Thanksgiving Crafts

I cannot believe it is almost Thanksgiving!

For me, Thanksgiving always marks the end of fall and the beginning of the holiday season. However, for some people (and retailers) it seems like Thanksgiving isn’t even a holiday anymore. I went to the store recently to get some decorations and they didn’t even have any!

This year is my first year hosting Thanksgiving for my family! I am so excited to see family, have some delicious drinks, and eat until we all fall asleep! I have decided on a rustic theme for my decorations and I have used Pinterest to come up with some ideas.

c128b2225670d56cc4d7977460487875

A festive candle.

6679d0a561265343076c3ede909e1caa

Perfect for a mantle

74c699d95f9e4598ac19c155e4b15326

Gorgeous wreath.

3f647a1d53e5b6d6e304b4cd18768de0

You can never have too much glitter!

4d476df4eea35676a5d10e8df7fdd0d8

This would look great in a window.

Let me know how your crafts turn out – and have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

-A

Advertisements

Some Windy City Fun

photo 2

 I recently took a trip to Chicago!

I’ve been to Chicago a handful of times and each time I find something new to love. My last visit was in February, the weather was frightening and kept me inside so this time was chilly but manageable.

Most of the time was happily spent with family outside of the city. I pretty much ate constantly and enjoyed catching up with the fam. If your ever out in the midwest go to Steak ‘n Shake! It is amazing. Essentially a diner, I think I’ve only eaten there once but every time I’m out there I go for a shake. They always have your standard flavors plus amazing other creations, and they are open 24 hours.

While I was in the burbs most of my trip, I was able to go into the city several times. My first trip into the city was to go see improv! Chicago is famous for improv and many great comedians and SNL folks have come through the Chi Town circuit. I went to IO for a Saturday night improv show. It was my first professional show and was so much fun. There were amazing comedians and it was just a fun night with my family. IO is downtown right by Wrigley field so we also got to walk around downtown a little and check out a few bars too!

photo 4

Second City is also in Chicago, if you wanna go to either venue I suggest checking out shows and buying tickets in advance. Shows will sell out and I did see plenty of people tuned away at the door.

photo 5

Another new discovery for me was the Wicker Park area. It’s a little hipster but was fun to walk around for a few hours. There are tons of great little stores and cafes to check out. I got an amazing Chai Latte from Filter and definitely would have spent more time there if I had it. It was so warm and comfy in there. The barista was super nice and the couches looked so inviting.

I also found a great gallery, the Jackson Junge Gallery they had lots of different pieces and had tons of prints and Chicago art if you wanted to take a piece home. If street art is more your thing Wicker Park has tons of it.

photo 1

photo 1 (3)photo 2 (3)

Enjoy the pictures and Chicago if you get a chance to go!

-K

Brown Sugar Scrub

photo 5
This is the easiest, tastiest scrub you will ever scrub yourself with!

Ashley and I made this a few months ago and it was amazing. Smells amazing and makes your skin so soft.  All you have to do is mix brown sugar and olive oil. There are no exact measurements, just add as you please.

We chose to keep it simple using only two ingredients but you can also add honey, lemon or anything else you wish to your scrub.photo 1

photo 3photo 2

Let us know what you add and how yours turns out!

Cautionary tale: 

Ashley and I made the scrub and put them in these beautiful glass jars.  I then put this beautiful jar in the shower and one day while I was trying to open the scrub it slipped and broke in the shower. Let me tell you there are few things scarier than broken glass all over the shower while you’re in it! So be careful and perhaps go for plastic!

-A&K

Central Coast Getaway

photo 1A few weeks ago I went on a weekend getaway with my mom and aunt. We were celebrating my aunts birthday and decided that a quick trip down the coast would be perfect. We ended up in Pismo Beach which is about 4 hours south of San Francisco. Pismo and the surrounding area is the perfect beach town – perfect views, great people, and delicious food.

photo 4

I wanted to offer some tips for planning a weekend getaway and share with you some of the fun times we had. We picked a hotel off the main highway, we wanted it to have ocean views and close proximity to all of the area without being right downtown. We did some research to pick out what would be the best place for us – which included a fabulous balcony.photo 3

When picking a hotel you should really consider these three questions;

1. How much time will you be spending in the room?

2. How close is it to the activities that you will be doing?

3. What amenities will you be using at the hotel/do they offer them?

During the weekend we had two fabulous dinners. One at Steamers and one at Ventana Grill. I highly recommend both restaurants if you are in the area. They both offer great drinks and a full and flavorful menu.

