Champagne Free Printable- Perfect for New Year's!

We all know I love the bubbly... and when making my new bar cart, I wanted the perfect quote above it.

I googled quotes with champagne and found this wonderful quote from Leigh Bardugo's novel Shadow and Bone*

An awesome champagne quote for a New Year's or holiday party!  (I keep it year round, huge bubbly fan and all...)




Download the Free Printable here via Google Docs! (My siggy A Bubbly Life is NOT in the pdf)

A Bubbly Life is on FacebookPinterest and Twitter I would LOVE for you to join me there!

*Link to book is an Amazon affiliate link


Garland Letter Christmas DIY

Sorry I have been gone so long during our move! It is only 5 days before Christmas and if you are looking for simple, fast decor for your Christmas party this garland DIY is it!


I am still unpacking my house, Christmas shopping and planning menus for the holiday, so my time is brief- but I had the 5 minutes it took to do this garland letter DIY!




Materials-
Wooden Letters of your choice
Mini Garland
Scissors

I purchased my wooden letters J-O-Y at Hobby Lobby and the mini garland at the $.99 store.

You first wrap a bit of garland around the letter and tie in a knot.  Then you loop the garland around and round until the letter is covered.  Then cut the garland, leaving enough room to tie another small knot

Hang from your mantel, tree or tape to wall for easy decor!

Need more Christmas DIYs?  Make candy cane hearts or create modern nutcrackers!



Moving On To Arizona & Bloggy Absence!

You may have noticed it has been a tad quiet around here, and that is because I am in the midst of moving from Ohio to Arizona.

I had wonderful plans and FIVE Christmas DIYs planned for the blog during my absence, but you know what they say about plans... My baby girl got the flu and the day her fever broke- I got it!

Needless to say- blog, diy-ing, and packing did not happen.  I am off to Arizona this week and my husband meets me a bit later with all our stuff!  I am saving the DIYs for next Christmas if I do not get to them! (hoping I do though!)

Thank you for your patience while I move and I will be back soon!


Pic Via Tim Walker 

Fab Friday Link Loving-Loving Links




Fashion-  Let's just say I would not kick this Valentino dress out of bed...

Fab- I love these sequined star stir sticks... would be great for New Year's!

Fun-  Using marshmallows for a snowy indoor look!

Food- The Raw diet appeals to me since I try to eat no processed foods (except cheese, I love cheese...) This Wild Mushroom Avocado W/ Red Pepper Coulis sounds and looks phenomenal!

Follow@TheHonestToddler his tweets literally improve my mood.
Some of my favorites-
- Daddy's home. Mama said to take me anywhere. Hope anywhere has a slide.
The liquor store to get beverages for mommy is anywhere? Omg :(

Holiday Gift Guide For The Little Chef!



Come on over and visit me at A Fancy Girl Must today where I share my holiday picks for the little chef in your life!

A little tease is the Anthropologie Kid Couture Apron!  I LOVE that Anthropologie has one of their beautiful aprons in a mini size!!



Roasted Grape & Goat Cheese Bruschetta


The holidays are here, so an easy recipe for entertaining is a must! Roasted grape & goat cheese bruschetta is one of my favorites for easy entertaining and I am sharing it alongside 11 other bloggers and their favorite recipes for a very special 12 days of Christmas! Check out all the recipes here!

Roasting is seriously the most beautiful method of bringing out the sweetness in food. Hate a certain veggie? Roast it- it will change your life- my husband hated brussel sprouts til I came along...

Grapes do not necessarily need anymore sweetness, but roasting them along with some savory ingredients turn your standard grape to a delicious melt-in-your-mouth appetizer.

I love serving this VERY simple appetizer.  Cheese plates are an easy addition to parties and adding roasted grapes makes it look like I did not just slice cheese and put it on a dish ;)




Roasted Grapes & Goat Cheese Bruschetta a la A Bubbly Life

Directions:

1 cup of grapes
olive oil
kosher salt & pepper to taste
2 sprigs of chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil
Lightly drizzle olive oil on grapes, sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary- Toss.
Bake for 20 minutes.

While grapes are roasting, take goat cheese out of refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature (this makes it easy to spread on the baguette).
Slice baguettes and lightly brush with some olive oil.

