Author

Shalice Noel

Jeans (run large, size down) Boots tts, Tee $38, Genuine Suede Trench old Talbots SIMILAR, Midi Demellier Bag in white also love THIS COLOR

Shot with SONY A7

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas card season all around the beach.  The families are dressed in their perfectly matching shades of white.  It’s a hustle to get those Christmas card pictures just right, so I recommend getting started now.  The weather is still warm, the kids are happy, and you will be the first card in everyone’s mailboxes for sure like that superstar mom you prove to be daily.  Just kidding.

But in all seriousness, here are my Christmas card strategies to help you enjoy some calm in the crazy.

First, save money and don’t use hire out photography.  We purchased a tripod and use the self-timer function on the camera.  It reduces a lot of stress hiring someone and then you can work with your own schedule.

We timed our photo just before sunset and was fortunate to have amazing light.  Make sure to face the sunset when taking your picture just at the right time.  Right after sunset is perfect even light and then the kids won’t be squinting.  We then use Light Room to filter the image and brighten it up if needed.

Secondly, we order our cards through Minted. They can easily be personalized, are quality and I like their designs.

Thirdly, match your outfits however you like.  Our family has been loving Vineyard Vines lately, so we all wore our favorite Vineyard Vines outfits.  The colors all coordinate nicely.  We let the kids pick out what they wanted, and a touch of gingham really adds to the style of the scene. What do you think? Don’t sit on this idea, schedule your family photo this weekend, order your cards and give yourself a big pat on the back. Now, only if ordering the bay leaf wreathes, my dad’s gift, and decorating was this easy.

Maybe next year.

Click to shop our outfits below:

Boys Bleeker pants // Boys White Oxford shirt // Boys Stripe Shirt // Toddler Canvas Pants // Toddler Oxford Shirt

Shalice’s White Dress sz 4 // Shalice’s Stripe button down in Medium // Reid’s canvas pants in gray // Reid’s gingham shirt // Straw hat // “H” Sandals

Girls Stripe Tunic Dress (she wore medium age 12) // Girls teen gingham dress (age 14, xxs)

This recipe makes about 40 cookies.

Our family is obsessed with these cookies. I knew about this chewy delicious recipe, but always put it off because vanilla pudding mix is full of junk! I finally found an instant vanilla pudding that had 4 simple ingredients, sugar, cornstarch, natural flavors and sea salt. Win! I make it ahead into balls, freeze it for an hour and put in the oven. It is difficult to get to 7 “WOWS” in my family, but these do the trick. Be prepared for the best cookie you’ve ever tasted.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use food nanny kamut flour)
  • 1 box (3.7 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix or this one
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I use this one)
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Pre hear over your 350. Mix the wet ingredients and then the dry ingredients. Bake for 13-14 min. 

Apple Picking Outfit

black turtleneck // herringbone cape // boots in light brown // black jeans under $90 // sunglasses

Corn Maze

poncho // belt sz 80 // white jeans on sale // boots // sunglasses

Field Trip

sunglasses // sneakers  // lulu leggings (I got sz 6) // quilted jacket

School Pick up

vest // tote // stripe sweater // leggings // sneakers // aviators

Tennis Dress // Coatigan //Turtleneck sweatshirt // Slides // H Slides

Chairs // Pressure Washer 2000PSI // Dyson Vacuum //

OWNING VACATION RENTAL PROPERTIES IS NOT ALL HOLIDAY

After renting out properties in Chicago, Lake Arrowhead, and now Florida, Reid and I have seen it all. Well, maybe not everything, but pretty close. We’ve had new chairs ruined by renters making holes in the seats, oven knobs shirred off, and another oven broken for 2 months. You never know what will happen next. We have compiled some highs, and not-so-glamorous realities below.

Like many of you, one of our financial goals is to have residual income in a variety of investment types.  Think barstool.  Each leg is a different means of income.  Vacation rental properties are one leg, but lots of stress. Is it worth it? Keep reading.

TIP: Properties require maintenance, visit your rental once a month to check-in.  As an investment property, you can stay on the property 14 days out of the year for holiday.  However, we recommend you visit the property at least once a month for maintenance and check-in.  It is work, not a vacation.  We use a local property manager for support, but we still find it necessary to keep things looking clean and maintained ourselves.  Management varies by percentages and involvement. Ours doesn’t cover landscaping. We pull weeds, scrub walls, change light bulbs, power wash the exterior and caulk sinks/showers.  Sweat equity is always worth it. I secretly love weeding, especially when there’s not a million mosquitos biting my legs.

TIP: Do things that require professionals during the off-season. The complication to your vacation rental is you have a small window of time between bookings to schedule big maintenance items, so plan-ahead.  We replaced our crawl space insulation with spray foam.  This isn’t a fun expense, but over time it will keep utility costs down.

TIP: Interior design is pivotal to your vacation property brand, but keep durability in mind when making a purchase.  We noticed after only six months of guest, the upholstery is already looking worn.  Keep knick-knacks and breakables to a minimum in the house.  To decorate, we used antique books around the house.  Books add warmth, are cheap, non-breakable and easy to replace.  The basic rule is, don’t get too attached. Your rental will likely experience lots of wear and tear and plan to budget to replace furniture at least once a year. Despite the losses, broke items, highs and lows, is it worth it? We say yes.

