Saturday, December 31, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

I took a total of 38 possible entries from the 24 comments that were entered by the deadline last night.

From the winner is:

Entry number 21 which is Pink Growl! Congratulations! Please send me your name and email address at, so that I can pass it along to the people at Shabby Apple.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway!!

In honor of my 900th blog post, I'm hosting a giveaway!

Earlier this week, Shabby Apple contacted me and asked if I'd like to team up with them for a giveaway for my blog. Now if you know me, I don't normally just team up with anyone for a giveaway. I'm very particular when I pick and choose who I let on my blog. Once I saw the adorable clothes and jewelry on their website, I knew I had to share this website with the rest of you! Not only do they have super cute vintage-inspired dresses, but they also have swimwear, maternity clothes, aprons and beautiful jewelry. Basically there is a little bit of everything on the Shabby Apple website.

Now, the giveaway is that I will be giving away one of two items. I'm giving the winner of this giveaway their choice of either a dress or a piece of jewelry that I have previously picked out.

There are a couple of rules to this giveaway.
1. This giveaway is open to US residents only.
2. You MUST like the Shabby Apple Facebook page as a mandatory entry. Please let me know in a comment that you have liked the page for one entry.
3. If you blog OR tweet about the giveaway and link to the Shabby Apple FB page I'll give you three entries. Please make sure that after you do this, you come back and leave a separate entry telling me you've done so.

Sound good? Great! Then let me show you the two items I've picked out for the winner to choose from.

Option 1: The Boogie Woogie Dress. Click here for more views of the dress.

Option 2: The Key to My Heart Necklace. Click here for a description of this piece.

This contest will end on Friday, December 30th at 9:00p.m. CST.

Thanks to the fabulous people at Shabby Apple for sponsoring this giveaway!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! I just wanted to pop in and send out some Christmas wishes since I'm pretty positive I won't be around much tomorrow.
I finally got all my presents bought or received in the mail and today I'll finish up wrapping them. I'll also be helping my Mom with baking/preparing food for our snack night tonight and our Christmas dinner tomorrow. At some point I still need to watch It's a Wonderful Life and Elf.

Tonight we are also going to be Skyping with Sean so we can see him open all his presents and open our presents from him. I'm so excited to see him and Boomer, even though I know Skyping is not Sean's favorite thing, as he is a bit shy about that.

I've still been taking pictures for my 25 Days of Christmas Photo Challenge, but I haven't been sharing them on Flickr or Facebook, as I can't edit them. So those won't be making an appearance until I get back to Italy.  However, I will post one photo on here, as I've been playing around with shaping bokeh and am excited with the results.

Also....the day after Christmas I will be posting an AWESOME giveaway. So make sure you come back on the 26th to see what that involves.

Hope each and every one of you has a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Home for Christmas Update

After being home for a week, I thought it was high time I did a blog post and updated ya'll on what I've been up to.

The plane ride to the States wasn't bad, but it was soooo long. Almost 12 hours on one flight is too much. I didn't have any problems though and ordering the vegetarian meal was an awesome idea. Not only was I one of the first served each service, but the food was really good. Although I did feel gypped when I got fruit for dessert and everyone else was getting chocolate brownies or chocolate mousse.

All that I've been doing since I've been home could be divided into three catergories: Eating, Shopping and Visiting.  I've seen almost everybody but one aunt, one of my good friends from high school and a couple of my blogger friends. I've eaten Mexican food twice and plan on eating it a few more times. I've had Starbucks, shopped at Hobby Lobby and Target and done some thrift store shopping as well.

What I haven't done is taken massive amounts of pictures. At least outside. The weather so far has been a bit rainy and when it hasn't been I've been out and about. I took a TON of pictures at one side of my family's Christmas functions and had such a good time taking silly pictures with family and just enjoying their company.

My cousin Sarah and I doing our silly faces

We had to do the usual "We Miss You Sean" sign to let know him know he was missed.

This is most of the girls in the family on my Mom's side. What makes this picture hilarious is my youngest cousin crying hysterically. She didn't have a nap that day and she was DONE.

Last night I met up with a few of my best friends from high school at our favorite Mexican food place and had a great night catching up with them and scarfing down tacos and enchiladas.

Coming up the next few days I have our annual family snack night on Christmas Eve. I'm having a devil of a time finding normal sized jalapenos for my bacon wrapped jalapenos. I also had an unfortunate cooking accident the other day when I subbed waxed paper for parchment paper and the oven started smoking. Lesson learned!

