Thrifty and Practical · Uncategorized

5 Secret Confessions

Half agonizing, half hoping that certain mundane things in life will take care of themselves.

There are certain things I love the result of but not the process of doing. Sometimes I have to bribe myself, trick myself, or challenge myself just to push past my eccentric distaste for doing these basic adult tasks. Please tell me I’m not the only one who would pay someone else to do these things if you had the money to spare!

Making phone calls

If you ever leave me a voicemail, please do not take it personally if I don’t respond. I have the hardest time in the world making phone calls. Calling someone as simple as the doctor’s office or a list of companies for quotes on a project will always drop to the bottom of my to-do list. What usually happens is I wait until the absolute last minute, deadline crunching moment before picking up the phone to call. Can we just have a texting option, please? Kidding! I’m trying to grow in it, but man, that phone just intimidates me for no good reason.

Responding to personal emails

Every time I get a personal email from a good friend living elsewhere, I read it and immediately start thinking of what I’ll say in my response. Then, I leave that email in my (obnoxiously clean and spare) inbox unanswered for sometimes MONTHS on end. It sits there as I go through and respond to bills or other mundane yet essential to clear communication emails. Here’s the thing, I want to sit down and write a thoughtful and meaningful response which takes time, but whenever I have the time I avoid it while still thinking about it and feeling super guilty. Go figure? I’m sure there’s some psychologist out there who can explain this phenomenon to me.

Cleaning toilets (bathrooms in general)

If there is one thing I avoid like the plague it’s cleaning the toilet (and anything else bathroom related). I will leave it until it’s one step away from stuff growing in the toilet. Just being honest. Maybe I should start asking for unlimited bathroom cleanings for Christmas and birthdays. Either way, I love the result of a sparkling clean bathroom, but can’t stand the process it takes to get there. Maybe I need a massive revelation on the ritual of cleaning. Or maybe I just need to train my kids to love cleaning bathrooms…

Blow drying and doing my hair

Friends, since middle school when everyone fell in love with hair products and styling methods, I’ve struggled. I’ve mostly struggled because while I love how my hair looks when I pay attention to it, I’d prefer to do anything but spend more than 2 minutes on my hair in the morning. I’m not sure what this says about me as a person. But since my hair is somewhat curly and quite often frizzy if it’s left unattended to it’s almost always in a ponytail, which we all know is the most fashionable thing since sliced bread. Can I get an amen?

Painting (or any other crafty, do-it-yourself home project) 

Where do I even begin with this one? Let’s just say, I like beautiful rooms and appreciate finished spaces. I’ve definitely been bitten by the HGTV bug and wanted to repaint, repair, and refurbish everything in sight. The thing is, painting, repairing, and refurbishing bring me absolutely no joy until the project is actually finished. This usually leads to me impatiently rushing through the process, so rather than producing something of really good quality, the product is just decent. Do I need to grow in this or just shake it off and embrace the fact I’m not a project person?

Next week’s post: The Top 5 Things I Wish People Paid Me to Do.


Thrifty and Practical

Red, white, pink, and flora: some Valentine’s inspiration

For the first time ever … drumroll please … I’m excited about Valentine’s Day! I’ve never gotten into this holiday like I have with Christmas or Thanksgiving. Maybe it was the desire to break up the grey February with something bright and cheery or the fact I have energy to do these things now that the baby fog has fully lifted or the Dollar Spot at Target that inspired me to dive into the red, pink, and hearts. Whatever the actual reason, here are my amateur attempts to bring some love to those in my life.

Found this mature cheddar cheese at Aldi – how cute is this?!
30 straws for $3 at Target. I’m swooning.
‘Tis the season for pazcki: in honor of Valentine’s Day and Fat Tuesday. I shared the love and bought a box of 4. 🙂
Found these cute mailboxes for $1 each at Target. I added the stickers (from Meijer). I can’t wait to fill them with chocolate, a little love letter, and something fun to play with.

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I can't wait to fill these glass milk jars with pink smoothie on February 14. Two for $3 at Target, that Dollar Spot is fantastic!
I can’t wait to fill these glass milk jars with pink smoothie on February 14. Two for $3 at Target, that Dollar Spot is fantastic!

Here’s the menu of food planned for the big day. I’ve pulled it together from different sources of inspiration:


Pink smoothie: strawberries, raspberries, banana, spinach, and almond milk

Strawberry stuffed French toast from the amazing Annie’s Eats cooking blog.

