Friday, October 21, 2016

Swap It Like It's Hot Fall 2016

It's Swap It Like It's Hot time mutha effaaaaahs! Can you tell that I love this? It's only my second time around (check out my first one here) but I was super stoked when I got that special email from Charlotte over at Ciburbanity. Sign me up, sistah.  I love a good excuse to craft and this is such a special situation, where there's the challenge of not getting to pick what you're going to create with! Here's the sitch: Everyone runs around and shops their favorite thrift store/ flea market/ yard sale. Once you’ve found a cart load of stuff for yourself (hypothetically), find a few items (spend no more than $10) that have real makeover potential. Pop in the mail and call it a day. Eagerly await your own goodies to arrive... and GO!

Karen of Copper Dot Interiors shipped me this go 'rounds goods! She picked out an orange mirror, a music box base (that still works and plays the theme from Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel") and this cute little basket with yarn stitching. I had grand plans to make a hanging planter using just the base of the orange mirror and the basket but I'll be damned, whoever glued that mirror together really took pride in their work, because I couldn't for the life of me get that sucker apart without breaking it... sooooo change of plans. Where's that gold spray paint and painters tape when I need it?

OK new plan is to make a decorative raised tray using the mirror and music box base. I wanted to play a little with mixed metallics so grabbed some silver and dark gunmetal paints in addition to my gold spray paint. Snagged some wooden buttons from the craft store and some metallic thread and I was ready to begin my vision/ creative work in progress. I used a gun metal gray for the buttons and base and gold spray paint for the mirror. Once dried, I took some silver craft paint and light brushed both the buttons and the base to give it a more weathered look/feel.

With the help of a little E6000, I glued the base to the mirror and affixed the painted wood buttons around the top. Zig-zagging some metallic wire thread seemed like a good idea (and hid a little bit of my gluing mistakes)...I'm fairly pleased with the outcome and my love of a good can of spray paint has certainly been reaffirmed. The new addition fits nicely in our living room, right above where it looks like a toy factory exploded (not pictured). What do decor and design bloggers always say? You just have to clean up one corner to photograph? That's what I did folks. Check out the afters and let me know what you think!

So the Propah Toddlah and I took a trip to the Goodwill in NH (because it's super big and I wanted a selection, yo) and I was actually super handsy grabby when it came to picking out stuff for Thea of It's a Sweet Tea Life! I was actually getting inspiration when perusing, which is why I picked these items. Thea told me that at first, she was admittedly stumped with what to do with her new treasures but then, aren't we all?  I'm super excited to hop over there to see what she did; check out what I sent her below... I mean, couldn't you polish off some of this dust and make a go of it?

Check out the rest of the participants this week! I've loved seeing all the transformations from what one creative mind sends to another. It's really such a fun thing to take part in!



Windgate Lane

Vin'yet Etc.

Casa Watkins Living

One Mile Home Style




Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer

Addicted 2 DIY

Restoration Redoux

I Am a Homemaker

Maggie Overby Studios

PMQ For Two


Two Thirty-Five Designs

58 Water Street

Create & Babble

Dogs Don't Eat Pizza

Gourley Girl and Guy

The Charming Farmer


This is our Bliss

Southern State of Mind

Two Purple Couches

My Life From Home


Erin Spain

Copper Dot Interiors

Prim and Propah

Sweet Tea Refinishing

Eveys Creations

On Fern Avenue

Have you "hopped" around? What are your favorites?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

JORD + Mr. Propah

Do you think I always blog just for myself? Not allllways. Sometimes, I like for the hubs to reap some of the benefits of the great blogging relationships that I have. When JORD offered us the opportunity to choose a super cool Wooden Wristwatch for my man, well, we didn't hesitate. He has been wearing the same watch for a few years now and I would love to see him accessorize a little more (a girl can dream, right?) and he actually took great interest in choosing his new and really unique men's watch (he went with the Delmar in Zebrawood and White Carbon). Is it wierd that I take such pride in him wearing it? Like, it's legit a really cool watch, really well made and comes in a totally awesome box that is perfect for gift giving (just sayin').


