Archives for November 2014

Month: November 2014

Friday Five – christmas decor addition

The Christmas décor is about to go up – as in starting this weekend, a little more next weekend, and finishing up after Thanksgiving. I felt a big pull to get it all up before Thanksgiving this year because of this blog thing. I wanted to get my ideas here and on Pinterest before the Holiday season officially began. But . . . This is real life and we are hosting Thanksgiving this year!! I love hosting things at our house so I have to go all out and keep the few things I have for Thanksgiving up.

I do have big plans for Christmas in the Stark house – so many I’ve even drawn out diagrams of how I want the mantel, outside, tree to look . . . some of you will think ‘that’s sad’ and to you I say . . . I’m very sorry you don’t have holiday spirit or an organized life.

That was sarcasm

I have a couple DIY projects which I will be sharing and most likely I’ll even do a whole tour the week after thanksgiving. Until then here’s some of my ideas I’ve found on pinterest for Christmas decor . . .


mantel :: I love having the tree right next to the mantel. I feel like it makes the whole living room centered around that area.

tree :: what really got me about this was the merry and bright ornaments. talk about a statement piece! and I’m sure it results in less ornaments used which means money saved!

portico :: decorating outside is new to the hubs and I this year and we are so, so excited! he even had ideas and has claimed the area as his. I had to request permission to make a sign and add some greenery to the porch, ha!

advent :: since we don’t have kids doing an advent isn’t a big thing for us. But I still like the excitement of a countdown so this year I’m making us an advent that we can reuse year after year – I can’t wait to share!

wrapping :: I have a confession – I wrap all my presents the day after Thanksgiving too. Because I am usually done shopping by then. So it becomes part of the décor.

What are your plans to decorate?


sept farm the lauren elizabeth 5 on friday



the one with a caramel apple pizza

What’s better than an apple dipped in chocolate and peanut butter? Nothing. But caramel, peanut butter, and apples is close. Especially when you put it on a sugar cookie pizza crust. Without further ado, here’s a new recipe for caramel apple pizza . . .


Caramel Apple Pizza

Caramel Apple Pizza


  • 1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 cups sliced peeled tart apples
  • 1 can (12 ounces) lemon-lime soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans


  1. Spread your cookie dough flat in a circle shape and bake per package instructions.
  2. once cooled - mix beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, brown sugar and milk until smooth. Spread over crust.
  3. combine the apples and soda; drain well.
  4. Toss apples with cinnamon; arrange over cream cheese mixture
  5. Drizzle with the caramel topping

This dessert would go so well with Thanksgiving which is 2 weeks away – if you happen to not like pumpkin or pecan pie. You could even whip it up in about 30 minutes if say . . . the pecans burned. What are your favorite apple recipes? Do you use them at Thanskgiving?



I’m sure you’ve all heard of my love for Mrs. Golden sooooo here’s another vlog for your viewing pleasure. And this month I’m officially a co-host!! SO link up below and I’ll do mu best to visit and listen to your vlogs as well!! This month it’s all about thanksgiving . . .


Faith @ Life with Mrs. G & the Artist // Bex @ butcher’s niche
Elizabeth @ Elizabeth Loves // Sarah @ 12 TwentySeven

Questions answered ::

1. What is your favorite thanksgiving tradition?

2. Do you travel to be with family or do they come to you?
3. Do you have the traditional thanksgiving dinner or do something completely dinner and unique to your family? If so, what is it? 
4. What’s the MUST have item for thanksgiving dinner?
5. Do you decorate for Christmas Thanksgiving weekend?
6. Are you a black-friday shopper or no? If so .. do you go crazy early or sleep in and miss the crowds?
7. Have a favorite recipe? Care to share?
8. What are you MOST thankful for this year?
A few notes – no I do not have pads under my eyes that’s a reflection in my glasses. I will no longer wear my glasses while making a vlog. I don’t burp or smack my gum this time . . . high five. I’m completely appropriate the entire time . . . especially the beginning.

the one about outerwear accessories

Ever since I started posting about outfits I feel compelled to step my game up every day. This is a good thing. But sometimes I find myself struggling to think of how to do so. I really get my creative juices flowing . . . and I love it.

