Wrapping Paper

I had been meaning to post about my wrapping paper storage a long time ago and forgot about it and I’m finally remembering and thinking it’s a great time with the holidays right around the corner. I love some good organization and when I saw this storage system being talked about on one of my favorite blogs, Momfessionals, I had to get it for myself.

This closet is just my hallway storage closet and after my birthday last year, I saw that the organization system was on sale so I splurged. It’s a little bit pricey but I feel it’s worth every penny with how much you can customize it to what you need.

This system is from the Elfa Collection at the Container Store. It’s nice because you can really customize it to whatever you’re wanting to store. I’ve seen the wrapping paper, cleaning supplies, food pantry storage, etc. I wish I had more closets to use this in.

I chose to do the gift wrap basket at the bottom. You can even pick what color you want it to be and if you want a wire basket or mesh.

At the top, I did two baskets to hold my ribbon, bows, small boxes, and tissue paper.

I added a little pegboard and some hooks to hold all my bags and then I hung my scissors and tape for easy access so I’m always ready to wrap something right then.

This whole system was so easy to install and I did it myself with no tools. It’s just a bar that hangs on at the top of my door and the bottom. The door still easily shut and was very secure so it wasn’t banging around when you open or shut the door. Again, definitely worth the splurge. I wish I had a food pantry door in my kitchen to do this.

I thought I would also tell everyone where I love to buy my paper from. I could call myself a little bit of a wrapping paper snob and can be picky. Costco has great paper that is thick so it doesn’t tear easily. Plus, it comes in a large roll so it doesn’t run out quickly. Sometimes I don’t love that because I like to keep buying new paper. 😉 I’ve also only ever seen wrapping paper at Costco for the holidays.

My favorite paper that you can see below is from Home Goods. This is some great quality paper. It’s thick and has a little texture so it doesn’t tear as you’re trying to wrap a present. They have the cutest designs in my opinion as well. The rolls are usually about $2.99 each and you will easily spend that on a roll at Target and it probably won’t be as good of quality.

I about died over the Popsicle paper for a fun gift in the summer. Recently, I bought the rose gold dots and the black and gold dots. Those are calling Michelle’s name for her birthday present paper. It’s probably a good thing that basket on my door only hold so much because I have a hard time not buying a roll or two every time I’m at Home Goods because they always have new ones.

Has anyone else tried anything from the Elfa collection? I’m always looking for new ideas on how to organize! Here’s the link again where you can go build your own setup and see all the different options. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed this post!

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Weekend Highlights

I had a super fun weekend with new friends and old friends. On Saturday, we had a dinner & movie night with my friends. It took us probably 35 minutes to pick something to watch because we’re all so stubborn that any time someone suggested something, someone else would hate it. I can never stop laughing with these guys.

One of my favorite things about Christmas in Utah is when the lights at Temple Square turn on after Thanksgiving. It always feels like the official start of Christmas. I love looking at them but I will admit, I’m a baby when it comes to the cold so I don’t go every year.

This year was fun because Cody’s mission companion from Brazil and his wife, Matt and Lorena, came to visit and spent the weekend at his place. We took them to do a few of our favorite things including eating at Maxwell’s, doing an escape room, going to Gourmandise for dessert, getting fries (or frites) from Bruges, and going to Temple Square to see the lights.

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Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

Maxwell’s in Salt Lake is a great restaurant and bar that has some really good (and HUGE) pizzas!

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We did an escape room at The Escape Key in Salt Lake and it was a lot of fun. This is my third time doing an escape room and I’ve escaped every single time. We made it out with about 12 or 13 minutes left. This one was a little hard because the whole room was dark the entire time and we only had flashlights and eventually, small black lights.

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Photo courtesy of Gourmandise

This is one of my favorite places in the entire world. My dad found this place when I was younger and we’ve all been obsessed ever since. I’ve had birthday dinners with friends here so it holds lots of good times and memories for me. We brought Matt and Lorena here because Lorena was really craving some dessert and this is the first place I think of when I want dessert.