Sometimes it's hard feeling "cool" as a parent so we gotta take our chances to up the "hip game" whenever possible. That's not to say that our attempts always work but a Mom and Dad have got to try, you know what I'm saying? I'm thinking that I need to snag one of the women's watches so we can have coordinating wrist candy... and the Propah Toddlah has already expressed interest in wearing Dad's watch (a big Hell No for now)! We are now a JORD family, if there is such a thing. JORD believes that a watch is more than just about telling time but rather appreciating the time we have. Moments are bigger than minutes... and your watch should tell more than time. I love that.

Wooden Wristwatch

I'm really excited for you to check out what they've got going on. Their watches combine extremely excellent craftsmanship, modern design and quality that will last you years. You know that when you purchase (or WIN) a JORD watch, you're getting the best and wearing time well. You can catch up with JORD wood watches on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

Do you want to win $75 to shop for a JORD watch of your own (either Women of Mens?) Enter to win HERE! Psst. It's super easy to enter!

“This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches, The contest will close 11/6 at 11:59pm"

Monday, October 17, 2016

5 Reasons Why We Visit the Library

This past weekend, the Propah Toddlah and I stopped into our local library to set Mom up with a library card. Yeesh, I've been living in our town for three years now and have never stopped in to take advantage of one of the great things about living in a town like ours. After our Saturday visit, I left with a renewed (get it?) outlook on spending time in our local library with my growing family. I think it's important for a few very good reasons...

1. It's a Tradition. That alone isn't always the best reason to continue to do something but I can remember my Mom taking us to the library to pick out books. I would always borrow the same Shel Silverstein books of poetry. The pictures were funny and so were the rhymes. We loved reading them on long trips and even short one. One tradition I would like to break in regards to library books is returning them late.. I'm going to be the one to break that cycle!

2. We're Supporting Our Community. This seems like a given but I know that it took me forever to visit our local library so I'm willing to be there are more out there like me. When the librarian was breaking down how there are basically no late fees until you've basically had the book overdue for about 5 months, I knew that our town isn't trying to nickle and dime us, they're trying to provide a service and a community center where people can visit, learn and grow. My supporting our local libraries and parks departments and community centers, we are doing not just our towns a service but ourselves as well!

3. We're Keeping Our Minds Sharp, Duh. We read with Wesley all the time, or at least we try to. He loves books and it reminds me that I need to reignite my love of books as well. It's not so much that I don't read, I actually read a lot, but I don't sit down to enjoy a work of fiction, with a cup of coffee, uninterrupted by life's daily distractions. I can foresee us spending some quality Saturday hours logged at the library, enjoying some quiet time, reading and focusing on the learning and loving involved with reading.

4. Disconnecting. I mean this literally. We spend so much time as a digital culture, focused on our devices. I can already see my son asking for the phone or the ipad and while I'm not the type of mother who is like "Absolutely No Screentime For You!", I'm also concerned that he's going to grow up to be out of touch with some important things, like going out to experience life, instead of living it attached to his phone or tablet. Reading a good ol' fashioned book at the library after you spent a morning at the park is exactly what we need to do sometimes.

5. It's Inspirational. Sometimes, browsing Amazon isn't the best way to get inspiration. When you're in the stacks of the library's non-fiction section, you can find all sorts of cool, old and even out of print books that you might not have ever seen if you were browsing on the internet. I borrowed a whole slew of books to browse on my train rides this coming weekend. I'm especially excited about The Art of Tassel Making and plan to leave a project for my husband while I'm gone (build me a "warping board", directions in the book!)... You never know what you'll be inspired by if you have a little time to browse.

Do you frequent the local library? What's your favorite reason?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Satya Jewelry + The W.E.L.L. Summit 2016!

One week from today, I'm hopping on the train and headed to NYC to the 2nd Annual W.E.L.L. Summit! I'm pretty stoked because I had an amazing time last year, as you probably remember and this year, I've been fortunate enough to a Brand Ambassador for their team (YAY!) so have truly been getting involved! I love the community so I'm looking forward to seeing my friends again and of course, making new ones. We are all of like and open minds when it comes to attending the summit and I am so grateful for that!

