Hair Cut

If you and I had been having a conversation six months ago about hair, I would have let you know that immediately after our honeymoon I planned on chopping inches off my hair and coloring it something new like a darker brown or an auburn red. I was set on doing it. It's what I do. Grow my hair out for two years (cause my hair sucks and grows super slow) then I chop it off somewhere between my ears and shoulders. Like it for a few weeks. Then decide to start the two year growth process again. It's a cycle. A cycle I've clung to for many, many years.

When we got back from our honeymoon we drove down to Alabama. We found a place to live. I drove back to NC. I packed. I drove back down to AL. I moved it. I unpacked. I decorated. I cooked. I cleaned. And I had no time to chop all my hair off. During this time of not remembering I wanted to chop my hair off, I developed a crush on my long hair and we are now in love. For some reason he doesn't knot up in the back like he usually does at this length. for some reason he stay where I want him and does what I tell him. He's kind of the perfect hair and I plan on keeping him around. Until he starts knotting up and acting crazy. Then he'll go.

I did get a hair cut today, though. When she asked what I wanted to do the first words out of my mouth were, "I want to keep my length." I then went on to explain although I love my long hair, it's all the same length and it's blah. It's weighed down, there's limited body, and I need some layers. So away she cut. I kept my eyes closed most of the time since she was someone new to me and I was kind of attached. So when she finally finished and asked me to take a look and play with it to see what I thought, I smiled. I was so happy. She did it perfectly. Exactly what I had imagined and would have done myself, if I could.

My hair needed layers badly. It was flat and lifeless, and only looked good if it was half up or all up. A new haircut is so refreshing. I hadn't had an actual cut in YEARS. (trims, yes. I try to keep the split ends at bay, but a cut, no.)

I took pictures of before I got my hair cut. I meant to take an after, but I am in bed, with all my hair pulled back and off my face, and I have my sleepy face on. So no after picture. Maybe I'll get a picture this weekend. When I snap an after picture, I'll be sure to share.


Actual Conversation:

Chris does push ups on floor.

Me: I can't even do one push up.
Chris: Yes you can. You can do a lot.

I get on floor. Do one push up, then collapse to the ground.

Me: See, I can't. I need to try to do a few a day. I would eventually get cut.
Chris: I can't get cut.
Me: Yes you could, if you did push ups.
Chris: No I couldn't. You could. You're an athlete, Linley. I'm a math-alete.
Me: Yeah, you are a math-alete.

Guest Post

Today I am sharing a guest post with everyone! One of my great friends, Tyra Dee Minton Phillips (hey fraaaand!), from graduate school, has been working on a DIY project of her own. She was telling me about it and I asked her to send me some pictures of and directions for the project so I could share it with all of you! And she did!

She was also married over the summer and was one of the many weddings I attended throughout the summer. So she and her hubby (also referred to by Chris and me as 'Keif an'dem') have been working on turning an old dresser into an entertainment center for their living room. Well they've finished and it looks great!

Tyra's Directions:

1. First, cover the gaping holes, that were originally used as handles, with wood putty. 

 We picked this up at lowes (you can see it in some of the pics). We had a little trouble with the putty. I assumed that we should just fill in the holes, scrape off the extra, and let it dry. Well....we let it dry outside and the putty sunk down some and cracked. I think it is likely due to the NC humidity! So, we put on another layer (literally, just glopped it on) and left it inside to dry. This seemed to work much better, it was much harder and dried a lot faster!!

2. Then sand down the extra putty (which was not too hard!)

3. Paint the drawers and actual dresser. 

We decided to brush paint this so it would have those brush strokes and we did not use primer. It worked great. we used two layers of black paint. 

3. Then we distressed - we just distressed this a bit, around the edges, and a little on the top and sides so the original wood would show through. 

4. Finally, we added handles over the old puttyed holes! Keith did this, and he used his electric drill and drill bit.

I love projects that turn an item or piece of furniture into something completely different. "Double Duty" I like to call it. I love the finished project Keif an'dem came up with and it really looks like something you would purchase as your own entertainment center!

If you have done a project (past or present) I'd love to see it and share it on my blog! Just shoot me an email or message!