Outerwear is definitely one of those times. And since it’s super cold super early this year I’m already behind schedule. Normally I just pick a coat I like and go about my day. But it’s about so much more than that . . . your scarf, hat, shoes, even gloves all have a part to play in your over all appearance. That’s what I love about fashion – some $3 gloves can change an entire outfit from creative and fun to professional and glamorous.

This year for me – and the past few years for trends, it seems – it’s all about color. You know my favorite color is purple . . .  so here’s my favorite outerwear accessories for a beautiful plum coat.

outerwear 2014

Casual ::: Colors make everything more fun and I associate casual fashion with fun fashion. So to take things up the causal notch I’d add this gorgeous flannel scarf in teal. It also has grey and hints of cream in it; so adding those in with your hat and scarf will keep you super warm, casual, and fun! /everything from old navy/

Glam ::: Black makes everything more glam, especially black leather. These leather gloves from Nordstrom are so on my wish list for everything. I add the chunky cream scarf for some contrasting colors and texture. / Hat and scarf from Target/

What are your favorite accessories for this winter?







the one with the office results

My lovely, amazing blog friend Sarah at 12TwentySeven tagged me for the tour through blogland. And it lined up perfectly for me to show you the office results.

If you’ll remember back to when I posted the one about the office, I was torn. This house only has 3 bedrooms so right now it’s exactly what we need, but once we need a nursery we’ll lose a room. So I was trying to decide if our office should be just what we have now or if I should start fresh, build new desks, and incorporate a guest room in here.

Well, in order to get it up and functioning as quickly as possible I decided to just use what we have. Turns out, I love it in here. I’ve already used it more than I used our last office, and with some changes in our life that we just found out about I know I made the right decision. No body ask me if I’m pregnant . . . that is not the change I’m talking about. The only thing I don’t like about this room is that it has absolutely no natural light. But considering this will be the only time I ever take pictures of it or in it I’m sure I’ll get over it.


The room is broken into 3 sections – craft storage, Bex’s sewing area, and our computer desk. Above is craft storage 🙂 Maybe later i’ll show you how it’s all organized. Not to toot my own horn, but it’s very organized. toot toot! Those leather strap shelves and that dresser are two of my very favorite things in the whole house!


And here’s my sewing area . . . it is still in need of a desk because my old one was shattered in the move. It’s ok- I didn’t like it anyway. This gallery wall is full of prints I’ve found in a few different places that I love. they motivate and encourage me. Since I don’t have a desk here yet I sometimes just stand and stare at this wall . . . because that’s not awkward.


And finally our desk. This is a table that my hubs and I made together, and above it is a gallery wall of things that are important to both of us. If I’m being 100% honest – it’s stuff he refused to get rid of when we moved in together, but I’m not putting up in my living room. I got lucky that he understands most people don’t want a Chili Peppers album cover above the couch so I have to compromise. Add some girly things to make a gallery wall in a place we both use frequently and you’ve got compromise, you guys.

There it is – the place where the blog work happens and the crafting goes down. Where do you blog?

linking up with a blossoming life i should be mopping the floor you’re gonna love it Tuesday time to sparkle the scoop





Capsule Wardrobe week 4

Capsule Wardrobe week 4 – which was actually over Halloween . . . The week consisted of a Halloween party, trick or treating at the mall with the niece and nephew, lounging around on Saturday, and lots of cooking. Somehow I wore black, white, grey the whole week. no seriously . . . check it out . . .

favorite outfit :


outfit 1 ::

IMG_4344  outfit 2 :


outfit 3 :



 thoughts for the week :

Remember how I said it was getting cold last week? it warmed up and was beautiful . . . then it snowed on Halloween.

outfit #1 was practically my Halloween costume. I’m all for versatile pieces!

also, holy hot mess outfit #2. this outfit was for errands that included children and lounging around the house. Amauri actually told me I didnt’ brush my hair that day and I rolled my eyes at her . . .

how about some color next week

Iron Man and I got some big news this week – news I’m not quite ready to share just yet (no I’m not pregnant) and it just really got me thinking about our little life and how thankful I am for it. So because I love Ember Gray – that’s her name don’t ya know? not really but it’s what I told her I was going to call her. I’m going to share those things and share what’s on my heart . . . I’m thankful for my superhero – I could say why but you’d get bored, I’m thankful for my job that keeps me busy until the bigger things finally come, I’m thankful for my family – they fill my heart and my soul with warmth, I’m thankful for this crazy blogging world that has given me some of my very best friends and made me stronger.

and I’m grateful to Him for blessing me with all of it.

