Thursday, March 28, 2013

Echinacea Tea and Colds

It's been really chilly lately (for Florida's standards) and it seems whenever the weather gets cold here, my boyfriend gets a minor cold for less than a week. However, I end up getting sick with his cold about two weeks later, but it's terrible and lasts for at least two weeks. I've tried vitamin C, eating extra healthy, staying away from his kisses no matter how sad and sick his little face looks, and nothing ever works. 

So, this time, I bought some echinacea tea from the GreenWise aisle in Publix. I knew that echinacea has been used for centuries to ward off many immunity bugs, but never had the chance to try it. 

While I'm not sure if it's going to work, it tastes lovely and soothing with a bit of honey and is the perfect combination with some tealights and Andy Mckee on the back porch :)

I'll keep you up to date ;)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Infinite List of Things to Smile About

Reasons to Smile and Be Happy About Today:

1. Kitten whiskers
2. Rabbit whiskers
3. Any kind of whiskers for that matter 
5. Love
6. Light dispersed through a window
7. The way everyone smiles just a little bit differently
8. The feeling of dried paint on your hands
9. Chipped nail polish (because who wants to be perfect all the time, anyway?)
10. French fries
11. Comfy stockings and boots
12. Frilly socks
14. Green Tea
15. Peonies
16. Weeping willows that look like tree-umbrellas
17. Simple, pure water when you're really thirsty
19. Beady bird eyes that curiously say, "Hello!"
20. Simplicity
21. Fresh, new books
22. Old, worn books
23. Om
24. The rainbow of fruits to choose from and eat
25. The Lion King
26. Chalk and the way it gets all over your clothes and shoes 
27. The way water ripples
28. How the ocean mimics the ins and outs of human breath (Or is it the other way around?)
29. Ukeleles
30. Poetry
32. Glasses that match your hair
35. A breeze
36. Towels warm from the dryer
37. Homemade "everything but the kitchen sink" vegan soup
39. Because you're infinite
40. Tom's shoes
41. The smell of fresh lavender
42. Vintage aprons
43. Delicate carving in wood
44. Going for a run with a dog
45. Colorful fabrics
46. Nintendo 64
47. Sunflower butter (It's good, take my word)
48. Life-sized paper flowers
49. Old maps
50. Thrift stores
51. Plump bunnies
52. Kawaii emoticons
53. Hummus 
54. Tupelo honey
55. Pokemon

*I intend this list to be ongoing, so check back later for more :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

DIY: Tissue Paper Flower Gift Accent

It only occurred to me after my dad's birthday present was wrapped that I should have taken a picture of what was inside! Inside was a black keepsake box with a window for photos on the front that I filled with photos of my dad and I at different ages in black and white. Inside, I put yummy cookies that are secretly vegan but are so good that I didn't even mention it ;). The recipe that I used can be found here at VegWeb

As for the wrapping, I'm on a budget and the only scraps I found in my craft supplies were tissue paper. It was originally a very boring looking little present, so I decided to search the web for something to spruce it up. This DIY tissue paper flower gave it a facelift and was so unbelievably easy to do! I used the DIY found here on Rust and Sunshine's blog for "poppy flower" and secured it to the present by tying it to a bit of twine.

Do you have any easy, at-home wrapping ideas?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

EDM Event / Rave Outfit

So, if you really knew me, you'd know that I'm not really the "rave type". But, my boyfriend spins poi and fire, and is also getting pretty decent at gloving, so I go to EDM events and raves to support his talents. I don't mind the music, and I love getting to know so many friendly people. Most everyone at the events I go to exude PLUR (peace, love, unity, respect) and it's a blast making kandi beforehand and trading them with others for other unique, special pieces. 

I also jump on any chance to dress up in dorky costumes :3 and this time I decided upon a Pokemon theme! 

-Pikachu backpack: At Hot Topic in stores or online here, now for only $15.97.

-Pokebra: I actually won this bra on Facebook from a promoter who was asking Pokemon trivia questions! I was so happy to win. You can buy yours here from Neon Wonderland (there may be a limited selection because I believe most everything is hand-made) or other pretty ones like it.

-Super Comfy Black High-Wasited Shorts: You can't see them very well in the photo but they're cute, I swear! American Apparel has them for $24 in SO many adorable colors here.

-Black Fishnets (not seen in picture): I got these from Target in a clearance section for less than $5. Check out your local Target for deals near the end of aisles! 

- Kandi: Made with love from fellow ravers. I don't know about you, but I think that this practice should continue to everyday life! How awesome would it be if you were stopped by a stranger on the street who gave you an a nifty bracelet with love? 

-Boyfriend: Captured by a master ball in college- a shiny, super rare Pokemon. If you find one of these in the wild, be sure to capture it! tehe

If you're interested in the EDM scene or curious what poi or gloving is like, you can check out these videos that my boyfriend made below :)



Friday, March 8, 2013

Review: Alima Pure Satin Matte Eyeliner

Months ago, I joined the health-conscious wagon. I've thrown away all of my nasty, chemical cleaning supplies and began making my own from natural, safer ingredients. I started buying organic and, when I could, locally-grown produce. I revamped my whole way of life, but there was one thing that I kept purposely overlooking- my makeup. I love my makeup. I love my natural face too, but cat eyes and red lips make me feel more confident and give me the ability to express the person I feel inside on the outside. Often, I sleep in it, too lazy to wash my face before bed. But deep down, I knew that my drugstore favorites were full of g-r-o-s-s, unpronouncable chemicals made in some labratory, so I decided that it was time to take the leap and search for natural alternatives.

