Friday, June 27, 2014

Exploring the World of Lip Color

Bold lip color has really blown up over the last couple of years.  The problem is, I have very thin lips and my Cupid's Bow area is majorly lacking in shape.  I've been forever. 

I was a dancer until college and my mom, teachers, and eventually teammates were always perplexed by my lips.  I had no color in the peaks of my top lip, so if you put in lipstick, it looked ridiculous.  But otherwise my lips were so thin, the lipstick looked wierd anyway.  Not fun when you're already wearing obnoxiously bright makeup to make your face pop during performances. 

Fast forward to now.  I have been trying for 2-3 years to figure out lip color for me.  It's not something I actively work on, but it's definitely something I like to try.  It's been easiest for costumes or going out, because then I can wear an obnoxious red and not feel bad about it. 

Then, about a year ago, I got a full size balm stain in a Birchbox.  It looked a bit silly on me back then, but with recent personal style upgrade, I'm finally able to wear it.  DURING THE DAY!  And not look insane.  Insanely hot, maybe...

I generally like a stain more because if I'm going to wear lip color, I don't want to have to be reapplying it twenty times a day.  Annoying!  Mine is this Just Bitten Kissable balm stain by Revlon.  I love that it goes on as a balm and isn't too red or shiny.  I am able to wear it at work and reapply only once or twice during a whole day.  AND if I don't want to reapply, the stain just leaves my lips a little bit darker and fresh for the rest of the day.  EASY!

So here's a horrible picture to demonstrate my success.  The color definitely looks darker in person, but goes well with any outfit and is bold without being gaudy.  What do you think?
What are your go-to colors?  How do you find what works for you?  How do you feel about the bold trend?  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Follow Me!

Get my blog updates in one place!  Follow my blog with Bloglovin by clicking the link in the left sidebar :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Upcycle - Repurpose - Make - Do!

If you are a faithful reader, you know I like to upcycle whatever I can find.  I'm not over the top, but reasonable.  I've made my own gigantic chalboard, I like crafts, painted crappy old dressers, and so on.  I like to make something old look beautiful, something broken like new, and make something out of nothing.

About a month ago, I went to a "maker fair" called Re:Make with a friend here in Austin.  It was hosted by Brit + Co from San Fran.  They're all about making and doing.  Getting your hands on to projects, and trying to grow your creative brain.  They had a few hands-on projects and I even got to MAKE A NECKLACE!


I've gotten several compliments and it's pretty fantastic to say "Thanks, I made it!". 

{PS Ladies, Don't Be Afraid To Take Compliments!}

I definitely stuggle a bit with "creativity" but doing little crafts like this helps me to expand my mind.  My friend Lisa, is definitely helping me along with opening up my eyes, she is so fun and creative!  Maybe I need to start doodling again?  Anywho...

While at the fair, we got to meet tons of local artisans who love the idea of making things.  This was not a flea market, but a very curated event with dedicated makers who make quality products from the heart.  It ranged from jewelry, to food, to paper and clothing goods, and more.  It was fantastic to see passionate people following their dreams!

I have since been keeping my eye on Brit + Co's website and came across this article:  100 Ways to Repurpose.  Some of the projects are a bit out there, but lots of them are totally do-able, like making your own jewelry and decor! 

And I am TOTALLY going to do #62 (USB Message in a Bottle)...yeah I might be married to a tech genius ;) 

Take a look at this list.  TRY SOMETHING.  Don't let your creative juices run out! We need to embrace our younger years of finger painting and infinite imagination. 

I encourage you to check out the list and look around her site.  It has everything from makeup ideas, to workouts, to projects.  I'm sure you could kill some time learning a little something outside the gossip of social media.  Report back with a project you'd like to try, OR something you've completed!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Oh, the Places You'll Go??

As much as you might not believe it, I have an incredible lust for travel.  Sadly, my stingy and responsible nature prevails and I'm often left still yearning to leave wherever I'm at.  It's not that I want to go live in Thailand by myself, I just want to travel and see things that are much more interesting than the very "new-world" United States.  I often let my ideas of my far-off future dictate my plans for right now.  AKA - making money at a steady job to eventually buy a house...  Instead of being jobless and travelling abroad.

My mind is fueled by inspiration of people who did just that.  I want to share three of my favorite movies with you.  It all started with Into The Wild.  A brilliant student who gives up everything to go live in the Alaskan Wilderness.  Then came The Way.  A story about a father travelling the Camino de Santiago.  This really sparked my interested in long journeys, pilgramages, and getting out of the city and on to the ground.  And most recently, although in a bit of a different category, The Way Back, where prisoners escape from impossible conditions in Siberia and walk 4,000 miles to safety in India. 

The first and last stories are based on true events.  I would also highly recommend reading Into the Wild, as the author has a passion for people who choose the same path of deserting their lives for severe simplicity.  And another life changing book, The Alchemist, is a must read for every one.  It is a very quick read, but potent and powerful.  It talks about following "your personal legend".  Essentially, doing exactly what I'm not {ouch}.  Following your heart to the maximum and not settling for anything less. 

