February 14, 2020

Somehow, my vanity/makeup area is always in disarray. It’s one of the areas that I can’t maintain organization. It drives Ben crazy! So when this month’s Container Store challenge was to try and maximize my makeup space and keep it organized, I was excited to see how this might help.

I don’t have a lot of product, but even still, I have enough to keep my area messy. And we have a lot of drawer space in our bathroom to put things away, but that doesn’t help keep my makeup mess at bay. Also, we’re looking to move and so I know it’s unlikely I’ll find a home with the amount of storage space we currently have, so I was looking forward to something that would help me organize and be transportable (for when we move).

The featured organization this month is products from the Luxe Modular Makeup System… and it’s so pretty! I love that it ‘s clear and stackable; it can be easily configured to fit your needs. It definitely feels luxe. I kind of wished I had a full arsenal of makeup to deck it out with, but my skincare products will have to do.

For my organizer, I did a large drawer for the base, then stacked 2 small drawers and a medium one on top of that. The small drawers hold some cotton round and cotton swabs and then some of my skin serums in the medium drawer. Above that, I have 4 medium short drawers for my makeup products such as eyebrow pencils, blush, and lipsticks. To top it off, I have the makeup organizer to hold some of the products that I use daily. It really has made a difference in keeping me organized and I’m happy to report that after almost 3 weeks in use, I’ve kept my whole space clean! More marital bliss going on with this organizer in our home.

I was also excited to be able to organize some of the girls products and accessories. My girls are essential oils gals (I’ve never quite gotten into it), but they have, so they were very excited to have a drawer to house them. Of course, they filled other drawers with their nail polish and scrunchies too. You could totally tell that the organizer belonged to a teen.

We’re all excited about being a little more organized in our bathrooms. Now, I can’t wait to tackle the kitchen pantry! Stay tuned for next month…

This post is in partnership with The Container Store as one of their Brand Ambassadors. The opinions and text are all mine. I appreciate the time you spend in this space, the support you give me, and the brands I partner with.


February 13, 2020

Oh man. Life lately. So crazy.

There’s so much I want to say and share, but haven’t had the time and energy. The girls get all my energy and attention, and even then, I feel like I’m failing at giving them that undivided attention. Big family problems, I suppose.

Things I want to grow in… more silliness with them. I need to let loose more. Gotta find that balance of the routine scheduled mom that I am and the chill mom they need me to be also.

Also, I need to grow in doubling the encouragement. It goes back to that uber disciplined mom that I am, and wanting to make sure everything gets done, and we stay on schedule, so it feels like I’m barking orders. I need to double the encouragement. Remember that, Ruby.

Last thing, I need to slow down my hurried heart and enjoy these days. Yeah, life is full and it’s going fast, but darn it, Ruby… slow down. They’re only little once.

Fortunately, through all my failures and obvious need for improvement, I’m thankful that there is grace from Jesus and from my kids. They don’t benefit from having a perfect mom, but they will benefit from a mom that clings to the cross of Christ, a mom that repents regularly and trusts Christ continually. Jesus, you are my hope and righteousness. Help me in these quick and busy season of raising kids. Amen.


January 20, 2020

When compared to the size of our house, you’d think we’d have a walk in pantry, somehow though, the builders thought it was necessary to make the master closet the size of a small room (we could easily fit 2 twin beds inside), but no walk in pantry. All they gave us is one the size of a small coat closet, which is fine, but not proportionate to the rest of the house. So we’ve had to be strategic in how we plan out our pantry space, which gets unorganized easily because of busy family life.

Now, The Container Store project of the month comes in handy to utlilize #smallspaces, so enter the Elfa Utility Pantry Door & Wall Rack. This gave us us even more space to use in our pantry, and when it comes to storage space, the back of the door is one of the most under-utilized areas of the home. It transformed our small pantry closet into a fully functional space.

It’s simple to put the rack together… you place the top door hook, attach the metal bar, fit in the bottom door hooks, and then tighten the bar on until it’s secure. Then, you simply hook on your baskets to the metal bar. You don’t need nails or any fancy, and everything goes on and off easy (I think it took 5 minutes to attach the rack to the door!), so if we ever moved, we are for sure taking the rack with us.

