Monday, October 21, 2013

White Chicken Chili

It's been slightly cool here lately...perfect soup and chili weather! I made White Chicken Chili yesterday in the Crock Pot. It's super easy and delicious! I got the recipe at a women's fellowship at church a few years ago and it has become a fall/winter regular in our house!

Crock Pot White Chicken Chili
(Originally from

1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken
2 (15 oz) cans great northern beans 
1 (15 oz) can white corn
1 envelope (or 1/4 cup) taco seasoning
1 (4 1/2 oz) can chopped green chiles--I half this because I'm a wimp :)
1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth


Sour cream
Chopped green onions
Monterrey Jack cheese

Place chicken in slow cooker. Top with beans and corn. In a medium bowl, combine taco seasoning, chiles, condensed soup, and chicken broth. Pour over top of ingredients in Crock Pot. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Before serving, stir gently to break up chicken. Serve topped with green onions, cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. 

Notes--Before serving, you can also just add 1/2 cup sour cream to Crock Pot if you want to skip putting on a dollop for each person. Also, I usually cook mine on high for 4-6 hours, or until chicken is done and falling apart. I used just under a pound of chicken tenderloins in mine yesterday, so it was closer to 4 hours because the chicken was on the thinner side. 

Linking up to The Larson Lingo!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five on Friday

Five random thoughts of the day!

1. I'm tired of buying new pumpkins every year just to have them rot, so have been on the lookout for some nice, fake pumpkins on sale. I found these 50% off at Michael's! The blue one is my favorite. All of the blue ones had imperfections on them from being outside, so I asked if they gave a damaged discount, hoping they'd do 10% off or something. The cashier said "Sure!" and took an additional 50% off! I only paid $3 for it and it was originally $15! I was super excited!

2. We've been busy cleaning out the closet in Little Girl's room to make room for her stuff. There are six space bags of Little One's outgrown clothes and guest room bedding waiting to be vacuumed and put into the attic and we still need two more space bags to finish up. Crazy town! But, her closet is emptied out and holding only her stuff in it now! And, I organized all of her clothes by size in clear tubs. Still have a way to go in her room, but hey, it's progress!
Don't you think her closet is screaming for some pink paint and maybe a fun stenciled pattern?! Now to muster up the energy for that... Ha!

3. The ever-popular 2 ingredient pumpkin muffins (1 can pumpkin + one box cake mix, baked at 350 for 20-25 mins--yields 12) continue to be a favorite around our house! I've had them with spice cake, yellow cake, and chocolate cake mix and keep going back to the yellow cake mix version. Of course, we add a third ingredient--chocolate chips! So fast and easy and yummy! Oh and side note, my friend Amy makes these, too, and hers are fluffier than mine. Turns out, she uses the electric mixer to beat the batter instead of stirring with a spoon. Who knew? Thanks for the tip (and the craving for these today!), Amy!

4. My hubby thinks I've gone crazy buying bows for Little Girl. But, seriously, girls need bows! I'm learning all about dressing little girls, and let me tell you, they come with a lot of accessories. Tights...leggings...bows... so much to think about! And just for the record, I've only bought 3 bows! So far... ;) Totally crushing on this bow right now. But, I've been temporarily banned from buying bows. Hahaha! I'll do a post later about my favorite bow shops!

5. We bought this for Little Girl's room and I can't wait for it to get here. I love it SO much! I've been crushing on Katie Daisy's art work for a while now and am excited to have a piece of it in our home!

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bed Rails for the Little Guy

Well, the time has finally come to switch our Little Boy from his crib to a big boy bed. Sniff! Since Little Girl will be using the crib, we couldn't convert the crib into a toddler bed. We looked at buying a toddler bed for Little Boy, but the super practical side of us decided to skip that whole shebang and go straight to a twin sized bed that he could use for years. We did not have a toddler sized blanket/quilt, so we would have needed to buy the bed, mattress, and bedding for a toddler bed, then turn around in a year and buy a twin bed, mattress, and bedding.

We looked around at beds, hoping to find a good deal. Insert hysterical laughter here. Beds are SO expensive! We looked at Target, Overstock, Walmart, etc, but had zero luck finding something decent in white for less than $500. Crazy, especially considering we bought our queen sized bed from Haverty's for $400! Apparently, there is no discount for smaller beds... Next, we checked out Rooms to Go and found a bed for $379. Expensive, but it would last him until he's all tall and getting a deep voice and needs to wear deodorant. :) But, I wasn't super in love with it. On a whim, I checked Pottery Barn Kids and they had their Catalina bed on sale for $399. It's originally $599! Score! We purchased the bed and were on our way to getting the Little Guy all switched to a big boy bed.

Because the bed is a twin, we wanted bed guardrails so he wouldn't fall out of bed at night. I'm not a huge fan of the mesh, fabric ones, so we kept our eye out for wooden rails. Unfortunately, they were $100 a piece and we needed 2! Seriously?! That's half the price of the bed! No can do. I bet you can totally guess what we did, can't you? We decided to just DIY and build some!

We used the Pottery Barn rails as our inspiration and headed to Home Depot to get lumber. We picked up a couple pine boards (they are a little under 1" thick and are 2 1/2" wide) and a rounded router bit and got to work. Well, Jeremy got to work and I took pictures with my phone. :)

He designed the rails super simple and I tweaked the Pottery Barn layout so that the boards were flush with each other instead of the sides sticking up. Jeremy made his cuts, then rounded the edges of the boards with his router. He toenailed the pieces together using his nail gun, then filled in the nail holes with wood filler. Here's the basic plans that we used. The yellow lines are where the nails went. I know you're impressed with my crazy graphic drawing skills aren't you? Ha!

After the rails were assembled, he sanded them down with his orbit sander to get them nice and smooth. Then the fun part...painting. He gave them a coat of primer, then we gave them two coats of white paint.

Now, insert drama because no project is complete without drama, right? We assembled the bed and realized that it was not a true white like we ordered. It was slightly cream. We took it back and exchanged it for another bed. The second one was considerably better, but still slightly darker than all the other white furniture in his room. So aggravating! Thankfully, once we got it in the room, the second bed was much better and looked fine with his other white furniture. But, because the bed rails would be installed right on the bed, the white color difference was more noticeable.

To remedy the problem, I took one of bed finials to Ace and had them color match the white. Then, I had to give the rails two more coats of paint with the color matched paint, then a coat of polyurethane to finish them off. All told, there are six stinking coats of paint on these puppies. Talk about taking forever! Ok, drama over. ;)

To install, we simply screwed the guardrails into the bed rails, making sure our screws were short enough that they wouldn't go through the front. The bottom slats of the bed got in the way a bit, so Jeremy just made a notch in the guardrail to get it in.

Here's the final (totally unstyled) product! 

Between lumber, the router bit, hardware, and the extra cost of the second can of paint, we spent about $45. If we had purchased them at Pottery Barn, they would have cost $200 before tax and their super expensive shipping! We're happy with how they turned out and especially happy with saving $155 by DIYing! Thanks to my amazing hubby for all his hard work!

Linking up to One Project CloserChic on a Shoestring Decorating, Simply Designing, and My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Nursery Bedding Saga

Well, I'm sad to say, we returned the bedding we had purchased for Little Girl's nursery. I was so sad, but it just wasn't working. Sniff. :(

So, let me explain the whole saga to you. Back when we first got pregnant with Little Boy, we picked out a boy bedding set and a girl bedding set that we loved. They were both from Pottery Barn and both had a common color--sage green. When we found out that our little bambino was a boy, we ordered the boy set and filed away the girl set info (Penelope bedding set) in case we ever had a girl. Knowing that the girl bedding we liked had the same green in it that the boy bedding did, we felt comfortable getting a sage green glider for his room. Ever the practical ones that we are, we also made sure to get his crib sheets, changing pad covers, and curtains in sage green as well so we could reuse them if we ever had a girl. 

Now, fast forward a few years and we find out we are pregnant with a girl! Woot! We scoured all of our bedding choices for her, but came right back to the Penelope bedding we had picked out years ago. My vision for the room was brighter colors and I loved the raspberry pink in the bedding. Considering we had liked this bedding for years, we felt comfortable making the purchase and ordered it with much excitement.

Here's the picture that made me fall in love with the bedding...

It arrived and we both loved it, but I will admit that I was disappointed in the color difference from online to real life. The pictures show more raspberry/dark pink, but in actuality, the only dark pink in the bedding is a couple birds on the quilt. There's not a bit of dark pink on the bumper or pillow sham. The pink on those is a medium pink and unfortunately reminded me of Pepto Bismal. Sad. 

This picture is closer to how it looks in real life. It's a tad more Pepto in person. See how the pink is all the medium and light pinks and none of the dark pink like in the first picture?

We decided it would still work, though, because we could paint the walls a darker pink color and could incorporate the dark pink in the curtains and accessorizes to make the room less Pepto. We ordered the dark pink duvet cover to make into curtains (That's a post for another day, but let's just say, my mom rocks!) and brought home a couple paint samples to try out. 

The duvet came in and Mom started to work on the curtains. Guess what? The duvet was not the dark pink shown in the pictures. It was the medium pink color. Sigh. I liked the duvet fabric and love how the curtains are coming along, but was becoming increasingly concerned about how much of the medium pink was in the room. It had quickly become the dominant color.

Here's a phone picture my mom snapped of the curtain fabric. Definitely medium pink, not raspberry.

In my last effort to squelch the anti-acid attack that was taking over the room, I tried out the paint in the dark pink color and a light pink color. The dark pink was such a great color, but it was too dark and bright to use for the entire room. The light pink won. (They both dried darker than the swatches below.)

The nursery colors had been bugging me, but now I felt sick about it. The room I had envisioned with happy raspberry and medium pinks and greens was now a tidal wave of Pepto Bismal with pastel pink walls. The bedding was not cheap in the least and was our splurge for the room. It is very hard for us to splurge in the first place, but keep a splurge that we're not 100% about anymore? Nope, can't do it. I finally came to terms with the fact that the bedding was not working. Back to Pottery Barn it went. Sigh. I truly loved the bedding and am so sad it didn't work out. 

