Thursday, November 21, 2013

coconut butter snack bites

since i've been primarily focusing on the house and it's been so long since i've posted a recipe, i figured it was high time i remedy that situation. 

i've been feeling the pressure to up the anti in the snack department since Big A snuck behind my back and convinced some poor kid to give him his Lunchables for almost a WHOLE WEEK at school (don't get me started...) i figured i needed to make something he could get excited about when he opened his lunch box. 

now, don't get me wrong, these lunch snacks are good and everything. but they aren't as exciting as anything that would have Red #40 in it, or comes in brightly colored packages with animals dressed like rappers on them, but i'm doing my best. and i'm super happy that big A is not hard to please. he loves these. but i am still on a mission to make paleo lunches fun! i think i need to whip up a batch of my favorite chicken nuggets and do another round of homemade gummies


1 c coconut butter
3/4 c chopped pecans
3/4 c chopped raisins
1 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon

pulse all ingredients in the food processor. scoop spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheet. allow to chill until firm, no more than 30 minutes. store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. 

so, paleo mamas, what do you do to make your kid's school lunch fun! i need some ideas.

xo, tara

Friday, November 15, 2013

girl room inspiration: the cat's meow


i'm totally flipping out over this inspiration board. i want to move in right. now. and get started making this space so special for my sweet girl. i showed it to her and she immediately started telling me which prints should go next to each other. ha! 

i'm calling this room, "the cat's meow". i really wanted to do a cat theme for her room because, like i mentioned before, she is seriously the cat whisperer. anytime we go on a walk all the cats in the neighborhood come crawling out under garage doors and over fences and just lay at her feet. it's the craziest thing. 

unfortunately, we discovered that i am allergic to cats after getting one. i endured it for 6 months and could not handle the daily stuffy nose, itchy skin, and watery eyes. we gave our sweet kitty boy to my mother-in-law so we can still visit him and know he's well loved (she's a cat whisperer too, it's genetic). 

so, visualize this... the room is painted a lovely shade of pale pink. i'm thinking maybe doing a chair rail with black chalk board paint below, with the pink above? or just all pink? what do you think? chalk board would be fun, but messy with all the chalk dust. the color scheme will be white, black, pale pink, gray, and gold. anyway, i want it to have sort of a french cafe feel, i'm thinking the sophisticated mom cat from aristocats goes to grab a latte in Paris... ha!

1 // it ALL started with these wall decals. i follow Urban Walls on instagram and they posted a picture of these ridiculously cute cat decals and i immediately knew they would be the focal point of Little A's new room. i'm dying over how cute they are.

i know there are a lot of prints, but i just couldn't choose. they are all so cute. since there are so many you can click on the numbers below to find them all:

2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 9 // 10

8 // i saw these gold cafe string lights on pinterest, and even though they are way out of my budget i love them. i bet i could jimmy-rig my own with a can of gold spray paint. 

11 // pretty little mirror

12 // i've always wanted to give her a chandelier, and this one has the right price!

13 // i kind of want this clip-on desk lamp to be my bedside lamp. it's amazing.

14 // simple but graphic rug adds just the right mix of pattern.

15 // um, how adorable are these pink children's tabouret chairs? 

16 // playful but sophisticated jewelry box 

17 // i love this side table

18 // CAT PILLOW!!!! 

19 // this sequined pillow add a touch of glamor and texture

i'm so excited! i love this, it makes me so happy. it fills my heart with joy to make my things specific to my kids personality that i think will bring them joy too! 

xo, tara

Thursday, November 14, 2013

documenting our current home: daughter's room

we are nearing the end of my series about documenting our current home. i'm glad i took these pictures a while ago because things are slowly being sold and pretty soon i will start packing. after this room tour i will share our master bedroom, and then that's it. i will, of course, keep you updated on the rooms in progress after we move and how i decorate them. i just bought a vintage mid-century dresser for the master bedroom and i'm super excited about it. it's needs a little TLC, but it's in great condition and i snagged it for a super low price! i'll share about it later. let's get down to business, on to Little A's room!

my sweet baby girl's room gets the most light out of every room in the whole house, so these pictures show everything being very bright and vibrant... just like her little personality. the original inspiration for her room can be seen here. the paint color is Valspar Aqua Glow, and is WAY brighter than i thought it would be based on the pictures... but i still like it. unfortunately, this room remained unfinished. it is in desperate need of shelving and art, and just general decorations.

i think it has good pieces, most of which we will be taking to the new house. she had an identical children's school desk that Big A had, but i sold them both as a set to a homeschooling mom, so i feel like they went to a good home.

