the week. my to do list. yours too?

I am a list girl. I have a thousand all over the place. The perfect gift for me? Post-it notes or a notepad. Serious. Not joking. Ok, and maybe some new clothes or shoes.

A list for me and a list for you. I am calling it my {the week. what to do.}. A little place where I get organized and get er’ done.

The template is {free} and just for YOU. It’s as easy as copy, print, cut. A cute way to stay organized and on top of things.

{you will need}
paper cutter
paper and printer
the week. what to do template. weekly. and the week. what to do template. list.
cardboard and chipboard
pad/book compound


step 1. print the ‘the week. what to do.’ template by clicking {here for weekly template} and {here for list template}.

step 2. cut the template in half… it should measure 8.5″ x 5.5″ for the weekly list and cut in fourths for the list template.

step 3. cut the cardboard/chipboard to same dimensions  … i used cardboard that backed a print I had lying around.

step 4. use your clamps to hold down the sides. apply the glue with a small paintbrush.
– apply at least two coats of glue for an even consistency.
– place a clamp in the middle as well to keep from puckering in the middle
– if you are wanting to make these right away… rumor has it that caulking from the hardware store will work too!

step 5. dry. write. get er’ done.

to do notepad 2 What better way to get organized and efficiently get through your week? As I said before, the task is easy peasy and will take you a little less than five minutes to get er’ done. Maybe one for you and one for a friend or two? Maybe getting ready for those end of the year teacher gifts?

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other diy related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{thank you cards for the family.than}

{diy personalized key art.}

{lemon bars. printable tags..}

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bathroom redo. for the kids. much better.

Do have that one room that you know you should start because every time you look at it you cringe? The kids’ bath was one of those rooms for me. Not so bad you couldn’t use it, but it was quite the eye sore. And, I am not one for eye sores. Why didn’t I do it earlier? Uh, who knows. But, I wish I would have because it took a total of two weekends to get er’ done. Oh well.

Here’s the before. A lot more maple, fake marble with lovely sinks that had the same faux look. Goodbye, tired old bath.

kids bath before

A few changes and voila. Look at the beauty now.

kids 7

bath 2

kids 4

kids 3

And, do you see that lil’ cutie in the background? Shadow likes to follow me wherever I go and never passes up an opportunity for a little photo op. What did we change? Just a few simple, inexpensive tricks that make a bathroom transformation seem a little closer to a reality than a dream.

{love it? want it?}

Wall Paint: Sherwin Williams ‘Moody Blue’
I am not one for color, but I figure the kids bath is as good a place as ever. So, we went for a more ‘colorful’ look that had a little vintage twist.

Cabinet Paint: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White with ClearWax
If you follow along, you know I heart Annie Sloan. And, I HEART the new cabinets. We painted the cabinets white to keep it clean, brighten up the space and have some consistency with the kitchen and hallway cabinets. We sealed it with a clear wax and friends, this huge change took hardly anytime at all. I think I had all the cabinets finished in two days. Big difference. Not a lot of time. Amen.

Cabinet Hardware: Marshalls & Target
I said it once and I will say it again, a little hardware goes a long way. I found the round cuties at Marshalls, sorry folks, that ‘s one of those places that is hit or miss. Keep your eyes out for them, they are cute and cost me a whopping $5. The larger pulls I found at Target a few years ago and used them on our hallway cabinets, but had a few leftover I was saving for a rainy day. They come in a 6-pack and are so versatile and cute.

 Tile for Floor: Natural Timber Ash Porcelain Floor Tile at Lowes
This just might be my favorite part of all. I can’t get enough of it. Porcelain floor tile that is made to look like old barn wood. Which basically means I can easily clean it but not sacrifice the look I love. Seriously, die. We used the same tile as in our master bathroom which you can see here.
We chose to use 8 inch planks in a repeating pattern. Best part? Less than $3.50 a square foot. You can find a link to the color and product we used here. It was worth the extra time it took to get straight lines because I absolutely LOVE it.

Tile for Backsplash: Arabesque Lantern White Porcelain Mosaic
Another favorite and easy on the budget. This Arabesque Lantern White Porcelain Mosaic was found at Floor & Decor for just $3.79. Booya. And, when you only need three sheets it’s a happy day. A little white grout, elbow grease {thanks, hubs} and you have a new backsplash.

