2017 Home Goals

Hello Sunshine! Today I wanted to pop in and share with you 6 goals I have for my home this year. Keeping with my theme for the new year of financial peace, I didn't want to overextend my finances so I came up with some budget friendly upgrades and makeovers that my home would definitely benefit from. Let's hop to it, shall we.

My 2017 Home Goals


ONE | LAUNDRY ROOM SHElF

One of my home goals from last year was to hang a shelf over the washer/dryer. That was the only project I did not complete in the laundry room aside from hanging new art. We added new hardware and installed new floors!

TWO | BOYS CLOSET

I started our boys shared closet as a back to school organizing project that I didn't quite finish. My plan is to add built-in shelving for toys and shoes.

THREE | KITCHEN PLANNING

We still have a couple of rooms in the house that I have done nothing with in the almost nine years of living here and the kitchen is one of these rooms. The kitchen will be a huge project that will take some planning and saving. I want to hit the ground running this year with getting a plan in place so we will know approximately how much it will cost us.

FOUR | STAIN FENCE

This spring when the weather warms up and the rain stops for awhile, I want to spend a weekend staining our privacy fence.

FIVE | FIRE PIT AREA

I love our fire pit area! We spend a lot of time out back in the fall but I want to make it a more cozy space, an extension of our home. I have this vision of five Adirondack chairs circling our fire pit adorned with pillows and throws.

SIX | LIVING ROOM REFRESH

I definitely need to finish this refresh, for what started out as a simple makeover has turned into this long drawn out ordeal. I've found the most perfect linen drapes and I want to dress up my windows with woven blinds to add warmth. We need a new sofa and the ones I love so much are definitely out of my budget so I will ponder my choices and hopefully find a solution.

I'm so excited for the possibilities and new opportunities awaiting for me in this brand new year. I plan to take you on my journey to being debt free, loving on my home and self, along with sharing tips and tricks.

What are your home goals? See ya soon!

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New Year's 2017 Theme

Hello New Year Sunshine and welcome 2017! What's a better way to start the new year off than by making new goals to strive toward in this brand spanking new year.

My 2017 new years theme is financial peace. We are huge fans of Dave Ramsey and we have in the past followed his methods of becoming debt free. We last stopped on baby step 3 and then I was laid off. We blew through our savings and started back on the road of bad habits that equaled debt.


This year we will take back control of our finances and start back on the road of financial freedom. My hubby wants to be starting baby step 4 this time next year. He is aggressive and we will definitely be able to achieve this together.

Along the way I will report back on our status with tips. Today I will start with my plans to save money. But first I will list out the baby steps so you will know exactly what I am talking about.

Baby Step One - $1000 in an emergency fund (couple) - $500 (single)
Baby Step Two - Pay off all debt but the house using the debt snowball
Baby Step Three - 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
Baby Step Four - Invest 15% of income into pre-tax retirement
Baby Step Five - College funding for children
Baby Step Six - Pay off your mortgage early
Baby Step Seven - Build wealth and give

Knowing your finances and where you spend your money is key. Over the past couple months I haven't been necessarily budgeting but writing down all my expenses to see where in the world all my money was going.

Well, to be honest, I did this little experiment in November and December so besides Christmas shopping I know most of my money went to food and food alone. Bills don't even take up a 3rd of my paycheck so why am I spending so much on food. One word lazy.

We would eat out several times a week and feeding a family of five on take out can get a little pricey. Plus I must account for my growing boys. They are now really, really hungry like all the dang time. I've heard from other parents of teenage boys talk about this and lets just say they tell no lies. And I'm just at the starting gates of this revolving door of hunger. I have to now double recipes so my food budget has changed significantly.


My Plan to Save:

Meal Planning
This is going to take some time getting use to but it will help with us eating out.

Budgeting
Me telling my money where to go. We will budget for all the important stuff and a little fun. Cause all business and no play ends in disaster. I'm working on using a spreadsheet to keep track of everything.

Savings Account
I opened a high yield savings account that I can't readily take money out of plus it will yield 1.05% APY. Not a ton but way better than what my bank offers.

