Tag Archives: my favorites

Top 10 Local Restaurants in Monroe-West Monroe

Local Favorites Restaurant Guide see more at pamelapetrus.comOne of my favorite things to do is eat. Not kidding. I think heading out to a fun restaurant could even be considered a hobby of mine. When Matthew and I travel, we make it a point to only eat at restaurants that we don’t have at home, with the emphasis being placed on places local to the area. Since we’re so focused on the culinary experience, I thought I’d share some of our local favorites here in Monroe-West Monroe. These are the places that we’d recommend to friends from out of town and we hope you’ll give them a shot too! Be sure to tell them that I sent ya.

  1. Catfish Charlie’s. Let’s face it. Louisiana is all about that seafood. While you’ll get some different flavors here in North Louisiana than what you’ll find down south, seafood is still a necessity. Catfish Charlie’s is by far my favorite fish joint. The flavors are superb, and you won’t find anything else like it in town. Matthew and I would recommend the thin and crispy catfish (Ask for just one filet if you’re not a big eater.) and the fish tacos. Although, you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
  2. Avocados. This is one of my favorite Mexican joints. The food seems to be a bit fresher and the service there is great. My favorites there are the fajitas and the super nachos. Matthew loves the carne asada and I’d highly recommend the strawberry mojito.
  3. Cotton. If you’re looking for a bit of a nicer dinner, Cotton is a good spot to go. It’s owned by Chef Cory Bahr and gets a lot of traction because of his fame in the culinary industry. Definitely get the duck wraps. I’d also suggest the Mississippi Mule if you’re searching for a cocktail. Definitely don’t forget the duck wraps though.
  4. Genusa’s. Another nicer restaurant option is Genuasa’s. With primarily an Italian flair, they offer more upscale dishes and a large wine selection. You really can’t go wrong on the menu there, and usually the chicken dishes are my favorite.
  5.  The Fieldhouse. This local joint is near the college and offers your typical sports grill vibe. There are multiple tv’s showing a plethora of athletic events and even individual tv’s at some of the booths. For the menu, I definitely suggest the tossed chicken tenders (go with the BBQ) and the homemade potato chips. The sweet potato tots are also a fav. This is a great casual, fun option for lunch or dinner.
  6. Trapps. This is one of our newer restaurant options and it’s a favorite because it’s right on the Ouachita River. If there’s a patio to sit on (especially one with a view), I’m always game. At Trapps, I definitely prefer sitting outside to look over the water. Here, I’d recommend the seafood nachos which is enough for a sizable group of folks.
  7. River & Rail. I’d recommend this restaurant primarily for the atmosphere…it’s one of the best in town. With a large patio area, nice landscaping, and rustic vibe, River & Rail offers probably the best outdoor dining option in town. It also gives a great view of the river and I could sit out there for hours.
  8. Waterfront Grill. You guessed it…another waterfront option. This one lives on the bayou near the ULM campus. If you’re lucky, you can get a window seat to see the beautiful bayou and the turtles and birds that live there. Sometimes you can even catch a glimpse of the ULM ski team practicing. My favorites at Waterfront are the crawfish cheese dip and grilled pork chops…it’s literally what I get every time. Matthew loves the Catfish Desaird, which is another local fav. Again though, you really can’t go wrong on their menu.
  9. Johnny’s Pizza. I wouldn’t be a good local if didn’t suggest Johnny’s.  This local pizza joint started here in 1967 and has since spread all over the south. When people move away from North Louisiana, they always want Johnny’s as soon as they come back home. I can’t really explain the distinction without saying, “It’s just not like other pizza.” I usually opt for the classic pepperoni and cheese sticks. However, they’re pretty famous for the Sweep the Kitchen, which includes a bit of everything. Whether you pop in to a restaurant or get it to go, a trip to Monroe-West Monroe isn’t complete without a Johnny’s Pizza.
  10. Iron Cactus. This one is a little further out of town in Calhoun. However, it’s worth the drive. It’s a quaint little place offering delicious Tex Mex. (As you can tell, I eat a lot of chips and salsa.) I love the flavors here and the menu offers some variation from typical Mexican restaurant fare. I usually keep it simple with the fajita tacos, and I’ve heard great things about the cactus roll and margaritas.

These are my local favorites! If none of the above strike your fancy, you might consider RawZ, BBQ West, or Trios. Monroe-West Monroe is known for its large selection of local restaurants, so you really can’t go wrong with any choice. I must admit, it was quite difficult to come up with a list of favorites because so many are good! If you hit up any of these favorites, be sure to let me know what you think! If I’m in town, there’s a large chance that you’ll see me at one of these.

