Love, Life, Cooking, Crafts, and Everything in Between :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Shout Out to Evan Taylor of!

Evan Taylor is a dear friend of mine from college. He is also a WONDERFUL photographer! I just wanted to give him a shout out and share some of the awesome moments he captured from my wedding over 2 years ago. He is based out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Everyone should check out his website ( and anyone that lives remotely close to him should use him for a fantastic, fun, professional photo session! :) Here is a little taste of his HUGE God-given talent. :)

Disclaimer: I stole this back from Facebook because the originals are on my external hard drive. The pictures are even more fabulous in print! :) You can get an even better taste for his talent from his website! :)

Me and my handsome hubby!

This is me with my lovely sister and handsome brother! :) Love them!

Red Skinnies

Today was SUCH a busy day at work! It seemed as if everyone and their mother wanted to come in, which resulted in non-stop madness! I slightly regretted wearing pumps because by the end of my shift my feet were a little on the sore side. :) Anyway, today I styled some red skinny jeans (from Kohl's), with a cute striped tank (Madison), black pumps (Madden Girl), 2 bracelets (J.Crew & Premier Design), and a watch (AE). 

How do you style red skinnies? :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marry the One Who Makes You Laugh

There is a quote rolling around Pinterest recently. I will admit...I pinned it. I pin everything (jk). I do pin a lot though. I just love the ease of seeing something I know I will want to do later (or at the very least look at again later) and putting it in a place where I will be able to easily find it and recognize it by picture.

Anyway, back to this quote...It was said/written/who knows what--by Joanne Woodward. She said, "Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat." It is so true. That is not to say that I don't find my husband extremely sexy (because believe me...I do ;) lol) but it is to say that you should not marry someone for their looks. You need to click with someone, to be able to be your true self around them, to grow with them, to trust them, to have fun with them, to laugh with them, to love them unconditionally. Today I had a good dose of the laughter that Ryan brings to my life. What can I say, he's a funny guy. :) He makes me laugh...and you will see just a little bit of it in one of the pictures for my outfit of the day. ...The picture where my eyes are so squinty that I could probably barely see at that moment. Yeah...that's what he does to me. :) That is the kind of joy that my love brings to my life. I am blessed. :) :)

Anyway, enjoy my outfit of the day (or don't! lol). I wore a floral dress (Angie), black leggins (Target?), fuchsia tank (Loft), rosette flat sandals (NY&Co.), brown belt (no name...TJ Maxx). :)
 Now, I have never layered this belt (or any belt) over this dress. I never thought to layer a brown belt over the dress because, well...quite frankly it doesn't match. BUT life isn't always about matching and neither is fashion. I actually quite like this together. It gives the outfit a little more oomph.
 This is my "I'm laughing so hard that I can't see but I'm trying not to show it because I'm taking pictures for my blog!" face. :) Also, in this picture I get to show you something else I love...pockets! I ADORE when dresses and skirts have pockets! :)

Do you like dresses and skirts with pockets?? I think they are so fun! :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bangs: The New Accessory

Today I decided to try something a little different. When I went through the horrible haircut experience posted about here (Hair Dressers & Inspiration) I asked the stylist for bangs. I hateddd them at first and styled my hair to hide them. Today I decided that I would try styling the bangs as full frontal fringe. I thought it would appear a little more chic, a little more dressy. I thought it would change the feel of my entire outfit...and it did. :)

I wore my cargo khakis folded up a couple times, sandals (Steve Madden), a 3/4 sleeve navy scoop neck tee (J.Crew), and a chunky knotted chain necklace (Chico's). The tee shirt has a sweet little detail on each sleeve (3 buttons). I love it! :) I also love that one of my tattoos peeks through the scoop in the back of the tee. I like to call this Simple Sexy Chic. :) Could have amped it up a little with some heels but I did a lot of running around today.

Have you ever thought of bangs as an accessory?

Barielle: Cherry Pie

Okay, I finally tried the fourth Barielle nail polish I bought from TJ Maxx a couple of weeks ago. As per the rest of them...I LOVED it! The polish comes out a nice, thinner consistency that makes application smooth. It dries perfectly. The color is simply beautiful. One thing that I have yet to mention (I believe..) is that this polish dries thoroughly. I always seem to have this problem that no matter how long I allow my freshly painted nails to dry, once I go to sleep and wake up the next morning I have indentations (from my sheets) all over my nails! It is sooo annoying. None of the Barielle polishes I have tried have done this! They all dry (and REMAIN) smooth! Anyway, here is the long awaited Cherry Pie (#5044).
Have you ever had the problem I have? Do your sheets make indentations on your polished nails? Any tips for this issue? :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

White Skinnies

Whoever said "no white after labor day" was so wrong! I love white and I don't believe that the wearing of white should be placed in a small summer-long box. Today I rocked my white skinny jeans (rolled up a little), with a print tank (Deletta), long sleeve shrug (sleeves rolled up...Deletta), a white cuff watch (Chico's), heart necklace, and gray Tom's.

