Spring Mantel

Hi Friends and Happy Monday!

I can't believe tomorrow is April already...this year seems to be flying by.  And as a sure sign of spring, we've already been getting our fair share of spring showers (and snow!) already.  Though I would love to see the sunshine and get outdoors, I know we desperately need to the rain.  So in the meantime, I've updated our mantel for spring!

All of the items are things that I've had from last year or around the house.  I know the vase is from Target {and I think this would make a fun addition}, the glass pillars are from Pottery Barn, and the florals are from Pier 1.  The rest of the Easter decor is Target from last year.

I love how it ties into the rest of the room as well!

Have you been updating your decor for spring yet?

xo natasha

Sunday Shopping

Gap has 40% off right now with the code HAPPY...there are so many cute spring things for you and baby!  Check out my favorite picks below:

You better believe I scooped up that moto jacket {love the 3/4 length sleeves} and some cute things for baby.

I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday!

xo natasha

Design Showcase: Blue & White Living Room

I'm back with another edition of Design Showcase!  This week, I'm sharing Abby's living room, which she shares with her husband.  She has a clear vision on what she wants in the space, which includes her existing blue & white chinoiserie lamps and couches.  More from Abby...

I'd love to get your input on our family room. We recently had the carpet pulled up and hardwood floors put down. The floors are curing, so the furniture can't go back in yet. We live in a historic district in Jacksonville, FL and the rest of our 1950's home has original hardwood floors. They are all a dark espresso stain.

I want to use this time to re-vamp this room. My husband and I are 29, with no kids yet. As you might see, our kitchen/island/bar opens up into this room and the back door (on the side of the windows) leads out to our patio. The other door (on the art-wall side) opens into our garage. We have a formal living room, but this is the room where we watch TV, entertain, etc, so it gets a lot of traffic. 

I'd like to keep: Our current couch and loveseat and the two blue & white chinoiserie lamps (with white linen shades).

I'd like to focus the attention on a rug, pillows, and drapes. Phase 2 might be a new coffee/accent table. The current pillows came with the couch and I'm not in love with the fabric. The bamboo shades were the previous owners. I'm debating whether keeping them or putting up white wooden blinds. I haven't given a lot of thought to budget... maybe $1,000. I don't know?! :)

I'd say my style is traditional with pops of fun & pattern. I'm drawn to neutrals with pops of color.

There's so much to love about this room...the wall of windows are amazing for light and I especially love how it opens up to the kitchen.  Keeping the space light, airy and open are key, so I suggested removing the dark coffee table and dark side tables and swapping them out with glass and gold elements.  Knowing Abby's love of blue and whites, the rest flowed together pretty easily.

Gallery Wall: Art 1 // Art 2 // Antler // Mirror {similar}
Couch // Pillows 1 // 2 // 3

We decided on a light indoor/outdoor rug for durability.  Also, I would love to swap out the existing pillows with some color and pattern to add some real interest to the space.  Both the coffee table and side table are glass, which keeps the space open.  Additionally, adding a mirror to the wall, will help reflect that great light from the windows and keep the space open.

I actually like the bamboo shades but think so crisp new drapes could help to freshen up the place, perhaps in a linen?

Thanks again to Abby for having me help out!

xo natasha  

Ethan is 21 Months!

And I'm on time for once....today is his 21 month birthday!  ;)

What's New:
Nothing too new other than way more tude!  His hair also seems to be taking off...it's getting so long!  He also started Montessori School this past month which has been an adjustment.  Just this past week, he started taking naps, which is huge and he's getting more and more used to being dropped off.  We started him off at 2 days a week, and I think it's the perfect balance.  

OH...and he can smile {show his teeth} on command now too.

We're officially moving out of 12-18 months and on to 18-24 month pants and shirts.  It seems like his legs just grew overnight!

Ethan's new favorite food is oranges {cuties to be exact}.  I cut them in half and he downs them like candy.  He also loves eggs, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, sweet potato, mac + cheese, and avocado.  I'm sure he could use more veggies in his diet, but for now, I'm just happy he's eating!

No new this last month.

Ethan is talking more and more everyday and he seems to finally be stringing words together.  Ryan said he repeated "Hi Mama" the other day over the phone, though I have yet to hear it.  He'll think more and more when repeating words and try to sound things out.  I feel like we're just around the corner from much {much!} more.

