Makeup free at work

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My cat Pepper – looking as sleepy as I feel.

Let’s talk about makeup for a second. I’m not a huge makeup person, never have been. However, I do love my mascara and wear it basically everyday, with the occasional liquid eye liner added in for extra effect, but that’s the extent of my look.

Today, for the first time ever, I forgot to put mascara on for work and found myself in a slight panic. Maybe it’s because I only got 4-5 hours of sleep last night, but for some reason I found myself worrying about what everyone in the office was going to think. Was someone going to point it out? Would someone think I looked ill?

Now that I sit here, I wonder to myself, why do we women allow ourselves to worry so much about everyone’s perception of us? I’m a rather self conscious and shy person, so I think that plays into things now and then, but I wish I didn’t worry so much about what everyone thinks. I’m going to work on.

Here’s to makeup free workdays and feeling comfortable in your own skin. I challenge you to forget your makeup too.

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DIY – Watercolor Flamingo

I’ve been big into watercolors lately. During my spare time on the weekends, or after a long stressful day at work, I love to pull out my Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box and paint. I’ve been working on a personal series of paintings for my apartment, focusing on “under the sea” as a theme. I’ll be sharing a bit about that in the near future.

When my mom saw my sea life paintings she fell in love with them, and wondered if I could make her a flamingo painting. Flamingos are my mom’s favorite. I don’t know why or how they came to be her favorite, but they are. I’ve never created a flamingo before, so here’s to a new challenge!

Let’s start by drawing out the shape of the flamingo’s neck and body with a wet brush, no paint.

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Once we have water down on the paper, it’s time to add some color. I mixed red with a lot of water to dilute the color.

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Continue to add paint to the body of the bird, adding in some feathers with deeper hues of red or purple. Once you’re happy with the body and neck of  the flamingo, it’s time to add legs. Flamingos are known for standing on one leg, so that’s how we’ll make our flamingo stand.

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With a neck, body, feathers, and legs, our flamingo is almost complete! You’ll notice in the picture below that I haven’t given the flamingo a face yet. I wanted the paint around the face to dry before I brought in a harsher color for the beak and eye.

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Mix purple, blue, and a spec of black together, adding in a bit of water to make the color not so harsh. Then, slowly create an outline for the beak, avoiding the pink parts of the head.

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Add an eye with a fine point brush – just one small dab will do, and you should end up with the following.

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After adding in my beak, I felt the face was a little too skinny, so I added a little more pink to provide fullness to the face. And with that, under 15 minutes you have a pink flamingo ready for framing!

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Happy painting!

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Why I decided to cancel my H2BAR subscription

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Why did I give up on the “How to be a Redhead” subscription box?

As a redhead, it can be frustrating to find yourself in the beauty aisles and see products only designed for blondes and brunettes. When I heard that the How to be a Redhead girls were going to be launching a subscription box, I had to be apart of that and signed up immediately.

I’ve been with H2Bar since the beginning of their subscription service. The first few boxes were really neat, and I loved getting full sized products in most of the boxes. None of the products were things I had tried before, so it was exciting to receive my brightly colored box at the start of every month.

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Variety quickly seemed to come to an end. There’s only so many color depositing conditioners a girl can use or want. To be honest, I tossed anything that was color depositing because I have a fear something will happen to my hair and it won’t look as nice and natural as it does now. This month for example, I received samples for a hand cream that I received many months ago. Sure, for someone who hasn’t been subscribing since the first box this wouldn’t be noticed, but I took it as a sign that the company is running out of ideas. There’s only so many “redhead” friendly products or items designed for just us.

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Minor complaints:

  1. One of my boxes came 1-2 weeks late
  2. Once or twice one of the items listed on the item sheet wasn’t included in my box. I didn’t feel like going through the hassle of contacting the company and complaining. On Instagram I saw a couple people in past mention an item was missing, but the company didn’t have any spares to give out.
  3. Some of the products were really a stretch. Hand cream doesn’t really = redhead.
  4. I can only use so many facial creams. You probably should try these out one at a time, and I just don’t have time to go through 5 different facial creams effectively to see what works best.

