Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Prepping!

*Cue 'N Sync's "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" (or fast-forward 15 years and cue Justin Beiber's "Under the Mistletoe.")

It's the Holidays, y'all! Happy Cyber Monday! Who got a great deal? I'll tell you who, THIS girl! {points to self} Our fun actually started Sunday when we came across this sweet little number on Amazon.

It's going in our master bedroom. So, it wasn't originally on our "to buy" list for our master bedroom re-do, but our current TV is so heavy and we didn't want it to scratch our new dresser. Plus, with a great Cyber Monday deals, we just couldn't pass it up!

Today, I saw that West Elm put their popular Organic Pintuck duvet cover (oh yes, the one I've been wanting and talking about for months) for 20% off plus free shipping. So, I saved more than $50 on something I was fully planning on ordering for full price! Um, holler.

The hubby and I decorated for Christmas on Sunday, but I got to feeling like I don't have many decorations. Now that we have this house, the tree and the mantle is about all I can decorate with what I have.

So, with the hubby being out of town this week (boo.), I'm going to craft it up, holiday decor-style (yay!). I made a run to HobLob tonight and scored all of this for about $50 - but it should make 4 different items.

If you're on Pinterest, you probably already know what some of these are. More to come on those later...

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


If you watch (one of our fave shows on TV) How I Met Your Mother, you'll get the reference. But a friend of ours was inspired by the show's annual "Friendsgiving" party. So, we gathered together with a couple of Greg's friends/old co-workers and made a few new friends.

The week before, emails went back and forth about what everyone would bring. I made a few suggestions to the hubby including some kind of dip, an appetizer, a casserole/side dish or possibly a pie. So Greg signs us up for pie - uh correction: two pies. Apple and pumpkin. I was immediately a little on-edge. I know my way around the kitchen, but I happen to be a terrible baker. I don't even have a pie dish. I am like Betty Crocker's white trash sister in the kitchen. If I could over-bake, under-bake, burn, etc. any sort of sweet treat, I probably will.

So, I perused Pinterest and came across two really great recipes for pumpkin and apple pie.

And I would 100% recommend them both. I generally find a way to ruin things that I bake, but they both turned out really tasty!
Here are a few action shots and then the final product:
Can you tell I'm a little on-edge despite the smile? ;-)
Before the lattice work began
Ready for the Oven...
All in all, it was a total success. I had fried turkey for the first time (um, delicious!), amazingly good food (mac n cheese, garlic roasted mash potatoes, turducken and of course pie). Of course I only took one picture, but just to prove that Friendsgiving happened...
Hopefully, many more to come. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fun With Burlap!

Nothing inspires me to get a project done more than knowing that I have people coming over to my house. So, the Hobby Lobby bag that's been sitting in the corner of my living room turned into this cute little number.

This little mini-project was inspired by this pin (as most things I make or buy are found on Pinterest. It's getting a little scary.). On Etsy, it was $24, so I pride myself in doing something for cheaper than I could buy it. Because otherwise, why DIY it?

So I got two yards or burlap and some white ribbon from HobLob (total $13). I started out by measuring my table length, then cutting the burlap (about 15 inches wide). Then, I used my favorite crafting tool ever - hem tape - to "sew" the hems of each side of the table runner and to attach the ribbon.

 Super easy - the whole process took me about an hour. It actually took me, like, an hour and a half but I was watching Biggest Loser and paused numerous times trying to decide whether I was going to cry or not. (It was a really good episode last week!)

I actually wish it was about 2 inches shorter, but it turned out really cute! Kind of shabby chic look, if you will. Here's the detail:

I'm also LOVING what Nate Berky did on his show while preparing a Thanksgiving tablescape. I have leftover burlap so might try this for my coffee table in the living room.

So, then I started Googling/Pinterest searching burlap and found so many adorable things I could do with my leftovers. From holiday gift-wrapping to weddings and more.

I think burlap is the new black. Who knew?!

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When the Cat's Away...

