PROJECT: PRETTY CLOSET

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2015 is going to be the year to get things done at my house. I feel the same about basically every room in my house except for the dining room – it just needs to details added and small projects to make it really feel finished. It never should have taken this long, but I’m almost finished putting a coat [or two or three] over every surface in this house and that really had to happen first.

Up first is our closet – we turned this 10×10 bedroom into my little dream closet. We recently had a new window installed and its time to get going on the rest of the “details”. These photos somehow make the closet feel a little messy – and I promise it doesn’t really feel like that IRL.

The rest of the house is all very light – gray and white. I wanted to do something richer in this room so I chose the dark wardrobes and I plan to repurpose some Budget Blinds luxe silk violet draperies I have from my previous apartment and add a lovely chandelier.

Over the next few weeks I plan to finish it up and will be sharing the process here!

POST-HOLIDAY DETOX

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1. Lemon Water – Ever since I learned that you can get the same detoxifying benefits of fresh lemon by adding lemon essential oil to my water – its been so much easier to drink the recommended 8 glasses a day. I put the oil in my purse and add a drop or two to my glass or water bottle.

2. Stretching awakens your muscles and gets any lingering toxins moving into your blood stream so that they can be filtered out of your blood. Not only is this important for ultimate detox, but your body just feels better when its not tight! These easy morning yoga poses look like they would take less than 5 minutes.

3. Instead of Meats, Dairy and Sugars [all of which I cut out for 3 days to a week] Add in superfoods that aid in the detox process. Dark leafy greens are excellent [get this through the kale in my green smoothie!], Fruits and lots of vegetables. Lately I’ve been hooked on adding a little butternut squash to recipes.

4. Replace traditional grains like bread, pasta and rice with Quinoa which is fiber and vitamin rich! When I’m detoxing I love making a chicken noodle soup with an extra amount of the veggies, no chicken, quinoa instead of noodles and a squeeze of lemon! Its delicious and filling while still light.

5. A green smoothie is a great way to get lots of nutrients from superfoods in one go. I posted my go-to green smoothie here, but this recipe looks delicious too!

6. The Holidays can be a stressful time with not much time for rest. Help you body to regenerate itself by going to bed earlier and taking some time away from your favorite devices.

7. Vitamins. A lot of people feel mixed about whether they work and how to get them. As someone who lives in a place that doesn’t see the sun enough in the winter, I can attest to the amazing powers of the right supplements. I will say in my research and experience, I’ve learned the importance of bioavailability and responsible, organic sourcing. To feel my best, I love Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega-3, NOW Vitamin D-3, NOW Magnesium, and the Whole Foods Food-Based 1-A-Day.

* I am not a healthcare provider. Please consult your physician when making a change to your healthcare routine.

NEW YEARS: RESOLUTION VS. INTENTION

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I don’t make New Years resolutions. Or goals. Or even long-term “to-do” type lists. It’s not because I think that I will break my resolutions or give up on my goals – its just that I’ve learned its more fulfilling to choose to live intentionally.

Coincidentally Intention was my word for 2014 [and truth be told 2013 too – I just didn’t feel finished with it!] I wanted to be more intentional about my friendships [who was I giving my time to, and who was influencing me?], more intentional about showing my family true and unconditional love, more intentional about my time [what am I doing with it and is it serving me or someone else positively?], generally just more intentional about living my life in a truer way.

It was centering. Grounding. Humbling. A way to remind myself at every fork in the road that it was up to me and me only to create the life I want to live everyday. Longtime friendships ended only to be replaced by some newer, deeper ones and that was ok. I spent more time showing people I love how deeply I care and it made life so much richer in those moments. I dove headfirst into the place where I donate my time and it’s filled my heart in a way I hadn’t imagined.

Intention – its been real. But, in 2015 I’m moving on.

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abundance
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strength
peace
happiness
adventure
bravery
courage

It’s time to get passionate about my career, about the things that interest me, about the lifestyle and activities I enjoy. I can’t wait to visit these areas of my life with a renewed focus and excitement. Possibly even to venture down some roads I don’t know exist yet.

Do you make resolutions or goals? How successful have you been at keeping them?

If you want to try something different – choose a word to live by this year and see what a difference it can make. There are some good choices above, but maybe you already have one in mind!

Happy New Years Eve, everyone! Cheers to an exciting and hopeful 2015!

p.s. If you choose a word, I’d love to hear about it!

 

 

PARTY IN STYLE: NEW YEARS EVE

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1: white blouse tank, pink faux fur coat, gold leggings // 2: open back sequin dress // 3: lace brocade top, long sequin skirt // 4. sweater, sequin skirt [on SALE!] // 5: brocade sequin dress [on SALE!] // 6: peplum sequin dress [on SALE!] // 7: white & black stripe sequin top, tulle skirt [on SALE!] // 8: white blazer, pink sequin dress/top // 9: sequin v-neck top, pixie pant, black blazer

I hope you all are feeling refreshed after a nice holiday weekend! I am feeling like I’m finally catching my breath after what was a busy Christmas and New Years is already almost here! That said, I don’t exactly have my outfit chosen. These outfits are a great mix of high and low and I love that many of the pieces are versatile and can be paired with other items in your closet long after the ball drops.