Also, if you’re interested in a full list of options, check the restaurant page of the Monroe-West Monroe Convention & Visitors Bureau. You can also find a list of things to do and a calendar of events there!

Where to find small (and large) shoes!

small shoesLet’s start this post with a few fun facts about me.

  1. I really, really like pickles. And no, it doesn’t mean that I’m pregnant.
  2. As a kid I wanted be a horse rancher in Montana. It’s safe to say that I didn’t really understand what that meant.
  3. I cannot whistle. It’s possible that I could make some sort of a whistling sound should my life depend on it. I wouldn’t bet on it though.
  4. I have crazy amounts of adrenaline and freaky fast reflexes. If you were going to drop your baby, you’d want me standing nearby. Just sayin’.
  5. I have a tiny, tiny foot. Thank you, Mammaw Bryant.

That last one there is what brings me to today’s post topic. I have always had such a small foot. At this point, my ten year old niece wears a larger shoe than I do. Even six and seven year olds have been known to pass me up in the shoe department. What size shoe do I wear, you ask? A women’s 4.5. (That roughly translates into a kid’s 2.5 or 3, if you were wondering.) If you’re thinking that a women’s size 4.5 doesn’t exist, you’re partially right. You’ve probably seen a size 5 on a sale rack a time or too, yet I doubt you’ve ever seen a size 4 or 4.5 lingering about. What does this mean? I often have to special order my shoes.

small shoesAs you may know, I have a bit of a thing for shoes. (You can see a bit of my collection here and here.) My collection of shoes comes partly from the fact that if I ever find a pair of shoes that actually fit, I buy them. Don’t have anything to match them? Doesn’t matter. Have two other pair in a similar color? Doesn’t matter. If they fit, I buy them. Finding shoes to fit a tiny foot isn’t something that happens every day, so I purchase anything that fits, knowing that someday I will need that exact shoe and not be able to find it.

Without further ado, here are links to my favorite places for finding small shoes. If you know anyone who has a small foot, please share this post with them. I guarantee that they’ll be appreciative.

  1. Sole Society: This was one of my latest shoe-shopping discoveries. Sometimes their inventory might be a bit low in the small sizes. However, some of my favorite heels came from here, so I recommend checking their site often. If you purchase anything from this exact link I get a $25 credit, so please do that!!
  2. Nordstrom: This retailer offers quite a few styles in smaller sizes. This is actually how I stumbled upon Sole Society. Sometimes these are a bit pricier, so I recommend Nordstrom for those high-quality basics that you’ll use for years to come. This is one of the sites where you can usually find a good selection of larger sizes too.
  3. Cinderella of Boston: This was the first company that I found that made smaller shoes. Prior to finding Cinderella of Boston, I just had to get lucky and find shoes that ran small. They actually go all the way down to a women’s size 2! Some of the styles aren’t very youthful or trendy. However, they usually have a few great options each season, like these and these. I signed up for the catalog and get very excited when it arrives in my mailbox.
  4. Gap Kids: This isn’t a joke. Most of my favorite sandals come from here. Obviously, you don’t typically find heels or wedges in the kid’s department. However, their sandals are usually very cute and more adult looking than most. Actually, the sandals that I get compliments on most, usually come from Gap.
  5. Dillard’s: Dillard’s offered an “extended sizes” option several years ago. Again, you have to weed through the less-trendy styles a bit. However, sometimes you can still find a few good options. They go down to a size 4 and up to a 12.
  6. Leatherhood: I just recently stumbled upon this Etsy shop for leather sandals that are HANDMADE IN GREECE! You have to admit, that’s way cool. The prices are totally reasonable for a handmade, leather shoe and shipping costs aren’t bad either. I haven’t ordered from Leatherhood yet, though I plan to soon. If you beat me to the punch, let me know what you think!

So there you have it. I sometimes stumble upon shoes here and there that by chance fit my small foot. However, these resources are where I get most of my shoes. Having a small foot certainly comes with its own set of frustrations. For example, I usually can’t just run and go pick up a shoe to go with a certain outfit if needed. It was also incredibly frustrating when I owned a boutique because I’d order the cutest shoes and not be able to wear most of them. I have a rough life, can’t you tell?

small shoesAll joking aside, if you know of someone who has a small foot, be sure to send them a link to this post. I can promise you that they’ll be overjoyed for some new resources and will be forever grateful to you. You should also send it over to anyone who wears larger than a size 10. Those sizes are also difficult to find and several of the resources above do offer larger sizes too.

As always, thanks for reading along and if you have any other suggestions for places to find extended sizes, PLEASE leave details in the comments. I am always looking for other options, and would love to check out some new places!

