Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide

Well, it's Black Friday and I'm sure many people have been up shopping for hours. Unfortunately, that means that many more people have been working for hours. I refuse to shop on Black Friday because of the years I spent in retail...I respect people's right to not work on a holiday.

So, why not have a little fun with a Holiday Wish List? Not just any Holiday Wish List, but a TWLOHA wishlist!! And a Scentsy Party!!! :)

By now, you probably know that To Write Love On My Arms is my favorite charity group. I've worked with them a few times and often get emails from their publicist because of my Music Magazine job. When Rachel contacted me about doing a TWLOHA gift guide I got super excited. I'm not receiving anything for this post, but I love sharing TWLOHA. :)
I actually like this shade of orange
Love this Men's Zip-Up

I saw this on Instagram and fell in LOVE. 
It comes in a Women's Tank Top, too! 

Aren't these all just the best? When you're out shopping today, don't forget to think about giving someone something more than just a gift. These clothing items are not only a great physical gift, but they give the gift of hope to people who see you wearing them in public. This clothing gives back through donations and showing support to those quietly suffering!


This week, I've teamed up with Vicki @ 
My Vickilicious Life to host an online Scentsy party for Black Friday! My party will run until Dec 13th. All you have to do is purchase through this link. I'm hoping to have enough in sales, to get the Scents for my wedding covered! If you missed my previous Scentsy post, you can find it here. 
I love this Scentsy Warmer wrap, totally Warrior Queen






I am super excited to hide "Happy Go Lucky" in warmers around the reception room for our wedding. I just want to have a uniform scent!

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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. For every e-book purchased I will receive commission. 

 Creating a Beautiful Little Christmas.


Check out one of our featured Warrior Queens:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello, hello!!

I know that you've probably all done your baking for Thanksgiving, but if you find yourself in a crunch, here are my two favorite holiday recipes that are super easy to make!

Philadelphia No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

I have been making this every year for Thanksgiving for 18 years. I first made it as a Daisy Girl Scout and it is absolutely a hit. Sometimes, I have to make 3, depending on which family I see for Thanksgiving.

What You Need


1
pkg.  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1
cup  plus 1 Tbsp. milk, divided
1
Tbsp.  sugar
1
tub  (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1
 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)
1
can  (15 oz.) pumpkin
2
pkg.  (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1
tsp.  ground cinnamon
1/2
tsp.  ground ginger
1/4
tsp.  ground cloves













Make It


BEAT cream cheese, 1 Tbsp. milk and sugar in large bowl with whisk until blended. Stir in half the COOL WHIP. Spread onto bottom of crust.
WHISK remaining milk, pumpkin, dry pudding mixes and spices 2 min. (Mixture will be thick.) Spread over cream cheese layer.
REFRIGERATE 4 hours or until firm. Serve topped with remaining COOL WHIP.













Salted Caramel Apple Crisp Bars

On Sunday, we were invited to a friend's house for a family dinner. I don't like to come empty handed [and have such a blast baking] so I made these on Saturday night. The dinner ended up being canceled, but we [and our friend] ate these anyway and they are dee-licious.

What You Need


1
pkg.  Pillsbury Moist Supreme Caramel Apple Flavored Premium Cake Mix

1
cup  quick-cooking rolled oats

1/2
cup  butter, softened

1
 egg

1
tsp. ground cinnamon
2         cups peeled, diced Granny Smith Apples
1         can of Hot Caramel Mix
1/4      tsp coars sea salt

Make It


HEAT oven to 350F. Coat 9" square baking pan with no-stick cooking spray. Combine cake mix, oats, butter, egg and cinnamon in large bowl with fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan.
BAKE 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Place apples evenly over crust. Top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until crumb topping begins to brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. 
MICROWAVE caramel sauce. Drizzle evenly over bars. Sprinkle with salt. 


Well, I'm off to have another crazy holiday of going to more than one location. We have my mom's side, Iman's family and, hopefully, we make it to our friend's debut DJ night in Laguna Beach! .

















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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. For every e-book purchased I will receive commission. 

 Creating a Beautiful Little Christmas.


Check out one of our featured Warrior Queens:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wedding Wednesay: Updated To-Do List

Well, today is going to be super busy! In addition to baking for Thanksgiving [which, I thought I would not do this year!], I am trying to clean out our storage unit today so that we can save money every month! Oh, and attempting to take 2 workout classes.

But of course, I couldn't miss out on a Wedding Wednesday post, so here's an update on my To-Dos! I've been working hard lately!!



