Monday, March 31, 2014

A Date Night Etiquette Guide: What's Acceptable?

There it is, that gut-wrenching moment when he checks his phone, not once, not twice, but three times, and then lingers on it, completely uninterested in the dolled-up girl sitting across the table from him. I watched this happen recently when I out to dinner with Logan. We sat, enjoying each other and a glass of wine, when he discreetly pointed over my shoulder and said, "I feel bad for that girl over there. He's not even paying attention to her." A quick glance revealed a young man on his cell phone, while the girl he was dining with poked at her food with her fork, not eating. That man sat on his phone through their entire meal. Ahead of me, the same instance with another couple, but with both of them playing on their phones the entire time. Logan said to me, "Why bother taking her out if you're not going to enjoy her company?" When we go out, we make the best of it! I don't have the luxury of a babysitter just lying around, awaiting my beck and call.
I thought on this, and realized Logan made a fine point. But not simply why bother?, but more importantly, why be so unkind? Why make it so blatantly obvious you are not interested as to leave a girl sitting in silence, feeling self-conscious? I decided it was time to get back to basics, and go over some rules for date night. Whether you're on a first date or your twentieth, these rules will make your time and money worthwhile, as well as improve your relationship.
Leave The Electronics Behind
We are in quite the electronic age. We depend on our phones and tablets daily, whether it be a reminder to remove the casserole from the oven or for managing your own business. This is entirely understandable. But when on a date, turn them to vibrate and don't answer unless it is absolutely important. Be willing to sacrifice an hour or so of your time, otherwise the date is wasted.
Show Some Manners
There is nothing more unattractive than a date without basic manners. Place your napkin in your lap, don't eat like a glutton, and don't drink yourself into a giggly mess. Honestly, ladies, don't do this, especially on a first date. Showing you can hold your liquor in public is hardly attractive. Don't swear every other word. Be kind to your server. Express your pleases and thank yous. If your order is incorrect in anyway, be kind in your approach to the staff. Unless you're at an art gallery, or something akin to this, don't let your eyes wander around the aimlessly. Focus your attention on your guest. Ask him/her questions, more so if it's a first date, and make an effort to connect and get to know each other. This, after all, is the point of a date.
What To Order On A Dinner Date
This can easily leave you wondering, certainly not wanting to appear rude for salivating over that succulent picture of lobster displayed before you. I have the benefit that Logan will come right out and tell me how much he has budgeted for a meal. Depending, he'll tell me "Let's try to keep it around $10-$15 a plate" or "If you want the lobster, go ahead." No problem! Lobster it is! But not all dates are quite this forthright. I personally wouldn't be so forthright as to ask what your spending limit is, because this can put the payer of the bill in an awkward position. If they have not come out and told you to order whatever you like, then a good rule of thumb is to ask what they are having. If they say they're having a burger, you know to order something a little less expensive. If they are going for steak and potatoes, consider it the median price range. If they want the whole shebang, steak and lobster and cocktails, go ahead and indulge along with him/her. But be sure to keep those cocktails to a minimum.
Who Pays The Bill
This can often be an awkward moment of contention on a date. Whether you're at dinner, headed to a movie, or going somewhere else, you never want to be caught by surprise. My rule of thumb has always been whoever asked should pay. If he has asked, but left it a little unclear, don't hesitate to be upfront about it. "Should I plan to purchase my own ticket?" This is discreet and inoffensive. If the lady has asked, but come time to pay the bill, he offers, let him. He is trying to be gentlemanly, and refusing to let him will only be a shot at his pride. Simply say thank you.
The End Date
What happens at this point is purely between you and your date. But just a little advice, if this is a first date that has not gone as well as you would have hoped, continue to be kind. Walk the lady to her door, thank her for her company, and say goodnight. That's it. If it went great, great! But have a little respect for one another. If they want to invite you inside, they will. If they don't, don't invite yourself. That is about as unattractive as proving you can hold her liquor, only to learn you cannot. Again, thank her for her company and, if you want, ask if you can see her again. If you're on your twentieth date and the babysitter is waiting, head on in and enjoy the fact that the house is quiet and you didn't have to put the kids to bed!
Image courtesy of Stef Lewandowski
Editing by NewlyMynted
Graphic design by NewlyMynted

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Life lately in photos {and giveaway winner}

As I keep busy these days, I have also been keeping a close eye on the mailman. He brings the good stuff, like all the Hautelook purchases I make. Seriously one of my sites, and the one online store I shop from the most frequently.
 I started the participation in Ma Nouvelle Mode's 7x7 challenge, and as I attempted to get pics of outfit one, my girls insisted they needed to be included.
In case you wondered what was in that drawstring bag, these amazing earrings. Can I just say that finding a solid pair of 2" gold hoops at a reasonable price was not an easy task. But, of course, Hautelook came to my rescue after a few months of searching.
I now have this monstrocity in my living room. I don't why, I hate recliners. I think they're ugly, a major eyesore in any room. But I love this guy, and it made him quite happy. At least it's a color I can handle.
Sunday was also Logan's best friends birthday, and Logan asked I could make Scott a birthday cake. The request for strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. I took a little creative freedom with this request and went to Pinterest. I fell in love with this fresh strawberry cake, and the recipe was delightful. Logan's friend was actually surprised I pureed the strawberries for it.
 Since it was a party of sorts, this girl dressed up like a princess!
We took to the grill since it was still relatively nice outside. Don't ask about today. There is nothing but snow outside and school has been cancelled two days in a row. 
This guy! He's kind of awesome, "what?" face and all!

