Before & After: Accessory Closet Makeover

One really amazing thing about our master bedroom, is the fact that we have not one, but two walk-in closets — the even better part? I had full intentions of sharing these with B, but he said “Nope! They’re all yours.” 😍 Since these are in our attic, they both are a bit oddly shaped and my accessories closet is definitely the smaller of the two, but works out perfectly for all my fun and special pieces to be on full display.

To get this closet, which quickly became a catch all, organized I focused on three areas to get this looking better and straightened up. (1) Purge! I went through all my jewelry and consolidated, donated or stored away, this also included scarfs and handbags. (2) Invest in jewelry specific organization pieces, and (3) paint old TV console that I use for storage. These three things combined helped make it more functional while also looking even more gorg, if I do say so myself.

By purging and consolidating, I was able to even get rid of a few different cube solutions and really consolidate and streamline everything for a clean and useful space, while also limiting myself to what I can store, so that I have to keep up with replacing or purging when new items come in.

Ok, so I think the things that really pushed this makeover to the next level were the acrylic jewelry organizers I grabbed – and might I add am pretty obsessed with. The two-pack acrylic mounted jewelry stands were an impulse purchase, that I wasn’t sure exactly how I would use them — but they came in clutch and I love how they free up counter space while displaying my necklaces tangled-free and easy to see! I then found these clear jewelry boxes, one with four-drawers in white, and another with six-drawers in white. The six-drawer case is shorter, so it fits perfectly on top of my updated shoe console. I also grabbed this stackable accessory container on a whim, and again I love how it contains pieces, stacks tall, while still showing off the pretty things.

Finally, I ordered a 4-pack of clear shelves to utilize in the space. I wasn’t 100% sure the configuration or what I would want to put on them — I was initially thinking smaller hand bags or displayed jewelry — but ended up putting some pictures and keepsakes I already had in the space to have my favorite people close. I ended up using the other two in my larger closet, which is still getting organized with it’s own update!

Two final key pieces that really helped spice up this space and make it functional was the addition of a make-shift counter on top of the vertical cubed storage. Because it’s an old attic, there was a decent gap between that and the wall — but getting this Blue Hawk white laminate board, we were able to cut in half and utilize for both of my closet spaces which had this same problem. This created a space where I could put my larger jewelry box, while still having some space for added decor or storage pieces.

Finally, painting our old brown TV console to white to match the space was a necessity! I almost didn’t do it, but I’m so glad I spent the time and 10-million coats of white paint to give this babe a face lift. I had left over speckled dot peel and stick wallpaper from Target from a previous project that was just enough to add as a backer and give this a bit more glam and flair. And by consolidating all my of heels to this space it really gave a clean separation between bags and shoes. I just kept my wedding shoes as a focal point in the tall cubed piece!

With a few extra hooks and nails I was able to add storage for more bags, wide brim hats, some satin and lace. The last thing I plan to do is spray paint the hooks from silver to gold and also do the same for the wall sconce to spray paint the silver hardware gold for a cost effective update! As I mentioned, my larger clothing closet is also getting a bit of an update, while also getting organized and cleaned out — a mini reveal and a few of my hacks for that coming soon. This space was transformed within a weekend, and I find myself just opening the closet door to peak inside at the perfection and pretty!

Here’s to creating more beauty and organization in our lives! xox

Getting Organized: Functional Must-Haves for Any Space

One of my favorite parts of the new year, and colder winter months is getting the inside of my home organized, decluttered and fresh for the year! Once the warm weather rolls around, I don’t want to be stuck in my house organizing a closet. Last January, I tackled my office closet and the year before that our tiny kitchen pantry — and I’m happy to report, both spaces are still clean, organized and most importantly super functional. As I tackle each of these different and unique spaces, there are a few must-have and go-to pieces that are functional and work in a plethora of spaces, especially when creating your own organizational solutions.

