7.31.2013

Bloggers I Admire for One Reason or Another

There are several people I look up to in this world of blogging.  Some people I look up to because of their business sense, some because of their honesty, some because they are adorable, some because I can relate to them, & some even still because they stand up for what they believe in.  For the sake of love, here is a list of just a few bloggers I totally admire:

She also makes me want to wear a two piece, her post here
I love this chick & her blog because she keeps it real.  So real.  She loves herself, she's super cute, & super inspiring.  She don't take no shit & her hair, glasses, face, eyeballs, (everything!) just drips confidence.  Her fashion sense sends me into full on squeal mode because she's so bold & so confident.  Just seeing her walk about in real life looking awesome makes me walk out the door with a bit more confidence.  She makes you feel like you are awesome & her current Fat Bitch eCourse that I've been loosely following is a super fun experiment in self confidence.  Speaking of her fashion sense, she instagramed this picture the other day of spicing up her work outfit for the mall by tying up her shirt to the side.  Love. It. Also, floral & polka dots? Gimme, gimme! Also, she illustrates pretty rad ladies that just plain ol make me happy.

Also, her & her husband just bought a house, now they can go through all the stuff Zach & I did! lol
I've followed this chick since she blogged under The Curious Pug.  I love her because of her frankness & honesty.  She's a no fluff, straight up, honest person.  She's not afraid to say what she feels & I love it.  Reading her blog has hit me with so many duh moments.  She also sprinkles in a few adult oriented words, and I'm all about a healthy sprinkling of the f word.  She just puts it all out there in a relatable, sassy best friend way.  Also I just feel like she gets me since I totally looked to her in my recent struggles.  She's just one of those people who is just so relatable.  Her posts are always real life, she shares her ups & downs, her struggles, her successes all in a way that lets you know it's ok to try and that sometimes you surprise yourself and sometimes you will pick up a new hobby - ahem crocheting.  Alycia is an all around great person who just lets you know that you get the cards you're dealt & you can make the best of them.

She's always the cutest, this dress is my fave
I've been a fan of Kaelah since before I blogged, since before I knew how to follow blogs & just kept them all in my head.  She's it the most professional yet real-life relatable person I haven't ever met! She answers every email, replies to every tweet, amens every comment, she's just a plain ol nice person.  I don't know how she does it but she really does live, eat, & breathe what she believes in which, in all honesty, is herself.  I look up to her because she take time to be herself in a world where she tries (and succeeds) to do so many things.  She's a small business inspiration to me, a fashion inspiration, a stand up for yourself inspiration, and a self love inspiration.  Kaelah keeps it honest, keeps it real, & shows you how working for what you want pays off.  She's also not afraid to be the person who stands up for something in a polite & fully developed way.  She's not one for passiveness, she's not one to back down, she will hold her ground.

Needless to say there are many, many more lovely bloggers I look up to but let's just say when I find myself in times of trouble, it's not Mother Mary coming to me it's these three saints of blogging that speak words of wisdom.  (It's not always let it be, but it is always be yourself)

Who do you look up to?  Who gives you words of wisdom?

xoxo, Moe

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7.30.2013

Trend Tuesday // Naked & Neutral Eyeshadow Palettes

Ever since singing up for Birchbox & Ipsy I've been feeling the urge for high end make up.  I think I mentioned going into an Ulta for the first time a bit ago & having to control myself!  High end make up is just so appealing!  But let me tell you want I do: I get online & look up dupes or even sets that just look/act the same.  Because even though I want to spend $50 on an eyeshadow palette, that ain't gonna happen anytime soon!  I've had my eye on the Naked Palette which is filled with so many beautiful neutral eyeshadows...but that mess is $50 (do you know how many awesome things I could do with $50 besides by one eyeshadow palette?).  So I thought about getting the Naked Basics palette.  While $27 sounded a bit better.....$27 is still a bit too much.  So, what am I to do? Find awesome drugstore alternatives! Here are some great trios, quads, & palettes if you're looking for a natural look & more variety - I think I'd rather spend $27 creating a custom look, ya know what I mean?  (Plus a lot of brands have a neural option if you want to just buy one thing and not pick & choose)

NEARLY NAKED

Eyes Lips Face
Or Elf as it's so tenderly called has great affordable make up that is rather good quality.  Their online site has much more to offer than your local Target or Meijer (I've just seen elf in Wal-Mart too!).  These two palettes are from the Studio Line & the Essential Collection.  The geometric one (here) is sold for $3 & the more traditional compact (here) is sold for $3 as well!  These both seem to be more like the Naked Basics palette featuring 6 colors.  Some of them seem to be pretty close too!

L'Oreal 
These are the Colour Riche quads & the two featured here are Army Brat and Cupa Joe.  I like the Cupa Joe quad because the colors are more neutral & less gold.  But these Colour Riche quads also come in a variety of colors not just neutrals.  So if you want to have a collection more on the Naked side of things you could pick up one like Love to Hate Me which has a blue color in it & a darker black.  But if you're looking for a go to neutral look with out too many options, a small quad like this is great - enough to change it up but not too much so you feel comfortable.

Revlon
These are the Revlon Photoready Primer + Shadow palettes that feature eyeshadow & a primer.  Impressionist & Metropolitan are totally nude collections but you could also spice it up with something like Graffiti that has a really nice blue in it.  Again, these have a bit more to them (colors + the primer) but not too much where you feel overwhelmed.  You can create a simple go to look!  These are a bit more pricey though - anywhere from $5 - $7 (or up!).

More Eyes Lips Face!
This is a great big fully neutral palette!  If you're looking for some insane variety in your neutral looks this sister palette to the 100-color Studio Eye Palette is the winner.  100 colors might be too much by 32 is just enough right?  This sells for $10 on the elf website, a steal compared to the Naked, Naked2, & Naked basics palette!  This palette has the richer dark neutrals but is missing colors like gunmetal, toasted, hustle, & creep. This 32 palette comes in a few color combos & each has a few neutrals scattered around as well so you can totally get your color fix with one of the other 4 options!

