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Mujus sent me the Punta Negra necklace for the sole purpose of this review. All-opinions are mine.

A friend to the environment. An ambassador to communities at home and abroad. Mujus shouts, "Eco-chic!" to the hill tops with their trendy, popping, and Eco-friendly artisan jewelry. It is time to transform Eco-friendly from a timid mouse into a fierce tigress. Mujus is charging forth; full steam ahead with their bold, fearless, and amazingly textured artisan jewelry. Open your eyes, your mind, and do good!

The Mujus Punta Negra necklace may have the camouflaged-look and feel of ivory, but it is really the seeds of the Tagua {a South American native plant}. This bold statement necklace is as light as a feather! You will also love the soft, yet strong suede leather tie that brings this beautiful piece together.

Want to make an even bigger statement? Try the Locura statement necklace. If you want something bigger and bolder than the Locura necklace then I give up:}

Location: Chulucanas, Peru. On a Mission to bring healthcare to the local Peruvian pediatric population without immediate or affordable medical access. 

Look below the surface of Mujus and their "Earth-Friendly" jewelry. You will soon see they have a humanitarian's heart of gold. Mujus gives back to communities of Peru and charities right here in the United States.
Who is ready to save the world and your outfit with a Eco-friendly Mujus Jewelry Giveaway? 

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*I received the Aquafarm from UncommonGoods to compose this post. All opinions are mine.
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UncommonGoods carries....well, uncommon goods:} And unlike SkyMall Magazine{where humor is the only added value} UncommonGoods stocks products that are truly unique just like you and me. I found their website to be totally addicting! Pretty soon I found myself watching YouTube videos on molecular gastronomy. By the by, they have a really sweet do-it-yourself molecular gastronomy kit you should definitely check out! The reason I come to you today, however, is the revolutionary Aquafarm.

What is the Aquafarm? A fresh water symbiotic Ecosystem in a tank. You grow herbs on top of the tank and below you have your adorable Betta fish swimming about. The Betta fish keeps the plants healthy and vice versa. It is a win win for everybody:} Meet Humphrey our new Betta fish and check out the assembly tutorial of the Aquafarm on my latest YouTube video{right in front of you:}! The tank was easy to assemble and it literally comes with everything you need to get started, including the fish{Petco voucher:}. Hint, hint:The Aquafarm would make a great Christmas gift!

Ho Ho that the sound of Christmas getting closer? Be sure to check out UncommonGoods Christmas Gifts section and lighten your holiday shopping load:} Their Kinetic Sand and Pick Punch are the perfect Christmas stocking stuffers!

Who is ready for an UncommonGoods giveaway of uncommon proportions?

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Our outdoor metal bistro table was looking mighty sad to me today. Splattered with specks of multicolored paints and tea light candle wax that begged silently for help. What do I typically do when faced with a home decor emergency? 

Paint it. I run to grab my handy dandy paint brush and Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Coco. But, before I could paint the metal bistro table I had some serious scraping to do. Annie Sloan's chalk paint will miraculously stick to any surface(even glass), but the surface needs to be clean and dry first. Scrape the surface with a knife(if necessary), wash, dry, and repeat until you have the clean surface you desire. Now let's paint!

I used three coats of Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Coco. Coco is a very Fall color and it goes exceptionally with the Chateau Grey colored exterior of my home. I will do an update in the Spring to show you how Coco weathered the wintry months. In the meantime, check out my Annie Sloan painted shed  for more outdoor Annie Sloan DIY projects!

Spring UPDATE with van gogh chalk paint in "bole" 04/2014

Spring 04/2015 Update

Fluster Buster
*I received a complimentary one night stay including meals. All opinions as always are mine.
STAY at The Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner<<<>>>EVENTS Calender

Amongst the hustle and bustle of the Northern Virginia area known as Tysons Corner you will find a hidden oasis inside The Ritz Carlton. Their cozy lounge-esque dining ambiance beckons you to relax, sit, and stay awhile. The food is as superb as you would expect and they encourage you to tailor your selections as necessary to suit your particular tastes. Wine Lover? Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner has a Sommelier{trained and knowledgeable in the wine field}! The Bordeaux I ordered during dinner is unequivocally the best glass of wine I have had to date.

My husband and I had a tremendous dining experience led by a 16-year Ritz Carlton veteran by the name of Metin. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is a company known for their tremendous service, which Metin provided seamlessly.  In talking with Metin, he told us how much he loved working for "The Ritz" and how the newest members of staffing had been with the company for more than two years. The staff here speaks volumes about The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. It really is the people who make "The Ritz Experience" a special one. Love LIVE music?

