Which books are you must grabs for the summer reading list? What are the five best ways to style a scarf? Where are my spots for pimento cheese in the South? Find my favorite quick tips at Easy Pickins!
Photo credit: Peanut Butter Fingers
In March, Thomas and I ventured into the Whole 30 meal plan. We said goodbye to all sorts of things we loved, most noteable…sugar! Our journey into whole cooking challenged our habits and pushed us outside of our “cooking comfort zone.” This most often occurred when planning for breakfast. We used to eat oatmeal with brown sugar and honey almost every day. With a grain and sugar free plan in front of us, I had to find new options.
I learned a whole host of recipes and trialed new breakfasts I continue to make even after our one month food adventure was over. Below are a few of my favorite tried and true recipes – all of which are delicious, filling and (best of all) simple!
Click on the images to review the recipe in detail. How do you shake up breakfast every now and then? Share your favorite recipes in the comment section below.
Growing up, one of my fondest memories of home was the aroma of fresh flowers in our living room. No matter what time of year, my mom had a sprig of something fresh blooming in our home. As I continue to pretend my way through adulthood, I pick and choose what I bring from my past into our present…and fresh flowers are definitely a mainstay!
When I was in graduate school, I opted for very simple arrangements of what most would consider “filler flower.” That tradition carries over, as we budget more of our income on diapers and baby food that large arrangements. Once every two weeks, I grab five stems of Trader Joe’s $3.99 options and arrange three on my dining room table and cram the rest into a small vase in our guest bath. I’m always amazed how long these beauties last, and am now trying to build more colorful arrangements for special occasions.
When looking online for some inspiration, I (of course) landed on Pinterest and found a few simple and easy arrangements for Spring! What are some of your favorite flowers to display this time of year?
To cheerful days ahead,
If you’re (somewhat) like me…perhaps you’ve waited until the last second to hunt that perfect gift for Mother’s Day. You’re seeing gift guides pop up in your inbox and companies highlighting must-haves. But you still haven’t landed on just the right gift.
Don’t worry. There is still time!
Accessories are an ideal option for last minute gifts. My top reasons for accessories as a gift of choice:
- They are a want – not a need – meaning we rarely buy them for ourselves (ok…semi-rarely).
- They always fit.
- They can match anything in any closet.
- They complete a look with ease.
Below are a few of my favorite options for gift-giving (to a loved one or yourself!) What are some of your favorite accessory styles?
I remember the first few months of my sweet daughter’s life….and what little sleep we caught with her every-two-hour wakes. Thankfully, she got better at sleep with age. Unfortunately….I did not.
Perhaps I became so accustom to her wake-ups that I naturally stayed alert – waiting for her next cry. Maybe it’s my tendency to scroll photos of her after she’s sleeping or catch up on my grocery list. Whatever I stumble upon to distract me from deep sleep, I manage to successfully trim away at precious minutes of sleep that I definitely need!
Here are a few habits I’ve recently put into practice to better prepare for a full night’s rest. What are some of your bedtime routines? Share your tips with me – I need them!
- Bedtime tea. Each night, about an hour before bed, my husband makes me a cup of warm and calming Bedtime tea. I look forward to enjoying each sip of this luxurious tea!
- Lavender oil. Whether through a bath, diffused in our room or directly applied, lavender oil always makes its way into my bedtime routine. I like to add a few drops to an epsom salt bath or apply a couple drops to the bottom of my feet just before bed.
- Clean face. I love climbing into my soft cotton sheets with a clean and moisturized face. Without question, I must rid my face of “the day” before bed! I use a small amount of my Honest face wash and apply a nighttime moisturizer from Beautycounter.
- Pretty bed. Yep. We make the bed…every single day. There is something calming about slipping into a neat and tidy bed. We do our best to put away laundry and keep the clutter clear, as well. Cleared out room = cleared out mind!
- No devices. This one is hard for me, but we’re trying each and every night to shut off our phones and switch to a good book or magazine before bed. It is easy to get lost in all the noise on our phone, but the calming nature of a good read brings sleep along much more quickly!
If you’ve ever visited my home, you will quickly find that I am a fan of a muted color palette. It can get a little drab, at times, but overall – I’m a sucker for black, white, gray and all neutral colors in between! As the mama to a spunky baby girl, I wanted to incorporate more color in our home (proven fact – color is key to development for babies!) My dear friend, Whitney Walker, is quite talented in both teaching me how to mama and building rooms with color.
The plus side of a home filled with neutrals – adding color is a cinch! Here are a few lessons learned from Whitney. How do you incorporate color in your home? Share your tips and tricks with me in the comment section below!
- Use what you have. Since I have a background of neutral, I chose to accent my master bedroom and living room with color. Bright lumbar pillows in green, purple and blue coordinate easily with my large linen throw pillows and white duvet.
- Start small. Add color simply with either a pillow or throw blanket. Especially in a very muted home, decor pieces are easy to swap out (especially if your apt to change your mind often!)
