Friday, January 6, 2017

2016 RECAP - 2017 PROJECTIONS

Happy New Year!  I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season and your 2017 is off to a good start:).  We spent the majority of the break traveling back and forth from our house, parents houses, lake house, and we also got to stop in Big Cedar and hit up Silver Dollar City;).  It was surprisingly a super fun few weeks, and I can't believe how much I actually enjoyed living out of a suitcase.  Except for a few days, we were all together, and while I was obviously slightly homesick at times, I surprised myself with being okay from home that long.  It was good and I know the kids enjoyed it as well.

With that being said - I am excited about this coming year and hopeful it is going to be just as great as 2016;).

I thought it would be fun to start the year off with a recap of the projects we completed during 2016.

BACK ROOM -



This project was one of the most impacting ones we had this year - other than of course the bathroom.  But this one was huge people!  We basically live in this back room year round.  It had carpeting which was gross from everyone walking in and out of the back door that is located back here, and also had this old non functioning stove back there that was sitting on this fake brick facade that was an ER trip just waiting to happen.  We tore out the carpet, removed the stove, painted the brick and surrounding walls, and installed hardwoods to match the rest of our house.  The window treatments in here were purchased by myself on probably our third day living in this house, because I could no longer function with those long skinny blind things on a pull cord, and this was a quick fix from Lowe's.  I would love to change these out for something lighter and maybe add in some curtains, but for now spending money on something that is already done just isn't in the budget...  however, this room is so much better now!

LIVING ROOM UPDATE -



This was a small project where I wanted to give the front living room a quick update.  We painted the walls, fireplace, bought a new rug and coffee table - as well as switched out the chairs.  I bet most of you will think from this bottom picture that I really didn't improve this space and it looks kind of cold how it is...lol, and it really does from this photo.  When you are physically standing in the space, it actually feels cozy, clean, de-cluttered and simple. This room continues to sort of stump me as I seem to constantly lack the vision for perfecting this space.  lol...you know I will keep trying though;) lol.

UPSTAIRS BATHROOM -

This was the biggest and most expensive project we did this year.  I have done multiple posts on this space and my final thoughts on it are here.  It was extremely intrusive to our daily living, and taught me how to get creative in making my hair look not greasy after not washing it... ;).



To be honest, having the back room cleaned up (carpet and stove out, and replaced with hardwoods) would have been an awesome project to have done this past year.  But, the fact that we tackled the bathroom too - is pretty cool.  These were two of the last spaces we hadn't touched since moving in.   Now that these two (much used) spaces are complete - we are pretty much done with this house....it's time to move! lol.  No but seriously, I need to move because I keep wanting to mess with stuff that I have already completed.  I need to be helping some of you - to keep me from messing with my own spaces! LOL  please give me something to design! jk;)

Happy New Year - cheers to 2017:).

xx



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

PARTY CAKES ON THE REGULAR

photo via Brown Eyed Baker
Hi guys - I am keeping this post short and sweet...heavy on the sweet;).  But I have really been wanting to share this yummy recipe!  Our oldest constantly asks me to buy Party Cakes from the store.  For those that do not know about Party Cakes - they are a Hostess (I think??) packaged, processed out the wazoo mini cupcakes that come 4 in a package.  I mean they are so good, and obviously Michael loves them.  But - I am a big advocate of not eating processed, packaged food whenever we can avoid it.  It's so frustrating to me when I am grocery shopping to read the labels on items and see all the crap that is in there - I don't understand how people can feel good about making some of these products that mostly aren't even real food - it's just a bunch of chemicals wrapped up in some pretty packages with a ton of sugar mixed in to make it taste good.  Do you guys read labels when grocery shopping?  Here is my PSA for the year:  if you don't - you should start.  It is eye opening.


So Michael and I have been on the hunt to make our own party cakes.  We have made a few versions, but this one has been our favorite so far.  I grabbed a mini cupcake pan from Target that makes 24 mini cakes at once.  I made this entire recipe and it made A LOT of mini cupcakes;) lol.  I think we made three pans of the 24 (I also squeezed in a few normal sized ones in the hopes of speeding up the process a bit....so much batter!).... I have a ton of party cakes sitting on my counter right now.


Ours didn't turn out as pretty looking as hoped, but man were they delicious!  We did not put any icing on these - in an effort to keep them as similar to the Party Cakes as possible.  I bagged these up after they cooled off, and are great after school snacks, or desserts for school lunches during the week.


After making these a few times, my next goal is to try and make our own sprinkles.  While I know these still have a bunch of sugar and butter in them - I at least feel better knowing EXACTLY what is going into these....and I also like using organic flour and sugar versions.  I also like to sometimes use almond milk versus the whole milk this recipe calls for (I never have whole milk around the house - so I will use whatever milk I have in the fridge).  I am also going to work on reducing the sugar amount I put into the batter and see how they turn out.

