Friday Favorites

Friday, January 30, 2015

Wow, this week went by quickly! My oldest went back to school after a 5 week track-out and that has been quite the adjustment. I've been staring at paint samples in dismay. I naively thought it wouldn't be that difficult to narrow down a paint color for the entryway and possibly for our master bath. Did I mention I'm looking for a gray color? HA I've tried 10 paint samples and am still looking. Sigh. Anyway, Happy Friday!


Caslon Long Sleeved Shirts I actually can't remember what made me order this shirt but I'm glad I did. I wasn't sure about paying $25 for a simple tee, but with free shipping and free returns I figured it couldn't hurt to try. I have it in the brown and I really like the fit and and quality so much so that I ordered another one in a black & white stripe which I just got and I love it as well.


Love these plantain chips from Trader Joe's. Since becoming paleo I will admit to sometimes struggling when I get the urge to snack but I discovered these and don't feel guilty indulging at times. Careful though because they are really yummy!


She Reads Truth. You've probably heard of this but I just subscribed a few months ago and I get daily devotionals in my email account every day. Really good stuff.


This is the YMCA where we belong and it was recently remodeled. After not working out for close to 3 months (yes, click your tongues at me), I finally went back this week and have worked out 3 times (and counting). I'm determined to make this a priority for myself. It makes such a difference in my mood and outlook; you'd think I'd remember this and want to work out all the time. All I usually do is walk/run on the treadmill and do the elliptical. I really need to find a good weight routine to tone up though or take a class but I'm such a coward when it comes to trying new things.


Old lady selfie! So last night I went out to dinner with a friend which was so nice. I'm trying to make more time in my life for this. Mommy's need a "playdate" of their own! Anyway, when I got home home Rob was getting the girls ready for bed but Lily, my 4-year-old, was not happy I was home (a shock as she is usually glued to my side) so she yelled at me to go back outside to the car. I happily obliged her and may or may not have carried a beverage with me to enjoy. It didn't last long, but I enjoyed it.

Here's to the weekend!
Linking up with:
 Erika, Narci, and Andrea

Needle in a haystack

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I'm determined to find a nice gray color for the entryway (to cover up the old brown color) and possibly also for the master bath once we've renovated it. I bought a bunch of samples of what I thought was gray paint. I tested a few of those out today and all I'm seeing are various shades of blue for the most part. I've tried Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl, Revere Pewter, and Edgecomb Gray. I also have Stonington Gray but haven't tried that one yet. I also have Behr's Graceful Gray, Dolphin Fin, and Silver Drop (haven't tried Silver Drop yet).

this is how it looks with the latte/brownish paint

bad picture but if you can tell, the grays all read bluish. Gray Owl on far left, Revere Pewter, Edgecomb Gray, then jump up to Behr's Graceful Gray (almost purple) and down to Behr's Dolphin Fin

Recommendations, anyone? I would love to find a true gray/light gray!

Friday Favorites

Friday, January 23, 2015

Yay for Friday! Linking up with ErikaNarci, and Andrea today.

and also 5 on Friday
[darciaprilchristina + natasha]


This happened finally!! Katie pulled that front tooth that's been loose for several months. It had started to turn black at the top and I threatened to get her Daddy to do it if she wouldn't. It's crazy that she's seven years old and this is only the third tooth that's come out.


La Croix sparkling water. I started drinking these last summer when I did my first Whole30. I saw this flavor recently which is new to me and I really like it! I typically only drink coffee and water (trying to phase out the coffee slowly but I really don't think I can) so these are nice for some variety. I haven't had a Diet Coke in a year or two and I still miss something fizzy. So, until I find out La Croix is bad for me just like everything else I'm going to enjoy these. Actually, scratch that. Even if I find out that the natural flavors in this are made from a beaver's nether regions (thanks Food Babe) I'm not giving them up. I've gone paleo and cut way back on my sugar and that's it I can't cut anything else out.


I'm not big on winter after Christmas, but it is really nice to enjoy a cozy fire at night. Rob's mother and father took the girls this past week and it was wonderful to have some free time to read by the fire at night.


