Friday Favorites

Hello! After taking a break for the holidays, I’m back with some of my favorites from the last few weeks. One of which is that perfect California tree above, that I saw on an impromptu and wonderful trip this past week.

Perfect pan pizza cookbook.

Creating a guest room in a multipurpose space.

All the mushrooms.

My January yoga plan.

The art of Freddish.

Creating a high messy bun.

Lunch smoothies.

Baby Yoda is a Disneyland foodie.

And finally, perfect style.

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Friday Favorites

It’s the holiday season! While we probably won’t be getting a drift of snow again anytime soon, we are going to celebrate the in-coming of winter with full enthusiasm. School is about to be out for two weeks after a slew of holiday parties today, and we are going to sleep in, watch lots of movies, and probably play too many rounds of War (J’s new favorite card game). And while I get the rest of my Christmas wrapping done…here are some favorites from the week!

Superpower strong.

Winter workwear ideas.

A python, a jackal, and a honey badger walk into a desert clearing….

Last minute stocking stuffer? Get this eyeshadow palette.

Sweetie pie chai latte.

Mini cheesecakes for Christmas desserts.

A DIY using holiday houses you can find at Target.

The most accurate clothing ad I’ve ever seen.

And finally, embracing the hygge of the season and having cookies with it.

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What’s Up Wednesday

This has been a crazy few weeks. Between final exams, the short turn around from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and other life stuff, I felt like we needed to do a bit of a check in. So I’m linking up today with Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer Told Me To to do a what’s up Wednesday.

1: WHAT WE’RE EATING THIS WEEK:

Corn chowder, potatoes au gratin, chicken and broccoli roll-ups, carnitas, and salmon with rice.

2. WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

Planning for Disney trips! We aren’t doing that right now because of our house building and I miss it. Also, this awesome hot chocolate with a cookie I had last weekend:

3. WHAT I’M LOVING:

This sugar caramel lip balm. I put it on at night after I shower and then I follow it up with Kiehls lip balm before I go to bed.

4. WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

Basketball! And school, work, last minute Christmas shopping, etc.

5. WHAT I’M DREADING:

I’ve got to take the boys to get their hair cut this week. The barber that cuts their hair does a great job, but it’s the process, time, and the fact that I can’t schedule an appointment (they only take walk-ins).

6. WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

I’m up for reappointment at my job in January which means I’ve been multitasking working on my dossier:

And wrapping presents:

7. WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

Christmas! And having two weeks of no school, so sleeping in and lazy mornings.

8: WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

I’m half-way through The Giver of Stars, but I’ve had The Conviction on hold at the library and it just became available, so I’m going to need to read that fast once I get it before it’s due back in two weeks.

I watched all of the new season of Fuller House and I’ve been finishing out The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt series while working on present wrapping. The boys and I are working our way through Holiday Baking Championship and, of course, The Mandalorian.

9: WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

Besides Christmas music on repeat, I finished another podcast episode of Forever Thirty-Five, and I’m currently listening to this episode of The Splendid Table. I also really like Conan O’ Brien Needs a Friend podcast.

10: WHAT I’M WEARING:

Layers on repeat because we’re having thirty degree weather swings this week.

11: WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

A whole lot of baking and B’s parents are coming to town for a couple of days. I made lemon chocolate chip cookies this past weekend for a work event for B and I need to make another batch for the boys.

12: WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

Honestly, getting my dossier done and turned in is high on that list. Also, a new Semester! I’m excited for the new class formats I’m teaching in and meeting all my new students.

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Design Studio Decisions

Cabinets, and countertops, and tiles, oh my! We finalized all of our design decisions today, and our hours of contemplation, measuring, and Pinterest scrolling hopefully paid off. Once we have everything together in the home I’m hoping it looks similar to what I’ve envisioned. For now here is a bit of a sneak peek!

First, the exterior:

Second, kitchen cabinets, counters, and floor:

Now the guest and boys’ bathroom cabinets, tile, countertops, and faucets:

And our bathroom cabinets, tile, shower tile & floor:

And all the elements together:

I was inspired in part by this kitchen and this bathroom. My vision for the exterior is kind of a New England style red brick home with black and white elements to make the red pop. For the interior I just picked what I like, grays and whites that provide a perfect backdrop for our navy chairs, and other furniture pieces.

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Christmas Corners

Welcome to our little tour of Christmas decor! I typically use these posts to help me remember where I put decorations, but next year I guess I’m going to have to figure out all new ideas! I simplified quite a bit this year, I’ve been trying to organize boxes for packing and storage both as I put things up and take things down. While our twinkle lights may not have batteries in them and our only outside decor is a light up llama, our house is still spiritedly flocked for the holidays!

