Friday Favs

Who am I?! Two blog posts in the same week?! A very long time ago, when I kept up with my blog I made a post that said I would do a weekly “Friday Favorites” post. That series lasted one Friday and then it never happened again. Oops. Well I am not making any promises that I will do this weekly, but I have so many new things in my life that I am obsessed with and feel the need to share with the world. This week is mainly focused on skin care because I am new to all of this and it has been life changing.

My entire life growing up I never washed my face. I would wear a full face of makeup and go right to bed. The only time it would come off would be when I’d take a shower the next morning. Even then I had never used a moisturizer or any type of serum or cream. The most in depth I was with my skin care routine was if my face broke out I’d slap some toothpaste on a pimple. When I was 16 I read that’s what you should do in Cosmopolitan magazine, it didn’t work but I felt like I was doing my part taking care of myself. Anyways, I used to subscribe to two different beauty boxes so I have tons of moisturizers and cleansers that were never opened. I decided one day I needed to start taking care of my skin or else I would need botox when I’m 30. I have been doing the same routine every morning and night for about two months and my skin is glowing (toot toot). I noticed a change instantly the first week, and I will never go back to the dark side of not washing my face.

First and foremost, the most amazing thing to happen to my skin was the Clarisonic. This thing is good, like reeeally good. It makes my face so soft and gets off all the dirt and dead skin. The Clarisonic was the reason I got into this skincare hype, I tried it and realized I couldn’t live without it. I have the Mia 2, but if I ever need to buy it again I would go with the Mia 1 because I don’t have sensitive skin, and I don’t use the sensitive option on the 2. Plus the Mia 1 is almost half the cost. I use it every night before bed, and I’m serious, I don’t want to picture my life without it. Clarisonic Mia 2

clarisonic mia 2

I use a cleansing gel every night, I put it directly onto the brush on the Clarisonic. It’s a soapless cleanser called Eau Thermale Avene Cleanance gel. It smells so good, and it doesn’t dry or irritate the skin. I’ve tried a few different cleansers and while I like several of them, this one is my favorite. eau thermale cleanance gel

cleanance gel

After using the cleansing gel I use my favorite night time moisturizer which is eco-beauty good night, night cream. It is super hydrating and again, my face is so soft every morning when I wake up. eco-beauty night cream

eco beauty night cream

I also use an eye cream every night. The one I use is restorsea revitalizing eye cream. It’s super thick and kind of heavy, but I feel like most are. Sometimes I put on too much and it gets in my eyes and I feel blind for a little while, but I think that is user error. I still have the beginning stages of crows feet but the skin around my eyes looks more plump and moisturized. Restorsea eye cream

restorsea eye cream

Hands down my favorite moisturizer is Juice Beauty green apple age defy moisturizer. I use it every morning and it makes my skin feel sooo good. A little bit of this stuff goes a long way too. It smells really good, and my face looks so fresh after I put it on. juice beauty moisturizer

juice beauty moisturizer

That pretty much sums it up. I won’t judge you if you don’t wash your face, but holy smokes, give it a whirl. It only took me 27 years but I’m hooked. I’m also hooked on my electric toothbrush and my mouth guard I wear every night but I’ll save that for another time. All of these products (minus the clarisonic) I had from subscribing to beauty boxes. If you aren’t sure what’s right for you, beauty subscriptions are a great way to try out a ton of different/new products until you find what you like. I did Ipsy and Allure beauty box, they were both awesome and I was able to try hundreds of new products until I found what I liked.


Do you come here often? Because I sure don’t.

OH HEY! It’s just me, the one that’s been MIA for the last few months. I actually haven’t even opened up my blog since last September because…well, I’m lazy but I do have a small excuse- our old lap top was so slow and stopped working. I wasn’t about to start blogging on my phone because been there-done that and it was miserable. We finally got a new lap top last month so here I am, in all my glory.

A lot has happened in these last 7 months, I have a gorgeous new niece, my brother and sister-in-law built and bought their first home less than 5 miles from me, I’ve re-done and re-styled several rooms in my house and my baby girl turned TWO! She is singing and dancing and talking my ear off and I CAN’T get enough of her. Although this past week she’s been pretty rotten while on her roller coaster of emotions. Being two and getting molars all while battling a cold is NO Bueno when you are a toddler, or a parent. However, the molars have popped through and I am crossing my fingers that I’ll have my sweet baby back in no time.

