These are just a couple pictures from my camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park last week. The Cholla Garden was still blooming. It’s are really cool place to visit and feels a little like you are on another planet. If you’ve never visited Joshua Tree, you are missing out. It’s my favorite National Park. And I didn’t even know I was a desert girl.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Well that was a week. This is a fast, super productive week. This weekend we are hosting a church potluck, so of course I have a bunch of things I want to finally finish around the house. Probably only about a 1/3 of the list will get accomplished, but that’s ok. I stripped some wallpaper up stairs this week. I patched the wall already, so before today is over, I really wall to sand the wall and get it painted. I have this huge round mirror that I bought before we moved into the house and it still hasn’t been hung up yet. So, that is priority # 1!
And now, here’s my recommendations for blog reading this weekend. You guys, there’s some good stuff out there:
Happy Weekend Friends!
Lately the week’s have flown by in a blur. I’m reading Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong, and I’m learning a lot about myself. Turns out I might be addicted to being busy. I really don’t want to be this busy, but life just rarely seems to slow down. There is always something I should be doing, making, trying or seeing. The last couple of nights, I’ve chosen to close my laptop and just take a bath or read a book instead of falling asleep editing pictures or planning out my next blog post. Can you relate? I feel guilty when I stop, that’s not a good place to be. So, I’m going to try to take an hour each evening to just do something besides housework or blog work. It’s a baby step, but I need to be able to slow down and process all that’s going on around me and in my head sometimes.
Part of why this week was so crazy was because we finally listed our guesthouse on Airbnb. And in the first 24 hours, it booked up for 10 nights. That’s exciting! But, it was a scramble to get everything sorted out and ready to go. I’m really looking forward to this experience and hoping that it will generate a little income so I can feel less like I need to hustle all the time. Ya, in case you just thought this was a hobby, this blog is my full-time job and we need the little income that I bring in. I love this job, but it’s a lot of work for a pretty small pay check. Yes, it’s flexible and I can be home when my kids are off school. But, like I said earlier, there is always something I should be working on. I’m not complaining at all, please understand that. I’m just explaining our thought process for making the guesthouse an Airbnb.
Well, I’m pretty sure I’m just blabbing on now. Being a woman is no easy task. So, take some time to take care of yourself this weekend. Try to find a few minutes to slow down. I’m definitely going to try. I think maybe a pedicure is on the list.
So when you do find a few minutes to chill, here’s some things you should check out:
Happy Friday Friends!
Happy New Year friends. I hope you had a great holiday. We did. It was so fun to host my family here this year. I’m just popping in to say hey and then kind of good-bye for a little while.
Well, can’t say I’m sad to say good-bye to 2016. I’m ready for a fresh start. I’ve been sick for the last couple of days, so I feel like I’m moving slowly into this year and not with the usual energy that I have. And that’s ok, it’s given me some time to plan and dream for this new year.
In the past, I’ve picked a word for the year. But, this year I’m kind of stumped on finding one word to focus on. Maybe because I don’t have good goals set for the year yet. But, I do have a lot of things I want to accomplish. Last year was kind of a blur, and I felt really way too busy and scattered. So, I’ve decided to take a the month of January off from writing blog posts. I do have a few things scheduled that will definitely be posted in this month, but I just need a little time to gather my thoughts, organize my life and get a clear picture of where I’m headed. This feels like a stupid thing to do for my business, but to be 100% honest, it’s such a good decision for my personally. I’m just plain old tired and burnt out. I’m hoping to find ways to stretch myself creatively without the pressure of having to share it on the blog. Like I’d love to paint and draw more.
I’ll still plan to post often on Instagram and I have a lot to say over on Instagram Stories probably too much, so you can still follow along there.
Maybe the idea of turning 40 this year has me feeling a little overwhelmed. I’m not super excited by the thought of being 40 – yuck! How did I get this old? But, there are a few things I want to attempt this year. I’m not calling them resolutions, but that’s really kind of what they are.
- I watched the Minimalism documentary and while none of the concepts are new to me, it has inspired me and I have a plan for this year. And I think I’ve convinced my family to join me. I’ve decided to buy no new clothing all year!!! Yep, what we own right now is it! It’s a good time to start, everyone just got new socks in the stockings. Really I don’t own a lot of clothes and really I’d love to own less. I’d really just like to have a capsule wardrobe for each season. Come Summer, I may need a new bra, and that is the exception I’ll make. But, if there is anything that we REALLY need, I’m sure we can find it at a thrift store. It’s going to be a challenge with growing kids, but I’m excited to try.
- Whole 30! I’m back on it. This is the 3rd year in a row I’ve started the year with Whole 30. I’m planning on finishing 30 days and then see if I want to keep going. It’s a great way to reset and broaden my healthy recipe repertoire. I’m the only one taking on this challenge, but most dinners at our house will be Whole 30 this month. (I’m going to share a lot of the food I’m making on Instagram Stories, if you are interested.)
