Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Squeezing in Some Small Stuff

Every relationship has it's dry spells. 
Giant gaps of time where excitement is at a halt, and nothing occurs except the very predictable and mundane. 

Every since wrapping up the kitchen bathroom makeover, our poor house has hit a major dry spell. It's not that we've run out of things to do, oh no, it's just finding the time to do it! Between Eric's sports schedule, weddings, trips, and the holidays; September through November have completely escaped me. And looking ahead, December will be quite the same.

But even though the big projects are still on the back burner, there HAVE been a few moments here and there to squeeze in a couple tiny improvements.  

First up is the demise of yet ANOTHER boob light. 
The upstairs hallway is where our latest victim resides, and I've been searching for the perfect replacement for a while now. It couldn't be too big, or hang too low, otherwise Eric would hit his head. It needed to be flush with the ceiling, but also interesting and attractive. 

A few weeks back, I found this beauty on Craiglist with an asking price of $35. I adored the clean lines and geometric shapes of the glass, and just knew it would be perfect. A few text messages, and a little visit with a BEYOND adorable couple and their two dogs later, and it was mine! 
When I first saw this light, it instantly reminded me of a similar version I had seen at Shades of Light...except without the smack-you-in-the-face price tag.
I have no clue where this original fixture came from, but I like to tell myself I found the deal of a lifetime. 
$35 is better than $169 any day.

A quick removal and installation via the husband, and our good friend Jared who stopped by, and we were in business! 
The lines and shadows casted on the ceiling just add to its visual presence, and I think it's magical. 
Chalk up another win for Craigslist! 

Another thing that's constantly being tweaked is our gallery wall. When I last mentioned this wall, it was back in August of 2014 (click HERE to see the post), and looked like this. 
Over the year, we've added quite a few pieces to the puzzle (thank you weddings!), and it now looks like this! 
I freaking love this wall. Finding new art, pictures, and funky treasures to fill in the blank spaces is a challenge I'm constantly working on. 

Moving outdoors, Eric has been determined to finish up the remaining details of the pergola before Winter. He added a few more thin beams to the top, covered the support beams with nicer planks, and stained everything to match. 
I still can't get over how great this looks. Once the weather warms up again in the Spring, we'll start planning the patio reconstruction. Fire pits and twinkle lights are definitely in our future, but for now I think we're at a pretty fantastic stopping point. 

In a few weeks we're hosting our Framily Christmas party, so getting the house to full on holiday-mode will be my next big task. 

But not until AFTER Thanksgiving, because well...I'm not insane.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Soup's On! 10 Hearty Flavors for Fall

How is it basically the end of November already??? From all the tree's I've seen up, and the never ending marathon of Hallmark Christmas movies playing at my parent's house, you'd swear we skipped straight to December. 
But fear not Fall! YOU you special, YOU are important!
In our house, Fall also means soup season. Nothing says “comfort” like having a delicious bowl of goodness steaming in your hands to fill your belly and warm your soul. Whether you’ve prepped it the night before in the crock pot, or are just now dusting off your dutch oven, there is no time like the present for soup.
As a tribute to this harvest season, I’ve gathered 10 of my absolute FAVORITE soup recipes! I originally posted my soup finds at STRONG IS OUR SEXY, and now sharing them again with you! Each bring their own unique flavor to the table, but I promise, they are ALL equally heavenly. If you want to read the full recipe, click the link to go to the original source page.
This one pot recipe is great for using up leftover chicken. The BBQ flavor is a unique twist on traditional chili, and topping it off with cheese and cilantro is always a good idea.
Chicken pot pie has to be one of the most classic comfort food “go-to’s” out there. This version brings everything you love about the pie into a soup. Using bags of frozen veggies along with chopped fresh ones makes for easy work, and if you happen to have some biscuits laying around, I highly suggest paring the two.
The building blocks of this soup are pretty basic; meat, beans, vegetables, and tomatoes. The beauty of it is you can swap and add whatever you want! Don’t have spinach? Any leafy green will work. No sausage around or keeping it vegetarian? Just add more beans. It’s all good people.
Any excuse to use pumpkin while cooking in the Fall is a good excuse. This vegetarian chili is still extremely hearty even without the meat. The black and garbanzo beans provide a boost of protein, and depending on how spicy you like it, feel free to amp up or down the amount of chili powder.
Left to Right: BBQ Chicken Chili – Skinny Taste, Chicken Pot Pie Soup – Skinny Taste, Easy White Bean Soup – Hello Natural,
Pumpkin Chili - Julia's Album
I love egg noodles. They’re chunky, curly, and oh so easy to cook. Simply toss all the ingredients into the pot, bring to a boil, then let simmer to whip up this quintessential under-the-weather dish.
This meatless taco soup has three different types of beans, along with corn and tomatoes, to really pack a protein punch and leave you feeling satisfied. Plus with the use of a slow cooker, you can set it and forget it!
OK. So this isn’t technically a soup, but you eat it out of a bowl, and it has a brothy base so I’m counting it. Don’t be intimidated by ingredients like lemon grass and fish sauce, everything can be found at your local supermarket. The end result is so colorful and deliciously worth it, believe me!
This pasta based soup is a recent find of mine, but is quickly becoming a popular go-to at home. Frozen bags of tortellini make this especially quick and easy, plus the recipe includes directions for toasted parmesan crostini. YUM!
Left to Right: Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup – Love Grows Wild, Slow Cooker Vegetarian Taco Soup – Classy Clutter, Thai Noodle Bowl – Vikalinka, Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage and Spinach – Yellow Bliss Road
Ranch? Check. Chicken? Check. Letting it cook all day while I’m at work? Check! This white chili is bursting with flavor, and perfect with just a dollop of sour cream on top. Need more heat? Feel free to add a little chili or habanero powder to kick it up a notch.
Orzo is fun. It may look like a type of rice, but in reality they’re tiny little pieces of pasta! If you’d rather use what you already have on hand, any pasta could be substituted for the orzo.
Left to Right: Slow Cooker Ranch White Chicken Chili – Southern Bite, Italian Orzo Spinach Soup – Gimme Some Oven
Hungry yet? 
Do you have any no-fail soup recipes you bring out every year? My husband as a MEAN chicken noodle that's his "go to", and I can't deny, it IS pretty tasty. :)