Thursday, December 26, 2013

Recipe: Chicken Caesar Salad Bites

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! Like many people, I am starting to think ahead a week to 2014 (YES, 2014 is in a week!) and my goals for the new year. One of them will definitely be to blog more and in an effort to get started now, I wanted to share a recipe! This recipe was recently approved by the 30+ of our framily* who gathered at my parents' house yesterday to eat, drink and be merry.

Chicken Caesar Salad Bites on Parmesan Crisps

These Chicken Caesar Salad Bites are an easy prep-ahead appetizer, and only require four ingredients. The most difficult part is neatly topping the parmesan crisps with the chicken/arugula/dressing mix.

Makes: 5 dozen

  • 8 ounces shredded parmesan or an Italian cheese blend
  • 16 ounces cooked chicken breast, diced fine
  • 1 cup arugula, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup caesar dressing** (more or less to taste)


Make the cheese crisps: 
  1. Preheat your oven to 350º and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. Spoon rounded teaspoons of cheese onto the baking sheet, about an inch apart. I generally do 12 little cheese piles on each baking sheet. 
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and nicely browned. 
  4. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat this process to make all of the crisps. 
  5. If you are not using them right away after cooling, place in a paper towel-lined, air-tight container. 
Assembling the bites:
  1. When ready to serve, stir together the chicken and arugula. 
  2. Stir in the dressing a bit at a time, until it is to your liking. 
  3. Gently top each cheese crisp with a spoonful of salad and serve immediately.

*Framily = friends who are our family.
**We really like Ken's Light Caesar Dressing. It isn't creamy but has good flavor and works well in this particular recipe.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Awesome 80s 5K (5K #3!)

I ran my third 5K two weeks ago! It was the Awesome 80s 5K at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. My friend Josh, who I ran my second 5K with, asked if I was going to try to beat my time from my last 5K. I told him no, this was a "fun run." Ha.

Shirt and headband from Amazon.
Ready to run!
Yes, that is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
This was a family (both 2- and 4-legged) friendly event.

So fun! There was a ton of neon and some seriously fun (and creative) costumes. The mood was so positive and non-competitive. My friend and I kept a good pace and got into a good running and walking groove. Our final time was 40:55 and I was happy with that.

Oh, and we got medals!


Seriously cute medals and the first one I have ever gotten!

After the 5K, we met up with our honeys and went to a great little Italian place in North Beach for bottomless mimosas and one of the best brunch dishes I have ever had...


I can't even put into words how good that dish was but just imagine the best combination of crispy breakfast potatoes, bacon, tomatoes, greens and sunny side up eggs...all topped with pesto and a perfect balsamic reduction.

After stuffing our faces, we wandered around and I soon found this Maya Angelou quote at my feet.


And yes, I am already signed up for a fourth 5K. It will be a "Hot Chocolate" 5K in January. I will be running that one with the same friend from this 5K as well as my friend from my first 5K and my honey. My goal for that one will be to run the entire time. I will probably be slow but I will do it!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Recipe: Curried Sugar Pie Squash Soup with Crispy Pancetta

Fall is my favorite. I love cool weather, layers, scarves, boots, gingerbread lattes, snuggling at home with my family...

...and soup! I am writing this post about soup while eating leftovers of SkinnyTaste's Broccoli Cheese & Potato Soup for breakfast. Just keeping it real.

I was inspired to make this curried squash soup after receiving a sugar pie squash in our CSA box and when a friend posted a photo of a homemade acorn squash soup on Instagram.

I knew this recipe was a keeper when I said, "I would totally make this again," and my honey immediately responded with, "I would totally eat this again."

First things first, what is a sugar pie squash?? Based on my quick internet research, it is a variety of pumpkin. I didn't weigh it but I would guess 3 pounds or so. Roasting your own squash for this soup takes time but I think it is worth it. You can also roast it ahead of time, like I did, so the soup itself can be a fairly quick, weeknight dinner.

