Each year on my birthday, I post an annual birthday picture. I’m a day late this year, but let’s just pretend it’s still September 19.

If you feel like doing a little clicking, here are my previous birthday posts: 44, 43, 42, 41, 40, 39, 38, 37, and 36.

I actually quite like clicking through the previous years as I’m writing each year’s birthday post. It’s a nice look back at the last 9 years. And it’s a great reminder of what hair colors I should stay away from in the future…

And now, I’m 45.

Rather than setting up my tripod around my house to take an annual birthday photo… I just snapped a quick selfie in my car in between errands. So, rather than calling this year’s photo lazy, I’m just going with “authentic.”

Oh, and just for funsies here is my full birthday outfit (photo taken in a Nordstrom Rack dressing room before I got all sweaty trying on 8 pairs of jeans):

I think 45 is going to be a good year.

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Home Update: Old Bathroom to Walk-In Closet

Things have been trucking along, which means it’s time for another Home Update post! This time, as part of our Master Bathroom project, I have an update on what was previously our old master bathroom.

It was a teensy little 3-piece bathroom with a shower, toilet and vanity. This is the best photo I could get by standing partially outside of the door:

We lived with it for 10 years though because renovation projects are expensive. So, for 10 years, I had to be super careful balancing my stuff on the tiny countertop while popping out my contact lenses. And for 10 years, my tall husband banged his head and elbows every time he’d lean down in the shower. Oh and when he would look in the mirror over the sink… it was so short he couldn’t see his face, just his neck.

All those problems are solved with the new master bathroom (post coming very soon), which means we had this extra bathroom just hanging around. My dad tried to convince us to keep it by taking out the shower and putting a door there to go through to the office. However, we already have 2 other full bathrooms on that floor, so I felt that the space could be better utilized.

As you may remember, I built myself a walk-in closet: Home Update: Walk-In Closet, but I wasn’t planning to share. Sorry, not sorry.

So, I thought it would be a fun idea to turn that little old master bathroom into a walk-in closet for my husband. Which is exactly what we did!

My husband and dad took the old bathroom down to the drywall and then my dad re-drywalled the jankey parts and gave it a few coats of spackle. Once it was all dry, I gave it a light sanding and painted the whole space (Greige again, since I had a full can left over from my last painting project and it’s a wonderful neutral). Then, Travis and I cursed, sweated, and cursed some more installing wire hanging racks (a free hand-me-down from my parent’s old closet). New carpet came last week, the clothes went in… and we’re done!

Well, we’re 99% done. We still have to install the light at the top of the closet (conveniently not included in my photos) and it’s on the schedule for our next free weekend. Besides the light though, we are done, done, done with this project.

It’s a much better use of the space and quite thrilling for my husband to actually have all of his clothes in one spot, rather than spread all around the house. I enjoy it too — not having a treasure hunt through the boxes under the bed, the entrance closet and Jack’s closet when looking for a packed-away polo shirt.

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Travel Backpack Review: This one is the BEST for traveling!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a full product review and recommended something with flying colors, but YOU GUYS this travel backpack is magical. It’s like a Mary Poppins bag that fits on your back. It’s AMAZING. So, I had to share it with you all in case you were in the market for a magical backpack too.

We tend to do a bunch of little mini trips out and about, so when we can I prefer to just have us each pack a backpack with our stuff rather than big, bulky suitcases. I was looking to upgrade my backpack because it was rather small and we had a 3-day trip to Austin on the calendar. So I did a ton of research and found this one:

It is the Asenlin 40L 17” Travel Backpack with three packing cubes from Amazon and when I purchased it, it was just around $40 (the latest price will be automatically listed above by the photo). The packing cubes are made to fit the exact measurements of the backpack, so they are a perfect little bonus for keeping everything organized.

Source: Amazon.com

I’ve used the backpack three times so far – once for 4 days in Ocean City, once for an overnight at my friend’s house, and once for our 3-day trip to Austin. And It. Is. Awesome.

Some features I like:

  • I love, love, love the custom sized storage bags. I can’t tell you enough how satisfying it is that the big one fits exactly within the backpack’s dimensions.
  • It comfortably fits my back and feels like a ‘normal’ backpack even though it packs up like a suitcase.
  • It has an internal padded laptop sleeve, I used it for my Kindle but it could totally fit a standard laptop too.
  • It meets carry-on requirements and easily stowed in the overhead storage on the plane.
  • Other bonuses: There is a zippered pocket if you want to tuck the backpack straps away, and there is a strap on the back for you to stick it on an extendable suitcase handle if you have one.

And here is a little visual for you. This is everything I was packing for my trip to Ocean City:

And EVERYTHING fit in the backpack. But not Ollie. That would be weird.

To be honest, I could have even squished it down and fit a few more things in there. Including a laptop.

For $40 I am totally blown away and I wish I would have bought this years ago!

Disclaimer: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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