{DIY} Chalkboard…

How was your Thanksgiving weekend? 🙂  I had so much fun with my parents and family!

I am starting a very large organizing project this week; I hope to keep up the blog posts but if they are a little sporadic this week, then you know why. 😉

I’m working on a ton of DIY projects at the moment … like I don’t have enough to do already. 😉

I finished this one a few weeks back.  Let me know what you think!

{diy} chalkboard

I bought this picture at Grammy’s Attic a few months back.  I paid a whopping $5 for it.  I was more interested in the frame and less interested in the picture.

Picture: Before

Well the picture sat in the apartment for months.  I wasn’t sure what to do with it.  I scoured Pinterest for ideas and decided to make a chalkboard.  🙂

I painted the frame in flat white.  It took several coats as I didn’t prime it first.  The flat white was nice but I wanted something different.  I decided to try out an antiquing technique I saw online.  I purchased the Martha Stewart glaze from Home Depot.

Martha Stewart Metallic Glaze

NOTE:  The white paint took more of the glaze than I would have liked.  Satin or Glossy paint finishes work best with glazing.  

In process of painting

Glazing the frame

With half of the frame glazed and the other half distressed

I also used this tutorial to make my own chalkboard paint.

Materials for Chalkboard Paint

Roughly 2 hours later, I had this masterpiece! 🙂

All done!

Here is a close up of the antique glaze once it had dried:

I don’t like the color of the chalkboard paint against the frame.  I plan to either paint the frame red or paint over the chalkboard with a black version.  What do you think I should do? 😉

I’m pretty sold on this antique stuff!  I could glaze everything in the apartment!

Until next time…

 

{Happy Thanksgiving} To You & Yours…

Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

It is hard to believe that it is Thanksgiving.  Time flies when you are having fun.

One of my favorite movies is You’ve Got Mail.  I love this Happy Thanksgiving clip… 😉

Have fun today.  I will be heading out shortly for a morning walk with my mom.  Afterwards we will watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, then ooooh and ahhh over the adorable dogs in the National Dog Show.

We will head out around 12:30 to go to my cousin’s home for Thanksgiving dinner.  I’m sure I will eat too much.  My eyes are always bigger than my stomach at Thanksgiving.

Enjoy today before the craziness begins tomorrow.  Black Friday is the shotgun start to the Christmas holiday season!

What are you thankful for this year? 🙂

Until next time…

{Inspiration} Christmas Decor…

Entrance to the Southern Christmas Show

My mom and I went to the Southern Christmas Show on Sunday.  I go because … it puts me in the spirit.  The spirit of Christmas.  I go because … it is a great way to get Christmas decor ideas.  I don’t go to buy stuff. 😉

The beginning of the show is always my favorite part.  Apparently everyone else’s favorite part as well, there is always a massive bottleneck.  Traffic jam of people, children, strollers, and rolling shopping carts.

My mom and I lingered longer than usual in this area.  We were dissecting the decor ideas.  You know:  what we liked, what we didn’t, how we could recreate.  Some of my favorite ideas:

Very traditional decor. I like the color scheme.

Very traditional table scape ideas

I loved this mantle! Peacocks were everywhere in the decor ideas!

I spy .. Barbara Green of “Ask the Design Diva
🙂

That tree was stunning! And more peacocks!

There was a massive traffic jam in the Christmas Mouse!

The Christmas Mouse Store

I had my picture taken with Santa. 😉

Hi Santa! 🙂

And I will leave you with this…. Christmas present anyone? 😉

Haha!

Until next time…

{Pouchee} The Ultimate Purse Organizer…

Are you a purse person?  I’m not.  I’m picky about everything and purses are no exception.  I prefer a one shoulder satchel style.  I don’t have time to switch out my purses every day based on what I’m wearing.  I also hate the abyss that is the bottom of a purse.  I lose everything!  Well if you are nodding your head in agreement … then enter Pouchee, the ultimate purse organizer.

Pouchee is specifically designed to fit inside handbags to make women’s lives easier and more organized.

Sign me up!  You said my favorite word, “organized”!

