Week In Review | May 18 – May 24, 2015

My week didn’t pan out as planned, but sometimes that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.  I wanted to share some tidbits from my life last week as well as an accompanying photo recap with selections from my Instagram feed with you.  Here’s the buzz:

week in review back injury may 2015

I had big plans to start work on my home office purge last week, but they were unfortunately foiled when I injured my back on Tuesday morning.  I was hauling box after box of donations onto my front porch for a scheduled charity pickup when I felt the familiar crunch where my muscles seize and I knew it could only mean one thing.  This is not the first time I have sustained this type of low back injury.  The muscles around my sacrum basically seize up and spasm making it impossible to bend over or do much of anything really for a few days.  This happens when I stubbornly take on too much, which I have a tendency to do.

I’ve been lifting and moving a lot these past few months with my home purge project and haven’t asked Don for help because of his back problems.  Luckily, Don is mostly recovered from his back surgery and was able to help me during my down time this week.  He is the sweetest, most caring husband in the world and I am so lucky to be blessed by his love!  He took extra special care of me all week, finding clever ways to help me out like putting my soup bowl on top of stacked books so I wouldn’t have to bend over to eat it.  I was also attended to by my sweet pup, Winnie, who relished the extra snuggle time in bed for a few days.

week in review enjoying may weather 2015

Between Don’s attentiveness and the healing power of puppy cuddles, I was able to make a pretty swift recovery after only a few days of bed rest.  By the end of the week I was able to enjoy walks with Winnie again and take in the gorgeous weather.  I was especially grateful to be out and about to enjoy the annual blooming of lilac bushes, which fill our neighborhood with the loveliest scent.  The three of us also enjoyed lounging in the backyard where I watched Don and Winnie play “golf ball” where Don chips a ball and Winnie runs after it.  It’s pretty cute!

I believe a big part of the reason why I healed so quickly is that I am in good health and keep up with a regular fitness routine so my body is better equipped to bounce back.  I am certainly grateful for this as I do not like sitting still and not being able to work on my projects.  I am confident I will be 100% by the end of this week.  In the meantime I am relishing being back to posting and hope to start work on my office purge with the easier (read: less physical) task of paper purging.  Stay tuned this weekend for my post about how I tackle this big project!

week in review home cooking may 2015

One of the best indicators that both Don and I are feeling better is our return to the kitchen.  Don insisted on cooking dinner once again last week since he’s been feeling so much better.  As much as I enjoyed taking care of Don, I think it’s safe to say we both missed his amazing cooking.   For his first meal post-op, Don whipped up a batch of ground turkey tacos using his own seasoning blend and mixing it with diced peppers.  Talk about taking a simple meal to the next level.  Yum!

I was happy to be able to bake in time for my niece, Grace’s birthday party this past weekend.  I made a gluten free edition of our family’s favorite spinach squares as well as mini muffin versions of the gluten free banana bread I made for Mother’s Day.  It brings me much joy to make treats that I know my family enjoys.  We had a great time together at the party.

I vlogged during Grace’s birthday party if you’re interested in seeing more about how we spent the day:

 Its amazing how good food can bring people together.  I’d love to know what your family’s favorite recipes are if you care to share.  I hope you are all well and back pain free!

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* This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are genuinely my own. *

Posting Update | Out Of Commission

Hello, friends!  I wanted to give an update on my posting (or lack thereof) for the remainder of this week.  Unfortunately, I threw out my back on Tuesday morning and am out of commission in the office purging / filming / editing department for the time being.  I am forced to take the rest of the week off of my planned posts and videos, sadly, due to my lack of mobility.

stuck in bed

This has been my view this week and as much as I love extra snuggle time with my pup, I am itching to get back to my usual routine.  I am not generally one to sit still for long!  I hope to be up and at ’em again next week, but in the meantime I appreciate your patience as I take a short hiatus from my content to get better.

I hope you all have a great rest of your week and a lovely weekend.  See you soon!

