Monday, February 29, 2016

5 Ways To Declutter Your Week (and relieve a little stress!)

Welcome back to the work week! Sometimes weekends are so jam packed with fun that I get nothing done. I'm not complaining, I will gladly ditch laundry, cleaning and organizing for family time and date night. This weekend, I got to do all that and more! And for that I am super thankful.

That being said, I am going to throw a few ideas your way to start your week off right. I've already done a few of them today, so I can promise you they work! :)

1. Chug a glass of water before you eat or drink anything else.
 
 
For me, this usually happens right before I am walking out the door. I wish I had to time to leisurely drink some water, but that's what coffee is for. For whatever reason, it makes my stomach and self feel better if that is the first thing I put into my body. Try it!

2. Throw away all of the wrappers and empty cups in your car.
I always put this off! And why? I hate having the clutter in my car. I travel a lot during the day and sometimes my car is my office. It is stressful and irritating to see clothes/shoes and trash piling up. I start to feel like I am losing control! I know it never feels like there is enough time, but pull into a gas station and throw it all away on the way to your next stop. It takes TWO MINUTES. And it will make you feel so much better.

3. ....and while you are there...get gas BEFORE your gas light comes on!
What is it about getting gas that seems like the biggest inconvenience in the world!? Is it just me? It never takes more than a couple minutes, so why the dread? I hate it so much that I will wait until I am running on fumes before I fill up. Today I decided I was going to save myself the stress that was bound to come in a day or so. I stopped and filled my gas tank up. It wasn't even on empty. And you know what? It really made me feel better.
 
 
I keep seeing this circulate and it makes me laugh. I am definitely the left person!


4. Trash Walk Through
There seems to be a theme with throwing trash out... but hey. I think clutter makes a lot of us more stressed than we know. When you get home tonight, grab a trash bag. Walk from room to room and throw something away. All of those bed bath and beyond coupons? Trash them. I promise more will come. Take a spin through the bathroom and empty those trash cans as well. Your house will feel refreshed... and so will you.
 

5. Cross ONE thing off of your to-do list

I keep a running list of general things I need to do. It can be anything from a thought to something I need to accomplish in the next few weeks. Pick one, and do it! Send out that thank-you you have laying on the counter. Pay the bill that is due. Order the prints you have been meaning to for the last 2 months. Whatever it is, just pick one. Small accomplishments are good for your well being.

I'm feeling better just thinking about these things!
Enjoy the rest of your Monday!






Friday, February 26, 2016

Hey Friday!

It's Friday and, like every week, everything is exceptionally hard to accomplish. Especially when it is like 60 degrees out! Um... YES.

So, productivity is down, need for heading home and binge watching Fuller House is up, so I am just popping in to say hey!

I have some fun things going on this weekend, some of which I'll be sharing about later... and other things like hanging out with family. Always an A+ in my book!

But real quick.... I got THIS polish in my Ipsy Glam bag this month and I was like WOOO!! (Literally, I did that as I pulled it out.) But seriously, pink polish is just my thing. It is the color that I prefer and it makes me the happiest! And this color is like the epitome of pink.

in "Dirty and Flirty" HA! yes.
 
It's actually described as "dusty rose." Which I think is true of the bottle... but on your hand it looks a little something like this...
 
 
 

 
 Until this picture came into my life I wasn't aware that my hands were aging so rapidly! Guess I need to moisturize a little more heavily. I'll do that now...
 
Anyways. BIG FAN! I briefly scanned their website and apparently they have a monthly subscription to get polish from them. Sounds fun!
 
Hope everyone has a really great weekend!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Confessional Thursday

First of all, I confess that Confessional Thursday makes me even more aware of how quickly time flies by. Didn't I *just* do this post!? But anyways, here we go again!

I also confess...

...I am probably going to fail at my Jazzercise 35 Day Challenge. Sad. I gave it a try...but busy lives, working late and vacations in the mix do not give me a good chance! It's still sort of possible. Maybe.


 
I was really working for the tank top! Cute, right? PS - try Jazzercise.

...that my bags are still not unpacked. Are you seeing a trend here?

...I drove through a coffee shop yesterday and accidentally also ordered a bag of glazed donut holes. They were gone within 5 minutes.

...As excited as I am for our kitchen cabinet remodel, I am TOTALLY dreading it. SO. MUCH. WORK. Thank goodness for my mom who excels at these kind of projects.

