Creamy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing

This dressing is one of our house favorites. We moved away from Cafe Rio, so we do our best to fill that yawning void! πŸ˜‰ But let me tell you- any Mexican dish you make will become the talk of the town if you top it with this. We even use it as a dip with tortilla chips! But, our favorite thing to do is stick some salted chicken in the crock pot until it’s ready to shred and make salads with these uncooked tortillas (of course you cook them!) as your base layer.

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Then top with:

black beans

white rice

cheese

chopped lettuce

pico de gallo

lime juice

chopped avocado

chopped cilantro

… Aaaaand of course douse it all your tomatillo ranch! Find the tried and true recipe here:

Creamy Tomatillo RanchΒ 

Enjoy!!

Xoxo, B

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Dining Room Refresh

We are over the moon with our new sideboard cabinet from Restoration Hardware! The color, the wood texture and functionality are all superb. πŸ‘ŒπŸ» I am glad I took the advice of some of my fellow design friends and saved our pennies to get what we really wanted.

I am usually all about getting the high end look for less, and this time we splurged some, but it still was for less… 😏 Cause this sideboard happens to be on final sale! This is Aged Oak. Check out the link if you’re interested:

RH sideboard

Also, we traded in our old dining chairs for these Victoria style lucite ghost chairs! They’re definitely on the smaller side, but we love that they’re wipeable (they do show fingerprints) and add more of a modern/chic look to the room. It balances out the heaviness of the sideboard. Here is the link the the chairs:

Ghost chairs

Heres a before picture for reference:

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And AFTER:

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Winter Table Setting

Merry Christmas!! I love this day.

For Christmas decor this year I kept everything neutral, natural or metallic. Silvers and Golds, whites and fresh greens. I threw together this table setting for Christmas dinner, sticking with that same theme. Silver chargers, some faux fur (that screams winter) and a few sparkly trees that make for an eye catching centerpiece. I cannot wait to fill this table with friends tonight! Wishing joy to you and yours!

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WINFREY RECLAIMED PINEWOOD COFFEE TABLE

It’s always tough to order something online- especially a big furniture purchase!! You can all empathize, I’m sure! So if you have been considering a balustarde coffee table, I am here to tell you that this one is the BEES KNEES. It is solid reclaimed pine wood and gives you the look of the Restoration Hardware balustrade coffee tables for under HALF of the price!! Winning!

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We ordered from Overstock.com and it arrived so fast!!! We only had one little hiccup- two of the screw holes on the bottom didn’t line up. I called overstock and they gave me $150 back and I just took 2 minutes, drilled new holes and it worked out just fine! Their customer service is great. πŸ‘

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The table comes in “black” or “white”. This is the white. As you can see, it’s not WHITE. I could see in pictures and reviews that it is more of a taupe- or light tan. It is basically a whitewashed/gray washed natural wood look.

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Make sure you measure, though, because this thing is BIG!! We love this feature because now both sofas can access the table without having to slide it one way or the other!image

I am am in love with the size, beauty and statement this table makes. We are overall in love with it!! Hope you like it, too. πŸ’•

Link to purchase:Β Winfrey Coffee Table

XOXO,

B

NEUTRAL CHRISTMAS SHOPPING LIST

Although we don’t decorate for Christmas until the day after American Thanksgiving, I will admit that I start shopping for and thinking about Christmas decor as soon as Halloween is over! There, I said it!! 😁 That way, everything is mostly gathered for that special day when we crank the Holiday music and sing our way through the decking of the halls!

Most of you know I am a lover of all things neutral and white (duh 😘)- so for all my fellow neutral decor lovers out there, I have created an E-Design board and shopping list of some of my affordable favorites for this season. … You’re welcome. πŸ˜‰

Creating this board had me wanting to curl up in this cozy pom throw, lay on these cute pillows, turn on the fire, and sip a cup of hot cocoa! That is what holiday decor is all about- creating a warm and inviting space to share with those you love throughout the season. Click the links below to purchase:

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Pillow Covers

Ornaments

Antler

Mercury Glass Tree

Birch NOEL

Driftwood Deer

Geometric Polar Bear

Geometric Candle Holder

Wreath

Faux Fur Footstool

Pom Throw Blanket

Don’t forget your attitude of gratitude as you shop. It is, after all, The season of Thanksgiving! 😘

Cheers to the Holiday Season!

