Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ho Ho Ho.....

Ho, ho, ho....
It's December 23rd.
Life is bustling.
Life is busy.
Life is mostly so very, very good.
Life can also be scary.
Our lives were all shaken recently. 
Regardless of whatever "side" of the political fence you're on. 
As human beings, with souls, we've collectively shared events that have shaken us.
I won't go into such events here. 
That's not the point of this little blog.
No. The point of this little blog is to say that I believe people are fundamentally good. 
I also believe that it's my responsibility to put good, loving, positive energy out into the world and hope it watch it grow. Plant the seed, if you will. 
I want to be that person. 
Or, as my friend Karen says, be the butterfly.
So, here's me flapping my little wings in attempt to spread holiday cheer, be it a holiday or not.
I just felt like sharing today. Sharing snippets of life that bring me joy...
Family. Work. Music. Food. Wine. Children.
I hope you take some time to really embrace the things that bring your (yes, your, with an "r.") joy, as well.
And, I hope you take some time to share it with the world.
Peace to you and yours.
Happy holidays!




This guy.

And, shoes. (why not?)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Thrifty & Fabulous: Nailed it!

Here I am! 
Again I will say, it's been awhile.
Much has changed since my last post. I have indeed graduated from cosmetology school and begun work at a beautiful Spa (more on that sometime soon). I have also become an Aunt once again with the arrival of my nephew Judson, born on Eloise's birthday!
Life is good. Very, very good.
But, this post isn't about that. This particular post is supposed to be thrifty. And, fabulous!
Now that I am immersed into daily life as a nail technician, I thought something in that field might be apropos. Part of doing nails is, of course, nail art. In fact, that's one of my favorite things about this profession: getting to play and create mini "works of art".
Here are a some recent little projects...

One of the tools used to create the dots and small shapes above is a dotter. 
This is the set I have. They come in several sizes.

These aren't expensive. You can buy a 4 piece set online for less than $10.00. The thing is, you don't have to! You can create a your own dotting tool from items you already have at home.
A pencil with a pin stuck into the eraser will do the trick.

As will a toothpick.

The rounded end of a small paint brush...

Or, bobbypins!

Best yet, use all of these options to create different sizes. Can't get much more thrifty than free. And, nail art is rather fabulous if I do say so myself. (And, I do!)

Have fun! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oh, hello, stranger!

Announcement: Chandelierious has not dropped off the planet!!!!
Well, okay, maybe it did for awhile there. 
I generally follow the rule of if there's not much to say, and no time to say it, don't. 
So, yeah. That.
These last few months have been the busiest of my life. The abridged version: I did a complete 180 from pursuing a career in interior decorating services to becoming a full-time cosmetology student. I will always-always-always have passion for all things decor, and plan to enjoy working on projects here and there as they pop up. Certainly for myself, but also for friends or clients. But, soon my "9-5 days" will be spent in a salon or spa setting. And, I'm really psyched about that!
In 2 short weeks I will have graduated both the Waxing & Nail Specialty Programs at Shear Ego International School of Hair Design, and entered the world of making people feel beautiful and good about themselves with mani-pedi-love, while expressing myself creatively with nail art and enhancements, and satisfying my desire to connect with people and build loyal client relationships.
The last two months have been a whirlwind! School each day from 9-4pm, balancing being as present a mother/sister/aunt/daughter/friend/girlfriend/
student as possible, while also finding time to rehearse, open and close the musical [title of show].
Like everyone, that time had other ups and downs, and challenges, as well. But, we won't go into that. Suffice it to say, I am "back"! At least when inspiration hits and I feel like there is something to say. (I admit I'm rather wordy, so there's usually something to say!)                                                                   
At the moment, inspiring me are the changing leaves, the smell of Fall, pumpkins (and anything pumpkin flavored), my boyfriend's new house, my almost 9 year old daughter, my future career, the idea of truly starting over, the possibility of what's to come...
Many see Fall as depressing: the leaves falling off the trees, the weather getting colder and wetter, the light of day shorter... I never have. Fall has always moved me. Made me feel change, good change, in the air. And, there are some very, very good changes ahead!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

[title of post] is [title of show]

Oh, whoa.
August just wooshed right by there, didn't it?
Hello, September! 
Hello, "back to school", pencils, folders, 3-ring binders, school buses, and OPI rolling trunks filled with nail tech supplies (if you're me going to cosmetology school, that is)...
Hello, [title of show] the musical opening September 14th at Blackfriars Theatre!

