Tips For Starting A Blog!

Have you thought about starting a blog? If you're reading this post right now I'm assuming so. I've been getting a lot of messages lately from people wanting to start a blog, asking me for my thoughts on the whole process. I think it's funny really, because I don't feel like I'm successful at blogging, but I'm going to share my "thoughts" anyway. Since so many of you seem to think I know what I'm talking about;) (PS. I'm just pretending.)

I'm going to be open, and honest with you in this post. 

I don't know what I'm doing. Like. At all. I'm just sort of going with the flow and rolling with it. So take my "advice" with a grain of salt. 

When I started sharing pictures of my home on Instagram about a year and a half ago (wow! has it been that long?) I had NO idea there was such a huge community of fellow home decor lovers and DIYer's out there. I was extremely nervous sharing so much of myself, and my home with people I didn't even know. It can be super intimidating. But everyone was so open and accepting, I quickly embraced it.
I think I had, maybe 50 likes on my first Home Decor post?

But even that felt like a lot to me. It's really nice to know people love and appreciate something you're doing. It's nice to feel accepted. 

I built actual friendships with people I had met online. It probably sounds a little weird to people who don't understand the Instagram or Blogging community but it really feels like you're part of something really special here.

Never in a thousand (and one!) years did I think I would be able to blog and share my passion with thousands of people! NEVER EVER EVER! And I'm truly so so thankful, and blessed to have all of you loving and supporting me. I simply can't put it into words.

Okay, so now onto the actual purpose of the post:

The first thing you need to decide on when you're starting a blog is obviously, what you're going to blog about. 

Are you going to blog about Home Decor?
DIY projects?
Motherhood?
Fashion?
All of the above?

I personally think the most successful blogs really focus on ONE thing, and then branch out into other things as they become more successful. Being really good at ONE thing is better then being mediocre at 5 things. At least in my humble opinion. 

Once you know what you're going to blog about, I suggest you focus on building a small following on other social media accounts. Nobody is going to read your blog posts if they don't see them, so focus on building a small following on Instagram, or Facebook, Or Pinterest. Focusing on one social media outlet is going to be okay to get you started. (I'll blog about building your instagram following in a later post!)

Keep in mind, I never started sharing my home on Instagram with the goal of having a blog, nope, that just sort of happened. But I think it's really good for people wanting a blog to go in with a solid plan. I've found Instagram to really be the best source for driving traffic to a blog. So that's honestly where I would start.

Decide on a Platform-
Will you be using WordPress, Or blogger? Word Press is a little more complicated if you aren't used to coding and things like that (I'm not, which is why I'm currently on blogger!) Blogger is a little more user friendly. Once you get used to things you can always switch over to WordPress in the future. 

Create a Layout or Website Design-
You can find website designers on Etsy and purchase a simple premade layout to get you started, or you can spend the money up front and hire a prominent website designer. I suggest going simple at first, once you build success you can always upgrade. In the end, it's not about how fancy your blog design, but how good the content is. So that's where you'll have to put all of your attention at first.

Put Together AT LEAST Two Weeks Of Content-
Whatever you're blogging about, make sure you have at least two weeks worth of posts written up in advance, so many times I've hit a wall with my blogger because I felt defeated and like I didn't have anything to blog about. NOT TRUE. There's always something to blog about. But putting together content in advance can totally take some of the pressure off. 

PS. I didn't do this, and wish I did!!

Once you start blogging BE CONSISTENT. Even if that means only posting once a week, or two times a week, or every day. Whatever you choose, just make sure it's consistent on a week to week basis. 

Have Fun With It-
FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY!!! I can't stand when I feel like I'm reading a robotic blog, where the blogger has absolutely no emotion in their writings. I want people that follow my blog to know I literally think of  them as my friends! Don't write a blog post like you're talking to a professor at school, write them like you're having lunch with a friend and just telling them your thoughts. I used to be so worried about how I came across on my blog and social media, but once I started being myself, the words and posts just came freely. 

When all is said and done, my biggest piece of advice? JUST DO IT and be yourself!!! Imperfection is Beauty my sweet friends! Good Luck!! 
XO

Don't forget to follow all the fun on Instagram!!
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Bed In A Box? An Honest Christeli Mattress Review!

