Category: Good Advice

How To Survive The Holidays

Seas & Greetings! The Holidays are fast approaching so I thought I would create this handy “survival guide” to help you cope with everything from dealing with toxic family, loss, or money problems.

Do you love the holiday season but not the stress that may come along with it? Does family drama seem to be the theme at every family gathering? If so then this article is for you.

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

My Personal Experience

As a child who grew up in a dysfunctional family system, I dreaded the holidays. My mother suffered from depression that was never acknowledged. So every holiday began with stories about how she missed her mom, and how we were so lucky to have her as a mother.

Then she began to berate and control us by reminding us that we didn’t deserve anything, including her love or affection. We learned how to play loving family by showing fake affection when company would come over for the holidays. Yet there was always tension and anxiety underneath our fake smiles.

If we didn’t perform well, later on, she would scold us for the tension and sad looks on our faces noticed by other family members. I learned very early on not only to hide my true feelings but that there would be consequences if anyone found out just how unhappy we were.

How To Survive The Holidays With Toxic Family

That’s a lot of pressure to put on a child. As a kid, I often dreamed of what it would be like to spend the holidays as a loving family. I often wondered what it was like to have hugs filled with love, not a cold rehearsed hug that was scheduled once all of the family that didn’t live with us arrived.

As an adult, I made the decision that I would no longer be attending any family gatherings period. I decided that my peace of mind and sanity were more important. Besides, I just wanted to be happy and enjoy myself instead of dealing with someone else’s depression.


I have had no contact with my family for almost 5 years. The years of narcissistic control, fighting, and insults has taken it’s toll on my body. I now have to protect my health and sanity due to auto-immune disease. I have the right to remove their access to me, but they don’t think so.

Besides, holidays should be fun! The truth is that you don’t have to attend these dysfunctional family gatherings either. Now I am not telling you to go and cut off your entire family as I did. My reasons for doing so are much more than I can say. I simply choose to love myself and have peace. Something I NEVER had growing up.

No family is perfect, and this is article is not for those who have a loving family.

How To Survive The Holidays

Should you choose to spend the holidays with toxic family remember:

  1. Set boundaries.
  2. Practice mindfulness.
  3. People don’t change.
  4. Set realistic expectations.
  5. Limit your time together.
  6. Have an escape plan.

Should you choose not to attend the family gathering remember:

  1. Find your own meaning for the holiday.
  2. Do something that you really enjoy.
  3. You don’t need to give an explanation.
  4. You are allowed to set boundaries.
  5. You are allowed to walk away.
  6. Surround yourself with those who love you.

If you are hosting a family gathering, you can also uninvite toxic family members. Think of it this way. You spend your time and hard-earned money planning a wonderful holiday, and then someone miserable may come along to ruin it. This is unacceptable!

Life is too short to accept less than you deserve and the truth is, you deserve to have a happy and peaceful holiday celebration. Spend your time with those who really love you instead!

Are you an introvert? If so you may prefer to spend the holidays alone, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I personally do not have children so If I don’t attend get-togethers with friends, I spend the holidays baking and watching my favorite movies.

You may have loved ones that live far away or could be dealing with loss. If so remember to allow yourself to grieve. Don’t cancel the holiday, surround yourself with loved ones and do something special to honor those who are gone.

If you are dealing with money problems, take a good hard look at your finances. You don’t need to impress everyone with expensive gifts if it’s going to hurt your wallet. Stick to your budget, and you’ll be happier plus you can start the new year off with peace of mind instead of debt.

Remember, it’s the thought that counts instead of how much your gift costs. Give your time instead, or do something helpful for someone. You can save tons of money by giving baked goods as gifts. Bake a cake or batch of cookies and give those as a gift instead. People love getting food gifts!

See my easy recipes for Peanut Butter Blossoms & Christmas Sugar Cookies.

I love to spend Christmas Eve baking for my friends and neighbors! I hope you find this article helpful. Thanks for stopping by and remember… You can always escape to the beach!

Happy Holidays!


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2022 Holiday Gift Guide

Image credit: Pottery Barn


Season’s Greetings! Are you looking for the perfect gift for beach lovers? Finding the perfect present is never easy no matter who you are shopping for. Year after year, you’re shopping for the same people and it get’s harder but it doesn’t have to be. Use this hand gift guide before you start your holiday shopping.

