Hi gang.

Remember me? Your friendly blogger friend who went on a ‘break’ and kinda actually had a mental breakdown and is back to talk about it but not really talk about it because feelings are overwhelmingly feeling-y and she’s dealing with a lot of them lately, are you cool with that?

“Um, with what exactly?” you are asking.

I don’t know. Where were we?

Haha, everything is fine!


Everything is not fine. 

I’m dealing with some life stuff. Stuff beyond broken vacuums and missing keys and naughty toddlers. It’s … really hard to be honest. I’m facing a lot of uncertainty in my life. And I deal with it by hiding in a little hole and not answering emails or texts or returning phone calls or speaking to like, any people, at all, ever.

But that’s dumb.

I don’t want to be like that. 

I want to come back to my happy place where I share cool stuff with you and we talk about furniture and makeovers and Justin Bieber, or whatever.

And this really is a happy place. I hope you think so too. I finally went through all the sweet emails and comments so many of you have left for me today and it really lifted my spirits. I should have done it sooner. So thank you. Thanks to each one of you for that, (especially Justin W. who always makes me laugh the most). It really, really, really, truly means a lot.

I’m going to be ok. I’m healthy and my kids are healthy and we are gathered here today to get through this thing called “life,” which yes, is a Prince lyric, fine.

If you’re currently having a hard time at this life business too, I’m here for you. It won’t last forever. And this tiny hedgehog is on our side too, so obviously everything will be ok.


I’m excited to get back into a routine again, I think that’s important. 

So I’ll see you soon gang.

I mean it this time.


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Hello gang! 

I haven’t forgotten that I have a blog, I promise. My computer is having a life crisis and I’ve been unable to do anything other than swear at it. Currently  blogging from my phone. 

Also my dishwasher is broken, my vacuum is broken, the ice maker in my freezer is broken (whyyyyyyy), my car’s check engine light is on, my terrorist toddler has lost the keys to the mailbox AND the garage door opener, and all of this is giving me a case of adult acne. 

What I’m saying is now is probably a good time for a break. So please enjoy your holidays! I will do the same, and we’ll meet up here again soon! 

PS: if you see Santa, tell him I need a new Mac. Or if he knows where the garage door opener is, that would be fine too. 

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Last-Minute Christmas Gift Guide

How does Christmas manage to sneak up on me every single year? It’s not like I don’t know it’s coming. I just always think I have more time than I actually do, and end up scrambling at the last-minute with everything. Like this Black Friday Gift-Guide I have made for you. Um … it’s obviously not Black Friday today. Black Friday is nothing but a warm memory by now.

But there’s still time! Last-minute shoppers, I see you, I feel you. I’ve got you covered. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite products that I either love and own, or lustfully lust after and wish I owned. There’s a little something for everyone, hand-picked by me to be easy on the budget as well, and with juuuuuust enough time to get here by Christmas.





Vacuum Sealed Water Bottle

I’ve gazed longingly at these for a long time and finally bought one a couple weeks ago. It does a fabulous job keeping my drink cold (and hot, although I don’t often carry around hot beverages) and the lid never leaks. Plus it’s so darn cute!


Gingher Gold Tailor Shears

These aren’t regular scissors. These are the shears your mom wouldn’t let you use as a kid. Get a pair for the sophisticated seamstress in your life, or heck, get yourself your own pair, and then give yourself permission to use them! Finally!


Carry This Book

This was a quirky little book I picked up this year by Abbi Jackobson, creator of Broad City. Each page is an illustration of items she’s imagined found in the pockets and purses of real and imagined people, from Beyonce’s diaper bag to Amelia Earhart’s pencil case. It’s delightful to flip through.


Feather Gel Pens 

Ok, disclaimer, these feather pens probably won’t make it in time for Christmas, although they’d be the cutest stocking stuffers.  This feather pen is a little different but should arrive in time, if you really have your heart set on it. I’ve got a set of these ordered and can’t wait till they arrive! I’m going to pretend I’m signing the Declaration of Independence or penning an epic love letter every time I use one, even though I will probably just be making grocery lists.


Old Soul T-Shirt

I feel like this shirt describes me to a T. Haha, T! Like T-shirt? I’ll stop. Do you know any old souls with young hearts? Are you one too? Let’s hang out. This can be our club uniform.

Bumble Bee Earrings

I have a thing for insect jewelry, not sure why. I’ve also found myself veering away from big, dangly earrings in favor of smaller and simpler jewelry. I think these bumblebee earrings are so sweet. Snag a pair for your best friend, and tell her that bumblebees are known for remaining friends for life. That’s not really true, but she doesn’t have to know that.