One Week

Y'all, a week from today I am going to be 26. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Sometimes I think oh, just another year in my 20's; other times I think time moves too fast, I am about to be upper-mid twenties and then most of the time I just try not to think about it cause I'm not sure what to think about it.

Does all this indecisiveness mean I having a mid-twenties crisis? Should I go buy some type of fancy-shamancy sports car? I think so too, so I did. I bought a beautiful NC State red convertible! I took it out on the road and I had my hair and silk scarf flowing in the wind, wearing my big sunglasses. I even threw my arms up and drove with no hands for a short distance. Then Chris shook me and said I just smacked him in the face and I must have been having a nightmare. That was far from a nightmare. And what a party pooper for ruining it.

Whether I welcome 26 with open arms or a cringed face, he is coming. Time to brace myself and get ready!


A Montage of the Weekend

In addition to the post and video below, I thought I would share a few photos of the weekend in ATL as well. Some are via me and some are via Frannycakes.

Taking the MARTA to the stadium.

All the guys with the steam engine. 

Frannycakes and us children.

Dick Dick and Fran

The stadium and some of Atlanta.

My delicious meal after the game at the Varsity.

Me and Chrissy.

Over the Weekend:

We had a blast over the weekend. We were able to see Chris's parents and his brother, Maeby behaved throughout the entire trip (even though she had to spend lots of time alone - at least she was in a nice suit), and the Wolfpack came out of the game with a W. Awesome.

On Friday, before we got all packed up and headed out, I decided I wanted to do something different. I wanted to make a video of our weekend. Take several clips of things we did and put them all together. So I did. I enjoyed it and I plan on continuing this for this upcoming weekend. I learned a lot while filming and putting the video together, so I hope I get better at it. (I also hope to eventually get a nice video camera - cause this weekend was filmed using the video option on my digital camera - and it's not that great)

I could kick myself in the butt for forgetting my camera for our trip downtown. After the game we showered up (cause we were nasty, sweaty, and stinky) and then headed off to dinner and a car ride. We went to Buckhead and ate at Fellini's Pizza. It was delicious and reminded me a bit of Lily's in Raleigh at Five Points. We ate outside and enjoyed great conversation, good food, and nice cars. After our bellies were full of pizza and beer, we hopped in the truck (the driver's belly was not full of beer) and rode around throughout downtown. We saw business headquarters, the Fox, more of GT's campus, and finished the drive with hot and fresh doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

We were all so tired from the game and the sun kicking our butts that we called it a night after that. My friend and roommate from grad school, Meg, stopped by our room when we got back and I was so happy to spend a little bit of time with her (and so was Maeby!) I also got to see my friends Michael and Teresa (also from grad school) at the game. Seeing people you miss is great.

Sunday morning we had breakfast and then hit the road back to Alabama and central time. Since we've been back the weather has be FABULOUS! (and I put that in all caps because I am screaming it to you!) It's been cool in the morning and late afternoons and only warm during the middle of the day - I love it!

Here is the video I put together. Let me warn you: the combination of the song with some of the sped up video clips may cause vertigo. My bad. Otherwise, enjoy!

(my favorite part of the video is when I wave to the mirror in the hotel room and then look back at Maeby and she is looking for who I was waving to - classic Maeby Shea)


Baked Cream of Mushroom Chicken

This recipe is pretty much my favorite thus far in my cooking career. It's easy and so. dang. on. delicious. 

I liked this recipe a lot when I lived by myself because it's one that can be cooked for one person or just as easily for an entire family get-together. I also like it because it's similar to a crock-pot recipe in that you just throw all the ingredients into a dish, forget about it while it's cooking, and then it comes out full of warm deliciousness. Here we go!

2-4 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts*
1-2 Cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup**
1 Yellow onion
1/2 stick of butter
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Season both sides of chicken breast using salt, pepper, and garlic pepper.
Place seasoned chicken breast into deep baking dish. 
Slice onion and spread over the breasts.
Put two pats of butter on each breast

(at this point you could also add in some diced carrots, actual mushrooms, diced celery, etc. for additional flavors)
Top breasts with Cream of Mushroom Soup.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. 
Serve with rice and green beans.

