It's October, which means lots of layers, plaids, and fun accessories! Check out my picks for cute, casual pieces that you can wear around the house and out running errands below:



Hi ladies! Today I want to talk about an article that I recently came across about saving time and doing less (you can read the full article here).

If you are starting a business, working as a freelance designer, building a brand, etc. you know that it can be completely overwhelming sometimes. I know that, personally, I struggle with answering emails and messages, and there are days when I feel simultaneously exhausted and like I didn't accomplish anything at the same time (not a good feeling!).

That feeling is usually caused by participating in too many time-wasting tasks, like:

- answering every single email and message, even if it's irrelevant
- running every single aspect of your business and being afraid to outsource
- overbooking yourself with meetings and appointments
- not prioritizing your to-do list

I think it's really important to remember, especially when you're first getting started, that you don't have to say yes to every opportunity and collaboration that comes your way (in fact, you shouldn't!). You also don't have to do everything yourself (see my vlog on outsourcing production here).

Your time is so valuable, and it's really important to be intentional about what is necessary, and to be continuously editing your weekday so that your time isn't being wasted.

Check out this article by we work for more detailed tips on doing less (in a good way), and let me know in the comments what time-wasters you will cut out to make your day more efficient.

PS - We Work seems like a genius idea for those of you who are starting a business - they're not in Nashville yet so I can't participate, but check out the website to see if they are in your location!



inspiration photos: olivia & jillian

What's that, you say? You'd love to see a blog series on here every so often?

Well, say no more! Every month, I will be doing a style post featuring casual, effortless pieces that are comfy but cute for those of you who work from home like me.

It's hard to balance comfort (which is one of the main benefits of working from home) with style (just to keep you from not feeling like a slob, and in case you need to run to the store or something and, you know...see humans).

In the past, I wrote a ton of style posts but now that most of my readers are more interested in what I have to say about owning an online shop / working from home / chasing dreams and all that, I thought this would be a fun way to merge the two.

Here are my picks for this month:



DO YOU KNOW YOUR PERSONALITY TYPE? | charmandgumption.com

I have always been fascinated by personality tests.

I love learning more about why I do the weird things that I do. I love hearing all of the wonderful things about myself (and conveniently skipping the "weaknesses" section, haha...am I right? that part always kinda stings). I think we all like to hear that we're not crazy, and sometimes taking a personality test will explain your little quirks and make you feel so much better about them.

I think I have mentioned this before, but I was a psychology minor in college (I was obsessed with my psych classes), and I remember reading about one of the most scientifically accurate tests, the Myers-Briggs. I recently retook the test and wow, it really is just scary-accurate.

My personality type is INFP.

Here are some of my traits, according to the test:
- intuitive about people
- prefers to work alone (as I sit in my apartment with my dog)
- not detail oriented (amen.)
- creative, passionate
- have a hard time choosing a career (uh...yeah)
- idealistic, won't do something just to do it, or for the money alone
- hates conflict (I'm the biggest pushover, seriously)
- super hard on themselves, perfectionists (see this post)
- does not take criticism well (might explain why I hate the "weaknesses" section...)
- wants to help people

...I mean, I could not have written more accurate statements about myself. There were so many times, when reading over my type that I was physically nodding my head. It's like "someone finally understands me!".

I highly encourage all of you to take the Myers-Briggs and see what it says about you. If you're still in school or considering your career path, it might even help you to avoid things that are not a good match with your personality type. I could have eliminated several career options from my list in college, had I taken my type seriously!

Let me know your type, and whether or not you found it to be accurate in the comments section. xo



I am not the kind of person who glorifies being busy. I always strive for balance. I enjoy working on things that I love, and then relaxing with the ones that I love: "work hard, play hard", if you will.

So, when I tell you that the past month has been crazy busy, you know that I am not saying that as a humblebrag.

On top of doing a partnership with zulily, taking a weeklong trip to visit family, working on reorganizing my shop with a new company, and having my website redesigned, Wes and I moved to a new place.

That's a lot of stuff for one little month!

Yes, we did move out of our house after having it for less than a year. And yes, we are crazy people (more on that later).

