Archives for November 2014

Month: November 2014

the one about Sunday Suppers and a giveaway!

I hope you all had a lovely thanksgiving. The Stark’s sure did :). Iron Man and Pepper (that’s me) actually hosted our very first Thanksgiving. and I have to tell ya . . . I loved it. you know I love to throw dinner parties, and there just isn’t a better dinner party than with your family around the holidays.


2 of the recipes I used – which I will be sharing over the next couple weeks  – came from the first book I received from blogging for books.


In Sunday Suppers, Karen Mordechai celebrates the magic of gathering, bringing together friends and strangers to connect over the acts of cooking and sharing meals. What I most appreciated from the book was how thought out the recipes are – from the party for little ones to the picnic with friends. Each one has intricate details and special recipes for that occasion.

Here’s 5 recipes I can’t wait to try . . .

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How would you like to jumpstart your holiday baking with some brand spankin’ new kitchen equipment from Williams Sonoma? Yeah, I thought so. I’ve teamed up with these 9 lovely ladies to bring you a shot at winning a $100 gift card to Williams Sonoma! Be sure to stop by their blogs to say thank you! Good luck!


Life Could Be a Dream // Butcher’s Niche // The Rachael Way

Elizabeth Loves // Dearest Love // The Mommy Glow

Twin Stripe // Early August // Oh Simple Thoughts

Simplicity Relished

Giveaway will end at 11:59 pm EST on December 2nd. Open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another winner will be chosen.

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the one with the DIY christmas advent

CHRISTMAS! The decor is up (except for the tree)  and I wanted to share. My favorite part of the decor is definitely the DIY Christmas Advent. I’m so excited about this one that I’m showing it to you before it’s officially done. I still have to hang it! update:: the pictures are now of it officially done! 



Here’s what you’ll need to do your DIY advent ::

a branch

some ribbons or twine

25 clothespins

1 ornament

24 bags

metallic marker

command hooks

24 pieces of candy/Christmas items

Step 1 – write numbers 1 through 24 on your bags in your chosen marker. I found that a metallic permanent marker works best on canvas type bags.

Step 2 – place your candy/Christmas item in each bag. This was a last minute project so there’s 1 piece of dark chocolate in each bag. Next year – and especially when we have little kiddos – I’d love to do activities for each day.

step 3 – tie 5 strings of ribbon around branch evenly spaced. The length is up to you and how big your bags are. If you’re going to be putting toys or trinkets in your bags – I would recommend putting a staple through the ribbon also for added support.

step 4 – place bags on ribbon with clothes pins. and your ornament in the 25th spot.

step 5 – hang your branch on the wall with command hooks – be sure you put it on there front wards not back wards . . . not that anyone would do that and then take photographs of it at the last minute.
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*once I get it up on command hooks i’ll retake the pictures and put them on instagram so you can see all done and pretty . . . and in the correct order*

and for your viewing pleasure here’s some more pictures from around our home this Christmas . . . I didn’t really have a theme this year. It’s sort of vintage, rustic, red, blue, and green – if that could be a theme. I’m happy with it so far, and can’t wait to put up the tree.



diyadvent9 diyadvent5 diyadvent7 diyadvent8 diyadvent6

Do you have everything up for Christmas yet or are you waiting until after Thanksgiving?


the one with a gift guide for the cooks

The kitchen is where my heart is. I love to cook and come up with new and fun recipes. I dream of the days when I’ll have the time to cook amazing meals every day. So today I wanted to share my gift guide for the cooks!

I find that most cooks are pretty particular with what they cook with so this gift guide definitely goes more towards the pretty things that they might not think to spend money on!  If you wanted to go the cookware route, I’d make a pretty basket full of spatulas, spoons, dishtowels, the things everyone uses all the time and what a cook would go through quickly!

I also wanted to tell you about that cookbook! It’s one of my favorites because it’s real. Daphne makes good, good food that’s healthy for you at the same time. Every chapter I just appreciated how real she was with her weight struggles and how being skinny isn’t an acceptable price for eating bad food. Here’s a couple of my other favorites … smitten kitchen pioneer woman ina garten.


