I have to be honest. I was trying really hard to have all of my Easter posts done BEFORE Easter, but it’s really hard. By the time you realize what you want to write about, make/bake/etc, take and edit photos, and draft a post, it’s already April 1st! I’ve realized that if I want to start posting stuff for July 4th, I better start working on them now.
I really wanted to have a picturesque Easter dinner. Ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and…Carrot Cake. When I was putting together the grocery list, Bobby mentioned that he doesn’t like ham. Who doesn’t like ham?! Actually, I’ve known this for a while but my mind won’t accept it. He’s been training for a marathon at the end of the month and has been really picky about what he eats. No meat, lots of carbs and veggies.
Anyways, I decided to forego dinner plans but still make Carrot Cake. I love to bake and it had been a while since I baked anything. I bought the 3 blocks of cream cheese and 1lb of carrots….then, life happened. Our friends came into town and we spent all weekend hanging out, which left no time for baking a cake. Plus, I had a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) so I didn’t want to be inside baking while they were out having fun.
Long story short, I’ve had 3 blocks of cream cheese and 1lb of carrots sitting in my fridge for 2 weeks. This past weekend, while Bobby and I were just laying around, I figured I’d make some cake!
I found this recipe on Pinterest via Gimme Some Oven. It’s no doubt the BEST carrot cake I’ve ever had. The cream cheese frosting is no joke!
CARROT CAKE INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1 pound finely-grated fresh carrots
(optional: 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, and/or 1/2 cup raisins)
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
3 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups powdered sugar (or more if needed to thicken)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans or two 9-inch round baking pans.
In the bowl of a large stand mixer, mix together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth.
Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and cloves) until combined.
Add the dry ingredient mixture to the mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed until just combined.
Fold in the grated carrots with a spatula, and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Then bake for 25-30 (8-inch) or 35-40 (9-inch) minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
While cakes are baking in the oven, make the cream cheese frosting. Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 1 minute or until smooth with no lumps remaining.
Add in vanilla extract and salt, and continue mixing until combined.
Lower speed to medium-low and gradually add in powdered sugar.
Increase speed to medium-high and beat until combined. Note: If frosting is too thick, you can add a teaspoon or two of water. If it is too thin, you can add more powdered sugar.
When cakes are finished baking, remove pans and let them cool on a wire rack until the cakes reach room temperature.
Layer the cakes with the cream cheese frosting, and then frost the outside of the cake as you desire.
I guess it’s been a while since I’ve made a cake because this thing was HUGE. I guess I’m used to cupcakes or really, really small personal cakes. Since making the cake on Saturday, we’ve only managed to eat 1/6 of it. Next time I think I’ll cut the recipe in half. And maybe substitute out the sugar and oil for honey.
If you read my last Stitch Fix Review, you’d know that I’m 0 for 2 on Stitch Fix boxes. The first box did not match my style profile AT ALL — like, wasn’t even worth blogging about! The 2nd box was better, but nothing was worth keeping. I decided to give it one last shot and see if third time’s a charm. Here we go!
Monique Henley Blouse
The first item out of my box was this blouse. My stylist suggested that I pair it with white shirts or blue jeans. While I really liked the pattern, the fabric was really thin you could see my bra! For nearly $40, I wasn’t going to keep it. Not off to a good start.
Walton Henley Blouse
Well, my stylist definitely heard me when I said I wanted color. Holy cow this shirt was bright!! My stylist suggested that I pair it with white jeans and blue denim jacket. I liked the style/cut of the shirt but wasn’t a fan of the different patterns and colors, so I decided to return it.
Allegro Cold Shoulder Blouse
I’m not a fan of the cold-shoulder style, so I was hesitant to try on this shirt. I usually purchase classic, timeless pieces and this was not something I saw myself wearing a few years from now. My stylist suggested pairing it with some black trousers or a mini skirt. I tried it on for the sake of taking a photo but quickly took it off. The shirt was really short (barely hit the top of my mid-rise jeans) and wasn’t comfortable. Sending it back!
Coty Dolman Sleeve Peplum Blouse
This shirt was really cute! It was a little too small, but I loved how it accentuated my waist. It was a little too low cute for my taste. Plus, I rarely wear things like this. I’m more of a jeans and t-shirt or spring dress kind of girl. ::Sigh:: Maybe this last shirt will be a winner?