Cabeau Travel Pillow

The last time I flew, I had a six hour layover in Atlanta. That’s a lottt of time to kill in the airport gift-shop. Not to brag, but I know everything there is to know about every single travel pillow on the market, and this one was a clear winner. Trust me, I’ve touched them all. *cut to montage of me in the airport testing out every single travel pillow for six hours.* The memory foam in this one is superior to any others, it’s super soft, the adjustable clasp keeps it perfectly in place, and there’s even a little pocket for your music device. It’s as perfect as a travel pillow can possibly be.

Cacala Turkish Towels

Oooh, if you’ve never tried a Turkish towel, you’re in for a treat. They’re not like a typical fluffy terry-cloth towel, but they are super soft and only get better with age. And they look real classy like hanging on your towel hook. This brand is one of the best, and there are 30 color options!

Light Up Sneakers

THE hottest gift of the season, according to my 10-year-old son. Also I know a few 30-something moms with their own pair. I might be one of them. There are about nine different light settings, in red, blue, green, yellow, purple, turquoise, and teal, solid or flashing or blended together. Grab a pair for the whole family and never lose anyone at Disneyland again!

Arrow Towels

Cute dish towels, can you ever have enough? Arrange them in a pretty bowl with some serving spoons and you have a quick and easy gift. I actually was hoping to order the cactus version of these towels, but they are out of stock, boo! I love the purple arrows too.



Bedside Carafe

I have this, and love it! I’m not great about drinking water, so it’s a nice reminder to have close by every morning and night. It’s small, but holds a good three cup-fulls of water. I also love how the glass fits inside the carafe, one: in case you’re worried about any bugs creeping in your water at night, and two: drips stay on the inside. And I feel like a fancy fancy lady every time I use it.

Wireless Speaker

I shared this same speaker on my gift-guide last year, and my opinion still stands. I use it nearly every single day. Great sound for the price, so easy to pack around, and the charge lasts forrrevrr. I love this turquoise version, and there are several other color options too.

Polka-Dot Crock Pot

Is there anything more fun than a polka-dot crock pot? Other than saying the words ‘polka-dot crock-pot?’ Probably not. I just think this is adorable. Why aren’t more appliances cute like this? Then maybe I’d actually leave them out instead of exiling them to the darkest corner of my cabinets, ugly toaster I’m looking at you.


Oooh, the Ooma. We just got this a couple weeks ago. It’s a device that gives you free phone service through your internet. I’ve tried internet phone services before, and this one rules them all. It’s just like a regular land-line! Only free! The sound clarity is virtually the same as any other phone, if not better, and it comes standard with all the features you’d want, voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, 911, etc. Plus there’s an app you can use with even more features, like having calls forwarded to your cell phone and more. Now that my kids are older and stay home alone from time to time, it’s really nice to have another way to reach them. I was real tired of hearing “uhh, my phone was dead,” or “I left it upstairs,” and the subsequent panic attack I had every time I tried to call and they didn’t pick up.



Hot Chocolate Shoes

Did you see the movie “Me Before You?” Did you cry your face off too? But before that, were you dying over the character Lou’s collection of fabulous shoes? I think I found where she bought them all: Hot Chocolate. Go! Look! There are so many, and they are all so wonderfully wacky and whimsical. There’s no way you can’t find a pair that you or someone you know would adore.


Well, there you have it, my last-minute Christmas gift-guide. A little random assortment of items, but hopefully it gave you an idea or two if you needed some!  Happy shopping!


(Affiliate links included).

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Farmhouse Charm

Lauren’s kitchen was nice. Sensible. Practical. A fine kitchen indeed.

But Lauren didn’t want a kitchen that fit the same description as a sturdy pair of shoes. She wanted more. A little style, a little sparkle. She wanted the kitchen version of those light-up shoes that everyone is getting for Christmas this year. OK, I have taken this shoe analogy too far, but you get it.

Let’s see how she transformed her simple space into the modern farmhouse kitchen of her dreams.



modern farmhouse kitchen makeover with reclaimed wood

She painted the cabinets white, a no-brainer she says since there are no windows in the kitchen and the dark cabinets were sucking the life-force right out of it. The power of paint never fails to inspire me. Even more inspiring: the total budget was $2,500! For such a drastic change, that’s absolutely remarkable. How did she do it? Magic? Witchcraft? Sorcery?

No silly, just the sorcery of DIY. Or REsourcery, I should say. Ahaha. 

Rather than ripping out her counters and backsplash and starting from scratch, she stuck to her budget by layering concrete over her existing formica, and applying faux brick paneling on top of the old tile backsplash.


modern farmhouse kitchen makeover

Did you notice that the flooring stayed the same? There wasn’t room in the budget to replace it just yet, but it fades into the background now that the eye is drawn to all the other good things happening in here.

What’s your favorite part? I love how she replaced her teensy sink with a huge new farmhouse sink, which required some nerve-wracking work of cutting into the countertops. But it all worked out, and was definitely worth the extra effort. It really takes it that much further away from basic-y-buildertown.

See all the fun details and get the whole budget breakdown from Lauren at Bless’er House.

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