December 20, 2012

My Grown Up Christmas List

 
For Christmas this year I would love the following things... 
*My students to know they are safe inside our building. Always safe. 
*For my students to believe that their dreams are worth pursuing and to never, ever give up. 
*Mental illness to be addressed as a real, and growing, issue. 
*Real solutions to said mental illness issue. 
*A warm, comforting place for all to go during this holiday season. 
*My family to know only health and happiness in the upcoming year. 
*For strength and courage to do my job well. 
*No child to go hungry, ever. 
*For all of you who read this little blog of mine to have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year. 
 *For peace and healing for all in the community of Newtown, CT
*For every educator on this planet to be able to relax and enjoy their time during the upcoming break.

It's been a trying week to be an educator. I'll  be honest, Friday at 3pm can't come soon enough for me. On top of all of us dealing with our own responses to last Friday's tragedy here at my school we have a child whose house burned down and multiple requests for food from families. It makes my heart heavy. Sometimes, the holiday season isn't as joyful as it should be. 

I am going to do my best to enjoy my time with my family because if we've learned anything as of late, its to never take anything for granted. Wishing you all happy days ahead. 


November 30, 2012

DIY Friday: Glitter Clothespins

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These are the easiest DIY of all time. I saw them on Pinterest and a few other websites and decided to try my hand at them. The whole craft cost under $10 and took about 10 minutes total.
Here's what you'll need:
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Yes, the red wine is essential. At least in my world.
These steps are pretty much self-explanatory but as a former "I can't do any craft. At all. Whatsoever" type of person I know I would have appreciated steps on a project like this. So here it goes:
Step One: Paint one side of the clothespins with the rubber cement.
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Step Two: Place the clothespin in the glitter pile
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Step Three: Repeat steps 1 and 2 on the other side of the clothespin so both sides are now covered in glitter
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Step Four: Let the clothespins dry by laying them on their sides. I left mine overnight but that probably isn't necessary.
I also glittered two pushpins by dipping them in the glue and then dunking them in the glitter pile. That didn't work so well because you have to handle to pins to get them in the wall but there's still some glittler left on them.  I then took some kitchen twine and tied it to two pushpins and hung the clothespins on the wall in my front hallway.
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Umm. Let's hope we get some holiday cards soon.
Here it is with one of our holiday cards hanging on it:
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Still not very exciting looking but in person they are awesome! Add some holiday sparkle to an otherwise bare wall. I'll try to take an after shot if we get any cards.
You could really use these for anything. I made a few extras and I'm thinking about putting some magnets on the back for the fridge. You could also use them to hold closed little gift bags. Or you could just give them as is because who doesn't love free things that glitter?
I've been on a pretty crafty streak lately. Maybe after the trauma wears off, I'll share how I made this ornament wreath. I took no pictures because there were times I almost threw it against the wall. Perseverance won out over pictures.
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Also happening soon around here are knock-off Emi Jay hairbands because I love them but I'm not paying 10.99 plus shipping for 5 hairbands. Although, I think the girls behind the idea are very cute and sweet and I love that a portion of their profits go to charity and maybe when this crafty streak ends I'll pony up the cash for them but right now I just can't justify it. Plus, I'm thinking I'd like to give some of these as gifts. I digress.

Happy Friday, friends!

November 29, 2012

Holiday spirit-y things that don't cost a lot money..

Sometimes, with the job that I have, its hard to let the job go when you leave for the day (which, contrary to popular belief, is not always at 3 o'clock. Except Fridays. Its sacrilege to stay late on a Friday). (I digress). This school year I have been trying to let the day go and enjoy my evenings. I have to remind myself that I CAN enjoy the evening. I think its especially important this time of year when there is so much joy to be had in the evenings. For instance, as I wrote this (last night) I was listening to Christmas music \, drinking red wine, looking at all of my Christmas decorations strewn about my house, smelling my Christmas tree candle. I felt happy that I am finding time to enjoy the evenings. I was reminded how much I love this time of year even if sometimes the drudgery of my day to day job can knock the holiday spirit right out of you.

So in the spirit of the holiday season, here's what's doing its best to put me in the holiday spirit:

A Very She & Him Christmas. Christmas Waltz is in my top 5 of Christmas songs.
Christmas with Holly. Soooo cheesy but I can't help it so excited to watch! Among other Christmas favorites as well. 
Celestial Seasonings Sugar Plum Spice Tea. Sometimes I like to have tea when I get home from work but don't want caffeine at that time of the day. This is so good and seasonal!



