Screwtop Wine Bar

Lately, the bar scene hasn't been doing much for me. Go on and call me an old lady, but these days my face lights up when I tell people I have no plans for the weekend. I used to love going out, and I still do when the right mood strikes, but it usually just ends up being an expensive and crowded night and I crap out way earlier than everyone else. And then get grumpy.

However, when a friend asked me to go out and check out Screwtop Wine Bar in Clarendon on Saturday night, I figured I could make an exception. Now that, my friends, is my place. A warm and cozy space with long tables sprinkled throughout a room enclosed by shelves of wine and snacks. By the time we got there, it was pretty full but we put our names on the list and ordered a glass of wine. After less than 45 minutes, we sat down at the bar and ordered a cheese flight of Manchego, Goat Gouda, and Bemmster.....and another glass of wine.

Pardon the crappy phone pics that I've spruced up with Instagram.

I love cheese, and I love wine. So basically, I love this place. Only thing that could make the night better was a kick-ass dessert. We shared an oversized helping of the Oreo Bread Pudding (which, on our third glass of wine, was gone in about three minutes before I thought to take a picture).

Of course, I thought to take a picture of myself though. Always a blogger.

In addition to the cheese and desserts, Screwtop also offers a full dinner and brunch menu and the prices are fairly reasonable. Also--free parking! *Don't worry, we weren't driving.

As soon as I arrived home, I promptly passed out on the couch. Yep, still an old lady...


Little Red Dress

OK, I know I said I was committed to the whole blogging thing this year. Really, I am! Sometimes.

Maybe I should have modified that with a) when the mood strikes, b) I'm feeling creative, c) I actually like my outfit and have some time to take photos before I get home and cozy up in yoga pants and a hoodie, or d) I have new clothes to show off.

Lucky for you, today is all of the above!

Several weekends ago, my family came down to spend some time with us, celebrate my dad's birthday, and of course, to see this new house of ours. While Ian and my Dad were bonding watching Lincoln, my mom, sister, and I bonded in our favorite way--shopping. DUH! It was a successful day spent in Woodbridge of all places, as we toured a new thrift store (B Thrifty-meh), returned to an old favorite (Savers-yay!), and discovered the amazingness that is Potomac Mills. 

I filled up my basket at Savers with some new tops and decor for the home (the paintings from my previous post!) but was especially excited to pull this dress out of the racks. I'm just assuming it's vintage--who knows! It feels vintage. But it also seems handmade, as there are no tags to be found. Either way, I loved the color and pattern, and ended up fitting pretty darn good.

Speaking of awesome red things--notice that FABULOUS red radio lurking in the corner? That was a Christmas present from my dad, an avid antique radio collector and enthusiast. It's a real vintage Motorola radio from 1956 that he bought and fixed up so that it really works! Thanks Pa!


Thrifty Decor: Local Art

I don't know about you, but it was a GREAT weekend for the Brodies. My family was here to see the house for the first time, and Saturday was spent shopping and doing some major damage at the outlets and thrift stores of Northern VA while Ian and my Dad bonded over lunch and Lincoln. You really can't beat that.

Lately, my thrifting trips have been more focused on finding things for our home more than they've been about finding more clothes that I don't need. Hah, don't get me wrong--I still manage to come home with clothes I don't need. But lately, I've been scoring some great home decor (remember my Goodwill end tables?) On Saturday, as I was perusing the aisle of creepy and cheesy paintings at Saver's, I came across some great local art prints, still in the plastic, for $4.99 each. 

We picked up some white frames from Ikea and they fit perfectly! The white frame and bright colors in the painting look great against the dark paint in a corner that was previously undecorated.

I love that, room by room, the house is slowly starting to come together. Right now, I am still in the 'change around the wall art every weekend until I'm happy with it' stage--which I've been told never ends--but today, I am loving it. 

Also--check out our new rug! Snagged from Ross's in a big after Christmas sale. Good job Ian.


Chunky Scarves: Three Ways

Happy Thursday! 

After a few days being out of commission with a winter cold/sickness misery, I'm happy to finally be back to myself. Seriously, the older I get the more of a wimp I am about being sick. All I can say is thank God for Nyquill and Puffs with Lotion!

 Today I'm excited to be sharing some ideas on how to wear a cozy, chunky scarf with three of my favorite bloggers, Madeline and Stephie. You might remember our post from the Fall where we showcased ankle boots; we wanted to do it again, this time with a winter staple.

I absolutely looooove scarves! I just about have one that matches every outfit, but I knew for this particular scarf I needed to wear it with my Kohl's sweater I snagged in an after-Christmas sale (70-80% off of the already clearanced price. I was a happy girl that day). I bought the sweater in a bigger size than I'd usually wear so that I could pull it over a pair of cozy leggings (thrifted) and wear with boots (Marshall's). 

Check out how Madeline and Stephie styled their scarfy looks today! (And give a little extra congrats to Madeline, who just got engaged!)


DIY Sunburst Mirror

Wasn't I just saying I was going to be a blog that is more than just outfits and DIY's? Well, for my first real post of the year I have a little project that I whipped up after some inspiration from not only Pinterest, but from NOT wanting to pay a crazy amount of money for a decoration I have had my eyes on ever since moving into our new home.