Left: Office Closet // Right: Budget Bathroom Makeover

Let’s Talk Shelving Solutions. Ok, so my absolute favorite piece and go-to for a closet space is a cube organizer shelf – these range in a variety of options, but are relatively affordable and provide a variety of storage from clothes, to shoes, to craft supplies! I typically get the 11″ cube, but if you’re wanting something a bit more sturdy with more fabric storage box options, the 13″ cube organizer shelf is the next best thing. These are available at Targets (linked), Lowe’s and even Home Depot, just to name a few. Plus they are great for horizontal or vertical spaces!

I am also all for creating your own shelves to create room to organize for your unique space, especially when it comes to closets. We live in a 100+ year-old home, so our closets are odd shaped and each one is a little different, so you have to get creative and go semi-custom, but don’t let the word custom scare you off or think you have to spend lots of $$$$! A super easy way to create a shelf that also looks nice is, laminate shelf boards (pick your depth, length as needed) paired with a simple L shelf bracket – this is a super affordable option to add custom shelves to a closet. You can get a fancier looking shelf bracket depending on the look like these gold brackets; just remember to check for weight limits, and try to drill into a stud whenever possible! I also have spray painted the simple L shelf brackets, gold (screw heads too) for a higher end look at a much lower price.

Shop Shelving Solutions: Blue Hawk Laminate Shelf, 6 Cube Organizer Shelf, 8 Cube Organizer Shelf, Gold Brackets, L Shelf Bracket

My Favorite Storage Containers. Now that we have our spaces and nooks created, the next best part is all the boxes and baskets to store our goodies. Baskets and storage bins are great for a variety of spaces and contain the goods to a space within your space, allowing ease of use and function. My go-to basket, is the Y-Weave bins from Target — they come in a variety of neutral colors and sizes for all of the things! I use these in my bathroom, hall linen closet and even our kitchen pantry, they’re also affordable and sturdy.

Plastic clear storage bins (without lids) are also a go-to favorite, although a little more expensive these are a clean look and again work in any space. I’m currently working on my accessories closet in our master bedroom and definitely splurged on clear storage solutions! Fabric bins are another great way to give a higher-end look to store craft supplies, scarfs, clothes or toys.

Shop Storage Containers: Y-Weave Medium Basket, 13″ Fabric Cute Storage, Clear Rectangular Organizer, Clear Organizer Bin

Once you have the pieces and parts to help get you organized, it’s also important to sort, purge and consolidate the contents of the space you’re organizing — often times this may need to come first to see what you’re working with, the types of things you need to store and how much you have of everything! Don’t be afraid to find or reuse containers around your house if you can’t afford (or don’t want too) buy all new baskets or matching pieces, it’s 100% ok to work your way to a matching and perfectly organized space.

What spaces are you tackling to get organized to start your year off?

Fitness Friday 01.21 – 2021 Fitness Goals

Do you make fitness goals? I love making goals each year, and think it’s important to split out personal goals and fitness goals – so we are about to talk 2021 fitness goals! Fitness goals are also super important for our mental health just as much as our physical health — it allows us to take care of our homes, gives us dedicated ‘me time’ and allows us to push ourselves to grow stronger.

Ok, so really quick before we jump into my new fitness goals, I’m going to grade how I did on my 2020 fitness goals. There were two goals that I completely failed at — goal #1: building and maintaining my core strength and goal #4: maintaining healthy food balance. But here are two that I did good with!

Goal #2 = Bootcamp 3X a Week | My Score: B-
I was going to rate this as an F, but I looked back at my Streaks app and I didn’t do as horrible as I felt — the workouts weren’t the same, but I was pretty solid for the first 6-7 months keeping a consistent workout routine. The last 5-months of the year, not so much!