Wet n Wild Color Icon Trios
These are my favorite! They are so affordable & great quality.  Compared to elf, Wet n Wild eyeshadow trios are the best! At around $2.99 a pop, they are pretty affordable too.  I've been considering depoting mine & putting them in a little custom tray to create my own neutral palette because a lot of the trios have great neutral colors mixed into the bright crazy colors.  These trios are so affordable, I seriously suggest just buying them all!  (Same with elf, buy it all girl, buy. it. all.)  They even have a new Pop Art Craze collection with insanely bright colors but Muse & Carouse has the prettiest matte brown!  The best neutral trio is Walking on Eggshells.  I go to this one everyday!

NYX Natural Palette
It's the closest thing to Naked Basics in that it's a six pan palette laid out in the same sort of way featuring a range of neutrals from light to dark.  I honestly don't own anything NYX but this is something on my to collect list because I hear the quality of NYX stuff is awesome!  You can find NYX online or at stores like Ulta for drugstore prices.  I'm loving how this little palette is sleek & pretty close to the real thing in layout.  This palette is about $7 & there's another one called Wicked Dreams with 24 eyeshadows that seriously have some pretty close looking colors to the Naked palette!

Anyway, these are just a few ways to get a cool neutral eye with out having to spend mega bucks.  I think that all of these are really great quality for drugstore products especially if your short on cash or just not willing to shell out a lot for something for your face.  I think a good drug store collection is just as comparable to a high-end collection!

What eye look do you go to?  Are you a neutrals fan or do you need more color?

xoxo, Moe

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7.29.2013

Make it Monday // DIY Framed Dry Erase Calendar from Instagram Pics

Happy Monday! Can you believe Summer is nearly over? It's nearly August!  Meijer already has back to school stuff out & Hobby Lobby is putting up Christmas stuff.  ARE. YOU. KIDDING?  I can't believe it!  So this DIY is perfect for going back to school - dorm decor & what not - or if you just feel like you need a calendar by the door!
I used a photo from the beginning of Summer for this.  If you're making this maybe for your dorm, you can use 12 photos you love from home or from summer or make a new one each month from college photos.  The best part about this is it's a marker board so you can circle important dates, come up with your own color coordinated code, or write notes to your room mate or in my case - to myself.  Since Zach & I leave through different doors in the morning I put this near my door!

So start off with a picture you want to use.  I pulled one off of instagram from the beginning of Summer that I then edited through PicFrame for the circle shape.  PicFrame has a few different shapes you can use but I chose a simple circle.  
I created a calendar template (download instructions are at the end of the post!) that you can change for each month using a font that should be available on your computer - Century Gothic.  When you open the document in Word, make sure to highlight the text that says highlight & insert picture here. to make sure the picture fits correctly, us a square image no bigger than 612 px (you can use a photo editing program to crop it down to size.)
I just made one month template, so if you ever find a month that needs more rows for days, you can decrease the font in that box & do a / between each number or play around until your satisfied with the look (for example, March of next year I think has another row on a calendar).  Here's what your finished calendar should look like:
There is also plenty of space around the calendar to write notes & reminders.  I picked up a frame from the dollar store, trimmed the 8.5x11 paper to fit 8x10, framed my calendar, & placed it right by the door!  I can't wait to remember all the things I keep forgetting.

Download Instructions
I created a template for you, find it here.  To download it, click the link where you'll be redirected to a Google Drive page.  In the top left corner under File there is a little arrow, click that to download.  Once it downloads to your computer you should be able to open & edit it in word.  I hope it works for you! This is the first time I've done anything downloadable with the intention of editing it afterwords!  Remember, this is free for personal use.  Share it with friends, print for yourself, or make a gift!

Have a great week!

xoxo, Moe

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7.28.2013

Sum Up Sunday #70 // Oh My Gosh It's Been A Year!

Holy cow, y'all......I've been out of Virginia for a year!  Holy cow! So much has changed - a post on that later - but I still can't believe a year ago (actually a year ago tomorrow..that sounds weird!) I packed up all my things & left my home to be with the person I love.  I am so thankful for Zach's parents coming down & helping me and for letting us crash in the apartment above the garage, & for just plain being awesome and letting me into their lives.
Anyway, just a little post to say wow......it's been a year.  Here's the original post about arriving in Michigan.  It was actually a Sum Up Sunday post as well.  Can't believe it's been a year.

xoxo, Moe

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7.25.2013

Boost Your Blog // Three iPad Apps for Summer Photo Blogging

A bit ago I shared with you some really fun apps for your iphone to spice up your photos.  This week I want to share with you three apps for your iPad to help with your summer photo blogging! While each of those iPhone apps you can download to your iPad, the following apps work awesome with an iPad & a stylus!  If you want to create collages, doodles, or draw over photos, these apps are for you:

DropBox - Let's be real....no one carries around their iPad taking pictures of things.  You'll look like a crazy person.  So all of my photos get transfered between my phone, computer, & iPad through DropBox.  I posted a while ago about this god awful process of how I get my photos to my computer to edit....with DropBox it's super easy.  So set that up & when you're out & about taking pictures with your phone it will be super simple to transfer them to your iPad to use in the awesome apps below.

Sketchbook Express/Pro - Love to doodle but want to have your doodles digital? Try this app recommended to me by the lovely Near Sighted Owl, a screen shot of the app is below.  You can draw effortlessly with different layers, colors, brushes, etc.  This app is perfect because you can digitally doodle while you're on the go.  You can even draw over photos.  I created multiple layers over a photo to create this create doodled little postcard for sale here.

PicsArt - Another doodle app but it does a bit more.  You can doodle over photos or doodle on a blank canvas.  You can also create collaged to edit & apply effects.  Import from your camera roll or take a photo.  Using Dropbox is a great way to get your photos around with out having to plug in your phone.   So if you're on vacation & have been snapping pictures with your phone, when you're back in the hotel taking a break to compose your thoughts you can bring your photos together to create blog-worthy collages in a snap.  This is a great all in one app.

Pro Tip: Don't have a stylus?  Use the eraser end of a pencil!  Sweet deal!

