Friday, September 12, 2014

Five on Friday 9/12

Just about sums my week up

TGIF!  I may not be working right now but I sure am glad to see Friday.  It's been a busy week full of painting, painting, oh and more painting.  Things are looking awesome but I'm ready for a break from the fumes and having sore arms.  Not to mention we have a lot to look forward to these next few days so I've been extra anxious for Friday to arrive!  But before we get into all that fun, lets recap the highlights from this week...

Royal Baby
Is anyone else super excited about another royal baby?  I love all things Kate and can't wait to follow along with this pregnancy.  Hoping it's a girl this time around and hoping poor Kate feels better soon.  Hyperemesis gravidarum sounds like no joke.

Bad Blogger
That's me!  I've been struggling to find the time to keep up with all things blogging this week.  It's easy for me to get posts up and I really enjoy reading/commenting on all of your blogs but the part I have the most trouble with is responding to emails.  I'm so grateful for the comments and always want to respond to them ALL but when I'm busy, that's the first thing to go.  Is that bad?  I promise/hope it will get better soon and I'll be back to responding to emails like a good blogger!

Paint Color
So we scrapped both of the paint colors that we were sampling on the wall in this post.  We tried a million and one grey shades but they just weren't working with the carpet.  And since the carpet isn't going anywhere for a while, we decided to just embrace it and go with a light tan color.  Natural by Valspar is what we settled on and I'm pretty much in love! This room is my inspiration and don't be surprised if I pretty much copy it exactly.

Scarf Frenzy
Scarves are one of my most favorite things about fall/winter and I can't wait to break out my massive collection soon. The elusive Zara scarf that was all over Pinterest last year is back and you can get the red version here!  I think it's going to go fast so make sure to get your hands on it while you can.  I'm also loving this one in the red + blue from Nordstrom... already on the way to me :)

Blogger Date
I had my first blogger meet up this week!  The lovely Elise and I grabbed drinks and it was such a good time.  It's so funny that when you read someones blog and then meet them in person, you already feel like you know the person.  So sad she's heading back to Texas soon but also so excited to follow along on the adventure!  And major blogger fail, we didn't take a single picture!

We're off tomorrow to our final wedding of 2014 and then will be in New Orleans next week!  I have a couple of posts lined up but otherwise I'll be taking a much needed few days off.  Hope you all have a wonderful week/end and don't forget to follow along on Instagram!
Linking up with KarliLaurenJennie and Rebecca

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Chicken Stuffed Peppers

Who doesn't love a good stuffed pepper?  No one, right?  I have no idea what took me so long to make them at home but it was my first go at homemade stuffed peppers and I honestly had no idea how they were going to turn out.  It was one of those recipes where I was just throwing things together and crossing my fingers that it's edible, let alone taste good. Well, I'm happy to report that it was a h-u-g-e hit and has now been added to our weekly dinner rotation.  Nick would probably prefer we have this for dinner every single night but he's going to settle for once a week ;)

Shopping List
*This makes 4 servings

2 large bell peppers, any color
1 pound shredded, cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup cooked white rice
1/2 an onion, finely chopped (we love onion so I used quite a bit... you can use as much as you prefer!)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
16 ounces traditional tomato sauce
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2) Slice each bell pepper in half length wise so you have four halves.  Remove the stem and seeds.

3) Place all four halves in an 8x8 baking dish.  Don't worry about greasing the dish because next you are going to drizzle olive oil over the peppers.

4) Bake for 10 minutes.

5) While the peppers are baking, combine cooked chicken, cooked rice, onion, bread crumbs, tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.  Mix well.

6) Remove peppers from the oven and fill the halves with the chicken mixture.  Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

7) Place back in the oven and bake again for 15 additional minutes.

8) Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

And that's it!  I served with garlic bread for a really simple weeknight dinner.  Enjoy!
Ps. If stuffed peppers aren't your thing, maybe chicken pot pie is?  I'm sharing a super easy pot pie recipe over on Reasons To Come Home today so pop over and check it out!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Two Years Later: Engagement Story

Two years ago today, Nick and I got engaged!  I've never shared the story on the blog before and figured today was the perfect day to do so.  Although it's not too much of a story... Nick is a lot of wonderful things but a planner is not one of them ;)

A little background info on the end of summer/early fall of 2012... I was working like a crazy person.  We were short staffed at the country club but didn't want to hire anyone else since things really slow down in October so we were just pushing through August and September.  I was working over 50 hours a week, seven days a week.  I literally had one day off in a span of twenty something days.

