inspiration

Hello Fall!

Its the most wonderful time of the year!! Just a few more days until the

official

first day of Fall :)

There are so many reasons why Fall is my favorite season... the leaves are prettier, the breeze is crisper, the clothes are cuter, but most of all... I get the chance to make my home a little "cozier"!

I love living in my studio loft because the exposed brick walls give a year round cozy feel, but I also like to add a few things around my home to remind me of what season we're in. Im SO glad that I partnered with some of my favorite bloggers this season for the #FabFallFest because I've been motivated to add "Fall" to my home.

Wall art is a simple way to bring the season in! With limited wall space in a small studio, I turned to my chalkboard wall to add a cute little fall saying I recreated from this

list of free printables

on Pinterest.

This chalkboard wall was super easy to create and it's so fun to add different sayings/drawings. Check out how to make your own

here

.

Here are some of my fave Fall chalkboard printables I found while browsing Pinterest! These can be a great alternative if you can't muster up your own chalkboard wall this season.

thewonderlandboutique.blogspot.com

What are you adding to you walls this Fall? Id love to see! Play along with the #FabFallFest and post your wall decor/signs/wreaths with the #FabFallFest hashtag for a chance to be featured on some really awesome IG accounts!

Follow me on

Instagram

so that you can easily find all of the other Fab bloggers tagged for the #FabFallFest!

To see what else I'm pinning for Fall, follow my

Pinterest

page!

See you next week!

Lisa

The Icon Collection

If you follow me on Instagram (@

TheMonaLisaa

), then you've seen that I've recently changed my gallery wall from the layout above (blog post coming soon about that), and although I LOVE my new wall, it was very hard for me to part with some of the images I used in the gallery! 

You'll notice the not so common wall art such as photos of

Dorothy Dandridge

,

Eartha Kitt

, and

Diahann Carroll

on this wall, and those images mean so much to me. This is why I decided to incorporate them in my entryway as a "hall of fame"...

You wont find these faces in your local TJmaxx or HomeGoods on a beautiful canvas like you would find an image of Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn, and its very unfortunate. These are the women that I look up to and admire. These are my Icons.

I recently came across a post on my sweet blogger friend Lauren's Instagram (@

ChicUrbanMom

) and she was rocking a shirt that caught my eye! Lauren has the cutest shop with what I would call "wearable art". 

Its called "

The Icon Collection

"...and when I read up on the meaning behind her shop I felt as though she was reading my mind! 

 Here's a little blurb from the site (http://myiconictee.com

) about "The Icon Collection":

"

As a young girl I grew tired of trying to find trendy items that featured beautiful brown girls like me. When I had my daughter the longing to have images that look like her became even stronger and that is how The Icon Collection was born. On a daily basis I see t-shirts, artwork, home decor etc. highlighting the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and others. It is very rare and almost impossible to find things that showcase women of color who are trendsetters in their industries. The Icon Collection’s goal is to change that, to make it a normal experience to see beautiful, trendsetting women of color on artwork, t-shirts, and home décor as role models for our girls!"

I was SO excited when Lauren sent me a shirt I couldn't help but put it on and twirl around proudly! There are so many Icons that go unrecognized, whether its in fashion or home decor, I believe creating things that represent what/who you love is so very important! 

Im no model, so I cropped out my face, but its about the shirt..not me haha!

Hats off to you Lauren for creating this beautiful wearable art!

If you're interested in

"The Icon Collection"

check out the site

here

and grab a few t-shirts for you and your friends!! 

Follow @

ChicUrbanMom

on IG and subscribe to her Lifestyle blog:

http://chicurbanmom.com/

Whats on my nightstand?

The view from my side of the bed is pretty nice! Check out all of the pretty details...

If you haven't seen my video apartment tour, then you might think that I still have this pitiful side table underneath my TV. Well, ladies and gentlemen..I've upgraded!

Another Target piece has taken its place and it's perfect (more about this piece in a separate post)!

As a result, I've moved my cute green end table beside my bed. Its now a functional nightstand!

Now, as intimate and personal as a nightstand can be, I've still decided to share it with you! Most of the time our nightstands are purely for function. They typically hold a lighting source, a glass of water and serve as a charging station for our mobile devices. But you do know that a nightstand can be all of these things and more, right?

Im all for function, but I love to add a little pretty on the side! Yes, functional things can have a little style to them too! Here's what my nightstand is currently holding:

1. Flowers - Now these are solely for my visual pleasure. Tulips are my favorite flowers, Its okay to have at lease one non functional item on your nightstand! Fresh flowers are best but faux is just fine too! These can be found in many home decor stores like Target, Homegoods, Ross, or Marshalls (for a price) but if you desire to create a custom one, check out my

DIY flower video

!

2. Candle - I think that a calming scent and soothing sound of a candle burning is essential to ultimate relaxation before bed. As long as you remember to blow it out before you snooze, you'll be in business! The candle in rotation right now is one of my favorites "Champagne toast" from Bath and Body Works.