The Cream of Mushroom becomes very soupy when it comes out of the oven and it's perfect for going over the rice.

*I try to prepare an extra breast or two just so that Chris will have something to carry for lunch the next day at work. The last time I cooked this I diced up the leftover breast, mixed it in with the rice, and added some of the cream of mushroom soup from the pan and made chicken and rice with it - that was easier to throw in a container and heat up anyway.

**For every two to three breasts I would use one can. Just to make sure enough flavor is going around and that you have some soup left in the pan for the rice and for leftovers. Also, if you want you can change the soup to Cream of Chicken or Cream of Broccoli - depending on the flavor you want.


Homemade Pizza (and what to do for the next night's dinner)

I'm a fan of delicious food that requires little effort. As I begin to post more recipes (because I generally photograph all the meals I cook, I just forget to post) you will see a pattern: easy.

Last week I threw together a homemade pizza. And here's how it went:

Can of pizza dough
Can of garlic and basil tomato sauce 
Green bell pepper
Red bell pepper
Red onion
Crumbled garlic feta cheese
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Rotisserie chicken, pulled off and shredded

Roll pizza dough onto baking sheet

Spread tomato sauce evenly onto dough leaving a half an inch boarder

Add feta, diced veggies*, shredded chicken, and shredded cheddar cheese

Bake according to directions on pizza dough can


*(Obviously) You can add any combination of vegetable to your pizza - these are just the ones I chose for this particular night. I think adding banana peppers, mushrooms, yellow onion, or olives would be just as delicious. 

I hate to go all "Food Network" on y'all, but this pizza had so much flavor! I couldn't get over it - especially to be so easy to put together and cook. This is such a great recipe that could be used for dinner, lunch, adults, children, movie night, and game day. 

So after you finish putting your pizza together, you are going to realize you have a lot of diced veggies and shredded rotisserie chicken left over. What to do with that?


Leftover cheese, diced veggies, and shredded chicken 

Spread chips onto plate
Cover chips with leftovers
Heat up queso according to the directions on the container
Put nachos in microwave for one minute - until cheddar cheese has melted
Pour queso and salsa on top of nachos

(sorry, didn't snap a photo of these)

Over the Weekend:

  • Great weekend in ATL
  • Got to see super-missed friends
  • Video of the weekend to come
  • Just got home with Glitter Pumpkin craft materials
  • The 10-day forecast shows fall weather is approaching (excited!)
  • RALEIGH and CARTER-FINLEY this upcoming weekend!
  • Coffee in hand and gloomy weather out the window (happiness)
  • Biscuits and gravy with hot sausage for dinner (nom.nom.nom)


Friday Favorites

I have two today. One beauty related and one not. Let's start with the not.

Five-hour Energy shots. I feel like a lot of people are scared of these or somehow compare them to a Red Bull. No. Not at all like a RB. I've added the nutrition label to show that these aren't effective because of sugar - which means no crash. It's just a tiny shot pack-full with vitamins, and  a lot of them - thus the reason for lots of energy and no crash. Now, I'm no doctor, but I do know it's not that great to take in too much of a vitamin or nutrient because your body can't break down too many things in bulk. So I don't recommend these things for multiple daily use. However, if you are dragging, need to get through a long drive, or didn't get quite the eight hours last night, throw back one of these guys. 

They give a pretty instant boost of energy that sustains itself well. And like I said above, no crash. When I was in grad school I would often drive to Raleigh for the weekend to see my man and my family. I'd leave on Thursdays after a long day of classes and when I stopped for gas, I would grab one of these. Same thing with heading back to the mountains. They just get you going and get your brain a'thinkin. I love them and to anyone who may be weary of them, just give it a try. (the berry flavor kind of tastes like liquid Smarties)

My second favorite: Essie Nail Polish

This stuff. I feel like Essie and OPI are kind of each other's competition. If you are a nail polish guru you either love Essie or you love OPI - me? I love Essie. For me, it applies on the nail nicely, with better coverage, and the colors. Love them. It also seems to offer a bit more glossy finish than OPI when you don't have on a topcoat. 