I searched EWG's site for the safest ratings for eyeliner, because it's the one product in my makeup routine that I use daily. Alima's Pure Satin Matte Eyeliner got an awesome score of 1 (on a 0-10 scale, 0 being the safest and 10 being the most dangerous) so I hopped on over to their site and purchased some for less than $13. I received their product in the mail today and was so excited I tore open the package outside!

I was ecstatic to see that they included a litte card in the package that showed every ingredient used in their product line. 

There was even a special, hand-written thank you on the order confirmation page. 

Upon opening the package, I thought that they had accidentally given me the wrong order, but realized that they sent me two extra little samples! One being the same eye liner I originally bought (can never have enough!) and a second with their lilac eyeshadow. 

Product Rating: 8/10. The only reason this product didn't receive a full 10/10 is because it wasn't as dark going on the eye as I would've hoped or as I'm used to, and it was a bit smudgeable. However, this should be expected when a product is so natural and made with so little ingredients. The powder form gives the option to use a little brush to put it on dry (I got my brush from the E.L.F brand for $3 and it worked perfectly) or wet with a little bit of water. While I'm not used to the lightness, it's beginning to grow on me, and I'd still choose it over my old liquid eyeliner in terms of being less hazard and still adequate. If you like the effect of a soft, smoky eye, you'll fall in love with this eyeliner.

Packaging Rating: 10/10. The hand-written thank you was really special, and the added samples were very generous. The actual packaging of the eyeliners themselves are durable and, unlike many powders that come in loose form, just the right amount comes out when you shake it from the holes.

Service Rating: 10/10. Expedient and I had no problems with the website or the service.

Want to check out Alima's website? They've got tons of other awesome, natural beauty products on their website here.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

DIY: Bookcase Refresh

I love TJ Maxx, and every time I go for one or two items, I come home with a bunch of cheap supplies and new craft ideas! These shelf liners were on sale for $4.50, but my shelfs are already lined, so I began to conjure up new ideas. I decided that my boring, black bookshelf needed a facelift, so I got to work :)

You will need:
- A bookshelf (Mine's from the Target Room Essentials line)

- Shelf liner (There's usually tons of cute picks at TJ Maxx, Marshall's, or Ross, but I've also seen some cute ones at the Dollar Store)

- Modge Podge and paint brush (Optional)

- Scissors

What to do: 
1. Take out the shelves from your bookcase. This meant emptying mine all over the floor!  My boyfriend almost had a heart attack when he came home, tehe.

2. Unroll your shelf liner and turn it to the back side. Usually, there will be lines already drawn as to ease the cutting process. Place the shelf on the liner and trace or mark off where you need to cut.

3. Cut the shelf liner. 

4. Peel away a portion of the liner and line it up with the end of the shelf. I reccomend not peeling the backing all off at once, or it tends to stick to itself and create bubbles. A credit card or any other flat item helps to smooth out any creases and bubbles that you do encounter.

5. Repeat for each shelf. 

6. (Optional) The shelf liner I chose was removable, so I sealed it to the shelves with simple Modge Podge and a paint brush to make sure it wouldn't budge. Even if yours isn't removable, the Modge Podge will give it a nice finish.

7. Put shelves back. 

Voila! Refreshed book case :)

Do you have any unique uses for shelf liner?


Sunday, March 3, 2013

DIY: Distressed Letter Stickers Wall Art

I got the idea for this easy wall art DIY from A Beautiful Mess here, but I made a few tweaks for convenience and for a different feel for the finished project. I wanted something more worn and rustic, with a more simple red to green hue background to match the bedroom, and, most of all, I wanted to see if I could try and use what I already had laying around the house! 

What you need:
- A canvas or an old piece of wall art that you're no longer fond of

- Letter stickers (I found mine at Staples)

- Acrylic black paint and two other paint colors that you'd like to use

- Paintbrushes

- (Optional) A ruler

- (Optional) Steel wool to make it look worn and rustic

What to do:
1. Take your first acrylic paint color and paint the top half of the canvas or old artwork. Then, take your second paint color and paint the bottom half of the canvas. With a dab of each paint color, blend the two colors in the middle until you've reached your desired effect. Don't worry, it doesn't have to be perfect- most of it will be covered in black anyway!

2. Wait until the acrylics have dried. Then, choose a quote of your liking (be sure to take account of letter space versus canvas space). Before you lay the letters down, you can see if it fits by cutting out the letters, sticky parts still covered, and placing them on the canvas. At Staples, I found big letters and small letters. I chose the big letters with the small canvas to reach a certain effect, but small letters would've looked great too!

3. Once you're happy with your quote and letter placement, you can stick the letters down. I used a ruler to make sure that the words lined up straight. Make sure to smooth all of the letters out so that the paint won't be able to seep under.

4. Paint the entire canvas black! This is the scary part, because it looks like you're ruining all of the pretty work you've just done, but I promise, it's going to be okay ;)

5. Wait until the black paint has fully dried. This is important, or you'll end up with squiggly letters. Then, carefully peel each letter off. I found it easiest to start from the corners.

6. This step is optional. I was able to do this with my canvas because I was using a piece of old artwork that was hard and made out of a plastic substance, but I'm afraid if you used real canvas material that this step would only make it tear. To make my wall art look more rustic (and to cover up some imperfections) I took a piece of steel wool and scratched the canvas until I decided I was done. I was really scared to do this, but it turned out better than I imagined. If you use an old picture, it's really cool because you can the underneath. In my case, the underneath had a shiny texture, making the final piece even cooler.

7. Ta da! Beautiful distressed letter stickers wall art.

I love this DIY because each piece will be unique. I'd love to see any of the versions that you make!