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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meet my new best friend. you’d like her.

I have a new best friend. I think you will like her. One of my besties, gregory, introduced us. She’s pretty great, but I’m not sure she knows I exist.

May I introduce you to my new bestie, Ali Larter. If I frequented the Hollywood Hills I just know we would be fast friends. We’d probably have lots of dinner parties and meet up at the local farmers market, or maybe catch up over a glass of white wine.

I got her new cookbook from my mother-in-law and I am in heaven. It is seriously the best. I literally read the entire cookbook from our drive from California to Washington front to back. It’s that good. I was drooling. My other half was drooling. And, I now determined to make every single recipe out of the book at least once.

Meet Kitchen Revelry, compliments of Ali Larter.

Not only is she adorable, but her cookbook is broken into months. She focuses on a different theme or menu for each month that is not over-the-top hard. I am already getting excited for hosting some delish dinner parties and get togethers just thinking about it. Imagine the fun. Maybe we should have Varsity Blues playing in the background?

I think you would love it about as much as I do. Get it. Read it. Cook it.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

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

{barefoot contessa.}

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hello, 2016. it’s going to be a good one.

Have you heard? It’s 2016. New year. New memories.

The theme for this month? A BRIGHT new year with our latest thought… #GOLDdiggers

Who us? Just a bunch of lil’ #GOLDdiggers.
Our focus for the year isn’t on New Year’s resolutions, but goals. You know those things that are actually attainable. I’ve always been one for coming up with a few very ‘doable’ things that make the year a little better than the last.

On January 1st, we sat down to dinner as a family and came up with three goals for each of us that we could focus on for the year. It was one of the best dinners ever. The kids were adorable and it was so darn cute to listen to what they wanted to focus on. Here’s what we came up with.

This board melts my heart because it is a true depiction of each of my little babies. They are all so uniquely different, which can be witnessed in their own little chalkboard section.

Grayson is my lil’ perfectionist who is a realist in all ways and never deviates from the course. Sawyer, on the other hand, thinks outside the lines and has a serious vision in mind that requires none of my advice or help. Lil’ Londyn was determined to do it ALL BY HERSELF because her older bros did it. No changing her mind. Did it take over 45 minutes? Heck, yes. But, the proud smile was worth every second.

Are you going to be a #GOALdigger too? Come along on the ride and share some of your goals. Remember, a resolution can always be broken, but a goal is something we can continually work towards achieving. Start digging, folks.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

{If you missed it, learn how you can make your own {DIY Chalkboard and Magnetic Wall}. Take a quick peek {here} to find out just how easy it is to transform an empty space into something that will make you smile.}

want to see some other {december} chalkboard walls?
take a lookey-loo at some of my past boards.

{january 2015}

{january 2013.}


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a few of my favorite things. silly, but true.

Yes, this might be a silly post. But, I just think you need to know about my three new favorites. Normally you can count on my to pick out the most expensive thing, but I am kind of proud of myself for these three gems.

Who knows, maybe they would be a perfect stocking stuffer for someone you know. Or, maybe you are browsing your local store and think you might just need them too.

fave thing. ONE.

Don’t laugh. These are seriously my absolute new favorite. They cost my less than $12.00 at Walmart and I am one happy girl.

Ever since our house has burned down I have searched high and low for the perfect tweezer. I have spent a ridiculous amount on one pair from Sephora and then went the cheap route, but still couldn’t find the perfect pair.  That is until I spotted these gold beauties. You can find them in-store at Walmart or look online.

| what you need to know |

  1. They are cute. Gold is the new black. Your eyebrows think so too.
  2. The slanted titanium tip ensure the perfect tweeze. It holds and pulls. Perfect.

fave thing. TWO.

I seriously love this soap. I will not lie when I say that I have 4 extra bottles stashed in my linen closet. When I see it, I buy it. It has found a home in the kids’ bath {new counter reveal coming soon!} and our playroom bathroom.

| what you need to know |

  1. It is cute. And, matches the decor in both bathrooms. You should know that I think soap should always complement bathroom decor. Sad, but true.
  2. It smells delicious and doesn’t dry out your hands.
  3. If I am lucky, Home Goods or TJ Maxx has it for less than $5. Heck, ya.
  4. I love it so much that I found it in bubble bath and hand cream. They are keepers.

A01605 au Lait handwash300 sm

fave thing. THREE.

These are so good. I found them at our local market, Nugget, and I can’t get enough of them. They are chewy and supposedly have grains that will make any girl happy. There are four different flavors and I just might be in heaven.

| what you need to know |

  1. Grab one and put some peanut butter on it and you are ready for the day.
  2. Toasted and with some cream cheese and turkey is another twist that I just feel in love with.
  3. Simple. Easy. Perfect for on the go.Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 10.02.52 PM

{pretend I am singing this next part in a really good voice… probably better than julie andrew}

These are a few of my favorite things... maybe yours too? Three favorites that should make it into your home. What are some of your favorite things?

