A Few of my Favorite (Fall) Things

It’s officially fall, and it’s (for many obvious reasons) the majority of the female population’s favorite time of the year. I have not decorated for fall yet even though I do so every year on September 1st because I love summer so much I’m in denial of the cold and refusing of letting it go. Otherwise, the orange leaf garland and the pumpkins are out by now, and October 1st the Halloween decorations come out to join the party.

Here are some of my fall must-haves:

Tall slippers. They are like Uggs but better for the animal kingdom and cost about $20. You can get them anywhere women’s clothing are sold. Even Costco. Leave them by the bedside and put them on the second you get up. Small slippers won’t do. Your ankles will get cold.

slippers

These are from Target for $20

-Coffee Mug Warmer. I like to have tea on it almost all day. It keeps my beverage warm and for only $8. You can even get a candle warmer and use that for your coffee mug. Great for your desk at work or an end table at home.

-Halloween movies. You have to have access to these in the fall season! I’ll probably do a post on my favorites. I’m a movie nut so I’ve got quite a few. If you have cable you are lucky and there will be many channels playing fall and Halloween movies all day come close to Halloween. A few of my favorites: Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, Monster House and The Witches, just to name a few.

-One of my favorite things overall is Iliza Shlesinger’s comedy special for “Freezing Hot” on Netflix. See below her take on the fall season and women.

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iliza fall 1

Laughs! The whole time! She has 3 comedy specials on Netflix. Do yourself a favor and have a girls night, get some wine, and watch them all. Followed by Jen Kirkman’s comedy special “I’m Going to Die Alone and I Feel Fine” on Netflix.

-Tazo Chai. The liquid mix is at Costco for a 3 pack for less than $8. Or you can get one for $5 at other stores or on amazon. It’s my favorite, hot or cold.

-Something I like to call a “Sweater Blanket” is a must. It’s a large cardigan that you can wrap around yourself like a blanket. I don’t wear this in public, but I love to wear it around the house. It opens up like a large square and is very cozy.

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Image link here. I love this sweater!

– A fall wardrobe. You can go to Pinterest and type in “Fall Wardrobe” and you’ll get hundreds of photos and advice. You don’t need me to do that! I live in hoodies and sweats all fall. I’m not a fashion guru. I love me some thick chunky scarves, leather boots, hoodies with faux leather jackets over top of them and comfy skinny jeans like the ones I have from Jessica Simpson. She makes great clothes for girls with curves! Here’s my Pinterest Board for Style. It’s pretty much all fall style and cozy layers.

Happy Fall everyone!

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DIY Car Deodorizer

So I read something a while back on Pinterest about getting rid of frost on your windshield with vinegar. That seems to be the only thing I read about that topic, not how to, or when to apply the vinegar. So one frustrating Wisconsin winter morning, I went outside after a solid 5 minutes of ice chiseling to get to my car and decided to go in, get a cup of vinegar, and dump it on the windshield. Needless to say it didn’t work, and the inside of my car smelled like vinegar.

I didn’t want to pay for a car freshener, and all of the chemicals in them, so I decided to make something I can put in the car myself to get rid of the stink.

Car freshner 2

All I used was some Vanilla, a cotton ball, cloves, and some cinnamon. I also added a cinnamon stick for good measure. I put the cinnamon sticks in the tea filter bag, and then put about a teaspoon of vanilla on the cotton ball and threw that in there, along with a few sprinkles of the cloves and cinnamon. Be careful not to soak the cotton ball, you don’t want the vanilla soaking through the tea bag and onto your car. You can also use a coffee filter if you don’t have the tea bags. Then tie it up with something pretty. I got this ball of yarn for just $2 at the craft store!

Car freshner 1

Tie your cute little bag up with some string and that is it! I put the little bag on my dash and let the heat take care of the smell in the car. The car smells like Christmas morning! And as the delicious smell of the Vanilla settles in, your car will smell like an amazing fresh cigar. I’ll switch it out when the weather turns warmer for something floral and fresh.

Other recipe Ideas:

  1. Dried oranges and lemons, bay leaf and dehydrated cranberries.
  2. Lavender, sage, and dried lemon slices. (Lavender is an herb that relaxes, so you don’t want JUST lavender in a car, where you should be awake!)
  3. Cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices with some dried anise stars.
  4. Dried apple slices with cinnamon sticks and cloves.
  5. Jasmine oil (or any favorite essential oil) on a cotton ball with some dried Lemon Verbena.

