2022 Reflections

2022 was a weird year. When I was first asked a word to describe it ‘subpar’ was my response – ironically that was B’s word too… at least we’re on the same page. πŸ™ƒ

This past year everyone was right back into it, whereas in 2021 people still seemed to hesitate in regards to the virus, 2022 was like all bets were off. It also felt like a lot of our core people in 2020 and 2021 had a lot of other plans and we weren’t a part of them… which was proven as I was sorting through pictures trying to find highlights from each month, that is totally fine, but it just felt a little lonelier and a conversation B and I both had and noticed throughout the course of the year. Not the worst thing, just something we noticed – and that’s just part of life.

We were lucky enough to take a few trips from Palm Springs in March to a getaway at the Cabin in the Woods x2 to Miami and even Colonial Williamsburg — I even made my way to St. Louis at the end of January! We definitely had many new adventures together, which is something I always love and cherish. In addition to our travels, we made and did our own little Summer bucket list which mostly consisted of dining out around our city at places we’ve never been or haven’t been in forever. B and I also enjoyed a lot of charcuterie boards, sushi nights, and evenings on our patio at home watching TV and playing Yahtzee. Another highlight for 2022 was that B and I attended our first and our second concerts in our 11 years together! What concerts you may ask? Elton John and Lady Gaga… pretty epic.

Another monumental highlight of 2022 was we finished our kitchen renovation! We finished in April and have been loving it ever since, we’ve hosted a few times and of course, had our own dance parties and cooking nights to ourselves. Our dining nook is also a new spot for us to sit and enjoy dinner together and recount our days and talk about the latest — even though we spend most of them together!

This year also involved a lot of personal growth, a lot of blah, and of course some stress — I found my voice in areas of my life that it (if you can believe it) hasn’t been so loud. I’m not completely sure what 2023 has to hold, I have a few things in mind, but for some reason, this year seems more unknown and eerie than others, but not necessarily in a good or bad way. Maybe this is just how life is for a while? Mediocre?

So long, 2022 – let’s see what 2023 is all about!

Merry Christmas – 2022

Merry Christmas from our new kitchen! Last Christmas we had a big open room, and now we have a beautiful space that we can cook in, decorate and just live in.

This Christmas season has reminded us that as much as you have planned, life and God sometimes have other plans for you that are beyond your control. Some of those things are sad, some of those things are annoying and sometimes those things can be good! And sometimes, those things remind us to slow down, hug a little longer, and relax.

As 2022 wraps up, I hope you can soak in a little more Christmas magic and that these last few days are relaxing, productive, and fulfilling to end the year on a good note.


From B, Moz & Me – Merry Christmas!

Anthropologie Holiday Candle Dupe

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without another Anthropologie dupe! I did a dupe this year on the Frosted Bottle Brush Tree Candle. This honestly was super easy, with endless options to customize and create your own. Originally these candles are priced anywhere from $68 – $16, these candles I duped were about $14 each or less.

The candles I found were at Home Good’s and Marshall’s by a brand called Sand + Fog, they were $7.99 each but came with painted lids with holiday prints. I also made sure to find holiday scents since I’m gifting them for Christmas gifts! Luckily, I had a decent amount of mini bottle brush trees from previous years, so I only had to buy a few new to create this craft.

DIY Shopping List:
– Candle of your size or choice, ideally with a wooden lid
– Bottle brush trees: 6.5″ Assorted Set OR 6″ Set from Target OR 4″ Set from Target
– Hot glue
– Paint or spray paint as needed

Step-by-Step:
1. If your candle lids have a print on them, paint them white or color of your choice. You may need a few layers depending on the design. If you have a plain wooden top, skip to the next step!
2. Remove the base on your bottle brush trees, and trim off the excess wire with pliers. You’ll want the bottom of your tree as flat as possible.
3. If your bottle brush trees are all the same height, you can take pliers and cut a section off the bottom in order to have different heights.
4. Before gluing in place, play around with the heights and amount of trees you fit on the lid — I fit 3-4 trees depending on the size.
5. Once you have your placement figured out, generously apply hot glue to the center base of your trees and put into place – if your trees are taller, you may need to hold the tree in place.

