Holiday Wreath

This past weekend I attended a “Wreath Making Party” in Ashburn, VA. I had never heard of these Wine & Design parties but it turned out to be so much fun!

 

10347492_10100144633167809_5571345975037788716_n

The owner of Country Shabby Chic came over to my friends house with all of the supplies we needed to make our wreath and led us through the steps.

1922071_10100144633576989_6630164465019756452_n 10395197_10100144633537069_480330097965250336_n

What you will need:

  • Box Wire Wreath
  • 1 roll of Deco Mesh
  • Thick Wired Ribbon
  • Wooden Initial
  • Twist Tie (in wire form)
  • Twine
  • Optional: Jingle Bells, JOY sign, Reindeers, Cinnamon sticks etc

What you will do:

  • Fold your Deco Mesh in half and tie the end on with one of  your wire twist ties
  • Bunch the Deco Mesh in your hand and stuff through the bottom wire of your wreath, then the middle, then the top. You will do this two times in each section until you get to the end

IMG_2219 IMG_2221

  • With your remaining Deco Mesh (there shouldn’t be much) you will tie that onto the top rack with a wire twist tie as well
  • Fluff your mesh
  • Make your bow (or pre-buy a bow!) tutorial here
  • Attach your bow with wire twists that go directly into the Deco Mesh
  • Tie the twine onto your wooden monogram letter and attach it to the bottom wire of the wreath
  • Hot glue gun any extras to your wreath

10806426_10100144633028089_5530207532091037793_n 10632880_10100144633068009_1546631760289943468_n 10408731_10100144633048049_571356047829816661_n

If you live in the DC/MD/VA area contact Country Shabby Chic for your Wine and Design party — They do much more than wreath making. If you live somewhere else I’m sure there are Wine and Design consultants in your area.

Advertisements

Currently Craving: Beauty (Sephora Sale)

I spent 6 hours WAITING for my webpage to refresh on Sephora yesterday so I could use my 20% VIB coupon. It’s rare that Sephora does a sale so when they do, you stock up! Clearly everyone else had the same idea since the website was down for hours. Below are my favorites ranging from fragrances to serums and lipgloss to dry shampoo. I have a coupon for a friend too so feel free to use my extra code: VPNFKF8XQ8J3.

Too Faced Everything Nice Set

s1640390-main-hero-300

 

 Dior Creme Rose Smoothing Plumping Balm

s1223338-main-hero-300

Bvlgari Coral Fragrance

s1410653-main-hero-300

 Self Tan Express Mousse

s1635564-main-hero-300

Nars Cheek Palette

s1643253-main-hero-300

YSL Foundation

s1451640-main-hero-300

Oil Treatment for Hair

s1638634-main-hero-300

Night Cream

s1047695-main-hero-300 Glam Glow Mask Gift Set

s1651934-main-hero-300

Bare Minerals Concelear

s1441757-main-hero-300

Urban Decay Naked Palette

s1324532-main-hero-300

Dry Shampoo

s1506468-main-hero-300

Formula X Nail Polish

p382361-av-01-hero300

Soy Face Cleanser

s487694-main-hero-300

YSL Lipstick

s1485887-main-hero-300

NARS Lipgloss

s1658897-main-hero-300

Dior Sun Powder

s1584887-main-hero-300

Moisturizer, Sunscreen and Treatment Serum in One

s1327915-main-hero-300

Throwback Thursday: San Diego

For Adam’s 31st birthday he requested a trip “somewhere warm”. If I had my way, we would’ve gone to Fiji. But since he likes “shorter” flights, I chose the furthest one possible… California. I researched the places with the best food, must-do’s and must-see’s and ended up planning a trip to San Diego and L.A. I have an entire itinerary (literally breakfast/lunch/dinner/activities planned) so if you ever need that, just e-mail me! For now, I’ve summed up our favorite places from San Diego below.

We tried to stay on the East Coast time as much as possible so waking up to the sunrise was easy.

1975152_933084710639_301536843_n

We stayed at the Catamaran Resort and Spa which was right on the “beach”. I wouldn’t exactly call it a beach even though it had sand and water but I noticed a lot of the beaches in the San Diego area were different from what we see on the East Coast. We grabbed an acai bowl from Juice Kaboose (SO GOOD) and headed to our first stop,  hiking at Torrey Pines. This trail for us was very easy but it had really amazing views!

