Wednesday, October 1, 2014


We all have those days when we just don't feel brave and beautiful. We don't feel like getting out of bed, showering, doing our hair, and putting ourselves together.  There are days when I think, "Heck I work from home and don't need to go any where today, why should I bother!" However, those are the days when I feel less energized and less motivated. So, why bother? Because it makes me feel good inside. It doesn't matter if no one else knows that I'm having a great hair day or can see the awesome new color I painted my nails, I can see it. I'm doing this for my soul, because if I can't make myself happy, no one else ever will. When you start your day off right and have a happy heart you can accomplish and conquer anything. 

Today I am putting myself out there thanks to blogger Megan at Brassy Apple and 101+ other bloggers who shared their #IAmBraveandBeautiful story. Megan was inspired by Colbie Caillat's new song and video Try....

Colbie and the women in her video take their makeup off, let their hair down and show us who they are beyond what everyone sees every day. 

These women are being Brave and Beautiful and that's what Megan, and her friend Cobi of Peace from 6 Pieces want every woman to feel, makeup or not. So together with a few other bloggers and with the help of Robbins Creative they created this beautiful and inspiring video to keep Colbie's message and movement going....

A lyric and powerful message from Colbie Caillat's Try:

 "Take your make-up off. Let your hair down. Take a breath. Look into the mirror, at yourself. Don't you like you? Cause I like you..."

I didn't always like myself, because others didn't like me. 

I was never trendy and wore clothes that no other kid or teen would be caught wearing to school. I was taller than everyone in my class, and even a few of my teachers. My deep voice makes me sound like a man, and more often than not I was overweight. These are the insecurities I carry with me because other kids and teens didn't like these things about me. 

It wasn't until I met my husband that I finally started to believe someone could love me for me. I actually thought I would end up a scary cat lady! Yes, I knew my parents loved me, but the hurt and pain was already there and will always be there. However, I have come to learn that it's not about how someone else feels about me and whether or not someone else likes me, it's about who I see when I look in the mirror. 

Do I like me?

My wedding day was probably one of the few days where I actually wore makeup on my entire face. But it wasn't about the makeup, it was about me loving myself makeup or not. It was also about the man I met who loved everything about me and wanted me to love everything about me too. 

Give yourself the power to be brave and beautiful, don't give that power to someone else. Stand up for yourself and be kind to others. This movement is not only about how we see ourselves, but how we see others as well. There are too many young girls and women out there who hate on each other and bully because they have their own insecurities. But it's time to let it go, it's time to inspire one another and reach out to the women who don't feel brave and beautiful. 

Join the movement and help us inspire the world...

#IAmBraveandBeautiful makeup or not. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DIY Pumpkin Craft Night

Can you believe it will be October 1st tomorrow?! It may say September 30th on the calendar, but outside it feels like Summer again. Just when I was all set to wear jeans and a hoodie every day, the temp goes up to 77 degrees and I need to pull the shorts back out! 

Well, at least the leaves are still changing, because honestly that is my favorite thing about fall, well that and all things pumpkin! I don't have any amazing photos of this year's foliage just yet, so for now you'll have to enjoy these throwbacks from 2012! 

These were taken at a nearby lake that we love to visit and fish at. There is a beautiful walking/bike path that I have plans to visit in a few weeks. I'm just waiting for more coverage of the colors, right now they are pretty scattered. 

This year I'm excited to do more fall crafts, have you seen the DIY fall mason jars I painted? They turned out exactly the way I pictured, and that's pretty epic for me! Since I've been getting into a lot of crafts on my own (with the help of my handy guy), I thought it would be fun to put together a fall DIY pumpkin craft night with my local women's group. 

I explained that it will be no carve pumpkin craft night and sent them a few inspiration photos. Plus I have since found a few more fun ideas to try...


I first shared these fun tribal pumpkins from Bliss at Home in my Fall Favorites round up post. I love the simplicity of this idea and the way it still makes a statement about your style and the current trends. Are you a tribal girl?