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Week In Review | May 11 – May 17, 2015

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, my husband is healing…it’s been a great week!  I wanted to share some tidbits from my life last week as well as an accompanying photo recap with selections from my Instagram feed with you.  Here’s the buzz:

may flowers 2015

Things have picked up since my last check in with my husband, Don’s recovery in full swing post-op (he had a microdiscectomy about a week and a half ago).  He had a follow-up with the surgeon last week where he got two thumbs up and all restrictions were lifted.  They also removed his staples at that time, which has helped to speed up his recovery process since.  We went out with the family a few times over the weekend and he’s back in the office today.  He’s even been able to practice a little chipping in the backyard, which he’s super stoked about.  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see him off the couch and back to his normal self.  I am so grateful the surgery was a success for him and I feel optimistic that he will be better than ever in no time.  If you’d like to hear Don talk about his surgery experience, check out my latest vlog (below).

spring cleaning may 2015

In other news, it’s business as usual at the Ross house, which lately means more spring cleaning.  I finally sent my area rugs to be professionally cleaned, which they’ve desperately needed for years.  I like to tell myself I was just waiting for the amazing 25% off coupon to come in the mail, but really I just kept putting it off.   It’s amazing how different the first floor looks without them!  As you can see, I’m not the only one who can’t wait to have the rugs back in their rightful places.

I’ve done my best to keep up with my new posting plan over the past month and I feel like I’ve been able to settle in and find a nice groove with it.  It seems like you guys are enjoying the mix of content every week as well, so I will keep on sharing, including silly pictures of my eating taffy.  It’s all part of the job. 😉

choosing new paint spring 2015

The spring cleaning and home purging bug that I’ve been majorly bit by has also motivated me to address some small home improvement projects I’ve been sitting on for awhile.  I decided about a year ago I wanted to repaint our bedroom and my office to be a bit softer and more neutral in color than the two vibrant shades of blue we’ve had for the past eight years.  It’s not that I don’t still love those original colors, but I’m just feeling like a more subdued palette would produce a calming effect and also be better for lighting when I’m filming and taking photographs.  I’ve settled on a light and creamy beige color for our bedroom and a pale grayish blue for my office.  I’m both nervous and excited to see how they turn out!  I’m even considering painting the ceiling in the bedroom as well.  Daring, I know!  My hope in doing so is that it will create more of a cocoon-cozy effect in that room which otherwise feels pretty airy and a bit cool thanks to the super high ceilings.

The other big project on the horizon is installing a tile kitchen backsplash, which is something I’ve wanted to do since we moved in, but it was never pressing, so I just let it slide.  The time has finally come and I’ve already picked out and ordered the tile, so we’re committed now!  Again, I’m both nervous and excited about the end result, but I’m hopeful it will be beautiful.  I’ll definitely post updates once all is complete!

weekend plans with family spring 2015

Don and I enjoyed a very family oriented weekend, which is always fun.  My brother and his family actually came to stay at my parents house on Saturday night as a very last minute trip and we were delighted to be able to spend time with them.  My Mom made the most amazing roasted pork sirloin for dinner after stuffing us to the brim with tasty snacks.  We sure know how to eat well in our family!

On Sunday evening we joined Don’s folks and his sister’s family for dinner out.  We had a lot to discuss with so many family plans and adventures on the horizon this summer and fall.  It’s always fun to see Gracie, our niece, who turns two years old this week.  Can you believe it?  It feels like just yesterday when I was holding her at the hospital just hours after she was born.  She’s such a big girl now and gets more adorable each and every day.  I just love how close our family is on both sides and altogether and count my lucky stars each and every day for their love and support.

I vlogged a day-in-the-life style video last Friday where I shared how I spent my day off:

I’d love to know how to spend your day off if you’d like to share.  I hope you have a wonderful day!

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* This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are genuinely my own. *

Garage Clean Up | Spring 2015

Spring cleaning continues at the Ross house with a focus on the garage this week.  I make a point of dedicating time to tidying, organizing, and cleaning the garage every spring.

garage clean up spring 2015

I turn my spring cleaning attention to my garage every May in my annual effort to tidy up in this often neglected part of our home.  Our garage tends to become a dumping ground for things that need to be sorted, especially during the winter months when the chilly weather deters me from spending much time in there.  I book my handyman to powerwash the garage floor and our outdoor furniture every May, which is the kick in the pants I need to make sure I get it all cleaned up beforehand.  The powerwashing takes care of the salt and grime that builds up every winter on our garage floors.  It feels so fresh once the job is done!

garage organization spring 2015

Please be advised that some of the links provided are affiliate links and I do receive a small commission if you make a purchase using those links.  This does not cost you any extra when you make a purchase.  I very much appreciate your support of this blog in doing so!

