Boost Your Blog // 5 Things I Didn't Know About Blogging

When I first started blogging I didn't know much, I'd still say I have a way to go.  I picked up my html knowledge from MySpace & knew how to make a simple layout. In fact, before Five Sixteenths I had 2 other blogs that were going no where.  I assumed the mantra All great somebodies started somewhere I began to experiment.  Blogging is a whole lot of trial & error until you find your voice.  So how do you start? Well, first you log in then you write your first post.  In this post, I am going to share with you the five things I had no clue about when I first started blogging.
The importance of a blog button
Having a blog button means you are shareable & anyone that can grab a hold of that code can put you in their side bar.  This means that readers of another blog will see you & hopefully pop on over to check you out.  It's not just something to have because it's pretty, it's a way to share yourself!

The importance of image quality
The importance of image quality lies in the fact that you want to display your awesomeness in the best way possible.  Make sure your pictures are crisp & colored correctly.  Don't use overly edited or saturated photos, instagrams are nice...but only sometimes.  I am super guilty of over using them! Use nice, natural toned photos that are as big as or about 10 pixels smaller than your posting area. That way you are taking up a good portion of blog real estate & readers can follow your blog visually easier.

The importance of networking
Joining twitter to promote your blog & only posting things about yourself won't get you far.  I have to admit, when I started blogging it was so I could have another presence online that I updated regularly about my shop.  It was always shop this & shop that, I never posted quality content that others could learn from. This is where networking comes in.  Find blogs & shops you love to follow.  If you think you may be too shy to say anything to them remember this a lot of bloggers are shy in real life!  Twitter & blog comments & even emails are much less intimidating, remember that!  Building friendships is super important to having your blog thrive.  I am also much better at responding on twitter & not on comments!  I'm such a bad blogger.

The importance of branding
Cohesion is not something we really think about when starting a blog.  When I first got started, I was just excited to play around with new things that I learned.  My header was one way, my background was another way, it was a hodge podge of stuff that didn't look good together.  There are two ways to remedy this: find an awesome designer who will do all the hard work for you or do some research!  Think about the blogs you love to read & decide what is it that works for them.  Research blog design & how to do some interesting stuff & try it out.  You'll learn a lot & I know you'll be able to design your own!

The importance of accepting change
Above all, your blog is your blog.  It should reflect you.  So if you ever change interests blog about them.  I find that I stay most connected with my blog when I'm honest about my life & not trying to imitate someone else.  It is super easy to get caught up in trying to keep up with everyone else but the only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.  That's your measurement of growth!  Recently my interests have changed & I'm going to keep blogging about them because 516 is a reflection of me & no one else.  Accept & embrace change in your blog & your readers will appreciate it!

Blogging is fun but it can become a chore.  Always stay true to yourself & don't get into it for the recognition & popularity....you'll only feel pressured if you're not ready for it.  Be a honest voice in the world & it will get you far.

What are some tips you have?  Anything you didn't know before hitting publish on your first blog post?

xoxo, Moe

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Instagram Dump // A Peak into Everyday Life

Sometimes I neglect instagram.  I'll post zero pictures for 3 days then all of the sudden post a zillion.  Half of it comes from thinking I don't live as beautiful a life as the others I see on instagram - but think about it how often do you stage a photo with the best light & angle?  Yeah, so do other people!  So I try to take better photos but I also just want to document my life.  So here's a peek in to what's been going on lately:
Lately I've been eating a muffin for breakfast everyday.  I go through phases where I eat breakfast & phases where I don't.   Currently I've been loving these Pistachio Nut muffins & Blueberry muffins from Meijer.  Another quick breakfast I grab is a bagel.  I've got some in the freezer right now & I'll pop one in the microwave, then in the toaster oven.  Chive & Onion cream cheese is my fave on bagels.
This shampoo/hair care line from Suave has been rocking my world recently.  You can read my full review here & keep an eye out for a hair care routine video on my YouTube channel!  But I love this line - it keeps my hair soft & nourished.  My hair stays detangled all day long with the shampoo, conditioner, & styling oil.
I reorganized my nail polish collection & have a blog post coming soon on it!  I got some baskets from Target to replace my super old, falling apart baskets & love the organization now.  If you've looked through my instagram feed lately you'll see that I'm on an organization kick.
I've been posting my daily make up on my instagram too.  I've been trying to do it regularly just to keep track of what I've been wearing but I'm also trying to work through my collection.  I've been buying, buying, and buying - I like collecting it & it's what I choose to spend money on but I also think I need to work through it!  Make up is easy to hoard!
I've also been eating Subway everyday for lunch.  Not sure how good it actually is for you but it's the only place where I can get out of my busy office, get some peace & quiet, and not feel gross after eating there.  I'm loving piling my tuna subs with spinach, tomato, pickles, onions, & oil and vinegar.  Yum!

That's just a little peak into what's been going on here lately.  If you want to follow me on intagram, please do!  I'm much more active there!

xoxo, Moe

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Revisiting March's Four Simple Goals

What is up Spring!? I'm sooooo glad it's officially Spring - well that the calendar says it is Spring, it's still pretty chilly out & I think it's snowed a little two times this past week.  Today I am revisiting my March Four Simple Goals and I did much better this month.  Last month I fell very short when it came to this little project.  Here's an update on my goals:

Pick out artwork for the living room & for by my desk
We've made a start on this!  We don't have it all figured out just yet but we have an idea.  We're working on a gallery wall for the wall section by the book shelf between the shelf & the window and we want a giant propaganda type poster on the wall on the other side of the window.  The gallery wall is going to be sort of a cabinet of curiosities type of theme.  Zach's already picked up a little display of plant fossils & we already know the kinds of diagrams we want, so it's a work in progress!  I don't want to put this off forever though - I want to get somethings hung!

