Friday, October 28, 2011

Check It Out! {October Sponsors}

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Really, is October almost over?!  I can't believe it has flown by so quickly... wait, yes I can... the older I get the faster time moves.  It's true.

I'm happy to say I've had two new buttons on my sidebar this month from two lovely ladies and I'm ready to introduce you!

{Sponsor Love: Check them out!}

Meet Rachel of The Chatty Mommy:

I am a stay at home mom of 4, two girls, two boys with a great husband I have known since we are 13.
I love the Lord and am so thankful he is in control of my life.
I love to do crafts, cook and talk!  I am a bad at housekeeping, but always striving to be better.
I love blogging, reading them and writing mine.

Rachel also hosts a Friday Follow Link Party on her blog... be sure to check that out, too!

* * *
My Next October Sponsor is Andrea of Bubblewrapp'd


You may remember Andrea from her Guest Post During my Celebration Week when she gave us real advice on Balancing our Handmade Business with Family.

She also has a great etsy shop where she makes and sells super cute blocks for your home, like this "Love Like Crazy" block:
Love Like Crazy. Home Decor.

or to gift, like this Wedding Block Set:
The Wedding Set. Perfect For Your Wedding.

Way cute, right? And reasonable! Check her out!

* * *
 Thanks bunches, ladies, for allowing me to share you with my readers!

Have a Fabulous Weekend!

XxOo~ Melissa

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Inspiration Workshop [Favorite Recipe: Black-eyed Pea Chili]

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Linking up with Gussy Sews' Inspiration Workshop today and the prompt is Favorite Recipes...yum! 

I'm going to share a recipe that I picked up a few years ago when I was working at the Animal Hospital.  One of the Dr.'s Wives was a super awesome cook and it was such a treat for her to bring lunch or dessert up to us!  I've tweaked her recipe to make something that fits my family's taste and we all love it.... it's our perfect cool-weather-comfort food.

Black-eyed Pea Chili w/Cornbread

You will need:
1lb bulk sausage (I use Bob Evans, but you can use whichever... mild or hot)
1c chopped onion
1c chopped celery
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
2c frozen cut Okra
3 cans Black-eyed peas
14oz can diced tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste
1tsp Italian seasoning
2Tbls sugar

Brown your sausage in a dutch oven or, in my case, a large stock pot (which came with my cookware).  Stir the sausage so that it crumbles; drain. 

Add chopped veggies with frozen Okra and cook over low heat until veggies are soft and translucent, being careful not to cook the Okra to mush.

Stir in black-eyed peas, along with the liquid in the can; add tomatoes and spices.  Simmer on low heat for 20-25minutes.

In the meantime... make your cornbread.  I'm almost heasitant to share my secret Cornbread Recipe with you, but... well... it's Jiffy Cornbread Mix.  I love it.

I also eat a piece before my family sits for dinner... and I don't feel bad about it. *wink*

To Serve:
Place a wedge of cornbread in the bottom of your bowl, top with Chili and add sour cream and shredded cheese to taste.... Enjoy!

**This recipe makes enough for my little family of four, PLUS I can freeze the leftovers (in a plastic container) for dinner another night!  It tastes even better reheated!
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

XxOo~ Melissa

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday {Everyday Chic}

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The weather is acting like it wants to feel like fall here in Eastern North Carolina.  The past few mornings I have awoken to crisp cool air... I know this because i'm snuggled under my blanket and the a/c is off, *wink*.  I almost welcome it when I let the pups out in the back yard... "Ahhh, Fall"... but I try not to say it too loudly because I don't want Winter to hear and think it needs to show itself any sooner than I'd like.  I don't like winter.... unless it's Christmas, in which case I can get over it and am happy... but then I'm back to my disdain for the season.

With the cooler weather I can break out my 3/4 sleeves, cardigans and sweaters, though it never really gets cold enough to wear a heavy sweater for long, so my collection over the years has dwindled to maybe one or two... I'll save those for a Winter WIWW post....

