Hot Pink and Happy

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A simple, hot pink piece is an easy way to brighten up any outfit. I love this chiffon tee because of its versatility it can be dressed up with a black skirt and heels or worn casually with denim and flats. For a laid back look, I paired it with my go-to jeans, patterned flats and a geometric statement necklace.

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Hot pink is a fun color to play with because it can be adapted to fit a variety of personal styles. Pairing this top with leather leggings and strappy stilettos creates a sleek, sexy look with some edge. On the other side of the spectrum, wearing this hue with a stylish skater skirt and delicate sandals yields a more feminine ensemble. No matter what your clothing personality is, there is always room for this bright color in your closet!

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Jeans: Citizens of Humanity

Leopard Flats: Target

Hot Pink Tee: BP Nordstrom (Lush)

Necklace: BP Nordstrom

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Kitchen Table Makeover

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Moving in with my fiance meant acquiring some of his furniture that is far from stylish. After seven months in Vegas, we still hadn’t gotten around to buying a new kitchen table, so I decided to try a little DIY magic on a table that his parents had bought for him at a garage sale many years ago. It’s amazing what some sanding and staining can do. Intricate details that I thought were tacky now add charming character and the distressed wood (not in a trendy way…) now looks crisp and classy. Since we saved money by making over our table, I decided to splurge and buy some floral chairs from Target to complement the modern look.

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What you’ll need:

  • 1 can Citristip
  • Plastic scraper
  • Orbital sander
  • Sand paper of varying grits (100, 120, 220)
  • Tack cloth
  • Newspapers
  • Brush or cloth
  • White spray paint (I used Valspar paint + primer,  about 3 cans)
  • Stain (I used Minwax Red Mahogany)
  • Polyurethane

How-to:

  1. Remove the finish. Move the table to a well ventilated area and place it on top of a tarp or cardboard to protect the surrounding areas. To strip the existing finish, I sprayed the table with Citristip and let it sit for an hour before scraping it off with a plastic scraping tool (read can for safety and detailed directions).
  2. Use an orbital sander to smooth the table, going with the grain. Do most of the initial sanding with 100-grit sandpaper, then step up to 150-grit and do a final pass with 220-grit. Wipe off the dust with a tack cloth.
  3. Cover the top of the table with newspapers, taping the edges with painters tape to create clean lines. Spray paint the base of the table; it may take a few coats.
  4. Remove newspaper before applying the wood stain. Apply stain with a brush or cloth, following the wood’s natural grain. Follow the directions on can to achieve desired result. Apply at least 2 coats. If the wood seems rough, sand between coats and remove dust with a tack cloth to smooth the surface.
  5. After the final coat of stain has thoroughly dried, apply polyurethane according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Apply at least four coats since a kitchen table should be durable. Let dry for 24 hours before using the table.

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Crock-Pot Hot Chocolate

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I feel weird writing this post because it is currently 70 degrees in Vegas (yes, it’s January – it still blows my mind), but I wanted to share this recipe for hot chocolate because it’s a cozy Valentine’s Day treat, especially when paired with these vanilla creme Peeps and cute “nuts about you” mug – both from Target.

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My boyfriend’s mom made this delicious hot chocolate while we were visiting them in Wyoming for Christmas. She had it waiting for us when we got back from snowmobiling and it was much appreciated! After freezing on the mountain, it felt amazing to put on fleece sweats, sit by the fire and sip on this rich hot chocolate while watching the snow fall outside. I have learned that my favorite part of outdoor winter sports is warming up with a warm drink in the lodge afterwards – preferably spiked with Baileys :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

How-to:

  1. Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla and chocolate chips in a Crock-Pot.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted.
  3. Stir again, then ladle into mugs. Keep the Crock-Pot on low and stir occasionally to enjoy hot chocolate for hours.

