Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 - the Year of Me

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a happy New Year!! I spent Christmas home with my family and it was great. I've never been a big celebrater of NYE or New Year so I'll be laying low.

Even though I don't have big celebration plans for ringing in the new year I do I have plans for 2014!! It will be the year of Cheryl. Now, I know that sounds a little conceited but I don't mind. This year I plan to work on me, celebrate me, and love me. Still sounding conceited.... Hmmm.

Here's a secret. I hate NYE and the whole New Year hoopla. Why? Because usually it means one more year has passed without me doing what I truly want, getting healthy, finding joy. So I decided this year would be about me changing that.

Getting healthy:

January 1 starts the Paleo journey! Yay! and Eek!!! I have friends who have done Whole 30 and eaten Paleo so I know I will survive... I  won't lie, a huge part of me just wants to be thinner. To be able to throw on an outfit instead of strategically planning one that will camouflage my belly and not emphasize my bottom. But I also have a need to be as healthy possible that I have have never had before.

I will be posting a bit about this whole experience. Partly to be held accountable [NO, I will not be posting my weight :-) ] and partly to hopefully encourage and inspire others to take control like I am.

Finding joy:

Something else I have learned about myself this year - I play it safe. In all aspects of life I play it extremely safe. I don't take risks, I never attempt anything I could possibly fail at, I don't let many people into my safe little world I have created, I stay home a lot because it's the safe world I have created for myself.

Well, guess what's not in my safe little world - adventure, happiness, joy, fun... I finally had to ask myself if would I rather live a safe life or a joyful one. I'm choosing joyful. And boy is that scary for me!! I'm going to have to take risks. I won't be able to control the outcome of everything I do. I won't be able to hide anymore. I will get hurt. I will feel disappointment. But I also have a feeling I will feel happiness. And feel young! I'm only 38 for pete's sake! Most of the time I act like I'm 70.

So I have big plans for ME for 2014. But I'm hoping that I will be able to bless and bring joy to others along the way. If I'm happy then I want to spread that happiness to others.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Best Intentions... and Merry Christmas from Snaps of Ginger

I had such plans for the Christmas season on this blog!! Several fun crafts, an outfit or two, some gorgeous jewelry... Then I had to go and get sick and now I am so, so behind in everything.

The good side of this is that it forced me to slow down and focus on the important things and remember why Christmas is so special.

First I want to share some fun Christmas crafts, ideas, last-minute-I'm-freaking-out-rescues, etc:

Christmas Tag Printables via Uncommon Designs

7 free printables for last minute Christmas gifts. Monday Funday link party features. #christmas #giftwrapping

Have bored kiddos? Stormy weather? Snowed in?
 Here is a round up of Christmas coloring pages from Nest of Posies

Christmas Coloring Pages for Kids

Need a last-minute gift? Forget someone? JC Penney has $10 express shipping and great sales going on.


 Need a last-minute decoration or craft? How about these snowman paper luminaries from spoonful.com?

3 Minute Paper Snowman Luminaries by @amandaformaro for Spoonful

And finally, I am so very thankful for the true meaning of Christmas. I hope you all have a very wonderful and special holiday!!!

What Christmas Is All About

Monday, December 16, 2013

A little under the weather

I caught a cold this weekend so I wasn't able to get my outfit post or my DIY's done. They will be coming soon!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jingle Bells, Candy Canes, and Inspectors

I am finally feeling somewhat back to normal so I wanted to share the little gifts I made for some of my coworkers.

I love jingle bells... Especially glittery pastel colored jingle bells!! I found these great colored jingle bells at Michael's.

I didn't have a plan for them but had to have them. Then I found the large snowflake jingle bells at the Dollar Tree. I had seen these jingle bell ornaments on Pinterest so I decided to create my own version. I simply threaded different combinations on the silver string that came with the large snowflake bells. I like the mix of the matte finish, shiny silver, glittery, and colored together.

Before I decided to make the jingle bell ornaments I bought these adorable snowman candy cane socks.

 I'm also a big snowman fanatic... I found the socks at Oriental Trading Company, one of my favorite sites to order Christmas crafts from. These ornaments couldn't have been easier. All I had to do was gently slide the sock onto the candy cane. I love how the hook of the cane made the floppy hat.

I had an inspector to make sure I was doing everything right :-) Sorry the photo is blurry but I had to snap it quick when he hopped up there. Meet Bentley!!

Cranberry Walnut Bread

The holidays always make me want to bake. I was really craving some cranberry bread like my great aunt makes so I decided to give it a try. It was much more simple than I thought it would be and turned out great. It's my family's newest request for when I go home for a visit.


(the salt and butter are missing from this photo. Sigh...)

Add all the dry ingredients and mix together.


I roughly chopped the fresh cranberries in the blender, leaving some whole.


I mixed in the rest of the ingredients. I love all the bits of cranberry, orange zest, and walnuts!


 Put batter in a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 55 minutes.


Recipe via Ocean Spray:


2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons shortening (I use 3 tablespoons of extra soft butter instead)
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan.

Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight. Makes 1 loaf (16 slices). 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I got a little abstracted...

I am just now getting around to showing you my Black Friday purchases. I didn't really buy much for myself - just this abstract floral print dress from Target and a few necklaces from GroopDealz.

I ordered the dress using my new Target Red Card debit card. Do you have one yet? It works just like a debit card but you save 5% on every in-store and online purchase and shipping is always free. That's a win-win in my book!!

This outfit is perfect for the holidays. I can dress it up with some different shoes and a great clutch for a party or wear it as-is for our Christmas luncheon at work.

Dress: via Target - exact // Necklace: via GroopDealz // Bracelets: Local Boutique // Shoes: via Shoe Carnival

Isn't this necklace gorgeous??! Have you tried GroopDealz yet? They have fantastic accessories and clothing at amazing prices. I ordered 4 necklaces from there and I love every one of them. I can't wait to find ways to wear them all.

Liniking up with Mix & Match fashion for:


The Tiny Heart/Penniless Socialite for:


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Apothecary Jar Snow Scene

It's Tried It Tuesday and I wanted to share this Apothecary Jar Snow Scene I did. This one is so simple! It requires no artistic talent which is good since mine is equal to a preschooler's. If you have a Christmas village you may already have everything you need.

Some years I go all out decorating my house for Christmas and others I just do little touches here and there. This is one of those years since Christmas is so close to Thanksgiving and it kind of snuck up on me. So far all I have up is my Snowman and Glittered Clothespin Garland I made, this snow scene, and my small tree.


Apothecary Jar  - Michaels Stores
Fake Snow - Michaels Stores
Christmas Village pieces - Michaels Stores and Dollar Tree

Step 1: Clean the jar so that's it's shiny and clear of any fingerprints

Step 2: Fill the jar partially with snow

Step 3: Arrange house and accent pieces then sprinkle more snow on top. I used a skewer to move the snow around after the pieces were in. (Tip: Turn off any overhead fans in the area...I had to vacuum after I was done!!)
For my jar I used a little village house that my sister painted and gave me for Christmas. And then I added the accent pieces. It's as easy as arranging the pieces to create a winter scene!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Casual Leopard

Cardigan: (old) via Target // Blouse: via Ross // Jeans: (old) via Old Navy // Shoes: (old) New York & Company // Necklace: via Beall's Outlet
I've been trying to put together more casual outfits lately. They are not my forte. I do much better with work outfits and dressy looks. I think this one turned out fairly well. I like the mix of leopard and teal.
The Breakdown:
Cardigan: Target, $12
Blouse: Ross, $8
Jeans: Old Navy, $28
Shoes: New York & Company, $15
Necklace: Beall's Outlet, $7
Linking up with:
Life with Meg for Mingle Monday
Still Being Molly


Thursday, December 5, 2013

DIY Jeweled Belts

Thursdays on the blog are going to be devoted to being thrifty. Money saving DIYs, crafts, tips, etc.

To start the series off I decided to create 2 DIY jeweled belts. We all need a little something sparkly and special to pump up an outfit for the holidays. It's even better when you have everything you need to make it!!

I am a bit of a jewelry freak. I have tons of it and that is not an exaggeration! A year or so ago I bought some gemstone brooches from a local boutique. I wasn't quite sure how I would wear them but figured they would come in handy. Well I have worn them exactly 0 times... until now!

  • Belts - I used a wide, stretchy one for version 1 and a skinny one for version 2
  • Brooch Pins -  any type will work.

Version 1: A wide stretch belt

I chose to create a cluster with 4 brooches but the options are endless really. You could line multiple ones up in a row, use one big brooch, create a square "buckle" shape, or cluster different shapes and sizes... Just use your imagination and you can have a different look every time.

My belt has a metal clasp so I twisted it around to be in the back instead of the front. I simply pinned the brooches in a cluster in the middle of the belt.

Version 2: A narrow skinny belt

For this version I decided to use 3 of the brooches lined up in a row. I again turned the belt so the buckle would be at my back, then pinned each brooch around the belt as shown below.

What I love about this project is that it doesn't ruin the belts or pins. I can take them apart and wear them separately or change them up any way I want. And it only takes minutes!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday Sparkle

I recently attended a sweet friend's wedding. It was an evening wedding so it was semi-formal attire. I had an older dress that would have worked but I really wanted a dress that felt special. I definitely think this dress fit the bill.

I bought this one thinking it would carry over perfectly for the holidays if I need it. I love the flower and the fact that it helps camouflage my midsection. And the shimmery burgundy is perfect for the season.

Dress: Midnight Velvet // Wrap: Beall's Outlet // Clutch: Lane Bryant // Shoes: Ross //Jewelry: College graduation gift
The wedding was outside at dusk making the whole thing feel magical. The bride was gorgeous and just so happy!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tried it Tuesday: Snowman & Glittered Clothespin Garland

Today I'm starting a new series called Tried it Tuesday where I will share recipes and DIY/Crafts I make. I love being crafty and the holidays are the perfect time to go a little wild with it.

 I was browsing Pinterest and found this Clothespin Snowman idea. They are so adorable! Before I clicked down to the source, I started to think of how I could use them and came up with stringing them on brown twine to hold Christmas cards. (Great minds think alike because she suggested the same thing!!) After seeing her example, I decided to also make some glittered clothespins for some added sparkle. I made a run to Michaels for supplies and... Voila! A super-cute garland for my house. I think it turned out great!!


Step 1: I spray-painted all the clothespins white, making sure I got the front, back and sides.

Step 2: I used a small brush to paint the grooved part of the clothespin black to make the hat.

Step 3: I used a cotton swab with the cotton removed on one end to stamp the eyes with black paint.

Step 4: I used a small brush to draw on the carrot nose with orange paint.
Step 5: I used the cotton swab again to stamp the mouth and buttons.
Step 6: I made red-ribbon scarves and glued them on using tacky glue.
Step 7: I covered another set of clothespins with tacky glue on one side and covered in glitter.

Step 8: After everything was dry, I clipped the pins onto twine and pinned the cards.
Supply List:
  • Clothespins
  • White spray paint
  • Black & orange craft
  • Red ribbon
  • Glitter
  • Tacky glue
  • Twine

Linking up with:

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