Big News!

Good morning! I have a big secret that I’ve been keeping for a while. I’m excited it’s finally all coming out and I don’t have to watch what I say anymore!

I am 11 weeks along right now and due right at the beginning of August.

These pictures are from when I was about 8 weeks, I believe. We thought it looked like there were two babies in there but there’s just one!

I’ll post more details later this week of how it’s been going and how we found out but Adam and I are so excited about this little baby and I’m still in shock it’s happening!

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Weekend Highlights

It’s almost Christmas and I can’t wait! Just one more weekend! I better hurry and finish getting my last few gifts this week. I only have one picture from this weekend. Sorry, I know I need to be better but I can tell you what I did.

Saturday, I went to a cookie exchange party for one of my friends from work. I wasn’t able to stay the whole time but she does it annually and you get to walk away with a yummy variety of cookies. I ran some errands on the way home and then I attempted to watch Home Alone with Adam but I fell asleep pretty quickly. I realized I am behind on watching Christmas movies this year and I brought my stack out to try and watch them between now and Christmas. I’ll have to try again with Home Alone.

When I woke up, Adam took me to dinner and then we had to run to Lowe’s and check out our possible next house project. I’ll keep you updated on what we decide.

First thing Sunday morning, we went grocery shopping because I wanted to buy everything we could need until after Christmas to hopefully avoid the business. I already realized I forgot the supplies for the treat Adam gets every Christmas morning he works so I’ll be going back. As soon as I got home, I started making banana bread.

Last year, I wanted to do banana bread for my neighbor gifts but had a hard time getting the bread to cook all the way through and not be dry. Well, I finally have a recipe that I am successful at. Here is the recipe! It’s from A Bountiful Kitchen and it’s so easy. My bread always takes quite a bit longer than she says to cook and I’ve learned that the toothpick method of checking to see if it’s cooked does not work for me. I put a thermometer in the bread and cook it until it’s about 190 degrees. Halfway through cooking, I put tin foil on top as well so the top doesn’t get too crispy.

Here is my finished product!

I actually still need to make a couple more loaves but I ran out of ripe bananas so I should be able to finish this week. Adam is going to deliver these to our neighbors tomorrow while I’m at work. I bought the cellophane from Home Goods about a month ago and the ribbon I stocked up on months ago at Michael’s when it was on clearance. Of course, I ran out of it. Always buy more than you think you need!

After I was done baking, Adam and I went and saw the new Grinch. Have you seen it? What did you think? I was torn because I thought it was cute but I love the Jim Carrey Grinch and his personality.

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What did you do this weekend??

Xoxo, Steph

Bathroom Remodel 2018

Adam and I decided to start the remodel on one of our bathrooms when someone from work had a free quartz countertop up for grabs. We were planning on doing it at some point anyways but this pushed us to do it. This bathroom isn’t our main bathroom, it’s mostly for guests and it will be a kids’ bathroom eventually when we have kids.

Here are some before pictures below. We actually painted this bathroom a year ago when we moved in. It was like a pinkish off-white color. We also replaced the toilet. This house had very oddly small toilets.

Adam had everything torn out in a day by the time I came home from work.

Here are the beautiful after shots. I’m so happy with how everything turned out. This was Adam’s first time tiling a shower and he did a great job. The small subway tiles weren’t his favorite but I really wanted subway tile.

Everything got replaced besides the bathtub and the toilet we had already done. The floors are from Home Depot and the subway tile was from Lowe’s.

We ended up not using the countertop we got because it was going to be too hard to cut down to size so the vanity is from Lowe’s. We found the mirror at Home Goods. It took us 3 mirrors to find one that would fit that spot. There was a hole from another electrical fixture that had to be covered.

The wall color is called Elephant Gray by Valspar. I wanted a darker gray and originally I had picked out a much darker color that Adam thought was black so I found a lighter color. This has a hint of blue to it which I like.