Organize the kitchen cabinets
Yes! So much yes!  I got started on this but I tackled the biggest things I wanted to - under the kitchen sink, the junk drawer, my drawer with my checks, stamps, and important paperwork, and one of our drawers that holds the straws, etc, and Zach's drawer with his checks, house stuff, & important papers.  I still have a few cabinets to do & papers to organize but I made a big impact on the drawers/cabinets we open regularly.  I can't believe how clean under our kitchen sink is.  I'm loving this finding a place for everything mentality.  I sort of slacked last week & paid for it with cleaning last weekend.

Film YouTube videos regularly
I'm trying to keep an upload schedule of Sundays & Thursdays and so far so good.  You can watch the video from the image above here (and don't forget to subscribe!).  I'm not putting too much pressure on myself though.  I'm filming what I want & making sure I'm liking what I'm editing.  I think next up is going to be a hair care video, a video on cleaning my make up brushes, I want to do an kitchen organization tour, too.  I'm having fun just doing what I want.

Use our free movie tickets
We've used one set so far but we've still got one more weekend in March so we might use our second set - the expire on 3/31!  We also had coupons for free popcorn & drinks - too bad Zach doesn't drink fizzy stuff, we'll have left over coupons!   Hopefully we'll use the next set and I can pass off the coupons to a family behind us.

So there you have it!  A lot of things were accomplished this month!  So excited to get into the goals for next month.  At the start of this I tried to list out the goals I wanted to do this whole year but now that I'm looking at what I've accomplished, what I need to do, and what has changed I'm going to have to reevaluate what can be done each month.  But I'm loving getting a lot of things done!  You can read all the Four Simple Goals posts here.

What have you done this month?  Let me know you accomplishments!

xoxo, Moe

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Elf Cosmetics Get Ready With Me Video

Have you seen my latest video on YouTube?  Check it out below!  Be sure to click over here & subscribe!

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4 Board Game Recommendations

In February one of my Four Simple Goals was to play more games together.  Both to play with together & play with others we know.  We were fortunate recently to be able to play games with some friends.  We've had some friends come here & we've made trips up to see friends and family.  Zach's friends & family are way more into board games than my family was so learning to try new games is something I experience often.  Recently I have the pleasure of playing some fun games & want to recommend some to you incase you're looking to add to your collection:

If you're looking for cooperative try Forbidden Desert (or Forbidden Island)
This game is great if you're into working together.  The premise of the game is you've crashed in a desert & you must find all the pieces of a flying machine to get you and your fellow players off the desert before you're swallowed by sand.  If any of you die, you all lose.  You play different role that can do different things on each turn benefiting you & others.  The board changes after each turn once you draw storm cards - moving the eye of the storm around the board, piling up sand as you play.  If any one runs out of water or you run out of sand pieces the game is over.  This is a great game to play with friends who can plan & anticipate and really encourages team work.  If you have a group of friends that can really do some great team work this game will really do it for you!
If you're looking for some strategy & maybe some cut throat action try Settlers of Catan
This is one of the first games Zach & I played together.  If you want to try a bit of friendly competition & strategy this game is a good introduction.  It can get cut throat even though it's not that serious, I promise!  You play as settlers attempting to develop holdings of land, resources, and ports on the board which is set up randomly each time.  As your settlements grow you get points.  Points are also added for achievements such as the Longest Road or Largest Army.  The first to 10 of these points wins.  The cut throat part comes when one player has a monopoly on one resource & resources are used to buy road, settlements, & cities which get you the points.  It's a quick play and a nice intro to strategy games.
If you're looking for a fun one on one video game and you liked Tetris, try Doctor Mario for Wii
Found in the Wii channel store, Doctor Mario takes you back to the original NES system for a nostalgic puzzle game.  This is an easy play & great for one on one loafing on the couch.  Match & remove virus' before your opponent removes all of his.  Match two or more rows & give your opponent a surprise by dropping an unexpected color block on what they were working on.  There are levels from easy to hard & two player options.  The Wii version has extended the story as well.  Purchase this for $10 through the Wii Channel store.
If you're looking for just plain cute family fun, try Oh Gnome You Don't
Play as Gnomes moving through a fun forrest trying to gather as many gems as possible through sale & brawls.  Move & draw cards, sell items, & challenge your fellow players all in good fun.  This is a great family oriented game, great for younger players too.  There's no cut throat play here - just good fun.  My favorite card is the Oh Gnome You Don't! card to play to stop an action on you.

So there are some of my favorite games to play with friends and family!  Zach & I get on a Doctor Mario mini marathon sometimes but you can also play one-player to boost your skills.

What are your favorite games to play?  Are you a board game time of person?

xoxo, Moe

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Wednesday Decor // 5 Things I Do, That You Should Do Too

About a week or so ago I posted the picture below with the following caption: 'so I've been doing thist thing where I CLEAN SHIT UP AFTER MYSELF.  My weekend routine of cleaning the house involved very little this morning.  Now I don't know what to do with the house clean so early'  I've always been a messy person.  Literally always.  You should have seen my room through my entire life up until now (well sometimes on the off chance, it might still look like a tornado went through - but I try to keep the tornado on the baby side.)  I would always be so jealous of others who could just keep their things in place.  I was never the organized person!
I've noticed that I've become a bit more organized with having an entire house to store my things in.  If you're messy like me - maybe you're in college or just have one room to call your own - it's much easier to stay organized when you have a place for everything.  When I'd just have one place like my dorm room or bedroom to store things, I was trying to do too much with my small space.  It was a place to sleep, a place to work, a place to create, a place to lounge, etc & not to mention the fact that the closets were always sooooo small!  Zach & I are both messy by nature - which is horrible.  But I've noticed with a house & having multiple rooms our things stay in their respective places.  It's amazing.  So I'm here to tell you that if you're messy buy a house - no, if you're messy it's probably because you're using one space in too many ways.  Now, I'm not saying that my house can be on the inside of Southern Living (side note: did you know there's a magazine called Midwest Living?  What? No, Southern Living all the way) because I do like the house to look lived in.  We live here, we love here, we're building a life here, there's going to be a bit of mess.

