Saturday, September 29, 2012

I Bought Something

Tomorrow is the last day of my month of 'no spending.'  
I have done remarkably well
...until this week.

Before I show you what I bought I feel a little back story is important.

Last weekend our beloved Dachshund, Luna, suddenly became very ill and had to be put down.  
We loved her tremendously and the loss of her left a gaping hole in our hearts.  

Luna - 1 year 9 months old

After three days without Luna, the quiet in our house was unbearable.
Luna could never be replaced but in order to fill the emptiness her absence has left and help our family heal, 
we bought this:

Gidget - 3 months

Her name is Gidget.
She is 3 months old.
She is playful, sweet and a little bit shy.
And she is perfect for our family.
Even for Buster.

Buster - 2 years
Gidget - 3 months

À la vie et à l'amour

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Haiku...

 Haiku is such a great way to express oneself poetically.  
My original Haiku is entitled...


Here goes...

My eyes are burning

The ugliest room ever

Someone paid for this?

I have to go barf now.

À la vie et à l'amour

Friday, September 21, 2012

Leftovers & a DIY Project

Why is it that the fantastic dinner you made on Wednesday always looks like something a homeless person fished out of a trash can when you uncover it on Friday? 
It's as though the dinner was personally insulted that you couldn't eat it so it slowly dies a little inside every day as it sits until it's just a pile of old dead food.

Now that you've lost your appetite, you have some extra time for a DIY Project made from 'leftovers'!

I went into my daughter's room the other day and she had jewelry (and pretty much everything else she owns) strewn about on every surface! I thought to myself, 
“Self, she needs to move out! a place to put her jewelry.”

I had a vintage thrift store frame that I had been saving for an undecided project. 
I also had some burlap fabric leftover from my daughter's room redo and a piece of foam board leftover from one of my son's school projects. And I had...


I cut a piece of foam to fit the frame and 2 layers of burlap large enough to cover the foam.

Then I wrapped the burlap around the foam piece and used duct tape to secure it to the back.
(For this project I decided I would rather have the layers of my finger skin jaggedly ripped off by duct tape rather than melted off by my glue gun.)

Next I pressed the fabric-wrapped foam board into the frame and duct taped it again so it wouldn't fall out.

Finally I staple gunned the existing wire to the back then wrapped the wire around itself so I could hang it.

In about a total of 15 minutes I had this completed project:

Isn't it just the bees knees?

Now go grab some leftovers and breathe some life into them!

À la vie et à l'amour

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Birthday Dinner

With three kids, we've certainly had our share of birthday parties over the past (almost) 17 years.

We've had bowling parties, Chuck E Cheese parties, Harry Potter theme parties, and countless swim parties!

The simple and elegant parties celebrated at home, though, are my favorite by far!

This weekend my youngest daughter turned 15 and here's how we celebrated:

 I brought out the real silver (fortunately it was already polished otherwise I would have totally scrapped that idea!)

The table was set with a white vintage tablecloth, Waterford glasses (Kildare pattern) and gold-rimmed white place settings.  

I love the silver and gold combination with a white tablecloth because it works for EVERY holiday and special occasion!

The best part of the table, though, was the gift tower centerpiece that had some of her actual gifts inside the boxes - so fun!

 I wrapped them in gold polka dot paper because this year was her 'Golden' Birthday 
(15 on the 15th.)

We had a delicious steak dinner she requested complete with Paleo style Sinful Cauliflower (more about this in a later post) and a special dessert.

I used these cute and sassy leopard print baking cups for cupcakes.

and made homemade Paleo chocolate cupcakes from a recipe I found here...

 and served them on a vintage silver tray to make them extra special!
(I know - the frosting looks a little bit like piles of cat poop but it was actually quite delicious)

How do you like to celebrate your special day?
Dinner out?  A small celebration at home? 
A big drunken Bacchus complete with trannies, chimpanzees and cage dancing people?

À la vie et à l'amour

Thursday, September 13, 2012

An Embarrassingly Easy Dinner

I think that's Polish for, 'little pillows of yumminess'!  

This is truly the easiest dinner you will ever make and uses only 5 ingredients plus salt and pepper.

