Sunday, November 24, 2013

31 Ways to enjoy the Holiday Season this December

If you're a 20-something female ;)

I have seen a few of these scattered about the interweb, and I decided to create my own perfect December List this year! 

Its so easy to get caught up in all the little must-dos around the holidays, so I think its important to remember to take some time and actually remember all your favorite things about the season and to actually enjoy them.

Merry Christmas!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Hosting Thanksgiving

I have never hosted a Thanksgiving, lets just make that clear right now lol. But the idea of having so many family and friends over to one's home and serving a memorable meal always evokes a feeling of cozy happiness for me. Hopefully I will have that opportunity in the future just like so many of you have had!

In the meantime, day dreaming is always fun!

Here are some home decorating ideas to start us off. I like the idea of being able to reuse some of accessories from Halloween and into Christmas as well. I personally love the use of pumpkins and pine cones! 

I love this idea of using mini pumpkins and attaching with ribbons little tags of different things you and the family are thankful for. You could even make it into an advent calender type activity!

 Another use of pumpkins! You can break out the candle pillars and large glass vases and glorify the mini pumpkins left over from Halloween. Then come Christmas just switch out the pumpkins for extra ornaments from the Christmas tree!

Touches of handmade items add a unique and personal touch. 

I love homemade garlands, and here are a few. You can make paper cut outs and sew or string them all together, or purchase some fake leaves and go crazy with the glitter. And pine cones are always classic for the fall AND winter. You can leave them natural for a rustic feel or add some gold spray paint. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DIY Gold Shoe Rack

I blame Pinterest, but I'm obsessed with white and gold right now. *Christmas spoiler!*lol
This has somewhat influenced my decor tastes.

Hence, the gold spray painting of some originally black shoe racks I stumbled upon for less than a song!

Initially I was planning on simply purchasing a couple of small white bookshelves to organize and maximize the space in my closet, but these sort of ended up in my lap and I saw their potential. 

Plus, you can stack these units or place shelves in between two to create a third! Below is actually a combination of only two shoe racks!
Honestly they look like something you would find at Ikea or Walmart, but you can get them at Sam's Club for only $20 each.

Ok, here was my DIY process! :)
1. There are more than a few gold spray paints out there, but luckily I chose one that turned out to be just right for my purposes. Rust-oleum always seems to get the job don, but whichever brand you favor should work well.

2. Before assembly, separate all the parts and cover up any you do not want painted either by painter's tape or my own personal savvy time saver, sliding magazine pages under the metal frames to cover up just the glass! I taped one side of one shelf, but it took quite some time and I hated the thought of having to do that to 12 separate pieces... and then my ingenuity kicked in. Or my laziness lol.

 It worked out perfectly though! Just make sure the pages are secured with a few pieces of tape so the paint spray does not shift any paper loose.

3. Create or find a location you can canvas with a drop cloth and that is protected from weather elements. Array all the pieces for easy access, and apply 2 coats over everything. I recommend keeping the can about 8-12 inches away from the furniture. Let dry (in this case only 15 minutes) and perform any necessary touch ups.


 4. Don't forget to paint the hardware as it will be visible!

5. Assemble, et voila.

My new shoe racks!!! I heart them completely!!! 
Its just the touch of gold my eyes have been craving.

I think my shoes are finally happy. They all have a home.

I may need a third one... ;P

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Very First Print Order!

Its official, things are happening!

I finally got my feet wet, and put in an order of prints for the owl drawing I made several months ago!

Another person contacted me requesting to buy a print through Pinterest, and I decided even though things have been pulling me in many directions recently I just needed to get down to business. The ordering process was actually not too intimidating now that I have a great quality scanner, and thankfully affordable!

I made my first posting on Etsy (despite my lack of business cards or any other development of my shop) and I guess you could say the ship has pulled anchor although not exactly set sail lol.

