Thursday, April 24, 2014

Five Things & A Giveaway!

I'm so excited for this week's Five Things link up party, because not only do I have some pretty great things going on this week, but I also have a giveaway for you as well! 

My good friend Katie at Busy Bee Kate and I have both reached 100 on our Facebook pages and wanted to throw a little giveaway to thank our followers. We contacted a few of our awesome friends and they pitched in a few items for you to win, we will actually have 3 winners!

Plus, I thought it would be fun to combine the giveaway with my five things party that I host with Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama and include the giveaway as one of my five things! 




Thanks again for linking up with us last week, I loved seeing everyone's posts. 

On to the link up and giveaway, but first a few reminders...



1. Five Things link up is posted every Thursday at Midnight EST. Share any five things that are on your mind right now. Whether it's something you are obsessing with on Pinterest, a new and exciting event going on in your life, or even sharing five of your favorite books; it's totally up to you. 

2. Please put the Five Things button on the post your sharing for the link up; sharing is caring, the more players involved the more fun we'll all have.

3. Please follow both your hosts Diana from The World Around Her and Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama via Facebook {here and here} and/or Twitter {here and here}. As it’s not mandatory it is greatly appreciated

5. If you tweet about your post or Instagram it, feel free to tag me or Tairalyn and use the hashtag, #FiveThingsParty

4. Check out the other bloggers who have linked up, show them some love and comment on at least one other bloggers link-up post.




1. Today we're celebrating our four year wedding anniversary! We've been together for 8 and a half years and married for four, but it feels like a lifetime. I just feel so connected, he is my best friend and I would be lost without him. Pictures to come soon of the little DIY I put together for my guy! 

2. How adorable is this little can! He was part of the Earth Day project I did with the local business women's group that I'm in. We volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club in the area to teach kids about upcycling. We also upcycled milk and juice cartons into bird feeders. The kids went crazy for the stickers and colorful duck tape. I feel so blessed to be able to help them put together a project they can take home to enjoy and share with their families, they were all so proud of what they did. 

3. Since we have three bundles of prizes for three winners, I thought they could make up numbers 3-5 on my five things list! All of the items are handmade, so we thought it would be fun to throw in a $25 Michaels gift card for the 3rd prize winner to inspire you to get creative...that means you have to come back to show us what you made with your purchases! 

4. The 2nd prize winner will take home a 'perfect for spring' crocheted tote bag from Erica Jacqueline Designs and their choice of an in-stock Vintage Vinyl Journals

5. The grand prize winner will take home this adorable two-toned yellow and blue turband headwrap from Mila Rose Designs and a $40 gift card to HorseFeathers Gifts


A closer look at the fabulous giveaway prizes...


Don't forget to join the link up party as well...




Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Mason Jar DIY

Yes, I finally put my empty mason jars to good use this weekend! I had so much fun putting this DIY project together for my step-kids and was so thrilled that they loved them as much as I did. Now that they are teens and in those college age years, I wanted to do something that wasn't too childish for them. I give you my Easter Mason Jar DIY...






We didn't dye eggs this year, but I still wanted to make Easter a special day for everyone (although my husband was sick and I was getting over a cold), plus who doesn't like to feel special right?!

The tags are from I Heart Nap Time, I printed them on stock paper, cut them out, punched a hole, and tied them around the mason jars with Baker's Twine from Stampin' Up!, my best friend Becky is a consultant for them...I love their stuff.

The Easter Jar idea came from a tweet I saw about Nest Full of New's DIY, but I must have been so mesmerized by the chocolate bunny that I didn't notice the fabric and twine idea until I saw it on The 36th Avenue, don't you just love the fabric she used! 

I may have put this mason jar DIY idea together for Easter, but it works for Mother's Day, birthdays, and even Christmas. Stop by your local thrift or antique store, where I found the larger jars, print out tags from I Heart Nap Time or The 36th Avenue, place a gift inside, and you are ready to go! Looking for even more Easter Mason Jar DIY ideas, A Night Owl Blog has a great round up, which is where I originally found the link for the tags. 

I hope you had a wonderful Easter holiday with your family, or Passover. Thanks for stopping by...have a great week! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Giveaway Coming Soon...

A Big Thank You to all who linked up for the Five Things party, I feel like we had a pretty nice turn out for our first link up! I loved reading what was on your minds this week and seeing that everyone had a different mix of five things.

Guess what ya'll....I made it to 100 on Facebook! Now it's time to have a different kind of party...a giveaway party!


My friend Busy Bee Kate is putting together the giveaway and we should have it running this week on both our blogs. Be sure to spread the word because we have some pretty fabulous handmade items to giveaway from Mila Rose Designs, HorseFeathers Gifts, Vintage Vinyl Journals, Erica Jacqueline Designs and more! 

