Monday, November 26, 2018

Stocking Stuffers/Gifts Under $15

After tons of requests for lots of different gift guides, I'm kicking off the holiday season with stocking stuffer ideas and gifts for under $15! Whether you are gifting to a friend and want to do it inexpensively or just wanting to fill someone's stocking, these goodies are all products/items that I personally use on a daily basis. 

1. Sherpa Throw Blanket: some of my family will be getting this gift from me. It's so soft and such a steal! To add a personal touch, find someone who can monogram it! 
2. Creme Brûlée: my current go-to lip gloss that is amazing! 
3. Circular Sunglasses: everyone needs a fun pair of sunnies! I just love these. You can see me wearing them below: 

4. Vanilla Bean Noel Candle: everyone loves a good candle! 
5. Wax Melts: I've been burning this scent in my house on the daily. Tis the season!
6. Cactus Phone Case: this is my current phone case and I always get so many compliments on it. 
7. Laneige Lip Mask: my current chapstick addiction, my lips feel so soft and let's be honest, the little jar is so cute! 
8. Wine Tumbler: my wine glass of choice when I'm needing something to keep it cold and be cute. To make it a little more personal, add a monogram vinyl sticker. 
9. Indian Clay Mask: an amazing beauty hack that pulls the impurities out. It works so well your face will be pulsating. 😂
10. Tassel Earrings: show above in the sunglasses pic. My friend Connie makes them and they are $15!! I have them in three colors I love them so much. Here is her email if you want to get yourself some: Connie Wilson

I hope this was relatable, helpful and a great idea starter as the Christmas shopping begins! 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Christmas Decor on a Budget

Happy Thanksgiving y'all! I'm so thankful for this platform and the opportunity to share my love for life with each of you. I hope you've enjoyed your day with family and friends and feel just as bloated as I do. 😂

I decided to post all my decor today because it's probably the day (or day before) that you set up Christmas in your house. I'm so excited to finally share my space with you. Christmas can be a very expensive holiday to decorate for, so this year I decided to add simple elegant touches that would be noticeable but not over the top. I've combined glam with rustic for a super chic farmhouse look! Now let's dive into everything. 😍

Let's start with the statement in Christmas decor, the tree. I decided that due to my limited space, a pencil tree would be best. I love how it fits perfectly in the corner. It also helped cut down on the number of ornaments I needed. My trick to keeping the ornament cost down was purchasing a large set of champagne ornaments from Hobby Lobby (they are sold out online but go check them out in store). These filled the majority of the tree and then I went to Kirkland's to get more statement ornaments. Another thing that I made a point to do when purchasing was picking timeless pieces so that if my colors change these ornaments are able to match with whatever color scheme I do in the future. 

My trick to doing Kirkland's on a budget was to download the Spin to Win app to get a coupon and watch for a sale. I was able to get 10 ornaments for $40! Plus they do a military discount. I believe teachers too. Just ask.

I'm OBSESSED with these gold bell ornaments, they also come in silver. *cue Silver Bells Christmas song* 

The ornament above isn't online but go check in store. Here is something similar if you want to just order online.

These adorable crocheted ornaments add so much texture. I mean seriously, how cute are they?! The other color I got was this one.

This ornament isn't online but I purchased it from Kirkland's in January right before Zach deployed.

This exact one pictured above isn't online but here is another similar one.

The adorable Merry Christmas sign is from Ross. I got it for like $5! 

To keep my wreath simple I added a Hearth and Home house (that's actually a place card holder) to the middle and then picked up little pine cone wreath additions from Hobby Lobby. With 50% off they are only $0.50 cents each! 

Now for one of my favorite parts, the staircase. I purchased this garland for $5.95 from Walmart and then took some cream ribbon from Hobby Lobby and tied bows and wrapped it to give it a thicker look. Garland can be so expensive so rather than purchasing multiple sets get thick wire ribbon and fluff it up for a more full look. My stockings are from Hobby Lobby (and only $5) and so are the darling wooden bead monogram chains. This made each stocking only $9 each! 

Another simple easy touch to decorate is to go to Michael's right now and purchase some fake wreaths for $6 each. Purchase some ribbon, tie a bow and hang them wherever you can. This is inside on our back door. It's a simple, inexpensive touch that just says "Christmas."

These adorable flocked trees are also from Hobby Lobby and I paid $1.50 each for them. Again, it's simple but definitely screams holiday. Truthfully, I'll probably keep them up through the winter since they are neutral. 

My tea towel is from TJmaxx. I paid $4 for it I believe. It's on my little ladder that I made in the fall. 