There are a lot of other things that are putting me in the holiday spirit in a more selfish way but I wanted to focus this on the things that don't cost me a lot of money right now! Maybe later this week I'll post a Christmas Wish List since, you know, no other blogger has done one  yet.
 

 

November 16, 2012

Friday..

This weekend’s going to be a good one. I’m excited!
{via}

Phew. Glad to see Friday is here again! This week was a doozy at school but there were a few bright spots. Trying to look on the bright side these days!

  • The husband and I went to see Skyfall last night. It was okay. The plot reminded me so much of the Dark Knight Rises. Have you ever noticed the clothing of the villian's henchmen in a movie? Yeah, me either. But the henchmen last night seriously looked like the fell out of a J.Crew catalog. One man was wearing a shawl collar navy blue sweater with red pants. 
 
  • You can drink at the theater in Baltimore. Its awesome. We split a bottle of red wine and it was a great date night. We laughed like we haven't laughed in awhile (before the movie actually started). 
  • I am home early from work today because Home Depot came to install our closet. Later tonight, our new front loading HE washer and dryer are being delivered and installed. We will actually be able to do laundry and put it away. This is amazing. 
 
  • Everything in our house is falling apart. Aside from the aforementioned, our front door lock no longer works and our master bathroom shower is broken. Its also cold as ice in this house because the thermostat is wonky. #firsttimehomeownerproblems
 
  • Our holiday season is pretty low-key this year and I'm pretty pumped. We have no concrete weekend plans until Dec. 8! Which is good cause we need lots of time for all that laundry that has backed up!
  Happy Friday, darlings! Enjoy your weekend!


November 14, 2012

Charleston Naturally Review

Have I ever shared with you all how much I love Charleston, SC? The husband and I vacationed there for our first anniversary this past summer and we both fell in love with the city. The whole time we kept saying things like, "who are they lucky people who get to live here?" and "when can we plan to come back again?" The food, the people, the scenery, and the whole vibe of the city is just everything. 

So imagine how ecstatic I was recently to be contacted by the organic skin care company, Charleston Naturally, located in one of my favorite cities on Earth, to review some of the products they offer! Pumped doesn't even begin to describe it. I exchanged emails with an incredibly professional and polite representative from Charleston Naturally and a couple of days later my products arrived!

I was sent Dr. Hauschka Rose Body Moisturizer and Dr. Hauschka Normalizing Day Oil   

Oh my word. Both products are amazing. 
 
 I have very difficult combination skin. It tends to be super oily but if I over-treat it, it immediately dries out. I have gone through a boatload of facial lotions. I always noticed facial oils but figured they would just make my skin... more oily. I was wrong. The Day Oil leaves my skin feeling hydrated but not heavy. It has cleared up a few dry patches without causing excess oil. It doesn't have a weird odor at all and I swear my skin looks healthier! I'm definitely a huge fan of the stuff!

I also have dry, itchy skin on my legs and feet, which is largely stress related but definitely gets more aggravated as the weather cools down. The Rose Body Moisturizer, much like the Day Oil, leaves my skin feeling hydrated without being weighed down. I hate it when you feel like you have to wipe moisturizer off when you are trying to put on clothes because its just too heavy! The scent is lovely and soothing and definitely has a calming effect on my crazy skin.
 
The other great thing? Dr. Hauschka products are all natural, organic products as is everything that Charleston Naturally carries. Its nice to find practical products that you can feel good about!

Oh and one more thing? The products arrive completely and perfectly wrapped so nothing runs the risk of breaking before they get to you! Not to mention the cute muslin bag everything arrives in as well! 
 
Think I'm going to start carrying my lunch in this bag! So cute!
 I was also gifted with a few samples that I can't wait to try out! 

More Dr. Hauschka, Weleda, & Suki all available at Charleston Naturally!

I am so grateful to the fine folks at Charleston Naturally for allowing me to review a few of their products and introducing me to products that I will surely use for a long, long time! With the holidays fast approaching,  I think I'll be checking some people off  my list with Charleston Naturally. The website is super-user friendly and the customer service is great! 
 
Happy Hump Day, lovelies!
 