Reading books before bed.  His favorite book is Goodnight Moon.  We must read it every night, which I kind of adore {though I know the whole thing by heart now}.  He also loves the sink and blowing bubbles in the backyard.

Being dropped off at Montessori...though he's getting better.  The first few weeks were rough!

Other than to Montessori...this kid goes to the beach, which he loves and he LOVES the backyard.  He can open the slider on his own {scary} and loves throwing the ball to Wilson.  This summer is going to be so much fun!

xo natasha

Crock-Pot BBQ Chicken Sliders with Homemade Pickled Onions

On Sunday, we were craving some easy comfort food and these chicken sliders were just that.  SUPER flavorful and even easier to make.  Ethan was devouring the meat, which made them that much better.

And have you ever pickled anything before?  Um, well, let me tell you it is the STINKIEST job, but the result are well worth it.  But seriously, beware...you'll need to open the windows to endure the vinegar smell...yuck.

Recipe adapted from Sandra Lee:


Pickled Onions
1 red medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 chopped garlic
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup water

Mustard BBQ Sauce
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Pinch salt and fresh ground pepper

1.5 lb chicken breast
One bottle of BBQ sauce
1/2 cup diced red onion
4 cloves minced garlic
Slider Buns


For Pickled Red Onions:
In a medium pot over medium heat, combine all pickled red onion ingredients, except onions. Bring to a boil, add the onions and remove from heat. Let sit until cooled about 1 hour. Serve with sliders.
Again...this is a super stinky process!!!

For Mustard BBQ Sauce:

In a small pot over medium low heat, whisk all the BBQ sauce ingredients together. Cook for 3 minutes or until hot and then remove from heat.

For Sliders:

Combine chicken with the BBQ sauce, onion, and garlic in the crock-pot (or slow cooker).  Cook for 4 hours on high.  When done, pull out the chicken and shred it with forks.  Scoop out remaining BBQ mixture and combine with shredded chicken.

Place chicken on the bottom slider bun.  Drizzle with the mustard BBQ sauce, top with some of the pickled red onions and then place the remaining bun halves on top. Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve.

These will be great for the summer...but I enjoyed having a taste in early spring!

xo natasha

Our Weekends Lately

We've had amazingly warm weather the last two weekends which has allowed us to get outside and really enjoy this early spring.

I just never tire of these views...no photo editing needed.

And Wilson loves going into the lake!

This is about the best picture I can get of the two of us these days.

Happy Boy.

At almost 21 months, Ethan has an unhealthy obsession with the sink and washing his hands.

And he recently discovered how to blow bubbles!  
{Don't mind the outfit...}

This past weekend, I made a whirlwind trip down to the bay area to see my best friend and all of her friends for a baby shower.

It was so fun having a night out with the girls....we had good drinks and even better conversation.  It was the best.

How did you enjoy your first spring weekend?

xo natasha

Friday Love

Happy Friday!  I had to share some love today...like these buns...

+ This spring outfit...

+ This insightful poem written by an 8th grade boy...

+ A different way to recreate on Lake Tahoe...

+ Did you hear...Starbucks is serving wine and apps at select locations?!

+ These gorgeous earrings...

Have a great weekend!!

xo natasha

Design Showcase: Opulent Office

If there is one thing I love about design, it's starting with a blank canvas.  It's so fun to see an empty space and imagine how it should look.  Of course, it can be a bit daunting too!

Lindsay, a stay at home mom to two cute boys, has a small office space that she's been struggling to decorate.  She would love to be able to use it as a shared space with her husband, but of course, she needs to be strategic about the space.  It also does not have a window, so ample lighting is key.  Here's more from Lindsay:

I've been trying to start the process of putting together a home office. Mainly a shared space with a lot of storage for myself {a stay at home mom that just blogs and takes pictures} and my husband who will be working from home more in the upcoming months. I have a Pinterest board started, but I have the hardest time putting stuff together.

Currently this little nook is painted Pavillion Beige by Sherwin Williams, but I have no problem changing paint color since it's currently a boring space. I'm really into neutrals though {gray's, woods, industrial textures, natural textures, chalkboards, etc} Very "Little Baby Garvin" style decor.

I currently have a budget of about $1k if it's possible. I can email you a picture of this little space as well if you need it. This space is technically made for a built in office, but the home builder never finished with putting the built ins, in. So now it's a small square open room.

Again...I love this space because it is so small and yet it's basically a blank slate. Plus, small=fun challenge, and I was definitely up for it!

