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Sunday, December 4, 2016

First Snowfall

Happy Sunday! Today's my first full day being back home after a long work conference in Omaha this week. I got back yesterday afternoon. (More to come about the conference soon!) Today, after finally getting a full night's sleep, I woke up to the first snowfall of the year. 

This morning, I'm watching a movie while the snow falls down. Even though they've only been saying 1-3 inches, now it's looking like more than that.


It's so pretty when it's falling, and as it first starts to cover everything outside. But, I'm not looking forward to driving in it!


When I first put the tree up for the season, I discovered that the top lights went out. Trent thought it was a fuse, but after looking at it closer, nothing seemed to get them to come back on. So, we picked up a small string of lights from the store, and I added them to the top of the tree.

They blend in pretty well, don't you think? Now the tree looks the way it should be again. :)


I guess we will continue to watch the snow fall and see how many inches we end up with!


I have a feeling we're going to get a lot more than the 1-3 inches they say we'll get. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend

Hello all, did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? After a long holiday weekend, it's now Sunday, and we're spending the day at home today.

My weekend consisted of watching a lot of movies, amid getting together with family, and binge-watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Netflix. Anybody else finish the series already? AMAZING!


We had the usual Thanksgiving get-togethers with family on Thursday. And Friday was my Gilmore Girls watching day. Complete with coffee. What else?!


I also managed to take all of the fall decorations down, and put up the Christmas tree and some holiday decor. If you look closely at the tree though, the top lights are out. :( Trent thinks it's a fuse and is going to look at it. Hopefully he can get the lights working again.

We've been using this same tree since 2010, when I moved in. This is the first year the tree is in this corner of the room. Changing things up this year because of our new sectional sofa!


Of course I got my holiday pillows out again, too.


Today I'm hoping to finish up the front porch. Then this Tuesday I'm leaving for Omaha, Nebraska for work. Planning to be home again on Saturday. Have a great last day of your weekend, everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2016

6 Year Housiversary

Today marks 6 years we've been living in this house together. Hard to believe it's been that long! Each year comes with new memories and adventures, and we wouldn't have it any other way.


Each year, we've completed renovation projects in this house, both big and small. This year was a big one - the hallway, which we worked on year after year and finally completed this summer.


It nice to have a "brand new" hallway in this old house, and with each project complete, it seems like our house gets a little more homier for us. It's been some hard work along the way, but the reward of being done with a project is always the best part!

I'll always have good memories of moving into this house, and the projects we've worked on from our very first renovation to where we are now.

And though it is starting to cool down outside, this year is nothing like last year's Housiversary - when we had our first snowfall of the season, and it came in full force! Remember this?


Thankfully, we haven't gotten snow yet, and it's been a very mild fall here. I hope we don't get 6 inches of snow any time soon! I'm not ready for that yet. I don't even know if I'm ready to decorate for Christmas yet... I think I'll wait a little bit longer! :)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

November Saturday Morning

Happy Saturday morning everyone! Hope you all are enjoying your day. I haven't had the inspiration to blog much lately, but when this was what I walked into in the kitchen today, I couldn't help but share:


Saleen has a new bed, and she loves it. She cuddles up to the sides of the bed, and if I had to guess, I'd say she's been getting the best sleep she's gotten in years! :)

This morning, Trent is working, and I've been sitting on the couch drinking my morning coffee and watching The Choice. It's nice to be able to sleep in and wake up whenever I want to. Aren't lazy weekends the best?


I will have to get ready pretty soon though, for my cousin's wedding reception. But, anywho, I promise to blog more this winter and during the holiday season! I've been absent too much this month :)

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fall Style Board Challenge

Even though we're now well into November, there's still time to talk about incorporating cozy autumn decorative touches in the home! So today, with a little inspiration from the Douglas Elliman real estate firm's Florida office, I'm sharing a fun style board to help you bring fall accents into a room. 

