Turning the big 3-0…

Forewarning: this is a long post.  Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy! 

I’ve said it before and I will say it again.  I. Love. My. Birthday.  It is my favorite day out of every year.  Okay that might be an exaggeration but I love my birthday.  Always have.

My dad jokes that I have the Stanley Burnham gene in me.  My grandpaw turned 70-something this year.  He loves his birthday as much as a 4 year old kid.  And so do I.  No shame in my game! 😉

I have to agree with this post that turning 30 is something that everyone has an opinion about.  My opinion?  Bring on the 30’s!  My 20’s were a fairly typical laundry list of do’s and dont’s.  I think your 20’s are for finding yourself.  For exploring.  For understanding what life is about .. and can be about.   I’m ready for more exploring and more challenges in the 30’s.  I might be a little nervous about aging gracefully which is why I wear Mary Kay, workout, and drink water (see this post about January’s resolutions)!

Before going on to what I did for my birthday this year, I thought I would share these:

The Minimalists {30 Life Lessons From 30 years}

  • My favorite is #3:  Happiness is not for sale in any store.
  • #4 is also a favorite.  Success means something different to everyone.  Define what it means to you.  Is it money?  Is it happiness?  Is it love?  Is it the zest for life?
  • Don’t skip over #8 either! .. goodness the whole list is awesome!

Forbes {I’m Excited About Turning 30, And Here’s Why}

Great quote from that post:

“To me, the more experiences we accumulate, the greater clarity we can have about the life we really want to live. If each day, we take just one bold step towards what we truly want, eventually it is possible to create the life of our dreams.”


Okay — so what did I do for my birthday?  Well I had big plans for Saturday like hot yoga at 8am, estate sale afterwards, shopping for the Charlotte Today show appearance, picking up my birthday cupcakes, then dinner with Mom & Dad.  The first 2 did not happen.  Oh well 😉

The cupcakes from House of Madison were delish!  I’m still eating them.  Not exactly in line with my January resolution. :/  I met my parents at Mac’s Speed Shop in Lake Norman for a low key birthday dinner.  I had never been.  It was very cool, but I’m not sure I will go back for anything other than the mac n cheese.  Afterwards was a trip back to the apartment for some surprise birthday cake from Jenn’s Sugarlicious Bakery.  Yes that is right.  I had a dozen cupcakes and a large 3 layer cake to enjoy.  Yep January Resolution is moving farther and farther away. 😛

Mom & I having some fun at the Birthday Dinner :)

Mom & I having some fun at the Birthday Dinner 🙂

My wonderful surprise birthday cake!

My wonderful surprise birthday cake!

Sunday was my birthday and I wanted to do something different.  Raymond and I love our Sunday Scavenger hunts but this time we decided to head up to Chapel Hill & Carrboro.

King Cody has all the essentials for the road trip.  Blanket Bed.  Bone.  Baby Cow.  Who's birthday was it again?

King Cody has all the essentials for the road trip. Blanket Bed. Bone. Baby Cow. Who’s birthday was it again?

"Are We There Yet?"

“Are We There Yet?”

The infamous well at The University of North Carolina.

The infamous well at The University of North Carolina.

Looking cute as pie :P

Looking cute as pie 😛

Cody was thirsty -- drinking for the well at UNC

Cody was thirsty — drinking for the well at UNC

This place was awesome!  $25 cowboy boots?!

This place was awesome! $25 cowboy boots?!

The weather was perfect for a day out!  70+ degrees — I wore flip flops!  Super fun day full of walking and exploring.  Slight foodie tour and plenty of pictures.  I was exhausted when we got home.

Monday rounded out the weekend of fun with my Charlotte Today show appearance.  I was a little nervous about Live TV.  My 3M videos were filmed with “help” (aka a script and several takes).  I had a great time and hope to do more appearances! 😉

Ramona Holloway, Me, Colleen Odegaard :)

Ramona Holloway, Me, Colleen Odegaard 🙂

I returned to the land of the living yesterday and had a slight meltdown.  Piles and piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and to-do lists.  Welcome back Jennifer. 😉

What is your opinion on turning the big 3-0?  