Once assembled, I decided to put all our crackers on the top basket, and some of the honeys and baking syrups in the second basket. These are used often, as the kids are baking often, so I think it’ll come in handy to have stored here. The rest of the baskets are filled with some snack drinks and things to go. Typically, we use reusable canisters for our water, and don’t buy water bottles, but somehow end up with some small bottles here and there from events and parties that end up coming home with us, but then we forget about it because they get lost in our pantry. Now, we have a spot for them, and it’s easy to see and grab for when we’re on the go. Once, all the water bottles are gone, we’ll fill the spot with something else.

We can’t get more shelves in our pantry closet, but the Elfa Door & Wall racks are so useful in that it adds more storage to a small space. Suddenly, our pantry is a little more organized and spacious! And the Elfa Door and Wall Racks are currently on sale 30% off, so now is the time to order!

This post is in partnership with The Container Store as one of their Brand Ambassadors. The opinions and text are all mine. I appreciate the time you spend in this space, the support you give me, and the brands I partner with.


December 13, 2019

Each year, we’ve slowly improved how we store our Christmas decorations, but I think this year, thanks to The Container Store, this is our most organized year yet. We officially have a tree storage box for our tree. Every year, we’ve been using the cardboard box it came it, and just re-taping it each year to use again, but now we have a real container that’s not going to rip on us and fits the tree perfectly. It was a challenge trying to cram that tree back into the cardboard box each year. The box always looked like it was about to burst! The tree storage box also has space to spare to put in the other small trees we put around the house. Plus, there are wheels, which comes handy when moving it around to be stored for next year.

Now, we also have a wreath box, which before I’d just try to stuff the wreath in with our tree, and when that stop working, I gave away our wreath because I didn’t know where to store it. Now, that is has a container, it’s time to pick up another one to decorate our front door!

The best part of our much improved storage is the light wrap and ornaments storage boxes. Goodbye to tangled up lights! And hello to safely stored breakable ornaments! This is such a game changer in storing holiday decor. Seriously. Get yourself some cord wraps!

The open canvas storage bins are great for storing some wooden ornaments we have. We can throw them all in and not worry about something breaking. It will also come in handy to hold some smaller gifts to put under the tree. And some clear weathertight totes are perfect for holding stockings and our Christmas friends that we want to keep clear of dust and dirt.

Having everything simplified and organized makes things a lot easier when I take things out to decorate. I just take out the boxes and my girls do all the decorating! I just let them have at it! And then when it’s time to put away, they know everything has a specific place, so it will make clean up so much easier. I’m all about neat and easy!

This post is in partnership with The Container Store as one of their Brand Ambassadors. The opinions and text are all mine. I appreciate the time you spend in this space, the support you give me, and the brands I partner with.



December 4, 2019

Whenever Ben asks me what I want for some occasion, besides giving the “Nothing, I don’t want to spend” answer I’ve been giving of late (due to budgetary purposes), it’s usually something like, “Oh, you know, rings and things.” HA! And he knows precisely what I mean about “rings & things.” Rings means antique/vintage pieces, or really simple modern ones to mix in with my antique pieces, and “things” usually mean shoes.

I love when I see older ladies wear ring stacks on their fingers. They usually have some cool, eclectic style going on. It’s interesting to me the rings they pick out, and I want to know the story on each of the pieces or why they placed certain ones together.

Recently, a friend of mine told me when we were in college, that I was trying to get her to add more accessories in her wardrobe and said something silly like “Once you accessorize, you never go back!” Yeah, I guess I’ve been nothing but consistent on that. I’ve either got big statement earrings on, layered necklaces, or ring stacks. And sometimes, all 3 of those at once.

Though ever since I can remember, rings have been my favorite accessory. When we’d go on family vacations, I’d always pick out some trinket of a ring to commemorate it. When I was 16, at Disneyworld, I picked out a sterling Tinkerbell ring. The following year, while vacationing in the Bahamas, my mom let me pick out a ring with the country’s official flower. So rings have marked special events and occasions for me, which it makes it even more special. It’s kind of always been just a preferred go-to piece of jewelry. 