The organization of the garage hasn’t changed much over the years, so there wasn’t a lot of work to do in that regard.  What I spent the most time on with this year’s clean up was sorting through things that hadn’t been properly put away or tossed over the long winter months.  I had amassed quite the collection of cardboard boxes from the holidays, which I had saved to ship my charity auction items in.  Now that the auction is over and all items have been shipped out, I was able to break down and recycle the remaining boxes.  I also moved a huge lot of items to donate into the house to sort and bag for an upcoming donation pickup.  Lastly, there were a lot of items that needed to be put away in the proper bin or on the right hook.  Everything has a place either in one of my favorite Rubbermaid Roughneck bins on the Garage Storage Shelving from Frontgate or on the shelves and hooks of my Elfa Utility setup.

elfa utility garage storage 2015

I keep our outdoor cushions and pillows dry and out of the way on deep shelves along one of the top corners of the garage.  I usually wait until Memorial Day weekend to bring them out because of all of the rain we typically get in May.  Storing them in this way keeps them out of the way but easily accessible by ladder.

elfa utility garage spring 2015

There’s a wide range of hooks and attachments available through Elfa Utility that make hanging awkwardly sized items a breeze.  I love how easy it is to store and access our shovels, hoses, ladders, and garden accessories.

If you’d like to see more of my garage and how I organize it, check out my coordinating video:

I hope you enjoyed this peak into our garage and how I keep it organized.  I’d love to hear what organization/storage methods you use in your own garage and if you spring clean in yours every year as well.
Happy Spring Cleaning!

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 * Post contains affiliate links. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

Popsugar Must Have Box | May 2015

This subscription is so much fun!  PopSugar Must Have is a monthly subscription service where you receive a selection of full size and premium beauty, fashion, home, and fitness items for $39.95 per month (this includes shipping and is available in the US only).  The May box theme is inspired by “Glowing Skin, Mother’s Day, Fresh Flowers, Beach Bum, Colorful, and California Sun.”  As usual, there is a nice variety of items in this box ranging from lifestyle and beauty to food and home.

popsugar must have box may 2015

Please be advised that some of the links provided are affiliate links and I do receive a small commission if you make a purchase using those links.  This does not cost you any extra when you make a purchase.  I very much appreciate your support of this blog in doing so!

Middle Kingdom Mini Plum Vase | Kitsch Tri’d & True Y-Shaped Necklace | Hammond’s Candies McCraw’s Flat Taffy | Sage & Row Bare Shave Cream | Sisters of Los Angeles Surf Sand Love Beach Towel | Batiste Dry Shampoo

Click here to learn more about the PopSugar Must Have Box. Use code REFER5 to save $5 off your first box!

I share my initial impressions and closeup shots of each product in my coordinating open box video:

I don’t always have a need or use for everything I receive in my subscription and I thought one of you might enjoy a little care package, so I’m giving away a collection of resort-themed items.  The May 2015 Subscription Goodies Giveaway will run until Thursday, May 6, 2015 at 6 PM CT.  The giveaway is open internationally.  All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.  One person will win the selections of brand new and unused items shown in this photo:

popsugar must have giveaway may 2015

  You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways).  I’ll announce the winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email, as always.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties. If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.

If you’re wondering what happened to the rest of my monthly subscription round-up, I put my Julep Maven and KnitCrate subscriptions on hold for the time being.  This is not because I no longer enjoy them; I’m just trying to enjoy and use the large collections of yarn and nail polish I already own.  I still highly recommend both subscriptions!  I hope you enjoyed seeing what I received in my Popsugar Must Have Box this month.  I’d love to know if you receive any monthly subscriptions, too!

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* All products mentioned are part of the PopSugar Must Have monthly subscription program, for which I pay for my own membership.  Giveaway prizes come from this subscription.  Post contains affiliate & referral links.  All opinions are genuinely my own. *

Fortune Cookie Soap Box | Summer 2015

I absolutely love opening my quarterly FCS Soap Box!  If you’re not familiar, FCS stands for Fortune Cookie Soap, which is a husband and wife run handmade soap and body products company.  The FCS Soap Box is a quarterly subscription service that includes sample sizes of upcoming seasonal releases and it is Fun, Fun, Fun!  If you love trying new and unique bath and body products then this box is for you!

fortune cookie soap box summer 2015

The summer soap box theme, Straight On Till Morning, is based on Peter Pan.  There are eight delightfully fresh scented bath body products with playful names and the signature FCS laugh out loud descriptions included in this box.

