A letter to myself as I drop my youngest at Kindergarten.

Hey mama,

You did it. You made it. You grew, birthed, and prepared two kids for school. You’re here. It’s time. You’re going to take them to their school, drop them at their class, give them a squeeze and let them go. Let. Them. Go. You will be home alone and it will feel so strange.

You are crying as you write this. Straight up ugly crying as you think of that day, quickly approaching, and wishing the summer would stay just a little longer. Or hell, forever. Just one more summer, one more year, just a little longer.

You quit working, at a job you were good at, and stayed home all day, everyday with your babies. Some of those days felt like YEARS. Some days you were impatient and then filled with guilt. You couldn’t wait for them to go to bed, but then missed them immediately. Well, maybe not immediately.

You wish you’de spent less time on your phone, and less time cleaning. You wish you spent more time playing with them, reading to them and just been MORE PRESENT. You wish you had been more patient, said yes more, and never yelled.

You remember all those well-meaning grannies at the grocery store saying, “Cherish every moment.”, “These days go by fast.” “You’re going to miss this”…(*read in granny voice for proper effect.)

At the time you thought, “Take a hike, granny!” because you were throwing snacks at your whiny toddler and “shushing”  your fussy baby in the carrier. But bless those grannies, they were right. Those were the days.

But mama, these are the days too. You are going to be challenged and blessed in the next season too. Do not mourn too much. You still have work to do.

You are going to let go of your regrets. You are going to feel proud of your kids, and yourself. You are going to joyfully guide all of you into the next season. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GRIEVE ABOUT THE PAST BEING OVER AND MISS WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS. You did more good than bad, mama. You have done so much. You taught them to share, sleep, use a toilet, eat vegetables, blow their noses, and put on their own shoes.

Your husband missed dinners and bedtimes so you could do this. You are filled with gratitude for the time you had. You are excited to see what they’ll do, and devastated that they’ll both be gone all day. It’s okay to be sad. You’re going to miss them and that’s okay, too. You want them fly, but stay in the nest. You want them to be successful, but still need you. That’s motherhood.

You don’t feel ready, but you can do this. You’re going to encourage them, and smile through your tears and tell them they’re going to love it. And you’ll mean it. You won’t cherish every moment in the next season either, but dangit, you’ll try to. Time just goes by too blasted fast. You know that now.

Go home, drink a whole cup of coffee while it’s still hot, close the door when you go pee, go for a run,  take a nap, read a book, go to the store by yourself. Try not to count down the minutes until you pick them up.

These are the days.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9

You Need a Wet Brush!

Happy Monday! Last year, on my birthday I shared this post, where I share some of my favorite things. Those things remain my favorite things, this year, and probably forever. But, I’m dying to add a new item to the list….You know how when you try a new idea, or product that literally changes your life and you think, “why didn’t I know about this sooner?” , or “how have we been living without this?”  Like sliced bread right?! My new favorite thing is one of those things. This summer, I found The Wet Brush. Halleluia!

I’m not sure the science behind this brush, but it is far better than any brush I’ve ever used. Magic…science…whatever. I’m a believer. During the summer, we usually adopt the motto, “Summer Hair, Don’t Care.” for Carolynn’s long locks.

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Carolynn has long, curly hair and brushing out her hair after a swim, shower or bath has always involved tears. It would get so tangly after swimming, we would have to pull it up in a top knot (which she hates), or leave a limp pool pony tail until her next shower. Now, I keep a Wet Brush in our pool bag and brush her hair out with ease after each swim.

With The Wet Brush, she hasn’t shed a single tear, and hardly even a wince. It is actual, real life magic for less than $10.

You can buy one of your own original detangling brush, or you can buy one for use with blow drying (this is a pretty ombre version), or this one made for thick hair.

You may just want to go ahead and get the two pack of detangling brushes so you can have one for your bathroom and one for the pool/beach bag. I also keep this leave in conditioner by Aussie in our pool bag.

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Go get yourself one (or more!) of these brushes and you can thank me later. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Steph

*I have not been paid for this review. It is my own humble, and honest opinion. I have attached the links to these products should you wish to purchase them. If you do decide to use my link to purchase one of these amazing brushes, I will receive a small portion of your sale. This is at no extra cost to you. Thank you!!

