A Few Things for my Teenage Self

First off, I have to preface this post with a disclaimer.  And I really hate that I have to do this.....if you're offended by things like reading about others sex lives, reading about body positivity, and being introduced to the fact that our actions shape the girls around us, then please stop reading.  I'm going to talk about thongs, I'm going to talk a bout sex, I'm going to talk about being fat.  Additionally...if you are a relative of mine, you might want to skip this post all together.  

After Thanksgiving dinner this year I was sitting around the table with some of Zach's relatives.  His uncle, I believe, said something that really struck me.  It was something along the lines of kids are in all these AP classes, what does it matter?  You're 17.  And I agreed with his point...there's is no need to stress out so much about grades....you're 17, be 17, you have your whole life to worry.

That inspired me to think about what I might tell 17 year old me.  So I thought about myself when I was 17.  When I was 16.  When I was 15.  And it was hilarious.  If I saw 15, 16, 17 year old me....I would laugh.  So concerned with herself and how she compares to everyone else, so concerned with grades, so concerned with the things that are important to 15, 16, 17 year old girls.  I'd love to just sit her down and tell her a few things.  So I put them in this list.  Here it goes.

You don't need to wear thongs
I know they are cool and all your friends wear them (you know they do because it's all they talk about or thats all you think they talk about).  And everyone is prettier than you, and the pretty girls wear them.  But you don't have to.  They are uncomfortable and you really aren't wearing the right ones for the right reasons...so you don't have to.  While your at it, embrace how comfortable padding and underwire is right now because the 28 year old you gave up on padding and underwire about 2 years ago and is very comfortable on her couch drinking wine right now.  Oh, and she also wears regular underwear...and no one cares.

Stop worrying about your grades
Yes, you're getting a C in your AP European History class.  Yes, Calculus is kicking your butt.  But you are smart, you are creative, and you will get into college.  And then two years into college, you'll change your major from the sensible math that you aren't that good at to art where you will feel your creativity blossom.  It will take you 5 years to finish school, you'll cram 4 years into 3 years...and you'll learn so, so much.  You'll remark to people how you learned so much more from art than from any other coursework you've ever taken.  Continue to work hard, continue to learn.  (In 7 or 8 years you'll meet some one who finds knowledge wonderful and you'll impress him with the fact that you know what phrenology is and your first date will be to the Mariner's Museum, it will be awsome.)  Be concerned with how much you know....not how many points you get on the history exam.  Because that knowledge will shape you.  Be concerned with how you problem solve.  Be concerned with how you take what you've learned and applied it.  Guess what?  No one has ever once cared how long it took us to finish college.  No one has ever once cared that we got a C in AP Euro.  People do care that we can carry on conversations, apply our knowledge to new situations, and solve problems.  No on has ever once asked me my GPA.  You'll forget it 3 months after graduation any way.

Just. Keep. Waiting.
Yes, like everyone you know is having sex or thinking about having sex or talking about having sex.  But keep waiting.  Everyone will be talking about, thinking about, or having sex while you're in college too.  Just.  Keep.  Waiting.  I know you think you should just do it.  And I know that you won't.  Your hormones are going crazy but keep waiting.  You're not ready. Maybe those other people are, good for them.  But your not.  And you will know when you finally are.  Keep waiting.  Because when it finally happens, you'll both have waited - but that won't be the important part.  The important part is that you can talk about sex like an adult and have the conversations adults have about sex.  No one is embarrassed, no one is shy, you'll both be able to talk about it like adults (it will be the weirdest thing you've ever done in your life but you won't feel embarrassed, you'll feel prepared.)  You'll know you're body more.  And you both with grow to discover things together and learn.  It will be amazing.  And guess what?  No one has ever cared how many partners I haven't had.

Your acne will never clear up
It won't.  28 year old you has a big zit on her chin right now and she's wearing a bit of concealer and a powder.  Thats right!  Powder!  I know you've always wanted to be the girl with the powder compact and the porcelain skin.  Your acne will never clear up - but you'll learn how to take care of your skin.  Wash it regularly but don't strip it.  All the stuff that stings your face might not be the best.  But eventually you'll grow to see yourself as not just pretty, but beautiful.  You will be so vain - pimples and all - that someone on Instagram will ask why you take so many selfies.  You are beautiful the way you are.  

