Easy Patio Makeover

But really tho – my patio was in desperate need of a makeover. I (like everyone else) am spending an inordinate amount of time at my home. With this time, and early childhood exposure to HGTV, I’ve decided to make my home feel more luxurious – but without spending a ton. For my early 2000’s HGTV babies think “Design on a Dime” vibes.

We are starting off this quarantine extreme home makeover with my most under utilized space – the patio!

BEfore

Before I started this adventure we already had a two top table from Bed Bath & Beyond and I had ordered this planter from Tractor Supply (highly recommend looking for planters at feed and farm stores).

Here’s a vlog with a before and after of building the planter

What I Bought for the Makeover

To keep this process cheap I went a little wild on Amazon. Here’s what we got!

*Links marked with an * are affiliate links meaning that if you click through them I get a small monetary kick back.

Solar Lights

If I cannot go to Disneyland – I will make my own. We have a cute little railing on our balcony so I ordered string lights to stick on the inside ledge.

https://amzn.to/2M4B0pC *

For some additional glow I also ordered these Orchid Solar Lights to stick in the empty pots I have out there (these pots used to house some dear house plants that I have over watered out of quarantine boredom).

https://amzn.to/2B81Efr *

And, of course, we needed a light for the table so I found this solar friend to make our patio lighting complete – for now.

https://amzn.to/3c6ymun *

PLanters

Like I mentioned earlier the big wooden planter is from Tractor Supply but my smaller plant pots are from Amazon.

This is a link to my indoor/outdoor black planter (they also have some cute ones in white!)

https://amzn.to/2AcQG7A *

Here’s one similar to the purple one I have out there as well!

https://amzn.to/3c06DeB *

I’m also adding planter boxes to the ledge that I want to fill with wild flowers. These are the planter boxes I’ve ordered. I’m planning on only using the three bottom ones because I think the top one will blow off our balcony in the wind but it would be super cute sitting on the ground!

https://amzn.to/2Ag38n5 *

Odds and Ends I Overlooked

I’m going to be completely honest with you all. Initially, when I ordered things I forgot a crucial item – hooks to hang my lights up with. I also went down a deep dive rabbit hole of storage options for my outdoor closet so here are a few of my favorites!

Command hooks! I love these things. I use command stickies to hang art, hooks, small mirrors, anything and everything. These are the ones that I got for our lights.

https://amzn.to/2yAsN9H *

Storage boxes are another guilty pleasure of mine. I’ve had these since I lived in my sorority house in college and they’re still in decent shape. I now use them for costume, Christmas, or other random storage.

https://amzn.to/2X31HkT *

My personal favorite – my elephant watering can for my plant friends! I may not be able to pull off Martha Stewart levels of elegance but I can add a lot of whimsical elements!

https://amzn.to/2X5pGQH *

Want to see the finished product? Be sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel to check out the vlog next week so you can get a patio makeover update. I’m slowly but surely adding to the patio as we go. Next steps are finding a perfect rug and maybe some additional plants (maybe a tomato?) or a mini fountain! The keys to keeping things like this affordable are to shop around and buy in moderation slowly over time. So I’ll continually update you all as I add more to it!

Suggestions? Thoughts on what rooms I should do next? Leave them in the comments!

It’s Ok to Quit

Today I wanted to switch up the format a little and start a conversation around a subject very dear to my heart – it’s ok to quit.

Last week I told you that it’s ok to try something new and suck at it. This week I want to balance that out with another permission – quitting.

Even if we’re good at something – it’s still ok to quit. Regardless of the number of hours we’ve put into something – it’s still ok to quit. When something truly doesn’t resonate with us we are allowed to (dare I say even encouraged to) let that ishh go.

It’s OK to Quit!

It’s Ok to Quit Books You Don’t Enjoy

Think about a book you’ve read that you thoroughly did not enjoy. For me, that book is The Goldfinch. Halfway through reading the book I knew I was not going to enjoy the rest of it – yet I kept reading. Why? 

Because society had told me the book was “good”, the book was well written and I felt like it was important to finish what I started. In reality, all I did was waste my own time. 

Was the book well written? Absolutely. Do a lot of people like the book? Absolutely. Did finishing it change how I felt about the book? No, it just made me dislike it more. I should have told myself that it was ok to quit halfway through the book.

Not enjoying something or quitting something doesn’t make it bad – it just makes it not for you. 


So just in case you need this: you can quit books you don’t like.

Good for Her, Not for Me!