Other ideas:

  • Stir with a peppermint stick or add crushed peppermint candy
  • Top with marshmallows and whipped cream
  • Add other flavors, such as butterscotch, gingerbread or caramel
  • Substitute white or dark chocolate in the recipe
  • Add fresh-brewed coffee or espresso
  • Add whipped cream vodka or Baileys

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Country Charm

20140118-134237.jpgMaybe it was our trip to Wyoming or Rob’s hunting gear lying around the house, but I am loving the country style when it comes to home decor. I must not be the only one because I found some great items and Target, Home Goods and Hobby Lobby. The wall decor above is from Home Goods and is the first piece of art that Rob and I have both liked. It’s masculine with the deer, but girly with the floral border and rustic details. 20140118-134247.jpgTarget never disappoints. I found these antler candle sticks on sale for only $7! I paired them with the gold, metallic candles to add some glitz and glam.  20140118-134312.jpgI also love burlap accents and the rustic feel it gives to the room. This vase is from Hobby Lobby. You can’t beat their 50% off deals!20140118-134322.jpgThe white table was my latest DIY project. It used to just be boring, brown wood, but I painted it white and distressed it with sand paper to fit the vintage look I was going for.20140118-134337.jpg

Brrr-gundy

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I’m obsessed with everything burgundy or oxblood this season – especially my new skater skirt form an adorable boutique in Las Vegas. For a holiday gathering with my family in Seattle, I added seasonal layers to keep warm in the chilly winter weather. The faux fur scarf creates a luxe look and is so cozy! Complete the simple style with patterned tights and fringed booties for a trendier vibe.

// Get the Look //

Skirt: Mixt Boutique $33
T-shirt: Nordstrom Rack $12
Tights: Urban Outfitters $12
Necklace: BP Nordstrom $18
Booties: Target $24
Scarf: BP Nordstrom $24
Coat: H&M $60

Antler Candle Holders

20131205-182447.jpg Rustic meets modern with these antler pillar candle holders. My sister found these at Target and paired them with fun, trendy candles from Hobby Lobby. The pretty patterns mixed with the country candlesticks create a sophisticated, lodge-like look. She made an adorable arrangement with the mason jar and box sign, which makes for a great center piece on a kitchen table or a unique accessory on a bookshelf.

// Get the Look //

Antler Pillar Candle Holder: $14.99 from Target

Chevron Candle: $8.99 from Hobby Lobby

Quatrefoil Candle: $7.99 from Hobby Lobby

Holiday Gift Idea: DIY Coasters

20131127-224844.jpgChristmas shopping for the coffee drinkers in your life? They will love this personalized, yet inexpensive gift. While looking for a birthday present to give my sister, I came across this monogrammed, chevron mug at Target and knew she would love it. Thus began my coffee themed present! She’s a huge Starbucks fan, so I couldn’t pass up the mini red cup gift cards they have this season. I also wanted to add a personalized touch and had previously made some Instagram coasters that turned out well, so I decided to make some with her favorite photos. The coasters were by far her favorite part of the present! Below is how I made them.

Supplies:

  • Printed 4″ x 4″ Instagram photos (You can order them straight from your phone at Walgreens)
  • 4.25″ x 4.25″ tiles (found at Home Depot for 11 cents each)
  • Mod Podge (I used the outdoor version)
  • Foam paint brush
  • Clear Acrylic spray
  • Small, round felt pads

How to:

  1. Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on the tile and stick on the photo. Make sure there are not any air bubbles that form underneath it. Sometimes it helps to run a credit card or similar flat edge over it to make sure. Let dry for a couple of minutes.
  2. Next, paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top of the photo. The brush marks should go in the same direction (i.e., either vertical or horizontal). Let dry.
  3. Paint another coat over the photo in the opposite direction. Let dry.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 one more time.
  5. Once the Mod Podge has dried, spray coaster with a light layer of Clear Acrylic spray. Add 2 more coats, drying in between.
  6. Stick a felt pad in each of the 4 corners.