Friday, May 18, 2012

sunny days

It's finally getting warm out and the sun is shining! I'm so excited for summer to come. Not only will we have a new bundle of joy, but I get to be home with my favorite lil man. Park and pool days, play dates and overall fun in the sun! Ashton will love it!

We spent one of the first warm days of the year at our local water park. We held his first birthday here but A wasn't quite walking yet so we were extremely excited to take him there now that he's walking  running around. He loved the water and it was pure joy watching him smile as big as he did.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Easter Sunday we were invited to visit some family over in the Santa Cruz area. Most hadn't even met Ashton yet so it was a real treat to show my cutie off. My aunt and cousin were up from Carlsbad and that was an even bigger treat....especially since I hadn't seen my cousin since my wedding in 2006. This was at my Italian cousin's house and let me tell you, the food was delish! It was a gorgeous day and such a nice break from the rain. Ashton had fun and despite getting cranky around nap time, was on his best behavior. We headed home and waited for Daddy to get there to do a little egg hunting and basket opening. Overall, a great day! I wish I had snapped more pics.
So serious!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

welcome home kitty

In late January we discovered our cat, GSXR (jixer), had escaped. It was a hectic week and we hadn't even noticed him gone for 24 hours. After realizing he wasn't anywhere in the house we got worried and frantically tried to remember the last time we had seen him. We realized that the night before we had heard scratching at the door. We convinced ourselves it sounded just like the cats leaving the littler box and left it at that. Unfortunately, it was GSXR trying to get back in. He loves to be outside but always comes right back in. We put up flyers around our neighborhood and called the local shelters. We got nothing. Just over a week ago I got a call that someone a few blocks away had seen our cat frequenting their neighborhood. He spotted an old beat up flyer that was still hanging and recognized the friendly neighborhood cat right away. It was nothing short of a miracle. We got him in the house and he raced straight for the food bowl. I gave him a flea bath and left him alone to get situated in his new old home. He was thin. I weighed him...11 POUNDS!! He had lost at least 10 pounds and it made me cringe to pet him. He was just so skinny. Well, he's been doing great and the cats are finally starting to welcome him nicely. He's gained almost 2 pounds and he is living life just relaxing as much as he can. We are so thankful to have him home but more importantly, that he is safe and sound. 
Enjoying some food after a bath


Thursday, March 22, 2012

a cute tray

I have been on the hunt for a tray to put on the changing table/dresser. A spot for things like diaper cream, q-tips, lotion, etc. I have seen tons of cute ones. But all in the $30-50 range so I was hesitant to get anything until I found the perfect one. On a stroll though Target I found a small wooden one in their dollar section. It was even an aqua color. And at $2.50 it became that perfect tray. I found some cute scrapbook paper the other night I thought would lay in it perfectly. I didn't like the idea of paper laying in here. I imagined night time changes in the dark and spilling something on it. So I grabbed a laminating pouch and trimmed it to size. I can wipe it clean when I make a mess. Isn't it cute!?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

storing movies

Every day is the same. Ashton comes home and plays in the living room a little bit and by the end of his time there, I have at least one DVD case on the floor opened up. Not only was the ugly look of these movies in our tv stand annoying me, but so was the fact that he just could not stay away from them. So with some inspiration from my absolute favorite blog iheart organizing I found a cute and streamlined way to keep these eyesores out of sight.

I started out with The Container Store's 120 Disc Acrylic Storage Boxes. These are great because they come with the sleeves already and all of them are numbered. I have used a media key that I have filled in so we know where each movie is. Eventually I will add a separate box for video games and the kid's movies. 

I piled up the movies that were currently in our entertainment center. Divided them into categories (drama, action, kids, motorcycle, etc). I filled the sleeves and left room in between for growth. I added a chalkboard label and a piece of white card stock (until I find the perfect patterned one) to the front and TA-DA! Man o man, it definitely looks way better and Ashton hasn't touched it since.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

chalk labels

The current craze is chalk. Labels, boards to hang in your home, you name it! I have no problem with this. It's a fabulous idea and super cute. Who better than Martha to run with it and create some great inexpensive items for all the chalkboard lovers. I took advantage of her new line at Staples and picked up some adorable labels to add to some current organizing projects. First stop was my pantry! I am drop dead in love with these. And it helps keep everything in its place. Jeff has even made sure to keep up with it. If you know my husband than you know that it HUGE!

