5 simple tips for Creating the Space You Love

Where do you spend the most of your time when you are home? For some it may be in the kitchen, the living room, or your bedroom.

For me, away at college, the most time I spend inside of my apartment is in my bedroom. It’s very important that I make the best out of my space and add little trinkets, decor, and colors that describe me and my style.

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1. Keep the bigger pieces neutral. I have been living in the same complex for 3 years so my bedroom has definitely evolved but thanks to my cream and quilted comforter and khaki bedroom sheets I have been able to rearrange and take out/add smaller pieces to change the look.

2. Colored furniture is a no-no. Okay, so this *paint everything bright* trend will more than likely go out in a few years and then you are stuck with this more than likely beautiful piece of furniture that can’t be stripped due to the red, or torquiose, or bright green paint that was put on it.

3. What are some of your favorite things? Every single piece, no lie, has been purchased at a discount or an antique/thrift store and they are all my favorite! Antlers from my Daddy, wooden “M” initial, my cow canvas print, a lamp I’ve had for 13 years that I covered with ruffled muslin. To me, all of these things tell a story and I love that.

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4. Go crazy with transitional pieces like pillows, rugs, and even pictures/prints. One of the things I love the most in my room is my steer print pillow from WAL MART, the coral Euro shams, and my newly purchased aztec rug from a furniture warehouse. They all are busy pieces and if I get tired of them, they can easily be stored away for another color/print/style that won’t hurt my budget because they were purchased at a great price.

5. Look around everywhere, in unexpected places, and never stop. It doesn’t matter where I’m at or what I’m doing, I’m always looking to be inspired by something. Unique finds and cool pieces are all around you and not necessarily always at the home decor store or craft store. I have found a few of my items in my childhood bedroom (lamps and cheetah print pillows), Christmas boutiques (deer necklace display that was actually ornaments & cotton stalks & twigs), all sorts of unexpected places. Everything I have gathered in my room has been over the course of 3 years and I never stop looking.

So here’s to creating the space you love, whether it takes a few months or a couple of years, love the space you live in!

XO Mindy

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Luella

When I decided to continue making wreaths and other decor past Christmas, I knew I wanted a name to associate with all of my crafts, designs, and decor.

Thanks to technological advances of the ole’ faithful iPhone, typing “Hello” now autocorrects into “Luella.” Or atleast that’s what my Mama’s did one day in effort to get my attention via text. After I read Luella- a light bulb blinked and I grinned big- and I came home that day to tell her I HAD A NAME! (and was so thankful I took a while to respond to her previous text, or Luella would’ve never been born.)

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Ever since I was way young, people have called me Mindy-Lu, Minlu, or just Lu. I like that “Lu” is associated with my name without being my actual name- because Mindy Designs just doesn’t sound as cool as Luella. I thought about for like .36 seconds to use Luanna instead, because my middle name is Leanna, but I just kept going back to Luella… and so it was born!!

To manage my creations better and to offer easier access to potential customers, I have created a Facebook page where I post as I make. http://www.facebook.com/luelladesigns

This “hobby” is going to be more of a weekend activity for me as I have a full loaded school schedule and a post-grad level (yet I am still undergrad) job at GSU. My hope is that I prioritize my time better in 2015 so that I may still enjoy the craft. That’s really why I started- because I just simply enjoy doing it!

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I appreciate the feedback and support I have received from others and I hope whoever receives my creations will appreciate the thoughts and ideas that go behind each piece. I stand firm in that each design is a unique piece and to provide limited supplies to keep that special touch.

Our society is so accustomed to consuming, that we forget the production that goes behind everyday objects we handle and see. Thankfully, my curiosity expands each day and I always wonder or research who did what, where, and why. Or maybe that’s just nosey?!?!? Ha! I hope to produce an individual, unique piece that makes an onlooker stop from their busy schedule and thoughts and recognize the beauty of a few simple vines, pieces of greenery, and nature-like decor combined to create a piece.

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My promise is to keep the materials and supplies as handmade as possible, whether that is creating on my own or using natural resources that I find in areas near me. For some wreaths and other decor, I use artificial greenery so that the decoration will have longevity. Trust me, all-natural is my favorite, it is just not rational in some cases!

With each design, I hope to include a personalized Luella Designs tag with the materials listed and I’d like to include a handwritten note from me, because it is really coming from the heart.

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Some may think I am dreaming big with a little ole’ wreath business, but in addition to creating individual pieces, I’d like to expand that into designing my pieces with coordinating designs in other sizes, colors, or shapes. For example, you would purchase a “door package” that would consist of a 22″ inch wreath with bow and initial for your front door, an 18″ inch wreath with same bow in different design, and possibly an arrangement for your mantle or favorite piece of furniture.

