Archives for August 2014

Month: August 2014

the one with my first stitch fix.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of stitch fix by now . . . if you haven’t check it out here. A quick rundown is that it’s a monthly service that sends 5 pieces of clothing/accessories whenever you so choose – then you can send back the pieces you don’t like or pay for the pieces you want to keep.

They only go up to size 14 right now so I was a bit worried. I’m a triple D on top and have an ample behind . . . so a size 14 in about 75% of stuff doesn’t fit . . . however if a shirt is labeled small to XL an L or an XL will probably fit. I’m sure we all have similar problems with the way things are made . . .

I was very open about that with my stylist so she would know not to send me things in numbered sizes. but I was still nervous that there would basically be nothing for me . . .

here’s what I got . . .

item #1 :

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a scarf is a scarf is a scarf . . . I love this print and the fabric is nice and breezy. $28 seemed a little steep to me, but I like it enough and have been wanting a black one so I kept it.

item #2:

was a pink martini fox print dress that didn’t fit, and I forgot to take the picture of it off me. I didn’t really like the fox print, and the waist/bust was just a straight ribbon there was no give in it so it was much too tight . . . even for a picture if you get my drift.

item #3:

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Coral dolman top – I don’t really like the doman top style on me, and the material looked like it would snag easily so this was a no go.

item #4:

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grey striped dolman top – so this says it’s a dolman top but it doesn’t fit like one. I love horizontal stripes and I love how long this one was. also the material is amazing. it was a keeper.

item #5:

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the kimono was too baggy, I loved the print and the style but it was just too baggy for my taste. and at $58 I wasn’t about to mess with it.

All in all I really enjoyed this fix. I like it that I can tell my stylist what I didn’t like about each piece when I checked out after trying them each on. the process was just very easy. I am definitely going to try it again. If you think you’d like to try I ‘d really appreciate it if you’d use my referral link so I’ll get a little credit 🙂

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friday at the fair

Happy Friday friends, I’m so glad you’re here. this week has been fully of house renovations and big purchases that make my bank account freak out a little, but I’m so excited to be a home owner with a place to call our own and make it us. One of my favorite feelings is being productive and that is exactly how I feel this week . . . now for a weekend full of painting, painting, and more painting. did I mention we’ll be painting this weekend?

My favorite part of this week was definitely the state fair. We went with one of our best couples Rachel and Jeff (who we call Coach) and got to see the worlds largest hog, pick out which pig we were going to take home, had corn dogs/ribbon fries/and elephant ears, rode the ferris wheel, and were very disappointed that the beer tent was already closed. BUT I get to go again this weekend when we’re done painting because my favorite band is in town 🙂 I may be a little biased since one of them is related to me, but surriosly they’re the coolest ever . . . check them out here.

For your viewing pleasure here’s 5 pictures from our first adventure at the fair!

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linking up with oh, hey Friday high five for Friday style elixir

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the one with lots of white chocolate

I somehow ended up with a huge thing of white chocolate and nothing to do with it . . . I also ended up with leftover oreos, pretzels about to go stale, and some marshmallows. So you know what I did . . . I melted that white chocolate (per package instructions in the microwave) and covered EVERYTHING with it.

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Apples: I tried an apple just to see. I wanted to see because I’m thinking about making poision apples for Halloween . . . and now I’m FREAKING out about poison apples. It was easy ( I held it by the stem and dipped – moved it around so it was totally covered – and set it on the foil to harden) and tasted delish!

Pretzels – if you like chocolate covered pretzels then these are really easy to make – I assumed, but had never done it before. It’s just what you imagine . . . dip it half way in and then put it on wax paper to harden a little. I let it harden about 10 seconds or so and then covered it in sprinkles and then let it harden the rest of the way. My only complaint is these bad boys are time consuming.

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Marshmallows – RICH! oh my good golly these are so rich . . . but I like it like that. I did these the same way I did the pretzels – half in, 10 seconds, dip in sprinkles, and wait for it to harden. just be sure to keep your fingers near the top where you don’t want the chocolate to go. I want to try these with regular milk chocolate.