I have a friend from my hometown who is the perfect example.  Most recently, he has climbed Kilimanjaro, adventured in Ireland, and reached the base camp of Everest.  He's in his mid-twenties and completely driven by adventure and success in the manner of achieving his personal legend.  He has an amazingly positive attitude and without knowing it, motivates me (and I'm sure others) to follow their hearts and accomplish what you thought might be impossible.  He is the epitome of "work hard, play hard". 

Not everyone can go climb a mountain, but we can each take a lesson in dreaming, being open minded, and not limiting ourselves to the norm.  Plenty of people out there have accomplished feats they never imagined.  Give yourself the chance to cross another line off of your bucket list.  Whether you're twenty or sixty, make sure you leave behind a story worth sharing.  I know I'm trying.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Where Do You Sleep?

For the first five years of our relationship, we slept in a full-sized bed.  FULL SIZED.  Like, smaller than a queen sizeMy husband is six-foot-three.  Picture THAT! 

It started in the fraternity house, where the bed was affixed to the wall and hung up with chains.  Classy, right?  It was better than my twin sized dorm bed, though.  I had to crawl up there from the top of the little refridgerator.  Or jump up there from a coffee table.  Fun stuff, when you're just over five feet tall! 

Then we moved in together and gratefully took a hand-me-down bed and frame from my family.  It had a headboard with little cupboards for storage and was easy to take apart for our several moves over the next few years.  It is slowly deteriorating from all of our moves, but it's still holding up!  The frame was originally my uncle's from who-knows-when. 

Enter:  Tax Return in 2013.  We found out that we were getting a nice amount back and decided to make our first "big kid" purchase (besides cars) and buy ourselves a new bed.  We never thought we would want a king size bed.  We always thought it would feel much too big.  But after a few test runs in stores, we decided, if we're going to spend the money, just GO BIG. 

And we'll never go back!  We ordered online (which saved some cash) and came away with a nice Sealy pillowtop and mattress protector delivered straight to our bedroom.  And in turn, our old bed became a nice addition to our guest bedroom, instead of my {very comfortable} futon from college. 

We missed the boat on becoming *real* grownups though...  We didn't purchase a bed frame because it was on backorder (and still haven't).  So our fancy king sized bed rests comfortably on our bedroom floor!  It doesn't bother us and it takes up less space, so until we buy a house, it will probably continue to reside on our carpeting :) 

We love having room to stretch out, have extra pillows, watch movies with snacks, etc. in our big bed.  And eventually, I know we'll love having space for pets and kids to snuggle up with in the future.

What about you?  Where do you sleep? 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Should You Pay Extra for a Shellac Manicure?

When I was in college, I got my first set of acrylic nails (with a coupon, of course).  I liked the way they looked, but found them to be difficult for putting my contacts in, felt like they got dirty, and sometimes made my nails hurt.  The worst part came when I wanted them off.  I took them off myself and cried when I saw that my nails were completely ruined and unhealthy.  I have never gotten acrylics again.

For my wedding, I wore nails I bought at Icing for about seven dollars, and no one knew the difference. These caused A LOT less damage, were easier to wear (because you can choose your length), and were easier to take off.  BUT, they also popped off every now and then and didn't have smooth side edges.

And now, to shellac nails.  I love having my nails painted, but hate that even if I pay for a manicure, they chip immediately.  I decided to try a shellac manicure for our trip to Vegas in April.  I got a trusty Groupon for a shellac manicure AND a pedicure for $35.  Pretty fantastic deal if you ask me.

It is a base coat, two-three color coats, and a top coat.  With a one minute UV light sitting between each coat.  It takes no longer than a regular manicure.  And YES!!  It is totally worth it!  They tell you it will last for two weeks, and I was super skeptical.  I did every task at home that I normally do, plus took a trip to Las Vegas and my nails stayed chip free for over ten days.

My nails grow ridiculously fast, so I ended up taking the polish off after about ten days because the top edge showing bothered me.  If your nails do not grow so fast, you could easily keep your polish on for more than two weeks.

I didn't have any issues at all. They stayed super shiny, didn't lose color, and didn't chip at all!  I would highly recommend shellac nails for special occasions or a treat for yourself.

I took them off at home by slowly peeling the polish off my nail.  I know this isn't the greatest way, but it was quick and fairly harmless.  I buffed and shined up my nail afterward, and a day  later they were perfect and healthy.  MUCH less of a negative effect on your nails!

-Shiny Nails
-Chip Free for Weeks
-Fun Colors
-Safer for Nail Health
-Not Extremely Expensive
-No Worry, No Hassle


Friday, June 13, 2014

Target - The Black Hole

Anyone I've ever talked to about this agrees:  TARGET is the perfect little naughty habit. 

