Monday, October 31, 2011

Blogger Field Trip : {long distance loving}

This week we're visiting a blogger that has inspired me to be a better, more active blogger!
Alison a.k.a. {AV} over on long distance loving is creative, beautiful, and super friendly-which helps in the blogger world!
See, I told you so!
In her own words, Alison is "blogging to find ways to love from afar and to encourage those who are braving long distance". She features stories of long distance love [here, here, here, and here]. I can really respect her stance on the difficult long distance relationship. She and her now husband did it for three years! And in case you didn't know, Ryan and I did it for 3 years as well (and I'm happy to say, we made it to the other side!).

Alison is also the host to the ever fabulous Friday's Fancies, so you know she's on top of her style game! She, like me, loves clothes so she gives us all an opportunity to meet up and share our best outfit ideas...without spending a penny! She writes guest posts about friendships, fashion and why she blogs. She even comes up with awesome event ideas like Blogger Blitz! Seriously, why wouldn't you want to read her blog? Over the last few weeks I've purchased a ticket to meet up with fellow bloggers in my area, shared my handpicked outfits on her site and have even connected with some new blogging friends!

She shares travel stories and cute Instagram photos!
  Go check out her blog and participate in her link ups....I promise you'll love it!

Weekend Recap~Halloween Weekend

Happy Halloween!!
Holy cow! There have been so many great Halloween weekend recaps today! I've seen everything from a homemade S'mores costumes, crazy pimp outfits (with aquarium shoes!)--in my office, to Pope John the Perverted! It's been a whirlwind day at work already too. Waking up late on a Monday is never fun, but at least once I got to work I was greeted by lots of fun costumes :)

We spent this past weekend in Nashville. We visited with Ryan's parents and caught up with our friends. On Saturday we worked on restoring the old fan and got most of the work done on it
(more on that later!).
Our pup hanging out in the shop with us while we worked on the fan :)
It was SO nice outside on Saturday--we had to do something outside, there was no way I was wasting the day! After lots of debate on what to do, Ryan brought up the Narrows of the Harpeth. I had never been there so we decided that a drive out to the country and a mini-hike would be perfect! I did pull a huge (HUGE) dummy move on Friday...I forgot my camera at home. It was just far enough away to be too far to go and get it. I depended on my iPhone for pictures all weekend. That wasn't fun : (
The view on the drive out.
Such a pretty area!
When we got to the Narrows we decided to just leave our phones in the car and enjoy each other and the great outdoors, so I didn't take any pictures while we were there. I nabbed these two from Google images so you could at least get a feel for the amazingness that was our adventure on Saturday. The view was BEAUTIFUL and it's absolutely the best time of year to go. The trees were gorgeous and the weather was perfect. If you live in the Nashville area you need to go.
Go. Now. Before you miss the tress and the fall weather : )
Imagine Ryan and I sitting there :)
This is the view from the little seat that they are sitting on in the pic above!
The trees are even prettier now because of the great fall colors!

Saturday night we got a bunch of our friends together for dinner at the never disappointing Loveless cafe. Then we went to freeze our booties off stand in line to walk through a section of the local woods dubbed the Haunted Woods. It was only $5 for each of us and it was well worth it, as scared my pants off! Naturally the boys made me go through everything first, so I was freaked out the most. We decided not to dress up this year...none of our friends were serious about dressing up either, so we just got everyone together to hang out. Board games, yummy drinks and a fire is how we spent our Saturday night.

Sunday was spent hanging out, finishing the fan completely and just relaxing before the week started. Gotta love Sundays! : )

Total sidebar here, but can you believe that we now have 7 BILLION people on this earth? It's blowing my mind...I feel excitement and nervousness at the same time. It seems like an incredible accomplishment and an incredible threat, considering the state of some parts of the world and our resources.
Check out National Geographic special series on the world reaching 7 billion people, it's interesting.

P.s. What's your opinion on comment replies? I tend to enjoy responding via email so that I'm sure the response is received by the person who leaves the comment, but others respond strictly on the actual blog post. Is there a general consensus? Is it bad if I don't respond in the comment box as well? I might be over thinking this.....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guess What?

Guess which project we've been working on today??
Rust-Oleum Hammered Deep Green, Rust-Oleum Bright Coat Metallic
  Hope you're having a fun Halloween weekend!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday's Fancies~Halloween!

