Thursday, September 29, 2011

Top 10 Must-Haves for the Upcoming Seasons!

Hey all!!
October is almost here!! The weather is cooling off outside and I actually had to pull out my fleece for school during this week. I'm so excited about my upcoming posts! I have a ton of ideas for the holidays and I can't wait to share with everyone! So be sure to stay tuned for those. Today, I'm sharing my top 10 list of seasonal must-haves!!

Top 10 Seasonal Must-Haves!!

10. Bert's Bees Tinted Lip Balm
Colder weather is on the way so stock up on a stick of Burt's Bees. This is my favorite
 lip color that doubles as lip protection. You'll be thankful when your lips are suffering!

 9. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte
This latte is a perfect way to ring in the seasons especially when you're not feeling so awake in the mornings! If you don't have a Starbucks nearby or don't want to run out to 
grab's a recipe to make it at home!

8. Clinique Moisture Surge
This creme is the best!! I have been using astringent on my face but my regular moisturizer wasn't rehydrating my face enough. My best friend gave me this to try and I love it! It feels soooo good on your face and I haven't had dry patches or irritation since. It's a perfect Pre-make-up creme, too!
7. Simmering Potpourri
I burn candles and wax burners often but there's something about the wonderful smell of 
simmering potpourri, especially in the Fall! You can find many fragrances at Hobby Lobby 
and the instructions are included.
6. Le Creuset Heritage Bakeware
I am in love with this bakeware! It's perfect for Holiday cooking and the available colors are beautiful! 
Le Creuset makes cooking a breeze and you can find several of 
their products at your local TJ MAXX. 
Stock up!

5. Bath and Body Works Foaming Soaps
These soaps are a great way to freshen up your kitchen or bathroom and they come
 in wonderful scents just in time for the season! Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin is my favorite!

4. Southern Belle Long Sleeve T-shirts
Southern Belle long sleeves are perfect for Fall activities in cool weather and are great Christmas presents if you are stocking up on gifts in advance! I've purchased several for my friends and sister-in-laws and they loved them. I even have a few myself. You can check out the designs here.

3. WoodWick Candles
I first fell in love with these candles when my Mom found them a few years ago. They have wood 
burning wicks so not only do they smell wonderful but they crackle like a wood 
fire. You can find them online or even at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
2. Pinterest
Like I mentioned in my previous post, I love referencing Pinterest for decorating ideas, 
crafts, style, etc...Check out this site if you are planning a party this season, 
want recipes or need ideas for decorating tutorials.

1. Vera Bradley Travel Bags (Large Duffel)
I'll admit...I'm a little obsessed with Vera Bradley and they have great travel bags 
especially if you plan on traveling or visiting family. They're even airplane carry-on friendly! 
They make great gifts as well!
So these are my 10 favorite must-haves for the Season! 
Let me know what your favorites are :D Enjoy!
Go Hogs!!

Today I'm Listening To:
Nothing by The Script

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pinterest Love!

Hey Everyone!
It's the beginning of another week and the days are getting shorter!!! October is in two weekends and I am sooooo ready to carve some punkins and decorate for the seasons! What are your decoration plans?? Don't have any? Check this website out! Pinterest is a great way to share your favorite ideas everyday. It is also an awesome site for inspiration on fashion, arts and crafts, wedding ideas, vacation plans, recipes....or whatever you can think of without visiting multiple blogs and sites. It's SO easy! Anytime you come across an idea that you love, you "Pin it" onto one of your category boards. You can even repin any of your friends previous pins if you want them in your board collection. It's like a digital library of your favorite things! I love this site and it's given me inspiration for my next project! How sweet are these?!

I've painted rocks before but never like this! I'm thinking maybe a turquoise, apple green and dusty blue color scheme....maybe throw them in a bowl for decoration. Yay! Thanks Pinterest
If you haven't joined Pinterest, you definitely should try it. Let me know what you find! Enjoy!