So what is the point of all this blabbing?  I want to share with you 5 things I do that make cleaning up my shit a lot easier & helps when you don't want to clean up your shit:

Give Everything a Place - Now this might take a while but I've been going through drawers & cabinets in order to give everything a place.  This is helping me clean out stuff we don't use & don't need and putting things where they go.  I mentioned this in my affordable organization video here that if you can see that everything has a place then there's no room for anything else.  The best example of this is our coffee table drawers - you can see where the remotes go, where the matches for the candles go, etc.  Nothing that doesn't need to be in there isn't going to be in there.  Same for our bathroom cabinets - I've found places to put extras, kept the cleaning supplies at the front so they are accessible, organized little bins with pins, face masks, etc.  There is a place for everything so you know what you have, where it is, & where to put it back.  If you have a generic drawer then shit goes in & never comes out.  This is the biggest thing you'll need to dedicate time to doing but it's very worth it.

Put Extra Bags at the Bottom of your Trash Can - Does your bathroom trash can over flow because you don't wan to take it out?  Yeah, I know, it never does.  But if you have a friend that this happens to tell them to put extra bags in the bottom of the trash can so you can change bags in one swoop.  I love this because I don't have to be running all around the house finding trash bags - I can stay in one room, lift the bag tie it up, pull up another bag, loop it over the top, & leave.  This is something I recommend for smaller trash cans like in the bathroom or under a desk.  If you have a bigger, kitchen trash can you can try this but I don't really want to reach down in a gross trash can to pick up another trash bag (that might be gross, maybe).  Our kitchen bags are right there under the sink.

Pick up One Thing When you Leave the Room  - This is a lot easier than it sounds.  I always thought that picking up one thing means I'll start cleaning at 6pm and then have to clean everything when I just want to be watching YouTube videos.  But it's actually not that serious.  I try to pick up something that will be going to the room I'm going to.  Like take a glass to the kitchen when I'm going to get a snack or putting the nail polish back in the bathroom when I go to pee, etc.  Another way to think of it is bringing things to it's pair.  Like right now I see my pencil case and it needs to go meet my planner in my purse.  So when I get up from here that might be the thing I grab.  I try to just do one or two things and be done.  That way I'm not feeling like I have to clean.  Starting out with a clean place though can help with this little tip.  So go through & clean and do the first tip up there - this makes it less daunting.

Load the Dishwasher - I hate loading the dishwasher.  It's not that hard & I'm not even doing the dish washing!  But man it's my least favorite chore.  I'd clean a toilet over load the dishwasher and I don't really like cleaning toilets.  (My favorite chore is vacuuming, actually.)  But a clean sink makes me happy so sacrificing the few minutes it takes to load & unload the dishwasher instantly makes the kitchen look cleaner.  It also rounds up all the dishes from night stands, coffee tables, etc.

Keep Yourself (& others) Accountable - It's easy for me living with one other person to keep accountable for cleanliness.  It's not like I'm forcing a child to please put his plate in the sink (literally that was me when I was little, sorry mom).  Raising expectations between you and your family members helps a lot.  I've always been good with room mate cleaning chart sorts of deals because if it's important to one person that the things are done then it's important to me because we share the same space.  Continually put things away as an example & remind (not in a nagging way, because you're not trying to be annoying) others to do the same.  Asking is the first step.

Those are my tips on keeping things clean & organized especially if you're a messy person like me!  My number one thing is just putting things away!  I still have a lot to go through in the house to get organized but we're on the way.  You ever feel like you've had something in the back of your mind you've wanted to do but just haven't been ready for it?  That's how I feel about this organizing/cleaning thing I'm on - I've always wanted it but never really succeeded at it!

How do you keep your home organized & put away?  Let me know your tips!

xoxo, Moe

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Trend Tuesday // Essential Eyeshadow Brushes

Last year was the year of the lipstick & this year I feel like is the year of the eyeshadow.  I've been in love with a few of my eyeshadow brushes lately & in love with way too many eyeshadows.  There is a huge jar of shadow brushes that sit on my dresser but I keep reaching for only a few each day.  These brushes are from random sets or singles by themselves but they've quickly turned into my go-to brushes for a simple eye look.  Here are my essentials:
Small Shadow Brush
Sometimes these are called c-shadow brushes, but they are any sort of brush with small, c shaped bristles.  This brush is great for packing color on to your lid.  I like a thiner more dense brush but any c shaped brush is good.  My favorite is from this set on Amazon, but Elf makes a good one here for $1 & for $3.  You can use these to pack shadow on the lid or to smudge out shadow around your lower lash line so it has multiple uses!