Happy Friday, lovelies! I'm linking up with {AV} over on Long Distance Loving again this week. She hosts a weekly Friday Fancies party where you link up with your favorite outfit idea (put it together yourself!) for that week's theme. This week's theme is Halloween! We were able to use our imagination and pick the most elaborate Halloween outfit, regardless of price! Naturally, as a girl on a budget and who loves to get a good deal, I really enjoy picking my outfit out without having to look at prices ; )

I decided that if I could dress up as anything or anyone, I would make sure the outfit took advantage of my limitless price range! After much deliberation and some inspiration, I chose to go the the Friday's Fancies Halloween party as Kate Middleton!
What girl wouldn't dream of dressing like her for at least a night??
Dress: Mango, Shoes: Badgley Mischka, Clutch: Alexander McQueen
Don't you love the little skull on the clutch? Perfect for Halloween!

Head over the Long Distance Loving and join us for all the fun : )

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Weekend Recap ~ Everything Fall!

I've been putting off my weekend recap post for the last few days because my favorite pictures are in my locked away iPhone files. After several attempts to gain access to those files, I finally decided to give up hope for the time being. I will us the photos that I took with my normal camera and leave the others out (boo).
BUT on a positive note, at least I have these other photos!

My aunt, Mary, came into town this past weekend and we did lots of fall things that I've been waiting to do : ) I left work early on Friday and she got into town around lunch time. First things first, we went shopping! Naturally, I'm going to take advantage of having a girl around! We mainly shopped at GAP, Forever 21 and Marshall's. I found a cute pair of flats at GAP but I really hit the jackpot at Forever 21. They had all of their clearance Buy One Get One Free...I knew that the B1G1 sale was going on, but I wasn't very excited before I got there. Let's just say that I quickly changed my mind once I saw that the items on sale weren't your typical
thrown-to-the-side, left-over-from-last-season kinda clearance--it was loads of fall sweaters, cute jackets, and a ton of cute tops. Needless to say, I spent forever (no pun intended) trying sweater after sweater on. I finally decided on 6 sweaters, a sweater dress and a long sleeve shirt. I threw in a pair of sunglasses and some earrings (regular price) and still only spent around $60. I think I'm set for sweaters this season : )

Saturday was beautiful! We went to a local harvest festival and then took Mary to the downtown square area to show her around.
Someone had a peppermint in their mouth during this picture!
One of my new sweaters ;)
There was a book rummage-sale.
I've been looking for an old fan to restore for a while now and while we were walking around the square we finally found the one for us in a little ol' shop! Most old fans that we've seen have been in the $75-$90 range, which just wasn't for us. We waited it out and found a really good deal! The fan was priced at a mere $20 (!!!) and Ryan managed to talk the guy down to just $10! I couldn't believe it! We've cleaned it up and Ryan has un-mucked the motor so it will actually work. I plan on sanding and painting it this weekend. Can't wait to see the final result!
After that we finally got to pick pumpkins out! We went to a local nursery and picked out our favorites (yes, I picked 2 so I could carve one for my pup!), along with a jug of apple cider. Yes, I love fall and I love going all out.
 While my aunt was here she made the most delicious pot of chili for us! It was so nice to have the home cooking come to us in TN : ) We carved our pumpkins and enjoyed some more homemade food cheesecake and pumpkin roll....and hot apple cider! Hahaha We were all ready for bed early that night after a long day and lots of yummy food.
Mary's, Ryan's, Mine and Tiger's pumpkins!
Late Saturday night we were invited to the TN Titans game on Sunday. Naturally, we jumped at the chance to go! Little did we know, the seats were phenomenal! We had a great view and were able to watch the terrible game up close and personal. Hahaha The team played terribly, but it was still fun to see the team play and hang out with our friends, Mike and Julie.
Thanks for having us, Mike and Julie!

They had boy and girls lines....which I learned after I already stood through
one line! Super frustrating, because I missed Luke Bryan singing the
national anthem while standing in line.
Our view from the amazing seats.
Great day for football!
They had pink breast cancer awareness posters on each seat...great job!
I know it's a little late, but I hope everyone had a great weekend!
The weekend is almost here again!

P.s. I'm linking up with Casey Wiegand for her October Follow Fest/Blog Hop. If you found me through that post, thanks for stopping by!

Go see Casey and all of the other bloggers here or click the button below!