(You might recognize that top photo from last week’s trip to Natchitoches!)


Happy Mail: Love

Happy Mail PackageAs you may remember, I was thrilled to be one of the first to sign up for the A Beautiful Mess Happy Mail program I’ve received three editions of the mailing so far, and I thought it was time for a little recap. I also had a bit of a revelation around this product that I figured I’d share.

Happy Mail PackageAfter sorting through mythird package, I began feeling a little discouraged. I now had several “I love you this much” and “I love you because” cards, and I felt like I didn’t have anyone to send them to. Matthew would be getting a card from me daily if I reserved all of these cards for him! Frustration began to set in because I really wanted to use these beautiful cards, but I didn’t want to give every single one of them to my husband. Then it hit me.

I love more people than just my husband.

The more I thought about it, the more that I realized how appropriate these cards were for other people in my life. Honestly, I don’t think that we tell others how we feel about them nearly enough. I know for a fact that I don’t. Sending cards are my top way of communicating. Get a card from me? It means that I care. Sending a card with a little note is how I communicate best. After some thought, I saw a way to use these fantastic “love you” cards to show people that I truly care.

I came to this realization while reading through Elise’s Use Your Stash E-course. I’m pretty sure that this course was written for me. I am the queen of holding on to things for later. I save my favorite things for a bigger and better project, which means most of these things never get used. This is especially true for greeting cards. I save the fancy cards for the perfect person/occasion, which means they usually stay tucked away in a drawer. When I signed up for Happy Mail, I made a commitment to myself to use these products. I knew that I’d want to hang on to them. I knew that it would take some self-talk and hard work to make myself actually send these items instead of keeping them to look at. I happened to be reading through the stash e-course on the same day that I received my third kit, and it was a great reminder to just send those cards!!

Happy Mail Package Happy Mail PackageHere are a few people that might like to know that you care:

  • parents and grandparents
  • siblings
  • aunts and uncles
  • friends
  • coworkers
  • your hairdresser
  • that store clerk that always brightens your mood (Hey, you might even marry them one day!)
  • your favorite barista

This list is just a starting point for the people that you could reach out to. Take some time to think about who those people are in your life that always bring a smile to your face…those people that always go above and beyond to help you. Do they know how thankful you are for them?

I love that the combination of this e-course and the Happy Mail subscription opened my eyes to ways of showing people that I care about them. I’m very excited to be sending out “I love you” cards to friends and family instead of reserving them all for Matthew. (Sorry, babe.) You can never tell someone that you care too much. You’ll most likely regret not saying “I love you” enough rather than too much.

Make it a point to tell someone that you care today! Better yet, send a few cards (or texts or emails) letting someone know that they’re loved. I guarantee that’ll they be immensely grateful, and you’ll probably make their day. If you make a commitment to show your love this week, please let me know. We can work on this together!

To-Do Notebook

Tennessee5Anyone who knows me knows that I’m pretty much always going 90 miles an hour. I seldom slow down, and I always have a million irons in the fire. As I get older, I’m trying to really get a grasp on my daily life in order to take it a little easier on myself and eliminate as much stress from my life as possible. I hope that you’ll do the same because stress is really, really bad for you.

One thing that I’ve spent the last year or so working on is mastering my to-do list. One of the major productivity methods suggests that you write down every little thing that you need to do instead of just trying to remember things. It maintains that by not writing these things down, you force yourself to try to remember them wasting valuable brain space and increasing your stress levels. Once upon a time I was the person who never used a calendar or wrote out a grocery list…I did it all from memory. I shiver at that thought now!

Throughout this process, I’ve tried several different ways of organizing my life. I’ve used list software like Wunderlist. I’ve read pages and pages on processes like the Getting Things Done method. For a while, I used a combination of methods along with Wunderlist, and it actually worked pretty well for me. However, I soon fell off the wagon and quit using my newly developed system. I no longer had a grip on my days, and I didn’t have the desire to pick my old method back up. Then, I started using a little notepad to track my daily activities, and I felt in control again. Using this little notebook to keep track of what I need to do each day has made a profound difference in my productivity and stress level. Today, I’m going to tell you a little about my current productivity system and my beloved to-do notebook.

Tennessee5First, let’s talk about my requirements for a notebook of this type.

