Cheers to a New Year

Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!

Want to know my favorite part of 2011?  When the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl!  No not a usual topic on the blog, but the Packers hold a near and dear place to my heart and are well deserving of this post.  Especially my guy Clay Matthews.  I do love Aaron too, but 52 is what I wear every single Sunday, or Monday if need be.  This night was one of my favorite spent in Madison last year.  I got to watch the game with so many high school friends I hadn't seen in awhile.  I'll spare you the video of us jumping around like fools when we won the game.  

Later on in the night, I may or may not have paid a random guy $20 for his cheesehead to put on top of dear Abe (with the help of L and D), who resides at the top of Bascom Hill at UW-Madison.  Maybe you've seen it before?  I personally thought Abe never looked better and that this was $20 well spent.

Proof that I paid this guy $20.  Thank you sir as several others turned down my offer, and I really wasn't ready to be denied again after chasing you into Mondays.  L and I literally ran all around Madison this night and ended here:

Abe looked extra classy Monday morning.


What a stud...just like my Clay!  What's your favorite memory from 2011? What are you most looking forward to in 2012?


Friday's Fancies::NYE Edition

It's the Friday's Fancies we've all been waiting for: how much sparkle can we get in one post?

I know we've all been thinking about finding the sparkliest (is that a word? If not, I think it should be) dress we can find for the big night and this Vince dress is hands down my favorite sequin dress I have yet to find.  Except for this mystery Pinterest dress.  Does anyone know where this is from?! Do share.

 Source: uploaded by user via Amanda on Pinterest

I would also love nothing more than to be dancing the night away in these Zara heels.  I love a good black heel, but this one has an extra special touch of shine to it.  Perfect to stop around town in this NYE.

Add some shiny/sparkling accessories (i.e. these earrings, ring, and clutch) and you've got yourself an outfit my dear lady friends.

Check our more Friday's Fancies @ {long distance loving}


Currently Dreaming Of: Cozy + Chic Offices

Since I have been home for winter break, I have been sending emails/blogging/pinning/Facebooking...on my couch.  Not so great for my back or my neck for that matter.  I have been getting more headaches lately.  I like multitasking though so I have been watching TV while I do said above tasks on my computer.   This has resulted in me dreaming about a cozy + chic office. No, I do not have any room in my current apartment for an office, but it can't hurt to know what you'll want some day down the road right?  I would want a space that is not only stylish but organized.  I don't think it's too much to ask to be in a pretty room while be productive.

Do you have an office at home? If you don't, what would you want yours to look like?


I Hope You Like It

My mother has always been an amazing gift giver, and I like to think that she has passed this trait on to me [I hope others would agree].  She listens. It's nothing magical.  I have become a year-round listener as well and shop very far in advance.  In addition to listening to what others like, my mom and I both have Pinterest to rely on for some extra help in the gift giving department. Pinterest can take gift giving to a new extreme.  Not only can you find specific items that your friends and family adore, but you can also get an idea for their general style.  My mom strategically viewed my Accessories board on Pinterest as I found these pretty presents under the tree this year:

The perfect pink, if you will:
 Source: Nailstah via Elizabeth on Pinterest

Matte Top Coat-how did I just discover this?

The perfect pop of color:
 Source: Shop Design Spark via Sara on Pinterest

Moral of the story: pin what you really do like because you may actually get it one day all wrapped up in a pretty bow.

What's on your Pinterest wish list?


NYE Traditions and Resolutions

Today you can find me over at Fashion Truffles talking about my NYE traditions and my resolutions for 2012! Be sure to take some time to check out Viv's amazing blog.  She has exquisite style and is one of my daily reads.  She has a knack for finding stunning accessories, home decor items, and of course, new pieces for your wardrobe.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend filled with family and friends and lots of laughter.  I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard three days in a row.  I took a much needed hiatus from the internet; I didn't even pin one thing for three days [gasp...I know right?].  Which also means I have been doing very minimal email responding, if at all, so I will be getting to know my gmail even better today and just may be finally emailing you back about your wonderful comments from last week.  It was amazing spending time with my family as well as Boyfriend B's all weekend long!  I will post pictures later this week because I haven't even had time to upload them to my computer.

To top off the quality family time for Christmas, my mom's side of the family went to Breakfast Bingo yesterday at Potawatomi because my brother is finally 18.  Just imagine 20+ loud, Irish family members strolling in while the regulars are already set up for the morning.  It makes me smile.  My aunt and cousin, mentor and mentee respectively, both won so it was a pretty great post-Christmas early morning adventure.  Then later yesterday afternoon I headed out with Boyfriend B's mom and sister, and we found bridesmaids dresses!  So glad S can cross that off her list.  

