Home // Dining Room

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I've said it in previous posts, but I'm working on redoing some rooms in our house. We rent, so we aren't able to change a whole lot (paint, etc) but I can change furniture and rearrange. I've done a lot of purging (I need to do a whole lot more) and I've sold some stuff. Let's start with the dining room.

This was before (duh, it says it right there....). It was dark and crowded. The table was hightop and difficult for Jackson to get up and down from. He fell a few times and I had it. I sold it. The hutch was from a friend of my mom's. We kept it, but moved it and mixed it up some (I'll share that area soon!). We went without a table for a while....but it was worth it. I've always wanted a white table with colorful chairs.

And I got them! I love this room now. It's way brighter, happier, and we spend a lot of time in it now. Most of the furniture is from Ikea minus the small cube shelf from Target. The accessories were collected over time at Target or thrifted or gifted. The rug is also from Ikea. It's $20. Obviously the best purchase of the entire room. The white table has changed my life. If you are ever wondering about my IG photos....this is where the majority are taken.

Now that there are two boys who have a ton of toys and junk in the house, I had to come up with somewhere else to store some toys. They both play the majority of the time in the living room so this little shelf of toys is perfect. Since Jack started school, he brings home projects and colorings that we have to put up. This is his perfect little gallery wall. Mason loves it, too. It's easy for him to pull stuff off the shelves and he stays away from the breakables that are dangerously in his reach really close to this.

See? Breakables. I've had these shelves for longer than I've been married. They have seen better days, but nothing some brackets, screws, and black paint can't fix. They are filled with my favorite cookbooks, vintage cups and plates, and a few special little things. The "Cafe" sign was something my mom picked up for me in Laredo, Texas. It's super amazing. It one of my favorite things in my house.

I hated this room before these changes. We never would eat dinner at the table or projects there. Now, we do everything there. It didn't happen overnight, so if you're trying to change a few things in your home, don't give up. These changes aren't cheap and we aren't rich or well-off by any means of the words, but I waited and waited until the right moment to do this. Now, I couldn't be happier.

Things, Ten of them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In the last few days, I've shared more about my life and myself than I ever have. All of it on social media. I've realized that I tend to keep things to myself and never put myself out there enough. I do it plenty, but the bare minimum. Not cool. So, here are ten things about myself  that I may or may not have shared before.

1. I graduated high school in 2003 with dreams of being a teacher. Somewhere along the line, I decided to stop trying to get my bachelor's degree, and go to culinary school. I did extremely well in culinary school, but I should have finished my bachelor's. Hands down, worst decision I've ever made. Now that I have children, I want to be there. Be at their school functions or doctor's appointments and whatnot. With a chef's schedule (unless you're extremely lucky), is not one conducive to family life.  Most chef's work very late into the night and long hours. The work in a kitchen is never done. Luckily, very supportive family members of mine, convinced me to go back to school to finish my degree. It's a lot of work (A LOT) especially with two tiny ones. But once I get my teaching certificate and a job (yay!), it will be all worth it. I'm not saying being a teacher is easy by any means, but it's something that I WANT to work hard at. I want the hours and lifestyle. I want it. Bad. 

2. I almost went into photography. I got accepted into a school with a very, very good photography department a few years ago. I got accepted to that photography department specifically. While I don't regret not going, it is something I think about often. I wonder how things would have turned out if I would have gone through with it. Maybe one day, I can pick up my camera professionally. One can dream. 

3. I was in the marching band in high school. And I played the flute. I loved it. Really loved it. Not the marching part (hello stupid hats and people yelling at you), but the flute part. I loved playing music and reading it. I played for about 5-6 years. I went to camps and worked really hard. Then I broke my arm in high school and someone stole part of my flute (yes, part..jerks). I became so down. Around that time, I also had a very controlling boyfriend (that's another story for a later time...maybe). I quit. I quit it all. I don't regret that, but I wish I would have replaced the stolen part and kept playing for fun. 

