September 30, 2016

This and That

ONE - I have been on a 5 month search for pillows for our family room couch and recently came across this one that I'm really thinking might be a winner.  Loving this Lotus print in blue.


TWO - Did you know that you can now buy J.Crew at Nordstrom?  What a smart move by both.  Beautiful J.Crew clothing plus Nordstrom's free shipping and free returns equals much love.


THREE - Another new discovery for me recently is that you can shop T.J.Maxx online?  Wonder if Homegoods will ever go online??


FOUR - This Is Us!  Are you watching?  Aww...I love it!  The first episode was so, so good.  Heart-wrenching with a twisty little ending.  Catch up with On Demand if you're behind...it's a good one.  I'm a huge reality show watcher, so it's been a really long time since I've found a TV show that was not on Bravo or wasn't the Bachelor/Bachelorette or Survivor or a movie on LMN.  I watched the second episode this week and just as good.  I'm hooked!  Can't wait for next week! 


September 27, 2016

Tortilla Pockets | Chicken Bacon Ranch and Cream Cheese


Good Morning!  With football season in full swing now, I'm always looking for something yummy to make while we cheer on our favorite teams.  My husband loves to barbeque so we usually have something from the grill to feast on.  The forecast was calling for rain this past weekend, so I thought it would be a perfect weekend to give this recipe a try.

We had grilled chicken breast for dinner one night earlier that week, so I threw on a few more so those were already done.  And same for the bacon.  We had extra from our Saturday morning breakfast, so I crumbled several slices and put the bacon pieces in the refrigerator for that evening.  With those two things out of the way, I was able to quickly put these together in between games.


Tortilla Pockets with Chicken Bacon Ranch and Cream Cheese

Ingredients
  • 3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 block of cream cheese (8 ounces), room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) ranch dressing mix
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • coarse salt
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and ranch seasoning and mix well. 
  3. Add chicken, cheese, bacon and green onions and stir to combine.
  4. Spoon about 1/3 cup down the center of the tortilla
  5. Fold up both short ends of the tortilla and fold over one of the long ends.
  6. Brush the open edge of the tortilla with beaten egg and fold over creating a rectangular tortilla pocket.
  7. Place seam-side down on the baking sheet.
  8. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  9. Brush pocket tops with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  10. Bake at 425 for about 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Serve with ranch dressing.
*Makes 8 tortilla pockets
*Recipe adapted from here


Hope you enjoy!


September 21, 2016

My Fall Home Tour 2016


Happy First Day of Autumn Eve!  Since tomorrow officially starts the new season, I thought I would share a mini fall home tour today.  Just as the season slowing transitions from summer to fall, so does our home.  I gradually change out pillows and décor, making it a bit more cozy and warm for the season.  We have been in our home for almost 5 months now and it is slowly coming together.  If you've been around my blog awhile, you already know that I love simple décor, so my fall decorating consists of a few little touches here and there.  Lets take a look, starting with our front door that leads to our foyer as we are greeted by this girl.


To the right of our foyer is our study/piano room.  I added a few white pumpkins in the foyer and this soft, cozy plaid throw.  For fresh flowers and greenery I love Trader Joes.  They have a great selection and you just can't beat their prices.  This year I was really drawn to simple greenery, with a little bit of purple.


Shop the look | foyer, study, piano room:


Next stop is our dinning room, which is directly across from our study/piano room.  This space is one of my favorite rooms to decorate.  I love creating different tablescapes to fit the occasion or holiday. 


Simple fall décor in here consists of fresh fruit as my centerpiece and a sprig of greenery tied with a nude satin ribbon on my place settings.  I picked up the ticking striped table runner in Rosemary Beach this summer.  While the rest of my family was shopping for beachy clothing and accessories, I was hitting the home décor shops :)  I think it will be great for so many occasions.


Shop the look | dining room:


And we'll finish up the tour in our family room.  It's still a work in progress, but I added a few little touches of fall on our mantel that I thought I would share.


Again in here a vase full of fresh greenery and fresh pears are easy decorations.  The faux chalkboard print adds a little whimsy to the mantel and you can find it here.  


So that's a wrap on my fall tour.  My changes are minimal, but among our neutral palette home they make an impact and cozy up our home a bit.  Now cool weather, we are ready for you.  My kids have still been in our pool a lot this month.  So even though I am making it feel like fall on the inside, the weather definitely still feels like summer on the outside.  Hopefully, the weather will catch up soon!



September 13, 2016

Early Fall Looks I Love


Hi there!  I hope your week is going well.  My wardrobe is majorly lacking short sleeve tops.  I feel like I have a ton of sleeveless and long sleeve, but nothing in between.  I always struggle with that when the seasons change and I'm not sure why I can't seem to build up a good variety of these tops.  Loving this blue plaid top above!  I ordered it over the weekend with 40% and hope it works out when it arrives.  GAP is still offering 40% off with the code FALL4IT. 

P.S.  The $315 Cate Diamond Bracelet Giveaway is still going on.  Look for the picture of the bracelet on my Instagram on how you can enter. 

Have a great day!


September 12, 2016

Laura J Finery Jewelry + Giveaway


Good Morning!  Today I have a little something fun to start off the week.  I am excited to share Laura J Finery, which is an upscale jewelry line handmade here in Texas.   The owner/designer, Laura Jorn, started her semi precious and fine jewelry line in 2010 and works to make custom, unique one of a kind jewelry for her clients.  She has an amazing eye for creating beautiful pieces and I immediately fell in love with her brand. 