Friday, February 24, 2012

spinach artichoke pasta

I have been extremely successful the last couple weeks with recipes I've found on Pinterest. This was one of my faves. When I picked it out, it reminded me of the spinach artichoke casserole I've been cooking for around 15 years. And that casserole has since become a must have at all holiday dinners. Hopefully my horrible iphone pic still makes this dish somewhat appetizing! Here is the super easy recipe:

Ingredients :
1 (13 oz) box shell pasta
1 tsp butter
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 8 oz package reduced fat (not fat free) cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1T lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts (packed in water), drained and chopped
10 oz chopped, frozen spinach, thawed, with as much excess water squeezed out as possible
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped cooked chicken (optional)
Additional Parmesan for serving

1. Cook pasta according to package directions

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add garlic (we added a little extra 'cause let's face it...who doesn't love more garlic!). Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Slowly stir in milk, then add sour cream, lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes. Stir in artichoke hearts, spinach, Parmesan cheese and chicken (if using).

3. Drain pasta and add to artichoke mix. Toss and season to taste with salt and additional lemon juice as needed. Serve with additional shredded Parmesan.

And voila! Enjoy!!


Friday, February 17, 2012

pizza night!

We decided to make pizza and get some help from our little guy. This would be his first time helping in the kitchen. We started with our favorite toppings...pepperoni, olives, pineapple, and extra cheese. Yum! 

Of course Ashton couldn't help but get started eating the toppings. I'm guessing that was probably his favorite part. The kid just cannot resist cheese!

It turned out super delish and I seriously question why we get take-out pizza all the time.

Friday, February 10, 2012

tinted mason jars

On my search for a aqua vases I found some tutorials on Pinterest for tinting my own. I love the antique blue mason jars which unfortunately are not in production anymore. There's plenty of knock offs and people selling their old ones, but I was getting kind of annoyed at the prices. I had the jars so why couldn't I just make my own? All you need are a few simple supplies. 

~Glue. Elmer's works great. I just happened to have 
some Martha Stewart Glitter Glue on hand 
already. It's basically the same thing.
~Food coloring
~Sponge paint brush
~Bowl to mix "paint"
~Vase or jar

Mix the around a tablespoon of glue with a small amount of water. I think I could have made mine a little thicker but it worked out in the end. Add food coloring to get the color you want. The finish lightens as it dries so it took a few tries for me to get the right hue.

Paint the inside of your vase or jar in even brush strokes. The mixture will dry pretty even. I did a few coats since I was trying to get the right shade. And every 20 minutes or so I would use my foam brush to get the excess along the opening off. Dry them upside down so you don't have that excess puddle in the inside of the jar. It's much easier to even out that out along the rim.

And there you have it. I love the shade and can't wait to get some flowers in them! 

**Note: these are not meant for live flowers in water. The water will break down the coating. I plan to use some crepe paper flowers or silk flowers.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

we're halfway there!

Well, I made it halfway through. At about 20 weeks we got confirmation it's a girl! Ava is head down....all the way down. I also can't hide this bump any longer. I am definitely a little bigger this time around but not by much. She is rolling around and we have had a couple outside kicks, but Jeff has yet to feel them which of course bums him out. But all in good time I tell him. Soon enough she'll be trying to burst her way out just like her big brother.

Friday, January 27, 2012

you paid how much!?!

So I admit, I am often fond of pricey things and once I'm stuck on something, I can't get it out of my head until I have it. I think the "you want what you can't have" theory just might be true! Well, clearly that just doesn't work for a family with a limited budget. On occasion I find something and it's on sale or clearance or I have found a way to create it for half the price. All of my inspiration for Ava's room have come from a number of blogs with these fantastic nurseries that are just drop dead gorgeous. Of course most of them have these big budgets I just don't have. And quite frankly I still would want to find everything at a discount even if I had tons to spend. I just can't stomach $1-2k on a tiny dresser or crib. Just think of all the shoes I can buy with that! So that brings me to my ultimate nursery splurge (ok, not really). I spotted this pillow in a nursery and it was perfect. Just perfect. Until I found out it was Serena & Lily and $88. HOW MUCH!? Yes, I said $88. For a toss pillow. Let's get real, no baby needs an $88 dollar accessory in their room. But of course I had to have it. I mean, it was perfect. So after a little time had passed I visit the website again and see this perfect pillow is on sale. For $39! Now that was getting closer to my style. But still, I waited on it. It would still be over $50 with tax and shipping and I was trying to be cheap. Well, sure enough, my cheapness paid off. I got an email with big letters "ALL SALE ITEMS, TAKE AN ADDITIONAL 40% OFF". Um, exsqueeze me? It was like music to my ears. I bought it without a single regret and it is fantastic!