I’m very happy it’s done and we got our house all cleaned up from the dust and tools! Adam was great and worked really hard on all of this even when he got frustrated. Now we’ll take a break until the next project when it’s hopefully warmer outside.

What do you think?

Wrapping Paper

I had been meaning to post about my wrapping paper storage a long time ago and forgot about it and I’m finally remembering and thinking it’s a great time with the holidays right around the corner. I love some good organization and when I saw this storage system being talked about on one of my favorite blogs, Momfessionals, I had to get it for myself.

This closet is just my hallway storage closet and after my birthday last year, I saw that the organization system was on sale so I splurged. It’s a little bit pricey but I feel it’s worth every penny with how much you can customize it to what you need.

This system is from the Elfa Collection at the Container Store. It’s nice because you can really customize it to whatever you’re wanting to store. I’ve seen the wrapping paper, cleaning supplies, food pantry storage, etc. I wish I had more closets to use this in.

I chose to do the gift wrap basket at the bottom. You can even pick what color you want it to be and if you want a wire basket or mesh.

At the top, I did two baskets to hold my ribbon, bows, small boxes, and tissue paper.

I added a little pegboard and some hooks to hold all my bags and then I hung my scissors and tape for easy access so I’m always ready to wrap something right then.

This whole system was so easy to install and I did it myself with no tools. It’s just a bar that hangs on at the top of my door and the bottom. The door still easily shut and was very secure so it wasn’t banging around when you open or shut the door. Again, definitely worth the splurge. I wish I had a food pantry door in my kitchen to do this.

I thought I would also tell everyone where I love to buy my paper from. I could call myself a little bit of a wrapping paper snob and can be picky. Costco has great paper that is thick so it doesn’t tear easily. Plus, it comes in a large roll so it doesn’t run out quickly. Sometimes I don’t love that because I like to keep buying new paper. ūüėČ I’ve also only ever seen wrapping paper at Costco for the holidays.

My favorite paper that you can see below is from Home Goods. This is some great quality paper. It’s thick and has a little texture so it doesn’t tear as you’re trying to wrap a present. They have the cutest designs in my opinion as well. The rolls are usually about $2.99 each and you will easily spend that on a roll at Target and it probably won’t be as good of quality.

I about died over the Popsicle paper for a fun gift in the summer. Recently, I bought the rose gold dots and the black and gold dots. Those are calling Michelle’s name for her birthday present paper. It’s probably a good thing that basket on my door only hold so much because I have a hard time not buying a roll or two every time I’m at Home Goods because they always have new ones.

Has anyone else tried anything from the Elfa collection? I’m always looking for new ideas on how to organize! Here’s the link again where you can go build your own setup and see all the different options. ūüôā I hope you enjoyed this post!

Christmas Decor 2018

Last night, I was finally able to finish getting my Christmas decorations up. Normally, I like to have it done the day after Thanksgiving. It mostly was this year but I decided I really wanted a second Christmas tree and the way we’ve got our furniture in our family room made it so the tree we had didn’t fit great. I put the bigger tree in our formal living room but I still really wanted one in the family room. I talked to Adam and I hurried and ordered another tree online. I got in a little trouble because he knew I had been wanting a second tree and was going to take me to pick one out as part of my Christmas gift but I went and bought one first.

The tree came a couple days ago and tonight I had the time to get it up and finish the decorations.

This is our bigger tree that is now in our formal living room. I like that you can see it lit up from the street. This room felt so warm and cozy this year. Last year I didn’t put much in it.

I bought our stockings last year from¬†Pottery Barn Kids. Adam’s one requirement for his stocking was that it should have a fire truck and luckily I was able to find one! They still have our stockings in other designs. Find all of their stockings¬†here.¬†They’re on sale right now too!