...that I am sorry for never reviewing THIS lip product. It is one of my favorites! Clay's aunt bought this for me after I raved about it when I used it one day. It is so fantastic! The perfect shimmer, makes your lips feel so good, and smells fresh and fruity! Perfect chapstick/gloss to keep with you at all times.

...that I already want to go back to California. Seriously.


...I am officially an everyday coffee person. UGH! I didn't want this. I used to grab a latte once a week. Maybe. Now.... I drink coffee for the better half of every morning.

Can't stay away.
 


Thanks for hanging through another week of confessions...
 
Link up with The Newly blog to share your confessions as well!  
 
 




Wednesday, February 24, 2016

San Diego Trip recap

Hi everyone!

I wanted to check in quickly to say that we are back! I am playing catch up and will be for a few days.

 San Diego was absolutely amazing. Hands down one of my favorite cities I have ever visited. We spent time between San Diego and Encinitas and I LOVED both. I couldn't believe how perfect the weather is. It is truly the "perfect day" everyday there. At least everyday that we were there! I'm not sure if I could ever get tired of watching the waves and browsing around town. Maybe if you live there you begin to take it for granted... I don't know... but we soaked every last bit of it in while we were there.


Every morning we stopped for coffee...




Watched the early bird surfers try to catch a wave...
 


Ate amazing food....

PS- Favorite place we ate? Claire on Cedros in Solana Beach. The Claire Cakes were to die for. The best pancake I have ever eaten!

Hung out at the beach ...
 

 

Went to Medieval Times... (still can't believe this is a thing)
 

 
Brunched with bottomless mimosas on a Sunday cruise. ..
(our favorite activity)
 

And relaxed while watching the sunset at night!
 

To say that we enjoyed ourselves is an understatement!

I played catch up at work all day, and when I got home, the stress started to surround me. Piles of laundry. Dog hair. Floors needing vacuumed. Bags needing unpacked. Out of groceries.

And that's why everyone needs a vacation after vacation!

But I shouldn't complain. We are so thankful we got to take the trip and it was worth every day of chores I am behind. :) San Diego... we will be back!
 






Thursday, February 18, 2016

Confessional Thursday

Wow! It's really that time again. Another week has flown by and with that...  More confessions.
 

I confess ....

1. That I told myself NO buying girl scout cookies this year. But then this darling girl came to our door last week and now I have several boxes on the way. Just helping out the local troop, right? 

Seriously, I sort of salivated looking at this picture (side confession).
 
2. That I went crazy at a Target clearance and purchased a few sweaters and t shirts. But all at less than $7 each!! I think it's totally worth it. And it's nice to freshen up your wardrobe at the end of the season. I just hope that I am not wearing sweaters for TOO much longer.

3. I don't know if I believe that "blonde" products actually make a difference. For example, I recently purchased the blonde version of one of my favorite hair products, It's a 10. Is this just a marketing ploy? I'll let you know. 
 
 
4. That I haven't packed a thing for our trip. And we leave REALLY early. Like, I might get to sleep for 3-4  hours early. It will be so worth it!

and lastly...



5. That I am almost more excited for our San Diego trip than I was for Jamaica. Yikes.. I know. But I have wanted to visit San Diego for a long time and I am even more excited knowing that it is really HOT there right now! Yes... I will gladly ditch my snow gear for the weekend. Woo!

If you have any must eat/must visit San Diego locations, let me know in the comments!

And on that note.... I will be putting the blog on the backburner until next week! Feel free to follow Sweet & Modern on Instagram @sweetandmodern for San Diego updates!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!








Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Unique Wedding & Shower Gifts

I don't know about you,  but the wedding invites and showers have been rolling in like crazy lately. And that can only mean one thing: it's almost wedding season!

As many of you know, we were married this past November. Our engagement and planning season was a whirlwind (basically 3 months and a few weeks) and so I did not have the time nor energy to post about what was happening. Now that the wedding has come and gone, I wish I would have taken the time to share a few things I learned during the process.

We, like many couples, had wedding registries at a few popular stores: Bed Bath & Beyond and Target. There were so many things I loved about the items I picked on my registries. And of course, I LOVED receiving them at my showers and post wedding.

But I have to say, the custom gifts, the functional Ineverwouldhavethoughttoregisterforthis gifts, and the thoughtful specialty items, ended up being my very favorite gifts! Don't get me wrong, I am so very thankful for the items I have off of our registry that make our house more functional and home-y, but if you are looking for a unique gift option for someone else, I've come up with a few of my favorites!

