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Thursday, September 26, 2013

6 Chic DIY Halloween Wreaths

If I had my way I would have a wreath for every season and every holiday. I would change it out regularly and my door would always be festive and beautiful. 

Halloween presents a really awesome opportunity to decorate any door with pizzazz! Here are some of my favorite DIY Halloween wreath ideas from Pinterest.

Some of these links go to tutorials, other just to pictures, others to places where you can buy the wreaths. I think most of them are pretty DIY-able. If you can't figure out how to make one of these just leave a comment and I will try to make a tutorial. 

Candy Corn Wreath

Chevron and Bats Wreath

Day of the Dead Wreath

Glow-in-the-Dark Eyeballs Wreath

Harvest Moon Wreath

Maleficent Wreath
(I mean come on! This is  freakin' awesome!)

Snake Wreath
(honestly, I debated putting this up here. I hate snakes. I have a major phobia. just this picture gives me the heebee jeebees. but its a pretty cool halloween wreath. just don't expect me to come over if this is hanging on your door.)
No source

Spooky Grapevine Wreath

Vintage Scull Wreath
For more great Halloween wreaths and decorating ideas follow me on Pinterest. Check out my Festive!  and Festive! Halloween! boards for fun holiday inspiration!

Happy Haunting!

Chic Halloween Decorating

I love hosting parties and can't wait until we have a home large enough to have more than one couple over at a time. Halloween is one of the most fun holidays on the calendar but its so often overly cheesy and I don't do cheesy. Kitschy yes, cheesy no. Here are some of my favorite chic and sophisticated Halloween decorations I have seen this season.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dressing for the job you WANT, not the job you HAVE.

This is a re-post from my old blog True Story. I posted it while in college, it was originally intended to help my fellow theatre students prepare for South Eastern Theatre Conference. SETC is a four day conference for theatre people, including interviews for designers and technicians and auditions for actors and dancers. Our university took a group of students every year so that we would have the opportunities to get summer jobs and make connections.

One of the things that drove me crazy about SETC was that almost no one knew how to dress well. The actors always looked nice, but the technicians and "behind the scenes" folks were always sloppy. This is generally the case with theatre. Sorry to say, but its true. I believe that EVERYONE should dress for the job they want and not the job they have (thank you Stacy and Clinton!)

Whether you like it or not, what you wear speaks volumes. You are judged by what you wear, and first impressions count! Especially in the job-seeking community.

I have a few notes about this post. a) it was before Pinterest, so if you want some really great inspiration check out Pinterest. b) it was written specifically for my fellow theatre students, but that doesn't mean that it isn't applicable for other young professionals. c) I do not have the rights to that info-graphic, not sure where it is from.

I think this is great information. Hopefully its helpful!


Here is my original post:

Dressing for the Job

Many of people have been asking me what to wear for SETC and USITT and Portfolio Review Day. I thought I would post something about the research and expediencies I have had on this subject.

First of all, I would just say go for something professional. Colors and styles are up to you. You want to express your personality, but a refined version of you.You want to look like you are taking this opportunity seriously and therefore you should dress as such.

Also, with SETC and events like it, where you will be there for a few days and need to be professional the whole time, it is better to pick things that are interchangeable and items that you can mix-and-match well. Pick either black, brown, or navy and that's your base color. Then pick your other colors and pieces to match the base. Then you can bring one pair of shoes (very comfortable shoes, because you will be walking a lot) and one bag, only a few accessories that will match everything. You should bring one casual outfit, like jeans and a nice blouse, so that if we go out you will have something to wear, but even this should be nice. The city will be full of SETC people and you will run into them everywhere you go.

If you are working on building your professional wardrobe (which everyone should have), you should look for items that are built well, fit you well and that are timeless (not trendy). You don't want to hide behind your clothes and you don't want your clothes to speak for you. You want something that will not be distracting to what you have to say.

