I’m pretty sure I didn’t obsess over things before my daughter died. I feel like the older I get the crazier I am. Not in the way like “Oh Rachael? She’s crazy, I always have fun when I’m with her!” More along the lines of “Rachael?” (raised eyebrows, and shaking head) “She’s crazy.”

I used to be the type of person who was always down for whatever. A free spirit. Spontaneous. I lived my life with reckless abandon.

Not anymore! My idea of a good time is an evening on the porch with a glass of red wine and The Honey. Most days I don’t even leave the house. I’m perfectly content being at home with my family. The days of reckless abandon have been replaced with responsibility and a sense of belonging.

I’m sure that all sounds nice to you, except the truth is I don’t like to leave my house because I’m awkward, and I have social anxiety. I panic when I’m around a group of people and I don’t know what to say. When I do speak its always a STUPID joke that sounded funny in my head but makes no sense at all when I say it. Usually I just keep my eyes down and try to avoid people, cling desperately to The Honey, or drink some wine to try to loosen up and end up polishing off the whole bottle  while simultaneously peeing my pants and drooling on myself. I may or may not be exaggerating a little.

No one wants to see that.

Since Juliet died I have noticed that I obsess. I obsessively obsess. A typical day goes like this: “Honey did you know that blue is in right now?”

“Honey everyone is painting their walls white, can you believe that?”

“Honey I think I might stencil our walls, do you like this?”

“Honey I really need you to bring me some wood home from work.”

“Honey I want to make a blanket ladder, and then a coffee table, and then a dining table, and then maybe ill build a house!”

“Honey can I just show you this one thing on Pinterest I really like?”

“Honey can you buy us dinner? I didn’t have time because I was at HomeGoods.”

All these questions fly at The Honey one after the next. Why? Because I obsess. I eat sleep and breathe interior design- to the point that it may be unhealthy. I know for sure I’m driving The Honey crazy because at one point I could see steam coming out of his ears and his eyeballs looked like they were gonna POP out of his head.

I have promised him on several occasions that I will try to keep it to myself from now on, but sometimes I feel like a geyser that’s ready to burst.

 You know on hoarders how the people usually start hoarding when something traumatic happens in their life? Well I think that’s what happened to me. When Juliet died I started obsessing over Pinterest because home décor made me happy and it was a way to keep my mind occupied. The only problem is that I don’t know how to shut it off.

I guess for now I’ll just work on not driving The Honey crazy.

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livingroom-updates

I have been working so hard to update my living room this past week. Some of you may have seen the sneak peaks I posted on Instagram. I’m happy to say that it’s finally finished!

My living room has gone through several different phases over the past 2 years, but I can say that I have it exactly how I want it, and I’m in love! I have included affiliate links for your shopping convenience. You can see my full disclosure policy here.

So anyhoo when we moved in to someone else’s dream home the living room was white with beige carpet and as boring as it gets… here’s some pictures from the listing.

I know what your thinking…. “I love that living room, why did she change it? And where can I purchase those lovely drapes?”

HA.HA.

No one is thinking that. What you are really thinking is “My grandmothers place is homier than that.” or “It looks like a retirement home threw up in that living room.”

Not me though.

I saw potential. I saw my dream living room with huge windows and lots of natural light. I had visions of blue grey walls and white furniture dancing in my head. I had BIG plans and very little cash.

There are 2 living rooms in our house, and we only had enough furniture for one. This wasn’t the one. I already had the paint color picked out for this room before we even moved in. Oyster Bay by Sherwin Williams. It was the perfect blue/green/grey, and I couldn’t wait to get some color on the stark walls.

My beautiful, amazing, wonderful mom came over and helped me paint, which made it go much faster, and it was such a fun day for us to spend together. About a week later I bought a white Ikea sofa at a yard sale, got a white chair and ottoman from Goodwill, and a wood coffee table off Craigslist. My mom and I went to Ikea and she bought me a bookshelf I had my eye on as a housewarming gift (thanks mom!) Here’s some pics I took with my iPhone of the finished product.

