Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Oversized Nordic Sweater

Sweater*  //  Oasap 
Leggings  //  Aerie
Boots  //  Wet Seal (similar here and here and here)
Headband  //  Forever21 (similar here)
Ring*  //  SoCaldMermaid

Tomorrow I'm jet-setting off to sunny California but it's still that glorious season we know of as Fall here in New England. Last year I lusted after tons of oversized Nordic-style sweaters all Fall long and decided this year I had better get one into my closet.

Enter this Oasap sweater. It's the perfect comfy piece for those lazy Autumn Sundays.  Long enough to wear with leggings, making it about a ba-gillion times more cozy.  Oh, and did a mention it's only $19. 

BAM! That's right. We just went there.

Also, both of my fur babies wanted to photobomb this post, but you ain't made are you? Look at their little fluffy faces!

What clothing piece are you lusting after this Fall?

Items marked with an asterisk (*) were sent to me free of charge.  I was not compensated for this post.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.  

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Series: 3 Spooktacular Halloween Cocktails

Hi Friends! Happy Monday!

No lies, yesterday I was at the store with Michael when he went, "Halloween decorations, already?"

To which I responded, "Well, it is Halloween on Friday."

This holiday always seems to creep up on us so quickly, but it is here on Friday and even though I'm not necessarily the biggest Halloween cheerleader, I couldn't resist sharing some fun spooky cocktails.

This post is part of my Fall Series which means there is a chance to win an Urban Decay Naked Palette of your choice in it! See the bottom for all those details.

As for the cocktails, there are three of them and I have all the recipes typed up.  You can also scroll to the bottom to see a video tutorial of each.  Enjoy!

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Witch's Brew:
Perfect to be made in a punch bowl for big parties!

Ingredients: 1 part Lemonade, 1 part limeade, 1 part lemon-lime soda, 1 part rum (optional), lime sherbet

Make: Combine all the liquids together in a glass or bowl.  Mix in the lime sherbet (approximately 2 tablespoons per serving) and lightly stir to allow the sherbet to fizz.

Serve: Over ice

Garnish: Add oddities to make it really look like a Witch's Brew.  I used googly eye ping pong balls, you could also add gummy worms and/or plastic spiders.

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Ghostly Margarita:
An all white margarita to represent a ghoulish ghost!

Ingredients: 2 ounces tequila (substitute tequila for lime seltzer to make virgin version), 2-3 ounces of limeade or sweetened lime juice, 1 tablespoon of Cream de Coconut 

Make: Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. 

Serve: Over ice

Garnish: Insert a ghost peep onto a straw.

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Vampire's Kiss:
Bloody-rimmed, layered martini 

Ingredients: 2 parts vodka (or clear liquor of choice), 1 part sweetened lime juice, grenadine syrup, maraschino cherries, red decorating gel

Make: Pour a small amount of grenadine syrup in the bottom of a martini glass.  Add cherries.  In a cocktail shaker combine liquor and lime juice and shake well.  

Serve: Using a strainer, pour contents of cocktail shaker into the martini glass, pouring over a spoon to prevent it from mixing with the grenadine syrup.  

Garnish: Use the red decorating gel to rim the glass, drawing it on to look like dripping blood. 

Ok, so, for this week's entry to win the Urban Decay Naked Palette! It's simple, just leave a comment answering this week's question and you're entered!

Here's a few quick notes first: 

1. Get one entry by leaving a comment on this post answering the question below. 2. Get a second entry by leaving a comment on the YouTube video here answering the question. 3. Open internationally 4. Must be 18 or older or have a parent's permission to enter. 

This week's question: What is your favorite thing about Halloween?


Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Confession Session

One //  I #cantstopwontstop with Taylor Swift's newest release, "Out of the Woods." Definitely going to listen to it so many times that I eventually hate it.

Two  //  While we're on the topic of Taylor Swift, I've discovered the newest best way to shop for groceries.

Three //  We're leaving for California in less than a week and I haven't done anything to prepare and still have hotels to book.  My over-planning self can't even comprehend that.

Four  // On most days I'm more uncomfortable than Socially Awkward Penguin.  Some days I'm actually the coolest person I know, but most days I can't even handle the standing and the walking and the words into the sentence doing.

