Pinterest Fail: Spray Painting a Filing Cabinet

There’s a good reason I only took one photo of this sad, pathetic project. Pinterest usually doesn’t lead me astray but every once in a while I hit a dud. While this project sounds great in theory, it’s actually a huge wallet buster and dare I even mention the fumigation.

Here is the standard tutorial I followed:

File down rust, clean with soap and water, remove hardware, spray with standard rust oleum base coat, spray with color coat, let dry, reassemble and your done.

Firstly, I couldn’t remove the hardware. This is a newer filing cabinet I found at Salvation Army and I didn’t have the right sized tool. The painting started out fine until I got halfway through applying the base coat. I used an entire can of spray paint and the results where patchy and unattractive. I blew it off thinking it’s base coat, no one will know and now the color coat should go on evenly. Wrong!

The picture above is halfway through a can of the green spray paint and only the sides you can see have been painted. It’s stripy and patchy and barely covers the white base coat. It looks like I’ve never spray painted anything a day in my life. Try as I might, no matter how I held the can or the distance with which I sprayed that’s the result I kept getting. Sam helped me move the cabinet several times trying to account for the wind to no avail.

After thirty minutes I had a headache from the fumes even though I took breaks and tried my best not to breath it in. After an hour and a half I gave up. I don’t know how anyone got their cabinets to look even without going through 2-3 cans of spray paint. I have two filing cabinets to paint so I could go ahead and double the amount spray paint and time invested.

The reason so many tutorials suggest spray paint is because acrylic paint bonds better to metal. The problem is most acrylic paints made for metal come as spray paint. Spray paint limits your color selection and it’s noxious. There was the slightest breeze yesterday and half my spray paint blew away before it ever touched the metal. That’s a huge waste of money.

After some brain storming I remembered I had a similar color of sample paint in a bucket in the garage so on an impulse I brushed a little on and oh my what a difference! I think the perfect balance here is to slap on a can of spray paint base coat for adhesion and then roll or brush on the top color coat. It takes way less paint, way less time, and the coverage is even.

When I get them both done I’ll post them here so you can see the finished result. I hope you found this helpful!

Take Away: Painting a filing cabinet is still a great idea, I just wouldn’t use spray paint.

Maegan

Nashville Shopping Guide: Vintage Home Goods

I had the immense pleasure of doing some superb thrifting and antiquing while visiting my parents in Nashville during Christmas last year. I was so impressed by the amount of antiques and vintage goods in such pristine condition and in such volume. It was incredible! I’ve put together a guide of the best of the best! So without further ado, this is my Nashville vintage home goods shopping guide!

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The first place we shopped was Music Valley Antiques who won Best of Nashville 2018 (BON2018) for best Antiques Store. By far and large I totally agree. Stephanie who owns Music Valley Antiques is the sweetest woman who has a great eye for antiques and excellent taste in vendors. Music Valley Antiques has a good assortment of types of vintage booths and there is something for everyone. Her store is filled with an eclectic assortment of decor, furniture, kitchenware, art, collectibles, clothing, jewelry, and accessories, vintage children’s toys and more. If I’d had a bigger car I would have bought more! This is a must stop if you’re in Nashville. Takeaway: Best vintage store in Nashville. Stephanie is gracious and wonderful to work with and the prices can’t be beat. Some vendors were willing to haggle over prices. Everything is neat and orderly. You won’t leave empty handed!

download (1)We stopped at the Salvation Army in Madison where I found the pineapple trinket dish. I could tell the Christmas rush had cleared this place out–Christmas had just been days earlier–but it still had a really great selection and my mom said she would go back and shop there regularly. They had a great selection of furniture and a couch that I’d had a truck to haul it I would have bought. Takeaway: they had a great selection of furniture and glassware.

oIt was raining the day we popped into a unique specialty vintage store called Old Made Good. This was such a fun specialty vintage store. She has an incredible assortment of vintage clothing and home goods. I wished we’d had more time to shop because her shop was amazing. Her store was filled with home wares, art, furniture, clothing, jewelry and accessories. She has so many good things! She also sells her own needlepoint and vintage paint by number art she re-imagines with her own quip-y sayings. This another can’t miss store that has been mentioned in several publications like this one(link)and this(link) one. This another one you can’t miss. Takeaway: incredible mid century furniture and art. Boho vibes going on here too. Bonus: her serious vintage clothing selection was to die for.