November 9, 2012

Snippets via Iphone

Is there anything cuter? I think not.
Printing the housewarming invites!
My new favorite {cheap!} Cabernet Sauvignon Monogamy
Tuesday night dinner. Paula Deen's Cheese Noodles with a side of puppy longing for scraps. 
Sigh. Love my pillows from Whitlock and Co & melongings via Etsy.
Finally finished one Ikea hack nightstand. Looking for the motivation to finish the other one!
She acts like the car is a torture chamber.
Gathering some Christmas gift ideas for a certain lovable little niece!
Enjoying some chicken flautas with my sister at our favorite chain restaurant, Chili's Chevy's
Trying to decide between the J. Crew Perfect Shirt in Tartan or Ivory Tartan?!?!
Getting my hair done last night. You know when you meet the right hairdresser you just know she/he's the one? I love my girl, Brooke. She totally gets my delicate/not normal/awful hair situation. We are working so hard to keep the strands on the right track. Yes, my hair is in rehab. For many ailments. All of which B gets. Love her.  

What have you lovelies been up to this week? Hope everyone has lots to look forward to this weekend! I'm cooking my first turkey for Friendsgiving and I won't lie I'm pretty nervous. Wish me luck!

















November 7, 2012

Housewarming Party Ideas

One of the most fun parts of buying a house? Having all of your friends over to celebrate! We are holding our housewarming party on December 15th which is in the thick of the holiday party season so I want to incorporate some holiday spirit into the decor. I don't want it to be overkill but a little holiday cheer never hurt anyone! Obviously, this is where Pinterest becomes quite helpful. Not all of the photos below will be alike because I'm still inspiration gathering! I hope you aren't put off by the holiday-ness I'm about to unload on you in this post!

Here are some photos that are helping me envision what I'd like the housewarming party to look like:
Mini candy canes as food markers {via}
Good idea for a healthy holiday party snack {via}

Grinch Punch for Christmas Parties
Grinch Punch! {via}
I can't tell you how much I love stars and the color gold! I'm thinking I need to make these gold star stirrers! 
{via}
christmas party
I'm anticipating that a lot of guests will have minis in tow so I'm thinking I'd like to have some snacks just for them {via}
Love this for the red wine bottles but would probably change the colors! {via}


I think the snowflakes add a nice subtle winter/holiday theme {via}




And because I do love the holiday season it would be ideal to sport something like this Devon Baer tunic!

Any housewarming party/holiday ideas you want to share with  me? Spill!

November 2, 2012

Friday by the Numbers

Happy Friday! 

Here's some insightful/funny articles for you to enjoy during those remaining hours on a Friday when you semi-pretend to be doing work but then again you don't really care if anyone notices:

#14 is the one I think is most important

#12 Glen Coco I would love to meet him!

I'm so guilty of #1 and #22

Amen to #29

I can't even count the number of times I have made mistake #13

I hope you all have a lovely weekend ahead! We're having our first dinner guests over and I'm so excited!

October 31, 2012

For Halloween, I'm dressing up as someone who is on vacation and can eat copious amounts of candy without gaining any weight.  That's what Halloween is all about right? Pretending to be something you're not. Tonight, I'm giving you pretty pictures of places I want to visit because I'm bone tired and like I said, I'm dressing up as someone who is on vacation. If you live on the eastern seaboard, let's be honest, vacation sounds pretty good right about now. We just dealt with Sandy and its only going to get colder and Lord knows what the winter is going to be like this year!
Curacao
Antigua
Maldives
Bermuda
Bora Bora
Bora Bora



So dolls, I think its safe to say I would like to travel to a beach. Tell me, what did you dress up as this year and where are you dreaming about going??






October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Day

As I'm sure you've heard, the East Coast is bracing for a huge storm that is supposed to be of epic proportions. Its pretty bad out right now but apparently its going to really hit us between 5pm and 2am. I'm taking the opportunity for some QT with the husband and puppy today as we are both off of work! Planning on eating some not so healthy food and watching Homeland (so good!) 

I hope everyone in the path of the storm stays safe and dry!


October 22, 2012

My Very First Ikea Hack

I'm not sure if you've heard but you can buy cheap Ikea furniture, paint it, add some knobs and voila it looks like you spent more than $35 on a bedside table! I know, I know you're shocked. If you haven't had enough of the Ikea hacks floating around the internet, I'm here to bring you one more. It is not an original idea. I'd seen plenty of Ikea hacks and knew I would follow suit for the new house but wasn't totally sure what I would do until I saw Kirsten Krason's (of 6th Street Design School) take on the Ikea Rast dresser from a model home master bedroom she recently designed. I absolutely love her version of the Ikea Rast! 

