Favorite Finds

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One of our most favorite ways to shop is buying second hand or better yet "vintage." Whether thrifting, antiquing, flea market-ing, yard sale-ing.. you name it! We love snagging a good deal on something that has character. A few posts back, we shared some of our secret thrifting tips. Click here to read them! This morning, I wanted to show you some of my prized "vintage" finds.

I love interior decorating and even call it a hobby. So, one item I feel that can add to a room and at the very same time be useful are magazine racks/record holders. This black leather one with a metal handle and a wooden top was my first one. I purchased it for $19.99 at a local antique shop. It now holds my hubby's car magazines on his side of our bedroom.

This jewelry holder/stand below, I snagged at a Unique Thrift Store for $3. I love how it has that antique feel and adds a little pop of color/pattern to our room.

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Also on this table are two vintage necklaces, one from each of our Grand-mas. They are so dear to me.

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I found the most unique top for $12 at a consignment shop while on a mini vacation. I fell in love with it's quirkiness and how I hadn't seen something like it before. I later found it in a small local shop for around $80. What a steal!

Needless to say, you can find us bargain hunting/antiquing at least once a month. And we're always up for company! 

Happy Shopping,
-Becky

Photography by Katie Ward

Hello Miami

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I love me some adventures! So, when my boo Pam came to visit me a few weeks ago we definitely took to the road. It was one very full day that was not wasted one bit. From Vous church, to yummy tacos, to talking about going after your dreams, to the best cold brew either of us have ever had, to finding the coconut man on the side of the road, to trying on glasses at Warby Parker, to posing by walls for epic photo shoots, to laughing until our sides hurt, to the yummiest ice cream ever, to belting out 90's hits all the way home. We did it all and had such an amazing time. I wanted to let you in on our day. The links to the places are at the bottom. Have a fun weekend folks! 

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DIY Sharpie Mugs

If you know us (or if you've been following along and seen all of our coffee posts) you know we drink A LOT of coffee. Of course we enjoy the caffeine boost but more so we love the taste. We also love to drink it in cute mugs because it tastes better that way! Am I right? We thought it would be fun to share this easy DIY mug tutorial with you so that you can make some for yourself and friends! They are completely dishwasher safe which is the best part! I included a simple one and another with more detail. 

If you know us (or if you've been following along and seen all of our coffee posts) you know we drink A LOT of coffee. Of course we enjoy the caffeine boost but more so we love the taste. We also love to drink it in cute mugs because it tastes better that way! Am I right?

We thought it would be fun to share this easy DIY mug tutorial with you so that you can make some for yourself and friends! They are completely dishwasher safe which is the best part! I included a simple one and another with more detail. 

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MATERIALS: 

  •   Coffee Mug - I actually like to find blank white ones at the thrift store because you can find some fun funky shapes. Or as you can see I also did a sugar canister. 
  • Oil Based Sharpies  - Normal sharpies will not work for this. You can find oil sharpies at a craft store like Michaels. I would go with a fine point or extra fine if you want to do intricate detailing. I have had the best luck with black. Other colors work but tend to change color with the baking process. 
  • Wet Wash Cloth - This will make it easy to wipe of mistakes.  
MAKE IT (SIMPLE):  Wash the mug with soap and water before you begin. Once it fully dries you can start.    All you have to do is pick a saying and write it. If you mess up, wipe it off and start over. If the ink has set too much and is not coming off, go wash it with soap and water and when it is dry, start over.   You can also pick a pattern and draw that. Polka-dots, stripes, squiggles, whatever you want. 

MAKE IT (SIMPLE): 

Wash the mug with soap and water before you begin. Once it fully dries you can start.   

All you have to do is pick a saying and write it. If you mess up, wipe it off and start over. If the ink has set too much and is not coming off, go wash it with soap and water and when it is dry, start over.  

You can also pick a pattern and draw that. Polka-dots, stripes, squiggles, whatever you want. 

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 MAKE IT (DETAILED): 

You will need both fine and extra fine oil based sharpies for this.

After washing and drying the mug, sketch out your picture. I usually free hand it directly on the mug but sometimes I sketch it on paper first. Then, I tape it on to see how it will fit.  

For the picture of the girls, I used the bigger markers to plot out the big points first and then I went back with the extra fine markers to add in the details. 

BAKE IT:  Let the mug dry overnight.  Make sure to clean off any marks/mistakes you don't want on your mug before placing it in the oven because you will not be able to get them off after. Set the oven to 350• The key is to put the mug(s) in right when you turn the oven on. This way the mug heats up gradually and does not get streaky burn marks.   Bake for an hour and DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN.   Turn the oven off after an hour and let the mug cool inside for another hour. I know your tempted to peek but do not let air in until the time is up.  