A mattress in a box? It's an interesting concept, isn't it? I admit it, when this huge box arrived on my doorstep I was a little leery that a mattress that came from a box would be comfortable. But I went into this with an open mind. 

This mattress is from Christeli, a North Carolina based company.
I was determined to get this mattress up to our master bedroom by myself. It was heavy, but I manged, after knocking all my pictures off the wall, but that's another story for another time. I get really impatient with things like this and I was really curious about how this was going to work out. 
PS. My bedroom. It's a pretty empty slate right now as I'm determining which direction I want to go in, in this space. So disregard the lack of decor and blank empty spaces in here;) 

Once I opened up my box, I was left with this.
As soon as I cut the packaging, the mattress started to expand.
Okay, so at this point I'm feeling a little bit better about my mattress in a box. But still feeling a little confused by all of it. LOL I let this sit for about 5 minutes as the directions stated and it started to fluff up when I moved it to the bed.
 
annnnd of course Savanna couldn't wait to see if this one met up to her "jumping standards"
Overall, I was pretty pleased with the ease of getting this set up. It was super easy and the bed fluffed up nicely! The cool thing about Christeli is that they offer a 50 night sleep guarantee so if you aren't happy with your mattress they'll take it back! 
We're only a week in with this one and I'm getting used to it. It's really comfortable and conforms to your body. If you're looking for a guest bedroom or kids mattress this is totally where I would go!

What do you guys think? Would you buy a mattress in a box? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!!! 
Be sure to follow the fun on Instagram if you aren't already! Just love hearing your thoughts! 
XO 

Disclaimer: I received a mattress in exchange for my open and honest review of the product. As always- all opinions are mine, and are not swayed in any way. I continue to be 100% honest with my followers!

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Easy Farmhouse Style Command Center

Hey ya'll!! I'm so excited! I know that while this wasn't a huge "project" it's definitely been something I've been wanting to do forever! So I'm super excited to knock it off my to do list- FINALLY! It's such a relief when we can cross things off right? I've been procrastinating for a good two years with this little area. It's just something that was never super important and it totally took a back seat to other projects on my list. But it's D-O-N-E (at least for now!) and I'm super happy with the result!
It sits off the side of our kitchen and is a drop zone for mail, handbags, jackets etc.  I wanted it to be simple, functional and pretty. I've actually never shared this view of my house before because it's so awkward and the lighting sucks.

To the left is the Pantry. The stairs used to be where the island bar is now.

 I started with a coat of my absolute favorite GRIEGE paint, that can be found here, and then hung up these two pieces from Pottery Barn. I love that these are super well made and that I can slide the pieces in and out if we desire something different in the next few years.

Ya'll know I LOVE my tobacco baskets, you can find your own here and I used my favorite 'Our Nest' Sign from Hello LouLou.
She doesn't even know I'm blogging about her today so I should probably let her know! I get asked about the sign pretty often so I'm excited to share with you today where it's from! 

It's pretty neutral and makes me happy so, that's all that matters right? I knew I wanted something functional for this space and a drop zone for mail so this works perfectly and at least now it's visually more appealing. 


What do you guys think of this little weekend project? Do you have a "Command Center" or similar space? Do you find the space to be useful in your home? 

Be sure you're following along with the fun on Instagram and Facebook
You can also {PIN THIS POST} for later! 

XO

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Where It All Began..

If you would have told me 10 years ago, we would own our own home, have a successful business and be flipping houses for a living, I probably would have laughed in your face. 

Not meaning to be rude of course, but simply because as a teen parent there were several things that seemed out of reach for us. 

If you've been following along for a good while then you're probably already aware that I was a Teen Mom, and nope. I'm not talking 18-19 years old (even that is too young..) nope, I became a Mom for the first time when I was just 15 years old. Goodness it gives me chills just typing that now. 

