2016 In Review

2016 in review This year went by in what seemed like a crazed blur. There were SO many changes in our life this year - we went through a lot of personal growth, self reflection, "realizing things" as Kylie Jenner would say...but overall my takeaway from 2016 was to grab opportunity by the horns and take the incredible amount of insight, maturing (I blame parenthood) and lessons I learned from "The School of Life" into 2017. 

One of the things I like to do is to look over the past year in review. Writing them down is therapeutic in a sense and it's powerful to reflect on the experiences you've had, the trips and the people who changed you.

My own 2016 year in review looks a little like this...


  • I killed two birds with one stone and visited Dallas for some work and play! There I took a seminar with Kevin James Bennett, an Emmy-Award Winning Makeup Artist with over 30 years of experience. Watching him work was fascinating and he really knows his stuff. I also got the chance to receive business training with Megan Garmers, owner of MG Hair and Makeup and a Knot Pro Ambassador (top 3% of the wedding industry). She dropped some serious knowledge and reality checks to make us all more efficient businesswomen. The cherry on top was reuniting with all of my best college friends from SMU and going to homecoming with them like old times. The nostalgia was REAL and I was about to cry tears of happiness pretty much the whole trip! 
  • We moved to Charlotte, NC for a promotion with my husband, Scott's work. I restarted my makeup business, we became first time home owners and are navigating parenthood with our cutie patootie bubbie toddler Kathleen. :)
  • I set up my studio! I opened it a few months ago and do trial runs for brides and appointments for special occasion makeup. I've almost got it looking exactly like my dreams but it's still got some final touches in store (which I plan to share on this blog!)
  • I applied makeup for my first advertising campaign! My bread and butter is mostly bridal work, so it was incredibly thrilling to branch out. The makeup was for Scott Clark of Scott Clark Toyota - the final result was over 60 billboards across Charlotte. I was so proud to drive by them and I would be like, "thats MYYYY billboard!!!" and freak out like a total nerd/have a psychotic breakdown every time. I was actually proud of myself - a luxury I rarely allow myself as a perfectionist. 
  • I travelled back to my hometown, Jacksonville to visit family and friends for Christmas. We had an extra treat with my aunt, uncle and cousin staying from England. My aunt is the English reincarnation of me and vice versa - she is my true spirit animal if there ever was one! When you resonate with someone like that, it's pretty hard not to get ridiculously excited when they come to visit! I hadn't seen her since my wedding day so we felt ALL the feelings. 


  • I became my own boss. This year marked the first year that I fully branched out on my own in the bridal business. I'm doing all my own business plans, budgeting, advertising, insurance - you name it and am learning how to be a better businesswoman all the time. :)
  • I took risks. See above and you'll understand. But I also took risks in my relationships this year - I forgave some, let go of others and finally started putting myself out there to meet new friends in a new city. 
  • I got a RING LIGHT!! I know it sounds silly as a personal goal, but it HAS been a goal of mine to up the anti and get professional lighting for my studio and improved before/after pictures. 


  • that I am a people person at heart. While I certainly didn't just discover that I'm outgoing - I mean LOL I never stop talking - I learned how integral it is for my own happiness to get out of the house, engage with people and forge those deep connections and relationships. I truly crave getting to know people, learning of their strengths, desires, struggles...I learned from balancing motherhood and being your own boss that it can get pretty lonely out here adulting. I'm so much happier when I'm actively participating in the story of others, and they in mine. 
  • how much better I feel when I go to the gym on a regular basis. Seriously! I always feel so much better after going and automatically feel like I've gotten something checked off the list for the day - which is another mood booster. I'm still trying to figure out the best routine but it finally clicked that exercise may not be such a terrible thing and I actually need it to function properly.
  • that it's ok to let go. Let go of people who hurt you. Let go of the past. Let go of trying to please everyone. When you hold on to resentment, anger, fear, sadness--all those negative emotions-- it starts to add up and weigh you down. I've been ferociously holding onto a ball of my own and it's done nothing good for me this year. I'm learning that you have to forgive people not for them, but for yourself. 


