Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Life + Random

Hello friends! Happy hump day! I thought I would get caught up and fill you in on some life happenings and some random tidbits as of late. January and February have been a bit of a blur with my parents staying with us, my trip to Singapore, and lots of sickness around here. I think everyone had the flu (except Steve), and poor Drew threw up at school just a week after recovering from influenza. Happy to report we are all healthy and hope to stay that way until next winter!

Speaking of winter, I'm ready for it to end. I guess I can't complain too much about our weather. We've barely had any snow and no snow days, it's more for me about seeing green, flowers and trees in bloom, and feeling the sunshine on my skin for longer than 3 seconds at a time! I've been pretty good this winter about having fresh flowers in the house to freshen things up. I pick them up for less than $5 a bunch and it is a complete mood changer for me.

Upcoming travels: I have started going through Singapore pictures and will do some travel posts on this trip very soon!

Steve and I are looking forward to a trip to West Palm Beach, Florida this spring. He's going for work, and I'm tagging along for the beach! :) Let me know if you know anything about West Palm Beach, I would love any recommendations for where to eat or what to see! The beach is such a treat when you live in the geographic center of America!

We will be going back to Florida in May to see a certain little mouse and a gigantic princess castle. Yep, we are biting the bullet and heading to Disney. We took the kids on a little scavenger hunt around the house with different clues leading up to the big reveal. They were squealing and shrieking and have talked about it every single day since we told them. They will be 7.5 and 6.5 when we head there, and I'm hoping these are going to be good ages. We are doing all the planning and booking on our own, and I will do a full recap on all of this after we get back from the trip!

Random Tip: I wanted to share a tip with all of you with regards to bringing an orchid back to life. I bought a an orchid at Trader Joe's and it was so pretty for a few months. Slowly, the petals started wilting and falling off and I was so sad! A blog reader suggested I put it in the master bath so it could get some steam and filtered light. I'm happy to share that this worked! Over several weeks time, I started to see new blooms develop, and it just started to open up again. Patience, and don't overwater!

Steve was recently the "Top Dog" at our kid's elementary school. He was able to play in PE and recess, gave quizzes in music class, assisted in computer class, kept order in the lunchroom, and spent time with our kids in their classrooms. This is such a wonderful program, and he had so much fun. It's mostly moms up at the school, so dads bring an extra level of fun! For the record, Steve was absolutely exhausted!

That little boy on the left just had his "half birthday" and he's grown an inch since his 7th birthday. I'm sure he will be looking down on me by the time he's in 5th grade! We measure our kids on their 1/2 and real birthdays using this DIY growth chart. It's still one of my favorite things in our home and I'll have it forever.

I bought myself a new coffee maker for my birthday. Exciting stuff, right? Just as about exciting as turing 35. Not! I've never had a fancy coffee maker and that's okay with me. I just make a pot of regular coffee every morning (Steve's not a coffee drinker - the horror!), and usually have a cup of hot tea in the afternoons. This new coffee maker is great because it has a hot water dispenser connected to it. No more boiling water for tea or hot lemon water. It's perfect and convenient, and I highly recommend it!

Home Decor Dreams: 
We are considering hardwoods for the the home office at this point in time. It is actually a fifth bedroom off the kitchen/mudroom, but now that Steve is working from home, it's a full on home office. The carpet isn't great and it's hard to roll our new office chairs on it. This would be the final part of the first floor to get hardwoods, and that makes me happy to think about. 

We are also hoping to replace the vanity in our downstairs bathroom this year. I absolutely hate the one that is in there now and wish I would have had the builders change this before moving in. I've lived with it for 3 years, and I'm officially over it! I already have the new mirror, I'm just trying to decide which direction to go in…new vanity with storage or pedestal sink?? I'm thinking something similar to these styles.

How's that for a bunch of randomness?!

Don't forget to connect:
Bloglovin - Best way to quickly scroll through my favorite blogs during carpool line
Instagram - Current favorite social media outlet
Facebook - Easiest way to see when new posts are up
Pinterest -   Been pinning away and updating my boards

xo, Andrea

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Clean A Cutting Board Using (2) Ingredients

We have a large, round cutting board that sits on the corner of our kitchen island. It only ever gets moved to clean it and clean under it. I use this cutting board multiple times a day. One of the most helpful things I ever did in the kitchen was to keep a large cutting board sitting out on my island, where I prep food. Not having to fiddle in a drawer for a cutting board multiple times a day makes this momma happy. This little corner space works perfectly because it's right beside the trash drawer (in the island), and it's near my stove/oven.

I have other cutting boards stored away that I use for meat/fish, but I always use this cutting board for fruits, veggies, general prep, etc. I have always cleaned it using soap and water just as I do the other dishes. However, we started to notice that our strawberries were tasting like onions! Not good!

I found this pin on Pinterest and saw that the ingredients to clean a cutting board were two ingredients I always have on hand, lemon and Kosher salt.

Grab a 1/2 lemon and rub across your cutting board.

