New Blog, who dis? – Musings by Madison

Wow! It has been a looooong time since I’ve written anything. (One year and four months to be exact, but who’s counting, right?)

So after taking an extensive hiatus, I have decided it’s time to finally get back into the blogging game. Bigger and better than ever.

Being on the writing staff for TSB for the past several years was such an honor to be a part of. But since that chapter has come to an end, I feel like I have just been going non-stop with hardly any time to sit down and write. I guess being a new homeowner and now a mommy to an eight week old puppy will keep you busy like that… But we are finally settling in and things are slowing down a bit.

Which leads me to the introduction of my new blog! Yup, that’s right. I am saying goodbye to my muddled and disorganized tumblr account and upgrading to something a little less… Tween? Needless to say, I’m super excited about having a fresh, new space to share all of my thoughts ideas about things that pique my interest!

From home updates, my favorite face wash, to calligraphy tutorials—I’ll be diving into it all. So stay tuned and be sure to subscribe to my posts to follow along with me!

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6 Ways to Make Your Gifts Glisten

I know I’m a little late on this, but I only started wrapping gifts on Friday… Don’t judge me.

Even though I procrastinated this year, wrapping presents is probably one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. Every year I choose a different theme and I always have so much fun with it. So today I wanted share six unconventional ways you can step up your gift wrapping game.

 1. Mix Patterns
Whoever said mixing patterns is a no-no was obviously not talking about gift wrapping… I love, love, loooove to mix patterns when it comes to wrapping presents!

 

Above are a few examples of combos from Target that I love. (pictures are linked!)

2. Incorporate Greenery 
Adding greenery to a gift is a surefire way to make your gift stand out. Plus… It’s super easy and affordable. Just take a leisurely stroll to your back yard and pick some sprigs.

 

I personally love the way boxwood looks on top of a gift. Get the tutorial for the mini boxwood wreaths shown above at A Burst of Beautiful.

3. Use Textures
Adding different textures to your presents is a great way to make them pop!

 

Kraft paper would be great for this since it has a rougher texture to it. Top it off with some white paint splatters and dark green, crushed velvet ribbon–ok, why didn’t I think of this before?

4. Make Each Present Different
This is for those of you who are just really tired of looking at the same gift wrap over and over and over again. Been there, done that.

 

Well, why not spice things up and make every present a little different?!

I suggest picking two to three different patterns of wrapping paper and ribbon and interchanging each of them with every present.

5. DIY It
This one is for all you do-it-yourselfers. Whether you add a crafty touch to your wrapping paper or gift tags, going the DIY route can be a really fun and affordable way to gift wrap.

 

Pinterest is a great resource for DIY gift wrapping projects! Check out this article for DIY printable wrapping paper from Homey Oh My! (photo shown above) So cute! Below that are some other DIY’s from Pinterest I’ve been itching to try! Click away.

6. Top It Off
This is my favorite part! I love thinking outside the (gift) box when it comes to topping off my presents. (Pun intended.) There’s a lot of room for creativity when it comes to gift tags and ribbon.

 

Since I went with plaid, a more traditional, gift wrap this year, I decided to use something different to top off each present: yarn! I just used some leftover fuzzy, cream yarn from when I knitted a blanket. (Yes, you read that right. I can knit.)

Here are my presents this year:

2017 Wrap Up + Goals for 2018

I know I say this every year, but I truly cannot believe another year has come and gone so quickly. Like most, the last few days of each year always makes me reflect on the year and think about my goals for the next year.

I’m a firm believer that there is power in writing these things down, so I wanted to share my recap of 2017 and my goals for 2018.

2017 Wrap Up

Where do I begin? In a nutshell, 2017 was the epitome of “adulting” for me in all aspects.

On the home front:
I bought a house in August. This, my friends, was probably the biggest thing that happened for me in 2017. Granted, Justin and I were nomads for about 3 months while we were house hunting and then going through the home buying process. This was….an adventure to say the least. We bounced around from living with my sister and her fiancé, then onto staying with my parents, and now, we are nesting in our own, cozy home. Home ownership has been a learning process, with its own ups and downs (aka a broken water heater), but it has also been so much fun and I’m looking forward to making years worth of memories in our new home… and driving Justin crazy with all of my decorating ideas. (Sorry, boo.)

Another big decision we made this year was making an addition to our family. He is furry, has four legs, and his name is Oliver. I can honestly say that being a puppy-parent takes the cake as being one of the most challenging and rewarding things for me this year, personally. Between the potty training, finding dog hair EVERYWHERE, being used as a constant chew toy, it’s definitely keeping me busy. And on the other hand, he is the cuddliest (sometimes), most eager to please, little bundle of joy and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

On the work front:
At work, I feel like I am finally growing into my position as a manager. I would like to say that I was fearless when taking on my new position as a leader, but I honestly remember feeling more like a deer in headlights and not really sure what I was getting myself into. Although I’ve had managerial positions before, I wouldn’t have considered myself much of a “boss.” Here I am now, over a year later, happy and truly confident in my role as a manager. I’m still learning and developing my own leadership style, of course, but I feel good about where I am and where I’m heading.

