Friday, February 27, 2015

Nook Inspiration

When we first started looking for a new home, there were two major items on my wish list. The home had to have a nook area in the kitchen & a separate dining room. So many of the models these days have done away with dining rooms, which I think is completely absurd. When we finally found our house with both, I was thrilled! My husband and I are definitely not ones to have a super fancy dining area, but I love the idea of having a separate dining space for holidays & get togethers. And I'll be honest, it is just one more room I get to decorate.

I have been on a pinning frenzy lately, trying to find some different inspiration for our kitchen nook. I say nook, but the space is just about the same size as our dining room.  My plan is to really keep the space airy with light colors, since our kitchen is going to have maple cabinets & semi-dark granite. The space has a window on one wall & a sliding glass door on the other, so there will be a lot of natural light coming in. On the blank wall across from the sliding glass door, I am planning to do a mini gallery wall with mismatched frames with a mixture of photos & art. I am obsessed with this piece of art & thinking that it will be my key inspiration for the gallery wall & nook color scheme. 

For furniture, I am swaying towards either a white or light wood table- I have had my eye on these three tables from Ikea. We are going to take a trip to Orlando soon, to check out the quality & actual size of them. They have lots of different chairs that I plan on checking out as well. 
Here are some of my inspirations I found on Pinterest...
I love, love, love the look of chairs with the faux fur draped over it. Mark my word, I will have this in our house. I am not sure what chairs it'll be draped over but it'll look perfect. 
I cannot wait for our house to start building- it all truly feels so surreal still. I have never wanted to unpack & be reunited with all my belongings as bad as I do now. I keep remembering all the wonderful things that we already have. 

Have any of you found any tables and chairs similar to any in my inspiration pictures? If so, let a girl know !! :) 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kitchen Accessories

Now that I know exactly what my kitchen is going to look like, I cannot help but to be super excited!! I can envision cooking scrumptious dinners, serving yummy appetizers from on the bar, and well... just hanging out in there forever

We have all the kitchen necessities (packed to the ceiling in our storage unit), but since we're getting a new kitchen I want some new stuff to go along with it! 
I have always had the biggest obsession with Anthropologie's house & home goods. My ultimate favorite would have to be the latte bowls. They come in lots of different colors (my favorite set is the "blue") & come in a set of six for $30 (awesome price!). 
If there was one thing that we truly need for our new house it would be new flatware & a quality cutting board. For our wedding we got 1 set of flatware & the rest were old ones from my mom. So we most definitely need some & I really like this gold flatware set. I like it because it is different than what you would normally see in stores. It is a little pricey, so I am keeping my eye on it to go on sale. As for a cutting board, I love the look & durability of wood cutting boards. I found this one from West Elm & really cannot wait to check this off my wish list soon. 
For the longest time, I have been looking for a nice cake stand. I've seen them used for actual cake stands, but have also seen them used for drink stands as well which I really like. Most are pretty expensive, but the cost per use seems reasonable enough to purchase one. I found this jade cake stand &  pink milk glass cake stand from Shop Sweet Lulu. I have bought party supplies from them in the past & the quality of their goods are great!

So what are some must haves that you cannot live without in your kitchen?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Upgrade This, Upgrade That

A few weeks ago, we went to our Design Appointment for our new house. Luckily, we had an idea of what we wanted & how much we had to spend because when we wrote up our contract several of the upgrades were already made. 
So when we went to our appointment we knew that we had to stay within our budget... no matter what! We knew that we had to stay away from fancy upgrades & stick to the realistic things we wanted. And I have to say, we did a pretty good job.
The whole point of buying/building a new larger home is so my husband and I can start making babies, so if we upgraded everything that my little heart desired we wouldn't have money for little baby Raulerson's. 