For some reason, in the past couple weeks, I've accumulated five new nail polishes - four Essie and one OPI. The color above, Forever Young, in on my nails as we speak. I thought I'd support my Wolfpack this weekend via my nails. The other Essie colors I added to the collection are: Mink Muffs (taupe), Sew  Psyched (olive), and Jazz (bone). The OPI color: BYOBoy (it's not as bright pink in person) - this name is so cute, but not the sole reason I bought it. 

Also, Ulta always has a fabulous deal on Essie nail polish. It's buy two, get one free. They can be a bit pricey, but you get three for the price of two and it's definitely a quality product. 

After the weekend, I'm going to move on to Mink Muffs. And come Christmas time, I'll be sporting Sew Psyched fo'sho.

Thank you, Martha.

Oh Martha, so good at what she does everything.

Because Chris and I do not yet have little ones running around, I don't feel compelled to do extreme decoration come holidays like Halloween and Christmas - you know bright orange pumpkins, neon green and electric purple witches or colored blinking lights covering every inch of the house. However, I like getting into the spirit of whatever holiday or season is lurking and provide a subtle, classy decor.

So Martha Stewart has made this extremely easy for me come Halloween (and I even think this particular project can hold up through Thanksgiving).  What is it? Glittered Pumpkins. Ah.

Don't they just look fabulous! Can you imagine buying these things? They would set you back quite a bit, but you can make them yourself! 

- Bottles of loose glitter powder (the orange and pink look beautiful, but I also think white, silver, and gold would be fabulous as well - and very sophisticated!)
- Adhesive (glue, spray, mod podge)
- Foam brush
- News paper
- Plastic pumpkins of varied sizes

- Sit pumpkin on laid out newspaper.
- Use foam brush to apply thin layer of glue - I'd recommend doing small sections at a time
- Add glitter to glued section
- Continue these steps until entire pumpkin is covered. 
- Let dry, decorate!

I've yet to actually do this project, but by the end of next week I hope my house will be filled with glitter-covered pumpkins. I think they'd look so good on candlesticks on a shelf, in the middle of the dining table, or on the coffee table. 

Glitter Pumpkins Pictures, Images and Photos

This song:

It's been around. I'm sure you've heard it.

Well not too long ago I was in our general living area (living room/dining room/kitchen - it's an open concept) cleaning and such. I had the tv on one of those music/digital/xm channels that we luckily pick up because of some fancy tiny chip our tv has. The channel I had it on was playing pop music - similar to any 20-22 xm station, I imagine.

Three or so songs passed and then this one begins. It's a catchy, feel-good kind of song (go ahead, listen). As it starts I begin to bob my head, maybe do a little shoulder twist - a subtle one, of course - and then throw a little hip action into the mix. Well, the chorus sneaks up and as soon as the "oh-oh" starts, I find myself forgetting whatever I was doing and I'm full-on bouncing around the living room, in front of the tv - hands up and swaying, smiling, and singing. (It had to be the animal.) It was a happy little high and I enjoyed it up until the point where I turned towards the kitchen and saw Maeby staring at me. Confused and slightly worried. I then stopped, and got back to cleaning or whatever it was that I was doing that didn't involve bouncing around.

I declare this song to be the best for jumping around your living room and throwing your hand up in the air while doing so. Try it out.



Is the hairstyle I have been rockin non-stop. It's my favorite right now and I won't stop.

Praying Pup

I love when dogs do human-like things. This video: Exhibit A.

Hello Mr. Fall

The first day of fall! What a happy day and one welcomed with open arms by all.

I spent the past two fall seasons deep in the mountains of North Carolina, and I cannot be convinced otherwise that fall in that area offers some of the most beautiful fall scenes to take in.

The air, the breeze on your skin, the orchards, the apples, the rollings red, yellow, and orange hills, the park-way, the hiking trails, the view when you walk out of walmart (yeah.), the farms, the cool mornings, the smells, opening your windows throughout the house, being outside while sipping on coffee or cider, sweaters to keep you warm - it's all just so perfectly fall.

I loved it there. Every season was perfect, but especially Fall. If it were up to me, I would have us living right outside of Asheville in a quaint bungalow with the perfect view. That's a dream.


