Spring Decorating Ideas: A Few Updates

This week marks the official start of spring (whether it feels like it or not!) and I couldn't be happier.  I am so looking forward to seeing our flowers bloom and getting some leaves back on our trees.  I was just looking back at some pictures of our property from last year and it is a wonderland of green!  I am so excited!

Today I wanted to share a few updates we have made around the house as we prepare for spring.  Some pretty greenery, flowers, and simple organization are making me excited for the upcoming change in season!

I got out my spring decorating bin full of Saint Patrick's Day and Easter decorations.  I pulled out a few things but for the most part I am continuing to crave simple little updates that don't necessarily scream holidays.  On the top of my list was a new spring wreath.

I have had my old one for years and while it was so lovely on our old door, I was ready for a change.  I wanted something more natural - kind of like my fall wreath.  So I hunted all over town for one I liked.  I eventually found one at HomeGoods that matched my need for neutral yet whimsical.

I also jumped on the trend of layered rugs (or in my case doormats).  The bottom patterned rug used to be in our kitchen and one day I accidentally dropped a whole bottle of olive oil on it!  Even with multiple washings I couldn't get out the stains.  So now it can be a hip new bottom layer rug.  Making lemons into lemonade!

And I'm the crazy lady who lays down six wreaths on the crowded floor of HomeGoods to try to decide which one I wanted (all the while I hear my poor child whining to my patient husband across the store waiting for me!).  Most people seemed annoyed I was in there way but one lady stopped and said in agreement that this was the only way to really look at them and decide.  So thank you kind stranger.  She helped validate my obnoxious small aisle behavior!  Note to self - stop going to HomeGoods on crowded Saturdays.

Another update we have recently made is purchasing a small kitchen island/cart.  We have been talking about it before Christmas but had yet to find one we liked.  We stumbled upon this one at Target - it matched our kitchen really well and also happened to be on sale!  We decided to take it home and it ended up fitting perfectly!

Besides adding a pretty little kitchen island to our space, the idea of having extra counter space and a place to sit in our kitchen area was really appealing.  I often eat my lunch over the stove because my introvertedness needs a little space from our son come noon.  Now I have a place to sit and eat while my one year old eats like a king at the dinning table by himself!

It has also now become a place to leave my calendar, notebook, coffee mug, and whatever else handy while keeping the kitchen counters clean.  This makes meal time so much easier when I don't have to move things around.

The stool is from At Home and also serves as an extra step stool now that I have to share my other one with a child who wants to "wash" dishes (or soak himself with water) in the sink!

The extra storage space is nice.  I tried to keep it all pretty since it is exposed.  Things are already fairly organized in the kitchen so for now the drawer hides extra bags of chips!

Is that one sad tulip driving any one else crazy?  Sorry little flower.  I also now stop in to Safeway every week or so to buy myself some $5 flowers (sadly Trader Joe's is an hour away and no more free flowers from my florist mom!).  I also took these photos two different times which explains why things are slightly different.  It's like one of those spot the differences games! ;)

The last little update I have to share is this slouchy basket.  Is there a name for these?  They are very popular right now and also rather expensive.  I picked this one up from At Home while we were getting the stool.  I later saw a few at TJ-Maxx that were cheaper but slightly different (just an FYI in case you are looking for one).

This little black bookcase has been our entryway "table" since we first got married.  It is one of the few pieces that I kept black and it continues to serve us well.  We have always tucked our shoes underneath for easy access out the door.  But now with a wider range of temperatures, we started storing both our winter shoes and flip flops here - which means too many shoes in one little spot.

The new basket holds our sandals now which means things are better organized and I finally got myself this cute little basket!

Thanks for reading!  I am hoping some warm weather finds us all soon!  Happy Spring!

Baby's First Easter Photos

Somehow last year I never blogged about these sweet photos I took of our son for his first Easter.  Look how tiny he is!  Amazing how much a year can change a little one.  Our year of firsts were so special with him.

As I start to fill his Easter basket again this year I am reminiscent over this sweet memory from only a year ago.  As a wiggly opinionated toddler I am not going to even dare worry about getting anything like these photos this year!  I will just sit back and enjoy this trip down memory lane while he quietly naps in his room!