Happy Monday and thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Five Things...


So my girl Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama is now co-hosting Five Things with me...YAY!! She created a new, more modern button for everyone to include in their link up post and an awesome logo for her and I to include in our posts, she's such a rock star... I love her! 




{First, a few things to know about Five Things....}


1. Five Things link up is posted every Thursday at Midnight EST. Share any five things that are on your mind right now. Whether it's something you are obsessing with on Pinterest, a new and exciting event going on in your life, or even sharing five of your favorite books; it's totally up to you. 
2. Please put the Five Things button on the post your sharing for the link up; sharing is caring, the more players involved the more fun we'll all have.
3. Please follow both your hosts Diana from The World Around Her and Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama via Facebook {here and here} and/or Twitter {here and here}. As it’s not mandatory it is greatly appreciated

5. If you tweet about your post or Instagram it, feel free to tag me or Tairalyn and use the hashtag, #FiveThingsParty
4. Check out the other bloggers who have linked up, show them some love and comment on at least one other bloggers link-up post.


1. Easter is this Sunday, can you believe it's here already! I am obsessing over all the cool egg designs popping up on Pinterest like this one from The Cards We Drew. Blogger Abbey spray painted plastic eggs and used vinyl cut outs for the arrows, which I'm also in love with right now! Are you dying eggs for Easter? Not sure that we are this year since the girls are older, but I do have a little surprise up my sleeve for them! Shh!

2. Painted Terra Cotta pots are another big trend this Spring, I love what the ladies over on A Beautiful Mess did with this color block idea. This DIY actually popped up on Brit & Co. today, but was first featured on A Beautiful Mess two years ago, so it looks like the trend is still going strong!

3. My mom's birthday is tomorrow, Happy Birthday Momma! She has been through so much in the last six months and this will actually be her first birthday without her husband, my step-dad. We all just want her to be surrounded with love and make this a beautiful day for her. She is coming to my house next weekend to see me in my local women's group annual fashion show, plus my sisters will be coming to visit that weekend as well so we can all have dinner together. This photo of us is from last Summer when I chopped all my hair off, well not all but most! I'm missing my short hair right now, just got it cut but thinking of going shorter!

4. I need this Brave wrap bracelet in my life! The next time HorseFeathers Gifts has a sale, it's mine! The gals at this wonderful handmade shop are going to help my friend Busy Bee Kate and I celebrate 100 on Facebook when we reach there, so be sure to follow us both so we can have a giveaway on our blogs!

5. How gorgeous is my friend Melis and her adorable bow! I bought one for myself two weeks ago from her shop Mila Rose Designs when she was having a sale. It's called "The Kregs", and I plan on wearing it for the Mother's Day Breast Cancer Walk in Philadelphia with my tutu from Atutudes! Melis is also helping me with the giveaway when I reach 100 on Facebook, woo hoo! 



That's it for my week, share with us what's going on with you and Five Things that are on your mind by linking up below...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Five Things

I talked about starting a five things post series before, but it never really turned into a series! More like a one and done kind of thing. So, let's kick it off into a series, shall we?! Plus, I would love to start a link up party if you would like to join in with five things that are on your mind, so feel free to write a post and join in! My girl Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama inspired my first five things post, so hopefully she will join in on the fun with us! I was also inspired by my friend Steph at The Vintage Modern Wife who started her own Happies and Crappies link up party!





First Some Details on the Five Things Link Up Party:


1. Five Things link up is posted every Thursday at Midnight EST. You can share any five things that is on your mind right now. Whether it's something you are obsessing with on Pinterest, a new and exciting event going on in your life, or even sharing five of your favorite books, it's up to you!
2. Please put the Five Things button on your post for the link up.
3. Please follow your host. It’s not  mandatory, but we appreciate the love.
4. If you tweet about your post or Instagram it, feel free to tag me and use the hashtag, #FiveThingsParty
5. Check out the other bloggers who have linked up and show them some love too!
Shall we get started...
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1. Right now I am obsessing over these gorgeous DIY potting benches I'm seeing all over Pinterest, like this one from HGTV Gardens...


I really don't have a need for one, but they are just so adorable! I especially love the mint color of the dresser part on this one. Potting Benches can be repurposed from so many different furniture items. See an old cabinet in the thrift store that could use a little love, give it a new life as a potting bench! 

2. I saw a post on Brit & Co. with the title, "Are Tin Cans the New Mason Jar?" Well, I think so because I am seeing so many different ideas for repurposing them. I for one want to spray paint them copper like blogger Amy did...



Aren't they gorgeous! My friend Katie over at Busy Bee Kate recently repurposed tin cans as well, she made hers into a wind chime. So many ideas, so little time!