Today I'm linking with Ms. Lindsey of The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday {WIWW}... I'm calling this one {Everyday Chic}... Why?  Well, I've decided that this Fall/Winter I'm going to go easy on myself and not stress about my lack of beautiful sweaters and such... instead, I'm going to stick with simple, everyday solids:

Solid tanks, short sleeves, 3/4 sleeves and long sleeves.

I'll pair them with everyday cardigans, wraps and such, as needed for the weather.

How is this {Everyday Chic} you ask?  Well, that's where Accessories come in to play!  Now, for a gal who makes handbags and such I will admit I've never been one to really accessorize beyond the bag... and shoes, I do love shoes.  But, I've decided it's time to really make accessories work for me and really live  by my slogan "Everyday Chic for Everyday Chicks!".

The plan:
Use Everyday Clothes: Solids and some prints, but keeping it simple, things that can be dressed up or down, because honestly... that is what I do anyway!

Stay Everyday Chic: Add accessories to make my outfit {Everyday Chic}!

WIWW: Use at least one WIWW post a month to show off my {Everyday Chic} creation!

Here is my first {Everyday Chic} outfit, Enjoy!

Sunglasses {Reaction by Kennith Cole via TJMaxx}
Necklace {Twillypop.. LOVE!!}
Gray Cardigan {Candies via KHOLS}
Pink 3/4 Sleeve Shirt {I've had forever}
Navy Cami {Target}
Jeans {Red Camel via Belk}
Shoes {Walmart on clearance}

Okay, seriously... this {Twillypop} necklace may or may not be the inspiration for my current accessory obsession; which may or may not be an excuse to buy more accessories... just sayin'.
I've been stalking eyeing Sara's shop for a while now and last week I came across this gray necklace with the pink rosette (my most fav color combo right now) and had to have it!!
I. Love. It.

I bought these shoes on clearance at Walmart last year, or maybe the year before.  I'm happy to say that they have actually lasted, are comfortable, and I really like them... which is very rare with a Walmart clothing/shoe purchase, from my own experience. (Which is usually why it takes a clearance item for me to buy in the first place... it's easier to keep my expectations low.  I'm not sorry, it's true.)

How do you stay Everyday Chic?  What's your favorite Accessory?

Want to see some fabulous Thrifted outfits? Check out my bloggy gal pal Abbie at Five Days... 5 Ways & Secondhand or Bare Bottom, she's a Rockstar when it comes to thrifted outfits!  

XxOo~ Melissa

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Manicure [A Cracklin' Good Time!]

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I was walking through the store planning on picking up some black nail polish so that I could try the tips in this Pinterest Pin.... {}.  But then I came across these:

Halloween orange: {Check}
Dark Gray Crackle: {Check} and how awesome, am I right?!

Using the idea from the above mentioned Pinterest Pin, I grabbed my masking tape and craft scissors and set out to make some fun Halloween Nails!

What you'll need:

~Solid Nail Polish, preferably a color that is going to stand out from under your crackle
~Crackle Nail Polish
~Clear Top Coat Polish
~Masking Tape
~Craft Scissors

Start by painting your nails with the solid color polish... in my case, Halloween Orange!

Once the top coat is dry, use your craft Scissors to cut small strips of Masking Tape to put on your nails:

Once you have the tape on the way you like, it's time to get Cracklin'

You will have to work quickly as the crackle drys fast.  
Also, you don't want to put on more than one coat.

Once you've painted on the crackle, it's time to peel off the tape!

Add clear top coat and you're set!

I painted one hand using the tape and the other without:

I totally love the old, spooky, Halloween feel of this look!

Have you tried Crackle polish, and if so, what are your thoughts?  What other fun nail art have you tried?

