July Beauty Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

This month’s beauty finds………ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I was so excited to try both and review them! I’m not even going to mess around with some kind of introduction….let’s get right into it!

Product #1: Tarte’s Swamp Queen Palette

Me and eyeshadows go together like peas and carrots…we just belong together. In recent months I have started to use more products from Tarte (not sure why I waited so long), and was extremely excited when it was announced they were going to pair with Grav3yardgirl, a youtube sensation, to create a palette.

Who is this Grav3yardgirl? A hot ass mess, that’s what, but in a good way. Bunny reviews lots of crazy products, does tutorials, and is just ridiculous….probably why I gravitate to her channel. Her style is all over the place….much like mine. I love it!

I knew that this palette would have some awesome colors that were different from my normal palettes (I love anything brown, purple, grays, etc), and, knowing Tarte’s quality, I had a feeling they would be super rich and apply wonderfully.

I’ll be honest….for a hot second I thought I may not get my hands on this palette. Initially I saw it at an Ulta in Michigan while shopping with my cousins, but since it had been released that day I thought I would just wait and get it back home. They will have ppllleeennntttyyyyyyyy of them at my Ulta, right?

WRONG. Every Ulta near me was sold out….so was Sephora (good news, back in stock if you want one). Fortunately, a girl at Ulta told me she heard through the grapevine that Macy’s was going to be carrying them for a brief time. I took advantage of her tip, found it on Macy’s website, ordered it, and performed a serious of cartwheels and somersaults when it arrived a few days later.

Look at these colors! In the palette you get 9 eyeshadows, 1 bronzer, 1 blush, and 1 highlighter. The colors are very rich (can you see the sparkle in a few of them?)!

Here’s my honest review of the product: It is fabulous BUT…..because of how pigmented the colors are I highly recommend using a little at a time….then adding a little more…and so on. I think we all know I love a strong contour, so when I started with the Sweet Tea shade (top left), I was surprised at how INTENSE it was…..leading me to wash my makeup off and start over. Same with Gator Wings (bottom left), which is a highlighter. It has a strong glittery shine to it, so start small with a fan brush and add as needed.

As far as the eyeshadow colors go, I liked them for a more natural, subtle look. Sippy Sippy (middle row, far right) was my favorite color in the palette, but I did have a lot of fall out with the shadow than with the other colors, so be careful or apply eyeshadow before the rest of your makeup.

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE! It’s great for traveling since your blush and contouring friends are a part of the palette, and it can work on any skin tone (in my opinion).
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Product #2: Stila Waterproof Eyeliner

I’ve really struggled lately with eyeliners…I don’t know why! I love a strong wing, so I prefer a liquid liner for my top eyelids and use a pencil for my lower eye. This is the summer of weddings for me, and being outside at a lot of them I noticed that my trusty eyeliner (a cheap kind by Wet N Wild that I have used for years) was running faster than Usain Bolt. No bueno. Throw in a few happiness tears…and my whole eye look was ruined.

So I did something I never ever do…..I walked into Sephora and asked one of employees for a recommendation. This is big for me! I swear I know more than the majority of people in there, so asking for a suggestion….that was like taking a bullet.

Lucky for me I got one of the few Sephora employees that seems to know what is going on in the world of makeup. (Sidenote: Why does Sephora always seem to hire idiots? That don’t know what things like highlighters or primer are? Or who Kat Von D is? And who can’t even apply makeup to their own face? I swear…the last time I was in Sephora one of the girls was rocking a foundation shade that would’ve worked if you had been sunburned in Cancun, not if you had the alabaster color skin she did. She looked ridiculous! Ok, I’ll stop). The girl recommended the Stay All Day waterproof eyeliner by Stila, which made me happy. I had done a little online trolling of my own and this one popped up numerous times. Her suggestion gave me the go ahead to purchase and try, and I am so glad I did!

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This product is just like a magic marker for my eye….easy to use, great for making thick wings or subtle ones…and comes in a variety of colors. Best of all, it doesn’t run when Im crying or sweating…which is a huge plus!

Final Verdict: SPARKLE!!!! Yes, yes, a million times yes. Add this to your makeup bag immediately.

For fun I made a little tutorial with the colors I love from Swamp Queen…and I used my Stila pen, too!

sparkleon

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I do it all for the cookie.

