Friday Favorites in Five

October 31, 2014

Hey, hey Friday!

I don't usually 'celebrate' Halloween, but I do think it's kind of fun thinking of costume since it's Halloween I'm going to share my favorite costumes that I've seen lately. If you need any last minute ideas, take a look!

1. A strawberry. Now that's creative.

2. Dog as a dog would flip out...but this is hilarious!

3. I've seen this deer costume pop up around Pinterest, and think it would be really fun to try.

4. Mary Poppins - I can't believe I've never thought of this, but it would be super easy to do.

5. The cutest of them all has to be Carl from Up. Adorable!

Have a great weekend, and a safe Halloween! I'm going to eat some chocolate now... :)

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth.

It Cosmetics - Naturally Pretty Palette Vol. 1

October 29, 2014

I have owned the It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Vol. 1 palette for quite a few months now, and have been testing it I thought it would be an appropriate time to share my thoughts on it!

What first caught my attention is that the shades are all matte, which just opens up a lot more possibilities. The Transforming Pearl is basically sheer when applied lightly, and it adds shimmer to any of the colors. You can either mix it with the color or apply it over (I usually apply it over). I love that it gives me the option to pick where I want to add shimmer.

The colors in this palette are really rich. I actually think it's less neutral than others I own, but I like mixing some of these in when I'm looking for something a little different than the every-day neutral I do all the time. Even the shades I would consider "neutral" have just a hint of color (like the Sunset, All Heart, and Iconic shades).

As for the quality of the shadows - amazing. They apply SO  well, and blend effortlessly. Each color is really pigmented, so it doesn't take much. I didn't think a powder could be creamy, but that's almost the best way to describe it. Velvet! The shadows are paraben-free, fragrance-free, sulfate-free, and cruelty free. I think this is pretty standard for the It Cosmetics brand, which I also like.

All of the shadows in this palette can also be used wet or dry. Again, even more possibilities! They're actually infused with Hydrolyzed Collagen, Acai, Green Tea, antioxidants, and Light Technology...I mean, can we say high-tech?

They now have the Naturally Pretty Celebration palette, which is a limited edition, and it looks like the same concept - all matte with a transforming shimmer color. They revamped the colors a little and named them all 'holiday' names. I just don't know that it's different enough for me to purchase. 

Have you used any of the It Cosmetics products? With each product I try, I continue to be impressed with the quality. Maybe they'll launch a Vol. 2 soon!

How To Make a Pillow (the easy way)

October 27, 2014

Sewing kind of scares me...I do not feel comfortable using a sewing machine for big projects. If I can make a pillow with a zipper in it, so can you. It took a couple tries, and some hair pulling, but once I figured it out it went okay. I won't say it went smoothly, but it was okay. :)

This may not be the most polished or professional way to sew in a zipper, and I'm sure that in the sewing circles there is probably a "right" way (and this might be the "wrong" way); but it worked for me. Maybe it will work for you too!

Measure the pillow you want to cover. In this case, my pillow measured about 18 inches.

Cut two squares of fabric about 2 inches larger than your measurement - I like having plenty of fabric to work with in case I mess up (which I usually do at least once). I cut my squares 20 inches.

Start by folding your fabric along the edge where your zipper will be placed. You can also iron it into a fold if your fabric is thin enough. Mine needed to be ironed on low heat, but it wasn't quite enough heat to keep the fold. If ironing doesn't work, simply pin the zipper in place.

Lay your zipper and fabric right side up to position the zipper. I overlap the fabric slightly so it hides the zipper a little bit. Then pin the zipper in place on the wrong side. 

This is the scary part, but it'll be okay. Once your zipper is pinned, start sewing.... I don't have a zipper foot for my sewing machine, which honestly would probably make this process so much easier, but I have found that as long as I sew slowly, it seems to work fine.

Repeat the process with your second square of fabric and pin the other side of the zipper in place. Sew it in, and make sure you leave the zipper 'zipped' so it doesn't get out of line.

My zipper was a couple inches shorter than my pillow (oops), so I opted to sew a seam on each end of the zipper; however, you could also make the zipper match the length of your pillow. If you do this, there would be no need to sew a seam on the end of the zipper...which is probably the "right" way. :)

Double check your pillow size and measurements, then finish sewing the other three sides. It might be a good idea to actually 'unzip' your zipper before doing this. I made this mistake once and it's really hard to get it unzipped when the pillow case is inside out.

