Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Decor: Entryway

I love interior decorating and now that we have settled into our home and our daughter is a little older (13 months).  I am finally starting to get into the groove of things and ready to tackle some decor projects.  Some of our home has been updated with new paint (bedrooms only, but they still need finishing touches).  Therefore, I am going to start a decor series and give you all glimpses of my home and the updates we are making.  

I am beginning with our entryway. It currently looks like this: 

As you can see, I do not have much space for an entryway table, but I will make it work! There were tons of beautifully styled entryways on Pinterest that I love, but since we have limited space for any substantial furniture or decor, I knew I had to get creative.  Therefore, I went for an Ikea shoe cabinet for style and function. So here are a few photos of what we have chosen and some inspiration:

The above photo is the paint color we chose for the entryway which is Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore, but I found out that I can get any color matched at Lowes as long as I have the name.  And that is exactly what I did! The color doesn't stand out as much as I wanted it to, so I may darken it or it may grow on me. 

One of my tricks is always buying new hardware (especially for cheaper furniture).  I picked up Allen+Roth knobs at my local Lowes. 

I look forward to sharing the final entryway photos with all of you!

Hope your are having a great start to the week!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Just say HELLO!

Even though I tend to be more introverted, I am always that person that smiles and says hello. I make conversations with strangers while I'm out whether it's at Target, at the coffee shop or grocery store. Every time I strike up a conversation with a stranger they always end up reciprocating (some more than others), and either way it feels great. But you know what's weird, it's rare that a stranger initiates a conversation with me! 

It finally happened while I was shopping for a new purse when a friendly woman said "I think it looks great," and we proceeded to have a full conversation about purses and our kids! Honestly, that simple conversation made me happy and I even got home and told my husband all about it. So why is it that more people don't just say Hello anymore or just strike up conversation? Is it becoming a lost art? Does the young generation even know how to strike up conversation?

Then I happen to catch Oprah on Piers Morgan where she was being interviewed about her magazine's Just Say Hello campaign, and of course it's struck a chord with me. I feel as though many people have a hard time going outside themselves in order to make a person happy and just say Hello. 

I'm guilty of having a hard time picking up the phone to actually make a voice call. It even feels odd calling like I don't want to inconvenience them.  But I will admit that I am still that person to initiate a text conversation to check in on a friend or family member. Texting has become our go-to way of communicating which is effective, but in my opinion very impersonal. 

When I get out on my solo outings (especially after being at home with our one year old all week) I'm craving adult friendly interaction. But most people just stay in there own little world and don't want to be bothered. Don't they know just saying Hello would be nice. Of course actually starting a conversation would be amazing...and let's not even talk about how amazing it would be to break bread and drink wine with new or old friends! 

I seriously could be an ambassador for the Just Say Hello campaign! Hello Oprah! Haha! And I may even give myself the title! Paying it forward with hellos! 

Who have you said Hello to today? Are you a Hello kinda person? What stops you? Come on lets make somebody's day together! I would love to hear your feedback. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

It's time to Celebrate LOVE

I really dislike LOVE haters! And therefore, people who hate on Valentine's Day are included! I love Valentine's Day! I know what all you haters are thinking...blah blah blah its just a "Hallmark" holiday, but why not see it in a positive way and for what it is, a day to celebrate Love! 

Even when I was single and all my attached/married girlfriends had their someone special, I was never a hater. For me, my first true valentine was my dad.  Every Valentine's Day he would come home from work with a bouquet of flowers for my mom and a little something for me.  

In my opinion, people need to be more affectionate, and as adults we need to teach our children about love, empathy and affection. What a better day to do that than on Valentine's day! 

Of course, like the naysayers, I do believe that love should be celebrated all the time, but we all know that is not everyone's reality. It is like the people who say Christmas is no longer about the true meaning, which I agree with, but it doesn't stop me from celebrating it.  It is more about celebrating the holidays the way you believe they should be celebrated! 

For me, Valentine's Day will be a day to send messages to all my friends and family and let them know they are loved on this day and always, my husband will be told a 100 more times how much I love him and I'll give him a little gift, and now our Luna will get to share the day with us and will definitely get lots of extra kisses!  

