Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Garage Makeover


Over Labor Day weekend, my husband and I spent a day transforming our garage. It needed it pretty badly!

Every time I opened the door out to the garage, I felt like it was a total mess. Thoughts of that show Hoarders came to mind. 
Before
There were layers upon layers of things piled everywhere, and a common question between the two of us became "do we already have one of these?", before we purchased supplies for a new project. We bought in excess because we couldn't find things at home. 

Before


Everything pulled out onto the driveway
Needless to say, something has to change. I searched Pinterest for some inspiration, because let's be honest, where else would you start? And I really liked the idea of a wall of shelves. For us, I could see that it could work easily because we only have one vehicle to store in the garage. We said goodbye to two cars years ago. 

We used Anna White's plan for these garage storage shelves, but modified the dimensions for our space. Hers are like 20 feet long-- yowza! Only in Alaska would you have a garage that large!

Coat #1 of paint
We also painted the garage a light grey and the door a light blue. It makes everything look so fresh. You'd never guess ours was a home built in the early '90's. 

After

It's been a few weeks since our garage makeover, but it still looks absolutely gorgeous! I feel like I know where everything is now, and there's no question if we have something already for a project.

I hope this inspires you with your garage space! 

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Shower for Baby Alice

Last week, I helped host a baby shower for one of the girls at work. She is due mid-September and is naming her sweet little girl, Alice. Adorable!



We served chicken salad croissants (a baby shower staple!), fruit, pita chips, and some delicious cake from Publix. Publix totally knows how to do cake!


We also put together a raspberry lemonade punch. I used a can of frozen pink lemonade, a 2-liter of Sprite and a carton of raspberry sherbet. It actually tasted pretty darn good for my first time making punch!


I mixed together the frozen pink lemonade with water, according to the package instructions. Then added the 2-liter bottle of Sprite to the pink lemonade, in a large pitcher. Once combined, I poured half of the lemonade/soda mixture into a large punch bowl. Then, I scooped out half of the sherbet and added to the punch bowl. Give it a good stir and you're good to go! As people drink the punch, feel free to add in your other half of lemonade/soda mixture and more sherbet.

Baby Alice got some super cute outfits, but she will also have a handmade quilt from me! I used a tutorial I found on Pinterest for this triangle baby quilt. I got all the appropriate ohh's and ahh's over it. Score! (That's me to the right.)



The last element of the baby shower I helped throw together was a baby trivia game. Let me tell you, it was super fun! No lame shower games here! I wanted a competitive style game, as the mom-to-be loves a challenge. I searched around and put together my own version of "Are you smarter than our mom-to-be?". It was hilarious to watch the women at the shower (ladies of all ages and life stages) fight over and laugh over what the correct answers were.

If you'd like to use this game at your next shower, feel free to use the questions and answer sheets below:

Hostess Questions with Answers 
Guest Answer Sheets

Hope these photos and ideas inspire you for your next shower!


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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Door County, Wisconsin

Just last week my husband and I were up in Door County, Wisconsin. It was around 20 degrees cooler than here in Central Florida, and I loved it! It's like our November weather, or March weather. I savored every bit of it.



We went up to visit family on my dad's side. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins.  Several of them we hadn't seen since our wedding, 5 years ago.

Here are some of the highlights from our trip. Hope you enjoy!

Cherry picking. A must in the summer time. I totally ate a few cherries, plucked right off the tree.




Al Johnsons's Swedish Restaurant. A classic Door County experience, goats on the roof and all. I had the Swedish pancakes with strawberries. Yum!



Cave Point County Park. This was a must on our list before we even got there. They have beautiful cliffs and bluffs, and is not like anything you could experience in Florida.




Beautiful flowers and landscaping. I know that's not an actual attraction, but one of my favorite things to do on this trip was just take in all the blooming flowers. It just astounded me all of the vibrant colors, and shapes, and sizes of the blooms.






Not sure when we'll get the chance to go back, but we both had a blast. It was good to see family, catch up, and make new memories. With school starting this week, it was kind of our official end to summer.

Happy August!

