Grownup Spaghettios

When I was about ten years old, I made my mom a soup cookbook for Christmas.  For months prior to the holiday, I scoured magazines and the "living" section of our newspaper, clipping out any soup recipe I could find.

I compiled all the recipes in a binder and proudly presented it to her on Christmas day.  My mom had mentioned once that she would love an all soup recipe cookbook, so I, with my crazy memory, stored that away and delivered with her Christmas gift.  Seriously, I thought it was the best idea ever, that was until she actually started to make some of the soups.

I was the pickiest child alive and obviously had little foresight.  In my attempt to fill the book full of recipes, I wasn't able to edit out all the "uneatable" recipes.

Fast forward 20 years and my tastes have delevoped immensely.  I am still picky, but not the pickiest.  And, I now love many different soups.  As an ode to autumn and cooler temps, I am going to do 12 days of soup recipes the next few weeks.  

Join me?  If you have a great soup recipe on your blog - link to it in the commnets.  I will compile all I find in a post at the end of the twelve days.

First up is my version of grownup spaghettios.  Spaghettios were a staple in my picky childhood diet.  Just about every night I would beg and plead with my parents to just allow me to eat spaghettios rather than suffer through  whatever my mom had made {I bet they loved me back then :)}.

I haven't had a bite of spaghettios in years and I have no desire to eat sugary sweet tomato sauce, slimy "O" shaped noodles, and processed meatballs.  This little soup I whipped up is so much better.  And healthier.  And easy to make.

Day 1: Grownup Spaghettios {makes about 5-6 servings}
-2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
-3 cups of low sodium tomato juice
-1 cup of frozen spinach - thawed
-1 large carrot, peeled and diced
-1 medium onion, diced
-1 red bell pepper, diced
-2 celery stalks, diced
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-1/2 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
-1 egg white
-1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
-1/4 cup of bread crumbs
-1/2 tablespoon dry oregano
-1 cup {measured dry} macaroni or other short pasta
-salt, pepper, and olive oil

1. Combine the ground beef, egg white, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, oregano, and a dash of salt and pepper in a large bowl and set aside.
2. In a large soup pot, saute the onion, carrot, red pepper, and celery in a tablespoon of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and allow to cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
3. Stir in the chicken broth and tomato juice and bring to a low boil.  Stir in the spinach and bring back to a low boil....turn down to a simmer. 
4. Shape the meat mixture into quarter sized meatballs and drop them in the simmering soup.
5. Once all meatballs are in the soup, turn the heat to low and cover.  
6. In a separate pot, cook the pasta.  Once it reaches al dente, drain the water and add the pasta to the soup.  Stir all to combine and season with a little salt and pepper {if you like things spicy, add some hot sauce}.  Serve with warm toasted bread and a little fresh parmesan on top.  


Happy Halloween!

Even though I am not a crazy Halloween fan, I do love dressing up my dogs.  {I love any excuse to put an animal in a costume.}

I haven't had a chance to get them dressed up today, but here are some costumes from the past few years....

Four years ago - me with Gordita as a pumpkin.  This is my favorite costume I have ever bought her - it fits her like a glove and goes perfectly with her fatness.

Three years ago - I bought a leprechaun hat and made Gordita a green vest.  I consider her to be Mexican, but my husband is we are now both Irish by Marriage :).

Two years ago - Gordita and puppy Finn as pigs.  This picture was taken at their doggie day care.  So cute!

Last year - Princess Gordita and Prince Finn.....the tiaras and pumpkins were added via Picnik.

Now you are fully aware of my strange obsession with animals in costumes.  Do you dress up your pets?  Leave a link - I would love to see them!

UPDATE:  Here is their 2011 photo - Batman and Robin....I have to say, it is the best yet :).

5 Things

This week has been bananas {b-a-n-a-n-a-s}.  I was up late every night this week and am nearly caught up on all the orders that came through via my Heartsy deal {if you are waiting for an order - all the rest will go out next week!}.

On top of the increased amount of orders, I had to make 30 unique designs for a salon that I sell to and I spent all day Thursday on a plane to Cincinnati {my husband and I are here for the weekend}.

Needless to say, I spent very little time in the online world this week and I missed it! 

