Friday Favorites | vol 4

God is good, isn’t he? It must be that I’m still on the high from Easter Sunday, but boy has He been filling my soul this week. I am experiencing a renewed sense of my relationship not only with Him, but with new friends through church.

But, let me back up…

Greyson has been going through a tough go of separation anxiety. It’s to the point where I can’t even enjoy church service because of the meltdown he throws when I drop him off at the nursery and the mom-guilt I carry when I leave him. I know it just takes time, but it’s hard a lot of the time because on one hand I crave alone time and on the other I have a duty to care for him and I love doing it.

However, it took the kind woman who works in the nursery to recommend a moms group that meets at church once a week in the morning; that it would be a great thing for both me and Greyson (i.e. giving him another opportunity during the week to get used to being away for a period of time). I couldn’t have fallen in love with this group more and as I have become more invested I’ve learned about other fellowship opportunities and have made more friends in the process.

This leads me to…

One | MOMS

If you have an opportunity to visit a moms group in your neighborhood or community I couldn’t recommend it more. I was very hesitant about groups like these just because of the thought of women getting together to complain about their husbands, children, or lives. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth and I’ve found to really cherish this time just for me. During this time I’m not a mom or a wife…just a woman trying to navigate this life and everything that comes along with it.

Two | Apartment Pinterest Inspirations


Yes, I’m back expressing just how excited I am about moving. And yes, I have even more inspirations I’ve pinned within this past week. Mainly it’s been about paint colors and new furniture for each room. Surprisingly I’ve managed to nail down my mood boards for most of the rooms in our new place as it relates to color, fixtures, and DIY ideas.

I love the idea of creating a little workspace for me and my blogging by using a leaning desk concept with shelves. Since I have a laptop I don’t need a ton of space, but want a designated area for keeping myself organized and inspired. The paint scheme in this photo is beautiful, especially matched with the white desk and little bit of greenery of the plant. Looking forward to recreating this idea!

Three | Greyson’s Customized Print

Minted is hosting their Free Foil Event (ends next Monday!) and I couldn’t help but fall in love with this custom print for Greyson’s new bedroom! It fits perfectly with the woodland theme and I love the lettering. This week I shared my moving announcements and also a little peek at how the foil just adds that unique touch I couldn’t find anywhere else. I always look forward to this deal each year and was so happy with my final order!

Four | Fresh Blooms


Spring marks the return of beautiful blooms and I am all about tulips right now. For Easter I brought home a bouquet of pink tulips and I love how cozy they make our home feel. I love splurging on fresh flowers for the house because I don’t get to do it all that often. The next item to purchase more of: candles!

Five | Buttery Garlic Mushroom with Herbed Ricotta Spread


Not as though this recipe needs any kind of explanation, but I couldn’t help but share it nonetheless because it was absolutely one of the best crostini’s we had this week. Sometimes during the week I am all out of Fs when it comes to cooking dinner so one of the ways I lighten my load is by prepping a crostini and bruschetta assortment instead. Bon Appetit always has a variety of recipes to choose from that range from savory to mixing salty and sweet. Prep time is minimal and it allows you to play around with flavors.

It’s so easy to throw together a platter full of your favorites such as baked brie with prosciutto and honey, charcuterie and cheeses, this delicious pate from Trader Joe’s, smoked salmon with cream cheese…and the list goes on. Pair with your favorite bottle of wine and dinner is served!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Linking up with Amanda, Erika, and Amy

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Patio Inspirations For Apartment Living

I am so excited about our move – even if that means I’m not too excited about the actual physical aspect of moving. I enjoy packing and organizing, but unpacking and getting a head start on decorating is where my heart truly lies in this whole transition. Our new apartment not only has more square footage, a second level and a bedroom for Greyson, it also comes with two patios! One large patio on the main floor leading out from our living room and a smaller balcony off our master bedroom, which happens to be high enough to see the ocean.