Hi, I’m Katie….and I am a cookie monster!

Recently I had a hankering for some chocolate chip cookies, but since I knew my usual recipe is anything but healthy, I decided to give the healthy 21 Day Fix approved chocolate chip recipe a try. This recipe is from the Fixate cookbook that shares 101 recipes that are compliant with the 21 Day Fix eating plan. Need the cookbook? You can buy it here!

I always have two goals when making a new cookie recipe: Don’t eat them all, and make them good enough that Kyle won’t mind that they are healthy.

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FIXATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

3 cups almond flour (I use Bob’s RedMill)
1 teaspoon gluten free baking soda
1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup raw maple syrup
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 large egg whites (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (you can use semi sweet if you prefer)

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Combine almond flour, baking soda and salt in bowl, mixing well.
4. Combine oil and maple syrup in bowl, beating until creamy.
5. Add egg, egg whites and extract to oil mixture and beat for additional two minutes.
6. Add almond flour mixture to egg mixture, mixing well.
7. Fold in chocolate chips.
8. Drop teaspoons of dough onto parchment paper.
9. Bake 14-16 minutes and store once cooled in an airtight container. Enjoy!

 

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Life is Short…Eat Dessert First.

Pinterest has it out for me.

Honestly…..If I cooked five meals a day for the rest of my life I STILL would have recipes left over to try! Please tell me I’m not the only one!

This week I made dinner for Kyle and my mother in law and thought it was finally time to try out one of the recipes I had pinned way back when…..lemon soufflés. These weren’t just any soufflés though….they were made in an actual lemon.

You know me, I am all about presentation with food, so off to the store I went for some lemons and ingredients! I was surprised how easy these little guys were to make!

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Look at these cute little beauties!

Katie’s Little Lemon Soufflés 

Ingredients:

-8 lemons ( go for the larger ones, trust me. Size matter here!)
-3 eggs
-1/2 cup sugar
-Confectioner’s sugar
-2 Tablespoons Flour (I used Cake Flour)

Instructions:

1. Line a pan with parchment paper and preheat over to 350 degrees.

2. Slice just enough off of the bottom of the lemon (stem end) so that it can sit level. Don’t slice it to where you can see the inside of the lemon!

3. Cut off the tip (that’s NOT what she said….sorry, I had to) approximately 1/3 of the way down from the top. You can choose to keep the lemon tops if you want….they can be your soufflé hats!

4. Using a knife, spoon, or some form of wizardry scoop the pulpy inside of the lemon out and place in a bowl. You will need the juice for later, so don’t get rid of that! For me, this was the hardest part, so if someone comes up with a really easy way, please let me know. Next time I may try a melon baller.

5. You will need 1/4 cup of the lemon juice, so extract it at this time.

6. Mix egg yolks (save the egg whites for later) in a heat proof bowl with the lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, and the flour. I used a simple whisk for this task.

7. Place a large pot on the stove with water and bring to a bowl, then place the heatproof bowl inside of it, whisking for about 7-8 minutes.

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I used a Pampered Chef mixing bowl. It worked great!

8. Once thick, remove and beat with an electric mixer for about 8 more minutes, then move to a different bowl and set to the side.

9. In a bowl combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the egg whites and beat until frothy. I used my KitchenAid mixer and started on the lowest speed for about 2 minutes, then slowly increased the speed until the meringue had soft peaks.

10. Mix about 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk mixture. Once combined, fold in the rest of the meringue, then fill each lemon, stopping just a bit shy of the top so it doesn’t overflow.

11. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops are a golden brown. The mixture should have risen about an inch above the lemon.

12. Garnish with confectioner’s sugar and top with a lemon hat if you want. Serve immediately!

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Lessons learned while making these:

-They were tasty, but very, very light.
-I should’ve cooked them a smidge longer.
-I need to buy mutant sized lemons next time.

Everyone seemed to enjoy them, so I was a happy camper.

And so was my kitchen help for the night, Murphy.

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Easy like Sunday morning.

Raise your hand if you love Amazon Prime!

I LOVE Amazon Prime…if you haven’t checked it out yet, I want this to be your formal invitation to look into it.