After 20 minutes of baking, remove grapes from oven. If they are a bit "squishy" (technical culinary term, of course)  and you see some juice- they are done.  Still hard and no juice? Stick them back in for a couple minutes.

When grapes are done, set aside and put oven to broil, add sliced baguette pieces to oven.  Broil for approximately 2 minutes til lightly brown.

Plate roasted grapes, cheese and bread on platter for guests to make their own Or spread goat cheese on the baguette, add roasted grapes and eat! Remember to garnish with some rosemary!




A Bubbly Life is on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest, would love for you to join me there!  Please share and pin!

Candy Cane Hearts- Christmas Party Favor


I actually did not have this planned for this week, but two nights ago I was playing around with candy canes (for fun... I dont know, I suppose this is what odd creative types do?)  and thought this was the cutest little creation.  Can I call it a DIY? No, not really... But it IS my type of DIY.  Takes seconds, easy, had everything at home...


You need tape and candy canes!  I have diagrammed where you should tape =)


And there you have the cutest little party favor for any Christmas party... and you can make it 5 minutes before your guests arrive.  Who doesn't want a little love around Christmas? (and mint, it is a lot of parties, you need the breath refreshener ;) 



I am kinda in love with these little hearts....I hope you love them too!!

A Bubbly Life is on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest, would love for you to join me there!  Please share and pin!


Christmas Nutcrackers- Thrifty Tuesday!


I always loved the modern white nutcracker look from West Elm (now sold out), so I decided to head to the thrift store to find some nutcrackers of my own.  I came home with these 3 little pieces for a total of $5.10
(Before photos are off my iPhone and taken at night, I always do my work when my little is asleep!)


The mini guys required no prep work, but I had to remove embellishments from the large nutcracker before painting.  The hair & gems were hot glued on and it was very easy to take off- I used a fancy tool called a "butter knife" 

The next step was to spray paint the figures white and wait to dry! I created both a pink (of course) and red Christmas vignette.

I already owned the white milk vases (another thrifty find!)

The little nutcracker is my favorite- odd, since I really wanted the large one!




A Bubbly Life is on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest, would love for you to join me there!  Please share and pin!

We love decorating for Christmas at our home, although I have to curtail my husband and his lights, he wants lots of them!

What are your decorating plans for Christmas? Wreaths?  Lights?


Weekend Loves & Lens- Leaving Ohio

We are prepping for our move to Arizona in the next couple weeks and since my husband had a 4 day break due to Thanksgiving, we decided to knock out some Columbus things to do off our list!

Um, and now that I am prepping the blog post, I realize it is all about food... lol

As seen through my instagram:

Toro Japanese- Our favorite Japanese restaurant here, we had to go back at least one more time before leaving!- Grilled squid rings & lobster miso soup

Cambridge Tea House- an adorable little tea house with tiaras for Princess Kalia & I

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream- I am weird and do not like ice cream but I had to go to the infamous Jeni's ice cream shop before leaving Columbus.  It was very tasty and both Nick & Kalia loved it!

Hope your weekend was lovely! xoxo, Laurel


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone! From the ridiculous to the meaningful, here is a collage of some of the things I am thankful for (there is SO much more!)




Weekend Loves & Lens- Bloggy Brunch


On Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending a blog brunch with other bloggers in the Columbus, OH area. I hope to see pictures from the event, because I took ONE via Instagram and it was before I left the house, haha!


I made a fruit bruschetta to contribute to the brunch.  (I even had 2 of them myself breaking my low carb lifestyle! I am SUCH a rebel!) But I did make the fruit bruschetta with no added sugar- using pure vanilla and cinnamon to toast the bread and orange zest and some honey in the plain greek yogurt.

Similar to when I went to BlogHer, I was fascinated with people's stories and why they started their blogs and admired their passion.  I met many food bloggers and although I only have a couple posts of food on the blog, I LOVE to cook! So, meeting a butchera homesteadera local/organic sustainable food blogger and a newlywed learning how to cook was right up my alley.

Sadly,  this was my first brunch event and I am moving in a couple weeks! If you are a local Columbus blogger, check out the link for upcoming events and network with fellow bloggers!




Thanksgiving Tablescape- Winter Inspired


For the second year in a row I am in the middle of moving during the holidays, so it will be a quiet Thanksgiving with my husband and I and no special table setting ( :( ), unless you include the moving boxes everywhere...