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Photo courtesy of Gourmandise

My favorite treats are the chocolate mousse slice, the chocolate strawberry tartelettes, and the raspberry mango tartelettes. There is lots of good stuff here to choose from!

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Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

Lorena was also craving fries (a girl after my own heart) so we took them to Bruges and got a huge serving of fries and sauces. It was delicious!!

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Lorena and Matt invited Cody and I to the Christmas Devotional at the Conference Center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints so we walked through Temple Square on our way to the Conference Center and took some pictures!

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I had a blast getting to know these Brazilians living in New Zealand (still insanely jealous about this)! I love making new friends 🙂

Christmas Decor 2018

Last night, I was finally able to finish getting my Christmas decorations up. Normally, I like to have it done the day after Thanksgiving. It mostly was this year but I decided I really wanted a second Christmas tree and the way we’ve got our furniture in our family room made it so the tree we had didn’t fit great. I put the bigger tree in our formal living room but I still really wanted one in the family room. I talked to Adam and I hurried and ordered another tree online. I got in a little trouble because he knew I had been wanting a second tree and was going to take me to pick one out as part of my Christmas gift but I went and bought one first.

The tree came a couple days ago and tonight I had the time to get it up and finish the decorations.

This is our bigger tree that is now in our formal living room. I like that you can see it lit up from the street. This room felt so warm and cozy this year. Last year I didn’t put much in it.

I bought our stockings last year from Pottery Barn Kids. Adam’s one requirement for his stocking was that it should have a fire truck and luckily I was able to find one! They still have our stockings in other designs. Find all of their stockings here. They’re on sale right now too!

I picked up the garland at Home Goods this year and added some LED lights from Costco. You can’t tell but it has pine cones, berries, and some burlap throughout it. The Santa advent calendar is from Pottery Barn but years ago. My mother-in-law was kind enough to give it to me.

The pillow is from Bed Bath and Beyond last year.

I would like to do a fun village on this cabinet but it’s not going to happen this year. The sign is my favorite Christmas song and it’s from Vine and Branches.

This table is usually in my entryway but there was a minor leak in the ceiling and we’re still working on fixing the wall and ceiling. It’s got another Vine and Branches sign. I believe the tree is from Target a couple years ago.

Adam’s mom gave me this cute Santa cookie jar earlier this year.

I found this cute truck at Target this year.

Last year, I found some glass trees at Home Goods that I loved and at the time I thought I could go back and get them later but they were gone when I went back! I was so sad. When I saw these glass trees are Target, I knew I had to have them. Find them here. They have different sizes and they come in different colors. I think I bought this garland last year and I can’t remember where but I added more of my LED lights from Costco.

Here is my new tree! I knew I needed something skinnier for that corner and I love how it turned out. I was trying to stick with mostly red and gold ornaments and it just makes the room feel so cozy looking. I found the tree skirt at Target here.

That is most of my Christmas decor this year! I like to add a little more each year because I am obsessed with Christmas! Have a great weekend!

Snacks I Always Have Stashed

I don’t know about you guys but I’m big on snacking. I always keep snacks in my drawers at work and, of course, in the pantry at home. Because I tend to be more snacky, I need to make sure that it’s not always junk food… otherwise, I would be in big trouble. I’m sharing my faves with you today!

Sparkling ICE Drinks

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My friend Ally got me hooked on these when she was getting me to eat healthier. I don’t drink soda and I typically prefer water over everything but whenever I’m craving a different flavor, I choose these. They are so delicious and come in a variety of flavors. I love them with some ice and it usually accompanies meals very well. The sparkling water gives you the carbonation you’re probably missing from your soda but you don’t have to feel guilty about these. The Classic Lemonade flavor is my favorite but I’ve recently gotten into Strawberry Watermelon and Peach Nectarine. I drink water at work but I’ll keep a couple of these in my drawers in case I’m craving something else.

Quaker Popped Rice Crisps

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I am obsessed with these. I prefer these over chips any day but you definitely have to like the taste of rice cakes. These ones are dusted with cheddar cheese so it’s a win for me but they have other flavors. I can’t claim they’re overly healthy but they’re definitely better than potato chips. I’m big on snacking on crunchy foods so this helps.