Basics for women:
  • Pencil skirt/A-line skirt
  • Dress pants
  • Oxford blouse (white is good) or dress blouse of sorts
  • Blazer
  • Vest (everyone knows how much I love vests!)
  • Cardigan sweater
  • Fashion scarf (not intended to keep you warm)
  • LBD (people says not to wear a dress to an interview, but I don't agree. If the dress is professional, no party dresses PLEASE)
  • Sensible (and comfortable) heels
  • Sensible (and comfortable) flats
Basics for men:
  • Suit (you can break it up, wearing the pieces separately)
  • Tie (they are not that hard to tie, get over it)
  • V-neck sweater
  • Trousers
  • Dress shoes/loafers (though, I do love a good suit and a pair of Chuck Taylors!)

If you want more search the web! There aren't a lot of search results for "What to wear to a theatre interview" so instead look for "What to wear to an arts interview," or "What to wear to a fashion interview," Check out these sites:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Classically Irish (mostly) Paleo Beef Stew (in the crock pot!)

Summer has suddenly disappeared here in the Nation's Capital. One week it was sunny and in the 80's, the next week it was rainy, and now it's chilly and that lovely autumn smell is in the air. Its time for chunky sweaters and pumpkin spiced everything!

Its also time for a multitude of soups and stews to make their way to the front of the stage. I am thrilled! I love soups and stews. There is something so comforting about a big bowl of hot, filling stew. Big chunks of beef, lots of hearty vegetables, flavorful broth. Every bite filling your tummy and your soul with tasty goodness. Whats not to love?

As with most meals I cook, I got inspiration for this stew from multiple sources. I usually read a few different recipes, both online and from my huge cookbook library, and then I take this and that from each recipe and make up my own concoction. Usually this turns out a pretty good dish, its only once in a while that the whole pot ends up in the trash. This was one of the good times.

Most of my inspiration for this Classically Irish (mostly) Paleo Beef Stew came from The Functional Foodie. I left out the onion and added a lot of extra veggies, namely a turnip, a sweet potato, a parsnip, some celery, some white potatoes, and some lima beans. (Leave out the white potatoes and the lima beans for strictly paleo.) I also added some organic beef broth and a little coconut flour to thicken it up. I will say that the addition of the coconut flour didn't seem to do much, and for that reason I am leaving it out of the recipe below.

The other thing that I really liked about The Functional Foodie's recipe is that she insists on browning the meat before transferring it to the crock pot. I understand that this means more dishes to do, but trust me (and The Functional Foodie) this small extra step adds TONS of flavor. According to The Functional Foodie, "color = flavor."

Once you have browned the meat and scrapped up all the bits and juices from the bottom of the browning pan, just transfer the meat to the crock pot and add the other ingredients. Then you are good to go, you can leave your crock pot going for hours. Its really that simple. Yea for simple hearty meals!

Classically Irish (mostly) Paleo Beef Stew (in the crock pot!)

  • 2 pounds of stew meat
  • coconut oil (or your choice of fat) for cooking
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup of baby or 2 regular carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 4 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cubed
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup frozen lima beans or green peas
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • several glugs of good red wine (I used if you wouldn't drink it you shouldn't cook with it!)
  • 1-2 cups good beef broth
  • 12 oz. can of diced tomatoes
Preheat your cast iron skillet or dutch oven and add the coconut oil over high heat on the stove top. While this is preheating, dry off your meat with a paper towel. You want to get all the extra juices off the meat. After it is dry season it well with salt and pepper, make sure to get all sides.

Once the oil is hot, add the onion and chopped garlic and cook until the onion is translucent. Watch this very closely you don't want burnt garlic. 

Add the meat to the pot and brown on all sides. Don't worry about "cooking" the meat, you just want to brown it. You want to get as much color as possible. Remember COLOR = FLAVOR! 

Once the meat is brown on all sides, transfer it to the crock pot. Pour your red wine into the hot skillet and scrap the bottom of the pan. The goal is to get all the wonderfully flavorful bits and pieces from the meat off and into the crock pot. Transfer the wine (and all the goodies) to the crock pot.

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the frozen lima beans/peas) and cook for 8-10 hours on low. About 15-20 minutes before serving add the lima beans or peas.