So Many Brush Bottle Trees, So Little Time. As I mentioned, this can be tailored to your design and style and truly make it your own. I love a little more retro flair with my Christmas decor, so I found these cute retro bulbs and gold trees to mix into a few of my candle tops. On some of the plain green trees, I even added more white paint to make them look like snow-covered — you can also play around with spray painting the trees to whatever color you want. Finally, I do think adding in various heights can help add depth to the candle top, unless all the trees are different like the gold, silver, and white trio at the very top (which is one of my favorite ones!)


What do you think? My anthro dupe is definitely a different vibe than the inspiration, but replicating the originals would’ve been pretty easy to do by sourcing different bottle brush trees. It would be really fun to grab an extra-large candle to create a little bottle brush forest on top!


Check out my other high-end holiday dupes:
❄️ Pottery Barn Snow Globe Place Setting
πŸŽ„ Anthropologie Monogram Ornament
πŸ”” Christmas Village DIY
πŸŽ… Nutcracker Napkin Rings

DIY – Nutcracker Napkin Rings

Oversized nutcrackers are definitely all the rage this holiday season if you follow any home DIYers on the gram. I’ve always loved nutcrackers since I was a little girl, and pulling out our nutcrackers each year to decorate was always something I looked forward to doing with my mom. So when I saw these little 2-packs of plain wooden nutcrackers in the Dollar Spot at Target over the fall, I snatched them up and brainstormed fun, easy, and affordable DIY, napkin rings!

The best part of this project is that it maybe cost me $17 to make — if you’re starting from scratch estimated $34 which comes to a little over $4 per table setting, as this makes enough napkin rings for 8 place settings. Which is well under the non-sale price of these similar Crate & Barrel nutrcracker napkin rings that start at $6.95 each.

I had old shower curtains that I utilized and then only ended up buying the blush chalk paint, utilizing other spray paint and colors I had, that would fit into my Christmas decor color scheme.

DIY Shopping List:
– Mini Wooden Nutcrackers | $3 ea.
— This 5 count at Michael’s is a good substitute | $4 ea.
Metal Circular Shower Rings | $10 – $12
– Hot Glue or E6000 Glue
– Spray Paint – Color(s) of your choice
Blush Pink Chalk Spray Paint | $8-10
Metallic Gold Spray Paint | $10
Olive Grove Chalk Paint | $36 (don’t recommend buying just for this project!)

Once you have everything from there, this DIY project can be pretty simple. You can paint your nutcrackers all the same color, get more intricate and paint faces and detail out their outfits, or you can do a color scheme like I did mixing in your holiday colors. Mine are green, blush, and gold! One thing to make sure you do is to paint the bottoms of your nutcrackers, as that will definitely be a focal point to guests at the table.

Once all your rings and nutcrackers are painted, you’ll want to glue your rings to the back, bottom of the nutcrackers. I utilized hot glue, but recommend E6000 for a better hold that is a bit more durable. Wah-la!

Now you’re hosting holiday ready! The best part about this project is that you can always repaint these in a few years to mix up or adapt to your changing holiday decor and style. I also like these, because they’re smaller to store in your decor.


Check out my snow globe Pottery Barn place setting dupe.

House Tour: Basement Makeover 3.0

It’s been 8-years since we purchased our home, and last fall we finished the next stage of our basement makeover which has been in progress since 2018. I can’t believe I haven’t shared it, because this really just ties a bow on this ongoing project – it’s also a space that when we purchased our house I had 0 intentions for our basement and for it to merely serve as a basement for storage and other basement things. I hope this post also serves as a reminder that in a world of Before & Afters in mere seconds through an Instagram reel, that house projects can take time and also evolve… and that’s OK!

Here is a quick timeline of our basement projects;
– 2018: Waterproof & create initial living space + $60 shiplap wall
– 2019: Remodel basement bathroom
– 2021: Build drywall, add french doors, and built-in bar

The Compromise

I will totally admit, that this third phase of our basement makeover was initiated by B (in the midst of our kitchen being ripped apart no less!). He was itching to build an actual wall — I was having a tough time trying to invision the best configuration AND I felt how we had it worked out fine… well once I spent some time to give B the wall configuration and it started coming to life, I was instantly in love! Our compromise for the project (B wanting to do drywall, me not as into it) was if we could add a built in bar as well along the new wall. I showed B the vision, and we both had a game plan to work through phase 3.

In addition to building a wall to replace the make shift drop cloth wall, we also built around our furnace to consolidate our storage and other equipment from the main area in our basement and added a bi-fold door! This was part of my hold up, since I wanted it to be more than just a wall to seperate the rooms, but more encompassing of a few other things for our basement space.