I have a lot more in store for 2017 - I feel like this year will be filled with more certainty and confidence. Hopefully I will continue to do a lot more learning and growing too. 



What were some of your own accomplishments in 2016?

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Decor Inspiration: Pastel Interiors

Decor Inspiration: Pastel Interiors I've had interior design ideas on the mind recently. My parents are currently placing the final touches on a renovation of their kitchen that's taken place over the past several (thousand) months. It's stark white with sharp edges, minimum glitz and a modern overall feel. I often like to think about what I would have done with a (hypothetical) second kitchen to restyle. It gives you the opportunity to show off yet another side of the personality Rubix cube. What I'm trying to say is--I like a lot of different styles and sometimes I just can't choose! 

Pastels are coming in hot for 2016 and I looovvveee it. I would usually associate pastels with old-fashioned granny table cloths but I have seen the light and been inspired (by Pinterest, but still, inspired). 

Decor Inspiration: Pastel Interiors

Pastels pair unusually well with mixed metals and rose hues of copper, geometric shapes, and feminine touches. 

Decor Inspiration: Pastel Interiors

I also never thought that pastels could pair so well with vintage pieces and look so modern at the same time. The key is to incorporate modern art and knicknacks dispersed through the room. The picture above has such a cozy, warm feel. It's kinda hipster-ish but I dig it. 

Decor Inspiration: Pastel Interiors

Bright pops of fun color spunk up a bedroom while the pastels keep it feeling like a calm oasis. Adding lots of textures will create different points of interesting contrast--making sure no part of the room goes unnoticed. 

I'm still imagining up all sorts of interior options for my non-existant house of a thousand kitchens. I'm planning great things guys. ;)


Are you into pastels at the moment? 

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Photo Source: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 


Do you ever have a hard time getting everything done each day?



New Years Beauty Resolutions

New Years Beauty Resolutions | www.annemariemitchell.com

I love the "newness" that comes with new years. Like buying fresh new grounds for your coffee machine--new years are refreshing, energizing and serve as a sort of "caffeine" for life. I'm all too eager to cast aside 2014 to see what's in store for this new year. I've found that a great way to keep resolutions is by committing it to writing. I scheduled and planned a lot of my year out in my new planner and color coded it for organization. 

I'm definitely late to the dance on this one, but I've listed some beauty and personal resolutions for some 2015 booty kicking:


1.) Cleanse that nastiness every night

When the options are 15 minutes of zombie sink time or a fluffy pillow--you know who wins. No matter how tired I am, I need to tell myself to get my booty up and do my skin care routine every night. No more crusty crust eyes to pry open or makeup crime scenes on my pillow cases. 

2.) Wash makeup brushes when they are dirty--not disgusting

My client brush role is always pretty and ready to go yet my own personal set...well, let's just say sometimes it gets out of control up in there. This is mostly due to laziness. My goal is to wash my own personal set at least every 2 weeks using this super easy method. 

3.) Stop anxiety biting 

All it takes is some pensive thought and I look down to nails that magically resemble a chewed dog toy. I've yo-yoed back and forth with successful months of no biting but I really need to commit it to a forever sort of thing. 

4.) Become one with the makeup cheetah

I take way to long to put on my makeup. Simply put. It's all too easy for me to succumb to perfectionism and sit forever agonizing over a cat eye flick or what have you. I've found tricks to speed up my makeup routine but I struggle when it comes to getting ready for a night out. 

5.) Intake water like a normal person

I actually had a kidney infection this year and let me tell you--it was NOT fun. I learned the hard way that if you don't drink, you'll be lethargic, have dry skin, and suffer the consequences of organs that hate you. 


  • + read at least 10 books  + write and publish an ebook
  • +  stop procrastinating about pretty much everything
  • + know that perfection and success does not equal my self worth 
  • + open an online/in-person makeup class + double my social media followers on all platforms + lose my pregnancy weight and maintain a gym regime
  • + learn the stock market 
  • + do more things that feeds the soul and makes me happy  + post 4 times a week religiously + keep a clean house on the regular + reorganize, declutter and simplify closet space, pantry, bathroom (every room of the apartment...) + start a creative scrapbook binder with sections for baby, vacations, random days out + become a more positive thinker
  • + live only in the present--not the past or future


Do any of my beauty and personal resolutions resemble your own?


