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10 Highlights From 2018! #Blessed

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Well, there are only 2 days left in 2018 and as cheesy as it is, I wanted to share a few of my own personal highlights from this year. I tend to eye roll at the thought of “reflecting on my year” and “making New Years resolutions”, but after what one could describe as a tumultuous year, it just feels right. Though not everything on this list is super-positive (a lot of them are!), each thing brought me to where I am now, and for that I am grateful!! Here we gooooo!

  • Stepping Up My Activist Game

    If you had asked me 5 years ago whether I would ever take an interest in politics, I might have spit my drink out laughing. But thanks to friends and family who inspired me to pay attention and get involved…you could say I’ve found a new passion. There is something incredibly patriotic about exercising my right to vote, and to speak my mind against issues I don’t believe in. This year I attended the March For Our Lives rally, advocated for Andrew Gillum in the midterms, and even got to see Chris Hayes do his show live from Orlando! ~swoon~

  • Christmas In New York City!

    I must say my brother and I’s gift-giving this Mother’s Day was pretttty on point. We surprised our mom (a huge Harry Potter fan) with tix to check out Harry Potter and The Cursed Child on Broadway in NEW YORK CITY! Ahh. I will never forget her face when she opened those tickets. While we were there we got to see the Radio City Rockettes, and experience all things Christmas-In-New-York. One could only describe that entire trip as…magical.

  • Vegas, Baby!

    Even with $0.00 in my bank account, when my girlfriends texted me earlier this year asking if I wanted to go see the Backstreet Boys residency in Las Vegas, my answer was an astounding, “YES”!!! I hustled and made it happen and had what one could only describe as a religious experience…It fulfilled every ounce of my 90’s-kid expectations, and then some.

  • Losing and Finding Bodie!

    I must apologize to those of you who went through what can only be described as a traumatic experience with me this June….our dog running away from home….TWICE. Yep, that’s right. Bodie gave me enough stress in just 2 weeks to age me (and possibly you) by five years. The first time he decided to take an overnight trip across the street during a thunderstorm. Fortunately, a wonderful soul who happened to VOLUNTEER AT PET SHELTERS took him in overnight and found us on Facebook the next day.

    The second trip was a bit longer…8 days to be exact. This time he found himself wandering through a forrest several miles from our house.

    We posted, we went door-to-door, we hung flyers, and I even blasted it out on the radio. One Sunday afternoon we finally got a call from a woman who spotted him on the side of the road, which ultimately led to us finding him in a sewage pond during a rainstorm, and that good-samaritan ending up with a shattered ankle in a hospital. It’s actually somehow more bizarre than it sounds, so I made a Youtube video to tell the whole story….

  • Saying Goodbye to XL 106.7

    I used to always tell Johnny how crazy it was that I —vividly— remember listening to him and Doc on my way to MIDDLE SCHOOL. I remember playing back the Johnny’s House podcasts when moving into my town house. When I had a sh*tty traveling sales job, I would turn on XL 106.7 just to make the car rides more bearable. So believe me, the magnitude of being given the opportunity to work at iHeart Media and with Johnny was not lost on me. It still blows my mind.

    But as the saying goes, “all things must come to an end.” I spent five years hustling my way through morning radio, and in October this year decided I would need to say goodbye in order to continue ‘moving up the ladder’. While sleeping-in these past few weeks have definitely been ah-mazing, I will forever have a piece of XL in my heart.

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  • Getting Our New Puppy!

    I’m t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e at keeping secrets. Like, when someone tells me I have to keep something a secret for X amount of time, that secret is all I can think about. That’s what happened when we decided to surprise my dad with a puppy for Christmas. I knew a few weeks before hand, and was SOOOO excited to deliver the news. While we don’t get to bring this little guy home until January 11, 2019, the actual surprise was still a highlight in our year. Let’s just hope he’s not as good of an “escape artist” as Bodie!!!

