Archive | Housewarming

How to Create a Thanksgiving Kids Table

We’re less than a week away from the big day!  Thanksgiving that is!  What will you be doing this weekend to get ready?  Use my planning printables to help you get the turkey on the table in time.  I know I’ll be making my grocery and shopping lists!  Plus, I’m breaking tradition and probably going to be putting the tree up before Thanksgiving this weekend.  I’m just feeling in the spirit I guess.  Maybe because it snowed yesterday, so it feels like Christmas already.

If you need some more Thanksgiving inspiration, look no further.  Especially if you have kids that will be partaking in your feast.  Did anyone else grow up with a kids table on Thanksgiving day?  I didn’t really, but I’d love to sit at the kids table I put together for you today!

Click here for ideas on setting up a kids Thanksgiving Table so cute you'll want to sit there too!You’ll need a few key things to keep the kids entertained while hopefully eating turkey and not just dessert.  First, if you have a table that is just the right height for little guests, they’ll feel more comfortable in their space.  Plus you won’t have to worry about them falling off of tall chairs.

Next, I highly suggest putting some butcher paper or kraft paper down as a base.  It creates an easy clean-up and allows kids to color away while they wait to eat.

Click here for ideas on setting up a kids Thanksgiving Table so cute you'll want to sit there too!Then, be sure to use paper plates.  There is no need to have to risk your china or even casual plates getting broken, chipped, or drawn on.  I also recommend paper or plastic cups.  They are so much lighter for little hands to pick up.  Cocktail sized plastic cups are the perfect size for my two year old.

Plastic flatware is also a great choice since little hands barely use them anyway.  Why use a perfectly good fork when you have your hands?!

Click here for ideas on setting up a kids Thanksgiving Table so cute you'll want to sit there too!

Click here for ideas on setting up a kids Thanksgiving Table so cute you'll want to sit there too!Now, I’m pretty sure restaurants are on to something with the coloring sheets and crayons they have to keep kids occupied.  So incorporate that into your Thanksgiving kids table.  Add a jar, basket, or individual boxes of crayons to the table and let the kids go wild.  They’ve got a great spot to color on the butcher paper.

Click here for ideas on setting up a kids Thanksgiving Table so cute you'll want to sit there too!Or provide some themed coloring sheets for them to decorate.  It’s pretty easy to find a Thanksgiving coloring book that you can tear a few pages out of, or just print some off after a quick Pinterest search.  Better yet, Pier 1 has these great Thanksgiving activity placemats.

Click here for ideas on setting up a kids Thanksgiving Table so cute you'll want to sit there too!If your kids get tired of coloring, I mean their attention spans barely exist, try an activity.  I purchased these turkey headbands at Hobby Lobby.  They will let the kids at your Thanksgiving spend a few minutes sticking feathers and turkey faces onto squishy foam.  I’d recommend tying the elastic strap for them, but once they’re done, it will be so fun for them to wear while eating.

Click here for ideas on setting up a kids Thanksgiving Table so cute you'll want to sit there too!There you have it.  A few things to help keep the kids entertained so you can enjoy your wine, or second helping of turkey and gravy.  Do you plan on having a kids table on Thanksgiving?  Try to incorporate a few of these ideas to make your kids table so cute and even more functional!

There’s more Thanksgiving inspiration next week too!  Hostess gifts and cocktail recipes are coming at you.  Between the planning guide and everything next week, you’ll be set for a great Thanksgiving!

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Creating A Moscow Mule Bar

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you got a sneak peak at today’s blog post.  If you don’t follow me, you should!  For our recent housewarming party, I whipped up three varieties of Moscow Mules and created a Moscow Mule bar.  Keep reading for all the details, drink recipes, and tips.

Pinterest Graphic-Moscow Mule BarA Moscow Mule is a deliciously refreshing cocktail with only a few ingredients.  The classic Moscow Mule is just lime juice, vodka, and topped off with ginger beer.  Three ingredients for one awesome cocktail.

Classic Moscow MuleHowever, there are so many variations to this type of cocktail that still have the essence of a Moscow Mule.  I wanted to make a variety of them with different flavors and types of alcohol to appeal to all of our guests at our housewarming party.   I scoured Pinterest (you should follow me there, too!) to find three that I thought would work.  They are all a little different, but they are all delicious.

The first cocktail for our Moscow Mule bar was a Ginger Peach Vodka Moscow Mule.  I liked the idea of having a vodka mule and the peaches I’ve gotten this summer have been absolutely amazing.  With such great peaches, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to include them in a cocktail.