On top of that, I was taking a few classes at a college near my work.  (This is back when I was seriously considering getting a masters degree and was taking a few pre-req classes to start the program.)  So I was going to work, then to class, then back to work and then coming home and doing homework.  I was overwhelmed, stressed and just had a l-o-t going on.

The night of Saturday, September 8th, I was determined to have a girls night.  I hadn't seen my friends in quite a while and Nick was busy with hockey that night so I had them all over at my place after I got home from working a 12 hour shift.  I also had the next morning off of work so I just wanted to blow off a little steam through lots of laughing and a few too many drinks!  It was a great night and kind of crazy because we actually talked about when some of us would start to get engaged.  We all thought it was a ways off and I even specifically said I didn't think Nick and I would get engaged for at least another year.  Ha!

Sunday morning rolled around and I was nursing quite the hangover.  The beginning of September was Nick and I's "dating anniversary" so we were planning on doing brunch to celebrate before I had to go to work that afternoon.  I wasn't feeling the greatest and was all ready to go and literally waiting by the door for him when he calls out to me from the bedroom "come in here."  I was like "no, let's go, I have to work soon, if we don't go now I won't have time for breakfast"... blah blah.  We argue across the apartment for a couple of minutes before he comes out to me standing oh so impatiently by the front door.

And next thing I know, he's grabbing my hand and telling me how much he loves me and then he's GETTING DOWN ON ONE KNEE.  I was sooo in shock and pretty much blacked out during this because I have no idea what he said (which makes me so sad)!  He's opening the ring box to the most beautiful princess cut diamond and I can barely squeak out a "yes!"

I'm that person that doesn't show a ton of emotion when I'm overwhelmed and I just kept saying "I can't believe it.  I can't believe it" over and over.  Poor Nick, I think he thought I wasn't excited but I was just so in shock!  I swear it took me a good week to finally process everything that was happening.  I also had to paint my nails because they were bare and I couldn't go out and show off my new ring like that!

After a quick at home manicure, we headed downtown to grab breakfast.  I was still pretty hungover and now clearly in shock so there was no way I was going to be eating.  We grabbed bagels and walked around downtown and it was just the strangest feeling!  It was literally the last thing in the world I was expecting that day!  Since I had to go to work that afternoon (terrible timing!), we headed back home to call our families and let them in on the happy news.

Around noon, I went off to work where everyone was super excited and wanted to see the bling bling -- thank goodness I did my nails!  I got absolutely nothing done that day.  I spent the entire day texting with my friends and of course still saying "I can't believe it!"  After what felt like the longest day of work ever, I headed home where two of my friends surprised us with a bottle of champagne and bridal magazines.  The planning officially began from there!

It's funny because the very next morning, Monday, Nick left for a work trip for a few days and then as soon as he got home, I was off to Arizona for a weekend with friends.  Our first week as an engaged couple wasn't even spent together! We laugh about it now because it was a perfect storm of things that didn't make getting engaged that day the right timing but Nick said he just couldn't wait anymore.  And I love that.  I love that he loves me so much that he couldn't even wait a month for life to slow down.  He had the ring and he was so excited that he just couldn't wait a day longer.  It was the perfect story and the perfect timing for us... and I wouldn't change a single thing!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekending: Water Problems

Where did this weekend go?!  I could of sworn it was Friday morning... and just like that, it's Monday.  This weekend went by in a flash and I have a feeling they're going to be like this from here on out!  We did a lot of work on the house but also managed to have some fun, too.

Friday evening, one of my best friends came down from Grand Rapids to see the house and grab dinner.  She brought us the sweetest housewarming gift, an orchid (that I'm determined to keep alive) and a bottle of wine!

It was storming pretty bad Friday night and when we got to the restaurant, the power actually went out.  Luckily the generator kicked on right away and we were able to stay and eat.  It was a crazy storm -- so many people around us had damage.. trees and power lines down everywhere.  But back to dinner, I actually left my phone at home on accident which was a weird feeling, I felt like I was missing my right arm.  On the other hand (haha), it was also really nice to just be fully focused on enjoying dinner, no distractions.  Although I wish I could have gotten a picture of my watermelon mint julep because it was perfection.

