Kitchen Makeover Plans

The day is finally here, my friends… I’m kicking off our big, huge, super exciting, highly-anticipated Kitchen Makeover Series!!

See our plans for turning this dated, dysfunctional space into a gorgeous, modern farmhouse kitchen! More photos and details at LoveGrowsWild.com

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We started planning this makeover last summer when I first found out about the book deal. We had always kicked around the idea of remodeling our kitchen at some point, but after we accepted an offer to write a book all about decorating our farmhouse, we decided it was time to kick our plans into high gear and get the job done. Jeremy and I are used to tackling most projects ourselves, but we knew the kitchen would be a massive undertaking, and with the book deadline just a few short months away, we knew we had to bring in some help.

We went through Lowe’s for part of our bathroom remodel, and I was super pleased with their customer service, so we decided to go with them again for the kitchen. They have a project specialist who worked one-on-one with us to plan the design, help us pick out products, order everything we needed, and organize the entire project through to the end. She set us up with a PHENOMENAL contractor, and they got started just after Christmas.

But before we get to all the fun makeover stuff, I suppose we better start with “the before”, huh? Brace yourselves, guys. This little farmhouse kitchen was in desperate need of a makeover! And I apologize in advance for the quick, poorly-lit photos I had about 5 minutes to snap before the sun set on the night before kitchen demolition started. If you haven’t read the post I wrote about prepping for our kitchen reno yet, I recommend you stop there next!

So let me take you on a little tour of the farmhouse… [Read more…]

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s winter. It’s cold. It’s comfort food season, folks! And to me, there is just about nothing more comforting than a big bowl of steaming hot soup to warm the body and soul. My family loves when they smell a big pot of my chicken noodle soup cooking away on the stove, and as much as I adore that quick and easy classic recipe, this winter I’ve turned things up a notch. Instead of a BROTHY chicken noodle soup, this version is THICK and CREAMY and even more comforting than the original!

This homemade Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup is easy to make and so comforting! Get the recipe for this super creamy homemade soup at LoveGrowsWild.com

[Read more…]

Winter Entryway

Winter has always been a decorating challenge for me since we moved into our little farmhouse. The door we use as our front door doesn’t open into a nice, spacious, entryway with a well-organized coat closet… it opens into our dining room. There’s no closet and no space to create a mudroom of sorts, but I think after almost 4 years of living here, I’ve figured out a good solution.

This simple farmhouse entryway is perfectly decorated for winter with large coat hooks, a rustic bench, and a place for snow-covered boots. See more photos at LoveGrowsWild.com

We’re in the thick of Indiana winter right now, which means that big, heavy coats, gloves, scarves, and wet, snow-covered boots are all part of our daily attire. Without a proper entryway, where do we put all this stuff? Here is what the dining room/entryway looked like this fall: [Read more…]

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Today sounds like the perfect day to share a new smoothie with you guys! I mean, it’s still January, right? So we’re all still trying to hold onto our healthy diet resolutions, and I don’t know about you, but the easiest way for me to commit to better eating is to include a healthy shake or smoothie into my daily routine. It’s a no brainer… pop some yummy ingredients into a blender, and in just a few seconds I have a nutritious, protein-packed breakfast or post-workout snack that keeps my energy tank full for the day.

This quick and easy Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie makes a great healthy breakfast or snack! Peanut butter lovers... this is the smoothie for you! | LoveGrowsWild.com

And I have to be honest with you guys… with the book deadline just over a month away, I need all the energy I can get right now! I’m finishing up the last 8 or 9 projects for the book this week, and then I have many, many hours of writing and editing ahead of me. Rather than sitting with my manuscript binging on potato chips or chocolate, it’s probably a much better idea to sip on a sweet smoothie while I work!

So let’s talk about this Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie, shall we? First of all, peanut butter lovers… this one’s for you! This has been my go-to smoothie for months now, and I think it’s because even though I LOVE making super sweet, fruit-filled smoothies like my Strawberry Banana or Tropical versions, sometimes I want something that tastes a little less fruity and a lot more like… I don’t know… a peanut butter cookie. Ha!

