here's to a new year // goals

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In honor of the new year, I decided to choose certain areas of my life that needed refocusing, and with that, set at least one goal for each. Here's my list...

cooking // I have long wanted to become a good cook; as archaic a notion it may seem, I believe every woman should be a good cook (or at least give a valiant effort to become one). I say this mostly because my mom is such a great cook and I'd like my someday daughter to think I'm the best cook in all the land. Also the Mr enjoys eating so... I needs to learn!
>>> GOAL   learn and test out at least one new recipe a week. I'll be sure to share my adventures with you!

time management // I think we could all use a good dose of this, am I right?? When I was in school, I lived by my planner. Every hour of every day was mapped out, and as much as I sort of dreaded the idea of not being free to do as I pleased, I really miss it! Sometimes we have more freedom when we give ourselves parameters to live by.
>>> GOAL   buy a new planner and set out my week each Sunday. Actually stick to the plan!

budgeting // I'm a shopper, there, I said it! And you know what? That's okay, so long as I give myself a budget. I have a savings, but it's not nearly what it could be if I had a more strict budget. This one won't be as fun while I'm doing it, but it's one that will pay off in the end (no pun intended).
>>> GOAL   divide my paycheck each month and give myself a percentage as "play money". Put the cash in    an envelope and only allow myself to spend that much on clothes and other unnecessary things! I can    either spend it on several things, or one big thing! Also, save save save! (This one is thanks to my sweet friend Kelsey's suggestion.)

adventuring // life should be fun! I love remembering all of the fun things I've done and I can't help but think that I should be making more of those memories! This year is going to be about fun and trying new things!
>>> GOAL   do at least one thing I've never done before, each month. This could be a great way to ensure that Elisha and I get at least one quality date night a month!

maintaining a healthy lifestyle // I have been blessed with a fast metabolism, so working out and eating right was never a real concern. As I've gotten older, I've realized how I'm not as fit as I once thought I was. I've done yoga and I run on occasion, I went vegetarian over a year ago and these were all great steps toward a more healthy lifestyle, but this year I'm going all in!
>>> GOAL   Set a weekly workout routine and stick with it. Write out meals for the week and go shopping in advance - buying healthy ensures that I eat healthy, so sweets are out (womps)

reading // I recently posted about my recent reading adventures, and I fully intend on continuing! I'm also totally loving all of the suggestions I've been getting! 
>>> GOAL   Read at least ten books this year!

creativity // This is always an area I want to grow in. Having a blog and owning a shop, it's easy to kind of get in a creative rut, so growing is a must! 
>>> GOAL   buy a new notebook, decorate it, start dreaming. Fill at least three whole notebooks with ideas, dreams, & goals by the end of the year!

I think these are simple enough, but create enough of a challenge that I won't get bored with them. I love giving myself goals because it really motivates me to do and be more than I thought I could. Have any of you set out some goals for the new year? I'd love to hear some of them; leave a link below and we can check them out!

Here's to a Happy New Year!

xo. melisa


sponsor in January

Just wanted to let y'all know that I'm still accepting sponsors for the month of January! If you're looking for a place to promote your blog or small business, we would love to work with you! Feel free to email me at melisaholguin@gmail.com to request a spot and if you'd like more info, you can check it out here. I'm so looking forward to this new year and all the exciting things to come!

xo. melisa

PS: I still have a large spot available!!



When I first changed career paths, I was really excited for several reasons. One of those reasons was the extra time I would have to read books! Reading is a favorite past time of mine and something I truly enjoy. Maybe it's the nerdy side of me that just loves to learn, but I love a good book! I have been so fortunate to have read 5 books in the last three months, and I thought I'd share a little review of each!

The Mockingjay - I'm pretty sure everyone (and their mother) has read this trilogy, but in case you haven't... this book is wonderful! I'm a huge fan of The Hunger Games; so much so that I couldn't bring myself to finish it! I tend to do this with most books, I'll eat them up and read through it all in a day, and once I get to the last chapter it hits me - it's about to be over. I hate the thought of letting go of these characters (I get attached easily), that it's hard for me to actually finish the books I love so dearly. I actually read through all three books last Summer, but didn't finish this final one until last month. I'm glad I did.

