9/19/14

To my husband . . .

For the guy who works 12 hours days only to come home, mow in the dark, help me make dinner AND clean up and then load alllllll my shower supplies in the car and before even sitting down, asks if I need help with anything else.

For constantly supporting my crazy endeavors.

For fueling my creativity.

For being the strongest rock in my life.

I LOVE YOU BENJAMIN JACOB KULP! 

9/17/14

Weekday Routines

I love when bloggers post "day in the life of" posts because it gives you a peak into what people from around the world's days look like. Monday through Friday can be hectic so it's fun to see how others prioritize their time and hopefully inspire you to get more done! Jana and Joanna both posted their morning routines and since they're from Germany and Noway, I was surprised to see just how different my American morning looked from their European morning. Here is our morning (and weekday) routine if you're interested.  . . .

5:00 // WAKE UP! take Ivy out if we can pry her out of bed, get changed into our gym clothes and drive 5 minutes down the road to the gym. (Ben packs his lunch & shower stuff / work clothes to go straight from the gym to work). 

5:30-6:30 // WORKOUT! We start with cardio (running, bike or cross trainer), move to free weights and then do stretching and abs. While Ben showers at the gym and gets ready I do additional toning exercises. When he's done, I grab his gym bag, we give each other a smooch and he heads to work and I head home to get ready.

6:40 // MORNING ROUTINE! When I get home Ivy is usually awake so I take her out to potty, feed her and let her play while I get ready. I oil pull while I shower, get dressed and do my hair and make up and then pack my snacks for the day (almost every day it's hummus and celery, a piece of fruit, a hard boiled egg and a salad or soup that I graze on throughout the day). 

7:45 // put Ivy in her room with breakfast, water and her toys and give her a smooch and "be good for mommy!" right before LEAVE FOR WORK. 

8:00 // ARRIVE AT WORK. Clock in and WORK, WORK WORK non-stop pretty much until 5:00. Don't worry, I have a couple puppy sitters that take Ivy out during lunch and if they can't make it, I run home so she can relieve her bladder ;-)

5:00 // LEAVE WORK. Sometimes I pit stop in at the grocery store but I try and do all my shopping on Sundays so most days, it's straight home

5:30 (traffic!) // ARRIVE HOME. I grab the mail, chat with my neighbor if he's out, and then finally get back in the door. I dump my lunch containers in the sink, take Ivy out for her afternoon walk, come back in to feed her and the fish, and set to cleaning out the sink of any dry dishes and washing my lunch dishes. 

6:00 - 7:00 //  START DINNER / HOUSEHOLD CHORES. With Ben's long commute I get a chance to make really nice meals for us which keeps me occupied until my boo gets home. 

7:15 // BEN'S HOME! He gets changed, takes Ivy out, we chat about our days and finally sit down together. We pray for whatever is on our minds, and enjoy our meal together. He graciously does the dishes every night while I pack up leftovers. 

8:00 // RELAX. At this point we're both pretty much wiped so we either read, watch some shows together, or if we're feeling really ambitious will go out for a drink or visit with friends. 

9:30/10 // BEDTIME. 

Wash, Rinse, Repeat Tuesday- Friday! What does your weekday routine look like?

9/3/14

A Weekend in Minnesota!

I feel like I'm still jet lagged writing this post (having friends over last night didn't help) but I wanted to write about our trip to Minnesota before the details faded away. After dropping Ivy off at the boarding place and crying all the way home, I set to packing us up, watering our plants and stress cleaning our whole house. I'm talking mopping the floors and washing all our bedding. There is NOTHING better than coming home to a clean house in my opinion! We flew out on Friday and once we landed we had to drive four hours north to the resort where the wedding was being held.


Although, the first two days were gloomy the view was amazing and it was so nice to get away with some of our best friends and just relax.


Saturday, we helped set up the ceremony, took family pictures and hung out with our cousin from Texas and his girlfriend while the girls primped and the boys caught up. 


A Kulpie creeper in the background! And I can't believe Jen will be our sister in just over a month <3
I'd love to tell you that I danced the night away at the reception but I was absolutely exhausted and barely made it through dinner. I managed to rally when everyone got home though!

Sunday was supposed to be our recovery day, but the weather broke and the champagne was busted out while we lounged outside, did some local shopping and ended up with fish bowl margaritas and some of the best Mexican food I've ever had. 

I don't know what's going on in this picture, but these boys kill me with their antics :-) 



Traveling back home on Monday was ROUGH, but we managed to get there and by Tuesday I finally got to see this little face again! Ben and I took Tuesday off to do laundry and catch up on yard work and it was so nice to be back home. 

How was your long weekend?

8/26/14

27

I'm having such a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that today I am 27 years old (late twenties?!). I know everyone says this but I still feel like a kid myself! Looking back, I feel like I treated my 26th year as my "last hoorah". It was my first time having my own place since an apartment back in college and I pretty much did whatever I wanted which was so nice, but also probably a little irresponsible ;-)

I want 27 to be my "grown up year" so I decided to set some goals for myself both for fun and to better myself.

1. Do a complete wardrobe overhaul. I seriously need to weed through my closets and dressers (yes, multiple) to weed through items that are over worn, super old, or out of style. I have stuff from high school in there, yikes! And a few lonely shoes that little miss Ivy may have chewed on . . . A side goal here is to start investing in nicer pieces and do a better job at keeping them in good condition.

2. Run a 5K. My workout regimen has been spotty at best, so I think training for a race with my friend Daphne will kick my butt into gear.