3. I've been itching for a new tattoo lately. Right now I have four of them and I already have in mind what I want for my next one. My sisters and I are supposed to get one together as well. We had a design, but I think it included too many trendy tattoo ideas that are going around right now. It had the infinity symbol in it and those flying birds. I want all of my tattoos to be unique and original, so perhaps my younger sister can come up with a drawing of something different. 

4. I need a vacation, but July is still so far away! It just feels like it's been ages since I had a break from everything. I am picturing the beach right now, warm clear blue water, and silence, oh and no cell phone or internet! 

5. I worked out on the treadmill three times this week, but I still feel like I am snacking too much. What can I say, I love food! 

Well, those are my five things....what's going on in your world this week? Thanks for stopping by and linking up!



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What's for Dinner? Chicken!

Sometimes I wish I was a little more creative in the kitchen, whipping up my own amazing recipes that others would blog about! But the reality is, right now I don't have time to experiment with ingredients and I just need something that is going to make the hubs and teens happy! OK, so not just happy, but something that is not overly unhealthy, greasy, or filled with processed ingredients. I'm no, "Everything has to be organic, let's go to the farmer's market" kind of cook. However, I do want to know what I'm eating and what my family is eating. I look at labels and we try our best to get things that don't have high-fructose anything in it. I mean, why would food items like bread need things like that in them?!

So, today I'm going to share with you a few of my favorite go to chicken recipes that I like to make for dinner, plus a few new ideas I would like to try to give our meals a little variety! 

Lately my go to chicken recipe has been one that I saw on a Hellmann's Mayo commercial! At first, I was a little hesitant because my older step-daughter isn't a fan of cheese. But I figured, it's mixed in and baked on so it might not be the consistency of the cheese she dislikes! I give you, Hellmann's Parmesan Crusted Chicken recipe...



INGREDIENTS


  • 1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lbs.)
  • 4 tsp. Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS


  1. "Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Combine Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise with cheese in medium bowl. Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Evenly top with Mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  3. Bake until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes."

Recipe from Hellmann's

I adjusted our cooking time to about 33 minutes for our oven and cut four chicken breasts in half, the ones we buy from Costco are pretty large! If you want a really delicious side for this dish, once in a while I'll make Fettuccine Alfredo with it, it's a wonderful compliment to the Parmesan topping on the chicken. 

Some of you that are reading this may be saying to yourselves, "Mayo, how is that healthy?", am I right? Well, everything in moderation and mayo actually isn't as unhealthy as you think, here is a list of the first few ingredients: SOYBEAN OIL, WATER, WHOLE EGGS AND EGG YOLKS, VINEGAR, SALT, SUGAR, LEMON JUICE. So, what could be so unhealthy about soybean oil, water, and eggs? Yes, egg yolks are high in cholesterol and fat, but according to a post on Fit Sugar, the egg yolks also contain many of the good parts we get from our eggs as well. OK, now don't run to your kitchen and load up on all the mayo you have been missing out on, like I said, everything in moderation! 

Another favorite recipe that I love making with chicken is a crockpot chicken chili recipe I discovered from Monica on East Coast Creative...


I took these photos on my phone, so I apologize for their quality! Though, I'm not really the best at taking indoor photos. I'm more of an outdoor photo girl! 

Any how, back to the amazing crockpot chili recipe that is perfect for any cold night...so why am I talking about it in Spring? Well, sometimes there are chilly nights during this time of year when we're still eating soups and drinking hot tea to stay warm, right? So, if you are looking for an easy, go to, put every ingredient in the crockpot and walk away until it's done recipe, this is the one! 

Ingredients: 
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can black beans
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 package boneless skinless chicken tenderloins or thighs (these two cuts get the most tender and fall apart)
  • 1 packet McCormick chili seasoning
Directions: 

  1. "Dump all the ingredients into your crockpot (don’t drain anything) and cook on high for about 4 hours or on low for 6-8. 
  2. Once the time is up, shred the chicken using two forks, stir, and serve!"
Recipe from East Coast Creative

I could eat this for days! It's so easy to make and everyone loves it. I've even made it for one of my best friends and her family when they came to visit, and it passed with flying colors! Plus, the ingredients are all good for you; tomatoes, beans, chicken, nothing to hate on there! The only thing that I wasn't crazy about was the high sodium content in the chili seasoning, but I just discovered that McCormick also has a 30% less sodium packet as well, score! 

To switch up my Parmesan Crusted Chicken recipe a bit, I would love to try this recipe from Buns in My Oven that is pretty much the same idea but adds dry ranch dressing seasoning to it and cheddar cheese instead of Parmesan...yum!



Or for those nights when I'm craving Chinese Take Out, Chinese Orange Chicken...



Can you really go wrong with homemade Chinese food, I think not! Oh, how I want this right now...it's a good thing I already ate dinner tonight! 

So, what's for dinner at your house? What are your go to chicken recipes? 