3. Healing crystal - In my

2016 Glam guide

I mentioned my new obsession with crystals and their many benefits. The crystal I have by my bed is an amethyst which is a meditative and calming stone which works in the emotional, spiritual, and physical planes to provide calm, balance, patience, and peace. I honestly found that I have had much better, uninterrupted sleep with this baby by my side.

4. Books/journals - I usually keep a journal on my nightstand for two reasons: my brain runs a mile a minute at night and I miraculously remember everything I need to do the next day, or forgot to do the current day. Its a great place for me to get it out on paper. This helps me not worry so much about things once I've written it down and its all out. Second reason is similar but more enjoyable: All of my great and brilliant ideas hit me right before I fall asleep or even in my dreams! What better place than this cute Target journal for my "Ridiculously good ideas"? Now as for books, I usually keep it light. Nothing with a particular story line because those will keep me up all night and I'll never get any rest flipping pages all night. I usually keep a couple of inspirational books by my side instead. It also helps when they have a pretty cover! The book currently by my side is "Gentlewoman by Enitan O. Bereola ".

5. Cute mug - I absolutely love this mug I found at Anthropologie last year. Tea and hot cocoa fill up this beauty after a long day. We all seem to need to quench a thirst once we go to bed & its essential to a good nights rest! Its also important to keep a coaster on your nightstand to prevent water rings and stains on your nice nightstand. This cutie was snagged from the dollar tree!

Well. that sums up whats ON my nightstand... no, I wont be going into details about whats in the drawer..you WISH! ;) 

I'd love to know whats currently on your nightstand! Comment below and let me know your favorite things!

Lisa

DIY Valentine Candle

Let me tell you, you will NEVER fail when gifting a good candle! (At least you wont fail me!) I have a pretty serious candle obsession and I would literally set a budget for my candle purchases every month. *don't judge me* So, I recently pinned a tutorial on pinterest that shows you how to easily make your own soy candles. This is ridiculously easy so no excuses if you're not the "crafty type". 

I assume you're here because you want an easy handmade gift for you valentine, so lets get started!

What you'll need:

  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Paint marker
  • Ribbon
  • A jar for your candle - I picked up this cute pink ceramic bucket trimmed in gold from the dollar isle at Target
  • Gift tag - also from the Target dollar isle
  • Soy wax - I order my soy wax from amazon. I've used several different brands, but the current one I'm using is from the CandleScience brand (Its available for prime shipping!)
  • Candle fragrance - Amazon CandleScience brand
  • Candle wick - Amazon CandleScience brand

First I added my wick. I used a hot glue gun to attach it in the center. You can also use melted wax, but this is a little easier

I melted my wax by heating it on my stove. I usually use a double boiler method but I was a little pressed for time so I placed it in a metal pouring container directly on the eye and it worked just fine. Heating in the microwave works fine also!

I stirred constantly until my wax was completely melted and was ready to pour

Once I poured my wax in along with a few generous drops of my "Jamaica Me Crazy" fragrance... it was time to let it set. The hard part is to not check it every 5 minutes :)

This particular bucket came with a plastic lid that I used to keep the wick center while the wax set. Just cut a hole in the center of the lid and pull the wick through.

I let the wax set over night. and trimmed the excess wick.

Lastly, I used my paint marker to add a sweet saying on my gift tag and Voila! Embellish with gift wrap and ribbon :)

You'll be sure to set the mood with this sweet smelling gift! Let me know if you decide to give it a try! 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Looking for more easy Vday gifts? Click the pics below!

My mouth is watering for these super cute treats Linda made! Check out how she did it at

TheHomeICreate.com

Carli created the cutest mug gift with just a few simple steps! Check out how at

fwmadebycarli.com

Alaya checked out the Target dollar isle for her DIY as well! Find out whats in the mailbox at

BehindTheBigGreenDoor.com

If you're not feeling the DIYs this year...grab a special girt for yourself (or your boo!) Nicole has all the details at

SheDoesABunch.com

Splurge vs Steal

Okay guys, we're one month into 2016...how are you doing? Are you staying on track? One thing that has kept me focused in the new year is my 2016 planner! I mentioned how important it was to start the year off with a great planner in my

2016 Glam Guide

. In that post I raved about my

 Kate spade planner! 

Now, don't get me wrong... I LOVE it, but I recently walked through the Target office aisle and noticed a very similar one for under 10 bucks! I've decided to compare and do a splurge vs spend for you guys!

The entire top row is Kate Spade, and the bottom row are all from target! Check out the links to each one below.

Kate Spade black stripe

Target purple pineapple

Now, the Kate Spade agendas and journals aren't going to break your bank or anything, and like I said, I absolutely LOVE my planner (I have the black and white stripe), but I'm also loving that fact that Target has very similar cute ones all for under $10! That's such a great steal. 

P.S. this is the inside of the Kate Spade planner I have. The layout of this thing is awesome! I definitely think its worth a few more dollars if you're a Kate Spade fan like I am.  

I also picked up these

GLAM gold pens

 & adorable

To-Do pad

!

If you happen to grab one of the Target journals, let me know how you like it!

-Lisa