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No New Clothes for 365 Days

I did a bit of Black Friday shopping this past November and I grabbed some awesome finds……it was this that helped spur me towards an ultimate challenge for myself – 365 Days with no new clothes. From November 24th, 2017 to November 23rd, 2018 I have put a rule in place that I cannot buy any new clothes, shoes or accessories. This limits me to only buying consignment, thrift, and finding new ways to style what’s already in my closet. This challenge has three big goals to come out of this challenge with: 1. Save money, 2. Unleash creativity, and 3. Build discipline. I’ll be sharing outfits that I build through my thrifty finds and some thoughts on how I’m recreating and defining my look from what’s already in my closet too. There’s only one little loophole – I can be gifted new items – so my classic heels came as Christmas gifts this year…could improve some bargaining skills through this too – wink.

I’m kicking off my challenge with some fabulous finds from Swap.com. This is one of my favorite places to shop consignment. Keep in fashion while pinching pennies. Swap.com has 2.5 Million unique items needing a home and adds thousands more every day. Use promo code DO5THINGS at checkout between 1/8 – 1/31 for 40% off orders for new customers, plus free shipping if order is over $10. Some exclusions may apply.

Winter Looks With Swap.com

Banana Republic ‘Rain or Shine’ Tee ($3.50) paired with distressed jeans, a cozy beanie, and wine-colored booties

Banana Republic Grey Pencil Skirt ($4.00) paired with a flowy white blouse and cobalt blue suede heels for a pop

Banana Republic Cashmere Blend Sweater ($4.50) paired with green jeggings, casual booties, a crystal necklace and a leopard print clutch

J. Crew Sequin Tank ($5.50) paired with fitted mini skirt, suede jacket, and strappy heels

 Banana Republic Asymmetrical Tube Top ($4.50) and Banana Republic Linen Blazer ($5.00) paired with bootcut jeans, chic black layered necklaces, and a vegan leather clutch

J. Crew Textured Pencil Skirt ($6.50) paired with fitted turtleneck, black pearls, and classic black pumps

Banana Republic Open Weave Sweater ($5.00) paired with white skinny jeans, an artsy bronze necklace, and brown equestrian boots

Black Arden B. Tube Top ($4.50) paired with striped pencil skirt, black cardigan, and classic nude pumps

Want more ideas? Check out my How to Build Your Fall Fashion For Less Than $20

Old Navy Mint Sweater ($4.00) and Faux Fur Scarf ($3.00) paired with bootcut jeans, leopard print belt, and wide brimmed hat

 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page.
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January Art Challenge

I have all kinds of fun goals and healthy habits planned to bring into my New Year. Fitness, Self-Discovery, and Creativity are some of my top intentions for 2018. In 2018, I’ll be launching Do Five Things A Day’s Monthly Art Challenges.

5 Reasons to Participate in an Art Challenge:

1.) Art stimulates the mind

2.) It has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety.

3.) It promotes self expression and creativity.

4.) It provides learning opportunities.

5.) It’s fun!

 

Here are January’s prompts to kick it off:

 

 

Follow me on Instagram @dofivethingsaday where I’ll be sharing my artwork each day. Share your artwork on Instagram and #dofivethingsaday in your post.

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5 of My Favorite Books from 2017

Well I didn’t get as much reading done as I planned in 2017 but I did read some really great books! I’m looking forward to kicking into gear to get much more reading done in 2018. I’m launching a Book Club for anyone that would like to read along! Make sure to join my Facebook Group ‘Journey to a Life You Love’ to participate in the conversation. My goal is to read 12 books in 2018! 

My Five Favorite Books from 2017

White Hot Truth by Danielle LaPorte

 

The Soul Searcher’s Handbook by Emma Mildon

 

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

 

Buddhist Boot Camp by Timber Hawkeye

 

Altar of Bones by Philip Carter

 

Check out the books I have planned for this upcoming year: Book Club 2018.

Don’t forget to join the Facebook Group ‘Journey to a Life You Love’ and read along each month! 

 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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Inspiration from the Big Screen – Celebration of Star Wars

There has been so much excitement about the new Star Wars movie coming out tomorrow! I’ll be honest, I enjoy the movies for sure but my knowledge is no where comparable to some of the folks I know, but being in a marketing position at the office I’ve found myself caught up in the whirl of it and it’s been a fun ride! Me being me, of course, I found some inspiration from the sayings and quotes. With the idea of the dark side vs. the light side, there is much that can be pulled out of the context of these movies <3

My Favorite Quotes from the Star Wars Movies & What They Mean to Me

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” ~ Darth VaderYou have to have faith in yourself, in your abilities, in life, and in possibilities. Faith will guide your way. Without it, you can feel lost. Even on bad days, you have to hold onto the faith that things are going to get better. You have to have faith that you can achieve your goals to start working towards them. Faith is a driver. Don’t give up faith.

