Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blog Awards!

This week, I have gotten 2 Blog Awards! Yay!  Thanks so much to my girls Lindesy and KBR for the awards!

Versatile: ver-sa-tile [vur-suh-tl] or, especially British, [vur-suh-tahyl]: capable of, or adapted for, turning easily from one to another various tasks, fields of endeavor, etc.: a versatile writer.

Here is how the award works:
1. You thank the person who presented you with the award.
2. You tell 7 things about yourself.
3. You award some other newly discovered bloggers

Thanks to my wonderful blog friend KBR for giving me this award! She is so sweet and I love reading her blog and what's going on in her life!

7 Things about Myself

1. I paint my nails several times a week.  A long time ago my SIL, Katy, showed me how to do the perfect manicure and I have put it to good use. We also share nail polish!
2. I love vintage jewelry. My rings are vintage inspired.
Engagement ring: white gold, raised diamond in the middle with a circle of diamonds around it and diamonds down the side.
Wedding band: white gold, small diamonds on the top half.
and I also have a necklace to match. I love looking at antique jewelry at antique malls!
3. My hubby was the first guy I ever kissed (cute, I know!)
4. I love accessories. I think I have about 10 pairs of earrings on my Christmas list!
5. I *usually* only buy things on sale. I hate having to pay full price for something.  But on quality pieces, I don't mind.
6. I love buying things for other people. A lot of times, I feel better when I buy something for someone else other than myself!
7. When I was younger I died my hair black. Not in a gothic way, but because I thought it was super stylish! It has since grown out and I absolutely love, and appreciate my natural hair color!

I am awarding this to everyone who reads my blog! I truly love reading all of your blogs and getting to know you!  I honestly can't choose!


This award is for bloggers with less than 200 followers!
Here are the rules:
1. Show your thanks by linking the blogger who awarded you!
2. Leave links to your top 5 blogs and leave them comments letting them know!
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Enjoy the love!!

Lindsey @ Turtles and Pearls gave me this award. I absolutely love reading her blog everyday and not to mention she is so sweet! Thank you Lindsey!

Here are my top 5 blogs that I read EVERYDAY, besides Turtles and Pearls

Sorry if any of y'all have already got this award, but you deserve it!

I also wanted to let y'all know about Jenn, from Bliss to Bean's giveaway! She is giving away a pretty purple Nine West purse along with some other goodies! Make sure to check it out and enter for your chance to win! I know I am!

xo Julia

A Tribute

Hey all!  How cute are these pumpkins?  I wish I had thought of that!  I hope everyone is getting geared up to have a wonderful Halloween! This isn't going to be a regular Halloween post filled with costumes of the past, although I wish I could do one, but I don't have any pictures, my mom has them! 
Dad with my little brother. Old picture, but I already had this one on hand.
 Anyways, the reason for my post is to do a little tribute to my dad.  He passed away in May of last year, and it has been really hard on me, and I feel even worse because he passed away on their (my parents) anniversary, so my heart just aches for my mom when that day comes.  I'm really blessed to have had 2 parents who loved each other as much as they loved us kids.

When I think of Halloween, sure, I think of costumes and trick-or-treating, but I also think of my amazing dad. Why? Because every Halloween dad always did something special with us. I remember a particular Halloween when he sat with us for hours carving pumpkins and showing us the way to do it.  He was always pretty patient with us and I could tell he really enjoyed doing all the "kid stuff" with us, because, after all, he was a kid at heart.

Dad always turned Halloween into a mini feast, cooking a ham and all the fixings to go with it.  People would always comment on how good it smelled when they came with their kids to trick-or-treat.  One year, he set up one of those big popcorn machines, and we gave everyone a freshly popped bag of popcorn.  Dad had a big heart for people, which is one of his traits that I am proud that I also have.

I miss dad a lot, but I know that he is looking down on all of us and that he would be so proud of what all of us have done in our lives.  He has been one of the biggest influences in my life and an inspiration to all that knew him.

I love all of you who are still reading this!  It's been on my mind a lot as all the Holidays are coming up, and I just thought I would share.
xo Julia

Friday, October 28, 2011

What's In My Bag Vlog!

Today I'm linking up with the wonderful miss Jackie Sue from Carolina Queen for the "What's In My Bag" vlog! What a cute idea! I really hope some other readers do it too because I love getting to know all of you!

*warning* please disregard the lighting, me looking not so good and any awkwardness that might ensue! It was dark and late!