Trim off the excess fabric and turn the pillow case right side out. Start stuffing!

Now you can zip it up and show off your new pillow cover!

Linking up with Liz Marie Blog / Your Homebased Mom.

Friday Favorites in Five

October 24, 2014

Happy Friday! I usually feel like the weeks go by fast when I'm busy, but holy moly this week!!! I don't even remember it (which could mean it was good, but see I don't remember, so I don't really know). 

What I do know is that it feels like fall outside which makes me super happy, and I don't even mind that leaves are falling off the trees. It makes me want to build a fire. It also makes me want to wear sweatpants.

Ready for favorites? Here. We. Go...

1. I want these glittered fun pumpkins all over the place. But I do not want to be picking up glitter for the rest of my life...which I still am from last Christmas. It's almost been a year, people. Stop it.

2. This invitation is AMAZING. How creative!!! It's a work of art all in itself.

3. This fall front porch from Craftberry Bush is stunning. I kind of want to copy it...and I might.

4. I'm not done with the fall things yet - I want this sign from Ella Clair in my entry.

5. And now I'm hungry. Candy corn pop corn? Oh my.

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth.

October Julep Maven Box

October 22, 2014

Just coming off of a vacation with my husband (celebrated 5 years!) makes it hard to get back into the this week's posts are a little backwards from how it probably should be. I probably should have posted the October Maven Box before this post...oh well. I've decided that I just need to take more vacations and have more stress-free no-work time in my life.

I'd be a better person to be around. :)

Back to the backwards posts: Monday I wrote about some of my favorite Julep of which I will talk about again because it just so happened to be in my Maven box this month (so if you're not into nail polish or skincare, so sorry). 

I personally picked my colors this month. Love that you have a chance to do that before the box ships! I wanted a deep blue and deep purple because those were two colors that I am missing. I have a lot of pinks and reds, natural colors...basics. I wanted something a little more daring. These two colors are beautiful.

The blue color is "Briana" and I'd describe it as a navy. The dark purple is "Margarita" - truly a deep plumb. I love how rich both of these colors are! Granted, I probably won't get as much wear out of them on a daily basis. It's fun though, right?

Of course, I've already raved about this night cream here, but I'm so glad that I swapped this in this month! It is perfect for the upcoming winter months! I love trying new skincare products (mostly because I'm always trying to find something that works miracles for skin texture).

If you've tried any of the other Julep skincare products, I'd love to know what you thought!

Post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are completely my own!


October 20, 2014

You've all seen my monthly posts going on and on about Julep nail colors and such. What I haven't talked much about is the other great stuff that I've found... goldmine.

In each Julep Maven box comes a little discount card that is good for a month or so. It's totally a ploy on their part to get me to buy things. It totally works. I fall for it. They also dish out these little points for purchases and you can use those points against new purchases (I mean, who wouldn't want that?). 

They have me right where they want me.

One. This Sea Salt Texture Spray is awweeeesoooommmeee (currently out of stock...I really need more too). I have a little natural wave in my hair, and there are times that I want to accentuate that (as in, times that I wake up late and don't have time to actually "style" my hair so I want it to appear "styled" as if I lived at the beach and had amazing natural beach waves). 

This spray works. I can spritz some on damp or dry hair, scrunch it up, let it dry, add a little hair spray, done. It doesn't feel heavy or feel like you have caked on gunk on the hair. Basically, it makes you look like you've spent a day at the beach less the sand and sweat. :)

Two. I like to sleep. I like to look like I've had about 12 hours of sleep even if I only get 4. But really I just want 12 hours of sleep - beauty sleep or not. I've been using the Night Shift Sleeping Mask ever since it came in my box this month, and it helps with the beauty sleep. It is probably one of the thickest night creams I have ever used, but doesn't feel heavy. I don't know how they do that. It just feels...soft and moisturizing once it soaks in. I wake up, wash it off, proceed with my daily routine, and my face feels happy. 