Limit Spending
I spend a lot on the house throughout the year. Going into Target never helps cause what can I say I want all the pretty shiny things. I'm not going to lie and say I won't spend on the house but I will limit my spending. I have some projects I want to complete and start but overall I will take a step back from all the decorating and redecorating.

As the year progresses I might tweak some things but this is my over all plan to save. To start the savings ball rolling I'm going to do my 52 week challenge and build from there.

What are your New Year's goals, one words, theme, or resolutions? See ya soon!

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Images via West Elm Blog

A Look Back at 2016

Hello Sunshine and Happy New Year's Eve Eve! I'm not sure about you but I can't believe we are on the cusp of a new year. Seems a bit unreal. Well, before we close the book on twenty-sixteen this weekend, I want to take a moment and reflect.

All in all 2016 was a good year! A year of personal growth, overcoming fears, getting back on track, and building blogging relationships. I will walk you through my year sharing our favorite post, our most popular blog post with some memorable highlights.

Winter
The first part of the year started out pretty slow. I did a lot of self-reflection, started a fun new dance workout called Cize, and got a full-time job. Focusing much of my attention on learning my new job and redeveloping routines and schedules I didn't want to start any home projects.

Spring
With the arrival of warmer weather, our home projects became center focus. I checked off this long hiatus with installing new laundry room hardware. In the living room, I added art to the walls using an unexpected material.

In family related news, on May 1st my son ran in the Kids Rock Marathon in Nashville! He clocked in at 8 minutes and 26 seconds! I was so proud!


Summer
In June, I donated 15.5 inches of my hair to a worthy cause. This was an epic moment that took two years to happen. I wanted to share it here on the blog but my phone was not my friend and I lost all my photographs and videos. But let me tell you it was an exhilarating moment.

With the start of school I was bit by the organization bug and started organizing my boys shared closet. I'm sad I didn't complete it but I have plans to wrap that project up soon. Stay tuned.

I was super excited to have participated in the Home Depot DIY Challenge over the summer. My mystery material was millwork. This was my favorite project of the year! I enhanced a plain, unfinished dresser using moulding and other embellishments. To read more about our Ikea tarva dresser hack head on over to the Home Depot Apron Blog.


Fall
Seeking change I painted my tv console using chalk paint and a bit of wax. This was my kick off point for my fab fall home tour I hosted with seven other bloggers. This was my most popular post of the year.

Houston we have new floors, in the laundry room that is! We chose a laminate that mimics hardwood and it blends well with our existing hardwoods. For our halloween front porch I created a DIY striped rug, the easiest project ever. Like for real, super easy.

For the first time and certainly not the last I attended the Nashville Flea Market. It was so much to see and a bit overwhelming but I found the perfect bench. My reclaimed wood bench looks right at home on my once blank wall.


I sweet talked my hubby into doing a little Fall photoshoot in the city featuring a Jord wood watch. It was really fun for both of us to get outside our element and try something new.

I started a new blog series called 'if you could.' These post are intended to invoke thought and start a conversation.
First question: if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be
Second question: if you could have any talent what would you choose

There is one thing that I love to do when gifting a present and that is wrapping it. I absolutely love wrapping presents, no gift bags over here. I came up with two beautiful gift wrap ideas that anyone would love to receive.

I completed the year with sharing some fun advent ideas to countdown to Christmas and participated in a 12 days of gift guides with some of my blogging friends.


 Signing off with my last post of the year! I'm excited to see what 2017 has to offer. I want to thank each and everyone of you for your support. I hope to see you right back here at ChippaSunshine.com in the new year!

See ya soon!

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If You Could...


Hello Sunshine! Today I am back with another 'if you could...' blog series question. If you missed our first installment in this series, check it out here.

This week's question:
If you could have any talent what would you choose?

Talent can be described as a special ability that allows an individual to do a thing well. Your natural ability which you are born with. Do we often confuse talent with skill? Or are they one in the same? A skill can be classified as an ability that is learned. It is developed and harnessed with a lot of hard work and time. Whichever the case, what would you choose?

