Have an Epic 2017

blue typewriter

Gertrude is making a comeback in 2017.

It’s cliche and overwrought now, the idea of telling 2016 to not let the door hit it on the butt as it disappeared into history. It was a hard year no doubt, with the loss of so many familiar and famous faces, an unsettling presidential election, and so much tension worldwide. 2016 wasn’t an entirely bad year, though. I had a couple of significant personal highs, my brother getting married and the birth of my first child being tops of the list for me. But the year is over now and we are just a few days into 2017. I’m not one for resolutions, but for some reason this year it feels important to set a course. My life is dramatically different as I embark on a new year. 2017 Nicole is a very different lady than 2016 Nicole so I’ve taken a couple of days (most of them spent dealing with a fussy, post-shots baby boy) to figure out what direction I want to steer my new year in.

Guys, I’m planning to have an epic 2017.

On Friday I go back to work, but I am in a sense going to a whole new life. My job is amazing and I’ve been able to take on a different job role which in turn gives me a schedule that pretty much lets me be a stay at home mom while still earning a full-time income. This schedule change means my precious baby J is only going to be in childcare one day each week (and right now we’re lucky enough to have a family friend watching him.) It also means that I will actually have the flexibility to pursue some of my creative passions, like writing. Like makeup. Like everything. In 2017 I’m going to be working on my makeup and stylist side gigs, but also combining them with some other pursuits to create a whole image service. I’m also going to be working a bit with Rebecca Lassiter Photography and I am so excited about it. Rebecca took baby J’s first photos and I am obsessed with her work. I can’t wait to see where my creative pursuits take me.

I’m also focusing on my health and well-being this year. Last year was the year of finding out what was going on with myself emotionally and while mental health is always a work in progress I enter 2017 knowing my diagnosis and having a coping plan. What I need to focus on now is my body. Having a baby is hard! Being a mommy after the difficult physical process of birth is almost as taxing. I’ve already lost weight since having the baby, but I want to get myself to a healthy body weight. I’ve started doing Weight Watchers to help me towards my end goal of being literally half my size. It’s not about looking good (though I feel like I will be happier with my appearance) it’s about having my body in the best shape possible as J gets bigger and gives me a run for my money.

And speaking of money…I’m definitely trying to be more financially responsible this year. Expect to see more of my Target exploits, still unsupervised but perhaps a little more savvy. I have killer Target Style. Now I just want to do it on even more of a budget, which of course makes it even more awesome.

2017’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be epic.

What are your plans for 2017?

House and Home, Life

$50 Fab: Holiday Style

It’s a fair assessment that I like to decorate my house. It’s also a fair assessment that I love Target, that I enjoy being thrifty, and that those three things do not always go together. Decorating can be pricey, I can spend way too much money at Target, and when I’m trying to save money it doesn’t always work well. That being said it is not impossible to get your space fabulous for the holidays on the cheap. It’s taken me a few years to sort it out but this year I finally got it right. I present to you $50 Fab, my best tricks to get great decor on the cheap.


1.Target Dollar Spot is the best thing ever. There are always neat things in that bargain bin treasure trove and it is a great place to get seasonal items. This year I scored four glitter Christmas trees, three wooden holiday signs, chalkboard reindeer ornaments, a festive chalkboard easel, and some adorable little skis for $33 total. It was enough to add fine details to nearly ever corner of my living room/office area. I spent another twelve dollars on Christmas tree bunting, a small Ikea picture frame, and some candles.


2. Look for items after the holiday that you can use next year. I’ve gone to day after Christmas sales with my mom and grandmother for years and I often pick up random things that seem like they’d make no sense. I’d pick up random tablecloths, packs of ball ornaments, leftover candles, whatever caught my eye. I’d usually spend less than $20 and have a lot of odds and ends. Those odds and ends can easily be incorporated into a design. Those black and silver ball ornaments I got five years ago? This year they fill my grandfather’s vintage lunchbox not only making a nice design statement but also incorporating family memories into my home.

3. Think outside the box. Is there a beautiful piece of wrapping paper you just love? Frame it. It makes great holiday wall art or even mantle art. Those sparkly fabric placemats I bought after Christmas last year? They can be easily stitched together (or even fabric taped together) to make a unique and fun runner.  Leftover tinsel? Put it in a glass bowl or vase for a bit of pretty bling.


4. Never underestimate hand-me-downs. When I moved out on my own my mom let me raid some of her unused holiday things. I scored lots of random old vintage things (like electric candle lights) as well as some things that she just didn’t use (like porcelain letters spelling out “joy”.) When a friend was changing out her theme for holiday decorations she gave me some of her European Santa Clause figures.  A family friend passed onto me a stuffed Santa she remembered I liked as a child. These things all round out my decorations, but also incorporate people I love into my home.

