Saturday, December 25, 2010

A wish for you...

Travel Musts

Yeah, so I'm a little late as I'm sure most of you peeps are already at your holiday destinations, but I figured this would be a good post regardless. I'm slowly working my way to having traveling down to a science. I'd love to have the system down, but I'm getting there. One of the hardest components of packing for a trip is whittling down my beauty products to the essentials.


A train case: This is an awesome way to keep all of your toiletries together in one organized place. This might not work so much if your planning to fly but if you're keeping it local or driving these are perfect. I got one as a gift a few Christmas's ago but I thought these train cases would be amazing!




Brush Case:
If you invested a bit of money on your make up brushes they should be protected when you travel. There are lots of options for brush cases but I just got a basic one from Ulta and it works wonderfully. Plus, it's only fits about 8 brushes, so that forces me to downsize on trips...

Retractable Kabuki Brush: This is a great brush to have, but if you use Bare Minerals makeup you know it's especially important. The brush that is marketed for Bare Minerals won't be protected from being tossed around in your makeup bag or new train case so a retractable brush is perfect for traveling. Once again, I picked up mine from Ulta. And just as a side note, this is a great all-purpose brush if you're thinking about starting a brush collection. It can be used for your face powder, blush, and/or bronzer.



Compact eyelash curler: I have a pretty small makeup back and when I travel, I bring a little bit more than my normal make up to be prepared for different situations. So, when I found this eyelash curler at Ulta (seeing a pattern?) I had to pick it up. It's so small and flat that it fits amazingly in a small bag. Plus, it works really great AND you can order free replacement pads for the life of the curler!! Did I mention it comes in pink, too?




And lastly, the hands-down best product ever for travel!!!

KMS California Makeover Spray: This stuff is amazing! It's like the less-messy version of dry shampoo. Say you arrive late at your destination, don't especially feel like showering, and go straight to bed. You wake up the next morning with a full day planned and don't have time for a morning shower. This stuff will take greasy hair and make it normal again! No joke! You just spray it throughout your hair (focus on the roots), brush through, and style as normal. As you could guess, I got mine at Ulta as a free sample, but you can get it on Amazon too!

So, happy traveling! I hope these tips and products to make packing and traveling easier!

**Disclaimer** I am not, nor do I ever claim to be a beauty expert. I am not affiliated with any brands or products mentioned. I bought them all and I give my honest opinion. :D

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Operation BBE: Best Break Ever

Being a student can definitely put strains on your relationship as an engaged/married couple and I'll be the first to admit that Josh and I are no exception. It is just plain hard to maintain a strong, grounded relationship while juggling work, school, homework, and all that other junk. Ask Josh the definition of fun and you will get "what's that" in reply. So, as this semester has come to an end, I have decided to work hard in making this the "best winter break ever". The goal is to be productive, spend time with each other, and HAVE FUN!!!

To kick off Operation BBE how about a picture of the hubs and me at an awesome holiday party we were able to attend last weekend. As you might be able to tell, this picture was taken well into the night after lots and lots of crazy dancing! Sure, I have crazy hair, a double chin, and red eyes but I can't deny the fun that's on our faces so I had to post it.

I promise more posts are on the way. But in the mean time, everyone enjoy your holiday breaks with friends and families!!! Thank you for all your love and support this year!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Update + Cool Gifts for your Man

So, I've been a little absent lately, but in my defense it is finals week. And go figure, on this Monday of finals week, I wake up at 6:30AM feeling fresh and ready to start the day. I even washed the breakfast dishes and folded clothes in the dryer! That never happens. I told Josh that I was trying to see how much housework I could do this morning before he passed out in shock.

But luckily enough, I've been compiling a little gift guide for the hard-to-buy-for guy (That's a mouth full, huh?). I'm not really into giving gift cards. Maybe I'm a little crazy strange, but I just prefer gifts wrapped in boxes and bows. Weird? So if you're looking for a cool, quirky gift, maybe this will help!


Personalized Steak Branding Iron



Eye Glasses Holder


Perpetual Calendar

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday, AWWY!

That's right, today is my "One Year Blog-iversarry!!!"

While one year is huge milestone on it's own, I feel especially proud because I cannot remember ever starting a project and continuing with it for more than a few months! And what started out as a way to document the planning of my wedding, has turned into so much more! This blog has opened up the creative floodgates and, now, I'm doing things that I never thought I would.

The best part? There is so much more to come and I can't wait to share it with you!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

November Favorites

November kicked off the holiday season, and I have a whole lot of favorite items and activities to help out with that.

