Monday, June 30, 2014

Dining Room Makeover Project

One of my top projects this summer is to give our dining room a refreshed look. It serves its purpose, but I want it to feel more inviting and more luxurious (on a small budget, of course). I love our black table, but we still have the bronze chandelier from when we moved into the house. I also love our sliding doors, but the cream curtain panels are too plain. This room needs some color. The bar is probably my favorite piece in this room. I don't feel like it looks complete and when I am doing dishes I am looking into this room. I want to love it. I started an inspiration board on Pinterest. Photos taken last Summer, but it currently looks pretty similar!

1) Curtains. I am thinking about painting our panels to recreate this look below. I really like the bold black and white contrast. I already own four pairs of Ikea curtains and will only use two panels. So, I will have two leftover just in case.
Megan at Honey We're Home also painted stripes on the curtains in her office. These took 4 coats of paint.

2) Seat cushions. I plan to reupholster the cream seat cushions on our dining chairs. Light fabric and kids don't go together where eating occurs. I definitely want a pattern and a darker color. I'm thinking a dark purple or navy/turquoise. I love the patterns by Caitlin Wilson, but they are out of my price range. I love Ikat and Spoonflower has a such great selection it will be hard to choose one. Here are a few contenders all from

3) In addition to reupholstering I would like to buy two head chairs, which will also break up the monotony of the fabric. I will definitely shop at Marshall's/Home Goods first, but I am looking for either a tufted chair or one with nail heads. This one is from Overstock and a great deal at $200 for a pair. I love the color, too.

4) I love this black cabinet I painted a few years ago, but I'm thinking of replacing it with something more colorful (either a store purchase or another DIY makeover).

5) Wall Decor. As you may know I have a love of mirrored furniture and these are sconces are no exception:

6) Lighting. We already have recessed lighting and a chandelier that does not match our furniture. An inexpensive option would be to remove the chandelier and spray paint it another color. I would prefer to replace it since it doesn't match my style. My Pinterest "dining room" board shows lots of different options. Something big and bold would help define the space, but I don't want it to block our outdoor view.

I can't wait to get started on this space. Progress posts coming soon!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Recent Purchases + Little Shoes!

I finally bought Summer some new shoes and they are just so little and adorable. I love the tiny Toms!

I found these baby cowgirl boots at Old Navy for 97 cents!! It was a lucky day! They should fit her in the fall. I can't wait to put her in them.

My cousin, Steff, brought these adorable matching dresses for the girls from Sweden. I can't wait for a photo shoot!

I am in love with this Matilda Jane dress I bought for Ellie from my trunk keeper. Ellie loves it because it's a dress and it twirls. The colors are gorgeous. I will have to get a picture of her in it. This picture doesn't do it justice.

And, I finally bought a pair of "playground" shoes. My new Vans. Love them!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Luscious List

Some products I'm loving at the moment:

Love the gold zebra accessory tray:
This modern library cart from Land of Nod:
This mirror would be so pretty in a girls bedroom:
I saw these artichoke candle holders at the Hill Company and I'm still thinking about them. They would perfect on a dining room table or a console.
I have been looking for a globe for our play room and loving this modern one from Z Gallerie:
And, I don't know what it is about this guy, but I really like him:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer's First Rose

I'm a little late on this post, but it's been a busy week because my cousin from Sweden was visiting and staying with us and now my husband is away on a golf vacation. Last Saturday I was driving through town and Summer's name was on the Penny's Flowers sign for a free rose. I had to wait till she woke from her nap, then the girls and I went over to the store. She was able to pick out any color and I chose yellow for her (I was tempted to pick pink because that's my favorite, but I think yellow is a good color for her). Then, of course, I had to do a mini photo shoot in front of the sign.

Afterwards we met my family for a late lunch at the West Ave Grille in Jenkintown. Ellie had crayons and she was the first time Summer took interest. She picked a red crayon and started coloring! I was amazed because at this age Ellie was more interested in eating the crayons. Also, this week Summer has been drawing with chalk with Ellie and I in our driveway.

Then, we went to the playground for an hour. I love late playground visits because they always help tire out the girls.

Haha love this one!

I've decided Summer looks good in bold hues- bright blue, yellow, hot pink. I need to buy more of these colors. She got this dress (Carter's) for her birthday. Ellie is wearing a new dress by Ralph Lauren- the perfect sundress. I love it because it's easy and she loves it because she can twirl in it. I just bought it in blue, too. You can see in Summer's close up picture above that she got her second tooth finally! It came in on Father's Day. Her hair is also starting to lighten up so we'll see if it gets light like Ellie's. A lot of people forget that Ellie had dark hair when she was a baby just like Summer's and it turned blonde. Summer gets small curls on the back of her hair in the humidity- it's so cute. And I still love kissing these cheeks! I love this little girl!