- More hikes! It’s my favorite form of exercise, so I’m pushing my family to go on at least one hike per week. I got new approach shoes for Christmas, so I’m excited to put some miles on them.
- This year will see a lot of painting our new house. I will be working my way from room to room in this house and hopefully we will be able to tackle the outside as well.
- Get our Guesthouse Airbnb up and running! I really want this to be successful and hopefully help us earn a little extra cash. (I have an update post coming your way this week.)
- I want to find more peace and joy in the present and not always be aiming for bigger and better. I also want to set some more reasonable work hours for myself. So, I don’t feel like I never have any down time. I’m sure it won’t happen, but I’m going to keep it in the back of my mind and give myself permission to stop from time to time.
- And then there are a bunch of business goals I want to tackle. I won’t bother you with them here. But, I want to push myself and expand in a few ways. I want to try more video content and I want to have a little more fun with my photography.
Well, that’s a very disjointed list of random ideas. But, that’s what’s going on in my head right now. Maybe at the end of January I’ll have more direction and more plans and dreams for the year. I hope you’ll stick with me while I figure things out this month. Come February, I’ll be back and stronger and more inspired then ever, well that’s the hope at least.
What are some of your goals and plans for this new year?
The busiest time of year is just about to begin. Are you ready? I’m not sure if I am. But, ready or not, it’s happening. We are excited to be celebrating Thanksgiving here in our new home this year. Lonnie’s family is coming to town, so we will have a very full house, and that’s fun.I had hoped to have had the dining room and living room both painted before the holidays. So far, the dining room is almost primed. Once I’m finished writing this post I’m going to put in a couple hours of painting. And then when my mother-in-law arrives, I’m hoping to put her to work as well. Until I get these two rooms painted. I’m really not ready to hang anything on the walls or make any other furniture decisions. With just primer on the walls, the dining room is already feeling lighter and brighter.
For your weekend reading, here’s a few things you might like to check out:
Have a great weekend and be productive or lazy, whichever makes you happy.
You’ve heard me say this before, many times, but get those special images off your phones and computers and out of closets and frame them to hang on your walls. Unless it’s a thrifted piece, I really don’t like pre-frame, big-box-store art. I think you should really hang personal pieces on your walls, that tell YOUR story. I love Framebridge, they make this such an easy task. You don’t even have to leave your home. You can either send them a digital file of your image or simply request a mailer to mail your art to them.
For our master bedroom, I finally had this pretty print of the Old City in Sanaa, Yemen framed (in cast you didn’t know, we lived there for 2 years). I’ve had it tucked away in our closet for almost 8 years now. That’s sad. But, now I’m so happy to have it on my wall. I’ve used Framebridge to frame some of my nature photography, so I knew I could trust them with this special piece. I chose a sleek, modern brass frame, and it looks fantastic. But, there are so many amazing frame options available. There’s something for everyone and every style.
And I’ve got a special treat for O+P readers. Enter the code OLEANDER15 to save 15% on your first order at Framebridge.
What art piece or picture do you have that really should be framed and hung on your walls? This is the perfect time to frame something special as a holiday gift as well.
Yep, Monday is just about here, but I thought I’d pop in and say hi before the next week is here. This last week and weekend was busy, but mostly I just felt like I was moving in slow motion because everyone in our house got a terrible head cold that took us all out.
This week I have some fun posts headed your way, like that upstairs bathroom, yep I’m finally sharing that makeover with you. Tomorrow I’m throwing a big Halloween/Birthday Party for Denali’s 15th birthday. You can follow along on my Instagram Stories.
Here’s some fun posts you should check out:
Well friends. It’s been a busy month and it’s really only the first week of October. I feel like I’ve been going non-stop since, well I don’t know how long. I feel like an update and just a “what’s going on” post is needed.
So, O+P (that’s me) is really busy. I know that my posting here on the blog hasn’t been as frequent, so maybe I should explain. Blogging and freelance, online work is weird. And most people in my real life really have no idea what I do all day. I think most folks think this is just a little hobby and from time to time I post a pretty picture or two. But, really this is more then a full-time job. Right now my business has some momentum and I’m working, on average, 12 hours a day. I’m not complaining. I’ve worked for almost 6 years to make this blog the business that it is today. But, I feel like I should give my faithful readers a little more behind the scenes look at what I actually do.
Yes, I do create content for this blog and all my social media outlets, even though it doesn’t seem like a lot is going on right now. But, I also do a lot of work that you guys never see. The other work I do is still work I love, but it’s really more to pay the bills, so that I can blog for a living. Yes, I do create sponsored posts for my blog, but that doesn’t bring in enough income to really be a full-time salary. So, here’s a little of what I do that you don’t see.
- I’m a one-women show! I had an intern this last Summer, but she’s back in school and working full-time. You wouldn’t believe how much time I spend emailing, researching, book keeping and scheduling (I need a manager!). Making, styling, shooting and then editing pics is just a fraction of my time, even though I wish that is all I had to do.
