Getting Excited Over Furniture

You know you’re an adult when you get excited over your most recent furniture purchase.
After grabbing lunch at our favorite Thai place, we decided to hit up a local independent furniture retailer For Your Home that’s right down the street from our place. We had been before and fell in love with all different kinds of pieces and it was hard to walk out with nothing. But, this time was different. We have been on the lookout for a coffee table and we found the perfect one!
**I should mention that since our move to CA we sold or purged a lot of our furniture and in a way are starting over. I wish I had a million dollars to completely decorate our home but alas we are working our way room by room and piece by piece.
When it comes to living my husband is a minimalist and I’m, well, not. One thing we do agree on is usefulness and investing in things with multiple purposes. This folding coffee table was the perfect find that satisfies both of our approaches to living.
Here’s a peek at our awesome new coffee table!



We love that it has a retractible top because it allows us to use it as a desk AND dining table!

Next our list is another sectional for our living room and finally a bedroom dresser to help with storage since our place doesn’t offer too much in that department.

What furniture are you falling in love with?

ALSO! Don’t miss out on my giveaway for free Minted credit!
Click on the banner for details on how to enter. Giveaway ends 2/28.
 photo signature.001.jpeg

Wedding Preparation 101 + Minted Credit Giveaway

Although it may not feel like it back on the east coast, spring is right around the corner and that typically means weddings, everything babies, graduations, and so on. This time last year I was knee deep in wedding planning and was attempting to pull this off in a six month time frame. I should also mention that I was teaching full time and juggling both responsibilities, which wasn’t an easy task.

Wedding Preparation 101: Save the Dates, Invitations, and other important prints

Let me set the scene…
My husband and I got engaged last October and were looking to have a June 2014 wedding in Las Vegas. We chose Vegas early on in our relationship as the perfect destination for our hypothetical wedding and were so excited to actually be planning it.

So, not only was this wedding date approaching quickly, it was also a destination wedding. This meant that we had to have our save the dates, official invitations, ceremony programs, and thank you cards ready to go meanwhile staying within our set budget.

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

How did we manage to get all of those equally important tasks done in enough time? Minted.

My husband let me take control over these details because he was busy calling the wedding salon in Vegas and making other big decisions such as our ceremony and music requests, choice of flowers, organizing the restaurant details, etc. You know, no big deal. Besides, creating these cards were effortless since Minted features many talented independent artists whose creations are exclusive to Minted.

Better yet, Minted provides you with FREE, yes free, recipient address printing, which I cannot even begin to describe how much time it saves. So, not only do you get the convenience of shopping online, but you also get professional quality prints for a great price.

If you’re one of the thousands of ladies preparing for your upcoming wedding this year I highly recommend using Minted for your all of your wedding print needs.

Here’s a peek at the newest wedding collections at Minted!

There are so many unique designs to choose from!
I’m loving their newest foil-pressed prints!

And for good measure, check out the Minted blog, julep, for cute DIY inspiration for your wedding!

A HUGE thank you to Minted for providing this giveaway! Here’s how you can enter and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 photo signature.001.jpeg

New Blog Design: Simplicity Is Key

Notice something new around here? Well, I hope so! I am just in love with my newest look for the blog and I hope you love it too. Very simple, clean, and classic. At least that was the feel I was going for.

The template I chose to spruce up my blog is made by Lynsey over at Shiny Magic Designs and is my third template to date of hers (can you tell I’m in love with her designs?!). She offers both WordPress and Blogger templates for an easy $30 at her Etsy shop. Once you’ve downloaded your files the self-installation process is even easier (especially with the use of her helpful tips that are also included) or she offers to install it for you for an additional $15. Before you know it your new blog design is up and running and looking fabulous! Thanks Lynsey!

One thing that I’ve learned over the course of the last few months as a new lifestyle blogger is the importance of your blog design. Just checking out the millions of other lifestyle bloggers out there I’ve come to notice one thing they all have in common: simplicity. Simple and clean blog designs are more appealing to the eye and direct your focus on the posts and photos being featured.