What you don’t know is that the blanket is covering where I ripped the arm of the slip cover off trying to put it back on…

I remember when I first posted these pics to Facebook I thought they were the bees knees. Seriously, I thought they were super good pics. Haha. Anyway I loved my pretty white furniture, and so did my pets. My little yorkie named Pookie would lay on the back of the chair and leave hair all over it. My cat Killer laid on the sofa and left hair and cat litter paw prints across the white furniture (GROSS!), and my dog mason thought the chair was his giant personal dog bed. Just to prove it I dug up this pic of Pookie and Mason shedding and slobbering all over my white chair:

Bad dogs

  Now I know some people love to have Ikea slip covered furniture cause you can just wash it, but for me- it wasn’t working…. so I sold it.

It happened to be PERFECT timing because it was right around the time we decided to rip up the boring beige carpet and put in our new Pergo floors. Putting the floors in was such a labor of love….minus the “love” part. It was actually hate. I hated it.  Like dispise with all my being. As soon as we were done, we were itching to have furniture in there, so we went out and bought a brand spanking new chair and couch from Ashley furniture!

Not to toot my own horn but seriously guys, how stinking pretty is that!?

Does anyone else have Nerf darts everywhere? It never ceases to amaze me where I find these things sometimes.

Animals beware: Do not climb, sit, or lay on this furniture or risk being shot…..with a dart….Maybe that’s where it came from? Just kidding. Or am I?

This is my favorite little corner right here. The pillow is a Goodwill find, the blanket is from a consignment shop, but you can buy the same one here. The faux fiddle leaf fig tree (I bet you can’t say that 10x fast) is from Michael’s…..but there’s a story.

I had been dreaming (obsessing) over these on Pinterest and Instagram for AGES (actually days….it was days). I convinced the Honey to take me to HomeGoods so I could look for one, but they didn’t have any and the cheapest one I found online was well over $100. Would I pay that much for a faux plant? The answer, sadly, was yes. Would the Honey not speak to me for days if I spent over $100 on a plant that wasn’t even real? The answer to that, sadly, was yes.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

FAUX FIDDLEAF FIASCO

I started Googling my life away to no avail. I then took to Pinterest which wasn’t much help either. Finally I went on Instagram #fiddleleaf and I commented on everyone I saw that I liked asking where they got it. Robyn from Robyns Southern Nest told me that she had just bought hers that weekend on sale at Michaels for $49! Well that was music to my little ears so I called Michaels right away. A young girl answered and told me they didn’t have any. I was so disappointed that I called back 5 hours later and asked someone else. This time the lady told me that they just got a bunch of faux plants in. She put me on hold for about an hour (give or take). When she finally came back she told me they didn’t have any. I refused to take “no” for an answer so I immediately drove to Michaels to look for myself because what did they know.

I drove super fast of course because I was on a mission, and no one was going to slow me down. I power walked rather than ran into the store as to not draw too much attention, or look like the crazy person that I most definitely was. I Made a beeline for the faux greenery, a cold sweat dripping from my brow. My demeanor was focused, and I gave an employee the stink eye as I flew past the registers in a blur.

I got to the aisle in the blink of an eye, and there she was……. In all her glory. She was the only one, and had a price tag of $99, but I knew the Michaels website had a 50% off coupon, so I grabbed my precious and headed towards the register.

I stood in line with a smile from ear to ear. The women behind me were dripping with envy as they glance from me to my fiddle leaf and back to me again. I tightened my grip and threw it up on the counter. Victory was mine. Take that ladies.

The throw pillows are from Target, the table is a Craigslist find that I drove an hour and a half to get (there is no limits to what I will do for the sake of a design), and the rug I got on Amazon right here for super duper cheap.

That’s all she wrote! What do you think?

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best-ever-low-fat-slow-cooker-turkey-chili

Guess who’s sleeping on the couch this week….. This girl right here. Now before you get any crazy ideas of what might have landed my butt on the couch, let me give you some back story:

This past week Mike and I were both admitted into the hospital at different times for different health reasons. I was in for a couple days because my asthma was bothering me, and I thought I was suffocating to death, and Mikes heart got out of rhythm from sleep apnea and he thought he was having a heart attack. Scary stuff. One question I do have after all that is – why do hospitals charge for parking? Don’t they rob you enough when you are in there? I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t hurt them to offer free parking to visitors who are checking in on sick family and friend. Just a thought.