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I found the 70’s blue bowl at Robinson’s Flea Market. It was not as tidy or as big as Music Valley Antiques but it did have a few great booths–particularly with mid century home goods and kitchen wares and an adorable booth full of mid century children’s toys and books. Takeaway: come here expecting to dig. Mainly home goods, art, and some furniture.

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Mom and I traveled to Goodlettsville to shop the antique district there. Every single shop on our list was closed except one–Goodlettsville Antique Mall. This was by far the largest antique mall I have ever been in my whole life. It took us four hours just to see every stall–and we didn’t dally. They carry vintage, shabby chic, mid century, and primitive antiques and vintage wares. They have it all here. It was absolutely massive. Takeaway: you could furnish your entire house. Prices are a bit higher here and we weren’t able to haggle prices. Wear good walking shoes and plan on making a day of it. 

I had a hard time getting everything I bought in the car. It was a huge success as far as my finds. Everything I bought I absolutely love. So, yes! I hope you find this shopping guide helpful. As I’m able to go back to Nashville I will update this guide with more fabulous places. I also hope that you go out and visit these great retailers and support them with your business. I promise everywhere I mentioned in this post will not disappoint and when you visit tell them you heard about them through me! It always elates business owners to know that their business is being recommended through word of mouth!

Maegan

Home Library Progress Update

So months and months ago before my back went out I started turning our loft into a home library. I thought I would share how I’ve updated the space so far! I mean it’s pretty much done, sort of, except for the desk and the filing cabinet which are being replaced–eventually. I still need to repaint the yellow chair and I’m not sold on the rug. So, I guess it’s not almost done but whatever. I’m rollin’ with it.The pink walls I painted last fall or summer–last year was kind of a blur and it’s all running together at this point so I don’t really remember when I painted them. Why pink? The better question is why not pink? I tried to choose a pink shade that was a bit more subdued and adult. I mean, I wouldn’t go so far as to claim Baby Blush is sophisticated, but I was going for glam anyway. The pink walls casts a soft glow in the second half of the day that filters the light in the living room below. It’s heavenly.

I made a mood board on Pinterest where you can see the vibe I was going for–It’s kind of a 70’s Texas glam. I kind of went ham sandwich with color in this room. I felt it was a space I could really go all out with color but I tried to keep it away from being bitsy and juvenile. Sam of course, is a good man and encourages me do as I please when it comes to design. I’ve found that as long as I don’t let form come before function too often(especially when I want to spend $ on the big stuff) he usually loves it–even if it’s pink.I do plan on painting or changing out the filing cabinet. I mean I have to have some sort of filing system for bills and my manuscripts but I don’t know that it needs to be a filing cabinet. If you’ve got any ideas I want to hear them. Tell me! I mean there has to be an aesthetically more pleasing way to store paper. Another issue I have to tackle is all the server and its trimmings but that’s a blog post for another day.

I made the shelves out of these steel double mount tracks and these brackets that I painted rose gold. I went with raw Plywood for the shelves I had cut into 12in x 8ft pieces. I used nice plywood because its cheaper than buying boards by the ft and I liked the industrial look of the raw plywood edges. This was a really easy and self explanatory DIY. Basically figure out how wide and tall you want your shelving to be and how far apart your wall studs are. That determines how many wall tracks you’ll need. Then figure out how far apart you far want your shelves and that will determine how much wood you will need. I also didn’t have to go through the hassle of sanding and staining each piece, but if that’s your thing then I say go for it!The #shelfie is a still a work in progress but for that’s the most fun part anyway! I went with the traditional method of cataloging–alphabetical by genre–so books are easy to find and file. At the end of the day it’s form over function–besides the books themselves are so beautiful they don’t really need much flair. I have really enjoyed taking my time finding the perfect book ends and nick-knacks. It’s just a perfect excuse to buy one more horse lamp.