Roasted squash, ready to be scooped out!
Butter + onion + curry powder = Best. Smell. Ever.
Pancetta, crisping. 
Soup -- before blending.
Soup -- after blending.
Making it creamy.

Curried Sugar Pie Squash Soup with Crispy Pancetta

4-6 Servings


  • 1 sugar pie squash (~3 lbs)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 teaspoons curry powder
  • 3 cups nonfat, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 4 ounces pancetta, cut into tiny cubes


To roast the squash (can be done 1-2 days in advance): 
  1. Preheat your oven to 350º and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Get a good, sharp knife and cut off the top of the squash to remove the stem. Carefully slice in half down the middle. 
  3. Using a metal spoon or metal ice cream scoop, dig out all of the seeds and stringies. 
  4. Spray each half with a bit of cooking spray and lay flesh-side down on the baking sheet. 
  5. Bake the squash until it is nice and tender and the skin is easily pierced by a fork, probably about an hour. 
  6. Remove the squash from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Scoop out the insides and set aside immediate use or put into an airtight container for refrigerating and saving for later. 
To make the soup: 
  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and 2 teaspoons curry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, 5-7 minutes. If a crust begins to form on the bottom of the pan, add a splash of chicken broth to deglaze.
  2. Add reserved squash insides and the chicken broth to the onion mixture. Stir and bring to a simmer. Let it go, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. 
  3. While the soup is simmering, crisp up the pancetta. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat, add the pancetta and cook until dark and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove pancetta to a paper towel lined plate to drain. 
  4. If you've got one, use a hand blender to smooth out the soup. (You could also ladle the soup into a blender or food processor.) 
  5. Taste the soup and if you want a stronger curry flavor, add another 1/2 - 1 teaspoon now. 
  6. Stir in the nutmeg and half-and-half and allow the flavors to mingle, without a simmer, for another 5-minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with crispy pancetta.
  8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Update: 5K #2!

I ran my second 5K this weekend! Specifically, it was the Temecula 5K in Southern California. We don't live there, but decided it was a fantastic excuse to take a road trip to visit our friends. I ran the 5K with a friend of 17 years. We go way back.

Enjoying the hot air balloons before the run. Oh my, it was a GORGEOUS day.

My primary goal was to run my second 5K faster than my first, the one that I did in 41:55. My secondary goal was to do it in under 40 minutes.

Before my first 5K, I was running every other day with other cardio/strength in between. Before this run, I wasn't doing as much prep-wise. I was still moving but not doing formal training. In all honesty, I was a bit worried about meeting my goal. Before (and even during) this run, I began to mentally prepare myself for a tertiary finish without vomiting or passing out. 

The start line.

So, how did I do? 

Are you ready??

Approximately five months after I started this journey (from absolutely no running) I ran my second 5K in 37:10. That's a 12-minute pace people! I impressed my friend and I have to admit that I even impressed myself. 

Forgot to turn on my heart rate monitor until about 30 seconds in. Whoops.

I felt especially good about my time because the course was so hilly. Holy Hills, Batman! Seriously. Don't get me wrong, it was fun to run through the vineyards but it was very dusty and consisted of so many hills. I have to give a shout out to the stranger on the sidelines of the last big hill who yelled to me, as I ran by, "Keep going! There is wine at the end!"

Thanks to those hills, my legs have been yelling at me since Sunday night. Although, the pain could also be attributed to the fact that I busted out some sweet dance moves that same evening, playing Just Dance with our friends' 8-year old. 

This is what I stuffed in my face after the run.
An amazing grilled romaine, butternut squash & pecan salad from PUBlic House.

In addition to the salad pictured above, I also had delicious cream of mushroom soup and a very large beer.

Just keeping it real. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Imposter Syndrome

Now that I have lost almost 40 pounds (!!!), I am getting a lot of comments from people regarding my weight loss. The number one question has got to be: "How did you do it?!" I generally respond with, "oh, you know, just trying to eat better and be more active." Yep, I tend to completely minimize the amount of work I have put into becoming healthier. My response should be, "I'm working my ass* off! Literally."

