Is online window shopping a thing?

In an effort to be more of a saver and less of a spender, I have decided to start online window shopping.  My sweet friend Erika taught me this phrase “online window shopping.”  I’ve adopted it because it is just oh so clever! For me, its WAY more safe than window shopping in the traditional sense.  I keep my wallet FAR out of arms reach, which really isn’t possible at the actual mall.

I am very ready for some fall weather.  I’m getting to the point of the summer where all of my clothes are feeling very blah and over worn.  Fall fashion is everywhere these days, which doesn’t help my situation.   With the September issues of all of the glossies hitting stores, I long for a few new treasures for my closet.  Hence, the online window shopping.  Tonight’s find: H&M.

H&M is a favorite of mine, especially as far as fast fashion goes.   This fall will be no exception.   I hope these items hop into my closet at some point this fall!   After spending over an hour checking out everything, I have reigned it in to nine items I would like love to own!

H&M Fall Collage

grey blouse / 20s dress / cape
imitation leather skirt  / shirt dress / Jacquard pants
leopard wristlet / imitation leather pants / leopard pumps 
  • This grey blouse would be so pretty for the fall with these great Theory raspberry tweed skinny suit pants my mom gave me for my birthday.  Add a pair of patent mary-janes and the outfit is complete!
  • Ever since I saw The Great Gatsby, I have been enthralled with all things deco 20s/early 30s.  I imagine this dress with long strands of pearls, dark black tights and yet again, black patent mary-janes.  (Can you tell I live in my patent mary-janes in the fall/winter)
  • I have wanted a winter cape for several years now.  Then I saw Heather Dubrow (Real Housewives of Orange County) wearing one on the episode where they went to select Tamra’s wedding dress.  Needless to say, I have been counting down the days until the fall so that I can scoop one up for myself.  This might be just the ticket!
  • I am really excited about this imitation leather skirt because it keeps a look I love in my budget! Imagine this with a lipstick pink chiffon blouse tucked in, black tights, and wedge boots.  Come to think of it, I might want a new pair of boots to wear with this ensemble, but I digress.
  • I am mad for plaid!  I would love this with some chocolate-brown tights and caramel riding boots.  Casual and still pulled together for an outing with friends.  I bet it would be really cute with denim skinnys too!
  • It’s hard to tell, but there is a pattern in the weave of these pants.  It adds a richness and depth to closet staple.  They would be perfect for day-to-night, or even a holiday party.  Bleh, holiday party…its still 100 degrees outside…what am i thinking?!
  • My new favorite small bag for a night on the town is a wristlet.  I know I am a little late for the party on this one.  The patent leopard would go with just about anything!
  • These imitation black leather pants are just beyond.  I imagine them with a sparkly top for a night on the town!  The perfect piece to update my wardrobe for Fall 2013!
  • Leopard remains top dog in my book.  These pumps would be great for work to add some color my fall wardrobe. What can I say, my go to color is black – year round!

What ‘s calling your name for the fall?

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project time

You know how you start a project and think, oh this will take like 5 hours or so, and then you actually work on the project and it takes you 3+ days?!?  No, just me?!  Well, this is exactly how the painting project went this past weekend.

It started off great.  Step 1 – turn up the jams, obviously.  Step 2 – move the furniture to the other side of the room.  Step 3 – tape the walls so that I don’t paint on the ceiling, wood work, etc.  (This took a long time but went off with out a hitch)

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Step 4 – spread drop cloths and paint.  This was easier than expected.  I have to say I felt a bit like I was on TLC’s Trading Spaces (the home improvement show I grew up on) painting walls, except they are my walls not my friend or neighbor’s walls.  If only Paige Davis was here to help and cheer me on!  Ty Pennington (pre – Extreme Makeover Home Edition)was not here to be my carpenter….I mean a girl can dream.  The good news –  I only hit the ceiling with the roller once! After completing the painting,  I removed the tape and the walls were complete.

almost done

Here is where things got a little dicey.  I went to plug back in my internet and cable cords and nothing…whole kit and caboodle done-zo.  Those of you who know me, know that I am BEYOND obsessed with TV and have mine on almost all the time when I am home.  So, this system being down was not making me happy.  Internet is also a vital part of my life, too, especially when I needed to chat with the tech support people who no longer talk on the phone, but rather online chat with you to resolve you cable/internet problems.  So, long story short, they had to send out a tech to fix the problem.  Which they did, on a Sunday no less.  Much appreciated, trust me!  Well, during all of these issues, the furniture couldn’t be moved back into its rightful homes because it would block the repair work.  Enter, the work week.

