At Home Gel Nails 

Nails are written in bold and underlined on #423 on my to-do list. So essentially, in the “ain’t happenin'” section. 

Do I enjoy getting my nails done? Of course! 
Do I have time to go every two weeks? Ha! 

Do I find it to be a financially firm decision? Nope. It’s super expensive and literally grows (or chips) too fast for my frugal heart. 

Occasionally, my daughter and I will have a paint our nails party. For her nails, I exclusively use Sally Henson instant dry polish. 

It is super fast drying, and there are a ton of color options. It doesn’t last very well for my nails, which doesn’t matter for a 3 year old. For my almost 30 year old nails, half chipped off isn’t as endearing. 

Occasionally, I’ll go splurge for a manicure but for the most part I have nakey nails. 

I’ve seen some other people talk about at home gel manicures.  At first, I was like, woah, way too technical– I’ll pass, but over time, and quite a few regular -polish manicures that lasted 20 minutes, I realized how genious those peeps were! 

For the same price as one gel manicure at the salon I got a few colors and Uv dryer that I can use time and again. 

Here is the dryer I purchased. I like that it can be folded to be compact for traveling. 

A few guidelines to consider before ordering your gel nails pack: 

  • You must be decent at painting your own nails and adhere to the steps of getting a gel manicure. (Or have someone around that is decent at painting your nails.) 
  • If you have never had a gel manicure before, you may want to go treat yourself and learn about it before you put some hard to remove paint on your claws. 

Amazon offers a ton of cool packages and lots of colors to choose from. 

Don’t forget to get the top and base products as well.

Below shop some of the best ones i found and all the accessories you’ll need for your manicure kit. 

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My first at home gel manicure was quick and painless. In about 10 minutes I had a fresh coat of polish on my nails that will hopefully last two weeks or so. 

Home Plan & Exterior Selections

My husband and I both love craftsman homes so it was an instant connection when we found this house plan.

This photo above even pictures one of the two love birds, that live in the big tree to the left of our house.

This photo below was taken from the Architectural Designs Pinterest page. The specs and plan are for their home version which can be found here. Ours is a little bit different.
I still envision some rustic wood or painted gables for some extra wow factor, but we can add those over time. Craftsman homes have a ton of character. I have ideas to keep adding it over time, but this plan is a beautiful charming design on its own. 

Click the photo below to go to the Architectural Designs page. 

Exterior Paint Colors

Siding- Sherwin Williams,  Anonymous 7046

Trim- Sherwin Williams,  Shoji White 7042

Shutters-  Sherwin Williams, Urbane Bronze 7048

We were unsure where to start with stone. I love the look of both stone and brick, but then this nasty thing called a budget came and made us rethink all our choices. We ended up finding a manufactured stone product that saved us money but stil gave us the beauty and design we wanted. We used Premier Stone Products and chose the “rubble” style in the color “Sierra.”


I love modern gray colors, but I also love warmth. The Sierra color stone provides both.

We didn’t add shutters right away, but I felt they were missing so it was on the immediate “to-do” list.

We painted them the way wrong color at first! I knew right away we had picked the wrong color. Whoops!

We finally settled on a darker color, and never turned back.

Our garage doors are by Overhead doors, and our front doors were custom built. 
We used iron pickets for our front and back porch to avoid having to paint them over and over again. So far it’s a great choice because all the paint could used to be touched up.
The wood ceiling on our front and back porch is V-groove pine and is stained using Minwax Provencial Stain. The stone on the porch floor is real field stone and was bought from a local distributor.
One thing that sold me on this house was the layout! We had some uncompromisable requests for our home:

  1. A full basement
  2. A mudroom
  3. A room for 3 kids and us
  4. Hubs wanted master in main (I didn’t.. kids)
  5. A functional & beautiful kitchen. 
  6. Beyond those items we were up for anything.This AD house plan (73330HS) checked all our boxes. 