 Countertops: Black Galaxy – honed by our granite subcontractor
This was a freebie, kind of. We had extra from one of Paul’s projects that had been sitting in our garage for about forever. Kids and shiny granite? Uh, no thanks. But, we were able to hire our granite guy to ‘hone‘ it for us, which took away the shiny look. Now it looks a little more like soapstone {a fave for this girl} and a little less like your traditional granite. Does it leave crazy spots? Yes, but I am teaching those kids to use a wipe and keep it clean. We shall see how long that lasts…

What do you think? Way better? An updated version that looks a little more like the rest of our house. A few quick changes and it looks like new. Well, almost new. Perhaps your bathroom is calling you to try a few of these tricks out yourself.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other diy related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{master bath redo.}

{kitchen makeover on a budget.}

{powder bath makeover..}

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My latest crushes. Are you with me?

No, not a life-changing post. Just a little glimpse into what I am currently crushing on. My favorite new treats or those things that I drool over and wish I could just click that button and officially buy it, but my conscience tells me otherwise. Ok, let’s be honest. It’s probably not my conscience, but my darling husband’s voice that echoes in my head.

Here they are… a few of my biggest crushes. Some small, some big, but all just way too cute.

Chanel Lip Gloss. This is my staple. I may {or may not} have a few different colors. It is that good. A perfect gloss that isn’t too sticky and a fly-away piece of hair doesn’t get stuck in it. Don’t let the colors scare you…they go on light and are the perfect quick addition to a makeup routine.

BP lace up shoes

I have had these for awhile and I still love them. Let’s be real, I love them the most because my feet fit in them and they are super comfortable. Yes, I have been blessed with the start of bunions thanks to some real winner genes in my mom’s side of the family. But, I also think they are just so stinking adorable and dress up any outfit. They might just be my favorite crush of all. Find them here at Nordstrom.

me and my house sign

I have been drooling over this sign for ages, but I have the hardest time buying something when me and the hubs can put our two heads together and make it. This was that for me. I wanted it and knew I could technically make it, but was feeling lazy. But, some of my two favorite people surprised me with it for my birthday. I was one happy girl and it proudly hangs over our door and as a constant reminder for our family. Sigh. I really do love it. You can find it at my besties place, Magnolia Market. Ok, we are not really besties, but I think we could be if she’d give me a chance. I am going to hunt her down when me and some girls visit her Waco silo in April. Watch out, Jojo.

calligraphy  I think I want to learn calligraphy. Let me rephrase that, I do want to learn calligraphy, but do I have time? I think this little starter kit might be right up my alley. Can you imagine how darling my cards would be addressed? Hmmm, I might need to take the leap on this one. Do you love the kit as much as I do?

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 4.58.29 PM

This one is for my kids, but it also is one of my total crushes. This site is the perfect place for a little art inspiration and {if we are being real} it will occupy the kids for at least 40 minutes, which is a winner in my book. This site is called Art for Kids Hub and the dad who does all the drawings is uber cool. They have stuff for my big boy to choose from {tons!} and even a section for under 5. Seriously, cool stuff.

lake house

Well, I loved her other four books, so I can’t imagine that I won’t LOVE this one too. She could be one of my favorite authors. This one just came out and I just might need to grab it up before we road trip to AZ for some spring training and a trip to grandma’s house. Want it? Check here.

 Do you have any crushes you just can’t help but smile at? Share! I want to know. Maybe we can share our crushes and crush together.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

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a {how to} ikea hack. an upgrade to bookshelves.

The other week I shared about the shelves in our bedroom that went from boring black to something that makes your heart skip a beat. It’s true that they were originally found among the aisles of Ikea, but now I think they have a little nod to Restoration Hardware. Ahhh, a little more my style.

1-ikea hack

Remember, I was on a budget? The whole project cost me under $200, including all the paint. I started with {two} black bookshelves from the Vittsjo series. Each shelf cost $79 and I was out of that place for just about $160. And, when they were placed in the room with love they took up a whopping six feet of wall space.

It really was super easy and didn’t cost a lot of money. But, you have to be willing to take on a {paint it on, look at it, decide to add more} approach. A little trial and error approach. Just a few things will get you started.

1-Recently Updated4

For all of those type-a people this may not be your favorite {how-to} diy. I literally painted a little on, wiped a little off and then sat back and stared at it. I kept doing that throughout the week until it looked the way I wanted. I know, eeek. Sorry, folks. If you are in the mood for a little trial and error, {and I assure you there is no way to mess it up} follow along.