You will live in a world were acceptance is growing
First, you'll never be skinny but that won't be a bad thing.  You'll be living in a world were not only are there plus size models and plus size actors, but you'll eventually live in a world where all bodies are accepted.  There are issues you never even thought about, being discussed right now.  You will be on the verge of homosexual and transgender rights crusades.  You will be so concerned with others in the world that being caught up on your weight and comparing yourself to others will be so far in the back of your mind...you won't even be thinking about it.  So start to grow a little more considerate, a little more thoughtful, and gain a little bit of empathy.  The world is waiting for you to be a part of the change.  And guess what?  No one cares about how you look, they care about your voice.  Be the voice.

You're 15.  You're 16.  You're 17.  You've got your whole life ahead of you and your whole life to worry.  There is no handbook but you will figure it out.....and then in 12 years I may be writing something the me in my mid-late 20's.  Your life is a journey only for you.  Soak it all up.  The only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday.  

I started this post off with the thong thing because of how grown up I wanted to feel for wearing thongs.  Real women grew up, got sexy, and wore thongs.  I am a real woman, I have grown up (enough), I am sexy, and I don't wear thongs.  I don't do a lot of the things that teenage me thought grown up, sexy women would do.  Grown up, sexy women are women who care about other women and how other women perceive themselves.  Grown up, sexy women show other women that sexy is anything.  A grown up, sexy woman is confident.....and that is what makes her sexy.

When we are young we are impressionable.  We try to be like others.  We try to be what we think others are.  But the truth is the only person you have to live with for the rest of your life...is yourself.  So make yourself the best self for you.  Give to others, yet indulge yourself.  When you can stand in front of a mirror bare ass naked and take all of yourself in with out criticism.....then you've become that grown up, sexy woman.  And I'm pretty sure I'm there.

Thanks for letting me share this sort of private note in this very public setting.

xoxo, Moe


Beauty Review // Bare Minerals Regal Wardrobe

I know I'm a bit late on the holiday palette train...and I don't even know if you can get these eye shadows/blushes apart from this holiday set.  However, when I decided to pick up the Bare Minerals the Regal Wardrobe palette on a whim I was so pleased with myself.  I am always on the hunt for compact, travel make up.  I don't do a lot of traveling but there is something about everything being in one place that makes me want to try a palette out.  
I have to ruin the review for you - I love this palette!  I can't wait to try more Bare Minerals products.  Let's get into the review though:

From the Website
Instantly elevate your wardrobe with this ethereally elegant palette, featuring an expertly coordinated assortment of eye and cheek colors. Choose one of the two included looks, or mix and match for year-round glamour.

A $126 value!

  • bareMinerals READY Bronzer The Skinny Dip (light tan) (0.1 oz)
  • bareMinerals READY Blush The Love Letter (warm mauve), and The Summer Fling (creamy peach) (0.07 oz)
  • bareMinerals READY Luminizer The Brilliant Sunset (array of light) (0.09 oz)
  • bareMinerals READY Eye Shadow in Regal (velvet plum), Treasure Hunt (shimmering taupe), Natural (light buttery peach), Cognac (gilded bronze), Namaste (sandy brown), 500 Thread Count (airy pink), Romp (iridescent lilac), and Flash (matte purple clay) (0.04 oz each)
taken from the Ulta website here.
First Impressions & Application
So, from that little clip from the Ulta website, it looks like you can get these products outside of the Regal Wardrobe palette.  The packaging is what impressed me first.  I love the gilded detail and the feel of the packaging.  It reminds me a little bit of the Lorac travel palettes and packaging style.  I was a little confused about why the mirror folds down over the eyeshadows and then the blush palette folds over the mirror...but now that I think of it, I guess it keeps the two products from mixing.  You don't want purple eyeshadow to get into your pink blush, right?
from left to right Natural (matches my skin tone, so it didn't really show up), Cognac, Namaste, Treasure Hunt
The texture of these products is not a smooth as a Lorac shadow but not as tough as a Revlon shadow (I hope you can get my comparison here!)  It doesn't take a lot of work to pick up the color onto your brushes.  The eyeshadows seem to have a bit more pigment than the blushes - but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  You don't want an big pink swipe on your cheek!

The pans are a decent size, though the blush pans seem to be a little small to fit my Real Techniques Blush Brush into.  I feel like I got a lot of product for my money, though.  Additionally, the set includes a guide to show you how to create two different looks with the included products.  There is sort of a neutral look and sort of a smokey look.
from left to right 500 Thread Count, Romp, Flash, Regal

When I investigated this palette further I realized that I liked it because it was what I wanted the Maybelline Holiday Palettes to be.  A great, on the go, versatile palette that you can throw in a bag and be fine with.  Everything about this palette got a nod from me as I was playing with it!