Geraldi Split Neck Blouse
When I pulled this shirt out of the box I just knew I was going to like the style/cut. I have several other similar blouses from LOFT, but I wasn’t sure I’d like the pattern. I tried the top with a few different pants/trousers but didn’t love it enough to keep it. The pattern wasn’t really my style.
Sadly, I decided to return all 5 pieces. On the upside, I didn’t get any pants, outerwear, or accessories! The stylist’s note did say that Stitch Fix’s inventory was lacking color. And she picked the peplum and cold-shoulder bouses because of my ruffles and peplum request. I definitely liked this stylist the most — she paid attention to my profile!
I’ve decided to stop shipments for the time being. Paying $20/month to try on clothes — especially since I’m not buying anything — it’s outrageous. It was a nice try, and I started to see improvement with the picks, but I don’t think Stitch Fix was for me.
Have you ever tried an online stylist? What was your experience?
It’s time for another “Things I’m Loving” post. At first, I had a hard time trying to find things I love. But after a few days, I started saying “hey, I really like this!”
These new jersey-knit dresses from Old Navy are comfy and cute! The jersey fabric is formfitting but stretchy at the top, then flares out for a full skirt. I layered it with a jean jacket and some canvas sneakers for a recent Girl’s Night at Dave & Busters.
Heaven’s Gate Podcast
I’m officially done catching up on Game of Thrones. I’m now in the middle of listening to Heaven’s Gate podcast which explores the American cult that committed mass suicide in California in 1997. They interview former members of the cult and family members of those deceased. The whole concept of a cult fascinates me. Especially when this one ended so tragically. It’s worth a listen!
I recently discovered avocado oil and it’s awesome! Avocado oil is an excellent substitute for coconut oil or olive oil. Avocados contain a LOT of beneficial fats. Did you know that avocado oil contains more potassium than a banana? It also has more protein than any other fruit. It can be used for high-heat cooking and have a very mild taste.
Spring isn’t my favorite season, but I LOVE watching the Cherry Blossoms bloom. It’s the first sign of life after a long, grey winter. Check out these Cherry Blossoms near our community pool!
Dog Walk App
When I took Mowgli to the vet in January for his annual checkup, he was about 10lbs overweight. After a series of question from the veterinarian, we determined that Mowgli wasn’t getting enough exercise for the number of treats we were giving. So we decided to cut out ALL treats and increase his daily exercise! To keep track of his walks, I downloaded an app called Dog Walk. It’s a really cool and easy to use tracking app! I just turn on my GPS and hit “start walk”. We’ve been averaging about 1-2 miles a day, which is helping Mowgli lose weight AND gets me moving too!
That’s all folks! What are you loving this month? Share in the comments below!
Yay! The weather is getting warmer, which means it’s time to pack away my sweaters and boots and bust out the short sleeves and sandals! I just love spring style and I can’t wait to share a few outfit staples with you.
With chilly mornings and hot afternoons, sometimes it can be difficult to find an outfit that gets you through the day. I tend to wear darker colors in the winter, so a great spring “transitional” outfit can be light colors like pastels. And to stay warm when you get the occasional chilly morning or evening, wear layers!
Here are a few of my wardrobe staples and how I pair them with spring-y items.
Skinny Jeans with Destruction
Since it’s not warm enough to wear shorts, I’m reaching for my destructed skinny jeans. The destruction areas allow for ventilation without committing to shorts. Pair with a light colored and/or floral top and it’s the perfect spring outfit!
You might have heard that it’s a fashion faux pas to wear white after Labor Day or before Memorial Day. Well, this old-school rule is no longer followed. YUP! I’m suggesting we wear white before Memorial Day. Paired with a bold top is a great way to dress for spring weather.
I figured I’d share a little behind-the-scenes look at my photoshoot. So many piles! I’m usually running back and forth between our closet and the spare room trying to find the right bracelet or pair of shoes.
Do you have any spring outfit staples? Let me know in the comments below.
This past Monday marked the 1-year anniversary of Bobby and I’s move to Raleigh. We get asked all the time if we like it, so today I’m sharing some feedback on the overall moving process and if we like living in North Carolina.
Why did we decide to move to Raleigh?