DIY Inspiration Cork Board

DIY Inspiration Cork Board | www.annemariemitchell.com The new dawn of 2015 is fast approaching my friends. New Years resolutions will undoubtedly be made--and many broken. I don't know about you, but becoming a more organized, less slob of a human being is top priority for me this coming year.

I decided to take action and create my own fun inspiration board out of an old cork board I had laying around. It's a fun way to keep yourself motivated, inspired and on track each day. I use it to hang ideas I might use for blog posts, inspirational quotes, reminders, and my home and work to-do list. Keep it by your work desk to easily pin things in arms reach and keep yourself organized with one glance. 

DIY Inspiration Cork Board | www.annemariemitchell.com


*Note- Do this project on a porch or outside just in case of accidents with the spray paints or glue

DIY Inspiration Cork Board | www.annemariemitchell.com


Lay down some newspaper or magazine pages to protect the floor or ground outside from the spray paint. Place your cork board in the center on top. 


Shake spray can well then spray your first layer of paint over the board. I chose white as my first layer to act as a base for the more colorful spray paint to go over top. 

DIY Inspiration Cork Board | www.annemariemitchell.com


Once the first coat of paint has dried for a few minutes, spray your choice of colorful spray paint over top. I waved my hand in zig zagging motions while spraying to achieve a sort of whimsical, cloudy effect with the white. I also splattered some paint in random areas of the board for a cool paint splattered effect. To seal it all in, spray a clear top coat to finish it off. Let the board dry for a few hours or overnight if you have done many layers of paint. 


Once the board is completely dry, measure out your washi tape to fit the length and width of the board. Apply a Krazy glue pen or wood glue to the borders, then lay your washi tape over top. Press on it with your fingers to ensure all parts are sticking. If you try to lay down the tape with no glue, it will fall off too easily. 

DIY Inspiration Cork Board | www.annemariemitchell.com


Spray the back of your mini chalk board with spray adhesive and lay it down wherever you want on the cork board. Press down on it with your fingers to ensure it sticks well. I use my mini chalk board to write down reminders for myself that I want to get done that day. 


Use fun pins or adhesive dots to stick any sort of papers or pictures to your board. I chose fun Nate Burkus push pins to match the metallic look and feel of my board. 

If you're looking for more DIY awesomeness, take a peek at my DIY Pinterest board for lots of fun ideas:  Follow Anne-Marie Mitchell's board DIY on Pinterest.

Are you going to make your own inspiration board? If you do, tweet me what yours looks like at @amitchellblog or tag me on instagram: @annemariemitchellblog or #annemariemitchellblog. I would love to see your version! 




Winter Home Decor Inspiration

Winter Home Decor Inspiration | www.annemariemitchell.com It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and that means your home might need a little winter spruce up. Stock up on a few festive home decor pieces to use every year and repurpose them for new arrangements. I've stalked Pinterest and blogs galore to bring you some ideas to set your holiday spark aglow.


Who doesn't love the warm glow of a candle during the winter? I'm loving this gorgeous, wintery silver center piece paired with glittery baubles on its crisp white background. Simply take a tray and lay out some lovely candles and accent pieces and you have yourself a gorgeous center piece to dress up any living space. 

Winter Home Decor Inspiration | www.annemariemitchell.com


Add a refined, festive mood to your entryway or hallway with winter wonderland themed side tables and mantles. Lay some ornaments in a bowl along with a sprinkle of fake snow flakes, or use metallic spray paint to liven up some cute little figurines and pinecones. 


Bouquets of Baby's Breath all over the house is a simple, cheap and unique way to add some winter beauty to the home. I love the lavender accents in the bouquet above and how the Baby's Breath looks like delicate snowflakes freshly fallen on some branches. 

Winter Home Decor Inspiration | www.annemariemitchell.com


Cutesy cliché holiday sayings, although overused--are just so dang cute when you combine pillows. This "Baby it's cold outside" pillow is a simple way to spruce up any sofa to make it holiday ready. 