this is what you see as you enter her room. the beautiful play kitchen was a score from craigslist. i bought it from a french woman who said she brought it with her from France and it's solid wood. it sadly is not making the cut. my daughter didn't want to part with it, but she NEVER played with it and it took up precious wall space. i convinced her to part with it after i promised to replace it with a table for coloring. Little A loves to color and does so ALL DAY LONG. so i think it was a good negotiation.

i found her bed from craigslist as well, and sanded and painted the whole thing in one day. it was in the dead of summer on a super hot and dry day so the paint dried really fast. i'm pretty sure my sheer determination kept me from passing out from the heat! i had a vision and nothing was going to stop me. (i wonder where Little A's strong-willed personality comes from? huh...) the quilt is handmade and the sheets are from Target. i'm keeping both for her new room. i wouldn't mind grabbing another set of the sheets because she currently only has one. her bed also needs a box spring cover. there is also a mattress shoved under her bed with a navy blue sheet over it, and it's totally getting the cut. not cute at all. 

i love these little wooden boxes (i have no idea what they're called). they are garage sale finds. my favorite is the little house. i'm going to put the lighter one in Big A's room once we move, to keep all his Lego men in. the handkerchiefs we bought at a garage sale and i just tied them together to make a banner. it's cute but not making the cut for the new house. 

i'm on the fence about her dresser. i purchased it from Goodwill. i do love it's overall look, but was disappointed when i bought it and brought it home. i started sanding it to repaint it and discovered that it was not wood, but particle board. i get the feeling that it will not last as long as i hoped. but i put the time and love into it and it's hard to part with. 

the 6 framed tea towels are so cute, i bought them at the same yard sale as the handkerchiefs. i think i'm going with a totally different look for her room, so these will not be in her new room either. i think i paid $2 for the whole lot, so i don't feel that sad about it. 

when i asked Little A what color she wanted me to paint her new walls, she said pink and purple. my heart cringed a little, but i really want to give her a room she'll love... so i think we can compromise by just picking one. and as far as "non-theme" goes, i have a few ideas up my sleeve that may or may not involve cats (my daughter is the cat-whisperer, she gets it from her Nana!) ... you'll just have to see. 

xo, tara

other room tours can be found here:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

boy room inspiration: neutral & native

you guys. i'm pretty excited about this inspiration board. but before i can get into a long list of material objects i wish i owned... i want to just get some things straight. first off, i am a dreamer. i love to get lost in my own thoughts in the peace and quiet of my home and literally dream about all the what-ifs that make life so fun. i have big dreams, grand dreams, dreams that at times can be unattainable, but i also try to dream in practical ways so i don't get frustrated because they are too out of reach. i'm not afraid to dream. but there are times that i can get carried away by my dreaming. like the times i scour the internet for ideas on how to arrange my living room and it turns into a comparison-fest and covetousness over other people's things. and there are times when i lose my joy over the fact that, compared to those people, i have less. but the most important thing i want you all to know is that in my heart of hearts i am grateful. almost everything we own was given to us, and we are blessed. my house is full of beautiful things. but they are just things. nothing i ever put on my inspiration board will put me in financial debt because i HAVE to have it so badly. and i do keep my heart in check if i sense myself going to a dark place. i don't want to be caught up in consumerism, and that is something that i am trying to be so careful of, especially since we just bought a new house. i want to make sure i stay grateful, save my pennies, choose joy, and praise Jesus for all He has chosen to bless me with. so, sorry for the rant. it has just been on my heart. onto the fun stuff.

i know i said that i needed to pick something "theme-less" for Big A's new room, but he IS only 7. i can't give him a grown up man's room. i still want it to be fun and inspiring for him. i was really inspired by this inspiration board and it's color palette, also this room with bunk beds, and this one too! so i did my own spin on kind of a native american/adventure/exploring vibe. there's a lot going on because there are so many cute things out there on the interwebs and i couldn't really narrow it down. i love it all! 

the paint color is called Shenendoah Taupe by Benjamin Moore. 

1 // this bookshelf is my favorite, and it's totally on clearance right now. but it's on clearance because it's discontinued. World Market's stores do not speak to each other so i cannot have it shipped between stores. i would have to call every World Market in the US to track it down and then ask if they could ship it to me. aint nobody got time for that! so, i think i will attempt to make my own. (*insert nervous emoji face here.)

2 // arrows are totally a thing right now and i'm into it

3 // how cute is this Sasquatch print from Land of Nod?? it's always a possibility to run into Bigfoot if you're out on an adventure!

4 // an ode to my husband and his love for VW buses. i know he would love to explore the world in one!

