House Tour: Basement Makeover 3.0

It’s been 8-years since we purchased our home, and last fall we finished the next stage of our basement makeover which has been in progress since 2018. I can’t believe I haven’t shared it, because this really just ties a bow on this ongoing project – it’s also a space that when we purchased our house I had 0 intentions for our basement and for it to merely serve as a basement for storage and other basement things. I hope this post also serves as a reminder that in a world of Before & Afters in mere seconds through an Instagram reel, that house projects can take time and also evolve… and that’s OK!

Here is a quick timeline of our basement projects;
– 2018: Waterproof & create initial living space + $60 shiplap wall
– 2019: Remodel basement bathroom
– 2021: Build drywall, add french doors, and built-in bar

The Compromise

I will totally admit, that this third phase of our basement makeover was initiated by B (in the midst of our kitchen being ripped apart no less!). He was itching to build an actual wall — I was having a tough time trying to invision the best configuration AND I felt how we had it worked out fine… well once I spent some time to give B the wall configuration and it started coming to life, I was instantly in love! Our compromise for the project (B wanting to do drywall, me not as into it) was if we could add a built in bar as well along the new wall. I showed B the vision, and we both had a game plan to work through phase 3.

In addition to building a wall to replace the make shift drop cloth wall, we also built around our furnace to consolidate our storage and other equipment from the main area in our basement and added a bi-fold door! This was part of my hold up, since I wanted it to be more than just a wall to seperate the rooms, but more encompassing of a few other things for our basement space.

What We Did

In addition to building a real wall in place of our make shift drop cloth wall, we also worked to enclose the storage area and the furance and water heater. From there we started building about how cool it would be have double french doors from the living room area to the rest of the basement, we had actually talked about that many years ago as big dreams. And then we made it happen! Installing the french doors was definitely not fun, and probably should’ve been like 4-person job – but somehow we did it, with all the credit going to B.

For the built in basement bar, we wanted to keep this as affordable as possible – so we ended up getting the pre-fab cabinet bases from Lowe’s — one compromise for this was having 24″ depth, it took up a little bit more of our living space that I would’ve preferred, but getting custom or skinners ones was significantly more! We scored my champagne fridge on sale and then used nicer plywood, glued together and created our own counter top that we stained in our go-to Walnut and polyurethaned the top for extra protection, again an affordable route!

We were already blessed with a bright basement with big windows and lots of them, but painting the basement white with waterproofing and the overtop, definitely help brighten up and clean up this space from it’s dingy blue walls.

Our basement was a blank slate, that we’ve turned into something. We’ve added function, additional living space, a whole new bathroom, and storage! And now it’s just time to live in it and enjoy – although since the 2020 C-word, we haven’t hosted with overflow in the basement as I always envisioned, like the guys downstairs watching the game, with snacks on the bar and mixing their own drinks – maybe some day!

Cheers to constantly evolving and making these a bit more beautiful than the way we found them!

DIY – Sideboard Glow Up

I’ve been itching for a DIY project, and as much as I love the looks of our sideboard that transitions seamlessly from our living room to our dining room, our project skills and taste have improved since we first did this project back in 2016. The functionality and size of this piece are ideal, so there was no sense in trying to find and buy something new, we just needed a little glow up. After much brainstorming, I saw @hotpinkpineapples cabinet makeover and was instantly inspired to recreate this beaded look on our doors — the color was just throwing me.

To throw it back to 2016, we found a battered bookcase on the side of the road and added doors to it to create extra storage for glassware, entertaining, and games. The legs on the bookcase have always been questionable, so with this glow up, I also made sure to reinforce and take the time to fix some things overlooked with the first make over – like new legs, reinforcing the bottom, taking the extra time to sand the doors to remove some of the roughness and using wood filler to create a seamless look.

Makeover Supplies:
4″ Wooden Legs with Metal Leg Plates
25mm Wooden Craft Beads (I got 3 packs)
– 1-inch edging
Gold Acrylic Pulls
Wallpaper
– Magnolia Chalk Paint & Wax Sealer
E6000 Glue
Wood Filler
Gold Spray Paint (for the old hinges)

This was my first DIY with Chalk Paint… and let me say, I was not impressed, actually super bummed. I did the chalk paint because it’s supposed to be easy, durable, and little prep. I ended up sanding the old piece for the wood, but never primed anything… and as I was in the finishing touches stage the paint easily chipped off, or was stripped entirely when I was applying the wallpaper all the way down to the original dark wood grain. I wasn’t happy! So I made sure to get the wax to give it that protective finish – I did a couple coats on the high-traffic areas but am not convinced it’ll hold up. I also put contact adhesive shelf liner down inside to help with the chippy chalk paint.