Toffee Mocha

Since I didn't get to fire up the Keurig before leaving the house today, I stopped by Starbucks for my fix. There were samples. I normally stray from samples at Starbucks, I don't know why, but today was different.

They were miniature frappuccinos equip with a dollop of whip cream, a dusting of coca, and a tiny straw. How could I say no? I scooped one up in my hand and got to tasting. If I had not already placed my order, I would have ordered this tasty treat. A Toffee Mocha Frappuccino. OMGs. So yummy. And the pumpkin loaf? Bliss.


MIA. Ooops.

Sorry for the lack of posts today. I had high hopes that involved lots of exciting posts, but some things got in the way:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Cleaning up two spells of doggie-diarrhea 
  • Errands that needed to be done
  • A cat-nap
  • Cooking dinner
  • Spraying for spiders (chills up my spine)

I know, I know. What a fun and exciting day I've had. Hopefully tomorrow will give me some free time to write to my heart's content. Until then, here is something to distract you from my lack of posts. This makes me laugh uncontrollably. I can't explain it. I feel like I just told this cat a really juicy secret.



Ah, the weekend.

Chris is home from work, so our weekend has officially begun. I'm thinking it will include a trip to the movie theater tonight - we want to see Devil. If you recall, in a previous post I mentioned our trip to the local theater and how I almost had a nervous breakdown while in line to purchase some snacks. No worries, when we go tonight, we will be sure to go on full bellies so we aren't tempted to bust out a Jackson just for a small popcorn and coke.

Aside from that, nothing much planned. I mentioned traveling up to Birmingham to explore and shop, mostly to shop. We shall see. And I expect our Sundays will be lazy, as usual.

Have a great weekend!

Friday Favorites

Yesterday when I was out and about, I stopped by Rite Aid who happened to be running a sale for 40% off all Maybelline products. I grabbed a couple things I had heard good reviews on and wanted to try and while I was there I took a look through their lip products. 

Now, I am a very picky lipstick kind of gal when it comes to color. I prefer places like Sephora, Ulta, and department stores where you can try on the color before purchasing, but this Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick had an entire line of nothing but neutrals. I love neutral lipstick. (They also have an entire red line, pink line, plum line, and pearl line) So I am looking through the natural line's swatches on the display and finally decide to purchase Totally Toffee

I check out, get into my car, and immediately pull out the lipstick. I run it across my lips and boom. It is a perfect color. I nailed that one and I was so excited. Not only was the color exactly what I wanted, but it was moisturizing and smooth. And not too shiny and not too matte. Perfect. Looove.

My luck with lipsticks that work for me goes a little like this: find perfect color, use up the tube, go back to purchase new tube, color is discontinued. I swear. Like every single time. (I'll never forget you Sephora brand #49. Moment of silence, please.) So on the way home I have to pass a Walmart. The idea of this color and line discontinuing or being limited edition or whatever is running through my head and I determine, I need to stock up. So I stop by Walmart - and surprise, surprise, I think the Walmart price of these things was less than the sale price at Rite Aid (so if you decide you want to try these, go to Walmart). I grab myself another Totally Toffee - which is like a taupe with pink undertones. I then decided since I am having luck with this neutral line, maybe I should branch out. And by branch out, I mean stay in the neutral line, but buy a pink and a red toned neutral. So I ended up leaving there with Warm Me Up (neutral pink) and Warm & Cozy (neutral red). 

Again, as soon as I get in my car I try out my new colors - and, I love them. They are definitely my new favorites right now - and this lipstick goes on and looks like a lot of $20+ lipsticks out there, so who doesn't like a great deal like that? Definitely go try them out if you are in the market for a new lipstick that has great quality and a great price!


Gettin Naked

That's what I'm going to be doing now that my PALETTE came in! Y'all, I seriously let out a little squeal when I opened the package this morning and realized it was my UD Naked Palette. I received an email when the package was shipped that estimated the delivery for this thing on Sept 21 - so you can image my joy when this baby showed up almost a week early!

I haven't started playing with it yet, but it's a good assumption that once I finish this post, I will be washing my face and painting on something new and naked. Shmee.