Sophie's FiestaSophie's cake2nd birthdaySophie's birthday

Another positive note in my life, we bought a new sofa! I know it’s pretty sad when that is a positive in someone’s life but I am a stay at home mom that parks it on the couch everyday- it’s a big deal, let me live my life. I wasn’t expecting to buy a new sofa for another few years, but our last couch had other plans. It was a bonded leather sofa from Bob’s discount furniture. The couch was a week shy of being 5 years old and still under warranty. It actually was a really pretty couch, and really comfortable. The “leather” started peeling and once bonded leather starts peeling or ripping the rest is history. I thought, “NO PROBLEM! We bought the warranty!” Jokes on me, because apparently their warranty is the absolute worst ever and hardly covers anything. I put a blanket over the peeling spot, but then it started cracking everywhere, and honestly I already had my eye on a new sofa. I started telling my husband he could only sit on the “broken” couch when we had company over so it wouldn’t get worse, 24 hours later we were the proud owners of a new sofa.

leather sofa
old sofa
living room 1
view from the other side of the room

I wanted something with light fabric, but I was terrified it would get dirty with grubby finger prints, coffee, wine…who knows. I have a strict no eating in the living room rule, so I decided to just give it a chance. Then, an angel from Pottery Barn told us that they had a fabric called Sunbrella Performance upholstery fabric. Liquids and spills just bead right off- no stains. Annnd just incase a real mess happened, we decided to go slip covered. Now, I am usually anti-slip cover but this one is beautiful! This sofa feels like you are sitting on a fluffy cloud in heaven while sippin’ on a margarita, and its huge, and I love it. My husband has deemed it his and takes it over any time he is home, but that sucker is all mine during nap time Monday-Friday. I sit in 100% silence and drink my coffee and stare at the walls. Looking back at pictures I am SO happy I went with a light fabric, it really brightens the entire room and it makes me happy every time I look at it.

living room new sofa
pottery barn comfort roll arm sofa


living room gallery

sophie on new sofa


IMG_4210IMG_4196IMG_4199I have redone a few other rooms in the house, and I currently have some in progress so I’ll be sure to post updates on those soon! Stay tuned, hopefully it won’t take me another 7 months.



Friday Faves!

Oh, hello beloved Friday, how I’ve missed you! Time to pour some wine, stay up late and sleep in on the weekend. Just kidding, what’s sleeping in? I will however pop open some wine and soak up the last bits of summer once bedtime rolls around for the babe.

I was inspired by my girlfriend and fellow blogger Rachel from petals and quill to start a Friday Favorites post. I have about a million things at any given time that I obsess over so I figured I will share my current favorites each week! There’s no rhyme or reason to my list, just whatever my favorite products are at the time!

Alexa (AKA Amazon Echo)

This robot/machine/speaker/angel makes me realize how lazy I am as a human. I was against the purchasing of Alexa at first, but now that I have her I don’t want to go through life without her. Sure, everything she does I could do on my cellphone. But it’s different. Being able to ask Alexa to play an exact song, turn up or down the volume, make me shopping lists, tell me jokes, (the list goes on people) makes me happy. Not to mention you just say her name, you don’t need to type anything in (because that is so hard). Forget about the world at your fingertips, Alexa is the world. Again, I am 100% admitting how lazy this sounds, and how lazy I am.

You can buy the Amazon Echo here.

Amazon Echo

Little Poppy Bows

I LOVE a good bow for Sophie. These are a monthly subscription that are sent directly to your house, you get 3 bows for $11.99/month. They have the sweetest patterns and they are appropriate for each season. Sophie has fine whispy hair, so it’s hard for me to keep bows in without her ripping them out, these bows have a little rubber/plastic guard on the clasp so it actually stays in her hair and she doesn’t try to rip it out. You can subscribe to Little Poppy Bows Here.

August little poppy bow
Sophie in one of her bows
little poppy bows
August bows


I am now two weeks in to HelloFresh. I cannot put into words how much I love this service. I recently did a blog post about my first box, you can check it out here if you have been debating ordering. Having to not meal plan, or shop for specific healthy dinners has made my week so much less stressful. I still go to the grocery store and pick out a few staple items but this has saved my family money, time and there is never any waste at the end of the week. Click here for $40 off your first box

HelloFresh Box

Batiste Dry Shampoo

My hair gets so greasy you could fry a chicken in it on a hot summer’s day. That’s disgusting, and false, but… it might actually work. I have been going through a really hard time with hair loss lately, and the more hair I lose the greasier it gets. I used to be able to go 3-4 days without washing it, but now on day two I look like I’m fresh out of the shower (but it’s not water). I’ve tried a million different dry shampoos, but one of my absolute favorites is Batiste. It doesn’t make your hair feel gross and dirty, it’s so light and my hair always looks better day 2 after I’ve used this. Get your dry shampoo here.