5 // rustic inspired pendant light

6 // these orange graphic print sheets from Target will transition well over time as Big A grows

7 // love this EXPLORE print

8 // the inspiration for the quilt(s) i made.

9 // pillow lust

10 // i feel like i could make this pillow with canvas, feathers, and fabric paint, no? 

11 // two of these sconces, one for each bed on the bunks. 

12 // this medicine cabinet doesn't really tie in with the theme, unless you want to argue that safety comes first when you're exploring. also, i think it would make Big A flip his lid. having one on each bed would be a cute detail and also feed into his love-of-all-containers-with-compartments-that-lock. is that a thing? it needs to be.

13 //  buffalo's are totally in the wild. 

14 // RUG. it's pricey, and amazing. it makes me want to withdrawal funds from his college account just to buy it. KIDDING.

15 // cute little circular mirror to offset all the sharp corners. 

16 // woven wall hanging, inspired by this PIN.

17 // how cute is this little wall hanging planter? great way to add live plants to the room but not worry about them knocking over!

18 // Land of Nod is the best place for storage baskets. so many cute options, like this canvas bin. but i think i'm gonna try to make it cause i already have the fabric and it can't be too hard. 

19 // this one, however, i want to buy. because i love it and wasn't blessed with the gift of basket weaving. shoot.

so, what do you think? still too theme-ie? i just love looking for fun stuff for my kids room's, it's my fav. 

xo, tara

p.s. GRANDPARENTS: if you want to know what Big A needs/wants for Christmas, look no further. *wink

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

documenting our current home: our son's room

two things: 1) my house is a deep dark dungeon with awful lighting. which leads me to believe that the horrible pictures might not be ALL my fault! because 2) these pictures are horrible, again. 

on to the next edition of "documenting our current home". this time i'll be sharing my son's room. while we were able to give it a little more love and attention this last year by painting the walls, getting two pieces of art, and finishing one quilt; i still feel like it's in the "unfinished" stage. first of all, can we just recognize that the top bunk STILL does not have a quilt. that's right. it has officially taken me OVER A YEAR to finish that dang quilt. it's almost done, too! all i have to do is finish the quilting part, which i'm half way through, and sew the binding on. i mean, i am so close! i have got to get it done. 

and because these quilts have been such a major undertaking for me in the project department, i am basing his new room design around them. these bad-billies are here to stay, forever! Big A better have twins or something because they are never leaving the family! (do you like how i'm attached to everything in my house? geez. so much for building up your treasures in heaven. CONVICTED.) ha!

he currently has "The Avengers" sheet sets on both beds, but no longer loves them. he's moved on. he loves Star Wars now. well... i'm not falling for it buddy. kids change their mind on their current obsession more than i do about the furniture arrangement in my house. the two plaid blankets are vintage. the bunk beds are from IKEA and i still love them. they will be making the move to the new house. unfortunately, the cute school desk will not fit and i already sold it. the Thor and Captain America prints will sadly be retired as well. which is a huge bummer because i feel like i JUST got them. we need to go more neutral and "theme-less" in the next room. something that will transition easily over the years. 

these book bin/toy crates need to go too. they were one of my favorite DIY's after seeing them in a Serena & Lily catalog years ago. 

this dresser used to be my dad's when he was a little boy. i rescued it from his backyard and gave it new hardware before we moved to Fresno and i love it. i've considered stripping it and either repainting it or staining it. what do you think? or should i leave it as is? 

just some knick-knackies. the red suitcase holds his most treasured baby items. the jars are for his allowance; one to save, one to give, and one to spend. Big A's next room will be in desperate need of a better storage solution. we have a lot of decorations and smallish objects that need to be displayed, but no where to put them. this poor little dresser top is looking pretty cramped, and the only other surface is his desk, which is also pretty small and cramped. the desk ends up being a catch all for all his lego creations so they don't get broken in the toy box. i would love a large bookshelf or two to house his books, decorations, and which would also allow him to display all his finished lego works of art.

i was recently perusing ways to DIY your own bookshelf after the one i've been saving for was discontinued and i've been inspired by Ana White's website to make my own bookshelf for Big A's room. she makes it seem so easy! i love this one and this one. now, if anyone wants to get me a power drill for Christmas, i won't be mad at you! 

xo, tara

p.s. i haven't posted any recipes in a while, and i'm not sure if you care or not... but i just felt the need to tell you what i'm making for dinner. i'm adapting this chili recipe to be paleo by omitting the beans and then changing it up a little more by throwing it all into the crockpot. i'll let you know how it goes.