My Instalife: 9/14 – 9/27

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Instalife 9:281. A couple of weeks ago I got a message from Simone Heng (find her blog HERE) asking me to take a look at her Jimmy Choo shoe DIY (found HERE). It was the same shoes from the ad that I made the DIY Necklace for (see my DIY HERE) and I was blown away by not just her tutorial for this project but all her DIYs!

2. This was Weezy a couple of weeks ago impatiently waiting for the NFL games to start!

3. I don’t know if I’m a glutton for punishment or if I think I’ve learned enough from the first one to make this one less painful but I have decided to make another gem embellished trench! See the original one HERE, which unfortunately is too big so since I had to make a new one I thought I’d try a different color… I’m using a pre-made plum colored trench (found HERE … I had a coupon and the manager gave me some extra city cash coupons that were leftover so I got two trenches and a bracelet for 75$!!) and gold and bronze beads. I’m about 1/3 of the way done with the collar, I’m trying to fill this one in even more so no fabric from the collar and yolk shows with means more work but bigger visual impact!!

4. I have been counting down the days for months for the Phillip Lim 3.1 / target collaboration because I heard they were going to be doing the bags. I am obsessed with his totes but at $1,000 a pop I could never get one. I thought it was too good to be true that they were going to be doing replicas for reasonable prices and even if that was true I didn’t think I’d be able to get one because no matter how bad I wanted one I’m not crazy enough to wait in line at sunrise and fight people. We waited until halftime of the football games and took a chance and were blown away to find one tote left (in the color I wanted!) and for $55 I just about had a heart attack I was so excited!

5. These were the University of Miami cookies that I posted on last week HERE. I know it was against Savannah State but them winning by 70 points last weekend had me smiling!

6. Martha Stewart Living magazine has started doing a little section in the beginning of each issue with their “favorite instagrams” and they are already looking for the December issue, thus the winter wreath in September I posted, lol. See my original post and get the DIY HERE.

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1. Last week was kind of a crazy one we had a lot going on work-wise and when we were standing in the grocery store unable to decide on something to make for dinner this sign made me laugh so hard… that’s when I knew it truly was a long week! Lol

2. After we were unable to decide on something, we were thankful that our grocery store has really great pre-made options that you just have to pop in the oven. We chose this pork tenderloin with apple raisin stuffing (which I baked with some apple cider in the dish to keep it extra moist) and then we roasted some potatoes with fresh parsley to go with it. I also made some caramel earlier in the day for caramel apples after seeing them at the “world’s largest yard sale” that we go to twice a year… this year was a pretty big bust as we didn’t go until later in the day once we realized the NCAA football games were also a bust.

3. THIS convertible translucent clutch is seriously so cool… I took it out with us last night and I love that I don’t have to stop and thing “which clutch goes with this outfit” because it matches with anything!

4. I made some apple chips earlier in the week to use as a garnish for some cupcakes I’ve been working on (leave it to me to take hours to make a healthy snack then put it on top of a cupcake haha). To make them, I slice 2 apples (these were macintosh) on our mandoline slicer at 1/8″ thickness and brush one side with maple syrup then sprinkle with truvia and cinnamon. These get baked on silpat lined baking sheets at 200 for an hour, then I flip the slices and bake for another hour until totally dried out!

5. I’ve been working on my trench at night when my husband and I are both done working and we watch a couple shows off the DVR. I lower my dress form to the floor and sit on the edge of the couch instead of standing the whole time and when I looked back earlier in the week, this was how Weezy was laying, taking up my normal spot on the couch!

6. As I mentioned before, I’ve been working this past week on a new cupcake recipe which sounds like more fun than it actually is (lots of trial and error and wasted cupcakes, though my husband is grateful to “dispose” of the ones that don’t make the cut). I finally perfected them mid-week and so I ate one for breakfast because after all there were apples in it which makes it a little healthy (right? lol) and it was the 2 year anniversary of the blog so it was a special occasion! Don’t forget to check out that post to enter the giveaway for a $20 Starbucks Gift Card and a Java Jacket!

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1. Blogging is the constant struggle between wanting to do so much more and knowing how much you can take on while still keeping a high quality of work. Video tutorials were something I wanted to start doing last year but I knew I wasn’t ready to take on something so big. I am happy to say that I have decided to take the plunge and have been working away on my first one, which I am hoping to post sometime next week you can see here!

