Sunday, January 12, 2020

My 2019 Favorites

Hello everyone!
Since the start of the new year, I have been reflecting over 2019 quite a bit.
I definitely let myself splurge more than normal (it was one of my resolutions!) and as a result, I discovered a few new things that quickly became my favorites.
I thought it would be fun to share these with you.
Maybe they will become some of your favorites too!

Nike Tanjun Shoes


For Christmas 2018, I received my first pair of Nike's.
I noticed a difference immediately.
They literally added a bounce in my step.
I am on my feet all day at work and these were a game-changer.
I am hoping to add another colorful pair to my wardrobe soon.

Goodfellow Crew Neck Sweatshirt



While shopping with Erik at Target I saw a simple sweater in the men's section that I took interest in.
I had wanted a cozy oversized sweater to lounge around in at home and this looked like it would do.
I bought one on a whim and now have almost every color!
The perfect sweater for lounging, camping and running errands in.
And SO affordable!



Your girl loves her some glitter...
So, I was pumped to receive these as a gift.
And let me tell you, they were made for me.
These eyeshadows go on wet and dry within seconds.
They give me the perfect glitter eye for any occasion.
I just added another color to my collection and am so excited to rock it in 2020!

CycleBar


I had been wanting to try out a cycle class for a while and was finally able to accomplish that last year.
I fell in love instantly...
It is such a good work out and I love the positive atmosphere.
I have gotten a few people to classes with me through the year and they have agreed it is awesome!

Jean jackets have become so popular.
I love the laid back look and that they are so easy to style.
Erik surprised me with one and I loved mixing and matching it with things I already had in my closet.
I also loved adding pins to it to make it more colorful and unique.
I had so much fun adding all of my Disney pins to it and rocking it in Disneyland.
Such an easy and reversible way to style it.

Scrunchies


I jumped on the scrunchie bandwagon last year and never looked back.
Why we wrote off scrunchies, I will never know.
They are so soft on my hair, unlike elastics, and add a fun pop to the simplest of hairdos.
I am sorry we forsake you, scrunchies.
I will not make that mistake again... 

Novelty Bags


I have wanted to purchase a novelty bag for years!
I have had my eye on quite a few.
Most of them, Disney themed.
Surprise, surprise.
Since we were going to Disneyland in 2019 I let myself buy one when it went on sale.
And that quickly led to another and another.
These bags add the perfect touch of whimsy to any outfit and make adorable shelf decor at home.
I can't wait to add some more to my collection this year.

Sincerely Us Shop



I found this shop at a home show and it was love at first sight.
The whole booth was my aesthetic.
They have the cutest prints, blankets and candles.
I have only added one print to my collection so far but, have my heart set on a dozen more.
Plus, when you buy from them you are supporting a small business.
Who doesn't love that?

Bando Planner



I finally splurged on my first Bando Planner in 2019.
These planners come with everything.
Stickers, posters, and even coloring pages!
It was so fun that I had to get another one for this year.
I can't wait to fill it out.

Max Pillow


Even though this pillow has only been with me for a few weeks, the amount of joy it has given me is unmeasurable.
I became OBSESSED with it as soon as I saw it announced with the Oh My Disney dog collection.
I added it to my Christmas wish list and my sister made my dreams come true.
Every time I see him I can't help but get a smile on my face.

I'm so proud of myself for indulging a little more last year.
I can't wait to discover and play with new things this year.
What were some of your favorite things in 2019?

All my love,
Autumn

Sunday, January 5, 2020

5 Simple Ways To Start Your Year Off Right

Hello everyone!
Happy New Year!
The older I have gotten, the less into resolutions I have been.
Resolutions are great, don't get me wrong, but when I don't stick to them I tend to spiral.
So, I don't regularly make resolutions anymore.
I do love me a fresh start and any excuse to organize though. 
As we head into the first full week of the year I thought I'd share a few things I have done or will be doing to help me feel refreshed for the New Year.

