Thursday, April 17, 2014

Five Things...


So my girl Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama is now co-hosting Five Things with me...YAY!! She created a new, more modern button for everyone to include in their link up post and an awesome logo for her and I to include in our posts, she's such a rock star... I love her! 




{First, a few things to know about Five Things....}


1. Five Things link up is posted every Thursday at Midnight EST. Share any five things that are on your mind right now. Whether it's something you are obsessing with on Pinterest, a new and exciting event going on in your life, or even sharing five of your favorite books; it's totally up to you. 
2. Please put the Five Things button on the post your sharing for the link up; sharing is caring, the more players involved the more fun we'll all have.
3. Please follow both your hosts Diana from The World Around Her and Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama via Facebook {here and here} and/or Twitter {here and here}. As it’s not mandatory it is greatly appreciated

5. If you tweet about your post or Instagram it, feel free to tag me or Tairalyn and use the hashtag, #FiveThingsParty
4. Check out the other bloggers who have linked up, show them some love and comment on at least one other bloggers link-up post.


1. Easter is this Sunday, can you believe it's here already! I am obsessing over all the cool egg designs popping up on Pinterest like this one from The Cards We Drew. Blogger Abbey spray painted plastic eggs and used vinyl cut outs for the arrows, which I'm also in love with right now! Are you dying eggs for Easter? Not sure that we are this year since the girls are older, but I do have a little surprise up my sleeve for them! Shh!

2. Painted Terra Cotta pots are another big trend this Spring, I love what the ladies over on A Beautiful Mess did with this color block idea. This DIY actually popped up on Brit & Co. today, but was first featured on A Beautiful Mess two years ago, so it looks like the trend is still going strong!

3. My mom's birthday is tomorrow, Happy Birthday Momma! She has been through so much in the last six months and this will actually be her first birthday without her husband, my step-dad. We all just want her to be surrounded with love and make this a beautiful day for her. She is coming to my house next weekend to see me in my local women's group annual fashion show, plus my sisters will be coming to visit that weekend as well so we can all have dinner together. This photo of us is from last Summer when I chopped all my hair off, well not all but most! I'm missing my short hair right now, just got it cut but thinking of going shorter!

4. I need this Brave wrap bracelet in my life! The next time HorseFeathers Gifts has a sale, it's mine! The gals at this wonderful handmade shop are going to help my friend Busy Bee Kate and I celebrate 100 on Facebook when we reach there, so be sure to follow us both so we can have a giveaway on our blogs!

5. How gorgeous is my friend Melis and her adorable bow! I bought one for myself two weeks ago from her shop Mila Rose Designs when she was having a sale. It's called "The Kregs", and I plan on wearing it for the Mother's Day Breast Cancer Walk in Philadelphia with my tutu from Atutudes! Melis is also helping me with the giveaway when I reach 100 on Facebook, woo hoo! 



That's it for my week, share with us what's going on with you and Five Things that are on your mind by linking up below...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Five Things

I talked about starting a five things post series before, but it never really turned into a series! More like a one and done kind of thing. So, let's kick it off into a series, shall we?! Plus, I would love to start a link up party if you would like to join in with five things that are on your mind, so feel free to write a post and join in! My girl Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama inspired my first five things post, so hopefully she will join in on the fun with us! I was also inspired by my friend Steph at The Vintage Modern Wife who started her own Happies and Crappies link up party!





First Some Details on the Five Things Link Up Party:


1. Five Things link up is posted every Thursday at Midnight EST. You can share any five things that is on your mind right now. Whether it's something you are obsessing with on Pinterest, a new and exciting event going on in your life, or even sharing five of your favorite books, it's up to you!
2. Please put the Five Things button on your post for the link up.
3. Please follow your host. It’s not  mandatory, but we appreciate the love.
4. If you tweet about your post or Instagram it, feel free to tag me and use the hashtag, #FiveThingsParty
5. Check out the other bloggers who have linked up and show them some love too!
Shall we get started...
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1. Right now I am obsessing over these gorgeous DIY potting benches I'm seeing all over Pinterest, like this one from HGTV Gardens...


I really don't have a need for one, but they are just so adorable! I especially love the mint color of the dresser part on this one. Potting Benches can be repurposed from so many different furniture items. See an old cabinet in the thrift store that could use a little love, give it a new life as a potting bench! 

2. I saw a post on Brit & Co. with the title, "Are Tin Cans the New Mason Jar?" Well, I think so because I am seeing so many different ideas for repurposing them. I for one want to spray paint them copper like blogger Amy did...