Oreos – these were my favorite – pretty obvious if you know my love of oreos. and honestly they were probably the easiest to make. the pretzels were time consuming and the marshmallows you had to keep a good grip on . . . but these I just dropped it in the chocolate, flipped it over with a fork, made sure it was covered, pick it up with the fork and set on wax paper. then after it hardened a bit I sprinkled it with love.

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this was definitely my favorite baking hour (more like 20 minutes)  spent in the kitchen in a long time! I can’t wait for the holidays so I can make them extra special.

linking up with Pin it Thursday Great Idea Thursday All Things Thursday DDT

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the one about date night

My husband and I have a weekly date night. Honestly, to us it’s just natural  . . . it’s what we do . . . the weekend comes and we want something to do so we go on a date. It’s normally on Friday’s – recently changed to Thursday – and occasionally we’ll have to reschedule it because an important event has come up – like a friend’s birthday. But once a week we go on a date.

Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of other couples don’t ever go on dates. Sure they go out to dinner with friends or they go to events with their spouse . . . and sometimes they even sit at the table at home and have a meal together . . . but what about a date.

date night

 First let me clarify what’s a date to me – a few special hours at any time of the day where my husband and I spend one on one time together – phones are down, to do lists are left on the nightstand, worries are put off until we come back to the real world – and we do something fun like see a movie, go to a special restaurant, go on a hike, cook a special dinner together, play board games at home – whatever our heart desires.

 I looked at a lot of other blog posts to see what their thoughts behind date night were just to get a direction of where to go and place my many thoughts on the subject. . .  and there are a lot of people out there who have a lot of opinions (just like with anything else) and most of them I didn’t agree with. I didn’t agree with them because they didn’t fit my relationship with my husband. So the biggest thing I want you to get from this . . .  you have to do what’s best for your relationship, but be sure you’re making one on one time a priority.

 An example – some people have told me ‘don’t plan your date nights’ – I feel like that’s hard if you have kids and need a sitter and also that’s just not me. I’m a planner. I have to have a plan. I’m open to what exactly date night entails but I need to know when it is. If it were a random night I would probably spend half of date night thinking about my to do list that’s not done because it’s hard to shut my mind off. But if I know it’s Thursday and the vip’s on the to do list need to be done by Wednesday evening . . . then I can shut off and enjoy date night. If you fly by the seat of your pants then you’re probably going to feel tied down by planning a date night every week so just make it a priority that you have one on one time once a week.

 The two most popular things I hear all the time are . . . “how do you guys find the time to do that every week?” and “how can you guys afford that?”

 Because it’s a priority. Every Monday I make a calendar for both of us to see so we know what’s going on for the week and are on the same page. I put events down that cannot be moved (like church or a scheduled dinner with friends) and then I write in date night – before I write in anything else. Period. Does that mean we don’t get any time to ourselves – sometimes… Does that mean we have something going on every night? Sometimes… does that mean that the floors don’t get swept until Saturday? Sometimes, but that’s usually because of laziness not date night… Does that mean we’re up late Wednesday getting everything done and so we’re tired on Thursday? A lot of the time, but once 5pm hits and we know that date night is an hour away excitement takes over. When we have kids one extra step will be included in making the Monday schedule – as soon as date night is set I’ll send out a few texts to secure a babysitter.

For money, we have a set budget to be sure bills are paid and necessities are included – every month we go over the budget together – it rarely changes, but we send a few quick emails just to confirm and talk about anything special for that month. Date night is in that set budget. Say something special is coming up that we need to set aside money for – like in October there are 7 birthdays we need to get gifts for – we look elsewhere before we go into date night funds. Can I save on the grocery budget to get that $ for a birthday present instead of using date night budget? Most likely. Can we just go ahead and take it out of our expendable income? Absolutely. If there are no other options but to take it from the date night budget we don’t just give up . . . you don’t have to spend money to make one on one time a priority. Go to pinterest and search for ‘free date nights’ or just shoot me an email and I’ll send you 3 quick choices (if you don’t like those I’ll send you 3 more). Our favorite free date night is to have a meal at home that we don’t normally eat with ingredients we always have on hand and then curl up on the couch and play a drinking game to one of our favorite moviesortv shows.

