Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Figure Out My Pinterest Personality

While going through my inbox, I came across an email from Pinterest listing the most popular pins from the past year. While the most cute critter picture was nice to look at, I found the boards from other country's the most interesting.

pocket doors


Beautiful living room.


Favorites from Finland

 Abstract geometric poster design


What I found interesting is that each country's board had it's own distinct flavor, style and personality. I bet an anthropologist could derive a great deal of information about the citizens of a country just based on what they like to pin.
It made me think about my own boards and what I decided to include. I love taking personality tests and while there is not a Pinterest Personality Quiz on par with the Myers Briggs yet, I still think you could learn a lot about me by looking at my boards. For example, pretending that I am an impartial observer, when looking at what I pinned I see someone who likes home décor with splashes of colors but leans towards blue in particular, who loves to look at organized paperwork, and admires other peoples DIYs...then again I might be a little bias. 
Check me out on Pinterest here (or from the link in my sidebar) and let me know what you think. And feel free to leave a link to your Pinterest Page in the comments below. We could learn a lot about each other! 


Monday, December 30, 2013

Try Out the Jolly Vox Box

A few weeks ago I was selected to receive a Jolly Vox Box from Influenster.  It was fun once it came in the mail to open it up and see what was inside. I then took on the challenge of trying out each item.
First out of the box was of course the Skinny Cow Divine Filled Chocolates. Any kind of treat does not last long in this house, and these were no exception. With a great creamy taste and at just 130 calories per pouch, myself and the other taste testers in the family happily eat them all up.

Next out of the box was the Puffs Plus Lotion Tissues. I had a really
bad cold last week, and was glad that these tissues were now around. They were nicely packaged in a small container that I could easily carry with me, and  did not leave my nose red after I used them like other things I have used in the past.

I was actually really excited to see two makeup items in my box. I needed some new additions to my makeup routine. I've used a great eye shadow for a year or so. I still really like it, but I think the familiarity was making it boring to put on every morning. This eye shadow palate from New York Color was just what I needed to give my everyday make up routine a little jump start. The Long Beach Sands Trio Eye Shadow were great colors, and looked good on. The other make up item in the box was from Rimmel London. It was called Show Off Lip Lacquer in Stargazer. I really liked the applicator and the texture of this item, but the color was just not me...a little too pale for my liking.
Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer, StargazerNYC HD Color Trio Eye Shadow, Long Beach Sands 
Last was the Duck Tape with a paint splatter pattern. My first impression was while I liked the size (it's from their Ducklings Mini Rolls line) and it looked like a sturdy tape, I didn't exactly swoon over the pattern. Frankly, I didn't know what to do with it.
Then late on Christmas Eve, I was quickly making a card to put a gift certificate inside. It needed a little something more so it don't look like I just threw it together at the last minute...which was true, but the recipient didn't need to know that. I quickly grabbed this tape out of the box, and used it to frame the picture on the card. It looked great, and quickly became my most favorite thing I received. Funny how that happens.
All reviews are written by me personally and reflect my personal opinion. I do accept free products for review, but I do not guarantee a favorable review of the product unless I truly enjoyed it.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have a Dorothy Draper Christmas


There are designers both past and present that I would love to emulate their style.  Sure you could imagine what pillows they might pick out, or how they might angle a chair...But what a unique twist it would be to imagine how a designer, using their signature style, would decorate for the Christmas holiday.

Dorothy Draper is one of my favorite decorators of all times (learn more here). So I was thrilled when I came across this post on one of my favorite blogs the Glam Pad. The Draper style is reimagined for a festive holiday décor. I think it is spot on.


Be sure to check out more at the Glam Pad here.

I think some black and white stripes and wallpaper wrapped presents would be a great improvement for next year's Christmas decorating.

What designer style would you like to reimagine for Christmas?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Party With Your Favorite Things


I have to tell you all about this party I just went to! It was such a great idea and a wonderful alternative to those White Elephants I keep being invited to.

The theme was My Favorite Things!

Each person was asked to bring three copies of their favorite thing...that was under $6. This was definitely a challenge. I mean what can you get for six bucks now a days that is also something you really like? But it did lead to some creative thinking...and some great gifts.