Cliff Notes on what Prime is: A way to order the things you need and get them delivered to your doorstep in two days, even on the weekends. It’s a flat $99 fee per year…..$50 if you are a student, and it waives the shipping costs on everything. The first year we used this I really only used it around Christmas time, and I realized how great it was. The amount I saved on shipping during that time made it completely worth it. Since then, 90% of the things I order online come from Amazon. It makes me feel better if I slack when it comes to ordering something for someone’s birthday or a random event, and honestly, the prices are competitive, so I like that.

A few weeks ago my cousin Kaley enlightened me on something she had purchased through Prime, and I jumped all over the chance to own the same thing: Dash buttons.

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Dash buttons are a product exclusive to Amazon that allow you to purchase an item with one push of a button…items that you tend to run out of around the house that can really be a pain to go buy. I purchased buttons for two items I always hate running to the store to grab: toilet paper and Clorox wipes. The list of products you can buy goes way deeper….paper towels, razors, Slim Jims, Red Bull, trash bags, Doritos…even condoms! The list goes on and on and on!

These buttons are small, as you can see above, and have an adhesive on the back so you can stick them wherever you would like. The button for toilet paper is right in the bathroom vanity because obviously that’s where we would realize we need the product….the wipes button is under my kitchen sink. These buttons connect through Wifi and cost $4.99 per button; that $4.99 will be credited to the first purchase you make using the button, so the buttons are essentially free.

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Add the convenience of Prime to these buttons….you get these items delivered to your doorstep in two days. There goes pesky trips for a pack of toilet paper or Huggies when you realize you are almost out. Easy like Sunday morning.

My only warning with your buttons…..be careful where you stick them! My cousin had an issue with one of her cats stepping on one and placing a large order on her behalf, and heavens knows what kind of order a child could place for you!

Moral of the story: Prime is worth it. Buttons rock. And cats can be dangerous.

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June Beauty Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

This month’s beauty blog led me to my favorite stores: Lush. I honestly thought I had tried everything in the store, but this month I stumbled upon an item that claimed to help hydrate dry and tired hands. Since I have had my struggles with dry hands and sometimes lizard like skin, it immediately jumped to the top of my “to try for the blog” list.

Product #1: The Golden Handshake Hot Hand Mask

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Before I go any further, let’s address the elephant in the room. THAT NAME! C’mon Lush. I don’t like buying products that could be mistaken for something in the urban dictionary. When I mentioned to a few people I was trying this item, they all said the same thing….golden shower? Um, no. Not even close.

Back to the product. For starters, let’s talk about the price. At $4.95 it’s not a bad price for Lush. I have spent a lot over the years on products that claim to moisturize hands, so I figured this was a reasonable amount if it worked well. I should state that is for ONE of the Handshakes. The name is very fitting, as you can see. A tiny oil hand covered in gold glitter (we know how I feel about glitter) that comes on a popsicle stick.

To use this product, you need to heat a bowl of water and then submerge the little hand in it, stirring as it thickens. Seems simple, right? I thought so. However, for some reason, my glittery mixture never thickened, which was a disappointment.
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After your mixture thickens (or in my case just hangs out and does nothing), your next step is to submerge your hands for fifteen minutes so the mixture can coat the hands and soften them. I did this one hand at a time because I was multitasking as always. Even though my mixture wasn’t thick like I had anticipated, I still could feel the oil on my hands and some softening did happen once I removed them from the water.

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FINAL VERDICT: DULL!

This product was okay. Did I think it was anything special? Not really. My hands felt a little softer, but truthfully many things can help with that. I didn’t like that I had to spend so much time sitting around, and the oily water was a bit messy to clean up. I will stick to my Become Hand Smoothing Cream because that always works, smells great, and it takes a quick minute to work. I’ll stick to my tried and true Lush products for the time being.

Product #2: Tweexy Nail Polish Holder

I will fess up. The ad for this popped up on my Facebook one day and I impulsively purchased it. I had to. How annoying is it to fumble with the nail polish bottle when you are trying to do your nails?!??!?!?! I wondered if this was all that the ad hyped it up to be.

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If you haven’t heard of this item, it is a silicone little ring-like device that expands to fit on two of your fingers regardless of the size of them. It has special internal grips to hold your bottle of polish and balance it. The brand claims it works with every kind of polish and bottle. There’s not much more to it than that.

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FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!

Guys, I loved loved loved this item! I always have issues with where to place my nail polish bottle….I may be guilty of spilling a bottle or two in my day, too. This product totally removed that issue from the equation. It was comfortable and super easy to use. If you are a nail polish junkie like me, you need to buy this!

Have a great Fourth full of sparkle, my friends!

sparkleon

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DIY Christmas Ornaments!

At my bridal shower last year, my best friend Kelly gave me an incredible present. She made a Christmas ornament out of my wedding invitation! I absolutely loved that a part of the greatest day if my life could be celebrated during the holiday season, and I went on a mission to make the same the gift for those in my life who were getting married. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make!

Today I wanted to share with you how simple this great gift is to make so you can create the same ornament to celebrate a wedding, birth of a children, or any special occasion!

What you will need:

-Invitation(s)
-Glass or Plastic Christmas bulb
-Pencil
-Ribbon

Here’s a look at my materials before I made the ornament for my dear friend Emily’s shower! For hers I opted to use both the shower invitation and the wedding invitation because I loved how the colors worked together and thought it would add dimension to the ornament.

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When it comes to the ornament, I purchased mine from Hobby Lobby. You can find the plastic ones there year round, and they cost about $0.99 each. The top will come off so you have access to the inside of the ornament.

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Take your invitation (or invitations if you are using multiples) and cut them into strips. I cut mine pretty thin, but not so thin that you couldn’t read the writing. Take your pencil and wrap one strip of invitation around the pencil so it forms a tight curl. Then all you need to do is take the curled paper (still on the pencil) and insert the pencil into the opening of the ornament. Drop the curl inside. Continue until all of the paper has been curled and dropped inside.

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Depending on the occasion, you may want to add other items in the ornament as well. I have used glitter or small curls of ribbon in the event colors and dropped them in, but you don’t have to. Once all of the invitation curls and any additional items have been inserted, close up the ornament by slipping the ornament top back into place. Finish by making a ribbon loop or bow so it can hang on the Christmas tree!

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This is a gift that is very inexpensive to make but that has such a great meaning behind it. I can assure you anyone who receives a custom ornament like this will love it!

Happy Crafting!

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May Beauty Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

I feel like I was just writing a review for April’s Beauty Finds……oh wait….I was!

Happy to report that I am back on track with my blog and back to my usual posting schedule!

So let’s chat about some possible new beauty additions for your collection!

I get a lot of questions about makeup every day, and lately lipstick is the hot topic. I like to think of myself as a lipstick connoisseur, and while I tend to gravitate toward certain brands that I know to be tried and true, I am always up for trying new brands. My go to lipstick is a matte finish….I’m not a huge gloss person because I don’t really like the stickiness or the fact that my hair can get stuck in it if it’s a tad windy outside. Because of this, I haven’t encountered many liquid lipsticks/glosses that have worked for me (To date, only the Melted liquid lipsticks from Too Faced have passed my test). This month I decided to give another liquid lipstick a try!

Product #1: Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick

I am a big Anastasia fan….I use their brow pomade and pencil as well as their glow and contour kits daily, but had never given their lip line a try. This month it was time for the liquid lipstick that they claimed had the matte finish that I love so much.

The color I selected (and that can be seen here as well as in my previous post which you can read here) was Electric Coral. I will be honest….I was hoping it would be a little more tangerine/orangey, but was pleasantly surprised when it had a reddish hue to it (we all know that I love my reds). I opted to try this out on a weekend where I had a lot to do….days when I am go go go I need a lip product that stays on without a lot of reapplication.

Let me share with you what I liked about this liquid lipstick: darn near everything! I applied it first thing in the morning and did not need to reapply until about 4pm…which was after I had eaten…I always reply after lunch. The color was rich and a true matte, so I was very happy. The only thing that I noticed was that it slightly dried my lips out the first time. When I wore the lipstick again, I applied a little plain chapstick before application and I was perfectly fine.

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!!!!!