Our mantle and stockings with pops of bright colors:

Our kitchen hutch:

And the festive corner beside it:

Our foyer area:

And the boys’ bathroom (also where Link is hanging out today….which the boys’ denoted as “super weird, so I guess he won’t be back there):

Our kitchen table (the Southern Firefly sugar cookie candle smells amazing):

The boys’ reading spot:

And our coffee nook:

Finally, I think some of the boys’ favorite things are the wreaths on their doors and the trees in their rooms:

Happy holiday decorating!

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Building a little investment

We have taken a big leap at the end of this year, and we’re moving! We’ve decided to build a house, and will be selling our home in the Spring. It’s been a faith filled journey, as we very much love our current home, but we are just completely out of space. The boys need more indoor space, and we need an office that doesn’t have Fortnite being played in it. We have thought a lot, prayed more, and even though it’s scary for four people who don’t like change, we are walking in confidence that this is the right move. And the final move. I think B and I say “and we are never moving again after this” at least once a day.

With our new house we get to make quite a few more design and decor decisions than we did in our last house. These past few weeks have been a lot of this or that. Such as:

This or that mirror:

This or that cabinets & this or that countertops:

These blinds that come with the house or purchase on our own:

If you follow me on Pinterest you’ll notice the deluge of pictures of kitchens and cabinets. I’m excited to share the process on here as we go through it! I’ve created a specific board on Pinterest entitled Our Red Brick House if you want to follow along with all of my design ideas and choices connected to our new house.

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Friday Favorites

Happy holiday shopping day, friends! We are headed out to hit some of our favorite shops, and if you live in our area (or even if you don’t) be sure to shop small with some of our favorite shops including Piper&Leaf, Southern Firefly, Sweet Pineapple, & Mint Julep Monograms.

Holiday outfits for a work party.

White cabinets.

The perfect winter coat.

The backsplash I have my eye on.

Pumpkin snickerdoodles.

A new way of creating gallery walls.

Perfect pesto for fish.

Interior design hacks.

Honestly, this also would be my dream Thanksgiving dinner.

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This and that

Since we’ve started Thanksgiving Break, later bedtimes and less activities to attend have allowed for movie and show watching on Disney Plus:

We’ve watched Pirates of the Caribbean, the Mandalorian, The Force Awakens, Fantasia, and lots of Mickey Shorts Cartoons.

Getting a jump on Christmas shopping, we took the boys to Target this weekend and let them take turns picking out gifts for each other:

J helped me load presents and groceries.

J received several new badges at Cub Scout last week and got to read the closing part of the flag ceremony. We are so proud of him!

A has been hard at work on his golf game:

And I’ve been hard at work finding him clothes to wear to matches for when it’s cold:

I sent my Mom these GAP lined khakis and Old Navy half zip athletic shirt as Christmas ideas, and then I’m picking him out a new hat from Dick’s.

And finally, we conceded and started putting up Christmas:

B and I picked out mini trees for the boys to decorate, and they love them so much I don’t know why we didn’t do this earlier….but then J almost boot kicked the tree and I remembered why. Ha! Happy Monday!

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Boys’ Holiday Gift Guide

This is a gift guide of the boys’ tried and true favorite items. From tiny action figures to drawing supplies, these are ideas that have lasted them through the past several years and never get old. Even the Magnatiles J will get out while we are watching a movie or sports and build houses for his Tsum Tsums, action figures, and stuffed animals.

Lego sets. I especially like this creator one, that has a lot of quantity for the price (if you’ve never done a LEGO piece cost analysis, you’ve never spent a Friday night at our house, ha!)

Fortnite, Halo, or Imaginext, any type of small action figures are great for setting up battles, role-playing, or living in a Magnatile house.

All the colored pencils and crayons. These big sets are great for the boys’ bookmark creations, board game ideas, and MARIO maps.

Sometimes I have found things at PBTeen to be overpriced, but their Harry Potter throws are excellent quality and used often at our house.

The boys’ current small plush obsession are these tiny Russ petootie animals. You can barely find them online, but they are at lots of big box stores like Target, and smaller shops as well (I’ve found smaller shops have more unique ones).

The illustrated Harry Potter collection. I feel like this needs no other explanation.

We love board games around here, and this version of Ticket to Ride is a little shorter than the original, for nights where you can’t commit an hour and a half to a game.

One of the best recommendations I received in improving the boys’ strength in basketball throwing was a weighted ball. It feels unnatural to play with, but is good for throwing practice. We do monitor them when they use it, so they don’t rough house play with it.

All of the Wild Republic plushes are a favorite around here.

Of all the hot wheel sets they’ve received, this crash one still gets the most laughs and excitement.

A golf glove is one of A’s essentials for practice.

If you don’t have a Switch game in mind, Super Mario Maker 2 should be on your list. The boys have made many, many levels on it.

Any Stuart Gibbs books are enjoyed by the boys, a set of Spy School or FunJungle books would be a great start to his series.

Battlebots mini vehicles. Because playing a mini version of Battlebots is almost as fun as watching Battlebots on tv.

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