Friday, August 30, 2013

friday + long weekend

on this friday morning, i'm feeling especially thankful for the holiday weekend. i fully intend to brunch, watch movies, go to a book store, drink wine, cuddle, and whatever else my little heart desires.

i hope your long weekend is full of breakfast in bed and doing what you love.

photo by slim aaron

Thursday, August 29, 2013

august ipsy products!

another ipsy review! i have to tell you, i'm loving this subscription service. the sample sizes are great and out of 3 months, i've only had one fail. keep 'em coming ipsy, keep 'em coming!

the pixi lash booster sounds like a great mascara, but i'll admit i was a little let down. this mascara claims it will boost or push up your lashes and give you all day color. while i may agree with the boosting claim, i definitely didn't have all day color. in fact, when i looked in the mirror at lunch it looked like i had forgotten to apply mascara. i will use this sample up on days when i want a natural look but i definitely won't repurchase.

i've found a new go-to product. you could say i'm in love with this facial scrub. following the package directions, i scrubbed this onto my face after cleansing. i rinsed it off and immediately felt like i had new skin. and as i toned and moisturized after, i felt like i could actually see my skin brightening. so since i loved this product i figured it probably cost upwards of $30, but it doesn't! it's only $18, plus i get 30% off with my ipsy promo code. excuse me while i fill my online shopping cart...

another go-to product. this chella eyebrow pencil is amazing. i love the size of the pencil most because it's so small and perfect for creating hair-like lines. and this color is perfect for me! normally i purchase brow products at the drugstore, so the $18 price tag is steep for me. but compared to other popular brow products, this is fairly affordable.

wow, does this lipstick pack a punch! this urban decay lipstick in the color anarchy is so bright and bold, and i must say, i love it. it glides on like a balm but lays down the most vibrant color i could ask for. it does get a bit flakey throughout the day but i think that's fairly normal for bright lipcolors. to help it last longer, i used a clear lip liner to line my lips and keep the color in place. then i filled them in with a liner as close to the color as i had, then applied the lipstick. i'd love to try out more colors but i'll probably wait until i have an ulta giftcard since these babies are $22 each.

finally, this mica beauty pigment in a gorgeous bronzey gold color. i wore this yesterday and layered it with a bit of silver for a champagne ombre look. then i smoked out the outer corner with a matte black and was really happy with the look. i compared it to a maybelline color tattoo loose shadow that i have in bronze and they are nearly identical, the mica one is just more pigmented. for the $15 price tag, i'd probably repurchase the $6 maybelline and just layer the color for the same look.

do you get ipsy bags? which of these products would you most want to try?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

cleaning out your makeup

last week i decided it was time to clean out my makeup drawer. it had been a while since i had done a through toss and with picking up a few new products lately, i had to make room for those items. after a google search to see how long i could keep products before they go bad, i decided to come up with a pretty infographic to share my discoveries.

some of these items are up for debate, like lipgloss and liquid liner. it could dry up before it technically needs thrown out. i left pencil liners off this list because if you keep your pencil sharpened, you shouldn't need to throw it out until it's gone.

another little tip: keep your tools clean. makeup sponges should be replaced after a month as not to contaminate your makeup with any bacteria. makeup brushes should be spot cleaned every other day or so and deep cleaned every other week. lash curlers, sharpeners, and any other tools should be cleaned off after each use.

i  know i'm guilty of keeping makeup around too long. anyone else out there? tell me i'm not the only one!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

learning life lessons at JoAnn Fabrics.

Ever have one of those moments that kind of change your life? The kind that make you see things differently and realize you've been wrong you're whole life. I had one of those recently... at JoAnn Fabrics.

Now, one might not expect to have a life-changing experience at a craft store. I certainly didn't when I walked in to pick up some fabric and scrounge around in the dollar bins. My expectations for the trip were pretty average. Go in, weave my way through the aisles, get my things, and leave.

All went according to plan until the lady at the register asked me if I had found everything okay. I said yes and continued to search through my emails on my phone looking for my coupon. As I handed it to her, she smiled and said she was glad. She said she loved when people were pleased with their experience at the store.

