Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ask Bree: Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas/Free Christmas Gift!

(Me and my models at the Nightmare Before Christmas Show I planned 2 years ago)

Happy Holidays everyone! The Holidays are among us, Christmas especially! I was a procrastinator and did all of my holiday shopping on Christmas eve. However, for all of those SUPER procrastinators out there, have no fear! There is still time to get Christmas gifts for those people that you know that you won't see today. If you have procrastinated, there's a 99% chance that you aren't exactly sure what you want to purchase, or make. Well below I have a few ideas. Enjoy!
1. Super Stocking
Never underestimate the power of a super stocking. At this time of year, stores are basically giving away Christmas items, so finding affordable things to stuff your stocking with shouldn't be a problem! Depending on the person, you can stuff your super stocking with dvds, christmas candy, scarves, accessories and much more! If it's for someone who is just as super as the stocking, try your hand at writing a poem or sweet letter to include in the stocking.

2. Make up Bag
This would be a great gift for a teenager! NYC and Elf have really affordable eye shadows, makeup brushes and nail polishes for as low as $1 each, so a small bag full of these goodies would make any trend setting girl excited! This is actually one of my gift ideas, so feel free to steal it. I'll comment below and let you know if she likes it ;)

3. Baked Goodies
I don't know about anyone else, but food is the way to my heart. If baking is your thing, please bake and make someone very happy this holiday! If baking is not your thing, PLEASE stay out of the kitchen! The Art of Being Cool does not condone burning your house down on Christmas day...or any other day for that matter!

4. Date Night
If you have not gotten your significant other a gift yet, shame on you! It's okay though; times are hard! Use a special date night to substitute, or add on to your Christmas gift.  You can take them out for a night on the town to a place that they've never been to, go watch a movie on the other side of town, or plan a romantic stay in for the two of you. This date night can also work for best friends. Take your friend out to the cool bakery in your town's art district, or to a comedy show. The key is just being a bit creative ;)

Free Purse-Sized Essence of Beauty Hand Cream At CVS
Like Minute Clinic on Facebook, and go to the “Special Offers” tab, to get a Free Purse-Sized Essence of Beauty Hand Cream CVS Coupon. There is no purchase necessary! The coupon is sent to your email address. Just print and bring to any CVS/pharmacy store to redeem. You can select from three great scents – Sunflower, Japanese Garden or Citrus Coconut! Registration ends 12/26/11. Limited-time offer ends 12/30/11 or while supplies last.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pre-New Years Resolution Challenge/ Mission: Socialite

Hello, Everyone! I have decided that I need to make a pre-resolution, and I would love to invite you to join me! This pre-resolution has been inspired by my recent decision on working my way up to socialite status in my city, Charlotte, NC. Why do I all of a sudden want to become a socialite? It's not so that I can be invited to all of the best parties or top restaurants, or anything. It's for the sake of my non-profit organization, Party For Autism. I feel that in order for Party For Autism to have the most success, it needs a well known leader standing behind it. Therefore, I will be dedicating my time in becoming a socialite, and showing you guys every step of the way!
First step on the socialite checklist is outward appearance and inward health. I have been struggling with 5-10 pounds in my mid section that I would love to finally get rid of in my mid section. Therefore, I have put together a health plan that will help me beautify both my insides and my outsides! 
Current Statistics:

Height: 5'7"
Weight: 134.5 lb 
Waist: 30 inches
Goal Weight: 127 by January 6th
Goal Waist: 27 inches by January 6th
Below is the diet plan that I have been following. I've been on the diet already for 3 days, and I started at 137, so I think it's working! It could just be water weight though.
Here are the rules for Joining my Socialite Diet Challenge:

Two Week Diet Challenge:
*Calorie intake: between 1250-1400 calories per day
 (it is unhealthy for women to eat less that 1000 calories a day, so don't modify this too much!)
*No Meat- I am allowed one cheat on Christmas though ;)
*2.5-3 litres of water
* split calories into 5-6 meals a day (3 meals and 2 snacks)
*No Fast Food (no exceptions!)

Some foods that I have included to my diet are Special K cereals, Special K protein bars, yogurt, cheese and crackers, and fruits. The biggest thing that has helped me so far is writing down everything that I eat and the calories that go with each item. That way, at the end of the day, if I'm short a few calories, I can sneak in a piece of chocolate! Yum!