 


MAKE IT MERRY

make it merry

Christmas has officially started at our house! Today I’m cooking up 20! twice baked potatoes in preparation for family gathering number one tonight. There are inevitably a few last minute details that go into Christmas Eve day and I’ve compiled a few ideas to make your day even merrier. I wish you all a wonderful, relaxing and beautiful Holiday with your family and friends.

Try these ideas for creating a cheese plate that is sure to be a hit!

Take your holiday champagne offerings from drab to fab with this easy Bellini recipe

I love all the cookies on this list, but the sugar cookies are the best I’ve EVER made!

Make your home smell like the holidays: I prefer a fresher [read: rosemary]smell, but this christmas inspired recipe [above] looks great, too!

Download the tunes on this holiday playlist to your phone and make merriment anywhere you go!

Quickly create pretty centerpieces using candles, vases, and a little greenery.

Last minute gift wrapping? Print out these gorgeous gift tags or these funny tags.

Some in my family have a true love for sweet potatoes and marshmallows at Christmas [no, thankyou!] but I think it would be fun to surprise them with this take on the original.

PATTERN PLAY : PLAID + LEOPARD

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Sweater: H&M [on sale!] // Jeans: Gap [old, similar below] // Scarf: Sheinside
//Shoes: Target [old, similar below] // Clutch: custom [similar below]

It has been cold and rainy here for nearly two weeks which I will happily take over last years sub-zero temps that lasted 6 weeks at a time. It’s been nice not to have to wear every layer I own and I have been LIVING in these H&M sweaters. They come in 6 colors/designs and I bought 4 – I seriously love them! These plaid scarfs have been everywhere this season, and for good reason! They’re warm and huge and amazing – for $11, it’s easy to splurge.

I hope you all enjoy this busy Tuesday before Christmas begins!

GLITTER GIFT WRAP

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I can’t believe Christmas is three short days away! Over the weekend it felt nice to take a small part in the hustle and bustle of the season as I picked up a few last gifts and wrapping supplies. There are always a few truly special gifts under our tree, and I think special wrapping is not only a sweet touch, but one that makes the area under your tree really shine.

This year, I made a few pieces of my own gift wrap and it was super easy! I’ve always liked to pick out a few beautiful or unique ornaments and fasten them to the top of gifts, but it would be so easy to also use pinecones, twigs and berries! I had some kraft paper from previous occasions, but  you can often find it at Target as I did with the Poinsettia ornament and glue and glitter kit.

Follow these easy steps, let your paper dry for about an hour and voila! Pretty, DIY paper.

Here’s what you will need:

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I didn’t have a standard pencil, which works the best, but made do with this flat bottomed pen. You can put glue dots in much larger areas than I have shown below, but work in areas [gluing, glittering, etc] until you have covered the paper. If you put all the glue dots down at once, some may dry before you can get them covered with glitter.

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I’m in love with these watercolor gift tags – they are gorgeous and totally free to download!

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THE HOLIDAYS AT MY HOME

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I absolutely love decorating for the holidays and the cozy feel it makes in ones home when you’re relaxing on the sofa at night and surrounded by twinkling lights. That said, I still enjoy having a semblance of what is normally my home. This year I went with a “clean and green” theme. I pulled out all of my silver and white decorations and added in more greenery here and there.

Luckily I have some nice pine bushes around my house, but if you don’t and want to add some – you can pick up some clippings at the Home Depot tree table for free!

I hope you are all enjoying this joyous and festive time of year! Post a link to your holiday decorations in the comments – it would be so fun to see!

HOLIDAY HAIR: THE MESSY BRAID

Six or so months ago when I decided to cut my hair just below my shoulders was definitely one of my less brainy ideas. It had gotten so long and thick that I was just ready for a change. Why!! Why!! [by now, about 6 inches have slowly grown back] I’ve got some serious hair envy over Amber Fillerup Clark’s gorgeous long hair and the amazing messy braids she styles [girlfriend can braid!]

So, when you tire of getting your curing iron out and your hair has had enough of holiday styling - try out one of these super gorgeous looks…

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8 TIPS FOR A STRESS FREE HOLIDAY SEASON

8 tips for a stress free holiday

 

Last week I hosted [and attended] the first events on my holiday calendar. With a jam packed schedule well into January I knew I wasn’t going to have the time I wanted to prepare myself and my home so I dedicated the first weekend in December to knocking out my to-do list. These 8 easy steps have helped keep me organized [and sane!] and will hopefully help you too!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand cleaning and then putting things away in a messy closet/cabinet – here are a few helpful tricks for staying clean and organized behind the scenes, too:

This is how I fold my towels, and they stack perfectly!

This tutorial for organizing all your sheets into a pillowcase is awesome.

Make your to-do list more fun to write with this template.

Finally: A fun to-do list to make the holidays a little more festive

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