So, instead I will share some pictures of my wintery Thanksgiving tablescape from a couple years back. (before I blogged, so pictures are few and with flash- ahh!)  

While I love the colors of fall outside, I am not the hugest fan of it in my home.  And, living in Hawaii (see all that sun in picture, haha!) I missed winter and wanted a reminder. So, I decided to create a tablescape with white, silver, cranberry reds, and purples to bring winter to Hawaii.  Try breaking out of the typical browns and orange and try something new for Thanksgiving!

I made these quote place mats using 11X17 heavy cardstock paper. (I am more eco-conscious now, maybe a fabric instead!)

I spray painted gourds and pumpkins silver to give a typical fall centerpiece an elegant touch.



Everyone loved the table, but then again I was feeding them, so it all could have been lies, haha!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!



Fab Friday- Thanksgiving Link Love Edition!



Fab- This holiday drink chiller via Style Me Pretty is soooo beautiful and would be easy to make!

Food (2 links this week since it is Thanksgiving!) -

This Williams Sonoma recipe is THE stuffing to make.  The first year I made this stuffing, it was requested by everyone every year after.  Phrases like- "Best stuffing ever" "OMG"  "Can I have more?" "Best chef ever" were thrown around. (that last one may be a lie..) 

Herbed Turkey Brine- Once you brine a turkey, I do not think you go back to any other method.  Good Life Eats brining method has been my go-to for a couple years.

Fashion- I do not wear watches, but this sparkly one from DKNY could convince me...

Fun- Jump into a pile of beautiful fall leaves before it is too late! (no link, just do it, it is fun, I promise!_)

Follow- A Bubbly Life on Pinterest if you love the link loving! All my finds are there!

Have a lovely weekend everyone, xoxo, Laurel


Surprise Guests? Impromptu 5 Minute Dinner!

Last Friday, I had the one of my wonderful girlfriends come visit me for the weekend. However, she arrived Friday evening, and with my husband out of town and an adorable toddler, I did not have anytime for dinner plans-  so, I went to my delicious, simple fall back for an impromptu dinner!  A dinner ready in five minutes (sorry, Rachael Ray) is what I need some days!

Using a mix of what I had on hand and a quick run to Trader Joe's (I love that place!) and dinner was served within 5 minutes! (not shown is the delicate thinly sliced prosciutto- I did not want to break it!)  



It is pretty much a charcuterie plate, but I feel like I am cheating leaving off cornichons and baguettes, so purists will not let me call it that!


Wine, cheese and cured meats is really all you need...  The rest is up to you! I raid my fridge and I typically have all ingredients- except the cured meats- I cut deli meats from my diet, so now I have to go buy them (but I miss having them, so it is great to have on occasion!) 

But, I always have wine and cheese. Always. The absence of either are considered grounds for divorce in my household (husband-cheese) (me-wine)  

So, there you have it, my impromptu 5 minute dinner and TMI about my marriage!

A Bubbly Life is on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest, would love for you to join me there!




Fab Friday Link Loving- Veteran's Day Edition



Veteran's Day, like any holiday dedicated to our troops, is near and dear to my heart.  

Pause to remember and thank all our veterans- who are serving, who served, who did not come home, who's wounds that are visible and who's wounds are invisible to the naked eye.

To ALL our Veterans- thank you, thank you for your service and sacrifice! 

Please consider donating to these wonderful organizations:  

Some Free Ways to Show Your Love for the Troops-

Share a message of Thanks on Bank of America- for each message BofA makes a $1 donation to WWP!

Send a Thank you Card to the Troops via Shutterfly!

And to my favorite Veteran- my husband- I love you (I will thank you later ;) (Get your mind out of the gutter people- I just mean his favorite dinner)

Nick heading back to Iraq after RnR 



It's A Wrap- Pom Pom Wrapping Paper!


I know it is bit early for Christmas posts, but choose any color pom pom and make your own wrapping paper year round!

I walked into Anthropologie last week (oh, I love that store!) and was inspired by their pom pom wrapping paper. I loved it- but at $18 for 3 sheets- so. not. happening.  So, I made a version of my own!

I love making my own gift wrap with brown paper bags (because I never bring enough reusable bags to Trader Joe's- why must TJ's have so many new things I want to try...)  Craft paper is also very inexpensive, you can find it at the dollar store!