Blending Brush
This brush is the best for blending colors together or creating a seamless look between your lid color & crease shade.  It's always nice to have a few of these type of brushes around just in case you need to switch colors or want a clean one if you're using a darker color.  My favorite type of blending brush isn't too stiff & is shaped like a cone.  A brush with a lot of longer bristles will let you blend more easily.  My favorite brush (in the photo above) was given to me by a friend and I believe she got it in an Ipsy bag or Birchbox one month (why didn't I get one!?!?!) but Revlon makes a good one, though it's small, here & you can also find some on Amazon here.

Large Shadow Brush
This brush is great for adding a highlight to your brow bone or for adding more color on your lid in a larger area.  I consider this an important brush because it can cover more ground if you just one one base shadow over a larger area of your eyelid since it's bigger than the small shadow brush!

Optional - Liner Brush
I don't do any liner on my upper lid so an angled liner brush is that necessary for me.  I do use one for my eyebrows but if you don't do your eyebrows it's not necessary! Any lining you do of your lower lash line can be smudged out with the small shader above.  So this one is totally optional!

These are my favorite & most used types of brushes.  If you're just getting started or you don't know where to begin, these are the brushes for you.  You can find them online for very cheap - Coastal Scents & the Eyes Lips Face website - or in sets like this one or this one from Amazon.

What are your go to brushes?  Any tips & tricks?

xoxo, Moe

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What is Art?

I've been struggling with being creative lately.  One of my big goals this year is to crank it up a notch in my Stationery store on Zazzle store which involves cranking out some new designs & revamping some old ones.  Every time I sit down to make anything recently I've been faced with a block.  I have the need to be creative but I guess not the desire.  I thought at once it was just artists block - but I think now it's come from deciding what art is.

Sometimes I feel a little lost calling myself an artist, because I rarely produce anything that is art worthy.  Most of the things I do I would consider crafty - unless it comes to pottery - and when I design I feel like I'm just making it up.  I think that is what's blocking me with designing new things for the stationery shop.  I feel like I'm just playing around & when it looks good I put it up for sale.

When I was playing around one afternoon with canvas & black paint I started to think about what art actually is.  I think I've decided it is a process & not just a product.  Here's how I define art:

Art has purpose, it's not just pretty
Art is created with purpose & serves a purpose.  Something you have created should have started from an idea & evolved into something with meaning.  This is often the case when you're asked to create something in response to something else in school.  Where your creation should be filled with meaning & use a visual language that we all speak.  Certain lines give certain moods, principles of art/design are followed (or bent with purpose), & it all challenges you to think.  Art should move you or challenge you.  Art isn't just beautiful - because often times it's not.  Art should be something that is useful - like a dish or a bowl - or something that challenges your ideas of usefulness - empty cans transformed into something else, a bowl with a hole in it.  I don't think many realize that art needs to serve a purpose whether to you or for you or to of for someone else.  Art is not art for art's sake - at least not to me.

The process is an experiment that develops in to a technique
The end product of your experiment isn't necessarily art.  It's ok to play & create as long as you are learning.  This is the personal part of art - you should always be looking to gain something from your experiments.  If it's successful you should develop that technique until you can repeat it.  It shouldn't be a one & done - I don't think it's a unique masterpiece if you never touch the medium again. (However, I guess there could be exceptions.)  If you've completed your experiment & you've realized that you like it and you want to pursue this technique a bit more - you're making art.  If at the end you've realized you're not quite cut out for whatever the task at hand was - you're also making art.  Why are these the same?  Because you're growing as an artist & seeing things not as the are but as they could be or as they could become.  Art is a process, art is making, art is always evolving, art is learning from yourself & others, art is never finished.

Art is repeatable - you can teach others the same technique
While art isn't always easy to explain it should be easy to show others.  You can always learn to draw - no matter how bad you are at it, because it is a skill.  Personal note: currently I suck at drawing, but when I was taking a drawing class I rocked.  I was good at it because I was shown how to do it & was practicing.  It is through learning a skill & practice that we develop our own techniques.  Once's we've developed our own techniques it should be quite easy to repeat the process time & again.  And it should be easy to show others how to do the same.  I think back to all the workshops I attended while in school where we learned a certain technique from an artist.  Art should be a conglomerate of all that came before you and all that you will give back to it.

Creating has always called to me but it's always been a weird battle.  For me, art is humbling & it is a struggle.  I often get intimidated by artists (I touched on that in this post) but the ones I've interacted with have been on my same journey - a journey of discovery & of creativity.  I've always though of art as something worth teaching & something worth sharing.  When others would ask me how to do something in school, I'd show or tell them - because a candle's light is not dimmed by sharing the flame.  One should be humbled by one's creations & one should strive to keep making, no matter the struggle.

xoxo, Moe

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Getting Organized // 2014 Planner Organization

I've touched on blog planning here before & honestly I love it but honestly I gave up on it recently.  Most recently I decided not to push my self into hating my blog - so I posted about being flexible, about posting when I want & what I want, and most importantly not posting if I don't want to or am not inspired to.  I would love to take this blog to a full time job thing (and even tried it & was loving it! and sort of miss it) but I don't want to end up feeling disconnected from my blog and I have in the past.  I don't put a lot of emphasis on number & followers, but I think the reason I tend to hang around the same amount of followers for a long time is because if I get too big, there's too much responsibility.
This blog is for me, honestly - for me to share things in a genuine way & hope someone finds it comforting or relatable.  Anyway, that's not the point of this post.  The point of this post is my renewed interest in planning.  Not just blog planning but life planning.  I thought I'd share with you a little video planner tour and then share with you what I'm doing & what I'm planning.  Onto the video:

(don't forget to watch in HD!  Let me know how you feel about this vid, I'm not sure the quality of my vids is really coming across here!)