There is nothing I love more than LIVE music while dining. The Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner has an incredible Fall weekday and weekend line-up for the entire family, so be sure to check their calender of events for the current hap-happenings! The hubby and I just happened to arrive Friday night in time for The Christoper Linman Jazz Ensemble. The perfect way to eat and drink the night away:}

A heartfelt Thank You to The Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner, our excellent servers Metin and Chakib, and General Manager Mark Sherwin for their tremendous welcome and outstanding customer service! We will see you soon! Also, a special Thank You to Andrea Khoury of The Real Housewives of Northern Virginia for all her hard work!

Mason Jars are the perfect drinking vessel for your Halloween party guests. I am going to show you how to jazz them up a bit in my "Textured Massacre Style"! Bumpy. Goosebumpy. Something to send chills up your spine. My first batch of painted jars were completely ruined in the rain today. So, I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Mason Jars will rinse clean when soaked in some water:}

Things you will need:
*Mason Jars
*Acrylic{water-based} paints
*Sealer{gloss/matte, also water-based}
*Tea light candles and matches
*Paint brushes

Step 1.} Paint the base of your Mason Jar and allow to dry. Step 2.} Light a tea light candle. Step 3.} Hold the Mason Jar over a garbage can{or go outside in the grass} to drip wax over the base. Let dry. Step 4.} Brush your liquid sealer on the painted and waxed portions. Let dry and enjoy!

Alternatively, you may take some rustic rope and dip the ends in acrylic paints of your choice. You can drip wax over the tips or leave them be:}

Important Tidbits:
The sealer is VERY important!!! If you do not use sealer the condensation from your beverage will flake all the paint off your Mason Jar. Also, check the weather before leaving your Mason Jars outside to dry:}

Craft fearlessly my friends and Happy Halloween! 
*I was sent a Bergamot + Teak Soap for the sole purpose of this review. All opinions are mine.
SHOP Manready<<<<>Twitter <>@MANREADYMERC<> Instagram <>>>>Like'm on Facebook

They say everything is bigger in Texas and maybe they should also go on to say, "they do it better in Texas too". Travis Weaver is a proud, hard-working Texan, and founder of Manready boasts artisan-quality goods created by a variety of "born in the USA" vendors. Travis sent me their Bergamot + Teak Soap to lather up and review. The Bergamot + Teak Soap is 100% Natural, made on a real goat farm, and takes three weeks for each bar to cure{whew...say that three times fast!}. This soap is one word: EXCEPTIONAL.

Handcrafted in the good ol' USA in small batches with all the love purely visible before it even hits your skin. I love the rugged ridges on the top of the soap that most natural bars simply do not have. The soap is goat milk based and in my humble opinion makes the best soap. The scent comes from essential oils, not artificial fragrances. Woodsy and musk are the primary notes. The scent smells like an Eco lumberjack's cologne, but light enough for the wife. I may have trouble sharing the Bergamot + Teak Soap with the hubs, but if he is lucky one may end up in his Christmas stocking;-}

Speaking of stockings, Manready Mercantile is my Christmas shopping destination for the men in my family this year. I love one-stop shopping and as you will see they have lots of goodies for all members of the family{ladies included;-}

T. S. Weaver & Co. Ballad of a Teenage Queen 24K Gold Axe on 33" Pink Hickory Handle

Who is ready for a giveaway that Rambo would surely be proud of? 
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Our local primitive shop Sweet Clover teamed up with HomeTalk on October the 5th to host a Halloween Hunt involving local bloggers and some amazing shabby chic shops to include: The Old Lucketts Store, Chartreuse & Co, On a Whim, and of course Sweet Clover.

Sweet Clover is located just across the Northern Virginia border in Frederick, MD. A quaint and relaxing property that resides on farmland. Watch the horses graze while searching for the perfect vintage treasure. Sweet Clover is my new favorite shabby chic shop AND they carry Annie Sloan Chalk Paint...sigh awesome!

So, I picked up my favorite color Napoleonic Blue. There is a goody basket{courtesy of Sweet Clover} up for grabs and chocked full of crafty-vintage goodies. All I have to do is create something I purchased from one of the four primitive shops, hence the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I have a gas fire place{currently out of commission} that I wanted to paint and use the space as extra seating for party guests! Get ready for a gasp before and after shots!

You can see in the before shots dried glue that was holding on metal sheets that were poorly impersonating marble. It was absolutely horrid. I tried every chemical on the market to get that glue off. I even tried natural adhesive removers such as peanut butter and olive oil to no avail. After teen digit failures, I decided sand paper was the way to go. I leveled the glued areas with sand paper in preparation for clean surface painting.

Phase 1: Two base coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White. The more coats the better when trying to even out this bumpy surface. Phase 2: Two top coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Napoleonic Blue sealed with clear wax. The all Napoleonic Blue was a color-overload risk, but I love the results! The surrounding walls are stark white and it "pops" as the centerpiece of the room.