TIP: Bring your gently used furniture from your primary house into your rental. You don’t wanna buy new for a rental that gets A LOT of wear and tear. We recently brought our ottoman and rugs to our rental to freshen up the interior and take out the rugs that have seen better days. We’ll enjoy new rugs in our home while our rental gets a glow up.

How about you, have you taken the rental plunge? Share your tips below! Or email me shalice@shalicenoel.com

Linen Skirt sz 6 // Shopshalicenoel tee Small USE CODE LABORDAY15

Belt size 80 // Flatline sandals (I went down a half a size) // Straw Hat

I had to travel to get inspired. I love the white landscape of Alys Beach. This linen skirt with pockets is a favorite on repeat. I paired it with my favorite modal tee in black from Shop Shalice Noel.

Fall faves under $100

All under $100

  1. Leopard dress has great reviews and looks killer with tall boots
  2. Classic 501 Levi’s $98
  3. LBD has a great shape and great ruffle
  4. Half zip stripes $80!
  5. $59 sneakers FTW!
  6. $89 Levi’s black crop jeans I love to pair with booties for fall

6 Big Family Budget Hacks

by Shalice Noel

Some say that having a big family is too expensive. We think that it just takes more creativity.  Here are 5 big family budget hacks that we practice.

Family Ice Cream

Going to Ice Cream Parlor Regular Cup is $5.99 x 7 People = $41.93 plus tax and tips

Going to Grocery Store and buying 2 gallons of Ice Cream

Our Favorite Ice Cream is 2 for $10

Saved $32

Tip:

We find we often go to the ice cream parlor as an excuse to get out of the house, so take your gallons of ice cream to a nearby park and enjoy.

Meal Plan

“WHAT IS FOR DINNER?” Who else hates that question? We try and save time and money each week by subscribing to HelloFresh. We get meals that we pre select online, sent straight to our door. While it will takes time to create the meals, I love not having to think about it. When I have the HelloFresh meals, I go to the grocery store less and therefore less prone to impulse buys. I see you start sweets gummy bears by the checkout line . . .

Family Dinner

Going out to dinner

Nice meal at a modest sit-down restaurant is approximately $15 x 7 People = $105 plus tax and tips

Going to Chipotle

Burrito $10 for mom and dad.  The older kids order 2 pointers for $5.99 and we order Levi side of beans and rice for $2, for a total of $46

Saved $59

Haircuts

Going to the Salon

Kids haircuts cost $25 x 5 = $125 plus tips

Home Haircut

We bought clippers from Marshalls for $24, 10 years ago.  That was a great ROI (return on investment). 

Saved $125 / month

Tip:

The boy’s hair is super simple to cut.  In fact, I have cut Reid and the boys hair for years.  I still go to the salon regularly and the girls go occasionally to get washed and trimmed, but that’s it.

Movie Night

Going to the movies

New Release movie tickets cost $12 for kids and $14 for adults and that’s a matinee.  $12 x 5 + $14 x 2 = $88

Home Movie Night

Amazon Prime Movie Rental $3.99

Saved $84

Tip:

Pop some popcorn, get some cola and plopped down on your couch for a cozy movie night at home.  From what we saved in movie tickets, I bought us a new sectional for our media room!

Car Wash

The car wash cost $8 for the standard wash.

Home Car Wash

1 hour of free entertainment!  (Almost free, yes, we still have a water bill, but the entertainment is worth it)

Saved $8 per week

Tip:

To save water, fill a bucket of sudsy water and give them a sponge.  The kids love washing the car and it usually turns into a water fight.

It’s your turn, what are you money saving tips/hacks? I’d love to hear.

Shalice@shalice-noel

leggings sz 4 // tee in xxs // hat // brooch // stripe sweatshirt small // nike blazer sneakers // varley belt bag

We’re in Florida gaining some bright inspiration that the beach and sunshine affords. I needed this! I found these super flattering flare leggings and love them. You will too! They fit true to size and the best for work or play. Tip: add a blazer for work, add sneakers for running errands and soccer practice. The options are endless. I included fun items on sale below from around the web for labor day weekend. We are celebrating Reid’s 44th birthday tomorrow, so I’m going to try and turn in early before the festivities begin.

xx Shalice

A & F

Beek

Use code SHALICENOEL10 for an additional 10% off!

Get ready for cooler temps in new shearling Beeks! They have arch support and quality leather. I love that they’re female owned.
If you purchase a pair of full price shearlings, you will receive a pair of flip-flops at the price of $100 (their flip-flops retail at $159, so you will be saving $59). Use code SHALICENOEL10 for 10% off!

Jcrew

LONGWKEND for 30% off

Madewell

30% off use code “LONGWEEKEND”

Mango

use code EXTRA30

I wear a small in the coatigan

Target

(Latest purchases that I’ve been happy with have been this vintage tee, tennis skirt, and shorts)

Nordstrom

H&M

SHOPSHALICENOEL

Hat // CC Brooch // Moccasins // Lee jeans // Oversized cardigan // Stripe Knit – $7! // Nylon/Leather bag

Stripes are hot, but they have always been hot. If I need some color, but I don’t want to commit to a lot of color, I add a stripe to my neutrals. Is red a neutral? I do love my pop of red!

Newer Posts