Some of the most important things in my planner are as follows:

Color Coding
Like I mentioned in the video - prettifying my planner is not what I'm trying to do here. I'm not going to spend hours making in beautiful with each week having a theme.  Nope, I'm here to plan.  But that doesn't mean it can't be colorful.  I actually dismissed the color coding thing at first but then agreed that its the best way to see what's happening at a glance.  I also like my color associations - yellow for family because yellow highlighters mean most important to me & family is important, pink for blog because why not, orange for goals because they are important & orange is another important color to me, blue for youtube because why not (lol), green for money because green always equals money, and purple for things for me because it's my favorite color.  These 6 areas are all areas of my life I think.  So color coding means I can see what's happening where & when really easily.
This is a great idea because I can flip here & instantly know what to focus on (hey, there's that word again) for the day, week, etc.  Having the post it notes in coordinating colors also means that I know what parts of my life I'm focusing on & what needs to get done for each.

Monthly Life Calendar & Monthly Blog Calendar
My original planner set up was much larger.  I had a larger calendar - a month on two pages - and also a week on two pages.  After a week I realized I didn't need that much space!  So I condensed my monthly calendar to one page & recycled the month on two pages to the back for an editorial calendar.  It's taken me a bit to get back on track with how I used to to my blog planning.  You ever start something then stop & don't know how to start up again?  But having them separate is working for me - I do put the blog/youtube colors on the Life Calendar just so I know since it's the first place I look.
Ideas Section
At first I thought why not go back to having a blog notebook? But then I realized that now that I'd condenced my calendars down I could fit more paper at the back of the planner.  So that's where I jot ideas down & it really functions as my blog notebook.  Having everything in one place means I'm not looking for one or the other - I'm more organized because I know it's all in one spot.  The dividers also keep me on my current ideas.  I can flip back & forth but sometimes an idea is developing and I need to flip to it easily.  This section is good for supply lists, product lists, etc as well.

My planner is really important to me now & has been keeping me really accountable.  I am still under the mindset that I'll publish when I want to publish but this keeps my ideas organized.  Not to mention the trash goes out and things are mailed when they are supposed to be mailed!  I need to put things like change the air filter in here too - that is the next step!

How do you plan?  Do you keep your blog/work/life/etc separate or together?

xoxo, Moe

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My Four Favorite Craft Supplies

The other day while sitting down to create my planner & again while working on my new art journal I realized that there are some craft supplies that are just awesome to have.  Sometimes you just need something to make & when you have these four supplies your options are endless.  Some of these supplies might be somethings you don't have or they might be things you hoard.  For me these supplies are essential to being free to create - especially since I've been doing a lot paper crafting lately:

I put off for a long time picking up a corner rounder.  In fact I'm pretty sure I picked mine up on clearance because paper punches like this can be really expensive.  This is great if your making a book or just want nice rounded corners on a project.  I've used this to create ATCs, to round the corners on my planner dividers, and to add accents to pages in other projects.  This gives you the freedom to create uniform pages & is much simpler than using your scissors to round corners.

This is a craft supply I hoard like no other.  I love washi tape because it's just so colorful & often really affordable.  When you feel inspired but aren't sure what to make, you can always cover things in washi tape!  I've recently been breaking into my collection to get creative all over everything, like my quote art journal from Monday.

Another supply I hoard!  I don't scrapbook but I can't pass up a nice pad of pretty paper.  Again, if you feel creative yet uninspired bust out the scrapbook paper.  Cut it up, paste it together, create a fun piece of art for your wall or make a little book with your feelings right now.  Sometimes even flipping through the patterns inspire me to be creative.

I have two paper slicers actually!  This is great to quickly & evenly trim down paper for books or other projects.  Perfect for when you're busting out the washi tape & scrapbook paper.  This tool makes creating so much easier because you can measure and cut in one step.

Each of these supplies makes creating a bit easier.  These are great to have on hand because you can get creative with them but also because you'll never know when you might need them!  Since I've been in a creative rut lately (I think I'm finally breaking it!) these simple supplies have helped me keep my hands busy while I sort out exactly how I want to be creative.

What are your favorite, go-to craft supplies?  Do you hoard things for no reason only to drag them all out later?

xoxo, Moe

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Flower Cosmetics Color Play Creme Eyeshadow Review

Today I want to review for you some of my favorite cream eyeshadows.  I haven't been a big cream product fan until recently - I just feel like they don't play well with my skin.  When I got the Be A Bombshell One Stick in my Ipsy bag one month I thought I'd give more cream blushes a try.  But I gave up on cream eyeshadows because I don't really care for the Maybelline Color Tattoos.  One day I caved & bought some of these Color Play Creme Eyeshadows from the Flower Cosmetics display in Wal-Mart.  I have to say I do quite like these as eyeshadow bases much more than I like the Color Tattoos.
From the Website:
Enriched with Vitamin E for antioxidant protection.  Long-wearing formula.  Water infused with a weightless finish.  Lid-smoothing texture.  Buildable, blendable coverage.  Moves beautifully during application then sets with out creasing.  Easily removed with make-up remover. Taken from the Flower Beauty Website here.

First Impressions & Application:
The packaging on these is rather pretty & looks high-end.  Much like the L'Oreal Infallible Shadows, there is a stamper underneath the lid.  Pulling the stamper back I noticed that some colors stuck to the underside of the stamper while others did not.  The creaminess & whipped texture of this product almost turned me off because I thought they would instantly crease.  A little seems to go a long way when it comes to application & they smooth on to the lid evenly.
I apply these with my ring finger all over my lid.  They blend well & do set to a powder finish.  They feel less creamy than they look making them one of my favorite bases.  I don't use a primer with these as I'm afraid they will crease but use them as the primer to my eyeshadow looks.  Each is shimmery, there are no matte shades in this line.

