Thursday, January 17, 2019

4 Home Updates to Consider in 2019

Do you want to sell your home in 2019 or 2020? Or, maybe you want to improve your house yourself, which is always a smart idea. Either way, updating your home takes a lot of thought and it can be hard to navigate the ins and outs of home updates yourself. That's why today, I am coming at you with 4 updates to consider in 2019. Not only will these updates improve your home and make it a better living situation for yourself, but it will also make your home more attractive to potential buyers in the future. Let's dive in!

Build an outdoor space.
Building an outdoor space will not only be great for resale value, but it will also give you a place to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather. More and more, we are learning that the insides of our homes are pretty toxic, so people are trying to spend more time outside. You could build a pergula, or a deck, look into luxury grills, heaters, and furniture, as well. Once it is all finished, I think you will be so thrilled that you invested in your outdoor space.
When you are searching for luxury grills and outdoor heaters to make your space perfect I would recommend visiting the showroom at Guy Gunter Home , located in the West Midtown Atlanta in Georgia. Guy Gunter Home is Atlanta's innovative leader in the appliance market. They sell kitchen, bath, home care, and outdoor products. Guy Gunter decided early on that to succeed in business, you have to put on a good show. That is just one of the many reasons why they opened up a state of the art showroom. It is 5,000 square feet and was designed by forward- thinking architect, Mark Williams and visionary designer, Matthew Quin. The Guy Gunter home gallery showroom located in Atlanta completely redefines the appliance shopping experience, so when you are shopping for you luxury outdoor grill, definitely head their way. They have every type of outdoor grill to fit every sort of need.

Add New Paint.
Paint can make a room feel like new again, no matter how old the home is. If you are looking for a relatively quick and easy fix, paint is the way to go. The great thing about paint is that it's not too expensive and I bet you have some great paint colors stored in your garage, so it might not even be a financial investment. Go light and bright with your paint and then you can add pops of color throughout the room with furniture and art work.

Install a new HVAC system.
If you are trying to sell your home in the next few years, I highly recommend focusing on the big projects such as your roof and your HVAC system. Why? Buyers are nervous about investing in a home when big things can go wrong. Personally, unless I got a really great deal, I would most likekly not purchase a home with a 20+ year old HVAC system because I know that it is unfortunately almost guaranteed for it to go out on me and I do not want to risk it after such a big purchase. That is why all homeowners need to make sure they are fixing issues as they arise and are also trying to prevent future problems, as well.

Real Simple says "The front of your house is the first thing people see, so it makes sense that any improvements - to planting petunias to surrounding your home with a hedge - will be worth your while. "Don't be afraid to spend money on perennials, which come back year after year", says Yip. As for big ticket investments, like trees, they aren't just nice to look at; they also starve off erosion, black storm water run off, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and filter groundwater pollutants. They might make your home sell for more money, too. The arbor Day foundation estimates a six-to eight-foot Colorado blue spruce or live oak (both are commonly found all over the United States) may grow one to two feet a year. And properties with gorgeous, established trees are even more attractive to potential home buyers down the road. When determining which areas of your yard to attend to first, try approaching your house from the curb to the front door. "Buyers will make their decision in exactly eight seconds.", says Barbara Corcoran, founder of Corcoran group, a Manhattan real estate firm. "After that, they've either fallen in love or just honoring an appointment."


Monday, January 14, 2019

Breaking Past Fears in 2019

Fear is a natural part of growth and development and sometimes, fear is necessary because it prevents us from doing things that are indeed, not too smart. But, most of the time, fear only holds us back from potential opportunities that appear in our daily lives.

Fear is different for everyone - maybe it is not being good enough, fear of trying something new, not knowing what to expect, or even fear of being rejected. No matter what it is, I understand that it can be very scary to break fast your fears, but if you do break fast them, you will start to see with a new set of eyes.

Sure, you are not perfect, but is anyone perfect? There are times when you will definitely mess up, but those are just learning experiences and they will only make you better. The worst thing that you can do for yourself is to allow fear to rule your life. Do not let fear get in the way of accomplishing your goals and dreams.

I spoke with a friend the other day who actually told me the story of her overcoming her fears. She broke past her fears, put herself out there in the world, and you know what happened? She succeeded (most of the time). She learned new things, she became more confident, and she now feels like she is capable of anything. I want this for all of you because when it comes down to it, you are capable of anything, as long as you put your mind to it.

