TOMS Autumn Favorites

IKEA Family: Sept. 30 - Oct. 27

Every month, my favorite blue warehouse puts tons of items on sale at a discounted price for all IKEA Family card holders. Not a family member? Sign up now. Along with the discounts, you get free coffee or hot tea in the restaurant, more SmΓ₯land time for the kiddos and a 90 Day Price Protection. Basically, you really shouldn't shop at IKEA without it!

Here's some favorite items I've chosen from the family discount list this month. You can always go see all the discount items on the IKEA website. 

Magazine Pumpkins

Happy October, everyone. Let the pumpkin projects officially begin! 

I've always been a decoupage addict since I was really young. This is the reason I still hoard magazines to this day, y'all. You never know when you'll need all those different patterns and colors in all the pages. Case in point, this magazine pumpkin project!

I love turning these tiny little pumpkins into works of art. There is so much we can do with them! For this project, all you need is a pumpkin, magazine clippings (I picked a fall color pallet), scissors and glue (I used regular clear-drying glue, but modge podge would be great too). 


ONE. Cut those magazine pieces into small strips. Long enough to wrap around the side of the pumpkin. Widths can vary a little bit. TWO. Add some glue to the pumpkin and smooth on the strips. I used my fingers, but I'm sure you could use a sponge paintbrush. THREE. Add layers of glue on top of the strips as well, as you glue down and smooth. FOUR. Let dry (I turned my pumpkin upside down, so it was sitting on it's stem). FIVE. Cut the extra strip-length from the bottom. 


Since magazines have a million different shades, colors and patterns, every single one of these pumpkins can be completely unique. Make them match your home, stick with a fall theme, or make a silly one using eyes and faces! This can be a fun project for you, or the kiddos!

Will you be decoupaging a little pumpkin this season?

Renting the Runway

This weekend, our brother-in-love got married to his bride and it was beautiful! Leading up to their big day, I was struggling (as most of us do) to find something I wanted to wear. It was an evening wedding, so my usual discounted department store dresses just weren't going to cut it. Plus, I didn't even want to venture out to look for a one-time piece of clothing. Cue Rent the Runway.  

RTR is an online shop where you and I can rent high-dolla fashions for an affordable price. It's such a brilliantly simplistic idea, I'm kind of jealous I didn't think of it first! I browsed around the website, purchased my favorite piece and waited for wedding weekend to arrive. Friday around 5:00pm, the dress I chose (and the free spare, alternate size) were at my doorstep in a black bag. 

For this fall outdoor wedding (where in Texas, it's still feeling pretty "summery") I picked out the ML Monique Lhuillier Ella Dress in teal. I love that it's covered in lace and I knew the color would balance well with my vibrant red hair. 

It took a little time to put this dress on all by my lonesome (while my groomsmen husband was already gone to the venue), but when I did finally get it zipped up the back, I was so glad I had rented the runway! It was the perfect dress to dance the night away..which we definitely did!

The morning after the wedding (day 4 of my 4-day rental), all I had to do was throw the dress back into the bag, slide in the pre-paid UPS packing slip, zip and lock the sides and hand it over to a UPS drop station (which happened to be a parking-lot away from my office). Easy enough, I'll say!

As a lifelong cheap-o, you'd think I'd be a little weary of spending $40 to give a dress back...but, that's my favorite part: NOT having to keep the dress! I'm one of those people that can't wear the same dress to any more than one wedding, graduation or special event. I guess that sounds silly, but I really just want my pictures to all be unique! So, if I had purchased a dress, it'd sit in my closet until I decided to thrift it out for a huge loss. With RTR, I don't feel like I lost...I just borrowed!

Have you rented the runway before? I'm sold!

Deep Fried Texas

Today marks the first day of the State Fair of Texas and like all local Dallas-ites, I'm so ready to get my hands on some ridiculously delicious fried fair foods. The two big food winners this year are Fernie’s Holy Moly Carrot Cake Roly (Best Tasting) and the Smoky Bacon Margarita (Most Creative), but neither of those makes me want to spend those little tickets. Here's some of the new foods I'm anxious to try this year:

1. Pumpkin Spice Donut Chip: "a delicious deep fried crisp donut chip coated with pumpkin spiced glaze...with a decadent scoop of ice cream smothered with our cinnamon candied maple bacon." Located at M-19 stand.

