Decorating · Eco-friendly · OOTD · Thrift Shopping

A Home Decor and Fall Fashion Goodwill Haul.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday! I hope that your week is going well! I’ve had quite the busy little week, and have been on a mission to get to decorating our apartment. Which you can see if you read this blog post. I wanted to take a trip to the thrift store to find some more pieces to add. And boy oh boy, did I find some treasures — the Goodwill here in Traverse City is phenomenal!

These boots! Oh my gosh. As if I wasn’t already plenty excited for fall… I’ve been wanting a pair of brown boots for awhile, and here they are! They’re a seven and a half, which is half a size bigger than what I usually wear, but with socks on, they fit perfectly! I picture many a cute outfits completed with these boots.

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This little sunflower piece! It’s so stinking cute and it fits in so well with all my other decor. When I took the Goodwill sticker off of it, some of the paint came off, so I put it behind this faux ivy to cover it up! It uses the space really well, and makes it look even more complete! Above the counter is quickly becoming my favorite part of our apartment.

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Isn’t this little basket the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? And believe it or not, these soaps are from Goodwill as well. I recently finished up my liquid soap and wanted to make the switch to bar soap, as it’s so much better for the environment! And they fit so nice in this little basket! It also looks so dang adorable on our countertop.

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This sweater!!! Oh my gosh! It was brand spankin’ new — with tags and everything! From the Gap! And it was originally $30! I was so happy to find this! And again, it’ll be perfect for fall, or even a summer night over a sundress. It’s so stinkin’ cute.

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This dress is probably my favorite find of the whole trip! It’s from L.L Bean, and it’s actually from the petite section which is awesome because I’m a bit on the short side… It is the coziest dress ever and I love this blue color! I paired it with some white flip flops and it was perfect. I also have a white denim jacket that I think it would look amazing with.

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We also bought some cups, but they’re fairly standard, so I didn’t bother taking photos of them. And a pan! But again, not super exciting! We were excited about them, which I suppose is just part of becoming adults. Ha!

Thank you so much for reading, friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

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Eco-friendly

Five of my Favorite Eco Tips.

Hello, friends! And a happy Monday to you! As we settle back into our routines after that wonderful long weekend, I thought I would share some of my favorite ways to be eco-friendly on a day-to-day basis! I think that they’re all super simple, and easy to add to most routines!

  1. Use the backs of paper before recycling them. This one may seem a tad obvious, but I thought I’d mention it all the same. I use old pieces of paper for many things, grocery lists, to-do lists, and just small little reminders. I don’t buy sticky notes at all, I can’t seem to find a need to. I will cut up bigger sheets of paper into fours and have a little pile of paper that can be used for notes! Such a simple thing, but I make sure that I don’t recycle a piece of paper before I’ve used both sides!
  2. Reuse spaghetti jars. I know how tempting it can be to want to buy brand new jars that all match to hold bulk items in, but that’s really not necessary. If you’re buying food items that come in glass jars, they’re super handy to keep and use when buying bulk items, or even for organization of smaller items. I like to use old jam jars to hold bobby pins or makeup brushes. If the sticky adhesive doesn’t come off right away, you can always use a bit of an essential oil, and that generally does the trick. If you’re wanting jars for a bit more of a decorative use, you can always wrap some twine or fabric scraps around it to make it look a bit cuter.
  3. Do not buy things simply because they are cheap. Even if you’re buying secondhand. It’s so easy to get swept up in a good deal, but it’s not always in our best interest to purchase things. If we have no use for an item, it’ll just sit around our home, collecting dust. There could be someone else out there that could genuinely make use of it, so we ought to leave it for them. This would also probably be my number one tip for thrift shopping.
  4. Know when to buy things NEW. I’m especially guilty of doing this when it comes to jeans. I’ll buy a pair of jeans from Goodwill that don’t fit me especially well, and wear them until they inevitably tear from being ill-fitting, only to have to go back to Goodwill to buy a new pair. After doing this for a couple of years, I finally bit the bullet and bought two new pairs of Levi’s, because they fit me very well, and I know that they will last me for years. This may not always be in one’s budget, but I would definitely recommend figuring out if items you buy will be costing more money in the end.
  5. Opt for no receipt/do bills online. Some stores do not offer this option, but I try to do it whenever I’m able. For example, with Consumer’s Energy, I only receive my bill online, as opposed to also getting it in the mail. This saves some paper, and you’ll also have a record of your bills online. Additionally, some stores will allow you to opt for a receipt sent to your email, instead of a physical one. Not all stores do, and if that’s the case… look to my first tip for how to deal with that!

