Tuesday, December 12, 2017

And The Stockings Were Hung By The Chimney With Care...

 When John and I first started dating, he bought us some wrought iron fleur de lis stocking holders because they reminded him of me. *cue the aawws* He's so sweet. I love fleur de lis, but to be honest, I wasn't a big fan of them. They were mismatched shapes; they were black and bulky; they weren't Christmasy.

I haven't looked at them in years because I didn't really expect us to use them when we finally moved into our house, but I was going through our Christmas boxes and something sparked in me that hadn't before when I saw them. I loved how heavy and big they were; I loved the uniqueness and thought behind them. This was exactly what I've been looking for in a stocking holder. There was just one problem.. They were still black.
It took me about five minutes, but I figured out what I could do to give them more of a Christmasy look. Paint them. I love silver, so I knew I wanted a chrome look. I also love old looking pieces, so I decided I could sand the chrome painted fleur de lis to give it more of an antiqued look. It was a cheap and easy process, and I love how they turned out!
 I wanted stockings that were sentimental and reminded me of Christmas at my parents' house. They have always had patch quilt stockings so that's what I wanted for our house. My sweet mother-in-law handmade these incredible stockings for us! They turned out absolutely perfect! I'm usually not a sentimental person, but it means so much to me that she handmade our stockings and that they remind me of Christmas at my parents' house. #AllTheNostalgia.
John and I are so happy with how our stockings and stocking holders turned out, and it was so special for us to create the entire thing together. Do you have any sentimental pieces in your Christmas decor?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Tree Pickin'

Happy December y'all!

Where in the heck did November go? I was finally in a routine of writing blog posts and then.. well, I just don't know. But I'm here.

Christmas trees. Who doesn't love a Christmas tree? John and I debated on buying a real tree this year or finally breaking down and buying an artificial tree.

We decided to break down and buy an artificial tree since we are officially in our new house. Last year, we moved into the house on December 16th during a freak ice storm. We bought a real tree, put lights on it, and didn't bother with ornaments since we didn't have much time with it. So this year, we were ready to go all out.

It started when we came back from our trip to Mississippi. We got back early enough that we had time to go out and look for one. I had an idea in my mind of what I wanted. It was a Balsam Hill Christmas tree. There was only one problem.. We don't have thousands of dollars we can spend on said tree.
So off we went to look for a 9' tree with lots of (non led) lights that wasn't too fat or too skinny and didn't break the bank.

We first searched Hobby Lobby. Every tree I saw in there had pine cones in it, which I didn't want. Next, we went to Home Depot. The trees didn't have enough lights on them so off to Lowe's we went. I thought we had found the tree, but it didn't come in a 9'. Lastly, we tried Menards. We don't have a Menards in Mississippi, so we normally don't think to look here. Low and behold, we found THE perfect tree. I knew it was meant to be because I picked it out twice in the store in two different displays. It is absolutely perfect and ticks off every box on my check list.

We have had it up for a while, but we haven't been able to decorate it yet. We made our ten month house walk through last Wednesday (yes, it is passed ten months since we moved into the house) where they fix nail pops and re-caulk. John thought it wouldn't be smart to decorate with our nice ornaments just yet until the men finished because they would most likely have to move the tree. I agreed with him, but now they are having to come back this Wednesday to paint over the holes. So my tree is still not decorated, and it might not even get decorated at this point. The lights themselves look so pretty on the tree though that I'm actually okay with not getting to decorate it this year.
 I would love to know if you prefer real trees or artificial trees. I love the experience of going to buy a real tree from that Hallmark-esque Christmas tree lot, so I might try to talk John into letting us get a real tree and set it up in the front room of the house.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Christmas Begins With Mistletoe Marketplace

This weekend, John, myself, Layla, and Penny all loaded up and went to Mississippi. We went in to see family, of course, but we chose this particular weekend for one thing and that is.. Mistletoe Marketplace!

