Welcome to My Kitchen: Before and After

I am so excited about today’s post! If you’re new to my blog, I bought my first home last May and have been working on projects off and on since. I posted my Living Room Before and After a few months ago, and today I’m posting my Kitchen reveal!

When I first walked into the kitchen during the house tour, I knew it would be the room that would need the most change–but I couldn’t wait to make it mine!

Before

After

Dining Table | IKEA Dining Chairs | Wayfair Bar Stools | Wayfair
Dining Bench | Amazon

I LOVE the finished product! This is easily one of my favorite rooms in the house, and I love to cook and have gatherings here. The renovation was such a special part for me because so many people helped me to create the space I wanted. My parents, friends, and siblings worked so many hours in this room and I am so grateful for them and their help.

I love this little corner of cookbooks because there is meaning behind these things. The cookbooks are gifts from loved one and memorials of places I’ve traveled. The ceramic utensil holder was made in Portugal and I bought it to remember my travels there. My friends also made the cookbook stand for me at Christmas!

The four major parts of the kitchen renovation were painting, the flooring, countertops, and the backsplash. I knew I would be in this room a lot and having it fresh, airy, and bright was really important to me.

We painted all of the rooms in the house a light grey and kept the trim white. I thought this could bring a little contrast to the rooms, but also not be blank and white everywhere.

I absolutely love the new countertops and decided to go with a light grey quartz material. It’s amazing how much that change alone brightened up the whole space! I was also able to find the same existing floor tiles and one of my friends graciously (super graciously) installed it for me. Thanks, C!

For the backsplash, I chose a clear glass subway tile and light grey grout. I can’t get over how much that also changed the space! Two of my friends also installed the backsplash for me and I’m so grateful for their help. Thank you C & C!!!


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Bless X ELLE

Hi there, it’s me again and I’ve missed you! I ended up taking a longer break from blogging than I intended, but sometimes you just need to take a break and focus your attention elsewhere. I have to remind myself that my blogging isn’t something that I HAVE to do but rather it’s something that I GET to do. I’m glad that I get to be back to blogging and this space!

I’m also excited today because I get to share with you what came in this month’s Bless Box, especially since it’s a collaboration with ELLE Magazine!

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Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing Eye Cream | Retail $24.00

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Brightening and depuffing? Yes please! I have had the worst allergy eyes lately and I know that this is going to be used very quickly. I have wanted to try Sunday Riley products for a long time as well because I have heard so many good things about their brand!

Dove Exfoliating Body Polish | Retail $5.00

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I am ready for some warmer weather for sure but I’m also definitely not sure that my skin looks the best right now. This looks like it’ll be a hydrating exfoliant for getting rid of  my dry, dead skin–just in time for spring!

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara | Retail $9.49

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This came in perfect time because I just ran out of mascara! I don’t know what happened to my eyelashes but they seem to have broken off this winter–so I’m anxious to see if this formula really does help with providing some volume.

Nuun Hydration Vitamins in Grapefruit Orange | Retail $7.00

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I love these so much! I have bought multiple tubes of this product before, especially when I have been training for runs. Nuun is such a great alternative to Gatorade or other energy drinks because the ingredients are more natural, it provides extra hydration, and it also includes vitamins. All you need is a bottle of water and one of these tabs and you’re set to begin hydrating!

Ren Skincare & Now to Sleep Pillow Spray | Retail $ 10.00

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This smells like a spa and I think it’ll be so relaxing to use! I love a good pillow spray for those nights that you just feel little stressed, wound up from too much caffeine, or just can’t seem to fall asleep.

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Crushed Mineral Blush | Retail $22.00

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This also came in perfect time because the blush I have been using is getting old and probably needs to be tossed. I think this blush color is perfect for spring and because it’s a mineral powder–you don’t need much for the pigment to appear.

Hippeas White Vegan Cheddar Puffs | Retail $2.50

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These were promptly consumed following the taking of this photo. I was hangry–sorry not sorry! Hippeas are a much healthier version of other cheese puffs and they taste so good! I have eaten these before in airports when I’ve needed a snack and I recommend you also give them a try!

Hollywood Fashion Secrets Fashion Tapes | Retail $11.00

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No one likes a fashion faux pas or a wardrobe malfunction! Fashion tape is such a useful thing to have sometimes because it helps to keep everything in place, without having harsh reactions to your skin.

Lifeline Skincare | Retail $ 9.99

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I have not heard of this brand before but I’m always excited to try out new skin care products!

The most exciting thing in this month’s Bless Box though is a complementary one-year subscription to ELLE Magazine! How fun!

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Airport Outfit Go-Tos

People watching is one of my favorite things to do at the airport because you get to hear where people are coming from/going to, hear different accents, and observe a variety of airport clothing styles. I’ve seen some looks that I will remember, for sure! When it comes to traveling, making sure I’m comfortable in the clothes I’m wearing is a must. I tend to wear the same things on travel days so there’s not a whole lot of variety (or color for that matter, haha!) but here are some of my go-to looks for travel days. I haven’t linked these items in this post because some of them are old or I’ve already mentioned them–but these pieces can be found in so many similar brands that it should be super easy to duplicate these looks.