I can't decide whether it's the fun glittered stems or the pop of the color that I love more on these painted pumpkins from Aunt Peaches blog!  I just hope the ladies like glitter as much as I do!

I'm really looking forward to testing out this ombre look from Funkytime blog, now to decide on the colors!

I'm still a sucker for a pretty chevron print. I know some are over this trend, but to each their own, right? Plus, this print looks pretty cool on these I wrong?! 

Whether it's newspaper, scrapbook paper, or stickers, you can use mod podge to help decorate your pumpkins with creative designs like the ones seen here. I love both of these ideas; while the top idea is more for Halloween, the botanical white pumpkins can dress up your home all season long! 

Our DIY pumpkin craft night is set for Tuesday Oct. 14, so you'll have to stop by on Oct. 15 to see how everyone did! Which pumpkin design is your favorite? 

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Our Love Story: It Started with HELLO!

This post is sponsored by Lindt but all opinions of their delicious chocolate are my own!

I often talk about my husband and how he helps me with my DIY projects, mentioned things we enjoy doing together, places we visited, and have blogged about our wedding and anniversaries, but I have never really shared our love story before. 

Back in 2005 I started a new job as a data entry clerk and met the man I was going to marry. It's crazy to think that next year we'll be celebrating ten years together and five years married, how time flies when you're in love!

This adorable interactive web-series from Lindt Hello titled, "It Started with Hello", featuring office mates Eva and Jude reminds me of how Mike and I met at work and makes me wonder how things would have turned out if he didn't say hello. But it also makes me think back to that moment when he did and what it was about him that made me say hello back! Can your life really change with one hello?

I bet it can change with one hello when you have Lindt Hello chocolate!

 There are so many ways to break the ice when you want to spark up a conversation, whether it's a romantic one, the beginning of a friendship, or when you're new in an office. You could pay them a compliment, find out if you share common interests, get flirty, or hand them a fun new Lindt Hello chocolate bar that will do all the work for you with it's creative and catchy "Hello MY Name Is..." packaging.

How cute are these candy bars?! They actually say "Hello" and "Nice to Sweet You" on the chocolate bar pieces. If these were out when Mike first said hello to me, I would have adored him even more! Actually, come to think of it he did win me over with food! I worked second shift and right around dinner time he returned to the office from his deliveries and ordered us a pizza....swoon! He said it was for everyone in the office, but I know he really did it so he could stay longer and we could have dinner "together".

 As you can see I was very excited to try these out and purchased one of each flavor, which were inspired by classic desserts. If you love cheesecake then you are going to fall in love with the Strawberry Cheesecake chocolate bar, it's so smooth and creamy! The other flavors are Caramel Brownie, Crunchy Nougat, and Cookies & Cream, and are just as amazing as the Strawberry Cheesecake!

What I love about the Lindt Hello besides the taste and fun packaging, is the range of sizes they come in. You aren't stuck with just trying to sneak a big candy bar on your co-worker's desk when you're trying to be flirty. You can grab an assorted mini-stick bag instead and drop a little hint of hello on their desk when they step out of the office! But if you really want to be someone's best friend, I'd go with giving them a six piece Lindt Hello chocolate stick, which is a great way of indulging in chocolate without going overboard....and is best friend approved!

Is there someone in your office or already in your life who you would love to share a Lindt Hello chocolate bar, stick, or mini stick bag with? If so, then stop by the Lindt Hello website for your chance to win one of five prizes...

To enter the sweepstakes, visit the Lindt HELLO Sweet Connections Sweepstakes Landing Page and enter your email address. Entries can be made daily for additional chances to win the below prizes.

5 Weeks of Prizes – Connect with Someone You Love, or Someone New!

Week 1: Table for Two (9/10 – 9/16)
• Dinner & a movie with the +1 of your choice!

Week 2: Double the Fun (9/17 – 9/39)
• Say HELLO to a fun double date night + Lindt HELLO chocolate for dessert

Week 3: Girls Just Want to Have Fun (9/24 – 9/30)
• Enjoy a shopping spree with the girls + yummy Lindt HELLO Chocolate!