                      (more on that in a moment.)

Writing a blog is a personal thing. Like life, it ebbs and flows. Sometimes you can't shut me up, and sometimes I am either a) too busy to write, or b) I have nothing to say, or c) both a and b.
Or.... It's summer and I'm simply summering... be it having a lazy day in the A.C. with Ellie, bebopping around Seabreeze Amusement Park, weekending in New Jersey, or rehearsing for a new musical.
Yes, a new musical: [title of show].
Yes, that's the title.
A musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical.
If you live in or around the Rochester area and love musicals, and musicals about loving/writing musicals, I highly recommend it! Plus, I'm in it, so of course I will plug it incessantly. It's downright funny. And mildly naughty. Lot's of swearing; don't bring your kids. Though, I admit, Eloise has been to several rehearsals and survived, so, I digress.
"Ellie, don't say these words."
"Ok, mama."

Click here for a little tongue in cheek YouTube video we made that was inspired by the original cast's "infomercial" about the show. (And by inspired I mean copied completely, word for word.)

Hope you'll come!
In the meantime, please cherish these last few days of summer break.
I will probably disappear here for another stretch of time... but, I expect that once cosmetology school is well underway, the show is up and running, and my friends that have some decorating projects for me to help out with, I will be back in full chandelierious force!

Happy September!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Staples, you say? Yes! Staples!

Want to go somewhere and find hot pink desk chairs, Muppet backpacks or zebra print power strips? Look no further than Staples, my darlings! STAPLES.
There are some seriously cool things in there! 
For "cheap"! Eloise and I stopped in the other day to have something bound, and happily browsed around for awhile.
They've been touting back-to-school items for sometime now, but, we loved some of the finds!

Why, hello adorable french poodle USB hub! 
I love you! Especially for $10.00.

Here's that pink chair I mentioned. Even the legs are sleek and shiny. $39.99? Not bad at all!

More angel/devil style USB cuteness for $7.00.

We've all seen the black stiletto, but how fabulous is the pink heeled tape dispenser?! Also $7.00.

Power strips are ugly. True story. Why not make yours zebra, and, not ugly?

These hightop style change purses caught Eloise's eye...

And, last, and never least... to know me is to know of my love of all things Muppet. 
The piece de resistance:

This was difficult not to bring home with us. At $19.99, there's still a chance it might find it's way into our lives.

Happy Stapling!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Simply, Saturday: Spotted!

Two sassy discoveries to share on this, well, sassy Saturday.
#1. Nerd alert!!!!!!!!

Yes!!! Love these! I found them at Target. They incorporate a few hot trends: neon, metallics, and, geeks. 
Right on.

#2.  AUDREY.....oh, Audrey....

(There's a little Marilyn thrown in there for good measure!)
These wall hangings were a fun find at The Icing, of all places!

Friday, July 6, 2012

We're Back!

The holiday is over... no more parades or fireworks. Alas, the 4th of July is now behind us.
Hopefully, we all still have plenty of cook-outs, corn on the cob and watermelon to look forward to this summer! But, those of us looking for something new to plan might wonder: Now what?
Go to the theater!!!!
There are always so many great things to see during the summer. And, what better way to spend an hour or two on a scorching hot day than in an air-conditioned theater, being entertained by some of Rochester's (or, wherever you happen to be) finest?
Locally, I recommend:
The JCC CenterStage's production of one of my favorite musicals: Spring Awakening, opening on July 14th. 
Blackfriars Theatre's staging of the late, great Nora Ephron's play Love, Loss and What I Wore, opening July 13th.
And, opening this weekend on July 8th, also at Blackfriars, Tom Foolery, a collection of smart and silly tunes by Tom Lehrer, which, oh yeah, I happen to be in!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thrifty & Fabulous!

