Tuesday, January 31, 2012

V-Day Guest Post #1: Living Savvy

Remember when I promised I'd have some of my favorite bloggers stopping by for Valentine's day? Well, I wasn't lying! Today's guest post was written by the brains and beauty behind Living Savvy- Tiffany! 

For the month of January Tiffany has been doing her No Spend Challenge (link below) - and I knew she could come up with a great V-Day themed craft without spending a dime. Not surprisingly- she delivered something completely creative!

Hello, Beauty & the Beard readers!  I am Tiffany from Living Savvy!  I was very excited when Laura asked if I would be interested in doing a guest post about my No Spend Challenge.  Then she told me it would have to be a Valentines related project.... EEK!  I might be the ONLY girl on the planet that does not like or celebrate Valentines day {I know the horror!}  But I was sure I could come up with something that would fit my style!  I was excited for the challenge!
After poking around in my closets and cabinets looking for some inspiration I found a bag of toilet paper and paper towel rolls I had been saving.  A few months ago I pinned a couple of art pieces that were made with toilet paper rolls that I just never got around to making. 
I started by cutting the tubes up.  I just eyeballed the size... maybe 1/4" to 1/2" rings.  I think I used about 4 paper towel tubes and 6 tp tubes... approximately!
I then laid out my heart design.
I used hot glue to attach the rings together.
Once the outside was done I filled in the heart.
I had a weird opening left so I made a heart but I didn't glue it in.  I spray painted the heart and hand painted the small heart, then glued it in.  I looped some ribbon through one of the rings and hung it over my mantel.
As I was hanging it I asked the hubs if I should title the post "I left my heart in San Francisco"... he just rolled his eyes as he made the punchy drum joke noise!  I have to say, I love it!  It is perfect little addition to the mantel for Valentines day... even if I don't celebrate the day!  
Thanks Laura for getting me to think outside my box!  
Be sure to visit Living Savvy today and link up your No Spend Projects!  
Living Savvy
There should be a lot of inspiration to be had... all for free!!

Amazing, right? Thank you so much for the awesome craft Tiffany- I can't believe I'm saying this- but I legitimately wish I had toilet paper rolls around to make one of those! Oh- and for the record folks, she MADE that amazing gold leaf tray. (Find how HERE)Yeah. Tiffany- if you feel like making another and sending it my way, feeeeel free.!

***I guess Tuesday is just a guest post kinda day- You can find me over on RunDreamCook today talking about my DIY inspiration. Make sure to stop by and share your take on the best way to go about DIY projects!***

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ombre Valentine's Cookies

 Okay folks, this is a cheating cookie post, because for once I actually didn't make the things I'm featuring by hand. Sorry! I had an extra roll of sugar cookie dough from the holidays (yes, they can last for months either refrigerated or frozen) so I started "baking":
I just cut the majority of them into circles and then made one large, awkward heart. Spoiler alert: You won't see that heart again. Let's just say quickly mashing the dough together didn't work so well. Fail.
The frosting was just confectioners sugar mixed with a little milk- stirred until the consistency of lotion.
Since I don't have pastry bags on hand, a ziplock bag had to work!
While the cookies baked and the frosting set I mixed up the sugar for the ombre effect. Each time I mixed about 1/4 cup of sugar with 1, 2, 3, etc drops of red food coloring.

Pretty, right?
Once the cookies had baked and cooled I cut a small hole in the bag of frosting..
...made a circle around the outside of the cookie so the rest of the icing wouldn't slide off...
..and then filled in the rest with the icing.
A little bit of each color left the cookies with this perfect ombre effect:

Most of my Valentine's crafts and such end up being a little tacky (just wait for the candles later in the week), but I think these are perfect and sweet!

What do y'all think? Acceptable for a Valentine's dessert??

(Oh, and as usual, linking up today to Brassy Apple for Make it Mondays!)

*** I am ridiculously excited to say that the first Valentine's Day guest post will be TOMORROW with Tiffany from Living Savvy- make sure to come back to see what craft she's come up with!! ***

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Brush With Celebrities

You know them, I know them.... 
      Sherry and John from Young House Love. Just in case you live under a DIY blog rock, they are the sweethearts behind the blog I mention all too often around here. You can find them any given day tearing up their house, stenciling a wall, reupholstering chairs, or just being fun and quirky with their adorable daughter Clara and their little dog Burger. Back when we lived in the Midwest, YHL was one of the first blogs I ever started following, and have stuck with them because of their real, honest, and refreshing point of view. They keep it real, and post not only about their amazing DIY projects, but also what it's like in the blogging world for them. Their recent posts about what real life is like for them seen here for Sherry ($herdog) and John (J-Boom) as well as dealing with criticism in the blog world here 
      I follow a ton of blogs, but often get sick of most of them because of their:
a. constant plugs for sponsors that are somehow ALWAYS positive about EVERY product.
b. "i swear i'm normal and live on a budget but only own $800 purses and have a 10 carat rock on my finger" act.
c. incorrect use of "your" and "you're" (yes, really).

    YHL is one of the blogs that has an even balance of DIY, personal life, adorable baby pictures, and honest, hilarious stories. When John and Sherry posted that they'd be at a Gallery5 in Richmond as special guests for an improv show I knew I had to go. (Gallery5 is conveniently a block away from our apartment!) So Michael, Matthew and I went to check it out. 
Oh. My. Gosh.

Sherry and John would tell a funny story and then the improv cast would take the stage and use bits and pieces from the story to make acts up on the spot.  (Sorry for the bad pictures. Cell phone camera + dark theater = bummer photos)

 In the final act John even got up there to show some improv skills. Let's just say at one point he was "knit cop" wearing a full body hand-knitted outfit...and a few minutes later he was Tyra Banks. Yeah. He went there.

 After the show I wasn't going to join the line to go up and talk to them, but Michael reminded me that if I didn't, I would regret it. (Unlike with the Pin Jang canisters, I listened to him). The blogging world is strange. Some of these people I've never met and probably will never meet, but I feel like I know them! Kind of creepy, but kind of sweet. When it was our turn to go up it was actually like I did know them. After a quick hug from Sherry we got right to talking...as you can see here...full hand movements and everything...
Oh, and when I first saw Sherry I said to Michael "Oh my gosh, she's so pretty! And so tiny!" He reminded me I'm no taller than she is...as evidenced by this picture:
They were ridiculously sweet and were excited to learn we had just moved to Richmond. Sherry thinks I look like her bff Katie from Bower Power.

What do you all think?

Thanks John and Sherry for being such down to earth, fun people!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday's Fancies #5 BLOG SWAP

Happy Friday friends and followers! Today's guest post is from Julie of Run Dream Cook. If you're like me and desperately need inspiration to start running- check out her blog, it's amazing! So not to be redundant- I'll shut up and let Julie explain why she's here this week! 
Hello there Beauty and the Beard readers! I'm Julie of Run Dream Cook, a fellow reader and lover of Laura's blog.

Laura and I are blog swapping today for this week's Friday Fancies! A couple weeks ago Alison of Long Distance Loving suggested that we do a blog swap as the theme for this week and I was super excited. She paired up the those of us who were interested and that's how I got here today! I'm a huge fan of Laura's blog and I'm super excited to be showing off my collection to her readers! Laura and I decided to ward of the "Winter Blues" this week. Laura chose to pick fabulous blue items that will add a beautiful pop of color to an otherwise dreary winter wardrobe while I chose to day dream about warmer days.

winter blues

I'm a bit of a freak when it comes to skincare and sun protection. I'm petrified of skin cancer and therefore I'm super neurotic about covering up. What better way to cover up than with a big floppy hat? I'd love this for a bright and sunny day outside.

 Dress - What's not to love about a perfect blue cotton sundress. During the spring and summer I live in skirts and dresses. I love the stripes on the top of this one!

Since it still is actually pretty chilly outside I thought I should include a way to keep a tiny bit warm and I loved the idea of adding a punch of bright color to the dress. The cardigan is also a perfect addition for night time during the summer.

Once I picked that cardigan, these Michael Kors sandals were a no brainer. I posted the same pair in silver a couple weeks ago, I'm just totally in love with them. Again, unfortunately they're jellies, which I'm generally not a huge fan of, but I couldn't find anything like these!

