Monday, January 22, 2018

Where I Get My Daily Dose of Inspiration

Social media has become a double-edged sword to for me - it can be a huge distraction to ourselves, our relationship and our families.  It can also be a source of inspiration for areas in our lives where we have an interest. For me that's faith, fashion, food, fitness, home decor and mom life.  (Huh! I guess I have more interests than I thought!)

So, here are a few people that I follow to get my daily dose of inspiration.


First 5 App
Strengthening my faith. That's always a good place to start the day.  My dear friend Leah recommended the First 5 app to me and it has been life-changing! The idea behind it is to spend your first 5 minutes each day with God rather than on social media. I have learned so much about God, the person he is calling me to be and a historical perspective and understanding of what brought us to this place.

Ashley Donielle
Ashley is the cutest mama to be. I found her account on instagram on a whim and I was hooked.  In fact, her style is so me that I bought two tops she recommended.  And, the icing on the cake was that I won my very first blog giveaway on her blog. Whaaaattt? (It was a makeup palette and brushes)

Hi Sugarplum!
Cassie from Hi Sugarplum was one of the very first blogs I followed going back 7+ years ago. She has evolved from home and lifestyle to more fashion and let me tell you, her style is on point.  She's been known to help me to spend a good chunk of change from time to time.

Beauty by Mimi
Ahhh Emily! She has THE BEST makeup - always - and the best makeup tutorials via Facebook live.  I've learned so much about makeup application from her.  She is also a Younique representative and good at it. She's the type of person who you just want to help her business grow. So, if you need Younique products, get them from her.

Rachel Marthaler
I have personally known Rachel since I was a freshman in college.  She is a beautiful person both inside and out.  Over the past couple of years she has been on a health and fitness journey (go check out her instagram to see this journey or check out her Facebook page.) with Beachbody and has climbed the coaching ranks. After I had Hank, she got me kick started on my own health and fitness journey.  I am now an avid Beachbody on Demand user.  Rachel also has a photography business (Rachel Marthaler Photography) that I highly recommend you check out if you are around Minnesota's Twin Cities South East suburbs.

LL Balanced
Laura Lea is holistic chef from Nashville. Watching her instagram stories has taught me a lot about healthy eating. Her recipes and cookbook are definitely worth giving a try.  I can successfully sneak these recipes on my husband's plate.

Lexi's Clean Kitchen
I've just recently started following Lexi and even got her cookbook for Christmas! Her recipes are pretty simple and filled with good for you stuff - especially if you are gluten free.  You must try out her gluten free cookie dough dip!

Chris Loves Julia
Ok - everyone knows Young House Love but do you know Chris Love Julia?! Julia is a must to get to know if you are into decorating your home. Gahhhh... I drool over their house.  If you asked me what my home decorating style was I'd say "Chris Loves Julia." As I begin to slowly re-decorate our home, once our living room addition is done, you'll probably notice that my house may look like a Chris Loves Julia hack. They also have a podcast!

One Little Momma
I love following Kilee. Her style is great, basically she is my fashion icon for being a cute, put-together mom. She's also a real mom to 4 (going on 5) boys so I feel she gets me. I think what made me feel the connection to her is that she's the first one to share that life isn't perfect.  In fact, I think we could be friends after she shared on her insta-stories that her boys were eating donuts for lunch while they were getting some work done on their vehicle.  Win!

There you go... a look at my daily inspiration.   As I attempt to start this blogging thing again I thought I'd begin with a soft re-introduction. I hope you stick around.

By the way - who else should I be following for inspiration??!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

April favorite things

Again, it's been awhile.  I'd attempt to explain myself but it in the end it would sound something like "I just didn't feel like blogging."  However, from time-to-time I feel inspired to write or share something so here I am!

I've found a few things that have come into my life that have definitely improved it!  Here are 3 of my favorite things that I've found over the past month+ (remember it's been awhile!)

I hate washing my face at night despite all of the benefits of healthier skin.  At the end of the day, after putting kids to bed, all I want to do is sit on the couch and pretend I'm going to watch a tv show with my husband (I always fall asleep) - NOT wash my face.  But THIS, Micellar Cleansing Water, is the answer!  Just squirt some on a cotton pad and gently wipe all over your face. It removes makeup, cleanses and refreshes.  It doesn't leave my face feeling dried out either.  By just getting my make up, dirt and build-up from the day off my skin, it's become healthier and I have a more even skin-tone. Try it.  It's the answer for those of us who are lazy.

I got this idea from One Little Mama (follow her on instagram @onelittlemomma, you wont regret it.  She is my style icon!) This is so refreshing and satisfies my craving for carbonation without the soda.  Since I've been drinking this - coconut LaCroix + Strawberry Crystal Light - soda doesn't even taste good to me anymore. So, if you want to kick the soda habit, try this as an alternative.

I thought I was buying lipstick but was pleasantly surprised when I found out this was actually tinted lip balm.  I've tried so many tinted lip balms only to be disappointed because they are sticky, gritty, or don't hydrate my lips.  This Covergirl Oh Sugar lip balm is the real deal - it feels like lip balm! The only downside is that I always feel like I'm putting on lipstick, which feels weird since I work with farmers all day.  Nothing like pulling out a tube of lipstick in the field... The two colors I got are shade 1 - cupcake (very sheer), and shade 2 - Candy BonBon (a hint of rose).

Thursday, February 2, 2017

It's been a hot minute

So hot, in fact, that my brain must have gotten fried because I temporarily forgot how to log into my blogger account.  Then, I get here and I notice that a few things have changed... Clearly I un-plugged from blogging for a full 9 months, long enough to have another baby... but I didn't - just to be clear.

It's been nice to not feel the pressure of having to think of a new "something" to blog about all of the time, only to get a few readers and hope to pick up a few design clients.  However, as of late, I've felt a little craving for the creative - blogging, designing, decorating, crafting, etc... Am I ready to fully dive back in?  Not sure yet.

Instead of blogging, here's what's been shaking around our ranch (well, cold Iowa farm right now).

Our boys... yikes these two are busy!  Colton is 2 1/2 years old, full of sentences, creativity, and kindness.  However, if your kid was recently at daycare with him, you'd probably think differently about his kindness.  He bites sometimes. It sucks. I'm sorry. Everyone tells me it's a real-life boy thing.  As a mom, I want to fix it ASAP. (suggestions?!)

Hank, he's a go-er.  He'll turn 11 months tomorrow and he's walking - as in taking steps across our house (not that it's a very big house, keep that in mind) but he's WALKING!! He's happy. Always. Unless he sees his brother first thing in the morning.  Then, he's upset. He's already had more haircuts than I can count. Oh, and he hates shoes.  This is an issue when you live on a farm.

My husband and I are still married (duh!)  We love each other.  And then sometimes we make each other want to lose our minds because there are days we are both working from home.

Which leads me to mention - I took a new job at the beginning of last June!  I left my former role to take a sales position with my former employers biggest competitor. (got that?) Talk about daring! Change is scary but the risk was worth the reward.  I work from home, set my schedule, have a great manager, enjoy the team I get to work with, appreciate how the company embraces diversity, and I get a company vehicle - which has made a major impact (for the good) on our pocketbook.  Not to mention, I've made some new friends.

In other news my best friend moved to Ecuador.  She is literally countries away.  Thank goodness she's smart and figured out how to keep an American phone number so we can still talk and text.  I miss knowing that she was only a few hours away and that when I went back to Minnesota she was there to connect with.

Another one of my best friends courageously conquered breast cancer.  She's amazing.  Yet, I feel I could have been a much better friend through the process. Since I'm not always good at knowing what to do in those types of situations, I prayed for her a lot.

I took a break from decorating too.  My house, other people's houses.  I just didn't have the motivation. However, the motivation is slowly coming back.  Probably since we are considering an addition on our house and I have so many decorating ideas swirling through my head.  No, I'm not pregnant.  Usually we take on remodeling projects when we are expecting a child.

Now, the question remains - will I have another post soon?  Maybe. Hopefully.  If I can get my act together?  I do have a whole list of other things I could write about.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

home styling 101: add green + a figurine

I have a few interior styling principles that I adopted after attending a design camp hosted by ab choa.  Each room should have something old, something new, something shiny, and something fluffy.

I've added one more to the list.  Every room should have something green.  And by something green I mean something living (or for people like me that don't do well with plants, something that appears to be living.)

This something green adds a natural element of life to a space and instantly brightens the room.  Now, by combining something green with a figurine you've instantly added personal style and appeal to your space.

A figurine can be anything - a dish, figurine (the fox is a salt shaker from target), a diffuser, books, etc... be creative.

Here's a look at a few vignettes in my home where I've applied this principle.

See how I use faux greens?!  They just work better for me.  All I need to do is dust them off and I don't panic when my toddler thinks he should grab them and run. I've had the best luck at finding the faux greens at TJ Maxx.  Pier 1 Imports and Target also have good options, they are just a little more expensive so you'll have to decide what fits your budget.

Super simple, right??!!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April Favorite Finds

I'm still on maternity leave, but only for another week and a half (insert tears of dread having to go back to work, and the finally nice weather doesn't help.)  Since I've been on maternity leave I've found a few things that are safe to call favorites, which has lead to a new blog post segment of favorite monthly finds. I guess you could call this a sort of product review as well as just sharing some good stuff I've come across and would recommend to you all!

So, here are my favorite finds for the month of April...

My parents heard Matthew Kelly speak a church function where he handed out his book, Rediscover Jesus.  Of course, my dad being the Catholic that he is, he asked if he could take a copy for each of his girls!  I had every intention of reading this during lent but it didn't happen. However, I just picked it up a couple of weeks ago and haven't been able to put it down.  I look forward to reading a chapter every day and I've become to take notes in the book.  I'd totally recommend it as a sort of daily devotional.

Starbucks Via Cafe Mocha how I love thee!  I got a package of this from my best friend shortly after Hank was born and now I'm hooked.  It seems a little expensive, $5.89-6.39 depending on where you shop, but it's cheaper than actually going to Starbucks for a tall mocha! Plus, I get 5 drinks worth! These will be a staple for when I go back to work, and probably continue to be a staple in my home. Yum, yum!

I've been looking for a hair product that will product my hair from heat damage so it starts to feel smooth and shiny again.  I guess as I get older I think about all of the terrible things I've done to hurt my hair during my younger days. L'Oreal Sleek It Heat Spray is great, my hair feels smooth, shiny and I have a peace of mind because I'm protecting my hair.

Nickel and Suede earrings are my new addiction.  While they are a little more spendy than earrings you find at Target, I still love them and wear them every day.  Limonada, pictured above, are the April earrings of the month.  Go snag a pair, you wont regret it!

Hypnose Drama mascara is awesome!  I've been on the market for a good mascara that lengthens and thickens my lashes, this is it! I think I've always known this, just hated to pay the department store price.  But, I decided to gift this to myself after having a baby (how's that for justification?!). Here's the thing though, it's wet and goopy initially but as you use it more, it gets better.

So, there you go, my favorite finds for April!  Let me know if you try any of them and what you think!