  • Visiting My Hometown

    Most of y’all know I’m a Southern girl at heart. So any chance I get to visit my hometown of Houston brings me an immense amount of joy. Not only do my aunt and uncle still live there, but my BFF of almost ten years does too. Every time we see each other, it’s like not even a second has passed. When I visited in October we took a trip to a pumpkin patch/ pig racing/ corn maze farm, and even got our *sses to a 7AM Beyonce-themed spin class!

  • Face Of A Feminist, The Podcast

    In December of 2017, Laura and I were sitting in my damn-near 5sq. ft. apartment and decided we wanted to launch a podcast. She had already started “Face Of A Feminist,” but we wanted an outlet to not only talk about issues we think women want/need to hear, but to also gain experience in the podcast-hosting world. That decision led to a year full of challenges, growth, and memories I’ll never forget.

    After a few months of podcasting, FOAF grew to an on-air radio show on Saturday mornings, “Live With Laura Diaz and Marissa”. Why did I make sure to include ‘Saturday mornings’? Because it turns out those two words led to an unforgettable interview with Andy Cohen from Bravo. Which then led to Perez Hilton sliding into my DM’s. And the rest, as they say, is history…

  • Sharing My Skincare Journey

    Ohhhhh, Accutane. I guess you could say Accutane is the best AND worst thing that has ever entered my life. After years of dealing with persistent, cystic acne, I made the decision to start Accutane in April. I had done the research, signed the contracts, taken the online quizzes, gotten my blood drawn…the wholeeee enchilada. Despite being well-informed of the side effects and risks, a part of me still thought the hype was “dramatic”. I still never thought it could be as bad as they say.

    I was wrong.

    The first three months were bearable (see an update below), but the last two were insufferable. Words can’t describe how it affected my life. The joint pain made it impossible to walk upstairs to my third floor apartment. The dryness made my lips crack and bleed open. The fatigue made my 3AM alarms and 11PM night club gigs miserable. And the depression led me to have to drop everything to move back home with my parents. Ultimately I was advised to stop taking it immediately, one month before the course was finished, and the withdrawal effects put me in the hospital.

    So obviously I would tell you it wasn’t worth it, right?

    Well, I don’t know. After another two months OFF the medication I am feeling much better. My skin….OMG. It’s perfect. Not one single blemish in months. And all of those life side effects…well, maybe it was meant to be? I don’t know. I truly don’t know.

    What I do know though is that my skin has never looked better!

  • Meeting Nora and the Nora Sandigo Foundation

    In July I got a call from my friend Claire who was telling me about a woman named Nora Sandigo who was legal guardian to over 1,500 children down in Miami. These children are American citizens, but their parents are not. When the parents arrive to the States, they sign over legal guardianship to Nora in case they are ever faced with deportation. Incredible, right?

    Turns out I already knew Nora’s story after seeing a news report on her the day before, and was just as blown away as Claire. We immediately called and asked what she needed.

    After 3 weeks of a social media campaign/ beg fest, we raised almost $3,000 to buy goods to bring to Nora and her children. Though I haven’t been listing my highlights in any particular order…this one tops the list.

    The success of that food drive inspired me to kick off 2019 by forming my own non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. It will be called Generation Giving, and I am ecstatic to see what we can give to those in need this upcoming year! For more information and to donate, click HERE.

So in short, it’s been a pretty eventful year. Thank you all for your support, love, generosity, and inspiration. Wishing you all a great 2019 and HAPPY NEW YEAR! <3

xo,

Marissa

How To: Make Reindeer Food

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One of my favorite projects around Christmas time is making ‘Reindeer Food’ to sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve night. As the poem says, the oats and glitter will guide Santa and his reindeer to your house!

My brother and I sprinkled this mixture outside every year, and it is so fun to make our own bags to pass out to kids in the community! It is such a fun and easy craft. Here’s how to make them for yourself!

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First thing you will need are snack size bags and a large tub of Oats.

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Pour some Oats inside the snack size bags, and grab your glitter!

