28 November 2012

the girl behind the blog {this one time...} a vlog

Hey All!

I'm linking up once again for The Girl Behind the Blog!  It's another vlog. I tell ya, I learn so much each time I do one of these bad boys.  

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you'll stay awhile. :)


27 November 2012

amplify the music on your phone

need some tunes, but don't have speakers?  use a bowl or shallow dish to amplify the music on your phone.  

it works. give it a try.

image via a subtle revelry

26 November 2012

gift guide :: what's on MY christmas list

  1. kate spade's manners :: love kate spade. love manners. done and done.
  2. urban decay's naked2 palette :: i love the {look} options this palette provides. i'm really hoping my secret {sibling} santa reads my blog.
  3. dyson mini vac :: because just this morning i spilled coffee grounds all over my kitchen ceramic, and wet paper towel doesn't do the job.
  4. the food52 cookbook :: because one of my favorite writers recommended it.
  5. pioneer woman's food from my frontier :: i want to be her when i grow up.  or at the very least, cook like her
  6. re-everything eye serum :: since using it, my under eye area feels like a baby's bottom
  7. lululemon groove pants :: actually - anything lulu will do. those are totally my abs.

*some of these are affiliate links.

25 November 2012

how to help your holidays have more meaning

Having just celebrated Thanksgiving, I'm stopping to reflect today on how to help your holidays have more meaning......

Join me over at Naptime Diaries, where I'm guest posting today.  Join me, won't you?

23 November 2012

blurb black friday deal

Happy Black Friday, all!

I wanted to pop in and update you on a great promotion Blurb's got going on through Monday...

Today through Monday, create the perfect pesonalized gift and get 25% off with Blurb when you use promo code HOLIDAYTHANKS. 

My favorite ways to gift Blurb:
  • Commemorate a special event or travel
  • Compile favorite family recipes
  • Keep your (or your best friend's) Instagram alive forever
More later!

22 November 2012

thankful 2012

tHaNkFuL 2012

warm :: bed + feet + hearts + food

loving :: people + God + community

gifts :: health + strength + family + work + Truth

:: enough ::

image via everything fab

21 November 2012

what not to miss :: online deals

I love a good deal, don't you?

And I need to purchase Christmas gifts, don't you?

Cool. Glad we're on the same page.  

Here's a round-up of some of my favorite deals for this Black Friday.  I'll be sure to remind you on twitter about the biggies, so be sure to check in.

1. Are you a member over at Joss & Main? It's got a similar feel to One Kings Lane (in fact, I swear they're secretly related, because their emails come to me at the exact time every single stinking day), and is equally beautifully curated.  **On Black Friday, Joss & Main will be depositing a MYSTERY CREDIT of up to $1000 (holy cats) in each member's account.**  So... if you're not yet on the Joss & Main wagon - hop on before Black Friday!

2. Speaking of One Kings Lane... How about a coffee table book or coffee table tray for your next hostess gift? I'd start in the Gifts section.  What a nice way to say thanks.

3. Stella & Dot is offering an EXTRA 25% off of LIMITED QUANTITIES for Black Friday. YOWZA what a deal.  Stella & Dot is perfect for a Christmas gift exchange with girlfriends, for your sister, or for your mom.  There really is something unique and creative for everyone on your list. 

4. Tiny Prints has HUGE Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday deals going on.  

Thanksgiving Deal of the Day - 25% off holiday card/Holiday invites - use promo code DOD1121

Black Friday Deal of the Day - $10 off holiday cards - No minimum purchase - use promo code DOD1123 + 20% off your entire cart.  


18 November 2012

not normal

Do you ever have something happen to someone that you love and you know you can't go on acting like everything's normal?

I wanted to pop in to say hello and let you know I'm still over here, but I'm quiet on purpose.

People that I love are going through something hard. Something they shouldn't have to go through.  Maybe some bloggers would go on and post a Christmas DIY or warm fall recipe.    For me, it doesn't feel right. It would be counterfeit.

I'm being quiet because it's appropriate for me for this moment.

See you soon.

photo via a subtle revelry

13 November 2012

setting world records

I think I forgot to tell you about the Jenga game to end all Jenga games. I swear we set some sort of world record.  No really, I googled it.  We definitely set a record.  IT WAS INTENSE.  I pretty much gave a play by play on twitter.  And then I knocked the dang thing over.  Bah.

Has it been awhile since you played this raise-your-heart rate-beyond-healthy game? It's so fun.

12 November 2012

weekender :: in the kitchen

This weekend found me spending time cooking and organizing, and in general, thinking a lot about the feeling of urgency that's coloring my days recently.  Maybe I'll write about it sometime.