When I first began this blog I thought I needed to flood my sidebar with anything and everything that could tell my readers more about me and my interests. When in fact, less is more and organization is key. With my new design I decided to clean up my page and begin organizing my posts so they’re easy to find! Well, at least I hope so 😉

So, if I could pass on any tips to fellow newbie bloggers out there here’s a few:
keep your blog design simple. Opt for cleaner and easy to read templates instead of busy, colorful, pattern-filled templates. It’s too busy for the eyes and detracts from the substance in your posts.
consider using a page break in your posts. This helps the reader see a snapshot of your post and decide if they want to continue reading instead of being flooded with words on the screen.
use photo headers for your posts. This simple step draws the attention of your reader and not to mention it’s great for those who want to pin and share your post with others.
don’t feel like you have to spend a fortune on a blog design. There are SO many talented blog designers out there and if you want a super customized design be prepared to pay up. Stick to beautiful and simplistic designs that range between $30-$50.
keep your sidebar relevant. Don’t do what I did at first and feel like you need every widget and button on earth on the side of your blog. Clean it out and only keep items that are relevant to you as a blogger.
have other bloggers give you feedback about your blog. I love the community over at The Peony Project because these ladies give wonderful and constructive feedback about anything blog related- because we’re all bloggers! Don’t hesitate to get the opinions of other bloggers to help you navigate the usefulness of the look you’re going for. Your readers will thank you for it!

Those are just a few things I’ve just recently learned along the way and hope you find them to be helpful too. Do you have any other tips or tricks for blog designs? Let’s catch up in the comments 🙂

 photo signature.001.jpeg

Keeping The Romance Alive

Valentine’s Day (or otherwise known as Singles Awareness Day) stirs all kinds of opinions and emotions depending on who you talk to. You might have that single and loving it friend, a friend who is single and doesn’t love it and therefore is that black rain cloud on anything related to Valentine’s Day, and then there’s people who are in happy relationships and already have their DIY/Pinterest inspired presents and cards ready to go.

For the longest time I floated between the last two descriptions until I met my husband. As a young adult navigating the last years of high school and college (and being in and out of bad relationships) it  was a difficult day, that pesky February 14th, when everything and everyone is celebrating love, which was something I couldn’t participate in. It’s not a fun feeling and you can help but feel depressed (insert a copious amount of pity chocolate and queue up the Netflix!).

However, currently being in a healthy and happy relationship with my husband, despite those difficult and painful past relationships, I’ve come to realize the importance of keeping the love and romance alive not just on Valentine’s Day, but rather in every day of your relationship.

Here are a few ways that we keep the romance alive in our marriage:
+always say I love you. This is by far the MOST important piece to our marriage. We literally say it to each other multiple times a day and although it sounds cheesy there’s nothing like hearing it from the one you love. Plus: men love hearing it too 😉
+small gestures go a long way. Little gestures that you do for your spouse can often times mean more to them than any fancy or expensive gift. A impromptu foot massage, flowers, a random small gift from their favorite store, or leaving a post-it love note on their car is surely to show them you’re thinking about them.
+take the time to learn about their interests. My husband LOVES wine and I’m not just talking about drinking it; he loves the culture and the process of making wine. Every now and then he pours at Artiste, a tasting room in Los Olivos, and had always wanted me to come pour with him. I never really had the interest myself, but knowing he was so excited about the idea I spent the day doing something he loved and loved even more that I was getting into it. It ended up being an amazing day and has become something we both can share and enjoy together.
+make the time for each other. This is pretty easy considering we don’t have children yet, but I know it is something that I hear a lot from other couples: that they don’t make enough time for each other. Between hectic schedules and work hours I don’t doubt that carving out whatever time you have left in your day can be challenging. However, making time to be two adults and spending time as two adults is vital for any relationship. For example, we look forward to trivia night each Wednesday at a local bar and that’s our one thing we always do together that’s fun and would be easy to continue even after having children.
+random acts of kindness. Is there something that you know your spouse always does around the house or for the family and know that if you did them from time to time they would appreciate the help? Then do it! RAK are other small gestures that goes a long way and are simple to do.
+always remember to laugh. Laughter makes the heart happy and everyone wants to be happy. Our house is always filled with laughter and it’s important to keep laughing because life has a way of throwing some major downers your way.

These are just a few of the ways my husband and I keep the romance alive in our relationship all throughout the year. How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day and what tips do you have in keeping the romance going? Let’s discuss! 🙂

And….I just have to show off my beautiful flowers I received from my husband today. 
We plan to celebrate tonight with a romantic dinner in Santa Barbara <3

Helene in Between

 photo signature.001.jpeg