Let me remind you, I wasn't at JoAnn Fabrics headquarters where the lead cashier was the CEO. My shopping experience was just at my local store, the one I had been to time and time again. Yet here was an employee taking ownership over her job and store.

I smiled back at her, a little surprised. She continued talking about how much she loved her job there and how it was her dream job.

Hold up. Working as an associate at JoAnn Fabrics is her dream job? And immediately I realized I was placing a judgement on her, i.e. she must not set her standards very high, and I regretted the thought.

For the first time during the interaction, I looked at her and really listened to what she was saying. She was thrilled to be working there. She was smiling and happy and greeting all the customers and joking with her co-workers. She was working her dream job.

And how rude and snobby of me to judge her for loving something. I felt ashamed for thinking those things. Would the Lord ever feel "too good" to love measly ol' me? I certainly don't think so. Isn't my main goal in life to strive to be like my Savior? Loving to all?

Let this serve as a reminder to you as it did to me. Live a loving, full life. Follow whatever path the Lord sets you, and be grateful for all you have. Doing what you love will make you a happy and loving person. And shouldn't we all want to be that?

Monday, August 26, 2013

weekly truth, week 34

James 4:7

+ + +

life lately? i had been searching to find the beautiful among the mess. fortunately i found it yesterday when i stepped way outside my comfort zone and sang in a trio at church. the two lovelies that i sang with are strong, harmonizing singers, and my meek melody self had to really push through to be heard. and it was then, right there in the middle of the song, surrounded by my church family that i felt a wave of relief, grace, and love wash over me.

something beautiful 
something good
all my confusion He understood
all I had to offer him was brokenness and strife
but He made something beautiful
of my life

Friday, August 23, 2013

my fall nail polish favorites

with fall just around the corner, i'm eager to get back to using my favorite dark polishes again. i'm a firm believer that i can wear any color polish all year 'round, but i tend to typically use dark colors and jewel tones in the fall and winter. (not ready to give up spring and summer? check out this post to see those favorite polishes!)

 $26.95 because it is now discontinued. try this dupe for a similar look: essie, first dance $8.00

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Carter's Circus Birthday

Earlier this month my nephew Carter turned three. Since throwing parties is basically my favorite thing, I offered to help my sister with the bash. We decided on a circus theme because it would be bright and colorful - perfect for summer.

 When I think of circus food, I think of popcorn, animal crackers, and circus peanuts. I found these boxes at Party City (which is where I found most of the decor), popped a couple bags right before the party and set them out for people to snack on while Carter opened his gifts.

For favors, we filled peanut butter jars that we had saved with animal crackers. I used hot glue to attach the animals to the lid and a piece of scrapbook paper for the label.

Like I mentioned, I picked up the fans and streamer from Party City. The label on the circus peanuts/elephant food is another piece of scrapbook paper. To make the animals look more "circus-y", I made tutu's out of tissue paper, securing them with tiny rubber bands and I tied ribbon around their tails. Last minute I tried to find small figurines to hot glue on the horses backs, but couldn't find any. Wish I could have thought of that sooner because it would have been awesome.

Making the cake was fairly easy. We baked two 9x13 cakes, put them together on a cookie sheet and iced them as one. To determine the circle size, I used a bowl and gently placed the rim into the icing. It left just enough of a line to see so that I could follow it with my piping bag. After filling in the circle with the piping bag, I used a knife to blur the lines. The plastic animals received a nice, sudsy bath, and they were adorned with their tutus. Then I just placed them around the cake, along with the rubber star balls. With a star tip on my piping bag, I dotted around the circles and around the bottom of the cake. For the final decoration, we placed 2-layer gummi bears around the cake.