Nordstrom Split Neck Roll Sleeve Tunic (in white)

I was looking for a shirt I could wear casually with some jeans and converse, but I wanted to be able to dress it up and throw on some booties too. This shirt is super flattering for hiding that mommy-tummy and it’s comfortable and light. I bought mine from Banana Republic a few weeks ago but I’m not seeing it on their site anymore. I found one almost identical from Nordstrom, and they have it in several different colors and sizes. Click here for Nordstrom Tunic

Banana tunic

I feel like these favorites should come in a new mom/my-toddler-is-crazy-and-I-don’t-have-time-to-do-anything gift basket. I might be onto something…if I figure that something out I’ll let you know. Until then, enjoy the weekend and pass the wine!


Hello, HelloFresh!


Life has been crazy these last few weeks. I have been in and out of Doctor’s offices trying to figure out what the heck is going on with my life. (I have been losing a lot of hair and having awful back pain). Super long story short I have an autoimmune thyroid disease (essentially an underactive thyroid), a large nodule on my thyroid that will need to be removed if medicine doesn’t shrink it, and I need my gallbladder taken out next week. I guess you could say we got to the bottom of my extreme hair loss and back pain. Anyways, I have been feeling so lazy that I didn’t want to think about meal planning. Typically I make 3 separate dinners (I know, I know–that’s crazy). I make my daughter an early dinner because she can’t wait until 6:00 when my husband gets home from work to eat. I am a vegetarian, and my husband is not. I typically will make the same sides for everyone, I just make a different meatless option for myself. One of my girlfriends tried HelloFresh and loved it, so I decided it was time to give it a try. She had a coupon code that gave me $40 off my first week of meals. It was valued at $60 for the 2 person plan (3 meals each). After the coupon code it made the classic option cost only $19. This was cheaper than going to any grocery store and having a delicious healthy meal. They have a vegetarian box option but I feel like you get the most bang for your buck with the classic option. I just substituted a vegetable as my meat for each dinner. Doing this also allowed Sean to have an extra protein for 2-3 nights since I don’t eat it. Let me tell you, EVERYTHING was delicious! Sean and I said we would do it once or twice a month, but after our first week I’m pretty sure we will be ordering every week. The convenience of getting the food delivered is enough reason for me to order, but we waste so much food and this helps with not having ANY waste! I haven’t thrown out anything in my fridge in over two weeks! That’s a big deal for us, guys.

HelloFresh in the fridge
Excuse my fridge that needed to be desperately cleaned out before I took this photo.

In our first box this is what we received: Cherry-Drizzled Pork Chops, Southwestern Steak Tacos, and Cheese-Filled Mediterranean Tacos.

HelloFresh Pork Chops

Let’s begin with night one- the pork chops. We (clearly) love tacos so we wanted to save the best for last. We were so wrong, these were ahhhmazing. I was worried that the cherry pan sauce was going to be too sweet but it wasn’t at all! In fact, I wanted more. It was so good and complimented the lemony couscous perfectly. I substituted a cauliflower steak for the pork chop (roasted for 30 minutes at 400 degrees with EVOO salt and pepper). I also substituted mushroom broth for the chicken broth. We will be making this again, my husband said it would be good on chicken too, so we might switch things around. The portion of couscous was huge, we had an entire serving left over which was even more delicious the next day.

HelloFresh Cherry Drizzled Pork Chops

Cherry Drizzled Pork Chops
Cherry Drizzled Pork Chops
Cherry Drizzled Cauliflower
Cherry Drizzled Cauliflower

Night two- Southwestern Steak Tacos with avocado and kiwi salsa. Nothing pulls on my heartstrings like a fancy taco. My husband isn’t huge into food, if you put something in front of him he’ll eat it. If you spend all day making him something in the kitchen, don’t expect him to notice- in fact a good ol bowl of ramen noodles will get the same reaction as something I could be making all day. However, I’m pretty sure he wept when he took a bite of these tacos. He looked at me and said “I want to see you take a bite because you’re probably going to say MMMMM while you’re eating.” He wasn’t wrong. I “MMMM’d” through my entire taco and I have no regrets. I substituted a portobello mushroom for the steak in this meal. I made the mushroom the exact same way the recipe said to make the steak. The salsa was creamy and had a touch of sweetness from the kiwi, everything was SO good!

HelloFresh Southwestern Steak Tacos

Southwestern Steak Tacos with avocado and kiwi salsa
Southwestern Steak Tacos
Portobello mushroom tacos with avocado and kiwi salsa
Southwestern Portobello Tacos

Night three- We saved the Mediterranean Tacos for the last night since they were meatless. I was most excited about this meal since I didn’t have to do any substitutions. Aside from tacos, cheese holds a special place in my heart. I can always count on it for a good snack or to enhance my sandwiches. When I saw cheese tacos on the menu I knew the good lord himself created this dish for me. The cheese was Mediterranean grilling cheese. I have bought Halloumi cheese in the past and grilled it. It was delicious on the grill, but this recipe called for cooking it in the pan. I died and went to heaven. The cheese got so crispy on the outside and was warm and chewy on the inside. It almost tasted like a super fancy mozzarella stick even though there was no breading or frying involved. The chili-honey oil would have been delicious on it but I pretty much made mine inedible. The recipe comes with a pack of red chili flakes and you are supposed to heat them in a drizzle of olive oil then mix in the honey. I missed the part where it said add the chili flakes to taste, so I poured them all in. I couldn’t drizzle the mixture over the taco without getting 85,000 chili flakes per bite. I managed to scrape a little on each taco so I could get the spicy/sweet combo. Regardless, these were delicious! For me, they were the most filling. It was hard to put all three tacos down the hatch, but don’t worry I managed.