Bobby and I had been talking about moving out of the DC area for several years. It was too much of a rat race for us and we wanted a slower, more enjoyable life. First, we looked at moving to Denver but the supply v. demand for jobs was crazy! I wasn’t getting any bites on my resume as a lot of employers wanted me to live in the state. Plus, the cost of living was about the same as Northern Virginia and we didn’t want to be bogged down with work to afford our lifestyle. Bobby suggested Raleigh, knowing that the tech industry was growing and cost of living was WAY less. I liked the idea of living near a smaller city, with options to go to the beach or mountains. Also, only being 5.5 hours away from family in Virginia was important for our first big move.
How did the move go?
Overall, everything went pretty smoothly. We had just moved out of our 3-bedroom apartment into a 1-bedroom apartment in Virginia (not expecting to get a job offer from Raleigh so quickly), so we practically lived out of boxes for 8 weeks. That in itself really sucked — not knowing if I should unpack or not…living out of boxes. It was miserable.
When we visited Raleigh for my interview, we were told by our apartment complex in Virginia that we could transfer our lease to a sister apartment complex in Raleigh. So we toured the apartment in Raleigh, signed the initial paperwork, and put down a deposit. About a week later, we were notified that we wouldn’t be allowed to transfer and that we had to pay to break our lease in Virginia. Long story short, we negotiated a lower “break fee” and since we weren’t contracted under the sister complex in Raleigh, we decided to sign a lease with another complex. One that was less expensive and closer to my office. The whole interview-to-move process was about 6 weeks, so we didn’t have any time to make another trip to Raleigh to look at apartments. As some of you know, I’m a planner. So signing a 13-month lease for an apartment that I had never seen was terrifying.
The drive to Raleigh went smoothly. We were lucky to convince my dad to ride with us and help unpack. When we arrived in Raleigh, we got the keys to our apartment and got to view it for the first time. It was nearly perfect! We really lucked out having never seen it in person. Unfortunately, it was on the 3rd floor and the stairwell was really tight so moving big items was a pain. We enlisted some help from Bobby’s aunt and uncle who live in Chapel Hill. They were definitely lifesavers that day!
Do you like living in Raleigh?
Absolutely! We are about 15 minutes from Durham, 25 minutes from Chapel Hill, and 10 minutes from downtown Raleigh. We’re right in the middle of 3 cities with LOTS to do! When we first moved down, we noticed a ton of mom-and-pop restaurants and boutiques. This was quite refreshing to get away from the chains in Northern Virginia. There are several state parks within 20 miles of our apartment so there’s a lot of outdoor activities to do. It seems like North Carolina really prides itself on its recreational activities and areas.
We are 2 hours from the beach and 3 hours from the mountains. This was something we really loved about Northern Virginia. Bobby and I love camping and spent a lot of time in Shenandoah National Park, so it was important to us to find a city that was near the mountains, but versatile for day trips to the beach.
As I mentioned above, the cost of living is much less in Raleigh. Our expenses are about 20% less expensive than in Virginia. We’re living in a less expensive apartment, a lower premium for utilities, and closer to the office (less fuel). And, we live on the more expensive side of Raleigh. We’ve been looking at houses lately and you can find a large amount of 3 beds / 3 baths, new single-family homes for less than $350k. Again, that’s in the more expensive suburbs of Raleigh.
Lastly, and most importantly, we have a better work-life balance. Traffic is nothing compared to DC, which allows people to spend more time at home versus sitting in traffic. Bobby and I currently live about 2-3 miles away from our employers, which means no more than a 10-minute commute thus allowing for more time in the evenings to be together.
What’s the worst part about moving out of state?
The absolute worst part is missing our family and friends. While we have some family and friends in the area, we don’t have the large support system like we had in Virginia. It’s been especially hard for me. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to make new friends as an adult. While I’ve made a few new acquaintances, they’re new and aren’t as solid as my 5+, 10+, or 15+ year friendships in Virginia.
Raleigh is about 5.5 hours away from our family in Virginia, which isn’t too far for a quick weekend visit. But it’s just that, a quick visit. If we leave Raleigh after work on Friday, we aren’t getting into Northern Virginia until 11 p.m. We have all day Saturday to split our time between my family, Bobby’s family, my friends, Bobby’s friends, and any commitments. Then, we like to leave around lunchtime on Sunday so we can get back and prepare for our work week. It’s really hard to squeeze everyone in. And most times, you can’t. We try to visit Virginia as much as we can, but at some point, we need to accept that we live in another state and there are other ways to stay connected. It’s just really hard to do.
