Friday, June 23, 2017

coming into 31

No, this is not a post about Thiry One bags which I have a love/hate relationship with and could be another blog post on it's own, but I would never bore you with my feelings on that. This is about *gulp* my 31st birthday, which slipped by earlier this week. While I really adore my birthday and typically like celebrating my entire birth-week, this year I've become less enthused. Any other 30-somethings out there feeling the same way? There's just something about being "in my 30's" that feels a little icky to me.

Mostly I feel pretty proud of the things I've accomplished in my life and, mostly, I consider myself a confident person. Through my career I've gained experiences that I never imagined, including a bit of travel, really interesting aspects to construction and design, and the pleasure of working with phenomenal people I've grown to call friends. Now, working in a job I can see myself in for the long-haul (which I think is really saying something at my age), I feel a nice balance with my work life and personal life. In my personal life, KJB and I celebrated five years of marriage and in that time we have learned so much about who we are together and discovered our goals for union. One struggle that I've always had that I finally feel like I have a handle on is my introverted-ness and mental health. Accepting that and finding ways to live with it has become one of my greatest achievements, because I now understand my boundaries. Becoming confident in my decisions to protect those things took time, but it is now also in a good balance. Lastly, I allowed myself to release the pressure of this blog, by dramatically relaxing the schedule, and social media, by removing myself from Facebook (except the occasional video of my nephews and niece), Snapchat, and Twitter. Instagram is easy and non-threatening for me, so it's the only place I'm really active.

Unfortunately the insecurities sometimes still sneak in. Regular questioning from others like, "when are you going to have children?" or "are you happy with that job?" can sometimes make me question the decisions I've made. As a young girl, I would often daydream about my adult life, and my current life looks so different from that daydream. It makes me wonder if I did something wrong along the way. These things create huge doubts, tug at my fears, and isolate me into loneliness. It is these things that leave me hesitant to celebrate my birthday loud and proud.

This past week was spent with a gaggle of fifth graders at the church Vacation Bible School. These soon-to-be middle schoolers left me a bit inspired. If you have been around my blog for any length of time you've picked up on the fact that I'm a Jesus-lover, an advocate of love, peace, and hope. Having the opportunity to listen to the questions of young believers can be so refreshing, because generally the answers are so simple. I, and most other adults, tend to over-complicate things. But the simple clarifications were stimulating.

"No one was made to be perfect. Jesus came to be that. Strive to love like He did in every aspect of your life and know that makes you enough."

In my 31st year on Earth, I hope I learn to take my own advice.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Living Room MAKEOVER?!

Okay, okay. Maybe I'm not currently planning to makeover my living room. Actually, let me just reassure my husband who may or may not be having a panic attack at the thought of another room makeover. Side note: three rooms/areas are currently getting a face lift this summer, and KJB might kill me if I suggest another one right now.

BUT there is no reason I can't daydream about the perfect living room. I can't help it; I am an interior designer for a living! It's to be expected. Anyways, my dream living room isn't too far off from what I have now, so it's not like it would be a massive project. Just a few items... am I talking myself into? Shhhh.....

Let's get into the look. It's pretty neutral with lots of texture variations and materials. There is nothing better about a room than successfully combining fabrics, metals, glass, and wood. With these soft colors, it keeps the space natural looking. This encompasses my style pretty well, a bit of glam with the matte gold, my love of the artisan feel with the highly detailed console, and the modern look of low, straight lines. I did go a little out of my comfort zone and pulled a couple of armchairs that are more traditional in style. But the pattern is lovely and the soft tones are perfect. I think they add to the glam feel. Also, a white and black geometric rug goes with everything, so it's the perfect investment piece. It could be switched out to be used in any room.

I love that these pieces provide such a great base for my current accessories. Wooden boxes, ceramic vases, plants, photographs, throw pillows - they will all layer so nicely. Most of these pieces are from Arhaus because their style is (insert hair-flip emoji) perfection. The pieces are super stylish yet classic, and give you that "lived-in" vibe. Toss a blanket over the arm of that couch when you're finished using it and it looks like it's meant to be there. All of their living room offerings are lovely!