So on this day before Valentine's Day why not find it in your heart to celebrate the ones you Love (this doesn't have to be a boyfriend/husband/partner, what about your parents, your kids, your friends, your grandma or a kind stranger).   Believe me the smile and joy will be worth it! 

Here's a few ideas of ways to show your love:

  • An extra big hug & extra kisses
  • A cup of coffee and sweet treat (donut anyone?)
  • A handwritten note
  • A phone call (yes, remember those!)
  • Be a Valentine to a friend that you know is in need of a companion

Happy early Valentine's Day! XO


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What's on your DVR?

I thought it would be fun to share what's on my DVR! After I typed out my list of shows, I was hesitant to share because its a long list, and I am not necessarily proud of my brain cell sucking shows!  So just to make myself feel better, I would like you all to know that I do not sit in front of the TV all day! I usually catch up on my recordings on Friday nights. Now that I've justified myself, here's my list of shows:

1. The Chew 

This show is a combination of silly humor and delicious food! With an unexpected cast. Chef Michael Symon cracks me up! And prior to this I was never a Mario Batali fan because I thought he was cocky, but in all honestly he can throw it down in the kitchen so he can definitely back it up! 

2. Shahs of Sunset

This is one of those ridiculous Bravo shows, but I can't help it...they had me at over-the-top bougie! Besides their crazy drama and bling, they are family-oriented, friends and movers & shakers. 

3. Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen

This late night show never competes with the lame drama of Leno vs Kimmell vs Letterman vs Conan. Andy Cohen slips through the cracks and still manages to get great people on his show! I never watch the interviews with people I don't care for (best part of DVR you can hit delete), but he gets some truly great interviews!

4. Shark Tank 

The thinker/heart on my sleeve/brainy side loves this show! It's inspiring and gives many small business owners and inventors an opportunity that otherwise they would have never got. 

5. The Bachelor (1st time in awhile)

I am a little ashamed to admit this one, but I got sucked into the hype of latin guy used to play soccer, then quit when he became a father (a little like my husband)! This is a show that I love to hate, but still watch! Whenever I get around to catch up, I end up yelling at him or the girls! Especially after reading this post  where I learned that the woman are completely isolated from the world...which made me think, no wonder they are so loony and ga-ga over this guy! The show is a human experiment that is meant to make them look desperate. 

6. Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (or Parts Unknown)

Last, but not least, I have always liked Anthony Bourdain because he has a funny sense of humor and really shows the reality of the countries he's visiting and their foods which I find amazing! One of my favorite episodes is when he travels to Madrid right after Spain won the World Cup.  

Now that I have divulged what's on my DVR, I would love to hear what's on yours. Please share your favorite shows with me! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Luna's Birthday Lunch

This weekend we had a family lunch for our Amelia Luna's 1st birthday. I pondered on whether to plan a big party or a small simple gathering. I felt guilty over not going all out since she's our one and only, but in all honesty both my husband and I are not into hosting or attending big parties. We both prefer intimate gatherings, and since our daughter is a product of us and she has no clue yet, we figured let's just have her a little gathering. 

I had planned on baking Luna's little cake myself, but that didn't happen! So the morning of, when I went to the grocery store for a last minute run, I asked the bakery if they would sell me two white cake cupcakes with no icing and they did! Me and my brilliant semi-homemade ideas! 

I was so happy at how great it all turned out!! Our daughter was beaming with joy and you could certainly feel the love in the room! 

Below our some of the photos from our little one's special day. 

Luna's 1st Birthday Cake

Mommy I'm distracted by my cake crumbs...
Uncle & Daddy's cousin

Mommy, Me, Nina Alma & Mikey

My loves



Thank you to our family and Luna's godparents for making her first birthday extra special! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Juicing = Feel Great!

