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Monday, December 26, 2011

Ciao. For now.



I'm taking a break for the week.
It's time to re-group, re-focus, and re-vitalize. 

So, see you guys next year ♥
Hope everyone's holidays were amazing!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

So close you can feel it...



We've been putting the final touches on our holiday plans. Each year it seems that the week between Christmas and New Year's goes by so swiftly you don't even get a chance to really enjoy them. Even though it's really a time that you should be enjoying to the upmost.

I'm lucky enough to get the entire week off of work between the two days. And I'm planning on using that week up in the best possible ways. There's going to be a lot of reflection and planning going on over here. Where to take this blog? Where to take even my life? I'm planning on learning new things, re-focusing on old things, and getting to take that little baby step closer to finalizing goals.

So as we go out into this next week of holiday cheer, I am wishing for you a successful and fun time! I hope you all have fun with your family, and are able to fully appreciate what's in front of you. I know I'll be trying to do the same over here ♥

I may be gone a few days... but sometimes it's good to live life just for living's sake.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

3 Days & Counting.

Christmas Morning
{via}

Today is a day of old traditions and new. Big changes are coming for 2012 in my life, and today I am enjoying where I am at and what I have with the person I love more than anything else in the world.

Today is a day for PJs, cinnamon rolls, and presents during our annual "married persons Christmas" celebration. Hope you're having a fantastic day!! Please excuse my absence ♥

Three days & counting...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

4 days & counting. With a last-minute wish list.

At 4 days before Christmas, these link-ups have now become my "if I could get ANYTHING" list. Which really is a "clothes I want to buy" list. Because, let's face it... I'm a terrible wonderful online window shopper ♥

Here's a few of my favorite things...

My Favorite Things by Cast on Grooveshark

  • Sassy Heels, $196.80

  • Gold Sequin Dress, $92.00
Source: lulus.com via Amy on Pinterest

  • The perfect leather jacket, $380

  • The perfect yellow coat, $149.95

  • Lace-up Boots, $33.90
Source: urbanog.com via Amy on Pinterest


If anything close to that gets under my Christmas tree, I'd be a very, very happy girl! Be sure to stop by The Vintage Apple & This Kind of Love to see what others are loving today ♥

4 Days & Counting!

Monday, December 19, 2011

5 Days & Counting.

We're 5 days away from Christmas!!! Here's a scenario for you....

You've forgotten to get presents for a few people. 
What to do? What to do? 

Even though I've never experienced this scenario before in my life. (Ha ha, yeah right). My go-to, last minute idea is to bake ♥  Here's a few of my go-to Christmas treats....

Peppermint Bark

Oreo Cake Balls

Peanut Brittle

Peanut Butter Fudge
Source: bakerella.com via Jen on Pinterest


What's your last-minute gift go-to?
(I should probably switch it up a bit this year)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

10 Things.


Things on my to-do list this week...
  1. Finish Christmas shopping.
  2. Wrap gifts.
  3. Spend quality time with C.
  4. Remember to relax.
  5. Water the Christmas tree.
  6. Cook a  nice meal, for just the 2 of us.
  7. Finish Start the gingerbread house.
  8. Find an appetizer recipe to bring to Christmas Eve.
  9. Drive to my family's house.
  10. Remember to give thanks & be joyful.

Here's to a wonderful week, full of holiday cheer!
6 days & counting...

Friday, December 16, 2011

On Flirting With Others... While Married


Source: snooz3r.tumblr.com via Amy on Pinterest

I know I'm not the prettiest person in the world - I'm no super model, and never was homecoming queen. I also know my flirting skills are pretty bad. I did, after all, marry the boyfriend I had at 16. Taking this into consideration, when the opportunity to flirt with a stranger arises, I don't blink twice. I'm totally game.

I had this experience last night, while my guy & I were out at a midnight showing of Rocky Horror.

While the show was going on, I left briefly to use the ladies' room and grab another drink from the bar. While waiting for my (shirtless!) bartender to hand over my precious liquid courage, a guy next to me very casually leaned over and asked, So is this your first time to see the show, or are you an expert? Smooth.

