The Five-Minute Journal

I visited my sister a few weekends ago (post on that trip forthcoming) and she gave me something that I didn’t realize I would treasure so dearly.
This little Five-Minute Journal changed my life.

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Every morning you are tasked with listing the things you are grateful for and your aspirations for the day. At the end of the day you reflect and list the great things that happened and a few things that could be improved upon.

I have become a pretty negative person over the last couple of years and by simply writing these positive thoughts down in the morning and evenings, it has changed my whole outlook on life and really put things into perspective for me. It’s inexplicably and totally empowering.

I started writing in my journal the day I started selling Rodan + Fields so it’s especially interesting to look back even only a month on from my beginnings and see what I was thinking and hoping for.

Some of what I have been hoping for overall has changed. It’s odd to see your hopes and dreams written on a piece of paper that you then have to write over and over, day in and day out. Ultimately you want those hopes and dreams to become your reality and not just another page in a book. I won’t reveal what I’m working towards just yet, but I will be glad to share any good news that comes from my endeavors just as soon as I can.

If you are looking for a WONDERFUL gift for someone, order a copy of this journal.
Do yourself a favor and order a copy for you too.

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Changing Things Up

As you may have noticed, I changed the name of this blog.

When I started this blog, it was the next chapter in a shopping blog I kept on Blogspot called Armoire of a Reverie. Dumb name…I know. I had a descent following on that site. Elizabeth McKay actually followed me. I was finishing up college and had loads of time and energy to put into mixing and matching things that I was wearing. It didn’t hurt that I had loads and loads of clothes back then.

Fast forward five years: I have moved 3 times and have taken on some pretty difficult jobs. With each move, I left things behind and changed what I was wearing to better fit what I was doing. It became exhausting to keep up the parade of outfits and accessories. It was exhausting to pack and unpack all of that mess every time I moved. I’m tired just thinking about packing all of that mess. (I’m still selling stuff, if you’re interested)
Game over.

When I moved to this blog, I intended to focus on my gift for seeking out sales. I am signed up for just about every newsletter out there and I can almost feel it in my bones when a good sale is about to hit. I published notices about sales and posted show and tell pieces after I had shopped the sales myself. This was tough to keep up.

My shopping habits changed in a pretty noticeable way in the past year. Instead of mopping up at every great sale, I would pick up a few staple pieces. Plain stuff. Boring stuff. Bread and butter stuff. Stuff that doesn’t get readers excited. Basically… I got boring.

Sorry I’m not sorry!

I find myself gravitating towards more plain items now. I love items that can be worn with anything and I LOVE being able to grab something simple and not think too much about it. It is a pretty interesting change from what I was into only a few years ago. Layering necklaces and an abundance of color are just not my deal anymore.

So about the name…
What’s the deal?
What is my deal?
What’s the deal with this blog?

I don’t know.
Won’t you stick around to find out?

THE IMPACT OF TRIM

After two head on collisions this year, I’m not too eager to hop in the car and go exploring. Extra time spent off of the road has let me spend more time in the yard.

A couple weekends ago, my little bother came over to help me take out some shrubs and move some plants around. Once everything was pulled out of my flower beds, I was able to paint the trim on the downstairs windows. It made a massive difference!

I painted the trim on my front door also. I’m super happy with the way it turned out.

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Next item on my to do list is to paint the trim on the second floor windows… wish me luck!

I’VE BEEN BUSY!

Lately I have been spending a little more time outdoors.

For a while now I have been frustrated with the way my yard looks and have been wanting to make a change. The mood to finally do something about it struck in the dead heat of August… of course.

Sometime in the spring, my water went out due to a ground line issue. To restore water to my house, the yard was torn to pieces and never really put back together. I moved my walkway and created space to park my car closer to the house. My new path ran right through a couple dead trees that were full of spider webs and dropping sticks all over the place. I am thrilled with my new path. I need more pebbles so until, then I’m making do with some step stones. Now I park where a tree is laying in the photo below.

