28.11.12

Whoopie Pie Wednesday: Maple Spice and a mudslide

yes, cause I care aboout y'all so much...I am combining two yummies in one post! The first is the usual Wednesday go to. Whoopie Pies and this week involves two of my favorite flavors. Maple and spice. yay Fall. It is still officially Fall. Till December 21st actually. So I have zero guilt about this. ZERO.





Ingredients
1 box spice cake mix
1/3 cup veggie oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 packet cheesecake pudding
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup whipping cream
4-6 oz cream cheese softened
(see notes below if you want cool whip version instead)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine cake mix, oil, eggs & water in bowl.   
Drop by  tablespoon onto lined cookie sheet (leave about an inch between each cookie)

Bake 8-9 minutes

Cool on pan 5 minutes, move to wire rack and cool 15 more minutes

Beat softened cream cheese on low for a min or until fluffy, add dry pudding packet, maple syrup & two tbsp of whipping cream, beat on low till pudding is fully incorporated into cream cheese and add remaining whipping cream, turn speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Let set in fridge for at least an hour before frosting. 

notes***
for cool whip version, make cheesecake pudding w/1 cup of milk, let set up in fridge for 10 minutes, then fold in whipped topping and maple syrup. The cinnamon cool whip would be good too.
You could also use store bought frosting and just mix in the maple syrup.

Place a dollop of frosting in center and top w/another cookie. 

Now go enjoy these. Wait, you probably need a frothy drink to go with these bad boys. In case you missed this post; pumpkin latte mudslide, Here is the recipe for the other one I was supposed to share...

Pumpkin Fluff Mudslide.

Ingredients
1 cup coffee ice cream
1 1/2 oz kahlua
1 1/2 oz marshmallow fluff vodka
1 1/2 Pumpkin Cream liqueur)or pumpkin eggnog)
1 cup ice
1 pinch pumpkin pie spice(optional)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency  Keep in mind you can make this w/more or less of any ingredient, including alcohol. This would be super simple to adapt to a Non Alcoholic version, just omit the alcohol and use 3 oz coffee and substitute pumpkin spice coffee creamer.

linking up today with

PTSD and me

* Today is August 11th. The best and worst date of my life. August 11th 1194, I overdosed and had cardiac arrest. Thus beginning my battle. August 11th 2011 I was once again suicidal and hospitilized for 10 days. And finally, one year ago today, August 11th 2013, I finished a two year PTSD treatment.

  I wrote this piece almost two years ago when I was in the midst of my struggles. If you are going through this now or plan to, please know that I am on the other side and things have never been better.

 I have started and stopped this post so many times. I guess it is because am not sure how to properly parlay my thoughts on it. It's probably also due to the fact that I am so immersed in it weekly that I don't want to particularly spend any more time thinking about it than I have to. But people keep asking and so I will try. But the past few days have been rough. If you are unfamiliar w/what I am talking about then you can check out these two posts my battle w/mental illness and my infertility struggles

After I wrote those I received over a numerous texts and emails. Some from friends and some from strangers. People kept referring to me as brave and strong. But really, I am not. I'm not that strong. My facade is. Yes. For the most part I am very good at putting that on. But inside I am weak and fearful. and this illness is ugly. Yes, I've suffered mightily but so have a lot of other people. and unfortunately  I have been the cause of their pain.


 For people I care deeply about.

 This illness conceals itself and comes out at the most inopportune time. I have come so far since I started this process, but oh...I have so much farther to go and I am not sure I have left what it takes to do it. I don't want to give up...but am I made of what it takes? I just don't know.

A majority of the emails were from people who knew me and were shocked. "but you are always happy!" or "I know people who have really bad bipolar, you seem normal"  So, I think these were meant complimentary but, for starters, and excuse me,  what in hades  is "normal?" Clue me in.  and secondly, I mean, I hope people don't meet me and think "Duham, this girl got her some problems" .  I do...but seriously, who wants to hang out w/someone who cries all the time, who brings their depression every where they go .I know I don't want an invite to a pity party so I don't hand them out to mine either.  So I hide it and tuck it away. Which is also the seed of my problem.


Anyways. PTSD treatment, to be honest, sucks a big one.  I want to be real. Today I hurt and I'm angry. It's taken forever for me to get angry and I am embracing it this week. I was diagnosed with ptsd on three points. having been sexually abused by the son of a babysitter, being brutally raped at 14 and then being in an abusive relationship that finally ended with a cigarette being put out on my left arm. The scar is the constant reminder. But for this therapy, we concentrate mainly on the abuse as a toddler. So throughout today, that will be what I am referencing. 


