26 March 2014

In my opinion

Birthday's can be kind of difficult as an adult. I fully blame the fact that I have too high of birthday expectations on my Mom because she made a big production of birthday's growing up and as it turns out, birthdays are any other day when you're an adult.

I also happened to marry a guy whose family does not approach birthdays with the same enthusiasm as my Mom, thus- he just doesn't get it. "But my birthday is in 3 days! Why aren't special things happening to me?! Why are you talking about anything besides my impending day of birth?! There are zero balloons and banners in the house- Did we get robbed?!" etc. Poor guy.

I remember 25 being a hard birthday - not because I felt old but because I was no where near where I wanted to be in life by 25. I definitely felt some sort of a quarter life crisis.  If you had asked me at 15 where I saw myself at 25 - yeah, it wouldn't have been renting a dingy 1 bedroom basement apartment (it literally had slugs in the bathroom when it rained), nannying full time while I fiddled around with the idea of going back to school because I still had no idea of what I was going to do with my life.

And I guess thats partly why I find birthdays hard as an adult - life crowds in and it forces me to reflect on where I am in life- and I don't know about you, but my 20's haven't been smooth sailing. There have been ups and downs, and more ups and more downs, and I haven't quite figured out cruise control yet because my life still goes up and down, the good happens and the bad happens (really with no warning either way), and my life moves forward really fast and then slams on the breaks. I just feel like my life would have looked and felt different by 28, that's all.

But all that said, I can't say that I am not having fun. A lot of really great things happened this last year. As a 27 year old, I started working as a birth doula for the first time and fell madly, head over heels in love with the birth profession and wondered why it had taken me so long to start. I have found where I need to be - I don't know all the details yet, but I know I am headed in the right direction. A review from one of my favorite clients who said at the end "I would recommend her to any woman who wants a steadfast friend for the incredible journey into motherhood." put tears in my eyes and reaffirmed that my hearts desire for this profession was being felt by my clients. I left my nanny job of 5 years which was the most bittersweet, tragically sad yet freeing choice I made all year. I love those two kids so very much and miss sharing in their daily life, watching them grow up day by day, and playing a big part in that. But leaving that job in order to make being a doula a priority was such a smart decision. Nate and I traveled a bit and set up two homes together. My 27th year of life was us working on our second year of marriage- and its still a lot of work but a lot of fun. We went to some funerals together and more weddings together, we celebrated accomplishments (ours and others), and we sat with his mom in the waiting room during his dads 8 hour surgery. The month of August changed my life- Wesleigh Catherine being born was hands down, the very best part of being 27.

I know I have a lot to look forward to as a 28 year old. There are weddings on the horizon that I am thrilled about (siblings, family, and friends). We have good friends whom we love dearly. I miss my family every day, but am lucky that the 2.5 hours separating us, is an easy one. I am looking forward to where this year takes Nate and I (he will turn 30 this year, which I have been looking forward to since he turned 26. And hopefully this is the year he finally buys me a puppy) and I am looking forward to where life takes my sisters.

28 will be great, I'm sure. Not all of it- but hopefully most of it. And I may not be where 18 year old me thought I'd be 10 years later- but hey, I have a lot to be thankful for. A lot in my life has gone really, really well.

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24 March 2014

New Pillow Covers

Once I figured out just how simple it is to make new pillow covers for our living room couch pillows, I was hooked. I can only use my sewing machine on a very basic level - ie: straight lines - so this project is perfect for me. I love being able to recover our couch pillows in under an hour - and it can make a big difference!

And because its such a fast and cheap project, I don't mind being a little more trendy with the fabrics I use. Gold polka dots are my obsession right now - I bought roughly 3 yards of white fabric with gold dots to use as a backing for a quilt I am working on. I had some left overs and  figured they would make really cute pillow covers - plus I found this $36 pillow cover that I loved - and so I felt even better about being able to make my own instead of paying $72. (I bought Kaufman Spot On Metallic Dot Blanc fabric)

Since the pillowcases need to be simple so that they are easy to remove, I found instructions for an envelope style- which means that there is a flap in the back that you can slide the pillow in and out of.