12 by 2012 : My Project of Goals

I really put some thought into this and I've come up with my 12 by 2012 list! As I said in my previous post about the 12 by 2012, I want to participate in Danni's "project of goals" and make a list of things to accomplish before we ring in the new year. I have a mix of serious and not so serious goals...I've gotta keep it realistic, right?! : )
Here they are (no order of importance)!

1. ETSY || I want to learn as much as I can about opening an Etsy shop. I need to do more research and get more insight in order to decide if I want to go for it in 2012!
Update: I now have an Etsy shop! Visit here!!

2. BUDGET || I budget. A lot. So, that isn't the hard part. The hard part is sticking to the budget. Normally I don't stray too far but the main goal is to budget for Christmas! I usually go overboard and I don't want that to be the case this year. I want to put some time into it and make out a realistic budget and STICK TO IT.
Update #1: I made the budget and I'm well on my way to following it! I'll update after the final gift is purchased
Update #2--I followed the budget and actually came in a little under what I thought I would! : )

3. GIVE || The holiday season is the easiest time to give to others, but what about the rest of the year? My goal is to research local organizations that I can volunteer with. I want to volunteer at least once before 2012 and build a habit that will continue through 2012!
Update #1: (My team at work is planning on a group volunteer event! Yay!)
Update #2: I volunteered with the Second Harvest food bank! I organized a group trip with my coworkers. We completed it last night and there are talks of making it a monthly thing for some of us. I had an awesome time! : )

4. GET HEALTHY || I have a long way to go with this. No, I'm not unhealthy, but I'm definitely not healthy by any means. I don't exercise enough and I eat way too many sweets. My goal is to establish an exercise pattern for myself and get started on it before Jan. 1!
Update #1: Well, I didn't start exercising (unless you count fruit ninja!) and I don't have a concrete workout plan, BUT I do live closer to the fitness center and plan on going. We shall see!

5. LATE FEES || I am terrible about returning most things. Which is why I don't borrow them :) I need to head to the library so I can pay those late fees off from the summer.
Update: PAID! : )

6. READ || Yes, this does depend on #5 so I really gotta get to it! I want to read at least 5 books by Christmas!

#1 Hunger Games
#2 Jackie as Editor
#3 Two Kisses for Maddy
#4 Little Bee
#5 11/22/63
Update #1: I have 4 of these 5 books in my possession!
Update #2: I have read 2 books so far! I'm waiting to see if I get the 2nd or 3rd Hunger Games books before I start reading the 1st one (per the advice of a good friend).
Update #3: I have still only read 2 book so far, but I have started on the 3rd one (#5).

7. PICTURES || With the exception of a few, most people in my life release a loud *sigh* when my camera comes out. Well, it's time for me to get past it and take some pictures of people! I want complete one photo session with PEOPLE by 2012!
Update #1: I still haven't done this, unless you count the group shot we took on Christmas day. I'll have to keep working on this one!

8. BLOGGER MEET UP || I envy those people out there that get to meet up with their blogger friends all the time, so it's time that I take the plunge!
Update #1: I'm signed up for the Nashville Blogger Blitz on December 28th!
Update #2: I made it to the meet up and met some sweet bloggers! So excited to have done it :)

9. LOAN || I want to make one extra loan payment before Christmas as a present to myself!

10. BANKING || I need to find a new local bank (that doesn't charge me for using a debit card).
UPDATE: Regions decided to refund all banking fees and get rid of the debit card fee. No need to change now! Yay!!

11. TABLE TUTORIAL || I have all of the info needed to put my handmade dining room table tutorial together, but I have been putting it off.
Update #1: I haven't done this yet, but I'm putting it on my list of things to do in 2012!

12. OPRYLAND || Of all the time I've spent in Nashville, I've never been to Opryland hotel. I hear that it's amazing inside, especially during the holidays. I think it's about time to go :)
Update: I went this past weekend! Yayyyy! I can't wait to post some pics for you : )

Alright, with a mere 66 days to go, I've gotta get a move on!
What would you put on your list??

Check back in later to see if I can make it through them all by 2012!

