Celebrate: A Cozy Valentine

Lately, in California, we’ve had a lot of rain because of El Niño.  I’m grateful that we are finally getting rain, but this weather definitely has me all bundled up and looking to stay warm and cozy.  While our weather is nowhere near as cold as the blizzard that just hit the East Coast, I imagine that in most parts of the country getting cozy, at this point in time, is sounding really nice.  So, here’s my little recipe for a sweet, simple and cozy Valentine:

Cozy Valentine

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All it takes is a card full of kisses confetti, a toasty fire and a yummy hot chocolate. Lucky for me, Hubby makes the most yummy hot chocolate.  Here’s a quick recipe for you.


  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar ( I like mine not too sweet)
  • 1 cup milk or any combination of milk, half-and-half, or cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (for a little something extra)


Whisk together the cocoa, sugar, and about 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Whisk in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot. Stir in the vanilla and serve.  Optional: Top with freshly whipped cream or a floating marshmallow.  Go here for super cute, ready made XO marshmallows.

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DIY: No Candy Classroom Valentines

Christmas was all about the kids, so this year I’ve decided that Valentine should be all about Hubby and me.  Plus, Big Boy’s class this year doesn’t allow Valentines.  Instead, every one in the class writes an “appreciation”, essentially says one nice thing about each person in the class.  The teacher then types all the nice comments for each to receive, and keep as a keepsake.  With that it mind, I wont be doing a classroom DIY.  However, you can check out my past DIY No Candy Classroom Valentines with printables, all inspired by school supplies:

DIY You Rule Valentine:

You Rule DIY no Candy Valentine

DIY Have a Colorful Day Valentine:

DIY Colorful Day No Candy Valentine

DIY Stuck on You Valentine:

ReLocatedLiving_DIYValentine_2014_06 copy

DIY Can’t Erase Friendship Valentine:

DIY Friendship Cant be Erased - No Candy Class Valentine with free printable

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INSPIRATION: Black Modern Rustic Kitchen

I’m a big fan of white kitchens. They are timeless, bright and clean, in fact, our existing kitchen is white. But after working on more white kitchens for clients I’m kind of in the mood to switch it up a little at the Farmhaus. What’s the opposite of white? Black. I’m loving the idea of a modern black, yet rustic, kitchen.  Here are some of the kitchens I find inspiring:

black modern rustic kitchen 4


black modern rustic kitchen 3


black modern rustic kitchen 6


black modern rustic kitchen 2


black modern rustic kitchen 5


black modern rustic kitchen 1


black modern rustic kitchen 7


Looking at these images as a collection you can start to notice the elements they have in common: 1) a restrained color palette, 2) a healthy dose of white, 3) wood tones to add warmth. These are all things I plan to bring to the kitchen design. But to get to the finish line, I’m also debating the finer details, slab panel or shaker profile? Hardware or no hardware? Add beams? Floating shelves or ledge? The cabinets are only one part of the design process, but the details are what really bring designs to life.

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Inspiration: Fitness


Last year I kept my resolutions simple, I wanted to get more organized.  I did well, I purged my closet, cleaned out toys, even donated gorgeous furniture I knew I just wouldn’t be needing again (btw – getting rid of furniture was really painful).

This year, I also want to keep things simple with only one resolution/goal: to get more fit. This is a hard one for me.  I’ve never liked exercise.  When I was young and single I used to exercise, not because I liked it, but because it was something productive to do with my time.  Well, fast forward many years later and fitness has definitely disappeared from my life.  Hubby is very diligent about staying fit, but he likes exercise, he regularly goes on long bike rides, he’s even signed up for a half marathon.  Me, I HATE exercise, I would rather watch paint dry than exercise.  So, for me, it’s a really big deal to put it out there that fitness is my goal for the year.  Since exercise and I are not friends, I decided it would be best to get someone to hold my hand as I get things going.  I signed up for a gym membership AND for a personal trainer.

I’ve decided to make fitness my goal for two reasons: 1) I’ve had some health related issues that have really made me appreciate the value of health, 2) our Little Monkey has had a slight obsession with death/getting old after reading Charlotte’s Web at school, and is totally freaked out about the idea that I might get old and die.  I know I can’t avoid getting old or dying, but I know I can do something to not die prematurely.  Sorry if this sounds a tad morbid.

Anyway, I know I will never look like I did in my twenties, but I’m hoping that by doing something now I can be healthy for my age.  Here’s to fitness.

photo via

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Inspiration: Black and White Bathroom

When we first began looking for a country retreat, I had visions of something rustic, simple, perhaps a little Scandinavian. But when we finally found the Farmhaus, I let the space speak to me and help guide some of my design decisions.  This is especially true in the main bathroom.  The original bathtub had a cool vintage tub faucet, and a great train rack style towel rack.  Both are pictured below:


Buying these new would normally cost hundreds of dollars, so instead I opted to save them and use them as the jumping off point for my design inspiration.  I felt these pieces called for a traditional black and white color scheme, something along these lines:





Black and White bathroom




I kind of loved the idea of doing a black claw foot tub and found one that would fit the width of our small bathroom. However, after discussing it with my plumber, we agreed that the fit would be a bit tight and would not leave and room around the back of the tub for cleaning.  After giving up on the claw foot tub, I was dead set on including a graphic pattern, to offset the simplicity of the bathroom.  If you follow me on pinterest, you’ll see I have a whole board dedicated to tile, with TONS of cement tile patterns.  However, after reading about cement tile, I came to the conclusion that it would require a little more maintenance than I am willing to give it.  It’s a farmhouse afterall, muddy boots are going to be a fact of life. Ultimately, I decided to look for a graphic pattern in an easy care porcelain.

The final mood board is a traditional black and white bathroom, with a twist of modern. This is what I’m aiming for.

FARMHAUS Bathroom 2

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