What I miss about the mountains | Random

This past week I took a trip to visit my family.  I am from Bryson City, NC, right in the Great Smoky Mountains.  All of the family is there, and going back for a visit makes me realize just how different it is from Charlotte, and the things I miss.  I love Charlotte and my life is here, but I am very thankful to have a home in the mountains when I want.  The first thing I notice as I get close to my sister’s house is how green it it!  Beautiful!  My sister lives on top of a mountain by the way…

See all that kudzu?  Do you know what kudzu is?  Kudzu is a ground cover and is found everywhere in the mountains.  It grows at a fast rate and has been called “the vine that ate the south.”  See how it has taken over everything you see?  Here is a close up of a pretty little kudzu bloom.

Here is the view from my sister’s porch.  This is what you see all around you, nothing but green.  No houses…

but an occasional tractor.

My favorite thing to do is sit out on the porch and enjoy a drink together.  It gets cool at night which is so nice.  I wish I could record the sounds you hear of all the insects, and critters I know are out there!

Here is a tip from a mountain girl, if you see a mason jar with clear liquid in it, chances are it will NOT be water.

If you have a bit of a cough, this will fix you right up!

I really miss these girls.

Mistie, Allison, and my sister Kelly.  Oh and little Phoebe who ran into the picture last minute.  We have so much fun together, and I love spending time with them.  They are always there for me, and I miss them everyday.  Allison has the best personality of anyone you will meet.  She is hilarious, and is just fun to be around. She has been there for me through a lot!  I enjoy every second with her.  Mistie has a heart of gold.  She is a good person, also fun, and I know if I needed anything I could call her.  She made our wedding beautiful, and will always be in my life.  Kelly is just fun too.  There is no one I am closer to, who I can tell anything, and she will be honest.  Our personalities are very similar, so Kevin and her husband Barry love when we get going….

What I miss the most, and what motivates me to make trips home more than anything are these 3 loves of my life.

Sophie, who is Jesse’s twin sister, is the diva of the 3.  She is a fashionista at age 4, and will pick out clothes, refuse to wear clothes, and give her opinion on what you wear.  She is the best snuggler and loves to curl up with me.  She is tiny and eats all the time.  She likes bugs, and nail polish.  She rolls her eyes.

Jesse is Sophie’s twin brother, and is the sweetest 4 year old.  He is compassionate and is just a good boy.  He loves to laugh, play rough, and wipe off my kisses.  He says sorry, and takes care of his twin sister.  He loves Angry Birds, and will share the iPad with his sisters.

Phoebe is Jesse and Sophie’s big sister.  (Pictured here with her dog Candy Cane).  Phoebe has always had a love for animals and nature, and will have a career having something to do with animals.  She knows everything there is to know about animals, such as “a water buffalo can’t see to good.” I love conversations with her and love that she loves her Uncle Kevin so much.  Her first words to me were, “Is Uncle Kevin coming?”  She is amazing.

So I want to try to visit again soon, it is always hard leaving those kids.  I enjoy every second there, and miss my family everyday.  I told my mom that being away does make the relationships that much sweeter, so I am thankful for that.

 

 

 

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Moss wreath | DIY

This DIY project is very easy.  I made this a few months ago after seeing it online somewhere.  I always like to have something on my door, but didn’t  have anything for the summer season.  Off to Michaels I went.  Michaels is great!  You can always get a coupon, and they have quite the variety.  I went weekly while I was planning my wedding and I know I saved a ton of money.  More on that in a later post.  Also, I never visit my nieces and nephew empty handed, but can’t spend a ton of money, so Michaels always has great things to take to them.

All you need is a hot glue gun, moss, a wreath, and whatever you want to embellish.  I bought this moss…

And if I remember, I bought six bags.  I also bought a straw wreath.  Any wreath will do, I had the Styrofoam wreath, but it was a few dollars more than the straw wreath.  You are covering it anyway so it doesn’t matter.

That’s all you need!  I already have a hot glue gun.  The moss can be messy, so I used a garbage bag as my work surface.  All you do is glue your moss on the wreath.  The moss I used was in sheets, so I just wrapped the moss, tore pieces as needed, and filled in parts.  I also had some straight pins in the drawer, so after everything was glued, I went back and pinned any parts that were sticking up.  That’s pretty much it.  And, I was talking to my sister on the phone most of the time while I was doing this.  I had some purple ribbon that I used to attach it to the door.

I had the wooden H and liked how it looked.  I did change the H out when we had an open house to a little sign that said “Please come in.”

Cost breakdown.  Moss: 6 bags at $6.00 $36.00, wreath: $5.00.  With 20% off coupons my total was $32.00.  This is much better than the one I saw on Ballard Designs for $79.00.

The moss has stayed green and in place for a few months now.  I think a square wreath would be nice, or even some letters, like my H, and cover those with moss for your mantle.  Let me know if you try it!