Along with the customized package, I’d like to have a DIY wreath class around the Summer or Fall. I would provide the materials and instructions, and each participant would go home with a wreath they created by hand!

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Sometimes, I have to take a deep breath and remember to start slow and so I am being patient, stem by stem, bow loop by bow loop, and making sure I am making the best decisions so that I may offer a comparable product at a reasonable price. It’s so very important that I enjoy the process!

I hope you like what you see and will continue to see & that you may join my journey at Luella Designs. Spread the word!

Xo,
Mindy

Luella Designs

#fallbreakproject

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Over Fall Break, I did a handful of projects to keep me busy and entertained!

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Originally, I planned to just make ONE wreath with deer antlers and add fresh pine and my blue Mason jars to this antique RC crate. After after my wheels began turning and I rummaged through my Mema’s barn, I got the inspiration to make more and my project list kept growing! I made all the wreaths with a touch of natural and fresh decor found in family and friends backyards!!

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I also turned this picture frame + jewelry cabinet into a front chalkboard. I’d like to paint the frame white, but it is very hard for paint to stick to laminate!

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Another project I actually began before Fall break, is this stained wooden stump. It has a lot of character, with knots and ridges, which is why it didn’t end up getting split into firewood! I eyed it in my Grandaddy’s shop and called dibs on it, then stained it with a medium, dark stain and emphasized the knots and ridges to make them really stand out.

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Eventually it will be a side table beside my peacock chair that I’m not finished with yet. It is a fan peacock chair that has been painted black since I was in 5th grade, and I’m transforming it to white. It’s getting there- just not enough hours in the day! I’ve had a lot of sore muscles in my day, but never would I imagine a sore FOREARM from spray paint! Needless to say, painting a wicker piece black to white is hardwork!

My inspiration pictures:

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Unfortunately, today I have no workouts to share (because I didn’t work out once last week) and the only thing on fashion I have is a 25% off Cyber Monday code at http://www.shopthemintboutique.com! Use code CYBER for 25% off + free shipping!

Xoxo Mindy

wintertime madness (not summertime sadness)

Yo yo yo.. Halfway there folks. I’m personally anticipating the weekend because that means Fall Break and one week FREE. Hallelujah.. no school, no work (even though I will miss teaching!!!), and TURKEY TIME!

I’ve been pinning it up lately and have a few projects I want to complete over the break. Mostly for my room but a few for the holidays, too!! Follow me on Pinterest if you want! Button under my picture ——>

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Last night after teaching boot camp, I did two quick metabolic conditioning workouts. In almost all of my workouts, I focus on getting my heart rate up with minimal rest and using added resistance, like dumbells, kettlebell, or a barbell.

Here’s last night workout:

EIGHT ROUNDS OF:

15 Double Unders, unbroken
10 Kettlebell swings, 35#
10 alternating one-legged deadlift with kettlebell, 35#
Rest 60-90 sec. then,

Power clean + hang clean skillwork, very light

Then, FIVE ROUNDS OF:

10 barbell squat cleans, 65#
5 burpee-over-bar
Rest 60 sec.

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Yummo! This was dinner one day in the last week or two. Sirlion steak marinated in Italian dressing and Dale’s, steamed broccoli, roasted sweet potato rounds, Whole Foods Savannah portabello pasta salad (to die for!), mixed salad, red wine (for health, you know ;-))

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Outfit I wore last weekend. Loving this JACK suede + fur vest, it is so comfortable! Underneath is one of my favorite leopard print J. Crew tops and LOFT red suede skinnies!

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Love the use of brown craft paper, red gingham ribbon, and natural greenery for gift wrap!

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Gorgeous space I found on Instagram! I’m really loving the neutral, plaid-ness, naturistic (ok so not a word) theme for the Fall + Winter season.

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Food for thought!

XO Mindy

The beginning of the week always makes me feel like I need an exhausting workout to make me feel better. I know it’s the drag from the busy weekend and getting back into the swing of things and one leave-you-laying-in-your-pool-of-sweat workout I did last week was just that! It is a metabolic conditioning (Cardio) combined with a fast-pace, lighter-weight Olympic lift that leaves you exhausted! Happy Beginning of the Week to you!

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Complete 12-9-6-3 reps of each movement:

Burpee 20″ inch box jump
95# squat clean (I did 73#)

You start with a 20 inch box and do a burpee on one side, plus a jump on top of the box, and another burpee on the other side. Complete that for 12 reps then move on to your squat cleans. After 12 jumps and cleans, move to 9 reps of each and so on….