HelloFresh Mediterranean Cheese Tacos

Mediterranean Cheese Tacos
Mediterranean Cheese Tacos

My husband voted the steak tacos to be his favorite, and said it was a close call between the pork chops and cheese tacos, but the pork chops came in second place. For me, choosing my favorite is like picking which dog is my favorite. I think I know, but I’m not confident enough to say it out loud. I will say that I would remake everything again and aside from the honey oil, not change a thing. I would definitely encourage everyone to at least try HelloFresh out! I was so excited to try it, but I didn’t realize how much I’d actually love it. If you have never tried it before, you can use my referral code JESSIDONNE or click the link below so it automatically discounts you at check out. Look at all the menus and decide which is best for you and your family. If you don’t see anything you like, you can skip through the weeks to see what is coming up.


Click here to order your first box!

Let me know what your favorite HelloFresh meals have been! I am so excited for Monday so I can get my next box!

PS- Who are these parents with the cute kids that are so happy to be sitting in boxes? Sophie acted like I was ready to ship her to the factory. Maybe they were tears of joy? Maybe she was just mad that it looks like she needs to go get a shave from all the black beans she shoved in her face? We’ll never know.

Sad Sophie
Sophie is so happy about HelloFresh she is crying.


*Note- I am not endorsed or sponsored by HelloFresh in any type of way, I just love their product.*

Ricotta and Lemon Zest Bruschetta with Basil and Honey

Is it just me or does the summer make you want to eat and drink more than usual? I swear, every sunny day I just want to sit outside with a glass of wine and a delicious snack. Truthfully, any type of weather makes me want to eat and drink, I just come up with excuses to make myself feel better. However, there is something so relaxing about sitting outside with music, wine and appetizers in the summer.

Screened patio

My brother and sister-in-law happened to be the lucky winners to join me for dinner on a day where I was feeling a little adventurous to try something new. I was Pinteresting all morning during my daughter’s nap time and decided I wanted to make something light and fresh. Something that was a bit of an indulgence, but not too bad for me since I’m not trying to wear a full body suit into the water this year. (I try to cut out most carbs and dairy during the week so I can make myself feel better about my poor choices on the weekend.) So while Pinteresting, bruschetta kept popping up and it looked SO good. I haven’t had bruschetta in forever, possibly even before Sophie was born. Well, the weather was perfect here in Maryland (again with excuses) so I said, meh, I better treat myself. My husband and brother weren’t coming until later in the evening so I decided I needed something I could make ahead of time that would last for a few hours without getting soggy. There was a recipe for bruschetta with blackberries, ricotta and honey that looked AMAZING, but I didn’t have blackberries so I improvised. I figured what’s more refreshing than lemon and basil? Nothing, that’s what. So I played it by ear and I’m happy I did! First of all, it’s hard to top grilled crusty bread, but when you add a cheese to the mix…game over.

ricotta lemon basil bruschetta with honey drizzle

These little bites were so tasty and incredibly simple to make. The ricotta was super light and the lemon gave it a clean and fresh taste. I love a little spice, so I added a pinch of cayenne to the ricotta mixture to kick it up a notch. I topped them with fresh basil and a drizzle of local honey just to make them a bit more heavenly. The bruschetta held up really well for a few hours while my sister-in-law and I waited for our husbands to get to my house (although it was hard for us not to scarf them all down within seconds.) I’m still learning self-control. I’m the type of person that gets anxiety when someone leaves one bite on their plate. If you do this, I’m not sure we can be friends.

ricotta lemon basil bruchetta 2

The bruschetta was a hit! My first bite I wasn’t sure what to expect because I don’t love ricotta on its own, but they were so good! They are exactly what I want to snack on while sitting on the patio with a glass of wine. This is my new go-to recipe for dinner parties or get-togethers this summer. I still want to try it with fresh fruit mixed in, so I’ll post an update when I give it a shot! They are so versatile, you could really add anything to the ricotta mixture and it would be great! (If you don’t like ricotta you could probably use whipped cream cheese for a similar flavor!) I’m telling you, you’ve got to try them!

