Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer Home Projects

Autumn is almost here. I looove autumn.  However, on this rainy chilly day, I started to reflect on all the stuff we accomplished this summer! I'd like to share a couple of projects with you. We started in June by putting a patio in our backyard.  Back in June my camera card corrupted so I lost a lot of photos, including our "before" pics. However, this is a photo of me, in the backyard when we bought the house in 2009.
I am really excited for this random small fence in the backyard.  This was the first thing to go when we moved in. This photo gives you a good idea of what this part of our backyard looked like before.
This photo is just after the patio was finished.  We decided to have a ribbon cutting ceremony!
And just for fun, here is another shot of the patio!
We actually dug this baby out ourselves, by hand, over the course of a week. We took the dirt and hauled it around the house to level out the grading, as well as created a raised garden.  However, due to how late it was into June, the garden didn't do very well. Darn. I was hoping for tomatoes!
The picnic table was actually left behind by the original owners.  Its a well made table, but the brown paint is peeling pretty bad.
I decided that we needed something that popped! I am obsessed with the graphic prints trend.  I loooove Greek key....

What do you think?!  I am in love with this color!! The Greek key pattern took me about 2 hours to tape off. It was tedious, but worth the end result. The sad part is, I painted the white first, taped off the design and went over with the blue. I used some old white paint we had in the garage, and unfortunately the quality of the paint reared its ugly head when I pulled the tape off. So, we have a "distressed" Greek key pattern! That's alright, I love it flaws and all!
Did any of you do any fun backyard projects this summer?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Inspired Monday: Fall Front Porch

Its almost here! Autumn! I know, I know, there are still a few days of summer left, but like so many fall is my favorite season! I saw this porch and fell in love! I don't have a porch of this size, but I'm sure I can scale it down to fit what I do have! 

Source: bhg.com via Jessy @ on Pinterest

Tell me, whats your favorite part of fall?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Product Review: Sally Hansen Crackle Polish

Lately, I've been really into nail art.  I'm not all that good at it, but I love the possibilities. I was at Sally Beauty Supply recently and noticed the cashier's awesome crackled nail polish.  She told me about Sally Hansen's Crackle Polish and I had to try it.  LOVE. I stood there in Target debating, silver or black? Silver or Black?  I chose silver, since I almost always wear black.  Now, I will for sure be picking up the black!
Check it out....
I polished my nails with an aqua color and then put the silver topcoat on.  In a matter of seconds it was starting to crackle. I cant stop looking at my nails they are so cool!
I did end up putting a clear top coat over this and it has really lasted.  But again, I have acrylic nails so my polish always lasts longer than an average manicure.  If you're looking for something fun and new try this out! There is nothing to it, and the color combo possibilities make it fun to experiment over and over again!
In these pictures I used "Fractured Foil".  Enjoy!

PS...I should mention that I was not asked or paid to give this review. No one at Sally Hanson knows who I am or even cares what I think. I just took it upon myself to share a great product because frankly, I felt like it. I love it when someone real tells me a product is good, I feel a lot better about spending my hard earned money then. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meal Planning Tip: Dinner Tool

Its that time again....you're home from work, you stare into the fridge thinking "oh good lord, what am I going to make for dinner tonight?" I love to cook, but I hate trying to figure out what  Im going to make, especially after a long day at work.
Then I found Dinner Tool! You can plan your whole week's worth of meals, and even plan your grocery list
Another feature I love is that you can share your own recipes.  Also, while you're staring into your fridge you see what ingredients you have....you can punch that into this site and it will bring up recipes with what you have on hand! How great is that?
I know this bad boy is going to make my life a lot easier! Yay!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pink and Purple Butterflies

Recently I made some super fun pink and purple butterfly cookies for a little girl who just looooves butterflies.  Her favorite colors are pink and purple, so what could be more perfect!
Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I had to work on these late into the evening so I had no choice but to take the photos at night.  The colors were so much more vibrant than the photos let on.
 These were so fun to do because each cookie had a slightly different look and technique.
This bottom one is my favorite of them all though.  I think may need to try some traditional monarch colors!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Product Review: Sally Hanson Salon Effects Nail Strips

Do you ever come across a product that actually lives up to expectations and you are so excited you share it with everyone you know?  Today I want to share my own personal review of Sally Hanson Salon Effects Nail Strips. Recently I tried out the cheetah print strips....
 Try to focus on the polish, not my creepy hands. By the way, its really hard to take a decent photo of your own hand without it looking weird and kind of like an alien.  Anyway, these strips are so easy to put on.  You pick the size closest to your nail and press it on.  It even comes with a little nail file to file the edges of your nails.  Now if you're kind of cheap, like myself, you could use the left over pieces of strips (and the full unused ones) and give yourself a matching pedicure!  (My feet are even scarier, so I didn't photograph those).  Seriously, my "mani and pedi" was done in about 5 minutes flat.
Now I have acrylic nails, so these babies lasted about two weeks before they started to look worn. There are two slight drawbacks to these strips.  First, they run almost $9.  That's steep for a cheap-o like me.  However, much cheaper than going to a salon.  Also, they are kind of a pain to take off.  Since I have (and do my own) acrylic nails, I use a non-acetone polish remover.  Sheesh, it took forever! But I'm guessing if you use regular remover, they will come off easier.
If you've been looking at these boxes, wondering if you should take a chance on them, I recommend you go for it.  I cant tell you how many compliments I got on these.  Zero dry time makes it pretty appealing as well.
Do you have a product you just love that really lived up to the hype?

PS...I should mention that I was not asked or paid to give this review.  No one at Sally Hanson knows who I am or even cares what I think.  I just took it upon myself to share a great product because frankly, I felt like it.  I love it when someone real tells me a product is good, I feel a lot better about spending my hard earned money then. Enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Inspired Monday: Picnic in the Woods

David and I have been together 5 years this month, so I'm finding lots of romantic inspiration. I am in love with this woodland picnic. 

I adore the hanging table.  Perhaps we need to recreate this for our anniversary! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Inspired Monday: Paint Chip Sample Coasters

I just found my next home decor project!

Brilliant right? 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Toy Story: A Third Birthday

Recently I made some Toy Story themed cupcakes and cookie pops for a 3rd birthday.  I was excited to make these because the request was specifically for Woody, Buzz, Jessie and Bullseye.  Jessie and Bullseye were characters I hadn't turned into cookies, much less cookie pops before. I was up for the challenge.  Check it out!
Jessie is of course my favorite. Which has nothing to do with the fact that we share a name (OK so its spelled differently, but still!) or that we both have red hair, or that we are both feisty....OK maybe it does have to do with all of those things! I am pleased with how these turned out, gotta love Toy Story!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I know, its a bit past rhubarb season, but I had to share this recipe anyway. Its so easy! I made this a few weeks ago for a dinner party and it turned out excellent! It was effortless to make and people loved it.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (adapted from Skinny Taste)
Serves 8
Ingredients for Filling:
1 lb Strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
1 lb Rhubarb stalks, (about 6), cut into pieces
1/4 cup Agave Nectar
1 Tbsp corn starch

1 cup Quaker Quick Oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar (don't pack it)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted

Heat oven to 375. Combine strawberries and rhubarb in an oven safe baking dish.
Add agave nectar. Sprinkle cornstarch on top. Toss until fruit is coated well. 
Mix topping ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread over the top of fruit. Bake for about 40 minutes, until top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.  Serve and enjoy!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Inspired Monday: Pink Monarch Nails

I. Am. In. Love.
Source: None via Jessy @ on Pinterest

Guess who is trying this technique out soon?! Perfect for summer!


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