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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Black Friday Report

Hello Everyone!
Okay so as I mentioned in my last post I was planning on braving the wee morning drive to Atlanta, traffic, zero parking options, and truly crazed crowds to  not only WORK on Black Friday but also partake in the shopping craze for the very first time. Here is my report.
So Thanksgiving day I did some early online shopping to get a few gifts taken care of. I don’t know if I just never paid attention before or retailers were really trying to boost sales but there were a lot of online deals starting Wednesday and Thursday of last week before Black Friday. I also got some great deals at Talbots! I can’t wait for my stuff to come. Shirts regularly priced at over $40 for $15. Yes please! I’ll have to share my purchases for some fashion inspiration as soon as they come! Mini fashion show? I think yes!
Whilst shopping online Thursday I thought about it and there were a few things I knew I for sure wanted at a couple stores and the deals on Friday morning were going to be great{30-50% off items before 11am}. Thus I decided to get up early and be there right at opening to get what I wanted for myself and for gifts. I had to be at work amongst the madness anyway in the morning. Why not partake?
Jane and I are ready to hit the road
I got up before 5am to get ready for work, my clothes and work bag were set and ready for me to hit the door. I stopped for some Starbucks sustenance, chai latte and granola yogurt. A little caffeine to wake me up! Anthropologie opened at 7am, I got there at 6am. No one was there. I felt like a creeper sitting in my car. Where are the shoppers with that slightly crazed and sleep deprived look in their eyes? And then the cars started coming. I was first in line and out in 10 minutes. Honestly there were probably only 15 people there at opening. However, the lady standing next to me had just left another store and told me the tales of her true Black Friday experience there. People were going insane grabbing up things, trying on clothes in the middle of the store, and being overall rude people. This made me feel a little scared since the job I was heading to in a few hours was at that mall.

One of the items I was lusting for a deal on. Anthropologie’s Bake by Numbers pie platter. Sooo cute! As a former art student and overall lover of baking, art, and unique and crafty things I HAD to have this. On sale for $9.99!!! Get outta my way BF shoppers.
Mission Accomplished!

After leaving store #1 I headed to Talbots to check out the sale. Same story here. They opened at 7am for Black Friday, 30% off one full priced item. But the items I was looking at were sale items already 65% off. They had tons of clothes on sale…and I was the only one there. At first when I got there I second guessed that they were opening early. I got a lot of great items at over 65% off, a few things were only $5 if you can believe it!
Here is where things got a little interesting. I headed to the mall. I really lucked out and found a parking spot right next to the entrance I needed to be at. I had almost 2 hours to kill so I wandered the mall. It wasn’t as bad as I expected. There were a lot of people there but not quite what I expected. I kind of enjoyed myself. There were a few stores that were so crowded I just left. I don’t need anything bad enough to wait over 30 minutes to check out. Plus I’m basically done with Christmas shopping now. I must say doing some recon work the day before really helped. I made a list of the places I wanted to go and what I wanted to look at buying, which wasn’t much.
The rest of the weekend was sort of ho hum. Work wasn’t that busy, Sunday was surprisingly busy compared to Friday and Saturday which we were expecting to be super crazy.
Leaving the mall on BF, however, was another experience all together.
Umm. Can I please just get out of here and go home!?!
Get me outta here!
Overall it wasn’t a horrible experience. Plus I got a few fun pictures.

A view of the Atlanta skyline. Sunrise. Black Friday 2011.

Can anyone guess what that reflection is? The first thing I saw when I was finally reunited with my car after work.

It’s the Macy’s Christmas Tree!!
Look at all those sparkling lights!
Definitely made me feel cheery after a very long day.


How did you spend YOUR Black Friday? Did you go shopping early and snag some awesome deals? Please do share I would love to hear stories of your Black Friday experience and what you nabbed.
Have a bright day!
Bright Girl

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Tablescape & Black Friday

Hello everyone!
I hope you’re having a wonderful Thanksgiving full of delicious food, wonderful family and friends, and good times overall.
Maman made a delicious  Thanksgiving spread of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes with rutabega, and all the trimmings. She also put together this beautiful and bountiful fall tablescape! We took an antique wooden tool bin, filled it with floral foam, and added greenery from the yard! So easy. She also added real flowers {they are in floral picks filled with water to keep them fresh and happy}.
You can really see how big the arrangement is on the table. Natures bounty.
In addition to a few small pumpkins we added birds and a birdhouse from our floral stock closet! Voila! A wonderful fall tablescape!
Well people I’m in for an adventure. I’m currently working at a store in a mall and tomorrow my first major Black Friday is happenin’. I’ve worked retail for a long time but never in a store where people would be flocking to on Black Friday. We aren’t having a sale per se but the mall is going to be insane. Sooo…I’ve decided that since I already have to be there early{for work and to find a parking place, which should be interesting} I’m going to attempt my first Black Friday shopping experience. There are just a few small things I want to get checked off my Christmas list {plus maybe something for me}. I know exactly where I’m going. My purse and clothes are all laid out to get up around 5am. Just have to pack a lunch, get gas, and I’m off.
I’m sure I’ll have lots to share this weekend so stay tuned.
Pray for me.
In the meantime, it’s time for post turkey slumber.
Have a bright day!
Bright Girl
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kitty Fetch