The first prints I have available are my Sleeping Owl in 8x10 inches on high-quality fine art paper, and I should be getting in an order of my Autumn Leaf this week so I can post that too for the closing of the fall season. :)

There is still soooo much work ahead (creating a shop banner, ordering cute business cards, fine tuning shop policies, purchasing shipping supplies) plus actually getting back into drawing again now that I have somewhat settled into my new apartment. The list can be endless lol! But at least I have made some headway and also received encouragement! :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Painting

This year has been pretty busy, so I decided instead of carving and creating a crazy mess and challenging my arm muscles, I would prefer to just paint a couple pumpkins low-key style.

We put together some crackers, cheeses, grapes, and brownies for snacking, and whipped up some cider and cocoa as well for a seasonal taste to energize our creativity. And of course a trip to Starbucks for a triple was a necessity; especially after last night's Halloween bash!

 Painting and chatting and sipping away!

Lindsey I think aimed higher than Carly and I lol.

We stuck with geometric patterns, but she went straight to scary cute!

 Our little collection lol.

These were my little guys. A fun DIY to try out!

 I completely love the little ghost she added peeking out the door! Seriously so cute!!!

I set my little ones out on my patio, but now I am contemplating actually hanging up the strings of lights I have packed away just for this week... and maybe adding a few other touches I already have. Might as well commit lol.

I am still thinking about carving a pumpkin too, but only if I end up with the time. We will see! This was a lot of fun though; the pumpkins last so much longer when not carved out so I am thinking next year I will grab a whole bunch and paint them all to use as a table centerpiece, as well as for outside.

Halloween Weekend '13

This Halloween, alas, is on a thursday. Boo :( 

So the best weekend for partying and general mayhem is now! Some friends and I had planned on costuming it up and enjoying the crazy fun down at the Annual Dallas Uptown Block Party which shuts down the main streets and completely packs the bars along the street. Men in tutus and other odd humorous sights were to be expected :D

Unfortunately unbeknownst to me, a storm was brewing and headed our way! So I ended up just hanging out with one gal pal as we didn't get to make this year's party. We still had fun though; we spent some time at a nearby bar at a little party, and then later in the night tucked ourselves in for hot cider and Nightmare Before Christmas while listening to the storm outside.

I had planned on two costumes this year, but decided to save energy and money for just one. In the end it was so much less stressful!

I went with the 1920's theme, the best I could.

It would have been so much more perfect when I had a bob cut, but oh well. It was still fun!

 The only reason I decided on this, was because I found this dress at H&M a few months ago, marked down from $200 to $10 !!!  Basically I could not say no. Very happy I didn't! I already have an idea for a completely different costume to use it for too lol! Not sure if you can tell, but its all layered fringe!

Carly decided to be a cute scarecrow this year. The hay pretty much made the costume lol.

Absolutely worth the mess it created!

We did just a little tidbit of makeup too. 

Once we got to the bar (literally one block from her apartment complex!) we grabbed a few drinks and just had fun admiring others' costumes and chatting with people!

 Because of the storm it was definitely more low key than usual, but the advantage of that was being able to actually hear eachother, dance, and meet new people.

This was a good lesson for me in making the best out of moments out of my control (perfectionism can be oh so exhausting lol). I really enjoyed spending some silly time with Carly. 

Plus, we still have pumpkins to decorate and The Day itself to look forward to :D Pray the weather turns in our favor!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gallery Wall Project

Yay decorating!!!

My new apartment has an entire wall in the living room that basically does not serve much of a function furniture-wise. So I was racking my brain for ideas to make it more visually interesting, when I was inspired by some finds on Pinterest.

I just love the cluttered lived-in style of it all. It sort of emits a casual elegance.

 At first I was intimidated by the cost of purchasing so many different frames (20ish at $8-$15each?!). That can add up pretty quickly factoring in additional matting, printing, and hardware costs ($250 average). But then I came up with the idea of using thrift stores! I already had a couple frames, and after about two shopping trips ended up spending about $20 on the rest. Way more practical!

I kept a few frames their natural wood finish, and painted the rest white. I also made sure I had a couple of silver frames for a bit of sparkle. Honestly, the thriftstore hunting was the most fun part of this adventure.

I think its a really good start, but I am calling it my skeleton right now. I definitely want to slowly add more with time, but after I have purchased the armchair / end table I want to go against that wall. Then it will really be finished! Everything feels so bare right now in my apartment; I can't wait to add the few things it really needs to feel special.

