Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween Craft Week: Sombre Artwork

Last week, I stopped by Goodwill as I am always looking for some ornate looking frames to add to my stairwell collection. Usually, there's nothing, but on this trip there was quite a few, so I snagged myself one large one and two smaller ones. 

I hadn't gotten around to painting them white for the stairwell yet and realized that their golden tone would be PERFECT for featuring some sort of Halloween artwork.  This is probably the EASIEST Halloween craft EVER.... unless you consider how long it will take you to make a decision on what you want to put inside your frame! 

There are so many amazing people out there, creating such great FREE PRINTABLES that I knew I had to feature a few of my favorites!

I'm a bird fan of birds in decor, so I decided to print off this template and this template

I simply just found ones I liked and printed them off on some card stock and popped them into the gilded frames! I really like how they turned out. I'd even be tempted to keep these up year round! 

I went with something "Halloweenish" that complemented my decor but you could certainly go with something scary like some old portraits of creepy looking people or some Halloween themed words in the shape of a pumpkin, etc. 

Whatever works for you, I say go for it! 
If you really wanted to be fancy, you could use editing software to print your image in sepia tone or something else fun, but I liked the crisp white on mine!

I did however want to throw a little "cobwebs" on mine to give them a true Halloween effect, since the images weren't really spooky.  I seem to be going with a birds them in my decor this year and I'm just fine with that! I haven't actually done any Halloween staging yet, so this isn't where these will stay, but I like the look of them on the wall!


What sort of images are you putting in your Halloween vignettes?  Since I missed a post yesterday, I'll feature two on Friday, since my printer was out of ink and it took me an extra day to get this one completed!  Hope you're enjoying these simple décor ideas!  :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween Craft Week: Scarrarium

I love decorating for the holidays, but I'm not a big fan of adding all sorts of bright colors that don't match my existing décor an predominantly blue, grey, and white color scheme.  Also, as I don't have kids and don't have any popping by, between now and Halloween, it doesn't make sense for me to do anything too juvenile around my place, cause quite frankly, that's just not "ME".  But I do have some adults who'll be around so I thought it might be fun to do something super simple and slightly creepy to décor I already have, that they are sure to notice!

A Halloween Scararrium of course!!

This little faux-terrarium usually resides in the guest room but I thought it deserved a place front and centre as my dining room table centerpiece!

I had the glass structure for quite sometime, sitting around collecting dust when I had the idea about a year ago to add the faux succulents and some moss.  It adds a touch of nature to the guest bedroom!

All I purchased for this craft was a small bag of spiders from Michaels.  They have their Halloween and Autumn décor items on sale already, so it's a perfect time to stock up on stuff!!  You could really add a ton of different creepy/crawly items to this for something fun, but my goal was super simple.  I chose a bag of Large Spiders, but you could go with smaller and see if it takes people a while I find them!

All I did was pop open the terrarium and nestle the spiders in the moss.

A few enjoyed climbing around on the succulent pots.
I also wanted to have some climbing up the sides of the glass, so I grabbed some Glue Dots from my craft room and hung a few spiders up!
You can see the glue dot stretched out in the below shot. Which I love!  I think it kinda looks like the start of a web! :)
I made sure NOT to dust or use glass cleaner on the case before starting. I also didn't wipe off the smudgy finger prints.  I think it adds a little "Halloween" character to the terrarium.  I also didn't straighten up the succulent pots that were slightly tipped over.  I like to think the spiders caused that....
It's looking pretty good on the dining table!  I think it will be a fun little addition to the main floor for the next couple weeks!