I picked up the garland at¬†Home Goods¬†this year and added some LED lights from Costco. You can’t tell but it has pine cones, berries, and some burlap throughout it. The Santa advent calendar is from Pottery Barn but years ago. My mother-in-law was kind enough to give it to me.

The pillow is from Bed Bath and Beyond last year.

I would like to do a fun village on this cabinet but it’s not going to happen this year. The sign is my favorite Christmas song and it’s from¬†Vine and Branches.

This table is usually in my entryway but there was a minor leak in the ceiling and we’re still working on fixing the wall and ceiling. It’s got another¬†Vine and Branches¬†sign. I believe the tree is from Target a couple years ago.

Adam’s mom gave me this cute Santa cookie jar earlier this year.

I found this cute truck at Target this year.

Last year, I found some glass trees at Home Goods that I loved and at the time I thought I could go back and get them later but they were gone when I went back! I was so sad. When I saw these glass trees are Target, I knew I had to have them. Find them¬†here.¬†They have different sizes and they come in different colors. I think I bought this garland last year and I can’t remember where but I added more of my LED lights from Costco.

Here is my new tree! I knew I needed something skinnier for that corner and I love how it turned out. I was trying to stick with mostly red and gold ornaments and it just makes the room feel so cozy looking. I found the tree skirt at Target here.

That is most of my Christmas decor this year! I like to add a little more each year because I am obsessed with Christmas! Have a great weekend!

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

My sister’s birthday was this week and I offered to make her a birthday treat of her choice. She said she wanted a chocolate cake with raspberry filling.

I went to¬†Cake by Courtney’s website¬†to see if there was one of her cakes I could try. She didn’t have that exact cake so I used her high altitude chocolate cake¬†recipe.¬†I’ve used this one before but this was my best attempt yet at it. For the raspberry filling, I found another recipe that had a berry compote and followed that using raspberries. For the frosting, I used her chocolate buttercream frosting from her yellow cake with chocolate buttercream¬†recipe.

I am still definitely working on my frosting skills to get that smooth buttercream finish but it is not as easy as it looks. Courtney suggests using these plastic discs on top of the cake to get that nice edge and I think I need to buy those to see if it helps.

I was pretty pleased with the insides because my other cakes have been pretty crumbly when I cut into them and this one held up really well and it tasted good! You can find all of Courtney’s other delicious cake recipes¬†here.

Girl, Wash Your Face

Has anyone read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis?? I finished last weekend and it was so good! I have a hard time getting into self-help/motivational books sometimes and this was one that I really got into.

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My sister bought this book and let me borrow it and now I feel like I need my own copy so I can read it again! There were a few parts that really stuck out to me that I want to work on.

She talked about meeting goals and how she likes to make a visual reminder and she hangs it up in her closet so that she can see her goal at least once a day. I have a goal right now to buy a new car and so I’m just working to save enough money. I’m a visual person so I already had this in the back of my planner.

I edited out the numbers on the side so that’s why it looks a little goofy.

I think I’m going to tear the page out and put in in my closet so that I can see it more often and hopefully stop myself from shopping. The holidays are hard for me with all the sales. I lose control! We’ll see if this helps me. For me, the visual does help and especially when I can color in another mark to see how close I’m getting.

There was tons of other great stuff in the book that stuck with me to work on so I’ll tell you about a couple.

There’s a part where she says, “Someone else’s opinion of me is none of my business.” She goes more in depth than this but it’s something I definitely have a hard time with. In other chapters, she talks about hesitating to admit your dreams because you’re nervous about what other people will think. Or making yourself feel small because of it.

There’s definitely a part of me that has felt that way with this blog. I had always thought about doing this in the back of my mind but was always too nervous to try it until Michelle pushed me into doing it with her. It was a good thing Michelle pushed me because it got me outside of my comfort zone.

I won’t get better about this stuff overnight but at least it’s something I’m more aware of and can work on.

Rachel is coming out with a new book in March called,¬†Girl, Stop Apologizing. You can preorder it now on Amazon. I can’t wait for it to come out!

