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Valentines Day Ideas No Matter Your Relationship Status

Anne JohnsonComment

DATE NIGHT IDEAS FOR YOU



Whatever your relationship status is, Valentines day should be celebrated because let’s face it, in today’s world, there needs to be more LOVE. It shouldn’t be a day of self pity or showing your affection through extravagant expensive gifts but rather doing little things that make yourself or the people most important in your life feel love. Whether you are spending the day alone, with friends, family, or a significant other, there are always ways to spread the L-O-V-E. Below I’ve compiled a list of things to do on this hallmark holiday.


SINGLE WHO LIKES TO MINGLE

  • Gather your best gal pals and hit up the town and the bar(tender) ;)

  • Hope into those DMs

  • Go bowling or ice skating with friends

  • See a movie with friends

  • Throw a party and invite your best gal pals. Don’t forget the wine

  • Call your mom and cry (kidding, but sometimes it feels good lol)


SINGLES WHO DON’T WANT TO LEAVE HOME

  • Relax with a bubble bath (make sure to deep clean prior to use because let’s be real, when was the last time you actually cleaned your bathtub…)

  • In that bath, make sure to be drinking wine and have the bottle close by for frequent refills

  • Cuddle up in your favorite pjs, pour some wine, and watch a movie (avoid romcoms at all costs)

  • Treat the day like any other day, just eat lots of candy and drink wine because YOU CAN

  • Buy yourself some flowers

  • Do some yoga and meditate on how amazing you are and how you don’t need no man

  • Drink wine (are you sensing a theme here?)

  • Love all your friends in relationships but also laugh at them because they are poorer than you because they have to spend money on a Hallmark holiday and you don’t. Although you may be spending that money on wine but hey, WORTH IT.



COUPLES BALL’N ON A BUDGET

  • Grab a cheap bottle of wine, make a Pinterest meal, and enjoy each others company

  • Watch your favorite movie cuddled up on the couch

  • Go ice skating and bowling

  • Have friends over for a game night

  • Set up an in door glamping date (check out more on this here)

  • Game night with Valentine’s Day themed Jenga


LONG DISTANCE COUPLE

  • First off, shoutout you guys

  • Call the nearest cupcake shop in their city and see if they deliver cupcakes and SEND SOME. Because hey, food is the way to everyone’s heart right?

  • Send flowers

  • Send them a care package filled with their favorite things (like food and wine..HINT HINT CJ)

  • Write a love letter and send it in the mail

  • Give them the gift go you (lol), and surprise them with a visit from YOU

How I Transformed My Living Room for Under $100

Anne Johnson1 Comment
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As a college graduate, having a “home decor savings” isn’t a thing. Most of my apartment is full of hand-me down furniture and decorations that are decades old and pretty out dated. However, I am my mother’s daughter and there is something about a well decorated home that makes me extremely happy, so I do what I can with what I have. What I don’t have is hundreds of dollars to spend on new furniture and decor, but I do know how to ball on a budget when it comes to decorating. With it being well into the new year, I figured it was time to spruce up the apartment with some new affordable and budget friendly decor. Check out what I came up with below.


$40 COUCH CUSHION FROM AMAZON

BEFORE: Old White couch cover with stain alls over it… Boring colors.

AFTER: COLOR ALERT. This couch cover from amazon was EXACTLY what my living room needed. It feels so fresh and looks like a whole new couch! The animal print pillows were from my bedroom but decided they looked better in the living room. ANIMAL print is a must.


MODERNIZE OLD CHAIRS

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These chairs were in my grandparents house when my dad was growing up… AKA OLD (LOL sorry dad). They are beautifully made and in amazing condition. To update these bad boys, I’ve added these ikea faux fur rugs to the seats.


TABLE AND WALL DECOR


TABLE DECOR TIPS

  • If you need glass vases: GO TO GOODWILL. Vases can be spendy, but goodwill has some amazing finds for under $10. And if you don’t like the color, you can always use spray paint to make it your own!

  • If you need pretty candles: GO TO MARSHALLS OR TJ MAXX. Candles are an easy way to add decor to a table and these stores have amazing deals.

  • If you need candle holders: DOLLAR TREE. This place is heaven on earth. I mean everything is $1. Can you really complain? They have great glassware if you are looking for little candle holders like the modern white one picture above.

  • If you need flowers but can’t afford them: go to Hobby Lobby, use their 40% off coupon code online and buy some flowers for a fake bouquet. Add some rocks and real water to make them look more real.

  • If you need books: GOODWILL. Buy books that match your color scheme and use them to add height to your tables.

  • If you need greenery: Target, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Goodwill, Ikea. Honestly you can find this stuff anywhere. It instantly adds color and dimension to a room.



SHOP







23 Things I learned at 23

Anne JohnsonComment

23


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Guys. I'm 23 years old. When has anyone ever said, "Yay I'm turning 23 this year!" No one. Ever. Because truth is, this year isn't that great. Turning 18 I was legal to buy cigarettes or get a tattoo (neither things I did). 19 years old was the first birthday of college. 20 just put me one year closer to 21. 21 because alcohol. DUH. 22 was blah, but hey at least I was still in college. And now, 23... Out of college, job hunting, and thousands of dollars in debt. BOOOOO. However, with all the downsides of turning 23, I took some time to reflect on all the positive lessons I've learned thus far in life. If you are still interested, KEEP READING.