BAKE IT: 

  • Let the mug dry overnight. 
  • Make sure to clean off any marks/mistakes you don't want on your mug before placing it in the oven because you will not be able to get them off after.
  • Set the oven to 350•
  • The key is to put the mug(s) in right when you turn the oven on. This way the mug heats up gradually and does not get streaky burn marks.  
  • Bake for an hour and DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN.  
  • Turn the oven off after an hour and let the mug cool inside for another hour. I know your tempted to peek but do not let air in until the time is up.  
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Voila!! There you have it! So fun and so easy! 

*GIVEAWAY* Maybe you are a busy bee and don't have time to make mugs, maybe you don't have a creative hair on your head, or maybe you just want to win... I would love to make you a mug. I will pick one winner and create a custom mug for them. Giveaway details are available on our instagram @NLVND_. Go enter there and spread the word.

Don't worry non-instagram friends, we have blog specific giveaways coming soon. 

Xoxo Beth Ann

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Photography by Nikki Kauzlarich 

Road Trip!

This past weekend, we got to cross ROAD TRIP off of our Bucket List (check our last post). We traveled twelve hours from Gaithersburg, Maryland to the great city of Fenton, Missouri. We attempted to make it a non-stop party - and I'd say we succeeded. There were endless playlists and 2-3 coffee stops a day. And of course we stopped for tacos. It really did have everything, and the best part of all was the stellar company. Here are some highlights:

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We wanted to share the songs that kept us going those twenty-four hours. Follow us on Spotify here: NLVND. If you're planning on taking a road trip of your own soon, catching a plane, or need a new pick me up for your drive to work - we have you covered. We'll keep them up to date, so check back often! Happy listening!!!

 

xoxo, Becky & Beth Ann

Summer Bucket List

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Summer is here and we are pumped about it! We have been longing for pool days, relaxed vibes, watermelon, and flip-flops. We've both got some fun summer-y things coming up and a few of them get to be together (heck yes!). We thought it would be fun to make a bucket list  with some things we want to do and hope you'll join in too. 

Take a road trip. Grab some pals, snacks, and a good playlist. Plan for some fun stops along the way. It's all about the journey folks. 

Find a new coffee spot. This is essential. Good coffee with a cozy atmosphere, yes please. 

Get by the water. If you live close enough to make a day trip to the beach, do it. The ocean pretty much cures everything. If the sea is not an option, get to the pool.  

Go on a morning or evening hike. Go see nature and sing with the birds. Find cool rocks, explore a new place, and enjoy every step. Don't forget bug spray though. 

Read an inspiring book. Read something that will challenge you, encourage you, and excite you. 

Read an escape book. Read something that takes you away on an adventure in your mind. 

Get coffee with a new friend. Coffee dates are the best. So many fine moments are had over a cup of joe. Plus you may just find your new bff4l. 

Serve your community. Get out there and do something outside of your comfort zone, outside of yourself. Even better if you can do it with family or friends. 

Start an herb garden. Fresh herbs are so yummy. They beat dried ones every time. How cool would it be to go out to your garden and grab fresh cilantro for you homemade guac!!?

Try new recipes. Maybe you'll discover your new favorite meal. Also, if you fail, it's okay.

Make a new craft once a month.  Making something by hand makes you feel so accomplished. Pinterest has something that even you can make (we promise). And don't forget to show it off! Even if it turns out really bad, you can make a funny "Pinterest Fail" meme.

Go on a walk once a day. Walks are awesome. Not only do you get to breathe in fresh air, you get to appreciate your surroundings, and your body will thank you for the exercise. 

Take a dance class. Dancing is so freeing and even if you completely suck, you will thank us for the fun you had.

Make late art. Try it! Make your morning coffee more exciting. 

Redecorate a room in the house. If you only have a room to yourself than pick a part of your room to makeover. It feels good to switch things up. 

Sew a pillowcase. There are super easy tutorials. You can do it by hand or with a machine. 

Watch the sunrise and sunset in one day. Wouldn't this be epic?! 

Happy summer guys!! What things would be on your summer bucket list? 

 

photography by Kathleen Marie Ward.  

#Yesstocoffee

If you were to ask me my favorite drink, word, smell, model for photos, thing to hold, thing to look at, purchase to make, and what I will drive 30 minutes plus for.. I would have to say COFFEE.

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Today, I'm talking all things coffee! You can imagine the ear to ear grin on my face right now. Disclaimer: I am by no means a coffee expert, I'm just slightly obsessed with the stuff. 

It all started when I worked as a barista at Borders Book Store (may it Rest In Peace). I hated the smell and taste of coffee. I couldn't understand for the life of me why people would pay for it. Slowly but surely, I inched my way through mochas, flavored lattes with one shot of espresso to cream with a little coffee, and here I am now in a committed relationship with Coffee.

Coffee and I continued together when my husband and I registered for a Mr. Coffee Pot for our wedding. We then got into the French press trend and are on our 5th one because those things can be fragile! You can buy my favorite one HERE. Then I tried my hand at pour overs with this simple and cheap one HERE from World Market. And best gift ever, Luis bought us a fancy espresso machine for Christmas one year! I am so close to mastering some beautiful latte art. These machines are pricey, but they'll bring you the highest quality and best results at home. Click HERE to see which one we bought.

Currently, my favorite coffees and roasts are:
French Press: Madcap - Six One Six
Or one we've been buying locally from our favorite coffee stop - Gravel & Grind
Espresso: Stumptown - Hair Bender
Inexpensive coffee to have on hand - Peets Coffee (any roast, you can find it at most grocery stores)

From time to time, you will catch us posting about our love for coffee. And since we can't get enough of it, we are eager to know your favorite roasts and favorite coffee spots! Please share your coffee secrets with us.

Stay caffeinated,
-Becky

Photography by: Kathleen Marie Ward Photography

Avocado Goodness (with eggs)

Raise both hands if you LOVE avocados as much as we do! We wanted to give you a simple recipe for your long and special Memorial Day weekend that we can't get enough of. 

Ingredients:

:: 1 large whole ripe avocado
:: 6-8 boiled eggs (less or more to taste, I would start with less and add more to your liking)

After eggs and avocado, add in:
:: Spritz of fresh lemon or lime / whichever you have on hand. This is for taste but also to help the avocado stay green and vibrant
:: Salt & pepper to taste
:: Something to eat it with!! I love it with toast and croissants. If you are gluten free or if you're trying to stay away from carbs, it is equally delicious over brown rice/quinoa and fresh spinach. Lastly, it can be used an awesome dip with tortilla chips, any chips, crackers, YUM! 

Directions:

:: Fill your pot almost 3/4 (enough to submerge the eggs) full with water and get it boiling at a medium/high setting on your stove.
:: Add some salt which will help get the peeling off easier. 
:: When it's bubbling/boiling - carefully place all of the eggs in the water, turn it to a low heat setting and cover it. I read that it takes 12 minutes when done this way, but the more eggs you add - the more minutes you add on. For this many eggs, I put 20 minutes on the timer. 
:: When the timer goes off, Drain the water out and run cold water over them until they are ready to be peeled. 
:: Once eggs are boiled and peeled, cut the avocado and add in the eggs two by two mashing them through with a fork each time. You can also cut the eggs up before adding them in so it's easier and quicker to mix. 
:: Then stir together all ingredients. The riper the avocado the easier it will be to mix and the smoother the consistency. 

If you want to bring more flavors out and more nutrients, by all means - do it! When I get the chance I'm going to try adding in: raw onions, chopped celery, flax seed, chia seed, garlic powder, and the possibilities are endless. My mouth is watering. Don't delay, try it! Your taste buds and your tummy will thank you. IF you end up sharing it (I can eat the whole thing by myself), whoever you share it with will thank you! 

We hope you are well, and we have SO MANY exciting things coming your way in the days to come! Happy Memorial Day weekend, and a BIG THANK YOU to all of those who have served. We are so blessed to live in this country and to have our freedom.

PS. Our giveaway with Jord Watches ends THIS SUNDAY, so go to our previous post and ENTER ENTER ENTER!!!! 

We're praying for you friends,
-XO, Becky

Photography by: KathleenMarieWardPhotography

Valuing Alone TIME

I was completely alone when I first moved to Florida.

I was also broke from the move. So, needless to say, I had to come up with inexpensive things to do that I wouldn't mind doing solo. I visited the beach a lot (obviously) and little coffee shops here and there but, when I found this little Green Market on the water, it quickly became my favorite thing. It is actually the spot where I learned to value alone time.

I actually wrote this on Instagram at the beginning of last year when I was facing a season of extreme loneliness...

Some days you just need to stay holed up inside and watch Netflix and not do anything. But, the next day you need to force yourself off the couch and try new things... like visiting a new church and joining in on the church luncheon to meet nice people. Then, accidentally stumbling upon a green market right by the water that has so many things you love so much - air plants, kombucha, and GF + DF Reese’s cups. Then, tucking yourself away in a coffee shop right by the window so that you can dream and write and thank God for days like today. I’m learning to like solo adventures and get out of zones that are comfy. I’m learning to remind my soul that Jesus is it.