Saturday morning brought the farmers market which I was SO looking forward to!  It didn't disappoint and we picked up fresh green beans, peaches, apple pie and flowers.  The prices were awesome and everyone was so friendly... I definitely see this becoming our Saturday morning tradition.  On the way home, we stopped for donuts and coffee (also a tradition that needs to continue) and hit up some garage sales in our neighborhood.

Later that day, we headed up to Grand Rapids to hit up Costco and Home Goods.  I fell in love with an HGTV Home couch but unfortunately we didn't have any way to get it home.  We need a bigger car ASAP.   At Costco, we made our first big purchase for the new house -- a TV for the entertainment/off the kitchen room!  I can't wait to get it mounted above the fireplace but we're going to wait until after we paint.

Speaking of paint... we tried out a couple of samples in our living room.  The one on the left is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter and on the right is Glidden's Polished Limestone.  I love both of the colors in general but not sure if they're clashing with the carpet?  I'm so bad at this stuff... choosing paint colors is giving me anxiety!  If any of you have an eye for this (I know the colors don't look the same in the picture), just tell me what to do, ha!

The rest of the night was consumed with all the fried food a la Buffalo Wild Wings and college football.  It was a bad night for Michigan sports teams but still, Go Blue!

Ahhh, Sunday.  We had big plans for this day: try out a new church (which was having their annual fall kick off picnic after), do our grocery shopping, do some painting, etc. etc.  Well, yeah pretty much none of that happened.  We had major water problems.

Our house actually has well water and during the inspection, bacteria was found in the water.  We had to have a professional come out on Friday night and chlorinate the water to kill the bacteria... this meant we couldn't use our water for 24 hours.  Then we were supposed to run our hoses for 8 hours and then run all of our faucets/sinks/showers in the house for 20 minutes to completely flush the pipes out.

That's not quite how things went.  All went well with running the hoses but when it came to run the water in the house, the water was literally red with sediment in it.  I wish I was joking.  And I wish I had gotten a picture of the red water but Nick would have killed me.  It was FULL of iron and dirt and rocks (see above, gross) and clogged up all of the strains on the sinks.  Oh, and clogged our toilets.  So we had to change filters, buy new strains, clean everything, fix the toilets, run the water for hoooouuurrrssss.  It was so annoying and consumed our entire Sunday.  No church, no grocery shopping, no painting.  The joys of home ownership, right?

Didn't even have a chance to put on real clothes

We have the city coming out to work on the water/plumbing tonight and hopefully it should all be fixed.  Fingers crossed because I really don't want to spend my evening at Home Depot again... which also seems to be becoming a new tradition.  How was your weekend?

Linking up with LeeannCarly and Biana

Friday, September 5, 2014

Five on Friday 9/5

Happy, happy Friday!!  What a week this has been!  Moving, unpacking, settling in... we've been going nonstop.  And poor Nick, on top of all of this, he's had a really bad cold.  Lots of R&R (and probably lots of work, too if I'm being totally honest) await us this weekend!

House Tour
In case you missed it, I posted a tour of the new house yesterday!  Check it out here.  A huge THANK YOU to everyone who responded and answered so many of my questions.  I'm going to email you back individually but at the rate I'm going, it may be a few days.  So until then, just know how much I appreciate you taking the time to help a sister out!

Stuffed Peppers
After two weeks of eating out of our pantry and having the most random meals and then eating out once that food was gone, all in preparation of the move, I was craving some real, home cooked food.  Enter in my nice big kitchen and I've been doing lots of cooking this week.  These stuffed peppers were the biggest hit and I'll be sharing the recipe next week!

Bauble Bar Pearl 360 Earrings
How great are these?  I've been seeing the Mise en Dior tribal earrings everywhere lately... and obviously I want a pair but I'm not about to shell out that kind of money. The Pearl 360 earrings are a great alternative.  You can never go wrong with Bauble Bar.

New Orleans
Our countdown to New Orleans is pretty much in the single digits now and I have done zero planning!!!  This is so bad and so very unlike me.  My mind has just been totally preoccupied with the move.  Please throw any to do/dining suggestions my way!

Weekend Plans
TGIF!  Tonight, one of my best friends is coming down from Grand Rapids and we're going out to dinner.  Can't wait to see her and show her the house!  Tomorrow morning, there is a farmers market that I am practically giddy over going to. Fresh fruit, veggies, flowers... the way to my heart.  On Sunday morning, the church hunting begins!  We also have to work on Nick's new office, maybe we'll hit up Costco and we've got lots of painting to do :)  Should be a good weekend!

