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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tips for Changing Out Your Seasonal Wardrobe

It's that time of year again! Finally it's chilly outside and it's time to get rid of the pastels, shorts and sandals and bring back the sweaters, scarves and boots! 

I don't change out my entire wardrobe because I still wear tank tops and short sleeve shirts as layering pieces, which I would encourage everyone to do. This is the first time I've had to go through this entire process because I've typically always had room for all of my clothes to be in my closet and in dresser drawers but I don't use a dresser anymore so I had to get creative with clothing storage!

Hopefully you'll find my process useful and can gain some tips from my experience!

Here goes!

1. The first thing I did was pull out my Ziploc Storage bags. I had two full large ones and one small one with winter accessories (I haven't taken out the accessories yet- not cold enough right now). Tip: If you're short on space, these are a great option because they allow you to put a lot of clothes inside and shrink up really small and can easily fit under the bed or tucked away in a closet! Check them out, here.

2. I laid everything out by clothing type i.e. sweaters, jackets, etc.

3 & 4. I went through my closet and pulled out the items that I know I won't be able to wear in the winter. Tip: Decide if your pieces will transition easily- think about their color, whether or not they'll look good with tights, boots and a coat. For me, these dresses were all too much of spring/summer colors and are not the right styles/lengths to look good with tights.

I also got rid of my colored denim, so my bright pink, lime, mint and and white jeans all had to go as well as a few pairs of shorts.

5. Next, I went through the clothes that I left and pulled out all of my empty hangers so that I would have them for my clothes that needed to go in.

6. I laid everything out on my bed in categories. I had a hanger pile, dresses that were hanging, top right corner are dresses that I had folded and lastly, my colored denim. Tip: Yes, spring is over, but it's never too early/too late to clean out your closet. I suggest making a pile of things you want to get rid of/donate. (I had a small pile, just the two items on the left, but I got rid of a TON of stuff when I moved)

7. It's hard to tell because I didn't put in a "Before" picture, but by removing all of my summer clothes I made a lot of extra room on the shelves and on the clothing rod.

8. I ended up separating the bigger coats so that they can go in the closet in the spare bedroom because I don't have enough space in my main closet. I would rather my coats be in another closet rather than any other clothing items because I only have a few coats so I won't forget what I have in there and they take up much more space than anything else.

9. I hung up and put in all of my fall/winter clothes!

10. I organized my clothes by dresses, tanks, short sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, long sleeves, cardigans, sweaters, jackets. We'll see how long it lasts but it's a nice way to organize so I can see all of my pieces by type (I'm not a fan of organizing by color).

11. In the space I made I put my heavy sweaters, dark denim and black pants. Tip: Heavy sweaters should be stored folded somewhere because the weight of them on the hanger will loosen the knit and ruin the look of the sweater.

12. I put my spring/summer clothes in my Ziploc bag and shrunk it back up!

13. And under the bed it went!

I hope this was helpful in some way! Let me know what you guys do with your clothes when the seasons change!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My First Product Empties!

I'm so excited to finally be doing this post! Recently I started running out of a bunch of stuff all at once- I HATE it when that happens! This type of post will probably not be one that I do very often because when I see that I'm running out of something, I do my best to not run out of it for as long as possible, haha!

Simply Olay Body Wash in Pomegranate- I really liked the smell of this, is was a warm, deep berry scent and was really nice. It doesn't take a lot of product to get a good lather and I believe it was under $3! I would buy this scent again, and this is the second bottle of body wash that I've bought from this line and have been happy with them.

Aussie Moist Shampoo- I know that Aussie is known for not really being the best for your hair, but I actually liked this product just fine. Shampoos are never a very exciting product for me because I tend to feel like they're all the same (unless they're really bad like the one I'm using now!) Overall, this got my hair clean, didn't leave it tangly and smells nice.

Skintimate Vitamin E Shaving Cream- I've repurchased this product many times. I like that it has Vitamin E, lanolin and olive butter because my skin is dry and sensitive. I also like that the cream inside is pink and it has a really pretty, feminine smell.

Bath and Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint Body Scrub- This is my absolute favorite scent from the B&BW Stress Relief line. It has such a strong smell and lots of gritty pieces that you can actually feel working. I loved this and I would definitely buy it again.

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Face Wash- I seriously had this product for at least 6 months. It lasted forever! I love the citrus scent and it gives a nice cooling sensation to the skin after you use it. The only thing I didn't like was that it took a while to rinse it all off of my face because it's a gel-like formula, but other than that, I would recommend this.

