10 Essentials for Summer: Bedroom Edition.

10 Essentials for Summer: Bedroom Edition.

It’s so interesting how your spending habits can change the instant that your husband has full transparency of your finances upon the creation of a joint bank account. In the years before joint checking, I’d buy whatever my heart desired, whenever my heart desired it. Clothes, shoes, home décor, you name it. If it was on sale and cute, it was mine in approximately 3-5 business days. I was a bit reckless. Oops.

Now, things are different. I’ve done a little growing up, I’ve become infinitesimally more responsible, and I respect that I can’t be careless with our money like I could be with mine. But mostly, I feel like Skyler won’t consider a brand-new jewel-toned velvet sofa as crucial of a purchase as I do, and if he came home to that beautiful, soft, wonderful, perfect little sofa in our living room, he would not be as thrilled as I’d like him to be. So, as we have begun to navigate this aspect of married life together, we’ve been handling all non-essential purchases as joint decisions.

Enter: Skyler’s new set of golf clubs, and a set budget for me to spruce up the interior of our home in any (reasonable) way I’d like.

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Dutch Baby Pancake

Dutch Baby Pancake

There are about a million and a half things that I love about having a day off. I love not having to wake up early or shower (yay, hygiene!) or put on makeup. I love drinking a cup of strong coffee curled up on the couch watching an episode of The Office. I love the feeling of productivity at home — laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting. And, my ultimate favorite thing about a day off? Cooking! 

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Last week, I took a day off of work to do all of those things, and I kicked off my spontaneous day of relaxation with a recipe from Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings.

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10 Essentials for Summer: Kitchen Edition

10 Essentials for Summer: Kitchen Edition

The crazed frenzy of spring cleaning is, for me, not something that happens just once a year. Instead, I’m almost constantly reimagining the spaces in our home. What can we donate, repurpose or sell? How can we organize this? Should we rearrange the furniture? How can we spruce up this room? I am always looking at our home through a lens of opportunity. How can I make this space even better than it already is?

So, in the spirit of falling in love with your home all over again this summer, I’ve rounded up my top 10 must-have items to spruce up every room in your house, all under $50. Today, let’s talk about the kitchen!

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Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

There’s just something about summertime, right? Something wonderful and warm that you can feel in your bones and on your sun-kissed cheeks. Something lazy and free, something that you soak up as the sun begins to set at night. Summertime buzzes. It’s alive and it’s happy, and I welcome it’s arrival every year with an impatient excitement.

To me, one of the best things about summertime is the food. Of course. The grill marks on a sizzling piece of chicken or the juicy vibrancy of a ripe watermelon. It’s a time to pack away the hearty stews of winter and move on to foods that are bright and fresh.

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Our Honeymoon

Our Honeymoon

Last Saturday, Skyler and I hopped on a plane (preceded, of course, by a few rounds of mimosas and Jack Daniels at the airport bar), heading south to the sunny world of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to celebrate our marriage! Fast forward about 12 hours, and we were sitting on the porch of the room at our resort, watching a few men and women dance in the rain, wearing butterfly wings and dripping in glitter. Skyler looked at me. “Wanna catch the first flight out of here tomorrow morning? Turn this into an adventure?” Yes. Yes, that’s exactly what I wanted to do. So, that’s exactly what we did.

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Gifts From My Husband & Our Wedding Video

Gifts From My Husband & Our Wedding Video

I had the wondrous fortune of marrying the love of my life this past weekend, and it was everything I had ever imagined that it would be.

The morning of our wedding, I got ready with my bridesmaids and our moms at the venue, and Skyler had left me four gifts to open.

The first was a beautiful leather bound notebook with archival pages in which Skyler detailed our entire relationship. From when we first met in college to the day he proposed, and leaving room for the rest of our story. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made so excited to marry him that afternoon.

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The second gift was a small fan. If you know me at all, you know that I get very warm very easily. Throughout our engagement, we had joked that if it were warm outside, I would need a fan to hide underneath my dress to keep me from profusely sweating. I’m marrying a jokester.

The third box enclosed the most beautiful earrings that I’ve ever had the privilege of wearing. (I’d love to give him all the credit here, but I picked them out myself, just like he picked out the watch I gifted him. Can’t win ’em all.)

And the fourth gift was massive, and horribly wrapped. The box opened to reveal three GoPros that Skyler had rented to help us capture our wedding day. A videographer was one thing that I questioned throughout the entire planning process. Did I want one? Did I need one? Would it be worth the added cost? Ultimately, we decided against it. Or at least, that’s what I thought. I was so giddy at this surprise, and I couldn’t wait to see the footage we’d end up with.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve loved every single minute of reliving our wedding day through the eyes of the people that love us the most.

Here it is: our wedding video.

PS: I can’t wait to share our beautiful photos with you – as soon as I get them! Hazel Lining is amazing, and has been working hard on making us look way better than we really do!

Jam Packed Macaroon Macarons.

Jam Packed Macaroon Macarons.

Each month, Martha Stewart’s Living magazine shows up in my mailbox, and I dive in, trying to live vicariously through the beautifully curated pages of this publication.

A few weeks ago, as I flipped through the pages of the Easter-focused issue, I stumbled upon the most interesting recipe I had seen in a while: the macaroon macaron.

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Mix and Match Quiche.

Mix and Match Quiche.

Skyler and I are not great at executing on a meal plan. I’ll use our Whole 30 experience as an example.

On Whole 30, it’s absolutely critical to plan your meals, because the ingredients that you’ll need to use are weird and expensive and hard to find, and because if you don’t have a plan, you’ll be overcome with the desire to call it quits and order a pizza or you’ll eat a steamed bag of broccoli for dinner, and literally no one in the world actually wants to have a steamed bag of broccoli for dinner. So, we planned! We made a weekly calendar and hung it in the kitchen. Monday: shepherd’s pie. Tuesday: sweet potatoes stuffed with buffalo chicken. Wednesday: salmon and brussel sprouts. Etc. Etc. Etc. And then Monday would roll around, and it would be the kind of Monday that really actually feels like a Monday, and my desire to spend an hour making shepherd’s pie and then clean a heaping pile of dishes would be 0. And then on Tuesday, Skyler wouldn’t be in the mood for buffalo chicken. At the end of the week, we would have existed on a random assortment of compliant foods that made zero complete meals, and we’d have a fridge full of fresh vegetables that were no longer very fresh.

And that fridge full of leave-me-in-here-one-more-day-and-you-won’t-be-able-to-eat-me vegetables is a thing that we just can’t seem to get ahead of. Until today, when I threw all those ingredients into a lip-smacking quiche!

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Blueberry Sour Cream Pie.

Blueberry Sour Cream Pie.

I woke up this morning in an embarrassingly messy hotel room. Think: A trail of clothes littered across the floor, open boxes of half-eaten chicken fingers and cold french fries, empty cups strewn haphazardly across the desk, a sticky uncorked bottle of wine, and the contents of my purse decorating the nightstand. Ahhh, St. Patrick’s Day. You were a fun one this year.

As I lay in our luxurious king-size bed mindlessly scrolling through social media, I came across a picture of a cherry pie. An advertisement for Country Living or some similar magazine. Mmm. Pie. And suddenly, that single photo was the beginning of my downfall and I couldn’t get pie off my brain. I mentioned my plan to Skyler – “I want to bake a pie today. Can we stop at the grocery store on the way home?” – and he grunted in my general direction. He clearly was not as excited as my grandiose pie plans as I was. It seems that hangovers hit us in very different ways.

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