I love the look of retro sunburst mirrors, and knew that it would make a great statement on our dark living room walls. However, what I don't love is the price tag attached to these things. I'm talking anywhere from $80 to $400+ for a real vintage sunburst mirror, not even factoring in shipping! Oh, the horror!

I thought they seemed easy enough to make, and with a little bit of guidance from a few different blogs, I came up with my own sunburst mirror for the wall at a miniscule fraction of the price you would pay at a store.

First things first, here's what you're going to need:

(All supplies from Joann Fabrics)
1 round craft mirror (I used 10")...$4.99
1 round wooden plaque...$1.79
12''x1/4'' wooden dowel rods (10 in a bag) @ .99 ea...$2.97
Small round glass mirrors (varied sizes) @$1.99 ea...$3.98
Sawtooth hangers...$2.49
Gorilla glue...~8.00
White spray paint...already had at home, but is $6.49 at Joann's

You will also need a hot glue gun and a hammer.

TOTAL: $30.71
**Note: I'm sure you can get most of this stuff for even cheaper at Walmart or another store....but I had a Joann's gift card. :)

First, I set out my mirror and wooden rods just to play with how I wanted to arrange the rods. I went for a long-short pattern, but do whatever feels good. This way, you can also figure out how many rods you're going to need to paint.

Next, take those bad boys outside or to a well-ventilated area and spray paint the crap out of them. You'll probably need to do several coats to get them looking nice and bright.

Hint: I didn't prime or sand them first. It might be a less frustrating process if you do. Just sayin'. Also--round things that roll around are really hard to spray paint evenly.

The spray paint I used said it would be dry to the touch within twenty minutes, but I ended up letting them dry for at least an hour between coats, and then let it dry overnight after the final coat before attaching them to the mirror. 

While they are drying, I made the wall mount. I took the wooden plaque and attached a sawtooth hanger to the back. The package of hangers came with tiny little nails that you can use to attach it.

Once the rods are completely dry, it's time to bust out the almighty hot glue gun.

Lay the painted rods out on the mirror again, because once you start gluing, you gotta act fast.

It's not going to look pretty on the back. Don't worry about it.

Hot glue dries remarkably fast, so once you get them all glued down let them sit for a few moments. 

Now, flip it over! You're almost done!

Now, attach the little round mirrors to the front of the rods in any pattern you would like. 

While these are drying, prep the wooden disc to attach to the back of the mirror. When using Gorilla Glue, the wooden surface needs to be wet lightly with a paper towel. I drizzled a very light covering of glue on the side of the disc without the hanger before attaching it to the back of the mirror.

The glue will set best with something heavy sitting on it, so grab some books or whatever you have near to rest on top for a solid hour or two.

And that's all there is to it! I'm still trying to find the perfect spot on the wall for it, but I had to hang it up right away to snap some photos. I am absolutely thrilled with how it turned out!

Don't forget to take some Windex to the smudgy mirror...

Don't you just love when things turn out?


A New Year

Hey folks! I'm back!

You maybe noticed I've been absent around these parts for a few weeks. I seemed to come down with a case of the winter creativity blahs where I realized that I had fallen into a blogging rut and lacked the motivation to do something about it. You know, kind of like complaining about the extra pudge you seemed to pack on over the holidays, but doing so while sitting on the couch in your sweats and not doing a damn thing about it. Which may or may not have also happened to me during my little blah time. So what's a girl to do?

This time of year is always a bit of a bummer for me, as I'm sure it is for many, as the excitement of the holidays is over, goodbyes are said to friends and family back home, and the reality of going back to work starts to set in. I had a ton of pictures and stories from my Christmas break, but truthfully, the idea of blogging about it just wasn't really important to me. This year, rather than trying to capture every little thing and think of everything that happened as a 'blog story', I just let myself enjoy the time with my loved ones. Which, believe me, as a blogging addict was hard to do at first! But once I didn't have the pressure of capturing every moment on camera, the whole thing was just so much more enjoyable. Only thing was, I was so used to it by the time we got back after Christmas to enjoy the rest of the week off, that I just forgot about blogging completely. OK, not forgot--but more like put it at the back of my mind.

I've also been thinking about the purpose of this space and what exactly I'm trying to be as a blogger. Sometimes I miss just writing about life, and too often I find myself sucked into the easy trap of taking photos of myself and writing quippy little comments about my outfits. I didn't originally start this as a fashion blog, and I don't plan on making it solely that. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the blogs that I read and all the other ones out there that I haven't discovered and think about how small and insignificant blogging here seems sometimes. I mean, you have people out there making a living off of their blog and responding to hundreds of readers every day. At this point, is there really anything new to write about? Everybody loves DIY projects and cupcakes and Pinterest and DSLR cameras. What really separates me from everyone else out there?

Maybe it's just being myself and sharing my stories. And I am making a commitment that in 2013, I am going to do my best to make this a blog that people not only enjoy reading, but can maybe find as a refreshment from everything else out there. That's not to say I won't be posting outfits, recipes, and DIY projects--because believe me, there will be plenty of that- but I hope to do something a little more this year. Even if it's just to challenge myself to get a little more creative than usual. Because no one ever died from thinking outside the box, right?

Anyway, 2013 is going to be great. I have so many ideas for our home, for this blog, and for making myself a better wife and person.

And this isn't because I've spent way too much time on Pinterest lately. Really.

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