2. I saw a version of this on Pinterest and wanted to try and make one for myself as I always bring my coffee mug up with me in the mornings when I start working and it always gets cold before I finish it. After making mine I thought they were cute and loved how warm it kept my coffee, so I went out and found some new yarns I loved and added some to the Etsy shop (find it HERE). I plan to add more colors next week.

3. This may sound creepy but I have been looking for a gold skull for my office for MONTHS! I have all these Alexander McQueen prints and have been re-decorating it in a sort of creepy 1920s decor (hard to explain but once it’s all done and I do a post you’ll get it). I have some other brass figurines and I thought it would be cool to find a gold skull but I had a heck of a time finding anything and when I did they were SO expensive. I was checking out at Joann Fabrics yesterday and spotted the skull seen on the left side of this photo and thought they were styrofoam but upon picking it up realized it was heavy and made of some sort of plaster that was glazed. I knew I couldn’t spray paint it because of all the details and holes so I went to get more of the gold-leaf paint we used in our bedroom when I spotted they have a classic gold one (which they didn’t have before) so I got that and it’s what transformed the skull to the pics on the right side. This paint (found HERE) is like liquid gold it’s amazing and I can’t wait to re-paint the mirror in our room as well as some frames in the office I painted with the old color which is too orangey for my taste!

4. A couple weeks ago we started hearing rumblings about a new bar/restaurant downtown that had recently replaced a bar we used to go to when I was still in college. After reading that they put well over one million dollars into the renovation and seeing the pictures on their Facebook page, I knew we had to check it out. It’s called The Lodge and all we knew was that they wanted to give it an upscale ski lodge feel without being too uppity (or tacky because let’s face it, a ski lodge theme could go tacky fast). This picture is from the upper level, shooting down to the bar which is where we sat and ate. Long story short, it was INCREDIBLE… the atmosphere, the decor (which I’ll talk more about in 6) and the food!

5. We sat at the bar and tried a couple of their signature cocktails (which reminded me of Please Don’t Tell in NYC). We always have a heard time deciding what to order at restaurants like this because everything sounds so amazing, we want to order everything so we end up ordering a few things to share. We started with the Heirloom Tomato bisque with a Smoked Gouda Crostini and Mussels & Frittes. The bisque was so good, a thicker version of the confit I made for THIS shrimp dish and it was nice on a cooler evening like last night. The mussels were to-die-for… I can’t wait to make it ourselves! The salty broth with the tarragon butter was a perfect pairing to the mussels and the fried shoestring potatoes were a crunchy counterpoint that pulled it all together. We decided to split the Maple Roasted Double Pork Chop and thank goodness we did because it was HUGE. It was smokey, juicy and when paired with the 10-vegetable ratatouille, it was perfection. I’m not a huge fan of anything resembling a scallop potato so the potatoes with thyme essence that came with these weren’t my favorite but that was fine because my husband loved them.

6. This place is styled impeccably in every single nook and cranny…. as we took a look around we couldn’t get over it, the eye for detail was ridiculous and you could tell no expense was spared in any part of the decor. The bar was my favorite part, it looks like its facing outdoors but it’s really lining a shared space with the building next door. There are tree trunks lining the whole thing, which is backlit with LEDs that change as you sit. There is a glass panel in front of those and there is a huge LED board that plays different winter animations, it’s really cool. Pair that with the cooper bar top, the antler chandeliers and the edison bulbs lining the bar and it’s perfect! The owners hired local artists to do most of the artwork, which included really intricate tree branch patterns etched in glass all over the space, included garage style glass doors in the front of the bar that open on warm days. The upstairs has a “game room” with skee ball, pool, darts and a super cool set up with old cartoons playing on vintage tvs sets flanked with old radios. There is a wall in the upstairs bar that has white ceramic animal busts mounted on reclaimed wood planks backlit with blue lights. The branch chandelier over the bar upstairs was so cool and the blue lights up there make all the white furniture really pop! This pics weren’t even the half of it… everywhere you turned was something even cooler than the spot before. When we were going to leave we realized one of the walls across from the catwalk upstairs was a stone wall with real water cascading down it to mimic that of a limestone cave… the whole place was so amazing!