1.28.2015

How I Chose my One Word for 2015 // Explore

This year I really thought about my process in picking my One Word for the year.  It is Explore, by the way, and it took a while to get there (read about my 2015 word here).  Last year Focus just fell in my lap and it worked.  By picking a word last year I felt like I knew I wanted to pick a word for this year.  Here are three things I did to pick my One Word for 2015:
Find a definition that reflects the life you'd like to live
I had a definition or a phrase in mind when I went into picking my word for the year.  This made it hard but also made it easy as well.  It was hard to find a word I was satisfied with but I also knew exactly what I was looking for.  Runners up were Simplicity, Forward, and Brave.  The reason I went with Explore was the connotation of the word.  Brave seemed too fast, too lofty, too scary.  Simplicity seemed too short of a word to live by, it seem too easy, too lazy.  Forward seemed too vague, too much like I could make anything work.  Explore seemed more achievable.  It seemed like it fit where I was and where I was trying to go.  I didn't feel too pressured or too relaxed when I though of it.  It also seemed more specific to me and less vague.

Find words that speak to you
I used Pinterest for this because it is a treasure trove for quotes, words, and inspiration.  I played around with search words until I found phrases I loved or words that stuck out.  You can also look through your own pin boards for quotes you may have pinned but have forgotten about.  It is here that I got the idea for a phrase or definition and worked from there.  I found a lot of adventure related posts but knew that wasn't really the word I was looking for.

Make a list and ponder over it
Like I mentioned above, I made a list once I found some words that spoke to me and I kept it on my phone. I thought about them often and added, subtracted, revised, etc.  One important part of choosing a word is making it visible.  So by consciously thinking about my list and making it something to work towards I was able to finally pick a word.  I even made it a part of my Four Simple Goals for January....and here we are in February and I'm still all about it.

I hope this little post helped you out in settling on a word to live by.  I've heard people choose multiple words a year, or even one every month.  If you find yourself changing that often then go for it.  I like to see how I can evolve in my word and see what it means at the beginning of a year versus the middle and even end of the year.  If you're growing, that's all that matters.

Have you chosen a word for 2015?  How did you choose yours?  What does it mean to you?

xoxo, Moe

1.27.2015

Beauty Review // Wet n Wild To Reflect Shimmer Palettes

If you've watched my recent haul (right here) you'll see that I sort of went mad with the new Wet n Wild products for 2015.  I love Wet n Wild and one of my favorite products from them is their To Reflect Shimmer Palettes.  I have every. single. one.  Every one.  I have the Limited Edition ones from holiday & summer sets and when there is a new one I am all over it.  So today I wanted to do a quick review and swatch fest of them all!  So lets just jump in:
this is a Limited Edition Shimmer Palette from Summer 2014 in Photo Bomb but it is the one where you can see the packaging clearly.
From The Website
Perfectly-coordinated shimmering trios in a beautiful pearl finish. Each palette provides an instant bronze or a slight hint of color for a glowing complexion. The baked technology delivers high pearl and high pigment payoff, and can be worn wet or dry.
info taken from the Wet n Wild website here.
First Impression & Application
I can't really give you a first impression here because I've had these for a while and looooove them.  But I'll try to just describe them here:  The packaging is very, very nice.  I wouldn't say it reminds me of something high end (like I commented on the Elf Pressed Mineral Blush packaging) but it's not cheap-o feeling.  The compact a rounded square shape with silver detailing and a clear plastic window.  It is pretty secure with a little clasp type closure and I'm never afraid it will open on me.  
left to right: Hollywood Boulevard, Rose Champagne Glow, Rose Golden Goddess, Carnival in Rio
There are several different looks to this product as they release different ones when there are limited edition collections.  The three original shimmer palettes as well as the new, permanent one for 2015 are all marbled.  Carnival in Rio has bee discontinued to make room for Hollywood Boulevard.  Since I now have a MAC Mineralized Skin Finish in Lightscapade I can tell you that the marbling in these products is more chunky if that make sense.  Reminds me more of an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush.  I am so happy that the new permanent collect offers more of a range.  I felt like Rose Golden Goddess and Carnival in Rio were too close in shade.
left to right: LE Holiday 2013 (no name that I can find!), Video Bomb, Photo Bomb
Then there are the three limited edition palettes I have that range in texture (is that what you'd call it?).  The LE one from Holiday 2013 is much like the Bobbie Brown Shimmer Brick kind of style. Photo Bomb from the Summer 2014 collection is one solid color and reminds me of the Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light.  Video Bomb from the Summer 2014 collection is also marbled.

I apply these highlighters with a small brush - specifically the Elf Blush Brush.  It is small and flat so it is great for precision application.  I also use the slightly pointed tip to blend it out if I've used too much.  A large fan brush is also a great way to apply this product.

Wear Time
For a drugstore highlight, these do last rather long.  I'd say that they last anywhere from 5-6 hours.  Since I have oily skin I feel that sometimes the product gets blotted off through the day so I find it doesn't last a whole day because of that.  If you have dry skin you may find these last longer for you.
these are heavy swatches under my soft box to show the underlying tones/color of the product
I only put this product on the tops of my cheekbones and down the center of my face.  Unlike the Ambient Lighting Powders I would be afraid to set my whole face with these.  They do have a lot of pigment and may be too sparkly for that.  These are my favorite drugstore highlighters though.
here they are in overhead lighting to show how they blend out and how shimmery they are.  It is hard to capture but these are very glittery.  There are very fine shimmers in this product.  It's more visible in the top swatches of Hollywood Boulevard and Rose Champagne Glow.

