Friday, April 30, 2010

::Weekend Bloggy Reading::

I hope you're in the mood for some good reading, because I have some great links to share with you today! These are just a few of the fabulous links I found around Blogland recently:

~You'll love the Before and After photos of Jessi's Deck Makeover.

~Sometimes Little Updates make a big difference! Check out this cute bathroom update at Domestic Fashionista.

~Kierste featured an adorable Tin Can Vase. Love!

~Cheryl keeps sharing so many neat projects, and I just have to keep linking to them! Check out her easy (and understandable!) Freezer Stencil Tutorial.

~Loads of crafty pictures and links with Craft/Sewing Room Inspiration over at Crafty Girls Workshop.

~Fun new blog alert! Visit University of Cookie if you want to learn some great techniques. Thanks to Jen for telling us about this cool site. If there's something fun going on in Blogland, Jen knows about it!

~Amanda's No-Sew Rosettes are fabulous.

~Kate proved that a little paint goes a long way with her Painted Laminate Transformation.

~Colorful Silhouettes- a tutorial from Jen over at Tatertots and Jello.

~Have you seen those chicken wire jewelry holders everyone is loving? I think this Wire Hairbow Holder from Mommy's Timeout is great!

~You have until Sunday at 5 pm (ET) to enter the "charming" RJ Charms Giveaway...the winner gets his/her choice of any charm necklace from the $10 and under section. Check this Etsy shop out; you won't be disappointed.

~The next Dishing It! party is coming up on May 5th! I'll post the party topic/questions on Sunday morning so that those of you who want to participate again can prepare your posts. You can check out the last party here. I'm hoping it will be another fun time to get to know more bloggers!

What plans do you have for this weekend?

Mimi's coming over tonight for a little pizza party and a Glee re-run (she doesn't have DVR, can you imagine?!--that was a joke). Tomorrow morning, my friend Christy and I are heading off to a few yard sales. I want to find something for my deck...hopefully we'll have some conquests to share with you on Sunday!

{Have a wonderful weekend!}

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

RJ Charms (Giveaway!)

When I saw the Eiffel Tower Charm Necklace, I knew that RJ Charms and I were meant to be. I am so pleased to be able to introduce you to one of my new sponsors today!
The RJ Charms Etsy shop, open since April of 2008, offers an array of charms, necklaces, earrings, stitch markers, and more. She describes her style as "all about playfulness, with nothing over the top." I love that the shop features lovely vintage charm pieces alongside fun and sassy charms.

Jewelry started out as a hobby for RJ during her time as university student, and it grew into a business with a goal of affordability. I really appreciated that RJ Charms has a special section for Necklaces $10 and Under. This makes shopping easy when you need an inexpensive gift and you've got a deadline. If you're not crazy about a bead that's paired with the piece you're interested in, let RJ know and she will customize it for you. Talk about customer service!

Some of my favorites?

Cute charm necklaces:

Dainty earrings:

Fun stitch markers for you knitters:

Know any thirty year olds teens obsessed with Twilight?  She's even featured an homage to the saga:

Aaaand...RJ offers FREE shipping to the US and Canada. It doesn't get much better than that!

Except it does.

RJ Charms has a special Giveaway this week for my readers! One winner will get to choose his/her choice of any Charm Necklace from the $10 and under section. Here's how you can enter:

Between now and Sunday at 5 pm (ET), visit RJ Charms and leave me a comment here with the name of your favorite item. I'll announce the winner on Monday!

{Have a "charming" day!}

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ready, Set, (Spring) Vignette!

My friend Beth at The Stories of A to Z is hosting a vignette party today, and I wanted to join in...not because I am particularly proud of my Spring vignette, but because it could use some help. Y'all know I am not a decorator. Just a mom with a penchant for Target and fine cafe mochas.

We live in a 1970s Colonial, and I guess maybe builders in the 70s didn't value blogging and mantels and the fun that a good mantel post can bring.

So, no mantel here. But I do have the top of a TV armoire and I can decorate it however I want. And by "however I want" I really mean "however YOU tell me" because other than my Pumpkins in the Fall and my Nutcrackers in December, I'm at a real loss.

On the left: The birdcage on the books was a $1.50 makeover from Salvation Army and the birdhouse used to be green.

On the right: The trunk was a Christmas gift from my dad one year and it's up there because I have no earthly idea of where else to keep it. I want to replace the fake-o flowers in that white basket with something else, but not sure with what. The cute bunny frame was a recent makeover and the adorable wooden block was a gift from Tausha.

Another shot:
Any suggestions for ways I can decorate this space? I just can't wait for the next Decorating Dilemmas Party to roll around. I feel like a lot of times I just end up putting "stuff" up there to fill the space....

In other news, today is the last day to enter the Inspired Boutique Giveaway. Hop over to check it out, and be sure to come back tomorrow for a new Sponsor Giveaway!
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Distracted Driving

Who needs talk radio when you are serenaded by the screechingly soft whispers of angels while you drive?

