Friday, August 28, 2015

FOF: Five Things I am Loving Right Now...


This week's FOF is a little random; Five things I am loving right now...
 
//One//

We bought a Roomba during the Amazon Prime Black-Friday Sale, and just got around to using it. We ordered the  iRobot Roomba 595 Pet Series since Bindi sheds quite a bit. So far it's great; it does a good job picking up and getting under furniture. You will still need to do some supplemental sweeping and mopping, but I think it's going to make things a lot easier. There's only one really big negative; Bindi is terrified of it. I've only run it while we are home, I've tried to put her in the bedroom with the door closed, and have gone as far as taking her outside with me; but the poor thing paces regardless. I am hoping she will eventually get use to it after she realizes that it's harmless, we'll see ($379.99) ...
 

 


//Two//
 
While we're on the topic of great gadgets, we bought a clothes steamer off Amazon recently. My friend Nicole has the same one and she definitely didn't steer me wrong. This Conair Garment Steamer is fairly inexpensive, can collapse for travel, and makes getting out wrinkles a breeze. I bought it mainly to tackle all of the drapery panels we just bought, but I've used it on our duvet and work clothes too ($57.99)...



//Three//
 
Have you tried Not Your Fathers Rootbeer yet? Another product Nicole introduced me to, and it's really delicious. If you like rootbeer this tastes very similar, with a little kick! It's not overly sweet, and I've heard it makes tasty Adult Root beer Floats as well. I saw it at Publix last week so they sell it here in Charlotte ($10.99)...
 
 
//Four//
 
Another product I am getting a lot of use out of, is this marble cheese-cutter. It slices perfectly thin and evenly-cut cheese. It will definitely come in handy for the upcoming holiday season.  My sister Mel  has used a Pampered Chef one for years, this version is less expensive but works very well so far ($12.99)...


 //Five//

I am trying to cut down on the harsh chemicals I use around the house.While this is certainly less natural than vinegar and water, it's a step in the right direction. I am loving Method's French lavender All Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner. It's hypoallergenic, phosphate free, and non-toxic. I really like the clean scent, and it really works well. You can find it at Target  ($2.99) ...
 
 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

No-Oven Required

I've been cooking all of our meals a-la stove top lately. Some of our appliances didn't work exactly as planned, so we've had to be patient as they send technicians over to get everything in order. I didn't realize how heavily I rely on the oven. I thought I would share two great recipes I made this week that did not require an oven...

Girl and the Kitchen's Copycat Panera Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup...This one is for lemon-lovers like me. While I've actually never had the original recipe it copies, this was good. I could see it being really good for someone with a cold, or during a chilly night. You could easily use a rotisserie chicken to make it super-easy, or let the chicken cook in the broth.

Photo courtesy of GirlandtheKitchen

Gimme Some Oven's 12 Minute Chicken and Broccoli... I planned on making this as written, but our organic broccoli went bad before I was able to use it, so I made this with carrots (hey it's what I had). The grocery store is no longer just around the corner, so I had to improvise. That being said, this sauce was easy and tasty. Next time I think I will cut the honey in half since it was just a tad sweeter than I would prefer. It did take a little longer than 12 minutes to prepare, but it was worth it. By the way, if you don't have a rice steamer, you need one!The rice comes out delicious and it's super simple to use; press a button and walk away.

Photo courtesy of GimmesomeOven

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The long painful process of decorating a house...

Word to the wise; stash some money away for things you will need when you move into a new house because the list seems never ending.

We have been sleeping pretty poorly at our new house. The curtainless bedroom gets bright... early. Anyone who has traveled with me knows that I am serious about my eye-mask and earplug combo, however high maintenance that makes me seem. I could write love poems about the Bucky Eye Mask.  I am a terribly light sleeper; God help me if I have children. Our old bedroom was painted chocolate brown, equipped with shades, blackout curtains, noise-machine etc. so it was essentially a sleep cave. Blackout curtains are not the most attractive things, and I wasn't going to DIY 12 panels, so I bought these babies in gray...


Pottery Barn Alessandra Floral Blackout Drape


  We also purchased curtains for the living room. In a perfect world we would have gone custom, but the price for 24 panels (in both rooms) was more than we could rationalize. As it is, I have a feeling these are going to hang in the Couick household for a very long time; so I went neutral...

Pottery Barn Riviera Stripe
We went with Navy; it's one of the only colors I will commit to long term. Color-phobic party of one. My all-burgandy red college apartment still haunts me to this day..


Side-note,  I want to get in on the curtain ring business. Those things are crazy overpriced.

I also finally found a runner I like for the kitchen, in what else but navy. It's a busy pattern but hopefully will hide spills since it's in a high traffic area. This is my first purchase from Wayfair, but they have tons of reasonably priced items...




I promised my co-worker I would add pops of color ....maybe a lemon-yellow throw or something. I have a feeling it's going to take a long time for me to decorate this house.

Where do you shop for your home decor? Any hidden-gems I should know about in the Charlotte area?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Move-in Photos

Greetings from....our new house! We made the big move last weekend and it has been a whirlwind (of work) ever since. Our friends and family helped us move in and clean so that was a huge help and I am so thankful.

 We moved in knowing that we still have a lot to do, but it's more than inhabitable and being closer should make it easier to get things done. I'll be honest, building was a long road that I don't think I would want to go down again anytime soon.  I will say the home we ended up with is truly a collaboration between Brad and I, and we were blessed to be able to create exactly what we wanted.

