Christmas Tree + A Rein-Dog



I love the holidays.  Love, love, LOVE!


I always put up my Christmas tree and other decorations the weekend of Thanksgiving.   Last year, I spent the week after Thanksgiving with my family in Palm Springs and two weeks after that, my husband and I flew to Ireland to visit his family.  Due to all the travelling/not being at home, I opted to skip Christmas decorating last year.


Since I hadn't seen my ornaments in two years, I had forgotten about so many of them, which made trimming the tree extra fun {that is, after I found my fake tree...yeah, I am not sure how one misplaces a Christmas tree either...}.


Handmade ornaments my mom gave me a few years ago.

Newbridge Silver lovebirds my sister in law gave me last year.

My husband is Irish, so we always get these fun Irish inspired ornaments.  I love the Irish Santa.

Vintage ornaments that used to hang form my grandparents' tree.

And...nothing says "the holidays" like a dog dressed like Mrs. Claus and her reindeer.

Have you decorated your house yet...or do you wait until it is closer to Christmas?


Queen Bee Recap



I meant to post this last week...but everything has been so busy.  So, here it is, a week late.


I worked like crazy the week prior to the Queen Bee Market.  I tend to leave things to the last minute and was up every night super late and up every morning earlier than my usual 6:30am.  Needless to say, by Saturday night I was ridiculously exhausted.


I was happy with my display.  I was actually really happy with it until I saw all the other displays.  OMG, these people do not mess around.  Such talent and thoughtfulness was put into each booth which made the shopping and browsing experience really enjoyable.


{Glitter Studs and Hairpins}

{Large Velvet Bow Headbands}

{Sparkling Headbands}

{Hand-Painted Brass Filigree}

{Hand-Painted Brass Filigree}

{Left - Me setting up // Right - my mid-century sewing table which held all of my upcycled vintage pieces}


After setting up, I helped my friends from Noon for a bit and then we got lunch {for me} and coffee {for them}.


I did my security rotation Friday night and as soon as it was over, I headed home.  Before I could leave I had to figure out how to get out of the parking lot gate with my $3 parking pass.  I felt super dumb and had to go inside and ask how to get out of the gates.  Ummm, I will just blame it on exhaustion....


The next morning, I headed to the market around 9am to restock and tidy up my booth.  I was there for about an hour before heading back home to walk my dogs and relax for a few hours.


My husband and I went back to the market at 2pm {I needed both cars in order to get everything home} and bought a bunch of amazing gifts.


*A super hero cape for my niece by Yellow Me Daisy
*2 cute change purse/pouches from Lovely Junque {for my husband's sisters}
*Soap from Mommy You Soap It {for my mother-in-law}
*A cute hat and a handmade plush bunny from Misfit Menagerie {for my husband's niece}

*A ridiculously soft knit hat from Mutze: Hand Knits by Ashley {for my husband's sister}
*Cloth napkins made from vintage fabrics by Dot & Army {For me - I love cloth napkins and have always hated using paper ones}
*And so much more!

After we shopped, we went to the hotel bar and had a drink.  It was the perfect, relaxing time killer.

Around 4pm, we took down my display, packed the cars, and headed to Burger Lounge for an early dinner.  Minutes after I walked through the door of my house {stuffed from a burger, fries, and beers}, I put on sweats and laid on the couch - where I fell asleep within a few hours.

It was such a fun experience and I cannot wait to improve my booth for the next one.

Cyber Monday


These past few days have been sale, sale, sale.  I spent so much of the weekend shopping and selling online.


If you missed my Black Friday or Small Business Saturday sales, no worries, you can still grab 20% off today!  Just enter the code CYBER20 upon checkout {etsy or online shop}.


And, if you're interested in sponsoring....I have a few medium and small spots available for December.  I am offering these remaining spots at 40% off {just for December} if you purchase before the 1st of the month!


Check out my sponsor page here or purchase here or email me if you wish to promote your online shop or blog with this discounted sponsor rate.