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day! 







Thursday, April 3, 2014

East Coast Creative: Creating with the Stars

It has been a busy week here in the land of The World Around Her. I've been working over on East Coast Creative all week helping them with their design contest Creating with the Stars, are you following along and voting? We just wrapped up week 2, which involved the contestants putting together a paint project. Next week is the upcycle round for the top 6 that are left in the competition. It all started with 299 entries and it was narrowed down to 12 for the first week...from 299 to 12!! Week one was the knock off round where the 12 contestants had to create a knock off version of a high end item...



{Image courtesy of East Coast Creative's Instagram!}

Can you believe these amazing knock off projects, and they are all handmade! If you haven't been following along check out the recap post of round one. 

What I love most about the competition, besides the incredible projects, is that it's not a popularity contest. When the projects go up for voting, readers don't know whose project they are voting for. So instead of voting for your favorite blogger or because they are paired with your favorite blog star, you are voting for your favorite DIY knock off. Then when the results are posted, that is when you know who did what, pretty clever right! 

It starts with 12, but then each week of the four week competition the bottom 3 get knocked out. So for this week's second round and battle of the paint projects it was down to 9....


{Image courtesy of East Coast Creative Instagram}

Who knew you could do so many stunning things with paint! I loved them all, it's so tough having to say good-bye to the bottom three each week. Some of the contestants have started to follow me on Instagram, which totally made me feel famous! I'm hoping to stay connected and have started reading their blogs. 

If you aren't already a fan of East Coast Creative, then what are you waiting for...you don't want to miss out on these awesome DIY projects and see who goes home with the big win at the end! The prizes are amazing, oh and plus there is a giveaway for everyone too! Get your butt on over there and enter to win a beach vacation to Punta Cana!! Oh, how I wish I could enter!! 

PS, I don't vote since I'm their blog assistant and know who did what, so that's why I need you to vote for me {next Monday will be the open vote for the upcycle round}! Right now on the blog is the winner's tutorial from this week, which one would you have voted for? Tomorrow will be the 2nd place tutorial, then 3rd. Plus if you have your own paint project you can link up for a chance to be featured on the blog this Sunday!  

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How to Spray Paint Brass Owl Bookends...

I'm so glad you guys loved my stencil lamp shade I posted about yesterday, I'm really happy that I went with stenciling it instead of one of the other ideas I was considering. It's a timeless look that won't go out of style or one I won't get bored with! As promised, today I'm going to share with you another DIY adventure I took with brass owl bookends.



My husband bought the brass owl bookends for me at Christmas, said he was searching our local antique store for owls and almost gave up when he stumbled upon them! The two love birds look so sweet perched on the branch, but the brass color just wasn't my style and didn't fit with any decor we have in our home. 

They were on my shelf above my work desk in my home office, however I learned the hard way that these guys were a bit too heavy to be sitting on that shelf! Luckily, my laptop wasn't on my desk at the time the shelf came crashing down and there wasn't anything that broke that was sitting on the desk or shelf!

What was I going to do with these things? We only have a small book shelf in our computer room, so I knew they weren't going there. Even if, I still didn't love the brass color! So, this weekend I shared a photo of them on Instagram and asked how I could give them a makeover. My DIY girl Katie over at Busy Bee Kate  tweeted back that I should use some steel wool, self-etching primer, and spray paint. 

While we were out at Michaels Craft Store searching for what to do with the lamp, I looked for the items Katie mentioned. I found the steel wool, but I couldn't find any paint labeled self-etching primer. That's when I found Krylon® Brand Dual Paint + Primer, which works great for Metals, Wicker, Glass, Ceramic, Fabric, Masonry, Concrete, and Wood. Plus the can I grabbed was also a super bond, bonus! 


I took them out to the garage and my husband helped me set up a little space on his work bench so I wouldn't get the spray paint on anything but my owls! I took out the steel wool and got to work removing some of the brass. Steel wool actually comes in different textures, who knew?! You want coarse for tougher jobs like removing paint, and softer for polishing. Ladies, make sure you are wearing gloves to handle the steel wool, it's a little scratchy! Next, it was time to spray paint. 



Well, apparently I don't know the correct way to spray paint, because what I was doing was causing the paint to drip...and we don't want that. That's where my husband came in and showed me the back and forth technique, he's a pro ladies and he's all mine!


At first, he thought we should apply a second coat, but if you take a look at the heavy spraying I was doing at the bottom it looks thick and takes away the details. I loved the way the feathers were showing through and didn't want them to look too caked with paint. 


I love how they turned out and can't wait to get my hands on another item in the house that needs a spray paint makeover! They are currently sitting on the cedar chest in my office, which is probably the only thing that is going to handle the weight of these guys.



What are some home decor items you have spray painted before? 

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!