3/22/17

Dream Come True: My New, Big, Lush Plant—No Green Thumb or Upkeep Required


What's one thing that your house or decor is missing?  For me, the answer is plants. You see, I lack a green thumb.

Last year, I tried to grow herbs on my kitchen window sill. Apparently, I over-watered. A couple years before that, a co-worker gifted me with her pretty desk plant when she landed a new job but couldn't take the plant home since it was not safe for cats. I had no cats at the time, but the plant didn't live very long in my apartment. There was also that time I had a fuzzy little succulent. I don't remember what happened to it. The only plant I ever managed to keep alive for a good length of time was a lovely orchid, but it succumbed to the cold when I made the move from apartment to our house last spring.

What lovely plants! Too bad they'd die in my abode. :(

When scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest, I turn green with envy at the sight of rooms with beautiful plants just hanging out all lush and healthy-like. I'm jealous of bloggers with their noble looking snake plants and lovely fiddle leafs. Don't even get me started on the Instagramers with pretty ferns hanging in front of their bay windows.

I've tried time and time again to be like those Instagramers, bloggers, and Pinners. And I've left a wake of wilted, shriveled, and just plain sad plants.

So why haven't I opted for fake plants? Well, I've used the occasional sprigs and branches from craft shops and home decor stores because those are cheap and can get thrown out when they start to fall apart, which inevitably happens. But a nice big plant? I guess I've been biased against them thinking they'll look cheap or fake.

ThermaLeaf® rose to the challenge and proved me wrong.

They're the leader in the manufacturing of fire retardant artificial plants and trees exclusively for commercial projects and the wholesale trade. And their huge, high quality variety of silk plants, trees, topiaries, hedges, and boxwood products look real and beautiful. They let me pick one out to review and I couldn't wait to find out if it'd look as real and beautiful in person.

I flirted with the idea of a ficus or olive tree, but I really liked the shape and color of the schefflera. The schefflera tree just called out to me from the computer screen—with its gorgeous green color and lush leafiness.

Its color is vibrant—and my Rhett Butler seems to approve.

It arrived super fast and very well packaged. I needlessly worried a tad about how it might be squashed in the packaging, but as soon as I cut the protective plastic away, it bloomed into shape and required only a little fluffing. My first impression: Wow, high quality! The plant itself has a nice weight to it, so I don't have to worry about myself or the cats knocking it over. The leaves aren't thin or flimsy. They're full and thick with just a bit of a thirst-quenched sheen to them—neither too shiny nor too dull. The size is great. It's big enough to make a "Look at my beautiful plant!" statement, but small enough that it could work literally anywhere in my house.


I found the perfect spot for my schefflera!

I then proceeded to move my new, pretty plant from room to room. Ultimately, I decided it would be best suited to my recently made-over office. Since I work from home, it's where I spend most of my time. Even during non-work hours, I'll usually be in my office writing, blogging, or reading. It's my haven and I think the plant will be enjoyed to its fullest in here with me. The best part? No constant upkeep and no worries about my cats eating something toxic.


Go ahead—take a look at all the artificial flowers, plants, trees, topiaries, and palms ThermaLeaf® offers online, including custom artificial trees and fake fall trees


Are you a fellow blogger interested in reviewing a fake plant, too? Let me know—I may be able to hook you up. :)



Disclaimer: ThermaLeaf® provided me with this free, artificial plant in exchange for my unbiased , truthful review. 

3/15/17

My 5 Favorite Spring Cleaning Essentials + Free Seasonal Set from Grove Collaborative



Spring Cleaning. Two words that are almost as daunting as Daylight Savings. Almost.

Not only am I dragging myself out of bed (thanks to the dark mornings again), but I'm also dragging my feet when it comes to housecleaning. It's hard to keep the rooms spick 'n' span with house projects going on. 

The truth of the matter: Sometimes I have to bribe myself. In the mornings, what motivates me to get out of bed and get my butt to the gym? Well, the promise of coffee and thirty minutes to catch up on my favorite blogs before clocking into work for the day. When it comes to motivation for rolling my sleeves and tidying up? I can be coaxed by the prettiest, smell-goodiest cleaning supplies—and like clothing, decor, and candles, I enjoying switching up my scents for each season.

3/9/17

7 Book Recommendations for International Women's Day


I know, I know—I'm a day late. But Happy International Women's (Yester)Day, lovelies! However you celebrated or took action, I hope you felt empowered and appreciated. Because you are. 

I didn't take the day off from working, cooking, or doing housework. In fact, I worked a little late because I was so wrapped up in what I was doing. And as for cleaning up the kitchen and cooking a nice dinner—that was G-and-me teamwork. But the "Day without Women" did get me thinking about some of the historical and fictional women I admire. In a small scale, how would my bookshelf and love of fiction be different without them? On a grander scale, how would history have looked without them?

It inspired me to round up some of my favorite books featuring my favorite strong female protagonists.

3/8/17

Decor Board: Sassy Spring-Inspired Office


Despite the looming snow this weekend, I've got spring on the mind. (Maybe because of the thunderstorms and 70-degree afternoons we've experienced lately?) I've also got office decorating on the mind since we're about to start painting mine. Yay!

Anyway, I keep seeing this pink and blue (and every other color) rug pop up on Wayfair. It reminds me of my office's gray rug with a lot more pink. It's so bold, lovely, and unapologetically feminine. And it inspired this office decor board that mixes crisp, colorful furniture (like a teal desk chair, daffodil yellow desk, and sunshiny coat tree) with pieces featuring a more whitewashed, farmhouse finish (that lateral file cabinet and adorable little tiered bookcase). A girly armchair pairs with a sassy pillow. A bohemian ceiling pendant light with a sleek, shiny desk lamp. An eclectic mix of art and a quirky black giraffe statue. I could see this tiny office painted stark white or almost-black charcoal. What do you think? 

See something in the room that you just gotta have? 

3/7/17

My Home Office Makeover is Underway!


See that room through the big doorway on the left? That's my home office—bay window, fireplace with exposed brick, original French doors, and all. (I feel so spoiled.) And finally, it's getting a much-deserved makeover.

2/14/17

Turn Your Weeknight into #TysonFreeMovieNight

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own.



I can’t be the only one who doesn’t feel like toiling away in the kitchen on Tuesday nights. (And often Wednesdays and Thursdays, too.) …Right? Time just seems to be in short supply on weeknights. And while there’s often groceries to buy, chores to do, and house projects to take on, we try to reserve at least one of our mid-week evenings for some relaxing together-time—usually popping in a movie. But that doesn’t mean we want to skimp on supper!

Tyson® products are my go-to solution for a night in.

2/9/17

Honey is thicker than blood | Book Review: The Bees by Laline Paull


Let me start this off by saying I never, ever, in-a-million-year would have expected to read and enjoy a book about bees.

You see, I've always been kinda timid terrified of bees. I've never been stung (really) and I think I have this underlying fear that I'm allergic without knowing it. Plus, there's that traumatizing bee scene from My Girl and all those awful, bees-invading-houses, made-for-TV movies that aired on the SyFy channel when I was a kid. If there's a bee, I run. I know, I know... "Jess, you're supposed to stay calm and it'll leave you alone." But grown woman that I am, I run away.