New and Old Family:

This Thanksgiving was one of the most memorable I've had because I got to have two "Turkey Days". Josh and I spent one with his family and one with mine. Even though I'd been with Josh for practically 4 years prior to this holiday season, but we've never been completely immersed in the holiday season with each others family. It was a really great holiday and I am truly thankful for my old and my new family!

Window shopping:

At this point in time, Josh and I are really trying to watch our budget and it can be pretty hard staying in check with all of the crazy sales going on. So, to curb the craving, I've been doing a lot of window shopping, especially online. That is one of the reasons I created this design board.

Secret Wonderland from Bath and Body Works:

Best. Scent. Ever!!! It is very sweet (almost like cotton candy, I think) and this one little candle smelled up my whole apartment. Candles are a tricky thing for us, because Josh can't handle a lot of potent scents. So I bought the small version of this to test it out, and it will absolutely be a repeat purchase. If you're looking for a new scent for the holidays, I would definitely recommend this one.


Oven Break!

I found this awesome little iPhone game a few weeks ago and I am obsessed!! This little gingerbread man is so cute and your goal is to try and break him out of the oven! It definitely sets you in a Christmas mood! Did I mention it's free?

What were your favorite items for November?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

PeaPod: The Knot Party

Thursday, November 18 brought the biggest day of my year with The Knot Party. I am blessed enough to work for a very talented event designer who was picked to plan this years Texas event. Needless to say, it. was. amazing!! And with a theme like Club Havana, it was also a blast!I can't imagine anyone having more fun on a job. There was dancing, amazing food and drinks, and crazy-fun stations like Foto Favor, a gourmet popcorn bar by Le Popcorn, and even our own pipe cleaner rings!

How crazy is this cake?

One of the new specialties from the PeaPod Group are these awesome pipe cleaner rings. We spent part of the night hand making these for the guests. Everyone loved them!


The PeaPod girls!!! This group is really such an awesome collection of people with lots of different talents and skills. I am a very lucky girl.

*Photography by the wonderful Rejana from BluDoor Studios

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Wedding: When things go wrong...

It's hard to believe that just over 3 months ago, Josh and I got married. It's even more difficult to believe that the week leading up to our wedding was one of the most difficult weeks we had to deal with as a couple.

About 8 days prior to the wedding, I had it all planned out for the week of to run smoothly... no, seriously. But, of course, things usually don't work out as planned. We wanted to get married in our hometown, which is six hours away from where we currently live. The Sunday before the big day, we arrive in our hometown in the evening, I drop Josh off at his parents house, and I'm headed to mine when... I hit a huge chunk of wood with my car that all but destroys parts of the under-carriage (for your sake, I'll leave out all of the technical mumbo-jumbo). So there I am, one week before "the biggest day of my life" freaking out (and blubbering, I might add) because our only mode of transportation is now a stationary heap of metal. "How do we get to the airport for the honeymoon? How do we get home after that? How do we even begin to afford another car?" It was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to deal with at this point in my life.

Long story short, we did end up buying a "new" car after the honeymoon and I feel like the experience of purchasing something that big on our own was a great way to start out our marriage, but that doesn't mean it wasn't hard as hell.

I know that this is probably the least fun topic to cover in regards to wedding planning, but things happen and it's important to be aware. So, what do you do when things go wrong close to your wedding? Certainly my case, is not the most serious thing that could happen, but I do feel like there would be similarities between all cases.

1. Go ahead and cry. No, crying won't really solve anything or make the situation better, but if you need to, let it out. Just periodically blow your nose, or it can get messy.

2. Breathe. This is especially important if you choose to participate in Tip #1. Because, I don't know about you, but I am an ugly crier and once I get going, it takes a lot of deep breathing to calm me down.

3. Talk with your fiance. If they aren't with you at the time, get to them or in touch with them as soon as possible. After all, you are marrying this person. Chances are that they are the person you confide in, as well as, the person you will need to discuss the matter with anyways. Plus, it will be a test of their love, once they see your crying face. (KIDDING!)


And 4. Make a game plan. This is somthing that depends entirely on your situation, but if it's something like car trouble or an injury, really think about what the challenges will be in relation to the wedding and decide (with your soon-to-be-spouse) what the best option is.

The most important thing I'll stress is just open communication. Be open-minded and ready to listen to solutions. But most of all, know that you and your other half will have to deal with tough situations throughout your lives and the key to getting past it is supporting each other and rationally creating a solution.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dream Design: Living Room

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! I was blessed enough to spend time with old and new family. Being home has inspired some thoughts of becoming a home-owner and having another opportunity to design and decorate. Since, this won't be happening any time soon, I thought I'd give a shot at creating design boards of my "fantasy land" home.