I also went out to Sally Beauty Store and a couple drug stores for a few things - makeup related. obvi. I want to share all about the great finds and perfect lipsticks I came across, but I may save that for another day (and you may not even care). You know sometimes you go out shopping and it's a "good shopping day" - much like a "good hair day" - well, I had one of those.

Good sales, good prices, good colors - all that girl stuff.

On a side and completely unrelated note: I also have been in conversation with a couple contract companies and between them, I hope one is able to find a job for me soon! And one that is reasonably close to where we live. Everyone seems to really care about me and my needs, and want to hire me into their company - we just need some openings! Fingers crossed.

(I can see where this post is going - ramblings - so I'm going to stop. here.)


WoodWick Candles

Have you used these candles before? I've heard nothing but good things about them, but never had any - until now.

Last week I was checking out at TJMaxx and while I was in line (if you are familiar with the store, you will know all about this) I was browsing the kiosks they have up front that pretty much form the lines (get it?).  One of the kiosks was filled with candles. A particular burnt-yellow colored candle caught my eye and I immediately grabbed it to sniff. In my mind, a fall colored candle = a fall scent. So I looked at it first; it was by WW and it was called lemongrass. Not really a Fall scent, but I like lemongrass, so I had high hopes for this candle as I took it to my nose. I am an OM-moment as I sniffed until my lungs were full. This candle went straight into my cart along with all other visable WW lemongrass candles - it was only two.

After I checked out I saw several more on the other side. And now that I'm writing this, I'm wondering why I haven't been back to snatch up the remaining delicious candles. I will have to stop by. Like, right after I click "publish post." Y'all, this smell. It's one of those smells that is so wonderful you could eat it. I haven't even lit these guys yet, and I get whiffs all the time throughout the house. You know it's a good candle when you don't even have to lite it to smell it.

I couldn't find a picture online, so I don't know if they are limited edition or retired or what, but if you live within a drivable distance to a TJ, I would suggest you go browse the candle section for this one. He's a keeper.

Brides Eye View

When I made Dwelling & Telling, I also contemplated making a Bridal/Wedding blog. I'm a newlywed, I learned a lot during the process of planning a wedding, and I'd love to share it; however, I think I was just feeling a little too ambitious (I may be addicted to making blogs - intervention!).

Instead, I am going to do wedding/bridal posts here. I really want to share things I learned during the process, things I did on my own, DIY, personalized touches, and everything else in between - I feel like it's a shame to have learned so much during the process and not share it.

So be on the lookout in the next week for wealth of knowledge I have to share about the process of getting married and posts on our wedding!

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

I love you, tomorrow. I can't wait for you to get here. (yeah I changed up the lyrics a bit, deal with it).


- NC State football game. On ESPN. And we may be watching it with another NCSU couple here in AL! Long story short, but I found out there was a guy who works at the same place Chris does, is from the same area I am from, and he went to NC State. Chris met him Monday and he and his wife invited us to watch it with them! Shmeee.

- IASIP (that stands for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia). The new season starts tomorrow. Woop. Woop. This is our favorite show. We have every season and know just about everything about every episode (this random fact could be considered cool or weird - you can decide, but I think it's cool). If you've never watched the show, it's ok - there isn't a "so-called" plot that is so dependent on you seeing every episode before now. No. None of that. The best way to enjoy this show is to become familiar with the characters and then enjoy the stupid stuff they do. And Danny DeVito is in it. And he's been a favorite of mine since Matilda.

- Those are the two reason's for this post; however, I do like Thursdays in general. Especially because the next day is Friday, and then the weekend. And so on.

We Didn't Start the Fire

(you'll be happy to know that this weekend, during our grilling-capades, we did not start any fires, it's just an awesomely catchy Billy Joel song)

Anyway, moving on, this weekend - on Saturday - we grilled out for dinner. It was nice out, there were never-ending football games playing, and it just seemed like the right thing to do. Plus, back home in the Johnson house it's typical to grill at least one to two times a week, and here at this Jackson house we had yet to do so, until this weekend - so it was about time. We had a blast! We grilled pork chops and veggie kabobs, and made some mashed potatoes. Chris handled the meat and I handled the veggies and our grilling-capades went a little like this:

Vegetable Kabobs are pretty easy if you've never done them:
- Choose a variety of vegetables
- Dice them up into large pieces (mushrooms and cherry tomatoes do not need dicing)
- Run them through kabobs/skewers
- Season with salt and pepper (I also like to add a garlic based seasoning)
- Place over coals to char the kabobs
- Move to side for veggies to cook

 "Chris, give a thumbs up." I think I snapped the picture too soon? Ooops.