Mistletoe Marketplace is presented by the Junior League of Jackson. It's held around the first weekend of November every year. This year there were 155 merchants from all around the United States. It's a tradition for me, my mom, mamaw, aunt, and cousins to go every year. We normally get there around 3:30pm and leave around 8:00pm. I can't speak for everyone else, but it kicks off the holiday season for me and momma. *que Jingle Bells*
This year not everyone was able to go because of different reasons, so it was just me and mom this year. We had an absolute blast! I may or may not have gotten blasted myself. Thanks to my sweet cousin Jennifer, we were able to go to the Corporate Sponsorship Lounge where you can drink and eat all you want! I took full advantage of it. I'm pretty sure I had a whole bottle of champagne when it was all said and done. Can you blame me? It was free, and I had a driver!
We mainly purchased food products, and mom bought me a Christmas shirt. We bought dips, turkey, bacon, bundt cakes, Mexican vanilla, and wine mix. I've eaten a Nothing Bundt Cakes bundt cake every night since Sunday. They are amazing, and I need 60 more to get me through the year!

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MISTLETOE:
1. Wear walking shoes.
2. Bring some patience.
3. Most people will have full on hair and makeup so dress accordingly. We never dress to the nines when we go but lots of others do.
4. You will always see someone you know, whether you like them and want to talk to them or not.
5. Baby fever hits hard when you see all of the cute baby clothes.
6. Prepare to stand in line for the grazing stations. I swear. It's like Sunday afternoon at SAMs in this place.
7. Watch out for the ladies with the drink carts.
8. The second building is not as good as the first.
9. Wear a crossbody purse, so you have free hands.
10. Your Christmas spirit will explode with joy because the decorations are always on point!

What is your favorite part of Mistletoe?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Roaming Traveler: Lewistown, Pennsylvania

As you might have read, John and I went to Pennsylvania a couple of weeks back to visit some of his family. We had the best and most relaxing time! The trees had already turned colors, and the weather was cool, crisp, and cloudy.

We stayed in Belleville, PA at a guest house that is owned by the retirement community his grandparents are living. You can only stay there if you have family that lives in the retirement community, which is really nice for us to visit since there really aren't any hotels around the area.
Belleville, PA has one of America's oldest Amish settlements. It is very active with buggies and home-made goods. Every Wednesday is the Amish Market and Auction. I got to see my first live auction which was really cool, even if they were just auctioning off eggs and radishes.
We did a good bit of exploring around the mountain while we were in Belleville and Lewistown. So much of this area reminded me of scenes from Hocus Pocus!
One of John's dad's favorite places to visit is Greenwood Furnace State Park. It has a lake to swim in, trails to hike, gorgeous scenery, and so much more. The park is 423 acres, so you can definitely find something to do.
Another place we went to visit was Seven Points Marina in Raystown. This was recommended to us by John's grandpap. He went on a bus ride with some of the residents at the retirement community and told us it was "beau-tee-full". The lake and area was beautiful. I would love to get out there on a boat in the summer time. 
Onto my favorite part.. wine and food.

We visited two wineries Brookmere Winery, which we went to last year, and Hawstone Hollow Winery, which was a new one for us to visit. Brookmere Winery grows their own grapes and makes their own wine. One of my favorites is their Red Fox wine. It's described as a sweet and spicy red wine. It has a cinnamon flavor to it, which is great for the holidays. My other favorites are Berries Gone Wild, Frog Hollow, Sangria, and Tears of the Goose. Hawstone Hollow Winery does not grow their own fruit, but they do make their own wine. They import most ingredients in and try to use local when they can. Right now they are using local apples and honey. Their wine was something I have never tasted before. It hardly tasted like wine and more like juice. It was fantastic! We may or may not have gotten 3 bottles - Crangrape, Hawstone Cooler, and Blackberry. I would definitely give both of these wineries a visit!

Some of my favorite restaurants that we visited in Lewistown are Honey Creek Inn Restaurant (breakfast), Richie's OIP (cheesesteak hoagie), South Side Hoagie Shop (italian hoagie), and Angelo's (breadsticks, salad dressing).

If you ever go to Penn State in State College, PA, drive down to Belleville and Lewistown. It's about a 30 minute drive. You will meet some friendly people and have some picturesque views along the way.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Plus Size Fall Outfits

John and I went to Belleville, PA last week, and I loved everything that I brought with me to wear. 

Que outfit blog post.

I'm still new at this and didn't manage to get what I actually wore on the ride there and back. In the picture below, the gray shirt and maroon shirt, is what I wore to and from Pennsylvania. These shirts were incredibly comfortable. They have a small pocket on the front which I love, and they are long enough to wear with leggings.
This is the only picture I managed to get of my outfit on the way there. Hello snuggly (that's what we call it). Always a good fashion choice.