The winner of the Hardin Studios Giveaway is Laura K. Thanks to all who entered. 


Friday, March 21, 2014

Giveaway | Hardin Studios

Hardin Studios opened in January and is based in Charlotte, NC. Caroline Hardin, the shop's owner and artist behind the work, provides prints, printables and custom illustrative work. Her art's unique flavor stems from her unusual style as a left-handed person frustrated with traditional calligraphy methods and materials. Caroline focuses on providing quotes and phrases that are not widely known and used so that the reader gets a breath of fresh air and inspiration. 

The above print is a NewlyMynted Special Edition, featuring my favorite quote from an Edgar Allen Poe poem, Annabel Lee: 
But we loved with a love that was more than love

Some more of her artistry ...
Today she is offering one of my readers a print of your choice from her shop. She creates the most delightful prints, from inspiring scripture to musical quotes. And you get to choose which one you want displayed in your home!
To Enter:
Follow Hardin Studios on Facebook. Come back and leave a comment letting me know what print from her shop you would select. 
For an extra entry, share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Be sure to leave a link to your share post in the comments.
This giveaway will run through March 25th.
Prize excludes custom orders
Limited to residents of the United States

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vintage Advertisements

I stumbled upon these darling vintage ads yesterday and just had to share. As a small busted gal, that bra ad literally had me laughing out loud. NO PADS! Every small chested girls dream come true. Seriously. I get so irritated with that. It is hard enough to find my size, and when I do, all the bras have inch thick insulation in them.

All images FREE and courtesy of ArtByChrysti

Enjoy lovelies! I've got a busy morning ahead of me.


P.S. Don't forget to check out Ace & Ivy's boutique. They've got beauty blenders for $3.39 right now! I LOVE my beauty blender. So stock up on some.

Monday, March 17, 2014

How to Get Summer Ready Skin + Exfoliating Scrub Recipe

Summer is approaching! Did you hear me right? Summer is almost here! Never you mind these intermittent days of snow. We shall merely pretend they don't exist. I can feel the sun right on the cusp of warming my skin each and every day. 

Now that I'm finally in a place where I can get my health under control, and set some goals for myself, I'm adding to the list my super soft skin. Once upon a time I had the softest, shimmeriest (is that a word?) skin. It was perfectly tanned, had a slight glimmer, and I never had to wear foundation. Oh how I miss this! So I've stocked up on the essentials I once used for my own daily DIY exfoliation treatments, and would love to invite you lovelies to have this same delectable skin. It's so easy, too. Just a few all-natural ingredients from the supermarket.

  1. Loofah
  2. Pumice stone
  3. Body wash/cleanser
  4. DIY Exfoliating scrub
  5. Moisturizing lotion (low alcohol content)

  1. Use your loofah or a dry cloth to remove any dead skin cells and to open up your pores, before you get in the shower.
  2. Starting from the feet and moving up, toward your heart, begin scrubbing your body with your cleanser.  By going upward in a circular motion, you will increase your body's circulation. Be gentle on sensitive areas such as your face and bikini line. 
  3. Use your pumice stone to remove any dry or cracked calluses on your feet.
  4. Give your body a good once-over with your homemade exfoliating salt scrub.  I'll include my quick and easy recipe at the end of the this post. Rinse well.
  5. Once you're out of the shower, towel dry, leaving your skin somewhat damp. Apply a moisturizer all over your freshly exfoliated skin. Give the lotion a minute to dry and really soak into your skin before getting dressed. You don't want your garments absorbing most of the moisture. My favorite moisturizing lotion is Eucerin healing cream. But whatever you're using, be sure one of the first few ingredients is not alcohol. Many scented or otherwise inexpensive lotions contain a lot of alcohol, which dries out your skin. Once my tan has started to set, I love to use Jergens Natural Glow to slowly build upon it.
NOTE: Don't exfoliate on freshly waxed or shaved skin, or on skin that is sunburned or has any open wounds. This can be very painful and will most likely burn. Believe me, learned that the hard way!