For those of you who are thinking, "Oh, those sweet babies!" let me just inform you that this was the quietest portion of this monotonous harmony performace...and it droned on for the last ten minutes of our ride home. They only paused when we pulled into the driveway and I started recording for posterity's sake. I hope they have fun viewing this video at their 16th birthday parties.

At one point, I considered pulling over so I could stuff Starbucks napkins in my ears because the decibels had reached levels that only dolphins (and I) could hear.

The clincher is that the more agitated I became, and the louder I turned the talk radio up, the more joy they found in torturing me. I'm so glad they didn't discover this new game on the 5 hour drive to Nannie's house. I would have had to stop and take a bus.

I couldn't text while driving if I wanted to because one hand is on the wheel and the other is busy taking turns plugging one ear or the other. This takes distracted driving to a whole new level.

Do you need a little distraction today? Check out my Inspired Boutique Giveaway, open until Wednesday. Cute cute cute Fashion Cards!
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Monday, April 26, 2010

My Totally Rad 80s Birthday Party

"Girls-they wanna have fun. Oh, girls just wanna have fun." 
(I bet you can't read that without hearing Cyndi Lauper!)

I know I've been promising you guys the story on my tight 80s Birthday Party. My favorite sister-in-law Susannah planned the entire thing and my good friend L hosted.

If you stopped by yesterday, I showed you how I styled a completely hip 80s outfit. I thought I'd show you how SuSu put together my totally tubular party, as 80s parties are becoming more commonplace. 

It really would be a fun idea for a girls' night or even a couples' date night, if your husband can be convinced to leave the house looking like Rod Stewart has a good sense of humor. Grab your favorite 80s tunes, some snacks, and a rad costume--and you're set!

It was getting dark when the party started, so some of the pics might be a bit blurry.

We had 80s themed candy, "Mix Tapes," and Gift Basket Giveaways!
80s Theme Birthday Party Ideas, from Serenity Now blog

SuSu Googled "80s candy" and came armed with Razzles, Pop Rocks, Pixie Sticks, and Candy Cigarettes. (I have promised my friends that when I babysit, misbehaving children will be fed 3 Pixie Sticks before their mother arrives to pick them up.) We played a trivia game and the winner took home a basket with Sixteen Candles and some 80s candy. The costume contest winner received a basket with Ferris Bueller and more 80s deliciousness.

Here I am in all my glory (Wish the blue eyeshadow showed up! Check out my neon pink nails.):

I wish you could see my giant pink star earrings and my leg warmers paired with hot pink pumps, but I have banned all photos of myself. It's my birthday, I can do that.

We had some bitchin' costumes. My friends are such good sports! I had an absolute blast dressing up because I spent the 80s in diapers or smocked dresses that my mom made me wear while I watched My Little Ponies and The Smurfs.

There were some Madonnas-Cyndi Laupers-teenie bopper chicks (Kelly, SuSu, Christy):

Love the prom look, the one in the middle is supposed to be the "wall flower," but she painted a hicky onto her neck! (L, Emily, April)

The bad girls and rocker chicks (Meri, Kandis-yes she is preggers!, Erin)

Preps and "Let's Get Physical" Girls (Amy, Mandy, Tracy, Jennifer)

And the winner of the costume contest?
My friend Kelley rocked the Mrs. Keaton/Family Ties look. That's a one piece jumper with shoulder pads, y'all. She must really love me because that thing looked so uncomfortable!

We played a trivia game, had some drinks, lots of girl talk, and lots of pictures! Everyone brought a dish to share and we had a range of everything from pepperoni pizza and potato skins (80s staples) to Tracy's famous bruschetta.

And let's not forget the cake, Pac Man!
80s Theme Birthday Party Ideas, from Serenity Now blog

Not only was it adorable, it was chocolatey and delicious. My friend Amy made it!

I think this was my favorite birthday party ever, and that includes the year my mom let me do the "must-have" Pizza Hut party with the jukebox and we thought we saw Donnie from New Kids on the Block! Thank you, SuSu and L! I should let you all know that SuSu is considering becoming a party planner, but she only does 80s parties. {wink}

Now this post is way too long, so I'll tell you about my birthday loot another day....

Linking to DIY Day

Okay, gotta jet! (Yo, man, let's get outta here. Word to your mother.")

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thrifty Treasures: Material Girl

Yesterday's post gave you two guesses as to where I went last night.

If you guessed "80s themed party," you were like, totally right. My sister-in-law, Susannah, and my good friend L threw me a birthday bash on Saturday night to celebrate my twenty-fauxth birthday.

80s parties are growing in popularity, so I thought it would be fun to show you how I put together a thrifty and hip costume since my mom threw out all the scrunchies and banana clips. You can head over to see Rhoda at Southern Hospitality to read about other bloggers' recent bargain hunting tips--good reads!