So, how do we start with breaking past fears in 2019? Here are a few tips:

Keep A List Of Goals
Like I mentioned above, do not let your fears get in the way of your goals and your dreams. How do you do this? Make a list of goals, to start out. Find a way to accomplish them, no matter what. If your goal is to travel the world and go to Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls, don’t let your fear of drowning, or heights stop that. Make a list of goals, and find a way to push past your fears, in order to accomplish them.

Agree To Something You Normally Wouldn’t
If you are scared of public speaking, the best way to (hopefully) get over that fear is by doing it. Book a public speaking engagement, or start with a group of friends and get it out of the way. After you finish your engagement, you will most likely realize that there was no reason to be scared in the first place. Most of your fears are from something being unknown and unfamiliar, so take the plunge and familiarize yourself with that fear.

Take Decisive Action
Forbes says, “You can’t just wish for something. You’ve got to take action. Action is an issue of personal responsibility. It’s where you acknowledge that you are solely responsible for the choices in your life and you accept that you cannot blame others for the choices you have made. Time and time again our inner self-doubt makes us question everything and keeps us from taking action when the solution shows up. This all boils down to one thing and one thing only. In plain English it’s called self-sabotage.

Widening your perspective around success starts with a decision. Once you make a decision to succeed, it’s time to commit to doing whatever it takes to make it happen.
It comes down to taking bold and decisive action toward what you say you want in your business or your life. It’s about saying YES to what’s possible for you. Saying YES to the opportunities that are divinely given to you—and then taking action. Your business, your life, your income will never be the same. I promise you that.”

Talk About Your Fears

Last but not least, you might want to consider talking about your fears with a professional. Ray of Hope Counseling Services is a group of counselors and psychotherapists that are committed to helping individuals feel better. They have seven locations all over Georgia – in Kennesaw, Alpharetta, Conyers, Athens, Canton, Peachtree City, and Marietta and also serve the surrounding counties. Their goal is to support you in a safe and confidential environment, while delivering a personalized experience that is tailored specifically to your needs. Each therapist at Ray of Hope Counseling Services is not only licensed and educated, but they also have additional training and/or hold certifications in their specialty area. Each therapist has diversified backgrounds and experiences which allow them to treat a wide variety of issues across the lifespan and they take pride in honoring the privacy and confidentiality of each client. Clinical Director and Founder, Lynn Thompson Umstead, is a trained mental health professional, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Psychology. Her passion is working with blended families, couples, and women who are experiencing infertility issues and can bring a great deal of empathy when counseling her couples due to her own personal struggles with infertility. A professional counselor at Ray of Hope Counseling Services can help you address your individual fears and concerns and they can help you learn coping mechanisms and give you other tools to help you overcome life challenges and changes. Go check out their website for more information!


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Cute Workout Wear For The New Year

I think we can all relate when we say that our new year resolution is to get in shape. I say it every year - and I hope that I actually stick with it this time! I don't know about you, but cute workout wear always makes me 100 times more likely to hit the gym! These leggings from K. Ellis Boutique are so cute. They are high waisted - which I love - because it makes me feel like everything is supported and sucked in. The color and pattern is adorable and would look great with a solid top and a pop of color in your running shoe. 
Shop my leggings here! (only $28)


Decluttering For The New Year

2019 is here and I am ready for a fresh, clean slate. To me, this starts with my home, the space that I spend the bulk majority of my time throughout the entire year. If I had to guess, I am sure that you have things piling up around your house. Maybe you got a bunch of Christmas presents that you didn’t want or need, or maybe you have way too many clothes now that you got some for Christmas (or just throughout the year). No matter why your house is full, it’s time to focus on decluttering it.

Starting the New Year off with a decluttered home is the best feeling in the world, but if you don’t know where to start, it can be very challenging and frustrating. A lot of people start decluttering and then quit halfway through because they just cannot figure out what to do with their items. If that sounds like you, keep reading along because I’m here to help you start and finish your decluttering session! Here we go:

Start With Your Most Dreaded Space
My best tip is to start with your most dreaded place. For a lot of people, this is their closets. For some reason, people begin to feel attached to their clothing. People associate special events, trips, or times in their lives with certain pieces of clothing and hold on to it for dear life. Even clothes that do not fit - people hang on to them, hoping that they will fit one day. Years after I graduated from high school, I found clothing that I had from freshman year of high school, hoping that I would be able to fit back into them one day. If that’s you, toss them. If you lose a ton of weight, go buy new things. You don’t want those pieces in your closet, spreading negativity anyway - it will just make you think about losing weight constantly.

