Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Skirts & Stripes

Mixing a sweet and classic look with comfort has been my outfit mantra this winter.  I love finding a feminine look and adding comfort pieces to make these cooler winter days more manageable.
I could live in leggings and boots so they appear pretty often on most of my go-to looks.  Paired with this light skirt and dark striped top, these pieces go seamlessly together.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Perfect Party Favors

A great little treat for your New Year’s party guests is a perfectly portioned drink!  A great use of mason jars, this a quick and easy party favor will be the best centerpiece on the bar.

To assemble you will need:
-          regular mouthed mason pint jars
-          bakers twine
-          paper straw or stir stick
-          soda in the 7.5 oz “mini cans”
-          an airplane bottle of whatever liquor would be a great mix with the soda
Wrap the twine around your mason jar and knot.  Then, tie the straw to the jar and tie the airplane bottle on top.  Add a bow and slip your soda into the jar! (super simple, right?)
Now all your guests need to do is grab their treat, pour in to the handy mason jar, stir and enjoy! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Simple Christmas Wishlist

It's that time of year again, the time to send a wish list to my parents before they cancel Christmas (as usual, mom is threatening to cancel if she has to guess what we all want). 
My mother loves specific lists with links and clothing sizes (and lets be honest, gifts you have been eyeing are much more exciting to see under the tree).  So I sat down this weekend to put a small little wish list together.
1. I am loving the red travel thermos and think it would make my morning commute a little more cheery
2. Love a big gold watch
3. again... fan of the big watches so another in white just makes sense, right?
4. I have been obsessing over these open sweaters and definitely see this as a comfy go-to piece
5. You can never have enough comfy pieces, right?
6. My make-up collection is in definite need of a overhaul, so a Sephora giftcard would be perfect!
7. My feet are always cold and I have finally worn through my latest pair, so slippers are a must!  The hard bottoms are perfect for popping outside with the dog for puppy bathroom breaks.
What are you hoping to find under the tree this year?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

DIY Jewelry Organizer

I have been searching for a new way to hang my long necklaces so they are easy to see and quick to put away.  I went to the DIY heaven that is Pinterest and pulled together a few different ideas and came up with the perfect solution.
After switching a majority of our clothing hangers over to the slimmer velvet hangers we had a plethora of old wooden hangers laying around so I grabbed one.  To recreate, any thicker wooden hanger will work.
You will also need small ceiling hooks from the local hardware shop.  I grabbed two packs of 10 for the jewelry hanger and made sure they could handle 5 pounds (I don't have any crazy heavy necklaces but figured better to be safe). 
I measured out the spacing to fit 10 hooks per side and Brandon helped by hammering a starter hole at each mark that I then twisted the ceiling hooks into.  I made sure that all the hook openings faced the same way.
This ended up being an incredibly easy project so I looked around to see where else we could use the old hangers and found a way to store Brandon's belts.
I used slightly larger ceiling hooks and followed the same process but for the belt hanger, which would be hanging with the clothes and not against the wall like I plan for the jewelry organizer, I had the ceiling hooks facing  alternating directions so the thicker buckles of the belts would fit.
I am loving how functional these organizers are.  They have already been put to use but I am starting to think a little fresh paint may jazz up the jewelry organizer and make it a bit more girly!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Office Furniture

After sketching out the plans and reading tons of reviews we picked out the furniture for our office space.
I am loving each piece as we put them together and can't wait to see my ideas come to life.
5. Chair

The one integral piece I am missing in this new space is color!!  I am currently a big fan of clean white spaces and just can't seem to find the color palette that fits.  As we finish organizing our files and office supplies we hope to add some great color pieces to tie the whole space together.
What color scheme are you loving lately?!  Any suggestions?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend Recap

Back to Monday!  We had a great weekend over here and I am sad, as always, that we have to wait five more days to get to do it all again.
Saturday while Brandon was working I met my sister for a lunch date at Mermaid's Winery in Norfolk.  We first tried this place for Beth's birthday last year and loved it.  We had been waiting for a great weather weekend to try it again.  Unfortunately the patio had been closed for the season, but we enjoyed ourselves just as much inside. 

Can we talk about how much I am loving this fall weather!  The perfect temps for putting together some of my favorite layering outfits.
 I had an epiphany moment over my Saturday morning coffee of how I wanted to lay out our office and after talking it through with my sister, I was excited to head back home to sketch out my space plans, 
Sunday started with cinnamon roles and lots of coffee before we drove to World Market to pick up my birthday desk (thanks honey)!  Brandon would have put a pair of horse blinders on me if he could as we walked into that amazing store.  He had to steer me straight to the register as I started to wander.  It was my first time inside and I have already planned my trip back to check it all out!
I have to say, the Josephine Desk may be the simplest piece of furniture to put together and I did it all by myself!  It is gorgeous!
Three pieces and the same tool I use to use to replace my rollerskate wheels... that's my kind of construction work!
My in-laws invited us over for dinner and we ended our weekend enjoying some homemade pie!
How was your weekend?  What has been your favorite furniture finds lately?