Wear Time
I'd say the wear time of this is a little above average.  The eyeshadow was still visible on my lids at the end of the day.  I didn't really see any creasing, though it didn't look as freshly applied as it did in the am.  The eyeshadows blended nicely and created a defined look that was visible through out the day.
from left to right The Brilliant Sunset, The Summer Fling, The Skinny Dip, The Love Letter

The blushes had a nice lasting power as well.  I noticed them on my cheeks through out the day but my cheeks lost a little bit of color, like they do with all blushes, by the end of the night.  The highlighter stuck around a decent amount as well.  I loved looking at my cheeks in the bathroom mirror through the day but by the late afternoon, it seemed to be fading away.  The bronzer is a bit orange for me - just not my coloring - so I didn't get too much use out of it.

Overall Impressions & Recommendations
If you can still find this palette I would snatch it up!  I love the compact style of this palette and how great it is for travel.  Honestly, this might be my go to travel palette.  It won't take up too much room in your makeup bag so you could even bring your other favorite travel palette!
The highlight is nice and if you like more rosy pink highlights (think Cindy Loumanizer) see if you can pick up that highlight by itself - it is gorgeous!

Overall I give this palette two very big thumbs up and am so glad to have it in my collection!  I think the idea of adding a how-to guide is great as well. 

Hope you got all the holiday makeup palettes you asked Santa for!  What was on your list?

xoxo, Moe


Make it Monday // Three Ways to Bind Your Own Planner

It is almost that time of year!  Time to pick a new planner (if you haven't already) or time to get into planning (because you know you really want to!)  There have been quite a few planner related DIYs on the blog this year but I wanted to do a little bit of a round up for you with 3 ways you can bind your own planner if you're the creative type!

I've made one out of faux leather and fabric but this one is even easier if you have a poly folder.  I've found them at the Dollar Tree of all places! (In cute patterns too!)  
You could even make it from a plastic placemat if you'd like your fauxdori to be a little bit bigger

Using a few loose binder rings and some cut to size covers from a folder or from laminated scrapbook paper is a great way to bind printable planner pages you can find from around the web.  It is also a more affordable option than having one bound or binding your own with a gadget like the Cinch (that I'll mention below!) 
In this DIY I found the binder rings at the Dollar Tree, too!  But craft stores like Hobby Lobby have smaller rings if you don't think your planner will be too thick.  This offers the customization of a ringed planner like a Filofax but is much more affordable!

If you asked for one of these for Christmas, you might want to make one of your first projects binding your own planner!  This is the most recent planner binding DIY shared this month on the blog. 
I love this because you can be very precise on what you need.  If you know what you need just print bind and go!  Perfect planner set up!

You can also find a ton of ways to customize a preexisting planner on the blog too.  Click here!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are gearing up for the New Year!!

Have you chosen your planner yet for 2016?  I'm probably sticking to my six ring, personal sized planners!

xoxo, Moe


Three Tips for Choosing a Planner

Planning is becoming something that is very mainstream, every where you turn around there is a new planner coming out.  Even scrap booking companies are getting in on the planning game.  Because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of planners to choose from it becomes important to realize that not every person fits every planner.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

A little bit ago I got an email from someone asking what planner I'd recommend, and my response was long.  But the gist of it was decide what is right for you.  Today I want to share with you three tips on choosing a planner that I think can help immensely when it comes be being satisfied with your planner.  If you're new to planning or just trying to find planner peace in the new year, here are some tips:

Make a List

Before you even reach for the first planner you see, you should sit down and make a list of what you need your planner for.  Do you have kids?  Are you juggling their schedules as well?  Are you constantly in meetings or traveling?  Do you own a business?  Are you going to need to juggle both your personal and business life?  Are you dealing with anything medical related?  Will you be budgeting and keeping track of your fiancees?  Are you planning for yourself or for you and your partner?  Are you planning for a family of 3? A family of 7?
A5 size Filofax is nearly equivalent to half letter size.  On the left is an A5 Filofax and on the right is a half size binder from Target

Obviously everyone's answers will be different.  Someone who has 4 kids, a business, and needs to keep track of their spouses nights off from being (I dunno) a firefighter is going to need a much different planner than a twenty something starting their career and juggling book club and community involvement.  You can see that this list will be very helpful for you!  The list will determine the size you might need as well as whether you'd like to have a customizable system (where you can take pages in and out) or if you'd like a more standardized option.

