Lush Spa, Anyone?!?!?!?

Lush Spa

Lush Spa is Coming Soon to the US!

Though I haven’t professed my love enough here, on the blog, Lush Cosmetics is one of my most favorite highlights of life!

How great is it that they’re starting The Lush Spa!!?! How gorgeous is this photo?? I, for one, cannot wait to visit the one in NYC!!

OK. Carry on with your day now!

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I Need a New House, So I decided to Make One.

I have been debating for the last, oh- 6 years or so (the entire length of time owning our home), on whether or not to make our current home our forever home or make plans to build a forever home, somewhere on our family land.

My family – grandparents, parents, sister and family, and other distant family – live on a large 100 acre piece of land that my great-grandfather used to cotton farm on, nearly 100 years ago. He leased the land for many years and then decided to purchase it at some point. Most all of the 100 acres have stayed with my family, but some of the road frontages have been sold by my father’s aunts for various reasons over the years.

It is my lifelong goal to live here forever. No matter what kind of home I live in.

We can get more into why, later on. But, living here is a bit of a challenge, due to the fact that there was only one available house on the entire acreage at the time that I moved back here after living in Raleigh NC for 6-ish years, after high school.

The house I speak of is the one I live in today. The home I spent about 14-ish years of my life in. It is a 30 year old modular home.

At the time of moving back “home”, it had been a rental house for about 10 years. (My parents built their forever home when I was 14.) It needed SO much work done but my sister and I lived there, together, doing the bare minimum work it needed, until she got married, 10 months later.

At that time, I lived there alone, until I got married, 3 months later.

My husband and I decided to purchase the home, for lack of anything better to do, home-wise. We weren’t ready to build our forever home. I despised the thought of moving even 2 miles away from “home”. So, we purchased the modular one year after we married and began doing some pretty serious remodeling.

The problem? We ONLY remodeled the things that were necessary. No frills, no cute furniture. No awesome-ness.

Well. We did get a pretty awesome chocolate brown metal roof, new pistachio green siding (it’s really pretty- don’t judge), and hardwood floors in the living room, luxury tile in the kitchen, and put a coat of paint on everything that had a surface.

It did it’s job and I was content. For about a year.

Then I started dreaming up all these gorgeous house plans in my head.

I wanted a new house.

One that I designed. One that I put together.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I wanted a new house that wasn’t a custom built home. (Whattt?) I was old enough to remember my parents and aunt and uncle going through the toughest times building their custom homes. They’re gorgeous – I mean, magazine gorgeous- but they really went through the wringer to get them there.

You have to pick out every single detail. Every last one. I am too visual to choose something in hopes that it looks good. What happens if the faucets in the bathroom clash with the light fixtures? Nothing- they’re already installed and paid for. You’re stuck.

Yikes.

I can’t handle that. SO for the past 3 years I’ve been thinking. What if we take our current home (the ranch style modular) and turn it into the home of our dreams? Build on, re-arrange, renovate EVERYTHING that has a purpose?!

Well, almost one year ago, we made the decision. We have decided to make our current home our new house. We started (like total idiots) this summer, when we found out my husband’s annual, Saturday after Thanksgiving, family pig pickin was being moved to our house – for various reasons.

Lots of out of town guests come and stay the weekend with, normally, his parents (who can accommodate 21 people comfortably)

We redid the bathrooms- new floors, new paint, new countertops, sinks, and toilets, We remodeled the living room, dining room, and kitchen ceiling. Had the walls painted in each room, (it’s an open floor plan so we had to do all three at the same time), redid the countertops in the kitchen, got a new TV, WHEW.

It was a serious job that was finished up, literally, on Thanksgiving evening, right before a few of our weekend guests starting arriving for Thanksgiving DINNER. Yes, we are crazy. I truly believe it.

Anyway. Here is the final product of the living room:

 

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This was, of course, back in the fall. I will take updated photos that have a bit better lighting next!

