Tuesday, October 29

The easiest DIY earring holder ever

When I first starting wearing jewelry--not just the snowman earrings or gold cross necklaces--but really wearing fashionable jewelry, I wanted to display it on my walls. 1) I wanted everyone to see my goods. Too much? Well too bad. 2) I wanted it to be displayed as art. And 3) Having it hanging from something sitting on a dresser just took up way too much space. So why not hang it on the wall, right?

I haven't written about this in the past, but this was how I had things hanging previously. I bought a single window shutter from Etsy (You can find ANYTHING on Etsy. Seriously.) and hung all of the fish-hook earrings from it. BUT, over time, the weight of all the earrings pulled down the shutter and it became very easy for them to fall off. It wouldn't be that big of a deal but the kitties lunge towards the noise of it bouncing off the bathroom tiles, snatch it in their mouths, and hide under the bed until they think it's safe to come out and play with it. Annoying much?

Before (top) and After--all weighed down (bottom)

I didn't have any ideas of what I was going to replace it with until this past weekend. I just happened to stop by Home Depot to buy some chicken wire for our fence out back. What did I need it for, you might ask? There is a rogue neighborhood cat that's been coming in through the spaces between the boards in the fence. And it just loooooves to torment Asher and Sophie through the windows in the middle of the night. I'm not kidding. Jerry and I could be in the deepest sleep and wake up while almost pissing ourselves because there's loud banging coming from the windows in the kitchen. It's happened often enough that we know it's not a burglar but this retarded cat. So chicken wire, snips, and a stapler in hand, and holes no more!

And then a light went off in my head. I have leftover chicken wire, so why not staple it to an empty frame to hang my earrings? Genius, right?! I grabbed a frame we had in a closet upstairs and tried to use it, but it was too big. The next night, I stopped by TJ's to browse the clothes but stumbled upon their clearance section in Houseware and found these colorful chalkboards in frames for like $10! When I got home, I took out the chalkboard--still not sure how I'm going to use it--and decided to use the frame to hold my earrings.

So I grabbed my snips and cut the chicken wire to the shape of the frame with a little excess so that I could staple it to the front. Why would I staple it to the front and not the back? I knew I needed some room for the hooks of the earrings to sit so I kinda had to bond emotionally with the industrial look. Ha.

I'll show you the finished picture in a second, but if this is something you would want to do or if you want to change up how you hang or display your earrings, this is what you would need.

1) Chicken Wire, 2) Snips, and 3) Stapler

It's a pretty simple process and I think you can figure out how to work this in. The one thing I want to ask you to remember is to hold down your stapler with your other hand. Otherwise, the staples won't be flush with the frame and it will cause the wire to be loose and wiggly. And that will make your earrings fall out, bringing you back to square one.

What do you think? Have you done any crafty projects with chicken wire? Tell me in the comments below. I want to hear about them and maybe we can inspire each other!

Friday, October 25

Five on Friday

Let me just start by saying TGIF!! And I hope you all have a wonderful and... 

I'm going to spend some serious time this weekend tackling organization for the 'ole blog. I usually try to write a post the night before and have it set to post the next morning. But that doesn't always happen. Either I'm too lazy to write, I can't think of anything to write, or I just don't have the time to write. I've got plenty of ideas swimming around my brain but I just can't seem to get it all down and together in one night. And don't even get me started on procrastination....

Long ramble short, on to my FIVE on Friday!

[ONE] early halloween parties
My co-worker threw a Halloween party at her house last Saturday night and it was so much fun! Lots of hotdogs and shots later, I'm still a little amazed we could take such a shnazzy picture. Not one of us looks like an idiot. We've got your sexy astronaut, Medusa, Amber (because she couldn't dress like Elijah Wood when her husband was Wilfred), kitty, and sexy pilot. And the guy from Drive behind us. Not a cool photobomb, Josh. Not cool.

[TWO] nine inch nails concert
Trent Reznor and his sexy arms...wait wait wait, that's not what I was going to talk about. Although, while we're here, can I just say that I could stare at his arms FOREVER. What I really wanted to talk about was his concert in Nashville Tuesday night. Hands down, best concert I've been to yet. He was on my list of top 5 concerts I want to attend in my life and I'm glad that I got to check it off.

[THREE] kitty snuggles
Now that our TN Fall weather has gone from gorgeous and perfect to frigid in 2.5 seconds, I love that Asher and Sophie are snuggling more. We keep the heat pretty low in our house so all they're left to do is share their heat. It's so frickin' cute! Should we up the heat for our furry friends? Probably. But are we going to? Nope. If they were humans, then we might consider it. Ha.

