Hit Me Baby One More Time

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Brandi* Fun Fact: I’m a keeper. I keep things.  I keep things like ideas.

In the past, I organized my ideas in binders, but that got to be a bit of a space suck. Now I digitize my ideas into online folders.

Saved in my online folders are party ideas, things that I want to do or cook in (that I don’t share with you all! Sorry lol), wedding ideas for a few people that shall not be named and finally – future Halloween ideas.

This year I knew my parents would be hosting party. A party that would have a nice little dance floor. So I sought out to be a disco ball. The hubs was going to accompany me in some ‘70’s attire.

I started the process with a 32-inch balloon from Party City. My dad filled up the balloon using an electronic air pump. Then, I began to paper mache the ball using a flour substance. Now see, you need to wait 24-hours for each layer to dry, so this made this process super long. I didn’t feel that the paper mache layers were getting strong enough, so I attempted to add this clay-like molding. It didn’t work – it crushed all of my work.

For round two, I found a 36-inch beach ball on sale at Target. I started out by wrapping the whole ball in brown paper and packing tape. Then, I applied 3 layers of paper mache to the whole beach ball. Finally, I purchased three boxes of plaster strips and coated the important areas of the ball.

So things were working for round two. Actually, they did work, but I was running out of time. I needed to paint the ball.  Once I started to apply paint, I realized two things.  First of all, this is starting to look like the moon. Second, I can’t apply heavy mirrors on this in fear that it is going to rip when I create straps to affix the ball to my body.

Time was running out, so I decided to go in another direction. I reached into my costume folder and I was a….

This was a super easy back up option. I bought sweatpants and a long sleeve t-shirt from Old Navy (for under $20) and then streamers from Party City. I cut the strips the length of the pants and shirt in multiples of five and then cut slits into the strips. Editor’s note: five strips weren’t enough – 10 were better. I had to go back in fill in a lot. Then, I just started the hot gluing!

For the “ears,” I used a headband that I already had in my craft box and layered streamers over two party hats. Then I glued the hats to the headbands.

Honestly, this crafting process did not take long AT ALL. I spent about four to five total hours not including shopping and it was under $50 - AND comfortable!

I hope you all have a Happy Halloween! 
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Boxing Day

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

They always say that imitation is the form of flattery and that cannot be more true when it comes to the new “monthly box” trend.

Now that Birchbox has officially taken off, there are a number of copycats offering a variety of products that you can have delivered to your door on a monthly basis. So if beauty isn’t your thing, maybe one of these other monthly subscriptions is!

·       Whimsey Box – the company slogan says “Stop pinning, start making.” Whimesy provides you with different DIY projects and supplies. Cost: $25 per month
·       Brit Kits – blogger Brit offers monthly “Brit Kits” that include the tools to make popular DIY projects featured on her popular lifestyle blog. Cost: $19.99 per month  
·       For the Makers – another monthly DIY craft. Cost: $29 per month
·       Kiwi Crate – this craft box is for the kids! Monthly projects for kids ages 3-7. Cost: $19.95 per month  

·       Nature Box – a food-related subscription, Nature Box delivers 4-5 healthy snacks to your door. Cost: $19.95 per month
·       Love with Food monthly food deliveries. This company also donates proceeds to charity. Cost: $10 per month
·       Julibox – cocktails delivered to your door monthly? Um, yes! Juliebox provides the alcohol and mixers. Cost: This site isn’t user-friendly and I can’t figure out how much it costs.

·       Umbra Box – two to three handmade items per month. Items typically include accessories, stationery and bath products. Cost: $25 per month
·       Citrus Lane – baby goods targeted towards the age of the child receiving the box. A good baby shower gift! Cost: $25 per month

·       Glossy Box – another beauty box, Glossy focuses on international brands. Cost: $21 per month
·       BlissMo – this subscription is more beauty and food,

And last, but certainly not least, you can purchase a Bark Box for your dog with monthly treats. While this is a bit extreme, it could be an adorable gift for a new dog owner!

After doing this, I noticed that most of these have a higher price point than Birchbox. I wonder how successful they will be!?
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Sundays with Sue: Winey Women Club Meeting Recap

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Okay, Sue didn't write this post. I (Brandi) did.

Last night was the first meeting of the Winey Women Wine Club. Shot of Dad and some men started a bourbon club a few months ago, so the women decided to start drinking wine while the guys met!

My cheese spread

When you form any club, there are a few guidelines. Here’s what Sue and some women from the group set forward for the Winey Women.