Choose your style and size

There are a few common styles of planners - ring bound, spiral bound, arc bound, and those that are bound like a traditional book.  I'm not going to mention the latter because, honestly, these have never worked for me.  There are also tons of sizes.  You can get an A5 size (slightly larger than a half sheet of standard printer paper), a personal size (about a quarter the size of the A5), the Erin Condren planner is 7.5 x 9.25 inches, there are smaller planners like those from big box stores like Walmart.  The sizing is endless.
Erin Condren Life Planner on the left and undated MAMBI Happy Planner on the right.  ECLP is spiral bound and MAMBI is disc bound.

A ring bound planner - like the Filofax or Kikki K - is going to be more customizable.  You can create different sections, move pages around, change things up on a whim.  Because it has a binding like a three ring binder, you can be more creative.  Often this style of binder will have an elastic, zip, or snap closure.  You may choose a personal size (or medium size if you're ordering a Kikki K planner) for portability, but you will be limited on space to write.  You may choose the A5 size (or large size if you're ordering a Kikki K) because of the space you'll have to write.  While that size is still portable, it is less compact.  Then you can get even smaller in the Filofax world - Compact which is smaller than a personal size but fits the same size pages, and Pocket size which is so small often others us this as a wallet.
Vertical layout comparison between the ECLP on the left and the MAMBI on the right

A spiral bound planner will offer more structure.  Pre-made spiral bound planners like the Erin Condren, Plum Paper, and Inkwell press offer a set class of sections.  You won't be able to change things around or add things in easily.  You can't up and decide you want to move something from the front to the back because the inserts or guts of the planner are pre coiled together.  This might be better if you feel you can make a planner work for you.  If you find that store bought planners tend to help you out with out the customization then this style might be right for you.  I'd suggest researching the insides of each planner to see which style of spiral bound will work for you.

Disc bound planners are a blend between the two.  While this arc system is an investment up front - you have to purchase a punch that will accommodate the unique binding style while a ring bound planner offers the ability to use a $1 single hole punch to get your stuff done.  It is harder to add things to the planner (investment in the punch) but it is possible.  You get the benefit of the ring bound planner in the style of a spiral bound.  The arc system can get a little bit bulky but this system is used in a variety of sizes.
UPDATE - there's a couple of new things in town : a horizontal layout in the classic size of the Happy Planner and a Mini Happy Planner.  The Mini Happy Planner is my current favorite planner and the one I've been using for quite a while.  The minis are great because you've got the portability of the smaller size and the flexibility of the discs!  You can flip these guys back around like a notebook and remove pages!

So based on the list of needs you have for using a planner, this will determine the style and the size you may need.

Test it Out

There is no need to spend the big bucks up front on something you're not sure you will like.  I suggest starting out with something equally similar to see if you like the system you've decided on.

If you're thinking about a ring bound option - the Filofax or Kikki K - why not try out a small, half size three ring binder first?  Target has some freaking cute ones but you can also pick some up at places like Office Max and Staples.  Avery makes some great inserts for small binders but you can also find half size (or desktop sized) printables on places like pinterest and even here on the blog.  When I first started planning, I used a half sized three ring binder to see if I really wanted to do this.  and I really liked it.
Webster's Pages Color Crush planner on the left and the personal sized Filofax on the right.

If you're thinking that the half size binder might still be too big, I suggest seeing if you can get your hands on a personal size Webster's Pages Color Crush planner.  It is one of the most affordable six ring planners out there.  The personal size planners have HUGE rings!  You can stuff these full.  I loved my Color Crush because it was so small yet I could fit everything I was using from my A5 in there.  If you're thinking that you may not like a Color Crush (they do have some flaws) another affordable option is the Filofax Saffiano.  This is the most affordable (I believe) of the Filofax brand and if you move down to the personal size, you're gonna find it even more affordable.

If you're thinking you might want to start off in something like the Erin Condren Life Planner, why not try the Classic Happy Planner The HP is a disc bound system while the ECLP is spiral bound but the inserts are set up quite the same.  They each have three daily sections - morning, afternoon, evening - but you can use them for whatever divisions you'd like.  Another key difference is that with the HP you can add bigger discs and add in different sections.  You can pull things out, add things in, etc - where as the ECLP you can't easily do this.  However, these are total dupes of each other so before you drop the big bucks on the ECLP try out the HP and use a coupon at your local Michael's, Hobby Lobby's, etc.  (I even found them at my Meijer!)

