Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Budget Friendly Guide to the Nordstrom Winter Sale

Nordstrom is one of my very favorite stores. Being in Des Moines, when Nordstrom Rack showed up on the retail scene last year, I did a little jump for joy. While I enjoy popping in from time to time, by wallet prefers that I don't too often. All too often though,I find myself browsing the Nordstrom website and looking at pretties and sometimes they find their way into my cart, and rarely will I even check out, but it does happen ;)

The winter sale is going on now, and here are some of my favorite budget friendly items! It's still holiday spending recovery time for me, but at these prices you can check out guilt free! Or you can get these as gifts for friends and family at really great prices. Either way :)

All Items are under $20!






$7.00 each

And if you are like me, you will buy next year's holiday gifts on sale now and hoard them in your basement, forget about them, buy something else, then find them again and hope you remember the next year to actually use or gift them {whew, that made me tired, and inspired to use a spreadsheet for gifts!}



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cooking with an Instant Pot

I received an Amazon gift card for some freelance interior design consultations {yes, I do freelance, email me if you are interested, or comment below :)} and bought something on my Amazon wish list. The Instant Pot has been around for a while, and I am joining in with my love for this machine. 

The first recipe we tried was Skinny Taste Chicken Enchilada Soup, and it knocked it out of the park. It was so good, and so easy. 

I made a quick lunch on Sunday with some chicken drummies, BBQ rub, and some broth, and the meat just fell off the bone. 

Skinny Taste and Pinterest have been great for finding recipes to use this with, and it is just as easy to use as advertised. I am now on the lookout for more easy recipes, because making dinner with this after getting home from work and picking up the kids is going to be clutch. I am sure many of you can agree that quick and healthy meals on a weeknight make that evening routine so much easier on your sanity. Maybe saving that glass or 2 of wine for another night when needed?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Welcome Home Magazine - Des Moines February & March 2017

SO this was a fun little treat to a project I worked on last year. The home was featured in a local magazine as a feature. I adored this family, and enjoyed working with them immensely. 

I don't have any of the photos except what is in the magazine after they moved into the house, but my photos of the finished house without furnishings are pretty great too!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Bower Book Club

The Nightingale - This may be the best book I've read. I cannot say enough good things about it, and I could not put it down. I am thinking about a re-read again in the next few months.

Small Great Things - This is a wonderful book and another that I had a hard time putting down. I have loved almost every book by Jodi Picoult, and while some tug my heartstrings a bit more than others, her books are very well written, and thought provoking.

Commonwealth - Meh. I had a hard time getting into this book, or even seeing the point of this book. It was just not very interesting, and I kept waiting for something to happen, or a shoe to fall, so to speak, and then it just ended. Disappointing. 

The Hopefuls - meh. Although it ranks as a meh, I did somewhat enjoy it. I am very interested in DC politics and the social life that accompanies it, but this was another that was not as well written as I had hoped. I thought the main characters could have been fleshed out a bit more as to understand their personalities and why they do what they do. 

The Good Girl - Fantastic! Very, very good book. It was a bit suspense, and a bit mystery, but overall a page turner. I highly recommend this book. 

The Girl you left behind - Excellent! I first got into the author by reading her most famous book, Me Before You, and this is very different than that, and dare I say better? Although I did not sob at the end of it like I did for Me Before You, so there is that. 

Big Little Lies - Great! I first read What Alice Forgot by this author, and then promptly read almost all of her other books including the Husbands Secret and this one. I think Big Little Lies is her best to date. I am anxiously awaiting the HBO mini-series based on the book! Look at that cast! I have a feeling it is going to be good. No show or movie ever lives up the book. EVER. I can still enjoy it though!

Join me on goodreads to see what I am reading and what I think of each book. I have joined the reading challenge again this year, and am so far ahead of schedule, but we will see how spring and summer shake out when I am outside a lot with my family. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What I am digging...

Here is what I am digging this week. 

This new phone accessory. The brand name version is called a PopSocket, but I found this one to work well. I made the mistake of moving the position of it on my phone case, and had to use a drop of super glue to get it to stay, but overall I love it. 

Great for all those selfies I take... just kidding. But it does help to grip your phone. 

I am purging our home! Toys, clothes, etc. Nothing is safe. I have a bin of toys to donate, and bags of clothes to swap and donate as well. This is what our living room has looked like since Sunday. I need to sit down with some wine and trashy TV on in the background and just get it done. 

wish me luck!

Monday, January 30, 2017

What I am loving lately

Amazon used books. I was looking for this book after hearing her radio show on Sirius Radio Andy, and the kindle version was $9.99. Not outrageous, but I am trying to curb by book budget this year and use the library more. Once I saw that used hardcovers were going for $3.00 with free Prime shipping, I added that to my cart so fast. It arrived in practically brand new condition in 2 days. This might be a new practice of mine!

I had a few minutes in between work appointments, and stopped into Homemakers to look around at furniture and decor. I have been wanting to make a sign just like this for above our pantry, and for the price I got it for, I could not have made it any cheaper {considering I had a gift card for $64.60 after a price adjustment to our bed we bought last year, it came to $64.59!!}. However, I am not a huge Fixer Upper fan, it's alright, but it all ends up looking the same. It gets to be a bit one-note. The Magnolia Home line had a lot of really great pieces that I can work with if I don't pair them all together. 

That's the key. 

Layering and moderation. 

I have had my Grandmothers hope chest since she passed a few years ago. It's been sitting in our garage, and we finally have room for it in the house. After purging some of the kids toys and relocating them to their rooms or the basement, we had this corner that was open, and it fits perfectly. It stores our blankets and it means so much to me to be able to have it in our home. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Favorites!

We've been binge watching an episode or two most nights for the last few months of West Wing. The politics and alternate universe where Jed Bartlet is our president is much more palatable than the current climate. 

Obama - Biden Forever!


This is Us

This is just the best show. It's back on after the holiday break and it keeps getting better! #TeamRandallAndBeth



This new to me cookbook is pretty amazing. It has healthy food and meal ideas that I know my family will eat. There are quite a few recipes that use a pressure cooker, which is next on our kitchen wish list. Anyone have a model they love? Some friends of ours got one over the holidays and are raving about it. 

This is a new favorite from the author, that I found on her website.


Puzzles! We got this at Christmas to do as a family, and we promptly bought 3 more on Amazon to do as we finished this one in about a week. 

Thank goodness we have a new scheduled activity for the kids on the weekend this winter. Getting out of the house so they can run, jump, climb and burn all that energy is better for everyone in our house!

Just Dance videos also help.