Monday, October 31, 2011

A DIY Halloween.

There's just something about dressing in a costume that makes me feel unique and more like myself all at the same time. Costumes may be a way for you to become a person you're not in real life, but I actually feel more relaxed and at ease when I'm in a costume...weird huh? It's like I'm able to become more like my true self.

Ok, enough with the crazy talk! Daniel and I attended a Halloween Bash last Thursday night, and dressed in 1940's/1970's wear (we were seriously a perfect blend!) since the theme was "Blast from the Past." We put our costumes together using some things we already had at home and also some vintage pieces from Annie Laurie's. Here's what we wore!

My favorite part about this dress is the color...very sophisticated yet bright and fun at the same time! The shoes are just some wedges I've had for awhile from Target, with my own vintage-looking Timex watch.

My headpiece was made out of some type of real animal fur--I loved it! It had little satin bows on the side that complimented Daniel's outfit..so we were kind of matching :)


Check this guy out! A 100% polyester leisure suit in burnt orange complete with matching tacky tie. His shoes are driving loafers he got for his birthday and he wore a dress shirt he already had in his closet. The buttons on the suit were the same color as my dress!


All ready!
 And don't think that I forgot about our little Angry Bird...

I snapped this on the run this morning before he left for Nana's. I'll definitely get better pics tonight and share later. His hat is handmade by my friend Laura from Leighanna Paige Boutique, and I sewed the cape myself!


A back shot of the cape. I just sewed two pieces of felt together and made a "feather" like effect on the bottom. I'm so proud of his costume this year because it's all handmade with love :)

Are you dressing up this year for Halloween? What are your kiddos wearing? Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vacation is all I ever wanted....

Announcement time....we're going on Vacation! That's right friends, Daniel got a job helping to build a vacation house for a family from our church...in Seattle! Daniel is DRIVING (yes, he's quite aware that it's a 30 hour trip) from here clear across the country to work on this house for a week. When the week is up I'm flying to Seattle to meet him. We'll spend a few days together there and then make the long drive home, stopping in different cities along the way. We plan to do a bit of camping, mixed in with sightseeing and DEFINITELY relaxation. I can't wait! I was planning to take outfit photos today but the rain changed those plans, so I wanted to share a few recent finds that will help me get through the trip. We won't be doing much shopping on this trip, just spending the majority of our funds on hotel rooms and food.

These high waisted skinny jeans will be worn pretty much the entire trip I'm sure!

J. Crew $68.60.


Also this silk blouse will be perfect for day and night adventures...


J. Crew $34.50
And FINALLY an affordable pair of genuine leather boots. They're wide enough for my runners calves and in the most perfect cognac color.

Target $60.00
These pink pants will look adorable with a sexy sequin top..

Old Navy $20.
Like this one....


Old Navy $34.50

I'll go into more details about the trip as soon as I can! Have a good night, friends!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yummy Cilantro Lime Chicken Quesadillas

Just reading the title of this post should make your mouth water. This was a delicious and super easy recipe...that I actually just made tonight! Tuesday's are my busiest day of the week, so I'm always on the hunt for easy recipes that won't take up my entire evening. I will say that John was not a fan, but the hubs liked it. Daniel had mentioned that he was in the mood for quesadillas so I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit to fit our needs. Basically I just added a can of corn since John loves corn and instead of making tacos I poured the chicken mixture into burrito shells and grilled them on the skillet. Another easy meal to add to my Tuesday rotation!

Cilantro Lime Chicken Quesadillas

INGREDIENTS
1 jar of salsa
1 can of corn
4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
a few sliced mushrooms
a handful of fresh chopped cilantro
1 lime, sliced in wedges
1 taco seasoning packet
Soft taco shells

DIRECTIONS:
In one skillet, sautee the mushrooms with a bit of butter. Add the salsa, corn, and cilantro. Squeeze the lime juice into the mixture.Turn heat to low. In a second skillet, cook the chicken until done all the way through, then add the taco seasoning packet. FYI, I never use the entire packet, just maybe like half. Once the chicken is finished cooking, add it to the salsa mixture. Use the now empty skillet to cook your quesadillas.