Ultimately, I think the idea of H2Bar is great, and I support anything that’s trying to make a spot in the world for redheads, but I just felt like my excitement for new boxes was waning. The products were starting to get boring, and honestly, my bathroom cabinets are stuffed full of H2Bar goods that I haven’t even had time to try 1/3 of them out.

One thing I am excited about from the girls at How to be a Redhead is their new book. My boyfriend surprised me with it, knowing I was dying to check it out. I’ll make sure to share my thoughts after reading it.

Perhaps one day I’ll be back to subscribing to H2Bar, but for now, I’m going to take a break and find some time to try out everything that’s piled up in my cabinet.

In place of my H2Bar subscription, I’ve decided to try out FabFitFun, a seasonal subscription box. I’ve just signed up for my first box today so I can’t say how the service is, but I will certainly report back soon! Want $10 off your first subscription? Check out this fabulous lady’s post.

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Stitch Fix Review – May 2016

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This month I ordered my 5th fix from Stitch Fix, a service where a personal stylist collects tidbits from you via a style profile (and optional Pinterest boards) and ships out a package of 5 goodies (clothes, accessories, shoes) for you. Learn more details about Stitch Fix in my previous post.

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This month I asked for 3-4 sleeveless or short sleeve tops and told my stylist to pick something fun for the rest of the items. I also shared a link to my Pinterest board and called out two tops I really liked the style of. My past fixes haven’t been super successful, but for this fix, my stylist Kim really listened.

My fix consisted of 4 tops and one dress. I was secretly hoping for a burgundy satchel bag, which I told Kim I would love to have if they had one on hand, but I was pleased to get a box full of clothes that fit my personality. Now onto the fashion!

#1 – Ardenas Split Neck Blouse by Collective Concepts
This Collective Concepts top is lightweight, colorful, and as my stylist suggested, looks great with white cropped pants. I’ve seen this top a ton on Pinterest, and even pinned it myself. See, Pinterest can pay off when it comes to working with your Stitch Fix Stylist!

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Ardenas Split Neck Blouse by Collective Concepts | Cropped Pants from Delias

#2 – Florizel Henley Blouse by 41Hawthorne 
I wasn’t expecting to get a top like this in my fix, and while it’s “short” sleeved looking in the picture, it can actually unroll into a long sleeved top. I love the color and fabric on this blouse. Definitely something I’ll be wearing once it’s no longer in the 90s here in New York/New Jersey.

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Florizel Henley Blouse by 41Hawthorne

#3 – Aerin Dress by Market and Spruce
I’m in love with everything about this dress. Another Pinterest favorite amongst a lot of you ladies. The dress comes with a light lining built in, and overall is light and flowy – perfect for Spring and Summer. You also can’t go wrong with a wrap tie dress, which flatters just about every body type, easily giving everyone a great little waist.

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Aerin Dress by Market and Spruce

#4 – Ronan Crochet Detail Blouse by Daniel Rainn
I was really hesitant about this blouse. I received a size Medium and think that I probably could have gotten away with a Small. What you can’t tell from the image is that this top is a hi-low style, where the back is significantly longer than the front. Additionally, the blouse has a drop waist, which would be a lot more flattering if it was tighter, but the pattern and colors are too cute to pass up. I tried pairing the top with a belt to see if that would help with waist definition (see below). I think I’ll have to keep playing around with the look to make it work best for my body.

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Ronan Crochet Detail Blouse by Daniel Rainn
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Ronan Crochet Detail Blouse by Daniel Rainn

#5 – Hollace Button Front Blouse by Aratta
This floral blouse just screams Spring. I was hesitant about the fit with this top too, thinking I could probably fit into a Small rather than the Medium I received. The arm holes are a bit large, so your bra may show. The back has a funky cut to it (see my pic below), making it really airy and aesthetically unique. The back is also a lot longer than the front, another hi-low style which would look perfect with leggings. While we’re on the topic of leggings, I’m not a leggings as pants kinda girl, but this top is long in the front and back, making it a great fit for leggings without showing off anything you don’t want to show.

