Almost There: January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Project 365: Day 31

P.F. Changs, anyone? How about leftover P.F. Changs? This was pre-microwave so it's still shaped like the box but man oh man was it delish!

Also, this picture is another reason why I love taking pictures with natural lighting! So pretty!

Happy Day 31!

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wedding dress inspiration

I'm just 37 days away from my wedding, and I don't have a dress yet. It's getting a little stressful!

Long story short, I thought I had one and well, it just didn't work out. The fabric was way off from what I ordered. 

Anyway, I'm going shopping in Atlanta this weekend, and I've also been Internet searching like crazy. What I'm looking for seems simple enough: lacy, off white (or somewhere just close to the white family), short and with sleeves. Here are a few things that inspire me as I go search!

This Etsy dress.

The back of this dress.

This BHLDN dress. Everything about it.

This Modcloth dress. (Teal is one of our wedding colors so...maybe?!) 

—Holli Anne

Project 365: Day 30

I don't think I've loved a picture more than this one I took today of my Milo. He's just a beautiful cat and I'm so happy I adopted him.

#catlady #itsfine

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

Project 365: Day 29

Day 29 makes me super happy! All I can say is #hollicon. 

Isn't that right, Holli Anne?

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Recipe: The Casey (Alcoholic Drink)

Back in this post I talked about posting drink recipes that I find that I actually like. I'm not a big drinker but there are a few drinks that seem to rub me the right way.

Meet "The Casey." This drink is my absolute favorite drink! Made for me by a dear friend (named Casey!) a few years back and I'm still in love today.

What you need:
  • Triple Sec
  • Pama Pomegranate Liquer
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Ice

Now, I will say right off that Pama can be a little tricky to find and the most expensive part of the drink (around $24) but it lasts a long time and is fabulous!

How to make:

1. Put some ice in your drink!
2. Pour Triple Sec in first. It will be 1/3 of the drink.

3. Pour 1/3 Pama in next. It will also be 1/3 of the drink.

4. Fill the rest of the cup with cranberry juice!
5. Stir or shake!
6. Enjoy the fruity sweetness!

Simple, fast, amazing taste.

Give it a try!

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Project 365: Day 26, 27, 28

So this weekend got hectic! I took the pictures but didn't have a chance to load them. They were focused on good drinks and fun times!


Day 26 (Holding the Triple Sec while making drinks!)

Day 27 (Awesome sweet tea!)

Day 28 (Recipe post coming soon for this drink!)

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Freebie: Your Budget Tracker

If you are like me then your income/budget fluctuates from month to month. That fact alone can make it hard to know what's up for your future. Keeping up with your expenses can also be a drag.

So that's why I designed this budget sheet for the year! It's an outline you can follow that isn't too bad to look at either. 

Fill in the top blanks with the dates and the gray blanks with your $$$$. I even left a good amount of white space at the top for hole punches (if you want to put it in a binder) or doodles/notes.

To download, click the picture below then save to your computer and print!


-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

DIY: Fun Wedding RSVP Tracker

If there's anything I dislike more than disorganization, it is definitely Excel spreadsheets. Or Google spreadsheets. Hell, any kind of spreadsheet just screams absolute boredom to me. 

So when I thought about tracking my wedding RSVPs, I couldn't imagine attempting to use a boring computer document file. 

Plus, I'm ridiculously excited about this party, so I really wanted something on my wall that I could look at everyday and smile. 

Since we didn't send out response cards with our invites, I've been getting e-mail, phone call, Facebook, Twitter and verbal, "Hey, I'm coming," responses. It's a little intense for my scattered bridal brain to track.

Short story long, I made this fun wedding RSVP tracker to hang on my wall. It was simple, cheap and most importantly didn't take very long to create. 

In case you need a fun way to track your wedding RSVP's, here's a tutorial on my little DIY.

  • Old book pages
  • Acrylic paint and paintbrushes
  • String
  • Cork boards 
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Thumb tacks

Make a wedding RSVP tracker

I decided to use book pages as the canvas for my RSVP banner because we are incorporating books into our wedding reception decor. (You know, I'm a writer and all). 

Anyway, I chose red and teal because those are our colors and just painted simple little patterns on the pages. Once they were dry, I strung them up and had this lovely little banner. It really does make me smile. 

I decided instead of "yes" and "no," these would be more appropriate labels. 

