October 30, 2014

EASY HOMEMADE DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND BROWNIES

EASY HOMEMADE DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND BROWNIES
Are you a brownie fan? Me too! In September my friend Caitlin visited and we made brownies, lots and lots of brownies. We made one batch and I was instantly asking to make more. They were so so good and so so easy. I don't get to cook that often with friends so it was so awesome to share the kitchen with Caitlin. And, let's be honest she did most of the cooking.

I forget how much I enjoy cooking with loved ones until I'm thinking back on that memory.  We've entered the holiday season and it's a perfect season to spend time cooking with loved ones. Slow down and make memories. Cook up yummy food and share a meal together. And throw in some brownies at the end.
EASY HOMEMADE DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND BROWNIES
EASY HOMEMADE DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND BROWNIES
EASY HOMEMADE DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND BROWNIES
HOMEMADE DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND BROWNIES - adapted from here

Ingredients: 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp baking powered, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla, 5 dove dark chocolate individually wrapped squares, 1/2 cup of chopped almonds.

Method: In a large mixing bowl mix sugar, flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. Add and mix eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Unwrap dark chocolate and chop into tiny pieces and add brownie mix. Add 1/4 cup of chopped almonds to mix. Pour into greased baking dish, top with remaining chopped almonds.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes at 350º in a preheated oven. Enjoy!
EASY HOMEMADE DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND BROWNIES
I baked these brownies up on Thursday evening and Tyler and I had them eaten by Sunday, that's how yummy they are. I also love that they are so easy to whip together with ingredients hat I almost always have in the kitchen. And because they are homemade I don't have to wonder what weird ingredient might be in them if they would have been store bought. Win, win! xo. Samantha

October 28, 2014

TOP 5 REASONS TO JOIN TRISTYLE & CO.

I have something to tell you. Are you ready? Meg, Elizabeth, and I have been working, planning and dreaming up all sorts of ways to encourage, love, celebrate and promote an inspired community. A community that can grow, evolve, and take shape with all of you taking part. We want the TriStyle & Co. community to wrap you up and encourage you along your journey and we're taking steps to make it happen. We want to create a springboard to build that community and we're doing that through the TriStyle & Co. Community group.
TOP 5 REASONS TO JOIN TRISTYLE & CO. 

1.) MAKE NEW FRIENDS & NETWORK : TriStyle & Co is a place to build community. A place to meet new friends, connect with old ones and find ways to encourage one another on this journey together.

2.) LEARN & GROW : We want to encourage life long learning and provide a place where we can learn from one another. We each have skills that we can share with one another that are unique. And through  our shared experiences we can learn and build each other up.

3.) FIND HELP & SUPPORT : TriStyle & Co. is a springboard to encourage and a part of that encouragement is providing an opportunity where people can ask questions and find support in different areas their struggling in. We want to support you and help you find solutions to problems you may encounter. 

4.) SHARE & CONTRIBUTE : There is no better place to share and contribute then TriStyle & Co. We want to be your cheerleaders, we want to encourage your content, and we want to know what's going on with you. Share with us your most recent work so we can check out how stellar it is! You can even share your #TriStyleCo style!

5.) DISCOUNTS & GIVEAWAYS : TriStyle & Co. is your one stop shop for sponsorship discounts, shop discounts, blog giveaways, and discounts to the most recent item styled by TriStyle & Co. You don't' want to miss out!
Are you ready to come along with us? Join the TriStyle & Co. community and be a part of building a community that's more;  a community of belonging, a community of hope, a community shaped by our unique differences and bound by a common love. xo. Samantha

P.S. did you participate in this month's style challenge? If so, share you She Is Clothing style and #TriStyleCo !!

October 27, 2014

5 THINGS // VOL. 28

1.) Fall is slowly making it's way into SoCal. Our days are finally cooling, no more 90º days, hurray! And with cooler weather comes cozy mornings, hot tea and letter writing. Hello, Fall.

2.) P.F. Chang's for the win! Tyler's brother-in-law was in town last week and he took us to dinner at P.F. Chang's. I had only ever been there once a long time ago and I was so excited. We scored on left over's too!

