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Saturday, August 30, 2014

My end table went to prison

I'm sure this is about the strangest post title you have ever seen but yes, it is completely true. My mom was given this very interesting end table/jewelry storage furniture piece by a friend of hers who didn't have a place for it (it previously belonged to her mother) and so my mom asked if I wanted it because she didn't have a place for it either. It was such a unique piece that I immediately said yes even though it was in need of some work. Plus who says no to free antique furniture!

At her suggestion, I had my mom take to the prison nearby Lakeland that has a work program where they refinish, reupholster and even build furniture. My mom had taken many pieces there in the past like her couch, end tables, and a chair from this post and their rates are extremely affordable. Not many people even know about the program since it's not widely advertised. I picked out the stain color from about 6 choices.

A few weeks and $80 later, and I had this gorgeous end table. Well it actually was longer than that until I received it since it had to travel up to Charlotte with my parents during one of their visits. They did such a great job! A better job than I could have done myself and I would have taken much longer to redo it. And such a deal!

You can see the neat storage when you open up the top. That part needed refinishing too but you can kind of see the stain color that it used to be. I think the stain color I picked out is very close to that.

I've actually had the end table now for over 6 months. At first it just sort of hung out in different rooms but not in any permanent place and at Christmastime it was in our kitchen and held my Clemson tree. It has now made a permanent home in between my two teal chairs in the family room. That wall isn't a big wall so I needed a small end table between the chairs and this was perfect.

It took 3 different tries at the right sized lamp since the end table is taller but still small so I finally found a winner in this short chunky white lamp from non-other than HomeGoods!

Anyone else have a prison work program that refinishes furniture and such near them? I haven't looked to see if there is something like that near Charlotte but with this area being such a big furniture market I kinda doubt it since that would compete with many businesses.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What I Wore: Leopard in the Summer

When I first started adding leopard pieces to my wardrobe I naturally wore them in the fall and winter because leopard just seems to fit in those seasons. I wanted to be able to wear some leopard pieces in the summer and figured out that that best way to do so and still look summery is in moderation and paired with bright color. I just don't see anyone in a leopard print skirt or dress in the summer.... too much leopard for the summer. Below are some examples of how to insert small amounts of leopard into your summer outfits with two being business casual outfits and one a casual outfit. Another great leopard accessory is a leopard scarf as long as it isn't too hot for this. Just pair it with a bright top or bright bottom to keep the summery look.

I finally found a pair of leopard flats I liked and that fit at the beginning of the summer. There are a lot of great options I found in the links below for cute affordable leopard flats. As you can see in the 2nd and 3rd outfits and imagine they will be a nice addition to many outfits and can be worn like a neutral but are a more fun neutral :)  Since I was already wearing a leopard top in the 1st outfit, I didn't overdo it by also wearing the leopard flats and opted instead for black.

Blue/purple blazer: Loft Outlet, very similarsimilar
Leopard top: Target, similar, similar, similar
Khaki skirt: Old Navy, similar, pencil skirt
Black flats: Aerosoles, similar, similar
Black pendant necklace: Towne & Reese, similarsimilar
Black earrings: Towne & Reese, similarsimilarsimilar

White sleeveless top: Loft Outlet, similar, similar, similar
Coral shorts: J.Crew (brilliant coral 3" chino shorts) - these often go on sale and you can get them for around $30
Leopard belt: Targetsimilar
Leopard flats: Sam Edelman, similar, similar, similar, similar
Teal earrings: Francesca's, similarsimilar
Teal necklace: Towne & Reese, similarsimilar
Gold ball bracelet: Towne & Reese, very similar
Aviator sunglasses: Loft Outlet, very similarsimilar

Light tan cropped jacket: Loft Outlet, similar
Coral red top: Loft Outlet, similar, similar
Black straight dress pants: Loft, similarsimilarsimilar
Leopard flats: Sam Edelmansimilarsimilarsimilarsimilar
Yellow bubble necklace: Amazon - $12 and free prime shipping
Yellow stud earrings: Amazon, similar

Linking up to: What I Wore WednesdayWhat I Wore to WorkBecause Shanna Said SoTucker UpPTMT Get Pin-spiredTip Junkie

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Eggplant "Meatballs"

We are not vegan or vegetarian although we sometimes make meatless meals. But we really liked this vegan dish. We both really like eggplant so when I saw this on Skinnytaste, I was intrigued and decided to give it a go once Eric gave me the nod that he would try it (or just eat cereal for dinner if he didn't like it... spoiler... no cereal was had).

Vegan Eggplant Meatballs
from: Skinnytaste, serves 4 (3 meatballs per serving - the meatballs are larger than normal), 260 calories


- cooking spray
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb unpeeled eggplant cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup water
- salt and pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (or regular if you don't have whole wheat)
- pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- approx 2 cups of marinara sauce (Trader Joes for the win!)

Heat oven to 375 degrees and spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Put 1/2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Add eggplant, water, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to food processor bowl.

Add remaining 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil to skillet and add onion and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Transfer to food processor bowl. Add beans and parsley to the food processor bowl. Pulse until well combined and chopped but not pureed. Combine food processor mixture with breadcrumbs and red pepper (if using) into a large bowl. Form 12 meatballs and place on baking sheet.

Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until browned. Warm the marinara sauce and serve meatballs over some pasta (or on a roll or whatever you prefer). Pretty sure I used wheat linguine noodles because that was what was in the pantry. Throw some parmesan on top if you want (or course this does make it no longer vegan) because who doesn't love cheese... can you tell I'd have a hard time being vegan?

The meatballs were really flavorful and not dry at all! Nobody wants a dry meatball (or non-meat ball in this case). They were great as leftovers too. I haven't tried to make them and freeze them but if anyone does that let me know. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What I Wore: Woven Fedora

I wanted an every day type of summer hat to wear outside but that wasn't as wide brimmed as my amazing beach hat. I saw a few bloggers with this fedora from Target and decided to get it. I really like it and have worn it a couple of times already. Looks like they are sold out online of the exact one but there are a couple of similar ones I linked to below. I wore this outfit to go to a vintage/antique/collectible show at The Metrolina Tradeshow with my friend Ashley. We had a great time browsing and chatting. They do these once a month so if you're local you should check one out.

Woven fedora hat: Target, similar, similar
Blue striped top: Target, similar
Denim capris: Loft Outlet, similar, similar, similar - only $12
Sandals: rainbows
Pink earrings: Towne & Reese, similar
Pink pendant necklace: Towne & Reese, similarsimilar
Coral toe nail polish: Essie Sunday Funday - only $6 and free shipping

Here's the hat again at a baseball game with the 'rents. You can see it a lot better in this photo.

Linking up to: What I Wore WednesdayWhat I Wore to WorkBecause Shanna Said SoTucker UpPTMT Get Pin-spiredTip Junkie
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