Week 4: Sweet Staycation (10/1 – 10/7)
• Lindt HELLO treats you to a pampered night in – movies, books + chocolate!

Week 5: Besties Reunion (10/8 – 10/14)
• Reconnect with your bestie at the spa for a day + Lindt HELLO chocolate to sweeten the deal.

* No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 years or older (19 in AL or NE and 21 in MS).  Void where prohibited. See Rules at  for weekly sweepstakes entry periods, prize descriptions, odds and other details. Ends Noon on 10/14/14. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Lindt & Spr√ľngli (USA) Inc., One Fine Chocolate Place, Stratham, NH  03885.

More on our love story to come next time, as they say, to be continued....

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DIY Fall Mason Jar Decor

Happy first day of fall...y'all! The weather is breezy, the leaves are golden, and I'm rockin' my favorite hoodie, which means it's the perfect day to share my fall mason jar decor with you! 

If you don't have the Rhonna Designs photo app, you need to get it. After seeing an inspiring fall photo from Just a Girl on Instagram, I used the photo app to transform my own fall leaf photo into a masterpiece. Every time I look at it I have images of Thanksgiving dinner, colorful fall walking paths, Steelers football games, and tons of pumpkin recipe goodness dancing in my head! 

Fall is my favorite season to decorate for, I love the way the warm tones make our home feel so cozy and inviting. This year I created DIY fall mason jar decor that matches perfectly with the other items I already had stored in my closet from last year. I really enjoyed making these and may even put together a DIY mason jar craft night for my women's group for the holidays...what do you think ladies?! 

Last week I posted the DIY spray painted mason jars I made for my sisters and gave a little hint of how crazy I went with the gold! But, I'm not sure you were ready for how much gold you were going to see! 

My little craft crate was painted yellow a few weeks ago, but after I sprayed my mason jars gold I just couldn't stop and wanted more of this bold metallic color. Plus, the yellow didn't match my mason jars! My husband was getting a little worried and asked, "Are you going to spray everything in the house gold?!" Well, is there anything else that needs a makeover?! 

This adorable basket didn't need any gold, but the little mason jar did! When you're a Steelers fan and have black and gold spray paint handy, this is a must.

The mixture of colors I spray painted the jars looks great with my fall decor and with the zinnias that are still blooming in my garden. Now to create a set that matches my Christmas decor!

I can't believe all of my mason jars are now painted, it was just a few months ago that I posted craft ideas for them! I guess I'll have to restock, who wants to take a trip to the craft store?!

Have you started decorating for fall yet? I can't wait to pick up a few pumpkins to decorate, have you seen this DIY ombre pumpkin from Funkytime....

Thinking this is what we'll make for our little craft ladies' night in instead of the mason jars, hmm decisions, decisions?!

Thanks for stopping by today, have a great #firstdayoffall! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

DIY Spray Painted Mason Jars

If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen a little preview of the DIY spray painted mason jars I made for my sisters a few weeks ago. Well, after I made theirs (pictured below) I may have gone a little crazy with the spray paint and painted every jar in our house!

My younger sister was celebrating her 25th birthday and my older sister had been going through a lot of personal stuff, so I wanted to do something special for both of them. But first I needed to make sure I had their favorite colors right. My older sister is a Dallas Cowboys fan (boo!) and loves wearing anything that has their symbol on it, which means wearing a lot of blue. However, she also likes to wear pink on occasion. Since I had planned on spray painting the mason jars one solid color, I decided to send my younger sister a text to see if she knew which color Jenn (older sister) preferred more.

I already had the Krylon® fluorescent pink spray paint in my hand thinking Jenn liked hot pink more than I just had this idea in my head that a pink jar would be so much prettier! Christina (younger sister) wrote back and said blue. UGH, but I really wanted the mason jar to be pink...decisions, decisions!

Well, as you can see I couldn't decide! Actually, the white I already had on hand and the metallic gold wasn't purchased until the next shopping trip!