In addition, Bobby and I have always been independent of our relationship. We’ve been able to have our own friends and hobbies and carry on our independent lives. Well, when we moved to Raleigh those friends and hobbies were left behind. We’re in a new city trying to find new friends and explore new hobbies. It’s required us to be dependent on each other…which is something we’ve never had to be. We’ve struggled a little bit to find our groove, but I think we’ve found it and are on the upswing.
Another negative side effect of moving out of state is having to use your GPS all the time. We’ve lived here for a year and we still have to use GPS to get places. I know how to get to a handful of locations outside of our 5-mile bubble without GPS, but it’s really frustrating to never know how far away you are or how long it will take you to get there. Especially now as we are looking at homes…we have no idea which neighborhoods are great/poor/etc. It all takes some getting used to. I just didn’t think it would take this long.
All in all, we love living in Raleigh! We definitely can see this being our forever home.
Do you have any questions about Raleigh or our move? Ask in the comments below!
Hi friends! I’m glad everyone loved my February Rewind post. It’s a little easier for me to recap my month versus each weekend. Today, I’m sharing my March rewind. Last month I was bitten by the travel bug and found myself traveling to Florida AND Virginia.
I started the month by heading to Daytona, FL to visit my parents. Raleigh’s weather in February was grey and cold, so I was definitely craving some Florida sunshine. I got really excited and pulled out ALL of my spring/summer clothes. Unfortunately, Florida was under a bit of a cold snap. Temps were in the lower 60’s with a constant cold breeze. It wasn’t warm enough to bust out my shorts, but luckily I packed several extra outfits and layers.
When I arrived Friday afternoon, I was pretty tired from the 9-hour drive. But my mom was really excited about a surprise event she had planned. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University was hosting their annual Open House. Having previously worked in the aerospace industry, I was really excited to check it out! Embry Riddle had a lot of really neat activities for guests. Activities included 3D photos of Mars’ landscape, a night sky simulator where we can see 200+ years in the future (used to project meteor’s, comets, etc), a gravity well, telescope displays, and a scale model of the solar system. The best part of the night was getting to see a star cluster hundreds of lightyears away via the largest telescope in Florida. VERY cool! #spacenerd
Over the next few days, I was able to relax and rejuvenate. My mom and I got to watch the Oscars and The Bachelor Finale. Mowgli got lots of attention, too! My parents allow him to swim in their pool so he gets a lot of exercise! Plus, what labrador doesn’t love the water? One day we went to Barkley Square, a 14-acre dog park with a HUGE pond. He was able to swim and socialize with other dogs. Lastly, we went to a dog-friendly section at Ponce Inlet. Again, more swimming and LOTS of attention!
And, of course, we ate great food!
During my last day in Florida, my dad found out that his long-time friend, Joe a.k.a. “Red”, was in Daytona on vacation. Growing up, Red and my dad traveled to Florida each spring for Bike Week. Red was like a distant uncle to my brothers and I. He was really funny and would let us climb and pick on him when he visited. The last time I saw Red was at my high school graduation in 2005. So when I found out that he was in Daytona, I had to see him. It had been over 10 years and he hadn’t changed a bit (well, a little led red and a little more grey)! My parents, Red, and I had a great time catching up!
On my way back from Daytona, I stopped in Charleston to visit my friends Ricky and Amanda. They moved from Virginia to Charleston in December and I was their first official house guest. It was my first time in Charleston so Ricky and Amanda gave me the official tour. We walked around Battery Park, saw Rainbow Row, visited Shem Creek Park, and drove down Meeting Street.
A few things I learned about Charleston:
It’s a peninsula. I had no idea! It’s surrounded by the Ashley River and the Cooper River. Unless you’re coming from North Charleston, you have to cross a major bridge to get to the city.
There are a lot of abandoned buildings. The downtown area of Charleston is pretty condensed, and the more famous landmarks are on the southern tip of the peninsula, so you have to drive through some low-income and abandoned areas. Luckily, the Charleston population is growing exponentially and the surrounding areas are getting renovated.
