Cupcakes Make Me Happy

I have a project that I am so excited to share with you guys! I really wanted to do something special for my coworkers at Gigi's and of course, found my inspiration on Pinterest!



These ornaments are adorable and I knew they would be perfect for my coworkers. I do work for a cupcake store after all!


The best part is, they were easy to make!


All you need is:
ornaments
cupcake wrappers
caulk and caulk gun
beads for sprinkles


I also bought some snowflakes and little ornaments that I was going to put on top. I thought I could use the red ornaments for cherries, but ended up liking the snowflakes better so I used them instead.


To start off, I superglued the ornaments to the cupcake wrappers. I did this first so that they would stand up straight when "icing" them.


Icing the cupcakes was a little tricky at first. I first got a disposable icing tip and hot glued it directly onto the spout of the caulk tube. The hot glue part worked nicely, actually, but the size of the icing tip was way too small so the icing didn't look right. I should've taken a picture! It was a major Pinterest fail!

Once it was apparent that I couldn't salvage them, I made a trip to Hobby Lobby to buy new ornaments. While I was there, I went to the baking aisle and had a great idea! I bought a bigger icing tip and icing bags! When I got home, I put the icing tip inside the bag (cutting off the end of course), and then slipped the bag over the caulk and put it in the gun. The "icing" came through the icing tip perfectly! I should've taken pictures of this, but I was so excited that my crazy idea worked that I forgot all about it!


Once the cupcakes are "iced," it's time to embellish! I added a little snowflake and put pink beads on tip for sprinkles!


I made 12 total and it took me less than an hour to do them all! That's how easy it was!



One tip though, I would ice and embellish them one at a time to ensure the caulk doesn't get too try for the sprinkles to stick.


I can't wait to hand these out this Sunday at our Christmas party!

Have you made any ornaments yourself this year for presents or your own tree? I would love to see pictures!

Thanks for stopping by!

Deck The Halls

I am finally done with finals week!
Praise the Lord!

Before finals week started, I made sure to make time to put my tree up. The other decorations could wait, but the tree had to go up! 

I set the actual tree up before Thanksgiving, that way all the hard work would be out of the way for when I got back. I used to do it all in one day, but by the time I got the tree up, I wasn't having fun anymore and just wanted to get the ornaments on so I could go sit down.

Here are some pictures of my tree!


Our tree, like last year, is red, green and silver! I absolutely love it! As soon as I get up in the morning, I turn it on!


I used the same tree skirt I made last year. It's held up really nicely but I'm already wanting to make a new one. I can't help myself - I always want to be making something new!


I couldn't find my angel that usually goes on our tree so we bought a star from Target. I love the way it looks, but it's not very stable. This is actually the second one we bought. The first one broke when I put it on the tree.


I bought most of my ornaments from Hobby Lobby and Michael's. Our Michael's had a teeny tiny section of ornaments, but Hobby Lobby has a ton! I always get some from there every year! I love how they're organized by color!



I love reindeer if you can't tell! The top one is from a local boutique I bought a few years ago and the bottom is from Kohl's!

 


I also love snowflakes! I love to look for new ones every year to add to my collection!




I bought some vintage ornaments at Target this year! I am in LOVE with these ornaments! I have been looking for vintage ornaments for a long time and could not believe I found them at Target of all places. #74,937 why Target is my favorite place. :)


We have a tradition that started with my family when I was younger where we get a new ornament every year. I still haven't found mine yet, but J found his! He is a computer science major so we thought this pixelated Santa was adorable!


While I haven't gotten all of my decorations up yet, I did draw a Christmas snow globe on my pantry chalkboard. It turned out so cute! I'm pretty proud of myself!

I would love to see some of your Holiday decorations! If you have some pictures, feel free to share them with me! Thanks for stopping by!

A Little Bit of Everything

As you may have noticed, I haven't posted in about a week. This next week is finals, and I have had a ton of stuff due this week and lots of studying to do to prepare for next week! As much as I love my blog and posting, school comes first and sometimes that means taking a break for a week or so to make sure I get everything finished.

The view from my apartment bedroom. This is from this morning and it's getting worse by the minute!
I do have some good news though. We are under a winter storm warning here in Arkansas, so that means school was cancelled yesterday and it's closed today as well! It might even be closed Monday as well, because there's another storm coming through. I was missing writing on my blog so much, so I had to take some time today to post - even if it is just a random post about what's been going on lately!

How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Mine was great! I spent time with my aunts, uncles, and cousins in Texas in their beautiful new homes! The food was delicious but most of all, I enjoyed getting to see my family, who I don't get to see that often since they live so far away!

One thing you might not know about me is that my family and I go Black Friday shopping every year!

This is from 2008! As you can see, we even had T-shirts made that year!
It's become a family tradition that we love! Not necessarily because of the shopping, but because of the laughs we have and the funny moments we share!

This year, I had two items on my wishlist - an iPad Air (my iPad broke while I was in Texas!) and a North Face jacket for myself and J. I found neither of them. Major Black Friday fail! I still had fun though! And my family made out much better than me! Here's some pictures from the trip!