2. Limited Edition Oreos: "Red Velvet Oreos: fried to a golden brown and drizzled with a cream cheese icing. Cookie Dough Oreos: fried to a golden brown and drizzled with chocolate syrup and chocolate chips. Cotton Candy Oreos: fried...and sprinkled with pink and blue candy sugar served with a side of cotton candy." Located at FW-9 and N-9 stands. 

3. Deep Fried Bacon Cheeseburger Basket: "a fresh American cheeseburger with chunky bacon, crispy French fries, hand battered onion rings, homemade fry sauce deep fried in a flour tortilla – chimichanga style served with several awesome dipping sauces." Located at TB-25 stand.

4. Tropical Shrimp Kabob: "shrimp kabob with onion, pineapple and shrimp grilled with...blend of island spices and tropical glaze." Located at FW-5 and TB-12 stands.

5. Fried East Texas Sausage & Pepper Jack Cheese on a Stick: "beer battered sausage and cheddar cheese with...jalapenos...on a stick." Located at FW-27 stand.

6. Milk Chocolate Bacon on a Stick: "bacon threaded on a wooden skewer, deep fried, finished on the grill and dipped in cacao milk chocolate." Located at TB-22 stand. 

7. Funnel Dunkers: Located at G-1

I can almost smell the funnel cakes and corny dogs already! Once I make it to the fair, I'll be sure to share my taste-testing results! 

Which of these foods would you try?


It's the first day of fall, y'all! I may have had my home decorated for it since it was still in the 100-degree-temperatures and it may have been really early in September. Once school days and football season begins, it's too hard to resist the Autumn urges.

Not much has strayed from my usual fall decor. I don't think I've purchased anything new in years, aside from a couple of faux pumpkins. Even my little paper ghosts from 2010 are still hanging out! Yes. 2010!

Earlier this year, I saw this great freebie print from Jones Design Company and I knew it would go perfectly on my mantle. It's full of sweet little paintings of some of this season's best things (apples, pumpkins, pie, etc). She offers all the other seasons too, so go check out her blog

Among all the fake and glittery pumpkins, I've got a few real ones around the room as well. These guys were decorated in about 5 minutes and I'll share that little "tutorial" soon. 

I've decided that I won't begin the Winter season with my orange couch covers, just because I don't know how to fit in Christmastime with orange...but, until that day comes, it's kind of fun having an instant Fall punch in the room without any effort!


What day did you start decorating for fall? Anybody beat early-September?

Fall TV Kickoff

Now that one of the biggest award night's in television is complete (by the way, I really enjoyed this year's Emmy's), it's actually an even bigger week ahead for TV! Fall premiere after fall premiere hit the airwaves starting today. Although my personal favorite sitcom, New Girl, isn't coming on anytime soon, here's some of the shows I'm excited about this fall:

MONDAY, September 21

The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - I'm not a weekly Bang Theory watcher, as I usually like to just binge-watch on TBS...but, I kept up pretty well last season and I'm really excited to see if they really give us a wedding tonight. Anytime TV characters have a wedding, it's fun to watch!

Life in Pieces (CBS) - I saw a few clips of how this show is going to work and it seems like a really interesting concept. It's broken into a few different "shows," (with smaller families) then all the people meet up at the end. I think they're one big family? Maybe this can be my comedic-Parenthood-replacement? We'll see!

TUESDAY, September 22

Fresh Off The Boat (ABC) - I'm a 90's kid, so I love the time setting of this show anytime I catch it. Honestly, I think I forget it's on a lot, just because Tuesdays are kind of a slow television night. I wish they could slip it into ABC Wednesdays somehow. It is equally as hilarious!


Limitless (CBS) - Sometimes I think of TV dramas, "Man. I just wish this was a movie." Well, reversing that wish, CBS is continuing the movie "Limitless" by picking the show up where it left off. I never saw the movie, but it looks like an overall good action-drama for a slow Tuesday night! I'll probably check it out. 

WEDNESDAY, September 23

The Middle (ABC) - I really enjoyed binging Malcolm in the Middle on Netflix a couple years ago, so this doppelgΓ€nger is a lot of fun to watch too. We can all see ourselves in the situations the poor Heck family gets into..and if not, we can certainly laugh at them!

Survivor (CBS) - This may be the first show I ever truly cared about and watched religiously. I've taken a long hiatus from watching (probably 5-6 seasons), but that doesn't mean I won't start right back up this time around. Sometimes it's just draining to follow the same show year-after-year. A nice little break is good too!

