Thursday, April 16, 2015

Beautifully Bohemian: April's ipsy bag




Hi, all!
It's time for my monthly ode to ipsy. The theme of the month is Beautifully Bohemian. I'm really not sure what's so Bohemian about this month's goodies, but that's okay. Many of the themes have puzzled me. It doesn't take much.

1. JulieG Nail Color in Damsel - I flat out love JulieG nail polishes, so I was thrilled to get this one. They're inexpensive, great coverage in one or two coats, and are chip resistant. What's not to love? This one is described as a mid-tone pink creme. Yup. It photographs darker and a bit more purple than it actually is.
(Value $3.99)


2. KCO Colors by Beauty Brands Cream Lipstick in Natural Born Beauty -  This lipstick is just lovely. It's supposed to do all sorts of things like protect your lips from the environment. I dunno about that, but it is moisturizing and so pretty. It's a brownish rose sort of shade.


It is nicely pigmented. The first swipe goes on slightly sheer, but it can be built up easily. There's only the barest hint of a scent to it. It lasts like a normal lipstick. Reapplication will be necessary after drinking or eating.


After playing with it for a while, I thought that it looked familiar. It's pretty much an exact dupe for Make Up For Ever's Rouge Artist Natural in N9 Copper Pink (except it's $12 cheaper!) The Make Up For Ever lipstick has a bit more of a shine to it and is slightly more coppery.
(Value $8.00)

KCO on the left, Make Up For Ever on the right

3. theBalm Cosmetics NUDE Dude Eyeshadow Single in Flirty - I've been wanting to try theBalm for a while now, so I was happy to get this in my bag. This shade is from the NUDE Dude Volume 2 palette.


I love the packaging. The whole pin-up thing is adorable.


Flirty is described as a shimmering golden violet and I'd say that's about right. To be totally honest, I was hoping for more impact, but it does go on beautifully and blends out like a dream.
(Palette $36. Sample Value $3)


4. MicaBeauty Eye Primer - This primer is really good. It's kind of sticky, which grabs on to eye shadow. It doesn't crease. It's also a great color for me. It covers up all the imperfections on my eyelids to create a blank canvas.


Can you see it? It blends well into my own skin tone.


The swatch below on the left is without the primer. On the right the swatch is over the primer. Big difference! My only real issue with the primer is the price. I currently own a few primers that do the same thing, but are much (much!) cheaper.
(Full size $44.95. Sample value $22.48)


5. Olive Natural Beauty The Olive Lip Balm in Oats & Honey - I'm totally on the fence with this lip balm. It performs well. I love that it's organic. It feels great and is very hydrating. The scent, however, is a bit strange. You can really smell the oats. It smells like some sort of baked goods. But in a weird way. If something smells like a cupcake, I'm all about that. This is more like a bran muffin. It's not bad, really. Just odd. I'd be interested in trying some of their other scents.
(Value $5.95)


The bag - I flipping love this bag! I love that it's woven. When I saw it previewed, I was afraid it was a print, but no, it's really woven. The colors are fun. Maybe this is where the Bohemian theme comes into play because it does have a bit of a retro-found-this-at-a-market vibe. It's lined with a khaki nylon.


I'm definitely a happy camper this month. I did like everything, even though the lip balm smells strange. The grand total for this month's bag is $43.42. If you're interested in checking out ipsy, you can use my referral link or just ipsy.com. Either way. It's a monthly personalized beauty subscription service that's only $10/month.

If you already subscribe, what did you get this month?

Love,

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Cinderella Birthday

That dress, though!

Hi, all!
My little princess had a birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I'd share. Her birthday was "Cinderella". The timing was perfect with the release of the new live-action version, which was soooooooooo flipping gorgeous, by the way! We had her party at Cinemark and then all went to the film. 

Invitation
 My darling husband designed the invitations, which we had printed at a photo kiosk as a 3x5 photo. This is one of my favorite birthday tips. The invitations are personal, gorgeous, and way cheaper than ordering generic invitations and writing in the information.


There was a small issue with the cake I made. The carriage wheels fell off on the way to the party. No biggie.

Before the accident.

The cake was chocolate and vanilla. The carriage was made by using two small cakes I made in Wilton's Mini Wonder Mold. I trimmed the flat (top) part to make them really flat and then trimmed a bit off the dome parts to have a flat place to stabilize it on the cake and to have a place to put the decorative bits at the top of the carriage. I stuck the two mini cakes together with a ton of frosting and anchored it to the main cake with a drinking straw. That part didn't budge. The wheels are made from Girl Scout's Tagalongs. I should have placed them on at the venue. Now I know better.

