Meal Planning Thoughts

Happy Monday! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. It was one of our nephews birthdays, so we celebrated on Sunday and I found him the cutest dinosaur lego set and paper mache dino he can color and paint to display in his room. The gift bag also had animals on it, so I was feelin' pretty good about the coordination going on ;)
Over the last couple of months, I've really focused on meal planning for us. This was a very different approach for me, since I was used to going to the store a couple times a week! When I first moved here and didn't have a ton of work, I was pretty bored (just being honest!) so I actually liked going to the grocery a couple times a week for an outing. Well, that habit stuck, even when I became much busier, which wasn't working out! The time + the fact that I knew I could save so much more money if I shopped once a week is what made me change up my game plan. 
For us, we try to stay at about $100-$120 / week on groceries. This includes all breakfasts, lunches for both of us (my husband brings his lunch to work 4/5 days), snacks and dinners. I'm really not sure if this is a lot or not for 2 people, but it works for us. Some weeks I spend a lot less, too, which I always feel great about ;)
A few things I keep in mind:
- I find Trader Joe's way cheaper than other grocery stores! There are a few things that aren't cheaper, but for the most part this holds true.
- Varying the meats/main courses, except I also have to factor in that sometimes red meats make my husband react poorly, so I try to limit that.
- Lots of veggies
- 1 or 2 lunch snacks
- 1 dessert for the week
- If a meal on the list calls for an herb that comes in bulk, I try to make two dishes with that herb so I'm not throwing away a pound of basil or rosemary! 
- I try to do one or two very quick meals / cheap yet semi-healthy from Trader Joes or do Breakfast for Dinner one night to save on cost! These might include grilled cheese and soup, frozen orange chicken and rice, bbq chicken and rice, frozen fried rice, 
I thought I'd share a few of my favorite recipes with you that I've been rotating so you can try them for yourself!
Monday: Crockpot Chicken Gnocchi Soup -- serve with french baguette and salad
Tuesday: Cheesy Tex Mex w/ Cauliflower Rice Skillet -- SUCH a hit!! We fill tacos with the skillet concoction. 
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup (No recipe for this one! I'll just get some yummy cheeses and if we're feeling fancy, add bacon, chicken or ham. I get the Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup at Trader Joes)
Thursday: Greek Stuffed Chicken -- serve with roasted veggies and quinoa
Friday: Make Your Own Pizzas on Naan Bread-- Get all ingredients at Trader Joes as well! Husband does pepperoni, cheese and green pepper and I do margarita style. I'll do this with a salad. I'm LOVING the kale and shredded broccoli salad at TJ's.
Ladies, I also need your help! Who has an instant pot? What are your thoughts on it if you already have a crockpot? Worth it? I like the idea of things being cooked quickly and we have a gift card to Bed Bath & Beyond ;) HELP!
Let's do a recipe swap and share recipes in the comments! Link to any good ones you love :) 
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Friday Finds: What I Bought + Spring Faves

Happy Friday! It feels good to be back in a bit of a routine. Friday Finds is backkk! This last week I popped into the outlet mall and tried on some really fun pieces at J. Crew Factory-- my favorite outlet store! I buy my shorts almost exclusively from here and love their graphic tees for cute but casual days. Thought I'd share the pieces I loved:

Style note: size down one at J.Crew Factory! I think this is true for J.Crew as well.
Another note, cause for celebration, everything is on sale!

This Cacti print in pink. I bought this one! Already wore it once and got so many compliments! SO soft and fun. I actually passed someone on the street wearing it while I was on a walk the other day and the lady was wearing it quite dressed up. It was so cute paired with army green denim, a jean jacket and wedges.

This adorable California shirt for my CA-loving heart. It comes in a few other cities...

I loved this cute anchor with the metallic gold rope around it! Perfect for a beach day. Like I said above, I usually get my shorts at the Factory store 1. because I love the fit and colors and 2. because they're so affordable! These pink shorts can be found here and they have (what is to me) a great inseam length of 3 1/2". I have them in the light blue color! Speaking of shorts, I also love this denim pair, if I was in the market for more shorts.

I love stripes as much as the next girl, so when I saw this stripe shift dress with an eyelet sleeve ruffle, I knew I had to try it. It was so sweet! I tried it on in an XXS which is crazy, but there was some extra fabric giving it a looser fit.

This little chambray dress was really cute and feminine as well! The tie on the sleeves was adorable! I feel like it showed just enough skin and could be dressed up or down.

The last one is another one that came home with me. How could I pass up stripes with bows? And at under $20, I think it's a good deal + a staple piece I'll be wearing a lot of in the summer. One thing to note: it's a bit short-waisted, so only size down one size here if needed. Here I'm in an XXS because that's all they had, but when I took it home to really analyze it I knew I needed the XS (because if this got put in the dryer, I'd be in trouble!) So that one is coming to me via mail as I type.