Rold Gold Pretzels

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Pretzels are a must. A bag of these will last me a while because I can get full on just a few. These are perfect for those days you’re feeling snacky but don’t want to down 8 bags of chips. Another great version of their pretzels are their Cheddar Tiny Twists. MMM.

Pop Secret 94% Fat-Free Butter

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A lot of people wonder why I won’t just go for the movie theater butter but tbh, the extra butter on microwave popcorn (and sadly, the butter on movie theater popcorn) makes me sick due to an unfortunate experience I had as a child. Anyway, my stomach is too sensitive to those oils so this is the next best thing! I feel like this popcorn still has enough of the butter flavor to keep me happy and content. Popcorn is a big go-to for me when I need a quick sad that I don’t want to feel bad about. I always keep boxes of this at home and at work (and even at Cody’s).

Wonderful Pistachios

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Nuts are a great thing to snack on too because they will make you feel full in a healthier way. Pistachios have the added benefit of giving you something to do (e.g., cracking open the shell) while you munch on them so it keeps my hands busy. I like to snack on these if I’m watching TV or if I’m a little anxious to give myself something to focus on.

Yoplait Go-Gurt

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Yes, I’m 25 and yes, I’m still eating Go-Gurt 🙂 I love these because if I’m in a hurry (AKA I woke up late for work yet again), I grab one of these and eat it on the way to work. Maybe I will switch to the adult versions of Go-Gurts in the future but where’s the fun in that?

Fruit

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I love fruit so much. I could always snack on it. My favorites are raspberries, strawberries, green grapes, green apples, clementines or Cuties, watermelon, and mangoes. Of course, the last two require some preparation but it’s all wonderfully delicious and gives you that sugar kick you need without processed sugar.

Lay’s Cheddar and Sour Cream Chips

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These are obviously not healthy but I’ve been a little addicted to these lately! They are just so crispy and crunchy with the cheddar and sour cream flavor. I think about them all the time but I think that’s just a personal problem I have.

I tend to crave salty over sweet (s/o to me being the Salt of Salt + Sugar) so I’m sure you can tell that from the types of snacks I eat. I will say, it’s always nice to keep a little candy in my drawers too when that sugar craving kicks in but for the most part, you can win me over with any of the things I mentioned.

What do you like to snack on?
xoxo

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

My sister’s birthday was this week and I offered to make her a birthday treat of her choice. She said she wanted a chocolate cake with raspberry filling.

I went to Cake by Courtney’s website to see if there was one of her cakes I could try. She didn’t have that exact cake so I used her high altitude chocolate cake recipe. I’ve used this one before but this was my best attempt yet at it. For the raspberry filling, I found another recipe that had a berry compote and followed that using raspberries. For the frosting, I used her chocolate buttercream frosting from her yellow cake with chocolate buttercream recipe.

I am still definitely working on my frosting skills to get that smooth buttercream finish but it is not as easy as it looks. Courtney suggests using these plastic discs on top of the cake to get that nice edge and I think I need to buy those to see if it helps.

I was pretty pleased with the insides because my other cakes have been pretty crumbly when I cut into them and this one held up really well and it tasted good! You can find all of Courtney’s other delicious cake recipes here.

My Curology Experience

Hi, lovelies! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I got to spend time with all my loved ones and I enjoyed every second of it. Steph and I are back to work today and a little bummed out that the break is over!

Today, I wanted to talk about my skin journey over the past few months and it’s something that I’m a little nervous to share but I felt that it would help others on their way to finding clearer, healthier skin. I think I’ve mentioned before that I had been struggling with bad skin but in case I didn’t, I’ll explain.

I had great skin in high school and never wore foundation. It was fantastic. But after I graduated, I slowly started noticing that my face was getting worse and worse. My diet hadn’t really changed so it was super frustrating. Years and years went by and I tried everything I could get my hands on. I tried all different types of cleansers and serums and scrubs and washes. Nothing worked. I even tried Proactiv and that didn’t do a thing.

