September 28, 2012

advertise in october


For the next 48 hours, I'll be offering my readers 25% off of my medium and small sponsor spots! There are only a few medium spots left, so hurry and get yours!

- - - Flash Sale will run until Sunday, September 30 at 4:30pm (EST)
- - - Visit my advertise page to purchase your spot using promo code: FLASHSALE to receive 25% off
- - - Medium ad spots have the opportunity to be featured in a sponsor feature post

I hope you enjoy your weekend! I am spending some quality time with my bearded man. We are probably going to buy The Avengers, do some cleaning, maybe go out looking for some clothes, and probably enjoy this beautiful cool weather! What are you up to this weekend?

style files

SKIRT   - - -   RUCHE

September 27, 2012

the weekly five


* I just discovered Courtney's blog, A Little Glass Box. She is inspirational and has a really cute house!


* Spending a girls' weekend with Savannah. We made muffins, dreamed about Maiedae's future, got coffee, had a movie night slumber party, and took pictures. :) I love girl time.
* Started reading Leah Sherwin's new book, Night Bells. It is amazing! Order it here.
* Drew was gone most of the week, so it was wonderful having him home again last night. We made chocolate chip cookies to celebrate!


* Kingdom Come - The Civil Wars


* I really want to make these cookies!


1 - -   I love this cardigan from UO.
2 - -   These beautiful mason jars from Angel Country Accents.
3 - -   Laura is wonderful. She makes the best jewelry. I have a pair of earrings and a necklace from her shop, Roots & Feathers, and I am dying for these earrings.
4 - -  This beautiful art print from Alice X. Chang.

September 26, 2012

i'm famous!

Eeeek!!! I'm so excited!! :) Recently, I was asked by the wonderful people at USA Today's Modern Woman magazine if they could use one of my DIY's in a spread they were doing about holiday house and home decor. I was absolutely thrilled at the opportunity and am excited to show you the October issue I received in the mail this weekend!

> > Click here to see the full DIY from my blog that is featured.
> > Click here to order a copy of your own! It will be on newsstands October 7.

September 25, 2012


I decided to go ahead and start a "Recipe" series because, although I'm not the best cook (yet!!), I'm married to a cook and I love to bake! I thought that you all could benefit from my hubby's knowledge of great recipes he's made up and the collection of wonderful treats my mom has passed down to me.

Now, lately, I've been really trying to eat healthier. Which is tough. Actually, let's just get real here - - this is one of the hardest things I've done. I'm used to eating cookie dough and cereal for dinner. Yes, laugh a little and then realize that I'm serious. Although I grew up eating healthy meals every night and almost never eating fast food - somewhere in college I created some bad habits that are holding on like wretched little ticks.

Looking back, it's hard to figure out why it happened. My mom always inspired me growing up. She had a home cooked meal for dinner every night with plenty of veggies and variety. And her food is G-O-O-D. I mean, guys, she is one of the best cooks. I was so glad to have such a good start to my nutritional life. It's not that I didn't pick up a few tips from her, but in college I just didn't ever make time for cooking (and let's be honest, the college dorm isn't really the place to make a great meal). And the convenience of grabbing some Ramen noodles and a bag of popcorn is much easier on your stressed out mind.... But not so much on your stressed out body.

Being married has definitely helped inspire me - especially marrying someone who loves cooking. I find myself wanting to make yummy food for the husband as well as wanting to look good and be healthy for my future kids.

So here we go. On the journey to great recipes and learning together. I'm hoping to post a few recipes each month and I hope you like what I have in store!

inspiration board: winter's a little lonely without Drew. He has been gone on a business trip for the past few days and it's just been extra *bluuhhh* without him around. It's the first time we've been away since getting married and I hadn't realized how accustomed I was to having him in my everyday moments. Anyways... I'm feeling an inspiration board for winter!!!

