DIY painted ornaments

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While I’m not a particularly artistic or crafty person, a few of my girlfriends and I have started to get together for little craft nights, and let me tell you, it is SO. MUCH. FUN. Seriously. At our most recent gathering, we worked on some DIY painted ornaments, and while we all used different colors and have different aesthetics, they all came out adorable. Plus we had a blast.

We used wooden disks that were pre-drilled to make it simple for hanging, but you could also paint directly on glass or plastic ball ornaments too.

How do you normally decorate your tree? Is it the same each year? Do you change it up? Do you decorate with specific color schemes? The past two years we’ve gravitated more towards pinks and pastels, so those are the colors I used.

22 best affordable gifts for women

This post contains affiliate links. That means at no expense to you, I may receive a small commission from your purchase. Thanks for your support!

Raise your hand if you love affordable gifts? I can never think of ideas when people ask me what I want for my birthday or around the holidays, but I spent a lot of time curating either my favorite things or wish list items, perfect for all the women in your life – including yourself!

Check out the best gift guide for women, with seriously affordable options for women of all types and ages.

Be sure to Pin this post for future use and share with your family and friends to pass along your suggestions. Many of these items are on super sale for the holidays, so get them while you can.

Related posts: Best birthday gifts for toddlersNo-Toy Gift GuideDIY Gift Wrap

How to host a brunch at home

There are two things that remain constant in my life – I love hosting, and I love brunch; sound like you? Then look no further than learning how to host a brunch at home.

While going out to brunch is such a wonderful treat, there’s something about home gatherings that are so comfortable and intimate that I love. I know people can feel overwhelmed with hosting and preparing for events, but since it’s something I’ve been immersed in since I was little, it’s really second nature to me.

This might sound really lame, but I also love that hosting a brunch, small gathering, of themed party gives me something to do – not like I need more on my plate to fill up my time, but it’s a welcomed distraction and hobby, from setting up an inspirational Pinterest board to actual prep. It’s nice to throw myself into something that isn’t work or normal home responsibilities – can anyone relate?

Feel free to ask any questions about menu planning, decor, who to invite, or anything I don’t cover in the comments!

Related posts: How to throw a tea party birthdayMy 30th birthday party16 Must-have coffee table books

The one book of lessons you need to add to your collection

Thank you Gather As You Go for sending me a copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own.

As a writer, I’ve always found value in jotting things down, from words of wisdom during high school Speech class, hilarious and wise thoughts from my Gram, advice from friends and family, and memories. There’s something I cherish about physically documenting these experiences that make them more concrete and valuable. It’s not often I find all the things I love and value beautifully bundled up in one book, but I’ve come across a true treasure in Carol Lavin Bernick’s Gather As You Go.

This is more than “just another coffee table book,” (which you know I love); it’s truly your total life resource book, sharing personal experiences, lessons, and wisdoms collected through the author’s life, all bound together in one inspirational book, taking you everywhere from corporate America and one’s civic duty to navigating motherhood, life’s celebrations, pitfalls, and everything in between.

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s fall, the best time of the year for so many reasons, especially pumpkin spice lattes. You don’t need to spend a small fortune on a sugar-loaded coffee house drink because you can easily make a healthy pumpkin spice latte at home!  My love for pumpkin spice runs deep, and I set out to create my own because of the following  serious quandaries.

  1. I want pumpkin spice lattes every day.
  2. I can easily take a route to work to pass popular coffee shops.
  3. $5 a cup can start to add up.
  4. I’ve been actually starting to care about the junk that’s in my food.

I also have various specifications when I order, and sometimes I forget to mention my preferences (my old order was a tall skinny decaf pumpkin spice latte with coconut or almond milk). While I used to think the “skinny” part of my order meant healthy by cutting calories and fat, I realized that any sugar free foods are more dangerous for you. You can read about the dangers of popular sugar-free substitutes like Sucralose here. If you think you’re being healthy by ordering a sugar-free drink, think again – it would be better to have real sugar than a sugar substitute (that goes for your own cooking, too).

 

Marie Antoinette costume for kids

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If you’re stuck in a costume rut with your little one and looking for something unique, girly, and not just another princess costume, you’ll love this Marie Antoinette costume for kids!

Marie Antoinette, the last reigning queen of France before the Revolution, represented, on the surface, opulence, fashion, and indulgences – she is often used as a symbol of over-the-top, girly girl couture fashion, usually seen with elaborate gowns, extravagant hair, and surrounded by the most beautifully delicious sweets. Underneath all the extravagance stood a Marie who represented feminism, strength, and a tender-hearted, complex woman who matured from a teenage queen to a graceful, elegant mother.

Who wouldn’t want to dress up as Marie Antoinette?!

The problem was, once I set my heart on my daughter being her for Halloween, all the costumes I fell in love with were at LEAST $300. I can’t even tell you how close I was to pulling the trigger on one of those gowns – thank goodness I didn’t because I found so many equally beautiful, affordable, more wearable options – and don’t worry, I’ll share them with you below.

The other alternative was to buy your typical princess, Marie Antoinette, or period-piece costume that are over-produced and way under the quality I was hoping for.

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