December 25, 2013

Merry Merry Christmas!

It's been a fabulous Christmas with our family. Unfortunately we were not able to see everyone!


Moose especially enjoyed checking out the presents!




I hope you and your family had a wonderful Holiday! Merry Christmas!

December 3, 2013

Your Next Shopping Stop

I've been a terrible blogger lately but I hope everyone had the Happiest of Thanksgivings! Ours was spent with Engineer Husband's family in his hometown and between two households it included everything from pork to turkey to spaghetti and meatballs. I think I still feel full! 

While EH ventured out into the woods for some hunting, I along with a few family members ventured down to Lake Village, AR to do some Christmas decor shopping at Paul Michael Company.

Paul Michael's is one of my most favorite places in Arkansas. Located right before you get into Mississippi, their store has everything from furniture to home decor, kitchen wares, gifts - you name it, they've probably got it. We actually picked up a ton of accents for our wedding there!

But the best time of year to visit Paul Michael is when you want to load up on Christmas decor. My mother and sister-in-law and I try to make a trip every year and it's one of my favorite things ever. There is Christmas stuff EVERYWHERE!

Photo Courtesy of Paul Michael FB Page - click to visit!


I love the classic red being paired with the bright green!

Photo Courtesy of Paul Michael Blog
 If you're into the rustic glam, they definitely have something for you. A lot of the pieces from my tree and house are from this section of the store!

I really wish I had taken some pictures myself because there is SO much for you to see. Each tree set up (and there are dozens) has a different theme with tons of items surrounding it that coordinate. It's perfect for inspiration and takes a lot of the guess work out! 

I've spent the past few years accumulating ornaments and at the rate I'm going, we're going to need a bigger tree! Here's what I came up with this year: (sorry for the crappy iphone pic!)


I always love how it turns out but I really need to get a better picture to show all the fun things that are included. Stay tuned for that - and while you wait, check out Paul Michael at their website here, or if you're in the area make sure and stop by! I promise you won't regret it.



November 20, 2013

Gift Guide for your Wine-O Friend

Did you realize there are only 34 days left until Christmas? This blows my mind. I have a feeling I'm going to break a cardinal rule this weekend and go ahead and decorate for Christmas. Waiting until after Thanksgiving just doesn't give me enough time to enjoy everything!

Apart from my daydreaming of covering our house in tinsel and cheer, I've started coming up with ideas for gifts! I love picking out gifts for friends and family, though I know sometimes it can be a challenge!

If you love wine like I do, or have someone on your Christmas list who adores wine, here are a few (I thought) pretty unique gifts! Some of these I use every day weekly and a few I just discovered today!

 
1 - Stainless Steel Wine Glasses - I actually bought a pair of these from a local kitchen store and they've been a definite hit! They keep your white wine cooler longer than a traditional glass, and I adore the modern look.

2 - Insulated Wine Tumblers - I first saw these a few months ago and I've been in love ever since. *hinthint* Wine to go, and no worries about spills!

3 - Rabbit Wine Stoppers - I own a ton of these (they're cheap!) and I can't rave about them enough. No more struggling the get the cork out the second time with these stoppers! Great for a stocking stuffer.

4 - Outdoor Wine Glass Holder - I can't attest to how well these work, but I love the idea! Perfect for those summer nights playing baggo in the backyard - but without worrying about your drink spilling over!

5 - Corkcicle Wine Chiller - I keep one of these in the freezers, perfect for those impromptu guests or for when you just need to chill a bottle really quick. Plus it just looks kind of cool, huh?

6 - Wine Marker Metallic Pens - I have a ton of those cute wine charms and guess what? They all sort of look the same so it doesn't do much good, and that's if I remember to even dig them out of the bowl. These markers would be great for a party - guests can write their names or the host can put fun messages on themselves! 

7 - Cocktail Napkins - There are a bagillion different options out there but I really liked these wine glass blueprint napkins. This would make a great print to have framed for your kitchen or bar area, no?

8 - Insulated Wine Tote - These are great for BYOB occasions. Plus it comes with it's own teeny front pocket to hold the wine screw!

Hopefully this inspires some Christmas shopping for your favorite wine-o (or for yourself, I won't tell!). Happy shopping!

November 13, 2013

Sometimes..

Sometimes it's okay that the only victory you have is a glass of wine at the end of the day.


Though you never turn away a squish snuggle.


Cheers, friends! There is always tomorrow.

November 11, 2013

Seasons Greetings

I know we haven't reached Thanksgiving yet, but I still can't help but start to look at Holiday cards!

Last year I found a great card through Vistaprint. I love Vistaprint because they are always having some sort of sale and if you don't find an option that suits you, you can always upload your own creation!

This is what ours looked like last year - I loved the single photo option for one of our wedding photos, and the phrasing was my absolute favorite.



This year nothing on VistaPrint really tickled my fancy, so after a little bit of googling, I landed at tinyprints.com. A little pricier than VistaPrint but I don't usually order a ton so I figured this year I would splurge.

Here are a few of my favorites!

I love the shape of this one.


Same shape but I love the pop of red. 

The back is even cute!


Perhaps one that features a Moose all cozy and warm?

I love all the fun shapes. This one would be cute with a fun ribbon!

 
It's hard to choose with so many fun options but now is the perfect time to order! Hopefully I can narrow something down in the next few days.

Have you picked out your Holiday cards yet?

November 10, 2013

Stone's Throw Brewery

I've been hearing about a new local brewery here in Little Rock for a few weeks now, and finally this weekend Engineer Husband and I decided to stop in and check it out.

Located in history MacArthur Park near downtown, Stone's Throw Brewery is the brain child of four Little Rock residents who met in a local home brew club. Through the support of family and friends, and even strangers through the Kickstarter program, Little Rock now has this unique brewery to call it's own.

Photo Courtesy of Arkansas Times
Though not much on the outside, once you enter in it's pretty quaint. And on a Saturday night it was pretty hopping. Thankfully it was easy enough to find two seats at the small wrap around bar.

As we entered, they were beginning a tour of the facilities. Unfortunately we were in a time crunch to get to dinner, but it's something we definitely want to check out next time.

Stone's Throw offers 8 beers on tap, two from their own brewery  and six guest spots (Diamond Bear, another great local brewery was featured), all that you can keep up to date on with their website. We tried the Stout and the Pale Ale, both of which were really good! Both darker than I expected, but not so dark that the faint of heart would turn up their nose.


And while Stone's Throw doesn't haven an in-house kitchen, they make sure you're taken care of if your stomach starts rumbling. No, not the bowl of pretzels, but food trucks!

Food trucks have recently started becoming the new it thing, and Little Rock is not lacking. On Saturday they featured a waffle truck - complete with a Southern favorite - chicken and waffles!

You can also buy the growler's and fill up on your favorite beer to take home and enjoy.

Photo Courtesy of KickStarter Website

So for all you locals, make sure and stop by Stone's Throw for a fantastic brew. Their hours are a little strange, but as their popularity grows I imagine they'll start opening up more. Make the time to pop in! I think it will become your favorite regular spot soon.


Stone's Throw Brewery
401 E. 9th St.
Little Rock, AR 72202
www.stonesthrowbeer.com

Let me know if you get a chance to stop by and what you think! I know you won't be disappointed.

November 9, 2013

CARTI Festival of Fashion

Hello y'all! Sorry it's been so long! 

This past week has been a busy one, but some fun things nonetheless!

Last Wednesday my Step Mother-in-Law invited me to tag along to the CARTI Festival of Fashion Show. CARTI is a great organization that has been helping cancer patients and their families for over 40 years, so I was happy to go and show my support!

For those not into cocktails and fashion, CARTI has events all week long with something to cater to everyone, so definitely check it out next year. 

Sincerest apologies for the poor quality photos. I made a mental note to take my nicer camera next year to get blog-worthy pictures!