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Sprinkle the glitter(s) of your choice on top of the Oats. You want to make sure Santa can spot your house! ;)

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We found this version of the Reindeer Food poem online, but found the back to be a bit hard to read. I created a new one you can grab below! It will automatically shoot the PDF to your inbox. :)

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This year we misplaced our “crazy scissors”, but if you have craft scissors, feel free to cut out the printable with those, and simply staple to the top!

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That’s it…enjoy! Sending lots of love and light to you and your loved ones this Christmas!

 

My Favorite D.I.Y. Accounts To Follow

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From children’s crafts, to party décor, to home project tutorials…we’ve rounded up a few of the best DIY Instagram accounts to follow ASAP!

@diplycrafty


‘Crafty’ has amassed an impressive 5.5 MILLION followers on Instagram and provides the perfect balance of tutorials and DIY inspo.  Much like the popular Buzzfeed Tasty tutorials, the Crafty how-to videos are quick, clear, and simple to follow for every level crafter.  In addition to DIY home projects (DIY letter holders and DIY corkboards,) they also provide great tutorials on how to make your own soap or puppy shampoo!

@abeautifulmess

Elsie and Emma are the masterminds behind the popular account at @ABeautifulMess.  The two sisters have built an audience of over 610,000 followers with their stunning profile.  A Beautiful Mess often features home interior before/ afters, and you can even find a few recipes thrown in on their blog! In addition to incredible content, the pair also gives back to their followers with the occasional giveaway. 



@ohhappyday

If you love bright, uplifting, fun Insta profiles, then you will LOVE @OhHappyDay.  Based in San Francisco, the @OhHappyDay team provides all the inspiration you need to throw a creative, show-stopping party.  With balloon wall displays and fun themed napkins, scrolling through their feed will make you feel the need to throw a gathering ASAP.  Take inspo from their mermaid, watermelon, or pastel-colored themes!



@agirlandagluegun

Kim, AKA Kimbo, over at @AGirlAndAGlueGun has one of the best-rounded crafting profiles on Insta! Seriously…she’s got everything! From craft storage ideas to planner inspiration, she will inspire any crafter at heart.  Plus, if you head over to her blog, you can find lots of free goodies! She often provides her followers with free printables and cut files for the Silhoette cutting machine. 



@smartfundiy

If you are a letterboard-lover…this account is for you!! @SmartFunDIY is the ultimate place for sassy letterboard ideas, as well as organization tips for those messy craft rooms.  They often utilize a variety of drawers, peg boards, and containers for all crafting storage needs.  Plus, you can find the occasional fun Disneyland post thrown in! Who doesn’t love that?!



@gluedtomycrafts

In the sunny city of Tampa Bay, Stacey runs the incredible @GluedToMyCrafts account.  Trust me, if you have young kids (or are a grown-up who’s a kid at heart) you’ve got to check out Stacey’s page.  She utilizes all the classics: paper plates, popsicle sticks, cotton balls, etc. to piece together children’s crafts. She’s also got great ideas for teachers gifts and personalized cards. I love how she used construction paper and popsicle sticks to make candy apples!

 

Help Start Digging

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Yesterday the tabloids were filled with “Breaking News” about Pete Davidson, Kanye West, and mental health. While people have differing opinions on those celebrities themselves, I felt the conversation opening back up about mental illness was an important one...one I would like to be a part of. 

I wrote this blog post about a month ago, but wasn’t brave enough to share. Now that I am doing better each day, I realized while the National attention is on mental health, this could be a small part of a larger solution......


————————

Emptiness. 

That’s what I feel. Not necessarily sadness, but simply nothing. 

“Go for a workout.” 

“Pull yourself together.” 

“It’s just a lack of motivation.” 

For those who have never experienced severe clinical depression, their words are misguided. 

Normally when I blog, it’s because I’ve reached the other side of an experience. I have words of wisdom, a positive ending... 

But this is different. I’m still in the middle of it. 

A few weeks ago it was a monumental task to brush my teeth. And that’s not an exaggeration. Getting myself in the bath felt like lifting a ton of bricks into the tub. 

