juicing my veggies is doing wonders for my body.  I always notice an increase of energy, clearer skin, and an overall better aura.  I have been starting my day off with a green juice I make in my Breville juicer.  I like to switch it up depending on what produce I have, but you can never go wrong!  They key to not making it taste like grass is green apples and lemon!  Here’s what I have been quite fond of recently:

-Handful of spinach

-Handful of Kale

-2-3 carrot sticks

-1/2 large Cucumber

-One green apple

-1/2 Lemon

-Tiny sliver of ginger root (THIS STUFF IS STRONG! No bigger than the size of a dime)

If I have purple beets, I also love to juice those, but just know that is a major detox waiting to happen!  You can also use any type of apple you have on hand but I have found that the green apple gives it the perfect amount of dilution without making it too sweet!  I like to make my juice fresh in the morning but if you are in a pinch for time you could make these ahead of time and store them in mason jars in the fridge as shown below.

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It may be a pain to clean the juicer (it’s an everyday battle for me) but I promise you this will totally change your perspective on the day!  I have found the days I juice first thing in the morning I am so much more motivated to get things done with a smile on my face…even as I waddle in the third trimester! I am going to do more posts on fitness and some healthier recipes coming up soon!  Thanks for reading green goddess’ 🙂

Xoxo

Simple Canvas Accents

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Good morning love birds!  Are you sick of my nursery DIY posts yet?  My crazy nesting mode has me super excited to share all these fun projects with you so hold tight!  I wanted to share with you my black and white animal canvases I painted for the nursery.  While building our weathered grey bookshelves, I had Reid use all the same wood and stain to build a copycat version of Pottery Barn ledges to put above his changing table.  This project was also super easy and found on this Pinterest page.  Keep in mind, we did do things slightly different, we used lots of screw and anchors to hold it all together.  She just used wood glue, but I didn’t trust this set up to be right over where the baby lays.  I also used the same weathered grey stain for these shelves.  After we got these shelves built, stained, sanded down and anchored onto the wall I knew I wanted to do some fun simple but sweet canvases to add a little bit more character.  I got a few ideas while browsing around online.  I decided to freehand the lion, penguin, and polar bear because I thought they all would fit together perfectly and each add some silly charm!  I decided on just black and white to keep it simple and go with the neutral theme of the room.  Once again, I was able to use my acrylic paint and brushes from Amazon as shown in my previous post.  The 12×12 canvases I got for a steal here.  Amazon had all different sizes of canvases but I was going for the simplistic boxy look!

In other news…I am 30 weeks TODAY! We went in for my 3D Ultrasound last week and it was so cool to see him cruising around in there.  Our doctor said he already has incredibly chubby cheeks…best news ever!  Who doesn’t love a baby with lots of extra chunk to squeeze?  I have posted a few pictures below of lil man and I dancing around in the rain along with some other fun moments this week!  We cannot wait to meet him, only 10 more weeks! (PS-You know I can’t NOT put my adorable pups in every post I do, come on!)

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Xoxo

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