Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday Finds

Happy Friday again!! While March felt like it went by SO SLOWLY, I feel like I blinked and now it's suddenly Memorial Day weekend. Anyone else?! Not sure how we got here, but I'm very happy for the long weekend. My job slowed to a crawl in March but now has picked up to even more than full steam ahead (might explain my current concept of time) so I'm definitely ready for a little break. We were planning on trying to do some social distanced hangs with family over the long weekend, but Mia ended up coming down with a fever for a couple of days this week so we're going to play it safe and stay home. Instead, we've pre-ordered some barbecue from River Valley, have plans to grill, and hopefully spend some time up on the roof playing with the water table (as long as it doesn't rain too much!!).

Here are my finds for the week. A lot of good deals for Memorial Day, everything is 30-60% off!! I may have ordered the first dress already...

one / two / three / four / five

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

How to Make a Boxed Cake Fancy

Oh heyyyyyy!! Just popping in with a quick little tip on how to fancy up your birthday cakes!

It was Jeff's birthday over the weekend, and I decided birthday cake was just what we needed. Yes, a whole cake for two people. I don't see the problem.

So how do you make your boxed cake mix cakes taste just that much better? Sub out the oil for melted butter, and sub out the water for milk. Use the exact same amounts in the original recipe. It is such an easy switch, and makes your cakes richer and more moist, and taste like you put a whole lot more effort in than just stirring four ingredients together!

It also works on brownie mixes too. Give it a try, you'll never look back.

Oh, and the #1 rule passed down for boxed cakes from my mama? Make the cake from a mix... but the frosting from scratch! Homemade frosting is just next level, and it makes any cake that much better. Plus it's super easy to make - here's the recipe I used! Yes, to my mother's horror, with salted butter. I'm very pro.

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! Today is Jeff's birthday, so we're both taking the day off to celebrate! Really wishing we had weather like last weekend, but I think we'll manage to find way to survive ;) We've got breakfast sandwiches, funfetti cake, takeout from Alinea, and a Zoom party on the docket - can't wait!

Here are my finds for the week:

one / two / three / four / five

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Recent Reads

Coming at you with a few more book recommendations for you! My reading has definitely dropped off over the last few months. I'm not breastfeeding anymore and don't have a commute either. After struggling to pick up a book at the beginning of quarantine just because I couldn't focus, I've discovered that light, fun, easy reads are where it's at.

Ask Again, Yes
I literally finished this moments before I started writing this post. I love, love, loved it. I thought it fell in the light, easy read category (especially after I flipped through the first few pages quickly and my Kindle told me it would take 2.5 hours to finish - yeah no haha) but it definitely is not. It follows childhood friends Kate and Pete and what happens before and after the family tragedy that binds them together. It's about family, how love changes over time, and ultimately forgiveness.

Such a Fun Age
I had heard about this book for a while but it took me a while to pick it up. So glad I did because I ended up really enjoying it. It follows a black babysitter working for a white family, and looks at racism, entitlement, and ultimately whether having good intentions is good enough. It's written almost like a mystery, and I was racing through to figure out what the real story was. I would rate this as a semi-easy read, but deeper than your typical fun beach novel.

My Friend Anna
This true story is so completely unbelievable I had a hard time keeping up. I remember hearing the story in the news, a "German heiress" Anna Delvey was living the high life in New York City, living in a hotel, a regular at one of the most exclusive restaurants in town, expensive shopping sprees and spa treatments and gym sessions every week, a potential art gallery in the works. But then she flew her friends out to Morocco for an all-expenses paid trip, and tricked them into footing the bill. As her friend tried to get reimbursed and Anna's story started to unravel things went completely off the rails. The full story of this con artist was so crazy I raced right through the book.

The Flatshare 
Now here is the epitome of a romantic comedy novel. Two people share an apartment in shifts, never meeting but sharing a bed. They start writing notes back and forth, and manage to form a deep relationship without ever meeting. It's like the author knew quarantine was coming or something. This one is definitely light and fun!

The Gifted School 
In an elite, wealthy town in Colorado (that sounds remarkably like Boulder ;), an announcement is made that they will be opening a new gifted school, and that all children are welcome to test and apply. The race to prove that their children are gifted and worthy of admission ultimately tears up the lives of four friends. This was a fun and easy read, but as a child of the "gifted" school system, I found the commentary on the benefits and drawbacks of gifted programs incredibly interesting.

