September 28, 2018

Mini Calzones


We love pizza in any way we can get it! We've made homemade pizza, go out for pizza, made pizza quesadillas and now mini calzones! Because hello!! It's pizza. These were so fun and easy to make. After we had laid Nova down for the night, we hopped in the kitchen and made these together for a little date night. They were perfectly paired with a Caesar Salad and movie night!



Premade Pizza Dough
(you can make it at home as well, but this was a way to make the calzones quickly. I found ours at Winco for $2)

Pizza Sauce
(put into bowls for dipping later!)

3-4 Tbsp Melted Salted Butter

Parmesan Cheese

Mozerella Cheese

Chopped Red or Green Pepper (or both!)

Chopped Onion

Feta

Pepperoni

Sausage

Ham

Italian Seasoning

Garlic Powder

Ground Black Pepper

(everything is up to you! We prefer to have a lot of meat and cheese on our pizzas so this is usually the combination we go for!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Sprinkle flour onto clean surface and begin rolling out the dough as thin as possible, just before it is see-through. Cut with a pizza cutter into 4 inch x 4 inch squares.

Take one square and place onto prepared cookie sheet. Begin adding everything you would like into your calzone. Put another square over the top and seal the edges by pinching them. 

Cut a small X into the middle of the calzone (only on one side). Melt the butter (or you can use oil) and spread onto each calzone.

Sprinkle Italian Seasoning, Pepper and Garlic Powder on top as well as a generous amount of shredded Parmesan. You can use any seasonings you want, I have just found this combination compliments the calzones best! 

Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes, checking on it regularly. It's hard to put a specific time on it because it depends all on how large and thick your calzones turn out. Once the dough and parmesan are browned, you can take them out of the oven.  

Dip in pizza sauce and enjoy!




September 25, 2018

Fall Home Decór


This year, I pulled out my fall decorations that I've used since college. In the small bin, I had 3 glass, bright orange pumpkins and one fall candle. Confused, I was searching everywhere for my plethora of decor only to remember when we moved, it was all given away. At first, I was a little frustrated that I would have to start all over. My style has changed so much since then so I'm actually really happy that I had to start all over! This year, I decided to buy things more on the neutral side with a few pops of deep orange and red. I LOVE how it turned out. I wanted a simple touch of fall that you could feel as soon as you walked through our doors.


The places I turned to for decor were Joann's, Target and Hobby Lobby. One of the first things I bought was this embroidered hoop. I have totally fallen in love with these and hope to have one for every season! They are beautiful and make such a subtle statement. This one is at Joann's for $8. 



Some of the things I implemented in our decor were things that we've had, but I'm using them in different ways. This "F" wood block was given to us as a wedding gift. I've had it on our hallway shelf but decided to move it to a place where it would compliment the fall color scheme. The fabric pumpkin is from Target for $3 as well as the starry lights. 



Our couch is the most beloved piece of furniture in our home. It is tiny and simple but it is my favorite couch. The off-white makes it easy to style with any season. The throw blanket is from Joann's for $10 and fall pillows we found at Kohl's for $15. I ended up only paying $1 for them though with Kohl's cash and coupons I had saved up! That was the happiest day!



Over by our fireplace, I only added a few new pieces amongst our regular decor. The embroidered hoop and grey pumpkin are just the subtlety I was going for. The "give thanks" sign was only $3 at Hobby Lobby! 




Again, keeping all of our everyday decor, I "falled" this area up by taking away eucalyptus and adding hay, adding a DIY garland (pieces from Hobby Lobby) and putting three of the $1 Target pumpkins right in front of our tv. I love all of the warm color tones and the way everything works so well together without being in your face. 



The last area I changed was the center piece of our dining room table. This was so easy but looks so festive! The candles and candle holders are from the dollar store! These are always on our table. Pumpkin from Target, vase, tray and corn fillers from Hobby Lobby. There is that "F" wood sign I talked about earlier! I put the twinkle lights along the table runner we use year-round and it warms up that room, especially at night! 