Ricotta lemon basil bruschetta

Ricotta and Lemon Zest Bruschetta with Fresh Basil and Honey

  • Baguette
  • 1.5 Cups of Ricotta (I used part-skim, but I’m sure whole would be even better)
  • One Lemon – Zested
  • Fresh Basil
  • Honey
  • Ground Cayenne Pepper (Just a shake or two, depending on how much heat you like)
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil (For brushing on the bread before grilling)


Use a mixing bowl to combine the ricotta, lemon zest, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Preheat your grill to about 450 degrees or until the grates are very hot. While the grill is preheating slice your baguette into 1-1.5 inch pieces. Brush both sides with olive oil and place them on the hot grill. Grill for about 2-3 minutes per side. You want nice grill marks but don’t cook the bread too long that it becomes a crouton. Transfer the pieces to a platter and spread a thin layer of the ricotta mixture on each piece. Top with freshly torn basil leaves and a light drizzle of honey.




Coffee Table Decor using Antique Shop Books

Spring is my favorite time of the year here in Maryland. It’s so gorgeous, green and vibrant throughout the state, I can’t get enough of it. The humidity and unbearable heat haven’t kicked in yet, so it’s still actually enjoyable to be outside. Spring is also when the farmers markets and outdoor festivals begin, too. I must say, I absolutely LOVE street festivals. Live music, food, drinks, fun activities for the kids, what more could I ask for? The first Friday of every month (from May-October) my town closes the streets downtown for pedestrians only. Vendors and small businesses set up tents selling their products/merchandise and all of the restaurants set up cafe-like seating outside on the street and serve food and drinks. There are different bands on every street corner and there are typically fun street performances or parades. It is friendly for the entire family, including dogs. Last year we moved in the middle of August so we were only able to go to two of the festivals, so this year I hope I don’t miss any! The first was last Friday and it was a BLAST! I’ve never stayed later than 7:00 because bedtimes-a-callin for Sophie, but I bet it gets pretty crazy after that. Yesterday morning was also the opening day of my town’s local farmers market! It’s every Saturday and I absolutely love going. They sell all local produce, plants, ice cream, dairy products, meats, beer, wine, essential oils, coffee, pastries, desserts, the list is never-ending. They do an amazing job. I typically go when they open at 9:00 and somehow I end up at the wine tent sampling everything. I clearly like to start my Saturday off on the right foot. I always sample all the sweets and cheeses too, so don’t worry I’m getting a full balanced breakfast. Yesterday I went with my girlfriend and we scarfed down vegan whoopie pies and dark chocolate caramel bark all before 10:00am. We did manage to take a picture of some vegetables, but we didn’t buy any. Next week I have better intentions.

Farmers Market

Right next to the farmers market is one of my favorite antique shops. I have been looking for a galvanized bucket for my new (REAL!!) Fiddle Leaf Fig tree. I figured I’d stop in and take a peak around. I have also been looking for new books for my coffee table. I needed large, skinny books and I haven’t had luck finding ones that were the right color or that didn’t have weird titles. The Antique shop had a huge selection, and on our way out there was a big wall of exactly the size I needed. They had so many cool books about Maryland, but I was on a budget and the Maryland ones were $20 each. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before how cheap I am, and I needed 4-5 books, so that wasn’t happening. I was looking for hardcovers that were coastal colored and found a ton! I ended up getting 5 books for $6 each. I know thrift stores probably have them cheaper, but these books are really cool so I’m ok with it.

Coffee Table Decor BooksCoffee Table Styling 2

fiddle leaf fig

I layered my new (old) books underneath the decor to create a focal point and I love the way it turned out! It’s crazy how a small adjustment makes a huge difference. It’s also nice when something is multi-purpose, the books add different heights to the table, and they’re good reading material. I keep thinking about one of the Maryland books, so I might have to suck it up and go buy it. I’d love to hear how you decorate with books, let me know how you incorporate them into your home!