I recently read Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In. First of all, I highly recommend reading it. Second, one of the things that stuck with me is the idea of the "Imposter Sydrome."

Sheryl shares:
This phenomenon of capable people being plagued by self-doubt has a name -- the imposter syndrome. Both men and women are susceptible to the imposter syndrome, but women tend to experience it more intensely and be more limited by it. 
Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made... 
She goes on to talk about how multiple studies have shown that women tend to judge their own performance as worse than it is, and are also more likely to attribute success to luck or "being in the right place at the right time." On the other hand, men tend to judge their performance as better than it actually is, and based on skill. This issue is both internal and external...women tend to be judged by what they have already accomplished while men are judged on their potential to be successful. Reading Lean In made me much more aware of how often I dismiss my skills and successes and struggle, like many women, to internalize my accomplishments. Hello, self-fulfilling prophecy!

I have come to better realize that while I may not have control over all of the external stuff, I can gain better control over myself. In mid-May, I made the decision to change, to gain more control over my health. I began erring on the side of lean meat, fruit and veggies, some dairy, and very little breads and such. Our grocery lists now consist of mostly unprocessed, whole foods. I also pay attention to serving sizes and track everything. With regards to fitness, I park farther away. I take the stairs. I schedule workouts, even if I can only fit in 20-30 minutes. I enlisted my honey and now we sometimes do a lap around our neighborhood after dinner. We make "fitness dates" with friends... did I do it? I worked hard for this. I continue to work hard. I am not an imposter.

*Sorry, mom.

Friday, October 4, 2013

14-Mile SF Walking Adventure

As I mentioned in my last post, I went on an epic walk with friends this past Sunday. It was inspired by The Bold Italic and their post regarding an exploration of the outer edges of San Francisco. This was shared with me by my friend Jason (aka "The Healthy Yelper"), who convinced my friend JenBen (his sister) and me to join him on a 20+ mile walk around the city's outermost parts.

First, a little friendship history. JenBen and I met in 6th grade so I have been friends with this sister/brother duo for over 20 years. Woah.

Back to Sunday's fitness date...

After spending hours in the first neighborhood on our journey, we realized that we wouldn't be making it through the entire 20+ miles in one day. However, we did walk 14 miles. (Yes! 14 miles. In one day.) Of course, I took lots of photos along the way so I could share our trip here.


Let's go!

My trip began just after 8 am, when I hopped on BART to meet JenBen and Jason in San Francisco.

From the Embarcadero station, we took Muni out to a neighborhood called The Bayview, located in the southeastern corner of the city. I'll be honest, the Bayview is not considered to be a tourist destination. I think most people would actually advise others to avoid it. However, we learned this past Sunday morning that the Bayview has a number of hidden gems to share.

Gem #1: Bayview Park. This was our first stop of the day, located just a couple blocks from the Le Conte Ave Muni stop.

Good Morning, San Francisco!

You're seeing what I'm seeing, right? GORGEOUS view of the city. Fabulous photo opportunity!

Here's another nice friends Facebook updating and Instagram-ing the view...

After a nice hike around the park, we moved on to enjoy the best americanos and cinnamon toasts ever from (Gem #2) Trouble Coffee.

Photo by JenBen.

Seriously. That toast was incredible -- smothered with the perfect butter-cinnamon-sugar blend.

From our first food stop, we made our way briskly down 3rd Street to Flora Grubb Gardens (Gem #3) and the coffee shop inside, Ritual Gardens (Gem #3.5). There we spent a good five minutes taking photos of this wall...

...and then I snuck a photo of some of their plant life offerings while Jason got caffeine #2. 

Aaaaaand, we're still in the Bayview! From this green, peaceful spot we moved on to park #2 on the list, Heron's Head Park (Gem #4).

There is a bit of a walk out to the end but totally worth it. There are also benches along the way for sitting and soaking in the peacefulness. 