You will need:

-1 box frozen Pierogies - you can use potato & cheese or potato & onion
-1 pound of ground beef
-1 can tomato sauce
-1 small can tomato paste
-1 1/2 teaspoons thyme 

Salt (or garlic salt) & Pepper

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet.  When it's completely browned, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, thyme, and salt & pepper.  Allow to heat thoroughly while cooking Pierogies according to directions on box (boil water, cook a few minutes.)

Put a few cooked Pierogies in a bowl or on a plate and top with meat and sauce mixture.
If you want to get REALLY fancy, sprinkle a little dried parsley on the top for garnish.
1 box of Pierogies serves about 3 hungry people.

And there you have it!  The easiest dinner ever.

À la vie et à l'amour


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sigh...Day 11

So far it has been fairly easy to not spend money on non-necessities.
...Until yesterday

I stopped by the Thrift Store to see if I could find a suitable re-do chair for my daughter as part of her birthday gift.
And was sidetracked by this...

Not one, but TWO of these modern side tables for $60!

And check out that awesome lamp!  It's real wood!
...and only $20!

Sadly they don't accept body parts as payment because I would have given my right arm for those!
(Since I can't spend any money.)

Alas, my month of no spending has presented it's first real challenge.

If there is anyone who just needs a reason to give me a gift - 
today is Tuesday.  
 What better way is there to celebrate a Tuesday than giving someone tables?

When you bring my side tables over we'll drink wine and set our glasses on them!

À la vie et à l'amour

Monday, September 10, 2012

Time for a Great Deal!

Check out this cool Michael Kors watch

It's $225

Now check out this watch I got from Target this summer

 It was only $15

 Now, I'm no math wiz but I'd say that's a doozie of a savings!
($210 to be case you are not a math wiz either)

À la vie et à l'amour

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Wardrobing 101

I call this Wardrobing 101 because it's all about the BASICS.
I'm going to show you how to make a small wardrobe limitless using a mix and match approach!

As a work at home jeans and tee shirts kind of mom, I don't need a lot of dressy pieces so my basic pieces and my outfits are all causal.

9 Basic Items
3 Layering Pieces
(1 jean jacket, 1 black cardigan, 1 tan casual jacket or blazer)

 3 Solid Tees
(1 white, 1 black, 1 bright)

3 Bottoms
(1 pair white jeans , 1 pair dark jeans, 1 pair khaki jeans or pants)

The KEY to making your Basics look really cute and giving you lots of different looks are

Here is what I used:

4 scarves
(2 would have worked fine - I suggest at least 1 in a solid color)

4 pairs of shoes
(although 1 pair of great black flats would work with almost everything! )

Necklaces and Bracelets
(I used what I already had but 2 'statement' necklaces and 
a silver bracelet would have been sufficient)

Ready to see it all put together?
Here are some of my favorites using the WHITE TEE and layering around it...

 My favorites with the BRIGHT TEE...

And some favorites using the BLACK TEE...

That was 23 of my favorite outfits
(there were MANY more that I didn't include!)
I kept everything VERY simple but I typically add *sparkle* with real jewelry mixed in.
I wear one of these silver wire bracelets from Tracy Brandes Designs with almost EVERYTHING!

Here is a list of where you can get similar items for building your own basic wardrobe:

 Black Cardigan - Target $20

 Denim Jacket - Old Navy $35

Beige Military Jacket - Old Navy $40

Basic V-Neck Tees - $8 each at Target

Dark Indigo Jean - Banana Republic $80

White Denim Jeans - J. Crew $98

Khaki Pants - Old Navy $30

How about these 3 pairs shoes that can all be found at Target:

 Leopard Flats - $15

 Strappy Sandals (they also come in brown!) - $15

Black Ballet Flats - $25

You can also find scarves like these at Sam Moon for $7-8

Sam Moon also has bracelets like these for $6.50 or less!

For unique necklaces try Etsy


...or this Betsey Johnson necklace at Dillards

And there you have it!
A mix and match wardrobe with 9 basic clothing pieces.

Check back to see more great basics that I incorporate into my mix and match wardrobe!

À la vie et à l'amour