Main Level:Second Level:Basement Level:We considered moving the garage to the side because I’m not a huge fan of garage on the front, but then for our lot it just made sense to keep it as is. We can pull straight into our garage as opposed to making a big turn. (It’s not always just about design, sometimes the functionality of something matters more!)

    Dining Room Revamp

    Post in partnership with Christmas Tree Shops And That, a store I absolutely love! All sponsored items are from their new line The Grainhouse™. This post contains affiliate links, full disclosure here.

    I was thrilled to start off the New Year partnering with And That. (for short) They recently launched a brand new line, The Grainhouse™, a beautifully curated line of farmhouse essentials and decor at unbeatable prices. I want to start off by offering a huge thank you to this terrific company for helping this revamp happen.

    I have been eager to finish our dining room. Our original table was too ornate and fancy for my matured taste, but I was going to live with it. I painted this room to match the upholstered material and was fine with using it. That is, until, we moved in and the realness of an open concept home was glaring at me.

    This table did not fit in our new house, literally. It was huge. So, thanks Craigslist for the connection, and you’re welcome to the nice fellow who was dreaming of my table. (He told me so picking it up.) Bye, bye table! I proceeded to use the cash to buy a more suited farmhousey feeling table. End dining room revamp.

    So there it sat, waiting for some final love. Some entertain your family and friends in my comforting space love.

    Enter The Grainhouse Line at Christmas Tree Shops And That, and I easily styled this space.

    The line is just full of entertaining goodness! They had the best selection of farmhouse style baskets I have seen in one store and honestly the best prices too.

    I stocked up on some beautiful dining-ware and serve-ware. The lettuce serving plate is seriously so cute. They also had a smaller version of the lettuce server that I think I need to go back for to use as salad plates.

    I loved how the dip bowl was used, in store, as a server for cups. They had all different sizes and materials (marble and wood, oh my!) of cutting boards and serving boards.

    Also some of the cutest farmhouse pillows I ever did see. Some were sold out online, but were in the store.

    Ignore the boo boo on the wall; (PT. 2 revamp will fix this, if you have been following my IG stories you’ll know what I’m talking about) I had a battle with a piece of double sided tape and the tape won 😵. Just focus on that pillow perfection.

    This line offers so many cute signs too, like the rustic, galvanized farmhouse sign and the local sign. I also snagged an adorable pantry sign for the kitchen.

    This affordable line is an easy way to revamp a space without spending too much or worrying about coordinating.

    The fabrics and material used in this line offer so much texture and the perfect colors. This braided runner comes in multiple colors. All the colors go together and are easily mixed and matched within the line.

    I bought most of my stuff in store but the line can be found online here. 


    1. The Grainhouse™ Solid Chenille Herringbone Square Throw Pillow

    2. The Grainhouse™ Large White Embossed Leaf Platter

    3. Grainhouse™ 16” Mango Wood Paddle Serving Board

    4. The Grainhouse™ Solid Braided Cotton Table Runner

    5. Grainhouse™ Wood Dip Board“>

    6. The Grainhouse™ Textured Stripe Square Throw Pillow

    7. The Grainhouse™ 24” Metal “Farmhouse” Wall Decor

    Kid’s Gift Guide

    I may be a little behind with my Santa shopping, but there is still time to receive these ( with the except of the puzzle 😭) before Christmas.

    1. Melissa & Doug Dust Swept Mopt- My kids love to help clean, but they typically look like they are wrangling an anaconda. These should be a little more managable.
      1. Sleeping bags- I shared that I bought my girls sleeping bags at Home Goods. These two are super adorable as well. I dont have boys, but I know my nephew would love this Star Wars storm trooper sleeping bag.
      1. Marble run- At our physical therapist office they have this toy. My daughter loves it and it doubles as a physical tool. They are forced to squat up and down as they marbles go down. Hopefully, once its in our home it wont loose it’s luster. Let’s get real, kids always play with other peoples’ toys better. Fingers crossed.
      1. Scissor Practice- A great activity book that is a little different than the drawing or writing ones.
      1. Magnetic blocks- My girls love blocks and I have only heard good things about these. Looking forward to seeing if they like these as much.
      1. Balance bike- We bought my three year old a bike but she can not manage to pedal just yet. This bike I think would be a better option for her age.

