Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Living room and fireplace makeover-DIY BUILTINS

Once upon a time we lived in a beautiful custom home on the outskirts of Orlando, Florida. That home had stone covering the front of the house that was so beautiful you would spend hours outside petting it. That same stone lined our floor to ceiling fireplace. It was a dream come true. The only thing missing were builtins. But I would never ever get those builtins because that fireplace was strategically placed in the very corner of the room. And that's where this fairy tale goes to die. In the corner of that same living room.

Sorry you guys. I'm all about the drama lately. Anyway, dream shattered, I moved on, blah blah blah. Aren't fairy tales all pretty much the same anyway? But I didn't get my happy builtin ending? What's up with that?

Well I'm here to tell you, that they all lived happily ever after- after all. :p

Fast forward six years to the second we walked into our prospective MA home's open house. I saw the fireplace and practically shouted, BUILTINS! BUILTINS! Justin dragged me away and apologized to everyone who watched my episode. We bought that house and I finally got the thing I've been dreaming about for years.

But before I show you, let's take a look at the before photos, shall we?

We were so excited about closing on our house we camped out on this very air mattress and ate junk food and dreamt about all the things we would do to make this place home. Ahh now I'm getting all misty over here. 

 Are you ready to see our living room now?!? Of course you are!

I mean, can you believe it? Ahhh I love it so much! Right in time for the holidays. I cannot wait to snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie while the fire is crackling. I really didn't see this room coming together, but here it is. All dressed up for Christmas and I couldn't be more in love. I also can't say enough great things about Justin. I mean he built me BUILTINS. Also, did you notice the herringbone marble we snuck in? I love it so much. My favorite part is the shiplap. We chose the wide planks and I'm so glad we did. I think it adds a lot more interest to the wall than if we would have left everything flat. You know? I think JoJo would approve. :p

Justin really did most of the work, although I did do the grunt work. (Caulking, sanding, grouting, etc) I was happy to do it because look what I was getting in return! The most stressful part was styling the shelves. I just stood in front of these enormous shelves and cried. Ok not really. #moredrama But you know that episode of How I Met Your Mother where Marshall is standing on the ledge of the roof wanting to jump to the neighbors sweet rooftop with the hot tub but he's too scared to? That was me. I was like, ok I'm going to start styling it nnooow! Nope. Ok, riiiggghhttt nooowww! Nope, not then either. Eventually I just went for it and I think it turned out ok.

I also wanted to take out a section to give the biggest thank you ever to my friend Michelle. She is one of my favorite internet friends, we connected the second I stalked her online and sent her an email a few years ago. (insert evil laugh here) Her and her husband took on this task last year and their posts were so helpful to Justin. In fact, every time I have ever shown him any tutorial on the internet, he always ends up doing his own thing because he finds too many things wrong with it in the first place. But Nate and Michelle have got it going on and we have nothing but good things to say about them. She is a new mom and when I would ask her random things like, what kind of hinges did you use? She would go snap a picture and send them to me when I know she's got far better things to be doing. (Like snuggling the cutest baby). So thank you thank you thank you, Nate and Michelle. Xoxo

Should you build your own builtins? No. Kidding. Yes. You should. Because it really is worth all the trouble. I mean just look at these bad boys. Now listen up kids because I'm about to leave you with one very important life lesson:

Don't grout your tile and then forget about it while you are off writing some blog post because when you go back to wipe off said grout it will be like concrete and you will want to say bad words. :p

So I gotta know, WHAT DO YOU THINK??? Do you love it as much as me?! What's your favorite part?

One more before and after, just for fun:

Merry Christmas, friends! We are taking a big fat break from house projects and I couldn't be more excited about it. Squeeze your loved ones, eat all the sugar cookies, watch all the Christmas movies, and remember the reason for the season. Xoxoxo

Friday, December 11, 2015

Poo hardening cookies

Now if that title doesn't make you wanna read the rest of this post, I don't know what will. :p

I want to let you guys in on a not so pretty family secret. Read at your own risk. Hudson has got some bathroom issues. His poo isn't hard enough to naturally express his anal glands so they tend to express on their own, whenever the heck they feel like it. Usually in Justin's brand new truck. Poor Justin.