Yet, how could I be so depressed when I have so much to be thankful for? A job, friends, family, dog, apartment, etc. Well, because depression isn’t a lack of motivation , gratefulness, or desire to be well. It’s chemical. 

Think of all of the celebrities who have ended their lives because of depression. They had fame, family, and more money than they could ever spend. But depression doesn’t discriminate, and money doesn’t fix everything. 

My depression isn’t a new development. I believe it was triggered by the passing of my best friend in college, and has hung around since. I began taking antidepressants around 2010, and have since been on a roller coaster of doses and brands.

My most recent episode left me with painful frustration, not just at the fact that I realized this will be a lifelong battle, but that our healthcare system is still so unequipped to address mental illness. 

A few weeks ago I had hit a new low. My physical pain was so great that I had simply lost the drive to fight. I had no intention to hurt myself, instead I had lost the ability to feel joy and excitement about my future. I knew I needed help. 

I found myself in the ER addressing my physical issues, but when the subject of my mental health came up, there were no follow-up questions or solutions. I saw a separate doctor who told me he doesn’t “address mental health”. When I called to make an appointment with the psychiatrist he recommended, they said they were only booking patients for July. As in, July 2019. The next psychiatrist didn’t take my insurance. The next required two appointments before addressing antidepressants. And on, and on. 

I’m blessed to live in a time where I feel comfortable discussing mental health, but I still believe we have a ways to go. Even as a privileged, educated individual, I felt disgusted by this system. 

Eventually I was able to find a doctor to change my medication, but even then there are hurdles of side effects that come with those changes. I have an incredible therapist, but unfortunately the cost is simply too high to go as often as I need. Add that on to the crushing hospital bill and it leaves one in an even more depressed state. 

I wish I could wrap this up with a pretty bow. I wish I was on the other side of this telling you now I’m in a happy, balanced state. But not yet. For now it’s simply a blog to tell those of you going through something similar that I GET YOU. That we WILL be okay. This is temporary, and this too shall pass. That I am confident of. 

And for those of you who are blessed to not relate to anything above, I offer this food for thought....

A forum I read likened clinical depression to shoveling snow. Some days you shovel the snow effortlessly, back your car out, and go to work. Other days the weight of the snow is too much to pick up. You’re tired and can’t do it alone. 

If you see someone struggling to lift their shovel, my plea is to take ahold of theirs and help start digging. 

<3
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If you need help, please call 1-800-273-8255.

Backstreet Boys Larger Than Life 2018- LAS VEGAS VLOG

My Favorite Tech Toy This Year

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My Favorite Tech Toy This Year
A review of the iRobot Roomba 690

Ok...it's no secret I'm a tech nerd. My Amazon Alexa can turn on and off my lights, heat up my crockpot, dim my vanity lights, pre heat my curling iron, and even turn on my aromatherapy diffuser when I'm feeling stressed.

But one thing she wasn't able to do? Clean my house.

Until now.

If you are anything like my friends and family, you are probably ready to start an intervention for my laziness....but hear me out.

I have been looking into investing in a robotic vacuum for quite some time now. My parents have had one for a few years, and while it had its downfalls, it helped reduce pet hair and dirt exponentially.

So when Black Friday came around and I saw an Amazon deal for the iRobot Roomba 690 with Bluetooth, I was intrigued. I loved the idea of simply saying, "Alexa, turn on iRobot" and watching my Roomba go! Even better, the app would allow me to monitor everything from any room in the house.

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So I took the plunge. Soon my new toy arrived and the set up began. After registering on the app, and syncing my Roomba to my Echo Dot, we were in business!

One of the great features included in this set is the "invisible barrier wall". It comes with the option to block off a room using a straight lined laser, or with a circumference around the tower. I opted for the circle surrounding a house plant. As the Roomba approached, it quickly turned around and moved on its way.

So what are the downsides? Not many, really.

