Saturday, November 29, 2014

Small Business Start-Up: Sew Jolly

Thanksgiving weekend might be the most anticipated shopping week throughout the whole year. So much hype is built around Black Friday shopping and what seems to also be eroding into Thanksgiving day. Only expanding the madness. Small Business Saturday on the other hand brings my favorite and most eager one of all. It's an opportunity to spread some love and show support for your local businesses. And I am all about spreading the love to those who have taken the risk to follow their passion of building a business.

I couldn't think of a better brand or better person to kick off Small Business Saturday and continue our Small Business Start-Up series than with the stylish doggy fashion line I am completely obsessed with, Sew Jolly.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pumpkin Tort

Personally, pumpkin tastes good anytime of the year, but there is something so magical about Thanksgiving as it seems to take the cake when it comes to some pumpkin appreciation. It just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving without some sort of pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, or pumpkin cheesecake to make it's appearance and put the cherry on top of a hearty meal.

Monday, November 24, 2014


In three days Thanksgiving will make its way into our homes and bellies. Lucky for me this past weekend I got to taste a pre-Thanksgiving celebration, also known as the more informal, Friendsgiving. This has become an annual event for some friends and I and has kept me patiently waiting on my toes for the last few weeks. It's double the celebrating which makes the holidays even more exciting. Any excuse to get together with friends, stuff our bellies, sip on old fashioned's, and potentially get a little rowdy is A-OK in my book.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Small Business Start-Up: Adorn Event Styling

Not going to lie people, I have been SO (!!!) excited to launch this new Small Business Start-up Series. This series will feature individuals who have taken the risk to follow their passion and start their own business. Learning the ins and outs of what they do, what they love, and how they did it. I have so much respect and give mad props to the people in the world who take the risk and run with it. Of course I had to jump on this idea since I look at these people as my inspirations! Nothing seems to stand in the way of a motivated mind. And I can't help but want to absorb their endless motivation and use it for my own good. Sounds selfish, but I'm just being real. Right? Who's with me!?! Hopefully this will add fuel to your fire, too!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Keeping Memories Alive, Literally.

Hard to believe my husband and I were taking a Saturday morning hike this weekend staring at this...

Friday, November 14, 2014

To do or not to do: Parental permission to wed your partner & the how-tos

Getting married is a big step and quite an investment in your future. Once an engagement is finalized there are countless hours and endless to-do lists dedicated to creating the magical day. We must also give credit where credit is the strategic planning, preparation, and behind the scene jitters of men and women who take the initiative to ask for someone's hand in marriage. I know when my husband and I got engaged I was blown away by his sweet and thoughtful proposal. It was so eloquently planned and matched us to a tee. Although, one of the first questions I found myself asking after he got down on one knee (yes, he did :)) and once I could contain my emotional state was "Did you talk to my Dad?" 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Winter Bucket List Unleashed

 (A little flashback Thursday: A friend and me in Germany back in 2010)

Over the course of the week I spent some time thinking about how to go about making my bucket list following last week's post and wondering what it should include. Naturally, I wanted a balance between things involving Christmas as it is one of my favorite holidays (along with the 4th of July) and, well, a way to cope with the rest of the long, long, winter. Let's be serious, the real deal comes after the holidays when I sit in my despair, so only preparing for Christmas wasn't really going to solve my deeper rooted issues. Ultimately I needed something that was going to be bullet proof. Some of the things I put on my bucket are no brainers, but it was still admittedly fun and exciting putting my ideas to fruition. (Lists really do make things more real). With that said, I'd like to share my 2014-2015 Winter Bucket List with the intention of rectifying my relationship with the spiteful cold. But first...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Do You. -Living up to your passion

Whelp. We meet again, Monday. The weekends appear to have the power of flying by quick, but I hope you were able to have an enjoyable one.  I soaked up my time catching up with some dear friends and studying. For whatever reason it does seem life has come to a little halt. Maybe it's the Fall hangover from Summer. A recovery period from all the weddings, festivals, birthdays, etc. It does seem to go 0 to 100 real quick! (A little Drake for your Monday morning pick me up!) ;)

Speaking of music, today's post is inspired by none other than a few simple lyrics combined with a catchy tune.