4. In high school, I got asked to model. I took headshots and bought some new clothes (hello, excuse to shop). But I chickened out. 

5. I've had surgery on my knee once. I should have it again, but ouch. I'd be on crutches for at least 6 weeks. No, thank you. I have weirdly shaped cartilage under my kneecap and causes my knee to lock up. Talk about OUCH. It's pretty painful and crippling. I can't move at all without screaming. It happened in the pool when I was in high school and my brother had to pull me out by my hair. I wasn't allowed to swim alone after that. 

6. I was a dork in high school and beyond. I was bullied quite a bit in junior high and high school. I wasn't the type of girl that went out a lot and got drunk or in trouble. Not saying I never did those things, but it wasn't my first choice. By the end of my senior year, I had finally found the group I belonged with. They went to a different school so I only saw them after school somedays. Our "going-out" would either include a movie, donuts, walking around, going to watch bands play or sitting outside someone's house. It's sad that I'm not close to any of them anymore, but relationships change once other's end. Most of them were friends with my boyfriend at the time and when that ended, they went with him. Makes sense. But it's sad. 

7. I get pretty angry easily. This is a recent development that I'm trying to get through. I think it has a lot to do with anxiety. I've never experienced any of this before, so it's pretty scary. I'm not violent by any means, but I have to hold back yells a lot. (I'm not proud of this one). 

8. I don't make or keep friends easily. I'm not really a "let's chat on the phone for hours" type of person (unless you're my mom and I can talk to you forever). I have a hard time following up with people which is dumb. I shouldn't be like that. It's caused me to only have a handful of people I can go to at the moment. Kind of sad, actually. I've always dreamed of being one of those girls who can through a dinner party for her 10 girlfriends. Yah, not me. Boo. 

9. I hate being hot. HATE IT. When I was a kid and it was winter, my mom would be a normal human and turn on the heater in the car. I would roll down the window and stick my head out. I HATE IT. I'm not sure why I've stayed in Texas so long. I've give anything to move somewhere that has longer seasons and not just long summers. 

10. Everyone knows this, but my mom is my best friend. She's one of my favorite people on this earth. She is always, always there for me. She is my biggest supporter. My shopping buddy and the one I go to to rant about anything and everything. She questions me about things she should and lets me think through things on my own. She's the best mom and I hope to be like her one day. She is also the strongest woman I know. I don't know where I would be without her. Thanks, mama. 

So there's that! I hope you got to know me a little bit better. The hard times around here are mostly due to number 7 up there. I have very bad internal struggles over this all day long. Since talking about it with my doctor, I'm trying to work through it. Hopefully, things will get much better soon. I'm also looking for a full-time job (the restaurant was sadly part-time). It's time to go back to work! Mason is 9 months old and ready to spend sometime quality time with his grandparents who cannot wait! Here's to hoping things work out for me soon! 

August Favorites

Monday, September 8, 2014

This is way late. Oops. Like I said before, August wasn't a great month. So it's just my favorites this time around. Next (this month) will be all about Jackson! The dude turns 5!!!! Let's get started:

Happy Handmade Home by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman - What can I say? I love this book. I recently wrote a review on Amazon, but pretty much, it's amazing. The eye-candy, ideas, and inspiration throughout the entire book is just so fun. I can't wait to start my own projects!

The Body Shop Body Butter in Early Harvest Raspberry - This is my favorite body moistuizer EVER. The smell, oh the smell. So good.

GlamGlow Tinglexpholiate Youth Mud Mask - I first tried this mask a few months ago, and I fell in love. I went without it for a while (I only get the small tiny size jar on Amazon for $15, ain't nobody got time for $70 mask) and I was sad. My face was sad. Now it's happy!

The Body Shop  Colour Crush Shine Lipstick in Sunset Romance - This color is my perfect shade. It also smells so good. Weirdly good.

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Elusive - I'm a big fan of these Matte Balms. This color is the perfect light pink shade. I'll find to find another color suitable for Fall.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask - The thing I love about Bite Beauty is that all their ingredients are food-grade. This stuff is super thick and when I put it on at night, I can still feel it in the morning. So good.