Maeby taking in the smells, watching from the patio, and hoping that we will have leftovers for her

Mashed Potatoes (everyone does these differently, here's how I do it):
- Boil whole potatoes. Boiling them whole generally takes a little bit longer than dicing them up, but when you leave them whole to boil it helps to retain the nutrients you want in the potatoes. The more you cut them, the more of the good  stuff they lose. So if you have time, I suggest boiling them whole.
- Drain the potatoes.
- Give them a rough mash
- Add butter, sour cream, and S&P to taste
- Continue mashing until you're satisfied
*I like to leave the skin on the potatoes and mashes them only as much as I have to - I prefer actual pieces of the potatoes rather than "creamed potatoes."

Pork Chops (this will be a rough instruction, Chris cooked these so I don't know much about this):
- Season pork chops with S&P and any other desired seasoning.
- Let them sit in the refrigerator for a couple hours.
- (Here, I would tell you how to get the grill right, but I don't know. I'll learn and get back to you)
- Place the chops over the coals.
- Cook on first side for 4-6 minutes depending on size and thickness (you can see the sides of the pork chop turning white, then it's about time to flip)
- Once flipped, paint on some bbq sauce of your choosing (I use my dad's homemade because it is the best)
- Once the other side is done, put them on a plate and paint remaining side with bbq sauce.
- Cover chops with foil, then place a towel over the foil to help keep them warm and juicy until you are ready to eat (it's science). 

Enjoy your meal!


DIY: Chest of Drawers

In an effort to make our room feel modern, collective, and less "college-bachelor-pad-ish" I decided that Chris's old chest of drawers needed a little make-over. This particular set was a bright wooden color and had been missing a knob for quite some time.  Since I had been working on our dining room table all last weekend, I figured I should keep with the flow before losing momentum. And by keeping with the flow I mean staying high on paint fumes. 

This was a fairly inexpensive project since I had already been painting and revamping furniture around this place, and I pretty much already had everything I needed besides a couple extra cans of spray paint and knobs to replace the old ones. 

I've decided not to put a "need" and "direction" section on this post since it's the exact same "needs" and "directions" as the table I posted last week - the only extra thing you need is knobs - unless you just want to paint existing knobs. 

I can't find the exact knobs I picked out to share with you, but I got them from Target and they look similar to theseNow, let me just say, had it been up to me, I would have picked clear, vintage crystal-like knobs, or slate blue colored knobs - both were at Hobby Lobby and were screaming my name, but I share a room with a boy now, so we have to compromise. The knobs I ended up getting were black and looked kind of distressed with bronze underneath. I actually kind of like them, but they aren't vintage crystal. 

I didn't distress this chest of drawers - yet. I still haven't decided if I want to because I kind of really like it solid black. Maybe later. 

As Promised

As promised, I made Puppy Chow on Friday afternoon to get us through the weekend. As long as I can remember, I have been cursed with the most intense sweet-tooth in existence. If there isn't ice cream, cupcakes, or something of sweet substance in the house, I go a little bit insane.

Saturday morning, as Chris and I are scarfing down hand-fulls of Puppy Chow (remember, it's made with peanut butter and cereal, guys - breakfast!), Chris said I shouldn't make this anymore. I guess I need to agree. For now. We killed that batch this weekend. It's dangerous to have around the house. I'm just saying.


I Could Scream

...because I am so. excited!

Y'all, I have been on the HUNT for Urban Decay's Naked Palette. I have seen this thing everywhere and heard nothing but the best about it. So last week I decided that this palette was:

1. Versatile for me and my makeup needs.
2. Priced well for all that you get (considering UD eye shadow pods are $18 each - and this one comes with 12 which are the same size as an individual pod, plus two eye pencils - that I've heard fabulous things about, and a travel sized UD Eye Primer Potion) It's a deal.
3. Great for traveling (because it's so slim and versatile).