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Coconut Iced Coffee


Summer is official here! Well, at least it is here in Florida. The temps have reached over 90 degrees, so I know one thing I just have to have this time of year- coconut iced coffee!

Here is how I make mine at home!

Gather: 
Large bowls (2)
Measuring cups and spoons
Cheesecloth 
Fine mesh strainer 
1 1/2 c Ground coffee
3/4 c Coconut flakes
Plastic wrap
Large pitcher or large mason jars
Water


First, you will want to toast your coconut. Measure out 3/4ths of a cup of the coconut flakes into a warm skillet. No oil or cooking spray needed. 


Toast until fragrant and browned. Yum! I totally "taste tested" a few pieces here. Tastes like candy! 


Once browned, remove from heat and cool completely. That should only take 10-15 mins or so. It will cool quickly. 


In a very large bowl, scoop out 1 1/2 cups of coffee grounds. 


Using a large liquid measuring cup, measure out 8 cups of water, and carefully pour on top of ground coffee. 


Using a large spoon, gently pat the surface of the water/coffee mix, to submerge all the coffee grounds. You want all the grounds to get wet, but you don't want to stir the mixture. 


Here's what we are going for: 


Then, time to add your coconut! By now, it should be all cooled down. Add coconut flakes to coffee mixture, and "pat down" to combine and submerge. 


Cover with plastic wrap and let sit several hours. 


When your coffee is done steeping, we need to strain everything. You'll use your cheesecloth and fine mesh strainer for that. 

Position the fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Cut cheesecloth and place over strainer. 


Carefully pour the steeped coconut coffee through the cheesecloth and fine mesh strainer, to separate out the liquid from the grounds and coconut flakes. 


Feel free to filter a second time, if you feel pieces slipped through. 

Otherwise, pour your filtered coffee into a large pitcher or two large mason jars. Fill 2/3rds full, then top off with water. This will help the coffee not be so concentrated. We're going for flavored coffee, not something super strong like espresso.  


Store in fridge for up to two weeks- not that it will last you that long! 

When ready to sip, pour over ice, add your sweetener and creamer of choice, and enjoy!

Printable Recipe




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Monday, April 18, 2016

Summer Books I'm Super Excited About

You gotta love a good summer book list! This year, I totally know what I want to read by the pool!

Lord knows, something's got to occupy my time before the new Ed Sheeran cd comes out in the fall. ;)

Here the top 3 books on my must-read list for the summer:

The Crown by Kiera Cass (May 3rd, 2016)

The long awaited sequel to The Heir is almost here! The fifth book in The Selection series, this book follows Princess Eadlyn's story. Twenty years have passed since America Singer and Prince Maxon fell in love, and their daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own.

I bought the fourth book last summer, and am currently re-reading it now to make sure I remember all the Selection male contenders and plot twists.

I am totally rooting for the childhood friend, Kile, to be Eadlyn's Prince Charming. I think he would make the best fit for her- especially since they can't stand each other! The fourth book left us at such a cliff-hanger (that much I did remember from last summer!), that I am just dying with anticipation to know what happens in this final book and who Eadlyn will choose as her future husband.



Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (dvd comes out May 31st, 2016)

This book has been out for a while (2009), but the movie was just in theaters earlier this year. Sadly, I missed seeing it in theaters, but I totally bought the book and have pre-ordered the dvd.

From what I gather, this is not the book to be Jane Austen-correct. That is to say, it's going to be a non-traditional telling of the Pride and Prejudice story. A few zombies, some sword slashing, and witty romance! Yes, please! It's Lizzie Bennet like you've never seen her before!


The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson (August 2nd, 2016)

The last book in The Remnant Chronicles series, The Beauty of Darkness looks epic! I technically still have to read the second book in this trilogy, The Heart of Betrayal, but I'll read that in late July before this last book is released.

What I loved about this series is that it's all about deception- each of the three main characters take on a false name and personality. They don't reveal who they really are, and what their motives are. It's a fast-paced book too. Lots of action and plot twists.

There is also an AMAZING love triangle- the princess, the prince whom she jilted, and the assassin who is charged with killing the princess. You just don't know who Princess Lia is going to choose in the end, or who she can trust. Epic!


Happy reading!

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