I was three. I had the most pale blonde hair and blue eyes and from every picture I have ever seen...I was always smiling this mischievous smile. and then, for almost every picture after for years...I wasn't. I scowled. 


He took my innocence. He took so many things from me, from my future that I can't properly grieve for them b/c I have no idea what the me who was...might ever have accomplished. He has made me incapable of accepting the love my husband offers. he has made me second guess everything. He set me up to be taken advantage of as a teenager b/c I never thought I deserved better. and made me feel so dirty. I don't know If I will ever be clean...

I am not going to delve into specific details...but I am going to be blunt. These things are ugly. It murdered my spirit and left my body as a an empty vessel who was a great actress for years. He told me to keep it a secret b/c "that's what big girls do" and from then on...I kept a secret like nobodies business and that almost destroyed my life. 


11 hospitalizations  Horrible places. Things you can't imagine. and never being fixed. years of different drugs trying to stabilize me. So many failures. I failed so many times. I gave up so many times. and now...at 34, I am on my way to being "fixed" but the road is so bumpy, full of pot holes that keep trying to throw me off course. but I am using four wheel drive this time.


Every week I have therapy. it entails talking about the traumas in depth. They are recorded  and every day I have to listen to them. Full immersion. The point behind it is so that it no longer serves a flashback but as memories, albeit horrific ones...but they won't stop you in your tracks any more. Supposedly. I'm not there yet.


 The nightmares that this has triggered are ones I can't explain. I wake up terrified and am sometimes so afraid to sleep for fear what will visit me. when the Penn State scandal happened...it wasn't just a terrible story. It completely turned my world upside down, for weeks it was that bastards face that found me in my dreams. I would throw up after seeing interviews. and finally my therapist and husband banned me from reading or watching anything to do with it. Yes...I was banned from ESPN for two weeks. if you know my love of sports...you know that was traumatic in and of itself;) 

It is often times strange listening to the sessions. I have tendencies to dissociate myself from the situation. I refuse to believe that little girl is me and this is actually not good. It's avoidance and it is the cornerstone of PTSD. It's how I survived the last 31 years. but this last week.. listening to it, I cried for the first time and I got angry. I embraced that little girl and I finally cried for her and in turn...myself. it's weird  sometimes when I listen, I learn new things...each week there are new details that emerge and sometimes when I am talking...my voice and mannerisms sound like a little girl. I am actually back in the moment. I have to tell the story four or five times each session...back to back to back.


and then each night, I have to listen to the recordings. and it is hell. But the possibility of being able to let this go, pushes me on. For what life could hold for me when I am done...is the hope that has evaded me for always. 

My goal is that one day  I can forgive him...b/c until I do, he will always have a hold of me and I can never really let go and live. I will just keep on existing.


So those are my Tuesdays. I hate them. but I value them so much. I am so grateful for them. I am so lucky and so blessed, as strange as that may sound. I have a husband who loves me, who fought for me on the days I couldn't muster the strength to fight for myself.  I have parents who have bent over backwards to see me get well. I have siblings and sis in laws who are in my corner. I have in laws that love me as if I was theirs.  So many people do not. If I was in any other situation...I'd never have survived.


I have questioned many times over the year what exactly God's plans are. I have often times not understood His ways. But I will tell you with absolutely zero doubt that I believe He has one, that He loves me immensely  And one day(hopefully soon, I mean...let's be real;) I will grasp the meaning. 

editors note. August 11th 2014. 
While being healed has come to mean something different than what I originally pictured, I am accepting being ok with what it looks like. When I used to look in the mirror, shame, disgust and fear always seemed to stare back.  Lately, though, more and more , a woman who forged through what scared her the most and that continued on when her mind beckoned her to quit...that is the face I spy most often when I catch a glimpse of myself.

There is still a place I am working to get to, I still sometimes struggle with the memories and the belief I have about myself in the aftermath, but that is the beautiful process of choosing life...the actual process. I am finally to a point where my life has become one worth living. 

I no longer just exist...I am alive and kicking. 


if you are struggling and looking for answers. If life is so much more than you bargained for, I cannot tell you enough that no matter how bad it is...please seek help and know that while it may not be easy, I promise you it will be worth it.