My talent would be to sing! Oh how I love to sing. I can just see myself standing in front of a crowd who came to see me, to hear me.

I would sing any and everywhere. Well I do that now, lol, but it would sound divine.

So let's hear it, if you could have any talent what would you choose?
See ya soon!

'IF YOU COULD...' SERIES:

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The Fitness Lover Gift Guide

Hello Sunshine! With the holiday shopping season in full swing, I've joined 6 talented bloggers to bring you 12 days of curated gift guides. We are on day 10 and the ladies have been knocking it out the park with their guides. You can find gifts for teen & tween girly girls, toddlers, new homeowners, homebodies, working moms, get it girls, new mommies, and so much more!

Today it is all about the fitness lovers in your life. I have compiled 12 awesome fitness related gifts that any fitness fanatic would love to receive.

This past year I dove head first into the fitness scene. A friend and I took every opportunity to preview gyms and centers across Nashville. It was fun and opened up my new found love of fitness. Becoming fit is such a rewarding accomplishment and esteem builder.


1 | FitBit Alta Activity Tracker - $129
The best activity tracker out there. It can not only track your steps but your sleep patterns, distance, active minutes and calories burned. It is a great motivator to get up and move. I personally have the plum and love it!

2 | After This We're Getting Pizza Gym Bag - $28
I'm a big fan of cute gym accessories.

3 | Ribbon Hair Ties - $6
A great stocking stuffer!

4 | Wireless Earphones - $39
No matter the workout, listening to music can set your pace, help you zone out, or simply keep you moving. Many times when I'm getting into a zone and I accidentally yank the earphones out my ear. Aggravating! A wireless set helps alleviate that situation.

5 | Water Bottle - $7
 Staying hydrated is key. My go to water bottles have a flip top and a carry handle.

6 | FlipBelt - $28
A great alternative to a armband or pouch. You can easily carry things you often need when working out, especially on walks or runs when you don't want to carry a bag.

7 | Superfood Smoothies Recipe Book - $11
I love a good smoothie, especially one packed with nutrients.

8 | Thirsty Yoga Hand Towel - $9
A super absorbent microfiber hand towel that dries quickly.

9 | Flat Tummy Tea - $36
A tea that will reduce bloating and detoxify your system. I've seen this everywhere and would love to give it a try.

10 | No-Slip Socks - $9
An essential if you are doing pilates or Lagree on a reformer and yoga.

11 | CIZE - $59
The perfect at home workout for a dance lover. Learn 6 dance routines while working out. This is fun but challenging.

12 | Ponytail Headband - $18
Great for any woman with a ponytail that likes to workout in cool weather.

I hope you enjoy and find these gift guides helpful for all your holiday needs!
See ya soon!

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Christmas Tree Hunt 2016


Hello Sunshine! This past weekend was a busy one! We braved the cold weather and attended The 63rd Annual Nashville Christmas Parade. Can you believe this was our first time ever attending? This year my daughter had the opportunity to be in the parade as one of the balloon holders. She held the stocking balloon, or as people were calling it a boot or sock. Lol!

I shared glimpses of the event on my instastory. I had a blast despite my hands being numb from the cold and wind. Memorable moments: TSU matching band was fantastic, Titan's Cheerleaders, Idaho potato truck, Kelly Clarkson, Santa, and seeing my daughter round the corner as I cheered and waved!

After the parade my daughter had a big audition for a part in a orchestra. We rushed home after the parade to pick up her violin and headed to the audition. I spent hours waiting for her in a cafeteria full of other anxious parents. My hat goes off to her and all the other 11th and 12th grade musicians for facing themselves that day. A lot of nervous energy, doubt, pride, and accomplishment filled the room.

You could hear echoes of instruments playing behind closed doors. You could see the frustration at times when they didn't do as they once expected or that they allowed the nerves to get to them or they realized they should have practiced more. Tears were shed both of pure elation and uncertainty. These auditions are tough.

The results were posted last Saturday night on their website. I pulled it up squinting to see if my baby had made it. I jumped up and ran to her room to wake her up. She made the orchestra! I couldn't be more proud!