Aren't they gorgeous! My friend Katie over at Busy Bee Kate recently repurposed tin cans as well, she made hers into a wind chime. So many ideas, so little time!

3. I've been itching for a new tattoo lately. Right now I have four of them and I already have in mind what I want for my next one. My sisters and I are supposed to get one together as well. We had a design, but I think it included too many trendy tattoo ideas that are going around right now. It had the infinity symbol in it and those flying birds. I want all of my tattoos to be unique and original, so perhaps my younger sister can come up with a drawing of something different. 

4. I need a vacation, but July is still so far away! It just feels like it's been ages since I had a break from everything. I am picturing the beach right now, warm clear blue water, and silence, oh and no cell phone or internet! 

5. I worked out on the treadmill three times this week, but I still feel like I am snacking too much. What can I say, I love food! 

Well, those are my five things....what's going on in your world this week? Thanks for stopping by and linking up!



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What's for Dinner? Chicken!

Sometimes I wish I was a little more creative in the kitchen, whipping up my own amazing recipes that others would blog about! But the reality is, right now I don't have time to experiment with ingredients and I just need something that is going to make the hubs and teens happy! OK, so not just happy, but something that is not overly unhealthy, greasy, or filled with processed ingredients. I'm no, "Everything has to be organic, let's go to the farmer's market" kind of cook. However, I do want to know what I'm eating and what my family is eating. I look at labels and we try our best to get things that don't have high-fructose anything in it. I mean, why would food items like bread need things like that in them?!

So, today I'm going to share with you a few of my favorite go to chicken recipes that I like to make for dinner, plus a few new ideas I would like to try to give our meals a little variety! 

Lately my go to chicken recipe has been one that I saw on a Hellmann's Mayo commercial! At first, I was a little hesitant because my older step-daughter isn't a fan of cheese. But I figured, it's mixed in and baked on so it might not be the consistency of the cheese she dislikes! I give you, Hellmann's Parmesan Crusted Chicken recipe...



INGREDIENTS


  • 1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lbs.)
  • 4 tsp. Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS


  1. "Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Combine Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise with cheese in medium bowl. Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Evenly top with Mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  3. Bake until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes."

Recipe from Hellmann's

I adjusted our cooking time to about 33 minutes for our oven and cut four chicken breasts in half, the ones we buy from Costco are pretty large! If you want a really delicious side for this dish, once in a while I'll make Fettuccine Alfredo with it, it's a wonderful compliment to the Parmesan topping on the chicken. 

Some of you that are reading this may be saying to yourselves, "Mayo, how is that healthy?", am I right? Well, everything in moderation and mayo actually isn't as unhealthy as you think, here is a list of the first few ingredients: SOYBEAN OIL, WATER, WHOLE EGGS AND EGG YOLKS, VINEGAR, SALT, SUGAR, LEMON JUICE. So, what could be so unhealthy about soybean oil, water, and eggs? Yes, egg yolks are high in cholesterol and fat, but according to a post on Fit Sugar, the egg yolks also contain many of the good parts we get from our eggs as well. OK, now don't run to your kitchen and load up on all the mayo you have been missing out on, like I said, everything in moderation! 

Another favorite recipe that I love making with chicken is a crockpot chicken chili recipe I discovered from Monica on East Coast Creative...


I took these photos on my phone, so I apologize for their quality! Though, I'm not really the best at taking indoor photos. I'm more of an outdoor photo girl! 

Any how, back to the amazing crockpot chili recipe that is perfect for any cold night...so why am I talking about it in Spring? Well, sometimes there are chilly nights during this time of year when we're still eating soups and drinking hot tea to stay warm, right? So, if you are looking for an easy, go to, put every ingredient in the crockpot and walk away until it's done recipe, this is the one! 

Ingredients: 
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can black beans
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 package boneless skinless chicken tenderloins or thighs (these two cuts get the most tender and fall apart)
  • 1 packet McCormick chili seasoning
Directions: 

  1. "Dump all the ingredients into your crockpot (don’t drain anything) and cook on high for about 4 hours or on low for 6-8. 
  2. Once the time is up, shred the chicken using two forks, stir, and serve!"
Recipe from East Coast Creative

I could eat this for days! It's so easy to make and everyone loves it. I've even made it for one of my best friends and her family when they came to visit, and it passed with flying colors! Plus, the ingredients are all good for you; tomatoes, beans, chicken, nothing to hate on there! The only thing that I wasn't crazy about was the high sodium content in the chili seasoning, but I just discovered that McCormick also has a 30% less sodium packet as well, score! 

