Friday, February 19, 2021

Taking a Blogging Break

Hey there! So I had a different post all set to go out today but these past two weeks have had us totally beat and to be honest-- I think I need a little blogging break for a week or so. 

Its funny because this feels so true lately!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Health + Wellness Ideas

 Last week we had our monthly Not Just a Mom post and the topic was healthy habits + staying motivated. I LOVED reading all of your ideas on how to stay healthy and motivated. I kept reading several of your posts and thinking "oh yeah, I do that too!" So today I am piggybacking off some of your ideas from last week and sharing a little bit more about my healthy habits. We could almost call this post "Healthy Habits Part 2". 😉

Monday, February 15, 2021

Spa From Home Night

 Hi there! A couple weeks ago one of my best friends Sam and I had a "spa night" at home. Think face masks, mani/pedis, good snacks and a little red wine. It was a blast and we keep talking about how we can't wait to do it again. I thought I'd share some of the things we did/items we used with you in case this sounds like something you'd like to do too! Whatever it takes to make staying home sound fun these days, am I right? 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Our Kitchen: Before and After

 Hi there friends and happy Friday! We are slowly but surely moving back into our home over here and it feels so good to be back! We moved out on September 1st and back in on February 5th-- 5 months of a renovation. We had almost every room in our house changed in some way or another, and now that we are back our house is unrecognizable. It feels like a totally new house, yet still in the area we love so much. Today I want to share with you our kitchen before and after pictures. My plan is to share a different room every couple of weeks as we start to get things pieced back together. Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for today's look at our kitchen!


Now just in case you weren't aware of just how small and outdated our kitchen was beforehand, here is a look:

And remember a couple years ago when I had done the marble contact paper to cover up the counters? This is what the counters actually looked like underneath:

Here's another look from the marble countertop post I wrote a couple years back:

 We had the dishwasher replaced since then, but otherwise it was still a very outdated kitchen. The cabinets had seen better days, and there wasn't a backsplash. 

 The biggest problem with updating our kitchen was that it was going to be a lot more complex than just updating the appliances. Yes, that would've helped, but honestly it would've been a "lipstick on a pig" situation because it still would've been too small and poorly designed/not functional. We used to joke that we never had a "took many cooks in the kitchen" problem because it was impossible to fit more than one person in there at a time while cooking. 😀

After 7 years of saving, countless hours searching Pinterest and Zillow for inspiration, and several planning sessions, we finally had a plan. We met with several contractors and found one we really liked, who sent us this as our initial drawing:

 We moved the staircase out of the way, and were able to open up the kitchen to make the space feel bigger and more open. 

So when you first walked in our front door, your view used to be this:


 But now it's this:


  Just a little bit different huh??

My plan is to add some fun, festive items to the floating shelves around different holidays. Right now I only have a red towel out for Valentine's Day, but to be honest we are still unpacking from the move so "festive decorating" is literally the last thing on my mind.


This cabinet here folds up and slides back to open. It has our spices, mixer, and some other less commonly used items.


Here's the view from the side. You can see where we moved the stairs to!

One of the questions or comments I'm getting the most from friends and family is about the lights above the island. A couple years ago when Devin and I went to Bali we saw these woven seagrass lights everywhere. They were in our AirB&B, in restaurants, in shops, etc. We loved the look of them and kept saying "I wish we could do something like that at home, but it would probably look weird since Charlotte isn't a tropical place". Well fast forward two years later and we still never found anything we liked more or felt more "us". Everything we kept stumbling across felt kinda stuffy, which we are not! Life around here is pretty casual and relaxed and we wanted our home to emanate that. We finally came to this realization of "we like these the most by far, let's just do it!". 
The ones we ended up buying were from a small shop in Bali that works with local artisans to support them. I love looking at them and knowing they were handmade by someone in Bali, which brings back memories of one of our favorite trips. The shop has a bunch of other cool stuff if you want to check it out online here, and they gave me a 15% off code if you end up purchasing from them: dontmindthemess15

Thanks so much for reading along today! I hope you all have a nice weekend!

Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Our Coffee Bar Area

Last month Shay and Erika did a coffee bar theme for their "Let's Look" link up, but at the time, we still weren't back in our house. I may have missed the link up for it, but figured it would still be fun to show our current coffee bar setup anyway... and for you to see my OCD side come out a little bit 😂.

 Our current coffee bar setup is pretty straightforward:


Monday, February 8, 2021

Not Just a Mom: Healthy Habits and Staying Motivated

Good morning everyone and welcome to February's Not Just a Mom link up! Today Adrienne, Dara, Jen, Joanne, Sarah and I are discussing some of our healthy habits and how we stay motivated. 

Friday, February 5, 2021

Grocery Shopping: Trader Joe's vs. Aldi vs. Harris Teeter

 Hi there! Several years ago an Aldi grocery store popped up near my parents house. My mom LOVED it, but I just couldn't get into it. It felt so different from my regular store and apparently when I grocery shop I like things that feel familiar. Well fast forward awhile and several of my girlfriends were talking about how much they loved Aldi. I decided to give it another shot and go in with a more open mind... I was pleasantly surprised! The prices are incredibly low, the store is run very efficiently, and they had some really unique/delicious foods available. I kept going back and the more I go, the more I love it. 

That being said, Aldi doesn't have everything I need so I usually end up making two store trips in order to get the remainder of my list. All of a sudden a blog post idea was born: what if I made my list, bought what I could at Aldi, and then compared the prices of the food at Aldi to my regular store, Trader Joe's? What if I compared those prices to our other local store, Harris Teeter? I have seen a few other bloggers compare shopping lists and am always intrigued, so why not give it a go myself? 

Before I left to go shopping, I called my mom to tell her about the Aldi vs. Trader Joe's vs. Harris Teeter experiment I was about to conduct. Her reaction? "You know Aldi and Trader Joe's are owned by the same company right? Something German. I'll be curious to see how they compare". Now I was even more intrigued! So I made my list for the week, and headed to Aldi. I kept the receipt and took it with me to Trader Joe's to buy the rest of my items and compare the prices between the two stores. Later in the week I needed more eggs so I just ran over to Harris Teeter real quick to grab some. I tried to compare the prices at Harris Teeter too, but to be honest the items they had weren't really comparable so I struggled to compare prices sometimes. Let's have a look. Here is my Aldi receipt:


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

5 Random Things and A House Sneak Peak

 Good morning! I have seen on Erika's blog a couple times where she does "5 Things" and I love the randomness. This week as I was thinking "what do I want to write about" my brain kept dumping out a bunch of scattered thoughts. I decided to roll with it and just like Erika, share my 5 assorted thoughts. I also have one sneak peak picture for your of our renovation as we are slowly moving back in! 

1. Zillow.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Monthly Goals February

 Good morning and happy Monday! I hope your Monday is off to a great start so far.

 We are here at the beginning of another month which means it is time to make some new goals. Last month I read the book Loving My Actual Life, and in the book the author tries an experiment for 9 months to see what changes she make in her own life to see how she can improve it. Rather than be frazzled and stressed out all the time she wanted to see what positive changes she could make and whether or not they would make a difference. One of the things she tried was to incorporate more time for quiet in her daily life-- this really resonated with me! I realized that every day our house is full of noise from 6:30 am until about 7:30 at night. While a lot of it is good noise: kids playing with each other, family talking to one another, etc., some of it is just background noise: Alexa telling us the news, me listening to an audiobook, music playing in the background, a podcast, etc. There is something that really resonated with me about the importance of quiet. Maybe I can be more present in the moment if I don't have so many things going on to distract me. So some of my goals this month will be relating to incorporating more quiet in my day-- something I think I will be very grateful I did!