October 30, 2011

Aging Gracefully

"I expect to pass through life but once.  If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again."  
William Penn

Me with the birthday girl, Orene!!

This weekend our family helped celebrate the 90th birthday of my husband's great aunt, Orene.  She literally had over 200 people in attendance at her bday party-very popular! This woman defies what anyone would think of what 90 looks AND acts like.  She still drives herself around to where ever she needs to go and is always impeccably dressed and put together. She is present at all family functions and is one of the most giving and generous human beings I've ever met.  But above anything else, she has the ENERGY of my 5 year old, really!!  

 My 5 year old, Jack, and 1 year old, Vivian, at the party!  
Amazing to see them and their single digit ages and then the guest of honor with her impressive double digits of 90.  They were trying to keep up with her!

She literally stood in one place for over an hour while family members and friends stood in line to get a chance to talk to her! She was a celebrity in her own right! Luckily she posed for one more picture with me and my husband;-)

I wasn't quite sure what to get a woman who has seen 90 years, so I printed out a current picture of my family in a frame and wrapped it in pretty paper. My favorite way to wrap a present is easy...

  • Purchase good quality and interesting wrapping paper. I love love the designs of wrapping paper offered through Paperchase which is what I used here.  A nice wrapping paper makes any gift that much more special. 
  • Keep the ribbon and accessories simple.  I like using different colors of grosgrain ribbon and tying it in a simple bow and cutting the ends into a V shape.  If you want more inventive ways to wrap a gift for the upcoming holidays, check out Martha's ideas here!

I wish I knew Orene's secret to looking and feeling this great at 90. But from what I've seen and known of her since I married into my husband's family- I think aging gracefully is due to being such a kind spirit to those around her, and that kindness shines through and keeps her ageless.  When I get another chance to chat with her again, I might need to also find out about her skin care regime and buy whatever magic elixir she's using! 

What do you think is the secret is to aging gracefully?  Is it lotions and potions, or more about taking care of the insides and what you put in your body in terms of eating right and exercising??  What have you learned from your elders?

October 27, 2011

Guess My Halloween Costume



{Wigs are key to making this outfit successful!}

I haven't gotten the complete outfit yet, but made some progress so far with what's shown above. We wanted to be something our kids would recognize and enjoy, otherwise we would have totally gone  Snooki and The Situation route!!

{I would've loved to have done the Snooki pouf and Jersey makeup! However the hubby would probably get a little chilly on Halloween eve flashing his abs all night;-)}

Another great couple costume idea I would've loved to have done was Miss Piggy and Kermit.  Especially since I did an older post here on my love for her since I was a child, and the new Muppet movie is coming out, The Muppet OPI polish collection is launching, AND Miss Piggy is upping her iconic status as the new face of MAC cosmetics!!  She would have been a been a hot costume this year.

{How cute and modern do Piggy and Kermie look in this photo??}

I'm glad my hubby agreed to dress up with me this year because I've honestly wanted to do it for the past 5 years, but we just never pulled the trigger and we got lazy I think!   I have always loved dressing up as someone else and just can't wait to transform this Monday.  I think in the past we might have thought we were too cool to dress up as adults and it was supposed to just be a child's thing, but now I'm starting to think it's more lame to NOT dress up and be a boring old mom and dad!!  If you're on the last minute search for great couple ideas, go to this Couple Halloween costume site- brilliant ideas.

I want to hear what you are going to be this year-anything creative??  And do you think it's cool or uncool to dress up for Halloween as an adult or a parent?  

October 24, 2011

Get The Most From Your Mascara

Mascara is one of those products I think most women should take advantage of because there's nothing that can highlight your peepers more than a couple easy swipes of mascara!!

{I used L'Oreal Voluminous mascara, waterproof formula}

Here is an easy technique than can really bring your lashes to life!

 {Before mascara- boring!}

 {Start applying mascara at the inner corner lashes by sweeping your wand towards the bridge of your nose multiple times}

 {Then switch to the outer half of your lashes and sweep the wand towards your temples. Make sure to wiggle that wand back and forth in a zig zag the whole time!}

{Finish the look by applying one coat to lower lashes}

In addition to this technique, try these few things as well to get the most from your mascara:

1.  Use an eyelash curler like this one by Shiseido, everytime!  And only use it BEFORE you apply the mascara, afterwards will pull those lashes out-yuck.  Start at the lash base, take away, squeeze the center, take away, then finish by curling the tips.  This creates a nice curl and not some weird 90 degree angle!

2.  Use a waterproof formula mascara if you can handle it.  Waterproof formulas just seem to keep the curl produced by the eyelash curler longer, and you get less smudging throughout the day.  I love Lancome's Definicils in the waterproof version.