I can't wait to have people over and see their reactions!
It's definitely been a hit with those of the feline variety...
This cute little craft took less than 5 minutes to pull together and cost about $2.00 for the bag of spiders!  What do you think of my new Halloween centerpiece?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Halloween Craft Week: A "Murder" Wreath

All this week, I will be posting quick and easy crafts with a Halloween theme!  The goal was simple:  they had to take little time to create; they had to be very inexpensive; they had to suit my Halloween décor, which is very minimalist and more elegant than child-friendly.  Today's craft literally took me less than 5 minutes and probably cost me around $12.00.
While I don't always go all out decorating for holidays, I almost always have a wreath up! My mom even commented this past weekend that she always checks my wreaths out every time she visits as there's always something new!  While I usually just leave up my Autumn Leaves wreath, I thought it might be fun to try something new, a little more "Halloween-y".  I don't know if I will be putting it on the front door or keeping it in the entry way, I'm still loving this new wreath.
The title makes this sound a lot scarier/grosser/creepier than it is.  My version of a "murder" wreath was more punny than anything... as in a Murder of Crows!  This was a super easy wreath to create and can easily been taken apart and made into something else, if needed.
So let's get started, shall we?
Here are the supplies I used to create this wreath:
-Round foam wreath form; maybe $6.00? purchased at Michaels with a coupon
- Black feather boas (I used small, cheap ones and used about 4 - 5 to get a nice, full effect) ; Dollarama $1.25 each
- Stapler
-Decorative accent (glittery clip on crow);
less than $2.00 Michaels
-Ribbon (for hanging); Free from my stash
1. First up, I stapled the string end to the wreath form to get it started.

2. Then I simply wrapped the boa around and around the wreath. 

When I got to an end of a boa, I simply stapled it, and then stapled on a new end.  Easy-peasy.
I wanted mine nice and full and didn't want any of the form to show through, so I made sure mine was nice and fluffy and used more boas than probably needed. :)

4. Once I was done, I simply needed to add on my decorative element(s).  I had a black and glittery orange bellied clip-on crow, so I simply attached him.  I don't quite think he's making a huge impact with his black on black, so I am looking for something else, but he's pretty cute.
5.  Then I simply looped some ribbon around and then hung it behind the mirror in the front entry!  I didn't buy ribbon specific for this project, I just used a simple black and white polka dot I had on hand and that worked nicely for me. Burlap could also be cute!  Simply lopping it behind this heavy mirror meant I didn't need to put a hole in the wall to hang it, which was super simple!

Here's you can see how lush and full it is.  You can also see the bird, but I think there's something BIG missing so I have my eye out for something large that will really make this thing POP!! 

 Yes, I realize that technically having only one crow showing, means this is not a murder.... but the pack is implied with all those darn feathers!!  Which were EVERYWHERE by the way - my cat was in heaven, stealing them and running away faster than I'd ever seen!  But it was quick, inexpensive and something I'd wanted to create for a while.  It doesn't scream Halloween, which was perfect for my front entry mirror!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fashion Friday: Fall Basics!

I've always had what many might consider to be an unhealthy addiction to shopping.  Personally, I see nothing wrong with it, as I don't really have any other vices, but shopping for clothes, accessories, beauty products and home stuff... well that's just my thing.

I haven't really shared too much of my fashion finds on here because I just figured there are so many gorgeous fashion bloggers out there with much more amazing style, budgets and of course sponsors sending them beautiful things to shoot or even keep!  Of course, I still love looking at their sites and clicking on links, but in reality, my lifestyle necessitates more of a comfortable/casual esthetic.  I work in the construction industry (business casual/casual) and part-time in retail (all black); my weekends are more often than not spent shopping, running errands, working around the house and taking the dog to the park. As such, I have built the majority of my wardrobe around comfortable "Basics" that I can add my personality to with accessories and a fun find or splurge item.  Of course, I go out and love getting a new outfit or item to spice up my wardrobe (I'm most likely going to be splashed all over the social media sites of my friend's, so I don't want to be seen in something I've been captured in before.....). 

But I figured I was probably with the majority here and figured that if I'd like to see fashionable finds for a realistic lifestyle and budget, other people would be too!  So, I'm going to try and aim to post some sort of fashion find every single Friday - sometimes it will just be a great new piece I stumbled upon.  Maybe it will be a wardrobe mash-up to create new outfits and sometimes, like today, I will showcase my Top 5/10/20 (whatever number I like) Picks for a Season/Event/etc.  But everything was attainable for me, on my budget, so it should most likely work for you!!

