Print of Your Heart

About three years ago, Ian and I decided not to purchase each other Christmas presents. I say that, but usually every time we say we’re not going to get each other presents, Ian still is so sweet and picks me up something beautiful or makes something beyond what I could have ever wanted. That year, in true Ian fashion, he gave me a Christmas present about a week before Christmas. He made wooden frames and burned things he loved about me on the the bottom of each one. He then had square prints from Social Print Studio printed with some of his favorite memories with me. I mean… wow. I love that he’s always been so intentional and personal with his gifts. I guess you could say my love of SPS started then. I loved the quality of the prints and how well made they are. Plus, their company has the BEST customer service and sweetest employees. We’ve ordered from them quite a bit over the years and we usually like to pick up some extra new prints whenever we take…

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Mini Me Cleaning & The Safe Way to Clean Your Hardwoods

  About three years ago, We decided to rip up almost all the flooring in our home and replace it all with hardwoods. Because I love the real deal, we decided to stick with hardwoods like the ones we had in the kitchen and entry way. We had every room downstairs, minus the master bath, done, and it has been the best decision we made in renovating our home. I love not having to vacuum and knowing that my floors are clean. Part of our decision to put hardwoods throughout the house had to do with expecting Cove later that year. I knew with a little one crawling around that I would want to have floors I could maintain easier. The previous owners had two large husky dogs in the house, so we never felt our carpets were actually clean. When it came to cleaning hardwoods though, I wasn’t completely sure how to maintain and clean appropriately. I knew they could be swept instead of vacuumed, but I heard certain products would strip the finish and warp the floors. I recently discovered Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaning…

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Colorful Meals | Mixed Berry Salad and Fresh Shrimp and Steak Skewers

This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own.  Dinner time in the kitchen is my jam. (I really can’t believe I just said “jam”… I guess I’m proving that I am a nineties baby…) It’s that time of the day I get to work on something delicious to feed my boys so we can share a meal together. Since we have had Cove, I really appreciate a home-cooked meal with them. I used to love eating out, but I’ve become so much more of an “at-home” eater. It’s helped us become healthier and it creates a time of the day where we have cut-out conversation and family time. In case you missed it, I shared here how I meal plan for our week and here how I shop for fresh produce. When I go shopping, I’m really conscious of where I’m buying my produce from and whether it’s local and in season. There is something to be said for eating foods that were grown close…

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Let’s Be Honest Mamas: Living Simply & Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year where we start packaging up loads of trash bags with items we’ve managed to collect in our house but never use and dust out every nook and corner in our home to make it squeaky clean. Spring Cleaning. You may remember, when the beautiful Hannah Renee asked me to join the Let’s Be Honest Mamas panel. This time around, I was so excited to team up with her and a handful of other beautiful mamas (all at the bottom of this post) to share about living simply and our spring cleaning routine. You can read our previous Let’s Be Honest Mamas panel here. For full disclosure, I can’t really say that cleaning is something I get excited about, but I am very passionate about living simply. And I guess those two things can somewhat go hand in hand. Read my answers below regarding Spring Cleaning and Living Simply.

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It’s Spring: Time To Clean

I can’t say I’m a fan of cleaning… But there is something about spring that really get’s me in the mood to clean out every nook and cranny. Ian has walked in on me multiple times pulling everything out of the bathroom cabinets, closets and our pantry, before asking me why I decided to start cleaning at 9 o’clock at night. I never really have a good answer for it, but it’s just some weird urge that overtakes me, and it always seems to hit me late at night. I am trying to be more proactive by starting earlier in the day and prioritizing so I don’t get distracted. I put together a quick list of things I am doing this spring as well as some of my favorite products I’m using to help declutter and deep clean.

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A Little Book Goes A Long Way

In my mind, every year is a year for the books. Whether it is the best year of our lives or we’ve been to hell and back, each year is one of growing, shaping and celebration. After all, we aren’t promised tomorrow. Every day we have here counts. With that in mind, Ian and I have always done yearly photo books. We love to take pictures. We are so grateful we enjoy documenting things all the time because it is so great to look back and remember seasons and specific memories we shared with each other. In the past it has taken us days to sort through and edit photo books just the way we want them, but I was so excited when Shutterfly reached out to us to try their new Make My Book Service. For an additional $9.99, Shutterfly will edit and compile your book for you. I chose the theme and color scheme I wanted and uploaded all my pics (I think there were over 400). There team then sifts through all the images and places them perfectly…

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Christmas Recap | 2016

I can now say that there are few things sweeter than watching your child run with excitement to the tree filled with gifts, and then sitting on your lap as he opens each one with a sweet glimmer in his eyes. I feel like each year is going to get more excited as he learns what Christmas is all about. I think the best part for me was when he first saw all of his gifts, he went to his books first, grabbed one and brought it to us to read. We’re raising a book worm and I am totally okay with it! I hope you all had a beautiful holiday with your family and were able to relax and rest. Our prayer and wish for you is Romans 15:13 – “May the God of HOPE fill you with all JOY and PEACE in believing, that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may ABOUND in HOPE.”  Please enjoy a few highlights from our Christmas morning!