“The force will be with you always.” ~ Obi-Wan KenobiEverything you need to succeed and to be happy is within yourself. It is always with you.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” ~ YodaIf you decide you want to make something happen then you have to will it to happen. You have to do what it takes to get it done. There is always a way if you stick to it.

“You can’t stop the change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” ~ Shmi SkywalkerChange is inevitable. Everything is always changing, even the very cells in our body are constantly changing. We must learn to adapt to change and to grow with it.

“If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” ~ Obi-Wan KenobiLife gets hard and can break us many times but each time we fall we heal and we become stronger. So bring it world!

 “In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.” ~ YodaDuring some of our darkest moments is when we can truly discover who we are. It is in our rawest moments that we see the truth. 

“Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi’s life. So you might say that we are encouraged to love.” ~ Anakin SkywalkerCompassion is an important trait to develop. We must learn to have compassion for the world, for others, and for ourselves. Compassion envelopes understanding and love and compassion leads us to positive change.

“Your focus determines your reality.” ~ Qui-Gon JinnWhere you place your focus is what will grow. Focus on the things you want in your life, focus on the positive.

“Let go of your hate.” ~ Luke SkywalkerDon’t live your life full of hate and anger, it will destroy you.

“Be careful not to choke on your aspirations.” ~ Darth VaderDon’t take on more than you handle at one time. You’ll burn out if you do.

“I should be mindful of the future…but not at the expense of the moment.” ~ Qui-Gon JinnBe aware and work towards your goals and build for your future but do not blind yourself of the present moment. You must learn to live in the moment while you work towards the future.

“Much to learn you still have.” ~ YodaWe will always have more to learn. Life has consistent opportunities for us to grow and develop.

“Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.” ~ Obi-Wan KenobiWhat we perceive is what we believe. You have to teach yourself to see things with an open mind and believe in all possibilities.

“Be mindful of your thoughts. They will betray you.” ~ Obi-Wan KenobiTrain your mind to release negative thoughts.

“Now be brave and don’t look back. Don’t look back.” ~ Shmi SkywalkerLet go of your past, you don’t live there anymore. You can’t go back and change the past, you can only take the lessons learned and move forward.

Three Bonus Quotes to Inspire You to Keep Working Towards Your Goals

“If you want to be successful in a particular field, perseverance is one of the key qualities.” ~ George Lucas

“You have to find something that you love enough to jump over hurdles and break through the brick walls.” ~ George Lucas

“You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plough right ahead.” ~ George Lucas

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How to Build Your Fall Style for Less Than $20

I love building my wardrobe with the turn of a season, Fall being one of my favorite seasons to expand. I love boots, sweaters, blazers, and heels. With Swap.com you can expand your wardrobe without spending a lot of money. Shopping at consignment shops is a great way to get new pieces for your closet without shelling out the new price tag dough. I was able to find several wonderful pieces in great condition, all for under $20!

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page. Photo Credit: Anthony Machcinski. Check out more of his work here – Photos by Anthony Machcinski

Purple Jean Shorts $2.30 – Aerie Sweater $5.00

Mint Green Old Navy Sweater $4.00 – Faux Fur Scarf $3.00

Banana Republic Linen Blazer $5.00 – Long Sleeve Tissue Tee $3.80

There are so many great finds at Swap.com. From sweaters to dresses to shoes and accessories, you can build a full outfit all for just bucks! Shop today and get free shipping with special discount code UGETFREESHIP at checkout.

P.S. Special shout-out to my awesome blog photographer Anthony Machcinski. We shot these photos in a short time frame trying to catch the last of the sun and I absolutely love them! It is such an awesome experience to be able to work with a photographer with an eye for the artistic look I always like to capture in my blog photos! Please be sure to check out more of his work here: Photos by Anthony Machcinski His work is beautiful and each photo has a story behind it.

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5 Simple to Pull Together but Super Cute and Sexy Halloween Costumes for 2017

So I’ve decided that this year I want to dress up for Halloween…I missed last year but did enjoy handing out candy at the door (so many adorable costumes!!!). I ran through a bunch of ideas for costumes – I could do this for days, I love Halloween!!!

