Friday, May 30, 2014

Updated Grocery List

Popping in today to share my updated Grocery List! I'm working on a post that gathers up the resources in which I meal plan from as well so, be on the look out for that.

Have a great weekend, Everyone!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pantry // Mudroom {Before & After}

Excited for the group that's getting ready to start their 24 Day Challenge. Email me if you haven't received your stuff!

Now, on to some more before and after's. The pantry was one of the only things that I actually liked about this house when we first looked at it. Coming from a tiny little closet and seeing the rest of the house, this is all I had to hold on to...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Main Floor {Before & After :: Part 1}

I found all the 'before' pictures of our house from when it was on the market (I apologize that they're not the best quality) before we purchased it. Get ready, it's....well, it's interesting. We'll just leave it at that.

So here we go!

What we have here is the sunroom. This was honestly the best room in the house, at the time.

And here it is today.

If you're wondering why the side tables are a little bare, it's because I have the wildest two year old on the planet. He, like his father, cannot be trusted with small, breakable items.

*Pretend you don't see the driftwood stool by the door* It belongs next to the media console but, pregnancy brain forgot to move it.

We spend quite a bit of time in this room and I love, love, love looking at the gallery wall. I think everyone should have one in their home somewhere. Those fans however, not a huge fan of them, but they were last on our to-do/budget list so, they're there for now.

The wall color is Sherwin Williams Gray Clouds. To me, is the quintessential, perfect 'gray'. It doesn't pull blue, green, purple or brown (at least not in this room). We still have to switch out the patio (?) door hardware but, have yet to be able to find any. Seriously, does nowhere carry these?! I like to think that I can track down just about anything but, these. These are scarce. If anyone knows where one might get their hands on some, drop me an email!

We also chose to leave the ceiling and window casings in their original colors. It gave a room more character and depth. I think white would have made it too sterile but, maybe not. Erin, over at Sunny Side Up has a similar style and her new house is amazing so, it may have been fine but, I actually like the contrast.

Ok, moving on to the kitchen. Get ready for these...

Do you hear angels singing?! I did not when we first walked in. Thankfully, the husband, despite his aforementioned annoyances, has quite a design vision.

No words here, people. No words. I'm actually a little surprised I don't see the League of Their Own framed movie poster hanging in here that the previous owners gifted us (that and the table you see here...). The fact that Tom Hanks stayed in this house while they were filming was their main selling point. My only thought was, "wtf, Tom. I expected you to have better taste than this".  Never thought quite the same of him since.

And here it is today.

We basically gutted everything in this area. During which, I was confined to living in the basement making meals only in a crockpot and washing Charlie's sippy cups in the bathroom sink...8 months pregnant. If I could give you guys one piece of advice, don't do this to yourselves. I had more breakdowns than I can count and this is probably the time I developed the twitch I have now anytime I see a crockpot.

I have the boys' artwork hanging on the backsplash so, not sure if you can tell that it's white subway tile. I'm sure our realtor will suggest that I take it down but, not happnin'. I love looking at their sweet handprints and scribbles. Especially when I've got my head shoved underneath the cabinets trying to regain my composure after Breaker threw an egg at me while standing on the counter (true story).

If you look closely (or probably not even closely), you can see where I attempted to brush out a mop I left behind the chair in the sunroom. And that friends, is why I am not a graphic designer.

The husband built this table and I love it. We looked everywhere for a long, skinny table to no avail so, he found some barnwood on Craigslist and, handy little devil, built one himself. We put a piece of Absolute Black granite with a honed finish down the middle to put hot dishes on and the chairs are Restoration Hardware Remy Side Chairs. They're still on sale so, if you're in the market, snag these babies up!

Lastly, here is the living room. You guys, I can't. I just. can't.

Like what?! I don't even know here.

And here is the same view today.

Oh, no. It doesn't stop there.

Ladies, can you imagine your husband taking  you into this and saying, "yep, this is the one, Honey." I thought he had ingested some sort of a hallucinogen and lost his mind. I've since learned to keep a much more open mind but, initially this was tough for me.

I'll hopefully be back this week with more before and after's but, we'll see what the kiddo's and husband have up their dirty little sleeves :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Home Office {Before & After}

It takes everyone a year to finish a simple project, right? Please say yes...

