Gender Reveal Party: We’re Having a Little Baby Girl

IT’S A GIRL! It was an exciting Saturday afternoon as we revealed the gender to our two families. My stepmom was a rockstar hostess and took over all the plans and food and decor and, well, EVERYTHING. And it all … Continue reading

DIY Burlap Wreath

This is our first fall in our new home and with more space I’m finding a lack of holiday decorations to fill it…working to correct this problem, I found burlap on sale and came up with this quick, inexpensive way to transform … Continue reading

AMAZING shower/bath soap scum remover

7We all have many “pins” in our Pinterest accounts. However, instead of adding new ones to the “I can do this” board, I decided to try my saved DIY’s and see if they are actually  Pinterest “pass or fails”. Here is one that passes with flying colors!!!

I saved a soap scum removal idea a couple months ago, and this weekend was shocked to find it was the best cleaner I have ever used. EVER! And I’ve tried everything from: Clorox, bleach, Tilex, Clorox, you name it! This cleaning recipe calls for only 2 ingredients, and you won’t find yourself breaking your arm scrubbing for endless periods of time. Please try it, I swear you won’t ever use another tile cleaner/soap scum removal ever again 🙂

What you need:

  • 1/2  cup Dawn detergent (already had)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar (heat this in the microwave until boiling) (already had)
  • (1) spray bottle (already had)
  • dirty shower or tub

HOW:

  1. Heat 1/2 cup white vinegar in microwave until boiling. Remove from microwave to cool for about 30 sec. (or at least long enough so as not to melt your spray bottle)
  2. Pour the white vinegar into spray bottle
  3. Pour 1/2 cup Dawn detergent into spray bottle
  4. Shake Well. It will turn into a sort of foam inside your spray bottle. Not to worry. This is good.
  5. Spray glass walls on inside of shower and on tile, or bottom of tub.
  6. Leave to soak for at least 3 hours.
  7. Wipe down with sponge and water. (I did this while I showered!)

FYI: Our shower is small so I only needed 1/2 cup of white vinegar and Dawn. If you have a bigger shower or tub, or are wanting to clean more than one bathroom, double your formula! Also, your bathroom will smell a little weird for a couple hours after you have wiped glass and/or tile clean, but it is nothing you can’t get rid of with a nice candle.

BEFORE PICS:

Letting the sprayed formula soak in for a couple hours:

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AFTER PICTURES:

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Try it and Thank me later!!

Is it a Boy or Girl? Chic Baby Nursery Inspirations for Whatever it Turns Out to Be

We still don’t know the gender. I know. We’ve waited a lot longer than most people to find out. And for good reasons too. 1) We wanted to be SURE when they tell us that it really turns out to … Continue reading

The De-clutter Bug Bit Me, Right Along with the Baby Bug

Ok so maybe I’m nesting or maybe I’m just the girl who gets Spring Cleaning Fever a tad later in the year, but either way, I’m full-throttle into cleaning, re-organizing, purging and de-cluttering mode.

I’d say decorating but really I don’t think this counts as there is no furniture involved (if I could afford to, I’d completely decorate and furnish the front living room, replace or reupholster the dining room table set and also get a buffet piece for in there, and buy a king mattress for the master…..but we have to focus on the nursery and the new guest room first).

So anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to the past couple of weekends around the house in preparations for Baby Irvin’s arrival:

1) Spruce up the backyard. Check.

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2) Begin the transition from guest room to baby room. Meaning, EMPTY CLOSET, RELOCATE ITEMS, FIND SPOT FOR THEM ELSEWHERE IN HOUSE. Also know as… closet re-organizing mania. See pictures.

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Baby Irvin’s closet: newly emptied and cleaned, save for baby’s first little things.

To get to where I could empty the closet, I had to relocate my entire linen storage (it was previously in the guest room), relocate my golf clothes, and soft shells and sweatshirts; and I took the opportunity to purge items I didn’t need or use and could donate.  Here’s a peek at my new linen closet and more … spiffy with labels and all!

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I know. As organized as I am, I refuse to take the time to fold sheets properly. Or blankets for that matter. This is the best I can do.

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As a result of emptying one closet, this one got re-organized. Now my scarves are neatly hung for me to grab on a whim this fall/winter when I grab a jacket or coat.

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Another closet that fell prey to my re-organizing. This has always held some of my shoes and misc. clothes. Now it will be my designated MATERNITY CLOSET! Yay!

3) Deep clean the entire house.

4) Tidy. De-clutter. Re-arrange knick-knacks. 

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5) Finally frame some wedding photos after 5 years (instead of buying new frames like I wanted to, I re-used some boring-but-satisfactory frames I found in a box from my college townhouse.

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6) Organize and decorate the office built-in in our master bedroom. For the past two years, it’s been a wasteland of clean and dirty laundry, new and old mail, a to-shred mail pile, a to-file mail pile, dog toys, random cords to electronics, etc. A MESS. AND MY WORST NIGHTMARE. Finally, I cleared it all off. Sorted, shredded, cleaned, filed, and headed to Target to buy some cute desk accessories. Here’s the end result of that over-due project (sorry no before photo!):

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I labeled the slots and storage boxes and such to help keep us accountable!

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My amazing co-workers bought me this NEST Candle in “Moss & Mint” and it’s the best, most relaxing bedroom candle ever. NEST Candles are pretty pricey but well worth it! Fortunately, this fragrance doesn’t seem to bother my allergy-prone hubby.

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Oh, and I’m OBSESSED with my small glass lamps. $60/2 at Target. DEAL!

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I chose to do a his and hers side, where the books under each lamp are gender-friendly, and themed to our aesthetics (kind of). Note: Michael’s sniper, war, politics and business books and my childhood keepsake fairytale books, personal memoir books, and a motivational, personal enhancement book … fits us too a “T”!

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These baskets – which I placed at both sides of our built-in – correspond with our drawers for clothes in the built-in. I bought these for us to store clean laundry that we’re too lazy to put up at the moment. If the basket is full, I told Michael, too bad, time to put it all away. LOL. We’ll see how long that lasts.

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ta-da! clean, peaceful room with a view of our serene backyard!

Now, the next two projects on my brain are….

1) Paint the mud room and decorate it. (No picture, sorry). Ever since we got broken into and the door had to be replaced…no, scratch that…ever since we moved in and I’ve had to live with this weird wallpaper that you’d have to see to understand, I’ve been waiting to paint over it. We will be DIY painting over wallpaper … stay tuned for the post!

2) Renovate and customize our media cabinet  in the main living room – aka, the blue room – to fit modern TVs and such. We’ve been talking about doing this since we moved in too and now I’m super motivated to get this eye-sore of a TV stand from our college days out of the house and off the floor, so Baby Irvin has more room to spread out and play. And so mama and dada can buy a 70″ TV haha! Ok, that’ll actually have to wait a while but it’s def. in my future plans for this room too.

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Until then…

Coconut Dark Chocolate Smores

Fall is my favorite season, and when a cold snap hit Dallas last week, I was thrilled. Something about sitting around a crackling fire with friends and a bottle of wine, seemed like it couldn’t be a better fall night. Until we added these.  I happened across these coconut covered marshmallows while grocery shopping and had to resist the urge to fill up my cart with them. I paired them with dark chocolate squares and when toasted, they were every bit as good as I had hoped.  Now I know this isn’t an official recipe, but I just had to share these babies with you:

Yum!

The not so delectable evening of eating healthy.

Face it. Most “healthy” meals are not “I crave” delicious. And none of “you get used to it after a while and you’ve adapted to a healthier lifestyle” shit. One never “craves” kale, carrot juice, squash, potatoes without butter, omelets without cheese, life without bread, pancakes without bacon, a DIET, and I could go on.

Recently at my casa, we have failed attempted to start eating healthier, and one of the veggie meals I made for dinner the other night, while visually pleasing, and wonderful to whip up for: the inlaws, “meeting of the parents,” grandparents, someone trying to watch their weight….it isn’t anything anyone will ever ask for on death row, their birthday, etc.

Here is the original inspiration picture I “re-pinned” on Pinterest and decided to recreate:

1AND my version with a few tweaks:

Ingredients:

  • PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees
  • 1 green zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 red potato
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon of EVOO
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • dash of salt & pepper to season

Note to reader: We aren’t fans of tomatoes so they were omitted.  However, the juiciness that comes from those little red sun lovers, was definitely missing in “our vegetable medley”. If made again (probably not), I would add a little butter to the bottom of glass cookware (for flavor) and instead of parmesan, I would opt for mozzarella. The parmesan did not bake as prettily (as I think mozzarella would) or as the cheese in the PINTEREST picture, and was on the slightly crispy side! Lastly, as there are only two of us in la casa…I only used 1 vegetable each, and we had leftovers (which went in the trash), that could have fed another 3 guests. I would suggest adding 1 of each vegetable for 5 or more individuals.

1. Gather all ingredients. Slice & Chop 

 2. In a bowl, take your salt, pepper, rosemary, and 1/2 of garlic measured- tossing your vegetables with EVOO so as to be coated evenly.  Next take sliced zucchini, squash, and red potato along with your chosen cookware. Alternate slices to make for a splendid photo opportunity, to trick the children into thinking its going to be the best vegetable dish they’ll ever eat, or show the in-laws that you really are the ideal American Mrs.

3.  Sprinkle remainder of garlic, all of onions and cheese (of choice) on top of sliced produce. s5Bake at 350, covered, for 20-40 minutes (this depends on your oven temps)

Lastly, IF YOU TRY IT, I am open to suggestions on making this dish more flavorful. Like I mentioned above, we are trying to eat healthier on a daily basis 🙂

Easy Fall Dessert Recipe: Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Apple Butter & Cream Cheese Frosting

For my most recent Treatsie Club day at work, which just so happened to fall on Oct. 1st, I decided to make something fall-esque.

At the grocery store, I discovered Butter Pecan cake mix and decided my pregnant self thought that sounded good and very fall-worthy. I grabbed some cream cheese icing and headed home to make cupcakes.

As I was mixing the batter, I noticed a recipe tip on the back that suggested using apricot preserves under the layer of icing. I am not a big apricot preserves fan but I loved the idea of infusing something else fall-worthy and more fruit-like into this recipe. So, I grabbed the homemade can of apple butter my aunt recently made with the apples that grow on her horse farm in Blairsville, Ga. and used it. I just got back from visiting her last month – and her little gift of apple butter was perfect for this recipe! The apple flavor is a great compliment to the butter pecan cake.

After icing (yes I’m terrible at it, you’ll see below), I sprinkled the top with a little pumpkin pie spice for decoration and for added autumn flair and flavor!

Here’s how it works and how it turned out:

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I had to apply the icing this way bc spread it on would’ve smeared the apple butter and that wouldn’t look too pretty.

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I sprinkled them with a little pumpkin pie spice for fall flavor and flair!

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My co-workers LOVED them. Devan, one of the marketing girls even said, “Your cupcake just changed my life.” Or something to that effect. Nice!