Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Birchbox Man September 2014 Reveal

It's that time again!  Now my husband knows what it feels like and why I get so excited when my little Birchbox comes in the mail!  He of course missed the shipping email, so it was a nice surprise.

This month's theme for Birchbox Men is Hit The Books.

Here is what he got!  And at first glance, he was really happy.

Let's get to the breakdown.

First thing he got (and loved) are mini notebooks and pens from Field Notes.

I mean these are a perfect fit for him.  They are all different, too. Perfect size to put in his pockets to write down measurements or sketch a fireplace :) Plus, you can never have enough pens.

Next up, is Dear Clark, Resurrecting Shampoo.

He described the smell as "industrial",  so in other words, it smells good and strong and not fruity or girly. Nick has dry, coarse hair so this is perfect for him.  We love that it's made in Texas (yee-haw).

The next item he is iffy about.  PLANT Face Oil.

We both have oily skin, but I have converted to face oils and it surely doesn't make my face oilier.  I am trying to get him to just try it to see how it feels.  It even says this oil is FOR oily skin and chock full of good stuff.  I think he will like it and I am always right, so we will see :)

Next, he got Imperial Classic Pomade.

I am hoping pomade's aren't the men's version of our mascara's.  Ya know, the ones that every box seems to have? His hair is short in the summer and I try to get him to grow it out longer in the winter, so hopefully this will come in handy then.  But, this is his second pomade in his second box.  This one is extra strength hold so a little different than the first one.

Lastly, a $42 100% cotton Bonobos Pocket Square.

It is gorgeous and I love the print.  But my husband doesn't even know what a pocket square is, much less want one.  Sure, this is a wonderful item if it was appropriate for his profile and this is furthest from it.   We more than likely will gift this, although I suggested using it under a cake or a tray lol.

Overall, he is happy.  I am rating this a 2 out of 5 because I was the one who filled out his profile and this box cannot even compare to last months box which was perfect for him.  Check out that unboxing HERE.

Want to order one for your honey? Click HERE.

Does your man already get one? What did you think of this month's box?

Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great day!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Easy Labor Day Vanilla Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Happy Monday Ya'll!!  I can't believe we will be in September the end of this week.  Summer went by way too fast, as always!  I wanted to share a recipe that I make that you can easily do yourself and bring to whatever Labor Day celebrations you may partake in.  People will think you slaved over this recipe, it is that good! (If I do say so myself).  Don't worry, the pumpkin recipes are just around the corner!

I love to make sweets and such from scratch,  there is always something therapeutic to me rolling out the dough and crimping pie crusts.  But sometimes, there isn't time.  Today is one of those times.  

Here is what you will need for this recipe.

One box of vanilla cake/cupcake mix (you'll need eggs, vegetable oil & water)
Fresh blueberries
1 cup of butter (room temp)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-4 cups of powdered sugar
Heavy cream (1-2 tablespoons, if needed)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

First, let's make the cupcakes based on the directions on the box, easy peasy!!  

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full.  

Take the blueberries and mix them in a bowl with 1-2 teaspoons of flour.  You want them to be lightly coated, this will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cupcakes so you get one in each glorious bite. Plus, you won't even know the flour is in there.

Take about 5-6 berries and push into each cupcake.  I didn't push mine in as far as I should have just to show you that they won't sink. I made a few plain ones for my hubby as he is not a fan of fruit in cake, crazy, I know.

Put them in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 325 degrees and cook for 15-17 minutes until golden brown and fluffy.  I always check at 15 with a toothpick in the center.  If it comes out clean, they are done and don't need the extra 2 minutes.

While they are cooling, let's get the frosting started.

In a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment and cream the butter for 5 minutes on medium.  Add in the vanilla, lemon juice and zest and mix for about another minute on medium.  Take the powdered sugar and add into the frosting slowly, one cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.  You may not need it all and if it does get too thick, then add in the heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time.  Go ahead, taste it, it's soooooo good!!

Now layer it on the cupcakes and Voila!!

