For the Love of Flamingos

It seems every time I turn around there are flamingos staring back at me. Are they always this popular around summer or are they making a major comeback? My Pinterest feed has been flooded with images of flamingos and I’ve seen them on glasses, totes, shirts, you name it.

While I’m not a fan of the yard stake flamingo (is that what’s it called?) I do love the bird. I love their color (pink, black & white =awesome color combo) and second they remind me of somewhere tropical and warm. Wouldn’t a flamingo themed party be great?

Here are a few favorite flamingo items I’ve rounded up.

For the Love of Flamingos1. F is for Flamingo

2. Flamingo Beach Photo

3. Flamingo Mobile

4. Flamingo Art Print

5. Flamingo Beach Towel

6. Flamingo Sequin Pillow

Which item is your favorite?

Create Beautiful Watercolor Images with Your Phone using Waterlogue

Just about every blog, website, or major magazine has mentioned in the past months the newest app called Waterlogue. I finally broke down and decided to try it for myself (for $2.99), it just looked too cool.  The app takes your photos and turns them into beautiful watercolor images which are customizable by you.

Wondering what you can do with this app other than post to Facebook or Instagram? If the walls in your house are looking empty and you want some original artwork,  this app is your answer. Seriously.

Within the app, there are many different ways to customize your photo (which you can upload to the app or take within the app). You can change the presets, size, border, and change it lighter or darker. You can upload the picture or save it to your camera roll by selecting the heart symbol that appears on the screen under your photo.

Here are a few pictures I took around the house and then ran them through the Waterlogue app.

Create Beautiful Watercolor Images with Your Phone using Waterlogue Create Beautiful Watercolor Images with Your Phone using Waterlogue Create Beautiful Watercolor Images with Your Phone using Waterlogue Create Beautiful Watercolor Images with Your Phone using Waterlogue
To give you perspective, here are the photos before using the app. Pretty cool, huh? 

  Create Beautiful Watercolor Images with Your Phone using Waterlogue

Have you used this app before? If so, share your photos on the Facebook page.

Finding the Best Dry Shampoo & The Ultimate Blowout Product

Never in a million years, unless I was stranded without access to soap and water could I have imagined not going one day without washing my hair. I have always wished I was one of those people that could get away without washing their hair daily and have it still looking good, however that has never been me. One day with out washing-heck 8 hours and my hair looks like I sprayed my hair with oil..not a good look. My hair is just weird, I have a lot of it,  yet it’s fine. It gets oily quickly, yet dry as straw.

Then I  came across dry shampoo. I very quickly rolled my eyes at the thought that a “dry shampoo” could work. But, I thought if it did work,  I would be able to give my hair a break from the blow-dryer and flat iron.  So I did a little research to figure out what to try. I’m pretty sure this is the link I found from Elle magazine. Here are the ones I’ve tried and what I thought about each one:

Dry-Shampoos
The first one I bought and tried was Pssssst! Instant Dry Shampoo for curly/wavy hair. In my opinion, it’s just okay, not my favorite. The smell isn’t overwhelming, so that’s good.

Then while at Kohl’s out of all places, I ran across this one by Oscar Blandi. It was a total disappointment, and from what I remember pretty expensive considering how small it is. The smell is horrible and I couldn’t bring myself to use it again.

Lastly, I tried Batiste Dry Shampoo in Floral and Flirty Blush that I picked up from Walgreen’s. It’s my favorite out of the three- hands down. The times I’ve used it, by looking at my hair, you’d never know I didn’t just wash, dry, and straighten it. It looks full and fresh. Most important, my hair gets a break from the heat.

Now for the ultimate blowout product:

I’ve been trying to replicate the blowout my stylist gives me for a while now. When I leave the salon, my hair looks great, smooth, and healthy. When I blow dry my hair, my hair looks and feels like straw no matter what kind of conditioner or product I tried. That was until I received this little gem for my birthday from a friend, Kenra Professional Platinum Blow-Dry Spray. This one you have to get from a salon.

