Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wedding Wednesdays: The Invitations

The invitations went out last week -- woo-hoo! It's amazing how the time is just flying by. We love how Lauren was able to carry the Tahoe Mountain theme from the Save-the-Date to the invites and RSVPs. Now we just hang tight, while friends and family get back to us.

The RSVP is a postcard making it easy for guests to pop back in the mail.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend? How did you spend your extra day off?

The 30th Birthday celebrations continued through the weekend with BBQs, beers and bikes. We had a nice BBQ spread, I even tried out a few new recipes. The big hit -- Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls! (The Salted Carmel Cupcakes went quick too!) I pined the recipe on pinterest months back -- so it was about time I gave it a try. 

Recipe Source: Picky Palate

I wish there were a few leftover.
These little bread bowls are amazing and super easy to make. Served warm or cold they are a party must. I saw guests going back for seconds... don't worry your secret is safe with me.  

Did you try a new recipe this weekend?



Linked To: Tasty Tuesdays

Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls

13.3 oz roll of refrigerated french bread loaf, I used Simply Pillsbury
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
3 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 Cup light sour cream
2 Tablespoons fresh shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Ancho Chile Pepper
1/8 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Garlic Salt
1/8 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 10 muffin cups with non stick cooking spray. Unroll package of french bread loaf and slice into 10 equal size slices, about 1 inch thick. Press each slice into about a 3 inch round, I did this by pressing in between my hands. Press into the bottom and up sides of the muffin cup.  Set aside.

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir spinach until wilted, about 3 minutes then add garlic, cook and stir for another minute then turn heat off.

Place cream cheese, sour cream, cooked spinach and garlic, Parmesan Cheese, Ancho Chili Powder, garlic salt, salt and pepper into a medium bowl.  Mix until well combined.  With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dip into each of the centers of bread bowls. Top evenly with shredded cheese and bake for 15-17 minutes until just turning brown on edges. Remove and let cool for 3-5 minutes before removing from oven.

10 mini spinach dip bread bowls

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Fancies: Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Tunic/ Shorts / Swimwear / Wedges / Watch / Hat

I'm ready for the three day weekend and my 30th Birthday BBQ bash on Sunday! I decided to changes things up around here and join in on Friday Fancies over at Long Distance Loving. Here are a few pieces I'm loving for any sunny summer weekend. 

What are your plans for Memorial weekend? 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

What I've learned in 30 years

That's right yours truly turn 30 today! I would like to think I'm that much wiser, not older. Last year I proclaimed I would complete 30 things before 30, well let’s just say I only marked a few of the list. Either way, it was still a fantastic year with an engagement to boot.

5 things I've learned in 30 years:
  1. Your parents always seem to be right 
  2. With dedication and determination you can do anything
  3. Something good will always come from something not so good...
  4. Be kind, stay humble and keep it classy
  5. Follow your dreams no matter what 
A few weeks ago I stumbled across a similar list, 30 Things I’ve Learned (or wish I had) Before 30, and I think most of us can relate at any age.

Here's to another wonder 30 years filled with love and laughter.

At our engagement party, September 2011

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wedding Wednesdays: Invitation Inspiration

We are less than 90 days away from the big day! Last night Nick and I started addressing our invitations, but before I share our invites I need to drop them in the mail. Instead -- here's what inspired our invitations, RSVPs and Save-the-Date.

We were looking for something simple, fun and Tahoe. As you'll see all the invites below have a woodland/mountain theme. Just like the Save-the-Date our friend Lauren designed the invites and I can't wait to share them next week! For more wedding inspiration check out my wedding style pinterest board here.




Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Grads + San Diego

That's right Marcus graduated from college and Wednesday he moves to Colorado Springs!!! We all couldn't be more proud. Here's how the weekend went down.

Friday morning we watched the little bro walk.

We think he has the best sisters

Then  there was a seafood feast...

Crab, shrimp, corn, potatoes and lobster

The Angels were in town so were headed downtown for a friendly game. Marcus rocked his new Weaver jersey.

Great game, seats and company

There were tons of laughs too.

Cara, Marcus & I

and cheesecake topped with a fish and tree.

I have some awesome skills

All in all I would say it was a successful weekend. It's always so hard to leave San Diego. Until next time.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Simple Patio Table Part One

Last summer we built a kitchen table and this summer were building some patio furniture -- starting with a simple patio table.

We went to our local lumber yard Meeks and picked up:
  • 5 – 12′ – 1×4 Boards 
  • 5 – 8′ – 1×4 
  • 1 – 12′ 2×4

After the run for lumber, we made all our cuts. Yes that's me using a power saw. I'm surprised Nick lets me near them.

Once all the cuts were made we started screwing and glueing the frame. Instead of screwing the tabletop to the frame we used the finishing gun, but first we laid out all the boards (below).

