peachy bathroom inspiration for the boys’ (& guest) bathroom.

pink
via Burtsbrisplease instagram

I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been working on the boys’ bathroom (which doubles as our guest bathroom too). I thought I would share a little bit of my inspiration before I’m actually through with the space. towel rack

I didn’t mind our bathrooms when we bought our house. They’re decent, and kind of remodeled. I say kind of with a little trepidation because the only remodeling that has been done is that someone replaced the vanity. Original peach tile, basic tub, and peeling black window frame all remain. I like the tile! I really do. Our old house had pretty vintage blue tile that I always loved (Mike wasn’t a huge fan). So this was a happy surprise (for me) to find a house that had colored tile in the bathrooms. So of course I wasn’t planning to re-tile the whole thing. Nor did I want to replace much. I just wanted a little refresh. Add a little charm to the place. You know?

open shelves

Honestly, I just wanted to  paint the vanity and I thought I would be done with it. But you know how one project leads to another because you’re looking closer at everything and suddenly the project has become much larger because you’re doing something to everything in the room? Yeah. That’s happened. Monday Inspiration_ How We React Emotionally To Colour - Mad About The HouseI’m not going to go into much more detail because I’ll save that for the actual bathroom remodel post! These are just a few pictures that inspired me throughout this process, the pink vanity being the biggest part. Quickly followed by open shelving (and a gaping hole in the wall by the towel bar I removed), wall hooks, etc. etc etc. 🙂 Happy Monday, all!

All photos have been found via pinterest, my favorite source of inspiration!

our week at a glance. {november 17-23}

img_3130The final week. The week before Thanksgiving! I can’t believe it’s here. This weekend was such a sweet one. The boys are feeling better, everyone was well enough for outings, playtime, normal sleep and mealtimes. We tried out a local diner for breakfast on Saturday and it did not disappoint. Disney+ was also on high usage during Ben’s nap times for Charlie (need to keep him quiet so Ben can sleep!). Charlie was kind of scared during Aladdin and loved The Jungle Book. He was giggling SO hard. Hilarious. Anyway our weekend has come to a close and, we fly out next Saturday evening, so our whole week revolves around getting ready to go home to Indiana!week at a glance-2I was out of school almost all last week with Ben (who has RSV), so I’m looking forward to having a “regular” week with all my classes and really getting some good library activities in there, and making sure that all my students have a book to read over Thanksgiving break! img_3213We’re keeping it simple this week for meals. Mike made a giant batch of “Mommy Soup” (beef stew with barley) today. It’s finally in the 60’s here! Soup weather! We had it for dinner tonight with sourdough toast. We’ll have it for one other dinner this week, and we put a full half gallon mason jar in the freezer for another meal in a couple weeks. We’re having meatloaf tomorrow from the freezer that I had made a few weeks ago. Love doing big batches of meals and freezing for meals later in the month when I don’t have time (or energy!) to cook at the end of a long day. img_3138When we go on trips (especially weeklong trips) we like to empty out the fridge as much as we possibly can. No one likes to come home to slimy veggies, or moldy leftovers. Yuck. So we’re just going to demolish everything in there. I have two nights of leftovers planned this week. Luckily, our kids are young enough that they can’t complain about leftovers! img_2896I’m also planning to make these date bars that I make every time we travel. I just feel so irrationally smug about having a homemade something in my bag instead of buying a ten dollar cookie from a store at the airport. img_3038I started re-doing the boys bathroom last week, and made lots of progress this weekend too. It’s my goal to get it done before we leave. I just have a little bit of sanding, a last coat of paint, and then put up the floating shelves and a new mirror. Easy peasy, right? Hehe.

little things this week.

1. this collection of medicines…img_2670the signs of a sickness making its’ way through the house and for making my boy moderately more comfortable amidst coughing fits.

2. this teeny tiny tree with twinkling lights…img_2825for adding just the right amount of cheer.

3. this pre-bedtime cookieand the rest tucked away in the freezer to bake at the drop of a hat.

4. this dress found on clearance…and the many many wears she will get the rest of the school year.