1798310_933084560939_1230439441_n

unnamed (33)    1797515_933084655749_418348339_n

1920455_933084361339_1620644868_n (1) 1966710_933084535989_262505347_n IMG_2287

After hiking we quickly changed into our bathing suits and put our name down on the waiting list at the restaurant, Poseidon in Del Mar. The beaches in Del Mar were all wet sand which made it a bit awkward to lay out so we took a walk along the water before they called us to let us know our table was ready.

1897983_933084396269_1312426916_n

1911713_933084670719_1196564958_n

We had one of the best seats in the house! We decided to eat light and ordered a Thai Salad and Fish Tacos to save room for our dinner later on. The food was excellent and the view was even better.

Dinner reservations took us into the gaslamp district which I assume is San Diego’s “downtown”. I had read great things about Searsucker (Brian Malarkey from Top Chef is the chef) and we couldn’t wait to try it all!

1899887_933084610839_887950708_n

 

and…we did. From top to bottom — Spicy shrimp and grits, chimichurri steak, cheddar croissants, pretzel crusted salmon, jalapeño chorizo corn off the cob (melt in your mouth) and the s’mores bar.  10003452_933084585889_707331379_n

Phenomenal.

The next morning brought us to The Mission, which we ended up eating at twice during our stay. They had a ton of options and San Diego does not cheap out on portions, that’s for sure.

1911827_933409978799_991994862_n

I had the green tea latte and that huge platter on the bottom which was papas con chorizo. Adam ordered the gluten-free french toast and you would’ve never guessed it was Gluten Free. We headed to La Jolla to walk around shops and see the stinky seals beach.

1912220_933409429899_1274756350_n 1982350_933409824109_974569207_n

539234_933409864029_868455107_n

1234735_933409779199_441767111_n

The seals were stinkier than you can imagine but it was still a cool experience. Dinner was at C-Level, another amazing restaurant with ridiculous views. We sat outside and listened to the steel drum singer while the sun set over the skyline.

unnamed (15)

1920480_933409669419_307381799_n

563224_933409724309_1251838082_n

As usual, we ordered a ton of food but all of the walking we did every day made up for those extra calories.

1925141_933409639479_213968977_n

From top to bottom – Seared Ahi Stack (crab, ahi tuna, avocado/mango salsa, caviar, plantain chips), Lobster and Fontina BLT sandwich, Peanut Butter brownie sundae with butterscotch fudge and bruleed bananas, oysters and butternut squash gratin.

1969356_933409375009_1442690707_n

This is getting kind of long… so part 2 of San Diego next week. Happy Thursday!

 

 

23 Weeks

Baby A is just over 23 weeks today and is about the size of a large mango. (side note: isn’t a mango smaller than a spaghetti squash??)

 unnamed (33)

Here’s what Baby A has been up to this week:

  • More than 11 inches long and weighs over a pound.
  • Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing.
  • The sounds that your baby’s increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as a dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won’t faze her when she hears them outside the womb.
  • Her face is fully formed – she just needs some more fat to fill it out!

As for the rest of this week’s updates…

I actually found this survey another blog so I thought I’d switch it up.

About Me

Name? Alyssa

Age? 30

Height? 5’5”

Hair color? brown

Eye color? hazel

 

About the Father

Name? Adam

Age? 31 (He will be 32 when baby arrives)

Height? 5’10”

Hair color? brown

Eye color? hazel

 

About My Pregnancy

Is this your first pregnancy? Yes

When did you find out you were pregnant? June 25th at 6am!

Was it planned? Yup! Very VERY planned.

What was your first reaction? Happy, of course!! I think maybe almost in shock..

Who was with you when you found out? Adam was right outside the door so I came out with a smile and he said NO WAY.

Who was the first person you told? Adam! But then I called my mom…who cried.

How did your parents react? Both of our parents were “waiting” for the call so they  were all extremely happy.

How far along are you? 23 weeks

What was your first symptom? MASSIVE boobs (please tell me this stops soon??), a little crampy and bouts of nausea.

What is your due date? March 4, 2015

Do you know the sex of the baby? It’s a girl!

unnamed (22)

Have you picked out names? We have decided on her name which we are telling people in person…just not on social media.

