Thursday, February 26, 2015

Abby's Favorite Recipes

Today I thought it would be fun to share my most favorite recipes on Little City Adventures. It includes some of my very first recipes to some of the most recents recipes. Plus I'm busy putting my brand new house together and until my kitchen is all finished I won't get to work on any of the new recipes I have planned for the blog. Remember that if you make any of these recipes (or any of the others on my blog) use #littlecitykitchen so that I can see your version of it!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Happy Lists // seven

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Life Happy
* the amount of natural light in our new home
* having a shiny new refrigerator for the first time in either of our lives
* hand lettering pantry storage containers
* my grandmother generously offered to pay for someone to paint our entire house
* the paint colors I've chosen for our home
* living in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood
* having a driveway!
* William climbed up steps for the first time at church on Sunday
* all of our friends who helped us to move in the snow
* the print I ordered from Society6
* Britt and I are going to the Maiedae Mixer together this fall!
* my happy kitchen windowsill (above)

Food Happy
* freshly sliced Clearfield American Cheese
* snacks of Brookside chocolate and pretzels
* I can't wait to try out this crockpot recipe
* Chinese take out
* Chick Fil A chocolate chip cookies
* I love the combination of quinoa, edamame, creamy Caesar dressing, and feta cheese

Internet Happy
* my thirty dayphoto challenge (play along and you could win an iTunes gift card!)
* this photo that I took of my pop pop, William, and my grandparents' dog
* this Maroon 5 music video is so sweet (and so is the song..literally)
* my favorite Youtube channel (ever) especially for my mamas out there
* Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Bacon, Don Cheadle, and Nick Jonas playing Pictionary
* the app Wunderlist

Happy Lists | six | five | four

Saturday, February 21, 2015

5 Simple Ways to Find Your Home's Style

While I am busy moving into my new home a few of my blogging buddies are helping me out by sharing some guest posts this week. I'll be back very soon with an update on my new house but in the meantime enjoy this post from my friend Ashley.
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I’m thrilled to be here and talking with you all about how to find your home’s style. It’s something I LOVE to do but don’t tend to write about. Let’s dive right in! One piece of helpful advice came from my friend and Instagram fashion maven, Karla Reed, as we were talking about how to get out of the mom-rut of jeans and old t-shirts. We kept coming back to dressing your home like you dress yourself. Some of us might have a thing for fashion; others of us might be intuitively great at decorating. For me, I just knew how I wanted my home to look but finding my personal style was a challenge. So I translated the things I loved about my home into my wardrobe. You might be just the opposite.

1. Wardrobe to Room
Let’s start by asking yourself a few questions about your wardrobe and how you like to present yourself, because what makes you feel most like you when you get up in the morning, will probably make for a home that feels like you. Write down the answers to these questions:
  1. What colors do you gravitate towards? Warm, cool, neutrals or brights?
  2. Is texture important to you?
  3. Do you like layers and cozy fabrics? Do you like your outfits neat and tidy or more boho?
  4. What shapes feel the most like you? A full skirt? Skinny jeans? High heels, workout shoes, yoga pants?
  5. What do you feel the most confident in?
For me, I love classic outfits with a bit of glam or a bit of edge. We’re talking fifties silouhettes with pearls but then rocking an unexpected necklace or camoflage and faux fur. So I knew that I wanted to have a classic style but with some unexpected whimsy. You'll see our year-round Advent calendar and lots of metallic surfaces in our house to balance out the black and white and wood.

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2. What’s the Function of Your Space?
Now with your notes in hand it’s time to think about the function of your space. What feeling do you want to convey when someone walks into your home? Do you want it to be cozy, really laid back and accessible or more formal yet still inviting?

Also you’ll want to consider the architectural style of your home here. If you have an old Victorian house, you’re probably not going to pull of urban minimalism. If you have a condo in the foothills it might not be best to do a coastal look. But you can take elements of these design styles and use them well. For us, we’ve made our Living Room more about us, while we have a family room where anything goes. It’s up to you to decide how your space can best serve you, your family and guests.

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3. Gather ideas!
Now comes the fun part. I found home magazines to be really fun to flip through and get ideas — not renovation dreams, just: do I like this? Does this space make me feel at home? Would I want to live here? So go and browse at your local Barnes & Noble and take a few home; plus they’re look pretty on your coffee table! You can also start looking at Pinterest. I have a huge “design” board where I pin everything I love. I don't limit. If I like it, it goes on my "design" board.


From there, I can start to gather conclusions. I’ll see that I have a lot of white space, a lot of neutral grays and lots of texture, for instance. But then I’ll also see that I like pops of bright, vivid cool colors. So we chose to decorate our Living Room in black and whites with a hint of metallic glam that’s both modern and harkens to Deco period, which fits with when our house was built. It also means that above the wainscoting, our kitchen is bright teal and I love it.

4. Collect over time
I wish that I could go on a shopping spree or get my entire home made over by an HGTV show. Alas, it’s not going to happen. But we have collected little pieces over the years. And you know what? They each have a story — and that makes them so much more valuable than just filling my home with stuff.
We’ve bought our couches at smaller independent shops when we lived in Los Angeles; we bought our wingback chairs off of a Craigslist ad; we’ve bought lamps and light fixtures on sale after Christmas. We’ve mixed our IKEA cowhide with an old buffet inherited from my husband’s Danish grandmother.
But start small. Find a great couch you love and a coffee table. Find a pretty tray and fill a mason jar with flowers. Little touches can make all the difference -- and they can tide you over when you can't remake an entire room! Just remember that when you fill your home with what you love, it will not only feel like you, it will be a place of hospitality for your friends and neighbors.