Coffee Table Styling 1Coffee Table Decor


DIY Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

If you are at all interested in home decor, or perhaps house plants, you probably know the “it” tree is the Fiddle Leaf Fig. Personally, I love it. I love everything about it; the pretty green tropical leaves, the fun name, the beauty and conversation it brings to a room..shall I go on? I remember seeing them pop up a few years ago and I told myself I NEED that tree. I began my hunt for this majestic tree, but it was harder to find than I thought. None of the local nursery’s were selling it, and I’m not sure why but I couldn’t get myself to buy one online. I lost interest in finding a live one, and when I think about it, it was probably for the best. If I laid my paws on it, that sucker would’ve been dead in no time. One thing I am really good at is killing plants. Except orchids, I’m not sure why but I have always been able to keep them alive and thriving. Anyways, I moved on to plan B, a fake tree. It would save me money in the end vs. spending $50-$200 every few months on a living tree. All the forums online say they can be pretty difficult to keep alive, so I know that I made the right decision. Faux trees are still really expensive, especially for a good quality, realistic tree. I ended up ordering one of mine from Amazon for about $90.00. It was a warehouse deal because the box was mangled. Pretty much all the leaves weren’t in tact and one of the stems holding the tree up was broke. I used a zip-tie around the base to hold all the stems together, and put it in a basket to hide everything. It worked pretty well, and the tree looks ok. It definitely doesn’t look real, but it’s huge and fills an awkward, empty corner in my living room. The tree has held me over for the last year or so, but I see all these pictures of gorgeous faux fiddle leaf figs and I get so jealous! I started looking for a new one, one that looks more like a fiddle leaf, and a bit more realistic. Target had two options, but they were both smaller than I hoped for and they were more than I wanted to spend. I saw an ad that Michael’s had Fiddle Leaf  Fig’s and they were on sale for $40! In the picture the tree looked exactly how I was hoping and it said it was 4.5 ft tall–YESSS!! However, my dreams were crushed as soon as I walked in and saw that the tree was $129.99. Even if I used a 50% off coupon I didn’t want to spend that much. I asked a sales associate about the tree in the ad and she said it was a smaller tree that they sold out of about 3 months ago. She didn’t think they were going to get anymore in stock and I was out of luck.

Amazon Fiddle Leaf
My faux Fiddle Leaf from Amazon. (This was a warehouse deal)

I was about to go drown my sorrows in the Starbucks next door but as I was leaving I saw Fiddle Leaf Fig stems! They were huge, and looked pretty realistic. They were $19.99 each, but they were on sale for 60% off, so they would only be $8/stem. A little buzzer went off in my head and I wondered how difficult it would be to make my own knock-off tree. I found the biggest vase the store had, which wasn’t as big as I’d hoped, but I was on a mission so I grabbed it. I picked out three stems (I think I will go back for another one to fill out a bit more), the biggest galvanized bucket they had, faux grass filler, and twine. I was able to get an additional military discount, and I had a few coupons on top of that, so everything was a little less than $35.

Fiddle Leaf step 1
All of my materials. (minus the foam)

I had a foam floral ball hanging around, so I ended up not needing to use the twine I bought. I was going to tie the stems together using the twine and then add the grass filler to hide the ties. The foam ball worked a lot better, so i would definitely recommend that over anything else. I stuck the foam ball into the vase and pushed each stem through. I pushed them in at different heights so it would look more realistic and appear bigger. Once I was satisfied with the different heights I added the grass filler to cover the foam piece. It took less than 5 minutes to put everything together.

I am so excited with how this project turned out! I think it looks better than the one in the store, and it was a fraction of the cost. I think I will be taking a trip back to Michael’s tomorrow to make a few more of these to keep on hand. You never know when you might get a hankerin’ for a Fiddle Leaf, I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes if you’re Fiddle Leaf-less.

DIY Fiddle Leaf Fig


DIY Inexpensive Wall Art

Pinterest is one of my best friends. I pin everything. I always have high hopes that I will actually do some of the awesome projects I see, but I rarely ever get around to tackling them. I like to think of myself as crafty, but I’m really not. Every once in awhile I’ll surprise myself and come up with a good idea that actually turns out pretty cool. THIS IS ONE OF THEM! Decorating on a budget is my jam. I love bargain shopping, I have to really love something to pay full price for it. Pretty much everything I own was on sale/clearance/or thrifted. Something that is still lacking/incomplete in my house is art. Paintings don’t usually come cheap, so i like to buy prints off Etsy and frame them. I have quite a few prints around my house, but I don’t have many large pieces. I feel like most rooms need a good statement piece, or something that draws attention. I’ve been working on my new guest room (no, the wall still isn’t finished) and realized it was lacking color. The walls aren’t painted yet, and the bedding is pretty bland so I wanted a pop of color. I was looking for a big painting/print to go above the bed, but everything was either too expensive or too generic. I was strolling through Homegoods and I found a large framed canvas print on clearance for $20.00. I know absolutely nothing about painting, so I wondered if I could paint over what was printed on it currently. Besides finger painting with my one year old I think the last time I painted was in middle school art class. One of my best friends is an amazing artist, so I knew I could pick her brain to see if any of this was possible. Not only did she say it was, she said it would be easy to do (I didn’t need to prime anything first, I could just pick up a brush and go). Her and I took a trip to Michael’s together and she showed me what paints to buy and what paint brushes would be best to use. I mentioned earlier I like decorating on a budget, AKA I’m super cheap. My friend told me I only needed white, and maybe two other colors for what I was looking to do. I ended up getting a starter pack of Artist’s Loft Acrylic Paint because it was on sale for $9.99 and had all the colors I was looking for. I also opted out of getting a paint brush because they were expensive and I wasn’t sure how this would turn out/if I would ever do it again. So I chose sponges. I got a 3-pack of painting sponges for $1.99 and cut them all in half so I didn’t mix the colors. My girlfriend told me to paint like I was using a normal brush, and when I needed to blend, pretend like I was blending my makeup. I love makeup, so I was hoping this would be simple and fun.