 

 

A few things | Wish list

Here we are again with the things I want.  I really love Wednesday, because I always want things.  On to the list.

I really want a sewing machine.  I want to learn to sew in a bad way.  I am going to attempt to teach myself, but I know I can get some assistance from my mother in law.  I found this one on Amazon, and it is a basic machine.  No need to spend hundreds of dollars on something that will probably frustrate me.  Anybody have advice on a good machine, or even tips on learning to sew?  I would appreciate it!

I found these rings on Pinterest.  I think they are so pretty and unusual.  They are a bit expensive so this may stay on the list for a while.  Do you visit Pinterest?  You can follow me on Pinterest and see all the things I have been pinning.

And finally a leather wrap watch.  I love this one, but I have seen a ton that I like.  This is also from Pinterest.  Did I mention I live Pinterest?  I definitely think I will get a wrap watch before too long.  It has been on my mind.

Those are the items for this week.  I have bought a few things this past week though…2 new Essie colors, and an Essie top coat that makes any polish matte.  I also bought a sample pack from Ulta with a foundation primer, eyeshadow primer, mascara, and lip gloss.  My sidekick Vanessa also got the same pack, and some Essie colors too.  Can’t pass up buy 2 get one free on polish!

Anything new on your list?  Have you been able to check anything off your list?  Stay tuned for more item next week!

Fall trends | Style

I have hit that point of the summer when I tell myself I will not buy anymore summer clothes.  I can get by on what I have.  This is difficult though, I find so many good deals on summer clothes, and it will stay hot for quite some time.  Hold me accountable friends, don’t let me add to the summer wardrobe.  (Unless I need something, or it is too good to pass up..deal?)  So with that thought, I wanted to talk about the fall, and the fall trends you will see.  A lot of the trends are carrying over from the summer, and even last fall so that is good.

70’s flare/wide leg pants are in.  Is it just me or does this one come in and out like crazy?  I have rocked this style at least 3 times, and I am still pretty youngish.  Remember what I said about not throwing clothes away……Chances are if you know me, you may see me in these as they are from NY and Co.

Bright pants.  This defiantly goes along with my color blocking post.  I have to go get some bright pants.  I like the blue.

Leather skirts.  Something else I don’t have.  Sorry Kevin, gotta go shopping.

 

 

 

 

 

Along with the leather skirts is the biker trend.  Do you have that leather coat with zippers?  No, me either.  But let’s all go get leather skirts and call it a day.

The tuxedo look.  Not 100% on board with this one.  I still like to look fairly girly, so I will eliminate the bow tie and stick to the vest and blazer.  But that’s just me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid calf skirts.  This is another one you can probably dig in your closet to bring back to life.

 

And the colors…blue (a bright navy or royal blue), mustard (I will take mine in shoes please), and although not colors, polka dots and stripes.  I found this outfit combining the blue and dots.

 

 

 

 

 

So there is my take on some of the fashion trends for fall.  I will add more as I see what is out there, and keep you posted on what I may buy.  Also I will tell you what is out.  Do you have a fall trend you know you will wear?  Is there one you don’t like? 

Update from last weeks Birchbox post…Vanessa Schrotenboer, JoAnne Ocasio, and Kristy Hogan will soon be getting Birchbox in the mail! They liked the idea of beauty samples and ordered!

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake | Recipes

Happy Monday!  Normally I never say that, but I love everyday during the summer!  A few weeks ago we celebrated Ryan, and Amanda’s birthdays with some good food, drinks, music, and this chocolate strawberry shortcake.  I love strawberry shortcake, but I love chocolate even more, so I wanted to combine the 2.  I looked through Food Gawker and found this recipe.  It was super easy, and I am loving chocolate biscuits.  Are you sold now that I said chocolate biscuits?  Here we go…

First cut up your strawberries and add some sugar.  Let those sit in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Now you’re gonna get your dough ready.  You are making biscuits here, so this may not be new to you.

You can see I have my butter all cut up and my flour mixture ready to go.  Dump in the butter and start mixing with your hands.  I keep my flour in the freezer so this was a cold process.  Mix until you have little pieces of butter mixed all in, it will be a coarse mixture.

Next get the chocolate ready.  Melt it with a bit of milk and butter in the microwave.  Be careful when you melt chocolate in the microwave, it can burn very easy.  I normally go 30 seconds and stir.  It will continue to melt as you stir.

Add the chocolate to the flour mix and combine.

Once combined you will roll it out.  I dust my counter with flour and roll it there.

Use a glass and cut circles in the dough.

Place on your cookie sheet and bake!

Do yourself a favor and try one of these biscuits when they come out of the oven.

Just assemble the shortcake however you want.  I just did the biscuit, strawberries and whip cream, but you can do a double stack, or cut your biscuit in half…whatever!

If your biscuits cool before you serve, pop in them in the microwave, I think it is better served warm.  Next time I think I may add a bit of Nutella on top of the biscuit.  As always, let my know if you try this!

