Wednesday, December 18, 2013

`Twas the day after Christmas

I'm so excited! I've been plugging away on my twelve days of Christmas stories when this one popped out of my head. I just had to share it. I couldn't sit on it until the 14th. I'm much the same way with presents, which is why it's hard for me to shop early. My husband usually gets all his presents before Christmas because I can't wait and then I have to go back out and shop again so he has something to open Christmas morning. So without further ado, my remake of a Christmas classic just in time for Throwback Thursday, 'Twas The Day after Christmas. 


Friday, December 6, 2013

Finding the Community I Never Knew I Wanted {Tiny Steps Mommy}


 Tiny Steps Mommy The Blog <<>> Tiny Steps Mommy on Facebook

I started Tiny Steps Mommy alone in front of my computer, but I discovered that no one can do anything alone and be successful. We all need support. We all need a community. And I am so thrilled to be part of a community of local women who understand, guide, and teach me everyday. I was always a joiner. In high school, I was an over-joiner. I participated in everything from cheerleading and drama to student government and clubs like Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD). In college, I was editor of the student newspaper and I even briefly joined a sorority. Interestingly, once I finished college and became a Mom, I didn’t think about joining anything. I was always too busy managing my day-to-day life. I occasionally volunteer as team mom for my son’s sports teams and I sometimes volunteer in the classroom, but I never participate in my community association and I am basically just a dues paying member of our PTA. I didn’t think I needed or wanted a community outside of my family and small group of friends. 

I realize how wrong I was. It is something I was missing and I didn’t know it. Thanks to some amazing local moms with a shared entrepreneurial spirit, I have discovered a new community. These women, many of whom I met online, are extremely supportive and generous. They understand what it is like to be a mother, but to need an outlet. They understand how to offer advice and share everything they have learned in order to help the newer members of this “club.” They are quick to offer kind words and tell you that “Moms Rock.” They give you the encouragement to keep going or in my case, keep writing. "A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, “Universe,” a part limited in time and space." He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. 

Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. - Albert Einstein If you are feeling like an island onto yourself, then open yourself up to new possibilities. Trust that little voice in your head and take a chance. You may be surprised to learn that what you never knew you wanted is waiting right around the corner. Do you belong to a community{Like the Virginia Blogger's Club}? Please share your experiences?

Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and child care business owner who lives in Annandale, VA with her husband and four children. Nicole writes about family, life, parenting, and caring for children on her heartfelt blog Tiny Steps Mommy. She also enjoys connecting with her growing community of friends on the Tiny Steps Mommy Facebook page.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Charm City Shopping & Strangers with Style


We've all stuffed ourselves, and probably emptied out our wallets. But I hope you all have saved some monies for the small businesses in your communities that help keep your local economy alive and kicking!

We have many of those right here in Charm City that provide consumers with unique, one-of-a-kind items.

Check out my post on some local favorites to shop for the holiday season: http://strangerswithstyle.com/2013/11/30/shop-baltimore/

Cheers!

Regards,
Olivia Obineme | strangerswithstyle@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Christmas Corner #FairOaksMall

*I received absolutely nothing to compose this post. These words are mine. 
Follow The Christmas Corner on Facebook

There is something in the winter air that sends you willfully down to the dungeon to drag out your cheerful holiday decor. I am gleefully looking forward to decorating the tree, the front door, and to be honest every square inch of my house with natural greenery from the outdoors:) At my recent visit to the Winery at Bull Run, I came across twinkling trees of divine decoration.

The beautiful decorations came from The Christmas Corner. They just opened at the Fairfax Mall and 10% of all holiday sales benefit orphans in Africa, which is the true star on top of the tree. I hope all of you are slowing down to really enjoy this holiday season with your family.
 

From Our Family at the Virginia Blogger's Club to yours Have a very Happy and Safe Holiday Season!


Thank you for being here,
 

Heather Paulding
Founder of the Virginia Blogger's Club
http://spunkyrealdeal.blogspot.com




Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving Decor Made Simple {DIY}

If I am honest with myself Thanksgiving is a holiday that falls after Halloween and before Christmas. I do not have much time to decorate and food is really the priority here....so I came up with a solution. Save your Halloween pumpkins. Buy them late. The smaller pumpkins will stay good for quite some time. After Halloween, you can write Thanksgiving sayings on them. For example, "Say your Blessings", "Give Thanks", or "Gobble Gobble".