Then to make my name labels, I just cut out various triangles and rectangles. Now, every time someone responds, I'll just write their names on one of my little shapes and tack it up. Even the "aww" responses won't be so bad with fun shapes.

Has anyone else made any type of RSVP tracker? I'd love to see other ideas. 

—Holli Anne

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Food Inspiration: FoodieCrush

I don't like to cook. I can bake and even sometimes can enjoy it, but for the most part I avoid tackling any dish that's too complicated. I feel like I should blame the fact that I grew up with men who loved cooking but that spark of interest has also never really been there for me.

However, I want to have about five kids. Always have. So before long I'm going to have to break down and start cooking more. 

If you are a regular reader of this blog then you know how much I love Pinterest. (My profile right here.)  I have some standard boards and then some odd ones but I've never had a food-related board. 

Until now.

Today I was looking up grilled cheese recipes and found this one below.

This sparked my interest enough to hop over to the site. I'm so glad I did.

Foodie Crush is an amazing place for people who love to cook and people who, like me, need a little help in feeling that cooking spark. I browsed the entire site and felt so completely inspire that I finally made a food-related Pinterest board (see here). So far I have posted a few things that I will make!

(This actually excited me the most! It looks so yummy!)

So, if you like to cook or just LOVE TO EAT, check out FoodieCrush!

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

The Most Important Tool to Success

You know those weeks where all the things that could go a little wrong sorta do? This is definitely one of those for me.

Don't worry, this post is not going to be me whining about my life. The reasons for my crummy week are things that happen to everyone—not necessarily the literal details—but some things are stressful, other things happen on top of that and eventually there's a breaking point that enters your week under the "bad" classification. 

One of the specific things was a little setback in my freelance work, but, after shedding a few obligatory tears, I realized something really awesome. 

Someone asked me if I was going to do get a different job, and I realized that wasn't something I hadn't even considered that once. It was literally not an option. 

Even better, I realized that I had truly obtained the most important ingredient of success: belief.

Let me explain.

I have always been a "successful" person on paper. I made top grades in school , I got a good job as a journalist after college and was promoted soon after. When it was time for a new path, I went back to grad school, worked two jobs and made more good grades. 

But as it came time to almost graduate, I had a major quarter life crisis. The reason? I had worked one job I didn't want to go back to and was working toward a new want I didn't want to start. I knew there was something different in me and that there had to be another way. All I wanted to do was create, but the impracticality seemed impossible to overcome. 

Then I stumbled upon the best thing anyone could have ever told me: You are a writer, as long as you are writing.

That's when things started to change.

In my mind, even though I had my writing published in newspapers and magazines around the area, I considered writers to be people who published books, or even more, published best-selling books. You know, people who were known.

Once I had that cleared up, I applied the same things to all my goals. 

I am a business owner. I am a blogger. I am a good cook. I am crafty. I am creative. I am a writer.

If you are a visitor of this blog (thank you, by the way) there's a good chance you are creative in some way, too. And in case no one else ever told you this, I will: the secret to your success ail boils down to your own belief.

You are not successful, rather, when someone else labels you that. You are successful when you do. 

That's the funny thing about us creative-types. We don't create because we want to. We do it because we have to. Because literally, there's nothing better we could be doing. And whether you are taking the time to create or not, it's likely you always want something more.

Whatever your goal, whether its working for yourself, selling your art, or just waking up and doing something you love before you go to your "day job," define it. Deem yourself successful, and you'll be amazed at the difference it makes.

Don't worry about if you are there or not…you are always ALMOST THERE! 

Tell me how you are successful in the comments. 

—Holli Anne

Project 365: Day 24

I mentioned in this post that Valentine's Day and the whole month of February just really excites me! So today's Project 365 is a little preview of one of the many DIYs I will be doing this month! 


-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

Inspiration: Pinterest Finds

Nothing like starting the morning off with a browse and repinning session on Pinterest. It's been a little bit since I've gone pin-crazy so I thought today I should keep adding to my already large #hgtv board. Well, when I start to add to that board I always get crazy inspired.

Below are five pictures that really stood out to me for one reason or the other!


Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Advice: Exercise Your Camera for Your Blog

I am a very visual person. If you have a pretty picture or ANY picture really, I will be more inclined to click a link than if you just have text. I know for a fact that I am not alone. Whether it's just more intriguing or I'm just spoiled by beautiful blog posts over at A Beautiful Mess and DesignLoveFest, I think finding your photography style and voice is key to a successful blog.