I hope this was inspiring and helps you to see how you can repurpose the pieces you already have in your home! I think the things I loved the most about my design were the neutral colors with the pops of autumn, twinkle lights and candles and subtlety of each piece. Have a wonderful first week of fall! Happy decorating! :)



September 20, 2018

Mor Furniture Design Star Challenge!

This past week I was lucky enough to participate in the Mor Furniture Design Star Challenge! I competed again 3 other Interior Designers to create our dream bedroom. We each styled our rooms so differently - it was fun to see what everyone else's styles were! My modern farmhouse style was a true reflection of who I am. I love modern farmhouse designs and keeping things simple and clean was my main goal while designing my room. 



Before the actually competition,  I had sat down, looked through Mor's website and selected my pieces. It didn't take long for my creative juices to flow and it just felt like everything came together perfectly in my digital design! Once I got to the actual competition, it felt like I had WAY less stuff brought with me compared to my competitors. I quickly got wrapped up in comparison and began to feel inadequate. Suddenly my room didn't look as cute or put together as my digital version. Luckily, there were amazing people there who encouraged me to try new things and loosen up with my design. So, I moved some things around and fell in love with it all over again.

Mor brought in a professional photographer to photograph each room for the competition that is being held on their Instagram page. Once I stepped behind the screen of his camera, I couldn't believe what I had created. It felt like a dream. Not just how my room turned out but just the fact that I was there, competing as an Interior Designer! I am still shocked and overwhelmed with gratitude. I'm so thankful that I got this amazing opportunity! Now, lets step into my room!



As soon as I saw this dresser, I knew it had to be part of my design. The texture and warmth bring this room together exactly as I had hoped. The tray on the bed is cohesive without being too match. I love the industrial accents that bring the rustic feel without being overpowering and take away from the modern vibes.

Something extra special this space are the pieces on top. Every single one is from our home and remind me different memories Ryan and I have had with those pieces in our home. 




I don't know about you, but when I walk into my bedroom, I like the room to feel cozy so that I can jump right into bed! Everything from the throw blankets and pillows to the pouf at the end of the bed, make this room feel so cozy to me. Inviting and clean. Something I've come to love about bedding is having only one or two throw pillows. They can still make a huge statement and add so much to the room without there being thirty of them! 





Little accents make a big impact in a space like this. This window-frame mirror of course, does not fall into that category. That puppy is huge! It is stunning and helps make the room feel larger than it is. That is the magic of mirrors ;) When you look at the nightstand, it feel full without being cluttered. This goes to show that less is more! 



I'm not expert Interior Designer. I do not have years of experience under my belt but I feel confident in my ability to make a house feel like a home. I find so much joy in creating spaces for families and individuals who have different tastes, styles and needs. This experience, as well as all of my design experiences, has taught me so much. These are just a few things that I recommend when designing YOUR dream bedroom! 

Find A Color Scheme and Stick to It

Having too many "voices" in the room muffle the sound of the music. The same goes for colors in a room. It's okay if you have 5 shades of blue and 3 shades of grey. That's keeping it cohesive and having rhythm throughout your room. When you have every color of the rainbow in your space, it is exhausting to the eye. Keep it simple. 

Select 3-4 Statement Pieces

Speaking of the eye, it's important to find pieces that draw the eye in. Having more that 4 statement pieces can again, be exhausting. You don't know where to look when there is so much going on in a room and it can quickly become overwhelming. 

Keep It Practical

Whenever I'm designing a room for a client, I always ask myself, "What purpose does this serve? Are they going to use it to make their lives easier, will it bring them happiness, is it personal to them, is it cohesive with their style?" Finding multipurpose items is key for me as well. Things that can work in any room if they change their tastes in two years.




Thank you so much to everyone who voted and supported me throughout this entire journey. I seriously cannot put into words how grateful I am. This was such a fun experience and I have grown so much because of it. I learned so much from the other women I worked with and it was such a blast seeing their designs and ideas. We'll see tomorrow what the results are so if you are interested, stay tuned! I'll be posting it all on my Instagram :) 




The other designers: 

Serretta Barlow
Website

Leslie Joanna
Youtube

Jenna
Facebook






September 13, 2018

Life Update | Exciting News!