I can't wait to play around with all of these apps more to create cool collages & awesome doodles.  If you're looking for more Boost Your Blog articles, click here!

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7.24.2013

Dealing With Breakouts // Eight Ways to Beat the Breakout Bump

Acne, blemishes, & breakouts have been a big problem for me my entire life.  I remember the first breakouts I had (on my forehead) in 5th Grade!  I remember telling someone it was a bug bite because what the heck is a fifth grader doing with horrible breakouts on her face?  But that moment began my journey dealing with breakouts.  What I know now is that it had a lot to do with hormones/bad skin/genes but also a lot to do with skin care routine & foods.

While in high school I tried drugstore cleansers/spot treatments, tried proactive, even went to the dermatologist & nothing seemed to work.  Now, I know that these things didn't work because I didn't have the discipline to keep up with the routine.  I didn't wash my face morning & night, I didn't keep my routine, I didn't take my pills - so it didn't work.  I guess I had better things to do!  I'm not saying that you need to take medication or put products you don't feel comfortable with on to your skin - I want to advocate routine!  Whatever works for you, you have to keep it up or it won't work!

Now that I'm older I think my skin has naturally gotten better - less changing hormones, etc - but I try keep up a better skincare routine & choose products that fight oil.  I have incredibly oily skin so it's particularly tricky somedays & perfectly fine other days.  I thought I'd share with you some tips on how I keep the breakouts under control on my oily skin:

Find a routine & stick to it - I don't care what you use, but find something (experiment, there's no right or wrong!) that works for you & keep it up. Don't skip a day!  I think my time working for the Massage & Esthetics school really helped me realize the importance of a skin care routine.
My Routine - Olay Fresh Effects Shine Shine Go Away Cleanser (controls shine, I love it!) + spray astringent (Clean & Clear in a spray bottle) + Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner to restore PH + Neutrogena Fight & Fade gel for breakouts/fading scars + light, oil free SPF moisturizer --- I (try to) do this morning & night with a bit of exfoliation thrown in
Wash your hands before touching your face - Avoid touching your face at all during the day but  most importantly, before you apply make up, wash your hands.  Keep a pocket-bac on your dressing table if you need to but keeping your hands off your face & clean if you need to touch it, won't transfer bacteria.  This is a little tip that I know has helped me!

Clean your phone (your cell, home, & work) - along the same lines of wash your hands, clean your phones.  I'm bad with this & I've noticed quite a few breakouts on my phone holding area.  I constantly put the phone on my shoulder & lean it to my face at work.  It's soooo bad!  Luckily there are clorox wipes all over the place because my boss is a germophobe to clean it off!  But do this with your cell phone too. Seriously, another simple tip that I know makes a difference!

Don't skip the moisture - if you have oily skin like me you may think that skipping the moisturizer might help fight the oil but it's not true!  Find a light moisturizer (one with SPF!) & apply it regularly.  I've read that if you keep your skin hydrated it won't produce as much oils to hydrate itself - I believe this is true in theory but personally I still get oily through the day.  I also found that I try (try!) to let my moisturizer absorb completely before applying my primer to start my make up.  I feel like it just works better this way!

Choose oil fighting products - Not everyone has the same skin type, I know, but sometimes oil fighting products are just worth it.  I swear by Rimmel's Mattifying Primer, Neutrogena's Shine Control Primer, & the Olay Fresh Effects Shine Shine Go Away Cleanser.  Also pick oil-free & non-comedogenic products.  You can also use an oil-free/non-comedogenic primer as well.

Learn to wash your face - I highly recommend finding a good Esthetician (if you're lucky, find a way to be the client they work on when they are learning - like at a school!) seriously they can tell you the best way to wash your face.  Mimic their motions, ask questions, they can recommend products, etc.  Another thing I learned in my previous job at the Esthetics school was that a lot of people go to the dermatologist, get prescription cleansers, but aren't told how to properly wash their face.  Don't do it quickly! Focus on your problem areas, add more water if you need to, spend time washing your face & neck - I spend a good chunk of time cleansing my face, honestly!

Try something natural - When you're at your wits end or just want to try something new give a few natural products a shot.  I've recently been trying coconut oil as a moisturizer & witch hazel as an astringent and it hasn't hurt (though I don't have a solid opinion about it yet!).  Some people are all about natural & sometimes it's worth it.  Also, you know you aren't putting some crazy stuff on your face if you're going organic.  It's worth a shot, you know.

These tips above have totally been the little things that I know keep my skin looking great!  Bonus tips: change your pillowcases/sheets regularly (every day on the pillowcases if you can - I don't lol), drink a lot of water, limit the crap eating (soda, etc - I don't do it often and can so tell!)

What are your tips?  I wanna know!

xoxo, Moe

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7.22.2013

I Missed it Again

I missed it again, my blog's birthday!  I started this blog 3 years ago in July of 2010 while I was at school over summer break working for our Conferences & Scheduling department's summer team.  This blog has taken many changes here in the past three years but I'm always trying to make this blog reflect my life & be a sort of visual diary I can look back on to remember what I've been up to in my life.  I thought I'd take you through a little look at some of the blog headers I've had over these 3 years - too bad I didn't do too many screen shots! I couldn't find any!:
Below is my very, very, VERY first header!
I'm also going to be 26 this year which means I'll be entering my late twenties.  What does that mean? It means that I have to make my late twenties as awesome as my early twenties!  I can't believe that I've been blogging - through the ups & downs and the eb & flow of inspiration.  I can't wait to be blogging for 3 more years! I hope that I grow a bunch in the next three years too!