September 24, 2012

uniquely you: loving yourself

I told you a little bit before about how I used to really struggle with loving on myself. Because I had such a poor self image, it was really hard for me to believe that I deserved to take time to care for my mental, physical, and emotional well being. The truth is, we live in a world where being busy is praised,  being "too involved" doesn't exist, being angry is a strength, and being taken advantage of is a commonality. This is not the way we were made to live and it is important to realize that you are worth taking care of. Did you get that? You have worth as a person and are worth taking care of. It's time to start believing that and living it out.

I want to share with you a few practical ways that I am currently trying to love myself. I'm not assuming that I know everything (definitely not), I just hope that you can gain some inspiration into ways that you can treat yourself better.

1. Getting Ready in the Morning - - - - Having fun putting on my makeup and taking the time to pick out a cute outfit every morning helps me remember to have confidence in who I am. Even days that I am not going anywhere, I try to wake up and have my morning routine so that I feel my best.

2. Writing a Thankful List - - - - My mom taught me this one. Take the time once a day to write down everything you are thankful for. Although it seems unrelated to self-care, doing this can really help boost your overall positivity. And if you can make your thoughts more positive in general, it can gradually mold and affect the thoughts about yourself.

3. Taking Time to Relax - - - - I am still working on this one, but taking the time to relax is something I think is very important. Whether that's taking a hot bath, reading a good book, or going to a coffee shop and writing out a list of dreams. Whatever makes your mind at ease will reduce your stress and improve your perspective.

4. Treating Yourself - - - - And I don't mean just with food. This could be a girl's night out, buying some new makeup, spending some time alone, or painting your nails. Whatever it is, be intentional about treating yourself every now and then.

5. Treating Your Body - - - - It is important to be healthy and exercise. I have made excuses since college about every reason why I am not able to work out - I'm not a morning person, I have an injury, I don't have time, I want to start fresh next month, I don't know how, etc. The truth that I've realized is this: You will always make time for your priorities or for what you love. I definitely don't love exercising (at least not yet!), so I have to make it a priority in my life or else I will never do it.


6. Surrounding Yourself - - - - I heard once that you are the average of the people you surround yourself with. Take a good look at who is in your life right now. Are they good influences? Are they challenging you to be a better person? Are they supportive and loving? I try to be intentional about putting people in my "inner circle" who I look up to and admire and who challenge me. But it's important to have a balance of people who you also want to pour into and develop. Both being poured into and pouring into others are ways that you love yourself. Being poured into by people who you admire and who love you builds up your confidence and gives you inspiration. Pouring into and developing others gives you perspective and purpose.

7. Speaking Affirmation - - - - What kind of words do you speak about yourself? What kind of thoughts fill your head when thinking about who you are? Next time you find yourself filled with negative self-talk, stop and name 3 things you love about who you are. It is one thing to motivate yourself towards a goal. It's another thing entirely to use words to bully yourself. I used to take out my fears and disappointments in my head where no one else could see them. And it was okay to me because I wasn't hurting anyone else. But I was. I was hurting every single person who cared for me. I was pushing them away. Declaring myself unlovable. And none of that is true. Fears and disappointments are normal. When I brought my fear out into the open, it was destroyed because fear thrives in the dark. And when I spoke my disappointments to the people who had disappointed me, I was healed because I was able to let go instead of reliving them in my head.

8. Setting Goals - - - - Obviously there are things in my life and habits that I want to change. Instead of hating myself for not "being a certain way", I try to set obtainable goals for myself to change that bad habit or way of living. It can be really discouraging if you set a goal and are constantly failing to achieve it, so a few tips that I have for setting goals are: 1) Write out your end goal and, working backwards, write out individual steps to get to that goal. 2) Make sure your first steps are easy enough that you will do them - It is rare to go "cold turkey" and actually succeed. Making small changes is much easier than making big ones. 3) Find accountability. Find someone who you can be accountable to and who will keep you motivated. 4) Remind yourself of your goal. Write it on your mirror. Put a visual picture somewhere that reminds you of the bad habit or that motivates you towards the good one. It is very difficult to achieve a goal that you are not convicted of or that you don't believe in. 5) Celebrate your progress. A gradual rewards system always works best for me. :)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I hope this has been encouraging for you to love yourself. You are unique and beautiful. Have fun taking care of yourself this week. To end, I want to challenge you.

CHALLENGE: think about the ways that you talk and think about yourself. Be honest about how you treat yourself. Do you tend to struggle with negative self-image? Are you surrounded by people who run you down? Do you wear yourself out with a busy schedule? Afterwards, try a new way of loving on yourself this week and if you want to, tell me about it! I would love to hear about your journey.

September 21, 2012

DIY: Chandelier

So, I decided to make a chandelier for our bedroom. Unfortunately, our bedroom doesn't have an overhead light so I had to make one that wasn't based around a light source. I decided to use stuff that I already had (cause I'm cheap... or maybe thrifty? that sounds better). So I tore up an old lampshade, cut up a chiffon curtain, and strung together some clear Christmas ornaments. After weaving together some sequins, all the supplies were ready.

When all the supplies were assembled, I began wrapping chiffon fabric around the rims - from top to bottom. Once that was completed, I added some strands of sequins to the "y" part of the shade followed by tying the strand of clear ornaments so it hung down the middle.

I wish there was some way I could light up the middle, but I don't really want to run a power cord along the ceiling... 

September 20, 2012

inspiration board

Today I'm looking up ideas for creating your own rustic side table with hanging lamps and glass jars. We are hoping to give our guest bedroom a little makeover soon and I'm loving these photos I gathered from Pinterest for inspiration. The guest bedroom has currently been taken over by the Treacherous Warrior Kitties (a.k.a. Ranger & Scout) who have overthrown the people (a.k.a. the people who would have visited if not for their presence) with their violent smells and thrown them into the dungeon of stinky litter. Once Scout is big enough, both kitties will go back to living outside - which Ranger misses terribly - and I will have my guest bedroom back! Then we can start making it pretty.

mini makeover

I am in the process of making things a little easier here on Pulchritude Fest. If you check out my Post Series to the left, I've updated the pages for DIY, Style Files, and Project: Art to be more efficient and easier to find the projects. Let me know what you think! Here is a preview of what the DIY page looks like now:

I hope that helps your life as much as it did mine! Okay... it probably didn't help you as much as I had hoped, but still I'm sure it made things fun. Right?? :) (Just amuse me) I'll be back later with an inspiration board for ya! In the meantime, keep it cool.

Oh yeah, and I found this today. If only all of Twilight was like this... it may have won an award.

September 19, 2012

kitchen canisters

uggghhhh. I hate being sick. Not really because of the not-feeling-good part, although that's pretty bad. I think what really makes me hate being sick is not being able to be productive and get things done. I can't clean the house, do a project, decorate, or really anything that requires me to get up and work. Because I'll make myself more sick and, frankly, I just don't have the energy. This really speaks to the type-A part of me that is constantly wanting to utilize my time wisely and work hard. I hate coming to the end of a day and realizing that I wasted it. Although I guess healing my body by resting isn't really a waste per say... but ... well... to me it is. But that's not the point.

Anyways. Enough rambling. Remember those beautiful canisters I showed you a while ago? Yep. I broke one. Sad day :( Sometimes I'm a klutz and as I was making coffee yesterday morning, the sugar canister slipped out of my hand and hit the corner on the counter, breaking it off and sending sugar everywhere.

But it's okay because the kitty boys have learned to snuggle and that makes it all better, right? Okay maybe not, but they are pretty cute now that Ranger (big orange one) has learned that Scout (little munchkin) isn't a toy to devour but a friend to enjoy :) Right, Range??? Good.

Now that all is good, I need to find new canisters. Since I can't do much else today besides watch reruns of The Office in preparation for the Season 9 premiere tomorrow (!!!) , I thought I would window shop online for some good ole canisters and hopefully you can help me decide which ones are best.

So here's what I've got so far.

