high five for friday!

Hi! I’m here, I have not fallen off the face of the earth! I’ve completed my five weeks of being on the road for work and could not be happier. Thrilled that my weeks can get back to a quasi normal state and I can attempt to actually get some sleep!

What’s good for your weekend? We’re focusing on getting some work done in the basement this weekend and a few other things around the house. This morning we have insulation being blown into the attic. Woohoo for not having a freezing cold house anymore! I’ll update on that once it’s complete.

Have a great weekend, hope the weather is beautiful where you are!

PicMonkey Collage_10.17.14

1. After such a wild few weeks of traveling, long work days and constant exhaustion, this was the perfect sight to see on my way the airport on Monday morning. Such a gorgeous, calming sunrise over Boston.

2. & 3. We hosted my sisters baby shower last weekend and it was fun to have everyone together. I was bummed that Al couldn’t make it, but he’ll be there at the holidays. Those are the best siblings ever. More on the baby shower in another post!

4. This is for everyone who thinks I hate dogs! Reese (my sisters dog) and I bonded on this trip. She’s a wild pup, but has come leaps and bounds from where she was a year ago at this time. It made me think, maybe I do want a dog?

5. I got highlights for the first time ever and I won’t lie I kind of love it. But damn it’s expensive! I love getting my hair done. Two hours to sit down, relax and not be needed by anyone. With a glass of wine in hand!

{simple} butternut squash soup

I wrote this entire post and then realized that I have no photos to go with it. However, it was so easy to make and absolutely delicious, so I wanted to share with you anyway!

I love, love, love butternut squash soup. Especially in the fall and winter. Such delicious, healthy comfort food. However, this was the first time I’ve made it at home. I usually buy it at Whole Foods, but when my friend gave me two butternut squashes from her garden I knew exactly what to make!

Ingredients

  • medium butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • chicken broth
  • salt and pepper

Method

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut the squash into cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to your liking. I like less pepper so I only added a tad. Roast for about 40 minutes, until very soft. Throughout the cooking, toss occasionally.

Simmer three cups of chicken broth while the squash cooks. Once the squash is done add to a blender or food processor to puree, while adding a small amount of broth to liquefy, about one cup. Once pureed until smooth, add the squash back to the pot with the remaining chicken broth. Heat until well mixed. Add additional salt and pepper to your liking.

Enjoy immediately or freeze to enjoy later!

high five for friday!

When you’re on the road every week the weeks go by VERY fast. Welcome to Friday! I spent most of this week in Chicago, am still here now, hoping to get out tonight. The travel has been a nightmare in Chicago! Hope you have a great weekend. Linking up today!

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1. Yesterday was insane basically commuting all over Chicago. By the end of the day, this was the tastiest glass of wine ever.

2. Earlier in the week I got a flat tire. Of course I did. Five week old car, of course I’d get a flat! The positive was that I learned how to change a tire. And the over achiever in my now wants to practice constantly.

3. Couldn’t wait to get to Chicago to see this girl. Haven’t seen her in two years. We basically didn’t shut up or stop laughing for the short few hours we had together!

4. Obama is in Chicago this week too. And not only in Chicago, but on the same campus I was. So it was kind of a logistical nightmare, but I love this photo capturing the chaos amongst the beautiful colors of fall.

5. What an amazing view! This is what Em’s office looks out to. Can’t complain!

my favorite things: october 2014

Soooo, I guess we’re in October?! Sharing my favorite things this month!

I truly enjoy sharing products that I love with you guys and because of that, I’ve started a my favorite things series. I find myself always recommending products that work for us to people, so why not share a few each month. None of these posts or products are sponsored. They’re honestly items that we use in our everyday lives that are worth sharing with others.

My Favorite Things October 2014

Military Jacket

Over the summer I picked up a military jacket similar to this one. I grabbed mine at the Gap Outlet on sale with a coupon. I think it was originally $60, but I only paid about $35 for it. I think I’ve worn it every day for the last three weeks. It’s lightweight and just enough for the cooler fall morning.

Tazo Pumpkin Tea

I’m loving this tea. I love pumpkin tea every fall, but so far, this is my favorite by far. So delicious, warm and cozy.