Our larger patio will lend itself to entertaining for us as well as when we have guests; like our out-of-state friends and family this summer. This means we need all new outdoor furniture (here’s where my husband rolls his eyes and hears the money start stacking up, haha) and I am excited to pull a few ideas together in an inspiration board. Because, that’s free.

So, here are my favorite picks and favorite inspirations for our new patio space!

Patio Inspirations For Apartment Living |

Patio Dining & Entertaining

It all starts with the seating and outdoor furniture! We plan to use the bar table and two chairs we currently have for our patio for our master bedroom balcony, which is just big enough for a table and chairs that size. This allows us to enjoy a sunset over wine or relax with a book while taking in the gorgeous views of the ocean. The bar table also puts us high up so the ocean is that much more in view.

That leaves us with the main level patio which is large enough for this outdoor dining set. It’s a 6 piece set from Target and on sale for $849.99, which isn’t bad for a table, bench, and four wicker chairs. I read that the bench isn’t all that great from the reviews, but overall those that have purchased it love it. I plan to use the outdoor rug we already own (fingers crossed it’s large enough), but will need new cushions and pillows for the chairs.

I love the navy blue paired with the deep color of the wood table and comes with a hole for an optional umbrella. We have a hand-me-down from a previous neighbor and we’ve loved having it. However, it doesn’t properly fit the stand we bought and tends to lean or fall over, which isn’t good. Plus with the navy colors I, of course, would like to update our umbrella if we lean in that direction (see Sun & Lighting).


The way our complex is designed is that we have neighbors that are slightly on the close side when it comes to the patios and distance of apartments. As much as I love our community here, it would be nice to achieve some privacy while outside without coming off too obvious. Other residents I’ve seen use lattice or plants to create a little barrier that won’t get in the way of the sunshine or be an eyesore to others. I would love to use a lattice planter box like this one and either grow a vine plant or attach pots along the lattice as shown in the picture. Since our patio gets plenty of sun I want to bring a lot of greenery to provide a relaxing overall feel while growing some of our own herbs or even veggies.

Green Living

Speaking of greenery, I’m all about decorating using fun planters from *Etsy like these macrame hanging plant holders (I’m even excited to hang these indoors too throughout the house). This rectangular tabletop candle holder using succulents is just adorable and adds a fun touch to the dining area especially if we’re opting out of using an umbrella. Plants and flowers just add a beautiful touch to any space and makes it purposeful at the same time.

*Affiliate link

Sun & Lighting

Where our new apartment will be located in our complex the sun practically shines all day, which is great. Our patio will get a lot of sun, which will make growing and maintaining plants that much easier. One of the two options I had for our patio in terms of providing shade when lounging outside is: a large umbrella or a sun shade/canopy. Either option allows us to keep the patio covered or open, it’s just about how we can do it with the string lights I’d like to use for at night.

These wrapped Edison string lights from Target are just adorable and I can’t wait to hang them on our new patio. During the summers we spend a lot of time eating and lounging outside and these lights will give our space a slight glow. I’m trying to decide whether to string them along the trim (which is most common) or if I can somehow string them so they drape like a canopy across the whole patio (see example below).



Storage and organization is key to decorating a purposeful space (and pretty much the driving force behind my husband and I with everything). All of our things need a place and preferably out of sight. Since I plan on having various plants, I’d like to have a storage system that aren’t those plastic gardening boxes to keep my soil, fertilizer, watering can, etc. Because, let’s be real, it also has to be cute and go with the rest of my patio decor. Target offers some cute options and I like this wicker storage bin, which will closely match the chairs I’ve picked out.

Another small detail that I would like to incorporate are these cast iron wall hooks, which I would use for drying our bathing suits or beach towels. Again, we get so much sunlight it would be perfect to use to dry our wet things. I just can’t decide which design I like best!