What are the components of your dream living room? How would you describe your style?

Friday, June 16, 2017


Girlboss on Netflix. It's not the best show I've ever seen but hearing the story of how Nasty Gal came to be, and the crazy personality of the main character, I was addicted on the first episode. With only a couple shows left, it was an easy watch and pretty funny.

Already this month I've been to three of the surrounding states which has to be a new record. Cincinnati called to us when I discovered my beloved Braves were playing the Reds. Earlier this week I went to Chicago for the NeoCon trade show and I nearly melted with temps in the upper nineties. KJB is in Tennessee with family and this is maybe the longest we have been apart since we were married! Lastly, later this month we are going camping where I'm sure we will actually melt.

My Stella & Dot Wesley sunnies have been on repeat because I love the mirror lens. They are so on trend for summer and make me feel 10 years younger because of that.

At the beginning of the month, KJB and I decided to try out low-carb life. Surprisingly it's been super easy for me (not quite so much for him) considering our traveling and eating out. While our reasoning for the trial is for health purposes, I've also noticed a change in energy the past couple days. The third and fourth days were the worst because we both had sugar withdrawals, but it's been up-hill since then.

Several new IKEA pieces this month have me constantly assembling in my free time. We unexpectedly picked up a suite for our guest bedroom and it has completely transformed that room. Next up is our new patio furniture, which I changed my mind on several times after I shared my inspiration post. Hopefully I can share a finished makeover with you soon.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Anyone that knows me will tell you that sunglasses are my weakness. Next to jewelry, it's the accessory I have the most of, which may be slightly ridiculous since you can only wear one pair at a time. Hanging on the wall next to my vanity is a old metal pant hanger where I have all of my sunnies lined up in rows. Having them on display really helps me to rotate them, plus they are easy to put away and can't get piled up on my dresser (like everything else).

Anyways, I really wanted to share Warby Parker's new sunglasses collection, inspired by 1950's fashion. The mixed materials and the bold browline are super on trend for this summer and I. CAN'T. WAIT. to get my hands on a pair. Before I continue with gushing about this line, first some background on Warby Parker. The basis of the company is frames you can try on at home, by ordering up to five sample pairs. They arrive in a neat little box, ready for you to find your perfect pair. My husband and I have both taken advantage of this because I've never loved the frames available at my local doctor, and ordering online can be so risky. These people must be genius because it's incredibly convenient and the best way to find the perfect fit. As if that's not good enough, they also partner with nonprofits to give a pair of glasses to someone in need every time a pair is sold. Shopping with a conscience and getting a great product.

Back to this new collection. There are a couple different styles but I'm a major sucker for tortise shell anything so Addie is my favorite and the pair I've decided to get my hands on. The black pair (Hayes) I'm considering for my husband because I think the black will look classic on him. 

Being a retro fan, I'm really crushing on this collection. The fifties vibes are strong and have me thinking of feminine fit-and-flare silhouettes, wrap dresses, and pastels. When I first saw the images Warby Parker released I had to find some great pieces to pair with the sunnies. Once I get my pair I'm definitely coming back to share a couple of my favorite looks for summer..
Seeing fashion and trends evolve is so fun because while there are similarities to the retro look, there's always something updated about it - like the material, the neckline, or a fresh color palette. Warby Parker definitely got this collection right with timeless, classic designs. Be sure to check out the Insta hashtag #WarbyHomeTryOn to see how others are successfully finding eyeglasses and sunglasses that look amazing on them.

(moodboard items are all linked on my Pinterest)

Friday, June 9, 2017


Maybe it's an heirloom passed down by a great, great grandparent. Perhaps it was a gift, given to you by someone you hold dear in your heart. Or maybe it is something you purchased yourself that signifies a mile-marker in your life. These are treasures; the things we have that stir memories or make us feel love. We all have them and they look different for everyone. What I'm particularly interested in is the way we care for these treasures in our homes. Do you keep the safe and hidden, so that only you can enjoy them? Or do you put them on display for guests to see? And if you do put them on display, do you do so in a way that shows off how special it is to you?