3.) Happy Handmade Home arrived and I was over the moon! I had been really interested to see how ABM's book had come together. I had read reviews of their first book and I was completely fascinated to see how this booked faired in regards to content and their blog.

4.) Tyler and I sported Newsie style on Saturday at our church's trunk-or-treat event! I was still recovering from being sick, but Tyler was Newsie through and through. People even wanted pictures with him!

5.) The loveliest necklace arrived last week and I have been wearing it every day. I love the minimalist and feminine design. More on that later.


LINK LOVE
This and this are lovely.
Two words, Etsy Swap. Totally swooned over all the goodies.
Starbucks Pumpkin cake, all day every day. 
Are you as tough as a Tough Mudder?
Get Fit, get strong
This hand lettering is lovely.

How was your week lovelies? 

October 23, 2014

5 EASY WAYS TO DECORATE ON A BUDGET

5 EASY WAYS TO DECORATE ON A BUDGET
Living on a budget can be tricky at times, especially when it comes to decorating or making changes in our living space. We have learned to be smart about making decorative changes and updates without spending a lot of cash. I really love the challenge that comes when I want to change something up and I know I have to figure it out with supplies we already have or knowing that I have to purchase supplies that aren't very expensive.

The smallest things can refresh a space, we just have to be willing to give them a try. Each room has tons of potential and we can always find news ways to bring things together.
5 EASY WAYS TO DECORATE ON A BUDGET
5 WAYS TO DECORATE ON A BUDGET
5 WAYS TO DECORATE ON A BUDGET
5 WAYS TO DECORATE ON A BUDGET 

1.) ADD SOME PAINT : This is my number one go to when decorating. I love spray paint because it can be used so easily to change things up and add new pieces to a space. If you have left over paint from painting a room or even craft paint, those are both perfect for adding paint to existing items. We added paint to these planters and our most recent project, our gallery wall.

2.) REARRANGE OLD ITEMS : It's easy to change things up just by moving them around or placing unique items together to make a statement piece. I've rearranged tons of different art pieces to create new spaces and each time I love the outcome and feel that the space as been refreshed.

3.) THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX : Often times we have supplies just laying around the house that we can use to create new and fun decorative pieces, we just need to think outside the box and get creative. I added this DIY pillow to our bedroom to add some color and created this vintage postcard mobile as a statement piece.

4.) SCAVENGE : For reals, don't be afraid to scavenge for off the wall items. Tyler built this table from wood that we found and we have also picked up pallets from places that were just throwing them out. You can find some of the best items from the side of the road. 

5.) DIGITAL DOWNLOADS : This is an awesome way to add new encouraging art pieces to your home at a super low price. I love finding digital downloads because you can purchase them at a super low price while still adding something fun and new.
5 WAYS TO DECORATE ON A BUDGET
5 WAYS TO DECORATE ON A BUDGET
Decorating on a budget can definitely have some challenges, but it also provides a great opportunity for us to be creative and try new things. What are some ways you could change things up in your space?  xo. Samantha

October 22, 2014

5 MUST HAVE DESK ACCESSORIES

5 MUST HAVE DESK ACCESSORIES
My every days are spent in our office; crafting posts, answering emails, and working on a variety of different projects. So, lots of time spent in the office and with lots of time spent in the office comes a variety of different desk accessories. I have my every day accessories like post it notes, paper clips, a notebook, and our Belkin card reader. But those are every day and we're talking up the must have pretty and lovely accessories.

My must have pretty and lovely accessories are all about creating a lovely community, because those must have accessories are the ones I use to send out pretty notes, package pretty packages, and tell others that they are loved.
5 MUST HAVE DESK ACCESSORIES
5 MUST HAVE DESK ACCESSORIES

1.) INK STAMPS : Stamps seem to wrap you up in a time long past. A time of sweet conversations and time of walking through Mayberry. Finding unique stamps is a perfect way to add a little extra personalization to the lovely packages your sending.

2.) COLORFUL SHARPIES : One can never have too many sharpies. They are perfect for writing encouraging notes, jotting down ideas, and they are pretty to look at.

