Friday, October 26, 2012

Where I've Been...

I've been MIA lately - October has proved to be a crazy month!

This month, the non profit I work for has our biggest fundraiser of the year - the Haunted House.  This has kept many of our volunteers busy for months - the building, creating, marketing, etc - it's a ton of work... but fun work.

Myself and a small committee of others have worked diligently to plan our Premiere Dinner and Costume Ball.  This is the big fundraiser dinner that we hope raises thousands of dollars to keep our Organization going.  It's taken months of preparations - between getting our 60 auction items, and 6 live auction items nailed down, organizing the location, small details, live band, and marketing... not to mention selling tickets and rallying our community to come out and support the amazing things our kids have done.

We made a little video for the premiere dinner, and it was so neat for me to put this together in the weeks prior.  It kept me grounded for the reasons behind why the work we do is so important.

Here are a few pictures from the event.  I was a lame witch that got dressed as the party was starting in the bathroom.  I was there all day setting up and never got the chance to go home. ;)

THANK YOU to TL for supporting me and helping so much, my parents, sister Julie, BIL Matt, and good friends Shannon, Sara, (& their hubbys) and Tara for coming to the event and showing their support.  It meant so much to me!

 My BIL Matt, Dad, and TL (Smurfs & Woody) - love this picture!
 Tara, me, and Shannon!
Me and my Smurf

And here's the video... please take a moment to watch it if you can.  If you want to support Hands4Hope, you can purchase a sponsorship ad on my sidebar - all I ask is for a donation to Hands4Hope... for more info, click here.  {Thank you to Dreaming of Dimples for purchasing a sponsorship ad yesterday}

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Style: Creating the Perfect Look from Head to Toe

{this is a sponsored guest post written by a Paige One writer and sponsored by: Perfect Locks}

Halloween is next week, and if you haven’t already begun thinking about your costume now is the time! This year take some time to go beyond the concept of a costume and consider every element of your look: hair, makeup, clothes, and even nails. Cute, sexy, scary, clever, or funny, Halloween is the best time of the year to go all-out with your style.

Think through the tools and supplies you will need to create your look. The costume is only the beginning. Add to it human hair extensions, false eyelashes, removable teeth, glitter, a stunning shade of lipstick, tights, or whatever else you need to create a full effect of a character. The charm of a costume is in its clever details, and the details are what create a clear reflection of you and your interpretation of a costume.

Consider the reaction that you’d like others to have upon seeing your costume. For example, let’s say you’d like to be a dog for Halloween. You could go with a classic, fuzzy costume complete with ears and a tail, a painted black nose, and carry around your food bowl begging for donations. This would likely get an “Aww, isn’t that cute?” reaction from your friends. Or, if you’re attending an adult party and want to add a touch of sexy, you could wear a short, furry skirt, pale colored fishnets, a headband with floppy ears, false lashes, high heels, and a collar and leash. Take some time to really think through the effect you’d like your costume to have and play up the elements to achieve the right reaction.
Be sure to gather your costume and supplies more than a few days before your Halloween parties and celebrations. That way you won’t be running around town frantically looking for the supplies you need as the clock ticks away. If you already have what you need, you can use all that precious time to perfect your look.

Perfect Locks is a web site that offers a variety of Virgin Indian hair and more! Learn more about Perfect Locks by stopping by their About Me section on the site and don’t forget to check out their Facebook and Twitter page as well. Plus, browse the huge hairstyle picture galleries and read up on the latest fashion and beauty trends and tips on their blog.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Vasa Museum (Stockholm)

I had no idea that the Vasa Museum existed until we were in Stockholm.  I am extremely glad TL did some research and decided we should go.  It's one of my most favorite museums I have ever been to.

Here's the basics, but do more research before you visit... The Vasa sailed off from Stockholm after being hand made by many in 1628.  20 minutes after it began its voyage, it sank.  Because the water is so cold, the ship was preserved and some 300 years later, scientists worked together to pull it above water and preserve it.  It's amazing that something so old is still in such great condition! 
In front of the smaller detailed model they made.

I definitely recommend visiting the Vasa Museum if you go to Stockholm!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Visiting Charming Copenhagen, Denmark

After enjoying ourselves so much in Stockholm, we weren't sure what to expect landing in Copenhagen.  We had heard it was a charming city, and we soon realized why.  Our hotel was right on the New Harbor or Nyhavn street, which is so beautiful.  The colorful architecture bounces off the tiny canals, and Nyhavn is lined with outdoor restaurants.

The shopping in Copenhagen is fantastic!  They have a bunch of high end stores, but what I really liked were the smaller shops.  I found a shoe shop called Scarpa.  They specialize in leather shoes designed in Denmark but made in Italy.  The sales gal told me I would only find them there, so I was sold.  I bought a pair for 30% off and love them!