Goal #3 = Finish 6 Runs in 2020| My Score: A++
Yes, this one was definitely the priority and easiest one to check off with each race completed. I ran four 5k’s, a 5-miler and a 10-miler race to complete this goal! Each race brought new challenges, no matter the distance, I struggled through the 5-miler, even a 5k — but breezed through the 10-miler, surprisingly with ease. It was a great accomplishment to complete this, gave us something to plan and look forward too even with them being virtual!

Now let’s get to what we are really here to talk about – my new fitness goals for 2021! Learning from my successes and failures, while also understanding the shift my fitness has needed to take over this past year and moving into this one, I’ve pulled together these three to focus on.

Finish 6 Runs in 2021 – including a half-marathon. Plot twist I want to still get at least 6-races in, but want to plan and get a half marathon in this year. I was hoping to do one this past year, but everything got post-poned for the larger, longer runs. B also wants to do this with me, so I’ll have a good running mate (as always) to work to accomplish this one!

Workout 3-4x a week. And for me a workout is at least 30-minutes of sweating, pushing myself and being physically active. I’ve recently purchased a Bosu ball, which allows me to do a lot of different types or workouts a little easier, and I’ve already found a fun Bosu workout on YouTube! I’m also hoping to add a few more hand weights, medicine balls, and step bench to my workout equipment to allow a bit more versatility!

Loose 15-lbs. I really hate goals like this, number goals, but sometimes they’re needed to help kick you in the ass. I know where I’m at, and I know where I should be, where I have been, what is attainable and still healthy — and I’m not there. Through better eating habits and more consistent exercise I plan to hopefully attain this goal, so I can then make a new goal of maintaining (because that might just be harder than loosing the weight!)

Are you making 2021 fitness goals? These goals are good to keep us grounded and focused to work towards the best versions of ourselves.

My 2021 Goals

Happy New Year! It’s that time again — that time to reset and refocus our energy, our priorities and look back at successes and even failures from the previous year, things we’ve learned about ourselves. And with that, it’s important to review your previous goals – and if you didn’t have any, you can only go up from here – so here is a quick update on how I did with my 2020 goals.

My 2020 Goals Successes: I paid off my credit card debt, before my 30th birthday — and even better, I’ve kept the credit card paid off. It’s so refreshing and freeing to have that under control. I also successfully completed one of my fitness goal of running 6-races, which proved more challenging because they all got delayed into Q4. We were also able to squeeze in one trip, which I will take for how 2020 went. And, I think that I fulfilled my goal of saying “No” which was also a bit easier, because you know, covid — and maybe one of the few things I’ll thank covid for.

Here are my goals for 2021:

Pay Off My Student Loans by December 2021. With the pandemic, student loans got a break with 0% interest among other things for most of the year — so I made sure to take advantage of that, while also paying more on my loans due to the money I’ve saved without having other expenses (car, gym, spa). With the help of my rain-man hubby, we’ve calculated for me to be on track and student debt free while I’m still 31! Being able to pay these off all by myself, while I’m still relatively young and 9-years post graduation is something I am truly proud of and fortunate to be able to do.

Monthly Volunteering. I unfortunately got out of dog walking volunteering, which I was doing almost weekly pre-covid. I then was trying to get a goal of at least monthly, which I was doing pretty well with, but the end of the year not so much. So my goal is to get back to that monthly volunteering for at least 2-hours, and then if things get better, I’ll start going more frequently. This will also help push me to do more “social” things without actually being social.

Good for the Soul. Focusing on things that are good for the soul and things I enjoy doing is going to continue to be a priority. Things like: Friends, travel, good food, bubbles, saying no, house projects, decorating, speaking my truth, reading, creating, dogs, sleeping in, and watching Bravo. Traveling is always a priority and on our to-do list (& oh so good for the soul), and we already have two trips outlined. This past year has also proven to enjoy the simpler things in life, like hanging out just B and I, playing games, listening to music and laughing the night away — hopefully we can just add a few more friends and family to that scenario.