Another learning on this DIY was gluing all the beads on, super easy, but the glue had a lot of leftover cobwebs, which was annoying when it came to finishing/painting – so either be careful or super diligent when you are gluing to avoid unnecessary webs. I am really happy with the 25mm size of the beads with my larger doors, they definitely make a statement!

Since the front was getting a glow-up, the inside also needed a makeover too. I wanted it to be a fun party inside, especially since this holds games, additional glassware, and other entertaining supplies. I think the fun tropical leaf pattern in black, white, and grey is super chic and lots of fun. What do you think?

I’m low-key obsessed with this makeover, and have found a small place for some green in my home with accessories and supporting pieces! Working on this project definitely got my creative juices flowing, it’s amazing when you spend the time creating and making something how that stems into other ideas and thoughts in other aspects of your life. 🥂

Moz Takes Williamsburg, VA – A Dog’s Travel Guide

Moz went on her first vacation with us! We took a road trip to Williamsburg, Virginia for an extended family trip – and – Moz tagged along for all of the fun. Luckily we were able to prepare for dog-friendly activities and spots to bring her ahead of our trip, we just didn’t have the best weather to enjoy all of the outdoor patios, so we bundled up and Moz rocked her way too cute plaid rain coat all week.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is the perfect spot to get your pup plenty of exercise, while also getting a little history lesson! There is plenty of green space, lots of other pups, and plenty of space to walk and explore this quaint little pocket of history. We stopped here two separate times outside of our Spooks & Legend’s tour, to explore and take in the sights.

Spooks & Legends is also a dog-friendly evening activity that walks through Colonial Williamsburg. We took a nearly 2-hour tour that shared urban legends, ghostly sightings, and history that have happened over the years. Moz was a trooper, even on a chillier night and kept up with the group!

Pro-Tip: If you’re heading with your pup, you can access Colonial Williamsburg from the Merchant Square area, there is a parking garage on N. Henry that is a direct connection to entering Colonial Williamsburg, plus it’s affordable and walkable to the rest of Merchant Square. You can also park and walk from the Visitor Center (which is also dog friendly!), it’s just a bit longer of a hike to get to Colonial Williamsburg compared to entering from Merchant Square.

DOG-FRIENDLY Food & Brews

Amber Ox Public House. My only regret is that we didn’t get back here for another meal! We grabbed Sunday brunch here, they had a great covered patio that had turf on the floor too, which was super dog friendly.

Craft 31. This was such a score, especially with the cold weather we were experiencing during our trip, they have a covered/enclosed patio that is heated and it was SO lovely! They were dog friendly, and brought Moz a dog bowl full of water.

Copper Fox Distillery. Another indoor score, with the cutest copper dog bowls and delicious cocktails. We could’ve spent the entire afternoon here sipping on luscious cocktails, chatting while being able to have Moz with us.

A few other spots that we enjoyed, however, weren’t necessarily the best against the cold and rainy elements were Precarious Brewery and Aromas – luckily we had blankets. Precarious did have outdoor heaters that did the trick, but it was still damp and chilly! Billsburg Brewery near closer to Jamestown had a nice covered/enclosed patio, this brewery also has nice waterfront views and is definitely dog friendly.

Traveling with a pup, especially with crappy weather isn’t exactly ideal — but we made the most of it and still had fun. The weather was definitely a swift introduction to fall, and Moz was a trooper the whole trip, from the 8-hour car drive to day-long adventures including brunch, and exploring Colonial Williamsburg and the gorgeous Merchant Square. If you’re planning a trip to Williamsburg with your four-legged friend, try to plan for warmer weather, however I will say, I loved the “off-season” vibe and can’t imagine how crowded it gets in the Summer months!

See our full highlight reel on Williamsburg, VA.

Travel: Williamsburg, VA

B and I got to explore another new city together – which is honestly always one of my favorite things, and the best part is we even brought Moz! So, since we’re fresh off a road trip from historic Williamsburg, Virginia — here are a few highlights from our trip.