Choose a deep-rich color palette and take your time. No need to be Da Vinci:) When you are finished, let the pumpkins dry on their side so the paint does not run. A rustic box is the perfect platform to elevate the finished centerpiece for your guests. Pass the turkey please AND Have a very Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at The Virginia Blogger's Club!


Thanks for stopping by,



Heather Paulding
Founder of The Virginia Blogger's Club
http://spunkyrealdeal.blogspot.com

Monday, November 11, 2013

Virginia Blogger's Club {Upcoming Events}

Join this EVENT on Facebook<<<<>>>ALL are welcome.   
Thursday, November 21 from 6 to 9 PM
Hosted By: Jocelyn Brown of Hip Mamas Place
Get your Christmas shopping done while supporting the Howard County Autism Society!


Exclusive Blogger Event at Fair Oaks Mall 

Join this EVENT on EventBrite
Thursday, November 21 from 6 to 9 PM
Hosted by: Andrea Khoury of The Real Housewives of Northern Virginia
Location: Fair Oaks Mall
Exclusive Blogger Event at Fair Oaks Mall including pictures with Santa, unveiling of the newly renovated play area, and a "Taste of Fair Oaks"! Join us for this family affair.











Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My musings on authenticity #femcon13

The Femworking Conference last weekend in Alexandria, VA gave me the opportunity to rub elbows with fellow bloggers and business women alike. The best part? Well, besides the tremendous all-star blogger panel's advice it was the Femworking{spiritual-like} messages. I heard, "be authentic" nearly a dozen times, but each time it sent a chill directly to my core.

Even in the days of high school I always went in the direction I wanted to go{as you can imagine this was an unpopular notion}. Being authentic is not only the way a person should be, but I think your biggest successes can result from drumming to your own beat. Dorie Howell at Dorie Howell Photography generously took a free head shot for all the attendees at the Femworking Conference and I decided to take my stache with me;-}

*Note that this a random stache photo by Second Ave Photography:}

Did anyone else take a head shot with a stache? No. Was it a tad weird? Yes. Did folks remember me? Probably. Listen to yourself. If you are very lucky you have a tremendous spouse that will be 100% honest with your wacky, yet creative ideas.

If you are a blogger reading this than you probably have a general love of blogs. I have at least ten blogs that I stalk regularly{MaieDae, SmittenKitchen, and The Londoner are my tops}. Each are different, focus on a variety of topics, but they all have one thing in common....a very large audience. It is easy to get caught up in saying, "Well they do this maybe I...". Maybe I what, should be more like them and less like me? I think not. Stay true to you.


Thank you for being here,



Heather Paulding
Founder of the Virginia Blogger's Club
Author of Spunky Real Deals
Businesses Featured: Second Ave Photography and Woodroze.com Sunglasses.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Biggest Lesson I've Learned #Femcon13

  
 Femworking Conference<<>>Sign-ups & Information

Virginia Blogger's Club Attending Members: Nicole Dash of Tiny Steps Mommy{Co-organizer and Speaker}, Laura Harders of Beltway Bargain Mom {Speaker}, Heather Paulding of Spunky Real Deals, Wondermom Wannabe, Amy Fitzgerald of Twingles Mom, Gina Lincicum of Money Wise Moms, Nikki of Super NoVa Mom, Lauren Brinkac of DC Healthy Bites, Lindsay Dahl of Lindsay Dahl, Joanne McAlpine of Broadcasting Sunny, Cynthia of Feeding Big and More, Shannah Coe of Just Us Four, Dorie of Dorie Howell Photography, and Catherine Wood of Happily Ever Crafter

It all started with a stache. A hope to succeed. A dream to be at the top of the social media world. Blogging is like an artist beginning to paint on a blank canvas. The possibilities are endless in accordance with the artist's ability and imagination. Saturday October 26th, Femworking, LLC is hosting a Small Business and Blogger Conference in our Nation's Capital. Education, inspiration, and social networking will be among the central themes.