The Screwtape Letters - I love C.S. Lewis and this book was no exception. His work is always so profound and thought provoking. I often found myself pausing myself at each page and just soaking in the overwhelming truth of his words. I love hearing simple truths because they always tend to get lost in the chaos of each day - it's good to be reminded of them.

The Snow Child - This book is pure magic. The story is sad, but honest and beautiful. It reminded me of real life, not like a make believe world with unthinkable circumstances, but something you'd want to hear your grandmother tell you. I loved this book and would suggest it to anyone and everyone with a heartbeat!

Matched - I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for a good teen fiction. This book is a little silly, but it's a fun read and obviously very dramatic. 

The Fault in Our Stars - I really enjoyed this sad, but mostly hilarious book. The humor is filled with dark sarcasm, but rightfully so. I had never read anything like it and I must admit I couldn't help but cry. It's beautiful because it's so honest; and it makes the reader feel human.

I'm currently reading...

I always love hearing suggestions so I hope you enjoyed this post. So what's your favorite book? I'd love to hear what you have on your shelf!

xo. melisa


bits + pieces

These past few days have been so relaxing and fun; absolutely perfect! The Mr and I drove down to visit my Dad and family. We've been laughing, relaxing by the fire, watching movies, eating so much, playing with cats, and having the best time! I know it's been a little silent around here, and for that I apologize, but I've enjoyed this much needed break. Needless to say, I'm terribly excited to start this new year off! There are so many great things happening here on the blog that I just can't wait! Was your Christmas perfect?

xo. melisa


12 Days of DIY // ruffled socks

As the weather gets a little cooler, I've been wearing boots daily. I've always been a fan off wearing tall socks with my boot to add an extra little somthin to my outfit! I thought it would be fun to make some with ruffles for Christmas time! 

   plain socks - I bought mine at Target
   lace trim
   sewing machine 

1) start by taking a single sock and placing the lace along the top edge. 2) begin sewing along the lace Two things to be sure you do: stretch your sock out to that the elastic will still work & scrunch your ruffles a bit, so that it's extra ruffly! 3) once the lace has gone all the way around, make sure it overlaps a little bit so that the lace looks seamless

These work great for a last minute gift, or they'll go great with any Christmas outfit in need of an extra ruffle! 

I cannot believe Christmas is only two days away!!! SO exciting! The mr and I are headed out of town tomorrow morning; I can't wait to see my family and give them their presents! hooray!

xo. melisa

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12 Days of DIY // book page gift bow

Remember this diy? Well I decided to make use of those book pages by making this way cute and super easy gift bow!

   book pages
   double sided tape OR hot glue

1)  using the method seen below, fold your paper in half, but slightly askew. Then fold it in half again, remember to make sure that it's not even; the point is to make it look like petals, so you don't want corners to match up. 2) Create the outer petals by placing the pages in a circle, gluing or taping them down as you go along. 3) Begin to layer your petals as you go closer to the middle. (*note: you make want to make some pages small once you get to the middle petals, for added contrast)

I love the sweet look these flowers gave to my gifts! And I love the fact that these book pages didn't go to waste! I think this concept would be great with big pages, to make flowers for wedding or party decor!

Have you all finished your holiday shopping?? I still have one more person on my list to check off! eeeep! 

xo. melisa

12 Days of DIY // hand stamped wrapping paper

This is beyond easy and the result is just perfection! I wanted my wrapping paper to go along with my gift bags so I did this little diy.

   kraft wrapping paper
   handmade stamps (tutorial here)
   stamp pad / paint

1) unroll your wrapping paper to the length you wish to use. 2) using your premade stamps, cover them completely using a stamp pad, or paint 3) begin stamping your wrapping paper in whichever pattern you please. I chose little triangles because they remind me of little trees!