26.11.12

Oatmeal Butterscotch Goodness Bars

I threw my sis in laws baby shower last week while we were in Boston for Gobble, Gobble day and I went w/a Fall theme. Pumpkins and owls. I'll do a whole post on it soon, but one of the desserts I made was these bars. If you saw my Oatmeal Butterscotch Whoopie Pies, then you know I heart this flavor combo. I keep thinking I can't get a new favorite. I thought for sure the Fluffernutter Bars I am continually wrong. Oh. Dear. Me. I can't explain what happened when I first ate this. Love at first bite. These are very sweet, but I could have eaten them all. Thank goodness for being in public. I was saved from myself. But barely...


I have made so many versions. and yes, these are ooey gooey bars and Neiman Marcus bars and Chess bars & any other name I have yet to have heard of. I stumbled upon a blog a while back from pinterest that had made a chess bar recipe and the comments were cracking me up. Girls were getting all kinds of riled up over the names. "No, these are definitely Neiman Marcus bars" No way, these are for sure ooey gooey bars" and lots of other less than lady like comments. haha Who knew people were so passionate about these bars. Here's the deal...they're scrumptious. So really who cares what they're called. 

and so henceforth...any version I make will be known as "goodness" bars b/c quite frankly...that's better suited than some of the other names;) and yes, I totally said Henceforth...I'm a word nerd.  Not sorry.

Ingredients:
Cake:
1 box yellow cake mix
8 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg

1/2 bag butterscotch chips
1 packet butterscotch pudding

Filling:
1 8 oz pkge of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
8 tbsp butter, melted
16 oz powdered sugar
1 packet cheesecake pudding

1/2 bag butterscotch chips


DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, butter, pudding packet and butterscotch chips and mix well with an electric mixer.  Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
Sprinkle remaining chips over cake mixture
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the eggs and butter and beat together. 
Next, add the pudding packet and slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix well.  Spread over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.
The edges are my favorite. Save them for yourself. Hide them if you must. I don't care what you do. and Wiki says these are better the next day, cold and with coffee. I wouldn't know. I don't drink that horrendous stuff.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Bake

Yes. I know Halloween AND Thanksgiving are both over and it's Jingle Bells time every.where.you.go. but I am holding out, as I always do, till the first of December. Am I a bah humbug? Not at all...I have said many times how everything about Fall is my favorite. The scents, flavor combinations and colors. I heart it and so I wait till I absolutely must make it look my my house threw up green and red. haha just kidding. and besides, my hubs is Italian and so we celebrate Little Christmas on the 6th of January, ergo... I have a week of extra decor. 

and so...this week, I still have "fallish" recipes for you, what better way to take advantage of all the sale items! 


I love french toast casseroles/bakes. I got my first recipe a few years ago and have adapted quite a few versions since then. This is one of my favorites and I have two versions here, the one I made this week and the easy recipe that is my normal go to. the first is different b/c I used sliced bread...but when I saw it, I knew I had to use it and I had just made the Apple Cider Whoopie Pies and had some filling left over and last minute decided to add it for this and see how it came out. Good. people. Good.

Version 1(pictured)
1 loaf cinnamon sugar bread
1 cup pumpkin spice coffee creamer
4 eggs
2 tbsp butter(cold and cut into pieces)
2 tbsp cinnamon sugar
cheesecake filling(see below for recipe)

Cut each bread slice into 4 pieces, lay each piece "on top" of the other. Using a butter knife, spread the cheesecake filling(click HERE to see recipe) onto each slice. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, creamer and a pinch of the cinnamon sugar. Pour over the bread, if there is any left, you can save it and after it soaks in the fridge, pour onto it before it bakes) I sometimes use my hands to press the slices down, just to make sure the pieces are completely covered. Let sit in fridge for at least 8 hrs. 

Bake for 25 min and take out of oven, place butter pieces over the bread and top w/remaining cinnamon sugar and bake for another 5-10 minutes. 

Serve warm, if for breakfast, you can serve w/syrup or whip cream and if as a dessert, goes great w/ ice cream.

This is the alternate version and how I normally make these "casseroles"
1 large or 2 small loaves of french bread
1 cup pumpkin spice creamer
1/2 cup milk
5 eggs
2 tbsp cinnamon sugar
2 tbsp butter)cold and cut in small pieces)

tear the bread slices and place in pan.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, creamer and a pinch of the cinnamon sugar. Pour over the bread, if there is any left, you can save it and after it soaks in the fridge, pour onto it before it bakes) I sometimes use my hands to press the slices down, just to make sure the pieces are completely covered. Let sit in fridge for at least 8 hrs. 