Ginger Peach Vodka Moscow MuleGinger Peach Moscow Mule Recipe

3 large ripe peaches
1 one-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
6 ounces Smirnoff Vodka
Ice for serving
2 cups ginger beer soda (be sure to look for ginger beer, not ginger ale)
Lime, lemon, or peach wedges, for garnish

Step 1. Make the puree: Cut the peaches in half and remove pit (do not peel). Slice the peaches, reserving four slices for garnish. Combine the rest of the peach slices in a blender with the peeled ginger root, lemon juice, and water. Puree until very smooth then strain through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding any solids and keeping only the smooth puree.

Step 2. To make the cocktail, combine 1 cup of the puree with the vodka in a large shaker filled with ice and shake until frosty. Divide the peach and Smirnoff vodka mixture evenly into four Moscow Mule mugs or cocktail glasses filled with ice.

Step 3. Pour 1/2 cup ginger beer into each mug. Garnish with a lime or lemon wedge and a fresh peach slice.

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I was in a bit of a hurry when making this batch of cocktails so I didn’t strain the puree and boy were those cocktails thick.  So, if I were to make it again, I’d definitely be sure to do that part.  Or, you could also muddle the peaches, ginger, lemon juice, and water in the bottom of a shaker and strain that way.

The second type of Moscow Mule was my favorite, a Cucumber Mint Gin Mule.  It’s so refreshing and light.

Cucumber Mint Gin Moscow MuleCucumber Mint Gin Moscow Mule Recipe

2 oz. Gin

4 Mint Leaves

1 Lime

2 Quarter Inch Slices of Cucumber, peeled

4-6 oz. Ginger Beer

Step 1. Muddle the lime juice and cucumber in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.

Step 2.  Add gin, mint leaves, and ice to the shaker.  Shake for about 20 seconds.

Step 3. Pour over ice and top with ginger beer.

Gin Moscow MuleFor our housewarming party I made a pitcher sized batch of all the drinks.  For this version I placed the lime juice and cucumbers in a blender then added the gin and mint to the pitcher.  It was a good way to make a larger amount, but just like the first cocktail it was a little thick.  I’d recommend straining the cucumber/lime puree before using it in the cocktail to take out any large pieces.

Gin Moscow Mule1The last Moscow Mule cocktail was made using tequila.  It’s a Moscow Margarita!  These were very strong thanks to my poor job at math trying to turn the recipe into a pitcher sized amount.

Margarita Moscow Mule Recipe

1 OZ Lime Juice {fresh squeezed if possible}

3 OZ Ginger Beer

1 1/2 OZ Tequila  I used Don Julio Blanco, but any 100% agave tequila will do.

1/2 OZ Cointreau or another orange liqueur

1/2 OZ Simple Syrup

Course Salt

Step 1. Start with making the simple syrup by placing equal parts of water and sugar in a small saucepan. I used 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 sugar. Warm over medium heat stirring until the sugar dissolves. Let cool.

Step 2. Use fresh squeezed lime juice if possible or bottled if you are short on time.

Step 3. Stir (do not shake) all the ingredients together. Serve over ice and garnish with a lime.

This recipe is so easy, especially if you already have some simple syrup on hand.  It’s really just mixing a few things together.  I didn’t get many pictures of the margarita ingredients because I used them all for our party last weekend, but they aren’t too difficult to imagine.

Here are all of the lovely cocktails together!

Moscow Mule Varieties

Margarita Mule | Ginger Peach Moscow Mule | Cucumber Mint Gin Mule

To create my Moscow Mule Bar for our housewarming party, I made pitcher sized batches of all the cocktails, placed them on a tray, with a sign and their garnishes.  I thought it was a pretty display.  Unfortunately, we don’t have copper mugs which are traditionally used to serve these cocktails.  However, the traditional anniversary gift for year seven is copper, so I think we may be getting some for our wedding anniversary soon!

Housewarming-Moscow Mule Bar

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My biggest tip when setting up a Moscow Mule bar like this is to be sure your guests know that they have to add ginger beer to their cocktails.  Most of my guests initially thought the mixture in the pitcher was the entire cocktail and got quite a shock when they realized it was pretty much all alcohol.  So, I’d recommend either mixing the cocktail up for your guests if that’s a possibility, having ginger beer prestaged in classes for them to add the mixes to, or making a much larger sign instructing them to add ginger beer to their drinks.