If you know anything about anal glands you know they are pretty stinky. Anytime they release Hudson gets all freaked out and does the only thing he knows to do, clean them up. With his tongue.  :( I told you guys. It's not pretty. But since I love kissing his sweet face so much I'm all over it. He gets his teeth brushed regularly, booty wiped and deodorized more times a day than I can count, and he has his own cologne. The dog is basically a king with zero funds. We keep asking him when he's going to pull his weight around here especially since he's so high maintenance, but no response yet. (I should add, he's only high maintenance because I make him that way. A lot of people tell me I fuss over him too much but I'm not a let the dog be a dog kind of person. If he wants to live in my home he's going to be clean and he's going to smell good. Those are my rules. :p )

Sooo moving on. I know you guys think I'm crazy. Honestly though, when you love someone I guess you don't think twice about doing things for them. With that being said, during our last routine check in at the vet, Hudson's doctor suggested Metamucil to help with his stool. If we can harden up that stool a little more his anal glands can start doing their job and Justin won't be so upset with the booty leakin' dog. ;) (For the record, Hudson is 80% my dog and 20% Justin's. I have no problem cleaning up after him. Justin is just in the relationship for the snuggles. LOL)

The problem with Metamucil is that Hudson hates it. I think the texture freaked him out. So I decided to bake it in cookies and give that a shot. Here's the recipe I came up with. ****Please please please check with your veterinarian before you try this at home. They need to ok the amount of Metamucil your pup can have!****

Waiting so patiently.
A little less patient.
Ok now this is just cruel.
Hudson approved!

By the way, I've never had counter tops pretty enough to take these kind of photos so this is a big moment for me. #foodblogginghereicome

So there you have it. The ugly truth about Hudson's bathroom drama. Don't be grossed out though because I'm still convinced that this dog is cleaner than some humans. (Like everyone I've ever had to sit next to on an airplane. It's called deodorant folks). I'll keep you posted on how they work out for us! Happy Friday!!! Xoxo

(PS our living room/fireplace reveal is coming at the beginning of the week! Get pumped people)

Puppy Peanut Butter Digestive Cookies


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup water
1 egg
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup shaved carrots (hello great breath!)
4 tablespoons Metamucil (make sure to check with your vet about amount for your dogs size before adding)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease your baking pans. (or use parchment paper if you prefer!)
2. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix well. The consistency shouldn't be too wet.
3. Let your dog lick the peanut butter spoon. (Not optional, he will cuss you out if you don't)
4. Sprinkle regular flour on the counter top and roll out your prepared dough.
5. Cut into cute shapes because it makes the cookies taste better.
6. Bake 35 minutes or until nice and crispy. (Hudson prefers crispy to soft)
7. Remove and place on wire racks to cool.
8. Feed your dog a few cookies a day (I'm going to start with 4) and monitor his potty breaks.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Cradle List

I want to get reeaall honest with you guys. I'm feeling it. That tiny ache in my heart that kind of knows it won't go away until there's a baby in my arms. It's very small. Almost unnoticeable. But it's there. I think it has a lot to do with the holidays. From October-December I think having kids is extra fun. Then January rolls around and I kind of feel ok again. So I'm going to see how I feel then. :p

I had a moment. I was looking at a photo of my redheaded little nephew and I just started sobbing. Justin was like OMG WHAT'S WRONG WHO DIED. And I was ugly crying and struggling to breathe and said something along the lines of- If I can love my nephew so much it makes my heart hurt (in a good way) I KNOW I would be the best at loving our child. And then I wrote a contract stating that I would give Justin a baby (he's ready I'm not) once he took me to Ireland. Seriously, this really happened.

But then Saturday rolls around and we sleep until noon without thinking twice. We eat dinner at 9pm sometimes. For the love of god WE JUST BOUGHT A WHITE COUCH. I'm going to be starting a new career this coming fall. And I think, wait. Do I really want to bring a stinky, messy, loud, sleep stealer into this house? I don't know. I'm pretty torn.

Also, Justin and I have been praying a lot about fostering children soon. It's very close to my heart and I just want to wrap up all the children and love on them and hug them and put food in their bellies and give them a warm bed to call their own.