I've come along way from that lost and confused 15 year old girl I was. 
Of course you're wondering how this happened at such a young age for me, for us. It's a classic girl meets boy story. Nick had moved up from the city to our little small country town. It wasn't love at first sight, not for either of us. Honestly, at 14 years old I was still very uninterested in boys. I was focused on school and other things I had going on in my life. Somewhere along the line, Nick as I become friends, and from there you can pretty much figure out what happened. 
We started dating and then.. our son happened. 

It was the hardest thing we would probably endure in life- sticking together even when there were so many times we didn't know who we were ourselves, how could we continue to be in a successful relationship when we were growing as people? But we made it through, all the struggles, the hardships, the diapers, the long working hours- literally, hours. And we made it. We made it here. 

And there isn't a single day that goes by that I don't think about those years of my young life, and all that they taught me. You see, Nick and I were determined. We were determined not to be a statistic. We weren't going to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves because we hit a bump in the road. We were going to be good parents and give our son something to look up too. 

We both went on to finish school and quickly after that Nick started working with a family friend and I was taking community college classes and working double shifts as a cocktail waitress. We were getting along fine. But we still knew we both wanted more. 

So when Nick was 20? Maybe 20, maybe younger.. either way, he came to me and said he would own a house in cash by the time he was 25. I laughed at the idea. We were kids living with my Mom with a kid of our own. This "goal" seemed impossible and out of reach. 

Which is probably why I cried the day it came true. 

The year Nick turned 25 we were able to buy our first home, in cash! Thanks to our business flipping houses, many many mant late late nights and yes, lots of arguments and struggles(I'll share that whole process in another post.) And I was so thankful, I cried. and Cried and Cried. Okay, maybe I was secretly crying because I didn't know how we would ever be able to make this house our forever home, but again, that post is for another day, lol.. It was gods way of saying, 

"You've made it..despite all the hardships, you've made it." 


And here we are, a full almost 10 years later and I'm still amazed at all my blessings. Still amazed with the "nest" we've created. 
The whole reason I'm writing this post today is because I want someone to read this and know, that no matter how hard the struggle is right now, no matter how badly you want to give up. DON'T. Keep working hard, keep fighting. Keep dreaming and keep chasing those goals!! NOTHING is going to fall in your lap. While I'm sure in your head there are a million reasons why you can't do something, I'm giving you 10,000 reasons why you can. It's all in your head, your mindset. 

While I sure wish I could have done things a lot differently, looking back I realize that God had a plan for me, for us, all along. I don't regret being a Teen Parent and I don't regret our son. He has been my greatest blessing and the best gift. I do regret not making better decisions and choices. There were many things I missed out on as a Teen Parent. But I don't regret my journey and what I've learned along the way. Nick and I overcame a lot of struggles and obstacles, but we're here, and we're blessed. 

Don't give up, don't let someone else write your story for you, write your own story and create your own path. 

Thanks for stopping over to listen to be ramble today, it truly means so much!!! 
xo
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How To Create An Easy And Pretty Fall Vignette!

Um, excuse me. But where did September go?! I feel like it was July Yesterday? With September coming to an end that means I have to get started on my Halloween Decor! I'll do a post on that later of course. But for now I wanted to share my easy and simple Fall coffee table centerpiece with ya'll!!!


I wanted something neutral in the living room and I also didn't want to spend a ton of money buying things for a whole new centerpiece, so I just used some pumpkins I picked I had on hand from last year and added some lambs ear I had to throw this together. 



I kept things simple by using this rustic crate, similar can be found here and my cotton stems which can be found here basically stay out all the time. 

If you wanna check out my post on how to age new metal here (which is what I did with this metal milk can I picked up at Target dollar spot last season..) 


I'm really lovin' the neutral but still cozy vibes this is giving me right now. 



I think when putting together centerpieces and decor the basics are really simple. 

1. Something to Add Interest- Pumpkins/Pinecones
2. Something Glass or Metal- Metal Milk Can/Lantern, Glass Vase Etc.
3. Something for Height- Metal Milk Can/Candle Sticks
4. Something to add Texture/Greenery- Lambs Ear/Leaves etc.
Follow those steps and you'll have the prettiest little centerpiece (shelves, mantels, tables..whatever!) ever! 
These steps pretty much work with whatever season! I hope you find them useful! 
Make sure to follow along with the fun over on Instagram! You can also Pin This Post for later to share the L-O-V-E. 