Five //  I'm already over the cold (like WAY over it), and it's not even that cold yet.  I'm concerned about how I'm going to survive until next May.

Six // To combat the cold, I'm allowing myself to obsess over every comfy, adorable, oversized sweater.  

Seven //  One of my students asked me why teachers get so excited for jeans day and I just couldn't even. Child, you don't understand how amazing jeans are until you freedom to wear them goes away.

Eight // The amount of coffee I've consumed today is definitely borderline unhealthy. I need that shit in a big slurp cup.

Nine // Today while I was driving someone gave me the middle finger. And not just a sorta halfsie, real quick one, like a full blown "F U!!!" one.  

Ten // Scary Halloween costumes/decoration legit scare me. All these dead, processed, bloody Halloween tutorials totally creep me out.  I'll stick to my cute woodland creature costumes, thanks.

Eleven //I haven't been this ready for Friday afternoon since last Friday. 

Your turn, tell me some of your Friday confessions. 
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sometimes it just doesn't work out

Oh, hey there Wednesday. Fancy seeing you today.

Tuesday are supposed to be the day I have my Fall Series videos. These were set special because I'm giving away a Naked Palette in conjunction with this series.  Yet, Tuesday came and went yesterday.... and no Fall Series video.

Yesdaterday's video was filmed. And edited, too.  The problem was, I didn't love it.  And, I made a New Year's Resolution not to put out anything on my blog or YouTube unless I felt like it was the absolute best I could do.  And, I've stuck to that.

A little behind the scenes info to prove that point? Last week's "Oh Deer Halloween Tutorial" was filmed and edited... twice. Yes, I painted my face like a deer not once, but twice, because I didn't like the way the false lashes I applied in the first tutorial made the finished face look. Hence, the no lashes in the tutorial you all saw.

Long story short, sometimes you work on something, and you really give it a good effort, but it just doesn't work out the way you hoped.  That was yesterday's post.  But, it's not all in vain because I learned things though the process of not succeeding and I'll use the things I learned to continue to improve. 

So what do the photos have to do with it all? Well, they were all that was salvaged from the Fall Series post that never was.  Michael snapped a few great shots of one of my go-to Autumn weekend outfits with the great New England foliage as a backdrop.

Cardigan // Forever 21
Jeans  //  Abercrombie & Fitch
Necklace  //  Forever 21 (similar here)
Boots  //  Old (similar here)
Bow Ring  //  Claire's (similar here)
Lips  //  Rimmel Kate Moss 08
Nails  //  Essie Shearling Darling

As for that Urban Decay Naked Palette giveaway I have with my Fall Series... It's still happening, duh! Make sure you've gotten all your entries in by checking out my past Fall Series videos and stay tuned for at least one more chance to enter!
Fall Series: Fall Glam Makeup Tutorial
Fall Series: Fall Favoritres Tag
Fall Series: 3 Autumn-Inspired Nail Designs
Fall Series: Oh Deer- Halloween Makeup Tutorial
That does it. I hope you're all having a fantastic Wednesday!
Have you done anything recently that you tried really hard at but it just didn't work out?

What's your go-to Autumn clothing piece?

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Icing Nearly Nude Palette

The other day while strolling through a local shopping mall I found myself in the Icing, drawn in by the sparkly things like a moth to a flame.  Now, I'm not exactly sure when the Icing got a chic new updated, but they are not the Icing I remember from high school.

Once inside, I realized they had quite a large cosmetics area.  At first I didn't even give it a glance but, alas, I ended up sitting on a stool swatching shadows and liners while Michael impatiently looked at me. When the associate told me their cosmetics were buy one get one 50% off, I figured it a good enough excuse to pick up a couple things to test and review.

So, today I'm sharing a review of the Icing Nearly Nude palette. 

This palette retails for $14.50 and has 18 colors, 9 mattes and 9 shimmers.  The palette comes in a cardboard packaging which feels sturdy enough and isn't too bulky.  Nothing elegant but it gets the job done. It comes with a plastic protector sheet which tells you the titles of the shadows.  I find these plastic inserts pointless because who is going to bother to keep that, and without it you don't know the shadows' names.  I'm not sure why they don't just print the names on the packaging.  But, it's a minor detail.