How much weight have you gained? I think about 13-14 pounds, but I haven’t touched a scale at home.

Do you have stretch marks? Nope (fingers crossed!)

Have you felt the baby move? Yes, every single day recently and so has Adam. It never ever gets old.

Have you heard the heartbeat? Yes, a couple different times! I may or may not have bought a sonoline-b fetal monitor to listen at home too. #crazy

About Baby A

Will you keep the baby? 100%!

Home or hospital birth? Hospital

Natural or medicated birth? I’ll be getting the epidural… I’ll save myself the pain.

Who will be in the delivery room with you? I haven’t quite decided on this one yet. Definitely Adam, but I may need my mom in there for a little while to keep me calm…since she lives kind of far and who knows when i will go into labor it will probably be just me and my baby daddy 😉

Will you breastfeed? I’m really, really undecided on this one. It will be a game time decision.

Do you think you’ll need a c-section? If I have a child that was the size I was…probably.

Will you cry when you hold the baby for the first time? Oh gosh, no doubt. I’m not naturally emotional but I think this one will be an exception. I cry when I see pictures of others holding their baby for the first time so I might give you a good ugly cry when I hold her for the first time.

tumblr_m47hgjyDQZ1qj47pqo1_500

What’s the first thing you might say to her? I have no clue?! Probably sobbing and saying “hi baby” every two seconds.

Would you let someone videotape the birth? Definitely NOT. I would never watch it..

Are you excited or scared about the birth? EXCITED! I wish it was March already =) We haven’t seen any birthing videos…maybe that would change my mind

*****

So that’s it for this week…I know I’ll say it many more times from here on out, but I still can’t get over just how FAST time is flying by. It’s crazy!!

Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

What do you do when you have a whole lot of this on November 1st?

unnamed (27)

If you have children, you can tell them you ate all of their candy. (These NEVER get old)

Or, you can throw them in sugar and make a dessert… I say, do both.

unnamed (28)

Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

unnamed (29)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Leftover candy of choice (I used Reeses, Kit Kat’s, chocolate chips and some sprinkles –> because everyone loves sprinkles 😉 )

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees & grab an 8×8 baking pan. Line your baking pan with parchment paper and grease with vegetable oil spray.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, & kosher salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, melted butter, & vanilla extract.  Once these ingredients are well blended, add the egg & mix until everything is combined.
  • Add the flour mixture very slowly and mix until barely combined.  Using a spatula or large spoon, continue mixing ingredients until completely mixed.  Here is where I folded in the chocolate chips.
  • Line the bottom of your pan with the Kit-Kat’s. (I used 12 of the packages that have 2 in them)
  • Spread the batter into baking pan.  Don’t worry if it seems like there’s not much batter…it all works out!
  • Chop your Reese’s (about a cup) and place them on top of the batter. Shake some sprinkles on for pretty color!
  • Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, then pull the parchment paper out of the pan.
  • Cut Blondies into squares & enjoy!

unnamed (30)

Now you have an excuse to do more than just tear open those wrappers and indulge this Halloween season.

‘Give Thanks’ Rustic Banner

FullSizeRender

 

I usually buy my banners off of Etsy but decided this year I wanted to tackle one on my own. I went to Michaels and purchased all of my supplies for less than $15 (and I have plenty leftover). I went with the rustic style since this was going on a mirror that hangs over my fall tablescape. This was SO simple, I might never buy a pre-made banner again…

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Pre-cut burlap squares (they look like this)
  • Acrylic Paint in your color of choice
  • Variety pack of sponge spouncers (they look like this)
  • 4.5″  Letter stencils
  • Jute Twine (which looks like this)
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks

Here is what you’ll do:

  • Lay burlap square to be stenciled on top of a piece of cardboard to ensure table or counter does not get ruined. My carpet learned this the hard way.
  • Center desired letter in the middle of burlap flag. Use a spouncer and paint to stencil the letter onto the burlap. Lay the paint down very thick.
  • Let finished squares dry for an hour or so
  • Flip the squares over (spelling from right to left) and measure the amount of twine you will need (leave extra on the ends so you can hang it up). I left 3/4 of an inch in between each letter.
  • Measure 1/2 inch from top of banner and make a straight line across the back of the burlap squares with your hot glue gun.
  • Lay jute twine on top and let dry for 10 minutes
  • Hang your banner wherever you please