Tuesday, January 31, 2017

WHAT I'M LOVING | JANUARY 2017


I am starting a new series for 2017 that I am pretty excited about. Each month I'll post a "What I'm Loving" post outlining what I've been loving that month. Some of the categories will be makeup/beauty products, music, home decor/products, food/drinks, clothing/accessories, and priceless (side note: each month might not include every category I just listed!) So here is what I've been loving in January...


Makeup/Beauty Product
  • Pixi By Petra Glow Tonic - I have read many reviews about different toners to use and finally decided on this one. I actually got it at the end of December to start using every night after I take my makeup off and wash my face. I love it and would definitely recommend it! I really love it for the glycolic acid which exfoliates the skin and promotes a toned, smooth complexion. I feel like it helps with blotchy red spots and evening out my complexion. It's also alcohol free, hypoallergenic and paraben free - all great for the skin. I'm not too crazy about the scent. but that definitely won't make me stop using it. And for $15 you can't beat that!
  • e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask - I bought this at the beginning of January and used it with my best friend, Rachel, one night and a couple of other times. I usually never have dry skin in the winter but this year my face has been a little dry and itchy (so weird!). I found this at Target for under $10 (I think they had a sale on all e.l.f products going on when I bought this)

 Food/Drink
  • Morningstar Farms Roasted Garlic and Quinoa Burger - I also mentioned these the other day, but these are basically all I ate while Matthew was out of town on a business trip lol. I just baked them in the oven for a bit and then browned them (just to get them crisp!) in a skillet on the stove for a few mins. Throw a slice of low fat cheese on them and pair it with the sweet potato fries and there I had a delicious (and quick!) meal.

Home Decor/Products
  • Mrs. Meyer's Hand Soap Lavender -  Hands down my favorite hand soap, besides BBW seasonal soaps that is, I keep this in our half bath downstairs and guests always rave about how good it smells!
  • 5 Tier Bookcase Shelf Ladder in White Finish - I posted about our new shelf ladder, here, and we have been loving it every since we got it up! It's the perfect filler for the empty spot in our living room and I am keeping an open eye for cute pieces to style on it!
  • Teardrop Lamp Base, Mercury Finish - I picked this lamp up at Walmart the other day for our entryway table and love it (it's only $19.99 in stores, so don't buy it online!) I was very surprised when I saw it on the shelf because I saw one very similar to it for double the price at Target!

Clothing/Accessories
  • Women's Favorite Pullover Cable Sweater - One of  my absolute favorite sweaters. They were on sale right around Christmas and my parents got me a lot of them! I love pairing them vests, button downs (under them), or a cute statement necklace! AND right now they are on major sale!! Hello, 70% off!! Seriously, go buy every color that they have available, perfect for layering in the winter and a light sweater in the spring!

Music
  • Emily Ley - January - I am obsessed with Emily Ley's January playlist. Such a good variety of music and all of it is upbeat music, perfect to start the day off!

Priceless 
  • Lazy Sundays, taking a family nap and watching Gilmore Girls
  • Dinner with my family while Matthew was out of town on his business trips.
  • Spontaneous date night to dinner and a movie
  • First snow day of the year, spent with my little family by the fire all day
  • Playing with Reagan and Matthew in the dining room/study. I sat on one end of the room and Matthew sat on the other end and Reagan kept running in between the both of us, and I jumped up one time and hid behind Matthew's desk and she ran into the kitchen and up the stairs looking for me, it was absolutely adorable.
  • Road trip to Cookeville to meet Matthew half way, and our best friends, for dinner!
  • Church, and lunch at our house with family
  • Dinner, lunch, and small road trip with my best friends. Catching up on girl time!

Monday, January 30, 2017

WEEKEND RECAP

Every morning as I get ready Reagan plays with one of my shoes or one of her toys and then she gets tired of that and is ready to lay in my lap while I finish my makeup. I remembered to finally snap a picture and can't get over how cute she is!!

Saturday morning Matthew went to work and I headed to Murfreesboro to meet my best friends. We decided to go to Bell Buckle for some shopping and lunch. Bell Buckle is a very small, very adorable town, population is a little over 500 :) There are some cute antique shops and Bell Buckle Cafe. 
We had a delicious lunch and sat around talking for a couple of hours before heading back to Kathleen's house to hang out for a little bit. It was a fun morning with the girls and seeing Miss Molly! I had forgotten how good Bell Buckle Cafe was and told Matthew we needed to go there soon for a day date!

