Posted in Travel/Adventure

A look at: The Garden Table. Mass Ave.

Fun morning of adventuring. Tried outΒ The Garden Table – Mass Ave. Downtown Indianapolis.

Here are my take-a-ways.

  • Cool vibe.
  • Clean look.
  • Easy parking (for a Saturday morning).
  • Nice staff.
  • Average prices. Nothing too pricey.
  • Lots of options.
  • Tasty food with a unique flair.
  • Portions were decent sized.

HIGHLY recommend.

Check out these shots I took of our little trip.

 

Comment your favorite juiceries, coffee shops, and restaurants in Downtown Indy!

Posted in Lifestyle

What to do with those blah, blank areas in your house. For cheap.

Ever had a corner or section of your house that looks pathetic – empty – lacking?

Kinda like this one. . . πŸ‘ŽπŸ½

Yeah, that’s what I woke up to this morning.

It seemed like – after the Christmas decorations came down – my little house felt bare. Anybody with me? πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Let’s rewind a little βͺ Let me give you a little tour/info on my little 🏑 . . .

I love green. πŸ’š I ended up repurposing most of my wedding decor (vases, jars, boxwood, candlesticks) and it’s filtered throughout my little house. I even sanded and painted this cute little coffee table last summer to match all my decor.

But, looking forward to S P R I N G and S U M M E R, I wanted something more than my neutral grays, tans, whites, and creams complimenting my glamorous green.

I guess you could say I was bored. But, I should also mention that Hub and I are on a budget that doesn’t lend itself to redecorating – life ain’t cheap, you know? So, I guess you could say that I was also feeling a little discouraged. πŸ˜‘

But, never fear. I found a way. A way to say “goodbye” to that despicable looking section of my living room/dining area. A way to give my little house a fresh look for spring. All for cheap.

And – if you find yourself in the same boat as me? You can find a way, too.

Here’s a couple tips.

    Pick the accent color you’d like to add B E F O R E you start googling, pinteresting, or shopping.
    Set a price limit B E F O R E you go shopping.
    Be willing to switch around or put away all those little decorative items you already own. You’d be amazed, also, at what you can find, move around, or repurpose.
    Remember that less is more. You do NOT need to buy tons of items to spruce up a corner or re-do your decor look.
    Shop when the stores have (no less than) 40% off what you’re looking for.
    Don’t settle for something you don’t really like. Spend money ON L Y on things that strike your fancy.

So, fast forward to ⏩ this past weekend. I decided (after seeing some cute decor at Joann Fabric and Craft Store) that a soft/blush pink would be the P E R F E C T pop of color to compliment all my greens & neutrals. Skip through the first couple days of this week & a little Pinterest searching – and we (finally) get to today. Today I braved the cold to go to Joann’s. They are currently (only for a couple more days) carrying a 40% off sale on their “Simply Spring” collection. Gorgeous stuff. With whites, grays, sage green, pinks, baby blues. Wall decor, pillows, trinkets, signs, etc.

I searched – for something I genuinely liked that was also affordable that would help my empty section of house to find life. (Side note: Just because everything is 40% off doesn’t mean that it’s an amazing deal.) I liked so many things. But, I had to narrow it down. I came across this & decided it was just what that empty wall needed.

This wooden sign had the perfect touch of pink, while also tying in my neutral white & pop of green. I also loved the message. Plus, it was not a repeat of another sign in my house. $19.99 turned into $11.99. Can’t beat that! I loved so much more that Joann had, but I decided to stop there. I bought my item and headed down to Hobby Lobby.

At this point, I was looking for a couple soft pink items that would accentuate the sign I had just purchased.

Wouldn’t you know? Hobby Lobby was also offering a 40% off sale on their “The Spring Shop” collection. Perfect.

First – I found this. . .

A pink metal bucket (SAME shade as my sign from Joann’s). $5.99 turned into $3.59. (I had the fake lambs ear stuck in my crafting bucket in the spare closet at home. . . You’d be surprised what you already have at home or what the Dollar Tree offers. I never spend much $ on greenery and flowers.)

Next, I visited that clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby – you know, the one where you find all the odds and ends, out of season, or broken items. Final markdowns. You guessed it. I found the perfect complimentary item – a perfect match to the metal bucket. . .

A pink plate/platter to sit on my dining room table. It’s heavy, too. Not a cheap piece originally. Marked down to $5.49. I added the boxwood topiary from my wedding decor. The gold geometric tea-light holders are a find from the Dollar Tree last summer. It’s the perfect combo!