I made Cinnamon Roll Almond Flour Donuts ala Roost.  They are gluten and diary free, as well as (very) low in starch, which I like.  I've found this particular recipe is as adaptable as it is delicious.  Instead of donuts, I made short muffins, and I omitted the topping completely, though I have made it with a brown sugar + toasted pecan crumble topping before, and it was delicious.  I'm doing a bit of a cleanse before we get down and dirty for the holidays, and these little buggers actually make a really nice dessert.  

I also made an adaptation of Paula Deen's Hot Chicken Salad.  I've highlighted my changes below:

2 cups cooked chicken, cubed (I grabbed a rotisserie chicken to save myself the cook-the-chicken steps)
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used reduced fat made with olive oil)
1 can cream of chicken soup (again, I used reduced fat)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 cup crushed potato chips or french fried onions
Instead of chips or french fried onions, I used 3 green onions to minimize the starch

Pre-heat oven to 350.
Combine all ingredients.
Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Total prep time is about 30 minutes.


09 November 2012

around the world {wide web}

via the very talented 

because it's friday and we all need something to celebrate... here are some links i liked this week

kate spade is launching an off-shoot


speaking of kate spade... and this for the fashion-friendly


how about a gift swap with all the items being local from your city? sign up before 11/30.


have you ever wanted to work with a professional stylist for free? 


and i do have just one question for you. (skip the ad) it's time to start thinking about this, you know.  i'm just here to help.

have a great weekend, you lovely people.  

08 November 2012

life hacks for the busy gal :: a simple gathering

Earlier this week, I had a few of my junior league ladies over to talk business - the kind of business that only junior leaguers discuss, including the details of arranging hundreds of donated prom dresses for perusal by hundreds of high school girls who'll leave with a smile on their face and a free prom dress in hand, all set to attend prom.  Junior League business also usually involves wine, which is really just an added benefit.

In making arrangements for my guests, I knew we had planned an evening gathering, and I'd promised wine and snacks.  A simple gathering, as it were.

I love to entertain. Hospitality comes pretty naturally to me, and having people in my home makes me feel alive. I like the idea of {HOME} (see what I did there? it's like home+hug), and helping people to feel comfortable - not just the come-on-in-and-make-yourself-at-home kind of comfortable, but the you-are-loved-and-accepted-and-appreciated kind of comfortable... the kind of comfortable where your people know you put in some time and work and effort because they're worth it.

Because I love it so, I've done a good amount of entertaining. I'm thankful my mom taught me the basics from the time I was a little girl, and I've really just grown into myself with more experience.  Though getting ready to have people in your home can be stress-inducing at times, there are definitely a few tips I use to make it more doable.

Favorite Resources on this topic:

*Disclosure: Compensated affiliate links used.

07 November 2012

what i wore :: to the corn maze in the cold

This weekend, we gathered a group together for dinner-at-a-diner and some old fashioned corn maze fun.  In the midwest, November is when it starts to get ACTUAL cold.  That October chill was not real.  November is when it gets real.  Like turn-on-your-heat-cause-it's-60-degrees-in-here cold.  Amen.

We went to the same corn maze last year, and I froze.  I looked cute (before I put on my man's seriously oversized fleece), but I was so dang cold I almost didn't have fun.  That's not actually true. It was really fun. I was just really cold. 

This year, I decided to opt for good-looking but practical.  Enter winter coat for the first time this year. And boots. Fuzzy ones.

bibb necklace - bridier baubles
long vest (old) - banana republic
black ruffle long sleeved tee - loft
leggings - gap active
cranberry knitted uggs
iphone 4s case by daninotes on etsy

pleated poppy

06 November 2012

today | 11.06.2012

today ::

the weather was

rainy with a few flurries

i wore

houndstooth heels

i went to

my local polling place

then enjoyed

a casual election-returns gathering with family friends

let freedom ring

liberty is beautiful.

for heaven's sake :: vote

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can excersize their Constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.” 

-Abraham Lincoln

05 November 2012

write your love story custom chalkboard

This spring, one of my closest girlfriends got married to the man of her dreams.  

It's been several months, but I'm so excited to share the wonderful gift my friend Katie custom-made to commemorate the special occasion.

These chalkboards have been all over the place on Pinterest, and I was so pleased I could have one made by someone locally, and support someone whose artwork I love, to boot.  

I found a simple black frame at my local Michael's, and paired the chalkboard with these bright and fun chalkboard markers. 

I wrapped the package in simple brown kraft paper (one of my favorite ways to wrap!), and used the markers as a gift topper.  Sometimes it's fun to use the wrapping to give a hint as to the package contents.

What are some of your favorite wedding gift ideas? How do you encourage your friends to write their love story?

ps. need an emergency compliment? or just a giggle?

pps. thinking about something like this for my christmas packages this year.

ppps. or maybe one of these - probably the one with the yellow puffs.