Thank you to Caseapp.com for sponsoring this post!

Things have been absolutely crazy around here. It feels like the days and weeks are going by quicker than ever before! With Nova's first birthday sneaking up around the corner, I've been knee-deep in party planning and I have been loving it! It is so much work and has made me realize that we probably will only do big birthday parties like this every few years. All the respect to parents who can do this every year! 

As for me personally, I've been just in this weird limbo of emotions. Some days I feel really on-top of it all and feel like I've got life under control. The laundry, dishes and grocery shopping will be done, I've laughed with Nova and had a wonderful evening with Ryan. Other days, I don't get out of my pjs, barely ate and the only accomplishment was getting Nova to eat a full meal. I'm not at all saying that those days are bad... I think I have such a hard time being okay with slower days. I have to remind myself that those days are needed. 

Something very exciting is happening today!! I am competing in an Interior Design Challenge held by Mor Furniture! If you don't already know this about me, I went to school in Salt Lake City for Interior Design. Mor contacted me earlier this summer and invited me to compete in this challenge held at one of their stores in San Diego. At first, I wanted to say no. I'm so used to turning down offers either because I can't find someone to watch Nova or I don't feel capable enough. This time I really felt the urge to just go for it! I'm so glad I said yes because I have a feeling this is going to be such a blast! I'll be writing all about later next week. In the meantime, check out my Instagram all day today. I will be sharing the whole thing on my stories! 

That's really all that has been going on with me lately! I wanted to share a few products that I have been LOVING and know you will love too! 

Caseapp Customizable Cases and Skins


You guys. Isn't this so gorgeous?! I obsessed with this case that Caseapp sent me to share with you guys! After about two weeks using this case, I can tell you that I will never buy a case from anywhere else! It is smooth, classy and durable! I drop my phone CONSTANTLY. I mean, I have an almost one-year-old so... it happens! This case is designed so well that it protects my phone every time that it has fallen. That's impressive for such a stylish case! 

On their site, you can choose from hundreds of designs for your phone, iPad or laptop! They offer cases as well as skins in their designs or you even have the option to custom make them. I went back and forth on whether or not to custom make mine but I was so indecisive and couldn't choose which pictures of Nova I would want on there so I went with this adorable print! 

FOR 20% OFF YOUR ORDER USE CODE: LAURENFULL20
Coupon code expires Sept. 28, 2018 so act quick!




Neutrogena Hydro Boost Mascara


I've used a lot of mascara in my day and let me tell you: this mascara is LIFE. Just after two layers, my eyelashes stay long and curled all day long! Trust me, you will not regret this purchase! 



St. Ives Blackhead Clearing

Okay last product that I've been obsessing over this month because y'all. I have blackheads. It's out there! Who doesn't?! Really, who doesn't because I need you to share your secrets ;) This facial scrub has definitely been helping though! I love using it in the shower while my skin is exfoliated from the hot water. Also, it smells AMAZING. 


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Be sure to check out Caseapp because I know you need a beautiful, new case! Be sure to use that coupon code before it expires! 



**I received free product in exchange for this blog post and instagram features.


September 11, 2018

Our Fall Bucketlist

I'm putting myself in a stereotype but I don't care because I LOVE FALL. Fall in California is so much different than what I am used to from growing up in central Indiana. There, the leaves change, the smells in the air are so comforting and the farmers markets are full of delicious apple cider and pumpkin pie. Just typing that out made me need fall in Indiana! Fall in California isn't so bad! The weather is nice, the farmers markets are still full of apple cider and pumpkin pie and my family is here. 

This will be Nova's second fall but really the first where she will be excited to see things and try all the food! I've been thinking about what I wanted to do with her this year to create memories and make the most out of the color-less Fall in Southern California. How can I get us out of the house and make these memories that will become traditions? I'm going to pack in the fun activities! I've created this Fullerton Fall Bucketlist and hope that we can knock everything off of it before the Christmas festivities begin! I'll be sharing our journey along the way and hope that you and your family can enjoy this fall season to the fullest, as well! 