*edit* I ment to tell y'all what nail polish I was wearing and I forgot, but Jackie reminded me! I'm wearing Orly "Hot Shot". It stays on really well and doesn't chip! I love it!

Here we go!

Hope y'all liked my video.  I really hope you do one too!

I have 2 giveaway alerts as well!

1. Kiley over at Hello Kiley is giving away an Urban Decay "Naked" eye pallet!  Head on over to her blog to enter for your chance to win!

2. Sweet Tea and Champagne is having a giveaway for 8 OPI nail polishes! How great is that!? Head on over for your chance to enter!
xo Julia

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Latest Shopping Trip

Lately I have been in a buying mood, more so than usual!  So when the opportunity came up to go to the JC Penny Outlet, I couldn't pass it up!  The JCP Outlet is full of amazing deals, but you have to get there quick before they are all gone!  I totaled up my shopping trip and the full retail price would have been $120 but I only spent $30!  Here is what I got:

Gray leopard print scarf, Blue/gray/white scarf, 2 packs of socks, Pink V-neck knit shirt and a pair of flats. (not pictured are 2 shirts Neil got) 

Any time I come home from a shopping trip, this chair in our bedroom looks like this. I love to lay all my stuff out so I can see it!  Obsessive? Maybe. Crazy? I think not!  When I get a good deal, I'm seriously  super proud of myself!

Anyways, I also found these really cute passport sets. I remembered Ashley's post about chevrons, and not being able to find them in real life, so I thought I would snap a pic! I didn't get them, but they had plenty, so I might go back and pick some up!  How cute and preppy are these!?

Do any of you ladies get as excited as I do when you get a good deal? Should I go back and get those travel sets?

Now for some Giveaway Alerts!

1. I wanted to let y'all know about Emily's giveaway! She's got a Marley Lilly monogrammed scarf up for grabs! Make sure to swing by her blog and enter for your chance to win! Thanks Emily for the giveaway!

2. Julie from The Girl In The Red Shoes has a Scentsy giveaway going on right now!  One winner will win a warmer and scentblock and 3 others will win a scent ring to put in your car! Make sure to enter for your chance to win!

3. Sweet Southern Prep has a giveaway for a Kelly Rippa style sideways cross necklace from
Gems in Vogue! Make sure to enter! Let her know I sent you!

4. Lindsay over at Delighted Momma is having a giveaway for a Olive Yew bow necklace! I'm definitely hoping I win!

5. Jenna at Jenna's Journey is having a giveaway for a monogrammed large market tote from Sewing A Seed! Make sure y'all check it out! I love the pink floral pattern!

That's ALOT of giveaways going on in the blogaverse this week! I read and love each of these blogs, and I know y'all will too! Good luck to everyone!

xo Julia

Friday, October 21, 2011

Classy Pineapples!

Hey everyone! Hope you are all having a great week so far!  For the past few days, Neils aunt has been in town so we've been busy doing stuff with her. Yesterday we went to a local antique mall and it was so much fun! I absolutely love looking at the vintage jewelry and furnishings...I even found a china cabinet that had a pineapple on the top! I didn't buy it, but I really wanted to! Here is what it looked like: 

I love decorating with pineapples and just pineapple things in general...and yes, I love the actual fruit too! For those who didn't know, pineapples represent hospitality, friendliness and graciousness and that's what I'm all about! To me they also represents a bit of grace and sophistication, and that brings me to my reason for this post, the history behind the pineapple!

Pineapple as Hospitality Symbol

 In larger, well-to-do homes, the dining room doors were kept closed to heighten visitors' suspense about the table being readied on the other side. At the appointed moment, and with the maximum amount of pomp and drama, the doors were flung open to reveal the evening's main event. Visitors confronted with pineapple-topped food displays felt particularly honored by a hostess who obviously spared no expense to ensure her guests' dining pleasure

In this manner, the fruit which was the visual keystone of the feast naturally came to symbolize the high spirits of the social events themselves; the image of the pineapple coming to express the sense of welcome, good cheer, human warmth and family affection inherent to such gracious home gatherings.

Our house is a southern plantation house built in 1820 and it used to have doors to the dining room. I can only imagine what kinds of parties they used to have here! And I am sure that the pineapple was present at many gatherings they had.