Once I got back home I straightened up a little bit around the house, and then Matthew got home from work and we decided to watch some Gilmore Girls, shocker there lol. After an episode of Gilmore Girls I decided to clean out our dresser and chest of drawers. I am moving right along on my organization challenge that I set for myself, and it feels so GOOD! We have another bag to take to Goodwill and got rid of a lot of clothes we don't wear anymore. Woo hoo for more drawer space!

Saturday night we decided to go to Chili's for dinner but the wait was too long so we went to Chic-fil-A and it was delicious! We were both kinda glad the wait at Chili's was too long because we haven't had Chic-fil-A in a long time. We came back home and cleaned the house a little before heading to bed.

Sunday morning Matthew's parents, my BIL, and his friend met us at church and then we headed back to our house for lunch. I made my favorite crock pot soup and thew some garlic toast in the oven. Made for an easy but delicious lunch! It was very cold Sunday and snowed off and one all day. After everyone left we headed upstairs to our room for a family nap! Reagan didn't complain one bit lol, girl was out as soon as we laid down. We watched more Gilmore Girls and napped off and on all afternoon, it was the perfect Sunday afternoon!

Later Sunday night I decided to clean out our bathroom cabinets and drawers. Again, Reagan thought she needed to help...by sitting in my lap lol.
She sat there the whole time just chillin' and watching as I pulled everything out and went through it all. She is the definition of a lap dog, and I love it. Another bag full of stuff to throw away and completely organized cabinets and drawers make me a little too happy. Here are some before and afters taken on my iPhone, sorry for the awful lighting and quality!

Here is the before of my side
 And the after! The organizer in the back hold all my extras. If I see something on sale or a good deal I will stock up on it, so I just put all of that in there. the gray basket in the front left holds my hair dryer, curling wands and contacts. The back sea foam basket holds products that I don't use everyday such as: nail polish remover, lotions and other hair products. The front white basket holds all the stuff that I use daily, contact solution, face creams, toner, deodorant, hair spray, etc.

And here is the before of Matthew's side
and the after! The gray container on the back left hold his extras...body wash, shaving cream, etc. The right holds band aids, extra tooth paste, his razor parts, etc. The small middle basket holds all of our medicines (Tylenol, cough syrup, cough drops, sinus/allergy, etc.) and the white basket on the left holds all of his items that he uses daily, cologne, deodorant, tooth paste, hair brush, etc.  

I took the two middle drawers since Matthew doesn't really have anything else to put in them lol. So one is my nail polish drawer and the other is my makeup drawer.

The last weekend of January was a good one! I have been able to organize/purge so much in January and I definitely plan on continuing this challenge in February.

Friday, January 27, 2017

FRIDAY VOL. 4


Happy Friday, friends! Notice anything different around here? I've been trying to learn how to design my own blog. It's hard, but I am slowly getting there. I still have a couple of things to tweak and fix, but I am loving it so far. If you have any tips or tricks send them my way!

Matthew got home last night from another week (his last week, woo hoo!!) in Knoxville! Reagan and I were so happy to see him! We have missed our favorite guy these past two weeks.

Since Matthew was working in Knoxville this past week we decided to meet about half way for dinner one night in Cookeville. We met our best friends, Ethan and Rachel for dinner and to hang out for a few hours. It was so good to be back in our favorite place, even if it was just for a few hours. Reagan also got to explore a little bit of Cookeville for the first time!

 This might just be one of my new favorite pictures of Reagan lol. When my alarm went off the other morning she got up and walked over to Matthew's side of the bed and put her head in between the pillow like this.
and when I told her it was time to get up she just gave me this look...

I told Matthew the other day that I really want to go to Disney World before we have kids. I have never been (I know, so sad!!) and Matthew has only been once. So I want to experience it together before we have kids. Of course I want to go when we have kids, but I know it will be totally different then. I know I'll enjoy it before kids and on a whole new level after kids. So if you saw my obsessive pinning of all things Disney things yesterday on Pinterest that it why lol. Here is my Disney board on Pinterest! There are soooo many things about Disney that it's almost overwhelming, so that's why I've already started pinning things now so that I can save it and read it later a little at a time. We definitely won't be going this year and maybe not even next year, but it's something to look forward to that is for sure! 
Last night I met my best friends in Murfreesboro for some Chicken Salad Chick and Rita's Italian Ice. We just got a Chicken Salad Chick and my sister has been raving about it since it opened and I have been dying to try it. Yesterday they were giving away free scoops of the Classic Carol, so that confirmed our decision on going there for dinner lol. Just like I thought, I am obsessed with that place now and foresee many girls nights there! We all discovered Rita's Italian Ice on our girls trip this past summer in Hilton Head, SC, even though we have always had one in our hometown lol. So since it was right down the road from Chicken Salad Chick we just had to go for a treat. ;)

I washed our sheets yesterday and when we went to bed last night Reagan was wondering why they were still in the dryer and not on our bed lol

I hope you all have a great weekend! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

DIY HOUSEWARMING GIFT

Back in October my best friend and her husband bought their first house together. I was beyond thrilled for them because I how exciting that is! I wanted to do something special for them and searched high and low on Pinterest for a housewarming gift. Do I get them a frame or a cute decor piece? Or do I get them a nice candle or order something personalized on Etsy? None of those sparked any interest with me so I ultimately decided to make them a housewarming basket with a few small things for their first couple of days in their new home!


