Monday, August 29, 2011

Giveaway Winner & Pinterest Recipe Ideas

I apologize in the delay of announcing the Mark Montano, "Big Ass Book of Home Decor" winner until today.  However, I was busy defending our house against the big mean Hurricane Irene.  Happy to announce no damage to our home, or yard occurred.  Power did go out from Saturday night until late Sunday night, but now all has restored to normal. 

The winner is:

Congratulations!  Send me an email and I'll get your new fun book shipped off asap!

My Father in Law is coming into town tonight and I'm uber excited to have an extra pair of hands to help out with J, and also some projects around the house.  

In the meantime I've also been brainstorming some ideas for my best friends birthday this weekend.  She'll be starting off her 26th birthday running a half marathon @ The Rock & Roll Marathon in Va Beach.  She's recently started running marathons and she is such an inspiration to me.  {Well by inspiration I mean... I wish I had even the motivation to think about running one.. but it's just not on my bucket list. I know I would be defeated}.
Then we're just doing a fun gathering of friends for celebration and of course, I head RIGHT to Pinterest for some ideas of what I can bring:

{Corn Salad}
{Oreo Pops}

My goodness soooo many amazing ideas!  Pinterest... you are the devil, and you are amazing.

What are some of your recipes you've found via Pinterest?


Friday, August 26, 2011

{Spotlight} My favorite jewelry pieces

I've never been a jewelry fanatic... I have a few key pieces during different phases that I love to wear, but typically it's a pick of about three different necklaces, a few pairs of earrings, and sometimes a ring or bangle.  But my style of jewelry pretty much remains the same:

{my staple pieces}

long length necklace with charms at the end

cubic zirconia studs {yah, real diamonds would be awesome but so not happening for the size I like}

a bulky bangle with a few addition smaller scaled ones

The other day I received my daily sales from {an incredibly great sale site that emails you deals for various Etsy shops, kinda like Groupon for Etsy, yah... I know... amazing}and I saw a necklace that was right up my alley, so I immediately clicked through, made the sale purchase and went directly to the Etsy store and bought THIS:


Seriously, I'm innnnnn loveeeeeeee with this necklace from Saressa Designs.
She also lets you add little harm charms with your choice of letter, so I added one with the initial J

{Gorgeous right!}

Here's some other favorites I was thinking about getting from Saressa Design's shop:

{I love the little anchor embellishment}

{This piece was the ad on Heartsy and what me b-line it to her shop, jaw dropping gorgeous}

Then I spent some time searching a few other shops on Etsy and fell in love with these pieces too:

El collar de Mariantonieta

{love the french stamped writing piece}

{so unique}

XOXii Shop

{a tiny little jar filled with gold... need I say more}

{this literally takes my breath away, LOVE it}

{absolutely my style, and love the difference than just the average gem}

What are you favorite Etsy jewelry shops? What about your staple jewelry items?
Any of these make your heart swoon as much as me?!

If you're not a member of Heartsy I URGE you to join! Amazing sale prices for various Etsy stores and introduces you to so many amazing products you never knew existed! Click the button below to sign up:

Heartsy - Exclusive deals on fabulous handmade designer items at members-only prices.

I'm off to take cover for the upcoming hurricane.  If you don't hear from me for a few days it's due to a power outage.  They are expecting if power does go out, about 5 days to get it back on.  Last time a hurricane came through of this size, residents here were without power for 11 days... I'm not sure if I can handle no internet for that long!
If you're on the east coast, hope you stay safe too!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

House Tour {Entryway}

Slowly but surely, I plan on showing different rooms of our home.  Next stop on our tour is the entryway.  I previously showcased our living room, you can find here
Here's what our house looks like as you walk in through the front door:

At first glance you'll see the wreath I made for the front door for the summertime.
The runner which is from Garden Ridge {$25}, it was one of those "yup, I'm taking this" as you grab it without even stopping knowing it's a must have.
The white ceramic garden stool which I redid {$18}