So with all of these feelings and emotions I decided to start putting together a "before baby bucket list" or in HIMYM terms, a cradle list. Here are some of the things we want to accomplish before we become parents:

  • Plan an over the top, probably never do again until the kids go to college, trip of a lifetime. I think we've agreed on Ireland. 
  • Sleep in every weekend. (Totally killin this one)
  • Go someplace new each year
  • Have boudoir shots taken (Justin, not me. KIDDING. One thing that terrifies me about kids is the after baby body I hear so much about. I want to remember my 20-something body as weird as that sounds)
  • Be spontaneous 
  • Attend a pottery or cake decorating class
  • Take a work week off to sit around the house and do absolutely nothing but sleep in, watch movies, eat junk food, etc.
  • Go on a cruise
  • Enjoy and remember these moments that are just us

The truth is, I know all of these things might not happen. It's not a binding contract. I just know how much life changes after you have children. It's like all of the sudden, you have something so much greater to live for than just yourself. And that sounds a little overwhelming to me. Right now I'm living a little bit of a selfish life, and I like that. I just want to slow down and enjoy these days with Justin because I know when I have a threenager in the house who is throwing a fit because they can't eat candy for breakfast and I'm ready to pull my hair out, I'll want to remember these moments. The calm before the storm. :p I do love kids and am excited to have some of our own, but I'm just not completely there yet. This list reminds me of all the things I want to cross off before I entire the new stage of life.  And this list makes me excited because tomorrow isn't all planned out. It never really has been with Justin and me. (I think people actually want to murder us because of this reason) but I like things this way.

I want to keep adding to this list in my personal journal because I know there's more I've forgotten about. I was just excited to jot them down and share them here. What else would you add to this list?

Happy Friday friends!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sentimental Gift Idea-Personalized View Master

So each year I try to think outside of the box when it comes to anniversary gifts. We don't do the traditional anniversary gifts, they have just never been our thing. But we still try to keep things sentimental instead of just going out and buying random stuff. This year I found the most adorable idea and knew it would be perfect to give to Justin.

 I created our love story in a personalized viewmaster. I started with a reel from when we first started dating and worked all the way up to our fourth year of marriage. He thought it was so cute and even pointed out how fun it would be for our kids to look at one day which I hadn't even thought of! I am excited to continue to add reels to it over the years! I think these would make a perfect sentimental Christmas gift, anniversary gift, etc. I also think it would be a super cute way to announce a pregnancy to a loved one. The options are endless! Here is the link to make your own: http://www.image3d.com

Happy Gift Giving! The countdown to Christmas is on!

Don't forget to add yourself to our reading list for updates sent right to your inbox. Let's connect on social media! Follow us on instagram and facebook for more updates and cute pictures of Hudson. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Easy Dog Friendly Pumpkin Pie

Happy Monday, friends! I was so sad to see Justin leave this morning after a long weekend together. I love the holidays, but they never last long enough. We soaked in our long weekend with a huge feast, lots of sleeping in and movie watching, and some work on our living room makeover. This was also the first year in as long as I can remember we didn't go Black Friday shopping! I told Justin I really wasn't feeling it this year and he surprisingly agreed. We went to bed at 7:30 on Thursday night and woke up at 4 in the morning for a piece of pie. True story.

We weren't sad at all to be by ourselves for the holiday because it has been a crazy year. We have had more company this year than we have ever had, so taking the week off was really great for the both of us. Next month we will have a houseful of people again, so I'm really glad we got to have a low-key Thanksgiving. And speaking of Thanksgiving, Hudson's birthday happened to land on Turkey day this year!

Every year I make him something special to celebrate and this year was no different. I made him a dog friendly pumpkin pie and it was a huge hit. I also splurged and got him a fancy new collar because he turned 4 and his baby collar finally gave out on him. I nearly cried. So he got an upgrade and he looks so cute! I wanted to share a link where you could order one, but they are sold out! Boo! Keep checking Coach.com to see if they restock.

Moommm, you're embarrassing me with all this attention! 

 Happy Birthday, Hudson! Every single day I love you more. You bring us so much joy! I hope you can feel how loved you are. Xoxo

1 Refrigerated Pie Crust 
15oz Pumpkin Puree (Homemade or Libby's)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Cut down pie crust to fit into muffin tins
Mix pumpkin, cinnamon, and eggs in a large bowl & scoop into pie crust
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 40 minutes
Cool as long as necessary and if you're feeling extra sweet, add a dollop of fat free cool whip for your pup and serve!