Good morning! How are y'all?? You will be happy to know that I have successfully completed 2 gluten free days! Woohoo!!!
So the other night my husband asked me to forced me to watch the movie Public Enemies with him. Not a terrible movie but a bit violent and loud for my liking. I spent most of the 2 long hours on my phone playing Bakery Story (my new obsession) and sipping chamomile tea. :)
What I did enjoy about the movie was the 1930's style. My favorite part being the finger waves. I just love some good finger waves!! That may have a tad bit to do with my having to perfect the technique in cosmetology school...but you have to admit, finger waves are hot!
Yep. It's hard to believe...but I have gone gluten free!
Okay so it's been one day...but that's a good start for me. LOL My doctor has been telling me to go gluten free for about 2 years now and I'm like "Yeah...right." But on Monday I got to visit with one of my best friends while she was in town and she was telling me how she's been gluten free since June! I was like "Wow! How the heck did you do it?!" She gave me lots of tips and as it turns out...it's really not THAT hard! There are so many things you can eat! The only problem I am going to have is not eating out. (okay and cupcakes) We don't exactly have gluten free restaurants around here and you can't trust the sauces or marinades and all that jazz so it's safer to just eat at home. If I do go out, I can eat before and just have a salad at the restaurant. Of course only oil and vinegar...(or I may sneak in my own dressing).
Anyway, my friend told me that she feels fantastic...her skin is clear, her digestion is in perfect working order and she has rid herself of allergies!!! I can't wait to start seeing the improvements in my life. I know that once I start feeling better, the diet will be much easier!
Are any of y'all gluten free?? Give me some tips!!
Mornin'!!! Hope y'all are having a fantastic day so far! I've been meaning to do this post for a while now and I feel terrible that I'm just now getting around to it. My bestest bloggy friend Shannon from Webbisodes has started her own design business!!!
Shannon has amazing style and comes up with such great designs!! She actually designed my cupcake business logo! I had her design my cupcake blog, make my business cards and my flyers! If you ever have ANY design needs, you need to head over to Persnickety Pages! You won't regret it. :) Here are a few of my favorite blog header designs of hers.
Hahaha!! Love that movie. Me and my husband actually went to eat chinese food on Christmas night...and yes, I sang that. But not loud enough for anyone to hear. Hahaha. :)
I hope y'all all had a fabulous Christmas and that you got everything you wanted! I definitely did. Everything I wanted and more. We even got about 5 inches of snow!! It was our first white Christmas! I swear though...snow just isn't as great as it used to be when it got us out of school. Now we have to worry about driving in it and getting to work or wherever. It's still beautiful to look at though. :)
I also made some AMAZING (if I do say so myself) eggnog cupcakes!!! I was worried that they wouldn't taste eggnog-y enough but they absolutely did. YUM! I wish I had some left.... Speaking of sweets....OH MY GEEZ I have eaten like a total piglet lately. It seems like when it gets near the holidays, I tend to go all out and use that as an excuse. I'm definitely feeling the after effects and I must calm down now. No more cookies for breakfast...boo.
Hi sweet friends!! I know I have abandoned you lately but I promise it won't be forever! For now I just wanted to do a quick post about an Ornament Exchange hosted by Webbisodes and Karen at Home. If you want to join in, hurry and enter because sign up ends at 9pm EST on December 1st!! Click here for more information.
Do you sometimes wonder if you're "losing it"? I know I do more often than not. It's happening much quicker than I expected!! LOL Doctors say that in most cases mindless hours in front of the television, avoiding intellectual stimulation and exertion, result in the shrinking of our mind's capacity, including our memory.
When you let your mind "veg" and don't stretch it with thoughtful reading, rational thinking, intelligent analysis and conversation, it loses plasticity and becomes old at any age. On the other hand, if you challenge your mind regularly, your brain gets younger as you get older.
God promises that if you meditate on His word daily you'll become "like a tree planted by streams of water...which yields it's fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." (Ps 1:3) Don't let your mind "wither", exercise and strengthen it by studying the Scriptures!
