friday I’m in love.

welcome back friday! be sure to pop over to kendra’s blog too to see what she’s up to. we would love for you to join us! leave a comment and we’ll come check out what you’re loving each week!

{one} boeing & the 12th man.


boeing not only wrapped its new freighter planes with seahawks graphics, its newest jumbo jet also took its first flight in the shape of a “12.” if that’s not support, I don’t know what is. good luck seattle! go 12th man!

{two} cupid’s arrow cupcake topper.


I am loving all of the valentine’s décor & diy ideas that are floating around the interwebs {for obvious reasons}. I am particularly enamored with this cupcake topper that was featured over on the Oh Happy Day blog.

{three} julep freedom top coat.


I am pretty certain I have talked about my love of this product before, but every time I use it, I fall in love again. when I do feel fancy & go get a mani/pedi, I always go to julep which is my all-time favorite nail salon {bonus that it is 5 minutes away from our house!}. months ago the gals started using this freedom top coat after two or three coats of color. once it is on, you sit 10 or 15 minutes with your nails under a light {just any regular light} & like magic, the coat finishes almost like a gel polish! seriously. it isn’t perfect, but it does mean you can put on your jacket & pay for your mani without smudging your nails. I use it at home now when I am feeling not quite as fancy {& have to paint my own}. I just put on one top coat over the color & sit at the dining room table under the light for 15 minutes. you an even read a magazine as long as you keep your fingers facing the light. then, as long as you don’t really rub your nails, you are free to get along with your day. if that’s not freedom, I don’t know what is!

what are you loving this week?


highlights of 2013.

2013 2014


happy 2014!

i’ve said it before, & i’ll say it again!, yearly recaps are always my favorite kinds of blog posts. its a small way to sum up your year & to see how much the last 365 days have brought. as i look forward to the New Year, i am humbled & grateful by all of the wondrous events of 2013. here’s the rundown of ours:

january: I started out the new year with a bout of the flu. we hosted our first blog giveaway! we installed the west elm hanging capiz chandelier over our dining room table. I framed my diy polaroids for our bedroom walls. amanda & I met john & sherry from young house love during their book signing tour! I diy-ed campaign dressers for our bedroom.




february: I did lots of diy-ing for valentine’s day {here, here, & here} I celebrated my birthday! we bought a kitchen island. I tried to be better about getting in front of the camera!



march: I tried my hand at painting an antler {& was so impressed with the results!}. we took my 91-year-old grandmother to target for the first time! amanda & I diy-ed framed house keys on maps. we sold jez the jetta & bought a new car.




april: we updated our bathroom vanity with a converted antique sideboard. we updated the closet doors by stripping off the old paint in a crock pot. we celebrated our one year anniversary in our house & I reviewed all of the house diys!




may: we finally got some good weather in seattle! I painted the ceiling & hallway walls. we celebrated aaron’s thirtieth birthday with a beer tasting party! we had a fun-filled memorial day weekend. we were featured in west elm’s blog front & main.




front and main

june: aaron replaced our toilet. sadie was featured in the seattle dog spot blog. my parents visited for a long weekend en route to the olympic peninsula. my diy his & hers maps were featured. we finally got some summer weather!


seattle dog blog thank you

july: we celebrated the long Fourth of July weekend with a holiday parade, fireworks, & time with friends. I made a nine layer ombre cake! we replaced our kitchen track lights with globe pendants from west elm. we road-tripped to idaho for my ten-year high school reunion. we started growing our first eggplant.



august: we celebrated our three year wedding anniversary. the blog got a Liebster Award Nomination. I diy-ed the tiniest baby hats for our friends’ new baby. we road-tripped to hood river, oregon to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.





september: we went to the husky vs. bronco game to kick-off labor day weekend complete with husky-style tailgating {via boat}. we took advantage of the warm weather & cleaned up the front yard with a fun game called love it or lose it. we celebrated sadie’s ninth birthday! I attended the Alt Summit for Everyone blog conference.