THE Question: 

What is the biggest lesson you have learned about blogging since you began?
THE Reward:  A seat with the all-star panel: Maria Jose Ovalle of Very Busy Mamá – Life Beauty & Style, Monica Sakala of Wired Momma, and Nicole Dash of Tiny Steps Mommy.

It feels nearly impossible for me to narrow down what I have learned as a blogger to one grand lesson, but we shall try! The one thing that has been a constant teaching point for me seems to be the most contradicting: Unplug. Before you try and cloak me in a straight jacket hear me out:) Social networking is about your stats. How many Facebook followers you have, Bloglovin', Instagram, and so forth. Stop counting. Take a brief step away from that keyboard and watch your blog grow.

Unplugging will help you to remember why it is you started blogging in the first place. Live. A small hiatus can refresh the spirit. This mental rest will allow a new rush of ideas and creative energies to flow full force. Nobody inquired about my online absence this past week. I bet you did not even know I was gone, did you? Exactly, so go! My mind is clear and ready to write. My very best writing will bubble to the surface, because I took a step back to enjoy the sunshine.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Leesburg Arts Festival 2013

The Leesburg Arts Festival {Fall 2013} happened over this weekend. I am an astute appreciator of the fine arts and if you want to make someone really nervous just walk around with your camera at an Arts Festival! HA! Seriously, I may not bring my camera next year. I did ask permission to photograph all the artists that are featured. Here is a round-up of my personal stand-out favorites:

Art Jewelry by Winnie Chai Designs
SHOP Winnie Chai Designs

Her jewelry has life and spirit. Beautiful-living pieces. She has been very inspired by her travels to Tibet and China. Clean, tribal, and modern statement pieces with a spirit. This seem to be the common aesthetic theme. I really adored her statement necklaces with feather-work. She did not have any in her Leesburg show-case{believe me I looked}, because I would have snatched it up. Simply Stunning{as Gordon Ramsey might say:-}

Eugene Perry Sculptures
SHOP Eugene Perry

Sleek and modern. Eugene is an abstract metal art sculptor from Philadelphia, PA. His pieces are simple, yet very eye-catching. Absolutely striking when the sunlight grazes them. I am very fond of the piece on the end. A beautiful design composition and marbleized coloring is represented throughout that piece.

Prescott Studio
SHOP Prescott Studio

Flying pigs that shimmer in the sunlight...yes please!:} I loved these playful sculptures from Prescott studio and the coolest par is they also move! The head of the pig goes up and down. They are perfect eye-catching pieces for businesses! He also has smaller sculptures that would be perfect for your back yard too! Really cool stuff.

<<<<<<SHOP Bob Paulding Photography>>>>>>>
A very personal favorite of mine is Bob Paulding Photography! He has some stunning natural photography. I love the pretty in pink Macro Collection.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Leesburg Animal Park {Pumpkinville Pass Giveaway} NoVA

VISIT The Leesburg Animal Park<<<>>Like'M on FACEBOOK<<>>PUMPKINVILLE info
My boys and I love The Leesburg Animal Park! As you can see depicted above, FUN for all ages can be readily achieved:) My boys love feeding the animals, eating lunch on the picnic benches, and playing on the play set shaped like a pirate ship! The boys and I are true regulars every Wednesday when their admission prices are discounted. The Wednesday discounts{however} stop when Pumpkinville gets into full swing!

Pumpkinville is The Leesburg Animal Park's Fall Festival! Hayrides, Moon Bounces, All-you-can-eat apples & Cider, Rope Swings, and even a FREE pumpkin with admission. The animals as always will be happily available for feeding. I feel like a kid:) I cannot wait!!

Are you ready for a Leesburg Animal Park....Oink...Baaa.....Neigh.....Pumpkinville Giveaway???!!!! *This US giveaway is for Northern Virginia residents ONLY or if you are willing to travel then by all means enter!:)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Femworking NoVa Blogger Conference Oct. 26th #femcon13

Femworking Blogger & Small Business Conference



Femworking Conference Update: Register before Sept. 5th to save $50 on your registration!!!

Are you a blogger or small business in the Northern Virginia DC area? You are in luck! October 26th Femworking, LLC is hosting an estimated 200+ bloggers in the local area for education, networking, growth, and business seminars at the Blogger & Small Business Conference.

There is a tremendous line-up, but here is the sweet icing on the cake. The conference is being held on October 26, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va. Register on or before September 5, 2013 for a $50 discount.

For the complete conference schedule and registration information please visit www.FemworkingConference.com. For more information, please contact Kelley@femworking.com or Nicole@femworking.com. Be sure to follow the hashtag #femcon13 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and even Instagram to stay up to date on the conference hap-happenings.


See you there,


Heather Paulding
Founder of the Virginia Blogger's Club
Spunky Real Deals
http://spunkyrealdeal.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Children's Cooperative Preschool of Loudoun

VISIT Cooperative Preschool of Loudoun<<<>>>Like'M on FACEBOOK
"As a mother, I am thrilled to be a vital part of my child's early education. We are truly growing our children together."{Heather Paulding, First year CPL mum}
My eldest son is starting preschool this year at the only Cooperative Preschool in Loudoun County{CPL} established in 1969. They cater to Pre-K children ages 2 to 5 1/2 years old. CPL offers flexibility in the days of attendance per week and choices between AM or PM classes. CPL also involves parents and children in a number of community service activities throughout the year! The children will be helping to sell lemonade at our September 7th pot-luck! The proceeds will go to benefit childhood cancer research.

You might be asking, "What is a Cooperative preschool"? Ah, a fine question. A cooperative preschool means that we as parents are directly overseeing the teaching and overall operation of the school. CPL is run by a board of parents. Every parent is involved in one way or another. Whether it's teaching a class, attending board meetings, or organizing events - the parents are a helping hand.

My role is organizing events. Such as, the pot luck that is coming up Saturday, September 7th @11am. I will be working with the event team to make sure everything runs smoothly. Basically, I need to make sure everyone has plates. This is my first year with CPL, but it is readily apparent that everyone there cares immensely about the self-development and education of our children!

Sensory playdough will be the BIG activity at the back-to-school family pot luck! I used fresh lavender, lavender essential oils, seashells, and sticks! This was so much fun! The sensory playdough incorporates all the senses, but we try to exclude taste on this one:} Check out the recipe and full post at the Imagination Tree!
**If you live in Northern VA and have a toddler ready for pre-K activities please give us a call! The classes fill up quickly and your child can be placed on the waiting list. I believe there are a few Senior spots ready to be filled{must be 4 years of age by Sept. 30th}.

 Cooperative Preschool of Loudoun
42507 Mount Hope Road
Ashburn, VA 20148
Phone: 703-724-0496


A BIG Thank you to Wegmans of Dulles and The Leesburg Animal Park  for their gracious support of CPL! We thank you with our hearts and our wallets. Seriously though, you will not find a better grocery store or cozier spot to spend quality time with your family then these two local NoVa businesses. CPL and myself graciously thank you!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Happily Ever Crafter {Guest Post & Giveaway}

BLOG Happily Every Crafter<<<<>>>>Like'M on FACEBOOK

Hi there! My name is Catherine and I’m the blogger behind Happily Ever Crafter! My husband Brian likes to do posts on occasion too. I’m still fairly new to blogging, but I have loved this new adventure. I’m finding so many wonderful people to befriend and learn from.

Happily Ever Crafter is my life on the little screen. Computer screen that is. I blog about everything from cooking to reviews to trying to live as “green” as I can even while in a little townhouse here in good ol’ Lynchburg, Virginia.

I love to share my little crafts and projects with my readers whether it’s making something out of cardboard tubes or a garden from a discarded pallet. Pinterest fuels much of my inspiration but you get the good, the bad, and the ugly. I blog it all! Not everything on Pinterest is true to the way it looks!

When it comes to cooking I take after my mother. Meaning...I throw something together and rarely using a measuring cup. It usually turns out delicious, but not always. As with the crafting failures, I let you know when a recipe fails too. Just trying to keep it real!
Another large aspect of my blog is being "green." This is a huge category in itself. On the "green" front I blog about anything from gardening, to farmer's market adventures, to homemade versions of harsh cleaners, to the use of essential oils. I am passionate about making and keeping my family healthy in every way possible. We have just this one beautiful life and we desire to make it a long, happy, and healthy one.

Time for a GIVEAWAY for all you gardeners! Catherine has a giveaway running on her blog for a year long seed membership from Mike the Gardener Enterprises. ENTER Here!{08/14}

Till next time,


Catherine
 Happily Ever Crafter
 CatherinePageWood@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

DIY Magical Playground

Children frequently have their imagination caps cranked on high. My boys are no exception. My little monkeys gave me the idea to use random pieces of junk to create a magical playground. I was pulling some crib parts from the early 90s out of our shed, when my eldest propped a piece against the fence and started climbing. Frightful, I started to remove the ladder. Then the proverbial light bulb went off:} I placed it against our small tree and said "climb away!"

I also had a few miscellaneous pieces of particle board lying around. We took the particle board and painted it:) Going up anyone?:} Bright colors, fun to stomp on, and a ramp for the monster trucks! A pretty awesome job for a days work at play. Junk is FREE and it led to an active, fun, care-free adventure! Play spontaneously with your imagination caps charged up and ready to go!

Looking for an amazing Linky Party?
Please drop by Feeding Big HERE and Link up your recipes, diy projects, and crafts!


Thank you for stopping by,



Heather Paulding
Founder of the Virginia Blogger's Club
http://spunkyrealdeal.blogspot.com

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Disney on Ice {Local VA giveaway}


The fascination with "The Mouse" is almost innate from birth. Mickey Mouse is really apart of our American culture. My kids are just as fascinated with Disney as I. ME from a marketing perspective and THEM from a purely fun perspective. Regardless, we love Disney period! Do you live in the Virginia area? Would you like some FREE tickets to Disney on ICE? Enter to win 4 tickets to the Thursday, September 19 show at the Richmond Coliseum HERE.{Open to Virginia Residents; 08/03}


Thank you for Stopping by,



Heather Paulding
Founder of The Virginia Blogger's Club
http://spunkyrealdeal.blogspot.com

Monday, July 29, 2013

Quick Homemade Quiche {Recipe}


Quiche has always been a favorite dish of mine. Breakfast or Brunch? Crust or Crust-less? Veggie or Ham? The options are nearly infinite! I favor the classic ham and cheese quiche. Sharp cheddar mixed with tender ham bites*drool* Oh, I am also going to share with you a Martha Stewart Basic Crust Recipe variation that takes 10 minutes to make! Fast, easy, and delicious. Let's Go!

Flaky Crust without the food processor{No way! Yes way:}
*Double the recipe for a pie
Flaky Crust Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 stick of unsalted butter {room temperature}
1/4 cup very cold water
1/4 tsp Salt
Spoonful of Sugar
1/4 tsp paprika

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Take a large bowl and add your flour, sugar, pinch of salt, and paprika. Give a Stir. Then add your room temperature stick of butter. Grab two butter knives and cut the butter into the flour until you have a bowl full of small butter crumbs{your cheap food processor}. Add 1/4 cup of cold water to your mixture. Mix with your finger tips until you get a formed ball. The dough should not be sticky, just wet enough that all the ingredients come together. You can put your dough in the freezer for 20 minutes or press it out right away. I use a little flour on my fingers so the dough does not stick to me when making my crust. TIP: I bake the crust alone for 15 minutes before adding my quiche mixture to ensure a firmer crust:)

My quiche recipe is from the Joy of Cooking Cookbook and is not available to the public. Do you have a favorite quiche recipe? If not, I recommend allrecipes.com to find one that tickles your fancy:)


Happy Cooking and Thank you for stopping by,



Heather Paulding
Founder of The Virginia Blogger's Club
http://spunkyrealdeal.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Virginia Blogger's Club at Fabbioli Cellars

JOIN The Virginia Blogger's Club<>VISIT Fabbioli Cellars<>The BLOG<>#vabloggersclub

The Virginia Blogger's Club
Fabbioli Cellars was the perfect place to host our first meet-up for the Virginia Blogger's Club. Fabbioli's has an impeccable ambiance, intimate wine tasting setting, and of course great Northern Virginia wines!
Speaking of fabulous wines, Fabbioli Cellars has a new white wine that is utterly-breathlessly phenomenal made from a Petit Manseng grape. The name of the wine escapes me and is not mentioned on their website, but certainly inquire about it. Good wine is distracting folks, but let's get down to business and talk about the FAB Northern Virginia Blogger's that were in attendance!

Ellen of My "not so" Simple Life was the first to join the crowd. Ellen is a mild-mannered farm gal that is as sweet as corn-bread muffins! Her blog is a great resource for home schooling information.


Shortly thereafter, strolled along Miss Shannah of Just us Four! A strong little-lady that will surely emerge as one of our group leaders. Great crafts, diy projects, and recipes to be had on her blog!

Next, was the unmistakable Cynthia of Feeding Big! An Adorable Foodie with a real go-getter attitude. Visit Feeding Big for lots of delicious recipes!  Last, but not least is Patricia of Fairfax Family Fun. A vivacious Latin mama made of pure fun{photo pending}. If you live in Northern VA, Fairfax Family Fun has all your local activities listed. Patricia does the work so you don't have to!

{Virginia Blogger Club Attendees: Feeding Big, My "not so" Simple Life, Just Us Four, and Fairfax Family Fun}

A tremendous Thank You to all the Virginia Blogger's in attendance and a big Thank You to Fabbioli Cellars for a tremendous overall experience. This wino will be back very soon;-)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tie-dyed Seashells {diy}

 My family and I recently returned from Sanibel Island, known for their array of beautiful seashells. The most beautiful seashells are the ones with stark imperfections{psychoanalyze that one};-) A few seashells gave me the idea to turn them into a package adornment, but first I wanted to color them. My Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Violet was nearing end of life, so I thought to use it.

First, I watered down the chalk paint in a small metal bowl. Note: You could also substitute chalk paint with any accessible paint, dye, or food coloring.  To achieve a tie-dyed effect make sure a portion of your seashells is still visible in the bowl. Rotate your seashells every 30 minutes until desired color and pattern is achieved. Then remove your seashells from the paint bowl and allow to dry. Wah-lah! Tie-dyed seashells.

NoVa Meet-up Scheduled for tomorrow Satuday, July 20th at Fabbioli Cellars! Please join us here  if you are a NoVa blogger!

Thank you for stopping by,

 
Heather Paulding
Founder of VA Blogger's Club
http://spunkyrealdeal.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Simply Cupcakes of Sanibel Island


Visit Simply Cupcakes<<<<<<>>>>>>>>Like'm on Facebook

*My stache statement ring was not included with this delicious cupcake, but feel free to come enter the Vinca Jewelry giveaway until 07/18; US

Sanibel Island is more than world-class seashelling and pristine beaches. You may add delectable cupcakes to the list of the island's sweet offerings. Simply Cupcakes{located in the Tahitian Gardens Plaza right off Periwinkle Way} has an array of lip-smacking cupcakes and assorted coffee beverages to wet your whistle. One cupcake claimed my attention: The Key Lime cupcake. I am a key lime pie lover! The thought of a cupcake in the form of this classic dessert overwhelmed my foodie senses. It was good, but intense{as you might expect}:)

The evaluation

The icing is not my prefered sickenly sweet buttercream. The icing is of a classic whipped butter cream sort and very dense. The whipped butter cream icing does pair well with the tart key lime curd filling. But honestly, the cake portion is impeccable. Moist and flavorful cakey goodness! Explore the beaches of Sanibel Island and indulge those sweet-toothed cravings at Simply Cupcakes!

My Recommendations

Hazelnut Iced Latte and the Red Velvet Cupcake


EVENT Reminder:
This Saturday July 20th the Virginia Blogger's Club will have their first meet-up! Join us here.