Fast forward to Wednesday night after work.  My Dad came over and replaced the outlets and switch plates in the room and helped me move the furniture, he’s pretty handy like that.  So, the furniture is now in place.  I know what you’re thinking, now onto the end result picture…how about a really its still a work in progress picture…take a look.

rinished

missing items include: more bed pillows, hanging lamps, wall decor, even more bed pillows.

Paint color is Sherwin Williams, Biscuit

there’s something looming on the horizon

I cashed in some credit card points for an Amazon gift card.  What a perfect excuse to purchase a few new (some used) books!  Since my love of sewing has been renewed, I picked up several sewing books.  I ordered several used books, and so they are slowly arriving at my doorstep from across the USA.  Today’s arrival has me sew excited! (See what I did there.)

sewing edges and corners

Sewing Edges & Corners (Decorative Techniques for Your Home and Wardrobe) by Linda Lee. 

I can’t wait to try out some of these techniques.  I would love to make a really large pillow with box corners.  This would make a great bed for Tweed!  I would love to use mitered corners on curtains (which are high on my to do list to complete my condo decor).  Finally, I would like to make euro shams for my bed with flanged edges.  Each of these is explained in this book.  Can you tell I am super excited about this?!

I will report back when projects are complete!  Man, I love Amazon and today, the used books option in particular.

guess what?!

pop

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It’s my birthday this Friday!  I have to say, I’m a little lot excited (in case you couldn’t tell).  These beautiful pink bottles put me in the mood to celebrate – what could be better than pink champagne?!

It wouldn’t be a birthday without…

petitfours

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Petit Fours! There is just something about the petit four that is just better than a traditional cake in my opinion.  Maybe its the glaze style icing?  Maybe its just the happiness that washes over me when I am presented with one?  Either way, petit fours are just the best.

What are your birthday must haves?

high five for friday

Not gonna lie, this has been a long week, but here are some of the highlights!

1. Spent some quality time with my friends at the pool this weekend.  Don’t worry, I wore my SPF 55!  It was great to have my feet in the pool and soak up some vitamin D.

2. Summer has hit the Big D!  So, naturally, that meant a trip to the Rangers game.  Please notice the sun glaring in our eyes.  Definitely won’t be my last game this season! Go Rangers!

rangers

3. In preparation for a wedding this weekend I painted my nails the OPI color, Mimosas for Mr. & Mrs.  You know me, I love a theme! I am so excited for all of the wedding festivities to come this weekend.  The bride and groom have been together for as long as I can remember and it is definitely time for them to tie the knot!

4.  It’s my mama’s birthday today! Happy Birthday Mama!!  Tweed and I have a few fun presents for her that I will have to share with you later!

5. Father’s Day is this weekend and I am not sure what hijinks my dad will have in mind for Sunday.  Tweed and I have a fun present for him as well!

With so much going on this weekend, most of my week was spent preparing! Lots to share next week, I’m sure!

How was your week?

Linking up with Lauren from TheLaurenElizabeth for #h54f

high five for friday

 

Friday is here again! I am one lucky girl this week.  Let me tell you about it…

 

 

 

1. My dad gave me an exactly 2 months early birthday present.  He pre-ordered Bobby Flay’s new book Barbecue Addiction from William Sonoma, which allowed us to meet Bobby  & get his autograph on Sunday.  The two of us waited in line for about 2.5 hours.  Luckily, the Dallas weather was wonderful and they gave us a little treat of guacamole while we waited.  Bobby was so adorable in his dark straight legged denim, mushroom suede driving moccasins, and plaid button down.  I have a bit of a crush on him, I have to admit.  Thanks to my Dad for being a trooper in the line and taking this great picture.  It was a GREAT present! I have lots of cooking to do!

Bobby  Me (2)

 

 

2. The sweet grandpa in front of us in line made a joke with a William Sonoma staffer about  how he needed a beer to go with his guacamole. About 20 minutes later, the staffer returned with a bottle of IBC root beer.  He then turned to me and offered it to me because he doesn’t drink soda.  How sweet was that?  The grandpa was there to get the autograph for his grandson! He waited all 2.5 hours for this autograph – what a trooper!!

 

 

3. My aunt is in town this week. I haven’t seen her in about 4 years, so it is great to have some time to catch up!  We are headed to Canton, TX Trade Days today with my mom.  There is a lot of kettle corn, walking, and fun ahead of us! I will let you know what great finds we encounter!

 

 

4. Captured a great shot of Tweed!  He was super cooperative at the Vet when a treat was dangled in front of him! Sweet baby!

Tweed at Vet

 

 

5. I did a small amount of cooking this week! I made Broccoli Slaw.  So it was more stirring than cooking, but it still counts.  This is definitely my favorite way to eat ramen – crushed up as a topping. Delish!

 

 

How was your week?

Linking up with Lauren at The Lauren Elizabeth!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

high five for friday

This week has absolutely flown by!  I haven’t had a second to spare.