Saturday, June 21, 2014
(13 months old)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Recipe: Beef (or Turkey) Enchiladas

This was my first time making enchiladas and I tried to make them a healthy dish (since they are known for being high in calories). I saw this recipe on Pinterest and it looked delicious. We love Mexican and haven't had it in a while, but I wanted something different than tacos. These were really good and everyone (i.e. the girls) loved them. This recipe called for beef, but I substituted lean ground turkey. I also used less cheese and whole wheat tortillas (45 calories and 7g of fiber each). I served with sides of tomato and avocado (not pictured). My changes are in bold.

Beef Enchiladas

2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, divided (Frontera Red Chile Sauce)
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces ground beef (we used lean ground turkey)
1 (4.5 ounce) can diced green chiles
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup canned corn kennels, drained 
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/4 cups Monterey Jack cheese, divided (3/4 cup)
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (3/4 cup)
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas, warmed (Maria & Ricardo wheat tortillas)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (omitted)
1 avocado, halved and diced
1 Roma tomato, diced

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour 1 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish; set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high hat. Add ground beef, green chiles, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat. 
3. In a large bowl, combine beef, corn, beans, 1/2 Monterey Jack cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
4. To assemble the enchiladas, lay tortilla on a flat surface and spoon 1/4 cup of the beef mixture in the center. Roll the tortilla and place seam side down onto prepared baking dish (I roll one side, then fold over the two ends, then roll the other side so nothing falls out). Repeat with remaining tortillas and beef mixture. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheeses.
5. Place into oven and bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes.
6. Serve immediately, garnish with cilantro, avocado and tomato, if desired.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Weekend Recap: Father's Day + Strawberry Picking

We had an eventful weekend with Father's Day festivities and picking strawberries. This means this post will contain lots of photos! Last year we went to a farm in New Jersey to pick with Nick's Aunt. This year we stayed closer to home and went to a local farm, Maple Acres. This was our first time there and we loved it. We took our baskets and walked through fields filled with pretty flowers, past the animals (pigs, chickens, and cows) to the strawberries. Ellie found the best ones. Summer loved doing it too, then she squished them in her fingers. Ellie was so sweet and helped Summer navigate and find some good berries. I was tempted to let the girls taste them, but I knew they were covered in pesticides so wanted to wash them before eating (luckily they didn't even try to eat them so I didn't have to say "no" to them). When they are washed (and pesticide-free) they are the most delicious berries! So much more flavorful than any ones you would buy at the store. We will definitely be back again soon. It was such a fun outing.

I didn't realize the depth of this shot I took until I went through the photos. It looks like she is either upset about something (and walked off by herself) or she is focused on getting to the fields. Either way I love this one. Her body language is just adorable with her head down and slouched shoulders. I put her in rain boots since it had rained the day before and I wasn't sure if it would be muddy. The boots and jean shorts are a cute look.

The first picked berry!

Love this one of Ellie kissing me. As we were picking berries, she turned to me and said, "I love you Mommy." She will say this at least once a day to me, but when I least expect it. She is so lovable I love that about her. Here, I asked for a kiss. The dandelion she is holding she gave to me and I stuck it in my pocket.

Two tired girls!

Ellie is wearing a tank I just got at Old Navy (this is similar, her hearts are white). Her shorts are Gap and boots are Western Chief.

When we got home I put Summer down for a nap and Nick happily stayed home with her and watched soccer while I took Ellie to the pool where we met my parents. Ellie was more comfortable wearing her Puddle Jumpers and swam and happily jumped and splashed around while in the shallow end of the 5-foot pool.

Sunday morning, Father's Day, we met Nick's parents at the Kitchen Bar for breakfast. The girls are very lucky to have him as their Daddy. He is always playing with them (from blocks to dress-up) and he takes them for walks with their bikes and to the playground. He is like a big kid with them!

That afternoon we went to the Phillies game- our first of the season. This is one of my family's annual traditions. All morning Ellie talked about seeing the Phillie Phanatic. She remembered that last year we didn't see him (he didn't even make an appearance). This year made up for it as we got to take a picture with him! Ellie's face was priceless when she saw him. The biggest excited smile ever. She literally jumped in my arms and we the three of us got a picture (Summer is in the Ergo).

One of the things I love about my Dad is that he is all about family and traditions. We are a very close family and have great relationships. Every year for Father's Day we all go to the Phillies game. I am very much like him in this sense. I put family first and my relationships with family is very important to me. He has always supported me in all areas of my lifeand I love watching him with my girls- it brings back lots of happy memories!