If you come back tomorrow, I'll dish all about my mondo party.

If you don't believe that the 80s are back, then check out this accessories wall at Claire's!
It's gloriously hideous, isn't it?

The first, and most crucial, item is the $4.00 black tee-shirt I got at Wal-Mart in the men's section. I bought the largest one I could find and my friend Christy helped me slash it and squirt neon paint all over it. (You saw a hint of it in yesterday's preview) T thought we were buggin' crazy.

Everyone knows accessories are key to any fantabulous outfit. $5 lace belt from Wal-Mart, $1.00 scrunchie set from Claires, 1 FREE glove borrowed from Christy, whose oldest daughter is just now experiencing the joys of 80s fashion. Make-up from The Dollar Tree.

Plastic jewelry is a girl's best friend! $5 beaded necklace from Wal-Mart, $2.00 bracelet from Claires, $5 dangly star earrings. I went for white with the necklace and bracelet because I might actually wear those again!

I think these leg warmers from 5 and Below were $2.00. You can tell they cost $2.00...they're not very warm.
Wanna see how I put it all together? Well, you'll have to wait until tomorrow, so there. It might make you say, "Like, gag me with a spoon." Or, you'll want to go "back to the future." I dunno. I'll let you be the judge.

*Remember, the new Giveaway from Inspired Boutique is going on until Wednedsay...please hit that link and check it out!

Until then, Ev'rybody Wang Chung Tonight, Y'all!

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Inspired Boutique Giveaway

I met Micah-Noel through the comments section here at Serenity Now. I went to reply to a message she'd left me when I noticed she had her own Etsy shop. I was smitten with Inspired Boutique from that first click!

The fashion cards you'll find at Inspired Boutique are one-of-a-kind, hand-made, and absolutely adorable. Any mama would love to receive one of Micah-Noel's cards in the mail this Mother's Day. (that was a hint, T)
I almost think they're too pretty to mail! I can imagine these framed as a collection in my one-day sewing/craft room or even hung from embellished clothes pins on a string. There are so many possibilities.

Inspired Boutique has a great Giveaway for my readers this week!

Between now and Wednesday at 5pm (ET), you can enter to win YOUR CHOICE of any card set (of 2 cards) from the shop.

Here's how you can enter:

Visit Inspired Boutique and leave me a comment here with the name of your favorite item from the store. Easy peasy!

{Happy shopping!}
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Two Guesses...

I'll give you two guesses to figure out where I'm going tonight!
Ev'rybody Wang Chung Tonight, Y'all!

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Friday, April 23, 2010

::Weekend Bloggy Reading::

It's been a busy week here at Serenity Now.

Thanks to each and every blogger who linked up to the Decorating Dilemmas Party on Wednesday. It was a smaller party, which is nice because I think most participants did a great job visiting around and offering encouragement and feedback on Dilemmas and Solutions. The smaller party gave me more time to enjoy my twenty-fauxth birthday with my family.

There were some unique dilemmas, like Paula's shadeless lamp. And there were also some dilemmas that lots of people can relate to, like Danya's corner fireplace. I LOVE how everyone offered thoughtful and genuine advice for each Dilemma presented.

There were also several great Solutions featured, but my two favorites were Pam's triumph over the pink tile fireplace and Kendall's patio progress. These were exciting for me to see because both ladies had linked up those areas as Dilemmas several months ago. They took the suggestions they were given and ran with them...and now they can "wow" everyone!

If you missed linking up this round, check back in soon. I'll announce a May date in the next week or so. If you've linked up recently, start making your plans for updates now so you can share with us at the next Show Me the Progress Party.

As far as fantastic links from around Blogland, I found so many this week that I had to split them up and save some to share with you next week. I love the creativity I see!

~Lynette featured an easy Ruffled Tank Tutorial- perfect for any little girl!

~In love with the new "How to Take a Fantastic Picture" series over at Tatertots and Jello. Great tips, and gorgeous photos!

~The Nester had a great post recently about Furnishing Your Home Secondhand. I like that she practices what she preaches, and I would kill to go yard saling with that girl!

~Love the fun look of Jennifer's Easy T-shirt Necklace. A nice tutorial!

~Chain Link Fence Curtains over at have to see it to believe it. Divine!

~New to sewing or want to learn? Cheryl had an informative post to get you started with a list of Essentials.

As to what I'm up to tomorrow night, I'll give you a little hint tomorrow morning. T and I are hoping to double date tonight with my brother and sister-in-law...the guys want to go to Gander Mountain and the us girls want to see Date Night. I have a feeling I know who'll win out.

If you haven't entered the fantabulous Mississippi Mud Giveaway, there's still time! And please check back later this weekend, because Inspired Boutique will have a sweet Mother's Day Giveaway to share with Serenity Now readers.

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