Get Cozy | Favorite Knits

December 6, 2016

Umb, BRRRRR, it was CHILL-Y today. That wind was unbearable! Makes me want to just stay warm and cozy inside by the fire all day. But, when you have to get one kid to preschool and the other to a playdate, time to cozy up in my favorite knits and buckle through the wind!

I’m loving hats this season. They’re so easy to just put on and hide my undone hair in the mornings as I’m running out the door. A way to look kind of cute when I’m really not looking cute at all ;)

hat from palmer lea

There are so many lovely knits out right now. Knits are so cozy and warm and I want a million knit hats and sweaters! My favorite color right now is anything plum, I love the pop of color on the beanie hats with my gray winter coat. Or that emerald one is pretty fabulous too! Love me some green!

And we can’t forget about cozy knit sweaters! They can be dressed up for a night out with black pants or just daytime casual with jeans or leggings (even cozier!). And again, really loving the light pink colors, lovely and feminine for winter.

Time to shop and get cozy in some favorite knits!

hats || rose | plum | emerald | powder pink

gloves || plum | black | blue | red

sweaters || light pink | cream | ruffle pink | colorblock | pink

My favorite is that rose hat and ruffle pink sweater! Both are so pretty!

So make sure to stay warm and stay classy San Diego cozy!

Our Family and Home

November 30, 2016

Sioux Falls people and businesses have been so good to us! Between John getting all sorts of home renovation exposure in the media (most recent news article here) with his business John Koch Construction, and then also my blog, we have both received so many generous opportunities to work with local businesses! We are so appreciative and thankful whenever someone reaches out to work with us.

In October, our family was selected as the family feature for our neighborhood magazine, Southside Living, and this was so nice! Such an honor. Our home has been featured several times, but never really our family! So it was a nice new change! I love that John gets interviews to help expose his business. It was fun to do a family photo shoot at our very own home and to get to include Ivy and Leo in the interview.

Get to know our family here!

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Then! In November, our home was featured in the Etc. for Her magazine. Back to back months! I LOVE our house, and it’s always so much fun to talk about it and see it in pictures. NOT so much fun hiding all the toys in every cabinet and closet, but I love having a spic and span home for like 20 minutes for photos! I always love talking about how we made this house our home and the updates we did to it. I thought the article by Mary Michaels was written really well! And the photos by Julie Prairie Photography were magnificent!

© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

mural commissioned by Shaine Schroeder
© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016 © Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

ivy’s pink room – see more pictures and sources here and here© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

leo’s hipster nursery – see more pictures and sources here

© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

buffalo print commissioned by Shaine Schroeder

See the November issue, our article (p. 26), and more pictures here!

The magazine is still on stands around Sioux Falls, but not for long when the December issue arrives!

Thank you again Southside Living, Etc for Her, and Julie Prairie Photography for including us in your magazine! So honored. Thank you!

Our Thanksgiving Weekend

November 29, 2016

After stuffing our bellies with tons-o-food at Thanksgiving (see that post here), the fun continued with lots of family time! My sister Jillian, her husband Brian, and their daughter Alexandra stayed with us and we jumped ahead to celebrate Christmas with them while they were in town. So fun and adorable to see all of the cousins ripping apart presents! Ivy was going NUTS opening hers and basically everyone else’s! I’m loving seeing her really understand and enjoy Christmas this year!

Here’s a sneak peak into our busy weekend with the family!


These kids LOVE sound books!thanksgiving2016-46 thanksgiving2016-52

Leo finally getting some boy toys!thanksgiving2016-50

Celebrating Christmas is so much fun with kids! Love seeing all the magic in their eyes

After the kids terrorized the house, we took off to an ugly sweater wine party to enjoy some delicious wine, cheese, and time with friends!thanksgiving2016-60

On Sunday, we got ready to go to a Polar Express brunch to see Santa, so of course the kids had to wear some pjs! HOW CUTE ARE THEY!!!!

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Yippee!!! Santa!! Christmas!!thanksgiving2016-42boy pjs | girl pjs

We headed to the brunch and Ivy couldn’t WAIT to see Santa!!!


