kitchen zen method hand wash

I’ve never been one of those people that feels ‘at home’ in the kitchen. No pretending here, I can’t cook very well, haven’t baked in years and once used my oven to store sweaters back when I had no closet space in my first NYC shoebox apartment. The best you’ll get out of me these days is some vegetable roasting [because it’s basically fool proof] and some eggs [which was a step up from the days I used to cook them in the microwave]. I owe most of my home cooked meals to Eric. Without him, well, I’d still be trying to think of what I want for dinner!

All this to say, the kitchen usually is my most stressful room. With two kids and two adults always on the move, the dishes pile up so fast and after trying to make Parker dinner [that she insists on helping with], puree some foods for Sidney Sloane and then whip something up for myself… it’s utter chaos all over the counters. And if there’s one thing I can’t handle, it’s cluttered countertops.

Recently I partnered with method to bring this plan of calm and simplicity to my very own kitchen along with some of their spring limited edition collection soaps. There’s enough clutter in other areas of our home with kids toys, shoes and mail that I just need one sane and minimal space that I can count on to be clean and tidy. I really want it to feel like a sanctuary that *may* inspire me to cook and not make me want to flee the area in an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ kind of manner.

The idea of creating a zen space was really appealing because it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to own zero items in your kitchen and aren’t allowed a dish towel in sight. An empty kitchen would be quite sad. It translates more as giving everything a proper home and place to live and visually aligning things. Full disclosure, our kitchen is currently undergoing renovations, so this was a bit easier to implement!

  • Keep colors neutral: This helps everything feel more streamlined and not too loud. Maybe a louder dish towel or something, but overall, keep it neutral.

  • Calm drawer handles/knobs: Currently, we don’t have any. I’ve been on the hunt and haven’t felt rushed frankly because the sleek look of no hardware is also appealing.

  • Equal distribution: Don’t heavily populate countertop items such as toasters, coffee makers and knife sets to one corner. Create balance by dispersing them in appropriate places.

  • Plants and flowers: I absolutely love fresh flowers and little potted plants in the kitchen. Give them all to me!

  • Mix finishes, not patterns when decorating: Marble, gold, matte black, stainless steel can all live cohesively. If you’re craving a statement, go with a bolder rug or piece of art! When one loud pattern meets another loud pattern, things get a little crazy.

Those are some of my tips for creating your zen kitchen space! I'm sure ours will continue to get hectic as renovations finish and the battle against clutter and mess is never-ending, but it's great to have some basics in place that will help keep things at least appearing cleaner than they may actually be! 

*This post is in partnership with method home, a brand we regularly use around our home. All content and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this little blog and my family*


 killbrew thompson hotel nashville

This will be our eighth Valentine's Day together and I can hardly believe it. Feels like just yesterday and also feels like forever ago, as life does these days. I can still remember our very first Valentine's Day when we were dating... it was epic. The month prior we had been upstate in Cold Spring with some friends doing antique shopping (the same town we would get engaged and then married in). I had come across this 110 year old family bible at one of the shops and was enamored by the pages and the smell and the elaborate leather binding and embossing. I loved it, but remember it was snowing that day and freezing and I convinced myself the last thing I wanted to do was haul this massive 15 lb bible home with me on the train. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. 

We returned to the city and weeks went by and I had started to forget about that hefty old bible and continued on with my days. That was, until Valentine's Day rolled around. We were only a few months into dating and were hanging out at Eric's apartment for the day. We had ordered in Chinese food from our favorite spot in Williamsburg and were watching movies all afternoon. Eric leaned over and told me he had a present for me... and to this day, I actually don't remember if I got him anything! He leans under his bed and pulls out this massive brick of a package. Inside... was the old family bible I had found in Cold Spring. I was shocked and had so many questions... mainly, how did it get here?! Apparently after we returned to the city, Eric got up early the very next day and took the train back upstate to the antique shop, swooped up the bible and sneakily came back in time to meet me for dinner that evening. That man, I mean... he could've gotten away with just asking me to marry him right then and there! 

As we reminisce about all of our grand romantic gestures we did as a dating couple, we also are very into cozying up on the couch and enjoying some quality romantic comedies for a Valentine's Day activity. If you’re in need of some rom-com recommendations, here are a few of my favorites:

About Time

Knotting Hill

Anything with Ryan Reynolds (rom-com or not)


A Lot Like Love

Sweet Home Alabama

When Harry Met Sally

Sleepless in Seattle

 killbrew thompson hotel nashville

As we’ve aged in our marriage and added children to the mix, sometimes the most romantic time together these days is just time spent together without others around. Anytime we can sneak out for even a solo coffee date or when Eric has a free moment in the afternoon and he’ll swing by my office to take me to lunch. Uninterrupted time to talk… we’ll take it! Dating can continue, even if you are married. And it takes on a whole new meaning and importance and ya gotta fight for it. I'll take any excuse to go gallivant around town with this man!    


Me: Shirt / Jeans / Shoes (similar) / Jacket / Jean Jacket

Eric: Shirt / Jacket / Jeans

This post was sponsored by Old Navy and Heymama. As always, thanks for supporting brands that support this blog and my family!

Photos by: Ashtin Paige


 personalized gift for kids 

We are avid book readers here in the Anderson household. My husband even likes to remind me about his first place win in something called the ‘Reading Olympics’ when he was a kid (#nerdalert) any chance he can get. He’s always loved books, where I learned to love them in college and am now a total book nerd. I devour them during my commute on the subway, read them in coffee shops when SS has fallen asleep while I’m out doing errands and thanks to the wonders of Kindle can even read one-handed while I’m nursing! Reading in general, whether it’s books or the newspaper or a magazine, is an incredibly educational experience at any age... and especially as a child.

 personalized gift for kids lost my name book
 personalized gift for kids 

I think we can all agree that there are good books and then there are great books, am I right?! Recently, my dad sent us a surprise package for Parker with a new book inside called ‘The Little Girl Who Lost Their Name’. Since that package arrived, we’ve read it because she’s so enthralled with the concept and plot!  And, honestly, so am I! Created by four dads/uncles, the book blends technology and original artwork to allow grown ups to build one-of-a-kind stories featuring their child’s name. You can choose the story’s main character’s name, gender and appearance, and include your own personal, dedication note inside too. The book tells the story of a child who wakes to realize they’ve lost their name, and sets off on a marvelous adventure to track down the missing letters. Each letter of their name informs the story and who they meet, and helps them get their name back. So for example, “Parker” goes on an adventure and is introduced to a Phoenix, Aardvark, Robot, Koala, Eagle and a Rabbit. The best part was the first time she opened the book and saw her name… her very own name! She was in awe and wonder over the idea of a book written especially for her. It’s such a brilliant idea and something she can keep forever. It’s not just any book, it’s a book she will have the rest of her life, because it’s her book. And I love that concept.

 holiday kids gift guide

This year, we’ve ordered these for pretty much every niece/nephew/friends with kids for the holidays as gifts (spoiler alert if I know you in real life!). They have been my saving grace for birthday presents for all of Parker’s friends too. It hits all of my kid gift requirements - personal, educational and adds value to a child’s library. They are super easy to order, but if you want them for holiday gifts this year, be sure to order by Dec. 15th! Feel free to use my code ‘parker10’ for 10% off your order at now or any other time you’d like, it’s not holiday specific.


*This post was sponsored by Lost My Name, but opinions are always my own.

As always, thanks for supporting brands that support this blog and my family*