Today I'm Listening To:
Vultures by John Mayer

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

7 Things I Learned while Raising a Puppy

Hey Bloggers! I hope everyone has had a wonderful week so far! For today's post, I thought that I would share with you some tips that I have learned while raising a puppy. I'm going to admit now that I am no expert but some of these tips might help you if or when you have a puppy of your own. I have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Jackson and for those of you that don't know of the breed, they are medium-sized, highly active herding dogs that are incredibly loving. To specify, Jackson is eleven months old and some days it feels like I'm raising a teenager, hahaha BUT he is absolutely wonderful! He was a Christmas present from my parents this past December and he was about 9 weeks when I got him. Ever since it has been a learning process for the both of us and this is what I've learned:

1) Different Eating Habits:
Many things differ between breeds or even individual dogs, including eating habits. My Corgi puppy from my childhood (whom might I add, had her 14th birthday last wednesday, YAY Maggie!) has the "eat everything in sight" mindset. When it's her feeding time, she knows and it takes her about 5 seconds to eat everything. This was what I was used to growing up so when I got Jackson I assumed that he would eat his portion of food no problem and that would be it. I was wrong. As a puppy, I made sure he had the right amount of soft versus wet to make it comfortable for his teething period and to help clean his teeth. He began to eat less and then started to get downright picky. He would push his food around like he didn't like the taste or wasn't hungry so as a new Momma it was one more thing I worried about. It got to the point where he had wet food and three different types of dry food to keep a variety but then I talked to my vet. Turns out, it's ok if he doesn't eat for a day or so?!?! I had never heard of such but I went with the advice.
Lesson learned: 
Jackson, unlike Maggie, eats WHENEVER he wants. So, even though I still keep a smaller variety of food around, I just leave a portion out in his bowl so he eats when he wants to. He's been happy and HEALTHY ever since. 

2) Crate Training
Jackson has had a crate since the beginning and it was a no-brainer that we would crate train him. Crate training in general is a simple concept but several things that helped me were to keep in mind that not only did the crate serve as his punishment for bad behavior but it had to be his "safe haven", his own personal space. Seeing the crate as punishment was no problem for Jackson but I wanted him to be comfortable enough to walk in his crate without the fear that he would be locked up for no reason. 
Lesson learned: 
By putting his only water bowl in his crate, he had to enter his crate for a drink and was able to explore the inside without punishment. It took a few times to coax him but he soon realized that punishment only came with bad behavior. Now that potty training is done, his crate is his favorite sleeping place. Although he is allowed to sleep on the bed, he chooses not to. I leave his crate door open at night and he sleeps like a rock all night long without venturing elsewhere. In the evening time, if he gets tired before everyone goes to bed he will just lay in his crate in the living room until it's officially bedtime.

3) Crate Size:
The size of your puppies crate matters. While he had a smaller crate as a puppy, we upgraded to a much larger crate (twice the size of his first to be exact) and well it's rather LARGE. However, like I mentioned before, Jackson is like a teenager which means he sleeps like one....on his back with his legs spread out. It got to the point where he grew so long that it looked downright uncomfortable for him to sleep. I would not want to be cramped up like that for 8 hours soooo... Momma said it's time for a bigger crate. 
Lesson learned:
He LOVES his new, upgraded crate and I can be sure that when I'm not at home, he is comfortable. Also, I know the bigger the crate the more hassle. BUT when at all possible, go for the fold up metal crate. It has been a dream for packing up and traveling and it's a lot easier than you would think.

4) Water Bottle
Jackson doesn't particularly like being left alone at home by himself. As he was younger he threw temper tantrums...pulling his blanket in every which way, knocking over his water bowl, tearing at towels, clawing at the door...the works. He still does every once in a while but not that bad anymore. So the only solution I had was to remove his water bowl and replace it with a anchored bowl so he wouldn't sit in water for however long. He broke that bowl really quick! 
Lesson Learned:
He can't tear up a water bottle anchored from the outside of his crate. The next investment was a hamster-like water bottle and although I thought it was a crazy idea at works wonderfully! Jackson didn't know what to do with it for a couple of days so I decided that I would help him out a little. I filled up the water bottle to the brim and added a PINCH (barely enough to add a hint of taste) from a Caffeine-free tea flavoring packet. His incredible sense of smell picked up on it really quick and then he and that water bottle were best friends. After about 20 minutes of familiarizing himself with how it worked, I refilled the bottle with pure water. He now prefers his crate bottle to his water bowl in the kitchen. Success! Try really works!