The tank and shrug have awesome, unique details. The tank's straps are knotted in the front by my clavicles (so cool!). The shrug has awesome darts sewed into the bottom of the back (poor quality iphone pic below! lol).

What are your feelings about this so-called faux pas? Do you wear white after labor day?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ceramic Mug/Sharpie Myth Busted

I recently posted Personalized "Sweetie" Mugs. My friend Rach commented that you can make personalized mugs using any ceramic mugs and a Sharpie. You can decorate your mug using the Sharpie, bake the mug at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then the decorations would be permanent. In addition to Rach's comment I had seen this pinned again and again on Pinterest. A couple of friends recently got married and I decided to use this method to create a gift for them.

I started with plain ceramic mugs.
I then added "Mr." and "Mrs."
Next came the lips and mustache.
I finished the decorating portion of my crafting with adding their wedding date on each handle and "<3 the Tyler's" on the bottom of the mugs. I then baked the mugs for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Once that was done the mugs were set aside to cool off.

Next came the big test....hand washing. I used a sponge and a scrubber....both took off the design!! I do not have a picture of the somewhat ruined mugs but I do have a NOT use the Sharpie method thinking it will be a permanent solution!  I even called up Rach to tell her of my mishap. She was shocked because she had used the Sharpie method on a cookie jar. She got out her cookie jar and washed it just to test her product. It too came off! She was super bummed and so was I! We don't want you to be bummed so please, heed our warning! :) Find another way to decorate ceramics...for example, use a ceramic marker like the one that came with the Starbucks mugs I did for me and Ryan. :) We have had those mugs for 2 years and have washed them by hand with a sponge, with a scrubber, and washed them in the dishwasher hundreds of times and they are still perfection. :)

Good luck! :)

Have you ever done a craft that you found online only to have it disappoint? ...just curious. :)

Perfectly Plaid

Today was spent running errands all day. It was sunny and 70 outside. I celebrated with a Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino. YUM! So many things to little time! :) It was a good day...except for the fact that my license is MIA. So if any random person out there knows what happened to my license please let me in on the secret!! :) Otherwise, enjoy my outfit for the day.

I wore my gray Tom's with a pair of skinny jeans rolled up a couple of times (Hollister), a braided brown leather belt, a white cami (H&M), and a long sleeve plaid flannel-ish button up (Abercrombie & Fitch). The jeans were fully intact and beautiful....when I bought them...6+ years ago! They are now gracefully destroyed. I love them though. I may never give them up....unless I grow out of them! lol :)

My favorite kind of sleeve is 3/4 length and so I roll up pretty much all of my long sleeve shirts. I recently came across a wonderful tip via Pinterest regarding the rolled up sleeve look. An ex J.Crew stylist (Marina Dobreva) shared some tips on and the one I tried today was amazing (How to Roll a Sleeve). She said that you should fold your cuff all the way up so that the bottom of the cuff (after fold) is above your elbow. Then, fold the rest of the material up to the bottom of your cuff. There are better instructions at the link I provided but...basically...this tip is amazing. I am going to do this from now on. Usually when I roll my sleeves up I have to fix them all day long. With Marina's tip I did not have to fix my sleeves once all day/night!! :) :) :) Awesome. is my outfit for the day...long awaited, I know! lol jk :)
But seriously...I CANNOT believe my license is gone....I may never get over this. (jk)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Sunday!

Today was a beautiful Sunday! God blessed us with the PERFECT weather! Sunshine, warmth, a cool breeze... Church was  wonderfully refreshing. Autumn is in the air (as I keep mentioning) and I LOVE it! Today's outfit was somewhat inspired by a blog I recently began following (Putting Me Together). Audrey mentioned that some outfits just need an anchoring piece. They need something that draws the eye and focuses the outfit for onlookers (Building a Remixable Wardrobe Part 5: Acessories). I paired a necklace with my outfit (Chico's) that I have had for a while but was not sure how to wear. I also added a pop of color to my mostly blue outfit using some red flats from Target.
The way stripes sometimes appears in pictures cracks me up! So psychedelic! :)
What do you think of using an "anchor piece?"

