Finally, photos of our newly redesigned study! If you’ve been checking in lately, you’ll know that for several months we’ve been redesigning and redecorating our old, very brown, family study. And today, the finished room, choc-a-bloc with pretty photos is here! I’m in love with the new room, and would love to hear what you think.
The old study was, well, a study in brown.
But seriously, so. much. brown. Which is my least favorite color, but just kind of the way it all worked out with the inexpensive + free furniture we inherited. It was so much fun to start from scratch to redesign the study in light colors and brighter walls.
I’ve decided grey is the only wall color I’ll ever need. I mean, don’t tell my laundry room, or my family room, but grey is such a great neutral color to decorate around. It makes choosing furniture and decor so much easier, and creates such a mellow, bright background for any room.
It’s hard to pick my favorite piece in the study, but I’m super in love with the sectional tufted sofa, and I’m crazy about the bookshelf my husband designed … >> find out more...
Our study redesign is finally finished! But before I show you the new study, I wanted to give you a peek at the before photos of the old study before I do a reveal of the after photos.
Our study was perfectly lovely before the current redesign, but awfully brown, on brown, on brown, on BROWN and I was ready for some light.
We put the study together on a major budget, as we did most of the house, when we first moved in 13 years ago, and it has evolved over the years as our family has evolved.
And when I say budget, I mean this: we majorly splurged on the bookcases at Costco for $600 (that was a lot of money for us 13 years ago. it still is.), bought the mid-century modern desk at a garage sale for $30, the rolling office chair for $5 at a different yard sale, inherited the sofa from a rental unit we manage, bought the lamp at Costco and the light fixture (not pictured) at IKEA. Even the carpet was a remnant piece given to us by our neighbors who have a flooring business.
Legit budget, for … >> find out more...
It’s slush time! Summer is the very best, in every way, but one of my favorite things about the hot summer months is making delicious, fruity, slush drinks. I don’t drink alcohol, but any slush can turn boozy if you just swap out a couple ingredients, including this strawberry lime summer delight.
This strawberry lime slush is SO EASY to make and only takes a few ingredients, 2 of which are forms of water. Unless you’re making it an alcoholic drink, in which case you’ll need to toss in some booze. This drink is so easy you can make it in just a few minutes – serve it up with a pretty straw + paper umbrella and impress everyone you know.
Print up the recipe for this strawberry YUM to add to your recipe collection – you’ll want to make this one over and over again.
… >> find out more...
Strawberry Lime Summer Slush
Author: Petit Elefant - Allison Czarnecki
Recipe type: Drink
- 12 ice cubes
- 32 strawberries
- 1 cup frozen concentrated Limeade
- 1 cup water
- Blend ice cubes in blender until completely crushed.
Have you seen the show, Odysseo Cavalia? If you have, you’ll know the show is far more than just well trained horses parading around on stage. It’s a spectacular mix of magical horsemanship, beautiful animals, circus acts, goose-bump-inducing dancing, and live music.
Have you heard of Cavalia? We went as a family to see it last weekend and were mesmerized, top to bottom, by the whole production. Even my jaded teenager held her mouth agape throughout the entire show.
I hadn’t heard of Odysseo until some huge white top tents were erected in a mall parking lot a few months ago. We’re huge horse fans over here, so I was excited to hear more about the big tops and the show happening inside.
It’s tricky to even explain Odysseo. Sitting in the audience as the lights came up for the show, I felt a bit like an excited little small town girl, waiting for the circus to begin. The show is such a production; with the lights, special effects and set design artistry, impossible physical feats of acrobatics and dancing, live music and singing, and horse tricks. Part Cirque Du Soleil, part modern dance, part circus, part ballet, part amazing… >> find out more...
One-piece swimsuits are the figure flattering champions of the swimwear world, and I’m loving what I’m seeing right now for Summer 2016. There are so many different color choices, cleavage options, (no, really) and styles – there’s something for everyone.
Even if you aren’t into camouflaging a tummy (who isn’t into covering up a tummy?), these 12 one-piece swimsuits will have you swooning for a sunny day at the pool. Gorgeous bows, halter tops, and one-shoulder swimsuits are super flattering and draw the eye away from tricky spots. Not that you have any tricky spots, I’m just saying, if you’re sensitive about tricky spots, there are so many options for you and your gorgeous body.