Copper Fox Distillery

This was such a lovely and unexpected treat. First of all, Moz was allowed inside – which was a lovely break from the chilly, damp rain. Second of all, it’s in an old hotel and you enter the bar through a hidden bookcase door, situated in the entry way with a gorgeous chandelier and stunning fireplace. Third, the cocktails were incredible – I wish we would’ve stayed a bit longer to enjoy another one! Shout out to the Real Housewives of Potomac for having Copper Fox Distillery on their show during their Williamsburg trip, because it was definitely worth the trip. They have snacks and charcuterie boards, so definitely eat a bit before or plan for after so you can enjoy the cocktails or a tasting flight!

We also loved Amber Ox Public House, it is a must-visit. We went for brunch, which was amazing – and were really hoping to get back for dinner but it didn’t work out, but the menu looked incredible, so definitely check out Amber Ox, the staff was beyond friendly and this was a dog-friendly spot too!

Colonial Williamsburg

Once we got our bearings, exploring Colonial Williamsburg was easy and something we added into multiple days of our trip when we had the time or wanted to get Moz some exercise. Most of this is outdoors, so definitely plan for the weather – but if you’re dog-less you can go inside the various houses or take other tours with different passes. Otherwise, Colonial Williamsburg is free and open to walk at your leisure and accessible directly from Merchant’s Square — which is definitely where you should park if you want to just jump in and out vs. a day-long tour.

Caves, Ghosts & Family, Oh My!

This is the catch-all for the rest of the trips highlights! One new experience was going to a Himalayan Salt Cave at the Williamsburg Salt Spa – it was a 45-minute therapeutic session that has a lot of health benefits, the family went in two groupings and all seemed to like it! Another fun, group activity was the Spooks & Legend’s evening tour through Colonial Williamsburg, it was definitely an interesting and fun experience. Travel with extended family always comes with it’s baggage, but it was mostly fun with birthday celebrations and old stories that made us all laugh until we cried – those are the fun memories that I’ll hold tight from this trip in addition to all the new experiences with Moz and B.

That’s a wrap on Williamsburg! Had the weather been a little nicer I know we would’ve enjoyed a few more patios, breweries, and maybe even a hike or two — but we were able to get in a handful of historic spots, delicious eats, and a bit of family fun.

Traveling with you pup? See how Moz took Williamsburg by storm with a dog’s travel guide to the city!

48 Hours in Miami

Itching for a little getaway? Here’s what to do, and what not to do if you’re spending 48 hours in Miami. Our impromptu weekend trip to Miami was driven around the purpose of going to see Lady Gaga’s Chromatica tour and last stop at that. So please enjoy this travel guide that is written with some dry humor based on the roses and thorns from our recent trip.

What to Do in Miami

Stay in South Beach. 100% no questions asked and on Ocean Drive. The vibe from Ocean Drive to Collins Ave is like night and day. I’m so glad we stayed on the western part of South Beach just off Ocean Drive at the Marriott Stanton.

Book a Hotel with Amenities, on the Beach. If we didn’t want to, we honestly didn’t have to leave our hotel. We had direct beach access, a private pool, a top-notch sushi restaurant, Starbucks, a bar, and a cantina restaurant (& a gym, but we didn’t entertain that life in our 48-hours). What more do you need? Oh, I’ll tell you, complimentary margaritas (2 each), complimentary beach chairs, and prime walking to the beach and the rest of Ocean Drive. The only complaint was the wait for the elevator, so we just got more exercise with the stairs!

Go to Gianni’s at the Mansion. Gianni Versace’s mansion located right on Ocean Drive is a must, from the atmosphere to the food it was an incredible experience. Interested? Check out my guide to Gianni’s to see more!

Stop by the Palace for a Sidewalk Show. As we were headed back from our Versace’s lunch, we were in the midst of a free and insane drag show at the Palace, we of course stopped, hooted and watched — but that would be an experience and the mimosas were definitely flowing!

Buy J. Crew Swim Suits. This isn’t really to do with Miami, but something to do before you come. At the age of 32, I finally appreciate buying a decent swimsuit… my life has been changed.

What NOT to Do in Miami

Don’t Go To a Concert at Hard Rock Stadium. Enough said, just salty.