Overall Impressions & Recommendations
If you are on a drugstore budget but you want an high end glow - I would be all over these.  They are so affordable - around $5.99 at my Walgreens - and you can always find a sale going on.  Because they have different shades I would recommend Rose Golden Goddess, & Carnival in Rio for darker skin tones (medium to deep) because of the bronziness of the shades.  I would also say Video Bomb is dark enough to give a nice highlight to medium to darker skin tones.  If you have fair skin Rose Champagne Glow & Photo Bomb would probably be perfect for you.  And one that falls right in the middle for medium skin tones but could go for fair or deeper is Hollywood Boulevard.  It is super golden toned so it depends on the look you're going for.

Overall these are my favorite highlighters for the price.  I can't stop collecting them when the come out!

Do you have a favorite drugstore product you just die over?

xoxo, Moe

1.26.2015

Make it Monday // DIY Printable Planner Sticky Notes

One of these days I'll stop with the planner DIYs....then again, maybe I won't.  I got inspired to do this after poking around on Pinterest for free planner DIYs.  So I turned to my favorite online photo editor, PicMonkey, to help me create some wonderful square shaped images to print on my own sticky notes.  I'm always on the hunt for affordable/cheap/free ways to personalize my filofax because stationery can get expensive.  Even if you're a Target Dollar Spot hoarder chances are you're still looking for the perfect note.  You probably already have some solid color sticky notes in your collection so here's how to create some personalized notes. Below you'll find detailed instructions for creating your own or you can scroll all the way to the bottom of the post to print a predesigned template.
Supplies: printer, 8.5 x 11 printer paper, plain 3x3 sticky notes, PicMonkey.com online editor

First, go over to the PicMonkey website and from the design option select a square canvas.  You don't have to select a custom canvas with a custom size because we will shrink them down later when they are added to a word document.
One of my favorite things about PicMonkey is the variety of check mark boxes they offer as clip art - found under the Scrapbooky section of clip art.  I love that you are able to add the boxes if you're using the free version of PicMonkey.  You can also add geometric shapes and text to create custom graphics for your sticky notes.
Once you have the design you like, save it to your computer.  Create 6-8 designs just so you have a variety to print.  You might find that your designs get better as you go so you may design more.  If you want access to a ton more design elements sign up for the Royale feature of PicMonkey for $4.99/mo or $33/year here.
Next we'll move into Word.  If you don't have Word, you can use any similar word processor - Open Office is a good alternative as well.  I set my all the margins in my document to .5" then inserted a 3 column x 5 row table.

Since I work from a Mac I have a tool bar on the right side of my screen where all the custom options live.  You may have to find the specific table options in your word processor for this.  Set the first, third, and fourth row height to 3", set the second and fourth row height to .18", then set the first column width to 3", the middle column width to .19", and the third column width to 3".  If you have room at the bottom of your template, write the word BOTTOM so you know which way to face your sticky notes and to feed into your printer.  (You can also just go ahead and download my template here.)  Save this as a separate template.  Print out a few copies of this sheet.
Now it is time to add your graphics.  Select the cell you'd like to add the sticky note graphic to and from the Insert tab, select Picture, then From File.  Select your image and insert.  Or you can open the folder you have your images saved in and drag and drop them into your Word document.

You'll find it's way, way, waaaay too big but don't fret!  Under the picture tab select the Lock Ratio if it has been deselected and set the size to 3" x 3".  Keep adding your images to the 3x3 cells, resizing them as you go, until your page is full.
You may find that your cells seem to have gotten larger than the set 3x3 inches you made them in the first step.  My solution was to move the graphics behind the text and then use my arrow keys to align them in the center of the cell by eye.  Since I had the tool bar on the side I found Arrange and selected Behind Text.  On a Windows version, you may have to access the Picture tool bar at the top to do this.  This is important because you've aligned your sticky notes to a blank template that may not match your filled template.  You can always print the two templates out, place them on top of each other, and hold them up to the light to see if anything has changed.
I also moved into Publishing View to more specifically align my images with the arrow keys as seen above.  Sometimes my arrow keys moved the image too far to the left or right so moving into Publishing View always gives me more control.  I then set the table borders to be white or transparent.  Save this as your second file - this is the file you will print repeatedly onto your sticky notes.
Grab the blank template you printed and align your sticky notes.  Keep in mind how your printer paper feeds.  This is why the word BOTTOM is helpful!  After you've aligned your sticky notes, feed your paper back into your print tray.  For my printer I turn my page face down with the word bottom facing towards me.  You may have to experiment to find out the best way to print to your specific printer. Print the page filled with your sticky note designs out.  This should print your designs out onto your aligned sticky notes!  Repeat as needed.
And there you have it, personalized sticky notes!  Stick 'em where ever you want 'em.  I think these would be great to personalize and stick in lunches, on your correspondence, around the house, any where really.

Also, if all that blabber was too much for you here are three simple steps:
1. Print this template
2. Align your sticky notes with in the 3x3 squares
3. Feed your paper with sticky notes back into your printer & print this template

How do you customize your planner?  Any sticky note tips you have to offer?

xoxo, Moe