Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top 5 Tuesday: November Favorites

Today I'm linking up once again with miss Rachel from Just Peachy for Top 5 Tuesday: November Favorites Edition!  Let me just start off by saying that November really is one of my favorite months! This is why:

1. Birthdays
The 3 most important men in my life, Neil, Dad and Granddaddy's (mom's dad) birthdays are all in November. Even better, Neil and Dad share the same birthday! How weird is that!? There are so many similarities and coincidences in our combined family, that it's scary! For example:
-Neils sisters real first name is Julia (but she goes by Katy) and she was named after her great aunt Julia...so was I!
-My mom and Neil's grandmother share the same birthday (Feb. 3)

and the list goes on...and on...and on! Anyways, back to the subject!

2. Thanksgiving
I love spending Thanksgiving with our families! It's definitely one of my favorite holidays, and I look forward it! I also like having an excuse to stay up late and go shopping on black Friday!

3. Christmas Shopping
I start my Christmas shopping at the beginning of November, so to me, it counts as a November favorite! I absolutely love buying gifts for other people. To be honest, I could go with out gifts for myself before I would for my family and friends! It makes me happier to give than to receive! I like going into stores and smelling the Holiday scents they have placed through out. I also love all the peppermint flavored hot drinks! 

4. The Clothes
Of course I hate when I have to force myself to put up the flip-flops (ok, I admit that my flip-flops are still being worn, but I promise to put them up really soon!) dresses and shorts, but after I get over it, I realize how great fall fashion is! I love being able to just throw on some cute jeans, a sweater and a scarf and run out the door!

5. Crafts
November seems to be my "craft month". I craft all through the year, but November seems to be filled with all kinds of crafts!  Crafts for the house, crafts as gifts and making all my candles and soaps for work. My latest crafts have been hobo purses, driftwood trees, bow ties and recipe books.  I like to make my mom and sister at least one thing for Christmas to go along with their other gifts...I wont say what I made, but I think they'll love it!

What are your November Favorites?

xo Julia

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My First Pins!

Hey y'all! I'm so sorry I've been MIA for the past few days! I've been so busy!  But I promise to get back on my posting right away!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Mine was really good! We had a wonderful dinner, then waited for a while and went to some black Friday sales.  I found some pretty good deals, but no outrageous ones. I think we were gone for about 8 or 9 hours! Needless to say, I took a nap when we got home! 

After my nap, I was checking my email and saw that I finally got my invite from Pinterest! YAY! I was so excited. For the first hour, I did nothing but pin, pin, pin! Here are some of my favorite pins from today!

1. Organization- I wish my craft area was organized like this! Hopefully one day, I'll have a whole room devoted to crafts, just like this one.

2. Tshirt Scarves- I love these two designs! They are so easy, and pretty at the same time...who knew!?

3. Jewelry Display- I want a cute way to display some of my earrings, and this is perfect! I think I might try to make this tomorrow!

4. Simple Packages- Sometimes, I really just want simple, and this is it! I love the way these monogrammed Christmas presents look! I think I'll wrap some of my sisters gifts like this!

Have y'all pinned any of these? Hope you all have a great Sunday!

xo Julia

P.S. Check out some of these wonderful giveaways going on!

1. Crystal from Coffee at Nordstrom is giving away a Vera Bradley travel jewelry case! It's so pretty! Head on over to her blog for your chance to enter!

2. Carly from College Prep is giving a way one the fabulous Marley Lilly monogram necklace! I want one of these really bad! Make sure to enter for your chance to win!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top 5 Tuesday!

Hey y'all! I hope everyone had a terrific Tuesday! There's only 1 more day until Thanksgiving, can you believe it!?  That's why I'm linking up with Rachel today for the Thanksgiving Top 5 Tuesday!

1. Famliy
This Thanksgiving we're staying here in AL and celebrating with Neil's family.

2. The Turkey
There has been talk of a grilled turkey this year. Oh.My.Gosh. Yummy! Neil is the family grill master.

 3. Cranberry Sauce
Y'all...I love cranberry sauce! It's really one of my favorite Thanksgiving Day treats. I prefer the kind that is just a big jelly log, but the whole berry kind looks so much better in a picture!

4. Pumpkin Pie
How could I not include Pumpkin Pie!?  Who can resist that yummy slice of pie at the end of a great meal? I know I can't!  We usually have a pumpkin pie with either an apple or sweet potato pie to go along with it.

5. Black Friday
Last year was my first time ever participating in any Black Friday activities, and I really had fun! I didn't, however, like the woman who rammed her hind quarters in my face to get a video game, but that's a whole nother story! This year I think we will be fighting the crowd at Academy Sport and Outdoors, Target, or JC Penny outlet. 

What are your favorite things about Thanksgiving?  Are you participating in any black Friday activities?

xo Julia

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A St. Augustine Kind of Saturday

Hey there! I hope everyone had a wonderful week!  I've been busy once again with work and getting ready for Thanksgiving. It's getting colder and colder out and what does that make me think of? I bet the last thing you would have guessed is....The Beach!!  As the weather gets colder, it always makes me think of how BAD I want to be there!