Without further ado, here are My Top Picks for Fall!

Plaid Shirts
As with everyone else out there, I am LOVING plaid shirts for Fall.  I have a few, but these two are my newest finds and are super comfy!  Best of all?  They're from the G21 line at Walmart and I think cost around $15Cdn each!!!  I like my sleeves rolled up, and these have the little button to keep them in place.  They look great with jeans and leggings.  I've dressed mine up for work with some jewellery and some cute flats; once it gets a little cooler I'll be wearing them with boots.
Similar here


Patterned Dressy Tank
Since the temperature at my office is so inconsistent, I almost always wear layers.  My usual uniform is cute black pants and a cardigan, but since that can get boring, I make sure what I wear underneath my cardi makes a statement,  like this cute sleeveless top from the Mossimo line at Target .  The front features a great watercolor pattern of gorgeous purples/blues/white on a silky fabric and the back is a super soft modal/jersey fabric.  It's also longer in the back and covers the bum, which is perfect if you want to wear it with leggings. Approx $25 Cdn.

Fantastic Fitting Black Pants
For work, my pants of choice have become Jessica Simpson's Kiss Me Jeggings .  However, the ones I wear are technically not a denim at all, but a soft, stretchy black pant.  They are so super comfy.  Love these and love that they come in a short length!  I wear them with pretty much any kind of top.  They look good with flats, heels and boots!  I hope they never stop making these!  I usually buy them on sale and they cost me around $50 Cdn.

Long Sleeve Striped Tee
I recently picked up a lot of vests and a sleeveless cardi and was looking for a nice striped long sleeve tee to wear with them.  Whenever I think striped long sleeve tee, I think of the Gap and they always have a ton.  I'm a little self-conscious of my mid-section right now, as I'm just getting back to working out so when I found this one with a drop waist and a peplum, I couldn't resist.  I couldn't find it online though, and this was at the Outlet, so check yours.  I'll be straight up and say the drop waist isn't the most flattering on my particular body type, but I wanted  something that wasn't so body conscious and figured that it would more often than not be under a vest or cardi, so I was alright with this being a bit looser.  It's super comfy and I might even see about getting it a tiny bit more tailored.  I think this was about $25 Cdn.
Dressy T-shirt
I never seem to have enough t-shirts that are suitable for being dressed up OR down.  This Gap  beauty is exactly the kind of t-shirt I love for weekends!  The cranberry color is new for me and I really like it.  The shirt is soft and comfy but with the lace sleeves and yoke, it adds just enough of something special that I don't feel like a slob if I just pair it with jeans.  But it can be dressed up with a pencil skirt for work!  This was on sale for $20 and I am still thinking about going back and getting the cream one as well.

Speaking of vests, here is my absolute NEW FAVE!!  Also from Gap this will be put into heavy rotation for fall. It is super comfy, not too hot and the fur trimmed hood is removable.  It's absolutely perfect with the striped tee or even a black thermal tee and jeans.  At $79.95, this was one of my more expensive pieces, but since it's considered outer wear, that's not surprising.

Another fun find was this great loden green silk safari-style belted vest with gold accents!  This picture does NOT do it justice, but it is stunning and it is the reason I went out and bought long sleeved tees to wear with it!  It would also be cute over a maxi dress so I will be doing that some summer next year, for sure!!  Another Winners find, I think this was like $12 in Clearance.  The brand is Chaus, which I have never heard of, but fits phenomenally well, super light weight. I like the longer length which covers the bum!

 Leather Jacket
Another great outer wear piece I stumbled upon is this Marc New York, Andrew Marc leather jacket at Winners .  Definitely more than I usually spend at around $250; this was my SPLURGE item for the month, but I have been wanting one for years and the fit on this one is perfect!  I also needed a dressier jacket for fall and like this option for wearing with something a little more feminine like a flowy floral dress.

Floral Kimono Top
For a night out with the girls, this kimono style Vero Moda top from Hudson's Bay  is absolutely perfect!  The pretty floral pattern looks great with a neutral cami underneath, some jeans, heels and a leather jacket.  Also the wrap style is super flattering and great for those of us whose mid-section isn't as flat as we'd like. I think this was around $30.00?

