Archives for July 2013

Month: July 2013

the one with a jewelry display

Does this ever happen to you guys . . .

not just necklaces
not just necklaces

Yup, happens to me all the time. Well at least it used to. I am admittedly a pinterest addict, and when I started seeing all these cute ways to display your jewelry – I knew I had to do one to fix my problem. I never wore my jewelry because it was all a HUGE mess, and since I organized it I wear at least earrings every day! I already had these cork boards in my office, and I knew if I could just stick a pin or nail in there it would hold a dangly pair of earrings or a necklace. But I needed it to be cuter than that. So I decided to cover it in this fabric. This project is super cheap so I chose a fabric that I really like right now in the moment instead of one I knew I’d be happy with for many years. That way I can change it out when I get bored – which will happen a lot.

photo (6)

Once I had everything I needed, all I had to do was cut a square of fabric to fit my board.


Then I wrapped it like a gift and stapled each side as I pulled it up. Be sure to pull it tight. After it was stapled, I even put duct tape on each seam just for some extra staying power (I forgot to take a pic . . .oopsie!)

photo (7)

And you’re done! Just have to hang it on the wall and add the jewelry. The cork boards come with some contact strips to hold it to the wall, but with all the weight the jewelry adds I wanted something stronger. So I put a nail in each corner. It would hold fine with one, but I didn’t want the sides to curl. I also chose clear thumb tacks to hold the jewelry. Since they’re clear you can’t tell I used thumb tacks unless you’re getting jewelry off, and they don’t put any other holes in the wall since they stick right in to the cork! It’s perfect!

photo (5)

As far as my post earrings, rings, and bracelets, I have a small table that I put on my mirror that I chose some cute things to display those. I got this bowl, this frame,  and a similar hand all from etsy to keep them organized. I also used the champagne bottle we had when we were engaged to hold my bracelets!


How do you display your jewelry? Or do you just keep it in wads like I used to?


the one with mascara damage

This weekend was pretty awesome as always! Friday night was our usual date night full of sushi and Lost! We’ve been watching it on Netflix, and there wasn’t a movie we could agree on so we watched 5 episodes of lost. Pretty standard. . .  Then on Saturday we spent the day with our niece and nephew, Amauri and Me’Sean. We had some pool time, and then the drive in! I love having a drive in so close by that we can go to occasionally – makes me feel like we’re in the good ‘ole days! But I think everyone feels that way because it was PACKED which made it a little stressful.

yellow polka dot bikini . . .
yellow polka dot bikini . . .
pool day!
pool day!

Since we were with the kiddos and in the sun a lot of the weekend, I spent most of it just in some powder and mascara so I looked fresh and bright eyed. One of my biggest pet peeves, and it always happens to me especially when I’m in a rush, is mascara on my eyelids! I don’t know if this is just the usual or if it has something to do with the shape of your eyes . . . I’m going to guess the later. I still hate it, and needed to find a way to fix it. Here’s the two ways I found that work best for me.

When you don’t have on any shadows or anything, it’s super easy to get off with just a q-tip! Just gently rub along where the mascara has landed, and swirl it along your lashline. Viola! I’ve even used this method when I only have on a light shadow and it works pretty well without messing anything up.


excuse my hair . . . it was still wet 🙂

For when I have a lot of shadow or have just done a really good job and don’t want to have to re-do it, then I needed a preventative measure so I didn’t even risk getting the mascara on my eyelid. I had heard of shields that sephora has, but who wants to spend $5 just for that! So I came up with using a spoon as my shield! Works perfect . . . and the best part is it fits right in my makeup brush roll.

I <3 spooning!


My brush roll was another etsy purchase from  here!

How was your weekend?


H54F – July 12th!


1. Have I mentioned I met my favorite band this weekend? I’m still fan girling.

2. We’re having some weird summer weather here in Indiana, but it’s making for some gorgeous skies!

3. new pedi color called lucky, lucky lavendar by OPI. lurve it.

4. I got some delicious peaches this week, and for some reason they all look like mini booties! (booty booty booty rockin’ everywhere)

5. I played around on paint this week and came up with this little gem! I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

how was your week?


the one with top 5 Crock Pot meals!

