Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Box of Sunshine

If you want to absolutely make someone's day, send them a Box of Sunshine!

Unless said person lives nearby, then just take them a bottle of wine and watch a fun movie with them.

In my case, I couldn't just pop in with wine and a movie so I sent a good friend of mine a box with a bunch of yellow goodies inside.

I might have went a little cray.
 I sent a little note indicating what the items could be used for...

Baby Shampoo to clean your makeup brushes
Hand cream for your dry winter hands
Burt’s Bees chapstick to give you soft lips
Wet Ones for clean hands on-the-go
A loofah to keep you clean
Post-It notes so you remember
A rubber ducky for baby's bathtime
A duck wash cloth to keep baby clean
A giraffe rattler for baby to play with
A candle to make your home smell amazing
Doggy treats for the poochies
Juicy Fruit for yummy breath
Peanut butter cookies for a yummy snack
Starburst for when you are craving candy
Milky Ways for when you are craving chocolate

I made this PDF and printed it on yellow paper and wrapped each goodie individually in yellow tissue paper.

And then I filled the voids with packing peanuts.
Because who doesn't love packing peanuts!?

And then I shipped that baby off without warning so it would be a surprise!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

10 Things I Have Learned About Planning a Wedding (Since I Got Engaged)

I've been engaged for 2 whole weeks now! Hooray! Wedding planning is fun, right!? Not all of it! So here are some things that I have learned about wedding planning since I got engaged.

1. Find an awesome location for your ceremony? They want $20,000 dollars just to rent the space. Oh and they won't tell you that on their website. You have to email or call them for their rates so they don't scare the initial shit out of you.
I mean all I'm doing is walking around on your property and having my friends come hang out and stuff.

2. If it looks fancy, it's expensive. Real damn expensive.
These invites are beautiful, but are they $3,000 dollars beautiful? Uhhh... nuhhh.

3. If it has anything to do with the "w" word, it's going to cost you more.
Me: "I'm looking for pricing on an up-do on Saturday, Oct..."
Awesome Hair Chick: "Oh okay my up-do rate is $60 dollars."
Me: "Okay great I would love to do a trial with you sometime soon."
Awesome Hair Chick: "Oh this is for your wedding? Congratulations! My rate is $250 dollars for weddings."

4. If the venue/vendor/anything has ever been featured in a magazine, they are more expensive.
I have all of these accolades and stuff and therefore I can rape you in the butt with my prices!

5. Pinterest is actually NOT very helpful at planning a wedding.
If you think that the link will take you to the actual designer of the dress you are WRONG. It will probably take you to some Chinese dress maker that doesn't speak English. And talk about distractions. Try searching for "bridesmaids dresses" and then you see cute bridal party robes and then you go to Etsy to see the prices and then you have a minor coronary.

6. Just because it's a new or different idea, doesn't mean it's a good idea.
Hello awkward walk down the aisle making eye contact with every single guest.

Those guests sitting towards the center of the X are going to be really comfortable all night shoving their chairs in to each other.

7. Apparently there is an acceptance for calling your best friends "bitches" when it comes to inviting them to stand next to you, hold your dress while you pee, and put up with you on the most stressful day of your life.
Really? Like no.

8. There are a bunch of things that are not that exciting that you have to remember to plan for.
Damn you stamps, and taxes, and tips, and other boring stuff.

9. Even when you get a bunch of stuff for free, your wedding will still cost a lot of money.
Dis chick got a free venue, free officiant, free dress, free accessories, free hair, free makeup, and free groom's attire and she still paid 23 grand for her wedding.

10. Find the dress of your dreams? Expect to drive all over God's green earth to try it on.
Because of course the dress of your dreams (for now) is in their new Spring line and it hasn't arrived at any store within 150 miles of you. And then once you do try on this dream dress it will probably look like crap on you because who really knows what will flatter their body the best?

So that my friends is what I have learned about planning a wedding. Good thing we don't have a date set yet!

I have got a few things accomplished like the color palette and how I want my hair to look. The important stuff, ya know?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Buy This Not That: Apricot Scrub Edition

Let me start by saying I love a good exfoliant for my body. I prefer exfoliators that do not disintegrate with warm water, ie: salt or sugar scrubs. I want an exfoliator that will stick around with me until I am done scrubbing. And I also prefer an exfoliator that is pretty intense. I use my scrubs before shaving, before getting spray tan, and any time my skin just feels dull.

I have tried a lot of different brands of exfoliators, but for the last three years I have used Walgreens brand Apricot Scrub.
This scrub is thick, coarse, and the perfect consistency. It is an absolute dupe for the St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub. And the price is about .50 cents less! One tube of this scrub would be enough for three whole body scrubs. 

A few months ago I went to Walgreens to repurchase this scrub and I saw they had changed the packaging to a solid green tube with white and yellow text on it. I bought it, got it home, and found out it was NOT what their exfoliator once had been. After the initial frustration left me I decided to buy the original St. Ives brand and while at Target I got the Up & Up version, too.
I might add that this comparison is strictly based on the St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub and it's competing store brands. Not their similar product the St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub.

Having all four products in my hands I was sure which product I would repurchase. Here is a quick comparison...

// The Up & Up scrub was not thick like the St. Ives is. It's creamy like a lotion and it has very finely ground exfoliants in it. Much less coarse than the St. Ives. This would make a great facial scrub but it is not coarse enough for me to use on my body.

// The St. Ives scrub is very thick and has a lot of coarse exfoliants in it. The ratio of exfoliants to the binder is perfect, in my opinion.