 {step 1}
take off glass shelves and prepare work space.
Pretty easy. Prepare space. Enough said.

 {step 2}
use dry brush technique with
brushed pewter metallic paint, wipe off areas that are saturated with paint. 
Squeeze paint on to a paper plate. Dip brush into paint and use wiping cloth {or a hub’s old white t-shirt} to remove a majority of paint on brush. Haphazardly and in quick strokes, paint the piece in various directions. Try not saturate one area. At this point, less is more. Continue dipping, wiping brush and painting on shelves, while trying to achieve a very “rough, unfinished” look.

 {step 3}
use dry brush technique with
medium gray paint, wipe off areas that are saturated with paint.
Clean out brush or use a new one. Squeeze paint on to a paper plate. Dip brush into paint and use wiping cloth to remove a majority of paint on brush. Continue applying paint in a haphazard fashion, remembering that less is more and you will continue this process a few times with each paint color. Continue dipping, wiping brush and painting on shelves with second color. It should still have a very “rough, unfinished” look.

 {step 4}
use dry brush technique with
french linen paint, wipe off areas that are saturated with paint.
Repeat steps 2/3 using that same technique, but with the french linen paint. Use this paint very minimally or exclude all together. This allows for a gray hue to be layered, but only small amounts are necessary. More will be used on the bottom shelf.

{step 5}
repeat steps 2 – 4 until piece has a layered, brushed
Continue repeating steps until you have achieved the weathered, iron look. I used the metallic paint and gray the most and continued to alternate between paint coats several times. Paint it on, step back and look at it to decide what areas need additional paint or layers.
You’re probably going to love this part… I let it sit in the bedroom for a week and would add layers of paint a day at a time until I had it just the way I wanted it. Sorry for those out there who love instant gratification.

when you’re done it could look something like this…

{step 6}
painting the base of the shelf.

For the bottom shelf I used all three paint colors, but used 2x more french linen than the other two. I used the dry brush technique, but also used a painting block I have to spread the paint in a “chipped” fashion. Again, I used the dry brush to wipe on layers of paint and continued this for several different layers.


To be honest, the shelf is not my most favorite part. It didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned because it is a different material than the shelving unit. Next time around, I might add a stained wood shelf to the bottom or leave it black. Fortunately, I had some crates and larger items that do a pretty good job of hiding my least favorite part. Phew.

{step 6}
looking glass spray on glass shelves.
I repeat. Totally optional. I only did this because I already had the Looking Glass spray and I have a secret crush on anything that has a mercury glass look. Totally not necessary, but I totally did it anyways.

Using Krylon Looking Glass Spray, give the shelves a mirrored, mercury glass look using a vinegar and spray technique. You can see directions and how I achieved the same look on a chandelier here.

looking glass

I mean, come on. How amazing are? I would say they are a huge improvement and turn something that is a little ho-hum into something that makes you just want to smile. A few days of painting and there you go. So. Much. Better.
thx cards & bookshelves

Looking for some styling tips and a way to fill those shelves on a budget? Find some tips here. Maybe a simple transformation can change up a boring piece into something a little more jaw dropping. Make a statement. On a budget, of course.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

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a kitchen favorite. ziploc baggies.

Don’t laugh. This is quick and kind of ridiculous, but I think you should know about it. I am now in the know and do I dare say that I may {or may not} have ordered like a billion packages because I love them that much.

Remember the other week I shared my new jam? You know, my smoothie jam? If you want a delish smoothie recipe that hits the spot look here. And, if you are like me and it pains you to throw out that last bit of smoothie that doesn’t fit in the cup or doesn’t have any takers, read on. Seriously, read on.

The first question… where have you been all my life? Look at these amaze-ing inventions. Hello, genius.

Zipzicles are my new best friend. You can find them on Amazon and I am not lying when I say they are the smartest thing ever. Pour that leftover smoothie in, pop in the freezer and you have some ready for those kiddos when time is ticking.

Can you imagine the fun? Make your own yogurt squeezers for the little kids. Or, maybe some tasty poolside drinks for the big kids. Come on, it’s just too much fun.

Zipzicles, I thank you.

eat. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

if you missed my other {morning goodies take a lookey loo. 
see something you like?

{buttnernut squash muffins}

{blueberry banana muffins}

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styling shelves. tips and tricks.