Continue to Invest in Myself. This is both mentally and physically. Due to affect effects of covid, I’ve found that working out and staying healthy is going to be more of an effort, also sadly, because my former gym ended up closing last year due to financially hardships. So I’ve already started to purchase more at-home fitness equipment to help workouts become more attainable, without an excuse of not having equipment. Mentally, I’ve been needing to find someone to talk too since the spring. Again, I’ve made excuses not being able to find anyone that feels right — but I need to get it started. I spoke to someone in college and it helped immensely.

As you may have noticed, a lot of these goals, seem to be getting back to a normal life and piecing together the after effects from the pandemic (which BTW is still happening). And one of those biggies will be my fitness goals. I’ll be sharing those more specific goals on my upcoming Fitness Friday post — I think it’s important if you want your health and fitness to be a priority and is a personal goal, to make specific goals attainable and specific to fitness without just saying; “stay in shape” or “work out.” And I’ll be sharing my fitness goal failures too.

I also recently did one of those word scrambles, where you look at a bunch of letters and pull out the first four words you see. My four words were: Health, Family, Love and Strength. I think these are good mantra words to hold onto and focus for my new year — even if it’s a silly little internet thing.

What’re your goals? Share one or one of your focus words in the comments below!

Bee’s 2020 Recap

Woof, dare I?

Yes, I dare — and in an effort to being transparent and true, I’m going to focus more on the positive things of 2020, and only a little bit of the negative – because we all know there was a lot of negative. A lot of struggles, a lot of tears, a lot of everything. Before I write this year’s recap, I always like to look back at last year’s recap and I giggled when I read the end of my 2019 recap, it ended with:

“2020 is going to be a big year. We have a lot of big family milestones and a lot of trips brewing in the planning stages. So ready or not, here we come 2020!”

Bee’s 2019 Recap

LOL. It was a big year, a big year with a lot of milestones that sort of got celebrated, lots of changed and cancelled plans, and lots of learning how to deal with the “new normal.” And ironically, the world seemed to end on my 30th birthday, March 16th.

Our big rose of the year was definitely our Jackson Hole trip, which was not decided upon lightly, but also was so beyond needed for our mental health and sanity. It was such a light in this dark and changing year. B and I also celebrated three years married, and conquered a few fun and essential house projects in our extended time at home.

We cherished the nights, days and time we got to spend with friends and family — especially when we could be outside in the sunshine and warmth. We attended a couple virtual weddings, one backyard wedding, two virtual graduations, took a mini road trip in an RV, hosted our first virtual Christmas party (it was so fun!), fell in love with drive-up at Target, and used a ton of hand sanitizer.

Now for some tougher real talk. I’ve always dealt with some extent of anxiety and social anxiety — but this year with COVID, the anxiety has reached a new level. In addition to anxiety of being around people, going out in public and doing things we never thought twice about a year ago, but 90% of the days since March 16th, have started and filled with me thinking I’m sick. A sneeze, a little tickle, a cough, getting warm or feeling cold… constant worry and fear that I’m sick (it’s still happening). On top of that, navigating what everyone is ok with, or not ok with has been another layer of that stress — another thing to explain, cope with, or fight through — which just adds to the anxiety, the chest pains, the overwhelming feeling to just cry.

We’ve been fortunate to *knocks on wood* stay healthy, find joys in the little things, play lots of Yahtzee, and still be able to work remotely through all of this. And now in all honesty, I’m just glad to see the end of 2020 and am cautiously optimistic about the New Year.

Merry Christmas – 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year? This holiday season was a glimmer of hope all of us were looking forward too, even more so than previous years. We were watching Christmas movies before Halloween, and we were gearing up for the year to end on a happy, light and familiar note.

The optimism this year has been strong while also fading fast — and I was hoping the optimism during this holiday season would come back strong, but I can’t say that it is. The pressures of family, the expectations, the let downs from family and the overall crave for a little bit of normal from all of us — is different depending on who you ask. This whole year we have all scarified a lot, whether it’s been emotionally, physically, financially, mentally — but that some how gets forgotten with those expectations and pressures. No one can win this year, and no one has.

