Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Moving On...New URL

Well, I think I'm going to go ahead and go for Typepad afterall. I'm still on the 14 day trial, so if anything major happens, I'll head back to my tried and true Blogger. But, for now, I'd really like to give Typepad a shot and maybe figure out what all the buzz is about. Wish me luck.

Oh, and I want to take all of you fine folks with me! So, if you're reading this, I've moved here: http://thechiclife.typepad.com/ - please come visit me, I'd love to see you!


Diana :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

...And the Winner of the Flirting in the Dark Set Is...

...And the Winner of the Flirting in the Dark Set Is...Shredz! I guess that double-entry paid off! :)

Congrats to Shredz for winning the Flirting in the Dark jewelry set I made for my jewelry biz, D Celestine Limited!

Shredz, please email me your shipping address at thechiclife at gmail dot com

Thanks everyone for playing! Stay tuned for my next contest!

:) D

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Blogger Vs. Typepad

So, I'm thinking of switching The Chic Life over to Typepad (but I'm definitely leaving Shopaholics Anonymous on Blogger). Does anyone have experience with both? Which one is better? I've been pretty happy with Blogger, there are a couple features on Typepad that are appealing to me. The major downside? Having to pay for it! Blogger is free!

I'm doing the 14-day trial now - the layout is nearly the same as my Blogger, but in case you curious, it's here: http://thechiclife.typepad.com/

Any opinions of the potential move or opinions about Typepad vs. Blogger?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mr. Funky Super Crochet Hat

I have to admit, I can become pretty OCD, pretty quickly when it comes to craft supplies and books. Something in me tells me to buy...BUY! Perhaps it's not an OCD thing so much as shopaholicism, but either way, I had to force myself to stop buying so many craft books to fulfill my newest crafty cravings in the means of knitting & crochet (or anything I can do to make good use of my quickly growing yarn stash). Thank goodness Christmas was coming around the corner when I put myself on craft-supply-probation, so I took the opportunity to request craft books from friends and family. I ended up getting three of my fave choices, including the super cool, Mr. Funky's Super Crochet Wonderful, which is turning out to be my fave at the moment because of all the simple and short projects, including an adorable hat & scarf set.

What? You thought the book was only about Amigurumi characters? So did I, until I read through all the reviews. The reviews on Amazon are really great. People typically leave very valuable feedback, like "this book is great for beginners" or "this book is not great for beginners" (very important details for me right now). I always read the reviews before I buy a book - they're sometimes more useful than flipping through the book, yourself, in the book store.

As usual, I dove straight into a couple projects, including the aforementioned hat & scarf set. I'm making this set for myself, partly because I think it's adorable and partly because this will be my first crochet hat and if I make any mistakes, I'd rather keep them than pass them on in a gift. Yes, I'm a type-A perfectionist...not that a couple minor flubs here and there aren't likely to happen no matter how experienced I end up getting with this craft, but if any major disasters happened, I wanted to hold on to them and learn for when I make one as a gift.

So far, so good. I really like this pattern, actually. It's been pretty simple to follow - mostly SC and DC and a couple slip stiches here and there....oh, and of course some chains, but I've been moving along on this one pretty quickly. I like the hat so much, I even got some yarn in another colorway to make a second hat for a friend or loved one...or giveaway, time permitting. We'll see.

NOTE: First Mr. Funky book image by amazon.com

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Giveaway: Flirting in the Dark

Well, I've decided to kick-off the giveaways today, so get ready, because I have lots of fun goodies planned to ship off to you fine friends. I'd love to do some sort of weekly giveaway for a certain period of time, but I honestly can't commit to a weekly giveaway. Some weeks I have a harder time finding the time to post than others. What I can commit to is several giveaways over the next couple months, so check back often for the next goodie I'm giving away.

Since I was on vacation this past weekend, and I'm still finishing up Christmas gifts (better late than never, right?), as well as working on some handmade birthday gifts, I haven't had time to create much of anything crafty just for fun, so I'm giving away something I already have made. Enter this week to win this beautiful necklace & earring set, "Flirting in the Dark."

(click here for necklace details)

This necklace set is very versatile with peacock colored freshwater pearls and shell beads and sterling silver. I love the peacock color because it goes with almost everything, making it a very wearable necklace for everyday occasions to your Little Black Dress (LBD) event.

