Rachel Awtrey

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Lifestyle | Travel | Faith | Marriage

California Tree House Home Tour

If you’ve been following our journey for a while then you know that Thomas and I live in Northern California in the summertime (April through august) and Birmingham, AL during the other seasons. Thomas’s current job takes us out there while he works and helps operate a guest ranch - so we get to call a cozy little cottage “home” a few months out of every year.

Just because we only live there for a few months doesn’t stop us from making it a place to rest, retreat and host our friends. This summer was my favorite version of our “home” yet so I  thought to share it with you all.

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When we arrived, our kitchen cabinets were wood, and because our house sits back in the forrest, it tends to be pretty dark and lacking natural light. To lighten up our home, we decided to paint the cabinets white and add faux subway tile to the walls and it made all the difference. The details of our French oven/stove, the French country cookbook and more made it the perfect space to greet friends, make cookies and frozen pizzas, and enjoy the morning light.

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The living space was tons of fun. We had countless movie nights, Bachelorette premieres, gathering of friends and afternoon naps. We added our favorite pieces from Carolyn Johnson Art and an inexpensive brass mirror to the wall behind the sofa. This coffee table is perfect for the minimal look while also being functional our Cord and Cotton rug added the color we needed to lighten up the space.

Right behind the living space was a tiny room that we used for guests. We had a friend visit us from the west coast, my mother and sister in law and my mom so we kept the room full!

The wooden accent wall was the perfect touch for a “treehouse in the woods” and the other wall was decorated with our favorite posters from Magnolia Homes.


 
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Our bedroom was the lightest, brightest and biggest room of the house and we loved that! We kept the bedding light with accenting with our Cord and Cotton rug, again. The walls were covered with windows and invited all of the light in every morning. This was Remi’s favorite room, too! We added greenery with this faux fiddle leaf fig tree potted in this basket from The Basket Room, we loved the colors and the size! At first we used it for our cycling gear/storage and loved how it hid what we needed to be accessible in the most precious way.

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This home was cute, quaint and stuck in the middle of the forrest with trees surrounding it and the sound of a creek not too far away! We miss it so much and the memories made there but will treasure the ones we make and create back here in Birmingham.

Spaghetti Squash Boat
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The spaghetti squash boat - a family fave around the Awtrey household.

It’s the simple, super cheap and “healthy” version of your typical spaghetti dish. It’s also a great meal if you live by yourself, or one other person because it makes two simple portions so easily!

I like this low-carb meal and often result to it when we have busy days because it takes little tending to *cue the kitchen dance parties*!

Here’s all you’ll need:

Ground Turkey (or beef, your preference)
Your favorite jar of marinara
One spaghetti squash

Here’s how:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 for a quick cook

  2. Cut your spaghetti squash in half long ways so that the spaghetti squash takes an ovular shape*

  3. Pour olive oil and add salt to the inside of the spaghetti squash

  4. Lay the spaghetti squash flat side down on a sheet and place in preheated oven. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the edges are brown**

  5. While the spaghetti squash is cooking, brown your ground meat in sauce pan on medium-high heat

  6. Once meat is cooked thoroughly, add your jar of marinara and reduce heat to a simmer

  7. When spaghetti squash is finished cooking, remove the sheet from the oven, flip the spaghetti squash over and remove the seeds from the pit of the squash with a spoon or tongs.

  8. Once pitted, you’ll see that the spaghetti squash takes a “bowl” shape and there is now room to add your desired amount of marinara and meat.

  9. Garnish with parmesan cheese, oregano or any of your favorite toppings

  10. Serve and enjoy!


Here are my tips + tricks

*Heat the entire spaghetti squash in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds to soften the shell + inside for an easier time cutting

**I remove the seeds after it has cooked in the oven because, rather than it being like scraping the inside of the pumpkin, the seeds are now softer and come out more easily.

I also decided to serve my spaghetti squash as a “boat” or “bowl” because the dish stays warmer longer. I’ve found that when I scrap out the squash, it cools quickly leaving my guests (and husband) with a cold meal.

Enjoy!!

Keep dreamin’ 🤘🏼
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Let me tell you a quick story.
About 2 years ago, right after we got married, Thomas had a dream to become a pilot.
We sold a lot of what we had, lived on pb&js + potato chips, and would ride his motorcycle to the end of the runway at a tiny local airport and watch planes fly over us.


Fast forward a few years later filled with other’s generosity, Thomas’s discipline and countless “God stories,” Thomas is a private pilot and able to fly us to places we’d like to visit. 


I’m not telling you this to show ya how cool (and hot) my husband is (even though he is) I’m telling you to point every mile in the air, every flight pre-check, every time we put on our seatbelts and head down the runway back to the Ultimate Promise Maker and Promise Keeper. 


It wasn’t on our timing and it didn’t happen the way we would have liked at every point, and our journey isn’t even finished - but friends, He will fulfill the promises and desires He has planted in you.


So maybe you feel like your dreams are financially, logistically, physically impossible + hopeless. But we serve a God bigger than our hang ups and bigger than our dreams. He created them and He tells us this... 


“that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:6


Keep dreamin’ 🤘🏼

8.28 Boutique + PROMO CODE

Let’s just take a sec to 😍 over this top from @8.28boutique! They have the cutest selection on their online boutique and I snagged a few pieces I can’t wait to show y’all (including this brunt red top that’s PERFECT for the transition into Fall!) 

Use the code RACHEL15 for 15% off of your purchase from 8.28 Boutique!

Karama Bags + PROMO CODE

I have found a staple we all must have (for more reasons that "it's just cute").
The Amahara Tote from @karamacollection is the perfect size for carrying your necessities + is REAL leather and is crafted by women lead groups in Ethiopia. I love women supporting women so of course, I was on the train with this business and all they're doing to spread Truth to all people. 

Use the code “RACHEL15” site wide at @karamacollection for 15% off!!

My bag is the Medium Amahara Tote in "Cognac"

Behind the Bliss

PRO TIP: find a friend who not only cheers you on but runs next to you and joins you in your race.
Through the technical difficulties, time zone changes, dream chasing and interesting seasons, this biz partner + friend has become a sista of mine.
Thankful we can say “yes” to our calling together, make a pretty neat podcast (@behindtheblisspodcast) and laugh our butts off at the (daily) “whoops” moments.

Rush Survival Kit

Oh boy! Rush (or recruitment, whatever you want to call it) is right around the corner and you should be so excited if you're going through! Rush was so fun for me, exhausting - but fun- so I'm pumped for you! Here's a few of the items I wish I had (or I did have) going through recruitment that I think you'll find helpful!

On another note, we know how emotionally exhausting the process can be to so here's a post I wrote a few years ago about some of the things you need to know as a "Potential New Member."

xoxo 

 
Dorm Room Necessities

I so wish I had these suggestions when going into college! I had no idea what to buy so I just bought all of Target to be honest. There was so much unnecessaries and lots of things I wish I had instead. SO, I'm spilling all of my beans on what helped make my college dorm room "home" and what simplified the college lifestyle for me and my roommate.