 I read somewhere – and I won’t link to it because this is a happy place for the most part – that date night is part of the ‘entightled princess concept’ that modern females have in relationships. I won’t even get into it other than to say that our date nights are not just for me because I am the princess and must be doted on. (insert gif of idina menzel saying she’s a Disney queen not a Disney princess as a joke)

Sometimes we see movies I don’t want to see . . . or eat at skyline which I would never have again if I were not married to Scott. How is that being entightled? It’s not, because date night isn’t about me. It’s about the one soul/heart my husband and I have become since our wedding day and giving that the priority it deserves. they are for both of us. I’ll let him answer why date night is important to him …

 “it’s our time to just focus on enjoying the company of each other… I always enjoy spending time with you, but there’s always extra stuff going on… but on date night we get an enjoyable stage on which to do nothing buy enjoy each other…”

That’s all for today. I hope you all take from this what I think is most important and that’s to make one on one time with your husband a priority – maybe for you it’s once a month going out to dinner or maybe it’s taking two hours every Thursday night after the kids are in bed to cuddle and watch a movie together or maybe like us you go the traditional dinner and a movie route!

 I’d love to know what your favorite date nights are or what other special ways you appreciate your marriage . . .

linking up with Community Brew

Now how’s about a giveaway! I’m teaming up with some awesome ladies on this one . .. check out what Betsy has to say.

 

there’s nothing like updating your wardrobe for fall.  i absolutely love picking up some new jeans and a few sweaters to kick off this glorious season!  while fall is not quite here yet (and there’s really no reason to rush summer out the door), it still would be silly not to take advantage of all of the back-to-school sales going on!  and just to help you out with that fall wardrobe shopping, i’ve partnered with a few other bloggers to offer one lucky reader a little shopping spree at gap!

one winner will receive:

$100 to gap

$30 to starbucks (because you need to fuel up for that shopping trip!)

 

i wouldn’t be able to bring you this awesome giveaway without partnering with some fabulous blogging friends!  each of these girls is so sweet and generous, and i hope you take a moment to stop by each of their blogs and check them out!

 

this giveaway will run for a week and a winner will be chosen at random and notified by email.

all entries will be verified, so play fair!  good luck!

the one with white and gold

I finally jumped on the all white train and guess what everything I have on is from old navy … except my accessories.

I might have an addiction. also this is the first time I’m writing a post in my phone … I hope it turns out ok

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Since starting to do fashion posts . . . I try not to include sunglasses in every single outfit even though that is my life . . . but that causes for pictures like these with squinted eyes and the bangs being blown everywhere. Such are the trials of a fashion blogger 🙂

 

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jacket.pants.shirt :: old navy summer 2014

shoes :: thrifted

necklace and earrings :: groopdealz.

linking up with The Creative Closet let it shine style sessions Monday gossip Monday Bloom  pleated poppy transatlantic blonde random wednesday  Vodka Infused Lemonade all things chic look what i got

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the one about eyebrows PLUS a giveaway!

This might be my niece Elizabeth’s favorite post ever (she’s my niece, but she’s 24). Looking back I should have just let her write it for me. She is SERIOUS about eyebrows. You know how they say you know if a person is trustworthy within 10 seconds . . . it takes her about 2 seconds – she just has to look at your eyebrows.

So in order for you to gain her trust I wanted to share with you a little secret I’ve found. Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

Anstasia Brow Gel

First let me tell you that until I was about 15 my eye brows were out of control. the more I grew – they more they grew, the more directions they went, they crazier they looked, and the closer we got to a uni-brow . . . no joke. So one day my friend Ashley pinned me down and plucked them for me – put her knees on my shoulders and took some tweezers to them bad boys. It’s funny to look back on because she is very tom boyish and I am very girly now, but she someone had the tweezers down before me.