And if all else fails, there’s always distraction. If you’ve got a nice rack, now’s the time to bring the girls out (in a classy way, naturally). Classy cleavage (it’s a thing) is always a good distraction, especially in a one-piece swimsuit, so don’t be afraid of daring necklines like the pink, white, and black suit above.
Halter tops are awesome if you’re a little more flat chested; they draw the eye upwards and add a little lift while keeping everything where … >> find out more...
My Kindle eReader and I have become inseparable over the last couple of years. Besties. We go everywhere together. I was using my Kindle before then, and used a Nook eReader before that, but somehow in the last couple of years I’ve incorporated my Kindle into my life completely, and now I just can’t live without it. It goes with me everywhere, all day long, and because I’m listening to audio books instead of taking time to sit down to read on the couch, I read non-stop.
I take my Kindle on my daily walks, carpool drop off and pick up, while I fold laundry and when I edit photos, while I cook dinner and do dishes, and while I fall asleep at night. Seriously, the case on my Kindle is starting to look like a beloved paperback, all dinged on the cover and shredded at the edges.
If you’re a book lover and don’t currently have an e-reader, get on that business ASAP. Put it on your wish list for whatever: birthday, anniversary, work-iversary, or your I-made-it-to-the-end-of-the-week celebration.
Because of my Kindle, I’m reading 2-3 books a week as opposed to maybe 2-3 in a … >> find out more...
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico holds a special place in my heart. I’ve visited three times, and each visit is better than the last. In fact, I love Puerto Vallarta so much I wanted to honeymoon there, but we were young and broke and ended up going somewhere closer to home (read: cheaper) instead. But a year ago, my husband and I decided it was time for a romantic getaway to Mexico, 17+ years and two kids later. It was magnificent, like I knew it would be, and I cannot wait to go back.
What’s so great about Puerto Vallarta? Well, besides everything, I’ve made a list of my top 5 favorite reasons to head to Mexico as fast as your little feet can carry you.
Top 5 reasons to visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico:
- The beach
- The cost
- The food
- The ocean
- The people
- The beach
Mexican beaches are absolutely breathtaking. I mean, the sunsets alone are worth the trip. Beautiful sand, great waves, shell collecting, snorkeling, surfing, warm water, you name it; the beaches in Mexico are wonderful. We laid around and played on the beach for a solid week, and found the whole experience to be nothing … >> find out more...
Biking is quickly becoming a part of my daily routine since my new bike came into my life, and is my new favorite way to get around. Most of us grow up riding bikes as kids, but not many of us keep riding as adults, especially as a primary mode of transportation. But we should all be out biking, all the time. It’s so much fun I almost feel like a kid again, and it’s such great exercise. I love it.
I live in an especially gorgeous small town, nestled right up against the Wasatch mountains, so it’s no chore to get out and bike every day, even if I’m not headed anywhere specific.
If I don’t get a chance during the day to head out on a ride by myself, (which is quickly becoming my favorite way to decompress in the middle of the workday) a post-dinner ride with my family is the next best thing.
Okay, let’s be honest, biking with my family is probably the first best thing.
Everyone in town seems to hang out in their yards and streets at night, relaxing from the day by gardening, playing with kids, running, skating, or … >> find out more...
Traveling internationally can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re a first timer. Don’t worry. This continent hopping extraordinaire has you covered with an international travel checklist. I don’t necessarily pretend that this is an exhaustive list, but the ten questions below should help create some peace of mind as you prepare for that excursion to a different land.
1. Did I update myself on travel laws and do I have the appropriate documents? Laws are always changing. Don’t make the mistake of thinking, “I’ve been there before. I know how it works.” Last year I scrambled to get a Kenyan visa, because they changed the system from getting them at the airport to an online process. South Africa (the country I currently choose to call home) drastically changed their laws last year regarding travel with kids. I have seen people turned away at the airport because they didn’t have the right documents. There is no amount of sweet talking that will get you past sticky situations like these. The best source I’ve found to double check laws for the particular country you are traveling to is U.S. Department of State Consular Affairs site. If you are not American, I’m sure the consular … >> find out more...