With all of that, the picture above of B and I was from one of those strong moments of optimism, of hope, of happiness and a tiny bit of forgetting. We were trying to snap a selfie, surrounded in the snow in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — and it was so bright! Neither of us had sunglasses, and we laughed as we struggled to keep our eyes open, and just embraced the moment, which became a series of shots, that we used for our Christmas cards this year. That is a feeling, I’m going to try and hold on to as we get through the rest of this year and these next few days.

So without being too much of a downer, I hope for a few moments, hours or even a few days — we can hold on to a moment we’ve had this year of happiness, hope, and pure optimism. And that we can embrace whatever kind of things we’re faced with this holiday season, even if we don’t like it 😬 (& yes, that may or may not be specifically for me).

Merry Christmas from B, Moz & I!

Fitness Friday 12.20 – 10-Miler Virtual Race Recap

It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a dedicated race recap on the blog, but this one was special — so I wanted to share. If you’ve been reading along on monthly Fitness Friday posts, you may have recognized a pattern and my focus on one specific fitness goal: running 6 races in 2020. Which all came from 2019, where we only ran one race and we usually do a couple!

The one race that we did run in 2019, was our annual 10-Miler race we always run in April. This is always a no brainer that we like to sign-up for no matter what and we always make sure to sign-up early in the year. And 2020 was no different, we were registered and then the pandemic hit. As the April race day approached, we knew it would be pushed… we kept waiting, and waiting, nothing in the summer came up and then finally it was rescheduled for an October date. Woo! October came, and the date approached and the decision to push indefinitely to 2021 was made. Runners could opt to run virtual or defer to next year. For B and I, we had planned to run this in 2020 and we were going to run it in 2020, so we switched to virtual and waited for our packets.

Welp! Long story short, I got sick in early November, we got hit with a ton of snow and now it’s December and we have this 10-miler race to still run… in December in the Midwest. We knew we would have to keep an eye out on the weather and plan quickly — which didn’t really help for me, who hasn’t been running, training or working out. And a 10-miler run, isn’t such a breeze when you’re not doing anything. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to running this and anticipated a lot of walking/running. But I needed to finish it and mark it off the list.

Two-Days Before the Run. It was Wednesday night, B and I have both been watching the weather separately and saw that the temps and conditions Friday and Saturday would be a possibility — but Friday morning was looking like the better option and without rain. Thursday, we confirmed that we would have to plan for Friday AM and account for at least 2+ hours. This was not a lot of time to mentally prepare, except that it was going to happen.

Race Morning. We woke up early, got ready and hit the pavement by 6:45am. I told B that we needed to start slow — the weather was surprisingly perfect around 41-degrees. And we stayed at a steady pace, didn’t have to worry about traffic, people or icy sidewalks. We continued at a speed for the distance we had ahead of us and stuck around an 11-minute + pace. Mile 8, I was feeling good and we took about a minute off with our pace and continued at a slightly quicker pace for the last two miles. As we hit mile 9, I started to get a bit emotional, I couldn’t believe we were still running and feeling decent and the end was in sight!

We finished at 1:53:10, with plenty of time to walk a bit, cool down and get back to the house before we started our work days! And even better yet, although I ended limping a bit and hunched over, I still had a smile on my face. This 10-mile race, went better than planned and as good as it could’ve went — I’m so happy that I was able to accomplish this. Now, I just have one more race to run before the end of the year to officially complete this 2020 fitness goal.

Adding Christmas Magic to Your Master Bedroom

Since we are home a lot more, there was one space that usually goes untouched most years when it comes to Christmas decorating, our master bedroom. Sure, we always switch out our bedding with some cozy and festive fleece bed sheets — but that is about it. And with our sitting area rearranged from the summer, I thought the space was in need of a little Christmas magic!

