Fall Bucket List

In southern California, “fall” is a very loose term. A few trees turn golden in our neighborhood (including one the Mr planted in our back yard last year), and the air takes on a barely perceptible crisp feeling… and that’s enough to get me excited about enjoying the new “season.” :) To make the most of it, here are a few things we are looking forward to this fall:

Baking. I’ve never been much of a baker, but there’s something about this time of year that makes me want to put something warm and heavenly-smelling (and easy) in the oven. A couple of my favorites are Trader Joe’s beer bread and coffee cake.

Apple picking. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, and now that we have little ones who would enjoy it it’s the perfect time. Julian is famous for it’s apple picking (and apple pie!), so we’re planning a day trip soon.

Decorating. My favorite, simple go-to for fall decorating is mini white pumpkins. We don’t have a mantel or a lot of shelves in our main living space, so the round tray on the dining table is my fall decorating spot. I throw in a pumpkin candle, and I’m done!

Beach bonfires. These are fun year-round, but much more cozy when it’s actually cool out!

Visit the library. Since the boys are only 2 and 3, we have yet to experience back-to-school season. But the older they get the more they seem to enjoy reading, so I’m excited to take them and check out their first round of library books.

Cozy drinks (of course). We make most of our coffee at home, so buying coffee out is a treat for us. I’ve been dreaming of a PSL (half the flavor shots – anyone else think they’re wayyy too sweet?) and can’t wait to indulge in one (and this cocktail).

Happy Fall! How will you be enjoying the season?

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Backyard Haven

Last month, the Mr began a huge undertaking – demolishing our old back porch, tripling its size, and adding a roof to create an outdoor oasis. Although it’s been a slow process so far, the dream is to create a relaxed and cozy space with a surf shack vibe, that provides plenty of room for a huge dining table and comfy seating round an outdoor fireplace.

Here are a few images that have inspired me lately:

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I’ll share before and after progress photos as we go. It will be a several month process, since work and little ones don’t always allow for hours spent on home improvement projects. ;)

To see more of our backyard haven inspiration, take a look at my Pinterest board!

xo

Labeled

chalkboard-labelsA few years ago I bought these sweet little chalkboard labels from terrain, a gorgeous home + garden online store. They are so perfect for labeling our coffee containers and office supply bins. I’ve even used them on handmade birthday cards.

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These little guys are unfortunately sold out, but you can find similar ones here. I also would love to snatch up this chalkboard ribbon decal for a bedroom window, or this sweet message board for the kitchen.

Stop by terrain and see what other lovely things they have to spruce up your space!

Best All Around: Coconut Oil

coconut-oilCoconut oil seems to be popping up everywhere lately (or maybe I’m just behind the curve), and I’m constantly surprised at how versatile this little jar of melt-in-your-hands magic can be. When I first bought some at Trader Joe’s, I got a secret thrill from using it in the kitchen to sauté veggies or make my favorite treat, then taking it to my bathroom shelf to slather some on my face before bed.

Here are a few recipes and finds I’m looking forward to trying:

The Savory:

Lemon Rosemary Coconut Oil Roasted Vegetables

Coconut Oil Spaghettini

Chocolate Coconut Kale Chips (Don’t these sound crazy? Would you try them?)

The Sweet:

Coconut Oil Rice Krispie Treats

Peanut Butter Cacao Fudge Bars

The Beauty:

Coconut Oil Salt Scrub

5 Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil

Are you into coconut oil? Do you use it in the kitchen, or on your body? Or both?

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Going Away

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It was just over a year ago that the Mr and I began our journey into Navy life. I’ve been thinking lately how thankful I am that his training so far has been a success, and how far along we’ve come. It’s been quite an adventure so far!

Before he left for basic training in Chicago for five months last spring, some family and my closest friends and I threw a going away party for him. I stumbled across these photos from that special day and thought I would share them, if you’d like to see…

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We used red and blue glass, rope and burlap accents, and vintage photos and Navy prints to give it a festive maritime feel.

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Some of the Mr’s favorite foods (Mexican market tacos, spiced rosemary cashews, and a special whiskey cocktail) made him feel extra loved.

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Everyone signed a beautiful print I had found and framed (which is hanging in our bedroom), wishing him well.

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One of the highlights was (of course) a fantastic photo booth by our dear friends. They even made the flag for the background by hand.

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It was such a precious and memorable day. But I am so thankful that this year of separations and tough training has flown by so quickly!

Thanks for taking a look! Happy Monday. :)

Bath Time

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A few weeks ago my dear sister-in-love was looking to redecorate their upstairs bathroom, which she wants to pull double duty for both guests and kids (when their little one is old enough to use it). When she asked me for decorating ideas I was thrilled, because who would pass up any reason to browse Pinterest and anthropologie.com for dreamy decor? Certainly not this girl.

I suggested that rather than going for the typical full-blown kids bathroom, they could keep it as a neutral space that everyone (even guests) would enjoy, but still include special childlike elements, like sweet baby animal prints and zinc letters, to keep it feeling playful. Here are a few ideas I shared with her:

1. Baby animal prints // Sweet little friends her kids will love to share bath time with.
2. Glass jar  // To hold treasures.
3. Zinc letters // Hung on the wall or set up on the counter as a backdrop to bathroom essentials.
4. Cloud bath mat // To dry off little feet.

I think I’ll save these ideas for when our little ones come! ;) Have a wonderful weekend! xo

Hello Monday

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The weekend just evaporated, wouldn’t you agree? To start off a new week, here are a few pics of things that have brought me joy lately.

Above: Trader Joe’s Cocoa truffles. Have you tried these? They are the perfect little treat.

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A cozy striped throw from Target (you can never have too many cozy things in the house, in my opinion).

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A sweet bouquet that landed at my doorstep on Saturday, from the Mr’s parents (just because).

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Before and after: thrift store dishes from when we first got married / fresh white dishes from Crate & Barrel (that make me feel a little more grown-up).

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The best place for a walk in San Diego (whose location, according to my husband, I’m supposed to keep secret).

It will be a busy week of work, training for a charity relay race (more on that later) and visiting two (!) new babies that were both born in the last week to some dear friends.

What are you up to this week?

Our Anchors We Will Weigh

I’m blessed to live and work with people I love who also happen to have amazing taste. When a friend of mine introduced me to Jon Contino’s work, I flipped.

As a going away present for my hubby before he left for boot camp, I bought this print and had our friends and family sign it with encouragement and words of love at his going away party. It now hangs in our bedroom as a daily reminder of how much we are loved.

Conquering Chaos

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Clutter makes me crazy. At least once a day my husband has to ask me where I “filed” his keys (or wallet or papers or what have you) that he put on the counter 30 seconds ago. Luckily for me, he finds this behavior just slightly more endearing than he finds it annoying.

Just slightly.

And yet, one of the most important jobs of a Navy wife is corralling the endless amounts of crap your husband brings home. Perfect for an orderly-living-space-crazed nut like me. Our office/guest bedroom stores the bulk of said crap, and the shelves I bought to house all of it have just become a tossing target.

So with an hour and the help of some fabric bins, I attacked the offending nautical chaos.

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Ahh.

Nevermind that the chaos will most likely return in about a week, and I will have to answer the question “Hey, where did you file my…?” even more than usual. But that won’t spoil my neurotic satisfaction.

(This couple has the opposite problem.)