Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Fancies #1: Champagne NYE

It's almost NYE and it's time to bust out the bubbly! Today I'm linking up with {long distance loving} to get inspiration for an outfit to ring in 2012. As I mentioned earlier in this post,  I don't have to work late New Year's Eve AND don't have to do anything early in the morning New Year's Day...which calls for a great outfit for a ridiculous night on the town.

This Polyvore collection features some champagne pieces that would go great with any outfit you might already have in mind. I found some surprisingly lovely pieces for under $50 (like the $16 glitter pumps from Forever21 and the $30 rhinestone bracelet from and some stunning ones for under $100 (like the on sale $59 long sleeve sequin dress from and the $68 pave disc earrings from Nordstrom's). As for the over $200... well, you can't go wrong with a $2,345 Jenny Packham sleeveless sequin dress or some $765 Valentino peep-toe pumps!
Champagne NYE

Hope you all have a wonderful, safe, champagne-full New Year's Eve- See you all in 2012! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011


There are some pretty talented and artistic people in my life. I've already mentioned my super creative photographer of a sister, and now it's time to introduce you to Michael's lovely and stylish sister Kelly.

You can find her any given day on her blog Sluice, where she wittily documents her life in L.A. Now she's taken her skills to a higher level and opened up a shop on Etsy. May I please introduce.... Hullabazoo!

Kelly's shop offers sweet, sleek, and simple silhouette art at a fair price. I mean, come on. If you're an Etsy shopper you know there are shops that are realistic about their prices, and then there are shops that charge an arm and a leg for a basic print or a pillowcase.

She was kind enough to give one to me as a house warming present- I'm sure you all remember from previous posts- my sweet white penguin on a grey canvas, Winnie.
Kelly offers mainly animals - however you can custom order silhouettes from her of whatever you could possibly think up!

A few of my favorites include:

Mabel the moose. How perfect of a winter decoration would this be?
 Or Winona the deer - this would make such a great belated Christmas gift for that person on your list that you left out this year! Who wouldn't want that?!
 Jacques the rhino- I think it would be excellent in a kids room - what a sweet gift for a niece or nephew!

I could go on about all the other favorites, but I'd rather you just go to the shop yourself and check the whole zoo out!

So go, gallop on over to Hullabazoo and get your own new pet!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

8 nights

8 lovely nights of candles burning on one of our window sills.

On the 8th night I was fairly sure that all the heat from the flames would start a fire with the snowflake garland hanging above it (seen here) it got moved to the craft table. Yeah, I know you're jealous of that lime green plastic table cloth, don't deny it!

For those of you who celebrated it- hope you had a Happy Hanukkah!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

To make your day a little brighter.

Has everyone already seen this Jimmy Kimmel clip? Probably. Does it make it any less funny? No.

Just watch it y'all.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Jewelry Tree!

I hope you all had either a wonderful Christmas or 6th night of Hanukkah last night!

For those of you who were introduced to my blog from my guest feature over at A Simple Affair - welcome back!

For those of you that first saw me over on A Simple Affair- this post is the same- so spoiler alert: you already know how this DIY project turns out...sorry!

For those of you who didn't see my guest post, let me explain. Carly and I share a love for big, bright necklaces and I felt I needed to display the sparkling gems somewhere to show off their beauty. Our upstairs loft area is really open- and I wanted to find a place that Michael wouldn't have to stare at every day.  I finally decided that the wall that serves as a headboard for our bed was the perfect nook to start out:

After checking out Pinterest I decided rakes, towel racks, and shower bars were not right fit for me - but when I saw some tree murals painted I knew that a necklace tree coming out of the corner of the wall was the way to go. First I penciled out the tree: 
(Go ahead, make fun of it. I know it looks like a 4 year old drew it- but have faith!)

Next I mixed up a charcoal grey color- which  I figured would be neutral enough to highlight all the necklace colors and bold enough to stand out on the wall:
(Yes, I had to wear my highest heels to paint the top of the tree- being 5'2" + no step stool = fashionable painting)
See? Much better than the pencil sketch:

After the paint dried I began hammering paneling nails along the branches for the necklaces to hang from:
(Make sure you leave at least 6 inches between your main branches so all your necklaces can show!)