Say Yes To Donating
Say yes to donating, especially if you have coats and other cold weather clothes that you don’t need or want anymore. According to Atlanta Mission, some of these items are much needed for women:
  • New underwear and new bras (All sizes, especially larger sizes)
  • New towels and new washcloths
  • $5 MARTA Breeze cards
  • Pull-ups (2T-5T)
  • Gift cards (Walmart, Target, Kroger, Fast food restaurants in small increments - $5/$10)
  • Adult coats and jackets (All sizes, especially larger sizes)
  • Hats, gloves, and scarves
  • Fall/Winter clothing - (in season)
  • Baby food and formula
  • Toddler clothing, socks, and shoes (Sizes 2T-5T)
  • Soap, shower gel, lotion, shampoo, and conditioner (Full size)
  • OTD medications (Tylenol, cough syrup/drops, children's Motrin, Maalox, Benadryl, etc.)
  • Professional wear clothing
  • Non-slip shoes
  • Umbrella's (Full and travel size)
  • Infant bathtubs
  • New car seats and strollers
  • Children's hygiene products (lotion, powder, bubble bath)

Sell The Things You Don’t Need
If you have valuable items that you don’t need, sell them! In Atlanta, there is a company called Chapes - JPL that you’ll want to know about. Chapes - JPL was established in 1980 as an alternative to banks and traditional pawnbrokers. They provide low-interest loans on gold, diamonds, jewelry, watches, and other valuable assets in a safe, confident location out of Buckhead. Their private business office services over 18,000 customers nationwide and they loan strictly on collateral. In addition, they also purchase jewelry and other valuable items, no matter what shape they are in. So, if you have high-quality jewelry, or even purses, check out Chapes-JPL so that you can make cash off of your jewelry in a straight-forward and gimmick-free way.

Memorize This Acronym
Huffington Post says, “Until further notice, do not go out and buy anything new and unnecessary—no retail therapy, no “great deals” and no sales! Instead, purge as much clutter as possible as quickly as you can using the F.A.S.T. method. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown on how to clean house and get organized.

F: Fix a time. Schedule a time that suits everyone involved. Cleaning up is a family affair, so get everyone on board by scheduling your kick start at a time that works for everyone and make attendance mandatory! Set aside a Saturday or a Sunday, or a few hours every day, to start the process.

A: Anything not used in 12 months. Face it: If you haven’t used an item in the last year, it is highly unlikely you really need it or that you are going to ever get enough use out of it to justify it cluttering up your home. Take the plunge and get rid of it! Ask yourself these questions as you encounter each piece of clutter:
• Do I use this?
• How long has it been since I’ve used it?
• Will I use it again?
• Is it worth the space it takes up in my house?
Remember: The objective is to get stuff out of your home, not to move it into another room. You will be amazed by the sheer volume of unused and unneeded items in your home. Don’t spend time inventing reasons to keep these things.

S: Someone else’s stuff. It’s bad enough when clutter is your own, but it is totally crazy when the clutter belongs to someone else. Your house should not contain anything that doesn’t belong to you. If it’s something you’ve borrowed, give it back. If you’ve ended a relationship or gotten a divorce, now’s the time to let your ex’s belongings go. If your kids have established their own households, it’s time for them to pick their stuff up.

T: Trash. The trash can is your friend. It is your very hungry friend. Take pride in how much you throw away and make it fun. Compete with your family members to see who tosses the most or award a prize to the best purger. Remember the goal: You only want to keep the amount of stuff that makes sense for your space.”

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Or 90's Nostalgic Christmas Party!

It's a tradition in my house to have an annual ugly Christmas sweater party! This year I wanted to make it fun and different by making the theme 90's. We all dressed in our vintage clothing, ate a traditional Christmas meal, made old school home-made ornaments, and sat around the table surrounded by vintage decor. It was a great day to say the least. It took us back to simpler times and it was my favorite party to date.



For decor, I spent loads of time going through local thrift stores to find the best decor I could find. I think my favorite was the Christmas cups! We got 8 different designs but they all went together so perfectly. I feel like they brought the table set up together! I also found a bag of vintage ornaments for around $3.00 and we put those on our tree in the kitchen. We used old vintage serving trays, napkin holders, and a few pieces of decor found from thrift stores.
I also strung up some old photos of me and my fam from our past Christmas's! It was a fun and nostalgic touch.


