Category Archives: Family

Room Tour Reveal: The Guest Bedroom

Room Tour Reveal: The Guest Bedroom

A lot of things were high on my wishlist when we started house hunting back in 2015, but practically nothing was higher than a guest room. I had never lived in a house or apartment big enough to boast a bonus room (that wasn’t already occupied by a roommate or office, of course), so I was really looking forward to having one for our guests. We were moving an hour and a half away from our families, after all, so we really needed that extra overnight sleeping space for our parents and sisters.

Room Tour Reveal: The Guest Bedroom

Room Tour Reveal: The Guest Bedroom

Room Tour Reveal: The Guest Bedroom

So, when we found this home with its three bedrooms—perfect for a master retreat, office, and guest room—we were sold. It’s a super small room (which you’ll probably pick up on judging by this small collection of photos), but it’s just big enough to hold the essentials: a shelf for extra linens, a full size bed, and a nightstand where visitors can rest their phones and a glass of nighttime water.

Room Tour Reveal: The Guest Bedroom

Room Tour Reveal: The Guest Bedroom

The room is, first and foremost, meant for guests, but I actually use this space all the time for my own purposes. I’ve been known to move in here at night if, for whatever reason, I’m having trouble sleeping in our master bedroom, and I’ll often curl up under the covers in the evening to read a book or catch a bonus episode of West Wing whenever the mood strikes. As is the whole purpose with any bonus room in a house, our guest room provides a nice little break from everyday routine.

Room Tour Reveal: The Guest Bedroom

Room Tour Reveal: The Guest Bedroom

Do you guys have a guest room in your house? What are a few of your guest room essentials? The best advice I ever received when it comes to setting up a functional guest room is to spend at least one night in it yourself—that way you can really get a sense of what the room needs for overnight visitors.

Does the neighbor’s spotlight beam into the room after dark like a spaceship? Maybe it’s time to install blackout shades. Is there a really loud clock disturbing your slumber? It’s time to move it to another room so your visitors don’t lose sleep over it, too. Leave your own guest room tips and decorating tricks in the comments below.

Oh, and before I sign off for the week, don’t forget to sign up for the Dream Green DIY newsletter. The next issue hits everyone’s inboxes next Wednesday, and is filled with super embarrassing photos of John and I as teenagers in honor of Thanksgiving. Sign up here!

Room Tour Reveal: The Guest Bedroom

GUEST BEDROOM RESOURCES

Blue vase: Wise Apple Vintage

White Macrame Pillow: West Elm

Blue Color-blocked Pillow:  West Elm (similar)

White Linen Bedding: Parachute

Curtains: Target

Mint Table Lamp: Lamps Plus

Woven Basket: Meridian

Rug: AllModern (similar)

Two-Toned Round Baskets: Lamps Plus (similar)

Round Gold Mirror: West Elm (similar)

Bed Frame: Queen City Marketplace

Console Table: Estates & Consignments

Ceiling Fan: Lamps Plus

Rolling Side Table: Williamsburg Antique Mall

*Photos by Carrie Coleman; I earn a small percentage from purchases made by the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. You can rest assured that I would NEVER recommend a product that I don’t use and love myself!
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How To Combat Allergens In Your Home

How To Combat Allergens In Your Home

Although, here in Virginia, I was just about as far as an American girl could be from the wildfires in California and those devastating southern hurricanes that ravaged our coastlines and Puerto Rica, it still hit home for me. My heart went out to those families who were directly affected by the disasters, and, to this day, I’m still keeping everyone in my thoughts because I know the pain doesn’t stop with that last ember or final gust of wind. For some, the long, hard road to recovery is just starting. Certainly, broken and destroyed homes and buildings are taking priority as people work to rebuild, but air quality is another major issue to consider.

Again, I don’t have any firsthand experience or story to tell when it comes to my involvement in the recovery (aside from donating to any reputable organization I come across!), but right here at home, I’ve been beta testing the Molekule air purifier, which, as a brand, has been working overtime to help those in need along our coastlines following the wildfires and hurricanes. Scroll on to find out more about this awesome purifier, and learn how it’s helping combat bad air quality—both near and far.