Since Mike got out of the hospital we have been sleeping on the couch every night so that he can wedge himself in the corner of the sectional in an upright position. This keeps him from having sleep apnea which is when you basically choke on your tongue in your sleep. The whole irregular heart beat gave us both quite a scare, so camping out on the sofa it is. Whatever makes my baby feel safe.

After our health scares we decided its time to start eating a little better. I consider myself a pretty good cook. I love coming up with new recipes, so when mike said he wanted me to start cooking healthy meals every night for dinner I was up for the challenge. That being said I have put together a super healthy turkey chili recipe that is To Die For. This is my personal recipe, and loved by everyone who tries it. It is soooo EASY to make, and I will give you lazy girl cheats, and other options along with it. To top it all off, it is low fat and high protein! Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

BEST EVER LOW FAT TURKEY CHILI RECIPE

  • 1 onion, chopped*
  • 1 green pepper, chopped and seeded*
  • 1 red pepper, chopped and seeded*
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped and seeded
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2LB lean ground turkey**
  • 2TBS chili powder
  • 2tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2TBS smoked paprika
  • 1TBS ground cumin
  • 2tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 packets of instant hot cocoa mix
  • 2TBS adobo
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2TBS liquid smoke
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chili peppers, drained
  • 1 (8oz ) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15oz) can black eyed peas, drained***
  • 1tsp hot sauce

           Directions are easy, just dump it all in the crock pot, stir, and set for 4 hours.

Tip: When cutting the jalapeno make sure to wear gloves. If your anything like me you will end up burning your eye out by rubbing them, or something way worse when going to the bathroom. You haven’t known true pain until you’ve gotten jalapeno on your hoo-ha. No matter how many times you wash your hands, the oils absorb into your skin and burn the living crap out of anything you touch. Just take it from me, and wear gloves!

Sometimes we add fat free shredded cheese to the chili for an extra treat!

*Lazy girl cheat* – my local grocery store sell little containers of fresh red pepper, green pepper and onion already chopped up in the produce aisle. I just get this and dump in in so I don’t have to really cut anything but the jalapeno.

**You can substitute with lean ground beef

*** You can substitute with kidney beans, we just don’t like them…

So there it is, low fat, low cal, high protein, yummy chili! Try it, I would love to hear what you think!

  • calories- 264
  • fat- 8g
  • carb- 21g
  • protein- 27g

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what-happens-when-you-kill-yourself

Before I get started I just want to apologize for the constant emotional roller coaster this blog is. One minute I’m happy and excited to talk about home décor, and the next I’m getting down deep about child loss. That’s just life when you have lost a child…..an emotional roller coaster.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU KILL YOURSELF?

Have I ever killed myself? No I haven’t, but that doesn’t make me any less educated on the subject. When you kill yourself you also kill your family.

Your mom who you thought wouldn’t miss you shatters into a million pieces. She quits her job and lays in bed day in and day out. She cries the minute she wakes up until the minute she goes to sleep. She turns into an empty shell of the person she once was. She stops taking care of herself, and shuts out everyone around her. She becomes afraid to leave the house because she doesn’t want to bump into anyone that might ask her how she’s doing.

Your mom second guesses everything she has ever done that lead up to your death. She blames herself, and fantasizes about the things she could have done differently until its the only thing she can think about. She convinces herself that everyone else is better off without this person she has become and she too tries to kill herself.

When you kill yourself your little brother slowly falls apart. He has to sleep in bed with your parents now because he’s afraid to be alone. He wont let your parents out of his sight, and if they are 5 minutes late getting home he has an anxiety attack because he thinks they are dead just like you. He starts getting into trouble at school so your mom takes him to get help from the doctor. He’s too young for the medication they put him on so he starts self harming and attempts suicide. He ends up in an institution for 2 months and your parents have to drive an hour every night to go visit him because before this he’s never been away from home. He’s diagnosed with PTSD and an attachment disorder. Apparently he’s no longer able to form relationships because he thinks everyone is going to die. He gets out and gets sent to an IU13 school because his school can no longer handle him.