  1. Spiral Binding: I like my notebooks to be spiral bound so they stay open easily by themselves. I can’t stand when a book closes when I don’t want it to!
  2. Size & Weight: I carry this notebook with me at all times, so it needs to be lightweight and not too large. Most of the times I prefer something around a 5×7 size…it’s not too big and not too small and can easily slip in my purse.
  3. Paper: I do not like recycled paper. (I know, shame on me.) In theory I’d love recycled paper, but in most cases certain pens and highlighters will bleed through the paper and that can make a mess quickly! The pages must also be lined…it just makes sense!
  4. Cover: The book itself needs to be very durable since I’ll be using it daily for months at a time. Furthermore, I need it to be fun and cheery. This book is what motivates me to accomplish my daily tasks every day. A boring, plain book is simply not going to do that for me.

Tennessee5-3I’m pretty sure that you don’t know many other people who are so peculiar about a notebook. You should discuss daily planners with my friend, Amanda, if you think I’m crazy! Honestly, I’ve learned a ton about productivity and organization from her, so don’t judge!

So now that we’ve thoroughly discussed my qualifications for a to-do notebook, let’s talk about how I use it. I have a few different to-do list pages. I have daily to-dos and overall to-dos. (While I’m referring to them as to-dos all throughout this post, I don’t actually use that term in my notebook. That term is known to cause some anxiety itself. I haven’t settled on another name for them yet, but “to-do” is never written in my notebook.)

The overall to-dos are things that I need/want to do eventually but aren’t time sensitive. For example, cleaning out the pantry and selecting a new rug would be on this list. These items don’t have to be done today or tomorrow, but I do want to get around to them soon. It’s important to write these sorts of things down because otherwise they’re clogging up your brain space and can cause anxiety when you suddenly remember that you needed to do something like pick up the dry cleaning. Ideally, you would transfer items from this list on to the daily lists as time permitted. You should reference this list often to be sure you’re working towards the things you want to accomplish. Be sure to understand that this isn’t the place where miscellaneous tasks go to die…it’s more like the waiting room.

Daily tasksThe meat of my to-do notebook is my daily to-do items. Each day I have a page where I write the day and date as a header. It’ll say, “Thursday, February 7th” on the top and that page will include everything that I need to accomplish on that day. One of the important things that I learned during my productivity research is to not write down big goals. Instead, your list should be full of smaller items that can be accomplished quickly. For example, your list wouldn’t include painting the bedroom. Instead, it would include taping the edges, picking a paint color, buying paint and supplies, covering furniture, etc. Nothing should go on your list that isn’t a specific action itself. Therefore, my daily lists contain items like sending a contract to a client, returning a phone call, etc. I put any and everything on there that I need to remember with the goal being to not retain any of that in my head. I even include calendar items there like “lunch with Sheila,” but that’s mainly for the satisfaction of marking it off after lunch.

Lists, lists, listsThe goal of this notebook is to keep me from forgetting important things, but it has so much more value than just that. It frees up my brain to focus on more important things than trying to remember what 17 things I had to do today. It also helps me to stay focused and productive. More importantly, it reminds me of just how hard I worked that day. I’m quite the workaholic and I struggle with guilt issues on a daily basis. When I wrap up a day with a full page of items crossed off, I can remind myself that I worked hard today and I deserve to take the evening off. I can remind myself that even though the day may have been chaotic, I still knocked it out of the park and got a lot accomplished. The value of this little notebook has surpassed what I ever thought possible, and while I may switch to another system eventually, this method knocks my socks off right now.

What system do you use to organize your to-do lists and stay productive? As you know, I’m very goal driven, so talking about productivity methods gets me excited! I’d love to hear about how you handle daily tasks…please share!

2015 Goals

Today's GoalsIt’s that time of year again….the time to set goals for the upcoming year. Once upon a time, I had a serious problem with setting “new year’s resolutions.” I talked about that a bit in last year’s goal post. As a matter of a fact, I still don’t like that term. However, I do like setting goals. 2014 was a big year for goal setting for me. I set several goals for the year. I even ended up setting goals for the month, for the last part of the year. What I learned from my obsessive goal setting in 2014 is that I love setting goals. Turns out, I respond really well when I set realistic and manageable goals for myself. I quickly learned that making these goals public gives me just the push I need to actually make big things happen. In thinking about what my goals would be for 2015, I knew that I’d end up sharing them here with you.

I actually started lining out my 2015 goals in October. Yes, that’s a tad crazy. Nonetheless, I was getting very excited about wrapping up 2014. There’s just something about the fresh start that a new year brings that gets me excited! I started getting a little carried away (too many goals), so I spent quite a bit of time trying to narrow them down and make them more realistic and specific. Remember, a good goal must be realistic and attainable. Setting a million goals for one year was neither of those things, so I had to force myself to pare themdown a bit. I decided to approach goal setting a tad differently this year, so I broke my goals down into three different categories: personal, business, and home.