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Let me know if you’ve read¬†Girl, Wash Your Face¬†yet and what you thought!

Xoxo, Steph

Facing Fears

Happy week of Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has a great week and enjoys time with friends and family before the Black Friday shopping begins!

Yesterday, I conquered a big fear of mine. It’s making my hands sweat as I type about it. Christmas is one of my favorite things and going all out with the decorations is really important to me. Usually, I would be bugging Adam since the beginning of November to get the Christmas lights up on the house before it’s too cold. Somehow I forgot this year and then he started remodeling our bathroom. It’s been consuming all of his free time so I didn’t dare add to it and ask him to put the Christmas lights up even though I know he would’ve found the time to do it.

It’s supposed to snow later this week so I knew if I was going to put the lights up I had to do it soon. I chose to do it when Adam was at work so I could do it in my own time. I got myself up a ladder and onto the roof with very shaky legs. I got all the lights up even though I had to redo a few parts and will have to get back up again to fix some light bulbs that are burnt out and maybe even how the extension cords are set up. But you know what, I got up there and got most of it done even though it was terrifying, especially the parts that were two stories up!

You can see the gaps where I need to fix the burnt out light bulbs.

This may seem silly to some people but I’m proud of myself for climbing up a ladder and sitting on the edge of the roof to put the lights up. Heights are definitely not my favorite thing and I would be OK never doing it again but I know if the situation arises, I can do it again. I celebrated it by going to Taco Bell after!

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I rose above. Literally lol.

Stay tuned this week for shopping finds and deals to know about on Black Friday!

Xoxo, Steph

Not So Ugly Holiday Sweaters

Are you in need of an ugly sweater for a party or event? You might be like me where you buy a not so ugly sweater and it’s just more festive. Last year, I ended up just wearing mine out on weekends because I thought they were fun. I thought I would find some suggestions to show you.

I bought this sweater last year. I love Elf and for some reason, Adam and I would say that line to each other when we were saying bye.

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Photo courtesy of Amazon

I couldn’t find my exact sweater but I also have one that says, “Resting Grinch Face.” I often have RBF and I love the Grinch so I loved it.¬†Here¬†is a similar one.

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Photo courtesy of Etsy

This sweatshirt is a great price and if you like Mean Girls, then you will like this.

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Photo courtesy of Etsy

The next options aren’t things you would probably wear to an ugly sweater party but I came across them on Etsy and they are so cute! I may or may not be purchasing something. This¬†Etsy shop¬†had some really cute options!

Hopefully, this gave you some fun ideas of some cute holiday sweaters to wear during the holiday season or to an ugly sweater party. I know I’ll be wearing mine!

Holiday Dresses

With the holidays coming up, that means lots of parties so I thought I would give some ideas on fun party dresses! This year, Adam’s work party is formal and I was excited to go looking for a new dress. I looked around online first and then went to the mall with Michelle and her sister to check it out.

This was my first pick that I found at Ann Taylor. I’m always a big fan of lace. It says it’s an online exclusive but the store had it. You can find the dress¬†here.¬†It’s a little bit more expensive but their stuff holds up and it’s 40% off right now! I’m waiting for the store to price match me right now because I knew it would go on sale.

The lighting isn’t great but you can see the detail of the lace in the picture above. I think I’ll add a pop of color with some jewelry or a good darker lipstick.

Here are some other options I found at Ann Taylor that are also 40% off.

I don’t love velvet on me but on other people, it looks really good. This dress was pretty in person. Find it¬†here.

Find this beauty here.

Sequin Sheath Dress,                        Main,                         color, MAROON

I’m dying over these sequins! I wish I had a good occasion to wear this to. Find the dress¬†here.

I love an excuse to dress up so I had fun looking around at all the dresses. Shop early so you aren’t stressing at the last second and quickly need a dress!

Have a good weekend!