Sixteen to Nine Months
Start a wedding folder or binder.
Work out your budget.
Pick your wedding party.
Start the guest list.
Hire a planner, if desired.
Reserve your date and venues.
Book your officiant. 
Research photographers, bands, florists, and caterers.
Throw an engagement party

Eight Months Before
Hire the photographer and the videographer.
Book the entertainment.(Need to touch base with my uncle on this)
Meet caterers.
Purchase a dress. (Mom's working on this!)
Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.(I've been researching!)
Register.
Launch a wedding website. (Almost done!) 


Seven to Six Months Before
Select and purchase invitations. (I'm making them!)
Start planning a honeymoon.
Make sure that your passports are up-to-date, and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need. (In process)
Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses. (next Saturday!) 
Meet with the officiant.
Map out the ceremony and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding (these vary by county and religion).
Send save-the-date cards.
Reserve structural and electrical necessities.
Book a florist.
Arrange transportation.
Start composing a day-of timeline.

Five to Four Months Before
Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (the cake-cutting, the first dance).
Book the rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner venues.
Check on the wedding invitations.
Select and order the cake.
Send your guest list to the host of your shower. (almost done!)
Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings.
Schedule hair and makeup artists.
Choose your music.
Make decorations. 

Three Months Before
Finalize the menu and flowers.
Order favors, if desired.
Make a list of the people giving toasts.
Finalize the readings.
Purchase your undergarments.
Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception.
Purchase the rings.
Send your event schedule to the vendors.

Two Months Before
Meet with the photographer.
Review the playlist with the band or deejay.
Send out the invitations.
Enjoy a Bachelorette party

One Month Before
Enter RSVPs into your guest-list database.
Get your marriage license.
Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations.
Stock the bar.
Send out as many final payments as you can.
Confirm times for hair and makeup and all vendors.
E-mail and print directions for drivers of transport vehicles.
Assign seating.
Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts.
Write vows, if necessary.
Get your hair cut and colored, if desired.

Week of the Wedding
Reconfirm arrival times with vendors.
Delegate small wedding-day tasks.
Send a timeline to the bridal party.
Check in one last time with the photographer.
Set aside checks for the vendors.
And put tips in envelopes to be handed out at the event.
Book a spa treatment.
Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events.
Break in your shoes.

Pack for your honeymoon.

Well, I thought I was making a lot of headway, but apparently I'm still behind!! We've got a lot of work to do, but my wedding planner says she doesn't need a lot of this stuff so far!

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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. For every e-book purchased I will receive commission. 

 Creating a Beautiful Little Christmas.


Check out one of our featured Warrior Queens:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meet Amanda + A Giveaway

Today, I also  want to introduce you to Amanda from Niescior's Notes! She's been hanging out at the bottom of all of my blog post and I've had so much fun getting to know her! I decided to go with my journalism roots and interview her!

Interesting Facts:


  • Amanda's from South Africa.
  • She started the Rancic Army - a year ago - for Giuliana Rancic! 
  • She is so supportive! 
  • She's the blogger behind Bloggers Think Pink. 


Interview
Why did you get into blogging?
I got into blogging because its a great way to relieve my brain of all the excess thoughts that are currently being stored there... LOL and also its a fun way to meet people :)

What are your favorite blogs to read? 
I do not have favorites... LOL I think it all depends on my mood and all that jazz... Sometimes I feel like I need a little fashion advice, other days I'll be keen to explore the adventures of the many expats that I've come to know!

What is your favorite "random act of kindness" to do? 
Buying extra food and giving it to someone who lives off the streets... 

When did you first start liking Giuliana Rancic and why? [I attended a party with her once! We didn't talk though]
I started liking Giuliana Rancic in August last year after I watched a massive Giuliana & Bill marathon during the course of the weekend! She is a great person (and she thinks I'm cool too! LOL! ) who has worked her butt off to be as successful as she is today and has overcome all the hurdles that have been placed in her path. Whether it be career oriented, personal or even medical - G is an inspiration to so many women and has helped many through difficult times!

Super jealous that you got to attend a party with her! She's the coolest person ever! I wanna party with Giuliana... Not fair! LOL

What is your favorite type of blogpost to write? 
Oooo... I don't think that I have a favorite blog post type as yet... I'm still very much all over the place and finding my feet - so still need to figure that on out...

What do you do in your spare time that isn't blogging or design related?
Sleep! :) I also read books and swim... Nothing exciting... LOL

Tell me more about your design company! 
I started ATN Design Services in January this year... Its something that I do for fun and consider it to be a hobby more than anything else... I offer design for blogs, websites and stationery - and then I also offer some social media profile management services!

What is your biggest passion?
My biggest passion is to move to the United States. I feel like I'm living in the wrong country. LOL - but on a serious note, I just want to be successful and figure out what it is that I'm actually supposed to be doing with my life :)

Check out some of my favorite posts from Amanda: 


P.s. Don't forget to enter to win these awesome prizes from Cattails + Cardigans and her sponsors!
We'll have two different winners :)
 Wet Brush from Justina's Gems // 3 month ad space on safaris and sunsets (250x200 banner) // 3 months worth of large ad space from My Show

 10$ Starbucks gift card + 2 custom stickers from Bookworms in Dresses.

