My Favorite Initial Necklace + GIVEAWAY

Cheers to the weekend everyone! I hope you had a pleasant week and are looking forward to something exciting these next two days off from the daily grind.

One of my favorite Etsy shops to purchase customized jewelry from is Bijoux by Desi F. I first found her shop when I was in the market for the popularized initial necklace (as made famous by many celebrities including Katie Holmes). Over the course of the last few years the trend had gone from large statement necklaces to minimalistic and layered and I wanted something a little more simplistic, but personalized. After searching around and not finding exactly what I was looking for, I stumbled upon her store and fell in love with practically everything she sold.

Since then, Desi has been my go-to designer for handcrafted jewelry ever since I discovered her last year. She makes all of her jewelry herself and is always looking for new, delicate, and sophisticated pieces to add to her collection. I always look forward to perusing her store every few months as she’s always adding new designs.
One of my favorite Etsy shops to purchase customized jewelry from is Bijoux by Desi F. I first found her shop when I was in the market for the popularized initial necklace (as made famous by many celebrities including Katie Holmes). Over the course of the last few years the trend had gone from large statement necklaces to minimalistic and layered and I wanted something a little more simplistic, but personalized. After searching around and not finding exactly what I was looking for, I stumbled upon her store and fell in love with practically everything she sold.
Every order is always shipped with a cute gift-like packaging and I just adore Desi and her handwritten notes. It’s always those little qualities in Etsy shop owners that go a long way and keep customers, like me, coming back every time I need a new piece.

 

the replacement

This time around I needed to replace the first initial necklace I had purchased from Desi’s shop. Right before our move from VA out to CA I decided to wear my necklace during the 4-day drive so that I wouldn’t risk it getting lost in the mix. My husband and I were packing our things and as we were loading up the truck and heading out the door, I picked up our 9-week old puppy at the time and the next thing I knew he got ahold of it, the chain snapped, and my heart sank (insert ugly cry here). I couldn’t be mad at my little Murphy, but I was devastated since it had become one of my favorite necklaces. Upon arrival at our new home I was eager to replace my necklace and luckily Desi was there to the rescue with this gorgeous disc necklace.

One of my favorite Etsy shops to purchase customized jewelry from is Bijoux by Desi F. I first found her shop when I was in the market for the popularized initial necklace (as made famous by many celebrities including Katie Holmes). Over the course of the last few years the trend had gone from large statement necklaces to minimalistic and layered and I wanted something a little more simplistic, but personalized. After searching around and not finding exactly what I was looking for, I stumbled upon her store and fell in love with practically everything she sold.
I opted to purchase this bar necklace as well with the initials of my husband and I. I had always wanted to add a little personal touch and include my husband in there - and I can’t tell you how many compliments I receive on this necklace alone! I’ve worn it by itself and have paired it with other minimalistic pieces. It’s just a great all-around accessory.
Along with my initial necklace I opted to purchase this bar necklace as well with the initials of my husband and I. I had always wanted to add a little personal touch and include my husband in there – and I can’t tell you how many compliments I receive on this necklace alone! I’ve worn it by itself and have paired it with other minimalistic pieces. It’s just a great all-around accessory.
These necklaces are made with 14k gold filled disc/bar and chains, which is a great alternative of solid gold. My skin is sensitive to artificial materials and I can always tell because my skin turns green or I develop a minor rash. I can share firsthand that I’ve never had a reaction to any of Desi’s pieces and am always impressed with their quality and durability. She ships within a few days of when you place your order and is always available to chat if you have questions or concerns.

 

Connect with Desi!
etsy     instagram
I am so excited to host this giveaway featuring Desi’s shop where one lucky winner will receive a FREE initial necklace of their choice!
Giveaway will run from 4/18 – 4/26
This giveaway has since ended.
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Five Things Friday + Linkup

What a busy week especially heading back to work from my lovely Easter break. Here’s a peek into my week and five things I’ve been up to and loving for #fivethingsfriday!
This post contains referral links.

This week we did some exploring and decided to head a bit north to the city of Ojai, CA. Every month we love meeting up with other Dachshund owners for a few hours of fun play at a local dog park. Not only is it fun for our little Murphy, but it gives us humans a chance to spend some time in the beautiful little town nestled in Ojai. After grabbing some lunch (and bottomless mimosas for $12! #winning) we found this cute little store…

I was initially drawn in by their interesting, handcrafted, garden decor. But, once I was in the doors I couldn’t help but walk around and want everything. Eventually ended up leaving with these cuties:
I’m a sucker for signage about love.