XxOo~ Melissa

*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Salon Perfect, I just happened upon this particular polish in the store.  I got the idea for  using tape to design my nails from the above mentioned Pinterest pin.  Thanks bunches!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Craft w/ Jen of Sunny Vanilla [A Blog Swap!]

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Today I have swapped spaces with Jen from Sunny Vanilla.  I'm blogging over there while she hangs over here and shows you a sweet little Halloween tutorial... Enjoy, and be sure to check out her blog when you're done!  
XxOo~ Melissa

* * *

Hello So Chick Readers!  I'm stopping by to hang out with you all today and share a fun and "ghoulish" kids tutorial with you.  My name is Jen and I'm the gal behind Sunny Vanilla.  I'm a lover of  hamburgers, sewing, hangin' with my fam, and of course crafting.  This little project was inspired by an archived Martha Stewart Halloween project.  I hope you and your kids have fun with this one.  And if you don't have kids, try it anyway.  It will make you feel 20 years younger!  

Here's what you'll need:
needle and thread or white yarn
parchment paper
Elmer's glue
black sharpie

Start by drawing {I just used the freehand method} a ghost with your glue.

 Draw as many "ghouls" as you want to.  I made three big ones for me and three little ones for my little nugget.

 Let the outline dry for a couple of minutes and then fill in the body with glue.

 You will end up with something that looks like this.  Now lay the parchment paper on a flat surface and allow it to dry for at least one day.

 Once it's dry {I waited about 24 hours}, very carefully peel off the ghoul like this.

 You'll end up with a bunch of these guys.  Feel free to trim off any edges so you have smooth lines throughout {or leave them there for a rugged ghost look}.

 Now give your ghoul a face. 

Gently thread your needle through the top of the ghost.  Add as many or as little as you'd like.

Now you have a ghoulish necklace!!!

Thanks for letting me hang out with you all today.  Hope you have a chance to come check out Sunny Vanilla.  Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Just Sayin' [A Pinterest Board]

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Another case of the Mondays?  I can honestly say that I haven't had a serious "Case of the Mondays" since I started working for myself.  A 'Case of the Tuesdays', maybe; 'Wednesdays'.. sure, just not 'the Mondays'.

BUT, that's not to say that one of you, my fabulous readers, isn't dreading the start of the work week... and for that I decided to share this look at my {Just Sayin'} Pinterest Board, Enjoy!

Now go out there and have a Fabulous Monday!

XxOo~ Melissa

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Inspiration Workshop [RED, the color]

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Linking with Gussy Sews for Inspiration Workshop today. (Here's the first workshop post I did.)

Today's prompt is [RED, the color]...

The accent color in our kitchen is red (and its going to stay that way as we complete the post fire renovations), so it was pretty easy to snap a few pictures of the first three things that came to mind when I think of the color RED:

My KitchenAid Mixer:
(which I , and keep on the counter 24/7 because of it's pretty red color)

My fav coffee cup:

And, of course being Georgia Bulldogs fans who "bleed black and red"...
Our UGA mat that lives in front of the fridge:

What is your RED colored inspiration?

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!
XxOo~ Melissa

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Reading and Following Blogs [How-To and Why You Should!]

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Source: via Melissa on Pinterest

[Why Blogs]
Well, you can learn tons from blogs... DIY/Craft Tutorials, Recipes, Organization, Design, Fashion, Beauty Tips, Gardening... shall I go on?  You can network, find inspiration & support, share faith, and grow through blogs.  And, mostly because many blogs are the real deal... real people, like you and me, sharing their lives, experiences, knowledge and passions through their little place on the internet they call 'Blog'.

[How do I find a blog worth reading?]
I have found that this takes time, building a list of blogs you enjoy reading, that is.  A lot of the time, once you've found a blog you like you can search within that blog for Guest Posts, Feature posts and Sponsors which will bring you to other bloggers who may share a common thread and qualities that got you hooked on the initial blog.