Materials:
Craft paper or repurpose some brown paper bags
Pom Poms
Hot Glue Gun*

Directions: (not really needed, ha!)
Wrap your gift!
Glue your pom poms!

So easy and inexpensive!  I used some Trader Joe's brown paper bags and bought pom poms for $3 at Michaels.

*I used my hot glue gun, but this simple DIY would make a perfect kid's craft activity, so grab some kid safe glue if you want help decorating your gifts!


Now, it wouldn't be me without some pink... ;)

I hope you enjoy! Thank you for reading A Bubbly Life! I am so thankful for all your comments, pins and shares!!




A Bubbly Life is on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, would love for you to join me there!



Star Wars Nursery Printable & Crafty Pen Pals!




The printable is free, but I would LOVE if you joined me on one of my social networks!
A Bubbly Life is on BlogLovinInstagramPinterestTwitter, & Facebook 

I tried something new this month and signed up to participate in CRAFT's package pals.
You get a package pal and you each must send each other something crafty in the mail...hmm...

After stalking my package pal's blogs and Pinterest account,  I came up with a printable art idea.  Is it called stalking when you are just trying to get the perfect gift for someone?  (That is probably what stalkers say as a defense...) 

Shannon's nursery photo was my inspiration!

Screaming for some art! And adorable Yoda that is!  

She had a lot of blue and yellow in her nursery, so I did a blue & yellow themed Star Wars printable along with a pastel and rainbow version.
I could not decide what to send, so I sent all three after I had them printed out on heavy glossy card stock.




I signed up for package pals on a whim and I am so glad I did, I loved participating in it on C.R.A.F.T..

All my DIYs are centered around our home and our needs (or my wants, lol) and it broke me out of my comfort zone to come up with a gift for someone else.

I would never have done a Star Wars printable for myself! (because I am a LOTR & Harry Potter geek & if you do not now what LOTR stands for, well my point is proven)



Link to download all 3 Star Wars Free Printables


Hope you enjoy it Shannon!


Fab Friday- Link Loving

Knot & Bow on Etsy- link below


FunNeon Pink Heart Stickers (I said- neon. pink. heart. stickers.- What is NOT fun about that?)


Fab- I do not know why I need gold dipped feathers, but I want them!

Fashion-  TopShop red dress calling my name for the holidays...

Food- Herb & Mozzarella mushrooms with garlic toasts

Follow-  A Bubbly Life on Instagram! I decided to do a photo a day challenge for November and named it  #30daysofthanks ! (hashtag probably already exists, but I wanted a daily reminder this month!)  I would love to see what you are thankful for!

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for reading A Bubbly Life!



Bar Cart Before & After Reveal & Polka Dot DIY!

Oddly enough, a toddler playroom inspired the final design of the bar cart first seen here.  (Sorry Kalia, Mommy needs a cocktail...)  I was inspired by Lay Baby Lay's playroom-  she had some silver polka dots on a bookshelf.  Check out my entire Pinterest inspiration board for bar carts!

In case you are new here- I love polka dots. As evidenced by here and here . (and newbies I also love wine, the color pink & Marc Jacobs).

When I saw the polka dots- I knew immediately what I could do! I had my eye on stainless steel contact paper while I was at Lowe's one day and thought the metallic color would make a great project some day... I just love it when a plan comes together!




Polka Dot DIY

Materials:
Silver Stainless Steel Contact Paper  (or any color you want)
Large Circle Cutter
Self Healing Mat
 
*All links are Amazon affiliate links

Directions:

1) Your contact paper will be in a roll, so the paper will curl very easily, to fix this I laid the roll out flat on a table and placed heavy books on it and left out overnight. (a couple hours should do)
Now the contact paper is flat and will not curl while you make the circles!
(Step one is not required but makes it much easier; You can also use the books to keep it flat while you are actually cutting, but the paper still tends to curl & it is a pain)

2) Lay your sheet on top of the self healing mat and make your circles!  I chose the 4 inch circle size for my project.

3) To apply the circles all you need to do is remove the back adhesive, I chose to go random with my placement.