I shared an image similar to this on Instagram, but these houses are from the Target Dollar Spot for $3 each. I took some twinkly lights and put them inside the houses so at night I can plug it in and they light up. The flocked tree is from Hobby Lobby and Santa is actually my neighbors that she let me borrow. He's from Germany I believe. 😊

Lastly, I LOVE this tree and figurine set. Both of these items are from Ross and for both of them I paid $20. The tree was actually damaged and so I got it discounted (but you can't even tell 😉) and the figurine set of Mary, Joseph and Jesus was only $8.99. Go check your local Ross because you never know what you might find. 

Although a lot of this stuff I found in person, I'm hoping with my pictures and look you are able to get inspired and create your Christmas space. Remember, Christmas can be whatever you want it to be. Don't feel like you have to be traditional. Do what makes you happy! Shoot me a message on Instagram if this was helpful. Happy Black Friday shopping! 

Monday, November 19, 2018

My Newest Skin Revelation

Hello friends! Happy Monday! I can't believe it's Thanksgiving week. Who else is pumped to spend time with family?! We are heading to Maryland on Wednesday so I'm excited to see Zach's family and soak in some time with them.

  In the spirit of feeling your absolute best this holiday season I wanted to talk about skincare and confidence. I don't know about you but feeling confident with clear skin is unlike any other feeling. It's been a struggle for me over the past few years and I've spent lots of money trying to figure out what works. During college, I did the Rodan & Fields Acne Regime, it worked temporarily and helped cut the huge blemishes but I still battled after using the product. I spent a couple hundred dollars on the line and personally wouldn't recommend it again. I have nothing bad to say about the company or anyone that sells it, it just didn't work for me. Years later I am able to tell you why it didn't work because I've been doing the wrong thing all along. Everything that I've done on my skin up until a week ago was all topical. Serums, creams, masks, etc.. my skin would clear up some but I would have a hormonal change when mother nature hit and my body would go CRAZY. Not to mention I've changed climates a lot the past few years. Humid, to normal to dry. It's been a whirlwind. Back in September, I decided to try the Tula Acne Clearing Gel and overall was really pleased with the results. I took pictures during the process and you can see they are very positive. If you have some acne struggles I would definitely recommend this product. 
Fast forward a week in late October right before my body started hormonally changing and my acne flared up again. It was a HUGE confidence hit. I would take off my makeup at night and just want to cry. I felt ugly and embarrassed that as an adult I was struggling with something like this. I know a lot of you feel this way and it totally sucks, so trust me when I say I get it. Keep reading because I'm about to share some exciting stuff! 

Over the past few months I've been trying to figure out what works for people and what has helped them the most. I've done the Tula Acne Serum as well as a variety of masks. It cures it temporarily but then flares up again.  I asked my friend Courtney who has BEAUTIFUL skin what she does.  She can wear no foundation and look amazing. I learned something new about her last week and that was that in July she had acne all over her cheeks and within a matter of a few weeks had made a complete turn around. What she's been using is the Juice Plus Omega Blend. If you're like me you're probably thinking, omegas to help with skin?! Well y'all I'm a full believer. Within 10 days my skin has made an INCREDIBLE comeback from taking this product. I have all natural pictures to show it and I asked Courtney if I could share her results with you as well. 

Here's the deal with the omegas... when I think omegas I think fish. Ew gross right?! Fish burps and all that nastiness. Well I'm about to rock your world because that's not what is in these omegas, they are plant based and packed with 5 different types of omegas making an amazing combination for your skin. I don't burp like I used to when I took fish oil omegas. 
I take them orally as well as make a face mask with them once a week. 

The conclusion that I've come to is that you can put topical creams, serums and masks on your skin all day long but if internally your body is struggling the creams will just mask it. By taking something that is flooding my body internally, I've seen an external effect. I know I'll only continue to see more progress. 

All that to say, I wanted to share the two staple Tula products that I'll recommend in conjunction with the Juice Plus omegas. I am LOVING their Purifying Cleanser and Hydrating Day & Night Cream. They have helped externally clean my skin and keep it hydrated. For me personally, simple is best right now as I try to clear my skin and feel confident again.  If you are interested in purchasing some Tula products, here is my personal link to get 20% off your first order! 

I hope these results and my excitement to share this with you has inspired you and encouraged you if acne has been a struggle. I would love to chat with you more so feel free to comment below or shoot me an email. 

Thanks so much for reading friends! 

P.S. Thursday evening all my Christmas decor will be going live so stay tuned for that. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Budgeting 101: Nowlin Edition

I don't know about you, but I have a love-hate relationship with budgeting. My type A personality does a great job at it but let's be honest, budgeting is not fun and it's a taxing adulting must. It can be draining and not to mention very humbling. For our family, I'm the one that handles the budget. It's definitely my strength and my dad gave me the best advice before we got married. He told me not to ask my spouse to do something that wasn't their strength, it was like asking them to fail and could lead to a lot of potential arguments. I heeded his advice and have been in charge of it since we've been married. Some days I wish I could pass the baton BUT in the end, I'm thankful that the Lord gifted one of us with the ability to somewhat "crunch numbers" and be super organized in this area.