Friday, November 7, 2014

3 Hair Product Must Haves

There is something so freeing about the word 'Friday,' and I don't think its only because its the last day of the work week. You know if Friday were moved into Tuesday's place I think people would feel better about it. It's true! Something about the way it slips off your tongue... try it... "Frrrriiiiiddddaaayyyy." Now try it with Tuesday, "TUESSSSSday." See? It just doesn't have the same ring to it. But speaking of Friday, happy weekend lovelies! Have any fun plans for the weekend? Kyle's hunting Saturday and Sunday so I plan to soak up some lady-time wine and dine. Some gehlfrans and I also started a breakfast club a few months ago and intend on doing our monthly rendezvous at a little joint in downtown Milwaukee. Last month we ventured out to the Tosa village and hit up Cafe Hollander, but I'm not sure what our plans are for this month's excursion. It's fun testing out new spots in the Milwaukee area so if you have any suggestions I'm all ears. 

Today I'm kicking off the weekend with a little peek of my top three favorite hair products. Frankly, with the cold weather coming up I always find my hair and skin take a toll so I'm constantly on the lookout for new products to help keep it healthy and stylish.

My first favorite product is my oldest and dearest shampoo and conditioner, Shampure by Aveda. I used Shampure all throughout high school and every time I bring it back I am reminded of my younger years. It's amazing what memories certain smells can evoke! Overall, I've had good experiences with Aveda and I love that they don't test any of their products on animals. With an enticing earthy smell, their Shampure shampoo and conditioner have become like a favorite pair of  jeans (you know, the ones tethered and worn but you can't throw them out because they are the comfiest).  Not only does it let me relive my youth, but I found it doesn't make my hair feel greasy or flat either.

Number two on my must haves is a newer one for me. I have fallen in love and I fell fast with the soy HealthySexyHair hairspray. I believe its cousin is the BigSexyHair, which to be fair does hold better than the HealthySexyHair does BUT doesn't smell as heavenly. I like that its a natural hairspray and I know this doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things but the packaging/branding is impressive (I like the colors). I will say your hair (and bathroom) smell amazing when using this and it really is worth the $$$. I know, sometimes it seems dumb to splurge on hairspray, but if you can swing it this one is worth the squeeze. I use ULTA for a lot of my beauty product needs. They usually have some decent deals and you can always find a $3.50 or 20% off coupon on their website. (Speaking of this, they have a buy 2, get 1 free sale going on right now).

My third favorite hair product must have goes out to Moroccan Oil. THIS has become a staple in my hair care regime. According to my hair stylists, you can't buy just any type of Moroccan Oil and quite honestly I can't give you a great answer as to why that is, but I only ask that you trust what I say and look for the the bottle in the picture I posted as your guide. This product has really saved the life of my hair. Being a blonde takes a beating on my hair strands and moroccan oil has helped to repair the quality and overall feel of my hair. What's also great is you can use it on wet or dry hair and all you need is a little dime-sized amount :) And who doesn't love a little coconut aroma that reminds you of sunbathing on a beach. If only it came with a margarita... A little Jimmy Buffett style.

If you're looking for some new products to shake up your beautifying experience, may I suggest you give one of these a try!?! What are some of your hair product must haves? How about favorite haircare scents? Leave a comment below!

Have a safe and happy weekend & visit back on Monday :) 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Have a holly jolly winter

It won't be long until the cold consumes us and winter has crept its way back into our lives.  In my mind, winter is equivalent to one of those icky ex-boyfriends (or girlfriends) that you keep going back to thinking somehow THIS time will be different, but every attempt at rectifying the relationship turns out to be a sour bust. Okay, maybe that example is a little harsh, but its hard not to point out the obvious! I mean we've all been there at some point in our lives, right? Right? 