Olay Regenerist Face Wash- Unlike the last product, this product didn't last long at all. I used this face wash at night and I know that it did nothing in terms of anti-aging, but it didn't even make my skin feel clean so I would not repurchase this.

Olay Complete Facial Moisturizer- I've been buying this for years. My skin always feels hydrated after I use it and it has spf 15, which is always a good thing. It also comes in a couple different formulas; I buy the sensitive skin formula and I've never had any irritation or breakouts from it.

Up & Up (Target) Baby Wipes- I use these as makeup remover wipes. They were the unscented kind so they didn't irritate my skin or eyes at all. I also liked that they were pretty moist so I didn't have to tug at my face. What I love the most is that you get 88 wipes for around $1.88- SO much cheaper than makeup remover wipes, and I would definitely repurchase this brand.

Bath and Body Works hand soap in Cilantro Peach- I loved this scent. It smells like fresh peaches, but has a little depth to it because of the cilantro. A little goes a long way with these soaps, which is great because if you don't buy them on sale they can be a little expensive. Also, the label art was different than their typical bottles and was so pretty!

Revlon Colorstay Nail Polish in 020 Pale Cashmere- This was a really nice polish and my first time trying the Colorstay nail polish line. The color was a pretty, nude-white color. The polish was pretty opaque and lasted a while with no chipping.

Clinique Quickliner in 07 Intense Ivy- The way this product ended was rather unfortunate- the end of it just broke off twice until there wasn't anything left to salvage. I did love this product though and did an entire review here. I would definitely repurchase this in black, it made eyeliner application SO easy and it was basically waterproof.

So those are all of my empties! I hope this was useful for you guys! Let me know if you guys have used any of these products and what you thought about them :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fun Pumpkin Treats

Recently I had a few cans of pumpkin in the pantry and being fall and all, I could not let them go unused. I set out to find a couple of recipes that were a little more interesting than your standard pumpkin pie (I LOVE pumpkin pie, but I know I'll eat a lot of it around Thanksgiving). I made both of these recipes from Chocolate Covered Katie: The Heathy Dessert Blog so please go check out her blog for some amazing and healthy recipes! 

Pumpkin Boatmeal for One
(Boatmeal = Baked Oatmeal!)
1/2 cup rolled oats (50g)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon (and 1/8 tsp nutmeg, if making pumpkin version. Or just use pumpkin pie spice.)
sweetener, such as 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp maple syrup or 1 to 1 1/2 packs stevia (I used less, but I’ve cautioned you before about my lack of sweet tooth.)
1/4 cup canned pumpkin (or applesauce or banana)
1/4 cup milk of choice, or nondairy creamer, or water (scale back by a tbsp if using liquid sweetener)
1/8 tsp salt
Optional: 1 to 2 tbsp oil or favorite nut butter (if oil, scale the milk back by a tbsp)
Optional: raisins, walnuts, brown sugar to sprinkle on top, etc.

(I bolded the options I chose)

Preheat oven to 380 degrees. Combine raw oats, spices, pumpkin, and milk. Pour into a greased 1-cup ramekin (or two 1/2-cup ramekins) or a mini-loaf pan. Cook for 20 minutes or more, until it gets firm. Finally, set your oven to “high broil” for 3 more minutes, or until it reaches desired crispy-ness (or simply just bake longer, but broiling gives it a nice crust).

Obviously, this is more than one serving. I multiplied everything by six so that there would be plenty for breakfasts for the week. I would also add a little more of your spices if you're going to make this in advance because I found that it had a little less flavor after refrigerating it.

Skinny Pumpkin-Banana Bars

2 eggs
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup soy yogurt (or regular yogurt)
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

8-ounce package dairy-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup vegan margarin, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, mashed banana, sugar, oil, soy yogurt, and pumpkin until light and fluffy.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt and baking soda.
Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.
Spread the batter into your greased baking pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean with most crumbs clinging to it. Let cool completely before frosting.

I decided not to add the icing to mine because it just adds more sugar that I didn't think was necessary, but I don't think they need it. I'm sure they're amazing with the icing, but I think they're delicious enough on their own.

I spent half the day last Sunday baking and watching Halloween movies and tv shows and it was so much fun! What have you guys baked or plan on baking this season?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Guide to Simple Halloween Costumes

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone has had a nice weekend so far. Today I wanted to bring you three very easy Halloween costume ideas. There are a few things I was hoping to accomplish with this post:

1. Give you general ideas of costumes you can create or buy.
2. Provide you with pieces that you could buy if you wanted (and dresses you can re-wear).
3. Give inspiration if you need a costume but have no ideas and don't want to spend a lot of money. The first two at least can be done with a regular LBD and a couple accessories.
4. Show you that you don't need a fancy costume or provide options if you're doing something low-key and don't need to be super dressed up.

