ChelsChats: Life & Blog Update, Things in my Shopping Cart, and Favorite Reads
It’s been a hot second since we caught up, so I wanted to take a moment to say hi and share what we’ve been up to lately. We’ve had a super busy April and as fun as it’s been, I’m glad May is looking like it will be a little bit slower. We’ve got a lot of home projects we’re trying to finish up before the hot weather comes and I would really like to get ahead of some of the blog projects I have been planning on for a while. Also, who else is excited for some sunshine and warm weather? It’s still snowing up in the mountains here in Utah, but we’ve got 80-degree weather coming our way next week and I cannot wait!
- Since we last chatted, things have continued to just get busier! I’ve been working full time at my 9-5 job and was just moved over to a salary-based position (which is a huge deal!) I really enjoy my job because it keeps me busy, gives me challenges, but doesn’t come home with me at the end of the day. I realized that I never explained fully why I decided to go back to the workforce after blogging full-time for a few years, so I opened up about why I went back to work on the blog earlier this week!
- The weather has finally committed to being warm and Dustin and I have been working SO hard over the last month to really transform our yard. The previous owners did not do a good job taking care of our yard (more on our homeownership adventures with our yard here) and we couldn’t afford to do much with the yard after buying the house last year. Upping our curb appeal and making some significant changes to our yard was on the top of our priority list and the second the sun was shining enough, we began working on our list of projects. We started by pulling the stumps out of our yard from the apple trees of SATAN that we cut down last October. We got our lawn aerated. We assessed the sprinkler system and made plans to move a few of them around to better water the lawn. And, if you’ve been following along on my Instagram stories, you’ll know that we’ve been working on a MAJOR project to completely transform our backyard. Full reveal coming on Friday and I cannot wait to show you. I never considered us DIY people, but I am so proud of this project and am already dreaming up plans for our next home DIY!
- Dustin and I celebrated 5 beautiful years of marriage on the 13th and jetted away to Las Vegas for a quick getaway. Funny story – I told Dustin that I wanted to plan our anniversary trip this year and that I wanted to book us one of those themed hotels here in Utah. Instead, I booked flights to Las Vegas and a suite at the Luxor. I was so so so excited to surprise him and couldn’t wait to see his face when I drove him to the airport instead of a hotel. The DAY BEFORE we were supposed to leave, as we were getting ready for work, I started talking about how my back was bothering me again. Without even thinking I said: “I think I’ll see if I can get an adjustment at the chiropractor before we got to Las Vegas tomorrow.” Dustin was like: “…Go where?” And I was so taken aback that I had said Las Vegas that I couldn’t save it. Instead, I cried. I was SO FRUSTRATED with myself that I had spoiled my big surprise the day before we were supposed to leave. It’s funny now, and we still had a great time, but man. I was so close to pulling it off!
- While we were in Las Vegas, Dustin treated me to an amazing life experience – I got to paint with a Dolphin! You read that right – dolphin. painting. with me. The Mirage has a dolphin habitat and they offer a few personal experiences there. Dustin knows that my biggest regret from both of the cruises that I went on was that I didn’t get to swim with the dolphins. I honestly think this was an even better experience than swimming with dolphins – I got to hang out in the dolphin trainer lounge, ask questions about the dolphins, and then paint with K2 (named after a mountain in Africa.) I held the canvas out over the water and he held the paintbrush in his mouth and just went at it! After he was done painting, I got to rub his belly, hold his fin, and give him a kiss before giving him some fish. It was seriously such an amazing experience and I now have the coolest piece of artwork to hang in my office.
- Speaking of office, I spent all of March picking out the final pieces for my home office and putting it all together. After being on the struggle bus for MONTHS in trying to figure out how to arrange the furniture the best way, I think I FINALLY have it all figured out. I can’t wait to do an office reveal in the new few weeks and show you how it all came together!
- Two weekends ago, I FINALLY met my best
bloggingfriends in REAL LIFE when they flew out to Salt Lake City to visit me! It was the first time all four of us were together in real life (even though we have been facetiming AT LEAST once a week for over a year now) and it was the most perfect weekend in the world. We ate amazing food, took lots of photos, shopped a ton, watched movies, and explored the great outdoors in the Jeep! It totally has blown my mind at how amazing the online world can be – because it has brought me some of the best friendships that I’ve ever had with girls who I would have never met otherwise.