We aren’t moving for a couple of months, but as you can tell I’m mentally preparing and cultivating various ideas to make our new place feel like ours. Due to the husband finding a job that he loves, and will ensure our staying here in Ventura for the long haul, we feel good about this next move being our last. Now it’s just about finding those unique touches and simple projects that will tie our forever home together, all-the-while maintaining our minimalistic lifestyle.

To see more of my home decor inspirations for both inside and outside decorating, feel free to check out this post which features some of my favorite Etsy shops! These accents are perfect for any home and makes me even more excited to move in the coming months!

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Minimalist Challenge | Week 2

What a busy few days, amirite? Seriously. Last week we had a much needed rainfall for a number of days in a row and although it’s great on one hand (because of the drought), on the other it makes for a stir-crazy baby and mama. Nonetheless, keeping busy indoors has been fairly easy with plenty of toys, books, and naps for my little one. It also makes for a useful bit of time to browse our home for those unnecessary items we can get rid of for our Minimalist Challenge this month. Are you participating? I’d love for you to drop your link in the comments!

Although it’s fun to cleanse our home of the number of things based on that day in January, it’s been a challenge to keep up. So, instead we are just looking for anything and everything we can pitch. Here’s an update to what we’ve been purging the last few days.

Day 5

To know this kid of mine is always on the go, just take a look at his shoes. He’s in desperate need of new ones, but finding them at an affordable price and wide enough for his chunky feet is next to impossible. I found his shoes (on the right) at Target for $10 and they’re pretty great. I’m not sure at what age he’s allowed to have hard-sole shoes but these ‘crib shoe’ guys lasted us for a while!

The next round of things that are getting the pitch are these unused kitchen items. My sister offered us her poorly working blender/food processor and since we needed one I thought it couldn’t hurt. Well, it sucks and I never tried using it again so it sat in our cupboards for years. Also, when I was shopping at TJ Maxx last year sometime I picked up this blue skillet for my husband since he loves his cast iron pan – huge mistake opting for a cheap version because it’s not non-stick. Everything gets stuck on it and again, we ended up just storing it and never using it. Lastly, I found this random deviled egg container and my old lunch boxes I haven’t used since I started staying home.

Day 6

Up above our cabinets in our kitchen I would display the empty Artiste wine bottles after we drank them. I loved the art on the labels so much and found they really brought a fun aspect to our kitchen. However, after two and a half years the husband grew tired of them and therefore was his choice for our Challenge.

Day 7

Seriously! How much glassware can one couple own? I am still surprised that after giving our steins and unused coffee mugs we STILL had cups we weren’t using. We had pint glasses from a couple breweries, Stella Artois glasses my husband received years ago, and even plastic beer-fest glasses from this past summer. Needless to say, we gave those the pitch and afterwards our kitchen felt so much lighter and free from clutter. Amazing what removing a few things does to the space!

Day 8

Every few months I go through Greyson’s things and determine what he’s grown out of. Most of those things get packed up and shipped back to Texas to my husband’s sister who had a baby back in October. It works out perfectly because these clothes get used with more than one family, which makes me feel good about getting new clothes for Grey as he grows. So, for Day 8 it’s all about going through his clothes and sending them off.

In my January Stitch Fix (review post coming soon!) I received this note which lets me know I can put my old box to good use! I heard Amazon was participating in this Give Back Box campaign and I love that they make it extra easy to minimize your closet and home.

Day 9

Hangars always seem to creep up on me no matter how many clothes I actually have. Besides the set we have in our closet, these hangars are kept in our linen closet for those items that needed a home. But with us donating a lot of our unused clothes it left them bare – so we dropped them off at our laundry unit in our apartment complex. Hopefully they’ll be put to good use or someone else can snag them.

Day 10

Day 10 was a hard day not because of having to get rid of things, but that it was the unused baby things day. Greyson has well outgrown a lot of the things we used with him when he was a newborn like this 4Moms swing, his infant tub (we donated to Goodwill), and Boppy nursing pillow. Although I know by trying to sell them (or ultimately donate them) they’ll go onto good homes and bless another family and baby. It’s just another moment for me where I have to pause and realize that my baby boy is growing up.

