The Return of Summer

Remember how it was all crisp and cool the other week? That all changed this past weekend when it was 90 degrees and humid! We ended up changing some plans around due to the crazy heat but all-in-all, it was a great weekend!

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Last week was really busy so I decided to start implementing one of my monthly goals of using my planner to stay organized. I made little to-do lists for each day and it helped so much — I felt like I got so much accomplished because of this!

Backing up to Friday, is there anything better than coming home to fun packages on your front steps? Upon pulling into our driveway on Friday evening, I saw that my Nordstrom order and our new barstools had arrived — what a great start to the weekend!

After going back and forth on whether or not I loved the color or not, I ended up ordering this cardigan (in the brown spice color) from Nordstrom and I’m obsessed! I can’t wait to wear it to work this week when it cools down again.

I also ordered this little bunting for Little Pang so that he stays all cozy when we’re toting him around town in the bitterly cold winter months! It is so soft and I can’t wait to put him in it!

We ordered these barstools — we had the taller versions and really liked them but the height was just a little too tall for our new center island. We went with the exact same ones in the 24 inch height and they are perfect!

On Saturday morning, we headed out bright and early to run some errands — you know you’re officially a homeowner when trips to Home Depot are a regular occurrence! We swung in there to grab paint brushes and a measuring tape so we can get cracking on painting our living room + dining room this month.

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Afterwards, we ran a few errands and then made a quick stop for lunch before heading out to some Parade of Homes! The mushroom melt with extra pickles at Potbelly’s always hits the spot!

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The first house that we visited was a cute farmhouse style and although that’s not typically our style (we tend to lean more contemporary / slightly modern), it was really nicely done.

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I was also obsessed with this rug that they had in their dining area — I’m hoping to track it down so we can purchase it or find a similar one to put under our table.

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The next house that we stopped at had black doors with gold hardware and I loved them so much! I’m normally an all-white doors + trim kind of person, but these looked so sharp!

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We also toured a few modern homes, which were fun to see — they had so many unique features in them!

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How cool is this staircase right when you walk through the front door?!

We called it a day after a handful of homes mainly because it was just so hot outside — we were sweating just from walking from the car to each house! We relaxed once we got home and after dinner, Andy’s sister and her husband stopped by to see our house and say hi.

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The next morning, I met up with my bestie for a lunch date and then we hit Trader Joe’s for some pumpkin goodies! I left with my favorite pumpkin butter along with the ingredients to make homemade butternut squash soup.

For the soup, I roasted some carrots, onion, and garlic and then whipped them up in the food processor once they cooled down. I added the puree to a big stock pot filled with two cans of organic butternut squash puree, canned coconut milk, and a mix of spices (nutmeg, sea salt, pepper, ginger, and a little bit of chili powder). We enjoyed our soup alongside baked salmon and roasted veggies and it hit the spot!

Ever been to the Parade of Homes?
What’s the temp like where you live?

Garage Sales, Parade of Homes, & A Block Party

This past weekend was filled to the brim and the weather was absolutely gorgeous -- low 70s with clear skies and cool breezes.

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This little cutie turned TWO over the weekend -- it seems like just yesterday that she came home from the hospital! 

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Since I had Friday off, my sister and I hit a bunch of the garage sales in our area and we came home with so great finds! 

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My favorite item of the day was a baby seat in brand-new condition, which is what I was hoping to find! We plan to keep this swing downstairs in the living room and then the baby seat will stay upstairs so we I have a place to put baby in the bathroom / bedroom while I'm getting ready. I also love that it's neutral colored because I'm not a huge fan of brightly-colored baby items; I prefer that they blend in with the home rather than take the center stage in a room.

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After our garage sale adventures, we ate lunch together and then they went home for naps and I headed out to the post office to mail a freelance project to a client and then hit the grocery store. 

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Is it just me or is seeing what people buy for groceries super fascinating? I feel like it helps me get new ideas whenever I'm in a food rut, which is usually quite often since I tend to eat the same foods over and over again.

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After I put away all the groceries, I headed outside to read for a bit before Andy got home from work. I just started this book and it has me hooked! 

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Once Andy arrived home from work, I made up some sub sandwiches and we ate dinner outside on our front porch together before heading out for a walk through the neighborhood. 

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The next morning, I was up bright and early to meet my small group girls for our first meeting of this next year of study! It was so good to see everyone and catch up since I hadn't seen most of them in so long (we take a break from meeting over the summer). 

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Afterwards, I swung by the library to drop off a book and pick up this one and then headed home to eat lunch before heading out for a day date with Andy.

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We were both so excited because it was the first weekend of the fall session of Parade of Homes!

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We were especially looking forward to this round of POH so that we could get ideas for light fixtures, rugs, dining room tables, and paint colors. 

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We also talked about doing some funky wallpaper in our powder bathroom on the main level -- how cool is this back-lit mirror, too?!

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Later that evening, we headed to our neighborhood block party! It was so fun to get to know our neighbors a little better as we ate and hung out on our street. Once it got dark, they set up a bonfire and we all made s'mores, which was actually my first one of the summer! We had such a great time and are really looking forward to doing life alongside these families that live around us! 

Be sure to check back tomorrow because I'll be sharing the gender of our baby on the blog! :)

Best part of your weekend?
What are your thoughts on wallpaper coming back in style?

