January 2015 archive

My January Favorites

Wow!!! January flew by.  My kids had 5 days off this month due to their end of semester break  so we decided to spend time in Orlando at Disney and Universal.  Although I was quite sick while we were there, I always have a good time with my family.  We got to spend some true quality time together and that is what counts.  I really want to enjoy these next couple years with my kids as they will be going to college soon.  Luckily none of our flights were not cancelled or delayed due to Juno.  Normally, I would say DON”T fly with the Elys because we have such bad luck in the travel department, but this time we made it home pretty uneventful.  That never happens to us.

My Favorite make up this month was my carry on travel supplies.  I had to take compact things that had multiple purposes.  When I travel I don’t like to take, but one make up bag.  This was the perfect time to use my Naked Basics palette again.  It has most definitely come back into my life and planted itself right in front of me,  I love when you have a gem and you pull it back out and you remember why you loved it in the first place.

My favorite skin care for this month is Kiehl’s Creme D’Elegance Repairateur I have the world’s worst dry skin.  I even have dry eyes.  This cream is not greasy, but works, quickly to get in the layers to correct your dry skin.  I have eczema and have tried every product out there (trust me).  I really believe in this product.  Plus I’m very sensitive to scents. They can immediately send me into a tailspin migraine.  So the smell doesn’t bother me at all.

My favorite book this month is Make it Happen, by Lara Casey.  It is such a great, easy read. If you are looking for a spiritual pick me up or just an, “It’s a new year and I’m getting my life back on track” book, then stop what you’re doing and get this one.  Lara writes about her own experiences about not feeling good enough. She discusses her divorce, anorexia, and leaving college to get better. This book is perfect for those looking to become a christian, to pull yourself out of that rut, and get you doing the things that are holding you back.  It is a hands on book.  You are asked to reflect and DO THE WORK.  You can’t keep doing the same things and expect to get different results.

For working out this month, my favorite equipment is the Fit Bit.  My parents gave it to me for Christmas.  You guys that follow me know I have insomnia.  This thing even tracks your sleep or lack of it.  It is very simple to set up and you don’t have to do anything after it is activated. It will give you a weekly update on all your data.  The other thing I’m loving are my Beats head phones.  My husband got me a pair for Christmas.  It is so much easier to run with earphones that aren’t constantly falling out of your ear.

My favorite site this month is http://www.houzz.com.  It is this amazing site that has tons of pictures of gorgeous homes to give you inspiration and ideas.  You can create idea books and save the pictures you think are unique to you.  You can also ask questions to the designers of that particular project.  I have done this before and they helped me locate an ottoman I had been looking for. If you are into home decor you NEED this site.  You can get this on your phone too.

I want to give a shout out to Emily Ley who had her twins a couple days ago. She is a really sweet lady that has an amazing instagram feed.  She makes you want to know her through her pictures and honesty.  Go check her out and see those gorgeous babies @emilyley.

Yours Truly,


What is the Nicest Thing Someone Has Done For You?

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, love is definitely in the air.  I’m sure you are thinking of gifts for your significant other, your children, or a special friend.  I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day myself.  I love to play along but, I don’t need my husband to tell me on a certain holiday that he loves me or to bring me flowers on the most expensive day of the year.    Since this commercial holiday is sticking around, I started thinking about the nice things people have done for me over the years.

They don’t have to be big things either (although, I seem to have really special people in my life who do tons of nice things for me).  I love when my husband takes my car to fill it up with gas or takes the trash down to the road.  Those kinds of things mean I don’t have to do it and it really fills my “love tank.”  He is sweet that way.  There are a couple things he has done that are really special and in the spirit of Valentine’s, I thought I would share a couple stories.

When we were newly engaged and were planning our wedding, Darin, would give me a monthly gift as a count down to our wedding date.  The gifts were always very thought out and sentimental.  I thought that was so romantic and it is still one of my favorite memories of planning my wedding. I know some women get a gift on their wedding day from their fiancé…I got a gift each month for a year from mine.

Another kind gesture that took so much effort was when I was put on bed rest during my first pregnancy.  Due to preeclampsia, I was on complete bed rest and was quite bored most of the time.  I resorted to watching tv, reading, and playing games with anyone who would visit. My favorite part of the day was when someone brought me the mail.  (Sad, I know).  My husband is not a game person.  He would rather watch or keep score. However, he is so smart that he is the person you want on your team.  He spent days working on making me a Jeopardy game.  Coming up with questions for Jeopardy, double Jeopardy and the final round. He planned the whole night where we had teams and everything. We all played right from my bedside. Although I was on bed rest, it is one of my best memories of my pregnancy.

