Friday, September 4, 2015

How to (not) crochet a hat

Definitely (not) a hat.

Hi, all!
I've been feeling the crafting bug a bit lately and thought I'd try to crochet a hat to match the scarf I made last spring. I was thinking that a slouchy beanie would be cute. So, completely sans pattern (yup!), I started. Here's how I (didn't) crochet a hat.

  1. Decide to not use a pattern or tutorial. Who needs those?
  2. Chain a few stitches, figuring that when you start to crochet around them, they'll go kind of circular-ish.
  3. Notice that the stitches aren't going circular-ish. Ignore and carry on.
  4. Notice that instead of the non-circular-ish area getting wider, it's getting taller. Ignore and carry on.
  5. Realize that this will never work. Continue on for a few more rows.
  6. Decide that your hat is now a doll purse.
  7. Chain stitch a handle and secure to the opposite side.
  8. Have a good laugh.
  9. Look up a pattern to make a slouchy beanie hat. 
  10. Begin again some other night.

Very simple, right? In just ten easy steps you, too, can (not) have a hat.

At least Katie looks happy with it.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Prep School: August 2015 ipsy glam bag

Hi, all!
How's your summer? Mine went fast! The kiddo started back to school Monday and I've bought my first pumpkin scented candle, so that must mean it's autumn. Ipsy must agree, because this month's theme is Prep School. I liked everything this month, but I liked some things more than others. So, in order of favorite to least favorite, here's what I got and what I thought.

1. Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in Elegantly Wasted - I'm so in love with this nail polish! It's by a brand I had never heard of before, so I'm so thrilled to be able to try this one out. It's almost a one-coater and Elegantly Wasted is such a beautiful greyed-out purple. It's a color I would buy myself.

The brush is just the traditional skinny brush. The formula coats evenly and dries quickly. It's 5-free, cruelty-free, and vegan. And the packaging is fabulous. Love! I painted my nails Thursday evening and as of now (Tuesday), I have only one small chip and some wearing on the tips. I'm thrilled with that. I'm so hard on my manicures, I feel lucky to get maybe two days without significant chipping. I used this with Gelous as a base and top coat.
(Value $15.00)

2. Skone Cosmetics Luxe Doubler Eye/Lip Pencil in Wine - The idea behind this pencil is intriguing. It's an eye and lip pencil. Together. In one product. I had a hard time wrapping my head around that one. As a lip pencil, it went on smoothly and lasted well past lunch before I felt like I needed to touch-up. I love wearing wine lip colors for autumn.

As an eye pencil, well, it doesn't set on its own. It stays creamy and if you have watery eyes (like I do), that could be an issue. It looked beautiful, but there was some wear at the end of the evening.

I think I'll stick to wearing it on my lips. Bonus tip: to avoid eye infections, sharpen it between uses. I just feel like going from mouth to eye could be a problem. I'm not a doctor, but it sounds a bit sketchy. Sharpen it and you should be fine.
(Value $12.00)

3. noyah Natural Lipstick in Desert Rose - This lipstick is pretty good. It's not long-lasting, but it doesn't claim to be. It smells like unscented lipstick, which I know sounds weird. It's just that waxy scent that's not much of anything. The color payoff is good. It's richly pigmented.

Won't you come
into the garden?
I would like my roses
to see you.
 ~Richard Brinsley Sheridan
This dusty pink was almost a nude on me and it has a semi-matte (kind of satin) finish. It's all-natural and cruelty-free.
(Full size $18.00, Sample size $4.50)

4. La Fresh Group Good Night. Night Cream - I've tried the eco-beauty good day cream before and loved it. This size of packaging took me two or three weeks to get through before and I'm still working on the night cream. I love that that gives me time to decide how I really feel about it. The scent is so light and the formula is very hydrating. The important this is that it doesn't make my skin break out. So, yay! I also love the fact that the packet has a nozzle and cap. It's perfect for travel. You can get the day cream in this travel size, but not the night cream. Maybe that's coming later. Fingers crossed!
(Full size $40.00, Sample size $13.99)

