Tuesday, April 26, 2016

T H R E E

Today Harry is THREE!

Harry03_01This is without a doubt the best representation of him! WILD AND FREE this one. Never stops moving. Loves life so much! Full of passion and personality.

It's been a wild ride figuring out how to parent this one but I wouldn't change a thing about the last three years! He is one awesome kid and makes life one wild adventure!

Harry03_02He loves hard. Plays hard. Fights hard. Gives 100%, 100% of the time. I hope and pray he never loses that zest for life or that fire and passion that's inside of him!

The happiest of happy birthdays to our sweet Harry boy! Life is more fun with him. We know God has big plans for this little life.

We are having a fun day celebrating and Harry's definitely enjoying all the attention :)



xo,
KB


Monday, April 25, 2016

A Fish + Grits Recipe

I have, honest to goodness, been trying to post this for over a week now.

So Harry started sleeping in a twin bed a couple of weeks ago. That boy loved his crib and boy oh boy has it been a transition. He was getting out of his crib and I was afraid he was going to hurt himself and he was also having lots of accidents during nap time because he couldn't get out of his bed fast enough to get to the potty. So anyway we thought and we do know it was time for the big-boy bed but its been tough. I've had to lay down with him for every nap and at night to get him to go to sleep. You know how that goes. I go 90 to nothing all day so the second my head hits a pillow I am OUT. Which has been completely messing with my "my" time during naps and my "my" time after the kids go to bed! So all that to say blogging hasn't been going so well lately. We'll see how this week goes in the big-boy bed. Prayerfully it starts becoming less and less of an issue :)

So anywho... on to the new favorite meal in our house:

TilapiaGrits05Fish and grits. Specifically Cajun-seasoned tilapia served on a bed of Monterrey jack and white cheddar cheese grits with a side of pan-fried kale. Doesn't get much better than that. We have had this meal on our weekly menu for the last 3 weeks. Quick and easy to prepare, semi healthy (good protein, vitamins and nutrients with the fish and kale and a little indulgence for your taste buds with the cheese grits) and deeeelicious.

I don't love fish. I don't hate fish but I definitely don't love it. There are 2 salmon recipes I like and I've only ever made tilapia, heavily seasoned for fish tacos. So I definitely don't go looking for fish recipes and the only seafood I usually have on my menu is shrimp but one evening I was desperate and we had frozen tilapia fillets and we had grits and I googled 'tilapia and grits' recipe. I had a majority of the ingredients on hand and what I had to substitute or add turned out really good and into a meal that my family asks for. And being easy to prepare and semi-healthy I thought I would pass it on to you.

TilapiaGrits01Brush each filet with olive oil and minced garlic over each filet and then sprinkle with a little cajun seasoning, salt, pepper and fresh parsley. I let them sit and marinade for a few minutes while I melt butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter is completely melted add the filets, seasoned side up to the skillet.

TilapiaGrits02After a few minutes, flip fillets over and season the other side with oregeno and  onion powder. Spread a tiny bit of butter on top of each filet and let it melt. Cook for about 2 minutes and then transfer to plate and cover with tin foil to keep hot until grits and kale is done. 

I like to start the grits right after I put the fish in the skillet. The grits cook so fast that its a good time to get them started and then they should be cooked when you are taking the fish off of the stove.

TilapiaGrits03Boil the broth, add the instant grits and once cooked add all the remaining ingredients (all ingredients are not shown here so be sure to check out the following recipe for the full list of ingredients). Stir grits until all ingredients are combined, melted, creamy and delicious :)

Once you've removed the filets from the skillet, melt a couple more tablespoons in the skillet and add several tablespoons of minced garlic and let it cook until fragrant and a little browned. Add your cleaned and roughly chopped (stem removed) kale to the skillet and let cook for a few minutes. We like our kale almost burnt on the edges. Chewy AND crispy.

TilapiaGrits04And that's it! A simple, fast, semi-healthy week night meal. To lighten up the meal a bit you could always use EVOO or coconut oil in the skillet for both the fish and the kale and cut the cheese in half for the grits. They are so good with even just a wee bit of cheese.