If You Do… Drive Yourself & Check the Radar. Honestly, you need a game plan for escaping (either before the crowd or on your own terms with a car strategically parked somewhere far away). Also, if there is any chance of a storm or inclement weather, let’s hope your seats are in Section 300 and that it won’t interfere with your show/event. ICYMI – Gaga postponed her concert due to ‘inclement weather’ for 2.5-hours gave false hope of restarting, only to cancel completely with 4 songs left with continued lightening (after we already sat in the stadium during a horrible storm for 2.5 hours…) #StillSalty

Don’t take the 6AM Flight. Because no one likes waking up at 3:30am to get to the airport. Our last few trips we’ve been spoiled with late-night flights in (which we did on our way to Miami) or mid-afternoon/evening flights home. We booked the 6am flight in hopes of getting home early, but with delays and just not being worth it just book the late flight and take the extra PTO, you’ll just be happier and won’t be disappointed when you don’t get home early. Also; wear a parka in Miami International Airport – because it is an ice box and horrible.

Don’t walk 40-minutes to Brunch After a Gaga Let Down in 80-degree heat & humidity. Need I say more? Just pick a different place, or take the Uber – maybe decide to walk home, but definitely not there.

Overall our 48-hours in Miami were filled with yummy drinks, pool time (& drinks by the pool), and walks along the beach or Ocean Drive. We obviously went there for a reason, and everything else was a bonus – plus it was a new city for B and I to explore together, so that is always a priceless memory to add to our scrapbook. ❤️


A Guide to Gianni’s at Versace Mansion

We were lucky enough to score a reservation at Gianni’s at the Villa aka Gianni Versace’s Mansion right on Ocean Drive in South Beach. We low-key love Versace, and not for the fashion and even have an 80’s themed Versace playlist that we listen to often, so this was one of the first things we planned as soon as we had our flights and hotel booked. So the first tip in the guide to Gianni’s at Versace Mansion is to book your reservation (conveniently on OpenTable) as soon as you know you’re going to be in Miami! We booked about a month out, and that was in more of the “off season.”

TIp #2 – Order a Signature Cocktail

The cocktails are a must, at $20 a piece you definitely just have to go all in and embrace it. Our cocktails did not disappoint in presentation or taste! B got the 24 Karat Golden Margarita with orange juice and gold flakes and I got the Passion in the Mansion which was passion fruit vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and prosecco! Sooo yummy! I also think they somehow make these with a delayed buzzed effect, because it definitely hit a bit after the fact.

Tip #3 – Opt For Lunch

Going for lunch is an “affordable” option to enjoy this special and incredibly detailed landmark. The lunch is a set $34 per person that gives each person an appetizer, entree, and dessert – which was more than enough food for us and all delicious. I got the Gianni Salad with baby arugula, cherry tomato, avocado, onions, cucumber and lemon dressing – for my entree I went with the Faroe Island Wild Salmon pan seared, served with carrots and broccoli. B ended up getting the Octopus Carpaccio for his appetizer (which was an $8 up-charge) – and for his entree, he ordered the Chicken a la Rotisserie, oven roasted with demi glaze and roasted potatoes. For dessert, we shared the brownie and a fresh fruit plate. The dinner menu looks amazing, so that will be a must for our next visit, but definitely more expensive.

Tip #4 – Stop for the Photo Opt

I am pretty sure people were taking photos in front of the iconic The Thousand Mosaic Pool nearly the whole time we enjoyed our lunch – but don’t let that shy you away from jumping up and getting your own shot of the pool or in front of it – people had no shame, so neither should you, cause it is SO PRETTY and iconic! Other guests and even the staff are willing to snap a few shots (& I’m pretty sure the staff doesn’t even think twice about it either). Besides the mosaic pool, the staircase leading down is also unbelievable (see first photo above) – so I say stop for a photo opt there too, as it definitely more overlooked, but still has incredible mosaic detail as most of the outdoor space has.

There is also a little bar off the main atrium and outdoor dining that is so cozy, we wanted to stop back for a drink but didn’t make it into the rest of our weekend trip. Also, the front is pretty lackluster (whoops, I said it) you’re greeted by the hostess’, and other guests so you can’t really enjoy it – to best view the magnitude of the estate, cross the street to soak it in. There is something about being on the very steps where Gianni was killed, once such a private spot turned the main entry to a very popular spot. But to end on a more positive note, this was definitely a highlight of our trip from the food and drinks to the incredible architecture of this iconic home – it was truly a treat!

White & Brass Kitchen Finishes

Picking out our kitchen remodel finishes was no easy feat. I wanted to be bold and make a statement, but also wanted to be classic and modern — it was finding a balance between the two that felt right for our home and our style. I realize that all-white kitchens may be a thing of the past? But, honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong – and love how everything came together. Without further ado, here are all of our kitchen finishes and even a rough breakdown of costs.

