Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Pretty Face Is A Clean Face

I hate cleaning my makeup brushes and probably go way too long without doing it. Once I do clean them, I wonder why I didn't do it sooner. Well, I was just about to buy new brushes the last time mine needed a cleaning, when I decided to google ideas on cleaning makeup brushes. I was about to give up (as I had tried everything) when I came across something different. A girl recommended cleaning your brushes the same way painters clean their brushes. Painters know you can't just wash your brushes; you have to condition them too! The hair in the brushes will dry out just like real hair if you only use a soap based cleaner. That night I tried out this newly discovered technique and it made my brushes like new. Putting makeup on actually felt good the next day! This technique is so simple and only takes 2 items you probably already have in your kitchen. All you do is pour a few tablespoons (depending on how many brushes you're cleaning) of dish soap and a teaspoon or so of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) side by side onto to a plate. Then mix the 2 together using your brushes. You will instantly see all of the makeup and yuck coming out of your brushes. Next, paint your brush onto your hand or another absorbent (but not drying surface) to literally "paint" the makeup out. Finally, rinse and let air dry in your preferred method of drying (preferably bristles down so the water won't drain into the handle and ruin the glue that holds the hairs in). This is the best method I have found for cleaning my brushes and it really impressed me. If your brushes could use a cleaning and you don't want to spend the money on a brush cleaner, try this! It really works! A pretty face is a clean face! So keep the dirt, grime, and oil out of your brushes and off of your face.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ooh Daddy Like

I have made some recent discoveries, over the last several months, that I want to share with anyone who reads my blog. I cannot express how much I love these items and recommend them to all my readers! Enjoy :)

Secret Wonderland from Bath and Body Works. I discovered this scent on Black Friday and bought the body wash, lotion, shimmering body spray, and perfume. A sweet, yet not over powering scent. Definitely good all winter long! And the bottles are so pretty and sparkly too!

Umberto Beverly Hills Dry Shampoo Spray. Want healthy hair? Do NOT wash your hair every day. A dry shampoo can be very helpful with this, but I find many of them don't last long and can be rather spendy. I also haven't found a  brand that "wows" me yet. Then while strolling amongst the aisles of Target one evening, I noticed a new hair care line. Okay, maybe not new (wasn't this brand around years ago?), but new to me. I saw a coupon to buy one product and get the dry shampoo free, and with all of the products priced around $8-$10, I couldn't go wrong. I love this dry shampoo! It works great and is only $8 AND I am still finding the buy 1 get 1 coupons! It does go on a little white and powdery at first, but I find it easily blends in and brushes out nicely with my hair type and color.

Okay, I feel so 90's loving this chip, but they are so good I cannot deny them. I love Pringles, but rarely buy them. That carton is so small and I definitely do not need to be scarfing down a whole carton of chips. No matter how ungreasy Pringles convinces me they are. Also, some of the Pringles flavors seem to taste alike.Well, me and the hubs love trying new food items and flavors (and I may be a bit of a sucker for advertising), so when we saw these chips we had to try them. I have a wimpy palate so these chips are just spicy enough for me, but still have a lot of flavor. The Cajun taste isn't overpowering and the flavor is different than any other Pringles flavor. So yummy and gone in a day at my house :)

I have a horrible confession to make. I dislike most fruit. I have a sweet tooth to some extent, but I am a salty girl. I would probably choose veggies and ranch dip over fruit and chocolate fondue. My hubby loves fruit. In all forms. Leather, snacks, cups, dried, raw... you name it. So, when we saw these at Costco... into the cart they went. Turns out, I LOVE them. I know it isn't the exact same thing as eating raw fruit, but hey, it's a start. They kind of remind me of the fruit puffs for babies my niece used to eat (and yes, I tried those and they were yummy too). I may have the palate of a toddler, but these are dang good!

I love my Dooney and Bourke wallet. Only problem is, once I take something out of it, it never goes back in. This leaves me constantly digging for the various cards I might need whenever we go out. This also puts me at risk of losing valuable cards and information, as they easily spill out of my purse. This drives Jeremiah nuts! Well, problem solved. Jeremiah bought me this bad daddy as a Christmas gift and it is amazing! I know it looks a little odd for a wallet, but it is so space saving and easy to use that I have actually been keeping all of my cards in it! You can change the labels on the front to match the various cards you have and even color code them. The ACM wallet come in various colors and sizes and holds  6-12 cards. Check them out:

Clothing discovery (thanks to Checkout Vintage inspired and oh so pretty! I haven't ordered yet myself, but can't wait!

Has anyone tried any of these things? Let me know what you thought! Now, I leave you with a link to a new fave song of mine. I'm sure you'll recognize it, but I prefer this version SO much more!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Photography and Me

If you are reading my blog, then you know very well that I have taken up a new hobby over the last year. Some of you have even been part of this new hobby. Whether it has been to help me test lighting, scout out locations, critique my editing abilities, or act as my models I am very grateful! Photography has not come easy to me. I don't have an eye that easily "sees" a good shot; nor do I understand the full capabilities of my camera, as of yet. As for Photoshop editing, that's a whole 'nother challenge I am desperately finding time to master. However, I think that's why I like this new hobby. Deep down, I like a challenge and believe that if I set my mind to it I can do anything!

The barriers to getting where I want to be in my photography include a grueling work schedule that conflicts with daylight, finding time to learn my camera and editing, and staying motivated. But I keep at it for some reason... maybe it's because I have countless dollars invested into a camera, new lens, tripod, editing software, etc., or maybe I feel this is finally my creative outlet. I have never been creative and cannot think up new or unique ideas on my own. I wish I could, but I have to be honest with myself. That's partially why I wanted a hobby. I wanted to practice being creative and put my skills to the test. I wanted to learn to be something I am not... creative. I am still in this process and will let you know how it goes.

If any of you know photography and have seen my work, you may have noticed just how bad I am and wonder why in the world I would compete in this field? EVERYONE in the TC thinks they are a photographer and can take good pictures and I am just another wannabe. To that I say, don't ask me to take your pictures, don't look at my work, and mind your own business. I don't intend to compete nor do I delude myself into thinking I am great. If you have the time to judge my work in those ways, maybe YOU need a hobby.

My husband told me, not long ago, that when I mentioned I wanted to get into photography he didn't have the heart to tell me just how many amateur photographers there are and what I may be up against. Funny thing is, I wasn't going into this to compete. I thought this would be the least creative hobby I could take up and would be the easiest thing for me to do. HA! Well, at least it's proving to be a challenge and I am seeing progress in my work.

While I may never be a sought after photographer or make real money at it, I like practicing and am open to wherever photography takes me.  So, maybe I will never compare to some of the photographers out there, but I realize everyone has to have their own reasons for doing what they do. I have mine. Hope you have yours :)

*Need some photos done? Let me know! I am no longer offering free photo sessions, due to the large volume of time it takes for me complete photo sessions and edit images, but I am very cheap and love to practice :)