Mixing It Up This Thanksgiving!

We're getting ready to head up to my parents' house for Thanksgiving this week. We all pitch in and help with the meal, but my mom is a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen! Her pies are legendary and I can't wait to over-indulge on Thursday (shhh - don't tell my doctor).  My favorite part of Thanksgiving though, even more than the eating, is actually the cooking and preparing part. Especially when there are a million people crammed in the kitchen and we're all joking and telling stories about Thanksgivings past. The best. :)

You can always count on the good ol' carbelicious, high-calorie standbys to be on our menu - turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole and homemade rolls - but we like to try different foods for the side dishes and veggies each year.

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NatureBox, my favorite monthly snack subscription service, invited me to use some of their healthy and delicious snacks to make a few of our sides dishes. I made a kale salad with their Baked Sweet Potato fries and a roasted asparagus side dish with their Cheddar and Onion Sunflower Kernels. Both were super delicious and passed the Thanksgiving menu test! :)

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I tweaked this recipe for the salad and this recipe for the asparagus. The NatureBox snacks added a little extra crunch to both! Those sweet potato fries were already on my NatureBox favorites list though, so I knew they'd be great in the salad. I seriously could have eaten this whole giant bowl-full myself. YUM.

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Something that I really love about NatureBox is they have more than 100 snacks, so every month I can pick a few tried-and-true favorites and a couple new ones too. Having healthy snacks in new flavors at the ready has practically saved my life this pregnancy. For six months, just the idea of a hot meal made me queasy. I've been keeping a few bags in my car's center console, which has been a game-changer for both me and my kids. No more hangry Komendas!

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Something new and exciting: If you are a US-based first time subscriber, NatureBox will send you a FREE trial box of their most popular snacks by signing up here!

ALSO, NatureBox is giving away TWO six-month subscriptions today! You can enter to win by clicking here, browsing the NatureBox snack list, and then commenting on this post with the snacks you'd love to try. 

Open to US readers only. Contest ends Monday, Dec 1. Good luck! And thank you to NatureBox for sponsoring this post and LGN!  :)

Sliding Pantry Door

We are still chipping away at improvements to our kitchen area. The faux soapstone black concrete counter tops are holding up fine, but the cabinets have never been great. We added some moulding and painted them this year, which made them prettier for sure. But you know, they're still junk, and they don't work well.

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The biggest problem though is the layout is really cramped and awkward - especially with the dining area in here. We'd love to move everything around and start fresh when the time is right. It might be six months from now, or five years from now, but I've been making plans and Pinterest boards and visiting showrooms in my free time because I'm a crazy lady and I love this stuff. :)  I have dreams where I fret over inset vs full overlay cabinets (in reality thinking inset for uppers and overlay for base cabs), and long sessions with SketchUp doing elevations of double-height uppers. Good times.

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Anyway, like I said, we are still doing little projects here and there in the kitchen and mudroom areas to make the space function better in the meantime. I'm hoping to really only do the permanent fixes from here on out - things that won't change during the bigger reno we have planned for down the road. One of the spots that doesn't function well is the pantry area.

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It's dark in this little hallway, especially when the doors are shut. Also, the doors catch on each other all the time so if someone forgets to close the pantry door, and you open the mudroom door, they slam together and lock you in! Then you'll have to stand in the mudroom with your face squished between the doors all Here's Johnny style, hollering for someone to come help. Lame.

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I like having an interior door to the mudroom for lots of reasons, so that can't go, but I'm thinking about replacing the solid door with a glass paned door to let in more light to the pantry hall.

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And then I'd love to widen the door to the pantry just a bit and add a sliding door. I think I've always liked the look of sliding barn doors in other houses, but I never really planned on using one for myself. I think they are great space savers though and they don't always have to look super rustic. I'd love for mine to feel less "barn door" and more modern. Maybe with a simple paneled door on a pretty minimalist track? I've not been able to find a photo with exactly what I'm hoping for, but here are some of my inspiration images:

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BHG

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Elle Decoration

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House Beautiful

I'd love to hear any tips you might have on sliding doors before I tackle this project. I'm waffling between ordering two narrow doors similar to the closet doors below and just seeing what I can find or make myself.

Vintage Jewelry Sale and Chairish Give Away!

Chairish is one of my favorite places to shop for unique vintage pieces (and it's also a super easy place to sell stuff using just your smart phone!).  They recently added a vintage jewelry section and I put up twelve of my favorite treasures this morning.


I don't usually have a hard time parting with pretty things since I'm always shopping and buying, but some of these pieces were really tough for me to list!! :) This vintage Bakelite and turquoise bangle is pretty much perfection, I think.

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(baby bump alert!)

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Here's also a link to my collection of more than 50 jewelry pieces from other sellers that I have my eye on. I'm a huge fan of giving antique jewelry for holiday gifts and Chairish has made that easy as pie on all of us!

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And most importantly! ---> Chairish is kindly giving away a $150 gift certificate, just in time for the holidays! Go here to enter. Contest ends December 3. Good luck!

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Thank you to Chairish for being a long-time LGN sponsor! Click here to download the super-slick Chairish app!

Vintage Rugs on eBay

I was vacuuming yesterday in my bedroom and was admiring the way the light hits the deep blues and indigos of our rug. It's 12x18 and I paid only $250 for it!

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I've found a ton of great rugs on eBay over the years. The funny thing is, you never really know what you're going to get when you buy a rug online. Photos can be so deceiving! Some sellers are better than others about providing a lot of images that have been color corrected, but you will usually pay more for the rugs from those sellers.

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My secret weapon for finding cheap rugs on eBay is this search: Antiques then Rugs then the size you are looking for, and then sorted by Lowest Price First. I pop on over to that search every few weeks, just to see what's out there.

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The best deals are usually from people that need to get rid of a rug and don't really care about the process or really too much about the price.

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Sometimes you'll need to be a little... flexible when the rug arrives. We unrolled the blue bedroom rug after it was delivered and there were literally SHARDS OF GLASS everywhere! It was equal parts hilarious and terrifying.  We gave it a really good vacuuming before sending it off to the rug cleaners (which I recommend whenever buying a vintage rug) and it's all good now. I think I still came out on top. $250 for an enormous rug is a steal, broken glass or not! :)

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Feel free to share any links to your eBay rug finds in the comments section. I'd love to see what you've snagged! Do you have any tips or horror stories to share? :) Spill it.

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