1. This little measuring cup/shot glass thingy 


Who would have thought? Seriously, so convenient. Not only for making drinks, but for those times when a recipe asks for 2 TB of water and you don't feel like walking back and forth between the sink balancing water in a tablespoon. Anyone else? 


I didn't even know these were a thing until I was gifted one at a shower. I also didn't realize how much I would use it. Not that I didn't clean before.. but I have been faced with a few situations post marriage (aka moving the fridge for the first time.. GROSS) and being so incredibly happy I had this little number to make my job so much easier. 




So… same thing as the Euro Scrubby situation. Didn't know I was missing this until I had one. I have always been a hot water and soap gal. My husband tends to be a paper towel and Lysol type, but I think there is something to be said for soaping up a dishrag and cleaning off your counters. Now, that being said, there is nothing more disgusting than a wet washcloth heap in the sink that smells like… ugh… you know. Enter… Skoy Cloth! These things DO NOT SMELL. I repeat DO NOT SMELL. I will use them, rinse, repeat for weeks and it will just dry-smell free-on my sink. And when I feel like it needs cleaned, I throw it in the dishwasher. So easy. So necessary. 


4. This cute ring plate or anything similar!
Adorable, right? I was gifted this exact one. I use it everyday! I like to take my ring off when I put lotion on or if I plan to do some heavy exfoliation in the shower. But I am so wary of setting my ring just anywhere. Freak accidents do happen. I would have never bought this for myself but I love putting my wedding band and engagement ring on this! 

5. Aprons


I know, anyone who likes to be in the kitchen can/should/already own an apron. But I just didn't! Don't get me wrong, I always wanted one. Always. But I couldn't bring myself to spend money on something that is not so necessary. I have his exact apron and am obsessed with it. I was also gifted several others (both purchased and homemade) at showers. And I wear them all! Always. 


6. Specialty products that match your room theme

So, I received this particular Scentsy warmer from a friend for a wedding gift. Had you browsed my registry, you would have found recurrent themes of gold and neutral colored items. How thoughtful to buy something that I didn't register for, but stick to my themes? I LOVE IT! 


7. Custom wall hangings, signs, floor signs, door signs, etc. 



                                           

You have heard me mention The Left Handed Letterer several million times, but I'm not stopping! Amy of LHL made this particular sign, but I received several other very cool wall hangings, bottle openers, floor signs, outdoor rocks, etc that were customized to us (last name, wedding dates, initials… you get the picture). And I seriously love it all. If you are looking for a customized wedding or shower gift…. get in touch with Amy ASAP to ask about your custom order. 

And there you have it! What other cool gifts did you receive for a shower/wedding? What things do you wish you hadn't bothered registering for? Let me know in the comments! 

xoxox 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Weekend Highlights + Valentine's Day

Happy Monday! It's not very often that I feel like a weekend is LONG.... but we had such a fun and full weekend that it actually felt like a long time!
 
On Saturday, Clay and I headed over to the Robin's Nest, which is the most darling gift shop in our little town. I seriously go there at least once a week to check out the goods! She has a huge selection of handcrafted gifts as well as antiques and furniture available to refurbish. If you are in the Omaha/Lincoln area, add the Robin's Nest to your next stop.
 
Anyways, I got sidetracked there. I was beyond thrilled to find this rustic looking piece for our kitchen. It is one of my favorite decorative items in our house now!
 
Random FYI: This was made from the wood from the "Lady Gaga barn," aka the barn in her video "You and I." (Which is less than a mile from our house!)
 
 
And this.... I am in love. I have been on the search for a vanity that I could refurbish and put in my closet. I hate doing my make up/getting ready in the bathroom as I feel like it makes such a mess and is spread out everywhere. Luckily I stumbled on this....
 
 
 
....And began the project this weekend. It needs a little TLC but I have a vision in mind! :) Details and pictures to follow when I finish!
 
 
Saturday night Clay surprised me with wine and this darling flower arrangement. He's the best. :)
 
Sunday we hung out with Clay's family most of the day and at night we had a reservation at Dario's Brasserie in Dundee.
 
 
You guys... to die for. Our normal date spot is Pitch, but they do not take reservations and we could only assume Valentine's Day would be a nightmare wait. Clay absolutely did us a favor with this reservation. They had a Valentine's Day menu and the perfect romantic atmosphere for the evening. The food and service at Dario's was spectacular. We will be back for sure!
 