Without further adieu, here are my personal goals for the year:

  1. Maintain a regular fitness plan. – My goals is to do something active at least three times per week.
  2. Be up by 6:00-6:30 every weekday morning. – I’ve never been accused of being a morning person. I tend to wake up just in time to get dressed and make it to where I need to be. (I literally count this down to the second sometimes.) Instead, I’d like to be up early enough to have a few minutes of quiet time (sipping coffee of course) before starting the madness of my day. I might have to increase my coffee intake a bit.
  3. Blog 2x per week. – This was one of my goals for 2014 too. While I didn’t quite make it, I did definitely feel like I improved on posting regularly here. I’m going to do even better this year! (Fun fact: I made 50 posts in 2014. Doesn’t that seem wild??!)
  4. Have monthly quality time days with Matthew. – We’re busy people. Sometimes finding time to really spend together is tough. I didn’t want to say “date nights” here, because some of my favorite times together are days that we take off and do something special during the day. The goals here is to be sure we disregard everything else and actually spend time together at least once a month this year.
  5. Complete three random acts of kindness per month. – Last year, I wanted to say more nice things. I definitely did better at this, but sometimes I’d forget. Life gets busy and it’s sooo easy to forget to do little things like this. This year, I want to continue trying to say nice things, as well as doing other random acts of kindness. I hope to do this at least three times per month.
  6. Volunteer 4x. – I love to help people. Sometimes that’s actually a flaw of mine…I get too involved. However, my good intentions sometime get the best of me and I don’t actually make it to helping out causes that I care about. This year, I want to be sure to volunteer my time at least four times throughout the year. Four doesn’t sound like a big number, but I know that a quarter of the year will pass before I know it, so I’ll have to be very diligent on this one.
  7. Host at least two parties/events. – There were several times throughout this last year that Matthew and I would run into old friends. I felt like we were constantly saying “we should get together soon,” and yet not actually doing it. This year, I want to be sure to host people at our home at least twice. These can be big or small gatherings…I just want to be sure to focus on spending time with thepeople we love.
  8. Replace 3 mediocre things with 3 beautiful things. – I talked about living a beautiful life before. I’ve been working hard to put an emphasis on surrounding myself with things that I love, but it’s a daily battle. This year, I hope to replace at least three things we don’t love with things that we do…big or small.

Make29 ProductAmanda  and I starting meeting in late October/early November to talk about goals for 2015. (We had regular goal tracking meetings in 2014 but sort of dropped off later in the year.) We agreed that we needed some sort of way to track our progress this year since we both love that feeling of marking something off a list. We decided that we’d create some sort of spreadsheet to track things quarterly and then meet back up to talk strategy. Then something magical happened. Elise released her December Make29 product.

I follow Elise’s blog religiously, and I think she might be the master at getting things done. (She’s releasing a Getting Things Done workbook/calendar later this year and I can’t wait to see it!) As I looked over her December product, I realized that this was exactly what I needed to track my goals for this year. As soon as it was available, I purchased the PDF and began printing sheets for each of the items that I wanted to track. I knew that I might get a little carried away (with too many sheets tracking too many things), so I decided to combine some of the smaller, more yearly items on one sheet. For example, I have just one sheet for all of my home goals. (More on that later.) If you’re looking for a way to track your goal progress in 2015, I highly recommend purchasing this file. It’s a mere $4 to get an instant download that you can print as many times as you need.

I ended up with eight sheets tracking some of my personal, home, and business goals. I envision these being marked up, tattered, and stained (most likely with coffee) by the end of the year, and if that’s the case, I’ll be thrilled. I love how these trackers focus on the big picture. You can miss days here and there. Not every circle has to be filled. Instead, the goal is to see that you have 365 days to work towards something. If you fill in even half of the circles, that would be an amazing accomplishment! If you feel overwhelmed by goal setting, pick a few simple goals, purchase these sheets, and then begin chipping away at it one little bubble at a time.

It’s not too late to set a few simple goals for this new year. After all, it doesn’tmatter when you start working towards something….it only matters that you do start. What are you hoping to accomplish this year? I’d love to hear about your plans. I have a feeling that it’s going to be a great year!


Thankfulness (6)My sweet friend Amanda made a post this week about the miscellaneous and trivial things that she was thankful for, and it made me think of similar things. I started a category here on the blog for posts to focus on thankfulness and point out things of that nature…things that truly make my life more pleasurable but aren’t your average, everyday items to be grateful for.

Thankfulness (5)Of course, we’re all thankful for our homes and cars and food and heat. We do tend to take those things for granted, but I wanted to this post to be about something smaller. Something not so fundamental that brings a tremendous amount of joy to my life. I couldn’t have made this post in a timelier manner, as I just received my first delivery of Happy Mail. You guessed it…the thing I’m thankful for today is STATIONARY!