Two Week Exercise Challenge:
I have decided that since I am a dancer at heart, the best exercise for me is Zumba! Plus, on the forum boards that I've read, woman have reported losing more than 1000 calories from 1 hour of intense Zumba. The only problem, is that I'm not a member of any gym, and don't have the money to do so. Therefore, I have resorted to the wonderful world of Youtube! Below are my two favorite Brazillian Zumba videos on youtube that I put on repeat and do for 2 hours a day; one hour early in the day, one hour in the evening.
The teacher's name is Helio, and he is amazing!

Anyone up for my challenge? If so, I would love to do check-ins, and possibly have a prize for the winner ;)
*I will also be launching a new series called Mission: Socialite that will give you guys the tricks that I'm using in my hopes of becoming a local socialite!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Essentials: Snowman Tea Kettle

Vintage Tea Kettle Snowman
Good Morning! I hope that you guys are enjoying my list of Holiday Essentials! Next on my list is my favorite thus far; this absolutely adorable Snowman Tea Kettle! I don't know how my winter holidays have survived without it! I found this gem at Junk To Gem on Etsy! Isn't this adorable!
Vintage Tea Kettle Snowman
Vintage Tea Kettle Snowman
With such an amazing tea kettle, I will have to leave you with an equally amazing tea recipe for the holidays! Try this super easy, and super delicious tea recipe!
Spiced Holiday Tea
2 cups water

3 tea bags (unflavored black tea)

4 star anise

1 3 inch cinnamon stick

1 cup passion fruit nectar

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. In a medium saucepan bring water to boiling. Add tea bags, anise, and cinnamon stick. Reduce heat. simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes. Discard tea bags and cinnamon stick. Stir in nectar, honey, and lemon juice. Heat through.
2. Pour tea mixture into four heat-proof cups, floating a star anise on top of each. Makes 4 servings.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Essentials: Door Wreaths

Sweet Treats Initial Christmas Wreath
Happy Holidays, everyone! To continue with my list of holiday essentials, I bring to you, Door Wreaths! I've always wanted to own a wreath because to me, they are a symbol of the happy holidays that will be coming through your door. However, I've never seen wreaths these festive before! Check out a few of my favorites, and let me know which on is your favorite! How are you decorating your door this holiday season? I'm going to talk my roommates into pitching in to buy one of these cute wreaths! Help me pick out which one below!
XL Timeless, nostalgic Americana Christmas wreath w charming vintage Santa, sweet gnome elf , loads of vintage ornaments
LIME GREEN and RED Deco Mesh Christmas Wreath
Christmas wreath with Santa
Christmas Wreath
Custom Made Santa Christmas Wreath or Gingerbread Holiday Wreath of your choice with FREE US Shipping
Which one do you like the most?
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Etsy Shop-UgChugs

Hi Everyone! Today I am sharing a Etsy shop that I found and immediately fell in love with! UgChugs is a Etsy Shop that features the most unique expression mugs that I've ever seen! Owners, Chad and Meghan Nelson are a married couple that decided to quit their jobs to open up an art studio. These two people have to be some of my favorite people in the world, especially after reading their blog! Check out a few of my favorite items below: 
Coffee Mug Soup Bowl
Pottery Cup, Blue Super Hero, Batgirl
Couple Gift, His and Her Coffee Mugs
Coffee Mug Dentist Gift
Make sure to like UgChugs' Facebook page!
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Win a Nook Simple Touch E-Reader!

Happy Holidays! Party For Autism (for those who don't know, Party for Autism is my non-profit organization) wants to make your holiday a little sweeter by offering a chance to win a Nook Simple Touch E-reader for the holidays! 
All you have to do it donate $1 to our cause for a chance to win. $1 equals 1 entry, so the more that you donate, the better your chances are of winning this prize! But act fast, the giveaway ends on December 7th at 11:59pm EST
Good Luck and thank you for your donation! All of the proceeds go back to the autism community through our college program, summer program and events throughout the year!
Click here to read about all of the Nook Simple Touch E-Reader features!
Also, make sure to visit the Party For Autism website!
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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Essentials: Holiday Mugs