Ok. So yes this actually looks kind of nasty, but when you add this to the quesadilla....delish!

The finished product!
What's your favorite dish for your busy nights? Tomorrow I'll be posting an outfit photo with my new TRIPOD! Holler. I'm excited :) Sweet dreams, friends.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sanity Saving Monday: The Problem with Bedtime.

I had a great idea for today's post about our Halloween costumes, but I couldn't get my husband to put his costume on for a picture haha. So you'll just have to wait until closer to the party to check out his outfit :)

In other news....I haven't been sleeping much. I've been waking up in the night with my mind racing and can't seem to fall back asleep. As a matter of fact it happened to me just last night. I woke up at about 3:00am because John was tapping me trying to crawl into bed. I changed him then put him back in his room, then went back to bed myself but couldn't fall back to sleep. I was making all these mental lists about what I needed to do today....ugghh so much work! Something is seriously wrong when you can't take your mind off of the world. I just kept thinking of different scenarios for different things going on and was making myself crazy.

I think the real problem with bedtime is that I haven't had a break from my daytime routine. For me, when I get too bombarded with activities, it affects my overall mood and stress-level. Remember last week when I talked about letting my Yes be Yes and No be No? That's a serious issue I have. But how do you start saying "No" to people or activities? That's a tough one for me.

So while I try to work on that daily, what's the solution for getting more sleep? Here's a couple of things I'm going to try this week, and I'll let you know how it goes.

1. Valerian Supplements. These are herbal pills that can be known to help with insomnia naturally. I'm not usually a pill taker, but I have a friend who has tried these so I'm hoping to look into it.

2. Chamomile Tea. This is probably the route I'll go first. I love tea anyway, and especially at night, Also the tea is a bit more affordable than the supplements. I've heard that the taste isn't that great though so maybe honey will help? Have you tried Chamomile tea?

3. Warm Cereal. My Nana told me to try heating up my milk before I add my cereal, and eating that before bedtime. She said it will make my tummy warm and full and I'll be able sleep better.

Well ladies, do you have any sleep solutions for me? It's 8:45 and I'm about to jump into bed and give this thing another go. Wish me luck! See you tomorrow!

Friday, October 21, 2011

This crazy contraption.

Hello to all. I'm having one of those weeks where my head is in the clouds and I'm very distracted by all the glamorous fun things going on in my life....School work? Pssshaw. Office work? No thanks. Dinner tonight with my favorite guys? Hell to the yes. Now, if I could just figure out how to work this crazy new curling iron....I'd be looking just as glamorous as I feel.



Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

With a little help from a friend (sorry you burnt your finger, Natalie!), we slowly started figuring the dag-blasted thing out. Notice this is not you're typical curling iron. It doesn't have a clamp, it's just a wand that you wrap your hair around.



I'm ready! I could still use a bit of practice, but I think I'll keep working with it until I perfect it :)

After our dinner tonight, I'm looking forward to a weekend of relaxation mixed in with a bit of planning. Planning Planning Planning......something amazing! You'll just have to wait and see my friends. :)

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans for a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

What are your weekend plans? Anything exciting in the works?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Prints.

The hot weather is officially behind us, and I'm embracing layers this year. I used to kind of hate layering...too much work, perhaps? Well since the weather turned chilly about three days ago I've practiced layering every chance I could. I'm also busting out the granny booties I got last spring. I know it's a tad boring to talk about the weather, but who doesn't love a sunny, chilly day? Just cool enough where you need a light jacket---pure bliss.




We're meeting with our architect today to talk house plans--finally! We're one step closer to moving into a real house...not that I don't love my garage-house, I'm just ready to decorate my dream house. Our little dream house on the hill.


Sweater: Gap
Floral Print Top: Target
Jeans: Old Navy ($10!)
Granny Booties: JC Penney

I'm now officially in my mid twenties, and I'm gravitating towards timeless pieces that I can wear for years to come. No more cheaply made, "trendy" stuff. I'm going for bold pieces, that are still classy and of great quality.