5. this project paint…for being the start of a house project that isn’t quite the right shade yet. Back to the drawing board.

in other news:

mike’s taking a turn at home with ben today, and we’re hopeful that he’s going to be back to school on monday. i feel like i’ve cheated the week a little bit by leaving early on tuesday, home wednesday and thursday, and then back to school on friday, which in the elementary school is a weekly holiday. we’re going to take it easy this weekend and hang around home. charlie was coughing more than i like this morning, so i hope the sickness isn’t getting to him now too. fingers crossed, friends.

what are you up to this weekend, reader? whatever it is, i hope you kick your feet up and enjoy it.

from the land of turkey headbands, tylenol and cookie crumbs, love, em

a recipe: chocolate chip cookies.

img_2535Chocolate chip cookies are a little bit of a hobby of mine. I try recipes, decide they’re the best, then see another one I want to try, and decide its the best, and so on and so forth until eternity. I had some extra time yesterday while home with my sicky baby Ben, so of course, the urge for a cookie set in. I had, in times past, decided the recipe on the bag of chocolate chips was the best, but then I thought this was the best recipe, then I switched to this one for a little bit (lard! so good!), but yesterday, I cracked open my Betty Crocker and her Chocolate Chip cookie may be my new favorite. Soft! Crisp edges! Chewy! Crinkly! No extra steps! What’s not to love?img_2543Recipe from Betty Crocker

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

Instructions: 

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in a mixer with the paddle attachment.
  3. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Gently stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  5. On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoon about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light brown. Cool for 1-2 minutes then move to cooling racks to cool completely.

Some notes:

  • I like to only bake a few for us to eat, and then I freeze the rest of the dough in rounded tablespoons on a cookie sheet and transfer to ziplock bag. Store in the freezer until ready to bake. Add on a minute or two of cooking time if cooking from frozen.
  • This is my favorite cookie sheet. 
  • I like to cool on foil. I think it keeps the cookies chewier than if cooled on a rack.

Do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie? It’s almost time to look at Christmas cookies!!! I’ve already got my eye on a few that I want to try this year!

img_2560In other news – I’m still home with this sweet boy, but back to work tomorrow and Mike’s staying home with him. Soaking up these moments!

 

a sick day.

Home the rest of the week with this sick kiddo thanks to doctors orders. A walk for fresh air, cleaning, cookie baking and baby snuggles all day. I could get used to a day off with this little love every now and then, if only it didn’t take a fever yesterday to get us here! ❣️

what are you reading?

What have you been reading lately? I’m halfway through Nine Perfect Strangers and it’s starting to get reeeeally good. I have a little pile from the library sitting on my shelf and a never ending list of books I’d like to read on goodreads. But I’d love to hear what you’re reading. Here’s just a few others I’ve read and loved this year

turkey hats for two little turkeys…and other thanksgiving diys.

img_2228Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays and I can’t believe it’s coming up in just a couple weeks. Along with reading thanksgiving books, writing things that we’re thankful for, making turkey finger puppets, and dreaming about pumpkin pie (I whipped up the above pumpkin pie garland for a little thanksgiving decor using this tutorial on Martha Stewart), I also came upon this tutorial for a turkey hat. turkey hatI couldn’t help but think about making one for each of the boys for our trip north in a couple weeks. How cute would they be? Not to mention that they are currently hat-less boys (who needs hats when it’s 80 degrees every day!). My plan is to crochet the hat, but then use felt that I already have for the feathers and for the beak, and use buttons for the eyes instead of the crocheted body. What do you think? Am I crazy? If it doesn’t happen, I’m just going to know that I have it here for next year. 🙂

our week at a glance. {november 10-16}

I’ve been looking forward to this week for weeks. Teacher work day on Monday!! The best of all days. I am going to get so. Much. Done. Big plans. Lesson plans in the short term, overarching themes for the long term and cleaning cleaning cleaning my office. This weekend was full of rest and recharging. We have a clean house, meals planned and a game plan to go for the week.

Not too many extras this week thank goodness! I think it’s going to fly by and then it’s only one week until our weeklong holiday break!! I have many things to do, but I think I’ll have a little extra time here and there this week to cross some things off my to do list.

I already made our lasagna for dinner tomorrow, and I’m excited to try one new recipe in the crock pot this week. I’ll probably add some crusty bread and a salad on the side to make it a full meal. Sheet pan chicken is a great weeknight go to for us. I love that I can chop everything the night before and just slide it all into the oven at once. I tried a new pizza dough recipe last week and wasn’t impressed. Testing out a new one this week!

I’m going to try to be really present with my boys this week and turn off all my outer distractions when we have our time together after school. They’re growing so fast it’s crazy. I feel like we hit a lull where I know every little thing about them and then all of a sudden the next day they’re doing all these new things that they weren’t the day before.