3.  Replace your mascara every 3-4 months.  Mascara gets old and dries out quicker than any other beauty product, so you need a fresh tube at least every 4 months.  And I like drugstore mascara's best anyway so you're not spending a whole lot by doing this and you're doing your lashes a favor.  My faves:  L'Oreal Voluminous and Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume mascara.  And unless you have super white lashes that need a brown/black shade, always go black for color.

What are your mascara favorites right now??  I'm ALWAYS on the look out for the next great mascara- drugstore or department store! We all want to benefit our fringes;-)

October 23, 2011

Project Vanity Organization

I can't stand clutter, but unfortunately, it is always around me and I have a hard time keeping things organized in my chaotic and busy household.  But one place I try to control the chaos is my BATHROOM.

Since I spend more time in my bathroom than most women probably do or should, it is imperative that I have some sort of organizational tools in place.  I like my bathroom, it's the one room in the house where I can go and relax and do what I love doing.  No, not cooking, applying makeup!! My husband calls it "the hole" because he knows once I go in there for a "quick touch-up" that I'll probably never return.

{Distressed wooden storage chest with drawers I bought from Cost Plus World Market years ago, and is the center piece of my bathroom counter.}

While I was reading through my current issue of InStyle magazine, I came across the helpful article called "Vanity Sanity" that gives great ideas on how to keep the clutter in your bathroom to a minimum.  I can proudly say, that I already utilize MOST of their tips for organization on my own vanity counter!

So I figured I would share with you how I keep the peace in my bathroom. Because let's face it, I've got A LOT of beauty products!!  Here is how I maximize my counter and cabinet space:

{I store some of my favorite watches and jewelry pieces, like diamond studs in these drawers for quick access}

1. Find a small decorative storage chest with drawers like I did from World Market (above) to put on your counter top. I store anything from diamond studs, eyelash curlers, jewelry cloths, to lip and eyeliner sharpeners in this thing.  Once the drawers are closed, the chaos looks rather pretty;-)

{My tiny Cranberry Pear Bellini candle.  
These 1.6oz candles are the perfect size for my small space but give off a major scent.}

I also use the top of it to display my perfumes (they are placed on a small round shaped mirror for added va va voom), clock (a mom/lady always has to know what time it is so she's not tardy to the party!) and small mirrored box where I store some of my rings.

2.  Place sectioned off plastic utensil trays within your drawers for maximum organization within.  I like the plastic ones, bc they can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher when they inevitably get a little dirty from makeup spills.  You might notice that in addition to things like moisturizers (day and night), makeup removers, toothpaste, hair elastics, and lip balms, there are also sharpie markers and dry erase markers!  Sharpies are so I remember to write dates on my mascaras and foundations when they were purchased so I don't use super old products.  Dry erase markers are used for a brilliant time saver tip I blogged about here.

{Small vase and mirrored cup used for more creative ways!

3.  Find decorative everyday cups or small vases, and use them to store things on top of your counter.  Let's face it, some of those organizational pieces produced specifically for the bathroom just aren't that cute and aren't that original, so it's more fun to find random pieces you truly like and use them in a creative way.  I got the mirrored cup from Target that I put my frequently used makeup brushes up right in, and the small vase from Home Goods contains my Qtips, cotton rounds, and triangle sponges.

{Yes, this is a picture of my trash can.  Fancy huh??}

4.  Hide a small trash can underneath your sink behind the cabinet door.  I create a ridiculous amount of trash when I apply makeup- from kleenexes, to old sponges and Qtips, you name it, I create some trash while I'm at the makeup mirror.  I don't like to see a trash can full of stuff out in the open, so I got one that fit nicely inside my cabinet so no one sees it but me, and the door shuts so my dog doesn't get into it!  I also have a couple of wicker baskets in these cabinets to store random lotions, razors, and such in.  But they were a mess, so I didn't include a pic of them;-)

And last but not least, I have a few things hung on my bathroom walls that I adore and make my space so personal.

{Pictures taken of me and my daughter by Dylan Blue Photography.  I absolutely love the one of her in my high heels! I'm going to miss those legs when they lose those baby rolls!}

{Two Paris prints I picked up while actually in Paris over 11 years ago and a small corner shelf unit that was my husbands grandparents that I re-painted white - it's 3 generations old!!  There's a perfectly shaped shell my son found on the beach displayed that he was so proud he found!}

Do you have any organizational tips on how to keep the bathroom chaos under control?  What's your favorite room in your house/ apartment and why??

October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Inspired Makeup

It's been a very fall-like blogging month as I'm loving the arrival of the cool crisp air and all that comes with the fun and excitement of the Halloween season!!

{Me with my big man Walker at the pumpkin patch.  It was freeeezing for GA weather!}

I went on the annual field trip to Washington Farms pumpkin patch with my 3.5 year old's class this week, and have gone on this trip every year since 2008 when my oldest son starting going with their school.  It's always super fun and totally gets you in the Halloween spirit of picking out your very own pumpkin from a REAL pumpkin farm!