Essie Nail Polish in Playdate and Splash of Grenadine - These two colors have been on my toes or nails all month and longer. I love them so much. Playdate is such a perfect purple shade.

Shop Bando Agenda - This is my favorite thing all month. It started in August and every day that I look in it and check what's to be done, it puts a smile on my face. Each week there is a new "to-do" and it's so fun looking forward to it each weekend.

Now...on to Fall!

Easy Focaccia

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

This bread is probably the easiest yeast-bread you can make. It takes very little mixing and very little kneading. You can add any topping that you like and it'll be great. This bread is easily paired with some great dishes, spaghetti, lasagna, etc.

What you need (for the bread):

1 package dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour

In a small bowl, mix the water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit until bloomed (creamy looking and bubbly). Once that is done, in a large bowl combine the flour and the bloomed yeast. You may need to add a slight bit of water. Mix until it comes together. I usually use my hands (clean, of course).

Once it is together, turn it out on to a lightly floured surface and knead it for a couple minutes. You just want it to be smooth. It shouldn't take long. Once together, put into a large, clean, slightly oiled bowl to rise. You will want to cover it with a cloth and sit in a warm spot. You want it to rise for about 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 475. Deflate the dough and put it in a sheet tray that is oiled. Using the tips of your fingers, push the dough out to each corner. While you do this, make little indentions with your finger tips. This will hold the toppings better and make the bread come out even. Then you will want to brush it with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and add your toppings.

Bake at 475 for about 10-15 minutes, or until you like it.


- Sliced cherry and yellow tomatoes
- Basil
- Parmesan
- Garlic
- Caper stuffed olive (find them...they are the BEST)
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt


Monday, September 1, 2014

So, August wasn't my favorite. Not even close. Summer has been really hard on me this year. I will eventually talk about what's been going on, but I don't think I can bring myself to do it just yet. But instead of being poopypants about it, I'm going to list all the great things that happened last month. As my mom keeps telling me, "Stay positive!" I'm trying, woman.

 I went to the park with these weirdos. Such a good day.

Had a great ice cream date with this guy.

In & Out. Yes.

The little sister came to visit.

This guy.

My cousin came to visit and we celebrated with cocktails.

We went to brunch with a very good friend.

This happened!

Someone learned new tricks.

On to September and best of all FALL! Yes, I am one of those ladies who cannot wait for my first Pumpkin Spice Latte. Texas is just far too hot for that yet. 

Here are a few things I cannot wait for:

- Jack's 5 birthday!
- Finding out what's going on (vague, I know)
- My parent's visiting!!!!
- Cooler weather
- Leaves changing
- Pumpkin patch
- Fall baking
- My 30th birthday!
- Being in a good, positive place 

Back to School

Monday, August 25, 2014

Some little four year old started his first ever school year today!! He's been asking for his first day for the entire summer. "Mom, can we go to school today?" Since June. He's got a new backpack and fancy new supplies. We are way over the moon for him. He's so excited!

Not only did he start, but so did his mama. I've been taking college courses for some time now getting closer to my bachelor's degree. I have an associates in culinary arts, but I want to teach one day, so bachelor's it is! I take my courses through the University of Texas but they are all online. So, not only do I juggle the life of a teething baby, four year old who wants all the attention, house chores, etc, but I add college courses to that. It's not easy. Not even close. But it will be worth it when I'm done and can be in a classroom. That's the goal. Summers off with the kids, holidays with the kids and family, it's the dream here.

Anyway! To get me started for this semester, I wanted to treat myself with a few little things to help keep me organized and well, inspired to study and get it done. I don't have all of these, but I sure do wish I did!

1 // Ban.Do 17-Month Agenda. Coolest planner I've ever had. Favorite part? Each week there is a "to-do."

2 // Ban.do Hot Stuff Thermal Mug. Because coffee.