Kenra-Professional-Blowdry-Spray
You spray your hair before blow-drying and not only does it speed up the process, it makes your hair smooth, shiny and gets rid of frizziness. It’s a little pricey but really worth it if you want your hair to look like you just got a salon blowout!

One day I’d love to visit Drybar where they specialize in just blowouts.

Have you ever used a dry shampoo? If so, which one do you use?

Spring Trend-Botanical Prints

One trend I’m loving for Spring is bright botanical prints.  I’m seeing them everywhere kind of like when all the rage was succulents (which by the way are still going strong). Here are a few botanical prints and products that I’m loving right now.

Botanicals

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       1. Set of 3 Botanical Notebooks available at Paper Source

2. Botanical Coaster Set available at Rifle Paper Co.

3. Vintage Dahlia Botanical Print-Free at Vintage Printable

4. Mint Floral Wrapping Paper available at Paper Source

5. Wildflower Wrapping Sheets available at Rifle Paper Co.

6. Floral Design-Free Print available at Vintage Printable

7. Vase of Flowers-Free Print available at Vintage Printable

Not included in the collage is a pretty botanical bedspread available from Urban Outfitters.

Botanical-Bedspread
I always feel like I shouldn’t be on their website since it’s geared towards “urban professionals ages 18-30″ and I left that boat a while back!

Here’s a few of the prints incorporated in a room design. Pretty sure the prints on this first picture are available for free on Vintage Printable you could either print them out yourself or send them to the printer.

How do you feel about these bright prints? Which one is your favorite?

34 before 35

This past Thursday was my birthday. It was definitely low-key and that’s okay.  I have friends that are out of control when it comes to their birthday and make it the mega celebration of the year or choose to celebrate the ENTIRE month. Whatever floats your boats peeps. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good party every now and again but I guess as I continue to get older my expectations have changed. 34 before 35
So I’m now the big 3-4… wow. I’m pretty sure I’m in denial. Time flies by so freaking fast things I think occurred last year actually took place two years ago. Which by the way ended up creating an error on our taxes, oops! Sometimes I feel that there’s just not enough time to do everything or be everything that I want so I thought it would be cool to do a post that I’ll keep on my sidebar called 34 before 35. 

Here’s my 34 before 35 list,  I’ll update it when things are accomplished.

  1. Move to Florida
  2. Spend an entire blissful day at the beach
  3. Clear out the clutter-find a place for everything. Bye-bye junk drawer
  4. Create an e-book
  5. Attend a blog conference
  6. Create an abstract painting
  7. Purchase a charm necklace or a charm for my necklace
  8. Take my family on a sightseeing tour of DC We are spending Easter weekend in D.C. The hubs has never done the whole touristy thing in D.C. and my daughter is at a good age to enjoy it so it should be a good time. (4/18)
  9. Get a massage at least twice
  10. Use my camera more  One of the main reasons I didn’t use my camera is because I didn’t have a strap. I ordered one from here and I’m now on a picture taking roll.. (4/13)
  11. Scan & Upload my own artwork
  12. Organize my pins and Pinterest boards
  13. Add two more plants to the house for a total of 4  Picked up two orchids last weekend 4/6. Got them on sale for $4.99 each and they are still alive!
  14. Pay off loan & credit card
  15. Put a minimum of $150 in savings per month
  16. Create an annual family picture book
  17. Attend a concert
  18. Spend an entire day reading
  19. Take my daughter rollerskating
  20. Host or attend an amazingly fun party
  21. Use a personal shopper/stylist to create 3 signature looks
  22. Find the ultimate pair of jeans
  23. Fly first class
  24. Have a girls night more often
  25. Learn how to make a great cup of tea
  26. Say no to what I don’t want to do and feel okay about it
  27. Spend more time outdoors
  28. Work from home
  29. Create and post a tutorial
  30. Plant a flower garden The past two weekends I’ve been busy planting! My backyard is looking so pretty. (4/13)
  31. Get down to my ideal weight
  32. Publish a post a minimum of 4 times per month
  33. Go to an Ikea store for the first time
  34. Vacation on the lake or beach

What about you, how do you celebrate your birthday? Do you like big parties or an intimate get together? What about a destination birthday?