I bought a 5 gallon Home Depot bucket and then started looking for things to fill it! I thought back to when we moved in our new home, what did we need? Most of our belongings were still packed away and we were working during the day and coming home every night and unpacking all while trying to cook, do laundry and clean. That's a lot to handle at one time, so I wanted to fill it with things that would help. So here is what we got to fill their bucket with:

- Water bottles
- Grocery sacks
- Clorox wipes
- Mr. Clean magic erasers
- Paper towels
- Plastic cups
- Paper plates
- Plastic cutlery
- Wooden stirrers (for when they painted)
- Candle


I put water bottles in the bottom of the bucket and then loaded the bucket with tons of left over grocery sacks. They can have the water bottles for on the go and they can use the grocery sacks as a small trash bag for a few small things, when needed. This also helped fill the bucket since it's so deep. We chose the Home Depot bucket so that they can reuse it again for any outside/garage needs in the future. All of the items in the bucket are items we used the first couple of weeks after we moved into our house. So I hoped that they would be items that they could use to help lighten the craziness of moving/unpacking! Of course, everyone needs a candle and I knew her favorite was vanilla, so that was a fun treat to add in there. Candles always make a house feel homey.

Monday, January 23, 2017

WEEKEND RECAP

Let's back up to Thursday night! Our shelf ladder that I mentioned on Friday delivered last week and I was a little too eager to get it up. So I decided to do it myself, since Matthew was still out of town. After I pulled alllll the pieces, screws, shelves, and instructions, etc. out I was regretting it a little but was still determined to put it together that night so I could surprise Matthew when he got home with it lol. Well, after a couple of hours, facetiming my dad three times, screwing the shelves on backwards (oh yes, that happened), maybe a couple of frustrated tears, and a grilled cheese/Gilmore Girls break I had it all together...with the help of Reagan lol. She kept trying to lay in my lap and in the area I was trying to work. She is way too cute to get mad at!
and here it is!! I'm so excited to start styling it!

Friday Matthew got home from Knoxville all week and we started the weekend off with a dinner date and lots of cuddles with our girl.

Saturday Matthew had to go into the office pretty early and Reagan wasn't ready to get up yet so of course, she needed me to lay with her for awhile ;) I kid you not, this is how she slept for a good half hour lol sorry for the blurry picture!

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday it was really nice out. Saturday it was sunny all day (finally!!) and 70! I wasn't the only one loving it...

Saturday afternoon I got started on our closet clean out and again, had a helper!

I took every single item out of our closet, went through everything, vacuumed, and then eventually started adding things back. We have two big bags that were donating and a bag of clothes for our siblings to go through. It felt so good to get rid of a lot and to have everything organized! 

I took a break from working on our closet because it was date night! We decided to go to dinner and a movie. We saw Patriots Day, it was a good but very emotional movie. I remember watching so much coverage of the Boston bombing back in 2013, and it was just as emotional. I love dating my handsome husband!!

Sunday consisted of church, naps, watching Gilmore Girls and getting ready for the week! I finished up a little more Valentine's Day decorations and I think I'm done. I found the cutest Valentines garden flag at Kirklands a couple of weeks ago and finally got it out this weekend!

Friday, January 20, 2017

FRIDAY VOL. 3

As I mentioned on my Instagram post this morning, it has been a gloomy few days here in Nashville, and we got over an inch of rain yesterday, so I am more than happy to see the sun out today!  And it's supposed to be 67 today...YES! Even better than that, Matthew is coming home today from a  business trip all week, YAY!! Reagan and I are so excited to see him this afternoon.

We ordered this ladder shelf for our living room and it delivered this week. I am so excited to start decorating it and putting a few things on it over the weekend. Once we took our Christmas tree down the empty corner in our living room was KILLING me, so hopefully this ladder will do the trick!

There are tons of organizing challenges to participate in, but I don't want to join one and then not be able to complete it due to lack of time or not wanting to organize that particular part of our house at the scheduled time. I've read a bunch of different ones, and really like them, but I have made my own that I'm pretty excited about! I started last weekend with our kitchen pantry and this weekend I plan on tackling our master closet and possibly the linen closet, depending on time. 