This brings me to my favorite nugget I got from Amy Poehler’s book Yes, Please! “Good for her, not for me”.

I find this quote SO empowering. Not only does it apply to EVERYTHING we could possibly judge someone else on but it validates all parties. 

An example of a “good for her, not for me” moment would be career paths. My mother is a teacher of small children. Personally, I find small children exhausting after more than an hour or so. I love kids but I would opt out of spending all day with them. My mother LOVES what she does and she does it with the patience of a saint. Educating the youth – good for her, not for me. 

When we say this phrase we are taking the judgement and the comparison piece out of acknowledging our differences. Things that are not for us are not wrong – they just aren’t for us. 

Other people’s’ actions may not resonate with us but we don’t have to feel negatively towards them about it.

What Happens When We Decide It’s Not Ok To Quit

When we read a book we don’t enjoy all the way through we exert more energy into reading something we dislike than we would have if we had just let it go. Negative emotions love to come around when we force ourselves into doing things that don’t resonate with us. 

Society and the pressure we put on ourselves to meet society’s expectations convince us that we have to follow through on EVERYTHING which is absolutely exhausting. 

When we force ourselves to do things we harbor toxic emotions around them. Usually these emotions stem from the following: 

Tricking ourselves into thinking we enjoy something we don’t resonate with. 

Finding so many little moments of fun that we think we resonate with something when we do not. 

Forcing ourselves through it like a bulldozer. 

None of these are “bad” or “wrong”. Sometimes we have to do things that don’t resonate with us for our safety or health. But these take up a lot of extra energy and when the majority of our time is spent dealing with them they can leave us feeling pretty drained. I’ll give you a couple examples of how these can be a waste of energy below.

Tricking ourselves into thinking we enjoy something we don’t resonate with 

For me, this manifests in crowded bars and clubs. I used to love to go out with my friends. Sweaty dance floors, cheap drinks, sticky bathroom floors. One night I was out with friends and I looked around and realized I was miserable. I no longer wanted to wait in lines to use gross bathrooms or throw myself at the bar to get a drink. What I truly enjoyed was having fun with my friends, socializing and having nice drinks. It took me years to untangle my mind from the idea that I liked “going out”. It stopped resonating with me. So I let it go. Now I only go out to bars that aren’t crowded, sticky and actually make good drinks.

Finding so many little moments of fun that we think we resonate with something when we do not. 

My first post college temp job was as a legal assistant at a small law practice. I absolutely hated it. The lawyers were nice, the job had a really cute office dog and I made good money but it was not for me. I am not a formal wear kind of gal, I did not enjoy talking to judges on the phone and I really hated talking to potential or current clients. Because of the office dog, great location by downtown and the freedom to take mid day walks to the court house I convinced myself I liked enough of this job to stick around. In the end I think I only made it 6 weeks before resigning but I definitely would have left earlier had I not gotten lost on my silver linings hunt.

Forcing ourselves through it like a bulldozer. 

Drag your ass through it. For this I always think of must do items: group projects, reading books for school. Sometimes we have to put on our just get it done hats BUT it takes so much energy and effort to go through life like this. 

In all of these examples I gave up my negotiation power and my authenticity. I lied to myself to make our “truth” easier for society to digest. By doing this we put in so much extra energy when instead we could be practicing ease. 

Quitting Allows for Ease

Ease is surrendering to who we really are. It helps eliminate the extra effort. It helps us find flow and be more creative. 

When we practice ease we surrender. We do things that align with who we are. Hard work might still be needed to reach our goals but there is a lightness, a joy, a state of flow to it. Ease let’s our obstacles become opportunities for growth instead of roadblocks. 

When we quit what doesn’t serve us we make room for what does. We make room for what makes us happy. 

So if something is truly bringing you down “Let it Go”!

I hope this inspires you to get in touch with your wants and release something that isn’t helping you be your happiest you. 

Need help getting your life organized or making a major life change? Reach out to butreallythocoaching@gmail.com and we can chat 1×1 options.

Love you!

*I am not a medical professional. Please work with a certified professional when it comes to your physical and mental health.

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Holiday Gift Guide!

Holiday gift guide with sustainability in mind!

I can already hear the jingling of bells and the deep belly laughs of jolly St Nick. While that happy fella brings me joy I can’t help but feel a tiny twinge of panic when I think about all the holiday shopping ahead. Holiday shopping alone triggers anxiety for many but our current consumerism habits are also killing the planet. Because of this, I’ve set myself the North Pole high bar of shopping with sustainability in mind. How am I going to do this? Well, I’ve got a plan. 