 

And remember, something is better than nothing. As long as we’re doing on our honest best, I think that we should be proud of ourselves.

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

A Journey into Self-Love

Overcoming Perfectionism in Our Homes.

Hello, friends! And a happy Friday to you all! I hope that it is beautiful and sunny wherever you may be. The weather has been so lovely  the past couple of days, which is a wonderful change from how rainy it has been. I love myself a cozy, rainy day as much, if not more than the next person, but my goodness, after awhile… I’ve been soaking up all the sunshine I possibly can. That being said… it is certainly a rainy day today. Oh, well. I’ve been watching some really nice history documentaries the past couple of days, which is especially nice on a rainy day. In-between the unpacking, of course.

I had hoped that I would have the entire apartment all spick and span by the time Friday’s blog had come around, but alas, no such look. That being said, Bobby and I have made SO MUCH progress. I’ve been doing laundry like nobody’s business. We made the decision to do ALL the laundry, because the old apartment complex was so dang stinky. The hallway REEKED of cigarette smoke and it seeped into the apartment. And there weren’t enough windows to ever air it out!

I’m eager to show you the apartment once we’ve completely unpacked, but for now, I thought I’d write about overcoming perfectionism: in the home.

I absolutely adore organization and organizing a cabinet full of tupperware is my idea of a relaxing afternoon. However… I do have a tendency to organize myself silly. I want everything to be PERFECT. And when it isn’t, I just want to quit. Unpacking has been sort of a struggle for me, because nothing has a spot that’s 100% its own yet. I have to keep reminding myself that I just need to get everything put away first, and focus on the final organization later.

I know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Perfectionism can be all too relevant in every single aspect of our lives, but perfectionism in the home is its own breed. An example I can use is my bed. It’s comfortable, the sheets are clean, and its even made! And yet, I still don’t feel great about it. For whatever reason, the comforter is still wrinkly, the sheets don’t match, and I haven’t cleaned the pillow cases yet! Not to mention that the comforter itself is more a winter comforter…

Yikes! All of that stuff is so shallow, why does it vex me so? It’d be so easy to blame social media for our need to have a perfect home, but these feelings go back much farther. They can go back to television, and magazines, and even just going to other people’s homes. Even if we don’t want it to be so, our brain naturally wants to compare things. It makes us realize who has a bigger tv, more expensive furniture, and who has more square feet in their home. And it’s so easy to get wrapped up in that. Frivolity isn’t ALWAYS a good thing…

Another example I have would be my seasonal dish cloths. I went through a phase thinking I needed one for every holiday and season. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Fall, you name it, I probably have it. And the idea of displaying them in the wrong season? No way! Or how about displaying one with coffee stains on it? Certainly not!

I wish I could say I’m immune to such bouts of shallowness, but I’m not. I’m much better with it now, though. Stained Christmas dish clothes can wipe up spills just as good as an unblemished, seasonably appropriate one can, even if you are using it in June…

With this new apartment, I’m learning more and more to be grateful for what I do have. And becoming conscious of what I should be focusing on. I am so thankful to have sheets that are clean, counters I can clean up, and even more so, a roof over my head.

It’s so easy to fixate on how things look, instead of their function. The function is what is the most important. We must make do with what we have, and try to remain grateful for it all.

My bed may not be outfitted with the most expensive comforter, my pillows may be mismatched, and it may not have the most ornate headboard, but it is a clean and safe place for me to rest my head at night.

And I think we can still decorate our home and delight in the act of it, without needing it to be PERFECT. We don’t need to spend heaps and heaps of money on trendy pieces for our home to feel cozy. Heck, most of my favorites pieces that I have were either hand-me-downs from friends or family, found on the side of the road, or from Goodwill.

