Holiday Extravaganza Kick-off

As you can see, we've been pretty busy the past week so I thought you would like to see what we've done! I have definitely been in the Christmas spirit (I guess when you don't work in retail anymore during Christmas you don't become a Scrooge before Thanksgiving).
After Tim got back from his trip Friday we decided to do some holiday-oriented things on Saturday. Pictures one through four are from the Krohn Conservatory Holiday Floral Show. They had some beautiful flowers all throughout the building, an impressive rotating structure with a model train going around the display of downtown Cincinnati, as well as some people selling their homemade wares. I was really impressed with this woman's homemade beeswax products. I ended up buying an awesome honey-vanilla lip balm and a small pillar candle. You can visit her website here: http://www.beehavenhoney.com/.
Pictures five through eleven are from the Germania Society Chriskindlmarkt. It wasn't quite as fun as Oktoberfest but it was still entertaining. There wasn't nearly the selection of food and drinks that I thought there would be, but it was definitely festive and had a few arts and crafts as well. I think my favorites from this activity were the cherry streudel dessert, the cuckoo clocks display and my "Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie" hot chocolate cocktail drink. (Take one cup of hot chocolate, add 1/2 shot of Peppermint Schnapps and 1/4 shot of Baileys. Top with whipped cream. YUM!!)
Pictures twelve through sixteen are from around the house. Some pictures show the process of Tim cooking an early Thanksgiving dinner for his staff at the Olive Garden. Lots of preparation and hardwork went into that dinner but it was oh so delicious! (Let me just tell you how much restraint you have to have when you have enough cookie dough to make 200+ chocolate chip cookies.) The other pictures just show a few of the decorations around the house. I'm very excited that we got to put the Christmas tree up early this year. And my "Joy" painting turned out just how I had hoped! It's a sweet beginning to the holiday season. :)


Joy: A Holiday Painting

Tell me what you think! I know the picture isn't that great since I took the picture with my cell phone. I was in a hurry to show you guys but I will take a nice picture of the finished product hanging up on the wall in a few days after I put a coat of varnish on it.

Photography Inspiration

One day I stumbled across this blog of a local photographer here in Cincinnati. I was really inspired when I looked through her portfolio and have occasionally gone back to the blog to check up on what's new with her. Today when I read, I was catching up on a few entries when I saw this post and was so excited. Please take a moment to check out the interview and view his website and begin your day inspired. Truly beautiful photographs.

Happy Thursday to you.


Feelin' Crafty for the holidays?

I've been inspired lately by so many websites and blogs posting DIY Holiday crafts that I thought I would gather them all together in one place in case you guys felt like you wanted to join in with me.

First, there's the art journal that I talked about the other day -- I love it. Sadly, I didn't win Ali Edwards' give-away on her blog so I may be forced to buy it (or make something as similar as possible). Same thing goes for Elise Blaha's holiday mini-book kit. Cute and easy! I'm sure there are lots more out there in the way of scrapbooking but those are my faves.

If you want to try your hand at an entire workshop, check out Kayla Aimee and Wilna's: A DIY Holiday online workshop. They have more than 25 projects you can do! (If you don't want to pay the $20 for the workshop, you could always try this free project they have posted. I'll probably try it sometime this week and let you know how I do.)

Do you feel like 25 projects is a little too much? Try your hand at some of the crafts that Martha Stewart has posted. Some are fairly easy while others might take you a while. Just browse through and you'll see a lot of possibilities there.

Or if your idea of "crafty" is just printing out something, adding some ribbon and then calling it a day, maybe you should visit Nordstrom's Holiday Gift Shop and see what you can do.

My project this week will be a holiday painting. I haven't painted in a while and we have this one wall in the living room that is dying from something to hang there. :)

Enjoy your crafts and please share what you create!


Real Beauty

For those of you who love Real Simple, they have a new website called Real Beauty. It's full of wonderful tips and quizzes to help you simplify your beauty life and questions. This morning I took one of those quizzes to help find the "right" fragrance for me. It only took about five minutes and I felt that it described me pretty accurately. Feel free to look at my results and then take the quiz yourself and see what you get! :) Have fun and Happy Monday!

Fragrance Finder Quiz Results

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Twitterpated and holiday things...

Note: I don't like to write on my blog when I'm annoyed but I'm hoping that if I get this out of my system then I'll feel better and be able to move on and this person will stop being annoying.

A couple of days ago I got all these weird DMs (direct messages for those who don't twitter) from a random follower on my account. Well, I clicked on one of the links (dumb me) and then my twitter account got hacked. I figured out the next day what had happened and of course immediately I changed my password (one with numbers AND letters, thank you) and thought that would resolve the issue.

Well, it hasn't.