 

Pool side Reading List

People, people, we are SO close to the summer. So.close. We’ve got less than 30 days of school left (but who’s counting?) and the summer is calling to me. I love the summer with a big, big love. It’s my favorite season, by far. (I’ve already gone into the many reasons I love it, here, on this post , entitled, “Summer, I love you.”)

I’m ready for lazy mornings, longer days and the pool. That pool is my happy place. So many happy memories are made there. My great grandfather built this giant pool in 1960 for his two grown daughters, who swam for exercise. Like to swim laps, it’s a huge pool.

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I mean, come on. Ok, now ask me if I think you should get a pool…..Hell no. Unless you’re going to get a pool boy, in which case, go for it. BUT, since it’s pretty much a family heirloom I plan to enjoy it to the fullest. Which puts me here, doing this:

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In heaven, I will be by the pool. Reading, and probably eating Twizzlers.

As the summer gets closer, I’ve been putting together a list of books I plan to read, poolside of course, and want to share them with y’all! If you plan on reading anything other than my blog this summer (ha ha), I’de love to have you join me in reading one of these books and let me know what you think! Some of the books I’m listing are books from last summer’s reading list, and several books I haven’t read, and am looking forward to picking up.

Last summer, I read  America’s First Daughter, based on Thomas Jefferson’s daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. I love historical fiction, and if you do too, this is a good choice.

I haven’t yet read, but am planning to pick up another by Dray, and Kamoie: My Dear Hamilton 

Also, Bear Town by Fredrik Backman

Another amazing read from Fredrik Backman and from last year’s Summer Reading List,  is A Man Called Ove

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Also GREAT, by Kristin Hannah, and from last year’s Summer reading list, is The Nightingale. 

Let me know if you plan on picking up any of these books for your summer reading pleasure, and I’de love to chat! Let’s start a book club! What should we read first?

What are y’all planning to read this summer? Are you anxiously awaiting the summer season, like me?

Looking forward to hearing from you, thanks for reading!!-Steph

*I have attached the links to these products should you wish to purchase them. If you do decide to use my link to purchase one of my favorite things, I will receive a small portion of your sale. This is at no extra cost to you. Thank you!!

 

 

 

 

 

What I learned from the Spring 10×10 Challenge

I did it! I wore only ten items (including shoes!) for 10 days. (See what I picked and more info about the challenge in this post)

I mixed and matched, added accessories and have 10 awkward photos of myself to prove it. See??

 

I appreciated the experience and it helped me realize some things about the way I should keep my closet year round:

First of all, I need no new clothes. I have enough. With only 8 clothing pieces and 2 pairs of shoes to choose from, getting dressed everyday was a cinch. No pacing my closet and sighing, before finally deciding on something. All my outfits were put together, and honestly, having less pieces to work with made it less pressure. I packed for a weekend trip and it was the easiest packing a bag has ever been. One day, to avoid wearing almost the exact same thing a second time, I added an old belt of my gramdmother’s. I’ve had it for years and never wear it. I got several compliments on it, and it changed up wearing the same shirt and jeans for the second time in 10 days. I was encouraged to get creative with what I already have and if you’ve read any of my posts before, you know the joy I get from using what I already have. (I did that for my Fall Decorating Challenge, and for Carolynn’s Office)

Secondly, keep what realistically works for you. I guess I’m not a skirt person. In theory, yes, I like skirts a lot. I think they’re cute and springy and can keep be versatile enough to be casual or dressy. BUT, I wore mine twice only, one of which was Easter Sunday and the other I MADE myself because I knew I needed to work it in. My day to day life just isn’t too skirt friendly, so it just didn’t seem to make sense most days. It was cute, but not that practical for me.

I’m fine wearing jeans everyday. They fit my lifestyle and darnit, I just like them. For the challenge, I chose a pair of boot cut jeans, but I wished I had picked my skinny jeans. The skinnies would have been more classic and I just like the fit better.

If overalls are wrong, I don’t want to be right. I did choose overalls as one of my pieces, maybe not the most practical choice, but I actually have no regrets. I like them, and they went with more than one top so I got two wears out of them. It’s only been two days since the challenge ended, and I’ve already worn them again.

Birkenstocks are still my favorite shoe of all time. I wore them 9/10 of the challenge days and probably would have anyway. I’m not a “shoe person”, but I LOVE these shoes.