First we started with perfect dirty martini's at the Capital Hotel.

I

If you are in Little Rock and need a fancy place for dinner or drinks, definitely hit up The Capital Hotel where you can have fine dining at Ashley's, or perfectly concocted drinks at The Capital Bar and Grill, located on opposite ends of the main lobby. I am biased because Ashley's is where we got engaged, but I would suggest either regardless!

Once we had our cocktail (or two), we headed across the street to see the show! Several of the best local boutiques volunteered their time and outfits to give us this fabulous fashion show. Little Rock is definitely not behind when it comes to style if you ask me!

Indigo (located in Park Plaza Mall for you locals) is one of my favorites. Lots of leather and faux fur, both of which I love.



Another (literal) pattern I saw from each of the different boutiques were the fun patterned pants. Some were definitely out there but it might be a trend to try this fall!


I wish I had gotten a better picture of Beyond Cotton's - the dress on the far left was to die for in person. 


I've never shopped at Vesta's but I'll definitely give it a shot after this show!



I wish I recall who these two ladies belonged to but I loved both outfits. One for a girl's night out and one great for work or even a Holiday party.


There were several other local boutiques (like E.Leigh's - my fave!!)  that had great shows, but unfortunately were pretty hard to see in my pictures. It definitely opened my eyes to venture out to some new boutiques!

At the very end, Korto Momolu from Project Runway season 5 came on stage to auction off some of her fabulous dresses! This yellow dress was my favorite but she had so many that were just amazing.


So in the end, a night of cocktails, fashion and the proceeds go to a great cause? The CARTI Festival of Fashion was an obvious victory. Their week-long festivities are wrapped up this year, but makes sure to get your ticket next year.  

Do you shop at your local boutiques, or are you an online only type of shopper? Little of both, like me?

October 31, 2013

Happiest of Halloweens!

I know it's nearing the end of the day, but I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween. For some reason, it's right around this time that the weather down here finally starts to feel like fall. Today did not disappoint! What started out as a rainy, gloomy day turned into a cool overcast evening with just enough breeze to blow the newly colored leaves down the street. I hope the kiddos appreciated the perfect weather for trick or treating!



In years past, Alex and I have always tried to have a big Halloween party. It's been the perfect opportunity to decorate the house in spooky cobwebs, dress up and invite friends over to enjoy the festivities. I think Alex appreciated being able to bust out his old DJ lights and crank up the stereo too!

Unfortunately, things were just too hectic this year to be able to plan something in time. It was a nice break but I bet next year we have our party hats on again!

If you are partnered up, do you go with a couples costume? I always like to! Here is what we came up with last year (thanks Pinterest!):


Deer in headlights, get it? This was an easy outfit to put together, once we had a game plan.

For me, I bought a bronzy-black dress from Forever21 (in my head it resembled a road, so...), some white duct tape and two tap-it lights from a hardware story (by the way..if you decide to go this route and need to find the lights, go ahead and tell the hardware store employees what they're for, they'll get a kick out of it!) and a printed Deer Crossing sign that we duct-taped to a paint stirrer we had in the garage. Easy peasy. Oh, and double sided Velcro to uhm..attach your headlights.

For him, just dark brown pants, a brown t-shirt and some kind of faux fur that we picked up at Hobby Lobby. And for the antlers (because, last minute..couldn't find them anywhere!) we did the pipe cleaners to make the shape, and wrapped bigger pipe cleaners around that frame, so to speak. Not too bad I don't think!

I didn't even think we would dress up this year since we were just going to lounge at home and pass out candy, but we sort of forgot about Alex's work costume contest and so true to form, last minute we were running around the house putting something together. Luckily, we have a back-up plan.



Waldo! And if you are curious, that is indeed my rolled up yoga mat, a small skillet, and the handle to the reeeaaally old broom from our garage. But hey! He finished second, so I guess we pulled through! (Also, ask me about the time that Alex ended up walking in with the entire Razorback team because of this costume! It works wonders!)