A trip is the perfect present for someone who’s love language is quality time!

Give the gift of an experience! 

This year I have lucked out and my immediate family has decided to take a holiday trip to Disneyland & Universal Studios (in a hybrid Camry for brownie points). On a smaller scale, I love the idea of giving the gift of a trip to a museum, zoo, aquarium, or theater show. I think this is a great idea for children and adults. I can honestly say I do not remember most of my Christmas gifts as a child but I do remember seeing the Nutcracker in SF as a little girl. 

Shop Sustainable and Socially Conscious Brands 

I’ve done a couple posts about sustainably conscious brands (LINK) but a few of them are: Everlane, Wholesome Culture, Reformation, TALA, and Patagonia. These items are higher quality, last longer, and each of the brands has a focus on reducing the damage caused by the fast fashion industry. 

A prayer plant is a perfect present for the experienced (or inexperienced) plant parent

House Plants for the Holidays

As we all know, I’ve lost myself to the world of plant moms and I am loving it. Plants make an excellent gift, are fun to pick out, and can be a gift that keeps on giving for years to come. Companies like Bloomscape make it easy to have plants delivered nationwide. Bonus points if you swap out buying flowers for centerpieces and replace them with live plants – its a sustainable gift that keeps on giving. 

Used Books are the best Holiday Gift!

I love books. My Christmas list is filled with requests for books (some older and some new) and I love having a book to carry around over a Kindle. If someone on your shopping list requests a book that has been out for a while, visit your local used book store and see if they have a copy you can buy. This act supports a local business and provides a book a new home! 

I hope this helps! Even though the idea of shopping for friends and family while trying to not kill the planet is even more daunting than the idea of delivering presents to every kid worldwide (honestly, Santa, how do you do it) I’m making it my mission this year. Let me know if you give it a try – even a little effort helps! 


But Really Though, I’m Addicted to Plants

Welcome to my Apartment Gardening Adventure!

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I have a plant problem (read: addiction). What started as a few succulents and an annual purchase of a mini Christmas tree at Trader Joe’s has rapidly morphed to a collection of green children.

I think this might all be my mother’s fault. She is a plant fanatic and has an amazing garden. She has gone so far as to dig up bulbs from my grandmother’s garden to plant at home. Then again, maybe she got it from her mother and we are just a family with an affinity for horticulture. Either way, I’m all in on plants. 

My new children are: 

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Prayer plant & my new favorite candle from Bath & Body Works.

Prayer plant: my Granny always had one of these in her back bedroom and I was mesmerized by the movement it makes throughout the day. It is also pet friendly which makes it perfect for our home. 

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I solely picked this plant based on it being dog friendly & pretty. No regrets.

Tradescantia Zebrina: I found this plant on Bloomscape and it just looked fun. I’m a big fan of its purple leaves. It’s also happy with low light and is pet friendly so another win in our book. 

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Found this snake plant at my local nursery where I accidentally bought more fertilizer instead of potting soil…

Snake plant: recent purchase but another pet friendly houseplant. I liked this guy because he was little enough for a shelf but long enough to make a statement. I purchased him at our local nursery. 

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House plant in the back with my poor sweet marigold & vinca prior to their untimely demise.

Houseplant: honestly no idea what this guy is called but I like how he looks. I do not think he is pet friendly so he lives up on the bathroom counter where corgi paws cannot reach.

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Fun fact: my first orchid fell in a toilet and continued to live for another year..they are resilient af.

Orchid: I usually buy an orchid every time we move. The last one we had was from a farmers market and died during the SB fires but this one seems to be doing just fine.  

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Pearls on the far left, Trader Joe’s succulents in the middle and poor marigold & vinca prior to their demise due to me buying the wrong potting soil.

Succulents: My only, surviving, outdoor plants right now. They prefer to be ignored and honestly that’s the best kind of plant in my opinion. 

Pearls: they get their own honorable mention because they are so fun looking. 

Lavender (not pictured): I joined our local nursery and bought a lavender…Brenton then dropped it on its head but one week in its looking okay! I’ll give an update once we know if I have killed it with my plant murdering brown thumb in a week or so. 

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Prior to its untimely death this is my marigold.
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And here is poor, dying vinca.

Vinca & Marigold: These were the cutest flowers I bought but they did not survive. See photos for evidence. 

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Famer Herman checking on his crops.