While my day job is in commercial design, one thing I love about residential design is discovering these treasures. They always have a story associated with them and they bring forth some kind of emotion. I once saw a quote on Pinterest that said, "A room should be collected, not decorated," and that fully fits my style in my own home. Slowly over time, I've collected treasures that I love to display. Nearly everything I own has either been gifted to me, I've made, or has been collected. The drawing in the living room from New Orleans, the painting in the guest bedroom is from Nassau, the dining room table cloth is from Los Cabos, and so on. These particular items remind me of travel, but they also let me support local artist from the area I visit.

When considering all my treasures, I think of one in particular, which I call my inspiration wall. To anyone else, it may look no different to any other gallery wall. Various sized images all framed and hung together on a wall. But this gallery wall is special to me. Centered in the middle is the guest book from our wedding. It's a drawing of a small home that my Dad drew for me with dozens of balloons, lifting the house into the air. Each balloon is a thumbprint from a person, couple, or family that attended our wedding. Now, while many people thought I did this because of the Disney movie, Up, which I've unfortunately never seen, I actually had a different purpose in mind. The home signifies our new family - small and quaint, perfect for two lovebirds. The balloons lift the house representing our support system, which helps us and encourages us through our marriage. Each of these people are special to me.

Surrounding that image are various quotes and verses that uplift our spirits when we need it and remind us our our purpose in life. By donning our walls with these words of encouragement, we are reminded of peace and love every time we walk by it. Some of these are purchased by artists, some I've created myself. By locating the inspiration wall here, it is visible to the most rooms possible.

What treasures do you have in your home? If you are needing help finding a way for your treasurers to stand out, or have no idea where to start with designing your home, I encourage you to check out Havenly. This is a service I recently discovered, that includes a fun style quiz and matches your results with designers across the world. They also have a shop with page after page of furniture and accessories. My quiz results said my style was Scandinavian with a touch of Bohemian, which I think is spot on for the type of items I like to buy for my current mid-century modern home. If you take the quiz, let me know what your results say!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mental health tracker - P R I N T A B L E

Today I wanted to share a fun printable I made for myself to help me track my mental health wellness. The older I get the more I notice how things affect me - both mentally and physically, so I thought it would be interesting to try tracking things. The items I've included on the inserts are things that I need to do for my mental well-being. Some of the items are laid out in a "checklist" style with boxes to mark off, but I don't consider them a to-do list. For example, prayer is not something I do so I have gratification of checking it off my list. It is more-so for tracking, to mark my mindset for the day. There are some days I focus more on prayer and less on praise music. Marking those things on these inserts could be interesting to compare with the other things I'm tracking, like my mood, the amount of sleep I get, etc.

Download the inserts here!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Young Professionals Top 5

Hanging up the phone I replay our conversation over in my mind. A massive, goofy grin spreads across my face.

"We are completely swamped. We have more work than I know what to do with. Is there any chance you're interested in a job?" he asked.

"Sure! Should we schedule a time to meet and talk?" My body temperature has risen; I could feel it in my face.

"Actually, if you have 5 minutes we can talk salary and benefits now. I'd really like you to start next week," he said, his words muffled by the confetti poppers and champagne pouring soundtrack I had playing in my head.

"Oh! Of course! Let's do that. I'd be happy to start next week," I said, already forgetting about my part-time gig I started two weeks ago in a desperate attempt for money.

My first job after graduating came three months after I received my diploma, and days before I was starting to hit panic mode since my student loan payments would start in three more months. But at the drop of a hat my anxiety was wiped away and I found myself prepping for my first big girl job. 

Like most college graduates, I was starting off in the real world with a fairly empty savings account. I had some graduation money and a new laptop, a gift from my parents for graduation. Knowing I would be receiving a weekly paycheck, I sat down and made a priority list that I titled: Things To Buy. 

Today, I'm sharing an updated version of that list: Top 5 Things a Young Professional Needs to Reach Success and Comfort. I've tried to shorten that name, but I can't, so we're stuck with it. This is of course all relative, because different careers will call for different things, but this is a basic list that should help most college grads. Here we go:

5. Luggage
Whether you're working for a large company with offices across the country/world, or a small business, the chances are good you will take some sort of trip in your first year of working. I found myself on three the first year, and two of those were in the first three months. I was able to borrow from my parents, fortunately, but eventually I bought myself a three-piece set. Luggage can be expensive, so I recommend buying during Black Friday sales. Most would recommend choosing something professional looking, and that could be fine for some. But I would hate picking up every black suitcase off the conveyor belt to find my own. 