Like I said the desk and filing cabinet still need work. I’m also not sure about the black and white striped rug. I wish it was bigger. I’m also considering putting a sisal or jute rug beneath it to give the space more oomph. As I write this I’m also trying to figure out how to integrate a standing/sitting desk for Sam up here. It’s just more motivation to find a smaller desk for me and fix the paper filing problem for good.I hope you enjoyed the under construction walk through. Once I get the living room finished I’ll get to throw all my energy into this room! If you want a more in depth explanation on how we built the shelving leave a comment below and I’ll put a blog post together.

Also, this is kind of random, but since I change out my decor pretty often I have a Facebook Market Place that has a fairly steady rotation of home-goods and furniture that I either no longer want or just don’t work with my design style anymore. I don’t ship but if you live in the DFW area it’s worth taking a peak at!

Maegan

 

Changes

Right off the bat, I’ll let you know that this a casual ‘this is what’s been going on in our neck of the woods’ kind of post and not some super duper dramatic thing. I struggle with writing these posts because every time I start them they just feels so serious and ugh, just no. I can’t stand that. I’m trying to find a way to be a more open blogger and express my thoughts and feelings more with you guys but I struggle with that. So much. I just haven’t found that sharing boundary line–you know sharing enough but not too much kind of boundary. I’m  just telling it to you like it is and I hope that you appreciate my honesty and straightforwardness.

OK! So, we have a had a lot going on the last six months and I thought I would share! I’ve already told you about Lemon and my back stuff and those were some really big changes. My brother got engaged this spring and is getting married in September and we’ve been preparing for that. Part of all this physical therapy and pushing myself so hard is so that I can travel to Nashville for the wedding.acs_0900

The biggest change has been on the work front. Sam, who has worked at the same company for the entirety of our marriage(twelves years people) moved jobs to a new company. We are so excited for this new chapter but whew has it been a doozy! It’s a totally new schedule/work setup that we are adjusting too–one so far, that we both love. Sam went from working at an 9-5 office job to working from home. Oh, and did I mention he will be traveling too?acs_0901

Honestly, I love having Sam work from home. We haven’t figured out the work space issues yet, but honestly it’s going pretty smoothly. I try to stay out of his hair, though I catch myself talking to him when he’s trying to work. Overall, I love it, he loves it. He hasn’t traveled that much yet, but that’s sure to pick up soon. I didn’t think it would be good for me to be in an empty house while Sam is away and we went back and forth for a while about the best solution for the issue.

I really want another dog. I miss Lemon something fierce but trying to take care of a puppy right now just isn’t the best idea. I’m still working on my day to day endurance and strengthening my body and taking care of a puppy would be too much strain. I think we will eventually get a dog when I’m in shape to chase a puppy on my own. A cat wasn’t my first choice, not because I don’t like cats, it’s just a litter box issue. We have a small apartment and I don’t have a laundry room to stow a little box in. But we figured out a solution and went to Operation Kindness(whom I highly recommend) and adopted two cats.

Originally, it was just supposed to be one cat but you know how that goes. We ended up looking at two kittens from the same litter(we didn’t know that before we looked at them)and Sam we couldn’t bear to separate them. May I present the boys Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck–Pip and Merry for short. acs_0840I’m a writer and I couldn’t pass up this golden once in a life time opportunity to name two male sibling CATS after the cousin hobbits from Lord of the Rings(underline). The names fit them perfectly by the way.acs_0879acs_0878acs_0880The Hobbits as we call them have been a handful! They were sick and had to go back and forth to the Operation Kindness vet for a few weeks until they were well enough to come home permanently. And they are into everything like kittens usually are. But it’s been fun and we’ve really enjoyed watching them chase each other and rip around the house. It’s been joyful. Pip is the golden boy but Merry is the snuggler. They are adorable.acs_0897acs_0898Our apartment got repainted last Friday and I could not be more excited! I’m in the middle of redecorating our living room and it’s been like going to Disney World! That’s how awesome it is! I’ve been staring at that same beige paint for the last eleven years and I was so so so ready for a change. We also got rid of the red couch we’ve had for an equal amount of time. It was a good couch for a long time but it was time for it to be put out to pasture. I’m really looking forward to show you guys our redecorated living room in a couple of months–once I get it done.img_6407