{My home-made pumpkin colored lips}

Of course I'm going to share with you my "pumpkin inspired" colored lips at the bottom of the blog, bc I always have to find a way to incorporate makeup into most of my blogs!!  I didn't own an orange colored lipstick, so I had to use 3 different colors to achieve this.  But if you want an easy-way-out orange, try MAC's lipstick in Morange ($14.50) for a wearable pumpkin shade.  Or you can go for a pale shade of orange like pretty Miss Eva Mendes here.

Here are some photos of our field trip. We got to go on a hayride pulled by a tractor, 

{Walker's personal favorite of the trip- even though it was cold cold cold bc the wind was whipping us as we traveled out in the open air to the pumpkin patch!}

...visited a petting zoo filled with everything from peacocks (my personal fave) to bunnies, ponies, mules, horses, and pigs, 

 {how gorgeous is this bird??}

{my photography skills lacking here bc he is looking at one mule and one horse, both of which are covered up by the fence in the distance...go figure.}

{petting a sweet bunny rabbit}

...then for the finale, we got to pick out our very own pumpkin from the patch!  And we learned that pumpkins actually start out as flowers during the talk by the farm owner-who knew??!  

 {W made his choice from the thousands out there!}

{W also picked out one for his baby sister who basically stayed bundled in the stroller for an hour and half!  We had to borrow that stocking cap from the school director bc it was too cold not to have anything on her head!  She was not happy the red hat didn't match her outfit and that mommy forgot that important accessory ;-)}

Here are the steps I took to create my own pumpkin colored lip after visiting the farm and deciding I wanted to try out an orange lip color.  

 {Bare lips}

 {One coat of Maybelline ColorSensational lipcolor in Coral Crush}

 {My old trick of using colored eyeshadow or blush on top of lipstick to create a long lasting lip color and for manipulating the color.  I used two orange shadow shades (no names) from a Stila and Bobbi Brown palette}

{To finish it off, I used Black Radiance radiant lip gloss in golden sand ($3) which is a true gold gloss with almost a touch of orange to it to downplay the pinky coral from my lipstick}

Anyone else have a favorite orange lipstick they could share??  How do you pick out your special pumpkin for the big day- grocery store or actual pumpkin patch??

October 19, 2011

Candy Corn Eyes

Non- traditional purple candy corn!  What a treat!!

Okay, so I'm reeeaaally getting into Halloween this year as you can see from my last costume choice post here, my twisted tree painting post here, and my glitter decor post.  As my children get older and more into all of the traditions that go along with this holiday (massive amounts of candy, orange and black, spooky decorations, pumpkins, etc), so do I!

My purple and orange candy colored eye makeup!

Candy corn is one of my ALL time favorite Halloween treats and was my inspiration for this eye makeup as well as this photo I found on Pinterest that I made MUCH more wearable and not so editorial.  And yes, I realize the traditional candy corn is white, yellow, and orange, but I found the addition of purple made it a bit more interesting and love the "candy" description. 

For the neutral lips and cheeks, I used Nars lipgloss in Turkish Delight and Too Faced cosmetics Snow Bunny bronzer on my cheeks.

I've always been fond of the oddball combination of orange and purple and thought that the two colors actually play off one another very well.  So I decided to give them a try on my eyes to see how it would turn out.  I used some old oranges and purples I had on hand from Stila (not available anymore) but if I had an extra 60 bucks, I would have bought and used this neon palette of 9 bright shadows from Givenchy's LePrismissimee Acid Lights (which includes a purple and orange of course!).

How funky yet sophisticated is this palette??

To create this two toned eye:
  • I started with an orange base from lash line to crease, 
  • then applied a deep purple right above my orange into the crease and 
  • carried the purple right off into the outer corner of the eye and right under the lower lash line.  
  • A thin line of black liquid liner was placed along the upper lash line 
  • and a slight neutral shimmer color was added just in the tear duct area.
  • I added Revlon's false lash strips in "chic" for some added flair;-)

Speaking of candy, I found these candy inspired accessories, clothing, and beauty products that will put a sweet spin on your holidays:

1.  A cute and funky clutch  made out of recycled candy wrappers I would actually carry.

2.  Yummy candy corn flavored lip shine so you can taste the yummy flavor all day long!

3.  Candy corn high heels.  These seem more costume-y than office appropriate, but are quirky and fun nonetheless.

4.  Purple and orange Nike's would totally make me run faster and look super hip while doing so.

What is your favorite Halloween treat or candy?? 