FCS summer soap box 2015

Second Star to the Right Fortune Cookie Soap – This signature FCS product is my favorite hand soap to keep by my sink.  The fortune cookie shape first perfectly in my hands.  I love the berry bright scent of this beautiful galaxy swirl design.

✻ Tink OCD Hand Sanitizer – It’s no secret that the FCS hand sanitizer is my favorite scented variety I’ve tried.  Tink has a delicious cherry/coconut cream scent in a fitting lime green shade complete with micro shimmer.  It’s perfect for my pool bag this summer!

✻ Lost Boys Whipped Cream – This body butter is one of my all time favorite formulas for its light and fluffy consistency with great moisturization.  Love the fresh and fruity apricot/peach scent!

✻ The Boy Who Never Grew Up Salt Scrub – I am excited to try out this tropical drink scented salt scrub.  The scent makes me think of sitting on the beach with a frozen drink in hand (although probably virgin for me 😉 ).

✻ Wendy Bird Veggie Protein Deodorant – What an interesting product!  I’m always curious about natural deodorants and this cute travel-size one is perfect to pop into my pool bag. The apple scent is fresh without being overpowering.

✻ Kiss Lip Balm – How adorable is this mini lip balm?  What a great way to try out a lippie without wasting much if you don’t like it.  Fortunately, I like this one!  It’s got a nice slip with a fruity scent.

✻ The Captain Steam Me Up Scotty! – I try these shower steamers every time I get one in a soap box and each time I’m a bit mystified by exactly what it’s supposed to do.  I understand it’s supposed to make your shower smell nice, but it just doesn’t do much in my experience.  Maybe it’s just me?  The berry scent is nice regardless!

✻ Mermaid Lagoon Two Phase Perfume Oil – I’ve never tried a perfume oil in a spray bottle before, but I can imagine it makes application on the go easier.  It sinks into the skin quickly without leaving an oily residue, but I’m personally not a huge fan of the coconut/spring fresh scent combination.

FCS kindly sent me this PR box, so I am giving away the one I receive in my paid subscription to one of you.  The Summer 2015 FCS Soap Box Giveaway will run until Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 6 PM CT.  The giveaway is open internationally.  All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.  One person will win a new Summer 2015 FCS Soap Box like the one I shared in this post.  You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways).  I’ll announce the winner on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email, as always. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties.  If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.

I can’t wait to try out all of these goodies and am planning on bringing most of them on my upcoming trips.  I’ll be back with a look at my next FCS Soap Box in three months.  In the meantime, I recommend checking out the Fortune Cookie Soap website to peruse all of their fun products.  The summer line launches on May 22, 2015.  Receive $5 off your first $30+ FCS purchase by clicking here!

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* The products mentioned are part of the FCS Soap Box quarterly subscription program, for which I pay for my own membership.  The box I am sharing in this post is a PR box, which FCS sent to me for consideration.  The box I am giving away is the one from my paid subscription.  Post contains referral links.  This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are genuinely my own. *

Week In Review | May 4 – May 10, 2015

What a whirlwind week!  I wanted to share some tidbits from my life last week as well as an accompanying photo recap with selections from my Instagram feed with you.  Here’s the buzz:

week in review back surgery microdiscectomy

If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed that I didn’t post as much as usual last week.  That’s because my week was consumed by my husband, Don’s decision to have back surgery.  This wasn’t something he had planned on or even considered before last Tuesday.  After years of suffering through on and off and again bouts of lower back pain, Don has been plagued in more recent months with pretty severe issues that were affecting his leg as well.  He went through all of the nonintrusive remedies suggested to him, including chiropractic work, physical therapy, and even a cortisol shot.  None of these stuck and the pain got so severe and debilitating in the last few weeks that he was finally able to get approval to schedule an MRI.

