Magic Moments:Life Lately in Instagrams.

It’s halfway through the work week, you guys. Yippeeeee!!

I’m encouraged and inspired  lately to keep going, to push harder & burn the midnight oil to keep up with projects (such as this blog & some DIY) after hours, but I tell ya.. after 12 hour days, lately I have just not had the oomph for it.

So let’s catch up via Instagram lately.

4th of july doughnutsWe celebrated the 4th with fireworks & festive doughnuts. Yeah buddy.
ducks latelyWe have some duck friends who come visit us. Usually there are 2 that visit in a pair, but lately it’s just one at a time. We feed the ducks and about 8 turtles that live in the pond too pretty regularly.
brooklyn latelyHere’s my baby girl. When I say baby, I mean she acts like she’s a baby.. but technically she’s middle-aged in dog years. She’s so photogenic.
dresses latelyDRESSES!! Ross has expanded their dress section and I was able to scoop up 3 lovelies without breaking my budget this past weekend. Josh didn’t really understand why I had to buy 3, but then again his wardrobe consists of about 1/3 of mine so.. yeah.
partners latelyShadows at the beach. This is probably my most favorite photo in a long time. I tweaked it using a couple of programs & am probably going to print/upsize it to display in the house very soon.

Little details make the every day special. Follow me on Instagram to see more of our little details & moments.

Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

 

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A little spontaneity to cure the heart.

Happy Monday everyone!

I’m happy to say that this Monday I’m feeling refreshed, physically & more importantly- mentally.

Last week was a tough week for me. Every day started clumsily; I was knocking my coffee over, or running late, chasing the dogs because they decided to be more adventurous than usual and run off, you name it. I was waking up exhausted (I’m pretty sure I wake up during my deep sleep cycle and need to do something about that) and annoyed before I’d even started my day really.

I was also feeling disconnected, from everyone and everything meanwhile stressing some upcoming obligations and financial things. Not the best mix.

On Friday afternoon I was just trying to get myself psyched up for my last work shift Friday night & I was talking to Josh about my crappy mood and lack of excitement. I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned needing a little getaway over the past 2-3 weeks but I must have said it again Friday.

I’ll be the first to tell you what I think I need, but the last to take a break or spend on something fun when there are other obligations.

Josh said: Let’s go to Daytona this weekend. Book a hotel. I’ll cover everything. We’ll go tomorrow morning after my class.

And so I did.

We had a lovely little beach side weekend drinking cocktails on the hotel balcony overlooking the beach and spent Sunday playing in the water and lounging on the beach.

daytona 2
daytona 1 It was a short trip, only an hour or so away from home. Sometimes though, I think we just need a change of scenery and some time to be unavailable to our to-do lists.

Cheers to feeling refreshed & reconnected!

Zero.

Zero is beautiful, you guys.

Maybe not when that’s the number in your checking account, or how many calories you have left in your allowance for the day.. but when it’s the number on all of your credit cards? BEAUTIFUL.

It’s the second time I’ve paid off several credit cards. And the last.

I was so angry with myself for letting them get racked back up [not long] after they were initially paid off about 2 years ago. I had an excursion to Europe (where the exchange rates are just terrible when converting American dollars to the Euro and pounds, unfortunately) and Christmas that followed paying off those credit cards and well, one thing led to another.. and they got pretty high again.

2013 has been a year focused on aggressive financial changes and I’m happy to announce that I made my last credit card payment & all card balances are back to ZERO and that I’ve completed goal 3 of 13 in 2013 much sooner than I originally thought I would.

It’s been hard work, the past few months but it feels AWESOME to have no credit card debt.

Next challenge is socking that extra monthly cash allowance that was designated for credit cards straight into my car.

I’ve heard that money doesn’t buy happiness. But I’ve also heard recently that money buys choices.

What could you do with extra money in your pocket?

In a few months I’ll h ave no credit card payments and no car payment.

Oh, the possibilities!

happy day

SparkLovely Etsy Shop Opens!

It’s hump day & I have an announcement!

I’ve been flirting with the idea of opening up an Etsy shop for some time & have finally done so!

For right now, I’ll be concentrating on building end tables and side tables out of vintage suitcases and will hopefully expand to include other fun home accessories. It’s just a start for right now, so I’ll be on the hunt for great fabrics and an array of suitcase sizes but am open to interpretation and will do my best to accommodate any special requests including certain colors, height dimensions, etc.

I built one for my sister as a housewarming gift/birthday present and it’s been a hit. I’m loving unconventional items for furniture pieces and storage and these tables definitely fill both of those needs.

Check out the shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SparkLovely

Linking Up for 10 Things that Make Me Happy

Michaela Noelle posted a lovely post earlier this week titled 10 Things that Make Me Happy. That got me thinking about 10 things in MY life that make ME happy.

1. Springtime. The air is so fresh and there’s so much light for a good part of the day, I just feel so inspired in the mornings.

2. My pups. They’re so silly and are long lost sisters from different mothers but they have so much energy and excitement for every day. It makes you want to embrace the day the same way too.

3. Plants in the house. Oh my goodness.. obsessed is probably a mild term for how I feel about house plants, fresh flowers and succulents right now.

4. Decluttering. I know that sounds super nerdy but lately I’ve been on a spring cleaning kick.. Donating all sorts of items that have been sitting in the back of a closet or in a side table, or even hanging in my closet. I’ve finally put that advice into play: if it doesn’t make you happy right now for whatever reason, it’s okay to donate or upcycle it into something else that does.

5. A clean sink and clean counter tops in my kitchen. The floor can have gone weeks without being swept (it doesn’t) but if the counters and sink are clear and shining, I’m a happy girl.

6. Redecorating. I’m spending most of my extra time and money to finish decorating our apartment that we moved into only 10 months ago. It’s like I started personalizing our space with what I had and stopped before I got halfway there because work schedules got crazy and I subconsciously didn’t want to decorate a new place that presented new challenges with old things that worked in the previous apartment but not this one. But I’m decluttering and very okay with out with some of the old and bring on the new!

7. Target. I have a list of places that I love to shop, as everyone does.. it’s filled with popular places like Anthropologie and Pier 1, etc. I’ve deprived myself from shopping shopping for the last year because I didn’t feel right about it knowing I had so much debt to pay off. Now that I’m down to 1 more credit card and making sizable credit card payments every month towards that goal – I feel good about spending money to redecorate and Target, I have missed you.

8. Peppermint. I always classified myself as more of a florals type girl but I’ve changed my mind. I’ve been experimenting with different ways to scent our house because I can’t stand that stale air smell when we come back into the house after running errands or getting off work. I have found that burning essential oils in a mini crock pot does a lovely job and peppermint is a lovely, fresh scent that we have been burning every day. Another plus is the boyfriend likes it too!

9. Black & white prints. I have always loved black and white prints with high contrast and tweak my own photos to have that aesthetic. I’m working on adding more b&w prints in brightly colored frames to our house now.

10. DIY projects. Not just because you can save money by DIY but because I just love starting a new project.

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Check out Michaela’s original post here: http://michaelanoelledesigns.blogspot.com/2013/05/10-things-that-make-me-happy.html