So Stellaluna is officially a member of the household. She is fitting in quite nicely thus far. Pumpkin, who frequently acts as property rodent/bird/creature terminator as well as Cookie Dough terrorizer, plays with Stella everyday and essentially lets her beat him up and cries due to the extent of the beating. AKA he acts like a major wuss.
Fittingly Lily Girl and I saw Puss in Boots last night and now all I can think about is how Pumpkin and Stella remind me of Puss and Kitty Softpaws {Stella certainly doesn’t have soft paws} and Puss saying {in that silky Spanish accent} “I have brought you a present mama” {aka a bird}. Go see it. If you are a kitty mother/father/aunt/uncle/brother/sister you will know what I mean. I get those kind of presents a lot.
Puss in boots and Kitty
Pumpkin gives Stella a mini bath for the first time. Sorry this is so shaky! :/
Binx tolerates her as is the case with the girls, who after 9 years have learned not to bat an eye at a random cat showing up from their former home which they have more than likely long forgotten because they have lived in the lap of luxury since leaving as wee babes.
To say the least Stella is very energetic {and for a kitten with a leg that was broken and re-healed crooked before we brought her home it’s pretty amazing}. She’s crazy but also extremely loveable and comes running when she hears me coming home. This always makes me feel better after all the LONG days I’ve had lately.
Stella LOVES playing fetch. So hilarious. You must watch!!
Kitty Fetch!

Hopefully that made your day. It certainly made mine.
Have a bright day!!
Bright Girl {& Stellaluna}

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Holiday baking has commenced! Swedish Gingerbread


I feel like I was just saying last year, “I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving!!”’s been a whole year since then and again I’m saying, “I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving!!” But it is and it’s time to get into the holiday spirit! My favorite thing to do in preparation for the holidays is to bake! There are several great things I like to bake and during the holidays I love gifting sweet things from the oven.

One of my very favorites is Pepparkakor, or Swedish gingerbread/ginger thins. I am part Swedish but don’t really have any traditions from that side of the family so a few years ago I found an authentic recipe{so authentic it’s in the metric system} and started baking!


Pepparkakor is perfect kick off to holiday baking. Everyone in the house knows what’s going on in that kitchen because it smells so delicious and spicy. It smells like Christmas! Pepparkakor is full of spices like cloves, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, cardamom, brown sugar, and molasses. 

When I was in high school I worked for Ben & Jerry’s. During the holidays we had Festivus Ice Cream, which was delicious{and hilarious}!! This dough smells like what that ice cream tastes like. Unfortunately Ben & Jerry’s no longer makes Festivus so if you had it and loved it you should make these cookies!



The evolution of our Pepparkakor dough. It takes a LOT of flour to mix up this dough. Once you mix it up you separate it into small batches, wrap in cellophane and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. It will get harder and a little less sticky once it cools and sets.


When you’re ready to start rolling and cutting your cookies be sure to have a bag of flour at hand. I generally use at least 4 cups just to flour the surface, roller, and cookie cutters. This dough is STICKY! I also have to roll and scrape several times per half batch to get the right consistency and because the cut pieces tear or stick to the surface. BUT it’s totally worth it because of how delicious and fragrant these treats are.


Into the oven they go! Mmmmm. Smells good!


Did I mention everyone loves them! Why hello there!

What are your favorite things to bake or cook during the holidays?

If you would like to make your own Pepparkakor you can find the recipe here.

Happy a bright day and happy baking!

Bright Girl

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Color Inspiration: Fall Manicures

So in the last few years I have become more experimental and creative with my nail polish choices. I really think nail polish is a great way to be daring with your wardrobe without making a giant leap of faith in new clothes, which are much more expensive than a bottle of polish. You can be wacky and go Katy Perry-esque with glitter and photo encrusted nails or just choose a shade you’ve never tried before!  Anything goes nowadays. I don’t have many crazy colors yet but there are some on my polish wish list. Here are a few of my favorite colors and some that are on my wish list.
OPI You’re a Pisa Work.
Love the hot pink color and it reminds me of my Italian adventures! It currently bedecks my toes! And I AM a Pisa work. Befitting.
NARS Bad Influence
I’m almost out of this! This color is a great nude. It’s a mix of café and putty. Plus you can feel a wee bit naughty while wearing it. The color names are at LEAST half of the fun right! Try it!
Butter London “Marrow”
I got this at Ann Mashburn. Great color! I love jewel tones{as you can probably surmise after looking through my polish wish list} so this purple color was a great break from the expected pinks and reds.
OPI Roadhouse Blues
I haven’t tried a blue shade yet but I love this dark denimy hue!
Butter London “Snog”
Great hot pink color and I love the name. Pucker up baby!
Butter London “British Racing Green”
I love the color and the name. British racing green makes me happy and is the epitome of classic Brit fashion and décor. {See Below!}
Mini Sidenote: Anglophiles, the Mini Cooper in British Racing Green with racing stripes is drool worthy in my eyes. ADORABLE!!
Mr. Bennet would look so adorable in this car!