Now that we are all moved into our new place and my workload is calming down a little bit, I thought I would reflect on this crazy month, and let you know what I learned about keeping your head above water when you're totally stressed.

1. Work in "chunks"
When my to-do list is running off of the page, emails are awaiting responses, the dog is barking, and I have errands to run, I have this "fight or flight" response that makes me just want to throw in the towel and lie down! I get paralyzed by being overwhelmed with stress, so it really helps me to break my workload into chunks of time. I will set the timer on my phone for an hour and work non-stop at something for that amount of time, and then I'll take a ten minute break. This helps keep me from going from one thing to the next, checking Facebook, wasting time, etc.

2. Cut back where you can
I hated to do it, but for about a week and a half, I shut down my main shop as well as my Etsy shop. I just couldn't keep up with orders on top of everything else that I had going on. Sometimes, you just have to cut something out and come back to it later. I don't regret it one bit, and I would recommend doing the same if you can!

3. Prioritize
This is obvious, but you have identify the crucial tasks on your list, and tackle the most important things first. When we were selling the house, there were things that had to be done to prepare, and everything else had to be put on hold.

4. Identify what you're in control of
I am an anxious person anyway, so when I'm stressed, it just goes to another level. When my eyes started twitching from the anxiety, I realized I needed to take a stress inventory. It really helps me a lot to look my fears right in the eye, make a mental list about them, and identify which of them are in my control. Sometimes I  worry about things that are completely out of my control, which is such a waste of time! Identifying these fruitless worries helps me to make my peace with them, and then that's one less stressor on the list.

I hope that was helpful for any of you who are stressed out at the moment - I have learned a lot from this crazy month! Oh and if that doesn't work for you, I recommend wine. ;)

Let me know how you deal with stress and being busy in the comments below! xo



If you're busy trying to get a business or shop up and running, it can be really easy to let healthy eating go to the bottom of your priority list.

When I am really busy, I tend to reach for the quick-grab foods, which are also usually the unhealthiest foods. That's why I like to drink a green juice, at least once every other day, if not every day.

Green juice is a yummy, easy way to get lots of nutrients without having to prepare a time consuming salad for every meal, and it makes up for the less-than-perfect diet that so many of us who own a business have.

These days, everyone knows about the health benefits of green juice, but you might not know where to start or what to put in your juice. I thought I would share my favorite recipe that I have found after experimenting with lots of different ingredients. These are things that I try to keep in my fridge at all times:

MY GREEN JUICE RECIPE | charm and gumption blog

Why I Choose These Ingredients...
Green Apples - mainly added to sweeten up the drink and mask the flavor of the kale and spinach, also contains lots of antioxidants and vitamins
Kale - a "superfood", high in iron and calcium, tons of cancer preventing vitamins, lots of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular support, detoxifies your body
Cucumber - adds a fresh flavor and is 95% water, so adds a lot of juice to the mix, lots vitamins, good for your skin
Spinach - another "superfood", tons of vitamins, one of the most nutritious foods you can eat (ps make sure to get the spinach on the stalk not in the bags, as it juices much better this way!)
Lemons - detoxifies the body, flushes out toxins, lots of vitamin C, potassium, aids digestion, and more 
Ginger - good for your stomach / gastrointestinal system, helps nausea, anti-inflammatory, prevents cancer

Check out the video below to see how I put the ingredients through my juicer, if you are unfamiliar with juicing. 

Also, if you have a favorite juice recipe that you love, please let me know in the comments below! I would love to test out some new recipes. :)



Whew! It's been crazy around here lately, you guys.

About a month ago, the online daily discount site, Zulily, reached out to me about featuring me in three different collections, including an entire Charm & Gumption collection (which will be happening next week)! I mean...whhaaaaa???

This is one of the biggest things to ever happen for me with Charm & Gumption and I have been just so honored and thrilled to be a part of this big name site.

So, my days have been spent literally just keeping up with orders. Lately, I have been feeling like I really need to figure out some way to get my time freed up a little bit. I need to have enough time to grow the business not just keep my head above water. I'm still working on that.

In the evenings, I have been on a serious cleaning and organizing rampage. I don't know what's up with that, but I do get in those moods from time to time. A couple of nights ago I got up out of bed at 11 pm and started cleaning out my closet until 3am. Seriously...who does that?