3.) WASHI TAPE : The perfect way to add some pretty to those packages and notes. Washi tape is so versatile and can be added to so many different things.

4.) PERSONAL STATIONARY : Send off all those lovely notes on your personalized stationary. It adds the perfect stamp of individuality and reminds the reciever of who sent such lovely encouraging words.

5.) SPECIALTY TWINE : Finish off the packages and encouraging notes with your favorite specialty twine. There is something that it so sweet about getting a package that has been wrapped up with love.

5 MUST HAVE DESK ACCESSORIES
5 MUST HAVE DESK ACCESSORIES
5 MUST HAVE DESK ACCESSORIES
It's so encouraging to be able to pull out some of my favorite desk accessories and put together a little something for some else. To send them some love in the mail and let them know some one is cheering them on.  What has become must have on your desk? xo. Samantha

October 21, 2014

PRODUCTS THAT MAKE CHANGE

Musana Jewelry, United by Blue, Casual Style, Leather Bag, Shouler Bad
I really love products and companies that have philanthropic visions. They reach out to help others, they spend time and resources to better the lives and the community around them. Musana Jewelry and United By Blue are two such companies.

Each has a mission that points to others and not themselves. Musana Jewelry is a nonprofit working to end poverty in Lugazi, Uganda. They craft handmade pieces to be sold in the U.S. that aid their mission to end poverty. When you purchase items from Musana, you can know that your supporting efforts to enrich the lives of others. United by Blue has an amazing mission as well. For ever item you purchase from United by Blue they remove a pound of trash from oceans and waterways. I really love being able to get behind products that I love and know that they are doing more.
Musana Jewelry, United by Blue, Casual Style, Leather Bag, Shouler Bad
Musana Jewelry, United by Blue, Casual Style, Leather Bag, Shouler Bad
Musana Jewelry, United by Blue, Casual Style, Leather Bag, Shouler Bad
Musana Jewelry, United by Blue, Casual Style, Leather Bag, Shouler Bad
Musana Jewelry, United by Blue, Casual Style, Leather Bag, Shouler Bad
Musana Jewelry, United by Blue, Casual Style, Leather Bag, Shouler Bad
Musana Jewelry, United by Blue, Casual Style, Leather Bag, Shouler Bad
Musana Jewelry, United by Blue, Casual Style, Leather Bag, Shouler Bad
OUTFIT DETAILS: 
CAMI: Forever 21 // BUTTON DOWN: Sarah Jessica Parker  // PANTS: Old Navy  // SHOES: Chucks // 
DAY BAG: United by Blue // NECKLACE: Musana Jewelry // BRACELETS: Musana Jewelry
Musana Jewelry, United by Blue, Casual Style, Leather Bag, Shouler Bad
My Musana pieces are some of my favorites and I wear them all the time with almost everything. I love the color and texture of every piece. My United by Blue bag is also amazing. I swoon over it all the time and I love the size. I can fit my camera in my bag as well as a variety of other items. These accessories are some of my favorite and I love that they come from places that are doing more for the community around them. xo. Samantha

October 20, 2014

5 THINGS // VOL. 27

1.) It may be Fall, but the roses are still blooming. They seem to love the California Fall weather. Summer's seem rather harsh and they seem to get scorched but in the Fall they're happy. 

2.) Tyler brought home a new Feast Print and it's so adorable. He also brought home a pumpkin which means it's starting to feel a little bit like Fall in our house. The temperature may not be cooperating, but I can still make inside feel warm and cozy.

3.) I needed a day of Gilmore Girls and tea so one day last week I spent all day on the couch doing work and watching Gilmore Girls. It was so lovely. I should do that every week!

4.) I baked up some really yummy homemade brownies with dark chocolate and almonds. They are my favorite and so easy! Don't you worry I'll be sharing them soon!

5.) On Saturday some friends invited us to go to Disneyland last minute. Tyler and I were so pumped. We had just finished up a bunch of chores so we took quick showers and were on our way. Disneyland is so magical! We had so much fun!