(click here for earrings details)

This fun, handmade jewelry set retails at $62, but you can enter this contest to win it for FREE! This jewelry set is part of my jewelry collection that I design and create under my business name, D Celestine Limited.


Two Ways to Enter (and you can do both if you want to enter twice!):
1. Leave a comment on this post (only one comment per person, unless you do #2, too)
2. Do a post about the contest on your blog and leave a comment with a link to your post (if you do a post about the contest, you may use either or both of the two Flirting in the Dark images in your contest post)

All entries must be received by Sunday morning (1/13/08 noon EST), as the winner will be selected Sunday evening.

Good luck everyone!

Orlando - Day 1 - Dinner Theater

So, we left for Orlando last Friday for a long-weekend vacation. My sister was sweet enough to stay at our place and take care of Bailey - thanks sis! The first day of our Orlando vacation went pretty smoothly. We finished packing that morning, caught our plane in the afternoon and arrived right around 4PM, which was time perfectly by my SO, so we could go straight to the hotel and check in.

We took the complimentary shuttle to the car rental place, got our car and headed to our hotel. (See the airport in the background? I suppose technically, that is a hotel connected to the airport, but you get the jist)

We arrived at our hotel, checked in and settled in to relax for just a bit. We had the whole evening to spend at our will, so I decided to take my SO to a dinner theater. I remember growing up in Orlando that a dinner theater was a great thing-to-do in tourist-town and that we tried pretty much every dinner theater in town. My fave was King Arthur's Court, but that apparently shut down a few years ago. My next fave was Arabian Nights, so we chose that for the night. A quick tip on dinner theaters - check with your hotel concierge, because they can usually get you discounted tickets. Just remember to tip them - not sure what the going tip is for a concierge so if anyone knows, leave a comment, if you don't mind - I hope we gave her enough!

We accidentally drove to Disney (missed our turn on 536) so after some circular driving, we finally made it to Arabian Nights just in time to catch the end of the magician pre-show. After a greeting from some dude in a purple robe, we were let in to the arena where salads were waiting for us. Thank goodness because we were starving!

Now, I did check some reviews for the place before we headed over and they all said the food was terrible, especially the steak. I decided to go with the chicken option, which I thought was pretty good. The chicken didn't have much flavor, but it wasn't quite as bad as I expected based on the reviews.

My SO decided to try the steak, which he wasn't thrilled with, but I warned him! An important thing to know about dinner theaters is that you don't go for the food - you go for the entertainment. If you go to a dinner theater, don't expect to be blown away by the food - it's good, but usually not great.

Now, while I found the show to be pretty entertaining, another important thing to know about dinner theaters is that they're just that - "theaters." Your kids will probably end up having a better time than you, but I suppose it depends on what you're expecting. You also need to remember you're in Orlando where they're trying to market towards tourists. The show will probably be silly, corny, and sometimes over-the-top, so don't expect Broadway.

I had a good time. The show was pretty good, the horses were beautiful, and I thought the riders did some pretty amazing tricks - flipping, juggling, balancing, and all that fun stuff.

All in all, I'd say a dinner theater is a good thing to do in Orlando, but only if you're willing to let yourself have a good time without expecting complete perfection from the food and the show. My fave dinner theaters are: Arabian Nights, Medieval Times, and Sleuths Mystery Dinner theater. If you want a perfect dinner theater, you may want to try one of the Disney ones - they're not perfect, but Disney has an extremely high standard with everything they do, so you may like it more than the ones around I-Drive (International Drive - the "tourist area"). The only one I've done is the Luau at the Polynesian Resort and it was very good!

Has anyone out there done a dinner theater before? What did you think?

New Year's Dinner

Before I start with the Orlando posts, I wanted to take a minute to do a quick post related to New Year's Day. I meant to post about this before I left, but I'm sorta one of those people who like to do things last minute...or maybe not so much one who likes to do things last minute but ends up doing things last minute, so last Friday I had the choice to pack or do this post. I chose packing, which I think was a pretty good decision, eh?

But back to the New Year's thing I was curious to see if anyone else out there has a New Year's tradition as far as foods go. Since I grew up in the south, I've been raised to eat collard greens and black eyed peas on New Year's for good luck and fortune.