5. Briogeo Blossom & Bloom ™ Ginseng + Biotin Volumizer -  If I used a volumizing spray, I'm sure I'd like this one. As it is, my hair tends to resemble a lion's mane all on its own. I tried it out (for science!) and it smells really good and leaves my hair soft, not crunchy. My hair is big anyway, so I have no idea if it works for volumizing. It does smell really, really good, though.
(Full size $18.00, Sample size $3.53)

The bag - I adore this bag! It's something I would have picked out and actually pay real money for. In fact, I just bought a wallet that matches this bag. I've had an abiding love for houndstooth for as long as I can remember. This one has a fresh look with the radiant orchid zipper and lining. The outer body is a vinyl that will be easy to keep clean.

The grand total this month is $49.02 plus the bag. I'm happy with that. How about you? What did you get? If you're not subscribed and would like to check it out, my referral link is here. I get nothing but points to redeem for free stuff. If you would like to check it out without the link, go to It's $10/month beauty subscription service that is customizable to you own tastes.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Disney 2015

Hey, all!
I said I'd get around to blogging about our Disney trip, so here it is. I'll keep it brief...-ish. We always take two days to drive down. We stop in Charlotte, NC first and then Savannah, GA. We hit Tybee Island for the day as our last day of relaxation before heading to the land of the Mouse. 'Cause there's no rest to be had at Disney!

There was so much excitement when the kiddos saw the sign. (And, yes, I only have one kid, but we also took my niece with us this time.)

I really love the seemingly random shows in the street.

After a trip to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, we had Enchanted Tales with Belle. Z & E were Chip and Mrs. Potts.

See those giant birds? Yeah, they're pigeons. Their caretaker was helping them get straw for their nest. Gorgeous.

That grey thing in the background is a hippo. The girls were mostly fascinated by the fish.

Mr. Gold's pawn shop!!!

The news of the day in Storybrooke.

I loved the hand prints at Hollywood Studios.


So pretty! <3 p="">

One sad family checking out.

We stayed in Port Orleans French Quarter this time. The last time we stayed in All-Star Music. Port Orleans is a bajillion times better. It was more comfortable, had better amenities, and the kids loved the pool with its water dragon slide. We stayed busy the whole time. In fact, I feel like I'm still trying to recover a month later. That being said, my husband is already planning the next trip. He's got Disney in the blood now.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

July's ipsy glam bag: Summer Lovin'

Hi, all!
This month's ipsy post is super late. The bag was delayed in Hebron, KY for many days and then it was delivered the day after we left for Disney World. (That will be another post once I've rested up.) The theme of the month is Summer Lovin'. The pattern on the bag is summery, I guess...?

I really liked everything I got, so I'll list the contents in no particular order.

1. NUDESTIX Magnetic Eye Color in Gilt - This is an eyeshadow pencil that is waterproof and smudgeproof. Gilt is a metallic gold and is straight up gorgeous. Once it sets, it doesn't budge and it doesn't crease.

I tried it on its own and with a traditional eyeshadow over it. Works beautifully both ways.

There is a sharpener that comes packaged with it.

And the sharpener fits onto the end of the pencil. Pretty neat. They also come with a case when you buy them. Ipsy subscribers didn't get the case, but honestly that's cool with me. I keep my eye pencils in a pretty cup thingy. The case would get in my way.
(Value $24.00 with case)

2. City Color Cosmetics HD Powder - City Color keeps knocking it out of the park. Their HD powder is beautiful. It's so finely milled and it leaves a soft matte finish. It's 100% silica.
(Full size value $5.99. Sample size value $3.42)

3. Jor'el Parker Classico Mini Roller -  I really like this perfume. It's so grown-up and sophisticated. That's not normally what I go for, to be honest. I tend to like smelling like a candy shop or a bakery. The website has this listed as the perfume's notes:
Indonesian Clove Bud, Australian Sandalwood, Moroccan Rose, French Bergamot, Indian Tuberose, Japanese Orange Flower, Lebanese Cedarwood, Turkish Cyclamen, South African Freesia 
Basically, it's a spicy floral.
(Value $21.00)