Ben had a little fever last night and did not sleep well at all, but seemed to be on the up and up today. I’m afraid he’s getting my cold which I think I can officially say that I’m almost recovered from. New week, new goals, new opportunities!!

little things this week.

1. these clothespins (and the multitude of others out of frame)…for keeping my boys entertained not one, not two, but three nights in a row.

2. these personalized colored pencils…a birthday gift used for writing and (violently) decorating sweet thank you notes from a two year old.

3. these blueberry puffs…for getting us to dinner time.

4. this soft hankie…for the tender care of a cold that i haven’t yet kicked.

5. this creaky old weathered pot…for being the bearer of the corn chowder (with mirepoix!) that we had for dinner two nights this week, and I could’ve had every night. A cold front is coming our way and i am here. for. it.

in other news:

it’s been a long week. my car was broken into at daycare drop-off (if i can even say broken into, it was unlocked) and my wallet and my school laptop were stolen. i feel very foolish for being so trusting of people that i would leave it unlocked. learned my lesson the hard way.

one of my students told me a long story during class the other day about his little brother going missing and then i heard about it on the news and read the story in the paper and let me just say my heart seized up with the fear of it all.

another student has come into school screaming like i’ve never heard a child scream every single day this week, practically manhandled into his classroom and it makes me worry about what that kind of stress does to a child in their little five year old life. another student had emergency surgery for her appendix, more are in crisis of other sorts, and my gratitude chain, while beautiful and inspiring and so worth the time spent doing it also has brought up some hard conversations about what some of my students really do have to be thankful for. turns out, school might be the number one thing on their list. talk about pressure.

it’s a hard, tough world out there that, at 31, my eyes are just beginning to be opened to, readers. sorry for bringing the moods down a notch, and it should be noted that my week was not without plenty of joyful moments. it just seemed like there were a few too many downs this round.

in more personal news though, i’m starting to feel a little like meg ryan in you’ve got mail when tom hanks brings her daisies for her terrible cold, but you know, less glamorous. i could use some daisies. or just a day to hole up in my house under the comforter and blow my nose all day with a good book. i might do just that this weekend, but with a toddler and a baby crawling all over me in place of the book. we’re supposed to have cooler weather coming in this weekend with a high of 80 (practically frigid!) so a bit of sunshine and a walk down the street to the park will do us some good too. we have a trip to the store, to church, to the gas station for putting some air in my tires on the list, and all the other joys that the weekend brings.

what are you up to this weekend, reader? whatever it is, i hope you kick your feet up and enjoy it. aren’t we lucky to have that as an option?

love, em

a multi-use recipe: mirepoix

Mike and I took an Italian cooking class from a professional chef a few years ago in the days when whole days would stretch out in front of us with nowhere we needed to be and nothing we needed to do. It was a Christmas gift from his mom that taught us some great tricks in the kitchen to take our cooking up a level. We love to cook together, so this was a perfect date for us. I still make the Pasta e Fagioli a couple times a month that we learned that day, and we also learned the tip of keeping a mason jar of fresh garlic that’s been finely minced in the food processor and topped with olive oil. And we learned how to make mirepoix, which I always have in the freezer, ready to be thrown into soups and sauces as a thickener or a flavor enhancer.

French mirepoix is a combination of onion, carrot and celery. If you’ve cooked any kind of soup, you’ve probably used this combination and cooked it down in a couple tablespoons of butter as your base. But Chef Baba taught us a new, easier way to use mirepoix in our cooking. You simply throw a combination (usually 50% onion, 25% celery and 25% carrot) into a food processor and blend it into a sort of chunky paste. Freeze it in ice cube trays or in mason jars to throw into your cooking whenever you need it. And I use it alllllll the time now. I make a gigantic batch and freeze bunches of it at once so it’s always there for me to use at the drop of a hat. I sometimes freeze it in ice cube trays so I can have it in smaller units too.  To cook it, I just saute the mirepoix with a couple tablespoons of butter and/or olive oil on medium high heat until nice and pasty, then continue on with the recipe. I use it when recipes call for it, and when it doesn’t. I just always use it as the base of my soups, no matter what kind I’m making. I can tell the difference, and I think you’ll be able to too.

Ingredients: 

  • 2-3 onions (red or white, I usually use red)
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed clean and trimmed
  • 2-3 celery stalks, trimmed

Instructions: 

  1. Roughly chop veggies.
  2. Add to food processor.
  3. Blend on high until it turns into a uniform paste.
  4. Store in small mason jars or smear into ice cube trays and freeze, or refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. When ready to use, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and saute until soft.