May 31, 2015

Affordable Patio Decor!

Rug:  Five Below, $5
Metal flower:  Five Below, $3
It's that time of year, where the grass has gone from brown to green and flowers are blooming everywhere!  Yet my patio was lackluster, colorless and dusty so a few weeks ago, I decided to challenge myself to redo my patio.  My budget was tight so Five Below, Dollar General and Family Dollar were visited frequently as I set myself upon this journey of patio delight.  Although I have a strong interest in interior decorating, I'm not an avid decorator so I second guessed myself a lot, but I learned that you have to put everything together to figure out exactly what you need and to complete the vision.  With that being said, I will be adding fillers to my patio as the season goes on. Check out the pictures below, as well as the grand total for my patio redo.

Note:  The patio set, hanging basket chains and white Adirondack chairs I already had.

Door mat:  Dollar General, $10

Pillows:  Old Time Pottery, $6.50 x 4
Lantern:  Old Time Pottery, $12.99
Place mats:  Dollar General, $2 x 4
Glass lanterns:  Family Dollar, $1 x 3
LED votives (6-pack):  Target, $6.99
Boston Ferns, Lowe's, $10.99 x 2
Ceramic bird, Old Time Pottery, $3

Owl ground stake:  Dollar General, $1
Solar lights:  Target, $1 x 4

Grand total=$104.96

May 7, 2015

Woman to Woman

As we approach Mother's Day, I wanted to do a special post, not just for moms, but for all women. Every now and then, I like to remind my readers that The Diva Plan is about inspiring women to create satisfying lifestyles that work uniquely for them.  To be clear, the soul purpose is not to encourage you to spend money, gain material things nor live a flawless life, but to see your best life in action and to make it work with what you have and within your means.  When I restarted this blog, I was in a bad place and although I know I've come a long way, some days I don't feel like I have and I continue to face stumbling blocks.  Thinking about the women in my life, I recognize the common theme we share. All of the women in my life are trying to work through life issues and come out on the other side.  

You name it, I've experienced it! Health challenges, financial woes, broken heart, broken friendships, career disappointments, parenting challenges, family dysfunction and the list goes on! As I consider those things, it's hard to believe I've dealt with so much, yet I continue to dream and push forward. Sometimes, I have no idea how I will bring my dreams to fruition and honestly, I do have days when I'm just in an eff it kind of mood and don't care if I ever do.  The older I get, there seem to be more challenges added to my life resume.  I now understand these challenges never stop so I developed the motto, "As long as I wake up breathing...".  I'm saying a lot, but here's the point I want to get to. 

As a gender, we are competitive in ways that our counterparts would never even consider.  We have an internal judgment meter that is set on auto from the time we are able to recognize the differences among us.  We square each other up immediately based on outward appearances and we use our meters to validate how we feel about ourselves.  I'm guilty.  But as I get to know other women and they become comfortable giving me a peek inside their lives, I've learned that some of the least noticeable women, have the greatest stories.  I simply love seeing women go from trial to triumph because I've been there and still go back there from time to time.  Worthless variables have changed the way we view each other. We judge one another based on posted pics of date night w/hubby, vacations, kids' report cards and foyers without stopping to realize that often times, the woman who has the most feels the least deserving and the woman who has the least feels like the world is hers. While the truth of the matter is, most of us have experienced being on the edge and didn't care if we went over it.

This Mother's Day, take a little time to reflect on the resilience of each woman in your life.  We are real women, not women with feigned lives on social media or fabulous women on reality shows who brunch with mimosas everyday with perfectly manicured nails, flawless hair and House Beautiful homes.  Reflect on the circumstances that built the women you respect, as well as the inner beauty building in you and the women around you.  Most of all, STOP judging other women based on bags, relationship statuses and square footage. We miss out on so much life trying to keep up instead of moving at our own pace.  Our beginnings and endings may differ, but there is still no comparison because we all are uniquely made and set upon different journeys. Our defeats and wins is where we should gain the majority of our understanding of each other.  Women.

I hope I made my point as I feel like I've been rambling!    At any rate, I hope everyone has a truly Happy Mother's Day.  We'll chat again.  Stay up...