Here is her version:
(Jylare Smith Photography via 6th Street Design School)


Here is what I started with (please excuse the crappy phone pics I  started to put this post together after a few glasses of wine last night, at which point I considered using my DSLR to be operating heavy machinery):
Kilz 2 Latex Primer and Behr Premium Plus Interior/Exterior Hi-Gloss Enamel Medium Base in some color like Serious White or Super Bright White, I honestly can't remember. Also, sorry for not taking a pic of this stuff before I used it. The links should clarify what the stuff looks like. Amateur blogger, right here.
Untouched and ready to be painted Ikea Rast dresser. Yes, that is a strapless bra on my dresser. Among other things. 

 Here is my end result:

Ta-da! Hardware from Lee Valley Tools

 I read a couple of different blog posts about painting Ikea Rast dressers. Some people primed it, some didn't. In the end, I decided to prime it because I wanted the dressers to look nice and was worried about the paint seeping right into the wood.  Some people chose to put a top coat on, which I decided against and instead used a durable paint that will wipe off easily.

I'm still waiting on these to be delivered, at which point I will spray paint them either Orange of Navy Blue, still undecided:
DeeDee Overlays from O'verlays by Danike & Cheryle LLC


As you can see, I copied Kirsten's design completely with the exception of the colors. I'm so glad creative people like her exist on the interwebz because I never could of come up with this myself. I would like to tell everyone out there who is scared of this type of thing, don't be. I was worried I was going to royally screw it and decided to just go for it. It was super easy and I'm really pleased with the end result. Once the house is semi-finished I will put up pictures that I take with my real camera!

So tell me, have you hacked an Ikea piece recently or planning on it?

October 19, 2012

Happy Friday!


Happy Friday, friends! I am thankfully off work today and have a full day of errands and such ahead of me but wanted to stop by and say hi! Life has been busy (with a side of family drama, both good and not so good, thrown in for good measure!) which has kept me away from the blog but hoping to get back soon! I hope you all have a lovely weekend ahead of you, I'm looking forward to relaxing and dinner with good friends!


October 9, 2012

Getting It Right

Have you all seen the Google Chrome commercial, "Jess Time"? It had me in tears when I saw it for the first time last night. I think it is great that they highlighted the relationship between fathers and daughters. I personally think my father is the greatest in the world and we have a fantastic relationship. There is a huge emphasis on the mother/child relationship in advertising and while that is obviously an incredibly important relationship, dads need credit too! 
Watch below and try not to cry!



October 2, 2012

Currently Inspired By, Loving, & Coveting

With the move to the new house, the beginning of fall, and the start of a new month, I'm feeling inspired by lots of new things to buy, do, see, try, add to my house/wardrobe/life, etc.  This is including but not limited to the following:

It's a Wonderful Sangria
This delightful sangria recipe. I'm hosting a small get together for my future sister-in-law in two weeks and I think this will be the perfect fall drink (I'll add a brown sugar rim!)


Anthropologie Flutter Pattern Rug for the dining room. Sadly, this is out of my price range. Sigh.

Rugs USA Tuscan Moroccan Shag Ivory Rug
Rugs USA Tuscan Moroccan Shag Rug for the living room. This is in my price range but indefinitely out of stock it seems.

Smoke Grey cream polka dots Decorative Designer Pillow Cover 18x18 Accent Cushion ikat light gray smoke charcoal spots preppy circles Fall
I order these throw pillow covers for the living room couches from Whitlock&Co. on Etsy. Can't wait til they get here!


Free People Ash Destroyer Boots in Brown. I need these like I need a venereal disease considering I have vintage Frye boots and another pair of boots with a zipper back already. But I just can't get enough of boots with zippers + tall socks.


I think this outfit is so chic and would love to recreate it. I ordered another pair of J. Crew Minnie pants in hopes that I can recreate this am on the hunt for a similar top.


Fall colors, cooler weather. I really hope the husband and I can get in some outdoor hiking time with the pup this fall. Last year, she was just a tad too little but I think this year she would love it. (source)

 

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This is something I'm really trying to work on this fall. I spend far too much time doing things that don't necessarily make me happy. I need to do more of the things that do make me happy. Like reading, and hot yoga, and running, and cooking.

What are you inspired by/loving/coveting currently?