Of course you can also try out planning in general in any planner.  If you're just looking for super cute ones, Target has so many it's ridiculous.  You may have heard of the Day Designer, but they also have some cute neon ones (I found them in the craft section of my Target) and some generic ones in the notebook aisle.   If you're lucky, you might even be able to find the Heidi Swapp planners at your local Michael's.

If you'd like to read more on how I found my current planning style, read my planner journey here and the reasons I switched to vertical style inserts here.

How did you decide on your planning style?  What was your first planner?

xoxo, Moe


Three Last Minute (Thoughtful) Holiday Gifts

So......it is December 22nd and you're still looking for that one gift to give that actually means something.  But you really can't wait on shipping and nothing stands out in the stores, so what are you supposed to do?!?!  Don't fret - I've got 3 awesomely thoughtful holiday gifts that are sure to impress (even if they are last minute!)
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
image above created using the app Phonto, read a review here.

Online Classes from Craftsy
If you read this blog then you're probably a crafty person, which means you probably have a crafty friend (or two) that might want to learn something new.  If your friend (or you) have been eyeing trying something new for the new year, right now Craftsy is offering up to 50% off all online classes!  So if someone has been saying they are interested in learning to quilt, learning more about photography, or learning how to watercolor...Craftsy is the place to grab up the perfect last minute, learning gift.  If you're unsure of the something new they might want to learn in the new year, snatch up a Craftsy gift card so they can choose the class that is right for them.

If you have a crafty friend who likes to make crafty things, mots likely he or she also appreciates other's crafty work.  An Etsy gift card is a great way to help them support their handmade buying habit and to support small artists.  Also remind them to sign up for Ebates!  I can say that the usual rebate is 1% for Etsy but the percentage will go up on assorted dates - like on Black Friday (no guarantees though).  If they shop Etsy through Ebates they will save money but they won't take any money away from the artist selling through Etsy.  You can also use Ebates through a variety of other online shops as well.  Your friend might appreciate that thoughtful tip too (and that tip was free!)

If you have a crafty friend who likes to save money (see how this all connecting here?) then they probably will appreciate getting their crafty supplies at a discount and with free two day shipping.  Soooooo the gift of Amazon Prime is a great last minute (yet thoughtful) gift!  Not only will they get the free two day shipping, but it also includes access to Amazon Instant Video and access to borrowing ebooks from the Kindle Owner's Lending Library.  (I don't have a kindle but I can assume there are some crafty related ebooks out there.)

I hope this has given you a few last minute ideas to wrap up and place under the tree.  They don't take up a lot of space but they are definitely very thoughtful & helpful!

Hope you all have a very happy Holiday!  Enjoy your Christmas!

xoxo, Moe


Make it Monday // DIY Habit Tracker Sticker using PicMonkey

I've recently been using & loving the printable habit tracker stickers I've added to the shop.  I love the simplicity and the space to write.  I also love that I can stack them up.  But I've also really been into printables recently.
Setting up my Silhouette really made me love printables so much more - instant download, add cutlines, print & cut, then plan!  So I decided to whip up some printable habit trackers, and show you how to do the same!  Create custom colors, add your own text, even make a weekly menu or step tracker!  The best part is you can create your stickers for free using PicMonkey.  I have said it before and I will say it again - PicMonkey is the best little design machine on the web.  Here's how to do it.

Navigate to the PicMonkey homepage and select the design tab.  Click on Facebook Cover.
Once you get to the next page, set the canvas color (you can use a site like ColourLovers to find some colors you love!) and rotate the canvas so it is vertical.
I used a new font listed on the site called Lato.  I liked the letter design and that it was a sans serif font.  If you have a font on your computer you love - go ahead and use it because PicMonkey lets you use your own fonts!  There are also a few more fonts if you pay for the Royale version ($4.99/mo or $33/year) and you get access to more overlays and other features.