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Cajun Tilapia + Monterrey Jack & White Cheddar Grits + Pan Fried Kale
recipe adapted from Divas Can Cook blog

For the fish:
  • 4 filets (or as many as you need for your family), fresh or thawed
  • olive oil
  • minced garlic
  • Cajun seasoning
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • butter
  • onion powder
  • dried oregano
Coat filets with olive oil. Top each filet with 1 teaspoon minced garlic and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning, salt, black pepper and fresh parsley. Heat 4 tablespoons of butter (or olive oil or coconut oil) over med-high heat. Once melted add the filets seasoned-side up. Let cook for 4 minutes. Flip and sprinkle other side with onion powder, dried oregano and top with a thin slice of butter. Let that melt and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover with tin foil to keep the fish hot while you are finishing up the rest of the meal.

For the grits:
  • 1 cup instant grits
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter 
  • optional: heavy cream, half and half or milk
  • 1/2 cup Monterrey jack, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (you may want to cut this in half in you don't like a lot of spice. a little cayenne goes a long way.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
Bring broth to a rapid boil. Add grits to boiling broth. Reduce heat cover and let cook for approximately 5 minutes. Watch them! Once they start spitting they are ready! When cooked add all the remainder of the ingredients. Depending on the thickness of your grits you may want to add a little milk, cream or half and half. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Mix well.

For the kale:
  • 1 bunch of kale, removed from stem and cut into bit size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil (you may need more)
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Using the pan you cooked the fish in, add butter and olive oil. When butter is melted add the garlic and let cook 2 minutes or until fragrant and little browned. Throw in kale and let cook until just wilted and the ends start to crisp! You may need to add a little oil at this point. We like ours really crispy so I don't every usually add much


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Hope you will make this and I hope your family loves it as much as mine does! You can bet it's on the menu for this week again! And probably the ONLY thing I will actually prepare in my kitchen this week. We've got one of those super-busy, something-every-day-and-night, weeks.

Happy Monday, friends!

Let me know if you make this and your family loves it!

xo,
KB



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Elle's Sweet, Purple Room

Elle's Room. DONE. Well, besides hanging some shelves. Something I've been asking the mister to do for weeeeeeks and will probably never get done unless I do it myself but he said something about studs and a stud finder so I guess I'll give him a couple more weeks to get the job done.

Love this sweet room so much. AND SO DOES ELLE!

It was Elle's idea from the beginning to have a purple room. With purple not being one of my top color choices I tried to persuade her to do a different color but she stuck to her guns and never gave up on her dream of a purple room ;) and I'm glad she didn't because I am so happy with it.

My only dislike with the light lavender on the walls is that it makes the trim and doors in her room look sooooo yellow. I think if we would have gone with a light blue or even a light pink that wouldn't have been the case. But oh well....

EllesRoom05EllesRoomCollage02My inspiration for the room was the floral pillow sham. We had these on our bed before we moved to the new house and I was so reluctant to get rid of them and when I looked closer at the colors I knew they would be perfect for Elle's room. So I went into designing Elle's purple paradise knowing I wanted to use all the fun colors that are in the sham: red, yellow (bed color yay!), teal, and black.

EllesRoom04The rooms in our house aren't much bigger than the rooms in our old house, so I knew I wanted to arrange furniture differently to give Elle as much play space as possible. The closets in our new house are AMAZING and fit all Elle's clothes AND all of her toys which is awesome. Helps keep her room tidy and organized :)

My sweet friend, Erin, came over after I got the room painted and helped me arrange furniture. I would have never thought to put the bed against the wall like this but I love it. I think Elle feels really safe and secure with it like this too plus it gives her tons of space to play! So a big THANK YOU to Erin for being awesome and creative and being a great friend.

EllesRoom03See yellow door. Bleh. Same paint and trim color throughout house.... Sherwin Williams Summer White, yet for some reason up next to this light lavender it looks so yellow.

See also weird shutters on window. Those will be coming down SOON. They offer no natural light in this room and it drives be bananas. Another honey-do that will hopefully get done this decade.

EllesRoomCollage01Elle loves to play school so I set up this little area with a dry erase board for her to play school to her sweet heart's content. She is here 90% of the time when she's home. The other 10% is divided up between her Shopkins, her books and writing notes to friends and family.