What You'll Need:
Fabric - depends on how big your pillows are and how many you want to re-cover. 
Scissors
Measuring tape
An iron 
Sewing machine 
A pillow to recover, obviously! JoAnn Fabrics sells pillow forms too, if you're looking for a new one.

Instructions: 

1. Cutting your fabric: For the width, add 1” to the width of your pillow, and for the length, multiply the length of your pillow by 2 and then add another 10” (because this is the part that will overlap). My couch pillows are 18” x 18”, so I cut a piece of fabric to be 19” wide  and 46” long ([18 x 2] + 10 = 46).

2. Ironing & Sewing the short sides: On the short sides of the fabric, turn your edge over .5” and iron. Then, turn it over another .5” and iron. Then, sew the seam along the edge. Do the same thing to the other short side.

3. Pinning - Once your short sides are hemmed, lay your fabric down right side up. Take your pillow that you want to re-cover, place it in the middle of your fabric, and fold your fabric over your pillow. Make sure the fabric is lined up on either side and fits snug around the pillow. Then, pin the two flaps of fabric together on either side.

4. More sewing- Now slide the pillow out of the fabric. Once your pillow is removed, pin both sides of the fabric together along the sides. Once your sides are pinned, its time to sew some more! Just sew in a straight line along the edges you have pinned (I gave myself a .5” seam allowance). After you've sewn both sides, turn your pillowcase right side out through the open flap you have in the middle (you may need to use a pencil to poke out the corners).


And that’s it! All that’s left to do is to insert the pillow into the case through the open flap.




I told you it was really easy!


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23 March 2014

Style(ish)

If you know me in real life you know that I hardly ever get dressed. Meaning, I am in yoga/gym related outfits 75% of the time, regardless of if I actually attended a yoga class (did I just roll out of bed or leave the gym? You'll never know!).

So here is what I am thinking- if I add a style part to this blog 1. I'll have to ask my sisters to write guest posts for me because they both are more stylish than I am but 2. Adding fashion posts here might be motivation to actually get dressed and look nice once in awhile. Plus it adds a personal touch to the blog if I am posting pictures of myself, right? Don't get confused, I do not consider myself to be quite the fashionable lady, but isn't that more relate-able? Actual fashion blogs can be so unrealistic/unattainable.

Hey, its a new blog and I am game to try new things.

This past weekend we zipped off for a night away to celebrate our friend Jon's 30th birthday - it was a great excuse for me to, you know, not have a ponytail and to wear a necklace.

Deets
Forever 21 faux leather jacket, 
Express sweater, 
Forever 21 grey booties, 
necklace from JCrew 
Michael Kors Hamilton bag

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22 March 2014

Golden Birthday

I am celebrating my golden birthday later this month and will be away on a ski vacation in Canada but Nate managed to surprise me a week early with this stunning bag - welcome to my life Michael Kors! 


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21 March 2014

Jackie's Enchiladas

I can't take any credit for this recipe, as I totally stole it from my sister Jackie. That said, I have tweeked it a bit and really, its a staple in my weekly dinner recipes so you need to make it too.

These enchiladas are my favorite for a couple reasons. 1. they are super fast 2.  they are super cheap (not very many ingredients) 3. they are super easy to make and 4. they are super yum (especially cold. I can't be the only one who loves cold enchiladas?!).

Ready?

Well wait, okay so originally the recipe Jackie gave me was for vegetarian enchiladas which I love- buuuttt my husband really doesn't enjoy dinners that don't involve some sort of meat, so I have been putting chicken in them.  I told you I tweeked the original recipe!

Ingredients:

10 corn or flour tortillas (I prefer the flour but you could use whatever you like)
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained.
1 Tablespoon chopped chipotle pepper (in adobo sauce, that one). *The 1tbsp is also sort of personal preference, you can always add more or less depending on how spicy you like your dinner.
2 cups shredded cheese (8oz) - I get the Mexican style 4 cheese blend.
2 (10oz) cans enchilada sauce (Jackie makes her own, I do not)

And that's it! But here is where you can get a little creative with the ingredients depending on what you have in the house. I have been known to add a can of corn or sliced olives to my enchiladas. Nate prefers I add rice and shredded chicken, so I typically do that too. Its whateverrrrrr sounds good to you! For those of you who need exact numbers, I'd estimate that I added 1 cup of cooked rice and 1 chicken breast (shredded) to my last pan of enchiladas.

Directions:

1. Stack tortillas in foil really tightly and bake in a 350 oven while you prepare the filling.
2. For the filling, combine beans, chipotle, 1 cup of the cheese, 1/2 cup of the sauce, and whatever other ingredients you are adding (chicken, rice, corn, olives, etc).
3. Take a 9x13 pan and pour enough sauce in the pan just to coat the bottom. Spoon a heaping 1/4 cup of the filling into one edge of a warm tortilla, then roll it up really tight. Then arrange tortillas seam side down in the pan.
4. Bake covered, in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until heated through.
5. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.

As for toppings, I usually just do guacamole/salsa/sour cream. You know the drill.

Also, this easily makes dinner for Nate and I plus lunch leftovers. If you were feeding 4, you'd still have
enough.

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ps- I annoyingly made enchiladas last night and forgot to take pictures of the process. Grrrr. And as much as I love them, I don't want to make them again tomorrow just so that I can take pictures for this post. So I'll update this with pictures the next time I make these for dinner. Promise!

20 March 2014

You're like, a really good husband

Text from Nate: "What do you want for dinner? I'll pick something up on my way home"
Me: "Margaritas."

30 minutes later....

You know you're not feeling your Christmas best when you tear up because your husband actually brought tequila and limes home. I love him. 

And margaritas. 

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19 March 2014

Top 5 (current) Favorite Things

This would be so much more exciting if, like Oprah, I could give all these things to my friends.

In the food department: Outshine real fruit Coconut Popsicle
I freaking love these coconut popsicles and I plan on eating them all day every day this summer. 
Not kidding. 

As far a drinks go: Seattle Cider Co. Semi Sweet hard cider
I love hard cider, but I hate how much sugar is in most of them. This semi sweet cider is perfection!
 Its almost like a white wine (and doesn't have the same sugar content of a pan of brownies). 

Projects I'm digging: Gold Leaf Tumblers
I'm obsessed with gold accents! This would be incredible for a Thanksgiving table. 


Clothing: My go-to pair of jeans right now is the Gap "Real Straight"
I have these jeans in two washes because I love the fit so much. Its perfect with flats or cuffed with converse.
They're not as form fitting as my Gap "Always Skinny" (which I also love!) but not as loose as like a boyfriend  fit pair of jeans. 

Totally Random: Honest Company Vitamins
I have taken Prenatal vitamins as my daily multivitamin ever since high school - I tend to be slightly anemic so the iron is great, plus the biotin is great for longer, healthier hair and nails. Unfortunately, I've never found a brand that I love. Usually I discover that I am not absorbing all the nutrients and am really insistent that the vitamin is made from real foods, not in a lab. Anyways, I just found out the Honest Company makes vitamins so I ordered a prenatal and an omega-3... I'm totally hooked. I love them! My body seems to absorb them really well, they don't give me an upset stomach, and they are made from real foods. 
So if you're in search of a good vitamin ladies, definitely try the Honest Company. 


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18 March 2014

The Moores Pop Up

Ever since I was little, my Dad has sent me flowers on Valentines Day (yes, he even sent me flowers when I lived in Europe) and so I've always looked forward to the holiday. Really, who doesn't love getting flowers?

This year I got to do something super fun and new. I follow Sinclair and Moore (Steve and Jamie) on instagram so I knew they were having a pop up flower shop at Hot Cakes in Ballard. Obvi, I had to go. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint! The bouquets were stunning. I got to surprise my friend Sara with a gorgeous bouquet that I could have never found had there not been a pop up shop. We both agreed that if we get married again (to the same people...) we are asking Steve to make our wedding bouquets. They're insanely beautiful.

Anyways, here's the link to their blog with all the gorgeous pictures they had taken and I'll post the couple I took. I really hope they do another pop up shop next year, it could easily become a Valentines Day tradition.




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17 March 2014

Cork Wreath

I used tons of saved up wine corks as decorations on the bar at our wedding. I had asked friends and family to save their wine corks for me for a few months leading up to the wedding and by the time the big day rolled around, I had a couple large ziplock bags full. Awesome!

Fast forward almost two years and here I am, still storing two bags of wine corks, with no real idea of how to use them in our house.

Enter: Karissa of View of the Needle. Kari is a good friend of ours who went to law school with Nate. She is so very crafty and creative, quite the modern day Martha (if Martha Stewart was also an attorney). Anyways, she hosted a Friendsgiving at her house this past November and low and behold, I spot this incredible (and huge) wine cork wreath/mirror as decoration in her dining room. Of course, she made it herself. (See below image)



The only obvious thing to do was totally copy her project and make one for our house! She was nice enough to send me some written instructions (mind you, she made this project up - I told you, she's very creative) and some how-to pictures. I bought the supplies from Jo-Ann's that day and got to work!

What you'll need:
  1.  A straw wreath (you choose the size). Like I mentioned, I got mine from Jo-Ann fabrics and used a 50% coupon. Kari's is much bigger than mine, I think I got the 12" wreath.
  2. Toothpicks - I bought two cheap boxes from the grocery store. 
  3. A small screwdriver that can poke a hole in the corks (like an eyeglass screwdriver - really small- the width of a toothpick is what you're aiming for)
  4. Wine corks. A lot of them. (not the synthetic ones, though)
How To:
  1. Take a cork, poke a hole with the screwdriver in one end going about halfway into the cork. 
  2. Insert a toothpick into the hole, the toothpick should be half in the cork, half sticking out
  3. Stick the toothpicked end of the cork into the straw wreath. 
  4. Repeat. (x 500) 


My finished cork wreath is still awaiting the perfect spot in our house - so stay tuned for how cute it looks on our wall somewhere! I'll definitely take and post some pictures once it's hung.

Thanks again Karissa!


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16 March 2014

Sangria

I love to have friends over for dinner. I get to plan a fun meal, wear an apron, and sing along to Gene Kelly on pandora while I put everything together. A couple months ago I hosted a fun "house happy hour" and had a few girlfriends over at 4pm on a Friday to have some drinks and apps. It was the tail end of summer and I had a bunch of peaches that I had canned so I decided to whip up a double batch of Sangria! This delicious peach sangria calls for fresh peach slices, fresh raspberries, and peach nectar for its fantastic flavor. Be sure to use rosé wine, not a white. It was definitely a hit, looked gorgeous in the pitcher, and was so easy to make. This is definitely a drink recipe I will make again!


Ingredients

1 (750-milliliter) bottle rosé wine
3/4 cup vodka (I used Wild Roots raspberry vodka - which I highly recommend)
1/2 cup peach nectar
6 tablespoons thawed frozen lemonade concentrate
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pound ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (I used my own canned peaches)
1 (6-oz.) package fresh raspberries (1 cup frozen raspberries may be submitted)
2 cups club soda, chilled

Preparation

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a pitcher; stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peaches and raspberries. Cover and chill 8 hours.
2. Stir in chilled club soda just before serving.


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15 March 2014

Playing with my new lens

For Christmas my in-laws surprised me with the camera lens I was pining after - the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II - so I've had a ton of fun playing around with it. Currently my favorite thing to photograph with this lens is my good friend Sara's baby Judah - he is the most photogenic baby in the history of time, I'm pretty sure, and the lens makes me feel like a real pro.

I'm pretty jazzed because I signed up for a 3 month photography class starting next month, I am really looking forward to figuring out how to really use my camera and watching my pictures get better and better.

Anyways, here are a couple of pictures I took playing with my new lens. I love love love the focus and how the images are turning out.










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14 March 2014

I've got to start somewhere!

I'm going to (aka: finally ready to) start blogging again! Pretend you don't know that I wrote it on my 2013 year intentions to start blogging again...and didn't get around to it. Whoops. Better late than never? 2014 is definitely my year.

I hear you wondering if this is going to be another wedding blog (remember my original wedding blog?!). What am I going to write about? Well, yes, there will be tidbits about weddings (they're beautiful, how could I not?). I want to write about clothes and babies and fun stuff I do and about puppies and literally whatever I think of. I want to post nice pictures I take as I learn how to use my camera and maybe even do an occasional DIY project, post some recipes we love, etc. How does all that sound?

I'm pretty jazzed about writing again- stick with me kids, this will be fun!



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