Rainbow Row is only 5 houses. And the homes aren’t as bright as the photos in magazines! Officially, there is a series of 13 houses that represent Rainbow Row, but only about 5 of them are brightly colored. Rainbow Row really represents the longest cluster of Georgian homes in the city. Now you know!
Overall, I loved Charleston. The home and building architecture is beautiful and the history is fascinating. I can’t wait to go back and spend more time exploring!
Less than 2 weeks later, I pack my bags again and headed to Virginia. I decided to take the scenic route and take Interstate 81-N so I could stop at my alma mater, James Madison University, and visit my sister-in-law. Maddie is rounding out her freshman year at JMU and I can’t explain how awesome it is to see her blossom and grow, especially in a place that heavily influenced who I am today. Maddie and I have a special little bond and it has me grinning from ear to ear!
If you’re a JMU Alum, you can’t stop in Harrisonburg without visiting The Outpost — JMU’s unofficial bookstore. I was in dire need of a new sweatshirt (mine had holes in it), so Maddie and I did some shopping. We both got new sweatshirts and a few trinkets. Mission accomplished!
Before I left Harrisonburg, Maddie and I decided to grab dinner. Honestly, I was so wrapped up in nostalgia that I really wanted to eat on-campus but unfortunately, Maddie really wanted to get away from campus food so we headed to downtown Harrisonburg. We tried goes to Jack Brown’s (a staple my senior year), but it was too busy so we settled for Clementine Cafe (another favorite). It was great to catch up and spend some one-on-one time with my little sister!
On Friday, I decided to surprise my niece, Kylie, with lunch at her school. When I walked into the cafeteria she was just opening her lunchbox and sitting down. When she saw me her jaw dropped. She said, “what are you doing here?!”. After the initial shock, we were able to sit in the auditorium and enjoy our lunch. Honestly, I’m glad we didn’t sit in the cafeteria. I haven’t been in an elementary school in nearly 2 decades and holy cow it reeked of cleaning chemicals. Yuck!
It was pretty cool that I got to spend some one-on-one time with my niece. She’s SO funny, smart, and kind. She’s a straight-A student, just got accepted into the Gifted and Talented program, she’s on two competitive cheerleading teams, and just started a new season of lacrosse. I’m a proud aunt!
After lunch with Kylie, I was able to hang out with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. My nephew, Blake, showed me how to play Fortnite — the latest and greatest video game that’s taking over the world. Now that he’s a teenager, I’m able to tease and pick on him a little more. Again, I’m pretty lucky to be able to spend one-on-one time with my niece and nephew and get to know them.
Later Friday night, I grabbed a quick dinner with a friend then met up with Bobby’s step-mom and sister to watch The Greatest Showman. Oh man! What a FANTASTIC movie! It’s entertaining and has a great message. I’d recommend going to see it in the theatre before it’s on DVD. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack ever since!
On Saturday, I spent the whole day with my friends Lauren and Nick, and their 2 daughters, Ella and Olivia. We started the day with an Easter Egg Hunt at Morven Park in Leesburg. It was unusually cold and we were underdressed so nobody was ecstatic about being outside. We participated in a few activities before the egg hunt including face painting, making bunny ears out of craft supplies, and real bunnies available to pet and hold.
My friend Lauren runs a small business where she makes custom shirts, bibs, banners, teething toys, and more! Check out how cute their shirts are! Visit Ella + Olivia on Facebook.
After the egg hunt (and while both girls took a nap), we went to Petsmart to get a fish for Ella. She just celebrated her 3rd birthday in February and really wanted a fish, so Auntie Lauren just HAD to get her a fish. She was so excited when we got home with all the supplies!!
It was really great to spend the day with Lauren, Nick, and the girls. It made me realize how much I missed them and wish we lived closer!
By Sunday, I was exhausted from running around the past 2 days. I decided to sleep in and stay in my PJs until mid-afternoon. Since I was staying at Bobby’s parent’s house, I was able to spend a few hours catching up with his dad and step-mom. Usually, when we visit, we arrive late Friday night and leave Sunday around lunchtime. Depending on the occasion, we don’t have much time to just catch up, so I was really grateful for the downtime.
