Friday, November 30, 2012

DOUBLE sponsor highlight + giveaway ((big yellow dog designs + fireflies & cattails))

1. Last call for December sponsors! Email me ASAP to hop on board for one last Christmas customer rush! ((ohsweetjoyATgmailDOTcom))

2. Don't forget that today is the last day to get free shipping on your order of (two or more) Fayette Headbands from the Holiday Collection! I'm so overwhelmed and thankful for the response. We sold out of 5 fabrics!! I was able to find more of 4 of them, luckily :) Thank you for your support. I'll be very busy this week!

3. Moving on, I have two sponsors I'm thrilled to share with you today. Hooray handmade!

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I'm Ashli, the owner and designer over at Big Yellow Dog Designs! Big Yellow Dog Designs was an idea that brewed in my head for quite a while, and with much encouragement (and a brand new button maker!) from my wonderful husband, my very own shop was born in 2011. Named, after our big, goofy, loveable golden retriever, Fender, Big Yellow Dog Designs is here for all of your button and design needs! I hope you like what you see and I look forward to your orders!

GIVEAWAY ITEM:


Discount Code: 

SWEETFREESHIP (free domestic shipping on orders)

LINKS:




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My name is Mandy, I'm a stay at home mom to an almost 3 year old boy (and another little boy on the way, due in March) and I love to crochet, bake, drink coffee, and dream up lovely creations. I recently opened up a new shop on storenvy where I'm selling my handmade crochet turbands, fingerless gloves, and glitter headbands. Who knows what else will end up in the shop, I just hope you love them all! 25 % of my profits go to Songs Against Slavery. If you get a chance check them out and donate!

GIVEAWAY ITEM:

DISCOUNT CODE:
15% off in the shop with code OHSWEETJOY

LINKS:


love.





Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Fayette Headband Holiday Collection

It's here! 

I finally narrowed down the fabrics that would make up the Holiday Collection of Fayette Headbands. I'm loving how different they all are and, most of all, I love how you can dress most of these up way easier than all the ginghams & florals in the original collection. On the other hand, they can absolutely still be dressed down for day-to-day wear. 

I chose fabrics that were more luxurious & swanky, rather than just simple cottons. They either have an amazing texture, a brilliant color, a subtle sheen, or a stellar design. I've been having fun experimenting with different ways to tie them, so I hope you're inspired by the photos below. The fabrics are all SO gorgeous and I hope you love them as much as I do! 
My two favorites are the Sleigh Ride & Mr. Grinch, but honestly? I'm keeping one of each for myself. 

I can't stress enough how limited each fabric is, so please snatch the one(s) you love up before they're gone! 

Ready for the line up?!

Sleigh Ride 
Seriously this little gold number has my heart. In the right light it has a bit of a blue sheen. 

Frosty
it will go with everything and add a bit of pattern to a ((blah)) outfit.


Gingerbread
a more casual cotton option, but the perfect color.


Mr. Grinch
it's the best one, in my humble opinion.


Winter Song
silver & black lace. so pretty & feminine!


Fa-la-la-la-Fabulous
rawr.


Sparkle & Shine
this one almost has a leather-like look & feel to it with a subtle sparkle.


Baby, It's Cold Outside
Gorgeous color & texture all in one. 

I usually don't love giving discount codes on new products, however, it's the holidays, so consider this my present to you! 

If you buy two or more Fayette headbands (of any collection!), you will receive FREE SHIPPING on your order! Simply type in the code HOLIDAYCOLLECTION once you've added at least two Fayettes to your cart. 
*DOMESTIC ORDERS ONLY*

They're excellent stocking stuffers, if I do say so myself! 

THIS OFFER ENDS AT MIDNIGHT TOMORROW (FRIDAY)!


love.