For the last month or so–since I could climb the stairs again–I’ve been working steadily on my middle grade manuscript. It’s been incredible the progress I’ve made. I really really hope to have the first draft soon. Like, so so soon. I want to make a living writing books and I’m determined to see it through. I’m so passionate about this manuscript. I come alive writing for children and I’m really good at it–and I understand what an awesome thing it is to be able to say that. Not many people can write for children and even less of those people love it and are as passionate as I am. I love writing for children. It’s the best audience I could imagine. I confess, my dream is to get my manuscript signed with a publisher this year. So there’s been a lot going on for me.acs_0885

Trying to translate what my day to day looks like to non-writers is difficult because from the outside it looks like I just sit all day. Sit and write, sit and read, sit and research, repeat. But from the inside I’m running around in a complete and totally different universe; orchestrating, observing, cataloging, asking questions, adventuring, and feeling. When I get done at the end of the day I’m exhausted most of the time–but in the best way. I’m trying to find better ways of sharing that side of my life with “the outside world”.

So that’s a little bit of whats been going on with us. Soon, I want to share our loft we turned into a home library. It’s not complete because my back went out in the middle of it, but I’d like to show you the progress we’ve made and my ideas for the rest of it.

We have plans for the Fourth of July with friends and we plan on watching the fireworks at KaBOOM town. I hope y’all have a fun and safe Independence Day. I’ll be back soon with more DIY projects and my summer reading list. In the mean time check out this adorable blow up sprinkler I’ve been trying to find an excuse to buy, and these gold sandals that I am living in this summer, and this artist I’m dying to work with.

Maegan

I’m Back!

I’ve missed you guys! As most of you have noticed I’ve been absent from all my social media, including this blog, for several months. I’ve been absent since February for two reasons: The first is that Lemon passed away suddenly from pancreatitis. And second, because I re-herniated a disc in my back. I wont go into all the details but it was an ordeal. I got a cortisone injection and have been going to physical therapy for several months, and I’m now feeling much better and getting back to my old self.

As far as social media, well, when you’re laid up in bed for a month and then stuck on the couch for another two months there’s not really much to be “social” about. So I made the decision to quietly take a step back.

During this hiatus I also took the time to re-evaluate my relationship with social media. Back in November I’d started feeling a major disconnect. It had become something I dreaded instead of the fun and creative outlet it had once been. I’d stopped having fun and the more I’d pushed myself to engage on my social media platforms the more distant and anxious I became.

After some thought, and everything Sam and I had been through in the last several years–our miscarriage, our dogs passing over the rainbow bridge, and foster care I decided to delete my old Instagram account. It was ready for a fresh start and you can now find me at @gussiedupandglitzed! I also made the Instagram account switch because it is more cohesive with my blog and easier to find. I also have a Facebook page at Gussied Up & Glitzed! So if you’re looking for a way to engage with me I’ve got lots of options!

I’m really excited to be blogging again! I want to know what you guys are all up to! Anyone have exciting summer plans? New Jobs? New House? I want to hear about all your fun plans, trips, summer activities, EVERYTHING! Thanks for sticking with me! Its good to be back.

Maegan

Antique Doll House

The Benefits of Climate Controlled Storage: A Quick Guide

Last week I took a poll on Instagram and asked if y’all would like to know more about climate controlled storage and the overwhelming consensus was–YES!

Living in a rental or a small space–Sam and I hit both marks–makes storage a challenge. We have more space than most–but it’s still not enough or ideal. As we’ve been KonMari-ing our house–in large part due to Marie Kondo’s TV show–I noticed our loft area has become a makeshift storage space over the last several years. Items that we don’t think will survive the 100+ degree weather in our attic or garage come summer have now taken over half the space. We are losing valuable living space by keeping all that stuff stacked up in the corner.

