DIY Holiday Photo Booth

ImageSoon after I started my new job I was able to jump in on the planning of our annual Holiday Party! They like to stick with the tradition of having it at a suite in the Verizon Center every year, but I immediately wanted to spice it up with a DIY Photo Booth. I don’t want to brag, but it might have been the hit of the party. Teehee. ImageTo make your own Holiday Photo Booth you basically only need wrapping paper, a camera, and festive props (a little wine couldn’t hurt either). Before the party started, I taped my peppermint wrapping paper to the wall in a little corner of our suite. One of my favorite party crafts is making a glitter banner, so of course I made one that said “Happy Holidays” for the back drop. To make the glitter banner all you need to do is write your message on poster board, cut it out, mod podge the letters, and shake some glitter on them. For props we had santa hats, reindeer antlers, elf hats, red and white glasses, a mistletoe ball, and a mini chalk board for people to write their own message. The favorite prop though seemed to be the silver tinsel garland that I got on amazon. All of the props and back drop cost less than $50 total. I’m sure you have some great things in your holiday decorations box that you could use for free!  ImageI set my camera up with an external flash on a tripod and intended for people to use a wireless remote to take their own photos. For some reason they couldn’t figure out how to press the only button for it to work so I monitored the booth the majority of the time. Which was fine by me, I got to see all of the photos happening in real life. Even our executive team couldn’t resist dressing up and posing in my DIY Photo Booth complete with kissy faces and a YOLO chalkboard. It was too much to handle in the best way possible. Immediately after the party we went home and had a huge slideshow of all of the pictures on the tv and laughedddd some more.

When celebrating with your friends and families this holiday season I hope you choose to make your own photo booth so that you can remember the most wonderful time of the year for years to come!

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Big Things Poppin

Hiiiiiiiiiiiii! Remember me, Healz?! Probs not. I haven’t been on here in for.ev.er. That’s because these past couple months have been filled with SO many big moves. I don’t even know where to begin…jk I do!Image1. THE JOB SEARCH IS OVER. I got an amazinggg offer to work for a small government contracting company in Arlington, VA, as a Business Development Associate!!!!!!!! Image2.I BOUGHT A CAR. The day after I accepted my job offer, I traded in my not so trusty 1996 BMW 328is for something from this century that could actually get me to said new job. That day I simultaneously felt the richest and poorest I’ve ever been in my life.Image3. I MOVED TO VIRGINIA….just in time to see the leaves change. I loaded up my new car and headed to Reston,VA, to take up residence in Steve’s mom’s basement. There are 4 of us recent Clemson grads staying in her house til we can find something of our own. She’s a saint for putting up with all of our shenanigans.

Welp that’s about it. I think that’s enough change for one season. I’m hoping that once I get settled I’ll be able to craft/blog  much more than I am now.

Harpers Ferry

ImageSteve and I went on a little adventure to Harpers Ferry, WV last week. It was kind of eerie how few people were around, but I’m going to blame government shutdown and hope that more peeps are out and about when the parks are functioning. ImageWe were excited to visit because Harpers Ferry serves as the halfway stop for thru hikers of the Appalachian Trail. Steve spent an entire week on the AT this summer in VA (I think his bear count was up to 6 eeeek) and I’ve done day hikes on it in NC, VA, NY, and CT. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has a little Visitor Center there where anyone can learn more about the AT and buy souvenirs. It was really inspiring to see photos of some of the hikers they had featured on their walls. One sassy grandma hiked it all while having the AT logo painted on her nails. Inside the Visitor Center there was also a Hikers Lounge for those backpackers that are stopping through. I can only imagine how excited hikers are to grab a soda from the fridge and kick back on the computer or to catch up the world they left behind. They also have albums in the lounge filled with polaroid pictures of every thru hiker that has stopped there beginning in the 1970’s. We flipped through one from the 80’s and it was wild to see the gear (or lack thereof) people were using. Proves you don’t need the most expensive or highest tech stuff to hike 2,180 miles. ImageIt was pushing 90 degrees outside and we weren’t too happy about it. Escu me, where’s the fall weather and trees, plz!?!?ImageWhile you’re walking across this bridge you’re in West Virginia, but can see Maryland and Virginia on either side in front of you!

D.C. Day

ImageSoooo I’m back in Virginia (YAY) visiting Steve (hire me plz) and we decided to have a Washington, D.C. tourist day because I’ve been dying to see ole Abe and the other monuments, memorials, and museums (ohmy). It was overcast and not crowded which made it perfect for walking around and making a fool of yourself modelin’ with the monuments. ImageImageImageThis is one of those pictures that would have been sooooo cuteeeee (I’m from SC, he’s from VA herroooo) if only you didn’t have to rely on strangers who only know how to take picts on their iPads. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageAmerican Psycho?ImageAmerican Gothic?ImageAmerican Cuties.

We beebopped around the Museum of Natural History and the Hirshhorn (btw they’re free but close at 5:30) before taking a siesta in front of the capital. It was absolutely GORGEOUS outside. If someone would have delivered me some food, wine, and a blanket I would have stayed all night.  I am so glad that we went out this weekend and took advantage of everything because now there are barricades everywhere due to a little thing known as government shutdown. Awkward. 

Mirror Makeover

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My mom got this mirror on sale at TJ Maxx when I was about to move into my first apartment but let’s be honest, I haven’t had the need for hot pink decor since I was 12 and the theme of my room was Flamingo.  It’s been sitting in the garage collecting dust for 3 years now and I decided it was time for a makeover.

ImageImageI loved the shape of the mirror but thought some texture would make it a little more snazzy. I added spirals all over using puffy paint all while crossing my fingers hoping that it would turn out.ImageAfter the puffy paint was dry, I just spray painted the mirror gold. Image The puffy paint really transformed the mirror and added just the right about of texture and sass! Mirror Makeover success! I’m now dying to use my leftover puffy paint and gold spray paint to try this technique on wine bottles, empty jars etc for some cute vases!

Easy Ikat Tray

ImageI had been trying to think of a project to use my leftover paint from refurbishing my table when A Beautiful Mess came to the rescue per usual with their simple instructions on how to make your own abstract painting. I have about zero skills when it comes to painting anything other than a solid color (seriously I would lose a 4th grade art competition), but the post made it seem so easy that even I could do it!ImageI thought it would be fun to try out the method on a wooden tray that I had gotten at the thrift store a couple months ago. I painted the tray with a zillion coats of White Asparagus and stuffed my face with some pasta while it dried. Take your main color, mine was Blaze Orange, and paint a long strip in each spot where you want your Ikat inspired shape. Next paint shorter strips in descending lengths off of your main strip. ImageChoose a complimentary color and repeat the same descending length strip process as before. You will definitely want to let several overlap on the edge. Mix some white into your colors to create a lighter shade and paint essentially fat plus signs on top of the Ikat shapes you already have. Pick at least two other colors to help fill in the white space. I just started painting  plus signs in navy and then went in and painted smaller ones in a light tan. Then all you have to do is paint the edges of your tray in your main color and spray it with a sealer and voila! You just painted your very own Ikat inspired tray! Told you it was easy!ImageIf my Ikat tray turned out this well, I know yours will be ahhhmazzinggg! Such a bright, fun piece that will add some sass to any table while acting as a breakfast in bed enabler…

Refurbishing an Antique Table

ImageOne Saturday my mom and I decided to get up early and go to Columbia, SC, to check out the Soda City Market and browse some of the antique stores just for funs. I found this table with a travertine tile top hidden at the Old Mill Antique Mall for only $24! It was the best deal in the entire place and I knew I could turn its dingy, dated self into something fab.ImageAfter removing the travertine, I took the table down to my dad’s shop and sanded the table down. I sprayed it with a primer so that the paint would go on easily and evenly!ImageThe hardest part of the whole project was deciding on the paint color. I went to Lowe’s and picked up (40 oops) paint chips that I liked and thought would go well with the tile. I brought them home and had all out battle royales between different shades of blues and reds before narrowing it down to Blue Lagoon and Blaze Orange. I got sample sizes (only $2.98 each!) of each color from Lowe’s to try out. And the big winner was……Blue Lagoon!!!!ImageI painted two coats of Valspar’s Blue Lagoon on the table, paying close attention to making sure that the paint was completely even and smooth. I also decided to paint the legs of the table White Asparagus which so happens to be the exact shade of the travertine tile. Two coats of semi gloss polyurethane were just what the doctor ordered to complete this project!ImageImageAll together this table cost less than $35 dollars, and it looks good enough to put in my imaginary summer house in The Hamptons!

