Friday, July 26, 2013

The House Tour - Part One

Welcome to our Home!

It's been a month and a half (or so) since we moved and we're finally getting settled.  I thought I would start to share some pictures of our new home.  Every day we change something or moving something around as we are getting comfortable.
(We've already switched out the plain cream colored pillows on the couch for some brighter ones and I'm looking for what we're going to put on the small end I said - things are changing every day!)
The mantle is a work in will definitely be changing once I find what I'm looking for...but I like it okay for now.

The kitchen and living room are in the same space and it's where we spend the
majority of our time. 


This is our TEENY TINY oven (notice it's the same size as the microwave above it! ha).  It's one detail we didn't notice when we first looked at the house.  And for the most part - it's not a big deal.  But for my hubby who Loves to make a MAJOR Thanksgiving dinner - Big Problem!  It's almost comical how small it is.  To give you an example of just how small it is...I had to take back some cookie sheets I bought when we first moved here because the biggest one was TOO Big to fit!  We're talking standard three piece set of cookie sheets people! 

It really is fine on for daily cooking - but we are definitely going to have to get creative for Thanksgiving!  Anyone want to invite us over to their gourmet kitchen so Zach can cook Thanksgiving?

Most of our meals are cooked outside in this beautiful space anyway!
(Sorry - this pic is missing our patio furniture and grill - it was taken before we actually moved.)
We spend a lot of time in the evenings out here...which is so nice since when we would try to do that in Louisville we would be dripping with sweat (sorry for that mental image).  Even on our hotter days here, by dinner time it's cooled off enough to sit outside very comfortably.  And usually right after dinner - it gets almost chilly.  Many nights we'll grab a jacket if we're eating a little late.  So different from what we were used to in Kentucky!

And the view...AHHH the view!  This is what makes Zach's long drive home in traffic each night worth it.  It's what makes a long day at home with the kids a little better...especially when you can picture the amazing beaches that are just a little past those mountains and hills!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Yummy Banana Bread

One of the easiest things I make that my family Loves is my banana bread.  I like that it is super easy to make, fun for the kids to help and it isn't that bad for you!

Here's what you need...

3/4 cup of sugar
1 applesauce cup
2 eggs
2 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3 bananas

So just a few things.  Normally for banana bread you would use butter instead of applesauce.  I am here to tell you that you don't need that butter.  I am a big fan of butter when it makes the treat taste better...but this banana bread actually tastes better with the applesauce.  I have even used the apple sauce with cinnamon and it is really good as well.  And you could also use a sugar substitute too to make it even healthier.  

If you are like me...your bananas look like this before you know it.  If you have a minute to make bread...this is the time!  But if you are busy, peel them and throw them in a ziplock and pit them in the freezer.  They will be just time till you are ready to thaw them out to make bread. 

I try to find ways my kids can help on the kitchen without making a huge mess...Or driving me crazy!  Mashing the bananas is Perfect for kids.  They should look like this when they are done.  

After that you just toss all the other ingredients in stir it up?

Bake it in a greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Place bread n a cooling rack after it comes out of the oven.  

Once it cools a bit, you MUST cut a slice and at it warm...So Yummy!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Hall Tree Makeover

A few weeks ago I was itching to paint something.  I love painting old pieces of furniture.  It is an instant change and makes me fall in love with the piece like it's new again.

Zach's aunt gave him this hall tree years ago.  It has always been a functional piece for us...but never reflected our style.  

I took it out to my workshop...okay, patio.

I couldn't wait to see how it would look with a fresh coat of paint!  First I took the hardware off.  I wanted to take off the mirror, but It was a little more work than I wanted to deal with so I left it on.  

The hardware got a fresh coat of white spray pretty!

And the hall tree got painted a pretty light green color... 

It looks so much better and was a much needed touch of color in our bland living room.

Friday, July 19, 2013


We planted some flowers last weekend.  Flowers always make me feel happy! 
(Sorry for the awful photos - they really don't do the flowers justice!)

My flowers got photo-bombed!  lol

And when we were planting I found this poor planter hidden at our house...
he is looking pretty rough! 
But don't worry - I have plans for him!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Just another day at the beach!

Over the 4th of July we visited another beach in Monterey.  We stopped at the above tide pool first to see what kind of critters we could find and then headed down to the beach! 

After a little picnic lunch, Emma was ready to hit the waves!  She is our true waterbaby!  Even in the cold surf - she stays out there as long as she possibly can!

We had a great day just relaxing at the beach.  On the way home we and stopped and picked up some fresh corn, garlic and strawberries!  There is nothing quite like a relaxing day at the beach!  Now if there was only a way not to bring the beach back to my laundry room! 

