Golden Alphabet DIY

In preparation of the coming semester, Cece and I have found a new place to live and began decoration plans! And every DIY or decorating project we do will be shared right here so you can use our ideas that are specifically suited for dorm dwellers and renters with bold style.

After seeing the room, I knew immediately I wanted to gold accents, so I bought a couple cans of spray paint and I have been spray painting ALL THE THINGS.

Which brings us to our very first project: These lovely refrigerator magnets!

This is the perfect project for lazy people who like pretty things.

You will need:

  • Alphabet Magnets. I got mine for $2.50 at Walmart and ended up buying two packs.
  • Gold Spray Paint. Also from Walmart, $3. Just be sure you get one that “also bonds¬†to plastic”!
  • Spray Painting surface (cardboard box)

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  1. Take the letters out of the package and line them up all pretty on your spray painting surface, outside preferably.

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  1. Spray paint ALL THE THINGS.
  2. Keep a few feet back. If you are too close to the letters, they will blow all around.
  3. Walk in a little circle around the letters with your spray can to make sure all the edges are good as gold ūüėČ

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  1. Let them dry. Make a sandwich, watch a movie.
  2. Inspect them for spots you may have missed and touch them up.
  3. Play with your new toys!

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Whether you live with your kids, roommates, or lover, everyone is going to have a real good time making silly messages on the fridge.

Isn’t it amazing how quickly they went from childish to classy?

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Bed & Breakfast & Beautiful Banisters

It has been a Summer of firsts! Including this: My first stay at a Bed&Breakfast. And I couldn’t have picked a better place! We stayed at the lovely and historical Fitz Rudolph House in the quaint and green town of Carthage, Illinois.¬†11760088_10203043064997332_1606391174578517101_n

I didn’t even know I was obsessed with turrets! And I may have snuck around to each individual room to photograph them…10981601_10203043067157386_1535872293946875532_n 11745353_10203043070917480_4754702781437075582_n 11745733_10203043075797602_7686584081718156561_n

My family stayed in the topmost room, the “maid’s quarters” and I thought I would not mind one bit cleaning up after strangers if I could be a part of such a beautiful household.

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The place was run by a friendly married couple. Talk about dream job; living in a beautiful home, meeting people from all over and having quality conversations, waking up and making delicious breakfasts in a sun filled kitchen…can you tell I enjoyed myself? It sure beat any hotel or hostel or couch I’ve ever stayed on. Here’s to small businesses, ’cause they really are that neat.

My Summer in Zion

“And now continue your journey. Assemble yourselves upon the land of Zion; and hold a meeting and rejoice together, and offer a sacrament unto the Most High.” D&C 62:4

On my first Sunday here in Missouri, I came to Single’s Branch alone, sat down, and counted 10 other members of the ward. That’s it. There was 11 people. We didn’t even have enough people to split into different classes for the 2nd and 3rd hours.

We are about 30 minutes from Jackson County, I thought for sure there would be more Mormons!

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Within a few weeks of being there,¬†I started going out with the Sister Missionaries and I met some amazing member missionaries. We attended the truly miraculous baptism of my wonderful friend Patrick. We visited everyone who hasn’t been coming to church and threw a huge barbecue to meet everyone. We played Frisbee nearly every day and I got pretty dang good. We hung out at church and at each other’s houses and a little bit at Buffalo Wild Wings (the cool kids call it B-Dubs). We learned more fully what being a church family meant, and it felt great.

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In the first class of summer institute there were 4 attendees, including the teacher and his daughter. The last week I was there, there were 15 students on a week night at church, ready to learn, because we all had real relationships with each other

The Platte City branch¬†was just absorbed into the Liberty Branch, and now has hundreds of members. Before the branches combined, the Platte City Branch was up by at least 20 members. But it wasn’t the numbers that excited us so much. It was the carpooling to activities, the feeling of inclusiveness, and the brand new buzz of conversation in between meetings as friends embraced and acquaintances were made.

So it wasn’t a huge thing, and there weren’t huge, mind blowing, earth shaking miracles, but I realized that Zion is a place but also a spirit of unity among people. As one of my new friends put it, “Be Zion today.” And in that tiny town, we were Zion!

I’ve grown a genuine love for the people here and a love for sharing my love for the gospel. And so now that you’ve read/skimmed through this post I would like to announce that I will be serving an 18 month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I expect to find out where I am going sometime in mid-September and to leave sometime in January.

I am so excited that I have an opportunity to press pause on my life in order to more fully serve The Lord for a short time. It has taken me a while to officially make this decision, but I firmly believe it will change my life and give me an opportunity to help others in a new capacity. If you have any questions about it please comment or email!

Rings & Things

My best buddy since before birth and life long co-conspirator, Logan Marie, my sister has finished her surgeries in New York and come to join the family in Platte City, Missouri.

Quick to take advantage of our short time here, we arranged for a Jazz Tour of Kansas City, indulging in fantastic music, glamorous scenes, and some seriously tantalizing bites. But little did my sister know, there was something much more exciting in the works.

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We sampled our way through Kansas City’s best bars (starting with dessert, naturally) while listening to a variety of performers, from lobby singers to big bands, to tap dancing trumpet players. Meanwhile….our parents were at the airport fetching a very special surprise guest.

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Our fabulous tour guide was in on the scheme too! He was excellent at stalling for time when necessary, not to mention his attentiveness in introducing us to all the performers, and ensuring we were treated like princesses by the wait staff. So distracted was she, there is no way she could have caught on to the fact that at that very moment, her boyfriend from Phoenix was racing over with a special surprise.