Let's talk shadows.

As mentioned, there are 9 shimmer shades and 9 matte shades and I've found they really vary in formulation. 

The shimmer shadows are almost more like a super packed pigment; very creamy and extremely pigmented.  These shimmer shades blend beautifully and last well, too  Like with all shadows, they last longer with primer, but actually hold up quite nicely without them, too.

The matte shades are a little more hit or miss.  They are not creamy like the shimmers but much more powdery.  The darker colors tend to pack a little more pigment, in general.  The colors are buildable and with a good lid primer they last decently. 

So overall, I'm pleased with this palette.  Considering it is only $14.50, the value is pretty good.  The shimmer shades are amazing, they are creamy and are beautifully pigmented.  The matte shades are a little less faithful but still OK in my book.  I'd definitely recommend this palette.

I picked up another palette while there, so stay tuned for that review when I get a chance to really try out everything from it.

Have you tried any of the Icing cosmetics?


Thursday, October 16, 2014

How I Updated My Gallery Wall for Under $30 (& how to make cheap wall art!)

So I recently gave my sad looking gallery wall a little update. (Seriously, look at that before, so sad looking!)  I created some super (like super, super) cheap wall art pieces and wanted to share my tricks with you. 

My wall update was spurred by the purchase of Andy (see first photo to see who Andy is.)  He's awesome.  He likes drinking margaritas, having dance parties, and he's good luck if you rub him.  I've clearly already developed an unhealthy attachment to him. 

Either way, I wanted to incorporate him into my gallery wall and it was the perfect opportunity to add some texture and dimension to my wall.  It's still not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with the outcome.  I think it's not only more interesting to look at, but also much more fun and is a better representation of my style.

Ok, so let me give you a break down of everything and then I'll take you through a quick tutorial of how to create some of your own wall for mega cheap.

A lot of the pieces I already had in my procession, which helped.  I bought/made the following items for the update:

Andy: $10 - I got him at good old Marshall's.  I'd been eyeing one of these for awhile and when I saw him on the clearance shelf I scooped him up. 

Framed Quotes: $0.50 - No lies, these prints cost nothing and I show you how to make them below. I did buy one new frame for one of them, I got it from JoAnn Fabrics for $4.80.

Instagram-Themed Collage: $5 - I already owned this frame and just used some black paint to update it.  I made and printed the collage, which I show you how to make below!

It's Coffee O'Clock: $0- I already owned all the tools to make this, but they are super cheap to make and very fun. I shared a whole DIY tutorial on how to make these painted lettered canvases you can check it out by clicking here.

Silver Ampersand: $4 - I purchased an unfinished wooden "&" from JoAnn Fabrics for $3 and some change.  I already owned silver spray paint, but it's about $2 a can if you don't have any. Side note: silver spray paint can make SO many things better.

Press for Champagne: $.50- My light switch was in the way and really bugging me.  I decided the only way to fix it was to incorporate it.  I spray painted an old frame silver (see, what did I tell you about that silver spray paint?) and created the "Press for Champagne" graphic using the same technique as for the Framed Quotes (which I show you below.) That's about it.  Now if I can just figure out how to actually make it dispense champagne....

Art Prints: $3- I already owned these, as you can see in the before picture.  But, I have a little trick for getting these cheap so I figured I'd share it.  I picked these prints up at the Detroit Institute of Art when I was in Michigan a ways back. Buying your own art prints is much cheaper and then you can just buy your own frames.  It's way more affordable then buying ones already framed. 

Alright, let me share those two quick tutorials with you!

Step One: Visit - this is a free website to use. You can also pay to use some of the advanced featured.  Select "design," at the top.

Step Two: Here you can make the design the size you want.  Used fixed proportions to make the area the size of whatever frame you are using.  You can also change the background color here by selecting "canvas color."  I chose black.

Step Three: Click the Tt to get to text. You'll see the PicMonkey texts as well as a tab that says "YOURS."  This section imports all text on your computer.