To switch up my Parmesan Crusted Chicken recipe a bit, I would love to try this recipe from Buns in My Oven that is pretty much the same idea but adds dry ranch dressing seasoning to it and cheddar cheese instead of Parmesan...yum!



Or for those nights when I'm craving Chinese Take Out, Chinese Orange Chicken...



Can you really go wrong with homemade Chinese food, I think not! Oh, how I want this right now...it's a good thing I already ate dinner tonight! 

So, what's for dinner at your house? What are your go to chicken recipes? 

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day! 







Thursday, April 3, 2014

East Coast Creative: Creating with the Stars

It has been a busy week here in the land of The World Around Her. I've been working over on East Coast Creative all week helping them with their design contest Creating with the Stars, are you following along and voting? We just wrapped up week 2, which involved the contestants putting together a paint project. Next week is the upcycle round for the top 6 that are left in the competition. It all started with 299 entries and it was narrowed down to 12 for the first week...from 299 to 12!! Week one was the knock off round where the 12 contestants had to create a knock off version of a high end item...



{Image courtesy of East Coast Creative's Instagram!}

Can you believe these amazing knock off projects, and they are all handmade! If you haven't been following along check out the recap post of round one. 

What I love most about the competition, besides the incredible projects, is that it's not a popularity contest. When the projects go up for voting, readers don't know whose project they are voting for. So instead of voting for your favorite blogger or because they are paired with your favorite blog star, you are voting for your favorite DIY knock off. Then when the results are posted, that is when you know who did what, pretty clever right! 

It starts with 12, but then each week of the four week competition the bottom 3 get knocked out. So for this week's second round and battle of the paint projects it was down to 9....


{Image courtesy of East Coast Creative Instagram}

Who knew you could do so many stunning things with paint! I loved them all, it's so tough having to say good-bye to the bottom three each week. Some of the contestants have started to follow me on Instagram, which totally made me feel famous! I'm hoping to stay connected and have started reading their blogs. 

If you aren't already a fan of East Coast Creative, then what are you waiting for...you don't want to miss out on these awesome DIY projects and see who goes home with the big win at the end! The prizes are amazing, oh and plus there is a giveaway for everyone too! Get your butt on over there and enter to win a beach vacation to Punta Cana!! Oh, how I wish I could enter!! 

PS, I don't vote since I'm their blog assistant and know who did what, so that's why I need you to vote for me {next Monday will be the open vote for the upcycle round}! Right now on the blog is the winner's tutorial from this week, which one would you have voted for? Tomorrow will be the 2nd place tutorial, then 3rd. Plus if you have your own paint project you can link up for a chance to be featured on the blog this Sunday!  

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How to Spray Paint Brass Owl Bookends...

I'm so glad you guys loved my stencil lamp shade I posted about yesterday, I'm really happy that I went with stenciling it instead of one of the other ideas I was considering. It's a timeless look that won't go out of style or one I won't get bored with! As promised, today I'm going to share with you another DIY adventure I took with brass owl bookends.



My husband bought the brass owl bookends for me at Christmas, said he was searching our local antique store for owls and almost gave up when he stumbled upon them! The two love birds look so sweet perched on the branch, but the brass color just wasn't my style and didn't fit with any decor we have in our home. 

They were on my shelf above my work desk in my home office, however I learned the hard way that these guys were a bit too heavy to be sitting on that shelf! Luckily, my laptop wasn't on my desk at the time the shelf came crashing down and there wasn't anything that broke that was sitting on the desk or shelf!

What was I going to do with these things? We only have a small book shelf in our computer room, so I knew they weren't going there. Even if, I still didn't love the brass color! So, this weekend I shared a photo of them on Instagram and asked how I could give them a makeover. My DIY girl Katie over at Busy Bee Kate  tweeted back that I should use some steel wool, self-etching primer, and spray paint. 

While we were out at Michaels Craft Store searching for what to do with the lamp, I looked for the items Katie mentioned. I found the steel wool, but I couldn't find any paint labeled self-etching primer. That's when I found Krylon® Brand Dual Paint + Primer, which works great for Metals, Wicker, Glass, Ceramic, Fabric, Masonry, Concrete, and Wood. Plus the can I grabbed was also a super bond, bonus! 


I took them out to the garage and my husband helped me set up a little space on his work bench so I wouldn't get the spray paint on anything but my owls! I took out the steel wool and got to work removing some of the brass. Steel wool actually comes in different textures, who knew?! You want coarse for tougher jobs like removing paint, and softer for polishing. Ladies, make sure you are wearing gloves to handle the steel wool, it's a little scratchy! Next, it was time to spray paint. 