3 // Mulberry Press, Co. Stay Positive t. Sometimes you need a reminder and you need to wear said reminder to really get the picture.

4 // B&BW Vanilla Chia Mason Jar candle. Do I really need an excuse for this candle? It's just good.

5 // Danny Brito Simpsons Sad Girl Pouch. Best. Pouch. EVER. By my favorite artist EVER.

6 // Mochi Things Pattern Pens. Everyone needs cute pens.

Friday Links

Friday, August 22, 2014

We've had a pretty good week. Some ups and a couple downs. Someone hacked our bank account last week and took a ton of money, so that's been fun catching up. But Jack had his open house yesterday and we got to meet his teachers and oh man. We are ex-ci-ted! This weekend, the husband has the entire weekend off, so we will be getting prepared for Jack's first day Monday!! I'm also hoping we can make it back to the park for a little picnic. Here are a few links to get ya through the weekend:

Like I said, Jack is starting school Monday and this shirt would be so perfect for the first day. Just a reminder to BE KIND!

Jack tends to get sick pretty easily. He isn't around a lot of kid's often, so with him starting school I knew that we needed to give him a little extra boost. In comes Honest Co.'s Kid's Immunity Boost!
Another positive reminder shirt here, but for the adults.

This breakfast in a jar is just so darn pretty. Sounds delicious, too!

I am completely obsessed with Taylor Swift's new song. Like, repeat...all....day...long.. Also, her hair is on point! I may be making an appointment for a very very similar cut.

One Bookcase, Three Ways... I need this bookcase, now. We have a ton of those shelves with the squares and cubbies and I am WAY over them. Especially in the boy's room. I love the way the children's room bookcase is styled.

Anyone else ready for Fall? I saved a Pumpkin Waffle candle from B&BW from last year and I'm so ready for new ones this year!

Snicker to the Doodle

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I asked Jack would I should name my post sharing my cookie recipe and that's the first thing he said. Ha! : D 

I've made this cookie a ton of times and it's just such a good, delicious simple, base cookie that I had to share. It's easy to make with what should be staples in your pantry/fridge.

What you need:

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cup ap-flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and throw a sheet pan into the freezer.
Cream the butter until it's light yellow and fluffy. Then add the sugar and continue to cream until fluffy again. Add your eggs 1 and at time until combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. I like to use a whisk which is kind of a hack to sifting.
Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter. You don't want to add it all at once or you'll have a huge puff of white all over your kitchen. You've been warned.
Once everything is combined, you want to chill the dough before scooping onto the sheet tray.
After it's cooled for at least 30 minutes, scoop out about 1 tablespoon and roll into a ball. Then drop into the cinnamon and sugar mixture and coat all sides. Then set them on to the chilled sheet tray sprayed with non-stick spray about 2 inches apart.
Immediately put into the hot oven. This keeps the cookies from spreading out into little crisps.
Bake until just golden brown and remove from the cookie sheet as soon as they are out. Put them on a wire rack to cool.
Once cooled, enjoy or keep reading for more yumminess!

Like I said, this cookie is super simple and easy to make. It's so much better made into an ice cream sandwich with your favorite ice cream.

Grab your favorite ice cream. Let it sit out for a few minutes to soften just a tad. It makes it easier to scoop.  Then scoop and smoosh between two cookies.


Boy's Shared Room Makeover

Monday, August 18, 2014

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12

We live in a fairly small house with most of our furniture handed down to us. We never felt the need to replace things since everything has been in working order and just fine. After Mason was born, that changed. I needed things to change and I wanted things that were mine. We started with the dinning room with a new table and chairs. We brought in some shelves that I had from years before and a new rug. It's a completely different room now and it's where we spend a lot of time now. After the feeling I got from the new dining room, I wanted more. So we recently moved Mason into Jackson's room. We've never really had any type of theme for either of the boy's, but since they are together now and have such a hodgepodge of crap, we decided to go with something. Jack has a loft bed from Ikea that has a little canopy that he calls his tent and says he's camping. So we went with that. It's going to be a work in progress for a while, but I am so excited to see it completed.