Thankfulness (3)I mentioned my love of paper products in the post about our moving announcements, but I didn’t mention how truly thankful I am for having beautiful/funny/witty/thoughtful pieces of stationary to send to my friends, family, and clients. The release of the A Beautiful Mess Happy Mail program might have been the happiest day of my life. Ok…I’m exaggerating a bit, but seriously. I was SO. EXCITED. I was also literally bummed when I realized that my first kit would arrive while we were in Nashville. I couldn’t wait to get home and open it to start planning what I’d use these beautiful products for. This post is filled with photos of the first month’s items, but feel free to watch their video if you’d like more details.

ThankfulnessAs I was thinking about being thankful for the small things, I pulled all of these new cards/items from the gorgeously designed mailer, and this post was a no-brainer. I am truly thankful for having access to such beautiful items, and I’m thankful to have the money to purchase them. I’m thankful for a husband that lets me sign up for programs like Happy Mail. I am thankful for having wonderful people to send these sorts of things too. I am thankful for a career in which I can use personal touches like this to grow my business. I am thankful to be able to show people that I care about them with heartfelt cards. I am also incredibly thankful when I receive mail like this myself. (Send me some!) I can spend hours and hours browsing the isles of stationary and journals, and I’m so thankful that people design such wonderful things.

Thankfulness (4)Cards are how I show people that I care. They’re how I say things that otherwise might go unsaid. They’re how I try to brighten someone’s day or how I send support. Granted, this is a bit unconventional for a Thanksgiving Day post. However, I thought this would be a perfect time to share just how thankful I am for items like these that bring joy to my everyday life. I also took this opportunity to really explore what paper products mean to me. I know that I love them, but I hadn’t thought much about why. (See above.) Today, while I’m thankful for my family/friends/home/career/stability, I’m also thankful for paper products and the opportunity to receive a delivery of new items to my mailbox every month. Thank you, A Beautiful Mess!

Thankfulness (2)P.S. If you want to get on my random-card-receiving mailing list, send me your address!

P.S.S. Here’s a link to what Matthew and I were doing last Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Moving Announcements

Moving Announcements(1)A few weeks ago, Matthew and I mailed moving announcements with our new mailing address on them. The first set of announcements was sent to our family and friends. (If you didn’t get one, it’s because I don’t have an address for you. Send it over!) I mailed these announcements for a few reasons.

  1.  I love paper products and cards, so I’ll take any excuse to mail something of the sort.
  2. I wanted to announce/celebrate the purchase of our first home together.
  3. I wanted everyone to have the new address to make it easier for them when sending Christmas cards, shower invites, large sums of money, etc. (Kidding on the money, but please feel free to send some our way.)

This card was designed by the talented Nicole Meares at The Fletching Co. (Here’s the link to the actual product listing.) After Nicole finished the design, I had the cards printed locally at Associated Business Printing, and I ordered brown kraft envelopes on Amazon.

After mailing these to friends and family, I decided that it would be nice to mail them to my new neighbors, as well. I thought this would be a nice way to introduce ourselves and at least give the neighbors an idea of who we are. We’ve had a chance to meet a few people on our street but not many.

For this set of cards, I felt like there needed to be something else in the envelope. If they read the card closely, they’d be able to tell we were the new kids on the block by the address. However, I wanted to make it a little easier for them to determine why they were getting this card. I decide to include a little cutout that said “Howdy New Neighbor!” This cutout would go in front of the card in the envelope, so anyone who hadn’t met us yet would have an indication of why they were receiving a moving announcement from a stranger.

Moving Announcements(2)I must say, this might have been the most exciting part of this project for me. I used the A Beautiful Mess app to design the cutout and printed it on a dark orange card stock. My assistant cut them into little squares, and we were ready to mail! Isn’t that little guy the cutest?! There weren’t as many of these as the friends and family cards, so we hand addressed them and used this stamp for the return address. (Bo was incredibly easy to work with when ordering my address stamps, by the way. Highly recommended!)

Side note about the cards: Someone mentioned once that they’re jealous because I send out different cards and things like this. They said they felt like I “had it together” and they didn’t because of this. That’s definitely not true, and I never send out cards and such with the intention of making someone feel bad. Instead, cards and stationary are my thing. It’s what I love to do. I will almost always find time to do things of the sort because it’s my favorite. However, you’ll likely never receive a gourmet cupcake from me and there will always be shoes on the floor in every room of my house. The fact that I send out fancy holiday cards or moving announcements (which most of my friends had never heard of) isn’t intended to make anyone feel inferior. When you see someone doing things that maybe you aren’t good at or don’t care about, just remember, their thing is different from your thing, and you’re likely kicking their tail in some other area of life. Last week’s post on starting a family kind of touches on this. We’re all different but wonderful, so never forget how fantastic you are in your own way. You don’t have to send out moving announcements to rock at life.