1 - - 2 - - 3 - - 4 - - 5 - - 6 - - 7 - - 8 - - 9

I would love it if you guys could help me out and give me your suggestions! I love anything that is old and has a story or that is blue or square. Let me know if you have any ideas! :)

September 18, 2012

the weekly five


I am absolutely in love with these pieces!!! I already ordered #2 and #4 and am hoping to order #3 soon! :)

1 - -   I love the geometric pattern and easy shape of this tote from Ralph Lauren
2 - -   LOVE this dress from ShopRuche. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite stores.
3 - -   I think everyone needs a pair of Minnetonkas. I love the camel color of these.
4 - -   Druzies are where it is at, ya'll! Haha... but they are really sparkly and fun :) And who doesn't love sparkly things?


* I'm loving these craft ideas - here and here.


* I am really excited about spending time with Savannah this weekend. Drew is going on a trip which I am sad about (boo hiss!), but it gives me more time to spend with Savannah (yay!!!). And, since she has been gone a lot recently for work, we haven't seen much of each other.


* Celebrating Drew's birthday with family and friends
* Spending Sunday nights with some amazing ladies... one of my favorite times of the week now.
* Enjoying my relaxing time on a new painting.


* Naked as We Came - Iron and Wine

happy birthday boy + freebie

I am so happy to be able to tell you that today is my hubby's birthday! I don't want to gross anyone out, but I do have to take a minute and tell you what an amazing man I am celebrating today. My red bearded man is one of the most passionate people I have ever met. Whenever he takes on a hobby or commits to a friendship, he pursues it with everything he has and learns everything you can know about it. Because of that, he is truly a "renaissance man" - meaning that he can do almost anything.

He also has a servant's heart. Last night, I began to feel poorly and so we decided to take it easy and rest. Meanwhile, I'm thinking about all the things I want to surprise him with on his birthday. We are sitting on the couch watching a few episodes of The IT Crowd  and, the next thing I know, he has gone to get a bucket of water to wash my feet. He then proceeded to tuck me in, clean up the kitchen and living area, and get me a cup of hot tea. What a man! It blew me away that he would be so selfless on the eve of his birthday.

Okay. I could go on for hours. But I'll stop here so as to save you from suffocating in his awesomeness... ha hah.

As a way of celebrating, I have a free desktop background for you! Drew is always reminding me to "be present." I tend to get lost in the wishing and hoping part of my brain a lot and he is faithful to remind me that life is best lived in the present. Just click here to download the file.

Download Me

I'll be back later today with The Weekly Five!

September 17, 2012

project art: stormy sea

Whew! I had way too much coffee this morning. Excuse me if I'm a little delirious. Drew and I have been trying to go to bed earlier, but were up really late last night talking and now I'm feeling the effects of sleepiness + a TON of caffeine. Reminds me of my college days. Except now I'm old. And shouldn't be doing this anymore.

It was a busy weekend. Drew and I spent some wonderful time with family and friends, but also did a lot of work around the house. One of the things I accomplished was a new painting! It's been an interesting journey since I started "Project: Art." Forcing myself to paint at least twice a month has caused me to fall more in love with art than ever before. In this particular painting, I was inspired to use a lot of texture and try to be more impressionistic than realistic. I tend towards realism in most of my artwork, but recently have been pushing myself to be more fluid and at ease rather than precise and planned. In doing this, I find myself enjoying the experience of painting more and actually feeling surprised as I "discover" the piece while I paint it.

Ya know what I mean, jellybean? You don't? Okay never mind.

Anyways... I have a surprise for you tomorrow! So you'll have to come on back over here if you want to know what it is :) Ha ha... forced love. It's the best. Just kidding... but really. Okay not really.

You guys are awesome. I don't tell you that enough. Thanks for listening to me ramble on. Oh, and if you are interested in purchasing products with my artwork on it, visit my shop! There are all sorts of goodies - from iphone cases, to framed prints, to greeting cards! :)

Okay. Have a great Monday!

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Blog designed + developed by Jenny Highsmith of Maiedae.
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