Delicious smells are in your future if you decide to whip up this easy cinnamon spice simmer. Fill your home with cozy goodness just by adding your favorite whole spices to a pot to simmer. Fresh pine needles, cloves, nutmeg berries and rosemary added to a pot with some oil will make your home smell like Christmas itself. 


What are some of your holiday home decor ideas?


Effective Holiday Gift Shopping Organization and Planning | + Free Printable Holiday Shopping List

Effective Holiday Gift Shopping Organization and Planning | + Free Printable Holiday Shopping List | www.annemariemitchell.com

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holidays are arriving soon--and oh, you know what that means. 

Stampeding Women. Salespeople you want to stab. Empty wallets (a.k.a Crying husbands). 

Just kidding. But not really. Although the holidays are fun-filled it can definitely be stressful--like pull your hair out stressful. So translation = we're all balding. Time to add a weave to the Christmas list.

Our lives are already busy enough without trying to get the holiday shopping in a reasonable time and with sanity in tact. I've run the gauntlet a few times and pieced together what keeps me on track. 

These holiday gift shopping tips will help you stay organized and timely with a laid out plan. My free Holiday Shopping List Template will help you sort out who to buy gifts for and how many gifts you need with a helpful checklist to remind you of anyone missing. Budget your spending with a list of prices and totals for each person. Just check off which presents have been bought and wrapped and you have yourself an organized life--just in time for the holidays. Yay, gift to yourself! 



Start your holiday shopping out by getting a good idea of what you want to buy for people. Begin planning by perusing possible store options on the internet (nice and easy since you can do this from the comfort of your own home instead of aimlessly walking around the mall).  After that, simply put aside a day in your schedule that you will shop for presents--either in store or by ordering online. I abide by a rule of buying presents at least one week in advance if bought in store and three weeks if ordered online. This generally ensures that my wrapping gets done and doesn't look like a baby teethed on it. 


You want to make sure you are buying meaningful gifts for meaningful people. Buying 50 billion cheapo presents for any random Bob and Joe acquaintance isn't going to leave you or them feeling fulfilled. Write down the names of people who have had an impact in your life or invested time in you--and invest in them in return. Once you find some gifts you think the people on your list might like, save them to your shopping cart and/or bookmark the website. Take some time to think about each person's personality and what they would really enjoy. Then narrow down and eliminate the items until you have picked the present you know they will love. Write it down on your list to keep track.

"Meaningful gifts for meaningful people--a way to invest in those who have invested in YOU" [Tweet this]


Having a budget will ensure you are spending your money with more thought for each person (and keep your wallet in tact and holiday debt at bay too). A budget will keep you thinking, "Would this gift be special to that person while also being a reasonable price for myself?" This way you are being fair to you and fair to the receiver. No more holiday gift resentment--on either side.


I can't tell you how many times I've bought a gift in advance, then put it aside and forgotten about it. You know what that means? Crappy last minute wrapping jobs à la moi. OR the reverse situation has happened and I somehow think I've bought a gift for Sally when in reality I've bought one for Betsy. You can avoid epic life failures like this by checking off exactly who you've bought and wrapped gifts for. That's why a cute little "check" space is on my free printable list. 

Print off your free holiday gift shopping list below!

Effective Holiday Gift Shopping Organization and Planning | + Free Printable Holiday Shopping List | www.annemariemitchell.com


Holiday Gift Shopping List

Effective Holiday Gift Shopping Organization and Planning | + Free Printable Holiday Shopping List | www.annemariemitchell.com

 Got some beauty-loving friends or family? These posts will help you pick out some stellar gifts they'll love:

What are some of your holiday shopping tactics?




Jewelry Storage & Organization Tips

ewelry Storage & Organization Tips | www.annemariemitchell.com

I finally found the perfect method to store my jewelry. Finding a great storage and organization solution has drastically dropped my time spent hunting for missing jewelry or finding myself yet again detangling a billion necklaces and earrings. I can now find and pick out what I want to wear with ease and have it double as a cute display piece too. 