Update A Space


We all have a space we spend the majority of our time in.
Maybe it's your desk at work, a desk at home or even your car.
No matter the space, start the year by giving it a little refresh.
Organize the clutter, throw out what you no longer need and add some fun new items that make you happy.
I decorated my desk at my seasonal job with some washi tape, illustrations and quotes.
It took no time at all and made all the difference.
Now my little desk is brighter and a lot more fun.

Enjoy Some Uplifting Content


I love bad TV.
I mean LOVE it.
It's one of the things that helps me turn my brain off.
That being said, I do notice a difference when I binge hours of bad TV rather than intake some good content.
So, turn off that bad TV show, put down that gossip magazine and get some uplifting content in your life.
You know, the stuff that motivates you to do better and be better?
I have loved watching Reese Witherspoon's Shine On series.
It highlights women in different career fields that are making a difference.
You can find it currently on Netflix.
I also love listening to the Awesome with Alison podcast.
She is a girl that lets her freak flag fly while sharing advice on how to live your best life.
You can find it wherever you stream your podcasts.
I have heard amazing things about Rachel Hollis' books Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing.
I haven't had the chance to dive into them just yet but I am excited to devour them this year.

Switch To A Reusable Product


If you are like me, you have at least one thing that will help you go green you keep meaning to do.
For us, it was buying reusable shopping bags.
Every time we go to the store and add another plastic bag to our plastic bag family the guilt would get real...
We finally bit the bullet and used some Christmas cash to invest in a few reusable bags.
I am excited to finally be helping the environment in a small way and to also get a drawer in my kitchen back.
So, whether you have been meaning to buy a reusable water bottle, add a second trash can for recycling or get some of them fancy aluminum straws, invest in it now and feel good that you are doing your part in some small way. 

Schedule Those Appointments


The holidays are officially over which means it's time to get back to the real world.
Boo...
A few of my least favorite things happen during the first part of the year.
Taking down Christmas decorations, my yearly trip to the doctor and tax day...
We try to get these taken care of as soon as possible so we don't have to think about them until the following year.
It's such a simple thing to do but it makes me feel hella accomplished and adult AF.
Schedule your doctor's appointments, schedule your tax appointment and then if you are like me reward yourself by scheduling something fun.
This year I scheduled a stay at my favorite hotel for my birthday.
Now that's one appointment I am not planning on missing.

Clean Out A Cluttered Space


We all have those small areas in our lives that collect clutter like crazy.
Bathroom cabinets, mail cubbies, nightstand drawers.
For us, like most homes in America, it's the dreaded kitchen junk drawer.
These spaces are so small but collect random junk like crazy!
Take a few minutes out of your day and organize that space!
It really doesn't take that long and will make finding things SO much easier.


These are just a few simple ways I am starting the year feeling accomplished.
They are all easy and took me less than an hour to do. 
Do you set New Year's resolutions?
If so, what are some of yours for 2020?

All my love,
Autumn

Sunday, December 29, 2019

DIY Disco Ball Piñata

Hello everyone!
Are y'all ready for a new decade?!
Because it's basically here...
To help us celebrate I made this fun DIY disco ball piñata.
I have made a few piñatas in my day.
They aren't hard but, are a little time-consuming.
Make sure to give yourself a few days to complete this project.


You will need:
Newspaper
Scissors
Flour
Water
Fringer Scissors, Optional
Tape
Silver Ribbon