Step Four: After adding text you can also add graphics by clicking the butterfly.  You can import your own from your computer, or use one of their many options.  I chose the bird and then modified it by making it all white.

Step Five: Save this image to your computer and email (or bring it on a USB) to your local Staples (or print center).  My wall art print cost less than $0.48 to print.  I just had them copy it on regular copy paper since it was going behind glass, but you can also pay a tiny bit more and go for card stock.

Step One: Click "collage" on the PicMonkey homepage and select the pictures you want to use from your computer.

Step Two: You need to make this the right length and width on your own, since their aren't proportion options on collage.  To do this simply visit a inches to pixel converter (like this one) to find out how many pixels wide by how many long you'll need for whatever size frame you're using. (Use 200 DPI or higher for best image quality.)

Step Three: Under collage options, choose square deal.

Step Four:  Start dragging your pictures in.  I wanted all my pictures to be squares, like on instagram, so I dragged in another row. You can do this by simply bringing a photo over and letting it hover above or below a set cell and a new cell will appear.

Step Five:  To make it even more "instagram" like, I wanted all my images to look like they had filters on them.  When you hover over an image and "edit" button appear.  Click this and select "effects."  I chose intrepid for all of mine.  You can also click "open image in editor" to create even more filter options.

Step Six: Make sure your pixels are still correct and save to your desktop.  Just like with the wall art, take this image to a local Staples or print shop and tell them what size you want it printed.  Because mine was larger and in color, it was considered a "poster."  They printed and cut it for me all for under $5. 

That does it. Hope you enjoyed these simple and money saving tips!

Where's your favorite place to buy affordable home decor?

What's the best home decor DIY you've done?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oh Deer Makeup Tutorial & Halloween Makeup Removal (& Urban Decay Giveaway)

DISCLAIMER / FTC: This post is sponsored by NEUTROGENA® I only recommend products I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) guidelines concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. Some of the products mentioned were purchased by myself AND/OR some were provided by NEUTROGENA® for this post. #NeutrogenaFaceOff #CollectiveBias

There comes a point in your blogging career where you start to question your sanity.  Did I just really spend three hours making and applying a Halloween costume on a Monday morning?

Oh gurl, yes you just did. 

I spent the majority of the morning hoping the UPS man wouldn't show up while I casually painted my face into a deer.  But, in the end, I think this tutorial came out so stinkin' cute I'm totally over my minor lapse in questioning my sanity.

So in today's Fall Series video, I'm showing you have to easily transform yourself into this cute little deer along with faux ears.  My antlers are just good old cardboard.  I think this would be an awesome couples costume, too, if your partner wanted to dress up as a hunter.  Afterwards I take on a challenge using a single makeup remover towelette to try to remove this entire look!

Oh, and if you love a good pun, you could quickly make this a pun-tastic costume too...

Oh, deer dear, it's a deer do you get it? 

Alright, onto the tutorial.

Now, after you've gotten down and dirty with layers of makeup and paint for your Halloween costume, you're tasked with facing that daunting trouble of taking it all off. *cue dramatic music*

I was challenged to try these Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes to remove my Halloween makeup and figured this a great time to take that challenge. 

Could one sheet really remove all this makeup?

One side removed and not a trace of makeup left. I was pleasantly surprised!

And, the whole face!  No movie magic here guys. It honestly only took one of these towelettes and from Neutragena and 2 minutes to remove this entire face of makeup!

You can pick these bad boys up at your local Walmart, by the way.  I paid less than $7.  I mean, really, $7 for the convenience of one towelette makeup remover? I'll take it. You can also show off your Halloween look and how you use Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes to remove your festive look using #NeutrogenaFaceOff on twitter!
Ok, so, for this week's entry to win the Urban Decay Naked Palette! It's simple, just leave a comment answering this week's question and you're entered!

Here's a few quick notes first: 1. Get one entry by leaving a comment on this post answering the question below. 2. Get a second entry by leaving a comment on the YouTube video here answering the question. 3. Open internationally 4. Must be 18 or older or have a parent's permission to enter. 

This week's question: What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year or what's your favorite costume you've had in the past?
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