 I figured it would be better to test out both colors on Jenn's mason jar and go from there. I set up a few cardboard boxes on my husband's workbench to create a little cubby so I wouldn't get pink and blue spray paint on everything and got to work. 

 After cleaning the jar I spray painted each side with either the pink or blue (forgot to take a photo of that step) to see which color I liked best. That's when the light bulb went on in my head and I got the idea to paint the jar with both colors in a fading ombre effect. Genius idea, right?! I know it's been done a million times before, but I have yet to see an ombre effect done in the spray paint colors I was using.

I quickly cleaned off the pink and blue paint and started over again, which is what you see in the photo above! 

I let the blue dry for an hour or so then sprayed the top with the fluorescent pink. While that dried I started on the red and black mason jar for Christina. There was no need to double check on her favorite colors, red and black are pretty much the only two colors she wears and decorates with! 

Wondering about the little mason jar?! Well that was a gift I kept for myself! I experimented on that little jar over and over again until I settled on the pink and black...that was before I grabbed the metallic gold on my next trip to the store! But those DIY spray painted mason jars are for the next post! 

I'm just so impressed with how beautiful they turned out, I'm pretty sure this is my favorite DIY project of all time! 

Note: Each jar has two coats of both colors of spray paint on them. 

I cut zinnias from my garden to fill the mason jars with, but I wasn't happy with how empty they still looked. So, I picked up a supermarket bouquet and divided it up between the jars to fill in the empty spots. 

I also made a pillow for Christina using two skull bandanas and pillow stuffing. As you can see she loved her gifts...and really loves the color red! 

After the gift giving we headed to Six Flags for a fun sisters' day out and bumped into Marvin the Martin and Daffy Duck while there! 

I can't wait to show you the other DIY spray painted mason jars I made, I may have gone a little wild with the gold...oops! 

Thanks for stopping by today, have a great day! 

Linking Up At:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Star Struck Stones Etsy Shop

Happy Monday! How was everyone's weekend? Mine was pretty relaxing, we took a little visit to my in-laws' house on Saturday and had a nice barbecue dinner last night. It was so good, probably the best pork chops I've ever had. I took a quick iPhone snapshot of them before they disappeared, so there may be a recipe post in the future for you!

 Alright, enough about food...I bet you all can't wait to find out who the winner of the Star Struck Stones giveaway is. But, first have you seen the new items in Michelle's Etsy shop? 

Find these items here, here, and here!

I am crushing on the black and turquoise bracelet with the leaf charm, the color combination is so striking. The black beads are lava rock and are said to promote courage and strength. I could use a little of that right now. Last week I finally started back on my workout routine and need a little strength and courage to go on with week two of Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30 DVD...she is kicking my butt! 

 Oops, there I go running on about something other than the giveaway winner! Shall we get back to the real reason everyone has stopped by the blog today! Drum roll please.....and the name of the winner is....

A big congrats to our winner Erika, a big thank you to everyone who entered, and a VERY BIG THANK YOU to Michelle. I really can't thank her enough for the gorgeous bracelet she sent me for the review and the one she is sharing for the giveaway, she's so sweet.

Don't forget to stop by Michelle's shop Star Struck Stones for a 10% off discount until October 1st with the coupon code WorldAroundHer.

Now go and have an excellent day! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Have Flaws, Please Forgive Me...

I was going to put together my mason jar post for today, but things don't always go as planned around here. Right now, it's 2 am and I have other things on my mind that I needed to write about. You see I'm 31 and I feel like I'm still a work in progress. I'm still learning and growing, making mistakes and bad decisions, what can I saw...I'm flawed. 

I will never be flawless, I'm no Beyonce...

I'm just trying to accept my flaws when others look down on them...

