Thursday, May 15, 2014

House Tour: Dining Room

Today I'm excited to share pictures of our dining room! We fell in love with this room when we first looked at the house because it was big enough for a larger dining room table. We love entertaining, so we wanted a space we could do so comfortably. We knew the dining room was going to need some work, and I am finally pleased with the way it's come together. Here are a few before + after pictures after the jump, if you're interested...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? If you're not sure, Susan Cain in her book Quiet says that introverts "may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were in home in their pajamas...prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family...listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing...tend to dislike conflict...have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions."

I've always believed that I was introverted but never liked that most people think of introverts as very shy people who don't talk very much. I would not consider myself shy and I certainly have a lot to say (poor Caleb), so when I saw this book I knew I wanted to read it right away.

I really loved this book and found it fascinating. She describes so well the different characteristics of introversion and never describes it as inferior to extroversion. Several of my tendencies I realized are due to introversion, like how I have trouble projecting fake enthusiasm, why I let calls go through to voicemail most of the time, why I enjoy working alone better, and more.

Cain also describes introversion in relation to nature vs. nurture, how far we can stretch our personalities to go beyond our "sweet spot", and the physiological side of introversion.

This would be a great read for you if you believe you are an introvert, if your significant other is an introvert, or if you have introverted children. I highly recommend it:)

One final thing I found interesting in the book was that introverts are more likely to share intimate things about themselves online. That's certainly true for me, so I'm curious: how many of you bloggers are introverts?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Rosemary Lemonade

I've shared several lemonade recipes here in this space, but I just can't stop! Once the warm weather hits, you can find me outside with a mason jar of lemonade in hand, colorful straw sticking out the top. I had some leftover rosemary simple syrup from the rosemary peach lemonade I made several weeks back, and this recipe used it up perfectly. I hope this weekend you have lots of sunshine, some relaxation, and even a cold, fruity drink :)

Rosemary Lemonade
1 cup of fresh lemon juice (from 5-6 lemons)
3-4 sprigs of rosemary
1 cup of sugar
6 cups water

Combine 1 1/3 cups of water, the sugar, and the rosemary in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the syrup through a wire mesh sieve into a container to remove the rosemary. Let cool.

In a large pitcher combine the lemon juice, simple syrup, and the remaining 4 2/3 cups of cold water. Stir together until combined and chill before serving. Serves 5-6.

source: slightly adapted from a beautiful mess

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Baby Shower

This past weekend I hosted a baby shower for my sweet friend, due with her first baby in just 9 weeks! What a blessing this little baby is already, and I can't wait for him to arrive! Above are the few pictures that I took on Saturday. The shower was at 10, so we had brunch with the following:

Chicken Salad tarts
Crustless Zucchini Quiches
Caprese Salad Skewers
Blueberry & Granola Parfaits
White Chocolate Cranberry Scones
Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I picked up sweet potato cupcakes from one of my favorite bakeries in town and packaged them up as favors. We also had a mock mimosa bar, using sparkling juice instead of champagne so the mommy-to-be could partake as well :) We had a great time celebrating this precious little baby and I'm so thankful for the women that were able to come celebrate with us!

Monday, May 5, 2014

2014 Goal: Learn to Crochet

I completed one of my goals for 2014! I know it's May and only completing one sounds lame and like I've been sitting around on my butt all year, but 3 of my 5 goals are on-going and my the other goal is 75% done. So! I'm actually pretty proud of my progress so far. But, back to my goal that I completed: I learned to crochet! The above picture is the little baby blanket that I made. I actually enjoyed crocheting much more than I thought I would. I crocheted the majority of the blanket in February and March, when it was cold and wet out and staying inside bundled up on the couch crocheting was heavenly. I taught myself through Youtube videos and online tutorials, which I found to be pretty helpful. My only trouble was that my yarn kept getting in knots that I would spend hours (really) trying to get out. Finally I was so frustrated I reached out to Eliza (she does beautiful crochet work and shares them on instagram!), and she gave me some good tips that solved all my knotting problems. My blanket is really simple but I'm pleased with it and proud of myself for learning something new :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cinco de Mayo Savings

Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow - do you have any plans? We love Mexican food so I will take any excuse I can get to eat it :) If you're looking for some new Mexican recipes, I saw one for guava margaritas and also an updated Mexican seven layer dip that looked so good! I always stick to variations of tacos and fajitas because it's just so easy! We had friends over for a little Mexican get-together and tried Old El Paso's stand 'n stuff tacos, and I have to say they might be my new favorite kind of flour tortillas. They didn't fall apart after one bite and they held the perfect amount of taco fillings. You can find them and other Old El Paso ingredients on sale this week at Publix.

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op. Publix and Old El Paso are brands that I've supported for years and all opinions are 100% my own.