Lastly, go with neutrals. one of the tops I chose had embroirdered shoulders and a tie front. It is less of a neutral, which I chose intentionally, to keep boredom at bay. In hindsight, another neutral top would have been a better choice. I only wore my embroirdered tee (It’s SO cute, you can find the link in this post) once. It didn’t lend itself to the whole idea of the 10×10, which is, creatively mixing and matching. It would have been too obvious if I wore it twice because it just isn’t neutral enough.

Overall, I didn’t find it too difficult to wear the same things for 10 days, and no one ever said, “didn’t you just wear that?” Which was actually something I wondered about. Turns out, no one probably noticed, and much more likely, no one actually cares.

Did anyone else take the 10×10 challenge? What do you think about a minimalist stlye wardrobe? Are you a person who needs lots of options, or do you prefer the simplicity of fewer clothes?

Thanks for reading!! Steph

Spring 10×10 Challenge

As far as my closet goes, I’ve always been more of a, “quantity vs. quality” type of gal. I always loved to shop and clothes were my favorite thing to shop for and purchase. Through high school and college, I worked many hours at Old Navy, doing mental math while fat folding the jeans. Folding and calculating my employee discount on that cute top, skirt or dress.

After our time spent at the ranch house, where we lived without internet, hot showers a dishwasher…well, you can read my post, “Making it Work” for yourself, but I lived with maybe 1/4 of my clothes. After moving in to this house, I had plenty of room for everything. Still, I felt inspired to donate a lot of my clothes, even stuff I still liked-gasp!-but just didn’t wear that much. The idea of getting dressed daily without the preliminary, and delusional “I have nothing to wear” pity party was refreshing.

In an effort to make getting dressed everyday less…angsty, I went through my closet with discernment, deciding what I actually wear, and what “look” I have/wanted. As a stay at home mom/2 day a week preschool teacher, comfort was a big factor. I kept only the things I love, work for my life, and go together. If something in my closet didn’t go with at least 2 other items, it’s out. I allowed myself no sentimentality- “but I’ve had this for YEARRRSSSS.” buh bye.

As an extension of this closet spring cleaning, for the next 10 days, I am joining in on the spring 10×10 challenge. You choose 10 items of clothing (this includes shoes, but not including accessories, workout clothes, or undergarments) and make 10 outfits using only those 10 items.

Here’s what I decided on:

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Tops:

Bottoms:

  • Curvy boot cut jeans (I had these before I was a Smith. Circa 2003 maybe?)
  • Overalls from Gap Factory
  • green sidewalk skirt from Jcrew factory (Again, mine’s old, but lots of cute, spring colors available!)

Shoes:

 

Planning to use these accessories to mix things up.

 

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I am bending the rules a bit and allowing myself one bonus item since this Sunday is Easter. Here’s what I’m planning to wear to church and our family get together this Sunday. Special thanks to Carolynn, my “fashion” photographer.

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See her in the window there? 🙂 See how I need a tan?

The skirt, the shoes and that cardigan are all included in the 10×10 and the top is my cheat piece.

I’ll let you know how it goes, and if you’re also trying the #spring10x10, I’de love to hear from you!!

Happy Easter, and as always, THANK YOU for reading. -Steph

 

Baked Squash Blossoms and Sauteed Sweet Potato Leaves

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I kill plants. Cactuses even?? Why yes, even a cactus will turn black on my watch. It’s like a gift.
But, I live on a ranch now, and did you know that I can put half a sprouted sweet potato in this blessed ground and it will grow like crazy? Did you also know that I could plant seeds from my spaghetti squash and they, would also, grow like crazy? Did you know that I am now an official, bona fide, yet, self declared, “farmer”? Thank you. Thank you.
Actually, this is all Carolynn’s doing. Her precious, little science mind always wants to plant seeds. She brings home seeds from her plum in her lunchbox so we can plant it at home and grow a plum tree. She saves seeds from her apple to grow an apple tree. (Despite us telling her we can’t grow apples here. It’s ok, dream big girl.)
So, when our sweet potato sprouted, and I opened up a spaghetti squash, seeds everywhere, we planted the seeds and our sliced up potato. Drumroll please….Voila!
This is two squash plants, and one sweet potato (in the middle). We have about 10 squash coming in! I’m not getting my hopes up since the time of year isn’t quite right, but it’s been fun to watch it grow, so we’ll see what happens.
We have a lot of new, season appropriate seeds planted, but due to the weather being unseasonably warm, many of them have already shriveled up. After studying the weather for the rest of the month, we’ll be trying a lot of our seeds again next weekend. Hoping to see all the little sprouts popping up (and growing!) soon.
Recently, we heard that you can eat the leaves from a sweet potato plant. Potato plant leaves are poisonous, but SWEET potato leaves are not. They are nutritious, flavorful and can be cooked like most dark greens.
First, I boiled them in a little water and for just a few minutes, to remove some of the bitter flavor that naturally accompanies most greens.