I love finally having some space in my apartment to showcase some really great memories and people in my life. Lots of happy thoughts :D

Monday, October 21, 2013

Grey Circle Stitched Cowl

This is actually my third use of this free crochet pattern from People Webs, as the last two I have made for friends upon request. I LOVE how fast it is to make up! Literally none have taken me more than a week to complete in my spare time.

I modified the original pattern by adding just a bit of length to it, but other than that it is pretty consistent with the instructions per the designer. I think if I make it again, I will add even more length though... I prefer my infinity scarves/cowls to be around 60" in circumference and the original pattern is only about 40".

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Excited for Halloween!

I am so looking forward to this year's Halloween activities! I have two costumes picked out (yet to be created lol) as well as some pumpkin carving planned ahead. Thinking about the end of the month made me reminisce about previous Halloweens though, and I went through some old pictures of mine.

This was back in 2010. This was my first time "designing" my own carvings and I really had a blast! I think that creative aspect is the most enjoyable for me. I love the nature theme, and will probably branch off from that again this year. Hmmm maybe one with a few leaves?

This was my senior year of college when a few of my friends and I got together and roasted pumpkin seeds and carved too. I free handed the Boogie Man from Nightmare Before Christmas for mine. Although I ended up making a few carving mistakes, I still think it turned out pretty good. One day I need to do Jack and Sally pumpkins!

This Halloween my costume ideas are a Wind Up Doll for the downtown block party, and a 1920's flapper for the office work party. Work costumes sometimes can be hard just because you have to worry about being completely appropriate, but this one will be super safe. Everyone is dressing in the 1920's style that day, and we are having a little potluck.


Last year I actually had two costumes, one as Indiana Jones and the other as The White Queen from Alice in Wonderland. Our office theme was Alice, so I opted for that. I actually painted a white masquerade mask but its hardly visible. I would have done much more but I was too busy to really spend time on that one.

This one was just pure fun! I love being a witch lol... its so easy. We had a Practical Magic Party, so everyone just dressed as close to the women in the film as possible, and we drank "midnight margaritas" while watching the movie. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall Fashion

Was thinking of what few additions to my closet I can purchase that can make the most impact and provide versatility for day wear as well as work wear this autumn. Here are a few pieces on my list!

Chambray Tops:

I love this look. No only can you wear it alone or over a loose fitted t-shirt with jeans and heels for a casual/dressy day, but also even with a black pencil skirt or leather!

Green Plaid:


Despite all the red plaid out there right now, I really like the look of the green. I think it just looks classier. You can pair it with tans or blacks so easily!

Knit Wraps:


The most comfortable thing in the world can be a neutral warm knit wrap! Its perfect for when you just feel lazy lol... I can throw it over a loose fitting top and some skinny jeans or leggings. For errand running I definitely love flats, but grabbing a drink with a friend or something could warrant knee high or ankle boots. Or just lying around the house enjoying a beautiful afternoon!

Faux Leather Leggings:

Pretty much the most dramatic piece to add! Its been a bit hard finding any long enough for my legs, but I finally did succeed at H&M. I have already been able to wear them out once and loved it! 
I am looking forward to wearing them much more often once the weather cools down a lot more :D

I love Fall!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Survived the Summer

So... it's been awhile.

For multiple reasons, this summer has been pretty hard to get through. A few ups and a lot of downs. But having gone through a few trials as well as the horrible heat, I am determined to turn things around this Fall.

Here are some highlights of the past few months, just to get you up to speed!

Moved to a new apartment:

There were some construction problems with the old place, so I was basically forced out of that one into a newly remodeled apartment within the same complex. Luckily I was given a really good deal rent wise because of the issues, but lets just say moving in the middle of July is probably the most painful experience in Texas heat. Very happy to be somewhat settled in now though. Next nesting step is to paint the walls back to my favorite grey!

Made some new friends:


We are so lucky to be able to participate these Dames' Dinners here in Dallas. They are such a great opportunity to get out and meet other women during the week, without forking over a ton of cash. I ended up meeting a few really great girls whom I am beginning to get to know better. Its always hard to have your close girl friends long distance, so having my local inner circle begin to grow has been so rewarding and I am excited to share more experiences with them.

Including a new addition to the family:

Say hello to Nahla aka Fleur :D   She is about 10 months old, and half chihuahua half dachshund. I swore I would never own a chihuahua and had thought she was much larger than she really is from the photo, but I fell in love with her cute face too quickly to recant. She gets along wonderfully with Pyewacket too thankfully. I have been so blessed with their laid back cuddly temperaments.

And.... I guess that sums my summer up. Thank God for Autumns! I feel like this one is a great excuse for a fresh start. I already have several fun things planned throughout October, some DIY projects ahead, as well as some interesting drawing ideas I am excited to begin. My new place is in desperate need of a paint job so that is being tackled this week. Some thrift store refurbished finds are also in the wings (super excited about this... can't wait to share!). Look forward to several posts this coming month!

So happy to be back!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Colorado Travels

I went to visit a close friend who currently resides in Colorado recently, and had so much fun!
I flew in Friday afternoon, and immediately drove out to Boulder and explored the downtown area shops and bars. The main street was so cute, all laid out with brick, and the shops lining it were surprisingly unique and interesting. And they have trees scattered throughout! It really was just so pretty, and you had the foothills of the mountain range as a gorgeous backdrop.

See the little baby mountains?! It reminded me of our hiking adventure doing the Flat Irons last year... wooo was that hard!
We decided to grab some drinks later in the evening, and while I started out as the DD, her husband joined us and I got to enjoy a few as well at one of the local bars. Definitely a fun place to hang out during the weekend for younger people!
So theeeen, Saturday morning we groggily woke up, loaded up the car for a trip to Estes Park to do some hiking! Yay!!!
So in Denver, the weather was probably around 65 degrees at that time. Very nice, but we all opted to buy some light hoodies just in case (this will be more meaningful later). I also had purchased some actual hiking shoes for the trip thank goodness. You do not want to be stuck on a mountain without some good shoes!

It was such a beautiful drive up to the mountains! Just look! *dreamy sigh*
Ok, so we arrived at the park and immediately jumped onto the trail. This particular hike has 4 different lakes to view, and the first is pretty much right at the bottom.

Yes, that is snow across the water... in May.

{Tyler and me all excited and ready to hike!}
I was already apoplectic with happiness surrounded by the trees and views. Dallas' flatness really makes you appreciate that sort of beauty.

{We were being silly enjoying the view}

We had reached a certain elevation at this point and got to look down on one of the lakes and down into the valley here.

Ok, this point in the trail was really wonderful. There is a certain moment when you realize you can hear the rushing of a river while hiking upward that is so peaceful. I love the sound of running water!

{This end of the lake was completely frozen!}

Then is got significantly colder... After the river the trail was completely covered by snow, and not only did each of us fall through at least once (me up to my thigh!), but we also lost the trail a few times and had to backtrack through the trees and over the rocks. We even accidently were walking over the river at one point until I realized the holes in the snow in front of me had running water below! Eeek!

We hadn't seen anyone on the trail for about 25 minutes when we stumbled upon this fisherman! I was very relieved lol...

We were almost at the last Lake here. Do you see how much snow there ended up being?! And yes, that's the actual trail... somewhere beneath it all lol. And I was only wearing thin running yoga pants, a tank top, and a thin jogging hoodie. Way to be prepared... Some other hikers were in full on ski gear with sticks and everything! The rest of my body was actually ok except my hands: they were so red, stiff, and cold I couldn't even tie my shoe laces! I have definitely learned my lesson with that experience...

{Tyler and me finally relaxing and enjoying the view of the completely frozen Emerald Lake}

Another chipmunk joined us at the end! He must be related to the one at the Flat Irons in Boulder...

{Alex expressing all our joy at the sun's return}
That last stretch the sun had hidden itself behind clouds, so the temperature had significantly decreased. As soon as we stood up to go back down again though it came back to us!

Once we got back to the car and headed home, we ended up seeing four Elk! At least we think they were elk lol... one was literally right next to our car as we drove by. I got a good picture of this one as we were leaving :)