So we had a serious conversation last week about what to do with all of it. To clarify, the ‘items’ are some antique furniture handed down by my parents, a giant antique doll house, photos, paper memorabilia and my wedding dress(which is sealed up in one of those fancy storage boxes)–basically valuables and antiques. Some of it we get out once a year at Christmas–like the Beary Merry Christmas doll house–but most of it goes untouched year round. We know we need to store these items but do they need to be stored in climate controlled unit and would be worth the added cost each month?

Basically, it all comes down to geographical location, the type and/or age of the item you want or need to store, and if you’re willing to pay the extra money for the peace of mind.

But first, what exactly is climate controlled storage and what are the benefits? Climate controlled storage units are usually indoor and maintain a consistent temperature all year round–some units even come with enhanced features like humidity control. They are often placed inside buildings with sealed and insulated roofs, walls, and floors. Below are some of the benefits of a climate controlled storage and reasons you might consider renting one:

  • Extreme Temperature

If you live in a climate that sees extreme temperatures like 100+ degrees in the summer or below freezing temperatures in the winter and you might want to protect your valuables from the damaging effects of extreme temperatures. Sensitive items like wood furniture, antiques, and musical instruments can suffer from warping, splitting, or cracking due to the constant change in temperature. Additionally, items like fine art, photos, books, or business records can also be damaged due to the highs and lows of temperature change.

Items that would benefit from a climate controlled environment:

    • Antiques, especially wood furniture
    • Musical instruments
    • Mattresses
    • Books and magazines
    • Electronics
    • Important documents
    • Upholstered furniture
    • Vinyl records
  • Air quality and circulation and keeps the air fresh.

It’s common to overlook air quality when shopping for storage units. A standard storage unit isn’t sealed the same way an indoor climate controlled unit is. Because climate controlled storage facilities continuously circulate the air, the air remains clean. This prevents you from needing to open your unit just to get some fresh air inside which is important for the storage of sensitive electronics or documents–air quality should be high on the priority list.

  • Less chance for dust, debris, rodents, and insects.

Climate controlled storage units are often placed inside buildings with sealed and insulated roofs, walls, and floors. As a result, these units are less susceptible to minor flooding or tracked in dirt, and because they’re indoors, there isn’t as much chance for rodents or insects to make a home in your stored things.

Another benefit here is you’ll have less dust and debris always making its way into your unit. You’ll find your items just the way you left them, whether you store them for a week, a year, or a decade.

  • An extra peace of mind

Climate controlled storage usually costs more than traditional storage. This added cost is often insignificant and usually overshadowed by the peace of mind you’re given knowing you’ve protected your items from harsh seasonal changes and weather-related mishaps.

However, if you’re storing items that aren’t valuable for a short period, traditional storage is often adequate.

  • Humidity control

As mentioned above, humidity control is sometimes an enhanced feature some storage facilities offer. Humidity control, as an addition to climate control, maintains constant humidity in the unit to around 50%. Humidity controlled storage units are most often needed in places with either year round extreme high or low levels of humidity. For example, if we lived in Corpus Christi, Tx on the Gulf of Mexico –where the humidity is close to 100% almost everyday–we would need humidity control for what we want to store. Not only would the salt in the air cause damage to our things but there is a really high chance everything we stored outside climate and humidity control would mold, rot and be attacked by lots of bugs and rodents.

Conversely, if we lived in an extremely dry climate like Denver, Co, our valuables would be more likely to suffer the opposite effects by drying up from the lack of moisture and I’m sure be attacked by bugs and rodents.

I hope this helped clarify the issue and makes the deciding whether or not you need climate controlled storage easier. For us, the answer is a definitive yes. We were right not to leave our items stored in our attic or garage.

As far as pricing here in the Dallas area, a 5×5 or 5×7 unit runs around thirty-five to forty-five dollars a month and went up in price the larger the unit. My advice in determining how much storage vs rental you can afford is to roll both payments together as one and consider that your total monthly rent payment. that way you can determine how much apartment you can afford vs how much storage you can afford.