I don't know if y'all remember me talking about how I had a princess party to do cupcakes for...? Anyway, it turned into a soccer princess party and it turned out to be really fun!!! Not the party...just making the cupcakes...well I'm sure the party was a blast too. Hahaha. The cupcakes were chocolate chip and the frosting was vanilla buttercream. The cupcakes taste just like chocolate chip cookies!!! Delicious with a glass of cold milk! :)
Okay...so if you read my post Pretty Is As Pretty Does then you know I'm slightly obsessed with Gone With The Wind. In the book, Scarlett's mother Ellen always smells like Lemon Verbena. She uses lemon verbena sachet and the smell always reminds Scarlett of her mother. Welllllll I couldn't place that smell right off so I wanted to find out what it smelled like. Interestingly it's way harder than I expected!! L'Occitane makes a lemon verbena lotion, cologne...etc. but it's way overpriced. However, once I smelled it I fell in love with the scent. It's very fresh and clean.
So instead of paying close to $50 for it...I decided to make my own! I know...it sounds crazy but it was actually very easy and inexpensive!! You can choose to make a light alcohol based perfume or a heavier oil based. First step is to find lemon verbena essential oil. As it turns out, no place within a 50 mile radius to me has lemon verbena oil. They have lemon...and lemongrass...but no lemon verbena. It has it's own distinct scent and I was not substituting. So I went online. Now, if you want real deal lemon verbena oil straight from the leaves you are going to pay a LOT of money for it. I was very surprised at how much it costs. But you can get lemon verbena fragrance oil for a reasonable price. I paid $9.99 for a small bottle.
Now that you have your oil (you can use any oil you want for this and you can mix a few oils together to make your own scent too!) it's time to make perfume! Grab a spritzer bottle (I bought a glass one from the health food store but you can get a plastic one from Target if you wish) and a medicine dropper.
For a lighter perfume, make an alcohol-based perfume. Add about 24 drops of your essential oil with two teaspoons of distilled water and two teaspoons of vodka in your spritzer bottle. Shake well and allow to sit in a cool, dark place for at least 48 hours to allow the scent to infuse itself into the water and alcohol. Shake well again before using.
Add 10 to 12 drops of your essential oil and about two teaspoons of grape seed or jojoba oil in your spritzer bottle. Shake the bottle to mix thoroughly. Let sit for at least 72 hours to allow the scent to penetrate the grape seed or jojoba oil, and then shake to mix thoroughly again before using.
I made the lighter alcohol based perfume. I used lemon verbena fragrance oil, mineral water and vanilla vodka. I love the little hint of vanilla in it. It smells heavenly!!!!!! Now it's your turn!! What kind of mixture would you make??
Good morning friends!!! Hope you are all doing well! It's starting to get chilly here in NC! Woohoo!!! Now I can wear my boots and sweaters without looking like a goober considering I was wearing them as soon as Fall hit. Hahaha.
So, a couple of weeks ago I did something I've never ever done before. Made a chore list. I make lists for EVERYTHING! Things to do today, gifts I want, books to read, etc. But I had never felt the need for a chore list. Until I got lazy. I decided that if it was wrote down and I had to check it off, I would be more likely to do it. (Oh and make sure to take it off of your refrigerator before a party...people are way more interested in it than they should be. LOL)
I've done pretty good with the chores lately...but last night I got to wondering HOW OFTEN are certain things really needed. Taking in account health issues and such. Like should we be washing our sheets once a week? How often should we really have to mop? Well, I've done some research for you guys and here's a list I came up with!
1. Changing bed sheets
There is considerable debate on how often you should change your bed sheets. Several surveys conducted over the years suggests that the majority of people change their sheets anywhere from once a week to once a month. Most people recommend changing the sheets at least every two weeks, and some people may need to change them more often, depending on certain needs.
We shed skin cells at all times, and at night we shed these in our beds. Unfortunately these cells are the food of dust mites, and if you have allergies to dust mites, it may make sense to keep skins cells in bed at a minimum. Some people have extreme allergies and really need to change their bed sheets once a day. Most others can get by with changing sheets once a week, which is about the average rate of sheet change if you employ a housecleaner.
Depending on the traffic of your floors, you may need to mop weekly, biweekly or in some areas only monthly. However, it's best to wipe up obvious dirt as it happens to prevent you from scrubbing on your mopping day.
If no one in your household suffers from allergies, you won't have to worry about the health effects of dust as often as other families do. You'll still need to dust electronics and furniture weekly to prevent buildup that can scratch, damage, and clog surfaces in your home. More out of the way spots like ceilings, corners, and door frames will only need to be dusted as needed, and may only require your attention every couple of months.