When we arrived at the party, we were directed to a table to place our contributions. A sign requested you to write your name on three pieces of paper and place them in a jar.

Then the gift exchange began!

Each person took a turn standing in front of the group and explained why that item was their favorite thing. They ranged from nail polish, drug store eye shadow, paperback cookbooks, candles, and deserts to lip balm that the person has used since she read in a magazine interview that the star of "My So Called Life" Claire Danes said she wore it. The person then drew three names out of the jar and gave their favorite things to those people.

I received...

And a box of chocolate peppermint cookies. No picture available since my family devoured them as soon as I got home.

And my favorite thing, that I brought to share, was a DVD of...

The gifts I received were such an improvement over the thing I got at the last White Elephant party I attended...

What would you bring to a "Favorite Things" party? Have you gotten an interesting gift at a White Elephant party?

Linking up with Serenity Now, Jennifer Rizzo, Remodelaholic

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shake up a Snow Globe


This snow globe has decorated our bookshelf for many Decembers. It is one of my favorite things to display at Christmas time. When we lived in the deep south for several years (and the weather never got below 50) this was the only snow I saw!

There is something about snow globes that attracts people, and not only for Christmas decorations

Pretty Christmas globes.

You'll find them as a give away at sports games with the team logo inside or with a Halloween theme, complete with little black bats floating around. I was once gifted one with my picture in it.

They have been central characters in movies from "Citizen Kane" to the more recent "Coraline".


Fun Fact: Snow Globes were one of the most confiscated item at the O'Hare airport over Thanksgiving weekend. Apparently all of those souvenirs with the Chicago skyline and the dolphins from the Shedd Aquarium were over the liquid limit to take on a plane in a carry on.

No one knows for sure where snow globes originated. The first documented one was shown at the 1889 Paris Exhibition, complete with Eiffel Tower. In Vienna, there is a museum showcasing the work of Edwin Perzy who in 1900 tried to find a way to project light with a globe of water and rice powder. When that didn't work, he instead turned his invention into a business that sold schneekugeln, literally ”snow balls” .

You name it, they will put it in a snow globe for you.
Pastry snow globes.
Teen-weeny snow globes.

Do you have a favorite snow globe?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Read a Good Book: December Twitterature Link Up

twitterature monthly reading linkup short reviews
It's time for the Twitterature link up.

Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy invites others to share what they have recently read and to give a short Twitter type review.

Here are my reads for the month....

 The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

A novel about a women who accompanies/chaperones the future silent film star Louise Brooks to her first big audition in New York City. But the proper Cora hides a secret. Interesting historical settings.

The Shipping News by Annie Proulx

A prestigiously awarded book that tells the tale of a man, who after suffering the lose of his wife and generally miserable life, retreats with his two daughters back to his ancestral home. He meets plenty of complicated yet zany characters along the way.

I also wanted to share the Christmas stories that I often reread this time of year. All are short  (perfect for this busy season) and filled with holiday cheer.

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

The Christmas Box trilogy by Richard Paul Evans

The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tidy the Wrapping Paper

Yesterday, I finished wrapping up all my gifts and sent them off to out of town family. It was nice to have that tasked checked off my list.

But I was left with a pile of unorganized wrapping paper.

I knew if I put them back into the depths of my closet, that when I pulled them out next year, I would have a wrinkled paper mess.

So a grabbed a few toilet paper rolls (I always save them to use for the kids craft projects.)

I spent about 1 min quickly sketching festive designs with a black marker so...well...they wouldn't look like toilet paper rolls.

I slipped the rolls over the wrapping paper.

Instantly tidy and neat!

Linking up with Hi Sugarplum, Michaela Noelle Designs, Remodelaholic

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Decorate with Napkins

I gave a little peak at this project in yesterday's post about my Christmas décor. Here is the promised tutorial.

It is funny how you go into a store with one thing in mind, and come out with something even better.

I originally wanted a plaid runner for my dinning room table, but when I went to Home Goods I couldn't find one that I liked. I didn't have time to go to another store, so I picked up some napkins that had the pattern I had in mind, and thought I would just figure out how to incorporate them into my Christmas décor once I got home.

I played around with them for a while. For a second I thought I would use them as placemats, but that didn't fully work. Then I got the idea to branch out from the table, and decorate the chairs instead.