Lastly, I found another darling, floral sign with some pops of pink & green. $15.99 turned into $9.59. Makes the perfect addition to my bookshelf turned decor shelf.

Again – cute message and coordinating colors. (Mini boxwood topiary – leftover wedding. Gold ball – free from my cousin who was tired of it at her house.)

I also added these cute little birds to my decor shelf – a find from Wal-Mart a couple months back, approximately $1.50 a piece.

Now – for the picture you’ve all been waiting for. The finished product. Empty corner – be no more! ✌🏽out!

(I’m not kidding about the wedding decor. The wooden crates. Cheap from Wal-Mart. Stained to the color of my choice. An old engagement pic in a frame that was given to me. Two cheap candlesticks, spray-painted gold. A couple green jars. And a word block from my wedding registry. This ensemble didn’t cost me much!)

And – just like that. My little house has a fresh, springy touch & a blank, blah section revitalized!

Plus, I only spent $30 for four pieces. πŸ‘πŸ½ (Seriously minimal compared to how much people normally on ONE decor item.)

Thanks, sweet followers, for listening to me blather about my day of decorating.

I love making a house into a home.

What are your best decorating tips for cheap? Leave me a comment! ⬇️

(Photo creds: https://unsplash.com/photos/bYOi200uQ6w)

Posted in Introspection

Confessions of an Extrovert

  1. I like being the center of attention, but I feel stupid and awkward way more often than you’d imagine.
  2. I don’t always want to fill in the awkward silence that all of you introverts create, but it’s like words come bubbling out with each breath. Sometimes to my dismay. Really. I just can’t help it.
  3. I get stressed in big groups of people or at parties. Not because I don’t think I won’t find someone to talk to, but because there’s no way I’ll be able to talk to everyone. Bummer.
  4. Just because I’m extroverted doesn’t mean I want to be in charge. Thanks, but no thanks. (However…)
  5. I am bossy. I don’t mean to be, but I can’t handle things running chaotically. If you don’t step up and fix it, I’ll accidentally take over. Not because I want to, but because I can’t handle the pain of watching something fail because no one will “man” or “woman” up, tell people what to do, and get the show on the road.
  6. I appreciate people who laugh at my corny jokes. Most humans aren’t brave enough to even crack one, OK? So give me a break, people.
  7. I’ve cried myself to sleep more times than I want to admit. I care way too much about what my peers, classmates, friends, family, bosses, and coworkers think about me.
  8. I’ve been hurt many times, but that will never stop me from putting myself out there – time and again. I need that human connection, almost constantly.
  9. I’ll crack a joke about myself, if it means that a chill, stiff room will loosen up and melt a little. I can handle it.
  10. I don’t like to be taken for granted. I’m one of a kind. I’m full of energy. Yeah, sometimes I’m “too much.” But, the world needs little, ‘ole extroverted me – just as much as it needs quiet, ever observant introverted you.

 

To my fellow extroverted readers, followers, acquaintances, and friends – Don’t stop being you. You might be loud, crazy, sometimes obnoxious, and a little too lively. But, I love and appreciate you – and so do many others!

 

p.s. Be on the lookout for “Confessions of an Introvert” – written by an introvert I love dearly –Β Coming soon!

 

Photo byΒ Duy PhamΒ onΒ Unsplash

Posted in Lifestyle

Nifty Pinterest Pins

I guess you can say I have one of those off-and-on relationships with Pinterest.

charles-deluvio-763678-unsplash

Years ago, I’d spend hours looking for new outfit inspirations, cute quotes, and decor ideas. Then, life just got busy, busy, busy. Oh, and the broken links. πŸ™„ How annoying.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Life is STILL busy, perhaps busier. And, there’s still broken links. But, it seems that in the last year I have had a renewed interest in the ‘ole Pinterest.

Maybe it was wedding planning, maybe it was looking for cheap ideas to decorate my first home, maybe it was recipe searching to cook yummy meals for my new husband. Either way, I’m back on the Pinterest bandwagon. . .

You see, I’m always a sucker for a free printable download or a nifty idea.

So, I thought I’d share a couple.

#1. Yarn Wall Tapestry

This pin was my inspiration.

https://pin.it/vyzv6qreghqczl

Tenture murale fil par AshleysHippieHaven sur Etsy

After a quick run to find the yarn I wanted and dowel rod I needed and an hour and a half of time. . .

img_7230

THIS was my result! πŸ’š Added such a soft boho touch to our living room – for cheap! (Approximately $10-15, depending the price you find on yarn! Watch for sales!)

