Tuesday, November 17, 2020

small changes making a big impact

You guys, it has been a year. 

Right? We all know this. We're over it.

Living through a pandemic has impacted literally everybody. Even if we've been able to find a silver lining amidst the chaos, I think most of us could safely say that we would have been a whoooole lot happier without COVID-19 and its hoopla. 

I digress.

Like many, I've learned a lot about myself since March. For example: I am actually far more of an anxious person than I ever gave myself credit for, and I've been trying to navigate that by finding ways to spark joy and reduce anxiety. Here's a short list of what's been working for me so far:


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

my first "currently" of 2020

It has been over a year since my last "currently" blog post. I could chalk that up to all the craziness in 2019 (planning a wedding, getting married), or I could blame it on 2020 (you just know). Alas, here we are. From new shows to new clothes, here's what's been going on in my little world lately:


The Haunting of Hill House - As much as I love learning about hauntings and ghosts, I have become a nervous Nelly over the years ( puns!). I was hesitant to watch this show, but I'm so glad I did. Absolutely loved it. It definitely has its jumpy parts, and I wouldn't watch it alone, but the story was just too good, and it was beautifully filmed. The twists! The turns! 10/10 recommend. 

The Haunting of Bly Manor - Started watching just before Halloween, but we're only a few episodes in! Just as chilling, but not as "jumpy" so far.

Schitt's Creek - Season 6 is finally out on Netflix. AHHHH. Surprisingly, Ryan and I haven't quite "binged" it yet, but I think it's because we're sad to have it all come to an end. We're not doing anything for Halloween, but I think I might dress up as Alexis and gallivant around the house doing her voice and mannerisms. Mmmmm, happy Halloween!

Emily in Paris - Mixed thoughts about this one. I love Lily Collins, but there isn't anything exactly novel about this show. Her neighbor in the show is nice to look at, so that's reason enough for me. I'll definitely finish the season, but I wouldn't say it's anything to write home about.

The election results - I started drafting this post a few weeks back, but how could I not add this to my "watching" list? As of now, we're still awaiting final results and my anxiety levels are hiiiiiigh.


I have been slow in the reading game this past month, and I think it's because the two books I've started are nonfiction, which takes me a bit to get through. I started reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle, but then put it down once October hit to read I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara for a little spooky thrill. I haven't really sat down to read in awhile, so I haven't given myself the time to catch interest in either book. I'm hoping to give both of them a real shot over the next few weeks. 

Kinda feeling like I need to hop into another fiction read, though. Anyone else have a hard time with nonfiction? I rarely get that "I have to know what happens next!" feeling.


Lots and lots and lots of Boom cards! I'm so glad I got into making these for my patients this year. Not only does it save me a lot of prep time, but I'm happy I get to use my speech and language knowledge to create a passive income. 

Our house a home! I think both Ryan and I got a little winded from all the renovations and seemingly endless projects. Our doors still aren't painted, baseboards still need to be calked, and it's time we got started on that guest bathroom, but we're slowly getting things together again. We just had someone give us a quote for plantation shutters on ONE window ($1200!!! For ONE!), and we're in the process of figuring out what to do with our backyard/porch situation. In the last few weeks, I've taken on some smaller projects, like framing and hanging wedding photos. Our home feels more cozy with our special moments hanging on the walls.

What are you up to lately?


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

our home project lists: weekend, 6-month, long term

As the majority of you probably know, especially if you follow me on Instagram, my husband and I are new homeowners! We purchased our home right before COVID happened, and we've been super busy fixing it up ever since. I've heard from a few of you that you enjoy staying up to date on our home improvement whereabouts, so I thought I'd give you an idea of what we're working on, and what we have plans to do. Below each to-do list graphic, I go into a little more detail:

Since making these lists a couple of weeks ago, I've actually already stained and painted our bedroom dresser! I'll be writing a blog post about how we flipped our 6-drawer IKEA Tarva dresser within the next month. We love how it turned out! 

