Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Menswear Trend: Winter Coat

Thrift Thursday!
Menswear is in!! Take a cue from your man, and shop in his
closet! This trend allows you to transform something normally bulky and unflattering
and style it with a chic, feminine twist.

This USA made menswear inspired coat was only $9 from the thrift
store and I just adore it! When we styled the coat with tall boots, tight jeans and
a cute button-down (only $7), it just made such a unique casual look that any
woman can pull off. It is so comfortable and I absolutely love the detail on
the collar and sleeves. And how about those statement buttons! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 Goals

I know I’m a little late with the 2016 goals, but I bundled
last weekend into 2015 so I could enjoy one more night of wine and yummy food!
This 3 day weekend was amazing. Just having the time to do things around the
house like putting Christmas decorations away, loads of laundry, working out,
and spending some great quality time with family, friends, and of course baby
Hartley. It was a fabulous year seeing her grow and foster into a thriving
toddler and we just can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for us!

Some of my goals are lifestyle changes that I want to
continue or revamp while others are monetary goals that are fostered by those
lifestyle choices.

#1 – Save $1200 a month

Willie and I have budgeted are whole married life.
Subsequently, we are normally called the cheapos of our group. Willie’s best
man’s speech even included, “if you need a deal or coupon, call Willie because
you know he will find something”. We don’t skip on anything, at least we don’t
feel like we do, but we do make “informed purchases” is what I like to call
them.  Our goal for 2016 is to jointly
save $1,200 a month in order to help contribute towards a home purchase in the
near future. Here are some of my tips that may help you
save:

  • I know it sounds horrible, but it is very true,
    we rarely eat out unless we have a coupon or Groupon/LivingSocial deal
    • Using
      a coupon or local deal can save you anywhere 5-50% every time you eat out. That
      is a lot of saving over a year!
  • Price match and never pay retail!
    • I
      know this may seem simple, but you do not know how many people I know that buy
      off convenience. Don’t do it. Also, never pay retail. I cannot remember the
      last time I bought something retail price. Head straight to a clearance rack
      (DO NOT just distracted by the sparkly shirt in the window), shop at outlets,
      shop sales, and duh…use coupons.
  • Know what you can get second-hand
    • Realizing
      the savings you can achieve by shopping at second-hand markets is the best
      saving tip!
  • Meal prep and eat at home
    • Working
      in Washington, DC, lunches can be upwards of $12 a day! $12, 5 times a week is
      $60. For Willie and I lunches alone would be $120 a week if we ate out every
      day.
    • Drink at home. This includes coffee and alcohol.
    • For
      a family of three, we spend about $200 on groceries (I do buy organic and
      healthier products, so you can lessen this) per week and normally only eat out
      once or twice on the weekend. $200/21 meals (3 meals a day for 7 days of the
      week)/3 people = $3.20 per meal. HUGE SAVINGS!
    • Using Costco or Thrive Market save me a ton on healthy products!
    • I
      meal prep every Sunday, yes…even at 9 p.m. last Sunday night when I was boiling eggs,
      making a paleo egg casserole, and getting our pot roast ready for Monday. This
      allows us to start our week out on the right eating path and not get caught at
      work hungry and running out to fill up on junk and paying convenience prices.

#2 – Save for Hartley’s education

Willie and I started with a financial advisor and I guess
college is important, so here comes another savings goal for the next 17 years 🙂 We are hoping to dedicate
$100 a month towards Hartley’s college fund.

#3 – Live a more toxic free life

After a recent horror story from a good friend about having
a severe allergic reaction to a new couch that had been chemically treated, I
was pushed even further into looking into the toxins that surround us. I have
always been aware and on the “holistic” side of things, but when I was pregnant
I researched the crap out of things, and I was SHOCKED by how many toxins are
in every products. I use my SAVINGS HERE. I eat mostly organic, use Essential Oils, natural cleaning products (I only use Young Living Thieves Cleaner
for Hartley’s things and love Mrs. Meyer’s
honeysuckle scent for dishes), Glass Food Storage, natural
odor/air purifiers (like this amazing Natural Himalayan Salt), and use natural
cosmetics (Arbonne‘s Arbonne RE9 Advanced Set, their Baby Herbal Diaper Rash Cream
is also a miracle). This new year, I am committed to staying on this path
to living a less toxic and environmentally friendly life style. I am also
eating more raw whole foods and lessening my meat consumption!!