As you've probably noticed, through my blog posts and on Facebook, I love St. Augustine, FL.  I grew up there and a lot of my family is from there as well.  Neil and I got engaged there and the beach is the best I've ever been too!  It's hardly ever crowded, especially in October, which is the best time to go, and everyone is very friendly!

It's the Oldest, yes I said oldest, city in the Nation.  It's home to "the oldest school house", the Castillo de San Marcos, St. George Street and some of the most delicious food you will ever find!

The Old City Gates. This is where everyone would enter and leave the city back in the day.  If you take one of the nightly walking tours, this is your first stop!

St. George Street. This is the street you see behind the gates. It's full of neat little shops and restaurants.

The Castillo de San Marcos was a fort built in 1672 to protect the city during battle.  They now offer tours and you can go watch them fire a cannon off into the Bay every morning!

The St. Augustine Light House has ALOT of interesting history of romance and tragedy behind it.  It's main use is still to guide ships in from the sea at night. During the day you can take a tour of the Light Keepers house/museum and climb to the top of the Light House!

And now for some of our Beach pictures!

Now I want to go EVEN MORE!  It's ok though, I'll just keep looking forward to 2012. Hopefully it is filled with beach trips all year long!

Have you ever been to St. Augustine?  Where is your favorite beach vacation spot?

xo Julia

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankful Thursday!

Hey y'all! I hope everyone is having a great week so far! Only today and Friday until the weekend!  I've been really busy this week gearing up for our shop's Christmas Open House!  I've been waiting for my supply shipment which came in today! Yay! Now I have to get busy making all my candles and bath stuff! How fun!?

Today I'm linking up with Christina Marie for Thankful Thursdays!

I'm Thankful For....

....All the blessings God gives me every single day

....A loving husband who's also my best friend in the whole world

....An amazing family that I can always count on

....Thanksgiving is almost here!

....Having a job that I absolutely love and can't get enough of

....Having all the luxuries that I do, there are lots of people who don't

....Alabama gets cold, but not TOO cold...well most of the time!

....Having such great blog friends (yes, I mean YOU!)

There are TONS more things that I am thankful for, too many to list!  What are you thankful for?

xo Julia

Oh, How Pinteresting and WILW!

Today I'm linking up with Michelle from the Vintage Apple for my first ever Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday!  I have seen all of y'all talk about Pintrest, but never signed up. I finally realized what I was missing! Right now I'm waiting on my invite, so the things below will be pinned as soon as I finalize my account!

I am totally in the Christmas spirit and honestly have been since before Halloween!  I know, kind of weird, but I just absolutely LOVE Christmas time. Not because of the whole gift thing, although it's nice, but because of the feel in the air, spending time with family and just the overall Christmas spirit that goes around.  So with Christmas, in my house, comes baking! Here are some yummy looking treats that I would LOVE to make for the Holidays!

Rolo Turtles
 How easy is that! I am 100% going to try this!
Apple Cider Caramel Cookies
These look delish! I love the flavors of fall, and this is sure to be one of my new favorite cookies!

Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Butter Cream
Y'all! How perfect are these!? As you know, Red Velvet cake is a southern staple, and everyone thinks their Red Velvet cake is the best (which I'm sure it is!).  This will be my new unique recipe! Thanks pintrest :) Oh and it's a perfect treat for your Christmas party!

Iced Pumpkin Cookies
Like I said before, I LOVE fall flavors and Pumpkin is my ALL TIME favorite! I adore any, and everything pumpkin! So these cookies will be a perfect addition to Thanksgiving dessert!

Candy Acorns
Now how adorable are these!? So simple, just take a mini nutter butter cookie and slightly melt the Hershey kiss and stick them together! These would be a perfect treat for little ones to help with!

Chocolate Covered Pretzels
My mom always makes chocolate covered pretzel rods around the Holidays. The M&M ones look really good!


I'm Loving..... That I have such an amazing husband! xo NMC

I'm Loving..... That our Christmas Open House at the shop is coming up really soon!

I'm Loving.... That my Granddaddy just turned 80! He's going on 20 haha.

I'm Loving..... That the Holly Jolly Swap is going on! How exciting!

I'm Loving..... That I just bought a new sewing machine! It's definitely time.

I'm Loving..... That we are 100% doing Black Friday. Last year was the first time I ever did it, and it was pretty fun!

I'm Loving..... My new sweater I picked up from Marshalls the other day! It's so soft, yet sooo stylish!

Wow...I'm loving alot of stuff right now! What are y'all loving?

xo Julia

Monday, November 14, 2011

Top 5 Tuesday: Nail Polish

Today I'm linking up with miss Rachel from Just Peachy for Top 5 Tuesday!