This isn't going to be a post about tips and tricks (maybe later on). Instead it's going to be this simple advice: exercise your camera.

What does that mean? 

Take a lot of pictures! Have fun! Edit to your own liking without worrying about others!

You don't need to copy the same style as other bloggers or photographers. If only for the main reason that you are not them!

Take the time to snap a few pictures of a friend (which I did) and edit each a different way until you are happy. Also, don't be afraid to use different angles.

I guarantee that your blog will be more successful if you take the time to get visual! Find a way to incorporate your original images into each post to help draw the attention of readers to keep them coming back for more!

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

Project 365: Day 23

No matter who my sunglasses are on I still love them!

Happy Day 23!

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors

Joseph and I are in the process of painting our future home, and I couldn't be more excited about it! 

Our first home together, and the first home I've gotten to do some fixing up on, well that's just a good combo. 

We've had the home for most of January, but we've been talking about our paint colors  ever since. It's taken us a while to narrow down our favorites because we feel like the decision is pretty important. We have to be happy with our walls everyday! 

So, we've compiled a list of nine tips that helped us in making our selections. Hopefully, they will help you out next time you've got a painting project on your hands. 

1. Start with your personal taste.

This is a no brainer. If you hate red, you probably won't want to smother it all over a wall. On the other hand, if you LOVE red, you just might find it to be the perfect fit for your room. 

2. Consider the mood of each room.

This is really important. How do you want yourself and others to feel when they enter a certain room? Bright and happy? Darker and more dramatic? Peaceful? When making your color selection you should definitely consider this. In your bedroom and living room, you will probably want a color that makes you feel relaxed (like the room above...I could fall asleep in there!) In an office, you will want a color that you can feel productive in. People (including me) generally like bright colors in the kitchen. 

I've lived in a house one time where every room was painted a different bold color. It was really fun when I first stayed there, but day in and day out, the saturation was a bit tough to deal with. Once the home was painted more neutral colors, it was so much easier to be productive and relax. Moral: Mood's important!

3. Plan around patterns. 

Just because you want to change your house colors doesn't necessarily mean you are getting all new furniture and decorations. Think about the things you already have and love. Blankets, wall art, curtains, pieces of furniture…whatever items you love in your home, plan your colors around them. Like say, if you had a cool patterned chair! For us, we don't really have much furniture, but we do have these few really bright colorful blankets that we we want to use in our living room. So, we chose a warm, neutral grey, so we wouldn't be tied to one color palette for that room. 

4. Consider adjoining rooms. 

If you think every room is it's own little decorated island, isolated from all the others, think again. Sure, you can obviously give each room its own flavor of color combos, but keep in mind the rooms that you can see around it. Our future home is tiny! So we wanted all the room colors to blend together nicely. If you had a larger space though, and wanted to paint one room purple and the other a clashing color, just make sure both can't be seen from each space.

5. Think about size. 

Are you painting a tiny space? Then you probably will want to avoid deep, saturated colors. Lighter colors will brighten up a room and help it seem more spacious. If you have a lot to work with though, a little boldness never hurt anyone! This was our main reason for choosing a light, bright grey for our bathroom. It's a tiny space, and it's current colors: deep hunter green AND lime green (eww), were really making it seem even smaller. 

6. Utilize your lighting.

First things first, natural light. Do you have big windows, lots of windows, a couple windows, no windows or some other combination of windows?! If the space is naturally bright, it may be a little easier to put a bold color on the walls. If there are no windows, then maybe you would want to choose a lighter color to brighten up the joint. (If that's your thing). This pretty much goes hand in hand with size of the room, and it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your look. 

7. Learn the color wheel. 

It's a brilliant tool, and just looking at it, you might find some great inspiration for colors you didn't think of looking great together before. 

8. Test your color.

There are several paint apps you can get on your phone to upload a picture of your room and try different colors. This can also be done on many paint brand Websites. It's a great tool for trying out your colors ahead of time. If all else fails, pick your most likely candidate and paint a portion of a wall. If you don't like it, you can always cover it up.

9. Pinterest.

I don't know that I need to elaborate. Search for room decorating inspiration. This is the picture I used to choose my bedroom color scheme, though our final choice is a bit more saturated. If you need some steering, Tyler's HGTV Board is fabulous (and the source of these pictures on here!) 