Here are a few storage unit tips before I go:

  • If you can’t afford humidity controlled storage and will be storing during damp months, be sure to access your unit regularly. Opening the doors will allow fresh air into the unit and will circulate out built up humidity and odors.
  • Some humidity controlled storage units are available without climate control.

 

Maegan

WELCOME

I’m Maegan Johnson and welcome to Gussied Up and Glitzed!

Texan born and raised, I live in Dallas with my husband Sam. I am a writer–it is what I am and what I do. My current project is a middle grade fantasy novel about a bear named Roger Lyman Pickle. It’s not the first book I’ve written, but it’s certainly the one I hope to publish first. My home away from home is almost any bookstore or library–if you can’t find me that’s probably where I am.

I’m highly creative and appreciate different mediums of artistic expression that require my hands. You can usually find me yarn in hand in the evenings knitting–my favorite indie dyers are MadelineTosh and Hedgehog Fibers. I love to help my husband Sam with his garden on the weekends. I’m a sucker for a good DIY and I’m an interior design junkie–Leanne Ford is my design spirit animal. I’m constantly rearranging our living room furniture. I’m vintage and thrift shop obsessed–mid century vintage, Fire King jadeite coffee mugs, and OG country western vinyl are my weakness.

Though I’m a voracious reader, I don’t enjoy writing book reviews. I do however have several dedicated book lists blog posts. I love a good book list!

This blog is dedicated to being a joyful, positive force on the world and the internet. I blog about the things I’m passionate about and enjoy so everything I mentioned above is the kind of content you will find here. I also share about our travels and day to day life.

I also love to make new friends so don’t be shy! I’d offer you something to drink but I haven’t figured out how to hand you sweet tea through the internet–yet. It’s Texas hospitality around here y’all–I can’t help it–that means friendly smiles, genuine hugs, and asking how your mama is because that’s just how we do things here.

Maegan

 

 

An Autumn Recap

Where did fall go? I feel like it was just here and now tomorrow is December 1st and the Christmas season is already in full swing. I have missed you guys so much! It’s completely inexcusable how long I’ve been absent and I can’t wait to catch up! So much has happened in the last few months and I can’t wait to get you all caught up on what’s been going on in my life. And I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. This is going to be a long one so you’ll probably want to grab your favorite beverage and a snack.

