Fall is here and it’s time for an update! aka My Favorite Things

As I write this little post, Halloween is tomorrow and the lawns around town are now covered with yellow, red and orange leaves.  I’m a spring girl myself, but fall is also good…very good!

So here’s what I’ve been up to lately…

 

#1 Filling my new Bullet Journal

I’ve had a bullet journal for awhile now, and recently started a fresh one.  I spent some time in a disc-bound system for several months, but then remembered why I never stick with that type of notebook…  I hate maneuvering around those crazy discs!  It’s just not comfortable.  I love being able to switch around pages and add in folders and such, but it comes at a price, and that price is too high.

Interested in bullet journaling and want to see more?  I plan on writing a post dedicated to my current notebook, but here are some links in the meantime:

One-Year Bullet Journal Recap

Bullet Journal Flip: One Month In!

#2 Nurturing an addiction to podcasts

Podcasts are nothing new for me (see this post for some of my favorites), but lately I’ve been listening to them more than ever.  Having a podcast going is a great way to keep my daily life…ie. changing the baby, rocking the baby, bathing the baby, feeding the baby, waiting for the baby to go to sleep, etc… from driving me nuts.  My favorite podcast lately has been Up and Vanished.  It’s another true crime podcast, but one of the best I’ve ever listened too, and I’ve listened to Serial.

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#3 Keeping baby Finlay alive

So far so good!  Just wanted a reason to get a picture in here 😉

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#4 Exploring the world of Essential Oils

I FINALLY DID IT!  Yep, I’ve joined the ranks of Young Living essential oil users…  I’ve been on the essential oil train for a few years now, but had thus far held out as far as the “expensive” brands were concerned.  I scoured the internet to find the cheapest oils for any recipes that I wanted to try, but after hearing about Young Living for these past few years, I finally decided to give them a try to see if they really are any better than what I’ve been using.  So far… maybe.  Yeah, I haven’t had my kit very long yet, but I definitely prefer the scents of these oils to my cheapo stash.  And I surprise myself when I say that I appreciate the whole “Seed to Seal” concept, it’s nice to be able to trust that I’m getting the real deal and also nice to be among friends that have used and loved these oils for years.

I also appreciate having such a hefty discount when I want to expand my collection!

#5 Watching…

Community on Hulu…  For the second time.  LOVE IT.

Alrighty, that is all for now!  What’s coming up this month?  Well, if you’ve heard of NanoWriMo, you’ll know that I’ll be trying (again) to write a 50,000 word story…  I mean, what else do I have to do?

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Last Minute Mother’s Day Printable

Happy Saturday everyone!  Do you know what today is?

It’s the day BEFORE Mother’s Day!

That means that there is still time to make sure the moms in your life know that you’re thinking of them.  If you haven’t managed to get out to the cards department in your local Target to get a sweet card, I have a treat for you!

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I wanted to create a lovely card for my lovely mother, and decided to share.  Just DOWNLOAD the PDF, print on some white cardstock, fold & cut, then open up to write a custom note perfect for the mom you love.

Mother’s Day Card Printable

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!  I can’t believe that this is my last Mother’s Day before I’m a mom myself…eeek!

***These beautiful watercolor flower designs are available on Freepik.com if you’re interested!

A Winter Capsule Wardrobe : the Maternity Edition

Maternity Capsule.jpgHello friends!

As I mentioned in my New Year’s post, I’m expecting a little one in May, so this winter’s capsule wardrobe process has been a little unusual.  Over the past couple years, I’ve been able to roll with most of my pieces throughout the seasons, adding just a few things here and there.  I’m incredibly picky (thanks mom!), so finding too much has never been the problem as I’ve tried to create well-built capsule wardrobes each season.  In fact, I have a few items that I’ve been searching for since I started the process!

Now that I’m carrying around an extra little – growing – bundle of joy, finding clothes that I feel comfortable in has been a challenge.  I hate to spend much on clothes that will only have a purpose during this relatively short period of time, but I also don’t want to feel like a frump!  There are enough feelings swimming around without adding that to the mix.

After taking a trip to a Motherhood Maternity store, and scouring the local thrift shop, I’ve come up with a small collection that I believe will serve me well over the coming months.  Feel free to let me know if you have any good ideas for filling out this group on a budget!

little Christmas Pleasures

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I’ve faced Christmastime with a blend of excitement and dread for most of my adult life.  On one hand there’s so much to look forward to, on the other hand, there’s just so much to do!  I don’t want to sound too much like a Scrooge (a little Scrooge is festive after all), but just making lists of gift ideas gets me a little stressed…or maybe it’s my lack of ideas?

Anyway, there are so many great ideas out there for creating a “stress-free Christmas,” like limiting the gifts we buy, saying no to the majority of our Christmas invitations, or starting our Christmas preparations in June. 