The candle was something Zara and I decorated together using peel and stick rhinestones. I couldn't find a candle fit for a princess, so we made one. 

What age was she again? I can't remember.

As part of the activities, we had a cookie decorating station with different frostings and sprinkles. I had a couple of sets of cookie cutters for a really (really, really) long time and have never had the opportunity to use them until now. There were dresses, shoes, castles, and tiaras.

Looks yummy!

Zara's cookie (before it hit the floor) had some special decorations. Yeah...those are what you think they are, unless you have a very clean mind. In that case, they're just pearls.

Zara's cookie. (Photo by Jen)

And then we had a special guest! Cinderella herself dropped by to wish Zara a happy birthday!

Cinderella got swamped!
She sang "Happy Birthday", talked to the kids, answered a million questions (mostly about her shoes), and...

Happy Birthday, Zara!

 ...had her picture taken with each child (and some adults!) It was magical! If you live in this area, check out Putnam Princess Parties. They were amazing!

Royal cuddles.

After the party, the guests left with tokens for the cinema's arcade and a treat bag filled with Zara's favorite candies, some stickers, and bubbles. I've scaled back on the treats over the years. In the beginning, I went totally overboard with personalized bags. Each one had the kid's name and was tailored the the kid's tastes. Seriously. I've learned this all just ends up in the floor of the car anyway. (That is, if your kid is anything like mine.)


The bubbles were from the Dollar Tree's wedding section. I found a pack of princess stickers at the Dollar Tree, put them together and came up with filler for practically nothing. The bubbles came in a pack of 8 for $1 (of course), and the stickers were a pack of 90 for $1.

Bubbles for cheap.
The rest of the decorations were picked up at a party store. We had a Cinderella table cloth, center pieces, a banner, and themed napkins and treat bags. And, of course, no decent photos of any of it.

The whole experience was wonderful. The staff at Cinemark could not have been more helpful. (They even went to Wal-Mart for us when we ran out of plates). Cinderella (the princess and the film) was glorious. It was truly a magical night.

Love,

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March ipsy bag: Floral Fantasy




Hey, all!
I'm back with another ipsy bag! I really do get so excited over these bags! This month's theme is Floral Fantasy and is pretty darn good. There were no real flops this time, so in no particular order, here we go...

1. MARSK Mineral Eyeshadow in Lucky Penny - I had never heard of this brand before, which is awesome.The whole point of ipsy is to try new things. First of all, I love that the jar has a sifter. It's much less messy that way. Secondly, when I swatched it...


...yasss!!! My heart may have skipped a beat or two. Look at that color pay-off! It's a fabulous copper that's not "new penny copper", it's more of a rich copper with teensy bits of glitter. It is supposed to be used either wet or dry. I used it dry and the color is amazing and blended out beautifully.
(Value $22.50)


2. NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick in Little Susie - Anyone who knows me well, knows of my love for NYX and especially NYX's lip products. This butter lipstick fits in nicely with my collection. It's hydrating and slightly sheer. The color is lovely and perfect for spring.


The staying power is about what you'd expect. It doesn't claim to be long-wearing or staining, so be prepared to reapply after eating. It does claim to be full coverage with high impact color. Nah. But it's beautiful just the same. I'll definitely be wearing this one a lot.
(Value $6)


3. Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter - This is another brand that's totally new to me. To be honest, I didn't have high hopes for this highlighter. (Geddit? I crack me up.) I have very pale skin and thought this would be too dark. I was so wrong.


I used this highlighter in my waterline, to highlight the inner corners of my eyes, under my brows to carve them out a bit more, down the bridge of my nose, and on my cupid's bow. I use the word "gorgeous" a lot. This one is gorgeous. It's so creamy and blends out so well. Four hours later and it's still in my waterline. This is giving my beloved NYX WonderPencil some competition. The website says it's formulated for light skin tones, but I think medium skin tones could make this work. It's a bit strange that they only have the one shade.
(Value $18)


4. Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Creme Oil - This is a direct quote from the website:
Soy Renewal Crème Oil is a blow dry crème that speeds up drying time while protecting hair against mechanical damage from heat styling & harmful UV rays from the sun. Its lightweight formula softens, moisturizes and conditions the hair creating shine, luminosity and the appearance of healthy hair.
Okay, I dunno about speeding up drying time, but it did leave my hair softer and it smells like a nice salon.
(Full size $22.95. Sample size $5.46)