Took around 9:30 minutes and I continued with

5 bosu burpee + bosu overhead press
5 overhead kettlebell swings @ 35#
5 bosu burpee press
10 OH Kb swing
5 bosu burpee press
15 OH Kb swing
5 bosu burpee press
20 OH Kb swing

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Fun stuff! Mondays are my hip hop days so after I finish teaching Interval Training for an hour and a 30 minute abs class, I join my co-worker for a hip hop class… I love it! #whitegirlgotmoves

Recent eats lately have been all over the place. For some reason, I haven’t been eating a big breakfast like I used too. Sometimes it may be a yogurt, or a banana, or a yogurt with a banana, or a blueberry muffin the size of my face from the local coffee shop, or sometimes a huge breakfast like an omelet or bacon. Whatever, just going with it… feeling good.

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It’s definitely chili weather though and I can’t WAIT to make some chili this week. Will add a recipe soon!

I’ve been having fun styling some clothes from Mint Boutique and styling a few of my own. I love details! πŸ™‚

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Also, I am constantly changing my room and have just added some new pillows to my collection. A little sparkle, steer print, and suede!

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Have a great week and be good to yourself!

XO Mindy

favorites!

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Snack plate for lunch & sunflowers and mini cupcakes (not for lunch, ha!!)

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loving plaid for the Fall

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Saturday brunching with mimosas & from-scratch honey jalapeΓ±o margarita

Workouts

Sunday: Abs

Monday: One hour Hip Hop class

Tuesday: 5 rounds of:
20 kettlebell swings @ 35#
10 alternating pistols (one-legged squats)
10 burpees

Good little burner that took about ~10 minutes before I taught boot camp!

Hope you all are eating good, sweating good, and FEELING good!

Ending it with this: A Journey Begins With A Single..

Hello. Job application. Gym membership. Plane ticket.

What chances are you going to take to begin your anticipated journey? Do it now.

Xoxo, Mindy

On Breaking the Rules

Today’s three topics: Grub, Sweat, & All White Everything!

Probably about a year ago you wouldn’t catch me eating a burger with a bun (but definitely an extra patty because more protein and no bread= better body?? Right? NO!) or “cutting back on fruit” because CARBS, SUGAR, Oh MY and all of that nonsense. Well, here is my take on it.

Every body (like physical body) and everybody is absolutely different…. and digests, metabolizes, and carries muscle/fat completely different. So my advice to you: focus on what you CAN eat (Yes, I can have a cookie and maintain), learn and experiment with what YOUR body can properly manage for a healthy mind, body, and heart, and last but not least, EAT THE FREAKIN’ BUN!

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I seem to notice a few common sayings when it comes to being health-conscious or wanting to make small changes for a healthier diet: “I wish I could eat that” – “It’s too late to eat “that”” – “I CAN eat that.. it’s my cheat day” – “Isn’t it bad to eat (enter wholesome food here)” Focusing on the cant’s and the cringeworthy phrase: “cheat day” will not build you stronger muscles, will not help you lose fat, and will not make you feel healthy.

You DON’T have to cheat, You DON’T have to feel guilty for eating fruit, you CAN eat the bun as much as you want, you CAN have a treat every night. I know this because I have had a much more open approach to my diet and I feel better, eat intuitively (eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full), and my body has adapted. With a flexible diet and feeling in control to what I put into my body, I am conscious as to the portions and quantities of each food that I am consuming. Take the burger picture for example, instead of the average tasting fries, I ordered a delicious side salad with red onions, candied pecans, green apple, and feta cheese!

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Along with an open approach diet, it is very important that we stay on top of being active. I’m not talking about 5-6 days a week exercise regimen. If you like to walk a trail for 30 minutes-1 hour: GREAT! If you like to deadlift 200 lbs. frequently: AWESOME! If you’re like me and consider 3-4x/week going in the gym and doing what feels good that day: WHOOP! Make it simple: get in the gym, break a good sweat, hydrate yourself, and feel good!!

Fitness is such a broad, complex, confusing, fun, controversial, beneficial topic that means something different for every body and everybody πŸ™‚ I, however, feel that lately I am much more open to what I do each day and it just dang feels good. My goal in the gym: Leave the gym sweating!