I eventually made it out of the house later that afternoon to visit my brother and his girlfriend, as well as my aunt, uncle, and cousins. I’m borrowing a sewing machine from my cousin, so stay tuned on my new sewing projects!
On Monday, I had plans to grab lunch with 2 of my former colleagues at Audi, Ti and Mark. Both Ti and Mark were extremely influential during one of the most vulnerable times in my life — my wedding and the big move to North Carolina. They gave me some sound advice that helped me get through those periods. I really value their friendship and it was great to see them!
While I was in VA, Bobby’s younger brother, Kyle, spent the weekend in North Carolina with Bobby. It sounds like they had a fun brothers’ weekend. They had a movie marathon (Aliens series), played disc golf, and toured downtown Raleigh. I made it back to NC just in time for Kyle’s last dinner at Bobby’s aunt and uncle’s house. It was great to spend time with family and get a little bit of time with Kyle before he headed back to Virginia.
WHEW!! March was a busy month for me! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to write as much as I wanted. I’m trying to catch up and double down on April posts, so make sure you subscribe to my updates!
In case you missed it, here are all of my blog posts from March:
Happy April! The warm weather has finally arrived in Raleigh. It has been in the mid-60’s, low-70’s the past week or two and it’s FANTASTIC! Although, we’re now dealing with the “yellow plague” aka a blanket of yellow pollen. We opened the windows for the first few nice days but had to give in and keep them closed because our allergies are awful. We’re expecting rain this weekend so hopefully, it will wash away the pollen.
Today I’m sharing how I made a spring wreath for my front door.
I love making things, and wreath-making is another outlet for me to be creative. Displaying a DIY wreath really shows your personality, especially in an apartment complex. It’s fun to see the variety of doormats and decor.
A few weeks ago, I visited our local craft store. I pick out 3-4 different types of flowers, and 1-2 types of greenery. You’ll want to grab 1-2 bigger blooms and 1-2 medium to small “filler” blooms or greenery. The key to making a spring wreath is bright florals. Winter can be grey and drab, so make sure you grab some bright pinks, purples, oranges, and yellows.
I browsed Pinterest for inspiration. There are a lot of DIY tutorials for different types of wreaths. Here are some of my spring wreath inspiration photos from Pinterest:
Ok, now onto the DIY-ing! Here are the supplies you’ll need:
Wreath (mine is 18″)
Silk flowers (I picked about 8-10 stems)
Ribbon (I suggest getting 2″ wide ribbon for a full bow)
Hot glue gun
Extra glue sticks
Start by loosely arranging ALL of the blooms to how you’d like them to appear on the wreath. Once you have a good arrangement, cut the stems with wire cutters leaving about 1.5-2″ to stick in the wreath. Begin by placing the big blooms into the wreath. Use hot glue to secure the stems (it required a lot of glue, so make sure you have a LOT of extra glue sticks).
Once the big flowers are attached, you can start adding the smaller flowers. I filled in the gaps with the smaller flowers and greenery. Once you’re satisfied with the placement, hot glue them in place.
Lastly, add a bow! I cut my ribbon about 2 times the length of the wreath. That will usually give me the perfect proportion of bow to wreath. I didn’t hot glue the bow, but you can if you’d like. I did a simple bow, but here are some wreath bow tutorials if you want to do something more “grand”.
All done! Look at how cute it looks on my front door!
I could probably use this wreath until fall, but I’m thinking about making another wreath for July 4th (my favorite holiday). Guess I’ll start finding inspiration on Pinterest!
Have you ever made a wreath? Share a photo in the comments below!
Hi friends! Sorry, I missed my February 2018 edition of Things I’m Loving. February just flew by! And now, March is halfway through. WHEW! Where does the time go? At least we made it through winter. Happy 1st Day of Spring!
Here are few of my favorite things this month…
Have you heard of this thing? I have a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders, and I’m always asking Bobby to give me a neck massage. For Valentine’s Day, Bobby surprised me with a Neck Hammock. It’s been proven to reduce neck pain and tension in less than 10 mins. Check it out! It’s AWESOME!
Some of you know that I love to try new flavors of M&Ms and Oreos. After trying a few pieces I bring the rest of the bag into the office to share (at least, most of the time). I came across this new flavor of M&Ms a few weeks ago and it’s surprisingly good! You can taste all 3 flavors — Strawberry, Chocolate, and Vanilla — in one piece. If you haven’t tried it yet, hurry! The flavor is only out for a limited time.