LINK LOVE

It's Fall somewhere.
A day in the life in 72 seconds, what is your day like?
When blog friends hangout. 
I made this. It's delicious and easy. Done deal.
These cookbooks will have you cooking in no time.
Taco pizza. Yes, please. 
This bag.

How was your week, lovelies? 

October 17, 2014

CONTENTMENT IN THE WAITING

5 Ways to make waiting easier, trust in Jesus
This season has been a season of waiting, a season that has been teaching us contentment. Friends, contentment in the waiting is tough. It's especially tough when you believe whole heartily that Jesus has something for you. When He has given you peace that something is coming and all you can do is wait.

I believe that Jesus has used this summer to mold us and work on our hearts. I felt as if he sent me through the ringer this summer and through that prepared me for whatever he has for us next. Earlier this summer I decided to look for work. I felt like it was a good time to return and I started praying about it and looking for what positions might be good for me. Close to the end of the summer I sat writing in my prayer journal. I was a little confused and wasn't sure what step I should take next. In that moment I felt Jesus speak to my heart, "wait, I have something for you."  This wasn't the answer I thought I would get, but it put me in a place that wrapped me up in Jesus. A place where I would need to find contentment in His timing.
5 Ways to make waiting easier, trust in Jesus
This journey of contentment in the waiting has been hard. I keep wondering how long, how long will it be. What is it that you have for us?  There are days where doubt creeps in and lies flood my mind. "You fool, why are you waiting? Nothing, will come from this."  Those days I feel like I'm fighting a battle, those days I cling to Jesus. The whole world could think I'm foolish, but my trust in Jesus is greater. The whole world could think that waiting on the impossible is worthless, but my trust in Jesus is greater. I've had plenty of people look at me with criticism in their eyes. They think we're silly, they think we shouldn't take those risks. It's those risks that keeps us dependent on Jesus. It's those risks that Jesus wants from us.
5 Ways to make waiting easier, trust in Jesus
5 WAYS Making CONTENTMENT IN THE WAITING a little more easy

1.) PRAY : Pray all the time and every day. When the waiting feels like it's to much, give it to Jesus. When you feel foolish pray for Jesus to wrap himself around you. When your angry about the waiting, tell Jesus about it. He can handle it and He will walk you through it.

2.) READ : Fill your mind with Jesus' promises. He will come through in the waiting, He will not fail. I have found comfort and peace so many days simply spending time reading my Bible. His words flood into my heart and mind and wrap me in His presence.

3.) COMMUNITY : Share your journey with your friends. I've called friends randomly, sent text messages and chatted with friends daily about our season of waiting. They pray for us all the time, they sending me encouraging snail mail and they make my day brighter everyday.

4.) FUN : Lots and lots of fun! Take advantage of the waiting. You're not going anywhere so have fun! Do things you've always wanted to do, try different projects, have a dance party, sing in the car, and have lots of fun!

5.) REFOCUS : It's so easy to spend all your time wondering when the waiting will be over. Refocus your thoughts on what's happening now.  Whatever your currently doing or working on refocus on that. "Wherever you are, be all there."
5 Ways to make waiting easier, trust in Jesus
Are you in a season of waiting? I would love to pray and encourage you through this time of waiting. We can find contentment in the waiting, we just need to stay focused on Jesus. xo. Samantha

October 16, 2014

5 WAYS TO SHARE YOUR GIFTS WITH OTHERS

5 WAYS TO SHARE YOUR GIFTS WITH OTHERS
Every year in the Fall Tyler and his co-workers visit a local school and do chalk art all over their play ground. This year Tyler asked if I would like to go and document the festivities. Everyone arrived on Friday morning, sipped coffee, ate doughnuts and chatted about work.  I ate the doughnuts and cracked jokes that I totally worked with them.
5 WAYS TO SHARE YOUR GIFTS WITH OTHERS
5 WAYS TO SHARE YOUR GIFTS WITH OTHERS
After doughnuts and coffee everyone headed out on the black top and started drawing. I had a few people ask if I was going to draw, I laughed and told them my camera was my canvas. This was Tyler's fourth year so he filled me in on his system. Tyler does his best to draw character's all over the black top. He keeps the characters simple so that that kids can color them in or draw on them as well. Once the artists have finished their drawings all the kids come out, run around like crazy and scream for sheer joy because they are so excited.
5 WAYS TO SHARE YOUR GIFTS WITH OTHERS
5 WAYS TO SHARE YOUR GIFTS WITH OTHERS
5 WAYS TO SHARE YOUR GIFTS WITH OTHERS
5 WAYS TO SHARE YOUR GIFTS WITH OTHERS
I love watching artists draw because I feel like they give so selflessly of their talents. They so graciously give their gifts to others. I was so inpsired at how they give their gifts to others that it got me thinking, "how can we give our gifts to others." I think we all have gifts that are so unique and special to us.