Trying to sell our unused baby things are always my first go-to using Craigslist. This past summer it was fairly easy to list and have someone purchase his baby things – apparently no one is interested these days. So perhaps I’ll try again in the spring to see if a fresh crop of babies will help get these things off my hands and out of our home.

We’re almost halfway through the month and just a couple more weeks to go for the #MinsGame! I hope you all are finding ways to cut out the clutter in 2017 and take on a more minimalist approach to life. It’s been a real blessing to us to not need so much, which in the end helps us focus on those more important things. Happy weekend, folks!

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The Minimalist Challenge: Less Is More

The Minimalist Challenge: Less Is More | |

Anyone who has a Netflix subscription knows that it’s one of the best platforms for finding new and interesting documentaries. Last month, along with various new titles added, my husband and I were browsing through what was new we stumbled upon a documentary called Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things. Obviously intrigued, we pushed play and found ourselves having not only been inspired by these two guys, but the film allowed us to reflect on exactly what their title asks: what are the important things in this life?

It was inspirational to see these two guys just leave behind the very things that were slowing them down. They both either left or were let go from their corporate jobs, relationships needed to be reevaluated, and ultimately the connection between material things and happiness was explored. I enjoyed watching their journey as they traveled around the U.S. on their personally funded book tour and seeing how their message of minimalism reached the various people they connected with.

The film as a whole did a great job explaining not only what minimalism is, but, in fact, what it isn’t. Minimalism is a spectrum and I love that it’s a lifestyle that allows each person to decide which end of the spectrum they’d like to live on. After all, each person’s happiness is subjective to someone else. Want to purge everything and live out of a duffle bag so you can travel like one of the guys interviewed in the film? Awesome. Not that adventurous but would rather give up your single family home for a tiny house like that woman featured in the film? Good for you! Or is it just enough to routinely enjoy the things that fill your life such as clothing, accessories, gadgets, or books under the condition that you rid of them once you’re done? I think that’s okay too!

Needless to say, go check out this film! At the very least it’s a worthy watch and my hope that it will inspire you the way it did me. To reevaluate your happiness and what’s important.

The Minimalist Challenge: Less Is More | |

So onto this challenge…

The Minimalists make up two men, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who in previous lives climbed the proverbial corporate ladder only to find that regardless of the value of their net worth or the number of things they purchased, they weren’t happy. Everyone strives to be happy, so what was this key to this happiness everyone seems to be searching for? Well, your happiness will be different from mine, but adopting a minimalist lifestyle is a pretty good place to start for everyone.

Does this mean you should set your house on fire and whatever you can grab you can keep? No. Although it is a funny image to think about. Instead, join me this month for the Minimalist Challenge! Here’s how it works:

  • Beginning on January 1st you must go around your home and rid of one material possession, on Jan 2nd it’s two things, Jan 3rd it’s three things, and so on. By the last day of the challenge you’re getting rid of 31 things! But that’s also where the challenge lies so stay strong!
  • A challenge is more fun when you have a partner! Grab a friend, family member, spouse, or child to join with you. It’s also nice to have someone rooting you on and keeping you accountable each day.
  • You can come up with your own rules and parameters for what to get rid of. It just has to be out of your home by midnight that day. Remember you can donate, sell, or trash any of your possessions.
  • Share your challenge using the hashtag #MinsGame with The Minimalists themselves on social media!

Day 1

Day 1: Getting rid of magazines! | The Minimalist Challenge | |

It was Day 1 and the challenge required we remove one item from our home that doesn’t bring us happiness or add value to our life. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle somewhat already had made only getting rid of one thing difficult. I mean, when I begin to purge things I like to do it in one clean sweep. However, my husband and I decided our own rules for this challenge and that we could adapt it however we’d like – just as long as we agree on the terms. Instead of interpreting it as one single item, we decided that it would be a category. So, for day 1 I removed all the magazines we either already read or never intended on reading.