Gorgeous, right?   Laura J Finery also does trunk shows, which is a great way to gather your girlfriends and shop for jewelry.  And what I love is that your guests can buy the jewelry available for purchase and take it home the same day.  Custom requests are available as well.  So, if you're in the Houston metropolitan area and interested in hosting a trunk show, you can email Laura at laurajfinery@outlook.com. 

Communicating with Laura about her jewelry line, I also learned that she is hosting a fundraiser at Rice Village on Sept 15th at Bar Bleu form 10am - 1pm benefiting a children's charity.  If you are local, grab your girlfriend and spend the afternoon mingling, shopping, light bites and wine tasting with part of the proceeds benefiting a great cause.  I am also planning to attend and would love to meet you!  You can learn more about it here.


And Laura is continuing her generosity for you guys today too, by giving away one of her beautiful pieces.  This Cate Diamond Charm Bracelet - Moon & Matte Black Hematite pictured above is going to one lucky reader.  It is easy to slip on and stack, and features a medium size diamond moon charm in gold and gunmetal, with matte black hematite gemstones.  Retailing at $315, this gorgeous bracelet will be a great addition to your accessories!  Head over to my Instagram to see how to enter.

*GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED*  Congratulations to our winner @misshappymama!   


September 10, 2016

New House | Study and Piano Room Update


Good Morning!  I hope everyone had a nice Labor Day Weekend.  We stayed in town and tackled a few little projects around our home.  Mostly outside yardwork again, but we finally moved to the front yard this time.  We are slowly chipping away at it.  The amount of trash that we pull out after each weekend is crazy.  Next weekend, we plan to fill in the landscaping a little and mulch, which should be it on yardwork until the Spring. 

We have several rooms in our new home that are in the "during" phase, but I thought I would start doing a few updates anyways, because I feel like there is always something I still want to do to a space.  So, I finally pulled out my camera a took a few pictures of our study/piano room. 


It's interesting how the use of a room changes from home to home.  In our last house, the study was mostly used by the kids to practice piano.  My husband would occasionally office from home out of it, but only a few times.  However, in our new home I don't have a desk in the kitchen, so this space is seeing lots of use.  Not only does piano practice happen in here, but I use the desk space everyday.  It's one of the first rooms you seen when you enter the front door, so it needs to be both functional and presentable. 

Everything in this room, except the round mirror, is from our previous home.  The baskets on the shelves got moved up to the top two shelves, allowing me to place my printer and other not-so-pretty office items on the bottom shelves where they can be hidden.  I pushed the two tall bookcases together and moved the file cabinet desk directly in front of them, so a little bit different set up from our last office, which you can check out here.  I like the cozier feel to the space with this new arrangement.


And below I included a couple of before pictures.  We painted all the walls and ceilings Palomino Gray by PPG and they are now a very light gray color, which absolutely love! 


And here is a picture of my furry design assistant.  She is always close by :)  I also really love facing towards the front door.  When we first moved in, I thought we would set the office up like our previous  home, which had me facing the wall.  With this arrangement, I have a much prettier view of our dining room straight across the foyer and the outside of our home through the windows.  There are four big windows in the front of our home, so lots of great natural lighting.   


As I mention at the beginning, I feel like this room is still in a "during" stage as I would love a larger rug under the desk and a new light.  The lovely boob light in the before pictures is still in here, so it's definitely on long list of "to-dos."  But it's finished enough for now to look nice when guest enter.  I have to keep reminding myself that it's not a sprint to finish this home.  It will slowly come together.  So thanks for following along at my marathon pace :)

Enjoy your day!


September 9, 2016

Coton Colors Agenda + St. Jude Inspire Happy Mug


Cheers to Friday!  Now that my kids are back in school, our calendar is quickly filling up and it's time to get myself organized.  I am still very much a paper and pencil gal, so finding an agenda to organize our schedules is a must.  Luckily, Coton Colors', which is a lifestyle brand and designer of stylish tabletop, home decor and giftware, is now also helping us stay organized with their pretty agendasI'm sure you're familiar with Coton Colors' very popular The Happy Everything Collection, which exudes the philosophy to never miss an opportunity to celebrate. The concept of “finding a little happy… in everything” runs through the line encouraging people to celebrate life's milestones both big and small.  I love that philosophy and that their agendas reflect that as well.


Here is why I love their 17 month tabbed agendas.  They all have a beautifully designed front cover and each month has a fun design on the divider.  They feature a month-at-a-glance page, weekly pages, as well as a place for to-do lists.  They also have happy notes, a section for what made you happy this week, and a get attached section to help you remember to change your Coton Colors Happy Everything attachment.  They have truly included it all in these Happy Everything Agendas!  You can also find them in local stores, which you can locate a store here.


September is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Coton Colors has teamed up with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to help support these children and their families.  Partnering with St. Jude since 2011, this year they have designed a limited addition Inspire Happy Mug and one hundred percent of the proceeds will go to St. Jude's.  The simple white mug serves as a reminder to be a hero to those in need - with Coton Colors donating the entire $9.95 retail price directly to St. Jude.  


We are all impacted by cancer someway or another.  Being a pediatric and neonatal registered nurse, this cause is really special to me.  Having cared for children with cancer, I am happy to help support such an important cause and hope that you will consider purchasing one of these mugs and share a little happy with those who need it most!