  • 1 cup almond oil
  • 1 cup course sea salt
  • 10-12 drops of vanilla scented oil (or preference)
  • Mason jar or other container with lid

Mix all ingredients into your chosen container. You can use more and fewer drops of your scented oil, depending on how strong you prefer your scent to be. Each time you use your homemade salt scrub, shake or mix it well first.
Thanks for reading!
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The 36th Avenue

Friday, March 14, 2014

How to Catch a Leprechaun | DIY Craft Ideas

Monday is St. Patrick's Day and my kids are both excited and frightened. Excited because they get to wear green to school Monday, excited about the prospect of their being gold and rainbows, but nervous of the possibility of a sneaky little leprechaun playing his tricks in their classrooms. So I rounded up the many ways we could catch one of these tricksy little green guys,
 Lure him in with rainbows with The Classroom Creative's trap.
Recipe by Photo gives a step-by-step photo tutorial to trap him in a little cake cage. Gold, the perfect trap cover and irresistible to Leprechaun's.
 Make him work for that gold with Snoodle Doodle, then BAM, straight into a too-tall trap!
 Even Leprechaun's get tired from all those pranks. Modern Parents Messy Kids tricked him with a little vacant hotel.
Call me the mean mom, but I'm willing to take A Differentiated Kindergarten's idea and let my kids think a leprechaun snuck into our house and played his hijinx on us. And stopped to use the bathroom along the way. Too bad he is too rude to even bother flushing.

Have a fun St. Patty's Weekend,

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Refashion Inspiration | Katy Perry & The Puckered Rosette Dress

Image via Nasty Gal
Last month for Valentine's Day, Logan took me to Winston-Salem to go shopping at H&M. He knows how much I love that store, and he pretty much gave me free reign of it. It was delightful! I picked out a strapless black mini dress similar to the one above. H&M does not have the one I purchased on their website. I was so excited and have been waiting for it to warm up so I could pull this beautiful dress on. So imagine my angered surprise earlier this week when I found my brand new, tags-still-in-tact dress in the dogs crate. 

Yes, he had pulled it into his crate and chewed it up.

I was infuriated, yelling, sad, crying. I had tossed my old LBD out because it was, well, old. I was so excited to have a new one. One that fit my little body perfectly. Not a single loose piece of fabric anywhere. There wasn't a need to alter anything. It was the perfect LBD for me. I threw the dress across the room and swore the dog into non-existence. 

What I love about Logan is that when I throw a tantrum like that, he never tells me things like, "You're overreacting," or "it's just a dress." I am well aware that it's just a dress. But it is rare to find a gorgeous dress (or pants for that matter) that fit me so well and will still be flattering to my very straight figure. He kindly put Splash in his crate and went into the kitchen and made me something to eat. He even washed the dishes while he was in there. Later he said simply, "I know you, you'll find a way to fix it."
Then on Monday I went to the ER to get my shoulder looked at, and I flipped through their stack of outdated magazines, intentionally surpassing all the gossip. I always go straight for the lifestyle and home magazines. I decided to snag an issue of Marie Claire back from January. Inside was an interview with Katy Perry, and I was stunned by this puckered rosette top and bottom she wore. Is that not insanely sensational?!
As the article broke down the "how to achieve her look" I feasted my eyes on this dress featured from Saks Fifth Avenue. Now, the article says "Price Available Upon Request," which immediately tells me I couldn't afford it in my wildest dreams. But ... I can make my own! In fact, I now have a ruined dress that needs a little revamping! Oh, wait, I also have a Sizzix Big Shot that can cut fabric flowers out for me. This is looking more and more amazing by the second!

I guess the moral of this story is, it's hard to see the silver lining in the face of devastation, even if it is over just a dress. But it's encouraging when there are those that have faith in you and your talents. Logan was stoked when I leaned over and showed him the article and the refashion that had inspired me right then.

I ordered a die on Amazon the other day and am waiting for it to arrive. Once I do, this LBD is about to turn into a LBMPD -- Little Black Metallic Puckered Dress!

Happy Creative Inspiration,

Monday, March 10, 2014

Your Favorite Pins

Remember when I said my kids were dropping like flies? Yeah ... apparently that applies for the whole family, myself included. So please forgive me if I am slow to get posts up. It seems I have injured my shoulder, as in can't-drive, can't-put-on-my-own-coat-on or tie-my-own-shoes kind of injured. Right now, as I type this, I am lowering my wrists and leaning to the right, in a sad little attempt to keep some of the weight and strain on my right shoulder to a minimum. Let's just be thankful you can't see me, okay?! I have posts and projects lined up, plus an upcoming giveaway, just be patient as I work on getting them done. I have to move a little slow and limit my activity in this position. I'm thinking I will be back in the doc's office before long. Eek!

For now, I thought I would share your most loved pins. If you're not following me on Pinterest, come on over and do so. Also, catch me on Twitter where I can one-handedly update regularly thanks to our good friend, iPhone.

Our very own list of FREE Photoshop Actions

My Wow-worthy Southern Style Bacon Mustard Greens

Our 1st Thessalonians Printable -- I am so glad this is loved!

Our crash course on getting the mildew out of your towels -- Glad I'm not alone, so thank you!

I am so grateful for all this love you show me. Pin on!