Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Christmas Countdown... What?!!

For those of you that don't know, I take my yearly Christmas cards very seriously.  ;)

And believe it or not, now that Christmas is less than 3 months away (what??!) it's time to start brain storming about Christmas cards (it seem early, but it's better to be on the ball than stressed at the last minute... amirite?!).  

And of course, you can't go wrong with Minted - so I've rounded up my favorite 2015 Christmas card picks.











Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats

This past weekend was my last weekend with John out of town, and I knew I had to end my final bachelorette weekend with a bang.  And the most obvious way to party it up was to watch loads of television and make the most delicious treat ever... pumpkin spice rice krispie treats!

They were ridiculously easy, and even more ridiculously tasty.
You need these in your life as soon as possible!

What you need:
- 1/4 cup of pumpkin
- 4 cups of marshmallows (but more the merrier)
- 6-8 cups of rice krispies
- 3 tbs of butter
- 1 tsp of pumpkin spice
- 1 tsp of cinnamon

How to:
1.  Using a paper towel, dry out the pumpkin puree by blotting out the moisture.
2.  After drying out the pumpkin, melt the butter on the stove, and slow add in the marshmallows.
3.  Once the marshmallows are melted, add in the pumpkin, cinnamon and pumpkin spice.
4.  Next, stir the rice krispies into the marshmallow mixture until completely combined.
5.  Finally, transfer the rice krispies into a greased pan and pack down the treats.

I ate an obscene amount of these, and my only regret was not adding more marshmallows... ;)
They are a perfectly festive twist on a deliciously classic dessert (now, here's to hoping John recognizes me when he returns...)!

Monday, September 28, 2015

DIY Fall Wreath

Hi, my name is Lisa, and I am addicted to wreaths.

I mean, really though... I don't think I could ever have too many wreaths, and although I am moving in less than a week, I really felt the need to break out my fall decor and DIY a new festive adornment.

When I made this spring ombre wreath, I really loved the way it turned out, so I wanted to do pretty much the same thing except using fall flowers.  It was easy to make and way less expensive than buying a wreath (which makes for a total win in my book!).

All you need are fake flowers, a wreath frame, a glue gun, and wire cutters.

I used a wooden flat wreath frame so that I wouldn't have to build flowers around the sides (AKA, a flat wreath frame needs less flowers).  When I made my spring ombre wreath I used a grapevine wreath as the frame which makes for a fuller wreath, but requires more flowers.

Begin by removing the flower heads from their stems.  
You may be able to pull them off, but others may require using a wire cutter.
Save some of the leaves from the stems for later on in the project!

Next, use the hot glue to fasten all of the larger flowers around the wooden frame.

Then fill in all of the empty spaces by gluing in the smaller flowers.

Finish by adding some of the leaves (from the removed flower stems) back into the wreath.

And ta da! 
With about an hour's worth of work you have yourself a beautiful fall wreath!

To keep the price of this DIY down, make sure you buy your fake flowers when they are on sale!  I bought these flowers from Michael's Craft Store and they were 60% off, and I had an additional 15% off to use on top of that.  

Make sure to check competitor coupons too (Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabrics, etc.).  JoAnn Fabrics will often have a 20% off the total purchase including sale which helps big time!

Add ribbon or a burlap bow to customize.  
Or! Incorporate mini pumpkins or gourds - sky's the limit!

This wreath will be a perfect transition from fall into Thanksgiving... so yay, for "saving" money, right?! :) :) Have you put out your fall decor yet?!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

DIY Paint Chip Calendar

Although September doesn't mean "back to school" for me anymore, there is still something about the month that makes me want to buy brand new pens and get organized!  

And a new desk planner is exactly what I needed... I will be working from home in Texas starting in a few weeks, and I am looking for a large calendar that can help keep me organized.  I couldn't find a desk calendar that wasn't all plain and ugly, so I figured I would set out on a DIY!

This paint chip calendar may require suffering through some stares at Home Depot as you gather an obnoxious amount of paint chips, but the end result is way worth it!

What you need:
- 35 paint chips
- A frame
- Background paper

How to:
Begin by attaching background paper to the back of the frame.  

Next, trim your paint chips to the desired size.
When picking paint chip, I chose 5 chips of 7 different colors.

Then, line your paint chips on the lined frame background.
Secure with double-sided sticky tape.

Reframe, and you're done!

Using a dry erase marker write on the glass front of the frame.
Erase as needed, and repeat!

I plan to hang it in my new office... it's clean, colorful, and exactly what this September called for!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Carrot Cake... For ONE!

John left for Texas last weekend, and I'm officially single-mommin' it with Scout!

As much as John and I share responsibilities around the home, the truth is, I could count on one hand the number of times that I've taken out the trash since we've been married... so needless to say, I am still getting the hang of things! ;)

Part of hanging solo also means that I am meal prepping for one (aka, if I'm not eating out, my meals consist of hummus and pretzels!).  So when I had a craving for carrot cake, I knew I had two options... bake a cake and eat the whole thing by myself - or, find a recipe for a single serving.  