[I found a blog I want to follow... now what?]
Follow it!  Here are some tips:

Subscribing via Google Friend Connect
Some blogs, like mine, are hosted through Blogger (by Google) and allow you to subscribe via Google Friend Connect aka GFC, using your Google account.
Once you click "Join this site", you'll come to a window where you can then choose to follow publicly or privately... the choices are pretty self-explanatory, but it gives you a breakdown anyway... *wink*

Using an RSS Reader such as Google Reader (and the super cool 'Subscribe' toolbar widget)
When you subscribe via GFC, the feeds for those blogs will be stored in Google Reader... a super easy way to keep up with  the blogs you are following, and its Free! 

The reader will automatically get updates for the blog you follow and you can read them all from one screen... anywhere you can get an internet browser window! You can also access it from your iPhone with the Google Reader App... woot!

[What if I want to follow a blog that's not hosted on Blogger?]
Google reader also allows you to add this cute little "Subscribe" widget to your toolbar:

Yep, mine sits next to that addictive little 'Pin It' Pinterest widget!

When you find a non-Blogger blog that you love, you can click that 'Subscribe' button up on your toolbar to add it to your Reader... and viola! you can now keep up with that site, too!

[Did you know?]
  You can follow more than just blogs in a Reader...
This widget shows you that a feed is available for the site you are reading... when you click it, you have an option to select the reader you are using, in my case, Google Reader, and you can then choose to subscribe that way!  Super for news sites such as FoxNews or CNN.

~ ~ ~

These are just some tips that I've learned along the way...  I love being able to keep up with all of the blogs I enjoy without feeling overwhelmed or that I may miss something.  When I set aside an amount of time weekly, I am able to learn, be inspired by and connect with all of the blogs, and bloggers, that I enjoy!

Also, don't be afraid to leave a comment... us bloggers love feedback and to know that you are liking what you see/read!  You can comment as little or as much as you like, but definitely do so if you come across a cool post, or yummy recipe that you enjoyed.  Not only does it make us do a *happy dance* it shows other readers that it may be a recipe worth trying or tip worth trying!

So grab a cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee (or beverage of your choice) and get to reading and following! You'll be happy you did!

XxOo ~Melissa

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Call for October Sponsors [Let's Work Together!]

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With Fall in full swing and Halloween approaching, I thought it would be lots of fun to host a month of Fall/Halloween related Guest Posts, GiveAways, Features and Tutorials right here at SoChick! The Blog.

E-mail me at melissa[at]sochickhandbags[dot]com if you'd like to participate!!

I'd also love to work together with other small/indie/handmade shop owners and bloggers to help promote one another with a button swap!  Visit my Networking/PR Page for more info!
Everyday I am reminded how much I love encouraging my peers, bouncing ideas off of other crafty friends, and networking via Twitter and Facebook.  I also love to expose others to the wonderful world of the blogging and hand-made community.

Since making my Commitment to Blogging a part of my business plan, I have been blessed to 'meet' so many wonderful ladies who share the same love and passion for creating that I do, whether it's with sewing, painting, jewelry making, blogging, etc.

I look forward to working with you! 

XxOo~ Melissa

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up [MUMFest at the Farmer's Market]

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What a great weekend it has been and what a breath of fresh air today is!

I spent Saturday and Sunday at the New Bern Farmer's Market during MUMFest in Downtown, New Bern, NC.

Here's my set-up... I was very happy with how it turned out:

Me! The SoChick Chick

I loved, LOVED, chatting with everyone and meeting new people... also seeing and catching up with friends was fabulous!

Now that this festival has passed I can catch up on all of the tasks I've been pushing aside, haha. 

What were you up to this weekend? Did you have nice weather? Were you at MUMFest? I'd love to hear all about it!  Leave a Comment below *wink*

* * *
SoChick!'s Fall Products started listing last night with the 'Made to Order' SoChick! Sling

More new items will list later today!

Have a great Monday!

XxOo~ Melissa
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