Now being a mother and wife, I hope to create this warm, happy feeling within our family all the time but especially this time of year. I hope to teach my children that this time of year is a time to reflect on everything we are grateful for. A recharge for the rest of the year until fall comes around again so that we can create habits that will enable us to be more grateful! I want to teach my babies how to have fun while also looking outside themselves and looking for service opportunities. This list really is just a way to make memories and enjoy this time of year while also instilling the importance of being kind to those around us.


 Feel free to download the image above by clicking on it - it will take you straight to a printable version!

What will you do with your family this year?


September 7, 2018

n o v a : e l e v e n | m o n t h s

As Nova gets older and older, I realize more and more how precious time is to parents. I never would have fully understood it before becoming one. It's a little soul-crushing watching your babies become toddlers! All at the same time, it's really wonderful and I am so grateful that I have a healthy, happy baby! Only one more month and we will have a full-blown one year old on our hands! I'm still working on comprehending that.

This month with Nova has been so much fun! We have been busy with party planning and weekend adventures. She's been having so much fun exploring new toys we got her and playing in her teepee from Infantino! Yesterday was the first day ever that she has been sick. It was really weird for me because I haven't ever seen her that way! Runny nose, teary eyes and a little cough consumed our day. We snuggles, read books, watched a little bit of baby einstein and took in all the essential oils we could! It was actually a pretty wonderful day, for a sick day! 


Just like always, Nova is incredibly tough. Even when she is teething and battling a little cold (which is most likely caused by the teething), she is still happy and [mostly] content! Don't get me wrong, she still cries and spits her food at me but overall, you wouldn't even know she was sick! If that's any indication of what kind of women I am raising, I know she is going to take on the world! 



|  h e r  e l e v e n t h  m o n t h  |

moving past purées and eating more solids

 her favorite foods are blueberries, mango, strawberries, turkey and mozzarella 

♡ learned how to clap and is doing it all the time! 

♡ knows what an Elephant and Lion say - it's the cutest thing in the world

♡ loves to say "mama" "it's a" "baby" "bubba"

♡ has taken two steps on her own and can stand independently for up to one minute! 

♡ loves to read books with mommy, especially touch and feel books

knows how to blow kisses and give open mouth kisses

has become obsessed with her stuffed animals and sleeps with one during her naps!



Yesterday I shared a little letter to my daughter... I thought it was appropriate to share on today's post:

There are days that I lose my temper. The days where my patience runs thin. When I’m just ready for you to go to bed. Then, you fall asleep in my arms and all I see is this perfect, beautiful being. A little, innocent baby. That’s when I feel guilty and want to start over. I want a redo so I can say “I love you” ten times more than I did. So that I can kiss you instead of get impatient with you. So I can take a deep breath instead of losing my temper. 

I’ve noticed myself going through this on occasion and when I do, I have to remind myself that I’m still learning too. I will never be a perfect mom but one thing is for sure: my love for you is immense. It is so deep that I physically ache from loving you so much. So, my sweet, beautiful, kind baby girl, remember that even on the hard days, I love you. My love for you is bigger than my moments of weakness. 

I will love you forever and ever ♡





September 5, 2018

Five Baby Upcycles Under $10

I am so excited to share some of the simple upgrades I did for Nova's nursery and highchair! I have seen most of these on Pinterest or shared on Youtube but I found these five upcycles to be the best. They have made things so much simpler and more convenient for us. I hope these can help you, especially if you are on a tight budget!

Let's start in Nova's closet!


When we moved into our new house, we didn't have much of anything so I used a fabric hanging organizer from IKEA in this closet to store burp cloths, swaddles, sheets, you name it! After a while, it became less practical considering everything was in full-view and if everything wasn't folded nicely, my OCD would kick-in strong. These buckets from the Dollar Tree were the perfect solution! Not only are they only $1, they are also stackable! Now, I will say, I don't love the color but our DT is so small, we hardly ever have the neutral options so I decided to go with blue until we can find while or taupe. 