He went in for the MRI on Tuesday morning and I accompanied him to the follow-up appointment that afternoon.  The results revealed that his L4-5 disc was herniated, and while the therapies he had already tried might help short term, they were most likely not a long term solution.  The doctor suggested a microdiscectomy, which is a pretty routine and low risk spinal surgery on the spectrum of things.  The doctor said he could operate that Thursday and we set it up.  It all happened so fast!

The procedure took just under an hour and I was able to bring Don home after just another hour in recovery.  It’s so amazing to me that he could walk right after he woke up!  I, of course, was a nervous wreck, but did my best to hold myself together and focus on helping Don.  Thankfully, Don’s Mom, Suzanne, accompanied me to the surgery so I didn’t have to wait alone and helped me get him settled.  She’s such an angel!  I don’t know how I would have fared without her support.

Now, just five days later, Don is doing amazingly well.  He makes marked progression every day.  He’s able to get up and walk around smoothly, can take the stairs like a champ, and has even started doing more of the things he used to like cook himself breakfast and lunch.  Of course, I have been more than happy to do these things for him, but it brings him satisfaction to be able to do them himself again (he wasn’t able even for the couple of weeks before the surgery due to the pain).  He says his back and leg pain is all gone and all that remains is tenderness at the incision site, which is to be expected post-op.  We go back for his follow-up tomorrow and hope for good news so that Don can get himself back on the golf course again soon, which is where he’s itching to be.  Modern medicine is amazing!

spring pretty flowers 2015

Of course, Don’s well-being and recovery has taken priority over all else, but even when I’m super focused (and worried!) about something, I always manage to notice and appreciate the little things that bring me joy on an every day basis.  I know I post a lot of flower/nature pictures on Instagram and that’s because I want to share the joy of this beauty with others.  Watching my magnolia tree blossom and enjoying a gorgeous bouquet of lilac roses from my sweetheart brings a warm smile to my face and my heart without fail no matter what else is going on in my life.  This is extremely important to my sense of balance, as I am the type of personality that can get easily become consumed by worry.  I love that enjoying something as simple as a spring blossom is powerful enough to fuel my sense of joy.  I do my best to hold onto, cherish, and encourage this trait.

mother's day baking

Please be advised that some of the links provided are affiliate links and I do receive a small commission if you make a purchase using those links.  This does not cost you any extra when you make a purchase.  I very much appreciate your support of this blog in doing so!

Don and I laid low this weekend, focusing on his recovery so that he could come to the Mother’s Day brunch my father-in-law, Keith, hosted on Sunday afternoon.  I pitched in by baking up a batch of my family’s favorite cupcakes (brown sugar poundcake with Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting!) from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes cookbook.  I also tried out a gluten-free banana bread recipe, which turned out awesome and got rave reviews from my loved ones.  We enjoyed a wonderful Mother’s Day celebration together.  I am so happy that Don was able to be a part of it.

I vlogged on Mother’s Day, so you can check out this video if you’d like to see more:

 I’d love to know how you celebrated Mother’s Day if you care to share.  Happy May!

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* This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are genuinely my own. *

Book Purge & Organization

I’ve decided to break down my year long home purge by floor and room.  I started in the master bedroom earlier this spring by paring down my wardrobe and weeding out unwanted beauty items, including toiletries and cosmetics as well as nail polish.  The most natural next step was to turn my attention to my book collection, half of which I store in  the master bedroom and the other half in my home office.  That room is next on my purge list and I was able to finish up the master bedroom and kick off the office clean up with this book purge.

book purge spring cleaning 2015

Please be advised that some of the links provided are affiliate links and I do receive a small commission if you make a purchase using those links.  This does not cost you any extra when you make a purchase.  I very much appreciate your support of this blog in doing so!

While I did borrow some inspiration from the KonMari method as I did with my past purge efforts, I decided to leave my books on the shelves as opposed to piling them all onto the floor.  I know I have a lot of books and I’ve never actually done a proper purge of my collection before.  I’m part of the camp that believes you really can’t have too many books.  Reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo inspired me to consider my book collection and how I’ve hung onto most every book I’ve purchased in the last decade.  I realized it was kind of silly to hang onto books I knew I would never read again, so that is what I designated as my criteria for the purge.