Moose can't be left out, of course. My mom crocheted this dapper ensemble a few years ago when we originally were the Waldo's. Surprisingly, the hat stayed on the majority of the night but the sweater somehow kept getting stuck on things in the yard. Weird.


I think I'm channeling more Harry Potter than Wenda with the glasses but that's okay!

So beyond the late night trick or treaters (seriously, 9:30 and the light's off - isn't a turned off porch light the universal indicator that the shop is closed?), our 2013 Halloween was definitely a victory! I hope yours was as well!


 

October 8, 2013

Dresser Top Favorites

Happy Fall, Y'all! The weather is finally cooling down here which means lots of pumpkins, crockpot dinners and Halloween and Fall decorations! More on that to come! 

We've been doing some fall rearranging and cleaning and I love that because it gives you an opportunity to freshen up your everyday things. After dusting our dresser I realized that although that area of the room often gets overlooked, it actually houses several of my most favorite things.

So I thought I would share. And y'all. Please excuse my photography skills. A) I have none and 2) this was a spur of the moment photography session after a glass of wine. Or two.
 

1. Niven Morgan Jean Baptiste 1717 Body Lotion - I won't even try to describe so I'll steal this from the amazon product description -

"A young but sophisticated fragrance, Jean Baptiste 1717 evokes the seductive soul of New Orleans: oak lined boulevards, jasmined air, distant song, sweet times, love lost and found. The scent: Water hyacinth, jasmine and tuberose floating through a sensual aura: wild rose and princess lily with subtle traces of caramel and creamy vanilla, and base notes of rich woods and warm patchouli."

It's an absolutely decadent lotion but definitely a splurge for me. A little goes a long way though so if you're looking for a splurge then you should purchase some like, yesterday. 

2. Niven Morgan Jean Baptiste 1717 Room Spray - Ugh, I die. I spray it on my pillow every night, hence why this bottle is almost empty. I originally purchased it for our guest room but loved it so much as a room/linen spray that it never made it to it's original destination.


3. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Toilette - I like to this of as my signature perfume. Feminine without being too sweet. I don't often wear perfume to work and only sparingly for other occasions so this has lasted me a long time. Engineer Husband always compliments me when I wear it so definitely a victory in my book.  

4. Michael Kors Watch - I love the band detailing and also that it's not too oversized like most of my other watches. I purchased this one at one of the outlets but Amazon is not a horrible price. I especially love layering it with my Lagos bracelet and sometimes another fun bangle. 

5. Tortoise with Large Crystal Necklace - If you've ever shopped on daily deal sites like Jane.com or GroopDealz then you know these come and go. I snagged mine from Jane.com (which I prefer over Groopdealz because items are shipped SO much faster) and so far I really love it. I might end splurging and buying the real thing I love it so much, but I was unsure about the size of the pendant. This is the perfect statement piece for fall in my opinion. Shop around and find you one, I bet you won't regret it!

Hopefully this gives you a little inspiration to dress up your dresser! It's not an area I give a lot of attention to throughout my day, but it nice to have a pretty little space for pretty little things.

September 23, 2013

Recent Events

It's been a busy couple of weeks, which means lots of little victories all around. 

For instance, last week Engineer Husband had a convention in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Have you ever been? You should go sometime. It's like taking a step back in time to find this quirky, one of a kind little community nestled on the side of a mountain. 

Photo Courtesy of Arkansas.com



The Amazing Thorncrown Chapel

My picture couldn't do it justice but if you ever fancy yourself in Northwest Arkansas, this should definitely be a stop on your map. There is a similar chapel, the Anthony Chapel, in Hot Springs where Engineer Husband and I actually tied the knot!

This is from our wedding but the Thorncrown is similar!


Eureka Springs really is a treat. I wish I had taken more pictures!

The following weekend we headed to the Central Arkansas area for a friend's wedding. Isn't this venue lovely?


