Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category



We finally got around to decorating a little for Christmas. It wasn’t much (we still don’t have a tree up) but we hung the greenery bought at Home Depot on Black Friday. I bought two wreaths, two swags and three garlands. They were $5.00 each.

archThe retaining walls need to be painted but that has to wait till it is much warmer.

lightI originally bought the greenery for our church’s Advent wreath making potluck. It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving and we ran late from dinner at The Mister’s grandparents. I’m glad we were finally able to hang them. It took us about 30 minutes.

The Colonel was sick on Thursday night. What began as needy, became lethargic. He vomited four times and began panting. The panting got worse throughout the night and Friday morning he couldn’t get comfortable and still wouldn’t eat. The Mister and I were very worried. So, we got up and took him in for an emergency vet visit. The Mister carried him in and placed him on the table then he had to leave for work. I stood there in disbelief as our dog began to wag his tail and look healthy. They couldn’t find anything wrong as “he doesn’t have the symptoms you’re talking about right now” but he got a shot for nausea. I decided to jump on the dog shaming bandwagon.

pig shamingjpg


success and happinesshere


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vintage white christmas tree
I’m sure many of your are preparing to decorate for the holidays and realizing that you have double of some items or simply need more attic space. The Mister and I are collected gently used (or new) holiday decorations for Renewal House through December 15. We have plenty of lights and are looking for garlands, wreaths, stockings, ornaments, etc.  Feel free to message me (thelovelylifestyle@gmail.com) if you’d like to donate.


I had grand dreams of hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year but it ain’t happening. We’re taking it easy this holiday but I still daydream of tablescapes and beautiful place settings. This gold flatware is on my Christmas list.

gold flatware from West ElmWest Elm


great and small thingshere

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This is making my Halloween.

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Today is your last day to enter Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee’s Halloween Costume Contest.

halloween contest

Show off your spooktacular costume you made from items you bought at Goodwill for a chance to win a $50 Goodwill gift card! Submissions accepted from October 18-24. Then, invite your friends to vote until October 30. We’ll announce two winners: a fan favorite, determined by voting, and most original, determined by Goodwill employee.

I’m not entering, of course. However, y’all know about my Halloween costume this year and it’s all because of Goodwill.

$50.00 to Goodwill? Heck yeah. Enter here.

Don’t forget that you can find Halloween costume ideas on my Pinterest board for Goodwill. Find it here!

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You may remember that my company has a large Halloween party every year. Last year, I was out of town but I was an owl in 2011. (Photos and instructions here and here.) I didn’t even place in the costume contest with the owl. People are not playing around. Therefore, when Goodwill asked me to work with them on a Halloween costume video, I had some ideas of what I was going to be and was glad to get a head start on it.

The costume had to be easy. I met with the Goodwill team on a Monday morning before I flew out for the week and we shot the video the following Wednesday. Therefore, I only had the weekend to make it. Additionally, I put myself on a $15.00 budget. I noticed lots of Halloween costumes cost at least $15.00 and I wanted to prove that you can make something fun, unique and cheap. I knew it could easily be done as my costume for the owl was around $15.00.

The easiest way to start a costume is to find a main prop or piece to build the costume around. So, after our meeting on Monday, I went to the Berry Hill Goodwill armed with some ideas and open to finds. I looked through the women’s clothing and noticed the rack of child costumes. I walked up to it and noticed a girl’s fairy costume. I quickly grabbed it and made the decision I was going to be a fish. Here’s how I saw it:


While on the road, I went to JoAnn Fabrics and bought the smallest amount possible of five different fabrics. I don’t remember how much it was of each, but it was less than a quarter and cost a little under $4.00 for all pieces. Additionally, while on the road, I bought the following:

  • summer dress on clearance from Wal-Mart for $5.00
  • a cardigan from Goodwill for $5.99
  • a headband from Deals for a $1.00
  • two sparkly Christmas tree filler pieces for .53 each

The cardigan was necessary as the dress was strapless and I’m not going bare armed for nobody, nowhere. I could have used a cardigan I had, but wanted to show more Goodwill finds. When I got home I cut the fabric into “scales.”

All pieces were from fabric that were on sale at JoAnn’s Fabrics and I cut scales out of a piece of scrap fabric I had (not pictured). Then, I cut up the girl’s fairy costume.


I didn’t use the top or the skirt underlay. I did use the tulle overlay, the straps and the wings. I put on the dress and placed the tulle overlay where I thought it looked best. I decided the best way to use it was to cut the overlay in half and put each half on my hips as fins, while filling in the rest of the of skirt portion of the dress with the fabric scales. I marked where I wanted the overlay placement to be with a permanent marker while wearing the dress. Then, I got to hot gluing.

I did the front of the skirt first. Then, I flipped it over to do the back, where the fins were. Luckily, I had enough fabric fins to go under the tulle in some areas. The whole back was not covered in fabric fins but the areas that would be seen were covered. I moved the tulle over to the side to make sure I didn’t accidentally glue them down. I wanted them to be as flowy as possible.