5x7 print of the winners choice from This Analog Adventure

50$ Sephora Gift Card

 
 True Vintage Love // Becoming Adorrable

 There will be two winners- one for the ad spaces, gift card, brush + stickers and one for the Sephora gift card. This will be US ONLY giveaway + each blogger is responsible for their own prizes. Please read the official terms before you enter


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Image Map

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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. For every e-book purchased I will receive commission. 

 Creating a Beautiful Little Christmas.


Check out one of our featured Warrior Queens:

Guest Post: Rolo Stuffed Crackers

Today I've got a little treat for you all - a guest post recipe!

Even though she's Canadian, Melissa's blog, Dreams and Colour, has international appeal; from favorite recipes to her daily adventures, there's something for everyone. Addicted to her Kindle and in a love/sometimes-not-love-so-much-but-still-a-die-hard-fan relationship with the New York Rangers, Melissa can be found raising money for non-profits, advocating for persons with Alzheimer's disease and their care partners, and being active with Brock University Alumni; among many, many other activities. Melissa constantly finds new projects to take on, thus eliminating any chance of spare time. No matter what she's doing, Melissa is always laughing and leading a life full of Dreams and Colour.

Yum! 

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am busy. I am busy with work, side projects, blogging, volunteering, socializing...I am just busy! I always have a lot on the go, but I can't complain...I love my life! Being busy means that I am not a domestic goddess. I do not have time to craft, DIY, decorate or cook. 

So, in my spare time...well not spare time because I don't have any but I am interested in getting some...I was always on the lookout for something easy, quick and delicious to make. Everyone needs to have a pot luck specialty and an easy 'treat' to pull together when unexpected guests show up. 

I'm more than happy to share with Raewyn's reader's my impress-people-with-my-domestic-skills-recipe, Rolo Stuffed Crackers!!
You will need:
  • Rolos
  • Ritz Crackers
 I couldn't find regular sized Rolo so I used Mini Rolo.
Place crackers on a cookie sheet, top with Rolo (because they were Mini, I used two per cracker) and bake at 350 until chocolate is melted. I baked them for about 5 minutes. The chocolate won't be melted, but will be soft enough that when you press the second cracker down, the Rolo will get squished. I've actually made this even simpler and have used the microwave (heat for 20 seconds) to melt the chocolate.

Top with a second cracker, let cool and enjoy.
That's it! How easy is that?!?!? I can't tell you how many times I've made these, but every time I get tons of compliments! Even busy girls can be (fake) domestic goddesses! 

Thanks Raewyn for letting me guest post. You can find me at my blog Dreams and Colour.


Oh my, my these look so delicious and easy! I love whenever someone gives me an easy recipe because I'm usually on the go, too! I'm definitely adding this one to my go-to recipes! Thanks for sharing, Melissa!!

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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. For every e-book purchased I will receive commission. 

 Creating a Beautiful Little Christmas.


Check out one of our featured Warrior Queens:

Monday, November 25, 2013

5 Little Grins Link Up [Week 7]

5 Little Grins

 


We'll go ahead and say it: Most people think Mondays suck / are the worst / should die a fire-y death. I'm sure you get the picture.

We've all had our fair share of bad Mondays and bad Tuesdays and just plain ol' bad days. Instead of focusing on the bad, what if we focused on the good things?

What if we focused on the little things that made us smile today, yesterday, last week? Could our whole attitude change? In time, would we find that we're having more good days than bad?

Cassandra, Paulina and I would love for you to join us on our weekly link up counting at least 5 things that made you smile in the last week. We could start our Mondays on this positive note!

Of course, this is all about encouragement, so hop on over to some other blogs and leave a positive note and make a new friend!
The Rules! (These are really just kind suggestions)

1. Follow your hosts: Cassandra, Raewyn, and Paulina!

2. Link up your post that includes 5-ish things that made you smile in the past week

3. Comment after you link up

4. Go visit some other blogs and make some friends!

5. Have fun, and don't forget to smile!!


Oh my lanta, I have this whole week off! 
That's not a grin, by the way. I was pretty disappointed at first...

1. This morning I am starting my first day of 3 months unlimited classes at this one fitness place. Not only does it have pole dancing and flexibility, but they have stretch and tone, zumba, yoga, bootcamp...and a salon. I'm stoked. 

