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Lyre Cookies

A few months ago my sorority celebrated 100 years since their charter! I helped on the Centennial Committee and worked up these little yummies for the gift bags. I had the help of my mom and sister when making them.  We wanted the cookies to resemble Alpha Chi Omega’s heritage and symbols so we incorporated the pearls, colors, and lyres. Iced cookies are a little time consuming, but they last for quite a while because they hold their freshness. Each cookie was wrapped in an individual bag and sealed off with red curling ribbon.

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Displays of Inspiration

I was doing some Christmas Shopping the other day and found some really pretty displays in the West Elm store. I wanted to share them with you as they may inspire your last minute holiday decor or even your Christmas table settings.

I really like the glittery and painted branches. A super easy way to bring the outdoors inside for a festive holiday touch. I also love the mercury candle holders.

This display caught my eye because of how the plates are placed on the block of wood. I really liked the idea of using the wood as platters or even creating levels within decorations with the wood block. For the fall, we actually took a piece of wood and placed a hurricane vase with a candle on it. We filled the vase with some silk flowers I had in my crafting inventory.

This was a Thanksgiving table they had on display, but it could also work for Christmas time since it incorporates a “rustic Christmas” look. I really like the centerpiece. I would probably add some Christmas ornaments to make it a little more festive.

There you have it for the displays that caught my eye.

Pinterest Challenge

I am a huge fan of Pinterest. I am obsessed with the inspiration that the site drives in my soul. I am obsessed with Pinterest as a company. I am obsessed with watching how companies, entrepreneurs and the creative world are integrating it within their business practices. Peoples’ online e-shops are up because people are repinning their content. Viewership is up on blogs due to new links from Pinterest (hello new readers!).  I just love how quickly it has overtaken society and how people are using it. Enough about that. Here are a few projects I created after being inspired on Pinterest:

Baby Onesies! I am a beginner at sewing, but after seeing a pin on pinterest, I thought I could attempt to make a few for a dear friend that is having a baby. I thought they turned out pretty cute, especially since the selection of boy clothes is limited in the stores.

Christmas Wreath: Originally, I found an all white wreath on pinterest, but wanted to put my own spin on the design. I decided to do a green wreath, as it would go good against our red front door. The whole process was actually very easy- cut felt circles, pin them onto a Styrofoam ring. I spent maybe $10.00 on the project after I bought the styrophom, felt, and sewing pins. I say it was worth it to create something that can be used for many years to come.

Paintings: My sisters came over to my house last week for a slumber party and we had so much fun painting our own canvases. We all found some inspiration on Pinterest and then adapted the design and colors to fit our own lives. Mine is the “Georgia on my Mind” canvas.

Crayon Art: Finally my last piece of Pinterest art was a rendition on the crayon art. I already had a black and pink painting so I wanted something mono-toned to go with it. I used the hair dryer method to melt the crayons and then made sure the wax went all over the canvas.

So those are my November Pinterest art pieces. What have you Pinned and created lately?

101 in 1001: November Update

Big Hello to the final 31 days of 2011. I am back with my update on the things I have been up to during November for my 101 in 1001 challenge.

(Picture via Etsy)

52.   Volunteer 101 hours (24/101) This month I volunteered a couple hours at the Fernbank Museum for their holiday celebration. I had never been to the museum before so it was cool to go inside and see the gigantic dinosaur structure in the main area. Since it was the holiday celebration they also had trees decorated by the different consulates and members. If you have time during the holiday season and are visiting Atlanta, make sure you go see it! I also did some volunteering this month at the Atlanta Food bank. While volunteering, we packaged over 58057 pounds of meat which equals 3,094 meals prepared for the community. It feels good to give back a few hours of time for such a huge impact on the community.

67.   Try 30 new recipes (10/30) This week I tried my first Crock Pot recipe. I made Chicken Tortilla soup which was the perfect dinner on a cold and rainy night. This month I also tackled chicken pot pie. I have been inspired by Pinterest lately for building my confidence in the kitchen. I know I am not the only one!

72.   Read 15 books (7/15). I finally finished Malled, a book that I had been reading for a couple months now. The book was all about retail and the in’s and out’s of being on the customer service side of the operation. While the book was interesting, it was really long and didn’t really have an epic ending like I would have expected. Now I am on to reading Bossypants.

Not a busy month in the 101 in 1001 department due to traveling, conferences, and holiday prep, but small successes none the less.

101 In 1001: New Recipe

I have been working up my confidence in the kitchen. One of our favorite recipes is for an enchilada casserole that involves frying the tortillas which ends up taking forever. After finding a recipe for what seemed like a slight variation of our family favorite casserole I decided to give it a try last night. Essentially the casserole was the same flavors but no labor intensive frying. It was a success.

My goal when going to the grocery store this week was to be smarter and plan meals that use the same ingredients so that they don’t go bad or become wasted on just one recipe. Since one of the menu items was the chicken casserole from last night I decided to try chicken pot pie. The recipe came from Pinterest but I used a pre frozen crust. Overall it turned out really good, even though the juice oozed out a little bit. Here is my finished pie.

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Taste of San Jose

For the second part of my trip to San Jose we take a look at the food.

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I was told that a trip to California would not be complete unless I went to In n Out Burger. Luckily there was one right next to the airport. Truthfully it was not as glorious as I has expected it to be. Yes there was a secret menu and secret way of ordering things, however the food was less than extraordinary. The burger had a special sauce, much like the Big Mac sauce or thousand island dressing. I got my fries “well done” with cheese but they tasted like cardboard. Bummer that the food wasn’t as good as I expected. At least I experienced the In n Out burger but I think I will stick to Five Guys.

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My favorite meal by far was the San Jose Mexicalli burger that I mentioned last time.

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I did find a little cupcake shop to enjoy a mini cupcake experience.

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That wraps up my food experience in San Jose and my trip to the West Coast.

Do you know the way to San Jose?

This week I have been in San Jose for a trade show for work. I was a little nervous, as I typically am when visiting new places, however overall the experience was a good one. A story is only as good as the pictures that go with it so I will let my camera do the talking…

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I spent most of my first day getting myself acclimated to San Jose and soaked up as much of the surroundings as possible. Most of the downtown area was in a state of transition as they were beginning to decorate for the upcoming holiday season after thanksgiving.

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The main mode of my transportation for the week was by foot as well as with the public transportation.

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There was also a cute flower shop on the corner along with an old theater.

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One of my favorite was this little cafe across from the convention center. I pretty much die for anything striped, and the black and white awnings were beautiful to me.


Of course there were a ton of great places to eat but I figured I should wait and do that in a post by itself. For now, here’s a teaser of the best burger I had in California. It was the Mexicali burger and had mango guacamole, Swiss cheese, toasted bun, and home made potato chips. Freaking delicious!

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