Depending on your space and how much room you have, you might want to organize your jewelry in a specific way. There honestly aren't any rules--it's what works best for you, saves you the most time, and of course looks the most attractive. The tips below are what I've found works for a variety of different set ups and space limitations. 

ewelry Storage & Organization Tips | www.annemariemitchell.com

J E W E L R Y   S T O R A G E   &   O R G A N I Z A T I O N    T I P S:

S T O R A G E:

1.) Recycle & Re-use- Your jewelry storage system doesn't have to be expensive. I make it a practice now to save any old cardboard jewelry gift boxes, shoe box lids, the glass containers of used candles, or anything that I can re-use or re-purpose into a storage unit or divider. You can even use paint or duct tape to make them all look universal and the same color. This is a great way to save money and time.

2.) Use the internet to your advantage- I have found so many useful (and cheap!) storage systems by simply searching it online. Websites like Amazon and Etsy are a God-send and make finding anything you need a cinch. I found my hanging jewelry wall display after only a few clicks on Amazon. Online searches give you the power to find exactly what you want at the price you want too. 

3.) Think about what will store the most using the least space- This should be the key factor and consideration of any truly useful storage system. I love how my hanging wall display is so utilitarian since it can hold anything from earrings, to bracelets to necklaces. This makes it so much easier to quickly find what I'm looking for. I can even pair matching jewelry together to create different looks--just with a mere glance. Having the majority of your jewelry in one or two places is ideal to cut out the clutter and save you room. 

4.) Go on the hunt- I know it's sometimes hard to fight off the feeling of needing to find everything you need at once. I'm telling you though that it's most often worth it to wait it out and find storage items you truly love at a great price and can use for a long time. You might even find the perfect storage item by accident this way. I found the perfect drawer organizer on a random trip to Target when I wasn't even thinking about my jewelry storage. 

5.) Store it where you get ready- If you typically get dressed and put on your makeup in front of a vanity in your bedroom (see mine here), store your jewelry in or near that area. This way, everything you need to get ready every morning is located in one, easy to find place. I guarantee it will chop your morning routine in half. As a general rule though, try not to store jewelry (or makeup) in a bathroom. The heat and steam from the shower will cause your jewelry to tarnish and dull and make your makeup products grow bacteria. 

6.) To display or not to display?- Before investing in any jewelry organizer, you should decide what your room allows space-wise and plan accordingly. If you already have a million picture frames and hanging displays on your walls, then a hanging wall organizer might not be the best match. It's all about keeping things organized, neat and attractive to the eye. 

O R G A N I Z A T I O N:

1.) By color- I like to arrange things based on what is the most visually pleasing while useful at the same time. Organizing jewelry by color will help you to quickly choose and pair the jewelry that matches your outfit or mood for that day. 

2.) By expense- I don't personally like to keep my expensive jewelry out on display--I would rather save it from damage in a more enclosed and protected space. I keep all my nicer or more sentimental jewelry tucked neatly away in a great jewelry organizer I found at Target. I keep my cheaper jewelry on my hanging wall display where I can easily get to it for every day purposes. By keeping them separate, I can easily find the jewelry that I would rather wear for special occasions while knowing it's kept safe. 

3.) By set- If you have a lot of jewelry that comes in sets (matching earrings, bracelet, and necklace, etc.), then it's a great idea to keep them together. This will save you the hassle of looking for or losing pieces to the set all the time. I keep some jewelry sets in the little dividers attached to my jewelry organizer from Target. 

4.) By jewelry category- Keeping jewelry together by category (necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc.) will help your eye to glance over your collection and find the type of jewelry you want to wear right away. That way you won't have to waste time searching for earrings tangled up in your other categories of jewelry. 

5.) By size, shape, length or durability- Jewelry of the same proportions stores much better together and will give your collection a seamless, neat and sleek look. If you are looking for a long necklace to wear for example, it helps to have a section where you keep all your long necklaces. That way, you automatically know where to look instead of misplacing things. 

ewelry Storage & Organization Tips | www.annemariemitchell.com

ewelry Storage & Organization Tips | www.annemariemitchell.com

ewelry Storage & Organization Tips | www.annemariemitchell.com

What are some of your best storage and organization tips?