TL and I also enjoyed the microbreweries in Copenhagen.  Different spots near the water sold really good beer that we enjoyed.  There is a lot to see and explore in this city - and we did the best we could in the 3 days we were there.

One of the must sees (although it's tiny) is the Little Mermaid.  It's one of the most photographed sculptures in the world.

 Where we enjoyed our drinks our first night there.
 Little coves off of Nyhavn
Our "charming" hotel, Nyhavn 71
The Little Mermaid
Celebrating my Scarpa shoe purchase with a guinness. :)
Having drink sand watching the water taxis shuffle people between the islands.

Copenhagen is beautiful... if you're visiting the Nordic Countries, it's definitely worth a visit, even if just for a day!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Inside Stockholm's Ice Bar

There are Ice Bars all over the world now, but Stockholm is home to the world's first permanent ice bar!  Everything inside is made of ice... the cups you drink out of, the walls, the chairs, tables, bar, etc.  

We went inside during the day to avoid having to wait in line - and loved it.  It was a neat experience to wear the big jackets and gloves.  We ran into a few other couples from America and it was neat to talk to them.

Ice bar is a little pricey (about $20 to get in, but that includes a drink), but we thought it was worth it because it's the only one we've ever been into.  Supposedly, they bring ice in from the Arctic Circle each year to freshen it up.  It was cold in there - approx -5 degrees Celsius. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Haunted 70's Disco Bunco

My girlfriend Shannon is one of the sweetest, most creative people I know.
This girl always goes above and beyond for her friends - she's the type of friend who remembers your Birthday, sends you messages to brighten your day, and is always thinking of others first.

This month, she hosted Bunco.  Of course, she combined two of her favorite things... Disco & 70's... which meant a haunted night of fun at the disco.  She hand made a disco ball, and decorated her entire house for the event.

I wish I would have had my camera so you could have seen the adorable dishes she made for the evening.  She had a fondu fountain... and my favorite, a chocolate fountain with all the mixins for dessert!

Here are a few of the photos she captured...

Thanks for a fabulous night ladies (especially Shan and her hubby, Jonathan... I look forward to this night every month!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bike riding in Helsinki

Our hotel had these adorable little bikes, and they let us use them for free.  We spent hours with thousands of other people ride their bikes through the city.  It was so neat - and the good news, I didn't fall off or get hit by a car. :)  We rode up to Olympic Stadium, the Rock Church, down by the harbor, along the shores, and ate lunch at Cafe Ursula.  Helsinki isn't very big and you can see so much in just a couple hours on a bike!

This city reminded me of Amsterdam, Stockholm, and so many others that rely on bikes for their main form of transportation.  Although, I don't know how they do it during winter time!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sightseeing in Stockholm

Stockholm is absolutely beautiful.  Upon arrival at the airport, we took the Arlanda Express into the city center and walked to our hotel.  We were so amazed by how beautiful the city was.  The architecture is very unique and it has something special about it.  We had a lot of daylight to sightsee, and the first thing we did was jump on a boat to see it from the water.

One of my girlfriends and sorority sisters now lives in Sweden, just a short train ride away from Stockholm.  She and her fiance came to visit us and we went out to dinner and drinks in Gamla Stan.  Gamla Stan is "The Old Town".  It's tiny, narrow streets are lined with old, beautiful buildings.  It is definitely worth a visit if you go.  Luckily, it was just across the bridge from our hotel.  

Stockholm has many small islands surrounding it.  Some of them can be reached by a bridge, and others by boat.  The people, blue eyed, blonde, tall and very friendly - came off a little cold, but if you ask them a question, they are very nice and warm up immediately.

We really enjoyed our 4 days in Stockholm... especially during "Fika".  We learned quickly how important Fika is to the people in Sweden.  What is it?  Well, basically it's a coffee and pastry break.  They take them about every hour it seemed - so we learned to do the same.  Out sightseeing for an hour?  Time for Fika.  Just woke up?  Time for Fika.  :)

 The Royal Palace is in Gamla Stan
 The beautiful cobble stone streets in Gamla Stan

My college girlfriend, Rikki, and I
 Time for Fika... with a view of Gamla Stan out the window.
 Cheers... drinks in lounge chairs on a boat in the sunshine.
One of the tiny, narrow, and short streets in Gamla Stan.

The other thing we loved about this city... the BIKES!  Holy cow - everyone rides a bike.  We heard that even in blizzards you still see thousands of people commuting on their bike.

Stockholm is up there as a must see European City in my opinion.  Maybe skip the winter months if you don't like the cold, but we had a fabulous time in the summer!