Pineapple as Artistic Motif

It is hardly surprising that this communal symbol of friendship and hospitality also became a favorite motif of architects, artisans and craftsmen throughout the colonies. They announced the hospitality of a mansion with carved wood or molded mortar pineapples on its main gate posts.
They incorporated huge copper and brass pineapples in the weather vanes of their most important public buildings. They sculpted pineapples into door lintels; stenciled pineapples on walls and canvas mats; wove pineapples into tablecloths, napkins, carpets and draperies; and cast pineapples into metal hot plates. There were whole pineapples carved of wood; pineapples executed in the finest china kilns; pineapples painted onto the backs of chairs and tops of chests.

I have 2 great examples of this right here at home! A pineapple fountain (my mom has one too...she loves them as much as I do) and 2 wooden pineapple candle holders. Sorry for picture quality, I just ran and snapped these.

And I am kicking myself SO hard for not buying these when they were on sale for $6 at Target. WHY!?!? But not to worry, because I just discovered I can buy them online for $9! Cute huh?
And last, but not least, I want these Pineapple Enamel earrings from Swell Caroline!
I know these earrings and the sandals are for spring and summer, but I just have to have them! I promise I'll put them away until next spring! Or will I...? haha.

I know, I know, yes you can have too much pineapple and there is a place and time for it, but as far as decorationg with them goes, it will definitely give your home a more inviting, friendly look with a bit of southern class and charm mixed in!

Do any of y'all like pineapples as much as I do? What do you think about decorating with them?

xo Julia

P.S Crystal over at Coffee at Nordstrom is haveing a super cute giveaway for a monogrammed recipe box! Head on over to her blog for your chance to enter! Thanks Crystal!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The ABC's of Me!

Hey all!  After I found this on my dear blog friend, Ashley's, blog, I thought I would do one too! I like finding out about all the ladies whose blogs I follow, and I figured y'all might feel the same! Here it goes!

C. CHORE YOU HATE: Folding clothes
D. DOG'S NAME: We don't have one, but our future dog will be named Docker, haha.
F. FAVORITE COLOR: Pink, navy and green
G. GOLD OR SILVER: My rings are white gold, and I prefer white gold or silver most times, but I like yellow gold too
H. HEIGHT: 5'4"
I: INSTRUMENTS YOU PLAY: I can kind of play piano and tried guitar, but I was no good
J. JOB: I have 2. My title is Administrative Assistant, but since I work at our family business, I do lots of things like marketing and advertising, graphic design, book keeping, accountant and all kinds of other stuff. I also own my own business on the side. I absolutely love what I do!
K. KIDS: No, and not for several more years I hope! I love kids, but I like it just being me and Neil for now!
L. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: Home with my hubby
M. MOM'S NAME: Karen, Mom, Momma
N. NICKNAME:  My name is Julia Jeannette, so growing up everyone called me JJ. Now most people just call me Julia and close family call me J. The hubs calls me Babe : D
O. OVERNIGHT HOSPITAL STAY: Yep, when I was a kid
P. PET PEEVE: The sound of Velcro. Oh my gosh, I can't stand it!
Q. QUOTE FROM A MOVIE: Way too many to think of!
S. SIBLINGS: I have a younger sister, 20, and a younger brother, 17 and a sister-in-law, but really just a sister to me, who is 18.
T. TIME YOU WAKE UP: About 9am
U. UNDERWEAR:  I wear them, and refuse to go without them!
V. VEGGIE YOU DISLIKE: Peas...omg eww!
W. WAYS/REASONS YOU ARE LATE: Doing my makeup or hair usually makes me late, but most of the time I am on time. OH or not being able to find an outfit. That makes me so mad!
X. XRAYS YOU'VE HAD: I broke both wrists at different times, so several
Y. YUMMY FOOD YOU MAKE: All kinds of desserts!
Z. ZOO ANIMALS YOU LIKE: Lions, tigers and the dolphins...when you grow up in Florida, yes, your zoo has dolphins!
I hope y'all do one too!
xo Julia

Monday, October 17, 2011

Family Fun and a Late Wedding Gift

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a Marvelous Monday!  We spent the day visiting with Neils aunt, who's in town for a few days. We haven't seen her since this time last year, so it was nice to catch up with her.  During the time in between her last visit and now, we finished building our new store front for the business, so we all went over there so she could check it out. Here are a few pics so y'all can see too!

The front of the store

The Courtyard
 These pictures don't even do it justice, but she was really impressed by all of it, and we all felt really proud! We packed a huge picnic spread and had dinner in the courtyard. It was a lot of fun!

Anyways, onto the wedding gift part!  Even though we got married over a year ago, some of our family members are still giving us gifts! Hey...I can't complain!  She surprised us with this:
It's a large bamboo salad bowl and salad claws! I've been wanting one of these for a while, so I was pretty excited when I opened the box and saw what was inside.  I love serving dishes...if I could I would by new cookware ALL the time!