Lastly, is a memory about my sister.  She came to stay with us in our tiny, first apartment. I had some shelves in the hallway with some decorations displayed.  She accidentally knocked my wedding topper off the shelf and it broke beyond repair.  Well, apparently it was hard to find another one like it.  On my 10th anniversary, I was surprised to receive a gift from her and her husband.  I couldn’t believe they had found the exact wedding topper.  My sister had spent months looking for it and finally found it for us.  She was so happy to be able to replace it and I was so surprised.

I would love to hear some of your most memorable stories or acts of kindness. Or it could be a really juicy, romantic memory that you just have to share.  It doesn’t have to be a Valentine memory.  Leave a comment below and share your story.

Love Mantel

I don’t usually decorate for Valentine’s Day, but was inspired.


Love you more"

I gave everyone a “love you More” pillow last year.


I used stickers and markers to spell out L-0-V-E on coffee mugs and then placed pink roses in them.


Yours Truly,


Styling Your Way to beautiful Bookshelves

Where do I start?

Styling bookshelves can be quite intimidating.  I’ve been there before, staring at blank shelves with no clear vision or direction wondering where to start.  If you’ve been looking at decorating magazines or pinterest you have seen gorgeous, finished shelves that scream professional decorator.  You can have the same results with just a couple tips and some time to spend getting the look you’re going for.  I’m in no way a professional, but I do enjoy working on my decorating until I get it just right.  If you put the time and effort into your shelves I’m sure they will turn out perfectly.

I like to start with a blank, clean shelf and then gather all my items and place them in the floor near my workspace.  Most items you use, you will already have around your home. You want things of varying sizes, shapes, and textures. I try to stick to using 3-4 colors. You might want to pull things from different locations in your house or shop for a couple new pieces.  You can find great shelving decor at Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Pottery Barn, Pier 1, Steinmart, and even Goodwill or other flea markets if you know what you’re looking for.

living room shelves

Decorated shelves from my living room


The trick to setting up your decorations is grouping them in odd number pairings.  Things look very nicely paired in groups of threes and fives in various heights. I like to start on the shelf that is eye level and go from there.  I definitely try to have a symmetry between the shelves and this is where the trial and error starts.  You may try something and if it’s not working take a step back and switch it out and try something different.  I actually enjoy styling bookshelves because I feel your shelves tell your personal story.  If you are putting in things that reflect your style and personality, who wouldn’t love it.  Your shelves can actually become a major focal point of the room.

Sets of 3

Grouping items in sets of 3.


Once you have the bookshelves the way you want them, you can change things out seasonally as holidays approach.  You can really have some fun and add some pizazz and a couple unexpected pieces.  You know you’re on the right track if your style is being reflected when you decorate.  If you love the pieces you’re using, that confidence will show when you have company in your home. I think the most important thing is to let your style shine through.  You may love your favorite blogger’s style, but if it is not yours, you won’t be happy trying to emulate that in your home.

 Styling Beautiful Shelves


Beautiful shelving examples displaying books

 I would love to see pictures of your gorgeous home and check you out on instagram. Don’t

forget to check me out on all my sites in the right hand corner

so you can get to know me better.

Yours Truly,


A Touch of Unexpected

Living Room Makeover

I’m going to be doing several posts on the makeover of my living room.  I’m going to show you the room and then do a couple posts where I break down some different aspects of the room.  I really wanted to take this room from a boring brown sectional to a modern room with elements that included industrial pieces, glamour, and masculine pieces all in the same space.  My kids are older now and can take care of a room with some nicer furniture.  This was my opportunity to really design a room to my liking.   I waited and watched and then shopped for just the right pieces.  The room took about 8 months to be entirely complete, but I think it was worth the wait.  It is exactly the look I was going for.  I know I will enjoy this room for a long time.

I wish I had taken a picture of the room prior to the old furniture being moved out. However, I was not blogging then and the only pictures I have of that room are of us enjoying it on Christmas morning and I know my kids would NOT appreciate me posting those pictures. I hope you can just imagine a brown leather sectional in an L shape and a round glass coffee table being the only furniture in this large space.  Please enjoy the pictures of my new living room.

Living room

A full shot of my Living room


white sofas

Elegant white sofas give the room the glamour element


coffee table

The coffee table gives the room a masculine touch


The metal bookshelves give the room an industrial vibe.


The custom chairs are my favorite part of the room.

Later in the week, I will be posting more on how to style coffee tables and shelves and how to add pops of bold colors to neutral rooms.  I will also share our family portraits and how I incorporated a photo gallery into this room to match the colors that already existed.

