I always want our guests to feel comfortable, welcomed and cozy when they visit our home. When we moved to a larger house in the suburbs of Phoenix we knew we wanted our home to be a place for family and friends to visit with ease. We also wanted enough space for our kids to have their own rooms. This new house is really the perfect entertaining house because it has a total of five bedrooms. With one guest room already complete, we decided to tackle our downstairs bedroom just in time for holiday visits. 

Our downstairs living spaces are designed with a mix of modern and traditional elements with a soft color palette. I wanted to transition a warm and tranquil feeling into this guest room all while staying true to our modern eclectic style. 

The first thing we did was upgrade our guest bed to a mid-century style wooden bed frame. I found this queen size bed at Living Spaces, and fell in love with it for its lines and the price. It's only $395 and they set the bed up in our home. 

Then I found my dream vintage rug from SFrugs.com. It had all of the colors of rust, sage green, blues and creams. They had amazing customer service from shipping the rug to the cleaning process. Finding the right rug for a room is a tall order because it sets the tone for everything else. When I told Ash exactly what I was looking for she found the right style and size rug for me the same day. Definitely check out SFrugs.com and reach out to her if you're on the hunt for something specific. 

Once those items were in place, I picked out a paint color to make the space feel cozier. I love the brightness of all white, but it was looking a bit too bare. I found the perfect soft green hue called "Retreat" by Sherwin-Williams. We used their Emerald line and went with a flat wash to keep it modern. We painted the walls three-quarters of the way up to give it a modern effect and also allow some brightness of the white to remain in the room. 

We furnished the room with a modern, distressed dresser from Living Spaces, and played up the brass accents by finding brass brackets and a marble shelf from Cost Plus World Market. I also fell in love with these black leather ottomans with modern brass legs, and decided to use them as side tables.

We found a live edge table for guests to set their bags on, as well as a distressed blanket ladder to display throws, plants and candles. Guest rooms always have at least one chair in them, and this rattan chair from Living Spaces was just the right size to fit. 

Max Wagner is one of my favorite photographers, and he recently opened a print shop where you can purchased beautifully framed prints of his work. I love the minimalism of this palm tree print, and thought the contemporary style balanced the distressed accents. 

The details of spaces always make rooms feel special. I found twig brass hooks to mount on the wall for bags and hats. I also found a distressed mirror from World Market and hand-blown glass vases to keep the cozy, homey feeling. Soft oatmeal color linen curtains rounded out the room. 

If you know me, lighting is my favorite part of decorating a room, and I found this light that is similar to my Jonathan Adler one on Overstock. We put a dimer to allow our guests to adjust the brightness. I had these a pair of ceramic wall mount pendant lights from Pigeon Toe Ceramics that I had not installed in our old house. I brought them with me, and I was able to install them in this room. They could not have been more perfect. 

I can't wait for my cousins to visit and be our first guests to stay in the room. Though I love my master bedroom, I keep finding myself wanting to spend one night in our guest room just to know what it feels like. Haha! I hope you enjoyed this makeover. Now it's time to conquer our family room! 

Bed linens
Throw pillows
Pendant lights
Marble shelf (sold out from World Market)
Brass brackets
Glass vases
Side tables 
Paint "Retreat" by Sherwin-Williams
Brass midcentury light
Blanket ladder
Dresser (out of stock)
Art work
Twig wall hooks
Live edge table
Leather pouf 

Photos by Rennai Hoefer; This post contains affiliate links; Some items were donated for my use.


Thanksgiving is a month away. WHAAAAT?! I know I'm freaking out a little bit because this time of year always seems to go by so fast. Every year we host Thanksgiving for our extended family. I love making the turkey. The smells of sage, butter and citrus bubbling in the oven are heaven to me. I remember being SO nervous when I made my first one. I think I read the directions for the recipe 20 times to make sure I didn't miss anything. 

If this is one of the first times you are making a turkey or if you are hosting a small dinner gathering for friends and family I highly recommend simply cooking a turkey breast in your slow cooker instead. It's faster, easier and a no fail approach to making delicious turkey for your Thanksgiving feast. Plus, your over is free to cook all of your tasty sides.

When creating a Thanksgiving feast for my Home for the Holidays post a month back, Brendon discovered this amazing recipe on Pinterest. We tried it and it was SOOOOO good. It looked beautiful too because you crisp up the skin in the oven after it has fully cooked in your slow cooker. Just make a tasty gravy to go with it, and you're set! These are pictures of how ours turned out. Be sure to visit Recipe Tin Eats for their recipe notes, nutrition information and various cooking times depending on how large your turkey breast is. 

by Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

PREP TIME 15 mins

COOK TIME 8 hours

TOTAL TIME 8 hours 15 mins

Serves: 8-12 depending on size


  • 2 kg / 4 lb turkey breast bone in (if using frozen, thaw it)
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 1 onion (brown, yellow or white), unpeeled, cut in half
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 5 sprigs of thyme (or 2 tsp dried thyme leaves)


  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 grinds of black pepper
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil


  • 1 - 2 cups chicken stock/broth (or water)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place Rub ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Pat the turkey dry all over with paper towels. Slather with the Rub, using most for the side and top.
  3. Place the garlic, onion, thyme and 1 half lemon face down in the slow cooker. Place the turkey breast on top so it is elevated.
  4. Squeeze over the remaining ½ lemon and then push it down the side.
  5. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  6. Remove turkey from the slow cooker and let it rest for 20 minutes before crisping the skin.