5 WAYS TO SHARE YOUR GIFTS WITH OTHERS

1.) Are you a baker? Or do you like making goodies?  I've never considered my self an awesome baker but I can whip together some pretty tasty treats. Share that gift with others and bake them something super yummy.

2.) Are you good with words? Write someone an encouraging note. Wrap them up in love with words and encourage them in the little and big things.

3.) Do you love visiting with people? Sometimes I think that just spending time with someone and chatting with them is such a sweet gift shared. I know it means a lot to me when I'm able to simply share with a friend.

4.) Are  you awesome at organizing? Cool, me too. Share that gift with a friend in need.  Help them organize their office or whatever else they may need. Share with them an organizational printable.

5.) Are you great at running and fitness? Do you have a green thumb? Are you a killer cook? Whatever your gifts are you have the opportunity to share them, to love on others, to brighten their day.
5 WAYS TO SHARE YOUR GIFTS WITH OTHERS
Sharing our gifts with others is such a sweet experience and no matter what your gifts are you can use them to enrich the life of another. Sharing our gifts allows us to give of ourselves and builds a loving and encouraging community. What are ways that you can share your gifts with others? xo. Samantha

October 15, 2014

CREATE : DIY IPAD SLEEVE

Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
For the most part Tyler and I are rather frugal. We have a set budget and we do our best to stick to it. It's tough, but often times it inspires creativity and resourcefulness. Our ipad has been hanging around our house without a case of any kind. We use it often and then just set it down in the office. I'm not super fond of it hanging out uncased so I set out the make a sleeve for it. We don't cart it around every where we go so I didn't see a need to purchase a protective case. Plus, we're on a budget remember, and purchasing a case was not in the budget.

I decided I would make a padded sleeve for it. I love padded sleeves because they are really easy to make and super functional. I wanted something that would keep the ipad safe and sound while we weren't using it. 
Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
Sleeves really are one of the easiest things to make. For this project you need six different fabric pieces. Two pieces for the outside fabric, two pieces for the lining, and two pieces for the inside padding.  Start by cutting all of your pieces, each of my pieces were 10" x 12". For the most part you want an extra inch of fabric all around your ipad. This will provide a good amount for seam allowance and it will insure you ipad will actually fit without being to snug.
Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
Once all of your pieces are cut lay your outside fabric print side facing each other and then put a piece of padding (interfacing) on each side. You are basically sewing it inside out. Pin around the sides and then sew around the sleeve. Remember not to sew the opening of your sleeve.
Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
Once those pieces are sewn together set them aside and grab the two pieces for your inside lining. Lay those pieces facing each other, your sewing these inside out too, and sew around the edges. Remember, to not sew around the top of your sleeve and remember to leave an opening at the bottom as well. You will need that opening to pull your sleeve through when you finish.
Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
Once your inside lining sleeve is sewn take the outside section with the padding and turn it right side out. Then take the lining of the sleeve and pull it over you sleeve. Sew around the top of the sleeve attaching the lining to the outside fabric.
Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
Once you're finished pull the sleeve through the hole in the bottom of the lining fabric so everything is right side out. Sew the bottom of the lining hole and place the lining inside the sleeve. The last step is so sew a seam at the top of the sleeve to finish the look. All done!
Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
Eas DIY Ipad sleeve, ipad case, make yourself, cutton ipad sleeve
Making sleeves/cases is actually one of my very favorite projects. They are super easy and come together rather quickly. I also really love how versatile they are, they can be used for so many different things. Happy creating! xo. Samantha

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