Happy Monday - I am off to package orders and possibly do a bit of online Christmas shopping....

Small Business Saturday + 5 Things

I ate so much these past few days I feel like I am pregnant.  Pregnant with roast beef {I am not a huge turkey fan}, stuffing, and banana cream pie.


I hope you all had a lovely holiday!  I spent most of the day yesterday buying gifts and more online.  There were so many great sales....especially in small and handmade shops.


The support for small businesses continues today.  If you have your heart set on something in my shop, use the code SMALLBIZ for free {U.S.} shipping. And, any order over $25 today will receive a free pair of earrings.


5 things from the week:


*My Fall Garland How-To {originally posted as part of my Acute How-To series on Scoutie Girl} was featured on Apartment Therapy.  As a blogger who sometimes feels lost in the vast sea of so many amazing blogs, it feels pretty good to be recognized by one of the biggest blogs around.  And by one of my personal favorite blogs.  Thanks Apartment Therapy!


*I am hosting a giveaway over at my friend Natalia's blog.  Stop by for a chance to win one of the headbands from my {Acute} Holiday Collection.


*If you are looking to do some online shopping, Cyber Monday deals are popping up all over the place.  Check out the deals over at Much Love, Illy and {just.lovely.things}.  Both bloggers have compiled a nice list of online discounts.




*I still have a few Small and Medium ad spots left in December - if you are interested, please stop by my sponsor page for details!


*I have a BIG goal that I really want to hit by 2012 - read all about it here!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend...it is back to the reality of not stuffing my face on Monday :).

Black Friday: Part Two

Yesterday I posted lots of Black Friday deals.

If you haven't gotten your shopping fix yet...here are a few more:

Enter code BLACKFRIDAY2011 for 50% off your entire order.


All day today {until 3pm PST} - 25% off all orders
After that - free shipping!

Buy a necklace and earrings combo for just $12.50
Enter code BLACKFRIDAY30 and get 30% off any holiday wreath!

The {Acute} pre-sale is over, but you can still get 25% off all day today with the code FRIDAY25.  

Have fun!

Week of Thanks: DEALS

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving.  {And if you aren't in the U.S., I hope you are enjoying a regular old Thursday :).}


I am not one to wait in line at midnight or risk getting trampled to death for a deal {it has happened!} so, luckily, Black Friday deals are online and everyone can join in on the deals!  


{Acute} Black Friday Deals

**Shop here**
{All these times are Eastern Standard Time}


And some deals from my sponsors:


Get free Black Friday shipping when you enter the code BLACKFRIDAY.


Enter code BLACKFRIES for 25% off your order.





Enter code BLACKFRIDAY40 for 40% off your order until Friday at midnight.


Black Friday "EarlyBird" Sale, November 25: 12midnight - 5:59am EST
Use coupon code EARLYBIRD50 for 50% off your entire order!

Black Friday, November 25: 6:00am - 11:59pm EST
Use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY35 for 35% off your entire order + receive a FREE GIFT with purchase!

Cyber Monday, November 28: ALL DAY 
Use coupon code CYBERMONDAY25 for 25% off your entire order!


Free shipping on any order placed from now until December 19th - enter code HAPPYHOLIDAYS11 to redeem.


Enter Code GRANDREOPEN20 for 20% off your purchase the whole weekend!


Wanna Sponsor?

Interested in gaining exposure for your online shop or blog in December?



If so, I have a few medium spots and several small spots left....email me for details.   Or, buy directly in my online shop.


Happy Thanksgiving! 
{I'm gonna go get my eatin' on ;)}

Week of Thanks: Eggnog

Yesterday my sponsor, Jamie, shared her favorite winter drink {Nutella Hot Chocolate}.  Today, I am sharing mine.


I looooove eggnog.  And no, I don't have a recipe for it.  But I do have a simple cocktail - which is way better than a recipe. 