In no time we were screwing on the legs and moving the table to the back yard.

Since we used the finishing to gun attach the top the holes needed to be filed in (below).  Up next sanding, maybe some stain, thompson's water sealer, and some benches to sit on.

This table is super lightweight and will look awesome once we have everything else in place. Oh and total cost so far $54!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wedding Wednesdays: To-dos

We are officially 95 days out. I would  love to call this the home stretch, but there are still a few things left to-do. According to I have 122 to-dos. WOW -- and here I thought I was on top of it. Here are my top to-dos for the next month the rest will fall into place.
  1. Send out invites (We ordered them last week)
  2. Book our honeymoon -- still trying to decide
  3. Design centerpiece arrangements
  4. The Menu -- Dinner, desserts and drinks --what are we going to serve?
  5. The playlist - oh yes this must be dialed
On a side note, I'm heading to San Diego tomorrow to spend some time with the fam. The real reason -- my baby bro is graduating from college! Let's just say there's going to be a massive party on Saturday!

Check back tomorrow for details on the simple patio table we built.

Monday, May 14, 2012

April showers bring May flowers

And in our case we go to the nursery and buy plants. There might have been flight difficulties this weekend resulting in my dad not making it up. However, Nick and I still made the most of the weekend. We biked powerline trail, built a patio table and went to town gardening the front yard. All in all I would call it a successful weekend!

When we bought the house, August 2010, the grass in the front yard was nearly dead and non-existent in the back!

August 2010
We decided not to do anything that Fall. Once Summer finally rolled around we were on it -- seeding and watering, seeding and watering. By the end of Summer 2011 it was lush and green!

 August 2011
Fast forward to Spring 2012 -- the grass is growing in nicely and mostly on it's own. We did have to seed a few spots here and there.

May 2012

Since the grass is dialed it's about time we start planting in the flowerbeds. So Saturday we made the first of two trips to Aspen Hollow and we went to town!  Thinking we were only going to leave with a few flowers we left with two 1-gallon rockrose, one 6-pack of lupines, one 6-pack of catmint, one 6-pack of stevia and another gallon shrub that smelled awesome but I can't remember the name for the life of me!

We started with the flowerbed next to the walkway (above) planting a few little guys from each of the 6-packs. Once the plants were in we topped the flowerbed with compost and added a rock border (we have a ton just laying around) and a few for decoration. The plan is to one day replace the lime green garden stool with a big boulder.

Sunday we headed back to Aspen Hollow for compost and picked up another rockrose plus some herbs and berries. Then we tackled the flowerbed in the yard (above) planting 3 rockrose (below) and well everything else. Right now it's hard to see everything as they're a bit small, but hopefully in a month or so they'll start to fill in a little.


What are you planting in your flowerbeds this year?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Guess who's coming to town

This guy is coming to town....

..... I like to call him Dad, Nick calls him John. The next three days are going to be full of house projects. I guess you'll have to wait until next week to see what we're working now.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wedding Wednesdays: DIY Details

As the wedding nears it's time for us to start a few DIY projects. Since we're getting married in Tahoe  I really want to incorporate as many natural elements into the wedding as possible. Nick's going to be busy making cake/cupcake stands and centerpiece stands out of tree rounds -- among other things.

Here are a few projects we need to start.




Do you have any good DIY tips?


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Kitchen Diaries: Part Two

As I mentioned yesterday we were very busy last week working hard to finish our kitchen project.

Sprucing up the kitchen has been on our list since we moved in, nearly two years ago. You can see why in the picture below -- It's stuck in 1959!
August 2012 -- The month we closed on the house!
After the kitchen was empty we went to town sanding. Roughly one day and two nights worth of work we were ready to prime.  With all the other painting projects we had plenty of  Kelly-Moore primer to cover the project.

Sanding done -- Starting to prime
On day five, after a coat of primer it was time to start painting! We went with Dura Poxy Plus from Kelly-Moore in Swiss Coffee (aka white). The dura poxy was designed to resist chemicals, oils and everyday stains from coffee to red wine! I can scrub to my hearts content without the paint wearing. I might have to repaint a few things in the house with dura poxy.

And here she is... so fresh and so clean!

Ta-Da  --  May 5, 2012
Originally there were handles on every drawer & door. We replaced the doors with knobs from Lowe's, cleaned up the old handles and hinges and sprayed them with stain nickel metal spray paint by Valspar.

We still have a few touch ups here and there and need to tackle the island in the middle. I personally want to replace it with a mobile island and Nick thinks we should work with the one we have. Time will tell. This may not be my dream kitchen, but boy it looks 10 time better! 