So anyway. Hope you’ve enjoyed this little look into the progress of remodeling a home. I have big plans. BIG plans.

Next post, I’ll share them with you!

Talk to you soon!

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HOLY PLL!!

OK. So. I know for a fact I am not the only one who watched the mid-season premier of Pretty Little Liars. In fact, half the world watched it if the ratings haven’t lied. AND 1.3 million (WOW) people tweeted about it, ranging in ages 12-34. WOW.

Well, it’s no secret. I love the crap outta that show and I’m 29 30 well I guess I am now 31 (Eeekk).

But can I just tell you how unbelievably mad I am that Haleb is no more…for now, anyway. ( I might stalk Ashley Benson on Instagram and I just might know that she spent a good week with the Ravenswood cast in New Orleans hopefully filming episodes in which her and Caleb rekindle their love!) I’ve expressed my love for them, previously. I sure hope the producers of each show know what they’re doing by ruining this most awesome relationship. I do like Ravenswood. Really, it’s a good show. I don’t, however, appreciate the fact that the two shows can’t interact more. Especially for Haleb’s sake.

I mean really, how do we go from this:

to this:

and then this???? AAHHH.

Heartbreaking, right?

GEEZE. Talk about a let down. I was hoping they wouldn’t break up but I guess they are done for now. And, I guess I understand the whole thing but, really? Come on.

ANYWAY.

There is a lot more to the show that I love than just Haleb. I swear.

Lets talk Ezra for a moment. Is he really A? I still can’t quite grasp that. For one, why? What secret does he have? Why would he be out to get the PLLs? Help me understand what I am missing here!

And then there’s the entire Radley Storyline. Before I babble on, lets just say that I am super anxious to see where this all goes. All of it. I keep thinking after every season, well, this is it. That’s the last one. But it’s proved me wrong and still going strong.

I say go for it. Blow our minds. Keep us in suspense. (just keep Haleb alive and well!)

What were your reactions to PLL Tuesday night?

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Farmhouse and Cottage Homes

I have recently found a deep love for all things cottage and farmhouse. I LOVE white, country chic-looking stuff. LOVE IT.

I can’t really say where this love came from. I am def the dark colors type. Especially in my wardrobe. I guess it must have to do with my secret love of shabby chic things. I’ve always admired those that take the shabby chic approach. I was always to scared to try even a little bit of it.

My cottage-country-farmhouse chic love also stemmed from the china pattern I chose for my wedding gifts. Mikasa French Country. How gorgeous is that? So simple, chic, and fabulous. All in one!

I have to admit. The china hasn’t ever really matched the rest of my décor. It just sat on my china hutch looking a bit out of place….Until now! My newly remodeled home was sort of but not really planned around the china!

Actually- here is a bit of my actual inspiration….

Living room inspiration: Bead board ceiling with exposed support from Pinterest.

Living room paint inspiration: Gray walls with dark brown leather furniture. Paint color that I chose was a gorgeous Sherwin Williams color called Amazing Gray!

Guest bathroom inspiration: Ombre light blue and white shower curtain from Target

Though this seems like just a peek at my inspiration, it’s quite a lot of it. The ceiling was my first choice as far as changing up my style goes. The rest just sort of fell into place, around that choice. I LOVE the bead board look and can’t wait to share it with you. I will finish up a few details around the house and then do my big reveal!

I think you’ll like it. I know I looooove it! We had my husband’s entire family over for an after Thanksgiving annual pig pickin (southern thing), right after we completed the painting, ceiling, and other various projects. Everyone loved it, it seemed, as much as I do. It was quite rewarding to seem and hear their reactions after all the work we’ve done. It made all the crazy issues we dealt with along the way worth it!

So…stay tuned for a look at my remodeled home reveal!

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Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

One of my fondest memories of my childhood is listening to Hound Dog on 8-track at my grandparent’s house with my cousins.