So many special things have happened at this little market. Like the time a vendor let me pick a bracelet from his collection because he wanted to be a part of my story. Or the time I walked the pier with tears in my eyes because Jesus is just so special. Or the time where I only had a quarter and the sweet old lady at the fruit stand let me have a peach. Or the time I got to pray with a friend for breakthrough in her life. Or my favorite, when I met a homeless lady who radiated such joy, that she brought me to tears. 

I've brought friends here. I've made friends here. This place has marked my heart.

While this market is dear to me, it symbolizes a bigger picture for me... getting over my fear of being out and about alone. I'm a work in progress of course. But, bit by bit I'm learning how amazing solo adventures are. They aren't scary. People aren't looking at me with pity in their eyes. They are fun. They are sweet. They are priceless. It's about TIME I realized this.

Speaking of TIME and valuing it whether alone or with people you love, Becky and I have something fun to share with you! We have teamed up with Jord watches and are hosting a giveaway with them! That's right, one lucky ducky has the opportunity to win a $100 gift card to get the watch of your dreams. The cool thing is that even if you don't win, everyone who entered will receive a code for $25 off. You have until May 28th to enter.

The watch I'm wearing (which I am absolutely obsessed with) is the Frankie Series, Zebrawood & Champaigne | Check out other watches here... guys / gals

~~~ Enter the giveaway HERE ~~~

Becky and I are so thankful for you and appreciate that you are on this life journey with us. Stay tuned for more giveaways in the future!

Photography by the talented Leah Voss

Plant Party

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It's no secret that we loooooove plants. Our mammaw has a very green thumb. Our mom has a pretty green thumb. The both of us our trying to turn ours green. I think we are doing a good job so far minus a few plants that didn't make it under our care. I have it easier than Beck does because I live in warm weather all year round and I can have my plants outside while she has to deal with icy winter temperatures.

We had this plant adventure together the last time I was home and of course we had to document it. We though today would be a good day to share it with you as well as tell you about our favorite plant.

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Becky: "My current favorite house plant is an aloe Vera plant that I call Aloe Blacc. He's so lively and is growing out of his home fast, so I'll have to repot him soon. However, every plant I try and repot dies. Please send help. Really though, any plant experts out there teach me how to repot plants!"

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Beth Ann: "My favorite plant is my cactus buddy in my room. I named him when I bought him but I can't remember what it is. I really lucked out and snagged him for $4 at a native plant sale. I'm not sure what kind he is but twice a year he blooms a little white flower that reminds me of a lily mixed with a daisy. It is so cool when it happens. 

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If you guys are ever in Frederick Maryland, check out Dutch Plant FarmWe absolutely loved it!

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What are your favorite plants?

Thrifting For the Win

"Deal" is one of my favorite words. I usually shop the clearance rack before even looking elsewhere. There's something so thrilling about scoring something amazing for a fraction of the cost. You can say that I'm a bargain shopper which explains why I love thrifting so much. My entire apartment is furnished in deals that I scored from various thrift stores, flea markets, yardsales, Craigslist, and Target (duh). I don't know how much I've spent in total but I would estimate that it falls under $500 (minus my TV and guest room furniture). 

People always ask me how I do it. I get it, thrift stores can seem overwhelming. How will you ever find treasure amongst the trash? But, that is seriously the best part. You can find pretty much anything. I've scored purses, planters, furniture, clothes, shoes, and so much more. I want to share some tips and ideas with you! Today we are just going to talk about thrifting. We can do flea markets/yardsales another time. So, without further ado here are some ways to win at thrifting...

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- Go in with a plan.

Plan a thrift day or set aside a few hours. You can't possibly expect to pop into one or two places and hit the jackpot. I usually go to three or four at a time. Usually thrift stores are in close proximity to each other which is helpful. 

Have cash on hand. I typically go in with $20 but obviously if I find something unexpected that takes me over that, I will bust out my card.

Make a list. It sounds silly but I have a "Thrift List" just like I do at the grocery store. These are the items that I'm on the prowl for. Some are things that are always on my list and others come and go as I check them off. This way I am less overwhelmed because I have an idea of what to look for. Also, be alert for items not on your list that you can't possibly pass up.

Some items on my current list are:

  • Globes
  • Accent rugs
  • Throw Pillows
  • Large baskets / planters
  • Nice skillet
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The baskets were thrifted. All of the vases (including the camel) were thrifted. That mirror was a totally unexpected thrifting find. I scored him for $15. 

The baskets were thrifted. All of the vases (including the camel) were thrifted. That mirror was a totally unexpected thrifting find. I scored him for $15. 

- Be patient and remain focused.

Don't go thrifting on a day that you're not in the mood for it. If you are in a rush or are feeling extra annoyed that day, than you probably shouldn't go. It can be chaotic in there sometimes. I've had my toe run over with a cart and someone grab an item that I was about to take off the shelf. 

Loop around a few times. I don't do this every time but I have found it so helpful in the past. Sometimes you miss something amazing the first time around. Also, you never know what someone may put back on the shelf after you walked by. I found the stool below on a second walk around and now it serves as a corner shelf.

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This 70's-esque wall art was a $2 Salvation Army find. I couldn't believe it! I was even stopped by two gals in the store who asked if I would give it to them should I decide not to purchase it.

This 70's-esque wall art was a $2 Salvation Army find. I couldn't believe it! I was even stopped by two gals in the store who asked if I would give it to them should I decide not to purchase it.

- Grab that item you're not sure about.

If you see something that makes you pause because you kind of like it but aren't sure. GRAB IT! It may turn out to be amazing. The beautiful wall tapestry below was actually a sewing bag for only $.50. I held onto it while I walked around the store. I had no idea what I was going to do with it but knew I couldn't leave it behind. I ending up cutting off the front and slipped a bamboo rod through the opening. Then, I tied on some fabric and hung it up on my wall. The white hanging basket is actually a purse that I found. I knew I probably wouldn't use it as a purse but loved it. I hung it right up and stuck a plant inside. 

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- Double check and inspect before you purchase.

This one is self explanatory. The shirt may have a hole. The vase may be cracked. ect.

This shirt was a $3 thrift find and I'm obsessed with it.

This shirt was a $3 thrift find and I'm obsessed with it.

- Frequent your favorite places and look out for deals.

I typically go thrifting once or twice a month nowadays but when I was trying to fully furnish my place, I was going at least two times a week. The stores are getting new stuff every single day and you never know when you are going to luck out. Most stores have special deals of the week or random tag sales. See if they have a flyer that you can grab at the register or a mailing list that you can subscribe to. One time I was about to check out at the register when I saw a sign that they were having a 50% off the entire store sale the next day. Best believe I hid all my items and came back when the doors opened the next morning. I was able to get everything including that large purse pictured below which ended up being only $5!

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Most of the things in this picture were found at thrift stores. The only ones that weren't are the faux plant from Home Goods and the wall art. That lamp was a neat random find from a store that was having a 40% off lighting sale. I got him for $7. The side table was only $10.

Most of the things in this picture were found at thrift stores. The only ones that weren't are the faux plant from Home Goods and the wall art. That lamp was a neat random find from a store that was having a 40% off lighting sale. I got him for $7. The side table was only $10.

- Don't be afraid to be creative. 

Turn that interesting item into something amazing. This one is a biggie. If there's an amazing shaped vase that would be perfect for your favorite flowers but it's a hideous Pepto Bismol pink color... DO NOT pass it by. Spray paint that sucker. It is such an easy and simple fix. I once found some wall planters that were highlighter yellow but were really cool looking. The cashier was like, "What they heck are you going to do with these?" I took them under my wing and spray painted them a hammered silver and now they hang proudly in my bathroom.

Keep trying new ways to make it work. I included a picture below of two thrifted items that I "fixed" up. The wall tapestry is actually two women and it is absolutely beautiful however, I could not get it to work with the theme of my room. I ended up turning it backwards and liked it a little more but still not enough. Then, I flipped it upside down and I love it. It has a very abstract feel. The painting below was something I really loved initially but when I got it home, I didn't love it as much. I randomly decided to paint one of my favorite song's lyrics in the background and it turned out very spiffy!

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- Bring hand sanitizer!

I mean, DUH!

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Now, go and get to shopping! I can't wait to hear about the deals you find.

What are some thrifting tips that you would add to this list?

Cozy Spaces

Hey folks,

Wishing you the happiest of Sundays! Yesterday consisted of sleeping in (after the babe was fed), a yummy breakfast at home, then we headed to our fav coffee shop where we talked about our future home, and then we went to pray over a house we are thinking of putting an offer on! It was a relaxing and exciting day for us. I hope you had a relaxing one as well.

I know for myself, one huge way to relax in our home is to make my relaxation area (our family room COUCH) the coziest and most peaceful that I can. So, I wanted to share a few things that help to create that peaceful feeling today....