Painting our doors feels like such a daunting task, but I know it will really elevate the look of our home once they're completed. Right now, they're only primed, and look exactly like what they are: unfinished. We're just happy to be rid of the old, shabby looking wooden doors that came with the house. 

I'm not sure how Ryan manages to work from home out of our current office situation right now, because the closet situation is an absolute mess. Since we don't have any doors or shelving, nothing has a place, and we're not able to conceal it. AH. We truly need to sit down and plan out exactly how we want to build out both the office and guest room closets so we can get adequate use out of our storage space.

And then we have the guest bathroom. YIKES. The walls (and ceiling!) are the worst, shiny brown color and the tiles are simply old, outdated, and a little rough looking. Aside from small updates in the kitchen, this bathroom is really the only "big" interior work we have left to work on. Ideally, we want to revamp the entirety of the guest bathroom - get rid of the current push-in situation, do a tile surround, replace the countertops, and maybe even the tile. 

5. Ahhhh, caulking. A simple yet incredibly tedious job. I've been working on this on and off when I have a few hours open on the weekend. Crazy what a difference it makes, though! 

Our primary concern in this moment: our back porch and patio. Our current patio situation is an unfinished attempt at additional indoor square footage. We're talking insulated ceiling foam tiles, random wooden posts, and laminate "wood" wall coverings. YIKES AGAIN. I've been out to our backyard less than 10 times since moving in back in March, because it's such an eyesore. Thankfully, Ryan makes his way out there to mow the lawn. I would love to get this project going so that we can enjoy some chillier temps out on the porch during the next couple of seasons. I already have plenty of ideas brewing!

After we've seen how much new baseboards elevated the bedrooms, we would love to get rid of our current (old) 3/4 inch quarter rounds we have throughout the house and install some new boards to spruce up our living and dining areas. It's crazy how something as small as baseboards can make such a huge aesthetic difference.

Speaking of elevating our space, I think plantation shutters over our primary (and only) front-facing window would add such a beautiful touch to our home. I need to schedule someone to come out and give us a quote ASAP.

Ahhhh, the long term projects. AKA things that probably cost a lot of money, or require lots of time and research. 

As far as the kitchen goes, we actually have very minimal concerns. I'd like to get rid of the blue Formica counters and go for something a little more neutral, but our cabinets are pretty much brand new. When we first moved in, we had ideas of knocking out a couple small walls and making our kitchen/dining/living space more of an open concept, but I'm not sure that's something we'll actually end up doing. I think it's worth living in the space as is a bit longer before making any big decisions. 

We have the absolute perfect wall for a gorgeous, custom built entertainment center (think thick wooden open shelves, recess lighting, cabinets, etc.) buuuut per our contractor, it would be approximately $3k. Could we splurge and make it work right now? Maybe. But it's not something that's absolutely necessary in this moment. 

Back to our primary concern mentioned above: our outdoor space. Once the patio is complete, it would likely be in our best interest to even out our terrain, as it slopes down to a mangrove-y type of area (there is water behind our house, but it's very far back...basically it looks like woods in our backyard!). And then once that happens...I want a spool! In other words, a spa pool...err, basically a small pool. I would like a small pool. I think I only have to mention it to Ryan approximately 38,000 more times before it happens.

Our garage is organized chaos right now, but that feels like too big of a fish to fry right now. It's functional. Ultimately, I would love to spruce up the laundry area a bit, give Ryan a proper area to store his tools, and make it feel like less of a dark, boring space. I can dream, right?

To conclude: we have quite a bit on our plate. Sometimes, we make comments about how we wish we could have moved into something a little more "move in ready." But most of the time, we're pretty excited about making this space entirely our own.


Thursday, October 1, 2020

happy fall!

Like many, I am so excited for fall! There are so many things I love about summer - optimal margarita weather, day trips to the beach, poolside shenanigans - I live for cooler weather, comfy sweaters, and cozy decor. In a perfect world, I'd live some place where I could witness a true seasonal change in a timely fashion. But if that were the case, I wouldn't live 25 minutes from the beach, so I guess the grass is always seemingly greener.

