Friday, March 22, 2013

Leather + Shades

I bought this leather jacket years ago, and never imagined that I would end up wearing it now, about 5 years later, almost nonstop! It was definitely one of those buys that you regret for a while, let languish in the back of your closet, and then suddenly find that you adore it. Go figure.

Since it's still pretty chilly here in MN, the key to being comfortable in a thin leather jacket is layers. I layered it over a comfy teal t-shirt, a fun chrocheted sweater, and a fluffy white scarf.

Also- my hair is getting SUPER long. I'm in that stage where I can't decide if I love it, or if I want to chop it all off. 

Outfit details:
Jacket- Wilson's Leather (old)
Sweater- Marshalls
T-shirt- No clue (really, I inherited it from my sister)
Scarf- Goodwill (no label)
Sunglasses- Anthropologie
Jeans- Gap
Boots- Target

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Chairs

Our new chairs have been here for a few weeks now, and honestly, it's taken me that long to get used to them. The final verdict? I love them.

Right now we have them pushed together where our old loveseat used to be, and I love that they can act as a mini-couch. It gives us plenty of seating, but also a lot of room to move things around. And, since there are two of them, hopefully they will work in a variety of settings (i.e. a new living area when we move someday!).

We bought them from World Market online. I was pretty happy with ordering them online. We were able to go to a store and see the chair in a different color, but we kind of bought these ones sight unseen. For a gamble like that, I think they turned out pretty well! 

To bring in some more yellow (I seriously love yellow), I made a couple of new pillow covers for the couch. The chairs are a deeper golden tan/yellow, very neutral and easy to decorate around. The new pillows are a bit brighter, but I love the color!

The pillow cover fabric is from JoAnnes (it's just cotton quilting fabric- so easy and cheap!). I made them with snaps on the back so they are easily removable for washing.

There are still a few changes to be made to this room, but I like to let it evolve over time. We found a free console/dresser on the side of the road, so I plan to paint it and use it for a tv stand! I'm just waiting for some warmer weather so I can toss open the garage door and get to painting!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mealtime Makeovers- Roasted Root Veggies

(Feel free to scroll down to the recipe, or if you want, enjoy me rambling on for a bit about why we are choosing to eat some healthier foods!)

Josh and I have slowly but surely been changing the way we view food. Well, it's been mostly me, because I have had an unhealthy view of food for a long time. Josh can still eat whatever he wants and stay thin (it's unbelievable, really). For me, it all started with an incredibly high metabolism that allowed me to eat whatever I wanted for the first 25 years of my life. My mom is an incredible cook and she always made homemade, healthy foods for us, but I still grew up with literally no clue about portion control. For years I would help myself to unhealthy amounts of pasta, bread, and sweets. I don't mean unhealthy in the gorging-myself kind of way, just more than I should have. I noticed my body starting to adjust a couple of years ago and actually started to gain weight for the first time. Now I actually have to think about what I eat (I know, cue the sad violins!), but it's helped me to start making much healthier choices as well.

In order to slowly make my way into healthier eating choices, I've made three changes to our meals. First, I cut out most breads, white flour, and white rice. These things used to take up about 1/3 of our daily diet (eep!). Instead, when we do have grains we are eating whole wheat bread, pasta, rice, and healthy grains like quinoa and bulgar.

The second change has been to replace the excess bread-y stuff with more veggies and fruit. A lot of our dinners consist of meat and veggies now, and I'm amazed at how filling and delicious it can be! We are loving sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli especially. Instead of cheese and crackers as a snack, I love to snack on an apple and natural peanut butter (SO good).

The final change is more of a mental one, but it's been changing the idea that I have to have dessert every day. I know it sounds kind of silly, but I had almost come to expect that it was right and good to have dessert every single day. Again, not like a whole-package-of-oreos dessert, but something sugary and sweet to satisfy that one demanding tooth. I have to admit, the first few weeks of that were hard. I felt depressed and deprived, almost like my body was demanding sugar while holding my sanity for ransom. At one point I was fiercely craving brownies for a good three days. After a few weeks though, it was like my body adjusted to less sugar and suddenly I didn't crave it as much. I still eat dessert sometimes, but it's not something I need to have every day. 

These changes are helping us to not only feel great, but it's also helping me to shed the last few pregnancy pounds (and hopefully then some!). If that's not motivation to eat healthier, then I don't know what is! 

Here's one of the veggie dishes we've been chowing down on a lot lately: Roasted Root Veggies. You have to just believe me when I say that this is the yummiest! And, you can totally pig out on it and not feel an ounce of guilt. How great is that?
Roasted Root Veggies
Prep time: less than 5 minutes (seriously!)
Ingredients: One medium onion (cut in smallish slices), one large sweet potato (cubed), one cup (or more) baby carrots, one tablespoon olive oil, pinch of salt, and dried or fresh rosemary. 

1. Throw the cubed sweet potato, sliced onions, and carrots in an oven-safe dish. 2. Toss with olive oil, and salt and rosemary to taste, and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (or until the potatoes are soft when poked with a fork). 3. Enjoy as a filling and delicious side for meat or fish! In this case- we had it with lemon tilapia. YUM!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Style that's effortless- or just lazy

Going for an "effortless" look is more work that one would imagine, but I hope I'm sort of pulling it off. My tips to achieve this look are to wear glasses because your eyes are itching with allergies, don't wash your hair for a week and have a baby who loves grabbing hair so your only option is the greasy ponytail, and throw on some new boots to make yourself feel better. 

Sweater: Marshalls, 
gingham shirt: Target, 
jeans: lands end (I know, it's scary, but true),
boots: Bjorn

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Winter Happenings

Winter is taking it's sweet time bowing out this year. We've had more snow this year than we've had the past two years combined, it seems. I do love the snow, but I'm ready for Spring. 

In the meantime though, we're trying our best to enjoy the season. Evie and I took a nice wintry walk with my sister Elsie one day. It was gently snowing, and we walked across a frozen lake. It was really beautiful (and a good workout).

I whipped up (ok, maybe whipped isn't the right word, since it took 3 hours) a pair of new baby booties. I really love this pattern. These ones are going to my mother-in-law's friend.

Evie is just getting sweeter and sweeter. She is definitely a curious, chatty little thing. When she's awake she is always making noises of some sort, or chewing/drooling on everything in sight. 

The best days are when we get to see friends or family members, like last Monday when we spent all day with my sister Morna. We made quiche, drank tea, went to H & M, and just had a great day.

Soon, winter will be over and we will welcome the bright sunshine and warmth with open arms. But for now, we'll warm up with countless cups of hot tea and be all the more grateful when Spring appears.


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