Here are three easy ways you can add Christmas magic to your master bedroom, a guest room or any other space for that matter without breaking the bank or going complete Elf in every room, and it’s how I added a little extra sparkle to our master bedroom this Christmas season, that is sure to be replicated year after year!

A Simple Christmas Tree. I had smaller 4ft. alpine tree in need of a spot. With a slanted ceiling in our master by our seating area, this height and tree was the perfect addition. I opted to keep it simple with just some circular LED lights and left off ornaments or a topper — and it adds a bit of magic, especially at night. I wrapped a circular knit scarf around the base for an easy tree skirt!

Festive Fleece Bedsheets. These are an absolute must, especially in your guest rooms — it makes a bed extra cozy and soft. We love neutral Christmas prints or some classic plaid. I always keep an eye out on the sets at Target each year — I am loving the dog print this year, and hope Santa brings it to me for Christmas! Add a few extra accent holiday-themed pillows to finish off your bed with a bit of Christmas!

Greenery & Garland. A few more finishing touches is all you need to finish up adding a layer of Christmas to your master bedroom! An extra bottle brush tree was perfect addition to our side table in our conversation area. I also added some greenery on a mirror and on top of our mini fireplace to give it a bit more of a cozy feel. Lastly, I strung up some gold and white ‘Merry Christmas’ garland over our gallery wall for a little extra sparkle.

Falling asleep to the glow of our little Christmas tree has been such a treat each night, especially since our main floor is so magical with so much Christmas — I often don’t want to leave it, especially at the glow and darkness of the night. Am I the only one like that?

If you’ve wanted to add a little extra Christmas to a guest room, kids room, or even your master — just remember to keep it simple and focus on a few areas to make a statement and sprinkle of Christmas. Like a corner with a little, skinny tree or making your bed a sugar plum heaven to rest your head!

Here’s to More Sweet Christmas Dreams!

House Tour – A Brush Bottle Tree Dining Room

It’s no secret that one of my favorite rooms in our house is our dining room. It was one of the first completed rooms with real furniture and I always love transforming our large dining room table with the seasons always making a statement. We also have these beautiful built-ins, with a cozy bench and beveled glass, which is the true shining star of this room. These last few Christmas’ I’ve grabbed a few bottle brush trees – but it wasn’t until I saw these ones from Target, that I knew I needed a few more to really make a state and fill the dining room table.

The 20″ bottle brush trees at Target by Threshold were simply stunning with their height and the cream would be the perfect integration into our holiday decor. I also had to grab a few of the 15″ pink trees and some green 10″ bottle brush trees for the supporting cast. I made sure to grab these in November and ordered with drive-up pickup (my new favorite thing of 2020) — I must admit, I did splurge a little bit, but only because I was going on convenience as I haven’t been shopping in stores. When it came to styling it’s not exactly a symmetrical look, but I like how it turned out! To ground the centerpiece I used my dark green plaid table runner, and then to finish it off, I added battery operated string lights and left over greenery from our Christmas tree.

The rest of the room is complete and cozy with more greenery, lights, and cozy holiday pillows. I even created a bench out of two chairs, using a fluffy blanket to finish off the look at the end of the table — I absolutely love it. My 6ft alpine tree is also in it’s corner, covered head to toe with memories and special ornaments (not pictured), I always have so much fun putting this tree together each year. Finally, I have my DIY bottle brush tree snow globe place settings from last Christmas ready in case we do end up hosting, even a small dinner this holiday season.

I can’t wait for the built-in window to fill in with Christmas cards from loved family and friends — that is truly my favorite part of the dining room during this time of the year. Sadly, we won’t be hosting our annual Christmas party — so my favorite moment in the year also won’t be happening, the moment when our dining room is filled and our friends are packed around the table, as we play card games, sing to music, and laugh the night away.