My Disgusting House


I just bought my very first house! Most people would be saying woohoo, but I’m saying ew. My new house is basically the “before” on Flip or Flop. It reminds me of that Fixer Upper episode where they renovated Pawpaws house, and the possum was living under the bed. Not a pretty picture! Let me backtrack a moment to tell you all why I bought this gross residence and how it fell into my hands.

Previously, I rented in the city of Chicago for two years, and like most cities, rent was outrageous. I decided that buying a place of my own would be a better investment. Being a single woman and only 25 years old, I knew that I didn’t have a huge budget. I definitely wanted a house and not a townhome or condo, so I knew that I was going to have to look at fixer uppers. This was the first house I saw, and I fell in love (as much as you can with a dilapidated home). The layout was perfect, it was just the right size, only a 20 minute drive to work, close to my family, and $40,000 under my budget! I went to see one more house for good measure, but ended up putting an offer on this house within 3 days of first seeing it.

They accepted my offer after only one counter offer. Everything was going so smoothly! I knew I couldn’t be that lucky. In the middle of purchasing the house, it went into foreclosure. So the contract I signed with the sellers was now null and void. I now needed to renegotiate with the bank that bought it. Luckily, the bank still accepted my price and offer, and it only delayed my closing by two weeks.

Right before my closing, my realtor and I did a walkthrough of the house to make sure everything looked good. IT DIDN’T! When the current residents got foreclosed on, they left all of their stuff in the house. It was a disaster! I am so thankful that the bank took pity on me and offered to pay for 1-800-Junk-Relief to move everything out.

Here are the BEFORE pictures of the place. I have so many renovations planned! The first things on the list are remodeling that crumbling bathroom and removing the urine & smoked stained carpets to refinish the hardwoods. I give Chip and Joanna Gaines a lot of credit. This is tough work. I will keep you all updated throughout my home’s journey. One day it won’t be disgusting anymore.

At Home Leg Workout


Check out my first YouTube video below! I have created an amazing, at home leg day for you. This routine will surely build the booty.

Flourishing Mel YouTube

Swap out the steps for a chair & you’ve got yourself a killer leg workout at home. Repeat 3 times for the ultimate leg day.


The Sunshine Award

I was nominated by the beautiful and inspiring Amber of What Makes Me Amber for the Sunshine Award. She tagged me to answer these 11 questions about myself. I have also linked you too 11 other amazing bloggers who I have nominated for this award. I love learning more about this wonderful community!

1.) When you aren’t blogging, you are…

When I am not blogging, I am most likely at work or at the gym.

2.) Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts?

I find my writing inspiration from every day life. I wrote about my struggles and successes so that my readers can learn from me.

3.) If you were to move far away from where you currently live, what are some things you’d miss?

I would definitely miss summertime in the city. Chicago only has nice weather for about 3 months of the year, but those 3 months are glorious. Chicago is full of amazing museums, parks, beaches, and concerts.

4.) Do you have any plans for the summer?

As mentioned in my previous post, this summer will be full of weddings! I also just purchased a house, so I will be working on renovations all summer long.

5.) When you were a kid, what did you aspire to be?

I always wanted to be a teacher and here I am!

6.) What is your drink of choice when you’re at a restaurant?

I never drink pop, soda, etc. It’s usually a coffee at brunch, water with lemon, or a nice glass of red wine.

7.) Do you speak any other languages?

I don’t speak any other languages. Learning a new language never came easy to me.

8.) What is your favorite cuisine to cook and/or eat?

I love all types of food. I will eat anything and everything.

9.) Are you a reader? If so, what is your favorite book?

I love reading! I breeze through books. I don’t have a favorite book, but my favorite author is Lisa Scottoline. I had the pleasure of meeting her a couple weeks ago, and she is even more outstanding in person!

10.) What is something fun that you’ve done recently?

Something fun that I have recently done is tried out Soulcycle. I would highly recommend it to anyone!

11.) What do you do/where do you go to relax?

Relaxation to me is being in nature. Sitting by the lake with a good book and my dog is an ideal day.

Now I nominate the following bloggers:

Dailey Runs

Ash From Scratch

Sustain, Balance, Wellness


Vegan Miche

Whole Heart Bliss

Baby to Bikini

Coffee Toffee and Fitness

Becky Runs Backwards

Beauty Butter

Inside Kel’s Kitchen

Here are your 11 questions! Answer and then nominate 11 other bloggers.

  1. What is your favorite vacation destination?
  2. How did you get started blogging?
  3. Which post of yours is your favorite?
  4. Where are you from?
  5. What is your favorite food?
  6. Do you have any pets?
  7. What is your favorite hobby?
  8. What is the last book that you read?
  9. Who is your role model?
  10. What paint color is your bedroom?
  11. Who is your favorite blogger to follow?


How I got $665 Worth of Clothes for $195

Being a teacher, I have the expectation to dress nice for work every day but don’t have the salary to afford it. Pinching pennies is enough to deal with, but being much smaller than the average adult makes finding clothes even more difficult. I used to resort to shopping in the children’s section, until I came into work one day wearing same top as a 10 year old. Talk about embarrassing. In addition to my sad work wardrobe, I’m attending 3 weddings this summer and a child’s dress from Target just wouldn’t fly. So, I set on a mission to find some proper grown up clothes for my tiny, frugal self.

I headed to the nearest outlet mall because they always have name brand clothes at a discounted price. I started at J Crew because they have a well stocked petite section. I picked out 3 dress for the upcoming weddings. The original total was $306. J Crew was running a sale for 40% off on all dresses and 15% off all petite clothing. This combined with a 15% teacher discount brought my total price to $138. That is a savings of $168!

Next I headed to Joe’s which carries designer denim. I wear a size 23 or 00 petite which most brands don’t carry. I’ve been searching for a pair of white jeans for about 3 years and never found any that fit. A fellow teacher recommended Joe’s to me because of the small sizes that they offer. Their price are steep at $169 a pair! I was determined to find a deal though. I told one of the workers that I was looking for any style of white jean in a size 23. He found me a pair that cost $99, but I told them that I just couldn’t afford to spend that much on denim that I could only wear from May-August. He told me that he’d look in the back for any of last season’s items. He came out with a perfect fitting pair of bootcut white jeans. They may not be the skinny ankle ones that I originally wanted, but they we only $27! That is a savings of $142 and a bright smile across my face.

Finally, I headed to Banana Republic to grab some tops for work. They were having a 50% off sale of everything in store. I grabbed 4 tops that would have originally cost me $190. Not only did I get 50% off, but all 4 of those items were also on clearance. With the addition of my 10% teacher discount, my total was $30. That is a savings of $160!

I had an amazing day of bargain hunting! Without all of the sales, my total bill would have been $665. After all the sales and discounts were applied, I got 3 J Crew dresses, a pair of Joe’s white jeans, and 4 Banana Republic tops for $195. That is a total savings of $470!

Here are my top tips for finding quality clothes at a fraction of their original price.

  1. Find an outlet or factory store near you.
  2. Research sales.
  3. Ask if they have anything for cheaper in the back.
  4. Inquire about discounts.