The cabin was looking very tired. In the springtime, the flowers made up for it’s drab appearance, but during the summer everything was very very brown. I slapped a new coat of paint on the shutters and VOILA! I painted the panels next to the doors the same green as the shutters and it made a really big difference.

Now that the shutters look fresh, it has become very apparent that the window trim needs painting also. I certainly have my work cut out for me, but I’m enjoying it!

IKEA FOR LIFE

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been helping my brother pull together his first apartment on a shoestring budget and it has been going really well!

After buying a few basics for his kitchen and doing some basic rearranging, I went shopping! We have TJ Maxx to thank for the Kilim pillows. They were only $16.99 each! The tan Ralph Lauren pillow in the middle was something like $25.00.

Brother really needed a TV stand and additional storage for DVDs, games and knickknacks and I hit the jackpot at Ikea. The shelves are just shy of 6′. They just look small in the photo because my brother is a giant human being.
Bookcases: Finnby $29.99 | TV Stand: Lack $14.99 | Lighting: Maglehult $14.99

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I picked up a couple little tables (Lack $7.99) and a neat lamp (Hektar $54.99) at Ikea also.
Brother’s apartment is finally beginning to feel like a home!

DIY: DOGGIE BANDANAS

I was feeling crafty last weekend and decided to make some new bandanas for my puppy. I picked up some happy fabric from Hobby Lobby and started the project.

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Step 1: Measure your dog’s neck and add a few inches to that measurement. Cut the fabric in a square to that measurement. (I used 15″ square for this demo)
Step 2: Cut iron on backing to the same size and be sure to put the correct side against the fabric.
Step 3: Iron the backing to the fabric.
Step 4: Cut off any extra backing from around the edges. I also usually iron again after cutting the scraps.

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Step 5: Fold in half into a triangle and iron. This makes a line that is easy to follow for the next step.
Step 6: Cut along the line to make two triangles.
Step 7: Fold again down the middle and iron.

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Step 8: Measure along the center where you have folded and ironed and make a mark a little less than 1/2 the way down from the flat end that will be against the dog’s neck. Be sure not to measure from the tip of the bandana. (I did this by accident on one of my own.) Mark from where you measured to the side point of the bandana.
Step 9: Cut along the line you have marked and open to reveal your finished product.

Admittedly I did choose the worst color for this demo and the lighting was terrible because I was doing this at night. Oh well! I hope you enjoy!

ANOTHER JEWELRY REVAMP

The women in my family love jewelry and my grandmothers have been quite the collectors. My father’s mother has traveled the world and collected pieces everywhere she went. Each piece of jewelry she has, has a story that goes along with it. My mother’s mother has always a knack for befriending jewelers and they have certainly been friendships with benefits. (Note: Grandmother has not intentionally sought out jewelers as friends. She just happened to live in very small towns and everyone tends know each other very well) As a result of being the only granddaughters on both sides of the family, my sister and I have been the recipients of many beautiful and unique jewelry pieces.

Naturally, not every piece is exactly to our taste. By combining some of the older pieces with some new elements, beautiful stones can take on a new life. For example, I have an old pearl enhancer that I will never wear in a million years. It has a beautiful medium blue stone that I would love to wear more often. I’m not quite sure if it is an aquamarine or a sapphire, but it is stunning. I also have a pair of very pale aquamarine stud earrings from way back when I just had my ears pierced. The stones sizes compliment each other very well.

I first went online to find some inspiration and found plenty.

By just playing around in Apple Preview and cutting and pasting elements from photos I found online, I built a few designs to help visualize turning my pearl enhancer and old earrings into a ring. I made around 8 different arrangements, but these three are my favorites.

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I was originally considering a horizontal arrangement, but after playing around with the stones on my hand, I like the vertical arrangement better.

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What I need to decide now is which vertical version to have made. I was able to take a photo of my hand and overlay the design, but I’m still not sure which one to pick.

 

No matter what I choose, I just hope my design for this ring works out as well as the one I did for my mother’s wedding ring.