Shrimp & Garlic Butter Noodles With Dorot

This post is sponsored by Dorot but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

You guys I’m teaming up with Dorot today to share with you a great no-fail spring recipe! Spring time is such a bright and happy time in the world  and cooking is no exception. I love all the spring time meals and the addition of citrus and fresh herbs to brighten up dishes. For those of us from the coast spring and summer usually bring on seafood dishes and this shrimp meal is such an easy go-to! Go ahead an watch me make this simple and quick dinner! With the help of Dorot, fresh prepared herbs my prep time was literally cut in half!  

If you guys spend any time around me at all you will quickly learn that despite my love of herbs and plants I kill them almost instantly – which makes cooking with herbs highly inconvenient. I am so excited to share the Dorot fresh, prepared herbs – these are seriously a life savor when it comes to fresh and flavorful cooking. For this recipe I used garlic and basil but they have a whole line of great herbs available – check it out here! All of their herbs are prepared, which mean no slicing, dicing or washing. They even have caramelized onions! Y’all. That is seriously a game changer.

Dorot frozen herbs can be found conveniently in the frozen food section of your local Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Wegman’s, Harris Teeter and other stores (check out their website to find a store near you!). I especially love that the Dorot herbs are frozen in a small package that looks like a mini ice cube tray- you just pop out however many you need and put the rest back in the fridge for another meal and just like that you have fresh, already prepared herbs! 

Right now I’m loving the Dorot frozen garlic and basil – these are such life savors for me to have stocked in my freezer for spur of the moment meals – I cannot tell you how many times we have made a last minute trip to the store for just herbs for a specific dish! Well no more, thanks to Dorot we will always have yummy, fresh, frozen herbs right on hand.

As always you guys, I only rep brands that I use and trust, Dorot is one of those brands for me! I think their products are just fantastic and totally worth your time. Go check them out!

XOXO Holly

Eclectic Light Fixtures

Establishing a style in a home can be so easy with the right kind of light fixture. For the most part the lighting in our home is wonderful and “up to date” but there are a few statement light fixtures that aren’t really jiving with our style. They are just a little too generic for the look we are going for. I put together a little collage of my favorite eclectic light fixtures that do a good job of blending traditional and modern, masculine and feminine. Take a look, maybe one would be right for your space 🙂

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six.

Breakfast Nook Sneak Peek & Chalk Board Art Tutorial

Hey everyone! We’ve been working like busy little bees unpacking all of our boxes, putting things away and making this new house our home. As a creative person sometimes the mess of unpacking and long days where I don’t get to do anything creative drives me nuts and I need just a little break in the monotony. I decided that a quick little project would give me a good aside from all the organizing and would help us feel a little more settled in at the same time.

Inspired by one of my favorite songs I created these adorable side by side faux chalkboard panels. I say faux chalkboard because I fixed mine so that the chalk cannot be erased. 

The large panels take up just the right amount of space on the wall in our breakfast nook, I love the way they turned out. These panels were super easy to create even though I have horrible handwriting! I promise you could make your own too! Check out the tutorial below…

To make your own panels you will need..

-1-2 picture frames with chipboard or mdf backings. (I bought mine at Michael’s during a bogo sale)

-Chalk paint in black.

-Paint brush

-Chalk

-Stencils

I’m going to be using a smaller frame as an example for the purposes of this tutorial.

First you’ll want to discard the glass or plastic that came with your frame and paint the entire front of the chipboard backing with the black chalk paint.

Next you’ll need to let the backing dry completely. The rub the side of the chalk over the surface of the “chalkboard” backing.

Next you will need to use a wet towel to  erase the chalk. This will give your chalkboard a “lived in” look.

Then comes the fun a easy part! I wanted a more industrial look for my panels so I chose a black lettering style of stencils ( these are cardstock stencils from Hobby Lobby and are litterally the cheapest stencils ever). Place your stencils where you want your lettering, washi tape can help you hold the stencils in place without damaging your chalkboard.

To draw your letters you’ll want to draw around the edge of the stencil.

Then, scribble chalk in the center and draw heavier on one side of the letter, that will add a little bit of depth to your lettering.

After you finish your lettering you will want to fix the chalk so that your pretty chalkboard art will stay nice and crisp.

There are two ways to fix the chalk art, you can use a fixative spray found at art supply stores- it’s used to fix chalk pastels etc. Or you can use hairspray which will do the exact same thing.  Just hold your hairspray about 12-18 inches away from your panels and give them a nice light spray. and voila! You did it, you made your very own chalkboard art.

Thank you for checking in on my latest project, we have a ton of projects underway. Join us on this little journey as we make our house a home!

xoxo Holly

 

 

The Best Sugar Free Recipes and Products

Hey you guys! As promised I am here today sharing my favorite sugar free and soy free recipes and favorite sugar free products. About three years ago I cut refined sugar, cane sugar syrup, corn syrup etc and soy out of my diet for the most part. I say “for the most part” because we do like to treat ourselves every now and then to nice donut or fancy drink at a restaurant and that is okay as long as I don’t go overboard with sugar. I have always struggled with my body retaining water and toxins. In high school I began to take a medication prescribed by my derm. to help with edema and acne and consequently it helped my body release the toxins that it holds on to. I got off the medication around the time I got married and have just recently began taking it again as I have not been able to control my issues with diet alone (dang hormones). 