·         For the first meeting, everyone bought a bottle of wine from a place that you’ve either been or want to travel too. We had wines from Lake Erie, Outer Banks, Penn State, Italy, Napa and Greece. We each took turns reading the label of our bottle – where it is from, the alcohol content, the variety, etc.
·         Shot of Mom bought everyone a notebook to write down the wine and what we thought of it. I found some new reds that I liked and some that I didn’t (I called those ‘sticky’ because it felt like they were sticking in my mouth)
·         We had water to wash out our glasses in between tastings and buckets to dump the wine that you couldn’t or didn’t want to finish
·         A tip Sue got from another wine club is the club book.  At the end of the night, the women signed their thoughts of the night in a book. The next host gets the book to do the same thing
·         Speaking of the next host, a different person hosts wine club each month. Next month, we may hold the tastings at a bar…it’s still TBD, but basically we pick a new place to go each month to split up the hosting responsibilities
·         The host provides the appetizers as well. Sue had some usual favorites like Swedish meatballs, veggie pizza, shrimp with pink sauce (think Bennihana)

This was just the first of many meetings to come, so I’ll be sure to share tips for hosting a wine party and some new bottles that I like! 
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Fashion Friday: LBD

Friday, October 12, 2012

I’m going through a little bit of a black period with my wardrobe this week. Don’t worry – I’m not going all goth on you, but maybe it’s the brisk temps or the cold that I’m working to shake, but for some reason, all I want to wear is black – and that is odd for this typical color-lover.

Browsing the internets looking for some fall wedding dresses, I pulled a few black beauties that I love. Don’t worry, I went with color, but I wanted to share some black beauties that I spotted. You can’t have one too many LBD’s, right?

1.     Kate Spade via Saks
2.     Zara (via Reader Lindsay!)
4.     Modcloth

5.     Topshop
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C&C - Crafts and Cooking

Monday, October 08, 2012

Last weekend, I finally had some time for R&R and C&C – crafting and cooking!

Here are some of the goodies that I made!

First up, from the kitchen, I made this delicious Zucchini Lasagna recipe from Skinny Taste. You replace pasta with Zucchini. I actually didn't buy enough shredded cheese and it was still delicious (and even tasty the next day for lunch)!

The hubs and I paired this with some Blue Moon Pumpkin Beer and then for dessert…Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Icing. These things were AWESOME. I omitted the raisins. 

While the food was cooking, I made two crafts.

First up I spotted these mini cornhole boards at the craft store (Pat Catans for you locals) and thought – these would be PERFECT for an upcoming tailgate – either on the ground or on the table because the regular boards are a bit large for transporting. I personalized mine with a flying WV and an outline of the state ; )

Next, I had the urge to make some festive bunting. This is a super cost-effective craft – the felt was four pieces for $1 and the fabric was under $5. I still need to glue it to some ribbon, but in the end, you can make this for likely under $10.

Finally, one craft you won’t see yet was an unsuccessful first attempt at my Halloween costume. That part is To Be Continued…
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5 Shots for Friday

Friday, October 05, 2012

Big weekend folks! Bachelorette festivities for Reader Lauren and WVU plays Texas in Austin! I’m also on a major craft bender right now. Please send me good paper mache vibes.

Here’s your Five Shots for Friday

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Brandi*'s 2012 Halloween Costume Suggestions

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

It’s October 3rd. That means you have approximately 24 days to find a Halloween costume.

I know what you are thinking – this girl can’t add. I can. The countdown is on to October 27th when most people will be hosting Halloween parties since the holiday falls on a Wednesday. I say most people. College kids will likely booooze on the 31st (those were the days).

Each year I produce a list of Halloween costume suggestions – most based on pop culture. I started this because my friends always ask me for ideas on what they can be (in fact, I’ve already received three requests for costumes).

So here it is! Feel free to add any super ideas that you’ve seen to the comment section.

Image Sources: 123456

·       New Jersey Tanning Mom (1) – When I saw this lady on The Today Show earlier this year, I said “This would make a perfect Halloween costume” (see below). To pull off this, think orange makeup and/or a LOT of bronzer. I like her leather jacket look. Maybe add a baby doll that is super bronze too.

·       Prince Harry (2) – This suggestion came from Shot of Mom after the Prince’s Las Vegas party pictures were released. Pull this off my making a bachelorette party shirt on Zazzle (see above), red hair and just get WASTED.

·       Gangham Style (3) – Another Shot of Mom suggestion, dress as the YouTube sensation with tuxedo-wear (girls, think Jenelle Monet), sunglasses and your iPod playing his song on repeat.