Do you have a gift guide for the cooks in your life?


pretty bakeware . farmers market bag . cutting board . apron . mixer . cookbook .

homemade vanilla extract

A Savory Feast's First Blogiversary Giveaway

Help us celebrate A Savory Feast’s 1st Blogiversary with this fun giveaway! The winner will receive a prize pack containing a $20 Target gift card, some baking tools selected by Jenna from A Savory Feast, a custom blog button set from MW Stationery and a mug from Oh Simple Joys.

Meet your hosts!

Blogiversary Giveaway Hosts

A Savory Feast // Wetherills Say I Do // New Home, New Name, New Adventure

Flowers in My Hair // Mandy Living Life // Twin Stripe

Writing in Red Lipstick // Butcher’s Niche // Heavens to Betsy

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents 18 years of age and older. It runs from November 23, 2014 at 12:00 am EST to November 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM EST. The winner will be chosen randomly and notified via email. They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

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linking up with Time to Sparkle
Bowl of Lemons
The Scoop
Turn it up Tuesday

Capsule Wardrobe #6 and a world market giveaway!

This week’s outfit was pretty beautiful if I say so myself. but it also has the first outfit I don’t like.  . . . here we go with capsule wardrobe #6 . . .

look #1 this is one of my favorite dresses, but I’ve struggled to remix it. so I added a belt and some boots!


 look #2 the look i hated. i had big ideas. because yellow and purple . . .
look #3
 look #4
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 Thoughts for the week ::
I know I talk about the weather every post, but I feel like it’s necessary. So the weather this week . . . it snowed for officially the first time and it go real cold – like the wool coat was brought out for the first time. I hear it was like this in most of America . . . and then this weekend it was in the 50’s. hence no tights.
i love yellow and purple . . . i love that striped skirt . . . i love that scarf (from the lovely sarah at 12twentyseven) i love scarves as vests . . . but just no
such a hipster in that last outfit and you know i love it.
what i’m grateful for ::
no the snow.
my sister and my mama
and 5 year olds who have frozen and pink birthday parties
It’s Monday and it’s Thanksgiving week! So I’ve got some super special giveaways for you this week! To start us out right how about some World Market . . .



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This giveaway will be live from 12:00am EST on November 24th through
12:00am on December 1st. Open to US residents only. All entries are
verified. Winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond
and claim prize or a new winner will be randomly chosen by the

linking up with random Wednesday monday gossip let it shine dc in style mix it Monday watch what i’m wearing rhea ectera walkin in Memphis style elixir get your pretty on vodka infused lemonade transatlantic blonde the pleated poppy 2 35 designs


the one about my star

my star . . . very few people actually know the real reason I got this one and the reason behind it. Usually, I just say it’s for some people who have passed. But it’s only for one specific person …

His birthday was November 3rd, and 12 years later it’s not the first thing that comes to my mind anymore. But it hits me like a ton of bricks about half way through the day. I can’t breathe as I try to hold the tears in while I sit at work. How do I explain to customers I’m crying over someone who passed so long ago . . . someone I barely even knew?

and then I feel guilty


His name was Luke.  Even though the large group of teenagers at my church were all friends, We didn’t talk much. He was 4 years older than me, and there was that HUGE crush I didn’t hide very well.

He was tall, dark, handsome, mysterious, …  intimidating. I never even tried to be friends with him. I would when I was his age I thought . . .

On July 25th, 2002 he was gone.

I’ve struggled the past 12 years with how his death has affected me. It’s deep, and real . . . sometimes it’s very raw . . . and it’s always full of guilt.

guilt that I shouldn’t miss someone I wasn’t close to this much . . .

guilt that I never tried to be his friend . . .

guilt that I wasn’t the friend to his sister that I should have been . . .


I found out he was gone on the last day of church camp with most of our mutual friends. Our parents all drove down to pick us up and tried to get us to go home early… my father being the most demanding and outspoken of the group. but we stayed . . .

That group of friends from church . . . not all of us were close, some of us barely spoke then, most of us don’t even speak today, but we have history, we have secrets, we have love, and we will always have the memory of Luke.