Does anyone else out there eat collard greens and black eyed peas or maybe some other traditional food? We had our greens and peas with some sauteed chicken and some nice hearty wheat bread. Looking back on it, I think cornbread is more traditionally served with the greens and peas, but I forgot. Oopsie! Maybe I'll remember next year?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Be Back Soon...I'm Going to Disneyworld!

Hey friends!

Just wanted to drop you guys a quick note to let you know that I'm going to be on vacation for awhile - we're going to Disneyworld! Woohoo! So, we'll be theme-parking and what not, so I won't be able to post for a few days as we're flying out tomorrow (Friday) and won't get back till Monday. But, check back next week, because I'm going to be doing some fun giveaways soon! Yay!

Oh, and I'm going to start by giving away some fun stuff I already have but I might just be able to be coerced into making a little somethin somethin for a giveaway so drop me a comment if you want me to give away something specific (i.e. handmade purse, handmade apron, thrifted tea cup...etc).

Have a great weekend!

Hugs to all,

:) Diana

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Year, New Look

This has nothing to do with my New Year's Resolutions, but I've been wanting to make-over my blog template for awhile. Here's a quick lil switcheroo for now. It's not a major change, but I think it gives the blog a whole different feel.



What do you think?

It's All Fun and Games Until...

Here's Bailey looking cute as can be and oh-so-innocent on our couch.

It's all in fun games until someone pees on the couch. Yes folks, that's right, our little angel peed all over our couch last night.

We were mad, but not too mad...How can you stay mad at a face like that? It's impossible!

What's Up With That?

Call it luck or fate, but either way, I hardly ever win contests! What's up with that? I'm not sure why I don't seem to have the best fortune with winning stuff, but what I do know is that times are a-changing! I recently won a fabulous handmade Namesake from the talented crafter, Stephanie, over at Crafty Lolly. Isn't it beautiful?

Made with my favorite color, light turquoise (aka Robin's egg blue), this fabulous little stuffie also has flowers and buttons and other fun knick-knacks, including, my personal fave, a French spoon. I'm not sure if I've ever professed my love for French stuff on The Chic Life before, but basically, I went to France twice in high school on an exchange. I also minored in French in college...for fun. :) But, that's all another story for another day.

Today is about this fabulous Namesake! Here's a closer picture with more detail so you can take in the full awesomeness of it. Oh yea! Thanks for making this for me, Stephanie!

And speaking of contests and organizing, I've decided to have a couple giveaways, so stayed tuned for more info on that! I've got some great stuff to giveaway! :) Some handmade...some thrifted...all fab!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year, New You - Organizing - Part 1

Happy New Year, everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by my little blog. I've realized lately that I don't communicate very well how much I appreciate everyone stopping by and taking the time to comment (or just lurking and enjoying my photos and stories...that's cool too). But, comments are my favorite, so if you're shy and not sure if you should comment or not, here's me saying, bring it on! I love to read all the comments people leave...it's one of my favorite things to pop into my email inbox, which is where I see them first since my comments are moderated.

With that said, it's a new year, and time for a new you, if you so choose to re-invent or update yourself, of course. I'm a very goal-driven person, so I love the start of the new year because it gives me an excuse to create new goals for myself. As a Type-A perfectionist, I'm always on the look-out for ways to improve myself, my habits, my home, my life, and I see the new year as a great time to really dig into any new improvement ideas.

So, what are your New Year's Resolutions for '08? Mine are:
1. Pay off my business credit card
2. Get better control over my finances
3. Get organized
4. Especially, organize craft room
5. Stay organized (i.e. pick up after myself to maintain organization)
6. Start a monthly date night with my SO
7. Stop procrastinating

That's it for now...short list, I know. There are many more things I could improve, but these are the areas I'd like to focus on: finances & organization. I was reading an article on MarthaStewart.com about organization tips and 6 things to do everyday (can't seem to locate the article...sorry!) to help yourself stay organized and at some point while I was perusing all of these informative and useful artcles, I remembered a glimmer "old me." Has anyone else had a similar experience? It's like, the older you get, the more personalities you collect, or something.