I decided to start with the living area. (Click for larger image)


I found the color palette from this post at Young House Love. I was drawn to it because our couch is very close to that shade of purple and after we bought it I contemplated how we could incorporate it into multiple color schemes and life stages. Our current palette is very bold with black, white, yellow, and purple but I figure that in our future house we will want a more subdued palette. And how killer is that wallpaper? I love that this medium has been given a makeover. I found this and a lot more beautiful patterns at Walnut Wallpaper. I thought it would be amazing to have around the fire place to make it an accent wall and keep the other walls the pale blue so things don't get too cluttered.

The Leaning Wine Bar/Bookcase from Crate and Barrel is a great statement piece and (along with a fire place) it is substantial enough to take the place of a television. We don't currently own a TV and, if we acquire one in the future, we do not want it to be the center of the living area. There will be ample seating with our current sofa and a few lounge chairs from Target. This modern coffee table (also from C&B) provides hidden storage and promotes a circular flow for the seating arrangement.

Glass accents like these candle holders and the beautiful Firefly Pendant Lamp by CB2 (seeing a pattern here?) keep the airiness of the color palette

So, while, I'm in no position right now to purchase anything, there is no harm in thinking about it. I really had fun putting together this design board and have plans to do many more. I hope you enjoyed it to.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pink Cupcake Cookies

Well, the week of Thanksgiving is upon us, and as hard as I've been trying to resist the temptation of cheating on Thanksgiving with Christmas, I have failed... sort of.

This past weekend, I spent time with two of my best friends, Sarah and Amanda, to pick out bridesmaids dresses for Sarah's upcoming wedding. It also happened to Amanda's belated birthday, so I decided to make some cookies as a "bridal bonanza day/belated birthday" surprise for the both of them. And as much as I love fall colors, I wanted these to be pink... really, really pink. Roll that anti-Fall footage!

Aren't they adorable? They are equally cute just plain or decorated with swirls and polka-dots. Perfectly fitting for a princess birthday party and, obviously, Valentine's day! I'm particularly proud of these, because I can tell my cookie skills are improving! Yay, for dedication!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Autumn Mantle

I can't tell you how tempting it was to skip the "Turkey Day" decorating and go straight for Christmas but Josh wouldn't let me. And I just couldn't justify leaving Halloween decor up through November. So, I set out to create a cute Thanksgiving Mantle without spending a thing and by looking around the house and the outdoors, I would say mission accomplished!

On the very left hand side, you can see a branch that I found and spray painted gold. I used these paper patterns to punch out circles and decorate the branch.

I switched out the "October" page for another magazine clipping that reflected a Fall theme and spruced it up with a vintage cookbook I received for Christmas last year.

I decided to leave the birdhouse and mini-pumpkins but added my pumpkin pie candle (yum!) and a vase filled with the cutest little acorns. And used a cursive font to print out a cute sign.

In total, I spent zero dollars! But maybe I paid for it in something else as I tried to inconspicuously tear a branch off of a tree in our complex and pick up acorns from the tree by our bus stop. Eh, it was worth it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

"The Hangover" Inspired Dessert Table

"The Hangover" is one of the greatest movies ever, in my opinion and I was psyched when I hopped over to "Hostess with the Mostess" and saw that Jenn was planning her 10 year anniversary party to be in Vegas and this was going to be the theme! She put out the "creative call" for readers to submit inspiration and party ideas to see what the community could come up with. Well, I was not going to sit this one out!

One of the gliches she had expressed was not being able to find great ways to incorporate the tiger. I think I may have solved the problem. With my new found cookie obsession, I set out to create "steak" cookies. Oh, yes. I'm serious. And, no joke, they turned out great!

And for the rest of the table, I decided that a "destroyed hotel room" would be the inspiration. I used a crumpled bed sheet as the table cloth, threw out playing cards, clothes, and, if you're a real aficionado when it comes to the movie, you'll even notice the skittles tie in. ("Hey! There are skittles in there!")

How about some pictures?




I even created a little video, to a very familiar song (if you've seen the movie) to give a better idea of what's going on on the table. What an awesome theme! And, seriously, if you have not seen "The Hangover", go rent it. You will not regret it!



video

Monday, November 8, 2010

Product Review: Too Faced Naked Eye Kit

Believe or not, the first time I ever heard of a Sephora or Ulta was after I graduated high school. Before that, the only place I purchased cosmetics was from Wal-Mart (not that there is anything wrong with that). I just had no idea how much variety and how large make-up selection really was. I starting getting into make-up shortly after entering college, and I am still sorting my way through the multitudes of products out there. But, recently, I found something that I just had to share.

One of the largest categories of cosmetics and the toughest area to be knowledgeable in is eye shadow. Honestly, it's just hard to find things that work for you without a lot of leg work. I just wanted something I could use everyday. Something relatively neutral.