Occasionally my Roomba would find itself wrapped around a string from a rug in my bathroom, or stuck on a sheet in the bedroom, but truthfully those should have been picked up before it started its cleaning cycle. I found myself occasionally placing it in a different room if it spent too much time in one area, but it probably was a matter of preference.

Once my Roomba decided it was time to recharge, it automatically found its way back to the docking station (something my parents robot never could do). On only one occasion did it not make it back, and that was due to an obstacle on the floor. I'll give it a pass.

Overall I found the 690 model to be exactly what I needed. If you aren't in need of the Bluetooth/ Alexa feature, you could opt for the 650. Or if you are really feeling a splurge you could jump to the Roomba 960. For my budget and living space though, this was exactly what I needed.

If you're thinking about taking the (kinda-lazy-but-super-necessary) plunge into the world of robotic vacuuming, check out the products mentioned above here....

How I Learned To Deal With Anxiety

Anxiety is something I've never really talked about before in public. I've always felt like anxiety = unstable/crazy in society. But I realize now that's not necessarily the case. 

If you've ever been unfortunate enough to have a panic attack, you probably know the feeling like you're 'going to die'. Your heart speeds up, your vision gets blurry, your chest starts hurting, fingers go numb, and you are certain you're having a heart attack/dying. It's the worst. 

During grad school I had them all the time until I got the right amount of counseling & meds to stop them. 

But earlier this week it happened again. 

A full blown anxiety attack. 

I can't explain exactly why, but after a really stressful day I found myself hyperventilating on my bed wishing it would stop. And it finally did. 

Now I know the WORST thing you can do with a medical problem is to Google it…but I caved. And I actually came across something really encouraging....a list of meditation videos to help you relax and de-stress. 

You can check out the full list HERE.  

I'll be honest I've always been a skeptic to meditation or the whole yogi-lifestyle, but I found these videos incredibly helpful. It might not be for everyone, but I thought I would share a few of my favs in case you want to give it a shot: 

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How To Make Salad Last A WEEK

 

So we're doing this weight loss challenge and as someone who DESPISES cooking, I'm always looking for something that requires minimal effort and is still healthy. So thankfully I came across this brilliant idea on Pinterest: Mason Jar Layered Salad.

I usually pre-make four of these on Sunday, stick them in the fridge, and my lunch is ready to go!

These are the tricks I learned to making it last a full week:

1) You HAVE to layer it properly.  It keeps the lettuce fresh and not soggy.  

2) Use LIME JUICE to keep the avocado & tomatoes from brown-ing.  

3) I keep my dressing in a separate container.

4) I also use 'wide-mouth' mason jars to make it easier for stuffing! 

Here is how I layer mine....

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*Before adding the lettuce, make sure you add lime juice to the bottom layer to keep it from brown-ing. 

 

Here are the small containers I use to keep my dressing in (can find at Publix or Walmart).  And yes, they are supposed to be for shots! LOL! 

 

And if you really want to get fancy...check out these recipes for Mason Jar burrito bowls, cajun shrimp jars, & more! 

Happy eating! 


 

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I HAD A QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS

 

For me, birthdays are usually a several week long celebration. But next week I turn 25 and there's just something about this year that feels different. 

I haven't planned one dinner, one party, or sent out one invite. Instead I find myself evaluating where I am in life, and couldn't help but wonder if having a "quarter life crisis" is a real thing? 

 

 quarter life crisis: Usually occurs sometime in your twenties, a few years out of school and still feel as though you're waiting for your life to begin. 

Check, check, and check. 

 

Don't get me wrong I feel extremely blessed. I have an amazing family, job, and friends. But sometimes I can't help but look at people my age who've already accomplished so much and feel a sense of admiration. They've either purchased their first home, make a good salary, are engaged/married, or are starting a family and I wonder if somehow I'm "behind the curve".  Because let's be honest....none of those things are happening anytime soon! 