I've already decorated for Valentine's Day, but I think I want to do this soon for our kitchen! We already have that white porcelain pitcher from Target, so I just need some small branches out of our backyard lol.

I have been wanting a new chalkboard for our kitchen but could not find any that didn't cost an arm and a leg. We thought about making one, but I still had hope of finding one for a decent price. When I ran into Home Goods last weekend I spotted one for half the price as another one I found at Hobby Lobby, so I scooped that bad boy up and happily checked out. I've been looking for chalk art ideas for Valentine's Day on Pinterest and found a few that like. I started it last night and I'm hoping to finish it tonight! I can't wait to change it out for the seasons and different events we host.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

LIFE LATELY

We are over half way through January...woo hoo! Although, for January it has been pretty warm this past week and it looks like it's going to continue into next week, but we do live in Tennessee so just because it's warm this week doesn't mean it couldn't snow next week and shut everything down for the day lol.

This past Saturday Reagan had her first grooming appointment. It was very much needed and we can't get over how adorable she looks with her new cut!! They even put a bow in her hair...I about melted into the floor when I saw that, and if you think I'm crazy Matthew was already a puddle of mush in the floor. I'll be honest I was not a fan of dropping our girl off at the groomers for a few hours, but they assured me she would be fine. It did end up taking them FOUR hours because they were so busy, so I will definitely try to be the first appointment the next time she goes. After I dropped her off at the groomers Saturday morning I ran a few errands, and of course, I had to get her some new toys because I felt bad for leaving her at the groomers lol. She loved her new tennis balls and took a big nap when she got home. Getting groomed can stress a girl (and her mom) out!

My birthday present from Matthew this past year was a new purse that I picked out from Target. I absolutely love it...it's the perfect size for me, I love the colors and feel like I can use it year around. While I was browsing in Wal-Mart this past weekend I saw the same purse hanging up in the purse section and I was floored! I have been noticing that Wal-Mart was stepping up their game with their clothes and jewelry but when I saw the same purse for about 40% cheaper than the one Matthew got me I couldn't believe it. There were a few small differences (a smaller zipper on the outside and smaller compartments inside), but nothing that would not make me want it. So all of this to say if you're looking for a cute purse and you don't want to spend a lot check Wal-Mart's purse section out. Also, if you don't already, then follow this Instagram account!

My sister got a new car the this week and wanted to take me for a ride in it so we decided to make a Jeni's run for some ice cream! It was so fun and of course, delicious!!
I got a scoop of the brambleberry crisp and juniper & lemon curd...YUM!

I've been eating fruit in the afternoon as a snack and yesterday I added a small grape juice and made this my dessert after lunch...I needed something sweet but didn't want to buy any chocolate or junk food out of the vending machine so grapes and grape juice it was!

I picked these veggie burgers and these sweet potato fries up the other day at the grocery store to try and I actually really liked both of them! I was very hesitant about both because I've tried sweet potato fries before and didn't like them, but these were really good. I asked about them on Snapchat and had a few people respond that they really liked them, and Ashley told me that there are spicy sweet potato fries, so I'll have to get those next time for Matthew to try! 

Reagan will let you know when she wants to play now and it's the cutest thing, ever. She jumped in my lap and stared at me with her toy in her mouth until I would play fetch with her lol. 


I stopped by Dollar Tree the other day to see what Valentine's Day goodies they have and found these heart shaped doilies and thought they would make a cute banner for our mantel. Target's dollar section had a few options for a Valentine's Day banner, but I just didn't love any of them so when these doilies caught my eye I scooped them up. So many come in a pack that I had some left over, so I decided to do a simple Valentine's Day tablescape with them as well. Using what I had already and then adding these. I liked how it turned out and will share soon!

And one last picture of our girl because she is just the sweetest puppy!

Happy Friday Eve!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

CREATING MY 2017 PLANNER

I love planners, I love shopping for them, doing research on them, and finally deciding on which one I want for the upcoming year. For about 3 years I used Emily Ley's Simplified planner and LOVED it. It was so perfect for me during those three years, but now it just doesn't really fit my needs. My job doesn't have the same schedule every day, actually every day is something completely different so the hour-by-hour page just really wasn't working for me anymore. My company actually provides us all with planners, so I have a planner just for work. So back in September when I saw where Blair designed and printed her own planner I got motivated to design and create my own planner as well. I pretty much just took Blair's design (because, hello, it's cute!) and then edited a few things to fit my life and personal wants.