Are you a rings & things gal? If so, I put together some pretty rings I’ve seen floating around on the internets (and shops I’ve personally shopped from myself). Some of them are on my Christmas wishlist, so maybe some of these are just what you have been looking for too.

I love the simple rings from AU-Rate. The mini circle ring is one of my go-to rings to wear for stacking. There are so many simple rings from AU-Rate that are perfect for stacking.
Jean Jean Vintage is always a fave spot to find shiny baubles to add to my wishlist. I have this Skull ring in rose gold and wear it often. It’s my memento mori ring to remind me of the brevity of life.
My first antique ring came from Erica Weiner; Ben got it for my as a surprise for finishing writing my book. If you like antique rings, Erica Weiner has you covered, if you prefer new, she’s got that too.
I love the dreamy rings on The Moonstoned. Each piece seems so mysterious and full of stories to tell. A garnet band has been on my ring wishlist and the deep color on this one is so beautiful.
The One I Love NYC is another one of my go-to places to look for antique rings. Ben proposed (on our 10th anniversary) with a ring from here. I really love this flower in the hand ring. It’s such a unique piece.


October 31, 2019

Once upon a time, the powerful fairy, Maleficent, unexpectedly showed up at the christening of King Stefan’s daughter, Aurora.

She was clearly not welcomed, but she insisted on giving the sweet child a gift. For her gift, Maleficent gave her a curse and proclaimed, “Aurora will grow in grace and beauty, but before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. Only to be awakened by a true love’s kiss.”

The MARVELous trio… Pepper Potts, Agent Peggy Carter, and Scarlett Witch, were there to give their own special blessings for Aurora, so they stepped in to protect the child.

Scarlett Witch tried to use her ability to manipulate chaos magic, and remove the curse, but Maleficent’s power was too strong.

Agent Carter stepped in to try to negotiate with Maleficent, but it would do no good. Maleficent was resolved in her hatred for King Stefan, and consequently, Aurora.

Pepper Potts attempted to fight Maleficent with her clipboard, but again, she was defeated by the overwhelming power of the great fairy.

As soon as Maleficent left the celebration, the MARVELous trio promised King Stefan they would raise and protect the child, and hide her until after her 16th birthday. So off into the hideouts of S.H.I.E.L.D. they went…

Of course, Maleficent, being the powerful fairy she is, was able to locate their secret location and would occasionally pay the child a visit.

What started off as strong disdain for the child, or as she liked to call her, “Beastie,” slowly blossomed into fond affection.

The jealousy and bitterness she once felt towards the child, was replaced with love and compassion.

Maleficent found herself slowly believing in the power of love once again.

“Beastie” had captured her heart. She tried to undo the spell she cast, but the curse was much too strong to be broken. Maleficent would spend the next 15 years trying to stop the inevitable. Maybe, if she worked with the MARVELous trio, they would be able to find a solution together. To be continued…

Want to see if the curse manifests on Aurora’s 16th birthday? Stay tuned for Maleficent & the MARVELous Trio II coming out Halloween 2034.

True as Agent Peggy Carter…

Brave as Maleficent…

Soul as Scarlett Witch…

Glow as Pepper Potts…

And Red as Baby Aurora…

We’re 13 years strong with these Halloween stories of ours! The girls are still into it. They decide their character/costumes and we come up with a story together. Thankfully, it was mainly one costume I had to make (Maleficent’s) and the rest were pieces that had been thrifted. Whew! Halloween prep for 5 kids in intense!

Have a look back at our past Halloween stories…
2018: The Greatest Showman
2017: England News & Beyond
2016: Cutthroat Kitchen: Bratcher Edition
2015: The Mystery of the Missing Leia and Yoda
2014: The Zookeeper’s Wild Day
2013: The Mystery of Pinkie Pielilocks and the Three Bears
2012: The Adventures of Spider-Girl & She-ra
2011: Barbershop Quartet
2010: The Three Little Piggies
2009: Hannah and Gretel
2008: The Untold Story of Oz
2007: Little Red Riding Hood

Happy Halloween!!!

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