While making this list, I only chose the best items from Amazon. Everything is either a best seller, a five star item, or some of my personal favorites. There are thoughtful, yet affordable and unique gifts for everyone on this list. Just click on the image to find the item.

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

2022 Holiday Gift Guide

Find unique gifts for beach lovers that will impress everyone on your list!

  1. This beautiful handmade sea glass earrings and necklace set is the perfect gift for jewelry lovers! Check out the Sea Stamped Store to see all beach glass designs. You can also create your own gift set.


2. These set of 2 stemless wine glasses are hand painted and the perfect unique gift for both wine and mermaid lovers!


3. This hand blown glass conch sea shell figurine is the perfect gift for your loved ones that collect seashells.


4. Here is a great gift for those that love sea turtles! This cute collectible statue has a beautiful crushed glass mosaic shell.


5. This set of 3 nautical aromatherapy candle set is the perfect gift for candle and beach lovers alike. Once the candles are burned, the jars can be re-used and home decor.


6. This beautiful mother of pearl photo frame also comes in pink and natural white. Present this gift with your favorite beach photo memories.


7. Seahorse candle holders are a great gift for beach lovers! This set o 2 beautiful pillar candle holders also comes in gold.


8. Lanterns are the perfect gift for beach lovers! This gorgeous set of 2 silver lantern set can also be filled with candles or seashells for the perfect beachy look!

2022 Holiday Gift Guide

9. Yankee candles are always a great gift idea! Give this Christmas at The Beach scented candle as a reminder of your favorite beach vacation! See all scents from the Yankee Candle Store here.


10.  Another great gift idea for mermaid lovers! This warm and cozy mermaids tail crochet blanket comes in 4 colors, perfect for teens!


11. Nautical iron anchor candle holders are the perfect rustic decor gift. It comes as a set of 2 for pillar candles.


12. Here is another great nautical anchor gift idea. Give this warm cozy beach style throw to anyone who loves a nautical theme!


13. These set of 4 coastal mugs are the perfect beachy gift for coffee lovers!


14. Here is a gorgeous starfish serving platter for your favorite hostess who enjoys the finer things in life.


15. Everyone loves beach Gnomes! These set of 3 cuties are a perfect year around decoration for beach lovers!


16. Bella Wind Chimes are the Boho-Beachy gift! They are made of sea glass and come in several colors.


17. This beautiful resin starfish bowl comes in 2 beachy blue colors and is the perfect accent piece for any room in the home.


18. Remind your favorite beach lover to take a moment and just Breathe with this beautiful framed ocean art print!


I hope you found something you love on this list. Why not get a little something for yourself while you’re browsing. You can get any of these items shipped within 2 days if you have a Prime Membership!

Give this membership as a gift or try it free for 30 days, plus you can cancel at anytime. I have been a Prime Member for 3 years and I absolutely love the convenience!

Thank you for stopping by, Happy Holidays! Also see Buttery Soft Christmas Cookies

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How The Beach Saved My Life

Everyone has a story. I believe that some things in life happen to us for a reason. I also believe that by sharing our stories we can heal other’s who may be in the same situation. I’m finally ready to share my story about how the beach saved my life. It’s something I have kept a secret for far too long. But it’s a story of survival that I hope will one day inspire someone.

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

My Story

Just two short years ago, I was homeless. I lived in my car for about a year. I still can’t believe that I’ve had this experience. I always thought having a good job and going to college would protect me from being homeless. I also felt like a huge failure as my world all of a sudden spiraled out of control. I currently own my home and my experience makes me appreciate it that much more!

You may be wondering how could an educated person with income end up like this? I was simply the victim of a bad rental situation. In 2018 I rented a tiny, one bedroom in law apartment that was attached to a two bedroom main house to save money. I always paid my rent and bills on time, so you would think there would not be any problems. Right? Wrong! What I did not know at the time, is that the landlord was completely mentally unstable.

For the first month everything was ok. But by the third month, I was subject to this landlords advances demanding that I “spend time” with this person. I politely declined and then the advances became more aggressive. I was also subject to daily harassment and threats on my life from this person and their acquaintances. I was no longer able to sleep or feel safe in my home. But, that was the problem. It was not my home, and this person made sure that I knew this.