- I’ve mentioned it in passing a couple times and I’m still finalizing details, but after being asked about it multiple times, I’ve started to offer 1:1 blog and Pinterest mentoring to other bloggers and creatives here in Utah! Eventually, I’d love to take on clients outside of Utah, but because I don’t want to overwhelm myself, I’m starting local clients only. I already have 3 amazing clients and it’s been so fun to get back to my teaching roots and help them learn how to take the next step with marketing their blogs and growing their content! If you are in Utah and are interested in blog mentoring, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- I hired my FIRST employee and am in the process of hiring my second! I can’t even believe I’m at a point in my blogging career where this is possible for me, but I really need help to stay on top of all the projects and daily tasks that I have to get done. I’m so excited to have two awesome girls on my team to help out with some graphic design and behind-the-scenes editing that I just can’t get on a daily basis anymore. Right now, I have them on the HTC for the next three months to see how it goes, but I’m hoping to make it more permanent after that!
In my Shopping Cart
Like I said above, I did a LOT of shopping when my friends were here last weekend, but I’m in the process of completely rebuilding my spring/summer wardrobe because most of my clothes are from my summer in Louisiana and have done their time (AKA they are ruined with sweat stains.) Here are a few things I’m eyeing right now and will probably be adding to the cart when I get my next paycheck.
This Satin Band Straw Hat – I’m trying to get more into hats this summer because I am not a fan of having a sunburnt nose. My friend Karli rocks hats so well and she always makes me want to wear them more. I love this one because it has such a cute little detail around the base of the hat. Best part, though? This hat doesn’t break the bank (so many seem super expensive) so this seems like a great one to try out.
Old Navy Rockstar Jeggings in White – I bought my first pair of Rockstar Jeggings a few months ago (these ones that are the most perfectly distressed pair in the world) and became 100% smitten by them. THEY ARE SO COMFORTABLE! I am seriously considering never buying real jeans with a zipper again. The elastic band is SO comfortable and it really holds everything in! Plus, I find that these stay up throughout the day (anyone else have an issue with their jeans stretching out and falling down their bums by the end of the day? No? Just me?) Anyway, I bought these in a regular dark denim wash (without the distressing) over girls weekend and am now planning on getting these babies in white. I have no shame. They are that good. (I wear a size 8 regular for sizing reference and find that they are perfect in length for my long legs.)
ItCosmetics Bye Bye Pores Bronzer – UM WHAT? One of my friends/readers sent me a message saying that ItCosmetics was releasing a bronzer in their Bye Bye Pores formula and I just about peed myself with joy. The Bye Bye Pores pressed powder is one of my FAVORITE makeup products of ALL TIME (It was on the top of my recommendations during the 21 Day of Beauty sale) and I cannot WAIT to get my hands on the bronzer version. The pressed powder seriously makes your skin look as smooth as glass and does a beautiful job of setting foundation.
Tie Waist Handkerchief Skirt – Am I the only one who still loves the handkerchief hem style and glad it’s coming back? Probably. But I really love the way this style of dress or skirt hangs and flows when walking and I LOVE this skirt with the tie in the front. Also, it’s on sale for $26.98 so that’s awesome.
NYX Butter Gloss – This used to be one of my FAVORITE lip products but I totally stopped using them over a year ago. Taylor re-introduced them to me when she was visiting and now that I’ve rediscovered them, I cannot put them down. I’ve got every color under the sun in my Ulta basket (and an extra Creme Brulee because that’s the best of the best.)
Got a few more minutes to read some good reads? Here are some of my favorite reads from the last month:
- How to Make Friends as an Adult and Find Community –
- How to Help a Friend Going Through Infertility –
- The Ultimate Playlist of Happy Songs
- Why I Care About What I Wear
- 7+ Productivity Tips for Bloggers & Creatives to Beat Overwhelm
I hope your first week of May is going well! Let me know what’s in your shopping cart below (cause I’ve got the shopping bug!)