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

gingerbread macarons with white chocolate + maple ganache filling


These are the perfect treat for your holiday parties! They are certainly a labor of love and look beautiful plated on a cake stand. The abundance of detailed work & patience that goes into them pays off when you eat your first one in one bite. ;)



for the shells:
1.5 cups of confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup of ground almonds
(I've use Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour from Whole Foods & have also used their almond flour by the bulk)
3 egg whites from large eggs
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of superfine sugar
(mine is in a carton that says "baker's sugar")
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves

Beforehand Prep:
Place parchment paper or silicone mats onto baking sheets.
1. Place the almond flour, spices, and confectioner's sugar in the food processor and mix for at least 30 seconds. 
2. Pour the egg whites in a mixing bowl, add salt, and mix with a handheld mixer
until they hold a stiff peak. Don't over do it! When you're getting close, just mix for 5 seconds and re-check. (Trust me that the handheld works better for macarons than your stand kitchen aid mixer) 
3. Continue to mix  at medium speed while adding the super-fine sugar a teaspoon at a time. 
Make sure that it's getting blended before adding the next teaspoon. Keep mixing until the mixture is glossy and thick. Again, don't over mix!
*If you're using food coloring, do so now. Use it sparingly and I recommend gel over liquid drops.*
4. Dump in the ground sugar & almond mixture into the side of the bowl holding the whipped egg whites. Fold in, gently, using a large metal spoon. 
5. Continue to mix until fully incorporated and somewhat smooth.
6. Fill your piping bag (with a large tip in place) with the mixture and pipe in circles onto parchment paper or silicone mats.
7. Lift baking sheets above 3 inches above the counter and drop evenly. This will burst any air bubbles. At this point, you'll want to add any toppings (cinnamon, for example) to the shells. Remember, you'll only need to do that for half of them. 
8. Let rest for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour to dry. 
9. Preheat the oven to 315° F
10. Place macarons, one sheet at a time, into the oven for about 8-10 minutes and let cool thoroughly before removing from baking sheet. 



for the filling:
6 oz of white chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons of heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1. Place chocolate in a small, metal bowl.
2. Pour heavy cream & vanilla into a saucepan and heat until cream starts to boil. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate and leave to melt for a minute or two. Add 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup and stir until smooth. Leave to cool and place in refrigerator to thicken. 


finishing up:
1. Match shells together, size wise. 
2. Spread or pipe a little bit of filling onto half of the shells & top with matching shells.
3. Let sit for an hour before serving. I like to keep mine in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
4. Enjoy! 




tips: 
-I let my egg whites sit out on the counter at room temperature for at least 24 hours. This is called "aging" the egg whites & I think it makes a huge difference. I have no idea why.
-Make sure you don't miss the "tapping" on the counter step. Getting these air bubbles out is crucial! It's actually my favorite part. :)
-Blending the almond flour & powdered sugar together in the food processor is important to get everything blended nicely and all the "clumps" out. 
-Have fun with the filling! This recipe would be delicious with a dollop of molasses in the filling.
-I, again, recommend this kit for macaron making.
-Sprinkle Bakes has a great video HERE for double checking your consistency every step of the way.


love.




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

((outfit schmoutfit)) dressing the bump & some new glasses

TODAY WE FIND OUT WHETHER WE ARE HAVING A BOY OR A GIRL!!!!


Can you believe it? I'm half-way there as of yesterday! 
((queue bon jovi's living on a prayer))

fayette headband in gingerbread (coming soon!) - oh, sweet joy!
prescription glasses - c/o glassesusa.com 
dress - fossil
necklace - anthropologie
cardigan - j. crew
layering socks - target

I received these glasses from GlassesUSA and I've had such a fun time with the vintage frames. I've actually found a black & white photo or two of my relatives wearing identical ones. Pregnancy hormones have also taken a toll on my eyesight, so my normal prescription is actually making me dizzy at the moment...I can only wear these cuties in small doses! So preggos beware that when you buy glasses while you're pregnant can be a crap-shoot hoping that your eyesight will return to normal. If you're interested in getting some new eyeglasses, you can use the discount code BLOG10 for 10% off :)



In other news, dressing the bump has been frustrating the last few weeks because I might have had a terrifying run-in with maternity pants that has had me in skirts & dresses ever since. I'm trying to focus on elastic waists, comfy layers, having fun with accessories, and pairing unexpected colors that I'm loving to keep it interesting. For instance, I'm obsessed with this color combination at the moment. The deep teal is perfectly set off by the still-autumnal burnt orange, don't you think? 






Monday, November 26, 2012

((handmade monday)) Deer-IY

heh.

See what I did there???


Once I sent my family photos, brother thought it was the "dumbest thing he's ever seen" and mother asked if I was taking advantage of the fact that recreational marijuana was legalized here in Boulder.

You win some, you lose some, folks. 



