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Simply Saturday

November 27, 2010
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Unhealthy Living Summit Part 2

November 26, 2010

Where were we? Oh, yes – I have ridiculous luck when it comes to travel, and although my intentions for my weekend in Chicago for the Healthy Living Summit this past August were healthy intentions, that didn’t really happen.  Even though I was given several opportunities to make healthy decisions while at HLS, I took the intuitive to do otherwise…

How My Trip to the Healthy Living Summit
became the Unhealthiest Weekend of 2010

I. I finally arrived at O’Hare at 2:00 AM with plans to take the L.  Since it was very dark outside, I decided to wait at the airport until the sun began to rise before boarding.  I could have very easily used the 3 hours to nap in the corner.  Instead, I kept myself busy and awake the entire time, sacrificing the rest my body was craving.


2. When 4:30 AM rolled around, I was the first one in line to get a quad-venti soy latte. Dependency on caffeine, much?


3. I finally boarded the train, got off at my stop, and made it to the hotel room (after lugging my 40lbs of wheel-less luggage the several blocks to the hotel and not realizing there was an elevator to take me to my floor. doh.), I did not go to sleep.  I let the 4 shots of espresso and the excitement to see my blends convince my roommates to wake up and get breakfast with me.

4. To which I ordered and consumed a large ice coffee and a bagel.

5. When we returned to the room, I ate several cookies, ignoring my body which was telling me “stay away from sugar and put something green in me!”

6. Then I went shopping down State Street, in the very hot sun, not bringing a water with me, keeping myself complete dehydrated.

7. By waiting to eat lunch until well after 2:00 PM, I did not make properly fueling my tired self a priority.

8. I did not take a nap.

9. Instead, I got a triple venti soy latte. Again.

10. Rush to get ready for cocktail party. Rush to cocktail party. Rush in cocktail party. Rush home from cocktail party. Did not eat one bite before or at cocktail party.

11. Brushed off at least 10 blends insisting that I eat something at cocktail party. Healthy Living Bloggers that were concerned with my not eating. Healthy Living Bloggers that wanted me to be well nourished. (Healthy Living Bloggers who would later be attacked for their lifestyles and healthy choices)  I managed to ignore them.


12. I also managed to drink two glasses of red wine at cocktail party. On a semi-empty stomach and 0 hours of sleep. Which made for an enjoyable taxi ride home for some.

13. Laying on the floor of our hotel room, giggling uncontrollably, and refusing to put my blackberry down and go to sleep until Savvy Blog Mom Julie threatened me. Actually, that’s not completely accurate.  First, she made me eat a snack pack of almonds after learning that I hadn’t consumed anything but wine since lunch.

14. Saturday morning, after a handful of sleeping hours, we got ready to meet the presenters for our “pre-summit meeting.”  Afterwards, I skipped the breakfast line to make a Starbucks run.


15. After the keynote speaker, I snuck off to my room because I was starting to feel sick. I did not take a power nap. Instead, I published a blog post.

16. I made my way back downstairs during break time. Taking my very wise ROA’s advice, I had an orange juice. Then I had another cup of coffee.

17. After the next presentation, we headed to lunch.  It was yummy.  I had another cup of coffee.

18. Forty-five minutes after the last session ended, I was in the hotel bar, doing a shot.

19. After the walking food tour and a night out with the ladies, I didn’t put myself to bed. Instead, I sat in the hallway of the hotel room and ate pizza and giggled with my best blend. [the blurriness of the following photo may or may not be an accurate representation of the way my head felt at this moment in time.]

20. I slept for 3 hours. Waking up early to pack, say goodbye to Julie, and head out to brunch with my grandparents. [and apparently, looked like death. ha.]


And then I was on my way home, after twenty un-healthy decisions.  Making one un-healthy decision, then making another.

You might think that my time at the Healthy Living Summit was a ruse.  You may assume that I regret my actions, and that I wish I could take it all back.  You could be thinking that I’m a hypocrite for my actions, and that I am ashamed of my time at HLS.

You’d be wrong.

To be continued…

Creative Spotlight: Love Lee Soaps

November 26, 2010

Creative Spotlights are part of the THS dedication to Handmade Christmas 2010. I’m bringing you the goods, showing off the talents of some of my favorite creators!


Here is the thing about Love Lee Soaps Bath and Body; this shop is unbelievable.

Unbelievably fun. Unbelievably affordable. Unbelievably creative. Unbelievably unbelievable.

At Love Lee Soaps you will find fantastic smelling bath & body products in all different shapes and sizes.  The variety is tremendous, and I guarantee you can find a little soap gift that fits the personality of every single person on your list this holiday.

Don’t just take my word for it; check out the goods!

