Friday Favorites {10.09.20}

Happy Friday, friends!! I can’t believe it’s the end of another week. I am excited to link up with Erika and Andrea for this week’s Friday Favorites. I have some fun things to share with you today so grab your coffee and let’s get started.

ONE

I first saw the multicolor glitter bracelets when Shay shared them a while back. They were out of stock so I wasn’t able to order them then, but I checked back last week and they were available again. Not only did I order those, but I also ordered the ones with the multicolor beads in them and the black ones. I am loving them! So much fun to throw them on even with a casual outfit like jeans and a white t-shirt.

The weather has been amazing and I’ve loved adding a couple of fall transitional pieces to my wardrobe. These were my favorites from this week.

The girls and I went to H&M and I scored the white and cream colored sweaters off their clearance rack. They are going to definitely be some core pieces this fall and winter.

The blue short sleeve sweater is from Wal-Mart and I think I’m definitely going to order another one in a different color. It runs true to size and is $14.96!!

Last month I bought a pair of leggings from Lululemon and they have become my absolute favorite. Since we are in HHI this week, I decided to buy another pair and ended up buying two more! I know the price tag on Lulu is a little high, but I wear my leggings for years and these stand the test of time. In the bottom middle picture, I am wearing the green pair with a short sleeve crop top from Lulu as well.

And lastly, who doesn’t love a good plaid shirt?! Most of mine are from Old Navy. I normally try to buy some when they are on sale . I threw mine on with a white tank top and my jean shorts to run errands on our first day here.

THREE

I ran into CVS to buy contact solution and this make up line caught my eye. I’ve been looking for a good neutral color lipstick and this one looked fun. I actually love it! I do add a little bit of gloss or run my chapstick over it after I apply it. This color is ‘Sup Nude?.

FOUR

I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on my bright yellow slippers. I bought them on Amazon and love the color. They are just bright and yellow and they make me happy!

FIVE

Outside of our condo, there is a big beautiful tree. I’ve wanted a picture in front of it since we bought our place. Last night after dinner, we came home and my mother and sister in law took a couple of us!

SIX

My most favorite thing of the week was the memories we made with our family. Joseph’s sister and her family came to stay with us and then his mom, stepdad and 91 year old papa joined us for the second half of the week. Y’all, we couldn’t believe papa came and he sat on the beach with us for two whole days! We had the best time watching him and spending time with him. I am so thankful for our family and for the way that 2020 has brought us back together and reminded us that family is everything.

I didn’t blog much this week, but I just decided to take the time to truly live in the moment. I didn’t work out as much as I normally do on vacation, but when I said something about that, my sister in law reminded me that when we are 91 years old we aren’t going to regret not working out on vacation. We probably won’t even remember that we didn’t work out, but what we will remember are the memories we made with our family. God is teaching me all about balance and how even good things can become bad when we obsess and over do those things. I can get so wrapped up in my busy schedule that I forget to stop and just enjoy the moment. God reminded me of this as I laid down to go to sleep thinking about all the things on my to-do list that I had not done while here. As I opened my book, The Fight to Flourish, I read, “God reminded me of not just showing up but being fully present in a moment. When we turn up and stand out, God often has something special for us and for someone through us. No matter what’s going on in our lives, we can sow kindness and generosity. We can pour into others instead of retreating into our busy schedules and even our pain.” That was the exact reminder I needed. I don’t want to miss a memory! I want to be in the moment, always!

And that wraps up this Friday Favorites! I enjoyed sharing my fun finds. Thank you for reading and stopping by my blog today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!! XO

PS – this post contained an affiliate link… thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!

Throwback Thursday: Finding the Peace Within

We are soaking up our last day on the 🌴 island so I thought I’d share one of my previous posts from a couple of years ago. It’s something that can speak to us everyday.

I can’t get something off my mind from the message at church yesterday.  The pastor talked about solving conflicts.  He began with talking about the conflict within ourselves and how we have a lot of pressure within us.  The pressure within us is what causes conflict in our marriages, families and relationships.

This morning on my run I started to think about the peace within and how I could make sure that I had that peace.  How can I make sure that my soul is at peace?

I am reading a book called Love Lives Here.  Excellent book-you should read it!  Yesterday I read a chapter about comparison.  I know I’ve talked about this before, but the author quoted Theodore Roosevelt when he said “comparison is the thief of joy.”  Isn’t that the truth?  She says, ”  It (comparison) will rip us off and steal our lunch money every time.  Rather than running away, it just stares us down as it blocks our path forward…  It doesn’t just dominate the room, it burns it down-with you in it.  It whispers to us that we’re not good enough or smart enough or talented enough or brave enough.  It hisses and bubbles in the hallway and says there’s no way around it.  But the fact is, comparison is a liar.  The way forward isn’t over it or through it; it’s simply to ignore it completely.” (Maria Goff, Love Lives Here, P.46-47)

This morning as I ran, all I kept thinking about was “the peace within.”  How can I be at peace?  How can I live a life of joy?  A life of purpose and a life that I am proud of?  You see, I’ve always struggled with comparison.   Especially in my early years of mommyhood.  I was a depressed, anxious, overwhelmed stay at home mom .  We lived paycheck to paycheck and some weeks only by the grace of God did we make it.  Oh how I would wish things were different.  I always found myself comparing my life to other moms who appeared to have it all together.  I say appeared because now I know, no one has it all together.

