autumn movie night

Autumn Girls’ Movie Night

A few weeks back Stephanie tagged her friend Olivia and I both in a meme on Facebook. That led to me asking, “is it weird if I friend her?” to which she replied, “no it’s not weird at all, you should!” So I did. We all started a group chat and we both found out that Stephanie hadn’t seen Hocus Pocus. The plan for a girls’ night was on! Here’s how it went down and why I’m proud of myself for making it happen, this year especially with the chaos of everything going on.

  1. Meeting Olivia/Olive/Liv
    So as I’ve gotten closer with Stephanie, one of my roommates (and her husband Dillen) over this year, and in previous years, we have talked and bonded about having very few trusted friends. I knew that Stephanie has a best friend Olive (or Olivia or Liv) for many years who’s been a constant in her life. Olivia seems very sweet, genuine, and especially down to earth. She just got married recently and I know she works very hard and is a great, trusted friend in Stephanie. I have had a few good short conversations with her on social media and it feels like a nice natural friendship.
    She came in the door greeted Stephanie and gave me a big side hug! It was just nice and effortless. I knew she was tired from work but I didn’t mind- I just wanted to give her and Stephanie, myself included a relaxing night. As we sat at the island bar, we just chatted about our day and filled Olive in on the plan of the night, drinks, snacks, and Hocus Pocus movie and doggo cuddles.
  2. Making drinks & surprise matching cups
    So before anything began, I told them I had a surprise! I planned it a week ahead of time and I had my other friend Ashley create these gifts. So I ran into the other room and grabbed them. I surprised them with these vinyl decorated 20 oz tumblers themed with Hocus Pocus on them. They each came with a straw and a cue coffee lanyard that she also made. The back was decorated with cute facts about the movie too. Liv used hers for water right away- which made me happy that they both liked them SO much!
  3. Snacks and Hors d’oeuvres
    We started by putting the lasagna in the oven and sat out some snacks, antipasto plates. Stephanie and I made our drinks, Sangrias, and Mojitos, which turned out delicious! We sat down to start the movie, Liv and I had seen hundreds of times before along with Stephanie who had NEVER seen it. We had to rectify that ASAP! We talked through a lot of it, drank, ate, and cuddled the dogs. We got up every 30 or so mins to check the lasagna. But with a convection oven- it took a much longer time. We sat at the counter for a bit and as we did, Bouncer the naughtiest dachshund got into our cheese and ate a whole big stack of it! OOPS! I wasn’t watching them close enough and within five mins, he also decided he couldn’t wait to go number 2 in front of the back door! I was so embarrassed- so I learned they need to go out and I have to watch my food closer when it’s within reach at any point.
  4. Hocus Pocus <3
    We watched the movie and only got about halfway through before Liv had to go. Which was a bummer but okay since she and I had seen it before! It is a really cute movie if you’ve never seen it I highly encourage you to. It’s about a virgin lighting the black flame candle and bringing the Sanderson Sisters Salem witches back from the dead. It’s not scary at all. Actually, it’s quite funny and easy to re-quote. I have a sweatshirt that I wore that says “AMUCK! AMUCK AMUCK!”
  5. CBD/trying to pay for it
    At the end of the night, we showed Olivia our Man Cave/Game Room/Den, she loves it and said that her husband would be into the computers. She wanted to try some CBD that we had for sleep/back pain, so we gave her an extra pack. She tried to pay Sean for it in which she hid money in the top of a candle and said, “yeah don’t light your candles”. We laughed and it was comical, a few days later it was there, Sean still wouldn’t take it so it’s coffee money for later.
  6. Plans for the next girls’ night!
    We are so excited for the next girls night soon. I think we are planning for after Stephanie and Dillen get settled in their new place here soon. I don’t know what we’re going to do but I’m sure it’ll be fun and involve wine or doing something girly. I’m excited we could have this night together before they moved out and I got the chance to make a new friend in Olive. She is great and I hope we continue to build a friendship and talk. I’m thankful for this time most of all, the end of this year has been pretty awesome.

