DIY Personalized Puppy Bowl

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So I know the blog has been a little bleak this week (due to some unavoidable family drama and our new patio getting poured!) but I’m back! A while back I found this cute wooden dog bowl holder at home goods on clearance for $10! It was kind of an ugly sage green color but I had high hopes for it. Since it is a necessary permanent fixture in our kitchen (due to raven’s need to eat and drink) I decided to make it match the decor. So I perused my collection of spray paints used for different projects and picked a lovely turquoise to coordinate with my dining room focus wall. A few coats later (along with some clear lacquer to deal the deal) and a little hand-painted red lettering (not my finest lettering job but it’ll do) and voila! DIY Doggy bowl!

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See how nicely it goes with the room? Even though she doesn’t look it, I think Raven was pretty excited too…

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What I wore

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Today’s outfit is brought to you by…our home office! I didn’t realize it until after I was dressed but I’m pretty sure I could have stood against the wall in complete camouflage without the butcher noticing me! I guess great minds think alike, the mind that decorated the office and the mind that dressed me. (Same mind, patting myself on the back here.) Yet another example of how any bright color is a great combo with black and white!

Sunday Style

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This Cherry Velvet “Trudy” dress was the cutest thing ever. Normally I’m not one for a novelty print (like cat sweaters) but these demure bright little conversation bubbles won my heart. The dress is comfortable, flattering, and best of all? Pockets!

Want some cheese with that whine?

Hopefully you “got” my title as opposed to just thinking I can’t spell. Being the baby of the family and somewhat Jewish, I’m inherently a whiner, so I’ve heard every whining pun in the book. (A certain dear friend of mine even used to say, uh oh, here comes the wambulance…) I’m proud to say that the butcher has pretty much broken me of the habit, mainly because I’ve learned that I can get what I want without, as the dictionary puts it, “making a long high pitched complaining sound”. ANYWAY, back to the point of today’s post, we are attending a wine and cheese party at a friend’s this weekend (can I just say how nice it is, even though I love to host, to be invited to be a guest in someone else’s home and let them do all the work?! Can you tell I’m looking forward to it?) and it made me think of the one we had a while back. I thought I’d share some of the pictures with you as well as some helpful tips.

Here’s all the glasses, plates, and napkins ready to go so people could help themselves. This particular party was celebrating an anniversary so my crafty BFF hand stamped napkins with the couple’s initials for a personal touch. Make sure you have appropriate glasses for each beverage, red & white wine glasses, champagne flutes, small shot type glasses (for tasting before they commit to a whole pour) and cups for water (these pretzels are makin’ me thirsty!)

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As functional party favors I enlisted another craft lover in my life, dear old dad, to make these adorable wine charms using alphabet beads with the initials of each party guest. (This only works for a small intimate gathering, but for larger groups you could do a standard saying, word, or guest of honor’s initials)

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I put out a wide array of cheeses, dried fruits, honey, crackers, olives, prosciutto wrapped melon, bread, nuts, etc to choose from. It’s suggested to put out a representative of each cheese type; a creamy, stinky, sharp, smoked, blue, etc. So I did that and then made labels for each cheese along with pairing suggestions for both food and wine. That part was a little frustrating because from what I observed nobody really followed my instructions (can you tell I like people to do what I tell them?! haha) so it felt like a waste of time but I think with a different "foodier"crowd, my efforts would be more appreciated.

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And finally, the pies de resistance, the wine! Again I tried to have a wide variety of red, white, sparkling, sweet, dry, etc. making sure they were kept at the (somewhat) right temperature. I also put a description and pairing suggestions with each bottle.

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My favorite part of the whole party though? These vintage wine barrels I rented from a local party supply warehouse that doubled as a bar and light source, it really added to the ambiance and fit the theme perfectly!

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And there you have it! I hope this helps inspire you to throw one of your own!

Killing me softly…with TV

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Well summertime is almost upon us. Actually here in Florida, it’s pretty much here. With this glorious season comes busy schedules, graduation parties & weddings, conventions, swimming, and evenings on the patio under the stars. It also brings a hiatus of all our favorite shows. So the butcher and I decided to take the plunge and cancel cable for the summer (for a start, my hope is that we’ll enjoy it so much it lasts longer than that!) Not having that bill will save a little extra money especially since we’ll hardly be home anyway. I know we probably don’t watch as much television as the average American but we definitely watch more than we should. For some of you who already don’t have cable this may seem like no big deal but for my ESPN loving husband and my HGTV,Food Network, and BRAVO addictions…it’s going to be an adjustment. Apparently, it’s somewhat of a craze, fad, what have you, and a slogan has even been coined, “Kill Your TV!” I know it will be good for us. Less TV time means maybe I’ll start to actually sew on my shiny beautiful (and lonely) singer machine, (why am I so afraid?!) more time to get off our butts and move, read the Bible, and all sorts of other things. 174,203 things to be exact. At least according to this website I found. Whole9Life.com breaks the activities up into 7 helpful categories;
1. Improve your Training Performance
2. Improve your Sleep
3. Improve your Nutrition
4. Improve your Family Time
5. Improve your Household
6. Improve your Fun & Play
7. Improve YOU
We may not be able to tackle all 174,203 things (it’s actually more like 100, the website exaggerated a bit), but I’m excited to try!

DIY Chinese Take Out

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I decided to do another recipe for my “MAYbe Tomorrow” Pinterest Challenge because when I saw this simple and delicious looking Mongolian beef on Kelly Senyel’s blog, Just a Taste, I HAD to try it. Well, it did NOT disappoint. I made a few changes like less brown sugar and of course flat iron instead of the suggested flank steak. (Read my mini write up here on the butcher’s best kept secret, flat iron steak!) The final result was delicious and a big hit with the butcher, my most captive audience. Next time, (and there will be a next time since he’s already requested I make it again) I will make a couple more adjustments like brown rice, (this was kind of last minute and I only had white rice on hand) less soy sauce & more water (it was a little too salty for me even with the reduced sodium soy sauce) and I’ll add more vegetables to make it a more health friendly stir fry. With easy recipes like this, who needs to order takeout?!

Sunday Style

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Well I guess it’s fitting that the very first dress to catch my eye and go into my virtual closet is the one that shipped to me last at the end of my free trial with Gwynnie Bee. This Anna Scholz Shimmer Jersey Space Dress is super comfortable (especially since I didn’t need to wear spanx!) and I LOVE the colorful jewel tones, the perfect complement to my Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Lollipop!