Happy Birthday Five Sixteenths.....here's to many more.

xoxo, Moe

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7.18.2013

Foundation Wars // The Battle of the Bottle

It seems like every time you turn around different brands are coming out with new foundations with amazing claims.  Recently it's really been the battle of the BB creams.  But today I want to share with you a range ouf foundations & BB creams I've tried to fight my main problems - oily skin & acne scars.  The coloring of my face is very uneven due to acne scaring from the younger me who couldn't leave well enough alone & my face is very oily.  I do have a skin care routine that fights the oil & tries to fade the scars, but when it comes to make up I need something with a matte finish & a full - if not buildable - coverage foundation.  In my foundation routine, just like with all these foundations, I use a primer & Rimmel's Stay Matte Pressed powder always. I never skip it.  So with that in mind, here are 9 foundations that were hits & misses with my skin type:
foundation wars


T H E   H I T S
(in no particular order because each is good for different things)

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 hour Foundation
This is the foundation I turned to after college because of the affordable price tag.  I switched to this on a whim & really love it.  It is comparable to Revlon ColorStay but not exactly the same.  It's much lighter, offers comparable coverage but ColorStay has more coverage, is very long lasting, & blends better than ColorStay.  There are a lot of pros & cons to both and I wish these two foundations would have a baby that is a blend of the good bits of both!
Medium to full buildable coverage
Blends well & best coverage with a damp sponge or beauty blender
Truly long lasting
Feels light but steel feels like make up on your skin, you do forget it is on though it's not too heavy
Very few colors to choose from
Matte like finish

Revlon Nearly Naked
This is one of my favorite of the hits.  It's super light & I may turn to it more.  I think its a great foundation for the Summer time especially if you're looking for the lightness of a BB cream.  In fact, I used it in this tutorial for a bronzy summer look.  Pretty much I love this on my skin.  I also love the color names - for example I'm in Vanilla.  Just sounds so pretty.  Also, if you can't find your color these really set up to match you rather well.
Medium buildable coverage
Very light, feels like you are in fact nearly naked! I forgot I was wearing it
Long lasting
Matte finish - the only true matte finish I've found
Can take a good blending of blush on top (doesn't separate, etc)
Available in 16 shades
Blends to match your skin tone

Revlon ColorStay Liquid & Revlon ColorStay Whipped
Both of these have great coverage, very close to full coverage & both are on the pricey side for drugstore foundation.  I like these, they stay well on oily skin - there's an oily skin formula - and the coverage is amazing, but it's a bit heavy for summer.  I can really feel this on my skin but I think it would be better for the winter months.  I don't notice it melting off in the heat but it does start to feel more make up like.
Most closest to full coverage
Blends well with a beauty sponge or your hands, whipped works alright with a brush
Semi-matte finish
Really does wear well all day (I'd believe the 24 hour claim though I've never worn it that long)
Can start to feel heavy, not that great for summer
Available in 20 shades
Combination/Oil & Normal Formula
Pricey drugstore foundation that works for oil & coverage

Wet n Wild Coverall Foundation
This stuff blew my socks off for the price point.  You can watch my reaction here if you wish!  I love the coverage, it lasts just as well as Rimmel's 25 Hour Foundation & has the amazing coverage of Revlon Colorstay.  Overall, for $3 it's so worth it.
Nearly full coverage
Lasts pretty long
Only available in a few shades (much like Rimmel)
Blends well with a sponge or your hand
Comes in a squeeze tube
More on the pink side
Cheap but oh so great!

T H E   M E H
(these are alright but not astounding.  They do the job but don't blow socks off)

Rimmel BB Cream
This is one of the best bb creams I've found.  It has a strong smell of sunscreen & sort of feels like sunscreen when you apply it.  It's rather thick but has great coverage for a BB cream (I feel BB cream is code for tinted moisturizer).  This is my favorite BB cream of the two mentioned in this list.
Light but buildable to Medium coverage
Thick consistency but blendable
Not too heavy on the skin
SPF + SPF smell! (it fades though)
9-in-1 claim is crazy but I think it does live up to some of them since it is more like a foundation
Not as long lasting as ColorStay, Nearly Naked, or Rimmel 25 Hour
Best applied with hands or brush & built up with sponge
Matte like finish
Only 3 colors - light, medium, medium dark

Almay Clear Complexion
This is the one that I used before switching to Rimmel.  This is what I used all through high school & college.  It's alright for coverage, the blemish technology appealed to me.  I was a perfect match for two shades - one summer & one winter - and could blend the two to get a perfect transition color.
Medium coverage
Blemish control seemed to work for me
Blends well with a damp sponge, foundation brush, & stippling brush
Lasts about 5-6 hours on me
Available in only 7 shades
Not too heavy on the skin

T H E   M I S S E S
(these didn't do so hot & I don't really like them)

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation
I really wanted to like this.  It went on with great coverage, seemed buildable, & had a matte finish.  I was so excited to wear it to work but then, by the middle of the day, it was gone....completely.  This foundation is supposed to let the real you show through & it really does - your skin is what you see 4 hours into wearing it.  If you're looking for a real you but flawless look, Revlon Nearly Naked is sooo much better
Applies well with a damp sponge or beauty sponge but it's suggest to apply with your fingers
Easily blendable
Only lasts a few hours, not great for long wear - maybe if you were running errands
Matte Finish
SPF but only in a few shades
Color match is great
Available in 18 shades

Garnier BB Cream for Oily Skin
When I found this I was like 'Sweet! BB cream for oil skin! This is going to be awesome!'  And at first, when I applied it, it was great coverage.  I thought I was set.  It's really liquidy & runny (as opposed to the normal formula) but it sets to a matte finish.  Blends really well with your hands & has about lighter to medium coverage.  It wasn't buildable at all.  It too was gone after a few hours.  I was hoping this would be a long lasting, light bb cream with SPF that I could use everyday effortlessly during the summer.  But I much prefer the Rimmel BB cream over this one.
Weird runny formula that sets to a mat finish
Blends well with your hands & a brush
Only lasts about 4-5 hours
Decent but not buildable coverage
Only available in a few shades
Color match is alright for the few shades available
Pricey for not a very good product
SPF

CoverGirl Foundations Period
I tried the cheapy CoverGirl Clean Foundation that runs about $3-$5 to save a bit of money in college.  I regretted it immediately.  This foundation left my face full of blackheads & I had a horrible rough texture because of it.  Because I tried that one foundation I'm afraid to try any other foundations by CoverGirl....which is why it isn't in the wheel up there but in the list down here!  I really want to try the  newer 3-in-1 Foundation but am afraid I'll have the same results.  CoverGirl, to me, is just a juvenile brand - I know this is sooo not true but I will always see it that way.  They smell weird to me, break me out, & it's not the best quality.  Sorry CoverGirl, but you don't make my list.