If you take anything from this post, I hope it is that this year isn’t over and it is NOT a waste. Every day still counts and you can still achieve things you wanted to get accomplished. Try a new hobby, get to know new people, go on an adventure, start a new job or make future plans. Don’t just call it! The

renovate upgrade

5 ways to upgrade and renovate your home

As we move into Fall and for now being a mostly at home society, I know a lot of people are doing home improvement projects. We are coming up on our first anniversary of buying our home. It really means a lot to us and I wanted to mark the date because we are pretty ecstatic that we could purchase a home at 31 years old. For a newer build, there were only a few things that had to be fixed and a couple of things we wanted to upgrade and renovate. I am here to share with you our hopes of home renovations we have already started and are planning to do.

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Photo by Vecislavas Popa on Pexels.com

Shower Renovation:

The only issue we had existing is a small leak beside our shower. The home inspector told us to get it looked at. Depending on how bad the floor and base is underneath will determine what we will do. But recently the base of the shower is creaking more and a crack up the shower wall developed. The company we hired does a base technology called WEDI system this seals and solidify the base of a shower.

They told us to pick out tiles that we liked, order them and they can pick them up. I had to hire a separate plumber to redo the pipework and nozzles. He said that is an easy job and has worked with them before. He advised doing the Delta Faucet shower systems that are then easily inter-changeable. A glass door installer will be scheduled too. It will be a mounted frameless glass door or walk-in shower, which is what we technically want. The frame is hard to keep clean and part of the leak issue we want to remediate.

New Fridge:

Appliances are important. The ice maker stopped functioning a couple of months ago and it caused an over freeze in our fridge. Then it happened over and over and over again. So we decided to replace the fridge/ice maker/water dispenser with a better model. Because of COVID-19, there isn’t the same supply of appliances made in the same volume. The hard thing about fridges is, they have to fit a certain size in cabinetry. In our kitchen, there is a wide space in our cabinetry where we have to purchase a certain size to fit. We are waiting a few extra months to be able to have a new GE Cafe one delivered. We are excited to get a new one that will match our kitchen and function better for us as well.

Office Wallpaper:

About a year ago, I found a wallpaper that I loved. It would look so good in my office, it was removable wallpaper that I can re-stick myself. It’s an Instagram account called anewall or @anewalldecor and they are pretty popular through social media. I save a few of their designs, there is one called Dark Floral Mural

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that I’m interested in. It’s a large black and white floral and I’ve seen it in the home offices and in nurseries. It’s modern and sophisticated- in a timeless way. I’m excited to put it up as an accent wall behind my desk as you walk in the room.

Side Yard Garden/Lawn:

We started on the side flower beds that had rosemary bushes and topped with bark dust and river rock. My friend Stephanie and I began by removing the old bark dust. We dug out the rockery, separating the rock to replace back around the tin tub gardens. She and I dug out some dirt to even the ground and lower the profile for the rock. we weeded and got ready for new rock to come in.

Painting Second Guest Bedroom:

The furthest side of our house, we have a smaller bedroom that we haven’t utilized yet. We’d like to make this an extra guest bedroom or lounge reading room or something like that. Painting and making the rooms slightly different is a nice way to give a variation of the rooms. I believe that paint can change the whole feel of the room. A whole new design element can change using a different color palette. This is an easy go-to for home renovations that can build value.

We are getting the yard finished up by the end of the month. Our plans are starting the shower renovation on November 10th. The plumbing the next day, and finishing it up by the time the puppy is here near Thanksgiving. We’ll wait to paint, but the fridge is also coming a few days before the shower is demoed. My main point is that I’m excited to make our house a home even more. These are several simple ways to change your space and improve the day to day quality of life.

I hope you gained some inspiration and are excited about our new projects to be underway. I will be blogging each of the home renovations from start to finish so be ready to see the changes. Be sure to repin this image and share it with friends and family.