5) Much Needed Sleep:
When visiting his Grandaddy, his most favorite person in the whole world, he goes and goes and goes. Jackson never rests during the weekend and he follows Grandaddy around until he's practically sleep walking. Because he is so active and curious about everything going on, he typically doesn't nap at all during the day which is very different from his normal routine. 
Lesson Learned:
Sometimes you have to be the bad guy. It's necessary sometimes to put him in his crate in a quiet room to sleep for just a couple of hours so he can catch up. I always be sure that I let him know that he isn't being punished and that he is a good boy. It's still better when Grandaddy can nap with him so he doesn't get so upset but as a Momma, you gotta do whatcha gotta do!

6) Mean O' Parasites!:
As a puppy, Jackson developed Demodectic Mange. It first showed up as a small rash on his mouth and then he began to lose hair. When the vet diagnosed him, I immediately thought I was a bad Momma, that I hadn't bathed him enough or that I exposed him to something. 
Lesson Learned:
Puppies can get Mange from their litters. He most likely contracted the parasite long before he came to me. On the bright side, it's treatable and thanks to our wonderful vet he has been on a syrum treatment that has killed the mites under his skin! Yay!

7) Unfamiliar Objects:
Like many dogs, certain objects around the house cause Jackson to be cautious or even so excited that he runs around the house in super speed. Other objects make him anxious and sometimes mad. His nail clippers for example. Jackson doesn't like his nail clippers anymore than Momma likes to use them. It makes me so anxious when he's jittery but I learned a great trick from my Vet's assistant.
Lesson Learned:
Distractions help a lot, especially when working with a puppy that has "A.D.D" hahaha. When he used to get his nails clipped at the vets office, she would carry him with one hand and clip his nails with the other while walking him around. He was distracted by everything in the office and within a few minutes he was done....the both of them unharmed :D Of course, this is more difficult if you have a much larger dog but I would definitely try it! Also, for objects that made him anxious or cautious, I would let him explore them (as long as it wasn't dangerous). I let him smell the object, even bite it if he was frustrated so that he understood that he had control. Once he was comfortable, he wasn't worried anymore! Great trick!

I know this is a lot of information but it takes a lot to raise a puppy! I hope this helps if you experience similar situations with your puppy. Feel free to ask questions or leave any comments. I'd love to hear any insight that you might have! Enjoy!

His sleeping habits began early! :D

He loves his water bottle! :D

Much needed time outside to watch everything/everyone! His favorite time of the day!

Today I'm Listening To:
December by George Winston
It's a Fall/Winter Tradition for my family to listen to this. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Recycled Candles!

Hey Bloggers!! I hope that everyone's weather is as WONDERFUL as ours is! It has been in the 70's all week and this morning I actually had to put on my fleece to take Jackson outside. It was around 50 degrees! Brrr! It may not officially be fall yet but it certainly feels like it and I love it! In between school, I have been organizing ideas for fall and Christmas! (It's never too early :D ) I have plenty of crafts and recipes lined up so stayed tuned for those! My video editing software has been down lately so I haven't been able to post any recent videos on my YouTube account, but please feel free to stop by and I would love to here suggestions for future videos and tutorials.
Today, I am posting my recycled candles that I worked on earlier this week. This craft is a fun way to reuse any leftover wax you may have around the house. I had a soy candle that had broken out of the glass so I salvaged the wax to use later. The other candle was just a typical paraffin column candle and the wick had either broken off or stopped lighting. I just cut up the leftover wax into pieces and stored it in sealed mason jars until I was ready to use them.
Keep up with the names of each candle just in case you decide to label them later!

I found these glass containers at Michaels. The lids make for a perfect container if you make any candles for gifts.

You will need a pack of wicks and some glue. I used a multi-purpose fusion glue to seal the wicks to the bottom of the containers.