Free your space of clutter | Do your best to make a habit of cleaning the clutter before you leave the house and before bedtime. This way you'll come home to a clean space and wake up to one.

Make it visually appealing | Do you like what you see when you walk into your area of "rest & relaxation?" Add in some pops of color. Blues, purples, grays...etc can be very calming colors. If you love symmetry and you like things to match, you can add four throw pillows, two on each side of your couch in two complimentary colors. I would go for a neutral and a pop of color. For example, a gray pillow paired with a floral pattern pillow.

Make it cozy | This one is my favorite! Throw pillows, throw blankets, and candles are a few of my favorite things. They all add to the peaceful, warm feeling of relaxation. Finding your favorite scent in a candle will do wonders for you! Try checking at Target or TJ Maxx because they are killing the candle game right now with a lot of soy wax candles for affordable prices.

Make it Easy | I don't know about you, but when I sit down to relax I do not plan on getting up for a while. So, I always have some sort of tray or side table near me to put my coffee, snack, or book down. (Also, my clicker when I netflix binge.)

Add some dynamics | Adding textures and patterns can help make your space fun. Try stacking some books on the side table or shelf. Add some plants as well. Fake plants always help me since I'm currently learning how to keep real ones alive.

Now, let's go make a cup of tea or some coffee, light some candles, grab that book you've been wanting to read - and let's RELAX. I am all about making houses feel like homes. If you ever want some help creating that space, let me know!

- Becky

Photography by - Nikki Kauzlarich Photography

Throw pillows from - Target/Threshold & Hobby Lobby
Neutral throw blanket - World Market
Fir rug/throw - World Market
Candle - Target
Plant - TJ Maxx
Tray - Target/Nate Berkus

Easy Peasy Smoothies

Happy hump day. Here's something yummy that we want to share with you...

In case you didn't know, we LOVE smoothies. We also love easy, simple, no fuss directions. So we thought that maybe you'd like that too. Here goes our -throw it together with whatever you have in your fridge/freezer/pantry- smoothie recipe.

You need a few basics -fruit/veggies, a base, a thickener, and a power boost- and can add from there.

Basic Formula: 1/2 c fruit + 1 c liquid + 1/2 c veggies + 1/4 c something creamy* + 1/2 tbs something sweet + 1/2 tbs flavor 

Here are some ideas of what to put in it...

Power Boost: Nut butter, yogurt, protein powder, flax seeds, chia seeds, oats

Fruit & Veggies:  Berries, banana*, oranges, carrots, pears, peaches, spinach, kale, avocado*. Frozen fruit is best to always have on hand and fresh fruit is awesome for taste. 

Base: Milk-soy, almond, coconut; water, iced coffee, green tea, ice, Greek yogurt*

To Taste: Vanilla extract, sweetener - liquid stevia, honey, cinamon, maple syrup, sugar, cocoa powder

*optional to add creaminess  

Here is an example of each of our quick go to smoothies:

BECKY

Organic Coconut Milk (SO brand), or if I'm out - 2% Milk
Frozen Mixed berries from Target
Vanilla Protein Powder
Handful of Spinach or Kale
Flax Seeds/Chia Seeds

Coconut Milk is the milk my husband and I regularly keep on hand. We always try to have some type of frozen fruit ready to go for a smoothie and we keep a stock of protein powder (Target has good sales sometimes on them). We usually buy a big pack of organic spinach every week that we'll use for salads, to sautee for a recipe, or for smoothies! However, If I don't have any that day when making a smoothie, I'll just skip it. I buy chia seeds and flax seeds from either Aldi or TJ Maxx where I've found them cheaper than most stores. And BOOM! a quick Smoothie.

BETH ANN

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Frozen Mixed berries + 1/2 frozen banana
Vanilla or Chocolate Protein Powder (I buy mine gluten free)
Handful of Spinach or Kale
1 tbs peanut butter
cinnamon 
Flax Seeds/Chia Seeds

I try to stay away from dairy as much as I can so I buy almond or coconut milk. I like either in smoothies. Coconut gives more of a tropical taste which I love for when I take a smoothie to the beach. I recently bought Vanilla Whey Protein Powder by GreenWise (Publix) and I really like it. I almost always have frozen bananas because I freeze them right before they're about to go bad if I didn't get a chance to eat them. I buy spinach or kale every week for cooking and smoothies. I am a huge lover of peanut butter. I usually go for organic, unsalted, natural peanut butter from Trader Joes. I make smoothies for a quick meal, laying in the sun, or when I'm about to go for a long drive. They are so easy and so yummy.

Let us know your favorite quick smoothie recipes!

Photography by Katie Ward

"Couponing" for the Busy Schedule

Hey friends,

If you are on the North East – Happy SNOW DAY! Yesterday was the only full snow-day we got this winter in MD, so you can say we loved it.

Since I have a minute to plan my next grocery trip, I want to share something that I've taken up over the past two years... Coupon-ing and planning our week in meals. It has definitely made a difference in our budget and in our bellies. I don’t have some crazy step-by-step process and I certainly don’t stick to a schedule (I wish that I could) because life is busy and even hectic at times. Maybe you can relate? Between putting my family first, work, ministry, friends, etc.. health is definitely a priority but, at times you have to do what you can in the season that you’re in – right?

So, I modify my process and my goals with this in each season.