Start by inflating the balloon to your desired size.
I inflated mine about halfway, 18 inches.
A 36-inch balloon is rather large...
I'm lazy and didn't want to decorate the whole thing but still wanted it to be large enough to make an impact.
You can blow it up to the full size if you prefer.
Cut your newspaper into 1-inch strips.
Cut A LOT because you will need it.
Once your strips are ready to use, create your papier-mache.
Mix 1 part flour to 1 part water until a paste is made, it should be a thick glue-like substance. 
1 and 1/3 cups of each is the amount that worked for me.
You will need to make more or less depending on the size of your balloon.
Dip the strips of newspaper in the paste and slide off any excess with your fingers.
Add the wet strips directly onto the balloon.
To help keep the balloon in place, set it in a box.
Repeat until the balloon is completely covered.
Let dry completely.
I recommend 24 hours but, have gotten away with 12 when I was in a hurry.
Once the first layer is completely dry, apply another layer in the same manner.
Let dry.
Add a third coat to make it extra sturdy.
Let dry.
Once the final layer is completely dry, poke a hole through the papier-mache to deflate the balloon. 
Cut a small flap in the top of the papier-mache, large enough to fit your hand into so you can stuff it with your goodies.
Open the flap and remove the deflated balloon.
Cut long strips of crepe paper.
With the fringe-scissors, fringe one side of the crepe paper leaving about an inch of space at the top to attach to the piñata.
You can fringe the crepe paper with regular scissors as well but, the fringe scissors will save you quite a bit of time.
I'd highly recommend investing in some! 
Starting at the bottom of the piñata, add a layer of the fringed crepe paper.
Use small pieces of tape every few inches to secure into place. 
Continue adding strips of the crepe paper up the piñata until it is entirely covered.


Poke two slits in the top of the piñata and string one end of the silver ribbon through.
Tie the ribbon into a knot on the inside of the piñata.
Repeat with the other ribbon end to create a loop in which to hang the piñata from. 
Open the flap and fill with your goodies.
 Seal the flap with tape.
Hang and enjoy!


I love how this piñata turned out!
The size and metallic silver make it the perfect pop of fun every party needs.
I am planning on using it as decor for our New Years' Eve at home.
It's too pretty (and took too long) to wreck!
Maybe next year?
How are you spending your New Year's Eve?


All my love,
Autumn

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Sunday, December 22, 2019

DIY Holly Christmas Crown

Hello everyone!
Christmas is just a few days away and I can't wait!
It is my favorite holiday.
I thought it would be fun to add a Christmas twist to the popular spring floral crowns and bring them into winter.
And thus this holly crown was born!


You will need:
Floral Wire
Floral Tape
Wire Cutters


With the wire cutters, cut the holly leaves and berries from the stem, leaving an inch or two of stem at the bottom to wrap around.


With the floral wire, gently measure a crown around the intended wearer's head.
I like to wrap it around twice to create a thicker base to build on.


Cut the wire to size and wrap the ends around the crown wire to secure into place.
Wrap the exposed ends with floral tape.


Add the holly leaves to the crown one at a time by laying them flat against the wire and securing them into place around the stem with floral wire.
Wrap the exposed ends with floral tape to protect your scalp and hair!


Repeat until you have worked your way around the crown or have reached your desired coverage.
Add the berries to the crown with the same method.
I added my berries after every three holly leaves.
Fill in any bare areas with extra leaves or berries.
Wear and enjoy!


Floral crowns are much simpler to make than I originally thought and can be worn for so many different occasions!
I think my nieces would love to wear these holly crowns for all of our Christmas festivities.
I mean, who wouldn't?
What do you think of the floral crown trend?
Love it or hate it?