(ps. cut up a pool noodle and put it in your boots to keep them standing up! thanks Pinterest!)

If you have the same organization-freak tendencies, might I suggest this youtube channel, made by a girl who is the real life Monica Geller. Every single square inch of her home is perfectly organized and labeled. She's my hero. She opens her filing cabinet, and I swear the angels sing. Warning: it fuels the fire. I find myself thinking things like "I really need to organize my coffee and tea packets". Not normal!

Anyway, I thought I would check in and give you a little update! I should have a new video and post up on Friday. xo!



I hope you guys had a great holiday weekend! 

Today, I wanted to share some of my best tips for staying productive when you work from home. The more comfortable you get with working at home, the more tempting it can be to procrastinate and become really unstructured with your days. These are some tips that keep me organized and efficient. 

As always, these are just some things that have worked for me, and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. xo!

1. Play music at a low volume.
It is really tempting to keep the tv on "in the background", but tv and videos are super distracting. Stick to music or podcasts, which you can listen to quietly in the background while still keeping focused. Listening to quiet music has actually been found to increase productivity. I like to listen to instrumental music (acoustic guitar type stuff) on Pandora, and I find that it keeps me working hard without getting bored.

2. Step away from the sweat pants.
Chillin' in your sweatpants is part of the "working from home" fantasy for most people, but in my experience, when I have tried to work in sweats or pj pants, I just felt unproductive. Maybe it's a subconscious thing, but I think when you look like a slob, you feel like a slob. It just makes me feel like I want to go to bed! I'm not saying you have to wear a ball gown and full hair and makeup, but even just wearing workout clothes rather than sleep clothes will make a big difference. In other words, wear something that you wouldn't be embarrassed to leave the house in.

3. Create a separate space for working.
I am very lucky that in our current house, I have my own office space, which is ideal. If you don't have the space in your home for your own office, just find some space somewhere that is only for you and your work. In our old apartment, I had a space in the corner of our living room. It's just important to have an area that is just for your supplies, computer, etc. so that you can stay organized.

4. Make a daily schedule.
One of the best things about working from home is that your schedule is so flexible, but I still think that having at least an outline of a schedule is a must. I am always trying to improve and  adapt my schedule to my current situation, and right now I seem to have something that really works for me. My schedule is flexible but still has blocks of time for certain activities. For example, every day, I do my exercising first thing in the morning. That is something about my schedule that never changes. I also leave Tuesday afternoons open for appointments and meetings. I will do a full post about my schedule at a different time, but thinking in terms of blocks of time has really helped me to stay productive.

5. Do things ahead of time.
You will find, as you start working from home, that you can actually get more done during one day than you could at a regular job or an office job. This is because you free up so much time from not having to actually drive to a different location or attending meetings and such all the time. Use this free time to take care of things that are coming up. I am not always the best at this, I'll admit, but I'm working on it. It's really tempting to use your free time for fun, especially since you're already at home and in a comfortable environment, but scheduling a blog post ahead of time or getting a jump start on the next day's orders will just make you feel like a boss. :)



Sorry to double up on the decorating posts this week, but I have been putting off showing you guys our dining room for so long now, and I finally decided that there's no time like the present!

The reason I kept putting it off is because I have been wanting to do a photo grid on the back wall above the buffet (for literally months now), but I cannot, for the life of me, find white square frames that are affordable. If anyone has a good resource for that, please let me know in the comments! I'm picturing a photo grid on that wall with black and white photos. I think it looks a little bare without it, but I just wanted to show you what I have so far anyway.

All of the links / sources can be found at the bottom of the post.

I'll start by showing you the buffet area.

Hi, Chester. Yes, I see you.

The buffet is a really cool mid-century modern design, in a pretty wood tone. It came with black doorknobs but I spray painted them gold. We actually have the night stands from this furniture suite in our master bedroom as well. It has a ton of storage inside, and it is great for keeping all of our serve ware and wine glasses organized (with room to spare!). I really like white kitchen stuff, can you tell? :) 

On top of the buffet, I just have a few little displays, including a bar tray (next best thing to having an actual bar cart).

fresh tomatoes from our tiny little flower bed garden! :)

We already had the black table.We leave one of the leaves out, which fits best in the room, but you can also make it into just a square table or expand it even more. I would really like to eventually have a bigger, farmhouse-style table, but you know...budgets. :)

I was really happy to find these chairs because I really wanted upholstered chairs, but finding something that matched our table was tricky. These have black legs which works perfectly!