Pouchee Purse Organizer
Teal Cotton

My purse is slightly boring.  Raymond calls it my “Giddy Up Sally” purse.  😉  The inside is nothing to marvel at either.

Giddy Up Sally Purse.
Should it be slung over my horse as I ride into town? 😉

Messy interior.
No this shot was not staged. I grabbed my camera, opened the purse, “click”. 🙂

Contents of my purse.
I like to keep things contained hence the miniature pouches.

I think it is safe to say I could use a better system for organizing my purse.  Well what do you think of this?  *Bam!*

The Pouchee In Action!

I’m slightly obsessed with this product.  It is adorable and very well made!  I think I have shown it to every lady friend I have come in contact with.  I keep showing it to Raymond as well. I’m not sure he is quite as excited as I. 😉 *Pppsshh* What does he know about organizing a purse! 😉

I actually threw out the zippered pouches that held my lipgloss, floss, mirror, tylenol, etc.  Don’t need it.  Got rid of it.  Sold on the teal Pouchee! 🙂
Here are some deets:

  • Available at over 1,600 stores & www.pouchee.com
  • Cute, practical, and easy to use
  • Switch easily between purses
  • Keeps essentials organized inside bag
  • Expands to hold items such as cards, keys, pen, phone, lipstick
  • The Original Cotton Pouchee ($25.40)
    • W: 7.5″
    • H: 5.25″
    • D: 3.5″
    • Comes in 11 colors
    • Also available in leather and limited edition Posh collection

This would make a great Christmas gift for a friend, mom, or daughter.  Just sayin’. 😉

So what do you think?  Do you like the color and style?

Until next time:

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. Pouchee sent me the item to try. I accept complimentary organizing related products for product reviews. The products I don’t like usually don’t make it on the blog, so if you see a product here, you know I like it!

Weekly Menu Planner {Free Printable}…

If you do a lot of cooking, then you probably do a lot of planning for that cooking.  In this house, we cook.  In order to cook, we have to be prepared.  In order to be prepared, this chick needs to know what to buy from the grocery store.

Disclaimer #1: I hate making out a grocery list and I hate going to the grocery store.  Both are tedious and take up too much time.  Doesn’t help that I have to lug those groceries up a flight of stairs and unpack them … myself.  Whew .. tired just thinking about it!

Disclaimer #2: We eat roughly 3 meals a day … at home … each.  Unless I have a lunch appointment, we are both eating 3 meals a day at home.  Good for the pocket book and waist but something else you have to be prepared for.  When we run out of food, we eat out.  And I hate eating out .. often!

With that said, if I wasn’t prepared each week with a menu plan and grocery list, then we would never cook.  I’ve purchased menu planners from Target & Michaels for years.  I’ve borrowed menu planners from other bloggers for months.  Nothing really worked for me.  So I decided to make my own .. and share it with you! 🙂

HOW I USE IT:

  • Weather:
    • It might seem weird to include this in a planner for meals.
    • I like to cook based on the weather.
    • Example: 45 degrees and rainy.  We are having soup or pot roast.  60 degrees and sunny.  Salad topped with grilled chicken.
  • Plans:
    • I use this to write out meetings and appointments for each day.
    • If I’m having lunch with someone, then I don’t need to worry about lunch for me that day … only Raymond.
  • Dinner:
    • I don’t plan breakfast and lunch.
    • We usually eat the same things for breakfast each week.
    • We eat leftovers for lunch.
  • {TO COOK}:
    • I use the section for anything special I want to make that week.
    • Salsa.
    • Mini Apple Pies.
    • It serves as a reminder so I can easily grab the recipe and don’t let those groceries go to waste!
  • {IN THE PANTRY}:
    • I hate wasting food.
    • I base our meals off what we have in the pantry and freezer.
    • This cuts down on the grocery bill … some.
  • I fill out the menu planner each week and then use the planner to write out the grocery list.  Yes I have a process. 😉  I’m a process kinda gal.

