Soup, Jewelry, Blog Loving, Crafting/Boozing

Yet another few items crossed off my 30 Before 30 In 30 list:

1. Come up with a great soup recipe and share it

I made this for our dinner Sunday night along with grilled paninis using garlic naan, hard salami, feta cheese, and roasted red peppers.

32 oz. chicken broth (I used Swanson's low sodium broth)
2 cups frozen cut okra, unthawed
15.5 oz. can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 package pork sausage
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 jalapeno

Roll sausage into small balls.  In a crockpot, combine all ingredients.  Throw the half of a jalapeno in the soup just for seasoning and remove before serving.  Or else you might create enemies.  Cook on high for approximately 3 hours.  To reduce the fat in the soup, cook the day before you want to eat it and refrigerate -- skim off the top film of (ahem) fat from the soup and reheat.

9.  List 5 new items on my A. Liz Designs Etsy website

I so love this necklace and parting will be such sweet sorrow.  But check her out and some other fun necklaces and vintage bangles in my A. Liz Designs Etsy store!

20.  Find a new blog I love and post about it

Kate from The Anniversary Home, I have a total crush on your blog!  Ya'll, Kate and her cute English hubby have put a lot of love and sweat equity into their Victorian farmhouse (including an incredible kitchen renovation seen here that they just completed) and now they face big changes as a job is moving them to a new state.  She's such a funny person to follow on Twitter and I've had a lot of fun following along recently with her cute blog.  Please pay her a visit and say hello!

23.  Organize a craft night with girlfriends

This craft night will actually be a craft afternoon this coming weekend, and the girls have been instructed to bring their hot glue gun, cookies, and booze!  We are going to have a jolly good time putting some wreaths together and nursing our hot glue burns.  I'm hosting it at our house and I can't WAIT.


It's Christmas Card Time!

It seems like each year I get into crunch time with Christmas cards.  I order them late in the game and then put a lot of pressure on myself to address them all (in calligraphy, no less!) and send them out as quickly as possible.  Incorrect addresses, running out of stamps, getting low on calligraphy ink -- EEK!

So this year I made it part of my 30 Before 30 In 30 list ... number 7, in fact ... to order Christmas cards in a timely fashion.  No stress, no hurrying, just pure fun!

I've chosen to go with holiday cards from Tiny Prints this year because of their fantastic selection, great customer service, and sheer cuteness factor.  I mean, is it just me, or does it seem like every time you get the cutest invitation or birth announcement and turn it over, there's the Tiny Prints logo?!

Want to see some of my faves?  In no particular order, I present to you what I'm loving from the Tiny Prints site:

Love And Cheer found here.

Chic Sophistication found here.

Classy Wishes found here.

Festive First found here.

Captured Moment found here.

Merry Romance found here.

Colorful Tape found here.

Can I brag on Tiny Prints a little more?  Their site contains a filter on the left side bar which makes choosing your card from the hundreds available much easier.  For example, I knew I wanted our cards to be flat notecards (rather than folded - I want to be able to sign our names & that's it!) and 5x7 or 7x5 shape.  So I just clicked those boxes and it whittled down the possibilities.

Now if only I could make a decision....
What's your favorite of the above choices?

DIY Ribbon Christmas Tree

During the holidays, there is nothing more that I love than cranking up the Christmas music, pouring a glass of cabernet, heating up the hot glue gun, and tackling a DIY project!

This past weekend I did just that.  During a recent craft store visit, my mental gears started turning and I found myself at the cash register with a few extra "ingredients."

So here's the final product of my DIY Ribbon Christmas Tree and also instructions on how you can make your own!

What you'll need:
  • Foam tree
  • 4 spools 7/8" ribbon (I started off with one spool and went back for 3 more)
  • Wreath pick for the topper
  • Straight pins ... hot glue may be used as a substitute 

So in regards to the ribbon, I think the spools contained 3 yards (9 feet) each.  After buying just one and then quickly running out, I went back for more only to find that I couldn't find 3 matching spools.  I could only find one.  So I have 2 spools each of 2 different gold ribbons, both the same 7/8" size, and I decided to alternate rows of the ribbon.

One was wired and one was not, and my preference for future projects is the non-wired ribbon.

Cut your ribbon into strips that are the same length -- mine were approximately 2 inches each.  Starting at the bottom, fold your ribbon strip in half and use a straight pin to push it into the foam tree form.  When beginning the second row, make sure those loops cover the straight pins you used for the first row.

Keep working your way around and upward until you are at the top.  Stick the wreath pin in the very top and fan it out to cover the raw edges of the ribbons on the top row.

Cute, right?!

Here's a cost breakdown of this project:
  • Foam tree - $5.99 before using 50% off coupon from the Michaels iPhone app - best thing ever, by the way - so $3.00
  • Four spools ribbon - $1/ea for a total of $4.00
  • Wreath pick - $0.65
  • Straight pins - $3.99
    • TOTAL: $11.64
I had a lot of fun with this project, and thanks to Hopsy for letting me join in her DIY Holiday Gift Idea Link Up today!  Make sure to check out her post today to see all of the fun crafts that fellow bloggers have been working on.

PS - Looking for customized Christmas presents for family or friends?  May as well WIN some for your loved ones in my Preppy Cards giveaway, which ends this Thursday at midnight! 