Well, apparently I don't know the correct way to spray paint, because what I was doing was causing the paint to drip...and we don't want that. That's where my husband came in and showed me the back and forth technique, he's a pro ladies and he's all mine!


At first, he thought we should apply a second coat, but if you take a look at the heavy spraying I was doing at the bottom it looks thick and takes away the details. I loved the way the feathers were showing through and didn't want them to look too caked with paint. 


I love how they turned out and can't wait to get my hands on another item in the house that needs a spray paint makeover! They are currently sitting on the cedar chest in my office, which is probably the only thing that is going to handle the weight of these guys.



What are some home decor items you have spray painted before? 

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day! 


Monday, March 31, 2014

The Adventures of a Lamp Shade Makeover!

How was everyone's weekend? Well, I said I was going to clean and do some DIY projects this weekend and that's what I did! I feel like if I share these ideas with the world, then it kind of pushes me and inspires me to actually get them done! So, if you remember two weeks ago I shared with you our lovely, yet boring lamp shade...


We've had this lamp for about three or four years now, and for the last year or so I kept looking at it and thinking that there must be something I could do so it wouldn't be so dull and boring. In my first post about the shade I shared a few ideas I like; one using Shape Tape™ to create a wave design, writing a love note around it, or perhaps forgo a shade to give the lamp an industrial look.

Well, after seeing this post on my friend Katie's blog Busy Bee Kate, I was at first inspired to find fabric tape to decorate the shade the easy way. So, I ventured to Michaels Arts & Crafts Store yesterday and could not find any fabric tape...perhaps I was looking in the wrong place? Any how, I did stumble upon the Martha Stewart aisle, which I love...and who doesn't...and that's where I found her beautiful stencils. Right then and there I knew that was the DIY project for my lamp shade...



Did I mention that my brave hubby came along for this DIY adventure with me? We could not decide on a pattern and kept comparing them and trying to figure out the perfect stencil for our style. That's when we found the Martha Stewart Crafts™ Geometric Patterns that had a stenciled lamp shade on the cover! I was done, even if he wasn't...I was! 

It's funny I was going to title my post, "How to Stencil a Lamp Shade", as you can see in my photo above, but I came to the conclusion that, "The Adventures of a Lamp Shade Makeover" was more suitable! As you'll see below, I forgot to grab some painter's tape or as I just learned on Michaels' website, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Stencil Tape!


Do you recognize the type of tape I tried to use to hold my stencil in place? Yep, that's washi tape! It wasn't a very successful choice, so while the first line of geometric shapes were drying I ventured over to Home Depot for ScotchBlue™ painter's tape. I was surprised to find out that painter's tape wasn't sticking to the shade either, was I doing something wrong?! 


The paint we chose was Martha Stewart Crafts™ Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic in Deep Sea. I used a stencil foam pouncer as they call it, to dab on the paint. 


Here she is, the before and after! What do you think? It was an interesting adventure in giving a lamp shade a makeover, but I'm really glad I pushed myself to not be afraid to try something new. I really love the way it turned out, the color works perfectly too. The stencil job isn't perfect, but it doesn't have to be! For my first stencil work on a lamp shade, I'm pretty proud of her! 



I have a few DIY bloggers who inspired me that I want to thank. One of them, or two I should say, is Monica and Jess from East Coast Creative. I went to a local ladies' night event they were hosting before I became their blog assistant and something they said stuck with me. It's not word for word but it was something about the biggest obstacle we have in DIY and home decor, is being afraid to fail, being afraid to try, and just having fear of jumping in. So, ladies lets get rid of that fear and pick up a paint brush!

Another blogger I would like to thank is my friend Tairalyn over at Little Miss Mama. She is one amazing woman. She's a mom to an almost three year old, and blogs about motherhood, fashion, homemade recipes, sewing her own gorgeous tulle skirts...she does it all! We "met" online a few years ago and she has since become a top Vancouver Mama Blogger and top Fashion blogger. She inspires me to want more out of my own blog and out of myself. YOU ROCK GIRL!

I also want to thank my girl Katie over at Busy Bee Kate, have you checked us out on Facebook? When we reach 100 likes we're hosting a blog giveaway together! Katie introduced me to a local women's business group when I first moved to the area a few years ago and I would be lost without it and her! 

One more is my sweet girl Heather over at High Heels & Flip-Flops! She's a night owl like myself, so whenever I'm up late and need to talk she's always there to listen. She's an amazing friend, I'm so glad we got the chance to meet in person last year. I can't wait to hang out again. 