The blueberries and the lemons and vanilla all compliment each other so well.  This is a hit!

What is your favorite kind of cupcake?

Let me know if you end up making these and how they turned out!

Have a great day!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ruffian Manicure Tutorial

What is a Ruffian manicure you ask?? Well if you know what a half moon mani is then you pretty much know and in fact this mani has been around for awhile just known by a different name.  It is the idea of two different colors of nail polish on one nail where one of the colors only covers the "half moon" part of your nail.  It is a very clean, edgy look that can be done with so many colors.  Most that know me know that I am always on the hunt for a new DIY nail manicure idea so I was excited to do this one.  Now I have many many tools to aid me in my artistic ventures on my mini canvases, but for this manicure I did order the Ruffian sticker stencils from Birchbox.  And I am really glad I did, they helped me achieve the perfect look and I really didn't want to use duct tape, since that is all I had lying around.  If you have any type of round sticker, you can surely use that.  But I did get a lot of stencils in the pack so can do many many more manicures!

I used my Ciate Skinny Dip for the main color and Wet and Wild's On A Trip for my moon color.  Oh, also, I was enjoying my tea with a side of glitter and that is what inspired me to do some sparkle on my nails :)

Simply take the stickers out based on the nail you are using so it creates the perfectly shaped half moon and place on your finger.

Press down firmly as you want to make sure you don't get any polish underneath the sticker or that will be a shame.

Paint the nail :)

Wait at least 5 minutes before removing the sticker to make sure the magic already happened and the polish is dry.  When removing the stickers, go from side to side like taking off a band aid slowly, not being a badass and ripping the bandaid off.  We didn't just break up with our boyfriend here, eh? ;)

They came off perfectly.  They did not stick or leave residue or mess up the polish.  A+ Birchbox!

Now since you have the perfect outline, go ahead and fill in with your main color.


I think they came out great!  Plus, super simple and easy since I find myself always doing my nails right before bed.  ALWAYS! Thank goodness for quick dry top coats :) I already have an idea in mind for my next Ruffian mani and can't wait to share it :)

Have you done a Ruffian mani before?  How did yours turn out?

Let me know in the comments below!

Also, stay tuned to the Facebook page tomorrow because it's Friday and you know what that means!!

Have a great day, ya'll!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DIY-Gold Dipped Feather Chandlier

Happy Hump Day!!!  I NEED this week to be over, so badly.  It's been "one of those"!!  But today, I am excited to share with you my latest and greatest DIY project!!  This project is inspired by The Junk Gypsies!!  They are country lovin' women after my own heart, they are incredibly smart, creative junkers who have a wonderful online and brick and mortar store!  I love every piece of clothing and merch I have gotten from them.  Check them out today!!  They recently had an episode on their show where they made this and since I couldn't haul my butt to Round Top, Texas, I made it myself!

Okay, let's get busy on making this Gold Dipped Feather Chandelier!!

First, some back are going to want to already have picked out a base.  I used an old lamp shade that I found junking in Kentucky in July.  The size is up to you and also the shape.  But you want to make sure that you get a base that is even all the way around as to prevent tipping when you hang it.  Plus, I also suggest getting a base that has the part where you will attach the lighting kit in the middle.  As you can see in the picture above, my light bulb is hidden by the feathers.

Once you have the base, you need feathers, fishing line, glitter and some spray sealant.

I got the feathers from Michael's Craft Store as they were the only ones that carried just what I was looking for but also had enough to fill my needs! I probably have 50 feathers on my chandelier :) Each package comes with three feathers in it, too.  Plus they always have coupons for 40% off so that helped with the price!  Overall, this is a cheap project but it takes a lot of time and patience but it is SO worth it!!

I did the prep work for the feathers in the garage because of the fumes of the sealant.  The sealant I used is also the "glue" I used.  I actually had two leftover from old projects.  Since one of them was clear and I knew I didn't want any type of finish on the glitter, that is the one I used to spray on top of the glitter after the feathers were dry.  You can get both of these at Menards.

I wanted a gold dipped look so I went up just enough on the bottom of the feathers to achieve that look. Spray both sides of the feather liberally and then pour glitter on both sides.  You can also just use gold spray paint for the adhesive if you have it!

I let the feathers dry over night just because it was easier that way.  You could probably start working on them again after 6 hours though.  Just be sure that the glitter adhered to the feather as well as you wanted. When you are ready to work on them again, tap the feather lightly to let any excess glitter come off and spray the clear sealant on both sides to seal the glitter.

While my feathers were drying, I hooked up the light kit to my frame.  For those who aren't electrically savvy, this comes in a kit, so it's pretty easy to figure out.  You will follow the instructions just as if you were installing it onto a lamp base.  Also, depending on which frame you got, you will need to decide if you want your light bulb facing up or facing down behind the feathers.  I chose down.

Once that is in and the feathers are dry, we start hanging!  I took the end of each feather and put a nick in it with a razor blade (BE CAREFUL!!) just to make sure that the fishing line did not come loose or slip off. Double tie the fishing line around the feather and then double tie it onto the frame.  Cut the excess fishing line off after each feather.  I did not and waited until the end and it was a pain in the butt!

I also staggered my feathers at varying heights so it didn't look so uniform plus it gives it some depth.

And that was it!!  The only thing I have left to do is have my husband hang it from the ceiling in the corner! I can only do so much, plus me and drywall really have a love hate relationship :)  I will put a pic up once it is hung.  I got a simple white chain so that it blends in with the ceiling.

This is probably my second favorite project that I have done, next to my Union Jack antique coffee table!!

Anyone up for the challenge??  I would love to see pics if you make this!

What is your favorite DIY project that you have done?

Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great day!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Top Beauty Myths Quashed!

Happy Monday Ya'll!!

Do you have at home remedies and passed down secrets from your mama and grandma?  Or maybe things your friends swear by? Most of us do. We also were told things as children that might not have been 100% true, too.  Like, "Your face will freeze like that" :) Today I thought I would shed some light on some old wives tales, momisms and beauty myths!

1. Chocolate causes pimples
Not washing your face, getting your period and other stressing factors will cause breakouts but there is no scientific evidence to support that eating a Hershey bar will give you a mountain on your face!  In fact, dark chocolate is actually full of anti oxidants which are good for you!  So go ahead and eat the candy bar :)

2. Brushing your hair 100 times before bed will make it grow (i.e. Marsha Brady)
I actually remember my Nany and I talking about this one night.  Back in the day it was thought that by brushing your hair and pulling the oils down from your scalp to the ends it would help it to grow.  Nowadays, if you have oily hair it is best not to brush it that often because of breakage and all that bad stuff.  Genetics and extensions are the only things guaranteed to make your hair longer :)

3. Sliced cool cucumbers treat puffy eyes
This glorious little gem of a secret is 100% true!  You can also use tea bags (cooled down, of course) to reduce puffiness.  It may not work after watching The Notebook though :)

4. Toothpaste gets rid of zits
I don't know why we as young girls were ever told about this.  Sure, most toothpaste has menthol in it which is a drying agent and can help dry out zits in a pinch.  But toothpaste is for teeth and not for skin so you can end up irritating your skin and causing the zit to stay around much longer than leaving it alone or using tea tree oil (see below).

5. Tea tree oil gets rid of zits
Okay, this is more of a modern idea than an old wives tale but this method of clearing zits is actually true, just make sure your product contains at least 10% of tea tree oil to actually be effective or use tea tree oil itself but diluted with either aloe vera gel or water.  It is potent stuff!

6. Vaseline makes your eyelashes grow
Hmmmmm, vaseline makes your eyelashes grow.  Doesn't that just sound weird to you? The moisturizer may help dry, brittle lashes get stronger but there is no proof that this is actually a true method of making them grow longer.  This can however give you whiteheads on your eyelids from blockage and cause puffiness of the eyes, so use at your own risk.