And since he blessed me with all of you I want to replenish some of those blessings!

The Southern Thing
•Just a few amazing posts• How to Spot a Blogger // Louis Vuitton vs Michael Kors

Socialize Bloglovin’ // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest

•Just a few amazing posts• Greek Layer Dip Recipe // House Meets Pinterest: Master Bath

Socialize Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook // Bloglovin’

Butcher’s Niche

•Just a few amazing posts•The One With Some Wood In the Dining Room // Capsule Wardrobe

SocializeTwitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook // Bloglovin’

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to everyone! Make sure you stop back by and enter daily! 

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


Caramel Addiction giveaway!



Are you excited for our giveaway this month? Because you should be. Two words: Chocolate and Caramel! That’s right! We’re giving away $60 worth of ooey, gooey, delicious caramel brownies from the amazing shop in Scottsdale, AZ; Caramel Addiction.

These brownies will change your life and the best part is that they will be shipped to your house just in time for the holiday’s. You can keep them for yourself, or give (some) away for gifts. You will be loved for life once they have tasted these brownie.

Not just that, who would’t love a gift card for all your cooking needs this holiday season to Crate and Barrel? Exactly! Chocolate and shopping? Hello Heaven!

Thanks to Sherrye for offering up her delicious brownies from her online shop: Caramel Addiction.


And thanks to the Cooking Spot contributors. Be sure to check out all of their blogs, and enter the giveaway below.


Erica from The Crumby Cupcake | Bex from Butcher’s Niche | Marcella from Marcella Roses

Madison from The Wetherills Say I Do | Nina from Wear Flowers in Your Hair | Erin from The Speckled Palate

Alli from An Alli Event | Erin from My Cooking Spot



a Rafflecopter giveaway


friday life update

Just a little life update for your Friday mor noo evening . . . bonus points if you know what movie that’s from. It’s actually not a movie I particularly like. I just say that a lot.

Everybody keeps asking how it’s November already . . . however, I feel like this has been a perfectly timed year. If it could slow down and continue at this pace through my favorite time of the year that’d be awesome. and more pretty full moons please . . .


also, the hubs and I moved to Gotham city this week. We’ve got Batman, Batgirl, sugar highs, cartwheels, staying up past our bedtime, and lots of video games here.


My best gal has a birthday right around Halloween so we always appropriately celebrate. This year was no different. did you know Mary Poppins was friends with a show girl? She was


The last round of Halloween celebrations happened with some pumpkin carving at work. I’m pretty proud of these bad boys. I can’t take all the credit – my dude Francisco is a pretty good artist.


and finally, #icymi our kitchen is done and I’m in love. These shelves will have a tutorial and a bost all to themselves over on mycrafty spot Monday . . . be sure to check it out

FullSizeRender (2)


This weekend I’m meeting up with some other Hoosier bloggers, getting started on some furniture updates, and having some beauty time with one of my best gals. How was your week? Any big plans for this weekend?


the one with an eShakti dress

Being on a no shopping surge during my capsule wardrobe is hard, you guys. Like I want to buy all the things . . . even things I know I would never normally buy. I just want to buy them . . . So when I was contacted to review my experiences with eShakti I knew it was heaven sent.

IMG_4345 I’ve seen a few bloggers review an eshakti dress before, and I was always intrigued. I’m a busty, curvy girl so having dresses in a reasonable (but high) price range that were made to fit me seemed like a dream come true. But I never pulled the trigger. Probably because even though I knew the prices were reasonable I hate spending more than $30 or so on a dress if I don’t know the quality.

I went with the bow tie cotton poplin dress – the reasons other than that I liked it were the poplin was going to be a good crisp fabric I could dress up but still be comfortable in, and because I wanted one with sleeves. This started with cap sleeves and I had them add 3/4 sleeves. The dress was also supposed to hit at the knee and I had it made a little longer.


The entire purchasing process was a breeze. I took my measurements, went on a diet, and ordered. I was close to one of their pre-set sizes so I went ahead and ordered that size. I was a little worried about how the chest/arms would fit – that’s the only complain I’ve seen from other bloggers, and I am busty . . . if you didn’t realize. which if you didn’t then that means you’ve never seen any of these posts!