While I was off the medication I was pregnant twice. With Grayson’s pregnancy I was very bloated and had tons of edema and acne issues from the very begining. I hurt all over and would get swollen ankles from day one of being pregnant. After my pregnancy the water weight went away rather quickly but I still had so many body aches and pains, I still had a hard time with swollen ankles and feeling groggy and dizzy in the morning time.(Sloane’s pregnancy, while being off sugar was entirely different! No bloating, no swollen ankles from the begining, no feeling tired and sluggish constantly) After Grayson’s pregnancy I did many tests at the doctor to make sure there was not a greater medical issue and was issued a “clean bill of health”. It was then I began to research the “Clean Eating Diet” and the idea of making my food work for me. I stopped eating sugar, I read every label and searched for great recipes, I experimented on recipes by using honey or maple syrup instead of sugar. Some recipes were fails and some were triumphs and I want to share these recipes with you!

Here is my little recipe round up!

1. Peanut Butter Protein Cups eating sugar free is tough without treats! Here is a link to a little mock peanut butter cup treat that is perfect for keeping in the freezer and eating when the need for something sweet arises.

2. Carrot Muffins These are amazing and simple! They are a kid pleaser and perfect with morning coffee.

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3. Whole Wheat Pizza Dough This is great for family pizza night! I would make the dough in the morning and give it all day to rise! Personal pizzas are such a kid pleaser and the dough is delicious!

4. Sugar Free Ketchup Perfect for ketchup lovers out there!

 

Next I want to share a few of my favorite sugar free products!

1. Maple Grove Farms Pancake and Waffle mix Super light and fluffy!

2. Ezekiel 7 Sprouted Grains Bread This brand makes so many variations of bread!

3. Justin’s Peanut Butter YUMMY!

4. Garden of Eatin Blue Corn Chips  These are really great with salsa and guac and I buy mine at Sam’s Club! 

All of these products are not only sugar free but also soy-free! They are super yummy and my husband and kids love them too! If you are interested in clean eating or sugar free eating but don’t know where to start feel free to message me and follow me on Pinterest I’d love to share all of my recipes and tricks I’ve learned along the way with you!.

New House Inspiration

You guys, it’s almost here! In one week we will be pushing off from central Virginia and making our way to Tennessee, where we will be living for the next 3ish years. If you don’t follow along with my Instagram Stories you did not see the house hunting and house buying that we did at the begining of January. We close on our new home the day before we arrive in TN. Also, when I say new home, I mean brand spanking new! Which is exciting since I really didn’t think we were going to go the route of buying a newly constructed home. It was our wild card house actually. We had a lot of great houses on our list and in the end it came down to one of a group of brand new homes and a slightly smaller home built in 2008 with a fabulous back yard. In the end larger and newer won- it was really hard for me. I was definitely rooting for older with a great backyard, but the down side was that tile in the bathrooms and carpet upstairs would need to be replaced along with a LOT of painting. All that to say, we really are psyched about our new home and of course I have so many ideas for decor and projects to do! 

The above picture is from the MLS, just to give you a feel for what we are working with in this new home. I wanting to keep the color palette neutral mostly with very small pops of color, used sparingly. I’m wanting some dramatic elements to be the focal point. Dramatic you ask? Here are some examples of what I’m feeling for our new space….

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I am for real digging the high black ceilings with beams. Also, those big lanterns are everything!

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I am also totally digging the weathered brick veneer. So pretty! So the plan is to definitely “man up” our house a little. With the height of the ceiling a beautiful fireplace the architecture of this new house can handle masculine elements like our previous home could not.

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Last but not least the gorgeous weathered plank ceiling! I love it, so so much! Now that I’ve shown you all my inspiration photos let me show you the little design board I’ve come up with.

The style of our new home is all about one thing, compromise. The mix of modern and traditional, masculine and feminine. I can’t wait! I’m so excited to have another home to make pretty and spend our days in! I’ll be sure to send you all lots of great updates along the way!

xoxo, Holly 

Fall Table Decor

Hey hey hey!  Welcome back- today is day 2 0f my challenge to blog and take photos with my “real” camera ev’ryday! So far, so good- I haven’t missed a day yet! lol but I’m excited about todays post because I am yet again, breaking out of my shell. You see, I’m not a big seasonal decorator…..I come by this honestly though- ask my mom 😉

However there is one season that I ALWAYS decorate for and that is Christmas. And, I blame my love of Christmas for my neglect of other seasons and holidays. You see I don’t even feel like I should put up fall decor until the weather gets decently fall-ish (around Oct. 15ish) and this is how my mind works… “Oh, it’s October 15th, which means there are only 16 days until Halloween. Therefore it will become socially acceptable (to me) to decorate for Christmas in 17 days.” So, somehow poor Autumn gets left out of my decor rotation. 

This year I decided that I’d try to decorate for fall, at least a little bit. I made a cute little table scape for our dining room and I’m super pumped about how the little grouping turned out.