5 things from around the web and my world:

Chelsey over at The Paper Mama is doing 50 Days of DIY the next two months.  Check it out if you are in need of some holiday DIY inspiration!  {I contributed a post that will be up next week :)}

This Cold Hands, Warm Hearts on Much Love, Illy and Sandy a la Mode, is such a fun idea.  I signed up and cannot wait to exchange a package of goodies with a new blogg-ey friend.

I am not usually a fan of Halloween decor, but this black and white halloween on hooray is so pretty I might just rethink my stance on Halloween decor.

Have you guys seen the dollhouse posts on Emily Henderson's blog?  I die each and every time.  And I really hope that my mom saved my old dollhouse....

Just 6 days until my birthday!  I am excited because birthdays are fun and you should be excited because I will be having a big sale and a special giveaway :).

One more thing...I have several Medium and Small sponsor spots left for November.  If you are interested, please email me or check out my sponsor page.

Have a lovely weekend!

Weekend Wear: Go Spartans

Tank:The Gap*Skirt:Vintage*Belt+Shoes:TJ Maxx*Bow Headband: Part of the coming soon Acute Designs holiday line

My high school's mascot was The Spartans and our colors were orange and blue.  I displayed little school spirit in high school.  I actually kind of hated every minute of it {am I alone in this?} and therefore rarely wear orange and blue.

I rarely wear orange at all and I would say this tank is more "rust" but with the blue skirt, I kind of felt like a cheerleader.  A cool cheerleader with style, but still....Go Spartans?

Lovely DIY Designs: Week 10

 Lovely DIY Designs - Week 10

New here?  Lovely DIY Designs is a bi-weekly post where my blog friend Heather of {just.lovely.things} and I team up to create a project via out Pinterest inspiration.

I can pin all day long - putting those pins to use is another story. This is where Lovely DIY Designs comes in.  It forces me {in a nice and fun way} to put all that inspiration to use.  

My studio should start thanking me as it has gotten progressively prettier since we started these posts.

This week Heather used all her glitter-ey holiday inspiration pins as inspiration and spruced up some old jewelry with nail polish.  Yep, so easy and you probably have all the necessities just lying around your house.

Pop on over to Heather's blog for the post.  In two short weeks, I will be back with another Pinterest project for you all of you lovely people.

Do you Pinterest?  Follow me here and Heather here.


Say hello to a few of the amazing bloggers and small business owner who support this blog...

Jamie of Awesomely Awkward
Jamie is a wife, blogger, and jewelry maker.  She shares daily outfits and bits about her life on her blog, Awesomely Awkward

Bobbi of The Welzel World
Bobbi began blogging in March of 2010 when her family moved to Michigan from Minnesota.  Her blog began as a way to stay in touch with friends and family, but evolved into a creative outlet.  She is a stay-at-home mom who loves design, art, crafting, fashion, and food.   Bobbi has a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Communication, and hopes to work in the creative industry at some point {design of some sort}.   Currently her children are her priority, so her blog is a great place to begin her creative journey.

Stephanie of Luxe Boulevard
Stephanie is a writer the creator of Luxe Boulevard - a lovely blog and handmade accessories shop.   

Holly of Holly Dolly
Holly runs a super cute Etsy shop where she sells all things bows and ruffles as well as fun jewelry.  In addition to her online shop, Holly also has a blog called Holly Dolly where she post her {almost} daily outfits.  

Stephanie of Bonita Belita
Bonita Belita is Stephanie's world of beautiful handmade accessories.  In addition to creating and selling, Stephanie also blogs about her business, life, and so much more.

Dondi of DondaLee's
Dondi is the talented lady behind DondaLee's - a home for all things handmade + more.  In addition to her blog and shop, Dondi offers lovely design services to spruce up your blog or online shop.

Interested in sponsoring {Acute} in November?  I have one Large spot left and several Medium and Small spots.  Email me for details or check out my Sponsor Page.

Call for November Sponsors + Partners

Interested in sponsoring Acute Designs in November? 

This little blog of mine has grown SO much over the past few months and continues to do so every week.  I have several guest posts planned on other blogs in November as well ads all over the internet - both of which will undoubtedly bring more traffic this way.

My rates are super affordable and can be viewed and purchased in my online shop.  

If you are interested in partnering with me and/or my blog in any way {giveaway, guest post, etc} please email me your ideas and we can chat.