I did not have a plan going into Easter last year of what exactly we wanted to start tradition wise.  As he was still so small I wanted to get him an Easter basket to fill and left it at that.  I found a few inspiration photos on Pinterest and decided that we would go the one Easter basket forever route and get a monogrammed one from Pottery Barn Kids.

Customized things make me so nervous.  I am such a perfectionist that I fear the name won't be clear enough or I won't like how it ends up looking.  Luckily after carefully choosing a color combination (for example I would never lean towards orange and yet it was the color that allowed the letters to be seen the most) I was quite pleased with how it came out.

We took the photos a few days in advance so I wouldn't stress on the actual day about trying to get some acceptable smiles.  He played with a few things but was too young to get upset about me taking everything away when we were done with the pictures.

The basket was full of colorful Spring gifts.  A few toys and books that I wanted for him as well as some Eastery things to help fill out the basket and look good for the photos.  The bunny we actually purchased when we first found out I was pregnant.  But he had no concept of re-gifting and it fit in well with the Easter basket theme!

And then we attempted some baby in the basket photos.  It went okay but he was not a fan!

And then on Easter morning we took a few quick photos before church in his little outfit.  We are pretty casual when it comes to dressing our son so this was a special outfit worth capturing!

What fun these holidays are with a little one!  Looking forward to the memories this Easter will bring for our little family. 

Easy Chicken And Vegetables | Sheet Pan Recipe

Two things.

1) This is my favorite meal right now.  It is so easy and so tasty.  We literally eat this once a week.  I am not exaggerating. 

2) Hate me - I took these pictures on my PHONE.  But that is how easy it is.  Not even good enough for a real camera.  Like I am too lazy to get my camera out because this is so easy and I am living the good life (more like I am running around with a one year old and thank heavens this meal only dirties up one pan).  But this recipe almost feels like zero work.  So I put zero effort in taking photos.  And these are photos from three different nights.  Because, did I mention, I make this EVERY WEEK?!

So here it is.  I use either cut up chicken breast or apple chicken sausage.  For the chicken breast I usually cut it up ahead of time and bag up two chicken breasts per bag and freeze (good for 2 adults and 1 toddler and we usually have extra).  I love me some chicken sausage and any kind is great but our favorite is the apple variety.

Then I add vegetables.  Any are fine.  But I really like whole green beans, carrots, onion and potatoes.  I'll occasionally switch it out for broccoli or sweet potato when we have it.  But for the most part, this is my go to.

And besides the potatoes, I use all frozen vegetables.  Because this recipe is supposed to be mindless and a breeze.  I occasionally will freeze baby carrots that I have leftover for this recipe as well.  And chopped frozen store bought onion is the best thing ever.

See - here is that broccoli and baby carrots I spoke of.  The chicken breast is easy.  I usually remember to take it out of the freezer to defrost.  But I have forgotten a couple of times and just threw the hunk of frozen meat on the pan and broke it up as it cooked.  This is where the chicken sausage is handy as it is way easier to cut.

I then drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle a variety of seasonings.  When I first made this I think I searched for a recipe for Italian seasoning or something.  I am not sure how I came up with this blend.  But however I did, it is really good.  But if you prefer you can use a premade blend - I sometimes put out our Red Robin seasoning if I feel like it could use a little more flavor.

Then you stick it in the oven and about a half an hour later dinner is ready to be served.

Sometimes I even like to make this in the morning - put everything in the pan and then stick it in the fridge.  Then all I have to do come one year old witching hour is put it in the oven!  It is truly magical.



2 chicken breasts cut OR 1 package of chicken apple sausage (4 sausages)

Vegetables (frozen carrots, whole green beans, onion - broccoli and sweet potato are also good)

3-4 red potatoes cut (I usually do one potato per person plus one more because we love them but you can cut back if you want)

Olive oil

Sprinkle of each seasoning (I pinch each seasoning with two fingers and sprinkle)
-mrs. dash (so random but I like a lot of flavor so this is to help me use less salt)

// Place all ingredients on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle seasonings.  Mix around with a spoon.

Cook at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes (or until meat and potatoes are cooked to your liking).

*Place sheet pan in dishwasher because this is a recipe where you don't have to do any dishes!  (I also recently purchased dishwasher safe cutting boards so that I had one less thing to wash.  My dry winter hands are thanking me.)

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