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

moroccan wedding blanket

The next two weeks are jam packed with deadlines over here. I’m not complaining. I feel like if I can make it through the next few weeks then it’s smooth sailing for the summer. (Fingers crossed.) I’m excited to share a client’s bedroom makeover, studio progress and plans, and a secret photo shoot that’s probably the biggest thing to happen to H*T yet.

Over the weekend I installed linens and artwork at my client’s home. I brought in a Moroccan wedding blanket for the bed. It was my first time seeing one in person. You guys, they are even more gorgeous in real life! The sequins jingle ever so lightly, almost like a dainty wind chime. It’s crazy how a blanket can entice the senses of sight, sound and touch all at once. I wanted to take it home with me ;)

More good stuff…

*Ideas for revamping vintage furniture.

*A bathroom before and after on instagram. I LOVE the cement tile and matte black fixtures.

*Apartment Therapy’s annual small cool contest is in full swing. I’m rooting for a chic converted garage and an efficient family home.

stopgap kitchen

DIY breakfast nook

*This stopgap kitchen (part one, part two) and accompanying DIY breakfast nook are inspiring examples of big style on a small budget.

*Kanu is my favorite swimsuit brand for little girls. I bought this red and white polka dot tankini for Mabrey. The fit is perfect!

*I kinda want to try boiling or cooking eggs in the microwave. Have you ever cooked eggs in the microwave?

Happy Monday!

images: 1) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 2 & 3) Lindy Dodge

blue apron vacation 2

I’ve been subscribing to Blue Apron for a little over a year now. The family plan is perfect for us: 2 adults, 3 young kids. I use it for especially hectic weeks when our family schedule is extra busy and also for weeks when Steve is out of town and I’m winging the single parenting thing. It’s a huge relief finding the box of farm fresh ingredients on my doorstep, knowing I can postpone a trip to the grocery store for a few more days.

blue apron vacation 4

blue apron vacation 3

Trying out new chef-designed recipes at home gets us out of the dinner rut and gives me more confidence in the kitchen, too. The filipino-style beef picadillo and fish & sweet potato chips are on regular rotation at our house.

blue apron vacation 8

blue apron vacation 6

blue apron vacation 7

The kids are always excited when a Blue Apron delivery shows up. The only part they don’t like is sometimes waiting for me to take pictures of the food before they can eat it ;)

Last fall when we were gearing up for our family vacation to Rosemary Beach, I was making a list of food items to pack. To save money, I was packing breakfast, lunch and snack items. We usually eat half of our dinners out on vacation, but I wanted to cook at least two dinners. (The beach house we rented boasted a full kitchen.) I could see that space in the cooler was going to be tight and that’s when it hit me! Why not schedule a Blue Apron delivery to our vacation rental? And that’s exactly what I did.

I set it up to arrive early in the week, a day or two after our arrival. It was delivered to our porch while we were at the beach but, no worries, the box was refrigerated. It was so convenient! No need to hunt down a local grocery store in an unfamiliar city and then spend way too much vacation time trying to figure out where everything is. No need to buy a box of stick butter just for one tablespoon. All the ingredients are shipped pre-measured so there’s no waste and no rummaging around a rental kitchen for a measuring spoon or cup. (The only ingredients you might need on hand are olive oil, salt and pepper – which our rental supplied but you might want to pack them if possible.)

If you plan to cook on vacation, Blue Apron is ideal. There were a few evenings towards the end of our stay where we didn’t feel like rushing back from the beach, cleaning up and going out for dinner. That’s when I cooked. No one wants to take a cranky, overtired toddler out to dinner at a restaurant, am I right?

Do you have a U.S. vacation coming up? Maybe a staycation? If you plan on cooking, I would suggest giving Blue Apron a try. They deliver to most of the country, including Texas now! As always, shipping is free.

*BONUS* – The first 100 readers will get two meals off their first Blue Apron order FREE! Just click here.

Happy cooking and vacationing!

*This post sponsored in part by Blue Apron. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

UPDATE: I inadvertently posted this before catching up on my blog reading and discovering that Joanna at A Cup of Jo wrote a very similar post on this very topic last week! Eek!! This post idea had been on my to do list for some time. Great minds think alike? Anyway, feel free to check out her post and the comments sections here and there for a slew of recommendations.

trader joe's 1

One of my favorite things about our little house is its proximity to a variety of grocery stores. It takes me less than 10 minutes to drive to the nearest Trader Joe’s. It’s super convenient but it can be dangerous. I try to stick to my shopping list but everything looks so good! I usually end up leaving with at least one experimental purchase. I’ve learned to look for almost sold out items. In most cases, an empty shelf is a good omen.

Here are my favorite go-to’s:

trader-joes-2

*premade salads – They make for quick and easy lunches on the busiest (or laziest) of days. I especially like the lemon chicken & arugula salad and the uncured bacon & spinach salad.

*fully cooked uncured apple smoked bacon – It crisps up quickly on the stove or in the microwave making it ideal for hurried mornings.

*ready to bake pizza dough – It’s the BEST readymade dough my taste buds have ever encountered. I use it for pizzas, bread & butter and even pretzels. It tastes best right out of the oven.

*French liquid hand soap – The orange blossom honey scent is delightful. (And the Trader Jacques branding is quite comical.) I set it out in the main bathroom on special occasions when we have guests visiting. It always generates a compliment or two.

*inner peas – I pack these baked green peas in the kids’ lunch boxes.

*dry roasted almonds with 50% less salt – Steve requests these for his paleo salads and snacks. Mabrey LOVES them.

*dark chocolate-covered anything – If you’ve been to Trader Joe’s, you know what section I’m talking about. I prefer my almonds smothered in dark chocolate, thankyouverymuch.

*dried mango slices – They’re better than fruit roll-ups in every way.

*uncured sliced corned beef – I crave these sammies.

*cookie butter – Kryptonite in a jar. And if you put it on an apple, it magically becomes a healthy snack. (Not really, but it’s still my favorite.)

*sauerkraut with pickled persian cucumbers – I love sauerkraut and I love pickles so it’s no surprise that I love this combination. I like it hot or cold (see corned beef sandwich link above).

*toasted coconut pancake mix – Just add water for a crepe-like pancake with a hint of coconut. These pancakes were an integral part of our winter survival kit.

*organic tomato & roasted red pepper soup – I pair it with a hot ham & pesto sandwich for a comforting meal.

*organic vegetarian chili – My family loves it on uncured, all beef hot dogs.

I’d love to hear what you buy at Trader Joe’s. Any recommendations? Thanks in advance!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking