Category Archives: home

Life Lately

I know I’ve been a little absent from my blog lately!

In the past few months, my full time job became a little more hectic and a lot more stressful. However, I’m working on a few things, and planning on blogging full time in the near future.
In fact, I’m pretty excited about several things that are coming together. Stay tuned!

But for right now (and for the next few weeks), my posts will be very few and far between!
So, for those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, i thought i’d write a “life lately” post via my steady flow of Instagram pictures.

We have been slowly and steadily working on finishing up our home. And by finishing? I mean that I am aware we will never be “finished”. But I do feel as though things are finally all in place.  In fact, I love it around here right now. I just want to stay inside all day and enjoy it!

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Comforter: Target photo 1

Pillows: Ikea
Shelf: West Elm

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Canister Set: Target

photo 3 copy 2 Mirror: Ikea
Lamp: Ikea

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Stoneware Vase: Target
Lamp: Bushwick Hardware

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Polka Dot Vase: Target
Peacock Chair: Thrifted
Throw: Target

We have also been soaking up the last few days of summer weather here in Texas. Which, ironically, seems to be following us deep into Fall. I can’t tell you how upset that makes me. I can, however, be happy that we still get to take Penny on long, barefoot walks to the park every day after work. I can’t really complain about that.

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She also enjoys the comforts of home. And claiming chairs as her own.

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We have been decorating for Fall and enjoying lazy nights at home, watching our favorite Fall TV shows while yummy smelling candles burn.

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This candle smells SO incredible. All of the scents are just wonderful, but this one smells just like a Christmas tree! Check them all out on Sydney Hale Co.

And, of course, I have been on a baking spree.
I love when the chilly nights blow in. It makes me want to wake up early and bake pumpkin flavored things. My go-to’s have been cinnamon rolls and pumpkin bread.
I can’t stop. I won’t stop. I will, however, increase my running routine to offset said delicious baked treats. That’s fair, no?

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(I will have to post a recipe for these delicious gems, soon. PUMPKIN cinnamon rolls!)

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Oh, and that’s my handsome husband. Just because he’s cute.

Pants: Target
Shoes: Target
Shirt: Gap
Jacket: Banana Republic

Mama’s Blackberry Cobbler

 I’ve decided that baking is my therapy.
Some people run. Some people eat lots of candy (okay, I’m guilty of that too) and some people shop until they drop. Me? I like to take all of my stress out on the kitchen.
Flour everywhere. Sugar in my hair. Egg yolk on the floor.
If the kitchen isn’t messy when you’re done, you’re not doing it right.

This past week was really stressful for me. I can’t really pinpoint one particular reason, honestly. I think it’s just a really big itch. An itch to do something new.
And I think because I can’t really scratch that itch (seeing as i’m not sure what that itch is) I took that stress and baked it into one large, scrumptious, mouthwatering blackberry cobbler.

And now I want to share that steamy, delicious love with you, too.
This is actually my mom’s recipe.  I have very fond memories of climbing up onto the barstool and watching my mom roll out pie crust. She was oh, so meticulous. Making sure everything was just right. (Now I find myself rolling out dough in just the same manner)  I would rest my hand on my face and just watch and watch as she rolled and perfected. Rolled and perfected. Throwing me and my brothers a piece of pie dough every now and then to keep us busy.
And at the end of the afternoon, the delicious smell of ooey gooey blackberries would waft up to my room (which was conveniently located just above the kitchen) and i knew it was almost time to gobble up the first bite.  I can almost smell it now.  Isn’t it funny how childhood memories are the most memorable ones we have? I love that.

Now, where to begin. Ah yes, the dough.
This is just a standard “from scratch” dough recipe.
Really simple.
Let’s get started.

The Dough:

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose-flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 T COLD unsalted butter (equivalent to 2 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Step 1
In a mixer, combine flour, salt and sugar; mix on low to combine.

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Here’s the tricky part. Make sure your butter is REALLY cold. Don’t take it out of the fridge until you are ready to use it.  Cut the butter into pads and add it to the mixture.

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Now, I did this the old fashioned way.  You don’t want to completely mix the butter in, so I took two knives (using both hands) and cut the butter into the mixture.  Sounds difficult, but super easy.  Mix until it resembles corse meal, with pea sized pieces of butter remaining.

Step 2
Slowly add the ice water. Mix on LOW for a few seconds until dough is crumbly, but holds together when you pinch it.  Add water as needed.
This process will make your dough extra flaky when you bake it. Yum!

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Step 3
Split the dough in half.  Form each dough into a round ball.  Do not knead the dough, as you want delicious pockets of butter when baking. Transfer each half of the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Secure tightly and refrigerate for one hour or until firm.  Now you will have two disks ready for the bottom and top of your crust!

Step 4
When dough is ready, remove both disks from the refrigerator. Start with one disk.

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Grab a deep pie dish.  On a floured surface, roll out one of the disks to cover the bottom of the dish. I like to leave a little dough hanging over the sides so I have extra to pinch at the end.
(Sidenote: Roll out and slice a few strips of extra dough to use for the pie filling! I’ll explain later!)

Blackberry Filling

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of blackberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 T. lemon juice

Step 1
Now that you have the bottom of the pie crust prepared, lets start with the filling!

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First, wash those blackberries! I was lucky enough to find big, juicy ones at the local farmers market.  Next, toss together all of the ingredients.  It will seem as though there is quite a bit of the flour mixture and not enough liquid, but toss to cover all of the blackberries.

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Step 2
Use 1/3 of the blackberries mixture and pour on top of the uncooked pie crust in the prepared pie dish. Throw in a few of those strips of pie dough. These will be a little doughy surprise when you cut into the cobbler.  Don’t skip this step.  It’s a delicious, doughy secret.