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Product #2: LA Girl Pro Concealer Set

Concealers are always tricky. I feel like I’ve tried about a billion of them, finding some that I like, but not love. I used to rely heavily on them when I was younger because my skin would break out and do all sorts of weird things, but thankfully I don’t have those issues anymore (Shakeology and water intake….my secrets to clear skin). Nowadays I rely on concealer to help me when I don’t get enough sleep and have pesky under eye circles.

I chose this particular concealer set to review because I have been curious about the color correcting formulas that I have seen on the market and thought it could be a great cost effective solution for someone in need of a great concealer.

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Three colors for me to try!

Here’s the skinny on color correction: you may think the different colors look funny in their tubes, but they actually have a purpose. Ipsy shared this graphic with their followers awhile back, and I think it is great for breaking it down.

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Photo courtesy of Ipsy

The LA Girl concealer set I reviewed for this piece includes orange, yellow, and green concealers, colors I felt would be best for me to try out. I specifically chose to try them out for the first time on a day when I had very little sleep and woke up looking a bit wretched, and I tried out all three colors since I had a tiny bit of redness, too.


Initial thoughts: What the heck is this???? The orange color made me look strange, and I was worried the green hue would show through any foundation. The yellow was closer to what I was used to, and I applied that after I had blended in the orange hue (Note: I used a blending sponge for this). Once blended I didn’t look as scary with the colors and applied my Kat Von D Foundation and Ben Nye Banana Powder as I usually would. You can see my before and after using the concealers below. The photo on the left: zero makeup up; the right photo features the blended concealers, foundation, and powder.


I liked this product….I really did…but I am not sure if it worked any better than the Nyx concealer I typically use. Using three concealers instead of one is a bit more maintenance, but if you are someone seriously struggles with redness, dark spots, or blue tones I truly think this product will help you. I just didn’t have enough of those issues going on to truly see a difference.

The good thing about the product: the price. I purchased all three for about $9, which is great. La Girl is also a product line relatively easy to find…you can purchase it at Walmart, Drugstore.com, even Amazon.

FINAL VERDIT: Semi-Sparkle!!!!!

Off to find some fabulous products to review for June!

sparkleon

 

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The Last Straw

I knew this blog post would have to happen. I just knew it!

Yesterday I shared with my followers over at The Sparkle Fitness Babe that I had found a three pack of stainless steel straws during my Starbucks stop and was beyond excited! I had been looking for some this week and was very happy to randomly find them while I was getting my caffeination on. Since stainless steel straws aren’t super popular yet, I knew I would have a bunch of people asking me why I wanted them and what the deal is with them.
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This blog is for you, questioners of the straws.

As we know, I pay a lot of attention to my health and the quality of things I put in my body. Something that is just HUGE to me that I have been working hard to eliminate: chemicals. Something that is also pretty huge to me: lipstick. Yes, I love wearing it, and I don’t always want to mess up cups with my “Katie was here” lipstick marks, especially when I am drinking my frothy daily Shakeology….milkshake mustaches and bright pink lipstick shades can be messy! Because of that, I have always been a straw gal. Prior to this purchase I was using biodegradable  paper straws.

Reasons why I opt for stainless steel straws (say that five times fast):

-They are reusable so you are eliminating waste. I really try my best to do little things daily that can help impact the environment in a positive way. By eliminating the use of plastic straws I am eliminating the daily tossing of plastic, so they are better for the environment. They are also extremely durable and unbreakable, meaning they will live a long and happy life in my kitchen cupboard.

-They are cost effective. A three pack of stainless straws from Starbucks runs you $5.95. A twelve pack of plastic straws from Target costs about $3. Those, obviously, are for a one time use. I can use my stainless straws over and over and over and over, saving me money. When I was using the biodegradable straws, six straws would cost me $2.

-They are chemical free. Many plastics have traces of BPA and Phthalates, toxic chemicals that can harm your body. Stainless steel: none. They are BPA free and non toxic.

-I love how they look. There are other kinds of great reusable straws on the market, such as glass straws or bamboo straws, but I just love the look of stainless and prefer those over the others.

You may not be a straw person, and that’s ok, but if you are I recommend going a more eco friendly route and trying stainless!

Off for my daily straw and shake date! Have a happy Friday, friends!

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What to Expect When You are Expecting…

Ahhhh, yes.

What to expect when you are expecting.

No, I’m not talking about that movie with Cameron Diaz. Or any new additions to the Kramer household.