Cheers to a productive Tuesday, and here's a sneak peak at my resolutions over at
Fashion Truffles:

New Year::New Resolutions

Any traditions you feel like sharing?  What are your resolutions for 2012?


Friday's Fancies::Merry and White

Merry and White

Oh what I would give to (1) own a long, white dress (2) have a place to wear said long, white dress this holiday season or ever for that matter.  I love the neckline and mini-flare at the bottom.  Why not take the perfect white dress to the next level with some sparkle and shine?  

Wear one, two, or three of the bracelets-whatever you're most comfortable with.  Since I have abnormally small wrists, I would just wear one or two.

I necklace would lie perfectly with the cut of the dress.  And who doesn't want some peep-toe heels with some sparkle of their own?

This would be my perfect Winter Wonderland outfit.

What's yours?

Check our more Friday's Fancies @ {long distance loving}

Wishing Boyfriend B the very happiest of birthdays today! So much to celebrate this weekend.  Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Currently Dreaming Of: New iPhone 4 Case

The header is finally updated--Merry Christmas to yours truly!

Thanks so much for your patience and for still coming back and reading.  It means more than you know.

 Even thought I'm happy about this, you will never guess what happened yesterday.  Yes, I'm being overly dramatic.

 [wah, wah]

Well, that didn't last too long.  I have only had my iPhone since August.  My brother and I were persistent enough to get my parents to switch from Sprint to Verizon.  We even created a PowerPoint presentation about the benefits of the switch, but we never had to use it.  And no, I do not miss Sprint or my Blackberry ONE bit.  I used to throw the Blackberry around because it was good for nothing and the people at Sprint knew me as that girl because I had to visit them at least once a month. 

Anyways, back to my sad tale.  My first problem is that I stupidly place my phone on my lap while I drive because I always miss a call when it's in the cup holder.  Don't worry I don't text and drive, and I only answer the phone if it's important.  I always forget and leave it on my lap and when I get out of the car, I see my little baby fly through the air and smash on the ground.  It's not pretty, friends.  And no this is not how it broke. I had it in a sweatshirt pocket, and I pulled it out and this happened.  Really, iPhone case? You lost to my sweatshirt? 

On the upside: I think this is a blessing in disguise as I have been dreaming of new iPhone cases.  Early Christmas gift to me?

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 

So what do you think?  Which one do you think will go well with my white iPhone 4?

Help a girl out!


Last Minute Wrapping

Need some last minute inspiration? Here are some of my presents through my Instagram lens.

I used scrap pieces of wrapping paper to make a fun stripe on one.  I was sick of just the brown paper.

I also used extra burlap and twine to wrap some nail polish (could not think of any other way to wrap that stuff).  Boyfriend B asked me if I was back in the 1800s, but I'm choosing to ignore his comment.

Then used more brown paper, twine, and paint chips to spruce up the packaging for Boyfriend B (we'll see if he gets it now) and my mom.  I got inspired by Laura @ Beauty in the Beard with the paint chips.  

Hope you get some ideas from this! Happy wrapping...or shopping...I know some of you are!


guest post::beauty and the beard

I am so happy to be hosting my very first guest post today from none other than Laura at Beauty and the Beard.

I had the pleasure of spending a wonderful semester with Laura during our Spanish class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She is now a midwest implant in the beautiful state of Virginia, and blogging has brought us back in touch, which I could not be more thrilled about.  I am in awe of her DIY projects and as you will see in this post, she continues to out-do herself with each project.  Not to mention she whips up a mean meal in the kitchen.  I hope you'll enjoy her blog as much as I have.


Hello fellow lovers of A Simple Affair!

As Carly mentioned, I'm Laura from Beauty and the Beard- a blog I started when my boyfriend and I moved 1000+ miles away from home on a whim to start anew in the South. My blog is dedicated to the things I love most: simple delicious recipes, easy DIY crafts, and projects to improve our amazing apartment.

I'm thrilled to be able to do a guest post today, and I know if you loved Carly's post on statement necklaces that you'll love my most recent project! I definitely share her love of big necklaces -and I felt I needed to display the sparkling gems somewhere to show off their beauty. Since I live with my boyfriend I wanted to find somewhere to showcase them without making him have to stare at them all day every day- and the wall that serves as a headboard for our bed was the perfect nook to start out:

After checking out Pinterest I decided rakes, towel racks, and shower bars were not right fit for me - but when I saw some tree murals painted I knew that a necklace tree coming out of the corner of the wall was the way to go. First I penciled out the tree: 
(Go ahead, make fun of it. I know it looks like a 4 year old drew it- but have faith!)

