Thursday, April 30, 2015

Deals! Sheinside vs. Free People & Anthropologie

Ok, these dresses look the same to me...am I right? I've been looking at some summer dresses on the Free People site lately and found this Embroidered Fable Dress that is absolutely gorgeous -- but  for a $168??? No thanks. I'll get the one that looks exactly like it at Sheinside for $32.67! Sure, I bet it's not made as well and the material might be different, but really...they look pretty darn similar! Score! If you look at Sheinside's website you'll find many dresses that are strikingly similar to Free People and Anthroplogie...I mean almost identical. Cool huh? I see what you're doing Sheinside and I dig it! 

Oh and I also got this cute little jacket...I couldn't resist! 

If you are into finding fun deals, I did a post on Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats eons ago that cost $754...mine cost $19.37!  I found some look-alikes on Sammy Dress. Go check out these sites! They are perfect for switching up your wardrobe without spending a fortune. 







A week or two later...it came! A+++. Here is what the dress looks like! ^^^

Pictures: 1,2,3,4,5{collage}

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Healthy Smoothie Jar


I posted this baby on instagram the other day so I thought I'd let you know how to make it. Super simple...

Ingredients
1 kiwi
1 cup frozen mixed berries {I get the bag from Trader Joe's}
5 fresh strawberries
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 drops of liquid stevia
1 mango {cut into cubes and frozen}
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
water

Directions
-Peel and cut kiwi into thin slices. Stick the slices on the inside wall of a dry glass jar.
-Blend the frozen mixed berries with 5 fresh strawberries. Add a few tbsp's of water if the texture is too thick. Pour or spoon the blended berries into the glass jar.
-Mix chia seeds with vanilla and 1/2 cup of water. Add 3 drops of liquid stevia. Let the chia seeds absorb the water and then add to the jar {this can be made ahead of time if you don't want to wait}. Be careful not to mix the layers.
-Washout the leftover blended berries from the blender and then add frozen mango chunks and lemon juice. Blend. Use water if needed to reach your desired consistency. Add to the jar.
-Top with cocoa nibs and fruit. 

It was really fun to make + a great way to get your daily servings of fruit :)


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Shan's Bridal Shower


My best friend is getting married and I am her Matron of honor! So neat. She was my Maid of Honor and now I can be hers. I can't wait to see her get hitched to the man of her dreams in a few short weeks. Here is a little clip of our French Bridal Shower we threw for Shan {they are honeymooning in Paris - Ahhh si fabuleux}. We all love you so much Shan and we are excited for you and Justin to begin your grand adventure together. I am blessed to have you as my friend. You really are the crème de la crème.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

DIY Chanel Vase


Ahhh one of my favorites. Coco Mademoiselle smells so good. Yes I used all of it, but couldn't part with this beautiful little bottle. So why not fill my home with my favorites, right? I thought it would be fun to repurpose this bottle into a small bud vase. 

Here's What You'll Need:
Empty glass bottle
Eye protection
Gloves
Marker
Water in a squeeze bottle (I actually used an empty Sriracha bottle)


How To:
-Put on your eye protection, gloves, and mask...working with glass dust can be dangerous, especially if you're a newbie! So make sure you're suited up.
-Use a marker to draw a guide line around the bottle.
-Lay your bottle on its side.
-Turn on your Dremel tool with the diamond wheel and start cutting along the marked line.
-***You'll need and extra pair of hands to squirt a few drops of water on the blade while you cut (don't get water above the attachment site on the Dremel). This will help prevent the glass from heating up and fracturing. Always keep the cut line wet.
-Go over your cut line a few times -- gradually getting deeper into the glass until it cracks off.  Keep the cut even around the whole bottle. Cut a little at a time on each side. 
-After the top is off, you'll want to clean up the sharp edges with your diamond blade. Make sure it's smooth and safe.








Saturday, April 4, 2015

Painted Sugar Cookies


I was in a creative mood today and we have a family Easter dinner at my Aunt and Uncle's tomorrow so I thought it would be fun to try my hand at sugar cookies. Here is a sugar cookie and royal icing recipe that I love... the cookies are yummy and hold their shape while baking {not too hard & not too soft - just perfect with a sweet hint of almond and vanilla} + the royal icing recipe is easy and top-notch! 