·       Team USA (4) – A good group suggestion, go as the Fierce Five gymnasts, basketball dream team or Phelps + Lochte (4). Think red, white and blue attire (leotards, swinsuits), gold medals, etc.

·       NFL Refs on Lockout – There are a few ways you can pull this off. Go for the traditional ref outfit and add vacation accessories (lei, sunglasses, golf clubs). OR you can be a replacement ref by looking discombobulated!

·       NHL Lockout – See above, but add your Sidney Crosby jersey

·       Honey Boo Boo + June (5) – America’s favorite reality show family of the moment, I expect this to be a popular couples costume with the guy opting to be June (the mom).

·       Magic Mike (6) – Based on the popularity of the movie among women, this could be good for a group of guys.

·       Goyte (7) – So this is a weird, wild card kinda costume, but if you watch the VH-1 countdown by me, you will remember this weird video. To pull this off, you need to go body paint.

Group Ideas
I get a lot of requests for couples and groups. Here are some things that I’ve seen on the internets over the last year.

·       Beanie Babies Saw this on Pinterest and immediately loved this 90’s throwback. Dress as an animal with a big TY heart tag on your neck. Bonus points for including the animals name on the other side of the tag!
·       Sesame Street – Loyal readers know that I dislike slutty just to be slutty, but I think you can do this tastefully and with boas!
·       Spice Girls – Bear with me on this one. I know this is way old, but after their Olympics performance, there is a new interest in the original fierce five

Costume Ideas to Retire
A new feature this year, I wanted to list a few things that have been done too many times. Unless you are going super big with one of these, keep it at home.
·       Lady Gaga
·       Kardashians
·       Costumes so slutty that you don’t know what the person is
·       D*ck in a Box
·       Dumb & Dumber
·       Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and please no Brittany Spears

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Have Mercy! Full House turns 25!

Monday, October 01, 2012


Lately I’ve been finding a way to incorporate “I’m old” into my daily conversations. Today’s, “I’m old” moment came when I realized that Full House is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

What did you say? You want to plan a Full House-themed party and you want my help?

You got it dude.

·         Invitations
o   Remember the iconic San Fran row house shot in the opening? Why not take an image of that house and make a simple Zazzle invite?
o   Play with a little photo editing and place your head into a Tanner Family photo.

·         Attire
o   This is my favorite part of the party – the clothes! Stephanie Tanner was my style icon of the 90’s (see below). Channel her style with neon, side ponytails, 90’s bangs, t-shirts with animals, leggings, scrunchie, bow headbands (I seriously have almost the same one on below) and

·         Décor
o   Like any Tanner Party, this shin dig should be held in your living room – after you’ve pushed the furniture back to allow more room for dancing (see above)
o   Balloons are also a MUST
o   Pictures of the girls were famously featured on the mantle. Frame some print outs of DJ, Stephanie and Michelle and place them into frames. It may also be fun to print out additional pictures of the cast to reminisce and talk about where they all are now

·         Food
o   To pay homage to Uncle Jessie’s heritage, you can serve a Greek salad
o   Remember when Michelle Tanner joined the Honeybees (think Brownie Troop)? Bake honeybee-themed cookies.
o   To this day, when I order a dish at a restaurant with a lot of seafood, I call it a “Walk the Plank” meal. It’s a reference to the Full House episode when Danny Tanner institutes Tanner Family Fun Night and takes the girls to some cheesy pirate-themed restaurant. Use this dish as inspiration to serve an array of seafood (think shrimp and ceviche
o   Remember those cheesy Danny Tanner lectures set to emotional music? What if you inserted famous Danny Tanner quotes into fortune cookies?!

·         Music
o   What else would you play but Uncle Jessie and the Rippers on repeat?
o   Speaking of Uncle Jessie, he was beyond obsessed with the Beach Boys. Add some Good Vibrations to your party.
o   This fete wouldn’t be complete without the Full House theme song!

·         Entertainment
o   This is where you can really bring your party up a notch. I’m thinking:
o   How about a flash mob to Mo’Town Philly a la Stephanie Tanner’s famous dance routine (note the crop top and baseball hat – both which are totally back in style)
o   Stand up from an Uncle Joey impersonator (wearing a Red Wings jersey) accompanied by Mr. Woodchuck
o   Aunt Becky announces that she is prego via a game of something like Pictionary.  Break out the dry erase board! 

Oh, one thing to note. My memory is really good, but not that good to remember all of these episodes. I consulted this website: Full House Reviewed.

I lied - another thing. I don't care about the former meth addiction. If ABC puts Stephanie Tanner on Dancing with the Stars - I'm watching again. 
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