Vampire Costume
Vampires are a classic costume and can be created simply. All you need is a black dress, a dark smokey eye, fangs and a dark burgundy lip. 

I liked this dress especially because it's long and drapey like most vampire costumes and it has the victorian-looking lace with the high neckline. It's also very elegant and pretty and could be re-worn for another event easily. 

Obviously any palette with a nice rich black will work and any vampy lipstick will as well. If you want to achieve this costume look, though, I would recommend you try to find the fangs that just go on the two teeth instead of the mouthpiece because they are much more comfortable!

Halloween Cat

The cat costume is probably the simplest one to re-create. Even though I'm not a fan of cats, this is what I dressed up as last year because I was just going to a dinner with friends and didn't want to be over the top. 

What I love is that you can do this with any black dress you own. In fact, I wore a black tutu with tights from the previous years costume. You just need a good black liner to do a nice cat-eye eyeliner and to draw on your whiskers, which most of us probably own already. Also, a baby pink lipstick for the kitten-effect.

You can find cat-ear headbands pretty much anywhere this time of year. Last year I bought mine from Claires for just a couple dollars.

Halloween Greek Goddess
I have never been a Greek Goddess for Halloween but I've always wanted to be! I think these dresses are gorgeous and with bronze/gold eyeshadow, a gold headband, arm piece or bracelet and some gold sandals this look would be complete!

If you can't find sandals like these you could also wear something you already own and buy some thin gold rope to wrap around your legs to achieve a similar effect. Same with the headband; if you find some trim at a craft store with a similar look, you can always tie it and use it as a headband.

Bonus Ideas:

Flapper: All you really need to be a simple flapper is a black dress, a string or two of pearls, dark lipstick and a headband. The iconic headband for a flapper costume is one with a feather, so if you can find that, everyone will know what you are!

Glamour Girl: Any color dress you want, though black is the most elegant, with a matching feather boa or shawl to go around your arms. Dress it up with dangly earrings, heels and lipstick and you're good to go!

Audrey Hepburn: Plain black shift dress, big black sunglasses and a small tiara- so simple!

Hopefully I've accomplished one of my goals, or I've just entertained you for a few minutes! :)

Do you guys have Halloween plans yet or any other easy to put together costume ideas? Let me know!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Festive Packaging

As you can probably tell by a few of my recent posts, I absolutely love this time of year. I love it when it starts getting cooler outside, the leaves begin to change, it becomes hot chocolate season again and when everything turns festive.

When I say everything, I mean everything. Lately when I've been out, I've noticed that all of a sudden, everything is fall/halloween themed and it's a little bit crazy!

I've seen pizza boxes, Planters nut containers, halloween Oreos, even Crayola crayons! The crayons were adorable, they were named by the types of colors inside: 

Mummified (Oranges)
 Fang-tastic (Reds/Primary)
 Bony Bodies (Grays) 
Full Moon (Greens/Harvest Colors)
Bewitched (Purples)
It's Alive (Light Greens)
Once Bitten (Pinks)
Goon Lagoon (Blues)

Though I wanted them, I didn't buy any because I just have no use for them, but is anybody else 10x more likely to buy things just because they are holiday themed? The excitement around this time of year is SO good for marketing. People want pumpkins, pumpkin flavors, pumpkin smells, apple cider flavors and smells, anything that has a pumpkin pictured on it or anything else festive looking. I know this is true for me. I just can't help it. I want a peanut dressed up like a vampire on my container of mixed nuts, I want a haunted house pictured on my pizza box even though it doesn't change the contents inside- it just changes up the everyday normal things and makes it a little more fun for a short time and I'm a total sucker for it.

It got me thinking about how I love to buy makeup, and how much more likely I would be to buy something because it was in a festive package or had a festive name. Of course, I started seeing a few themed displays called, "The Perfect Potion" and "Wicked Nights." Halloween costume makeup starts to come out this time of year obviously because Halloween is coming up, but I guess for your mainstream makeup companies this fall transition period just isn't enough time to put the effort into a fall-inspired collection. There are, no doubt, your regular lipsticks and whatnot called, "Spice," "Caramel," "Pumpkin,"etc. but I mean a whole collection, even if it's just a few pieces.