I remember being a quiet, shy, organized-to-a-fault little girl before going college, where I decided to reinvent myself. I didn't want to be a loner any more...I wanted to be more courageous...more the kind of girl who wasn't afraid to say how she felt or be friends with the "cool kids" or have the drive to go after the things I really wanted. And, sometime just before college, I realized that when I went to school, I would hardly know anyone there. Only a handful of people from my high school were going to the same college as me. I realized that people treat you the way you act and that if I acted like the girl I wanted to be, that they would treat me like her, and I would, in a way, become her. When I got to college, I didn't think about what I would do in a given situation, but what she would do. Maybe not so much what "she" would do, but I tried to think about what I wanted to do without worrying about what other people would think and what I would do if I weren't so painfully shy. Eventually, I became a very social, very outgoing person. I joined a sorority, went out with friends, and had lots and lots of fun. In addition to becoming more outgoing, I learned to not be so controlling and I learned to relax and not be so freakin' anal about stuff. I learned how to get along with people and be more easy-going. Things weren't as easy to control in group situations as they had been in my own little world before college...and I learned that this was ok.

But, more recently, I've also learned that "old me" wasn't so terrible as I thought she was. And, one thing I'd like to get back from who I used to be is the side of me who was so organized. I've gotten, dare I say, too lax in my lifestyle and with my home, which is slowly turning into the perfect candidate for the Clean Sweep team. So, starting this year, I'm going to work on getting organized and staying that way. I'm going to make a better effort to clean up after myself and put things back where they belong rather than leaving them laying (sp?) about. I want to be organized with my lifestyle too and stop procrastinating about that form I was supposed to mail in or that friend I was supposed to email. I'm tired of putting off until tomorrow what I can do today. I've noticed that I've been saying, "I don't have time" for this or that, but the truth is I do have time...I've just been doing something else. I was just reading about this whole "choosing" of time on someone else's blog recently, and for the life of me, I can't remember which blog...so if it's yours...shoot me a comment so others can read your story on this whole "choosing" of time - your post was great!

Anywho, wow, that post was waaaaay longer than I thought it would be so sorry for rambling on...I've been doing that a lot lately! Back to the New Year's stuff. I spent the first day of the New Year hitting up the organizational store. I spent a whole $100 - way more than I intended to spend - but I think I got some good stuff to get myself started on organizing. The truth is, I actually love to organize, but it's expensive and time-consuming! But, enough excuses! I've made money in my budget for organization goods for this month, at least. This is the year! I'm going to get organized, and I'm going to start with my kitchen:

Ok, ok, it doesn't look that different, but I couldn't resist the lid/baking pan holder (to the left) or the pan separator (to the right) - both on the top shelf of the photo. I would have put more baking pans in the pan holder, but the shelf is too short and not adjustable...it still holds the lids nicely, though. The pan separator is pretty cool, too, though, helping my non-stick pans to retain their non-stick surface - should be easier to get to them this way, too! See how the three pans and the one pot are separated so you don't have to unstack them to get to the bottom one in pink? Well, now you see why I started with the kichen...that was pretty easy.

Ugh...now to the craft room...that should be "fun"...lol

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Crochet Crazy in the Hizzy

I've caught the crochet fever...and I've got it bad. I have several projects going on right now (even some knitting projects, but I guess that's another story). Luckily, I finished one of my crochet today...woohoo! Thank goodness because it's supposed to be a Christmas present for a friend. Good thing she hasn't called yet about exchanging gifts!

I've been working on this scarf in bits and pieces. I knew I wanted to crochet something for a friend, but I was completely distracted by a few knit/crochet books I got for Christmas when I couldn't resist starting some projects from my new books. Needless to say, I'm like that girl who is reading about five books at one time. I guess I just like to multi-task...I dunno? Either way, I've been spreading my free time working a round here, a row here on my various projects.

Lately, I've been working on making more "me time" so I can work on some of these "for fun" projects. I've been trying to spend a couple hours cleaning/organizing and making sure to take a break to do something I want...even if it's just working a couple rows for one of my crochet patterns. It's been fun though, tidying up, and then curling up on the couch with some yummy hot cocoa I got from a local semi-gourmet store. It's Ghiradelli Hazelnut Hot Cocoa...and it's tasty!

So, I've spent some time over the past couple days relaxing on my cozy couch, watching some craft TV (which I don't usually get to see b/c they always put the good shows on while I'm at work) and making hoop after hoop with single crochets and double crochets (and even some triple crochets here and there). Even Bailey wanted to get in on the crochet action.

And, just in case you didn't believe me that I actually finished a project, here's a shot of the final product along with another scarf in the same pattern and my butterfly scarf. I can't wait to finish some more projects so I can share them with you!