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Last week’s workouts:

Sunday:
Sprint every track curve, cool down on the straightaway Total distance: 1.0 miles
4 x 15 walking lunges with 15 lb. dumbbell (bicep curl as you lunge)
3 x 10 back squat @ 135#
4 x 15 overhead kettlebell swing @ 35#

Monday:
One Hour Hip Hop Jam class

Tuesday:
3 x 10 front squat @ 125#
10 rounds:
15 overhead kettlebell swing @ 35#
10 double unders
5 man makers with 15# dumbbell (Google Man Makers)

Thursday:
Abs + Push ups + Burpees

Last but not least, ALL WHITE EVERYTHING! So of course, since it is after Labor Day I’ve been wearing white like crazy. That “rule” is so gone in my book and now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever abided by it. HA! I love wearing white ON white. I guess it replaces my obsession with wearing denim ON denim last year. I do like to break it up with a belt ( my most favorite and worn out cheetah print belt, mostly. )

My most recent white on white wear is this white and navy ombre top, a mustard skinny belt, and white denim!

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My second white on white wear is this white v-neck cotton tee, cheetah belt, white denim roll-up shorts, and a casual flannel that was coincidentally around my waist because it was SO HOT at the fair!

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Find some great giveaways and discounts on my sales rep Instagram account: @shopmintrep

Have a great day and go break some rules!!

XOxo, Mindy

Mindy’s FFF

If you ask me my favorite letter of the alphabet, my life would tell you “F”. It seems that everything I do, and enjoy doing, revolves around 3 F’s. Fitness, food, and fashion (and I use that term loosely- will discuss in a few!)

I started this blog in 2011 when I was living in Atlanta and had enough down time to cook and try any and all kinds of foods. At the time, I was also reading tons of cooking and fitness blogs and I really enjoyed sharing my meals! When I moved to Statesboro to attend Georgia Southern, I became involved with other activities such as coaching Crossfit and teaching group fitness classes, that it was hard for me to continue with blog posts and documenting my food. Thankfully, the popularity of Instagram has allowed me to easily and quickly document my food (whether followers care or not) without typing it into a blog post.

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Since teaching fitness classes, I had a lot of people, whether it be patrons of my classes or friends, ask and wonder if I had any workouts they could do on their own or at home. The idea of me sharing it on my blog popped back up, so if you scroll through past and most current blog post, you see I sporadically added a few workouts (that are all fairly short, but effective and use minimal equipment!) I enjoy programming full body conditioning workouts that are no-fuss and get the job done! I believe workouts should stick to the basics- forms of cardio endurance, strength training, and bodyweight movements! Get in there and break a good sweat and you’re good to go πŸ™‚

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Staying involved over this past summer with my school’s recreation department and briefly interning with a grass-fed beef company in Brooklet, GA allowed me to visit local farmer’s markets in Statesboro and Savannah and I developed an even more strong sense of appreciation for local vendors and small town communities. The majority of my generation doesn’t acquire a sense of appreciation like our elders because our lifestyles, including myself, have caused us to reach for the quickest and most convenient source of nutrition- fast food, gas station snacks, etc. By being surrounded by farmers and ambassadors for our community, I get deeply motivated to stay involved and do whatever I can to promote the importance of eating, moving, and shopping local!

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With all that being said, you may wonder what’s the point? The bottom line or the conclusion? Well, I am one who enjoys a variety of things and especially if it involves communicating with other people or connecting with others through a platform- which should be clear being that I am so passionate about food and fitness. Most recently, I have added a new title to my repertoire (haha, don’t take me too serious.) I am the online sales rep for the cutest women’s boutique in Dublin, GA- my born and raised hometown! The Mint Boutique is relocating and reopening on October 18th and has an active website: www.shopthemintboutique.com. The owner, Kelly, is very adamant on providing the highest quality clothes at affordable prices for all girls and women- there is seriously something for everyone there. As a part of my job, I am the social media rep on Instagram providing insight on new arrivals, discounts, outfit ideas (#OOTD), and showing off Mint’s customers. I’m very excited about this and if you would like to check it out, the website or my Instagram page, please DO! You will receive 15% off for using my promo code: ‘shopmintrep’
Instagram handle: @shopmintrep

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Basically, I wrote all of this to update on what I’ve been up to, but also announce that I am hoping to do a weekly blog post that will combine the 3 F’s! I am not the CLEANEST eater of all, the MOST ACTIVE fitness instructor, or the BEST at being fashionable. What I am, though, is a normal person just like you hoping to be healthy and happy forever and looking good while doing it πŸ™‚ I hope you can find that here- a perfect balance of good eating (yes, I just ate a fun size Snickers bar)- fun and sweaty workouts – and lovely outfit ideas for ALL the ladies!

Happy eating, sweating, and shopping ya’ll!
XO Mindy

Back to School Cardio

Hate cardio as much as I do? Give this variation of cardio exercises a try to get that heart rate up! Find some weight to use with those lunges ( I like using heavy dumbells) and an elevated surface for the box/step jumps!

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XO Mindy