Though I can’t remember my first introduction to The King, I do remember a childhood full of his music, movies, and many viewings of Elvis Impersonator Shows.

My father’s only regret in life is not defying his mother’s wishes and going to see Elvis in concert in our hometown when he was a teenager.

If you’ve been inspired by Elvis’s music, you are blessed! I listen to his music to this day; his Elvis 75 album a favorite on my iPod.

What’s your best memory of The King?

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Blogging for me

For those readers that know me, they know that I’m a full-time blogger for an integrated marketing company. My official title, I guess, is content marketing copywriter.

I used to write a fairly successful fashion blog, before I became a “professional blogger”. I really enjoyed talking about my evolving hipster style, what I wore on a daily basis, and how to achieve inexpensive fashionable outfits.

However, it was impossible for me to keep that going while learning how to seriously blog for major companies. I have neglected it now for over a year. Neglected it so much so, that I can no longer even access my content.

I have created this new, different blog about life in general. I plan to blog about yes, fashion, my interesting – boring life, as well as TV shows I love and anything else along the way.

Some might wonder why I decided to start blogging again, for me, all of a sudden. I guess I’ve been thinking about it for a while. I just didn’t really have a reason to?! Today just all of a sudden I decided I needed to write a blog. We had friends over last night and she was so impressed by the way that my house was put together, my food and drinks were displayed, and how thought out the entire night was. I honestly didn’t buy anything to fix to cook, I didn’t purchase anything to make my house look cuter. I just used what I had, boring end-all as they might be, and turn them into something (not-so) fab!

Her reaction has inspired me to write this blog. I have people over all the time. It’s nothing new. But, last night showed me that I do like to put on that front, that everything is perfect and exciting. Of course, it’s not! I’m sure there are cobwebs around the ceiling (actually, there’s not. We just DIY – installed a new ceiling and crown molding!), Dust on the TV, dog hair in the corner.

The only craft I have, is making things look as though they’re perfect, when really they’re not. It is definitely an illusion. There’s nothing better than bettering a situation with a can of spray paint, dimmed lights, or a whole bunch of cute fall leaves, spread out all over the house.

I recently made myself a reading nook in the back of our living room. We have a big empty space behind our actual sitting area that usually never gets used, unless I’m storing my upright doghouse bass there (Another story, another blog post).

I just sat here in this fab little spot and wrote the first of my new blog post. It was rather relaxing. I hope you enjoy reading them!

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Antique Glazed China Hutch

As I’ve said, I am no Martha Stewart. My crafting skills definitely need some shaping. But, I have found a new skill that seems to work and the crafting department.

Antique glazing old furniture is really fun and really fab. Like I said, I’m really good at making things seem fab on the outside, when really they’re dull and boring on the inside.

I am a reduce-reuse-recycle-type girl, when it comes to home decor and craftiness. It’s really hard for me to go out and spend money on furniture and decorating my house. Don’t get me wrong, I really like to have a nice house and nice things, but I don’t have to spend a ton of money on it.

My latest and most recent project was redoing my china hutch. I wish that I had a before picture but of course, not-so fab me didn’t even think to take one. I do, however, have an after picture. In fact, I have several. I am amazed at how it turned out.

I won’t go into detail on how I achieved the look, just yet. I really want to make sure that my personal technique is something that everyone can do. I am trying out a couple of different furniture pieces, first. I plan to do before and after pictures on those!

So, Stay tuned for DIY how to use, and for now check out my (not-so) fab china hutch redo!

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Delicious (not-so) homemade chicken and dumplings

Hi everyone! Today I thought I would share with you my favorite (not-so) homemade chicken and dumpling recipe.

My grandmother makes delicious seriously homemade chicken and dumplings, but I can never get the dumplings right. The matter how hard I try, they are terrible.

So… With help from my Mother-in-law, I have finally found the secret to making perfect dumplings! The secret?