I glued my fins from the bottom. You get better coverage this way and it is much easier to start from the bottom and work your way up. If you start from the top, you have to flip what you just glued down so you get under it. It’s a mess that looks like this.

After I was done gluing all the fabric fins on the dress, I decided to make the headband. These were my main supplies.

The two starfish were donated by The Mister’s mother and the picks were from Michael’s Crafts. They had a lot to choose from that would have worked.

I liked the ones I chose the most due to their weight. I simply cut their stems off and placed them on the headband (while I was wearing it) to see where I liked it the most. After eyeballing it for a few seconds, I took the headband off and hot glued the two stems together on the headband. I pressed the bottoms of each into each other and the glue. Then, I placed the larger of the two starfish on top of the stems with additional glue. The starfish were not only fun but covered up all the ugly hot glue.


I pressed the starfish into the picks and headband and let it cool completely. Then, I added the smaller starfish on top and, once again, held the headband while it cooled. I didn’t want to lay it down out of fear that it would stick to something or slide around. When I was done, it looked like this.


Last, I needed to make the fairy wings from the little girl costume into a fun, fish fin. I made the fin out of cardboard and the scrap fabric I had. I simply free-formed a fin shape onto the cardboard, cut it out and glued the fabric to it.

I flipped the wings upside down so instead of the wings pointing up, they pointed down. I thought it made the wings less “wing like.” Then, I hot glued the fin onto the back. Making the fin, headband, and dress took a total of about three hours. The total cost of all the pieces was $17.00 which was $2.00 over budget due to the cardigan. It was fun, unique and fast – everything I needed it to be.

To see the final product check out the Goodwill video here!

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Weekly Thoughts

June 30 was not a Thursday yet you got something I thought was scheduled for a Thursday. So, that obviously didn’t go as planned.

I hope all y’all had a wonderful Fourth of July. We spent it with my family on the General Jackson. Before you think this is super fancy, you should know that we all agreed that we’re not going to do it again. We did it four years ago with two family friends and it was a much better time. In fact, one of The Mister’s favorite photos came from that holiday.

20130707-225429.jpgThe top photo is The Mister’s favorite and the bottom photo is one of my favorites. It is of one of my mother’s dearest friends, Gary. He unexpectedly passed away a few months later, right before our wedding. They’d been friends for over 30 years. Gary and his wife have always been in my life. It was very difficult but I’m glad to have these photos in our hallway. When the photographers came around and showed the table the top photo Gary announced “You have to have this photo! I mean…y’all are meant for each other.”

This photo is also from July 4, 2009.

Fourth of July 2009Let’s discuss how good my skin looks.

I’ve heard some discussion about “What is the song of the summer?” This is a silly question but I’m willing to answer it. My song of the summer is Lorde’s “Royals.” I can’t say I’ll continue to listen to it on repeat as it was in heavy personal rotation the month of June. You should add it to your current playlist.

In other news from the past week:

  • We opened my booth at Miss Lucille’s Marketplace – more details coming
  • We are ordering the awnings for the house.
  • The painters are coming! The house should be painted within the next few weeks.
  • I changed a diaper. I got to see a loved girlfriend that lives too many hours away (hey Kia) and meet her precious son. He’s pretty fresh so I was very much like a robot with holding him and she encouraged me to change his diaper. To her credit, she coached me through it and didn’t make tremendous fun. Let’s be clear: I’ve changed a diaper before but not a baby that just a few months old.

This week’s mantra:

christian d. larson

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How’s everyone adjusting to 2013?

1. Dressing up Having to wear more than jeans the week after the holiday season is inconsiderate of HR departments everywhere. This week, and most of January, we should be encouraged to wear yoga pants. Everyone has cried, yelled explicatives or both at the scale. So, yoga pants are good for the soul and should encourage people to work out. Take that to your Wellness Initiative. You can’t forget your work out clothes, because you’re wearing them.

yoga pants at work

original photo here

2. Starting a new day planner/calendar is great. The Taskmaster is treating me well and things are being marked off the to do lists with great enjoyment. I’m still trying to decide how to use all four task spaces but I’m sure I’ll figure that soon enough. Currently, they’re personal items, work items, personal project management and work project management.

3. Our backsplash will be finished tomorrow. That’s right, we’re almost done with our mother lovin’ kitchen. Y’all are gonna get an earful with the breakdown of why it’s taken so long. Here’s a preview.


4. This weekend we’re celebrating The Mister’s birthday. He’s a New Years baby so all resolutions/goals are on hold till after these festivities. This isn’t exactly true as I have done Zumba twice and I’m sure those two times totally negate the cookie I ate at Bricktops and the cupcake from GiGis. I’m making his request of mashed potatoes and meatloaf. No desserts.

Have a great weekend. My travel schedule really picks up this month and I’ve decided to share more road stories here, as it was nice to have a recap of some recent trips. So, stay tuned.

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