After my run that day, I came home and decided I would look up verses in the bible that talked about peace and one in particular stood out…

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.” Col 3:15

You know….what Maria Goff said about comparison is true, but it could also be said of all the things that steal our peace.  Those triggers in our life that dominate our lives.  They bring us down and whisper to us that we are not worthy.  They tell us that our past mistakes are the only things people see.

The enemy lies.  He uses all of that to take our peace away.  And then it trickles down into the rest of our lives.  It ruins our marriages, our families and our relationships.

So how do we find peace?

We ask for it.  Every day.  Cry out to Him and ask Him to surround you with His peace.  When any anxious thought or lie from the enemy tries to come into your mind, rebuke it and replace it with the Word of God.  Wake up each day and choose to be in a gratitude state of mind instead of a comparison trap.  I know our circumstances are not perfect.  I know you may be living paycheck to paycheck.  You may be going through some health issues.  You may have just lost a loved one.  I get it.  I’ve been there.  But instead of focusing on what God has “taken away”, let’s focus on what He continues to give us.  I read something recently that hit me hard.  It said that God is still the God of everything that is left in your life.  When my daddy died.  God didn’t stop being God.  He is still God.  And He is still the God of my life.  He gives us His peace freely.  All we need to do is ask.

John 14:27 says, ” Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Sweet friends, God doesn’t give as the world gives.  His love is not the kind the world offers.  People will disappoint us.  They will break our hearts.  Our loved ones will die.  Sickness does exist. But God tells us to not let our hearts be troubled and to not be afraid.  He comforts and strengthens us.  He is there with us through the ups and downs of life.  Nothing is insignificant to Him.  That request you may think is insignificant to God? It is not!  It is just as important as any other.  So present your requests to God.  All of them and stand assured that the peace of God will guard your hearts and your mind just as it says in Philippians 4:7.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

When we are at peace, we bring a person at peace to our marriages, our families and our relationships.  That is God’s desire for us.  The enemy is after our marriages and our families.  Don’t let the whispers from the enemy steal that peace that God has given you.  Hold onto it tightly and ask for it daily.

Dear God, thank you for your peace.  Thank you for your love, your faithfulness and your reassurance that you are with us.  Life is crazy.  So many things are pulling at us, trying to steal our peace.  Help us stand firm on your promise to not be afraid.  Guard our hearts and our minds dear Lord.  Send your peace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-Maggie Eterno

HHI Condo Transformation: Entryway and Living Room

Happy Monday!! I hope you had a great weekend. We are in HHI for Fall Break and have had the best time. It’s our first time coming to our condo for “fun” verses “work” so we are soaking it up.

My kiddos are loving having their cousins here for a few days. They’ve had the best time hanging out, riding their bikes around the plantation and going on the golf course after it’s closed for the day. Joseph took all of them to play a couple of holes and he sent us this picture. The sky was beautiful!

I wanted to share a little more of our condo renovation today. Here are a couple of the before pictures of the foyer and living room.

In this next picture you can see the wall and the wet bar that we had taken out.

And now for the after pictures!

When Joseph and I began to look for decor we hit every store possible. We stopped by World Market and decided to walk into the Big Lots next door. We had not gone into a Big Lots in forever! I found the clock in the previous picture there and love the way it looks on the wall. If you are looking for a clock, check them out! This one was only $34!

I seriously love our new floors! They are water and scratch proof which makes it perfect for these two…

I love how taking out the wet bar opened up this space. We were a little bummed that the city made us add that column but now I think it helps define the space.

I decided to keep the sofa and loveseat. We looked and looked for new furniture for the living room and couldn’t find anything we liked. I also felt bad getting rid of these couches. They are from Havertys and for the most part were in great condition. The sofa is a sleeper sofa and those can be expensive! So instead of replacing them, I found a rug that would go with the space and replaced the throw pillows to match. I love how it turned out!

We found the TV console at Hobby Lobby for $180. It fits perfectly in our space. The center table and accent chairs, we bought from our clients and the two canvases are from Big Lots. The floor lamp is from Target.

I love all of the extra can lights we added. It helped brighten up the space along with the white walls. When my sister suggested doing white, Joseph wasn’t really feeling it. But after some convincing, he finally let us do white and now he loves it. Thank you Gabs for your suggestion!