What do you have planned?  Have a great one!
Linking up with KarliLaurenJennie and Rebecca

Thursday, September 4, 2014

House Tour

Good morning!  I just cannot seem to get on top of my blog game this week.  I've got an inbox full of emails that need to be responded to and a Bloglovin feed with hundreds of unread posts.  You would think that being unemployed with no friends in town that I'd have all this free time on my hands?!  ;)  Turns out a new house keeps one pretty busy!

Things are looking up though because as of Wednesday evening, the entire house is officially unpacked!!!  Whew, so glad that is over.  I'm actually pretty impressed with myself, I thought it would take me weeks to get this accomplished. Now let the real fun can begin.... decorating!

I took these pictures yesterday afternoon (so you'll still see a couple of boxes!) and we definitely have some work to do. I'm happy that I'll have these pictures as "before" so I can compare them to the rooms as I finish them.  Our unofficial housewarming party will be the weekend of October 25th which is when all of our friends are coming to town to celebrate Homecoming (we're living in the city in which we went to college in) so we are going to be working our little booties off until then!

Anyways, come on in!  Get ready for a picture overload :)

Stepping into the entryway from the front door... those glass blocks have gotta go ASAP!  We thought this was wallpaper in the entryway but thankfully it's just paint.  To the left is the living room, straight ahead is the kitchen and to the right is a coat closet, half bath and door to the garage.

The half bath... it's hard to get a good picture of one of these!

Stepping back into the kitchen/entertainment room.  You guys, I need your help with this "entertainment room" as we've dubbed it.  NO IDEA what we are going to do in here.  We already having a living room so I don't want to do another one of those and it's kind of an odd shape.. it's like a rectangle shaped room.  The kitchen is also the original kitchen so that is our one project.  Hoping to do a 100% redo this winter!

The doorway right off our kitchen leads to the dining room.  I'm on the hunt for a perfect table!  And lighting fixture, ha

Opening into the dining room and finishing off the "square" that is the lower level, is our living room.

Lets head upstairs!  Upstairs we have 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths.

Once you get to the top of the stairs, there are two bedrooms to the right.  This one is going to be the guest room... and we've got some major work to do seeing as it's totally empty!

Across the hall is the office.  Well, it's going to be the office.

Next to the office, at the top of the staircase is the guest bath.  I'm obsessed with this bathroom because it is huge!!  And it has the laundry in it.  How amazing it's going to be to not have to haul clothes up and down the stairs.  Any tips on how to prevent the front loaders from getting musty are welcome :)

At the end of the hallway is our extra room.  We aren't sure what we are going to do with this one.  Right now the closet is holding Nick's work clothes so maybe we'll turn it into a dressing room?  Either way, we've got our work cut out for us... check out this paint.  And yes, it is glow in the dark!

And saving the best bedroom for last... right next door is our master bedroom and bath :)  I've got a serious vision for our bedroom and I can't wait to see it come to life!  I also could spend a lifetime in our shower... l-o-v-e.

Last but not least, the backyard!  Perfect for a dog ;)

So there she is!  We're totally in love and cannot wait to see the house come to life.  Well we don't have much major work to do (besides the kitchen redo), we've got lots of little projects to keep us busy.  I'll be sure to document our adventures here on the blog!

If you wouldn't mind letting me pick your brain, I'd love to hear your answers to some of these burning questions I have!

*What are your favorite paint colors?  Should I go with tan or grey color scheme?  I was thinking I wanted to do grey but with the tan carpet.. not sure how that would look.  Maybe greige?
*Any tips on painting are very welcome!!
*Favorite furniture stores?  We've got lots of big purchases to make.
*The previous owners had a cat in the house which I'm allergic to.  My allergies have been so-so since moving in and I really want to fix that.  We have had our carpets cleaned, getting our air ducts cleaned next week and an air purifier is on the way.  Anything else I can do to get rid of cat dander?
*Favorite place to buy reasonably priced, won't break the bank window treatments?!  How can these things be SO expensive??
*What should I do with the extra "entertainment room" off the kitchen?

Thanks ladies!!! :)  Have a great Thursday!
Linking up with Annie and Natalie