 

Then I put some delicious, filtered bacon fat to my skillet. We use a fine mesh strainer to strain our bacon grease and store it in the fridge.
 I sauteed onions, but you could omit them.

 

Last, I added the greens. Much like spinach, the leaves shrunk up a lot once they were sauteed. So pick more than you think.
To accompany our greens, I also picked some squash blossoms. According to the Internet, which is never wrong (that’s sarcasm), it’s best to pick the male blossoms since those are the ones that won’t grow fruit. I THINK that’s what we did. The description of the male vs. female blossoms is helpful until you’re actually out picking them.
“Is this a thin stem?”
“Does this look like a squash ovary?”
“Is this one hairier than that one?”
We did our best.
Rinse them, and check for bugs. Unless you’re into that.

 

 

Remove the stamen at the base.

 

If needed, you can make a small slit to reach in and remove. The next few steps are easier if the top remains twisted shut.

 

There are recipes out there for fried, or baked squash blossoms. I just put a cube of mozzarella in ours, because that’s what we had.

 

Coat the stuffed blossom in egg, then breadcrumbs.
Bake at 350 deg for 15 minutes.

 

I put the leaves, and the blossoms over brown rice and served it up for lunch. Y’all, it was good! I heated up some leftovers to have also, but Brian and I both felt perfectly satisfied after this meal. We put the leftovers back in the fridge for another day.
Well, there was also a beer involved. I feel like I should be honest about that. 😉
We each ate several squash blossoms, and the kids each tried one. They did not like them as much, but they did try it, which is all we ever ask.
Even without fully fruiting plants in our garden, we are harvesting FOOD. It is exciting and gratifying. And yummy.
Thank you so much for stopping by to read about our adventures! I’ll update everyone about our seedlings soon and would love to hear from you about anything. Thanks for reading!
XO, Steph

The Junk Gypsy’s Wander Inn

I recently was invited by my sweet friend, Audrey (follow her instagram here, and her blog here) to tag along with her, and three fellow instagrammers, (follow them, too! They all have beautiful, inspirational feeds: AmyCindy, and Jill) and bloggers, for a complimentary stay at the not yet open to the public, Wander Inn! It was such an honor and I was pretty much over the moonto be included.

Jolie, me, Amy, Jill, Cindy, Audrey, Amie

The Junk Gypsies have a show on HGTV (Check out their show here), a line at Pottery Barn Kids, a successful, fun and funky store in Round Top, and now, the Wander Inn, which will be featured in the upcoming Christmas issue of Country Living Magazine. (Get yourself a subscription here, so you won’t miss it! )

We were invited by Amie, and Jolie, the Junk gypsy gals themselves, and the Virginia Dare Winery (the Pinot Noir was my favorite) to attend a happy hour. Everyone was so lovely, and such gracious hosts.

With all their success’, they have remained kind, generous, relatable and down to earth. It was a pleasure to meet them and be treated to a stay at their beautiful Inn.
     

Shared living area. Look at that sectional, and that repurposed drum, turned coffee table.

 

                                                    That “speaker” is a mini fridge!
That funky chandelier!

 

My room! Another fun light fixture.

Staying here was such an absolute treat, and I can hardly believe I had the honor of being included. I HAVE a blog, but these gals are BLOGGERS, and influencers on Instagram.

Find out more about the Junk Gypsy gals and Wander Inn here, go buy their bookJunk Gypsy: Designing a Life at the Crossroads of Wonder and Wander  and go check them out on Instagram. You won’t be sorry!!

As always, thank you for reading! Stay tuned for a post about my finds in Round Top and how I’ll turn my “trash” treasures to treasure treasure. 😉

XO, Steph

Snow White and the 7th Birthday!