And that’s our foyer and living room. I am working on a final post with all of the bedrooms and bathrooms. I can’t wait for you to see how they turned out.

As always, thank you for reading! I hope you all have a wonderful Monday. XO

Friday Favorites {10.02.20}

Happy Friday, Friends!

It’s the end of another week and if you live in our town, it’s the beginning of Fall Break! I am so thankful that our school system schedules this week off. Whether we travel or stay home, it’s always nice to have a week off from our crazy, busy schedules.

This week we are headed to HHI so we are super excited about that!

On Fridays, I love linking up with Shay and Sheaffer. They do a Friday Favorites post where they share some of their favorite things from the week. It’s always a fun way to end the week!

So here we go! Grab your cup of coffee or drink of choice and let’s get started.

ONE

This necklace is my new favorite. I’ve literally worn it everyday since it came in the mail. I started following a blogger on Instagram and this necklace is actually named after her. It’s called the Nasreen and it’s sold on Etsy by RustikHeart. If you are looking for a good quality, dainty gold necklace then look no more and purchase this one. The price is great, too!

TWO

I am loving Natalie Grant’s new album. Y’all. Her voice is powerful and beautiful, but when she sings I feel like the Holy Spirit pours out. No Stranger and My Weapon are my favorites on the album.

Three

A couple of weeks ago, I found this couch on Facebook marketplace. I was super excited about this find and love the way it looks in my keeping room. The only thing it was missing was some color. So I decided to go with a yellow and navy combination which are my favorite colors to decorate with. I was having trouble finding some that I liked and was just about ready to give up.

Until I found these at Wal-Mart! I was there looking for towels for our HHI condo and found all kinds of awesome deals! The plaid pillows were less than $13 and the yellow ones were less that $8!! You can’t beat that price. And they are great quality, too. Pillows can get so expensive. The price of one can be almost what I paid for all four of these. If you are looking for throw pillows, hit up Wal-Mart y’all!

FOUR

I’ve been needing to change up my table in my foyer for a while. I had a bunch of picture frames and two dark potted plants on each side. I really wanted something bright and crisp. I really love the way this turned out! The vase and flowers are another Wal-Mart find and the candle holders and the wooden hello sign are from Hobby Lobby.

This vase is less than $10!!

FIVE

Speaking of Wal-Mart finds, this sweater is also from there! My sister loves the Aerie sweaters and introduced me to them. I’ve since, bought a few and love them. This sweater, makes me think of those, but without Aerie’s price tag. Get this, this sweater is less than $10!!! Yup! I wish I would’ve picked up more colors. I am normally a small and bought a large. I could’ve gone with a medium, but I’m going to wash it and see if it shrinks a little before purchasing another one.

SIX

I decided to go a little or maybe a lot longer with my nails than normal, but I am loving them! How do you like your nails? What shape do you like? I would love to try the almond shape, but I don’t know if I could pull that off.

SEVEN

Y’all. This combo right here gave me life the other night ha! If you are in need of a sweet, macro friendly snack then you must try this combo. So so good!

EIGHT

And last, but not least. This picture is my favorite of the week. Our sweet Nana passed away last month… she passed away on the same day she married Papa 68 years ago. Yesterday Joseph went to lunch with Papa, his mom and sister. His sister sent me this picture 😍. I am so thankful for the example that Nana and Papa have given us. I pray that I can be more like Nana and that Joseph and I will strive to love each other the way that they did.

And that wraps up this week!! Thank you for reading along. I hope you have an amazing weekend! XO

PS – this post contained an affiliate link… thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 15:1

A couple of days ago, the kids and I were in the car heading home from school. I don’t know what it is about afternoon pick ups, but they bicker the whole way home. You would think that after not seeing each other all day, they’d be a little nicer, but nope! One of them says something to irritate the other and the other one has a comeback to get back at the first one for saying what they said.

I know it’s a season and I try my best to remind them that we are family and that we should choose to be kind. The other day I told them that our tongue is one of the strongest muscles in our bodies. It has the power to completely crush someone’s spirit. I reminded them that we should always choose to think before we speak because words hurt. Words cut deep. Words destroy relationships, reputations. But they can also encourage, empower and bring life to someone. And it’s up to us to choose to think before we speak, to respond instead of react, to stay silent instead of exploding with anger.

This morning my devotional went right along with this conversation. Levi Lusko says, “There are things that matter much more than temporary vindication. As good as it feels to unload on someone in the moment, the pleasure is extremely short-lived and you’re left with a mess. Don’t trade what you want for what feels good right now.”

I must admit, I’ve not always been good at keeping my mouth shut. And when I feel hurt, threatened or embarrassed, I can resort to passive aggressiveness to defend myself. Earlier this year, God really convicted me of this and ever since then, I pray daily for God to guide my words. To give me the strength to pause before I say a word when I feel upset or angry. And I can tell you that I am not perfect, I still fail but I am getting better.

