Sunday, January 31, 2016

What I read in January

I am really going to try to read at least 3 books a month this year.  I love to read and have a pretty hefty stack of books to get through so here's to 2016! 

Family (Firstborn #4) by Karen Kinsbury: Starting off the year with a Karen Kinsbury.  For those of you not familiar she is a super popular Christian writer.  I have read a lot of her books and loved j but recently the ones I have read I have a hard time getting excited about it and have to push myself to finish them.  This one is continuing the story in the Firstborn series (one I stated last year).  It follows the Bacter family indirectly through their secret firstborn son who was given up for adoption and is now a movie star.  This is continuing his romance and trying to connect with his long lost family.  Decent story I just found it slow going.  

See Me by Nicholas Sparks: I love Nicholas Sparks, I have read every book he has put out and even though I can usually figure the end out by the middle of the book I still love them.  I asked for this one for Christmas and wasted no time breaking into it.  It is more of a thriller with (of course) a romance.  I did figure out the ending about halfway through but the story was good, I liked the characters and definitely a good read.  I do love Nicholas Sparks but I have been let down by some of his recent books as being easier to figure out and not falling in love with the characters as much as his earlier books (absolutely loved The Rescue and Dear John) 

First Love by James Patterson: I am a fan of James Patterson, he is similar to Nicholas Sparks in his chick-lit romantic writing with a surprise at the end.  Another thing I really like about him is the chapters are usually pretty short so I can fly through them.  Anybody else like me and hates long chapters?  It just feels like it takes me ages to get through them. This book is meant for a younger age (like high school) but it was still a decent read.  It reminded me a little of The Fault in Our Stars.  Very much a coming of age, finding love and dealing with loss kind of book.  I'm going to lend mine to my little sister.

The One and Only by Emily Giffin: I have been a fan of Emily Giffin since I read Something Borrowed.  She is a wonderful writer with well developed characters and interesting story-lines.  I don't want to spoil the story for you, but it was a little odd.  This book was just a little bit of a let down.  The characters were just ok and SPOILER the romance was kinda weird and ick.  Football is almost a character in the book so if you don't like football, beware.

What have you been reading lately?  

Friday, January 29, 2016

Dining room chair redo

It's no secret that I love DIY and home decor.  I love the process of creating something new from something old.  My husband and I were given a set of chairs from my grandfather and while very nice the actual chair vision was old and tattered and in need of replacement.  I picked up 2 yards of cotton duck fabric from Walmart and got to it.  

Duck fabric is thicker than just regular cotton fabric and I thought it would hold up better.  It's similar to a canvas fabric.  I picked a light floral fabric to give them a brighter, fun feel.  

I am not a professional furniture reworker but here's my simple supply list:

-old chair
-fabric of your choice (again I used a thicker duck fabric and 2 yards was more than enough could have gone with one) 
-staple gun 

Here is the chair before hand, good bones but that fabric had to go.  

All you do is flip the chair over and unscrew the cushion from the base.  Hang on to your screws!  

Then lay the cushion on your fabric and cut how much you need.  Take your staple gun and pulling the fabric tight secure the fabric to the base.  

You can also replace the actual cushion if needed, I just decided to keep mine like it is.  

Once your satisfied secure the cushion back to the chair win the old screws.  

Ta-da you have a new chair!  The wood on these chairs is a little scratched and needs refinishing but that is a project for a different day.  

I love a simple easy redo project!  Let me know what you have been redoing lately!

5 Things Friday

5 Things Friday
New year new Five Things Friday, no promises that this will be a regular every week but when I have exciting new things I'll let you know :)

L'Oreal Julianne Collection in Julianne's Nude: This was a clearance find from Target and I absolutely fell in love with the color.  It is the perfect nude, slightly more of a dark pink so it doesn't blend in with your skin.  I feel like is it a really nice complement to my skin tone.  

Roman Numeral Gold Bar Necklace: If you have been following me on instagram (and if not go follow me!) you will probably have seen this necklace on repeat.  I wear it absolutely everyday, it is the perfect layering piece.  I have been wanting a necklace with our wedding date for so long and my sweet husband got one for me for Christmas.  It is such good quality, perfect size and I am so in love! 

Poldark: Ahhhhh oh my goodness this show!  I had heard mentions of this show yet had never watched it (I'm actually not sure if it comes on in the US).  It is a UK show that comes on PBS Masterpiece.  It is based on the book series written by Winston Graham.  The show follows the handsome, rugged and mysterious Ross Poldark as he returns home from war to find his father has dies, his home is in shambles and his love is betrothed to his cousin.  Ross is such an interesting character (and his looks don't hurt either), I fell in love with this series.

Starbucks Watercolor Tumbler: I have been eyeing the Starbucks tumblers every year and just never ended up buying them.  This year I just decided I was going to pick one up.  This heart one is adorable!  I haven't yet taken it out of the house for fear of breaking it (it's ceramic y'all) but I love to use it on lazy Saturday mornings when I am drinking my coffee leisurely and I don't want it to get cold.