Friday Links

Friday, August 15, 2014

I haven't had the best week ever, but I'm hoping things will lighten up soon. If not, then here are a few things getting me through it.

The Painkiller...enough said.

I'm loving Katie's outfit in this post, but especially her shirt! Ren & Stimpy for life!

This White Bean & Turkey Chili sounds AMAZING.

I am really excited about next month's book club choice at A Beautiful Mess led by Danielle at Sometimes Sweet. I've already put it on hold at the library!

ShopBando just released a new collection that I am dying over. So. Freaking. Cute.

Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Seed Jam - I need to make this.

I am excited about the Oh Joy for Target release this Sunday! Hopefully, I can use some of the items for my 30th birthday!

This response to Robin Williams' death floored me. It is such good description of depression and what you can say or do to try to not only help, but be there for someone who is suffering.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

My little (yes, she's a lot taller than I am) half-sister came to visit us last week. She just graduated high school, and we've never really gotten to hang out just the two of us. There were a lot of late night talk sessions and lots of pictures taken. We had a blast!

Isn't she pretty??? Ugh. Such a babe.

Thanks for visiting, Kass!!

The One Where The Baby Doesn't Sleep

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Don't let this cute face fool you...We are in full-swing of teething time. His bottom two jerks...teeth are about to pop out. Let me tell you, he's not happy about it. When Jack was this age, he didn't teethe like this. Mason does not sleep. Let me say that again... MASON. DOES. NOT. SLEEP. Now add some teeth into that. Yah. Super awesome. I recently moved little man into big brother's room so hopefully he would get some better rest, but so far it's just more stress for me trying to keep him quite as to not wake up said big brother. So our troubles are sleep or lack of and teeth. Anyone have any tips? Suggestions? Wine?

Mr. Williams

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Oh, Mr. Robin Williams. How you will be missed. Your work made us laugh, cry, sad, and fall in love with you. You were our Genie, Patch, Peter, Mrs. Doubtfire, Ramon, Fender, Alan, and so many many others. I don't know your deep struggle, but I've seen it. It's scary and hard and just.. I don't have the words. Please know you will be so incredibly missed.  I feel like a piece of my childhood, teenage years, and adulthood was chipped away. The world lost a good one.

If you or anyone you know if suffering from depression or anxiety or anything for that matter, please seek help. It's hard. I know it's hard. People judge or try to "fix" you with their advice. Please complain and talk trash about the medication that is available. Don't listen. You can get help. Please, please know you aren't alone.

National Suicide Prevention Line - 1-800-273-8255.
Suicide.org - This has a list of each state's hotlines.

For those that judge or otherwise, please remember you don't know their struggle. You don't know the thoughts that consume. You. Don't. Know.

Rest in peace, Mr. Williams.

+ photo credit - Peggy Sirota 

Mini Donuts

Monday, August 11, 2014

 I like donuts. Ok, ok. I LOVE donuts. Like a lot. I don't buy them everyday, but you're damn skippy I would if I could! I've tried a few recipes in the past, but this one seemed to be just right.
 What you need:
1 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
+ your mix ins (I used mini-chocolate chips and rainbow sprinkles)

1/4 cup milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

I use the BabyCakes Mini Donut Maker and it's awesome. I've never tried anything else, so maybe I just don't know any better, but I really do love it. It makes perfect little donuts in record timing. Preheating takes 2 minutes. It's awesome.

For the donuts:
Whisk the flour, baking powder and soda, nutmeg, and sugar together in a medium sized bowl.
Whisk the milk, vanilla, egg and melted butter together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Don't over mix.

I separated the dough/batter into separate bowls to switch up the fillings. I used the mini chocolate chips in one and the other was tons of rainbow jimmies.

Spoon the batter into a ziplock plastic bag. Cut one tip at the bottom and pipe the batter into each cup. This is the easiest way I've found.

Bake until slightly brown. Let them cool completely before heading to the glazing faze.