[FOUR] body kneads
I took off work Wednesday after the NIN concert. I was thinking it was going to be a relaxing day but we were stuck running errands until laaate that night. The first half of my day was a dream, though. I had an appointment for an hour full-body massage AND half-hour facial. It was absolute HEAVEN!!!

[FIVE] pumpkin carvings
Last night JerBear brought home a pumpkin and said we (aka, I) had to carve something for his IT group at work. His boss wanted to do something with zombies because they're SO in right now but Jerry didn't know how to carve something that elaborate. So he went with "The network is down". What's scarier for an IT person than the computer network being out? Right?!

What have your weeks been up to? Do you have any weekend plans? I'm linking up with Lauren Elizabeth and The Good Life. Visit their pages to find out how to do the same.

Monday, October 21

October Ipsy Glam Bag

I don't know what it is about Ipsy being late every month, but it seems like it keeps moving forward a few days each time. But hey, at least I'm still loving the samples, right?! This month's glam bag was all about the Art of Beauty and each of the five samples were personalized based on the ipsyMatch that I filled out when I first signed up for it. The first couple of bags, you might remember that I complained about getting mascara every single time. After I adjusted a few things online with the match, I hadn't gotten another mascara sample since! So just know that if you keep seeing repeat products or if you decide you don't want to explore different brands of hairspray or nail polish, just log in to your account and change your personalizations.

I'm not very excited about the actual glam bag for October. It's just not very cute to me....I can always use it for tampons or something, right?! Haha. (All images below are courtesy of Ipsy's website. I didn't have the time to take any myself.)

[ONE] Sexy Hair: Blow Dry Gel | $16.95
This product is an alcohol-free gel that thickens hair while adding volume. It also helps retain moisture so your hair never feels dry or brittle. I love this brand and it just happens to be the first sample I've gotten with Ipsy. Although I have been blessed with thick hair, I'm curious to see just how much volume I can achieve with this gel.

[TWO] LA Fresh: Eco-Beauty Oil-Free Face Cleanser Wipes | $9.99
These face wipes gently cleanses and detoxifies skin. They are biodegradable, compostable, and are packaged using clean, renewable solar energy. I haven't always been an eco-friendly person, but I love how "green" this product is. I use these kinds of wipes to remove my makeup every day and, oddly enough, I just ran out this past week so I am very thankful to have received this sample. The scent of the wipes is not your normal refreshing scent but maybe it's just something I'll need to get used to.

[THREE] Starlooks Lip Pencil: "Tickle Me Pink" | $12.00
This long-lasting, full-coverage lip pencil enhances the shape of your lips and gives them the perfect definition. You can also use it as an all-over, highly-pigmented lip color. I got this brand of pencil last month but it was a black eyeliner instead. I love how creamy it is and it can easily be smudged rather than having harsh lines. My other favorite thing is that it comes in either satin or matte so your look can be very versatile.

[FOUR] Nourish Organic: Deeply Nourishing Coconut & Argan Body Lotion | $9.99
This is a new collection of ultra-moisturizing body lotions and body washes that hydrate, soften, and smooth the skin. I love love love that this brand is sold exclusively at Target. AND it comes in several scents: coconut & argan, almond vanilla, and lavender mint. I'm going to very brutally honest with you and say that I do NOT like the scent placed in my bag. I can't put my finger on it, but it doesn't smell like coconut but just something really stinky. It did leave my hand quite smooth though.

[FIVE] ZOYA Nail Polish: "Giovanna" | $8.00
These ultra long-wearing glossy nail lacquers by Zoya are BIG5FREE...free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde resin, and dibutyl phthalate. I'm not sure what other nail polish brands can say that. This particular color is in a collection this Fall designed to work together with runway designs. I'm always up for free nail polish. The price is the same as Essie so I'm interested to see if it's the same quality. Although I like the darker green color I was given, I have a color the exact same so I'm not sure I'll keep it. Any takers?

And there ya go!! I'm waiting to find the perfect Ipsy glam bag, but until then I'm still more pleased than I am with Birchbox. If it were up to me and I would have the chance to pick these out on my own, I'd only use two of these products (Big Sexy Hair and the face wipes). Sorry if that bursts anyone's bubbles but I have to be real with you. Annnd since I wasn't in love with the look of the glam bag, I'd call this month kind of a dud. You win some, you lose some, right?!

If you're interested in subscribing in Ipsy, visit their website and sign up! You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, October 17

It's my high five for Friday

This last week seemed like it was jammed packed with activities. I'm a homebody at heart so it was hard to be out of the house so much when I'd rather be home in my jammies. And I've got several Halloween-y things planned the next few weekends too. When will it be January already? Bahh humbug.

Anywho, here was what my week was filled with.....

Crazy faces from the nephew.

We picked up my parents from the airport. They had just been on a trip to the Caribbean on a Disney cruise. I'm a little jelly. And Z fell asleep on the way there.

Then Sunday we went to the Circus. Took a couple of #selfie's and watch the majestic elephants spin around balancing on their front legs. 

Last night we had another birthday party for Zion with mom and dad back in town. He requested a Jake and the Neverland Pirates cake and Wal-Mart DELIVERED on this art. BAM!

And this last thing hasn't actually happened yet and I'm too excited to keep it in. I know I've talked about some fun Halloween makeup ideas, but I've decided on my costume for the party this weekend.

Just imagine this

unzipped a little showing something similar to this

with this sweet makeup.
(source unknown)

I don't really have a name. I'll just call myself American Girl. I'll also be donned with an American flag that I'll be carrying over my shoulder all night. I'm pretty pumped about it. I'll definitely have to post pictures from that night later on.

So what else have you all been doing this week?

I'm linking up with Lauren Elizabeth and The Good Life. Visit their pages to see how to do the same!

Tuesday, October 15

4 Brilliant Lipstick Tricks

So I've got something up my sleeve, something good. I stumbled upon some pretty genius lipstick hacks and I wanted to share them with you. It makes me incredibly happy when I find things like this and it gives me that Duh! moment. Below are four tricks for those juicy smackers you call lips.
Let me just start this and say that finding the perfect pink is quite difficult for me. I'll be at the store thinking "This is the most amazing color!" and then I get home and it's (for the most part) WAY too light. I don't know if because my lips are darker than the color that it contradicts or something, but this trick makes things easier. Beauty experts say all you have to do to find the perfect shade of pink lipstick is to smile. That shade is about the same color as your gums. Who knew?!
I don't know about you but I get a little jealous (okay, a lot) of women who have luscious lip peaks. And don't get me wrong, if you don't have those peaks, your lips are just as lovely. It's just always fun to play with the shape of them. And if you do want to play up those peaks, here's something you can do AND without using lip liner. All you gotta do is dab some concealer in the middle and around the top of those peaks and blend, blend, blend. Then apply your lipstick like normal. Orrr raise those peaks!
This trick is not something I have always done, BUT when I have, it's worked like a charm. To make your lipstick last, fill all areas of both lips with a neutral lip liner. Worried you'll be left with harsh drawn-on lines? Simply hold the tip of the liner in the middle of your hand and the warmth will soften that pencil. You can also draw teeny circles in your palm and that will soften it as well.
This little hidden trick is my favorite of the list. With my frustration from above, I might have found a way to love the colors I buy from the store without trying them on my lips. Beauty experts agree that when you prime your lips with foundation (or even concealer), it acts like a blank canvas. And when you have a blank canvas, you can paint on any of the truest colors from the tube.

And these are my hidden gems!! What other tricks have you been surprised with lately?

Monday, October 14

October Birchbox

I was surprised at how fast this month's Birchbox was delivered to my house. I think the tracking number had it set to arrive Saturday but I got home from work Friday evening with a gift in my mailbox! I was thinking of filming a reveal but I got too excited and ripped it open as soon as I set everything down inside.

October's theme was Beauty Buzz and was centered around some of the most buzzworthy products according to celebrity favorites, award winners, and new up-and-coming items. I don't know if I always agree with those buzzing products but I was anxious to see what was packed inside my box.

Folle de Joie | Full-size, $98
WHAT   A captivating scent with a modern blend of mandarin, rose, and sandalwood.
HOW     Spritz onto pulse points like the wrists and neck.

Liz Earle
Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser | Full-size, $21.50
WHAT   UK facorite that uses a two-step ritual to purify and exfoliate. A Birchbox exclusive!
HOW     Massage into skin. With muslin cloth, wipe off gently in small circles, from the center out.

Liz Earle
Pure Muslin Cloth | 2 cloths, $6
WHAT   Ditch your harsh exfoliator and use this pure muslin cloth, which gently polishes skin.
HOW     Rinse with warm water and wipe off cleanser. Hang to dry.

Miss Jessie's Originial
Creme de la Creme Conditioner | Full-size, $16
WHAT   This detangling formula softens and nourished stubborn curls and pin-straight locks alike.
HOW     Smooth through damp, clean hair and rinse--or dab into dry hair as a leave-in treatment.

POP Beauty
Aqua Lacquer | Full-size, $14
WHAT   A British makeup pro created this sheer gloss, which plumps and hydrates with jojoba oil.
HOW     The cute paddle-style applicator makes for precise lines.

Birchbox Find Alert!
ChapStick Hydration Lock
WHAT   ChapStick developed a new 8-hour moisture technology that's definitely a breakthrough.
HOW     It's clinically proven to moisturize lips, from 9-5. It also doubles as a lip primer and comes chock full of damage-defending antioxidants like CoQ10 and Vitamin E.