Most of these options sound a tad dour to me honestly, but I definitely get their practical sense.  When things get tough, it’s time to take a step back?  However, when I think of the Christmas pleasures I enjoy the most, I find that my excitement and dread seem to be completely intermingled.  In fact, those frenzied nights when I picked up last minute gifts on Christmas Eve, the years when I went a little nuts with just who got on my gift list, or the Decembers when I found myself at a Christmas celebration every weekend are my favorite memories.

Therefore this is not a blog post about solutions for the chaos, but a list of what I personally find awesome about the Christmas season:

  1. Christmas Decorations

While hauling out the box of Christmas decor from the attic isn’t fun at all (ask Mr. Brown), the final effect of glittering lights, red poinsettias (fake for this kitty-loving household), and green wreaths and garlands is so worth the hassle!  And I don’t even have kids yet!  The plethora of Christmasy decorations warms my heart, which actually fools the rest of my body into thinking that our drafty old house is actually cozy.  Awesome.

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  1. Cozy Indoor Activities

When the weather is nice, indoor activities such as reading, knitting, and watching Netflix with a cup of creamy hot chocolate equals couch potato status.  But stick those activities in December, and you have hours of comfy recreation guilt-free.  I love hanging out indoors, and the Christmas season puts a “savoring the moment” spin on practically everything I enjoy spending time doing this time of year.  Awesome.

  1. Christmas Crafts

As I mentioned, ’tis the season to get stuck in with some Christmas crafts.  There is so much inspiration this time of year!  Would you like your home to look like an Anthropologie store this Christmas?  Well, there’s a YouTube video/blog post/Facebook link for that!  Sure, you may only get to enjoy your creations for a few days once they’re complete, but it’s the process people, the process!  Awesome.

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***check out livelaughrowe.com for an easy DIY to make these wine cork trees!

  1. Holiday Entertainment

In the age of Netflix and Hulu, I find myself barely ever re-watching my favorite movies these days.  Although for most of my life, I had no problem watching good movies over and over again, the past couple of years have found me preferring to watch “so-so” movies I’ve never seen to rewatching just about anything.  However, Christmas movies (or any movies with a Christmas scene somewhere before the credits) are still sacred, and I always watch the same few every year.  A Christmas Story anyone?  Awesome.

Maybe the secret of enjoying the Christmas season is simply our state of mind?  When you find yourself frantically wrapping presents on Christmas Eve, scouring the stores/internet for just the right gift, or adding the Christmas Eve candlelight service to your long list of places to be, remember that these are what make this time of the year so special.  Also, try to stay out of debt…that’s probably good advice as well.

Spring Skincare on a Budget

Most experts agree that consistency is key when it comes to your skincare regime, and I believe them.  That makes perfect sense!  But it’s awfully boring.

As much as I would love to spend tons of $$$ on expensive skincare, I’m just not sure yet that it’s really worth it.  I think I’d have to meet someone who has extremely luminous and amazing skin that can honestly point to an expensive product for the results, and that hasn’t happened yet.  Which is fine… I love the thrill of a good deal, and am content to keep finding budget skincare that seems to work for me.

Mind you, I don’t use everything in this list at one time!  I use some in the morning, some at night, and the facial scrub once a week.  As a note, my skin is normal/dry, and for the past year or so, I’ve been experiencing a lovely lack of breakouts of any kind.  Yay!  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Neutrogena Naturals Acne Foaming Scrub: This is my exfoliant, and I use it about once a week (when I remember).  I like the scent, and how gentle it is.
  • Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser: My go-to cleanser, used every morning.
  • Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Make-up Remover: Seeing a pattern?  I love this line!  This particular cleanser works well for me at night, taking off my make-up while it cleanses…  I’m all for the two birds with one stone mentality.
  • Eden’s Garden Lavender Essential Oil: I use a dab of this morning and evening for any blemishes I might find, and also to prevent them.  I was using Benzoyl Peroxide for this step, and while it’s very effective, it tends to dry out my skin a bit, and I don’t need that.
  • Mario Budescu Facial Spray: Love the scent!!!  I use this in the morning before my moisturizer.  My skin seems to really respond well to rose skincare, so this is my daily dose!
  • Oils of Life Revitalizing Essence Lotion: What a cool name, right?  I couldn’t resist giving it a try, and my skin seems to like it, so I like it.  I use this at night before moisturizer.
  • Ives Formula Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer: I’ve been using this product for a couple years now thanks to a tip-off from my sister.  It’s incredibly cheap, and again…my skin seems to like it better than everything else I try.

I changed up my skincare about a month ago, and so far so good!  I tend to struggle with dryness, so I might add a moisturizing oil to the mix soon…a DIY oil based on The Body Shop’s Oils of Life line.  Watch this space to see how that turns out!

What about you?  Do you have any awesome budget skincare finds?

Bullet Journal Flip: One Month In!