So the last in-depth post left us back in September right before my birthday. I made the decision to take a quick break from social media during my birthday weekend this year and a lot of you were wondering where I went. To be honest, I was dreading my birthday this year, but it ended up being one of the best birthday’s I’ve had in a long time. It was low-key but in the best way. Sam custom ordered unicorn cupcakes from Gigi’s for my birthday and then took me to Kendra Scott for some birthday shopping. Then we went to see Crazy Rich Asians at the Alamo Draft House–best place to see a movie–and it was so good! I loved it so much I put it on my Christmas wish list.The next day I got to meet Alicia Yoon at a local Ulta–she and her team have been on tour throughout America since she launched her line of skin care with Ulta–and I got to check that off my bucket list. And she told me I had beautiful skin!!!! OMG. I about died in the floor. That is such an incredible compliment coming from someone who’s skin is the MOST flawless, beautiful skin I’ve ever seen. Like glass skin perfection. It was unreal. And she was the most down to earth, sweet person. There’s a saying about never meeting your hero’s because you’ll be disappointed but that’s not true because meeting Alicia in person was more wonderful that I expected. It was the best!Sam and I rounded out my birthday weekend with a trip to the Dallas Zoo the next day. The weather was cool and overcast so we didn’t melt and I got to feed the giraffes–which is pretty much why I go to the zoo–several times because there were no crowds to fight. It was an unexpectedly happy and eventful birthday. I was relieved.Then the next few days Sam and I spent packing for our family trip to Gulf Shores, AL. I’m telling you, I checked a lot of things off my bucket list this year. I’ve always wanted to visit Alabama ever since Reese Witherspoon’s Sweet Home Alabama movie. And I fell in LOVE with Alabama! Honestly, I think I could live there. We were supposed to be spending a lot of time off shore fishing but then hurricane Michael came in. And though hurricane Michael missed Gulf Shores it still affected the water so we weren’t able to get out into the Gulf. But we still tried our hand at fishing in the few surrounding bays. We didn’t catch much but we did have a lot of fun! For a Texas girl it was odd to see all those big trees growing right up to the banks of salt water. I loved it though. It felt more like lake fishing in a way until a porpoise or stingray would surface next to the boat. We went down to the beach the last day we were there and I got to experience my first ever hurricane up close. We could see the edge of the hurricane swirling just off shore–it was eerie. I’ve never seen the ocean so angry either. The waves really did roar and thunder and beat against one another. It was fascinating and frightening. The last day I started to feel like I had a cold coming on. And I was really miserable on the drive home. We got home and went to the doctor for medication and was sick with a bad virus for two weeks. Then Sam got sick and overall it took about a month for the both of us to get over it. The week after we got back Sam’s parents came to visit for the weekend and after they went home they both got sick as well. We spent most of the month of October just trying to get over our illness.Meanwhile I had been brain storming whether or not I wanted to start a beauty YouTube. I have so many people text, snap, and insta-message me about skin care and makeup that I had decided to start a YouTube. I did my research on how to get started, what equipment I would need, etc and made my announcement on insta-stories. But then three days later as I was waiting for equipment to come in the mail and working on my book Lemon got attacked during an evening walk by a dog at a local park. Our Halloween plans were canceled. We took Lemon the very next morning(Halloween) to the vet and it was an ordeal. Lemon had to have surgery and then be in a cone for two weeks before she could get her stitches out. She also had to adhere to strict bed-rest which meant my constant supervision–unless I kept her in her kennel. I felt so heartless making her stay confined. And besides that, she was in a drunken stupor for several days after her surgery and she kept us up half the night crying the first night–very anti-Lemon behavior. We think it was the disorientation from the anesthesia. So I got pretty much nothing done for two weeks.Meanwhile, I tried filming my first video for my YouTube channel twice and both times the film was unusable. I had no idea how complicated trying to film would be. There were a lot of user errors and then some of the equipment I was using just wasn’t working–like my battery wouldn’t stay charged and my SD cards were too small. I got really overwhelmed. I was also trying to work on my manuscript as well which pretty much got pushed out of the picture. I thought I would sit down and film for an hour and be done but the very first time I filmed it took me six hours. Yes, six hours. That’s insane. YouTube is no joke people.As I was trying to figure out the YouTube stuff I realized I had let the October and November go almost completely by without posting any pictures of my fall decor or talk about the improvements we made to the loft. I also needed to start prepping for Christmas and our upcoming trip to Denver.

Then I had a dentist appointment to have my implant measured for its crown that went’ dreadfully. It put me out of commission for several days and had to be rescheduled. I went again a few days ago as of writing this and found out that the implant is good so we can proceed. It’s been an ordeal. All the dental work I’ve done this year has been ridiculous and really time-consuming in a way that I can’t really show on social media. I still have another appointment in December and let’s just say I’ll be so relieved when this is all over.We alternate holidays with our families and this year Sam’s family decided to forgo getting together for Christmas and to meet the first week of December in Denver. So that meant Sam and I would be alone for Thanksgiving and I needed to get a menu prepped for that as well. But as we rolled into the week of Thanksgiving we got last-minute tickets to see the Cowboys play on Thanksgiving day. There are people who plan and save their whole life to get to be at a Cowboys game on Thanksgiving day and I am so blessed to have gotten to do that. And if you saw the game or watched it from home you know it was an awesome game! The Cowboys played really well and they won! It was a spectacular Thanksgiving day. Another thing to check off my bucket list

And somewhere in the middle of all that I missed my one year blog anniversary! I have officially been blogging for one year and I’m so very proud of myself. I hope to have many years of blogging ahead of me!