Celebrating Andy's Birthday

I haven't been blogging much because we've been having some issues with our Thunderbolt display for our Mac. I'm currently blogging from my old laptop at our kitchen island and Andy ordered a new display which should be here tomorrow, which means I'll be back in business very soon!

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This past weekend we headed out to celebrate Andy's birthday! It's crazy to think how much has changed since his last birthday! 

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We started out on Saturday with a long walk through our new neighborhood -- we ended up walking over five miles and it was fun to explore around the area! As we arrived home, a few of our neighbors were out -- including a few that we hadn't met yet, so we introduced ourselves and chatted for a bit. It just makes my heart so happy to be living in this neighborhood full of people around our age and in a similar stage of life. We're having a neighborhood block party in a couple weeks and I'm seriously so excited for it! 

After showers and getting ready, we headed out to do some shopping before grabbing dinner. Our first stop was IKEA and we both agreed that we're kind of over that store after browsing around and realizing that we're past the stage where items from there work for our lifestyle. 

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So naturally, we headed to Crate & Barrel afterwards, which is definitely more up our alley.

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We browsed around for a bit and came across this gorgeous couch, but didn't end up purchasing anything.

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We also walked through Restoration Hardware, which is a store that we both love! Now that we have a house of our own, I really want to step up my interior design game and bring my design background into it.

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Afterwards, we went out for dinner in The Galleria -- I said "this is so good" around six times while eating this vegetarian kung pao stir fry. It seriously hit the spot! I want to find a good kung pao sauce recipe so I can recreate this spicy dish at home.

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Afterwards, we drove around to a few Caribou Coffee shops so that we could see my additions to their fall collection on the shelves and purchase a few to take home with us.

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I headed out for a run on Sunday morning and it felt so good to breeze through the neighborhoods and local trails while listening to my workout playlist.

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Once I got home, I immediately went to work making a pumpkin soup -- I saw a photo of it online, and decided to take a stab at creating my own version of it. It was a mix of pumpkin, carrots, onion, apples, spices, vegetable broth, and coconut milk all simmered together and then blended up to create a rich and velvety soup. It turned out so well and I'm looking forward to enjoying it throughout the week! 

I spent the rest of the day doing some meal prep, laundry, and reading a library book -- it was the perfect way to spend a Sunday.

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Andy brought home a few paint samples and paint color books while he was out during the afternoon and these made me so excited! Our walls are gray, but we'd like to switch them to a different shade of gray (#designerproblems) -- hopefully within the next month or so! Our neighbors that we met on Saturday invited us inside their house to see their recent remodel and it had us both itching to make some changes to our home so that it feels a little more like "ours."

Later that evening, I made homemade enchiladas for dinner and then gave myself a manicure while watching TV before taking a hot bath and calling it a night. I love our low-key Sundays -- they're the perfect way to recharge before starting a new work week.

I need your advice -- what's a great neutral gray paint color (no warm or cool undertones)?
Favorite kind of soup?
Black bean or tomato are my favorites! 

A Rainy 4th

Now that 4th of July is behind us, I'm really hoping that the rest of this month flies by because I'm getting so excited to move in just a few short weeks! 

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Andy picked up some of the boxes from our storage unit the other day, so I've been taking advantage of having some time to pack up the house so we can make this a quick and easy move to our new house! 

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On Tuesday night, Andy picked up this movie from Redbox and we both really enjoyed it! I'd definitely recommend it if you haven't seen it yet.

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Yesterday was such a weird day on the weather front -- it kept going from sunny to stormy all day! Due to the rain, we decided to hit Mall of America for a bit to do a little window shopping.

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We didn't buy anything, but it was fun to browse around together! 

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We almost always browse through Barnes & Noble whenever we visit the mall and I love finding new books to add to my requested list at the library. I just downloaded the ebook version of this one on my iPad and plan to start it later tonight! I LOVED this author's other book because of all of the twists and turns, so I'm hoping this one is just as good! 

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Afterwards, we swung by Chick-Fil-A for a quick lunch on the way home. Side note, I've been straying from my vegetarian ways a little bit now and then -- I'll share more thoughts on this later.

We hit more storms on the drive home, so the rest of the day was spent relaxing around the house. I'm not a huge fireworks person, but Andy walked down to the lake to check out the show! 

What is your favorite 4th of July tradition?
What do you typically order at Chick-Fil-A?

Mother's Day Weekend

Last weekend, we headed up to Andy's parents' new house to celebrate Mother's Day and Andy's sister's birthday! 

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The fact that we were also celebrating Jen's birthday was a surprise, so we all got there a little earlier than she did!

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On our drive there, we stopped to pick up some fresh flowers and a few things for the party -- this little bouquet smelled so good! 

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I also picked up this eyeshadow palette to include in Jen's gift -- these rosy neutrals are so pretty! 

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While at Ulta, I also picked up another tube of my favorite concealer -- you guys, this is seriously the BEST! It covers and blends SO well! 

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After lunch with the family, we headed down to the lake where Andy, my brother-in-law, and nephew were skipping rocks.

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Graham decided to try his hand with bigger rocks -- he had us cracking up!

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The following day, I went for a long walk and then started a new book down by the lake -- I ended up finishing it just a few days later and it was SO good!

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After reading for a bit, Andy met me down by the lake so we could grab ice cream and walk around together for a bit. We are just loving these spring weekends so much -- the weather is literally perfect right now! 

What did you do for Mother's Day?
Favorite concealer?