I’ve learned that it’s not worth it. It’s not worth saying something and risk losing my testimony. How can I share a bible verse on my instagram story and then cut someone deep with my passive aggressive comment? I’ve done that before and God has really had to work on this with me.

In, The Fight to Flourish, Jennie Lusko talks about how the enemy hates when women gather together because he knows how powerful we are when we have each other’s backs. He knows we are unstoppable when we are united and serving God. That is why he does everything he can to keep us throwing jabs and punches at each other. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can choose to be kind and lift each other up. “It can be easy to throw out a snarky comment or put someone down in a passive-aggressive way. It’s much harder to fight to be honorable, to believe the best about others and assume they’re not out to hurt us.” (Jennie Lusko)

A lot of time when we throw out those passive aggressive comments it’s a deep reflection of our heart, our insecurities and our struggles. It’s sad, but true and I can tell you that because that’s how it is for me. I jab and throw punches when I’m feeling insecure about myself or I feel angry or threatened. And that’s the enemy! When we allow ourselves to be provoked by things that others say or do, we are handing over control of ourselves to them. They have the power over us when they are able to do or say one thing and it sets us off. I don’t know about you but I was done giving people and circumstances power over my life. Levi lusko says that he has found freedom in realizing that regardless of what someone else does or says, we still have a choice and can respond in a way that is completely different than our initial impulse. I want that freedom and self-control! Don’t you?

“Your intentions don’t matter; your behavior does. No one can hear what you say; we hear only what you said. The impact you have on the world is what you’re accountable for.” ( Levi Lusko)

What impact do you want to make in the world? Do you want to leave every conversation feeling the regret of putting your foot in your mouth once again? I’ve been there! Or do you want to leave the conversation feeling at peace with yourself?

You choose.

Here are a couple of things I read this morning in my devotional, Take Back Your Life, that I’d like to share:

  • Gentleness and friendliness are stronger than fury and force.
  • It’s when you humble yourself as a servant that people want to follow you as a leader.
  • Being nice is one thousand times more effective than being a jerk.
  • No one cares what you know if they don’t know that you care.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

I hope this has challenged and encouraged you today! Let’s be better. Let’s choose to lift and encourage with kindness and not allow the enemy to steal our peace. XO

What’s Up Wednesday {09.30.20}

Anyone else happy that we’ve made it to the middle of the week? Our kiddos are out for fall break next week so we are counting down to Friday! Also, can you believe it’s the last day of the month? Where did September go?!

I have a fun post for you today. On the last Wednesday of every month, Shay and Sheaffer do a What’s Up Wednesday link up. As shay puts it, “It’s a little food, a little family, a little what we’re wearing, a little what we’re doing, a little what we’re watching and a little bit of everything else all in one post.

1: WHAT WE’RE EATING THIS WEEK:

If you follow me on social media, then you know I am in a middle of a reverse. Many of you have asked me for more information on this so I am working on a post coming soon! In short, it’s where you slowly increase your calories after being in a calorie deficit (cut). It helps with resetting your metabolism and balancing your hormones.

Since I count my macros, I try to make macro-friendly meals. One of my favorites is taco bowls! I love the bowls and since I’m in a reverse and get more carbs, I can have two! Yesterday I was pressed for time so I stopped by to pick up a rotisserie chicken. I pulled off all the chicken breast and threw it in a stir fry pan, added a little water and taco seasoning to my taste. I added black beans, corn, salsa and plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

If you read my Sam’s Club post last week, then you know how much my kiddos love these chicken bites and fries. They taste just like Chick-fil-a! They are a quick and easy dinner option for those busy evenings.

I have a yogurt almost everyday. I normally do the vanilla and add in peanut butter and chocolate chips. Yesterday I decided to pick up a new flavor, toasted marshmallow. I crushed up two of the thin oreos and OMG….it was so good! I think I’ll have another one tonight!

2: WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

This picture popped up in my memories a couple of days ago… Oh how I miss our Saturday mornings at Cracker Barrel with my dad. I just wish he was here to see the kids and how grown up they are. He would be so proud!

3: WHAT I’M LOVING:

This primer, mascara and lash serum! I shared about it last Friday on my Friday Favorites post. I am LOVING the way my lashes look!

4: WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

We are knee deep in sports with all three kiddos! Jojo is running cross-country, Mary is cheering sideline and competition and Mackenzie is playing with a club soccer team. So most days are spent running three kiddos in three different directions!

5: WHAT I’M DREADING:

I am loving the fall weather, but I know the cold is coming. I am totally dreading cold weather!!

6: WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

I am working on being more productive with my days! I am trying to be consistent in making a daily list and marking things off that list. I am also working on setting a timer every time I scroll social media to help me manage my time better. I’ve really enjoyed being productive, but man is it exhausting ha!

