30-day vegan challenge.

vegan

Happy Monday! My apologies for the lack of posts lately, but you know my blogging style

Anyway, I’m taking a break from home / DIY posts today to talk about something on a different topic: veganism.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, it’s no secret that I am a vegetarian with a passion for healthy + organic living. I became vegetarian when I was 18 after discovering the negative impact that consuming meat has not only on our bodies, but on the environment as well. Fast forward to today, seven years later… The several books I’ve read (i.e. Crazy Sexy Diet, Skinny Bitch, Eat Pretty, etc) along with the documentaries I’ve watched (i.e. Forks Over Knives, Food Matters, Food Inc., Vegecated, etc) have supplied me with substantial evidence for why a plant-based diet is so beneficial for a variety of reasons. (I won’t get into those reasons, but I highly recommend reading or watching any of the titles listed above for a plethora of valuable information).

With all that info that I can’t “un-know” subtly taunting me at every bite of a grilled cheese or omelette, I can’t help but feel a tinge of guilt. While adopting a vegetarian lifestyle (with an emphasis on buying local and organic) has definitely been a step in the right direction for me, I’ve always had a nagging feeling I could be doing more. More for my health, more for the planet, more for the animals — and in that order. (To elaborate — environmental sustainability and compassion for animals is indeed important to me, but the ring leader in all of this is the health factor. Just read a few of these success stories and tell me you don’t feel compelled to eat a more plant-based diet…)

Which brings me to the root of today’s post: I am embarking on a 30-day vegan challenge. I read this book and tried the challenge earlier in the year but only made it just over two weeks. This time around I am aiming for the full 30 days (hence the public blog announcement for accountability…) and possibly even adopting this new way of eating permanently. Key word: possibly. Update to follow, post challenge.

I’m excited that a co-worker of mine has also decided to join me on this challenge and even my husband (a full-fledged meat eater) is giving it a go for one week! —> *impressed wife*

As for what I’ll be eating, I am keeping a daily food journal (let me know if you’re curious/interested and I can give brief week-to-week updates or an overall 30-day review) and I’m sourcing recipes from a variety of my favorite food blogs, i.e.: Minimalist Baker, This Rawsome Vegan Life, The Simple Veganista, My Whole Food Life, etc.,  as well as my go-to vegan cookbooks, i.e. Chloe’s Kitchen, Crazy Sexy Kitchen, and Oh She Glows.

What do you think — would you ever consider doing a vegan (or even vegetarian) challenge?

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 jeanette

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fall mantel, take 2.

Hey guys! I’m back with yet another mantel makeover. A few weeks ago I went with a pretty rustic vibe by incorporating burlap, deer antlers and my DIY hayrides sign (now sold by the way!). I decided to scale it back a bit and use one of my newer DIY fall signs instead. I also picked up some mini pumpkins from the farmers market. Here’s how it turned out:

fall mantel

fall mantel, DIY gather sign

fall mantel

I love this sign because gets me thinking about Thanksgiving and gathering with good friends & family.

To make it, I did a similar distressing process to that of my DIY towel rack and simply traced and painted on the letters. From there, I gave it one last light sanding to make the letters look slightly worn to blend in with the newly distressed wood.

fall mantel

I’m always on the look out for old books with interesting covers and spines when I’m at garage sales and thrift stores.

fall mantel

What are you doing to add some fall flair around your house? — I’d love to hear about it!

jeanette

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bang season.

The air is getting crisper, sweaters are coming out of storage and the change of seasons has me eager for a change of hair. Every year when fall rolls around I start craving a new style and it always comes back to — you guessed it — bangs. They’re great because they give a whole new look but are easy enough to grow out or twist off to the side once you get sick of them.

With that being said, here are some bang looks I’m loving for fall:

bangs5

bangs

bangs

bangs

bangs

{all images taken from here}

And on that note… I’m off to the hair salon!

jeanette

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DIY hayrides sign + fall mantel.

Happy Labor Day! It seems like only yesterday I was posting about my nautical-themed mantel and here I am with a fall-inspired one!

fall mantel

I recently made this hayrides sign with a piece of weathered wood that my parents came across on their farm land. I paired it with my vintage windowpane (I just realized that it’s hanging crooked in these pics — whoops!), a handful of antique books, a deer antler, a burlap sack, a pitcher fully of sticks from my backyard plus faux fall foliage, and a vintage grinder.

fall mantel

fall mantel

Have you started decorating for autumn yet? I am working on some other seasonal pieces that I hope to share on the blog soon!

Psst - my hayrides sign is now available for sale at Dwell!

jeanette

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crave vs save.

It’s time for another Crave vs. Save post today!

I went to the Gold Rush Days flea market this past weekend (see my recap of last year’s market here) in which I was bombarded by an array of vintage goods and hard-to-pass-up antiques. The more I looked around, the more I realized I already had several of the treasures I was seeing on display; the only difference was that I [happily] paid a fraction of the price for most of those items compared to what they were being sold for (all thanks to shopping at estate sales, garage sales, and thrift shops). This reminded me that whether it’s a simple piece of milk glass or a large furniture item, it’s important to do your research, bargain hunt and price compare for particular items you want so you don’t end up paying more than you should, or have to!

These crave vs. save posts are a prime example of the money you can save when you do your homework and hold out to find the best deal…

crave vs save

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   Schoolhouse Electric, $110              Ashley Anna Brown, $68

boxwood wreath

       West Elm, $79                                          DIY, approx. $24

chandelier

           Lowes, $79                                           IKEA, $49.99

bar stools

West Elm, $199/ea                           Target, $79.99/ea

numbered cubby

Urban Outfitters, $98                                  Target, $49.99

What items have you saved big on lately?