1 / 2 / 3

4. Pillows
This one may sound really odd, however, it wasn't until I bought my first pillow (one of those $5 doorbusters at Target/Sears/JC Penny/WalMart on Black Friday) that I realized cheap pillows are cheap for a reason. And that's because they are crap. I was working harder than I ever had, learning more in a day than an entire year at the university, and coming home completely exhausted. To say I was disappointed in my $5 pillows would be an understatement. Invest in a great pillow that provides support and allows for an uninterrupted nights' sleep. My Casper pillows were well worth the money spent. And briefly, while we are on the subject of sleeping, PLEASE DON'T EVER buy furniture from a furniture store that's going out of business. You are basically forgoing the option of a warranty. This comes from experience. *palm to face emoji

3. Professional Network Membership
Finding a group of people who can give insight to the field you're in can be incredibly invaluable. These networks can provide opportunities for continued education, certifications, job openings, as well as friendships. If your job has you relocated to a new city, this could be pushed to the top of the list, as the social aspect can really help you to feel comfortable in your new home.

2. Wardrobe Basics
There's a good chance you bought a suit when you started the interview process. That's a really great start because you can wear the pants with different blouses and the jacket with different pants. A few other basics to consider include a cardigan, a comfortable pair of flats or loafers, several pair of dress pants in different neutrals (navy, black, khaki). Choose simple things that mix and match easily. If your office allows casual Friday, always keep your shoes and tops professional.

1. Reliable Transportation
My car was two years new to me, but ten years old when I started my job. It was reliable in the sense that it got me to and from work easily. However, as things started going wrong with the car, I realized I was putting a decent amount of money into repairs and my money would be better spent on a different vehicle. I needed to transport furniture occasionally, and that little car was too small for that purpose. So I sold my car and purchased another one that was seven years old, but had very low miles. It was a small SUV, so it had decent gas mileage, but plenty of room for the furniture I needed to haul. That car surprisingly lasted me up until last fall, and I paid it off years before that. However, while that worked out well for me, I do wish I had leased a new car instead. Older cars constantly require some kind of maintenance. Looking back I probably paid for the car twice over with the repair bills. A leased car would not require that kind of attention. As long as you have no issues with the mileage restraint, leasing is a great option for a young professional. And if you're in a big city, get yourself a Metro pass. :)

As a bonus option number 1, technology is a great choice. Like I mentioned earlier, I had a new laptop at the start of my career, so this was not necessary for me. It's inevitable that you will work during your off hours, even if it's just independent research or continued education. Invest in a good computer that will last you several years. I'm a fan of Apple products, so I especially recommend an iMac or a MacBook Pro.

I hope this little list is helpful to you. It can be exciting to get your first couple of paychecks and if you're anything like me, it's very easy to blow through a lot in a small amount of time. So make yourself a list of your priorities and consider the things from this wise ol' gal. ;) 

Friday, May 26, 2017

How to Prep for a Camping Trip

FIRST THINGS FIRST. Tell me this road trip doesn't look like an adventure waiting to happen?! It reminds me of Pete's Dragon, which I recently watched and fell in love with!

Anyways, past several years there has always been a camping post leading up to Memorial Day weekend, and this year is no different. One thing I've never touch on though is the preparation process, which is pretty intense for me. I love to stick with my routine so that as few items are forget as possible. What does that mean? LISTS. Making lists is my favorite, so of course, I will now make a list of my camping lists.

1. Activity list
2. Food list
3. Cooking list
4. Gear list
5. Clothing list

But, there's one thing that needs to be done first, as it will impact all your packing: the weather. Make sure to keep your eye on it a week out to see how precipitation changes. Based on this info you can get started on your lists! (are you as EXCITED as I am?!?)