The possibilities are endless! Just make sure you are working with dried ingredients so nothing molds. You can also add your little scent bags to the vacuum cleaner, hang by the shower, dresser drawers, or just about anywhere in your home you need a little freshen up.

Happy air freshening!

When I think of the “Holidays”

With so many different religions, nationalities, and traditions, the “Holidays” mean something different to everyone. When you bid them adieu during this time of year, you don’t tell then to enjoy what you celebrate in winter, you tell them “Happy Holidays!” as not to offend anyone and to genuinely tell them you want them to enjoy what they celebrate.

I think “Holidays” unanimously means to celebrate your religion and traditions with family and be grateful for what you do have, and show others how much they mean to you by giving them a token of your appreciation for having them in your life. Growing up in a distant family and in a broken home, there were Christmas’ where I was the only one to show up with gifts, and most of the time other family members didn’t even show. Once my family was so unprepared for it being a holiday that we had to go to the gas station and buy pizzas for dinner. Another time we celebrated by going to a local Chinese food restaurant, since they were the only place open on Christmas. As much as I appreciated just being together, I always longed for more.

My mind always wanders to someplace picturesque for the Holidays, something I always wished I had, and something I will make sure my children have so they never feel like they missed out on a family that had traditions, and appreciation.

Woody Wagon

When I think of the Holidays, I think of a car full of presents, driving in the snow to make it to see the family for Christmas. Image Credit

Colored Lights

When I think of the Holidays, I think of bright colored Christmas lights, the only time of year I get to see them shine at home and throughout the neighborhood. I love to drive home slowly, taking different routes to see what the neighbors have done with decorations.

stairs with garland

When I think of the Holidays I think of coming downstairs in the morning to sounds of family laughing in the kitchen, and the smell of coffee and bacon. Image Credit.

hot chocolate

When I think of the Holidays, I think of Hot Chocolate, Eggnog, and Tom and Jerry’s in a festive Christmas mug. Image Credit.

COOKIES

When I think of the Holidays, I think of cookies and creamy cheesy potatoes and casseroles and all around comfort food high in calories and low in consideration of those calories.

Christmas Movie Night

When I think of the Holidays, I think of snuggling up to watch a festive movie with some fresh popped popcorn, such as Elf, The Muppet Christmas Carol, or The Holiday. Image Credit.

Gift Jar

Most of all when I think of the “Holidays”, I think of spending it with the people you love and care about, the people that you cherish and appreciate. I think of making gifts for the people in my life, because I love to hand craft items for the people I care about. I want to show the I care for them by making them something special that fits their specific needs. Image Credit.

Socks and the Fireplace.

So cozy up with your loved ones, make some hot cocoa, and tell someone you love them.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas Gift DIY Roundup

It’s that time again… where I try not to spend too much money on the people I want to spend money on because I’m saving for a wedding in (gasp!) less than 6 months. What’s a DIY minded girl to do? Make presents of course! How can you get away with spending little money while making quality gifts people will love? Here’s what I did last year. (Now that the gifts are out, there are no spoilers to be had.)

DIY Note Board:

memo board

I made one of these for my fiancée’s grandfather, and he uses it daily for important phone numbers and contacts. It was SO easy! I also spent 0$ since I had everything at home. See a tutorial here.

Craft Tool Box:

toolbox

I got this exact toolbox from Menards for $6 and filled it with crafting goods for the fiancée’s 15 year old sister. I filled it with glue, pink duct tape, little jelly jars of buttons and beads, needle and thread, and also spent $0 on the supplies because I have a surplus. When I was 15, I would have loved that. I was also a crafting machine.

Candles:

Birch candle

While helping clean the fiancée’s grandparent’s basement, I was told to get rid of clutter by taking things and donating them. I took a box of old half melted candles, some jars and old drinking glasses, and decided to re-melt them and make them into new candles into the glasses. I bought wicks from the craft store ($5) and remelted and made candles, and then took some birch that was cut from their yard and wrapped it, and gave it to his grandfather, and brother for Christmas. Ironic thing is, I took things he wanted to get rid of, and gave it back to him for Christmas.

Date Night:

date envelopes

For Matt I made special date night envelopes for each month of the year. He got to April and I think he lost them (men…) I put a lot of time into it, and I know the sentiment was at least appreciated. Image link here.