What We Did

In addition to building a real wall in place of our make shift drop cloth wall, we also worked to enclose the storage area and the furance and water heater. From there we started building about how cool it would be have double french doors from the living room area to the rest of the basement, we had actually talked about that many years ago as big dreams. And then we made it happen! Installing the french doors was definitely not fun, and probably should’ve been like 4-person job – but somehow we did it, with all the credit going to B.

For the built in basement bar, we wanted to keep this as affordable as possible – so we ended up getting the pre-fab cabinet bases from Lowe’s — one compromise for this was having 24″ depth, it took up a little bit more of our living space that I would’ve preferred, but getting custom or skinners ones was significantly more! We scored my champagne fridge on sale and then used nicer plywood, glued together and created our own counter top that we stained in our go-to Walnut and polyurethaned the top for extra protection, again an affordable route!

We were already blessed with a bright basement with big windows and lots of them, but painting the basement white with waterproofing and the overtop, definitely help brighten up and clean up this space from it’s dingy blue walls.

Our basement was a blank slate, that we’ve turned into something. We’ve added function, additional living space, a whole new bathroom, and storage! And now it’s just time to live in it and enjoy – although since the 2020 C-word, we haven’t hosted with overflow in the basement as I always envisioned, like the guys downstairs watching the game, with snacks on the bar and mixing their own drinks – maybe some day!

Cheers to constantly evolving and making these a bit more beautiful than the way we found them!

DIY – Sideboard Glow Up

I’ve been itching for a DIY project, and as much as I love the looks of our sideboard that transitions seamlessly from our living room to our dining room, our project skills and taste have improved since we first did this project back in 2016. The functionality and size of this piece are ideal, so there was no sense in trying to find and buy something new, we just needed a little glow up. After much brainstorming, I saw @hotpinkpineapples cabinet makeover and was instantly inspired to recreate this beaded look on our doors — the color was just throwing me.

To throw it back to 2016, we found a battered bookcase on the side of the road and added doors to it to create extra storage for glassware, entertaining, and games. The legs on the bookcase have always been questionable, so with this glow up, I also made sure to reinforce and take the time to fix some things overlooked with the first make over – like new legs, reinforcing the bottom, taking the extra time to sand the doors to remove some of the roughness and using wood filler to create a seamless look.

Makeover Supplies:
4″ Wooden Legs with Metal Leg Plates
25mm Wooden Craft Beads (I got 3 packs)
– 1-inch edging
Gold Acrylic Pulls
Wallpaper
– Magnolia Chalk Paint & Wax Sealer
E6000 Glue
Wood Filler
Gold Spray Paint (for the old hinges)

This was my first DIY with Chalk Paint… and let me say, I was not impressed, actually super bummed. I did the chalk paint because it’s supposed to be easy, durable, and little prep. I ended up sanding the old piece for the wood, but never primed anything… and as I was in the finishing touches stage the paint easily chipped off, or was stripped entirely when I was applying the wallpaper all the way down to the original dark wood grain. I wasn’t happy! So I made sure to get the wax to give it that protective finish – I did a couple coats on the high-traffic areas but am not convinced it’ll hold up. I also put contact adhesive shelf liner down inside to help with the chippy chalk paint.

Another learning on this DIY was gluing all the beads on, super easy, but the glue had a lot of leftover cobwebs, which was annoying when it came to finishing/painting – so either be careful or super diligent when you are gluing to avoid unnecessary webs. I am really happy with the 25mm size of the beads with my larger doors, they definitely make a statement!

Since the front was getting a glow-up, the inside also needed a makeover too. I wanted it to be a fun party inside, especially since this holds games, additional glassware, and other entertaining supplies. I think the fun tropical leaf pattern in black, white, and grey is super chic and lots of fun. What do you think?