And that's it! Like I said, super easy, budget friendly, and allows you to add a little personality to your gifts! Enjoy!

These last few days have been crazy crazy! You'll have to forgive me for being a little (a whole lot) late on getting these posts up. I can't believe Christmas is only 4 days away!!

xo. melisa


a shop update

Well I've done it! I've updated the shop with a brand new section... PRINTS! I'm so excited to share this new season of creation with you. I love creating these sweet cards and prints, and am just thrilled to share them with you! I wanted to make them extremely affordable, and something that I would actually want to use or hang in my home. I hope you like them!

In honor of this new addition (and Christmas, of course!) use the code "OHJOY" to receive free shipping on all domestic orders from now until Thursday!! All orders placed during that time will be shipped out by Friday and should arrive before Christmas!

I'll also be doing custom orders, so feel free to email me if you're interested! I'll also be adding more prints over the next few weeks.

xo melisa 

12 Days of DIY // hand stamped gift tags

Gift tags are always fun to add a little something extra to your gifts. I thought instead of going with sticker gift tags, I'd go with some I could tie on myself.

   plain gift tags
   handmade stamps (you can see how I made mine here)
   paint pens (optional)

1) Start by finding a nice clean surface you wouldn't mind getting a little bit of stamp paint on. 2) Onc you've prepared your stamps, cover them completely using a stamp pad or paint, and start stamping your gift tags! This is the fun and easy part because you get to be creative and create any pattern or design you'd like 3) At this point, I used paint pens to add a few little details, like gold tops to my mountains. 4) Grab some twine and loop it through the hole at the top of the gift tag; tie it onto your bag or under a bow on a wrapped box!

I love how these little lovelies came out and they add way more personality to my gifts than just a Santa sticker, ha!

If you decide to make your own hand stamped gift tags, I'd love to see what patterns you come up with! Leave a link below and we can all take a peek!

xo. melisa


12 Days of DIY // hand stamped gift bag

Wrapping gifts is always fun! I love wrapping paper, but sometimes things fit more nicely in a bag. I didn't want my bag to have a silly Santa on it, or leave a trail of glitter all over the house, so I opted for a super easy stamped gift bag!

   craft paper gift bags
   foam sheet
   stamp pad / paint
   hot glue
   wooden blocks (optional)

1) Start by cutting out the shapes you'd like your stamps to be. I went with pretty basic shapes like triangles and circles. 2) Once you've cut your shapes, hot glue wooden blocks to the backs of them. This will allow you to be able to stamp and pull up more easily. This step is not necessary, but it makes it so much easier! 3) Use a stamp pad or paint and then get to stamping! 

I just love how simple and fun these are. I will note that the paint was a bit more trickier to use than the stamp pads. You can see in the photo above, the difference; I used white paint and a black stamp pad.

Over these next few days I'll be sharing more ideas on what you can do with these stamps! (like those gift tags you see in the photo above!)

xo. melisa


12 Days of DIY // jewelry book box

This DIY was one of my most favorites to work on and I'm just smitten with how it came out. I love books and decorating with them is so much fun. This little jewelry box has added so much to my little nightstand!

   book - I used a vintage book I had found at an antique mall
   exacto knife - you can pick one up at your local craft store

1) First, I cut a rectangle shape onto the first page of the book. You don't have to press too hard when using your exacto knife and if you'd like to use a stencil for your first cut, that would probably help. 2) Then slowly begin cutting through the pages. As you cut, pop the rectabgle shapes out from the middle. 3) The edges can get a little righ, so make sure you take your time. This project takes a little bit of patience, but it's worth it! 4) Once you've gone deep enough, then go back through and cut some of those rough edges that may have been left. 

I made this while watching a show; it takes some time, but as I said, it's completely worth the time! It would make perfect gifts for friends or sisters! I just love mine and can't wait to make more!

I think this is an awesome way to wrap a necklace or ring you may be giving someone this Christmas! Also, this would be such a sweet way for someone to propose, don't you think?? 

xo. melisa