A Few of My Favorite Beauty Products

A girl can never have enough beauty products, right? If you’re like me, you love stores like Sephora, Ulta or Boots (Boots is like the British equivalent of Sephora). Even Target over the past couple of years has really upped their beauty aisles. While I love trying new products, once I find something I love, I usually stick with it. Many of the products I fell in love with I discovered through the free samples you get when you order online at Sephora. Three of the products below were discovered this way. Here are my favorite beauty products right now:

Favorite Beauty Products 1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz-my eyebrows are super light, thin and pretty much non-existent so a brow pencil is a must. I’ve used many brow fillers, pencils, powders over the years but this one is my favorite because it’s thin and blends great.

Do you have a signature scent or do you have a few perfumes you rotate through? I found this perfume in 2007 and love it. Somehow when I put it on it evokes feelings of wellbeing and the scent just makes me feel good. Unfortunately, it’s becoming harder to find so I better stock up! Luckily, I just found the next scent.
2. Incanto Shine By Salvatore Ferragamo For Women, Eau De Toilette Spray, 3.4-Ounce Bottle

I received this as a free sample with my Sephora order about a week ago. It is my new favorite scent..sorry Salvatore! It smells so clean and fresh, I just love it. Looks like Gucci also makes a Tuberose. Hmm… I wonder if it smells as good as the Gorgeous Gardenia?
3. Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia Eau De Toilette Spray for Women, 1.7 Ounce

This is a little embarrassing but here it goes. About a year and a half ago, my face starting freaking out in the form of cystic acne along my jawline. It looked horrible and I felt really self conscious about it. I tried just about every kind of cleanser and acne product on the market. Much to my dismay, nothing seemed to work. After some extensive research I found a line by Obagi called Clenziderm. It’s a three step acne treatment and it has radically changed my skin. I haven’t had not one pimple or breakout of cystic acne after one week of using the product. I must add however that it takes about a week for your skin to get used to the treatment. The first few days it literally felt like someone was holding a blowtorch to my face for about a minute and my face experienced severe redness both of these annoyances went away within 7 days. Even if you don’t have acne, the cleanser alone is the best I’ve used. Just a tiny amount removes all traces of makeup and makes your face feel so good. 
4. Obagi Clenziderm

I love a good lip gloss or lipstick. My daughter has inherited most of them for dress up since I’m so particular. Then, along came this line of lip glosses by Buxom. This color in particular I imagine is flattering on anyone. The line has a slight tingle but gives just the right amount of thickness and gloss that make your lips look fab.
5.  Buxom Full on Lip Cream in Mudslide

For foundation and coverage I love bareMineral products. I started using the kit when my face was having it’s epic freak out. The makeup feels light and the brushes allow you to apply just the right amount of coverage.
6. bareMinerals Customizable Get Started Kit

These are just a few of the products that I use everyday and wouldn’t want to go without. What about you, are you a loyalist to certain products? What are your favorite products?

Free Printable Affirmations -2nd Edition

Affirmations have been a huge part of my life for awhile now. They are perfect for changing my mindset when needed and just bringing a dose of positivity into my day.

My goal is to go over them each morning but if not then, at some point in the day. They remind me of all that I have to be grateful and thankful for and set the precedence for the rest of the day.  

Here is the link to the PDF version of the image below that you can save or print-PDF version of Daily Affirmations-2nd Edition

Daily Positive Affirmations                                      If you like these, you’ll enjoy the first edition of affirmations I posted here-Daily Positive Affirmations. Feel free to download, print or share.

Do you have a mantra or positive affirmation that you routinely use? Have you noticed a difference in your life after using positive affirmations?