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monthly goals

Currently October & October Goals

This week already flew by and it’s just the start of October! Oh, my goodness-can you believe it?! This year of 2020 is almost over- how has it been for you? What good things happened last month? Do things need improvement? Are there changes you can make? I have been thinking a lot about where my progress is headed.
This is just a list of things that are going on currently and I really wanted to share them with you.

reading:

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks (yes, I am still reading this) It’s a great book and I’m still enjoying it. I want to do a review of it when I’m finished reading it. Already I’ve learned so much about HeLa and her cells.

listening to:

A rainy day autumn playlist on YouTube currently, you can find the exact one here. I’ve been listening to a lot of fall-themed playlists and finding new songs I really enjoy. And a lot of Sabrina Carpenter, love her voice!

watching:

American Murder: The Family Next Door (which highlights Chris Watts who murdered his soon to be ex-wife and three kids, in cold blood) It is infuriating and heartbreaking, watch it if you want details and want to see how DUMB people can be.

eating:

peanut butter filled cheese crackers (the orange ones)- but they are delicious for a snack. Recently a lot of donuts and glazed doughnut holes.

drinking:

I’m getting in the mood for apple cider and hot cocoa but the weather hasn’t changed much here yet.

loving:

Yep, my answer is still Happy Planner. I am addicted to the layouts, stickers, dashboards, expanders, and the brand new Disney collection!

waiting for:

November. I don’t want to get farther in the year, but we have many exciting things starting in November. We have a shipment for a new fridge, a new hair appointment, and our puppy is coming nearer to Thanksgiving. We are so excited and can’t wait.

dreaming about:

my lost loved ones, it’s brought up a lot internally and I think that is a big reason why I’ve been emotional lately. It’s nice to interact with them even in my subconscious state, I miss them so.

starting:

Legos! Okay, it was a random day last week and we went Lego CRAZY. I got the Hogwarts castle and town (because hello, Hufflepuff). Also grabbed a FRIENDS show set and cast, I’m super excited to begin putting that one together. Who doesn’t love that show?! I’m totally a Rachel Green!

As far as my monthly goals go, I am getting a few of the same things done. I’ve been better in some areas and worse in others. Last month wasn’t so bad with blog goals but my personal ones fell by the wayside. Let’s see if we can do better this month! I’ll be using my planner as well to track a few of these.

Post at least 1-2 blogs a week

I’ve been doing really good at keeping a regular schedule with posts on time. Instagram has been much more of a creative outlet for me lately as I schedule them out in the Planoly app and brainstorm all my picture ideas to compile.

Read 1 chapter a night

I’ve been reading at night for a few nights now and it’s a really nice way to wind down. I’m really loving learning about science through this book and the discovery of medicine etc and the manipulation within the Henrietta Lacks case. Her personal story and the people involved in her history are fascinating as well.

Post to social media, for every blog post on FB, IG, and Pinterest

I’ve been pretty good about sharing to all my media on a consistent basis. I’m proud of myself for redesigning my old pins and re-distributing them on Pinterest.

Complete more units of SilverCloud app

Every couple of days I have been learning and studying hard on doing these modules to assist me in my mental health, grief, and daily habit building. I am finding a lot of techniques I’ve used before but they come back around to be very helpful and comforting understanding and knowing what it means.

Exercise 2-3x weekly to start walks/weight /resistance/yoga

We recently got a treadmill and I want to begin doing walk/hikes every day or every other day including some weights and resistance training. And doing Yoga movements on rest days.

Begin drafting ideas for email newsletter

I have gotten “homework” on how to begin and introduce myself to my readers and what to include in a newsletter, all my posts, extra content, my Instagram, and maybe tips of favorite moments from the week. I’m excited to restart the blog newsletter, let me know if you have one!
I still have to reconnect my opt in’s so they aren’t active yet- but they will be back in November

That’s all I have for now but if you jive with anything above, please share and leave me a comment below so we can have a conversation! What are your monthly goals and what are you doing currently?

The Meaning Behind My Tattoos

When I turned 19, I decided that I wanted tattoos. I didn’t feel individualistic, unique, or heard at all. I didn’t have preconceived notions about tattoos, I thought they were artistic and usually done well. Tattoos in my mind should symbolize something or tell a story about something meaningful, or be beautiful original art. I used to have a blog page about my tattoos and pictures of them but since I moved to WordPress and redesigned my blog, I thought a post might do the job. I can link it elsewhere in other posts too when relevant.