My move.
So I answered that I'd seen it before, but that it'd been at least a year since I'd attended a live performance. 
His move.
He started to tease me & insist that was way too long. Teasing is good. We've moved out of the introductory stage. He's now officially flirting. 
My move.
I tease back & somehow end up getting a jab in about him probably being a computer programmer. (He did, after all look the part.) Bulls eye! He is a computer programmer. 
His move.
He then, of course, makes fun of my job. Not sure why, but okay. I'll take it. 
My move.
Because I'm not quite sure where he was going with his last jab, I gently punch his shoulder, laugh, and turn my attention to the chaos happening on stage. 
His move.
He then offers to buy me a shot. Now we've left the realm of "flirting" and entered the "getting to know each other.... and possibly being able to tell our grand kids the story of how we met" realm. 
My move.
I say I get crazy after a shot & have to get to work in the morning... 
His move.
He insists further because of my response. Which was a totally rookie move on my part. I knew it was time to get out quickly. So I introduced myself. Then said maybe.

And then I did what every other married woman does after being offered a free shot from a guy who's obviously interested in them, I walked away & said hopefully I'll see you around.

Then wrote a blog post about it. Naturally.



I still got it ♥


{Have a Great Weekend!}

***PS - Yes I was wearing my ring the whole time. No I do not condone cheating - emotional, physical or any other. And, yes I told my husband about it immediately afterwards. And there's a slight possibility that hyperbole was used to tell a funny story ;-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

6 Steps to Holiday Cheer, 3 Ways

As I mentioned last week, the DIY bug hit pretty hard. And while I didn't accomplish every little task I set in front of myself, I did make a few things I'm proud of - and I had the opportunity to re-create a few things I tried out last year.

In the spirit of the holidays, here are 3 things that you can make for your home, your neighbor, and your friend.

1) Your Home


Even though I'm in a small apartment, I made sure to decorate the outside. It just feels special to look out the window and see twinkle lights - my twinkle lights - smiling back on me. And it was surprisingly easy to do!

Material needed: Garland, Old Ornaments, Nails/Hammer, and Twinkle Lights
Total Cost: $20


Steps...
  1. Stretch out garland
  2. Put nails up
  3. Measure garland "dips"
  4. Hang around entire area
  5. Sort lights and ornaments
  6. Hang lights & ornaments around garland


***

2) Your Neighbor
Nothing Says "Howdy Neighbor" Like Mason Jars & Pie

Crisp in a Jar

I love pie. I love baking pies. And I love giving pies. But giving pie pans was starting to annoy my family. So last year I took to a smaller, cuter route: pies baked in mason jars. I made apple. The picture above is cheery crisp. It doesn't matter what you put in the jar, what matters is that your neighbors will feel right at home after you give them this gift!

Material needed: Mini jars, Recipe ingredients, Stickers/Ribbons/Etc. to decorate outside with
Cost: $30 for about a dozen.


Steps...
  1. Put pie crust inside jars
  2. Mix pie filling
  3. Stuff jars with filling
  4. Cut something cute for the top & put on top of pies, leaving holes for ventilation 
  5. Put jars in cold oven & then turn on so glass doesn't crack and bake for around 30 minutes
  6. Let jars cool, then put on lids & decorate!

***

3) Your Friend
Something They'll Always Remember You By


While looking through Ruche's "Homemade Holiday" catalog, I was instantly drawn to three crafts: the yarn holiday tree, yarn wreaths and the felt flowers. I just decided to combine all three and an absolutely in love with the results! ♥

Material needed: Styrofoam wreath, Yarn, Felt, Glue, Embellishments
Cost: $5-10 


Steps...
  1. Wrap yarn around wreath 2-3 times
  2. Cut flowers out of felt
  3. Glue flowers in desired shape - swirl for a rose, or pinched for a daisy
  4. Place flowers around on wreath to find the perfect placement
  5. Glue flowers on to wreath
  6. Add embellishment as desired (I put the jewel right in the middle of the daisy)

***
So there's a few ways to keep the holidays interesting, and keep your pocket book relatively full. I really loved making all of these! It's so much fun to get crafty. And I'm not even done yet. Just you guys wait! I think the DIY Bug isn't done with me yet. My craft table (aka our dining room table) is full of a whole bunch of goodies just waiting to be played with. I'm so excited!!

If you have any great craft gift ideas, I'd love to hear them! Leave links in the comments... I want to see what you've been up to!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Weekly Loving...

I love every Wednesday running through my weekly Pinterest finds & sharing what I loved the most. It's nice to remember that perfect recipe I found or gift idea I stumbled upon.

Here's a few things that caught my fancy this week...
  • Cheeseburger wrapping paper. How seriously cool would this be under a tree?


Source: bforbel.com via Amy on Pinterest

  • Here's the perfect winter hat from Kate Spade. How adorable is that bow? It'd go perfect with my new sunglasses!

Source: katespade.com via Amy on Pinterest

  • I'd love someone to give me a batch of these Nutella Hazlenut Chewies for Christmas!


  • And speaking of the perfect gifts, I'd know a certain guy who's love this Ron Swanson mug. So funny!

Source: etsy.com via Amy on Pinterest

  • And continuing on with my sparkly dress obsession.... how about this Leopard Sequin Party Dress for NYE? 
I love how Keiko did it up with bright pink accessories!
Source: keikolynn.com via Amy on Pinterest

So maybe this may be another (accidental) Christmas list? At least last week I was blunt about it. Oh well. I guess I just like to window shop online. Isn't that what Pinterest is for, anyway?

To see what others are loving, be sure to check out This Kind of Love and The Vintage Apple. They've got the best link-ups around!

{Happy Wednesday!}

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fashion For A Tuesday: Shoes Make or Break It

I've been loving talking about fall fashion each week. It's so much fun to search through my Pinterest Board and pick out trends I find myself falling into. Sparkly dresses and Fall Outfits are super fun... but this week, I couldn't not talk about one of my favorite parts of fall: the shoes!

There's so many shoe options during the fall!


Option A
Jewel-Colored Mary Janes

Source: ninewest.com via Amy on Pinterest

Option B
Unique Heeled Booties

Source: wanelo.com via Amy on Pinterest

Option C
Riding Boots

Source: urbanog.com via Amy on Pinterest

Option D
Wedge Booties


Option E
Jeweled Flats

Source: casualcutie.com via Amy on Pinterest

Option F
Simple Oxfords

Source: ninewest.com via Amy on Pinterest


I'm not going to lie. I wear boring flats most days. But I've been trying really hard to spice things up with heels and boots. I'm just lazy sometimes.

So I'm curious, what's your go-to fall shoe?

Monday, December 12, 2011

From Lazy to Productive... With Some Added Christmas Cheer

I didn't get out of my pajamas the entire weekend. Not an exaggeration, I promise. I almost wish it was. But, when you're left home alone because your husband decides it's time for a guy's weekend, what is there to do?

In actuality, I blew off a party because I was so comfortable at home. It isn't often that I have 2 whole days to do anything I want. And what I wanted was margaritas, nachos and the Kardashians. I will admit it to the world: I watched the entire season 4 of Keeping Up With the Kardashians this weekend... it came out on Netflix Instant watch in perfect time.


I did do something this weekend, I promise. I finished our Christmas decorating. We went small(ish) with a real tree this year. It's a perfect 3 foot table topper, and makes the entire apartment smell wonderfully fresh. Believe it or not, this is only my third time to have a real tree in my life. So I'm abnormally excited about it.


I also tried to decorate the outside of our apartment, but since our porch is so small it's a bit of a challenge... but I triumphed with garland, old Christmas ornaments & twinkle lights. And a fresh wreath - which we bought from the tree farm after taking our Christmas pictures - tops off the entire winter wonderland that I call home.


I also took the time to do some awesome baking & crafts... which I'll be talking about throughout the week. Because Christmas isn't complete without baking!

Here's my 10 favorite things about the weekend...
  1. Sleeping in. Who doesn't love that?
  2. Watching Meet Me in St. Lois. Such a magical movie.
  3. Being creative.
  4. Trying out new recipes.
  5. Staying cooped up inside, warm & cozy.
  6. Buying the Glee Christmas albums, from last year & this. (So fun!)
  7. Playing said albums - along with all our other Christmas music - on repeat all weekend.
  8. Staring at the lit up Christmas tree. So beautiful!
  9. Getting to catch up on "me" time.
  10. Welcoming my guy home. So nice to not sleep alone!!

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland on Grooveshark

So now that I'm all rested up, it's onward to quite a busy week. Less than 2 weeks to go until Christmas!! And I haven't bought a single present yet. Gasp!

Holiday

Friday, December 9, 2011

Turning Awkward Faces into Something to Give Grandma...

My favorite part of Christmas is figuring out Christmas Cards & taking Christmas pictures. Last year I just grabbed a random picture that wasn't that great, put some text on it & sent it out.

This year, I got lucky. My friend Valorie - of Valorie Clark Photography - is an up & coming photographer (currently in Texas, soon to be in D.C-region) and offered to "practice" on us. Of course I accepted the offer. Because I wanted to get free Christmas portraits be a good friend & let her practice.

As all of Valorie's work, they turned out amazing & I couldn't be happier. It was so much fun! Here's some of my favorites:


Funny story... The last time we took pictures was for our wedding & engagement photos, and props weren't as prominent in couples photography as they seem to have become over the past 2 years. So when Valorie showed up carrying a box with props in it, Christian refused to put anything on or hold anything at first... but then I reminded him this wasn't for him & to suck it up. That resulted in this priceless beauty...



So that's what I did last Saturday.

Be sure to go check out Valorie Clark Photography (on Twitter too!).... I know we're going to be seeing a lot of great things from her in the future!

Thanks Valorie for this ♥

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The attack of the DIY bug...

I got the DIY bug yesterday. I'm not sure how that's going to work itself out over the weekend, but we'll see. I've created a list of things (crafts & recipes alike) that I'd love to make. So beware: you may pop over on Monday to see a whole new side of me... the crafty side.

So, in honor of my impending trip down DIY Ln., I thought I'd pull an old DIY project out of the archives to show off. I'm still really proud of this project - it hangs in my office & still gets complimented on a regular basis, which is all I've ever wanted.

This project began when I came across this clock on Target's website:

This will be the second thing in my kitchen… I’m never on time!

But, this clock is $99... not exactly how much I wanted to spend that particular day. So I made my own.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What I'm Loving... Wish List Style + a Winner

Happy Wednesday! I hope your week is going well ♥ Mine is wet. And cold. And I love it! (it gives me an excuse to try new things)

I wanted to take advantage of my weekly link-ups with What I'm Loving & How Pinteresting! to talk about my Christmas wish-list. Because, there may be a few things on it that you want too. (About 1/2 of my total wish list - which you can find on Pinterest - is from Anthropologie, so how can you go wrong?)

  • A cute cocktail book...

  • Unique goblets to drink out of...

  • Cute note cards...
Source: katespade.com via Amy on Pinterest

  • The entire collection of Sex & the City...
Source: amazon.com via Amy on Pinterest

  • And finally, a cute print that I can frame!
Source: society6.com via Amy on Pinterest

Source: society6.com via Amy on Pinterest



There's a bunch of clothes & shoes I'd love too, 
but I'll save that for another day ♥


If you have a Christmas wish list, leave the link in the comments! I'd love to see what you're longing for. It may give me some more ideas!

{Happy Wednesday}

*****************

And congratulations to Krystal form Krystal's Kitsch.
While we didn't win the $500 set of books
you'll still receive $50 from Chronicle Books from me!
Be looking for an email ♥