 The police were called at least twenty-five times, even when I was not at home. I am not a criminal but the law states that they have to respond even if there is no crime. This landlord also began to refuse my rent payments in order to start the eviction process against me. I had to get a protective order until I was able to move, all because of my rejection.

We went to court three times and each time I had to take valuable time off of work. I won all three cases. The judge clearly saw right though the games, and ordered me to remain in the apartment for six more months rent free. By the time the last trial date came,  I had already left the apartment for my safety. I only lived there for seven short months.

Why Mental Health Matters

Do to the stress of the situation, I developed PTSD. I still suffer from it to this day, but now I can live in peace and try to forget the trauma of having my life threatened daily. I managed to search for a new place to live, but would have severe anxiety and panic attacks. When the time came to view a new apartment or meet a new landlord, I would  start to feel dizzy and begin to panic, so I canceled all of the appointments. My PTSD and mental trauma made me believe that if I rejected the next landlords advances, they would actually succeed at killing me.

There is huge problem with getting access to mental healthcare which is why so many people are suffering! Mental health matters because this horrible unstable person had also managed to affect my mental health. This was something new in my life that I had never experienced before, people know me as a kind and genuine person.

I never had my life threatened before. Just being around people stressed me out. My trauma caused me to isolate myself, and I didn’t share any of what was happening to me with my friends. I was too embarrassed and I didn’t have family near to live with. I also could not imagine living in a shelter. The homeless shelters are too overcrowded. Yet sadly half a million Americans are currently facing this crisis.

It Can Happen To Anyone

I have never judged anyone who has been homeless, because I can attest to the fact that it can happen to anyone. Everyone has a different situation as to why they become homeless. It’s not always drugs or alcohol as the news media and most of society will lead you to believe. It can happen to the nicest person, someone with a job, college educated, or a family.

In my case, it wasn’t for lack of a job or money, I was just the victim of circumstances in life that were out of my control. I decided that I would do everything within my power to take back control of my life. Within one year I managed to pull myself out of this situation, and was able to buy my first home where I could feel safe and in control.

How The Beach Saved My Life

During that tough year, I spent a lot of time at the beach. It was like free therapy for my soul. Staring mindlessly at the ocean waves, gave me peace of mind and the clarity I needed to pull my life back together. If I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I would be strong enough.

Sure I was in a bad situation, but the freedom that I felt while staring at the sea for hours on end is what helped me to heal. I would camp out at my favorite beach all evening and all day on my days off. No one ever knew that anything was wrong. I showered at the gym daily, went to work and right after work, I would go back to the beach.

During the night I would find safe places to park so that I could rest a little. You always have to be on watch for your safety. Some nights I stayed in hotels, but it becomes very expensive and I wanted to save up to buy a home.

My mind was at peace and I automatically went into a state of survival. I met so many wonderful people along the way that gave me hope and encouragement. I knew then that God had placed those very people in my path for a reason. That reason was to help me along this journey called life.

My advice to you is that if you ever find yourself in this situation, know that you will get through it. It’s not easy but humans have incredible survival skills. Those skills will automatically take over in any of life’s unpleasant circumstances. I now know the reason that I had to go through that experience. Not only did it push me onto the right path in life, but it also put me on a path to help others and home ownership.

The beach is where I started my blog. I had no idea it would grow into me owning my very own business. For me it was a way to escape my stress. It helped me to dream of a better life and express myself while going through a tough time in life. You may not understand why bad things are happening to you at the time, but keep the faith that life is taking you down this path for a good reason.

I know it was God who protected me from a world full of predators while I slept in my car. I never felt alone. I also am very passionate about helping those who are homeless and somehow strangely grateful for the experience. Although it has lead to my success, but I don’t wish this experience on anyone. I am crying as I write this because I feel like I have been carrying this heavy secret for so long. Now that have revealed it, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted, and that unfortunate chapter in my life is over.