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Funk

*Knock on wood people!* I may very well be out of the funk that has been the end of summer/start of fall for me!
Do you ever feel that can't quite win feeling?  Well I see light at the end of the tunnel and it may very well be a beautiful fall.
We are finally starting to feel settled in our house.  The 'can't function well without' essentials have been purchased (who knew how much you would miss a trash can in the kitchen...) and we have plans for the extra spaces.  Everyone has said it will be an ongoing. never-ending project, but oh how I wanted it all to be so perfect as soon as we moved in.  As I learn to love the process, we will spend the weekend cleaning out the garage (so my car can finally fit in) and put together the office.
I have finally gotten my lazy bum back in the gym and oh it feels so good!  I have a degree in exercise and work next to a fitness center...  it is a bit sad how long it has been since my yoga pants saw any more activity than walking to the kitchen to grab the oreos!)

And all work fronts are looking pretty darn great!
Now on to start a great weekend!! Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Best Girl's Night Outting

A few months back my old college roommate was getting a bit stressed as her wedding day drew near.  She was finishing her masters, working full time and planning for the big day, with her and her fiancé doing all the hard work.  My college friend Heather and I knew Katey needed a little girl time so we made a plan.  Heather drove down from PA and I drove up and we met Katey in Alexandria to do our bridesmaid duty of doting on the bride-to-be.
Heather and I decided we needed to plan something fun to do to get Katey out of the house and away from wedding prepping and in our search stumbled upon ArtJamz in Washington, DC.  It sounded perfect.  We could make reservations ahead of time (which seems key for any activity in the city) and show up for an hour of open paint time. 
How ArtJamz works is they are an open paint studio.  You purchase a package, which includes a canvas and a drink to start (wine/alcohol/beer).  The small 2-story storefront has easels set up along the walls and you pick your space.  You then have free reign over a wide selection of paints, tools, scraps, stencils and more.  The music playing through the speakers sets the perfect mood for a great time.  I also have to say how amazing and friendly the staff was.
Now, the three of us will never quit our day jobs but we had so much fun sipping wine, attempting to paint and laughing hysterically at our lack of skills. 

It was the perfect cure for all of us!  It wasn't just another night of sitting around chatting (which we can totally do that for hours too) but had us all out of our comfort zones in the most fun way possible. 
We most definitely recommend checking out ArtJamz or other paint studios like it!  Have you ever gone to a paint party? 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Office Inspiration

My husband gave me the ultimate birthday gift for my birthday.  Not only did he get me the desk I have been lusting over but I got the green light to decorate the office... my way!
This has been both a blessing and a curse!  My mind is now overflowing with ideas for the perfect office space... and the ideas won't stop.  I can't wait to decorate, but I can't choice just one look.
Allow me to share the flood of inspiration







 I am leaning towards a white, fresh and modern look.  The space will be used for a mix of blogging and sewing/crafting.  Trying to find the balance of functional and design is the key.
Tomorrow will be spent measuring and layout design.  I can't wait to share more as we build this to the space of my dreams!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Weekend Recap Birthday Edition!

I kicked off my birthday weekend enjoying pizaa on the couch watching Halloween movies with Brandon.  With no neighbors nearby (unless you count the deer) we don't get any trick-or-treaters. 

no little kiddos wanna make the long hike up the driveway...

Saturday, I froze my buns off on the sidelines of my oldest nephews soccer game, cheering on the kids for their last game of the season.  
Then I had a little happy birthday to me moment and went to mall to add some new clothes to our closet.  I forgot how much I dislike in-store shopping... I mean the parking, the crowds, the taking clothes on and off... but I am glad I went since some great pieces I saw online fit much differently then I expected.  I scored some amazing deals and can't wait to put some new outfits together.
My sister treated me to dinner and some Anthropolgie shopping at the new store in Virginia Beach that just opened.  The shop is amazing and full of incredible pieces, including a spoon rest and ring dish that have a new home in our kitchen!
I want all the mugs!!!
Sunday was spent with my family and Brandon at my parent's for brunch.  The award for greatest brunch contribution goes to my brother, Mark, and his pinterest-worthy fruit salad grill! 
After a delicious brunch we headed over a local brewery.  We took over the tiny shop with all of us there, but it reminded me how lucky I am to have such an amazing family.
if you live in Virginia Beach be sure to check out Beach Brewery near Oceana Naval Base... great staff and good drinks!


everyone but my brother-in-law and nephews
Brandon and I then headed back home, stopped by a friends house and then finally made it to the house to enjoy the last few minutes of the weekend together.
How was your weekend?!  Did you enjoy the extra hour or has it now thrown off your entire sleep schedule like me?
{carried my camera around all weekend and only used the iPhone... way to go me!} 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Birthday Wishlist

The weekend is so close I can taste it!!  And there is a little extra pep in my weekend-eve step because this Sunday is my birthday!! Whoop Whoop, the big 2-8!
My birthday wishlist this year should consist entirely of home goods (mainly curtains... we are in desperate need of curtains) but I figured splurging a little on myself should be what birthdays are for!
My picks:
1. Kate Spade Planner (after some planner-soul-searching, I have fallen in love with this one!)
3. Otterbox Monogrammed Phone Case... with flamingos!
4. World Market Desk (to finally add some furniture to my new office)
6. New Fall Nail Polish Colors (have you tried the new gel envy? Love it!!)
{And the desk is 25% off at World Market through Tuesday... happy birthday to me!}
What is on your current wishlist?