3. Visit NYC. We are the furthest thing from city people, but I'd love to do a romantic weekend with my husband in New York City. While we were in AC for the comedy show a waiter told us about a little spot where comedians both big and small, will randomly show up and put on shows.

4. Learn to sew. I know the basics of sewing, but I'm terrible at it and I'd love to start doing some little projects on my own...without my mom or Ben finishing or fixing them for me ;-)

5. Make my own pasta. Ben brought home a pasta maker from work and although we try not to eat a ton of carbs, I want to try and make pumpkin and sage ravioli in the Fall.

6. Train Ivy on an agility course. This is a fun one for the whole family. Ivy is so, so smart and I know with a little training she would love to play on an agility course that we can keep in the basement for when we're stuck inside all winter.

7. Continue practicing my French. I downloaded Duolingo a couple weeks back and it's amazing how much I've been retaining. I hope to continue learning and hopefully be able to hold a simple conversation with my friend Marie-Pier one day!

The very best thing about this birthday is being able to share it with this little one. We received some of her old records and discovered her actual birthday is one day after mine! We celebrated with a little peanut butter last night ;-)







8/25/14

Sunday Saucin'

I have been a canning maniac these last few weeks! So far I've done spicy banana peppers, whole peeled tomatoes and for this post, tomato sauce! This is a great tutorial for those of you who are new to hot water canning.
STEPS:
  • Wash the tomatoes
  • Cut out the stems
  • Blanch the tomatoes
  • Remove the skins
  • Quarter 'maters (optional: remove seeds)
  • Cook tomatoes down on high heat, continuously mashing with a potato masher to release juices
  • When cooked down as far as they'll go, remove from heat and let cool
  • Blend until smooth (optional. I wanted a smooth sauce this round) (Warning: WILL EXPLODE your blender if the liquid is too hot)
  • Return to pot and add seasonings (salt, pepper, basil, oregano and raw sugar to taste). Bring to a boil.
  • While you are heating the tomatoes back up, place mason jars in a large pot of water, covering all the way and bring to a boil. 
  • Remove jars, fill with hot sauce mixture, and seal immediately. Leave about an inch of space for expansion.
  • Return to hot water bath and simmer for thirty minutes*. 
  • Pull from hot water bath and let cool. You'll hear the lids "pop" and that's how you know they're securely sealed. Store in a cool, dark space.
*We didn't return the filled jars to the bath the first time we canned tomatoes so we had to use that sauce within a week. Lesson learned!***




 

This is definitely a long Sunday afternoon activity and it gets quite messy. For the diced tomatoes, it was nice because I didn't need to cook them down - just blanch them, peel the skins, dice and water treat them. 

Currently, we're keeping all our creations in our pantry (stairway to basement) because it's dark and cool. 

spicy banana peppers
 Are you canning produce this summer?

Don't forget to check out this page if you're interested in even more posts about our homesteading practices!

8/13/14

An update here, and update there

All I wanted to do this weekend was be in my house. Is that weird? I feel like we spend so much time at work and out with friends that on the weekends I love to take a day or two to just nest and putter around with projects. Ben was away at his brother's bachelor party all weekend so I got to do just that!

I managed to get our new (to us) couch in the door and my old one out . . .

no puppies allowed!
Paint this hand me down cabinet a deep, rich blue (we had way too many contrasting wood tones going on in the living room). 

 

And I got to spend one of the days thrifting with my friend, Leah. She got an awesome patio chair for her new house and I scored this retro clock along with some fun, wedding decor for Jen and Josh.


My not so fun project included taking down all the outlet faces in our kitchen and scrubbing our tile within an inch of its' life so we can paint it. Eeeeep, any takers to help me?!


Have you done any house projects lately?





8/8/14

The Kitchen Plans

I have a sneaking suspicion that this blog is going to take a turn into DIY land over the colder months.  I had initially planned to conquer the bathroom, however the more I thought about it, I decided since I spend most of my time in the kitchen (and even more in the winter!), so my efforts would be better appreciated in there. 

Let's take a walk around my tiny kitchen and talk updates!

<< yep, still no pictures in most of those frames
First thing's first, I need to replace the tiles I was randomly chipping off when I thought we'd rip the tile out. Typical get-ahead-of-yourself-Heather, but hey! You live and you learn. B brought up the idea of painting the tile the other night and I've been obsessively reading tutorials ever since. He's on his brother's bachelor party this weekend so you know what I'll be up to . . .





This is the picture that seriously smacked me upside the head with a vision and got this kitchen ball rolling. The white tile. The navy lower cabinets (hello dogs, spills and future toddlers!) and the modern, sort-of-nautical fixtures.

Beautiful #kitchen dark blue cabinets bottom and white top

Like the kitchen of my dreams above, our plan for countertops is to go white (but maybe with some gray swirled in there?).  Laminate because, budget.





 Onto flooring. Our floors are actually in terrific condition minus this little split you see below.


However, I'd loooove to do something like this someday:

Herringbone porcelain tiles for the floor - maybe with darker grout
As for lighting, I want to replace this big honker with 3-4 recessed lights, possibly on a dimmer if it's doable. This low hanging light doesn't give off much brightness and it makes my already small, warm kitchen feel even hotter. 


So, there you have it! Paint the tile, paint the cabinets, and eventually replace the flooring, counter tops and lighting -- no big deal, right? ;-) One thing at a time!

ALSO! Before I forget, you see in the last picture with the light, that the wood extends from the upper cabinets to the ceiling? Are we thinking I paint that white to match the upper cabinets or rip it out? Maybe paint it a completely different accent color? All opinions are welcome!

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