We got in line at Target at 4PM after Thanksgiving lunch and they opened at 8. The line was very, very long but we got there early enough that we were very close to the front!


This is my aunt and cousin's shopping carts! The carts were stacked so high that I couldn't even see in front of me!

Here we are waiting on my uncle to come pick our stuff up to go on to the next store! We bought 5 TVs between all of us (not including myself) and there was no way it was going to fit in our cars!


Turns out my uncle went to the wrong Target, so we got a lot of weird stares waiting on the sidewalk outside of Target with our stuff! When he got there, we stuffed the Jeep until there was no more room! We had to lay the seats down and everything was stacked so high you couldn't see out of the back!

We went to a bunch more places, but I didn't take pictures. We came home to rest at around 5AM I think and took about an hour nap. Then we went out for round 2 and finally came home around 4PM that night. It was so much fun but I was SO tired!

I wish I had a project to show you guys, but I haven't had time to do any this week. My sister has though!


She made these cute DIY Christmas cards last week at a Christmas party she planned for her pages! They are so adorable and she said they were pretty easy too! If you're in the DC area, I would check out Paper Source! That's where she got the scrapbook paper for the ornaments and I think she got the washi tape there as well! My favorite is the reindeer (when I post pictures of my tree, you'll understand why it's my favorite)!

These cards are a great idea if you're wanting to add a personal touch to your Christmas cards!


Or if your like me and have no time to make your own, Target has a ton of cute options! I had trouble picking because they were all so pretty, so I chose two! This is the first year J and I are doing Christmas cards, and between finals and the ice storm, I probably won't get them out until the week before Christmas!


One last thing I had to share! Conway now has the biggest tree in Arkansas! It's 54 feet tall and looks beautiful when lit up! The best part though is that I get to drive by it everyday on my way to work! I love it!

After this week, I should be back to my normal schedule of posting! I can't wait to show you guys my Christmas tree and the new ornaments I bought while I was at Target!

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a gift card to Sephora or Ulta worth $165 here!

Giftcard Giveaway!

So it's been a week since I've posted, but I hope this will make it up to you guys!

I am super excited today to bring you a great giveaway! All of the sponsors of Southern Beauty Guide have pulled together to bring you a Beauty Lovers Dream! This month there are tons of ways for you to gain a chance to win a giftcard to Sephora or Ulta worth $165! Happy Holidays & Good Luck!


You can enter in the Rafflecopter box below!

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

Congratulations to Stephanie, the winner of the $165 gift card!

DIY Jewelry Organizer

I don't know about you guys, but I have way too much jewelry and almost no where to put it! It's not that I wear jewelry a lot. I just can't help myself when I see a beautiful necklace. And don't even get me started on buy 1, get 1 sales! I like to tell myself I'm building up a nice collection for when I become a teacher and have to dress nice. :)


Because of this collection I've accumulated, I needed a place to put them. More importantly though, I needed some organization to the madness! So, inspired by a pin I saw almost a year ago of a typeset tray turned into a jewelry organizer, I went on the hunt for my own to makeover!


I don't have a lot of wall space in my one bedroom apartment, so I was trying to figure out where I was going to but a big typeset tray! Luckily though, I found a smaller one that was perfect! It was already stained a lovely dark brown so all it needed was a new knob up top and some hooks!


I added some hooks to the bottom to hang necklaces and my watch on! They were kind of a pain to screw in, so my sweet boyfriend helped me out. I believe he tapped them gently with a hammer to get them started and then screwed them in the rest of the way by hand.


He then added a few hooks to the back piece of wood the same way to hang my dangly earrings on. I don't have a lot of dangly earrings so the other little cubbies I just set my studs and rings in.


After all the hooks are in, I added a simple blue knob that I got from Hobby Lobby for $1.50! Score!


And hanging directly above it is my sunflower painting that I painted with my cousin when she came to visit me for Spring Break this year! We went to Spirited Art, a painting studio where they teach you step-by-step how to paint their pictures! It was so much fun and I love how mine (and hers!) turned out so I had to show it off!

And you can see on the side, I have a bunch of my scarves hung up on my wall too. Let's just say that I may have a problem with scarves too. ;)


I love that all of my jewelry is in one place now instead of sitting tangled on my dresser or hung on doorknobs of every door! I now know where everything is and because of that, I wear my jewelry more often!

I would love to know how you guys have your jewelry organized! Especially bracelets, cause I'm still working on that one! Let me know in the comments below!

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Unwind Dystology

I'm doing something a little different today on the blog!

I want to share with you guys one of my loves - reading! As an English major and one-day English teacher, I read daily. While most of the time I'm reading Neo-Classical literature or poems from the Renaissance (yeah..not my favorite either), I still make time to read for fun. Right now, I am loving dystopian literature and lucky for me, it seems like there are a million of those out right now!