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OUTFIT DETAILS

LEATHER JACKET|Stitch Fix SWEATER| GAP LEISURE PANTS| Athleta SHOES| Target

If you’ve known me for a while then you know I just really like to wear black. No, I don’t have a dark soul but I do think that black is classy and can go with pretty much anything. Also, I occasionally spill things during flights and so it’s nice to wear things that don’t show stains, haha! I think that an all black outfit is really easy to throw on if you’re rushing around. A printed sneaker is also really cute with an all black outfit!

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OUTFIT DETAILS

JACKET| Amazon SWEATER| Philosophy LEISURE PANTS| Athleta SHOES| Steve Madden

I really like this olive jacket because it’s still a neutral color and can go with so many things, while still adding in a little bit of color. This sweater has also been so many places with me and I love how it’s oversized and soft. Throw these two things on with a pair of jeans or skinny pants and it’s a great go-to outfit. I also like these shoes because they are so easy to put on and off, especially for going through security.

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OUTFIT DETAILS

ZIP HOODIE| TJMaxx TSHIRT| Walmart LEGGINGS| TJMaxx SHOES| Target

Leggings are the best for traveling because they are so soft and comfortable. I also think you can get away with wearing them as long as you have a long shirt or jacket to go with them. I think that a hoodie, a grey t-shirt, and leggings are a great combination for so many types of travel.

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Why I’m Excited About Spring

Who here is tired of the dark, gloomy, cold weather? I am for sure and I’m really looking forward to spring. Spring and fall are definitely my favorite seasons and I think that they bring such freshness, renewal, and life. Things start to bloom in the spring, marking the end of hibernation and taking refuge from the winter. It’s time to start living again.

Reasons why I’m excited about spring:

  1. Warmer weather and sunshine. I seriously can’t wait for the days to be longer, for the sun to come out, and for the weather to just be warmer and more enjoyable. I know that I don’t live in the coldest parts of the United States, but I’m just definitely over it this year, haha!
  2. That feeling in the air. You know that feeling of going outside, taking a deep breath, and thinking “spring is coming?” Yep, that’s the feeling that I want more of. That feeling is special to me because I feel like it’s instant encouragement of “things are about to get better.”
  3. More color. Spring is a time for color! I can’t wait to see flowers start to bloom and to start wearing colorful spring clothes.  I’m really into bright yellows right now and can’t wait to wear more of that.
  4. BABIES. There’s about to be a baby-boom in my family because two of my sisters, one of my cousins, and a few of my really dear friends are all about to have babies in the next few weeks and months. I can’t wait to meet and love these precious new lives!

Are you excited about spring?? What are you looking forward to the most?

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February Bless Box

February’s Bless Box was all about self-care, self-love, and all things rosy feeling. I love that the boxes each month revolve around a specific theme and that there is usually always something new to try out in each box. If you want to see what came in the February Bless Box, keep on reading! I hope you are able to treat yourself with some self-care tonight!

Ella + Mila 7-Free Nail Polish in the shade Berry Much In Love |      Retail $12.00


I like that this brand’s formula does not have the majority of harmful chemicals that most other brands do. I am finding out more and more that a great form of self-care is to keep your body as clean as possible when is comes to the things you put in and on your body. This shade is so pretty for the spring!

Maybelline Python Metalic Lip Kit | Retail $9.99


This lip kit is definitely something different from what I normally use but I think it looks fun! The kit comes with a cream lipstick shade (on the left) and then a metallic powder that you finish the look with (on the right). This would be really fun to use if you have a special night out!

True Citrus Raspberry Lemonade | Retail $9.99

HUM Nutrition Green Superfood Powder | Retail $5.00


I have tried both of these before and they are so good! I like taking the lemonade packets with me on the go and I think they are a lot healthier for you than other drink mixes. The  superfood powder is really good in smoothies and I’m excited to try this new flavor!

NuFACE Prep-N-Glow Cloths | Retail $2.00

Pur-Lisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Eye Adore Serum | Retail $33.00


Both of these skincare items look like they would be great for traveling! The facial cloth can fit right into my purse or travel bag and will help to eliminate having to carry around some other products. I love getting eye cream samples too because they are usually just enough for one trip and they are so compact. I’m looking forward to trying these out!

Clarins Instant Light Comfort Lip Oil in Candy | Retail $10.40

Maybelline City Mini Eyeshadow Palette | Retail $9.99


This lip oil is so nice! I’ve been testing it out for the last few days and it has really helped to hydrate my chapped lips and also give a subtle hint of color. Clarins is such a luxurious brand and it’s fun to be able to try this product. These eyeshadow palettes are also so creamy, blendable, and compact. Bless Box sent all of the newest shades in a previous box, which was awesome, so I know that this will be a great gift to someone else.

Pura Vida Bracelet | Retail $5.00

Melinda Maria Amari Mini Necklace | Retail $48.00


I love simple but unique jewelry and I was really excited to receive some new items! Pure Vida bracelets are so affordable, colorful, and come in so many styles. And how cute is this gold necklace?? I know that I’m going to get a lot of use out of this necklace.

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