Monday, February 29, 2016

The Oscars!!

What did everyone think of the Oscars? I worked this weekend and didn't get home until 8 last night...but I tried my best to get caught up, and I was really impressed! I thought Chris Rock was both clever and hilarious...I thought they found a perfect way to take a serious subject (why were there no black nominees?) and address it while keeping it funny. I did think some of the jokes went too far, but that's just me...and before I get to the best part (the fashion), I was so happy that Leonardo DiCaprio won...I know every female around my age can identify with me when I say he was my Hollywood crush growing up...

And for my favorite GIF from the night...this is only funny if you've seen or read about the nominated movie The Danish Girl... 



And now for my favorites...

Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney...I love the color, and I love the sleeve. Simply flawless.

Margot Robbie in Tom Ford...she has the best style...I love her hair down too. Makes it seem effortless.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior...probably my favorite of the evening. Edgy yet beautiful.

Brie Larson in Gucci...the color is stunning, and I like the draping. It's unlike anything I've ever seen.

Naomi Watts in Armani Prive...looks like a mermaid. The colors are exquisite!


Love it or hate it...

Olivia Wilde in Valentino...I love it!

Cate Blanchett in Armani...I loved this one too. It's not something I would ever choose if given the option, but it's very Cate Blanchett and very avant-garde.


The worst...

Heidi Klum in Marchesa...seriously...purple is my favorite color, and you have to ruin it for me, Heidi.
Jennifer Garner in Versace...Jennifer, you are one of the prettiest ladies in Hollywood, and you choose this maw maw dress and this maw maw updo? I really want to see her in something a little edgier.
And I'll leave you with a line from my favorite acceptance speech...given by Pete Docter, the director of Inside Out, after the movie won for Best Animated Feature: "It's OK to feel sad, but when you do, make films, draw, make things. It'll make a world of difference."
I hope everyone has a great day and start to their week! :)


Friday, February 26, 2016

Five Friday Favorites

I love this tee from Banana Republic...takes a classic T-shirt and jazzes it up with the metallic. I like how they pair it with black jeans.
I'm sure by now most of y'all have heard about Target's newest line called Pillowfort, a home collection for kids. It is the best! It reminds me a lot of Land of Nod but at Target prices. Think whimsical and playful and very kid-like but without the cartoon colors and Disney-themed bedding. Below are a few of my favorites from their line. And the good news is, it's not a one-time's going to be a permanent fixture and will unveil new collections as the seasons change.
I'm sure I'm late to the party, but I just recently found out that H&M has a home line. Everything is super affordable and fun. I particularly love this palm print pillow cover. And for $12.99, it's just right!
Y'all, have you seen Plizzanet Earth with Snoop Dogg? It's his spin on narrating Planet Earth, and it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen! Jimmy Kimmel Live features this segment from time to time, and you can find a lot of the clips on YouTube. My favorite line from this episode: "I ain't never seen a gator been punked by no mongooses." Please watch this if you need a laugh!

I love this idea from Liz Lidgett at Better Homes and Gardens. Take a simple, low-cost frame and glue on some spray painted, L-shaped brackets from the hardware store. It takes a simple frame up a notch and adds some edge and dimension! I can't wait to try this with some of ours. I think it'd look great on black frames too.
I hope everyone has a happy, safe weekend. I'm working Saturday and Sunday, but I'm looking forward to it. Hope to see y'all back here on Monday if I'm not too worn down from the weekend! :)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Surviving Mesothelioma

I had a reader reach out to me to see if I'd be interested in helping bring awareness to mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer) and rare diseases in general. It was a no-brainer for me to participate. As an oncology nurse, I all too often see people suffer the effects of cancer. As a daughter, I've seen two parents fight the disease. I think it's always important to put a face to an illness, so to speak. It's no longer just a disease that's difficult to pronounce. It becomes real. It's someone's child, someone's brother or sister, someone's friend, someone's spouse, someone's parent. It could just as easily be you or me. With that said, I hope you'll read on to find out more about mesothelioma and more importantly, to learn more about Heather Von St. James, an amazing woman who is using her status as a cancer survivor to put a voice to rare diseases.
In November 2005, Heather was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. She was only 36-years-old at the time, and she had a newborn at home...a baby girl named Lily.

When Heather was a young child, she fondly remembers trying on her father's work jacket. He worked in drywall construction, and neither of them had any idea at the time what exactly they were exposing themselves to.

Exposure to asbestos is the primary risk factor for mesothelioma. Unfortunately, years ago asbestos was widely used in insulation, flooring, and roofing. When asbestos is broken up (such as during removal of insulation), dust forms, which can easily be inhaled or may cling to one's skin or clothes...thus exposing others to asbestos. If asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can irritate the lungs, and in some rare but important cases, mesothelioma can result.

 When Heather was diagnosed, she remembers her doctor asking her if her father was a miner or if he worked around asbestos. She recalled proudly wearing his work jacket, feeling like a big girl in her dad's work clothes. 