Anyways, on to the upgrades...
As for the colors that are going to be throughout the interior of the house, it is all neutral. We went with tan, ivory and whites throughout the house. The only thing that is not white, which I wanted more than anything, are the kitchen cabinets. I truly never thought that white cabinets would break the bank. So needless to say, our kitchen is a lot different than I imagined it would be but I know it is going to be beautiful with the choices we made. We did quite a few upgrades for the interior- 
We put crown molding & blinds throughout the entire house. Added a bay window in our master bedroom, which was my dream! We also upgraded the level of granite (in the kitchen), cabinets & elevation. We added extra shower heads in our massive shower & upgraded some of the faucets. And we also got my favorite french door with drawers refrigerator. And a few other little things here & there...
Bathroom Cabinets & Countertops || Tile Floor & White Shower Tile
All Interior Color Options 
As for the exterior of our house, my husband chose the colors. Personally, I wanted light grey house color, ivory trim, and black door. He, on the other hand, did not. So he chose dark grey house color, pure white trim, and black door. It, again, is not what I imagined but the more I look at the pictures of the colors, the more I like it. We also added a set of gorgeous carriage lights for the front of the house. Due to the square footage of the house, it came with a covered patio- this saved us thousands of dollars. It was a must have for us & we love it! 
Ignore the yellow & the light grey. We only picked the white trim & the dark grey. 
Overall, we are super happy with the selections that we made; of coarse, if we had a money tree there would have been lots of other things we would have upgraded but this is the real world! And my pinterest dream inspiration pictures are just going to have to wait for my next lifetime about another 15 years to come to life. Ha! 
So now we are just waiting on appraisals & permits. We cannot wait until they break ground & starting building our new home

Friday, February 20, 2015

Bar Cart Fun

Since we're going to have a separate dining room at our new house, which I am beyond thrilled about! I definitely will now have room for the Target bar cart that I have been eyeing for over a year now. 

I truly love the look of the bar cart & the things that I can buy to style it. As for right now, we are keeping all dining furniture that we already have (you can see it here). I am thinking that adding this bar cart would really tie the space together. And there are really some awesome goodies that I found that would go perfect with the gold & natural wood features of the cart. 
Napkins || Wine Glass
Corkscrew || Straws || Drink Dispenser || Coasters
There are so many inspiration pictures of bar carts on Pinterest-- are you surprised?! I came across some really pretty ones that are styled so perfectly. I love the way the carts can be styled differently for the holidays- which is right up my alley.
All Sources
My family likes to drink on special occasions & get togethers; although I, personally, am not a drinker. I can count on one hand how many times I have drank over the last two years. Now, don't get me wrong, there are times that I like to have some drinks & let loose and have a good time. I am more of the fruity type of cocktail kind of girl. On the rare chance that I do drink, I like drinks where I can barely taste the alcohol in there.
Here are some that I wouldn't mind trying out on a special occasion...
All Sources

So do any of you have a bar cart? If so, what are your must have goodies that you keep on it? 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Flowers, Rivers & a Puppy Party

This past weekend, as you know, was Valentine's weekend. So it involved lots of flowers, sweets & just being with the ones I love. I seriously love any holiday that involves getting flowers. They truly are my favorite & I sure did get some beautiful ones. We also snacked our way through the weekend with some yummy chocolate dipped pretzels & sugar cookies (check out this post for more details).
We also went to check out our dirt & ground hasn't been broken yet. I still am a bit in shock that we found exactly what we were looking for & that we're building a brand new house (pinch me!). I seriously get butterflies just thinking about it!! I'll post more soon about our design appointment that we went to a few weeks ago, it was pretty awesome but it kind of makes you wish you had a million bucks. Ha! On our way out there, we took the scenic route & stopped at a place called RiverTown, it truly is so beautiful. 
We also celebrated my fur niece's 2nd birthday (YOTO= you're only two once). We took her to the spa, she got some new toys, cookies & ice cream! I always wonder, if this dog is this spoiled, how spoiled will our children be someday!? 
Thankfully we're 1/2 way  through the week, lets just hope we can all make it through the rest of the work week to the weekend. 
I always say, I work for the weekends... don't we all!?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sweet Treats

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend celebrating Valentine's Day with the ones you love. Our weekend was super nice & I made some sweet treats for my husband. The way to his heart is sweets, so what better then to make some delicious white chocolate dipped pretzels & sugar cookies. He really loved both (& so did I), so I thought I would share the recipes with you. 