Aside from my career, I also started taking my passions more seriously with the encouragement from my sweet boyfriend. Earlier this year, I launched Makes by Madison for my calligraphy and then this November, Musings by Madison for my blogging. This has to be one of the most exciting things for me yet!

On the personal front:
Like I said before, 2017 has been a year of adulting for me. I feel like each year, I become more and more “established” with who I am and what I’m about. But as I’m getting older and living with my significant other, my eyes are being opened in a whole new light. I realized that I’m a litttttle bit stubborn (sorry again, boo), I’m happiest when everyone else is happy, family and friendships are things to be treasured even more as time goes on, and I seriously cannot sleep without 4 pillows…minimum.

2018 Goals

On the home front:
Being a new home owner comes with a never ending list of things to do. So for 2018, I’d like to start crossing some of those things off. Like working on the outside of our house and landscaping and finally unpacking some of those boxes that have been sitting in the basement since we moved in… Oops.

Every year, I also like to make a different financial goal for myself. This year, my goal is the same as it was for 2017: save, save, save. It is never too early to start saving money or having a cushion to rely on for those unexpected expenses (yup, still talking about that dang water heater) or just having money set aside for fun trips!

​On the work front:
For 2018, I am setting some major girl boss goals–personally and professionally. I’d like to keep developing my leadership skills and moving forward in the work place. For Makes by Madison, I already have some really cool calligraphy jobs lined up in 2018, which I’ll be sharing details on soon! As for Musings by Madison, I have some big plans. I love writing, fashion, finding really good deals, decorating, and so much more. Because I feel so strongly about these things, I want to keep sharing them, let you guys in on my style and bargain secrets, and maybe inspire a few people about other things along the way.

On the personal front:
2017 was for adulting; 2018 is my Jordan year. I’ll be 23 in just a few weeks and even though I feel 40 sometimes, I want to really make it a point to enjoy being young and living in the now. I feel like I am quick to get caught up in being so prepared, professional, or whatever else, that I forget that I’m young. I have time. I can’t control the future. All I can do is enjoy what’s in front of me and be thankful for one more day. New year, new me, eh?

What are some of your big moments of 2017? Do you have any goals for 2018?

Share in the comments! I’d love to hear!

My Favorite Workout Leggings – Musings by Madison

Over the past couple of years, I have completely neglected my workout wear. Recently, I’ve decided to finally let go of some of my old active wear and invest in quality pieces that will stand the test of time. So today I’m sharing my favorite workout leggings and everything you need to know about them!

Finding the perfect pair of workout leggings is a milestone in a woman’s life. For me, it was putting on my first pair of lululemon leggings.

The Wedding Edit: Fall Wedding Guest Dresses

Do you struggle with what to wear to those chilly fall and winter weddings? Join the club!

I love fall and winter fashion, but I definitely find spring and summer weddings so much easier to dress for! Bring on the bright colors and light fabrics, open toe-shoes and no need for a jacket! But, with summer winding down and fall/winter wedding invitations slowly filling up my mailbox, I can’t help but to start thinking about what to wear…

Fall and winter wedding attire often involves darker hues, rich or heavier fabrics and sometimes a longer sleeve and dress length. With that, there are also a couple other things to keep in mind when shopping for a fall/winter wedding guest dress… You should consider the formality of the wedding (the invite should specify a dress code), the weather, and venue setting. This is why I am rounding up my top picks that will be perfectly appropriate (and stylish, of course!) for any fall/winter wedding.

The Wedding Edit: Little White Dresses for The Bride

About Madison

I’m Madison – a northern gal planting roots down south. Musings by Madison is your guide to classic style, beauty, home decor & more. Rooted in passion for encouraging others to curate a closet, home, and life they’re proud of and inspired by each day.
Learn more…

Out With the Old and In With the Neutrals: Pre-Spring Closet Purge


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As the new year is in full swing, I am starting to get my annual hankering for a total closet refresh. Anybody else suffer from this yearly organization bug?!

​It feels so good to organize and get rid of things that don’t fit well or embody my own style. Although I love trends, as I’m getting older, I’ve not only put importance on wearing outfits that make me comfortable, but outfits that always embody my own, personal style. Reassessing my wardrobe every year is great way for me to stay true to the styles I love/items that make me feel good, and see what I may need to focus on.

For me, it’s shoes! I am over spending money on poor quality shoes and have realized they are certainly worth investing in! I found heels hidden in the back of my closet that I got a great deal, but I have worn once because they hurt my feet so bad! This kind of thing, my friends, is a perfect example of something I would suggest letting go of during your closet purge!

I have always found myself drawn to specific details, colors, or patterns, but I have found that natural neutrals are pieces that have stood the test of time and are great for any season. I gravitate towards soft knits, cotton, linen, or silky items in different variations of a similar color. Like, white, cream, tan, camel or black, charcoal, marled gray, heather gray, or pastels of brighter colors like soft blush or baby blue. Creating a wardrobe that is mostly consistent with your self-defined color palette (in patterns or solids) is a great start to defining your own style and refreshing your closet. 

Here are some items on my wish list for my closet refresh:

Shop the post:

Are you doing a closet refresh? If so, do you have any organization tips or items you can tell you need to focus on? Share in the comments below. I’d love to hear!