 Without treatment, Heather's doctor gave her 15 months to live. She was only 36; she had a three-month-old at home, and she had a husband who needed her. Thankfully, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston specialized in an experimental procedure for those living with mesothelioma...this procedure had the potential to greatly extend Heather's life.

 One month after surgery (which included the removal of her left lung), Heather was able to return to her parents' home, where they cared for her until she was physically strong enough to care for herself. Soon after Heather returned home to be with her husband, Cameron, and daughter, she started chemotherapy. Intense radiation followed...30 sessions to be exact. Once treatment was complete, Heather received a diploma...and she felt like she was supposed to celebrate her newfound freedom from cancer, but it wasn't quite so easy for her. She eloquently recalls those feelings on her blog: "Why did I feel so lost, so alone? It was one of the lowest points in my whole journey. I had spent the last year of my life fighting tooth and nail against this cancer that invaded my body. I fought every day with my entire being, and now? I get a piece of paper?"

 Like many cancer survivors, Heather was unsure what the future held for her. Even though she was cancer-free, she still experienced many side effects from treatment. Prior to her cancer diagnosis, she was a salon owner and hairdresser. Standing for hours on end wasn't an option anymore. She was living with one lung, and her body just wasn't the same.

Heather writes on her blog: "Slowly, I started to heal. I started writing. I started sharing my story with people. I felt empowered by the positive response and before long, my feeling of being lost and not knowing what to do was replaced with a new passion. Awareness." She goes on, "As my health returned, so did the fire."
Rare diseases are classified as diseases that affect less than 200,000 people at any given point in time. Only 5% of rare diseases have a cure. And what's even more astounding...asbestos exposure is the known risk factor for mesothelioma, and it's still being used in some forms in the United States.
Mesothelioma is considered a rare disease because there are only about 3,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States. While that's a low number, it's still entirely too high. Even if just one person were affected it'd be too high. Every life matters; everyone's health matters.
Heather works tirelessly with The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and The Environmental Working Group to put a voice and a face to mesothelioma. Her goal is to educate others and to fight for a ban on asbestos.

"While I have suffered many losses in the last 10 years, what I’ve gained is far more profound. I found my voice, my true self. I’ve found that when faced with incredible odds, I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. I’ve found and surrounded myself with friends and warriors who, like me, live every day to the fullest."
Today, Heather is celebrating 10 years cancer-free.
Thank you, Heather, for allowing me to share your story. To learn more about her life and mission, visit:
Visit to learn more about rare diseases and Rare Disease Day.
Statistics used in this post regarding malignant mesothelioma were gathered from the American Cancer Society's Web site.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Home Updates

I've been working around-the-clock it seems trying to finish up things in our house. Thought I'd share some of the updates we've made!
I added a throw to the end of Lily's's a purple diamond print from World Market. Her bed just makes me happy every time I walk by...she got some fun purple string lights for her birthday, but I'll share those when we get them hung! **I also added the sources for her bedding and throw pillows below.**

Lily got this print for her birthday, and I found a frame and mat for it at Michaels. I love how serene the picture is...and it's something that I don't think she'll tire of. We're going to hang it above her bed.

We combined the guest room and playroom in our new house, and I love the way it's coming together. It's a large room, so there's plenty of room for a queen-sized bed as well as room for the girls to play. The bed was mine growing up, and I picked up the bedding recently at Target.
I love the way the side table came together. The faux orchid is from HomeGoods. I couldn't resist the blue and white container.

Some of the girls' things! I can't wait to hang some artwork on the empty walls. I want to display their artwork somehow, so I'm looking into ways to do that.

Another view...again, we need some artwork on the walls! 

How fun are these containers holding the girls' art supplies? Found them in the dollar section at Target.
Lily's Aunt "Kiss" sent her this doll-sized teepee and sleeping bag for her birthday! It's the cutest, and Lily has had the best time playing with it!
I found a throw for my cane back chair, and it's just what I wanted...found this beauty at HomeGoods. Love all things blue.

Our new couch was delivered yesterday, and I really love it! It's from a local furniture store, and it's so comfy. It's going in our keeping room. The pillows that came with it were really cute, but they don't match our decor. I was already able to sell them to a friend!
And here is what I'm thinking pillow-wise. I like symmetry, so it'd be two leopard on one end/two on the other, two black and white on one end/two on the other, and a colorful lumbar in the middle. Thoughts? Which lumbar do y'all like better?

I did some rearranging yesterday and ended up putting this chair in the corner in our keeping room. I really like how it turned out. It's a hand-me-down from my parents, and it's a really pretty light orange color with red butterflies stitched on. Sounds hideous when I describe it, but it's really pretty in person! Then I changed out the side tables and did a smaller one since the chair is smaller than the one I previously had in its spot. I think if I add a leopard lumbar pillow to this chair, it'll tie in perfectly with the sofa. Any input? And, no, I'm not afraid of color and/or mixing patterns!

I'm thinking I'll hang this beauty on the wall next to the above chair. The colors just go together, and I love how whimsical it is. It was done by a local artist, Bill Spain. I own several of his paintings, and I just adore them.