The Goldbergs (ABC) - My parent's kept me privy to all-things-80's as they raised a 90's kid, so I love having this weekly throwback to fun music, big hair and bright colors. Growing up, I was the kid with the video camera in my hand, so I think it's awesome that's why the show exists!

Empire (FOX) - I'm so behind on this one, but I plan to catch up this time around. I've actually never seen one episode, but all the buzz is nothing but good...I need to be a part of the Empire club!

Modern Family (ABC) - This began as the reason why I'm glued to my TV on Wednesdays. Pretty much any show with the mockumentary approach is gold to me and this one never fails to make me laugh every single episode. 

blackish (ABC) - I wouldn't want to wrap up my Wednesday comedy nights any other way. While being so relatable and relevant, it gives me the biggest belly-laughs of the week. Primetime comedy nights NEEDED blackish!

THURSDAY, September 24

Grey's Anatomy (ABC) - So, I have to admit...I'm sick of Grey's (feeling like a Shonda-traiter right now). I just don't think any show can kill off this many main characters (unless it's post-apocalyptic) and keep me tuning in. I mean, it's a little much, right? I just keep thinking how devastatingly tragic Grey's life is. I always end up watching off-and-on, but it's not something I catch up on if I miss. 

Heroes Reborn (NBC) - I have SUCH mixed feeling about Heroes making a comeback. This was a dorm-room staple when I was in college and it ended so abruptly with its cancellation in 2010. It's been so long and I'm not very attached to the characters anymore. I really don't watch many TV dramas, so maybe this will be my one!

Scandal (ABC) - Sometimes just thinking about Scandal makes my heart start pumping faster. I've never been so captivated and panic-stricken as I am watching this show. It's always been a girls' night favorite for my friends and I and I haven't grown tired of those entertaining episodes (from start to finish!) 

How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) - It should be against the law to have this show on right after Scandal. So much stress. In the very best way, of course. I'm so intrigued at where this show will go this next season. So much going on in so little time! Definitely catch up with this one!

FRIDAY, September 25

The Amazing Race (CBS) - This is definitely an all-time favorite of mine and I really wish they'd put it on at another time of the week. Friday night is not always a tv-night for me, but this show is SO good, I'll be catching up on it each weekend!

Shark Tank (ABC) - Sometimes I think I hate this show (because they can be so nasty!), but I cannot stop watching. If I'm flipping through the channels, I'll always stop here. People are so passionate about their products and I'm a tad jealous at their inventiveness. 

What are you excited to watch this Fall?

Snack Good #FeelGooder

This blog post has been compensated by Linqia and its advertisers. All opinions are my own. Find out more info on my disclosure page. #FeelGooder

I'm not too proud to admit there's quite a few things I'm not good at. Some of the biggest on the list include leaving my house on time (for anything), eating in moderation, drinking enough water and prepping for the next day. I could be good at those, but I know I just don't try. Lazy, much?

Now that I really think about it, not being good at those things makes me not feel too good. Those definitely aren't traits that I want to scream from the rooftops and let the whole world know! Can I just hide my lazy? Not one bit. These lazy characteristics are something that can't really be hidden.

In the last few weeks, I've taken some steps to help make myself Feel Gooder and get those bad habits outta my life. Here's what's making my daily chaos a little less frantic:

ONE. Punctuality

The main reason for my consecutive tardiness is because I'm looking for things the moment I need to leave. I'm not primping too long or still showering when I need to be leaving...I just don't know where to find my keys. Or my wallet. Or my phone. 

It's amazing how having "a spot" for these in your home (and actually usuing it) can totoally change the game. Right by our front door, we have an area that perfectly holds keys, wallets and our mail. When my phone isn't in my hand, it goes there too. Now, when I'm ready to leave on time, all my things are ready to go as well. 

TWO. Water

I'm a soda girl. All kinds are fine, I don't discriminate. As an adult, though, I do understand the dangers that soda can bring to our bodies...but, a lot of the time I choose to ignore it. Not too long ago, my friend Brittany got me hooked on water with a hint of lime and mint. It's basically a mojito without the alcohol. I can seriously drink this combo all day long. Now, it's a weekly habit to make a pitcher of mint/lime water for the fridge, so it's ready to pour when I head out to work (and when I get back home). 

THREE. Eating in Moderation

In the past few months, my eating habits were off-the-charts awful. Because I wasn't prepping meals, I was constantly zooming through drive-thrus day in and day out. Yes, you can eat healthy at fast food places. No, I was not. Something about going through the drive-thru and seeing all those menu items makes it SO easy to just go ahead and pick out whatever you want...a meal for now, snack for later cream-filled coffee drink? Yes, please.

Putting a complete stop to that, I knew I'd feel hungry all day long just because I wasn't giving my body the outrageous amount of calories it had become accustomed to. My solution? Smaller meals with awesome snacks in-between. While sometimes I choose carrots or celery, it's also nice to get a piece of chocolate every once in a while...

ZonePerfect's Perfectly Simple nutrition bars are just the sweet I need to get through my hunger-cravings. They come in four great flavors: Almond Toffee Crunch, Bing Cherry & Almond, Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk and Roasted Cashew & Dark Chocolate (my favorite). Besides the great flavors, there's a lot more to love about these bars: They're loaded with protein without tons of calories, filled with trustworthy ingredients and they're made here in the U.S.A.

If you want to #FeelGooder about yourself, know where your keys are, drink lots of water (with mint, or without) and use this coupon for $1.00 off any ZonePerfect Perfectly Simple Bars.

Flipped Kitchen

The last room to share in my sister's flipped house in the kitchen. This one probably had the most dramatic change and I am in love with everything about it! The initial plan was to keep the old cabinets and give them a good cleaning, after a while it was clear that we just had to bite the bullet and extend the reno budget enough for new cabinets. 

Sometimes we don't understand things our Dad does, like leave a huge ledge of countertop across the bottom of the last cabinet. Fortunately, IKEA saved the day by having the perfect sized cart for this spot. Bethany has filled it with Kuerig and coffee supplies.

A moment of pride for myself was helping pick out and create a economic backsplash for the kitchen. Quite a while ago, I saw Mr. Kate's post about fake brick walls and always thought it would be so cool for a kitchen someday. Well, It IS really cool for a kitchen. I think they purchased 3 fake brick panels, gave them a good coat or two of white and puzzle-pieced them into place. Once placed, the areas where two panels met needed a second coat, but after that the seams are virtually invisible.

Of all the spaces in this home, the kitchen had the most demo and reno going on. But, it also turned out to be my absolute favorite.

One of the biggest changes between the living room and kitchen was creating a more open concept. There was only a small door area between the two rooms at the time of move-in. By doubling that space, it allows for kitchen-dining-lounging conversations to be happening without anyone feeling secluded. Plus, whenever you can cook and watch tv at the same time, it's definitely a plus!

I'm sad there's no more rooms to share. And I'm also sad I'm stuck in an apartment, while my sister gets this awesome place. Ha! I'll just have to visit and live vicariously through her!

Flipped Bedrooms

My sister's "new" flipped home has 3 bedrooms overall. The smallest of the three has become a Man Cave for her husband Jon. Because of that, we totally had to girl-up the guest room to balance it all out, right? Besides the kitchen, this is probably my favorite spot in the house. 

When they got the keys, this place was sponge painted to the max! Bethany and I are ALL about having light gray everywhere, so that's what the wall became soon after. They also added a new carpet and then the decorating could begin! 

My sister bought the white trundle bed from a friend and used pillows she's previously had in her living room (probably all purchased at Ross). The bedding is a jersey comforter from the back-to-college section in WalMart. Yes, a JERSEY comforter. Feels so comfy! The rug is from IKEA (not seeing it available on the website anymore). 

Although our parents made so much fun of us for buying a "hospital cart" from IKEA, we love this BYGEL cart for adding all the guest necessities. Along with towels, blankets and the wifi password (high priority, right?), it also has a jar filled with cute little travel-sized beauty products. 

Back-to-back to the guest room is the last bedroom. The funny thing about the setup of this home is it is nearly identical to the home we grew up in. The kitchen, living, two bedrooms and bathroom are all in identical locations to our parent's house. The only difference is that my parent's master is at the other end of the home (where this houses' garage is). It's funny to be in the same setup as where we lived for 15+ years!

My sister's master bedroom was equally as sponged as the guest bedroom! Gray paint saves the day again. This room also had a crack that had to be fixed before the new carpet could be put down. Not a huge snag, considering some of the horror stories we've watched on HGTV. 

Bethany and I both like to keep our bedrooms very clean, white and minimal. I love how she added pictures from her beach wedding in place of a headboard. 

Right inside the master is a tiny little bathroom. Not ideal, but at least there's more than one in the entire house. It does have a door that rolls from inside the wall. Just like one of the bathrooms in my parents house. Must have been a cool thing in the 40's!