So I was greatly disappointed when I walk into my local Sephora and it's no where to be found. A lady called the Sephora warehouse and they were out. Ulta was out. UD warehouse was out. Everywhere on the internet - OUT. There's nothing more disappointing than deciding you are going to splurge a bit on something well worth it, and then find out it's nowhere to be found. After the lady hung up the phone, she informed me that the palette was in high demand and was sold out everywhere (and it was only released mid-July). UD is working hard in the factory and would hopefully have some made and back in stock in 3-4 weeks. 3-4 WEEKS??? How can I wait that long when I want it now? I was tapping into my inner Veruca Salt. That's definitely a characteristic of mine: when I want something, I want it then. Instant results. I likey.

So all week long I have religiously, like at least three times a day, been checking Sephora, Ulta, UD, google shopping, and the entire WWW for "Urban Decay Naked Palette". Except today. I usually wake up and immediately check.

I almost didn't check today. But for some reason I decided ehhh I guess I'll take a look - not hopeful at all. Why would I be? They are non-existent for another 3+ weeks. Then... Amazon.com popped up: IN-STOCK. I did a double check to make sure it was 1. New, 2. the real thing, and 3. Still in-stock. My jaw dropped. I added it to my cart, leaped off the couch for my purse, and got through the check out process probably setting some kind of Guinness Book of World Records record. And now... IT'S ON ITS WAY!

Just made my weekend.

Isn't it beautiful?

DIY: Dining Room Table

Our dining room table is the table Chris had throughout his college years. It was a two-toned rectangle table with windsor chairs. By the time we moved in together, the table was down to three chairs - and really, only two of the chairs are usable. The third is just too wobbly. Chris liked to release frustration during football games and while doing math problems on his chairs. Oop. At least three made it out alive! Here is the table and the chairs before the Labor Day weekend makeover: 

Giving the old dining table and fresh, new look:


- Liquid sander or sandpaper $8
- Small can of black paint* $7
- 4-6 cans of black spray paint $15
- Paint brush already had
- Polyurethane $5
- Foam brush already had
- Plastic drop cloth already had

Total: $35

* It's your personal preference whether you would like flat, satin, or glossy finish for your table; however, if you are using both a can of paint and spray paint, be sure to coordinate the finish so that chairs and table aren't different finishes. Unless that's what you want. Then go for it!

Directions (table):

- If you are working inside, place the drop cloth under table to protect floor.
- Sand entire table and chairs - if you are using liquid sander, follow directions on label. Mine suggested two coats and it took about 10 minutes for each coat to dry. 
- Once sanding is complete, apply first coat of paint. Allow adequate time to dry (see paint label), then apply second coat. Continue this process as desired. 
- Allow final coat to dry 24 hours.
- Apply first coat of polyurethane to top of table (or entire table - your preference)
- Allow drying time (generally 3-4 hours), then apply second coat.
- Allow final coat to dry 24 hours before being used.  

Directions (chairs):

- Find a workable area outside and place down cardboard or plastic drop cloth - if it's a windy day, you are going to want to go with the cardboard, Trust me. 
- Sand the chairs.
- If using spray paint, apply several light layers of paint. This helps to assure no running - which never looks good.
- Be sure to allow drying between coats. This takes about 3-4 coats and about 1.5 cans per chair.
- Allow final coat to dry 24 hours.
- If desired, apply first layer of polyurethane. I wanted the seats of the chairs to be protected - from possible spills or dropped food. 
- If you do not want this extra protection, feel free to stop here. 
- Allow drying time (3-4 hrs), then apply second coat. 
- Allow final coat to dry 24 hours before being used. 

And here is my final project:

(Please excuse the space. I still need an area rug and some decor on the walls.)

Because we were down to only two dining chairs, I needed to purchase four more to complete the table. I did my research and found some nicely priced Windsor chairs at Walmart by Better Homes and Gardens. The seats of the chairs are wooden, however, I kind of really like it. It gives the table a slight antique look and if I ever decide to distress the table, the chairs add to the look. And I can always bust out the spray paint and paint them black if I want to do that too.