Honestly, houseplants are the best. I set a weekly reminder to water my houseplants & succulents and occasionally spray them with water if they look a little dry. I’m loving how the greenery improves my mood and that they help clear the air in the house. Any suggestions for what plants I should try next? 

Use Your PTO

I beg you, please, use your PTO. 52% of employees in the US have unused vacation time.

The American workforce wants to feel like they are the most productive, hardworking and successful which is totally normal BUT we are going about it in the wrong way. The work martyr is not the best employee. Extra time spent working, plugged in, generating ideas, or sitting in the office does not equal a more productive workforce – it leads to a burnt out, exhausted, less productive society. As human beings we need sleep, time to reset (meditation) and food to be productive. We cannot pour from an empty cup; as a society so we must TAKE OUR VACATION DAYS.

I know, taking your PTO can be a pain. What if you miss an important decision or you come back to hundreds of emails that you need to sort through? After looking into the research behind taking vacation the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

Employees who experience burnout are more likely to make a costly decision. Unfortunately, 26% of employees are experiencing burn out according to the American Institute of Stress. Why are burnt out employees more likely to make major mistakes? Because they are unable to break out of their day to day to remember the little details. Research shows that around 95% of our thoughts are repetitive. We get so caught up in our day to day and our “must do” lists that our brains automatically switch in to auto-pilot. Think about a time you were going to break out of your routine and stop by the store on the way home from work. Did you stay present long enough to remember to stop by the store or did your auto-pilot kick in and you ended up in your driveway without the groceries you meant to pick up? Odds are good that if you have taken time off to reset and recharge you remembered to stop – but if you have been overworked you may have missed your opportunity. (Meditation is another great tool for keeping burnout at bay but vacations are just as important!)

Another reason to take time off is to recharge your creativity. If you travel you are more likely to feel inspired and generate more creative ideas. Also travel, even domestically, has positive effects on both physical and mental health. Even taking time off for a staycation helps increase creativity and build more gray matter in our brains. The more time we can spend breaking from our routines the better we can innovate once we return to our routines.

Have I convinced you to take time off yet? Tell me where you want to take your next trip to in the comments below!

I’m a Gamer

Okay, so I lied. I am not a huge gamer, especially when it comes to single player games, but recently I’ve fallen in love with Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee! on the Nintendo Switch.

As I mentioned before, I’m not good at playing alone. If I am going to do a solitary activity it is usually passive. My favorite solitary activities are reading, taking baths, watching Youtube and scrolling through Instagram when I should be doing something else. Doing something interactive with a computer is not usually my jam I would much rather hang with humans (or Herman).  

Normally, when I play video games I get stressed. The gamer life is not ideal for my anxiety ridden self. Having to make real time decisions in a virtual world is overwhelming; isn’t it bad enough we have to do that in reality? As a pacifist in reality and virtual realities, I would much rather watch someone play a fighting game then play it myself.

But lately, this has all changed. I’ve become a Pokémon addict (dare I say, MASTER). Granted, I think a lot of my enjoyment comes from the sense of nostalgia since I loved watching the show as a child. But within DAYS of purchasing the game I had spent well over 24 hours with my Eevee. In true gamer style I struggled to put it down. I managed to find the game relaxing, entertaining and methodical much like the old Pokémon games we all played on Nintendo

What makes this game so calming to me is that battles are all turn based, meaning that I have time to plan my next move instead of just pressing random buttons and hoping I manage to hit my opponent. I find the story, especially the time spent exploring the cities and talking to other characters, engaging and exciting. My favorite part of the game is going on mini adventures to help townspeople in the places my Eevee and I visit.

There’s also a charming method to the game. In every city Eevee and I visit, we explore, go to the Pokémon gym and get a new Pokémon. The method to completing the game is very intuitive and it is literally impossible to do it wrong.My favorite aspect is that you can PET YOUR EVEE and it will give you presents. It’s like having a tamagotchi that doesn’t need to be fed or a furby that doesn’t yell at you to rock it to sleep in the middle of the night. I named my Eevee Herman, after our dear sweet corgi boy, and nothing brings me more joy than simultaneously petting Herman irl and Herman the Eevee at the same time.I will note that this game is designed for children which makes it the most fun for adults like myself who are not well versed in the video game tricks.

I am absolutely loving this game and struggle to put it down each night. I highly recommend this game to anyone who wants to try video games but isn’t ready for something fast paced. If you’re in possession of a Nintendo Switch and want something mellow and enjoyable give this a try and let me know what you think. Now I got to go, Herman needs some virtual pets!