Moving AnnouncementsI’m not kidding when I say that I’ve love, love, love cards and projects like this. I’ve been looking at Christmas card designs for months, and I may even be sending a few Thanksgiving cards this year. Did you ever have that aunt or grandmother that sent everyone a birthday card? That’s totally me…except I’m not doing too good in the birthday department yet. But a random St. Patrick’s Day card? I’m your girl. I actually just signed up for Happy Mail, and I’m so pumped! The thought of getting new cards and stationary in the mail every month makes me so excited. Most of you probably get make up. Not me. Give me all the cards!

Have you seen any other unconventional reasons for mailing cards? I look for any excuse to mail something fun, so if you see something interesting, please send the idea my way!

Update: Check out the sweet card we got from a neighbor in response to these announcements!

My Favorites: Makeup Edition

favorites makeup ed5If you would have asked if I would share anything about makeup or beauty products on this blog, I would have probably laughed at you. I kind of want to delete this post right now because I feel so silly. With the exception of shampoos, beauty products and makeup are not really my thing. I have never been the girl with tons of products and a makeup bag full of options. Ulta stresses me out a little, and to be honest, I don’t even know what to do with most of that stuff. I suppose that I show my personality through clothes and accessories instead. However, I’ve come across a few products that I love lately, so I thought I’d share. You can mark this in your calendar as the day Pamela got a fever and decided to talk about makeup.

favorites makeup ed3Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Waterproof Mascara: Amanda introduced me to this mascara a while back. Since then, I’ve tried 6 or 7 other options (including the non-waterproof version of this same one) and none of them have even compared. I love the simplicity of this mascara…it goes on smoothly and doesn’t clump. (I HATE clumps.) Also, it doesn’t flake off as the day progresses. One of the options that I tried would leave little black specks on my cheeks or in my eyes as the day went on. Not cool.

favorites makeup ed2L’Oreal Visible Lift Eye Concealer: I just recently discovered this concealer after reading about it on a blog. I usually scroll past those makeup posts, but for some reason, I read this one. Honestly, I haven’t even worn concealer for years. By years I mean since high school. I know, I know…all of you people with the fabulously applied makeup and contoured cheeks are probably screeching. So sorry! Even though I haven’t worn concealer in years, I’ve been searching for something to help under my eyes. They’re pretty much always a purple-blue color regardless of how much sleep I’ve gotten. When I saw the post about this concealer, I loved that it was made just for eyes and that it came in a cool little roller tube. I definitely don’t want anything to complicate my process any, so the simpler the better here. After using this product for a few weeks, I can report that I LOVE how easy to apply it is and how it’s not the least bit cakey-feeling. (I know that’s not a word. You totally know what I mean though.) It blends well and covers up my dark circles wonderfully. I even rub it on my eyelids for a little extra coverage.

favorites makeup edMake Up Remover Wipes: I mainly wear waterproof eye makeup, so I need something to remove that in the morning. I’ve been a long term Mary Kay user and have always kept their remover in stock. However, after forgetting to order more, I had to find another, what I thought was temporary, option at Walgreens. Since then, I’ve tried a few different options and have settled on two products that I really, really like.

1. Neutrogena Hydrating Towelettes: I just recently tried this version of the Neutrogena wipe and it’s by far my favorite. (I’ve tried all of their waterproof options, including the grapefruit which smelled amazing but was too harsh on my skin.) I tend to have dry (and sensitive) skin so the hydrating formula works well for me. I absolutely love how my skin feels after using this wipe. I also really like the smell of this formula. I hate eye make up removers that are greasy feeling, and this one seems to do a good job of removing the makeup and hydrating my skin without leaving behind that greasy feeling. I can’t say that I won’t go back to the Mary Kay version at some point, but I definitely love this new option.

2. Pond’s Evening Soothe Towelettes: I’m also in love with these wipes that I use for cleaning my face before bed. If I’m completely honest again, for many years past high school, I didn’t even wash my face at night. I know, I can hear your gasps! I’ve always had pretty decent skin so I didn’t really feel like I had to. I shower in the mornings, so I just take my make up off then. I finally came to the conclusion that I could have even better skin if I’d go back to washing my face before bedtime. I stumbled upon these nighttime wipes, and I love so much about them. I love the quilted texture of the wipe and the smell. Lots of smells trigger my migraines, so I have to be careful. This one is light and easy but has a nice, clean smell to it. After using these for a bit, I’ve started to associate its smell with bedtime, so I begin to relax once I use them. This isn’t a wipe for waterproof makeup. Since I remove my eye makeup in the mornings, this is only for my skin.