I’m also working on a Wal-Mart post for you guys! Y’all, they have stepped up their game. I got so many awesome things yesterday. I can not wait to share it with you all.

7: WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

FALL BREAK!! When we started school in person, so many doubted that we would still be in person and here we are. I am so thankful for our administrators, teachers and staff. They have done a phenomenal job! I am excited about a week without school and practices. We are also excited to head down to our condo. It’ll be the first week without having to really “work” on it! If you missed my post from yesterday, check it out here. I share before and after pictures of the kitchen and dining room transformation.

8: WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

During my quiet time I am doing Levi Lusko’s 40 day devotional, Take Back Your Life. LOVE!!! I have blogged and posted on social media about this devotional and how amazing it has been for me. If you are looking for a great one, this is the one!

I am also reading his wife’s book The Fight to Flourish. Oh my goodness, you know those books that you can read over and over again? This is one. I know I will read it again multiple times. If you are going through a struggle or have lost a loved one, buy this book. It will heal your heart.

In the mornings when I go to the basement to do my “blaire strength” (this is the workout from my trainer) I am watching Fuller House. I never finished off the last couple of seasons so I decided to finally finish the series. Oh my goodness…the last two days I’ve watched the episodes where Kimmy has Stephanie’s baby! Tears!!!!! Trying to lift weights while crying is not easy ha! I loved how they name her Danny Jo after Danny and DJ….. ahhhhh so many tears!!!

9: WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

I am loving Natalie Grant’s new album. My two current favorites are My Weapon and No Stranger. I just love Natalie Grant. I love who she is and her voice is just powerful. These songs have been on repeat in my car and in the mornings while I’m having my quiet time.

10: WHAT I’M WEARING:

I am loving my new dress from Amazon. It was $24 and a total win! It was cool enough (thank you Jesus for the fall weather) to add a jean jacket! If you are looking for a fun casual dress, this one is it. They have several colors and is a perfect transitional outfit from spring to summer and to fall!

I am also loving this new necklace. I started following a blogger on instagram, Nasreen. She shared this necklace and I loved it. I’ve been looking for a dainty diamond necklace. I ordered it and had it in my hands in less than a week. The quality is great and I have worn it everyday since I got it in. The Etsy Shop is called RustikHeart. Definitely check them out. I will be ordering other items soon!

I am also loving my new yellow house slippers! The color just makes me happy. I wish I would’ve sized up, but other than that I love them.

11: WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

Heading off to HHI for Fall Break!

12: WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

I love October!! I am looking forward to the cooler temps and all things fall. Our community has also decided to move forward with Halloween as normal so I can’t wait for that. Especially with Halloween being on a Saturday this year. Here’s one of my all time favorite pictures of my sweet girl in her costume a couple of years ago. Why does this seem like it was so long ago????

13: WHAT ELSE IS NEW:

I think I’ve covered it all!

Thank you for hanging with me and reading! I hope you have a fantastic last day of September!

PS – this post contained an affiliate link… thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!

HHI Condo Transformation: Kitchen and Dining Room

In August, a 10 year dream became a reality as Joseph and I closed on our very first beach condo on Hilton Head Island. For years, Joseph and I have dreamt about this. We’ve planned, worked hard, studied the island and searched properties daily.

When Joseph mentioned this unit to me, I was hesitant. It was a bit further from the beach than I wanted and I was overwhelmed by everything that needed to be done. We LOVE a remodel so that didn’t scare us, but being almost five hours away definitely did. We prayed about it and asked God to guide us and give us wisdom. As we felt that this was an amazing opportunity, we decided to make an offer. It was definitely a scary thing because we had only seen the unit through facetime with our friend John. Thankfully he is also a real estate agent and lives in HHI. But still… putting a contract on something we had not walked ourselves was scary for me.

This unit was a foreclosure so negotiating with the bank took time, but in the end we were able to come to an amazing price. I am so thankful for my husband and the wisdom that God has given him. He is good at what he does. He studies the market more than anyone I know and truly knows the island like the back of his hand. He always says there are two markets he studies daily; our market at home and HHI.

Once the bank approved our offer, we needed to figure out how we would go about remodeling. This was something else that lined up so well and confirmed that this was the condo for us. One of our friends in Jefferson referred us to her father and he helped us with the entire renovation. Y’all. He was a Godsend. He was incredible and we could not have done this without him. I am also super thankful for our friend, John who was a huge help from FaceTiming us and taking pictures for us and letting people into the condo. What a blessing all of these people were to us. I am so grateful.

After a couple of weeks of renovating and going back and forth to furnish and decorate, we are done! So much love and work has gone into this and I am so excited to finally see the final product. Now, for the huge debate. Do we flip the property or do we keep it?