Email me with any questions!  And as always thank you thank you thank you for your support - have a great Monday :).

Winner - Blue Eyed Owl Giveaway

The winner of the Blue Eyed Owl Giveaway is....

Congrats Amanda - I am emailing you now!

5 things

This post is a wee bit late.  I normally post my 5 things on Friday or Saturday but life got in the way.  Don't you hate when real life gets in the way of blog life?

Five things from my week/the world wide web....

You know when you hear someone speaking another language and you think "oh, that's Italian or that's German" even though you don't speak either language?  There are just certain inflections and accents that signify a certain language.  Well, I have always wondered what English sounds like to non-English speakers so I was really excited when I saw this video on Gawker.  I find language, accents, translation, etc to be so fascinating.

You still have a few hours left to enter the Blue Eyed Owl Giveaway and win a $25 shop credit.  I will announce the winner tomorrow {Monday} morning. There are some seriously awesome vintage items in the Blue Eyed Owl shop.

I have just two episodes left of Mad Men.  I started season one two weeks ago and have spent every free moment in front of my TV or computer devouring this amazing show.  My opinions on the characters have changed so much and I am so excited for the new season that starts in March.

All week I was preoccupied with orders generated from my Heartsy deal as well as last minute preparations for a photo shoot with my friend Camille.  I brought my husband and dogs along and she snapped a few pics of the four of us.  My dogs are the worst - they are the kids screaming at the grocery store who provoke side-eyes from all the other people.  Oh well, at least they are cute and sweet.  And all mine :).  Holiday items will be up in my shop the first week in November - expect lots of sparkle, emerald green, cobalt blue, and gold.

Garlands are slowly becoming a new obsession...I find that I am constantly pinning them.  This tutorial of "10 Ways to Make a Garland" on A Beautiful Mess just gave me SO many more ideas!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend - see you tomorrow.

This Week

{Image via here}

This week has been super busy and I have spent minimal time in front of the computer.

My deal on Heartsy created a lot of craziness.  But it was good craziness. The sale ends tonight, so I expect the rush to die down a bit.  I will write more about my experience next week if any of you are considering submitting your handmade business.
On top of that I have a holiday photo shoot this Sunday and have been working like crazy to get the pieces finished.  Right now I am drowning in glitter, satin, and sequins.  Nothing says "the holidays" like glitter and sequins, right?

Luckily, I had two guest posts {thrifting tips and a hair tutorial} as well as an awesome giveaway {you can still enter - it is open through Sunday night!} to fill the space on my blog while I was occupied designing, sewing, creating, and packaging.

How was your week?

{Acute} on Heartsy

Heartsy - Exclusive deals on fabulous handmade designer items at members-only prices.

Have you guys heard of Heartsy?  It is "groupon" type site for handmade/small businesses.

Every day they introduce new shops that are offering a voucher at 50+% off.

This week, you can buy a $21 voucher to my shop, Acute Designs, for just $10.  If you are a VIP Heartsy member, then you can get a $31 voucher for $10.  Such a good deal.

The {Acute} Heartsy voucher went live for VIPs on Tuesday and live for all other members yesterday.  Needless to say, it has been a busy, busy few days and I am really pleased with my Heartsy experience thus far.

If you own a handmade business, I highly recommend submitting your site to be considered for a Heartsy deal.  The submission process is really simple and takes about a month.  

If you're interested in grabbing an {Acute} deal - click this link to purchase.

I hope you all are enjoying your Thursday :).

Hair Tutorial Vlog with Natalia of Ma Nouvelle Mode

Today one of my sponsors, the lovely Natalia of Ma Nouvelle Mode, put together a little "vlog" to show her high bun with a poof tutorial.  Natalia is from California but currently lives in France {I know, I am jealous too} with her husband and two sons. She blogs about their life in France, beauty/hair tutorials, her love of Pinterest and so much more.  Stop by and say hello!

Hi everyone!!

I am so excited to be here today!  I met Gina a while back when she stopped by my blog from who knows where (you know how that works!) and she stopped in to say hi.  We got to chatting and decided it would be great to do some guest posts on each other's blogs!