More Sales:

LOFT: 30% off full price styles

Anthropologie: additional 25% off sale + 20% off full price denim (this happens like once a year!)

West Elm: 25% off must-haves + free shipping
Wayfair: up to 60% off outdoor sale! Perfect time to get your patio summer-ready!
Other Favorites:

I just ordered these wedges after seeing how many great reviews they had. They should arrive today, so I'll show you on Instagram Stories. 
Have you seen the debut collection for the Gal Meets Glam Dress line? They're really gorgeous, feminine, modest dresses! I haven't pulled the trigger on any yet, but had my eye on these two before the sizes flew off the shelf!

Chambray: sold out in most sizes on Nordstrom, available in a few more here.
One thing I'm super excited about is the release of Beautycounter's long-lasting lipsticks! They are called "Color Intense", whereas our other lipsticks are called "Sheers". When I switched everything over to clean, safe beauty products I missed one thing the most from my old makeup: my Mac Lipsticks. They were creamy and thick and lasted hours! With this new lipstick debut, I have finally found my replacement. I love this First Date color; the perfect bright pink! And this navy packaging?! SO cute + classic.

Lastly, have you seen Lulu & Georgia's new pieces for Spring? If you're looking to add a few touches for the new season, check them out! (Fun fact: I worked for Lulu & Georgia in college!)

Have a wonderful weekend!
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Vintage Airplane & Car Baby Boy Nursery

Happy Wednesday everyone! One of the client projects I'm currently working on is a new build for a young couple-- a pair of my husband's friends from high school, but who have quickly become some of my favorite people, too! I helped them with their last house (you can see that here) so I'm excited to be helping with the design of the new house. You may remember the inspiration board I shared for the kitchen here (hint: emerald green cabinets!) 

All of the home's finishes and materials / paint is chosen, so while the house is being built one of the most important rooms of the house to furnish is the nursery! The family is expecting their first baby, a boy, later this summer! Nurseries are one of my favorite rooms to design and this one is no exception. They love the idea of doing a vintage automobile and planes theme and keeping it more "adult" than "baby" looking. I'm on board with that!!

Here's a peek at the finishings for the house:


Bath 1...
Bath 2...

Landry room...

Master Bathroom...

Below is the inspiration for the nursery, which I think will fit right in with the rest of the house:

A few sources: Glider / Crib / Dresser / Sheets / Map / Adventure is Out There / Black Out Curtains

This is technically the office of the home, but it will serve as the nursery, since it's the closest to the master bedroom, for the first few years. The walls will be Zen Retreat, which as you can see at the bottom of the board, is a darker gray, but we'll be accenting with some white board and batten. The floors will be a beautiful medium tone hardwood, which we'll be covering with a plush rug. 

We're playing with textures by mixing a wood toned dresser (a favorite from Ikea!), a metal crib, wood and metal bookcases the couple already has from their old great room, and a beautiful and cozy glider. I chose sheets with a vintage airplane design to echo the vintage planes + automobile theme, a fun car shelf, playful storage bins, and a touch of blue here and there. The feature will be the awesome map that we're thinking will go above the crib. 

I can't wait to see it come together! I'll be sure to share as we go along. 


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Kauai Recap Part 1

Hi there! I think this might have been the longest break I've ever taken from my blog in over 7 years! I'm happy to be back, so to ease in I'm sharing our Hawaii trip with you. Hope you don't mind ;) If you followed on Instagram, you probably know we were on the island for the worst tropical storm they've experienced in over 50 years. Ha! Of course we were :) I'll get to that in another blog post, but first I'll tell you about the first few days which consisted of beach, pool, sunshine, yummy drinks, and amazing food!

We arrived in Kauai on April 9th in the afternoon and after a little delay at the rental car place (always...why?!) we headed to our hotel in Poipu, which is at the South shore of Kauai. This is known to be the dryer, more sunny side of the island. Even if it rains, it ususally comes and goes very quickly. When we got to our hotel, Koloa Landing -- which we absolutely loved (not sponsored!), we headed straight for the pool. I ordered my first Lava Flow of the trip, which is basically a Pina Colada but with strawberry purree...aka the best thing ever! 

We explored the property and walked down to the beach. On the way we found these gorgeous flowers. They were the size of a dinner plate!

Later, we walked down to the Sheraton hotel which is right on the beach, for dinner and watched the sunset.

My parents:

The glow after the sunset is always so lovely.

On our second day, we walked over to Fish Coffee not far from our hotel. It's a local spot that has delicious morning drinks, smoothies, acai bowls and delicious eats. Our acai bowl was as delicious as it was pretty! For the rest of the day, we rented a cabana at the Sheraton beach a few hotels down. This was great, since it sprinkled a few times and the sun got extra hot, so it was nice having a shade we could pull over.