EllesRoom06This is where she sets up shop for her note writing. If you have received a note or drawing from her you than you should know you are truly LOVED by Elle. She feels so big sitting at her desk with her pens, paper, and notebooks.

EllesRoom01Never. Ever. Please. Thank you.

I hope Elle loves her sweet space in our new home and I pray she looks back fondly on it. As much as I don't want her to grow up. She is. Every day right before my eyes. I pray this room is a comfort for her and that she feels the love that went into it.

Sources:
bed // Craigslist find many moons ago
bedding // Target [here] [here] [here] // floral sham old Urban Outfitters purchase // gingham pillowcase made by me, fabric from Hawthorne Threads [here]
patchwork quilt // heirloom
desk // awesome flea market find from True Treasures in Bentonville, AR
fur stool // Hobby Lobby [similar]
rug // Target Pillowfort Stripe Area Rug sold out
art //  random finds, most from old house [here] [here] [here] [here] for some of the Hobby Lobby purchases
lamp // hobby lobby [similar]
curtains // Threshold Naturals Moroccan Tile Curtain Black/White sold out [available in gray or yellow]
photo clip string // urban outfitters [here]
dresser // hand-me-down chalk-painted using Annie Sloan Emile [here] purchased locally at Red Hill in Fayetteville // knobs from Hobby Lobby
wall color // Sherwin Williams Lite Lavender SW 6554 [here]

Thanks for taking of a tour of Elle's sweet, purple room. Happy Thursday! It's almost the weekend!! We can make it!!

xo,
KB

Monday, April 11, 2016

Living Room

Hey, hey! It's Monday. Start of a new week and THANK HEAVENS FOR THAT. I flooded our laundry room on Friday afternoon and that pretty much set the tone for the weekend. So thankful for a new week.....

SO. I have spent the last 2 weeks furniture shopping. Let me just say... I could NEVER EVER EVER be an interior designer. I have the HARDEST time making a decision when it comes to anything home design. AND I think I've figured out why....because you have to live with it. Or at least I will have to live with it. For years probably. So I want to make the right decision. And then there's social media and all the awesome interior designers out there who make me second guess everything I like. Ha! I should not let it but I do. I'm only human and I like pretty things and I want my house to inviting and pretty and trendy and cool and unique. SO yea, it's a struggle. A FIRST WORLD STRUGGLE FOR REALZ. I mean REALLY WHO GIVES A CARE?! It really DOES NOT matter. I've just waited a long time to have a home that we love and that I want to make pretty and I just have so many images swirling. AND I LIKE IT ALL.

I came across an article the other day (via Pinterest I am certain) and I can't remember the publication or the people interviewed but the homeowner said she loved everything and went on to name a bunch of different home design styles and said when she sees something she loves she gets it and finds a place for it. She doesn't think about any purchase to hard or over analyze any element she is going to add to her house she just wants a pretty space to call home and an inviting space for friends and  family to enter. Ultimately that is my dream. So I've changed my whole outlook. I'm declaring it here: My home is going to be a happy place and it will be an eclectic mix of farmhouse, modern, mid century, traditional, shabby chic, industrial.... If I see something I like I'm going to incorporate it and not over analyze anymore. HA HA! Yea right. But really the article did open up my mind to just being me. And if me is loving all design styles then that's a-ok.

All that to say, after weeks of shopping we found furniture. Still waiting on some items to be delivered and I still have to get accent furniture and decor and actually hang some stuff on the walls but we are definitely getting there! We love our new purchases and I can't wait to get it all put together! We are having Harry's birthday party 3 weeks from this coming Saturday and I'm hoping to have it all done by then. That's my goal anyway! I have almost 4 weeks to get it done. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..... And if I don't, that's ok too.

Here are some living rooms that I just LOVE and that really inspired the furniture decisions we made and will definitely influence design decisions I'll make...

LRinspo04LRinspo03LRinspo02LRinspo01 

Pops of color. A rustic element. Cozy seating. Living plants. Eclectic mix. Pretty textiles.

All of the above are living rooms of my dreams.

I really am excited about getting another room checked off the list. And I still need to share Elle's room here. I'll try to get to that this week.

Well, me and Harry (my little shopping buddy lately) are off to hit up some antique stores for some unique finds.

XO,
KB