I’m talking about what to expect when you are expecting……to buy a house.

Kyle and I recently purchased our first home after a year long search, and boy, was it an exhausting experience. I learned a few things I wanted to share with all of you who are expecting to purchase a new home in the near future….a few things that I hope can help you!

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So what should you expect on your house hunting search????

1. It’s pretty much the same as giving online dating a try. I can’t begin to tell you how many people fooled us with the pics they listed of their home. It’s like on an online dating profile where someone claims to be 6’4 but ends up being 5’6. Seriously people….using the panoramic picture option on you iPhone camera won’t work once someone steps into your kitchen and realizes it is the size of a shoebox. Also, much like photoshop, I can tell when a doorframe has a weird curve because of your editing. Not everyone is a moron. Just show the house like it is.

2. Ok, it’s a lot like dating in general. Dating can be an emotional roller coaster. House hunting…..I actually think it can be worse. You find something you love…..you get your heart set on it…..you start visualizing how you will decorate rooms….you might even start putting things into your Amazon Prime cart…then you find out that you lost the house to someone who was faster with an offer. Then you get bummed out. Then you begin the process again. I felt like my heart got tap danced on by football cleats over and over and over again.

3. Have a list of non-negotiables when you start the search. Kyle and I had many long talks about what was important to have in our home before we started looking. We knew things we absolutely HAD to have and things we just wanted to have. This helped us when we were searching by eliminating houses right away. You should never settle with a house, so make that list of non-negotiables so you don’t regret it later.

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One of my non negotiables…..an awesome kitchen. Got it!

4. You no longer spend hours on Pinterest…..you spend DAYS! The best part about the house hunting/purchase process was no longer having to explain to Kyle why I was on Pinterest so much. I think he actually realized what a great site it is during the whole process! Honestly though….I logged some serious Pinterest hours and show no signs of stopping soon, but that is ok! Finding DIY solutions for some of the projects I want to do will save us money and be fun……score!

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Part of my beautiful makeup room, thanks Pinterest! All I have left to do is have the Hollywood lights installed!

5. Always do a drive by. I fell in love with two different houses based on the pictures. When we drove by the first one, I realized it was in a shady neighbor where I am positive that I saw a prostitute walking down the street. The other we skipped the drive by and realized when we showed up that the beautiful house pretty much was located on a car dealership lot. After that we made a deal: no drive by, no appointment set to view.

6. Hire the kind of realtor that will get the job done. We started the process using one realtor who was nice but not a good match for us. I am very much a no nonsense kind of person and a shark when I want something, and we wanted a realtor who was the same. After all, if this person had to negotiate for us and go to bat for us, I didn’t want some timid mouse. Fortunately, a friend of mine who knows my style recommended Mark Young, who got the job done. If you are in the Cleveland/Akron area and looking for someone awesome, this guy is the one to call.

7. Cross reference like it’s your job. Don’t just look on one site or one app. Look on THEM ALL! In the beginning I focused on just one app…what a mistake. I found so many different listings on other sites that I would’ve missed if I didn’t check out everything. In fact, the house we ended up buying was listed on a random website when I first noticed it. Thank heavens I did!

8. Strike while the iron is hot. I understand you shouldn’t make any rash decisions, but you don’t want to miss out on your dream house either.Don’t take days or weeks to determine what to do. Go with your gut and make moves. We lost out on multiple homes we loved because we didn’t move fast enough.

9. Be prepared for unexpected expenses. The joys of home ownership means unexpected random expenses. People always say that buying a house can be a money pit, and that sure is the truth! The house we bought had brand new EVERYTHING and we still had random things come up, like the unexpected visit from a fat raccoon and her babies who decided to live in our chimney for a week. Prepare for the unexpected. Pay for inspections. Cover your butts!

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This raccoon weighed more than our dog!

10. It’s not over until it’s over………So true! The house we bought was put on the market Easter weekend. Since we were out of town we couldn’t see it until Tuesday morning. The minute we saw it we knew we wanted it, so we put the offer in that minute. Seriously, we didn’t want to lose it. Our realtor contacted the listing agent to tell him the news…..and then found out the seller had accepted an offer literally about an hour before. I was so upset. After crying and cussing like a madwoman, I contacted Mark and told him that if ANYTHING fell through on that deal to let us know. The next night he let us know that the initial deal had fallen through. YESSSSSSS! Of course we submitted everything and had an accepted offer late that day.