My Initial Reviews:
Joie | This perfume is NOT my style at all. The card said it had mandarin, rose, and sandalwood but all I could smell was the floral. It IS a light scent. But still...not my style. So I tossed it.

Liz Earle Cleanser & Cloths | I'm always a little excited when I get face products. Actually, on one hand, I don't because my face can be sensitive. But on the other hand, I love it when the treasures I do find are amazing. One of the main scents is eucalyptus and there's just something about it that makes me feel refreshed. Since it's an exfoliator I assumed the texture would be grainy but it's not. It's very very smooth. So I'm curious to see how this will actually work on my face.

Miss Jessie's Originals | I love me a good hair conditioner. I also love that it's geared towards curly/wavy hair or hair that is colored or chemically damaged. The Birchbox ladies were really excited about this product so I'm also excited to try it out.

POP Beauty | I've gotten a lip crayon from this brand in a previous box so I was glad I got a lipgloss instead. The gloss was the first thing I tried Friday night. As soon as I put it on, I was reminded of my middle school days where the other students made fun of me because of my huge lips. Kids, shiny lip products + big lips = no good. Annnd it had a plumping agent in it so my lips were feeling all tingly so I know the size was only growing. The paddle brush was kinda cool, though. BUT, I'm going to toss it.

ChapStick | I'm not kidding when I say this, but I bought this exact tube of Chapstick two weeks ago. I love that it's vanilla scented and the moisture will last all day, but I do not like that Birchbox threw this in with their box this month when it's not "high end" like their company claims to be. It came with a coupon for the next purchase (not sure if I'll use it), but I'll definitely keep this tube in my bedside table.

I know I've been more than disappointed in all but one Birchbox since I've started my subscription, I can honestly say I like this one. I don't love it, but it's better. I got a few things I actually have wanted to try after seeing ads and such. And considering most of Birchbox's items are more upscale, I think I got a pretty good deal this time.

Looking to start a subscription? Google Birchbox and follow the steps on their website!

Friday, October 11

My High 5 this Friday.

So let's get it going! First of all, how in the heck is it already Friday? It has FLOWN by.

And here are my five favorite things from this week!

one | Asher and Sophie snuggles are the best especially when they are simultaneous.

two | With our handy dandy food passport, I finally got around to adding Burger Up to its' pages. Seriously, this place is UH-mazing.

three | If you remember, we went to Sky High in Nashville last night for my nephew's 4th birthday. He was even doing flips! I wish I were that limber.

four | Then we came home and had cupcakes. YUM!

five | I hosted my Partylite candle party last Friday night and with the sales, I was able to rack up some pretty amazing things. Youuu should definitely check it out online. www.partylite.biz/rlsmith.

What kinds of things did you do this week? Any exciting plans for the weekend?

I'm linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F as well as The Good Life for Five on Friday. Visit their pages to find out how you can do the same!

Wednesday, October 9

Sky High Nashville

I was lucky enough to experience an exhausting exciting attraction in Nashville tonight. My nephew's 4th birthday is today and since my parents are out of town, my sister and I wanted to take him somewhere he'd never been before. We thought about a jump/blow-up place but we weren't really sure if big kids could play. And then we found this place in Nashville that is full of trampolines. Say what?! Although I'm not nearly in as much shape than I was as a kid, Sky High is a place that I want to celebrate my 28th birthday. I kid you not.

This is one of their promo videos for AIRobics.

After you register and sign waivers and such, you walk to the main court and it's split up into different sections. The right side is a kids trampoline area and further down is a private party trampoline area. On the left was a foam pit, doge ball, and a full-sized trampoline area where everyone could jump until they were all tired as a dog. Yep, that was me. Where do these kids get all that energy?!? 

We had an hour to jump with the $12 we paid and that was plenty of time for myself. But I guess I can sort of get wanting to stay longer if I were a kid. You do have the option to stay longer but you have to pay more for any extra time.

These are some of the shots that Abigail got of Zion.

Zion's been in this weird phase where he'll smile and then at the last second, trick you and frown or give you a silly face instead.

He's so freaking adorable.

We were pretty sweaty. Yuck.

And then I took a couple of other shots myself...

We got home a little before 10pm and remembered Zion still hadn't blown out his candles on his birthday cupcakes. So we took a few pictures of that too. You'd think we love this boy or something.

Now if only I didn't have to go to work tomorrow. I'm sure my body will hate me when I try to move myself out of bed. But I was really happy we got to do this tonight. It was a BLAST!!

And now to leave you with a video of Zion doing flips!