Weekly Menu

Hello Monday!  What are y’all eating this week?  Here’s what we’re having…

weekly menu

Monday:  I have no idea.  Seriously.  We’ve got a busy night, so I’ll probably see what looks quick and easy when I get to the store.

Tuesday:  Pork and veggie fried rice, edamame.  We have some leftover grilled pork and some steamed rice, so why not?

Wednesday: Smoothies and snacks.  It’s everyone’s favorite night.

Thursday:  Grilled chicken fajitas.  Weather is supposed to be nice, so let’s grill!

Friday: Falafel, tomato, cucumber, and avocado salad.  Sounds so fresh, right?

Have a great week peeps.  I’m going to be wrapping up some work with clients, and work on getting some potting and planting done this this week here at home.  If I make any progress I’ll let ya know. ; )

Peace,

C

Weekly Menu

It’s already Monday again.  How is that even so?

The weather is going to be great again this week, and the sun is staying out longer, so I’m feeling peppy and ready to make it a good week.  I hope y’all can do the same, but if nothing else…eat well!

Monday:   SMOOTHIE NIGHT/snacks   Mondays have become our busiest day with after-school activities, so we are just going to go ahead and make it easy.  Smoothie night seems to be everyone’s favorite.

Tuesday:   Grilled salmon,  roasted potatoes, sauteed veggies

Wednesday:   Slow cooker honey sesame chicken, brown rice, steamed broccoli

Thursday:   Cheeseburger soup

Friday:   Hot dogs/brats

Saturday:   ???

A Combined Kitchen/Living Room: Fresh Inspiration

My best friend is ready for a big change in her kitchen/living room.  While it may not happen overnight, it’s useful to have the big picture in mind when moving forward.  So, I put together this post to help her figure out the end goal, and how to accomplish it in a few simple steps.  Let’s take a look at the moodboards first:

erin moodboard

Sources:

Sofa, Curtains, Pair of Chairs, Rug, Storage Ottoman, End Table, Lamp, Lidded Basket, Black Cabinet, Picture Frames, Pillow, Pillow, Pillow, Pillow, Pillow

erins kitchen

Sources:

Kitchen, Kitchen Island, Breakfast Table, Dining Chairs, Chandelier, Fabric for Roman Shades

Here’s how I suggest she go about combining these two rooms, at a pace she can afford…

Step 1:  Paint all of the walls in a fresh coat of Sherwin Williams Amazing Gray

erin--amazing gray

Step 2:  Since she already has a leather sectional and the rug pictured, I suggest starting with the curtains, Roman shades, and pillows.  Focus on neutral colors and modern prints.  If you have $$ leftover, replace your existing ottoman for one that has storage for all of the kids’ toys.

Step 3:  Attack the kitchen.  Paint the cabinets a creamy white and wrap the island in faux stacked-stone.

Step 4:  It’s time for new furniture!  A new leather sofa and a pair of chairs in a bright color will instantly open up the room and add interest by mixing textures and colors.

Step 5:  Breakfast room.  A new round table and chairs in interesting finishes will update the room instantly.  The black chairs will tie into the existing black television unit, as will a new chandelier in a bronze finish.

No matter the budget, big changes are possible.  Hopefully by following these steps, she can get the biggest bang for her buck. I’ll look forward to seeing when the transformation starts to take place.

Weekly Menu

Have a great week!

Monday   Tacos, Spanish rice

Tuesday   Teriyaki Meatballs, steamed broccoli, brown rice

Wednesday   Chicken with mushrooms and marsala wine sauce, noodles, and roasted asparagus.  I don’t have a recipe for this one, but my grocery store carries some wonderful simmer sauces that are perfect for weeknights.  This is a new one I’ve found and I’ll let you know if it’s any good.

Thursday   Leftovers/snack night

Friday   Paninis

Saturday   Dinner Party with friends!

Happy New Year

It’s my first week back after a 2 week Christmas break.  The break was that perfect amount of long where you’re ready to get back to routine, and you feel rested and inspired.  But getting back to it was roughhhhhhh.  There were some definite highlights this week, like moving to the decorating phase with a longtime client that just finished an addition/remodel.  We are using these cute curtains from Pier 1 in their new family room

matocha curtains

and starting a new master suite addition project with a client very near and dear to me…my brother and his beautiful wife!