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I love jumping onto a good bandwagon, and the Bullet Journal phenomenon definitely qualifies as a GOOD bandwagon!

Before I start into my one month flip, I thought I’d say a few words about the inspiration behind my recent jump from using traditional planner to using the bullet journal system.

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Created by Ryder Carroll, the bullet journal system is meant to be an efficient and flexible way to log tasks, events, lists, and important information using just a pen and blank notebook.  Now, if you are anything like me, you might be thinking…BORING.  I’ll admit it, that was my first thought!  Walking away from beautifully designed planners, with inspirational themes and colorful interiors wasn’t really appealing to me.

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In fact, I came upon this system about a year ago, gave it a try, and went right back to a professionally designed system.  It just didn’t hold my attention or loyalty.

May I introduce you to the inspiration behind this one month of exclusive bullet journal planning…  Drum roll please!

If you are even slightly interested in the bullet journal system, but love beautiful design, you must check out Kara at Bohoberry.com.  I honestly can’t even remember how I came across this blogger/Youtuber, but not only did Kara show just what was possible in the bullet journal system, she also presented designs and fun embellishments that I was able to replicate easily.

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That being said, my bullet journal relies heavily on Kara’s designs, and I’m loving it.  I’m sure that as I continue to use the system, I’ll find myself personalizing my pages and will find my own unique style, but for now, I’m really enjoying using her systems!

Although I started out with a DIY dot grid notebook that I blogged about here, it didn’t take me long to take the plunge and buy her much loved Leuchtturm 1917 notebook from Amazon…  I mean, I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, buying the supplies is half the fun!  Maybe that what was missing from my first foray into the bullet journal world…

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Anyway, one month in and I’m on page 53.  Did I mention that these notebooks include page numbers and an index?  It’s like they were made for bullet journaling!

Actually, I just saw that Leuchtturm1917 came out with a new “bullet journal notebook.”  So I guess that one really is created for bullet journaling…

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I digress…  Essentially, I’ve been extremely happy with using my bullet journal for the past month, and can honestly say that I expect to be using one this time next year.  I love that each new week/month I can experiment with a new layout and design, it’s like getting a new planner every week, without having to spend the money and without the disappointment when the first one didn’t work out.  Awesome.

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What about you?  Have you tried the bullet journal?

* If you love the “You Are Smart” card and wonder where it’s from, it came with my lovely Inkwell Press Quarterly planners that I’ve abandoned.  Lovely planners though, and a great company.  I hope to find a use for them in the future!
** SOME THE LINKS ABOVE ARE AMAZON AFFILIATE LINKS, WHICH MEANS THAT I COULD RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU PURCHASE ONE OF THE PRODUCTS BY USING THE LINK.  I ONLY POST LINKS TO PRODUCTS THAT I’VE USED AND LOVE!

Autumn Capsule Wardrobe Feelings

  
And I’m back!

Whew…is summer really over? I mean really over? September and October have re-defined the Indian Summer here in Kansas, and today was the first day that I’ve thought fall and winter may actually take over in the end.

That being said… I’m still rocking my Spring capsule wardrobe. I know, I know, SPRING? That’s right. Let me explain.

I may have mentioned this, but in case I’ve been keeping you in the dark, I’m EXTREMELY PICKY. Yes, so picky that I have trouble finding clothes. This is a bit of the reason that I started my capsule wardrobe to begin with, but might end up being its undoing. Am I being dramatic?

Let me take you back to the end of May:

I was bursting with excitement when June was about to begin and I could revamp my wardrobe. Items on the list: a shirt dress, flowy tunic, sandals, a new pair of skinny jeans, and a cute rain coat. FAIL. FAIL. FAIL. Etc. I am still looking for everything on that list except for the skinny jeans! Which I found less than two weeks ago. I’ll admit, wearing the same wardrobe for 2 seasons wasn’t the end of the world, and I did have a couple things that I pulled out of storage to get me a tad excited in the beginning, but my excitement slowly evaporated when I realized that I hadn’t worn any of the stored items by the end of summer. I’m doing this all wrong.

But, today is a new day, and maybe, just maybe I can wrangle out a decent Autumn/Winter capsule. Yes, I’m combining them to minimalize the stress. My plan of action this time around is to start out with everything I have for the season, and delay giving away things I’m not crazy about until I can replace them. This isn’t in keeping with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or most wardrobe editing manuals, but I’m going to try it. If I rid my closet of all so-so articles of clothing, I know I will just go into panic mode when I can’t pick up pieces for the gaping holes left behind.

My List:

– cozy dress

–  comfy sweater

– comfy grey cardigan

– black slim cardigan

– Brown boots (this one’s a bear!)

– Winter Coat

IF I can find all of these things before the cherry blossoms start to lightly scent the air, I will have a total of 24 items in this season’s capsule. That’s it! Sounds easy, but I know better.