// The new Walgreens formula is the right consistency but the exfoliants are finely ground and the ratio of exfoliants to the binder is much less than the St. Ives brand.

// The old Walgreens formula was almost exactly the same as the St. Ives brand but almost a dollar less in cost. (If purchased on sale.)

Here are the prices for my area.

Walgreens Apricot Scrub (new formula)- $3.39
Walgreens Apricot Scrub (old formula)- $3.19
St. Ives Apricot Scrub- From Wal-Mart $3.87
Up & Up Apricot Scrub- From Target $2.69

After using all four products I can easily say that if Walgreens would bring back their old formula I would absolutely continue buying their store brand. Until that happens, I will be purchasing the St. Ives brand.

The Up & Up and the new Walgreens formula just do not stand up to the St. Ives consistency, texture, and end result. I will probably use them on my face until they are gone then not repurchase them.

This post was not sponsored. All opinions are my own and the products were purchased with my own money.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Years Resolutions

2015 New Years Resolutions

1. Don't take anything for granted. Stop "needing" crap I don't need. Appreciate what I have and the people I share it with.

2. Stop asking people to do things for me that I am perfectly capable of doing myself. You know that innocent "Can you go get me a water downstairs, babe?"
Well I'm going to stop doing that.

3. Read a book. Yeah. One dang book. Gonna be tough for me.

4. Keep saving my $5 dollar bills!

5. Take a class. Either an online class, a CPR class, any kind of class!
(Stole this from you, Neely!)

6. Move my mom to Joplin. This has been on my to-do list for a year and a half. It needs to get done THIS YEAR.

7. Plan a wedding!

8. Get in to a better routine with work. I need to devote specific time each day to accomplish a list of tasks instead of sporadically getting random work done.

9. Post at least once a week on this blog. I wrote 39 entries last year which is pretty low in my opinion.

10. Do at least one craft project or a home project each month.

Using this chart as a reminder, I would say most of these are SMART. A few aren't measurable but if I set this post as one of my home tabs I will be reminded daily of what this year's goals are. And then maybe keep my self accountable and get these done!

Happy New Year, ladies!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Quick Catch Up: End of 2014

I'm going to make this quick and try not to bore you with long posts about where I have been the last two months. I know. I've been slacking major time. But that's about to change!

// We went to Branson back in November. If you don't take a little family getaway trip once a year you SHOULD! We had a great time and it really kicks of the holiday season on a great note.

// I started an Etsy shop making custom baby headbands.

// I hosted our 3rd Annual Bake-Off. We made lots of cookies and drank wine. It was uber fun!

// I started a gift-wrapping business and actually had some customers! I probably wrapped 100 gifts this year!

// I went to the PRI show in Indianapolis and then went to Michigan to check our new boat.

// I got engaged!
bling bling!

// And had an awesome Christmas.

// Neely and I hit up some after-Christmas clearance sales.

And we both got awesome "holiday trees"!

// For New Years Eve we enjoyed time with family at Neely's house where we all made artisan pizzas and drank champagne.

And that's where I've been! I had such a great holiday season and was so thankful I was able to be at home and not traveling. Sometimes, I can be such a homebody!

Anways... stay tuned for more posts and regular blogging around here. I truly miss my random rants and filling this little corner of the interwebs with silly ramblings.

Friday, January 2, 2015

How to Organize Your Christmas Decor

Happy New Year! I plan on writing a little catch-up post soon but before I do that I wanted to share how I organize my Christmas decor.
Taking down Christmas decorations can really be a pain in the rear UNLESS you have a good system that makes it easy. I've been doing this for just about my entire life. My parents had vintage ornaments that were very fragile so I learned at a young age how to pack away Christmas decor very well. So I hope you learn a few tips that will make your holiday season much more organized!

1. Label everything! Label the original boxes that your ornaments came in. This will make it much easier when you are removing the ornaments from your tree. You can see exactly where each one goes and it will make the process much smoother. Also, your glass ornaments are safest in their original packaging!

2. Use shoe boxes and Ziplock baggies for miscellaneous items that may have came in strange packaging. Don't forget to label each box/bag so you know what goes inside!

3. Put random decor items (ie: glittery trees, signs, characters, etc) inside  shopping bags from Target or Wal-Mart so they don't rub on each other and transfer glitter inside your tubs.

4. Use tubs! Boxes work well if you are storing your items in a controlled environment. If you store them where it can get hot/cold/musty/humid the boxes will absorb odors that might not be pleasant.

5. Take photos of your decorations before you put them in storage. Put the photos in a folder on your computer so that a few days after Thanksgiving you can look through the photos to remind yourself what you have. This way when you are out shopping right after Thanksgiving you won't get caught up with all of the beautiful decor and ornaments that are already out on display because you already know what you have! (I put a reminder on my calendar to look through my Christmas photos in mid-November. Right around when holiday items start showing up in stores.)

6. Make a list of items you might want for next Christmas. Let's say you were at a friends house and they had multi-colored lights on their tree and you want to do that next year. A list will help remind you what you DO need to buy before you dig out all of your decor. (Or if you are really good at planning ahead, go buy those items a few days after Christmas on clearance!)

7. Store similar items together. I pack my small filler ornaments inside a smaller tub. This makes it much easier when it comes time to put them on the tree... I just grab that little tub and go to town!
 I also pack my ornaments with items that are in the same color family. I have one whole tub that has my red and gold ornaments and one tub that has my blues and silvers.

8. Use soft goods like hand towels, tree skirts, tablecloths in between layers of your decorations so that things stay protected and don't shift as much when they are in storage.

I hope you learned something today that will make your Christmas tear-down go much easier!