Wear Time:
I love using these shadows as bases because they don't crease on their own & they prevent other eyeshadows from creasing.  They are easy to blend meaning I can take a brush to the colors themselves & blend into the crease or blend other eyeshadows over them.  My current favorite color is Mums the Word which is a beautiful, shimmery pink color.  And though I don't use it a lot the deep rich chocolate color of Cocoa Camelia is beautiful!  I find the wear time to be impressively long & these are great for a quick look.
Overall Impressions & Recommendations:
These are my favorite cream eyeshadows.  Compared to the Maybelline Color Tattoos that crease & seem to break down on me, I love that these Color Play Creme Shadows dry to a powder finish.  They work perfect on my seemingly oily eyelids.  These shadows live up to the claims on the website as well.  I do find them long wearing, light, and easy to blend.  I would recommend these to anyone who's not too fond of cream shadows.  If you feel that cream shadows breakdown on you & crease through they day - these might work for you.  They do smooth out evenly over your lid & aren't as thick feeling as the Color Tattoos.  Additionally, I wouldn't recommend using a primer with them as that might alter the powder finish of the product.

These are my favorite ways to start an eyeshadow look.  If ever I have no idea what to do, I start with one of these!

What are your favorite cream shadows?  Any tips for working with cream products?

xoxo, Moe

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Four Simple Goals for March 2014

Hello March goals!  Earlier this week I shared how I didn't get too much done when it came to my goals but I did get other things done.  The aim of this project for me is to being constantly moving forward & not just sitting around being complacent.  So, if things change I'm fine with that - I just want to challenge myself.

Pick out artwork for the living room & by my desk
Off & on Zach and I will talk about artwork for the living room...but it doesn't go any further than that.  I'd like to start hanging somethings on the wall.  We've decided on a theme for each main wall but we haven't actually picked anything out.  I think it's finally time.  I'm also going to start hanging things on my little wall space by my desk.  This is the place where I can be as creative as I want.  I'm hanging things here for me.  I have a few ideas for a changeable gallery wall but who knows.

Organize the Kitchen Cabinets
If you missed it, I posted an affordable organization haul on my YouTube channel that you should check out.  I already used some of those things to over haul a much used kitchen cabinet by the stove but now it's time to tackle under the sink & hopefully some of the other cabinets - who know's whats in there, honestly.

Film YouTube videos regularly
I'm trying to keep to a schedule of a video every Thursday but getting one in there on Sundays is going to be a goal too.  I love filming & I think I've found the best export settings for my videos.  They are coming out in much higher quality so I'm not discouraged.  The camera I use is an old FlipVideo cam with an hour of storage & short battery life!  But it's working.  I try to film when Zach is gone but it's the ideas that get me.  I need more!

Use our Free Movie Tickets
Movies are expensive!  And we like to see movies but we haven't seen one in ages.  We've got some free movie & drink/popcorn tickets.  So we need to get those used!  I'm not sure of what's coming out this month so who knows what we'll see.

So, those are my goals for this month - hopefully I'll get through them!

What are you planning to do for March?  Anything exciting you're working towards?

xoxo, Moe

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Rimmel Stay Matte BB Cream, Mouse Foundation, & Primer Review

Today's review is going to be on 3 semi-new Rimmel London products that I just adore.  I have to say that Rimmel foundation is my favorite foundation from the drug store.  It all started with the 25 Hour Lasting Finish foundation that I picked up a long while ago when I was looking for an affordable foundation after I graduated from college.  Seriously, two years ago my make up collection consisted of that foundation, the Stay Matte Powder, mascara, & a L'Oreal blush.  Now I have drawers on drawers (on drawers) of make up.  So anyway onto the review of three products in one post!
From the Website:
BB Cream - Packed with matte perfecting benefits resulting in gorgeous & shine free skin.  Minimizes appearance of pores, evens skin tone, controls shine.  Lightweight formula perfect for combo oily skin.  Soothes, conceals dark circles, & helps prevent blemishes.

Stay Matte Foundation - Light & oil free formula with an airy mousse texture.  Won't feel heavy or greasy.  Provides all day shine control & blends for a natural matte finish.  Minimizes pore appearance.

Stay Matte Primer - Ultra lightweight formula that minimizes pore appearance.  Controls shine for up to 8 hours.  Won't feel heavy or greasy.

Information taken from the Rimmel Website here.

First Impressions:
BB Cream - My very first impression of this was 'oh my goodness, this is awesome.'  For me this BB cream is all I wanted the original Rimmel BB Cream to be.  It's more of a foundation & offers a lot of coverage.  I would say it's at least medium & buildable.  I love how runny it is which makes it very light weight for everyday wear.  The squeeze tube is nice as well since you can control the amount o product and it's more sanitary. I like applying this with my Beauty Blender the best & I think that any sponge would be great.  A brush makes this a bit streaky for me.  As I've used this however, I've noticed that it does oxidize on the back of my hand while I'm applying it to my face.  I haven't noticed looking orange during the day though.

Stay Matte Foundation - If you like the Revlon Color Stay Whipped but it's a bit too runny for you (yea right) this is for you.  This product is very, very thick.  It doesn't apply well with a sponge & I've found a brush like the Real Techniques Buffing Brush works well with this.  It's very thick so a sponge doesn't do well blending it around.  The greater shade range means you'll find a better match to your skin tone & I haven't found that it oxidizes on me.  This also has medium, buildable coverage & I really like it for full coverage days.