Since there are no grid lines to align the elements, stretching the edges of the text box to the edges of the background will center the text perfectly.  You will have to eyeball any overlays you use though.
Under the butterfly icon you'll find the overlays.  At first I used a banner overlay and liked how compact the tracker was.  I did end up using a bigger box to give myself more room to write.  It's up to you to decide the style you like.
Now decide if you want to make a longer side bar with more habits or a shorter sidebar with only a few.  I chose to crop after I'd added 4 habits to track.  Of course you could make this a meal tracker with 7 boxes and the days on the side rather than the days of the week listed below the box, it's all up to you.  Be sure that the scale photo box is unchecked.
Once you've cropped your image, be sure to save it to your computer.  But leave PicMonkey open in case you want to make any edits.  For example, I made the habit trackers different colors.  To do that I saved the image, then changed the color of the canvas, then saved it again with a different name.
Now move into a word processing program - I use Microsoft Word.  Once you drop the images into your word document by selecting insert > picture > from file.  In this document I sized the image to be 1.5 inches wide (the ECLP side bar is 1.65 inches wide I believe, so scale as you wish).  No need to worry about the height, it will automatically scale.  Be sure to set the image in front of text so that you can move the little rectangle around the word document.  I made a few copies and filled up a page with the habit trackers.
Now you can print them on sticker paper (or full sheet labels) and cut them out.  Customize these little guys to whatever colors you'd like, print them a million times if you'd like!  I do plan on doing an adding cut lines tutorial with my Silhouette once I get things mastered!  But if you've got a good pair of scissors you can easily trim these by hand.

As always, you can download the printable made using this DIY here.  Remember this is for personal use, do not distribute or resell these, or claim them as you own.  If you'd like to share these, please direct others to this blog post.
I use habit trackers to track doing my makeup and cleaning but you can track so many things!  The other printable ones in the shop are individual - so you can stack them up in different colors, but you can trim these down to do the same.

What kind of habits do you track?  Is it a helpful thing for you to do?  It is very helpful for me!

xoxo, Moe

ps. if you want some free vertical style inserts that will fit an A5 planner, click here.  And find more planner DIY posts here.


Wednesday Decor // How To Clean A Room

First off, I can't believe I'm going to show you these pictures.  Secondly, I can't believe I'm going to tell you how to clean a room (my mother is probably rolling her eyes!).  I'm no expert...I'm just a girl obsessed with an organized home.  I have several cleaning related posts on the blog and I actually feel pretty confident about my method.  I want to share with you the mind set I have when I go into cleaning a room, or just when I go into cleaning in general.
My regular cleaning routine involves cleaning one room, for 30 minutes, each day.  We do have a few rooms in the house that have been neglected since our renovation - they are in some sort of disarray and state of unfinished-ness (is that a word?) - and the spare room downstairs was one of these rooms.  I finally tackled it and I want to share with you how I did it.

It is only about this room
When I tackle a daily room clean in general, I only focus on that room or that task.  With this bigger task - cleaning out an entire room - this mind set helps as well.  Yes, you may be pulling stuff out of this room that goes in another room, especially if you're cleaning out room that is a 'catch all'.  So take the thing, put it in the room it belongs, but you don't have to put it away - just leave it there.  Hopefully that room will be in your rotation and you can handle that room on it's designated day.  I know that if I start putting away something in another room I get distracted and start cleaning that room.  Sometimes with bigger tasks you may make a small mess in the other room that the things belong in...but you can tackle that on the day it needs to be tackled.
Make a plan/Visual inventory
I always have a game plan when it comes to cleaning/organizing and that is probably why it took me so long to get this done. But I knew where I wanted things to go and I knew what was going to live in that room. Having a plan helps me to see the end result and focus on the task at hand.  With no plan I get intimidated and confused. 

Part of making my plan is to be sure that I have taken a visual inventory not only of the clutter in the space but of what the space can accommodate.  Once I have the visual inventory I can start to plan out what needs to be done.  This might take a bit to get in the right mindset to clean, but it does help!
Everything has a place
This is the biggest thing I've learned ever - everything should have a place.  That also goes along with making a plan because if something doesn't have a planned place to be......it really should be tossed.  Focus on putting things in their places, even if it is removing it from the room. And if you need to remove it from the room make sure it has a place to go and put it there.  For example there where boxes of extra makeup stuff for me - brushes, packaging, makeup bags, etc - I know I have room for them upstairs in my designated makeup area.  If you don't have a place for it consider getting rid of it....you probably don't need it.
 Just get started & just keep going
The biggest issue is starting to clean.  I can find about a zillion reasons not to start, but I always find that once I get started, I'm really glad that I did.  There are some tasks that seem really, really daunting.  Like when we cleaned out the garage and the shed one weekend, I really wanted to give up  the second day.  I pushed myself through as much as I could but eventually I was loosing the mind set I had when I started.  But, for the spare room, I just kept at it.  I kept my focus.  And I got the whole room done in about 3 or 4 hours.  Thats what I mean about focusing only on the room at hand.  If you start moving off into another room where something has to be moved to...you won't finish your project, you'll start a new one.  Also, having a plan can play into the time it takes to complete a room.  The less of a plan you have the more stressed you'll be about it.  You'll feel intimidated and overwhelmed.  

