Feb 27, 2013

Thank you!

Hi Everyone! I wanted to do a post to thank everyone for their support of my blog. I appreciate every one of you who takes the time to read, comment, +1, add me to their circles and follow my blog! You guys are the best! I've made friends with people all over the world that I would not have reached if it weren't for this blog; that to me is A-MA-ZING! I thank God for these fun opportunities!

When I started this blog I didn't really know what to expect, but soon discovered that other bloggers (even experienced ones) are very kind and supportive of newbies. Which is very cool in my book.

The very first people I want to thank  are my parents, who also happen to be my pastors (Yay for that!) Drs. Mitch and Jan Keys of Firebaugh Faith Fellowship. Thank you for your love, support, prayers and encouragement. I love you more than to the moon and back!

Now I I'd like to thank those that have featured my posts:

My very first feature was on Life On Lakeshore Drive and I was ecstatic! I've since then had another feature on this blog and that excitement does not go away. Kathy Moody was one of the very first bloggers I began to interact with and has always been very kind and supportive. Thank you Kathy for the feature and for taking the time to comment on my posts! You and your blog are awesome!

Thanks to The Model Stage Blog (which I talked about on my last post) I was able to promote the beauty aspect of my blog. By winning the Blog Of The Week, my blog was featured on a post! Thank you so much!

Thank you Julie from A Housewife for adding me as a DIY Expert on your website and for always sharing my posts on all your social media networks! Very cool!

Thank you Ange from Hairspray and High Heels (another awesome name!) for including 2 of my eye looks in your 25 Eye looks post! Your blog is super cool and feeds my" all things beauty" obsession!!

Next, is April from The Gingerbread Blog (what an awesome name, by the way!) April is one of the coolest, creative bloggers I know! Thank you for featuring my Chevron Striped China Cabinet! It was a pleasant surprise :)

Thank you Marie from Blooming Homestead for the feature of my China Cabinet! Another awesome surprise!

And finally, thank you Linda from Coastal Charm for the feature of.......you guessed it, my china cabinet, again!


I also want to thank other blogger friends I've made who take the time to read and comment on my posts. Thank you:

Jenna from Rain On A Tin Roof
Brittany from Smart Girl Style
Katie from A Bit Of Lippy (Katie Clarke Makeup)
Hanzy from Just Some Thoughts (Thought With Love)
Maria Duque from Coquette
Theresa from Dear Creatives
Anna Elizabeth from Anna Elizabeth Lifestyle
Diana from Diana Rambles
Mindi from My Love 2 Create

If you haven't done so already, go check out their blogs! They are some of my favorite ones to read!

And to the rest of you...Thank you!!! Thanks for reading, commenting and your overall support. You guys rock! I would love to mention everyone, but I have a little toddler who is ready to be taken out of the bath!

Continue to have an awesome day!

My Favorite Neutral Lipsticks

Lipsticks are one of my favorite makeup products, ever! I can keep purchasing these babies over and over and over again (and I have) and not feel guilty (and I don't), not even in the least. I'm always on the quest of finding new brands, colors and formulas that I can get my hands on (or should I say my lips on?). I just love the way different shades can effortlessly change your overall look.

Today, I thought I'd share with you my top 6 favorite neutral lipsticks. These are the lipsticks I wear about 90% of the time. I enjoy red, berry and bright pink lips, but these neutral lipsticks are my staple colors because they are so wearable and go with almost any eye look. They range from nudes to wearable pinks and some have a mauve undertone. 

Are you ready to see my little rock stars? 

Here they are! From let to right: L'oreal Fairest Nude, NYC Mousse, Ulta Blushing Peach, NYX Thalia, Ulta Pink Chocolate (240) and E.L.F Classy

                               

Here you can see the lovely colors inside the little tubes:

                               


I would say these suit almost every skin tone; just keep in mind that the color will always apply differently on everyone because we all have different lip pigmentation. I have very pigmented lips with a purple (not pink) undertone. Because of that, I sometimes have to neutralize them with foundation prior to applying lipstick, so the true color can show up. But I didn't neutralize my kisser for these pictures (just so ya know).

These are the swatches (same order as above), from left to right: L'oreal Fairest Nude, NYC Mousse, Ulta Blushing Peach, NYX Thalia, Ulta Pink Chocolate (240) and E.L.F Classy

                             


Now Let's see how these babies look on the kisser, shall we?