Long Sleeved Romper
Another fun option for a Girl's Night Out is this fun heart-print romper from Target  .  I like it paired with a cute belt, some sexy booties and a great bold clutch!  I think this was around $30-40 as well and was the first time I had ever looked good in a romper so I had to snatch it up!  I don't see it on the US site, but there are similar ones here .
Embellished Top
Because you can never have enough fun little tops, this cute sleeveless top with a beaded collar from Gap also came home with me.  I got some great patterned leggings that this would look perfect with and I don't even need to think about accessories!!   I think I got this on sale for about $20.
Fit & Flare Dress
Since I'm always a fan of dresses, these cute fit and flares from Old Navy have been my faves lately.  The fit is amazing on my body type and they are just effortless.  I add a cute belt, a fun colored cardigan, some fun jewellery and shoes.  I like changing the color schemes up every time I wear them so people aren't always seeing the same thing. I think I paid about $25 for each but think they are on sale for $15 right now.

Jeggings in Various Colors
Since I always have a hard time finding pants that fit my body (short legs, muscular calves and thighs, an in-between waist size and a perky booty), if I find some that fit well, are comfy and make my legs and butt look good, I go kind of crazy and have a tendency to buy multiple pairs and often grab every color they have.  It was been that kind of month....
Up first are these jeggings from American Eagle that are a neat grey color.  (The picture is showing these a LOT darker than they are, probably the flash hitting the velvety fabric...?Check out the true color online)  The fabric is almost velvet-like, super soft brushed cotton and they fit nice!  They aren't technically a denim, but they are great and a nice change from black pants, leggings or jeans.  I should mention they have different styles as far as waist height.  I also bought some black ones in a high-waist and DO NOT LIKE THEM!!!  I mean I will still wear them, but it was an accident as I didn't read the tag.  High waisted pants just don't work for me.  It's a personal preference and while I think they look great on some girls, just aren't comfy to me.  I prefer just the regular jegging over the Hi-Rise or Sky High.
Okay, so I have officially found my absolute favorite jeans jeggings! These 1969 Super Stretch Legging Jean .  The wash was a little too "fake blue" for me originally but the amazing fit let me overlook it.  I also bought them in black, but the black dye made those a little tighter.  I'm gonna be stocking up on these, let me tell you!!  They look great as an ankle jean and some flats but I know they are gonna be perfect tucked into boots as well!!  I lucked out and got the original pair on sale but I will most likely shell out full price to get a few more and tuck them into my closet for when these wear out!! 
(I realize this picture makes them look sooooooo short and stubby - my ensuite bathroom isn't deep, so I was standing about a foot away when I took the pictures... But I assure you, these make my legs and butt look great!!)
Sleeveless Drapey Cardigan
Since I love a good cardigan, especially one with a boyfriend-style fit and more of a chunky knit, I grabbed this one a while back at Target and wished I had also grabbed it in navy before it sold out.  It was my first sleeveless one, and it is so cute!!  Perfect for wearing with a colorblocked tee, or even with a fun dress like I did this summer!  I can't find it online, but I'm sure you can find these probably most places.  A cream one is a nice change from my usual grey cardis.

Gorgeous patterned Infinity Scarves
I love anything with birds on it so when I happened upon this pretty green scarf with swallows from a teen girl's jewelry store, I snatched it up so fast. There was a 3/$15 deal or something like that and I was getting accessories for a costume event so this was pretty much a BONUS!

I am an Avon Representative purely for the discount on stuff I am ordering anyhow.  Admittedly, since signing up, I order way more things than I regularly would since I get a Demo Discount, and this beautiful scarf is a prime example.  It cost me $10 and the gorgeous purples, pinks and blue in this floral scarf is perfect for fall.  I've worn it a few times already and can't get enough.  It is a lot brighter in this picture than in person, but trust me, it is GORGEOUS!

