Freshening Up Our Home This Fall

This blog post is written in partnership with and sponsored by Big Lots.

We have lived in our place for over a year and a half now... and every now and again  I love to rearrange, reset, and freshen up our home. Sometimes that means new furniture, and sometimes just moving things around and cleaning up our space. This time I'm so excited to be able to do both in a big way!  We live such busy lives being entrepreneurs and parents and we've had a list of things we've needed for our home for months now, but we just haven't made the time to go get it all.

Well, the time has come and we're knocking everything off of our to do list for freshening up our home and making it ready for a new season. We are so grateful for Big Lots, it's our one stop shop to making our home festive and functional this fall. We were able to pop into our local Big Lots and thanks to its new design, it was much more convenient for us to shop there and find everything we need.

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Giulian is running around the house now, so I’ve been needing to get a steam mop for our kitchen floor and a smaller vacuum for our office since the kitty litter is in there.  It’s my job to make sure our home is safe and clean for our little guy, of course, and I've been needing those items for months now. Another must-have on my list is additional storage bins so that we can have more areas to store and organize Giulian's toys.

Big Lots has such an amazing selection when it comes to storage and organization products (every mama’s dream)! I found an amazing four pocket wood storage piece and fabric storage bins that fit perfectly in it. The products also matched our furniture.

Another thing we've been in need of is a new coffee maker! Giulian is a little over one year old and we have been in need of a new one since he was born. The one we had was a pain in the butt and didn't work well. We have been saying we will get a new one for quite some time, we just never made it happen. Why are we such procrastinators?! Well we have one now, thanks to Big Lots! And some delicious Pumpkin flavored coffee and pumpkin spice biscotti to go with it. Big Lots really does have it all in store and makes it so easy to pick up all your needs in one spot.

We have had a larger item that we've needed, a TV stand, but we haven't found the perfect one until stopping by the Big Lots store. We needed one that was our style, a wood color that would match our existing living room furniture, high enough so that the baby couldn't grab the TV and pull it down, heavy and sturdy enough so that it wouldn't tip over onto the baby if he is by the TV stand, no glass (another baby precaution), and within our price range.

That is a very hefty list of TV stand requirements! It’s been super difficult to find one that would fit our lifestyle. When we saw the one we got from Big Lots, Nick and I both got super excited and knew it was perfect, and not to mention so pretty! I love the sliding barn doors (see photos below).

Finally, of course, the main reason I went to Big Lots this fall... decorating! I’m a fall fanatic! It’s my favorite season. Decorating the home to make it warm and festive brings me so much joy! Big Lots has the most adorable fall decor items to match any home style, from country to modern, they’ve got us covered! A few throw pillows, wreath, candles, a centerpiece and ceramic pumpkins was enough to transform our home into the fall space that I was looking for.

My mom is amazing at making the home cozy and festive for every season. That is something that stuck out to me and now that I'm a mom I want to make our home  feel the same way. My mom has the most adorable glass pumpkin set she got from Big Lots years ago and it’s still one of the prettiest decor items that my mom owns.

Since I was already at Big Lots getting everything I needed to freshen up our home for fall, I was able to grab basic household essentials that we needed as well. Laundry detergent, coffee, healthy snacks including Kashi crackers and La Croix Sparkling waters, freeze dried mango (the baby loves that), and pumpkin spice biscotti for when we have guests over. It was such a big help that they carried all of those items and I didn't have to go anywhere else.

fall decor throw pillows
big lots home decor
big lots home decor
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pumpkin spice biscotti
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shop big lots
home decor with big lots

I want to give a special shoutout to Big Lots for sponsoring this post! I am so grateful to have worked with them. Big Lots is truly an amazing store with high quality products. I had such a wonderful experience and absolutely will be back in the store throughout the entire holiday season.


 
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Year Of Growth + 3 Ways I'm Stretching Myself In 2018

I am declaring it a year of growth for my life. If I'm being totally transparent, entering motherhood has made me feel like I've lost a bit of control over my life. I've done some reflecting and I've realized that something that I have full control over and that I'm going to grab the reigns of is my ability to grow as a woman. I've spent the last decade of my life prioritizing self growth, reading books, listening to audios and attending seminars. It makes me feel like I'm thriving in life. They say if you're not growing you're dying. I feel that to be true. When I'm not growing, challenging myself, and learning, I feel a sense of complacency that utterly annoys and frustrates me. One of my highest values in life is growth and the beautiful thing about that is I have full control over it! 