Isn’t this gourd birdhouse just adorable?!
And we LOVE this pillow:
A photo posted by Kelly Daniel (@kjdaniel1) on

Don’t live in CA? That’s okay because you can shop their store online here! I love supporting local artists and this shop does just that!
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I have about an hour and fifteen commute to work every morning and something that helps me ease into my day is spending that time listening to a little of On Air with Ryan Seacrest but I also spend the majority of my time listening to worship on my Hillsong Pandora app. It’s a little thing each morning that helps me focus on what’s important and the attitude I should have for the day 🙂
What do you listen to on the way to work?

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Not quite sure if this is a good thing because it highlights the possible addiction I have to coffee. Not really, though. I average about a cup a day, which isn’t really that bad. I suppose it’s more about the amount of money I’ve spent at Starbucks this year to earn Gold Card status.

Any other goldies out there?!

Naked Wines.

Have you heard of Naked Wines before? I’ve talked about them here and I can’t say enough great things about the service! Do you love wine? Well, for $40 a month (or more if you’d like) you help fund local winemakers in CA to do what they do best. It’s like investing in the wine you drink. What happens to that $40? It becomes your credit, which goes towards any shipment of wine.
I just put in an order for 12 bottles and with my credit was able to only pay about $47. Show me that kind of deal elsewhere for great wine!
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I’m kind of obsessed with this aztec cardigan! Fingers crossed it appears in my next Stitch Fix!
What are you loving from your week? Be sure to linkup below!

Rules:

1. Linkup a blog post that shares either five random things from your week or five things you’re loving. Feel free to include giveaways or your shop! Don’t forget to borrow the linkup button at the bottom of this post!

2. Be sure to link back to my blog so people know where to find the linkup 🙂

3. If you share via social media, use #fivethingsfriday so I can find you and share your post!

4. Lastly, please be sure to visit the other blogs that linkup and leave a meaningful comment. 

“Five


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Grocery Shopping Made Simple

Meal planning, whether you’re single, cooking for two, or your whole family, is extremely important if you want to stay organized and save money from week to week. I do want to start out by mentioning that in no way am I an expert on grocery shopping nor do I claim to have the best practices. However, I am excited to share what works for my husband and I in hopes that you can walk away with some helpful tips that work for your budget and family.

set a budget and stick to it each week.

This should be the first thing that anyone does before heading to the store. Take a glimpse into your finances and see what kind of budget you should set for grocery shopping each week. You should also take into consideration when you’re hosting a dinner or it’s a special occasion because it’s always going to put you over. The other big item that can sneak you over your budget is alcohol so be conscious of those bottles of wine or 6 packs.


pick budget friendly grocery stores.

There are a million and one different grocery stores out there and each one provides something different and will affect your weekly budget differently. My husband and I began shopping at Whole Foods when we first moved in with each other and set a budget of $150 a week. Yeah, right. Although Whole Foods has healthy and organic food items, I find a lot of their products to be overpriced. So, keeping that in mind, we only shop at WF when we need a specific ingredient that we can’t find elsewhere.

Shopping at Trader Joe’s has saved us so much time and money ever since we switched. We have been able to lower our grocery budget to only $100-$120 average a week and it’s been working (that’s an extra $30-$50 a week we save)! Yeah, they might not carry everything but we love working with less and anything we absolutely NEED can be easily found at Target or another grocery store chain.
 What do we buy in bulk at COSTCO?
+ garlic
+ butter
+ meat
+ olive oil
+ flour
+ parmesan cheese blocks
+ paper towels
+ toilet paper
+ makeup remover wipes
+ alcohol (sometimes)

eating healthy is always going to cost you more. (it sucks but it’s true.)

This is the unfortunate side to America’s development of processed and hormone riddled foods over the last decade. This means that consumers today have to be willing to spend more for organic, non-GMO, grass fed meat, and cage free eggs. Do your homework and research grocery stores in your area that provide healthy options for you and your family. This bit of work will save you in the long run. Also consider Farmer’s Markets in your neighborhood! I know we don’t always carry cash anymore, but I love resting easy knowing where my food comes from and I feel good when supporting our local farm community!

create a menu each week.

Meal planning does take time out of your day and can sometimes be tedious. However, the biggest difference we saw in what we saved at the grocery store comes from pre-planning a menu each week. Pinterest is wonderful for getting inspired, Weight Watchers recipes are easy and healthy, and perusing through Bon Appetit and other food magazines are also great inspirations for meals throughout the week. Look up crockpot meals to help with saving time or choose meals with little prep and cook time. You can also check out some of the recipes I’ve shared on the blog here 🙂

write a list. live by the list.