For Christmas, my husband and I opted out on buying each other expensive gifts and we both agreed we wanted to invest in our health instead. After becoming parents in 2013, our health & fitness got pushed to the waste side. We already owned a Jack Lalane Juicer, but if you own one, you know that this machine is bulky, veggies have to be cut up and you lose a lot of nutrients. Therefore, we bought ourselves the best gift ever a Vitamix blender! 

We have been juicing since January 2, 2014 one to two times per day.  We make a bulky smoothie and use it as a meal replacement.  Speaking for myself I feel amazing! So far I have lost a few pounds, and the main thing is how healthy I feel. 

It makes my life as a stay-at-home mom so much easier! Since I plan and cook all of our meals, it is great not having to worry about meals all the time. At least three times a week I have a breakfast smoothie in the morning. My smoothie recipe is as follows (please keep in mind that I make enough to make it a meal replacement and to fill up my 22oz smoothie shaker cup): 

Breakfast Smoothie
1 cup of Keifer 
1 cup nonfat milk
1 small banana 
1 cup mixed frozen berries
1 tbsp of flax seed
1tbsp of chia seed
1 tbsp of coconut oil 

This makes for a delicioso breakfast! 

Now for our favorite green smoothie. We make this for dinner almost every day as our meal replacement. We both prefer to have a big breakfast or lunch, and have a light dinner. We make our evening green smoothie say cheers and drink away as we catch up on our day and enjoy our DVR shows. Here's one of our favorite green smoothie recipes:  

Green Sweetie Smoothie 
2 cups of water
3 cups of spinach (or kale)
1 cup of red grapes
1 cup of frozen fruit (mango & pineapple)
*1 banana 
1 tbsp of chia/flax 

I would suggest that if you want to try juicing, be exploratory! Invest in a good blender and have fun with it! Everyday try out different combinations and once you have a few favorites it will get faster. (*We use 1 banana per day.  Therefore, if we added banana to our morning smoothie, then we do not add it to our evening smoothie.) 

Take it from me, a self-professed foodie, green smoothies are actually delicious! And when I do want to indulge, I do not feel guilty because I know I get in 3 cups of greens on a daily basis! 

If you are juicing, please share your favorite recipes. Cheers! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Letter to Luna on her 1st Birthday

Happy 1st Birthday baby girl! On February 3, 2013 at 11:31 p.m. you came into this world, and I would go through it over and over again just to have you! This year you have brought us such immense joy that it's hard to put into words. You have taught daddy and I so much about unconditional love and strength. You are such an amazing baby, and we are blessed to be your mommy and daddy. We cannot wait to see what's to come! 

I'd like to tell you a little about yourself: 
  • You have 2 teeth (and possibly a few more coming since your hand is in your mouth all day!) 
  • You give kisses 
  • You say "Hi Dad" every now and gain, and mommy knows all your babbles & gestures.
  • You have a full head of beautiful hair!! It is the first thing EVERYONE tells us! I love it! You'll soon realize that your mom loves accessories! 
  • You favorite songs are If Your Happy and You Know It and Roar by Katy Perry. 
  • You are a calm & happy baby.
  • You love when I sing to you.
  • You love when Daddy pretty much does anything (except for sucking out boogies!) 
  • You love books and wood puzzles.
  • You aren't walking yet, but definitely thinking about it.
  • Your favorite foods are green beans and Happy Baby puffs. 
  • You love to chug your water from your sippy cup. 
  • Your favorite toys are stuffed (ballerina & lamb) and random things like empty tissue boxes.

This weekend we celebrated your birthday with a small, but wonderful gathering at home. It was both your grandparents, your godparents, Mikey and your uncles, and of course mommy and daddy! At first mommy felt guilty for not throwing you a huge party, but mommy does know best! You were so happy and put on a fantastic clapping, smiling and babble show for everyone! You also got a taste of cake for the first time, and let me tell you, you liked it! 

So my little nugget on this day I wish that you know how much I truly love you! I love you so much that I miss you when you are asleep! I kiss you a gazillion times per day, and daddy sometimes goes into your room just to see you one more time before bed.  Thank you for making us better people and for always putting a smile on our faces (even when you take a big poop!). 

Now hold my hand tight and mommy will guide you into toddlerhood!