So there you have it...my foundation journey!  I've been trying out a few more that didn't make this list because I haven't formed an opinion on them yet.  This is list is seriously geared toward oily skin.  On me, all the hits (obviously) are what I go to when I know what I want.  Revlon Nearly Naked is what I've been wearing lately & I actually wore it in the wedding I was in last weekend.  Even in the heat I think it all looked great!

Do you have any other suggestions?  What works best for your skin type?

xoxo, Moe

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7.16.2013

Trend Tuesday // Summer Staples that Never go out of Style

There are quite a few things that I've had forever that haven't ever seemed to go out of style!  I love picking up things that I can wear & use for quite a while - I need to be better at it, in fact.  But here are a few things that are always, always going to be trendy in the summer:

Summer Staples


Iced Coffee - This isn't really a summer fashion staple, but come on...when are you ever going to not stop by your favorite coffee place for their yummy iced creamy deliciousness? Seriously.

Bangles - I have bangles that are 3 summers old that are still relevant.  I lucked out & picked out some great colors, but even plain gold bangles can last you many summers (and falls & winters).  If you want to save a few bucks, head to your craft store to pick up some beads & elastic to create easy summer trends.  (Check out this post for some inspiration)

Canvas Shoes - Whether it's Converse or Keds, canvas shoes will always be a go to for Summer.  Great for camping, boating, shopping, etc these shoes will last you many, many summers.

Strappy Sandals - Pick up a pair of neutral strappy sandals & you'll have a great Summer staple for many summers ahead.  I've got a pair from the first summer in Williamsburg!  When I had to pick up some ugly, yet comfortable black shoes for the resort I worked at I picked mine up.  They've held up well & in fact the first time I've bought more sandals was this Summer!

Blush/Bronzer Duos - Any duo or palette will do because you'll be traveling a lot during the Summer & you don't want to bog down your carry on with a bunch of different products.  Currently my favorite little duo is the one above from e.l.f.

Maxi & Mini Skirts - Because comfort will never go out of style, these skirts will always be in.  I've stayed away from the hi-low trend (it's not that flattering on me) and I don't know if it's going to be around next summer.  But pick a bright color & a neutral....you'll know you'll always be on trend.  I found some short skirts in a bunch of colors at Target last summer - they were the perfect summer colors & great to wear this year too!

Jean Shorts - Since the dawn of the jean, I'm sure jean shorts have been in.  Simple ones can always be glammed up with accessories & you can even stop by your local thrift store to distress a pair of cut off jeans to match ones you've seen in stores.

The Satchel - Because you will always have to cary things & it is always more comfortable to carry it across your body.  I have 4 totally perfect, totally neutral, & totally relevant cross body satchels in various sizes.  I have a lot of purses, but I swear I go back to these 4 all the time.  Look for simplicity, you don't want anything too trendy or anything that will be out by fall or next summer.  Simple lines, lots of pockets, not too much flash are the things you want to look for to use this back Summer after Summer.

These are my Summer staples that seriously stand out in my wardrobe & cup holder this Summer.

What do you wear year after year? Any beauty products you'd like to include?

xoxo, Moe

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7.15.2013

Make it Monday // Sugar Body Scrub & Honey Sugar Lip Scrub

So, this is sort of a cop out Make it Monday because I was bored & wanted to whip something up & it turned out really awesome!  It's actually nothing new just something I've been intimidated to make: a sugar scrub.  Ever since I got my lemon sugar scrub in my June Birchbox I've been dying to finally try out a make it at home version.  Now, I know there are better ingredients out there - if I make this in the future I want to use raw sugar - but I just used what I had on hand...and I don't think it's too bad.  I'm also trying the fight fire with fire bit - I've got oily skin on my face & I read somewhere that if you keep your skin hydrated then it won't over produce oils and this little concoction feels really hydrating on my body but super perfect on my face.  I love the way my skin feels afterwards especially with the warmth of the shower, its just nice.  Like a little spa day.  I'm excited to see if it improves my skin though keep in mind you shouldn't exfoliate everyday.
I've also been really dehydrated - totally my fault, not enough water! - so my lips have been really peeling & chapped.  My first line of defense is obviously drinking more water, but I usually put on some of the medicated chapstick & my mint baby lips during the day.  When I wake up though I really want a clean canvas to start my moisture with so I put together this little screw top container of honey & brown sugar!

This is also just a very loose recipe because it's fool proof - tweak it how you want so it fits in your container, fits your scent, fits you.  Honestly these are nothing new but if you've ever been intimidated by something like making a body scrub, seriously it's super easy!  These are just bases as well - I didn't have any essential oils or a fine grater to grate some citrus zest into the mix.  So you can totally personalize these.
Olive Oil Body Scrub
You'll need Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Granulated Sugar.
I started with 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil then added sugar 1/4 of a cup at a time in a measuring cup.  I believe I added about 2.5 cups of sugar into the mixture to get it the really thick paste-y consistency.  I mixed mine with a fork & once it seemed to reach the consistency I liked I transfered it to the container.

I poured mine into a ball jar - I actually made too much for the first jar container I had, so that's why I'd start small then add.  This recipe is really easy because if you start with a measurement of olive oil you don't really have to remember the amount of the other ingredients because you just keep adding until it's the consistency you want.  I wanted mine to be really paste-y & less runny.  I keep mine away from the shower because I don't want it to fall in or off & break since it's glass...so a plastic container may be better for you!

Coconut Oil Face Scrub
You'll need organic pure coconut oil & granulated sugar
For this I did the same thing - measured out a bit of the oil & added sugar 1/4 of a cup at a time.  This whipped together a lot easily & made more of a whipped consistency.  My coconut oil was more solid but still mixable.  You may have to heat it up a bit - just a bit - to get it to be mixable.  Keep adding until you are satisfied.