    Bar Stool Wreaths 

    I shared this super easy tutorial on my Insta stories the other day. 

    All you need for this project is a wreath for each chair and some ribbon. I bought all my materials including the finished wreaths at Joann Store. 
    I found some similiar ones that would be beautiful as well.

    My barstools are by Ashley Furniture and can be purchased here. They are very affordable and are beautiful! 



    Here is how my wreaths looked at first. 

    Tie the ribbon around the chair in a knot, tight enough to support the wreath. 

    Next I tied ribbon to the wreath for added impact, and uses the two hanging knot pieces from the step before to tie the wreath on. I did a simple knot and molded the ribbon to look like all part of the same bow. 

    The final step was adding the skinnier red bow for further dimension. So quick and easy! Small wreath and usually inexpensive to find, but also would be an easy DIY. 

    Manly Christmas Gift Ideas 


    The holiday season is officially here. I am always searching for the perfect gift for my hubby. He is one of those men who literally needs nothing so it makes it very hard to shop. Below are some of my most favorite picks for him. (And no hubby I am not getting you all of it ;))

    1. Patagonia Nano Puff Hooded Jacket- My hubby wears this jacket ALL the time. I am going to have to get him a new one because he is wearing his out. It is so light weight but super warm!

    2.Men’s Ray- Ban Polarized Aviators- Help your man look super cool with these glasses.

    3. Patagonia Hat- An everyday trucker hat

    4. Bose Soundlink II Around- Ear Bluetooth Headphones- My man travels a lot so I am thinking about getting him some good headphones. I love these, but need to do some questioning to see if he prefers this style or in- ear buds.

    5. Bose Soundtrue Ultra In- Ear Headphones- These would be the ones I will get him if he wants in-ear

    6. Men’s Thermal Robe- I am so sick of looking at my hubby’s robe. He has had the same one for years. It’s time to upgrade.

    7. Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth Speaker- Portable speaker for wherever he wants to listen to music.

    8. Tom’s Men’s Leather Chukka Boots- These are so stylish, but functional at the same time.

    9. Polo Ralph Lauren Boxers- Because can men ever have enough boxers. And is it really my job to decide when they need to be thrown out? #holyunderwear

    10. Cuisinart BBQ Pitt Kit- This is a great kit to get your man started BBQing.

    11. Ugg Hendrickson Chukka Boots= These are another great boot option to keep your man looking fly.

    12. Herschel Supply. Co. “Little America’ Backpack- For all the goods your man needs to bring with him. He may as well look nice toting his stuff around. Would also be a good Manny diaper bag.

    13. Patagonia “Fisherman” Beanie- Keep those heads toasty warm.

    14. Leather Tech Gloves- In keeping with the warm theme, warm toasty fingers that can still use a smart phone.

    15. Deer Stag Nordic Slippers- Economical slippers

    16. Ugg Slippers- Splurge slippers


    Easy Peasy Thanksgiving Tablescape 

    I had all the supplies for my table scape on hand, but if you don’t it’s easily obtainable materials and probably on sale as Christmas decor moves in. 

    All the pumpkins are from Target or the Dollar ​​Tree. The scale I purchased from Joss & Main but it’s carried other places too.
    I made one set of the candle sticks on the built in from Home Depot table legs screwed together.  The other set came from Goodwill. I stuck some pumpkins on top to “Thanksgiving” them. 

    The candle sticks I got at Hobby Lobby 50% off. They have such a fabulous selection of candles. The garland is a mixture of one from here and one from the Target dollar spot. 

    The cute chalkboard cutting board and chargers are from Decor Steals.  

    The table, benches, chairs, and table runner are from World Market. 

    The placemats I found at At Home store. 

    The jars with cranberries are literally recycled jams, spaghetti sauce, and pickle jars I have been hoarding. I filled with water and fresh cranberries (from Costco $3 for a ton) and voila fancy tablescape!