I've got a few precious days at home in Chicago so I'm trying to soak in as much family, scrabble, walks, glasses of wine, boat rides, friends, puppy time, and deep dish pizza as I can.

See you next week.


Patio Refresh ::: take 2

Those pillows?

They were too big and I felt like they looked like bedroom pillow.

I took a lot of recommendations and cashed in on the Pottery Barn sale to pick up two striped pillows. It was round six of trying out pillows, but these pillows finally work with the rug and keep the look fresh and classic. 

On Saturday, we went to Home Depot to freshen up plants and re-pot the very few plants that have survived over the last two years.


And I got my first ever lemon tree!! I think that means I'm an official Californian.

Even though the space is small, we use it a lot and I'm still taking inspiration to make it the most efficient and comfortable space that I can.

Good small space interpretation of a outdoor dining area; a small patio space for family meals           small balcony

neutral furnishings + colorful outdoor pillows pack a lot of style into this small balcony space


One Year.

And just like that, 365 days have passed since our wedding.

 In our first year together as Mr. and Mrs. we've done and seen a lot. 

We honeymooned to Hawaii in July 

We celebrated Joel's 26th Birthday in August

 We took a weekend trip with my family to Scottsdale in August

 We saw our friends have their first baby Max in September
We saw Zac Brown Band in October  
We spent Thanksgiving at home in Chicago 

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas with just us. 

 In January, Joel ran an ultra marathon as his parents, brother, and I cheered him on

 In February, my mom and Kuka came to visit

In March we celebrated 7 years of togetherness & I started a new job

In April we met Tucker.
In May, we found out we will be an Aunt and Uncle (again)

In June, we traveled to France

And in all those days in between we've laughed, cried, screamed, talked, walked, and figured out how to be married. We weathered really good days and some really bad ones too, but we made it, and we did it all together. Joel is my best friend in the entire world, and there is no one I would rather spend all of the highs, lows, and in-betweens with....now and forever. 


Thoughts for Thursday

I'm so excited to be co-hosting "Thoughts For Thursday" with Annie from Home of Malones and Natalie at East Coast Chic. These are two my new favorite blogs and I love creeping on them and they're beautiful homes, babies, and outfits! Check um'!

 Thoughts for Thursday

::: My favorite "thought" of this week comes in the form of a $30 milk frother that I bought at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. 

I've been drinking Cafe Au Lait's (Regular coffee with steamed milk) at work, and decided that I could just as easily make them at home. I brew regular coffee out of my Keurig, microwave a tablespoon of milk and then froth it with my nifty little gadget. It's been a major game changer over here.

::: I could not put this book down. I love Sarah Pekkenan, and I think this was my most favorite of her's recently. 


::: On that thought, I didn't really love The One and Only. It was good - and I finished it, but it wasn't anything that really moved me or had me staying up into the wee hours of the morning to read. Below average.


::: Ladies of London on the other hand - Above Average!! How freaking cute is Marissa?

::: With the house updates, and some very necessary closet updates, I just cannot stop shopping. I'm in need of some new workout gear, and since I start training for the half marathon in the next few weeks, I'm hoping some fun goodies from Lulu will help motivate me to kick it into high gear. 

::: I'm going to Chicago next week for a wedding shower and cannot wait to be back home. It's been way too long and I'm literally counting down the hours.

::: I've made this cucumber salad twice this week because I just cannot get enough. It's so refreshing and so easy. SkinnyTaste.com is like my mecca for recipes.
Who needs lettuce? This Greek salad is fresh and crisp – the perfect, light summer salad! 
:::Somehow, this Sunday, Joel and I will celebrating our one year anniversary. It actually scares me how fast this year flew by, and it's wild to think about where I was one year ago on this day. 

::: Happy Thursday everyone! 

Let me know what's on your thoughts and link up here:


House Updates

Every time I hang a new picture or find a new pillow, the first question Joel asks is - So, are we done yet? 

Ohhh silly Joel, this house is never going to be done.
Over the last few weeks, I've had the itch to do some refreshers. 

For my birthday, Joel got me this painting of the Chicago and Los Angeles skyline. I added the shelf and the two pieces were able to pull together our little entry.

 From there, we I began the patio refresh. Te hunt started at World Market to pick up some fun goodies to add a little color outside.

I found the fun rug for $20 dollars and instantly knew that was the direction I wanted to head in. Finding pillows that didn't fight the rug has been pretty difficult, but I'm trying to sleep on these oversize cream pillows from Pier 1. 

What do you think? Are the pillows too big?

The patio still needs updated pots and some new plants, but I'm enforcing Joel's help over the weekend with that one.

We I also wanted to add two chairs to the patio since we use the patio a lot when we have friends over, and I'm so tired of having our guests in folding soccer chairs. 

To my mom's credit, she told me to start checking out thrift stores in the area, and as luck would have it, the first store I popped into had these two things of beauty.

The set of chairs are just too pretty to keep outside so I'm trying to make them work in our living room.

I have them flanking our media center for now, and I'm loving the color the warm wood brings to the whole room.

So for now, the chairs will stay in the living room, and when we need extra seating outside, we'll just drag them out!


Weekend Recap

First of all - thanks for all of your excitement over our time in Paris. It was such a fun trip and I'm so glad that I took the time to get it all down here so that I can relive the glory days forever ;)
So all last week Joel and I had colds, so by the time Friday came I was anxious to get out of the house and hang with my girlfriends.

Laura had us over to break in her new (and beautiful) backyard furniture. 


And, the way all of our girls nights go - I had WAY too much white wine and a ton of fun. 


I paid for my over indulgence on Saturday morning, and I'm sort of blaming my foggy behavior, because after a walk with my girlfriend Kristin, we decided to bite the bullet and sign up for a half marathon.

Her and I have been working out a few times a week together - and we've thrown the idea of a half around for the last month or so - so it wasn't totally out of the blue. It's our first half marathon ever, but I'm really excited to run it and train with Kristin. Joel put together a nice little program for us to get us ready for the big day on October 26th!

Saturday night we had Juli and Bullet over for dinner to celebrate her birthday!!

Joel made the yummiest ahi tuna steaks on the grill and we had s'mores for dessert which was perfect. Unfortunately my the cold from last week, and lots of talking on Friday and Saturday night, my voice was all but gone Sunday morning when I woke up.

We ran errands and did chores, and tried to just relax on Sunday. Summer is in full swing over here - which for us means eating outside as much as we can, and last night was no exception.

We made Chicken Jalapeno burgers and the yummiest cucumber salad ever. 

 I posted my favorite non-alcohol drink on instagram last night, but on nights when we don't drink, I like to make a fun mocktail in a wine glass. My current favorite concoction is a Lime La Croix, splash of cranberry juice and a twist of lime over lots of ice. 

Per usual, we have a few very busy weeks ahead of  us so a fun weekend at home was just what we needed. 

Fall in love with your life