Three. Obviously they're known for their nail products. I wanted to test something other than nail color. With those fun points I spoke of earlier I got the Vanish Cuticle Softener & Remover from their nail treatments line. I've always had what I would consider "excess" cuticles. I have one of those pusher tools that is supposed to help push 'em back (push 'em back, waaaaaaay back...) but then they sit there looking scraggly. I don't want to injure myself trying to cut them (because I have before), so I'm never sure how to solve this issue. Enter: bonus points and an on-line shopper that can't pass up a good deal (ha). I was very impressed with this stuff. It smelled weird, but did the trick. 

Four. Okay, so I have this problem where I paint my nails, then think "I forgot to get the clothes out of the dryer" or "now would be a good time to take out the trash." So again, with the bonus points, I got some of the Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops (plus I just really thought the name was catchy) also from the nail treatments product line. These drops work, but it took a few tries to time it right and not use too much - but I have issues with painting my nails anyway so normal people probably wouldn't have an issue. Now I can actually say "Ta Da!" when I'm done painting my nails and go wash dishes (joy).

This post contains affiliate links...all opinions are 100% my own.

Mornin' Sunshine

October 15, 2014

Let's just say, I am not much for early mornings. I can get pretty grouchy, really. I just like sleep...a lot. Unfortunately I don't get the 10-ish hours I'd like very often. This is usually my fault because as much as I like sleep I am very much a night owl.

Despite all that, I would like to at least look like I got sleep.

I really only started using an eye cream about 8 months ago. I let a salesperson talk me into buying one as part of a "starter kit" thing, and it was so/so (the other products I liked pretty well though - I'll tell you about them sometime). I decided that I wanted to shop around some more, and wanted to start with a more economical option. 

Because I have used the Boots Botanics line before, I grabbed this during one of my frequent stops at Target - the Age Defense Hydrating Eye Cream

This tube lasted me several months, so I feel like I gave it a pretty good test. Was it hydrating? Yes. Did it keep the eye area moisturized all night/day? Yes. Did it reduce the appearance of my fine lines?, not really. 

I feel like if you're looking for a good eye cream that provides moisture and protects against future signs of aging, this is a great option. It's not heavy, it has no scent, and it doesn't take much to do the trick. It just wasn't the whole package I was looking for.

Bottom line - would I buy it again? I might, but I want to test some other options first.

On My Mind...

October 13, 2014

I'm a perfectionist. I can sometimes be such a perfectionist that it is annoying

I have always loved hand writing, and always tried to mimic other people's hand writing that I liked; which means practicing over, and over, and over until I either got it (sorta) or just decided it was time to move on to something else because it wasn't going anywhere.

With that said, it really shouldn't be surprising that I love calligraphy. It is beautiful. When you search calligraphy today, you see so many creative variations to the traditional "form", and it's amazing to me that people can do this. I've practiced. Multiple sheets of paper kind of practice, and just can't seem to get this technique down.

It is an art that I just can't seem to master! I've watched videos of people doing this and am in awe at how swift and smooth the motions are. I try this and my hand starts to shake and I have really disproportionate letters. 

Have you tried calligraphy? Have any tips you would like to share? I kind of want to take a class...any suggestions? I would LOVE to be able to write like any one of these examples! But being the perfectionist that I am, it might take 100 envelopes to create 1 or 2 that look like this. :)

Friday Favorites in Five

October 10, 2014

This Friday I'm going to do something a little different than my usual. I'm going to share some of my favorite things that happened over the last couple weeks in my life. These are all pictures that I took with my they may not be super photographic quality. :)

1. I love moments like this - the sun, the dark clouds, the fact that I was trying to get the picture at just the right moment while my husband was driving down the highway. Good times.

2. Honestly, my husband has been talking about getting one of these ceramic smokers/grills for a couple years. Researching. Talking. YouTube videoing. Our gas grill finally tanked and literally was falling apart. Just so happened it was close to our anniversary (5 years!) and I decided this would be a good gift (for both of us). Happy day. We can grill, and my husband was like a kid in a candy shop.

3. This picture. Oh my goodness. It makes me laugh. The expression on her face is so weird - although, it could be the fact that her mother (ahem, me) put her in a little orange Vols shirt for game day. But isn't it just so cute? Hahaha. 