Bake for 30/35 min and take out of oven, place the butter pieces over the bread and sprinkle w/remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake another 5-10 minutes.

If for some reason you can't find the pumpkin creamer anymore, you could use half/half and add a tbsp of pumpkin pie spice.

and from my trip last week, I was in Boston and the first thing I did when I landed and waited on my in laws to pick me up was this...


I love everything about this. In case you never read THIS post, I love me some Dunkachinos and since I'm Southern...obviously I love red velvet. However...there's few things I adore more than the Pats. Yes, some of you hate me now. it's ok. My feelings aren't hurt;)

15.11.12

Thirsty Thursday: Pumpkin Latte Mudslide

It's that season again. You know, Starbucks Holiday drinks. Pumpkin Spice Latte, Salted Caramel then comes Peppermint Mocha What? You didn't know there were 5 seasons now?! I can assure you that for some people this is basic truth. I have made quite a few Starbucks inspired mudslides, salted caramel mudslide and peppermint oreo mudslide. and so I had thought for a while as to how I could bring a pumpkin spice latte to fruition.

The first go round was for our Halloween party, I made my concoction using coffee ice cream, pumpkin cream liquor, kahlua & fluff vodka...and it was pretty tasty...Just didn't quite capture the true essence that is a Pumpkin Spice Latte, the version that people literally plan their day around(not me, but definitely some people) and I set about to rectify this.

And just this past week Starbucks themselves sent me a sign that they were all gung ho in supporting me in my endeavor by releasing this is very thing one day I was aisle hopping trying to come up w/ideas. I dare you to argue this wasn't their goal...

Behold this diddly...

and my answer was so obvious and simple it would have been almost offensive to not oblige Starbucks in their quest to help me perfect this tasty treat.

Ingredients
1 cup ice cream
1 1/2 oz kahlua
1 1/2 oz vanilla vodka
1 1/2 oz baileys
2 oz coffee
1 cup ice
1 pinch pumpkin pie spice(optional)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency  Keep in mind you can make this w/more or less of any ingredient, including alcohol. This would be super simple to adapt to a Non Alcoholic version.
Just omit the alcohol and use 3 oz coffee and substitute one of the bazillion many caramel flavored coffee creamers.

I made this particular recipe for a gathering I had and used shooter glasses. This recipe yielded 10 medium sized shooters. I would think it would convert to 2/3 glasses if that's how you choose to enjoy it.

and don't worry, I know you are so concerned about not knowing exactly what my first recipe was, the one involving pumpkin liqueur and marshmallow fluff. Stop it, you should know by now I only want for you to get some goodness. Tune in soon and you will get that one too.

and yes. earlier your mind didn't deceive you...I typed the word diddly. that's right. and I am not afraid to own it.

14.11.12

Whoopie Pie Wednesday:Apple Cider

I try and map out my whoopie pies based on the plans I have, who I may see and taste preferences. One of my friends is an apple cider junkie. I, on the other hand, am not. I had played around w/how I may create one and was still slightly befuddled, when by happenstance, I was checking out at Target and saw a box of apple cider mix and there was my answer. I will not pretend they were my favorite, but I liked them more than I had anticipated. Which, in my book is a plus!


Ingredients
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup veggie oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
4 packets apple cider mix
1 packet cheesecake pudding
1 cup whipping cream
4-6 oz cream cheese softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Directions
Combine cake mix, oil, eggs, water & two packets of apple cider mix in bowl.   
Drop by tbsp onto lined cookie sheet 
Bake 8-9 minutes

Cool on pan 5 minutes, move to wire rack and cool 15 more minutes

Beat softened cream cheese on low for a min or until fluffy, add dry pudding packet 2 packets of apple cider mix & two tbsp of whipping cream, beat on low till pudding is fully incorporated into cream cheese and add remaining whipping cream, turn speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Let set in fridge for at least an hour before frosting. 

Take one cookie and place a tablespoon or so of frosting in the center.  Press another cookie on top.