I have been trying to convince Carolynn to have a Snow White party for yearrrrssss. I loved Snow White as a little girl and really wanted to use the theme for C. Can we just stop for a minute to talk about how in the holy heck I have a SEVEN year old?! She is so awesome and we love who she has grown into……but Wahhhhhhhhhh. Seven is so big.

OK! This year, I played it cool, let her see some ideas online, and she agreed! Her only rule? She wanted a pinata. Deal!

It was just what I imagine a kid’s party should be: friends and family, lots of laughing, talking and a homemade cake…..Which you let your daughter and her friend ice, and it didn’t bother you at all. You didn’t even get high blood pressure watching them schmear it back and forth. (breaaattthhhhe slowly. In. And out.)

Seriously though, it was a really sweet party with lots of people we love. Here’s some pictures of some of the decor, and ideas we used to go with our theme.

 

Obviously, we had to dress up.
Sweet side story: When I was 5, my grandad and his wife, gave me a beautiful Snow White dress. When they saw that C was having a Snow White party, they asked if they could send her a Snow White dress to wear for her party! I almost cried. It was such a sweet and special gesture. When the dress arrived, it was love at first sight! Just like me….a certain number of years ago..
At the door, we offered name tags, with the dwarf’s, the Wicked Queen and Prince Charming’s names on them. People could choose, or Carolynn assigned, each guest a name tag.

 

Carolynn’s friend, Kaia, chose “The Wicked Queen”. (Carolynn has changed into one of her gifts-a Moana dress.)

 

Carolynn chose, “Prince Charming” for her daddy. ❤

I turned this mirror, from Goodwill:

Into the, “Magic Mirror on the wall”:

 
Now, for the food. I had the party from 10-12, so we served light fare: small sandwiches, 7 layer dip and chips, and caramel apple dip with apple slices.

 

 

All of these dwarfs and Snow White were/are Christmas ornaments. I took the ribbons off, and although you can still see the rings they hang from, it’s much less obvious without ribbon. Make do with what you’ve got, right?!

 

 

Buy the cookie stamps here

 

I used cookie stamps to make the faces on the mini sandwiches. They were originally cut out in apple shapes (by my kids….breathe. breathe. it’s ok if it’s not perfect…)

The invitation said, “no gifts necessary”. No one listened. 🙂

Thanks again to everyone who came and loved on our beautiful, birthday girl! We are so blessed with our families and friends.
As always, I am happy to chat with anyone who has questions or wants to know more! Thanks for reading, and hope it’s a happy Monday!
XO, Steph

End of Summer reading list

Can you even believe it is August? August! The weeks have just flown by! We’ve been busy, we’ve been lazy, but they’ve gone quickly either way.

 

And, if you believe the TV commercials, school is about to start! Don’t rush me, HEB! Quit being a party pooper.

 

Anyway, summer is sadly coming to an end, and since summer is often synonymous with reading (by the beach, in the mountains, on a road trip), here are a list of some books that I’ve read and really enjoyed. I won’t try to describe them for you, since Amazon can do that, but would love to chat with you about any of them if you need help deciding!

 

All of the books I listed here, although some have some serious subject matter (The Nightingale is about WWII), they are lighter reads, perfect for the last month of summer. You can finish up before the madness begins, again. Also, none of these are very new, so you should have no problem finding them at your local library.

 

I hope you can find time to slow down, read a book and just BE this summer. Don’t let those pushy, consumerist TV commercials make you feel like it’s too late.

 

Happy Reading!



This starts off with a pretty intense scene, but is a heart warming story of an unlikely friendship started in an unlikely and unfortunate way. 



This is one of those with some serious subject matter. It’s written from Ernest Hemingway’s wife’s perspective. If you know anything about Ernest Hemingway, you can imagine. 

Any of the Liane Moriarty books that I’ve read would classify as “beach reads” in my opinion. But, this one is my favorite by far.

 

This sweet book will make you want to send handwritten cards and letters again.

 

This is a whole series of books. The main character is a sassy, moralistic lady from Botswana who opens her own detective agency.

This follows two sisters during WW II. I love historical novels.

 

This book is about a sweet old man, who values all the old, English traditions.

This book is also about an older man, who is endearing, but in a less obvious way. I think I read this in two days.

I would love to hear from anyone who reads these, or anything! I always love a good book recommendation so comment with your favorites, too!

