September 30, 2011

The Green Chair Project

I've got something that you can do next Thursday, Oct. 6th.

A new blogging friend, The Tall Chick, volunteers with a local furniture donation project/program.

In her words, "I'm involved with marketing efforts for a local non-profit charity called The Green Chair Project.  They provide furnishings and home accessories to needy families in the Wake County area that have been referred to them by partner agencies, like The Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.  These families pay a small fee (or sometimes they're sponsored by someone) and in turn they receive coordinated, gently used items to furnish their homes.  Most of these people are coming from very difficult situations, like homelessness or abusive relationships, and receiving these items are just part of their rehabilitation process.  The goal is to really empower them by providing beautiful items to them in a store-like shopping experience.  It's not meant to make them feel like they're getting someone else's seconds, and the furniture really is beautiful and in GREAT condition....  And I can tell you from experience that The Green Chair Project's showroom is nearly identical to a regular furniture store.  Very impressive."

The charity is moving to a bigger, better location on November 1st, and it will be impossible for them to move all of the furniture and accessories in their warehouse.

**this is where you come in. . .**

They are going to be having a moving sale on October 6, 7 and 8.  But, on the night of the 6th, they're having an exclusive preview sale.  For a $10 donation, guests will receive first dibs on TONS of beautiful furniture, plus they will have food from PieBird, wine, beer and other snacks / beverages at no-charge.

You can like them on Facebook to find out all the details.

This will be a great place to buy a few items to accessorize your home, or create and entirely new look in a certain room. And don't be afraid of furniture makeovers. . .if I can do it, you can do it.

Here are photos of a major furniture makeover I did in the past:


and. . . .After! (for all the details about this project, see this post!)

So if you have an opportunity to check our The Green Chair projects' Thursday Preview Sale, take it! You will be shopping for both your home AND a good cause! :)

September 29, 2011

My thoughts on Clothes and Shopping

I like shopping. So does my sister. And my mom. So we can do some serious damage when we are all together. And I don't mean financial damage, I mean "the day is gone and we spent 15 hours shopping" damage. We are machines.

Over the years, I've learned a few things when it comes to shopping and buying clothes. One of them being, I could wear jeans, a white top, and grey wedges every single day. And I don't really even feel bad about it. A good friend of mine once called me a chromaphobe, which is a person afraid of color. It's sort of true. See photo.

<----This is my idea of color blocking. grey. navy. not bright.

 So I'm learning.

I thought I would share a few of the things I've learned:

1. Decide what pieces are going to be your "investment" pieces.
For me, that's jeans and shoes. I wear jeans almost every day. To work, after work, before work, weekends. It's jeans. Always.
And shoes are very important to me because I spend so much time on my feet at work.

2. Buy for your body shape. 
I would describe my shape as pear. Therefore: skinny jeans ain't workin' on this bod. And I am okay with that! I wear a lot of flare and bootcut jeans to balance my shape. And if I want to wear a loose/flowy sweater, I should probably belt it.

3. If your house was on fire, and you could only grab 10 items of clothes, which ones would you grab? 
My answer would be: anything from J. Crew or Target. I live in Target shoes & tops, and J.Crew (oftentimes the Outlet) tops. Oh and a few of my purses from various outlets.
Continue to shop at these stores. And figure out which stores you should shop less at based on the clothes you would leave behind.

4. Don't save outfits.
I would always "save" an outfit for the perfect day, but then I would never wear it. I had to save it.
Nope. Stop doing that. Just wear it! And wear it again! Often I think, "oh my gosh. people will notice if I wear the same shirt in 2 weeks. . .!". Let me tell you this: They probably won't. So wear it!