I cannot drink a lot of liquor {beer? yes. liquor? not so much...two drinks is my limit} however, I do love to mix a little Grand Marnier with low fat or Silk Soy Milk Eggnog.  Top it all with a little whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg and...YUM.  The perfect end to a big holiday meal.  I will be drinking one or two of these tomorrow night.


If you don't drink alcohol, try adding a splash of eggnog to your coffee.  I do this from Thanksgiving through Christmas.  It makes every morning feel like the holidays.

Do you have a favorite holiday or winter drink?  Please share!

Week of Thanks: Acute Designs + A Big Goal

Last year this time I was working hard to build up my business, blog, and my brand.   Although every day is a work in progress and I still have a lot to learn, I am so thankful for how far I have come.


My BIg Goal for the remainder of this year is to hit 1,000 sales in my Etsy shop.  It would be like 1,000,000% growth or something!  {Ok, not that much, but you get the point.}


All week long there will be some major deals to help me reach this big goal + celebrate Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.


Stop by the shop to see lots of new items - such as new hand-painted brass filigree necklaces + earrings, vintage stone studs, new sets of leather bangles, and so much more!



If you want to get started in on the deals - use code BIGGOAL for 20% off your entire purchase today and tomorrow.


Week of Thanks: Guest Post with Jamie

In honor of Thanksgiving this week, I wanted to celebrate a week of thanks on this blog.  I invited my sponsor Jamie of Awesomely Awkward to share a little something that makes her thankful.  Her hot chocolate recipe looks a-maz-ing. 

Hiya guys, Jamie from Awesomely-Awkward here.
We get really cold weather here in Montana... so when winter rolls around, I am definitely thankful that I have hot chocolate.
One of my favorite (and only) hot chocolate recipes is made with Nutella.
This is so rich and creamy that you will forget about old man winter and be completely relaxed with this chocolate hazelnut goodness!


I know this hardly counts as a recipe but it's sure good.
It's only a couple ingredients and you just kind of melt them together...
but the outcome is chocolate-y hazelnut-y goodness.
It's perfect for a chilly day.


Photobucket
Ingredients:
1 cup milk
Nutella
Cinnamon
Whip cream

Step One:
Put half the milk in a small sauce pan and turn your heat up to medium

Step Two:
Add Nutella by the spoonful.
I like two tablespoons Nutella in mine but this is up to you. You can add as little or as much as you'd like.

Step Three: 
Wish Nutella and milk until all Nutella is melted and mixture is smooth.

Step Four:
Add the rest of the milk and wisk some more.
Keep going until mixture is frothy and delicious.

Step Five:
Pour into a cup, sprinkle with Cinnamon, top with whip cream, and enjoy the yummy yummy goodness!

Photobucket
(warning: yes, I am in my pajamas... that is how I like to enjoy my hot chocolate...)

Extras: I got a little crazy the other day and added a packet of hot cocoa mix to. Talk about chocolate overload. It was really good though. You can add cocoa mix or just some plain cocoa powder if you want a more chocolate-y, slightly thicker version.

Handmade Holiday: Gift Guides

Tis' the season for....gift giving.  

Almost every week I notice a new gift guide on one of my favorite blogs.  

These guides are everywhere and so fantastic. They are like little handmade and small business catalogs or magazines.  Some even include holiday DIY projects, recipes, and more.  

In Honor of Design {this one is simply gorgeous!}

Glow Kouture {lovely, simple, handmade}


JessicaNdesigns {handmade gifts for everyone on your list}

Gussy Sews {SO much handmade goodness}

Emily Henderson's The Holiday Guide {amazing - full of gifts and SO much more!}

Any good holiday guides I left out?  Do you have one on your blog or know of one I must see?  Leave a link, I kind of cannot get enough of the holidays right now.

Week in Photos

This week was biiiizzzzy.  I have a tendency to leave everything to the last minute {such a bad habit, I know} and ran around like a crazy person all week preparing for the Queen Bee Market.


Now that it's over - I am exhausted, but so happy I did it.  I met a lot of amazing artists and business owners and picked up some great holiday gifts.