Earlier I shared about the ikea shelves that I turned into something a little more me.  You can find more about it here. Today is a day all about styling. I seriously heart styling anything. Shelves. Mantels. Tables. It’s a serious problem, but it could be good news for you.

I think I have said it a million times before, but I am all about making a statement, albeit while being on a budget. Don’t get me wrong, I could style a room and make it cost big bucks, but that’s not real life for me. The bright side is that there are simple ways to make a shelf look a little prettier without spending oodles of money. A few simple tips that turn it from blah to a little bit of fancy.

  styling tip 1

Truth. Do all things in 3s. My mom taught me this. Make a trio and all is well. This simple trick will make any shelf look a little more polished and a little less thrown together. Believe it or not, in styling odd numbers are your friend.

styling tip 2

 Add some depth and dimension by making sure that you have items of different heights. Adhere to the “rule of thirds” so that everything looks proportionate to one another. Did you know this applies to clothes too?  Varying heights will turn something a-ok into something pretty amaze-ing. Try it. Love it? Hope so.

styling tip 3 As you have heard, I am a total bookworm and I have a huge collection of books. But, I am all about style and sometimes the books don’t actually go with my decor. I have a few tricks to solve that problem that are easy as pie.

  • Rip off the book covers. Gasp. Yes, I really do this. In fact, I just bought 40 books for a women’s ministry event at a local thrift store and ripped off every single cover. Grab those covers, rip them off and tie a few together with twine. The neutral palette of the pages will go with just about everything. Can you find the cover I ripped off on my shelf?
  • Cover with something you have lying around. I have used dictionary pages, atlas pages, newspaper, and even fabric from a ripped laundry basket {that was a cheap one}. When using paper, tape it to the inside covers of the book securing tightly on each side. If you go the fabric route, invest in some spray adhesive and glue it to the cover.
  • Visit a thrift store or Habitat for Humanity. Head over to the hardback cover books {I get mine for $2 each} and start looking underneath the dust jacket covers. Find a color palette or hue that would work in your room and look for books that have similar spine and cover colors. I walked out of our Habitat for Humanity with a stack of light blue and pale pink books for less than $10. Stack them and you have a great addition to any shelf without spending a whole lotta’ money.

What makes you smile? Find an item you love and go on a hunt for more. I stumbled across these two phones at thrift stores and couldn’t get over how cute they were. The white one was a steal for $10 and the black one had to come along too. They are the perfect accessory and add a little interest. For me, it’s phones and scales. Look around my house and you might find a few of those gems hidden. What about you? What makes your heart skip a beat?

styling tip 5

Yep. It’s that simple. Don’t worry about hanging and putting nail holes in the wall, instead find a few frames {notice my trio on the right?} and rest away. An easy way to showcase art without having to worry about symmetry and makes changing out frames a cinch.

Can I tell you one of my favorite parts of these frames? That cutie on the top left is my Grandma. After she passed in November, I found this picture of her working on a Boeing plane in the Seattle factory during the war years. Each day I’m reminded of this special lady who was quite the fashionista, even during the war years. Oh, g-ma. I heart you.

 Are you sold? Did you learn a few new styling tricks? I hope so. Try a few of them out at home and let me know how it goes. This post is a special shout out to my girl Mrs. Barcello who thought I should do this post about five years ago. Here you go, this one’s for you AB. xo

Coming up next week… how to achieve the restoration hardware look on your own shelves for a just under $20.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

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bedroom shelves. my own ikea hack.

Our bedroom is huge. Why do they do that? It totally annoys me. For a personality like me, it means that I have to spend more money buying furniture to make it look ‘done’. Well, after almost three years it is finally done. Deep breath. Then a smile.

I need a statement piece, but this girl is on a budget, so I found something at Ikea and made it a little more me. The whole project cost me under $200, including all the paint. I love when things just work.  Here’s the {before}.

ikea shelf

I started with {two} black bookshelves from the Vittsjo series. Each shelf cost $79 and I was out of that place for just about $160. But, the best part was that my shelves took up six feet of wall space in our room. What could be better?

DSC_0009 After a little bit of styling, some thrifting for books at a Thrift store and visiting ‘my store’ for some unused items, I now look and smile. What started with something that wasn’t really me has turned into a piece that I am smitten with.

thx cards & bookshelves1 thx cards & bookshelves

A few coats of paint and some stylish pieces make any bookcase better. Are you looking to fill up a large space in your house, too? Maybe these will be the perfect addition for your space. A little sweat and then a lotta’ smiles.