I’m so excited that she didn’t even cry!!!!! FINALLY! 3 years of torture on his lap and now she can finally enjoy Santa! She was so proud up there telling him she wanted a Barbie with blonde hair and a tutu, haha. Love that girl! Leo, on the other hand, just went up to him, grabbed his present, and ran back to Daddy, it was so hilarious!

We had such a blast with cousins and family! Sad it’s over as Ivy keeps asking, “Where’s Alexandra?”


Cousins. Too freaking cute.

Thanksgiving 2016

November 28, 2016

What a Thanksgiving! It was filled with family, food, and full bellies! I soooo look forward to this meal every year because it’s always a delicious feast! Plus, it’s so nice to get together with family and just mingle and eat! We had everyone over at our house, my husband’s family and my family, so 12 adults and 3 kids made for a fabulous big Thanksgiving with lots of drinks, food, and cheers!

My sister Jillian and her husband Brian made the trek home to visit us for the holiday. They brought their cute little daughter Alexandra and she had SO much fun with her cousins Ivy and Leo! So hilarious seeing them all together. She is just three months younger than Leo so those two caused a lot of chaos around the house!

In my old age, I’m getting obsessed with decor and table scapes! I couldn’t wait to come up with a plan for the table and when I saw this blog inspiration, I had to do it! The eucalyptus leaves are a beautiful centerpiece on their own. And with the addition of the pumpkins and candles and my own little touch of the antlers, it turned out pretty fabulous I thought! The gold charger plates and gold lined napkins were so pretty and rounded out the table nicely.

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And I finally have a bar cart! I’ve been wanting one so bad now that we have updated our dining room (see that post here). I was soo excited to decorate it and get some drinks flowing for the night! Plus, score when you find this big awesome art print tucked away in the downstairs closet! YES!


bar cart | candle | punch bowlthanksgiving2016-10thanksgiving2016-17

And now, for the feast!!! NOM NOM NOM
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Give me ALL THE GRAVY!!!thanksgiving2016-25


And of course, the kids table! :) SWOON! Leo lasted about 2 minutes, but Ivy and Alexandra sat there like good girls!


Sooo many desserts!


Gosh, so sad Thanksgiving is over! The food was delicious and leftovers are THE BEST. I love big family get-togethers and big feasts! Now onto Christmas! So anxious to finish decorating the home in so much red and green! Ho ho ho!

Hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving!


thanksgiving garland | my dress

Holiday Photo Cards

November 20, 2016

It’s that time of year again! That love/hate relationship with family photos, trying to get everyone to cooperate and FREAKING smile, which is near impossible. But then you get that one fab photo and you’re not quite sure how, but you can’t WAIT to get it on a Christmas card! That might just be me, but I am preeeeetty much obsessed with holiday cards! I also do love taking family photos, because from my experience, no matter how big of a shit show you think it was, the photographer always surprises me with photos where I’m like, HOW DID YOU GET THIS PHOTO.

These last photos we took (see the urban photo shoot here) with Emily Mitton Photography were some of my favorites! Still shocked how great they turned out! I was positive that Leo was sucking his fingers or crying the entire time, Ivy was her flighty self running around amuk and being crazy, and John was fighting with Leo trying to hold his hand down and out of his mouth, all while I was sweating and trying to get two kids to laugh naturally (riiiiiiight) and get a smile out of them! But like I said, always to my surprise, the photographer somehow nails it each time!

I can’t wait to share my holiday card with you! I love going to the mailbox each day with new cards from our family and friends to hang on our board. Love holiday cards! This year I chose a pretty modern hipster design to match our urban photos. I’m really into minimalist simple this year and toooootally loving everything black and white. Can you guess which card design we picked?!

Here are some of my favorites this year from Minted and Tiny Prints

Holiday Christmas Cards

Top – 1 | 2 | 3
Middle – 1 | 2 | 3
Bottom – 1 | 2 | 3

I LOVE Minted and Tiny Prints! Their cards are the best out there! Plus, on many of these holiday cards you can change the colors on the card, the greeting, add gold shimmering foil that is soo beautiful, so many options! Overall there are tons of ways to personalize these cards!

And now this year, Tiny Prints also offers free address recipient printing, just like Minted does! THIS IS HUGE! I have my addresses imported that I’ve used every year, and the beautiful designs they put on the envelopes with the addresses are so pretty! I love that I don’t have to write out the addresses! Time saver during the busy holiday season!