 
Lastly, we are refurbishing our kitchen cabinets as I mentioned the other day. We finally decided on using a gel stain as opposed to milk paint. I  knew that I wanted to stick with General Finishes products regardless, but we decided we would like to keep the grain from our 80s looking oak cabinets, but transform them into a more modern look with the "java" finish. I'll document this project as well!

 
Has anyone actually used this product on their cabinets? I am excited (and nervous) to start! Any tips/tricks welcome!
 
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and Monday is off to a great start!
 
 



Thursday, February 11, 2016

Confessional Thursday Link Up



Super excited that the Confessional is back in business! Jess @ The Newly  is hosting a weekly link up and I am more than willing to participate! Given that I could probably confess to a lot of things... we better get started.

I confess:

1. I have been eating the remainder of this ice cream cake that I made for our friend last weekend. Like.. fork-to-the-whole-cake-while-standing-by-the-freezer eating. Every day until it was gone.

2. When Brick is being super annoying, we started throwing the rope down the stairs and essentially making him "run stairs" until he is so exhausted he will leave us alone. Bad dog mom or innovative dog mom? Not sure.

3. I am on a huge remodeling kick lately. My Pinterest boards are blowing up. Super inspired by this mudroom remodel and have quite an itch to paint our kitchen cabinets! (Already brought to the husband who has stamped his approval on that project!) Thinking about things we could potentially do to the house is SO FUN! PS - Does anyone have any tips on painting kitchen cabinets? I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do but any tips/tricks welcome!

Also loving this color palette for cabinets that I found on Pinterest. Has anyone used any of these?


4. I am OBSESSED with my new Sorel boots. I want to wear them everyday, everywhere. And I purposely walk through the snow just so  that I can be pleased with how waterproof they are. My favorite (recent) purchase!

5. That I have only missed one season of the Bachelor in its entirety. Ever.  So of COURSE I am watching this season. I have to say... I think Ben is killing it as the Bachelor. He knows what he wants and he sees right through the BS. Plus he is a super nice guy!


Stop.
Image via 

So. Scary.

All I have to say is…team Lauren B. Woo!

6. ….that I don't think I can pull this look off. But I want to. Help!

image via

Thanks for joining Sweet & Modern for the confessional! Now I want to hear yours! Link up with us HERE!



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Winter: The Bright Side

 

I love seasons. I really do. Having four seasons to enjoy is one of the best parts of living in
Nebraska! Too much of anything and it simply makes you appreciate it less. I think. 75
and sunny all through the year would be a disaster....right?  Okay, I might be in denial. That being
said, everyone knows that winter is the armpit of the four seasons. For lack of better
terms, it is the worst.

Don’t get me wrong. Snow is beautiful. It’s downright magical when it’s falling, and a
white Christmas is unbeatable. But by midnight on December 25, I have long
since moved on. The cold has a way of sneaking in and making my body ache, and my
bones feel like that of an elderly woman, rather than a newlywed in her late 20s. I find
myself searching for solace in a cup of hot coffee and cinnamon rolls. And brownies.
 And hot pizza. Let’s just leave it at carbs. Lots of carbs. 

And then there is my motivation. Or perhaps I should say lack thereof.  With every drop
in degree, my productivity is freefalling alongside of it. Work out? Sure, do I have to
change out of this snowsuit? Also, can I bring my heated blanket?  Getting out of the
door on time? Getting out from under the warm covers in the morning is really asking too
much at this point.

Before you join me in jumping off of a Winter weather related deep end, I have
successfully come up with a list of reasons why Winter can actually be a good thing.

Timesaver grocery shopping
Does anyone else run into the dilemma of trying to tie in their grocery shopping
with other errands? If you have ever put your groceries in the trunk of your car in
mid August, you know that you better be bookin’ it home. You will be lucky to
get there before your milk curdles. But in the winter? Simply not an issue. You
can pack that automobile full of produce (and even frozen items!) and casually
run all of your other errands. Thanks Nebraska! And thanks unbearably cold
Winter temperatures. 
 
Also, lunch break grocery shopping is a go in the
winter. Need some milk and a few other frozen items? No problem! That produce
will still be cold when you get home at night. Possibly even frozen.  No one likes
a busy grocery store after work. No one. Winter timesaver for the win!

Warm Shoes, Five Shirts, No Shave
This is a less known version of the No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service sign you have
all seen before. Feel free to hang this up in your home over the long winter. Am I
the only one who feels absolutely defeated by shaving my legs in the winter? First
of all, I’m not wearing shorts/skirts/dresses. Second, getting ambushed by goose
bumps immediately post shave is the equivalent of vacuuming while our dog child
is blowing his winter coat. Sorry husbands and general population. The winter and
the razor will never be friends.