Afternoon snack:

Beet hummus with veggies and pita chips from one of my favorite cooking sites, A Couple Cooks


Cheesy pasta with tomato cream sauce & Kale Caesar – totally stole this and the salad idea from Annie’s Eats. It sounded too perfect not to do.

Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding from Kitchen Treaty

Here’s a bit more pink, white, and flora around the house.

I split this gorgeous bouquet up into smaller ones and spread the pink love throughout the house.
I split this gorgeous bouquet up into smaller ones and spread the pink love throughout the house.

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The last little bouquet with what I'm currently reading. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes has to be one of the best books to read the week leading up to Valentine's Day. For those who don't like reading, the movie comes out in June.
The last little bouquet with what I’m currently reading. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes has to be one of the best books to read the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. For those who don’t like reading, the movie comes out in June.

That’s all, friends! I hope you have the coziest, happiest Valentine’s Day eating delicious food and soaking up the bright reds and pinks in the middle of a blah February.

Thrifty and Practical

Inspiration for gray January days

January and February are long, cold months in the Midwest. The past few weeks, I’ve found myself craving beauty, warmth, color, and inspiration. Anyone else feeling the need to create or soak up something beautiful to combat the lull after all the end of year activity? Here’s a collection of some current sources of inspiration. What’s been inspiring you lately to combat the January and February grays?

She Reads Truth

There are so many reasons I love this app, website, Instagram, and products. They’re beautiful, simple, and speak volumes without being overbearing or intense.

Homesong // Mama Watters 

I adore this blog and Instagram photos. Amanda Watters (Mama Watters and creator of Homesong) brings glory and meaning to the everyday moments of life. Her photos inspire, her home exudes warmth, and her thoughts and words encourage.

A Couple Cooks

This dynamic duo inspires me in the kitchen. Their recipes and podcast are amazing. I love the fresh and vibrant approach they have with food. If you’re craving something delicious and wholesome goodness, head on over to A Couple Cooks. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The Simple Things

I was introduced to this magazine by my mother-in-law. It’s a British publication and I adore it. Full of recipes, unique products, and book reviews, its beautiful design and cozy encouragements are just what the doctor recommends this January. Plus, each volume has a short article called “My Day In Cups of Tea.” How great, and British, is that?!

Oh Happy Day

If you ever need inspiration for party planning or bringing bright and cheery vibes into your life, check this out! Jordan Ferney is all sorts of fun and happy and she shares her creativity with flair!

PoetryMary Oliver, Wendell Berry, The Passion Translation Psalms and Song of Songs

I can’t live without poetry and the beautiful way words can be used. Check any of the above out and you will be inspired! Here’s a snippet of a poem for you:

The snow

began slowly,

a soft and easy


of flakes, then clouds of flakes

in the baskets of the wind

and the branches

of the trees —

(Mary Oliver, “November”)

Vintage china and fresh flowers

I love to browse thrift shops for pretty, vintage fine bone china. Saucers and plates become candle holders, soap dishes, collectors of change, the list could keep going. This sweet, little vase was $1.50 and was too perfect to pass up.
Aldi and Trader Joe’s have $3.99 and $4.99 bouquets. Right after the Christmas decorations came down, I started buying a bouquet a week just to bring some color and freshness indoors to combat the grey, cold Midwest winter outdoors.

Beautiful art currently obsessed with watercolor, especially the Color Watercolor etsy shop

Despite my best efforts at becoming artistic, I’ve never been able to produce anything resembling art. I LOVE and APPRECIATE original art. In warmer weather, I love to browse local shops and ogle the different pieces on display. Etsy fills that gap in my life during the cold months when going out in the cold is the last thing I want to do.

Music – these days, Without Words Synesthesia, hymns, and Dario Marianelli 

Throwing some music on during the day instantly changes the mood and atmosphere of a room. I can’t stop listening to Bethel’s instrumental album, Synesthesia or old hymns with super powerful lyrics. I’ve also been listening to soundtracks by Dario Marianelli. He’s music is beautiful, light, and moving.

Rifle Paper Company 

Can I buy one of everything, please? Rifle Paper Co is by far the one thing I would indulge in if I had endless amounts of money to spend on notebooks, stickers, phone cases, gift tags, paper, etc. It’s all just too beautiful and perfect.