Feel free to print a copy for yourself.  And if you use the planner, then I would love to hear your thoughts?  Is it helping? 🙂

Weekly Menu Planner {Free Printable}

Until next time…

Foodie Friday {Meatloaf}…

My mom makes the best cornbread … until I met Trader Joes.

My mom makes the best meat loaf … until I met Paula Deen.

I refuse to eat meatloaf at a restaurant because I have no idea what kind of meat they use.  I refuse to eat other people’s meat loaf because my mom always made the best.  ♥ You Mom! 🙂

Raymond & I were watching the Food Network a few months back.  Paula and her son, Boobbbbyyy *nasal southern voice* were cooking up a meat loaf.  It looked easy and delicious, which are my two qualifiers for trying a new recipe.  Off to the computer I went to print the recipe.  It is now a household staple! 🙂

Thanks Paula! 😉

PAULA DEEN’S MEAT LOAF

*Modified from this recipe*

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
    • I prefer 96/4
  • (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking steel cut oats
    • Quick-cooking oats would work as well
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp
    • Italian seasoning
    • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the above ingredients.
  3. Shape mixture into a loaf pan.
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together above ingredients.
  2. Slather mixture on top of meat loaf.
  3. Bake 50-60 minutes.  Until meat loaf is firm and cooked all the way through.
  4. Serve with mashed potatoes.

We consider this our heart healthy meat loaf.  It is delicious!

Note:  there will be some water/liquid that cooks out.  This is from the vegetables.  

Until next time…

{The Last Word} Needy Week…

I have someone I want to introduce you to … in January.  It is my sweet intern Sarah! 🙂  I cannot wait for the semester to start so the internship can begin!

In the meantime….

Sarah is a marketing major at UNCC {hey like me!}.  She has been working on a charity event for a local bookstore, The Last Word.  Reading for the Needy week focuses on encouraging kids that reading doesn’t have to just be about homework.  There will be fun themed activities in-store Saturday, November 17th & Sunday, November 18th; think Hunger Games & Harry Potter!  Check the website for more details!

NEEDY WEEK

  • Help raise money for Hurricane Relief
  • 10% of the proceeds from Children’s and Young Adult books will go towards charity
  • 50% of the proceeds from tote bag sales will go towards charity
  • Raffle tickets will be on sale until November 18th
  • Crafts & Games
    • Make & take with you
    • Hands-on crafts {finger painting, collages}
    • Parents are encouraged to make a small donation to the charity
  • Grand Finale Event
    • Sunday, November 18th
    • 6:30pm
    • Double feature screening of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows {Parts 1 & 2}
      • PG 13
      • Guardian will need to be present
    • Be sure to dress up for the costume contest! 🙂
    • Tickets: $6 each or 2 for $10
      • Can be purchased in advance at The Last Word or by email (sgilbe13@uncc.edu)
  • The Last Word
  • 230 East WT Harris Blvd
  • Suite B11
  • Charlotte, NC 28262

Hope to see you there! 🙂

Until next time…

What Happens in Waxhaw…

Ends up on the blog. 🙂

I was invited to a potluck a few weeks ago in Waxhaw, NC.  First, what a beautiful place!  The land was extensive.  The homes were massive.  And the air was clean, crisp, and quiet.  It was like being in a horse farm country … but only 15 or so miles from Charlotte.  Lovely place!

Local Buggy

The potluck was organized by Kara Cozier, founder of Local Buggy.  You know I am a sucker for anything organizing. 🙂

From their website:

Local Buggy™ is a website created to simplify SignUps. Members have the ability to organize SignUps for any number of participants at the local and national level. We even have an international membership in the United Kingdom! Our system is designed to coordinate SignUps without the hard to follow chain of emails, confusing spreadsheets, countless phone calls, and calendar invitations.

It was love at first sight!  We had a SignUp for the potluck where each person knew what the other was bringing and what other supplies were needed.  This would be an awesome website to use for the holidays!  😉

We had a massive array of food.  I tried out a Pinterest recipe but thought it was a little too … buttery.