Activity list
What are you planning to do this weekend? It doesn't need to be really specific with days and times, but you should think of all the things you would like to do. How active or inactive you are during your trip can alter what you wear and how much meal prep to do.

Food list
If you regularly meal plan, this is no different from your normal schedule. Make your list of meals then your grocery list. This year we are keeping things really simple because we want to keep our cooking and clean up time to a minimum so we can do other things. Breakfast will be made on a griddle: eggs and bacon or sausage. Lunches will consist of premade salads. For dinner, we will be cooking all our meat on the grill, along with veggies packets I prep beforehand. Just slice up whatever veggies you want with some seasonings and wrap them up in aluminum foil. Make them personalized and let people decide what they want in their packet, or just do one large one. Carrots, zucchini, green beans, onion, and peppers are great options because they taste good with any meat. I like to put the packets into plastic containers before the cooler for two reasons. It keeps any water from finding its way in, but also it's great to have a container later for leftovers. Need ideas? Try these! (just remember that potatoes do not freeze well and turn color quickly, so that's something to add right before cooking)

Cooking list
Now that you have your food planned, you can make your list of kitchen equipment. You've probably decided how you plan to cook your foods, which makes it easy to determine large equipment like pots and pans, grills, etc. Be sure to think of each meal and what kind of tools/utensils you will need. I have no idea how many times I've forgotten a can opener or a pancake turner. Bringing beer or wine? Don't forget the bottle openers. Also account for extra paper towels, baggies, and dish cloths. Here's a nice kitchen checklist along with some other great ideas to remember!

Gear list
Use one of many Pinterest camping lists, if you're not sure what to bring. I've posted several lists myself. But mostly I wanted to talk about packing the car. This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure to pack chronologically for how you will set up camp. Bedding and clothes in first, kitchen and food next, then tables and chairs, finished off with your tent, canopies, and tarps. That way when unloading the car, start on the biggest tasks first, then the small stuff. We always pack our food supplies in large totes that way we can easily set them in the car at night if we are concerned about critters poking their nose around! Don't forget to bring a rainy day activity like cards, magazines, or a board game.

Clothing list
Since weather/climate is different everywhere, I can't really advise you on what to pack. But I do know that you probably need less than you think. Consider layers for day time, a jacket or sweatshirt for evening, a raincoat or poncho, and a pair of shoes you can wear to shower. And if there's even a small chance of rain, pack extra socks. Wet socks just sounds like a nightmare, right?! Visit my post earlier this week if you want to see what I'm packing.

I hope you found this info helpful! If you have gone camping before, what was the most important thing you forgot?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

weekend wear

Weather is always tricky around Memorial Day. It usually rains, temperature fluctuates 20 degrees, and sometimes the sun shows up. The best advice is to plan for layers! A three-day weekend of camping calls for a pair of jeans, a couple pair of leggings (great to sleep in as well), and one pair of shorts. A few lightweight shirts that can sit comfortably under a chambray top, a sweatshirt, a raincoat or all three if weather gets really crazy! Tennis shoes are my shoe of choice for walking around a campsite, but if it's really warm, I always want to slip on some sandals. Of course, flip flops to wear in the shower are the most important. Lastly, I like the option of throwing on a sundress or a maxi dress if the sun plans to be out all day and we are taking it easy. It's also easy to top of off with the chambray top if it gets chilly in the evening.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bell Casa

It's official. I've completely lost my mind. The list of summer projects is so long I'm too embarrassed to even discuss it because I know the reality. Reality is, MAYBE half of them will get done. I've set my sights high this year. This fall I'll share the ones that became reality; until then I'll leave you wondering how far off the deep end I've gone.

That being said, I have a very simple one to start off with and the chance of success is extremely high because I've already made my purchases. Sounds promising, right?! The task is to liven up our back patio. Last year I had a darling little table made with mosaic tile but I didn't have chairs for it so it was only used once. We do tend to grill out regularly, so I'm looking forward to making this space more usable. Here's the plan...

1 We have this great little swing set from Lowe's that is petite but also my favorite thing for the patio. I've always loved to swing, so it was at the top of my list.