I went through each book, shelf by shelf, and pulled the ones I was confident I had no interested in rereading.  This doesn’t mean I didn’t originally like the book, but not all books are read-more-than-once types.  This, of course, is a matter of personal preference.  Fortunately, since I was only going through my personal collection and not my husband’s (which I personally don’t believe is any of my business to go through and purge his things), this process was easy and relatively quick.

bookshelf organization 2015

I cut my book collection down by at least half and was able to move what remained aside from crafting and reference books from my office to my bedroom bookcases.  The reorganization of those shelves took substantially more time than the purge itself, but it was well worth the time spent.  I am extremely happy with both the organization and look of my bedroom bookcases now.  Just like before, I have a mix of fiction and nonfiction books displayed alongside photos and momentos.  I like my shelves to have a bit of visual variety to them and try to avoid cramming them full of books if I have the space.

My preferred method of book organization is by category.  For example, the bookcase on the left (above photo) is completely dedicated to fiction, with the exception of the one shelf towards the middle that holds books I haven’t read yet.  I’ve organized by top to bottom from old classics to new classics and book series.  The bookcase on the right includes nonfiction works on the top shelves, separated by emotional well-being, physical health and nutrition, and autobiographies.  The bottom two shelves are dedicated to favorite books from my youth.  Keep in mind that these categories are distinguished by me and not the literary powers that be so that they make the most sense in my collection’s organization.

book purge spring cleaning 2015

I also went through and purged our cookbook collection, which I consulted Don on since he is the main cook in our family at the moment.  We were able to weed out the ones we never reference and keep only the most useful cookbooks and manuals to us.  The top shelf is dedicated solely to cookbooks while the bottom shelf is where we store baking-specific books, general food prep manuals, and entertaining guides.  It is neat, uncluttered, and easy to access our most reached for cookbooks now.

I also decided to consider my magazine subscriptions as part of my book collection.  I currently pay for four subscriptions, including Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, Self, and People.  Somehow I also receive Oprah and Allure for free.  As much as I love magazines, I honestly haven’t picked one up in way too long to justify keeping these subscriptions, so I’ve decided to cancel them all.  In the event that I want a magazine, I’ll simply go out and buy it.  That makes much for sense to me than wasting paper and money receiving a constant supply in the mail that I never seem to get to.

book donations 2015

When all was said done, I filled up fourteen grocery bags with books to donate.  I’m looking for a good place to donate the lot.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments!

If you’d like to see more about my book purge process, including before shots of both my bedroom and office bookshelves as well as my process and final results, check out this video:

I’m very happy with how this purge and reorganization turned out.  I was able to successfully complete this project over the course of one day and am left with books I truly love and want to read again.  I’d love to know if you decide to attack your book collection.  Feel free to share your process if you like!
Happy spring cleaning!

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 * Post contains affiliate links. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

Clothes & Accessories Haul | Spring 2015

It’s apparently spring haul week here on OrganizedJen.com.  Yesterday I shared what new beauty goodies I picked up.  Today I am showing my recent spring/summer additions to my wardrobe.  I’ve already started wearing a lot of these things and absolutely love each piece.  I made a list items I wanted to fill some holes in my wardrobe after the major clothing purge I did earlier this spring.  In keeping with the Kon Mari method, I made sure to only pick items that truly bring me joy.

anthropologie-clothes-haul-spring-2015

I wore many of my new things at the conference I attended in Dallas a couple of weeks ago.  I feel that they’re all true reflections of my current style: classic with an emphasis on comfort.  I know that I’m not happy in something that feels uncomfortable, either physically or emotionally.  I feel joyful and confident wearing each of my recent picks.

Please be advised that some of the links provided are affiliate links and I do receive a small commission if you make a purchase using those links.  This does not cost you any extra when you make a purchase.  I very much appreciate your support of this blog in doing so!

Anthropologie

Loft & Nordstrom

Target

Zappos

Kendra Scott

I share a closer look and describe each item in more detail in my coordinating video:

It’s giveaway time! I recieved a lot of awesome swag at the conference, some of which I am giving away here.  The nice folks at Kendra Scott gifted me with a fabulous Rachel Double Ring.  I thought it might bring one of you more joy than me so I’m giving it away.  The Spring Ring Giveaway will run until Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 6 PM CT.  The giveaway is open internationally.  All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.  One winner will receive the Kendra Scott Rachel Double Ring in Iridescent Viva.  You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways).  I’ll announce the winner on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email, as always.  Good luck!

** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED ***

Congrats to the winner of the Spring RingGiveaway!

The Poll Results for *Do you like trunk show oriented jewelry companies like Kendra Scott and Stella & Dot?* out of 802 entries:

Yes (549) 68%
I’ve never heard of them before (224) 28%
No (29) 4%

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties. If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my new wardrobe additions for spring and summer.  I would love to know if you picked up any new things recently if you care to share.  Happy Shopping!

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 * Post contains affiliate links.  This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

Beauty Haul | Spring 2015

There’s nothing like a good coupon to push me into my favorite beauty supply stores after being good (and not tempted) for so long.  I ended up buying a few things I needed and then some I really didn’t, but that’s the beauty (and craftiness) of sales!  I thought I’d share my haul with you.

Please be advised that some of the links provided are affiliate links and I do receive a small commission if you make a purchase using those links.  This does not cost you any extra when you make a purchase.  I very much appreciate your support of this blog in doing so!

Ulta

ulta-beauty-haul-spring-2015

Pacifica Body Butter – I’ve used and loved this awesome line of moisturizers for years!  Malibu Lemon Blossom and Tahitian Gardenia are two of my favorite spring/summer scents.

✻ The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil  Body Butter – I’ve been a fan of the Body Shop body butters for ages and am excited to try this delightfully fresh, floral scent.

✻ Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub – You know I love the Tree Hut scrubs!  The Amazon Pequi scent reminds me of coconut lime.  It’s beachy fresh!

✻ Clarisonic Luxe Cashmere Cleanse Brush Head – I made the switch over to the cashmere brush head this winter and haven’t looked back.  It is so luxurious!

✻ bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil-Balm – I can’t resist balm-like lippies and can’t wait to wear this bright pink pop of color this spring and summer.

Sephora

sephora-beauty-haul-spring-2015

✻ Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser – I was in need of a new cleanser and thought I’d give this foaming variety a try.  I love drinking African red tea; I’m hoping I’ll love this cleanser!

✻ Sephora Collection Bamboo Charcoal Blotting Papers – These are my favorite blotting papers I’ve tried yet, so I stocked up on a new pack.

✻ Boscia Black Charcoal Blotting Linens – I saw that Boscia carried a charcoal blotting linen as well and decided to grab one while I had the discount to try them out.

✻ Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30 – I’m a big fan of the Coola Mineral Matte Face Suncreen and thought this makeup setting spray sounded like an innovative and convenient product.  I can’t wait to try it out this summer!

✻ Hourglass Ambient Bronzer – I’ve loved all of the ambient powder products that Hourglass has rolled out and I’m hoping for the same experience with this new bronzer.

✻ Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipstick – I just can’t resist Bite Beauty lippies.  When I saw they released a butter cream line my heart sang!  I’m loving the color Heather for a nice coral pink pop.

✻ Fresh Sugar Nude Lip Treatment – I’ve been a fan of these lippies for years and was excited to see them launch a new shimmery, sheer option.  I have a feeling this is going to be go-to all summer!

✻ Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette – This is the third year that Tarte has released a special round-shaped eyes and cheeks palette.  I love the other two and found them so handy for travel I knew this beauty was making its way into my shopping cart.

✻ Nails Inc. Victoria Beckham Bamboo White Collection – I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect creme nude polish for years and have finally found it!  I can’t get over how beautiful the formula is and how long it’s lasted on me.  Check out my Instagram for a photo!

Check out my video for more details:

It’s giveaway time! I wanted to share the beauty haul love with two of you.  The Spring Beauty Haul Giveaway will run until Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 6 PM CT.  The giveaway is open internationally.  All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.  TWO winners will receive an It Cosmetics Velvet Luxe LBD Foundation Brush and some beauty samples.  You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways).  I’ll announce the winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email, as always.  Good luck!

** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED ***

Congrats to the winners of the Spring Beauty Haul Giveaway!

The Poll Results for *Do you wear more or less makeup in the spring than during the winter months?* out of 1238 entries:

Less (920) 74%
More (297) 24%
I don’t wear makeup (21) 2%

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties. If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my new spring beauty goodies.  I would love to know if you picked up any new beauty goodies this spring if you care to share.  I hope you have a wonderful day!

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 * Post contains affiliate links.  This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

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