I was about to definitively start on Accutane since I had friends that had done it and it had worked for them, including Steph (her skin is fantastic). However, I found another company claiming to clear your skin with exactly the ingredients you need & nothing more.

A sucker for great advertising, I decided that I didn’t have anything to lose and I’d try one last time. So in June, I took pictures of my skin and submitted them to Curology. I also filled out their quiz and waited for a reply. They sent me a cream with a special formula just for me and instructions to put on a thin layer before bed.

These are the pictures I submitted to Curology:

Pretty bad huh? I almost can’t believe it!

5 months of using Curology has brought me to this point today:

I still have a little bit to go with discoloration (like the picture on the right) but I’m so happy with the results so far. I noticed a decline in bumps a few weeks into using the cream which was the nicest because I was super self-conscious wearing makeup and still having bumps everywhere. I couldn’t hide that.

I also make sure to only purchase foundation that is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores. I also bought these great little acne dots that you can put on a pimple at night and then in the morning, it’s pretty much gone. Putting these on helped me avoid picking at my face as well, which was a big factor in my skin healing. You can get these acne dots from Amazon here.

If you’re wanting to try something that really works and are willing to be patient, I recommend Curology for you! It’s very straight and simple and you can talk to your PA any time with questions, updates on your journey, or any formula changes. Plus, it has fewer steps than Proactiv so that was a big bonus for me. I didn’t have 18,000 steps to do every night. If you’re interested, check out Curology here.

What product helped you clear up your skin?
xoxo

Girl, Wash Your Face

Has anyone read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis?? I finished last weekend and it was so good! I have a hard time getting into self-help/motivational books sometimes and this was one that I really got into.

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My sister bought this book and let me borrow it and now I feel like I need my own copy so I can read it again! There were a few parts that really stuck out to me that I want to work on.

She talked about meeting goals and how she likes to make a visual reminder and she hangs it up in her closet so that she can see her goal at least once a day. I have a goal right now to buy a new car and so I’m just working to save enough money. I’m a visual person so I already had this in the back of my planner.

I edited out the numbers on the side so that’s why it looks a little goofy.

I think I’m going to tear the page out and put in in my closet so that I can see it more often and hopefully stop myself from shopping. The holidays are hard for me with all the sales. I lose control! We’ll see if this helps me. For me, the visual does help and especially when I can color in another mark to see how close I’m getting.

There was tons of other great stuff in the book that stuck with me to work on so I’ll tell you about a couple.

There’s a part where she says, “Someone else’s opinion of me is none of my business.” She goes more in depth than this but it’s something I definitely have a hard time with. In other chapters, she talks about hesitating to admit your dreams because you’re nervous about what other people will think. Or making yourself feel small because of it.

There’s definitely a part of me that has felt that way with this blog. I had always thought about doing this in the back of my mind but was always too nervous to try it until Michelle pushed me into doing it with her. It was a good thing Michelle pushed me because it got me outside of my comfort zone.

I won’t get better about this stuff overnight but at least it’s something I’m more aware of and can work on.

Rachel is coming out with a new book in March called, Girl, Stop Apologizing. You can preorder it now on Amazon. I can’t wait for it to come out!

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Let me know if you’ve read Girl, Wash Your Face yet and what you thought!

Xoxo, Steph

Thank You Cards

I’m thankful for so many things this year and I like showing my gratitude, especially if it’s to someone that may not know it. I think November is a great month to start getting into the habit of regularly showing people you’re thankful for them because it shouldn’t just be for one month only. One of my favorite ways to thank others is by giving them handwritten cards.

I LOVE THANK YOU CARDS. I love getting them and I love giving them. It shows that someone really thought about you and took the time to pick out a card and write you a note. I have probably 6 or 7 packs of different thank you cards at my desk at work that I like to write out every once in a while. Sometimes it takes everything in me not to write a thank you card to someone that wrote me one. (It’s a little excessive, supposedly.) I can’t tell you how happy and moved I am when I get back to my desk after a long or rough day and I find a card on my keyboard. It’s the best.