Crisp the Skin

  1. Preheat gril/broiler to high.
  2. Place in oven 1 foot from the heat source.
  3. Remove turkey breast from the slow cooker into a heatproof serving dish.
  4. Place on the oven shelf and broil for 3 to 5 minutes until the skin is crispy. Keep an eye on it - it browns very quickly!
  5. Serve immediately with gravy on the side.

Click here for the tasty gravy recipe

Photos by Rennai Hoefer; Recipe prepared by Brendan McCaskey 


I love the slight breeziness that tells us it's fall in Arizona. While the rest of the world (or at least a good portion of it) are bundled up in coats and chic scarves, wearing pants is a luxury in this state. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, and I love the opportunity to extend my summer wardrobe a bit. But in the spirit of fall dressing in the desert, this pin really inspired me. I love the laid back vibe of some slouchy trousers and a white tee, contrasted by a polished belt and structured matching bag. Drape a duster coat over your shoulders and you instantly look like you should be roaming around the streets of New York. There's no going wrong with this look, especially when you can get it for under $150. 


The Real Mom Series is back again, and we're all sharing about holiday traditions that we are either beginning or have already started with our families. I definitely encourage you to read everyone's stories because they are all SO different. Getting diverse perspectives is one of my favorite things about this series. The Effortless ChicFreutcake, A Daily Something, Parker, Etc., Sacramento Street, Apartment 34, The Refined Woman

What if sometimes you had a tree on Christmas and sometimes you didn't. Would it "feel" like Christmas without the tree for you? What if you ate ham on Thanksgiving instead of turkey? Is it still Thanksgiving? What makes it Thanksgiving afterall? 

When I sat down to write about this topic I thought I didn't have much to say because I didn't grow up with any traditions that we consistently did for the holidays other than the basic things such as opening gifts on Christmas, eating turkey on Thanksgiving and trick-or-treating on Halloween. That's all I have currently established for my kids too with the exception of also attending church on Christmas Eve. 

At first I felt sad thinking about the fact that there was no baking tradition, special book I read, or football game I played, and that I haven't implemented that for my kids. But then I was realized I was feeling sad over expectations of having and doing certain things that come from things and people I don't even know. They come from Pinterest, they come from other families, they come from movies and magazines...I realized that being fairly "tradition-less" was a gift that my parents have given me because it has really freed me to not have major expectations for the holidays. 

Sadly, the word "tradition" is often met with the word "expectation" in this day in age, and specifically in the United States where we have so much. Whether it be a child expecting to always bake cookies every Christmas or an adult making their kids bake cookies, I don't want to pass down the expectation of always doing that just so a holiday can feel like a holiday. 

Instead, the "tradition" I would like to pass down to my children for the holidays is to simply contemplate the holiday they are about to celebrate and then celebrate how they want. Maybe it's throwing an insane birthday party for Jesus's birthday that's decked out with glitter and neon colors and maybe the next is to pick a family to give gifts to. All I know is that this year we plan to trick-or-treat as a family, host a yummy dinner for our extended family for Thanksgiving and this Christmas we may try the polar express. I just hope my kids experience the holidays for which they were intended and that is to have a blast on Halloween by being creative and eating candy, taking a moment to think about all they are thankful for and on Christmas celebrate the birth of their Savior Jesus Christ. If we bake cookies, watch a holiday movie, sing song and happen to ice skating that's so great. I'm all for it, and I think that's awesome that other families do those fun activities. I just hope that isn't the sum of traditions that make the holiday, but, rather, the holiday that brings about the acts of celebration. 

Photo by Rennai Hoefer


Potatoes cooked in any shape or form are always a "yes" in my home. Scalloped potatoes is a dish I grew up with, and when I have a bit more I like to make them instead of mashed potatoes. Often times you see scalloped potatoes made with golden Yukon potatoes, but I thought it would be really pretty to make this dish with purple potatoes and sweet potatoes. 

This is definitely a side-dish that is pretty enough to serve for dinner parties, and will always win people over with taste because it's comfort food. When you pour a cheesy cream sauce on top how can you not win? Am i right? haha!  In fact, I may just make this dish for Thanksgiving instead of mashed potatoes. Although I anticipate the traditionalists in the family may need the gravy and mashed potatoes too. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Tri-Color Scalloped Potatoes
by Brendan McCaskey

Yields 6 servings

Overall Time: 1 hour & 30 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour & 15 minutes




- 3 yellow potatoes, peeled & sliced 1/4" thick

- 3 sweet potatoes, peeled & sliced 1/4" thick

- 3 purple potatoes, peeled & sliced 1/4" thick

- 3 tablespoons olive oil

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Cream Sauce:

- 3 tablespoons butter

- 3 tablespoons flour

- 1 1/2 cups milk

- 1 teaspoon salt

- pinch of cayenne pepper

- 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese, separated

- 1 cup bread crumb

- 2 tablespoons butter, melted


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss potato slices with olive oil, salt, & pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on two parchment lined baking sheets. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets half way through cooking time. Potatoes will be tender, and a fork should be able to go through easily. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Lower oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small sauce pan on medium to high heat, melt butter and add flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes creating a roux. Whisk in milk and lower heat to low to medium. Stir and cook sauce until it begins to thicken, and is smooth and boiling, about 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in salt, cayenne, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese.

Layer potato slices in a casserole dish on their side, alternating each color, in rows.  Carefully pour sauce over potatoes, and top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Toss bread crumbs in melted butter and sprinkle over the top of the potatoes.  Place in 375 degree F oven for 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly. Remove pan form oven and set aside to cool for 4-5 minutes. Serve family style from pan.

Photos by Rennai Hoefer; Recipe by Brendan McCaskey