I'm so excited that it is about nail polish, because let me tell you girls...I'm crazy about nail polish! I paint my nails ALL the time, about 2 times a week, or depending on if I get chips or not. My wonderful SIL taught me how to do a perfect manicure on myself, so I haven't had to go the the nail salon in over 4 years! Thanks Katy!  Here are my top 5 nail polishes!

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri- Sonic Bloom
This is what I'm wearing right now. I love it! It drys super fast and lasts about a week on me with no chips!

Sally Hansen Salon- Flamingo
I wore this ALOT this past summer! It's a little more red than the picture shows. It's a great polish for when you want to add a pop of color without going overboard!

E.L.F. French Manicure Set
I love a good french manicure. It's classy, simple and elegant. I have finally perfected it enough so that my right hand looks almost as good as my left when I'm done. Y'all know what I'm talkin' about!

Sinful Colors- 24/7
This is a bubble gum neon pink and I LOVE it! It always makes your skin look tanner than it really is. I found it at my local Walgreen's for about $2 and it is my spring/summer go to color! I love having sassy nails and I always get complements on them when I wear this polish!

Orly- Hot Shot
This is a great red-ish orange color! It wears for a long time and I always get complements when I wear this one too. Complements to SIL for suggesting this one to me!

So can you tell I mostly wear pinks and reds?! I have tried greens, tans and blues, and while they look great on all of you, sadly, they don't work for me. Why? I have NO idea!

Do any of y'all wear any of these? How do you like them?

xo Julia

P.S. Here are a few giveaway alerts for you to check out!

1. Jenn over at Bliss to Bean is having a giveaway for a very cute bracelet! Head on over to her blog to enter! Thanks Jenn!
2. Lindsey over at Keep It Classy, Alabama is giving away a Swell Caroline monogram necklace! Check out her blog and enter for your chance to win!

Mary and Dyer Giveaway!

Hey y'all! Kat, over at Mary and Dyer is having a giveaway for a Tiffany necklace + a gift from her shop! Check out her blog for your chance to enter!! 

I found Kat's blog...well, actually, she found me first!...almost as soon as I started blogging.  She has just recently finished her store and it is now up and running! Mary and Dyer was the creation of Kat and her sister-in-law, and is named after her children! And even better...10% of their proceeds go to support the IJM - International Justice Mission.  Not only can you buy beautiful jewelry, accessories and handbags, but you will also be helping a very worthy cause!

Here are some of my favorites:

My Heart Will Go On Earrings
These are so classy, I absolutely love them! These are on my Christmas list now!

The Faithful Cord Bracelet
I use any chance I can to wear faith inspired jewelry, and this is a great way to do it!

Is This Antique? Take 2 Necklace
Turquoise? Yes please! I adore turquoise jewelry!

Fashion Is For Elephants Ring
This ring is so pretty! I love the jewel tones with the copper color!

I hope y'all take a few minutes to check out Mary and Dyer. They have gorgeous products, affordable prices and free shipping!  You could definitely knock-out a few people on your Christmas list I'm sure!

xo Julia

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Classy Baking: Yummy Chocolate Bark

Hey everyone! I hope all is well in your neck of the woods!  The past few days, I've been busy crafting and trying out some Holiday recipes! A few things I've worked on have been a driftwood table top Christmas tree, purses, aprons and a few recipes! Hopefully I'll get to post about my crafts soon, but here is a super yummy, super EASY recipe for Chocolate Bark. It's perfect for gifting over the Holidays!

*Just so y'all know, this post is picture heavy*

Julia's Yummy Chocolate Bark

1 bag Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 bag White chocolate chips
Wax paper or foil (if using foil, you'll need butter)

1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Place foil over a jelly roll pan, making sure to fold sides over. If you are out of wax paper, and have to use foil like I did, take a stick of butter, and rub it over the foil, making sure to get a complete coating. If you're using wax paper, just lay it over your jelly roll pan and you are good to go!

2. Now sprinkle your chips in a checkerboard type pattern on the pan, making sure that they are in a single layer. Place them in the oven and bake for about 6 minutes.

I only had half a bag of each chocolate, that's why it's kind of small. You can also use half a bag or use a whole bag of each to make alot!

 3. When you take them out of the oven they should look shiny. Now take a spatula and, pressing lightly, swirl the chocolate around, making sure to flatten any chips. Once all the chocolate is swirled together, place your pan in the fridge for an hour (I'm not patient when it comes to this, so I stuck mine in the freezer for 10 or 15 minutes!)

4. When the chocolate is chilled enough, take it out of the fridge, remove the foil from the pan. Lay the foil chocolate side down on a cutting board. Peel the foil away from the chocolate, making sure no little foil pieces are left.  Now all you have to do is cut or break the chocolate into medium pieces.

5. Now it's ready to enjoy! Like I said, it makes a great Christmas treat. You can package it in a super cute box or bag to give as a gift! Or just put it on a serving platter like I did!

Do y'all have any yummy Holiday recipes you like to make? Let me know if you try this!

xo Julia