Hope you're having a great Thursday, friends. Don't forget it's Farmer's Market Day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Fashion Show.

Some of you might not know this about me, but I work part time at Major Brands, a wholesale liquor, craft beer, and fine wine distributor. The fun part of my job involves planning events at local venues and restaurants around the area, and sometimes pouring wine at tastings. Major Brands was a Red Carpet Sponsor for the Safe House for Women Vintage NOW Fashion Show held last night! We donated the wine for the event and I had a blast pouring wine and checking out all the vintage outfits. This is what I chose to wear! I'll admit I was a bit nervous at first to wear such a fancy dress, but I felt comfortable once I got to the event because almost everyone was dressed to the nines.








The best part about the dress was the back....so unexpected. I scored this dress from Annie Laurie's Antiques for around $30.

I especially love being involved with events like this because the proceeds all went to a good cause. Who doesn't love a little guilt free partying? :)



My partner in crime Natalie, setting up the Major Brands wine table.

The models backstage before the show.

Deb Maevers, owner of Pastimes Antiques and producer of the show.

Me and WESLEY!!! This was towards the end of the night haha!



This was the first time I'd ever been to The Venue--it was amazing. I loved how elegant and classy everything felt!

I know I said I would post pictures of office appropriate outfits on Wednesdays...well, I'm not sure this dress is appropriate for the office, but this was a work-related event for me, so that counts. Right? ;) Well anyway I'll see what I can do about  posting a work outfit tomorrow!

I'm going to be doing a little vintage shopping this afternoon. I'm so inspired by all the designs I saw last night I just can't help myself! Hope you all are having a great Wednesday.

xoxo,
Les

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dinner: Ready Made Chicken Cordon Bleu

Good Morning! Hope you're having a productive week so far. Just when I thought I would be able to slow down a bit...things are picking back up already! I've got tons on my plate today, but I still wanted to share with you last night's dinner. If you're in a pinch and haven't planned anything for dinner tonight...stop by Schnucks on your way home and head to the poultry counter. One ready-to-bake Chicken Cordon Bleu is waiting for you, for only about $8.00! Bonus--some of you might not know this, but Schnucks was founded in 1939, in St. Louis MO! So you're supporting a local Missouri business by shopping there.



Look at that chicken in all it's bacon wrapped glory. Yum!

I just threw this baby in the oven, baked it according to the directions on the label, and that's it! Dinner was ready in about an hour and my sides were fresh greens from the Farmer's Market and velveeta shells and cheese...a favorite of the Hazelwood Men.



Something I've recently discovered thanks to Daniel's Grandpa Hazelwood is putting Apple Cider Vinegar on my greens....so delicious! If you like sour tastes, you should try it. I'm telling you I don't know how I ate green veggies before now.

I do prefer to try new recipes vs. a ready made dish...but this Chicken Cordon Bleu is such a delicious treat for my family, and at a great price--I couldn't pass it up! I probably could not have made it better myself anyway!

Here's a Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe that sounds easy enough, I might have to give it a go sometime.

Tell me, do you prefer ready-made deli items, or do you like to create them yourself? What's your favorite dish for a busy night?

P.S....Who wants to go to the Vintage NOW Fashion Show? I have ONE FREE TICKET AVAILABLE at a VIP table...If you want to go please either respond below or text me if you have my number. The event is TONIGHT AT 6:30! Formal wear preferred. Love ya ladies, hope I can bless someone with this ticket!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sanity Saving Monday Tip: Stress Relief 101

I have a problem with stress. I don't usually notice that I'm stressed until it's to an extremely severe level, like last week. I was feeling so stressed that I was starting to get snippy with everyone around me--including John! Poor guy. Yes he's two and obviously knows how to cause a few grey hairs, but that doesn't mean I can lose my cool with him. Discipline should NEVER come from an anger, but from love and a desire to correct behavior in a Christ-like way. I could talk about discipline all day but let's get back on subject --stress relief.