Always make a grocery list based on the needed ingredients from your menu. Try to pick meals that share ingredients so you don’t run into having herbs spoil or not using up all that chicken stock you bought. Each item you have to throw away is dollars and cents going out the window so be aware of what you buy and how much of it you intend to use.

**Never heard of Naked Wines? It’s the best wine service I’ve seen and I’ve been an Angel member for almost a year. For $40/mo you support and invest in CA-based winemakers meanwhile earning a credit towards any shipment of wine. We’ve saved so much money on wine because of Naked Wines and it’s fun getting to taste different varietals or ordering our favorites. The best part is that you receive your wine within 3 days of ordering! Learn more and check out their FAQ page here.
 
have fun with dining out!

I always look forward to those times when either of us can ditch the home kitchen and go out for a nice evening where someone else cooks for you. It’s kind of the best feeling. One way you can actually save money when dining out is happy hour specials. Look up local restaurants or bars in your neighborhood and see what deals they have for happy hour. Typically you can enjoy discounted drinks and the small plates are delicious, perfect for sharing, and best of all: affordable.

I hope you find these tips to be helpful as you plan your meals this week! Be sure to follow this linkup hosted by fellow Peonies: Lori at the Boutelle Family Blog and Ashley over at Grace Mountain Diaries.

 

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Five Things Friday + Linkup

One brand of post I’ve seen all across the board is sharing out five things from your week each Friday. I would participate with my teacher blog all the time and it was fun to see what other bloggers were up to inside and outside of the classroom. When I saw this same concept was being shared on lifestyle blogs too I got really excited. So, I decided that I would attempt to host my very own weekly linkup sharing out five random things or loves from the week.

I know it’s Saturday but due to timing I’m a bit late with this post. My apologies. Be sure to link up every Friday right here on the blog and it’ll stay open all week long 🙂

How does this work?

1. Linkup a blog post that shares either five randoms from your week or five things you’re loving from the week. Feel free to include giveaways or your shop! Don’t forget to borrow the linkup button at the bottom of this post.

2. Be sure to link back to my blog so people know where to find the linkup 🙂

3. If you share via social media, use #fivethingsfriday so I can find you and share your post!

4. Lastly, please be sure to visit the other blogs that linkup and leave a meaningful comment. 

A video posted by Kelly Daniel (@kjdaniel1) on

The biggest highlight from my week has been getting to spend extra time with this goober. This is Channing and he is my (almost 2yo) nephew. He loves anything related to cars, obsessed with yogurt dot snacks, and can really belt out a tantrum or two…but, I love this kid. 
This From Pin to Present took some time and work…to the point I was ready to give up and throw it out. I had seen this on Pinterest and spent the afternoon buying the materials and putting it all together. I had never worked with Gorilla Glue before and didn’t know that it gets foamy and expands. I thought it would go on like woodworking glue and seal. Wrong. However, with the rescue of my husband, I was able to salvage my project and make this house number succulent wall planter. (Just don’t look too closely. From far away it’s hella cute.)
Next time I’ll just buy the damn thing.

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Probably THE funniest roast I’ve seen in a while. Definitely invest in seeing the uncensored version simply to get the full effect of the jokes. Kevin Hart did a fantastic job hosting and seriously Pete Davidson from SNL and Natasha Leggero were by far the funniest. Go watch it. Now.
And just because I’m on a roll with my affinity for hilarious female comedians…how excited am I for Inside Amy Schumer to return?!
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I am happiest to announce that this week I launched my blog newsletter! I would love to have you as a subscriber and here’s why:
+ email newsletters are the easiest and fastest way to stay in touch with the blogs you love
+ exclusive content to newsletter subscribers
+ receive a special promo code for 50% off advertising spots on my blog
+ stay in the know with heads up on giveaways, linkups, and other blogger events
Click the button above, on the sidebar, or HERE to sign up!
New blog discovery! I recently was followed on Twitter by Shauna Mackenzie who is the founder of Best Kept Self. I just had to share because I love the whole concept of her business. It’s all about discovering and maintaining, well, your best kept self! Take a look at one of the posts I can for sure relate to this week and I urge you to continue to snoop around. Such great things happening there 🙂
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BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT, FEEL FREE TO GRAB THIS BUTTON TO USE IN YOUR NEXT POST!
“Five


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