The Dutch House
One of my favorite books in a long time. It follows the story of Danny and his sister Maeve, growing up wealthy in an impressive but isolating house, The Dutch House. The story is about family, loss, and the ability to move on from the past. It's complex and rich, and I loved every moment of it.

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Monday, May 4, 2020

My Favorite Quarantine Purchases

Hi, my name is Kristina, and I have a Pandemic shopping problem!

I mean, really, did you expect anything less than me? Between shopping for more cozy lounge clothes, activities for Mia, activities for me, and home purchases, there seem to be packages arriving every day. Here are some of my favorite things I've found:

Activities to do at home during quarantine

I didn't buy Mia much for her birthday (literally three books - Mom of the Year!) because I was planning on getting a few things for her when she got older, namely a toy kitchen and a water table. But when quarantine hit, I wanted to find new ways to keep her occupied and I was worried that by the time I thought Mia was ready for them, there would be manufacturing supply chain issues and we wouldn't be able to get what we wanted.

We ended up getting this kitchen (which was completely free thanks to a sale and credits from our Pottery Barn deck furniture debacle!) and I love it so much. It's freaking adorable and looks cute, not obnoxious, in our living room. I also ended up getting this actual kitchen mat to put in front of it after I realized she was doing lots of dropping her metal pans on the floor right there. So now she bangs them on the floor next to the mat. But I still love the mats, and am thinking about getting some for our actual kitchen!

We also are loving the water table!! We just filled it up for the first time over the weekend (the weather was SO beautiful, we were up on the deck for hours!) and Mia loved it! Literally splashed in there for an hour. I definitely recommend getting a little umbrella if your set has a spot for one, makes me feel better about my pale little girl standing in the sun for that long.

Another favorite purchase was a set of bubble guns. Mia has only been into bubbles for a couple weeks and I was already tired of regular bubble wands. These bubble guns shoot out huge streams of bubbles, and are completely manual so you don't need to change out batteries.

I personally have been going all in on puzzles when I have some free time. I bought a bunch of Dowdle puzzles at the beginning of quarantine and have steadily been making my way through my stack - the puzzle shapes are crazy which makes them hard! I also picked back up on calligraphy (this is the book I have) and needlepoint - love this shop's kits!!

Home purchases during quarantine

It's kind of funny because I've worked from home for two years now, but the extra hang-out time at home has me looking at our house and wanting to update and finish some spaces I've been ignoring. I spruced up my bedroom office with this mirror and wildflower print from Target, and made the work from home situation more ergonomic with a comfy desk chair and a laptop stand. So much better than working from the couch!

I've also been putting a lot of work into our roof deck. Every year in April I decide THIS is the year I'm really going all out to make the space live up to it's potential. I got that new patio set from Pottery Barn that only took 10 months to arrive (😠) delivered at the end of February, and it's really motivating me to do more. I filled out the space with this rug, this self-watering planter (amazing because there's zero chance I'm remembering to go up and water every day!), this bench, and these sun loungers. I'm still on the hunt for some more outdoor pillows, plants, and new tables. We also just got three of these tall planters for our front deck off of our living room, and they add so much to the space.

Best lounge clothes for staying at home

Are you on team getting dressed or team pajamas all day?? I'm on a lot of video calls for work so I've been getting dressed most days, but I'm definitely changing into them later in the day and changing out of them earlier. I LOVE these cozy slippers that were on super sale, and these wide leg cropped pants are amazingly comfortable without being too heavy. I grabbed these rainbow striped pajamas on sale and have been wearing them whenever it's not too cold, they're so cute and make me happy. These sweatshirts are also incredible, they're the softest I've ever touched and stay soft even after washing and drying them over and over because your toddler somehow manages to spill on them every time you wear one.

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! What do your quarantine Fridays look like? Over here we crank the N*SYNC Pandora station, pour a drink maybe a bit too early, and dance around the living room. Sometimes Mia participates, and sometimes she just looks at us like we're crazy. Don't worry Mia, we definitely aren't going to get less embarrassing as you get older.

Here are my finds for the week - just waiting for the right sale to pull the trigger on that lace tee!!

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!