Hardware & Light Fixtures

We knew we wanted brass accents, because of our appliances (yes, we will get to those beauties, too!). So our hardware and accent lights were for sure going to be brass, in fact, the sconces were some of the first pieces I picked out and bought — I didn’t make a decision on our hardware until about a week before we were told our cabinets were going to be installed. One thing I didn’t count on was how much we would use our accent lights instead of our ‘canned lights’ – they provide plenty of warm lighting and truly create a mood.

Matching the brass finishes was a bit tricky, since I was doing most of my shopping online – if anything I was prepared to return, or I would order two different things and compare! It was a little extra effort, but worth it, IMO.

Shop our lighting: Scones (discontinued) & Breakfast Nook Chandelier

I also wanted to make a statement with our hardware, so we went for larger pulls on our upper cabinets which I just love – we even added in some glass knobs under the sink and on the pantry for a little extra something. We had a mix of 5″, 12″ and 18″ pulls with our knobs.

Shop our hardware: Hickory Hardware Skylight Collection; 5″ Pull, 12″ Pull, 18″ Pull, Glass Knob

Backsplash, Counters & Flooring

The backsplash was something I was really looking forward to finding something unique and different, and not being afraid to spend some money on it. Well, that totally didn’t really happen. I went to boutique tile shops and searched the interwebs, only to land on herringbone tile from Lowe’s. I was so disappointed about what the boutique tile shops offered (at least around here) and found this tile at Lowe’s that was pretty comparable to this super expensive tile I fell in love with online but for a fraction of the cost. We were especially cautious because we did counter to the ceiling on two sides above our sink and stove – and luckily we over-ordered our tile and were able to return to Lowe’s!

Our backsplash netted out around $900, with the cost per sheet was just under around $9 when we purchased (more expensive now) but compared to the $30 a sheet that I initially fell in love with, I’d say we replicated the same look for a third of the cost!

Shop our Marble Herringbone tile from Lowe’s compared to the expensive Talon Calacatta & Thassos Marble Polished Mosaic Tile.

Can we just swoon over these quartz counters? Our counters are even better than we ever imagined, we lucked out with our counter company Granite Works Stone Design. Everything was amazing, plus they helped us find the perfect quartz to compliment our finishes. Our sales rep, selected two great options – but finding the Calacatta Miraggio Gold Quartz and securing the slab was meant to be.

The flooring was another sticking point that we ended up pivoting on multiple times. From initially thinking I wanted heated tile floors, to planning to refinish the floors we uncovered during demo, to trying to match our first-floor oak floors with hardwood, to then go in a completely different direction with a wide plank almost farm-like direction it was a doozy getting there, but we did. I’m also so glad we went this direction because it really warms up the space, cleans easily, is waterproof, and was only $615 vs. $3,000 to try and refinish our floors. Honestly, I’m just bummed I didn’t push harder to heated floors – I just couldn’t find anything that confidently said we could do it under this type of flooring.

Another bonus of our flooring is that Moz matches it, so when it comes to showing dog hair – we don’t see much, even though Moz isn’t that big of a shedder.

Shop our Pergo Laminate Flooring – Color Rustic Amber Chestnut from Lowes

Appliances & Plumbing

Confession: We may have designed our kitchen finishes around our Cafe Appliances. I found these appliances while we were awaiting our permits, aka early on in the kitchen reno process – and – to my surprise, didn’t need to spend too much time convincing B on splurging on these appliances! The white matte with brass hardware was just so beyond, the price was also a bit beyond, but something that B and I both loved, agreed on, and wanted without compromise. It ironically matched up with our fourth wedding anniversary gift. From the dishwasher to the fridge and stove we had to have the complete set. We loved the matte finish, the built-in WiFi options on the stove, and brass hardware — not to mention, everything was in stock so we ordered it ASAP to get ahead of any potential back orders and delays. Our appliances were definitely our biggest splurge, but we don’t regret that for a second, especially now that we’ve been living with them! And yes… you’re doing the math right our appliances were over $10k combined. 😇

Shop our appliances: Stove | Dishwasher | Refrigerator

We lucked out ordering our appliances in June 2021 and receiving them in the Fall, we did have some issues with our stove, coming a bit banged up but luckily was able to get money taken off with some fierce negotiations. 😏 I think the stove is my favorite, next to the dishwasher and I’m adjusting to life with a two-door fridge. 😅

I really wanted a bridge faucet, but most I found were itching close to $2k. With time, I lucked out and found this more modern and affordable one by Allen & Roth at Lowe’s. We have a very good friend who is a plumber, and he was very adamant on getting an InSinkErator for the garbage disposal. Luckily, we were able to get a brass flange for our garbage disposal too, yes we covered all the bases!