1) Cute & Simple Bunny

I decided on this one for the office! It’s simple, cute and I can manage through the day without any crazy costume malfunctions. I picked up a set of super adorable lace bunny ears (I went with pink) and I got one of those pom pom key chains to make into a tail. I’ll wear leggings and a fuzzy sweater.

Bunny Ear Headband with Dot Veil from Aldo $16  – Sequin Bunny Ear Headband from Urban Outfitters $14

 2) Sexy Skeleton

Pull on a sexy skeleton get up and paint your face to be a little spooky and wah-lah you are Halloween Party ready!

Leg Avenue Skeleton Catsuit $30.71ASOS Mesh Skeleton Bodycon Dress $40

3) Sweet Deer

This is one that I almost opted for. I love the woodland animals trend that has been around lately.  Grab a set of antlers, paint white spots on your face, and dress up in brown and tan palettes.

Deer Antlers with Flowers Headband from ASOS $16Deer Antlers Headband from Amazon.com $17.99

4) Frisky Cat & 5) Seducing Devil

These never go out of style, these are classics! Easy to put together costumes for the office or for your party. Put on your favorite red dress with the devil set or for the cat, pull on black leggings and a black top.

Lux Accessories Sexy Devil Costume Accessory $9.95ASOS Sequin Cat Ear Hair Clips $8

 

Want more ideas for DIY Halloween Costumes? Check out my favorite Round-Ups:

  1. 33 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes from GoodHouseKeeping.com
  2. 30 DIY Costumes from Society19.com
  3. 30 Genius Halloween Costumes You Can Whip Up Last Minute from WomansDay.com

 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page.
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Workout Wear Wishlist

I am a workout wear fanatic…anyone else? If I’m not in work clothes for the office, nine out of ten times you’ll find me in workout gear. I find it comfortable, I feel confident and good in it and it totally fits my active lifestyle.

My Fall Picks from Reebok:

Long Legging (Running Tights) $75 – I love the sleek design of these and they look ultra comfortable for a nice fall trail run

Workout Ready Supremium 2.0 1/4 Zip Sweatshirt $40 – Fitted so it moves with you during your workout

Cake Today Tank $25 – Because we work to get what we want…like we go to the gym so we can eat cake

Wool Long Sleeve Shirt $60 – Layer up with this staple for a cool day run

Elements Marble Sweatpant $40 – I love these to throw on for a lifting day at the gym

Hero Strong Bra $55 – High support for any sport or work out

Padded Vest $85 – Warm but still gives you the freedom to move as you need to

Floatride Run Sneaker $150 – I am absolutely in love with these sneakers, lightweight but with just the right amount of cushion for a comfortable run and super snazzy style

 

 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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26 Days to Being More Grateful For Where You Are Now

Learning to be grateful for the things, feelings and surroundings we have in life is a practice that will help lead us to  happiness. When we appreciate all that we already have and all the things we’ve experienced, we can see so much more opportunity in our lives. A few months back I did this challenge and it got me thinking how thankful for all I have gone through and how blessed I am in each day. Follow along this challenge to help open new ways of seeing your life and to express gratitude for all that you are and have today. 

So here’s how this works: Each day or night grab your journal and write what you are grateful for…there’s a twist – each day is going to be corresponding to a letter from the alphabet. Write down whatever comes to your mind. For me this challenge not only helped me see all the wonderful things and wonderful sides of some of my down times but it also pushed me to be more creative in my thinking. Some of these are a bit wacky but most will all be connected to a memory or a lesson, keep that in mind when you’re journaling. I’ve shared some ideas below to help get you started. Make sure to come back and share some of the things you’re grateful too! 

A – adventures, ambition, avocados…

B – butterflies, BLT’s, boldness…

C – courage, co-workers, cheese, curiosity, coffee, celebrations, cats…

D – dancing, dogs, discoveries…

E – energy, encouragement…

F – friends, family, fuzzy socks…

G – Grandparents, grass to lay in, grasshoppers, growth…

H – Heartbreaks (because we learn so much from them), healing, hot tea, hugs,  hope…

I – ice cream, insight, intuition…

J – joy, jobs, jumping…

K – kisses, kindness, kids…

L – love, life, lazy Sundays, ladybugs…

M – My Mother, the moon, memories, music, mornings…

N – nature, new beginnings…

O – opportunities, the ocean…

P – painting, photographs, patience, perseverance…

Q – quirkiness, quotes, quilts…

R – rest and relaxation, roses, 

S – sunshine, silence, storms, stars, sleep, smiles…

T – travel, time, technology, tacos, Thai Food…

U – unconditional love, umbrellas, unicorns…

V – victories, vivaciousness, violets…

W – water, wine, watermelon, wins…

X – xylophones, xoxo’s, x-rays…

Y – yawning, youthfulness, yoga…

Z – zeal for life! 