What's causes stress? My stress comes from having too much "stuff" going on. Projects that build up over time from either procrastination on my part or from several deadlines being thrown at me all at once. I like order in my life and when things get hectic, it's hard for me to know how to deal with that sometimes.

This week I had deadlines with my day job, deadlines with my side job, school work to do, and for some reason my house seemed to get in extreme disarray over the course of two days. When I'm busy and not at home as much as I'd like, my house goes to sh....well, you know.

So what's the solution? Quit my job? Hire a cleaning lady? Yeah, right. As much as I'd like to, that's not feasible for my family. Here's how to, as we like to say in my house, "slow your roll" when things get kinda crazy. P.S.....urban dictionary rocks.

1. Draw out a time line to accomplish your goal. I had a story due on Saturday for the newspaper, and I knew I wanted to spend at least some of Saturday doing fun things with family. So when I got my story assignment Thursday, I wrote out a little time line that looked sorta like this:


Thursday evening after dinner and when John's in bed: Research online for story
Friday afternoon after work: Make at least two contact phone calls for story
Saturday morning when John's playing at Mom's house: make rest of contact calls, sit down and write story, submit story by 12:30 so I can go to lunch with family.

So I simply broke up all the work that needed to go into that certain deadline so that everything wouldn't all be left for Saturday right before the story was due to my editor. That made Saturday morning run smoothly so I could reach my personal goal: Spending lunch with  my family. Basically once you get set time lines for your work stuff you can then do the things you REALLY want to do. Does that make sense? By accomplishing your "need to" deadlines in a timely manner you can then do the fun stuff.

2. Ask for help. You need a support system. Someone who is there for you when you need help getting things done. Don't ALWAYS try to do everything yourself. I don't care how strong you are, you'll eventually get way too stressed. My husband and my mom are two of my best supporters. They know my dreams and goals and know that everything I do is for a better life for me and my family.

At the beginning of the week, I didn't utilize my support system. I knew I had all these deadlines coming up and didn't share with anyone that I needed help. I wanted to have a perfect house and dinner on the table every night and all my homework and studying finished...all done through my own power. First off, pray for God to help you get things done. Tell Him your schedule, and give Him your anxieties. You'll instantly feel refreshed and focused. Next, tell someone in your support system that you're stressing. Towards the end of the week, I knew I needed to ask for help so I could get everything finished. I called my Mom and asked if she could watch John Saturday morning for a couple hours so I could do some housework and finish my story. I also apologized to Daniel for being so stressed and not coming to him for help. He stepped in and helped with some of the housework so I would have more time for my story. He also sent me flowers, which was so sweet and much appreciated :) Sometimes husbands know just how to make your day better!



Pretty fall colors!

3. Don't bite off more than you can chew. JUST SAY NO THANK YOU! I know we all have this Wonder Woman mentality that we can be all that everyone needs. Well, you just can't, ok? So get that out of your head right now. That voice in the back of your mind that says "oh man, I don't really want to do this but I guess I'll say yes because I'll look like a jerk if I don't" AHEM.....just say no thank you. Listen to that voice. Actually, if you say no to people every once in awhile, they'll respect you more in the end. Don't believe me? Read this book.

There's three little tips that work for me when I'm stressed, but might not necessarily work for everyone. Sometimes a nice hot bubble bath and a glass of wine can calm even the most stressed of ladies. Just slow your roll, woman!

What are some things that you do when you know you have a stressful week coming up? Please share! Have a good Monday, friends!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Big Ideas Come to Life!

Hello friends! I have some major plans for this blog that include weekly recipes, outfit ideas, organizational tips, and local event coverage. I feel renewed with the new design and I'm starting to get posts organized so that you can expect to read something on this blog at least five days per week, maybe even more!