Fitness Challenge Update-1

If you read the first post Go Big or Go Home-Fitness Challenge, you’ll know that this post was supposed to be published on Sunday, Feb. 9th and it wasn’t. First, the good news-I actually completed my goal and worked out for 30 straight days for 35 minutes to an hour. I’m really proud of myself and can’t believe I really did it. It proved that I do have the motivation and willpower to accomplish my goals. This challenge also helped me change my eating habits by almost eliminating snacking all together and choosing healthier, more nutritious food at meal time. My body also felt great, I felt less bloated, lean and strong.

Okay, now for the downer and why I almost had a complete and utter meltdown on Sunday, Feb. 9th. When I stepped on the scale that Sunday morning, I had only lost ONE POUND…..!!
You can imagine my shock and disbelief. 30 days of working out everyday and this is the result?! The thoughts that ran through my head were that I had put in all that hard work and effort for nothing, I am going to be overweight forever, I’ll never reach my goal etc. until I just broke down and cried on the floor in my bathroom. Folks, it took me a good week or so to get out of that funk of feeling defeated and just at a loss. Eventually, I put my big girl britches on and decided to press on and not give up.

Fitness Challenge

One major lesson learned in all of this is that I should have taken my measurements before I started so that when I didn’t see the number on the scale move, I could have seen an improvement in my measurements. I took them on Feb. 9th so that every 30 days I can track my progress with not only weight loss but inches.

Since then, I’ve started focusing on my eating habits and have to admit that I haven’t worked out in two weeks, but as of today, I’ve lost an additional five pounds for a total of six pounds! Seeing that number on the scale go down feels so good. What I know for sure is that I’m in this for the long haul. I’m not looking for a quick weight loss fix, I want this to be a life change.

 I really hope that by sharing my struggles of trying to lose weight and getting fit, others can relate and know that they are not alone.

Fitness Challenge

2 Free Facebook Covers

I like to switch out my Facebook cover regularly and love when I can find pretty, free downloadable ones. Here lately I’ve been using the ones from Nicole’s Classes like this one here:

Facebook-Cover

Below you will find my 2 free Facebook covers. If you’d like to use them, click the picture link right below the image and save to your computer (where you can find it). The correct size of a Facebook cover is 851px by 315px and I had to re-size the preview pictures to fit on the post, that’s why you have to save the picture from the link. When you’re on the homepage of your Facebook, put your mouse over your current Facebook cover until you see “change cover” then click on upload photo and viola!

Not-all-who-wander-are-lost
Download-Not All Who Wander Are Lost-Facebook Cover

Download-I belong with You -Valentine Facebook Cover Valentine-Facebook-Cover

Valentine’s Day Craft Ideas

With a little one in the house I usually like to find a craft for Valentine’s Day for her to take to school.  I found all these super cute Valentine’s Day Craft ideas below and most provide a free printable download with instructions. With the exception of the whale cookies, they all seem pretty simple and cheap to put together.  Which one is your favorite? 

Valentines' Day Craft Ideas
 Dandee Designs-Love Bug Valentine

Valentine's Day Craft Ideas
i heart nap time - School of fish

Valentine's Day Craft Ideas
 Sweet C’s Designs – Toy animal Valentine Cards

Valentine's Day Craft Ideas
 On to Baby – Sweet animal cards

Valentine's Day Craft Ideas
 Design Mom -Lollipop photo Valentine

Valentine's Day Craft Ideas  i heart nap time – Mustache lollipop Valentine cards

If I was talented in the baking department, I would so make these cute whale cookie Valentine favors from Bakerella. Also, on a side note if you are a baker, you’ll love her website.

Valentine's Day Craft Ideas Bakerella -Whale Cookies

I also found these cute bubblegum Valentine favors at Sam’s club that are perfect for last minute ideas.

ValentineBubbleGum
I’m going to let chickadee take these and I think I’m going to print out the sweet little animal cards from on to baby.

 

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