January Challenge: Days 5 & 6

If you need to get looped in on the January Challenge, visit Apartment Therapy January Cure to get all of the details. I’m going to clump days 5 and 6 into one post today.

Day 5 is all about choosing a project to cross off the list you made on day 1. I have chosen a task that surely everyone has had to tackle at some point; clearing the countertops and getting rid of kitchen clutter. The most notable part of this task is that it is going to affect all of my kitchen organization, as I am going to need to purge my pantry and go through all of my cabinets in order to make room for the items on my countertops. I have taken my before photos (to be shared at the big reveal), gathered inspiration, and done a little on-line shopping to help me execute this plan.



Day 6 is a much simpler task, prepping artwork for framing and display. I purchased frames and matting months ago with the intention of framing some wedding photos for our bedroom. Of course, now that time has passed I have seen new ideas and am not sure that I still want to use those frames but this will push me to finally do this. First step to this will be choosing photos, and then I can work on the frames and display.


If you’re participating in the January Challenge, please share, how is it going?

Have a great Thursday night!

January Challenge: Floors & Flowers

It’s January Challenge check in time! I’m loving this project because it started with creating a list –y’all know how much I love making lists– and then I got to buy myself/my home flowers. I have to admit that I totally cheated on the floors. You see, we had friends over on Saturday for some football viewing and while I cleaned the kitchen, finally packed up the Christmas décor, and tidied the living room, my hubby was a super hero (as per usual) and did the floors. We will call the Floors & Flowers Assignment a team effort. It feels so good to walk into the house and see clean floors and cheery flowers. Unfortunately, the market didn’t have the best selection, so I made these mini carnations in soft green and pale pink work. They look so fresh, aaaaand I had enough stems to create a little arrangement for our master as well.


Tonight I am spending a few minutes in a rarely used space in our home, and then rethinking the layout and feel. I feel another list coming on! Check out the assignment for yourself here.
Is anyone doing the January Challenge, perhaps even in a small way?

Happy Monday!

January Challenge: Apartment Therapy January Cure

I do enjoy a challenge, so when one of my favorite people mentioned the Apartment Therapy January Cure, I checked it out and was sold immediately. This is a little different from 4 Simple Goals, which I did for the last couple months of 2013 — learn more here. The idea behind January Cure is to improve your home in a few weeks, by taking it one day at a time and in the end your home will be cleaner and more organized…sounds great, right? It gets better. I just signed up and will receive an email a day, instructing me what the task of the day is. Although I consider my life to be a fairly busy one, this sounds workable, and I am so excited to get started. I will post about my progress, and I hope you’ll do this with me. I’d love to see how this changes your home too.

Day 1: Make a list of projects


Have fun making your list!

4 Simple Goals: Check In Time

It has been over a month since the start of 4 Simple Goals: Before 2014. I have deemed today, check in day. It’s a Monday and it feels right. The last month has been extraordinarily busy for us with the usual holiday hustle, a family visit under our belts, and for the cherry on top, my office has moved locations over the last week. First and foremost, I couldn’t be happier that these are the things keeping me busy, and these are not excuses…okay, maybe they are just a little. To refresh your memory, these are my 4 Simple Goals.

Number 1 // I have definitely been wearing more color, but most importantly, I have been more aware about what I am choosing to wear. Getting dressed with purpose ensures that I feel confident about my appearance, and that always gives me a boost to smile a little more and approach the day with some gusto. This is a totally personal thing and may not do the trick for you, but it’s working for me.

Number 2 // I gotta tell you…I don’t know that I’m doing any better with this. Pre 4SG, Coffee = 12-16 oz a day, Water = 60 oz a day. Deep into 4SG, Coffee = 12 oz a day, Water = 70 oz a day. I have a 20 oz water bottle and I can’t seem to drink that last 10 oz. Hooray for small improvements?

Number 3 // Oh, tray table. I just can’t seem to catch a break on this project. I will finish it by the end of 4SG though! We did accomplish a lot last week, with the arrival of house guests comes cleaning, organizing and productivity. We hung photos down the hall, FINALLY. We also organized the magazine/office supplies/computer/printer bookshelf and it looks a million times better. So, progress is good for number 3.

Number 4 // I’m rocking it. The only time I dropped the ball as of late was on cookie day (my phone died and I forgot the big camera) and on the chocolate bark. Other than that, I’ve been all over it and loving it.

So, here it is, a little 4SG progress in collage format.


How is your 4SG challenge going?
Have a great night!

Thanksgiving Surprise for the Fam

As a little treat, I’ve mailed off a Thanksgiving care package to my family. I included pumpkin spice chai tea, caramel wafers, and a Mexican Pumpkin candle to set the holiday mood. This time of year it’s extra hard to live far away from my family, but little things like this warm my heart and put a smile on their faces. I just wanted to remind them that we are thankful for them, so that’s exactly what the enclosed note said, that’s it — “We are thankful for you.”


Everything here is from Cost Plus World Market

I was totally inspired by this pin and am so glad I did it. Now…I die from anticipation. Giving gifts is the best, but they probably won’t get it until tomorrow.

Have you sent any care packages recently?

Happy Tuesday!

4 Simple Goals: Before 2014

One of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, has posed a challenge to themselves and their readers, the 4 Simple Goals Challenge to be exact. I absolutely love this idea for a few reasons — goals are important to keep you moving forward, they have the ability to improve your quality of life, and even the smallest changes can have a huge impact.


You can find the ground rules here, but I’ve put in my two cents below.

It is important to choose goals that are attainable with little effort. Do you wish that you started your day with a healthy breakfast everyday? Do you want to read more? Do you want to call home and chat with your parents more often? These are all within reach, choose something simple!