All that to say, let me dive in with how we handle our money and how we decided to do our budget. We use the Every Dollar app from Dave Ramsey. I absolutely love it and it's such an easy way to account for what we spend right after it happens. We live solely off of Zach's income and any income I make is "extra." We use it for any unplanned expenses, fun money for Zach and me, holidays, birthdays, etc. I personally love it that we do it this way because we know for a fact we can live and survive regardless of whether I work.

All that to say, everyone does it differently, this is just what works for us. So if you wanting to create a budget and need some help, here are the steps that I suggest for getting started.

1. Download the Every Dollar App
This is what it will look like once you download it.

2. Start with accounting for your income, it can flux obviously depending on your job but input what is guaranteed. Let the fluctuating income be a bonus and create another row for it. 
3. Next, customize the boxes for what you need. Our boxes are Tithe (10% of every check goes to our church), Savings, Rent, Mobile Phone, Auto Gas & Oil, Groceries, Auto Insurance, Zach Car Payment, Abi Car Payment, Internet, NetflixSpotify, Zach Haircut. For us personally, these are the areas that money has to go to or we have a bill for. 
4. After that, pick categories of things you want to spend the remainder of your money on. Here is what ours are Restaurants, Abi Hair/Nails, Entertainment, Pet Care.
These are the areas we could live without if need be. 
5. Implement and stick to it! It takes self-control but is worth it in the long haul. If you can manage your money well, those habits can create a lot of other healthy and positive habits in your life. 

What's your best kept secret for budgeting? Share with me below! 

Friday, October 12, 2018

My Weekly Workout Routine

Okay so when I say I'm back, I really am back.. I'm working to get a photographer in the Abilene area and I'm starting to plan posts. I'm blooming where I'm planted like I shared on Wednesday via Insta Stories. With that being said, I'm praying the creativity starts to flow through me like it used to when I was writing all the time. If there is something you want to see on the blog, will you let me know? It's so encouraging to hear from all of you and what you enjoy reading most. 

 On another note, actively exercising and creating healthy habits started in January for me after the wedding. I had more time to consistently create a schedule and it's truly been the best thing for me and my body. I don't know about you but I THRIVE off of routine. My personal preference is exercising outside. The gym is okay but in my opinion, I love being able to plug my headphones in and just embrace outside and looking around. Maybe that's just my personality? Regardless, it's become extremely therapeutic for me. I decided to create some diversity and I run MWF and I walk T/TH. I'm not super strict on how far I run or walk, to be honest, running can be challenging and some days I don't get very far but my goal is to really just get outside and push myself and in the end, my body feels good. That should be the whole purpose of working out right? To get to the point where you feel good and you're happy? Being healthy is crucial for sure but don't kill yourself to get your workout in distance wise or time wise, find the balance and hold yourself to that. Another part of my routine that I don't budge on is when I exercise. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is my quiet time, then I make our bed and put my workout clothes on. Having this be the second thing I do every day really keeps me in the habit of doing it and following it. 

So here's my challenge for you, if you don't have a workout routine, create one. It's never to late to be the best YOU!

Pick how you're going to exercise.
Water Aerobics
Gym Class
Switch it up and pick different things to do certain days. Consistency is good to a degree but too much of it is boring and you won't stick to it. Once you have that, move to the next phase of creating your routine.

Pick the time you're going to exercise.
Whether that be super early in the morning, a different time every day (but the same every week), every night, etc. Whatever you decide on, stick to that (within reason). With consistently doing it this way, your body is going to start to remember the way it feels. Eventually, you won't be able to go through your day without it incorporated. 

These are super simple steps but we all need accountability. Be your best self-girl and go out there. You'll be so glad you did! 

Have an amazing Friday and a wonderful weekend! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Designing a Welcoming Guest Room

If you're anything like me, the thought of hosting people in your home gets you over the moon excited. I have absolutely loved creating a welcoming and inviting space for my guests when they visit me and Zach. 

Who doesn't love a beautiful display when they walk into their room? No one that I know of. 😂 As I share the more everyday parts of my life with you all, I thought showing you the inexpensive ways I make a room look inviting would be fun! 

  • A wifi password sign, this isn't the exact one pictured in our guest room but I truly love it more than the one I bought.. and it's $10, has the network namespace and the password space. This takes the pressure off you having to go dig to find the password and gives your guest the ability to connect easily. 