Getting Ruggables for the kitchen was also non-negotiable, with the number of dogs that can be at our house at times and with the back door being our main in and out, we needed something we could keep clean easily! The runner miraculously fit in front of the stove, with a smaller 2×3′ in front of the sink area.

Woah, that was a lot! What did I miss? Any other finishes you’re curious about that I may have missed? My tip if you’re starting any sort of remodel or big project, is to order stuff you like as soon as you see it, and depending on what it is more than enough (like tile), just in case by the time you get to install it could be discontinued or have a longer lead time.

Want more updates on our Kitchen Remodel?
Kitchen Remodel Reveal
📜 Kitchen Reno – The Plan
🛠️ Demo & Mood Board
🎨 Kitchen Progress Update

Five Year Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide

Is year five like the first mini-milestone when it comes to wedding anniversaries? I think it might be! This year’s themes are fun and offer a bit more creativity than year four – although, I will say we knocked year four-anniversary gifts out of the park with our Cafe Appliances in our kitchen remodel, the timing just happened to be perfect for us! But let’s talk about year five wedding anniversary gifts; the traditional gift is wood and the modern gift is silverware… but I might challenge that to be goldware!

“Your roots have sprouted much like a tree by your fifth anniversary, so together you can endure anything.”

“All the meals you’ve enjoyed together and will continue to share are best commemorated with beautiful silverware.”

The Knot

Traditional: Wood

We always love going the traditional route whenever possible – and this one feels like it could be easy with endless options, but when that is the case, I always like to try to make it a little more special or unique to us! OK, so it’s no secret if you’ve read my previous wedding anniversary gift guides that I love to head to Etsy. There are plenty of wooden themed gift options that offer personalization – here are a few I found and why I love them.

Apple Ornament Box: This is super simple and I love the play on “love you to the core” it’s such a sweet and symbolic jester that can remain as a reminder even after the fifth anniversary – plus this one opens and you can include a sweet memory, better yet, it could be used on a weekly or monthly basis to exchange sweet messages to each other after the anniversary.

Jenga Memories: I hate playing Jenga, because it gives me anxiety but I also love this idea because it’s a unique and personalize way to document 5-year milestones. Instead of doing the engraved route, buying a Jenga set is another way and as a gift, combination anniversary activity you and your sig-o could take turns and write memories, moments or milestones on your Jenga set. This could be PG or R rated even. 😏

Shop these Etsy Gifts: Apple Keepsake, Personalized Jenga, Engraved Hammer, Wooden Kitchen Utensils

Engraved Hammer: Of course, I love this because B and I are no strangers to home projects and building a life and home together. Plus, this can be a useful tool or used more as a decorative piece or have as the inside hammer.

Handcrafted Wooden Utensils: Since our kitchen remodel, we’ve been wanting and looking for new utensils — and can’t quite find something that fits. Not only is this set handcrafted in Seattle, WA., but the finish and set is beautiful, I also can’t help but think of the wooden utensils I had growing up and how sturdy they were.

Other ideas include custom ornaments, charcuterie boards, engraved signs, plaques, trays, or picture frames – if you’re going the traditional route you have plenty of options to make it special!

Modern: Silverware

Like most, you may have had this on your wedding registry – maybe your taste has changed in the last 5-years? Maybe it hasn’t, but you want to add a little flair to your silverware game. This is the perfect excuse, to add, grow or change it up completely. We got brass silverware for our wedding, but didn’t use it unless it was a special occasion, since our kitchen upgrade it’s become our go-to, I just wish I had more of it! Here are a few things to consider if you’re going the silverware route to celebrate year five:

Price Point: How much do you want to spend? This is obviously all with what you’re comfortable with. But consider a few things if you’re in love with something but not the price.

Ask yourself: How many times did you get new silverware growing up? (never) Does your current set match? Or is it hand-me-downs? (we had mix-match & hand-me-downs).

Pro-Tip: Don’t be fooled by the price point and how many pieces you get, for the price you may feel like you should be getting a whole set, when in actuality you’re only getting one place setting!