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Cooking with Hello Fresh

With Christmas quickly approaching and Ian’s business moving ahead full steam, things have been so busy around here. When Hello Fresh dropped off their box on my doorstep, I did a little happy dance knowing that I didn’t have to brave the grocery store or do any meal planning that week. Before this year, I was terrible at meal planning and cooking in general. But I was determined to change our eating habits and work to save some money in the process so I started, (which you can read about here). There are seasons of life where sometimes there is just no time to prep and I still want to make sure that we are eating healthy meals and not going out to eat all the time. With Hello Fresh, you get to pick out two to three different meal options for your family. Hello Fresh then has a box delivered to your door with just the right amount of fresh ingredients for each meal. Each meal takes around 30 minutes to complete. Last week we tried Winner Winner Chicken Orzo, Creamy Mushroom Pork chops…

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Thoughts on Things | Christmas trees, Traditions and My Favorite Recipes Currently

Although last year was one of the best Christmases because we became a family of three, it also felt like we skipped over everything due to our newborn fatigue and the fact it was almost 80 degrees here. Now that we have a little boy walking around, I am so excited for this year’s festivities. Everything seems more magical when you are experiencing it for the first time with someone. Cove now points at the tree when we ask him where the ‘Christmas’ tree is, and whispers when we get close to the lights like he is experiencing something magical. It might be the fact I have an almost one year old, that I am curled up on the couch with the lights twinkling behind my coffee cup or that I’m watching the Gilmore Girls revival, but I am just so sentimental and nostalgic right now over the holidays. For the past five years Ian and I have been married, we’ve had some really great traditions just the two of us this time of year. We always talked about traditions we would…

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Victoria Schneider The Southern Trunk

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Smart and Secure

I have always loved technology and gadgets, but it’s a love / hate relationship. My fear of where technology CAN go and where I think it will, stops me from integrating it into our home most of the time. The high price of smart home products also plays a huge role into my decision. The smart home concept has matured over the past few years, and prices for these products has become more affordable. When a new smart gadget comes out, whether it be a smart security camera, wifi connected light switch or a smart lock, I like to wait a while for all the issues to be worked out. I also research a lot to evaluate whether it’s actually safe for my home. You can’t look at the internet without seeing some new privacy breach or hacker turning your car into a brick wall. To help give me peace of mind, I invested into a strong and secure Wi-Fi set up, to make sure we’re protected from the start. With the price of smart home products beginning to go down, I’ve been itching to…

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Framing Gold | Framebridge

I think if I could, I would have my whole home be one giant gallery wall full of all the photos, posters and art we love. EVERYWHERE. But in all seriousness, I do love to grace our home with those golden memories that you want to remember forever. When I came across Framebridge, I was so impressed with the company and all of it’s services. You can frame your Instagram photos in a wide array of gorgeous frames, send in/upload your images or posters to be put in frames, or you can have one of their designers pick out a frame for your piece or create a gallery wall for you. It’s genius. It’s beautiful quality without all the headache. I love the new Carson Gold frame we just got with our most recent family photo. We just got back from California and where we took Cove to Crystal Cove State Park for the first time after talking about it for over a year, and the sunset was gorgeous. Our friends snapped this one of us, and I will remember this moment forever. As a…

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This & That | Morning Playtime

We like to take mornings as slow as possible. We enjoy our breakfast and coffee, have our quiet time and reflect on what we’re doing for the day. When it comes to play time, it’s so nice to have some toys we can pull off the shelf for Cove to play with that are quiet and help with motor skills. He may not know what tic-tac-toe is yet, but learning colors, how to pick up pieces and put them in the spots is all part of learning.

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Dinner Time with Gerber

Ian and I love to eat. Not just because we love food (which we totally do), but there is something about gathering around the dinner table breaking bread that is special to us. We really hoped our kids would feel the same way one day. It was also really important to me that our kids like and try all kinds of foods. When we originally introduced Cove to food around six months, we started with really mild flavors. I made his baby food with a baby food maker and fresh produce. Things like pureed apples, pears and sweet potatoes were his top picks with of course good grains like oatmeal and rice. As he started to crawl and become mobile, I knew it was time to introduce finger foods and bigger chunks of food besides just puree. But what I didn’t realize, is that it is a gradual process for babies. Cove was never really sure about the thicker substances we gave him, and would often gag because he hadn’t learned to chew on the food to break it down first.…

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Meal Planning | Summer Recipes

Since we had Cove, I have tried to put more of an emphasis on cooking clean and making sure we have plenty of healthy options at the house. This is especially true now that he is eating what we eat. Dinner used to be very unorganized or last minute, leaving us eating out more and eating food that made us feel like sloths afterwards. While I don’t think that my method is the best one out there, it is super easy and takes less than thirty minutes (for a mom with a little baby – that’s huge).

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If I am being honest, we like to make messes

It’s true. We are pretty messy. We have a baby, which is mess enough. Ian also jokes that I am the “messy” kind of cook and my response is always, “the tastiest meals always require messes.” But I’m also type A, so when I make a mess, I always have to clean up after. Something my mom taught me at a young age is that you don’t make memories by keeping things together. You make them by jumping in rain puddles, building forts and throwing flour around while you’re trying to make a cake that’s way out of your league. I’ve really tried to embrace that, especially since we have a little boy. I want to make sure that I let him live more than I try to keep things tidy.

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Home Tour

We’ve been in our house for almost five years, and we are still refining and making this place a home. Our style has been refined a lot over the course of our marriage, but the most important thing to us is that we incorporate pieces we love or that have meaning to us. We wanted to make sure that it was about more than trends, and that it really expressed our personalities. It was more important for us to have people walk in and feel at home. Overall, I am really afraid of color, so we have a lot of neutrals and then incorporate bold pieces or items from family or trips. One of my favorite things about our home is all the natural light we have. I think I would have a whole wall of windows if that was an option. Our living room and kitchen open up into each other and that is where we tend to spend the most time with each other. In the last year, we added hardwood floors throughout the entire downstairs which really helped…

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