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Homemade Autumn "Oreos"

As stated earlier, I made some homemade "Oreos" today. They came out pretty well! I first saw the recipe on Pinterest. It actually came from My Kitchen Addiction. They were time-consuming but super easy. I almost didn't finish making them because the dough was so yummy! :) I wanted to eat it all. I practiced a little self-control and stopped eating the dough so I would have something baked to share with Ryan later. :)

Cookie Recipe:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dutch process cocoa powder (any cocoa powder will do)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Frosting Recipe:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 – 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, whisked to remove any lumps
Cookie Directions:
1. Beat butter and sugar on Medium until light and fluffly.
2. Mix in egg and vanilla.
3. In separate bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. 
4. Gradually mix in cocoa mixture on lowest speed until dry ingredients are just mixed in.
5. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill for 1 hour.
6. After the hour of chill time, set oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit).
7. Roll the dough out over flour and cut an even number of cookies using whatever cookie cutter you wish.
8. Place cutouts on prepared tray (I used wax paper) and bake for 12 minutes (I only baked mine for 9 minutes).

Frosting Directions:

1. Combine butter, vanilla, half and half, and salt.
2. Slowly whisk in powdered sugar. (I colored my frosting orange in honor of fall!)
3. Scoop frosting into piping bag and pipe onto the bottom of 1 cookie.
4. Place second cookie on top of frosting (bottom of cookie on top of frosting) to create cookie sandwich.
5. Enjoy! :)

Delicious! :) Dip in milk and savor the flavor. ;)

A "Vested" Interest in Stripes! ;)

 Okay, I must come clean. Today's outfit was worn to a football game last night AND out for coffee with a girlfriend this morning. :-0 I know! Shame on me. I really don't care though. :) It was comfortable and fall. I wore a simple pair of jeans (Hollister) and a 3/4 sleeve striped top from J.Crew. I paired this basic outfit with a black zip vest (Kenneth Cole), and a pair of suede driving moccasins (J.Crew). The moccasins were orange, which I feel just screams fall! :) I wore my three signature silver pieces for jewelry (2 bracelets and a watch), along with a silver/diamond heart necklace from my hubby, and of course, my wedding set. :)

This top has adorable shoulder them!

Lots of pictures today. Mostly because I had just awoken from a short nap and was not fully awake for the picture you may of may not be able to tell from the pictures provided. :) Oh well. :) I think I am going to make some homemade Oreos now! :) I'll post later to let you all know how they turned out! :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Practically Pajamas

I had a slightly difficult time picking out my clothes this morning. I knew that when I left for work this morning it was going to be about 61 degrees outside (Fahrenheit), but that by the time I got off work at 2 it was going to be 80 degrees out. I needed something that would cover me enough to keep me warm (I get cold SUPER easily) but not suffocate me after work. I opted for a navy J. Crew tunic. It is nearly sheer with 3/4 sleeves. It buttons 1/2 way down. It was enough covering to keep me warm this morning, but light enough to keep me cool when I left work. I layered a navy tank underneath, a thin black faux snakeskin belt over the tunic, and a pair of super cute, thick leggings underneath! The leggings have an adorable detailing at the bottom as you'll see in the pictures. I wore a pair of cheetah print flats to spice it up a little. I'm happy with my choices. They served their purposes well. :)

I'm beginning to think that I always lean when I stand! :)

Cheetah Print Flats

Adorable Leggins with Silver Button Details
Tonight Ryan and I are going to a football game with a couple of our best friends. I am so excited about checking "football game" off of the old autumn bucket list! Maybe later I'll post about more fall bucket list activities. :) What fun things are on your to do list this season? :)

PS Thanks for bearing with the poor picture quality. I'll play with my camera setting eventually and take some quality pics, but for now I'm just taking quickies. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Super Casual

Today I decided to go super casual. I wanted to be comfortable and (as per usual...apparently) simple. I picked a pair of cargo khakis (folded up a couple of times), a white tee, my gray Tom's and a striped J. Crew scarf that I tied to simulate an infinity scarf. On a day like today when I have a half work day and lots of grad work to get done for school I don't feel the need to be dressed up. Today is a perfect Fall day and thus I tried to wear an outfit that would (to me) celebrate the warm Autumn air down here in Virginia. :)

Just for's a couple of pictures of my sweet puppy Petey!! :) Ryan and I love him. He is THE best!
Petey Mouse the Super Dog!! :)

Petey enjoying riding around in the Jeep. :)

 Have a blessed day everyone! Enjoy this beautiful weather! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Misbehaving Mistress: Barielle Polish

A couple weeks ago I was raving about a new nail polish brand I had found, Barielle. My toenails still look perfect from that first paint job, but I decided yesterday that it was time to repaint my fingernails. I decided to try another of the four Barielle nail polishes I bought--this time Misbehaving Mistress. I consider it to be in the brown family with a touch of gray. You can decide for yourself. Though I did not use a clear coat on my last time I painted them I did this time. I can already tell a difference in the strength of the paint job. I love this color just as much as I loved Elated and Gotta Have Fate. It is pretty and classy. Again, this polish went on super smooth. It was a very pleasant painting experience. :)

Dark Gray Skinnies

Okay, so yesterday I posted about my new bright blue skinnies. Today I want to talk about my dark gray skinnies. I love them. They are SUPER dark (and for some reason in my pictures they look almost purple to me). I paired them with a pair of nude Jessica Simpson heels and another striped top from J.Crew! I kept it super simple wearing only filigree teardrop earrings and 2 silver bracelets with a silver watch (and of COURSE my lovely wedding set!).