Well, my hubby is out of town for a few days this week for business. Because he got put on a new client recently, he has to travel more often. Well, more often than I would like.
I've told you before that I'm ridiculously scared of my own shadow. This is, like, quadrupled when the hubby goes out of town. But I've gotten a little better as I'm starting to get more used to the hubby being out of town. And by "gotten a little better" I mean "locks myself in my bedroom inside locked, alarmed house cuddling with my Mag-lite ready to knock out whoever breaks in..." And I really thought I would grow out of this...
But I'm making the best of it - so far, I've treated myself to a long-awaited and much-needed pedicure, drank wine while watching terrible reality TV, ate sushi and even crafted a bit (will share soon!). Actually, if the hubby doesn't come home soon, I'm going to go all independent diva (said while snapping my fingers in a Z formation) and start talking about how I need to move to New York (pronounced "New Yark" in my best valley girl voice).
Lucky for me, he comes home late tomorrow! Happy Pre-Thanksgiving Week!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Some people are photogenic. Others just aren't. I come from a long line of not-so-photogenics... My Mom and older sister, as beautiful as they both are, can't keep their eyes open in a picture if their lives depended on it.

Maybe it's all the years in the sorority (all those QUICK: hand-on-hip, shoulder-back, body-turned-in-slightly, neck-up, eyes-open group shots) that taught me how to be ready for a photo. Well, I think maybe I've gotten a little over-confident because, oh my - how times have changed.

You see, within the past few years, there's been a sudden rise in the popularity of having photo booths at weddings - even New Year's Eve parties. In fact, it seems as though about 75% of all weddings I attend have them. Never one to pass up documenting a night, the hubby and I always go take a pic or two. Once we get home, I usually throw the photos in a drawer with all the others.

Well, recently, when I was working on our happy wall in our guest bedroom, I was brainstorming what I could do with all of these photo booth photos. I've seen YHL do cute things; put in a cup so people can sift through them, frame them, etc.

Then, I laid out all the photos side-by-side and realized - wow, we're SO predictable. After about 2-5 glasses of wine, I will generally grab the hubby's hand and say "OK, let's go take our photo booth pic!" We grab hands and skip happily over to the booth. (OK, so maybe it didn't happen just like that.) First, we smile (look at us - aren't we precious?!), then we do something silly (this generally involves some sort of prop; most recently mustaches); then, we do something else silly; then, I say "Let's do a cute one and kiss!" Not one to turn down a chance to mug down in a photo booth, Greg obliges. These poses can really be in any order, though. Maybe it's the length of time we have to prepare (like two seconds!) or maybe it's the 2-5 glasses of wine, but these kissy photos have gotten increasingly creepy.

So much so, that the groom of one of the recent weddings we attended e-mailed out the best photo booth photos to some of his friends/groomsmen and thank-you-very-much, we made the list.

See what I mean:


Anyways, these are too hilarious to NOT do something with and we have more somewhere. Has anyone done anything with photo booth photos? Perhaps just framed them? I'll keep thinking on it.

Happy Wednesday!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Crafty Bitch: Daylight Savings Edition

Uh. Daylight Savings Time. The WORST time of the year. We gain an hour, YES, but suddenly it's the time of year that no matter how early I get off work, it's still dark when I get home. Boo.

Oh well, to make the best of this depressing time of year, I decided to craft a little bit. It's been months since I've done anything crafty and we're waiting to get the rest of our bedroom furniture (hopefully in the coming weeks) before I dive in to re-doing our master bedroom.

Since I never really got it together for Halloween, I thought I'd get going with Thanksgiving.

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was a really cute way to decorate. I also hope to be able to host Thanksgiving in my own home one day so want to start building up my decorations. Plus, my living room mantel needs all the help it can get...

So here's the final product:

So, basically I found some cute-shaped bottles at World Market. (Side note: I think World Market is the best store ever - I could walk around in there for hours).

I even came across this adorable vase that I could totally see living in my new master bedroom.