UnSouled by Neal Shusterman
If you guys have not heard of Neal Shusterman (I'd honestly be surprised if you haven't) then let me introduce you to him! He is amazing! I have a thing for trilogies. If I like a story, I never want it to end.

I heard about Neal Shusterman and The Unwind Series when scouring Barnes and Nobles website for a new book to read. I saw it had a 4.5 rating (out of 5) and knew I had to read it. I read the first two books, Unwind and UnWholly, in a week. Yes, they were that good! But my favorite thing about them is that they were nothing like anything I have ever ready before!

The third installment, UnSouled, came out a few weeks ago and I literally dropped everything to read it! And just like the previous two, it was incredible.

Since UnSouled is the third in the series, I really don't want to go into what it's about or anything that will spoil the story for those of you who have not read any of the series yet. So instead, I'll give you a little preview of Unwind, the first of the series, and maybe I can entice you to read it for yourself! :)

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
The Second Civil War in America, or The Heartland War, as it is more commonly known as is brought about because of the debate over abortion. Both sides come to an agreement by enacting The Bill of Life, a bill that states that all children must be born, but at the age of thirteen, they can be retroactively aborted through a process known as "unwinding." Unwinding, according to the government, does not end a child's life. It simply leaves them in a "divided state" where every piece (99% of them to be exact) can be harvested and used for those who may need their organs.

This practice has come to be commonplace in society with harvest camps popping up all over the nation. Troubled teenagers are now known as "ferals" and the push to unwind them is gaining more and more steam.

The story is told through many perspectives, 3 of which are from the 3 main character's point of views - Connor, Risa, and Lev. Connor, a teen who often finds himself in trouble, learns that his parents have signed his papers to be unwound. Now on the run, he crosses paths with Risa, a ward of the state who is on her way to a harvest camp because the orphanage she lives at is out of room, and Lev, a tithe whose unwinding has been part of his life's plan since before he was born.

Shusterman does an amazing job exploring such controversial topics, especially through the eyes of children. He makes us, as readers, question things that we may have never even thought of before, which to me is what an author is supposed to do.

I'm about to go all book nerd on you guys, but one of my favorite authors of American literature, Mr. William Dean Howells, believed that the authors main job was to tell a story as realistically as possible. I think Shusterman did exactly that. Although the premise of the story is fictional (unwinding is not a real scientific possibility at this point in society), the characters and their interactions are very much believable.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has not read it and is looking for a new book to read! And for those of you who love series, it was going to be a trilogy, but Shusterman recently announced there will be a fourth installment! Now that's something every bookworm loves to hear! :)

So have any of you read anything by Shusterman before? Or have you heard of The Unwind Series? What are some books or series you're into right now! I'd love to know since my to-read list is constantly growing! Let me know in the comments below!

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Fall Hydrangea Wreath

Now that Halloween's over, it's time to take down my Boo door hanger. As always, I waited until last minute to make my wreath I was going to put up. :)

However, I am very pleased with what I came up with and how it turned out!


I was inspired by this pin I found a few months ago on Pinterest.



I love hydrangeas and it looked like an easy DIY project (which was a key factor since it was Halloween night and I wanted my Boo sign down by morning).

To make this wreath, all you need is:
medium size wreath base
6 hydrangea flowers (3 each of 3 different colors)
hot glue gun and lots of hot glue
ribbon for a bow
wire for the bow


After I got all of my supplies, I bent the stems of the flowers and laid them out on the wreath base so I would have an idea of how I wanted the arrangement. Make sure to do this before you cut the stems. You might need more or less depending on the size of the flowers and wreath.


Then, I cut the stems fairly close to the flower. I made sure to leave about 1/2" so I had something to glue to the wreath.


Here's an idea of how much stem I left.


Once you get them all cut and have a small pile of hydrangeas in your living room floor, it's time to get gluing!

I covered the ends in a lot of hot glue and them stuck them one at a time on the wreath. A couple of mine were too squished together in spaces which left gaps in others. It was easy to take them off and re-glue them, so if you come across the same problem, don't worry! It's an easy fix!


After I had them all glued, I hung it up to see how I liked it! The colors looked so pretty! I was already in love! But...you know me. It needed more!

So, I made a bow!


I had some leftover brown glitter ribbon from the burlap wreath I made my sister. It was the perfect size and color to add to my wreath! 


I think the glitter adds a nice touch and some more dimension!

On the original wreath that inspired mine, there were leaves that went all around the back. I had a bunch of leaves that came on the stems with the flowers, but my boyfriend accidentally threw them out thinking they were trash. What do you guys think? Do you think I should leave it as is or add the leaves?


I think the green of the leaves would look so pretty with the browns and reddish orange of the flowers! I'm leaning towards adding them. :)


I had a few hydrangeas leftover, so I added them to a new vase I found at TJ Maxx. You may remember seeing it in my post about my table makeover! I think I may need to slow down on the hydrangeas for a while and start buying other kinds of flowers before my apartment is full of them! They're so pretty though so they're hard to resist!


Have you made a Fall wreath this year or any other Fall crafts! I'd love to see them! Leave me some links in the comments!

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