We haven’t made the final decision, but until then we are definitely going to enjoy it. We had professional pictures made for us to either list it or put it on the rental market. The photographer did an amazing job capturing our little piece of heaven.

Today, I want to share the kitchen and dining room transformation with you. I have so many pictures, so I thought it would be easier to break it up in different posts. So stay tuned for the ones to follow!

Don’t you just love the wall paper?
These two had the best time taking it down!
We got rid of this wall and opened it up to give more of an open concept.
We painted and put in new floors.

As I mentioned earlier, we toured this unit through facetime with our friend for the first time. We finally came down and walked it before the financial contingency was up to make sure this was the one we wanted. When we walked in, we were surprised at the furniture that was left. We even had a washer and dryer! We kept most of the furniture in the bedrooms, but also got rid of a lot. There were really nice mattresses in there as well. Originally we were going to replace them all, but after walking the condo, we noticed they were practically unused. We’ve learned from our neighbors that this unit has been vacant for a long time. I had a company come out and sanitize all the couches and mattresses so that saved us a lot of money on our furniture budget and allowed us to use some of that to make upgrades in other places.

In the dining room, we painted, replaced the floors and changed out the light fixture. We bought this table from some friends of ours, the chairs are from Marshalls and the rug is from World Market. I think this space came together so good. We used navy, yellows and lots of greenery throughout the entire condo.

We opened up the wall. We were bummed that the city inspector made us keep that beem, but the construction workers did an amazing job making it look good.
I LOVE this angle. I will show you in an upcoming post what we did over by the staircase to open the space up.

With the money we saved in furniture, we decided to upgrade the counter option and go with quartz instead of granite. Isn’t it beautiful?! We kept the original cabinets, had them sanded down and painted. We also added lots of can lighting throughout the condo that you will notice in the pictures. It really helped brighten up the space. We chose a white subway tile backsplash and replaced all the old hardware on the cabinets along with paint, flooring and new appliances.

Love my wooden map of the island on our counter. We found that at a local gift shop on the island.
I am still waiting on a rug to be delivered, but it will help add in a pop of color.
Here’s a closer look of the quartz countertops.
I loved the detailed pictures from our photographer.
Coffee station.
We bought the table and chairs from our friends. It worked perfectly in here. I love a round table!

And there it is! Isn’t it beautiful? We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Thank you for stopping by and reading. I can’t wait to continue to show you more of our little piece of heaven! I hope you have a great Tuesday! XO

Monday Motivation: One Bite at a Time!

Happy, happy Monday! I’ve got to admit that when the alarm went off at 4:10 this morning, I wished that Mondays really were optional ha! But I sucked it up and got up and got going.

After a lot of conviction and nudging from God, I set out last week to be more productive with my days. I am all about a “lazy” day, but I had let myself get to a place where I was having more lazy days than non lazy days. I am, by nature, a very disciplined person but I am also a huge procrastinator.

I found my days sitting around, looking at my phone and then looking at the clock and an hour had gone by. I began to feel God telling me that I was not being a good steward of my time. I put things on the back burner because in my mind I didn’t have the time, but in reality, I wasn’t making the time.

I always know when God is speaking to me when everything points to the same thing. In my devotional and book I am reading, it talked about habits and doing the hard things. In the message yesterday our pastor reminded us that we make time for things that are important to us. It was definitely a “ok God, I get it already,” moment.

So last week I set out to be productive and I wanted to share with you what I did in hopes that maybe it will help and encourage you.

The first thing I did was wake up and get up when the alarm went off. I forced myself to not hit the snooze button. Some days were definitely easier than others. I decided that I would wake up at 4:10 so that I could do my “blaire strength” workout and then make sure that I could have my quiet time before waking Mackenzie up to start her day. I reminded myself that I would be so happy that I got it in early and didn’t have to find the time later in the day.

I had my quiet time everyday. This is a non-negotiable for me. It is a must. My time with God is something that I desperately need everyday. I love devotionals that I can do each day, but they are so hard to find. The one I am currently doing is called, Take Back Your Life by Levi Lusko. Y’all, it has been such a game changer for me. It goes right along with what God has been showing me lately and I look forward to it each day. If you are looking for a devotional, I definitely recommend this one. I am also reading his wife’s book, The Fight to Flourish. I try to read a couple of chapters a day, but some days I only have time for a couple of pages. I feel that they compliment each other very well.

The other thing that I set out to do each day was to go back to making lists. I love lists because they keep me on task. And I love marking things off when I complete them. Every night I would pull out my calendar and see what I had going the next day. I would write my to-do list, schedule for the day and lists of items I needed to pick up that day. I found myself forgetting things all the time… making these lists helped so much. I also took the list with me so that I could stay on task when out and about. So often I will get somewhere and completely forget an item. It also helped me drive my day verses the day driving me. I stayed in control and I was productive.