What a potluck! 🙂

These cupcakes were adorable! I ate so much that I couldn’t possibly hold another thing — so I didn’t get to try these. :/

I got to know some of the ladies while chatting over Buffalo Chicken Dip and wine.  I really hit it off with one lady, Juliane Kilcoyne.  She is the founder and owner of Blooming Events.  I was drooling over her creations!

Juliane can help bring your party ideas to life with her Event Planning Packages and beautiful party creations! 🙂

Blooming Events Party Favors & Invitations

From her website:

Blooming Events handles planning & design of all life’s milestones and accomplishments.

Whether it’s a party at home, a baby shower or a milestone birthday, the fun starts with Bloom. Each & every party is skillfully crafted to ensure the best guest experience possible. From site searches to menu planning and all decor & design, there isn’t an event we can’t create for you.
Hm….holiday parties anyone?  Baby showers?  🙂

Blooming Events Holiday Collection

Her creations are sold over at Etsy — be sure to drop by and check them out! 🙂

Feel free to leave some love for these wonderful ladies in the comments section. 🙂

Until next time…

{Turkey Talk} Fancy Schmancy…

There are days that I dream of owning a house.  A house that can entertain and welcome.  The holidays are “one of those days”.  If I had a house that could accomodate families for Thanksgiving, then it would go a little something like this:

{1} Everyone would be invited.

Raymond and I are from the same town.  Well sorta.  Good thing?  We don’t have to pick which family we visit for the holidays.  Bad thing?  I don’t get to spend a lot of time with him.

Families tend to set the same times for lunches and gatherings.  Raymond hasn’t been to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner in years.  Why?  Because his family gets together at the same time we do.  Every year.

If we had a house big enough, then both families would be invited.  I hate having to choose between seeing the fam or seeing him. 🙂

{2} Dinner would be an experience.  

I would love to have menus printed.

Dinner would be served as courses.  Appetizers:  cheese plates.

First course: Butternut Squash Soup & Spinach Pear Salad.  Can you tell I have thought this through?

Main course: Turkey (of course) and a few side dishes.

Dessert:  French press coffee, coffee creamers.  Pumpkin Pie something.  Apple pie something.  Traditional.

Wine:  There would be several options to choose from.  Both mine & Raymond’s families are very Southern and very traditional.  That is code for “they don’t drink…much”

{3} Gratitude

The reason for the season.  We would talk about this.  Make a game out of it.

I love the idea of “Gratitude Journals”.  Send guests home with gratitude journals so they can make note of what they are thankful for year round.

{4} A little something extra.

Maybe a game of football in the backyard.

Maybe an impromptu photo booth.

{5} Decorations.

Place settings for each person.

Napkins held together with belt buckles.

Now I realize I am dreaming out loud.  All in hopes that one day we will be able to host and entertain our families on this day of Thanksgiving. 🙂

Do you like any of the ideas?  Which one is your favorite? 🙂

Until next time…

Foodie Friday {Crock Pot Mac-N-Cheese}…

So I might be a day late and dollar short but by golly I’m getting in a recipe post this week. 😉

My family has been planning the Thanksgiving menu over the past few days.  My aunt asked for my Crockpot Mac-N-Cheese recipe.  Inspiration for this post! 😉 Thanks Margaret!

Disclaimer: I have no idea where this recipe originated from.  My grandmother wrote it down for me on a piece of paper which I then copied  into my recipe binder. 😉 

Crock Pot Mac-N-Cheese

  • 8 oz macaroni noodles (cooked & drained)
    • I like the “shells” noodles
  • 1.5 cups of milk
    • I prefer skim
  • 1 Lg Can Evaporated Milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
  1. Spray Crock Pot with non-stick spray.
  2. Mix all ingredients together EXCEPT 1/2 cup of cheese.
  3. Pour into greased Crock Pot.
  4. Top with remaining cheese
  5. Cook on low for 3 -4 hours.
  6. Watch it carefully that last hour as it has a tendency to dry out and burn … quickly.

This has been a staple at the Thanksgiving Dinner table for a few years now.  🙂

Are you geting ready for Thanksgiving?  Share some of your favorite recipes! 🙂

Until next time…