For the glaze:
In a small saucepan, mix all the ingredients together over medium heat. Whisk together until everything is combined and the sugar is completely incorporated. Then switch off the heat and start dipping. I dipped each donut twice because I can. Then add the toppings while the glaze is cooling and setting.

For the chocolate/Nutella glaze:
In a small bowl, mix about 1/2 cup Nutella and a couple splashes of milk. Mix together until smooth. Then start incorporating some powdered sugar. I didn't measure this. It was about 1 1/2 cups. You just want it to be smooth and ribbon like. Then start dipping.

Friday Links

Friday, August 8, 2014

I've seen Friday Links on several blogs, Sometimes Sweet included but she does Weekend Links (which is absolutely LOVE), and I really wanted to give it a shot of my own. Maybe we'll continue it every Friday! Let's get started!

+ dress c/o : Marlie Madison This dress is so good. Soft + light weight + super cute = perfect!

This amazing wall hanging by A Beautiful Mess is definitely happening over here. Also, if you haven't pre-ordered their newest book out this month, then what are you doing with your life? Get on that.

My current playlists on YouTube include... Essiebutton (who doesn't follow this lady?),  makeupTIA, and HeyClaire. Claire is super awesome. Her videos are pretty unique and well, she's gorgeous.

Recipes to try : Grilled Mexican Street Corn Quinoa Salad, Cornbread Waffles with Chili,  and these Lavender Lemonade Popsicles.

Wanting: This tshirt, this top, this tote, and this romper.

I've heard some pretty good things about this new Bumble and Bumble line. I may have to try it.

"15 Things You Should Stop Saying to Girls with Tattoos." This.

Is it Fall yet? TV is boring in the summer.

This Instagram account is always making me happy. Not only is Diana the bestest ever, but her posts are always brightening my day.

This Week is For...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

- Visits from my little sister.
- Going with said sister to get her first tattoo.
- Walking around the mall for hours with sister.
- Registering for pre-k.
- Buying school supplies
- Library date.
- In & Out.
- Fish tacos.
- Ice cream dates.
- Taking pictures.
- Donuts. Always.

+ shirts by Hello Apparel 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I don't normally just write about something unless I feel strongly about it. That's the case with these SnapBibs. When Jack was a baby, I had about 20 bibs. Each meal we would use one and well, he was a messy eater. Eventually, I'd have to purchase more because of stains or too much wear. This bibs change the entire game. I have three (although I want more, but not out of need...). That's it. No stains, no wear. They are made from a thick vinyl that easily wipes off. Best thing about these bibs, he can't pull them off. They are made with a heavy-duty snap so little ones can't just pull them off like velcro bibs. Another awesome feature is the colors! They have the brightest, boldest, prettiest colors. There is also glitter options which are also pretty amazing. If you're looking for a good, solid baby purchase, SnapBibs is the way to go.

+ this is not a sponsored post. I just really, honestly love this product.

Nutella Banana Bread

Monday, August 4, 2014

Good mornings always start with mushy bananas and chocolate hazelnut spread. Banana bread is good, but throw some Nutella in there....oh man. Here's what we did....

What you need:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable/coconut/avocado oil
4 ripe bananas, mashed 
1/2 cup Nutella

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare your loaf pan by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Combine sugar, flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, oil, and banana, and mix well.
3. Take half of the batter and put in a separate medium-sized bowl. Combine with Nutella and mix well.
4. Place alternating dollops of the batters in the prepared loaf pan. 
5. Bake for 55-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the bread is browning too quickly, cover the top with foil for the remainder of the baking.

Family Love

Friday, August 1, 2014

We recently had our family pictures taken by my lovely friend Maryum at Hi and Hello. She was the first internet friend I made and actually met. She's moving away across the country soon and although we dont' see each other often, it's sad to see her go. I know that her and her family will have an amazing new adventure and I couldn't be more excited for her! On to the photos!

We love our donuts. 

The Smith's.

My beautiful boys.

Thank you, again Maryum for taking these for us!!!