That night at camp we sat around the fire holding hands and listening to our leaders talk of friendship and the mysteries behind the stars.

the one with sausage and kale quiche

Am I the only person in the world who expects my week night dinners to take less than an hour to cook? Ugh, it seems like every recipe I find lately is intricate, has lots of prep, and then takes 45 minutes to cook. Those meals are usually the best and definitely deserve their place. that place is not in my week night meals.

Quiche is one of those meals, and it’s not something I’ve ever made before. As a matter of fact, I didn’t really like it until recently. Except those mini ones that serve as appetizers that are very cheesy . . . I liked those, a lot. But in an effort to expand my horizons and learn to cook more recipes I decided to try some – sausage and kale quiche to be specific.


The end results was a delicious meal . . . that I probably won’t ever make again. HA! I’m half kidding. The recipe says it takes 40 minutes to cook . . . and it probably does . . . but I forgot to bake the crust a little beforehand.

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This still made for a delicious – fully cooked – meal that just so also happens to be fairly healthy! My next step is to figure out how to make crust-less quiches. Paleo, holla!


Do you like quiche? I’d love to hear your favorite recipe?

the one with sausage and kale quiche

the one with sausage and kale quiche


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 5 oz. fresh baby kale (up to 8 oz)
  • 1/2 lb. cooked crumbled sausage
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 5 eggs (or 1-1/4 cups Egg Beaters)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half, cream or milk
  • 1 premade pie crust


  1. bake crust for about 15 minutes at 350
  2. sauté olive oil, onion, and sausage until sausage is browned
  3. place on top of crust
  4. mix all other ingredients together
  5. pour on top of sausage
  6. bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes

a blossoming life i should be mopping the floor you’re gonna love it Tuesday time to sparkle the scoop wicked awesome wednesday my girlish whims thursday favorite things pin it Thursday a handful of everything all things with purpose the pin it party the jenny evolution sincerely paula the pin junkie



the one with copper makeup

I’ve spoken of my love for cognac before . . . or I wear it a lot at least so you should have noticed (insert sarcastic smiley face). So I recently had a brilliant idea to wear it on my face . .

Cognac translates to copper makeup. So the main focus was going to be Covergirl’s Bombshell Shine Shadow in Copper Fling and my Mary Lay mineral powder blush in Copper. From there it was a quick 5 minute look . . .

pinOnce you’ve got your face ready for color – I primed and put on some tinted mousturizer – put the bombshell all over your eye lid. This had a thicker consistency than I’m used to for crème eyeshadows, but I loved it because of how rich the color was. Once it was fully dry I dipped my eyeshadow brush into the mary kay mineral powder blush and used that in the crease of my eyelid. A very small line of almay liquid eyeliner then 3 coats of benefit mascara, lastly Anastasia brow gel and the eyes are done!


Next up I used my elf highlighter and concealer in one to brighten and conceal then covergirl tru powder to set everything in and make sure my face had a good foundation before putting the mary kay blush high up on my cheekbones for an allover copper appeal.

For a casual look during the day, I paired this with almay lipgloss in apple. that night for date night with my hubs I paired it with Revlon colorstay deep cranberry.


that cranberry lip really gives it a holiday touch that I can’t.get.enough.of. You know what would look really good with a copper eye, cranberry lips, and some cognac boots . . . these earrings!

KSIt’s snowing in the midwest. And maybe Texas too! As we brace for the Bomb Cyclone (this year’s Polar Vortex), some of my blogging buddies came together to cozy you up with a Kate Spade Cozy Giveaway. It includes the cutest KS earrings that you’ve seen on all the blogger’s wish lists (maybe even your own), some Kate Spade socks with some fab polka dots, and a $10 Starbucks gift card to warm you up as you cuddle up wherever you are. 

Anne | Betsy | Bex
Liz | Trish | Linda
Faith | Nina | Emelia

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*all of these products I purchased at Target or received in my most recent birchbox. *

the one with an etsy lovers gift guide

For the next 5 Tuesdays, I thought I would share some gift guides! I’m doing 5 because I refuse to believe that any of you will shopping 2 days before Christmas . . . you’re better than that!

My goal this year was actually to delay my Christmas shopping . . . the last couple years I was done before Thanskgiving even came. Then I would change my mind on certain gifts or I’d just really want to shop and experience all that Christmas had to offer. And end up spending more money than I had planned. So this year I made a schedule of who I was going to buy for, what I wanted to get them, and when I was going to buy that present. I’m still going to be done shortly after the beginning of December, but not as early as usual! Having that schedule also really helped with being sure I got everything I wanted to order from Etsy!