Thank you reading this, I hope my story becomes someone else’s survival guide and will help in some way. I don’t consider myself to be brave, I just tried to make the best of a bad situation and the beach was my escape! I believe God created the beach because he knew we would need a place of peace and refuge in this world! For me it was definitely the thing that saved my sanity. Also see 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me


Sherwin Williams Serenely Paint Color

Want to know how to choose the best paint colors for your home? Start with the colors you love, and then create a whole house color scheme that matches your furniture and makes your happy!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links; should you choose to make a purchase using said link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Sherwin Williams Serenely

I recently discovered the most beautiful beachy blue paint color! It is a perfect coastal blue-gray with a hint of green. It’s a calming paint color you will want to use in a bedroom to create a tranquil atmosphere, or use it in a bathroom for a soothing spa effect.

Image Credit: Sherwin Williams


I have always been obsessed with Sherwin Williams paint colors! My most favorite place in the world is the beach. It just naturally makes me happy, so I knew when I bought my home I wanted to surround myself with my favorite beachy colors. I wanted to keep that serene, calm coastal atmosphere and also make my home feel warm and inviting. I’m still renovating my home, so I will add more before and after pics later.

Aqua is my all-time favorite color, so I chose a breezy relaxing color scheme in several shades of Aqua that remind me of my favorite beaches. It’s really that simple. Below is The Aqua Cottage’s whole house color scheme. As you can see these colors work well together because they are different shades of aqua blues with green and gray undertones. I always recommend using a crisp clean white for the ceilings and trim. These colors also work well together in Coastal Farmhouse and Lake House interiors.

My Coastal Paint Color Palette

  • TopsailKitchen & Bathrooms- A pretty beachy light blue-green that has slight gray undertones.
  • Sea Salt-Guest Bedroom/Laundry Room- A cool green color with gray undertones that will brighten with daylight then appear soft and muted during the evening.
  • Greek Villa– Hallways- This warm white has deep beige undertones that remind you of a sandy beach.
  • Watery -Living RoomThe most beautiful, almost tropical cool watery aqua blue with green undertones.
  • Serenely-Main Bedroom- The perfect neutral blue gray that reminds you of a cloudy day at the beach.
  • Extra-White-Family Room- A bright, breezy cool coastal white perfect for painting beadboard or shiplap.
  • Pure White- Ceilings/Trim A warm white that ties all of the colors together, perfect for doors and trim.

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt Guest Bedroom

See this rooms transformation here: Before & After Guest Bedroom Makeover

How To Create A Coastal Whole House Paint Color Palette

These are the guides I use to create a matching color scheme. One of the best compliments I receive is how well the different colors flow and transition throughout the rooms into each other.

  1. Start by picking your favorite color.
  2. Choose a clean white trim.
  3. Pick 3 more colors in your favorite color family to create a cohesive look. Repeat these colors throughout your home to avoid getting overwhelmed with color.
  4. When picking several different colors the center of your home for example, the hallways should be neutral as I illustrated with SW Greek Villa in the center of the picture.
  5. Consider your furniture and fixtures.
  6. Get at least 2-3 paint chips in your favorite colors so you can play with the colors against your main color and the white trim color. That way you understand color theory and see how well the colors work together,
  7. Test the color during the daylight and compare the difference shades in the evening.
Image Credit: Sherwin Williams


Most important, remember to have fun! You can always use Pinterest, store paint guides, and the color wheel to find inspiration! There are tons of color palettes available to help you choose the best colors for your home! I want you to know I am not a Sherwin Williams affiliate, I have just been a huge fan of their paint for years!

Also I don’t recommend getting color mixes and taking them to get a cheaper product elsewhere. It’s not the same. Your home is your biggest investment. You want to choose a quality paint that will transform your home and last for years to come. See my blog post Before & After Guest Bedroom Makeover  to see what cheap paint does to your walls. You can also sign up for an account to get paint coupons and discounts at the I just got an awesome $20 coupon in my email!

I hope you found this post helpful, thanks for reading!

Are you ready to paint? See Everything You Need To Know About Paint




10 Best Beach Bags Summer 2022

10 Best Beach Bags Summer 2022

Who’s ready for the beach? I know I am! With the temperatures rising thoughts of beach getaways fill my mind. If you are heading to the beach this year, be sure you have all of the beach essentials for a fantastic trip! I can’t tell you how many beach tote’s I have collected over the years! I just love them!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links; should you choose to make a purchase using said link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Check out this list of cute and trendy beach bags and totes to help you get ready for vacation and stay organized at the beach or pool. Here you will find some of the best summer bags from Amazon rounded up for you!