Adding fall accents to my home's decor is one of my favorite things about getting ready for the colder months. I like to add in cozy, warm linens, layered textures, and fall colors like oranges and golds. 

An easy way to bring fall into your home is to start with a neutral canvas. Let's take the living room, for example. Start with a tan, gray, or beige sofa, along with neutral curtains and rug that you can keep as a staple year-round. Then switch out accessories like throw pillows, blankets, and candles as the seasons change. The best thing about this method is that you can find inexpensive decor accessories just about anywhere. Most of the items below can be found at stores like Target, Pier 1, or World Market.

Here's a look at my Fall style board (sources with links are below):


Sources:
1. Curtains - World Market
2. Tan accent pillow - World Market
3. Faux birch LED candles - Pier 1
4. Scented candle - Bath & Body Works
5. Faux fur pillow - Target
6. Copper mugs - Pier 1
7. Sofa - Joss & Main
8. Gray knit throw - Target
9. Orange pillow - Target
10. Rug - Joss & Main
11. Plaid throw - Target

And just for fun, here are a few more decor accessories and items that are all super affordable and remind me of fall! Again, the sources for each item are below.

Other fall decor accents I love:
Sources:
Top row:
1. Scented Candle - Bath & Body Works
2. Branch string lights - World Market
3. Vine pumpkins - Pier 1
4. Cornucopia accent - World Market

Middle row:
5. Gray pillar candles - Pier 1
6. Dancing orchids - Z Gallerie
7. Thankful pillow cover - West Elm
8. Mondu wave mug - Pier 1

Bottom row:
9. Drum shade - World Market
10. Ivory chenille throw - World Market
11. Fox mug - World Market
12. White chenille pillow - Target

I hope this inspires you to add your favorite touches of fall to your home! 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Chicago Trip, and Cubs win the World Series!

What a week it's been! Wednesday night, the Cubs won the World Series! It was such a crazy game, full of ups and downs, and it left us all on the edge of our seats watching. Trent and I both screamed with excitement after the final play in the 10th, when Bryant threw the ball to Rizzo at first to make that final out of the game and seal the Cubs' championship win. It was the most exciting game we'd ever seen for us Cubs fans.

Just a few days before though, Trent and I went up to Chicago for the weekend. We had originally just planned to see one of our favorite bands, Green River Ordinance play at a small venue, and have a pretty low-key weekend. But, the World Series schedule meant the Cubs would be playing at Wrigley that night, so that changed our plans a little bit!



We found out that Trent's cousin Jessica and her husband were going up to Chicago to celebrate in Wrigleyville, so we met up with them - after we went up in the Willis Tower. We had never been there before, so we got to cross something off our Chicago bucket list while there.


We all ate at Giordano's and checked out Harry Caray's, which was a little too busy that night to wait for a table. But we caught the first part of the game during dinner at Giordano's, then took the El down to Wrigley.


Even though the Cubs lost that night, the area around the stadium was still full of excitement and tons of Cubs fans. It would be their second loss in a row, but we were still hopeful the Cubs would get their groove back. Who would have thought though, that they would come back to win 3 times in a row and clinch the entire series!


It was such a fun night, and we even made it back to the venue in time to see Green River Ordinance play! They sang our wedding song, "Dancing Shoes," which was just one of the coolest moments of the night for us.



They even came out into the audience and sang right in the middle of the crowd. Literally less than a foot in front of us. It was an amazing show.


Since our Chicago trip, the Cubs went on to win, and we celebrated the rest of the week. Trent even went up on Friday for the parade with his friend Leo. Unfortunately, there were so many people there that they didn't even get close enough to see it! But they celebrated in Wrigleyville afterward, and got to enjoy the fireworks that were set off over Wrigley Field.

To make a great week even better, Trent got a new job offer and starts next Monday! He's looking forward to it, and excited to start this new chapter of his life.