We managed to snap a picture too!


Not the best quality photo but I still love it! 

We've got lots of fun things to look forward to but you'll have to wait and see! In the meantime, enjoy the fall weather (unless you're in the South and then enjoy the 80 degree weather!) and see you next time!



September 11, 2013

Go Hogs Go!

Work has been insanely busy lately which is good for business but not so great for start up blogging.

So here's just a quick recap of what's been going on lately.

Really...only one major thing has been going on lately. And that thing is Razorback football season.

You see, we have no pro teams in Arkansas. For any type of sport. And while Arkansas has several great Universities, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks are easily the most known and most supported in this area. (exceptions, always of course.) 

The Razorbacks also have a tradition - two games in Little Rock every season. Which is great for those alumni and fans who are transplanted from the heart that is Fayetteville, like us! Unfortunately there are rumors that 2015 will be the last season that Games are hosted in Little Rock so we have to take advantage of this while we can.


Theres just something that can't beat about heading to set up a tailgate at 9am for a 6pm game. Sitting in 100 degree heat with only friends and cold beer to distract you. And then cramming into a stadium to watch your favorite spots team in the whole wide world win a victory.

The season is young but that doesn't matter to the true die hard fans. Though I wouldn't cry over a little cooler weather (there are cuter outfits to be had!).

So what about you? Any college or pro tailgating stories?


PS: if you haven't had the privilege to witness or call the Hogs for yourself, I truly apologize. It's worth a google.

September 2, 2013

Melted Roast Beef Deliciousness

Now that Engineer Husband and I are back to a little home time (seriously..we had something big every weekend in August!), I can get back in tune with our kitchen. I come from a long history of women who enjoyed and excelled at cooking. I...was a bit of a late bloomer. I really started within the past year, but so far it's been a blast and according to EH (who I don't think would lie about food!) I'm actually not terrible at it!

That feels like a victory, for sure.

Tonight I made a new recipe I found when I was playing on Pinterest. It was quick, easy, and EH and I both made happy plates! I had big plans to take step by step pictures, but the camera was charging and seriously, these are so easy you wouldn't need them anyway.

Melted Roast Beef Sandwiches (original recipe here)

-Cooked Roast Beef (I bought a packet from the deli aisle, which was okay, but next time I'll hit up my deli counter and get the good stuff!)
- 2 TBS Mayonnaise (Helmann's! None of that Miracle Whip nonsense)
-1 TBS Dijon Mustard
-3 TBS diced green chiles
-2-4 Slices of Swiss Cheese
-4 Slides of bread (original called for rye, which would have been delightful. I had sourdough. It was just as good I think!)
-2 TBS softened butter 
- Salsa* optional

Keep in mind this recipe is for two people. You could easily double or triple up the ingredients if you needed to cook for a larger crowd! 

Combine the green chiles, mayonnaise and dijon mustard in a small bowl. I mixed ahead of time and put in the fridge for a few hours to let all the flavors get good and combined.

To assemble, coat all 4 slices of bread with your new delicious mixture. Pile on your roast beef, top with as much swiss cheese as you'd like. Once the sandwiches are assembled, coat the outside on both sides with a generous amount of softened butter.

*Little side anecdote - H (who is the more experience cook in our house) asked why I was using so much butter on the bread. Trust me, I said! No problem, I love butter!, he replied! And in the end, it worked out. The thick butter on the outside of the bread made the most amazing crust. 

Anyways. Once you're all assembled and ready - heat up a skillet or non-stick pan. I put ours over low, which is more like medium for normal stoves. You want the pan hot, but not scalding. Place both sandwiches on the pan and let the bread get nice and toasty. Ours became perfect right between 3-4 minutes.

Flip! Which is the hardest part of this ordeal, and let the other side cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. I squished ours down with a spatula so everything got nice and cozy in the middle. 

Aaaand..that's it. Once that second side is good and golden brown, and you can see the swiss cheese oozing out the side you should be good to go!

See? 