Designs full of whimsy:



Special critters for the animal lover:

hedhogpigmiceoatmeal owlspeanut butter squirrel


Perfect for the foodie in your life!

macaroonspickle soap
sock monkey soapsicleanimal crackersflancupcakefood pretzelfortune cookies macncheesesmoresoreospoptartsfruit loop


Don’t forget your loved ones whom love the classics:

sugar scrub sample 2sugar scrub sampleil_570xN.114438763il_570xN.155056101il_570xN.151324315il_570xN.167296645il_570xN.193445172 


And who doesn’t love something festive in their stocking?
santa soapsbodybuttercandy cane snowmenchocolate reindeer giftsetChristmas Pine Treeholiday popcornwinter wonderland giftsetsweets 

The best part about Love Lee Soaps?  This isn’t even HALF of what they offer!  The creativity is overflowth!

SPECIAL TREAT:  THS readers can get twenty percent off their entire Love Lee Soaps order placed before December 3, 2010. Just enter the coupon code thenheathersaidtwenty in the notes to seller section at check out!  This extended Black Friday deal is one you don’t want to miss! The products at Love Lee Soaps are already super affordable, making the 20% off discount extra hard to resist! 

Beaded Ribbon Ornament

November 26, 2010

For today’s Handmade Christmas 2010 holiday ornament, I took inspiration from a necklace tutorial I adore on one of my favorite creative blogs, A Beautiful Mess.


These beaded ribbon ornaments are easily customizable to fit create a special gift, using specific colors or beads that are a favorite of your loved one.  I decided to use red, white, and green candy striped ribbon for a classic holiday theme.  The addition of heart shaped beads, rather than all pearls, adds a little bit of extra love in your gift giving 😉


Materials Needed  
Ribbon, 12 inches
Beads, 8 total
Needle small enough to fit through beads, threaded with your choice of thread



Step 1: fold one end of ribbon over to create a small square.

  • note: if your using one sided decorative ribbon, you want the decorative side showing with the fold.


Step 2:  Thread through the newly created folded over square, starting on the underside in order to hide the knot. 104_6879

  • Note: The fold hides the knot.


Step 3: Thread your first bead, resting the bottom of the bead on the fold.


Step 4: At the top of your bead, create a new fold in the ribbon, and sew through both layers of the fold, creating a small ruffle.


Step 5: Add your next bead.

  • Note: In this case, because I am using two styles of beads and creating an every other pattern, I am using the pearl. 


Step 6: Repeat step four, creating another ruffle.


Step 7: Continue adding beads and creating ruffles until you’ve added all 8 beads.

Step 8: With remaining ribbon, create a loop to use when hanging ornament on the tree.  Use a simple stitch with the thread and needle to secure.


  • Have you signed up for the Ornament Swap!?!? It’s not too late.  Check out the THS Ornament Swap post to learn how it works, then send an email including your name, mailing address, and the amount of ornaments you’d like to swap to before December 1st. Also – please advise if you would be willing to ship to US, Canada and/or internationally!

Creative Spotlight: Petals and Purls

November 25, 2010

Creative Spotlights are part of the THS dedication to Handmade Christmas 2010. I’m bringing you the goods, showing off the talents of some of my favorite creators!

This is my college roommate Stephanie.

stephy baby 

Stephanie is a knitting-star and has put her talents to good use with Petals and Purls

At Petals and Purls you can find beautiful banded ear warmers…

ear warmerear warmer purple


a variety of chic, stylish hats…

 hat greyhat stripeshat with buttonshat w flower


fun flower accessories to add to your hat or ear warmer…

flower2flower 1 


hats to wear in support of your favorite team

lsu hat


and festive headwear to sport during the holidays!

hat pumpkinchild turkeysanta hat

Steph also makes custom orders for specific designs, color patterns, and styles.  Head on over to the Petals and Purls shop to see the many products offered or to contact her about something special just for you.  

Extra Special Treat:  Stephanie has offered one THS reader a special treat!  We’re giving away one hat or ear warmer of winner’s choice. 

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post before noon eastern on Monday, November 29.

For an extra entry – you can “like” Petals on Purls facebook page, and leave a comment here telling me you did so! 

Looking Back

November 25, 2010

For the handful of years I lived in Texas, I made a list of 100 things I was thankful for each Thanksgiving.  Recently, I cam across some of these collections and found the lists a fun way to look back to where I was several years ago; the state of my heart, what I was doing with my life, and how I was feeling about the things and people around me.  Some of the items made me giggle.  Some remind me of past mistakes and lessons learned.  Others helped me to realize that some things in my life will always be constant; and that makes me forever grateful.


