Page 69: February Check In

What is your current favorite Instagram hashtag? Obviously, right now it’s the #xoxoselfiechallenge. We are having so much fun over there!! Go check it out. We’re making new friends and being awesome and encouraging. It’s such a fun group. And we’re only 8 days in, so far, there’s plenty of time for you to join. Here’s a link to instructions and what it all means.
Also, though, I’m obsessed with watching hand lettering videos on Instagram right now. It makes me really want to learn how to do it, myself. I get sucked into #handlettering really easily. Every day.

What was the last restaurant where you ate? …hold on. I’m thinking about it. We went to Applebee’s for Kat’s birthday but has it really been that long since I’ve been to a restaurant? Sometimes I get my brunch from Craft Coffee because their granola is bomb. IMG_6723

What was the last thing you binge watched? I wish I could say it wasn’t Keeping Up With The Kardashians but it’s still true. I’ve backed off a lot, though, because I find that after I watch that show, I put on lots of eyeliner and go online window shopping at ASOS. So I’ve been significantly limiting my TV time.

What’s your drink of choice? Last week I mixed tequilla and Naked Juice and it was completely delightful! It might be a while before I give that up. Not the cheapest cocktail but I don’t drink often, so we all win.

What are you reading?  Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I don’t have all that much time to read lately so it’s taking me a while to get through it but that’s good. It’s important to really digest inspiration. And if you don’t have all that much time for reading but still want to learn about the creativity that lives inside of you, check out Liz Gilbert’s podcast which will really get you excited.

What was something that inspired you, today? Can I say “me” and not sound utterly conceited? But, dude, hustle begets hustle.
Also, Beyonce because always Beyonce.
Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 9.35.52 AM

What word are you overusing? “Legit”. It’s legit driving me crazy.


What is your resolution for tomorrow? Start packing décor for the move. I am a little worried that it will make our apartment look sparse and sad but at the same time, I’m feeling a little suffocated by all of the stuff. Also maybe getting the place to look a little bit more bare will help to motivate us to keep packing.


What are you looking forward to? Saturday is Galentines Day! We’re having brunch! Send me an email or a FB message if you want to come and I’ll get you the details!


How are you doing, today? It’s Monday and I’m feeling good! I have discovered that you have to strike when the iron is hot and it feels hot, today, so I’m going to get as much work done as humanly possible.

What are you doing this week?


Page 61: Changing Things Around

Everything is changing and I couldn’t be more happy about it.
As 2015 was ending, and we’d decided that we were going to be transitioning to a one-income family (for now, anyway), it was obvious that some things were going to get moved around. This time last year I had a pretty good handle on what the coming year would bring. A wedding, sure, but for the most part everything would stay about the same. This year… I can’t even begin to picture it. Everything’s getting moved around and I know I could stress about it or I can just roll with it and who among us has ever benefited from freakin’ the heck out? No, not one.

So how’s the working from home gig going? It’s been a couple of weeks and we’re settling in pretty well I think! I’ve started scheduling out my days and that has helped a lot. It makes it easier to recognize the time that I’m spending on the blog or working on class work or working on house work. Rather than just a list of to-do’s that I hope that I get done at some point.
I did take on a part time job at The McPherson Family Life Center answering phones one night a week. It’s a low-pressure situation and a great reason to get out of the house, which is exactly what I was looking for. And the MFLC is an organization that is a wonderful contribution to our community and has even been crucial to me in my journey towards mental health. I’m excited to get to be a (small) part of something so important in our area.

A few weeks ago I was talking to my brother-in-law, who is a voracious reader, and I told him that I think I only read one book all the way through in 2015. He looked at me gape-mouthed and didn’t believe it. And I sincerely had to think about it and I still think it’s true. I tried to start a lot of books last year but I was so stressed out. Work was hard for me. I was battling migraines almost daily, and I was planning a wedding for 5 months last year. So, yeah, it seems reasonable that I only read one book. It was California by Edan Lepucki, by the way. It was very good. So good that I could only finish one book last year and that was the one that I chose. But my appetite for literature has come back in a big way. Currently sitting on my shelf, dying to be read: Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (yeah, I know I’m v late to the party on that one, please see previous list of excuses).

We recently learned that in the next 6 weeks, it’s looking like Ryan and I are going to be moving. I’m not going to talk too much about it right now but I’m excited to share photos and little glimpses of our new home in the next few months. I think you’re going to love it. We are really thrilled. Except now we have to actually start packing/ organizing/ purging.