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed my latest blog post! Please share your favorite hues! I’m always looking for new ideas.
I’ve made several changes to my blog layout! Please be sure to check out the changes including a new link to my twitter account, email updates, and my most popular blog posts. Take some time and check all of these updates out and give me any feedback you can think of.
Have a bright day!
Bright Girl

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving is almost exactly one week away people! I really cannot believe it's already that time of year and I feel like I'm playing catch up as it is.
What is everyone doing for the holidays? What favorite Thanksgiving dish or family tradition are you most looking forward to? Please share I would love to hear all about it. So far I don't have plans quite yet but I'm certain turkey and dressing is in my future. No offence! {See above} We had a turkey visitor a few months ago in our yard. There is a first time for everything I suppose!
I know for sure I'll be doing some holiday baking! Stay tuned! I have lots to share very soon:)
Have a bright day!
Bright Girl

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dia de los Muertos~Georgia on My Mind

A few weeks ago I volunteered at The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, at the AHC. I was really excited about this event because not only do I love Halloween but I was able to experience a traditional Mexican celebration as I myself am part Mexican. My paternal grandmother was a Mexican immigrant who came to California as a child. Her family worked on farms and other various jobs to create a better life for themselves seeking out the "American Dream" and to seek medical attention for their daughter, my grandmother, Gregoria, who later Americanized her name to Georgia. Georgia developed eye problems as a child and unfortunately she went blind. Despite this setback she lived a very productive life, married, and had two children. Amazingly enough my grandfather was also blind.

I have very few, vague memories of my grandmother as she passed away when I was only two but my family tells me she made the most amazing homemade tamales. She and her sister would sit in the kitchen making tamales all day speaking Spanish to one another {my father never learned Spanish so there is no telling what they were gossiping about!}.

Dia de los Muertos is a day to remember and pray for friends and relatives who have passed away. It is a Mexican National Holiday connected to All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Traditionally private alters are created and decorated for your loved ones with sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the deceased.

Traditional Dancers

Toys, Jewelry, and More

Create your own artwork!

Decorate your own jewel encrusted skull! These were actually really pretty and interesting to look at. Glitter galore!
Banana leaf tamale
Grandma Georgia I wish I could have a taste of YOUR tamales.
I thought of you as I enjoyed this one.

Bright Girl

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Apple Festival 2011

So I feel negligent in my blog postings lately. Things have been very busy here and getting home late at night a lot over the past week has left me exhausted and not very motivated to stay up and share some stories with you guys. Last week I worked for 2 straight days(30+ hours in two days) as a movie extra getting home super late and getting up before sunrise four days in a row. It was interesting and exhausting but overall it was a great experience. You never know what to expect when you get that call time and show up but I met some very nice and interesting people who also work as extras, there were over 400 people working as extras during that particular shoot, and I even saw some people from the last shoot a few weeks ago. I now have two part time jobs and have been training and working since last week also. I was on call today and actually really happy they didn't need me even though I need the money. I've been doing homework and organizing my closet today with a new shelf and shoe caddy(organizing makes me soooo happy!!).

Beautiful!! :))

I'm in love with this new shelf!! Stella tried to help me put it together but she quickly became more interested in how the screws looked like toys and the cubbies were clearly made to be her playset weaving in and out of the boards as I was screwing them together. Sheesh!

On to more enjoyable items on the agenda here:
A few weeks ago Lily Girl(as I am currently going to dub her) and I headed up to north Georgia for the 2011 Ellijay Apple Festival to celebrate all things apple!

We're on our way!

Jane loved these tea cup bird feeders!

This picture reminded Jane and I of home. It looks just like our spring house with the fig tree right next door. Kitties in windows are staples at our house too!
Hard to tell in this picture but there is a window next to the door and that's our fig tree next to that.

Apples Galore!

Guess the weight of this jumbo!

Which Way!?!

Waiting on our fresh lemonade


Cute bird houses made of found objects

Is anyone home!?
Heading into downtown Ellijay

Ellijay has tons of scarecrows every year. I even saw one on a Harley and one with an oxygen tank. Woah baby!

A bit morbid. In front of the funeral home perfectly accessorized with a casket, tombstone, and funeral flowers.

Don't get caught with your pants down folks! :(

Those are some sassy ladies

Lily Girl had a one way conversation with this lady. We think she had a little too much cider!

Awesome graphics on this building

We did a little antique shopping
Look at all those vintage lunch boxes! Which to choose?

We loved this Mary Poppins one!

I even found Maman's Disney school bus lunch box!
I found these cute vintage bird prints and thought it was a pretty good deal, $25 each. Someday they will look great in my house, when I get one.

I also really like collecting vintage postcards. I liked the images and graphics on these with animals, cottage scenery, and flowers.

Reminds me of England:)

Lily Girl made a new friend!

Pumpkin time folks...

We're hitchin' a ride, packin' our friend apple pies in our saddle bags, and headin' outta town.
I hope you enjoyed our tour of the town! Check back soon for more adventures!!
Have a bright day!
Bright Girl