2 I'm hoping I can store our cushions in this bench and then add some happy plants to the slats. Our current flower beds are in disarray until we have a new patio poured, so I need a place to plant some flowers. 

3 These chairs with the table I currently have will make for a great place to eat dinner as it comes off the grill. Plus they match the blue mosaic tiles on the table! (No longer available on Target's website, but these are similar.)

4 To really punch up the color, some kind of printed rug. This item is still on my "to purchase" list so if you find a great one, send it my way!

Is your outdoor space ready for the season? What are your must haves?

Friday, May 5, 2017

etsy A R T

Quite often I find myself browsing around Etsy, determining things I want need. While I love the fact that anyone and everyone can open up shop on the platform, when looking for something super specific, it can feel somewhat saturated and difficult to find the really great shops. Today I'm sharing a few of my favorite art sources on Etsy. These are all painters, in various mediums, because I love to browse through paintings. Without further ado, in no particular order, lets get to the shops.

Janet Hill Studio - For all you lovers of whimsical art, this shop is for you. Offering both originals and giclee prints, in a variety of sizes, Janet has something for every room in your house. I love to find the best one for each of my friends because she has such a variety of personalities. The one below on the left I've decided is me.

L Dawning Scott Fine Art - Everyone and their brother can do abstract art, or at least they think they can. (Sorry if my nose is showing, I'm picky when it comes to abstract.) However, Lis does abstract SO WELL. It's full of textures, beautifully merged colors, and often times some really lovely metallic. Her colors are bold and vibrant, exactly what I want when I'm looking for abstract.

Color Watercolor - Watercolors have recently gone through a super trendy period, and I must admit, there's nothing better than an oversized watercolor painting. Joanna does a wonderful job of creating really vibrant illustrations that are simple but bold. There's something about watercolor that tends towards feminine to me, but her offering doesn't come across that way

Hope you enjoyed this mini round-up! Now go browse Etsy to find your favorite artists!

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Friday, April 21, 2017


The tulips are up and we haven't had snow in two weeks. I think it is finally safe to say, spring is here! However, I do live in the Midwest, so it wouldn't surprise me a bit if we had a blizzard next week.

This past week I spent some quality time in my closest, weeding out the winter clothes that were not worn this past season and making room to bring out the summer frocks and tanks. Summer is my favorite season, so while I await the 80+ degree heat, I thought it would be fun to come up with some ways to transition my wardrobe AND my man's wardrobe. In all the years I've spent blogging, I don't think I have ever discussed KJB's style or done a mood board for him. That is partly because he tends to dress fairly stylish himself; he tends towards athletic and preppy most of the time.

Once I got started on the mood board, I realized how much I loved pulling pieces for him, so I couldn't help but do more than one! Three categories of his and hers to carry you well throughout a weekend together. First getting active, as we love to take walks along the river together on a sunny Saturday. For him, I've pulled his standard workout wear - a bright, Dryfit top, runners shorts, and his trusty Braves cap. KJB has gone through several pairs of these exact running shoes while training for and completing races, so I know they must be good. For her, some bright colors and a bit of floral, which is the perfect combination for spring. I have not yet tried out these spiral hair ties but they seem to be all the rage, so I'll have to pick some up and give them a go.
Next up, is a casual day out. Running errands on a Sunday afternoon is a pretty standard occurrence for us. For him, light colors and seersucker makes for a perfect spring combination. KJB loves to accessorize so I added wooden beads and a pair of classic RayBans, two things I know he considers staples. To add some interest, these burgundy leather sneakers really change the attitude of the outfit. For her, distressed white denim is a staple. Paired with a couple of pompoms and a bow, the look is fresh and casual. The bright colors of the lariat necklace make the look playful.

On to date night, which I must unfortunately claim does not happen all too often for us. We love to be out and about during the day and tend to hunker down in the evenings. But every once in a while we will dress up a bit to tour the town. For her, off-the-shoulder and floral is the way to go. The black background keeps it sophisticated and paired with a simple wedge and clutch, this look is classic and feminine. For him, a smart, straight pant paired with a tan sweater and a derby shoe. The neutrals are perfect for evening and the sweater is just cozy enough for her to lean into to shield the crisp air.