Back to the bottles - I found these cute bottles that are called Bundaberg Australian Root Beer.

It tastes terrible - the hubby and I both tried it and agreed it was the worst tasting drink ever.

So, then I went to Michael's and picked up 3 packaged of faux wheat ($5.99/each). The original blog that posted this talked about it being a little overpriced and she just borrowed some wheat from a neighbor. Ummm, I may live in the 'burbs but where the eff am I supposed to find wheat?

So I'm driving around Funkytown (or "Frisco" as the locals call it) on a beautiful Saturday singing Wicked's "Defying Gravity" very loudly (isn't that what everyone does on nice days when you're driving around?) and I realize OMG, there is wheat EVERYWHERE. OK, maybe not wheat, but lots of these little wheat-like plants near the entrance of neighborhoods that I think would have worked. But I have my faux wheat and am pretty pleased with it. But if you're looking do this on the cheap, it's a good way!

While tutorials really aren't my thing, (I'm more of a wing-it kind of gal) here's what I did: I dumped out all the nasty "root beer" and took the labels off. Funny how it only took me seconds to type that, yet a solid hour and twenty minutes to execute. Then, all I did was soak the bottles in water, peel off the label, then scrubbed them clean with a Brillo pad. This also took off the expiration date print on the bottle.

Then, I placed these adhesive letters on the bottles (got these at good ole HobLob in the scrapbooking aisle for about $4). Then, I cut the wheat to an even level and shoved as much wheat as I could into each bottle and voila!

While I probably could have done this cheaper, this craft came in a little under $30. Totally worth it for decor I can use again and again each Thanksgiving. I've got some other holiday decorating ideas on my mind so hope to be able to work on those soon, too! In the meantime, is anyone else as down about Daylight Savings as me? Hope you're making the best of that extra hour!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat: Smell My Feet

Wow, Halloween has come and gone! I'm feeling a little bit like I'm a day late and a dollar short on this holiday. I can't believe this is our second Halloween in our house. While I'm sad that I wasn't able to pass out candy to our little trick-or-treaters this year, I was able to pull together some VERY last minute decorations.

Side note: Halloween was easily one of my favorite nights in our home last year. I was so excited to see all the little ones dressed up; in particular, a set of three siblings, two little brother (Mario and Luigi) and an older sister (Princess Peach). After they had gathered the candy and said their thank-yous and were turning around to leave, the little girl looks me straight in the eye and says very sneakily "Trick or Treat, smell my feet!" and ran off. At first, I just didn't know what to think of it, but I have to admit - I kind of love her. I'm sad I'll be missing her this year.

So, since I wasn't able to pass out candy this year, I wanted to be able to set something out so the trick-or-treaters could still get candy. Neighborhood karma - believe in it.

With very little direction, my hubby (who is surprisingly resourceful) went and found a haystack and a mixture of fake and live pumpkins. So what if I pictured a faux haystack from a craft store and he came back with a full-size live one from the pumpkin patch? Go big or go home, folks. So, this is what we were able to throw together Sunday night.

We have the haystack, an assortment of pumpkins, our little ghost friend, a sign urging our trick-or-treaters to enjoy some candy and of course - the goodies.

I had been hoping to do some fun, crafty painting with the faux pumpkins, but there's always next year...

I also had this empty Ikea frame that I've had around as a future project to create a cute menu frame for our kitchen, so I thought this could work well for our little sign for trick-or-treaters. Throw in some old scrapbook paper and I used an erasable marker to write the message; I think it turned out cute... I mean, ignoring the terrible handwriting...

Also, over the weekend, I was able to enjoy a Halloween rite of passage by watching the 1993 cinematic classic "Hocus Pocus" on (where else?!) ABC Family. If you haven't seen this movie, you should probably cancel your plans and go rent it.

"A muck. A muck, a muck, a muck, a muck, a muck!" Probably one of SJP's greatest performance to date!

Hope you all had a great Halloween. I'm thinking I should go start preparing for Christmas, or I'll be hanging up lights in January. Happy November!