Let me introduce myself a bit first.  I am married to my big, Bahamian husband for 4 years now who I met in college.  We have two beautiful handsome {BIG} boys and we are now living in France!  I know, kinda threw ya off with that last one, huh?  Well, my husband plays professional basketball here so we live 8 to 10 months out of the year in France.  This year we are in a city called St Etienne.  It is bee-u-tiful here and I absolutely love it.

Over at my blog, Ma Nouvelle Mode, I blog about our travels as a family, the beautiful sites we get to see, lots of hair and makeup tutorials, and fashion!  Since I am the only girl in our little family, this is how I try to maintain my femininity!  So Gina suggested that I share a hair tutorial with you all and I thought that was an excellent idea!

I am somehow on a personal mission to stop wearing my hair in a boring ponytail or messy bun, although they do both come in handy at times.  I want to be creative with my hair.  This tutorial is a high bun with a poof that looks fantastic worn with a headband!  Your hair's still up, but not boring!  I hope you like it!


I hope you liked it!  You can dig through my hair archives here, I have a lot of fun with it and have quite a bit coming in the near future.  Otherwise, please come and stop by and introduce yourself!! I love meeting new people!

Blog Birthdays

A few weeks ago {or maybe it was a month ago?  I don't know, times flies these days.} a blog I read/follow celebrated its first birthday.

It got me thinking about my own blog birthday and I realized that I had no idea when it was.  I looked and realized I just passed birthday number two.

Yeah, two years of me talking about myself.  That's a long time...I am a little surprised and flattered that you are still here!

Just about a year ago, I changed the name of this blog and did a little re-branding.  I also made a point to blog almost daily and create a schedule.  

Over this past year, my blog readership has grown SO much.  Also, my love of blogging, as well as the direction of this blog, has grown SO much.

I guess what I am trying to say is....happy birthday blog!  

And thanks to each and every one of you for reading and commenting and/or just stopping by to see what I am saying each day.  Your opinions and encouragement mean the world to me.

This blog takes up a lot of my time and I love it.  All of you that I have "met" because of this blog, make it worth every minute.


Blue Eyed Owl Giveaway

Do you guys remember Liz from yesterday's guest post?

Well, she's back today with a giveaway!

Liz is giving one of you lucky people a $25 credit to her Etsy shop.

I would pick this purple pencil skirt...

this red dress...

In order to enter, you must be a follower of this blog.  Then pop over to The Blue Eye Owl and tell me what you would buy with a $25 credit.

Extra Entries {please leave a separate comment for each!}:
**Follow The Blue Eyed Owl Blog
**Follow Liz on Twitter
**Like The Blue Eyed Owl Facebook Page

Winner will be announced on Monday, October 24th.   

Good Luck!

Thrifting Tips with Liz from The Blue Eyed Owl

Today I have a special post from one of my sponsors - Liz from The Blued Eyed Owl.  Liz blogs and runs a beautifully curated vintage and handmade shop.  I know many of us love a good thrift or vintage find, so I asked Liz to give us some of her best thrifting tips - enjoy!

Hi, I’m Liz. I blog over at The Blue Eyed Owl, about all things vintage, handmade and my life as mom, wife and indie business owner. I run an online vintage and handmade boutique on with retail space at The Main Street Antique Mall near my home in Mesa, AZ.  I'm honored that Gina invited me over to tell you some of my tips for thrifting, or as I call it...treasure hunting!

I frequent thrift stores searching for vintage goodies, craft supplies and furniture to refinish.  I often come across great clothing & home decor items too.  Thrifting is a blast and a great way to save money and find unique treasures, but it can be time consuming and frustrating at times.  Here are my top 10 tips for thrifting:

1. Go a lot. 

Thrifting is very hit or miss, the more often you go, the more you will "hit".  

2. Plan your attack.  

Search for local thrift stores online and map them out.  Figure out which ones are on your route to other places you frequent so you can plan out when you will hit each store, and so you never have to go out of your way.

3. Know your stores.

Don't be afraid to ask employees when the best days to shop are and when they put out new merchandise.  They are usually very helpful and this will help maximize your time.

4. Save even more.

Join all the discount programs, sign up for online coupons, write sale days on your calendar. 

5. Stick to a list.

It helps to keep a list of all the items you are looking for when you thrift.  This way you can hit those sections and avoid the rest of the stuff you don't need. 

6. Stray from your list.

If you have time to wander the whole store, do it.  You'll be amazed at some of the great things you can find when you really dig.