What are your go-to's for spring? What colors and patterns are you mixing into your wardrobe? I think for him, I'm going to hunt for a bit more burgundy accents and perhaps pull him way out of his comfort zone and try a patterned pant. (Like these  or these from Bonobos!! OMG!!! They have some really trendy and classic options.) If I manage to succeed, I'll be sure to update! Happy weekend!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Break Travel Makeup

About this time I'm probably wiggling my freshly painted toes in the sand, while slathered in SPF and breathing in the salty air. The warm sun, the ocean's hum, and plenty of seafood to share is in my forecast.

Spring Break is always the best vacation a Midwestern girl can take because it typically snows mid March, so there is no better time to get away from the winter blues. While I'm writing this (last week), snow has covered the ground outside and my pretty tulip starts are shaking in their roots (hehe, see what I did there?). Spring is also my favorite time to update my makeup routine. Those slightly darker shades of foundation, coral blushes and lipsticks, and a bright eye is my favorite way to freshen up my face for the new season. Beach vacations call for a minimalist approach to makeup but there are a few fun products I like to throw in that are not part of my normal nine-to-five makeup routine. Below is everything I've packed in my makeup bag for the beach.

1 Physicians Formula BB cream - I always have good luck with Physicians Formula face products. Normally I go for the argan bb cream, but I decided to switch it up and try something new.

2 Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Bronzer - Seriously, I've blogged about this so many times but year after year it continues to be my favorite spring and summer bronzer.

3 Bare Minerals Clear Radiance All over Face Powder - Versatile products are great for travel. This can be used as a highlight, a powder, and an eye shadow.

4 Bare Minerals Eyeshadow in Finesse - Speaking of eye shadow, Finesse is a lovely, pinky toned neutral that can be dusted all over the lid for an easy, bright look.

5 NYX Mechanical Eye Pencil in Aqua - While on vacation, I love popping a bright eye liner on my lower lash line. It makes my face look tanner and my the whites of my eyes brighter.

6 Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Waterproof Mascara - Humid climates and mascara just don't work for me unless it's waterproof. This is the one I'm currently using.

7 Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lipgloss in Garnet - A shiny, coral lip is my favorite for warm weather because it has it's own personality. I love this one as well as a Bare Minerals Moxie gloss that came in an Ulta-exclusive kit.

***Edit: I forgot my poor eyebrows in this round up. Packed in my bag is Benefit's Gimme Brow for a little color and keeping the unruly things in place.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Somewhere along the way I've forgotten gotten lazy when it comes to sharing inspiration. So today I'm passing along these lovely images that are my most recent source of inspiration. Thank you Henri Cartier-Bresson for putting these photographs out for the world to see.

All images via Magnum Photos.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Printable Bible Tabs

Good morning, friends! The sun is shining in my little part of the world and even though the high temp is only 30 degrees Fahrenheit, it's going to be a beautiful day. I got this feeling inside my bones *cue Justin Timberlake music*

Yesterday while printing and cutting my planner stickers for next week, I had the idea to make some tabs for my journaling Bible. Over the past year dozens and dozens of digital papers have been saved on my computer for the purpose of making planner stickers and I've contemplated many times what else I could do with the pretty patterns. These tabs were a chance to use a bunch of them. Wanting to make them really bright and colorful, I selected a different pattern for each book. One thing I choose intentionally was the fonts, to help me remember the content of the books. All the books of law are one font, the books of the gospel a different one, and so on. 

After designing and printing them, I knew I wanted to share them with everyone in the hopes they inspire you to get into your Bible and get creative. Be sure to check out my Instagram this week to see how they turn out. I'm so excited to put them in!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Stella & Dot Summer Preview Haul

Sorry for the back-to-back jewelry haul - Wait, no I'm not! So happy to get my hands on new goodies from Stella & Dot!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January Favorites

Beauty Products
YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain has become my favorite lipstick. I picked it up in the duty free shop, lost it for a couple of months, and rediscovered it this month. The color I'm obsessed with is 101, which apparently does not exist any longer. The formula is lovely though, so if you have a change to indulge in a lux product, give your favorite color a try. Apparently there is a great dupe for this made by L'Oreal, which is YSL's parent company. I'm betting it's nearly the same product just packaged differently.

I received a wonderfully comfortable pair of pants for Christmas that I've worn basically non-stop this month. They are from Dress Barn of all places, a store I never think to shop in. Currently they have a heathered black pair for under $15! They fall somewhere between a legging and a dress pant - I feel completely comfortable wearing them to work with a tunic and heels and boots but they are so comfortable they feel like lounge pants.

A new app that is helping me stay organized has dominated my phone usage. Ok, dominate is a strong word. But I have been using it a ton. It's called AfterShip and it tracks all my packages - updating me on when I should receive them and where they are at that exact moment. All I have to do is insert my tracking number (if you open your tracking number via email on your phone, it automatically asks you if you want to import that order), give it a tile so I know what it is, and watch as it finds it's way to me. Now I know if my dozen's of Etsy packages are waiting for me at home - so I can snatch them before KJB discovers how many stickers I buy ;)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


listening // Now that we are past the holiday season, I haven't been listening to too much. I did discover a new love for Spotify within the past three months or so, which has caused me to listen to a much wider variety. I love going to the "Discover" tab and looking at the recommendations that are automatically generated.

watching // Right now I'm sucked into the world of Gossip Girl. There are some things about that show that downright frustrate me, but I just can't turn it off. Season five just started, so I'll be moving onto a new show soon. When Crown premiered a couple of months ago, I watched the first episode to see if I would like it; that will probably be my next binge session.

reading // Around the Christmas holiday I decided I really wanted to get back into reading, so I downloaded several free books onto my iBook app. There was one holiday themed story I liked pretty well called  A Yorkshire Christmas by Kate Hewitt. It was a very easy read so I breezed through it in a few hours. Now I'm reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because somehow I've never read it. Next on my list is The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.

planning // Much like the last several January's, the youth basketball league that KJB and I run has kicked off and we find ourselves busier than ever. Even though we are only three weeks into the season, I'm working on arrangements for the end-of-season celebration. We hire an entertainer, give out some gifts, and recognize each of the players.

wearing // The weather just can't seem to be consistent in the Midwest this year. Last Friday we had an ice storm. Today is in the mid-forties and overcast. Saturday is calling for 60 and partly cloudy. Needless to say, I have no idea how to dress for this weather, so I'm counting on layers, ankle boots, and my new Stella & Dot jewels (haul video posted soon!)

feeling // Positive. Although the days are currently packed with work, sports practices, teaching, and all the other day-to-day things, I've managed to find some little pockets of things that lift my spirits from feeling run over. Things like squeezing in 20 minutes of cardio first thing in the AM, having lunch with old friends, and spending some time in the evening doing a devotional, has me feeling fairly refreshed.

looking forward to // That being said, our vacation this spring has me wishing time would move a little faster. Sun, sand, and spending extra time exploring new places with my huz sounds pretty good to me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Goal Setting, II

If there's one thing I learned about myself in 2016 is that paper organization is the way to go. All creatives know that it's easy to bounce from project to project or get caught up in the latest trends. So when I purchased my Plum Paper Planner in the fall of 2015, I honestly wasn't sure if paper planning was just my latest project, or if it would truly stick around as my main method of organization. Within a few months, I was swept up in the world of planner stickers, binders, stamps, etc. I purchased a lovely raspberry colored Filofax to house my planner; it would also allow me to add or take things away as needed. For 2017, I'm keeping with the planner train - but downsizing slightly. The A5 size planner was a little large to carry with me, so I'm swapping it out with a personal size. Since I loved the vertical layout of the PPP, the Erin Condren, and the Happy Planner, and I wanted to be able to use all those stickers I've purchased, the SewMuchCrafting planner inserts were the no-brainer choice. Little did I know the paper was butter smooth and the ink doesn't bleed through to the other side. Now, with a few other accessories, both for fun and function, I'm all set to tackle this year in a super organized way.

1 Personal sized planner from Recollections at Michaels // 2 Planner tassel used as bookmark // 3 Planner pockets for stashing stickers and post-its // 4 SewMuchCrafting inserts