Needless to say, we have had an amazing week and have enjoyed our Cubbies finally breaking the 108 year curse! Looking forward to the documentary and movie that is sure to follow this one. :)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Baseball Pumpkins (Go Cubs!)

Is there anything more exciting at the end of October than watching your team in the World Series, especially when it's the Cubs?! Trent and I have been watching every game, from the playoffs until now. Us Cubs fans are all hoping this is the YEAR!
That said, these are the pumpkins gracing our porch this October! Gotta cheer on our Cubbies.


I painted both last weekend. A slight change from my painted pumpkins of last year.


One thing's for sure - "We ain't afraid of No Goat!" (In the words of Bill Murray).


You know we all believe that we can win the World Series this year, but honestly, whether we win or lose in the end, this season has been nothing short of amazing for the Cubs!

P.S. - My blog was recently featured in the article, "25 Blogs, Resources and Tips for Remodeling a Fixer-Upper Home" from GarageCabinets.com. Check out the link and scroll down to the "Blogs" section to see a nice little blurb about This Little House of Mine! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Date Night at Central Standard

This past Friday night, Trent and I had a little date night. After I got home from work, we went to a restaurant we had never been to before called Central Standard in Bettendorf. It's a newer place, and it has kind of a contemporary, sports bar atmosphere.

We liked it, though it does seem like it gets very busy on weekends. It touts "Burgers, Beer and Stuff," and that's exactly what it is. 


They have 24 beers on tap, including some seasonal selections. I tried the Pumpkick beer from New Belgium. I liked it, but not as well as Leinie's Harvest Patch Shandy. (That's my favorite pumpkin beer.) Trent liked his beer, too, though I don't remember which he got. Something weird, I'm sure!


The food was ok - we got cheese curds for an appetizer, but I wasn't too into my veggie burger. It was a little too different for me, and had a cauliflower taste to it. But it was nice to have a night out to ourselves. 

Next time we go back, I think we'll just go for the milk shakes - apparently they have a Birthday Cake Shake with Rum Chata, and a Sweet and Salty Shake with Kahlua. Those sound amazing!

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Our House, Fall 2016

I snapped a couple of photos of the front of our house the other day. Even though it's fall, the leaves on the trees by our house haven't quite turned yet.


It was a pretty windy day, so the corn stalks on our porch blew over! We've fixed them since, but it's kind of comical to see them all wind-blown in these photos. Plus, look at the flag - it's blowing like crazy!


The above photo is actually a panorama. Makes things look a little distorted, but it shows the whole front yard and all the leaves that have fallen so far.


It's not perfect, and there is still a ton of work left to do on this house, but it's our little house, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Cheesy Corn Casserole Recipe

So, this is perhaps THE most favorite dish in our house right now. And I'm about to share this super easy recipe with you today. For Cheesy Corn Casserole!


I love mac n' cheese and corn, so when you mix the two together, it's pretty much awesome in my book. I make Trent cook this all the time. :)


I've seen a ton of variations online, but Trent likes to experiment with his own, so this is his version. The below recipe makes enough for a small family meal (both of us had enough for 2 helpings plus a little extra). For a bigger group, I would double this.

Ingredients:
1 can cream corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1 cup pasta (rotini or elbow macaroni)
1/2 lb Velveeta cheese
Handful shredded cheddar cheese
Optional: garlic and onion for garnish


Directions:

  1. Add cans of cream and whole kernel corn together in a casserole dish, and mix in a cup of pasta. 
  2. Add small blocks of Velveeta cheese, spreading evenly around dish.
  3. Blend all ingredients together.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour, covered.
  5. Take out and spread a layer of shredded cheddar cheese and garnish on top.
  6. Bake for another 1/2 hour, uncovered, at same temp.


A couple of notes:

  • A lot of variations I've seen use butter in this, too, but we like it just fine without it. 
  • We've used elbow macaroni in the past, but last time we used rotini (the spiral noodles), and found it to be just as good!


Hope you enjoy!
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