Rubber Dish Gloves

These gloves are my life saver. We have extremely, EXTREMELY hard water (we’ve had it tested) and it just rips on my skin. These gloves have saved my skin, since I spend so much time washing dishes a day because we don’t have a dishwasher YET. When we first moved in my skin was cracking and dry every time I completed washing dishes, but that doesn’t happen anymore. Except for last night, when I busted a hole in the glove. So I need a new pair, but either way, they’ve been a life saver!

Shark Vacuum

I posted about this on a high five for friday last spring, and I have to say, it is the best vacuum we have ever owned. It’s amazing. All the attachment parts are incredibly useful and I’ve just never owned a vacuum with such power. I highly recommend it and I’m so glad our final decision was on this one!

Plaid Scarf

I found this scarf at the Goodwill, tags still on for $1.50! I had been looking for one for a while and this was the perfect one. I loved the colors and pattern. Plaid scarves are everywhere and their so versatile. I can’t wait to get a ton of use out of it this fall!

how to can pickles {and how to mess it up}

I bought a ton of organic pickling cucumbers at the farmers market. I don’t think I paid more than $3 or $4 for all of them! I took a stab at canning pickles, and, well, I did great.

Homemade Dill Pickles How to can pickles

Until my entire kitchen smelled like vinegar and I realized my vinegar to water ratio was off. And I realized this after I had already processed the jars, turned around to clean up and saw my Pyrex measuring cup with 2 cups of water waiting to be added to the vinegar mixture. WHOOPS!

pickling cucumbers

However, that aside, the process worked really well and I’ve read that when you open them to eat you can add sugar and water to even out the taste. So when I do that I’ll be sure to provide an update.

sliced pickles

I followed this recipe from the book Canning for a New Generation, adapted to our liking. The only spices I used were dill weed and dill seeds, since our local grocery was out of fresh dill. I didn’t make the pickling spice and I didn’t use the last two listed spices. That book, Canning for a New Generation, is a really great book for all things canning. If it’s something you’re wanting to get into I highly recommend it.

Canned Pickles

So, despite the vinegar mixup, the process took a couple of hours and hopefully, we’ll have some delicious pickles in the months to come!

 

vintage folding table & chairs makeover

Last weekend I headed out for some early morning thrifting for a few hours. I love going right when the stores open because there are no crowds to deal with. Especially on this day, because it was one of Goodwill’s 50% off sales. Happy to report that I scored big time. The first Goodwill wasn’t so great, the second, was awesome.

Folding Table and Chair Makeover

One great find was this vintage style folding table and chairs. I’ve been on the hunt for a folding set to just have for extra seating and table space. This one was $20, but since it was 50% off day, I got it for $10!

set before

It was in phenomenal condition, just needed a little makeover.

chair before

It even still had the original Target price stickers on them, $5.97 per chair – I love stuff like that! Not sure what time frame this set would have been from, my guess was 70s. Any guesses?

target price sticker

My original plan was to spray paint the set and change out the chair cushions and table cover. There was no vinyl at my Joann’s store that had even a remotely good pattern on it, so I went to plan b. I picked up whatever fabric I wanted and clear vinyl to cover it all with. The fabric I ended up using was actually a curtain panel that I grabbed for $3.99 at a thrift store. I loved the pattern, it was basically brand new, was plenty of fabric for the project and was about five time less the cost of the fabric I had originally bought at Joann’s. I chose to use the vinyl covering for ease of cleaning, though you could always just use straight fabric.

Once I got it home, I realized, that I kind of liked the look of it with the metal of the table and chairs. So I decided not to paint and to just change out the fabric!

secure tabs

Covering the tables and chairs was fairly simple, just needed some attention to details. I removed the seat cushions from the chairs and used them to cut out my fabric and clear vinyl. Make sure to match up the size of the fabric and vinyl and leave about 1″ extra around the edges, or enough to fold it up over the seat.

final chair

Because my chairs were metal I couldn’t just staple the fabric down, so I used pieces of tape around it, just to hold the fabric in place before securing the cushion back to the chair. Sometimes, while I’m working on projects, I get really excited and forget to take during photos. Sorry about that, I’m working on getting better. I really am!

finished table

Once I had the fabric in place, I put the cushion back on the chair and secured them in place. It was as simple as that!