There's nothing like a traditional Christmas dinner. There's also nothing like my momma's cooking! I always look forward to Christmas dinner with my fam every year.

Does you family have a Christmas tradition? I would love to hear more about it in the comments!


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Leopard + Pink OOTD

If you have been following for a while now, you would know my obsession with leopard print. I have always thought it was SO cute and I am so happy it's trendy this season. I recently picked up this beanie and super cute pink sweater from Charlotte Russe and I love them! They are both so soft and warm, perfect for this time of the year. 
I got both of these on sale and you can shop them by clicking here and here!


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

5 ways to stay warm and cozy this winter

The trees have lost their leaves and the weather has that cool crisp to it. That’s when you know it’s time to focus on staying warm because winter has finally arrived. I’m not sure if it’s the cool air, the Christmas season, or the busy last few months of the year, but whatever it is - I just feel the need to stay cozy and warm and I’ll do anything to make that happen. But, at the same time, I don’t want to spend a ton of money doing so. It’s easy to bump up the heat in your home, but this also bumps up the amount you are paying. Instead, find ways to stay cozy and warm, without having to shell out hundreds of dollars. Here are some of my best tips:

There is nothing like a hot, roaring fire to keep you warm and cozy during the cold winter months in Georgia. No matter if you have a gas or a wood burning fireplace, get the fire started and curl up with a book next to it. One thing I do recommend doing before you have your first fire of the year is getting your fireplace and chimney inspected. It’s very easy and not too costly to get a chimney sweep and a lot of the time, they will also clean your dryer lint trap, as well.

Curl up on the couch or in bed
Cozy up on the couch or in bed with lots of blankets, pillows, and a Christmas movie or a book. Adding flannel sheets, full down comforters, extra blankets (maybe even a heated blanket, or heated mattress pad), and lots of pillows will definitely keep you warm and cozy. Cuddling in bed or on the couch with lots of blankets does not sound like a bad way to spend a weekend, in my opinion!

Warm Beverages
The winter months were made for mugs full of hot chocolate and eggnog, but those drinks aren’t always the best for your health. You can only drink so much cocoa, no matter how cold you are, so you might want to think about some other healthy alternatives such as herbal tea, turmeric lattes, or even hot chai tea. It doesn’t just stop at warm beverages, though. There are so many warm food options like soups and stews that can help warm you up, as well.

Window Tinting
Adding 3M™ Low-E Window Films to your windows will help insulate your windows from the cold temperatures. UHS Window Tinting and Blinds says, “It’s like upgrading from single-pane to double-pane or from double-pane to triple-pane windows.” They will help reflect and disperse heat back into the room, reduce cold spots, improve comfort during cold winter months, and save on heating and cooling costs year-round. With more than 30 years of window tinting experience in Atlanta, UHS Window Tinting and Blinds is Atlanta’s premier window tinting and blinds specialist. They are a locally-owned and operated company that provides services that offer many benefits such as enhanced privacy, lower utility bills, a more controlled climate, and more. They aim to go above and beyond, ensuring the highest levels of customer satisfaction. In fact, their owner, Matt always challenges customers to go online and find one bad review (spoiler alerts: there is not one!). UHS Window Tinting and Blinds has an extensive history with window films and treatments, so if you are looking for the best of the best in Atlanta window tinting, they are the company for you.

The Spruce also writes about these two other window tips, in order to avoid cold air: “The old idea of switching out your drapery and curtains for the winter still makes sense today. Window panes, especially older ones, allow heat to be lost through the glass, making a cold room feel even colder. If you have drapes or curtains, purchase a thicker material for the winter months and be sure to close them at night.

Cold air can easily rush through leaks in windows and doors, instantly chilling a room. If your windows and doors have cracked seals, you can purchase new ones or hire a professional to replace them. For a quick and simple fix, you can place a heavy towel underneath doors (like the door that enters the cold garage) or use a poly weatherstrip.”

Layer Up
Winter weather can be unpredictable, especially in Georgia, making it a challenge to get dressed for those cold-weather days (or the cold weather days that end up to be 70 degrees in the afternoon in GA). So, how do you even go about dressing for the really cold mornings, but not so cold afternoons? There is a trick! Dress in layers so you're prepared for any temperature and occasion. Layering your clothes can also add dimension and it is a great opportunity to mix and match patterns, colors, and textures to achieve those Instagram-worthy looks.

Are you ready for winter in Georgia? Let me know if you have any other ways to stay warm and cozy this winter!
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