What tweaks have you made to your dated kitchen?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Let's get organized

I can happily say we finished the kitchen over the weekend! More on that tomorrow. Do you ever look at your junk drawer and say I really need to clean it out?  Well, I do! I had the perfect opportunity to go through the "junk," since we emptied the kitchen cabinets and drawers to paint. Yesterday, before just dumping all the goods back into the dreaded junk drawer I headed to Kmart (wish Target was closer) and bought myself a "junk drawer organizer" for only $7.98.

It may have looked a little like this before. eek.

Back at the house with my new organizer I went to town. Everything is now in its place. For some reason I have 10 sharpie markers -- who knew! It feels good not to have to dig every time I need to find something.

....and now it looks a little like this!

Have you started any spring cleaning or organizing? What are some of your tricks?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Washer & Dryer Upgrade

A few weeks ago, the same day we flew out to Minnesota, our beloved LG front-load washing machine died. It was holding on by a thread for the last year, so it was really only a matter of time. Well we just didn't purchase just a new washer and dryer, we upgraded to steam! After some research we decided on the Samsung 3.7 cu. stackable front-load energy star washer and matching gas dryer from Lowe's. The nice thing about Lowe's -- free delivery and free haul away! Since the dryer still worked we gifted it to a friend of a friend who just purchased their first house.

Here's what our mudroom and washer & dryer once looked like...

They may not look pretty but they worked.

We've been busy dry walling and painting the mudroom, but more on that later. The new washer & dryer look great in our mudroom. Fresh paint doesn't hurt either.

New Samsung washer & dryer
These bad boys are fantastic. They're quite, efficient, and sing a nice little song when the cycle is done. Have you bought a new washer or dryer recently? Do you have the same model? Would love to hear your thoughts.


P.S.  The kitchen is shaping up nicely. Check back next week to see what we've been up to every night.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Parson Chairs

While we slave away over the kitchen here's the update I promised about our kitchen chairs. When we went to build the farmhouse table we weren't sure about benches, so I set out for the most comfortable & affordable design pleasing chairs I could find. Typically parson chairs are a little on the pricy side, but I was on a mission. After narrowing it down to leather chairs from overstock ($109/2), canvas chairs from Crate & Barrel ($299/1) and canvas chairs from Ikea ($69/1) with removable covers -- it was a no brainier. Since I decided to go with white it made the most sense to purchase the Ikea chairs -- I could at least wash them when they start looking dirty. The price was right too.


Crate & Barrel


After making the trip to the closest Ikea in W. Sacramento, Nick went to town putting them together -- easy breezy. Once the covers were on, nice and snug, each chair was given a coat of scotch guard.

Ta-da... We purchased 6 chairs for now, but might add two more. Maybe those will have a fun print or slightly different style. What do you think? I'm happy to report we've had the chairs for 10 months and still love them. We did unfortunately have to return one faulty chair. The one shopping at Ikea perk -- you can return furniture anytime as long as you have the receipt!

Stay tune more kitchen updates coming soon.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kitchen Diaries: Part One

Sunday, after a nice little hike to Cascade Falls, while enjoying lunch, we thought why not tackle the kitchen cabinets.  Though we would love to tear the whole kitchen out, knock down a wall or two and replace everything from flooring to appliances, we know that's more the 5-10 year plan. So the question is what can we do in the short term to spruce up a kitchen stuck in 1959? Repurpose the cabinets of course!  And that's just what we did, around 1 p.m. we got busy emptying out drawers and taking off the cabinets doors.

The dreaded kitchen

Nick took down all the cabinetry while I hauled everything out to our workspace in the garage. Before I could get busy sanding all the holes were filled in with hardy man wood filler.

A few doors off and only a few to go
Everything cleared out
Once all the doors came off we bagged all the food and moved the dish-ware into the living room aka make shift kitchen.

Our temporary kitchen
I busted out our trusty Ryobi Orbit Sander and utilized the last bit of daylight, sanding all the drawers. 120 grit sand paper got the job done. I highly recommend purchasing a orbit sander if you already don't own one. It's super easy to use and does a decent job. I used the same sander on the farmhouse kitchen table we built.

Once 9 p.m. rolled around we decided to call it a night. Stay tune.....

Kitchen  to-do's:

  • Sand all the cabinets doors
  • Tape off the kitchen doors
  • Remove remaining wall art
  • Sand cabinets in the kitchen
  • Hand sand molding along the top of the cabinets
  • Prime drawers, doors and cabinets
  • Paint drawers, doors and cabinets -- two coats
  • Paint all the baseboards and door trim to match the newly painted cabinets
  • Purchase to pulls, knobs and hinges
  • Install new pulls, knobs and hinges
  • Install newly painted doors and drawers
  • Change box lighting
  • Purchase/ DIY blinds or curtains for window
  • Move all our goods back into the kitchen
  • Decide if we are changing the countertops
  • Decide on a back splash if we change out the countertops