OK, so enough talk from me...I want to hear from you! What do you think about my lamp shade makeover? Would you consider using a stencil on your boring lamp shade, have you stenciled a home decor item before? 

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day! Stop back tomorrow for the adventure I took with my brass owl bookends makeover! 



I'm linking my project up with The Party Bunch over on The 36th Avenue! 


The 36th Avenue



Friday, March 28, 2014

She Will Move Mountains...

I have recently discovered the wonderful world of free printables that many DIY bloggers create, whether they are for holidays, birthdays, or just have words of inspiration on them. So, I thought I would use the photo editor site Pic Monkey to create my own...



As you can see I made two versions, one with white mountain tops and one without! I was searching for inspiring quotes and stumbled upon this one and now have fallen in love with it. Did you know that it may have originated with Napoleon who said, "Let China sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world"? So somewhere in between what he said and now it has been translated to "Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move mountains". 

The mountains I am hoping to move this weekend are the ones that need to be sold for our Summer garage sale! We just have too much stuff in this house; stuff from when the girls were little, from my college days, and just junk lying around that is collecting dust that no one cares about any more. So, this weekend I am hoping to get a start on what to donate, what to put in the garage sale, and what should just be tossed. 

What mountains are you moving this weekend, next week, this year? For this year, I am planning on moving my blog over to WordPress and getting an entire new design with fun social media buttons. I really want to make something out of my blog instead of just letting it sit. I love what I do and I'm learning so much, but I'm more of a behind the scenes person on other blogs and only share round up lists on AWS. I want people to see me and to learn more about who I am and what goes on in "The World Around Her". So stick around, I plan on moving big mountains this year! 

Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend! 

xoxo



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fun and Creative Mason Jar Craft Ideas

My step-daughter keeps getting on me about my collection of empty mason jars, telling me that I NEED to do something with them! So, I have finally searched on Pinterest and found a few fun and creative mason jar craft ideas that I would like to DIY, however there are a few jars I have that I won't touch though or change...


Besides the one that obviously doesn't look like the rest, these are my vintage mason jars and they are staying as is! I love the glass lids and the handles. I'm not sure when they date back to, but I just discovered this mason jar logo image during a Google search...



It's a little tough to decipher between a few of the logo dates, from 1896-1960 they look pretty similar. But with the way the curve comes off the B in Ball, it looks like mine may be from 1933-1960. That right there is the reason no one is going to touch these vintage mason jars I have in my collection, I mean it's pretty amazing to have something that has that kind of history! I only wish there were more information on the jar so I could actually discover where it may have come from. 

So other than these jars, I also have a few in my collection that are a little newer and easier to find...



A few of them have the little ® on it meaning that they are from 1975 to present according to the logo image, however I just noticed that one of them has the same B on it as my glass lid jars and may also be from 1933-1960! (PS, the owl drawing was made by my step-daughter and the owl stitched hoop was made by Jennifer over at Homespun Happiness, she's a sweetheart!)

As you can see from the photo above, a few of the jars have my rubber stamp collection in them, two of them are empty, and the blue one has small pieces of paper in it. A friend had posted at the beginning of this year an idea on Facebook of writing down little notes of when you have a great day and then keeping the notes in jar. Then on New Year's Eve you open the jar and share all of your favorite memories with everyone. I don't always remember to do so, but when I do it's something really good! I can't wait to look back at 2014 on New Year's Eve with my family! 

For the larger empty jars I am considering going with either a terrarium or a more craft inspired idea ....

1/ 2 / 3 / 4

All of these ideas just make me smile, especially that angry gnome! Terrariums seem to be trending big time now that Spring is finally here. I love the pop of colorful stones in the two succulent mason jar ideas, those two are my favorite. The beach mason jar is a fun idea as well, I actually have a few vases from my sister's wedding that have sand and sea shells in them and just love how they look. 

Here are a few of my favorite mason jar ideas that are a bit more crafty using paint and stencils...

1 / 2 / 3

How sweet is the heart stenciled out on the chalkboard painted mason jar? I also love the distressed painted mason jar look, it gives the new jars a more vintage look. The globe mason jar idea has been floating around on Pinterest for a few years now, and every holiday season when it pops up again I keep saying I'm going to make one! How adorable is the vintage car with the tree tied to the top?!

So, perhaps one of the jars will get a terrarium makeover, while the other becomes a globe? Do you have any empty mason jars or have you created any of these fun mason jar craft ideas before? 

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!