1. I spent Easter with the majority of my extended family.  It was great! My 4-year-old cousin Emmylou, a virtual mini me, showed Mary-Todd (only other girl out of the 9 cousins) and me how she has learned to write her name.  She is the youngest of the 9 so it is fun see what she will say next!  The three of us girls are only together a few times a year so we soak up every minute.

2. Also, at our Easter celebration, we got to have my Aunt Kelley’s Sheet Cake for dessert! It is the ABSOLUTE best!! (it’s so good it deserves its own piece of the 5.)

3. I attended a luncheon this week to celebrate my Tri Delta Alumnae chapter raising $20,000 for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital this past Christmas season at our annual Cookies & Castles gingerbread decorating party.  We had such a wonderful time with this event and all of the candy filled children in attendance – it was a giant room full of sugar highs.  TSRH is an amazing place that does so much for children and really doesn’t feel like a hospital at all.  It is an honor to work with this hospital and these great women.

4. Dallas has been rather gloomy, chilly & very un spring like this week.  So, to combat this problem, I went for the yellow pants.  It completely changed my attitude for the better.

 

yellow pants

 

5.  Friday is cleaning day  (boo….) and I have the urge to cook this weekend.  So, as usual, I will be perusing The Pioneer Woman‘s blog for recipes.  If I have any luck with this, there will be more to follow.

How was your week?

Linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog.

 

all things BlissDom

Here it is a little more than a week after BlissDom, and I am just now sitting down to talk about my experiences.  It has taken me a little time to really process through ALL of the information I learned at BlissDom.  It was so inspiring and encouraging.  As you know, I am definitely new to the blog world.  I have read blogs for years, but I have only been on the other side for a short time.  I came away with many things to investigate further, ideas to put into action, friends, and much more!

*I apologize in advance for the length of this post.  There are so many great things I want to fit in.  Bear with me here!

photo-14

My mom and I attended this conference together.  We love spending time together and this time it meant the two of us would need to break out of our shells and learn about this new blog world.  We had a GREAT time!

And so it Begins:

One of the first stops we made was to the handmade market.  Here vendors displayed their goods.  Each booth was even better than the previous one.  It was so inspiring to see these women display items that they are passionate about making.  I was ready to run home and pull out my sewing machine.  (Hasn’t happened yet, but it will! –  I have big plans for that sewing machine.)  While we were making our way through the room, I met one of my favorite bloggers, Kate from The Small Things Blog.

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She was very friendly and encouraging to this new blogger (me).  She said it’s part of the process to have some time exploring different topics in my blog before finding a place I am most comfortable.  I read The Small Things Blog daily, so it was great to meet her in person.  Yes, her hair really is that amazing! I even shared with her how grateful I am to her for introducing me to Aquage Uplifting Foam.   It has really changed how I style my hair each day (it’s all about the volume!).

Then we went to the newcomers meet up.  Here we had a speed dating type time to get us up and talking to the other attendees.  We only had a few minutes but we got to hear from each other about the type of blogs we were writing and a little bit about ourselves.  I met some great people here and continued to talk to them through out the conference.

Later that night after the opening reception, we were urged to head back into the main ballroom.  Upon entering the room we made friends with Angela of Jumping with my Fingers Crossed.  As champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and cupcakes were passed  around we instantly bonded over our love of all things TV & pop culture.  She is so much fun and we were fast friends!  Come to find out we were about to hear from three of the stars of the upcoming reincarnation of All My Children.  I am not an AMC fan myself (nothing against it, I just haven’t ever really watched it.) but hearing from these actors who have put a lot of their lives into these roles was really interesting.  We sat in the front row & Angela filled us in on the characters played by the actors in attendance.

This kept us up way past our bedtime, but it was so much fun.  This was night one and the meat of the conference was yet to come.

The Sessions:

We began our first morning with an AMAZING keynote speaker, Scott Stratten.  He spoke in an irreverent but completely real way. AND, he was so beyond hysterical! There was the whole thing about QR codes and I was practically falling out of my seat  laughing.  He speaks the truth.  I learned SO much from him.  It’s hard to break it down to bullet points, I will try, but check him out, it’s totally worth it.

Here are a few gems from him:

~Social media never sleeps.  Quick response is critical for your brand reputation and customer service in general.

~Remember your brand is SO much more than your logo –  so spend more time on your people/products/services and less on the looks of your logo.  If what your brand represents is positive & engaging, your logo will represent that.  Of course your logo should be visually appealing, but you need to back it up with a great brand reputation.

~  Do not use social media outlets just because they are available to you but because they make sense for you and your brand.  Just because it’s the new thing, doesn’t mean it’s really right for you.  Think about your choices.