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’d probably see that I also decided to paint my dining room (which always ends up being more than just paint)

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and we are finishing up a little remodel of our own in Avery’s room.

When I put it in print, it seems like a lot!  But, I’m taking it all in stride, because it’s all good.  And as part of my New Year’s resolutions, I hope to focus more on the good.

While I’m on that topic of NWR, I’m going to go ahead and list them.  (I’m a big fan of lists and hope that by putting it here, it will serve as a reminder to me as well as keep me accountable.)

1.  Give–I want to pay it forward.  I plan to find several opportunities to give this year.

2. Grow–Me and my business.  I plan to make some changes this year, both personally and professionally.  The focus is own positive forward movement. I want to grow in my physical and spiritual health, and I want to push my business more towards the goals that I have set.

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3.  Be Happy–These were my Grandmother’s words.  If I can remember to focus on the good, I will be happy.  It really is that simple.  I want to be one of those people that radiates happiness and spreads it to everyone around them.

I’m working on some big changes to the blog and my business in general, so things may start to look and act different around here.  Boy am I ready!  Let’s do this!

Peace,

C

Christmas 2014 Home Tour

Let me warn you: You may not get any great ideas here…I don’t really do all that much decorating for Christmas.  What you may learn is that a little bit of red goes a long way.  It’s not that I don’t love Christmas decorations, it’s just that I’ve found I don’t need much to make it feel like Christmas time around here.  I try to fill our home with things that have special memories, the sounds of Christmas (music or movies), and the smells of holiday baking.  To me a Christmas tree, some candles, and family traditions are what make it feel like Christmas.

Please look around.  I hope you find inspiration in your own home.

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This is our first year with a fake tree.  I have to say…I’m sold!  It was so easy, and finding a real one that fits as perfectly as this one would have been impossible.  I found ours at the new At Home store in Plano (used to be Garden Ridge).  Ours is decorated using family ornaments that we’ve collected since our own childhoods’, and in our 13 years of marriage.  We also tucked in some pinecones that we picked up out of my grandmother’s yard in East Texas several years ago.

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The piano holds some fresh greenery from Trader Joe’s, candles, and the nutcrackers that Avery and I have been collecting.

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My mom’s green crystal candle holder–I love it at night.  The book it’s sitting on holds our Christmas memories each year.  I’ll be honest, I’ve missed a year or two, but it’s wonderful looking back throughout the years to see how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same.

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Conner got in on the action this year using one of his vintage trucks and some old bottle brush trees.  I found the star at 540 Mercantile downtown.

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My dining room table is currently being used for sewing projects–Avery has been working on stockings for all of the animals.  She’s done it completely by herself and I can’t wait to show them off when she’s finished.  So for now, I’ve added some red and green to the buffet.  We will have dinner in here on Christmas Eve, but I have no idea how I’ll set the table.  I’m not that big into fancy table settings.  It’ll just happen.

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I keep thinking someday I’ll get new  Christmas decorations, but when you just stick with the classic red and green, you can’t go wrong.  Adding to it is easy, and you also have the flexibility of always being able to move things around.  I never know where I’ll use what I’ve got until I pull it out each year.

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Our living room has small touches throughout. Red throws and a new plaid pillow (that I made from $1.99 fabric) add just enough to make it look like Christmas.

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Conner also helped by decorating this little tree, using some of the kids’ favorite ornaments.

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I can remember cracking nuts out of this bowl at my grandmother’s house at Christmas.  My kids are making similar memories here.

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Christmas morning will be spent here.  It’s my favorite room in the house.

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I got the small wreaths at Trader Joe’s and attached them using ribbon and Command velcro strips.

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My kitchen is a workhorse this time of year, so I can’t do much decorating.  My Christmas cookie jar is about all I have room for.  The counters are usually piled up with baking supplies and gift tins.  The kids and I will start our annual gingerbread house this week, so right now the baking area is full of candies and pretzels.