 

 Also, you’ll find many different versions of this. . . Search until you find one to match your vibe!

#2. L E T T E R S for free!

https://pin.it/ikfp7xio6up5m6

FREE printable letter banners! You can print the entire alphabet for free... Great for holidays and parties! www.shanty-2-chic.com

 I will be using these THIS week to make a banner for a Baby Shower at work! 🍼 πŸ‘ΆπŸΌ Also, once Hub and I have our printer up and running (A.K.A. Buy ink πŸ˜‚), I plan to use these in the house, making banners/garland to celebrate the seasons, feature short inspirational quotes or words, etc.

#3. Never-fail Corn Casserole

https://pin.it/2e7a3un6hmusul

I’m not even kidding. This is a go-to side dish for dinners & potlucks right now. EASIER than easy. Perks: Hub loves it! And, if you’re having a lot of people over, it’s a great filler!

#4. Journal Tips & Ideas

https://pin.it/ybe6yh632e6mxk

Now, don’t lose patience with this link. It’s super long. You have to scroll down quite a bit to see where their list (finally) gets started. But, seriously, there are 37 IDEAS! My Bible Study ladies & I have started a journal for 2019, and I am also starting my own. Spiritual journaling is kind of a goal of mine this year. I find it relaxing & fulfilling. So, I love seeing ideas like the ones provided from this specific post/pin. In fact, it’s motivating me to possibly branch out into lifestyle journaling… life goals, meal planning, travel destinations, self-care items, bucket list… and MANY more! I challenge you to check it out!

That’s what I’ve got for today. Share your favorite pins in the comments! I love discovering new things – that are doable and affordable! πŸ‘ŒπŸ½πŸ˜Š

Follow me on Pinterest: https://pin.it/gruiv4fstjvmv7

First photo by Charles Deluvio πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ on Unsplash

Posted in Reflection

Something I’m glad I learned at an early age.

Perhaps it’s because I’m in a new stage of life now. I’m newly married. I’m turning older this week. Etc. But, when I was confronted with this topic idea for a blog post, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. What I mean is this, now that Hub and I have our own home, our own life, and our own plans and dreams for future children, we find ourselves (rather often) talking about things our parents taught us, things we appreciate about them, things our parents represent, and things from our childhoods we don’t want to take for granted.

So, here goes.

The prompt: Something you are glad you learned at an early age.

(There’s so many things I could talk about, I know. This, however, came to my mind first.)

 

I’m glad I learned at an early age that going to church isn’t optional.

 

Now, don’t sign me off right away. I’m not judging. I’m not trying to come across as “holier than thou,” either. And, I’m certainly not preaching.

Yes, I was a preacher’s daughter. I didn’t really have a choice. We attended church every time the doors were open. Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Three times a week. Case closed. No questions asked.

But, it was much more than that. My parents taught me that it wasn’t all about what the church or the Sunday School lessons or the services could give to you; it was also what you were going to give back. How you were going to tap in. It was (and still is) a lifestyle.

This goes beyond being a preacher’s family, though. I firmly believe that if my Dad wouldn’t have been the pastor, we still would have been attending. Every service. Sunday and Wednesday. In fact, my parents both had parents who were laymen of the church – and they believed that same way.

I know what you’re thinking. “My church doesn’t even have Sunday night service.” “I work until 6 p.m. on Wednesday; there’s no way I can make prayer meeting or even stay awake during it.” “Sometimes I just need a Sunday night to regroup before the coming week.”

I get it. I really do. I’ve even skipped a service or two myself. And, I’ve gone a stretch or two not attending Sunday school. But, that’s not my point.

My point is this: I’m glad I had parents that didn’t. I’m glad I had parents that set the bar high. I’m glad I had parents who chose to attend church, even on vacation. I’m glad my parents made it exciting to go to church and encouraged me to use my talent of singing in a church setting. I’m glad my parents loved me enough to make me do what I didn’t always want to do.

We all have our reasons. We sometimes even have excuses.  Yes, the trend now is to NOT have Sunday evening or Wednesday evening services. Have break-out and discipleship groups, instead. That’s AWESOME! I even love the idea. And, sometimes we just don’t feel good. We’re sick. We’re stretched emotionally. We need a break.

I get it. I really do.

