Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's very clear I'm a lover of Halloween.
I mean, I had my Halloween blog theme up in September and put up a Halloween Tree in my living room. Those aren't signs of a casual holiday fan.

Today holds an even more special meaning.
It was my sweet, loving, kind, hilariously funny mother's birthday!
Thanksgiving in NYC. So many fun memories from this trip!
I love this picture of mom with my brother, Tyge, from the same trip.
She really was the best mom a girl could ask for.
She taught me to be:
  • creative
  • independent
  • strong willed
  • compassionate
  • adventurous
  • quietly thoughtful when people need it most
  • spontaneous
  • to tell people you love that you love them in the little moments
The list could go on and on. 


The first few Halloweens since her passing were rough. 
I didn't make any plans with anyone because 
I didn't know if I could make it through.  
That's what losing your best friend does to you.  

And it wasn't like her birthday was some random day you could try to ignore. I mean, stores start putting up decorations during the summer time, kids knock on your door, people have parties and everyone decorates their houses.  For all of the reasons I couldn't escape the day, those are all of the reasons I started loving the day again. 

This year, it's going to be the best one yet! 
My nephew, Grant, is going to wear his super awesome bacon and eggs costume!
Admit it, you'd love this little face to come knock on your door.
We're going to go trick or treating and then go out to a special dinner.
It will be the first Halloween I've spent with my sister in I don't know how many years and I'm downright giddy about the situation.

Happy birthday, momma!!
Or, as my brother-in-law, Chris, says "Happy Merna Day!"
I hope you and yours have a VERY happy, fun, and safe Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2012

With this being the last weekend before our beloved Halloween, I'm sharing links to all my Halloween projects in case you might need an idea for a last minute decorations, party ideas, or even a costume.  The links to the original posts/tutorials are the titles above the pictures. Enjoy!

This post was an amazing success.
It's been pinned to Pinterest over 2000 times!

These only take 3 fat quarters each and the pattern is very easy to read.

Trick or Treat Paintings

The tutorial for these was very easy to follow and fun to paint as a group.

These are great for a Halloween party.
They sat in the cooler all evening and the tape never
came off.  Super simple to make too!

These decorations were super cheap and packed a big punch.

I certainly hope you have a fun and safe weekend, 
especially if you're doing any Halloween partying!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

That title is no lie, at least in my opinion.
And since this is my little corner of the blogging world, that's what you're opinions.

In the past I've told myself I deserve a $10/month treat.
It's a great way to try out new products on the cheap.
Also, who doesn't love getting fun mail?
Win. Win.

My Glam Bag was SO MUCH BETTER than my Birchbox.
Couldn't have been happier that I made the switch!

Now, let me tell you why I'm on my soap box.

I initially subscribed to Birchbox.
Last month I had shipping issues with  them, so much so that I cancelled my account.  After very little assistance from BB customer service in the matter, I opted to cancel my account with them and go with Glam Bag.  Of course I chose to cancel the same day BB had already billed my account, so October would bring me a box from each company. 

Here's what went down last month.  My BB box was more than a week late. Everyone else was already posting pictures and reviews so my box would be no surprise.  I emailed customer service explaining I had not received my box, they waited a couple of days to reply, and then had the nerve to tell me their records showed it was delivered so my records must be wrong.
Hey, BB, I'm here and my BB is not.  FIX IT.
End of story.
What happened to faith in the customer?
I guess I was just out a box.

Well, the box came the next day and it was a piss poor excuse for a box.  
Not only was I annoyed by the piss poor customer service, it was getting to the point where I felt like BB didn't even pay attention to my preferences. 
They were just mailing me an assortment of samples.
I can get those from the beauty counters at the mall and save $10/month.

I hopped online, cancelled my account and immediately signed up for a Glam Bag subscription.  They charge the same amount, and instead of putting money into a box, they send you a makeup bag every month! Sounded good to me.

This is how it shook out when my boxes arrived this month...

My Glam Bag showed up a day earlier than the expected arrival date.
Look at that, BB, someone who knows how to ship! Take a lesson.
Anyway, I couldn't wait to open the pouch.
First, I loved the bag.
Second, I couldn't believe I had not one, but TWO full size products in my bag.
The other three items were sample sizes.
(BB, take another lesson, FULL SIZE PRODUCTS.)
The Mirenesse Lip Bomb alone has a retail value of $35!
The Be a Bombshell onyx eyeliner has a retail value of $14!
Look at that, only three items in, including the bag, and I already feel like I've gotten a great deal and a great bag.
The smaller items include The Balm What's your Type? mascara, Couture Colour pequi oil treatment, and Coastal Scenets eye shadow.
GB sent me all the colors I would normally use. It was great.
 Tuesday, I tried the liner and mascara out before work.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the pen style eyeliner...but...
They lasted all day without smudging and don't my lashes look great?
I can't wait to see what next month's bag has in store.

My BB, shockingly enough, showed up 3 days past the expected delivery date.
I was highly annoyed.
I opened the box and was instantly disappointed.
More samples.
More things that aren't me.
I don't think I'll even use much of what was in the box.
Instead of going into more detail about how displeased I am, I'll stop here.
No sense in beating a dead BB.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the positive.
I'm so glad I made the switch!
If you've been displeased with BB lately, like I've read so many of you are, you should make the switch too. 
It's so worth it!
In case you missed it at the top, here's the link to Glam Bag:

(Please know these are all of my own opinions. I don't receive anything from any of these companies for sharing my thoughts. I'm just a very pleased customer on one hand and a very displeased customer on the other.  Too bad for BB I have a platform to share.)