Before I go, I wanted to let you know about 2 fantastic giveaways! 

1. Turtles and Pearls!  has 2 different monogrammed decal packs from 2PreppyGirls up for grabs...that means 2 winners! Yay!  Head on over to her blog and enter for your chance to win! Thanks girl for the great giveaway!

2. ...Just Another Preppy Shopaholic is holding a giveaway for a Marley Lilly monogrammed scarf of your choice! OH MY GOSH, I want one of these so bad!  Head on over to her blog to enter! Good luck! Thanks for the giveaway!

Do any of you ladies have a cookware/baking dish obsession like I do?  What is your favorite brand to use in the kitchen?

xo Julia

Friday, October 14, 2011

Amazing Cake Recipe!

Hey everyone! Hope y'all had a great Friday! Neil and I were thinking about going out to eat, but ended up staying home instead.  After a yummy dinner of Chicken Divan, we both wanted something for dessert. So after I took a quick inventory of the pantry and scanned my recipe book, I decided to make an Apple Cake.  It is his moms recipe that's really yummy and super easy to make, so I thought I would share it!

Apple Cake
2 cups white sugar                                  1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil                            1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten well                                 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 cups apples, peeled and chopped        2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups AP flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9x13 baking dish.
2. In medium bowl, combine sugar, eggs, and oil. Stir in apples.
3. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir into apple mixture.
4. Stir in vanilla. Pour into pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and tooth pick comes out pretty clean. Great served warm with vanilla ice cream.

*You can use Self Rising flour in place of the AP flour, just omit the baking soda.
*After I chopped the apples, I put them in a bowl and sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon over them, stir them around and let them sit while I mix the other ingredients. It makes for a moister cake!

The cake might be a little gooey, but that's ok, it's just the juices from the apples. It's even better that way in my opinion! Hope y'all enjoy!

*EDIT* Here is the Chicken Divan Recipe! Credit to my MIL for this dish too!

Chicken Divan

1 head of broccoli, steamd and chopped                          1 C. shredded cheddar cheese1 can cream of chicken soup                                            4 boneless chicken breast, boiled and shredded
3/4 C. sour cream                                                           Optional: Rice or Egg Noodles

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. Combine steamed brocoli, soup, chicken and sour cream in casserole dish
3. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes or until bubbly. We like ours served with rice or egg noodles!

P.S. Crystal over at Coffee at Nordstrom is having a super cute Monogrammed Bag giveaway! Head on over and enter for your chance to win!

xo Julia

Thursday, October 13, 2011

2 Classy Books!

Hey all! I hope everyone is having a great week so far!

A few days ago, Ashley posted about some books she was currently reading.  That got me to thinking about 2 books I recently read and can't get enough of!

True Prep: It's A Whole New Old World

True Prep is a cute and funny interpretation of the Preppy life.  It is the follow-up book to The Official Preppy Handbook (I want it REALLY bad) which was written in the '80's.  True Prep gives some great advice on life, fashion and everything in between. When the book came out, Vineyard Vines even released a whole line of True Prep stuff including 2 totes, Ties and Flip Flops! I would really recommend reading this if you get the really is a must have in any prepsters library! 

What Would Jackie Do?: An Inspired Guide to Distinctive Living

First of all, let me start off by saying that I think Jackie O was the epitome of style, grace and charm.  I absolutely adore her and have ever since I was little. 

When I found this book, I just had to have it!  The title says it all. What Would Jackie Do?: An Inspired Guide to Distinctive Living. That's exactly what it is! A a guide that answers most of life's questions and problems according to the way Jackie would have answered them.  I'm not all the way done with the book yet, but from what I've read, I LOVE it! Here is an excerpt from the book:
"Overlook faux pas. You mustn't let the minor transgressions of others interrupt your daily flow-or block your precious chi. When people stumble with their words, their manners, or their wit, there's just no need to take an emotional tumble. Jackie wouldn't give a damn if you said, "I love your Gucci!" (if in fact she was wearing Pucci) or "How was the bear hunt?" (when foxes were her thing). "

Do any of you guys have any favorite preppy books? Any interesting books you are currently reading?

xo Julia

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What I've Been Up To!

Happy Weekend everyone! Over the past few days I have been trying to decide on the scents of my Fall candle line for my new business venture. (I'll post all about this soon!) I finally decided on Maple Pecan Strudel, Pumpkin Pie, Spiced Cranberry, Apple Cider and Cinnabun. What do you think?

