9.08.2018

laundry room reveal

The project I thought would never end! Only because my tile backsplash sat incomplete for months because I kept waiting to order more tiles knowing...just knowing they'd go on sale. Well, they eventually did- and I missed it. So I just kept putting it off and then they went on mini-sale so I put on my big-girl pants and clicked "buy" so I could check this room off my list! 

When I started my mudroom makeover, I wasn't entirely sure I'd update the laundry room as well- but we all know how house projects go...one thing spills over into another. And whereas these two rooms are basically connected it just made sense to do both! 

I didn't take many "before" shots, because again I didn't realize how much I'd be changing (have I learned nothing about myself yet?!)...but I'll tell as I go!
 One of the most annoying parts of the whole project (and that's including stripping down that door and adding a piece of glass) was changing the swing of the door from an innie to an outie. I bought a wood chisel and watched a few Youtube videos and went at it. It definitely didn't turn out perfect (turns out chiseling hinges is actually quite precise)- but as always, thank goodness for spackle to cover up all my mistakes! But in changing the swing we opened up a lot more space in the laundry room itself!
The whole project started with needing more functionality in the mudroom- give me organized space or give me death, I say. You can read more about that on that post

 Time to get into the details of the laundry room! Gah- I really wish you could see the before! Basically, there was a big open space where the built-in floating wood shelves are now, no backsplash, silver knobs, and a weird metal countertop on the sink (and of course that awful peach tile on the floor you can see from the mudroom before pictures).
 I debated between going with light or dark tile in this room, but I'm 100% happy I went darker! I love the contrast it adds to the white walls and cabinets, but is warmed back up with the wood tones in the stain. I think it also helps tie in the darker bits in our granite tops you can see a peek of in our half bath (which is also in the kitchen). We got it from Floor and Decor and also got enough to replace the tile in our master bath (I'll eventually be rid of you peach tile!)

The wall color in the laundry and half bath (and Olivia's room) is Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams. It has my heart. Can paint colors do that? Because I think my love language is somewhere between blue/green paint colors and shiplap.
 Our same friend who built our mudroom cabinet also built me the floating shelves to install between the two sets of white cabinets. I'm obsessed with the stain color I used- "weathered" by Old Barn Milk Paint. 
The countertop is stained the same color. I put it together with a few pieces of wood and cut out a hole for the sink with the help of my uncle! I did want to also replace the sink, but when push comes to shove I didn't want to financially commit to that kind of cost in here. ;-) But just being rid of the previous metal countertop makes me happy enough!

 The backsplash I used is actually peel and stick glass tiles from Wayfair. It doesn't end up being too much more cost effective, but definitely less messy since you don't have to mess with thin set and grout. I was able to use a manual tile cutter to cut the length up until I realized I'd need to trim the pieces width wise once I got to the top row of tiles and had to borrow a wet saw. Probably also why I put it off finishing so long...

 I love walking back in from the garage door seeing this! Some people have asked me if I'd be worried about having a glass laundry door and people seeing the mess inside...but honestly it doesn't really get messy. Don't roll your eyes- keep reading. I'm NEVER caught up on laundry, but I take it out the drier and dump it on my bedroom floor. So the laundry room ends up staying clean- it's MY room that always has the endless mounds of unfolded clothes! Needless to say, that room will never have a glass door. ;-) 

Onto the next!

7.07.2018

thirty, flirty, and thriving

I turned THIRTY. I clearly remember when I was in my early twenties thinking thirty seemed legit- like everyone who was thirty had their crap together. If your twenties are for figuring it all out, your thirties are for having it all together. 
Well, I'm here to tell you I have it a little more figured out, but I've decided it's still mostly just a fake-it-till-you-make-it kind of situation. But I'm happy to be thirty! I have a mortgage, three kids, and a minivan- I'm basically living the dream. ;-) 

To celebrate, I went on a girls' weekend with some of my favorite ladies to The Grand America in Salt Lake. I already want to go back! Such a fun and fancy hotel.
 We started off with pedicures and dinner at Carmine's. They import 80% of their ingredients from Italy and house make nearly everything - and you can tell!
Jenn also spoiled us with one of her homemade cheesecakes- a 6 layer s'mores cheesecake to be exact- she is the master! Better than anything I've had from Cheesecake Factory, that's for sure. We decided we needed to eat our leftover for breakfast in bed the next morning, naturally.
Continuing our food crawl, for brunch we went to Sweetlake Limeade for some of the best biscuits around! I'd say this place and Eva's Bakery ties for best breakfast in Salt Lake.
We topped off the weekend with some shopping and a movie. I don't think it gets any better than this weekend! Love these girls and I think my 30's may just be the best decade yet!


7.06.2018

donut grow up, charlotte!

I say this every time my kids have a birthday, but it's true- I blinked and a year went by! Every year seems to go a little faster. It feels like Charlotte has always been part of our family, even though she's just been here for a year, I can't remember life before her! (Did I sleep more then? Probably not...)

Charlotte has been a pretty easy-going kid (probably thanks to birth order)! She still wakes up once a night to eat, loves to read books, likes to try whatever food she sees you eating, and gets into everything. She says: Mama, Dada, Nana, Papa, no, more, all done, poo, night-night, bye, hi, hello, eat, ball, yay, uh-oh, oh no, and book. She just took her first few steps a couple of days ago, but hasn't wanted to practice really since then (though she pushes her walker like a boss!).

Jillian likes to tote her all over the house and can get some of the best belly laughs from her! Anytime the doorbell rings she crawls as fast as she can to the door, because she knows it's most likely Jillian coming home! She's like her second mom. 