They have EVERYTHING!  And it's cute!  And reasonably priced!  Damn them. 

I am a clearance/bargain shopper to the max.  Naturally, I love the 30-50-70 percent off racks at Target and have become a major fan of shopping off season to get some great deals.  Dresses, shorts, sweaters, can always get a fantastic deal at the end of the season!  Also, they have those lovely little end caps that go through the center of the store that is their clearanced home goods.  AND the end caps in the bath/beauty/pets section where you can score nail polish, candles, and all kinds of other goodies. 

(As you can see, I am a Target PRO!)

But funny thing about those deals... You're getting such a great one, that you pick up more items, and before you know it, BAM! Target swoops another $100 from your account.  HOW DO THEY ALWAYS DO THAT?!  If I spend less than 50 bucks there, it's a freakin' miracle! 

Lately, I've been trying to keep a little closer eye on what I'm spending.  Thinking about the future, we're trying to put a little more money away for a future permanent dwelling (we've been renting together since I was 20 years old).  So we looked at our monthly money situation, and the one way I could save money??  NOT GOING TO *damn* TARGET and blowing money!  I don't really need any more jewelry or dresses, do I?

I've put myself on $100 fun spending for the month of June.  What does that mean?  AVOID TARGET AT ALL COSTS!  Or I'll never have fun until July ;) 

And I must share:  I had to go to Target for a prescription (which was free) and successfully walked out of there with ONLY a bottle of nail polish (for less than two dollars), a dish scrubber, and a salad.  Preeeetttttyyy sure that's the most personal restraint I've ever shown.  AND I was alone, so I didn't even have Mike to rely on. 

GO ME!  ...Sorry, I just had to say that.  Target is literally my pleasant nemesis.  It's like a nice little baby who poops on your silk top.  Suuuper cute, but quickly crushes your mood (after you drop a hundred bucks). 

Don't read me wrong.  I'm not saying I'm a shopping addict, or that Target sucks.  I'm saying that half of my wardrobe comes from Target, I always NEED those $5.38 clearance earrings, and I can't turn down an amazing deal (even if it doesn't fit right, or I'll only wear it once). 

Target's got their stuff figured out.  Clearance bags, hats and scarves as you walk in.  Brightly colored swimsuits and dresses come next.  And don't forget the whole adorable shoe section that is basically all under $30.  As you try to avoid that, there's beautiful baskets, picture frames, and kitchen must haves on your other side.  I can't even imagine having children, as I'm sure I could wreak some havoc on that section as well.  (I'm sure in a few years, that will be ANOTHER post.) 

So thank you, Target, for being AMAZINGLY AWESOME, and yet, thoroughly annoying the crap out of me by always winning the war.  {I will learn, I will learn, I will learn...}  We'll see you, come July.  I'm sure of that!

Does anyone else feel the same?!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Our Friend Stubby

If you know me, you know I love animals with the zest of a five year old.  Anything, unless it is creepy crawly like snakes.  Caterpillars are fine with me, though I suppose they could be characterized as "crawly".  Animals with fur, even cuter!  I get giddy and ridiculous.  I just love animals.

One day, I was near our back door (inside the house) and spotted a tiny black and grey gecko under our little spring door stopper.  I freaked a bit, called Mike over, and then awwww'ed at how cute he was.  We contemplated trying to catch him, fetched some cups, and then after a bit of research and generally knowing they're harmless and eat bugs, we decided to keep him.  And by "keep him", I mean, let him be and roam at will.  We haven't seen him since then, so either he returned outside or is our nighttime watchman gobbling up spiders at our house! 

Soon after that, we stepped on to our front patio one evening and saw fun little geckos on the ceiling, I was ecstatic!  These ones are a lighter orange-y color and hang out on our siding.  When they're scared, they sneak in to the cracks for protection.  It became a little ritual to go out front when it gets dark and look for our gecko friends. 

We then found out they like our back patio as well.  This is fun because our back door is all glass, so we can flip on the light and admire them from inside the house.  We call this our "Gecko Check"! 

One night, I saw this poor little guy who had lost his tail.  I told Mike, all sad-like, and the guiltiest look flew across Mike's face.  He confessed that when he was mowing, he saw a little gecko run from the mower, and that he might have caught his tail.  I did a little sad freak-out session, apologized to the little guy, and jokingly made Mike feel guilty the rest of the night.  We did read though, that they can "throw their tail" in moments of extreme fear or danger.  Pretttty sure a lawn mower fits in that category, so I'm going with that situation :)

Meet Stubby
Since then, we've been seeing the same gecko on our porch many nights.  We decided to name him Stubby.  There are still some others out there that we say hi to, but our little friend is Stubby.  He likes to hang out right by the door.  Apparently he holds no resentment...or he's planning an evil attack.  For now, I'll consider him my friend!

Adventures in Austin, AKA Geckoland.