Sugar Cookie Recipe:
Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 tsp. Almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350F 
-Cream butter and sugar together with an electric stand mixer until smooth. Mix for 1 minute. 
-Add egg. Mix until combined.
-Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again. 1 min.
-Mix in vanilla bean paste and almond extract.
-Slowly add flour and salt. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to clump around the paddle. 
-Roll dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and set on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
-Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes.
-Bake in the oven on a silpat mat for 10 minutes or until the bottom edge of the cookies are light brown.
-Place cookies on a cooling rack.
-Decorate cookies with royal icing when they reach room temperature.


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

Believe it or not this was my first time working with royal icing. I was tad intimidated so I watched a few videos on youtube before attempting it. This video was my favorite {he made it so easy}. I used 1/2 tsp. almond extract and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract instead of the 1 tsp. vanilla as listed in his recipe. It turned out fabulous. Really easy. Just add water when you need a "shampoo" consistency for flooding your cookies. 

Royal Icing Recipe:

Ingredients:
3 cups powdered sugar

2 large egg whites

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


1/2 tsp. almond extract

water


Directions:
-In a stand mixer combine sifted powdered sugar, cream of tarter, egg whites and both extracts. 
-Beat on low until the sugar has liquified and then beat on high for 1 minute. The icing will be thick like toothpaste. 
-Add a tablespoon of water and beat for 3 more minutes.
-Mix in food coloring if desired {I just used the white icing}.
-Pour icing into a piping bag and decorate sugar cookies.
-Let icing dry and harden before painting {if you want to use my method}


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

For Painting
I used Betty Crocker Classic Gel Food Colors {I got mine at Ralph's} and dabbed a few blobs of each color onto a ceramic plate. I used a watercolor paint brush to paint and mix the colors and a gourmet food writer for fine black details. Easy peasy. Be sure to  have a small cup of water for washing your brush out in between colors and a paper towel for blotting the brush. 

Have Fun!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Springtime in Paris Bridal Shower Watercolor Invitations


My Mom and I are throwing my best friend Shannon a Bridal Shower in a few weeks. Shanny and her man Justin are planning on honeymooning in Paris so my Mom and I thought it would be cute to throw Shan a Springtime in Paris Bridal Shower Brunch. We thought it would be fun to paint the invitation with French-esque scenes to make things extra special. As I was searching for some Frenchy inspiration I stumbled upon the Michael's Springtime in Paris Contest. What a coincidence! So I entered the paintings into the #Springtimeinparis #Contest. Cross your fingers! I hope it wins! 5 glorious days in Paris -- cooking, sketching, florist lessons, and a private tour of the Louvre. Awwww swoooooon.  Oui se il vous plait.

Here is a fun little blurb that I sent to Michaels:
I’m in love with France and everything Parisian – the culture, food and art etc. It would be a dream of mine to take my Mother to Paris with me. She has always wanted to travel but has never had the opportunity to do so. I would love to be by her side as she experiences her first overseas adventure (and to Paris of all places); to one of the worlds most exciting and beautiful cities -- the crème de la crème for 1st time travel. We are both very creative people and this trip would be absolutely dreamy. I could picture us having the best time exploring the Louvre, admiring art, cooking French cuisine and arraigning gorgeous bouquets. These artistic classes are right up our alley. I would love to take a stroll through Montmartre, buy some crusty bread and cheese from a local fromagerie and some bubbly champagne. We could sit in the park by the Eiffel tower, enjoy our goodies and watch its lights twinkle.  I know that Paris would bring out the best of our creativity and friendship and give us memories that could last a lifetime.


*Any visible addresses are fictitious.

Ok, so it's a few weeks later and I didn't win. Bummers...but congrats to all the winners. You guys did a fabulous job! Here is the link if you want to check out their amazing work. 






I Started A Tumblr!




So I started a Tumblr! Yes...the 16 year-old-girl in me is super excited. Bahahaha, no really. I find it relaxing and motivating to scroll through pictures and words of wisdom that inspire me about life, family, travel, art, cozy homes and yummy food. I guess it's sort of a vision board, right? I hope this will be a place that you can come to unwind and think about happy things. My fuzzy blanket is now yours. I hope you like it.

*Links to the original sources and recipes can be found when you click on the pictures.