  1. Marc Jacobs Women’s The Large Tote Bag– This cute designer tote bag come in 2 neutral colors which makes it perfect for all season use.


2. KUAK Extra Large Beach Bag– This waterproof beach tote comes in 6 tropical colors, has a top zipper, waterproof phone case, bottle opener, and key holder.

3. Jessie Women’s Summer Beach Bag– Make a statement with this gorgeous straw tote bag. This versatile bag can be used for the beach, as a travel purse, or evening tote bag.

4. TOP Design Canvas Tote Bag– Love the classy black beach lettering! This affordable canvas tote is perfect for a weekend getaway, short trips, or a day at the beach. 

5. SCOUT Joyride Large Sandproof Beach Bag– This lightweight durable mesh beach tote lets sand escape, and is the perfect go everywhere summer bag. 


6. NovForth Beach Bag Extra Large Tote- This fun, festive beach tote comes in 8 bright colors. Also comes in 2 sizes.

7. Ubestpak XXL Beach Tote Bag- This roomy XXL large tote is perfect for mom’s on the go and comes in 4 gorgeous colors!

8. Swig Life Loopi Waterproof Tote Bag– With 16 colors to choose from you can’t go wrong with this waterproof beach utility bag. I love the easy to carry cushioned handles!

9. Columbia Unisex Lightweight Packable Tote– This classic unisex nylon tote from Columbia comes in 5 fun and bright colors, has reflective zipper pulls and a water bottle holder. It also folds into a tiny packable square perfect for travel.

10. CAMTOP Beach Bag Sandproof Canvas Beach Tote- This versatile beach tote is lightweight and durable which is perfect for travel, gym, sport, carry-on, luggage and more. Plus it comes in 10 fun colors!

10 Best Beach Bags Summer 2022

I hope you found this list helpful! if so leave me a comment and let me know what you like! All of these gorgeous bags are available on Amazon. Just click the link or image to find the items. Also don’t forget that Prime Day is July 12th and 13th. If you don’t have a Prime Membership you can sign up here for the 30 day free trial!  Thanks for reading and have a great summer! Also see 10 Summer Beach Beauty Essentials 2022.


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10 Summer Beach Beauty Essentials 2022

Smell good all day with this list of beauty must haves! Hello everyone, it’s officially summer 2022 and I have gathered all of my favorite essentials for summer time that I wanted to share with you!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links; should you choose to make a purchase using said link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Hitting the beach this summer? These are 10 beach bag beauty essentials you need to smell amazing all day! These products are available for purchase on Amazon, just click the image to shop.

  1. Shield yourself from the sun with this foldable straw sun hat. It comes in 5 gorgeous colors and has excellent UPF 50+ protection.
    Adrinfly Women Foldable Floppy Wide Brim Straw Sun Hat


  2. Stay stylish with these Coach Sunglasses, they also come with the case to keep them protected.
    Coach Sunglasses – Caroline / Frame: Silver Lens: Grey Gradient


  3. Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub-Moroccan Rose. Use this exfoliating scrub to prep your way to smoother skin before you hit the beach! It has moisturizing shea butter and smells amazing! It also comes in wonderful summer fragrances like Coconut Lime, Tropical Mango, Watermelon, and Island Mist.

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub Moroccan Rose


4. After your shower, layer on Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Body Gel Cream. This amazing gel formula instantly absorbs into your skin without that greasy lotion feeling, and the smell lasts all day! I am in love with this product!

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Body Gel Cream


5. Next layer on Native natural deodorant in Sea Salt. What I love about this product is that it goes on easy, it’s cruelty free, and aluminum free. I love the beachy scent, plus it also comes in Ocean, and Coconut Vanilla.

Native Deodorant Natural Deodorant for Women and Men


6. Escape to a tropical island while adding another layer of fragrance with Tommy Bahama Set Sail Martinique Body Spray for Women. 

Tommy Bahama Set Sail Martinique Women


7. Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer comes in 8 gorgeous shades, smells amazing, and gives a natural sun kissed glow! 

Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer


8. Keep your lips soft and moisturized with Sun Bum SPF 30 Sunscreen Lip Balm. This lip balm comes in over 6 yummy flavors such as Banana, Coconut, Key Lime, and Mango.