Christmas Mug Cozy Green Red White Holiday Cup Cozy
Hi Everyone! I hope that you have been enjoying your holiday season! Now that it is finally December, I have prepared a list of Holiday Essentials for your holiday season. First on the list are holiday mugs! Check out a few of my favorite mugs to keep your hot mocha and ciders warm during the winter!
Whimsical Ceramic Large Round Santa Belly Mugs - Handpainted in Red and Black
Festive Snowman Grim Teacup Mug from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Soccer Snowman  travel mug cup cozy coffee blue crochet
Silly Santa Mug with Mustache and Beard
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DIY...Sweetheart Cardigan

It's that time of year for all college students; professors decide that right before the holidays and finals that they have to cram everything into our minds all at once. This is part of the reason that I have been away from you guys! I hope that you all are still doing well and having a great week! Today I would like to share pictures of my DIY t-shirt cardigan. All that I did was cut the front of a t-shirt vertically (using a ruler to make sure that it was even on both sides) and then decorate with paint! I don't encourage cutting the collar for these cardigans because I feel like it makes the cardigan floppy and not as stiff. Instead of cutting it, I painted the color for contrast:

Have a great week!

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Monday, November 7, 2011

The Small World Project- Re post!

*This is a re-post* =)
As some of you know, over the summer, I gave up Facebook because I was tired of internet interaction instead of face to face time with the people that I care about. I feel that social media websites can sometimes take the "personal" out of personal relationships. Therefore, to take a small step into a more personal mode of communication, I have proposed The Small World Project, a personal monthly snail-mail relationship between bloggers.

Four (4) Bloggers, and myself, will sign up by email on a rotation to send creative snail mails to each of the other bloggers, once per week. This group snail mail swap will continue for the entire month and then trade off with four new bloggers!
Each month's project will have different requirements; however the continuous thing between each project is that the letter must be handwritten, NOT TYPED. Also the letter may not be on a regular piece of white paper alone. The letter can be in the form of a card, on a magazine collage or a self-made painting, etc. The letter can be on white paper, as long as it is adorned in some way. 
Also, each project must include something personal from the writer. This could be a favorite recipe, a quote from a song, a picture, a postcard, etc. 
This Small World Project will begin the beginning of October. The questions for this upcoming month's Project are:

*Only rule for The Small World Project: You must own a blog. This will act as an easy screening process in keeping everybody safe ;)

I am very passionate about this project because I think that it will be so cool to know that someone across the continent will have personal information about me. Plus, I can't wait to receive my first letter so that I can get to know someone else! There are so many people on this earth, yet somehow, many people are still lonely. I know that this project won't solve that issue for everyone; however, it's a small step in making our world smaller.

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Friday, November 4, 2011

The Small World Project-Katia

Hello everyone! I am back to share with you another one of my super duper, amazing participants of the small world project, Katia! After reading her interview, check out her blog! Also, make sure to check out her art blog, Love Potato. This girl is brilliant!
Current Location:
Toronto, in Canada! Just hanging out at home!

Tell us a little about yourself:(age, school, hobbie, whatever you feel like sharing)
My name is Katia (durr) and I'm currently a design student studying Illustration in university! This pretty much sums up my hobbies too - drawing, painting, creating. I write, I knit, I do all sorts of artsy creative things, I sometimes lose count! On the other end of the hobby-spectrum however, I really love running/jogging! Because I have such a wide range of hobbies and things I love to do, I tend to keep myself extremely busy and take on far too many projects - but that's okay, I love it, I love accomplishing so many things even if they're super little things! I can be a workaholic, but I can be lazy too. I can be a total stay-at-home-and-play-video-games geek, but I also love going out with my friends. I guess I'm just a big mix of everything :)

Tell us about your blog:
Which one?!! Hahaha, the blog I put the most focus on at the moment is Kitty Snooks (my other is Love Potatoe). Kitty Snooks started as a feel-good project for me, something positive for me to focus on. The name "Kitty Snooks" comes from two nicknames that friends have given me, and I thought they sounded rather cute together so I stuck with it! It's basically a personal/lifestyle/fashion blog, though I rarely find the time for outfit pictures - being a student and balancing a social life, school work, a job, and all my hobbies can get really hectic (But so fun!). It's kind of a silly place for me to post my thoughts and hope that maybe someone will find something enjoyable or helpful out of it :)