What do you guys think? I feel like if companies made a small, limited number of the fall themed collections they would probably be a hit and would pretty much sell out. Obviously, closer to the Holidays you start seeing Holiday sets and palettes, but that's because it's the "gift-giving" season. Think about companies like MAC for example, they're always doing collections with different drawings, characters, packages, and people go crazy for it. Same with Bath and Body Works and their thousand different pumpkin scented candles. Who is going to go through 10 different pumpkin candles in a season? Probably not many people, and yet, so many people buy them!

Are you guys more likely to buy products festively themed? Do you think you'd be excited to see a collection of blushes, polishes, eyeshadows, etc, with pumpkins, leaves, bats, moons and anything else fall themed? 

I know I would! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Maybelline Medicated Baby Lips to the Rescue!

I haven't tried any of the other Baby Lips, but I decided to give the medicated ones a try. I have very dry lips that get sore and regular chapsticks just don't do anything for me.

The color I chose is Soothing Sorbet, and it is a reddish berry color. When I first opened it I could smell the menthol, which to me is a good thing. You can't smell the menthol on your lips, but it will give you a nice cooling sensation when you put it on that actually lasts a while.

I have been wanting one of these tinted balms for a while in a berry color because my lips have been dry recently, but I don't want to just wear chapstick out. This is a perfect solution for my problem and best of all, it's a really pretty color for fall, so I can feel "done"with my makeup, but also have my lips being hydrated throughout the day.

I can say that I probably wouldn't buy the clear one and rely on that as my only chapstick throughout the day, but that's just me. I have particularly dry lips that get sore like I've said, so I need something a little richer for day-to-day hydration.

Soothing berry is kind of a "my lips but better" color and glossier (the color is a little more vibrant in person). I love this particular color a lot because you get a very polished look, but little does anyone know, it's just a chapstick!

So far, I'm very impressed and I'd like to get a couple others to test out.

Have you guys try these out yet? Let me know!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Coffee Table Halloween Craft

I was really loving (and still am) the little orange jack-o-lantern dish in the living room because it brought in that really pretty pop of bright orange and I wanted to add more.

I had some orange tea lights that were sitting in a drawer that I was sure I had no use for unless I bought tea light holders for, but I wasn't going to that kind of trouble for some orange tea lights. I had been eyeing the centerpiece on the coffee table and really wanted to figure out a way to use the tea lights in it, but the problem was that it needs votives because they're taller. The tea lights just didn't look right because they were way too short. However, when I was in the middle of my caution tape installation, I had an idea.

I knew that I needed something to put in each glass cup to make the tea lights come up higher and I was trying to figure out something that I already had and that would look nice. All of a sudden, it came to me! Coffee beans! Not only would it look nice and be a nice contrast against the orange, it would SMELL nice too.

Thus, this coffee table centerpiece makeover was born.

1. Have a similar coffee table centerpiece as me!

2. Remove votives!

3. Spoon coffee beans out of bag and into cups.

4. Fill each cup about half way full.

5. Insert tea lights in each cup, and push them down into the beans.

6. Place extra beans around the sides of the tea lights so you can't see their tin wrapping.

And we're finished!

I was really pleased with how it came out, especially because I wasn't planning on doing it and I had been wanting more pops of orange! This did the trick and was so easy!

If you guys saw my home decor philosophy post (click here if you didn't!) you would have seen the piece on the kitchen island where I did something similar with coffee beans. I recommend you guys try using them if not this particular craft, something else because they're so useful as filler and smell amazing! I'm liking my coffee bean crafts! 

This will be the last craft for a while! I feel like I've done too many Halloween posts, haha, I just love it! Hopefully it gave you some ideas or inspiration to incorporate into your own decor whether it's for this holiday or another!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Vintage Halloween Banner How-to

I really wanted to make a banner to hang on our fireplace because that area really needed some Halloween T.L.C. I went to Michaels to get supplies because I wanted to make it myself, but when I walked in I found this kit. I think it was about $10, but I had a 40% off coupon, which you can find if you just google it, so I got it for $6! When I looked at buying everything separately this kit came out to be much cheaper and I still got to be creative and put it together, so I went for it.

Steps and tips from my experience making this!

1. Lay out the contents of the package and arrange like pieces together so you know how much you have of everything.

2. Measure your twine against where you want to hang it and mark the ends somehow. I just tied a knot, but you could use a sharpie or a piece of tape. Then, begin to place your triangular pieces in the order you want them to be in, but keep in mind, that when you turn them over and attach them to the twine, they will be on opposite ends, so make sure you're okay with that.