Thanks for Stopping by,


Heather Paulding
Founder of the Virginia Blogger's Club
http://spunkyrealdeal.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Annie Sloan Chalk Painted Chair embossed with Glitter {DIY}

SHOP Annie Sloan Chalk Paint///Visit the BLOG

Old Violet is a muted violet with gray undertones and undeniably one of my very favorite Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors. This week the girly girl in me said, ADD GLITTER! Hmmm....is it possible?! There was only one way to find out and I went there! Here is what happened: I painted the chair as I normally would and let it dry. During the waxing phase I took a clean rag and scooped up some clear wax. I poured some glitter right on top of the wax and proceed to wax as I normally would. *Tip: Be careful to keep glitter out of the wax container by using a clean rag every time. You want glitter on one piece not everything!;-)

The glitter clumped, which was unexpected. Originally, I wanted flecks of glitter all over the chair. The clumping resulted in a glitter galaxy or embossing on the piece. I love it! Just enough glitz to complement without overpowering the piece Barbie style*wink*. It worked out so beautifully that I intend to do a second chair to match this one!

My boys love it! Look at those adorable honey bees;-)

Tip from Janet at The Empty Nest: "...next time if you want an allover glitter look, scoop some wax onto a paper plate and mix in the glitter. You can also mix in Mica Powders for a soft Mother of Pearl shimmer look...really sweet. Happy Painting!"

Janet xox
The Empty Nest
92 Main Street Suite 102
Warrenton, Va 20186


Thank you for stopping by,

Heather Paulding
Founder of the Virginia Blogger's Club
http://spunkyrealdeal.blogspot.com

Friday, June 28, 2013

Natural Home Decor with Painted Sticks {DIY}


Crazy right?! Crazy awesome. I am currently scouring for the artist that inspired this DIY number, but I am having trouble locating her. Natural elements is one of my very favorite home decor methods. Sticks, stones, seashells, and greenery. Mother-nature does it the best! I grabbed varying textured sticks, some purple-grey toned chalk paints, and went to town! I covered some sticks completely with paint, some I banded, added a few polka-dots, and a few I lightly distressed. Again, mix-matched is the new decor fad and I am totally embracing it!

A broader look:)
I hope you embrace your creative-crafty side and give these painted sticks a whirl!

Thanks for stopping by,


Heather Paulding
Founder of Virginia Blogger's Club
http://spunkyrealdeal.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mix-matched Candle Ambiance{DIY}

Mix matched decor is all the rage! A storm rolled through our area yesterday early evening and knocked the power out for a bit. Naturally, my emergency light was nowhere to be seen. I grabbed a candle, two blue mason jars{one painted}, and some tealights. Wa-lah! Accidental Martha Stewart. Eat your heart out baby!:) The textured white candle, bright blue mason jar, and the matte chalk-painted mason jar look amazing grouped together on my Annie Sloan Greek Blue table! Gorgeous ambiance for a thunderstorm or a romantic dinner for two{in my toddler dreams};-)

VA Bloggers: Mark your Calenders for a some wine tasting and networking Saturday, July 20th! Head to our Va Blogger's Club group FB page for more details!


Thank you for being here,


Heather P:)
http://spunkyrealdeal.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pirate Ship of Sticks {DIY}

Got bored Toddlers? Grab some sticks and build a pirate ship:)

Let me be clear my pirate ship needs some work, but it kept my children and me busy for nearly two hours. The sticks served their purpose:) Have the babes gather some dry sticks and mom{or dad} can snap them into similar sizes. You can take two approaches from here, but remember it is all about creating a large surface area with those sticks. You can tie one end or both. I bundled the sticks up and tied one end with some string. At the loose end, I fanned the sticks out. For the mast, I took a stick and place it in the middle and tied it to a stick on either side. I plucked a non-poisonous leafy green from the garden and scrolled a skull and crossbones with a sharpie. 



Pierce your leafy flag on the ship and you are ready to set sail me-hearty! I am sitting here laughing at myself, because my ship sucked. This activity is purely fun! My boys enjoyed tossing their pirate ship of sticks back and forth in their water table. Mission accomplished.

Aaaarghh,


Heather Paulding
Spunky Real Deals