Thursday, March 28, 2019

Tween Bedroom Makeover

A few weeks ago I shared that we were redoing my daughter's room and it's finally done!  I've been so excited to put the finishing touches on it so I could share all the details!

Just to recap, she wanted her room to be peach/rose gold and teal/aqua. We found these color palettes as inspiration and went with it!

We had so much fun shopping for all the things.  I found a lot the bedding, rug, pillows and frames at Tuesday Morning and then we checked out Hobby Lobby and got a lot of the other fun accessories there.

A few weeks ago I shared how we transformed a plain full length mirror into this pretty one with flowers for her room.

As for furniture we got her a new bed and dresser.  She loved the upholstered look and so we decided on this bed from Pier One. It's so beautiful in person and I love the nail heads on it.

She also wanted one of these big knitted blankets so instead of buying one my amazingly talented friend, J, came over to help her make it herself!

The dresser is also from Pier One and it is really nicely made. We hung the monogrammed sign that she made at Board and Brush above it and I love that it is one of the first things you see when you walk in her room!

I kept her side table and desk because it was already painted the correct color and just used spray paint to paint the desk chair.

I found the sheets and bed skirt on Amazon and LOVE them both.  I've never seen this kind of bed skirt and it was SO easy to put on.  I did it by myself and didn't have to worry with lifting up the mattress.  I will never use another type of bed skirt!

The sheets are from California Design Den and area also available on Amazon HERE.  They are such a great value and are so soft.  They are 100% cotton and remind me of expensive luxury hotel sheets.  They are so nice!

She really wanted to have a lot of succulents and flowers in her room so we made sure to add those touches here and there. 

I also love that she picked out some positive and motivational accessories.  It totally goes along with her personality and drive! 

I love the way her room turned out and more importantly she loves it.  It feels like a more grown up space than what she had before, but still girly and really just so her!

Best of all it didn't take any major changes. Paint color stayed the same, curtains stayed the same and there were only a few furniture changes.  It forced us to really clean out, organize, and purge though, which felt great! 

I'm still putting a few finishing touches on her little sister's room, but will be sure to share that as soon as it's done!

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Monday, March 25, 2019

Kitchen Confessions: Easy Quiche Recipes

A few weeks ago on Instagram Stories I shared that I was going to try making a quiche for dinner and that I would share the recipe if it turned out ok.  Well, it turned out great and my family all loved it! So I decided to try another recipe and they loved that one, too.

Every time I think about or eat quiche I think about a time in college when a friend of ours spelled it "keesh" during a game we were playing. I am a horrible speller, but even I knew quiche started with a Q.

We like to have quiche for dinner and eat the left overs for breakfast. I usually just add a salad or some fruit with it and call it a meal.  I usually buy quiche pre-made at Costco, but hen after making my own I don't think I'll go back.  For both of these I doubled the recipe and baked them both at the same time. Then I froze one to be able to pull out at a later date.

One thing I did that made it an easier recipe to put together was use a jar of this Hormel Real Bacon Pieces for each of them instead of cooking and chopping bacon.

Spinach and Bacon Quiche
Paula Deen original recipe HERE. I made a few edits to the recipe so noted that below!

5 eggs
1 cup half and half cream
salt and pepper
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
1 jar (3 oz) real bacon bits
1 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 9 inch refrigerated pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Fit pie crust to glass pie dish
3. Layer spinach, bacon and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust.
4. Whisk eggs, cream, salt and pepper and pour egg mixture on top.
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until egg mixture is set.

Bacon and Cheese Quiche
Both of these recipes were ones I just searched really quickly in the grocery store. I could not find the original source for this one, but have included the substitutions and the way I made it below.

1 jar (3 oz) real bacon bits
1 Tbs. dried minced onion
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 9 inch deep dish frozen pie crust
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup half and half cream

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In medium bowl mix bacon, onions, and both cheeses.
3. Mix eggs and half and half in a bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese mixture.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes or until top of quiche begins to brown.

Do you have a favorite quiche recipe?

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Things to do with Kids in Key Largo, Florida

I've been to the Florida Keys three times in the last 18 months. Each time has been unique, and such a wonderful experience. Last month, for Winter Break, we planned a super last minute trip with the kids to Key Largo, Florida. And when I say last minute, I mean we booked the trip on Thursday night and were sipping fruity drinks poolside Sunday.

Originally we had planned to go to Arizona for Winter Break. Weather is typically pretty enjoyable there in the winter months, and we were ready for some fun in the sun. As we got closer to our departure date we realized it was going to be cold. Like colder than it was at home. The whole plan for the break was to escape the cold rainy winter, not sink further into it.