The girls, Mimi (my mom) and I went and saw Paddington this past week. It was really cute although Lily (my 4-year-old) looked at us halfway through it after eating her snacks and asked, "What am I supposed to do now?"  Ummm, sit here and finish watching the movie??  We give it 2 thumbs up.


So, jumping on the bandwagon, I listened to the whole Serial podcast in two days last weekend. The girls were visiting with Rob's parents so if I was going to do it, that was the time. It truly does suck you in! I don't want to to talk too much about this because a lot of people still haven't listened and I don't want to give anything away. If you're on the fence, I'll help push you over. If anyone has any recommendations for any other similar podcasts, please tell me!

They're Back!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

If you're not local, you may or may not be familiar with schools that are year-round. Many of the elementary schools in the Raleigh-Durham area have gone to this model as it allows for more students to attend a school. Here in Raleigh, students typically attend school for 9 weeks and then break (or "track out") for 3 weeks. There are 4 tracks at a school and there will always be 3 tracks that attend and one that is tracked out.
On Katie's track, she gets her summer break the month of July, so that's when we typically take our summer vacation. Her first track-out of the school year comes in October and it's nice because the weather is still warm enough be outside, the state fair is in town, it's pumpkin patch time, yada yada yada. This past October, Rob and I snuck away for a long weekend and went to Asheville, NC and went ziplining. FYI once you turn 40, never mention such things to your husband in a moment of thinking "40 ain't got nothin' on me" because once you stand on top of that ziplining perch, you may rethink such grand statements. But I digress...

the last zipline...I made it!

The next track-out occurs right after Christmas break. So Katie got out on December 19 and doesn't return to school until January 28.  Not gon' lie...this is a looooong break. There's not much to do, it's cold and I'm probably overly-paranoid that they will catch every virus known to man if I take them places. Katie is the type of child that needs to be busy and she will look at me each morning and say, "Where are we going today?"

Enter Rob's mother, an angel of mercy if you will. She always asks for the girls to come visit for a week or so while Katie is tracked out.  The girls and I both look forward to this "vacation" each track-out. I relish the quiet moments, sleep, and time to recharge. Rob and I have had actual dinner conversations. It's always shocking to me how quiet the house becomes when there's not constant fighting and screaming. I also start to think I probably don't truly have chronic fatigue syndrome or some crazy disease,  I'm just your average frazzled mommy trying to keep up with them (why didn't I get married and have children sooner than I did?)

Anyway, Rob and I drove to pick them up on Monday and then once we got back home this happened...

I told Katie if she didn't pull her tooth (which had been loose for a good 3 months and had just recently turned black at the top) I was going to get Daddy to do it. So, she yanked on it a few times and it came out. She was very proud that she didn't cry!

Tuesday the weather was unseasonably warm and sunny so we hit the park. Truth be known, I'd be perfectly happy if we went straight from New Year's to Easter. I have no use for January, February and even some of March.

Later, I found Lily reading Bible stories to one of her baby dolls that night.

Today, I'm hoping to take the girls to see the movie Paddington and I'm praying they'll be entertained the whole time. Just trying to  keep them busy, busy!

Sprucing up the Entry Way

Monday, January 19, 2015

Even though we're in master bath reno-mode over here, I've really been bothered by our entry way lately. It's okay but it's just so bland and boring. We re-painted all the rooms when we first moved in almost 6 years ago and what I picked for the entryway and the family room was a neutral color (I think it's latte by SW).

so dark, without the light in the wintertime

and the family room, looking in from the entry. so glad I lightened the paint

We were moving so fast right and making quick decisions before we moved in. I didn't take into account that our little ranch house doesn't get tons of natural light (we're surrounded by trees) so that latte just looked dark and dull like chocolate milk.   Fast forward to when we repainted the outside of the house, I got the painters to re-paint the family room in a lighter color but we kept the entryway as is. All of this to say, I would probably like to repaint the entryway wall but also the door (interior and exterior). The exterior front door is red, but interior it's just typical cream. I'm leaning to painting the door black. There's so much inspiration out there....

Exhibit A :

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

Now, sadly I don't have any experience painting (especially doors) so I haven't tackled this myself. But, I'm starting to daydream about asking our contractor to just slip that in to our list. Maybe my husband won't notice?! I'm not worried that a black door would darken the entry in a bad way, especially if the paint gets lighter.  What do you think? Do you have painted doors? I'm so tempted to do this! 