5. Take care of your clothes!
I have a tailor here in Raleigh that I go to who does a fantastic job with hemming my jeans. I'm about 5'5'', so regular jeans are too long for me and my little wedges. So I usually have all my jeans hemmed 1/2 inch. And then they are perfect.
I recently bought a pair of jeans from J.Crew. They are perfection. Best Jeans Ever. I wear them almost everyday.
But they were too long. I took them to my tailor (but I had nightmares that the building would burn down and my jeans would be gone forever. . .) and had them hemmed 1/2 inch. When I tried them on back at my house, I cried out. "I LOVE YOU JUNE!" (my tailor's name is June). My cats looked at me like I was crazy.
Also, and my sister always reminds me of this, launder your clothes accordingly. Hang shirts to dry if you don't want them to shrink. Then toss in the dryer with a damp cloth to get rid of wrinkles. Get a steamer, to steam sweaters with wrinkles.

Does this post make you want to go shopping? Me too. So I'm going tomorrow. With my fashionable sister. I might buy leggings. I know, kinda late on that trend.

September 28, 2011

Coffee and Grits (and I'm not talking about breakfast)

Our cat Grits is a rescue kitty who we adopted from Alley Cats and Angels. They are the best in the area! We've adopted 3 cats from them, but our first cat Biscuit died from a rare disease that she acquired when she was a kitten called FIP. From the minute she was diagnosed, to the day she passed away, I cried almost every day. But I'm so glad we adopted her in the first place because we were able to love her and give her a nice home for a year! And she helped my husband learn to like cats.

We adopted Gravy so Biscuit could have a friend. And they were best friends. Or dating? Who ever knows? They were called Biscuit and Gravy! They were made for each other.

We knew we wanted to get another kitten after Biscuit left us, both for our enjoyment and for Gravy to have a friend. 

That's when Grits came into our lives. Justin was interested in trying to find a Siamese-like cat for us and it turns out that Alley Cats and Angels had just what we were looking for! He's a Flamepoint Siamese Mix.

Grits has been. . .how should we say it. . .an entertainer?

He's playful and wild, but then he'll curl up in my lap and fall asleep. He's extremely "talkative" and always wants to be around people. He really is a pretty darn good cat. 

Until Friday. 

I was rushing around like a maniac, which happens to be most mornings, and I was just finishing up in the bathroom.

The Scene: flat iron, curling iron, makeup bag, cup of coffee, iphone, clips, comb, hairspray. All on the counter.

Grits, wanting to be as close to me as he possibly could, jumped from the floor into my coffee cup. It was an accident of course, and frankly it scared him more than me! {the coffee was not hot} So he took off running, and I was left with a mess so overwhelming I just stared at it.

Then I saw it. The liquid had made it's way to my iphone. I snatched the phone and started shaking it upside down. The music I had been listening to went off. Bad sign. I called my husband, and it looked like my ringtone was working, but I couldn't hear text messages or the person on the other end. Keyboard clicks and lock sounds were gone, along with my ipod or any other music playing source. 

I wrapped some toilet paper around a bobby pin and jammed it into the headphone jack to soak up the liquid. Then I placed it in a bag of rice and prayed that my phone would recover. 

Well it didn't. All day I would check it, but there would be no change.

Fast Forward to that evening. I'm totally stressed because I don't want to purchase a new iphone. But I need an iphone because I accept credit cards on it. Uhg! What to do!

While we were getting ready for bed, Justin grabbed my phone and started to look at it. I left the room and went to check emails. Then I heard it.

The sweet sound of success!

My ipod was playing! Music to my ears! Both literally, and figuratively. 

Here's what he figured out. There was a wad of toilet paper jammed in the headphone jack from where I was cleaning so the phone thought headphones were plugged in. { I know phones don't actually think , but they kind of do, don't they? } I love being married to an engineer.

So that explained why some noise was coming through, and the other things weren't audible! 

I immediately hugged him and thanked him over and over. Then I found Grits and forgave him. :)

My husband saved my phone, and a $600.00 replacement, and my day.

So to all you fellow iphone-ers. Cherish your functioning phone! And don't set your coffee cup next to your phone when you have a cat. 

September 27, 2011

La Posh Style Giveaway/Closed

Have you checked out the online boutique La Posh Style?

It's a lovely online store filled with beautiful, and perfectly on trend, clothes, shoes, and outerwear!