And as much as I would love to eat a whole carrot cake, I knew the single serving recipe was likely the better option... the best part?  All you need is a coffee mug and microwave!

What you need:
1/4 cup of flour
1 tbs of sugar
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 tsp of baking powder
dash of salt
1 tbs of coconut oil (melted)
1 1/2 tbs of milk
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1/4 cup of grated carrots

How to:
Combine all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir in the coconut oil, milk, and vanilla.  
Finish by stirring in the carrots and pour into a lightly greased microwave-safe coffee mug.
Microwave for 90 seconds, and let fully cool.

Pop out of the coffee mug (or not!) and top with cream cheese frosting (or not!)

...and tada!
A single-serving of carrot cake!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Low Down on the White Sofa

Although John and I haven't moved into our new home yet, you better believe that I've been spending wayyy too much time looking at furniture and reading reviews.  First on our "to-purchase" list are two white (or stone, perhaps) sofas for our living room.

We want to make sure that we are purchasing sofas that will be long lasting and durable without spending a fortune (I will not get sucked into Ikea, I will not get sucked into Ikea, I will not get sucked into Ikea!!).

Here are 10 white (or stone) sofas that I will be considering!

Pier One - Nyle Sofa, $765

Pottery Barn - Buchanan Roll Arm Upholstered Sofa, $1,200 (depending on fabric selection)

Wayfair - Three Posts Caroll Sofa, $402

Birch Lane - Kerry Sofa, $880

Pier One - Carmen Sofa, $765

Wayfair - TOV Camden Sofa, $795

Pottery Barn - Cameron Roll Arm Upholstered Sofa, $1000 (depending on fabric selection)

Birch Lane - Jameson Sofa, $960

Birch Lane - Brooke Sofa, $760

Coaster Home - Norah Sofa, $590

Friday, September 11, 2015

Five on Friday: Home Inspiration

In case you didn't hear, John and I are moving to Texas! And we bought a house!
Which naturally progresses to obsessing over all things home decor on Pinterest.
If only real life could be a Pinterest board, right?!  

I have to keep reminding myself that it's all baby steps... we are going from a 1200 sqft condo to a 3500 sqft house, which means that basically every single room in the house will be empty with a closed door when we move in, ha! 

And in the mean time, I'll be dreaming over all of my future home decor... here's some of my inspiration so far!


Symmetrical Living Rooms

All Things Gray

 Wallpapered Powder Room

Wooden Chandeliers

Rawhide Rugs

Thursday, September 10, 2015

DSLR Accessories

I'm finally getting more and more comfortable with my DSLR, big-girl camera.  
I still default to my iPhone when I need a photo in a pinch, but I am getting used to the process of taking photos, uploading them to my computer, and then sharing them.  

I'm no camera expert (if you're looking for one, go chat up pretty much any other blogger... like Sara, Kayla, or Brittany!), but here are some of the accessories that have helped me through my newbie stage.

Must have camera accessories

A tripod  |  I never expected to need or use a tripod, but surprisingly enough, I have used it on several occasions - and most recently, for this post!  It also works great for night shots, but that's way beyond my pay grade...

When choosing a tripod, make sure you pick one that can support your camera and lens - the last thing you need is your camera tipping over and hitting the ground!

A remote  |  There are all types of remotes available, but I bought this one that I really like. 

Basically, you download an app on your phone, and you can see the camera's viewfinder from your phone and use the phone as the remote.  It works great - especially if you're looking to take a self portrait!

A lens cap leash  |  Truly, it only took me one week to loose my lens cap. To avoid buying a new one, invest in a leash.

A new lens  |  When I first got my camera I was super excited to take uh-mazing photos (famous last words, right?).  Unfortunately, not only did I have no clue how to use my camera, but I also didn't have the type of lens that I needed (thank you, Sara for this realization!).  If you're looking to take those super cool pictures with the blurred/fuzzy backgrounds (technical, I know), you'll want to buy a lens that has at least an f/1.8.

Before purchasing the lens, I rented it through to make sure that I liked it.

A camera book  |  This may seem silly since your camera comes with a manual, but I bought this camera book (which is specific to my camera model), and it was super helpful in figuring out how to shoot in the semi-manual and manual mode.  It's much less technical than the camera manual and has very useful pictures.

I also bought the same brand of book (From Snapshots to Great Shots) specifically about food photography - I love it!

A good memory card  |  Not all camera memory cards are made equal (and you best believe this was a very frustrating process for me to realize).  When I first got my camera, I just had to have an Eyefi card... well, save your money, because it is the worst memory card ever for so many reasons, but one of them being the picture write speed.  When using the Eyefi card, my camera was constantly freezing when taking photos and trying to view them.

Do yourself a favor and get a memory card with a good write speed for your camera.

An extra battery  |  I'm pretty terrible at remembering to charge my camera battery.  And, without fail, whenever I am looking to use the camera, the battery always seems to be running low.  With an extra battery, you'll always have a backup (just make sure to have one charged!).


What are your favorite DSLR accessories?!

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