With the table, the trim was solid wood, so I easily just wrapped the table and stapled the fabric to the wood trim. I then went around and cut off any excess fabric so it wouldn’t get caught when folding the legs in.

folding table and chairs makeover

It was really simple! All folding tables and chairs are different so my advice to you is to inspect them thoroughly before purchasing. I looked these things over fully to ensure that this would be an easy project and that the seat cushions could easily detach. You’d hate to get home and have it be a beast of a project, ya know? As you can see, I also chose to leave the seat back cushions off because I liked the look of the metal bars. To each their own though!

high five for friday (on a saturday)!

Happy Saturday! Had all intentions of posting this yesterday and it didn’t happen, so why not today?! What’s good for your weekend? I’m going to be playing major catch up – on blog, on work, on sleep, on the house and more! I’m so behind, have been very busy with travel lately and I can’t wait to just be home and be productive!

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1. Our new slow cooker arrived! We’ve lived without one for almost two months and it’s been horrible. Can’t wait to open this bad boy and see it work it’s magic!

2. I love when my sister sends me packages. This one was especially hilarious, if only I had taken a photo of the packing supplies IN the box.

3. I received my new edition of this e-book and can’t wait to dive into it. I’m in a rut with meal planning, mostly for myself, and am excited to be inspired with many new recipes.

4. If you follow me on Instagram you know I spent all day Sunday canning peaches. I completed the task after about 6 hours and can not wait to eat peaches all year long!

5. The weather here in Colorado is still hot and beautiful. Very few signs of fall which is fine with me! I’ve been enjoying caffeine free iced chai’s at home which is a delicious treat.

a birthday to celebrate!

So, life has gotten in the way, I’m smack in the middle of busy season at my day job and I’m struggling to find time to even sleep these days, BUT, today we pause to celebrate my favorite person on earth!

This guy:

al

Today’s his birthday and I wish him nothing but the best in the whole world. He makes me smile and laugh every single day, he’s my best friend and the greatest person I know. Cheers to the next year ahead, Alton!

my favorite online consignment stores

I figured since I was talking about thrifting finds yesterday, today’s a good day to post about two of my favorite online clothing consignment websites.  Have you guys heard of ThredUp and Twice?

I use and love both of them. Both sell brand name, gently used clothing and accessories, their shipping is fast and searching the sites is so simple. Twice sells only women’s clothing and ThredUp sells women’s and children’s.

Twice

If you want to go ahead and sign up and you use this ThredUp link and this Twice link, we’ll both get a credit to the sites! Everything I’ve purchased has fit well, though I only buy brands that I know the sizing fits me, and has been the exact quality that was listed on the site.

ThredUp

Oh, any by the way, neither of them know about me, I’m just sharing because I’ve had great experiences with both!

 

 

recent thrifting finds!

Yesterday was one of those days that wasn’t a bad day, but was an annoying one. More of an overwhelmed day, a list of things to get done and not enough time, both at home and work. I had three bags of clothing and shoes to donate in the back of the car and I almost just drove past the Goodwill with the mindset that I’d drop it off later. But instead, I said just do it now.

packed car

Well, my annoying day turned into a great one! I donated my items and popped inside really quickly. I found the exact sized dresser we’ve been looking for in unfinished wood just waiting for a makeover. Best part, it was $30! About $100 – $150 less than the ones we’d been checking out on Craigslist!

thrift store finds

And then as I was walking through I found the most darling wooden rocking chair that’s in perfect condition, just needs a seat cushion. It was only $6!

rocking chair

I went out back to have the crew help me load the dresser into my car and I spotted a great headboard that had just been donated. It was a full size and perfect for our guest bed. They weren’t willing to sell it since it had just been donated, but I sweet talked them so they tossed a sticker on it and sold it to me for $13.

So, in the end my kind of annoying day turned out to be pretty darn good. Can’t wait to get to work on these three pieces and start actually furnishing this house!