I say this every season change (I really mean it this time), but I want to take advantage of the holidays and make amends with winter this year.

Monday, November 3, 2014

"I put a spell on you"- November's Challenge

Can you believe it's November already?!?! I don't know about you, but the years seem to go faster with age. I hope you all had a spooktacular Halloween and took advantage of the extra hour in your day. I know soaked up the clocks turning back, but I can also say this was the first year (since I can remember) I didn't celebrate Halloween on Halloween weekend (don't all gasp at once). It felt kinda weird not going out or dressing up but honestly I think I needed a weekend to recharge my batteries and just chill. I'm slowing starting to warm up to the idea that I don't always have to be doing something and this weekend was a perfect demonstration. Although, I can't say I haven't done any Halloweenie celebrating this year because I did dress up as Dorothy last weekend in Colorado and of course had a blast revising the Wizzard of Oz storyline. A short summary for all you curious Georges' would go something like this: a bed falls on the witch (instead of a house), Dorothy fell down the stairs (instead of in a twister), and "we're not in Wisconsin anymore" in place of Kansas. Not sure my version would be a mega blockbuster hit but nonetheless it produced a lot of laughs and let's be real, laughing is the best. 

Now that Halloween has passed and November is upon us (which here in Wisconsin means winter will shortly be a reality) Thanksgiving is lurking right around the corner. During my time of R&R this weekend I started reading a new book called "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. It's amazing how things come together at the most ideal times, because since my last birthday I vowed to have monthly challenges but was having trouble thinking about what I should do for November. October was push something new and I challenged myself to ride in my first 30-mile bike race (scratch that, my first bike race ever) and September was repeat it, meaning challenge myself again to something I had done in the past. This coincided with me running a half-marathon for the second time this year. BUT back to my original thought of finding something for November, as I was reading The Four Agreements it explained how the way we communicate to others is an example of us "putting our spells on people." You might be asking, what does that mean? Well I'm paraphrasing here, but essentially it boils down to how our words/the dialogue we use reflects not only how we feel about ourselves but also how it impacts others by hearing and potentially accepting what you're putting out there.

When you cast negative words (or what I would refer to as negative energy) what you find is that you're putting a spell on someone AND also yourself! In the 4A's (we'll just shorten it), Ruiz uses the analogy of 'your word' as the tool of magic that represents a double-edged sword. He adds that YOU have the power to create something beautiful and at the same YOU possess the ability to destroy through the words you choose.

Reading this got me thinking about this months challenge. Given its the month of Thanksgiving where there's almost an underlying advertisement for encouraging thoughts about what you're thankful for, I want to take it a step further. I started to think about the idea of casting a spell with your words and how that translates into how we cast spells with our actions OR lack of action. By all means I am nowhere near the perfect friend, daughter, or wife, and I don't pretend to be those things. On the flip side, I also need to invest in those things because that is what is important in my life. I also want to include the way I could be a better "stranger" by doing random acts of kindness or small acts of casting positive spells. Therefore, this months November challenge is about not only acknowledging your gratitude but more importantly you spreading it to others. Spread it so the positive virus infects others and creates a need to be contagious with love and kindness.

So I want to ask all of you readers to join me in November's "Cast a spell" challenge by intentionally doing one thing a day for the entire month that would be for someone else. This could mean you sending a text message to a friend telling them how appreciative you are of them or it could be as simple as holding the door for a stranger. Maybe it's smiling at someone walking past you on the street or cooking your family their favorite meal. How do YOU cast your spell with your words AND actions?

So please join me in this months challenge of 'Cast a Spell' and let's revisit this come December. I would even encourage you to keep a little log of what you did each day and maybe see if it changes something for you (mood, energy, etc).

Are you up for the November challenge? Any ideas that come to mind already? Feel free to leave a comment below if you want to commit to the month OR share your thoughts as you're doing it! And if you're liking what you're reading and haven't done so already, please subscribe to Life à la Carte through your email on the right hand side of the page. Thanks for your readership and good luck!!!