Special Discount Code for The Covered Porch

To add to the excitement of the "My Favorite Things" giveaway week, Jenn from the Covered Porch Designs is offering Simply Sarah Style readers a 20% off their purchase.

Just use the following code when checking out:


Offer good though May 2012.
A special thanks to Jenn for sharing this with us! 

My Favorite Things Giveaway - Day 1

Today, I am excited to give away two items from one of my favorite stationary designers. I connected with Jenn from the Covered Porch Designs after reading about her designs on another blog. You may remember the post I did on a set she created for me as part of the blogger partnership program she offers. If you are a blogger, I highly recommending connecting with her to get your very own free stationary set. Click here for details.

For my first day of giveaways, I will be giving away a personalized set of Betsy Monogrammed Note Cards and a set of Initial Flair Gift Tags. I adore these products and one winner will win both! 

Betsy Monogrammed Note Cards 

Initial Flair Gift Tags

How to Win!

To enter, you must be a follower of Simply Sarah Style.  For additional entries, see the directions below.  Please leave a separate comment below for each addition entry. Thank you! 

5 Chances to Win:
  1. MANDATORY FIRST ENTRY - Be a follower of Simply Sarah Style. If you aren't already a follower, you can click on the "Join this site with Google Friend Connect" botton on the right side bar of this blog. 
  2. OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRY - "Like" Simply Sarah Style on Facebook by clicking here
  3. OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRY - Share this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or Twitter. Leave the link in the comment box below. 
  4. OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRY - "Like" the Covered Porch Designs on Facebook by clicking here
  5. OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRY - Join the Covered Porch Designs mailing list. To do so, click here.
This giveaway ends on Monday, May 7 at midnight. A winner will be selected at random and notified via email. I will then give Jenn of The Covered Porch Design the name of the winner. The winner can contact Jenn to share his or her initials to order the personalized note cards and gift tags.  

Good luck!

Pantry Makeover Reveal

You may remember my post back in January discussing my desire for a pantry makeover. After seeing several fabulous ideas on Pinterest, I set out to redo my own... on a minimal budget, of course. Since the pantry is actually a closet, I thought that it does not make sense to spend a lot of money on the makeover.  On the flip side, since I store my garbage can inside the pantry, it actually gets a lot of showtime when guests come over. 

With the help of a few Etsy, TJ Maxx and Wal-Mart purchases, I was able to transform my functional space into something super pleasant.


I thought I would try a new Instagram-like program that I downloaded on my phone for the "after" photos.  (For some reason, I can't get Instagram to download to my Android.) They turned out to have a rather vintage feel.

New Supplies:

Macbeth Adhesive Shelving Paper from TJ Maxx
Vinyl Chalkboard Labels from Bugaboo Gifts on Etsy
Wooden Chalkboard Tags from CCN Designs on Etsy
Plastic Storage Containers from Wal-Mart

I think the shelving paper, which I used essentially as wallpaper, made the biggest impact and provided the quickest transformation. I also enjoy looking at all the chalkboard labels. They make finding what you need quick and easy.  Overall, I would say this was a successful little makeover!

Call me Betty Crocker

Thanks to Pinterest, I have been baking and cooking a lot lately.  This is totally unlike me, but I am starting to like my new self. I guess being a soon-to-be-wife, I should learn to prepare some delicious meals and treats. Here is a showcase of the recipes I have tried recently: 

Skinny Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones

This recipe turned out to be rather easy, but required a long list of ingredients. Luckily, I already had most of these ingredients in my pantry.  I love sweets, especially for breakfast, so these turned out to be a great bet for me.  For the full recipe, visit SkinnyTaste.com.

Homemade Pop Tarts 

This picture, taken on my phone, makes these Pop Tarts look a little well-done, but in person, the crust had the perfect amount of goldness. They were superb, even better than the real ones! I mentioned that the scone recipe was easy. This recipes is SUPER easy. Just purchase store-bought pie crust (or make your own if you are a true Betty Crocker), jam and sprinkles. The frosting is simply made from confectioner's sugar and milk. Check out the full recipe by Bake Me More.