4. Crown Brush Professional Tweezers in Black - (I kind of wish I had gotten pink, but whatever.) These tweezers are perfectly fine. They're a good size; smaller than my other tweezers, but not too small. I seem to go through a lot of tweezers, so I was happy to get these.
(Value $6.99)

5. pūr~lisse pur-bright ultra skin brightening serum - This was some seriously good timing. I've developed some freckles this summer. I wear sunscreen daily. I even carry around two different kinds with me in my purse. I still ended up with more freckles than I find acceptable on me. I've been using this as directed both at night after washing my face and in the morning before doing my makeup. It goes beautifully under makeup. It absorbs quickly. I haven't had it long enough to notice a difference, but it hasn't broken me out. So, yay! (Side note: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser + pūr~lisse pur-bright ultra skin brightening serum = dill pickle scent. Just sayin'.) I've been using Murad's Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum for a while. The pūr~lisse one is much milder.
(Full size value $76.00. Sample size value $25.33) 

The bag - I think this month's bag is good. The print is super cute. I prefer a zipper on top rather than on the side, but that's my only real gripe. A friend of mine (Hi, Christal!) had issues with her bag. It had frayed around the seams or something. Mine was fine. Until I splashed coffee on it. But, whatever. User error.

Rewards Points Bonus: Buxom Eyeshadow Bar Single Eyeshadow in VIP & Empty Eyeshadow Bar Compacts - ipsy does this cool thing where you can review the products you got and have people sign up using your code and you get points. Points get you free stuff. Yay! I ordered this Buxom eyeshadow with my points. It came automatically with compact. Super yay!

I love a good purple, so I went with VIP. It's described as a sparkling orchid. It is a matte base with a hint of micro glitter. On the eye, the sparkle is very subtle. Even on the swatch, I had a hard time photographing it. The website describes the formula as:
A primer-infused, powerfully pigmented eye shadow refill with intense color payoff.
Featuring primer-infused technology to help keep color locked in place, this Single Eyeshadow Refill has a powerfully-pigmented formula that glides onto lids—delivering intense payoff with an ultra-luxe, powder-to-silk feel. 
I'd take that primer-infused claim with a grain of salt. I normally use an eye primer, however as an experiment (For science!) I went without it. This creased and faded pretty badly. With a proper primer, it's gorgeous and lasts all day. Moral of the story: Use an eye primer!

I was really impressed that they included the compact.

(Value Eyeshadow $12.00, Compact $2.00)

The grand total for this month's ipsy bag is $80.74 + $14.00 bonus = $94.74 not including the bag. Score!

If you're interested in signing up, you can use my referral link or just go to Ipsy is a $10/month beauty subscription service that's customizable to your own tastes.

If you already get ipsy, what did you get in your bag? I'm always interested.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Swim Into Beauty: June Ipsy Glam Bag

Hey, all!
According to the calendar it's still spring, however the thermometer is calling the calendar a liar and saying it's summer. It's been so hot here already I'm pretty sure I'll spontaneously combust this summer. That'll be fun!

My beloved ipsy glam bag arrived. That actually is fun! No sarcasm there. The theme of the month is Swim Into Beauty. The contents of this bag were all pretty good, so in no particular order...

1.  J. Cat Beauty Liptitude Hydrating Lip Stain in Hikilicious - This is a gorgeous creamy lip stain. It goes on with a doe foot applicator. I put it on at around 9 a.m. and only had to reapply after dinner at 6 p.m. I had had a veggie fajita quesadilla with queso. All that oil did a number on this, which is what I expected. It lasted through lunch with no problems.

Liptitude has a minty scent. Hikilicious is a gorgeous satin coral. I got compliments on this. I really love it when people notice my lip color.