Kyle and I are still working at getting settled in, but I love how the house is coming together. It’s been a crazy and emotional process for me, but at the end of the day I love that I have closed the nomadic chapter of my life….the one that included 24 documented moves in about 12 years (yes, that’s a lot) and started a new one with my husband. There have been moments of frustration and sadness, as I am finding things of my dad’s as I unpack all of my things and being forced to accept that all of the big milestones in my life will take place without him physically being here. At the same time, there have been so many wonderful happy moments that I know will only continue.

Here’s to FINALLY getting rid of my storage unit and adulting!

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April Beauty Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

Ok, first of all……I know…I know. It is mid May, and I am just now posting my two product reviews for the month of April. Cut me some slack though….these first two weeks of May have been crazy busy since my husband and I closed on our house and started the moving in process (don’t worry, I’ll share more on that later).

I am fortunate to have a lot of really talented friends in the makeup industry, so I always enjoy chatting about new products with them. The two I am reviewing today are two that have come up quite frequently  in conversation lately and both have  been presented with mixed reviews. Some people love them, some hate them….it was time for me to see for myself.

Product #1: Elf Makeup Mist

For a long time I questioned whether or not I really needed a setting spray to hold my makeup in place. Honestly, I thought it would do absolutely nothing for my face and possibly ruin my makeup, so I avoided using it.

During one of my photo shoots the makeup artist I was using misted my makeup with a setting spray from Urban Decay and my eyes lit up…..we all know that Urban Decay is my #1. I loved how it helped my makeup stay in place longer and, in my opinion, really helped cut down on that shine that happens sometimes if you have a cute T-zone like I do. At $21.00 a bottle was this really worth it? In my opinion, no, so I skipped it. When it comes to spending money on makeup, I believe some items are worth the higher price tag; a setting spray is not one of them.

I am a huge lover of the brand ELF, which is sold at Target and Walmart stores, for many reasons. Not only is it affordable (products range from $1-$10 or so), but their products are pretty darn awesome for the price tag. The majority of my makeup brushes are from their black collection, and while I was at Target to grab a few new ones I happened to notice their makeup mist, an item that I had chatted with some friends about not long before. It was time to give this little $3 bottle a try to see how she stood up to that $21 Urban Decay spray I had fallen in love with.

It. Is. Fabulous.

For a misting spray, it is light and doesn’t knock me out when I spray. It dries pretty much immediately and I felt held my makeup just as well as the Urban Decay item did. The good thing about mists? You don’t need much, so for $3, this bottle can last you a long time, giving you many many days of long lasting flawless makeup. I also noticed that my T zone shine didn’t show up as soon either! Score!

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!!!!!
Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 11.43.28 PMProduct #2: Kat Von D’s Shade + Light Eye Palette

Kat Von D won me over around the time of my wedding when I finally realized that her Lock It Foundation was the best thing around in the world of foundations. Prior to that I had not given her makeup a chance for reasons unknown.

I’m always a little worried about giving a new eye shadow palette a try because I rely so heavily on my loves from Urban Decay and Too Faced. This palette was one that some of my pals loved and some hated. I knew one thing: I was the first completely matte palette that I had stumbled across and considered, so what the heck…..let’s give it a shot.

I was pleasantly surprised! The colors in the palette are great basic shades, and if you are someone who loves a matte finish, this is the palette you want. The quality of the shadows is great, too….rich pigments that stay on and are great to blend.

For me, I don’t usually do all matte. I know someone out there in the makeup world will tell me that you shouldn’t do a shimmery eye after 30, but whatever. I make my own rules and love shimmer/glitter/sparkle……and I will for-ev-er (in a Sandlot voice). Lately I have been using this palette for the bulk of my eye, and then I add a little pop of shimmer from another palette depending on the look I am going for that day.

Here’s a quick tutorial on the colors I love best and how I use this palette for a fun low key look! Overall, I think this is a great palette to add to your collection. Check it out!

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle!!!!

I love when products go two for two in the sparkle category!

sparkleon

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