It was a cute party, but not too over the top or expensive. And since the decor wasn't a specific character, we can always reuse it for the next party. Plus, Carter loved playing with the animals after we demolished the cake!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

365 8/5 - 8/11

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10
when i first thought of doing black for the 365 project, i thought of little black dresses, and i knew i wanted to share them. this is a round up of 10 dresses, all under $100.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to Create an Entrance

if you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know that i LOVE ikea. they have a wide range of price points and a style for any personality. you can go with simple and inexpensive (and frankly it may not last but a few years) or you can find really well made things with character that could last you a little . like i said, they have everything.

i've talked about nightstands, desks, and vanities from ikea and i thought it would be fun to style an entryway. problem was, i couldn't settle on one style because i loved so much of their stuff. so i came up with three styles, so there's something for everyone. products are listed below each image along with links and prices.

Leksvik wall hook, $9.99 | Sigurd bench in red, $79.99 | Karens vase (or umbrella stand), $14.99 | Maffens basket, $18.99 | Tisdag floor lamp, $99.00 | Renate rug, $24.99 | Total: $257.94
Premiar picture, $129.00 | Salong vase, $7.99 | Kardemumma pots, $1.99 | Stockholm lamp, $119.00 | Bjursta sideboard, $249.00 | Total: $506.98

Aspelund wardrobe, $249.00 | PS 2012 stool in black, $39.99 | Alang wall lamp, $19.99 | Lynas rug, $12.99 | Total: $321.97

Monday, August 19, 2013

weekly truth, week 33

2 Corinthians 4:18

*the beauty/annoyance of hand written notes is that sometimes you don't notice mistakes as often. i've been staring at this written verse for a couple of weeks now, and have only just noticed my mistake after publishing. please excuse my error. :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Dates 6-10 of 21

the farmers market on saturday morning has turned into THE place to be. i've been going for a few years now, but this saturday was the busiest i've ever seen it. KJB usually lets me tackle it on my own but this time he asked if he could go along, so we made it our 6th date.

yet another on-the-water date for number 7. it was a grossly hot night so a trip out on the pontoon was a nice way to cool off just a bit. the breeze felt good and the water was packed with other boats. the sun was going down so i played a bit with taking silhouette-like photos.

date 8 we celebrated national ice cream day in no better fashion than a trip to baskin robbins. i had my pretty coral lipgloss eaten off in no time, along with a scoop of snickers ice cream. also, i never noticed that the handles to the building were pink spoons!

the state fair was date number 9. we walked around, shared an elephant ear, and caught a free concert... KARMIN! i've been a big fan of this duo way back when they started posting youtube videos. make sure you check them out if you haven't heard them.

now friends, here in date 10 you will just have to excuse my appearance. this date was to Emily's wedding (remember me talking about that here and here and here?) i was a hot mess at the reception because... well, it had been a long day. but during the reception, KJB and i were able to spend some quality time together. we hit the dance floor, which is a big deal if you've ever met my hubby. my dear friend grabbed my phone and snapped these photos of us. these really show how much fun we have together.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

my daily face routine

BAM! bet you didn't expect to see a big-ol photo of yours truly when you clicked open to my blog today, did ya? well there it is. sorry if i may have frightened you.

actually, i'll admit that i was/am a bit apprehensive about posting a big mug shot of myself. it can come across as self absorbed, can't it? but i wanted to share this today because lately i've gotten quite a few compliments on my complexion. that's exciting to me because before 7 AM, that face doesn't look much like that at all. i have quite a bit of redness and some crazy raccoon eyes. but with these six products, i think i get a decent palette for whatever eye and lip makeup i want to wear.

(good to know: i have oily to combination skin. this routine may not work for those with dry skin.)
what i do:
1. after applying moisturizer and a good eye cream, i swirl my ring finger into the Bobbi Brown Corrector in the shade peach. lightly, i tap this onto the blue areas under my eyes. a couple of tips: use less than you think, a little goes a long way. also, this stuff has to go on over moisturized skin or it gets cakey + flakey.

2. pump a little bit of Make Up For Ever HD Foundation onto your fingertips and dot all over your face.  my shade is #128, but have a makeup artist match you when purchasing. once product is distributed, use a flat-top kabuki brush to blend it in. or, you can use your fingertips. make sure to blend up into the hairline and down onto your neck. need extra coverage? apply a thin second coat. this stuff is medium coverage, but buildable.