PS: Wouldn't a subscription to one of these places be a good Christmas/Holiday gift?  You could subscribe for someone for a certain number of months.  Just an idea.  You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Last Friday I helped roll out the giveaway Erin organized for breast cancer awareness.  Well, friends, today is the last day to enter to win over $200 worth of awesomesauce pink swag!

What it's all about:

October is breast cancer awareness month
so I'm using this giveaway to get more women aware if this awful disease as well as attempt to raise money for breast cancer research.

The giveaway's primary purpose is to serve as a reminder to know your risks, perform self exams, as well as to go get screened if you're of age.
And what better way to get your attention than by attaching breast cancer information to a giveaway of pretty pink things!

A bunch of amazing ladies agreed to help out in the cause by giving away some pretty fantabulous prizes. But in order to get to those you're going to have to get to second base first. And I'm not talking about baseball, ladies.

I'm talking about boobs.
Your boobs.
And in order to keep those boobs healthy you should be informed on some breast cancer facts and preventative measures.

So read this:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure® recommends that you :
1. Know your risk
  • Talk to your family to learn about your family health history
  • Talk to your health care provider about your personal risk of breast cancer 
2. Get screened
  • Ask your health care provider which screening tests are right for you if you are at higher risk
  • Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk 
  • Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40
3. Know what is normal for you and see your health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes:
  • Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that doesn't go away
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Add exercise into your routine
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Limit postmenopausal hormone use
  • Breastfeed, if you can

And do this:

Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Here's what you should look for:
  • Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
  • Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling
If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:
  • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
  • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
  • Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
Breast Self-Exam - Step 1
Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.
Breast Self-Exam - Steps 2 and 3
Step 3: While you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood). Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter. Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage. Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you've reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.
Breast Self-Exam - Step 4
Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in Step 4.
Breast Self-Exam - Step 5
What you could win:

These are all of the lovely ladies who agreed to donate something to this awesome cause.
They are all AHHmazing and I couldn't thank them enough for wanting to help out and being so generous!

LARGE Ad Spot ($50 value)



$40 gift card to Victoria's Secret



An adorable handmade pink wreath 
A Scentsy Buddy and Scent Pak
Pink scarf from Old Navy
OPI nail polish
$10 gift card to Victoria's Secret

Wine glass from Etsy
Pretty pedicure things

$10 gift card to Starbucks


Sign, key chain, lanyard, Cosmo, Notepad
Pink Baby Lips


XL Ad Space (worth $15)
and a loofah, mascara, eos, gum


How to win it all:

This isn't your average giveaway.
It's for a certain purpose.
That purpose being one that will help save lives.

So the way that you'll gain the most entries is by blogging and/or tweeting about the giveaway so that we can get the word out to as many ladies as possible.

You can also rack (pun intended) up your entries by donating to the Susan G. Komen foundation.

That's how you'll get the most entires!

Any dollar amount helps, no matter how big or small - we're trying to save 'em all.

If for some (insanely strange) reason you would like to avoid the giveaway but would still like to donate then you can do so
Leave a comment with the link to your donation confirmation page and I'll send you a promo code for a free ad space!
Now get to entering:

I am head over heels in love with Influenster.
Never heard of Influenster?
Kids, you're missing out.
If you're a blogger or social media lover who loves to share your opinions (which we all do, why else would we blog?), it's the place for you.  

Here's how it works:
You create an account, answer surveys, share reviews on products, 
link up your Pinterest, Twitter, etc.  They figure out your 
areas of expertise and when a box comes along that fits 
your get a box like this in the mail FOR FREE!
(To all my gentlemen readers, don't you worry, they have boxes for you too.
They have areas for moms, men, pet owners, and the list goes on and on.)

Once you get your box in the mail, you try out the products, share reviews on their site and you can also blog, tweet, pin what you thought.  
The great things is, there's no money involved, 
no reason for them to sway your opinions or reviews. 
They simply send you a box, you try it out and then share.  

Auntie P was here the day my box arrived in the mail.  
She witnessed my amazing little happy dance.
No joke.
I literally danced in my kitchen while opening the box.

So, what was in my super awesome Beauty Bloggers VoxBox 2012 you ask?
Let me start with the products I've tried so far:
Not Your Mother's Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream
LOVE LOVE LOVE this curl cream.
My hair has a slight natural wave to it, but this cream really brought out some great curls without weighing down my hair or making it crunchy.  I'll definitely be using this product again.
I loved that they sent a full size compact.
I was a little nervous about the smokey gray colors. I've been a shades of brown girl for years, but I sat down yesterday to give it a go and fell in love.  I was able to do it light enough for day time and can't wait for a chance to go darker for night.
Pumpkin Cupcake candle (it smells so yummy!)
Bath & Body Works Mini Candle
I adore the scent of this candle!  
They even sent a coupon so I can get some more. 
Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream and cleanser
Sample sizes of Boots No. 7 Beautiful Skin cleanser and moisturizer
I was hesitant to try these because my skin is so sensitive.
Before going to bed last night, I used both the cleanser and the moisturizer.  The cleanser did a great job taking my above makeup off and my skin is so soft this morning from the moisturizer. I'm definitely a fan.
Now for the products I haven't tried quite yet.
Ever Pro Lashes Starter Kit, Black
Kiss Ever Pro Lashes Starter Kit
Simple Style Spin Pin Detail
Goody Simple Styles Spin Pins
EBOOST | Natural Energy
Pretty amazing, right?
It was so much fun to try new products.
I can't wait to get another one in the mail!