Here’s a peek at my ‘ink’ and why I decided to permanently mark my body several times..

Ribbon Butterfly: To me, this signifies freedom, flying away from home (symbolically but also truly). I broke up with my second serious boyfriend and I was absolutely heartbroken and angry.


In remembrance: For my dad, in memory of him. He died by suicide and it was very traumatic for me. We have a family company so I decided to honor him and his job as a trucker by getting this tattoo of the company logo and the date he passed along with the word “Daddy”. (I didn’t include a picture here because it’s too grainy and it’s bled through since then and needs to be covered and/or be redone.)


Gemini sign: This is my astrological sign. I have always read and enjoyed my horoscope for as long as I can remember. I feel like I am a two-sided individual both warm and cold. I like things done a certain way, usually my way but I’m okay with help.

Leopard spots: This one was maybe the least thought out, it was an impulse tattoo. Just because. I did want it but the quality and shop I went to- oof! Would not recommend it.


Book Quote/Wedding Date: I LOVE this tattoo and I’m so glad that it’s so visibly on my arm because I see it every single day even when I’m not trying. I will often get asked or someone will recognize the book it’s from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Great read- 5 stars. The date is our wedding date! I adore how its almost all 9’s, it hasn’t been a lucky number or anything but it’s been really repetitive in our marriage.


Rose Turtle: I wanted to get this again to honor my husband, for him, for us. We had a turtle thing going there for a while… I don’t know how it started but it just did. He liked turtles, so he got some pacific island/Polynesian turtle tattoos and then a few years later was over it. I got this turtle as a matching (symbol) to his turtle tattoos and he wrote this song when he was young called “Ballad of my red rose” (about his future wife). I loved it since I am his wife, I felt it was appropriate to get a rose adapted turtle.

Lotus flower: “Because of its unique transformation, the lotus has long been regarded as a symbol of enlightenment, purity, rebirth, and triumph over obstacles” as well as it’s said “Pink Lotus: Perfection. In Buddhism, a pink lotus represents the Buddha himself.” Which I kinda adore this whole sentiment.


Family infinity/This too shall pass: in 2012 and on, for a few years, I was personally having some rough times in my family, friends, social circles, and I was figuring out exactly what I wanted for the first time without outside influences. The quote “This Too Shall Pass” was being by me a lot around that time and I liked it and took it as a sign of sorts. Although I do think about my meaning for the ‘family infinity’ and what it means to me is, “YOU are in MY family, forever, regardless.” The people who choose to be in my life and treat me with respect will be loved and cared for every day of my life. Sometimes it’s hard when my family and I aren’t so close but this means “my family, any person who I care about”.

be still/beautiful script: I went through a period of time in my mid-twenties when I was searching for religion, faith, beliefs, and figuring out more about what I thought and believed in.

Image pulled from Pinterest.com


Triad of Triangles: Terrenal* means worldly in Spanish**

This means to me Past, Present, and Future as well as Change, Energy, and Equilibrium. I really had been thinking of this tattoo for a long time and knew I wanted a back of arm tattoo, but I wanted it low near my elbow. So that’s where it’s placed and tattooed exactly like the one above. I have gone through a lot of transformations in the past year and grown a lot of ways. I learned to take responsibility for my own faults but not accept others’ issues over and over again. When it’s time to step away, cut the cord.

So, that’s my journey in living with 12 tattoos, I love them, I don’t regret them. A few I would get touched up or reworked because it’s been so long and sun, me growing has affected those areas or the ink has bled and melted in the skin. I am very defensive of my tattoos and I do love them. I have plans to get more..

Do you have tattoos? Why or why not?

What is your favorite tattoo you have*?

What do you think of tattoos in general?

What would you get if you don’t have any?

Hi! I'm Nora

I’m a stay-at-home wife & dog-mom. I began this blog ten years ago,  I couldn’t ignore that I felt a calling to help people find comfort, a sense of belonging or a place of community whenever they really needed it. » Read more about me here on my About page!

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autumn movie night

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nora spaulding blog checklist

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