FitBit Charge HR: My husband pretty much won the award at Christmas presents this year.  He picked up a Fitbit for me. I had been eyeing them for a while and was so excited to have one of my own.  I love being able to track my steps everyday.  This little thing is pretty awesome.  It not only tracks steps but also your sleep, heart rate, calories, stairs and so much more.  

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Target Clearance Finds!!

I went shopping at target recently and stumbled on some great clearance finds. I hardly ever pay full price at Target (who am I kidding I hardly pay full price anywhere).  I shop the Target clearance like its my job.  I love finding a good deal.  My clearance finds go in stages, it's hit or miss.  Right now is a great time to check things out though because they are cleaning out old stock to get ready for spring stock.    

I picked up these two nail polishes for $1.48 each. They are both Loreal and one is the prefect darker nude I have had on my nails for a few weeks, it's called Julianne's Nude.  The other is a really pretty warm red nude called Spice Things Up.  

I also found a mini wet brush for $2.48.  My husband got one for me for Christmas and I love it so I thought at this price it was good to have a backup.  

I also picked up the e.l.f. Contour palette on markdown.  e.l.f. Is super cheap anyway but if you find it on clearance it's even better!  

I had to check out the clearance clothes because they had so many for 70% off!  That's when you stock up!  All of the things I got were marked down to $8.38 or less.  I picked up 3 cardigan long sweaters and I also found a denim vest.  I have been wanting one of these for years and finally found a good fit for a great price!  I don't even know why it was on clearance because it could work in the spring and summer (at least that's my plan).  

My favorite find was this beautiful dinnerware set for $17.98!!!!  I looked at this set when we were registering and thought it was really unique and pretty.  Well now I got it for super cheap, and can you ever have enough plates??

What good deals have you found at your Target lately? 

Friday, January 22, 2016

15 Favorites of 2015

15 Favorites of 2015

I can't believe it is already 2016, anyone else feel like this year absolutely flew by?  2015 was a great year, packed full of new adventures (new state, new house, new jobs) and new favorites.  Here are 15 things I fell in love with in 2015:

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rollerball set: My sweet husband got me the Nirvana rollerball set for my birthday and I have been obsessed with it!  It is my absolute favorite scent!  I love to mix both of them together but if I had to pick my favorite it would be the black.  It is such a unique scent and I love to pair it with other scents.  

Lypsyl: I had heard about this product on YouTube and I am a Chapstick junkie so I always want to try different ones.  I found mine at RiteAid on a great sale and stocked up.  This is my absolute favorite Chapstick.  It is silky smooth, feels amazing, stays moisturized and the little tube is so cute.  

Too Faced Natural Eye Shadow Palette: This was another Birthday gift from my sweet husband and I'm obsessed with it.  It is the prettiest nude palette that is perfect for everyday wear.  The palette is compact and easy to travel with and I wear the shades all the time.  They are super pigmented, silky smooth and last.  

Tazo Chai Latte: I love the chai latte from Starbucks.  I heard that they used the Tazo mix for their latte and I decided to give it a try.  For the price of one drink I can get a carton to make around 8 or more.  I mix mine with almond milk and usually make it hot but you can use any milk and serve hot or cold.  Now it's not exactly like the Starbucks latte but for the price and ease of making it at home I'll settle.  

Revlon Age Rewind Under Eye Concealer: After hearing raves about this stuff on YouTube I had to try it out myself.  It is a magic little product.  Super easy I use with a built in applicator and product itself is awesome!  It covers up my under eye circles really well and is super easy to use.  

Coffee-Mate Coconut Creme Coffee Creamer: I have discovered my favorite creamer ever this year.  Seriously I look forward to waking up in the morning so I can have my coconut creme coffee.  I heard about this from a blog and thought mmmmm coconut creamer I need to try that!  It is a little hard to find, Walmart was the only place I have been able to find it.  The flavor is delicate and not overly coconuty.  It is a slight just nice coconut flavor that really complements your coffee.  

Palm Beach Sandals: I have always been a fan of Jack Rogers, and have a pair myself, but they were always hurting my feet.  I collaborated with this brand over the summer and got to try one of their famous sandals.  They look just like the Jack Rogers (and honestly the price is about the same) yet they are more comfortable than my Jack Rogers pair.  The sole is a lot thicker and I feel like I get more support.  I wore mine pretty much everyday over the summer with dresses, shorts, jeans, etc.

Belif Aqua Bomb: I love a good moisturizer, this one blows it out of the water!  It is my absolute favorite!!  The consistency is almost like a gel.  It soaks into your skin so well and mouistirizes like no other.  After washing my face I slather this stuff on and my face has been really mouistirizes throughout this winter.  This is really awesome since I usually have dry dry DRY skin in the winter.  Lifesaver!!

Sugar in the Raw: I am never going to be able to drink my coffee black...just a fact.  I need some sugar and creamer.  These sugar packets take the guesswork out of how much to put in your coffee and it's a good portion control.  

Patagonia Re-Tool Fleece Pullover: yet another birthday present and I love it!!  It is so soft and cozy.  I wear it around the house, running errands, traveling.  It is so comfortable!  They are a little pricey but I love mine!!