 
Change is inevitable but personal growth is a choice.
— Bob Proctor
 

1. Read More

It really can't be a year of growth without reading can it?! No, I think not. I just finished the book Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, I am currently reading For The Love by Jen Hatmaker and I have a stack of books that I will be reading next. All of my book choices are personal growth and development books. 

I am also reading the Bible this year, specifically the New Testament. This will be my very first time reading the Bible even though I have been a Christian for about six years now. How is it that my faith can feel so strong but my knowledge feel so little. I am excited to get into the word more aggressively. It's been going great, it is actually such a simple discipline, easy to do. It's just a matter of staying committed. The Bible app has wonderful programs for basically whatever you are searching for. I found one that breaks the New Testament down so that you finish it in one year and it also has devotionals each day to help you better understand what you are reading. 

Audio books and the Bible app have seriously been life changing for me as a mother. It isn't simple to read a book while taking care of Giulian, but listening to something is an entirely different story. It simplifies these daily disciplines for me and makes them much for enjoyable and for more doable as a mother. 

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2. Challenge Myself

I've decided to run a 10k. Okay, I get it... some of you are like yikes that's a challenge for her?! Yep, it sure is! 6 miles without stopping is a challenge for this girl. And I am super excited to take it on. I am running a race called the Boulder Boulder with two of my very best friends. I can't wait! It's exactly what I need in my life right now. A reason to get in shape, a reason to train for something, and something to challenge myself. The race is just a few weeks before Giulian's first birthday (cry face) and that means I will be in great shape by then. A runner friend suggested I start with running two miles without stopping, and then work my way up to six or more. So, that's what  I'm doing. This morning I ran two miles in the frigid 38 degree air and you know what? It felt pretty good. It was super hard and my lungs were less than thrilled, but the fact that I am challenging myself is what feels good. No, it feels fantastic. Plus, if I could give birth, I can absolutely do this.  

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3. Having My Motto Be "I Do What I Say I'm Going To Do"

This ties in perfectly with numbers one and two. If I start a book, I need to finish it. If I say I am going to read the Bible, I will read it. If I say I am going to workout this many days a week, I will. They say in life how you do anything is how you do everything, I believe this to be true. How you show up in one area of your life can represent how you show up in all areas of your life. I want to be the kind of woman, leader, wife and mother that is trustworthy. By trustworthy I mean in all areas. I believe my friends and family would trust me with their kids, money, secrets, etc. ( I am overall a good person with an intention of love and kindness), but when it comes to my friends and family trusting that I will do what I say I am going to do, well... I would say that is an area for growth. I don't have a reputation for being a quitter or a flake, but I do think that I have a habit of saying I'll do something and then three weeks later totally negating the fact that I said it in the first place. Being a mom and having Giulian has made me reflect a lot. How do I want Giulian to see me as a person. What do I want to teach Giulian with my actions and words? I want Giulian to grow to be the kind of man that does what he says he will do. I want him to be a man of his word and a person who follows through. It all starts with me. He will watch me say I am going to do something and he will watch if I actually do that thing or if I brush it under the rug. Big or small things in life, this matters. Starting a diet and declaring I will not eat bread for the next 30 days and then on day 15 I'm eating a sandwich... that plants a seed in my sons head. Heck, that plants a seed in my own head. Rachel Hollis talks about this in her new book Girl Wash Your Face and it was so in line with everything I've been thinking and feeling on the subject. Rachel Hollis said it perfectly in chapter two of her book when she wrote, "When you really want something, you will find a way. When you don't really want something, you'll find an excuse. How does your subconscious know the difference between what you want and what you only pretend to want? It looks at a history of how you've tackled similar things in the past. Have you kept your word? When you set out to do something, did you see it through? When we're at a loss, we reach for the lowest bar- and the lowest bar is typically our highest level of training." Seriously ladies, pick up her book, it is gold. She is so right, why would you trust yourself to finish the big stuff in life if you always quit on the small stuff. Your subconscious mind has no clue when to take you seriously. This year I am committing to doing what I say I am going to do, with the big and small things in my life. 

Having this be my motto is serving me in another way too, I am now more protective of my "yes". Before I jump into saying yes to everything I have to really really evaluate if it is something that I want. Because if it isn't something I truly want to commit to, I will end up half-assing it or quitting. Sometimes saying no to things is quite liberating. 

 

I am so excited to be reflecting in December of this year, 2018, and say wow I truly am a better, stronger version of myself because I chose for this to be a year of growth. I can't wait to have the proud feeling knowing that I finished what I started and stretched myself in 2018. It will then roll into 2019 and allow me to feel encouraged to set even bigger goals and greater commitments. This is a year of massive internal growth for me,  I can feel it and I am gonna chase that. 

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