Handmade gifts are some of my favorites and supporting small business is my jam. But I know they get busier near the holidays and if you wait too long it might not get here in time! So if you want to order something from Etsy for a loved one, I’d totally recommend doing it now! To help here’s my etsy lovers gift guide . . .



clickandblossom mug . Frostbeard booklovers candle . agogo pillowcases . SaSea sweatshirt . Garvin and Co print . PlumPaperDesigns planner . Elisabeth Ashlie necklace

I’m not the only making gift guides so be sure to go check out these lovely ladies!!


10 Gift Ideas for the Cook from Love, Pasta, and a Tool Belt | Unique Gifts for Husbands from Rebecca Chapman | Erin Condren Wish List from The Love Nerds | 2014 Holiday Gift Guide from Wife in Progress | Gifts for the Modern Geek from Living Better Together | Handmade Holiday Gift Guide from Alexis Krystina | Etsy Lovers Gift Guide from Butcher’s Niche | Gift Ideas for the Babies in Your Life from Notes from the Nelsons


Capsule Wardrobe #5

We’re only 5 weeks into this capsule wardrobe and I am seriously thinking that I will end up with some shirts that I won’t wear. Since I only end up with 4 outfits a week #werkingirl 37 items might be too much. BUT I’m not ready to give any up yet . . . Here’s we go capsule wardrobe #5 (which makes me feel like this should be called chanel #5 or even better mambo #5)

favorite outfit: fancy jeans


outfit 2: cute and comfy


outfit 3: girls day


outfit 4: leopard at church

capsule wardrobe

Thoughts for the week ::

BANGS GOT TRIMMED!! Gosh, if you don’t have bangs you don’t understand.

That’s also why the hair was down most of the week . . . because a fresh color, cut, and blowout can last daaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyysssssss in this dry weather.

that grey sweater is from stitchfix and is the I’ll take several more just like it please.

shoulda taken the 2 minutes to put on tights for church with that last outfit . . . but the hubs had to help with opening prayer and we had to be there early!!! #nightowlstruggles

things I’m grateful for this week – girl friends 🙂 there are 5 girl friends who helped me through this week. It wasn’t a bad week just a very surprising week and they were there.

I also got to meet 2 of them in real life for the first time and now I have 2 new family members 🙂

Lastly because Christmas is 5 weeks away . . . yup 5 weeks away . . . some lady-ladies and i are back this fine monday morning to offer you some sweet sweet mula and a personalized clutch from monkeyseeboutique!

we wish you the very best of luck as you try to win yourself some christmas cash!

(and don’t forget to show each of these gal-faces some love while you’re at it.)

bailley | nellekarli | katie | hayley | crystallindsay | becca | amy | andreabex | kristin | karissa | lauren

the one lovely blog award

Guys, the bestie faith over at life with mrs g. nominated for an award!! I love her . . .  she’s the bestest. I’m so glad I get to spend the day with her today . . . that’s really all I got to say today! I hope you guys have a great weekend 🙂



– You must display the award logo at the top of your post

– You must thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog in your post

– You must add these set of rules to your post so that your nominees will know what to do

– You must add 7 facts about yourself into the post

– You must nominate 7 other blogs and leave links to each of them in your post

– You must let the people you have nominated know that they have been nominated

– You must follow the person back who nominated you on Bloglovin’ and GFC (if you have one)


1. pizza is my favorite food and I could eat it everyday for the rest of my life

2. coke – like a coke – is my favorite drink and I do drink it every day of my life.

3. white chocolate is better than regular chocolate

4. in high school I was the yearbook editor and the senior class historian. #overachiever

5. I went to college to be a teacher . . . as you can see that worked out

6. I hate wearing leggings

7. I’ve had 5 knee surgeries.


Natasha @ gather round our table


Carrington @ Momma Fussell


Hanna @ through the lens


Gennie @ new home, new name, new adventure


Erin @ the 21 day experiment


janelle @ vintage simply love


angie @ chasing my halo


jessica @ the pen and needle