I made my bed every day! A bed made makes for a better day ha! At least in my book. My mom is huge about this and I am too. Something about a bed made just makes me feel more put together and like I accomplished something.

I did 1-2 loads of laundry daily and folded and put away each one right then. I hate laundry. Not so much doing laundry… I hate putting it away so it piles up. We will have loads of clean laundry that are folded in a laundry basket in my room and I was just so over it. So I forced myself each day to put it away. Y’all, it was crazy how everything in me wanted to leave it there because I swore I would do it later. It’s the procrastinator trying to take over ha! But I fought it and forced myself to do it. It was so nice to start the week caught up on laundry!

Last but not least and so important was that I gave myself lots of GRACE. I am an all or nothing gal so often times I just don’t do something because I can’t do it all at once and I find myself overwhelmed. It’s easier to not do it than to do it if that makes sense. I took the eating the elephant approach. You’ve probably heard this analogy. You eat the elephant one bite at a time. Many times we don’t do the hard stuff because we are so overwhelmed that we don’t know where to start. Just start! One step at a time. I was so behind on laundry when I started the week and normally I would get overwhelmed, but instead I just started it and gave myself small goals. I did the same with other tasks. I reminded myself that small steps towards a big goal are better than no steps at all. And on the night when I was so exhausted and went to bed instead of putting away the dishes from dinner that night, I gave myself lots of grace the next morning and thanked God for extra sleep the night before. A grateful heart always keeps me in a positive mindset.

I know all of these are practical things, but they are what helped me get myself back on the productive wagon. I have seasons where I completely fall off and that was the season I was in. These small little habits helped get me back on track. Will I fall off again? Absolutely! I am human, we all are. Nobody is perfect and life happens! But when I fall off, I will get back on again and I will be ok. Grace, grace!

You may find yourself in a funk. Looking at your day at night wondering what you got done or wondering where all your time went. You may also be like me and spend way too much time on your phone when you could be doing something else like laundry ha! That was me! This week I tried to set a timer when I would start to scroll social media and it worked! It kept me on track and once the timer went off, I would grab my book and read instead.

A verse that I’ve had on my mind has been, Colossians 3:23-24 that says,

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

I’ve reminded myself as I do the laundry and my daily chores that feel so mundane that I am doing them with all my heart working for the Lord. It has helped change my perspective and my heart when I pick up someone’s shoes for the hundredth time! As a mom we can look at our tasks as mundane and not important, but they absolutely are. We serve God as we serve our family and doing the laundry and cooking dinner is serving our family. This crazy season isn’t going to last forever and one day the laundry won’t be as bad because it’ll only be you and your husband. One day the dinner table will be just you and your husband because the kiddos are grown and in their own homes. So embrace this moment and do all things as you would do them for the Lord!

I hope this encourages someone today. Remember to not be so hard on yourself. Take small steps towards your big goals instead of no steps at all and do all things as you are doing them for God.

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday! XO

Friday Favorites {9.25.2020}

Happy Friday!! I hope you’ve had a great week. I don’t know about you, but I sure am glad today is Friday. We have our first free Saturday tomorrow in a while so I’m looking forward to it! Maybe I can convince Joseph to take me to pick up mums and pumpkins for our front porch.

On Fridays, Andrea and Erika host a Favorite Fridays post where they share some of their current favorite things. I love reading everyone’s posts and sometimes like to jump on the bandwagon and share my current favorite things. So here we go! Grab your coffee and scroll to see!

If you follow me on instagram then you’ve seen me sharing some of my favorite quotes from this book. It has been a long time since my heart has attached to a book that I am reading. Jennie Lusko and her husband Levi, unexpectedly lost their five year old little girl a couple of years ago. In this book, Jennie is so transparent in talking about her struggles and even shares excerpts from her journals. She talks about fighting through the hardships and becoming who God wants us to be. The chapter I read this morning had me in tears. It was about how much God loves us and how His love isn’t based on who we are, it’s placed on us. Y’all. You have to read this book. Especially for my friends who have experienced a loss of a loved one. This book will help your heart heal and remind you to fight in the midst of terrible circumstances.

You can purchase it on Amazon and have it on your doorstep the next day! The book is called

The Fight to Flourish,

I promise you will love this book.

A couple of months ago I shared an outfit I wore to church and so many of you bought it! I loved this dress and I’m so excited to share it again because I just ordered the same dress in a “fall” color! It’s supposed to be here tomorrow and I am so excited. They have so many options that can definitely go in your transition into fall wardrobe! Dresses on Amazon make me nervous because I’ve ordered some that did not work for me, but this one totally did. I also love these sandals and have multiple colors. They are super comfortable! I wore them to a work lunch with a black jumper and my jean jacket. They are totally worth the price!