  • A basket with a water bottle. This sounds simple and kinda dumb but after traveling, having a bottle of water is so nice. It's easy, quick and inexpensive for you to put out but really puts the icing on the cake. If you want to add something a little "extra" go to TJmaxx and buy a little two-dollar candle to stick in there as a "thanks for coming to visit us" gift. #itsthelittlethings

  • Have the towels washed and on the bed. In my opinion, the worst thing when I go to visit someone is asking them if they can get me a towel. The less your guest has to ask for the better. Make it easy on them and easy on you. Everything they need is all in their room. I added a little bucket in our guest bathroom with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, and spray. In case of emergencies, the essentials are there for them to use. 😊

I hope this sparks some creativity for your guest room and inspires you to do these things the next time you have a guest. 

Below are the shoppable items from the room if you're interested:

Other items: 

 Thanks so much for reading friends! 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Fall Decor Reveal

Happy Labor Day, y'all! I hope everyone is enjoying their extra day off. I'm excited today to share my fall decor with you all. One may say I've jumped onto the fall bandwagon way too early but in my mind once September hits, it's socially acceptable to change things up. I'm also realizing, now that I have my own home, decorating is such a fun little hobby that doesn't cost too much and adds a little spice to the space. I'm discovering that I have such a passion for interior decorating. It makes my heart skip a beat. 😍
I spent about $75 to decorate my downstairs. I went for simple pops of color and didn't buy anything not on sale or with a coupon, so that's my trick of the trade. As much as orange is traditional, I absolutely love neutrals and muted colors. For those of you that know me really well, know that adding bright colors is not my thing. So I decided to go with muted neutrals and add a pop of orange in the pumpkins.  I made a little diagram for those of you that decide you may want to copy this look. This will help you get the vision. Focus on those three colors and adding pops of orange, whether that be in pumpkins or something else. 

Before I break down where everything is from, here are the sales that are going on at each of the stores I purchased items from:

40% off fall decor with an additional 20% off the entire purchase. (expires 9/3)

Hobby Lobby:
40% off all fall decor

JoAnn's Fabrics:
60% off fall decor 

Download the Spin to Win app to get a coupon for the day and it can be applied to your purchase in-store or online. Also, a Labor Day coupon is below! 

Let's start with the porch and work our way inside. The base of this wreath is the one I've had on my door since I moved in but I decided to just add to it. Hobby Lobby has amazing wreath additions, I've linked the ones that I purchased. The only thing on the wreath not from Hobby Lobby are the little peach flowers, those I got from Michaels. 

Cream PumpkinsPeach BerriesSunflowers (you'll have to go in store to get the cream color I have), Green Gourd

The ribbon is from JoAnn Fabrics. The pumpkin is from TJMaxx.

My adorable N flag is from Kirkland's. For Labor Day they have a coupon for an additional 25% off your purchase. Use code: Labor25

Alright, now let's move inside. My mustard euro shams I sewed myself. The fabric is from Hobby Lobby and it cost me only $14 to make them.. #cantbeatit.

My little wreath on my mirror is the same base as I had before, I just added items to it. The ribbon is from JoAnn Fabrics. The little velvet pumpkins are from Hobby Lobby and so are the mustard yellow flowers.

Another super fun idea I saw on Instagram was taking candlesticks and putting pumpkins on them. It's a cute little touch and is so simple. The packs of pumpkins I purchased were all from Michaels. These are the two sets I purchased: Small Set | Large Set

I took my dough bowl that I had in another spot of the house and made it the centerpiece for my coffee table. I used leftover velvet pumpkins and a pack from Michaels. The large white pumpkin is from the Target dollar spot!! Only $3!! 

I showcased this darling wreath on my Insta as a sneak peek. I used the white flowers I already had and just added the velvet pumpkins and mustard flowers. I love how whimsical and fall it is! 

Let's move into the kitchen. If you notice, I took the centerpiece that was on the coffee table and moved it to the kitchen table. I added the amazing Scentasional candle to the display and just some little pumpkins. It's crazy how just adding a few here and there does a world of difference! 

Next are some pumpkins on my shelves. These two cute green ones are from the Target dollar spot. (The one that is harder to see is inside the little silver lantern) They are glass and I paid $1 for each of them. #steal

Lastly, we move to above the fridge. I took some pumpkins and put them in my sugar mold and then took the glass candy jar from the Target dollar spot (only $3!!) and put it on the cake stand. 

That's about it! All very simple items but together make it feel like I'm living in a fall wonderland. 

What colors do you gravitate towards for fall? What's your favorite fall scent?! 
You'll find me watching Grey's Anatomy on the couch today and burning a fall candle. 

 Have an amazing day and thanks for reading!! 

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