#4 – Expand my blog

As a “newbie” I want to expand my blog and learn how to
interact better with my followers. I am committed to grow this blog and hope to
reach 500 followers by the end of the year! Help me by sharing, pinning and tweeting!! Thank you!


#5 – Get inspired and share!

We are all busy…I get it. But this year I am committed to
trying new things, visiting friends more often, learning from others and most
importantly sharing stories, memories, advice with one another. This year will
be full of wonderful inspiration! 

Get ready 2016…I’m coming for you!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Perfect Holiday Look

Christmas Eve Thrift Thursday!

Ahhh tomorrow is Christmas!!! The crazy warm rainy weather in Virginia
has done nothing for my holiday spirit but the shopping and parties surely has gotten
me in the mood. Tomorrow is going to be so exciting with our little 16 month
old daughter. I cannot wait to see her face!

As my last day in the office before our break, I was
counting every minute (don’t you hate those days when you feel like the clock doesn’t
move…ughhh). However, I did make myself feel a little more Christmassy by
wearing a beautiful red plaid jacket, winter white pants, with red lips and nails. Red lips for some
reason just makes you feel instantly more classy! 

The plaid faux-fur lined Ralph Lauren blazer was $6.00 which I
paired with white Banana Republic trousers that I got for only $3.50,
both from the thrift store! The mix of the bright holiday red and the winter
white pants just screams holiday to me…LOVE! A whole outfit under $11…YES please!

Enjoy this wonderful time with your family and friends.
Memories are the best presents you will ever get. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

DIY Christmas Ideas 2015

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I absolutely love all the parties, laughter, decorations, food, and spending time with family and friends. This year is going to be extra special with our little one being 16 months and actually having an idea of what is happening this year. I cannot wait to see her reaction opening presents and enjoying all the events. We did try taking her to Santa…that was not a success. Walking up to the strange man in the red suit, I could feel her little fingers dig into my shoulder, then the passing of the baby came, and she gripped on to dear life and started to cry. So I kept her and Santa offered for me to sit on his lap…uhhh no thanks Santa. I did hover just enough to get a photo of her with her arms up in the air reaching for Dada taking the photo with this awful look of horror. We made it up to her and got her a snowman sugar cookie and let her tour us around the store for the rest of the evening. Ahhh the joys of having an independent toddler. You just have to giggle, they are so determined!
Anyways, here are some of my favorite DIYs and party accents for your very Merry Christmas! 
A burlap wreath is always a classic and beautiful accessory to a decked out mantle. This one is especially beautiful with the string of lights behind it. I got to enjoy this lovely home with the best friends, great food and of course my new favorite drink…peppermint patty!! Yummmmm!
Remember my wooden wreath post, well how about this transformation from a spring wreath to a beautiful winter one?!?! All you need are the FREE tree trimmings you can get from your local hardware store and some accents from the dollar store. The Merry Christmas sign and bow were $1 each and the 4 gold accents were 2 for a $1, so for under $5 this wreath is just AMAZING!

This is my favorite rustic Christmas tree sign made from pallet wood and then I glued the small ornament balls, star, and love sign I bought from the craft store. Isn’t it pretty?!?


Do NOT throw away your old spaghetti jars, they are the perfect mason jars for gifts! I made this one for my friend in South Korea (which was probably not the smartest decision as the weight made my package $30 to ship!). She has been super good about exercising and working really hard on her diet, so the very popular mason jar cookie version was OUT and the NEW healthy mason jar gift was IN.
Last but not least…How about this stunning easy holiday centerpiece! I found this long cream colored cabinet door at the Habitat of Humanity for $3.00! I then used the rest of my FREE tree trimmings and simply just broke the branches and layered them in a way where they laid nice for the candles and ornaments. I did not glue them because I want to reuse the cabinet door, but you can if you want a more permanent decoration to use again. Willie found these great birch candles at Homegoods on clearance for $6.50/each and then just used some old jam jars I had with votive candles. I finished it off with a few ornaments just to bring in some color. This is super simple and customizable  to you and a great way to recycle old cabinet doors.

Hope you all share and DIY holiday projects you’ve created!
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!