When you kill yourself your dad tries to be the strong one. Secretly he thinks he is to blame and knows he will never forgive himself. It was his job to protect you and he let everyone down. He cries to himself when no one is watching, but keeps it together in public because someone has to. He is pushed to his breaking point because the woman he once loved is gone- she died with her child, and his son is losing it, and there’s nothing he can do to fix it, and its happening all over again. He throws himself into his work to try to busy his mind. He misses you so much, how is he going to fix this?

When you kill yourself your sister loses her best friend. She becomes bitter and angry, and pushes people away. She doesn’t care anymore, why should she? She sits and thinks of all the things you wont do together. She picks up the phone when her heart gets broken, and then realizes that she cant call you because you’re dead. Life and relationships kind of lose their meaning when your sister who was your best friend kills herself. She wonders why you didn’t call her? It eats her up inside. What could she have done? Are you proud of her? Can you hear her?

Its been two and a half years since my daughter Juliet killed herself. I still cry all the time. I’m crying right now. Please know the signs…..

Not everyone talks about wanting to kill themselves, in fact most people who commit suicide don’t say anything at all. My daughter didn’t. Don’t wait until its too late. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts please talk to someone. Get help. If not for you, do it for your family. To read what happened to my daughter click here.

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5-ways-to-decorate-with-crystals

*This post contains affiliate links, see full disclosure policy here.*

I Love to decorate with crystals!

When I was in school studying to be an esthetician we took a class on crystal therapy and I was instantly intrigued! When I was a kid I love collecting stones and polishing them in my tumbler, so when I found out that each different stone had its own healing vibration, I was immediately excited…. i couldn’t wait to learn more!

Have you ever walked into someone’s house and instantly felt happy, or at peace? That’s because their house had good energy! Your house should be a place of healing, nurture, and most of all- a place that brings you joy.

A great way to help improve the positive energy in your house is by decorating with crystals!

                                                           decorate with crystals

Different color stones do different things. A few of my favorites are:

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Rose quartz is a beautiful light pink stone the color of rose petals. It promotes self love, restores confidence, and balances emotions.

Crystal quartz is clear and beautiful. It gives you energy and recharges any other crystal around it. It is the ultimate healing crystal.

Amethyst is anywhere from lavender to dark purple in color. It neutralizes negative energy, balances emotions, and aids in decision making.

There are soooo many more, but these are my 3 favorite! How can you incorporate them into your house? I will show you!

One thing I have in my office is just a small bowl of stones on a little table. Whenever I have clients over they cant help but pick up the stones…It is believed that you are attracted to the stones that you need in your life at the time. Here are some examples:

Aren’t they all just gorgeous! So easy to incorporate into any room of the house! You could set a dish on the bathroom sink, on an end table, by the bed, in the window, you name it!

Another way to add crystals to your room is with candles…

     

I love agate slices with little tea lights in them… I have several around my house.

Here’s a pretty display…This entryway table is the stuff dreams are made of. It’s glamorous and dreamy, I could seriously stand there looking at it all day!

End tables are a great place to create a little positive energy vignette, just like this one here that is absolutely stunning…. These crystal towers are called wands, or obelisks. I love the mix of whites and golds.

On my night stand I have Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp like this one that you can buy here.

 

Pink Salt Lamps clean the air in the room by producing negative ions which reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. It improves your mood, concentration, helps you sleep, treats seasonal depression, and improves blood flow to the brain. Who wouldn’t want one in every room! I Absolutely love mine…..it makes me smile whenever I look at it. I hope I’ve given you some good ideas as to how to incorporate crystals into your life! Happy healing!

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whos-in-your-tribe

This has definitely been something I have struggled with all my life. I was the child that was always bringing home wounded animals. On a regular bases I brought home baby birds, salamanders, turtles, and a few squirrels. Once I even saved a mouse out of my cats mouth, but when it got scared and bit me my mom made me get a tetanus shot.

