Pumpkin Luminaries

falltitleThere are few things I enjoy more then a well-crafted seasonal display. From spring flowers, to fall leaves, to nativities – each season brings something special that deserves to be celebrated.

Last week, I went out for my weekly grocery trip and noticed the store had set out their pumpkins. As I walked the aisles picking out food, the idea to make these pumpkin luminaries came to me. So this weekend, my dad, Ella and I got out the electric drill and did some pumpkin carving! It was a fun afternoon project for the whole family and the pumpkins turned out gorgeously! They look absolutely perfect in my autumn-inspired front porch display.

Make Your Own: Pumpkin Luminaries

pumpin luminaries1. Cut a round opening around the stem. We used a jigsaw but a knife would work just as well.

2. Clean out the inside of the pumpkin.

3.  Decide what design you want to create. Use a Sharpie to mark where you want your holes.

4. Using different sized drill bits, make your holes.

5. Set on doorstep and add candle.

6. When it gets dark, light candle, stand back and admire your work!

To complete my fall porch decorations, I looked around the house and found a few extra touches. I poured a bag of candy corn into a glass vase and added a candle. I then got a few apples from our tree and some little decorative pumpkins. I finally finished with some flowering vines and colored leaves. I think the display turned out really lovely!

Do you decorate for fall or Halloween?

pumpkin luminaries

Ready for Fall With Hourglass Boutique

Well, it’s officially fall. Having been a Florida girl for the past couple of years, the cooler Oregon weather has come as a bit of a shock. But, like I’ve said before, I am looking forward to this season of change. From the colorful leaves, to the cozy blankets, hot chocolate, and fashion (especially the fashion!), what’s not to love?
hourglass boutiqueI already have quite a fall wardrobe started (I may have been a little too excited about this season). One thing I was missing, however, was a cute jacket. So when I saw the Cocoon Zip Front Jacket from Hourglass Boutique, I was quite happy. While I love the neutral blue color, the style is what really drew me to this piece. With a side zipper, ruffle detailing, and tab cuffs, this jacket is something special.

hourglass boutiqueThe second Hourglass piece I fell in love with was the Madagascar Print Dress. I adore floral print, and this dress takes a unique approach to this popular pattern. With a dark navy background, the large flowers stand out clearly – appearing to be etched in white. It is a truly lovely fabric. I also am totally in love the handkerchief hem and keyhole closure with a silver bead at the wrists as well as the back. It is these details that make this dress one of my favorites!

Hourglass Boutique is a great place for those that like vintage inspired and unique pieces. I was just checking out their new arrivals today, and there wasn’t one thing I didn’t want. Go see for yourself (new arrivals) – isn’t the Dinner at 8:00 dress adorable? Which is your favorite piece?


Sparkle Manicure for Fall

sparkle manicureAs a cello teacher, the kids are always looking at my hands. It is so fun to see them light up when they see a fun nail art design! So to celebrate the first day of strings class this past Tuesday,  I came up with a special sparkle manicure. To get the look, you will need a nude colored polish, purple striping tape, clear top coat and glitter. Go ahead and try it! This design is very easy to put together – no crazy nail art talent necessary.

Get the Look: Sparkle Manicure

sparkle manicure 1. Paint nails with two coats of your favorite nude polish. I chose O.P.I’s Samoan Sand.

2. After nails are completely dry, lay striping tape diagonally across each nail. Trim edges, but don’t worry too much – you can file the excess off at the end.

3.  Doing one finger at a time, use a top coat to paint the portion of nail above the striping tape. Sprinkle on the glitter. Let dry completely.

4.  Apply two layers of a clear top coat over the entire nail to keep everything in place.

5. Using a nail file, remove any excess striping tape along the edges of the nail.


And there you have it – an easy yet unique sparkle manicure that anyone can do!


Fall Handbag Essentials with U by Kotex

Many thanks to U by Kotex and Walmart for sponsoring today’s discussion.

u by kotex

As I was walking out of orchestra rehearsal last night, I heard a loud gasp from behind me. I turned to find a fellow cellist staring in horror at the largeness of my handbag. She then produced the world’s tiniest bag, which prompted me to return her horrified gasp. How could someone possibly keep everything they need in something so puny?

Needless to say, I have quite a few things in my bag. For this post, however,  I was challenged to choose my top five handbag essentials for fall. So, after weeding out the diapers, wipes, crackers and various other “mom” supplies, I was left with five things that are definite must-haves for my fall bag.

fallbag41. Tampons. I always keep a back supply of lady products in my bag. We’ve all had that unfortunate experience of being without a tampon; not a good feeling. I like U by Kotex Click tampons because I want discrete protection. These are compact, unscented and wrapped in colorful pouches.

*Tip – Click here to get a free U by Kotex coupon.

2. Kleenex. From lipstick smudges to baby messes, Kleenex is a handbag must anytime of the year. I was excited to hear that U by Kotex boxes are currently coming with a bonus Kleenex Slim Pack (exclusively available at Walmart). I picked up the little slim pack pictured above with my U by Kotex box. I love the design – so cute!

*Tip – Click here to get a free Kleenex coupon.

3. Lip Gloss. Fall, with it’s wind and cooler temperatures, is the perfect recipe for dry lips. I prefer lip glosses to lipsticks because they offer both hydration and a hint of color. This gloss from Physicians Formula is one of my favorites. It’s a gorgeous raspberry shade, has a mirror on the side, and even lights up!

fallbag54. Tinted Moisturizer. For the same reason mentioned above, having a quality moisturizer in your bag is a fall necessity. I tend to forgo heavy foundations, and opt for a tinted moisturizer. Getting good coverage without heaviness or caking is key to a youthful complexion.

5. Hair Clips/Bobby Pins. Keep wind swept tresses tamed and out of your face with cute hair clips or bands. I always keep a handful of bobby pins in my bag too. I’m growing out my bangs and bobby pins are a lifesaver during this somewhat awkward transition.

Share and Save

So tell me – what are your top five handbag essentials? If you need to stock up on U by Kotex and Kleenex, check out their new Share and Save opportunity. The more times you share on Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook, the higher the coupon value you receive!

The offer includes three coupons for Kleenex ($0.50, $0.75, $1) and three for U by Kotex ($0.75, $1, $1.50).

Click here for your free coupons.

I was compensated for this post.

Knitted Fringe Shawl from Caralase

Shawls have taken over! Have you noticed? They seem to be everywhere, and I am loving it. Wearing a shawl is like cuddling up in your favorite blanket, and it doesn’t get any better then that. As a fun alternative to the sweater, this is a perfect transitional piece as we head into the cooler months.

shawl(The Knitted Fringe Wrap c/o Caralase)

You ladies already know I’m a sucker for fringe (see my favorite summer fringe fashions), so when I saw this cozy knitted shawl with it’s delicious fringed edge, I was sold. It is so soft and pairs well with many different outfits. Throw over your favorite summer dress, and you’re ready for a fall night out.shawlAs women, we deserve to feel fashionable and comfortable in our clothing and Caralase, an online boutique, strives to provide those special pieces that help us feel beautiful. The name Caralase comes from the Greek word for grace, and this quality is apparent in their clothing selection. I love their laid-back, feminine styles – simply graceful.

Tell Me: What is your favorite piece at Caralase?

I received this wrap for free in preparation for this article.