Can I take a moment to point out, if you haven't noticed already, what an absolutely beautiful day it was? It was absolutely beautiful. (Consult previous photos for proof.)

After Heron's Head Park, we finally made our way out of the Bayview. 

Next up...AT&T Park. No worries if you don't have tickets. They have a viewing area where, after a quick bag search and metal detector scan, you can peek through the fence and watch as much (or as little) of the game as you'd like.

After our short visit to the ballpark, we kept moving to the Embarcardo. JenBen tried to climb the bow and arrow and she was marginally successful.

Through the bow and arrow, you can catch a glimpse of the Ferry Building, our next destination. At the Ferry Building we quenched our thirst and rumbling tummies with goodies from Pressed Juicery, washed down with biscuits from Biscuit Bender

After our short break at the Ferry Building, we kept moving to Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, etc. I spent our brisk walk through this part of town looking back fondly on our earlier experiences that day...The Bayview doesn't have tourists.

Have I mentioned how fabulous the weather was on Sunday? Here's one more example, just in case you aren't convinced...

Seriously. We had the perfect day. We wrapped up our adventure by walking through Fort Mason and the Marina and ultimately ended up at The Blue Light for a drink. 

WHEW! Those 14 miles were both exciting and exhausting. Oh, and the remaining miles will happen at a later date and I will post Adventure #2 here...of course.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Back on Track

Last Sunday, I posted this on Instagram...

I felt like I needed to re-focus so I re-evaluated my goals. In a few weeks, we are going on a road trip (fun!) and I'm running a 5K with a good friend from high school (super fun!). Side note -- he tried to talk me into running a half marathon but I said no. I would never say never to a half marathon but I want to work on my 5K skills first. My goal is to finish my second 5K in under 40 minutes (Goal #5). I finished my first in 41:55. My friend will probably finish at least 10 minutes faster than me but he told me that he will come back and get me, because "no one gets left behind." 

As for my other four goals, I have been doing well so far on tracking all of my food and fitness and running every other day. I have honestly not been doing great with the water consumption. I have never been one to drink much water, and although I know it is good for me, drinking that much makes me have to pee. All. The. Time. 

That leaves me with my gym goal. I got a great deal on a lifetime 24 Hour Fitness gym membership many years ago. (I only pay $49/year. I know. It was a crazy good deal.) I wanted to set a specific goal to get me to start using it more often. I am getting a bit bored with my walking/running/elliptical cardio so I want to give the stair master a try, as well as a class or two. I know I need to add in more strength training as well. I'm getting there. 

I'm off today and Monday so there is plenty of time for fitness fun this weekend. 
  • Friday (today): 5+ mile walk with my honey at one of our favorite spots.
  • Saturday: Couch-to-5K training and then I may hit up the gym for a new-to-me class. 
  • Sunday: Two friends convinced me to do an epic walk. EPIC. More on this after I do it. Oooooh, a teaser! 

I'll end with sharing a photo from when I made the most of my 1.5-day business trip to our state capitol. I got up at 6 am yesterday for a run/walk and enjoyed this:

California Love.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Celebrating Non-Scale Victories (NSVs)

Do you celebrate your non-scale victories (NSVs)?

Health cannot be measured by a number. Sure, weight and body mass index can have a place in identifying your health-related goals and can be one set of indicators of our progress. But these measurements are not the end all, be all.

Now, don't get me wrong...I weigh-in daily. Mostly because I love data. I really really like numbers and tracking information. I am also well aware that weighing in daily can be dangerous. Mostly because our weight can fluctuate greatly within a few days and that can cause discouragement. I think that one of the reasons this works for me is that I give non-scale victories (NSVs) just as much, if not more importance as the number on the scale. I also try to look at the bigger picture, not just one moment of success or failure.