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Reading List – Murder/Mystery/Horror Novels to Read

For this month’s reading list I thought it’d be fun to get a little spooky. Whether you’re looking for a good mystery or murder novel or a crime-solving thriller this is the list for you! Two of my favorites are on this list too! 

Reading List: Murder, Mystery and Horror

 

Altar of Bones by Philip Carter – This is one of my favorite reads – A deathbed confession ignites a globe-spanning race for answers in this page-turning thriller. Cryptic dying words from a murdered homeless woman in present-day San Francisco unlock a long-buried secret that alters history. Now, a pair of ruthless assassins are sent to cut the few living “loose ends.” And a young, resourceful woman on the run encounters a determined man with his own connected past and vengeful agenda. Forced to partner for survival and answers, a fast-paced and deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, whisking the duo from the winding streets of Paris to the faded palaces of Budapest to the frozen lakes of Mongolia…where destiny, passion, and further betrayal await them. Jam-packed with pulse-pounding action and featuring a high-profile assassination, a doomed Hollywood legend, and guardians of an ancient religious icon housing a secret others will kill to possess, this novel is certain to leave readers stunned and breathless.

 

It by Stephen King  – With all the hype around with the remake of the movie coming out this book has made its way back on many reading lists this year – Welcome to Derry, Maine. It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real. They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made twenty-eight years ago calls them reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that terrifying summer return as they prepare to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers. 

 

 

Brimstone by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child – It’s been awhile since I’ve read this novel but the memory of it still sneaks into my mind. This is one that sticks with you – A body is found in the attic of a fabulous Long Island estate. There is a claw print scorched into the wall, and the stench of sulfur chokes the air. When FBI Special Agent Pendergast investigates the gruesome crime, he discovers that thirty years ago four men conjured something unspeakable. Has the devil come to claim his due? Some things can’t be undone.

 

 

 

 

The Fisherman by John Langan – I haven’t read this one yet but it’s definitely made it onto my list after reading the reviews – In upstate New York, in the woods around Woodstock, Dutchman’s Creek flows out of the Ashokan Reservoir. Steep-banked, fast-moving, it offers the promise of fine fishing, and of something more, a possibility too fantastic to be true. When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other’s company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It’s a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.

 

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice – This is one of my favorite authors and series – #1 New York Times Bestselling author – The spellbinding classic that started it all – Book I of the Vampire Chronicles

Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.

 

 

 

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza – I always love a good detective thriller so this one of course made it to my list with all the twists and turns it is claiming to have – When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation. The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London. What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding? As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

Sweet Treats by Jeremy Magargee – Not for the weak-hearted, this twisted horror will take you down a dark path – There’s a human monster stalking the streets in the little town of Greyfield. He has a taste for lollipops and he keeps a collection of terrible secrets locked away in glass jars. His addiction is the suffering of others and he’ll go to any lengths to get that fix. The police don’t suspect him. He hides in plain sight, the wolf among sheep. The only one that can stop him is a young boy named Jack, his latest victim. Jack is hopeless and dying when an unlikely savior comes to him, offering a deal that will aide him in exacting his vengeance against his kidnapper. All Jack has to do is invite the wicked visitor inside…and sacrifice a piece of himself in the process. Will Jack have his vengeance and put an end to Greyfield’s gruesome killer once and for all? Or will the pact Jack made with the visitor come back to haunt him? 

 

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner – Another great best-selling thriller to add to the list – Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters. Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

 

 

 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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15 Things to Add to Your Fall Bucket List

I had a little help from my son with this post, as we sat at the kitchen table Saturday morning thinking about the things we want to do together in the next few months. I’m a huge fan of bucket lists. Bucket lists set into motion little adventures (and big adventures). Here’s our little round-up of adventures to have this Fall full of creativity, some tasty treats, science experiments, and a little travel.

2017 Fall Bucket List

1) Carve Pumpkins

2) Take a trip to NYC

3) Go on a fall hike

4) Make pumpkin ice cream pie

5) Paint self-portraits

6) Visit the Baltimore Zoo

7) Build a volcano

8) Get nerdy family portraits

9) Visit a corn maze

10) Go thrift shopping

11) Go horseback riding

12) Make homemade hot cocoa

13) Design our own mugs to drink our hot cocoa out of

14) Go on a train ride

15) Have a Lord of the Rings movie-a-thon