I went back to the drawing board with the bedding and quickly found the Petite Paisley bedding also from Pottery Barn. It was fun and had the bright, cheery vibe I was going for in her nursery. It also had the same pink from the curtains and the same green from the glider and linens, so I knew it would all still match. After belly-aching over it, we finally decided to pull the trigger and order it. As an added bonus, it was on clearance for half off and we had a $10 off coupon! We bought the bumper and the quilt for a grand total of $90. We had gotten back $225 from the bedding we returned, so we did a happy dance for saving $135! 

Here is the new bedding. Guess what? We love it! It's bright and cheerful and is not swimming in a sea of Pepto Bismal. Hooray! I also love that it introduces a pretty aqua blue color. Ahhh, now we're back on track with our vision of a bright and cheerful nursery, not a pastel nursery. So excited!

We will still be accenting the room in birds by painting a branch on the wall and through a special little project I'm cooking up. We love the birds and just couldn't give them up just because we returned the Penelope bedding! Oh, and we did keep the Penelope crib sheets. They have the birds on them and match the new bedding colors!

Oh, and fun fact, we had also picked out Little Girl's name back when we were pregnant the first time. We still loved it this time even after revisiting a bunch of other names and first/middle name combos, so went with it. Thankfully, I haven't changed my mind on that one! Haha!

Now, if you're still reading and haven't fallen asleep trying to get through this crazy long post, go get a cookie. You deserve it! ;) 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Board and Batten Reveal

I'm SO excited to finally be sharing the finished board and batten with you!

Catch up here! Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Ready for Paint

When we last left off, we were ready to paint and thought we could knock out painting in one weekend. Let's laugh at that, ok? :) Thankfully, we had pre-primed boards, but it still took two coats of cutting in and rolling (three coats of rolling in about half the room) to get good coverage. It took 6 hours for each coat because of how much edging there was to do. Jeremy did the first coat on the weekend, then I did the rest during nap times. We tag teamed the pink paint in our typical fashion--I edge, Jeremy rolls, then I touch up. I really love getting to work together on projects with Jeremy! We finished painting last weekend, but there was a lot of clean up and finishing touches left to do.
This weekend, Jeremy reinstalled the quarter round to the baseboards. Because the baseboards are thicker now, he had to make a few minor cuts to get the old quarter round to fit. No big deal, though! Then, I went through and touched up a few spots with paint and Jeremy carried the enitre contents of the garage all the tools he used back to the garage. After the room was emptied, we got down and scrubbed the floors, scraping stray paint off the floor with a food scraper. Then, we declared the whole shebang FINISHED!

Just to refresh your is the room on Day 1 after we ripped the baseboards off and got it all ready for primer .
And...Here it is now!!!!
Doesn't the attic door blend in so much better now?
Excuse the mix of real camera photos and phone photos. I don't have a wide angle lens and this room is very small, so I had a hard time getting photos of it!
Here's the little nook with all the doors. Four to be exact! Crazy!
And a couple detail shots to finish it off!
We LOVE how it turned out! Things in the nursery are going so quickly now! We already put up the crib, added the rug and rocker, and are in the middle of assembling her dresser! Now I get to plan the fun decorating stuff! 

We still have a few finishing touches to do in the room that will make the board and batten even prettier! We're going to replace all of the outlets with white outlets (the actual outlets are off white right now) and replace all of the gold knobs and hinges with brushed silver hardware. 

And, in case anyone is wondering, the pink is called Panache Pink by Sherwin Williams. We've been getting the Harmony No-Voc paint from Sherwin Williams ever since we were pregnant with Little Boy and LOVE it. It has such good coverage and hardly any smell! 

Thanks for following along with our board and batten project! It may have taken us a month, but we love the results! 


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall 2013 Door Decor

Last stop on our fall home tour is the front porch! I loved the leaf wreath I made last year, but the preserved leaves faded in the sun by the end of fall, so I couldn't reuse it this year. I decided to go a different route with this year's wreath and try something that wouldn't fade. I may make a new leaf wreath to use indoors next year, though!

I bought a fall berry garland at Michael's with a 40% off coupon. I clipped it in half, then attached half with floral wire to a grapevine wreath. Then, I staggered the other half of the garland on top to fill in the gaps and attached it with floral wire as well.

I painted some burlap ribbon in a chevron print, then used it to make the bow, again attaching it with floral wire. Floral wire is more of a pain than just using hot glue, but I like that I can remove everything if I get tired of it and want to repurpose the grapevine wreath.

I went super simple with the porch decor this year. We are planning to go to the pumpkin patch this year and will add our pumpkins to the decor when we get back. My mums are not doing well at all again this year. I can't figure it out! I baby these things! They are nice and green and get a lot of buds, but then the buds die before they open. I've been keeping them watered as instructed, but still no luck. Any tips on keeping mums alive? I think I just have black thumbs.

Linking up to Southern Hospitality!

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