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Charlotte Today Show…

Good Monday Morning!  Don’t forget to watch the Charlotte Today Show this morning!  I will be making a guest appearance talking about the “Rules for Decluttering”.

Tune In!

  • WCNC
  • 11am-12noon


Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Foodie Friday {Homemade Italian Dressing}…

Before I proceed with Foodie Friday’s recipe, I need to know something.  Flax or chia?  What do you do with the flax?  I bought flax seeds and flax meal from Trader Joes.  Both have been sitting on the counter while I try to decide what to do with them.  Then I hear chia is the new flax. Way to be late to the party Jennifer… Foodie help please? 🙂


I know … I’m writing a post about salad dressing.  Boooring.  😛  Well in keeping with my healthy recipes for Foodie Friday, I wanted to blog about my favorite salad dressing.  Well my fave is Ranch … but that is beside the point.

I love eating salads.  I especially love eating salads at home (much cheaper!).

I hate bottled dressing.  All of them.  I like some in the refrigerated section of the produce department but I prefer to make my own.

I’m not an O&V + lemon juice kinda gal either.  I need some flavor to go along with that lettuce afterall! 😉

I have made this several times over the past month and Raymond LOVES it!  I store it in a mason jar.  Love me some mason jars!

Modified from this recipe

Homemade Italian Dressing

  • 1 packet Good Seasonings Italian Dressing Mix
    • Oil, water, vinegar (for the packet)
    • I use slightly more vinegar and water than the instructions call for to cut down on the oil consumption.
  • 1 TSP Dried oregano
  • 1/2 TSP
    • Sugar
    • Mayonnaise
    • Pepper
  • 1/4 TSP Garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 TBSP water
  1. Prepare Good Seasonings dressing according to package.  I make this in the carafe that comes with the dressing kit.
  2. Pour in a medium bowl.
  3. Add additional ingredients.  Whisk until mixed thoroughly.
  4. Store in the refrigerator.

Hello you big beautiful bowl of lettuce! 🙂

Now … please share any Ranch recipes that might be healthy. 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Hands On Charlotte…

Hands On CLT

Hands On Charlotte is a nonprofit volunteer service organization. We promote volunteerism and direct community service to meet Charlotte’s most critical needs. Our mission is to strengthen our community and enrich lives by mobilizing a diverse corps of citizens in direct, volunteer service.”

When it comes to volunteering I have high hopes and dreams but minimal follow through.  For example: I love animals and would love to volunteer at an animal shelter … yet I don’t want to get attached to animals that might ultimately be put down.  So I do nothing. :/

My wonderful and dear friend, Leticia, called me earlier this week about Hands On Charlotte.

Leticia has been volunteering with the organization since she moved to Charlotte several years ago.  She mentioned their upcoming volunteer event on January 19th, and wondered if I would be interested in helping … spread the word.  Absolutely!  I will do one better … I will even volunteer! 🙂


MLK serve 2013

“Each year, Hands On Charlotte honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by organizing special volunteer service projects on and around the holiday that bears his name. These projects not only deliver valuable assistance to nonprofit organizations, schools and other service providers around the area, but also allow thousands of citizens to reflect on the meaning of Dr. King’s life of service for today’s America.”

This year Hands On Charlotte is hosting 3 events at local area schools.  Here are the deets:

  • When:  Saturday, January 19, 2013
  • Time: 10am – 2 pm
    • Drop in (you don’t have to stay the whole time)
  • Where:
    • Harding University High School
    • East Mecklenburg High School
    • Blythe Elementary School
  • Who: Everyone is invited! 🙂
  • What:  Activities include a range of on-site service projects
    • Inspecting and sorting donated food and clothing
    • Wrapping presents for children living at local shelters
    • Videotaping personal “thank you” messages for troops serving overseas

To learn more about the event, click here.

Mark your calendar! 🙂   I would love to see some familiar faces!