FYI, all the colors at the top are labeled with what room they will be going in! I'll post before and after pics when we are all finished. Happy Painting!

—Holli Anne

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Project 365: Day 22

After today's DIY: Valentines Gift (Sunrises & Sunsets) I decided I needed to go back and check out the beach just before sunset. I know beach pictures can be cliché but, I mean, who cares! This pictures makes me happy and that's why it made Day 22!

Dinner for two: Crazy Coffee Chicken

Coffee and chicken? Yes, you read that right! 

I should probably call this Carribean Coffee Chicken instead since it has lime in it, but I'm most excited about the coffee part, so I'm going to go ahead and stand by my decision. Did you know I'm OBSESSED with coffee? (Proof here).

This is probably my favorite chicken recipe I've ever made. It's got such rich and unique flavor to it!

My recipe is portioned for two, but obviously it could be multiplied or divided for larger or smaller sizes. You do the math because I surely despise math! 

So without further ado, here's how to make this goodness!

  • 1-2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. instant coffee grounds (It makes terrible coffee, but delicious chicken glaze!)
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • Garlic powder
  • Basil
  • Black Pepper

Glaze instructions:

1. In saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter, water, instant coffee, lime juice, ginger, cinnamon and cloves until sugar and coffee dissolve and all ingredients blend together. Stir occasionally.

2. Once all mixed together and warm, turn off heat and set aside.

Chicken instructions:

1. In separate pan, slowly heat chicken in oil (I used coconut oil). 

2. On each side of the chicken, spice with garlic powder, basil and black pepper. I just covered the chicken in each of the spices. Be generous.

3. Once chicken is cooked throughout, pour glaze on top.

4. Serve over rice and with side dishes of your choosing. 

5. Grab a fork and enjoy the heck out of this!

—Holli Anne

Recipe: Coffee Banana Bread!

There's something each of you need to know about me: I am obsessed with coffee!

This is secondary information, still important, but I'm also pretty into making breakfasty-desserty-type breads. This is the last one I made. 

But now onto the good stuff of today:  I made COFFEE banana bread. Oh. My. Goodness. 

It's so delicious and caffeinated and moist. Conclusion: Make this bread!

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 over-ripe bananas
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. brewed coffee


1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease your loaf pan then set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients in the order listed. Mixture should be slightly liquid-y.

3. Pour mixture in loaf pan and bake for around 60 minutes, or until done. Mine took around 70 minutes. 

4. Slice that junk and enjoy! 

—Holli Anne 

DIY: Valentines Gift (Sunrises & Sunsets)

If you followed our blog during Christmas then you most likely already know that Holli Anne is a BIG Christmas fan. Her and that hubby-to-be just dive into the holiday spirit and rock out. Well, I'm like that for Valentines Day...and pretty much the whole month of February. 

To me, you have so much opportunity during this month to show that special someone, or ANY of your loved ones, how much you think about them and care. It's a month of consideration and fuzzy, warm feelings.

So this month I will be blowing up the blog with DIY for the month & V-Day like no one's business.

Today, however, I want to go ahead and show you a gift that lasts the entire month (though you could change it for only the one day) and can be completely personalized.

All you need is paper, a pen, markers, and a little bit of research!

Sunrises and sunsets have way big potential to be romantic. Since I'm at the beach I've been trying to catch the sunsets (my personal favorite) and thought how lovely it would be to know the time of each. I just so happen to know a few people who also live around here that love sunsets as much as I do.

So, I Googled the times of each sunrise and sunset.

After that I went ahead and illustrated the first two days of February's sunsets. Each morning I will leave that day's time for someone special.

What I like the most about each page I've made (and will make) is that it's totally personalized and obviously handmade. Sure I could do the same thing on the computer but I like the slightly sloppy, not perfect look. It shows that I sat down and took the time to make each thing. 

If you don't want to do each day of February then you can just make one for Valentine's Day! You and that special someone can take the time to go outside and watch the sunset together and be all romantic and what not!

Doing projects and gifts like this just make me happy! It help shows how much I care about someone and is fun to do!

Plus, at the end of the month I'm going to collect all of the pages and make a mini scrapbook with them!

I hope you enjoyed!

-Chick Tyler (aka Tyler Anne)


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