I wore my kimono from The Mason Jar and got so many compliments on it! This one is similar.

  We played some soccer on the beach with my parents which was fun! And by "we" I mean my husband, mom and dad played. I'm really not good with the soccer ball ;)

 swim suit top / swim suit bottom

At night we headed out to The Beach House restaurant and boy did we get a beautiful view! It's definitely one of the more expensive places to eat, but the view makes it well worth it! I wore one of the dresses I rented and received a bunch of compliments.

 dress (rent) dress (buy) / shoes (really comfy!)

View from dinner...told you it was worth it :)

The next day we headed to see Waimea Canyon. This is like the Grand Canyon of Hawaii and it is truly breathtaking! It was sunny at the base and at the Canyon lookout view, but when we got up to the top to see the whole view of the cliffs and ocean, it was socked in with fog :( We were so sad, but that's just how it is sometimes! My parents showed us pictures of previous times when they've come and see the whole view, so I'll include one of their pictures below so you know what I'm talking about.

If you're planning a trip, you will start at the base of the mountains and wind up through the canyon. The whole drive is about 45 minutes and it's not too windy (take it from someone who is very sensitive to windy roads!) About 20 minutes into the drive you get to this lookout:

Then you can continue up the hill for two more lookouts. Both were covered in fog, but this is the last lookout below with these cool rock / ground formations. Hawaii dirt is red, which I always think is pretty cool.

At the first look out some locals were selling snacks and fruit. We grabbed some and it was delicious!! Almost all of it was homemade. Yum!

Restaurants: Bar at the Sheraton and Marriott hotels on the beach, Tortilla Republic, Dolphin, Porky food truck (ate this after hiking the canyon), The Beach House.
Shopping: Kukui'ula Village Shopping Center
Adventures: Waimea Canyon, Shipwreck Beach Hike, Skyline Eco-Adventures (ziplining)

I'll share part two of the trip recap next week! If you have any questions about Kauai, just let me know and I'll answer them in another post!


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Lake House Design Client Reveal

If you've been keeping up with my lake house design client, then you might be excited to see the whole house done today! We got it photographed a few weeks ago so I'm thrilled to finally show it off. My client is actually the builder of the home, which was so fun to work together on. I feel like I learned so much about new construction homes through the process, too! It was also fun to be stretched outside of my norm, in that this client is a single male and typically I work with couples or families and usually meet mostly with the wife. I just love how the lakehouse turned out and was thankful that my client trusted me with a few things he wouldn't have normally chosen! I love when clients go out of their comfort zone a little and trust me like that! This house is narrow and deep with the back of it facing the beautiful lake. It has 3 bedrooms on the upper level and one on the basement level, along with an office, but we just photographed the kitchen, dining, great room and master bedroom and bath.
Here's the kitchen and through the little walkway is a small entryway with built-ins. I'm so happy we went with white cabinets and a darker gray backsplash in this cool handmade tile. The quartz is a gray / cream blend and it's really beautiful in person. All of these light and medium tones perfectly contrast with the dark floors.

The doors lead to the laundry room and garage and the stairs go down to the basement living room/kitchenette, office and bedroom/bathroom.

I love how these stairs turned out! They're just so cool and contemporary, but without feeling too modern for a lakefront home.

All the door handles and hinges are black satin (matte) so we kept the light fixtures all black as well. Choosing a lighter rug for the dining room was something my client wasn't sure about, but when it arrived, he loved it. My reasoning was to make the darker wood dining table (that he already had) pop off the darker floors and add some texture, as it's a natural fiber rug. You can find the dining rug here. 

This is my favorite space in the house for a number of reasons! The beautiful shiplap ceiling is a favorite feature because it's not overly farmhouse or shabby chic. In fact, it's a simple detail that draws your eye up and adds texture to the taller ceilings in the family room. We continued the shiplap behind the bookshelves to create continuity and I love how this turned out. I'm a sucker for symmetry, so flanking a fireplace with built-ins is always a great idea in my mind!

This rug is another favorite element of the room and again, I'm so happy my client trusted me with the pattern! With everything pretty simple and solid, the floor is a great place to bring in some needed pattern!

You can find some of the items on the bookshelves below:

In the master bedroom, you might remember we did a simple yet impactful board and batten treatment on the focus wall. His existing furniture looked great in here popping off teh white wall (we painting the wall the same color as the molding), and we had custom drapes made from Martha & Ash for this massive window!

The shower is another favorite design element. Look at that floor and accent stripe of hexagon by the showerhead! I love that it's the same tile style, just a different shape.

Thanks for following along with this project! 
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