Possibly my favorite DIY project to date, this deer head project unfolded quickly and I just could not wait to get started.  It all started when I found the ugly resin deer head on ebay. It's ebay items like these in which I wonder - why does this person even have this in the FIRST place? That's neither here nor there, I suppose, but don't pretend like you didn't wonder. These faux taxidermy pieces are retailing anywhere from $100-200 (plus shipping). I spent a total of $75, which is still a lot for a DIY project, but I deemed this one worthy. 

It was a hilarious sight in the Davis household when Mr. Stag arrived. Just imagine a huge deer head being pulled out of a box. Quite silly.


Supplies Needed:
Primer
Preferred spray paint color(s). 
Glitter  & Glitter Sealer spray paint


All I did to complete this statement holiday (and beyond) wall piece was:


1. Prime everything

2. Spray paint the head with a gorgeous blue

3 .Spray paint the antlers a metallic/chrome silver & then coat them with glitter spray paint.

4. Let dry & Hang.

TIPS
- I also sealed the glitter paint because, well, I didn't want glitter all over my house. The glitter spray paint is pretty subtle, which I'm a fan of. If you wanted a bit more "bam bam" you could use modpodge & a really fine glitter to coat them.
-Make sure you prime & paint at many angles. There are lots of little "crevices" that the paint can miss if you don't. 
-Beware that once you spray paint the antlers the metallic silver, you will rethink your project  & want to coat the entire thing in this shiny goodness. If our apartment was a bit more modern, I may have done that, but since it isn't...I stuck to the game plan.


He will have some lights strung on his antlers during Christmas-time. Ya know, because he obviously needs MORE glam.


Oh and if you're wondering? 

His name is "Moose."


What color would you paint yours?

love.


Friday, November 23, 2012

((favorite things friday)) money well spent


If there's one thing I'm a sucker for, it's kitchen gadgets. However, most of the time I can talk myself out of them. We don't have a large kitchen or a ton of storage space, so usually Chase gives me the look (ladies, you know the look. the "do you reeeeeally need that?" look. it hurts sometimes) and I put it back and grin. 

Last year I pinned a special macaron pan. I had just gotten into baking these time consuming & tedious, yet delicious, delights and I thought it would be perfect. I couldn't justify the $50 though. Fast forward a year...I've had countless imperfect batches of macarons. Half of them crack. Some of them don't have the "feet" I'm looking for. A lot of them are hollow. They always taste delicious, but I've never had a successful batch in it's entirety. 

I'm hosting a Christmas cookie swap in a few weeks and I thought it'd be extra special to make macarons...but then the thought of my countless imperfect batches came up. I found this kit at Sur La Table and thought I'd give it a try. It was about $40, but it came with more recipes (um, but they're in a foreign language. cool.), a really great silicone mat, and an awesome batter squeezer outer. That's not the technical term, obviously...but you scoop in the batter on the side and close it up, then pipe the batter out. It's pretty much amazing and WAY less messy & frustrating than a piping bag.

via 

Now, there are many tedious steps that lead to perfect macarons that I feel like I've finally perfected (aging the egg whites, perfectly blending the dry ingredients, fresh almond meal, folding the batter perfectly, baking time & temps, etc), but if you're looking for a kit to revolutionize your macaron baking, this one is worth the money.


This was my first batch made with the kit. Recipe coming soon! They were the first batch that I felt I could deem "perfect" and oh man are they delicious!



love.

* I was absolutely not paid for this post. I just wanted to pass on my trial & error experience! Consider it a public service announcement ;)



Thursday, November 22, 2012

sponsor highlight + giveaway ((nestled designs))

I've worn, styled, plugged via social media and loved Megan's jewelry since the beginning of summer, and y'all...I'm still smitten. It's all so pretty & feminine but still has a unique feel. Each piece is incredibly well made and I just can't get over how someone can hand-make a piece of jewelry that is so flawless. With all that raving out of the way, meet Megan!


I'm Megan, the girl behind the Etsy shop, Nestled. I'm 23 years old, and living in a small Ohio town. I started out about a year ago, making jewelry for myself in my spare time. I quickly discovered how much fun it was, and it wasn't long before I decided I wanted to share my jewelry with others. That's when I started my Etsy shop, and as they say... the rest is history! I have a sweet spot for bright, fun colors, so you'll find lots of it in my jewelry! I have so much fun designing and making my jewelry, and feel so blessed to be able to do something I love so much. 

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Today, Megan is giving away the aqua mint statement necklace, which is a $40 value. I AM SO JEALOUS!!!!!!!! 