Once the dress arrived, I was so excited I immediately went and tried it on. It fit amazing, looked amazing, and felt amazing! It was exactly what I was looking for – a longer but not maxi, black dress with sleeves!

Have you ever tried eShakti before?

*eShakti sent me this dress to review, but I received no other compensation. All opinions and love of the dress are 100% my own*

Silhouette Portrait Giveaway

It’s that time again! Giveaway time! We could not be more excited for this month’s prize. Like jump up, arms stretched, jumping up and down excited! My Crafty Spot and fabulous contributors are giving away a Silhouette Portrait Cutter machine!

All the things you can do with this machine are endless. It will totally change the way you DIY and craft. Just think of all the amazing decorations you can do for the upcoming holiday’s or birthdays or just for fun day!



This amazing giveaway is brought to you by the fabulous contributors of My Crafty Spot and Silhouette! Feel free to check out any of these fabulous bloggers and their amazing blogs!


Jen from Pink When | Bex from Butcher’s Niche | Marcella from Marcella Roses | Madison from Wetherills Say I Do | Nina from Wear Flowers in Your Hair | Katie from View from the Fridge | Ashley from 3 Little Greenwoods | Erin from The Blue Eyed Dove | Teresa from Crafty Wife | Lindsay from My Creative Days | Mary from Just Mom Matters   Erin from My Crafty Spot

a Rafflecopter giveaway

the one with november goals

It’s that time again for another round of monthly goals! Let’s get right to it . . .


  1. Complete 30 day yoga challenge ::  My plan was to do it in the mornings and teach myself to get up earlier. I’m not a morning person. It took me until October 20th to get started. I would wake up later than I wanted and then say I’d just start the next day – I eventually ended up realizing I should just do it at night because getting up in time was not happening.
  2. Only eat lunch out once a week at work :: I’m calling this a success. There was one week – when we were working on the backsplash that meal prep didn’t end up happening. My kitchen was unworkable for a few days, and the backsplash took us 2 days longer than expected. Sometimes life happens and you have to adjust.
  3. Read 1 book :: success!  I read along and chose some recipes from ‘Sunday Suppers’ and I’m almost finished with the great gatsby.
  4. Adopt our dog :: we’ve started the search. We definitely want to adopt and we know we’re finally ready, but we’re also not just going to settle on a dog because we want to adopt so we’re waiting it our for the perfect dog for us.
  5. No spend month/capsule wardrobe :: success! I didn’t buy anything that wasn’t on the budget or listed as ok clothing purchases! Doing this at Christmas shopping time when I have other things to take that shopping edge off was such a good idea!

Blogging/VA goals::

  1. hit 500 twitter followers and grow Instagram to catch up – done and almost done! Thank you so much to everyone who follows me! I have learned to love twitter and this month I learned to love Instagram just as much.
  2. start marketing VA business – this is still sort of a work in progress. I started this just 2 months ago thinking I would take a course, and then get started at the beginning of the year. I thought the course was 3 months long and then it would be the holidays . . . turns out the course was only a month long. It was still extremely helpful and I am absolutely ready to take on some clients. But I need to find those clients now. And I don’t really know where to begin – it’s not like a blog 🙂 That’s the only part of the course I feel like I didn’t get anything to help me with. More on what I’ll be doing to fix this later . . .
  3. new blog look/media kit – The goal was not a totally new look it was just to stream line things. I think it turned out pretty well, and I’m content. I updated my buttons and got the media kit together, and I’m super happy with those. Any feedback on things you guys think might be helpful would be much appreciated?

November goals

1. continue yoga challenge and capsule wardrobe – Both of these are on going things from last month that I’m well into as you can read above and I will continue. So the goal here is to simply continue 🙂 Capsule wardrobe spending rules aren’t going to change.

2. read 1 book

3. finish dining room table upgrade

Blogging/VA goals

1. hit 500 instagram followers and 2000 pageviews again this month. – self explanatory. Last month I had the goal to catch instagram up to twitter, and it’s only about 150 behind. I’m considering that caught up since I use twitter more than instagram and I think most others are the same.

2. VA – I found a book about VA that per the reviews will get into good ways to market that. So my goal is to read that, make a button for my VA website, and put that button on 2 websites.

I usually like to have 5 and 3 goals here, but that’s all I got for this month 🙂 November is going to be a pretty slow month and I am so ready for it.

What are your goals for the month?