Day 2

Day 2: two bags full of clothing and accessories!  | The Minimalist Challenge | |

Luckily ridding our home really isn’t the challenge. It’s moreso the limited number of things that are required each day. Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve only just begun your journey into minimalism or at the very least dipping your toes in, this challenge is perfect. However, when I’m purging things it’s hard for me to only pick two things – instead I decided that my husband and I would fill two bags full of anything we wanted to sell, donate, or trash.

We immediately turned to our closets and this go around for me it was all about accessories. I was astonished to find that I had over 6 Coach purses of varying sizes and wallets that I hadn’t used in ages. It was all neatly packed away in the depths of my closet and I knew I wouldn’t ever use them again. So why was I holding onto them? I went through them all to see what I could consign along with any belts and jewelry I was no longer wearing. I also pitched a lot of my pumps that I knew I would never have the occasion or ability to wear again (thanks pregnancy!). My husband did the same and went through his drawers. Although he’s much further in his minimalist lifestyle than I, he was able to find even more to part with. He’s such an inspiration sometimes!

Day 2: two bags full of clothing and accessories!  | The Minimalist Challenge  | |

Sorry for the poor-lit photo!

Day 3
Day 3: Returning those HP books I already have on my iPad!  | The Minimalist Challenge  | |

Day three was getting fun! I was beginning to realize the number of paper products I own and rarely ever use. On my iPad I have the Harry Potter series already downloaded on my iBooks app and would find time read them throughout the day. But one day while doing laundry (we have a communal bookcase where there’s a ‘take a book, leave a book’ policy) with a friend we noticed the entire series in paperback and were immediately drawn to them. It was like, OMG I have to have them! So, we split them up based on the book we were on and the next couple books for when we finished. Although I really enjoy having them and in a sense they bring me happiness, I quickly realized I leaned more towards reading them on my iPad than in paperback form. So, on day 3 I’m giving these back (even though there are four books I’m getting rid of).

Day 4

Day 3: Ditching those unused glasses and mugs  | The Minimalist Challenge  | |

Have you ever been to the bar during a holiday or special event and somehow get excited when you get to keep the glass? Well, I felt that way during Oktoberfest, yes, three months ago. My husband and I were out with one of his buddies from college who recently moved to L.A. We caught one of their college football games at a local bar and it so happened that a couple of their Oktoberfest beers were served in steins and that we could keep them. Awesome, right?! Well, I certainly thought so – especially after drinking said stein. Well, flash forward to January and obviously we don’t have enough beer at home to actually use these so as a part of the Minimalist Challenge I decided to part ways with them as well as (sadly) our espresso mugs from Crate & Barrel, which were actually wedding gifts. The cups are just too small for coffee and we never used them. Literally for the 2.5 years we’ve been married they’ve just sat in our cupboard. Hopefully they can bless another home!

My husband’s choice for Day 4 were his photobooks. He had begun collecting them as a young bachelor in the Air Force as he made his travels. When we met, and due to him not having much furniture (super minimalist!), they never made it to a coffee table but rather sat in a box in his closet. Then, we got married and moved to California where I decided that these guys would finally see the light of day. Our Murphy, who was a puppy at the time, found some of them and chewed the corners. Even though we did find use for them as a display, he never actually read them. So, after glancing through them one last time (and even adding a few of his old travel books) the hubs decided to part ways in hopes that we can replace them with photos from our own travels. I couldn’t agree more.

Day 4: Husband ditches his old photography coffee table books  | The Minimalist Challenge  | |

Day 5

I wonder what tomorrow will be…

I’ll be back every few days to update you all on our progress, but in the meantime:

Have you seen this documentary? What’s your journey with minimalism? I’d love to chat about it!

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