I like the whipped consistency & lightness of the coconut oil scrub.  My oil was made with mature coconuts - way to read the packaging - so there's no coconut smell.  This is the one I like to use on my face.  The oil is much lighter & feels much better on my skin.

If you use these guys on your face be sure to be careful, you may even what to find less coarse sugar because you don't want to make your face angry.  Make sure to work in circular motions - on both your face & body - and don't do it everyday.  Your skin should be softer & feel healthier - you don't want to make your skin red & irritated.  I like these homemade versions because the sugar lasted a bit longer in the exfoliating process.  With the scrub I got in my Birchbox it didn't seem to exfoliate as well since the sugar dissolved rather quickly.
Lip Scrub
You'll need a bit of honey & brown sugar
I used a little screw top container I had - it might have been intended for beads or other craft supplies!  I just mixed a little bit of honey & less than a teaspoon of brown sugar together with a little spoon to create this scrub.  I rub on my lips when I need it (usually at night before bed) and apply a lip moisturizer.  You could also add in a bit of extra virgin olive oil to give this a more hydrating feel.

The body & face scrub really made my skin feel nice!  Like I said these are just thrown together recipes but it's amazing what simple ingredients can do.  This might also be great for someone who's not too keene on scents.  I can't wait to find more DIY beauty ideas to try!

Have you made any at home beauty products?  Anything amazing??

xoxo, Moe

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7.14.2013

Sum Up Sunday #71

This week has been filled with ups & downs.  I don't know why all of a sudden I feel lost in my own shoes, but I do.  I feel lost in blogging, in my handmade dream, in our vintage shop, in a lot of things.  So I'm just trying to push through - to discover myself again - and hope it works.  I guess maybe it's just one of those times of change in my life...but I wish I could just figure it out!
I've also decided a bit about this blog: I'm just going to let it be what it is for right now.  I'm going to post what I want, whether there are pictures or not, whether it's awesome or not, whether I want to or not.  The idea of blogging has always been a visual diary for me & a way to share with others that they are not alone.  Sometimes life isn't perfect, sometimes your photos come off your iphone, & sometimes you don't post.  I love that I can use the blog as a source of influence & income...but I need to get back to the no pressure side of blogging.  I said it before but the pressure came from myself - from trying to live up to some sort of near perfect, monetized idea of my blog & that just was too much and I began to feel dishonest to what I'd started this blog for.  So anyway, this week's Sum Up Sunday is just going to be little tidbits from the week:

- I flew home from Maryland & one of my best friend's wedding last Sunday.  After our plane was delayed on the runway for nearly 2 hours I arrived back in the central time zone.  I flew in from Chicago on Friday night & the most beautiful thing I've ever seen was when we were coming in for a landing - the earth at night.  For as far as I could see were ribbons & rivers of light.  Cars moving a long, boats moving, buildings lit.  It was gorgeous!  I felt like the biggest thing in the universe but at the same time I felt like the smallest.  Changing perspectives is a great way to get a hold of yourself & a hold on life.  It was so beautiful.

- Our little house has a few little creatures living around it.  Just today I had to stop as I was pulling in the driveway because there was a turtle crossing infront of me!  I got out to take a peak at him but he was not happy about having a person around.  He started walking really fast & his shell was clanking on the asphalt!  He got to the grass & under the fence & I parked my car.  We also have a few very teeny tiny frogs, some bunnies, & our neighbors say we'll see deer too.

- The house is finally clean! After a completely lazy first few weeks of July, the house is clean.  I swear if I get off my schedule for one day, I don't do it for the rest of the week .... or ever.  Like right now I just remembered I need to do the laundry I usually do on Saturday.

- I got complimented on my resume at a little interview on Thursday.  That's the second time someone has said they chose to interview me based on the organization & layout  of my resume.  I always second guess it even though I worked so hard to create something that will visually stand out from the crowd. 

- I've been wanting a bunch of high end make up from The Balm & Benefit but then I just watch dupe videos or find pins on Pinterest & calm myself.  Speaking of high end make up, last night I had a dream that the sample eyeshadow trio from BH cosmetics had a secret back side but that mine was covered in a white dust.  It was weird but not surprising as I have crazy dreams all the time.

- I've been craving Orange Julius & I just found out there is one 26 minutes from my house.  A bit too far to drive but I think it's near where the Target is (that's right, the closest Target is half an hour away.) I tried to make my own Orange Julius drink but it didn't work out too well....

- I think I'm going to try to make more YouTube videos because they are fun & easier than putting together a blog post for me.  Do you think I should?  It's kind of weird talking into a camera but I've filmed a few that I haven't uploaded & have gotten a bit used to it.  I just want to do something different.

- Tomorrow's Make it Monday will feature some DIY body scrubs that are nothing new but I was so intimidated by the thought of making them that I never did.  Finally I just threw some stuff together & it came out alright.  There's one that's just thrown together - easy peasy - and there's one I actually thought about!

Well that's what happened this week, what happened with you? Have a great Sunday!

xoxo, Moe

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7.12.2013

June Birchbox Review

I feel like everyone always does a Birchbox Unboxing but I don't think I've ever seen a Birchbox Review.  I recently subscribed to both Birchbox & Ipsy.  July will be the second month for Birchbox but the first month for Ipsy!  Last month I missed the ball on my unboxing but I recently just got around to using one of the little bits and thought about a review post!  
This box's theme was Wanderlust.  At first I was like 'I don't get it' but all these things really reflect travel or a get away, especially fun postcards with nice, geometric images of various worldly places that I think I'm going to frame.  This box also included: Color Club nail polish is Mod in Manhattan, an LAQA&Co Lil Lip crayon in a bright, bright! pink called Lambchop, a Tweezerman matchbox style thing of nail files/emery boards, a small sample of Suki Exfoliating Foaming Cleanser, and a Comodynes Self Tanning towlette.
My favorite bit of this box was the LAQ&Co lip crayon.  Are you kidding me? Include a lip product & I'm sold.  I really signed up for these things for the beauty products & to try something new so I was excited to get both a nail polish & a lip product.  I love the pink of this lip product because I just love bright lip products - remember my love for Maybeline Vivids?  The color of this is really bright.  Theres quite a bit of product in this little guy.  My favorite way to use him is to layer over a more wearable color for work.  I love the pencil type for precision & this one rolls up so there's no sharpening.  I tend to use the sides of things like this to keep the point so I'm not too worried about it dulling.

Also included was a small screw top container of the Suki Exfoliating Foaming Cleanser.  When I first popped open the box I thought What a small bottle! How am I to really figure out how I feel abou this?  But once I hopped in the shower & dipped my finger in, I realized that I could get about 3 uses out of this.  It scented with lemongrass & chamomile which smells divine.  Something about citrus really gets me relaxed.  The sugar dissolves after a gentle exfoliation & the product foams.  It's nice!  I really like this little guy!  The Birchbox website says it exfoliates & cleanses without stripping the natural moisture  of your skin.  Winner winner, chicken dinner! Though the $32 price tag for the full size of 4oz is a bit out of my price range.  This would be something great for a once in a while at home spa day!
The nail polish in Mod in Manhattan, is a great creamy, pinky white color.  It is really nice & fresh for Summer.  Of course I will pair this with Icing's Do It All Top Coat to make it long lasting!  I think this little bottle is perfect for me because I don't think I've ever used up an entire bottle!  This color is great to pop your tan, even though I'm so slacking in the tan department - I got no color over the fourth!

Speaking of tans, there was a tanning towlette included in the box.  I haven't tried it yet because I'm scared.  I don't do self tanning....I prefer to soak up the sun.  I'm also afraid this won't really cover enough of my body to show me anything.  Has anyone tried one towlette? How far does it go? Let me know!
So that is all that was included in the box! Overall I'm satisfied with paying the $10 bucks a month for this cool little service & can't wait to get my July box.  I've got my shipping code...I'm just waiting for it to show up in the mail box.

Oh, I also wanted to throw in here that after I used the Suki cleanser Zach said I looked cleaner than normal!  So I guess it did the job right?

How did you feel about these products? Are you subscribed to Birchbox?

xoxo, Moe

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7.11.2013

Boost Your Blog // When You Can't Find What You're Looking For

We all have our standard places we go for bloggy & creative inspiration.  Whether it be one of your favorite blogs, a website like pinterest, or flipping through a creative magazine we all know what gets our creative juices flowing.  But where do you turn when your normal well of inspiration suddenly dries up?  Where do you turn when your daily dose of inspiration just turns into the same old same old?  Whether you're looking to get creative with a DIY, looking to reorganize, or just need something new to spice up your life here are three places you can look when you can't find what you're looking for:

Instagram - Instagram is a great app for sharing your daily life through photos, documenting your cats, your Starbucks cups, & your dinner but did you know it can be a great source of inspiration?  See there are these things - I know you've heard of them - called hashtags and while for the most part they are for things like #yolo & #sorrynotsorry sometimes they are more helpful.  Looking for outfit or fashion inspiration? Navigate to the little explore button on the bottom of the app - it looks like a star - & search related hastags like #ootd, #fashion, #trends, #summer2013, #whatimwearing, etc.  Create new ones, search whatever the heck you like because you know it's got a hashtag!  Looking for make up storage inspiration? Search #organization, #makeup, #makeupcollection, etc - you know that's what I've been searching!

YouTube - Instead of watching hilarious cat videos on YouTube you could be putting your video watching skills to work to learn a new skill.  Learn how to rewire a lamp, create cool effects in photoshop, create a smokey eye look, build a tree house, plant a garden, to knit or crochet, etc, etc.  The best part about YouTube vids are the suggestions in the side bar.  You'll fall down a rabbit hole of inspiration & before you know it you'll be a master of a new skill.  You'll also find a lot of cool people who also learned the thing they are teaching you from YouTube.

Craftgawker (and Weddinggawker, and Dwellinggawker, and Foodgawker, and Stylegawker) - I know these sites are well known but for me I just found myself going back to them for inspiration.  Usually I head to Pinterest because it's social - I can see what my friends are pinning.  But since all the -gawkers are curated you get the best of the best.  I don't know about you but sometimes Pinterest just shows me a bunch of things that I'm not really into & pins that are, well, a bit lack luster.  But since the -gawker sites are curated you're getting quality tutorials, quality images, & quality inspiration.  I try to take it with a grain of salt though because it is curated so don't be intimidated by the seemingly perfect life the bloggers/etc in the links lead!

Where do you turn when you can't find that little inspiring spark you're looking for?
xoxo, Moe

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7.10.2013

My Pet Peeves

I don't know how many people like these kinds of lists....for me sometimes I skip them & sometimes I read them.  But the other day I was thinking about blog post ideas to get out of my rut & something happend where I was like man, that really gets on my nerves! So I thought, why not make it into a post.  How many of these can you relate to?

When someone whistles while I'm whistling - I don't know if it's contagious but it seems like whenever I whistle someone else starts whistling.  Look, man...this is my whistle solo.  When someone else starts I immediately stop.

When I visit blogs that ask me to 'click to read more' - I want to perform as little motions as possible to get to the content on your blog.  If I don't immediately see it......I'm probably going to leave.  I don't know what the bounce rate or success rate is with that feature on some blogs but I sure don't like it (just me here....keep on keeping on if you like it)

Banks - I'm always annoyed with banks. Don't charge me to use my money, don't charge me to have an account, don't charge me for moving my money around.  If it were social acceptable to keep my money under my mattress, I would but I want to be a part of society & I'd like to have my money safe.....so let me use it when I want & do what I want with it.  Charging me isn't 'helping me financially' which is the answer I got one time when an excessive use fee showed up on my account.  Screw you bank (I'm switching to a credit union very soon)

When people don't know how to Google correctly (or use the internet/computer at all) - I think you know what I'm talking about when I say this.  No explanation required.

When a radio station plays a song I dislike every other song - This happens a lot because sometimes really popular songs are songs I dont' like.  Then I have to turn down the radio for 3-5 minutes because I don't want to hear it! So annoying!