Decorating our home is a wonderful way to express ourselves, but it is not the only way, nor is it the most important thing to focus on when creating our home. I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but truly, all we can do is our best. Our home doesn’t need to be straight off an HGTV makeover show for it to be a cute and cozy home, more than worthy of having friends and family over. The home itself matters little, it’s those inside of it that are the most important.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings · Uncategorized

The Art of Keeping a Cozy House.

Hello, friends! A happy Monday to you! I hope that you all had a lovely weekend! I definitely did. I was able to spend lots of time with my family, which I always love. Not to mention how BEAUTIFUL it was outside. Finally! Spring weather! Sundress season here I come!

I spent most of my Saturday at my Momma’s house, which got me to thinking about how cozy it is. How could I have forgotten that? How can I have a house that’s half as cozy?!

I have never wanted to live in a large home with expensive, white appliances and impractical white furniture. My heart skips a beat whenever I see old farm houses way out in the boonies. I love houses filled with antiques and well-loved furniture. Anything handmade or passed down from generation to generation, I adore. I understand that this is not everyone’s style and that some prefer a more polished and expensive home, but I am not one of those people. For us regular folk, it is also probably out of our price range. We shouldn’t feel ashamed about this, not at all. It’s not what makes a good home anyhow.

I’ll use my Momma’s home as an example, since my nest isn’t quite where I’d like to be yet. Especially right now. I’m trying to sell items I don’t have use for and in the process, I’ve kind of turned my apartment into a big ol’ mess. And let me remind y’all, it is far too small for a big ol’ mess. All part of the process, friends…

The flowers that I posted for the featured image are my mom’s. She bought them for $3.00 at Aldi, then put them in various clear jars and put them at both windows. It’s something that cost very little money, but made her home feel so much happier. It also kind of reminded me of one of my recent blog posts where I talk about little luxuries. My mother bought those flowers to brighten up the space and to give her just a little extra pep in her step. She only spent $3 on them and paired them with some jars that she already had. Not only is it the flowers that cozied up the place, but also the way she arranged them. Coziness goes hand in hand with ingenuity. It’s doing something unique with items, repurposing them when needing a bit of change. I took some inspiration from her and picked some daffodils that grow outside my church and put them on my windowsill. My aunt lent me a beautiful white vase to put them in and it pairs so nicely with the bright yellow of the daffodils. Just that little added something makes a home feel much cozier.

Bobby and I went to Goodwill yesterday and scored BIG time. We’re trying to find home decor for when we end up moving to Traverse City. We were able to find so much wonderful stuff. I bought some wicker baskets, a little homemade cup, and some wooden crates from a winery in Traverse City, two of them! (I also bought a beautiful red and white polka dot skirt, and Bobby found 13 DVDS) and we spent less than $50 on all of that! I want to scream from the rooftops that it’s not about where you buy something or how much it costs that makes the item a treasure. I spent the remainder of the day giddy about my $3.00 wicker basket.

A cozy home is one where people feel comfortable. It is a tidy home, but it does not need to be spotless. It’s simply doing your best. Life gets busy sometimes and maybe laundry isn’t number one on your to-do list. That’s okay. It also doesn’t mean you have expensive furniture or a freakishly large TV, instead, it’s a place where everyone has a place to sit and a feeling of belonging.  Where everyone can relax and enjoy each other’s company. Play a board game, talk to each other, maybe even share a meal.

A cozy home is one where the host/hostess is friendly and makes their guests feel at home. You may not have the most expensive food or be the best cook, but let your guests know that they’re welcome to what you have. Offer them a coffee, a tea, or a glass of water. If they’re spending the night, let them know where the extra blankets are. Act as though you are happy that they’re there, do not act as though they’re a burden! The kindness you give, mixed with the coziness of the home can make for a wonderful time, for both you and your guests!

It’s so easy for us to get caught up in photos and lives we see online. We go to Pinterest for inspiration and instead we start feeling bad about our own home. We follow an Instagram account for DIY tutorials, but instead we feel bad about our skills. This is so harmful to us! We’re so lucky to have these resources, but we must remember that our homes do not need to be copies of what we see online. What’s the fun in that anyways? What makes a home beautiful is the people within it. It’s fun to decorate and create a cozy environment, but at the end of the day, what’s truly important is the time we spend with our loved ones, our home is just a place to make that possible.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae