Dining Table Do-Over

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Kyle and I finally got around to watching a movie I’d been begging to see but missed my chance when it was in theaters. The movie was Krampus starring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, and David Koechner, and I thought it was FANTASTIC! I even suggested that it become a Christmas Eve tradition for our future family. Forget A Christmas Story or It’s a Wonderful Life– those movies are so overdone. Krampus is where it’s at. Kyle didn’t like the idea.

So what does Krampus have to do with a dining table makeover? Nothing and everything. Allow me to explain:

Toni Collette plays the matriarch of the family in charge of ensuring that Christmas Eve dinner goes just as planned. Her house is perfectly decorated for the season and dinner is a spread right out a Good House Keeping magazine. At one point, a dinner guest glances around Collette’s home and mumbles the following “rude” remark under her breath: “Ugh, it looks like Martha Stewart threw up in here.”

I’m sorry, but is that supposed to be an insult? I would love if someone felt the urge to utter that in my home. It’s like, “Yes, thank you. My house is perfect.”

Fast forward 70 or so minutes later, the movie is over, Kyle has watched all but moments of it while mostly on his phone, and I am both entertained and fixated on my future “spewed in Martha Stewart’s vomit” house (too much?).

What’s a girl to do?

Replace our current dining table was my answer.

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Banana Oat Muffins- No Sugar, No Flour, No Butter, No Guilt

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During my sugar-free month challenge (post about it here), I forced myself to get creative with go-to snacks that complied with my rule of no added sugar. On days when a piece of fruit just wouldn’t cut it, these muffins did the trick. With the texture of cake and the natural sweetness from the banana, it satisfied my craving without breaking any of my rules. Try the recipe for yourself, and let me know what you think!

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Oh Sugar, It’s Over: My Devastating Break Up

It happened so quickly, so suddenly. If I had just turned away from the screen, if I had just said no rather than let my curiosity get the best of me, it could have all been avoided. I felt betrayed, angry, sad, and the one thing I normally turned to for comfort had been the very impetus of my heartbreak. My life had been turned upside down in a whirlwind of confusion and devastation; how could I possibly recover?

Over a month has passed since, and while I’m not sure I’m entirely over it yet, I do feel I am finally ready to share with you…

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Sunshine on a Cloudy Dresser

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You know your interests have changed when someone asks what you want for your birthday, and you respond, “Chalk paint or a gift card to Home Depot.” You can imagine my excitement then when on my doorstep was a box with four cans of chalk paint from my wonderful sister, Ashly. Almost immediately I found a wonderfully hideous, but solidly-built dresser for $30 and went to work.

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48 Hours in Savannah, GA

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Savannah, Georgia has had a piece of my heart ever since I visited in 2011 to watch my cousin graduate from SCAD. It is unlike any city I’ve ever been to, and I can’t help but feel I am in a different world when I am there. There is something so hauntingly beautiful on just about every corner. Kyle and I spent the entire time exploring the streets adorned by beautiful, historic homes and old, moss-covered trees as well as the square parks that make up the city.

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24 Hours in Asheville, NC


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With a week off from work, Kyle and I headed south for a fun road trip with three planned stops. Our first stop was Asheville, North Carolina, a city I had heard amazing things about, but had yet to visit. To keep on track with our other hotel reservations, we spent exactly 24 hours in the area before heading out. While I wish we could have stayed longer, (there was so much more to see and do), it was a fun-filled day, and I know I will be visiting again soon.

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Valentine’s Brunch: Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch!

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I love Valentine’s Day. Chocolate, flowers, cards, dinner dates, pink everywhere- it’s an all around winning combination. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always seem that guys see the winning side of things. The date planning, reservation making, and flower giving seem to fall on the guy’s shoulders; while I love it, it just doesn’t always seem fair. Plus, this year the holiday is additionally in my favor as there is a Bachelor Special on tonight (titled “The Bachelor at 20: A Celebration of Love” so you know it’s going to be good) featuring the wedding of two Bachelor franchise cast-offs who found love on the ridiculous (but I love it anyway) spin-off show, “Bachelor in Paradise.” It’s a 2-hour segment, and I will be watching the entire thing with Kyle by my side.

To say thank you to him, I decided to wake up early and start the holiday off with one of his favorite breakfasts- cinnamon rolls. Yes, it would have been easy to simply buy the already-prepared cinnamon rolls in the can, bake them for 15 minutes, and call the holiday even. However, I insisted on making them from scratch.

They were delicious (like Cinnabon level), but fair warning, it was close to a 3-hour process. I’m not saying it’s not worth trying, but just make sure you have the time. Below is the recipe! Enjoy!!

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Build It, Don’t Buy It: A Parson Tower Desk

So we built a desk…

I was growing tired of balancing my macbook on my lap while mindlessly watching tv, never truly focusing my attention on the work I was supposed to be doing. To rectify the issue, I came up with the idea to add a little workspace in the corner of our current guest room- a place where I could focus my attention on what I needed to do without distractions. Also, I had just gone on a Pinterest binge looking at cute home office spaces (I ended up creating a whole board for it here).

Through my pins I came across a great tutorial for a Parson Tower Desk at ana-white.com.

The only difference between the desk we made and the tutorial I linked (aside from resizing the pieces to fit our space) is the top of the desk. In the tutorial from ana-white.com, it uses one large piece of plywood for the top, which is nice if you plan on painting the desk- which she did. However, because I was stuck on staining it with Minwax Classic Grey, I wanted the grain of the wood that I used for the top to have the good kind of character (not the kind of character reminiscent of a beer pong table). To achieve this without breaking the bank, we bought two 1×4 boards and turned them into four pieces (the length of each piece was 57 inches each, however that will differ depending on the size of desk you are making). We then connected those fours pieces by drilling pocket holes on the bottoms of the boards and Kreg screws.

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Nightstand Niptuck

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What a Deal!

A solid wood nightstand for $15?! I haven’t been in this furniture buying business long, but I’d call that bargain! Real wood (not the cheap particle board stuff) is durable, and once it’s stripped down to its original form, the revamping possibilities are endless! I of course scoured Pinterest to find ideas on how to give this little nightstand a makeover.

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