Try not to focus on the end result. For example, eating a healthy breakfast everyday should be about improving your diet on a daily basis, not trying to drop a couple dress sizes.

You’re looking for life enriching goals, feed your soul. What will really make your life better? Talking to mom more often? Going for a walk everyday?

So, here’s the bonus…choose a reward for each goal so you can give yourself a big pat on the back as you reach each one.

Lastly, you’re supposed to blog about it. I know that not everyone has a blog, but I think this is a great exercise, so I say do it, with or without a blog. You could journal about it, comment in my posts, or share it on Facebook. Make it work for you.

I hope that you will join me.


Halloween Decor on a Dime: Finale

The party was a blast! Here’s the big Halloween roundup. When it was all said and done, we spent about $50 and were able to reuse a lot of old decorations. We found great free printables on Pinterest, pulled some things from our costume bin and, we even made use of our leftover Halloween candy. I regret not taking more pictures, but this will give you a good idea of how it all turned out.










Our friends are so creative and crafty, so their costumes were awesome, but I gotta tell you…my hubby outdid himself this year, as Jack of  Jack in the Box.


I dressed up as a piñata this year, and I loved how easy and inexpensive my costume was…it cost $15 and took about 3 evenings. I got this idea from Pinterest (here’s the pin I used). For night 1, I did nothing but fringe the crepe paper. For night 2, I hemmed my dress (bought at a sample sale for $5) and began adhering the fringe to the dress. I used fabric glue and made sure the my dress was fully extended while applying. I completed the front in about 2 hours. Then for night 3, I finished up by attaching the fringe to the back, and I made my donkey head. The donkey head was a small box with and 2 cone party hats. Again, this was  easy, fun, and comfortable to wear all night.




And so, from our family to yours, I hope you had a great Halloween weekend and made some fun memories.

Happy Monday!


Halloween Decor on a Dime: Progress

Hi everyone! Happy Friday! It’s been a busy week, but I managed to add a little something to the dia de los muertos altar. I was inspired by this pin, and I’m really loving the punch of color.  I’m hoping that slow and steady wins the Halloween decorating race because I am moving at a glacial pace.

Pom pom garland.

Pom pom garland.

Here’s to hoping!

Have a great weekend!


Halloween Decor on a Dime

Halloween is right around the corner and we are pleased to be hosting a party, as this is one of our favorite holidays. It may seem odd that I love Halloween so much because I’m a pansy when it comes to all things scary, BUT there is something about the fall weather, dressing up in costume and the use of dry ice to make a normal punch bowl transform into a witch’s cauldron.  I have always had a love/hate relationship with those pop up Halloween stores because the employees would be dressed up in scary costumes, and the decorations made noises and popped out at you as you passed. Despite my fear (and constant mental reminders that it’s all fake), I loved going to pick out my costume. Once we had the costume, the countdown began. I used to love getting into costume and cruising the neighborhood for candy, and it wasn’t all about the candy but more about being out with friends and my little sister. We would get home with rosy cheeks from the cold and change into pj’s–while still donning at least one costume accessory–and go through our loot. We would carefully choose our favorites for immediate enjoyment, and then mom would put a piece or two into lunches for weeks…that was awesome. There is something magical about Halloween and it has not faded for me, not one bit.


Me as a cheerleader, 1988.

A couple things have changed over time, but I think these changes are for the best. #1, I love to DIY, my decorations and costumes (yay, no more scary Halloween store experiences!). #2, I have traded in trick-or-treating for party hosting, and I absolutely love having a full house and entertaining for friends. This party falls on El Dia de los Muertos, so I am going to put a Day of the Dead spin on everything. Keep that in mind as you peruse my décor ideas.

On Saturday I was able to combine some favorites; a bestie, shopping, aaaand Halloween. To prepare for my party décor shopping, I pulled out my old Halloween decorations to see which ones would return to their former glory. Here’s what we have that fits the bill.





Then I checked out Pinterest for inspiration, check out my board.

I narrowed it down to my favorite ideas and happily hit The Dollar Tree and Party City, with my bestie in tow. I am a firm believer in making the most with what you have, so a large portion of the décor will be DIY based on what I have, or on what we bought for cheap. Here’s what we picked up.

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  • I have reused some skulls and added faux flowers.
  • I have added some spider webs to our art wall– fun fact; all of these works of art were painted by my dad.


More photos to come as this Halloween / Day of the Dead Wonderland comes to together.

Happy Monday!


Fall Fashion 2013: Shop Your Closet

Okay, I know what you’re thinking…shop my own closet?…LAAAAME. I swear, it’s fun. You haven’t seen your fall clothes in months, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve forgotten all about some items. I’ve decided to show some fun looks from my closet, as it is now. I’m focusing on transition looks right now, and trying to work in some spring/summer pieces like dresses, skirts and shorts. I 100% stand by shopping your own closet, especially before big purchases. Here are my top 3 fall transition looks.

Look 1: Here I have layered a Chambray button down under a black wrap dress with knee high cognac boots.


Chambray Button Down: Old Navy, Wrap Dress: Ross, Boots: Nordstrom Rack

Look 2: This hunter green crew neck sweater looks so rich over an ivory silk button down. Add some black shorts and leopard flats to complete the look.


Sweater: Target, Silk Button Down: Cabi (gifted from my mama), Shorts: Old Navy, Flats: ShoeDazzle

Look 3: This striped sweater with a knee length denim skirt and oxford wedges is easy aaand pulled together. I may wear this tomorrow.


Sweater: Thrifted and re-imagined by me, Skirt: Gifted by a friend, Wedges: Old Navy

Happy Wednesday friends!