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature


Let Me Introduce You…

… to Sarah Gilbert!  Sarah is my wonderful new intern that started this week {jumping for joy!}.  She loves to blog .. and travel .. and .. why am I spoiling all the fun.  I should just let you read her post. 🙂


Traveling abroad in Australia

Traveling abroad in Australia

Love the quote! :)

Love the quote! 🙂

Hanging with Cam Newton ;)

Hanging with Cam Newton 😉

Hi everyone! I’m Sarah and I couldn’t be more excited to start this internship with Pure & Simple… I hope to be Jennifer’s right-hand girl over the next semester, helping with projects, talking to all you sweet folks online through social media, and plenty more… I’ll even bring her coffee if she asks nicely! 😉  {OH MY!}

One of the things I’m especially stoked about with the internship is that Jennifer has graciously welcomed me into her little online “home”.  She has invited me to do some re-occurring guest posts on the blog.  Keeping with the overall theme (or lack there of) here, I don’t have any specific subjects I’ll always cover.   I do have lots of ideas and projects to show everyone, so we’ll see where this goes.  I’m a bit new at blogging, so I’d absolutely love to hear from readers for feedback and just to say, “hi”!

Of course, no one likes to talk to strangers, so here’s a little bit about myself:

I’m currently a junior at UNC Charlotte where I’m studying Marketing and Managerial Information Systems. {And a Business Honors Student .. just like me!} Once I graduate, I hope to transition into something with online/viral advertising or eCommerce… not quite sure yet, I’ll see where life takes me!  Until then, I’m working part-time at the mall and sneaking in fun wherever I can!  In my free time I do lots of crafts, watch a bit too much TV, and play with my three big, beautiful dogs.  I also love traveling (both internationally and in my own town), the Carolina Panthers, and fancy lattes… but who doesn’t love a good fancy latte?

Again, I’m so excited to be working with Jennifer and to have the chance to talk to everyone here!  Don’t forget to say hello 🙂


I couldn’t be more happy about having Sarah come on board!  There are projects high and low to start on — so we will keep you all up-to-date! 🙂

Sarah’s post will appear in the “Something From Sarah” category over there —–>

Under “In the Meantime..”  And like she said, don’t forget to give her a warm welcome! 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

My Theme for 2013…

I shared with you last week that my theme for 2012 was “Try It On”.

My theme for 2013 is “Trust & Patience”.

Theme for 2013



I have to trust that I am on the right path.  I have to trust that all roads lead to Rome.  That the hard work will mean something.  Without trust, life is harder than it has to be.


All good things come to those that wait?  Nah — wrong quote.  I’m not waiting, but I have to be patient.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and everything doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes some time.  Be patient and keep moving forward.

I’m reading this book, Life On The Wire, by Todd Duncan.  {Great book btw.}

“It also comes from believing that [your] purpose looks more like a path than a destination.”

Well said!  It’s not the end result, it is the journey there that matters. 🙂

A friend of mine sent this to me earlier last year.  Ditto to all of you!

What is your theme for 2013?

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

What Should I Write About?

Happy Monday!  Hope you all had a great weekend!  I spent the weekend taking down Christmas and cleaning.  Yes that Christmas was still up — but no more!

I need to ask you a favor.  Yes … you.  What should I write about?

I’m looking for a great story idea for my next organizing article for Fort Mill Magazine.  C’mon — show me what you got.  🙂  What would you like to read about?

Side note:  It does have to be organizing related. 🙂

And since we are talking about Fort Mill Magazine.  I thought I would share some pictures of their headquarters.  It is uber organized for all they accomplish over there! 🙂

I reached out to Tracey (editor-in-chief) last spring.  I ran across their magazine while out and about with Raymond on a Sunday Scavenger hunt.  I loved the magazine (it is SO pretty) and thought they might be interested in working together.

They hold quarterly meetings in which the magazine contributors contributors get together and brainstorm for the next issue.  Fun group to mingle with, but also a very well put together group of smart individuals.  Thanks FMM! 🙂  I’m happy to be apart of your family!

Tracey's workstation. Fort Mill Magazine Headquarters.

Tracey’s workstation.
Fort Mill Magazine Headquarters.

Tracey & Emily recording a podcast.

Tracey & Emily recording a podcast.

Love IKEA.  Love the red EXPEDIT shelving unit.

Love IKEA. Love the red EXPEDIT shelving unit.

Close up of how they keep the unit organized.  Love the magazine file boxes!

Close up of how they keep the unit organized. Love the magazine file boxes!

Tracey's ... piles? ;)

Tracey’s … piles? 😉

So — what should I write about? 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature