IKEA Sofa Review

I am by no means an expert on sofas. Let’s just clarify that from the start. I am an expert on sitting on them, but that’s a different blog post. Seriously- I’ve logged some serious sitting hours. If sitting on a couch could be used for a practicum, I’d have a doctorate by now. I wish I was kidding.

When I moved into my new place in October I decided on IKEA for a sofa because of one reason. I wanted white. Some people called me crazy and some, well, actually I think everyone called me crazy or gave me that ‘what would possess you to get a white sofa??‘ face. I usually replied with “I have no kids and no pets – right now is the perfect time for a white sofa!”

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White sofa? Idiot.

So I chose mainly IKEA for my white couch for two reasons: 1)  Price and 2) look. The price was just right at just about $400. This was perfect if the couch got ruined which, with my track record, I was almost planning for.

Now for my actual review of the sofa. I’m going to actually switch to the word couch now because I honestly never call it a sofa and I’m not sure why I wrote the first half of this post doing so. Instead of changing it, I’m writing this short paragraph explaining it. On to the review-

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The couch is simply really not great. I love IKEA but this couch disappointed. I knew the risk I was taking because of the low price but I had read tons of reviews like this one before making my choice and it really seemed like it was going to be just dandy. The problem is, I am assuming that most people that have this couch are not using it as their curl-up-on-the-couch-on-a-rainy-day-couch. This ain’t that.

To give you a little bit of an image: I live with a 6’2″ man. I am a 5’5″ girl woman. I am by no means tall, but he obviously is. Picture a whole bunch of scrunched legs.

BTDubs: I chose to get the matching ottoman and I placed it in front of one of the cushions in order to make it look like a chaise without the restriction of the chaise. Say chaise again. The ottoman is great and the storage inside of it was clutch. 6’2″ man usually took the “chaise” side with his feet hanging off, of course.

Overall, it’s a cute couch and it’s actually sitting in my office now looking really perrrrrty. I am sitting on it writing this post. I will call it my sit-on-and-write-blog-post-couch now. It has a better ring to it anyways.

You really only have to read this paragraph: don’t get this couch as your comfy living room TV couch. Get this couch for a sitting room that people rarely sit in and is just there to look good. Or, get this couch for your office so you can ignore your brand new iMac and sit on the couch typing on your super slow old laptop. It is actually perfect for that, take it from me ya’ll.

A new condo tour will be coming soon! Even if I said that like two months ago…

 

XO,

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I MOVED

…6 months later…

Hi everyone! Welcome back!

It is safe to say that this website is suffering from severe neglect. Not only have I not been blogging for the past sixth months, but I haven’t been doing much of anything! Well, anything besides working full time until September when I started the last leg of my Masters program with student teaching, did that full time and completed my SEI endorsement all while working part time AND moving. I guess I have been doing some stuff?

Well, despite the fact that there were no words on this page, this site was still constantly on my mind. This is a passion of mine (with being a teacher, that is) and it was hard for me to leave it hanging. Thankfully, I put my studies first and it paid off. I am now a Master in Education AND I have a job! I feel pretty wonderful about that of course.

Now that, to my mother’s pleasure, all of my ducks are in a row, I can continue with this glorious page. The biggest theme being that I moved!

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Yes, I fled from the nest. Took the plunge. I no longer live with my mom. I know, who would’ve thought. Not I, considering I had big plans as a young girl to live at home forever and work on the cash register at Roche Brothers. Yes, I live on my own and I love it! Thankfully, I only live 6 minutes away from my parents and I can see them whenever I want. Win, win!

Moving obviously means many pictures and tours in the different rooms of my new condo! I’m so excited to stray from this wordy post and show you my new home! Woot!

Until then, folks,

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DIY Savers Chair

I love thrift store furniture! It’s so fun to rehab something old. I am so much more into old than new (as you may have noticed from this post), and I am always looking for ways to resurrect the dead. Plus, I end up saving a heck of a lot of money, too.

Let me just start by saying spray paint is not my friend. I am not really very good at it, mainly because when I am doing a project I tend to rush because I am so excited for the end result. I usually end up having tons of drips in my spray paint job. This time, me and spray paint were civil. I had a few drips, but I don’t think there was as much tension as usual.

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I got this chair at Savers for only $9.99. It has plastic on it, so I am assuming it was in an older-person’s home. Hmm, the possibilities! I kept the current plastic/fabric on because I wanted more cushion and I also did not feel like taking the million staples they had in it out.

I took the seat off and only needed a staple gun, my new cushion and my new burlap fabric for this step! I placed the current seat on the cushion and traced with a permanent marker to make guidelines for where to cut. Then, I stapled my fabric all around!

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I have a similar chair in my office right now but it is falling apart. I got it at Goodwill a while back and did not bother to fix it. Now, I am surprised I haven’t fallen out of my chair yet. I’m talking wobbly mcwobblerson. So, that’s why I went hunting for a new one.

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I also decided I wanted a chair without arms because I tend to sit indian style while I work and that was hard with the arms. So, I went for armless. This chair has the same antique look as my old one, but I wanted to do a little something different.

I wanted a mint green spray paint, but it ended up being blue. I thought it looked a little green at the store but what the heck! I have a blue chair now. I also chose burlap fabric for the seat.

I like to go a little louder with one component, and softer with another. It’s all about balance, people! So, that’s why I chose a more neutral fabric because of my semi-loud chair color (if you can call soft blue loud).  I usually paint everything white, so this is a change for me. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, people! Baby steps, though.

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This took all of 1 hour. Spray paint takes 5 minutes to dry per coat. I obviously don’t wait in between coats (you only have to wait a minute, anyways) and I waited about an hour to put the cushion on! It was completely dry even sooner than that!

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I love the added cushion. The seat did not fit perfectly on the chair, even before  I reupholstered it, and you can tell in the previous photo. The seat could have been a smidgen lower, but it doesn’t bother me. It’s so comfy and higher up which I love/needed.

Cost breakdown is as follows:

Chair: $9.99

Fabric: $5.58 (plus I have about a yard left over

Spray Paint: $3.99

Cushion: $7.49

Total: $27.05

**The prices of the spray paint and cushion are half off because I had two 50% off coupons. This is the norm at Joann Fabrics, though, so this shouldn’t be hard for you to obtain, either!

I LOVE CHEAP THINGS.

Talk soon

Xo,

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Father’s Day Gift Guide

Procrastinators! Pay Attention!

Me and some lovely ladies have come together to help all of you who need a little extra inspiration when buying a gift for that guy who helped make your life possible. In case you’re confused, I’m talking about your Dad!

Father’s Day is coming up and Me, Alisa, Kayla, Sami and Shauna wanted to share a few gift guides with our lovely followers to help you with your Father’s Day shopping!

I decided to work with the Sporty Dad considering that’s my Dad in a nutshell. This is why my sister and I were always doing sports growing up with our Dad as our coach most of the time! This man needed a son.

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#1. A round of golf. If you’re Dad is like mine, he loves everything about golf. Talking about it, watching it, playing it. For those around the Southeastern MA area, there’s a Groupon for 18 holes of Golf at Wentworth Hills Country Club in Plainville, MA! Sign up and grab that at a discounted rate!

#2. A scaly cap. These are known as “newsboy hats” at Nordstrom and I absolutely love them. Dad’s love them too. They’re such Dad hats. Here’s one my Dad recently got and loves.

#3. Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity and Sleep Band. These things are so cool. If you’re Dad is a fitness guy and loves to track how he’s doing in and out of the gym, this is a great gift for him. He can count his steps, track his sleeping patterns and even set a silent alarm so he wakes up nice and rested.

#4. Red Sox tickets! Or tickets to your local Baseball team. This is a great gift here in Boston because you can get some really cheap tickets and still have a great time. Grab a beer, grab a frank and your Dad’s hand because he will love this special time with you! Or, give him two tickets if Baseball isn’t your thing. You’ll still be his favorite for at least a month.

#5. Oakley sunglasses. Any sporty Dad needs some form of sporty sunglasses. Oakley’s are known as one of the most popular sport brand sunglasses. If he’s an outdoor guy, sunglasses are the perfect gift. If your Dad is prone to loosing his sunglasses a lot, I wouldn’t go for Oakley’s, but there are plenty of sunglass brands out there that won’t break the bank!

#6. A Corn Hole game. This is such a great summer sporty game. I see this game being played at almost every BBQ and your sporty Dad is sure to love it himself. I especially love this one I found on Amazon with the American flag on it. So patriotic, so sporty!

My Dad is my favorite Man on this Earth and he deserves more than just a day of his own! Thanks, Dad, for being such an amazing role model and friend. You’re the greatest Dad I could have ever asked for. Love you to the moon and back. Xo

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Dad not so coordinated? Go ahead and check out these lovely ladies gift guides, too!

Alisa at The Witty and Pretty

Shauna at Like So Pretty

Kayla at Kayla’s Closet

Sami at Simply Sami

Happy Shopping!

Xo,

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TJ Maxx Haul

I sometimes wonder why I shop anywhere else when TJ Maxx/Home Goods exists. They have all of life’s essentials there; food, clothing, furniture, games, bags. I mean, what else is there that we need?

I recently took a trip there because I was “in the neighborhood” and figured why not. About $150 later, I had some new clothes, a new makeup bag, and a candle I later broke and am unable to use. I’ll consider it a donation to my fav store…

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In the photo above, the tank and shorts are new. I am in love with these white shorts because I can wear them with anything. I.e. this other shirt I purchased as well.

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I also saw a super cute striped dress that went with a long sweater. This could definitely be a day into night outfit just by taking off the sweater.

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The sweater is longer than the dress and pretty versatile. I’ll definitely be able to wear it with just about anything!

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I also got this awesome makeup bag that I could not pass up (just like everything else at that store).

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Can you believe I went to TJ Maxx/Home Goods and bought nothing for the home? Oh wait, never mind, I went back today and bought a shelf. Hey, I lasted 24 hours at least!

I hope the days are getting warmer for us New Englanders and I can showcase these outfits in public, not just in my room behind the camera lens.

Thanks to my bff Laura Messinger for taking my awk pics. Outtake, anyone?

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Have a good Thursday, everyone!

Xo,

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Super Quick Avocado Dip

Let me just start by saying Hi, Welcome to November. Oh, wait. IT’S JUNE. Step into New England and you’d never know we’re a few weeks shy of SUMMER!

I’m freezing.

I thought today, considering we might need to be reminded that it is, in fact, June 3, would be a good day to share a super quick avocado dip. My family and I resort to this on the reg. It’s delicious.

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Ingredients:

2 Avocados (Depends how many people you’re serving) diced

4-6 Cherry tomatoes, quartered

Half of a medium red onion, diced

1 sm clove of garlic, pressed

2 tbs feta cheese

Lime

Your fav bag of dippin’ chips

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This is my version of the recipe considering I don’t follow one. It’s really very easy, you just add as much as you want of each ingredient. My family tends to add more feta because it’s delicious. Sometimes I add less tomatoes if people don’t love them. I bet some roasted corn or black beans would be great in this dip, too.

All you do is cut everything up and mix it together! Except the lime, squeeze about 1 wedge on top to preserve the avocado.

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This isn’t meant to be a guacamole where the avocado is mashed. It is meant to be chunky avocado, less work for us!

I’ll be back tomorrow. Hint: I went to TJ Maxx.

Have a great Hump Day everyone!

Xo,

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Out with the new, in with the old

I know that’s not usually how it works. Most people like new things. Bleh!

I have been doing a lot of blogging, a lot of watching of HGTV, and a lot of thinking (which can be dangerous) and I finally decided that my style is very much rustic. The old barnwood and rustic window panes that are currently very much in style are exactly what I love.

I get a lot of inspiration from Joanna Gaines, she’s the designer on Fixer Upper, my absolute favorite HGTV show. Her and her husband, Chip, help people buy fixer uppers and make beautiful visions come to life in their hometown of Waco, Texas. My family and I love watching their beautiful creations take shape and when I found out that they have a store, and that the store is also online, I nearly fainted. I immediately followed every social media site associated with them, and I browse their shop regularly.

Thanks for watching with us tonight!! #shiplap @magnoliamarket @hgtv #fixerupper

A photo posted by Joanna Stevens Gaines (@joannagaines) on Mar 17, 2015 at 7:42pm PDT

Going back to the rustic style that I call mine, I recently decided that I should incorporate it into my bedroom more. I have a few rustic wooden accents, like my homemade shelf, but I wanted more. That’s when I decided I want a window pane.

My Mom came across one that has sentimental value to us and family close to me, and I could not contain my excitement. I thought it would go perfect above my nightstand.

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I was right. I absolutely love the rustic feel it brings. Now, going back to Joanna Gaines and Magnolia Market, I recently was browsing and saw a beautiful metal creation with a wonderful quote engraved. It reads “Let whatever you do today be enough.”  I instantly knew I had to have it, and they were conveniently having a sale because the man who makes these creations had a birthday on said day! The piece came in the mail TODAY and I did not waste a second begging my Dad to hang up my new bed side pieces.

I even took a pic of the Fed Ex man….

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Love him. Love this more, though:

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Obsessed doesn’t even cover it. These two pieces bring just the right amount of rustic that I was looking for. The Magnolia Market metal piece came with two holes in the top corners. My Dad and I were going to use screws at first, but then he had the idea that using wire would be a lot easier. I agreed, so I went searching in our garage. I then found something better, beautiful rope.

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The rope fit perfectly into the holes and adds more rustic elements to the piece. I love the way it looks. I burned the ends so they would seal. The piece looks amazing with the knots.

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Here’s the entire wall together. In case you’ve been following along with me, you’d know that the purple pillows are new. These were made with the fabric from my storage bench, a project I did a while back. I didn’t have enough fabric, so I used an old pillowcase on the back! They are gorgeous.

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Here’s what it looked like before. You can see that I was trying to go for the natural look with the wooden frames, but I knew they were too small for this area. They were the “in progress” phase.

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As if that big comfy bed wasn’t enough to excite me into sleeping, now I can’t wait to go to bed and stare at my new wall!

I hope you enjoyed my update! If you consider yourself having a similar style as me, definitely go and check out JoannaGaines on instagram, and visit Chip and Joanna’s market online!

Talk soon!

Xo,

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Farro Salad Recipe

Hi! How’s it going?

It’s so awkward starting blog posts so I’m just going to get right to it…

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I want to share a recipe that was introduced to me by my amazing Aunt Amy and it is safe to say I am completely obsessed. This does not get old. It’s also pretty good for us, too! (You know, since I recently ate it with a hot dog smothered in ketchup and roasted potatoes).

My family and I make this recipe at least once a week, and the most recent was this past Memorial Day! When I was making it I decided to take pics to share it with all of you peeps. (As you can see- it goes great with beer. I drank Sam Adams Porchrocker here).

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semi-pearled or regular farro
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Medium red onion, halved- then halves cut into 1/4 wedges
  • Salt
  • Feta cheese (optional)
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/3 cup shelled, raw walnuts
  • 3 cups packed spinach
  • 1 large garlic clove, minched
  • Fresh lemon
  • Pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

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We get our farrow from Trader Joe’s, it’s super easy and only takes 10 minutes to cook!

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You want to make sure you cut the sweet potato into bite-sized cubes. This will lower cooking time and make it easier when you’re eating.

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Once everything is chopped and ready to go, follow these instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Place the sweet potatoes on one half of a baking sheet, the onions on the other half. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on each. *Put a very small amount on onions, be careful not to soak them.
  3. Sprinkle cumin and coriander on the sweet potatoes and mix them around (do not mix with onions)
  4. Place these in the oven and roast until veggies are tender. The onions will be done before the sweet potatoes, so just take those out first and put the sweet potatoes back in
  5. While the veggies are roasting, bring 4 cups of chicken stock to a boil
  6. Add farro to the chicken stock. Follow directions on package- usually takes about 12 minutes to cook
  7. Put walnuts in a pan on the stove and roast. Once you can smell them, they are done. Be careful not to burn them, they can roast pretty quickly
  8. In another pan, put 1 tbs of olive oil and heat
  9. Add spinach and the clove of garlic, sauté until spinach has shrunk entirely
  10. Add everything to a bowl
  11. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top
  12. Enjoy!

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My family also likes to sprinkle some feta cheese on top for flavor. I bet it would be absolutely delicious with goat cheese, too.

At the end, drizzle a little more olive oil and squeeze about a half of a lemon’s juice on top of the entire mixture.

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This is no joke and if you don’t try it you’re crazy. Let me know when you do!

Xo,

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Drink Barrel Turned Herb Garden

I just ate way too much coffee ice cream and now I’m so full and I have no regrets.

First things first, the winner of the May Designs Giveaway is Molly S! Congratulations and thank you for entering! I will be in contact shortly as will May Designs! Also, thank you to May Designs for giving this opportunity to one of my readers! If you haven’t yet, head to their website and design something for yourself. I think I want a workout journal now that i’ve been to the gym four times in a month.

Ok! So this past Memorial Day Weekend my Mom and I were deciding which pots to use for plants we were going to buy, so we trekked out to our shed to see what we had. I saw in the back that we had an old tin drink barrel on a stand. I instantly had an idea: herb garden!

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The barrel is pretty big, making it the perfect amount of space for 4 or 5 different herbs. First I cleaned it out and was going to drill holes in the bottom when, to my pleasant surprise, I saw the barrel already has a hole!

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I was worried because it’s only one hole, but my mom reassured me that was fine. If she’s wrong and this fails, it’s all her fault. Kidding- Love You Mumma.

Anyways, I bought some potting soil to put in this bad boy. I got the organic stuff because if im going to be eating the stuff that grows out of it, I want it to be natural. I chose Vigoro Organics Organic & Natural Potting Mix simply because that is what the guy at Home Depot brought me to. I opened a bag and it smelled like fresh manure so I figured that’s as natural as you can get! Yummy!IMG_0184 (1)

I used about a bag and a half to fill the barrel almost the entire way. I chose the herbs that I tend to use the most such as basil and chives. I then saw Rosemary and Mint and figured I’d give those a go, too. If I see more herbs that I’d like to try I may just add them on in!

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To plant the herbs, I dug small holes in the potting mix and poured some water in. This was direction from my Mom. Did I mention I have never grown anything before? Here goes nothing!

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Once I was all done I knew I wanted some cute chalkboard sticks to place in the soil to signify which herb is which. I walked in to Michaels and the first thing I saw right in front of me was exactly what I was looking for. Gotta love trends.

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That’s my herb garden! I’ll keep you posted on how they’re growing. I watered it today so we’re off to a good start! Maybe I should write myself a note?

Who wants some tomato, mozzerella, basil? (i’ve been living off of it for the past three days)

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Xo, S

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Especially those who have served for our Country, the best Country in the world. My Grandfather has the annual American flag on his grave, and days like today are a little harder without him here. He did not die in battle, but he fought hard for our country long ago.

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I love days remembering people of the Armed Forces. Today and Veteran’s Day are two of the most, if not the most, important holidays to me. Of course, those who served for us should be remembered every day.

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On day’s like today, I especially love sporting a little more red white and blue than usual. So, I decided to make a festive cocktail that is sure to bring the Memorial Day spirit!

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This was actually very difficult. Let’s just say there was a lot of trial and error that went into this drink.Towards the end, I finally got the hang of it and was able to make a multicolored drink instead of a delicious tasting purple-y mixture.

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The ingredients are blue curaçao, grenadine, lemonade, and Grey Goose Melon.

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First, I put the curaçao on the bottom. It’s important to put this before the ice so that the blue does not contaminate the ice. I used crushed ice to fill up as much space as possible (to make the color layering work).

Then, I added the Grey Goose followed by the lemonade.

At the very end, I slowly poured a little grenadine over the drink. The grenadine bled to the bottom in places, and stayed on top in others.Of course when you’re drinking it you’re going to want to mix it all together (which turns it purple). It tastes like juice. Be careful with this one, it’ll do ya in.

If you haven’t tried Grey Goose’s flavors yet, do it soon! This melon flavor is so good. I promise you that you cannot taste the vodka in this drink. Dangerous!

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I am not one to follow trends, considering I was wearing white jeans about two months ago, but I wanted to show you my Memorial Day outfit just for fun. Of course, I have to sport the white. This dress is about a year old from Tobi.com, I got it for my college graduation. The shoes are amazing- from Old Navy! Here is the link, they’re only $24 too!

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Don’t mind our power washed deck (soon to be painted). Oh! And that little garden you see on the left is a sneak peak into tomorrow’s post.

Happy Memorial Day Everyone! God Bless America.

Xo, S