I've also seen people add a stencil or wallpaper (yes, wallpaper!) in small spaces like this to set it apart. Not sure I'm a stencil person, but some of the newer wallpaper out there makes me think. I have decor commitment issues, so paint is probably the way to go.

Friday Favorites

Friday, January 16, 2015

Excited to link up for my very first Friday Favorites! Andrea over at Momfessionals has a great blog that always puts a smile on my face.  Ok, on to my random list:


Rimmel Natural Bronzer Sun Glow (025)
sorry for the poor quality photo and the ugly sink (hello master bath reno)
Yes, pale ghosts like myself can actually wear this bronzer. It doesn't look like bronzer on me really just gives me some color so I no longer look so much like a corpse. I wear this in the summer without any foundation and the rest of the year I can put it on on top of my foundation. I looked for it at Wal-Mart and Target but they didn't have it in Sun Glow so I ordered it from Amazon. Expensive bronzers may be better, but this does the trick for me!


Ottavio Avocado Oil

I needed to branch out from coconut oil and when I saw this at Costco a few months ago, I decided to try it. Great product! I typically use this to fry eggs and chicken and it adds a great taste. It's between $8 and $9 and would last longer if I wouldn't pour it into a pan to fry chicken with. Which leads me to my next favorite product....


Cashew Meal

If you're grain-free, like I am, you will want to buy this. I keep mine in the freezer and when the urge hits for "fried" chicken there you go. I make an egg wash for the chicken and then dredge them in the cashew meal seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder (or just use garlic salt). Really, any seasonings you prefer. Fry them in the pan with the avocado oil and I can guarantee you won't be disappointed! There are tons of other recipes out there using cashew meal.


Old Navy Rockstar Mid-Rise Jeans

 I bought a black pair of these few months ago and they've become some of my favorite jeans. The  black pair I have is a cross between jeans and leggings but it works. I just ordered this gray pair and I think I'm going to like them as much as my black pair. It's so hard for me to find pants that fit being short (5'3"). I've tried on many "skinny" jeans that do not look good but for some reason these are flattering. 


My church. I attend one of the campuses of the Summit Church in the RDU area. Even if you aren't local, you should check out the website. Sermons are online and you can listen to any that you'd like.
Currently, the sermon series is Titus. Our pastor does a phenomenal job of being engaging while preaching the Gospel.

Well, that wraps up my favorites for the week. Hope you all enjoy the long weekend and try to stay warm!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hi everyone! Welcome to Life in the Little Ranch House. No, we don't live on a ranch, but IN a ranch-style home.
I love reading others' blogs whether they be  about remodeling and decor or fashion and lifestyle (or a mixture of both).  I'm starting this blog to fulfill a desire to document some of the changes we've made to our home and some that we're getting ready to make very soon (master bath remodel). I have two young daughters and want to do a better job at capturing some of our family life as we all know that our children change so quickly.  And, since this is my outlet, so to speak, I'll be adding in some of my "favorites" in all areas of life.

We've been in our home close to 6 years now and have made lots of changes but there's one I'm super excited to be starting--remodeling our master bathroom. When we bought our home, we knew this was at the top of our list of to-do's however, we had to do some other things first. We changed flooring, removed popcorn ceilings, painted inside one year. Another year, we had to paint the outside of the home (it was really BAD) and replace gutters, so the master bath reno got pushed back again. Finally, now we've save enough to pay for the bathroom to be done. I had no idea that a master bath remodel could be so expensive, but they are.
Anyway, I am almost too embarrassed to even post these pictures up here but that would defeat the purpose of  recording all the changes to our little ranch. Forgive me, I am not a good photographer, but, even if I were, these pictures would still be ugly. Brace yourselves.

yes, this is carpet. in a bathroom. WHY??

This is the biggest bathtub you will ever see. It's only purpose is holding gigantic packages of toilet paper. Yes, that is an old door propped up on the side. I don't know why.

Hi neighbors!

Yep, still ugly as sin

So, we can no longer put this off. We have a contractor and have picked out tile, a vanity and fixtures. Let the games begin!

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