5. Be you. Just like last year, Holiday Yoda has his place of honor on my bookshelf. Yes, Holiday Yoda is a talking Yoda toy draped in beads. And I love him.

I’d love to hear your tips for cheap decorating. Give me tips in comments!

Life, Wearable

what i got at target thursday.

I have a Target problem. I go about once a week (usually for normal things like groceries,) but even with a list I end up coming home with either things I didn’t intend to buy or a whole lot of project ideas in my head. This week it was a combination of the two, but at least I can feel positive about what I got at Target this week because the impulse buys are at least useful.

This week I got some transitional fall pieces. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, either. I woke up yesterday morning not only feeling like hot buttered garbage (hey sinus infection, hey) but to a chill in the air. That chill was still there when I ventured out to the doctor later that day for a combination deal of antibiotics and some KT tape for my busted knee (that’s a long story I’ll share another time.) Since getting meds meant going to Target and that meant a little bit of a wait, I killed some time in the clothing section. And came home with these two beauties.

both tops by Ava & Viv and under $50 for both. i win at life.

both tops by Ava & Viv and under $50 for both. i win at life.

Orange is my favorite color. Flannel is my favorite texture. Plaid is my favorite print. This shirt is all three and I am in button down fall shirt heaven. It’s very lightweight and very polished looking and I am going to wear the crap out of this bad boy with a skirt, my suede booties, and a denim jacket. Swoon. I snapped this up as it was the last one of this color in my size and I was not going to settle for the green version. Nope.

The pullover actually made me dance with glee, though. You see, I spotted this (or an eerily similar shirt) back in the spring, but they didn’t have my size at all. I was super bummed out because this just looks like the perfect weekend or casual day at the office shirt. It’s boxy, but soft, it has stripes (second favorite print/pattern) and it’s lightweight enough that it will keep me comfortable on cool mornings but not drive me nuts when the day warms up. Skinny jeans and a bold, blue-toned necklace are going to make this thing look amazing. I haven’t decided on the shoes. I’ll get there.

I also got a cheap full length mirror since this is the first house I’ve lived in that didn’t have one. Now I can take outfit photos and make sure I don’t look like captain crazy before I walk out the door. And, of course, I got my meds and my KT tape for the aforementioned busted knee.  And some coffee creamer. Target is a wonderland. And a problem. I love Target.

Life, Wearable

Lilly Pulitzer for Target. Sigh.

The Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection launched on Sunday.

It sold out minutes later.

Minutes after that the entire line ended up on eBay with prices jacked up 300%.

Part of me wants to call this a Target fail, but the reality it’s not just on Target. Yes, Target could have learned from collections past and done something to control the frenzy of greedy scalpers swiping up things just to sell them online or they could have planned for a restock. They didn’t.  I hope they do better next time, but I doubt that they will. In the end, the only thing I could find of the collection was a questionable orange nail polish with a Lilly tag stuck to it. I passed. I am still so disappointed.

the only damn thing i wanted from the lilly for target collection.

the only damn thing i wanted from the lilly for target collection.

The Lilly Pulitzer for Target line was the first time I’ve ever seen Lilly items in true plus sizes. I had a Lilly dress back in my skinny days (I picked up a vintage one in a thrift shop. I think it still lives in one of the boxes I’ve got in storage) but now that I’m distinctively larger I just can’t get them. Real Lilly items only go up to a 16 making the Target collaboration my only hope until I lose more weight. My preppy self got excited.  I gawked at the look book, selected the dress that I wanted the most and went online ready to pounce.

Sold out in seconds. Website crashed. I managed to find the dress on eBay ten minutes later…for $400. I passed.

There is something inherently wrong and almost evil about wiping out a collection only to jack up the price on eBay. Yes, I’m going with evil. I don’t begrudge anyone a profit, but at the same time the point of these collections is to bring the designer object within reach of the average person who might otherwise not be able to access or afford them. A plus size Lilly dress for $38 is practically a miracle in a world where plus size clothes are rarely cute and always cost twice as much as standard sizes. That the miracle of an affordable designer dress was hijacked by scalpers is disappointing at best, but more honestly is just flat out greedy.

It makes me disappointed in my fellow humans.

i will be saving up for this, scalpers can suck it.

i will be saving up for this, scalpers can suck it.

I’ll just have to wait until I lose a few more pounds to get another Lilly dress and a lot more pounds to slip back into the one living in storage. It’s okay, just annoying. In the meantime, though, I’m going to keep saving up for the Lilly bag I really want, scalpers be damned.