  • The basket holds my various copies of my favorite magazines: West Elm, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel
  • The hurricane holds random collection of seashells, which will be changed out for each season and filled with season specific decor. {Since there aren't acorns really here in VA, I'm debating having my parents mail me a bag of them from MN, to me... fall screams acorns!}
  • The "All You Need is Love" sign is a handmade project, and sits on two nails that I spray painted with ORB to "antique" them up a bit.  Another piece of decor that can be a quick change for the season and I can come up with a new design for each season.
  • A spare change jar to collect pocket change as we walk through the door
  • The big metal bowl, the gorgeous lamp, and the oversized keys are all from Home Goods.  {The lamp made me do a {happy dance}, it's very our style and I just KNEW my husband would love it}
  • The oversized mirror is from Home Goods also, and was a pretty fair price for it's size {$60}

The wall color is "mocha brown" by Behr paint and primer in one.  However, our cherry wood floors and off white ceiling really makes it have a green tint to it.  I decided to go with a dark paint color for our entryway for a dramatic effect, knowing I'd add a table lamp for additional light.  I do like it, however it does make the space feel even more smaller than it is.  I know if I ever get antsy about redoing a paint job in the house, I'd switch out the dark color for something lighter with a more open feel.

I already purchased a pendant light to replace the dome light fixture in a similar shade and shape as the lamp.  Someday I'll get up the nerve to play electrician and switch it out

It's sneaked it's way into some of the pictures but on the opposite wall of the mirror and table is our family portrait on a float wrap taken by my best friend, who also happens to be an amazing Photographer.

{As you can tell the coloring of our wall was way off in this photo, was taken a while ago}

Our entryway really makes me happy and I love the decorations and layout of it all.  It feels so good to have the first space in your home completed, especially when you love the space.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekend update and GIVEAWAY TIME!

This weekend was one of those weekends I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off doing projects.  Here's just a snapshot of the handful of things I had going on:

 Everything from furniture redos, yard work maintenance, to some neglected projects that I've been putting off.

It was all exhausting but worth it and I'm calling it an early to bed kind of night.

Right in the middle of my projects a visitor stopped by and dropped off something he wanted to giveaway to my readers!  Here's a warm welcome to:

Mark Montano!
{oooook, so he didn't really stop by with the book, he mailed it}

That's right though! It's giveaway time and I'm uber excited to announce it's for Mark Montano's best selling craft book, "Big Ass Book of Home Decor"!!!

This amazing book is jam packed with awesome ideas and tutorials for projects around your house. 
Mark Montano is well known for his hit series such as, "10 Years Younger" and "While You Were Out".
He has written several books including the number one best selling craft book in America "The Big Ass Book of Crafts" and "The Big Ass Book of Crafts 2" is hitting shelves this October.

One of my favorite tutorials in this book is of that bird cage pillowcase you see write there on the cover, also another great one he actually just posted the tutorial on his blog for " Tea-rrific Tea Set".  A great example of how he writes awesome tutorials for all his projects and what you'll find in this book.

How to win:
(1) Follow Mark's blog to stay up to date with all his great ideas
(2) Follow him on Twitter and be sure to say hi!
(3) Share about this giveaway via Twitter, Facebook, your blog, screaming it from rooftops... whichever is your desire (be sure to @pbjstories or link back to this post!)
(4) Follow my blog PB&Jstories if you don't already

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry you complete!

Giveaway will end August 26th at 8pm EST and a winner will be randomly chosen by


All in a day's work, "you know you're a mom when"...

Just wanted to say a quick hi and good afternoon to everyone before I head out the door to do some errands.

oh and also..

"You know you're a mom when ... "
You head downstairs to find your son like this:

and his pull up on the table and he tells you, "I went peepee"

"You know you're a "DIYer""...when you find paint in your hair as you're about to head out the door and you say, "eh"

Hope everyone's having a great weekend!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

The best way to online shop!

Saving money. 
It's an idea we all aim to do, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  I think of myself as a middle of the road saver.  I will collect coupons from Red Plum and various Ecoupons from the web, load up my local grocery store card and scan upon checkout hoping it drops my bill down to a reasonable amount.  Most of it is magical wishing that coupons will just appear for me.  I have tried a few different times to become coupon savvy and be a smart shopper, watch for deals and double up on store & manufacturer coupons, but most of the time I do what's more "convenient" than "super thrifty" [this all applies to grocery shopping and household cleaning items.... when it comes to decorating I am super thrifty!]. 