How To Combat Allergens In Your Home

How To Combat Allergens In Your Home

First, let’s rewind this tale just a little bit. Earlier in the summer, I actually reached out to the brand myself to see if they might be interested in teaming up. I had spotted the purifier on my Pinterest feed as a paid advertisement, and I was intrigued. The imagery the brand put together to promote their product was so spot-on with my taste, and it did exactly what the ad was supposed to: it caught me—hook, line, and sinker.

I sent an email along to the brand to see if there might be a way for us to team up, and I was grateful to snag a spot as a behind-the-scenes beta tester. We’ve been enjoying the air purifier in our home for the last four months, and it has been the game-changer I hoped it would be. John suffers from terrible year-round allergies, and he’s always had trouble sleeping because of the poor air quality in our home. We have four pets, after all, so our battle against dust and pet dander had—up until that point—been a lost one.

Since receiving and using our Molekule, though, John has been sleeping better and our home is noticeably less dusty and allergen-filled. The purifier breaks down all sorts of harmful microscopic pollutants (think: mold, allergens, viruses, bacteria, and even airborne chemicals), and I think it’s going to keep us both healthy throughout the cold and flu season to come. It’s admittedly a huge investment, and we are extremely grateful that we were given the opportunity to test the product in our home, but I can tell you without a doubt that, had we not been given one, we would have invested in this air purifier to help keep our home cleaner and ourselves healthier, too.

How To Combat Allergens In Your Home

How To Combat Allergens In Your Home

The physical purifier itself is, of course, kind of gorgeous from a design standpoint. That sleek silver shape and cool leather handle that I fell in love with on Pinterest (of all places!) is just as beautiful in person. What I didn’t realize would be so stunning, though, was the functionality of it. The nano-coated filter actually works in tandem with light to help trap and destroy dust particles in the air that moves through it, and the soft subtle glow it gives off adds to the modern look without being ostentatious. You can easily switch the light off at times when the light might affect you (in your bedroom at night, for example).

Speaking of, the purifier is operated using a tiny touch screen at the very top. It’s very discrete, but offers you all kinds of options depending on your needs: a silent mode (although the normal sound it gives off is a soft, constant “huusssh”—not annoying at all), dark mode, an on/off switch, filter check, and more. They really thought of everything with the design of this thing, and I have barely even talked about the scientific inner workings yet!

How To Combat Allergens In Your Home

How To Combat Allergens In Your Home

How To Combat Allergens In Your Home

The Molekule brand just recently came out with third-party studies with the University of Minnesota that directly compare their PECO technology to HEPA, and proves that PECO is much more effective in destroying ozone and VOCs. This is breakthrough information, especially since the recent wildfires and hurricanes around our country have contributed to worsening and dangerous air quality.

The team is on a mission to help people who are affected by these disasters. In fact, they recently exhausted their entire inventory between donated units and increased demand in areas affected by the wildfires. The bottom line is that they know their technology can really help people, but they also know they need to get the word out.

I’m so grateful to the Molekule team for trusting our family to test the product in our home and that they were willing to put their faith in us to share our story and the effect it has had on our lives, too. Managing air quality in any home comes with all sorts of unique challenges, but we’re super confident in saying that this air purifier has made a world of difference in our own situation. How could your home benefit from better air quality?

How To Combat Allergens In Your Home

How To Combat Allergens In Your Home

*This story was an in-kind partnership with Molekule. Though compensation wasn’t received, we were given product to style and experience first-hand. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Dream Green DIY!
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An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

Like a lot of folks, Thanksgiving is one of my all-time favorite holidays. In fact, in might just be my favorite. My first instinct is to name Christmas as the front-runner, but once Christmas day actually arrives, the joy of the season is effectively over. I tend to get really, really sad on December 25 because I know that I have an entire year to wait until I can enjoy Christmas music and holiday movies again.

My point is that Thanksgiving day is when I feel like I truly come alive. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by my family, whom I couldn’t possibly love more, and I relish having the excuse to spoil them with tasty treats and Christmas gifts, too. But what if you can’t get home to your own family…What if you’re restricted by distance or budget to travel for the holidays? I wanted to challenge myself this year to prove that a 2-person (or even solo!) Thanksgiving can be just as memorable. It doesn’t have to be fussy or over-done—a simple scrumptious picnic around the living room coffee table is really all you need to make this holiday feel special.