Enter the Too Faced Naked Eye Kit. It comes with 9 neutral eye shadows to complete three different looks that range from subtle to smokey. With the kit, also comes instructional cards with tutorials on how to complete the three looks. One of my favorite things about this palette are the names of the shadows. Some of my favorites: lap dance, stiletto, and birthday suit!

The pay-off of the shadows are really great and the best thing about neutral shades is that they really do compliment all skin tones. The kit contains both matte and satin shades.

I tried out the three specific looks this past week to show you how it looked.


The "Day" Look

Obviously, this look is the most neutral of the three.
I primed my lids with Urban Decay Primer Potion and used a NYX Jumbo Eye Shadow Pencil in Milk for the corners of my eyes to make the white stand out.



"The Classic Look"

Again, I used the same primer and eye shadow pencil to start. This look is unique because of the satin pink shade (appropriately named "satin sheets") on the lid. Another "day-time" look that has a little something extra





"The Fashion Look:"

Once more, I started with Primer Potion but no eye pencil this time. This is the darkest and smokiest of the looks and I love it! I actually used this for Halloween. Throw on some fake lashes and you are ready to knock 'em dead.


So, all in all, I am in love with this product. The colors are gorgeous and it gives a perfect neutral look every time. And with names like "unmentionables" and "pillow talk", how could you not be smitten?

On a side note, I felt so funny taking these "myspace" pictures that I just had to finish it up with a duck face!!! You gotta love it.


**Disclaimer** I am not, nor do I ever claim to be a beauty expert. I am not affiliated with any brands or products mentioned. I bought them all and I give my honest opinion. :D

Thursday, November 4, 2010

PDA: Pretty Displays of Affection

Since our wedding pictures turned out so beautifully, I wanted a really fun way to display them. See what has now been deemed as "the wedding wall".

This project was fairly budget friendly as most of the frames came from the dollar store. I picked up a can of black spray paint from Wal-Mart to give them all the same finish. In addition to pictures, I opted to display some of our wedding cards and our marriage covenant (it's our vows written out and we signed it during our ceremony). I even painted the light switch plate black so there wasn't a void space in the frame pattern


See my blog header in here?



Adorable card from our good friend, Ashley.


One of my favorite cards, from my sister and Maid of Honor.
She picked this up in England while she was interning at Oxford.

The black and white pattern the frames make match the curtains in the living room and our new black bar wall. Plus, it filled the void of that blank wall. It took a while to complete this project, with school and work being so busy, but now that it's done I love it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Weird Fantasies?

Do you ever find yourself drifting off? Maybe in class or at work? Your eyelids get heavy, your mouth slackens, and you starting entering dream land, where anything is possible... like gorgeous, spacious, light and airy laundry rooms!

What did you think I meant?


image

image


image

I am loving the pink-striped room! It's so fresh. Right now our laundry room is more of a closet, but one day we'll have a house and it would just be the cherry on top if we could have an awesome laundry room. After all, don't you think that having a room like any of these three would make doing laundry a lot better? I think, yes.

Which is your favorite?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween at Apartment 1313

Welcome to November! I hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween. I thought I would share some more pictures and details from the party Josh and I threw this past weekend. The thing that sparked our interest in have a Halloween party was the fact that our apartment number is 1313. Creepy on its own accord, right?

And of course, this whole month, I've been going on about non-traditional Halloween themes. This year, I chose black birds/bird silhouettes.

We invited people through Facebook, so I found an image of bird silhouettes and added the party information in paint with a creepy font. This one was Destroyed License Plate from dafont.com. I also made fun food cards from another "googled" image.


Dead flowers add a nice touch, eh?




I picked up some "matte-finish" ornaments from Hobby Lobby and filled them with black feathers to create a "black orb" kind of feel.


Here you can see my first attempt at decorating cookies. As I mentioned in my October Favorites, I have fallen in love (fairly quickly) with cookies. For this party, I made ghosts and black cats. They turned out rather well for a beginner (if I do say so, myself). More cookie updates to come!


And another note? I will never, ever make candied apples again. First of all, I didn't find actual sticks, so I ended up using the popsicle sticks that came in the kit, so while they looked spooky (because they were really deep red) they didn't have the same effect as actual sticks would have had. And then of course was the problem of "they were just a pain in the ass". They were so sticky, I couldn't get them off of the cookie sheet. I literally had to use scissors to cut them up. They did look creepy, but it wasn't worth the work. Now I know.

Once our friends arrived, we had an awesome time! There were so many candles lit, it looked like we were going to be sacrificing someone. Good (and interesting) conversation with good friends.

What did you do for Halloween?