3. once the corrector and foundation are dry, tap your ring finger into the Bobbi Brown Concealer. again, a little goes a long way. gently press it under your eye for a brightening effect.

4. with a large powder brush, dust a bit of Rimmel Stay Matte Powder across your T-zone (across your forehead, down your nose to your chin). this will help keep away the shine.

5. using an angled brush, i pick up some of Elf's Studio Bronzer and contour my face. i like to contour below my cheekbone, under my jaw line, and along my hair line on my forehead. my face is very round so this helps to give it the appearance of angles.

6. to give myself a bit more of an illuminated look, i use Benefit's High Beam as a highlighter. dot the cream along your cheekbone just before the apples of your cheeks. use your fingers to blend that in.

and that's it! a few key products that i consider miracle workers. now i'm ready to do whatever eye makeup and lip products. i also use a setting spray after all my makeup is complete, but i don't have a favorite product yet. do you have one you love?

do you have any products you consider holy grail?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


i'm feeling a bit frustrated. it's nine thirty in the morning and so far...

... KJB misplaced his keys.

... i nearly got plowed by a truck when i pulled out in front of him because my neighbor completely blocked my view of the road from the drive. (okay, obviously this was my fault. should have been more cautious.)

... i dropped my iphone in the toilet.

... my sketchbook is laying on my desk at home and i feel sad to have forgotten her.

... i discovered i could have gotten the old part that was replaced on my car and sold it for scrap. missed out on an extra $50 in my pocket.

... my desk is a mess of papers because i accidentally filed something incorrectly then couldn't find it.

... twitter's website is down and i couldn't log in for a pick-me-up.

... did i mention my phone went swimming in the toilet?

... all before nine thirty.

Lord, I need you. I would love to have my sanity back.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

365, 7/29 - 8/4

 the second palette was inspired by this dining area with fab purple chairs. not a purple fan? swap it out for a coral or green instead!
soft, gauzy, and a bit feminine, these colors came from the darling guest room in this post.

soft, again, but this time more saturated. combine these pastels on top of a creamy white base, you get a lovely beachy feel, inspired by the living room in this post.

paired with white in a classic checker board? always a win. the pattern paired with greige walls? instant perfection.

high ceilings and lots of light keep this room feeling open and clean, while the floors amp up the sophistication.

like your black mixed with modern and lots of glass? i don't blame you. this room screams edward cullen if you ask me.

*all paint colors are Sherwin Williams colors. this is not a sponsored post, i just really love their color selections.

Friday, August 9, 2013

it's friday & ya know what?

life is made up of magical, fairy tale-like moments. some of those moments are like taking a bite out of a bad apple or pricking your finger on a spindle. but some of them are like fitting into a glass slipper, or meeting seven tiny men who will save your life. okay, maybe those things won't happen.

instead of those though, it could be like finding the perfect quote or song lyric that speaks to your heart.

or fitting into a pair of jeans you never thought you would.

or whipping up the perfect batch of homemade bread.

or the little ones not crying for a toy at Target.

or meeting a new friend.

or, if you're like my friend Emily, it could be finding out you have perfect weather for your wedding day.

whatever it is, let those things outweigh the fire-breathing dragons and the ugly step-sisters. find the lovely in life and hold on to it dearly. it will make those horrible witches easier to handle.

+ + + + +

tomorrow is Emily's wedding day, and as i mentioned, it's going to be a perfect day. last night we splurged on mani's, pedi's, and our favorite local mexican food. tonight we will laugh and play and get ready for a long day. first thing tomorrow morning, i'll host brunch for the ladies and we will calm Emily of her butterflies. we will cry and smile and celebrate. and finally, we will pack up the newlyweds and send them off to their new home in Chicago. that part is a bit bittersweet.

i hope you all have a wonderful, magical weekend. follow me on instagram to see the wedding come to life!