Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Camping

I've been dreaming of going on a Fall camping trip for a few years now, and we finally made it happen! I thought that just maybe it would be the best way to camp, since the main things I hate about camping (bugs, mosquitoes, hot tents, general stickiness) have to do with Summer. Sure enough, Fall camping turned out to be absolutely wonderful.

We originally planned to bring Evie with us, but then realized it would probably get too cold at night for her. So she had a fun night at Grandma and Grandpa's instead! 
We only stayed one night because we had other weekend plans too, and I wish we could have stayed longer! Friday night we enjoyed dinner, tea and coffee, and dessert around the campfire, as well as a gorgeous midnight walk.  
                                                      My sister Elsie and her husband Kyle came with us, and my other sister Morna and her husband David just came to hang out for dinner on Friday. The guys had fun using their hatchets to chop the firewood. 

It got pretty cold that night, I don't know the exact temperature but I do know that it was at least as cold as our refrigerator! The butter that we left out overnight was still as hard as rock in the morning!

Originally I thought it would be fun to try and make it a "glamping" trip, but the only thing I ended up doing was bringing a few mason jars for candles. Oh well. 

We brought the air mattress too; definitely better than sleeping pads on the cold ground.

In the morning, we had sourdough french toast, sausage, and coffee over the fire. It was SO delicious. There's just something about being outside and cooking over a campfire that makes everything taste a million times better than normal!

We made up a great game too, called "which one of these sausages doesn't belong?" It's amazing how creative you can be without a television. 

So, the Fall camping trip was a total success. I loved being surrounded by the colors of Autumn and feeling that delicious little chill in the air. Next year we will have to do it again, and maybe I'll even have time to make it more glamorous! 

Have you ever been camping in the Fall? Do you even like camping at all? I know it's not everyone's cup of tea. =)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Electric Orange

It's been a while since I did an outfit post, but I've been so very inspired by Pinterest and other blogs lately so I figured it was time to contribute to the pot!

I've been loving the cooler September days, and the chance to layer a bit more. I found this dress on super-sale at Ragstock, and even though it was a bit out of my normal taste, I thought I would give it a try. I was really excited when I got home and realized I had the perfect belt to wear with it! 

I wore this out and about on a few errands, and to dinner at my parent's house later that evening. I've gotten a few comments lately that I seem to "dress up" a lot, which I think is rather funny. I don't really consider this that dressy... But in any case, wearing something beyond yoga pants and sweatshirts is really helpful for me in creating a better mood! I honestly do it for myself more than anyone else!

Evie has been sick this week, and she has attached herself to this sweet little bunny rabbit we affectionately call "Mr. Bun." He's been her constant companion, along with her thumb. 

Outfit details: Dress/Ragstock, Sweater/Marshalls, Belt/Target, Shoes/Target, Shades/Anthropologie.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fall is Just Around the Corner...

Fall is just around the corner... but in our house I'm pretending it's already here. Fall is definitely my favorite season! There's something about the crispness in the air, the crunchy leaves everywhere, the slightly spooky feeling with candles glowing at night... It's simply the best.

I went out and bought a couple of Apple Spice candles from Wal Mart (they seriously have for ridiculously cheap!). This pillar candle was under $4! What a steal! And it smells heavenly. 

In other news, I have managed to keep my house (relatively) clean for the better part of a week, for the first time since our little peanut came home... almost a year ago. I let it slide for a while, but it was starting to affect my mood. I felt like I couldn't keep up with the clutter, and was constantly picking stuff up. I think we've finally started to get into the groove of putting things away, rather than letting little piles of stuff gather throughout the day. It really helps! 

I like adding small touches of seasonal decor- maybe so small that others wouldn't even notice. Like these sweet little red berry branches tucked in a vase. 

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Good Morning, Mini Quiche!

Some mornings just call for a little more effort in the breakfast arena. Not a lot, because really, who wants to cook/bake when they are half awake and under caffeinated? A dangerous pastime, to be sure.

These mini quiches are delightfully easy and incredibly delicious. I whipped some up this morning and they just made my day!

For 4 Mini Quiches, you need:
-4 Wonton Wrappers (found in the fresh foods section of grocery stores)
-2 Eggs
-4 Tbsp. grated cheese of your choice (I used colby jack)
-Salt + Pepper to taste
-A pinch of Garlic powder
-A smattering of dried onion/minced onion

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk the eggs together, then add in the salt and pepper and spices. Spray the bottom of a cupcake/muffin tin with baking oil (you will only need 4 spaces, so obviously you only need to spray those). Place the wonton wrappers inside. Fill each wonton wrapper just to the lowest point (you don't want them to overflow too much when baking). Sprinkle the cheese on top, give each quiche a spritz of oil, and bake for about 10 minutes. The quiches will pop up a bit at the end, and the edges of the wonton wrappers should be golden brown.