On Sunday, it started to rain. We always go to pick out our Christmas tree on the first weekend in December. It wasn't ideal to go when it was raining but we didn't want to wait another week. We headed to our favorite Christmas tree lot where we can hunt for the perfect tree and they hoist it on the roof of your vehicle and tie it down, plus their pulled pork is pretty darn good!

The kids and I walked through the lot and the second tree we stopped at we all liked! Now thats one for the record books for us! Before my husband could come back with an attendant and my son begging one last hundredth time to wear his batman hat, we had the tree picked out. We carried her home not knowing that she was too tall and full for our living room and would require me to reconfigure the furniture. She is bossy I tell ya!


See ya soon!

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Countdown to Christmas | Advent Calendar Ideas

Hello Sunshine! A great way to build anticipation and count down the days leading up to Christmas is with an advent calendar! There are so many cute, fun ways to countdown Christmas. We have a wooden house advent calendar that has a door for each day. I fill each day with a small chocolate for each of my children with a sprinkling of fun activities throughout.


Countdown to Christmas
28 Advent Calendar Activity Ideas for Kids

  • CHOCOLATES | Give each of your kids a piece of chocolate every day leading up to Christmas. My kids love this!
  • READ A HOLIDAY BOOK | Over the years I have collected many cherished Christmas books that we look forward to reading. Don't forget your public library, they have such a great collection of holiday books. Just remember to reserve now as the demand will be high.
  • MAIL A LETTER TO SANTA | This is always fun for kids to not only visit but to actually write him a letter. I recently bought a felt envelop from the Target dollar spot to make delivering his letter that much fun.
  • WATCH A CHRISTMAS MOVIE | Movie night is such fun times for us. We make a special treats and play games. I think I love it as much as the kids. Here are a list of our favorite Christmas movies.
  • ATTEND A HOLIDAY THEMED EVENT | Gift the kids with tickets to an holiday event. It could be to a cookie exchange party, the nutcracker, the latest movie at the theater, anywhere. If you are in Nashville try ICE!, The Grinch Musical, or the Dancing Lights of Christmas.
  • MAKE CHRISTMAS COOKIES
  • COLOR CHRISTMAS COLORING BOOKS
  • PAJAMA PICTURES
  • CANDY CANE HIDE AND SEEK | Hide a bunch of candy canes around the house and have the kids try to find them!
  • LIVE NATIVITY | Every year we head to a local church that puts on a live nativity scene. It's a big ordeal and people come from all over to experience it. It's like you take a step back in time and you learn so much.
  • GIFT EXCHANGE | This is so much fun when done with a group of children, even adults. It can be with their classroom, neighborhood friends, church, or cousins. Set a price limit and pick names.
  • HOLIDAY SCAVENGER HUNT
  • GO ICE SKATING
  • PUT ON PJS + WATCH POLAR EXPRESS
  • READ ABOUT THE NATIVITY
  • MAKE PEPPERMINT BARK | Try this delicious recipe as one of your treats at your next movie night. It's really easy to make and is perfect to involve the kids. Get the recipe HERE.
  • GO TO A CAROL SERVICE
  • PICK OUT A CHRISTMAS TREE | For those of you who get a live tree, make a day out of it. Head to your local tree farm or nursery and search for the perfect tree. Don't forget to snap a photo in front of your tree. This could be a perfect Christmas card photo!
  • DONATE CANNED FOOD TO A PANTRY
  • CHOOSE 3 OF THEIR TOYS TO DONATE | I love to get organized and move old things out to make room for the new.
  • DONATE A NEW TOY TO A LOCAL TOY DRIVE
  • HANG STOCKINGS
  • VISIT SANTA CLAUS
  • MAKE HOT COCOA WITH MARSHMALLOWS
  • DECORATE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE
  • PULL OUT SLEEPING BAGS + HAVE A FAMILY SLUMBER PARTY UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE
  • SERVE A MEAL AT A LOCAL SHELTER | This can be a great service project for your older children.
  • DELIVER HOMEMADE TREATS TO NEIGHBORS

What activities do you love to do with your kids during the holiday? What type of advent calendar do you use? See ya soon!

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