7. Hot water opens pores and cold water closes them
This one hurt for me to realize was a myth.  I liked the idea of thinking I was steaming my pores open, cleaning them out and then slamming them shut with a cold splash to the face.  But pores are not muscles that can open and close.  Steaming them can help loosen the gunk in them (now you know what sebum is) and cold water can help tighten your face but that's about it.  So no, ice cubes don't shrink your pores either :( It is an overall good idea to wash your face with lukewarm water.

8. You can use baby powder as dry shampoo
This is true! It absorbs the oil on your scalp which is essentially what dry shampoo is doing but I recommend cornstarch instead.  It can be messy though and I suggest adding a touch of cocoa powder if you have dark hair.  Make sure to brush out thoroughly.

9. Mayo makes your hair shinier
This is true.  I actually used to do this one all the time.  And I don't even eat mayo, bleck....I would glob it all on my hair and wrap it in saran and put a towel over my head.  But nowadays there are so many products out there that will help you achieve shine much easier :)

10. Pump your mascara to get all the product out
No, no, no.  This gets air in the tube and can breed bacteria.  Gently twist and pull the wand out. You can use some saline solution or aloe added to the wand to get down to the last drop :)
11. Using the same shampoo all the time is less effective on your hair
Negativo (I think that's a word).  It will always have the same effect, all the time.  Don't let the hair care industry get in your head :) If your shampoo seems less effective, it could be that product overload or buildup on your hair is to blame.

12. Spray perfume in the hair and then walk into it
This one is great.  I mean, maybe we did this because we thought it would not be as strong? Well, if you are using expensive perfume, this is a big no no.  If it is only landing on your clothes, then it is evaporating before that guy you have a crush on can even smell it.  Perfume should always be applied on your pulse points to last the longest :)

I hope these were helpful to you :)

What are your favorite beauty myths?

Let me know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Too Faced Eye Love Palette Review

You know those "rules" about eye shadow? The ones that tell you which colors and shades to wear to enhance your natural eye color? Well, I have never been one to follow the rules so I am not about to start now.  I wear whatever colors I want, whether they are for brown, green or blue eyes!!  So that means, I wear blues and purples, golds and roses and even silvers and browns.  And the more shimmer the better! :)

Recently, I got my hands on the Too Faced Eye Love kit.  This is a palette that has 8 shadows and two from each of their four best selling ones.  The colors are amazing and they last all day and I have oily skin so that is a huge plus for me! The colors are highly pigmented and any color combo works in my opinion.

Isn't it beautiful?!?!? :)

This collection contains:

  • Heaven (matte ivory) and Push-Up (light bronze)
  • Silver Spoon (silver shimmer) and Smolder (charcoal black)
  • Satin Sheets (golden champagne) and Like A Virgin (matte taupe)
  • Honeymoon (burnished gold) and Ever After (bronze shimmer)
I don't usually use matte colors but they are all so very pretty, I can't wait to use them.  Plus having matte and shimmers together is so perfect!

Today I created a simple look with Honeymoon and Ever After.

One light swipe on my hand-look at the shimmer!!!
In a previous post, I told you how I like to use CoverGirl Bombshell ShineShadow as a primer, so of course, I grabbed my gold one for this look.

And I am using a small eye shadow brush for the Honeymoon  and an angled crease brush for the Ever After.

After I put the primer on, I put honeymoon on the inner part of my lid and across the top of the crease of my eye.

Look at how pretty the color is!

Then I took Ever After on my crease brush and put it on the outer end of my lid and blended into the crease.

Then I went to my go to eye products!

Benefit's They're Real Push Up Liner for the perfect cat eye......

A nude liner for my lower waterline (anything to help me look more awake).....

And Benefit's High Brow for the inner corner of my eye (and yes, under my brow always!)

And there ya have it!!

These are actually the perfects hues to transition from summer to "gulp" fall........and they even make my eyes POP!  Oh, side note, I can't even tell you the mascara I used since I am currently doing a blind study but normally I would use Benefit's They're Real :)

Have a great day!!

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