Straighten out your wick.

Adhere the wicks to the center of the container bottoms.
Heat the wax in slow boiling water but be sure you don't let the jar sit on the bottom of the pot. When the jar itself starts to get hot, use tongs or a pair of oven mitts to hold it in the water.

You're ready to go!

Be sure to carefully pour your wax into a container over paper.

Straighten you wick if needed

Cut your wicks down once the wax dries!

You're done!

Enjoy them for yourself or gift them!

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1) Soy candles vs Paraffin candles: Soy candles are MUCH better than paraffin. They are easier to work with because they are softer and it is easier to clean up your work station, jars and any other utensils you use for the craft. Paraffin sticks to everything! You can even tell how much smoother the blue soy candle is in comparison to the green paraffin candle. Soy candles are actually better for the environment. They burn cleaner and don't give off soot like Paraffin keep that in mind!!
2) Mason jars are a great way to store wax and heat it up when transferring so when at all possible, stock up on some mason jars!
3) When pouring the hot wax, be sure that your new container is in a location where it can cool. If you move the container with hot wax in it, it will cause unwanted residue on the edges. Keeping the containers still will make a clean layer of wax.
4)After the wax sets, THEN cut down the wick. You never know how much wick you will need until the wax is poured.

It's that easy! I definitely want to experiment with layering different fragrances but for right now it's the simple candles. I hope you use this trick to make your candles last a little longer in your home! Be sure to let me know if you have any questions or suggestions! Enjoy!

Today I'm Listening To:
Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall by Coldplay
I've been listening to Coldplay for years and they never have a song that I don't like! :D

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Oh...Everybody Knows That I'm HOGWILD!

Woooooo Pig Sooie! RAZORBACKS!!! Today kicked off the official Razorback Football Season of 2011! Can you say WOOOO HOOOO!! haha Needless to say, I am a huge football and Razorback fan (especially since I go to the U of A)! Well we won tonight's game 51 to 7 and it looks like our new starting quarterback is fitting in quite nicely! Well I'm not going to bore you with the details but I might slip in a few game results from time to time! I hope everyone is having a great, relaxing and much needed weekend! And for those of you with Monday off, have a fantastic holiday!!

Today I'm Listening To:
Someone Like You by Adele
I first heard this song on the radio and immediately recognized her voice. She is so refreshing; a true artist who's live performances sound as wonderful as her recorded music. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Is Here!!

Happy Thursday, Everyone!!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week thus far! Tomorrow is Friday and the start of a relaxing 3 day weekend. I'll be spending some much needed time with family and watching some Razorback Football!!! I'm am sooo excited to say that today is the start of September, which means we are that much closer to Fall! It's my favorite time of the year, except Christmas and white winters of course! :D It has been record breaking hot in the South this summer and I am ready for some cool weather fronts to move in. 
I mean, how wonderful does this look!?!?! Ahhh I can't wait! :D
So for todays post I wanted to share with you a great project that I love to do whether it's for a birthday, housewarming, wedding gift or even just for yourself! With a frame, some acrylic paint, chipboard letters, ribbon, embellishments and a little hot glue you can put together your own custom frame. The possibilities are endless so have fun with it!.....OR you can purchase a pre-made frame or custom order one from me. Below are two pre-made samples so be sure to check those out! Also, this week I decided to add an extra element to my blog posts. Music plays such a huge role in my life so it's only fit that I share with you what music I'm listening to. I won't subject you to an annoying player....instead I'll include the music on the bottom with a youtube link. This way, it is COMPLETELY up to you whether you listen to it or not. :D Well that's pretty much it for today! I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! Enjoy!

Zebra, Silver & Turquoise "Best Friends" Frame with Black glitter letters: $22.00
For custom order frames: $25.00

Red, Black & White "Go Razorbacks" Frame with white glitter letters: $20.00 (Pre-made)
For custom order frames: $25.00

Today I'm Listening To:
We Are by Joy Williams
I first heard this on the trailer for The Vow. I adore this song and can't wait to see the movie!