Ikea Family: Aug. 27 - Sept. 30

Every month, my favorite blue warehouse puts a ton-o-items on sale at a discounted price for all IKEA Family card holders (Not a family member? Sign up now!) Here's some items I've chosen from the list that are especially noteable, although you can always go see the entire list on the IKEA website

MALM Desk: $119.20 | GĂ„SPA Sheet Set: $19.99 | MIXTURE Serving Dish: $8.99
SOLMYRA Picture: $6.99 | BOLLKAKTUS Curtain: $9.74 | SH Mattress: $152.15

Which of these items are perfect for your home?


Color Blocked Cement Blocks

Here's a fun little project I did recently to chic-up the porch/backyard area we have at our new apartment. Having spare paint around the house is a dangerous thing for me, I tell ya!

When we moved in the yard had 7 random cement blocks right off the porch. I kind of think the 6 are like the "step" onto the grass, but I'm not sure about number 7! I moved them around, but they've been there so long that there's nothing but mud, dirt and worms underneath them. I had to make them look a little more pretty, where they are. 

To dress up the cement blocks, I used acrylic paint, washi tape and a paintbrush. 

1. Stick tape down the middle of the cement square, diagonally. 2. Paint strokes away from the tape, never towards. 3. Paint the outline of the block before filling in the middle. 4. Take off the tape. 5. Let dry. 

The last step is roping your husband into helping you paint all the rest. I'm kidding! Montrell totally volunteered to help me finish them, which was really sweet considering how hot it is outside!

Now we have some cutely color blocked cement blocks by our porch. 

By painting just one diagonal side, there's many patterns you can create. 
Change it up whenever you like!

What are you doing to make your backyard more beautiful?


Central Perk Room Inspiration

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Have you guys heard about the pop-up Central Perk coming to New York City in September? It's being created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Friends (raise your hand if you feel old) and it'll be up for just a month. Oh, what I would give to make a trip to NYC while that's going on. How fun! Did I mention they'll be serving FREE coffee? Because they totally are!

photo via ny daily news
Since I don't foresee that NYC trip happening for me, I've decided to channel my energy into an inspiration board. Someday, I hope to have a Central-Perk-themed basement, complete with a coffee bar. How in the world I'm going to get a basement in Texas, I don't know, but how cool would it be?! Here's a few things I'd have to have in that room (little bit of traditional Friends, a little bit of modern Savannah):


There it is, "The One With The Dream Room Inspiration"

What would you add to a Friends-themed room?


Dumping Ice Water On Ourselves

We took the ice bucket challenge last week, thanks to the nomination from my friend Lupita. If you've been living under a rock, the ice bucket challenge is a viral sensation to raise awareness and research donations for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Before this summer, I've heard of Lou Gehrig's disease, but had no idea the absolute devastation that it causes. Like all devastating diseases, it so deserves its moment in the sun and all the resources in the world to find a cure. 

We don't have any buckets laying around our apartment, except these cute little ones from the Target Dollar Spot. So, don't hate on our buckets, y'all. It was still so cold. So, so, so cold. 

I've read a lot of negativity towards this campaign lately, on my Facebook timelines and in the blog world. I hear your reasons, but I don't understand them. I cannot be on your team if you've had something negative to say about this. I've tried to understand, but I cannot under any circumstances get why you'd be the least bit bitter about a horrifying disease becoming a household name and getting the money it desperately needs. So, create your own campaign, donate where you want, skip a shower to save water, but don't rain on this parade for all ALS victims (a little over 5,600 in U.S. are diagnosed each year, like this guy who will absolutely break your heart). 

If you haven't been nominated, still think about donating to the ALS Association and help create a world without ALS. If you're waiting on a nomination, here you are: I challenge anyone who reads this blog to get out there, pour ice water on themselves, donate to this cause and further spread the word about ALS...ready, set, GO!


The One Direction Nosebleeds

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If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Vine, you saw that I was with thousands of screaming girls last night to see those cute One Direction guys performing in Dallas' biggest arena! I'm not their biggest fan and I don't know a lot of their songs, but I totally had the best time! I know what you're thinking, "Good time, with THOSE seats?" Yes, you would be correct. Here's a few tips on making the most of your nosebleed seats:

1. The Front Row. Even the nosebleeds have a "front" and we were on it! I would have never spent enough money to be on the floor (I mean, I do have bills to pay), but we lucked out and got the front of the top. This means we didn't have to worry about anyone being taller than us (a constant problem with my 5'2" self), didn't have to get all sweaty from standing up the entire time (we sat the full concert) and we could see the whole shebang without worrying about being at a weird the floor. Plus, footrests!!!

2. Hydration. We were walking in from the parking lot with a water bottle in hand, sharing amongst our group (a little germy, but we didn't care). We threw away the bottle at the door, as you must do, and went straight in to buy another. With all the sweating, standing, loud noises and heat rising, water is always a good idea. Ours in the stadium cost $5, but was totally worth it. (Bonus tip: eat on the way to the concert and afterwards. Unless you like long lines and $10+ hot dogs, of course).

3. Ear Plugs. Yes, this is exactly what a complete fuddy-duddy would say...however, I consider my 24-year-old ears not to be exactly "old" yet...and they were in pain. Like, not just ringing: actual pain! You will be listening to constant screaming for 2 hours and the speakers aren't loud enough to cover them up. When I plugged my ears with my fingers, I could hear the music! Get some cute neon ones* or go undercover with some nude ones*. I'm telling you guys, nothing will prepare you for those screams, but here's a little idea:

4. Binoculars/Telephoto Lens. I opted out of bringing any of my big camera equipment, since the stadium we were in does not allow bags. I had my iPhone and GoPro along for the ride, but I never got to really SEE any faces! The little girl beside me had binoculars and she was loving them! I could have gotten much better pictures with my "big camera," of course, but I probably would have been stuck behind my lens all night. I'd definitely go with binoculars next time (like these cute pink ones*).

5. Leave Promptly. I am not into sitting in parking lot traffic. "Not into" as in "I hate it with my whole being," especially late at night when I would love to be in my bed. My sister browsed around the internet and found out that "Story of my Life" was exactly the third-to-last song. We were loving the concert, but we knew we'd be exiting our seats and making the 4-story trek out of the stadium right as that song ended. In doing so, we missed Little White Lies and Best Song Ever and probably a few fireworks, but we sang along in the parking lot as we continued our hike to the car. No traffic leaving the venue. Perfect. (Sorry to tell you, but, no, none of you are getting proposed to by any of the band, so don't think staying til the last note ups your chances. Just go home).

Us girls all had fun getting ready together, painting nails and wearing black, obviously. Even though our tickets weren't all near each other, we still had the full concert-experience together by hanging out all day, following one another to the stadium, parking beside each other, standing in tshirt lines and taking plenty of pictures. Definitely a fun day to remember!

Check it off the bucket list: I can now say I saw a boy band in concert (totally missed out on NSYNC and such when I was younger!). 

What other tips do you have for a fun nosebleed experience?

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