A clean house is not something that is ever achieved, its a process.  I would say that the end goal should be a tidy house.  If you live in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine more props to you, but I'm pretty sure that everyone has a little clutter somewhere.
Now that I have the room clean, I do have bits and bobs that made it into other rooms that need to be put away.  But these things will be handled in my daily cleaning routine.  (I talk more about my cleaning routine here.)  And the end goal is to keep everything in it's place.  If you can't keep it in it's place, at least keep it in its room...if that make sense.  The whole goal is to quit saying 'I'm just going to throw this in here' because that turns into a nightmare.  Handle as much as you can when it happens rather than dealing with it afterwards.

Now, but no means is the gospel and by no means is this science.  But I've always been horrible at being tidy so discovering what works for me is a huge deal and I wanted to share with you how I think and how I work to keep things tidy.  I found this article that may help you with a big cleaning task as well.

What is your cleaning routine?  How do you tackle big rooms or catch all spaces?

xoxo, Moe


Beauty Review // Shea Moisture 10 in 1 Renewal System Hair Masque

A bit ago I did a little review on the Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque, and today I'd like to share with you a drugstore version.  This is the Shea Moisture SuperFruit Masque I found at Target one evening.  I've been using it for a bit and want to share with you my thoughts on this hair mask and compare it to the Macadamia Oil one.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

The full name, if you want to know, is Shea Moisture SuperFruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System w/ Marula Oil and Biotin Hair Masque!

From The Website
SheaMoisture's SuperFruit Masque contains powerful antioxidant properties that support and protect aging hair for the effect of UV exposure and other environmental aggressors. Nourishing oils hydrate and smooth coarse hair.
taken from the Ulta website here
The bottle claims it will age-defy, color protect, hydrate, nourish, soften, anti-stress, deep condition, revive body, strengthen, and add shine.

First Impressions & Application
This product comes in a tub with a screw off lid.  First off, because of the shape of the container - the bottom isn't rounded like the Macadamia Natural Oil masque - you are able to hold it easier in the shower.  You can twist on and off the cap with ease...so I noticed that first since I had a time with the Macadamia Natural Oil packaging!  The texture of this hair mask is very similar to the Macadamia one.  It is quite thick yet easy to spread.  I use about the same amount as the Macadamia product - scoop some out on my finger tips and apply it to my hair then close the cap.
The product is easy enough to distribute through out the hair.  I use my fingers but the website suggests using a wide tooth comb, I believe either would work as long as you make sure to distribute it evenly.  The Shea Moisture SuperFruit masque doesn't feel as slippery as the Macadamia Natural Oil masque but it the consistency did remind me of mayonnaise as well.  The scent is weird, but fruity.  It's not my favorite scent but I did get used to it.  

Wear Time
Once my hair dried after the first application I was impressed with how smooth my hair felt.  I remember after the first application of the Macadamia Natural Oil masque I wasn't too impressed.  My hair felt smooth and not as coarse (I wouldn't consider my hair coarse to begin with, so that is how smooth it felt).  With the Shea Moisture SuperFruit masque, my hair did feel instantly renewed......... like the Macadamia Oil masque claimed.

I tried using this instead of my regular conditioner (like I did with the Macadamia Natural Oil masque) but found it to be too heavy on my hair.  After a few days of constant use, my hair felt oily and weighed down.  I went to using it every other day, and then every few days, and I think that every few days is the best way to use this.  I still use my every day conditioner from the Suave Moroccan Oil line on the days I'm not using the Shea Moisture SuperFruit masque.  I've also found that if I put this masque about .5 inches from my scalp, I get better results.  My hair isn't as oily at the root that way.
Overall Impressions & Recommendations
I have to say for the price compared to the Macadamia Natural Oil masque - the Shea Moisture SuperFruit masque is the better value.  On the Ulta website it is listed as $12.99, on Amazon it is a little over $13, but I think I got this at Target for around $10 (maybe).  I do love how my hair feels after I use it.  I feel that my hair is being renewed and hydrated much more than with my everyday conditioner and more that the Macadamia Natural Oil masque.  The 12 oz size of the Shea Moisture SuperFruit masque is nearly half the price of the 8.5 oz size of the Macadamia Natural Oil masque and I didn't use it nearly as fast (you can see there is still product in the tub!)