Have a great day my beautiful friends! XOXO

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How To Avoid Getting Caught Up In Comparison

We're all guilty of this at one point or another. 


The game of comparison and getting caught up. 



I honestly try as hard as possible not to be a jealous person, I truly believe we've all been given something that nobody else has. We're all blessed in our own ways. But sometimes. Sometimes it's really hard. Especially in a world where social media is king and most of us choose to only show the good days on social media. While I'm not against doing that, I mean.. hello! I do it all the time, because nobody wants to hear about bad things all the time!,Sometimes it gives others the false perception that people have perfect lives, perfect homes, perfect children, perfect everything. 



Even when they don't. 


And that can leave us feeling defeated and like what we have or what we're doing isn't good enough. Even when that's not the case. 



You see the truth is, ALL of us want something someone else has at one point or another. It's human nature to be curious and yes, even a little jealous sometimes. 



So how do you avoid getting caught up in the game of comparison? 



It's actually pretty easy and something I've discovered as I've aged. 



The NUMBER ONE thing to do to avoid getting caught up is to BE HAPPY FOR OTHER PEOPLE and give compliments! This sounds sort of contradicting, but in truth, I believe we find happiness in ourselves when we focus on what's good in others. I've become a much better person when instead of thinking to myself, "Ugh, I love her dress, she's so pretty, I'll never look like her." and instead TELLING people when I like something they're wearing, or something they've done. Giving compliments is so exhilarating. No, it really is. It's like in a way, we're telling ourselves that just because someone else is pretty, doesn't mean we aren't. 
I honestly want people to do good, I want people around me to be happy. Because when I'm surrounded with Happy, Uplifting and Motivating people, guess what? It makes me happy as well. It's okay if someone has a bigger house or a nicer car, that doesn't make what we have any less nice or meaningful to us. 



Number Two:  DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND LOVE WHAT YOU DO.

Find a hobby, something you love to do, and put your whole heart into it. For me, it's decorating and interior design. I love painting and creating and whenever I'm having a hard day just creating something makes me happy. Finding something you love to do allows us to put focus on something other then other people. It requires we look inside of ourselves and discover the spark that we sometimes keep hidden inside. Other people don't have to love it, as long as you do, that's what matters!
Number Three: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF 
Work out- Do some squats, go for a run, listen to music. Eat good food. Be good to your body. It's so important to take care of and learn to love yourself. When I was younger I used to be so hard on myself. I wasn't skinny enough, I wasn't pretty enough. The negative thoughts I allowed to flow through my brain on a regular basis are really horrendous. These days, when I have a bad thought, I instantly try to stop it dead in its tracks. Instead of saying, "My House will never be as big as hers." I think to myself about all the hard work and love we poured into our house and realize that I wouldn't have it any other way. Not pretty enough? While, I may not be the prettiest girl in the world, I'm thankful for beautiful heart which is full of love. It's good we all don't look alike! Imagine how boring the world would be!


While it's easy these days to get caught up in the game of comparison, I ask you to take a step back and remember that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. People only share the good things most of the time, and while that's okay, it gives us a false perception of reality. Once we learn to truly love ourselves, and I mean TRULY, we realize that life is so much bigger then worrying about what this person has or what this person doesn't have. We should all just be thankful for the things we've been blessed with because they could all be gone tomorrow. 
The next time you find yourself getting caught up, stop. Think. Remember that there are people out there praying for the things you have now. Go create something, Grab a paintbrush, go for a run, listen to music. Be kind to yourself. Don't allow negative thoughts in your head. If you wouldn't say it to someone you love, then don't say it to yourself. 



While a lot of these things are easier said then done, I promise you, once you force yourself to BE HAPPY, you're going to FEEL happy, or at least happier. And in the end, that's all we all want really. To be happy:) 

I'm so thankful to have you all here with me! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook!! 
XOXO

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5

Cozy & Classic Fall Farmhouse Decor

As with all basic females, I love fall. I'm also a sucker for neutrals. So it's kind of weird that this season I was drawn to the warm tones of fall. Including what could quite possibly be my least favorite color. ORANGE. 