Thanks for stopping by! -Steph

On my birthday, I’m a “real” blogger

Some of the “real” blogs I read share a weekly list of favorite things, or things they’re into right now. One of the blogs I follow, Sarah, does a “Friday Favorites” post. Read one of her posts here. Sarah has great taste, and a beautiful blog that reads well and has some really great ideas.

I really enjoy these types of “favorite things” posts, and have thought about jumping on this bandwagon. But, I’m only a “real” blogger in my own mind. That’s kind of the thing about blogging though, right?! I have felt a little uncomfortable sometimes sharing my thoughts, ideas and projects because…who cares? I’m not trying to get humility points or anything, just hear me out.

 

Let’s say I’m at a party, and I start telling you about how I recovered my outdoor cushions. (shameless plug here) Whomever I’m talking to, would probably be as polite as possible while also sending a signal to their friend, or spouse across the room: “ Help. Me. Talking to the most boring person at this party. ”

 

You see what I mean?! Anyway, I’m not at all looking for compliments, in fact, everyone has been so very encouraging. All your comments on the blog, and on facebook and in person have only encouraged me to keep blogging and sharing what would be boring party fodder. 😉 All your sweet words and every single time you click on that link, makes me smile and feel so loved. Thank you so much. I really appreciate everytime you read.

 

So, I present to you, my special BIRTHDAY edition of my favorite things right now:

 

  1. Birkenstocks

 

I’m not really a shoe girl. I don’t think I ever have been. But, if shoe love is a thing, I have given my heart to my Birkenstocks. I am crazy about them. I wear them almost every day. Really. All I need is a pair or running shoes, and my Birkenstocks. They are super practical, super comfortable and stylish…well, stylish enough for me anyway. When Brian and I went to Round Top and my pedometer clocked us at 26 miles walked, I was wearing those Birkenstocks. They are my perfect shoe.

 

You can get a pair like mine for $95 here, on Amazon, or here, at Nordstrom.

 

2. Benefit Erase Paste

 

This stuff is magic. Real, actual magic. My under eye circles have been a thing since Johnathon Taylor Thomas was on magazine covers. Being pale, ya know. So since I’ve had kids, they’ve not improved. This little tub of magic is worth every penny. It makes me look alive and not like a zombie so yeah, it’s a favorite.

 

 

3. Boomchickapop Sweet and Salty popcorn

 

This popcorn is so.good. Mr. AL and I have been trying to cut back on our wine consumption, and this popcorn has been a sweet replacement. Instead of having a glass of wine after the kids go to bed, we are snacking on this stuff. When we try to cut down on kettle corn consumption, maybe we can replace it with sit-ups, or I don’t know, something productive.

 

 

I buy mine at Costco, or Sprouts, if I want a reasonable sized bag (why would I want that?!) but you can get it here, on Amazon.

 

4. Faux plants

 

I began an accidental faux plant collection before we moved out of our house in Cedar Park. I had this little window box on my back porch and had already killed multiple living plants that I bought to fill it.
One time after buying another living replacement for a plant I’de just killed, Brian said, “We’ll just put that purchase in the “entertainment” category.”
Oh ye of little faith. But he was right. That plant was DOA.
I found the most realistic, and most affordable faux plants at IKEA and put three of them in that window box. They looked great the whole time we lived there. 🙂 I use those plants, and some fake succulents, all over the house to add warmth and texture. I recently rearranged the mantel with them:
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I also use faux (and one REAL) plants in this old tool box on my sofa table:

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5. My new quilt/all the checkered things

We’ve been on the hunt for a while now for new bedding. More specifically, a quilt. Not a bedspread, not a duvet. a good old-fashioned quilt. Not too hot, but has good weight to it.

 

With that rug, which we bought for our first house and we thought cost a fortune, this room has a traditional and semi-formal look. I love how the big, fat, beautiful buffalo checks add some casual coziness. Also, B and I both picked this one so it was a winner.

I love using those checks in other parts of the house too:

 

Ok, you get the idea, and that’s not even all of them.
Thanks for humoring me on my birthday, and thanks for reading my, “I’m-a-real-blogger-today-because-its-my-birthday-edition-five-favorite things”. On your birthday, you do what you wanna do. Now, time for cake.
XO, Steph
*Photos other than my own, personal photos were taken from Amazon. I have attached the links to these products should you wish to purchase them. If you do decide to use my link to purchase one of my favorite things, I will receive a small portion of your sale. This is at no extra cost to you. Thank you!!