To bring my vision for this mini Thanksgiving event to life, I enlisted the help of our pro photographer pals, Bethany and Aaron Mallory, and you can see the full story and my interview to inspire an at-home Thanksgiving picnic for two over on Camille Styles. Scroll on for a few of my favorite shots from the feature, plus I’m sharing a few extra ideas and tips that I didn’t have time to mention in my Camille Styles interview.

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

First, we’ve gotta talk food. I’m well aware that a cheese plate doesn’t particularly scream “Thanksgiving,” but I’m of the mind that you should follow your own gut (literally!) when it comes to a holiday menu. Not a big fan of turkey? Serve soup instead! And I think a wooden board brimming with fresh fruit, crackers, fresh-baked bread, and cheese is the perfect thing for John and I to enjoy throughout our holiday. It’s easy to snack on all day long, and makes for tasty leftovers on Black Friday, too. All this to say, don’t feel pressured to serve a Norman Rockwell-style Thanksgiving dinner if you feel yourself lured by other in-season fall flavors.

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

The thing I loved most about our holiday picnic is that we chose not to have it at the dinner table. It’s so much fun to switch things up by moving our plates to a different area of the house. Our meal around the coffee table felt fresh and definitely worlds and away from our everyday routine. Even just moving your meal to the living room sofa with a couple of breakfast trays, festive music crooning in the background, is enough to make your holiday dinner feel a little bit more thrilling then it would around the same old dinner table in the same old dining room chairs.

As they say, it’s all about location, location, location, and this holiday entertaining tip doesn’t cost a dime. We actually did this (eating around a coffee table) at a Friendsgiving several years ago, and I’ll seriously never forget that night because it was something so new and different to try.

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

One thing to keep in mind when planning your 2-3 person holiday dinner is that you don’t need nearly as much food as you would for a big traditional family Thanksgiving. It’s more affordable to shop for that smaller, more intimate meal, and you also don’t have to take into account as many diet restrictions. That said, my sister (who’s vegetarian) will actually be joining us here in Waynesboro for the weekend after Thanksgiving, so we’ll be enjoying a similar meal that you see here—sweet potato vegetable soup, a board loaded with produce and fresh cheeses, and a dish of fresh fruit crumble for dessert. You can snag the recipes for the soup and crumble over on Camille Styles here.

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.comAn At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

Again, my whole intention with sharing this story is to prove that a tiny Thanksgiving meal for two can be just as memorable as a giant one. If you can’t get home for the holiday next week, don’t lose heart. At the risk of sounding cheesy, Thanksgiving is all about refocusing our minds away from all the negativity in the world and appreciating what we have in the here and now. It only takes one other person to experience love and a good laugh or two, so I hope you are able to do just that next Thursday.

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

Big thanks to our friends the Mallorys for helping us document this special story, and I hope you’ll take an extra minute or two to pop over to Camille Styles for the full story and my interview. It’s packed with tips on how to pull this type of event off in your own home.

Oh, and one last thing: have you entered our giveaway yet? Wise Apple Vintage founder, Nikki McIntosh, and I are teaming up to give away a box full of DIY and vintage goodies. Click through to Instagram here to enter, and see the DIY tutorial with more details here. The contest ends tonight at midnight—Good luck!

An At-Home Thanksgiving Picnic For Two | dreamgreendiy.com

*Photos by Bethany and Aaron Mallory
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’12 Reasons Why I Love You’ Photo Book Gift Idea

*This post was sponsored by Snapfish

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

When you hear the words “photo book,” it might be easy for you to conjure up images of a nicely bound hardcover book with your family’s smiling faces peering up at you from the cover. This is obviously all very well and good, but, being the overachieving creative that I am, I wanted to take things further. I wanted to stretch the concept of a photo book and give the already-sweet idea a little more pizzaz—a little more personality and (dare I say it) heart.

To prove that it’s possible—and with a little motivation from the folks over at Snapfish—I tucked myself away in a cozy reading chair to brainstorm ideas for a custom 8×11 hardcover photo book of our own. I played around with ideas like a cookbook, a page-by-page family tree, and even a DIY projects manual featuring a few favorite images and tutorials from this little blog (feel free to steal those ideas for yourself if you’d like, by the way). In the end, though, I decided to treat my hubby to a simple book-form list of 12 reasons why I love him.