One time I took my time, I collected coupons like crazy, I matched up manufacturer coupons to store coupons, checked different websites to ensure staple items were on sale, used Ecoupons.. I did it all for this particular shopping trip.  It worked, it really did! I ended up saving somewhere around $57 dollars bringing my total from something like $120 down to $63! However, all the time and energy that went into it... wasn't my cup of tea.  Saving money is fantastic and all but the amount of time and energy that went into coupon clipping that week was too much for me.

Essentially what I'm rambling on about is I love to save money, but I have to have a balance of savings to convenience for me to routinely do it. 


If you're unfamiliar with this website, I assure you I am introducing you to your new bff for websites, especially if you're an online shopper as I am. is similar to where you can load up your local grocery card with Ecoupons and save just by having them scan it at check out.  There's also printable coupons if you prefer to have them in hand for reminder what to pick up.  Then they have my favorite section... "cash back savings".

If you like to online shop then you must look here before you type in your favorite online store.
Why you ask?
Because you get paid to shop!

This isn't like swag-bucks, or those online survey scheme websites, this is genuine money back in your pocket online shopping. 
Each store has a different "money back" value, and when you click on the that store, you're redirected to their main page where you'd shop, and check out as usual. tracks your purchase, and will give you a % back on your total order.
For example:
Let's say I'm thinking about buying curtains from JCPenny's online, instead of just going directly to I'll go to cash back savings on first and see what % I'll earn back when I make a purchase there.

I'll earn 6% back of my total purchase if I "shop now" through so I click Shop Now and it redirects me JCPenny's website:

Then you just shop as usual, and after a couple days you'll see the money on your Shortcuts account.  That's it.  No toolbars.  No surveys. No games.
{I realize I may sound like their sales person but I just truly love this website and felt I MUST share it with my readers, we all love to earn money right!}

I've tried to limit my spending online, but when I do make purchases I make sure I check if I can go through because it's worth it.  They pay out quarterly and so 4 times a year they will send you a check with the money you've earned.  I've been sent two checks so far, and received my second one today in the mail for $20+.  That's what gave me the idea to share with all you because it's just plain awesome and I want you to know about it.

I'm not being paid, or compensated in any where by or its affiliates to write this post.  I don't have an affiliate account, I won't benefit from you using their website, I just simply want to share my wealth with you! :) I removed any links directly to their site to help eliminate any ideas I may profit from writing this post, just simply go to to check out all the savings.

Does anyone else have easy and convenient ways to save money while shopping? I've love to hear!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Haven Conference 2012 and the PB&J giveaway winner!

Tickets went on sale today for the Haven 2012 conference!!
Haven Conference 2012

Why am I so excited you ask? Because I'll be going!!
It'll be my first conference I attend as a blogger/DIYer and I'm so excited to meet so many fantastic people and I can't even prepare myself for how much I know I will learn.  It'll be a big stepping stone I hope and just very excited to network with more amazing fellow DIYers and bloggers.

Haven't heard of the Haven Conference yet? Here's a little snippet of information from their website:
"In the world of DIY’ers, gone are the days that we budget and wait for someone else to do what we can do ourselves. We are daydreamers. We are visionaries. We are frugal. We see something done, and we ponder how we can do it for less. We want something done, and we ponder the tools we need to do it.
What does this mean for you? Haven Conference is the place to celebrate that DIY spirit. It is where DIY lovers from all over will gather together to encourage and learn from one another. You will find hands-on sessions led by some of the top DIY bloggers who will share their knowledge on subjects such as painting furniture and using power tools. For those of you desiring to learn more about blogging, there will be sessions on topics that include social media and how to monetize your blog.

Perhaps most importantly, Haven Conference will be a place for encouragement. There will be time set aside just to mingle with one another and share DIY stories. The DIY/Home blogging community is special, and we encourage you to form connections with those in it!  You are guaranteed to walk away from Haven refreshed and inspired."

If you're going or debating about going I'd love to hear from you! Email me @

My second exciting news of the day is the winner of the PB&J giveaway:

The winner was randomly selected thanks to and... drum roll...

Congratulations Ali!  Just email me and let me know which of the signs you pick!

Keep your eyes out I have several other giveaways lined up that have some amazing prizes!
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