Perhaps you can enjoy these with an Apple Cider Mimosa, or next week I'll have the recipe for an apple cider sangria.

and the text from my friend that is a cider junkie went something like this
"Oh myyyyy goodnessss, heaven in my mouth, can I live w/you?"
I think she approved;)

Tomorrow is Thirsty Thursday...

Spicy Apple Pork Roast

One of my favorite reasons for Fall is the use of apples in so many dishes... that involve pork. No to apple pie, no to apple bundles. I kinda hate baked fruit(which you're gonna find today's whoopie pies funny) I just have never been a fan of baked apples. The texture I think, but I do love the added flavor they give dishes & this one was no different. I stumbled upon this apple salsa at Aldis and I knew instantly what was going to happen with it. and it didn't involve tortilla chips. and if you can't find this salsa, never fear...read the notes section and I will have an alternate idea.


Ingredients
1 pork butt or roast
1 jar of Apple salsa
1 small sweet onions, sliced thin
2 apples, cut in small pieces
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup peach vodka, or brandy

Directions
Place meat in crockpot and dump in all ingredients, cook on low for 6 hrs. and I also cut up a sweet potato & a few red bliss potatoes & with about an hour left I added them to the crockpot, just stirred them about every 15 minutes.

Notes
If you cannot find this, try using 1 cup of applesauce, 1 small can of Mexican spiced tomatoes & a pinch of cinnamon & nutmeg, along w/salt & pepper to taste.

These would also be really good as tacos & fajitas, we've made them that way before and yum!

This was so easy to make and my kitchen smelled superb!!!

12.11.12

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bundles

There are a lot of ideas I conjure up on my own for this blog, but the majority are adapted(ran with) from other amazingly creative recipes. This is one of those times. I love me some Pinterest...ok, ok. More so I am addicted, but I can't help it. it's not my fault it's so fantastic! and one of the recipes I had seen so many times was for a sopapilla cheesecake, the picture that kept me drooling was originally from Real Mom Kitchen, but I discovered it via My Yellow Umbrella...both of which are fabulous blogs that I recommend you check out! 

and so I made it, and while it was quite tasty, mine looked no where near as utterly mouth drooling watering as that one did and I admit, I try not to serve ugly food. Sometimes while doing this blog, that's the one thing I feel holds me back...some of the pictures people put on their blogs blows my mind and I get nervous and feel inadequate...then I get over and blog anyways. haha but, I did find an answer to my problem, I just made individual "bundles" and voila, problem solved. or as solved as I'm gonna get it. My food tastes good, and that's as good as it's gonna get;)




Ingredients
2 packages crescent rolls
8 oz pumpkin cream cheese, softened(if you can't find it, check my notes section)
1 package cheesecake pudding mix, dry
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp butter, melted
cinnamon sugar 
pumpkin pie spice(optional)

Directions
unroll crescent rolls, separate and lay flat on pan. Mix together cream cheese, pudding mix and heavy whipping cream till stiff peaks appear. Place a tbsp of the pumpkin mixture and place on the "fat" end of the crescent roll, roll up as you normally would. Brush the tops w/butter and the cinnamon sugar and PP spice. Bake as directed. let cool for about 15 min and enjoy.

Notes***If you can't find pumpkin cream cheese, there are a few options. You could add dry pumpkin pudding mix to the mixture( I found this at the inner depths of Hell Walmart, just add an extra 1/4 cup of whipping cream. You could also probably use 1/2 cup pumpkin pie mix, I haven't done that so I cannot guarantee how it would come out.

and if you have extra, put in the fridge to set up for an hour and use as a dip, with either graham crackers or apples. There you go, folks...two treats in one, you're welcome!

I can also say these are tasty as a breakfast option with a coffee(or if you're me, a Dunkachino)

9.11.12

Fashion Friday: Meet Alyssa

As I mentioned yesterday, Alyssa is one of my oldest friends.We met in HS & then lost touch. Around 8 years ago, my sissy in law, Aimers had been telling me about her new friend, Alyssa, but I had yet to put two & two together(I never was a math girl)Then I was going w/them to a church picnic & I discovered it was "my old Alyssa" and from there our friendship has blossomed. The three of us have done many girl trips, meandering our way through some fun places and e I head home to the 'burg, we have girl nights and fellowship. Alyssa is the one I mentioned doing my hair and makeup from my Halloween/Apple Cider post...she had never done victory curls before and was so nervous she watched you tube tutorials for a week to prepare and, ummmm, she did AH~MAZING! You would never know it was her first ever try! I never had doubts she'd pull it off!