We also couldn't stay home because we had scheduled a part of our kitchen remodel over the break. This part of the remodel required us to be out of the house for at least two nights.

So Mr. Cute and I put our travel planning skills to work and came up with the Florida Keys. We landed on Key Largo only because it was the only Key that had availability for the entire week. We found a hotel that had a beach, a pool with a cocktail cabana bar, and a room large enough for our crew - and that's all that matters.

After it was all said and done - best decision ever! We had a blast as family in Key Largo. The weather was perfection, there was tons to do, and the kids had a blast!

My kids are the kind of kids that could spend all day at the beach and pool, and be perfectly happy. I love that because that's how I am. But we still managed to sneak a lot of fun adventures on this trip too. I think we were all high on finally experiencing warmth and sunshine that we just wanted to do all the things on this trip.

The parts of the Keys I had seen I didn't think it would be a kid friendly place. When we had vacationed to Islamorada and Key West it was a completely different experience. When it came to vacationing with kids, I couldn't have been more wrong. There were tons of things to do with kids in the Keys.

Here's a peek at some of our favorite adventures...

Things to do with Kids in Key Largo, Florida

The Turtle Hospital
The Turtle Hospital is located in Marathon, Florida (approximately an hour south of Key Largo). The  Turtle Hospital is one of the country's largest sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation facilities. The facility has a unique back story and is open for tours daily. The kids loved this activity. They were able to be educated on different varieties of sea turtles, the dangers sea turtles experience, and ways to help keep them safe. 

We also were lucky enough to sea a sea turtle rescue surgery being performed during our visit.

The tour includes an up close look at the different rescued sea turtles and even a chance to feed the sea turtles. 

Tours last approximately one hour, but there are educational play areas you can enjoy to extend your visit if desired.  

Swim with Dolphins
There are several swim with dolphin opportunities throughout the Florida Keys, but the facility we chose to go with was Dolphins Plus. We cold walk to there from our hotel if wanted and it received a ton of great reviews. It is also one of the few places I've seen anywhere that lets children under the age of 8 participate in interactions with the dolphins. 

There are multiple interact with dolphin options available. From simply observing, to painting with a dolphin to full on structured swim sessions. We opted to go with the Shallow Water Encounter

The Shallow Water  Dolphin Encounter allows anyone over the age of three to interact with a dolphin. You stand on a motorized platform in the dolphins swim area, and an instructor leads you through tasks. The instruction last approximately 20 minutes during which time you get to touch, play, kiss, and learn about the dolphins. 

The kids loved this experience, and have already asked when they can do the Structured Swim option. This was the perfect way to introduce the kids to dolphins up close (especially for one of ours who was a little more hesitant about the situation). 

Note: We did opt for the professional photographer to take our photos. It's an additional fee, but we were able to just enjoy the experience and not worry about having our phones or cameras capture any moments. Book online for a slight discounted rate!  

Off Shore Fishing
Some of the best fishing in the world is in the Florida Keys. There are tons of available guides on each Key. Mr. Cute did some research and booked an off shore fishing trip out of Pilothouse Marina for he and our eight year old son. He went with Charisma charters and felt they did an excellent job and were super knowledgeable about water conditions, fish availability, and amazing with the kids. 

The boys caught Yellow Tail Snapper and Cera Mackerel. 

John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park
The John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park was created in 1963 to protect one of the only existing living coral reefs in the Continental United States. It is described as an undersea park and covers approximately 178 nautical square miles. Access to the park is right in the heart of Key Largo, and it is the host to a variety of activities that can be enjoyed. 

The park offers scuba diving tours, snorkeling tours, kayaking, paddle boarding, glass bottom boat tours, and aquarium and more. 

We decided to take park in a Glass Bottom Boat Tour to give the kids a closer peek at the coral reef, and the chance to learn more about the park in an interactive setting. The tour is approximately two hours long, but it goes by quick. You get the chance to see fish, stingrays, sharks, sea turtles, and more in their native habitat. 

Note: If you get seasick at all be sure to check wave conditions or take one of the offered dramamines before the tour. You look down a lot, and we saw several people get sick. There is also a snack bar available on board. 

After the tour we took a quick pass through the aquarium. There are several fun interactive exhibits for kids (young and old) to enjoy and a few native species on display. 

You are also able to enjoy the park at your leisure outside of the tours. It's open to the public once you pay the entrance fee. If you are a nature lover at all, I highly recommend.

Notables options that we didn't do on this trip...
There are a few places close by that are also kid friendly in the Keys that we didn't do on this trip. Here are just a few of our favorites: 

Have you visited the Florida Keys with your kids? What are some of your favorite attractions to visit? 

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