Liptitude isn't transfer proof. I kissed my daughter's head and she came away with coral hair, but it stays full color on your lips. I had to scrub it off my hand with a wipe when I swatched it for the photo. I really do love this stain. The product. Not the stain on my hand. Just to be clear.
(Value $5.99)

2. tre'StiQue Mini Shadow Crayon in Kona Coffee - Funny story about this crayon. I thought the lid had fallen off. I searched and searched for it until I realized...

...the tip is the cap. #facepalm Cute packaging, though.

Kona Coffee is a matte dark brown. It's very creamy, blends well, and sticks around all day. They come full sized or you can get a trio of minis of eye crayons and lip crayons. There are six shades of each to choose from.
(Mini Trios $32. Sample Value $10.67)

3. LAVANILA LABORATORIES The Healthy Body Butter in Pure Vanilla - "It smells like clean sexy lady," said my husband. Yeah. Even though the scent is called "Pure Vanilla", there's other stuff in there, too. There's also heliotrope and soft freesia, so this doesn't smell like a cupcake. It's a more mature scent. It absorbs quickly and doesn't feel greasy at all. This leaves my skin feeling baby soft. They also have a full size. I'd really consider buying the full size when the sample runs out. It's lovely.
(Value $4)

4. Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Foundation Primer - I'm not a huge foundation primer fan. Just thought I'd say that straight off. I can't see much of a difference on my skin. And, more often than not, they break me out. I just moisturize and use sunscreen under my foundation. If you're into primers, this seems like a good one. My skin had no adverse reaction. My foundation looked nice. It lasted throughout a cookout in super hot weather. It went on very smoothly. It's a clear, oil-free gel.
(Full Size $36. Sample Value $8.52)

5. IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil in Universal Taupe - I'm soooooo seriously picky about my eyebrows. A good brow day is a good day. Today is a good day, fyi. I had heard so many good things about this pencil and I've been wanting to try it for ages. I'm so thrilled I got the chance to try it for free (-ish).

Brow Power is a mechanical brow pencil with an awesome spoolie attached to the other end.

The pencil itself is an oval shape.

The idea of it is that you can build up color by either going over your mark or by pressing harder, so it should go with anyone's coloring.

My problem with this is that there's a learning curve. The first time I wore it, I felt I looked like Bert or Groucho Marx. That's not a look I aspire to. Sorry, Bert! The shape took me a while to get used to and color really does build  up pretty quickly.

I've been using the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe since it came out. I'm in love with this pencil. It's very easy to use, the point is so fine that I can get a natural, well-defined look very quickly. There's also a spoolie attached. I feel like I have more control with my NYX pencil. And when it comes to my eyebrows, I'm a control freak. The price points are very different. NYX is $10. IT Cosmetics is $24.

Top - IT Cosmetics Brow Power
Bottom - NYX Micro Brow Pencil
The tip of the NYX pencil is half the size of the IT Cosmetics pencil.

The shades themselves (with IT Cosmetics being used very lightly) aren't that different. IT is a bit darker. I'm not saying Brow Power is a bad pencil. It's not. It just takes some practice.

Also, I found this on IT Cosmetic's website:
IT Cosmetics® has partnered with the American Cancer Society’s Look Good, Feel Better program and for every Brow Power® pencil sold, one is donated to go to help women face the effects of Cancer with Confidence!
So, that's an awesome thing!
(Full Size $24. Sample Value $12)

Left - IT Cosmetics
Right - NYX

The Bag - I have no idea why the zipper looks yellow in this photo. Scroll up to the top. That's what it actually looks like. Go on! I'll wait...

...See what I was saying? Weird.

The bag is black Neoprene with a neon coral zipper and black lining and has ipsy embroidered all over it. It's not my favorite. Not by a long shot.

The grand total for this month's bag is $41.18. If you're interested, ipsy is a $10/month customizable beauty subscription service. If you use my link, I get points. Points add up to free stuff for me. If you just want to go straight to the site, go to It's totally worth checking out.



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