Tiny Prints - Birth Announcements and More

34 days till Christmas! Just sayin’! EEEK!

N A P A | Wine Tour

November 15, 2016

Napa has always been on my bucket list! Sipping on tons of delicious wines, gazing at hillsides of acres and acres of green vineyards, eating incredible food, I mean, I really just needed to stop at wine, because… WINE. Favorite. Neither John nor I had ever been, so we were anxious for a getaway, and a huge plus to meet up with my sister Jillian and her husband Brian out there!

John and I decided to fly out a day early to get a 24 hour glimpse of San Francisco, and we did it up right! We played total tourists and took the tour bus around for the day and hit all the hot spots, Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Union Square, and tons more! The bus was so much fun because you could hop on and off, which we took advantage of to get some pics and to eat oysters and scrumptious seafood and drink along the way. I’m so glad we did this because we were able to see almost all of San Francisco in one day!


shirt | pants | shoes

The next day, we met Jillian and Brian and we headed north to Napa! I couldn’t wait to see the acres and acres of vineyards! Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. The next four days of our trip in Napa were cloudy and rainy! It ruined our views but did not ruin our fun! And when the rain stopped, the fog was actually really beautiful across the land.


We stayed at the quaintest bed and breakfast in Yountville called the Oleander House. It was sooo nice getting a delicious hot breakfast in the morning before we headed out all day. That was our first time doing a B&B and I LOVED it!

Oleander House B&B

Now onto the WINE! We went to about 3-5 per day, whew, so way too many to go through, but I’ll definitely hit on my favorites!

Our first stop was at the Truchard Vineyard, and it ended up as one of my FAVORITES! We really started with a bang! They own over 400 acres of land and have been in the business for over a century. In fact, they are grape suppliers for a ton of well known wines. Truchard is a very small family owned operation and we felt like we were part of the family right from the beginning! They brought us through the vineyard and into their wine cave where they store all of their wine barrels that was built right into the hillside, so neat! Sipping wine in that cave was proooolly the coolest thing ever and every wine was soooo amazing! Case of this, case of that… swipe it! :)

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After that amazing first stop, I really didn’t think it could get better, but that was just the beginning! Another favorite was Failla Wines, an old 1930’s farmhouse turned into the tasting room. So cozy in there!


Next, we headed up Howell Mountain to Cade Winery. This is where I was really bummed about the fog because we were on top of the mountain and would have been able to see the whole valley, buuuut no, shucks! : / Next time, hehe. Anyways! Cade had some serious architecture going on! Totally modern and known for its use of renewable resources, very environmentally efficient. Oh, and, DELICIOUS WINES.

cade winery cade winery

Another favorite winery was Schweiger Vineyards, up Spring Mountain. This view was finally pretty clear and it was soo beautiful!


Of course, a trip to Napa wouldn’t be complete without some castles and chateaus! We did the touristy thing a little bit and toured Castello di Amorosa, a 13th century inspired Tuscan castle and winery. It was stunning and absolutely incredible inside! And the outside vineyard wasn’t too shabby either! Such pretty views! A bit too touristy for us though, we like the small intimate family run wineries that pour us extra wine! ;)

napacastlecastillo di amoroso

We also toured and had a tasting at Inglenook, an 1887 French chateau. This was a favorite! The chateau was gorgeous, the wines were to die for, and we got to sit in an old parlour room with a cheese pairing while sipping wines. Our tour guide with the curly mustache was soooo fabulous!


Lastly, a trip to Napa would NOT be complete without food! For dinner, we ate at Red Wood, Bistro Jeanty, and Ad Hoc, and while all three are making me salivate right now just thinking about them, I LOVED Ad Hoc! It has a daily-changing four-course menu featuring classic American dishes that are all served family-style. Some serious casual comfort of home right in the restaurant! Each course was IN-credible and we were soooo full by the end! One of those meals where you reaaaally couldn’t stop eating it was that good!

Ad Hocbistro jeanty

I’d say we had a pretty spectacular first trip to Napa! I’m already so excited to go back sometime! Definitely could see this being another future trip, so many different wineries to see! But it was a good start and always nice to get a little vacay with the hubs :) And now our wine cellar is practically FULL!! Whoop whoop! Not for long though… haha! Until next time Napa!