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Logan: “Let’s get the garlic pomme frites…it’s not like we will be kissing anyone tonight.”

Me: “Yeah I guess you’re right…”

Ooops..

To end the night, our driver took us to a fountain for a “photo-op” but the pictures we ended up with were not exactly what Logan expected…

For standing in front of the glittering fountain with a bouquet and a ring box, was the one and only Parker Stanley.

And I present to you:

The Future Mr. and Mrs. Stanley

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And I would like to formally invite you along for the wedding planning process as the (almost) official Maid of Honor, Sister of the Bride, and head of the Bridal Party (and most parties in general.)

Lift Up Your Voice

Hello, my name is Victoria Strode and I am here issuing a formal, public apology.

In my blog I write a lot about clothes, and travel and my family and my feelings, but I have been intentionally leaving out a piece of myself that is so integral to who I am and the motivating factor behind all the things I love and do. I’ve been stopping myself from writing about God in my blog for a few reasons…

1. I did not want to offend. I wanted to keep things very politically correct and make my followers comfortable by leaving out anything that could cause disagreement or conflict.

2. I was afraid of backlash. Since joining the blogging world, I have struck up a few friendships and made a little home in my corner of the internet. I was afraid of what my followers would think if I suddenly began writing about my faith. I was afraid of hate mail that religious bloggers usually receive.

3. I was (am) afraid of misrepresenting my religion. When I speak for the LDS church, I am speaking for millions of people, that’s a lot of pressure, just saying.

All these reasons are based on fear, and while it is natural to have fears, I want to be one who is not driven by them. I have been surrounded by God’s love, and I want that to be my driving force.

Recently I posted a picture to the instagram account that is linked to my blog, announcing my religion. I lost a couple followers that day, but I also received an overwhelming amount of support from friends, family, and fellow bloggers.

My name is Victoria Strode, I am a Mormon, I am a blogger, and I promise to be more true to myself as I continue to write.

Hello MO

Having accepted a costuming job in the area and missing my mommy like crazy, I’ve flown to the Kansas City, Missouri area for the summer and I simply adore it thus far!

Not only is it beautiful, but my family is here and my heart is full!

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It has been unseasonably stormy (which I am rather a fan of) and constantly at least 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix and I have just loved it. One complaint? The humidity and my hair are not getting along…

Sometimes I have a hard time comprehending how green it is.

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And while the choices of entertainment are different from what we have in the city, I have already seen so much and met so many new people. So cheers to the summer and a change of pace!

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Short Bangs 101

Hello friends! I recently did some chop chopping of the locks and after living with short bangs I am ready to give a report on them for anyone considering them! So here is my journey through bang-hood, in respective stages:

1. The Decision 

The bang length and style was inspired by hair trends of the late 1950’s..and more specifically our dear Audrey Hepburn. I just wanted something a bit unusual but still lovely.

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It was actually extremely exciting because the salon I went to had a 1950’s theme and I sat right next to a picture of her!

2. The Love Affair 

Looking in the mirror after the haircut was like a Cinderella moment. I felt so beautiful. I even wore my glasses in public and felt cute about it. I took many selfies, which is what the majority of this post will be comprised of.

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3. The Curl

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If you’re like me, you’ll find that your hair has a bit of a natural curl to it and bangs are more of a struggle than they appear to be. Waking up the morning after the cut was a scary, scary thing. But I find that a quick swipe of the straightener will bring things back the way I want them. Additionally, if you comb out your¬†bangs post-shower and let them air dry you’ll tend to have more favorable results.

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4. The Hard Truth

To my delight, all my girl friends raved over my new hair, thanks ladies! However the gentlemen in my life were less thrilled. There are lots of weird things people do in the name of fashion and of beauty. Some of these are done with the intent to look cute for boys, some are done simply with the intent to look cute. This falls into the category of the latter. If your one intention is to attract a man, this is not the style for you. Thank heavens and hallelujah this is not my one and only purpose, so coming to this realization did not slow me down.

NOTE: I’m talking in general. I am sure there are some men out there who favor short bangs.

5. The Confidence Boost

Trying new stuff always ups my self esteem. Mainly because then I see myself as a person who tries new things. Most of the time I feel fresh, fierce, and fancy fine.

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Sometimes I feel a hot, ugly mess

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But all the time I feel like myself. Because frankly, hair is just hair. If you’re unsure, I encourage you to try it out, just to see. I am a firm believe in making impulse decisions under the understanding that hair does grow back. I intend on keeping my bangs for some time, they’re different and they’re fun and I’m so grateful they are in no way permanent.

New Chapter

Alright folks, for those unaware, I just finished up my second semester of college and called it quits on being a little freshman. I cannot believe how far I have come since this baby picture of me at my High School graduation one year ago. I have officially made it a year on my own, which is particularly amazing because of all the kids moving out of their houses I was probably the least capable of caring for myself but hey look I did it! And look what I accomplished in the meantime:

  • Created AND kept up a blog for 6 months. 6 MONTHS (with a small break)
  • Got and held my first job the entire time I lived in Tempe
  • Moved into my first place on my own and was blessed to meet my best friend, Cece there ‚̧
  • Chopped my hair off
  • Made it more than halfway through my associates (!)
  • Didn’t die.
  • In general gained a better understanding of myself and more focused idea of what I want and how to get it
  • Made it safely back into my mommy’s arms for the summer