5. Dr. Brandt Skincare pores no more anti-aging mattifying lotion - While I wouldn't exactly call this one a dud, it was my least favorite this month. It might do exactly as it says, but I can't try it long enough to tell if it's anti-aging and since it's still winter my skin is dry/normal combo. I have no idea if it's mattifying. It is a lotion. That I can give it. It feels like a heavy primer on my skin. I used it under my foundation this morning and can still feel it's there. The website claims it's lightweight. Nope. It is not. It's supposed to minimize pores. I didn't notice any difference. I do notice that my makeup seems a bit cakier where I applied this lotion. I think I'll save it for summer when I tend to get a bit oilier and see if I like it better then. It's not that I hate it. Not at all. I just prefer something lighter under my makeup.
(Full size $60. Sample Size $9.18)


The bag - The bag this month is adorable. I love the retro floral print. The back of it and the lining is plain blue. It's just cute. That is all.


The grand total for this month's ipsy bag is a whopping $61.14! (Plus the free bag. Can't forget that!) Overall, I'm so happy with this month. If you're interested in subscribing, click my referral link which will give me points or head over to ipsy.com if you would prefer not to use my link. Either way, it's a great service. It's $10/month and customizable. And So. Much. Fun!

If you already subscribe, what did you get? I'm curious (and slightly obsessed!)

Love,

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Learning to Crochet

I Love This Yarn! in Lavender Smoke

Hi, all!
So, can you guess my newest hobby? (Here's a hint: it's in the title!) I'm crocheting now. And I'm terrible at it! But it's fun, so who cares? That purple scarf was finished Sunday. This week's temperatures will be in the mid 60's. Excellent timing.

Yarn Bee Soft Illusion Super Bulky in LA Cool!

This was the second scarf I did. It's so bright you can practically see it in the dark! Zara picked out the yarn, so she loves it. I tried to each her to crochet, but that didn't go so well. I made one end twice the width of the other end. It folds and adds volume. It was also entirely by accident, but I love the effect and didn't bother to change it.

Yarn Bee Soft Illusion Super Bulky in LA Cool! This scarf took 2 skeins.

 And now we're down to my first scarf. It's...interesting. Zara won't let me re-do it.

Red Heart Boutique Twilight in Pixie

I completely unintentionally did decreases and then I intentionally did increases to make this butterfly style cowl scarf. I really don't know what I'm doing.

Red Heart Boutique Twilight in Pixie


To find people who do know what they're doing, check the links below:
Crocheting School - An ebook of everything you need to know.
Hopeful Honey - Videos for beginners.
crochet.about.com - Learn different stitches.
Maybe Matilda - Easy step-by-step photos of slipknots, the chain stitch, and single stitch.

I think I'll move on to making terrible hats next.

Have you tried crocheting? How about knitting? I bought some needles and am thinking hard about trying it. (Leave it to me to buy supplies for something I'm not sure about doing!)

Love,

Monday, March 9, 2015

Snowy Day Crafting: Pillow Cases and Embellished Slippers



Hi, all!
We have had some seriously gross weather here in West Virginia. There's been snow, ice, floods, and sleet. That means I don't leave my house for long stretches of time. Loooooong stretches of time. So that leaves time for crafting...and cleaning. But mostly crafting.



The throw pillows on my sofa were sad, sad ratty things, so I decided to conquer my fear of my sewing machine. I'm convinced it wants to eat my fingers. I dragged the horrid thing out of the laundry room, set it up, cut out my fabric, sat down to start, and...nothing. Literally nothing. I could hear the motor trying to go, but it wouldn't move. Fan-freakin'-tastic! So these pillow cases are hand sewn. I just did a basic envelope case. The fabric is a remnant from Ikea, which coordinates fabulously with my EIVOR curtains, also from Ikea. Maybe next time I'm at Ikea I should pick up a new sewing machine. Mine resents me.



While I had my sewing kit out, I decided to trick out my Ikea slippers. This post is not sponsored by Ikea, I swear. We just shop there a lot. lol


I had these old slippers I was hanging onto just because the doggies on them are adorable. They never really fit me. I bought them in Ireland and I'm never really certain about my shoe size there. Well, these were soooooo big on me I'd have to shuffle to walk. Nevertheless, I wore them so much I wore literal holes in them. They were falling apart...


...so I helped them along by cutting them to pieces.


I used a contrasting thread to patch them onto my plain purple slippers. I also placed them randomly just for a bit of weirdness.


Look at those faces! Just look at them!



I have a post coming up dedicated to crocheting. I just finished up my scarf and this week will be in the mid 60's. Worst timing ever.

What do you do to pass the time when you can't get out?

Love,

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