Here are some of the NSVs that I am particularly enjoyed throughout the last four months: 
  • I feel better. This is the primary reason I started this journey. I didn't feel good. Now, I feel fantastic after each work out and I eat to feel nourished, not full.
  • Other acknowledge the results. AKA, "You look GOOD!" I see myself everyday so I often don't see the positive change that has taken place in a relatively short amount of time. Sometimes we need the people around us to be our mirrors.
  • I am physically stronger. Let's be honest, in mid-May I could barely run a minute straight. Now I can run 20 minutes straight. It isn't easy but I can do it. 
Who ran for 20-minutes straight? This girl!
  • I have helped others to be healthier. My honey got a FitBit Flex this week and went on a long walk on his day off yesterday. He walked over four miles by himself. Without me! I think that is wonderful.
  • My clothes are too big. This is one of the most obvious, I suppose. I don't have any work pants that fit. I am down at least two sizes in jeans. I am buying medium sized tops. I wore a dress to work yesterday, which I fell in love with while outlet shopping a few months ago and bought even though it was a bit too tight. Now I need to get it altered to a smaller size.
The black dress with a collar that made me swoon. And yes, those are teal heels.

How do you celebrate your NSVs? 

It is incredibly important to celebrate our accomplishments, whether it is a simple pat-yourself-on-the-back-and-then-get-back-to-work or a new outfit (that fits). I would just recommend not rewarding yourself with cake. Try a healthy date night or new work out gear. Bottom line? Don't let those moments pass by without at least a nod in their direction. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Style Cure -- Day 18 - 22 | Better Late Than Never

Oh my, my. I got a bit behind and then I got farther behind and (whoops) I'm still a little behind. Rather than wait until everything is all perfect, I figure I need to just post an update. So here we go! 

Day 18: Monday, August 26
Assignment: Lock In Your Furniture Layout
Full post at

This assignment involved thinking about the placement of the furniture in the space chosen for the Style Cure. Some of recommendations were to consider symmetry and flow lines. This day was also just about furniture, not accessories. I took down the current art in our dining room so what remained was our table, chairs and tall bar cabinet.

Day 19: Tuesday, August 27
Assignment: Accessorize & Light Your Room
Full post at

We picked up a giant teal floor vase that is now in our dining room. I also added this cool orange serving dish to the middle of our dining room table. It adds a nice pop of color on the white surface (see photo below). I am very happy with the lighting in our dining room (chandelier) and living room (dim-able can lighting and sparkly lamp on side table).

Day 20: Wednesday, August 28
Assignment: Hang Artwork 
Full post at

I'm still behind on this one. We still need to choose and print the photos that we want to hang in our dining and living rooms. We do have all of the frames purchased and wall space cleared so once we have the photos printed they have a place to go.

Day 21: Thursday, August 29
Assignment: Take Your After Photos
Full post at

I will post better after photos after I have caught up on everything but for now here are photos of our new dining room table and chairs:

I am very happy with how everything is coming together.

Day 22: Friday, August 30
Assignment: Relax and Celebrate!
Full post at

Both my honey and I had this Friday off and it was the day our second table top was delivered (Day 17). We utilized that afternoon to take a trip to Ikea to pick up our new chairs, as well as the frames for our soon-to-be-printed photos.

This past Saturday, we hosted our dinner and game night (Day 11). Six of us get together every month or so and it our turn. Our new table worked perfectly for our relaxed evening filled with homemade Indian food*, dominoes, wonderful conversation and a lot of laughs.

*Our feast included the following, all of which I highly recommend:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Style Cure -- Day 17 | New Table!

Day 17: Friday, August 22 and the Weekend of August 23 and 24
Assignment: Paint!
Full post at

Painting is n/a for us but this weekend brought us our new dining room table! 

I was super excited to return home from my hair appointment to see it. Then, as I was leaving the hair salon, I got a text from my honey that read: "There's a problem with how they put it together."


If you have been following my Style Cure posts, you may recall that this is the table we ordered:

See how the top of the tables fits all nice and snug against the base of the table? That's what we expected our table to look like. Instead, we got three corners that look like the catalogue table and one that looks like this:

Yeah, that's not supposed to look like that.