Pin up hair & make up
Yes, the gorgeous "Amazon" on the far right is Lyss...
I may have had on 4 inch wedges in this pic & still that
short!!!

Let me first start by introducing myself!  My name is Alyssa and I am currently living in Lynchburg, VA but originally from Santa Barbara, California.  I am a wife and a mother of 2 sweet little girls, Kiaerah (8) and Nadiah (5).

The Fashionista herself

Alyssa & Mike

The girls

Built in besties

Miss Kiaerah

Miss Nadiah
My love for clothes and fashion started after I had my first child.  I realized that my everyday look of jeans, surf shirts and flip flops was not exactly the look I wanted going into motherhood.  Plus, after having a baby I was feeling horribly about my post baby body. I wanted to feel more mature and honestly, I wanted to feel pretty!  

So I started doing my fashion research!  I started watching “what not to wear” and reading fashion magazines to figure out what I like and what I didn't.  But, the most important thing I learned is how to dress for my body!  When it comes to jean size, it’s a number and the fit is the most important thing.  I didn’t want to feel worse about my body than I already did!  So fitting into my pre-baby size 8 was not the way to feel good about myself, because, let’s be honest, I couldn’t even get an 8 over my thighs!  I tried a 10 and that was horrible as it was just a big mess of muffin top, but once I put on 12, I found that my curves looked good and honestly I looked thinner!!  This was my “ah ha” moment.  What matters most is how you feel in clothes and the fit!  


So after many years of refining my look (and bonus…losing the baby weight…well after baby 2!) here I am today loving fashion and more importantly, feeling fantastic about myself.  Because ladies... the best accessory to any wardrobe is confidence at any size! 

Here is a little sneak peek of what you will see on “Fashion Friday”…


Each week I will include a couple OOTD (outfit of the day) pictures with an explanation of where each item is from and the cost, tidbit and tricks on how to look super fabulous, how to incorporate trends, and lastly new “must have” items that any girl at any size can rock and look fabulous doing it!  

Can’t wait for the first official “Fashion Friday” post next week!  

A special thanks to Maddie Rae for giving me the honor of contributing to her amazing blog!  Love ya girl!!!

So today was your first look at Fashion Friday, I hope you liked it.I am thrilled that Lyss is going to be doing this, she is one of my favorites! And if you are visiting from Lyss's Instagram, Welcome! I hope you'll stay awhile. Peruse through my pages if you also like Tasty treats & drinks!

I will be doing my first "official" giveaway soon, so keep stopping by! Next week will feature Pumpkin Latte Mudslide & Apple Cider Whoopie Pies!

and b/c I am a bad wife, here is my husband's bargain find...apparently when you brag about your own abilities, you must include the Hubs;) sorry I didn't yesterday.

A dept store went out of business & sold a bunch of these to a vintage store near our house.
They have a plethora to choose from & apparently it's a secret b/c Tony has gotten so many
the past few years. Smells so good and only $15.
No, I won't tell you where;)
And remember to follow my new FB page: http://www.facebook.com/TingeOfWhimsy

and lastly, have yourselves a fabulous weekend!

8.11.12

Bargain Bounties

and yes, I absolutely mean bounties! I was born ready for bargains. and I mean bargains. Not like I have 740 coupons, I just like to happen upon glorious finds that leave me twirling in delight in some nondescript store. Unexpected and so much more fulfilling, not that the few times my coupons and HT triple coupons have aligned...that I haven't bragged been thrilled) there's just something about stumbling upon that piece you just need and it being ridiculously cheap(as in not expensive, not cheap looking. uh uh, no go)Contentment!

 And I am better at it than anybody I know. I don't mean that cocky...I just get lucky, plus my mantra is if it's over $20 then I don't need it. Obviously...I sometimes sway from that, but more often than not...I don't have to. And my closet is busting at the seams w/CK, MK, Joes, Laundry...so forth & so on(it also is busting at the seams from Target). For example, I was perusing the smelly lovely aisles of Good Will one day & I saw a pair of jeans with the original price tag still attached...and I did a double take, it was a pair of Seven For All Mankind jeans, along w/it's almost $200 tags. in. my. size. I heard the angels sing. ok, maybe they were just humming, but still.