I just have to say, I love wonton wrappers! They are SO fun to use for lots of different appetizers and dishes. They add just the right amount of crunch and flavor! I actually used them yesterday to make this Southwestern Egg Roll recipe, and almost keeled over from the flavor/crunch. YUM. If you are looking for any more fun recipes using wontons, Jenn over at Peas and Crayons has a ton of ideas!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The House That Almost Was

This Summer, we looked at a few houses. We really want to move. We love our townhome, and have loved the fact that all the yardwork is taken care of and the driveways are plowed, but we are ready for a home with a yard and some more space.

You know that feeling that you get when you walk into a house, and you can actually see yourself living there? We stepped into this beautiful 1940's home, and I was already mentally moving in my furniture. The thing that took my breath away was this window (actual window pictured above). The way the light fell in such a beautiful pattern on the floor. I pictured my couch, my favorite mug filled with hazelnut coffee, a book, and pretty autumn leaves shadow-falling across the floor. It was perfect.

It was perfect, and yet it wasn't. It was the home I had always dreamed of, almost the exact floorplan I had thought up. And yet it had some quirks. Some possibly major, money-costing quirks. After the walk-through, we sat in Caribou with our realtor, coffee, and a squirmy baby and were ready to make an offer. I turned to Josh and said "If we don't get this house, I will throw the biggest adult-tantrum you have ever seen!" Yeah, not my proudest moment. But I really, really wanted to move into that house and bake pumpkin bread in that kitchen.

I wanted the house, yet there was something inside that just didn't feel right. I could see the way I would arrange the living room, but I could also see our weekends getting filled up with necessary projects. The upstairs hadn't been lived in in about 40 years (it was like a time-capsule, which is another reason why I loved it so very much), and needed a major overhaul. Could we really do that? We've done a few DIY projects around our house, but nothing that major.

By the time we pulled into our driveway that evening, both Josh and I knew that it wasn't the right place for us. It was hard. I may have shed a few tears. But after we sat down and watched Dave Ramsey's video about buying a house, we knew we had made the right decision. We've used some of his tips to get to an almost debt-free place, and the feeling is absolutely amazing. Once we pay off student loans, we will have no debt except for our mortgage. It is an incredibly freeing feeling, and we don't ever want to experience the slavery of debt again. As much as we loved that house, we knew deep down that it was going to be a money-pit.

So, we said no to our "dream" house. But, in saying no to that house, we said yes to many other things. We said yes to financial freedom and security, for us and for our daughter. We said yes to saving up some more and having an even lower mortgage some day. We said yes to that house that we know God will provide for us someday in the future. My heart still aches a little bit when I see that picture, but I know that God has a plan for us. And I don't ever want to settle for a lesser plan when I know that He has something better in store.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bathroom Remodel!

I'm super excited to share our bathroom remodel today! But of course, a makeover cannot truly be appreciated until you see the "before." So without further ado, here is a brief historical recap of our powder room. Ahem. 
Ah, builder-grade bathrooms. What more needs to be said? We lived with our hideous, mauve-painted bathroom for a while before we did a semi-makeover a few years ago. It had bifold doors opening to a small laundry closet, linoleum flooring, and an 80's builder-grade sink cabinet with a gray linoleum top. What a beauty!

Then, we painted. Ah, glorious paint! What a transformation! We also found a pretty etagere at Goodwill, and added a new shower curtain. Progress!

A few months later, I tired of the shower curtain and bought a new one. And this is what our bathroom looked like for a couple years:

This Summer, we were finally able to tackle the "real" bathroom remodel!

We put in a new sink and cabinet, mirror, painted the walls, and replaced the flooring. We also removed the bifold doors and updated the laundry "nook," which I will hopefully get to in a later post.

Even small details, like changing the hardware on the door and adding in this pretty grate below, really made the room come together.

Everything is kind of neutral color-wise right now, I'm excited to be able to change up the accessories/towels for a different look whenever I feel the need for change!

Here's a detail-shot of the mirror. Josh picked it out, he loved the "art-deco" feel of it. I love the look too, and also love the fact that I can clean the entire mirror with a few swipes! (It's all one solid piece of glass, with the mirror and design printed on the back).

I've been really happy with this remodel. We tried to keep it neutral taste-wise so that when we are ready to sell it will hopefully appeal to buyers. We also had to reign in our tastes and use materials that fit out townhome. I for one would have loved to tile the floors (marble tile!!!) but it just isn't practical in our townhome. 


 Materials List: 

Sink/cabinet/faucet: Ikea
Flooring: Vinyl tile from Menards
Paint: Fossil Stone by Pittsburgh Paints (Menards)
Shelf and Towel Hanger: Home Goods
Other accessories: Thrifted, or what I had on hand
Shower Curtain: From Anthropologie, but I found it on Craigslist

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!


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