Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Post Round-Up

2014 is almost over! I started Pugs, Pearls & Positivity in September, and it has now evolved into Pugs & Pearls. I'm so glad I did. I have already learned a lot, especially about HTML (not something I was expecting!). I'm really just getting started! 

Here are a few of my favorite posts from 2014:


             

 
             

      


 I had so much fun writing these, and I can't wait for you to see the posts I have coming your way! Thank you all for reading! I hope 2015 is just as great as this year, if not better!

Leave me a comment: Was there a particular post you loved this year? What are you looking forward to in 2015? Are you staying up until midnight tonight? 



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bible Highlights: Joshua 12-15

Joshua 14:10-12
"...I am still here today, 85 years old. And today I am as strong as on the day Moses sent me out. My strength is now as it was then for war and for other activities. Therefore give me this mountainous region...surely Jehovah will be with me and I will drive them out."


Although Caleb was 85 years old, at Joshua 14:12 he asks for the difficult assignment of clearing out the region of Hebron which was filled with the intimidating Anakim. He knew that with Jehovah's help he could accomplish anything. We can follow his example and not be afraid of an intimidating circumstance. And if we do need a little confidence boost we can think about how Caleb's faith was not misplaced, and he did succeed in this assignment. 


You can read the Bible online for free at JW.org

Saturday, December 27, 2014

OOTD on Vacation



Striped Embellished Top: Ann Taylor Loft (similar)
Plum Pants: American Eagle
Monogram Necklace: Etsy (this shop)
Brown Boots: JCP borrowed from my mom!
Nails: OPI Malaga Wine
Delly is wearing her lime green Puppia collar


Blake and I have spent this week in North Carolina visiting his parents while we all had time off from work. A typical week up here includes watching old black and white sci-fi movies, eating home-cooked meals, and playing with the pugs! I make sure I get up and go to their gym every morning because of the sheer amount of food we end up eating. Delly also came with us this trip, and she has enjoyed her walks and torturing Willy (Blake's parents pug). 

They also live across the street from an adorable little town center, and we made sure to walk over and catch some after Christmas deals. I spent so much money in Janie and Jack for my niece and nephew. Seriously the cutest kids clothes I have ever seen-but you have to find stuff on the sale rack otherwise you will go broke. 

The weather has been lovely! I love getting a chance to wear my sweaters that are too warm in Florida. Delly even has a little winter coat that she gets to wear while we are ''up north''. 

Leave me a comment: Is there anything we just have to do while we are the Charlotte area? What do you like to do while you are visiting parents? 



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bible Highlights: Joshua 9-11

Joshua 10:25
"Then Joshua said to them: 'Do not be afraid or be terrified. Be courageous and strong for this is what Jehovah will do to all your enemies against whom you are fighting."


We can imitate the courage displayed by Joshua and the Israelites mentioned at Joshua 10:25 as we face similar intimidating situations today. Courage is not self reliance, but it is a result of getting to know God and relying on him. If the nation of Israel was going to be courageous and strong they had to listen to, learn and obey the law of Jehovah. We can also develop courage by studying the Bible, and praying regularly. 


Read the Bible online for free at JW.org

Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Playlist

 We are getting ready for a road trip this week, and I always like to get a few playlists together for the drive. I thought I would share this one! Most of these are not new songs, but I either just recently stumbled upon them or they are still favorites. I feel like I consume music at an alarming rate!

Hover to Pin!




Leave me comment: What are you guys listening to? How do you keep entertained on a roadtrip?



Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pretty in Pink Party

What is better than a party for no particular reason?! This weekend my friend Vicky hosted a Pretty in Pink party for the ladies in our congregation. It was so nice to get together with friends and laugh until we had tears in our eyes. Everything was decorated in pink, and all of the guests were wearing their favorite shade. One thing that I loved, and intend on copying, is that our host arranged to have a few conversation starters on folded pieces of paper. She selected a random guest to pull a slip, and read the question out loud. The best part was after the 'drawer' answered the question, we all got a turn to answer. This made for some hilarious conversations! My favorite part was hearing about everyone's first dates. 

I made my Peanut Butter Bars, and unfortunately they didn't all get eaten, so now they are back at my house for me to finish! One of my new favorite things to do at parties now is to get a group shot. Fortunately one of the husbands stopped by and he was able to snap a few of our whole group. Although it looks like i'm blocking a few people behind me...










Leave me a comment: What did you guys do this weekend? Do you like 'girls only' parties, or do you think the guys should be included too? 


Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Note on the Name

Today I made the jump into making this a big girl blog! I bought my domain name. (!!) Along with that, I've decided to drop the 'Positivity' from Pugs & Pearls. Being positive is still going to be a huge part of this blog, as it is so important to me. I only dropped it from the name to make it less of a mouthful to say. 
Although with the new domain name, I seemed to have lost all of my blog comments!! I'm working on how to fix that (if I even can). If you've commented recently, and I didn't reply that is why! I love all of your comments and really appreciate all of your input. And hey, if anyone had the same problem, let me know what you did to fix it!!
Thank you all so much for reading.





Friday, December 19, 2014

This Week:



I'm watching: I watched Please Subscribe on Netflix this week. It is super interesting, even though it isn't the best documentary filming you've ever seen. Vlogging is something really unique about our generation. These people will have their whole lives recorded to watch back when they are older. While I don't think I would ever vlog-this documentary has inspired me to do a video for pp&p...one day anyway!

I'm reading: Who am I kidding, I haven't had anytime to read this week! I love to read so much, and just have no time to do it. I may buy Beach Music's audio version. 

I'm listening to:  Serial (aka the podcast that everyone is listening to) had it's last episode Thursday. I loved this series, and can't wait for season 2! I think I was hoping for a more 'final' finale, but I'm pretty satisfied

I'm wishing for: I have been thinking of repainting my bedroom, and getting new curtains. So my wish is that it was already done, and I don't have to do it! Painting is SO much work. (I'm really not lazy I swear!) 

I need to: I need to do a lot of things this week! I have been putting off buying some gifts. In January some of my family is getting together. When I was little, we would do a gift exchange. This year we decided to bring it back! We drew names out of a hat, and we have a $25 limit. I know exactly what to get my name, but Blake drew my uncle who I'm not so sure what to get. 

I'm looking forward to: This weekend my friend Vicky is hosting a Pink Party! Everyone is supposed to dress in their favorite shade of pink. Vicky is a great party planner, so i'm very excited to see what she has planned for everyone! I still haven't quite decided what to wear. I have a lot of pink clothes, but the weather is so different everyday! 

I'm making: For said Pink Party, I am bringing these Peanut Butter Bars that I posted in October.  They are so good, and a crowd favorite. I seriously could eat the whole plate myself...I may have to sample ahead of time. 

In case you missed it:


  



What are you guys up to this week??


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Baked Ziti


Inspired by: Food Network
Serves 8
Preheat your oven to 400*. 
Cook 1 lb Ziti according to package directions. 
Toss cooked ziti, marinara sauce, 1 and 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan, 1/4 cup romano and 1/2 lb cubed mozzarella in a bowl. Season with black and red pepper to taste. Mix really well until combined. 
Transfer pasta to a 9x13 greased baking dish. Cover the top with 1/2 cup sliced mozzarella and sprinkle with more parmesan. 
Bake until lightly brown and serve hot!
Leave me a comment: What is your go to Italian dish? Did you try my Baked Ziti? 



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DIY Hair-Bow Holder and Lilly Pulitzer Print Tutorial

The year of the baby! So many of my friends are having kids. It still baffles me that my friends are old enough to have kids on purpose! Our friends Matt and Nakia are expecting their first baby in just a few months. Deciding what to buy is so hard! I want to get something practical, yet buying diapers is no fun! Recently I've been feeling the itch to paint! I painted a lot in High School, but it is a hobby I rarely get to do anymore. I decided to channel my creativity for a baby shower gift! Matt and Nakia are having a baby girl, and every little girl needs plenty of hair bows! I followed a few tutorials on Pinterest, and ended up making a hair-bow holder.

Hover to Pin!

I followed this tutorial for the Lilly Pulitzer print, but I will recap it. The baby's name starts with a K, so I picked up a wooden initial at Michael's for a few bucks and painted it white. Here is what you will need to recreate the 'First Impressions' print by Lilly:
-A white surface like a canvas.
-Three shades of acrylic pink paint. A light, medium and dark in the magenta family. 
-Two shades of acrylic green paint. A light and dark color in the lime family. 
-Acrylic Turquoise paint.
-Paintbrushes in a small size.
-Pallet
-Cup of water for dirty brushes
-Newspaper, or something to protect your table.

Start with a white surface:



Using your medium pink, paint basic flower shapes-looping out from the center.
Let dry before continuing-a hairdryer will help you here!


 Now go over the same shape with your darkest pink.
Let dry.


And then with your lightest pink. Let dry. 
It is okay for white still to be showing, you want it to look handmade! 


Next is leaves! Shape first with the lightest shade of green, and then paint one side with the darker green.




Last step is to fill in the blank space with turquoise! This is the tedious part, but the best thing about this print is it does not have to be perfect-and actually looks better the messier you do it. 




How cute is that?! I almost wanted to keep this & it would totally work since I share the initial! To finish the hair-bow holder, simply hot-glue two long 1-inch thick ribbons to the bottom and a skinnier ribbon to the top for hanging. You can get so creative with this! If I was confident in my calligraphy I could have added the baby's name to the painting too. I also bought a few cute baby bows from Target to give along with the hair-bow holder. 




Leave me a comment: What is your go-to baby shower gift? Have you given something handmade? What is your favorite Lilly print?




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bible Highlights: Joshua 6-8

Joshua 7:21

"When I saw among the spoil a good looking official garment from Shinar and 200 shekels of silver and one gold bar...I desired them, so I took them."


At Joshua 7:21 we see that Achan disobeyed a direct order by taking some things from Jericho that had been devoted to destruction. It was the desire of his eyes that led to his actions, and those actions affected the entire nation of Israel. Today we also see a variety of eye-appealing distractions, like in commercials on tv. What we see has a direct effect on our minds, which can effect our hearts. So it is very important that we are careful about what we feed our minds and that we exercise self discipline. 

You can read the Bible online for free at JW.org 


Sunday, December 14, 2014

OOTD

Black and Gold

Hover to Pin!
Necklace: Cato {similar} {similar}
Black Cowled Top: Loft {exact: ebay}
Striped Skirt: Old Navy via Valerie's Loft {exact: ebay}
Black Heels: Famous Footwear {exact: amazon}
Brown Tote: Target

What a lovely weekend it has been! Freezing cold in the mornings, and sunny gorgeous afternoons in the 70s. Beautiful days, but it is really hard to dress for it! 

Yesterday we spent the day in Alachua, Fl with our friends (who are also relatives!) Ben and Nicole. Both Nicole and I are on a budget, but we love having new clothes! She introduced me the the cutest consignment shop in downtown Alachua called Valerie's Loft. They have so many clothes, and they are all nicely arranged by brand. Most shops I have been to sort by color/type, so this was something new. When you first walk in, you think it is this quaint little store, but around every corner is another room full of stuff! We didn't have too much time to shop because they were closing soon, but I could have easily spent another hour browsing. Plus, they were having a tag sale, with each color tag earning a certain discount.
I ended up with 3 new skirts and a button up top for $30. This is one of those skirts! I love it. Originally from Old Navy, and tagged for 50% off I got it for $3! It is so comfortable, and I can see wearing it all year long. 
And I am really loving mixing browns and blacks! I feel like such a rule breaker. & I have been getting so many compliments on this bag. It fits so much, and I just love the color. 

Leave me a comment: Do you love consignment stores? What was your best find? How do you feel about mixing black and brown?