 

 

fall table decor

Fall table decor

Regardless of what season or holiday I decorate for I try to make sure that my decor choices are on trend with the way I decorate my home in the everyday. This being said, you can probably deduce that my fall decorations were not going to be rustic in nature…..maybe if we live in a log home one day. Also, I wanted to use mostly things that I already had. I seriously do not need to make my decor storage pile in the garage any bigger….My husband loves this.

fall table decor

The large color block pumpkin was from Hobby Lobby a few years back. My favorite time to buy seasonal decor is at the end of the season, the pumpkin was 90% off at the time. Say what you will about Hobby Lobby, their clearance is amazing. I used acrylic paint to give it a cute little color block treatment this morning. The black glitter pumpkins are Target $1 section pumpkins from 2 years ago. This year they had marble pumpkins and I missed out…… I’m still sad over this.

fall table decor

I picked up a bag of mini pumpkins and gourds this morning from Michael’s ( which by the way has marked all fall/Halloween decor to 50% off right now). They were realistically colored when I bought them but a little white spray paint perfectly suited them for this project.

fall table decor

All of the glassware I already had in decor storage, even the flowers came out of our garden.

fall table decor

fall table decor

Well, thanks for dropping by and checking on day 2 of my challenge. I’m super excited about my table scape, the way my photos turned out and I’m so happy I got to share them with YOU 🙂

 

Goal Setting & Not Being Perfect….Because That’

Do you have goals? I’m sure you do, do you ever write down your goals and make a plan to complete them? I don’t think that I personally have thought that hard about my business and artistic goals but recently I challenged myself to take photographs with my “real” camera and blog every day for one year. I’m hoping by the end of this challenge to gain more consistency with my writing as well as hone some camera skills which I can honestly say- I am desperately lacking. And that is the hard part of this challenge for me- the transparency that I am just pitiful when it comes to using my DSLR. I plan on sharing my progress with ya’ll everyday and that is scary (because it’s so bad right now! lol).

I got on youtube and skillshare this morning and watched all the videos I could find about using a DSLR on manual, photo comp, editing videos etc. Then I began snapping photos….I thought at first I would take some pictures of my kids….however, this beginner needs non-moving subjects to start out with. I’m hoping that through this experience I will gain lots of experience and I will get better at taking pictures. I also hope that it will help me to get over myself a little bit. I think that sharing progress is something that builds confidence in ourselves as well as other people and I hope that my sharing something that I’m really working on can inspire someone else to try something new as well.

So This is where I started today….

goal setting & not being perfect

So over all I don’t think that the composition of the photo is all that bad, I like the object in the foreground with the pieces of background objects that help move your eye around the photo. I was still trying to get the ISO, aperture, shutter speed combo down at this point so my photos were ranging from super fuzzy to somewhat decent at this point.

goal setting & not being perfect

I tried a lot of different still subjects throughout the day but I really liked this shelf. I’d say this photo is a little more in focus than the last…PROGRESS!!!

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So here is my last photo of the day! I wanted to get my lunch in focus as the subject of the photo and I did it y’all! WOOOO! I had some fun editing too. I wanted to capture the cozy feel of this little corner of our home so I turned up the “temperature” with my photo editor. I’m super excited that by the end of the day I was able to get an in-focus picture. You guys come back tomorrow and see what else I’m sharing!

Rental Dining Room & One Room Challenge

It is October 5th and that means it’s time for the fall One Room Challenge. This is actually the first year I’m getting in on the whole Challenge (5 weeks) and I’m super excited to play along with everyone.

This year I’m going to be making over the dining room of our rental home. This means a couple of very defining guidelines for me…
1. No paint

2. No wallpaper

3. No changing out fixtures or flooring

I have to say, I’m slightly intimidated by those constraints. I’m struggling over the fact that I can’t use paint or wallpaper with fun patterns but I have big plans for this space and I’m having some fun. The constraints are actually forcing me to use my creative thinking skills so let me show you what I’m working with…

Here is an image I generated of the dining area’s layout.

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Not a bad space all in all. Sizable, with wood flooring and a small strip of tile by the back french doors. The walls and trim are a cream color. Here are some before pictures that I took…enjoy them in all their “we just moved in” glory.

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Okay, first. Don’t judge me. lol. I took these pictures right as we moved the last full boxes out of the dining room. I’m terrible at capturing “before pictures” but this time I was bound and determined to get them! 

The most important thing you can gather from our messy before photos is that we have a relatively large white box to work with.

So, let me give you a little inspiration…

inspiration-board-

As you can see in my inspiration board above I’m choosing to make my very neutral palette work for me. I’m going to define my white walls with faux black picture moulding, add pops of color in the accessories and mix traditional elements with some funky and modern things. 

I’ve already started pulling the room together, I wasn’t planning on showing you anything more in this post, but I just can’t wait! I’ve completed the faux picture frame moulding and it is looking fabulous! 

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I have the faux moulding on the three dining room walls and it looks amazing! It has really added a lot of height to the room. look for more sneak peeks on Instagram (lovethetompkins) as that is where I will be doling out the details in between blog posts! 

Until next time! xoxo