Southern flair in the Northern air...

Southern flair in the Northern air...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tidy Spaces

{my coffee bar - I say "my" because I'm the only one drinking coffee in our house}

Hello out there!! It's been a while.  With traveling and hosting throughout the Holidays and a sick baby last week it's been tough to get back on the blogging train.  I have been putting it off because I didn't have the right pictures I wanted for a post I was thinking up or decided just to do something else with the free hour I had.  But this morning I decided to snap a few quick pictures and write.  

I consistently joke that I'm an official picker-upper.  I am CONSTANTLY picking up anything and everything...and I only have ONE baby...who doesn't even walk yet! (getting close!) I am one that needs order and control so the constant state of disarray sometimes gets to me.  To find some balance, I have set up a few spaces in my house that are consistently clean and put together, and if they get messed up it only takes seconds to get them back in order.  

{I make sure to keep this space clean and always have fresh flowers, it's a dependable place of order  in the early morning}

{Paul and I share one sink with a small countertop.  I've set myself up a small space for the items I use daily, it makes me feel a little put together even when I'm a general mess}

{I make it a priority to keep the countertops clear of clutter in this corner of our kitchen.  If something is sitting there, I simply move it to the other side of the stove.  May seem simple, but having one space that is clean does wonders when I'm cooking}

{and finally I love keeping our guest bedroom clean and tidy.  Sure I will park the stroller in there when I'm in a rush or sort laundry in there but for the most part the bed is made and the surfaces are clear.  It gets little traffic since it is on the bottom level of our house which makes keeping it a dependable clean space manageable}

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Holiday Hot Chocolate Bar

Having people over during the next few days?  set up a hot chocolate bar!  When hosting, it's the little things that add up to a great night.  Obviously good company with lots of laughter and great conversation is most important but it's fun to make your place feels extra festive and warm this time of year.  I was gifted hot chocolate, a friend brought over biscotti when I had her over for dinner, and I have been making homemade marshmallows nonstop so I was able to throw this little tray together in mere minutes.  Whether you set it up in a littler corner or make it the center display on your table, a hot chocolate bar is sure to make people excited (either before or after all the sugar)!

{the is THE BEST hot chocolate.  I'm bringing it to GA with me!}

Monday, December 15, 2014

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

{all you need. target actually has everything, one and done!}

I posted on Instagram last week a preview of my homemade peppermint marshmallows.  I had seen them on another blog and decided it would be fun for the holidays.  I used Martha Stewart's recipe here: link (includes video!).  I have now made it 3 times and have it memorized; it is so simple!  Also since the recipe is just sugar, it cleans up well with water. The recipe is simple but I've included some tips I learned along the way.

As you know by now, I would normally never make something with these ingredients.  I refused to tell Paul what was in them and didn't even bother him to try them.  I am giving them out to friends and using them for a hot cocoa bar I'm putting together (more on that this week!).  I decided to let it go and just have fun with it.  I hope you do too! 

{a hand mixer would work, but a standing mixer is much easier}

{the recipe says to mix for 12 minutes, but I only mixed for 5-6 minutes or until thick & sticky}

{coat your spatula in pam or vegetable oil which will make spreading easier}

{I bought crushed peppermint candy at Target for the topping}

{let sit overnight for best results}

{line the pan with plastic wrap then use pam or oil to ensure the marshmallow will pop out easily}

{you can cut into square or get creative with small cookie cutters}s

{this sweet baby won't be getting close to these treats}

{sorry sweet pea}

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Marshalls for the Win

{a striped, light, table runner that will work for a few occasions - Christmas, V-day, July was on clearance for $10!}

Marshalls (and TJmaxx, Ross, Tuesday Morning, even Ocean State Job Lot (a northern store which I just experienced last weekend)) can be a hit or a miss.  On Tuesday I considered it a home run! I found things that I had been looking for and actually wanted...I'm not even going to pretend that I needed them.  AND I found them on the cheap cheap cheap.  

Lately I have been really avoiding bringing color in the house.  I've been looking for white, off-white or pale creams.  I'm even tired of taupe or yellow creams (which is the color of my kitchen cabinets at the moment...may change that soon).  Some of the things listed have a little color but it's progress towards an all white, neutral palate I'm headed towards.

Anyways - thought I would share some things that I'm loving in my house right now!

{our fireplace isn't working at the moment so this extra large candles with extra flames does the trick on my coffee table.  I'm also really into all white flower arrangements with pops of red.  And that Christmas tree dish was a thrift store find this summer for a dollar :D }

{I was SOOOO excited to find these little guys! and in white! I see them (or something similar) in so many design blogs/magazines.  I can't wait to give them a home on my mantel after the christmas decorations come down.  Only $8 each!}

{This antler piece was on clearance for $10.  Right now it's a bangle/ring holder but I'm sure I'll find more uses for it as time goes on...I even thought about hanging special ornaments on it for a small space Christmas decoration}

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Roswelle Gray: Baby Led Weaning

Yesterday I pointed out "Roswelle's Food" in our fridge, except you didn't see baby food jars or purees.  Nope, at 6 months we introduced solids to Roswelle and did just that, solids.  On the recommendation of my peditrician, I read the book Baby Led Weaning and decided it was the approach we would take.  BLW would give me the comfort I desired of knowing exactly what I was giving Roswelle, (no GMOs, all organic, limited sugar, no external processing) and wouldn't leave me locked up in the kitchen pureeing on my Sundays (which I was fully prepared to do).  It also gives her another chance to learn and develop.  She is using all of her senses when she eats; sight, smell, touch, taste.  I'm trying to expose her to as many fruits and veggies as possible before she turns one.  I haven't decided when I will introduce chicken or red meat, maybe 9months, maybe a year?  Just whatever Paul and I feel comfortable with.  

Like anything, there are risks involved.  Yes she could choke, but I guarantee you she can choke on a spoonful of food too.  I make sure the pieces are either really big (for her to chew on) or really small and mushy.  I'm right there with her.  Her saliva is the first step in the digestion process and she uses a lot of it as she learns to move food around in her mouth and eventually get it down.  Definitely check with your pediatrician and pay attention to what your baby prefers (some prefer to only be spoon fed).  Check out the book HERE if you are interested and feel free to reach out to me!

A typical day for Roswelle: 
Wake 6:30am - Nurse
1st Breakfast 7am - Eggs!
Wake 10:30am - Nurse
2nd Breakfast 11am - Bananas, Organic Steel-cut Oats, sugar free apple sauce.
Wake 1:30pm  - Nurse   
Snack 2pm - Baked Apples, Sweet potato, Avocado, etc
Wake 3:30 - Nurse
Dinner 4:30 - Baked Spaghetti Squash, Sauteed Butternut Squash, Steamed Broccoli!
Nurse/Bottle of breastmilk: 5:45pm
Bath 6pm
Book 6:15pm
BED! 6:30pm

{OBSESSED with sweet potatoes}

{she thoroughly enjoyed thanksgiving}

{Maddie is learning to eat too!}

{she is a messy girl, but messy babies just means they had a great day!}

{playtime with Maddie on Thanksgiving}

{listening to GiGi}

3 items that make BLW so much easier:
Ikea Highchair - cheap and easy.
TommyTippy Bibs - they catch soooo much!
Splat Mat - will save your floors.

it's 10:27 and I can hear her playing in her crib...right on cue. see ya!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Organization: Food!

By now I hope your Thanksgiving left-overs have been eaten! It is the perfect time to clean out your refrigerator and store your food strategically.  Our fridge may look empty to some, but this has a full week's worth of food.  Some tips, use parchment paper as a liner for your shelves for easy cleaning, take food out of bags/containers as soon as you get home (I store my eggs in extra glass vases!), and display healthy food at eye level.  

**I can't believe I'm showing the inside of my refrigerator.  It feels personal?!? ha!

{fresh fruit with lots of color}

{plenty of vegetables, one of two full drawers}

{when possible, store your drinks in clear containers that make things look cleaner}

{follow suit in the pantry, instead of having bags falling all over the place, put items in mason jars}

{since we try to avoid processed foods, we don't use much pantry space (just ignore my chips) ;)}

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


There are many, many reasons I want to be home in GA this Thanksgiving, but we instead decided to wait to spend a full week there for Christmas. As time moves forward it is getting harder and harder for everyone to be under the same roof for the Holidays (and I know I'm the one who moved to BOSTON). But I will be with my family.  My new little family that Paul, Roswelle, and I make. :)  And we will be with Paul's family who love me like I'm their own, and I them.

Tomorrow is an intentional day of gratitude.  For some of us a day to reset our perspective, remember those we have lost, and reflect on what really matters. I'm thankful for health which is commonly a forgotten gift, happiness which is a choice I am lucky to make, and for these pictures that capture very happy moments from the past month.

Today, I'll be in the kitchen preparing for tomorrow.  My favorite movie of all time, Gone with the Wind, will be on in the background (on AMC all day today!).  It will be a good day!

{missing Trey who was busy flying all over the South-East :)}