The two main things that we did in this room (excluding buying furniture) were painting the stencil on the accent wall and replacing the light fixture, both of which, Wes and I had no experience.

This wall stencil, you guys...

I wish I could recommend it to you completely because it turned out pretty cute overall, but I think it's something that I need to give positives and negatives for.

+ It's easier to replace than wallpaper if you are afraid of commitment, and it looks nice overall. The middle part is really easy and I did it myself.

- The edges are really, really hard to do. If you're by yourself, I'd say it's nearly impossible. The edges of our wall look pretty rough (you can see what I mean in the video).

I have never wallpapered so I can't compare it to that and say that it's easier or more difficult, but the edges were such a pain that I think I will just spring for the wallpaper next time. I think these stencils would probably be much easier on something like furniture. Just my opinion though!

The mini-chandelier that we bought really made a big impact on the room. I could not stand the old brown one with the dirty looking glass (see below), so this was something that we changed out pretty quickly. Wes installed it by himself and did a great job!

Here is our dining room before (from the listing photos), if you'd like to compare!

shopping sources: 

paint colors: 
Behr White Truffle on all walls
stencil was done with Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter in half strength overtop of the white color

table: Ikea
chairs: Joss & Main
buffet: Overstock

on the buffet:
bar tray: Target
bar accessories: Target
recipe book: Anthropologie
ceramic berry container: Anthropologie
orange bowl and tray below: thrifted

light: Wayfair
curtains: Target



Today, I thought I would share five new designs in the shop. I hope you find them motivational, inspiring, and maybe even a little bit funny (thanks, LC for the inspiration for this print!). 

I will also be adding matching coffee mugs probably early next week, so be on the lookout for that. :)

Shop all of the new arrivals here!



A few days ago, I got in one of those moods where something that had been bothering me every single day finally made me hit my breaking point, and that thing was our master bathroom. It was unorganized and completely undecorated, so I went to Target (of course) and just got a few things to freshen it up in there.

I picked up mostly white and aqua colored items (tip: check the dining / entertaining section for pretty bowls and plates you can use as trays for cheap!), and I used some other containers I had around the house to organize things nicely. That container that you see holding the q-tips used to be a candle. I also saw something on Pinterest once where someone got a pretty glass container to put their mouthwash in, so I copied that idea. It looks so much nicer than the regular mouthwash container, right? It's the little things!

The ceramic containers that you see holding my makeup brushes and lip pencils are from Paper & Clay.

Do you have any inexpensive or DIY ideas for organizing? Let me know in the comments! 

shop the post:


LIFE LATELY | gardening, grilling, summertime

I hope you guys had a great week! Here's what I've been up to lately, according to my iPhone pictures.

Last month, we planted a tiny little garden in our flower bed, and it has been so exciting to see everything start to grow. There's just something so simple and wonderful about growing and eating your own food. I've especially been enjoying homemade caprese salads!

LIFE LATELY | gardening, grilling, and summertime fun

LIFE LATELY | gardening, grilling, and summertime fun

LIFE LATELY | gardening, grilling, and summertime fun

For Christmas, my parents got us a grill and we have definitely been putting it to good use lately, with watermelon for dessert, obviously! Mmm I love summertime...

LIFE LATELY | gardening, grilling, and summertime fun

I've been finding lots of 4 leaf clovers...

LIFE LATELY | gardening, grilling, and summertime fun
top is from j.crew factory
LIFE LATELY | gardening, grilling, and summertime fun

& these two have been cracking me up, as usual. :)

LIFE LATELY | gardening, grilling, and summertime fun

LIFE LATELY | gardening, grilling, and summertime fun

Have a great weekend! xo




This past Sunday at my church, the message was about limitations. Being a perfectionist, this is not my favorite topic, but we all have limitations and things that are just not meant for us, for whatever reason.