I'm usually not a HUGE fan of roast beef, but this paired with the swiss cheese, and the surprise little kick of green chiles made it divine. And, as you can tell from the picture, I forgot the salsa! But remembered just in time to get a few bites with it at the end. It was good! But I wouldn't have missed it. Entirely up to you!

Try it next time you're lazy but still want something home cooked. Swap it out for different ingredients. Go for it and make dinner easy and victorious!



August 29, 2013

A post about my dog's hair

One of the most beautiful things about owning a Pomeranian is being able to gaze and fawn over their beautiful coat. 






Seriously. Look at that plumage. A Pomeranian's coat is like a work of art. He knows it, we know it.

The downside to bearing the responsibility of maintaining such a fabulous little beast? The fluff balls. That's not the technical term, but it's what Engineer Husband and I have so lovingly named them - almost like if we call them something cute we won't run out of the house screaming? Because as much as you brush, and bathe, and brush some more - it's everywhere. 

You can vacuum. You can dust. And it's all great and good for a day or so. Until the Fluff Master decides to roll around on the black rug in your room. Or lay on the back of the couch and so leave little pieces of himself on the sofa table. Which of course you won't really notice until an unexpected guest arrives and BAM - FLUFF.

But you learn. You schedule routine groomings. You're on track with the groomings and your vacuuming schedule so it works. And you start out small. Because Pomeranians are strange creatures - atleast ours is incredibly vain. So you leave the poofy head and the poofy tail.Y'know..so they still feel like themselves.




It's hard to tell from this picture, but it's one of my favorite ones. See the mane is still intact, body shaved down (where most of the shedding occurs), and then the wild bushy tail.

I loved this picture so much I commissioned an artwork as a wedding present for EH.


And then you get busy. Or lazy. Or something. And the hair grows. And grows and grows and accumulates around your house until you realize that that second dog you've been begging for? Yea, you could make an entirely duplicate Moose out of the shed fluff balls that are piling up by your nightstand and on the aforementioned sofa table.

So what do you do? You scramble to make an appointment. Right after you get off work. It's hot. And humid. (It is August in Arkansas after all!) You rush home, scramble to find the collar and the leash. You're on your way. FREEDOM. FREEDOM FROM FLUFF.

And then this happens. You're excited. Like a woman who goes to the salon every other year and decides after waiting to grow her hair out all long that she now wants to chop it all off. For change! For a new start! That's what I decided for Moose.

Which is how this happened.



That's a full body mohawk, folks. There was a slight miscommunication at the groomers. Where I had envisioned a still fluffy face with a fun little mohawk down his back leading into a still poofy tail....yea, they more or less took some inspiration from The Lion King and decided our wonderful, regal, worthy of art Pomeranian needed to be a little more hard core.

At the very least, our little guy is much more cuddly. Our house is just a little less fluffy. And I can't help but think that's a victory. 

As for being so edgy, I'm glad to know that our Squish's new image hasn't changed him too much.






August 27, 2013

Well hey y'all!

I figure it's way past time to get the dreaded first post out of the way.

So hey y'all! I'm Rachel and this is my new project - Pretty Little Victories. I hope you feel free to move around the site (still in progress, of course) but I'll give you a crash course here.

I'm a twenty-something living in Central AR where I'm in the life insurance brokerage business. I am the lucky keeper of the fluffiest squish face ever, our Pomeranian Moose, and I'm proudly married to Engineer Husband who feels the same way. 



I'm a good mood enthusiast and I like to try and find the positive in any situation. Little things excite me (sometimes exorbitantly which my Husband could tell you!) but that's okay. If that little thing happens to be pretty, that just makes it even more sweet.


The purpose of this blog is to document those little things (and sometimes big!) that sum up all the pretty little victories in life. Finding a great new product, having a great hair day, getting over an obstacle at work or in your personal life, something great that happens in the world. It really doesn't matter as long as I can count it a victory! 


So I hope you'll join me. I think it's going to be fun!