The final step was to hang the necklaces ... the ones I could find at least - 2 months living here and I still haven't unpacked all the boxes! 

Leaves are lovely and all, but wouldn't you rather have a tree dripping with jewels??

After I hung all the necklaces I added some dangling earrings to the little, lower branches.  Doesn't it perfectly fill in the wall and the tree?

So there you have it- a great way to take a bare wall and turn it into a showcase for all your favorite statement pieces. How do you show off your great jewels?

P.S. Make sure to check out Carly's post on statement necklaces here!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Let It Snow

I so so wish it was snowing today in VA. Instead, it's 55 degrees and mostly sunny... All those of you getting a white Christmas Eve, I envy you.

So here's the Polyvore snow inspired collection:

Let It Snow

Friday, December 23, 2011

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark is delicious- and so so easy to make! Even easier than the homemade caramels that I made a few posts ago! I don't get why it's so expensive online (Williams Sonoma- $20 &Shari's Berries- $25) because it takes about $5 bucks to make a whole cookie sheet worth!

All you'll need:
1 bag of either milk or semi sweet chocolate chips
1 bag of white chocolate chips
10 candy canes
Cookie sheet
Wax or Parchment Paper
Double Boiler

Step 1: Set up your double boiler. All you'll need is a small sauce pan with about 1 inch of water in it- and a metal or a oven safe glass bowl! Set the bowl on top of the pot- make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't sink so far into the pot that it touches the water- that will ruin your chocolate. Get your water up to a boil and then reduce to a low heat. 
Step 2: Add your milk/semi sweet chocolate chips to the bowl and slowly mix as the chocolate melts. 
***The most important part of this step is to make sure that none of the steam coming from the pot gets in the chocolate- any water will make your chocolate seize up and the whole batch will be ruined!!*****
 Step 3: Once the chocolate is completely melted spread it out on the parchment lined cookie sheet, and put it in the fridge to chill. Let it sit in the fridge for a good 15 minutes at least.

Step 4: While the milk chocolate is hardening in the fridge, take your candy canes and put them in a ziplock bag. Put a hand towel underneath the bag, and one on top- when you start smashing them the dust will get everywhere if you don't cover it! Use a hammer or back end of a knife to crush the candy canes until it's part dust and part small pieces.

 Step 5: Repeat step 2 with your white chocolate chips:

 Step 6: Evenly pour the white chocolate over the chilled milk chocolate and spread quickly- otherwise the chocolates will melt together and when you break the pieces apart you wont have the nice look of two layers!
 Step 7: Before the white chocolate hardens evenly sprinkle your candy canes over the entire pan and gently press the pieces into the chocolate:

 Step 8: After chilling for an hour break it all up into pieces:

Looks good, right? I wrapped them up into cute little cellophane bags along with the homemade caramels and a few chocolate dipped pretzels- perfect season's greetings gift!

Oh, and here are those chocolate dipped pretzels. I found some cute snowflake sprinkles to go along with the usual red-white-green ones, and used extra crushed up candy canes for decoration!

So what holiday treats did you make for others?! These? 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hey Girl, Happy Hanukkah

In case you didn't know- it's Hanukkah y'all.

If you've never seen all the Ryan Gosling "Hey Girl" series, you are totally missing out. Check out the Ryan Gosling Hey Girl Hanukkah series:

Work Holiday Party

Before I get into today's post- I've got to reiterate how easy and delicious the homemade caramels were from yesterday's post- if you haven't gone out to get the 5 ingredients it takes to make it-
GO! RUN! Do it now! Or at least after checking out today's post...

We had our holiday party for work the other night at my house- and I wish I could say I wore something this lovely. What I actually wore? Skinny jeans and a flannel shirt. Yep. You can take the girl out of Minnesota, but you can't take the Minnesota out of the girl. In my defense- the party was just a low-key shindig at my house- not a glamorous night at a fancy restaurant!

If you happen to be having a holiday party that's a fancy affair- try this outfit!

Work Holiday Party

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