2. Baking time!!!! I haven't had baking time in forever slash it has been TOO hot to have the oven on at our house all summer. So much baking this week, especially for Thanskgiving!! [Recipes on Thursday]

Note: This is not what I made...but I did USE this


3. My Restoration Hardware Down Comforter Slippers. SERIOUSLY. Such a great Christmas gift last year!! 

4. Infinity scarves. Why did it take so long for one to come into my life?

Funny face?


5. I made a lot of progress on cleaning our room and getting rid of old stuff, I hope that I can finish this week!! 

I promised Run or Dye pictures and I think we took some great ones :) My mom and I walked it while the boys ran. It took us about an hour to walk, which wasn't bad. I can't wait to see the professional photos but here are a few in the meantime...

Pre-Race freezing

My phone's in a plastic bag! 

Green Chin

Purple freckles

Rosie Cheeks

After the race!! I'm so happy we all did it together :)

My car is covered in paint again :)

What made you grin this week? 




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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. For every e-book purchased I will receive commission. 

 Creating a Beautiful Little Christmas.


Check out one of our featured Warrior Queens:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Week-end Round Up

So, I've been busy this week. Have you?

If you've been too busy to catch all of my blogs, don't worry because I've put them all in this one little place for you! Bonus! I found some cute quotes this week [told ya I was busy!!]

Monday: Week 6 of the 5 Little Grins link up! Have you been participating?? It's a great way to start your week! I also did a Carabox Reveal that day! You have to check out what Sarah from @ Crazy Beautiful Life gifted me :)

Tuesday: I revealed that Paulina @ Color Me Brave and I are going to start selling swag!! Please give us your opinion!

Wednesday: Ah, Tuesday was 2 years with my tall man, and 1 year since he proposed. Read all about our cute little love story :)

Thursday: I'm throwin' it back with this old blog post. An all-time favorite of mine!

Friday: Things got a little bit silly and a little bit deep with this handwriting personality analysis!

Today I am doing my very first Color Run with my mom, brother and Iman. I hope we remember to take a ton of pictures so I can share them on Monday!!

Afterward, I'll be doing some baby shower planning...I know, that's a TON of baby showers. They're all for boys, too - isn't that crazy?

I think you all will love my sister from another mister's new Etsy shop. I've known this girl since 3rd or 4th grade and she makes the cutest stuff! Bonus, she's also a Disney Princess. I'm hoping to give her more facetime on the blog soon...

I've always loved Iggy Pop...but now..AHHH :)

This is me, so I'm pretty sure I need to read this book




Seriously story of my life...
Have a great one!
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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. For every e-book purchased I will receive commission. 

 Creating a Beautiful Little Christmas.


Check out one of our featured Warrior Queens:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Handwriting Analysis

A couple of weeks ago I saw that Amanda @ Niescior's Notes posted a handwriting analysis. A couple of days ago Christina @ Polka Dot Heart did one, too and now I'm joining in.

I'm not sure if I've told you but I'm a little bit obsessed with personality analysis. In high school I used to take all of the personality tests I could find online. I also wrote very detailed About Me's and Bulletin questionnaires because they are so fun. I love to read other people's answers, see their personalities and reflect my own!

Obviously I couldn't pass it up...



What my handwriting says about me:

Size: outgoing, people-oriented, outspoken, love attention [true]
Space: Can't stand to be alone, tend to crowd people and be intrusive [true]
Slant: Don't let your emotions get the best of you; logical and practical [eh, sometimes]
Shape: -- for this one, I literally did ALL of the shapes. Some rounded, some pointy and some connect. -- creative, artistic, aggressive, intense, very intelligent and curious, logical, systematic and make careful decisions [for the most part, I am all of these]
Cursive L: relaxed, spontaneous and self-expression comes easily to you  [yep!]
E space: open-minded and enjoy trying new experiences [yep!]
Dot the I: detail-oriented, organized, emphatic [more or less...]
Where the t crosses: confident, feel comfortable in own skin [yep!]
Length of t cross: determined, enthusiastic, stubborn, hard time letting go [I try to let go...]
O: private, introvert, limited to sharing personal feelings [nope!]
Cursive s: inquisitive and ambitious [yep!]
Write all over: can't sit still or relax [mmhmm]
Pressure: good with committment, high level of energy [definitely]
Speed: impatient, dislikes delays and time wasters [mmhmm]
Signature: confident, comfortable, hard to read / understand [the first half is legible and the last name is hard to read/understand]

For the most part, I think this was fairly accurate. It was hard to figure out my own handwriting. It would be cool to have someone actually take a look at it!! I'm a Gemini and androgynous, so I think it's pretty accurate that I fall on both ends of some things.

Have you ever analyzed your handwriting?
Check it out here!

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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. For every e-book purchased I will receive commission. 

 Creating a Beautiful Little Christmas.


Check out one of our featured Warrior Queens:

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