I’m low-key obsessed with this makeover, and have found a small place for some green in my home with accessories and supporting pieces! Working on this project definitely got my creative juices flowing, it’s amazing when you spend the time creating and making something how that stems into other ideas and thoughts in other aspects of your life. πŸ₯‚

Moz Takes Williamsburg, VA – A Dog’s Travel Guide

Moz went on her first vacation with us! We took a road trip to Williamsburg, Virginia for an extended family trip – and – Moz tagged along for all of the fun. Luckily we were able to prepare for dog-friendly activities and spots to bring her ahead of our trip, we just didn’t have the best weather to enjoy all of the outdoor patios, so we bundled up and Moz rocked her way too cute plaid rain coat all week.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is the perfect spot to get your pup plenty of exercise, while also getting a little history lesson! There is plenty of green space, lots of other pups, and plenty of space to walk and explore this quaint little pocket of history. We stopped here two separate times outside of our Spooks & Legend’s tour, to explore and take in the sights.

Spooks & Legends is also a dog-friendly evening activity that walks through Colonial Williamsburg. We took a nearly 2-hour tour that shared urban legends, ghostly sightings, and history that have happened over the years. Moz was a trooper, even on a chillier night and kept up with the group!

Pro-Tip: If you’re heading with your pup, you can access Colonial Williamsburg from the Merchant Square area, there is a parking garage on N. Henry that is a direct connection to entering Colonial Williamsburg, plus it’s affordable and walkable to the rest of Merchant Square. You can also park and walk from the Visitor Center (which is also dog friendly!), it’s just a bit longer of a hike to get to Colonial Williamsburg compared to entering from Merchant Square.

DOG-FRIENDLY Food & Brews

Amber Ox Public House. My only regret is that we didn’t get back here for another meal! We grabbed Sunday brunch here, they had a great covered patio that had turf on the floor too, which was super dog friendly.

Craft 31. This was such a score, especially with the cold weather we were experiencing during our trip, they have a covered/enclosed patio that is heated and it was SO lovely! They were dog friendly, and brought Moz a dog bowl full of water.

Copper Fox Distillery. Another indoor score, with the cutest copper dog bowls and delicious cocktails. We could’ve spent the entire afternoon here sipping on luscious cocktails, chatting while being able to have Moz with us.

A few other spots that we enjoyed, however, weren’t necessarily the best against the cold and rainy elements were Precarious Brewery and Aromas – luckily we had blankets. Precarious did have outdoor heaters that did the trick, but it was still damp and chilly! Billsburg Brewery near closer to Jamestown had a nice covered/enclosed patio, this brewery also has nice waterfront views and is definitely dog friendly.

Traveling with a pup, especially with crappy weather isn’t exactly ideal — but we made the most of it and still had fun. The weather was definitely a swift introduction to fall, and Moz was a trooper the whole trip, from the 8-hour car drive to day-long adventures including brunch, and exploring Colonial Williamsburg and the gorgeous Merchant Square. If you’re planning a trip to Williamsburg with your four-legged friend, try to plan for warmer weather, however I will say, I loved the “off-season” vibe and can’t imagine how crowded it gets in the Summer months!

See our full highlight reel on Williamsburg, VA.

Travel: Williamsburg, VA

B and I got to explore another new city together – which is honestly always one of my favorite things, and the best part is we even brought Moz! So, since we’re fresh off a road trip from historic Williamsburg, Virginia — here are a few highlights from our trip.

Copper Fox Distillery

This was such a lovely and unexpected treat. First of all, Moz was allowed inside – which was a lovely break from the chilly, damp rain. Second of all, it’s in an old hotel and you enter the bar through a hidden bookcase door, situated in the entry way with a gorgeous chandelier and stunning fireplace. Third, the cocktails were incredible – I wish we would’ve stayed a bit longer to enjoy another one! Shout out to the Real Housewives of Potomac for having Copper Fox Distillery on their show during their Williamsburg trip, because it was definitely worth the trip. They have snacks and charcuterie boards, so definitely eat a bit before or plan for after so you can enjoy the cocktails or a tasting flight!

We also loved Amber Ox Public House, it is a must-visit. We went for brunch, which was amazing – and were really hoping to get back for dinner but it didn’t work out, but the menu looked incredible, so definitely check out Amber Ox, the staff was beyond friendly and this was a dog-friendly spot too!

Colonial Williamsburg

Once we got our bearings, exploring Colonial Williamsburg was easy and something we added into multiple days of our trip when we had the time or wanted to get Moz some exercise. Most of this is outdoors, so definitely plan for the weather – but if you’re dog-less you can go inside the various houses or take other tours with different passes. Otherwise, Colonial Williamsburg is free and open to walk at your leisure and accessible directly from Merchant’s Square — which is definitely where you should park if you want to just jump in and out vs. a day-long tour.