Here's what I'm thinking:

Monday: We'll go back to our Sanity Saving Monday Tip of the Week. These tips will include cleaning solution recipes I've tried, housekeeping tips, planner organization, DIY projects and stress relievers. I'm excited to share some things I learn weekly as I work full time, go to school, and take care of a family. With my busy schedule, I'm learning a lot! I'll also be posting about what I'm currently studying in God's Word. This will hopefully help me to be more diligent in my studying, and be inspirational to you!

Tuesday: Dinner Tonight! Tuesday's I'll write about a new recipe that I've tried, and whether or not my family "digs it" or not. I'll include the recipe in case you want to try it for your family, also the source I got it from.

Wednesday: Work it Wednesday. On this day I'll post an office-appropriate outfit idea. I love casual outfits so much, (jeans and tees; yes please!) but unfortunately jeans are only reserved for Friday's at my office. Coming up with something to wear that's both office appropriate and comfortable is a real challenge for me. Hopefully I can provide some inspiration to others who struggle with this like I do! And for those stay at home moms that don't have to get dressed up everyday, hopefully this outfit idea will work for your Sunday attire, or for a dressy date night!

Thursday: What's Shakin'? On Thursday's I'll give a re-cap of some community events that are going on or that I'm planning to go to the upcoming weekend. I'll also share some Farmer's Market Finds, and some good coupons or deals I've seen throughout the week.

Friday: Random! This will be a fun day! I will probably do either a casual outfit post for weekend activities, or share some family stuff that's going on in my life. OR, do you have any suggestions?? What would you like to read about?

Does all that sound ok to you? I'm hoping that more of a schedule will help me be focused on my writing and posting more regularly. I'm excited to start!

What are your plans for the weekend? Are you hitting the town or doing some must needed lounging like me? Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

hello from dreamland..

Hello all! How's your week going? I've got some new and exciting things going on with the blog....how are you liking the new design? Emily is the mastermind behind it all--She took my ideas and dreams and turned it into a simply beautiful design. Looking for a fresh new update for your blog? Contact her! She's a busy Mom like me but design is truly Emily's gift and she's accepting new clients!

I've got some VERY exciting posts planned....so sorry for the hiatus. I've just kinda been waiting on a few more sources to come through and for the final design of the blog to be finished. I'm SO HAPPY with the result. I'll share more tomorrow---I've got a story to write!

tah tah for now!

Les

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Plan Away, Crazy One.

Nothing feels more relaxed and stress-free to me than a good ole' plan. I'm a planner. I plan things. I plan my days and weeks. I plan my meals and shopping trips. I plan my outfits and I plan my showers. (Daily, hair washed every 3 days.)

All that planning can be a bit exhausting. Actually, planning can be a bit dull. So is it safe to say that now that my week is planned, I can sit back and quit stressing over plans? Or do I need to omit my plans completely in order for stress free nirvana to set in?

Either way, here's an outfit that I've planned to wear, but haven't yet. Date night, antique shopping, mini golf....whatever shall I do in this outfit? I'm not 100% sure, but I think I'll wing it and see what happens.

Top: Target
Jeans: JC Penney
Boots: Old Navy
Bracelet: How? Jewelry


This top is very comfy, but I might have to add a belt to it so I'm not completely shapeless.

Hope everyone is having a good Tuesday! xoxo

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wine + Jewelry = Win Win.

Happy Monday. Back at the grind. The event Friday was awesome! Lots of beautiful jewelry and people. We gave out almost all of our wine except for a few bottles.

I was a bit stumped at what to wear, but eventually ended up wearing jeans because that's what I'm the most comfortable in. It was a chilly evening and I was glad for the long sleeves too.

I finally found my "secretary blouse" on sale at Kohls. I'm loving this pea green/yellow baby poop color. Haha.

Our wines we tasted. From left to right are South African varieties and Montelle Augusta wines.


One of the beautiful display tables. Look at that sweet photograph. If you missed out on the event but are still interested in seeing some of the jewelry, please let me know and I'll get you hooked up!

The Major Brands crew. Thanks for all your help, Natalie and Brad!
We've got a busy week...weddings and dinners and friends...oh my! Stay tuned!