I have to say I will repurchase this hair treatment and continue to use it as I continue to dye my hair!

Do you have a favorite hair treatment?  Is your hair damaged like mine?

xoxo, Moe


Make it Monday // Spiral Bound Planner with the Cinch

Way back in this post I mentioned my love for a gadget called the Cinch.  And I'm here today to do a wonderfully awesome DIY for you - make yourself a spiral bound planner!!  Using all the free printables I have here on the blog.  Hoo-to-the-ray!  It is almost 2016 which means it is nearly time to choose your planner for the next year (or get started planning if you're new to the planner community!)  
This post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

Today I'll show you how to make a planner using this monthly viewthis weekly view (it's vertical so it will fit your ECLP designed stickers, oh yeah!), this goal planning printable, & this budgeting tool.  (If vertical planning isn't your deal, I have one other weekly layout here, you can also find some lined pages freebies here.)
First, print all the planner pages.  These printables are designed to print on already trimmed pages.  So take the 8.5 x 11 inch printer paper and slice it in half to get a stack of paper that is 8.5 x 5.5 inches.  Print the pages you need from the links above and arrange the way you'd like.  I chose to do the goals pages first, then alternate the monthly view with the weekly views for each month.  On the back of the monthly view I printed a lined page for notes.  Then the very last page was the bills tracker for the entire year, then I added a section for notes.
Once the pages are in the order you'd like them to be, it's time to make the cover.  I already have a tutorial that would be great for this planner cover here. But I wanted to make it simple and do less measuring and cutting by hand, so I used my Cricut Explore and Design Space to create a rectangle 8.6 x 5.6 inches.  I also added a Custom Material to my account since I couldn't find a preset cut depth to cut through my poly-folder.
To add a custom material, from the cut page select Manage Custom Materials.  Then at the bottom of the screen select Add Custom Material.  Name your material and specify your cut pressure and multicut options.  I picked the highest pressure because the other pressures I found did not cut all the way through and to cut the shape 5x to ensure it was cut all the way through.
Once you've done this you can choose your custom material when your Cricut Explore Smart Dial is set to Custom Material.  One of the things I love about the Cricut Explore is the ease of use when it comes to cut pressure.  Simply choose the material you're working with - there is very little experimentation.  And when you do need to add a custom material you can base your values on the settings you used that did not cut all the way through.  The Cricut Explore is my go to crafting gadget!
This is where the Cinch comes into play - to punch the planner pages!  (I suggest using some scrap pages to test your alignment before you punch your planner pages)  Line up a few of the planner pages by placing the bottom edge against the flat piece of the ruler.  Using the lever, punch your pages.
Slide the ruler all the way out and pull out the number five punch.  Place the bottom of the pages flush against the base of the ruler and drop the little knob down on the side to fit into a punched hole.  This keeps the pages aligned properly.  Punch the last remaining holes.  Repeat this process for the entirety of the planner pages.
Line up and punch the cover.  I used one of the scrap pages that was punched to my liking and some small binder clips to keep everything in place while I punched the covers.  Be sure to align the covers wrong sides together so you don't end up like me with and upside down back cover!!!!
The Cinch not only punches the pages, but it also binds them.  Depending on the thickness of the page layout you've choses, you'll need to choose the corresponding binding wire size.  I went with a pink colored binding wire that was .75 inches and trimmed of the excess loops using wire cutters.
Using the holster on the side of the Cinch, align your pages starting with the last planner page  (right side facing up towards you) working towards the first page.  Then lay the front cover (right side facing up) then lay the back cover (wrong side facing up).
Align the binding at the back of the Cinch, adjusting the dial at the top to fit the size of the binding you've chosen, and press the lever down.  This will bind all the pages together in a nice little book!!
Now you're done!!!! Holy cow that was pretty cool wasn't it?  I love the little planner I made and I do hope to show how to plan in it (or how I would plan in it!)

Have you ever bound your own planner?  Do you use spiral bound or binder style planners?

xoxo, Moe

(And if you're thinking of purchasing any of these little gadgets for gifts, be sure you use Ebates for cash back!)