I covered the stark black cords with rustic cord to minimize their appearance. I also made pillows with fabric from a local fabric store called The Finch Sewing Studio. Do not be a stranger and stop by Sweet Clover, The Old Lucketts Store, Chartreuse & Co., and On a Whim. Northern Virginia has a plethora of vintage gems just waiting to be found by you! Arrivederci my friends.
If you are looking for a creative sweet-tooth inspired Halloween Cake Plate I got you covered! My son's Cooperative Preschool of Loudoun recently had a bake sale and I was asked to make some cake plates to hold the homemade goodies. Step 1.} Go to your local thrift store to find some beautiful and unique plates. Step 2.} Fill your Mason Jar with goodies of your choice. I choose gumballs, because I love color!!! Step 3.} Replace Mason Jar lid and crazy glue to the bottom of your plate. TIP: Place a heavy, yet centered object on top of your plate while the glue sets.

Looking for a great step-by-step Cake Pop Tutorial? Try This One!
Fluster Buster

Life can get in the way of mere words. We all lead such busy lives. My brother Adam recently got married to a tremendous woman. The joy I feel in their union goes much deeper then just the two of them. My brother and I grew up in a "negative environment"{I will save this story for another time... perhaps}. To see my brother so happy means everything to me. He did it though. We control our own life's happiness - no matter what black hole you may have come from{sorry Mom}. Below are my favorite photos getting ready with the gals. Everyone should have large mirrors at their wedding. Everyone:}

Brit's Best Friend. Adore her. What a lovely person in and out.

Dear Little Bro,

You have become a true inspiration to me. My hero. You have every reason to begrudge and embrace hatred. Your positive attitude and forgiving heart is a true blessing. You have shown me the true meaning of family and what it really means to forgive. Let me just say I have not forgiven, but I am well on my way:)

There was a time in my life I thought I did not need anything or anyone. Than I met Clayton. It is incredible to think that one person can connect with your very being, but it happened to me. I can clearly see it has happened to you as well. You have found not only a true love, but a real diamond in the rough. You and Brit will be able to weather any storm together. My joy can only be expressed by simply saying: I am incredibly proud of you both. I look forward to all the beautiful memories.


Your Big Sis
*Brown Bag Soap Co. sent me the items pictured for the sole purpose of this review. All opinions are mine.
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The Brown Bag Soap Co. is "brown bagging it" with alcohol induced 100% natural soaps. Their name is a toast to their South Georgia roots. In Southern Georgia, the custom is to place your alcohol into a brown paper bag. Hence the term "brown bagging it", cute right?:} Brown Bag Soap Company generously sent me their Champagne Bar to include a Pine Soap Deck{only $2.95} for review. Let's pop some bubbly and hop in the piping hot bath shall we?

The Champagne bar hits all the marks of a high quality natural soap. M&Ms melt in your mouth and a good natural soap should become pretty pliable in your hand. It does. The intense earthy-herbal and lavender scent hits the olfactory senses perfectly. I love nooks and crannies in my soap and there are plenty of lavender bubs peeping out of that Champagne Bar! What does a high quality soap need? A well drained wooden soap deck. Brown Bag Soap Co. has the best price I have ever seen on a wooden soap deck at $2.95. So, no excuses and save that good natural soap!

The Champagne Bar evokes such luxury that I am going to grab a glass of bubbly right now. Where is my butler, my limo, and my fine grade caviar. Oh, I forgot myself for a moment. Back to suburbia:) Who is ready for a Brown Bag Soap Giveaway?

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Can you tell I am excited about the imminence of Halloween? Check the Halloween section under my DIY & HOME section, because I have been getting ready for months now! Werewolf costumes{check}, severed body parts{Check}, bats{Check}, Halloween painted sticks{Check}, and a spooky wreath{VOID, until now}. I realized I had all the supplies to make a simple, but spook-tacular Halloween wreath.

Step 1: Go on a stick hunt. Find curvy, thin, textured branches as shown in the photos.

Step 2: Paint them any colors you want! We are going with electric black and greens this year. Do not bother sealing the sticks, but I did coat the entire wreath with glow-in-the-dark paint{I am skeptical it will actually glow}.

Step 3. Grab curving sticks and start to form your wreath. Hot-glue at contact points. Be careful about hot gluing too heavily or that is all you will see when hanging your wreath. I overlapped the painted sticks in a circle about three times. No science to this: Find curved sticks and hot glue them in a circular fashion.

Step 4: Adorn with a ribbon and hot-glue your severed fingers. See my severed finger tutorial for step by step instructions.

Speaking of severed body parts, I adorned my flower pot with my homemade Zombie hand! It looks really cool, but I know those teenagers are going to race off with it{probably before Halloween}:\ My severed finger tutorial will also show you how to make the Zombie hand pictured. Duly note: You will be using a mountain of hot glue sticks for this project. Make sure you attach a stick or wire to the bottom of your Zombie hand. This will help anchor your hand into the ground.

Happy Spooky Crafting Lovas!

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