What inspired you to join The Small World Project?
I have always, always wanted a pen pal. I LOVE LETTERS. My favourite part about going to summer camps when I was younger was always getting and sending letters home! Even though I was unable to participate with mail, and had to receive emails, I still absolutely loved writing out my letters to everyone else and imagining them opening up the letters and having my written words with them all the way wherever they are! 
What is your definition of cool?
Cool to me is different for each person. Everyone has something special that makes them cool - whether they let that part of them thrive or not is a different story. I find that a person's 'cool' side shines through the most when they are humble, natural, true-to-themselves people who see the world positively. It also depends greatly on how they treat other people, if they are kind-hearted and caring and considerate or not. Meaning that loud can be totally cool, quiet can be totally cool, outrageous can be totally cool, reserved can be totally cool, it doesn't matter at all so long as you're always REAL and KIND. 

How do  you fit this definition? What makes you cool?
I don't know if I'd call myself cool! I'm actually a total geek in so many ways, but I guess I always try to be kind towards others and am always considering others' feelings whether I know them well or not. I also try to be myself as much as possible, even if that means geeking out at pictures of cute puppies in class, or laughing until I go beat-red and something funny I saw while looking out the window, in front of all my classmates and my profs. 

Who inspires you to be cool?
My friends. I have this amazing group of friends from highschool who I learned to be myself with. They can be the biggest group of 5 year olds, we would make faces at each other from across the room in classes, we'd make up silly nicknames for each other, but we'd also all support each other and stick by one another when we went through rough patches. Now, in university and still as close as ever, I know that these are REAL people, and that's the ultimate cool :)

If your life could have a theme song or a motto, what would it be?
"When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you a tough situation, make the best of it."
I sort of worked that one out in my head years back when I was going through some rough stuff, and since then it's helped me through every other rough patch I've been through!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Small World Project-Melissa

Hello everyone! Before we prepare for our second month of The Small World Project (we still have two spots left! email me if you are interested!), I would like to make sure that you know a little bit more about the lovely ladies who started the first cycle! Today's participant is the lovely, Melissa! Make sure to check our her blog after you finish reading her interview!

Current Location: Boone, NC (the cutest little mountain city in Western North Carolina!)

Tell us a little about yourself:(age, school, hobbie, whatever you feel like sharing) I'm a 21 year old student attending Appalachian State University studying Public Relations with a focus in nonprofit organizations and minoring in Sociology! I graduate this May (yay!) so I'm on my way to figuring out my next step. I have a ton of hobbies and am the type of person to fill up my day with activities. Sometimes I tend to over schedule myself, I just love to experience everything. My main hobbies include photography, thrifting, arts and crafts, diy projects and traveling. I love supporting local restaurants and local businesses.

Tell us about your blog: My blog is a little of everything in my life. I share my photography, adventures, little projects, things I'm obsessed with, stories and everything in between. I'm still trying to find my blog "niche," but so far it's just been a great outlet for my creativity and for making new friends.

What inspired you to join The Small World Project? Meeting new people! I absolutely love it. I feel as though everyone has a story to tell and I want to be able to meet strangers and exchange stories. I am such a huge fan of handwritten letters and I always try my hardest to send handwritten thank you notes. As much as I love the internet, blogging and email, nothing compares to receiving a letter in the mail.

What is your definition of cool? Cool is confidence. Not that cocky-over-the-top confidence, but the confidence and respect you have for yourself and those around it. It's to be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else. Cool is knowing what you want and knowing what's best for you, and fighting for it.
How do you fit this definition? What makes you cool? I like to think that I have a good head on my shoulders and I can't say that I know what's best for me all the time, but I definitely strive for it. I strive to stay true to myself and have respect for myself and everyone around me.

Who inspires you to be cool?  I have the greatest support system. I have the best friends and a stronger family. They inspire me daily to be true to myself and be everything that they know I can be!

If your life could have a theme song or a motto, what would it be? My favorite motto would be, "The only constant is change." Change is constantly happening in my life along with everyone else and its important to be able to accept those changes and and go with it. I like to think that I'm adaptable and that is an important key to living life. Accept change!

Anything else? Blogging has just opened up so many doors for me and I really have made a great network of friends! I can't wait to see what else blogging will bring to my life. I'm pretty new to it, but I absolutely love meeting new people and changing strangers into friends.

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