Stay Matte Primer - This primer is thick as well.  If you're familiar with the Rimmel 001 primer that has more of a lotion type feel then this one will be familiar to you.  Its much thicker than the 001 primer but it's white & feels lotion like.  My first impression of this primer wasn't a good one.  I didn't like the consistency & how thick it felt on my face.  It also doesn't play well with the Stay Matte foundation, which I thought was weird.
Wear Time:
BB Cream - I don't get a long wear time out of this one.  I'm looking for a foundation to go the distance & last up to, if not past the 8 hour mark.  Around 5 or so hours in you can definitely see it's not the same as when it was first applied.  I notice the break down in my t-zone and just an over all look of the BB Cream looks like worn down make up.

Stay Matte Foundation - This one lasts pretty long into the day on me.  It does wear off in my t zone, but I haven't found a foundation that doesn't.  I think I get to about the 6 hour (ish) mark with this one.  I think with this one it will depend on your primer & your skin type since this is so thick.  If you have a good time with the Revlon Color Stay Whipped, you'll probably have a good time with this.

Stay Matte Primer - It's hard to tell with a primer how long it lasts.  I guess if it keeps your foundation on then it's doing it's job.  I will say that this primer doesn't play well with the thickness of the Stay Matte Foundation.  Pair this with a more liquid foundation & use as little as possible - but it still might not work (I used this with the Elf Acne Fighting Foundation & it was a big no).  To me, honestly, I think all primers work the same.  There are some that are horrible & this isn't one of my favorites.  I'm going to call this one on personal preference here - this primer is thick & feels like a thicker lotion, it's not my favorite texture.  If you don't like that sort of thing, you wont' like this.

Overall Impression & Recommendations:
In the photo above you can see the swatches blended out a little.  You can also see how frosting like the Stay Matte Primer is here.  The Stay Matte Foundation also shows the mousse texture in the swatch.  You can see how full coverage it is & can be.  Also this one leans more yellow.  All of these swatches look like they don't quite match my skin but I promise they do!  I didn't want to blend it so much where you couldn't tell!  Anyway, the BB Cream is definitely orange.  You can see here how much orange it leans.  It's too bad that there are only 3 colors but man I do love this BB Cream because of it's foundation consistency.  I don't like the lotion like feeling of the original BB Cream.

BB Cream - This is my favorite BB Cream.  I love the coverage, the SPF, the texture, etc but it's a shame it leans orange and that it only comes in three colors.  I wear this on days when I want an easy look as it's easy to blend out and create a simple look with.  Do I think it's necessary? No.  Is it the BB Cream I will repurchase? Probably.  It's got coverage, for a BB cream, so that's what I want.  Overall I love Rimmel for the price but I think that this is actually a more expensive product from this line - and the 25 Hour Lasting Finish Foundation from Rimmel is just as good, has few more colors, & doesn't oxidize.  So it's not the end all, be all here.

Stay Matte Foundation - I love this foundation because it's more affordable than the Revlon Color Stay Whipped & has nearly the same effect.  It's a bit thicker, to me, but for significantly less than the Revlon Color Stay Whipped & in better packaging.  The squeeze tube is better & it's more travel/user friendly.  So, if you're a fan of the Color Stay Whipped I suggest trying this out because it's at a lower price point.  It might be a good alternative for you.  Actually, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I chose Rimmel after college because it was affordable & amazing.  The 25 Hour Lasting Finish foundation replaced my Revlon Color Stay after college (even in college I couldn't justify the $13 on a foundation!) so it's a good brand at an affordable price.

Stay Matte Primer - If you been on the hunt for a primer & no other primer has worked for you maybe you should try this out...but probably not.  It's rather thick.  It might work as a mattifying product - if you just where it alone it might be something for you.  But as a primer, I would suggest skipping it.  Honestly.  The Rimmel 001 primer in the white tube with the blue top is much, much better.

Well, that was a lot of info on these three products!  But I wanted to include them all together since they are part of the same sort of release here in the states.  Over all Rimmel is a great brand to try new things from.  They are affordable so if you feel adventurous you're not shelling out the big bucks.  You can also find a great selection at Walgreens but I found my Matte BB Cream at Meijer.

What are your thoughts on Rimmel as a brand?  How do you like their new releases? Did the primer work for you??

xoxo, Moe

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Revisiting February 2014 Goals

I have to say I fell extremely short on the majority of my Four Simple Goals in February.  Pretty much the only one that got any attention was the last one Play More Games Together.  We did a lot of game playing recently.  We'd play together & we played with others, so I'd say that goal was accomplished & I'd like to keep it up.  Spending family time together is something I need to focus on this year.

Some other things that I did this month not on my goals list but that I'm still proud of:
Organized a planner - I went away from blog planning probably about a year ago.  When I started my new job a lot of things changed & the blog was one of them.  I am glad to say I'm sort of back on track here & now have a blog and a life planner.  Getting organized is an over arching goal this year to focus on.  I found I'd started to forget everyday simple things so I thought a planner might be a good option.
DIY Purse Organizer - If you're looking to organize your purse, let me point you towards my DIY here.  I used two placemats to make an organizer for my purse & I've found I can fit much more in there & I don't have a crazy amount of stuff stuffed everywhere.  I've found I use a lot of stuff more regularly & am not fumbling around for my phone or chap stick.
Began an Organized House Journey - If you missed it, I posted an affordable organization haul on my YouTube channel here & I am excited to say that even though I didn't get to the closet organization on my list I did organized a few other things.  I got to a kitchen cabinet, our coffee table, my nail polish collection, & under the bathroom sinks under control.