For some other family members, I sewed blankets and stuffed animals for small kids and babies, (check out my DIY Kids and Babies board on Pinterest for ideas) painted some figurines I had left from other Christmas projects and gave those away as gifts, and spent a small amount of money on things like a new SD card for a tablet and some LED light bulbs. AND there’s always baking!

What do you DIY for the Holidays? Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays readers! I hope you all have a warm and fuzzy holiday, full of family, good laughs, and sugar coated sugared baked goods. Here are some of my favorite moments from the winter season so far.

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Shopping at Milwaukee’s Public Market

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Our Christmas Tree

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The architecture students decor.

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Boyfriend and I at my workplace holiday cocktail party.

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Downer Ave in Milwaukee during the snow.

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My baby neice during Thanksgiving.

My absolute favorite part of the holidays is eggnogg, watching people as they open the gifts I’ve given them, decorating the tree, having an excuse to put LOTS of lights up, time off work AND school, and the readons keep going…

What are your favorite part of the holidays?

My Top 10 Holiday Classic Movies

With the holidays coming up (way too fast, might I add) I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 favorite holiday classic movies. And not necessarily in order either. I can’t pick favorites!

1. Mixed Nuts. If you haven’t seen this nutty movie about two people who work for a suicide hotline, a serial killer on the loose, and a cross dressing Liev Shreiber, do yourself a favor. Please.

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2. The Holiday. It’s cheesy. It’s campy. But dang it, I like it. Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz switch houses (and countries) in this holiday movie.  Image Credit.

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3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Do I need to explain WHY this movie is awesome? No. Image Credit.

national lampoon
4. Scrooged. I LOVED this version of A Christmas Carol when I was a kid. Carol King as a sadistic fairy angel? Hilarious.

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5. Home Alone. Come on, we all dreamed of being left alone, without our families, and then beating major criminals with our cunning wit and keen skills.

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6. Elf. How can you NOT love a movie where Will Ferrell was raised by elves on the north pole and then naively emits a child like christmas vibe for all to see and love?

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7. Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas. This has been a favorite since childhood. I had a few bottles of wine last year with a friend and watched it again, and it’s still just as good. Image Credit.

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8. Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s a movie that’s good for many holidays. From Halloween to Christmas and all the way through Easter.

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9. It’s a Wonderful Life. Nothing will make a family man feel less like he threw his adventurous life away for kids and a wife more than realizing that everyone’s lives would have sucked without him.  Image Credit

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10. Love Actually. There are a LOT of characters in this British all star cast I could do without, but in a movie where a guy from London can come to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to hook up with easy women, and where Liam Neeson and Colin Firth are the main men of a movie, there are many reasons this is in my top 10.

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I know I left a lot of movies out… like all of the childhood classics from Rudolph, to The Grinch, to Frosty the Snowman, A Christmas Story, Prancer, and the one where Tim Allen becomes Santa. But there are so many classics, and remakes of classics every year it’s hard to keep track. Happy Holidays!

DIY Christmas: Be Your Own Elf, Part 3

This Christmas, I’m feeling the tight purse strings of being a college student who works part time, with full time bills. I have enough supplies laying around to make some pretty cool presents for people and that’s what they will get. Home made gifts! I’ve scoured Pinterest for hours and I’ve collected some of the best of the best and would love to share.

21 things for foodies

This blog post from Everything Etsy has 21 DIY things to make for foodies. Seeing as how I’m dating a Chef, this may come in handy.

10EasyHomemadeGiftIdeas

Here are 10 more home made gifts including brownie mix, pepper jerky, and other kitchen goodies.

oil gifts

Know someone in need of a spa treatment? I do! (me…) Here are some essential oil gifts to make. I want to make the body butter just for me.

infused

How about infused booze, or oil? This post from Sun and Glory.com will show you how!

dehydrated

Now that I live with someone with a food dehydrator I want to do this for myself, and for others. Dehydrate some oranges, cranberries, lemons, apples, and jar it up with some cinnamon, cloves, and simmer in a pot of water. Enjoy!

sharpie mug

I have sharpies. The dollar store has coffee mugs. $1 presents? Can it be? Draw on design and bake at 425 for 30 minutes and let cool in the oven. Done! Put some tea bags or hot chocolate bags in for an extra gift.

muggle mug

I want to make this one for my brother. What will you do for home made gifts?

Happy Holidays!