My week started with this simple fall garland.  You can see the entire how-to on Scoutie Girl.

Despite being super busy, I still had time to whip up this quick and healthy chicken and orzo soup {the recipe is on my food blog, taste}.  I love making a big pot of soup at the beginning of the week - it helps me to stay on track and eat healthy all week.

My booth at The Queen Bee Market {better photos to come this week}.


So, that's it! Not many photos from this week....I guess that is what being busy does to me.   I will be better next week - I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


JustLove.lyThings

Chicken and Orzo Soup

I made this soup last week and it was a hit.  Healthy, so simple, and full of flavor.


I used one large chicken breast and one chicken thigh.  The addition of the thigh added a touch of fat and a lot of flavor.  You could just use two chicken breasts, but I really don't think it would taste as good.




Chicken and Orzo {makes about 6 servings}
-1 {boneless/skinless} chicken thigh {diced}
-1 {boneless/skinless} chicken breast {diced}
-2 celery stalk, diced
-1 medium onion, diced
-2 large carrots, peeled and diced
-4 cups of chicken stock
-1/2 cup of orzo {measured dry}
-1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
-1/2 teaspoon dry thyme + 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
-salt, pepper, olive oil
-a handful of fresh parsley, chopped


1. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the chicken and season it with salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon thyme.  
2. In a large soup pot, brown the chicken pieces until they are fully cooked.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
3. In the fat left from the chicken, saute the celery, onion, and carrots for about 7 minutes.  Add in the stock and bring to a boil.
4. Once stock comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and stir in the chicken and dry orzo.  Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.
5. Season the soup with the remaining oregano and thyme.  Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
6. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.  I ate my soup with a little fresh parmesan shredded over the top - enjoy!




If you missed Day 1 of my 12 Days of Soups - you can view that recipe here.

Queen Bee Market, etc

I have been working like crazy all week getting ready for The Queen Bee Market.


If you are in the San Diego area, stop by!  It is today {Friday, November 18th} and tomorrow at the Del Mar Hilton.  This is my first QBM and I am excited to see all the other vendors and do a little shopping.


I will be selling lot of items from my holiday line as well as new brass earrings and necklaces and tons of vintage jewels.


I will share photos next week - I worked really hard on my display and am...undecided about it....I guess once I see how it looks in the space provided, I will know how I feel.


If you aren't in the San Diego area and want to do a little holiday shopping, use the code HOLIDAY15 through Sunday for 15% off your total purchase in my Etsy shop.






Just a reminder - any purchases needed by December 25th, must be placed before December 15th for shipping within the U.S.  {International orders, please place before December 1st.}


Have a wonderful weekend!  I will be back next week with a week full of "give thanks" posts.

Give Thanks Day

Julie Ann from Julie Ann Art is hosting a "Give Thanks" day over at her blog.  I decided to join in and list a few things I am thankful for right now.  


*My electric blanket.  It has been getting chilly at night and I live in a house without much insulation or central heating.  I love turning the blanket on high an hour before I go to bed.  By the time I get into bed, it is so nice and warm.  

*Starbucks Via packets.  Have any of you tried these?  I am now addicted to the mocha ones.  Who knew instant coffee could taste SO good?

*A holiday that includes nothing but eating and relaxing.

*Loving and supportive friends and family.  My parents are always helping me out when they notice a typo  and my mom and sister are forever promoting me to everyone they know.

*The cutest dogs alive.

*The craziest and funniest husband alive.


I could really go on and on and on. 


What are you thankful for right now?

Wordless {ish} Wednesday

I am so ready for the holidays....can't you tell?

{Gordita's first ever Christmas card photo ~ 2004}

{Acute} Holiday

{Acute} Holiday: 2011

If you want something by Christmas, the order cut-off is December 15th.  If you live outside of the U.S., order by December 1st {anything after that is risky}.






{All photos courtesy of Camille Lem Photography}

View the entire Holiday Lookbook here.
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