Hoping all of you are having a wonderful holiday season! I cannot wait for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Today is my last day in Italy before I leave for the States to spend Christmas. Right now I have mixed emotions. I'm super excited about going home, but sad to be leaving Sean (even though he's been acting like a Grinch the past few days). I'm also not looking forward to the ridiculously long time it takes me get to Oklahoma from Italy, but such is life. Plus it'll all be worth it.

I'm not sure how much time I'll have to blog while I'm in the States. I'm sure I'll pop in from time to time to update ya'll on what I've been up to.

In closing, here are a few of my very favorite Christmas songs for you to enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm In a Glass Case of Emotion!

My emotions have been all over the place this past day week. I was sick and cranky last weekend, happy about going to see my family, elated over the wickedly good deal I got at the purse factory yesterday (see picture below) and the fact I made it on to Flickr Explore yesterday (again, picture below) and then crying this morning because I'm going to miss Sean so much when I go back to the States.

I'm also a little perturbed right now at a friend who can't seem to make time in their, oh so busy schedule, to send back a message on FB. In fact, this person is awful about ever answering any message I send them on FB. I don't get it? How hard is it to simply write back a message? It's not like they are never on, because I see them online all the time. Makes me think we aren't such good friends after all. And that my blog readers, is a pretty crappy feeling.

Anyway, I've got a lot planned this next week before I head back to the States for 3 glorious weeks of friends and family time. I haven't been to the States since Sean's R&R in April of 2010, so I am well overdue for a trip back to the good old US of A. I'm already imagining all the great places I will shop (Hobby Lobby, the mall, Old Navy, Goodwill) and the places I will eat (Taco Bueno, Qdoba, Mazzios) and the drinks I will sip on (Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes). Oh..and seeing friends and family is pretty cool too. :)

This weekend Sean and I are having our 2nd annual snack night and Christmas Vacation movie night. It's a tradition that my own immediate family does every Christmas, but Sean and I started doing our own version of it last year, when we weren't able to go home for Christmas. We'll also be opening our gifts to each other since we won't be together on the actual day of Christmas. Then I'm hoping we can fit in a quick trip to Venice so I can look for a couple of last minute presents for people.  This year for our snack night we are making the following:

Mexican Pinwheels
Little Smokies with BBQ sauce
Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos
Spinach Dip
Caramel Bars

(If you want the recipe to any of the above, let me know and I'll try to post them)

Here is the picture that was Explored on Flickr yesterday as one of the 500 most interesting photos uploaded that day.

This photo comes from a Christmas session I'm doing with a friend's baby.

Without further ado, the pictures of my new purse!

I actually went to the store in search for a dark brown purse to match my boots and favorite wedge heels, but alas, there weren't really that many brown purses to choose from. Seriously, maybe one or two. I guess brown is not in this year. So, instead I "settled" for this lovely gray purse, that has brown stitching. It was in the "sale" room and it was a steal at 50 euro. Especially when I looked at the before price.

50 euro for a purse that was originally 218 euro? Yes, please!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Tidbits You Should Know About

I've found a few Christmas items of interest here and there in the last few months that I wanted to share with you, my readers.  Some you probably already know about, but I think there are a few you might not have seen before.

First up: This awesome Christmas Photo Checklist that I found on Pinterest. It comes from Rebecca Cooper's blog. Very neat list with a ton of suggestions on it. You can find it here.

I've talked about the Christmas Advent House before, but last week I was contacted by a company that sells the plans and supplies to build your own advent house. It's half the price, so I told them I'd be happy to pass the info along to my readers. Go here for that link.

Also, I just discovered that Etsy will give you gift recommendations for your Facebook friends based on their interests, how awesome is that?

I actually mentioned this awesome advent calendar last year, but I wanted to bring it up again, simply because it is so awesome. It's a random acts of kindness advent calendar. Click here to give it a look.

I mentioned the Michael Buble Christmas album a couple of months ago, but I've been eyeing (and previewing on a daily basis) the She & Him Christmas album on iTunes for awhile. I finally bought it today. Love it!

If you're into Christmas vacation, then you don't want to miss out on these shirts on Ebay:

Last, but not least, this year I'm going to participate in a 25 Days of Christmas photo challenge. Basically you just take a picture everyday for the first 25 days of December. The subject should be something that says "Christmas" to you. Of course, that can be open to interpretation. I'm putting my photos up on Flickr, so if you want to check my photos out each day, you can go here.