Caves, Ghosts & Family, Oh My!

This is the catch-all for the rest of the trips highlights! One new experience was going to a Himalayan Salt Cave at the Williamsburg Salt Spa – it was a 45-minute therapeutic session that has a lot of health benefits, the family went in two groupings and all seemed to like it! Another fun, group activity was the Spooks & Legend’s evening tour through Colonial Williamsburg, it was definitely an interesting and fun experience. Travel with extended family always comes with it’s baggage, but it was mostly fun with birthday celebrations and old stories that made us all laugh until we cried – those are the fun memories that I’ll hold tight from this trip in addition to all the new experiences with Moz and B.

That’s a wrap on Williamsburg! Had the weather been a little nicer I know we would’ve enjoyed a few more patios, breweries, and maybe even a hike or two — but we were able to get in a handful of historic spots, delicious eats, and a bit of family fun.

Traveling with you pup? See how Moz took Williamsburg by storm with a dog’s travel guide to the city!

48 Hours in Miami

Itching for a little getaway? Here’s what to do, and what not to do if you’re spending 48 hours in Miami. Our impromptu weekend trip to Miami was driven around the purpose of going to see Lady Gaga’s Chromatica tour and last stop at that. So please enjoy this travel guide that is written with some dry humor based on the roses and thorns from our recent trip.

What to Do in Miami

Stay in South Beach. 100% no questions asked and on Ocean Drive. The vibe from Ocean Drive to Collins Ave is like night and day. I’m so glad we stayed on the western part of South Beach just off Ocean Drive at the Marriott Stanton.

Book a Hotel with Amenities, on the Beach. If we didn’t want to, we honestly didn’t have to leave our hotel. We had direct beach access, a private pool, a top-notch sushi restaurant, Starbucks, a bar, and a cantina restaurant (& a gym, but we didn’t entertain that life in our 48-hours). What more do you need? Oh, I’ll tell you, complimentary margaritas (2 each), complimentary beach chairs, and prime walking to the beach and the rest of Ocean Drive. The only complaint was the wait for the elevator, so we just got more exercise with the stairs!

Go to Gianni’s at the Mansion. Gianni Versace’s mansion located right on Ocean Drive is a must, from the atmosphere to the food it was an incredible experience. Interested? Check out my guide to Gianni’s to see more!

Stop by the Palace for a Sidewalk Show. As we were headed back from our Versace’s lunch, we were in the midst of a free and insane drag show at the Palace, we of course stopped, hooted and watched — but that would be an experience and the mimosas were definitely flowing!

Buy J. Crew Swim Suits. This isn’t really to do with Miami, but something to do before you come. At the age of 32, I finally appreciate buying a decent swimsuit… my life has been changed.

What NOT to Do in Miami

Don’t Go To a Concert at Hard Rock Stadium. Enough said, just salty.

If You Do… Drive Yourself & Check the Radar. Honestly, you need a game plan for escaping (either before the crowd or on your own terms with a car strategically parked somewhere far away). Also, if there is any chance of a storm or inclement weather, let’s hope your seats are in Section 300 and that it won’t interfere with your show/event. ICYMI – Gaga postponed her concert due to ‘inclement weather’ for 2.5-hours gave false hope of restarting, only to cancel completely with 4 songs left with continued lightening (after we already sat in the stadium during a horrible storm for 2.5 hours…) #StillSalty

Don’t take the 6AM Flight. Because no one likes waking up at 3:30am to get to the airport. Our last few trips we’ve been spoiled with late-night flights in (which we did on our way to Miami) or mid-afternoon/evening flights home. We booked the 6am flight in hopes of getting home early, but with delays and just not being worth it just book the late flight and take the extra PTO, you’ll just be happier and won’t be disappointed when you don’t get home early. Also; wear a parka in Miami International Airport – because it is an ice box and horrible.

Don’t walk 40-minutes to Brunch After a Gaga Let Down in 80-degree heat & humidity. Need I say more? Just pick a different place, or take the Uber – maybe decide to walk home, but definitely not there.

Overall our 48-hours in Miami were filled with yummy drinks, pool time (& drinks by the pool), and walks along the beach or Ocean Drive. We obviously went there for a reason, and everything else was a bonus – plus it was a new city for B and I to explore together, so that is always a priceless memory to add to our scrapbook. ❀️