Anyways, to show you that, yes, it is absolutely possible that you can get awesome things for under $25( I had to up my normal $20 b/c these one pair of boots owned me the second I spied them. They knew a sucker was in their midst) But before I show you the pictures, let's talk about a new topic I'll be tackling. Every Friday will now be Fashion Friday & my girl, Miss Lyss, will be showing you some of her fine fashion sense. 

I decided to do this b/c of one of my new obsessions joys, pinterest told me to, I love it! She is the perfect convergence of sweet meets sassy. And her styles are whimsy(ummm, obviously this is fantastical) The premise of her blog is that she finds outfits on Pinterest & pretty much rocks them. I love the outfits, but it is her quips that I come back for. She loves her some Loft. It's funny b/c I used to always pass it & think of my friend Lindsay, as she was a buyer for them. When I shopped w/her there a few times it was so fun to have her point out the things that she had put in the store. Now I walk by there & see a mannequin and I picture Sheaffer wearing it and taking a picture in her mirror. haha Help me. 

I found her from a blog I have followed for years, mixandmatchmama. Shay whips up some awesome treats and she has adorable kids, this led me to Andrea @ Slightly Askew Designs, you may remember her from this post, she revamped my whole blog for $35 and she's awesome! and then I discovered one of my new favorites, Tucker Up. Sarah is newly married and she is little Miss(actually make that Mrs.) DIYer! I am jealous of her talents! check out her side tables and any of her DIY posts! 

Here is the crazy thing...all these ladies live in the same city in Texas. I am undecided as to how I feel about this. I kinda feel like Mckinney is selfish. How many cool girls can live in one place? Sheesh. and we'd all be friends. Cause they seem awesome and as I've always said...My rule is I'm only friends w/awesome people;) However, I have discovered one downside to following Sheaffer. Her blog makes me sin a lot, I mean, to quote the Dixie Chicks, I feel like I am hitching a ride on a sin wagon! Not sure what I mean? It's called coveting. and she has me doing it an exponential amount after every new post! Especially her giveaways! Come to think of it, shouldn't she have a disclaimer warning us of this? 

Anyways, I love fashion and I contemplated taking a few weekly shots of outfits I love...then I remembered I don't have a full length mirror( I know, the horror) and I could ask Wiki to take a picture of me before he leaves for work, but he leaves at 5:30 am and I am lazy have common sense, so that's out. Thus, the genius of Lyss. She is sweet, beautiful and always stylin...plus she has over 800 followers on instagram for her fashion diaries. A good move on my part, dontcha think.

So stay tuned tomorrow, and please check out these ladies blogs, you will be glad you did!

and after all that, finally here are my goodies from the weekend!

I wish these pictures could do justice, but they won't and ignore how I wear a small, a medium or a large. Depends on the designer.



Loved this sweater and I had a GC so "splurged" on $22 only for it to ring up $10.99! Can't wait to wear it w/ my grey Steve Madden's! 
These were my $25 purchase, but oh. my. gosh. I love these boots! 
They're black and brown!
and these leggings, i've never seen anything like them, they're lined with fleece! 
I head to Boston next week for 10 days, these will come in handy!!
$4.99 each, thank you, Ross!!!


I love the green & blue peep toe wedges! They will be so cute in the Spring/Summer w/ a navy dress or a navy shirt & jeans.
and I love the leapord sandals. and guess what....
These shoes, COMBINED were $8.34.
Charming Charlie, I heart you! 
I love this dress, actually any stretch dress. but this one is awesome 
and it was $21.98, take an extra 30% off...
yup, from $90 to just over $15.
Key West in Jan...here I come! 
I wish you could see how sweet this dress is. I love it. 
I can't wait to pair it w/a demure cardigan & wear my camel wedges w/it for 
the baby shower next week.
and as you can see...
another $15 dress after the 30% off 
This definitely looks much better on than it does on the hanger.
I want to wear this somewhere for New Years.
or somebody get married next year.
this one was a little much, a whole $17.50 
and remember my birthday post about the screaming sephora gift cards?
well, I am smart & I listened to them...
and for $54, including tax(free shipping)
these were my goodies...
The lash stash, worth $132, for $45
2 polishes, clearanced to $3 each..
the rest was all free!
over $65 worth of free goodies! 
Cheap is good, but it never beats free!!!

Now, go forth & shop!
and check out the lovely ladies from Mckinney. 
just remember though, if you Sheaffer makes you sin too...
I gave you fair warning!

Heretofore...I will prepare myself to try not to covet.. as much.

Have a lovely weekend!