- Consider the walls. When trying to break out of my neutral rut, I looked to paint! I opted for a pale ice blue in our master bedroom and a mint green in our daughter’s room. The rest of the furniture is muted – so the walls pop perfectly…just enough color for me!
- Do the unexpected. If you’re really up for a change, repaint a piece of furniture, like a dresser or end tables. Alternatively, take a muted lamp and add a contrasting shade – something unexpected and dimensional!
Let’s be honest. When you’re trying to eat healthy, salads become the go-to and quickly become boring. Today, I am sharing a few ways I reimagine the traditional salad in hopes of bringing you out of the doldrums of green and into the joy of color!
- Make it crunchy. I’m a sucker for berries atop my salads. I’ve taken the sweet tendencies a step further and added candied pecans to my traditional blueberry and strawberry salad. For even more crunch, consider a savory granola blend and honey-infused goat cheese. You’ll find the bottom of the bowl pretty quickly – I promise!
- Make it colorful. Salads don’t have to be filled with lettuce. Consider a base of cabbage and shredded carrots with sliced beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, black beans, and anything your palette desires. The more color you add, the more nutrients you’ll have!
- Make it wilted. One of my favorite tricks of the salad trade – sauteeting sliced sweet potatoes and topping the salad immediately with the searing hot veggies. Mixing cold greens with a warm protein or sautéed veggie will give you a beautifully wilted salad ideal for dinner time (or anytime in my book!)
- Make it plentiful. Try out a protein packed salad by adding steak, poached eggs, avocado and more. (For ideas, click on the image above!)
How do you change up your healthy eating routines? Share tips and tricks with me in the comment section below!
Growing up in Lexington, I distinctly remember my mother’s knack for crafting wreaths. Whatever holiday was around the corner, she had a stunning and festive wreath to celebrate. Our Christmas wreath remains my absolute favorite of all, but her focus on fresh cut flowers during spring festivities is a close second!
In searching for Easter wreaths, I found the above tulip wreath and garnered inspiration from the lush look of so many flowers and colors selected to develop such a beautiful piece of decor.
Consider an Easter wreath for your front door or even dining room table, filled with candles of varied heights or an Easter basket with treats for visitors. For a quintessential southern wreath, select dried cotton balls and branches for a monochromatic wreath. Use artificial flowers to enjoy your creation for months to come or consider fresh cut for an aromatic and unique centerpiece.
What are your tips and tricks for creating the perfect celebratory wreath? Share your thoughts with me in the comment section below! Click on the images for DIY tutorials and let me know your favorites!
Especially as the mama of a non-stop moving (almost) one year old, it is easy for our house to become a cluttered mess in no time. We’ve worked to create somewhat of a routine to keep things in place.
- Laundry days: we choose a couple days a week to tackle large loads of laundry at once. We’re in the groove of washing and folding, so everything is done in chunks instead of sprinkled throughout the week (and ultimately piling up!)
- Room by room focus: Each day, one area of the house gets some extra love. Mondays, the kitchen gets the most attention. On Tuesdays, we tackle the bathrooms, Wednesdays the bedrooms, and so on. Just 10 minutes of cleaning goes a long way with this strategy!
- One item in, one item out: If we purchase new clothes or shoes, we remove an equivalent number of items from our closet and sell them on consignment or donate to a local center. This keeps our closet (mostly) organized and less crowded with unnecessary items – which would ultimately lead to a massive cleanup.
How do you keep the house clean and vibrant throughout the week? Share your decluttering and tidy up tips with me in the comment section below!
As I mentioned last week in a previous post, my husband and I started Whole30. A key component of this shift in our nutrition includes increased water intake – and this is not an easy change for me!
Fortunately, Thomas started a new routine several weeks ago (as he’s been pushing me to drink more water for months!) Every day, I open our fridge to find a beautiful glass pitcher full of fruit-infused water. Typically, he changes the water every 3 to 4 days, offering a new and fresh flavor to enjoy. Below are a few of my favorite renditions of this powerful, healthy, and vibrant twist on water!
How do you encourage ample water intake per day? Share your tips and tricks in the comment section below!
Key ingredients: Apple, grape, lemon and orange
Key ingredients: Strawberry and Mint
Key ingredients: Lime and Cherry
Key ingredients: Cucumber and Melon
For whatever reason, my husband decided he wanted to start March off with a challenge. For the next 30 days (except for one tiny blip on the calendar for an event we’re slated to attend..which happens to be a food event), we’re eating whole foods. That means our pantry and fridge are stocked with grass fed beef, all natural chicken, unprocessed anything, and all. the. eggs.
While on this month long journey, I thought I would share a “day in the life” of our meal prep. Aside from whole fruits and raw almonds, below are some staples we’re preparing week after week.
Have you ventured into anything similar? Do you have some go-to favorites for healthy eating? Share your recipes with me in the comment section below!
Chicken Salad with Bacon and Scallions
Chicken Stir-fry over Cauliflower Rice