Here is the link to the recipe - enjoy!

What do your kids ask for from the grocery that you always feel guilty about buying?!  What do you do when they constantly ask you for it...??!!  Please share!

xx
Shelby

Monday, December 5, 2016

CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS


Do you all have annual Christmas traditions you do every year with your families?  We obviously had some when we were younger, but I wouldn't say we have too many right now...probably want to get some started here...lol.  We have tried making gingerbread houses with Michael before, Gwen was too young when we had done it in the past.  However, I would love for one of our traditions each year to be to have each of the kids make their own house, listen to Christmas music, and just hang at our house for the evening with each other.  I think it would be fun to remember back each year how our houses got better and better as we learned the best ways to do them...and different candies to use, etc. Plus - any excuse for us adults to sit at home for a night in and drink wine is a win-win at this household.

This weekend Mike was out of town - and we were looking for something to do Saturday night, so the kids and I stopped by Target and grabbed some gingerbread house kits to work on.  When we got there - I noticed they were on sale for $9 and using the Cartwheel app - I was able to get them an extra $1 off;) - it's the little things, right?

Who knew these things were so dang difficult to put together?!  I mean seriously - wtf?!  The kids didn't mind too much, and they still got in to the decorating, but sheesh... I could not for the life of me get those walls to stay together.  I'm pretty sure Gwen ate about 45 pieces of candy and put about 5 pieces on her house.




The sugar high started to get to her after like piece #30....;).


It was still fun and definitely got me in the music spirit (we even had the Christmas play list going in the back ground;)).  However - next  year I am busting out my hot glue gun!  

Please tell me someone has tips on how to successfully put together one of these?!




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

CHRISTMAS DECOR MUST HAVES


What items are on your all's list for Christmas decor purchases?  If you are a consistent reader, you will know that I don't tend to spend too much on seasonal decor.  I just can't get myself to get too in to it - because by the time I do, it is time to take it all down.  Because all of our decor crates are stored in our attic; which is a place I DO NOT like going too...I use it as somewhat of an excuse....lol - so I don't have to put it away and or get it out of that creepy, dark place.  

But that doesn't mean I don't have a few items on my wish lists!  I walked into Pottery Barn Kids a few weeks ago and they had their kids Christmas bedding out and I fell in love.  This bedding quickly became on my short list of items to purchase this winter...but, then I just fell back into the, "I'd rather purchase stuff I can keep out all year long - and use all year long".

Chamois sheet set 

Duvet
Also on my list this year is lighted garland to hang around my front door - on the exterior. 

via // Lighted Garland

 A front door wreath is a must as well!  Here are some of my favorites!

via
LOVE this one from Etsy -

via
Another awesome one from Etsy -

via
Target has the cutest holiday collections right now as well...I want to go there, but am slightly afraid of being sucked into all of the cutest I will find, lol and have to have;)

via
via
How awesome is this floral wallpaper?!

via

I hope this offers you just a little bit of holiday inspiration!!
xx

Shelby

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A NIGHT IN


*A Night In is sponsored by Anolon.

I know we all looove looking at the bright white, well lit spaces on social media and blogs around town...but, do you ever feel like you are ready for something a little different?  Friends - I have you covered because for today's post I have been invited to participate in a series where us bloggers are sharing photos of our home at night - with the lights down - and the sun down - and the moon out....lol, you get the point;).

buffalo check blanket // popcorn bowls


One of our families favorite night-time rituals is being together and watching a movie.  Even if it means watching Inside Out, Frozen or Jurassic World for the 100th time - there is nothing better than snuggling up on the couch with your babes and being lazy for the evening.  For us, watching a movie means popcorn.  You have to have the popcorn.  

Measuring Cups

Due to obvious reasons, I am very against microwave popcorn.  So for the past few years, I have always made our popcorn on the stove in my spaghetti pot.  Yummm....

This has worked great, however, recently I have been cooking with my cast iron skillet more and more and came across a few food bloggers mentioning that the best stove made popcorn they ever had was when cooked with a cast iron.  I honestly had never put two and two together that you could even do this.  Because I love cooking with our cast iron - I had to try using it for the popcorn.  


I knew I would need a 'deep dish' cast iron, and one with a lid.  In comes Anolon and their 5 quart round casserole cast iron.  It was exactly what I was looking for to make copious amounts of salty popcorn for our movie snuggle nights.  It even came in a really pretty navy blue color that just happens to be my 'color' throughout my home.  I love to leave this dish sitting out on my stove.  It just looks pretty.