23. Invest in an air conditioner.

Something I wished I would've done before I decided to sit in my very hot no air-conditioned apartment bedroom to write this post.

22. Print out your favorite pictures and save them in a photo album.

Ok call me old school or a tree killer, but there is something so satisfying about being able to hold a picture in your hand. One that is not on your phone that is. I print my pictures out not only for that wonderful feeling, but because I don't trust technology. I have this incredible fear that one day, my pictures are going to disappear and be gone forever.(Anyone else or is that just me?) To avoid that pain and heartache, I always print my favorite pictures and you should too!

21. Try Yoga.

The first time I did yoga was in high school, and I hate to admit it but the only reason I took the class was because it was famous for being the "napping class." It definitely lived up to that name. The next time I tried yoga was in college and only because it was the hip and trendy thing to do. (Core power anyone?). I didn't really get anything out of it and truth be told, I low key hated it because I was TERRIBLE AT IT. Girls were so flexible bending their bodies every which way and I could barely sit cross-legged without being in agonizing pain. The only pose I could do without difficulty was corpse pose (aka sleeping pose, thank you high school yoga class). It wasn't until this last year that yoga took on a whole new meaning for me. Yes, it was a workout, but that isn't what left me feeling satisfied at the end of the practice. It was the noticeable, positive change in my mentality. It taught me to slow down and be in control of my mind, something I really needed help with. So I encourage you to try it. Not for the exercise but for the peace it brings your mind.

20. Dogs are better than cats.

Sorry if you are a cat person, but I just got a new puppy so you could say I'm a little obsessed with dogs right now. I MEAN JUST LOOK AT HIM.

19. If you don't want to go out one night, then don't.

In my opinion, there is nothing worse than not wanting to go out one night, then going out because all your friends guilted/easily convinced you in my case, to go out. Maybe college is different, but right now in life, I'm at the stage where some nights I'd rather just stay in and have a glass a wine (ugh I'm turning into my mom already) and that's OK.

18. Don't ever feel guilty about staying in and watching Netflix.

See the last lesson. Sometimes a girl just needs to binge watch some Netflix.

17. Hangovers truly get worse the older you get.

Maybe this is why I opt out of going out sometimes, but when I am hungover I am down and out for the count these days. We are talking popping Advil all day, sitting my butt on the couch and not moving type of hangovers. And they don't just last one, but TWO days.

16. College game days will always be fun even after you graduate.

Enough said.

15. Coffee is the best.

I didn't start drinking coffee until college and at first, I didn't get the hype. I'm a pretty high energy person already so I didn't really need it and it honestly just made me jittery. This past year though, my boyfriend got me hooked AGAIN. Now, I can barely go a morning without it.

14. Travel as much as you can.

I'm not saying you have to drop everything and travel the world, but if an opportunity ever arises for you to travel, even if it's just the next state over, then take it. I have learned so much about myself from traveling because it has forced me outside my comfort zone.

13. Dress for yourself.

If you want to wear sweats all the time because it makes you happy then do it! Or if you want to go all out and dress your best for a night on the town, then don't do it for anyone else but yourself.

12. There really is no place like home.

No matter how old you get, there is nothing better than going to your childhood home, hanging out, seeing your dog, and eating a nice homemade meal.

11. Family over everything else.

Yes, they drive me crazy pretty much all the time, but nothing makes me happier than spending some nice quality time with the fam.

10. Don't dwell on the past.

Dwelling on the past is so easy to do, but it only makes you have regrets and a life full of regrets isn't a life at all. As cliche as it sounds, just try and live in the present as much you can and you will thank yourself in the future.

9. Bad days happen.

Life isn't perfect and things aren't always going to go your way. What matters is how you handle those bad days. See the next lesson below.

8. Ben and Jerry's ice cream can cure any bad day.

If you haven't learned this lesson yet, are you even living? (Shoutout to the gals of S 37th Street).

7. Everyone could use therapy.

Alright so I hate to admit it but Ben and Jerry's can't cure all bad days and sometimes just talking to someone can make everything better. This year I tried it for the first time and I can honestly say that it's been life-changing. Everyone goes through something and sometimes talking to someone who isn't your mom or your best friends, opens your eyes to truths about yourself that you never would've figured out by yourself.

6. Wash off your makeup before bed no matter what.

I know it's the last thing anyone wants to do especially after a long night on the town, but trust me, you and your skin will be thankful in the morning. (see my latest beautE tip for reasons why it's so important!)

7. Invest in your skin.

For this lesson, I have to thank my mother. I can't remember a night where my mom didn't wash her face and lather it up with serums, anti wrinkles creams, and lotions. I never understood the point growing up but now I understand. Skincare is SO important no matter what age you are. It's never too early or late to start investing in your skin.