3. & 4.Once you have your pieces placed the way you want, begin attaching everything. I chose to use hot glue, but use whatever you're comfortable with.

5. Flip the triangles over and attach them to the twine. I just used two pieces of tape on each one so that it wasn't too permanent. I was planning on gluing them once I got them placed the way I wanted with tape, but I was a little too lazy, haha.

Close-up shot of the final product! I love the colors and patterns because there is a good amount of variety in what you're provided with but it all goes together really well. Another cool thing about this is that some of the tiles you're given are blank, so you can write in anything you want, for example, I wrote "Boo" with a Sharpie on one of the ones on the end, so that's a nice option to have.

 The color palette is really nice as well, it's antique looking and muted, which I love because it's not an "in your face" decoration, but it's definitely festive.

Let me know what you guys think and what festive crafts you've made!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

MAC Cream Color Base: Madly Magenta

It's that time of year to pull out the deeper shades of makeup! I recently went to the back of my blush collection and grabbed this MAC Cream Color Base in Madly Magenta- can I just say how much I love the name of this? Because I do...it's so whimsical :)

It looks pretty scary in the pan...well, really scary, but on the cheeks, it's so pretty! When I bought it I asked the lady there if I could use it on my cheeks and she looked at me like I was crazy, but said that I could use it wherever I wanted. My friends also looked at me like I was a little mad, but I saw the hidden potential here!

It can be really full on and intense, but you can also sheer it out. I usually stipple my brush in a few times and then gently blend it out on my skin. It is a magenta color, and can be bright, but I find that it's also really nice in the fall/winter because it has a purple/plum undertone that gives it depth.  It's also really great for colder weather because it's a cream formula so it's going to give you that little hint of dewiness when our skin tends to dry out a bit.

This is how I typically wear it, pretty sheered out, but it gives a really nice flush to the skin like you've just been outside in the cold. You can definitely build up the intensity though and I think it's beautiful both ways!

Let me know what colors you guys love for the fall/winter! I'm in need of a couple more options :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Decor: Part 1

Hello again, friends! Today I'm going to share some of my Halloween decorations with you all. I have a Part 2 coming just because there's a lot of little pieces and I didn't want anyone falling asleep on me!

1. "The Witch Is In" sign. I love this! I got it from A.C. Moore last year for around $7, I believe. I didn't want to put any holes in the walls or use any hooks that could damage the walls just to hang it so this year it's hanging off of the laundry room door :)

2. My mom actually gave me a set of Halloween hand towels for the kitchen, but this one is super soft and not particularly absorbent so I put it in the guest bathroom over the regular towels that hang in there. Don't worry though, none of those get used, the hand drying towel hangs off the back of the door (picky, I know).

3. This little spider is black, purple and glittery. It's really cute as well because it's a tea light holder! This is also in the guest bath, so there's a black and purple theme in there, as with a lot of my decor, as you'll see.

4. I got this "Come in for a Spell" sign from Kohls last year AFTER Halloween. I can't remember how much I got it for but it was on sale and super cheap. Again, I didn't want to hang it up, so I sat it behind these canisters on the counter, one of which has delicious candy corn! 

5. My mom got me this cat that I named Gladys from Cracker Barrel. She's a very festive black cat with glitter and bright orange animal print! 

6. Caution tape! We had a package of caution tape from the dollar store from last year so I figured I'd use it up!

7. Something else from the Dollar Store! This sign is hanging in our kitchen and has a list of spooky desserts!

8. Caution tape going across the window in front of my vanity. If you look close you can see Gladys in the left corner!

On our entertainment center:

9. This tea light holder came from A.C. Moore as well. I find that craft stores have some really cute decorations and are usually on sale from the start! I just have some sparkly black battery-operated tea lights to make it easy.

10. The mug on the left is from Barnes and Noble a couple of years ago. It's really neat because when you put hot water in it, the silhouette turns into a werewolf! The sign on the right is one that my mom got me last year as well, from Cracker Barrel and I think it's cute and colorful.

11. Every once in a while I like to go to Goodwill or any thrift store because you never know what you might find. I got this little light-up "Pumpkin Factory"there for just a couple bucks last year and I think it's adorable!

I hope you guys enjoyed Part 1 of my Halloween Decor. I'm not really into the scary or morbid decorations anymore. I just like to keep it cute and classy, with touches of festive-ness all over, and I don't think you have to spend a lot. You can find the gems of the discount/dollar stores, check thrift stores and shop sales, even if it's after the holiday! 

Keep your eye out for Part 2 (which is much shorter, I promise) and a couple of Halloween decor DIYs!

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