Sun Bum SPF 30 Sunscreen Lip Care with Aloe and Vitamin E


9. Your hair will smell amazing with L’ANGE HAIR Sea Salt Spray Texture Hairspray for Bouncy Beachy Waves

L’ANGE HAIR Sea Salt Spray for Hair Salt and Séa Hair Texturizing Spray


10. Pack all of your beach essentials in this roomy Beach Please 100% Cotton Canvas Tote Bag! Great for a weekend getaway or day at the beach! 

Santa Barbara Design Studio Beach Please Tote Bag with Leather Handles


I hope you found this list helpful, don’t forget to save this list and shop Prime Day July 12-13th! If you don’t have an Amazon Prime Membership sign up for the free 30 day trial here. Have a wonderful Summer 2022!

How To Save On Renovation Costs

Do you plan on renovating your home? A home renovation can one of the most expensive projects you’ll ever take on, plus you want to try to not exceed your budget. Whether you’re planning an addition, remodeling a room, or upgrading the existing interior or exterior of your home; there are ways to keep costs down and stay out of debt.

If you’re planning on selling your home, you’ll want the spaces you create to appeal to potential buyers. This is less of a concern if you’re planning on making it your forever home. If it’s a starter home or investment property, think about keeping renovations neutral and using decor to make the spaces unique.

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

How To Save On Renovation Costs

I recently bought my first home, a fixer-upper in the spring of 2020. I purchased my home during the pandemic which was an excellent time to buy a home but not to renovate it. There were NO contractors available in my are due to the restrictions, but once those were lifted it seemed as if every single contractor was booked solid. So what’s a girl to do? I tried to do as much work as I could. Talk about scary, but fun! First off, I want to explain that I did simple tasks such as painting, demolition, and drywall. I watched a ton of YouTube tutorials for the things I didn’t know how to do, but the best part is not only did I learn a lot, I saved a ton of money!


The first thing that you want to do before you start any home improvement project is plan. Plan your project, budget and materials! Then decide what you can  DIY or do yourself! Next, make a list and start gathering and shopping for materials. When I started planning my kitchen reno, I started shopping up to a year in advance for materials. I scoured the clearance sections at Lowes, Home Depot, Amazon and Walmart to save big.


DIY Tips To Save Money


  • Plan- the amount of time and money you want to spend
  • Make lists of materials needed and use it to compare prices.
  • Invest in good, long lasting tools such as a power drill, nail gun, hammer, ect.
  • Use Pinterest to save ideas and visualize your project.
  • Shop for materials early- check the clearance sections at your local home improvement stores and online.
  • Get your friends to help you.
  • Shop Habitat Restore if you have one in your area. Habitat Restore re-sells tons of home improvement items left over from construction projects and home improvement store donations.
  • Shop Amazon- Amazon has tons of home improvement tools and materials at amazing prices!
  • Paint- You don’t have to hire a painter as long as you have the time and patience to do it. See Everything You Need To Know About Paint


*Remember you want to leave the complicated things such as plumbing and electrical up to the professionals and unless you feel comfortable enough that can do-it-yourself.  For example you don’t want to demo something that could cost you more money in the end by having to replace it. DIY is best when you have a small project to complete but if you have a large renovation project, it’s best to consider hiring a general contractor.*

How To Hire A General Contractor

A general contractor will coordinate and execute the construction of much larger home projects. Make sure you find a licensed contractor you can trust by doing phone interviews, and getting at least 3 estimates. Check out this handy checklist and tips from on how to hire a general contractor.

Did you know that some home improvement are tax deductible? When I replaced my old front door it costed just over $2000. I was able to claim it as a tax deduction because it was considered and energy efficient home upgrade! See the new front door here. Also see this helpful article about tax deductions from

5 Home Improvements That are Tax-Deductible


  • Energy-Efficient Renovations. Type of Savings: Credit.
  • Home Improvements for Medical Care. Type of Savings: Deduction.
  • Home Office Improvements. Type of Savings: Deduction.
  • Rental Property Renovations. Type of Savings: Deduction.
  • Home Improvements for Resale Value.

I hope you find this information helpful! If so share it with your friends, also if you are starting a kitchen renovation see my blog post The Ultimate Kitchen Renovation Guide with free printable checklist! Good luck with your home improvement projects!