There is technically still fruit in this recipe, but the banana adds just a little bit of sweetness in the background while the peanut butter remains the star of the show. You can use any kind of milk you prefer… dairy, almond, soy, etc. And even though this recipe already has a good amount of protein from the Greek yogurt and peanut butter, if you’re looking to add a little extra kick of protein, go ahead and throw a scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein powder into the blender. It’s totally optional though! One last side note… You can use regular creamy peanut butter for this recipe, but lately I’ve been using PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter. Have you guys tried this stuff yet? It gives you the same peanut butter taste with 85% less fat and calories, if I remember correctly. Either way, this smoothie is sure to satisfy all the peanut butter fans out there!

[Read more…]

Little Bits of Love

I know it’s been quite awhile since my last Little Bits of Love post, but I feel like now is a good time to take a quick break from home renovation and projects to share a little bit of my heart with you guys. Let’s grab a cup of coffee and catch up on life!

There’s been so much going on over the last few months, and I’ve been so focused on keeping all the balls I’m juggling up in the air, that I haven’t had a chance to tell you guys about all the exciting things that have been happening. First, we had Christmas here at the farmhouse, and it was one of the most wonderful, memorable, relaxing holidays I can remember. We didn’t have to travel to a million different places or drive through slick, snow-covered roads to get anywhere. We took a day trip over to see Jeremy’s family in Illinois and sang Christmas carols the whole way there. Then on Christmas Day, we had some of my family come to stay with us, and we just ate lots of food, played games, and enjoyed spending time together. It was pretty much perfect.

Fourez Christmas 2015

On the Monday after Christmas, I decided I better get all the Christmas decor put away while I had a chance. I knew things were going to get crazy around here quickly, and if I didn’t get it all done then, it might end up staying until Christmas of 2016. As much as I hated to see all the greenery and lights get put away, it felt good to get a clean, uncluttered space to start off the new year with.

Then, I got the phone call. [Read more…]

Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal

Wake up to a bowl of this warm and delicious Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal for breakfast! It is easy to put together, can serve a crowd, and reheats beautifully!

We are now on day 16 of our kitchen renovation, and as excited as I am to see all the changes happening to our little farmhouse kitchen, I am NOT so crazy about living without a kitchen for 3 or 4 weeks. We were able to put our refrigerator in the living room (which is actually highly convenient but pretty ugly to look at), but other than that, all we have is a tiny table in my office with a microwave and a coffee pot. I don’t think I could survive this reno without my morning cup of caffeine, so the coffee pot heading down to the basement for a month was NOT happening.

We’re all growing pretty tired of eating bowls of cereal for breakfast every morning, but luckily I was smart enough to make a big batch of this Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal before our kitchen demo started! This is why I love baked oatmeal so much… you can whip up a batch on the weekend and have a hearty, homemade breakfast all week long. Just store leftovers in the fridge and reheat when you need it! I’ve shared a few of my favorite baked oatmeals here on the blog before… apple cinnamon, banana bread, cinnamon roll, and blueberry lemon, to name a few. I think you guys are going to love this wholesome, fruit-filled, warm and satisfying oatmeal recipe!

P.S. You can use fresh or frozen berries for this recipe, but I like to pick up a bag of frozen mixed berries from the store to save a little time and money. Also, as the berries bake and release their juices, the oatmeal will still look a little runny at the end of the cook time, but it will set up more once it cools for a few minutes!

Enjoy a bowl of this warm, delicious Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal for breakfast! Easy to make and baked right in the oven... perfect for serving a crowd! | LoveGrowsWild.com [Read more…]

Old Door, New Bench

Do you remember this old door that’s been hanging out in my office? Yeah, that crooked one without much of a purpose? Well, it just got a pretty big makeover, and now not only is it functional… REALLY functional actually, but it is also the most beautiful piece of furniture I have ever laid my eyes on! Take a look at the new bench we have in our entryway:

See how an old wood door transforms into a gorgeous, rustic bench! Get the full tutorial on LoveGrowsWild.com

It’s not often that I get THIS excited over a project, but this bench has completely stolen my heart. I was sitting in my office late one afternoon, typing away on a blog post, and somehow the idea hit me… I wonder if I could cut the door up into pieces and turn it into some kind of bench? I have been on the hunt for an old, antique church pew for our entryway for awhile now and have had little to no luck finding one even close to my price range. Maybe, just maybe, I could make this door into the church pew bench I’ve been looking for. [Read more…]