A family that cooks together

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

*This post is NOT sponsored in any way by Blue Apron. These opinions are my own, and I enjoyed the service so much that I decided to share my experience.

It's SO easy for dinner become a hassle each week.
We were stuck in a rut for a while, rotating the same 4-5 meals every week.

The innocent question of "what's for dinner?" instantly made my nerves skyrocket.

Then one day my husband randomly decided to give Blue Apron a try.

A box that contained all the makings for three gourmet dinners arrived at our doorstep on a Wednesday morning.

The food was well packaged between 3 giant ice blocks, and was still nice and cold after sitting on our doorstep in the Florida heat.

Along with a welcome letter that discussed the meals for the week, there was also an information sheet for each meal which included the ingredients, pictures, and super easy to follow directions.

That night we excitedly cooked our first meal, and it was of course super tasty.

Much better than anything we probably would have come up with ourselves.

Flat iron steak with potatoes and asparagus salad

Besides enjoying good food, something else happened: my husband and I prepared the meal together and had an awesome time doing it.

After a busy day of him working and me chasing our toddler around, it's so easy for us to feel a bit disconnected. Things can get chaotic, especially around that time of night.

The Blue Apron meals have given us a wonderful stress-free way to come together at the end of the day.

While we prepare our dinner we turn on some music and our little guy has a blast dancing and playing in the kitchen while we cook. When he starts to get a bit irritated we just stick him in his high chair with a little dinner of his own and he eats while watching us.

Everyone is happy and everyone wins.

We've been receiving Blue Apron meals for a few weeks now, and are constantly impressed (check out my Instagram to see more of the yummy meals we've cooked).
The recipes are always unique and delicious, and we now have a great catalogue of meal ideas at our fingertips.

Another thing I love is that you have the ability to pick and choose what weeks you want to receive the meals.
My husband and I weren't big fans of what was on the menu for one week, so we just chose to skip it.
There's also vegetarian options that you can request, which we tried once when we weren't into a particular meal that was scheduled.

I have to say, overall I have been pretty impressed with our Blue Apron experience.
I foresee many more delicious (and stress-free) dinners in our future.

Nicole Leeay

DIY Father's Day etched glass mug

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Father's Day is just around the corner, and if you are looking for an easy customized gift to make you've come to the right place. 

Glass etching is super easy, and if you've never tried it before I highly recommend it.

This year for Father's Day I decided to make my husband a customized etched glass beer mug, with our son's birthdate on it. 

All you need for this project is whatever glass item you want to personalize (I picked up this inexpensive beer mug from Walmart for $3), etching cream (you can find this at Michael's), a brush, and a stencil of whatever you want to etch.

I used my Cricut to cut out my stencil, but I know that if you search Pinterest there are other ways to make stencils that don't involve craft machines. 

I peeled away the letters so that I was left with the outline for my stencil. 

I carefully placed the stencil on the beer mug, making sure there were no bubbles near the letters. 

Next I generously applied the etching cream to the glass, and let is sit for a good 10-20 minutes. 
I've found that the longer I leave the cream on, the better.

I put the glass under running water in the sink to wash off the cream and peel away the stencil, and was left with a beautiful etched glass mug!

Paired with a 6 pack of Dad's favorite beer, this Father's Day gift is sure to be a hit in our house.
Happy Father's Day!


Navy and Coral Living Room Inspiration

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Right now I am obsessed with navy blue and coral together, especially with gold accents.

We painted our living room a smokey shade of navy (Sherwin Williams "smokey blue"), and this color combo is definitely what has been inspiring me as I work on decorating our space.

images via left//right

I am not the kind of girl who can live in a neutral-only home (even though I know that's the trend right now), and I love the statement these bold colors make.

I still have a lot of work to do before I achieve the look I want in my own living room, but you have to begin somewhere. I decided that throw pillows were a great place to start.

Since I have a lot of navy blue going on already, my goal is to add pops of coral, gold and white whenever I can.

Right now I'm working on finding accent pieces to really make my vision come to life, so stay tuned!


DIY: Easy Reupholstered Chair Cushion

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Do you like my charming new desk chair?

It used to look like this, which made me sad every time I looked at it.

That's a pretty ugly chair.

Since I've been working on giving my office area a much needed facelift, I decided it was time for this chair to get a makeover.

I got rid of the ugly, stained, beige fabric and recovered the seat cushion with a sweet girly fabric that I found at Hobby Lobby.

Reupholstering sounds difficult, but it was actually really easy.

First I unscrewed the seat from the frame of the chair. The fabric that was currently covering the seat cushion wasn't very thick, so I didn't even bother removing it.

I situated the cushion on my fabric to figure out what part of the design I wanted on my chair.

{Look at those gross stains, ew.}

Once I had that figured out, I traced the outline of my cushion with a pencil and cut it out. I left an extra five inches or so all the way around, leaving me with plenty of extra fabric to wrap around the cushion.

Next I flipped over the fabric and my cushion, pulled the fabric taught, and with my staple gun began attaching the fabric.

You want to be sure that you are pulling the fabric tight while you do this, and that you are carefully working the fabric at corners to avoid any creases. Be patient, this may take a few tries before it looks perfect.

I had decided to paint my chair white as well, and once that dried I screwed the cushion back into the frame and voila!

My chic new desk chair.

This project was so easy, I'm not sure why I waited so long to do it.

I was able to complete it during my little ones nap time, and I'd say that's time well spent.

It's the little details, like a desk chair, that can make a huge difference in how you feel about your space.


Gender Reveal {Easy Card Stock Banner}

Monday, June 1, 2015

We will be adding a baby girl to our family this fall and I could not be more excited about it!

Pink lace shirt from JCrew Factory / similar one can be found here.

I have to admit, things have been a little different with pregnancy number two.
Chasing a toddler around sure takes up a lot of my time, but I am SO excited about our baby girl.

I knew I wanted to announce our news in a special way, because if I'm being honest I really haven't been documenting this pregnancy like I did my last one.

I made my "girl" sign out of card stock during Jacob's nap time, so quick and easy!
I used my Cricut to cut out the pennants and the letters, but it could easily be done with stencils and scissors. I used good old fashioned glue stick to attach everything, punched a few holes, and laced some jute through it.

Now that I've reached the halfway point and we know that we are having a "she", the fact that there is going to be another tiny little human here soon is starting to set in.

How will I continue to give Jacob all the attention that he needs and craves once the new baby arrives?
How will our family dynamic change?
What the heck is life going to look like with a newborn and a toddler?
Will I ever have time for myself again?

These questions (along with many others) are constantly floating around in my mind. I know that things will workout (they always do), but it doesn't stop me from worrying and wondering!

If you have two (or more) children how did your family adjust?