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

I decided on this idea because (A) it’s a little simpler than putting together a comprehensive crafting or cooking manual, and (B) it’s something that anyone can do for a loved one this holiday gifting season. You could make one for your best friend, your parents, a sibling, your children, or—heck—even a pet if you want to get really goofy and sentimental.

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

Before I could bring this project to life I needed to gather my photos. I happened to have already scheduled a lifestyle photoshoot with our professional camera-weilding pals, the Mallorys, so it was the perfect way to kill a bunch of birds with one stone. Those lifestyle stories that we shot will be rolling out here on the blog soon enough, but in the meantime, you can get a little sneak peek through the photo book I made for John pictured here.

The collection features photos of us sitting in and around our home, and I think it’s worth noting that these are the first photos of us we’ve had taken since we got married back in 2012. It was time, and seeing those (slightly older) smiling mugs makes me downright giddy.

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

Snapfish made it so easy to put the book together once I had all of the Mallorys’ photos of us downloaded to my computer. Although there are tons of different pre-made photo book themes to choose from (including super cute Christmas designs!), I decided to go with an all-white version to allow our new family photos to really shine. Then I clicked the prompts to add our photos and placed them one by one on the digital pages of our photo book. I could decide if I wanted two photos, one photo, big photos, or small ones, etc.

Finally, I added text to the pages to list off my top 12 reasons for loving my hubby. I went a little cheesy for some, a little cheeky for others, but all in all, my hope is that the book can be something we look back on and smile at through the years—not just because of the sweet family photos, but because of my reasons for loving John that I’m sure will evolve as time goes by.

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

With a few final revisions and a triple spell check, I ordered the book and it arrived within a week. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough to get it wrapped for Christmas and John discovered it sitting out on the kitchen counter when he got home from work. I didn’t realize it until I started hearing little periodic “Awwwww!”s and the sound of turning pages coming from the kitchen. I couldn’t help but smile, though, knowing that the book had hit the right mark.

Save 40% off your own Snapfish photo book order using the code “CARRIEBOOK40”, and tell me in the comments below to whom you might gift a similar ’12 Reasons Why I Love You’ book!

'12 Reasons Why I Love You' Photo Book Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @snapfish

*Family photos printed in the book by Bethany and Aaron Mallory
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10 Favorite Fall Candles To Burn Now

Favorite Fall Candles To Burn Now

Happy Monday and welcome back to a brand new week! Chances are good that, whatever time of day you’re reading this, I’m curled up somewhere in our home with a candle flickering away beside me. It’s most definitely “candle season” around these parts, and you’ll rarely come upon a room in our home that’s free from some fragrant flame (try saying that five times fast—I dare you).

In honor of this cherished time of year, John and I put our heads together to come up with 10 of our very favorite fall candles. Yes, you read that right. John played a big part in coming up with this list since he’s just as big a fan of candles as I am—possibly more so. It’s practically part of his routine to light one of his favorites from our collection below within five minutes of coming home from work.

  1. Scentered, De-stress Travel Therapy Candle
  2. Wax Cabin Candle, Cozy Cabin
  3. NEST Fragrances, Pumpkin Chai Candle
  4. Shoppe 815 Amber Candle, Mountain Summit
  5. Glade Jar Candle Air Freshener, Cashmere Woods
  6. Yankee Candle, Macintosh
  7. LE LABO, Santal 26 Classic Candle
  8. Jo Malone, Incense & Embers Home Candle
  9. P.F. Candle Co., NO. 04: Teakwood & Tobacco
  10. Bath & Body Works, Pumpkin Cupcake

Do you have a favorite fall candle that didn’t make our list? I’m always looking for new ones to add to our collection, so please tell us about your own go-to fall scents in the comments below.

Favorite Fall Candles To Burn Now

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made by the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. You can rest assured that I would NEVER recommend a product that I don’t use and love myself!
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Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet

*This post was sponsored by Duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

We are finally (finally!) feeling the effects of fall here in Virginia now after a string of 80-degree weeks. I can’t tell you how happy these crisp, cool days make me feel, and I’m so excited to officially indulge in our favorite autumn activities—things like pumpkin pie, sweaters, boots, stews, and trips to the apple orchard. Another favorite fall pastime? Bonfires! Really, I love sitting around a good campfire any day of the year, but it’s especially exciting during the fall months.