How Many Pieces? For our wedding, we were equipped with 8 tables settings for our bronze flatware – which always seemed like plenty. Since our kitchen renovation, and dishwasher life we quickly run out of our nice flatware! Also, another way I like to gauge quantity is imagining the biggest group of immediate family or closest group of friends if they were all to come over for dinner – how many pieces would you need? We would need around 12 – aka – we need more!

Shop The Pieces Above: Floral Hand Set, Square Brass Set, Vintage Silver Set, Modern Brass Set

Handles & Finishes: Not sure if this is something that bothers you… but fat or square handles can be a little bulky in your hand while you’re eating! So if you like your current style or size, keep that in mind when you’re shopping. I have small hands – but obviously I’m not the only one who uses them, so if possible try to test out some different options in store if you’re looking to make a big change. Finishes can go hand in hand with cleaning and care or your general style, try to go for something classic since this is can be an expensive and not a piece that is typically changed up.

Cleaning & Care: If you like having the ability to use your dishwasher as much as possible, it’s important to make sure you’re picking out dishwasher friendly pieces. However, if you’re looking for more of a statement, special occasion option like silver – know that you’ll have to do some hand washing and care! Always read reviews whenever they’re available.

Happy Fifth Wedding Anniversary and Happy Shopping!

Celebrating a different anniversary milestone? Read my Two Year Gift Guide, Three Year Gift Guide & Four Year Gift Guide.

Planning The Perfect Dog Pawty

As much as I hate seeing my baby girl get older, I can’t help but embrace and spoil her more and more, especially on her birthday! We dabbled last year, creating the perfect Instagram moment and this year I decided to kick it up just a notch. Here’s how you can plan a simply adorable pawty for your favorite four-legged friend.

Create a photo worthy backdrop

This can be done really simply for your pooch – especially if you have a low rider like Moz. Make it simple for your pup, and plan for lower on a wall, fence or side of the garage so it’s easy for them to sit and pose! The easiest way is to grab a standard ‘Happy Birthday’ Banner to create your focal point. From there, you can add balloons, other banners, and decorations to help fill the space. Since Moz has a summer birthday, it can be pretty hot – so I created two this year, one inside with gold balloons and a simpler one outside! This Lets Pawty gold balloon set was too affordable not to pass up.

(FTR: I totally broke my own advice with the indoor set-up this year, but luckily it worked to grab a picture with Moz still!)

A Perfectly Themed Pawty

I’m absolutely obsessed with The Foggy Dog, a woman-owned, small biz out of San Fran. As soon as I saw their Lady Bow’s I had to have them for Moz. This started getting a gorgeous red velvet one for our Christmas card photos, and has turned into a seasonal obsession – so it’s no surprise as soon as I saw the pink sprinkle lady bow, I knew Moz needed for her birthday this year – and in turn became the inspiration for a pink and gold, sprinkle party!

Hooman & DOG-APPROVED Treats

This year, I decided to ask my super talented friend from Sweet Geebs to make hooman cookies to go with the theme of playing off Moz’s pink sprinkle lady bow. So if you can plan ahead, and get on your favorite sugar cookie baker’s schedule – I highly recommend it for another sweet and simple touch to bring your dog pawty together.

More importantly, we cannot forget to spoil our pups with some yummy, special treats! Moz always gets her birthday year in whip cream (because she is super spoiled from getting Starbucks pup cups). I really like this route, because it’s a simple way to showcase your pups age, and it takes little prep, especially if you’re a hardworking dog mom without a ton of time.

Two other really easy treats that you can make your pup are these super simple, 3 ingredient frozen dog treats – also great to give your pups on a hot summer day to keep them cool and refreshed. If your pup has a winter birthday, or you have a little more time – I always recommend these 5-ingredient dog treats. These peanut butter pumpkin treats are a little more time intensive, but super great for your pup and you can always dress them up with some additional peanut butter as frosting on top! Honestly… sometimes we spoil Moz with all three!

The final details to bring your pup’s special day together are inviting their best furry friend over and of course a few presents! Moz was extra spoiled with a Birthday Themed Lamby (which is practically the size of Moz) and a crinkly colorful birthday cake toy, both linked and from Target! I also grabbed her some Bocce Bakery treats. Her fairy god aunties also got her a birthday cake toy!

Shop more of my affordable decor:
Iridescent Tassel Garland
Cactus Pom Pom Garland
Gold Happy Birthday Banner