Which also makes this post even more surprising. 

But that doesn't make me love it any less. 

I'm sure I will change this space up no less then a thousand times before fall is over, maybe even before September is over, but I wanted to show you guys that there are great ways to decorate with warm tones, even if you love neutrals. Fall is honestly whatever you want it to be! Cozy and Warm. Cool and Chic. Or maybe even the perfect mix of both. You know around here though we like to keep things more on the cozy end. 
As most of you know, this little space is one of my favorite areas in my home. It sits nestled to the left of the kitchen in my dining room, and she always gets decorated for the seasons and Holidays. 

I get asked about this buffet a LOT, I searched for a buffet that wasn't too big or too bulky for the longest time, I wanted something rustic and chic and wasn't finding what I wanted, I bought this one from Wayfair and then painted it and switched the hardware myself. You can find my buffet Here or similar, here or here.

What inspired it all? This adorable little Pumpkin Patch sign I got from This Hand Painted Home Isn't it gorgeous?! I'm pretty much obsessed with it! 
I picked up some oak leaves from my local grocery store and used some magnolia picks I got from Sweet Tea Steals! I just love the natural element they add, don't you?! You can find them here.

Wanna know a secret? This plaid "throw" is actually a blanket scarf I got at Target last season. Who knew fashion and home decor go hand in hand?! 
I got these little vine pumpkins at Target last year but you can get similar ones here and here.
The cool thing about this space is that in general I try to keep all the basic elements, like my mirror which was custom made but you can find similar here or here, my lantern, similar lantern here and here. My dough Bowl typically stays around too. I just switch out filler for the season, like the pumpkins and flowers and change out my wreaths or signs! 

So, what do ya'll think about this space? Are we feelin' it or no? I'd love to hear your thoughts, I hope you know that I read each and every single comment here and on Instagram and try to respond to every single one! They mean so much to me and I'm so thankful for all of you! 
If you're not following along on Instagram I'd love to have you! You can also check out the fun on Facebook!! 

XOXO
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7

The "Secret" To Hanging Stuff Without Damage!

One of the things I get asked all the time is "How did you hang that?" It could be anything, from a wreath on a window, or inside a tulip crate. Or a Sign or Basket Hanging on the wall or over a mirror. 
See the thing is, I get bored of things in the same place for long periods of time. If you've been following along for awhile, you already know this. I will literally move one thing around 86 times in a week. Okay so maybe not 86 times but you get where I'm coming from, right? 

But one thing I DON'T love is huge holes in my wall when I want to move something. So, how do you avoid that? What if I told you, you can hang things on your walls, and on mirrors or in crates with no damage? 
My secret my sweet friends.. isn't really a secret. Nope. It's..are you ready for it? 

Push Pins.
You can find them here.

YUP. That's the trick. Or the "secret". 

While obviously a Push Pin isn't going to hold up a heavy mirror or anything really over 2 lbs, they are perfect for hanging wreaths on windows, or hanging small signs in gallery walls that you might want to move one day! I use them to hang baskets on my walls, wreaths on my mirrors, and pretty much anywhere when I want something on my wall but I'm not sure about it staying there forever, or for a long period of time. 

I ALWAYS have Push Pins on hand.

They may make a small hole in a window frame but nothing that can't be covered up or filled in with paint. And it's not as bad as a huge nail hole! 

Even better? You can snag enough Push Pins to last basically the rest of your life for under $6 here. Everyone needs them. Yes, I said NEEDS. 

So there ya have it friends! FINALLY! I SHARED MY DEEP DARK SECRET! You're so surprised right? Kidding, I'm kidding. No, but seriously. 
I'm always hanging wreaths over things and these babies are a life SAVER. I'm telling you! I have a wreath obsession and like to put them everywhere, over everything. But that post is for another time and place. ;) 

Anywho, Have you used push pins before to hang a wreath, or a sign before? 

Be sure you're following all the fun over on Instagram and Facebook

You can also PIN this post if you want to remember it for later or share the tip with some friends! I appreciate the L-O-V-E! 
XOXO 

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