7. Return it.

Check with your stores and know the return policies.  It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of thrifting and then realize you bought a bunch of stuff you didn't really need just because it was cheap. 

8. Try it on.

Clothing in thrift stores is often labeled wrong, has shrunk, or the sizing is off. Try clothes on in the store.  Make sure you look in the size below and above your own too so you don't miss things that may fit.

9. Bring a friend.

Thrifting is always fun with a friend or family member.  It's great to have someone there to help you celebrate when you find something great.

10. Enjoy it.

Try not to get stressed if you go a few times and don't find anything. Thrifting for quality items takes time.  Trust me, when you score an amazing treasure it will all be worth it!

Here are some of my favorite recent thrifted treasures:

1930's Mail Order Patterns
Vintage Aqua Mason Jars
Vintage Thread
Do you have any other great thrifting tips?  Leave a comment below or come on over to my blog and tell me. I would love to hear from you!

Holly Doll Giveaway WinnerAnd

Congratulations to mamabird!  You are the winner of last week's Holly Doll giveawayI am emailing you now :).

5 things

I saw this stamp kit over at Oh, Hello Friend and put it on my list.  What a handy little stamp.

There are a lot of holiday gift guides floating around the blogosphere.  The one over at Gussy Sews is now live and full of handmade goodies.  

My latest blog discovery is In Honor of Design - do you read/follow?  I just found it last week via Pinterest and really like it.

I have been over the cupcake trend for a while {I will eat them...but I am just over the trendiness of them, you know?}.  It seems that mini pies have taken over in the trendy dessert area.  Another thing that seems to be gaining popularity is cupcakes in a jar. What do you think?  Is it too much fuss just for what is essentially a piece of cake?   I think it is an interesting concept and would make a great gift.   It is just a little extra special.

I have been stuck inside a Mad Men world all week.  I have 20 episodes to go. The 52 episodes on Netflix have taken over my life this week.  I have spent every day working in front of the TV {I rarely do this}.  And, I have been really out of touch with reality.   Last night I asked my husband if he wanted an exotic beer from Holland, I have been craving cottage cheese + pineapple {I love the period appropriate foods - it reminds me of my grandma}, and all I want to do is stand in my kitchen and smoke.

If you don't watch - I highly recommend it.  Just be prepared to lose a few weeks of your life....

I hope you all have a fab weekend!  Today I am cleaning my house and having some friends over for dinner.  Tomorrow I plan on hitting up a vintage sale in my 'hood and watching as much Mad Men as possible :).

Pinned This Week....

So much little time.  Isn't it amazing how much time you can spend aimlessly pinning?  

I meant to post these pins yesterday, but I spent most of my computer time finishing up all the recipes for my healthy eating e-book.  By the time I was finished, I didn't want to look at my laptop for the rest of the evening! 

{Via here
I am going to make this Lauren Conrad for Kohl's dress mine - love it!

{Via here
Transfer a photo to fabric - you know this is awesome.

{Via here}  
I need a doughnut pan.  It has been on my wish list forever.  I think I am going to buy one today.  Stay tuned for recipes :).

{Via here
These ornaments are the cutest.  They remind me of ones that we had on our Advent Tree when I was a kid.  I love the retro look to them.

{Via here
More holiday decor - I am all about garlands this year.

Most of my pins this past week have been holiday themed.  I guess it is just that time of year.  What have you been pinning?

Lovely DIY Designs: Lace Lampshade

 New here?   Check out this post for a little more lovely DIY designs info...who we are and what we do.

You are going to l-o-v-e this installment of lovely DIY designs.  So easy, so quick, and it just might be one of my favorite diy-ed projects ever.  I love when a simple how-to project produces big results.  

A few weeks ago, I pinned this lovely lampshade to my DIY Links board.

{Image via here}

-a lampshade {or anything else you want to cover in a lace pattern}
-spray paint

Step one:
Dust your was crazy dusty!  It is just one of those things I don't think about when I am dusting, which {let's face it} is not that often.

Step two:
Decide where you want the lace to go and tape it down.  I used a lampshade with flat edges and decided to use a wide piece of lace trim all around the bottom edge.  

Step three:
I went outside and spray painted the entire lampshade - one side at a time.

Let it dry for a few hours and display.

Isn't it so pretty?

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