Here are some of my favorite items:

La Posh Style is giving away a $50.00 Gift Card to their online boutique!!!
 And there are so many things you can get from their shop for under $50!

All you have to do to enter is comment here letting my know your favorite color to wear in the fall! Please leave your email address in your comment too (written out like this: kate(at)thesmallthingsblog(dot)com, instead of!

For a second chance to win you can also "like" La Posh Style on Facebook, and leave a separate comment here! 

Giveaway ends Tuesday October 4th 2011 at 8:00AM EST. Winner will be chosen via!
The Winner of the La Posh Style Giveaway is:


Hilary said," I love plum for fall. Reds are also great!

Congrats Hilary! Check your email! 

September 26, 2011

The Chic Updo

Have we all seen this photo?
I see it all the time from brides, bridesmaids, or any other client going to a formal event.
It's beautiful.

So I used that as a little inspiration for a easy updo tutorial!

The Chic Updo

(Cream t-shirt is from Target)

*What you won't see in the video tutorial is the finish with hairspray. I try not to spray a bunch of hairspray with my camera lens open. So be sure to spray with a strong hold hairspray when you are finished!*

This may be a little bit more complicated than some my other tutorials. And it's really best on my length or longer. So if you have shorter hair and get frustrated, stick with half up styles for now!

You'll see photos of a cleaner updo and one that I messed up a little bit by rubbing my fingers over it. 

(Yellow Dress is from Macy's

So make sure you go somewhere fancy and show off your new 'do!

September 24, 2011

Homemade Donut Holes

Are you a sucker for donuts like I am?

Check out my sister's blog, Free Bird Journal, for this homemade donut hole recipe! She said they were really easy!

I ate one last night, and it was to die for. The perfect donut hole can turn any day from bad to good. And I was having a bad day yesterday. I'll post about it next week. Let me just leave you with these key factors: iphone, cat, coffee cup. 

Enjoy your weekend!

September 23, 2011

Pizza Dip Recipe

I have a recipe to share for your weekend:

It will make your bread go from boring


Pizza Dip

The most ridiculously easy, and extremely crowd pleasing, recipes I've ever made. This is one of those recipes that when you make it, you think to yourself,"why don't I make this 3 times a week?"

It 3 measly little ingredients.

Chive and Onion Cream Cheese
Pizza Sauce

Thats all.

Spread about 1/2 the tub of cream cheese into the bottom of a pie pan (or a dish shaped like a pie pan that is oven safe). Spread pizza sauce over cream cheese the way you would on a pizza dough. Cover with shredded mozzarella. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. 
*You can add pepperoni or other types of cheese's too! 

I usually slice up french bread about 1/2 an inch thick and spread the baked pizza dough on it to enjoy this appetizer. But Justin prefers it on chips.

Let me know if any experiments with new ingredients work for you!

September 22, 2011

The Big Reveal: New Studio

I absolutely adore my new studio. It is a major, major upgrade. And my window is awesome. Who knew I could appreciate a window so much.

So here is the tour: It could still use a few finishing touches, but I'm kind of saving that for when my mom visits. . .she's good at tying a room together. :)

We start with my favorite corner:

Lots and Lots of products. :)

I've got tons of storage space for all my stuff. It's wonderful.

Our Elisabeth Ashlie wall needs to be stocked up!
Talk about eye sore. That door is hideous. Uhg. I need to replace the "screen" thing with a nicer, matching drape or something. 

The LOVELY canvas'. What do you think of the look? 

Just to give a little perspective of size. Not my size, the rooms size. :)

So to those who live near me and can come in to the salon, Welcome! And those that cannot, I wish you could! But I hope you enjoyed the tour! 

September 21, 2011

Celebration Giveaway/Closed

**This Giveaway is now over. Thanks for entering! Winner announced tomorrow!**
I can't believe it.

This little blog just hit half a million page views.


I'm as shocked as anyone! And I'm so thrilled that my hairstyles, tutorials, and tips on products have helped you all with your hair!

In order to celebrate, I'm hosting a giveaway!