The past few weeks have been hectic to say the least . . . so our crock pot has become our best friend for home cooked meals! I love my crock pot for so many reasons! Just to name a few it’s easy, usually only a few ingredients, can be for 2 people or many more, and I really think it makes whatever kind of meat you’re using tender . . . so, so tender and juicy! Pinterest, of course, has given me so many recipes for my crockpot, and some recipes

I already had I was able to adapt to cook in the crockpot. I cook about 5 days a week for us unless we’re traveling, so when we’re busy or tired the crock pot is a god-end! For our wedding I was blessed with 4 crock pot only recipe books that I’m so excited to get started in on, but for now here’s the top 5 that I use at least once a month!


This one is the easiest on the list, and probably Scott’s favorite! Easy Chicken Taco’s


  1. 8 ounces salsa
  2. 1 pound of chicken breasts

Throw it all in the crock pot, cook on low for 4-6 hours . . . shred the chicken breasts and serve with your favorite taco toppings! You can also do this with beef just brown the beef before you put it in the crockpot.

Cheesy, Garlic Tilapia


  1. 4 tilapia filets
  2. ¼ cup of mayo or mayo substitute
  3. 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  4. ¼ cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  5. 4 chopped garlic cloves
  6. Pinch of salt and pepper
  7. 2tpspns of lemon juice

Mix all ingredients except fish, rub them all over each side of each filet, wrap each filet in foil, and cook on high for 2 hours.

Cream Cheese Chicken Spaghetti


  1. 1 lb. chicken
  2. ½ cup Italian dressing
  3. 4 tbsp. butter
  4. 1 garlic clove chopped
  5. 8oz cream cheese

Place chicken in crockpot, mix all other ingredients in separate bowl, and stir until smooth then place on top of chicken. Cook on low for 4-6 hours – serve with spaghetti noodles.

Brown Sugar Pork Loin


  1. 4 – 6 pound pork loin
  2. 1 clove of garlic
  3. Salt and pepper to taste
  4. 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon mustard
  6. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  7. ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Rub pork loin with garlic clove, salt and pepper, then prick with fork, in separate bowl mix all other ingredients except 1/3 up of brown sugar, place pork loin in crockpot and pour mix on top. Cook on low 7-9 hours. At hour 6 if you’re able, combine 1/3 cup of brown sugar and cinnamon and spread on top of roast. It still taste delish even without it.

I’ve also put this sauce over chicken, roast, and pork tenderloins.

Honey Chicken


  1. 1 lb. chicken
  2. Salt and pepper to taste
  3. 1/2cup honey
  4. ¼ cup soy sauce
  5. 1/8 cup ketchup
  6. 1tabelspoon vegetable oil
  7. 1 clove garlic

Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper and place in crock pot, in separate bowl mix all other ingredients, pour over chicken, and cook for 3 hours on high. Serve over rice.

There you have it! My top 5 crock pot meals. What are your favorites?


the one where i get ready

Yet another wedding post 🙂

The morning of my wedding I woke up to this . . .

maurishe looks like such a little lady 🙂

The best!! If you go back to this post you’ll know I was at the hotel room with my bridesmaids and flower girl. I woke up about an hour before everyone else and we watched tv and cuddled! I was in the best mood – very relaxed and happy – not a care in the world.

Our wedding was held in my parents backyard, I made all the decorations except for the flowers, and I didn’t have a wedding planner. So I needed my wedding day to run like a well-oiled machine. I also needed someone to be in charge while I got ready . . . someone who had my attention to detail and knew the design as well as I did. Their main job would be to set all the decorations and greet my florist, dj, and caterer. I chose my sister, and together we came up with a hour by hour schedule of the wedding day. After a quick starbucks trip (um, did you know you get free starbucks on your wedding day!?) with my bridesmaids this is what we tried to follow . . .


Of course, this isn’t exactly how it went. My mom had provided bagels, fruit, donuts, coffee, juices, yogurt, and all sorts of goodies for breakfast. From 9-10am there wasn’t as much to do as I expected, and there had been no rain overnight so everything was still dry. My bridesmaids and my dad were in worry-wart mode (after my own heart <3) so they put all the decorations down. My mom and I had gone to get our hair done and all the tables were decorated by the time we got back at 11:30. The tables ended up looking amazing and it worked out because the afternoon did not go as planned at all. I owe them so much gratitude! It also gave me time to go thru and see everything before the day got away from me. The decorations and details were important to me so being able to see them all before the guests got there was awesome! And my bridesmaids still had plenty of time to get ready and enjoy the day.

part of the set up before decorations began!
part of the set up before decorations began!
finished table
finished table