October 18, 2011

Pints And Paints

There are quite a few things in life that just really brighten my day.  Some of those things include:

  •  Spending time with my girlfriends.  Because every woman needs other mommy friends to hang out and talk about your kids with to make sure you're not the only one with issues;-)
  •  Being creative.  I love all types of creative outlets. Whether it be with makeup, DIY projects, or painting, I just truly enjoy getting the chance to let my creative juices flow.
  •  Enjoying a nice glass of champagne.  Speaking of letting things flow!!

Me with my girls at a local art bar, Pints and Paints.

And I got to enjoy all three of those things in one spot last night!  Me and my girlfriends try to get together once a month for dinner but this time we attended a local art bar.  At Pints and Paints, you can create your own painting with the help of an instructor (so even the most non-creative person can still paint with help and guidance!) while enjoying a glass of bubbily or local brew if you wish.  Thanks to our gracious host and art instructor, Abbey and Katie, who had so much patience with all of us and made our experience so much fun!

 Here's my "before" canvas.  
Luckily they stencil out the drawing of the day and you basically paint by number the inside and let your creative juices flow!

Me in action. Loved wearing the apron- made me feel like a professional artist.
I might start wearing aprons on makeup jobs just because!!

My "after" masterpiece.  Doesn't it look spooky and twisted but bright and cheery at the same time??!

We spent two hours painting our spooky tree (which was the theme of the night), while laughing, listening to tunes (they played our favorite Madonna songs for inspiration!), getting creative, and drinking champagne.  This twisty tree reminded me of a "tree of life" necklace I saw that would be a neat conversation piece to add to your wardrobe!

And although everyone was painting the same tree image, we didn't use the same colors or have the exact same interpretations of the tree, so it was really neat seeing what everyone came up with at the end.

It was such a fun time and I will definitely be wanting to do this again real soon. 

We lined up underneath our pictures so we could show off our personal creations!

My picture might not be a Monet, but it was an original and just spooky enough that I decided to add it to my Halloween mantel at home!!

The color palette of this piece, with all of the oranges, purples, and blacks inspired me to find a neat Halloween colored eye.  Don't these colors look so cool together??  I'm sooo going to try a version of this soon.  I just love that the whole focus is on the eyes with hardly any color on the lips and just highlighter on the cheekbones!

                                                                  Source: fruticienta.tumblr.com via JennySueMakeup on Pinterest

Has anyone else caught onto the art bar craze??  What do you do with your girlfriends for fun??

October 17, 2011

What Does Your Halloween Costume Say About You?

With Halloween quickly approaching, my kids are eagerly anticipating the day when they will get free reign to eat as much candy as their little tummies can hold and to wear their beloved costumes!  Halloween is probably their 2nd favorite holiday, trailing close behind Santa's arrival.  Unfortunately, the Great Pumpkin doesn't come bearing gifts so that's why Halloween comes in 2nd place;-)

My tiny but tough Darth Vader controlling the universe...or the yard.

Which brings me to my question, "What does your Halloween costume choice say about you or your kids?"  Or does it even say anything at all??

My middle child is definitely the most excited about Halloween and has worn his Darth Vader costume EVERY day since we got it in the mail (CostumeCraze.com is where I got all 3 of my kids costumes-they're going to be a Star Wars trilogy, Darth, Boba Fett, and Princess Leia).   He literally transforms into Darth Vader daily when he steps into his black onesie and cape, and once the mask is on, the transformation is complete and good luck getting him out of it.  Here's a sample of what I mean...

He needs no light saber- he can stop you with his bare hands!!

Darth without his mask, giving us his best death stare.  This guy needs no mask to intimidate!!
Who knew DV was such a cutie and handsome fellow underneath that plastic??!!

Darth in action trying to scare his little sister- but she wasn't buying it and was laughing at him...

So he attempts to scare his older brother and his dog...not quite sure either of them bought it either but it's the effort that counts!

My husband and I always kid around that his costume is perfect and fitting because he can be our most "challenging" and "intimidating" child even though he weighs next to nothing soaking wet and is only three and a half years old.  I do believe "challenging and intimidating" describes the character Darth Vader to a T don'tcha think??

Here are some spook-tacular Halloween links I've loved looking at lately:

1.  By far, the best commercial EVER that stars, you guessed it, a tiny Darth Vader.

2.  Who doesn't want to walk in Lady Gaga's larger than life shoes??

3.  Spooky Halloween treat ideas guaranteed to keep you coming back for seconds!

4.  Yes, the Progressive lady has a name, Flo, and she could be the most recognizable costume this year.

5.  Cool skulls for your wrists- so girly and tough!

6.  Sophisticated yet haunted home decor details.

7.  No one is scarier and more creative than Martha Stewart.

So what do you think about people's Halloween costume choices- do they reflect inner personalities wanting to come out and be more exaggerated- OR-  is it more about the thrill of becoming something/someone completely opposite of who you really are??