The big highlight of the weekend was an afternoon at the Sycamore Mineral Springs spa. The mineral springs have been around for over 100 years and the resort was built around them. The spa was tucked away in the forest and featured a variety of massage packages. Additionally you can rent a private hot spring for an hour. It was definitely worth it, and the grounds of the resort were absolutely breathtaking.Image-4

On our way out of town we stopped at Avila Valley Barn, they had a pumpkin patch (which I checked off my list), sunflower fields, farm animals, and local produce and goods to purchase in their store. We weren’t planning on going but saw it on the road and decided that it would be a great stop.

photo-5

Weekend getaway tips:

1. Do some research about what the town or city has to offer.

2. Talk with locals about their favorite things to do (restaurants, sights, ect).

3. Don’t plan too much – go in with some ideas but leave time for exploring whatever you may find along the way!

photo 2

Happy travels!

-A

Dresser Makeover

photo 1 (2)

I haven’t had or needed a dresser for what seems like forever.  Now, however, my closet is overflowing…so I dug out my childhood dresser for a much needed makeover. 

1. First I had to give it a thorough cleaning. It was pretty grimey so I wiped it down with soap and water and tried to get it as clean as possible.

2. Then I removed all the hardware and sanded down the entire dresser. I used a medium grain sand in case you    were wondering. Sanding is important because it helps remove unwanted blemishes as well as to help the paint better stick to the wood.

photo 4 (2)

3. After sanding I wiped down the dresser again and got ready to paint! Earlier in the week Ashley and I went to The Home Depot and picked out paint. I decided I wanted to paint the dresser white with teal accents. There are however many different kinds of white so make sure you pick carefully. I decided on Pearl Drops and Mermaid Treasure both by Behr. To paint I used a small foam roller (It helps the paint go on smooth and even with no brush strokes to show through).

I painted the whole dresser white. Because the paint is so light it easily shows imperfections, as well as the wood underneath so I did a few coats of the white. I taped off the edges as needed with painters tape and added my teal accents.

photo 3 (2)

4. I wanted to keep the charm of the old dresser but with a more updated feel, so I bought new white knobs and painted the old ones. After everything was painted and dry I just had to screw on the  hard ware , step back and Enjoy!

photo 5

-K

Quick and Easy Stir-Fry

On Wednesday we went on a little adventure, did some blog-talk and realized that we were super hungry. After much thought we decided on an easy lunch time stir-fry. All you need are a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge/pantry.photo 1-2

In ours we decided on shrimp, edamame, broccoli, and green bell peppers.

All you really need to do is chop everything up (or use frozen veggies), cook over medium heat, add your spices, add your protein, and serve over rice with your favorite sauce!photo 2-2

Veggies: bell pepper, mushrooms, broccoli, onion, asparagus, carrots, edamame, water chestnuts, baby carrots

Protein: chicken, shrimp, pork, beef, tofu

Sauces: siracha, soy sauce, sweet and sour, lime& ginger.photo 3-2

Enjoy!

-A&K

Drugstore Dandies

Great products at great prices!

photo (4)

We all love saving money, right, I mean I do. And we like looking good right? So I think its important to find great products that won’t break the bank. So here is a list (in no particular order) of some of my favorite drugstore finds. All are available at stores like Target or Walgreen’s and priced around $5.

1. Vaseline aloe fresh spf 15 : This lotion is not too heavy, plus it has spf to protect your skin.

2. Clear Total Care Conditioner : Leaves my hair soft and nourished, usually leave it on for a few minutes and no tangles when I brush my hair out.

3. Maybelline Clean Express : I bought this because my usual makeup remover was out of stock, and now it’s my new makeup remover. It is super gentle but effective. The first time I used it I accidentally wiped it all over my eye and it didn’t hurt at all! Not so with other products.

4. Aussie anti-frizz cream : My hair is really thick and almost curly. It can’t quite make up its mind so it very easily becomes a frizzy mess.  This product however keeps it somewhat tame. Works best on damp hair, so that by the time your hair dries it tames the frizz and keeps your style.

5. Maybelline Great Lash mascara : The oldest greatest mascara. I’ve bought others and this is still the everyday champ. It also comes in a ton of varieties now.

6. Yes to Tomatoes acne repairing lotion : Just started using this product this year and so far so happy. Great products, all natural, cruelty free so good skin and good karma.

7. Neutrogena makeup remover cleaninsing towelettes : Started using these within the last month and they are so handy. Especially after a long night when you just wanna come home, wipe off all your makeup and hit the hay. No water or anything else needed. I can’t wait to take them travelling, I think they would be a great addition to any suitcase.

Also everything on this list smells great!

-K

It’s the simple things.

Recently I have tried to make little changes to my day-to-day routine. I have found that changing a few simple things can make a huge difference. It can give you an ease of mind, calm yourself, or improve your health. Here are a few things that I have been doing.

morning_words2

(Image Source via Google)

Drinking more water

Flossing

Reading before bed and shutting off all electronics

Meditating for 15 minutes in the morning

Wearing sunscreen

-A

Banana Pecan Raisin Muffins

Sundays are a time of relaxing, reality TV watching, and prepping for the next week. I try to not make definite plans for Sundays because I know I will end up breaking them. I do whatever my heart desires on that day; sometimes that means waking up early for the gym, other times it means having a movie marathon with the roomie. This Sunday I woke up with a huge urge to bake! I had some old bananas that I wanted to use so I thought some banana pecan raisin muffins for the next week would be perfect. I love banana muffins because you can really add anything to them!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup of flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 bananas (older bananas are better)

1 egg beaten

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins

1/3 cup pecans

How To:

Preheat the over to 350 degrees and place cupcake liners in muffin tin (will make 12 large muffins)

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl mash bananas, then add egg, oil, and vanilla and mix well.

Combine wet and dry ingredients then add in raisins and pecans.

Fill muffin tins and bake for 18-24 minutes, muffins will be done when the tops are golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

image

Flour first

image-1

Dry ingredients

image-2

Bananas

image-3

Mix it all up!

image-4

Perfectly golden brown muffins – ready for the week!

image-5

Add some tea and your favorite fashion magazine for the perfect Sunday activity!

Happy Baking!

-A

Last Minute Halloween DIY

Happy Halloween! A great holiday filled with candy, pumpkins, scares, and best of all costumes! Now if anyone knows us they know that we LOVE to dress up. We both had dress up boxes in college and endless ideas for friends! So if it is 7pm and some friends decide to go out and you don’t have a costume – don’t freak out! Here are some fun (and easy) ideas!

Grandma or Grandpa – throw on your comfiest pjs, some glasses, and slippers! Put a little baby power in your hair and have fun! Bonus points if you can find a cane or walker!

A bottle of wine – Ashley’s fun costume from last year! Wear whatever you want as clothes, make a label for yourself from an old tee-shirt (cut of the top part from just under the arm holes so you can easily slide your new label on), tie a cork to a headband and there you have it!

Ballet dancer – have leggings and pink? Then you can dress up as a ballet dancer. Throw your hair up in a bun, wear the leggings and a light pink top and put a ribbon in your hair.

Ballpark concession worker – got a neon shirt? Pair it with a black pants and make a sign selling hotdogs or cotton candy!

Chef/Waiter – if you have black and white it is easy to dress as a waiter or chef. Pair it with a utensil or note pad.

A florist – wear something springy, get a bouquet of flowers and pass them out during the night (this can work for a flower child as well!)

Lumberjack – pair your plaid shirt with jeans and boots. If you can craft an axe that would even better!

Athlete/Cheerleader – easy to do if you have a friend that was a high school athlete or cheerleader!

Frat guy/ Sorority girl – pair a college tee with a paddle with greek letters

Pirate – stripes and a bandanna are the way to go! Super comfy with boots and either jeans or a skirt.

Dead anything – with the right makeup you can be a dead person for the night!

Today we dressed up for a fun local Halloween parade! We threw together these costumes last minute!

photo 1 (2) photo 3 (2)photo 2 (2)

photo 4 (3)

Kira’s adorable ring master costume can be pulled off with a red jacket, white shirt, and pants. She made her top hat with cardboard and a headband! Pair it with some fun elephant or lion jewelry and even a stuffed lion!

photo 2 (1)photo 5photo 4 (2)

Ashley’s gypsy costume is one that anyone can do! A long skirt, intense makeup, scarves, and gold jewelry is the way to go!

Happy trick or treating!

-A&K