I'm all about white in small spaces.  This desk on caster wheels is perfect for a small space.  I picture it against the very back wall with one seat for when Lindsay just needs the office. But if her husband ever needs to join her, she can simply pull the desk to be perpendicular to the wall and they can both work on either side.  The white chair is also fun and modern...it's a really staple in any office, if you ask me.

The shelf would go on the opposite wall (same side as the door), room permitting, and can hold books, files and decor. I also like the rolling file cabinet for extra storage, but of course, it tucks right under the desk so that it's out of the way too.

For even more storage, I added the floating shelves, which I picture over the desk to display artwork, prints, additional decor or candles {to keep out of reach of little hands}.  And to open the space even more, the mirror will be great for reflecting light and making the office seem a bit larger.

I do think she should add an area rug to help warm up the space, but wasn't finding one that I loved on the mood board. A couple options are this, this or especially this as a fun option (also 50% off!).

Last, for lighting, I included the fun desk lamp and a chandelier to make the room as bright as possible.

I'm so glad Lindsay was happy with the outcome...I really love this space and can't wait to see how it all comes together for her!

xo natasha

Spring Attire for Littles

First, thank you for the sweet comments on our gallery wall yesterday!  I was so happy to finally show it to you all!  :)

Easter is one month away and Spring starts tomorrow!  It's got us looking forward to spring, bunnies and peeps!  In anticipation of the upcoming season, I wanted to put together sweet collection for the Littles.

Little Men: Blazer // Sweatshirt // Hat // Toms // Shorts // Rain Coat
Little Laddies: Eyelet Dress // Top // Dress // Metallic Sandals // Shorts // Jellies

Tiny sandals and little shorts are so cute when they're mini, don't you think?  And of course, my heart flutters over those adorable dresses.  

Have you started your spring shopping yet?

xo natasha

PS...be sure to pop on over to Sweets & Celebrations today and get to know me a little better!  :)

Our Family Gallery Wall

This post is LONG overdue...some of you saw our gallery wall on Instagram way back in December, and the truth is, I've just had trouble photographing it.  The glare is horrible because there is so much light reflecting in this room.  But I'm really proud of how our gallery wall turned out and just can't wait to share it any longer!  I'll hope you'll forgive me for the glare!  ;)

The photos on the far left are of Ethan's first year: 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year old.  We were super fortunate to have our photographer and good friend capture these sweet photos and it's neat to see his growth over the first year.

The middle photo, is of course from his newborn shoot.

All five frames are from Ikea.

The right side is a combination of maternity, first year photos and our most recent Christmas card.  The tree was something I had made for our anniversary...the tree has our initials and wedding date engraved on the tree.

Four of these frames are from Pottery Barn and the one with the tree is Pier 1.

Here's a wider shot of it in our living room.  It really helps to fill in the wall, right?  Remember what it used to look like?!

I have to say...I am pretty obsessed with it.  And of course, over the years, when we have more {at least one more}, we can swap out photos and fill out the gallery wall even more.  I'm kind of itching to add more to the opposite wall as well.  I'm thinking wood frames and some more photos and art.  Next project!!

xo natasha

St. Patty's Day Cake Balls

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm so happy to be sharing a very special St. Patty's Day recipe, thanks to Julie over at The Girl in the Red Shoes.

These cake balls are moist and sweet...and most importantly, super easy to make!

Can you tell I like take food pictures during the day?  It's a rare occurrence these days!

Now it's your turn...if you made a recipe from our Lucky Link Up, be sure to share below.  And visit the other hosts to see their festive recipes today.

Veronika at Veronika's Blushing
Erin at Hello Erin
Emily at Dear Owen
Colleen at Meet the Sullivans
Natasha at Hello Happiness

Hope you all have fun celebrating today!

xo natasha

Seeing Green

Obviously, I had to feature a green post since St. Patrick's Day is on Monday.  Green is one of my favorite colors {can't you tell from my blog!?} so this was a fairly easy roundup!

Are you doing anything fun for St. Patrick's Day?

Have a great weekend!

xo natasha

Polenta with White Cheddar, Chard & Wild Mushrooms

We've not had much experience when it comes to making polenta.  It is a cornmeal turned poridge type food, but turns out to be super versatile.  We saved the leftovers and fried it up the next morning to have with eggs.  It can be used in sweet or savory dishes, and it all just depends on how you prep it.  This is a great alternative to get you through the last of the cold season.  Simple, yet delicious.