Serena & Lily Punch Bloom Throw Pillow

(if you see something you love on sale, use code extra40 at checkout for an additional 40% off)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

a name for our daughter

When I got pregnant with Ashton, picking out names was one of the hardest things we went through. We both disliked majority of the boy names out there. All I knew was Avery would be the middle name. That was easy. It was my great grandfather's name and had been passed down to my dad and then to my sister and brother along with one of my cousins (don't quote me on that). I found Ashton on a name website and we both loved it. Naming a daughter I thought would be a breeze. I had loved Ava for a few years and really wanted it. I definitely kept my options open but unfortunately Jeff disliked every single name I suggested except Ava. Now I wanted to be set on Ava but I swear if one more person tells me it's too popular I'm going to scream. I have yet to meet an Ava nor do I know anyone who knows an Ava. And really, it's no where near as popular as some of the names of my generation. How many Jennifers, Jessicas, and Sarahs do you know? Yup, about a dozen each. For the past 30 years Emily has been topping the charts....I've known like 4 in my lifetime. So clearly, those name lists mean nothing and I'm going with my gut. Ava it is! Oh and she'll have a middle name...someday! But that's another battle Jeff and I will have to overcome.

Monday, January 23, 2012

shrimp ceviche and chicken tacos

Have I mentioned my husband is an amazing cook? Well he is and I love him for it. I came home from work to homemade shrimp ceviche and chicken tacos. To my recollection I had never had ceviche and only had heard about how much Jeff loved it. I was delightfully surprised at how yummy it was with tortilla chips. Top it off with chicken tacos and you had one happy mama!

Shrimp Ceviche

1 pound medium shrimp. cooked and quartered
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 jalapeño, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
9 limes
3T each salt, pepper, garlic powder & chili powder

Juice all limes. Mix in shrimp and all powders. Add all remaining ingredients, stir. Serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, January 13, 2012

a nursery plan

You will likely see a lot of posts about the upcoming nursery. Like I mentioned's on my mind constantly. Polyvore is a great web site for creating room layouts and outfits better known as mood boards. I gathered some of my favorite ideas and came up with my own mood board for the room. I love how nicely everything looks outside of my head.

Baby Ava's Nursery

Thursday, January 12, 2012

breakfast for dinner

I always love when Jeff is home in the evenings. His work schedule is all over the place so we get just a few nights together. I not only get the company of my husband, but I usually get a yummy meal. He's an excellent cook and I definitely plan on keeping him around! He mentioned making french toast for dinner since we somehow have an abundance of bread in the house. This idea got an immediate heck yes as I looove breakfast. Especially breakfast for dinner. I practically demanded it when I got home and made sure he was making his delicious potatoes to go along with it. We devoured our meal and snuggled up on the couch and watched some Whitney and the new Are you there, Chelsea?. Couldn't have been better!
Did I mention we ate on paper plates so we didn't have to clean as many dishes!? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Ashton was showing a lot of interest in coloring while we'd be out to eat. We got him some crayons for Christmas but I completely spaced on a coloring book. While shopping at Michael's over the weekend I found this huge toddler book by Crayola. It was perfect. They even had the jumbo triangle crayons I had been on the hunt for the day before. Unfortunately out of the 4 they had, almost every one was damaged. I found one with some small rips on the cover and got 10% off plus my 40% coupon! SCORE!

As you can see, coloring takes a lot out of you. He had to lay down and regain his strength. ;)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

changing tray revamp

One thing I loved about Ashton's nursery furniture is that the dressers were usable for years to come. The smaller 3 drawer dresser served as a changing table with it's removable changing tray. We plan to use the same concept this time around when hunting for the perfect dresser. While browsing the tons of nursery blogs, I have seen a common trend using this same idea. While some have the changing pad by itself on top, many others have used a tray for the pad to lie in. I loved the idea of using the tray for an additional pop of color. So of course I was excited when I realized I had the tray already.  Excuse the horrible pics...I swear my iphone is slowly shutting down with the camera being the first to go.

I did a light sand over the tray and purchased a sample of Behr's Spring Song. It's coming along great. I promise to get better shots once it is all done.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

when one project ends, another begins

With the holidays over, there wasn't quite as much interest in new projects. It was an extremely busy time of the year and we definitely needed some rest to catch up. But just when I thought I was starting a break, we found out the sex of the new baby. I mentally started planning the nursery and of course Pinterest sucked me in to full planning mode.
I wanted to pick the colors before making any other decisions. I found it much easier to start with choosing a wall color and going from there. So here it is...the final decision. Wall color is Valspar's Aqua Glow. Accents throughout the room in Behr's Spring Song. Stay tuned for more nursery updates!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

new blog, new year

For months I have wanted to start a blog. I didn't know what kind of stuff I would put in it, but I still wanted to attempt it. With the start of 2012 and a new addition to our family on the way, I decided to jump right in. Jeff has probably heard of blogging but doesn't quite know what it's all about. Nonetheless, he was excited for my new venture into the blog world. We look forward to keeping our friends and family updated with the latest and greatest of the Magaña family!