3 Free Printables

Do you love planning? Before I create a recipe, weekly plan, or budget for the month, I plan it out & I also love using free printables. Take control of your life, your finances, & get organized with these 3 free budget, weekly & recipe printables! These are perfect for moms, bloggers, entrepreneurs, & students. New bloggers please see my post The Ultimate Free Blogging Guide for 2022 for more free printables!


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links; should you choose to make a purchase using said link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Monthly Budget Planner


Weekly Planner



Recipe Planner


I hope these planners were helpful, take the guess work out of creating your own and print these today! Enjoy!

How To Be Happier In The Year 2022


Happy Holidays! Are you looking to feel happier in the year 2022? The secret is practicing the art of gratitude!

What are you grateful for? The 2022 New Year is upon us and I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year. Let’s face it, for some this has been a tough year. For others the holidays can be a very sad time of year. You may be dealing with loss, loneliness, grief, anxiety or depression. If you are then this post is for you. Even with the current state of events going on in the world; There is always something to be grateful for. I felt the need to share a little bit about myself and my past struggles because I want to you to understand why your first thought in the morning should be Thank You!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links; should you choose to make a purchase using said link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

If you are having a tough time right, now here are some tips to help you through. Remember..

  • Look for something positive in each day.
  • As your life changes, so will your circle.
  • Make yourself a priority again.
  • Your presence matters here.
  • Always believe in yourself.
  • Keep faith that you will make it through.
  • Start each day with a grateful heart.

I remember when I wished for all of the things I have today. You see, I used to be a person who complained a lot. I used to see the bad in every situation and I wasn’t even grateful for my life. I was diagnosed with chronic illness at a young age, so just being able to do ordinary things was a challenge. I thought my life was over. I had so many hopes and dreams I still wanted to accomplish; but how could I now? I became very depressed because my future was so uncertain and guess what? I lost everything!

Not only did I lose my health but my job, friends, family, and the place I lived in. I hit rock bottom. Until I learned to practice gratitude there was no way I could even begin to try and rebuild my life again. Even though you may lose everything at some point, or you may be having a tough time in life; the point is it may be really hard but you will get through it. I might not feel that way, but I can honestly speak for someone who has been through more that I ever thought I could handle. Rock bottom became the solid foundation from which I rebuilt my life!


I am Grateful for:

  • Being alive! – Despite all of my health challenges, I’m still here.
  • All of my life experiences, good and bad. I learned how to become a survivor.
  • My wonderful loving friends and the family who truly cares.
  • Buying my 1st home. Something I thought I would never be able to accomplish.
  • My blog. I am able to help and reach many people.
  • Never losing hope or faith in God and myself.
  • All of the people along the way who helped me on this journey of life.




You see there is always something to be grateful for. We may not always realize it, but it’s true. Each day that you are able to wake up and take a breath is a gift!


The more you focus on gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for! I know it’s not easy, but slowly start practicing an attitude of gratitude and you will soon see your life begin to change for the better. You will not only begin to feel better, buy you will feel more positive about your situation. You will begin to feel as if you can accomplish anything.

With the new year upon us, another helpful thing I like to do is to set goals instead of new years resolutions. Maybe you want to start a business or a new hobby. Remember most people break their resolutions within the first 1-2 months of new year. Try writing down your goals instead. By writing them down, you begin to manifest them into reality. That way when reflect on the past year, you can look back at your list of goals and you will feel better about the past years accomplishments. Also don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t achieve everything on your list. There is always the next year.

I hope you find this post helpful, is so share it with friends and family or anyone who is having a tough time in life right now. Have a very Happy New Year!


The Ultimate 2021 Christmas Gift Guide For Beach Lovers

Happy Holidays beach lovers! Thanksgiving is less than a week away and that means it’s time to start thinking of holiday gift giving. It’s a good idea to start your holiday shopping early given all of the issues with the supply chain. This year I have compiled this list of affordable gift ideas for beach lovers from my personal favorite online store, Amazon. There is something for everyone on this list including Mom, Dad, Teenagers, and even the Little Ones. There are also items for those that love dolphins, mermaids and starfish. Just click on the images below to find the items.

***This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, see my affiliate disclaimer for more details.***

Shopping for anyone who is not a fan of the beach? You can check out all of the Amazon Early Black Friday Deals here!