You’ve probably picked up on the fact that John and I are big fans of Duraflame, what with the countless times I’ve partnered with them here on the blog, but that’s just because it’s a brand we truly love and use over and over again—whether I’m shooting pictures for a campaign, or we’re enjoying some quality down time together with friends and family.

Case in point, the evening campfire I’m sharing with you today! I had a pile of Stax Stackable Crackling Fire Logs sitting in our basement and knew I’d be driving out of town for a long weekend at my parents’ house, so I texted my dad to see if he wanted to throw together a little mini fire pit in their back yard. Within the span of a few quick messages, we had plans in place and I had my car packed with a box of logs. Scroll on to see how simple it really was to pull a mini fall-time campfire together!

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

First, we chose our location for the DIY fire pit—a spot far from shrubs and trees and without any major overhanging low branches. Then, my dad dug a shallow hole in the soil, just a few inches deep. To finish, he placed small rocks around the hole to create a barrier, which would ultimately contain the fire and keep us from tripping over the pit once the flames had died down or gone out.

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Speaking of flames, getting the actual campfire itself going was as simple as stacking the logs in an “X” formation and igniting the marked wrappers with a lighter. It took just a few minutes for the wrappers to do their job and then the entire stack was rolling with a nice, warm fire.

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Now, of course, you know I can’t leave well-enough alone, and always like to have at least some little activity planned for any fire pit gathering (see a few of my other favorite campfire activities here!). For this particular evening I created a Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet that I had at-the-ready as a little scavenger hunt while dad and I sat on our bench near the fire. My sister arrived from out of town just around dusk, so she also got in on the fun as night settled in.

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

To make the most of the sheet at your own fire pit party, just download and print the Fall Stargazing Worksheet, then see who can spot the constellations fastest as everyone reclines around the campfire. NOTE: You may want to consider making multiple printouts if you plan on having a large gathering of folks!

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

The point is, I couldn’t possibly recommend Duraflame logs more. They’re small, making storage a cinch, they give off hearty flames that last for hours without having to touch or rearrange them, and they are made from 100 percent renewable resources, producing half the emissions of a wood fire.

Are you just as big a fan of campfires as we are? Have you kicked off the chilly fall season with a fire pit party yet? Do tell in the comments below.

Printable Fall Stargazing Worksheet | dreamgreendiy.com + @Duraflame #ad #duraflame

P.S. For more inspiration, check out our breakdown of 5 precautions to take at your next fire pit party and my recipe for Rice Krispie Treat S’mores here.
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Our Meal Planning Process & Favorite Recipes

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

If you’re a member of my DIY newsletter tribe (sign up here if you haven’t yet!) then you’re already armed with my printable meal planning worksheet. But now it’s time to dive into our actual meal planning process, including our favorite recipes and meal inspiration resources.

It’s not exactly a task that John and I relish doing every single week, but laying out our week of meals is essential for making sure we don’t rush out to a pricey dinner for lack of good food in our pantry. Keep scrolling to find out how we pull the task off every Sunday with as little mental pain as possible, and I hope you’ll weigh in with your own tips and favorite recipe links in the comments at the end!

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

How We Meal Plan

This may seem like a super straight forward process, so forgive me if I sound like I’m stating the obvious, but I wanted to give you the low down just in case this simplified method is something you hadn’t thought of or tried before.

Essentially, we sit down together once a week to talk about what we have on the calendar for the week ahead. Things like late evening work meetings, meet-ups with respective friends, or even food-related projects that I might have on the docket for the blog play a major part in how we plan our meals.

For example, if I’m headed out of town to visit with family for the weekend while John stays behind to watch our fur babies and take advantage of quiet time here at the house, we might only plan 2-3 meals as opposed to 4 since he will just be fending for himself (he usually eats leftover freezer portions of our homemade meals in these cases). Or, if I have a shoot planned for the blog that involves, say, sweet potato soup and a cheese board, we know we don’t have to be intentional about adding an extra meal to our list because we can just eat the blog “props.”