I know fall is going to look a little different for everyone this year. Fewer haunted houses, fewer Halloween parties, smaller holiday gatherings. I wonder if trick-or-treating is even going to be a thing this year. 

A friend of mine told me that, after everything we've been through this year, she plans to lean into everything holiday related, and I plan to follow suit. I've been cranking out Halloween themed Boom Cards (check out my shop if you're a fellow SLP!) since September and buying fun fall decor to get into the spirit. Here's a little list of what I want to do so that I can be more intentional about how I spend this season:

What are you looking forward to about the new season?


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

get to know me

It's been awhile since I've shared a little "about me" post, and since I have some new readers, I thought I'd re-introduce myself! SO HEY. I'm Samantha (or Sam). Formerly Samantha Rose, now Samantha Fredericks. Well, not officially. Social security has been closed, and I need to [finally] mail in my documents. But long story longer - my married name is Samantha Fredericks. 

I'm a Florida native, born & raised.

I grew up on a Florida beach, but moved about 30 minutes inland when I was 11 years old so that my parents could keep horses on our property. I used to ride competitively on and off up until I was a teenager, and then my horse passed away a few years back. While my parents still keep several horses, I haven't ridden in years. I would love to change that by the end of this year (once the weather cools down a bit).

Speaking of weather, I love weather. 

There was a point in my early teenage years when I considered being a meteorologist, until I realized just how much math and science that degree requires. I check weather apps and radar every week so I know what type of weather to expect and stay on top of my hurricane apps during the season. I also love a solid weather disaster movie. I finally watched Twister for the first time a couple of months ago, but The Day After Tomorrow is one of my favorites.

I met my husband at a bar.

We met at a local Tampa bar almost seven years ago. I was semi-freshly out of a relationship, and while I was dating around a bit, I thought I wasn't ready for anything serious. But when I met him, I knew he was going to become my boyfriend. After six months, I had a feeling that I could spend the rest of my life with him. Four and a half years later, he proposed, and we got married on October 12th last year.

Speech-language pathology is my second "career."

I got my bachelor's degree in mass communication and started working in sales right out of school, but ended up getting my master's degree in speech-language pathology a few years later. Growing up, I never pictured myself in a "helping" career. As a speech-pathology grad student, I never anticipated just how much I'd love working with children with autism. Now it's pretty much my "specialty" at work, and I love it!

Growing up, I wanted to be an actress.

I took acting classes and participated in drama and productions in high school, but my parents were always very adamant about pursuing education first, and then I could "do whatever I want." Even though I've held a job since I was 16 years old, I was basically living on their dime throughout college, so I followed their guidance. I guess you could say that dream kind of fell to the wayside as years passed. While I enjoyed it, I'm not sure I was passionate enough about it to truly pursue it. Maybe I'll join an improv group or community theater down the line, though! 

Poodles are my love language.

(Don't tell our mixed breed, Einstein). I've had dogs for as long as I can remember - primarily poodles. I had two standard poodles until I was around 13, then we've had a family toy poodle since then. When I met Ryan, he sent me a Snapchat of his toy poodle, Benni, and I think that's when I knew we were meant to be. Poodle people for the win. Plus, I thought it was pretty cute that a 6'8 guy went to the animal shelter on a "study break" during his last college finals week and walked out with a toy poodle.

Other random bits and fun facts:

- I can't stand the song "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey.
- I'm naturally dirty blonde and get a "balayage" about 1-2 times a year...but I've been brunette twice. 
- I'd opt for loungewear over regular clothing any day of the week.
- I turn 30 next summer! This blows my mind, but I'm actually pretty excited about it.
- I am a Taylor Swift fan, through and through. I don't own a single CD player, but I will continue to buy a physical copy of any album she puts out. I'm loving folklore, and my favorite songs are august, exile, and my tears ricochet.
- I don't consider myself a picky eater (I'll try anything at least once!) but I don't like peanut butter or olives. Bleh.

Anything surprise you? Tell me something about you in the comments!

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