As I type this Sam and I are getting ready to go out of town to Denver for our late Thanksgiving with family. I don’t remember a year that Sam and I traveled so much and I am grateful beyond measure. We have so much fun activities planned for our Denver trip I can’t wait to share them here when I get back. We will have very little time between this upcoming trip and Christmas in Nashville. I’m hoping for a white Christmas this year!

I hope you all had a yummy, satisfying, and thankful Thanksgiving. Thanks for hanging out here until the end of this post. Thanks for hanging in there and waiting for me to return. I appreciate your investment.

Maegan

The Gift of Self Care

I read an article the other day that claimed putting Christmas lights and decorations up early might make you happier. I’m inclined to agree as I definitely felt a surge of happiness and excitement while decorating our entire home last weekend. I have never ever decorated this early for Christmas but something about it just felt right to me this year.

As our lights lit up our street our early Christmas decorating was made all the more obvious by the lack of lights on the other houses. Our decision was literally bright as a light shining in the darkness—a beacon of nonconformity. What would the neighbors think? It was the perfect literal example of, in my opinion, the most vital form of self care—making the best choices for myself even if they may seem odd, inconvenient, or against the social grain.

Please hear me, I’m not talking about rebellion. I’m referring to healthy, calculated decisions based on what is the healthiest, and most beneficial action for me to remain in a calm and centered spiritual, emotional, and physical state. That is much more difficult to execute than rebellion. Rebellion is caustic and harmful to the rebellious person, and those surrounding them often suffer the consequences too. While making the best decision for self is healthy and healing not only for that person but also for those surrounding them too. I’ve heard it said that making the best decision for ourselves is also the best decision for everyone else too.

Our early Christmas decorating is unconventional and could possibly irritating to our neighbors but it was the best decision for Sam and I. I needed an early injection of Christmas joy and my decision made Sam happy and created an opportunity for us to have fun together. We haven’t had one complaint from our neighbors and the lights cast a cheery glow on our street. Then yesterday, after the lights outside were hung, I read an article that said there’s another possible benefit to decorating early: the neighbors might think we are friendlier! Research has shown that people interpret Christmas decorations on a home as a cue that the people inside are sociable. With all that’s gone on this year, I want nothing more than to spread friendship to my neighbors!

Choosing to do what was best for me injected my life with some much needed Christmas joy, created an opportunity for Sam and I to laugh and have fun together and create happy memories, and shared some friendly and sociable goodwill with my neighbors. I’d say that’s a win, win, win!

With Thanksgiving just days away and Christmas here in a month it can be tempting to make decisions for yourself and your family based on what you think other people want or need. I want to encourage you to do what is best for you this holiday season. This is a head time of year to focus on self care and mental health but I’d say it’s the most important time. Being in a calm and centered state will surely make this the most enjoyable holiday season you’ve ever had.

So wether it’s putting your Christmas lights up early, saying no to that holiday party, or sleeping in your own bed for Christmas give yourself the priceless gift of doing what is best for you. You won’t regret it!

Oh, and early Merry Christmas!

Maegan

Fear of Responsibility

Happy Monday! It’s time for another #mentalmonday post. Today I want to talk about fear of responsibility. It’s an epidemic that is infecting my generation like never before, and I am certainly not exempt. I used to think that it was fear of failure that kept me from writing my books or starting a YouTube channel, then I realized that it wasn’t the act of the those things that kept me from doing them, it was what might come after.

My heart seizes at the thought of success. Can I handle that much pressure—that much responsibility? That’s where self confidence and love come in. I have to believe in myself that I can handle whatever responsibilities and pressure are given me if I succeed and unconditional self love when I fail.

As a Christian I also know that God’s love for me is based on his unchanging decision to love me—my performance has no bearing—that’s really helpful too. Believing in and loving yourself—while acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses—is paramount in squashing your fears. Believe in yourself and love yourself unconditionally, and soar or crash-land you’ll conquer your fear in peace. And the important thing is that you lived your life, you tried—isn’t that what really matters?

Is fear of responsibility holding you back? You are not alone! What are your dreams, your ambitions? I want to know!

*The little boy in the photo is my dad in his Roscoe Bankers baseball uniform. Thanks for letting me use your photo dad!

Maegan