Updated on 11/1/2011
Updated on 11/21/2011
Updated on 12/21/2011
Final Update on 1/1/2012

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thrifty Tuesday ~ Accessories

With all of the new fall trend spotting that’s been going on lately, I’ve lost sight of the ‘little things’!  I really enjoy using accessories when I’m getting dressed up and going out, but I don’t work very many into my everyday wear. You can usually see me wearing my favorite solitaire necklace (Christmas present from Ryan!) matched with a great pair of earrings, and occasionally a cute bracelet to go with them.

I love using belts and scarves as fall accessories, so it’s no wonder I forgot to look at new fall jewelry! I like wearing a combination of girly/romantic/rustic things and I prefer soft bracelets over hard ones most days (they tend to hurt my wrist when I type at work), but I still enjoy the occasional wrist-o-bangles. I have noticed lately that my collection is dwindling and that I need to upgrade my favorite earrings to bring in the new season. I picked out a few cute ones that I’d add to my everyday pile and a couple of other things I wouldn’t mind having in my stash for dressing up :) All items under $15 each!
Classy Beaded Bangles
Found here for $8.80
Open Work Cuff bracelet
Found here for $14.99
Mosaic bracelet
Found here for $6.80
Woven Love bracelet
Found here for $3.80
Braided Chain bracelet
Found here for $4.80
Studded Wrap around bracelet
Found here for $7.80
Colorful Daisy earrings
Found here for $3.80
Knotted Stud earrings
Found here for $3.80
Cutout Rose earrings
Found here for $3.80
Triangle Earrings
Found here for $3.80
Cutout Leaf Earrings
Found here for $2.80

Open Letter To Apple

Dear Apple,

I know you've experienced an extreme loss over the past few months (RIP Steve Jobs), but that doesn't mean you can just let the whole place go to shit crap!  All I wanted to do yesterday was update my good ol' 3GS to the new iOS5 software.  I know I don't have the brand new phone, or even the one that's 2nd to that (I planned on might upgrade next summer), but that doesn't mean I should have so many issues or feel frustrated.  Yes, of course I'm overreacting, but I still feel frustrated and upset.  After my iPhone was wiped clean so the new software could be installed, I was prompted to restore my old data (the same info I JUST backed up). Note that the old data was encrypted with a password.  WELL, when I put my password in, iTunes rejected it....over and over and over and over again.  So, today I sit here with a completely factory restored iPhone.  With an awesome new operating system that I can't even enjoy because I just LOST 500 PICTURES!** 
After much research, it seems that I'm not the only person having this issue.  It seems that there are a few reasons behind my problem: server overload, iTunes resetting the password to a 4 digit code (!!) or that it was just having a 'moment'.  There's a chance that my password might work today when I get home....I really hope it does, but even if it does I still lost sleep last night and I'm not totally here today because my mind is all over the place and stuck on the fact that I may not ever see my precious (500!!) pictures ever again.

Sheesh, what a rant.  I feel a little better now.  I hope 5:00 gets here quickly...I can't wait to try another 1114143923794  password options to see if I can crack the code.   Wish me luck!

**(I didn't lose them, so much as they're locked up forever if I can't get the password figured out, but my stomach is in knots and I'm still upset!)

Blogger Blitz Nashville

What I thought was going to be an average morning turned into something way better today! I got the surprising and exciting email from {AV} from Long Distance Loving with information for a Blogger Blitz!
I'm so pumped for this blogger meetup and I can't wait to meet the ladies around Nashville.
She's hosting events in five major cities, so be sure to check it out and sign up for the event near you!
These pics came straight from AV's website, so go over to see the rest of the event info. If you're in the Nashville area, sign up so we can meet!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Blogger Field Trip : A Blonde Ambition

Here we are, starting another week. Does anyone else feel like its still August? I can hardly believe it’s almost November…almost the end of 2012! (Speaking of that…I need to post by 12 by 2012 list…only 68 days to go!)
Today is the second installment of my Blogger Field Trip "series" :) Today we're going to visit a blogger, Leslie, that has a lot to offer her readers by way of makeup tutorials, clothing inspiration, and cute hair tips!
As a girl that didn't grow up with sisters or many cousins near my age, I really had to figure out my style on my own. I've learned how to use others as inspiration and encouragement. Leslie is great about sharing fashion photos, ideas and tips (she even does personal styling as a side job-check it out here).
Leslie is a (very) recent newlywed so she has wedding info too! Check out her blog here and get some pointers for your style!
Isn't she adorable?

Would you take your readers on a field trip? If so, where would you take them?