 Add a layer of Kosher salt on top of the lemon. Let stand for 15 minutes.

While you are waiting those 15 minutes, you could scrub your sink using this easy method! When the time is up, take the lemon and scrub the salt into the board.

Lastly, rinse the cutting board, dry, and return to its rightful corner!

This is such an easy and natural way to clean a cutting board. I will be doing this often! My family will thank me that their apple slices no longer taste like cilantro! Thanks @ All Kinds of Yumm!

xo, Andrea

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

More Dining Room Updates

I swear this room has had furniture in it since the time we moved in, but I just can't ever seem to get the styling/walls the way I want them! It's a syndrome for every room in my house, but the dining room is really close to being done. Close, I tell you!

We moved the bar cart to an area where it is more visible…closer proximity to the booze! Just kidding, but not really…

Moving the bar cart left the niche area open again. I repainted the niche in Sherwin William's Tricorn Black, in a flat finish. I like this color so much better than the Urbane Bronze that was once in here. The UB had too much brown in it and it was bringing down the whole space. The stark black is much, much better in here.

We decided to fill the space with a white console table. Actually, it is a long desk, but either way it fits the space like a glove. It's long and thin, perfect for what we wanted. This also allows the black wall to still be seen, it adds some nice glossy white paint to the space, and it provides additional tabletop storage. I just love the piece. It's the Besta Burs Desk from IKEA! I would recommend this as a console table as well as a desk. I love the glossy white finish and it has two drawers in the front.

We also purchased this Golden Bamboo Framed Mirror after seeing it in Sarah Dorsey's space at the holidays. I got it on sale for super cheap and I love how it makes the room look taller than it is. I also love how it helps to bounce the light around the room.

It also catches the chandelier, which we love so much in the space. The jury is still out on whether to hang the mirror, or keep it leaning.

My mom and I were shopping at Homegoods while she was here visiting and she spotted this bust. I have been looking for something to go in the center of the table, and just couldn't find anything that seemed interesting. This fit the bill! It's huge, and it has a cut out in the back so I can add a plant. It's perfect, quirky, different, and just what I was looking for to put in the center of the table. I just need to find a more permanent plant to pop in it!


1) Style the console table. I'm sure about lamps as I don't think we would ever turn them on.  I thought about adding orchids on the sides to add height, but they are finicky and if they die, I can't afford to keep replacing them. I also thought about leaning some colorful artwork. Something will come along at some point. I don't like to rush into things if you haven't noticed! :)

2) Make a new table runner. I am looking for some colorful fabric, something spring-like to put under the bust. I want this space to be pretty neutral and classic, but I get bored if there is no color.

3) Possibly add a lamp to the bar cart. I love these brushstroke lamps, and thinking it might be a fun DIY project. I'm thinking the bar cart needs a little height and this is a good place to add a little fun pop of color.

4) Add pillows to the end chairs. I threw some white ones on there for now, but this is also a good opportunity to add some color to room. I'll probably go with a solid color in velvet, something like these.

That's it for now! I'll be sure to keep you posted as new things get added (or removed-ha)!

Also, I have changed my blog name to a (.com) instead of ( Blogger should send you right over to the new web address, but just wanted to let you know! I also want to connect and would love for you to follow along on social media!


XO, Andrea

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Father Daughter Dance / Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

I thought it was appropriate to post about Kate's recent F/D dance on this day of love. I volunteered to co-chair the Father/Daughter Dance at my kids' elementary school this year with a good friend of mine. It took some time and planning, and lots of logistics, but everyone had a great time, and I know a certain little Kindergartner who loved going on a date with her Dad!

My friend had just gotten back from Paris when we were coming up with a theme, and we thought it would be girly and sweet and fun to plan "A Night in Paris" dance. Think pink/black/white, feathers, Eiffel Towers, pearls, polka dots, and lots and lots of sweet treats!

A Night in Paris - Father/Daughter Dance

Steve got Kate a little corsage and we borrowed this sweet little animal print dress from a friend. She was in heaven!

We tried to curl her hair with hot rollers. Needless to say, her stick straight hair does not keep a curl, especially in Kansas winds! She had fun getting gussied up though.

Since I would be setting up and working the dance, I decided to get in on the French action too! I found this fun "The Joy of Life" sweater on sale at Forever 21 and snatched it up! It's still on sale if you like!

And what event that I'm involved in would be complete without the use of this DIY chalkboard I made 4 years ago for $5?!?! This thing has gotten more use than I ever imagined! And, I spelled "Bienvenue" wrong on the chalkboard, but I'm pretty sure no one cared! Lost in translation!!

We are not a huge into Valentine's Day, but it holds a special place in our hearts. It was 14 years ago, on February 14th, that Steve sent flowers to my sorority house while we were both in college at the University of Iowa. That was the real start of our relationship and I'm happy to say the rest is history! We were such babies, and I have such fond memories of our time in college together. We had a little overnight date on the Plaza last weekend, so we are playing it very low key tonight! I hope love is in the air for you today!

xo, Andrea

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