6. Relationships shouldn't hold you back.

Whether it's friends or a significant other, relationships should be a positive thing in your life. You should never have to change who you are to make a relationship work. If they are impacting you negatively, then it's time to rethink if you really want those people in your life moving forward. In my life right now, I've been lucky enough to find amazing friends and a boyfriend who allow me to be myself.

5. Hang out with the people who make you feel good every day.

Life can be out of our control a lot of the time, but who we hang out with is OUR CHOICE. Sometimes we forget that, but the older you get the more important this becomes.

4. You don't have to know what you want to be when you "grow up"

I've always hated the "what do you want to be when you grow up?" question. Anyone who answers that at a young age and actually becomes what they say, hats off to you.

3. You don't have to have everything in life figure out

Ok, this is similar to the one above but sitting here in my apartment without a job, watching Friends, and writing this post, I find myself repeating this over and over. Life will work out. I don't need to have everything figured out right now. I think in today's society there is this pressure that we need to, but truth is we don't. An even bigger truth: no one does!

2. There is always a reason to smile.

Sometimes you just need to find it.

1. You will turn into your mother.

No matter how much you try to avoid it, it will happen. Just accept it.



How To: In-Door Camping Date Night

Anne JohnsonComment

GLAMPING AT IT’S FINEST


My life is pretty busy and with a long distance boyfriend, it can be hard to find time to fit in #datenights. Not only hard to find the time, but hard to find the money. I am constantly looking up "cheap date night ideas" on #Pinterest and honestly nothing has struck my interest, until one day something did. CJ and I always fantasized about a weekend away together camping in the woods. Of course in the good old land of Minnesota, summer is really the only ideal time to do that. However, time slipped away and summer days slowly turned colder and colder. CJ returned to school and I started my job. The camping dream was out of mind.

Until a #Pinterest post peaked my interest. A camping themed #datenight. BINGO. Why didn't I ever think of this? It was so easy, cheap, and fun. The only supplies really needed: s'mores ingredients and a tent, or in our case, a fort (i.e. a sheet), and some pillows and blankets. If you really want to make it fancy and romantic, grab some candles and string lights to hang around the room.

So first thing was first: the fort. Ok I don't know about you guys, but building forts was my thingggg growing up. I remember spending hours with my brothers trying to make the coolest forts. Lucky for me, those skills came back to me, just not as quickly as I wanted them too. After about an hour and a half of figuring out the logistics and setting the dang thing up, It was complete. My 7 year old self would've been proud.

Honestly making the fort was the hardest part and from there it was easy....Just set out the s'mores stuff, light some candles, set up the lights, and BOOM. Instant indoor camping trip.

How to Decorate A Man Cave

Anne JohnsonComment

THE PROJECT


Last week I spent a few days decorating my man's room. He, like me, is ballin' on a budget so we needed to figure out how to vamp up his new space without spending too much money. One easy way I did this was by decorating his room with things he already owned. He is huge into records and hats, so we found a way to incorporate those into the design of his room. Check it out below!


HEADBOARD:

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Headboards can be expensive AF, but a little wall decor above the bed can help fill some of that empty space. Here we used a few of his favorite records on top of shelves to display them. This way he can still play the records or change them out if he wants to.. The floating shelves were from target and only $12.99! Next, we used two records he doesn't like anymore to add some more "decor" to the space beside his favorite movie quote.


HATS, HATS, AND MORE HATS:

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Alright, this is for all those ladies out there who've got themselves a man O B S E S S E D with hats. Why so many? I'll never know. Instead of hiding them away in a closet, use them to fill up space on blank wall. He could've easily hid them away in a closet, but this adds a little something, something to the room and creates a statement wall with lots of dimension. FYI, this was HIS idea. I can't take credit, although I wish I could.


WALL DECOR + STORAGE:

Alright, low key my favorite wall in the room. Just a few of his favorite signs and wall decor that he has previously owned. Again, the only thing we really had to buy was this cubed shelving unit from, you guessed it, TARGET for $28 on sale. Since he is still in school, this cubby is great for storing all those text books.

TIP: if you ever need to buy furniture, wait until the back to school college rush is over and most stores, like target, will have a sale.

Ok, not going to lie I was pretty impressed by my little record storage idea. While at target, the boyfriend educated me on the whole concept of needing to store his records standing up...So my initial idea was to put them in the cubed shelves where they would still be on display, but they wouldn't fit... WAHHH. Unfortunately not many stores sell, "record holders" anymore so I needed to be creative. Knowing target to be the magical inspirational place it is, I was determined to find some kind of creative storage solution. I walked rampantly up and down the isles, until I finally found it. Then, just as my boyfriend was about to pull me out of target for wandering around like a crazy target lady (which I am), I FOUND THIS. Some call it a pan holder, but my friends, I call it the magical record holder of my dreams. BOOM. And it was only $10 on sale. DOUBLE BOOM.


MUSCIAL CORNER:

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And in this corner, standing three feet tall, we have the magical record player. Not much needed to be done to this corner other than adding a little $3 storage bin for the rest of his "not so favorite" records. Shoutout target. Above it, on the wall we just have an old Johnny Cash album cover to give the corner a little extra FIRE...burning ring of fire that is. (lol get it? If not, take a hike).