Well there you have it!  All of the recipes and tips on creating your own Moscow Mule Bar.  Who wants to go whip up a cocktail now?

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A Bright Housewarming Party

It’s been five months since we’ve moved into our new house.  We finally thought it was time to have a housewarming party.  We’ve actually had a couple other smaller parties already but this one was focused just on our house.

Pinterest Graphic-HousewarmingI wanted our home to show off during the party so I didn’t have a theme or really decorate at all.  A few floral arrangements around the house was all the decorating I did.  It was nice to not spend a lot of time decorating for a party.  I think it’s important for a housewarming party to use the decor you have to show off your design style making it cohesive with how you want your home to feel.

Housewarming-DiningI loved this wooden art we purchased for our dining room.  It really captures what I want our home to be, a gathering place.  The warmth of the wood really helps to make this area feel not so cold.

Housewarming-SignUnfortunately, we were running behind setting everything up, so I didn’t get a ton of pictures of the food, drinks, or outside, but I’ll share with you what I do have and go into more detail over the next week or so.

The Full Menu

Smoked Chicken Wings-Regular, Honey BBQ, Hot, Garlic Parmesan

Sweet Potato and Regular Fries

Mini Wedge Salads

Crudite Plate

Roasted Garlic Hummus with a Yogurt Sauce and Veggie Salsa

Lumpia

A Variety of Dipping Sauces

Housewarming-Hummus

Roasted Garlic Hummus With Yogurt Sauce and Veggie Salsa

Housewarming-Salad

Housewarming-Fries

Sweet Potato and Regular Fries

This was by far the biggest party we’ve had at our new house, so there were a range of ages and friends.  We invited neighbors, friends, and coworkers.  With such a diverse crowd I tried to make sure there were things to appeal to everyone.  Simple things like making sure there were non-alcoholic drink options, kids drink options, and labeling the food with any sort of dietary information.  We have some friends and neighbors with allergies, so labeling things that had nuts, dairy, eggs, or gluten was really helpful.

Speaking of drinks, we had a Moscow Mule Bar that was absolutely delicious.  Here’s a sneak peak at the full post coming up later this week.

Housewarming-Moscow Mule BarAll three varieties were really good, strong, but good.  I’ll give you the full recipes and my tips and tricks for your own moscow mule bar later this week.

Overall, I think it was a successful party.  I didn’t feel as prepared as usual, but everything turned out fine.  It was nice to open our home to all of our friends and neighbors.  I think we were able to show off our house, plus setting a date for the housewarming kicked our butts in gear to get things done around the house.  Next time, I’ll probably cater the food though.  With so many people it was a little overwhelming to cook and prepare so much.

Be sure to come back later this week to see all the details on making a Moscow Mule Bar!

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New Home Tour

It’s the day you’ve all been waiting for, it’s time for our new home tour!  Everyone’s been asking to see pictures of the inside of our new house because I just keep teasing everyone with this picture of the outside.  These are the pictures we took when we were first viewing the house so they are raw, empty rooms, but I think it’s great to see the space totally free of anything then to see how we fill them up.  I’ll be putting my plans for each room down on “paper” here to hopefully set some ideas and goals in place and share with you what I want this house to look like.  Plus it will be fun to come back and see if the rooms turned out the way I thought they would.

As promised yesterday I won’t be as wordy, so just enjoy all the pictures.

The Front of the House

House PictureWe still have to put a yard in, and I’m sure some green grass will make this house pop.  I also need to find carriage lights for either side of the garage, and would love to do a fun front door color if our HOA allows it.

The Front Door/Entry

New Home TourThe Downstairs Office

New Home TourThere are glass french doors leading to what is my husband’s office just to the right once you come in the front door.  We’ve already gotten some bookshelves and storage in place, and we need to refinish a desk before it really looks like an office.  He’s so happy to reclaim some “man” space in this house.

The Half Bath

New Home TourNothing crazy here, just a toilet and sink, but I’m planning on a using some blue and white art and pops of kelly green in here to give it some color.  I really want to DIY this thin ladder too.

The Kitchen

New Home TourOnce I turned the corner of the entry and saw this kitchen I was pretty much sold.  I love the clean white cabinets, the marble-esqe granite, and the blue-ish/green tile backsplash (which I pet frequently). We have since purchased a refrigerator and I plan to get some industrial/rustic bar stools.  I also have a little coffee station set up for my husband.  I don’t want to clutter the counters too much (even though they are in a state of disaster mid-move in), but adding some wooden cutting boards and containers will really warm the space up.