I don't remember if I mentioned this in my first Four Simple Goals post but for this project I simply want to be moving forward.  I set goals so I have something to do - if I don't meet them I still want to do something. Sometimes I feel like life has a way of telling you what is important & I tend to go with that.  If cleaning out the closet doesn't feel right then organizing my purse, planner, kitchen, & bathroom sinks must have been the right thing to organize.  Having ideas for one thing then translating them into another thing isn't necessarily failing at the original goal - at least not for me.  Right now in my life I don't want to pressure myself into doing things, like adding to the Zazzle shop.  If it's not right, it's just not right.

Anyway, hope you're moving forward this year & I can't believe we're in the third month of the year already!

What did you accomplish this past month?  How do your goals & ideas change over time?  Are you as indecisive as me?

xoxo, Moe

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March 2014 Wish List

Hello there March!  The third month of the year already....I can't believe it.  I think the year is off to a good start so far.  I feel like last year this time I was pushing myself so hard and I'm glad I'm a little bit more relaxed this year.  Sometimes, somethings just aren't for everyone.  I believe March marks a year since I've went back to work full time & while I still dream of self employment...I just don't think I'm ready yet.  I daydream at work of being home & creating things I love but I like the stability of the full time work that I have.  This year is going to kick butt - but in a different way, hopefully!  Here's my March wish list:
Bath & Body Works Candles - Man, good candles are expensive!  I'm looking to pick up some B&BW candles from the outlet near us & I hope they have this Honey Suckle Scent!  Honey Suckle is my favorite scent!

How Bout Them Apples Lip & Cheek Stain Palette from the Balm - I love the Balm products mainly because their packaging is so adorable.  I love my Balm Voyage palette & the NudeTude palette so this needs to make it into my collection!  I purchase the Balm products on Amazon & on HauteLook when they are featured there.

Forbidden Desert Board Game - We played this for the first time in February with some friends & I really want to own it!  It's a great cooperative game to play if you have some really smart friends.  You all have to work together to all get off the island - if one person dies, everyone dies & you all lose!  There's also Forbidden Island that's sort of the same premise but I haven't played it yet.

Pretty Patterned Pens - Mainly I just want pretty pens for my planner.  I've been using the same pen for a long time.  I just looked back on my old blog planner & I've been using the same style pens (hey, they might even be the exact same).  I don't think you have to be super pretty when you're planning but it certainly can't hurt.  These pens are from a site I just discovered called Poketo.  Oh my gosh, I'm in love with all the stationery options!  They sell much more than stationery though I totally want this iPhone wallet case, too.  I've been on the hunt for one of these.

Colorful House Throw from Modcloth - I'm thinking of using this as scrap yarn blanket inspiration.  You don't know how much scrap yarn I have here.  I need to get to work on it.  I haven't had too much time to make any blankets but I'd like to make some more.

My Signature Cocktail Shaker - This appeals to the artist in me, really the art school kid in me.  How awesome is this shaker in the shape of spray paint.  It just makes me giddy & I want to make all the drinks in it.

What are you wishing for this month?  Happy March!

xoxo, Moe

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Make it Monday // A Pencil Case for a Small 3 Ring Binder

Part of getting organized for me this year is using a planner.  I used to use a planner solely for outlining posts for my blog but now I'm using it for everything in my life - blog planning, trip planning, cleaning, ideas, etc.  It's really been pretty fun so far.
I was looking for a fun little clip in pencil case at Staples & at Office Max but didn't find anything I was really looking for.  Nothing cute & nothing really functional especially for an 8.5 x 5.5 inch binder.  While in Meijer the other day shopping the clearance I found these two small pouches for about $2 (I can't remember, on no!).  They are the perfect size for my new planner but they didn't have the three holes punched to clip into the binder.  Here's what I did:
Supplies: three hole punch set to the correct widths/settings, sewing machine, vinyl or plastic pencil cases
First set the hole punch to the right settings & punch holes in the pencil case.  If you have something like a six ring binder, you'll need a six ring punch.  I went out to Staples & got an adjustable 3 ring punch because the one I had at home couldn't be adjusted.  Staples has their brand for about $10 so I didn't mind grabbing another one to keep as a dedicated 8.5 x 5.5 inch paper punch.  A tip here:  The best pencil cases are rather sturdy plastic.  If you have a fabric one it's probably best not to work with that one.
In order to keep the pens & pencils up from the holes punched, sew a line to divide the pouch from the holes with a sewing machine.  I used the seam allowance guides on my sewing machine for a nice line down my pencil case.  I also backstitched at the beginning and the end of my line to make it secure.
Now this pencil case clips in my planner rather nicely & makes the binder rather square.  I don't like the triangle shape binders make when they aren't full..too awkward.  I want to do a post on my planner because I want to share that you don't have to be crazy with color coding when you plan.  I've been watching a lot of planner videos on YouTube - yes, it's a thing - and a lot of them are about decorating.  Well I want to tell you about planning!  It can be cute but you're supposed to be using your planner to plan & not just to decorate!  So keep a look out for that!

Do you use a planner?  Are you a personalized kind of person or do you get the plain, bound ones?

xoxo, Moe

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New Video // Affordable Organization Haul

Did you know I started a YouTube channel?  It's an extension of the blog & just something new and fun to do.  Today I want to go more into my organizing ideas for 2014 with an affordable organization haul!  Things from the Dollar Tree, Big Lot's, & Walgreens.  So check it out:
I hope you enjoyed this super affordable haul & that you'll stick around for more videos.  I'd love it if you subscribed, liked, & shared!

xoxo, Moe

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