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
Things You'll Need:
1 bag of Glutino- Gluten Free Pretzel Chips 
1 bag of Wilton Candy Melts (white/vanilla flavor)
Any kind of Pink Sprinkles

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. 
Melt chocolate (based on instructions on bag)
Dip pretzels quickly in the chocolate & place on baking sheet 
Add sprinkles 
Let sit until chocolate hardens & serve to your loves

Gluten Free/ Dairy Free Sugar Cookies 
Things You'll Need:
2 cups of gluten free flour (preferably a blend with xanthan)
3/4 tsp of Baking Soda
1/4 tsp of Salt 
1/2 cup of Granulated Sugar
4 tbsp of Powdered Sugar 
8 tbsp of Unsalted Butter
1 Large Egg 
1/2 tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract 
4 oz. of sweetened applesauce 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray a little oil on a non-stick cookie sheet- set aside 
Put all dry ingredients in a bowl & mix well after add in egg, vanilla, & applesauce. 
Mix all ingredients with a mixer until all blended & thickened. 
Create little balls out of the dough, place on cookie sheet & flatten out dough. 
Pop in oven for 12 minutes
Let cool for about 15 minutes
Put some pink icing on them & keep for yourself serve to family & friends

My husband definitely loved all the sweets that I made him. The pretzels disappeared very quickly :) And I will be honest with you, I have tried several different recipes out for gluten free cookies & these were the BEST ones that I have ever had! They didn't even taste like they were gluten free. They were very moist and scrumptious! 

You should definitely try these out & let me know what you think !! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Wish List

Happy Friday & Valentine's Eve !! 

Another holiday is on its way, so it only makes sense to make a wishlist of a few little things that I have had my eye on lately. I have been obsessed with sneakers; New Balance has been coming out of with most unique sneaks I have seen in a long time!! I cannot help but want each & every single one. I love these ones from J. Crew- the grey with neons is such a good mix. I wouldn't mind having these or these in my closet either. 
Since it is Valentine's Day (Eve), I thought it would only be appropriate to add this wifey sweatshirt on my wishlist. It looks so comfy & would be great paired up with any of the my favorite New Balances (Hubby- hint hint!!). The weather has been pretty chilly here in Florida lately & I really like cozy sweatshirts for keeping warm while running errands. 

I have also had my eye on this personalized bar necklace for the longest time. If my hubby I got one, I would most likely do my husband & my initials with a heart. The Etsy shop offers a lot of other personalized necklaces, all very inexpensive & in different metal colors. They also have this double charm necklace that I love- if you have kids, it would be perfect with their initials.  

And last but not least on my wishlist, is this super fun glitter Kate Spade cosmetic bag. It is on sale right now for 50% off!! My makeup bag always gets pretty gross & I have been looking for a cute one for a while & saw this. It is a little pricey at the regular price of $98, so I was excited to see it on sale. Now that I am on a tight budget saving for our new house, a good sale always makes me happy!! 

Well I hope you all get everything you little hearts desire for Valentine's Day!! 
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day & a great weekend :) 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine's Day Gifts for Guys

My husband always likes to remind me that Valentine's Day is not just a day for women.. I beg to differ, but I do like to get him a few little goodies to make him feel special. I put together a few things that I thought most guys would like for Valentine's Day (other than some sugar from their lady). 