But today the change that I’m making is that I’m finally taking down the Christmas tree. I know, I know. It’s January 18! I was feeling a little shameful for how long it’s taken to get our decorations down but then the other night we were driving through the neighborhood and there are people with legit Christmas displays still going strong. And I don’t feel so bad. Also, my little brother, Andrew, is coming over to visit this afternoon! That’s exciting.

So let’s take down that tree. IMG_6497IMG_6500IMG_6494IMG_6495IMG_6496IMG_6498

I always have a struggle figuring out how to take down the Christmas decorations in an organized manner. But this year I got these red and green tubs from Dollar General (70% off after Christmas clearance) for $.70 each! The ornaments fit perfectly.

Do you have any holiday organization tips that I can borrow?


PS: There are Amazon affiliate links embedded here in this post. Feel free to use them! And if you want to help support XOXO, Lib with other Amazon purchases, book mark this link and use it every time that you want to buy from the site. Your experience won’t change at all and I’ll get a cut of the deal! Thank you for supporting businesses that support us.

Page Fifteen: Organize This!

I might be the only person who doesn’t know what to do with a four-day-weekend.


Due to the fact that the Fourth of July was on a Thursday, most places in town decided to just give their employees and extended weekend. That included my place of business. I was so excited for it! But once we were done celebrating, I just had no idea what else to do with my time.

So I joined one of those community Buy Sell Trade groups on Facebook and listed a couple of pieces of furniture that did little for my home save provide a place for me to stack piles of things that I didn’t know what to do with.  Oy! And I am never doing that again. Don’t get me wrong, I think that for the right kind of person, this is an extremely effective way to get rid of your stuff. And I did get rid of most of the stuff that I listed. But not without heightened stress levels and annoyance to the nth degree! It was frustrating for me to be tethered to Facebook in order to answer peoples’ questions about my stuff and then being tethered to my home, waiting for the takers to stop by to pick up their new home goods (you know, when people actually did show up). It’s over, though! Like I said, I did get rid of a lot of stuff that I haven’t been using at all and certain parts of my home feel all light and airy rather than weighted down with excessive, unused furniture and mess.

So, the organization bug bit me and I decided to tackle a project that I’ve been meaning to get taken care of for nearly a year. I re-organized my coffee bar (I’m in the market for a new descriptor, since this is neither a bar, nor solely dedicated to coffee. Leave suggestions in the comments.).


In this before photo you’ll see an honest look at what this spot looks like all of the time. I have America’s dinkiest kitchen with limited counter space (usually occupied by dirty dishes and a fruit bowl) and a single electrical outlet. So if I ever want to have toast (and I do), I need to find a new spot for the microwave, coffee maker, and espresso machine. Is it necessary to have both a coffee maker and an espresso machine? In short, of course it is.

What we have here is a lovely print fabric ruined by all manner of coffee stains, an unsightly Rubbermaid tub stuffed to overflowing with boxes of tea, a can of coffee, generic garbage, and a 2013 Nice Jewish Guys calander. Unseen: dust, gunk, grime.

IMG_3752I went to the fabric store and wandered around in the clearance isle before settling on this striped number. I like it because it’s got a Mexican vibe to it (which I’m very into these days) and it’s, I don’t know, maybe summery? Maybe it’ll freshen up the joint when wintertime comes around. We’ll see.


The main thing that I did, here, was to incorporate this tiny little shelf that I bought before I even moved into this place (three years ago) but haven’t figured out what to do with it. I just could never get rid of it on account of the cuteness. I painted it blue a few months ago but that didn’t help me figure out it’s purpose. This is what it’s been waiting for. If I didn’t have plaster walls, I would have hung a shelf or two a long time ago. But not only are the walls plaster, they’re also rented. If they were my walls I wouldn’t mind experimenting with shelving but I really don’t want to turn a little whim into a deposit-eater.


I also took all of my teas and put them into jars that I’ve been collecting specifically for this project. I spray painted (most of) the lids white so that it would have some cohesion and I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out.


Coffee and Espresso have had their own jars for a while, now. I stuck some letters on there in order to help differentiate which is which–not that it would be difficult to figure out eventually but pre-coffee brain is so different than coffied brain.
Not pictured: I have a wide-mouthed jar in which I keep all of the espresso machine accouterments.

How do you spend an extra-long weekend? Any easy-peasy projects that you’ve been putting off for no reason at all? ALSO, what should I add to this situation? I’m hoping to hone my espresso skills but I’m never sure what I should have in my arsenal.