As I said, I don’t do much, but I’m glad it’s done.  I’m ready for the kids to be out of school so we can spend time together enjoying the traditions our family has created.  Here’s to wishing you and yours a peaceful and joyous holiday.

Peace,

C

Living Room Progress

When you buy a fixer-upper, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the overwhelming list of to-dos.  But, while cleaning out the pictures on my phone, I came across some pictures of the house that we took the first time we looked at it.  Seeing the progress we’ve made so far over the last year sure does make me feel better.  Sure, we’ve got a long ways to go.  As a matter of fact, these rooms are the only ones we’ve even touched.  But, I’m finally starting to feel a little settled.

Hard to believe we saw potential in this:

living room before 2

And while our vision is a looooong way from becoming a reality, just removing the black glass doors and having our things in place makes it more cozy.  We just recently added the paneling behind the TV, and have plans this winter to tackle the fireplace surround and mantle (if you can call it that).

living room in progress 2

Again, it took vision to get past this:

living room before

Some day, wood floors will be replaced throughout the entire first floor.  But, until we win the lottery, my goal has been to add enough warmth and style that the existing floors just go away.

living room in progress

Before: cold, stark, dated

living room before 3

And now: warm, colorful, and modern (if I do say so myself.)

living room in progress 3

I found some other “before” pictures on my phone, so I’ll be working on more room tours.

Have a great weekend!

Peace,

C

A Little of This, A Little of That

Ever since we moved to McKinney, we feel like we’ve been dating our little town.  We try to get out and see and taste and experience all that this place has to offer.

On Saturday morning I got to go to the Farmer’s Market in Chestnut Square.  If you’ve never been, or if it’s been a while, then you need to go.  It’s a great way to start the day.  It’s been quite some time since our last visit, and I have to say it was better than the last.  There’s not only farmers selling their produce, but also coffee, baked goods, and even doggie treats.  I picked up some green tomatoes that we fried for brunch on Sunday.

01182e37d1501571ddd9fd57369bb0dceb2962efb0After brunch, we hopped on our bikes and took advantage of the short bike ride to downtown.  It was the perfect day for Bloody Mary’s on a patio.  And, walking through the square we came across the newest restaurant to open.

0122a1e4c1e19089364ed1416af85323cce6d3d508Harvest just opened last week, and I’ve already heard it’s amazing.  The farm to table dining experience seems to be going full steam, and McKinney is spot on with this one.  While they were closed on Sunday afternoon, I was still able to take some pictures from the outside…

01c545644065b5e315fcb1d12468ca6fe71437a68f017529ecb0f76bc3fe7c38d52987b27f917278c2b0Who wants to join me for drinks on that patio?  Love the hanging swings and little tables!  I can’t wait to see inside.

Continuing my quest to explore McKinney, I decided to go thrifting.  I had already been to a couple of them, but had never been to Friends of the Inn.  I can’t believe I waited so long!  I will definitely be checking in frequently.

A few “project” pieces…perfect for painting and adding your own style…

01e5af972fda87446a2b797e6ad84cfbb48c6b1f76There were two of these end tables for $35 each.  They were solid wood with a shelf below (which I love for putting baskets) and campaign style hardware on the corners.

01d0a26e62618c843f409665d239c7a5f47e22654bThis dresser came with a mirror, and while it needs some new love and hardware, at $125 I still think it was a steal.  Pardon the phone pics, but if you could scroll in you’d see there’s plenty of detail to add some glaze and make it unique.

0177ecdda025e302b51bb37a91ae412701de35f8b5There were also two of these chairs.  The fact that they need paint and a seat cushion is just reason enough for me to want them–I call that opportunity!  $35 each means you don’t have to blow your budget on a pair of chairs.

01e622da1057e533825bf762221ae0ff77d6f11538And, lastly, there was this cute little chest.  I’m thinking it was someone else’s project piece, judging by the great agate hardware and not-so-fab silver paint job.  Keep the pulls and repaint it a glossy navy for a classic, yet slightly edgy statement piece.  $35.

Well, here’s to hoping my great week continues past the weekend.

Peace,

C