Once we know our weekly to-do’s, we compile a list of recipes (we only need 3-4 recipes per week since leftovers stretch the meal over a couple of days) and make our grocery list from there. Making this master list of recipe names with ingredients means that we have a little sheet of paper that we can hold on to all week long for reference if we forget our list of specific meals for the week.

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

Favorite Recipe Resources

We pull meal ideas from, frankly, a lot of really random places, but a few favorites include Facebook (I’m a sucker for those fast-paced Tasty videos!), our collection of Ina Garten cookbooks, a slow cooker cookbook that we have used and loved for years, and also magazines like Real Simple and Allrecipes.

From time to time, I also use Pinterest and a few go-to food blogs for inspiration. I’m a particular fan of Pinch of Yum. When I find a recipe I like—whether it’s during our weekly sit-down meal planning sessions, or while browsing the web during work hours—I email the link to myself and John. I put the name of the meal in the subject line along with the word “Recipe” so that I can easily search all of the meals that I’ve sent to the two of us simply by searching “recipe” in my Gmail inbox. I also keep them in a separate folder in my inbox for even easier perusing.

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

As promised, a few of our all-time favorite recipes (the ones I can link to, anyway) include this General Tso’s Cauliflower, a recipe for Creamy Sweet Potato Soup that took John and me just 15 minutes of hands-on time to make, these Easy Chicken Curry Bowls via designlovefest, and a recipe for Crockpot Ranch Chicken Tacos that we can’t get enough of.

Let us know your own meal planning methods and favorite recipe links below!

Meal Planning & Favorite Recipes

P.S. In case you missed last week’s newsletter and want to get the free meal planning printable I mentioned in the beginning of this post, you can download it right here. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to stay in the loop for next time!
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What’s On Our Music Playlist For Fall

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

Okay, so, bad news first: this week absolutely kicked my butt. The good news, though? That means I’m feeling on top of my game! I actually even managed to push myself to get ahead, and, despite the fact that our contractor never did show up, I haven’t felt this accomplished in a very long time.

I think I’m going to treat myself to a little bit of a break today (once I finish the last big project on my list, of course), but, before I go, I wanted to share a little playlist to celebrate the official kick-off to fall today. May this list of easy-listening tunes get you off on the right foot this brand new season.

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

Our Fall Playlist

  1. My Lovely, Eisley
  2. Maps, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  3. A Melody, the Memory, Mae
  4. Follows, Tigers Jaw
  5. The Funeral, Band of Horses
  6. New Slang, The Shins
  7. Can’t Get It Out, Brand New
  8. You Are the Moon, The Hush Sound
  9. It Will Never Be the Same, Ryan Adams
  10. The Sound of Settling, Death Cab for Cutie
  11. Neighbors, Grizzly Bear
  12. How It Left, Violents & Monica Martin
  13. Lua, Bright Eyes

I have a feeling that John and I will be kicking back to this little mix-CD-like list of songs all throughout the colder months to come. What’s on your fall playlist?

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

(Photos by Carrie Coleman)
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A New Dresser & Family Heirloom

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

One of the things that really surprised us about our house when we moved in was the size of the rooms. The home was built in 1963, so you would think that the rooms and closets would all be on the small side, but that’s not the case, especially when it comes to our master bedroom. The room is, frankly, kind of huge and even sports its own walk-in closet. It’s so large that we can actually fit two dressers in it—something our previous master bedroom couldn’t do.

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

In our old house John had possession of the only dresser in our room. To compensate while he enjoyed dresser drawer storage for all of his clothing, I situated an IKEA shelving unit and storage boxes in our old walk-in closet for all of my clothes. We ended up just going with the same system out of habit when we moved, but that’s all changed now.

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

If you’ve been following along for any length of time, then you know that my dad is a really talented woodworker. He’s built lots of furniture for my parents’ home, as well as some pieces for my little sister’s apartment, too. I guess, at some point, I had gotten a little sassy (as I do) about the fact that everyone had a piece of original dad-built furniture but me, so he got down to work creating a dresser especially for me.

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

To say that I was excited and honored about the prospect of owning something my dad had built from scratch with his own two hands would be an understatement. He and I worked together on the design in order to blend his traditional aesthetic with my modern taste, and the result is the gorgeous, clean-lined, ultra-sleek piece of furniture that you see pictured here today.