Merona Boots: These boots have been on repeat for all the cold weather months this year.  They are the so comfortable and the perfect effortless boot.  

e.l.f. Contouring Blush Duo in St. Lucia: I heard about this on Pinterest based on it being a dupe for the ever so popular NARS blush in orgasm.  I don't have that blush myself but based on the swatches online it's pretty close.  This product in and of itself is great.  I am a huge fan of e.l.f. products and this doesn't disappoint.  Very pigmented, easy to blend and good color payoff. For $3, you can't beat it! 

The Duggar Family: Most of you know that I completely fell in love with the Duggar family in 2015.  I had never really watched them before and I just decided to give it a whirl.  That big family just drew me in.  I love learning about all the kids, seeing how they all manage and just the patience and parenting of Jim Bob and Michelle is really interesting.  I love how they stick to their faith even when it's hard and they stay true to themselves.  I have read one of their books (Growing Up Duggar) and I even got to hear (and meet!) Jessa and Ben.  I was really sad to hear about all the media controversy and issues going on with Josh but that family stuck to their beliefs. I think they handled everything with grace  and dignity.  I am so excited for the Jill and Jessa Counting On!!! 

Walmart Ponte Pants: I picked up these pants on clearance for I think less than $5.  I am absolutely obsessed with them! They are high waisted so they hold you in (you know what I'm talking about ladies) they are super thick so they cover you more than leggings but still are super comfy.  I now have about 4 pairs and I want more.  

Cinderella: Ask my mom what movie I played over and over when I was younger and her answer will be without a doubt Cinderella.  I have always been in love with fairy tales and I was so excited for the Cinderella remake.  This movie is magical and absolutely beautiful.  The characters are wonderful, I adore Lily James as Cinderella and the prince is quite dreamy.  It is such a well made remake, I highly recommend.

What did you love this year?  

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Smashbox Products!!

I love a good makeup product, I just hate dishing out the money for it.  Smashbox has always been one of those brands that were a little too pricey for me.  When the majority of your makeup collection consists of drugstore I don't splurge very often.  

I was so excited to team up with Smashbox and share some of my favorite products with you.  

I got to try out a couple of things that I LOVE! 

Smashbox Photo Primer: I have heard so many people rave about this product that I wanted to try it for myself.  It did not disappoint.  I put this on under my makeup in the morning and it still looked fresh when I got home from work.  Generally I don't use a primer everyday but for events or days when I know I am going to be gone a long time without being able to touch up my makeup this is perfect.  

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water: I was skeptical of this product and wasn't really sure what to do with it.  I read some reviews and how-to's and saw most people using it either before and after foundation (or just after) to help set and moisturize their skin.  This stuff is awesome!  I use as a toner, primer, and finisher.  It helps your makeup to stay, no oily spots and it also makes your skin feel really great.  

Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Kit: this was my favorite thing that I got.  I have been wanting a good contour kit to try out I just didn't want to dish out the money and try something if I wasn't sure I was going to love it.  This one is pricey at $45 but the product is great.  It goes on smooth, easy application and it lasts a long time.  It is compact and comes with your contour, bronzer and highlight all in one package.  

I also tried out three lipsticks and I will be honest I was a little worried about these. I tend to be a whimp when it comes to color on my lips.  I really don't wear a lot and definitely not bright colors.  I am trying to step out of my comfort zone a little and try different colors.  They are all super pigmented and feel really nice (also they stay on really well, I had to scrub to get them off my hand) 

Smashbox Posy Pink: Out of the three this was the most neutral of the bunch.  It is a really pretty rosy pink color that I am excited to throw on in the spring.  It is a creme sheen but not too shiny.  

Smashbox Paris Pink Matte: A little intimidating this shade is a really light bright pink matte shade.  I think it is really pretty and good for the spring but I am not sure how it will look on me.  

Smashbox Infrared Matte: This one is super intimidating and super pigmented. The color is this beautiful bright pinky red.  I am so scared to use it but since it is matte maybe it will be a little less in your face.  I'm just going to have to put on my big girl pants and swipe it on one of theses days... 

Have you tried any Snashbox products?  What are your favorites? 

Friday, January 1, 2016

What I read in December

I can't believe it is already January of 2016, where's is this year go??  

Amidst all the crazy holiday preparations I managed to read two books: 

The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson: To keep up with the Christmas spirit I picked this one out.  I love James Patterson and was excited to read this one.  James Patterson is like a Nicholas Sparks romance writer.  His books always have a surprise ending.  (Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas is one of his that got turned into a movie, the book was wonderful!). This one was just ok, a little corny but still sweet and romantic.  Worth a read but not my favorite.  

I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends (Confessions of a Reality Show Villan) by Courtney Robertson:  I asked for this one for Christmas and my husband was real sweet and picked it out for me.  I finished it in like 2 days. I am such a fan of The Bachelor franchise, I don't know why I just love it.  This book was really interesting with an insider look at how the process works.  I personally didn't watch the Courtney season so I had no backup info on her experience.  I just found it fascinating to learn what contestants had to do, what happens afterwards and all the things inbetween.  If you are a fan of Bachelor Nation this one is a must read. 

What have you been reading this month?