Here’s what I’m saying, though. In a world where people are looking for an excuse to miss church, be one of the faithful few. Teach that Sunday School class, be a mentor, choose a pew to sit in and be there. Faithfully. If you have to miss, miss. Just don’t make a habit of it. Support your pastor and his family. Your pastor prays and works tirelessly to get the mind of God for the message on Sunday. And, guess what… He does the SAME for the Sunday night and Wednesday night services, too! When did we start placing Sunday morning service as “THE” service that matters and the other two services as the “ones that don’t really count.”

And… Furthermore… If you are there, be ALL there. Put your phone away. Stop paying more attention to those around you than the One you’re supposed to be at church for. Focus on God. Focus on worship.

Focus on being there.

Focus on making church THE option, not optional.

 

Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

Posted in Growth

How do I feel more confident? How can you?

Confidence. Noun. A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

In a world where people are floundering, unsure of themselves and their purpose, and also critical of others, it’s time that we find confidence within ourselves to face the good days and the bad.

I’m not the most confident cookie in the jar, but I’m sure loving life and don’t have time for self-loathing.

Now, I’m not going to act like having a good sense of self-confidence is always easy – to get or maintain. I remember the days of constant insecurity, doubt, and defeat. In fact, I still have one of those days every once in a while. But, confidence can become a lifestyle, no doubt.

So, here goes…

5 ways that help me feel more confident!

    Have good hair. I get it. Not every day do I have time for a picture perfect up-do. And, let’s be honest, my hair hardly every gets curled or straightened. But, I have found that when my hair is put-together, my day goes better. Silly, probably. But, it works for me. And, it leaves a good impression with strangers, employers, and acquaintances. Frizzy fros and dandruff dos get you nowhere fast.
    Walk with purpose. Even if I have no idea where I’m going. Even in the grocery store. Never slump the shoulders and drag the feet.
    Get good at small talk. I try to stay well-versed in the current weather patterns, workplace happenings, sports world, and funny memes. Pretty much anything that doesn’t really matter. Even throw in a little Fox News topic every once in awhile. Find common ground with the person next to you at lunch. I’ve found most people like to talk about things that aren’t too personal.
    Dress up, not down. Always. Not overboard, but never underneath. Don’t do too much, but never do not enough. When I scan a room of people, I feel most comfortable when my style falls halfway between the least and best dressed.
    Realize you aren’t the best and move on. It’s not easy to take a backseat to someone prettier, someone more capable, someone higher up the chain than you. But, it’s life. The sooner you deal with it, the happier you’ll be!

Let me know if you try one of my tips… or comment one of yours! I’d love to hear from you!

From one confidence seeker to another, Happy (almost) Friday! ☺️

Posted in Holidays

Doable resolutions for 2019.

I think that’s the key. Doable. Resolutions should be doable. They should also be something I’m actually interested in accomplishing. That’s where I’ve messed up in the past.

So, this year, I’m excited. I’ve narrowed it down to 4 things. Things I really want. Things I really believe I can accomplish.

  1. Read 12 books I have never read before.Sure, I’m an English major. You’d be shocked by the lack of reading in my life, though. After a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is sit down and stretch my mind more by reading. This year, instead of spending such an exorbitant amount of time on social media, I’m turning to healthier outlets. My question is, what books should be on this reading list? Comment and let me know!

    P.S. I’m also starting a Book Journal. I have quite a few ideas for my own. If you’re interested – Check out this awesome post: https://pageflutter.com/reading-journal/

  2. Fast once per week.If there is one spiritual discipline I struggle with, it would be fasting. Disciplining myself to think of the eternal more than the earthly. Focusing on what really matters. Giving up something. Denying myself. Fasting a meal, social media, or spending. I need to reimplement this in my life, and I think once a week is a good (but doable) start.
  3. Blog every 10-14 days.Keep up with my writing. Work towards more followers. I’m praying that my blog becomes even more of a ministry and touches lives.
  4. Exercise a minimum of 10 minutes a day, 3 days per week.It doesn’t sound like much, I know. But, it’s a start. To be frankly honest, some weeks I don’t do any exercise, especially in the winter months. My hub is super logical, and he suggested this goal. I’m super pumped, because it doesn’t even overwhelm me. By the end of 2019, I hope to be blowing this goal out of the water!

 

So, friend, what about you? Any resolutions for 2019? I’d love for you to comment & let me know! <<Don’t forget – make them doable… and something you really want to accomplish!>>

Happy New Year to all of you! Thanks for following along on my blogging journey!

 

Photo byΒ Annie SprattΒ onΒ Unsplash