Living Room inspiration


I'm working on finishing my living room at the moment and I've been hunting down inspiration {aka stalking Pinterest}.  Right now the room has a hide rug that I love, 2 neutral linen chairs, a neutral couch, lamps, and end tables.  Soon to be additions: a piano (family heirloom), new pillow covers, drapes, and artwork. I love elements of each of these rooms and basically want the room to feel both stylish and cozy. I tend to be too matchy matchy and I'm trying to break that habit.

I love this fabric for a lumbar pillow....

inspired by the fabric in this Tobi Fairley sort of speaks to me...

but I'm stuck here.  I thought I had decided on coordinating fabrics but I'm second guessing myself.  I hope I can pull something together, I keep changing my mind and I'm struggling!

Random Wednesday #932


So many random thoughts today, here we go!

Have you seen this website where you can turn Instagrams into canvas (and many other things, even iPhone cases)? Kinda fun.

I just came across the website handbagheaven recently too.  You probably already know about it!  But just in case you don't, they have every kind of bag you can imagine and they're all under $85:)

Find here
This necklace is only $20 from Brighthouse Baubles right now. I'm ordering, especially after seeing Annie's cute outfit Monday (I think hers was from Bauble Bar). Can't go wrong either way!

I seriously love these pants from Lululemon but I'm afraid I'll look like Beetlejuice running through the park. I really love how fun they are though!

Find here
I've reached some running milestones lately.  I ran an 8 miler on Saturday and it felt great to be getting up there in mileage again (haven't run that distance since last September!).  And yesterday I ran 2 sub - 8 minute miles in a row and finished 3.1 in 25:22. That was a goal and it felt good to reach it!

I've also determined my Chicago training program. Totally doable I think! I might add more cross training though.

We saw Dierks Bentley at lunch Sunday.  Y'all know I'm a geek and I love celebrity sightings!! This reminds me that recently my 3 year old's pre-school teacher told me that he was singing a D.B. song at the play-doh station in class..... "5-1-5-0 somebody call the po-po, I'm goin' crazy, thinkin' bout you baby". Mother of the year over here, oops! At first I wanted to melt into the floor but then we both had a good laugh about it. Wow, they really pick those words up quickly! Note to self:)

Happy Wednesday - Linking with Shanna!

Recipe time: Ina's Penne alla vecchia bettola


This recipe is from Ina's cookbook Foolproof and is her version of penne alla vodka (actually, it's from Nick and Toni's East Hampton restaurant but she had permission to share it!).  I made it first for my in-laws and they loved it (and they can be a tough crowd, those New Yorkers:). We made it again this weekend and it was just as delicious.  It really is foolproof. It will definitely be our go-to meal when friends come over.  It's yummy and unbelievably easy.

I made a few subtle changes and I'm listing my adapted version but you can find the real version here.  I basically cut out the steps that required the most effort (like blending) {lazy cook}!  But it didn't seem to matter either time, trust me!

Penne alla vecchia bettola, adapted from Ina G.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups finely chopped Spanish onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 ish cloves)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup vodka (mmmm!)
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 box penne pasta
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, plus some extra for garnish
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven.  Add onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until translucent.  Add red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook another minute.  Add vodka and simmer for 5-7 minutes.  Pour both cans of tomatoes into the pan.  Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Cover, place in oven, and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

That's it for a while. Now go play on Pinterest.

Have some wine:)

Snap some pictures.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt generously and cook pasta according to directions.  Drain and set aside.

Remove Dutch oven from oven.  Add fresh oregano, cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to tomato mixture and simmer partially covered for 10 minutes.  Add pasta and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and serve hot sprinkled with extra Parmesan and oregano.

It's delicious and makes enough for an army.  Serve it up with a delicious salad and a great bottle of wine. So good!

Weekend + Life Lately


Happy Monday! Let's go with bullets today shall we?

  • We got in some really good family time this weekend.  It was low key, unplanned, and normal.  I had a great run on Saturday (8 miles!), ran some errands, spent time with Mr. C, and played with the kiddos.  We went to church on Sunday, had lunch with dear friends, and just did normal 'good for the soul' stuff.  I love normal life:)
  • Disclaimer: some of these photos are not from this weekend.
  • The collage:
    • OOTD - I broke out the army green skinnies I've been ignoring.  I needed a change!
    • Mr. C and littlest C are identical twins (chowing down on Greek food). They look so much alike!
    • New outside lights to replace reeeaaaally ugly, outdated gold ones. I'm wondering why it took us so long to do this?
    • Advance Auto Parts, my husband's way of punishing me for shopping too much. He has a '65 Mustang that is a perpetual project.
    • This was on Lauran's instagram feed and it made me laugh out loud.  Read her blog, it's so fun!
    • Rainy day paint by numbers, my children are so talented:)
    • The boys wrestling (or rather, wraaastling) in the bounce house. It's really just a giant boxing ring.
    • Little C's static hair.
    • My sweeties.
Short and sweet today!  Have a happy day!