 She loved everyone singing happy birthday to her and just beamed the whole time. She wasn't quite sure what to do with her cake, but after a couple of tastes she got the right idea! Anytime she wants to eat something (especially something she sees you eating), she will start "mmmm-ing" very emphatically (sometimes even angry!). Don't get between this girl and her food! She still only has two bottom teeth but that doesn't stop her from doing pretty well with table food!
 We love you SWEET girl! 

__________________

Party Sources:

Letter balloons: Amazon
Tissue paper tassels: Amazon
Donuts: Beyond Glazed in Murray
Donut pinata: Target
Sweet One banner: Etsy
Plates, napkins, donut cups, table cloth: Etsy
Printable paper donuts: Etsy
Sprinkle paper lanterns: Amazon 
 Cake topper: Amazon
Printables: Etsy

5.28.2018

biscoff white chocolate chip cookies

Five words that belong together, if ya ask me. A local cookie delivery place featured this cookie as a monthly flavor and I knew I had to recreate it! (Spoiler alert: I think it came out just a bit better- though I'm biased!)
I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe as a guide, and just tweaked and added as I went to incorporate the flavors that I wanted, which included crushed Biscoff cookies in the dough as well as a generous scoop of the cookie butter whipped in with the butter- and of course a melty pile of hiding in the middle when you bite into it! 

The key to good cookies, with any recipe really, is in getting the texture of the dough right! You want it to stick together without being crumbly, but not so sticky that it sticks onto your fingers- almost like Play-Doh. If it's too dry they won't spread enough, if it's too moist then they'll spread too much and be flat. To me the perfect cookie is somewhere in the middle- puffy, soft in the middle with a slight crisp around the edges. 
 

Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Cookies
 Yield: 25 large stuffed cookies

2 sticks of butter, at room temperature 
3/4c brown sugar
3/4c white sugar
2 eggs
2t vanilla extract
3c flour
2t baking soda
1t salt
15 Biscoff cookies, crushed
1c Biscoff cookie butter, divided
2c white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. 

2. In a stand mixer, beat the two sticks of softened butter with the sugars until light and fluffy (a couple of minutes). Add 1/2c of cookie butter and beat until smooth. Add two eggs and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and crushed Biscoff cookies (I crushed mine by putting them in a Ziploc bag and using a rolling pin over it).

4. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer with wet ingredients and combine. Check your dough consistency- if it seems to crumbly, mix in another 1-2tbs of butter. Add in the white chocolate chips.

5. Take a rounded tablespoon full of dough in your hand and flatten it into a small disc. Spoon about 1t of cookie butter into the middle. Shape another tablespoon full of dough into a disc and place on top of the first one, closing the edges to seal in the cookie butter, then roll into a ball.

6. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for 11-12 minutes, until the edges just start to crinkle. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet for another few minutes (they solidify and finish cooking during this time). I use two sheets so when one is cooling, I can pop the next one in ready to go!

Best devoured warm when the Biscoff in the center is still melty! 

*It did take some extra time to stuff them, so for a couple of batches I just used a cookie scoop and baked them as a normal cookie, then drizzled the top with melted cookie butter to save some time! Those turned out delicious as well, and if you're wanting to get more cookies out of this recipe then that's the way to go!

5.13.2018

trip to fl

Vacations always go by too fast...especially trips to Florida! I put together a little video of some highlights, but also took a million pictures too so I had to have them all in one spot (I completely forgot to pack my camera though so we had to make our phone cameras work!).

 

We started and ended our trip in Orlando. The day after we flew in, I attended a POP Pilates certification- something I've been wanting to do for a while but wasn't able to attend the one in Salt Lake a few months back! So I figured the Orlando training was the next best thing, plus we're always up for a trip back home. 

After that we headed for a few days in my favorite city in Florida- St. Augustine. From the moment we stepped off the plane Olivia asked me nearly every hour when we were going to the beach, so once we finally got there a few days later she was elated!

I was also pretty happy because Charlotte didn't show much of an interest in eating the sand like I thought she would- hallelujah! (And she definitely did not keep her hat on- pretty much just long enough for me to take a picture of it).
Crescent beach in the morning hours was just gorgeous. It was low tide, so the shore line stretched on forever and gave Charlotte plenty of room to crawl in the shallow water. It also wasn't crowded in the least- for a while we were the only ones in our little spot of what felt like heaven!
  We also had a beach day with my parents and cousins- throwing the Frisbee, playing in the sand, and ended it with Publix fried chicken (which no trip to the beach is complete without if you ask me).

Olivia and my Dad's birthday are one day apart at the end of April, so of course we celebrated! Not that I ever need an excuse to bake, but birthdays are an especially good reason. My Dad wanted something super chocolate-y and Olivia didn't care as long as it was pink with sprinkles (naturally).
 After our time at the beach and exploring some of St. Augustine (read: eating our way through St. Augustine), we headed back to Orlando and stayed at SUCH a cool hotel- the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites water park. If you have kids I definitely recommend it! It had such a fun pool and water park along with a 4D movie theater and arcade- the girls loved it! Well, everything except the 4D movie. Once the seats started rumbling and water squirting they were both hysterically crying and we left after 5 minutes. :-D
Since we didn't fly out until evening time, our last morning there we did breakfast with Minnie and the gang at Disney's Beach Club Resort- another thing I'd totally recommend! The breakfast buffet was delicious and all of the characters come by your table to say hello. Charlotte (as you can see) wasn't sure what to think of them all.
  We actually thought Jillian would be too shy to say hello and Olivia would love them (from all of our life experiences together)- but as soon as we got there and Olivia saw them in person, they completely flipped- Olivia clammed up and wanted nothing to do with them and Jillian ran right up to them and gave them hugs! James and I were both shocked. 
It was another one for the books, that's for sure! We packed SO much into the week we were there- three different cities and a lot of activities, but ton of memories! Utah may be home right now, but Florida will always have my heart!