L'oreal Fairest Nude: A pretty nude with slightly pink undertones.


NYC Mousse:  A semi-nude with a peachy undertone. I use this to neutralize my deep lip pigmentation when I want a natural lip color.

Ulta Blushing Peach *the only one with shimmer: A shimmery combination of pink and peach (but mostly peach). Glides on effortlessly and has a natural shine (gloss) to it.

My favorite of them all: NYX Thalia: the perfect creamy pinky mauve!

Ulta Pink Chocolate: looks just likeThalia in the tube, but applies deeper with more mauve undertones than Thalia.



E.LF Classy: the pinkest of them all! But it's still a very wearable pink.

These lipsticks also have a good formulation, in my opinion. I would say out of all of them, NYX Thalia is the  creamiest and E.L.F Classy would be the least creamiest (but still not dry). The other ones would be somewhere in the middle. They all have different staying power; their staying power from greatest to least is: Ulta Pink Chocolate, NYX Thalia, L'oreal Fairest Nude, Ulta Blushing Peach, E.L.F Classy and NYC Mousse.

Except for the Ulta and NYX lipsticks (Ulta.com; nyxcosmetics.com) you can find these at your local Target. And they're all under $6!

What are your favorite lipstick colors or brands? I'd love to know so I can try them out!

Before I end this post I want to take some time to thank The Model Stage Blog for featuring Restoration Beauty in their Blog of The Week post a couple weeks back! Go check out their website, they have awesome information and ideas on skincare, fashion and beauty. Thank you!

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Feb 24, 2013

Easy 5 Minute Kid's Room Art

Hi Everyone! Today I want to share with you a quick project (if you could even call it that- really it's so easy!) that I did a couple weeks back for my daughter's room.

Lily just loves owls! And who can blame her? They are so awesome! (She has an owl and birds wall decal in her room that I did for her way before she was born; you can see a picture of it in my Toy Organization Post) and I've been wanting to incorporate more owl art in her room.

Rewind to her 2nd birthday party in September, and this little guy came into the picture:



Adorable, right? Sadly, this gift bag would have been thrown away if 1.) my daughter wouldn't have loved it as much as she loved the toy cash register that came inside it, and if 2.) my creative brain wheels didn't start going. Which of course both ended up happening! I assume the bag was quite happy about that! The thought of this beauty piled with trash in a dump just doesn't seem right!!

So, 5 months went by and this little guy remained stored inside my china cabinet, until I came across it again and remembered, "Oh yea, I was supposed to do something with this!" 

Two white frames were added to my shopping list and on my next trip to Target (one of my happiest places on earth) I came home with two of these:

They were on sale for under $2 each!!!! (I only took a picture of one since I had already taken the other one apart...yeah, sometimes I get way ahead of myself.)
I just cut my two favorite sections of the bag to fit the 8 X 10 frames, placed them inside and Voila! Instant owl art for my little beauty! 


She was so appreciative too! She too had forgotten about the bag, so when I showed her these she said, "You make it Mom? Ooooh, pretty. Thanks Mom.!" She could have asked for anything in that moment and I would have given it to her.....or DIY'd it for her.


And here are her little owl friends on her wall, just above her bed:




Easy enough, right? So the next time your little one (or you) get a gift bag with a cool design, don't toss it! Frame it! I've even been on the lookout to buying gift bags solely for this purpose!

Thank you so much for reading! 


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I am linking to these awesome linky parties:
 
The Best Blog Recipes, Diana Rambles, Chic On A ShoeString Decorating, Life on Lakeshore Drive,
Dear Creatives, One She Two She(Or So She Says), While He Was Napping, Sassy Little Lady, The Gingerbread House, I Should Be Mopping The Floor

Feb 22, 2013

Oatmeal Face-wash/Exfoliator

Are you on the hunt for an awesome gentle cleanser that won't irritate your sensitive skin? Look no further my friend, oatmeal is your answer. Yes, I said oatmeal. And yes, I mean that stuff you eat for breakfast (or at least make your kids eat!)

Apparently, oatmeal isn't just good for your body but good for you skin as well! It absorbs oils and removes impurities while gently exfoliating your skin without being too harsh. It relieves irritated, red and dry skin and is also overflowing with anti-oxidants so it helps fight free-radicals which helps promote a healthier, glowing complexion. And who doesn't want more of that?? I do!!!

I started to incorporate oatmeal into my skin regimen when I read this post about 6-8 months ago and saw amazing results: glowing skin and less breakouts! For some reason I stopped using it in the last couple months and my skin went back to breaking out! So I started it back up last week (not sure why I ever stopped?? Maybe I ran out of oatmeal??) and I'm already seeing my skin go back to its best. Hallelujah! 

How exactly can you use oatmeal to better your complexion? 
You can use it as a mask, face wash and exfoliator. There are many of recipes online that you could try but here I will show you my simple way of using it:

All you need are your oats; It doesn't matter if they are quick 1-minute oats or the old fashioned ones like I have here. The coffee grinder is optional. You can use the oats straight out of the container, but let me warn you...it's messy and not very good for your drains. It's so much easier to grind them (I put it on the finest setting) and then store for use.




Here is how they look all ground up:



And a closer look:




I put mine in a Ziploc baggy but plan on buying an air tight container to store it in soon.
Look at that yummyness ready to be used up!




Here is how to wash your face with it:

1. Use enough to cover about 1/2 of the palm of your hand (I just reach in with my clean hand and grab some)




2. With a semi-tight fist allow warm water to run through the gaps of your fingers to soak in the oats- do this for around 10 seconds.

Funny how you can see me taking this picture on my just cleaned sparkly faucet!


I forgot to take a picture of what the oatmeal looks all soaked up with water, but I'm sure you can get a picture of that in your imagination. 


3. Next, squeeze out excess water into the palm of your other hand (my hubby helped me for this picture! Thanks honey!) You see that milkiness? Distribute it evenly on your face; this contains all the good stuff we talked about earlier so don't let it go to waste!




4. Then apply your oatmeal mixture evenly to your pretty little face and watch yourself look not so pretty at this stage:

Go ahead, have some fun! Go startle all your family members! (Like I just startled you!)


See, even smiling doesn't help! I still look freaky!





Lily's face when she sees me in this condition (She seems genuinely concerned):

"Yup, that's my Mother with her oatmeal goob slapped all over her face!"


5. Once the oatmeal sits happily on your face you can either a.) use it as a face wash/gentle exfoliator and begin to rub it in with gentle circular motions and then rinse, just like you would a normal face wash, or b.) use it as a mask and let it sit on your face for 10 minutes or until it dries and begins to itch, then do the above.
*Tip: always pat your face dry. Avoid rubbing it with your towel; this aggravates and causes trauma to the skin. Your facial skin is very delicate!

Either way, you will end up with soft silky skin you can't help but touch! And your face won't feel tight and dry like it does after washing it with regular cleansers.

All those blemishes are already healing!

And my daughter once again came near me!

If you use this regularly and stick to it (talking to myself, too!) you will see your skin relax, breathe and begin to glow! Sometimes we can overwhelm our skin with all those chemicals found in face washes or by having a too complicated skin regimen! Simpler is definitely better! I will still use my regular face wash on the nights that I need to remove makeup, but other than that, I'm sticking to my oatmeal!

Now I need your help! Can you recommend any moisturizers and night creams that would be work for my type of skin (sensitive, acne prone, combination)? Any recommendations would be deeply appreciated! Thank you!

Happy oatmeal slathering!

Linked to these awesome link parties:


ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com



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Feb 20, 2013

Organizing Made Simple: Kitchen Cabinets

Okay, so who besides me, loves to see anything organization? I swear, I'm obsessed with this topic! I get a thrill at just looking at before and afters, checking out other's ideas or just reading about it! My heart begins to palpitate anytime I see the word "ORGANIZE" in the topics of the blogs I follow.

So today I've decided to share with you how I organize my kitchen cabinets. The kitchen is definitely one of the rooms of the home that can get messy pretty quickly if one does not stay on top of things; especially the food storing cabinets!

But with a few ideas, thinking, rearranging and organizing, you can keep a pretty tidy kitchen that is always ready to be used, cooked in and enjoyed!

In this post you will see how I organize my kitchen cabinets and I will include tips and storage ideas!

Okay, let's move on to how I organize my cabinets...

My Cabinet Organization

First cabinet:

Top shelf: broths, soups for cooking and extra condiments.
Middle shelf: teas, soups for lunch and daughter's snacks already in containers for quick packing when we have to go out.
Bottom Shelf: snacks in stack-able containers and a few baking ingredients



Here is a better look at the bottom shelf (yes, I am running low on some of my baking supplies). Having my daughter's snacks all readily available in these two stack-able containers (purchased at the dollar store) makes everything look less cluttery and I know exactly where to look when she is in need of a quick snack (popcorn and applesauce on top and granola bars, crackers, almonds and raisins on the bottom).


Second cabinet:

Top shelf: all sauces
Middle shelf: tuna and canned veggies
Bottom shelf: all pasta


A closer look at the bottom shelf; all pastas are separated by glass containers making it easy for me to grab what I need when I cook.


Here is a closer look at the pasta items in my container. They stand up beautifully instead of being randomly thrown in and spilling everywhere!


Tip: Don't throw away your glass jars! I love using spaghetti jars for storing small pastas! I just wash thoroughly and spray paint the lid and I end up with a nice, sturdy glass storage container!


Third Cabinet:

Top shelf: ramen noodles and instant soup cups
Middle shelf: extra cereal (most of our cereal is on top of our fridge), and other boxed goods
Third shelf: beans, sugar, fishy crackers and random snacks in black container


A closer look at the black container that sits on the top shelf. Before I bought these containers (at  my local Dollar General) these food items would always get lost way in the back of the cabinet. Not anymore!


A closer look at the bottom shelf:


The black container that sits on bottom shelf holds peanuts, tortilla chips, instant side dishes and extra confectioners sugar ( I guess I should fill up my baking containers!!)


Fourth Cabinet:

Top shelf: coffee filters (I'm not a big coffee person but my hubby is) and toothpicks
Middle shelf: other baking essentials
Bottom shelf: 2 containers filled with extra spices (most are kept on a spice swivel next to my stove) and random extra things



The white container holds gravy mix, extra spices I purchased in bulk, chicken bouillons, taco seasoning mix package and a package of ranch seasoning.
I would always forget I had these since they ended up towards the back of the cabinet! But this bin keeps them right where I need them.



The black container holds more spices that would end up getting knocked over every-time I would reach in for one. Now, I simply pull out the container and grab what I need! No more fussing!


My main seasonings displayed and readily available for cooking time!


Fifth Cabinet (not food related):
Top shelf: my gravy bowl and vitamins and medicines in black container
Middle shelf: food storage containers I use to store leftovers
Bottom shelf: daughter's cups (most of them were in the dishwasher when this picture was taken) and in the container are her lids, straws and eating utensils



A closer look at the container that lives in the top shelf:


And at the one that lives on the bottom shelf:

So there ya have it; how I organize my kitchen cabinets! I didn't feel the need to include the cabinets I store my dishes in; they look like everyone else's: dishes stacked on top of each other and glasses face down..haha!


Tips on organizing your cabinets:

1. Don't overwhelm yourself; take it one cabinet at a time. If it helps, only organize one cabinet a day.
2. Take out all the items in your cabinet and thoroughly clean the shelves with a damp cloth; you will be surprised how dirty these shelves can get!
3. Take inventory of what you have; check dates and toss what needs to be tossed and donate the things you find yourself having an overflow supply of (you know, the things you keep buying even though you have never run out of that food item?)
5. Make a plan: how many food categories do you have and how many cabinets/shelves do you have available? Device a plan that will give each category a home (shelf), that way things aren't all mixed together and hard to find.
6. Store things according to how they are used. Example: my seasonings are in the cabinet right next to my stove, this makes cooking easier. Try to keep all food items as close to your cooking station as possible for convenience.
7. If you are tackling all your cabinets in one day (you brave thing you) categorize your items: canned veggies, snacks, cereals, pastas, sauces, soups, etc.. One you have all your goods categorized pick a shelf for them to dwell in (until you eat it up).
8: Use bins/containers to further organize your food items- this makes it so easy to grab things and keeps things from getting lost.
9. Add shelving to the inside of cabinet doors to optimize space.
10. Shop your local dollar store; they have an amazing selection of storage bins, containers, and solutions so you don't have to spend a lot of money!


Thank you so much for reading! I plan on continuing the "Organizing Made Simple" series with more kitchen organization solutions, such as drawers, fridge, cleaning supplies and cookware/bake-ware. So stay tuned!  Happy organizing!!!






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