Boy's Room Update and Happy Friday


Are you so glad it's Friday? I know I am. It has been a long week here. I'm so thankful for Fridays:)

A while back I shared an inspiration board for my little guys' rooms.  Today I wanted to share progress! My inspirations were these lovely Pinterest images....

And here's where we've gotten so far--I'm so happy with the checks, love them! I think I finally found something I will stick with.

I'll have more updates soon. I still plan to change the initials above the bed with a fun DIY project consisting of reclaimed boards and a giant monogram.  I'm also going to add some big brother / little brother photography (gallery wraps I think). I have so many cute pictures of these guys and I can't wait to get some of my favorites printed.  Stay tuned!

I leave you with some Friday Funnies....

Happiest of weekends to you friends! Thanks for reading!

Random Wednesday #4937


It's Wednesday and that means it's time to be random! Good thing because my mind is all over the place this week and in full on mommy mode.

Yesterday's to do's: (the ones I can remember anyway)
Book C's birthday party
Get C's invitations made (Sweet Birdie's Nest:)
Look up Kindergarten registration dates  (oh my word, we're starting kindergarten??)
Register C for Pre-school
Sign both C's up for Soccer
Make plan for summer camps
Sign up for swimming
Grocery shop
Feed my family
Make reservations for Chicago

I didn't get it all done but I'm close!

So I caved and bought a Scuba hoodie from Lululemon and I have no regrets. It is so warm and cozy and I love it like I love cake.  I present to you my new mom uniform, complete with a power bar in hand, so cliche but I'm laughing, who cares!

I ran yesterday in 24 degree weather. My body was warm but I thought my face was going to crack and break off.  BRRRRR!  Not since we lived in Pennsylvania have I experienced air this frigid.  I made it a short and sweet 2 miler and ran a quick first mile -- love that Nike+ encourages me with hysterical one liners.

My mother in law bought me a dutch oven and I LOVE it. I have a wonderful recipe to share, coming soon.... It's one of those things that I wonder how I lived without.

Currently reading....

It is very well written but parts are difficult to read.  It received wonderful reviews and has been on my 'to read' list for a while. Would I recommend it? Overall, I think yes.  But I'll warn you it's not light -- heavy subject matter.

My sister in law gave me the cutest little Eiffel Tower jewelry holder from Anthro.  I rudely forgot to send her a thank you note. It sits on my desk and has become one of my favorite little trinkets. Thanks Sarah!

We have been having so much fun playing Spot It! with the kiddos.  If you haven't played it you should, it's really fun!

I'm loving Keith Urban on American Idol. As you may or may not know, he's like Elvis to me.  I'm his biggest fan.  I think he's funny and sweet on Idol and I love it! Nicki Minaj cracks me up too.

Here's a picture I snapped at the Opry last year of Mr. Urban.

Oh wait, here's another one.

Not that I have a collection of Keith Urban photos or anything.

Happy Wednesday friends! I'm linking with my pal Shanna for her fun link up:)

Simple Things Sunday


I was reading in my living room Saturday and my soon to be 4 year old came to ask me for a snack. I noticed the sunlight was so pretty on his sweet little face and grabbed my camera (haven't taken many photos lately).  I always feel guilty when I get pictures of one and not the other but big brother was outside playing with Daddy so he missed this little session.  It felt so good to get the camera out and snap away.  I love the tousled hair, dimples, and the way he touches his teeth when he gets a little shy.  Some favorite (and simple) little things:)

Sharing with Simple Things Sunday

Random Wednesday


Guess who's all signed up for The Color Run / Nashville? {me} Oh yeah!  It's March 30th and I'm super excited to run with my pals, it's on like donkey kong, I can't wait!!!!!! I'm into videos right now, watch this and I promise you'll smile so big and die to run!

For you Nashville fans, Deacon (Charles Esten) played The Bluebird (the real one) last night and I was dying to go.  Mr. C had an early morning though so I took one for the team and missed out. Maybe next time! He's so talented.

Image source
Latest JCrew purchase....Painter boatneck button tee in multistripe. I love it. FYI it seems to run small, I normally wear an XS in their shirts but had to size up.  I think it will be cute in the spring with white jeans and a cute scarf.

I'm loving my Lilly planner this year! I had an Erin Condren last year and it was really nice but too bulky for me, I didn't use aaaaall those extra pages. This one is perfect.

Gap is still giving clothes away. I got some of their supersoft tees the other day for $5.  Yes $5.  I throw them on in the spring with jeans and a scarf, go stock up. You're welcome:)

Image Via
I'm loving my Nike watch, it helps so much with my pace, how did I live without it?? Mr. C surprised me with it on my birthday. I know, some girls like diamonds but this girl wanted a GPS watch. It's pretty fantastic.

This was the bible verse on my phone the other day and it made me laugh, delivered via the verse-a-day app.

It also pleases the parents.  Please children, please:)

Speaking of children, here are my little men carefully selecting gelato flavors last Saturday night.

I love it so much, these boys {sigh} so precious.  Serious cuteness.

Happy Wednesday friends!  If possible please send me some sunshine, we've had 5 days of rain and I'm over it! Linking with Shanna's random Wednesday: