5 THINGS YOU NEED IN YOUR HOME PRONTO!

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What are some of your favorite home items?” A lot of you that have followed me through the years are now finding yourself decorating your own space and in need of some inspiration so I’ve finally decided to answer the question. These five items are literally my favorite gadgets or items in my home, and I think you’ll enjoy them too!

 

The Roomba Vacuum (aka “Casita”)

I just received this pretty lady as a Christmas gift from my husband, and yes… I refer to it as a her & her name is Casita. It has seriously come in handy when I need to scold her for eating up my phone charger *note to self...pick up your things before she runs*, but regardless, I’m in love with this thing. Is it a bit of a luxury? You bet, but it is definitely a luxury worth splurging on. We have the 650 edition and it is absolutely perfect for our one story house. If you’re like me and can’t stand having to sweep or vacuum every day, you need one for sure!

Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Cobalt Firm Mattress

I have to say… I never fully understood the importance of a great mattress until we upgraded last month. This thing has changed my life and it isn’t on the absolute higher end of mattresses either. I am able to track my sleep patterns with my Fitbit, and I have gone from tossing and turning throughout the night to literally not moving. No seriously… I’m surprised I’ve woken up because that sleep pattern detector straight up flat lines. If that isn’t a must have… I don’t know what is!

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Barefoot Dreams Leopard Throw

This is a big one, and I can’t post it on Instagram without getting at least one question about where I got it from. The infamous leopard blanket. Now the price of this blanket is outrageous, but if you’re like me and you’re a one blanket for years kind of girl, this one is for you. I received it as a wedding gift after years of pining for it, and I ended up gifting it to my best friend a year ago as well. Not only is it extremely soft, but I love how long it is because I can rarely find blankets that completely cover my 5’8” self from toe to chin! It is excellent quality and comes in more colors if leopard isn’t your thing!

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The Amazon Echo

Now I know what you’re thinking… “Alexa.. You only like this thing because its name is Alexa!” As flattered as I was that my name was finally becoming popular, I didn’t really understand the use of this gadget until I heard my boss mention his at work. I’d always thought about how it would be neat to have one, but I kind of saw it as useless. It wasn’t until I found out it could take down grocery list items and store them in an app that I was hooked. I cannot tell you how many times I would finish a grocery shopping trip to come home & find out my husband forgot to inform me that we were out of toothpaste… *palm to forehead* Now all I have to do is check my Alexa app and see anything that he’s added to my shopping list and not only am I fully prepared with a list in hand, but we aren’t left toothpaste-less ;) 

PS -- Wanna win your very own Amazon Echo?! Check out the giveaway I'm doing on my Instagram from now until February 16th! 

Cuisinart Cordless Wine Opener

Again… I know I have so many luxury items on this list, but come on… they do make things a little easier! This thing is amazing! Now don’t get me wrong, I did feel like a total super woman the first time I popped out my first wine cork with the older school wine opener I acquired from my mom’s belongings when she passed, but this thing is a lifesaver. Not only does it take care of that cork for you, but it also comes with a nice stand for your countertop & a little cutter gadget to get that aluminum covering off the top. It may not be something you need right away, but it definitely adds a little fanciness to that glass of wine you just had to have on Wednesday night after work… ;)



So now that I’ve spilled my home must haves secrets with you, you have to share yours! Tell me down in the comments what you can’t live without in your home & don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter! You’ll never miss a post!

HOW TO DRESS YOUR DESK FOR SUCCESS!

I never fully understood the importance of an inspiring workspace until this past July when I started working at Erin Condren Design. I was always the kid in school that liked having an organized desk and that followed me into my year of teaching, but this was the very first time that I had a desk that was completely mine. It took me a few months to find my desk “style” so to speak, but I’m really happy with the current set up so I decided to compile five essential tips for slaying your workspace aesthetic as a whole.

POSITIVE VIBES
I may be a bit bias here since Erin gives us quite a few inspirational products to choose from, but I love to keep positive words at my workspace for those days that just aren’t going my way. These postcards that come with your order are absolutely gorgeous and add a pleasant wash of color as well.

PEEP YOUR PEEPS

A big thing for me from the get go was getting pictures of my family & friends in my space. Not only do the memories make me smile, but they add a sense of personality to my space so people know not only who I am at work, but who I love at home & on the weekends. This is also a great way to fill your space with people who inspire you.

DECOR ME? DECOR YOU!

I am such a neutral girl that it can sometimes be a bad thing *all black everything*, but I’ve learned that it’s me so I fill my space with not only neutral colors, but pops of metallics as well. I love adding a faux plant or two to add a little bit of color and then plenty of cute neutral decor that makes it feel cozy. A few of these items include a two wooden cork boards from Target, an art print from Erin Condren with a colorful prop from one of our conventions, and a black pom pom banner that my coworker gave me for my birthday. I also have a little silver “working for the weekend” plaque that my mom kept on her desk for years to give my desk a little touch of mama E. All in all, it’s a perfect combination of functionality and personality while keeping it professional.

LET ME CHECK MY CALENDAR

You must get a desk calendar for your workspace. End of story. I know I may be shot down by the EC fans out there (yes… I know this is SO not on brand), but I just adore my new Rifle Paper Co. Alice in Wonderland desk calendar to not only add my love for her to my desk, but also to keep me on track with dates when getting work done. Regardless of where you get yours from, you need one. It will seriously be a game changer for your workspace.



What are some of your must haves for your workspace? Anything from mine that you just have to add to yours? Let me know down below!

10 THINGS 2016 TAUGHT ME

For most of us, the “holiday dust” has settled and life is back to normal. You may still be crushing those New Year’s Resolutions, or you may find yourself settling back into your old ways. I personally am doing a little bit of both, so I decided to sit down & write down the 10 most important things that 2016 taught me. Not only does this help me refocus my goals, but it also gives me a sense of gratitude toward the new beginning I have been given instead of seeing it as the same ole’ same ole’... and we all need that from time to time, am I right?

 

PATIENCE

This is a biggie. Over the past year I underwent my first round of cheer tryout season, a big move, a new job, personal struggles, and so much more. I’ve been tested and uncertain more times than I can count, but I’ve learned if I just be patient and have a little faith, I end up exactly where I am meant to be. Whether it was having patience while hearing back from a job interview or finding that inner patience while responding to a difficult customer at work, finding it has served me well, and it is definitely something I am taking into 2017.

 

CHANGE IS HARD

I’m not exactly sure why after all these years I find myself convinced that I’m a pro at change, but let me tell you first hand, I am not. I am a creature of habit and love my routines. This past year when we moved to Austin, I told myself that it would be a new adventure (which was great), but it would only be a change that affected me for one to two weeks tops. Boy, was I wrong! Change is hard and the sooner you accept that and work to overcome it, the better off you will be. Even though my Fall was not awful, it was definitely challenging as I sat in denial when it came to how much my daily routine had changed. Had I gone into it telling myself that this was a huge change and it would take some adjusting, I think I would have been 10x better off!

 

DON’T STAY STUCK

Always challenge yourself. It is so absolutely easy to become comfortable. Whether it be with your job, friends, relationship, or hobbies… always make sure you are challenging yourself so that you are improving. I found myself in so many situations over the past year where I overcame fear of a new and challenging situation & it ended up paying off in the end.

 

LOVE THE ONES YOU MEET
There have been so many people in and out of my life the past year, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that even if these people don’t STAY in your life, they do serve a purpose. It was so bittersweet when we moved away from the small town we were living in, but even though I don’t talk to those people daily anymore, they gave me memories in 2016 that I’ll never forget.

 

LEARN TO LISTEN

I was listening to an audiobook throughout December, and one of the big points the author made was to make an effort to listen to other people. We get so caught up in our own lives sometimes that when we run into an old friend or talk to a colleague at work, we tend to be so involved in how we can contribute to the conversation that we forget to listen to what they are actually saying. Ever since then I’ve worked to listen to people & really hear what they are saying and it has not only improved my conversations but my connections with people as well.

 

25 ISN’T SO BAD
Y’all… I don’t know what it was about turning 25 this past year, but I was downright upset about it. I felt old, run down, and for the first time in my life wasn’t excited for my birthday. I thought it was the end all for my life, when really, it was the first page of a beautiful new chapter. If you are at that point this year, take it from me, it only goes up from here!

 

BE IN THE MOMENT

I am so guilty of being the person that is on to the next thing without enjoying my current situation only to turn around & wish I had enjoyed it while it lasted. Does that even make sense? If you do this, you’ll totally get what I’m saying. 2016 taught me to enjoy the little things & be present in the moment, because before you know it, it’ll be gone!

 

YOU DO HEAL

This may be the biggest lesson of the year. As most of you know (if you’re new here, then you don’t know...hi), losing my mom three years ago shocked my entire world. I remember sitting in that “family room” at the ER thinking, I can’t do this. I was pretty much convinced my life was over, & I would never, ever recover. Well this past year, I finally felt some normalcy. If you’re going through a hard time or have lost a loved one, I’d be lying if I said it goes away 100%, but I can promise you that I’ve learned that you will see the sun again, you will smile again, and you will get through it. I promise

 

AGING IS TOUGH - BUT DO-ABLE

I think this pretty much ties into me turning 25 and my fear of it, but this last year I felt plain old. I’m talking washed up, grandma in her slippers old. *My coworkers who call me the baby are cursing me right now… I can feel it* I felt like this for weeks on end until I decided to sit down & find the root of what was making me feel this way. I found that I had gotten so busy trying to make myself feel like I had my life under control (see my lesson about change) that I forgot to do little things for myself. All it took was a few pamper nights & not only was a feeling better, but I looked better too!

 

LOVE YOUR OWN PATH

I learned this past year that my life is not always going to match my friends’ lives or the life of my favorite influencer on Instagram. I see so many of my followers suffering from this as well. You have to learn to love your own path because it is YOURS. Did you graduate later than your friends? That’s okay. Not married by 25? No biggie. It’s all about creating a life you love, being kind, and always doing your best. As long as you’re doing that, you’re golden.


What did YOU learn in 2016? Share a few things down below, and don’t forget to subscribe to my email list so you never miss a post!

HOW TO: Brownie Batter Protein Overnight Oats!

Yes... you read that right! Are you sitting down? Brownie Batter Protein Overnight Oats. I found this recipe in the good ole' land of Pinterest (thank you Dashing Dish.. you are an angel) last Spring & quickly fell head over heels in love. Whether you're plowing into the second week of 2017 with your fitness resolutions going strong or you need a fun little pick me up to get you back on track, this is definitely a recipe to put on your list! I personally use Quest Chocolate Milkshake Protein (find it here ) , top it with strawberries, and eat it warm, but feel free to adjust it to fit your needs! Now run, don't walk & get this baby in the fridge to enjoy tomorrow morning... and don't forget to tag me in your super cute Instagram post ;) 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Unsweetened almond milk (or low fat milk of choice)
  • 1/2 cup Plain low fat Greek yogurt (or mashed banana, or pumpkin)
  • 2 tbs Unsweetened cocoa powder (or more, to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbs Baking stevia (or 1/4 cup sweetener that measures like sugar) or 3-4 pkts stevia 
  • 1 cup Old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup Protein powder (or additional oats)

 Method

The estimated total time to make this recipe is 5-10 minutes. In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together. Divide between 2 small bowls, mugs, or mason jars. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or for at least an hour (or more) so the oats soften and absorb the liquid). Top with chopped nuts or topping of choice if desired! Enjoy cold, or microwave for 30-60 seconds to enjoy warm!

 

Nutritional Info

(THIS MAY VARY DEPENDING ON WHAT INGREDIENTS YOU USE)

WWP+ (per serving) 7

SmartPoints™ 7

Servings 2

Calories per Serving 273

Fat  6g

Saturated Fat  1g

Carbohydrate 40g

Fiber 5g

Sugar 6g

Protein 20g

START 2017...THE RIGHT WAY

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

I don’t know about y’all… but the new year always excites me. Sometimes it’s because the previous year has been such a downer that I’m ready for some positive vibes. Other times, I’m so pumped about the next year already that I’m ready to get on with it. This year, I think it’s a little of both. Y’all reach out to me all the time asking for tips on how I improved my life, found my happiness, and overcame the loss of my mother while finding the strength to move forward. Today I wanted to share with you five foolproof tips to not only start the year out right, but set yourself up for a great year all the way through.

PLAN IT OUT: Even if you’re not a planner girl, write down your goals. Think about what you want to do this year and get it on paper. Plan it out even to the month if you need to. Plan them out, give yourself a timeline, and make it solid on paper. I promise you… by the end of the year you’ll be looking back at that list happy that you did.

HAVE A PAMPER NIGHT: This may seem silly, but seriously… go to Target, get yourself one of those $2 masks, get a bottle of wine (if you’re 21+...duh), and have a relaxation night. Sometimes I get going, going, going and I forget how refreshing these nights can be. Refresh your mind, refresh your soul, and refresh your outlook on a new year. 

HAVE A CLOSET CLEAN: Whether you do this by yourself or have girlfriends over to do a closet swap, you need to clean out those old clothes. Not only will this leave you room for new clothes you love or perhaps fit better, but you’ll find this experience cleansing, and come on… who wants to go into a new year with last year’s dress that doesn’t look good anymore? I certainly don’t!

HAVE A POSITIVE OUTLOOK: Believe me… I get it. Life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes it just plain sucks… but don’t you dare go into the new year with last year’s bad vibes. Nothing spoils a fresh start like a stinky attitude, so seriously… mend those relationships, get your feels in check, and start the new year fresh. Life is too short.

YOU BETTER WORK: I know this is cliche, but I am so excited to get back in the gym for the new year. All of those holiday cookies, my mother-in-law’s tamales, and Starbucks Christmas drinks didn’t do my thighs any favors. Whether you are looking to shed some pounds, clear your mind, or just have some YOU time, get your butt in the gym. 30 minutes a day will not only improve your health, but it will give you a routine you can count on to make you feel good, look good, and increase your chances of having a more successful 2017. 

GIRL BEHIND THE BLOG

Hey y’all!

I am so extremely excited for the launch of both my website and blog. If you’ve followed me for a while now, you may have heard me express my love for writing a time or two. As much as I love vlogging and YouTube, writing has always been my first love. I am excited for this new year, and I am even more excited to share a little more with you on here. If you are new here, first and foremost, hi, I’m Alexa! I’m a 25 year old YouTube vlogger and wife living in Austin, Texas. Originally from Arkansas, I got married to my husband in 2014, moved away from home for the first time, and the rest is history. I love coffee, being creative, and my social media job at Erin Condren. I have a passion for helping others, and I am over the moon excited for everything I have coming this year. I don’t want to give too much away just yet, but I hope you’ll come along for the ride. I love you to the moon & back & a few stars more.