XOXO,

B

PUMPKIN CHEESCAKE TRUFFLE MUMMIES

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I made these spooky pumpkin cheesecake truffle mummies for an adult Halloween party last weekend and they were relatively easy (no bake!) and suuuuper yummy! I got lots of compliments on them so I thought – with so many Halloween parties happening this weekend- I would share the recipe! Click the link below:

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE TRUFFLE MUMMIES

You can also forego the cute mummy faces and make these for any fall get-together or an after school snack or work treat!

{{Side note: This recipe doesn’t make very many so I TRIPLED the recipe and one block of white chocolate almond bark was the perfect amount for dipping! I also used a blender to grind the ginger snaps into crumbs!}}

La Creme de la Crumb has so many delicious recipes!! Make sure you look around!

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Happy Haunting!

XOXO,

B

IKEA LACK COFFEE TABLE HACK

I get so many questions about my coffee table, and people are schocked when I tell them I made it! And you can too! Woot!!

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Heres how it’s done.

Buy a lack coffee table from your local IKEA… Unless you have one on hand! (Side note- The price went up since I bought mine a few of years ago! πŸ’” 😭)

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Go to your local Home Depot and buy three sample size Behr Paints in these color-matched colors: Revere Pewter, Ashwood and Texas Leather. (You can even cheat and leave out the third. I didn’t use it much.)

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While there, snag a tiny can of this: (it can also be dark walnut)

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a box of these:

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-AND- Β SIX 5.5 inch wide wood planks. Have your Home Depot guy cut them to 48.5″ long.

Make sure you have a drill (with a philips screwdriver attachment) some paper towels and a paint brush (I used disposable foam ones). Now we are ready to begin!

  1. Sand, clean and then paint the ENTIRE lack coffee table (minus the very top as it will be covered with planks) with REVERE PEWTER. (Or you can choose to leave it white… I had the black lack so I painted it.) When dry, put it together.
  2. Lay out your planks. Sand them down, wipe clean and then beat them up on the top. I wanted a reclaimed look, so I beat them with a hammer and chipped the planks with the back side of the hammer.
  3. Stain the top and sides of your planks (only one side will be showing) using your special walnut stain. This will bring out the wood grain.
  4. Β After the stain dries, water down each of your paint colors in a paper cup (about 1:1) until very runny so they become more like a stain. Take turns layering them on the planks, over the stain, in thin coats with your sponge paint brush (I went darker to lighter). Wipe after each stroke with paper towels as you go along. Make sure you let it dry between layers. When you achieve the desired color, let dry completely.
  5. Apply 3 coats of wax to planks. I used this:image
  6. Measure evenly and drill 2 screws into each end of the planks – straight into the coffee table top. Just make sure you are at least 2.5″ in from each end on each plank so you hit the table with your screws. πŸ˜‰Β imageimageimage

Don’t you love my little model? 😍❀️

You can caulk between planks if you’d like… I didn’t. πŸ˜‚πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

Easy enough, right?! Now you should have a beautiful, sturdy coffee table that all of YOUR friends will be asking YOU about! 😘

XOXO,

B

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOUSE CLEAN WHEN IT’S FULL OF KIDS

The battle is never ending. Am I right or am I right?! There are days we feel like we are drowning in the monotony of the daily grind and we just can’t stay on top of it all. Keeping a house clean is hard work!! But trust me, it’s even more work if it is procrastinated. I have experienced it first hand!

So yeah, my house stays pretty clean. Whatever. I get the same comments all the time. “Is your house always this clean?” “It doesn’t even feel like kids live here.” “How do you stay on top of it all?”