I love carrying my Marc by Marc Jacobs purse with me on all of my trips. It's a crossbody that is a decent enough size to fit everything I need to in it without being to bulky and heavy. I got it from Century 21 in 2014, and I can't find a link to it anymore. This one is similar.

My Vans. I absolutely love the look of these shoes, and I highly recommend getting these socks to go with them. They stay on my foot nicely and don't slide down into my shoe.
On the first day, I wore this sweater. I bought it in three different colors, and I'm so glad I did. They go with everything, super comfortable, and long enough for leggings. For size reference, I got them in an XXL.

These leggings are everything. I have a wide load, and these leggings are thick enough to not become see through while stretching over my hips, butt, and thighs. The material is extremely durable, and they are high waisted. I've had these for 3 years, and they still look brand new. The color hasn't faded at all. I def recommend.

My boots are from SAMs, and I love them. I got them last year and have not seen them in store this year. I call them fUGGs for obvious reasons.
Second day, I wore the same sweater as the first day but in a different color. I love this vest for Fall/Winter. It's from Old Navy a few years ago, but this one is similar just different material. Its thick enough to keep me warm and has pockets!

My boots are several years old, and I have no earthly idea where I got them.
Third day, same sweater, different color.
I love the combo of this bracelet with the Ronaldo 'The Princess' bracelet. Mixed metals is my jam.
Different sweater but practically the same color as the one from the day before. I also wore a maroon shirt the following day. I might be slightly obsessed with maroon for Fall. I love that this sweater is V-neck just to change up the look a bit.

These jeggings are my faves. They have stretch to them which I love to hug my curves. I will warn you that they are not tight on your ankles, so it's harder to stuff them into boots.
Last but not least, my jammies. T-shirt from some golf tournament John was in. Toothpaste stain from the morning I took this photo. Bottoms are comfy and lightweight. Perfect for traveling and lounging.
Hope you enjoyed this nonconventional outfit post.

Yes, my pictures are blurry, and I have no idea why. I shall fix it for next time:) Also, props again to fashion bloggers. This shit is hard and time-consuming.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Scary Movie Update & Favorite Faux Fur Blanket

Well, we only made it through four out of the ten movies this weekend on John's List of Scary Movies for the Weekend.

With LSU, Yankees, and Saints playing this weekend, plus work and running a couple of errands, we just kind of ran out of time.

We were able to watch Scream, Hostel, Amityville Horror (2005), and From Dusk til Dawn. Amityville Horror was by far my favorite, followed by Scream, then Hostel, and lastly, From Dusk til Dawn.

Amityville Horror literally had me sweating like a beast because I was so scared. I think I might even have a small break out on my forehead where I was laying against John's arm and sweating.

I'm hoping we can get more of the movies in this weekend. Our week is pretty full because we are preparing to go see John's family in Pennsylvania. I have honestly been looking forward to this trip since this summer. With Fall coming a little later than normal, I'm so excited to see what the mountains will look like. Last year we went to Pennsylvania in the middle of August, so it was still quite warm and summery, so I'm looking forward to the foliage. I love the word foliage and will say it from when I see the first Fall foliage of the year until all the trees die.

The trip is quite long, so I'm glad we are going when there won't be snow. It's a 12 hour drive for us, some of it through the mountains. Ice and mountains just don't mix well in my opinion, so I'm excited for the weather we will be getting. The temps are looking like they will be a high of 52 and low of 30. I gotta make sure and pack my cuddl duds, beanies, and scarves. 

I might even have to bring my fur blanket with me. Honestly, this is the best blanket I have ever owned, and I only paid $50 for it from the Pottery Barn outlet. That's a steal in my book, especially from Pottery Barn. It has a good weight and color, and the feel is so soft!

I've also talked John into letting me spend money on some new sweaters for the trip. I'm going to look at Old Navy and maybe Walmart. I used to love Walmart clothing. It was cheap and cute, but I haven't shopped there in quite some time. I'm hoping to get some good finds.

As John's grandpap in Pennsylvania would say, "well, I don't know what else to tell ya."

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday The 13th

Happy Friday the 13th witches!

John and I both share a huge love for all things Halloween, especially scary movies. He has made a list of 10 scary movies that we must start watching tonight and finish by Sunday night. Eeeek. Some he has seen and some he hasn't, so we aren't throwing any recommendations out there yet (in case any of them blow).