Perfect simple silver earrings. I love a tiny bit of shine with a casual outfit like this.

A fabulous pair of sunglasses are a must have summer accessory. I love these with the hint of blue in the lenses. Apparently I have a bit of a Michael Kors obsession this week.

I hope you like my outfit today! And don't forget to head over to my blog to check out Laura's gorgeous picks this week. I'm loving all the blue that's happening over there today!

Thank you so much for the awesome post Julie, perfect blog swap partners, if I do say so myself!!!

*On another note---are there any Richmond bloggers that will be going to the Richmond Comedy Coalition "Richmond Famous" Show tonight? Fellow RVA bloggers Sherry and John from Young House Love are featured, and I'm going for a night of great improv comedy! PLEASE leave a comment or email me if you are, I'd love to meet you! You can find more on the event here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine's Flowers....and failing.

I love finding great things in Pinterest to try; both crafts and recipes. Normally I see things and think "Hey! I could do that! Psh! Easy!"

Then I try said craft/recipe/project and when I'm finished the end result is not quiiiiite what I was hoping for. Then I try it again and make changes until it's pleasing to me- and that is what you lovely people see here on the blog. Well, today I will share both the fails and the successes...just so you can get a good laugh in for the day (at my expense, of course).

Let's start at the beginning, shall we? I saw this bouquet on Pinterest:
(from MarthaStewart.com)
     Fun idea for Valentine's, right? Fill up your vase with red candies- festive and sweet (literally)! I thought "Heck yeah! This is gonna be great! I can do that!" I ran out to Trader Joe's for some flowers and bought a bunch of Red Hots at Target and sat down with a vase to get cookin'. Then I realized the issue:

1. Flowers need water to survive.
2. If you fill the vase with water and candy, the candy will bleed and become a gooey sticky redish mess.

Huh. Then how the hell did that little scoundrel Martha do it? I swear that woman is magic. I came to two ideas, either:

1. The flowers in the picture are fake, thus not in need of water
2. There is another, smaller vase with water holding the flowers and the candy is surrounding it.

Dang. I didn't think of that when I planned this seemingly easy decoration. This my friends, was Fail #1.
I realized- WAIT!!! If I just go to marthastewart.com I can find out! I did and of course, it's two nesting vases (see it here).Well, I didn't have two vases that nested together, so it was time to problem solve. 

This brings us to Fail #2. I thought,  "Well, I have glitter and a heart punch and ribbon, how about I just throw it all together in a jar and it will be rustic and whimsical and cute at the same time!" Man, never try to mix rustic,whimsical, and cute. Or at least think it through. This is why:
I think the major part of Fail #2 was adding the glitter. It's like a unicorn threw up in my makeshift vase. Bummer.

What did I learn from these 2 fails?

1. Sometimes, it's better to actually read the directions when you see something you like.
2. Red Hots are delicious.

This story doesn't end in a fail my dears. I was too annoyed at this point that I was ruining a perfectly good bouquet of flowers so I grabbed one of my trusty blue Mason jars and got to making it Valentine's worthy. I had punched out a bunch of hearts from some stock paper, so I simply glued them back to back around a little bit of fishing line!

 Here's the before- which looks perfectly lovely without hearts...
 ...but just a little bit better with the simple heart garland, right?

 Here's how it looks a little further back...and with some candles too! (You'll see those in a post to come)
 So there you have it. I guess 3rd time is the charm. Dang Martha and her nesting vases...Trickery I tell ya.

What do you think of the final product? Are you lucky (smart) enough to read the directions before you jump into a project? I need to rename my blog  "The Impatient Crafter". Seriously.

P.S.*On another note---are there any Richmond bloggers that will be going to the Richmond Comedy Coalition "Richmond Famous" Show tomorrow night? Fellow RVA bloggers Sherry and John from Young House Love are featured, and I'm going for a night of great improv comedy! PLEASE leave a comment or email me if you are, I'd love to meet you! You can find more on the event here.

Point of View: A Creative Collaboration,a creative collaboration,point of view,point of view a creative collaboration
oh, and i totally forgot to link up on monday with brassy apple, so this will just be a "make it thursday"
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