In my life, I have yet to find a man that doesn't love beer. So when I came across these awesome beer chillers, I knew it would be a perfect gift. What guy wouldn't love watching a long football game with a nice cool, chilled beer. 
Another thing that I have come to realize that most all men love is a good BBQ seasoning/spices & if they're like my husband a gallon of hot sauce (on everything!) with it. I totally can see K with this little hot sauce clipped to his pants (Crazy thing is, he would totally do it!). 
Little puzzles & gadgets always keep most guys attention for a while (they have a child's mindset after all, don't they!?). I found these little mind puzzles & they look so cool & come as a 5 pack! I know someone who would love these !! 
I also came across this driftwood charging station & I secretly want it. It is so awesome & the manly, outdoorsy man would love it! 
And everyone loves a good comfy blanket!This buffalo plaid throw is great & it's a good excuse to cuddle up on these chilly nights :)

What little gifts are you getting your guy for Valentine's Day? Any homemade gifts? 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Heart Shaped Everything

Life has been so busy lately, that I feel like time is flying right by me. Can you believe that it is almost Valentine's Day already? For lots of people, they absolutely hate this holiday with a passion. For me, I actually love it! Sweet treats & hearts galore... it is right up my alley.

Since Valentine's Day is on a Saturday this year, my plan is to make some heart-shaped foods. Some pancakes with bananas & blueberries- don't they look delicious?!
I'll definitely be making some white chocolate dipped pretzels w/ some sprinkles (not heart shaped, but pretty!). And my husband loves them! And if I have enough caffeine, I might make some super cute cookies with smothered in pastel icing.
How cute are these little pizzas!? I just recently found a gluten free pizza dough, so I'll have to try it out with some heart-shaped cookie cutters. And you could also attempt to cut the pepperoni in hearts too- if you have lots of patience :)
I am going to give it my best shot to make some of these... I mean don't foods look so much better when they are in little heart shapes?!

all sources

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Favorites

The weeks have felt so extremely long lately. I always feel like Friday cannot get here soon enough. Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, already... I thought I would share some of my favorites with you. For me, Valentine's Day is always an excuse to where all shades of pink & lots of hearts! I always love a good t-shirt, especially when you add some fun graphics on it. And what better way to dress up a casual tee, then with a festive scarf, fun socks & this awesome Kate Spade watch. 
1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5
I am one of those people that thinks it is appropriate to buy a card for every single event that takes place in someones life. As much as I like a good ole Hallmark card, I have fallen in love with some of the awesome cards on Etsy. They are super unique & funny! I love these two cards, they are perfect for my husband & my relationship (TMI!? Oh well!). 
1 || 2
Well I hope you all have a good weekend! 
Don't forget to pick up all your favorite Valentine's Day goodies this weekend because heart-day will be here before we know it :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Life Lately

As most of you know, my husband & I have been searching for a place to call home. With the ups & downs of finding a new neighborhood, with lots available for building & in our price range.. I am super excited to say that we found our future home
A few weeks ago, we decided to drive around one last time & if we didn't see anything we were going to wait a few months & try again. Well, I am definitely glad that we went!! We found a great neighborhood, a ton of available lots, & with our favorite builder! The model that we chose had everything that we were looking for & to top if off we get to build it from the dirt up. 

There were several lots to choose from, some backed to the pond & some backed to the woods. We picked a lot that backs up to the woods; which I personally love. I will miss our dreamy views of the sunsets over the pond (from our townhome), but I know I will enjoy the privacy. 
It is going to be a long, stressful, exciting five to seven month journey- with lots of strict budgeting & saving, mounds of paperwork, & being able to see our future home come about from just a little pile of dirt. I am saying lots of extra prayers that everything works out & goes as smooth as it can be. 

I am super excited for our future. This new home truly is going to mark such a wonderful chapter of our lives! I have so many visions dancing through my head: unloading the mounds of boxes that are currently in our storage unit; spending cozy nights sitting out on our covered patio; having get togethers with family (with extra seating at the bar, nook & dining room- eek!); and my most favorite is creating & raising a family in our new home. 

We have come such a long way throughout the years & buying/building this home makes me so proud. I have never loved a pile of dirt more than I do right now.