I love scary movies, but I'm not a pro at them, meaning I have not seen a lot of the classics or even the newer ones. I can't watch them by myself, and no matter how scared I get, I must see what happens therefore no covering my eyes. I may squint, but I can still see what's going on.

I've had two incidents with watching scary movies with John. The first incident was when he scared me so bad after watching a scary movie that I ran full speed into a wall, in the pitch black dark, at his parents house, with his parents there, and we had just started dating. Great first impression. The second incident was my fault, but he was there so he's getting looped into this one too. I had my arms curled up in a blanket by my face and punched myself square in the nose when I got scared in a movie. Good times.

I'm excited to sit down and get caught up with the rest of the world on scary movies, especially on the best day ever, Friday the 13th. Hopefully there will be no injuries.

John's List of Scary Movies for the Weekend:
Scream
Hostel
Amityville Horror
Final Destination
Sleepy Hollow
Silence of the Lambs
Shaun of the Dead
Get Out
Gerald's Game
The Babadook

What is your favorite scary movie?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Belleville Chili Cook-Off 2017

"Beans, beans are good for your heart.."

This past weekend was the 34th Annual Belleville Chili Cook-Off. I've been looking forward to this cook-off for several months now. It's one of the biggest festivals in Belleville. An estimated 60,000 people attended the festival this year.
 The festival is free entry, and parking is relatively easy. You can sample the vendor's chili for 50 cents. Some of the white chili costs 75 cents to a dollar to sample, and most of them weren't good. John and I would share a sample we could try as much as possible. Sadly we didn't get to sample them all, but we sampled A LOT.
Look at that hottness above with chipped finger nail polish, greasy forehead, and scrubs that she spilt beer on (and all down her arm and on another lady's ankle) because her arm itched.

While sampling and walking, we guzzled down some expensive beer that required tokens to purchase. I tried my first Stag beer, which was good! It tasted like Coors Light. I never really thought about drinking beer with my chili, and let me tell you, I recommend it!
 Belleville Firefighters are known to have some of the best chili, which I can attest to, but the Mexican restaurant, Casa Maria, won my heart over! John and I agree that the firefighters came in 3rd on our list. John's first pick was the Boy Scouts Troop 553! There were over 60 vendors and almost all of them had chili to sample, so it was a tough call on picking a number one.
After we couldn't stuff our bellies with chili any longer, we indulged in some ice cream served by the cutest man. I asked another guy that worked there (turned out to be the son) what the name of their shop was. He didn't really answer my question but told me this man above is his father. He is 87 years old and still runs the business. The ice cream was incredible! The son might not have told me the name of the restaurant (I don't think he could hear me), but he did say they are setup at the Belle-Clair Speedway every Saturday. Guess who's already planning a trip out to the Speedway? This chick.
The moon was beautiful, music was good, chili was awesome, ice cream was incredible, and the beer was cold. I would say we had a successful first chili cook-off!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Proverbial Leaf

I keep reading blog posts about "how to finish the year strong" and "how to finish your end of the year goals". I honestly thought to myself that these posts were kind of a waste to read, but I read them anyway. I didn't get much from them until today.

When I got home from work, it felt like I had turned a new leaf. In reality, it's the same proverbial (it took a minute for google to understand this is the word I was trying to spell) leaf I turn over every year around this time. It's the leaf that makes me want to indulge more in bubble baths, a skincare routine, the kitchen, walking, and painting my fingernails.

Who am I? This is for active people not couch potatoes. I am the real MVP couch po-ta-toe over here. No one can take my title. But lately, I've been wanting to do more.

BUBBLE BATHS:
Bathtub filled with hot enough water that it will last for at least an hour but not too hot where it burns my nether yayeh. Every Lush product imaginable fizzing, spinning, and changing my bath water colors. Bath salts that prickle my butt when I first get in but later making my skin feel oh so soft. And don't forget the actual bubbles. I want bubbles up to my neck, please.