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Repeat this step again, and then top with the last 1/3 of the blackberry mixture.
Ready for this? More butter. Before you add the top of the crust? Just slice a few pads of butter and place them on top of the finished blackberry mixture. Just a little extra yumminess.

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Step 3
At this point, you are done with the blackberry mixture, and ready to top the cobbler with the other pie crust.  Roll out the dough and either top it with normal pie crust (which is totally acceptable and just as delicious! If you do, before you place the crust on top, make a few slices in the middle with a knife. About half an inch apart. This will let the cobbler bubble through a little at the end of baking and you will know it’s ready!
I created a lattice crust.  It was super easy! (Find a tutorial for that here!)

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Pinch the outsides of the pie. I use my thumb to make an imprint and then pinch the sides together. You can do whatever pleases your little heart.

Step 4
This is an important step and a lovely trick my mama taught me.
Before you place the pie in the oven, brush a little milk onto the crust and sprinkle with sugar. This will make that crust a beautiful golden brown color.

Step 5
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
**If you notice the edges of the crust burning, you can open the oven and wrap them in a little bit of tinfoil. This will allow the middle to continue baking and keep the outsides from burning. Another fun mama fact. Aren’t they the best?**

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ENJOY THAT LOVELY cobbler.  I like to have a little bowl when it’s still hot. There is something about warm cobbler that just tastes like a warm, summer day.
Chad likes to top his with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, to be exact.  This IS Texas, y’all.

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Green Thumbs Up

 This morning, I went on a beautiful run around the neighborhood. I don’t know what takes me so long to get out of bed and allow my shoes to hit the pavement. Because once I’m out there on a long run, I feel so good! It wakes up my body and gets my adrenaline going. Not to mention, our little Texas neighborhood is in full bloom! First it was the daffodils, then the tulips, and now Iris. It’s just so beautiful.

As I was running, I also had the thought that I want to share more about my personal life. I’m not all clothes and outfit posts, you know. The more that time goes on, the more I want to share!

The past few weekends, Chad and I have been working out in the yard, trying to get it to at least look presentable. We had to wait until the house was painted to start anything, and lately we’ve been kicking it into high gear as far as gardening goes.  The little old lady who lived in our home before us was apparently a wonderful gardener with the greenest thumb on the block. Unfortunately, after she passed away, the house was vacant for three years and her yard became unruly and overgrown. By the time we moved in, we had no idea what was what.
With Spring sneaking up on us, it has been interesting to see what has bloomed.
We have had daffodils, summer snowdrops, wild onions, garlic, mint, iris, wild violets, honeysuckle, crossvine and oxalis. (Just to name a few!)

We have a big, beautiful fig tree right outside our bedroom window (and pomegranate too!) that we have had to trim back so that they wouldn’t take up the whole backyard!  We painstakingly tore out weeds, painted the fence white and leveled out the ground. We still have SO much to do. We have big plans for a patio and raised beds…but time goes by so fast!
All in good time, I suppose.

Our latest, biggest project was tearing out the bushes that lined our front porch. A few were dead when we moved in, and to me, they looked like the ones you might find in front of a scary old maids house. So, we got down and dirty and tore those out. We talked a lot about what we wanted to replace them with, and did quite a bit of research.
We measured how large we wanted the bed to be, and then Chad got to work tilling up the dirt.  I let him do most of that, because it was pretty hard work.
In the mean time, I gave our porch swing a fresh coat of white paint.
After Chad finished tilling the dirt, we added top soil and all of the goodies that make plants grow big and strong.  We chose Japanese orange blossom bushes (they smell delicious!) to line the porch and then snuck in a few azaleas as well.

We have plans to plant a few more flowers, but for now, we are pretty happy with the result.

We also spruced up our porch with a few knick knacks, two hanging bougainvilleas and the prettiest little potted lemon tree. (Whose blossoms smells like a delicious Florida orange orchard)

Every time we do something new, I feel a little ounce of pride well up in my heart. I like to look around and take in that memory.  Knowing it is our first house. Knowing most of the work, we have done ourselves. Knowing that our first little one will come home to our little bungalow.
There is something about owning a home that just makes me feel so…grown up, I suppose.
Last night, I was sitting inside and heard a husband and wife walk by as they walked their dogs down our street. I watched as the wife looked up and exclaimed “Oh my gosh! Look, it’s that old house! They have done such an amazing job with it! It doesn’t even look like the same home!”
My heart exploded.
It might seem silly, but our little house is just that. Our little house.
Our first home.
So many memories are already wrapped up in our little 1916 bungalow and I love that we will be adding onto them!

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After:
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The Christmas Dress

When I was a little girl, my mom would always pick out a Christmas Eve dress for me to wear.  For several years, she actually made my Christmas dresses. Looking back, those always turned out to be pretty interesting with their rather large early nineties peter pan collars, tacky plastic buttons, and sparkly reindeer tights.
{Not slighting my mother’s sewing skills, though. She is amazing!}

These days, choosing what to wear is a little more exciting. This Lulu*s dress made for a perfect Christmas Eve outfit. I actually forgot my black opaque tights, so I threw on the only thing I had. And I’m glad I did, because I actually loved the fun little touch these polka dot tights gave the dress.

We were in Austin at Chad’s parents this year, so I wanted to take these photos in front of the cabin {on their property} where we were engaged Christmas morning two years ago. Their log cabin home is so magical at Christmas and it brings about wonderful memories and cozy feelings. I love that I get to spend Christmas with both of my families. It really is such a wonderful time of the year.
As Christmas came and went, I honestly felt the best gift was getting to see everyone and spend time with the ones I love. It doesn’t happen often enough.

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Dress: c/o Lulu*s
Tights: Forever 21
Heels: c/o Lulu*s
Necklace: c/o Savoir-Faire

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