It depends mainly on the dog breed. Though most dogs do not like water, it is necessary to wash them frequently, not to make them look extremely clean but to protect them from skin diseases. The washing interval also depends on the coat of the dog. Dogs with coarse or wiry coat, like Schnauzers and Terriers need to bathed every 4-6 weeks. Double coat dogs need to be washed every 4-8 weeks, dogs like Cocker Spaniel and Pekingese fall in double coat category. If you have a smooth coat dog like Chihuahua you will need to wash it only once in 8 weeks. The last category of dogs, the non-shedding dogs like poodles need to be washed every 6-8 weeks.
Replace your sponge every month. Signs that your sponge should be replaced immediately, regardless of the time elapsed since the last replacement, include musty or unpleasant odors and a sponge that is beginning to disintegrate.
Have y'all ever tried the Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks??? It is SO GOOD! I love flavored coffee...but every now and then I love a good apple cider. Last Fall I tried the CAS from Starbucks for the first time and fell in love! I would crave it at least once a week. I decided I better learn how to make it at home to save some money. Now that it's Fall again I broke out my recipe and started at it again. Yummy yummy yummy!! Here's the recipe so you can make one for yourself!
Caramel Apple Spice
No sugar added apple juice
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
Dulce de Leche to taste
1. Heat the apple juice and spices until boiling. Let steep for 5-10 minutes.
2. Pour in a mug and add Dulce de Leche to your liking. (I use about 2 tablespoons)
3. Stir it up, add whipped cream and squeeze more dulce de leche on top.
**Starbucks sells the cinnamon syrup that they use in their CAS but I prefer to make my own cider. If you want a more Starbuck's authentic taste, add their cinnamon syrup to steamed apple juice instead!**
I think I'll make one now especially for my birthday, sit on the front porch swing and enjoy the crisp Fall morning before getting ready for my FIRST DAY BACK TO SCHOOL!
I have a confession to make. Ever since I started reading Gone With The Wind...I have become OBSESSED with 1800's southern plantation life. I read through GWTW, Scarlett, and Rhett Butler's People in record time and have been searching online for more books like them!! I just can't get enough. My husband even found me a plantation house built in 1852 FOR SALE in SC!! Hahaha. Oh how I wish I could buy it and spend my days fixing it up to look just like it would have in the 1800's. I told y'all I was obsessed. Click here to see the MLS listing on the house!!! It's amazing!!!!!!!!
So anyway, back to my obsession. I know Scarlett is selfish and bratty and a bit promiscuous but other than that we actually have a LOT in common!!! I feel like I can relate to her in a lot of ways. I recently read a book called Scarlett Rules by Lisa Bertagnoli. It's great!!! It gives you 24 life lessons inspired by Scarlett O'hara. I love them all but I thought I'd share my favorite one with y'all.
Scarlett Rule 1
Pretty Is As Pretty Does
Although Scarlett was portrayed as drop dead gorgeous Vivien Leigh in the movie, it was made clear in the book that Scarlett wasn't beautiful.
"Scarlett O'hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm." - GWTW
What made Scarlett different from every other average looking girl in the world is that Scarlett was unaware of her lack of beauty. Scarlett knew how to dress to play up her figure, and she know how to act make men (and women) forget she was anything but ravishing.
Truly charming people make anyone feel that he or she is the only person in the world. They know how to deliver a compliment and how to accept one. They know how to make people feel good about themselves and about life, no matter what the circumstances.
Charm is a skill that takes cultivating. What does it take to be like her, the woman whose entrance makes a party, whose smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds, who's invited everywhere and then some?
She listens. She doesn't interrupt. She doesn't reply to an anecdote with a quick "Oh, that happened to me once!" She lets the story, however trite, long or boring belong to the teller. She remembers people's names and details about their lives: new job, new baby, new home. She asks to see baby pictures, sparing proud new parents the awkwardness of an unwanted show and tell.
She gives well considered, straightforward compliments with no hidden meaning. She knows how to accept a compliment. She knows the proper response is Thank you. How kind of you. No embellishment or argument needed.
A charming woman says thank you and please. She handwrites thank you notes even if she's already thanked the giver in person.