First I folded the napkins like this.

Then I draped them over the back of the chair.

I gathered the sides together and tied them together with black embroidery thread.

It still needed something, so I dived back into the box of ornaments I bought at Ikea.

The gift box ornaments were the perfect addition. 
I am so happy with the finished look. It makes me actually glad that my original plan didn't work out!
Does that ever happen to you?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Decorate with a Christmas Wreath...Horizontal

I really hate to mix holidays. But with Thanksgiving later than usual, I was really itching to get my Christmas decorations up. So I found myself a few days before Thanksgiving with a temporarily empty house (my husband and kids had already started the journey to visit family, while I was going to catch up the next day after I finished up at work.), and the need to get at least some kind of Christmas décor up in my house. After all, no one else would see it until after Thanksgiving was over, and I thought it would be a nice surprise to put us in the holiday mood once we returned.

After inspiration from this tutorial, I was ready.

I stumbled upon these great ornaments at Ikea. I mainly bought the box for the red and white striped ornaments, and figured I would incorporate the rest in some way later. I also picked up a string of red beads while I was there.

Then it was off to Michael's to pick up two wreaths. 

I also made a trip to Home Goods hoping to find a plaid runner for the dining room table. I wanted something that was more red and black instead of what was at the store, red and green plaid. I ended up finding napkins that matched the colors I wanted, but wasn't exactly sure yet how I would use them in my décor.

So I brought home all of my loot, and got to work.

First, I started with the centerpiece of the design, the wreaths. I flipped over one of the wreaths and tied a length of the string of red beads to the frame. I then tied the other end to the opposite side of the wreath. This was repeated with another length of string, on the opposite side of the wreath, so the when finished the "four corners" of the wreath were tied with the string of red beads.

I then placed the second wreath on top. It needed a little fluffing of the branches on the wreath to lay together. After a little bit of work it still was not looking right, so I grabbed some ribbon that happened to be nearby, and tied the two wreaths together in a few places. If your wreaths behave themselves, you might not have to do this.

Next up was hanging the wreath...horizontal. I luckily was able to just loop the two length of the string of red beads over the top of the light fixture. But a removable hook like the kind sold by 3M could also be used.

I added the red and white ornaments, and the green and red ones also in the package, to the wreaths.


After some experimenting, I decided to decorate the chairs with the napkins and add the gift box ornaments. (I will have a tutorial on that tomorrow, so be sure to check back.)

And last Sunday, when we got back from our long journey home, my kids were really excited to see the house in a festive mood already.


Overall, I thought this was a great improvement to our holiday décor. Now on to finish the rest of the house.

Also, for more Christmas décor ideas check out Jennifer Rizzo's blog here.

Jennifer Rizzo's holiday housewalk link party. Link up your home for a chance to be in next years house walk.

Linking Up with Not Just a Housewife, Savvy Southern Style, Hi Sugarplum, Michaela Noelle Designs, Remodelaholic, Evolution of Style

Monday, December 2, 2013

Have a Blue and White Christmas


I love the idea of decorating in blue and white. It captures the wintery look of the season. It is also a chance to be creative with ornaments.
 I mean you could do this...
 my blue and white tree
But putting ornaments on a tree is so...normal.

Since you are already stepping out of the box by using a non traditional color scheme, highlight the beautiful blue and white ornaments in unique ways.

Gather them together as a garland and decorate the mantel.

merry and bright mantel centsational girl
 Or hang ornaments from the ceiling.
blue and white ornaments on a branch decorating a kitchen
Pale blue and white snowflake theme, hang ornaments on ribbons from the chandelier.  - Christmas Dining Room Decorating Ideas, Decor for a Holiday Dinner Party
Displaying the ornaments in pretty containers is always an option.
a blue and white christmas by regina

Of course you could still do a tree...with a twist.
More Tabletop Trees
Blue and white could be a wonderful improvement to your Christmas décor.
For more decorating ideas, head on over to the Pink Pagoda Blue and White Bash by clicking here.

And be sure to check out my Blue and White Pinterest Board here and my Christmas Decorating Board here.

Also linking up with Serenity Now, Inspired by Charm