5. Resources
Keep your eyes out for inspiration. We found our accent colors by looking at my husband's favorite flower, the orchid. Nature is your best resource for color pairing! Also, I frequent sites like Houzz where you can search by style or room. I've also taken home stacks of design books from the library and love the Domino book on decorating.
Most of all, have fun! Once I realized that my home's style just reflects me and our family, that it doesn't have to be perfect, I've loved it. Each addition (or subtraction) gets us closer to a home that is meaningful, beautiful and open to others -- because, ultimately, it's a reflection of us.
Ashley Hales writes at Circling the Story and is a regular contributor at The Mudroom Blog. She has 4 kids, one pastor husband, and a PhD in English. She loves writing about the intersection of place, faith and beauty in the mundane.

Friday, February 20, 2015

House Shopping List

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| Kitchen Cart | Ikea, $199.00
My house has a ton of storage space but it is quite lacking on counter space so to add even more storage and counter space I plan on picking up this kitchen island cart from Ikea. The best part of this is it fits inside my pantry so if I need more space for walking in the kitchen I can easily slide it into the pantry for storage.

Sofa Cover | Ikea, $149.00
We have the CARLSBAD sofa and love it. Seriously, it is so comfortable but still has those clean straight lines. We currently have the brown cover on it and it just shows every crumb and hair and fuzzy on it so I'm going to buy the gray cover which will also match the paint colors better.

Cookie Jar | Target, $19.99
For as long as I can remember I always dreamed of having a cookie jar in my house when I was "grown up." Now that I have my very own house it's time to make that dream a reality. I know it's a silly dream but I love to bake and I always wanted to have some sort of sweet treat for my family and guests.

Candle | Bath & Body Works, $22.50
It seems a bit odd that Bath & Body Works make the best candles. We love having candles burning almost all of the time, they just make a home even cozier, and some of my favorite scents are from Bath & Body Works. My mom and I were just at the mall and this Vanilla Bean Marshmallow scent was my favorite one in the store.

As For Me and My House Print | Society6, $17.68
I'm working on a gallery wall for in my living room above the sofa and this print has to be included. I found it via Maiedae and just fell in love with it. It is how we are raising our family so it seems pretty essential.

Console Table | Target, $149.99
I'm on the hunt for an entryway table with drawers to go against a wall in the entryway area. I like this one but I'd prefer not to go over $100, any ideas?

Throw Pillow | Society6, $27.00
I'm also searching for fun and colorful throw pillows that incorporate our house colors in them. I really enjoy this print and the colors would work perfectly with the house and it would be pretty easy to find other throw pillows to match. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Small Space Organization

While I am busy moving into my new home a few of my blogging buddies are helping me out by sharing some guest posts this week. I'll be back very soon with an update on my new house but in the meantime enjoy this post from my friend Jess.
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Hi everyone! I'm Jess and I blog at Stamp in My Passport. I'm so excited to be guest blogging here on Little City Adventures while Abby is busy moving into her new home. I, for one, cannot wait to see the final product!

I moved into my first post-grad apartment last year and was starting with a blank slate when it came to decorating. The good news is that I am no longer sharing one bathroom with three other girls. The bad news is my space is only 600 sq. ft., which for Tallahassee is on the small side, but I know that compared to other cities I should be counting my blessings. No mater the square footage, my apartment is seriously lacking in storage space. I have two "closets" in my bedroom, cabinets in the living room and a coat closet (or in my case, broom closet. don't need too many coats in Florida).

Over the past year, I've had to get creative with my storage solutions. No matter if your home is 600 or 6,000 square feet, somehow you are always wishing for more storage space. Here are a few of my favorite ways to maximize the space you have.


1. Storage containers that double as decor.

This is key. If you are lacking in closets, then you must find storage that is both functional and decorative. Would you rather see a stack of magazines in the corner, or a woven basket filled with potential mood board inspiration?


2. Routinely sift through closets and purge/give away items that you no longer use.

You can't afford to let your hoarder tendencies creep up when you live in a small space. In addition to going through your wardrobe once or twice a year, set aside a little time to take inventory of all of the other closets and cabinets. Almost every house has a junk drawer that acts as a catch all for miscellaneous tidbits. Many of us can't afford to devote an entire drawer to "what if I need this" items.


3. Make use of every available space.

This includes under the bed, corner shelving units, ottomans that double as chests and the cabinet above the fridge that no one can reach without climbing on the counters first.


4. Are you really going to use those magazines for inspiration?

Magazines and books are my weakness. After I filled my bookshelf, I opted for a Kindle in order not to box myself into a room with floor to ceiling stacks of my favorite stories. Same goes for magazines. Although I've cut down on the number of subscriptions I receive, I still hold onto back issues because they have a tip, a recipe, an outfit, or a paint color that I'm convinced I will need to reference in the future. Pinterest was the best thing to happen to me because I can store all of my inspiration and helpful information from obscure sources online rather than stacked beside my bed. 


5. Have a place for everything, and do your best to return it to its desired location.

Although you don't have to go the extreme of having a chalk outline of every item in your home so you know exactly where it is supposed to be, you get the idea. Personally, having items strewn about like a tornado has ripped through your home stresses me out to no end. Having an idea of where to return something once you are finished will also save time searching through every. single. last drawer.
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