The same has been true in my relationships with people. I have always been drawn to the wounded birds of the world. I have always been a nurturer, often getting sucked into peoples lives and doing anything I could to help someone in need. Sometimes it was a place to stay, sometimes money to “borrow”, sometimes it was a mid-night-rescue. Either way I have always been the one that people knew they could go to and depend on in time of need. It sounds like I’m a great person, don’t you think?

It’s really not that great.

When you are that person it drags you down. Helping everyone all the time and getting sucked into other peoples issues LITERALLY drains the energy right out of you. You know, energy suckers? The ones who drain you both emotionally and physically making you feel tired and run down. There are people in the world who are trying to make their lives better and deserve help, and then there are people who continuously chose to live in chaos rather than putting the effort into making a change.

Since losing my daughter I have done some serious soul searching. I have cut out a lot of negative people in my life. If you are the type of person who airs out your dirty laundry on Facebook, then I have probably deleted you. I don’t care if you have known me since grade school, I refuse to let negativity (especially someone else’s) into my life. LIFE IS HARD. Sometimes its a beautiful warm sunny day, and sometimes its a hurricane. Me? I prefer the sunny days, and I refuse to let other peoples rain clouds ruin my weather.

THE PEOPLE WE SURROUND OURSELVES WITH…

The people we surround ourselves with effect the way we see life. If you surround yourself with successful people you will learn drive and strive to keep being better. If you surround yourself with kind people you will want to do good things and be a better person. If you surround yourself with joyful happy people you too will have joy. The opposite is also true. Are you letting people drag you down? Everyone gives of a certain type of energy. Did you ever meet someone and you were just instantly drawn to them, like you knew them for years, but had only just met them? That’s because they have positive energy and your soul is like “Gimme some of that”. When you surround yourself with broken people who have no interest in doing whatever it takes to get it together you can be drug down by the negative energy that they emit and because of the negative energy draining your positive energy. It often times leaves you feeling sad, tired, and drained.

So! Who is in your tribe? Is it people who lift you and those around you up? Do they make you laugh and encourage you to succeed? Does your bubble of friends shine brighter than all the rest because you’ve already figured out everything I just wrote a long time ago? Or are there some people in your tribe who maybe need to go? I of all people know how hard it is to cut people off, because I had to do it in a time when I needed my friends the most. I guess its up to you to decide when you’re ready.

BUT LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING….

You can’t help someone who isn’t willing to help themselves. I am now the type of friend who is not afraid to call you out if I see something wrong. I was never like that before. I was always a people pleaser, I was afraid to be honest with people because they might not like me anymore. But I wasn’t helping anyone that way. Now I listen, but I am also straight forward, and if I see an issue I am not quite about it. What my people do with it from there is up to them. I’m focused though. I’m not sugar coating things anymore! I’m only surrounding myself in positivity these days so get it together or get out of my bubble. I wish I could stress enough what a complete waste of time and energy negative people are. Don’t even go near them!

I really hate that I had to lose my daughter to learn this, but I can tell you that I have never been happier with who is in my life and the direction that it is headed than I am now. I feel SO POSITIVE about the future. Do I make a lot of money? I make less money than I ever have because I am only in the first year of starting my own business, but I KNOW for a fact that my life, and my business is going to be amazing. You know why? Because I got rid of all my baggage (as much as it hurt), and so can you. As I have been making positive changes in my life I have watched everything change around me. I started my own business as a makeup artist….it actually found me when I wasn’t even looking. In one year I have gone from being jobless, to doing makeup for national and international house hold name brand commercial and print ads. I have used my love for interior design to decorate my house, and by posting pictures to my Facebook over the past year have receives several interior design jobs, and as of too weeks ago a reoccurring interior design consultant job for a local real estate company. All of this literally fell in my lap. I don’t look for anyone, they all found me!

So now you can see why I’m so positive about the future. I am surrounded by so much love and encouragement. No one is there anymore to drag me into darkness, and I’m now, for the first time in my life, dancing in the light.