~Social media is to be just that, social.  It’s about connecting with others, not just about announcing things – focus your energy on responding.  It gives you the opportunity to humanize your brand.

We also had several breakout sessions.  Each that I attended was very informative and thought-provoking.  I left with a greater understanding of the blog world and so many things to research further.

One stands out to me because I got to hear from an author that I truly admire, Annie Downs.  She speaks so openly and honestly while maintaining a positive attitude and sense of humor.   She is WONDERFUL.  She made a specific point to talk about the different types of stories to share and where to share them.  It is important to know the difference between a journal story and a blog story. She said to use wisdom and carefully share success and failures.  After the session, I got to chat with her for a bit and take a picture with her.   Speaking with her, I knew that she genuinely cared to talk to me and encourage me.  That just doesn’t happen everyday.  She has two books coming out soon – keep your eyes peeled, its worth it!

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The other keynote that really stood out to me was the closing keynote by Jon Acuff.  He speaks with humility and humor.  He has a lot of energy and says things that you wish you had thought of because they are so on point, to the moment, and add so much to the story while being fun and funny.  He gave each and every one of us a special gift, a special printing of his new book before it even hits shelves.  SO COOL!!  I am so ready to read it.  Since BlissDom, I have been following Jon on Twitter & Instagram.  He is just great!

Here are a few of the gems he shared with us:

~Ready is a Myth.  Just start now, whether you are ready or not.  We may never be “ready” but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give it a go.

~Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

~You have permission to be horrible.

~Fear is a liar.  It only gets loud when you do things that matter.

~Don’t be a jerk.  There are enough jerk’s out there.

~When you get unstuck you are unstoppable.

A Little Something Extra:

Did I mention that we had a private concert from Chris Mann and Amber Riley?!?  I didn’t know Chris Mann but my mom was SO excited to see him because she watched/rooted for him on the TV show, The Voice.  I have to say, I am impressed with him.  If I had to describe him using current vocalists I would say that he is like Michael Buble with some Adam Levine thrown in to give his voice just a little bit of grit.  Amber Riley from Glee sure can belt it out!  She sang several hits she sang on Glee.  After the show, we took a pic with the two of them.  It is by far the worst picture that my mom and I have EVER taken.  Needless to say, it didn’t make the cut.  But check out the singers in action.

Amber Riley, etc.

Suffice it to say, I left BlissDom inspired, motivated, and yes exhausted.  I learned so much in the sessions and possibly even more just talking to different women in between sessions.  If you are ever looking for a little motivation or encouragement, look to any of the people I mentioned above.  I will have to put BlissDom on my list of things to do in 2014.

lovin’ Bloglovin’

As we all mourn the end of Google Reader, we look to the future.

Luckily, I have recently fallen in love with Bloglovin’.  This really softened the blow of announcement of the end of Google Reader.  Bloglovin’ is great because you can see pictures from the posts in the feed each day.  This visual representation really adds to the excitement of seeing new posts from your favorite bloggers.   Also, the iPhone app is REALLY easy to follow.  I am still learning all of the amazing blog and social media options out there,  so easy use is always helpful.

I am now on Bloglovin’!! Bear with me as I get this all figured out!  You can follow me by searching: leighshops.  Also, I have a link at the very bottom of the blog.   I would be honored to have you as a follower!  We can learn/grow together!

In other news… T – minus 2 days until BlissDom 2013.  I am SO excited, especially as blogger newbie, to meet other bloggers, learn, and expand my horizons.  Are you going to BlissDom?!  Let me know! I just can’t wait to meet everyone! See you there!

high five for friday

This has been such a fun week. I am so glad to get to share it with y’all!

1. I spent my weekend doing basically nothing, which was wonderful.  I hung around the house, did some laundry, and spent lots of time reading blogs – there are so many gems out there!

2. I watched a movie with my mama –  This Means War starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy.  It was a fun comedy with some great eye candy – Pine and Hardy.  Reese Witherspoon’s wardrobe for this movie pretty much acts as a wish list for my closet.

3. Our family friends were in town this week visiting my cousins.  Most of the girls of this group (myself included) got to spend time catching up and chatting out to dinner.  Good thing my cousin had homework to get back to or we might still be there chatting until this very moment.

4.  This week I was lucky enough to be featured in the Need, Read, Greed series of One Fine Day.  It was so much fun to share my picks! (More on that here.)

5. Ran in to TJ Max to look for a cute storage container for my bathroom counter, ended up going on a TJ Max shopping spree.  Why am I not surprised?!  This was a particularly fruitful trip.  Suffice it to say I left with a cute storage container  plus several housewares and a variety of tops. I will share more of that soon!

Hope you all had great weeks!

Link up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk. (Loving linking up and getting to know so many of you!)