- I do some design consulting for clients locally. Right now I have 3 homeowners that I’m working with. I love this part of my job. I help folks with tasks like picking out paint colors, styling their mantels and bookshelves, shopping for furniture, or sourcing lighting options. If you want my opinion on design, I’m happy to tell you what I’d do!
- I do quite a bit of freelance styling and photography. Just this last week I styled and shot a whole bunch of products for a company. These projects can take up a whole week of my time (hence the lack of blog posts). These are images that you won’t see on my blog. A lot of the time, companies hire me to create lifestyle images of their products that they will either use on the website or on their social media channels. I never intended to be a photographer. I always loved photography, but somewhere along the way of blogging I taught myself how to style objects and then photograph them.
- I also do some social media consulting locally and work on creating content for local company’s Instagram accounts. After 6 years of blogging, this is something I have experience in and have learned a little bit about what works and what doesn’t work.
- And last, but no least, I contribute to a few other blogs, right now I write for Ehow and Emily Henderson Design. These are awesome opportunities for me. It’s the blogging and content creation that I love, but it’s also an opportunity for me to get more eyes on my work. Yep, believe it our not, a lot more folks are heading to Emily’s blog everyday then they are to mine.
Ok, this might have been a boring post. If you are still reading, you really are the faithful follower that I thought deserved to know what was going on.
So, Is this interesting? Do you like knowing a little more about the behind-the-scenes? It’s messy and not curated at all, but you can follow me on snapchat for a more realistic look at my day to day (I’m @oleanderandpalm over there).
Well, September is here, so I guess we really do have to say good bye to Summer. Homework, practicing instruments, school pick-ups and drop-offs, lunches, marching band, cross country, and drum line – days like this look nothing like the freedom of Summer.
I’m looking forward to the weekend. I need to do some grocery shopping and meal planning. Week night dinners have been on the fly, and I’d rather have a plan. It’s still hot here, but since it’s “Fall”, I’m pulling out the crock pot and making some giant pots of soup. Do you have any favorite Fall recipes I should be making? Dinner ideas and inspiration are welcome.
Sometimes I forget to share with you some of my freelance work. I’m having a lot of fun creating content for eHow. These DIY Customized Notebooks were a fun project that Denali and I worked on together.
And there also other things I find of the internet that I think you should check out.
That first week back at school is always the hardest. Struggling to get kids to bed a little earlier and then figuring out how to get everyone to where they are supposed to me. For us, we have one in High School, one in Middle School and one in Elementary now. Yesterday, I spent almost an hour driving, and I only got 2 kids dropped off. We are figuring it out and trying to get back into a routine. But, somehow 3 days of school felt like a very long week.
I am itching to start on another room in this house. I said I didn’t mind the paint color in most of the house. It’s a dark blue-ish green. But, now that we have been here a couple weeks, I think I HAVE TO paint. The Living room and dining room just feel too dark. And I think in order for this space to truly feel like ours, paint is the first step. Maybe this weekend I’ll try to do a little painting.
You can find these fresh fruit digital wallpapers HERE and HERE!
Here’s some fun stuff I think you should check out:
Have a great weekend friends. You can follow all my weekend happenings over on snapchat. I’m oleanderandpalm over there!
By now you all know that I’m all about an interesting and delicious mocktail. Cocktail drinkers can’t have all the fun. I enjoy mixing up fun drinks that my whole family can enjoy. This latest drink is about as refreshing and crisp as you can get. Grapefruit Juice and tonic water partner to make a really fresh drink that has just the right amount of bite. And I love to throw in a fresh herb, they add another layer of flavor. This is the first time I’ve used cilantro in a sweet drink and it definitely won’t be the last time either. I recently was introduced to Bolthouse Farm’s new 1915 brand of organic, cold press juices and protein drinks. I was instantly a fan, not only because this is a local company, but because the juices are amazing. They are all very yummy, but the Apple Grapefruit Peach Raspberry is by far my favorite. And while they definitely don’t need any improvement, they do make a perfect base for a special mixed drink. Because our days are still very warm, this refreshing mocktail is definitely a treat. Grapefruit + Tonic Mocktail
Fill a glass with ice. Pour 1 part juice to 2 parts Tonic Water. Stir. Garnish with a couple slices of lime, a sprig of cilantro and a couple splashes of grapefruit bitter.
(And I’m sure this would be a great drink to add a splash of gin to if you are looking for a spiked version.)I kind of always thought I hated Tonic Water because of the quinine flavor. As a kid I had malaria many times (remember, I grew up in Papua New Guinea). So, I had to take quinine many times, and the medication is awful. But, it turns out Tonic Water is pretty fantastic. I love it’s subtle sweetness and slightly bitter taste.
The post is sponsored by 1915 Bolthouse Farms. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible.