Thursday, October 27, 2011

please no judging.

okay. i am doing something ridiculous and crazy right now. i turned on my pandora christmas station... i couldn't wait any longer! here is my defense:

1. stores have had christmas stuff out since september
2. i was shopping around for christmas stuff yesterday
3. i consider november 1st to be the beginning of the christmas season, so i almost made it..
4. i have no kids, so halloween isn't really a holiday we celebrate around here with much excitement
5. i was listening to the adele station but they were playing dumb stuff, so what was a girl to do?!

so i think it's reasonable.. ...... ish. okay, i'm a nut but i don't care. i try my hardest to wait until november 1st every year, and i've made it quite a few times. and to be honest, i made it further this year than i have in the past... haha okay, you can judge. i'll allow it. at least you can rest assured i feel totally ridiculous listening to christmas music when it's going to be 75 degrees here today. but in 5 days it's going to be holiday city up in here. i love the holidays!!! thanksgiving is my very favorite day of the year. yay!!!

so, if you judged me for the christmas music you can't judge me for this. only one judgment per blog entry please. i changed up my mantel again... but it was for a reason people! this makes the third time this fall.. but i couldn't help it. okay here is my story...

i live in an apartment with windows facing the south. plus there are trees all around, which is great. but that means i have zero light up in here. plus the fact that it's somewhat small. so what works for making rooms appear larger and brighter? mirrors. plus, since christmas is on the brain i knew i needed a mirror on my mantel by christmas. all my favorite pictures of mantels had mirrors on them. so i knew it was necessary.

i took my mom and myself to homegoods a couple weeks ago and decided to buy a mirror while i was there. the only one i liked that i thought was a good price was this one

emily is fascinated with herself

i really liked the detail on the frame

and i just thought this was too cute not to show you : )

the only problem was that i didn't want a black mirror. so of course the only logical thing to do was to buy a $40 mirror that was the wrong color and paint it. clearly. so that's what i did. i wanted a silver mirror, but i also liked the look of a white mirror. so i decided to paint it white and brush over the detailing with silver craft paint.

i decided to just use a paint brush instead of spray paint... i'm not sure if it was the right decision or not. i didn't want to mess with trying to get the mirror out of the frame to paint it, and i also didn't want to spend days covering and taping off the mirror. plus not having a yard really limits my spray painting abilities. so i painted it by hand.. it took about 4 coats. i didn't use primer... when will i learn that lesson? probably never.

don't worry. the mirror is taped around the edges; all i had was clear packing tape.

so i waited a long time for all these coats to dry, but i got impatient and i'm really glad i did.

i decided to brush some martha stewart metallic craft paint over the edges

as i started brushing the silver on i realized some paint was still a little wet, so the white paint mixed with the silver and dulled it a little. i was actually happy about it because without the mixing of the two, the silver seemed a little too bright and harsh on the white. i really wanted it to show up, but i didn't want it to look to grey on the white. i was glad once they mixed because it was a little more subtle.

see? you can definitely see the silver, but it's blended instead of being so harsh.

i really really love it. i think it's better than any mirror i've found in the store. it's almost exactly what i wanted. and it looks beautiful on the mantel. i'll show it in all its glory and beauty.... another time : )

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

working girl.

oh dear me.. sorry once AGAIN for being so absent. my husband was out of town last week so i went to stay with my family since i am scared of murderers trying to come in and get me... you know, since they all know our schedules and they know exactly when my husband isn't in town to protect me.... so i know it sounds silly, but i feel safer not staying alone at my apartment. plus whenever i get an excuse to stay at their beautiful house well, i take advantage.

so this is a big day. well, actually sunday was a big day for me, but this is a big day for the blog. i have a little announcement that will hopefully help this blog out a lot. ready?

i am officially a working girl.

yep. i had my first day of work at bath and body works on sunday. i think i'm gonna be really happy working there. my shifts are great hours (i don't work past 4 on the weekdays) and i mean, hello? who doesn't LOVE the product at bath and body? come on. i'm a little scared i will spend my entire paycheck there though. the one i work at is connected to a white barn candle co. so you know what that means.. have you seen the scents they have??!! yesterday i smelled a candle called oatmeal raisin and i seriously thought i might eat it. their candles smell absoutely delicious. which is what you want this time of year so you can have that "fresh baked cookie" smell without baking and without the calories. score.

seriously go to that link and read some of these, will you? i see things like salty caramel, pumpkin caramel latte, and another one i smelled yesterday dark chocolate mint. i am serious. go to your local store and smell these things, you will NOT be sorry.

and don't even get me started on the beautiful sleeves they have for your new candle. this giant ceramic sleeve caught my eye immediately and i said, oh i MUST have that! and it's on a fabulous sale right now! geesh. this is what i'm talking about! i already want to spend every dollar i made on candles and sleeves. i seriously want like, every single one. i wonder if that will be over doing it.... maybe a tad?..

also i made a big discovery about myself. it was really exciting for me actually.. bath and body works has different scent lines. they have scents for the sexy girl, the fresh girl, the cuddler girl and the sweet girl. sexy is bold and sensual scents. fresh is light and bright scents. cuddler scents are warm, somewhat sweet and inviting. sweet scents are well, exactly what they sound like. light, sweet and airy kind of scents.

okay, i ALWAYS thought i was a "fresh" kind of girl. i always look for things like their white citrus or sea island cotton. i always thought i NEEDED to have these scents because i'm very sensitive to scents on my own skin. i used to get horrible headaches from wearing certain lotions or perfumes, so i figured the light fresh ones would be better for me. well, as part of our taining we were supposed to try out a scent from each catergory and see which we liked the best. this is where i made a shocking discovery. the "freshies" were not my favorite. i never even thought to try other scents because i figured they would be too strong! i found out the "cuddlers" were my favorite! the warm sweet smell agreed with me and didn't bother my head at all!

i was so excited about that because it opened up a whole new big chunk of great fragrance. it was fun to learn that about myself and i know it sounds weird, but it was kind of freeing. i realized i have more options than i thought when it comes to fragrance and working at bath and body works is what made me figure that out! so i have a new favorite scent. it's called twilight woods and i sprayed it on before i left work at 2:30 and i could smell it the rest of the day. it's a lovely sweet, warm smell but it's not quite as sweet as something like sweet pea. i just love it and i already have decided i need to buy some spray, lotion, a candle, body cream and pretty much whatever else i can get my hands on. i'm excited about this people!!

the MOST exciting thing is that we're getting all the holiday stuff out now. the holiday candles, candle sleeves, soaps and fragrances are all being put out for the season. i'm so excited!! and if you want to stock up on fall scents for thanksgiving and for next year, i know a lot of stores are having their big fall sale right now. so go out and get some good deals!! our fall stuff is up to 50% off so we can make room for holiday, so go get it! like i said, you will not be sorry : )

by the way, bath and body works does not pay me to write this stuff. they pay me to come in and help people in the store; i just love that they've helped me already learn a lot about fragrance and what i like, and so maybe they'll help you too! it's worth a try at least. : )

Friday, October 14, 2011

chilli weather- part 1.

so big day for this gal. i am starting a series! i've never really done a series before, and i didn't set out to start one.. it just kind of happened. it started when i got this issue of bhg

if you don't have it, you should get it. it's a good one. it's the october 2011 issue.

there is an entire section of different kinds of chili and i thought to myself, "i wonder if anybody will make all these... i would like to but i know me and cooking... i would only be able to stick to it if i had to." then the thought hit me. i should do a series about chili on my blog. and i'll call it chilli weather because it's a play on "chili" and "chilly". i am oh so clever. : ) stop laughing. 

so here is the start of my series. it's finally getting cooler down here in georgia, so i think it's time to start cooking chili. there are 8 different kinds of chili in this issue, so i figured over the course of this fall/early winter i would choose one each time i go grocery shopping. i go about every 2 to 3 weeks, so i guess you can expect another "chilli weather" entry every couple weeks. or maybe less than that.. i don't know. maybe i'll pick 2 next time i go shopping. hey i am allowed to be unorganized about this. it's only the first entry. you're totally allowed to be unorganized for at least the first few types of chili... or 8... whatever.

this is what the section looks like. i'm so excited! don't these all look so good??

so i started at the best place to start. the beginning. (sound of music reference. bonus.) the first chili is a basic beef and bean chili. there are a few things that made it a little different than your basic ol' run-of-the-mill chili, but i was familiar with all the ingredients at least... which means it is basic my friends : )

looks so good right?

so i didn't want to share the recipe here because well, i wasn't sure if that was legal or not. i mean, it's not mine to share. plus, even if it is legal, it's not really fair to bhg. if you don't have the magazine you can find it here on bhg's website. i had to log in to see it... but it's worth it. trust me. and it's not like i get zillions of e-mails from bhg for having a membership on their webiste. i hardly get any. so have no fear.

anyway. so here are my ingredients

i think i forgot to put my jalapeno in this picture.. but i had one of those too. and of course ground beef, but i get really weird about beef being out and i don't know... i didn't want it out with my produce and stuff. whatever. you don't care.

the thing that really stood out to me about this chili was the addition of semi sweet chocolate. umm, hello. anything with chocolate deserves a chance. come on.

i followed the recipe almost exactly except for a couple little things; it called for 2 to 4 jalapenos.. uh. what am i? i do have a tongue that i'd like to keep, thanks. i can't handle that much, so i cut it down to 1. it was one extra spicy one if that counts, and the magazine says they vary in spice and to adjust according to taste. so technically i was still following the recipe. also it called for 2 large onions. while chopping 1 we had this much

which seemed like a lot to me.. surely enough. and it was. and if you look closely you can see my jalapeno in this picture! told you it existed.

also, almost always when a recipe calls for minced cloves of garlic, i used the pre-minced stuff. all the time. i'm sorry. i am not spending my time peeling and mincing those tiny little cloves. i like to keep my fingers. and also i have other things to do.

the only other difference was that i am not sure how much chocolate i used. it calls for 1 oz. i just used some mini chocolate chips. it was probably between 1-2 oz. i can't really say, i didn't have a way to measure. so this may or may not be different than the recipe. i have no way of knowing haha.

so when it was all done it looked a lot like the picture!


so i made poor phil tell me what he thought so i could take notes. of course i share my opinion too. overall we really liked this chili. as far as chili goes, on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best chili we've ever had) i gave it a generous 7. phil gave it a 5.5. phil really liked it a lot, but he didn't like the sweetness of the chocolate as much as i did. i think he likes a spicier and more savory chili. i liked the sweetness. it was different than other chili i've had. so here is a run-down of the things we liked:

-the taste of the cilantro was a different and refreshing element
-very thick texture
-the added texture and saltiness of the corn chips
-super easy to make
-fast to cook; doesn't need a slow cooker
-very hearty and filling
-typical chili; what i think of when i think of chili, but with a twist
-thickness provided by melted chocolate
-makes a LOT of chili

on a spicy scale out of 10, i gave it a 5. phil gave it a 3. clearly he likes spicy things because i'll tell you, i needed an entire glass of water while eating this.

on a sweetness scale i gave it a 4 and phil gave it a 5. like i said, he really liked the chili but i don't think the sweetness of it was his favorite element. but we would definitely eat this chili again.

the next chili on the list is called "two tomato stew chili" and it sounds fabulous. i'm excited for this one. i'll be honest though, finding this last chili to be so spicy with just 1 jalapeno in it makes me nervous for some of the others. some sound just downright on. fire. forget milk. i'll be eating those babies with a gallon of ice cream..... hmm... actually.. that a good excuse to eat ice cream : ).

thanks for joining me in my "chilli weather" series! i hope you will make these along with me too and tell me what you think! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

martha rocks my world.

martha stewart. who does not love her? i mean, yes we all hated her when she went to jail and all that.. but it seems like everyone has forgotten all about that because she has made a terrific comeback. i mean, martha taught me how to entertain for thanksgiving, gave me the perfect cookie recipes, showed me endless recipe, decor, and craft ideas... and now she's done it again. she has managed to make some of the cutest and most adorable craft stencils i have ever seen. so i totally bought them from michael's when they were on sale last week.

i liked these the best because some of the patterns reminded me of lace.

it came with 2 pages of lovely stencils. minus the butterflies... i don't know, it just seems weird to have insects on things i own.

so i bought these and 2 little bottles of craft paint and it was about $10. not too shabby. i knew where i was going to use them. i've had this lamp shade for about a year now that i've been meaning to do something with

see? kinda boring.

i thought of lots of different updates for it, but when i saw these stencils i knew i wanted to paint them on the shade. promblem = solved. so first i made little lint rollers out of loops of tape to make sure i got any cat hairs off the lamp so it wouldn't ruin my paint job. then i just kind of picked a starting point and taped the stencil to the shade

look how cute these things are! i am a sucker for anything this color blue...

i have been adding green into my living space lately, so i decided to use martha stewart's scottish highlands craft paint.

i liked the look of two colors overlapping so i used some paint i had already mixed myself using behr's harbor and martha stewart's picket fence.

the stenciling was super easy, obviously. the only thing i would do differently is keep some paper on hand to put under the other stencils not being used on the page, and along the edges. i find i am not the most patient or careful, so i made a couple mistakes by accidentally going over the edge or getting paint in the stencil i wasn't using.... oops. but other than that, easy as pie. if pie is easy.. i'm not sure what that saying is supposed to mean.

see? can you tell where i accidentally went a little over the edge there? like i said, oops.

still so cute though, right?

so i basically just kept adding stencils until i was satisfied. and i may have had to add at least one to cover up a big mistake i made.... but that's neither here nor there. : )

so i got it to this point and i liked it. and i thought it was finished. but once i put it on the lamp it seemed like i had left so much of the shade empty. the lesson here is, try out your stenciled project where it's gonna go before you clean everything up.. and put it away.. and wash out your brush.... i'm not saying that I did those things, i'm just saying make sure you don't. that's all. : )

i really like the look of the stencils on the edges like the pattern continues off the shade

so after getting all my stuff back out and painting on two more stencils i tried it out on the lamp and i really liked it this time.

i really like it. i love the pattern and fun it brought into the room. so so so super easy.



easy. cheap. fast. all words i like when it comes to doing a project. i seriously recommend these stencils. get yourself a 40% off any item coupon for michael's and go in and get some and stencil to your heart's content. "it's a good thing" - martha stewart. : )

Thursday, October 6, 2011

pumpkins galore.

basically blogland is pumpkins galore right now. and since i am in love with fall and everything associated with it, you can guess how i feel about it. yah, i kind of love it. and i am positive you all have seen this picture out there

well, obviously i pinned it right away. okay. i mean, i had put candles in my fireplace before.. and i had put pumpkins all around the fireplace.. but i had NEVER thought to use the actual place of fire to decorate. i mean, after seeing a picture i feel like it should have been so obvious to me. what a shame... now that i have seen the light the possibilities are endless. and i am also left wondering what other places are just sitting around my home not being used that just happen to be totally perfect for decorating without me knowing. seriously, tell me if you know.

so anyway. so i saw that picture and i was clearly like, i am so doing that. well, sadly my poor apartment fireplace is nowhere near as lovely as this one. and i don't really have the mulah to buy 50 pumpkins. and i also don't feel like spending 50 hours painting said pumpkins. but i decided to create my own version.. kind of. (don't laugh. it's nothing like it. other than the fact that there are pumpkins in the fireplace. give me a break.)

so i may have 47 less pumpkins than the other picture... but i like my cute little pumpkins : )

i said i was inspired by the picture. i didn't say i copied it exactly.. right?

well, anyway. so it started by me buying those pumpkins at the apple orchard. and i just put them in the fireplace.. but i missed having some sort of warmth in there. so i added candles to get that glow-y warmth. and then i liked it : )

i love this little beauty. my sister gave it to me. i also have a green one. i know, you're jealous.

i was happy about this because the pumpkins didn't seem like enough, but i didn't want to buy more pumpkins because then we'll just throw them away once the season is over and that feels like such a waste to me. i considered fake ones mixed in there, but in the end i didn't want to buy anything else. so i shopped my apartment and put together some candles that looked fall-ish enough. and then i was totally happy with it. thank goodness i didn't just run right out and buy a bunch more stuff. my husband is thankful too : )

also, i've been working on 3 projects lately and i can't wait to show them!! 2 are completely fabulous and the other well... it's still being worked on let's just say..... : )