Because I thought you all might be curious - here is the Reed Family Cast Iron Homemade Popcorn recipe -

         - Pour enough oil down in your pan to cover the base (be sure to use an oil with a high smoke      point, like avocado or peanut oil).
         - Heat your cast iron on medium high heat (b/c it's cast iron - it will take about 5/6 minutes to fully heat up).
         - Drop 3 - 5 kernels into your pan and wait for them to pop - once they pop you know the pan is hot enough.
         - Depending on how much popcorn you want to make (I typically make 1/3 cup if it's the kids and I, a little more if Mike is included;)) - dump your kernels into the pot and put the lid on (extremely important if you want to limit the random kernels popping all over the place).
         - This next step is something I like to do, but not crucial - when you drop in your kernels, also drop in a teaspoon or two of butter.  This way when the popcorn pops it will be tossed around with the butter in the hot pan.
         - Use some warming pads to shake the pot around to get the kernels moving a little quicker, if needed.
         - Once the kernels have slowed down - turn the heat off and take the pot off the burner.  I always err on the early side, because I am not typically a fan of those burnt pieces.
         - Pour on the salt, and if I'm by myself, I like to sprinkle parmesan cheese (shake cheese as my Mom used to always call it) after it has cooled down, along with some pepper.

ENJOY:)xx







Now for the really awesome part!  Would you like to see some of my favorite, uber-talented bloggers sharing some of their homes in the dark??  These ladies author blogs that I have followed since before I started GLG.  I am so honored and grateful for my name to be in this group!  Be sure to check out these inspirational ladies A Night In spaces below...


Julia & Chris Marcum, Chris Loves Julia

Kim & Scott Vargo, Yellow Brick Home

Kristin Jackson, Hunted Interior

Alison Alien, Deuce Cities Henhouse

Gwen Hefner, The Makerista

Anna Smith, Annabode + Co.

Brit Pierce, House Updated

Joni Lay, Lay Baby Lay



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Monday, November 14, 2016

OUR BATHROOM: GOOD, BAD, AND THE EXPENSIVE


I have never done a final 'reveal'  post of our bathroom renovation.  And I honestly don't think I will - for a handful of reasons, but mostly because I think it is still evolving slightly.  While most people will say the bathroom is done, and while it is done, there is just something that is missing in there for me...I don't know if it's just that I have been thinking and staring at it, and contemplating every single inch of that space for too long??  But, it just feels like it is missing something.  So - I am on a hard core mission to figure that out - lol - and one day I will, and then I will do a 'reveal' post! ;).

In the mean time - I thought it would be fun to share some pics and stories of how we are using it currently.


We love the deep soaker tub!  It is a little hard for the kids to get in and out of - but they love being able to fill it up deeper for their toys to swim around in;).


Love getting shots like this and then wondering what are those floaters doing in there?!!  Gwen is working potty training right now...:(.  Evacuation time...lol


Having countertop space is a dream!  Especially when I can use it to set pretty drinks like this one while the kids are swimming around.


I am so glad we added in the handheld.  I use it to help clean out the tub and walls after I spray them down with a cleaner.  But it's also nice just turning it on in addition to the shower head.  Another good decision was to add in the can light above the tub.  We also put it on a dimmer, which is a must for those early morning showers when you don't want all that light coming in.


It would have been super helpful if this mirror would have been turned horizontal versus in a vertical position.  Because this space is on the smaller end, a lot of times Mike and I and possibly one or both kids are in here at the same time fighting for that mirror space.  But, when I was working through the design in here, I thought about that and wanted to place the mirror in the vertical position thinking it would make the bathroom appear larger, with some of that added mirror going up to the ceiling (which it does work perfect for that illusion).  So - while this is something I still have issues with, I don't think I would have done anything differently here.

Another comment is the hardware...I wanted the Kohler Purist line - obviously classic, can't go wrong.  However, because we ended up spending so much additional labor time on contract hours due to unforeseen issues to the max... money had to be cut, which resulted in less expensive hardware.  I wasn't too upset about this in some areas, however, you can really notice it with this towel bar.  It doesn't move - the handle part stays stationary - which is kind of weird when you are putting a towel on there?  Almost feels like you are going to snap it in half every time you try and squeeze a towel back behind there, lol.


Here is a good before and after for you -


After -



I love having the open shelves.  The wood brings in a bit of a natural element to the space. We knew the shelves had to be deep given the dimensions, so it can bit a bit of an issue on the upper shelves.  But I think they are perfect for putting those items you don't use on a daily basis.  My only other comment on the shelves is I wish we would have had them installed while working on the drywall, so that they would have been more 'built in'.  We ended up using these small L brackets to hold them in, which still looks good - but again, it's the details that get me.


We all love having the shelf at the end of the tub - which holds our bath toys, shampoo, face wash, soap, etc.  And obviously my favorite part of this project is the floor!!!


I know this isn't a comprehensive post on the bathroom.  But, I still thought it would be fun to share some of our end pics of the space - and hopefully I will be able to do a more detailed one in the near future.

Happy Monday friends:).

xx
Shelby


 

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