My Sweet Boy Turns One (and an Out of Office Notice)

Hello, friends! I know it's been awhile since I've actually checked in with a full-blown post. You see, life is crazy busy these days. Working full-time and trying to be a great mom, wife, daughter and friend takes it out of me. It is rare that I actually sit down with the laptop at home.

Today, I'm here to share an update on our life. Our little boy has surpassed his one-year milestone and is now fifteen months. I cannot believe how fast they grow. He is like his own little man now. He's walking (sometimes even trying to run) and babbling in his own language like crazy.

He's smart and silly and steals our heart daily.


A "Wild One" First Birthday Party

I'm finally back with photos from my sweet boy's first birthday. We celebrated this milestone with a "Wild One" theme. I really wanted to incorporate his teepee from Land of Nod, and frankly, I was always a Pocahontas fan, so I figured this was a good manly spin-off.

If you've browsed Pinterest or Etsy lately, you know there is inspiration galore out there for the "Wild One" theme. Even though this is super popular, I was okay with it. For this party, I decided to house most of the decor in our sunroom, removing our regular dining table and setting up a collection of folding tables to display the food buffet. I think the best item I purchased was a wooden panel from Home Depot. It was a whopping $18 and created a great backdrop for the main display.


Trying out a long-lasting lip color + a giveaway

My dear friend, past colleague and fellow cheer judge/competition roomie Shannon recently started selling LipSense. She learned of it from another cheer judge, and I've also heard of it from one of my past cheerleaders. It seems like the cheer world has fully embraced this brand of lipstick, which I feel like came out of no where like the LuluRoe craze. And I guess for good reason as it claims to last up to 18 hours.

Shannon asked me if I would like to try out LipSense lip color and share some thoughts. She sent me a full collection that included the Apple Cider lip color, gloss and a "ooops" remover stick. This brand claims to be waterproof, kiss-proof, smear-proof, and budge-proof.

The Best of Unicorn Party Inspiration

Hey there! Remember me. Yeah, I know it's been a few weeks (okay, a month) since my last post, but all for a good reason. My baby boy turned one and I've been in party planning mode.  We hosted a two-day celebration last weekend with a family party on Saturday and a friends party on Sunday. With a March birthday, overflow to the outdoor patio area is not an option, so it made it difficult to fit all party guests into our house at one time. That's why we split the celebration in two. We basically threw the same party two days in a row, with different guests each day. We had a "Wild One" theme, which was so much fun to execute. Photos on that party to come!

Since I've had party planning on the brain, I've been thinking about how much fun a unicorn party would be for a little girl. With so many fabulous cakes and goodies out there, this theme would be easy to execute. In fact, I came across the cutest cake toppers, favor bags and unicorn horn party hats at Home Goods recently. They were so cute that I called my best friend and asked her if she would like me to buy them for her daughter's birthday later this year. The unicorn party was a "yes" for her, so I figured it was also a good reason to pull all of the amazing inspiration I've seen together in a blog post, so here it goes...


(PS-Isn't the name "Willow" adorable for a little girl. I love it!)



How I make money and save money when shopping

Through the years, I've learned of some super savvy ways to save money and make money while shopping. Regardless if you're an avid online shopper or prefer to pick your goods in person, I have some great news for you: You can get paid to shop! Yes, that's right. Let me tell you how good it feels to make money when you're spending money. Additionally, I recently discovered the easiest way to curate the best coupon codes available when shopping online with almost zero effort, so you can get the max discount floating around on the internet.

Making money and saving money while you shop is only a few clicks away. These rebate/savings platforms require very minimum effort on your part, so they become a no-brainer. Here's what you need to know to get started:


When I first saw commercials for Ebates on TV, I couldn't decide if this company was a scam. After reading about it from several reliable sources, I signed up a year or so ago and have not regretted my decision. This site basically gives you a rebate (a percentage of your purchase as cash back) for online and some in-store in purchases. (See the examples below. )

Every quarter, you get a direct deposit or check from the company for your cash back total. Sometimes, mine is $8. Sometimes its $28. Regardless, it's money I didn't have before and barely had to do anything to get it.

