...because home doesn't happen overnight.
07.28.15 / Liked & Linked

summer fun

breakfast tacos

balayage lob

With only two weeks until school starts (?!), we’re trying to soak up what’s left of summer. Last week we cooled off at the pool, hosted a sleepover, met up with old friends, took slow family walks, slept in, lounged on the back deck, caught fireflies and harvested two cucumbers from our garden (if you can call it that). Our breakfasts and dinners have been later than usual. Breakfast tacos are on heavy rotation because they’re so easy and no one whines. On a whim, I had six inches of hot, sweaty hair lopped off. And after a year of teasing from my dad (oh, have you been painting stuff white again?), I had my grays colored. I’ve never really had a hairstyle per say. It’s been long – too long – for years. And I’ve never done more than subtle highlights every few years. So this new lob + root color + balayage combo is quite the change but I LOVE IT. I think I’ll actually keep it around for a while…and maybe even go shorter next time.

More things to love…

*A DIY garage door before-and-after. Yowsas!

*A 5-month renovation. The white cork flooring is a unique yet practical choice.

*This amazing family home. (Final reveal by Amber Interiors coming soon.)

*American-made warm LED work surface lighting.

*Please tell me you’ve already seen this.

makehaus kitchen

makehaus kitchen 1

*I will never tire of small space renovations. (Note the top shelf extending above the sink window.)

*A hilarious account of taking your kids with you to the gynecologist. It’s been more than 4 years since I survived a very similar experience. One day I’ll share but I’m not there yet.

*The magic of not trying so hard is a very real kind of magic. (Psst…Holly is writing a new book!)

*This adorable book light is saving my marriage.

*My hair stylist recommended using this dry shampoo to stretch the time in between washings and preserve my new color. So far, so good.

I hope your week is off to a great start!

images: 1-3) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 4 & 5) Heather Jennings for Make+Haus

07.07.15 / Liked & Linked

swimsuit lunch

family bonfire

After two months of jam-packed weeks and weekends, we enjoyed some much needed down time last week. The seemingly never-ending rain let up just in time for the holiday weekend so we hit up the pool, ate burgers in our swimsuits, went on family walks, watched fireworks and roasted s’mores. It was simple and perfect.

A few links…

*“Let’s sell the house, sell the car. Sell all of that baby stuff, the garden and kitchen stuff, all that extra stuff. What is all that stuff anyway? Let’s take the kids out of school. Escape the rat race and disappear for a year.” AMAZING.

*My latest architect crush.

*Modern outdoor furniture made from recycled milk jugs.

*Jessica Helgerson’s new farmhouse was recently shot for…the firm’s portfolio? a magazine pitch? an upcoming feature? Whatever the reason, I CANNOT wait to see it. Psst…a sneak peek of the master bedroom.

amber thrane courtyard

amber thrane shasta

*Daydreaming about this creative lady’s cozy courtyard and vintage Shasta camper.

*My go-to cookbook these days when I don’t feel like thinking about dinner. We had the aloha sliders with pineapple relish and Szechwan peasant pork over the weekend. So easy! So tasty!

*After extensive “research,” I’ve concluded that these vanilla marshmallows and this dark coconut toffee chocolate make the perfect s’more. Trust. Oh, wait. Did you think I was paleo? Nope. That cookbook above is excellent whether you follow a paleo diet all of the time, some of the time or never.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

images: 1 & 2) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 3 & 4) Amber Thrane of Dulcet Creative

easy quinoa 3

One of my friends always brings the best quinoa dish to gatherings. I finally asked her to share the recipe and she happily obliged. It’s so quick and easy! I tweaked the recipe a little and have been making batches of it to eat for lunch throughout the week. I thought you might enjoy it, too.

EASY QUINOA & SUN-DRIED TOMATOES SALAD

1 bag frozen, microwaveable quinoa*
1 bag frozen, microwaveable brown rice*
1 bag frozen, microwaveable kale OR spinach
1 jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil with herbs*
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced (Sauté if desired.)
¼ cup toasted pine nuts*
4 oz. log of goat cheese
lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste

*I use Trader Joe’s brand.

easy quinoa 1

Microwave the quinoa, brown rice and greens as directed. Mix together in a medium dish. Add the garlic, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.

easy quinoa 2

Stir in sun-dried tomatoes (undrained) and pine nuts. Top with crumbled goat cheese. Done!

easy quinoa 4

The best part about this salad is that it tastes good at any temperature: cold straight out of the fridge for a quick lunch, at room temp for gatherings or picnics when fridge /cooler space is limited, warmed in the microwave for dinner. Variations of the recipe are limitless. My friend uses a frozen, microwaveable quinoa + barley mix, spinach and feta cheese. You can even add grilled chicken for a protein boost.

Do you have a go-to quick & easy lunch? What is your favorite dish to bring to summer gatherings?

P.S. – Another favorite summer dish.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking