Upgrade Thrift Store Art

When my husband and I bought our home almost three years ago, I listened to the advice of my family and friends about how to tackle decorating- go slowly and one room at a time. Yes, I ‘listened’ to this advice, but I did not abide by these wise words. I’m the type of person who, when I get something in my head, needs it done immediately. When this usually does not happen, I become extremely overwhelmed, neurotic, and completely fixated on this project or vision until I complete it (and become pretty crabby in the process). I sound delightful, right?

I had been searching for art work or pictures to fill my lonely living room wall space forever with no luck. I felt the Home Goods gods were against me because they have never failed me on any home decor quest before. The more I searched, the more discouraged I got, or I would fall in love with something that was out of my budget. That’s when I decided to take things into my own hands.



13 Things I Learned About My Parents After Having a Baby

As I was snuggling with my daughter Ginny this morning, it was still dark- the room was slightly chilly as we lay ‘cheek-to-cheek,’ but her miniature dough-like body radiates the most comforting, soft heat. Everything was still and quiet except her gentle sighs and sweet little noises- the birds weren’t even awake yet. It felt like it was just us- Ginny and me- and that’s all that mattered.

Though my brain was still stirring and not fully conscious yet, a string of images and thoughts flashed through me in a matter of seconds as I was overwhelmed by the incredible amount of love and beauty I felt from this sweet, squishy person in my arms. Kissing those soft, marshmallow cheeks and squeezing that Buddha belly, I think, ‘I get it mom and dad.’

*You can see pictures of my lovely family below: mom, dad, brothers, sister and I both pregnant, my daughter, my mom and me at my baptism, and even grandma made the cut!

Transform Your Yard: Any Size or Budget

People often take great care to upkeep the front of their homes to add curb appeal while neglecting an extremely important part of their house- the backyard. Gone are the days where yards are only spaces for the kids or dogs to roam free and have fun; now, backyards are incredible outdoor living spaces for adults and the whole family. Anyone can transform their scarcely used space into a perfect spot for entertaining, dining, relaxing, or a cozy nook for reading- the possibilities are endless.

If you’re short on space or tight on budget, there are simple solutions for you. Or, if you’re ready to commit to a total outdoor makeover, you’ll find some inspiration below. From small patios and decks to terraces and verandas, get ready to transform your yard to the outdoor oasis you’ve been waiting for!

Baby Registry 101

As my shower was just around the corner, I couldn’t wait to register for all the things my precious little baby would need. My husband and I entered the store, starry-eyed and ecstatic to start putting our future visions to life. After the consultant handed us a booklet of registry items and administered the scanning gun, we were off to ‘shop’ the aisles. I stood dumbfounded at the front of the store, having no clue how to even begin this mission, until my husband suggested we tackle the perimeter first. Simple enough- there we were at nursing pillows and bottles. Okay, I thought- this won’t be so bad. We can do this.

But wait- did I need a nursing pillow? I consulted the index of my registry book, scanned pages 5-7 on nursing pillows, and learned that yes, this was an essential, according to this baby Bible. Hmm okay, does it matter what brand? Do I need extra covers? Does the name-brand really make a difference if all the products look the same? Should I get a gender-specific color to be cute or neutral in case I reuse it for future babies?

8 Things Not To Say To A Nursing Momma

Once you get married, it’s incredible how personal people get with their inquiries and opinions about your life. Suddenly, everyone from your in-laws, co-workers, and neighbors ask when you’re going to expand your family and expect to know if ‘you’re trying.’ When did it become acceptable to openly ask someone if they’re actively having unprotected sex?? Not to mention that many people are ‘trying’ and feel stabbed with these queries when their ‘trying’ hasn’t resulted in a pregnancy yet. But I digress.

Now you’ve had a baby and the inappropriate invasions continue. From sex to breasts, now that you’re a nursing mother, your critics and inquirers have expanded to perfect strangers. Now, people think it’s their right to use the way you feed your child as an acceptable platform to voice their opinion, either to you privately or even broadly with malice on social media. Though many comments irritate me, because I believe people just don’t know better, I rather educate and spread the word than berate the offenders. They could be offending and not even know it. With that being said, I have compiled a list of the top eight things to refrain from saying to a nursing mother.

Healthy Brownie Balls

The only thing better than the aroma of fresh baked goods is eating heaping spoonfuls of batter as you’re baking. We’ve all been there, right? Stomach ache? Salmonella? What’s that? Who cares? Just about anything is worth the risk as your spatula carefully scrapes up every last morsel of mouth-watering, sugary, buttery goodness for you to lick, and all dignity goes out the window as you shamelessly use your finger to get what the spatula missed before washing the bowl…please, tell me that’s not just me.

After having my baby, I realized 1. that I’m not one of those women who the pounds fall off of easily (or at all)- my body seems to have formed a weirdly strong connection to the extra weight I gained and has no interest in severing that bond and 2. I became more conscious about the types of food I put in my body. I graduated from pouring sugar on my Rice Krispies cereal to using the natural sweetness of bananas instead. While I loved dressing up my Cream of Wheat the same way my grandpa likes it- with butter and brown sugar- I learned that berries and pure honey are equally delicious.