It's very easy to use. After you set up an account, just got to every time you are getting ready to make a purchase online and type in the name of the store. Ebates will then tell you the current cash back percentage being offered at that store. Then you select "Shop Now." The "Shop Now" button takes you to the store's website, and from there, Ebates records your purchase amount and then credits your Ebates account for the cash back.

Ebates also notifies you via email about store sales that might be of interest to you based on your past purchases.

It's as easy as that. This only takes a few seconds each time you make a purchase. If you shop online, there's no reason why you shouldn't take advantage of this cash back program.


5 ways to get an editorial-inspired look (without a major remodel) in your kitchen

Remember when I mentioned I recently accepted a new full-time job? Well it's with a home builder, which means I look at beautifully constructed and decorated homes all day, every day. Talk about the perfect job for a home design enthusiast!

Boy has this job got my wheels turning. Every day, I'm inspired to change up things in my own home - whether that be moving furniture around or adding new must-have items to my wish list. In particular, I'm been thinking about how you can achieve a luxury look without dropping a crazy amount of money. Of course, that has always been my goal though.

So, today let's talk about how to turn your kitchen from drab into fab with these go-to tricks for kitchen styling. Even without a remodel, you can add personality to your space, which, after all, is the hub of the home, right?

To gain an editorial/magazine quality look in your home, I recommend looking for the following textures in accent items and putting these items on display or to work in your kitchen. I promise you can find all of these components at obtainable stores like Home Goods, TJ Maxx, World Market, Target, Hobby Lobby or even your local grocery store.

Next time you're out shopping, look for items with the following finishes:
I know... you're probably thinking, "I can't afford marble countertops." Do not fear. There are so many other ways to add marble. Think cutting boards like the ones displayed above, a trivet, a rolling pin, a cake stand or even a soap dispenser. All these items are practical, but can easily be stored on the counter top as part of your decor.


A lumberjack party filled with flannel and fun

We recently celebrated my best friend's son's first birthday. Of course, I want to lend a hand whenever Julia throws a party, but this one was extra special, because her son is also my godson. This is Julia's third child, and each year when one of their birthdays comes around, I always throw out themes I am dying to explore (because up until this point, I didn't have a child of my own).

This time around, I suggested a festive flannel, lumberjack party. Have you seen the endless amount of inspiration out there on Pinterest? With so many ideas to explore and it being a winter month, it seemed fitting. Plus, we can all get behind red and black buffalo check, right?

Here are a few shots her cousin, the photographer behind Ashley Robertson Photography, shared with me from the big day:

Julia found plenty of free lumberjack-themed printables online to use as cupcake toppers and party signage, and we ended up scoring big at Target's after Christmas sale. We discovered a full line of buffalo check items - tablecloths, favor bags, placecards, napkins, cups, etc. - all at 50% off. Plus, we were able to repurpose holiday decor items we already owned - think trees, garland, and reindeer. Additionally, I dug through my summer entertaining stash and pulled out some lanterns.


In search of the perfect wall calendar

I recently accepted a new job and am settling into my new office. As I start to get a feel for my space, I'm constantly making a mental note of what I need to make the spot feel complete. My personal preference is a tidy desk with beautiful, yet functional elements. I believe your space should make you feel organized and inspired.

Last year, I lucked out and found a beautiful wall calendar at Target's Dollar Spot for only $3. It was pretty huge and served dual functions: pretty art and an at-a-glance reference of dates. I was holding out, hoping that Target would rollout a similar calendar this year, but no such luck.

I've been forced to explore other (read: more expensive) options. I've scoured the local stores, Etsy and Instagram looking for that perfect find. Then I thought, if I'm putting this much effort into the search for a beautiful wall calendar, perhaps other people are looking for the same thing and would benefit from my finds, or perhaps people have better suggestions.

Back to Top