I’ve been trying to pay more attention to my diet this month. I’ve been really good about going to the gym 3 times a week, but eating a balanced diet isn’t something I actively think about. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app to help me track my calories and nutrients. It’s been really eye-opening for me! I didn’t change my diet the first few days because I wanted to see how bad my habits were. I realized that I consume WAY too many carbs and fats and don’t get enough protein or vitamins. Starting the 2nd week, I added more protein and veggies. I’m still lacking in calcium (dairy-free diet doesn’t help), so I’m going to grab some vitamins at the grocery store. Overall, I love what this app does! I’m feeling more energized and balanced.
Game of Thrones
I found myself with some extra time this month, so I decided to knock out Game of Thrones. Last summer I watched season 7 — without seeing any previous episodes. Bobby grew tired of my questions and convinced me to watch seasons 1-6. At the rate I’ve been going, I’ll likely finish all 6 seasons before the end of the month. Yes, there’s violence (pretty gruesome at times). Yes, there’s nudity. But it’s SO GOOD!The director does a fantastic job of developing each character. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together in season 8!
What are you loving this month? Share in the comments below!
About a month ago I received my first shipment from Grove Collaborative, an ethical and environmentally friendly home products company. Grove is a Certified B Corp meaning they meet the rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. They carry brands like Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, Method, Dr. Bronner’s, Tom’s of Maine, Thayer’s, and more! From household cleaning products to beauty products to baby products, they have anything you would need.
Grove Collaborative is subscription service that delivers products to your door on a monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual basis. I decided to sign up for Grove because I came across an offer that I couldn’t pass up. They were giving away $30 of Mrs. Meyer’s products with a purchase of $25. I was already in need of cleaning supplies, so I figured I’d give it a shot! Plus, I had seen a lot of bloggers post about it…and you guys know I’m a sucker for referrals!
Here’s what I got:
I purchased new kitchen towels, Microfiber cleaning cloths, dishwashing gloves, dishwashing liquid, and walnut scouring pads. In return, I got Mrs. Meyer’s dishwashing liquid, hand soap, and surface cleaner. Not to mention the super cute tin can to hold everything in!
I had my previous kitchen towels since college, so it was time for an upgrade. These grey striped kitchen towels are made of 100% cotton and are super durable! I can use them to dry dishes or as a pad for hot pans. They came in a 2 pack for less than $10. You can also find them in red, navy or beige.
Like my kitchen towels, I’ve been using the same microfiber cleaning cloths since college. And I made the mistake of washing them like the rest of my linens — hot water, laundry detergent, and fabric softener (microfiber cleaning tips here). These all-purpose microfiber cloths are great for capturing dust. Living in an apartment, I feel like I’m constantly dusting, so these cloths are miracle workers!
Whether it’s the drip pans, inside of the oven, or a baking dish, I’m always using scour pads to clean up a tough mess. So when I saw these Walnut Scour Pads, I was curious to see if they’d really work. They’re made with crushed walnuts sustainably farmed in the US. How cool?! And, yes, they work great like regular scour pads!
These cleaning gloves were so cute I couldn’t pass them up! I wear gloves most often when washing dishes, and sometimes when I’m doing heavy duty cleaning. Gloves definitely save a manicure! My last pair were from Target and they were too big. These gloves are more fitting and have a super cute design on the cuff.
You can never have enough dishwashing liquid! This was a no-brainer when looking to meet the minimum purchase. I love Seventh Generation products! They’re free of fragrances, dyes, and triclosan. I’ve become more conscious of the products I use and the chemicals in them. This is one of the reasons I love Grove!
Lastly, how cute is this cleaning bucket?! Let’ be honest, this bucket was the whole reason I signed up for Grove. The bucket is about 9″ wide and 5″ tall, which isn’t big enough for all of my supplies but it’s perfect to use for decor. I decided to pot some lavender in it and put it in our guest bathroom.
Overall, I definitely don’t need new supplies every month. Luckily, I can customize the service to be delivered as often as I’d like (monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, etc). However, I find it easier to just purchase these items on my weekly grocery run or via Amazon.