Here are a few things that have helped me so I can help you get started on your saving journey if you’re up for the challenge!

To start your process:

  • This site: thriftynomads will help you figure out what system is best for you, and help you with what materials you’ll need. (I have a big filer that I keep all coupons and coupon books in, and a smaller filer which I found for $3 at Target that I carry with me and keep current coupons for that week in.)
  • These gals tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about your favorite store's coupon policies AND how to get the best deals there AND other tips & deals: thekrazycouponlady
  • This is my go-to coupon site: coupons.com

These apps are a MUST:

Cartwheel (Target's Saving APP)
Safeway
Hip2Save - Find everything you need to know about most drug stores & Target. She also posts awesome daily deals.
KrazyCouponLady - Find anything and everything you need to know.
Ibotta - A rebate app | Where you get money back for buying certain products at your fave stores.
Checkout 51 - A rebate app

A Few Fave Tips:

Carve out time in your week before you head to the grocery store to outline a general meal plan for the week (this helps tremendously when narrowing down your grocery list and saves you time during your week). This will initially take you more time when you first start until you get the hang of it and figure out what works best for you.
Have a goal of what percentage you want to save, and unless you have a lot of time – I would start small and build your way to your ultimate goal. I started with a 30% goal and then was consistently saving 50-60% each trip! It is possible to save and still get the products you want.
Get to know your store! The employees (this is huge because sometimes us coupon-ers can have a bad rep), the store layout, their weekly deals & sale schedule, and your favorite store to save at. My faves are Safeway (their savings app is AMAZING) and Target of course (between Cartwheel app, specific Target coupons, and manufacturer coupons, you can save a ton).
Find someone who is doing it better than you and learn as much as you can from them! I was blessed to have two veterans go before me and teach me all of the tricks. And I could ask my embarrassing questions.
You can also start saving immediately by going with the produce that’s in season and looking for discounted items in your store! Safeway places 50% off tags on a lot of their items that expire soon or haven’t sold – but you can easily freeze meat and use it at a later time.
Lastly, decide if you want to print coupons or sign up to get your local newspaperOR you can do both! I do both.

Let's plan out our shopping list real quick & then come with me on a typical Grocery Trip --

My season is a little crazy all over the place right now so, I usually take about 30 minutes throughout my week to: plan a rough schedule for our meal ideas, cut coupons, and check weekly deals that go with my plan (sometimes I plan other meals based on deals that week/what’s in season). If my week is super busy, I plan to get some good frozen meals & quick snacks we can easily grab. 

Then, I get my coupons ready and put them in my little filer – If I’m going to both Safeway and Target, I’ll separate the coupons for both. 

Next I map out my best time to go that week (last week that was late Saturday night).

PRETEND WE ARE AT THE STORE:

  • I like to start at the same end of the store & make my way to the other every time. That way, I know where each item is located and I plan my list in the order each item is. This cuts on time.
  • My phone has open: Cartwheel app and Safeway App so I can remember what the deals are, I have my notes open where I typed my grocery list and what coupons I had for each item. Lastly, I have my calculator open so I can add up each item and get my total.
  • If I’m shopping at Safeway, I start in the produce. I typically don’t have coupons for this, but Safeway has different deals each week. Normally I’ll get a big thing of organic spinach which is only $5 at Safeway and sometimes they have coupons in their app that make it cheaper – so I add the produce to my calculator and continue down the aisles I need.
  • I get to the paper towel/toilet paper aisle. I don’t stock up on everything, but I do keep a stock pile on things we always need like: paper towels, toilet paper, laundrey deteregent, dish soap, shampoo & conditioner, body wash… etc. We love good toilet paper but we’re not picky about it. For instance, this week, a 4 pack of Angel Soft is on sale for $1.50, plus I have a manufacturer coupon for $1 off a 4 pack of Angel Soft, and on top of THAT - Safeway App (JustforU) has a coupon for $.50 off – so BOOMit’s free. I can’t pass that up. So, I get it and add it to my toilet paper collection. I could keep talking deals all day but basically what I’m telling you is that you will save more money in the long run if you snag the amazing deals as they come on products that you know you will constantly be using. 
  • When I’m ready for check out, I take out the coupons that I won't use & get my pile ready. Also, I’ll double check deals (because I’m notorious for not paying attention to the details or the exact products that the coupons are for).
  • Lastly, I double check the receipt in the car. I am human and sometimes I make mistakes on the items & coupons I thought I had, but a couple of times I’ve caught mistakes that they’ve made so I’ve gone back in and got money back.
  • My last trip I saved 32% which is around my goal during this season. YAY!!!