Thanks for reading.

Yours Truly,




My December Favorites

It’s already January 2015 and I’m going to sum up my December faves for you.  December was such a big month with family, Christmas and New Years but, of course I had time to fall in love with some great items.  I want to tell you all about them so you can get going on these ASAP.

My favorite new APP is Trivia Crack.  Let me warn you that it is very addicting.  I have only had it for 2 weeks and I’m already on level 47.  I know, as I said…. very addicting.  My kids turned me on to this game, as well as all the adults who visited us for Christmas. If you like trivia questions in general you will love it.  There are 6 categories of questions; art, sports, history, entertainment, science, and geography.  You take turns answering questions against random people or you build up your friend list and play them.  Check it out and tell me what you think.

You have to try Glam Glow hydrating mask.  It really is worth the money and is as good as everyone says it is.  I have waited so long to purchase it, but it truly is amazing.  I have very dry skin and this made my skin feel so silky and plump after using it.  They have 3 versions of this mask, but I decided at my age and with my skin type to get the hydrating mask.  My daughter got a Mia clarisonic for Christmas and it came with the traditional Glam Glow.  She really likes that version as well.  I purchased mine from Sephora.

Another beauty product that is worth the money is the Anastasia contour Kit.  I really love this product and have used it everyday since I bought it.  I went in Sephora to get my daughter a Christmas gift and came out with several gifts for myself.  Doesn’t everyone do that?  Right now I am really using Fawn to contour and Banana under my brow bone and in the tear duct area. However, I think I would use most of the shades at some point throughout the year as my skin tone will be darker in the summer. There are six shades that complete the kit.

We just finished our media room over Christmas (It’s been a long time coming).  It was one of those projects that just lingered on in our house.  If you follow me on instagram (yourstrulyjennely) then you’ve already seen a picture of our media room chairs. We watched a ton of movies and ate way too much candy over the break.  We really enjoyed Maze Runner.  If you liked Hunger Games and Divergent you should see this movie or read the book.  So now I am reading the Sorch Trials by James Dashner.  If anyone wants to talk about the movie leave comments below :).

My favorite thing about the holidays was getting to spend time with my family.  My sister and her family came down and stayed until Christmas Eve morning.  I got to spend five whole days with my niece, Lexington and my nephew, Hudson. YEAH ME!!  They are so fun (especially around the holidays).  Then my in-laws came over New years and my other niece, Grayson stayed with us for several days. I hit the family jackpot this year. What was your favorite part about the holiday season?

Yours Truly,


New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year. Can you believe It’s 2015???? We are leaving 2014 and all its wonderful memories behind.  Do you make New Years Resolutions in January?  I’m not one that really sits down and makes resolutions.  I’m more of an, I’m going to try to live my best life a better person and be the best mom/wife I can be.  I try to reflect and make sure I’m truly listening to where God wants me, but other than that I think of September as more of a new beginning than January.  When a new school year starts and everything seems fresh and new, that is when I really slow down and take an account of how I’ve been handling all my goals. Notice I said goals and not resolutions.

NYE Picture

Happy New Year’s Eve


However, I love to get a new planner and start filling in all the wonderful things I’m going to do in the new year. A lot of times I think we think of what we’re doing wrong and how we want to better ourselves, but I also want to think back on 2014 and think about what things were AMAZING!!!!

Here are a couple highlights of my 2014….I turned 40 in NYC with my mom and sister.  Boy did we have a tremendous 3 days. I also started this blog late November and have been enjoying getting to know readers and bloggers who are becoming fast friends.  I began running in the summer and plan on doing a 5k with my kids in the spring.  I also celebrated my 19th wedding anniversary in July.  As 2014 ends, I want to think about my plans for 2015 and jump right in.

I definitely have goals for blogging.  I’m very new at this, but I do want to stay consistent and grow my readership.  I really enjoy learning everything about this topic as I can see me sticking with it for the long haul. If you are a seasoned blogger and would like to be my mentor please contact me at http://www.yourstrulyjennely@gmail.com.  I would love any help I can get.

The first project I finished in 2015 was putting away and organizing all my Christmas decorations.  However, I have plenty of ideas that I want to get started on right away.  We have a lot of guests staying with us this year and I want to redo the guest room, finish off my office, decorate the kid’s sleepover lounge and get seating for our movie room.  That’s a pretty ambitious list, but I’m looking forward to having some set projects to work on. Of course, I will be documenting and sharing these projects with you as they are completed.  Do you have any projects at home or work that you are excited about this year?  I would love to hear about them in the comments below. Take care and have a fabulous 2015.

Yours Truly,