All my love, 
Autumn

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Progressive Dinner 2019

Hello everyone!
Over the weekend my family had its annual progressive dinner.
A progressive dinner is a meal where each course is served at a different house.
The progressive dinner tradition started out with my Dad's family before I was even born!
Now that we are grown we do it within our own little family.
We have four courses; soup, salad, main course and dessert.
This year we started with salad at my sister April's house.
She served it with all the fixings.
And rolls...
Each house always has rolls.
Each house also has a theme and a favor to take home.
Her's was Christmas trees. 
We each left with a beautiful distressed aluminim Christmas tree. 
After her house, we headed to my parent's for soup.
They served ham and bean soup and beef stew.
Have you ever heard of ham and bean soup?
Cause we sure hadn't!
Their theme was the nativity.
They had beautiful nativity themed decorations and we each left with a nativity themed ornament. 
After my parent's, it was off to my sister Heather's house for the main course.
Heather lives the furthest away so we try not to make her drive back and forth too much.
So, Erik and I share their house for dessert.
That way they don't have to drive down and up and then down and up again. 
Before heading to her house we made a quick stop at our house to pick up the trifles we made.
Trifles are not the easiest thing to transport...
I ended up holding them on my lap the entire forty-minute drive and am proud to say they made it!
We arrived at Heather's house to a full-blown Christmas cookout.
It was decorated in red and black gingham, we each got a festive mug to drink out of and they served pulled pork sandwiches with mac and cheese and potato casserole.
SO yummy!
We each were given a gingham stocking filled with candy and a gingham sign that read Merry Christmas.
We also got to take our mugs home.
After the main course, Erik and I pulled out our trifles. 
We brought our own plates and napkins to serve them on.
Our favors were whisks with instant pudding, a play on figgy pudding.
It was such a fun evening and I can't believe another year has come and gone.
I am already counting down the days till next year!
Have you ever attended a progressive dinner?



All my love,
Autumn

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Homemade Christmas Trifles

Hello everyone!
Today is my family's annual progressive dinner, a Christmas tradition we have done for years.
A progressive dinner is a meal where each course is served at a different house.
This year Erik and I were in charge of dessert.
I always try to come up with somewhat original ideas for our theme.
I thought a play on figgy pudding would be fun.
I have never seen or eaten figgy pudding.
The only reason I know that it exists is because of the song "We wish you a Merry Christmas."
Also, if chocolate is not involved in the dessert my family will riot, myself included. 😉
So, I thought a chocolate trifle would be the way to go.
It's English and includes pudding (like the song!) and I included cake (and brownies!) like an actual figgy pudding. 
I also wanted to include some Christmas flavor for those who were interested so, I decided to make two different trifles.


Chocolate Raspberry Trifle


You will need:
Brownies, Cut into 1-inch squares
Instant Chocolate Pudding
Raspberries
Whipped Cream


Prepare the pudding according to the directions on the box.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Place half of the brownie pieces on the bottom of a trifle dish.
Add a layer of chocolate pudding on top.
Add a layer of raspberries.
Add a layer of whipped cream.
Repeat the layers.
Brownie, pudding, raspberries and whipped cream.


Chill for one hour before serving.
Enjoy!


Vanilla Orange Cranberry Trifle


You will need:
White Cake, cut into 1-inch squares
12 Ounces of Fresh Cranberries
1 and 1/4 Cups of Sugar
1 Cup of Orange Juice
1 Teaspoon of Orange Zest
Instant Vanilla Pudding
Whipped Cream


Prepare the cranberry filling.
In a medium saucepan, add the cranberries, sugar, orange juice and orange zest.
Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches a boil.
Once it has reached a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all of the cranberries pop, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Set aside to cool and thicken.
Prepare the pudding according to the directions on the box.
Refrigerate until ready to usee.
Place half of the cake pieces on the bottom of a trifle dish.
Add a layer of vanilla pudding on top.
Add a layer of cranberry filling.
Add a layer of whipped cream.
Repeat the layers.
Cake, pudding, cranberry filling, whipped cream.


Chill for one hour before serving.
Enjoy!


I love trifles!
They are easy to make and act as a decoration with all of their pretty layers displayed.
The best part is that you can use all premade ingredients or make it all from scratch if you desire.
I went with homemade cake and brownies and instant pudding for ours.
But, you can use premade cake and brownies or make your pudding from scratch.
It's up to you how simple or sophisticated you want to go!


We usually include favors for each member of the family to take home that goes with the theme of our meal.


This year, I grabbed some fun festive red whisks from Target and stuck a box of instant chocolate pudding inside.
I then added tags that said "We "whisk" you a Merry Christmas!"



and "Oh, bring us some figgy chocolate pudding!" to tie it into the theme.


These were such quick and inexpensive favors.


I am so excited to present these to my family tonight and enjoy another year of progressive dinner together.
What are some of your family's holiday traditions?


All my love,
Autumn