Monday, July 15, 2013


I've got random thoughts running through my head this thought I'd just go ahead and do a post with some randomness as well!  Here goes...
The man in the middle had a birthday last week...the other two really love him! 
The birthday was pretty low key, but he must have loved his presents by the look on his face in this one...who knew anyone could be so excited about wine and Toblerones! 
We stopped at the hubby's "office" the other day (aka - trailer on the worksite).  The kids were excited and decided to pretend they were the boss on site!
Emma knows how to take control...
Chase just looks like he got told what to do!  (So a normal day really!)
I ran across these pics below - courtesy of Emma and Chase. 
Get ready baby...
 Told you to get ready baby...where did she go?
Here she comes...
I got her...
And since I didn't do a 4th of July post - here's a little something for you!
(What is he doing???)  These two crack me up!  Oh - and look at that scenery below...we spent our 4th on the beach just down the road from here...
That's it for my random thoughts...for today anyway.
Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Laundry detergent update

I made my 2nd batch of this detergent yesterday and thought I would share my tips now that we have been using it for almost a year now.  There is a link below for the recipe and here are my tips!

1.  Use the Pink Zote.  It smells great and makes your detergent pretty. (Which makes me a little happier when doing the massive loads of laundry since our magic laundry fairy is missing!).  Tip with the Zote is to cut the bar into about 6 sections and then cut each section in three.  Then put 3-4 sections on a plate and microwave for 2 minutes until it is all puffy and not bright pink any more.  Let it cool (but not too long or it gets hard) and then crumble into tiny pieces.  

2.  I found the large canister I used for my 2nd batch at Walmart. It is clear plastic and make it easier to use than using the Purex bottles. I like the Purex bottles so I use the for them for my extra, but if your Zote crumbles are too large it gets stuck.  

3.  To save shopping time you can order it all from and have it shipped to store for free.  I had to order 1ingredient inline anyway so it would have saved me time!

4.  Mix it up outside!  You will make a it is just easier!

Our first batch lasted about 9 months and we do a lot of laundry!  It is great for HE washers and smells amazing! 

Previous post:

That's Right - I made my own laundry detergent!  Just go ahead and call me Susie Homemaker.  (I'm hearing roaring laughter from anyone who really knows me know!) 
I've seen this recipe for DIY laundry detergent before - but never had the time to really think about it.  The claim is that it is Cheaper and I decided to put it to the test!!! 
I came across the recipe again on Pinterest and followed the link here and decided to try it out.  
The ingredients are pretty simple...but not found everywhere.  I price shopped each ingredient and found that the best place to buy them was at Walmart.  And just as the post said - they cost $28 all together.  Not too bad!
The first step was to shred or crumble the Zote - so I enlisted a little help!  You could either grate the bars with a cheese grater or...

put it in the microwave for a while and it blows up and dryes out like this...

Next, it was time to put the whole mix together.  I decided to do this outside because I could tell after working on the soap that I was going to make a mess!  So I took everything out to the patio table. 
By this time - my help had found better things to do!  Digging in the mulch is so much cooler than helping mom!
I layered each ingredient and then stirred it together.  I would definately do this in layers because it makes a TON so it would be very hard to stir up if you did it all at once. 
Once put together - it looks like this!  It is really pretty with the purple Purex Crystals and the pink Zote - and it smells incredible!

So when I said earlier that it made a ton - I was not kidding!  I had not even started to think about what I was doing to put the detergent in...and I need that bucket for other cleaning!  So I placed my detergent in a number of beautiful looking containers as you can see below!

If you wash an average of 6 loads of laundry a week - this batch of detergent should last you a year.  That's $2.33 a month.  Now that's a pretty good deal! 

I roughly calculated that we were probably spending $70 a year on laundry detergent and that doesn't include fabric softener.  So $28 a year sounds pretty great for everything right!  And now - this is what I see when I do laundry - and it makes me happy every time!

We've been using the DIY detergent for about 2 weeks now and I Love it!  It smells great, seems to clean really well - although no one's been rolling in the mud lately since we live in California now and rain is a luxury around here!
Would you make your own detergent?  I'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Movies in the Square

Every Friday night in the summer, a neighborhood close to our new house has a Music and Movie Nigh at the Square.  It's a cute little area with a small-town feeling.  There are vendors, snacks,  live music and it all ends with a family friendly movie.  Last week's movie was Despicable Me, so we went to check it all out.  (Lucky for for me and the hubby - it was also Wine Tasting night!  That happens 3-4 times throughout the summer so you can count on us making it to those!)
After walking around to some of the vendors, eating some hot dogs and tasting a little wine, we made it back to our blanket to wait for the movie.  We had some time before the show so we took a few pics!
Fake Sleeping!

We had a great evening and can't wait to head back this Friday!