Preppy Loafers

I regularly don't spend a lot of money on shoes because I have a lot of them, but every once in a while, I will splurge and get a quality pair that I know I will get a lot of wear out of.  I've worn these probably 3-4 times a week since I bought them and they still look brand new!  They are also ridiculously comfy and the classic logo in brown means they look great with all my Autumn stuff.  You can't get more classic than Coach and I found these at Winners so they were less than $100!!

Studded Strappy Heels
Okay, so I know everyone out there is day dreaming about the Valentino stunners every fashion blogger has been sporting.  I can NOT justify that much money for a pair of shoes, so when I saw these come up in a Mark by Avon brochure, I immediately threw them in my cart.  I think they were around $40.  The heel is a lot lower than I typically go and these are a worn-looking bronzey leather like material, but they feature the gorgeous studded straps and look great with jewel toned shirt dresses!

Animal Print Heels
I am still looking for the perfect pair of leopard pumps, but I do have a few pairs with python, including these Cream Suede Platform pumps trimmed in python print.  Another Avon find, believe it or not, they were around $40, I think?
Edgy Flats
Okay, so I just realized that almost every pair of shoes featured here are from Avon or Mark by Avon, this pair included.  They are black ultrasuede, with gold/rose gold studded pointy toe caps and a sweet little gold buckle accented bow.  Also around $40. I've only worn them once, so still breaking these in.  They aren't anywhere near as comfy as the Coach loafers but still super cute!

Gorgeous Booties
I am relatively new to the bootie trend.  I just always thought they would look weird on my short legs.  Turns out, I should have been shopping for booties all along, since I don't have to worry about fitting my wide calves!!  These are "suede" and "leather" mix, have edgy buckles and a great cut out.  I think these were more around the $55 mark, but still perfect and another Mark by Avon deal!!
So these are just a few new pieces I will be mixing into my wardrobe for fall. What are your thoughts?  Am I missing anything key?  Do you have any suggestions on what I should add or do you absolutely HATE anything?  I want to know what YOU think!!
Everything listed here is stuff I've purchased.  I tried to find links online, whenever possible, or at least a similar item.  Many of the items were purchased on sale/clearance or are a bit older so they weren't available online.  Plus, many of the Canadian sites don't carry the same stock as the US ones, so I did what I could.. Stores like Winners don't even have shoppable sites so that can be tricky, but the point is to share what I'm liking, and for you to create your own adaptation of what works for you.
I'm short (5'1") and a little curvy right now, so my fave body parts aren't necessarily the same as yours, so find what works for your body type and go with it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Birthday Loves

Today is my Birthday.  Yup, this girl is now 32!!  Yikes!

In honour of my Birthday, I thought I would share a few things that were on my "Wish List" this year!   Some of the items I have already received, some of them I will be receiving, one or two might be purchased BY me FOR me, and the rest will be getting bumped to my Christmas list.

In no particular order, here are the things I'm wishing for right now:

I REALLY want to make drapes for the living room.  I've had my eye on the fabric for a couple years now, I think I am 100% sold on it being the right choice so I will be ordering several yards from Tonic Living right away.

I've been dreaming of this beautiful gold Bar Cart for some time now to add a little storage and some vignette space in my dining space!  I love that the base of the cart is a matte gold, the handles are a dark wood and the surfaces are mirrored!  Who would have thought I would be open to adding GOLD to a space?!
I've been wanting a Silver watch for some time now.  When Fossil came out with the colored face watches, I was super excited!  I love the turquoise and am pretty sure I need to have it.  I'd prefer it in a traditional boyfriend style though, but they don't have one... so we'll see how I like it on.

The hose on my carpet cleaner was cracked and it was definitely time for a new one.  There is not an item that I have relied on more since moving into this house. Without it, I would have ripped up my carpet 2 months into living here..... While the new one doesn't heat the water, I regularly use hot water, so this should be fine.  I am excited to put the old one out at the curb!!

I have also asked for a circular saw since I don't own one and occasionally need a saw for a project and have to wait around for a buddy to come by and cut things for me. I have no idea what brand to look for. I need something small, inexpensive and easy to use. Any suggestions? 

What do u have your eye on right now?