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO


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chalkboard wall. merry you. merry christmas.

I’m late. Way late. The wall got done, but the post never happened. I think December happened. And, I am still trying to keep up.

For this month, I went the easy route. A chance to take a deep breath and spend time remembering what the season is all about. A little shout out to why I heart December.

The theme for this month? It’s the season of giving.

Part 1. A wreath makes everything easier.
Crunched for time? A wreath makes everything just a lil’ bit easier. I love to use anything decorative if I’m ever in a bind for time. I found this treasure at Home Goods and not only is it adorable, but it smells heavenly.

I also re-used the template from my Thanksgiving board, making my life a little easier as well. Hooray. Just like I shared last month, grab some dictionary pages or something from an old book. Trace the needed letter templates that can be found here. Cut it out and add some twine. Hello, beautiful.


2. Keeping our eyes on the reason for the season. 
Two of my favorite lyrics from songs. And, a simple reminder of why  we are celebrating this glorious time of year.

I know, I am a little late to the game. But, who knows, maybe you can use it next year. In the meantime… wishing you a blessed season filled with family, friends and cherished time together.



try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

{If you missed it, learn how you can make your own {DIY Chalkboard and Magnetic Wall}. Take a quick peek {here} to find out just how easy it is to transform an empty space into something that will make you smile.}

want to see some other {december} chalkboard walls?
take a lookey-loo at some of my past boards.

{december 2013}

december 2013.

{december 2015.}


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chalkboard wall. thanks. giving.

November. It’s here. Time for one of my favorite holidays of all, Thanksgiving. I love a chance to share what we are grateful and our thanks to those who fill our lives, big and small.

For this month, some thanks and some giving. A chance to share and see just how lucky we truly are.  

The theme for this month? A little thanks and a little giving. Oh, and a place where we get to say thanks.

Part 1. Let’s be thankful and giving. Can I get an amen?
If we repeat it enough do you think it will officially stick? That’s what I am aiming for. And, it is just plain cute. The {giving} banner took about five minutes to make. Promise.

Grab some dictionary pages or something from an old book. Trace the needed letter templates that can be found here. Cut it out and add some twine. Hello, beauty.

Part 2. Just what are you thankful for? 
It’s a tradition and I am sticking with it. Kids, what are you thankful for? A little lesson in the abundance of blessings that they have. And, it’s just as meaningful to us adults.

A little magnetic tape, stamps, washi tape and a {free} printable and you have yourself a pretty gosh darn cute chalkboard wall. That’s one thing to be thankful for.

Some {effortless} tricks to make your chalkboard wall the cutest on the block.

pencil pouch with arrow

magnetic labels with arrow

And, the {free} ‘thankful’ printable template for all those thankful thoughts, big and small.

thankful note with arrow

Wishing you a thankful season filled with family, friends and cherished time together. Start writing down all those things you are thankful for

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

{If you missed it, learn how you can make your own {DIY Chalkboard and Magnetic Wall}. Take a quick peek {here} to find out just how easy it is to transform an empty space into something that will make you smile.}

want to see some other {september} chalkboard walls?
take a lookey-loo at some of my past boards.

{november 2014}

{thankful banner}


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disneyland. they don’t know. scavenger hunt.

I. Am. So. Excited. The kids don’t know. It’s a surprise. Shhhh… don’t tell. We are surprising them with a trip to the magical place, otherwise known as Disneyland. {To be honest, we did surprise them, but getting this out didn’t happen until now. Oops.}

We are mean parents and we are those parents who have yet to take our kids to Disneyland. Don’t say it, I already know what you’re thinking. Meany-pants over here. But, October changed all that. They were in for a treat and didn’t even know it. I secretly packed their bags and gathered everything a family would need to make the trek to the most magical place in the world. And, they had no idea. I am just giddy thinking about it.

To make the trip even more special, I created a scavenger hunt that they got once we were in the car. Their suitcases were hidden away and they thought we were on our way to run some errands. Surprise. We are so stinkin’ sneaky. Well, at least that’s what we tell ourselves.

The scavenger hunt envelopes went a little something like this…

savenger hunt with label

Want a scavenger hunt for yourself? It’s as easy as download, print, cut and put in envelopes. Easy peasy.

scavenger hunt 1

Want a scavenger hunt for yourself? Click here to download your own clue cards.

All you need to do is PRINT, CUT, PUT IN AN ENVELOPE. Voila!
scavenger hunt clues

Traveling by PLANE click here
Traveling by CAR click here

Once they solved the clue they were given their next envelope. Seriously so fun and the cutest thing ever. Once they solved the last clue and made a guess they got to open their package, which held the book Secrets of Disneyland.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 2.02.53 PM

So sneaky. So surprise-y. So fun. Just wait until you see all the pictures. Check out my instagram account to see some of the adventures in action.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

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

{a new kind of nightly prayer. so worth it.}

{super three.}

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