Whoever this person is that tried to (or I guess I should say did) hack my account is still continuing to do so!! I have tried to log in a few times in the past few days and now all I get is this message: "Locked out! We've temporarily locked your account after too many failed attemts to sign in. Please chillax for a few, then try again."

WHY DON'T THEY STOP!? I am so frustrated right now about this. I don't know if there's anything that I can do but just wait it out. Has anyone else had this happen to them? If you have, please help me figure it out! Thank you!

In other news, I am slowly getting into the holiday spirit. The other day I just did a few things with some decorations around the house to see if Tim would notice (he did) and warm him up to the holidays a little bit earlier this year. Last year, we (read: Tim) didn't put our tree up til about 10 days before Christmas. That's waaaaaay too late I think. I'm aiming for a little bit earlier this year. I am hoping for around Thanksgiving but we'll see what happens. In the meantime, I will mentally rearrange our living room to see where the Christmas tree will fit in our new house.

Also, if you want a little memory-keeping inspiration for the holidays check out this cool pre-made art journal designed for on-the-go scrapbooking during the busy holiday season. :) Just put in your photos, write a little something and you're done! Love it! And Ali Edwards is giving it away on her blog this weekend. Score!

(This is a little sign that I found at Big Lots that I have propped up on the window ledge. So cute! And also, please don't laugh at this picture since I had to take it with my cell phone. :) Thanks! )
Have a great weekend!


Food, Inc.

Last week Tim and I both had the evening off together so we decided to watch a Movie On Demand. We were going through the list of movies available and weren't too thrilled with the selection we had to work with but then we saw this documentary. It seemed pretty intriguing after we watched the preview. And being that Tim works in the restaurant industry, and I am just interested in food in general, it seemed like a no brainer.

Let me just say, that was the most informative and educational $5.00 we've spent in a while. If you haven't watched this movie you should. Honestly, I feel like every American should watch it. Everyone has the right to know where their food comes from (and they should want to be informed about it) and this film will definitely open your eyes. Although don't watch it right before Thanksgiving because it might ruin it for ya. Maybe just watch it this week or next and then tell me what you think.


Countryside and Detours and Deliverance, Oh My!

I have decided that (unfortunately) I don't have the time nor the energy right now to write about all of our vacation but I will tell you guys about the scariest (and longest) part.

When we left Thursday morning, Tim wanted to be out of the house and on the road by 6am. We missed the mark by about 20 minutes but he made up for it by speeding so he cut down on our GPS-ETA by 15 minutes. We were doing so good we thought we were gonna be in NC by 1:30. Wellllllllll, I-40East had other plans for us. Evidently, there was some gi-normous landslide in the mountains that blocked off several miles of the highway and we were re-routed on this detour that took us an hour out of our way. We were slightly annoyed and disappointed but what were we gonna do ya know?
So we are somewhere in the mountains of East Tennessee on this detour route when all of a sudden we slow down to 8mph. Tim and I give each other this look like, "OMG. What now??" Turns out we are behind one of those trucks that paints the white traffic lines on the side of the road. Well, that got old real quick. Tim looks at me and says, "Well, do we try another detour or do we see how long we're gonna be behind this thing?" I say, "Let's just do another detour. Who knows how long we'll be on this road." Famous. Last. Words.

We turn right on this road and start on this scenic drive up the side of the mountain. It was nice... at first. As we got further and further up the mountain, the road went from two-lane to one and a half lanes, then to a one lane road ... and then -- just as I asked Tim if the life insurance policy was paid and up-to-date -- we are on a dirt road. In the Mustang. On an incline. Very scared. And did I mention we had no cell phone signal??? Yeah. I swear the banjos of Deliverance were playing in the background as we were driving up that mountain. I haven't been that scared in a really long time.
I seriously told Tim that I thought the GPS was taking us somewhere to die. All I got in response was, "That's not helping!! Just let me concentrate on driving and you take pictures over there so we have evidence of all this craziness." So that's what I did.
We finally made it to the top of the mountain thirty minutes later, got out and stretched and we saw this.
And I must say, I got some really great shots out of the whole detour situation but I do not wanna go through that ever again. And just in case you're wondering, we finally made it to Karl's house in Gastonia at 3:45. Definitely felt like the longest. trip. ever. but well worth it.


A "teaser" if you will....

... one of the many pictures from our vacation. A select few will be for sale in the shop. As always, I love to hear your feedback!


Halloween and NC and Hair Color and...

all sorts of things that I will be blogging about soon that happened on our trip down to NC for our friends' wedding. There's so much to talk about I will probably have to break it down into a few different blog entries so stayed tuned! (By the way, my new hair color is almost the same shade of red as the leaves above. Beautiful and seasonal all at the same time. ;) Thank you, Suzanne for putting some vibrancy back into my hair! )

Also, check back in the next few days for some new items to be added to the Etsy shop. You won't wanna miss it!


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