 

I used to have it all mapped out. I was going to graduate college, become a news anchor, get married and start a family before the age of 30.....LOL. In fact I used to frown upon people who just "went with the flow" and never had a life plan. But now even picturing where I'll be in 5 years feels like a complete blur. It's as if I have to fight through the fog in my brain to even visualize the next 6 months. 

 

The truth is now I don't know what the future holds. I know I'm completely terrified, confused, and feel like running away from adulthood....but somewhere in there is a sense of excitement. Excitement to see where this ridiculous journey of life will end up. I'll keep ya posted. 

xoxo,

 

Marissa 


 

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WHY MILLENNIAL DATING IS THE WORST

 

(Pic: Graham Oakley) 

 

You’ve heard the show.  Everyone jokes me for being single.  But let me tell you it’s not for a lack of trying.  And in my dating ‘adventures’ recently I’ve noticed a few trends that I feel need to be stopped ASAP.   So those of you in relationships, feel free to repost for your single friends to see.  And all you singles out there, grab a glass of wine and take notes…..

 

1-  1) Make Conversation

 

Tinder. Bumble. Grindr. Match. POF…..Literally the list goes on and on for dating sites. If you’re someone whose been in the online dating game for more than 3 days you’ve probably encountered one of these two types of people:

 

Person A:  Always responds to your messages.  But has no interest in making REAL conversation.  You ask a question, they respond with one or two words.  They probably only use you to pass the time at work. 

Person B:  This person knows just about everything about you.  You’ve messaged on dating sites, started texting, Facebook messaging, etc.  You talk everyday and they SEEM interested in you.  But when it comes down to making plans, they have no real intention of ever meeting up.  This is where my phrase “I don’t need a pen pal” was created. 

 

So what’s the takeaway? If you don’t really like the person you’re talking to- don’t message them out of boredom.  Just un-match and wait until you find someone who interests you.  Leading people on is lame and you shouldn’t have to beg someone to hang out with you. 

 

And if you DO like them- make plans! It’s no fun to go on a first date with someone who you already know everything about.  I guarantee if they message you for a few days, they also want to see you in person. 

 

2)    2) Show The Heck Up

 

 

 

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So you’ve finally asked someone out and have plans to actually meet in person. NOTHING is more irritating to a girl who spent days picking out an outfit, and hours doing her hair/makeup than getting a text 15 minutes before your date saying “(some sort of BS excuse)….won’t be able to make it tonight.”

 

 **insert eyeroll emoji**

 

Y’all.  It’s just common decency.  I get things happen.  But as SOON as you know you won’t be able to make it, just send a text.  Even if you decide at the last minute you would rather stay home and watch Netflix (which is realllll low, btw)….just send a dang text. 

 

If something did genuinely happen though and you can’t show up, make an effort to let the person know it’s not because you aren’t interested.  I once had a guy send flowers to my work as an apology for leaving me hanging.  Those guys deserve another chance.  I’ll always assume guys who leave it at “won’t make it tonight” also mean “won’t make it ever.”

 

Moral of the story? If you make the effort to arrange plans…show the heck up. Nothing is sexier than someone who respects your time. 

 

 

3)   3) Man/ Woman Up

 

 

(Pic: Google/ Imgflip.com)

 

So you go on a date or two or three.  Sometimes things just don’t work out.  And as adults there’s no reason to feel bad about that. UNLESS you ghost them.

 

Ahhhh ghosting.  Something my girlfriends and I have spent hours trying to analyze. Unfortunately though, there’s not much to analyze except that person is not even worth your time or energy. 

 

OF COURSE confrontation is awkward.  Telling someone you just aren’t interested in them (regardless of the reason) is suuuuuper uncomfortable.  But if someone has invested even a few days of their time into talking/ hanging out with you, the least you could do is text a simple “I just don’t think it’s going to work out.”

 

Don’t’ deflect.  Don’t be evasive.  I’d much rather someone straight up tell me we’re never going to hangout again than be left waiting for a possible invite. 

 

So man/woman up, send a text, and move onto the next! It’s their loss anyways ;)

 

Xoxo,

 

 

Marissa

 

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DIYTRY: Necklace Holder

 

I'm always looking for new ways to stay ~organized~ and a few weeks ago I realized what a nightmare my jewelry box was.  When I wanted to wear a necklace, I had to spend 15 minutes un-tangling it.  Sooo thanks to Pinterest I found this brilliant idea to display/ organize them.  

Here's what you'll need: 

- A towel rack

- Ornament Hooks 

- Spray Paint (Optional) 

 

 

 

And here's how to do it: 

1) Hang towel rack where desired. (*Or in my case have someone else do it for you)

2) Spray paint ornament hooks to desired color.  (*I wanted mine to match the rack to look more ~classy~) 

3) Hang hooks on rack, hang necklaces on hooks.  

 

 

IT'S THAT EASY.  

Then enjoy your creation! 

 

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How I Started Budgeting (When I Had No Clue Where To Start)

 

So you've probably heard of Dave Ramsey and budgeting. Am I perfect at it? Hellllllzzzz no.  BUT I do feel like I have my life slightly more under control after giving it a try.  

HERE is the form I use at the start of every month (or every two weeks depending on how often you get paid).  

It's really pretty simple.  

- Start out with your total income in the top corner. 

- Write down the cost of EVERYTHING for that month.  (*Things I sometimes forget: Extra dollars for holidays, birthdays, PARKING, special events, gym memberships, etc.)

- Total up each categories cost.

- Subtract that number from your income and hope it equals ZERO (*this means every dollar has a place to go)

That's it!! 

Here are some tips I've learned over the past few months: 

- I like to write down the due date of each bill for the month.  That way I know when the money will be coming out of my account.

- I also like to take things that I can pay for in cash and put that amount in an envelope.  {There are some really good envelope resources/ ideas at daveramsey.com} For me it includes: gas, food, spending money, clothing, and misc. 

Here is a basic example of one of my monthly budgets (with some aspects crossed out because ya know, privacy): 

 

 

And finally, I decided it's time to start working off my debt.  Since I'm a visual person, I headed to Pinterest to find a "debt thermometer" to keep track of my debt reduction goal.  Download the same one HERE.

 

Hopefully soon it start to fill up!! ; ) 

 

Now before I get loads of emails, I know this sounds like one big Dave Ramsey commercial.  Trust me, I'm not getting paid from it.  It's just what worked for me.  I would love to hear what helped you get a handle on your dollars! Let me know! :) 

 

(Budget forms via: Daveramsey.com) 


 

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DIY-TRY: Sunburst Mirror

To say this was the project from H*LL would be an understatement! I love the way it turned out, but let me tell you what NOT to do if you decide to try it yourself :)

1) I used this tutorial as a guide for this project.  I bought my wooden dowels from the hardware store and had them cut them to the correct size.  (In hind-sight I wish I would have bought them from Michael's and cut them myself because its MUCH cheaper!) I also spray painted them gold.

 

2) Next I found a 10in round mirror at Hobby Lobby and also spray painted it gold.  (HINT: I tried covering the mirror with tape before painting it, but later found out you could just remove it completely. Lesson learned.) I then used the TEMPLATE to lay the dowels around the mirror. 

 

 

3) If you decide to try this project at home, USE A GLUE GUN AND GLUE STICKS.  I tried super glue and guerilla glue and it was a major FAIL.  It takes forever to try and doesn't adhere to the wood well.  Finally I realized glue sticks were the way to go. When I went to pick it up before the glue sticks, it allllll fell apart. :( 

 

 

4) So. On Take 2 I decided to prop it on the edge of the table so I was able to reach under and grip it better.  

 

 

 

5) After one more crash, it was finally complete! 

 

 

 

(The sticks still aren't completely even...so it still needs some adjustment, but its on the WALL!)

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DIY-TRY: Mirror Tufted Headboard

 

When I came across this headboard on Instagram, I absolutely fell in love with it.  Unfortunately, a quick Google search showed it was a mere $1,199.00. (AKA, slightly way out of my price range...) 