I felt instantly refreshed, more like a lady, and put together so I haven’t looked back. Fast forward 13 years (let’s act like I said 3) and add a niece who recently graduated from beauty school, and felt like I had this eyebrow thing down. I had a routine . . .

once a month I visited a professional waxer to have them shaped and trimmed up (this is now my niece, and if you’re in the Indianapolis area send me an email so I can get you in contact with her) – then once a week I use my tweezers and keep them in shape. I don’t fill them in except for special occasions – because they’re dark and thick already they don’t need it. I definitely recommend it if you’re aren’t as thick as mine – like I said I do use it for special occasions.

But what I do use daily is this gel. That shape I keep talking about  . . . this gel makes your brows stay there. all.day.long. it doesn’t feel chalky, watery, thick . . . I don’t even know it’s there all day.

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

What is your eyebrow routine?

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Even Monday’s look better when delivered with a bow. Which is why I helped put together a bow-tastic giveaway with three bow-themed prizes. Now even Monday’s look pretty!

Kate Spade Mini Bow Studs //  Bow Tie Bracelet Cuff – Faux Leather from ForgottenCotten //

Two Bows and Hair Tie Set from Bows and Braids

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

currently on this friday

 the hubs and I closed on our house last night! we couldn’t be more excited . . . he to be a homeowner and myself to get started on demo! We have carpets to pull up and a few cabinets to get off the walls before we can paint! After a couple weeks of painting and putting the new floors in I think he’ll be over it and want to sleep in on our Saturday ‘house work days’, so I have plans to use all of his adrenaline tomorrow! Luckily this isn’t the first he’s heard of this . . .

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This is my face all day today with thoughts of better ways to get stuff done in the coming weeks . . . just imagine my eyes darting back and forth and lots of talking happening. Here’s 5 things I’m currently doing or feeling . . . all of the feels . . .

Writing :: a shopping list for lowe’s. paint and supplies – new front door hardware – 3 light fixtures   Anticipating :: going to the state fair with the bestie tonight.   Wearing :: comfy stuff   Craving :: lots of things. My diy heart is going crazy right now. I also can’t wait for a funnel cake tonight   Missing :: my sister and my niece. It feels forever since I’ve seen them.

linking up with lauren amy & karli  Jenna & Jenna

the one with sweet potato buffalo chicken cassarole (paleo)

I’m guest posting over on Living Lavendar today! Talking about how we’ve done with a year of homemade laundry detergent! Go check it out! Welcome everyone who stopped by from there – please leave me a comment so I can properly say hello!

My husband and I have found a new dinner routine that is working SO WELL! See, by the time we get home – we’re hungry and ready for dinner – so often times prepping for dinner then cooking dinner just seems like too much and we end up eating out. Since our weeknight dinners center around a paleo diet I can still get dinner ready in about 30 minutes, but most of the time it’s about 45 (prep and cook). I’m working more quick recipes into the menu because they are definitely out there (please don’t let that sway you if you’re thinking about trying paleo), but for now we’ve found a system that works well for us.

So I wanted to share our little trick we’ve figured out . . . Here’s how it goes . . . I meal plan and grocery shop on Friday’s then Sunday we take about an hour and cut up all the veggies/fruits, prepare our lunches for the week (that aren’t leftovers from our meal plan), then we prepare Monday’s dinner. Monday when we get home we pop dinner in the oven or put it on the stove to heat it up while we prep Tuesday dinner. So instead of taking 10-20 minutes to prep and then 20-40 minutes to cook before we get to eat . . . we’re ready to eat 15-30 minutes after we get home! So those nights that we’re extra tired or we get stuck in traffic and are starved – we still eat healthy at home instead of being tempted to grab something quick on the way there.

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While we’re talking about easy dinners here’s one of our current favorites (adapted from here) AND it happens to be pretty quick.