Coming up… simple tips for styling shelves on a budget and how to achieve the restoration hardware look on your own shelves.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO


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morning smoothie. my new jam.

Listen up, folks. I have a new morning routine and it involves a smoothie packed with everything good. I originally found the recipe on pinterest, but have shaken it up a bit because that’s what I do.

Let me start with it’s easy, simple and tasty without having to be filled with sugar. I am not one for eating the same thing each day, so this should be a good indicator that it really is darn good. I have started incorporating it into my morning each day and can now make it {even with my lil’ helper} in under four minutes flat. For a mama on the run, that’s fast. Oh, and did I mention that it has so many goodies in it that I don’t even think about lunch until it’s actually lunchtime.


{morning smoothie. one for the mini. one for me.}

morning smoothie.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 of a lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 cup cucumber, quartered
  • 1/2 of apple, diced
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 scoop protein powder


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Puree / blend for two minutes, or until completely pureed.
  3. Pour. Drink. Smile.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes

No need to stress over that mess you just made. I have a little TIP that makes cleaning up even easier. Cleaning your blenders is as easy as…


Seriously yummy and it will fill you up without having those early morning cravings for something else. Blend it. Eat it. And then smile because you are just a little healthier and vitamin packed than you were earlier that day. You’re welcome.

eat. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

if you missed my other {morning goodies take a lookey loo. 
see something you like?

{buttnernut squash muffins}

{pomegranate muffins}

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thank you cards. for the family. for you.

Delay, yes. Sorry for that. Last week was a long, emotionally exhausting one. Our lil’ thirteen year old doggie had to be put to sleep and it was quite the week. And, there is no handbook that tells you how to make it easier on your kids. It was seriously one of the saddest things ever watching the kids and seeing their sweet tears. Each one of them handled it a little differently, but the good news is that he is in doggie heaven without any more ouchies. Here’s a glimpse into my sweet, sensitive one giving him one last love.

And now, back to our previously scheduled blog post. Thanks for listening…

 Thank you cards. I think they should be all the rage. Doesn’t it feel like in this uber-techy world we are losing some of the good old-fashioned stuff like thank you cards? I am a stickler for it and I make everyone in our family write one, especially after the holidays. I am hoping my kids will thank me someday, but I may be dreaming.

This year I created a simple {thank you} card with enough for everyone in the family. It is some kind of adorable and easy enough to print, cut, write, mail. I know, I know. It might just be too easy.

{you will need}
paper cutter
paper and printer
thank you. card template

{your task}

step 1. print the ‘thank you.’ cards template by clicking {here}.

step 2. cut the template in half {5.5″} and then half again {4.25″}.

step 3. write away. say your thanks.

step 4. mail. smile for keeping some oldies, but goodies real.

 The template is {free} and just for YOU. It’s as easy as copy, print, cut. A cute way to tell those special people in your life thank you.

Hope you likey and want a few for yourself. Now that I step back and look at the previous years, I realize I must have a thing for black and white. Oh well, black never goes out of style, right?

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other {thank you} related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{thank you cards. family style.}

{family thank you cards.}

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bookworm. i read. you read.

I think I have told you this before… I am a total bookworm. I love books. I love reading. It’s dorky, but nothing is better than curled up in my bed reading before bed without anyone talking to me. My own little escape.

I’m also part of a book club with a little twist. We meet for happy hour. Say what? What could be better? We read and then meet up for a drink to talk about it {for about five seconds} and then catch up. Fun. Fun. Fun.

With that said, my two favorite books of the season. I read both of them over the holidays and couldn’t put them down. Does it bring out the inner bookworm in you?

My first fave, At the Water’s Edge.

at waters edge {the gist of it}
After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year’s Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son’s inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonel’s favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed—by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster—Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.

The trio find themselves in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Maddie begins to see that nothing is as it first appears: the values she holds dear prove unsustainable, and monsters lurk where they are least expected.

And, the other one that kept me turning pages, Secrets of a Charmed Life.

secrets of a... {the gist of it}
Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades…beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden–one that will test her convictions and her heart.

1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, hundreds of thousands of children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed.

 Maybe one or two of these books will be the perfect addition to some cold weather in need of a cozy couch day. Be a bookworm like me.. follow along.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other {book} related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{a whenever reading list.}

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