Fall Bucketlist

It is Fall here in the United States, so I have compiled a list of my favorite Fall activities. It’s only the middle of October & I’ve almost checked everything off of my list. What are your favorite Fall things to do?

  • Decorate your home with Fall themed decorations (leaf garlands, pinecones, burlap ribbon, wreaths, pumpkins, etc.
  • Light Fall scented candles (my favorite is pumpkin vanilla)
  • Drink some hot apple cider
  • Go apple picking
  • Make yummy desserts with said apples
  • Go to a pumpkin patch
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Watch scary movies all cuddled up in blankets
  • Go on a hayride
  • Experience a haunted house
  • Run/bike a trail and take in the beautiful changing leaves
  • Rake leaves & then jump in the pile
  • Take a walking tour of all the Halloween decorated houses in your neighborhood

Birthday Post

As I turn another year older today, I wanted to reflect on my past year. A lot has changed within these 365 days. 25 was a pretty defining year in my life. I fell in love, met amazing new friends, traveled, changed jobs, bought a house, grew my fitness training, and started this website!


I had an amazing relationship and lost it, but have found a new love who is even better. I truly believe that God has a hand in everything. While I might not know his master plan, he always brings exactly what I need into my life.


I met so many new friends through Kayla Itsines’ BBG Community. These girls started as fitness motivation but have turned out to be confidants and lifelong friends.


Since my last birthday, I have traveled to Phoenix, Nashville, Sedona, Columbus, Oahu, Maui, San Francisco, Yosemite and Denver.


Though I am still teaching at my same school, I have changed positions. I am so excited for this new change.


Well if you’ve been following my blog, you already know a ton about this!


I have completed BBG numerous times and even began lifting! For a girl who had never been to the gym, I am so proud of all the strides that I have made.

Looking back on this year, it is amazing how much has changed. I have met and surpassed so many goals. It’s definitely looking like 26 is going to be the best one yet!


Before & After

Here are a few before & after images of my new home! The house I bought was a foreclosure, and the previous residents decided to leave the place a disaster. I have officially owned the home for about two months, and I have made a lot of improvements. I can’t wait to share them all with you. These are just a few teasers!

Easy Window DIY

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not crafty or handy, but this renovation has been pushing me to new limits. When updating my bathroom, I had a new window installed. The only problem was that all the tinted windows were out of stock! So I took to the aisles of the hardware store to find a solution. I stumbled upon this spray paint which claimed to give windows a frosted look. It was only $4, so I figured that I’d try it. I just followed the directions on the can, and it turned out amazing! Now no peeping Tom’s in my shower.

The Start of My Garage Sale Finds

Last weekend I picked up three old pieces from a church garage sale. I am in the process of flipping them into refurbished furniture. Here is my first flip! I got this side drawer for only $20! I painted it a slate gray and now just need to add some hardware. The 103 year old hardwoods in my home are getting refinished next week, so I’ll finally be able to move furniture into my place! I can’t wait to show you all more pics.



Okay, demo day has really been demo week and I’m not completely done yet. Before I even got started on the demolition, I needed to get all of the previous owner’s junk out of my house. 1-800-Junk-Relief did an amazing job removing things! It cost me a pretty penny, $1,395, but thankfully the bank covered the cost. Once the place was empty, I started tearing everything up. Below are pictures with descriptions of all the work I’ve done so far. I can’t wait to put this place back together!

Live House Tour

I’ve been busy working on my house the past week! A lot of demo has been done and remodeling is about to start! I just posted a full tour of my house on my snapchat: Flourishing Mel. Snapstories only stay around for 24 hours, so go check it out now!

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.