100 Things I was Thankful for in November of 2007

  1. Proverbs 16:9 and how God led me to Louisiana College
  2. unlimited text messaging
  3. my parents’ understanding
  4. the internet at work
  5. girls like Jana who stir something up in my soul every time we communicate
  6. Morningstar Farms Mushroom Lovers burgers on croissants with mozzarella cheese and romaine lettuce leaves
  7. The West Wing on DVD
  8. Mary Arnold
  9. and her truth and wisdom and encouragement
  10. My December 15 bonus that I may be relying too heavily on
  11. paid days off of work
  12. Bucky Badger
  13. learning from my past
  14. roommates who share well
  15. Beaumont is pretending to turn more into a "city"
  16. coconut coffee creamer
  17. coupons
  18. I’ve never been shot
  19. or broken a bone
  20. the times my dear friend Kyle sings to me
    kyle singing
  21. not losing touch with so many GREAT people in other states/cities
  22. January is almost here
  23. and therefore so is Kelly
  24. RG, my employer
  25. because now I understand the economy a bit more than I ever would have otherwise
  26. and he buys me lunch every now and again
  27. and gives me good material for my future sitcom
  28. people who compliment me when I deserve it, not just when I think I need it
  29. places like IHOP which are open 24 hours
  30. Rob Bell
  31. Andrew Arthur for helping me identify the hunger I had inside of me
  32. Susan Jane Gilman and Anne Lamont for being hilarious
  33. Dave Matthews for being able to distress me in a matter of a chorus
  35. leftovers
  36. and letting me watch Grey’s, PP, UB, and The Hills on lunch breaks
  37. burts bees products
  38. The mail Ms. Judi and Mom send throughout the year
  39. caffeine
  40. Spiedi looks to be dying quickly….yet not quickly enough
  41. Blogs by Sarah Morrison, Trent, and Marcus
  42. The I Heart Revolution
  43. Mary, again, because honestly she deserves about 99 of these spaces
  44. the red cups
  45. rock the vote and headcount
  46. march madness
  47. and college football
    badger fans
  48. Our Amazing Student Leadership Team
  49. Meetings with Kari and Jordan
    kari and jordan
  50. craft time
  51. REAL SIMPLE magazine
  52. being taken out for smoothies
  53. or coffee
  54. intellectual discussion
  55. sweat pants
  56. working with Gail
  57. my writing abilities
  58. and decorating talents
  59. good unexpected study time with Jonathan and Ashley Petty
  60. Baby Isabel has changed my heart about babies, it seems. Apparently, babies aren’t necessarily evil.  
  61. my top tens. I love them.
  62. friends of friends: such as Stephen from Kyle, and the LC gang of girls I’ve adopted from Mary
  63. God’s provision
  64. Mike Berg
  66. cupcakes
  67. not having to pretend like I want to be her friend
  68. ok- that sounded mean….the fact that I am not ACTUALLY mean
  69. alone time
  70. Frank Warren
  71. Jamba and Culvers are ONLY an hour away
    camera 053
  72. thanksgiving with my three FAVORITE people
  73. MCS is becoming famous….and I am proud of them
  74. memories being nothing more than memories
  75. the fact that I am a romantic in all areas of my life
  76. theme parties
  77. gathering together with old friends of yesteryore
  78. Acoustic Lead worship
  79. the Petty’s are now in charge
  80. Wednesday morning prayer for woman at the well
  81. Wikipedia
  82. project runway reruns all week long
  83. post it notes
  84. Story People, Daily Candy & Ripples
  85. traditions
  86. learning the importance of scripture memory
  87. not having finals to worry about [although I kind of miss the studying]
  88. the fact that at least ONE person who reads this will not call me a dork for saying that last one
  89. places that remind me of home
  90. people that make me feel like home
  91. 4:30 on Fridays
  92. airports
  93. listography
  94. that certain songs and certain scents can bring you right back to where you belong
  95. the times when the door between offices is shut
  96. clients who appreciate us, and show us their appreciation
  97. sunshine
  98. people with reasoning behind their opinions, even and especially when I disagree
  99. the delete button 
  100. Megan’s stories

Tulle Mini Wreath Ornament

November 25, 2010

Here’s something you may not know about me:
I really, really, really, REALLY like wreaths.  When I started compiling a list of blog tutorials I wanted to consider for Handmade Christmas 2010, it was filled with many, many wreaths.  One of which was this lovely Halloween Tulle wreath from Courtney.

Months later when I started designing Christmas ornaments, I let the wreath inspire me, leading me to this:


Materials Needed:



  • Note: I used a roll of 6 inch by 4 yard teal tulle I purchased on mega-clearance a couple of years ago in the Hallmark gift wrapping section, but you could easily use tulle purchased by the yard at a craft or fabric store



Step 1: Form wire into small ring, about the size of a silver dollar


Step 2: Cut tulle into approximant 2 inch strips

  • Note: The tulle I used was folded over into 3 layers

104_6858 Step 3: Pull each square taunt and tie into a knot onto the wire ring

104_6862104_6863 104_6864104_6866

Step 4: Repeat step 3, several times, pushing the knots towards one another once tied.


Step 5: Continue with steps 3 and 4 until wreath is full to your liking.


Step 6: Make a size appropriate bow with ribbon and attach using needle and thread through a strong tulle knot on the ring


Step 7: Using strip of ribbon create a loop to use as the ornament hanger

  • Note: I use about 6 inches of ribbon for my hanger loops


Step 8: Attach the hanger loop to the back of the bow and tulle knot using the needle and thread


There you have it!


Reminder: It’s not too late to sign up to participate in the Ornament Swap!