Anyways, I got several of those made up and put them in our gift shop. So far they seem to be a big hit. People also still seem to be buying up my left overs from spring...which is great! I'm also working on getting our web store back up so I can sell online again. So needless to say I've been a busy girl!

On another note, I am, and have been for a very long time, a cosmetic-a-holic! But what girl is not!? Here are 2 great products I have picked up lately that I wanted to share with you guys!

1. Sally Hanson Natural Lip Butter Shimmer

I am in love with this stuff! I actually picked it up at my local Dollar Tree...who knew!! It is a moisturising lip balm with a hint of sheer color and a slight bit of shimmer. The first time I put it on I could tell a difference in the way my lips looked and felt. It is made from 94% natural ingredients and the packaging is also environmentally friendly. This is, in my opinion, a must have for the cold weather coming up! And at $1, you can't beat it! I just went back and got 3 more!

2. Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara
I always had a hard time finding a mascara that adds length and volume while being waterproof all at the same time, until now! I picked this up today and was so excited, I tried it out as soon as I got home. As far as mascaras go, this is the best one I have ever tried. It lengthened and added lots of volume to my lashes without me having to use my eyelash curler. But when I did use my eyelash curler, they looked even better! I would really recommend this to any of you ladies who need a dual action mascara like me!

Do any of you ladies use any of these products? What do you think about them? Are there any other products you use that you just can't live without?

P.S. Before I go, I wanted to let y'all know about 2 great giveaways going on out there in the blogasphere!

1. College Prep is doing a giveaway for an Angela Moore bracelet of your choice!

2. Coffee at Nordstrom has a giveaway going on for a monogrammed tumbler!

Make sure to check both of their pages out and enter for your chance to win!!

Speaking about giveaways, I'm thinking about doing a fabulous giveaway once I hit around 25 or 30 readers, so please make sure to follow!

xo Julia

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Super Cute Fall Giveaway from Ashley!

The lovely Ashley over at Everyday Ashley is having a super cute Fall themed giveaway in honor of reaching 125 followers on her blog! Congrats!

The prize package includes some of her favorite fall treats, a good book, a candle and lots more little goodies! So head on over to her blog to enter!

Thanks for the great giveaway Ashley!!

xo Julia

Monday, October 3, 2011

Blog Awards and Giveaways!

Well this weekend turned out to be great!  The hubbs and I went to one of his car shows on Saturday.  It was nice and cool out, so I really enjoyed it.  There's just something about the nip in the air of early fall that I  love!  And yesterday, we just had a relaxing day at home.

Today, when I was browsing my favorite blogs, I found out 3 things that I am just SO excited about!!!

1. I got a Blog award from Allison
2. I won Let's Be Preppy's Scentsy Giveaway!
3. Emily from In The Life of Emily is doing an amazing giveaway! See the bottom of the page for more info!


Thanks so much to Allison and Katie!!

I was so excited when I saw that Allison gave me a blog award!  I've never gotten one before! I found her not too long ago, and absolutely love reading her blog! Thanks miss Allison!

rule #1: thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them: Done!

rule #2: share seven things about yourself.

1. I love all things monogrammed. If there is such a thing as monogram addiction, I am guilty!

2. I'm a crafter. I like to make candles, soaps and other bath & body products. I love it so much, I made a business out of it!

3. I want the Vineyard Vines patchwork SUV to drive around in.

4. I love to bake! It is one of my favorite hobbies. My dad was an amazing cook and my mom is a great baker. Luckily, I got both of those genes! 

5. My favorite vacation spot is St. Augustine, FL. I grew up there, and love going back with Neil any chance I get. It has so much history and the beach is just perfect!

6. I'm a night owl. I can stay up all night and be good to go the next day. I'm defiantly not a morning person.

7. Every time I go to TJ Maxx, I think I am going to find some Lilly stuff...but, sadly, I never do :(

rule #3: pass the award onto some newly discovered blogs:

Kat at Mary & Dyer
Ashley at Everyday Ashley

Emily's Give Away:

Miss Emily over at In The Life of Emily is having an AMAZING giveaway!

She has 3 different pieces of Sylvia Benson jewelry to be given away. That means there will be 3 different winners!  I just checked out the Sylvia Benson website and I am IN LOVE with all her designs!

Head on over to Emily's blog to enter!

Thanks for the giveaway Emily!!

Hope everyone else had a great weekend!!

xo Julia