July 2019 Business + Life Month-In-Review

 
I’m sharing my July 2019 month-in-review, including my news interview, making a shiny-brite Christmas ornament wreath, a downtown loft-style bedroom makeover, and lots of adventures with the family!

July has absolutely FLOWN-by…as usual! It’s been a fun month for sure, but I’m sad to see it go, because that means summer is going to be over before we know it! I always think it’s fun to show you what I’ve been working on, so I’m sharing my July month-in-review with you! Hopefully it inspires you to live a stylish and full life…and maybe do a project or two!

I had a blast being interviewed by Megan Reuther for News Channel 13 Today In Iowa! They wanted to know all the things about how to thrift and decorate your home on a budget, and I was excited to share what I know with them!
Had a fun photo shoot with  Cherrie Photography  in my local Goodwill thrift store!

The highlight of my month was definitely being interviewed for the local news! It’s been a dream of mine to be on television or be published in a magazine, so I finally got to live out part of that dream! I was interviewed for the News Channel 13 Today In Iowa segment, by Megan Reuther. We chatted all about how it’s possible to decorate your house on a budget using thrifted items. It was so exciting getting to talk about something that I’m so passionate about…and share it with their audience!

I can’t get enough of this client bedroom I worked on in downtown Des Moines. It’s a small space, but was seriously lacking in style. The West Elm bedding, floating shelves, and hanging plants breathed so much life into the room!

I have been so blessed to work on some really fun projects the last few months. One of them is this bedroom! It belongs to a client of mine who has really great taste and a fantastic downtown, loft-style apartment. He basically turned over the reigns to me for this project and I had a great time designing and decorating the space! We’ve been working on it bit-by-bit for a few months and it was finally (ok, mostly) finished a couple of weeks ago! The West Elm bedding is gorgeous, the floating shelves add some display space in this small room, and the hanging plants give the room life! Stay tuned for a future post with all the before and after photos. PS…there might even be some beautiful wallpaper that is going to knock your socks off.

I can’t get this Crab Rangoon Dip out of my mind! I’ve made it twice lately for pot-lucks…and still want more!
I celebrated National Ice Cream Day with a delicious S’mores-flavored ice cream sandwich from Thelma’s a local, Des Moines, IA-based business!

Good food, good mood…so they say! It’s very true too. I’m in love with all things delicious food…and they always make me happy! I’ve been trying to learn new recipes this summer and one of them that I tried out is this Crab Rangoon Dip. I love Crab Rangoon pizza, but this so easy to make and tasty, I may never try to make the pizza again! You will thank yourself for making it, and so will the guests at your next get-together! You can find all the details for the recipe HERE. One of the other goals for summertime, is always to try new ice cream flavors or combinations. Whether it’s a new ice cream shop or a new favorite frozen treat from the grocery store, we’re on-board—especially Jason. I finally got my hands on one of the s’mores-flavored ice cream sandwiches from Thelma’s, for National Ice Cream Day, and it did not disappoint. I was good and split it into half…to save some of the calories for another time. Check your local grocer to see if they carry Thelma’s. It’s a local-to-me business that has just exploded on the ice cream scene! I love that it’s family-owned and from small-town Iowa!

We finally got the chance to visit the farmers market in Ames, IA! It is the perfect size for us—we love good food, coffee, and people watching, but also don’t enjoy huge crowds.
She’ll sit for one selfie with Aunt Hilary and that’s about it. I’ll take what I can get from her!
We’ve been enjoying a lot of summer picnics to enjoy the weather, make some memories, and save money!
Lots of time spent with my sister and nieces makes me happy! I love that my job offers me this flexibility. Life is short…make the memories!


Jason and I aren’t taking any vacations this summer, so we’ve been doing a lot of road trips and small adventures. A couple of weeks ago, we finally made it to the farmers market in Ames, IA, a college town about 30 minutes from us. I was actually born in Ames and it’s one of those places I could picture us living. There’s a vibrant food and art scene, and it’s as if the city was built right into the wooded area that’s always been there. There are so many trees, parks, and green spaces—I love it. The farmers market was just what we wanted. It was big enough to have the things we wanted—food, coffee, and produce, but small enough that it wasn’t overwhelming. We will definitely go back.

I’ve also gotten to adventure a lot with my sister and nieces this summer! One of my goals when I left my job in retail, was to have a more flexible schedule. I’ve missed a lot of things over the years and I didn’t want to be doing that anymore. Life is short and I’d rather be making memories than working at a job I don’t love. Lucky for me, now I get to do both! We’ve done the local pool, Adventureland Park, and Living History Farms—plus, enjoyed a lot of queso along the way. When we’re not having my favorite Mexican food, we pack a picnic, to keep the costs of our fun days down. If you’re on a budget, you can still have summer fun—just be thoughtful about the extras you’re purchasing, and pack a picnic and snacks when you can.

I made this beautiful Shiny Brite Christmas ornament wreath for a client using her own collection.
 
I’m loving the new look of our kichen island since it’s been painted with Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor! It changes the look of the whole space and helps break-up all the wood in our house!

I’ve also had the chance to be a bit crafty this month. I have a client who saw the Shiny Brite Christmas ornament wreath I made last year, and who has been in love with it ever since! This last week, I created one for her, using her personal collection of both vintage and new bulbs. I love the way it turned out and hope to have a tutorial up in the next couple of months, so you can make one too!

Another pop of color in our home is our freshly-painted kitchen island. The color is Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor and I couldn’t love it any more. We have a lot (LOT) of wood in our house, and while it’s pretty, I need some areas to be broken-up a bit. Jason doesn’t want to paint the big bank of kitchen cabinets, so we settled on just having the island painted. Curious about the process? I shared how our fireplace was painted HERE. if you’re thinking about a change to your space, to add color or personality, I highly recommend painting something a bright color! It has completely transformed this space and I am so happy we did it!

July has been a great month, both personally and professionally. It’s always a slower month for business, which I plan on, so I get to do more of the fun things with family and friends. I’m ramping-up for a busy month for my small business in August, though, so it’s going to go even faster than July did! I’m always thankful for my busy life…because it means I’m alive and doing things!

 
love-hilary