Weekend Wear

While I am a fan of a perfectly put together work day outfit, I can't help but love the simplicity of weekend wear! 

Pairing a basic cozy sweater with a pair of booties to dress it up is my go to for a day of running errands with my favorite bucket bag (or my "luggage bag" as Brandon lovingly calls it).

What is your go-to weekend outfit this fall?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall to-dos

As the temperatures begin to drop (or hover in the low 70’s… who are you in Virginia) I have been making a list of the fall time activities we want to do before the holiday season.

1.       Go apple-picking: I have been researching local orchards and am loving the idea.

2.       Bake a homemade home apple-pie: I have the black thumb of cooking so this may be an all-out fail, but at least I will be able to say we tried. (any recipes are appreciated!!)

3.       Have a bonfire: some perks of living in the country is you can shot guns in the side yard and have a nice bonfire out back.

Last years little fire, this year we want bigger and better (and smores included!)
4.       Find the perfect crock-pot chili recipe

5.       Visit the local farmers market: most here close up shop in mid-November so we still have a few weekends to enjoy the local treats.

6.       Take a family photo shoot: I see a Christmas card in our future.

maybe a repeat of this 2012 pose...
       7.       Paint a pumpkin: Because carving the thing is such a mess…

  What are your favorite fall time traditions and what is on your must-to list?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Weekend Recap

Because yesterday's post didn't publish :(

I would first like to say that I truly believe that all weekends should be three days long!  A 7:30 wake-up call from the dog was much nicer than the 6:00 am alarm clock this Monday morning.
And after a day of closet organizing (which by the looks of it, didn't happen) and showing off the new house to my parents, I am ready to get back in to work week mode... but first, a weekend recap.
Friday night I worked the local Peanut Festival manning our booth to show off all the new upcoming events in the City.  It was a night of some quality people watching time and fair food.  I tried a fried oreo for the first time, which I would describe as a sweet hush puppy.  A bit disappointed and think I'll stick to my milk-dunked oreos for now.

massive amounts of dough... little bit of oreo
Saturday I was up before the sun to get ready for the yard sale at my sister-in-laws parents house. I stopped at my new favorite little roadside pumpkin stand to pick up my nephews a few little pumpkins to take to my sisters.  This little country spot just screams "fall" and I love it!

At the yard sale we were able to get rid of some old kitchen supplies from our house in Christiansburg.  Haggling over the price of old pots and pans is not my idea of an enjoyable morning, but I did love catching up with my sister-in-law and her family.
And with a few dollars in my pocket I headed out shopping with my sister.  We had some décor success at Marshalls and I can't wait to hang our new curtains up.
The rest of the evening was spent watching the new Transformers and enjoying a delicious home cooked meal (aka - frozen pizza) with Brandon.
On Sunday I had some big plans for house decorating and organizing and only ended up cleaning up our dvr list (I am now addicted to Forever and How to Get Away with Murder).  But some cleaning was done and our week has started off on the right foot.
Happy Monday ladies!

Monday, October 6, 2014

DIY Sandwich Board

On Friday I talked about the sandwich board I recently made for my friend’s wedding and I wanted to share this easy DIY.
First, the shopping list:
2 2’x4’ sheets of particle board ¾” thick
2 hinges (I like the triangle shaped kind)
12 wood screws ½”
2 pieces of thin chain (you can either buy in bulk and cut to the length, or have the store attendants cut it for you)
2 cans White Primer
2 cans Chalkboard Paint
{I found all the supplies at the local lowes store}
After laying down a surface covering for painting, paint one side of both pieces of particle board with primer.  Let dry per directions on the can.  Add a layer of chalkboard paint, let dry and add a second coat of chalkboard paint.
After the paint has dried, lay the boards down paint side facing down, butting them up short end to short end.  Measure and align the hinges on the board and screw in.  (I went in approximately 5” from the end on each side.) 
Stand up the now hinged board and check for evenness. 
Next you will attach the chain to keep the board from opening to wide.  Find the best angle you want the sign to sit at.  Note where the chain will have to be attached. 
Measure each side down the exact amount and mark it.  Screw the chain into each side.
Stand up your new fancy A-frame and applaud your amazingness!
(I took a large piece of chalk and ran it across the paint sides, per the paint can instructions, and wiped it off before I wrote on it.)
I am now obsessed with this DIY and am trying to find any reason to make more!!