Recipe from William & Sonoma
(note, you can easily cut this recipe in half and have more than enough for dinner)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups polenta
2 bunches chard, tough stems removed
1 lb. assorted wild mushrooms such as chanterelles, porcini, morels or lobster mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. minced shallots
1 cup white Cheddar cheese, shredded or crumbled

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring 8 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to a boil. Add the polenta in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the polenta pulls away from the sides of the pan, 40-45 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the chard and mushrooms. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the chard leaves, folding them to fit, and the rosemary sprig. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the chard ribs are easily pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain well. Chop coarsely and squeeze dry. Set aside.

In a frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallots and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender, 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. Reserve the juices.

When the polenta is ready, stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, all but 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g.) of the cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook until the butter and cheese have melted, 3-4 minutes longer. Return the frying pan you cooked the mushrooms in to medium-high heat. Warm the juices, then add the chard and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until hot and well coated with the juices. Season with 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper.

Spoon the polenta into a large serving bowl, top with the chard and mushrooms, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Serve at once. Serves 4-6.

Hope you enjoy!

xo natasha

Design Showcase: Vibrant Living Room

Hi Friends!

I'm back today with another design feature.  Today, I'm introducing you to Alexandra, wife and mom to two boys.  Alexandra has a living room that she wanted to add some fun color to liven up the space.  A little more from Alexandra:

I love the earthy tones but I think the space need a little color.
I think that I need something with color, definitively something in the walls and more pillows (because we never have enough pillows, right ;)) maybe some accent tables and lamps.
I think purple is the color this year and I would like experiment with, orange and yellow too.

I thought Alexandra already had a great start to her space.  I love the taupe chairs and thought some bright purples and yellows would really help to bring some life to her space...and how fun to work with that color palette, right??

Again, I applaud Alexandra for wanting to add some vibrant color into her room...especially living with a bunch of boys.  It was really fun to add some pops of color in the accent pieces, like the pillows, lamp, artwork and basket.  With some of the heavier pieces in the room, like the piano, we opted to swap out the dark coffee table for this gold and glass version.  I also love the idea of adding a mirror and wood lamp to compliment the rocking chair that already exists in the room.

The fun part about this project is that Alexandra can start keeping an eye out for some of these pieces when she's out at Home Goods or TJ Maxx.  She definitely doesn't have to break the budget in order to infuse more color into her room.  Most of the rest of these pieces are from Target...super stylish, but still practical!

Thanks again for all the inquiries...the list has started to add up, but please know I am reading your emails and will respond soon!

xo natasha

Choosing a Toddler Backpack

 1 // 2 // 3
4 // 5 // 6

Welp, the time has finally come that our little man is off to school...well, technically daycare, but it's at our local Montessori School, and it all just seems so grown up!  Where has the time gone?  If you follow me on Instagram, then you know Ethan was all smiles too!  And according to his teachers, he did super well for his first day.  Granted, he didn't take a nap {I don't even know how they ever get to that point since they sleep on little cots on the floor} but all in all, he was a happy camper.

We also discovered that all of the toddlers had backpacks for their cubbies {not diaper bags}.  So I am on the hunt for a functional "toddler" backpack for our little man.

Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 are actual toddler backpacks, whereas the other two are more for "big boys".  I don't know if it's worth getting something smaller, but I thought it was worth mentioning.  The Herschel Supply Co. brand is ultra cute for little boys, don't you think?  I'm definitely leaning in more of that direction, but which one?

Help me pick one out...what's your choice?

xo natasha

PS...there are only a couple days left to help babies in need out.  Click here to help!

OH and the Lucky Link Up is UP!  Check it out to see who you are paired up with!  :)

Zara Love

Ryan and I got to take a quick trip to San Francisco this past weekend to celebrate our friends' engagement.  Aside from the amazing company and food...I always love to hit up Zara.  Zara is my happy place...so many great finds and usually for a great price.  They also have a children's department as well...we've gotten some adorable things there for Ethan.

Some of the things that I am loving right now...

 Quilted Clutch {it also comes with a shoulder strap}

SO many fun things, right?  I wanted to buy it all and then some but settled for the blouse, clutch and those heeled sandals.  Love!

Have you made any fun buys lately??

xo natasha

PS..I'm being featured on Chasin' Mason's series, #boymoms today!  Check it out here