Another one of my favorite products is my new mascara, primer and lash serum! A couple of months ago, a friend told me about a lash serum that helps your eyelashes grow. I just can’t do lash extensions. I sweat entirely too much and they just feel so “fake” on my eyes. I have used this serum for almost two months and have seen some growth. But what I am really loving is the primer and mascara. I LOVE my lashes when I use this product. Next time I wear it, I’ll post a pic so that you can see how long my lashes look!

Here’s the primer. This goes on before your mascara.

This is the Lash serum and Mascara. The serum goes on once a day consistently for 12 weeks.

And last but not least! This girl cheered in her first middle school football game last night. We weren’t sure if there was going to be a season this year so we were so excited. It poured on us, but we loved watching her cheer on the Dragons! On our way home I looked over at Joseph and told him that I can’t believe this is our season of life. For so long we would say things like “can you imagine when the older two are in middle school?” And here we are…. one in 7th and one in 8th. Goodness, time sure does fly!

And that does it for the week! Thank you for reading! I had fun sharing all my current favorites with you! Have a GREAT weekend!

XO

PS – this post contained an affiliate link… thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!

Embracing Every Season

Every morning this week I’ve been sharing a picture of my coffee mug with a quote from something I read during my quiet time. I started the week determined to get my morning routine back and be more productive with my days. I’ve been so convicted about my habits and how I spend a lot of time on my phone. I am a very disciplined person, but I am also a huge procrastinator. When you mix that with my all or nothing attitude, it can be a recipe for disaster. I really have felt God teaching me during this season that I need to be more productive with my time.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been working with my trainer on not being so hard on myself when I am not at a 100%. Life happens and we can’t always have those perfect days. I’ve had a lot going on since I started working with her and at times I’ve almost told her we will try again at a later time when life isn’t crazy. But seriously….when isn’t life going to be crazy?! She reminded me that being consistently good enough is better than doing absolutely nothing. I’ve really taken that to heart and have practiced giving myself lots and lots of grace.

As I started the week, I decided to go back to list making. This keeps me on track and helps me be more productive. Not to mention the success I feel to mark things of my list feels so good ha! It’s helped so much and I have found myself getting things done this week. But let me tell you, I’ve been so tired by the end of the day. I even told Joseph yesterday how being productive is great, but gosh it’s exhausting.

This morning I didn’t have to do a my “Blaire Strength” as I call my workouts from my trainer lol! So I knew that I could sleep in a little longer. Of course, I slept in a lot longer than I hoped and found myself rushing to get downstairs to get in a little bit of my quiet time before having to wake Mackenzie up. As I went to take the picture of my mug, I noticed the background full of the dishes I couldn’t bring myself to put away last night and the dishes from this morning in the sink. I almost moved my mug to a more “picture perfect” location, but then I thought about my reading for the day and chose to post the real instead of the staged.

In The Fight to Flourish by Jennie Lusko she wrote about being present in the moment and immersing ourselves in the season that we’re in right now. You know, it got me thinking about how exhausted I’ve been at the end of each day and how hard it can be to adult some times. Life is crazy at our house right now with three kids in three different sports going three different directions. Some days I wonder if this season will ever end, but this morning I realized I needed to embrace this season. I can’t be perfect, the dishes will still be there some days and that’s ok. Grace, grace right?!

I love how Jennie puts it in her book,

“If you’re in a season that feels insignificant or especially long, look up. Set your gaze on who Jesus is. Ask God to help you see this season differently. Remember, you’re already living from the finish line, but you’re still in the middle of the process right now. This time in your life is part of the soil that is enriching your life and your future. Be here now.

When we engage in the daily fight and embrace the present moment, we will flourish. It’s the little wins that change the course of our lives. We can live and love in the small moments of our everyday lives, knowing that there’s an eternal significance to whatever God has called us to. So, when you’re feeding your baby in the middle of the night and feeling run down by sleep deprivation. Take a mental Instagram photo of that moment. Your baby is not going to eat like that at night forever. Or, if you’re tired of being single and want to find your soulmate, remember you won’t always have the kind of time you do currently. Savor where you are right now.”

Yes, some days are long but it’s true that the days are short. This season isn’t going to last forever and I find myself thinking about that a lot lately. Having two in middle school with one going to high school next year has really made me realize how fast time flies. So I will embrace this season and the exhaustion that it brings. I will celebrate those little wins and live and love in the small moments of my everyday life because there is an eternal significance to what I’m doing. And the same goes for you! You may not be 100% everyday, but that doesn’t mean you get to give up! Look up, look to Jesus! Find your strength in Him and ask Him to help you see your current season in a different way. It’s not going to last forever and it’s preparing you for the next season of life!

So here’s a picture of my coffee mug with my mess in the background to prove to you that I don’t always have it all together, but I am going to choose to embrace it and enjoy it!

I hope you have a terrific Thursday!

-Maggie