I wish that I would have known all of this when Juliet was alive but in the end it was her who taught me. I’m passing it on, so that hopefully it will help you too!

 

 

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modern-glam-lighting-under-300

This post contains affiliate links for all of your shopping needs. If you purchase something from these links I will be paid a small commission. For our full disclosure police please click here.

I LOVE lighting. Nothing sets the mood in a room as much as beautiful lighting does. Besides painting, changing out lighting is the first thing I did in our house. I believe it was Candice Olsen (an interior design goddess) who first said ” Lighting is the jewelry of the room.” It has stuck with me ever since.

Think of Each Room as an Outfit…

  1. The paint is the under garments
  2. The rug, furniture, and curtains are the clothing
  3. The blankets, throw pillows, and décor are the other layers (scarf, jacket, sweater)
  4. Last but not least the lighting is the jewelry

I don’t know about you, but I love my bling. Diamonds, silver, gold, ANYTHING THAT SPARKLES! So when buying lighting for my house, the same rules apply. The first lighting I changed was the pendant lighting in the kitchen.

There was nothing really wrong with it, it was just soooo boring, and it didn’t speak to me. So I scoured amazon until I came across this pendant light for only $50, and I knew right away that it was what I was looking for! I bought two of them to replace the old LAME-O ones in my kitchen. Here’s what they look like:

I think its a big difference! I love how pretty yet masculine they are. What do you think?

Once that lighting was changed I was hooked. I spent hours on Amazon looking for more pretty lighting, because they really do have the best deals and selection. So next I moved onto my dining room light. Its was ok, but again….not my style AT ALL. You can read more about my dining room transformation here. This is a picture of my dining room with the original chandelier-

Its not bad, but I wasn’t excited about it, and I’m a firm believer that the devil is in the details. So here is the gorgeous, sparkley, crystal chandelier that I chose as the jewelry to this room

I love it! It looks even prettier when its dark outside. The light shines through the crystals and emits a soft glow. It was such a steal at under $100! Everyone that comes over compliments me on it, and it is BY FAR my favorite one. You can buy it here.

At this point I was on a roll so the next light to replace was in my eat-in-kitchen area. I’m pretty sure they were part of a set because the lights in all 3 rooms matched. here is a picture of the eat-in-kitchen light before

BLAH.

so I saw this light fixture from Restoration Hardware

But with a price tag of $1395 it was out of the question. So I searched and searched, and searched, and I finally found this one that I loved even more, at a price under $300!

I really feel like I scored with this one!

Next light to go was in my little bathroom/ office/ linen closet corner. I don’t have a before picture, but it was one of those ugly builders grade light fixtures that look like a boob. HAHA! I lovingly call them “boob lights”. I wanted something a little prettier, and something with 3 spotlights so I could aim one at each door. This pretty little brushed nickel light fixture was perfect, and under $150!

I really love the way the spotlight looks on each of the doors!

Next is our hallway light. I don’t have a before picture of the hallway but it was also a builders grade “boob” light. Functional but boring. I had some pretty large artwork hung in the hallway so I decided that I wanted spotlights in there as well so that I could aim a light at each picture. This light we purchased from Home Depot for under $80, and you can buy it here.

I really like that its dimmable, and I can adjust the spotlights to aim at whatever I want.

Last but not least is my office light. Again it was a builder grade “boob light” as you can kind of see it from this picture

It had to go. I was at Home Goods, one of my favorite stores, when I happened upon a section I had never noticed before. I was looking at lamps when all of the sudden there it was. A ceiling light section, and most of the stuff was on CLEARANCE! I bought my light, not yet knowing where I was going to put it, but I just knew that I had to have it. The best part: it was on sale for $29.99! I brought it home and shoved it in a closet until I could figure out where to put it. It sat in there for about a year until I started my makeup room overhaul and realized that it would be perfect in the space with my gold décor. What do you think?

I love it! I think it works perfect in the room! I hope I have helped you find some great lighting, and that you love it as much as I do! Thanks for reading, and if you like what you see please subscribe to my blog my adding your email down below. Thanks!

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