SKINCARE ROUTINE:
For the morning time, I just use my go to cleanser and moisturizer. Easy peasy. Nighttime is probably my hardest routine to get into because I don't wear any makeup on my actual face most days except for mascara. If I leave my mascara on from the day before, my lashes look incredible the next day after I apply a little more mascara to them. I hate to be wasteful and get rid of that every single night. My goal nighttime routine is to use my makeup wipes to get the grime off of my face and get my eye makeup off, use my Clarisonic to really get deep down into those pesky pores of mine, pop on some eye cream, then moisturize. Some nights I know I want to get fancy and throw on a face mask and use serum instead of moisturizer, but we shall see. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

BE IN THE KITCHEN MORE:
I'm mainly thinking crockpot recipes or baking over here. I'll leave the hard stuff up to Chef John. I know I want to try my hand at a pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake, but I'll have to wait until my parents come to visit because John doesn't like pumpkin. I know. How are we even married? He's so not #basic. I really like the recipe I cooked from Cravings (see post here), so maybe I'll give one of those recipes a go.

EXERCISE:
Y'all.. I actually thought about going running, not to the fridge or bathroom, but on an actual run. All of my fat hurts just thinking about running. You know when your fat bounces while your running (or walking for that matter)? That's the kind of hurt I'm talking about. But I still want to do it. Wwwhhhyy body, wwwhhyy? I'm just ready to feel better about myself. *insert picture of McDonald's 10 piece nugget, large fry, and large coke w/ bbq sauce I just had*

PAINTING MY BEAUTIFUL NAIL:
(see Anjelah Johnson - Nail Salon for reference)
Fall colors have a way to my heart much like berry shades of lipstick do. So far I've painted them maroon and navy blue. Next they will be black then dark purple. Once November hits, I plan on bringing more of my browns out. I actually filed my fingernails the other day. I didn't know you were supposed to cut them then file them. I just filed them to the length I wanted. That would explain why it took me like an hour to do them. I absolutely hate a fingernail file, but somehow I did it. It was a pain in the ass. I will probably never do it again, but I'm glad I did it once in my life. I've also been using cuticle oil. Not sure if it's working, but it makes my fingers feel lovely when I'm done and wash off the excess.

So, what do you think? Do you have goals that you are trying to finish before the end of the year or just now coming up with? Did you turn over your proverbial leaf?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Halloween & Fall Decorations

Happy 1st day of October y'all! I'm so excited for Fall and Halloween this year because I have a house I can decorate. Usually I help my parents decorate for Halloween or I've had an apartment, but this year I have my very own house #blessed! I wanted to decorate for Fall and Halloween, so insert this hodgepodge of decorating post.
 I bought all of my pumpkins and mums from Strackeljahn Farms. They have a really cute store on the side of Highway 40 in Saint Jacob, IL. Their prices on pumpkins and mums are great, and they have a good selection without being too overwhelming!

My parents bought me this adorable wrought iron spider from Donna's #6 in Mississippi, where they get their pumpkins from. This spider is probably one of my favorite Halloween decorations that I own. My parents have one almost just like it, and since they bought me one to have at my own house, it makes it even more special. It's like having a little piece of home away from home. You know what I mean..
 This glow in the dark ghost came from Donna's #6 as well. I would highly recommend going there for all of your pumpkin needs if you live in Mississippi. We would be going there if we didn't live all the way in Illinois!
 You might remember this blow mold from my apartment Halloween decorations post a while back. I got it and the Halloween village below from my grandparents after they passed away. Who knew Halloween decorations could be so sentimental?
This spider web is a huge pain in the ass to work with, but it really adds a lot to the decorations.
 You might have seen a similar picture to the one above from my Bath and Body Works Sale post, but this area is another one of my favorites in my house so you get to see it again. It's currently sitting on top of my barrel in my living room. This looks so cozy at night with the candle lit. I'm currently burning Autumn.
 Now onto the kitchen. My parents made these skulls and pumpkin from molds that they poured concrete into! They are so creative. I love how perfectly imperfect they are.
 I might have a slight tea towel obsession. We honestly use every single one of these towels because you can't dry dishes with the same towel you dry your hands with or the same towel you brush the crumbs off of the counter with.
 John and I both love skulls, so we have quite a few we decorate with. Sometimes we will put battery operated lights in them to make them glow at night. This year we were kind of lazy and just left them out.
Lastly, we have the mantle! This mixed with the candle glowing on the barrel makes for the most cozy October nights.

As I'm writing this, I'm drinking pumpkin beer and thinking of what Halloween movie we are going to watch tonight. What is your favorite Halloween movie?