Art Original
Framed Canvas before I repainted it.

I taped the frame around the canvas to protect it from my sponge. Paint did leak in a few spots, but once it dried it peeled right off. I used my daughters set up in her playroom, and I must say it worked pretty well. I sat in her miniature chair and used her miniature easel, I felt like Picasso. I also flipped her trash can upside down and used it as a little table to hold my prosecco. It was like one of those wine and paint nights, but at home, and with dog friends instead of human friends.

Art Before-Taped
Tape on the frame on the canvas
Where the magic happened

I started with one shade of blue and just went a little crazy. I wasn’t sure what I was doing so I just moved the sponge around in random places. I’d choose another color and do the same thing. I kept repeating until there was nothing left to paint. I’m happy I got the set of paint that I did because I ended up using most of the colors except for black and red. Once I was happy with how it looked I added white to blend colors and to lighten it up a bit. I had the intention of not going all the way to the edges with paint, but I couldn’t stop, it just felt so right. When I was finished I decided it needed another pop of a different color, so I added a little bit of yellow and then put my sponge down so I wouldn’t keep going. I personally love how it turned out, and especially because I made something. It was so easy to do, and the entire cost of the project was less than $35.00. I got a little lost in time so I have no idea how long it took me, but I’m going to say less than 45 minutes from taping to finishing. I also loved doing it, so now I’m going to be on the lookout for other cheap art i can repaint. This canvas is 3ftx3ft and was already framed, you could easily go to Michael’s and buy a cheaper canvas (you’d need a coupon) and frame it out yourself for an even lower cost project.

Art After-Drying
Finished! Sorry for the dark picture, my camera died so I had to use my cell phone.
Guest Room After
Finished product!
Art After
Up-close of the painting.

I’d love to see some of your DIY art projects! Let me see what you’ve done!

Let’s talk about PAINT, baby!

I think I subconsciously always have some sort of song playing in the back of my mind. But truthfully, this song is fitting. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad that may be. See what I did there? Let’s start with the “bad”. Does anyone really enjoy painting their house? I’m going to go with no because when I have a big painting project everyone seems to be busy with literally anything else. Can I blame them? Nope. However, If you are one of the few that enjoy painting, you’re welcome to come over anytime. I still have a few rooms that could use a fresh coat. Regardless, if you’re like me and despise it, I’m going to give you a little pointer: JUST DO IT! It is one of the biggest transformations you can do to a room. It’s also fairly inexpensive, and something you can do yourself. Bribe friends with pizza and beer, you may be able to recruit someone. Or tacos. I would consider helping for tacos. Every home my husband and I have lived in, we’ve painted. It doesn’t matter if we were only there for a year, or three years. A year is still a long time to look at walls that don’t make you happy.

living room dining room paint
The living room and dining room with the same paint color in different lighting. (Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter)

The first home my husband and I bought had all green walls on one level, yellow on another, and the master bedroom was the brightest royal blue you could imagine. Unfortunately for my husband I was pregnant when we moved into that house, so he painted every room, every hallway, every inch of wall space. I watched marathons on netflix “to stay away from the fumes”.

Sean painting master
Sean painting over the blue in our old house. (Color is Valspar Filtered Shade)

I got what was coming for me. When we moved into our new house, almost doubled in size, the walls were all yellow again. Every room and hallway was a different shade of yellow (except one of the bedrooms was green). We used a POD to move our belongings so we had a few days of it sitting in our driveway before it was scheduled to be picked up. I insisted that we had to paint before all of our furniture was moved in, so we had two days to get it done. Sean ended up having to work after our closing, which left all the painting to this gal. My mom and sister-in-law were here to help with my daughter and unpacking some small things, so I wasn’t completely thrown to the wolves like Sean was. My mom and sister-in-law taped pretty much everything in a few hours (which honestly is worse than painting to me). In two days I had completely finished painting our main level. My furniture wasn’t moved in yet, but It instantly felt like home.  

house before.jpg
Current house before we moved in. One of the many shades of yellow.
Living room after 2
Living Room After (Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter)

I wanted to paint light neutral colors that would make each room brighter and easy to add color elsewhere. I chose Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter for the majority of my downstairs. I couldn’t have picked a better color for my living or dining room. There is a bay window in both rooms and the light that pours in through them is gorgeous! The two rooms are open to each other but the paint looks very different in both rooms. My dining room has more beige hues and the living room tends to look more grey. The beauty of greige strikes again. My home is semi open-concept so I stuck with Revere Pewter in my kitchen and sitting room as well. There is one big window in the kitchen that lets in a good amount of light, but it is still much darker than the other rooms in the house. Had I waited a few more days to paint the kitchen/sitting area I probably would have picked a different color. I still like the turn-out, but I do think a lighter shade would have looked better.