Pesto Chicken Stuff Shells

Like the scones, this recipe also required many ingredients. I think I spent a crazy amount of money stocking my shelves with items like pesto, garlic, chicken breast, etc... things I didn't already have in the pantry or fridge. I minced my own garlic for this. Having not done this before, I tried to watch a YouTube video. I think I still need to refine my mincing abilities though.  Once finished, I paired my stuffed shells with roasted asparagus, a favorite of mine. For the full recipe, visit What's Cookin, Chicago?

The past two weeks have been filled with these fun new recipes.  What new recipes have you tried lately?


Giveaway Week Starts April 30!

Yup, you read it right! I will be doing five straight days of giveaways. Just like Oprah, I will be sharing my very favorite things with you. Beginning on Monday, visit everyday to enter for a chance to win one of my latest, favorite things.

Cheers to cool, free stuff!

Crafting with Alphabet Stamps

I had to tell you about these fabulous little stamps that can do many duties.  I came across this pack of wooden alphabet stamps at Michael's for only $1.  Can you believe? That's so cheap!  So I have used these alphabet letters on everything from packaging to labeling, etc.  The possibilities are endless!
Here is my latest wooden stamp project. In minutes, I had a cute, personalized tag using my wooden stamps.

In the past, I have also used the stamps for parties and labeling....

Photos from a Wine Tasting Wedding Shower I hosted with friends.

I have also seen people use the stamps in other ways...

Decorative Canvas 

Organization Labels 

Personalized Cutlery 

Greeting Cards

Gift Tags
by Jamie Chan at Craft

Gift Packaging

Personalized Pitcher

Garden Labels
by Laura Sullivan at Home Depot

The possibilities are endless! What stamp projects do you love?

Pillow Stacking Perfection

Do you see pillows and fall in love? I do! I can't help but "ohhhhing" and "awwwing" over all the fabulous pillows I see on Etsy, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Pinterest, etc.  I guess I need to decided how many is too many when it comes to pillows. 

I love to change pillows out in my living room and around my home from season to season.  I guess I could change them out in my bedroom too, but haven't got around to that just yet.

The Thirty Abode recently shared this graphic from Marissa Waddell Interiors. "How interesting," I thought to myself. I love that there is a graphic to tell you just how many ways you can organize your bed pillows. I have come to the conclusion that my arrangement is most similar to the bottom one in the first column.

Here is what my bed is currently rocking... 

Paisley Sheet & Pillow Set from Crate & Barrel
Striped Shams from Target
Sqaure Euro Pillow From Target
Sequence Pillows from TJ Maxx
Patterned Pillow from Target

I love the look of layered pillows. I never think two can do the job.  I'm sure this is illustrated in my eight-pillow look above. Instead, opt for more like these fabulous designs below...

via Lands End

via Restoration Hardware

via VT Interiors

via Infarrantly Creative

So what's your perfect pillow arrangement?

My Best Friend's Wedding

One my very best friends, Julia, was married on Black Friday in November. Yes, I did say Black Friday - the biggest shopping day of the year. I proudly sacrificed my annual shopping plans to be part of her big day. Julia has been my friend since pre-school when we attended the same daycare and took ballet class together. There is not one thing in this lifetime that I have not done without her by my side.  I was so excited to help her with all the planning along the way.  You may even remember the wine tasting wedding shower my friends and I threw for her last fall. 

Julia choose to feature lime green, purple and navy hues in her color palette, which turned out beautifully. Here are a couple shots highlighting her wedding day.

Wedding Prep

I loved the all-green bouquets! I think single-colored arrangements are so lovely and very classy.
Julia ordered this personalized Louisville Slugger baseball bat as a gift for her husband, Matt.
Each member of the wedding party covered it with their well wishes.
Julia getting ready with her dog, Tipper.
These are my two best friends. Brittany (to the left) and Julia are even cousins.
I've been around their family most of my life and like to think of myself as an honorary family member. 
Julia and I patiently waiting for the limo to arrive. 
Julia and Matt choose to have pictures taken on a lush golf course at a country club.

The Cermony

Gorgeous arrangements by Holly at Posy Floral Designs.
I'm looking forward to having Holly create the flower arrangements for my wedding next April!   
Announcing Mr. and Mrs. Salzer

The Reception
Loved these centerpieces! The swirling vines make the arrangement interesting.
Champagne ready and waiting.
Wedding photography by The Harris'
I was so happy to be apart of this big day. I look forward to having Julia play a special role in my wedding as well. Congratulations to Julia and Matt!
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