DISCOUNT CODE:
OHSWEETJOY for 10% off through November 30th
((this giveaway extends through that, so go ahead and take advantage of the discount code if you have your eye on something and if you win the giveaway - gift one to a friend or family member! :) it's LITERALLY a win-win))

LINK LOVIN':



love.




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

pasta salad recipe


The meal I struggle most with is lunch. I never know what to make and I rarely want a sandwich, which is usually all we have. When I'm in a major lunch rut, I'm reminded of this pasta salad my mom used to make. It's super easy to throw together, make for a lot of people, and just a normal amount to have on hand in the fridge when you need a snack. 


what you'll need:
1 box or bag of vegetable enriched rotini pasta 
(it's the kind that is green & white & orange)
low fat italian salad dressing
1/2 red bell pepper
1 /2 green bell pepper
3-4 green onions
3 whole carrots or a handful of mini carrots
1 small can of sliced olives

directions:
1. Cook pasta as instructed on box
2. While pasta is cooking, chop vegetables. 
3. Drain pasta & rinse in cold water until cool.
4.  Toss in bell peppers, onions, carrots, a few spoonfuls of the olives. 
5. Add a quarter cup of italian dressing, or less, or more however much you desire :)
6. Toss and let sit, covered, in the refrigerator for an hour or so. The longer it sits, the more the flavors blend together. 

 Serve cold as a side or eat an entire bowl for lunch. *wink*



love.




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

((outfit schmoutfit)) tulle skirt styled six ways

I have to admit that the first time I saw this tulle skirt in Anthro's holiday catalog, I was smitten. However, I was hesitant not only because of the price, but because I didn't know how functional the skirt would actually be in my wardrobe. My growing baby bump makes it especially difficult because I can't wear anything on my natural waist at the moment. After making my own ((tutorial found here)), I had fun styling some outfits so that my confidence would be boosted when I felt the urge to dress like a ballerina ;)

Here's what I came up with!

thrifted chambray / bdg tank / anthro necklace / steve madden oxfords / warby parker glasses

How to wear it: Pair a casual patterned tank (I chose neutral stripes) with a chambray top tied at the top of the skirt. Add a neutral statement necklace and some heeled oxfords for a perfectly casual, yet put-together look.
Where to wear it: I wore this outfit running errands, but you can wear it to date night  or work too!


warby parker frames / anthro blazer & snail blouse & necklace / kimchi blue flats

How to wear it: A quirky printed top (hello snails!) and a funky statement necklace allows the structured blazer & plain flats to anchor this outfit in a well-balanced look. Add your vintage frames & a top bun and you're ready a day at the office!
Where to wear it: Perfect for work to play. Wear it to work and leave the blazer in your car for happy hour with the girls.

target flannel & flats / urban outfitters belt / world market necklace 

How to wear it: Tuck that flannel button down in and cover up the waistband with a feminine belt. I added a pretty gold beaded necklace for some flair. I couldn't help but balance this outfit out with bright red pumps. It felt so festive & was the perfect touch to finish off this casual & wearable outfit. 
Where to wear it: A casual holiday party is begging for this outfit. This is also a great option for getting everyday wear out of your tulle skirt. It's casual & fun, plus the mix of textures works well for everyday. 

urban outfitters blazer / target boots & belts / f21 cardigan / jcrew necklace

How to wear it: Make a printed cardigan your statement underneath a loose blazer that's belted. A statement necklace & boots add extra elements that make this look work well because you look layered without being overheated!
Where to wear it: There's no hiding my bump with this outfit is there? This outfit is perfect for any outing, but especially great for a day at the office or coffee shop meetings with clients. 

f21 tunic / macy's pumps / cheerfully charmed necklace 
How to wear it: A too-short lace tunic is perfect paired under the skirt. The exposed waistband keeps it casual and not too fussy. Add some gold pumps to dress it up and a red statement necklace if you're going to a holiday cocktail party. 
Where to wear it: Oh, hello perfect holiday party outfit. I think I love you.

anthro belt & tank / target pumps / francesca's earrings / kohl's jacket

How to wear it: A fall-hued tank layered underneath a military style jacket is the perfect off-set to the super femme skirt and nude pumps. Add a thin gold belt to keep you from looking boxy and you've got a winning combination, lady-friend.
Where to wear it: Anywhere you dang-well please. You look fantastic. 

What's your favorite look? 

love.