As an ambassador, I have been keeping an eye on the brands that are involved, because as you may know, the W.E.L.L. Summit team are really doing a fantastic job curating only the most wonderful people to bring on board to support. One particular particpant is Satya Jewelry. I am pretty much SO stokes to meet them next week for a couple of reasons. #1 their jewelry is gorgeous and that's enough just to have that foundational crush on them! Satya Jewelry is created with simplicity, style and global consciousness. Semi-precious gemstones renowned for their ancient healing properties are combined with 18kt gold plate, sterling silver and sacred symbols to create jewelry that brings peace and hope to its wearers. Rooted in its mission to inspire each person’s own individual truth. Satya Jewelry is designed for your own individual journey. #2 Satya, the founder and creator, is leading a workshop which you KNOW that I signed up for! We will learn the sacred art of Mala making and how Malas are used in daily practice with meditation. Swoon... creating and making and spending time with people doing those things! I am excited to meet Satya, a philanthropist, yoga teacher and Reiki healer. She lives a lifestyle dedicated to giving back to the world community so I am sure she has some nuggets of wisdom to share with us! 

There are so many sessions that I am looking forward to taking part in. I know that I am going to learn a lot over that wellness weekend and cannot wait to share with you all that I experienced and those that I met. If you're in the NYC area, there are still a couple days to grab your W.E.L.L. Summit ticket and be spontaneously WELL!

Are you going to be at W.E.L.L. Summit? Be sure to say Hi! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Apple+ Pumpkin Party: No Bake Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bites with Caramel Drizzle

Photo Credit: Domestikated Life
I meant to share some of this yumminess weeeeeeeeks ago but you know how life goes and those weeks just passed me right by! I was invited to a Apple and Pumpkin party and it was just as delicious as it sounds... I hit the road with the #PropahToddlah in tow to party down at Domestikate's house with my pumplin cream cheese bites ready to nosh and chat and have a great Sunday afternoon!

I'd made these No Bake Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bites before and they are certainly delicious but what I learned from this particular venture out is that when something needs to be chilled or even frozen, an hour plus in the car on a warm September day is probably not going to help. You live and you learn folks! I have altered this recipe a couple of times to my taste so I'm going to give you the low-down on what I make! I hear through the grapevine that they are gluten-free so, that's a plus if gluten makes you all itchy and irritable!

Bites Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese
½  cup pumpkin purée
6 tbsp  to 8 tbsp sweetener of choice (to taste and for coating-I used fancy white granulated sugar)
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup crushed pecans (for light coating)

Caramel Drizzle:
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of heavy cream (or half and half)
5 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
a dash of salt

Let's start with the bites themselves! Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a mixer, combine cream cheese, pumpkin puree, 4-6 tbsp of sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract until blended well. Pop the mixture in the freezer until firm enough to mold, about 30-45 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine crushed pecans and 4 tbsp of sugar for coating. Using a spoon, cookie scoop, or your hands, form bite sized balls using thepumpkin and cream cheese mixture. Roll each ball in the pecan mixture until lightly covered. Place on your baking sheet. Refreeze to keep for longer or pop in the fridge to firm them back up. Make sure they are in a covered container.

When ready to drizzle in caramel, combine brown sugar, heavy cream, butter, vanilla extract and salt in a small saucepan on your stovetop. Over medium heat, whisk for about 5 minutes until all ingredients are combined. Let cool completely before lightly drizzling over completed (and cooled) bites. Caramel mixture can be stored in the fridge to form a thicker consistency to apply as well.

Serve for all your friends! Yum!

My Pumpkin bites aside there was ALL sorts of deliciousness. My personal favorite was Kate's Apple Gruyere Flatbread... I'm pretty sure that I ate half of what she made on my own (I blame the baby!). Plus Elizabeth made some amazing apple bunt cakes that were like too good to be true.

I loved spending time with Kate, Elizabeth, Jessica, Julie, Emily, Becky and my little buddy, eating and chatting the afternoon away. I can't wait to see what kind of themed party that Kate thinks up next! I love a good theme and I love a good party, and, well, you know that I love eating so it's pretty much always going to be my ideal afternoon.

Do you have any apple or pumpkin recipes that you always have to make each Fall?