Have You Ever?!

Ya'll.  I swear I have the most creative family.  My Aunt Karen has been saving up wine bottle corks and finally debuted this beauty to us:

Have you ever?!

It took her lots of hours and even more glasses of vino (okay, she had a little help from us on the supply!) but I'd say it was well worth it.

If you'd like for me to put you in contact with her to see about having a wreath made for your own home, drop me a line at [email protected].

PS - Have you entered my Preppy Cards giveaway yet for a lovely trio of customized items?  The deadline is Thursday at midnight with a winner announced this Friday!

Honeymoon Recap

Today is a very special day -- our six month wedding anniversary!  Yes, we've made it half of a year.  What better time to cross off a certain item on my 30 Before 30 In 30 list:

29.  Share honeymoon pictures with you all

So here we go.  I'll keep it mainly pictures since there are so many.  We honeymooned at Secrets Sanctuary in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.  It was our first time there and we still rave about the resort to this day.  It was all-inclusive and the restaurants were fabulous -- a combination that is hard to find sometimes.  We met great friends who shared our same wedding date and live only about 10 minutes away from us here in Charlotte.  It was such a memorable and fun honeymoon.


My Second Vlog + Mamas Got A Brand New Bag

Another item crossed off the 30 Before 30 IN 30 list ...

13.  Upload a vlog

I'd just returned from Marshalls where I had a total shopping coup.  See what I got!

PS - Have you entered my Preppy Cards giveaway yet?  Can't wait to announce the winner this Friday!

PPS - Another great giveaway at Sweet Nothings this week! 


Preppy Cards Giveaway

Last week received a package from a giveaway I won last month from Preppy Cards.  What's better than that?!

Preppy Cards has such cute items, and in this particular giveaway that they hosted, I won one of their candles.  Ya'll - I can't brag enough about this thing.  It came wrapped so prettily, and with two coordinating matchboxes.

And it smells amazing.  I chose the colors to match our den, and our married monogram is in the middle of the candle.  I am so in love with it!

If I weren't excited enough about this candle, I'm now happy to say that Preppy Cards is helping me cross another item off of my 30 Before 30 IN 30 list --

15.  Host a really fun blog giveaway

I can't think of a better way to celebrate my blog's first birthday, and in the spirit of the holidays, to give something back to you for being such awesomely fabulous readers. 

One special winner will take home a lovely trio of items:
  • A set of 10 Preppy Cards personalized notecards
  • A set of 40 Preppy Cards gift stickers
  • A set of 120 Preppy Cards return address labels
And the best part is, you get to choose from so many cute patterns so they are just your style.

So, now the fun part!  You can earn multiple entries for the following:
  1. Follow A. Liz Adventures on Twitter (@alizadventures)
  2. Follow the A. Liz Adventures blog
  3. Visit Preppy Cards and come back here to comment on your favorite item (example: "I would love to have the return address labels with the green artichoke on them from The Culinary Collection")
  4. Tweet about the giveaway
  5. Blog about the giveaway
That's six potential entries!  Please leave a separate comment for each entry you've earned.

The giveaway will run from now until midnight on Thursday, December 1st.  I'll announce the winner on Friday, December 2 -- right in time for you to place an order for the holidays, if desired.  :)

Best of luck, and thanks to Preppy Cards for their generous giveaway!


Thanksgiving Calories Don't Count.

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never seen a lump!

May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Love & Hugs
from April


An Update!

It's time for a quick update on the 30 Before 30 IN 30 list!

Here are the items that I crossed off my list recently:

6. Pay a visit to our local library
I went to the library closest to my office during my lunchbreak.  Since I love reading on my Kindle, I was so jazzed to talk to the helpful lady at the information desk who told me about how to rent books right there on my e-reader!  You can choose the length of time that you have a book -- 7 days, 14 days, 21 days.  And it's completely free!  How cool is that?

Another neat thing -- the library was having a book sale when I visited.  Paperbacks were only a quarter each!  For $0.75 I walked out owning three new books -- Jewel by Bret Lott (my mom loved it and it was an Oprah book club selection) and the Fodor's guides for the Carribbean and Northern California.  I'd love for Ian and I to be able to take a trip to Napa or Sonoma one day in the not so distant future, so here's hoping that we'll be using this guide soon!

16. Attend a yoga class
I took this class last Saturday.  The teacher was sweet and the back of my arms hurt for a full 3 days after the class.  It was a good class but I think I'll stick to my cardio classes going forward.

21. Take a half-day at work just for my own mental health
I did this last Friday and left at lunchtime.  It was awesome.  Who doesn't love a good mental health day?!

22. Get a haircut and try something a little new!
Okay, here goes.  I started off with my hair looking like this:

And then found myself in a chair looking rather alien-ish and wondering if I should have just stuck to a normal hair trimming ....

We went with a slightly tinted gloss that is just a tad darker than my regular hair color, and just for fun, added a touch of red in.  Here's how it looked when the stylist dried it straight -- 

And after I styled it with my hot rollers.  

We just took about an inch off of the total length and touched up the layers - I also went a little shorter on my side bangs. 

This coming Friday I'll be crossing off one more item from my list as I host a FABULOUS giveaway!  Make sure to visit me on Friday to get the scoop and get yourself entered. 

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