I'm from Philly and I shout when I talk. 
I take everything personally and hate when someone doesn't like me. 
I lack self confidence and don't give myself enough credit.
I get emotional.
I say the wrong things before thinking twice about them. 
I talk too much and give unwanted details.
I make mistakes and sometimes make the same ones over and over again. 
I bite my nails and trip over my feet. 
I watch too much TV.
I procrastinate and have a million other things on my mind instead of the one thing I should be doing at the moment. 
But that's just who I am.

I have flaws, please forgive me.
Take the good with the bad. 
Take all of me and love me just the way I am. 

I will learn from my mistakes (eventually) and grow as a person, but these flaws will always be mine. 
Just as I will always stand 6 feet tall, I will always say things with a Philly accent (punkin instead of pumpkin, ice-ning instead of icing, wooder instead of water), so don't try to correct me! 
I have flaws and don't expect you to embrace them, just don't use them against me. Don't hate me because of them. 
I have flaws, please forgive me. 

PS, linked up over at TwoThirty-Five Designs

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Favorites: Food, Decor, and More!

Yesterday over on East Coast Creative, where I'm the blog assistant, Monica posted an amazing collection of modern and unique fall decor ideas. So, I thought I should probably finish up my fall post that I started to put together 2 weeks ago!
 I've seen so many amazing fall decor and recipe pins trending lately and wanted to make a list of my fall favorites to share with you. Have you started to pin ideas for fall yet?! 

East Coast Creative {Chicken Chili}, Tatertots and Jello {Fall Front Porch}, Bliss At Home {Tribal Pumpkins}, Whipperberry {Candy Corn Wreath}, This Girl's Life {Pumpkin Spiced Latte}, The 36th Avenue {DIY Pumpkin Jars}

1. Crockpot Chicken Chili...
I've been waiting for cooler weather to start the crock pot and make one of my favorite chicken recipes that I shared with you guys last year when I found it on East Coast Creative. It's so easy to make, and taste so good that you'll want to dive in for seconds and maybe even thirds! Stop by the EC2 blog for the complete recipe details. 

2. Fall Front Porch...
It doesn't take much to make a small space look festive for the holidays, you don't want to over do it but you don't want to skimp on the details either. These simple tips from Jen of Tatertots and Jello on how to create a beautiful fall front porch show you how to create just the right amount of character and charm by using more than just fall decor. My favorite ideas that help pull the look together for any season are the rug and seating area. Throw in some pumpkins and a festive wreath and you are good to go! I can't wait to decorate my front porch area for fall! 

3. Tribal Pumpkins...
This DIY pumpkin post from Bliss at Home may be from last year, however the tribal trend doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. I'd like to get a little more creative with pumpkins this year, there is more to them than just carving out a jack o' lantern! Kristin used white craft paint to create the arrows on her pumpkins, and well that's it! Fall decor can't get easier than that folks. 

4. Candy Corn Wreath...
I love the ombre effect on this candy corn wreath from Whipperberry, it's not your typical fall wreath but works so well the colors of the season. I used to be a big fan of candy corn, but I guess as I got older I realized that there is a world full of candy out there that tastes much better! I may no longer enjoy eating candy corn, but this wreath is pretty cool and looks fun to make. 

5. Pumpkin Spiced Latte....
Coffee house lattes can really pack on the calories and may include unnecessary ingredients. So what's a girl to do when she can't get enough of the pumpkin spiced latte during the fall and winter seasons? Well thanks to This Girl's Life blog, this girl (me!) can make a homemade version...yum! 

6. DIY Pumpkin Jars....
I am currently obsessed with painting mason jars, oh wait until you see the DIY project I'm going to share with you later this week! OK, back to these adorable pumpkin jars from The 36th Avenue, I mean they are just too cute! I would love to place these with my fall owls that sit on the bay window sill in my kitchen, especially that little fat jar in the front....oh my word! Make sure to stop by Desiree's post if you love painting mason jars too, she has some really great tips on how to perfect this craft! 

So, what are some of your fall favorites? Do you obsess over pumpkin recipes and fall decor as much as I do? 
If you're looking for more, here are a few fall recipes I made last year. I can't wait to make the pumpkin pancakes again! 

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your day!