4. Ever have those random moments that you think "ooooh, photo op!" but it's at the most awkward time? This was a pretty sunrise one morning as I was leaving the driveway going to work. I crawled along until the sun wasn't glaring (as much) then snapped a couple pictures. 

5. I GOT A NEW RUG!!!!!! This is probably the most exciting thing...ever. I'm the person that has this vision in my head but can't ever find the "right" thing and when I do it's way too expensive and totally out of my price range. Bummer. But I found one. Yay!!! This made my year. Sad, but true.

The BB Battle: Revlon Photoready BB

October 8, 2014

Not long ago I picked up some of the Revlon Photoready BB Cream because I have used the Photoready Perfecting Primer before and liked it. I've never used any of the Revlon face products, just eye shadow, so I'm "new-ish" to the brand.

At first I was a little leery that there were only three color options: Light, Light/Medium, Medium. That seemed limiting. I settled on the Medium, and it was a perfect color choice for my skin tone.

The consistency was very similar to the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB (see the review here), which excited me because that was one of the things I liked most about the Maybelline. This BB blends well with a Beauty Blender or your fingers. It feels too thick when I used a brush to apply, and it didn't blend as well. I'd say the coverage is equal to most other BB creams in the light to medium range depending on how much product is used.

It claims to hydrate, smooth, provide foundation-like coverage, blur flaws, and protect with SPF 30. I've always used it with a primer first so I can't really speak to the priming factor of this product, but I think it does a good job otherwise. Plus, let's be honest, they all claim to do pretty much the same thing...

One of the biggest differences I found between the Revlon BB and the Maybelline BB is that it didn't become too shiny over time. 

If you have used the Maybelline BB, but find it too "greasy," you'll like the Revlon Photoready BB Cream. I think this product will be perfect if my skin is on the dry side (as the weather changes perhaps) because I can tell that it is hydrating. It wasn't a go-to in the summer because it was just a little more dewy than I prefer.

If you've tried this or other Revlon face products let me know what you thought! I'd like to try more!

Side note: depending on coupons/sales, I've seen the best prices for this BB cream at Target, Ulta, or Amazon.

For more in the BB Battle, click below:

Stitch Fix #3

October 6, 2014

I went "shopping" this weekend...sorta. :)

It was time for my Stitch Fix box to arrive, and once again it was filled with great options. Most of them fit me well, but for one reason or another I sent them back. I mentioned last time that I'm super hard to "fit", so I'm not surprised that it's challenging for me to find things that are just right in these boxes; however, the quality is still good, and they are still my style, so the Stitch Fix team is right on!

Here's a look at what was in this month's box...

Something that they include in every box is this great little style card with ideas of how to wear each item. Love it! There is also a note from your stylist explaining why they chose the items.

If things don't work for me, I am always sure to leave a comment when I "check out" online - that way the stylist gets a little feedback so they can customize my shipment even more next time.

I'm really enjoying these boxes (it's like Christmas when they show up on my porch), and even though I've only kept one item out of the three shipments I've received, I plan to continue the subscription and give it a few more tries. I think it takes a little time to get in the groove with the stylists. I totally picture a person on the other side of the computer picking through each item and asking themselves "Does this work for Rebecca? Yes, I think so!" 

If you want to start getting your own personally styled boxes, sign up here! It's definitely worth a try to see if it works for you. 

This was not a sponsored post; however, there are referral links meaning that I could earn credit for them. All opinions are still completely my own.

Friday Favorites in Five

October 3, 2014

Thank you, Friday! This week has been busy, but it's been good. I've been working on a fun project recently, and have really enjoyed being creative! I'll share more soon...

I'm in a pattern mood. I have been loving the fun play on patterns that I'm seeing. Here are some of my favorites!

1. These napkins would make me happy to if I need help.

2. Patterned vases used for flowers, pens, pencils...these should be on my desk!

 3. One of my favorites...this cute iPad case from Pencil Shavings Studio.

4. I like every one of the Day Designer patterns this year. I can't wait to get mine!!

5. The mix of pattern and color here is so bright and fun. I'd like this to just be set up on my table all the time. I wouldn't want to use it and mess it up...

I very much like pattern in accessories, but I'm scared to use it everywhere, on everything, like this.

Linking up with A. Liz Adventures / Lauren Elizabeth.