No? Well, in any case wanted to share some pretty amazing before and afters of our current house. This is the first house my husband and I have purchased together so, you'll see a lot of his/her things. It's been an interesting transition but, this baby has come a lonnnnnng way from it's day-we-purchased-it state. I'm going room by room as I get them finished so, I'll probably be skipping around a bit, but is life these days :)

Here is the basement office, semi-before. Before-before was an even hotter mess, if you can imagine that. Blueish indoor/outdoor carpet and I'm pretty sure the previous owners had a bird in there (?!?!) Little known fact about me, I HATE birds. They just freak me out. #ihaveissues but, moving on.

Here it is after we moved in, painted, ripped up the carpet and did stained concrete. Which by the way, was a great idea, in theory but, I'd do tile if I had it to do all over again. It's gorgeous when it's buffed, but the minute you even look at it, it looks muddy and sad. But, it's concrete and we got a CRAZY good deal on it, so I'm not too mad about it.

So, back to the office. Here are some before's:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

One Week Meal Plan {Jenna's Kitchen}

If you've been looking for a little help in the meal planning department, look no further.
I have found an awesome one week meal plan, courtesy of Jenna over at Jenna's Kitchen. She presents a typical week of 3 meals/day of whole foods. It even comes with a grocery list. How great is that! This is great plan for those new to whole foods, or veterans looking to switch it up. And bonus...all of it is 24 Day Challenge approved (at least when I'm your coach)!

I found I liked this a plan and layout a ton better than emeals. It calls for salmon on a few occasions. HERE and HERE are my favorite sources for quality fish.

Jenna is offering a 10% discount on this plan using the code HELLOSTRIPES

Head on over and get this killer meal plan HERE and enjoy!

Would love to hear what you guys think ~

Friday, May 9, 2014

Work-at-Home Moms

Taking a little break from recipes and food stuff to share some ideas for the work-at-home-moms. Came across a post from and God knew I needed it. I've been having a tough time lately serving with love. I LOVE staying at home and everything that comes with it and and I love that I've been able to continue to do so AND contribute significantly with the financial (and countless others) blessing of Advocare, but there are days where it is still really tough to stay home and work part-time with two (soon to be three) young ones. 

I felt so overwhelmed with the little ones, being pregnant, being a wife, cooking healthy meals for my family and everything else it takes to run a household. I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I was mentally exhausted and never sat down, but never felt like I got anything done. I called my sweet husband bawling because it was three hours past the kids' naptime and they were still fighting it. "What am I doing wrong here?!" It was a string of a few bad days and I know that it was me, not them, not anything

I knew I just had my priorities all out of whack. I was so focused on trying to get our house ready to sell, the demands of life that every person experiences and distracting myself from doing household chores (and telling Breaker 'no' for the 15,987th time that day), that I let my relationship with God fall down to the bottom of the list and it was very apparent in my thoughts and actions. 

I knew I had my priorities in the wrong order and a few weeks later, a friend sent me this post. It was just what my heart and mind needed. 
Recalibration and a guideline for how to get some intention back into my days. Please head over there and read the entire thing for yourself, but here are the CliffsNotes.

  1. Create a Schedule
  2. Establish Boundaries to Eliminate Distractions (this one is really hard for me!)
  3. Find Reliable Childcare
  4. Let Go of Something (for me, it's been TV but, it should be Facebook...)
  5. Don't Compromise Sleep
  6. Hold a Weekly Planning Meeting
  7. Get Out of the House (Network, Nurture Friendships, Etc. Advocare has been HUGE for me in this area. Have such a great group of girlfriends because of it.)

Creating a schedule has allowed me to put my relationship with God back at the top, which has given me the strength, energy and grace I need to get through this season of life. It's an incredible one, but whew, it definitely tests you. This blog gives me a lot of strength and I turn to it often when I'm feeling a little mentally or spiritually worn down. It's really things like THIS and THIS that remind me what life is really all about. 

I think we're all (hopefully) on a path of continual improvement. Having a family and being a part of such an amazing Advo-family has challenged me personally in ways I couldn't have imagined five years ago. I hope that you find these resources as moving and helpful as I have.

What are you guys reading/doing to fill up your tanks and accomplish all of your goals? 

Love to hear it!