I promise you, couponing does not have to be complicated or crazy time consuming. I still get organic products sometimes, gluten free every now and then, and we get more than enough of what we need. I also find it relaxing because it helps me decompress after a long day. Let me know if you have any questions as you begin your coupon journey or continue on it! 

Happy couponing!
- Becky

 

Photography by Nikki Kauzlarich 

 

 

 

 

Who Are We?

HELLO THERE FOLKS,

Maybe you've met us in person, maybe you know us through instagram, maybe you just stumbled across this and have no clue about us. If you didn't already know, we are sisters. We've been best friends for as long as we can remember. We are very random. We laugh a lot. We love Jesus most.

We thought it would be fun to do a "Get to Know Us" post periodically. Last night we asked each other seperate random questions. We didn't know what the other was going to ask. Here's what we came up with...

1. Tell us something random that you always have in your purse besides the obvious...

Three random things I almost always carry nowadays are a pacifier (we've left home without them before and suffered), my pile of pens, and certain coupons because you never know when a deal will strike.

2. What is God teaching you right now and how is it drawing you closer to His heart?

Right now God is teaching me to be content in Him... no matter the circumstance, no matter my location or my feelings, but in everything to find my joy and peace in Him alone. It can get lonely, quiet, and really tough when something in life fails you - so it is really pulling me closer to Him because He is teaching me that He is all I need.

3. How would you describe yourself in only 5 words?

Random, joyful, feisty, optimistic and grounded

4. In what ways has being a mother to Aria changed you personally? What is your favorite thing about motherhood?

Being a mother has made me more motherly and caring. It has given me a passion for children (which I'd love to talk about in depth at another time). It also brings about a discipline I've never known because unless you rise to it, you will not get anything done lol. One of my favorite things is that my husband and I get to show her the world, we get to introduce her to love, and we get to define it for her right now. So, we are putting our marriage first and we are loving her so big and tight!

5. Describe your perfect day from beginning to end. 

My perfect day would include waking up around 5:00 am and chasing the sunrise with the husb. We would grab an iced coffee from Chic-fil-a, then head to a new city for the day. Our first stop would be a local favorite coffee shop, we'd get breakfast and lattes, and talk about what God is teaching us. We'd read for a little bit then head to walk around the historic downtown area of that city where we'd look at shops and cute restaurants. A perfect day would also include Target so at some point we'd maneuver our way there. In my dream scenario, there would be crazy sales so I'd buy the place out with my millions of dollars (I wish). I just love exploring and adventuring to new places! It takes my mind out of my normal and broadens my horizon. The further I get from my day to day routine, the more peace and clarity I have when I get back to it.

Bethann & Becky-127.jpg

1. Tell us about one of your most special God-Moments:

One of my most special God-Moments happened when I first moved to Florida. All God told me was to move here in faith. I had no idea what I was going to do but I knew I was walking in obedience. I remember feeling overwhelmed one day so I went to the beach. When my toes hit the sand and I saw the water I was almost rendered to my knees as the Holy Spirit revealed that I was right there, right in the center of God's will for me. It was so beautiful and overwhelming and I got a glimmer of what a proud Dad He was. I will never forget that moment. It helped me through A LOT of hardship in the months following. 

2. I know you LOVE to layer, so how many layers of clothing have you worn at one time?!

Oh goodness, the most was probably during winter time in Maryland but I'm not sure the total. Also, I can remember a time where I was about to fly and my suitcase was too packed so I wore: 3 tank tops, a short dress, a kimono wrap, a long thin sweater, a thicker sweater, a light scarf, leggings, long socks, boots, and a hat. I was so hot!!!

3. What is your favorite room in your apartment, and what was is your favorite part about it?

That's so hard. I love every part and how it flows together. If I had to choose, I would say my room. It was the last room to come together and there are still a few things to add but I love that it is so peaceful and represents me so well. There's fringe on the wall. A coat rack that I made. There's some pictures that I love. Plus, sweet gifts from friends. I also love my prayer/vision closet. I turned my walk-in closet to be half for my clothes and accessories and the other half to hang out with Jesus. I love it. (If you want to see pictures of my place visit #peekintomyhomeFL on instagram.)

4. If you could be any crayon which would you be and why:

If I were a crayon I would be golden yellow because it's my favorite color. It's just such a cheery shade and reminds me of sunshine. 

5. What is one piece of wisdom God has shown you in your current season?

"You are blessed because you believed that what the Lord said to you would really happen" - Luke 1:45

...I have been clinging to this verse in my season. Trusting God for the unseen and believing Him at His Word is so hard. But, I know my God is true and I believe Him. What He promised me will come to pass.

Have a beautiful weekend guys and remember to always LOOK UP.

xoxo,

Beth Ann & Becky

 

Photography by Katie Ward