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

It feels so good to have my clothing put away and organized in an actual dresser as opposed to the flimsy IKEA boxes and shelving unit I used to have stuffed into our closet. Plus, the handmade cherry dresser just adds so much sophistication and style to our bedroom.

Oh, and did you notice the cute brass flower hardware? Those pulls were actually originally in our kitchen—we held onto them after installing upgraded handles, and this project turned out to be the perfect way to repurpose the old pulls.

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

It’s a pretty big upgrade from the tiny bookshelf that used to sit in this spot (don’t worry, we didn’t get rid of the bookshelf entirely—we just moved it to the family room). This is a piece that I know I’ll be loving and enjoying for the rest of my life—thanks, dad!

Have you added any new pieces of furniture to your own home lately? What’s your favorite heirloom piece in your collection? Tell me in the comments below.

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7 YouTube Channels To Subscribe To Now

7 YouTube Channels To Subscribe To Now

Lately, every day tends to start out the exact same way: I wake up around 7AM, check my phone (yes, I’m that girl), stretch, make some avocado toast and coffee, and, then, I climb back in bed to eat breakfast before hitting the showers and my to-do list. The last piece to my morning routine? Pulling up YouTube to keep me company as I chow down on my toast!

I think it was about a year or so ago that I officially fell down the rabbit hole of YouTube. Someone I followed on Instagram mentioned a channel run by a family in the UK called the Michalaks. Their weekly Vlog-style videos were so unique and dreamy, and I just couldn’t stop watching once I got started. I watched their most recent videos, and then eventually went all the way back to the beginning and watched every single one they had ever published. I was hooked, guys, and, just like the moment that inspired me to start this blog, I remember thinking to myself, “I feel like I could do this…”

Which is when I started filming and releasing adventure videos from in and around our town on my own YouTube channel! That was right at the start of 2017, and now I have 16 videos to call my very own. I love it and feel like I’ve really found my new calling. Am I good at it? HELL NO. But it’s the thing I’m most passionate about behind the scenes, so I thought I’d share a quick list of the seven YouTubers who are inspiring me to create in-motion content right now.

7 YouTube Channels To Subscribe To Now

7 Favorite YouTube Channels

1. What Olivia Did: I’m clearly a big, big fan of all British vloggers, but Olivia is one of my all-time favorites. She’s so adorable on-camera, and I adore her retro-inspired style. I feel like we would be buds IRL.

2. Margo & Me: Even though I’m basically a fashion disaster in real life, Jenny’s beauty tutorials and fashion tips make me feel like I can fake it! Her videos are super high quality and always leave me feeling motivated to test my creativity when it comes to beauty (and videography!).

3. Studio McGee: If you, too, cut the cord on cable and are desperately missing HGTV, this YouTube channel is bound to be your new favorite. I’m so inspired by their room tours and interior design tips. While you’re at it, be sure to subscribe to the Yellow Brick Home YouTube channel, too! Kim and Scott have lots of really useful tips and fun projects to share.

4. Vogue: Follow along for beauty tutorials, interesting interviews with celebrities (I especially love their 73 Questions series!), and a behind the scenes look inside the lifestyle of fashion editorial.

5. Klossy: Karlie Kloss is clearly a superstar, but the model seems really down to earth and approachable on her YouTube channel. I love tuning in to her quick, fast-paced videos when I’m getting ready in the morning or waiting on photos to export.

6. The Michalaks: I’ve already given my quick overview on this family, but be sure to follow along with Hannah and Stef for lots of pretty peeks into their lives across the pond in Bath.

7. Studio DIY: Kelly and her team always knock it out of the park with their colorful DIYs. For more crafty tutorials, be sure to subscribe to Sarah Hearts, too!

8. Dream Green DIY: I’d be remiss if I didn’t give myself at least a tiny little plug, right?! I have a brand new type of video set to launch early next month, so it’s kind of an exciting time. Stay tuned!

7 YouTube Channels To Subscribe To Now

Are you an avid YouTube watcher, too? Do you have a channel of your own to share? Please leave links in the comments because I’m always on the hunt for newbies to follow. Have a great weekend, guys!

7 YouTube Channels To Subscribe To Now

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