Fast forward an hour and my honey got a call setting up a delivery day for a new table top. Crate & Barrel was worried that the top got damaged and so they are sending an entire new one. It should arrive on Friday. 

I should mention that the table looks fabulous in our home. Fabulous. I will post photos once we have a non-broken one and some chairs. Oh, and in the meantime, we plan to do chair shopping this afternoon. Fingers crossed.

Good thing our dinner and game night party is still a couple weeks away. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Style Cure -- Days 13 - 16 | Playing Catch Up

I should preface with an apology for what I consider to be a fairly boring post. The next post will hopefully include a photo of our new dining room table and some Cuba photos and should be much more engaging. *fingers crossed*

Day 13: Monday, August 19
Assignment: Make some progress on your projects
Full post at

Honestly, I haven't done much related to the Style Cure since purchasing our new dining room table. You know what? I'm okay with that. This week has been nutty and work and working out take up most of my time. The things still on my Style Cure to-do list are:

  • Purchase at least six new dining room chairs
  • Choose, print, frame and hang Cuba photos

I'm not too worried. It'll happen.

Day 14: Tuesday, August 20
Assignment: Go with the flow
Full post at

Improving the energy floor of our home is something I think about quite a bit and I sort of have a plan for various both our dining room and beyond.

Day 15: Wednesday, August 21
Assignment: Free day! Totally up to you
Full post at

Free day? Don't mind if I do.

Day 16: Thursday, August 22
Assignment: Get your room cleared out and ready to paint
Full post at

We aren't painting so this one isn't a big deal. However, I did receive a confirmation call that our new dining room table should be delivered Saturday afternoon! We will be moving our current table and chairs to our garage...and hope to donate them to our church's "Extended Family" program. Our church partners with a local shelter to provide furniture, household furnishing, etc. to families transitioning out of homelessness and helps them move. The program and the people are incredible. INCREDIBLE.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Style Cure -- Days 11 - 12 | Party Planning

Day 11: Thursday, August 15
Assignment: Plan a Get-Together and Send Invites
Full post at

This one was already completed. Woot. We just so happen to get together with two other couples every month or so for a dinner and game night. We alternate homes and the next evening was ours to host. Soooo, our friends will be coming over on Saturday of Labor Day weekend, we will be cooking up a feast of Indian food, and we will most likely play dominoes and Cards Against Humanity.

If you aren't familiar with Cards Against Humanity you should know that it is available for FREE (or already made at Amazon) and is a highly offensive version of Apples to Apples. I recommend that you don't play it with your small, southern mother. Here is an extremely mild sample of what you may encounter:

PS: Our friends are awesome and I look forward to another fabulous evening with them, eating and playing in our re-styled dining room.

Day 12: Friday, August
Assignment: Shop 'til You Drop!
Full post at

Well, you don't have to tell me twice! New dining room table purchased. (Check out this previous post for a photo.) Eeeee! (That's my super excited noise.) We got to pick our delivery date and *fingers crossed* our new table will be delivered this upcoming Saturday!

Please keep in mind that I have owned a hand-me-down (1970s?) kitchen table and chairs, given to me by my parents, since college. Don't get me wrong, the table and chairs are in fantastic shape and have served us well but it is time to move on...and up. We wanted to purchase something that is a better fit for our style and now we can donate our old set to a family in need.

Next up...exploring some local stores for dining room chairs. If all else fails, we can also order those online. However, I hope to find some unique, inexpensive options in person. Our new table will seat eight so our plan is still to get four white chairs (that match) and then two sets of two chairs that are different colors. Our goal is to have at least six chairs by the time our friends arrive for our dinner and game night.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Style Cure -- Days 8 - 10 | Planning

Day 8: Monday, August 12
Assignment: Choose Your Paint Color & Think About Your Decor "Pairing"
Full assignment at 

Day 9: Tuesday, August 13
Assignment: Research Your Decor Pairing Project or Pairing
Full assignment at

Day 10: Wednesday, August 14
Assignment: Make a Shopping List and Set Your Budget
Full assignment at

These three days/assignments all work well together so I am going to summarize...