I know I said that I would not post photos until we finish, but a few friends requested that I post some. Not a single room is completely done, however I will post the most complete rooms.

Our laundry room still needs touch-up paint and hardware for the cabinetry...



The guest bath  is probably the most complete room in the house. It still needs touch-up paint and the mirror installed. This room is small so it's kind of tough to photograph.


I found some really cute guest towels to match the navy and white color scheme. Do guest towels make me an official grown-up?


The kitchen is nearly done as well, we just have a lot of painting (including the crown molding on top of the cabinetry) to do. I want to add a runner for a pop of color, but haven't found one I really like yet...




 I found this bronze spoon at Marshalls and just thought it was kind of cool, so it will eventually find a spot on the kitchen wall. I will get around to filling that cake-stand too-haha!


We still have so much to do it's tough not to feel overwhelmed, but I am definitely enjoying the new space!

We also had a huge weight lifted this week; we have rented our old house already! Our new tenants seem like a great couple, and are friends of friends so it's just one less thing to worry about.

That's all for now, I hope everyone has a great weekend : )


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Orlando Trip & Nicole's Bachelorette in the Poconos!

I have so much to catch up on. It has been an exhausting week, but I truly can't complain because I had a lot of fun.

Tuesday I flew to Orlando for a work trade-show. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency which had delicious food and was very nice.

The view of the pool from my room...



Our trade-show booth ...


A lot of interesting sites at the trade-show ...


We won Marketing Vendor of the Year which was exciting ...



They took us to Universal Studios on Wednesday. I haven't been since I was little and it was so much fun...



 The next day I flew to NJ for my friend Nicole's Bachelorette weekend. That night we shopped for supplies and had a really delicious dinner at Lassoni (highly recommend).

This was my first time planning a Bachelorette weekend. I had never been to the Poconos before, but everything turned out great. I sent all of my decorations ahead of time and most of them made it in one piece !

At the brides request, I won't give away too much detail, but we had a Glamping theme and stayed in a lodge-style home in the Lake Harmony area...


There were nine of us including the bride...


Some of the fun decorations...





Cait made these and some other fun goodies for the girls... she is SO talented!


We played some games (thanks Pinterest) ...her own personalized wedding version of Cards Against Humanity...


We had a special activity planned for the afternoon, a wine and food pairing...



...and the rest of the weekend I will let Nicole share ;)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Five On Friday: 7/31

It has been awhile since I've been able to participate in a Five on Friday, but here are my Five this week...


//One//

We bought some living room furniture last week. Now our guests won't have to squeeze in with us on one sofa! Due to quality concerns, we ultimately decided not to go with this set, and instead found a reclining sofa, loveseat, and recliner from Broyhill that we really liked. If you live in NC I highly suggest venturing out to  Hickory Furniture Mart for the day. It's basically a mall dedicated to furniture; they have a ridiculously huge selection from low-end to high-end, and great prices. 


We went with the Jasmine collection in Autumn leather. Broyhill lets you choose the fabric for the  pillows too (below). It will be 6-8 weeks out while it's being made, but I think we will be very happy with this set...(I could only find a photo of the sofa)
Pillow Fabric...


//Two//

Drapery. Ugh. It can be SO expensive. My husband went a little window-wild while planning our house and it looks great.. however, a bedroom that has a huge picture window in it (along with four others) is not really conducive to sleep. We have a friend whose mother sells custom, but we're not sure if we're ready to bite that bullet in the bedroom. I really want longer drapes/curtains and they must be blackout. I found a few on Overstock.com but wondered if anyone had recommendations on where to buy quality curtains?

//Three//

Has anyone tried Mally cosmetics? I have been using Mary Kay Tinted Moisturizer with SPF since college. I am a loyalist when it comes to makeup. Unfortunately, they recently discontinued it, and I refuse to pay even more for a product that's expired..thanks, but no thanks ebay. I walked into Ulta this week and a makeup artist introduced me to Mally's BB Cream and so far I really love it. It offers a bit more coverage than Mary Kay, but it looks natural, my skin can still breathe, and it feels/looks great.

I picked up a few other Mally products as well, my favorite being the Effortless Airbrush Highlighter and Blush in Peach (which comes with a free brush)!

//Four//

My Chalene Extreme/Turbofire hybrid program is almost done. I only have two workouts left, and I can't wait to share my results with you! I purchased a Shaun T DVD a few months ago, and I am really looking forward to trying that out next. 

//Five//

I won't be blogging much next week. I will be traveling to Orlando for work and then flying directly to New Jersey for my friend's Bachelorette weekend in the Pocono Mountains!
 Have a great weekend : )

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happy News (and no we're not expecting)...

I was starting to believe this day would never come. Drum roll please.............we passed our final inspection!!!!!! We now have our certificate of occupancy, which essentially means the house is fit to live in. Last Friday we failed inspection (slightly disheartening, but not uncommon), so it's a huge relief to have passed.

We could have power by this weekend, and shortly after that air conditioning :) 
 
Due to upcoming work trips (for both of us), and a Bachelorette trip, we are going to hold off moving until August 15th. Fingers crossed, we will  hopefully get our current place rented by the following month.

Such happy news for us to be nearly done with this build! It has been over a year since we have started this process, and it has been exhausting to say the least. I am really looking forward to seeing more of my hubby, and to slow down and enjoy life a bit more. 
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