See my other Crave vs. Save posts here & here.

jeanette

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SimplyChic @ Dwell!

Dwell Localimage via

Hey guys! You might have noticed I’ve been going to town on a lot of DIY signs lately — it’s because I am now selling some of my pieces at Dwell Local, a storefront + design studio located here in Rochester, MN. Dwell offers interior design consultations and their storefront features fun vintage finds + a wide variety of unique & handmade items from local artists. If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth checking out!

dwell local

Read more about Dwell here.

For an updated list of “SimplyChic” pieces that are available for sale at Dwell, head to my SHOP page! I am hoping to have new pieces available each week so check back regularly.

jeanette

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DIY beach sign + summer mantel.

I realized last week that I hadn’t done much to our mantel since adding this window, so I decided it needed a little refresher. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen the beach sign I was working on last weekend, amongst a few other DIY wall art projects. The sign, combined with my desire to change up the mantel, resulted in a fun nautical design.

DIY beach sign

I made the sign with a piece of reclaimed wood, my go-to stencils & some sisal rope. (Note: After uploading these pictures, I decided the sign looked too clean and needed a little “roughing up” so I gave it a slightly more rustic feel by giving it a light sanding).

nautical mantel decor

nautical mantel

The nautical-themed mantel is comprised of my large antique window, a vintage fan, a sailboat picture, my beach sign & a rusted blue lantern. As much as I don’t want summer to end, I am already dreaming up some fun ideas for fall decor!

jeanette

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loving lately.

loving lately

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Happy Friday! Welcome to another edition of ‘loving lately’!

1) Converse One Star lounge pants. You guys, I’ve practically been living in these pants since the day I brought them home. I picked them up on a whim recently (Target clearance rack — need I say more?) and now I’m wishing I would have bought a few more! (Update: I went back for another pair!) In addition to comfort, I’m a sucker for any lounge pants that sport pockets.

2) Nourish Organic Face Cleanser. Aside from the packaging being just as adorable as the face crème’s (reference this post), it also scores points for its gentle factor and that it can be used on any skin type. And it goes without saying how much I love that it boasts the USDA organic seal and doesn’t contain all of the harmful ingredients that so many standard face washes do these days, i.e. parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals and EDTA.

3) Essie nail polish in ‘Honey Bun.’ I think it’s easy to get caught up in the trends and opt for bold nail polish shades + designs, but at the end of the day I prefer classic colors like mauve, red, nude, etc. and this one fits the bill perfectly.

4) Eco Candle Co. candle in the scent ‘Lovely.’ This sweet soy candle is described as “a feminine blend of citrus, floral and woodsy notes that is both casual and glamorous.” — I couldn’t have said it better myself! Runner up from this company is the scent ‘Chamomile Sage.’

5) Floral scarf. Target clearance strikes again. This recent purchase has quickly become a new favorite. Scarfs are always associated with the colder months but the light fabric plus floral pattern of this one makes it suitable for wear spring through fall.

What products have you been loving lately?

jeanette

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back entry + DIY key/coat rack

entry way

DIY key rack

DIY key rack

Hello friends! Today I thought I’d show an update of the back entry (really the eat-in kitchen) of our house as well as a new piece I made — a wooden key/coat rack inspired by 7th House on the Left and my DIY towel holder.

To make the rack, I simply cut a piece of scrap wood I had to the same size as the chalkboard window above it, gave it a coat of walnut stain leftover from this project, stenciled on some numbers, and lastly added four hooks I had picked up on sale at the craft store for $1.49/ea. a while back.

More projects to report on soon!

jeanette

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DIY window boxes.

Last month I mentioned in my curb appeal post that if I only crossed *one* item off my curb appeal to-do/wish list, it would be to install window boxes. I am happy to report that the boxes are now built, installed and boasting pretty red blooms!

diy window box

You might remember I debated buying vs DIYing. I ultimately decided to make my own for the sake of saving some major cash, plus you simply can’t beat the satisfaction of being able to say, “Hey, I made that!” when it comes to the completion of any successful DIY project.

The materials (wood, primer + paint, screws & four L-brackets) ended up coming in at just around $60, as opposed to $150/each for the pre-made ones I had been eyeing at the home improvement store. You can probably do the math but that means I saved a total of $240 by making them myself — score!

diy window box suuplies

First I got all of my wood cut to size, followed by priming it all with an oil-based primer. From there I attached all of the pieces using a nail gun. Once assembled, I filled in the nail holes with spackle and caulked along the inner corners. I then gave the boxes two coats of glossy white paint made for indoor/outdoor use. Lastly, I drilled six drainage holes into the bottom of each box and lined the boxes with burlap so that water can get through the holes but the dirt can’t. The final step was to secure the boxes to the house which I did by using two 8″x8″ L-brackets per box and the help of this tutorial. Oh yeah, and the hubs helped out a lot, too.

DIY window box

To make the boxes look less plain and more “custom,” I added lattice strips to the front. I also figure that if I ever want to take the “custom” look a step further, there is always the option of attaching decorative corbels to the bottom as well.

DIY window box

As much as I wanted to do something bold and really eye-catching to fill the boxes, I kept it simple this time around by going with red impatients to complement our red front door. Next year I plan to get more creative and opt for a mix of plants like this, aka the “filler, thriller, spiller” method.

So there you have it — my DIY window boxes! I’m so glad to be able to check this project off my home improvement list. But of course there are many more boxes to be checked…

Until next time!

jeanette

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Filed under *My House, DIY, Gardening