Yes, I was blinking...oops!

I love the details on the shoulders of this boat neck top! There are buttons on top of those little navy ledges. It's details like these that make me swoon. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bright Blue Skinnies

I have been wanting to jump on the colored skinnies bandwagon for a while now. Over the weekend I was finally able to score 3 pairs - red, blue and dark gray. I love them. Seriously, I wish I had added them to my wardrobe earlier! Today styled my new blue skinnies with a 3/4 sleeve, 1/2 buttoned, striped (because I am obsessed with stripes) top from JCrew and a pair of wine colored loafers from American Eagle. The outfit was super simple and without frills but I got a LOT of compliments on it!
This picture is kind of awful simply because you cannot tell just how bright the colors are. The blue is a more bright, royal blue, like these from S.N.A.P..
The top (J. Crew Ringspun Henley with gold buttons) is currently sold out. Apparently Zooey Deschanel wore it on one of her shows. ...who knows, maybe that is why it is sold out...I mean, who doesn't love her! To be honest, I didn't know she had worn this shirt until I Googled for an image of it. I actually bought it at a warehouse sale this past weekend for a STEAL ($10!)!
Via New Girl Tumblr

Have you jumped on the colored jean trend yet?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hair Dressers & Inspiration

I am the kind of person that decides on any given day that I want a hair cut. When I set my mind to wanting a hair cut I begin to need a hair I get super impatient and the longer I must wait the more impatient I grow. I have been wanting to "shape up" my hair for a little while now. I decided today was the day that I must finally visit my hair dresser. Upon arriving at my usual salon, much to my dismay, I was informed that my usual stylist has moved to New York!!! I was SO sad! I had been seeing Jessica for about a year now and she always knew how to produce exactly what I wanted. I never walked away from her with a bad cut. She was also very personable. I had started seeing her after a recommendation from an acquaintance. As you can tell, I was very pleased. was time to start find a new hair dresser.

 Trusting someone new with my hair is very scary to me! My hair is short/medium in length and thus a bad haircut is VERY visible. Against the advice of my nerves I tried a different girl at the same salon before consulting other women whose hair I like. I told her that I am starting to grow out my stacked "lob" (longer bob) but I needed to get it shaped up and trimmed. I also wanted to try bangs for fall. After discussing this with her she got started. Though she was nice she was nearly silent throughout the entire cutting process. When it came time for her to dry the new "do" she PULLED at my soft, thin hair until the headache I had had all afternoon was nearly unbearable. Luckily the end result was not all bad. It's growing on me. It's no "Jessica cut" but it'll do for now. :) It was a rough day for me and my hair....

I had to share my somewhat traumatic hair day with you all. Anyway, on a lighter and more fun note, here are some inspirational pics for a medium length cut with bangs...and Jennifer Aniston, because let's face hair inspiration is complete without her!:

via 2012 Bobs

via Hairii

via My Next Hairstyle
via My Next Hairstyle

I love looking at new hair styles :) Do you? How do you go about finding a new stylist?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Personalized "Sweetie" Mugs

Many things make me smile. I love when cooler weather creeps in after the summer heat begins to break; I love using mugs; I love drinks that go in mugs (cocoa, coffee, lattes...); I love meaningful gifts; and most of all I absolutely adore my husband! Anything that is able to synthesize my love for my husband, mugs, warm drinks, and sentiment is easily going to make it to my list of all time favorite things. These personalized "sweetie" (as I like to call them) mugs are on that list!

Last year on my way home from a business trip to NC I stopped by Starbucks and found these awesome personalization mugs! You use the provided pen to write/draw whatever you want on the mug and then bake it for permanence.
via Starbucks
I just had to buy two (one for me and one for Ryan)! After arriving home from his sister's baby shower he surprised me with my finished mug! He's such a sweetie. He did a wonderful job and I love it today as much as I loved it that day (maybe more!).
I like to think he likes his too... :)

I'm sure that there are cheaper ways to do this little project and whether you buy the Starbucks mugs or buy some dollar store mugs...I highly recommend this fun little project for any married couples that drink hot drinks. :) So fun! So sweet! :)

Disclaimer: These mugs have held up super well! They are still perfect though they have been used, hand washed, and dishwasher washed MANY times! :)