Sometimes I am a "bad" blogger and don't post for weeks at a time. Life happens, what can I say? And sometimes life happens so fast that, even with the best of intentions, I will start a little bitty thrifty and fabulous project and before I know it: Oops! I'm done. And I didn't document it with pictures!
Such is the case with today's post.
I was recently browsing the clearance aisles at Michael's craft store when I saw some adorable fabric flowers in bright colors and polka dots. (I don't know if you've heard, but, I love me some bright colors and polka dots!)
Ideas drifted in and out of my head about what I could do with them: Fasten them onto some barrette's for Lulu...? Glue them onto a frame...? Aha! I know! I will make some sassy refrigerator magnets out of them and give them away in sets as small tokens to teachers, my Mom because she just rocks, and so on. Yes! That's what I will do, I thought.
And, yes, that is what I did!
I bought several colors: hot pink, bright blue, black and white and white and black. (Heh.)

(I did manage to take two photos at some point during the process!)

While I was still at Michael's, I found a package of round peel and stick magnets for $1.99 at the check-out. I knew the flowers would need something more adhesive than that though and I had my handy glue gun at home. 
So, a bit of hot glue-gunning later and voila!

(small, round magnet glued to the back of the flower.)

They aren't going to win a crafting contest, but a set of these magnets are a cute, cost effective (for about $12.00 total I made 5 sets of 4 magnets) hostess gift, teacher gift or just because gift. It couldn't be easier!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fun & Easy Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July!

I don't know how it got here so quickly, but, here we are on the cusp of July already!
Happy Summer!
I love the 4th of July. No, scratch that. I love the days leading up to the 4th and the holiday itself. In my little neck of the woods, and I am sure in yours, too, we celebrate for a couple of days prior to the main event. Festivities including craft sales and street dances happen at our Town Hall before culminating in a parade down our "Main St." Titus Avenue on the big day. It's fun. It's familiar. It's tradition. 
Whatever your plans may be, here are some easy ways to celebrate next week yourselves!

Hosting a party? It really couldn't be easier than these fruit skewers:

And, how great does this look?

I love trifle.
Did I say love? Because I really LOVE trifle! The recipe that goes with this particular fruit trifle can be found here, however, I will share my even easier recipe:
I buy a pre-made angel food cake, any variety of fruit, cool whip and any flavor pudding that strikes my fancy. After preparing the pudding, cutting up the fruit and the cake into bite-sized pieces, I simply layer each ingredient one atop the the other until I finish it all off with a layer of whipped cream and decorative assortment of berries. I let it set and chill in the fridge for a bit before serving. It's always a big hit, and being angel food cake, it's not a heavy dessert. Preparing it with real whipped cream and homemade custard saves you from preservatives and other unsavory things, but, naturally, takes more time. Up to you and your personal preferences, of course, but a trifle is always a hit!

Bomb Pops are a classic kid summer favorite. Here's an "adult" version in cocktail form!

I love this idea below! This is simply rough cut fabric turned into napkins!

How about showing some 4th of July love on your finger nails? (That anchor could simply be swapped out for tiny stars!)

Lastly, any festive, patriotic gathering should have a soundtrack. (Well, honestly, I think life in general should have a soundtrack!)
Please, please, please, for the love of all that is Red, White & Blue, don't forget to blast some Neil Diamond "America." 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tips-y Tuesday

Happy Tips-y Tuesday!
For some really clever ideas on simplifying your life, hot tips on making your everyday household chore list easier, and creative projects to do with your kids, check out one of my new Pinterest boards: Kids! Family! Home!

Learn how to make glittery "tooth fairy money"....

Homemade sunburn relief...

Find out how to clean your toilet with Coke.
(Wha???!!! Yes. Coke!)

And my personal favorite, completely genius, tip of the day: 

Get pinning!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Thrifty & Fabulous!

Straight away I will offer that I can't take credit for this post.  I can say I was well aware of a several of these tips, but, not all, so I owe this one to my Mom! (Props to you, Mom!)
She sent me this... it's one of those mass email thingamabobs. There's no way of know exactly where it originated, but, man, these are some share worthy, thrifty & fabulous tips!

Coffee Filters rock! (And, you can totally buy them at the Dollar Tree.)
Here we go...

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome... Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters..

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them.. It soaks out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers.."

15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliquéing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18 Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car..

19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.

21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a zip-lock plastic bag until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book.

25. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.

26. Great in the tool room when separating nails and screws then use in to bottom of containers to remove moisture and prevent rust.

Here is where I throw in my 2 cents:
They can be used to make some seriously lovely crafts! Just look at these coffee filter flowers and wreath.

I will tackle one of these projects soon for another Thrifty & Fabulous post.
In the meantime, make use of this handy, everyday item!