 

(Photo Credit: Z Gallerie Ava Headboard) 

So after some Youtube-ing I discovered it wasn't impossible to DIY it.  Luckily, my dad has a workshop set up in the garage will all the tools we needed (To be honest: This mostly turned into me supervising the project...you really need to be wood-work handy to get this done!!) But here's how it went:

1) Grab either plywood or MDF from the store with the dimensions needed (Mine was a Queen bed) 

2) I found foam at Hobby Lobby and we used spray adhesive to attach it to the plywood. 

 

3) Once the foam was attached we marked where we wanted the buttons for the "tufting" and drilled holes in those spots.  (NOTE: Drill as large of holes as possible! It makes finding them with the button/ thread later MUCH easier!)  

 

4) Next we added a layer of "High Loft" batting to give it a fluffy feel, then draped the fabric on top and stapled it down.  (I found some Polyester fabric with a sheen to it.) 

 

5) While my pops was doing Step 4, I went inside to cover the buttons we would use.  You can find a "button-covering" kit with refills at just about any fabric store or Walmart.  I used size 7/8" buttons.  It definitely takes trial/error but after about 45 minutes I had about 18 buttons. 

6) This next step was definitely the most time consuming and frustrating.  Luckily we had two people, or else it would have taken ALL day. Using an upholstery needle we used Bead Cord to thread the button through the fabric. (This is where larger holes would have come in handy). 

 

 

7) Once the buttons were on, we trimmed the excess fabric and made our way to Lowe's for the mirrors.  Since we needed such specific sizes, we purchased a large mirror and had the employee custom cut to what we needed. 

 

8) The final step was to adhere the mirror trim around the headboard, and then staple the trim between the mirror and fabric. 

 

 

SO- Here is the final product...not too shabby for a fraction of the price!! :) 

 

 

VS

 

I'll post an updated pic once it's attached to my bed. :)

 

**Special thanks again to my pops for contributing his master woodworking skills, much appreciated! 

 

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What NOT To Say To Someone Single

You know that saying "If I had a nickel for every time I heard ________"?

Well, if I had a nickel for every time I heard a variation of the phrase "There's no WAY you're single" I would have a lot of nickels. 

 

Let me first start by saying I absolutely know it's meant to be a compliment. And I do find it flattering. 

But in all honesty, I also find it a bit frustrating. 

To me it's a bit of a back-handed compliment.

I think society has a misconception that any "pretty girls" should always have a significant other. And if they don't, chances are they're crazy/ *itchy/ unstable/ etc. As if the ONLY reason they are single is because something is wrong with them. 

I always get joked on the show that I "can't get a man" or "no one wants me" and as much as I 100% realize it's all in good fun, I do think it's a stereotype cast on single women. 

My last relationship was almost 3 years ago, which probably seems like FOREVER to most people. I've dated here and there, but the truth is I haven't found a person worth investing time into to build a relationship. 

Am I picky? HELL YES. 

But is that a bad thing? I don't think so. 

We all know that person who is the "serial dater". They can't go more than 2 weeks without jumping to the next relationship. They're ALWAYS dating someone, and usually have someone on the back burner ready-to-go in case things go south. 

It might sound harsh, but I tend to attribute that to insecurity. They aren't happy with themselves, so they rely on others to build up their self-worth. They don't like themselves enough to spend time alone, so they jump from person to person so they never have to be. 

Myself on the other hand...I enjoy my alone time. (Maybe too much, Haha!) I truly think I've grown enough in the past 3 years that when I do meet the right person, I won't need a 'single phase'. I've grown to love myself enough that I'll be ready to love someone else too. 

Maybe this all sounds corny, but I think any single woman (or man) can relate to the comment "You're too pretty/nice/funny/etc. There's just no way you're single!" 

Being single CAN be a choice, and when you do decide to settle down you can give ALL your pretty/nice/funniness to Mr. or Mrs. Right. ;) 

Xoxo, 

Marissa 

 

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