(Recipe Courtesy Busy Mommy)

Ingredients

  • For the biscuits:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup margerine
  • 1/2 cup, plus splash of milk
  • 2 Tbls. butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • For the strawberries:
  • 2 small packages of strawberries (about 2 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup sugar, or to your liking
  • Whipped Cream
Instructions
  1. First you hull and slice a few small packages of strawberries and mash them with the sugar. (You can use a potato masher or a cup). You want to keep all of the juices. Let them macerate in the fridge for awhile before serving with the shortcakes.
  2. For the biscuits: Stir 2 cups of all purpose flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cut in 1/2 cup margerine until there are coarse crumbs (I like to use my hands). Set aside. Heat 3/4 cups chocolate chips, 2 Tbls butter, and a splash of milk together until melted. Add the melted ingredients to the dry mixture along with 1/2 cup milk.
  3. Stir dough together. Knead gently on a lightly floured surface for 10-12 strokes. The dough will be somewhat crumbly. Roll or pat to 1/2 inch thick and use a drinking cup to cut your biscuit circles.
  4. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 450 for 10-12 minutes. Serve warm topped with macerated strawberries and whipped cream.

Photoshoot| Random

You know by now I love Vanessa Schrotenboer Photography.  You should also know I love Vanessa.  We have been friends since she moved to Charlotte from Michigan with her husband Ryan.  Ryan and Vanessa have been great friends of ours, and we love getting together with them, making plans, and just enjoying a good friendship.  Vanessa has been there for me, and is so supportive of me.  She has taken our pictures quite a few times and not only took our wedding pictures, but was one of my bridesmaids.

We recently got together to celebrate Ryan and Amanda’s (another one of my girls) birthdays.  We grilled out, and Vanessa thought it would be a great time to take a few pics of me for my blog.  As always they turned out great and she knows her stuff y’all!

She makes you feel comfortable and captures the moment!  Seriously check out her blog and her work!

I have to share some of my favorites!

And we had to get my handsome hubby in a few…I love him.

Oh, and look who didn’t want to be left out…

Ryan and Vanessa’s pup Leo, he was tired from running around like CRAZY!

Thanks again for the wonderful pictures V, you make me feel pretty, but as Audrey Hepburn once said, “happy girls are the prettiest”.  We certainly do laugh a lot! Thanks for that!

Check out my About Me and my Can’t live without pages, as I added a few more pictures there as well!

Tray re-do| DIY

This may be one of my favorite DIY’s.  While hanging out at Vanessa’s after a pool day I spotted her wooden tray and suggested we fabric the bottom of it.  The tray was in perfect condition, but I had  gotten some fabulous fabric from Etsy, and thought it would look good.  A few weeks later I bring my bag of supplies and with the help of Vanessa we got to it!  Here are the supplies we used.

You can see the tray, fabric, measuring tape, scissors, no sew hem glue, spray adhesive, and you can’t see it, a piece of Plexiglas  to place on top once we were done.

  • First measure the bottom of the tray, (where the fabric will go).  The inside of her tray was 19 1/2, so we went a bit smaller to make sure we would have a good fit, 19 3/8.
  • We got the Plexiglas from Lowes.  They were able to use what they had from their scrap pieces so we got this for $1.00!  We were pumped!!
  • Since we had the exact measurement we wanted from the Plexiglas, we just used that to cut our fabric.  However you want to create a hem on all 4 sides so you want to cut your square a bit bigger than your measurements.   (Once you get your fabric cut, iron it so it is wrinkle free).

  • Now, go back and with a pen, trace around the Plexiglas, so you know where to make the hem.

  • We folded the hem and ironed it to create a seam.  I folded it back first so I could see my pen mark, and ironed a seam.

  • Then I folded it under to create the seam I really wanted.  This was easy because I had the ironed seam as my guide.

  • I can’t sew, (yet), so I love the no sew glue for projects like this.  Just lift up your hem and glue.

  • This is the trickiest part of the project.  I was glad to have Vanessa’s hands to help.  You’re gonna glue now.  You can spray the tray or the fabric with your spray adhesive, I sprayed the fabric because I didn’t want to get glue on the sides of the tray.

  • You want to work quickly, but just know you can lift up the fabric and replace it if you don’t get it quite right.  We had to do this a few times.  We worked from the middle and smoothed out wrinkles with our hands.
  • Now put in your Plexiglas…

And you’re done!  Look how great this turned out!!

I love it, and may fabric one for me now.  You know you can get trays anywhere, and it doesn’t matter if it is scratched or dinged, you can fabric it!

Here is the cost breakdown… tray: V already had it,  fabric: I’ve had for a while, but I think it was $12.00.  Plexiglas: $1.00, spray adhesive and no sew glue: already had on hand.  Total= $13.00

And here is one more look!

Okay one more I promise…

Do you have a tray you want to fabric now?  Are you gonna be on the lookout for a tray?