I used Canva to create my planner, I mentioned a few months ago how much I was loving Canva and even had a few of you comment on how much you loved it as well. So if you haven't check it out yet, do it asap. There are so many neat things to do on there!


 I wanted a page dedicated to my blog and our meal plans for the week, and I loved how Blair included a section for a daily cleaning routine via Clean Mama. I also wanted a monthly layout as well as a weekly layout, so I kept playing around until I found the layout that I desired.

For each week of the month there is weekly view like this on the left side...

and on the right side is my cleaning, blog, and meal planner

I had my planner printed through Office Depot. Like Blair, I selected the spiral bound notebook, printed on 65lb cardstock, and I added a clear front cover with cream linen back cover. I love the way it looks and use it daily. Creating my own planner was actually really fun and I enjoyed it a lot.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

HOW TO ORGANIZE A BIG MESS...START TO FINISH

This past Saturday I spent a few hours cleaning out our kitchen pantry and the cabinet above our stove, that also holds pantry items.

I had the house to myself and no plans so I took my time, listened to a few podcast episodes, sanitized everything, threw a lot of stuff away, and organized everything. IT FELT GREAT.


Since we didn't have any plans I was able to take my time, even leaving to run to the store to pick up a few baskets, and organize everything to work just for us. Now if I didn't have enough time I probably wouldn't have even started that project, because I hate being rushed when cleaning/organizing. If I'm rushed when it comes to organizing then it's just not going to get done the way I want it to be and will quickly turn into a mess again very soon after I finish, but with having time to take everything out, look at what works for us and what didn't (hello crazy big mess) I am able to change things up a bit. Below I'll share the steps to organizing a big mess using our pantry as an example since that's the big mess I tackled this past weekend.

Since I love seeing before and after pictures let's start with that
If you look at the 'before' picture then you will see a hot mess. Cans literally about to fall off the shelf, the shelves on the door are overflowing, things are everywhere and have no order whatsoever. If you look at the 'after' picture then you will see an organized pantry! Things are in their place, there are TWO empty shelves on the door, and I don't have to worry about anything falling out when I open the door. 

Step ONE |
The first thing I did was find a podcast I wanted to listen to and then I began pulling everything out of our pantry. I laid everything out on our counters so that once I was finished I could go through and decide on what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to dispose of. 

Step TWO |
We have a few of the 3-tier cabinet organizers and this 2- tier cabinet lazy susan in our pantry and they are a life saver for us!! I love them and use them all the time. After I emptied the pantry I took all of the organizers that I have and let them soak in hot soapy water while I went through everything else, and then washed them really well before putting them back in the pantry.
I also wiped down all the shelves in the pantry and then vacuumed the pantry floor.

Step THREE |
After that was done I went through everything on the counters. Some stuff was outdated, some stuff we didn't need anymore, some boxes had one thing left in it, and some things I have no idea how it ended up in our pantry.

Step FOUR |
Once that part was finished, I started putting things back in the pantry, but this time everything had a certain spot. I put the things we use daily at eye level an the things we don't use often on the very top shelf. This also helps when it comes tome to make my grocery list. If I can't see something in our pantry when I open the door then I sometimes assume we are out of it and will order more of it. Which in the long run wastes money and causes clutter in our pantry. 
 Two EMPTY shelves after I was finished...woo hoo! I plan on finding a small container to put on one of those shelves that will hold snacks, that we can just easily grab out of there on our way out the door.

The fourth shelf houses all of our pasta/rice items and chicken/beef broth (I buy it in bulk when it goes on sale!) I need a basket for my lemons!
 On the bottom shelf I used containers similar to these (I found them at Home Goods for around $5 a piece) and placed certain items in them. Most of the bottom shelf/containers hold all of our baking items. I love those clear containers, they are the perfect size and since they are clear I can see everything in them.

The third shelf houses all of our canned goods. I have two of the 3-tier organizers on this shelf. I can see at all times what canned goods we have, makes it SO much easier when making out my grocery list!

On the second shelf is our bread/tortillas and our pantry lazy susan. Again, this thing is a life saver and I use it whenever I cook. I love being able to see every spice/seasoning mix that I have by just turning this thing. Behind it is our extra flour and sugar. I like to keep those things in a clear container above the stove, so I store the extra behind the pantry lazy susan since I don't use them daily.

Step FIVE |
After everything is back in the pantry and organized you'll probably need to wipe down your counters and vacuum your kitchen. I didn't realize stuff dropped out of certain boxes when moving everything back and forth and had sugar, flour, etc. on the counters and floor. Also, you'll probably need to empty your trash after! We had a ton of boxes and out dated items in ours.

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