Purple has long been my favorite color so we knew from the beginning that it would be one of our wedding colors. The other was burlap so my bridesmaids wore purple. I had 4 girls with totally different body shapes, styles, personalities, skin tones, and I just love all kinds of purple! So we went to David’s bridal where I gave them 4 color swatches and told them to pick any dress that they loved in any of those colors. We didn’t plan it this way . . . but each girl had a different color so all 4 colors were used! I love how eclectic it all looks together. We all had on the same shoes, and they wore the same earrings so there was some sort of semblance between them. It also ended up being cooler than we expected that day so they all wore their hair down. My bridesmaid Shanna is a hairstylist so they decided to do their hair on their own with her there to help! Since the wedding was fairly casual and I love makeup we ended up doing our makeup on our own also!

two of my 4 bridesmaids getting ready
two of my 4 bridesmaids getting ready


I would have preferred to be there with them doing our hair together, but once it all happened I’m actually glad that I left. It was nice to just be away from all the hub-bub going on, and since I had my sister prepared to be my coordinator that day it was good to be away and not be forced to worry about what was happening at the venue. I also got to enjoy some wine and have girl talk with my hair stylist and mom!




Putting my dress on was usually easy because I did it by myself and just stepped in then had my MOH zip it up. But we wanted pictures of all the girls helping me . . . and it ended up taking like 15 minutes because I wasn’t used to that many people around and I didn’t feel balanced.

finally made it in my dress
finally made it in my dress

While I put my dress on, the florist and my groom arrived! Just knowing that he was down there made the day so much more real! I did sneak a peak out the window with my bridesmaid Tiffany to look at him which just made it worse! The florist only took about 20 minutes to set up because everything was already when she got there she just had to place it. I expected her there for at least an hour so by 1:30 we were ahead of schedule, and it was time for see to see my groom!


And don’t worry I will have the professional photos most likely in next weeks post!

flower girl
flower girl

the one with DVD storage

“There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl’s complexion.”

That’s my favorite line from my favorite movie – Breakfast at Tiffany’s! If you haven’t seen it go watch it now . . . it’s on netflix. Your life will be changed.


Scott and I are big movie buffs. We usually go see one every Friday night at the theater. But, we don’t really have time to watch movies at home with everything else going on. We could watch them at home on Friday’s instead of going out, but we prefer to get out of the house for a bit, and we always like to see new movies. So if we have it at home . . . it’s either because we saw it in the $5 box at Walmart or we really, really loved it when we saw it in the theater. That makes for not a lot of movies and ackward storage of the ones we do have. Our collection was taking up just enough space to look out of control and messy on our tv stand. Because of the space I couldn’t get them organized the way I wanted, and I didn’t want to buy a stand just for them since we don’t buy that many. I needed to get them condensed.

One day while I had it on my mind, I was at Jo’ann’s getting scrapbook supplies, and saw these – 5×7 page protectors. I had only seen the 8×10 or 12×12 page protectors so this was really exciting for me. The first thing I thought when I saw them was that they would hold a DVD, and I could even figure out how to put the display cards.

The only things you need for this DIY project are the page protectors, a binder (like you would use for school), scissors, and your dvd’s.


Steps for DVD binder organization ::

  1. Organize your dvd’s into categories. I used drama, action, slap-stick, girl movies, and we even have a small section of weird movies (those were obviously brought from Scott)
  2. Place each DVD in a page protector pocket, cut the display card to fit and plce it in front.
  3. Carefully place all pages in your binder.


4.    Decorate the front of your binder – I used some mini cards from the Target scrapbooking section I had on hand.


Viola! Now all of our dvd’s are condensed to one binder and we have room to grow when we find a movie worthy of $25 (or an impulse buy). My tv stand is finally up to my organization standards.

Do you have any storage tips you use?


the one where i met Guster

This weekend was a nice long one filled with music for me and my boodiddly!

4thIt was cold so I put on jeans! weird indiana weather

 Since I took so much time off work for the wedding, I actually had to work on Friday. Being the day after the 4th I would have much rather had it off, but I enjoy the people and it was a casual Friday so it wasn’t soo bad! My boss even let me off a few minutes early so I could get a head start over to see Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan isn’t one of my favorites, but I do enjoy his music and who doesn’t want to see a classic! Scott and I went with a big group of friends so being with them outside with some cold drinks made for an amazing night!

me and Scott
me and Scott
beautiful sunset
beautiful sunset
me and the girlies
me and the girlies

After running some errands on Saturday morning, the hubbers (have I mentioned he hates it when I call him hubbers) headed down to Cincinnati, Ohio for the night! My favorite band – Guster – who I have only ever heard live one other time, was playing at the Horseshoe Casino. I had to go . . . and it was amazing! It was a bit rainy, and we didn’t eat before so after Guster played we went inside the casino to grab some food. Our plan was to eat and then go back out, but GUSTER ended up eating at the SAME restaurant. Scott had to convince me to do it, but I went up to their table . . . apologized for interrupting . . . and told them how great the show was! Scott didn’t know what to do with me the entire time. I was such a fan-girl! The best part . . . after they finished eating . .  they found our table and took a picture with me! Best. Day. Ever.

fan girl
fan girl
just the band
just the band
me and the band
fan girl and the band

This weekend I wanted to wear some comfortable and easy outfits to the concerts, but still be stylish and look like I was at a concert! Thursday technically wasn’t a concert, but we were still outside for an extended period of time listening to music and watching fireworks. It’s also hot and freakishly humid in Indiana so I chose the summer staples of shorts and accessorized 3 different ways . . .


1. Is my pick for a festive Holiday spent completely outside
shorts*  tank * Necklace* Similar shoes

2. Is my pic for an outdoor concert going from day to night with lots of walking involved. I love this because all I had to do after work was change into my shorts!
shorts * shirt is old navy last season similar here * shoes * Earrings*sunglasses

3. Is my pic for a date night with your main squeeze involving dinner and a concert!

Since it was raining I didn’t get to wear this one 🙁 white shorts + rain= no go
top *Shoes*belt*similar earrings

here’s a close up of the accessories


how was your weekend?  What’s your favorite way to style shorts?



This week was pretty good, and I’m prepared for a super fun, long weekend! Scott and I are taking a little trip this weekend to see my favorite band in Cincinnati! I can’t wait to buy a new concert t-shirt! Here’s my top 5 for this week . . .

1. I keep finding these ecards about BB (big boobies) and I just find them  hilarious!

2. orangesicle cupcakes were such a good, healthy treat! I want more

3. I used some of wedding gift cards to get new canisters for the kitchen! I’m in lurve!

4. Fireworks show yesterday was pretty amazing! My mother-in-law is like a child around fireworks. It’s so funny to watch them with her.

5. Just in time for her 237th birthday, the good ole’ USofA now sees me as Mrs. Stark <3

How was your week?



Merry 4th of July!



With pipe dreams in their heads

And very little money in their hands

Some are black and some are white . . .

With the blind faith of Jesus you know that they just might

Be rockin’ in the USA!

As a Hoosier born and bred, you know I had to use some John Mellencamp lyrics to ring in the 237th day of Independence!

As a true American woman, July 4th is one of my favorite holidays! I love that everyone comes together to celebrate living in a free country, and thank everyone who has helped us get here. I think everyone gets frustrated with things that happen in DC (especially my hubbers), and we might even fantasize about moving to Switzerland . . . or maybe that’s just us. But at the end of the day we are still the land of the free and the home of the brave and I’m proud to be an American.

Since Thursdays are all about food, I thought I’d share a quick recipe I’ll be wiping together today. July 4th is one of the many holidays that are perfect for a cook out, but I think it happens just too close to Memorial Day (or race weekend as I know it) to have more hamburgers and hot dogs. I like to mix it up with some grilled BBQ chicken, grilled corn on the cob, and a good cold salad! My favorite part though is making a yummy, festive dessert! It’s  usually starting to get humid here in Indiana come July 4thso something light and healthy is definitely in order. My mom and I have been using weight watchers for a couple years now, and I found this recipe with them when I first started. I’ve experimented with different flavors (like dr. pepper and mountain dew), and most of them have turned out delish! But for the 4th of July, who wouldn’t want an orange creamsicle!

All you need is 1 box white cake mix, a can of diet orange soda, and fat free cool whip.
Mix the box of cake and the soda together, it will look like a fizzy coke at first so keep stirring until it looks like orange cake batter
Bake for 25 minutes at 325
Let them cool, and add cool whip on top right before you serve!


Easy, and Delicious! I hope you all have a Merry 4th of July. As I go, I want to leave you with a quote from a favorite politician of mine that really reflects where my mind is today. I don’t necessarily follow one particular party, and I’d never want to pressure my beliefs on someone else. But Scott introduced me to this guy, and I like what he has to say, and what he stands for. I like even more that he actually votes by what he says, and stays consistent! It’s a big loss for America that he’s decided to retire, but I pray that the big push he made in the last presidential election will continue to grow. If you do anything with this quote I just hope that it makes you think a little. Maybe even Google Dr. Paul to learn more about his theories. – along the way you might find his wife’s cookbook! If you have any questions I happen to live with the perfect guy to help with those!

 “There is only one kind of freedom and that’s individual liberty.

Our lives come from our creator and our liberty comes from our creator.

It has nothing to do with government granting it.”

Dr. Ron Paul, US Representative from Texas 1976-2013

xx B*

the one where i got engaged!

carvingWe carved this into the stairs of the tower where he purposed!

On June 8th, Scott asked me to be his wife! I immediately said yes, and there began the craziest year of my life.

The west lookout in Brown County where he purposed!

Within a week, I had my wedding gown. I planned a girls day to officially ask my bridesmaids to be my bridesmaids. We made a stop at Alfred Angelo just to try on some dresses and get a sense of what I wanted. I knew we were having a fairly casual wedding, but I had no idea what I wanted in a dress. I tried one on . . . loved it, but they hated it so I knew it couldn’t be right . . . tried two on, and it was too blingy . . . then I found it. I knew it was perfect. However, I would not recommend getting your dress that early. I stressed big time over maintaining my weight, and I fell out of love with it and questioned my decision MANY times. In the end, I still loved my dress, and I think it’s very classic so I’m sure I’ll feel the same in 20 years.

Two months after we were engaged, we had a lovely engagement party at my parents’ house. It was on a Sunday afternoon, so we just served dessert foods, and a theme of love is sweet!


party2Love is Sweet

The next few months were planning the wedding like crazy, and doing normal stuff . . . ya know, like the holiday season and our birthdays so no time for any other big parties . . . then at the end of March we hit the home stretch. On March 30th, my maid of honor, Elizabeth, held my bridal shower in the piano room of the Downtown Indianapolis Marott Apartments. She had the theme of Kentucky Derby Garden Party, and everyone wore big hats! Along with some finger foods and champagne punch, she had just two games that had everyone interact together and created some conversation, which was what I wanted more than anything. I had ladies from church, my bridesmaids moms, my aunts, and friends most of whom had never met each other so the conversation starters where exactly what we needed!

shower1Elizabeth had her friend Kayla play some songs on her guitar for me!

shower2my mom and grandma

A month later was my bachelorette party, which was AMAZE! Elizabeth and my bridesmaid Rachel got everyone together at a hotel downtown where we got ready together and had some girl time. Then we headed down to Buca Di Beppo Italian Restaurant and had a delicious meal! Then we headed out for dancing and fun, and then back to the hotel for some more girl time, and of course some greasy food to end the night right!

bacheloretteelizabeth had these made for each of us!

bachelorette2me and my ladies

Scott had his bachelor party exactly a week before the wedding. His best man and brother, Jon is in the Army so it had to be that way in order for him to have leave for both. He had a big group of friends go out bowling and to a concert together. The next Wednesday Scott, his brother, and our friend Ralphie went sky diving. Yup, I let my fiancee go sky diving 3 days before our wedding. I made sure I was his beneficiary on everything important before the wedding so I wasn’t worried 😉

bachelorScott and his boys

divein the air

The week before the wedding was basically finishing any last minute items, and helping my parents get the backyard ready (that’s where the wedding was). Thursday I spent the day to myself getting everything primped and primed to be sure I was all ready for the wedding. It was awesome to have a day to myself that close to the wedding and just relax! That evening my lovely cousins came in from West Virginia so we all had a big steak dinner to spend quality time together. I’m so happy they were able to come up and spend time with us.


 Friday I spent the whole day with my sister running last minute errands ( I actually went to the dr for a check up the day before my wedding  . . . who does that?!) Besides a vendor delivery almost interrupting the rehearsal, it went by quickly and smoothly. We had a basic ceremony that only lasted 20 minutes so the only thing we had to rehearse was timing our walks down the aisle to be sure the full songs played (that was important to me).

rehearsal3‘i do . . .

After our rehearsal, Scott’s parents had our families and the bridal party up to Holly Hock Hill for dinner.  HHH is a awesome, local, family style restaurant that serves fried chicken, mashed potatoes, apple butter, ice cream for dessert, and much more! I of course could barely eat, but everyone says it was delicous. Afterwards, Scott went home to hang out with his groomsmen for awhile while my bridesmaids and I got a hotel room for the night. I spent the evening by the pool with my flower girl and a glass of wine . . . trying to calm my nerves for the next day . . .

rehearsal2our family and bridal party

rehearsal1our last picture as a ‘single’ couple

poolat the pool with my favorite girl

To be continued . . .