Purchase them in the frozen food aisle! Yes, you heard me. Frozen food aisle at the grocery store! But hey, don’t tell! No one will ever know.

I start off with boneless skinless chicken thighs. For some reason they are much tastier than boneless skinless chicken breast. I refuse to buy chicken on the bone (unless I’m making Bufdalo wings!!) because I hate dealing with it. I end up throwing a bullion cube in with the boiling chicken, to give it a little extra flavor. Oh and salt and pepper, of course!

Now if I was being honest, this recipe is actually chicken and pastry. Being from the South, and Western North Carolina, dumplings are more like biscuits where I’m from.

The dumplings I’m making in this recipe are very,very skinny but so delicious. I really notice that they’re not exactly like my grandmother’s.

So, first things first. Pull out your frozen chicken or fresh chicken, which ever you like. Remember, I prefer to use boneless skinless chicken thighs. I usually buy them in bulk and then Separate it into smaller bags and freeze them. Defrost chicken in the fridge, the night before in in the microwave before you boil it.

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Boil the chicken, salt and pepper to taste, and the bullion cube, for at lead 20 mins. Depending on what you boil it in. I use a cast iron Dutch oven. It gets the job done quick!

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Ok! Next… Take the chicken out of the pot and put over to the side! Now- in goes the dumplings. I use one kind only. I’ve never tried another brand and have no intentions to try another brand!

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These are the best! Trust me! Put in as many as you’d like. I use about half the box with a pound of chicken. I like a lot!

Boil them for 8-12 minutes. Make sure you stir occasionally or they’ll stick to the bottom.

When the chicken cools, shred it. You can cube it or however; I prefer shredded. It blends together better!

After about

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When the dumplings have been boiling for about 6 mins, throw in some frozen garden peas for taste and texture! (Never eat these alone, but LOVE them in this!)

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At the end of the 8-12 mins, (dumplings should be flimsy and easy to stir) put in the chicken.

Boil for two more mins. Then, take off the heat and let it sit for 20-30 mins. This is always the hard part! I wanna devour them ASAP!

Trust me though… They’re 10 times better, the longer the sit!!

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Enjoy!

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Tuesday’s Togs

Today’s OOTD is quite simple and very comfy! A perfect fall transitional outfit! I’m not quite ready to give up my shorts, and with outfits like these, I don’t have to!!

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My hipster style has been evolving for a while. I like to think of it as an eclectic mix of rocker – hipster – surfer – hippie – chic. I always throw in the chic! I’m never all out enough on any type of style to consider it the full effect. Chic is a lessened, more mellowed form of something!

What so you think about the outfit? Cute? A little much? Be honest!

Hat: h&m
Sunglasses: Dior
Blouse: Ralph Lauren
Shorts: dollhouse
Tank: Target
Shoes: Walmart Special! (But so cute and comfy!)
Crossbody fringe purse: Target

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Today Was Our Big Day…Six years ago!

wedding anniversary On this very date, six years ago, I really did marry my best friend. People always say that, right? But do they really mean it? I tend to think I do. When I say I married my best friend, I say it because we compromise on what we want to watch on TV (Unless it involves a Kardashian or a Jenner, and then- I’m on my own), We do a little dance while we brush our teeth (together, every night), we go to bed together at 10pm every night, and we even eat dinner together, 90%, each week. ( I eat dinner with my grandparents every Wed night- BUT I bring him a plate him; that counts for something, right?!)

ANYWAY. As we celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary, we have decided not to buy each other gifts. We decided, instead, to take our nephews (along with their parents) to a water park resort in Sevierville Tennessee. Yes, what are we thinking ? Well, I warned you in the beginning. We lead a dull and boring life! I sure do like my nephews, though. They’re quite handsome and fun and easy to spend time with!

Stay tuned for a look into our little anniversary trip to Tennessee. You won’t want to miss the fab time we had!

Is your husband your best friend? If so, do you think that term is thrown around lightly?

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