This little package will have a travel size bottle of the following: Aquage Uplifting Foam, Kenra Volume 25 Hair Spray, Redken Slim Supreme and a handful of professional bobby pins!

In order to enter to win, comment below with your favorite celebrity hairstyle (ie Jen Aniston's signature ponytail, Reese Witherspoon's long and straight with bangs, Jessica Biel's soft curls, etc.).

For a second chance to win, like "The Small Things Blog" on Facebook and write an additional comment here letting me know you did!

Make sure you leave your email address in your comment too! And I would write it out like this example : kate (at) thesmallthingsblog (dot) com instead of

Giveaway begins 7:15am EST on Wednesday September 21st and ends 9:00pm EST Thursday September 22nd. Only valid for US residents. Winner will be chosen via Random.Org.

September 20, 2011

Sausage Marinara and Whole Wheat Penne

I whipped up something quick (sort of a pantry meal + sausage) for dinner the other night. 

I had some whole wheat penne, Giada Roasted Garlic Marinara, Mozzarella, Parmesan, and  French Bread. 

The bread was the special feature as I added some key ingredients to it before I baked it. I spread about 1 tablespoon butter on the inside, sprinkled garlic powder, kosher salt, and pamesan cheese. Baked it for about 10 minutes while the other ingredients for my meal were cooking. 

It was delish. Very buttery and garlic-y. :)

And I pretty much love salt on anything, so that was the perfect little kick. 

Overall, though, I wasn't terribly impressed with Giada's Roasted Garlic Marinara. I've had better. I've even tried making my own from scratch and it wasn't anything to write home about!

Do you have a "go to" special marinara sauce? 

I'd love suggestions. :)

September 19, 2011

How to Style your Bangs (and apply Aquage Uplifting Foam!)

The most common request for a video tutorial has been a "how to style your bangs" and "how to apply aquage uplifting foam". So, I complied both of those requests into one video! 

::cue Hallelujah chorus::

But something bigger is happening in this video. Something huge. Something my friends and family have complained about for years. It goes something like this. . .

"Kateeee....why haven't we ever seen your hair wet?"

"Kaaaaaaaaate! Your hair is perfect every day. I hate you"

"Are you wearing a wig?"

So to put an end to all the wig rumors, and complaints that you never see my hair wet, I give you the following video.

Here I will show you how to apply Aquage Uplifting Foam. Then I will blow dry upside down. And then I'll return to show you how I style my bangs with a flat iron! I hope you can learn something from it, and please don't use it as blackmail. ;)

(youtube obviously chooses the most awkward screen shots possible. :) )

Side swept bangs.
(Like the earrings? Buy them here!)

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and your bangs cooperate!

September 17, 2011

And The Winner is. . .

meg1t said...

"love the wynona earrings! and i love the hair tutorials from your blog :)."

Congrats Meg! You were chosen by Random.Org as the winner!
Please send an email to with you mailing address and we will send you the headband!

We loved hosting this giveaway, and were very excited about the number of entries! We hope to do more and more of these! 

Thanks to all who entered!

September 16, 2011

Smarty Pants

For those of you who have cats:

Is it just me or is the minute your cat decides to fall asleep in your lap (I mean, fall asleep. No more purring. It clicks off and they are a goner) is the minute you decide you need to get up?

In my household, the first cat was my idea. Okay, so I thought, "naturally, the cats will love me more than Justin since I was the one that wanted them in the first place...".

Not so much. They love Justin. Don't get me wrong, they love me too. But they really love Justin.

So anytime I get a lap snuggle, I cherish it. But, again, it's always when I have to do something else!

Grits has set up camp on my lap while I'm working at the computer. Notice I have to hold his head for him. High maintenance.

But I always needed to grab something as soon as he fell asleep. So I got a blanket for him and folded it on the floor. 

When I turned around to look at him, I saw he had gotten into it like a bed!

He's a lot smarter than I give him credit for. 

Apparently he knows that too. Smarty pants.

***see yesterday's post to enter our giveaway!
And be SURE to check back Saturday morning at 7:00am to see if you won! :)***