kitchen before.jpg
Kitchen/Sitting room before we moved in
sitting room
Kitchen/Sitting area (Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter)

My bedroom is my favorite place to be. We have the most beautiful view of the Chesapeake Bay right through our bedroom doors. I wanted a paint color that was light and soft so it would have a welcoming but romantic feel. I also love fun printed art and wanted to make sure the prints would pop against the walls. We ended up going with Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist. I think this color has become my favorite of all time. It makes me happy to see every time I step foot in my room.

bedroom paint
Master Bedroom (Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist)

For my daughter’s nursery I wanted really soft colors; white, blush pink, grey, gold. At first I wanted to paint her walls a ballet slipper/blush pink color. I loved how pretty it looked in pictures and it just so happens to be my favorite color too. I had a weird feeling I would end up hating it and chickened out. I ended up finding a really pretty grey that was light enough, but not too light. The color is Valspar Filtered Shade. It looks amazing against her white curtains and accents. I ended up finding a blush pink rug to get my pop of color in there, and honestly, I love her nursery so much. I wouldn’t change anything about it for now. (I’ll keep my fingers crossed that she asks for a pink room when she’s older.)

Baby girl nursery
Nursery (Valspar Filtered Shade)

If I could offer one piece of advice it would be DO NOT turn a home away because of paint! It can look scary walking into a house with bright walls or colors you dislike, but try to see past that! I truly believe it won’t feel right to you until you get to work and paint those walls. (If you’re renting, some landlords may restrict painting, but usually they are pretty lenient as long as you prime the walls back to white.) When deciding on colors, a good place to start is to Pinterest so you can see what they look like in other people’s homes. It’s hard to walk into a paint store with nothing in mind and randomly choose a color. It might end up working out, but chances are you will regret it. The color you see on that tiny little sample will look much different when it is on all of your walls. You need to do some homework and research several different colors. Bring some samples home and paint it against your trim and furnishings to see if it will tie together.

Here are some of my favorite paint colors:

Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist
Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist
Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray
Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray
Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray
Sherwin Williams Alabaster.jpg
Sherwin Williams Alabaster
Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
sherwin williams silver strand
Sherwin Williams Silver Strand
Valspar Filtered Shade

I’d love to hear about your favorite paint colors and how painting transformed your room! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Welcome to my house!

Does anyone else have the Flo Rida song stuck in their head now? I’m sorry, I’ll try to get back on track. How about home decor? Decorating makes everything better! This is something I have been passionate about for as long as I can remember. I was probably the only middle-schooler on the block who rearranged their entire bedroom once a week. Over the years my style has drastically changed, but I’ve finally found my happy place. I LOVE a good coastal palette, I love simplicity, and I love the feeling of a clean airy room. I tend to lean towards neutrals when decorating because I find them easy to tie everything together. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good pop of color, but man does the perfect greige put a smile on my face.


My husband (Sean) and I bought this house last August, we are only a few months away from living here for one year! I can’t believe it! We’ve already made so many memories in this home with our daughter, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. When we were house hunting this was the first, and only house we saw. We fell in love immediately and knew we had to live here. We put in an offer that day, and the rest is history.


The house needed a few cosmetic changes, nothing a little paint and elbow grease couldn’t handle! I started posting before and after pictures of my home to social media. Before I knew it, friends and family started reaching out asking for my opinion or help with their space!  I can barely get my one year old to eat a meal, so it blew my mind that people were asking for my help.

Living Room Before After
Before and After of my living room

living room decor

Whenever I begin designing a room I draw it out with a good ol’ fashioned pencil and paper. I map out where all the furniture, decor, paintings, rugs, etc. will go. I’ll redraw the room several times to see what will fit the space best. It’s really crazy how these little drawings actually bring a vision to life, and the turn-out is usually spot on. I’ve been using this advanced technique since my middle-school rearranging days, I think it’s here to stay. There are still some unfinished rooms in my house that I am slowly tackling, but life seems to get in the way these days and it’s taking a lot longer than usual. Sean and I are in the middle of a small renovation in the master bedroom. We’re closing off a sitting room to make an office/ small guest bedroom. We started about a month ago and we (Sean) will work on it for about one hour every Sunday. We’re clearly determined to get it done ASAP.

master reno
Master Reno

Of course I have a never ending honey-do list (Sorry Sean), but i know things will get done eventually. I’m pretty darn content while I’m waiting for it all to be completed.

master deck sunset
Deck off the master