As I mentioned above, I’m pretty shocked that I’m even posting something here about makeup/beauty products. I definitely wouldn’t say to expect a new one anytime soon! However, I’ve really come to love these four products and thought I’d share with you guys. These are all relatively inexpensive products that can be found at your local pharmacy or Target. If you happen to try any of them, please let me know what you think!

My Favorites: Blazers

When I’m “all about” something, I’m “all about” it. Take colors for instance. If I’m shopping, I’ll gravitate to one color all day. If it’s gray, everything I notice, look at, and want will be gray that day. During my last shopping adventure, the color of the day was teal. Absolutely everything I wanted was a pretty blue color.BlazersThe same thing happens with trends. My favorite right now is blazers. If you follow my fashionista board on Pinterest, you’ll see that the majority of outfits I’m pinning include a blazer of some sort.I think my new obsession with blazers comes from my desire to bring my wardrobe to a dressier level since launching my real estate career. My favorite look right now is tattered jeans, heels, and a blazer with a big, chunky necklace. I haven’t mustered the courage to wear tattered jeans to work yet, but it might be happening in the near future.BlazersThe funny thing about the blazers I’ve acquired lately is that several of them even have shoulder pads! I’ve never been a fan of them in the past, but for some reason, I’m liking them lately! Basically, I can’t get enough of blazers in all colors, styles, and patterns. I’m looking forward to slightly cooler Louisiana weather so I can wear them without risking a heat stroke.


Left to right: cream lace and denim polka dot (TJ Maxx), navy floral (Gap), red/orange (Kohl’s) 

My other fashion obsession right now is leather. (Faux, of course!) I’ve only invested in one leather-trimmed item so far, but I’d expect to see some leather items from me very soon!
What are your obsessions lately?? I want to hear about them!

Little Changes, Big Differences: Scarf Organization

This post is the beginning of a series of posts called “Little Changes, Big Differences” where I’ll show how tweaking small things in your home can make a big difference.

My first project for this series is tackling my scarf storage. Owning a boutique where we’re known for our scarf selection means one thing: I have a ton of scarves. One of the main questions we get in the store (after how to tie scarves), is how to store them. Here’s how I’m currently storing mine, beginning with a before picture.

Bad scarf storageI mentioned before that I turned a spare bedroom into a giant closet. This project is still a work in progress, so it’s not exactly the fashion oasis that I’m hoping for, but we’re getting there. As you can see, my scarves are hanging on rods on the wall. I like to hang them so everything can easily be seen. I love seeing how pretty they all are, and I like the color it adds to the room. Even if you don’t have a closet room like I do, you can still hang scarves with a rod on the back of a closet door or back or side wall of your closet.

To hang these scarves, I used silver bars from Ikea. As you can see from the picture, the system wasn’t working. The problem was that the bar wasn’t far enough off of the wall for me to be able to easily hang the scarves. The thicker scarves barely fit through there, and when I was in a hurry (always), I wouldn’t have time to fight with them. In turn, the scarf wall ended up look like this crazy mess. Not good.

If a system or storage function isn’t working in your home, CHANGE IT. Spend a few minutes thinking about what the problem is and usually a small amount of effort and/or money can remedy your problem and makes things work more smoothly for you.

Since I determined that the bars were too close to the wall, I decided to replace them with actual curtain rods. We’ve used curtain rods on a wall at Salt & Pepper before, and it worked wonderfully. I already had these rods so this update didn’t cost me anything, but you can get similar ones at Ross for under $5. These were $3.99! After installing the new curtain rods, I have more room to slide the scarves in, making it much more feasible for me to keep it tidy.

(Shopping tip: I actually get most of my curtain rods from Ross, because they have really nice ones for amazingly cheap prices. Obviously, the ones that I’m using for this wall aren’t the “really nice ones,” but I needed smaller ones with a yellow tint for a different project, and they’re coming in handy for this project too.)

New scarf storagenew scarf storageAgain, making a small change, such as this one, can sometimes make a big difference in the overall function of a space. If you’re looking to make your home less cluttered and more functional, be on the lookout for areas like this where you can make a small adjustment and in turn create a better environment.

Do you have any areas that aren’t working for you in your home? Tell me about them…I might can help!

See more from my closet room here!