My Go To Veggie Stir Fry

ImageThis Veggie Stir Fry became my ultimate go-to meal while at Clemson. Monday would roll around and I would realize all weekend I’ve only eaten fried pickles, chicken tenders, pizza, Bojangles, a quesadilla, a gallon of diet coke, and fries. Basically if I didn’t consume a ton of veggies quickly, I was either going to combust or turn into a deep fried Healz. ImageGo to the grocery store and grab all of the veggies that look good to you (or are on sale). I always get some garlic, a large onion, a pepper, some spinach, broccoli and maybe some mushrooms or zucchini. Just slice up your veggies in the amounts that you want. I love onions so I usually use at least half of a large one, 2/3 of a pepper, a head of broccoli, and one entire zucchini.ImageIn your super large pan or wok pour some “Wok Oil” (find it in the Asian section of  your grocery store) and add 2 cloves of chopped garlic. As it heats up you can go ahead and add your onions and peppers. As they start to soften you can add your broccoli or zucchini and a couple of tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce.  Image Keep sauteeing those veggies and add your mushrooms if you have them. I probably cook all of the nutrition out of my veggies, but who cares they taste amazing. You can add crushed red pepper flakes if you like things a tad spicy and I like to add a couple tablespoons of teriyaki sauce too. Basically you want your veggies to start looking a little brown from the soy sauce and teriyaki. Toss in your spinach so it can wilt. ImageAt some point while you’re focused on your veggies, get some water boiling for your noodles. I usually use an entire pack of Udon Noodles I find in the Asian aisle. Whole Foods even has organic Udon Noodles if you’re feeling extra healthy! The key is tossing your cooked noodles into your pan of veggies so that it can absorb all of that good flavor. At this point I’ll add some more soy sauce for the noodles.ImageServe your veggie stir fry in a bowl (because everything tastes better in a bowl) with some chopsticks and you’re good to go! I’ve made many different versions of this so feel free to play around to suit your tastes. If you want some meat, frozen chicken strips are a really easy addition. It’s also a great way to use up veggies in the fridge that are about to go bad. This recipe makes a ton of food and the leftovers are amazinggggg and perfect for a healthy lunch on the go!

Anthropologie Knob Necklace Holder

ImageAs my collection of sassy necklaces has grown thanks to Target summer sales, I’ve been dyyyinggg to make a necklace holder using knobs from Anthropologie to display them. I found the perfect knobs last month at the Greenville, SC, Anthro on sale of course (You can read more about my love affair with them here) and was super excited to make my necklace holder. The only problem was that I didn’t have a super cool old board to mount them on, and I didn’t know where I was going to find one. My mom found out about a place called Peach Festival Gardens in Gilbert, SC, where they have tons of old windows, doors, signs, and other funky finds. I ended up finding my board half covered in sand, hiding behind a tent they have set up to protect the prized goods. The guy laughed when I wanted to buy it and let me have it and an old wooden tray for $5. Cha Chinggg! Who’s laughin now!?!ImageMy piece of sandy wood cleaned up very well and my best guess is that it’s a rectangular panel from an old door. Thank g my dad is a blacksmith artist, has all the tools in the world, and was able to drill 6 holes for me.ImageI wanted to do something to the wood so it didn’t look like I had a dusty old board hanging on my wall, but at the same time wanted to maintain the integrity of it. I painted on two coats of polyurethane semi-gloss and it turned out perfectly!Image After it dried I simply screwed my knobs in and put little hangers on the back of it. Well maybe I couldn’t wait until it dried…eeeek instant gratification plzzz!ImageImageImageAll of my necklace holder dreams came true! I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. My bejewels are on display instead of hanging out in a pile on my dresser and the final product looks really polished. If you have a big bathroom it would be fun to hang your necklace holder in there and use the middle hook as hand towel holder. Until I move on up in the world, mine’s going to be hanging pretty on my bedroom wall.

I think it’s only fair that I get a new necklace for a job well done, right!?

Biergarten Haus Birthday

ImageWe celebrated Steve’s 23rd birthday last month at  Biergarten Haus (you can’t NOT say it in a dramatic German accent) in Washington, D.C., with his childhood bestie, Scott. It was so funs! Once you step inside you’re instantly transported to Germany and better yet, a place where you can pretend that it’s Oktoberfest 24/7. Awesome.ImageOf course they have an amazing selection of German beers and the servers never let you get thirsty. We were loving the Paulaner Hefe-Weizen.ImagePretzel Rolls with beer cheese are the greatest things that can happen to you and your beer at Biergarten Haus. Warm, salty, cheesy goodness. These are the things that food day dreams are made of. ImageIf you’re anything like me lifting your beer will be your arm workout for the year.ImageHow much fun was it?! Welp, this is what the Washington Monument looks like out of the back window of a cab AFTER a trip to Biergarten Haus.

CHEERS!!!!!