There's so much more to that section but I managed to squeeze my favorite parts in there. I think we all need a reminder of how to be charming every now and then. I think my main issue is with compliments. I ALWAYS say Oh stop!! That's ridiculous... Or you're crazy!! or something like that. Of course I need to work on all of it!! I need to go to charm school for sure. Hahaha.
So enough about my obsession with all things GWTW and Scarlett O'hara...what's YOUR favorite book of all time??
Good morning!!!!!!! I have missed y'all so much! I have been insanely busy the last couple of weeks and my blog has suffered. :( I have so much to tell y'all though!!
(1) I have created a new blog for my cupcake shop!!!!!!!! I'm so super excited about it!!! Please check it out when you get a chance and follow me! Sweet! Cupcakes & More Isn't the blog design AMAZING?! Details coming soon!!
(2) Speaking of my cupcake shop...things are going so well!! Better than I could have ever imagined! I did 2 birthday parties this weekend and I have 3 more coming up next week! It keeps me way busier than I thought it would but I love it! I can't wait to share the pictures with y'all!
(3) I know I've talked about this before...but I am FINALLY starting school again!! I managed to get in 1 short session class starting Wednesday. I'll get that out of the way and then start my full load in January. I am so darn excited I can't contain myself. I am going for an Associate of Arts degree for now which gives me freedom to transfer into a number of things. However, I have decided to get a certification in Medical Laboratory Science. I am so interested in medical research and studies and I never thought I could actually get into that. I thought it would take too long and I don't like to touch people or anything like that so I never pursued it. A couple weeks ago I heard about MLT and it's basically background medical stuff. Labs and research. Exactly what I wanted and I can get certified in 2 years. I know I'm rambling but I'm so excited!!!
(4) I can't talk about all of this without mentioning where I've found the strength to get where I am today. The last couple of months have been really hard. With personal medical problems, slowly closing down our family run business, going on unemployment...etc. I have been scared to death. I am full of advice when it comes to other people's problems..."Trust God" "Don't worry about it, God will take care of you" but when it comes to myself, it's easier said than done. I have been praying like crazy every day asking God what in the world am I going to do? I've lost my job, I can't have children, I can't afford to adopt or get an egg donor, I have no idea what I want to do with my life...Please help me! Well, for months I felt as if my prayers would never be answered. Then suddenly things seemed to fall into place. My cupcake business took off, I finally decided and feel good about going back to school, I got some of my medical problems worked out and I have even somewhat been able to look at pregnant women and babies without crying for once. Things are coming together and God has really blessed me. He always has...I think we all just get into our own little pity party sometimes and forget what all we've been blessed with. If anyone is going through something tough right now...please know that number one...you're not alone and number two...keep holding on! The light at the end of tunnel is not far!!
(5) Wednesday is my birthday!! I am turning 27 this year and this is the first year I haven't been excited about my birthday. I don't even feel like celebrating! I hate to be that way but I've been in an "I'm getting old!" slump lately. To be honest...I wouldn't want to be in my late teens or early twenties again. I am extremely happy at my current age. I just don't want to get any older! ;)
(6) Tonight I'm getting my hair done!!! I usually do it myself, but I'm wanting some highlights and I haven't quite mastered foiling my own hair. Hahaha. I'm going to go do a light brownish red highlight. I can't wait to see how it turns out.
I'm sure I'm leaving out a hundred things...but I can't think of anything else right this second. Plus, I'm itching to catch up on y'alls blogs!! Love you guys!! Hope y'all have a wonderful day! :)
Happy Friday!!!!! I am getting more and more excited for all of the Fall activities going on already!! Unfortunately since there are so many at one time I am having to miss some of them. :( I missed yummy gyros and baklava at the Greek Festival last weekend and this weekend I will be missing the Southern Women's Show. Boo. :( We did make it to the fair last night though!!
This dude was CRAZY. He grabbed the cup out of my hand with his teeth and wouldn't let go. It was hilarious!
A hat made of wood! I thought this was the coolest thing ever!!
Our view from the top of the ferris wheel. :)
Winning me a prize! :)
Fried Oreos!! Yummy!! Oh and believe it or not...my husband ate the funnel cake and all of the Oreos but one. LOL
As you may have noticed, I can be extremely scatterbrained at times. I often become giddy at the thought of a new project to take on or a new place to visit. I am a certified shopaholic as well as a proud bookworm. I have a weakness for cupcakes and shoes. So just sit down, put your feet up, and have a cup of coffee with me, won't you?