Free Pet tracking
Speaking of pets, our little fur baby has a tendency to turn his bathroom breaks
into neighborhood outings.  I recently discovered that I could recover him MUCH
sooner by doing a quick land survey to see where his tracks went in the snow.
You can just call me Sherlock Holmes.

Winter fashion
Hello blanket scarves and knee-high boots! Every season comes with fashion
transitions, and I ALWAYS welcome the chilly temperature change when it
comes to outfits. Having a blanket wrapped around your neck and pulling boots
up your knees just doesn’t have the same appeal in the heat of the summer.

Cozy Corner time
After we got married and I moved in with my husband, I shifted around some
furniture and created something of a nook with the recliner. I have always been a
bookworm, so this new “spot” is one of my favorite places to read. Anyways,
maybe it’s just me, but if it is remotely nice outside, I feel some sort of strange
guilt/obligation to be doing something outside. So you better believe if it is 10
degrees out and I want to have some cozy corner time, I will. And minus the guilt,
at that! Anyone else with the nice weather conscience? Maybe you don’t have a
cozy corner, but we all have indoor activities that seem to not happen during the
warm seasons. And yet another reason Winter can be our friend.

Burning food scented candles
I am fully aware you can do this year around....however...is there anything
better than the glow of a candle, cuddled up with your loved one(s), while the
smell of pumpkin cheesecake (thanks Target) permeates your senses? I think not.
Sorry, but burning a candle in the summer loses its appeal when you feel like you
are actually living in an open flame.

Brick would like to enjoy a walk without his whiskers frosting over!
And here we are. I know that this list cannot carry you through the entire season, but
here’s to making the best of it and praying for Spring to make an early appearance.  Or record high
temperatures next week.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Madness / Weekend Recap

You guys, this week is crazy. I just stared at my planner for a good 5 minutes straight.... mostly wondering how everything was going to fit in. But it's all good stuff and so I am not complaining!

The weekend was also straight madness! We hosted a party Saturday so that is always fun and exhausting. I realized I took ZERO pictures of this event, much to my sadness. I did make this cake which I would highly recommend for the ice cream cake lovers in your life.

On Sunday we ventured to my hometown for family time, and then watched the super bowl with friends. By watched the super bowl, I mean I pigged out and played with all of my friend's babies. So many of my friends have sweet little babes... and I love it. The only sad part is that I cannot possibly see them all on a regular basis and they grow SO QUICKLY! I got to cuddle this darling boy for a while and it was wonderful.


 
Also.... I did catch the half time show... Beyoncé is amazing per usual. But that was the weekend in a nutshell.

I'll be settling in with wings and The Bachelor tonight. Not quite ready to give up on the party food.

Lastly... but certainly not least (ly) Amy of The Left Handed Letterer posted another sneak peak of her $3 downloadable, printable V-Day cards that will be up in her Etsy shop starting WEDNESDAY!



 I am so excited about these cute prints! Head over to her Etsy shop on Wednesday the 10th for the full display.

*If you haven't entered her giveaway, it's not too late!  I posted details HERE!

Have a happy Monday!

xoxox





Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Favorites

It doesn't feel like it should be Friday after our mid week snow day vacation... but I am certainly not complaining! I am ecstatic it is the weekend! We are hosting a diaper keg shower for our expecting friends and then it's Super Bowl Sunday! Per usual, I don't care about the game but I do care about getting together with friends and eating. So there's that. And today we are linking up for Friday Favorites! Woo!



 
 
 
 This is a BIG favorite. My amazing and talented friend Amy of The Left Handed Letterer is hosting a GRAND OPENING GIVEAWAY! You guys, her stuff is darling. I want ALL of it.
She is taking custom orders as well as hosting a giveaway for TWO winners!
 
Follow her on Instagram @thelefthandedletterer
Like her page on Facebook
 
 
There is SO much cute stuff in her shop... and the options are endless with a custom order! She can do it all :)
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
AND... there are going to be Valentine's Day cards available! Seriously .... again... I want it all!
 
 
 
 
 
 
...yes, I will.
 




AND... my other favorite thing this week... this THREE DOLLAR purchase from Old Navy! This jacket is soft and warm and will be perfect to transition into the Spring. And for $3, it's a must have.


 
 
We are short and sweet today! These were really the things that had me excited today and I wanted to share. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!