Next I mixed up a charcoal grey color- which  I figured would be neutral enough to highlight all the necklace colors and bold enough to stand out on the wall:
(Yes, I had to wear my highest heels to paint the top of the tree- being 5'2" + no step stool = fashionable painting)
See? Much better than the pencil sketch:

After the paint dried I began hammering paneling nails along the branches for the necklaces to hang from:
(Make sure you leave at least 6 inches between your main branches so all your necklaces can show!)

The final step was to hang the necklaces ... 
the ones I could find at least - 2 months living here 
and I still haven't unpacked all the boxes! 

Leaves are lovely and all, but wouldn't you rather have a tree dripping with jewels? 

After I hung all the necklaces,
I added some dangling earrings to the little, lower branches.  
Doesn't it perfectly fill in the wall and the tree?

So there you have it- a great way to take a bare wall and turn it into a showcase for all your favorite statement pieces. I hope each of you can find some inspiration here to make your own perfect display!

Thanks to Carly for letting me crash A Simple Affair- and all of you for taking the time to check out  Beauty and the Beard !

Weekend Snapshot

Happy Monday Friends!

What a wonderful first weekend of winter break.  We celebrated K turning 18 and surprised him with a [large] family get together.  My family is nothing short of loud and hilarious.  It's always a wonderful time.  I'm choosing to ignore the fact that the Packers lost.  Please don't talk to me about it.  Then I got to spend the night with Boyfriend B's family, re-celebrating his mom's birthday, his cousin's engagement (still so excited for you two and happy belated birthday W), and his amazing grandma's return from Florida for the holidays! Did I mention we get to visit her in January? I've been counting down the days to some relaxation poolside and sunshine and not to mention great company.

My goal for this Monday: finish wrapping! I got a good start this weekend, but each time I think I'm close to being done, I remember another gift.  I found these monogram labels while lesson planning procrastinating last week. 

I thought they would be a fun way to spice up my gifts this year.  I went to Michaels again with my 40% off coupon and bought a circle cutter (no I don't remember the official name).  I used extra paper to make the solid color circles.  I hate seeing it go to waste.  I'm linking up with Ashley at a {little} dash of ash for her Instagram Mondays.

I've also been perfecting my bow-making-skills.  For extended family, I'm going with a simple look.
How is wrapping going for you?  Did I mention that when I came home for break I had presents under the tree from Rachel Zoe and Clay Matthews?  Does my mom know me or what?


Holiday Centerpiece

Yes, the blog is still under construction.  Everything is changed except for the title.  Sorry folks.  Even if the blog is not perfect, I had to share this craft with you that my mom and I finished this morning:

My inspiration came from this image on Pinterest:

My mom and I realized that we hadn't crafted together since I was in Girl Scouts.  Seriously.  Needless to say, we had to stock up on supplies.  This craft cost us $14.21 total.  I used several coupons at Michaels.  Never leave home without them. 

Wine bottles (had these already)
White primer spray
Craft bond
Epsom salt
Glitter spray (optional)
Sticks/twigs from yard
Pinecones (had these already)
Ornaments (had these already)
Platter (had one already)

Here's the step-by-step process:

Step One:  I decided I wanted to take the labels off of the bottles just in case I would see them when we spray painted them.  I chose five differently shaped bottles and ended up only using three.  Thanks to our neighbor Mrs. W for saving some of her bottles for our craft!!  All I did was soak them in hot water and dish soap.  I had a lot of errands to run so they soaked for about 3-4 hours.  The labels peeled off easily.  Turns out one of them wasn't a label at all. 

Step Two:   Spray the bottles with white primer.  We probably should have done this part outside, but at least we opened our screen door?  We did this part right before we went to bed and just let them dry overnight.  They looked just as great when we woke up this morning.

Step Three: Spread out epsom salt.  Then spray bottles with craft bond and roll the bottles in epsom salt.  During this part, some of our primer was coming off.  Not much at all, but enough that we noticed.  We tried different strategies to prevent this.  I would recommend picking up the bottle and then rolling again or spraying the bottle and then pick up the epsom salt in your hand and spread it on yourself instead of rolling.

Step Four: Collect twigs/sticks in your backyard.  We sprayed them with silver glitter spray.  It's kind of hard to see, but I'm still glad we did this to add a little more to the twigs.  Then arrange them how you like in the wine bottles.

Step Five: I asked my mom if she had any trays/platters to put these on.  Of course she did.  We used one from the dollar store and spread the left over epsom salt we had used to put on the bottles.  This way we weren't wasting it.  I grabbed some extra pinecones I had, and my mom grabbed some extra ornaments, and we placed them around the tray wherever our hearts so desired.

I love the natural elements, and we are so happy with how they turned out!  

Are you still crafting at all or have you moved on to wrapping? More on that tomorrow.

Linking up with Tuesday's Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm and Funky Junk Interiors:


Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special