There are a couple things that I want to work on for this project. We aren't going to do any wall painting but the decor pairing will be two-fold. First, we are planning to invest in a new dining room table and chairs. The table and at least four chairs will be white, with a few colored chairs for contrast and as the decor pairing. Second, I want to print photos from our trip to Cuba to decorate a wall in our dining room and one in our living room. We captured some beautiful and colorful moments. 

Then, I saw this on Pinterest:

one crafty foxx on

I immediately showed my honey and he said, "you want to make those, don't you." YES. Looks like we may be adding a kitchen art project to the Style Cure list. 

Here is our tentative dining room furniture shopping list, although we haven't quite figured out the chairs yet...

Parsons Dining Table w/ White Top & Dark Steel Base. Crate&Barrel.

Slim White Chair. CB2.
Felix Red Side Chair. Crate&Barrel.

Vienna Apple Side Chair. Crate&Barrel.

I was going back and forth a bit on if now is the time to spend the money on new dining room furniture. However, I keep coming back to the fact that we really enjoy having friends and family over and so this is a great investment for more fun at home. Also, cooking at home is much cheaper AND healthier. Decision made. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Style Cure -- Days 4 - 7 | Preparations

Alright, so I'm a little behind in posting updates...

Day 4: Tuesday, August 6
Assignment: Set up a One-Room Outbox
Full assignment at
I love the outbox idea and continue to use this one that I set up during the January Cure.

Day 5: Wednesday, August 7
Assignment: Create a Floor Plan
Full assignment at
Okay, I didn't do this one. It sounded tedious, as I know it is. Also, our dining room is pretty much already set up the way we like it. We will probably just make some small changes later.

Day 6: Thursday, August 8
Assignment: Learn About Color
Full assignment at
I married an artist and one of the perks to that is that I have an in-house color consultant. The previous owners of our house did a decent job with keeping things neutral but not just "renter off-white." We have added color through furniture, fabrics, accessories, etc. but may actually do some painting someday. 

Day 7: Friday, August 9...and the weekend of August 10 & 11
Assignment: Clean Your Room 
Full assignment at
I did some major house cleaning, beyond just our dining room, and laundry this weekend. It turns out we got a jump start on our dining room on Wednesday night when our orange cat named Stella decided to contribute to the project...

I mean, I didn't really care for the mirror but that certainly wasn't how I planned on getting rid of it. 

Good thing she's cute. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Style Cure -- Days 2 & 3 | Style Treasure Hunt & Choose Your Room

Day 2: Friday, August 2...and the Weekend of August 3 & 4
Assignment: Get out and about to take some inspiration photos
Full assignment at 

Sooooo the getting out and about to take some inspiration photos definitely didn't happen this weekend. I got back from a business trip on Friday night and we had an event to attend on Saturday and come Sunday, after a long morning run/walk, all I wanted to do was stay home and do laundry. Thrilling, I know.

However, my honey and I did take some time to flip through our Crate & Barrel and CB2 catalogues and I earmarked some of my favorite dining room shots...since I am 99% sure that I want to focus on our dining room and/or living room for this project.

Classy and clean.

Love pops of color...
Mismatched chairs.

Day 3: Monday, August 5
Assignment: Choose Your Room, Sit for 10 Minutes & Take Before Photos
Full post at

When I found out about the Style Cure, I already knew the room I wanted to focus on, our dining room. (and maybe a bit of our living room since they flow into each other...)

There are some things that I really love about our dining room, including our lighting fixture, teal tablecloth and Crate & Barrel wine cabinet thingy, but this is also a room that could benefit from a quick style update.

Depending on how much time (and money) I end up being able to dedicate to the Style Cure, I also hope to freshen up our living room. One of the things we loved about our home when we first walked in was how open and light the living room, dining room and kitchen are. These are also the spaces where we most often entertain.

Before photo. From the kitchen.

Before photo. From the sliding glass door.

Before photo. From the living room.