Friday, November 9, 2012

Soups for the Season

My Top 5 Soups for cold weather:

1. Low Calorie Lasagna Soup

*I use egg noodles instead of broken lasagna noodles.

2. Mexican Chicken Lime Soup

*serve with cheese quesadillas for a fun twist on grilled cheese and tomato soup!

3.  Thai Shrimp Bisque

*I used chicken broth instead of dealing with shells (gross) and served over noodles.

4. Creole Shrimp and Sausage Stew

*I added some cajun seasoning and served with quinoa.

5. Skinny Baked Potato Soup

The great thing about these 5- they are all healthy!

I have a long list of others, but these have been my favorites so far. For more recipes, check out my board on Pinterest. You will see themes of soups, mac-n-cheese, and anything containing avocado, goat cheese, or shrimp :). Enjoy!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I have been on the search for some gold cap-toe flats. 

The original Lanvin flats are $590!

Sam Edelman made slightly less expensive pair for $110.

Kate Spade has a few options but the price tag is still way too high.

So I gave up on my golden dream for awhile, until one day I saw this pair at Forever 21.

And the price tag was only $16.80!

I bought them with the intention of painting the patent toes.

I had some old gold spray paint in the garage, so I taped off the the toes with blue painters tape and covered the rest of the shoe with plastic. Then I just sprayed 2 thin coats (dry time inbetween) and that was it. 

Super easy & Super cheap!

I have no idea if the paint will stay put, but you can't beat gold toes for under $17.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

ugly duckling

So this might be the ugliest piece of furniture I have ever bought. There is a chair I recovered that runs a close second to this armoire. But this definitely takes the title. It was so unattractive that is was hidden between 2 rows of armoires at Shelton's. So ugly I scored it for $50. 

But I saw this ugly duckling and knew she had great potential.

I love the bones of this piece. It has some great detail but some unfortunate wood patterns. Here is what a couple coats of paint can do for a sad little piece of furniture.

Extreme Makeover! I chose the color Stilettos from the Alan and Roth for Vaspar paint colors at Lowes. I love the deep green with hints of blue. It adds the perfect pop of color to my room. I only needed a quart to cover everything. The paint and primer combo made this so quick and easy!

To prep- I thoroughly cleaned, sanded, and repaired several holes with wood filler. Then to paint, I reused my small roller from the china cabinet project and a small brush to get in all the little nooks and crannies. I even found several magazines, notebooks, and cat pictures (no joke!) from the 70's underneath the bottom drawer so this unit has some character.

Here's a peek inside.

I searched online for some new hardware. I found the 3 inch ring pulls from Look in the Attic. These were pricey, but I searched and wanted something big and substantial for the doors. The the bottom crystal knobs I found at Lee Valley for a reasonable price.

Isn't she lovely?!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

anthro aroma

So I live 5 minutes from one of my favorite stores. A store that sells mostly things I can't afford. Anthropologie. So beautiful, so creative, and so crazy expensive! 

I have become a pro at shopping their sale room (I'll share my strategy later). But the other day I found a $15 jewel hidden amongst their full price goodies. 

This sweet mini bottle of Tocca Florence perfume. I've spritzed myself with this scent on my numerous visits to Anthro, but never taken the plunge to buy the $45 bottle.

Isn't it so little & cute?! I've gotten other $15 samples, and this one is a good value for the size.

The packaging is so elegant and even includes a sweet little message
 (of encouragement not narcissism, ha! ).

**Also, for those of you that share the love for Anthropologie, this week they are having an additional 25% off their sale clothing. I haven't been by to see if there are any good finds!**

50% off @ Loft

Too bad I am trapped in the mountains for a work conference. From 12-7 today, Loft has a promotion for half off everything in the store. You all go enjoy it for me!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Milo Greene

I love good live music.

My birthday gift to my like-minded music friend Danielle was tickets to see Milo Greene this past Friday. She had been raving about them for months, and I'll be honest- I had barely sat down to listen to their album.

So I went with blind trust in our like-mindedness that this would be a show I would love. And she was right!

You should listen to Milo Greene here & buy their album!

Monday, October 22, 2012

stylish storage

This summer one of my goals was to find more storage for our kitchen. We have a small amount of cabinet space in a house of three girls with a love for cooking. I died over all of the painted china cabinet tutorials Pinterest, so I sought out to find a reasonably priced unit to update.

I looked on Craigslist for awhile, but nothing was cheap enough to justify painting it! And the dread of figuring out how to transport a glass cabinet made me decide to look elsewhere.

Shelton's Furniture in Raleigh is a great place to find furniture that is in need of some love & care. They also have a lot of furniture in excellent shape if you want to keep the wood look and not paint. You can bargain with them on a lot of their pieces.

I bought a mirror, headboard, and armoire for my bedroom the same day I found this china cabinet and got a great deal on everything. I think the China cabinet ended up being $150 when it was originally over $300, but I was bargaining for 4 pieces to get such a good rate. They even sweetened the deal by delivering everything to my house in Durham for a small fee- totally worth it! If you live near by, you should definitely check out Shelton's.

Here is the cabinet I chose. I loved all the curves. They delivered it the next morning, and I went on the search for paint!

I removed the hardware, cleaned, and sanded to prep everything. Then painted coat of Kilz Primer. In hindsight, I wish I had just purchased the paint/primer combo to save time, but this worked just fine.

Little Green Notebook is one of my favorite bloggers. Jenny suggested Benjamin Moore's White Dove one time for a creamy white with gray undertones, and I took her advice!

I used a small roller to ensure the paint went on smooth. Then used a 1 1/2 brush for the edges. I didn't really tape off anything because a little known secret is that Windex will wipe dried paint right of the glass!

I have a lot of white, teal, and clear dishes so I knew I wanted to paint the back wall to add a pop of color. I decided on yellow because, well, I'm obsessed with the color yellow. But I thought with the beige walls and muted dishes it would help brighten everything up a bit.

Here is the finished product! I love the way everything turned out. And in the future I can always paint the back wall to change the look if needed. Well worth the small price and time!