The Dining Room

New Home TourThe lighting in this photo is pretty bad, but you can tell that our paint color is a true greige because it looks grey most of the time, but very beige in this photo.  Other than plopping down our table, not much has happened here.  I would love to change out the lighting fixture for a horizontal chandelier, like this.

The Living Room

New Home TourI love all of the crisp colors and cleanliness of the room.  I especially love the color of the hardwood floors, not too dark, not too light, not oak colored, not red, they’re perfect.  We’ve added our furniture, a new TV, and some accessories and it’s coming together.  I have plans to put some large coastal charts on the walls but still need to get them framed.  I also really want to add a chunky, reclaimed wood mantle.  I think it will warm up the fireplace area #seewhatididthere, and add a little rustic to a somewhat modern fireplace design.

Here’s another view looking back toward the kitchen and dining area.  This house is the definition of open floor plan.

New Home TourThe Pantry

New Home TourI’m so excited to have a dedicated pantry and love that there are solid shelves so nothing falls through.  I’m thinking labeled containers and storing lots of serving ware and vases in here.  Some of that I’ve already done.

The Laundry Room

New Home TourSince we first visited there have been cabinets installed which are great for storing away laundry and cleaning supplies.  We also put our new washer and dryer in here and the gun metal grey color of them look great in here.  It’s going to be so nice to have one central area for cleaning supplies, I’m hoping to organize them on a peg board.

Upstairs Nook

New Home TourThis is the landing at the top of the stairs that will be a great place for fun vignettes and seasonal decor.

Playroom/Upstairs Office

New Home TourThere is a loft space upstairs that we’ve turned into a shared playroom for my daughter and an office/craft space for me.  I can already say that sharing a space with my daughter is fantastic.  I can work while she does puzzles, reads, or makes a “snack” in her play kitchen.  The only problem is figuring out the furniture placement, it’s proving to be a little difficult, or maybe I’m just not decisive enough.  I’d love to have a really girly color scheme in here with pinks, teals, and florals.  You can see what I’m thinking on my Color Scheme Pinterest board, and be sure to follow me on Pinterest to see all of my home inspiration boards.

Master Bedroom

New Home TourOur master bedroom is so much bigger than our last one, it’s almost a little weird to be able to walk around our bed without banging my knees into anything.  We’re not doing anything too different than how our room was set up in our last house.

The Master Bathroom

New Home TourOur master bathroom is also huge!  There is so much space that my husband is also getting a coffee bar in here too!  He loves coffee!  It’s nice that I’ll be able to be a little decorating in here too.

The Master Closet

New Home TourEverything in this house is just bigger than our last.  Thank goodness we’ve got plenty of room for both mine and my husband’s clothes, shoes, and accessories.  I’ve already added some storage for shoes and accessories, now I just need to make the space a little cuter.

Daughter’s Room

New Home TourShe will be getting an upgrade within the next few months to more of a little girls room than a nursery and it’s going to be a lot more girly.  Think pink, gold, and creams!

The Hall Bathroom

New Home TourThe Guest Room

New Home TourThe Guest Bathroom

New Home TourWe have plenty of space for visitors which is nice since we’re so much closer to our family in Colorado than we were in Southern California.

Well, that’s pretty much every square inch of our house.  I hope you like it as much as I do!  We’ll be working hard over the next few weeks to get things more organized and decorated and as I make progress I’ll be sure to update the Home Tour.

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We’re Moving!

Well the day has come, whether we’re ready or not. It’s moving day!  Time to put the last five years of our life into boxes and say good bye.  It’s bittersweet, but now that the movers are here and we’re living out of suit cases, I’m ready to get this show on the road and get our life started in Colorado!

I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the next few weeks while we pack up, say good bye, and start our trek cross country. We plan on making it a fun trip by doing some sight seeing and visiting friends.  Be sure to follow along on Instagram to see all of our adventures along the way.  Plus, who wants to be in a car with a toddler for longer than 6 hours at a time, so we’ve got to break up our trip somehow.

San Diego to DenverI’ll be sure to post a full tour of the new house shortly after we arrive, so be sure to come back to see the inside of this beauty!

House PictureI just ask for your thoughts and prayers during our drive and throughout this transition, and thanks for all of the well wishes we’ve already received.  I’m very excited about this new chapter of our lives and think only good things are to come!

See you back here in a few weeks, but be sure to check out Instagram and my Facebook page for periodic updates!

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Celebrating everyday!