How easy is that? =)


I was excited for this project as I have wanted a circle cutter for awhile and this was a perfect excuse to buy one.  They are about $25, but I never go to Michael's without my 50% coupon =)

I am forewarning you, there may be lots of polka dot DIYs coming up now, lol!

For the actual furniture painting, you can review my dining room furniture for thorough instructions but here is a quickie version:

I sanded (the crap) out of the shelf*.  Primed.  Painted two coats. Spray painted the wheels and bottom legs metallic silver.
(my dining room furniture I chemically removed the paint, this piece was small so I used a handheld wedge to sand)

Redoing this small piece was SO easy after my dining set.  I completed that back in July and have not wanted to redo a piece of furniture since- this was a simple reintroduction and made me remember why I love making over furniture!



And yep, that is another tray ($2) I redid with some spray paint and painter's tape!

Please share, comment and pin if you enjoy- thank you so much!

Follow me along on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!

Linked up to the Pinterest Challenge- Start doing your pins!



Thrifty Tuesday Tip!


Keep a list! I personally do not keep a paper list but I have a running list of projects in my head (always...)

Do not lose your creative eye at a thrift store but it is important to always be on the lookout for the pieces/supplies you need!

On your list, it is important to note measurements for the items- window sizes, tables, wall space, etc...  I do keep these handy on my notes app in my iPhone!

A small sampling of my current list (I cannot reveal all my secrets ;)



What is on your list for your home?


Fab Friday- Link Love, Loving Links!

Thought I would try a new feature on A Bubbly Life- sharing some fab favorites from around the web!


Fab-  Mini pumpkin DIY via papernsitch blog- Love!

Fashion- must.have. tulle skirt via Anthropologie instagram


Fun-  Today is International Champagne Day! (we know I love the bubbly...) Drink some champagne, take some pics and follow along with hashtag #ChampagneDay  I'll be tweeting a pic tonight!

Follow- Something Brue- outfit posts, design inspiration, food- a little of everything!

and me on Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter!

Have a bubbly weekend!

xoxo, Laurel


Crispy Duck Leg Confit Recipe (A Simpler Version)

The tasty ingredients!

Duck confit is one of those recipes that sounds very scary to make or will take hours of preparation and work.  However, it is VERY simple and as long as you do not tell anyone else that it is very easy- you appear to be the great host and chef ;)

Most of the time involved in duck confit relies on your refrigerator and stove- as you will see with the very easy recipe:

Simple Crispy Duck Leg Confit by A Bubbly Life 
Serves 2

2 Duck Legs
4 Garlic Cloves
4 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon Peppercorns
4 sprigs of fresh Thyme
1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt
Duck Fat and/or Olive Oil (enough to cover legs)*

* Traditionally, duck confit is cooked entirely in duck fat, but when I lived in Hawaii, duck fat was VERY hard to come by.  So, my trick was to use olive oil if I had no duck fat-  then I would strain, cool and freeze the fat left after the dish was cooked to use next time.  Quite honestly, I did not notice a huge difference in flavor.

- Place duck legs in bakeware
- Poke tiny holes* throughout duck skin- do NOT pierce the meat (I use a fondue fork to pierce holes, it may not be the professional way but it works!)  *I poke holes because after making the dish multiple times, I found MORE fat to release using this method.  It improved the dish by leaps and bounds!


- Smash garlic cloves with the blade of your knife and add two to each leg
- Break in half bay leaves, pour peppercorns, salt and thyme sprigs evenly over the duck legs
- Tightly cover dish (I use Glad press and seal )
- Refrigerate at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours

 - Add olive oil or duck fat to cover the legs.  I typically do not cover them completely, and do just over half the body of the legs.  (I may be shot for saying so by duck confit experts :) 
- Bake at a 325 oven for 3.5 hours  (Another shot for me from the experts, traditionally it should cook nearly all day on a low temp, but I am just not around all day to leave oven on!)

And serve! Roasted fennel and artichoke hearts go well with the dish!




I hope you enjoy! The skin is crispy and the meat is juicy and delicious- it is my second most requested dish (after my lamb, which I may share later)

Duck confit is a great fall and winter dish- I love having the stove on for so long and keeping the house warm!  I do go against many of the traditional methods for duck confit in this recipe, but this way works with my time, schedule and is absolutely delicious.  Rest assured- my method developed over years of trial and error!

Please share and pin if you enjoy!