october: I attempted to start doing fashion posts again. we celebrated our two year blog anniversary at emerald city diaries! I finished up with the #embracethecamera challenge. we went to the pumpkin patch & carved pumpkins with friends.



november: aaron joined a team for movember 2013. we snuck off to hawaii for thanksgiving.



december: I reviewed some of my favorite weekend in pictures pics. I participated in A Pinterest Christmas for the third year {see this year’s projects here, here, here, here, & here}! we celebrated Christmas in indiana with aaron’s family.


reflecting back on this year, i am reminded how blessed we are & also how different this year has been than the year previous. it has been such a wonderful year & ringing in a new one is a bit bittersweet.

how was your 2013 – was it a year to remember, or are you itching to start 2014 already?


see past yearly highlights for 2011 & 2012.

thirty before i am thirty: {ombre 4th of july cake}

number twenty-nine: bake a cake.

it is hard to believe but i made it to 28 without ever baking a cake. seriously. it is something that i have always wanted to do, but i just never found the time. when i was flipping through my new InStyle mag last month & saw a nine layer ombre cake in blue & red, i knew i had to make this cake! #gobigorgohome ideally i would have wanted to make the cake & frosting from scratch, but let’s be honest, the ombre colors & nine layers more than made up for that!

we were attending a fourth of july party at our friend jerry’s house which was lucky since this cake turned out enormous. seriously. it was 9 inches wide & eleven inches tall. such a beaut! i knew this would be a lot to take on being my first cake and everything, but it was fun & i had such a great support system thanks to aaron & local friends cheering me on!


{ingredient prep. see the full list & recipe below.}



{dying three sets of cakes.}


{baking, frosting, & stacking.}

{two other things: my sister taught me a trick years ago to use pieces of parchment paper underneath the first cake layer to keep the plate or cake stand clean – at the end you carefully pull the papers out. also, i didn’t cut any of the layers flat before stacking since they were all thin; as i built up the layers there was some curve on the tops of the top layers & i used a little extra frosting as glue.}


{that is my “hey i made a cake & i am super excited” face. & that is our wonderful friend jerry behind me – thanks for hosting a fab party jerry!}

ombre cake – recipe from InStyle magazine July 2013

makes one 9-inch cake {stands 11 inches tall}


  • 3 boxes white cake mix
  • 6 egg whites
  • 4 1/2 cups Sprite
  • Blue gel food coloring {i used Americolor gel pastes from Amazon – royal blue}
  • Red gel food coloring {i used Americolor gel pastes from Amazon – super red}
  • 5 12 oz. tubs of whipped vanilla frosting
  • cooking spray/butter
  • parchment paper
  • 3 9-inch cake pans

one. preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

two. mix one box of cake mix with 2 egg whites and 1 1/2 cups Sprite; divide evenly among 3 bowls.

three. create three shares of blue: add 2 drops of coloring to one bowl, four to the second, and 8 to the third.

four. coat three 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray {i rubbed butter on the edges of the pan instead}; line bottoms with parchment paper cut to size. pour each batter into its own pan.

five. bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. let layers cool; remove from pans. if needed, use a serrated knife to trim tops so they are level.

six. place darkest blue layer on a plate {or cake stand!}; cover with a thin layer of frosting. repeat with remaining layers, from darkest to lightest. chill cake in fridge. {definitely put the cake in the fridge every three layers, this helps tremendously with the cake stability!}

seven. repeat step two.

eight. add one drop of blue coloring to one bowl and one drop of red to another. do not tint the last bowl.

nine. repeat steps four and five.

ten. keep building cake with blue, then white, then red layers, frosting after each. chill cake in fridge.

eleven. repeat steps two to fie using red coloring instead of blue.

twelve. keep building cake with red layers, going from lightest to darkest, frosting after each

thirteen. coat outside of cake with thin layer of frosting. chill for 15 minutes.

fourteen. use remaining frosting to generously coat outside of cake. chill for at least one hour before cutting.

have you baked anything recently? anything ombre or layered?