But this is hard, right? Us twenty-somethings were raised with a "you can do anything you want to do, and be anyone you want to be!" philosophy. And while that was meant to be a great thing, the implication is that literally every choice is available...and if we're being honest, that's just not true! 

In high school, I went to gymnastics lessons for two years straight and I was still never able to do a simple back handspring. My chances of being an Olympic gymnast...pretty much zero. Some things just aren't meant to be. And actually, knowing that and coming to terms with it takes a lot of the pressure off!

But to me, the main problem with this "you can do anything!" mindset, combined with social media, is that it makes everyone feel like they're supposed to do something EPIC. Because if you can do literally anything that you want to do, why wouldn't you choose the super rich and famous route?

I think that this way of thinking can lead otherwise happy people into thinking that they're not good enough. Or rich enough. Or famous enough. Or..."epic" enough.

I think that if you find something difficult that you love to do, and that also fits in with your real passions and values, then by all means work your butt off and go get it! You really might "make it big" - the sky is the limit! But if what you love is organic farming, raising a family, nursing, teaching, doing people's accounting (hard for me to imagine but I'm sure that these people exist!), or something that doesn't include a lot of recognition or money, that's okay too! Don't let society's way of thinking interfere with the real things in your life that you love.

I've written recently about my career and how I dabbled in acting a bit. It might be hard to understand how anyone would stop focusing on a career as exciting as acting (even though lots of people who were much, much more successful at it than me have quit!), for something boring like writing and running a shop in my house all day by myself. But if I'm being honest, I am so much happier and at peace with my life. I am a homebody and a control freak. Running an at-home business is the perfect route for me. :)

The take-away? Be true to yourself, and know that 
it's okay to be happy with a simple life.

{a print inspired by this post is now available in the shop, if you would like to add this reminder to your home!} http://charmandgumption.com/products/simple-life-print-choose-your-color



HOW NOT TO START A BUSINESS, IN 10 EASY STEPS | charmandgumption.com

1. Compare yourself to a designer / stylist / professional blogger / (insert your own type of business owner) that you see on the Internet / Instagram / etc. ("her life looks so glamorous!") while eating ice cream on your couch.

2. Decide that you want what they have, and you think that you could replicate what they do pretty easily.

3. Spend weeks on Pinterest, analyzing the important stuff, like what your brand should look like and who should design your logo.

4. Start a blog, and write posts that replicate your favorite blogs.

5. Hastily announce on all of your social media that your shop / site / services will be coming soon and that it's going to be amaaaaazing.

6. Get lots of excitement and encouragement from friends and family, which feels awesome. Realize that this whole entrepreneurship thing is going to be a breeze.

7. Waste all day at your real job, dreaming about and Pinterest-ing the glamorous life that you're about to have ("maybe I'll just quit...").

8. Finally start doing the work / planning your product offerings / designing your products ("shoot, this is harder than I thought it would be"). Realize that coming up with something original is tricky. Consider making something verrrry similar to what your glamorous idol sells, using it as...inspiration.

9. Work really hard on the project for a few days, realize that this SUCKS and it's going to be way more work than you originally thought. The excitement and inspiration that you had before is quickly slipping away.

10. Decide that your glamorous idol must have super powers or a team of people or something. Eat ice cream on your couch.

I bet you know someone who has been guilty of this spur-of-the-moment "business planning" method...maybe that person is you? 

We live in an age where everyone feels like they need to do something MAJOR. That, combined with the power of social media, can leave us feeling jealous and desperate to do what we see other people doing.

I'm all about taking chances, believing in yourself, and being brave, but there's a difference between a calculated risk and just jumping off of the cliff with no plan.

Starting a business is a serious decision that requires major financial planning and organizing. It takes a lot of hard work. Like, years of hard work. The super fabulous people that you see wearing super fabulous clothes and living in super fabulous homes have worked really hard for many years before getting there. 

More importantly, trying to replicate something that someone else is already doing is just not the way to go. Ever. Inauthenticity is so obvious.

So before you go starting another fashion blog or opening another Etsy shop, come up with a plan to make yours different from what is already out there, and don't be afraid to grow your project slowly. If you really love what you're doing, you won't be in a rush to "make it big" right away.


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