1. This beautiful Hallmark faux seashell & seaglass ornament is a great gift idea to remember a special beach vacation. It comes prepackaged in a keepsake box and ready to wrap.

Hallmark Seaglass Ornament


2. It’s true what they say that beach days are the best days! This gorgeous photo frame make a great gift for any occasion!

Beach Days Photo Frame


3. Another awesome beach day gift, this Hallmark Keepsake Ornament is a Christmas gift for anyone who has just purchased a beach house!

Hallmark Keepsake Ornament


4. These wine glasses are a perfect gift for those who love wine and the beach!

Beach Life Set of 2 Wine Glasses


5. The Keurig Coffee maker in Oasis is a great gift for anyone with a Coastal style kitchen or someone who’s favorite color is Aqua! It has unique slim design and fits perfectly on a office desktop.

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker Oasis


6.These beautiful tea light votives adorned with seashell print make beautiful home decoration gift or décor for any beach themed event.

Kate Aspen Beach Party Glass (Set of 4) Votive Candle Holders


7. Attention Seahorse lovers! This cute tote bag is a cool beachy gift idea and perfect for summertime or all year around.

Seahorse Beach Tote Bag


8. Do you know someone who love Sea Turtles? This cute sweatshirt comes in many colors and is a great gift idea for your favorite teenager!

I Love Sea Turtles Woman’s Hoodie


8. What a an awesome tote bag for you favorite Beach Bum! This canvas tote can be used for just about anything and was created by The Aqua Cottage’s Amazon Curated collection. See all totes & gift ideas by visiting the shop page here.

Beach Bum Striped Tote Bag


9. This beautiful hand blown glass seashell figurine is a great gift and fits any beach decor!

Hand Blown Glass Conch Seashell Figurine


10. Do you know someone who loves Apothecary Jars? This amazing set comes with lids and are a great storage gift idea.

Set of 3 Seashell Handle Clear Glass Apothecary Jars


11. This beautiful turquoise Stemless Wine Glass is a perfect gift for those that love Dolphins! The creators are Veterans and are handblown, sandblasted and etched to create this tribal design.

Dolphin Stemless Wine Glass


12. This beach bag says it all! A perfectly stylish carry-all for Mom’s, Teens, or anyone who loves the beach.  Also  comes “Weekend  Vibes” style.  


13. This resin seashell wreath makes a great gift for your neighbor, friends, family or anyone who loves coastal crafted wreaths.

White Seashell and Branch Wreath


14. This delicate Willow Tree Angel is hold a conch shell in her hand listening to the sounds of the ocean. A very peaceful gift idea!

Willow Tree Thinking of You Angel


15. Yankee Candles make some of the best gifts! Give this coconut scented candle to those who love the beach!

Yankee Candle Coconut Beach Scent


16. This beautiful blue Seashorse  pillar candle holder fits perfectly into any space for beach decor.

Seahorse Candle Holder


17. Your special person can wish apon a starfish this holiday season with this beautiful glass jar gift idea.

Beachcombers Small Bottle with Pewter Starfish


18. These nautical silver ornaments are great for that special man in your life or friends and family’s first Christmas in their new home!

Nautical Silver Ornaments for Christmas Tree


19. Decorate your teenager or little ones room with this cute beach design, also make a great gift for flip flop lovers!

Beachcombers Wooden Plaque


20. Do you know a special little one who loves beach gnomes! These soft cuddly gnomes are great gifts for all ages!

Summer Beach Gnomes


21. Know someone who needs a beach day but can’t escape? This mini Sandbox is a perfect gift for Dad, a fellow co-worker or anyone who needs a little reminder of a beach vacation!

Executive Mini-Sandbox


22. This travel mug comes in three beachy cool colors and is perfect for those on the go!

Life is Better at The Beach Travel Mug


23. Give this tee to your favorite Beach Bum! It comes in men’s, women’s and several colors!

Beach Bum Tee


I hope you found this holiday gift guide helpful, if so share it and if you are looking for more beachy gift and home decor ideas I invite you to join my new Facebook Group AMAZON BEACH DECOR FINDS. As a 10 year veteran Amazon shopper and affiliate I have access to early sales and discounts! Thank you for reading and Have A Very Beachy Christmas!