Kitchen Renovation Reveal!

Words cannot express how happy I am that we finally bit the bullet and remodeled the house. While I’m happy about all of the projects that we tackled, the kitchen renovation was definitely the most satisfying. It was kind of like breaking up with that long-term boyfriend who’s kind of  a scrub but is perfectly nice and so you just stay with them for waaaaay longer than you ever expected, but then you come to your senses and dump them and suddenly you’re swept away by a partner who actually meets all of your needs, even the ones you didn’t know you had.

Am I a little too in love with our new kitchen? Perhaps.

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Maybe 2016 Wasn’t All That Bad

2016 was a year that I would never want to revisit, but man it sure did encourage me to grow up.

Not gonna lie, I probably cried more this year than any since I was a hormone-riddled-boy-crazy teenager. But in spite of all the challenges, a lot of good came out of it too.

A Few Reasons Why 2016 Didn’t Totally Suck

  • After years of hand-wringing about our finances, we finally bit the bullet and renovated the house. We have a dishwasher! And a kitchen with an intuitive layout! What a concept!
  • I perfected my hustle and became self-employed and ended up making more money than I ever have before while working ~25 hours/week.
  • I’ve never considered myself an organized person, but this year I proved myself wrong. My time management skills are OFF THE HOOK! I never missed a deadline, even when we were back-and-forth to DC nearly every day while Bruce was in the hospital. I’m the queen of analog calendars and to-do lists. So long as I write it down, I can accomplish anything!
  • Conrad and I were able to love and support each other even through the most trying times. We strengthened and deepened our relationship in really incredible ways. It’s pretty amazing to be part of a relationship that’s based on a deep appreciation for each other. We both know how lucky we are and I am so grateful for the strong foundation that we built for our marriage this year.
  • I gained a ton of self-confidence in my professional abilities. I’ve always had pretty low self-esteem when it comes to work and this year I’ve learned that I do bring a lot to the table, I have a valuable skill-set, and I know how to make clients happy. Turns out that living through the worst can really bring out the best in you.

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Handmade Holidays: DIY Men’s Grooming Products

DIY men's grooming products
These DIY men’s grooming products are perfect for dads, coworkers, boos, and bros.

If you don’t know what to get the bearded fellow in your life for the holidays, I have a few handmade ideas for you! I used to sell all-natural skincare products at craft fairs and on my Etsy shop, but then life got too busy so I stopped last year. The products got rave reviews and I figured it’d be a shame to let them go to waste, so I’m here to share all of the secrets of my DIY men’s grooming products.

Buying all of the necessary ingredients and packaging supplies is a bit of an investment, but you’ll have plenty of supplies to make enough gifts for all the beardy dudes on your list and then some, so I think it’s worth it.

I buy my ingredients (including essential oils) from Bulk Apothecary because they have really great prices when you buy in quantity, but if you don’t want to deal with shipping then you should be able to find everything you need at Whole Foods (check the beauty section!).

Essential oils are optional and you should feel free to tweak to your liking, these are just the scent combinations that I came up with that my customers loved. If you buy high-quality beeswax then I wouldn’t even bother to scent your mustache wax or beard balm because it’ll naturally smell like honey!

For labels, I used these printable waterproof address labels for the bottles and mustache tins, and these round labels for beard balm.

In conclusion; have fun, don’t be afraid to experiment, and feel free to make these DIY men’s grooming products your own!

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Practical advice for the old at heart