The labels I made myself by creating a template for the "banner" style, cutting those and cutting a larger rectangle piece of scrapbooking paper. I punched a hold so that both would be held by some jute. So simple, anyone could do it! I love the look and it helps my husband to put away laundry or grab things when I'm not home. It also just creates a really organized appearance in a space that generally becomes cluttered.


Total cost: $6
Total time: 30 Minutes


FREE PRINTABLE VERSION OF NURSERY TAGS:
(Click on image)

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These are not a new idea but holy moly. YOU GUYS. I have no idea why I didn't do this sooner! I kept putting it off to make these but I finally put them together and will always use these for my babies and toddlers from now on. Also, they are just so so cute! I wish I could share a printable version of these but because the animal images were bought, I don't have the right to share them for free. However, here are a few links to some free printable closet dividers for you:


I found the best way to make these was to glue them (or use double-sided tape) onto thick cardstock. You can either do them one-sided or double-sided. Then, cut around the edges and into the circle! It really isn't difficult but I would highly recommend a thick card stock! You can even go further and laminate them.


Total cost: $3-4 (For cardstock, printing and glue)
Total time: 30-45 Minutes

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I found this three-section, mesh hamper at target for $8.99 and new right away why it would be useful in Nova's room. Her clothes are so small that I didn't feel the need to have something heavy-duty. You parents know how often those cute little clothes get big, ugly stains on them! These being divided has made doing her laundry so much quicker. I don't find myself standing there sorting through her dirty clothes trying to find everything with stains on them! The tags were made with old gift tags but you can easily use scrapbooking paper and jute or ribbon!


Total cost: $10
Total time: 2-3 Minutes

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I know, I know. EVERYONE does this. Well, listen here: I'm not using them as bookshelves! I don't ever really understand how anyone ever does that anyway because I'd need 10 of them to fit all of our books! So, instead I use them to display decor. Don't get me wrong, it would be super cute to display your baby's favorite books, like I did here. I just think these make such cute shelves without spending $20+! 

Pom-pom garland I found for $2 on Wish.com, white sign is from Hobby Lobby and Nova's customized book is from HoorayHeroes.com. I just think this adds so much personality to her room without being too busy.


Total cost: $10 
(IKEA just recently raised the price of these racks from $3.99 to $4.99 so it may be a little over $10 for this upgrade if you don't already have paint or stain)
Total time: 30 Minutes

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I saved my favorite and most recent upcycle for last! I saw this a few times on Pinterest and thought it was the best way to upcycle something for hardly anything! 




First of all, if you do not have this highchair, you are missing out! For a mere $20, you get the easiest highchair out there. Yes, it's hard plastic but that is what I love about it. It is SO easy to clean! IKEA did just recently release a cushion to insert in there if your baby seems uncomfortable too. 

As you can see, this is very self-explanatory! I simply took off the legs and painted them with Krylon Brushed Metallic Spray Paint from Hobby Lobby. Guys, this was a steal!! Originally priced at $6.99 + 40% off = $4.19 for spray paint! I was stoked. It dried so quickly and went on without any drips. I love the color! It totally upgraded this simple high chair and makes it look more expensive and classy for only $4! 

To take your highchair game even further, add a mesh bag to the back! I have loved having this bag on the back of Nova's high chair to store bibs, face wipes, her vitamins or medicine, extra spoons or burp cloths. It's so nice to have those things right there rather than walking away from her if I needed any of them! I found a pack of 3 mesh bags from the Dollar Tree as well as these sticky hooks. We ended up super gluing them because the adhesive wasn't strong enough to stay for longer than a few hours. Once we glued them, they haven't come off once in over six months!


Total cost: $5.50
Total time: 45-60 Minutes

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I hope you enjoyed these simple baby upcycles and found something you could do to make things either prettier or easier! Let me know if you liked this post by commenting your favorite upcycle in the comments!