And thought I'd hang this mirror above the painting, unless it's going to be too big for the picture. I always like hanging things above things. Does that make sense? Ha!

We'll eventually need a rug for this room, and I'm liking the one below from Rugs USA. Plus, it's 70% off. We've ordered from there a good bit and have never been disappointed. You can't find a better deal on rugs, and the quality is good. Plus shipping is free.

That's all of the home updates for's coming together slowly but surely! Hope everyone has a great day! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fab Finds Under Fifty!

I thought I'd share some things I'm loving lately that are all under $50!


These look super cute on...I was in Loft this past weekend, and they were on sale for $15.00. And they look a lot more expensive than that! I might have even brought them home!

Gilded Retro Sunglasses


Looks pretty similar to the Chloe Drew...but for less than the shipping of the Chloe version!
BP Faux Leather Crossbody


One of my favorite shoe brands, Dolce Vita, has recently collaborated with Target. Cue me doing a happy dance. I'm loving these espadrilles, but there are tons of other cute styles too.

This clutch is so fun...I love the fringe and the colorful tassels. Loft partnered with an artisan community in India, and this clutch (among other things) was made by the women there. The money made from purchase goes to them.
How cute is this clutch from Target? I rarely carry a clutch but would probably use it to organize things in my purse.
And just one more clutch for the day...I'm really loving this one guessed it...Target! It reminds me of a Clare V version, and I love the blue and black together. Now, let's play a fun many times did I write the word "clutch" in today's post? ;)
I actually own another top by this brand (Bobeau), and it's the softest shirt I have. You don't typically see orange and white stripes, and I love a classic striped shirt. The drop shoulders make this one special, and orange is something I think you can wear in spring and fall.
I'm really wanting a pair of Chuck Taylors. If only mine from elementary school still fit. I think they're cute and kind of only do you keep the white version clean?
These sandals are the prettiest! I adore the tassel at the heel, and the color is neutral enough to wear with most anything.
Like I said above, I'm all about a simple striped tee. I love the colors in this one. I see it with jeans and those Chuck Taylors!
OshKosh makes great swimwear for the kiddos. This one is a win for me with the one shoulder, the ruffles, and the classic blue and red.
These slip-ons are too cute...I could see my girls wearing them with shorts and a T-shirt as well as a casual sundress.
Fringe sandals for the littles? Yes please.


I have a thing for pretty dessert and salad plates. I adore this Ikat plate from Anthropologie. The silver and gold are dressy, and I would use it as a dessert plate with our fine china.

Ikat Thistle Side Plate


The palm leaf print is everywhere right now. If a pillow is too big of a commitment, these votives will give you just the right dose of this fun trend.

Palm Leaf Votives


That's all for today...hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekend Update

We had a good weekend here, but first...some snippets from Lily's birthday.

Lily had the best day. The morning started off with powdered sugar donuts for breakfast complete with a candle.

She had her party at school that morning, and all her classmates sang and celebrated her...she said she felt so special.
We met my mom, aunt, and Lily's cousin Emma at Chick-Fil-A for lunch. Emma is Lily's age, and they have so much fun when they're together!

When Rob got home from work later that night we had Lily's favorites for dogs and tater tots. And of course chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles for dessert! Then she opened her presents and later went to bed a 5-year-old...goodness...hard to believe!


Rob's parents drove down here on Saturday morning and picked the girls up so they could spend the night with them. It was a fun treat for all of us...the girls had a great time, and Grammy and Grampa had a birthday party for Lily all lined up.
Rob has a terrible cold, and he's been super busy with an important project at work. We weren't able to do much together this weekend, as he had to go into the office, but I was able to get a lot done around the house. It was nice to have some time to myself, but I have to admit I always get a pit in my stomach when the girls aren't with me. Just how I am, I guess.


I am the world's worst at making time to get my hair cut. I seriously get it cut about twice a year, and I have got to do better because by the time I get it cut I've been going around town looking like I have a rat's nest on my head. Anyway...I had an appointment to get it cut a few weeks ago, and my stylist had a family emergency, so I was excited to finally get it cut. I wanted something shorter and kind of messy, and I brought these photos in for inspiration. And I was really happy with the results! I hope I can somewhat recreate the waves my stylist made...I have no idea how to use a curling iron, but maybe I can YouTube a few videos and figure it out? Any tips?

I went thrifting after my hair appointment and scored several ginger jars. The obsession continues! I mean, all of the below for under $ could I say no?

I stopped by Lowes and picked up this fun house plant...

Rob and I were able to go by a local furniture store and picked out a sofa for our keeping room. It'll be delivered tomorrow, and I can't wait for it to get here so that room will feel more put together.

And then I no lie spent all day yesterday cleaning and doing laundry. It had to be done! The girls were home later in the day, and it was so good to see them again...they had a fun time with their grandparents and brought home lots of treats.


OK...I've got to go work on this hair and try to find my curling's in a box somewhere! Hope everyone has a great Monday and a happy week ahead.