Do any of these things get on your nerves?  What's your biggest peeve?

xoxo, Moe

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7.09.2013

First Impressions Video // Wet n Wild CoverAll Foundation

The other day I picked up the CoverAll foundation by Wet n Wild on a recommendation from Melmphs on YouTube.  I was a bit wary at first, but after her review sharing the near full coverage effect of the foundation I thought I'd give it a shot.  The foundation is a bit on the pink side, but I picked up the lightest shade which I thinks look alright on my skin.  There is a difference between the colors of the foundation & the colors of the powders, but for around $4 it's not bad to play around with!

I love the coverage & the staying power....I was pleasantly surprised & really satisfied with the results!  Check my first impressions video below!

I'm much less stiff in this video & pretty impressed by this product.  Seriously! I put the camera on & tried the foundation...that was the first time I ever even opened it!

Thanks for watching!

xoxo, Moe

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7.04.2013

My Happy List

I've been feeling a bit out of it lately.....it's a mix of life events & not quite loving my job right now.  But I don't like sitting by & letting things happen to me.  I've discovered that recently I'm really quite a control freak.  This has come out more in the recent months & I'm trying to just calm down.  I feel like I have days of just sitting by & days of just freaking out.  So in order to gain a little bit of control over my life I thought I'd think of all the little things that make me happy especially now that the weather is getting warmer:
Front porch Sitting - it's been really rainy, gross, & muggy here lately so I haven't been doing to much sitting lately.  But when I got these chairs (from Big Lot's, can you believe it?) I was sitting out there every evening.  I think I need to throw together a Summer Reading list & get on it...suggestions?

Iced coffee drinking - I just got some brew over ice coffee pods for my keurig & if you've been skeptical like I was.....they are great!  I love the Donut Shop flavor, tastes pretty much like Dunkin Donuts which is my fave Iced Coffee.  Even brewing it over ice doesn't water it down.  I've also got some coffee flavors that I'm going to find screw top pumps for.  I'll have my own coffee shop going on this summer!

Trying new make up - Make up really makes me happy because you can be so creative.  I now have the freedom to try new things here & there.  I've found my favorite all over brand, my favorite blushes, & learned some new techniques from YouTube!

Yard sale-ing & Flea Market shopping with Zach - I can't wait to do more of this this Summer!  I swear I'm going to update the vintage shop soon.  We've got some awesome stuff...but I've just been very tired or very not myself lately.  I need to get over it!

Beauty & Fashion YouTube videos - I watch way to many YouTube videos on make up products & fashion hauls.  I love that YouTubers can tell you about a product & help you decide if you want it or not.  You can search for your skin type, looks, etc & there is guaranteed a video on it.  I've fallen in the rabbit hole.  I'm watching YouTube as I type!

Hopefully I can keep the happiness around these parts & get to completing some goals.  I don't feel like I've given up I just feel like I don't know what to do.  I've always been able to balance these things: life, work, & dream.  But right now I'm feeling like I'm overwhelmed & the most important things aren't getting attention: my dream.

I know I've said I'm going to keep working, I'm going to do this to meet my dream, etc but honestly I'm not.  I'm putting it aside because I'm being lazy.  I don't want to take a break, I don't want to stop, but I'm exhausted when I get home from work & I'm not feeling satisfied.  Something has got to give.  I need to apply for more jobs, but literally at the end of the day I just want to sleep....I don't want to do anything.  This job is just exhausting & unfulfilling.

But I'm hoping my happy list & keeping sight on my dream will help me a little bit.  Just a little.

xoxo, Moe

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7.02.2013

Trend Tuesday // My 5 Favorite Nail Polishes for Summer

I can not believe we are into July already! Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?  I just can't handle it!  Recently I've been reaching for the same bright colors in both my nail colors & my clothes.  Surprise Surprise...they are my blog colors.  When I gathered these polishes together, I nearly died.  I totally didn't mean to do this! I actually just sat down & picked out the ones on the top of my basket that I've used the most!
I do want to say, before I go into the colors, that the best (best, best, best!) top coat E V E R is the Do It All Top Coat from Icing.  Now that their website is shoppable you can totally pick it up right now.  It is seriously the best, ever. Period. No question!
The first color I want to mention is the L'Oreal nail color in Versailles Romance.  This is a great peachy-pink nude color and perfect for a subtle look.  It is a great color if you're not too keene on bright & bold.  This is actually a part of the L'Oreal Spring Collection but I bought mine a year or so ago.  They must have re -released it!
The next is a bright, bright Barbie pink color in Jackie Oh! by Studio M.  Studio M is a Meijer brand & the new colors for the summer are all bright & neon.  I totally dig this color & it dries to a more matte finish which is pretty cool.  I love the bright pop this has.  It just makes me think of fun beach days.
This peachy orange is one from Icing last year.  I love Icing nail polishes because they truly are chip resistant.  The brush for the polish is rather thick as well.  Their nail polishes are just all around great!  This one is in Peach Sangria but I don't think you will be able to find it since it was out last summer.  But two similar colors are Wet n Wild Wild Shine Polish in Blazed & Wet n Wild Megalast Polish in Club Havana.  Great peachy orange colors.
This next one is one of my faves!  It changes color in the sun!  This one is Gypsy by Ruby Wing.  When you're inside or not in the sun, the polish is the perfect shade of minty teal.  So perfect.  But then in the sun it turns to a gorgeous apple green.  The two colors are just the perfect shades.  I've been looking for just the right shade of mint & this hits the spot.  The fact that the apple green color is nice too is such a bonus!
Finally, this is an unexpected color for Summer: a blue gray.  I was torn between including a black and a gray but I went with the grey because it's a bit softer.  I've been loving these unexpected colors for summer...just keeps you ahead of the trends, you know.  You're a bit bolder & do what you want!  This one is L'Oreal as well in Greycian Goddess.  I think I got this either last fall or the fall before so you might not be able to find these in stores either! But I did find them on Amazon.
So there you have it, my 5 most reached for polishes this summer!  I'm loving having a different color on my nails every week.  Icing's Do It All Top Coat really helps me pull of a manicure for an entire week & I highly recommend it!

xoxo,
Moe

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