2 lb chicken, cut into cubes

4 large sweet potatoes- cut and peeled

any other veggies you’d like to include – I used about 1 cup of zuccini

2tbs almond flour

1/3 cup of almond milk

1 tbs. paprika

2 tbs. garlic powder

5 tbs. hot sauce

1 tbs. palm sugar

1/4 cup melted ghee or butter

salt & pepper

1 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 minced green onions

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Preheat oven to 425. chop up and mix all ingredients except bacon and green onions. Cook for 30 minutes and then top with bacon and green onions and cook for 5 more minutes.

If you’re like me and refuse to not eat cheese add small amounts of dairy, add some cheese to the top before you cook the last 5 minutes 🙂

Once it’s fully cooked add some hot sauce and enjoy! It ain’t pretty, but it’s good.

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Anybody else have any tips for saving time on dinner? Any quick healthy recipes to share? I’ve LOVE to hear.

linking up with Humble Bumble Purpose blog Sweetbellaroos Great ideas Claire and Jessica for tips and tricks! eat drink and be mary

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the one with the elephant shirt

I recently have a new thing for elephants . . . I’ve been looking  into lots of home décor (we close TOMORROW!) and I saw this ceramic elephant to replace our plastic toy one. Of course I can’t find the ceramic elephant anywhere, but I did find this tank top and so I picked it up.

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Elephants in many countries, represent – strength, loyalty, wisdom, eternity, cooperative spirits – those characteristics really resonate with me. All of them are ones I hope to have both as a woman and just as a person.

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When my niece, Amauri saw this shirt she immediately asked to go to the zoo . . . but the zoo is outrageously expensive these days . . . so instead we opted for a day at the movies, monkey joes, and a walk with aunt bexi.

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Which that and elephants got me thinking about the unconditional love of family.

Is there anything stronger, more cooperative, or more wise to have in this world?

elephant racer back tank

w. clearance tank underneath

maxi skirt

fedora in black

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Transatlantic Blonde Because Shanna Said So Pleated Poppy I feel pretty Style Sessions Tara

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the one about the office

Our office in our current – for 1 more day current –  apartment is just not really what I need in an office – when I do a craft I usually end up going to the dining room table even though I have a designated area in my office.

With blogging and the virtual assistant business I’m getting started up (more on that later) I’m going to need a place I like to be in. My husband also needs a good space for his financial interest stuff  (all I know is about what pertains to me, don’t hate) and mostly he needs a place to store the macbook so I don’t trip over the powercord in the living room anymore – yes Mr. Stark you read that right.

So the office in the new house will be the 2nd room that gets most of my attention. The rooms that will be most of my attention first you can check out here. Those rooms we mostly already have the stuff for, and what we don’t have doesn’t cost a ton. So I’ll be able to knock them out once the floors are done with some paint and décor. The office is right on the same page – most of it we already have and what we don’t have won’t cost a ton . . . but I have no idea where to start in here.

 

Here’s what I do know . . .

 

We have an old dresser with lots of drawers that we have no use for – it’s being painted a fun outrageous color – one that my husband will most likely shake his head at – but it’s my dresser for my craft storage. Once I get the craft storage hidden in there and a filing cabinet for secure business and personal documents. I won’t really have a need for shelves on the wall  and we won’t have tons of clutter – just office supplies by the desk.

I’m thinking something like this dresser . . .

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Since it’ll be mostly my virtual assistant office it’s going to have a fun, bright, and airy feely to it. I’m sure my husband will love the feel of it when he comes in . . . but if it were his choice it’ll have a much more mahogany distinguished feel. Think white walls, bright sheer curtains with the windows open, a fun gallery wall of bright prints, with the purple dresser. (both images from apartment therapy)

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Here’s what I don’t know . . .

 

We’ll need two desks . . . and I’d like to have a special table for my sewing machine. The room is plenty big enough for all 3, but I’m trying to be smart about this and find the perfect layout to maximize the space. Our current dining table which I love will be coming into this room, and it would work perfectly as a desk or a sewing table.  But I love the idea of a his and hers desk like this.

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So the question is do I spend the money and make the his and hers desk while using our old table as my sewing table . . . or do I just buy one new desk . . .

 

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Wednesday WhimsHumpDayI should be mopping the floor