And even- “I wish I was this anal.” πŸ™ˆ

I am not a freak who cleans my house all day every day and can’t enjoy a get together because I’m more worried about doing dishes than playing board games with my people. No way. I keep it real, but the reality is that cleanliness is easier than you’d think!! I have contemplated the science it has become for us to keep a tidy house (most of the time, not always!!) and thought I would share my tips for keeping a house clean even when it’s full of kids! You ready?

  1. MAKE YOUR BEDS EVERY MORNING. Even your kids. Make it a requirement before breakfast. Teach them to do it. Let them do it. Before you know it, you wont even have to ask! Plus- It is proven that people who make their beds are happier. It’s science! πŸ˜‰image
  2. DO A COUPLE LOADS OF LAUNDRY EVERY DAY. It doesn’t take long. Do it between doing other things. But make sure you fold and put away. Finish the process. Then it never piles up!! (Unless you’re on vacation, then it’s worth it. 😜)image
  3. CLEAN UP AFTER EVERY MEAL. It’s so tempting to take your full belly and tired self and plop it on the couch after eating. But take 5-10 minutes, EVERYONE, and make it a family job to clean up dinner. Load dishes into the dishwasher, do big dishes, wipe counters, do a quick sweep. If everyone helps it goes quickly and then you can ALL relax together.Β image
  4. MAKE YOUR KIDS CLEAN UP AFTER THEMSELVES. Every morning and every night I require my kids to put away all their clothes, toys, blankets, shoes, backpacks, etc before they can do anything “fun”. They just know that’s the load they tow now, so they just do it.image
  5. DEEP CLEAN ONCE A WEEK. It usually takes us no more than 2 hours. My husband and I always mop, clean bathrooms, and windows. Our kids empty garbages, vacuum, and dust. I usually pick one “other” chore too. (Clean out the fridge, organize a closet, wipe floor boards, weed, etc) Β Once again, enlist the help of your family. Make it a fun time together. Turn up the tunes and dance through it!imageimage

It may not be pretty when you begin implementing these things, especially if you and your family aren’t used to it. But trust me, it gets easier the more everyone pitches in and before it becomes overwhelming! I can always pick up and be ready for company in the drop of a hat. Now that is peace of mind. ✌🏻️

All of this being said, find a routine that works for YOU, and remember- none of us are perfect, and some days we have to enjoy the moment and look past the sink full of dishes. πŸ˜‰

XOXO,

B

Kitchen Table Refinish

I refinished our kitchen table this summer for the 4th time in 10 years! πŸ˜‚ This little Pier 1 table was bought on 70% clearance with gift cards we had gotten for our wedding in 2005. It had an orangey top and a green stained bottom. The good thing about solid wood- you can always refinish it! It’s seen many looks since then! This is our kitchen table NOW:

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We wanted a Restoration Hardware look, so I set out to get it.

I couldn’t find a good before picture so here’s an old snippet:

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It was painted solid black. When I started shifting my neutrals to a lighter scheme a few years ago, I put this off. But eventually, this table had to brightened up or kicked to the curb!! So I decided to try my luck once more!

I busted out the electric palm sander and 3 days later, I was still sanding….. (Not really, but almost!!!) I fiiiinally got through the layers of paint and down the the raw wood! I didn’t worry about the nooks and crannies. I then stained it with a layer of Minwax “Special Walnut” to bring out the wood grain. It looked a little dark, so I kind of freaked out!!

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But then this beauty came to the rescue. Rust-Oleum “Sunbleached”. It was more opaque than expected, so I applied this in THIN coats, almost wiping it off as I went.

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Perfect!! To keep the grainy wood feel but still protect the wood, I finished it off with a few coats of Citrus Shield Paste Wax in “Neutral” (my favorite color). πŸ˜‰

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I am so happy with the way it turned out. I did, however, break down and purchase new chairs this time! Heehee. πŸ™Š

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The wickers are the IKEA’s BYHOLMA / MARIEBERG arm chairs and the metal ones are the Lemoderno Galvanized Metal Dining Chair – set of 4 – from Amazon.com !

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This table has now brightened up our kitchen, and my life! πŸ’•πŸ˜‰

XOXO,

B