Rifle Paper Co. is a great place to get not only thank you cards but cards for weddings, birthdays, and holidays as well! I’ve ranted and raved about them before but they truly have some of the best cards. Look at all their greeting cards here.

Meadow Birthday Girl Available as a Single Folded Card or Boxed Set of 8

Mermaid Thank You Available as a Single Folded Card or Boxed Set of 8

Beautiful Bride Available as a Single Folded Card or Boxed Set of 8

Aren’t they gorgeous? I drool over Anna Bond’s designs.

Another great place to get cute cards is Minted. If you haven’t heard of Minted, you’re in for a treat. They will do everything and I mean, EVERYTHING. You can personalize cards or order ones that are already made. You can make photo gifts and calendars. You can send out digital cards, etc. It’s amazing. But if you want a place to start, check out their thank you cards here.

"Handlettered Thanks" - Foil-pressed Stationery in Coal by Olivia Goree.

You can personalize your name at the bottom!

"Flannel Thanks" - Whimsical & Funny Children's Stationery in Lumberjack Red by Allison Metcalfe.

"Indigo Print" - Bohemian Foil-pressed Thank You Cards in Navy by Pistols.

If you don’t want to order them online, places like Target and Papyrus sell Minted cards as well 🙂

Speaking of Target and Papyrus, they sell a ton of thank you cards and cards in general. I’ve always been obsessed with stationary and paper goods. I don’t know why but pressed paper is my kryptonite.

You should also try these paper goods companies if you’re just as obsessed as I am 🙂

Paper Source
Tabula Rasa
Anthropologie
(they have a great selection of cards and stationary)
Sugar Paper
Fringe

How do you like showing your gratitude?

xoxo

Facing Fears

Happy week of Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has a great week and enjoys time with friends and family before the Black Friday shopping begins!

Yesterday, I conquered a big fear of mine. It’s making my hands sweat as I type about it. Christmas is one of my favorite things and going all out with the decorations is really important to me. Usually, I would be bugging Adam since the beginning of November to get the Christmas lights up on the house before it’s too cold. Somehow I forgot this year and then he started remodeling our bathroom. It’s been consuming all of his free time so I didn’t dare add to it and ask him to put the Christmas lights up even though I know he would’ve found the time to do it.

It’s supposed to snow later this week so I knew if I was going to put the lights up I had to do it soon. I chose to do it when Adam was at work so I could do it in my own time. I got myself up a ladder and onto the roof with very shaky legs. I got all the lights up even though I had to redo a few parts and will have to get back up again to fix some light bulbs that are burnt out and maybe even how the extension cords are set up. But you know what, I got up there and got most of it done even though it was terrifying, especially the parts that were two stories up!

You can see the gaps where I need to fix the burnt out light bulbs.

This may seem silly to some people but I’m proud of myself for climbing up a ladder and sitting on the edge of the roof to put the lights up. Heights are definitely not my favorite thing and I would be OK never doing it again but I know if the situation arises, I can do it again. I celebrated it by going to Taco Bell after!

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I rose above. Literally lol.

Stay tuned this week for shopping finds and deals to know about on Black Friday!

Xoxo, Steph

Not So Ugly Holiday Sweaters

Are you in need of an ugly sweater for a party or event? You might be like me where you buy a not so ugly sweater and it’s just more festive. Last year, I ended up just wearing mine out on weekends because I thought they were fun. I thought I would find some suggestions to show you.

I bought this sweater last year. I love Elf and for some reason, Adam and I would say that line to each other when we were saying bye.

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Photo courtesy of Amazon

I couldn’t find my exact sweater but I also have one that says, “Resting Grinch Face.” I often have RBF and I love the Grinch so I loved it. Here is a similar one.

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Photo courtesy of Etsy

This sweatshirt is a great price and if you like Mean Girls, then you will like this.

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Photo courtesy of Etsy

The next options aren’t things you would probably wear to an ugly sweater party but I came across them on Etsy and they are so cute! I may or may not be purchasing something. This Etsy shop had some really cute options!

Hopefully, this gave you some fun ideas of some cute holiday sweaters to wear during the holiday season or to an ugly sweater party. I know I’ll be wearing mine!