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Hollace Button Front Blouse by Aratta
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Hollace Button Front Blouse by Aratta

Some final thoughts: The 25% discount dilemma is real. If you end up keeping everything in your fix you get a nice 25% discount off the total cost. I wasn’t a super huge fan of the cut of the Daniel Rainn Ronan Crochet Detail Blouse, probably due to sizing, but really liking everything else in my fix made me decide to keep everything so I could get the 25% discount off my order. Ultimately, I’m super happy with this fix and feel like my boxes are improving again. I look forward to ordering another box and seeing what Kim has in store for me 🙂

Suggestions for a better fix:

  1. Be very specific – if there are certain pieces or types of clothing you really want, provide that in your styling note to your stylist.
  2. Create a Pinterest Board. We know last time that didn’t work out so great for me, but this time my stylist checked out my board and really tried to capture my style from the examples I pinned.
  3. Call out designers or names of actual articles of clothing – your stylist may not provide those exact items but they’ll start to get a better sense of what style you’re into

Don’t forget to follow my Pinterest Boards for more Stitch Fix fun!

What are you waiting for? Give Stitch Fix a try!

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DIY: Paper Succulents

I love succulents. I’ve been pinning them and staring at etsy creations featuring them for a couple of years now. You can’t deny their beauty. What’s great about succulents is that there are so many varieties, colors, shapes, and sizes – literally something for everyone. Even men love succulents, a great alternative to flowers. They’ve taken off in the wedding world, and something I’ve considered using for my one day future wedding.

As I was scrolling through the Michaels website, I decided to check out classes being held at my local store. One of the options scheduled for June was a session creating succulent artwork out of paper! Yes, paper! I’ve already bought a teeny tiny succulent plant from Michaels, and have been contemplating buying more to spruce up my desks at work and home. But why buy plants when I can make something cute myself (with the help of Michaels still).

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What you’ll need (I didn’t purchase everything in the above materials list):

  • Bazzill Basics Cardstock (2-3 colors) – .79/each
  • Artminds Unfinished Wood Frame – $1.00
  • Ashland Moss Variety Pack – $8.49
  • Glue gun
  • Paper plate
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers

Instructions:

Draw different sized leaf shapes on a paper plate and cut them out. You’ll use these as your template to cut out your leaves in your selected card stock. While the example from Michaels has three different succulents, for this tutorial you’ll only be making two succulents.
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Use your templates to trace your leaves onto your cardstock. Then start assembling your leaves in a shape of your desire. Once you’re pleased with the design, start hot gluing the leaves together, overlapping. You may find using smaller leaves in the center of the succulent is more visually pleasing.

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I then rolled a small leaf up to create a little center bud.

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After you’re happy with your first succulent, create a second.

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You may find the hot glue goes all over the place, leaving stingy pieces everywhere. Don’t fret! Just use a pair of tweezers to remove excess glue.

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Next, we’ll want to cut a piece of cardstock that’s slightly bigger than the picture frame’s hole.

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Once that’s measured, start placing your succulents on the paper (don’t glue them!) to get a sense of where things look best. You’ll see in the picture below I cut a couple leaves out and added them to the bottom of each succulent with my hot glue.

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After you know where you want your succulents to go, it’s time to start playing around with our moss. This is where things get messy! The moss bits tend to break apart a bit, especially if you cut them into smaller pieces, which I recommend doing for this project.

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Once you have some moss down, it’s time to attach your first succulent. Having moss below your succulents adds a 3D effect.

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Continue to add moss around the first succulent, and then add your final succulent to the cardstock square. Once the square is completely filled, and you can’t see any of the cardstock beneath, it’s time to glue your creation to the frame. Add a thin line of hot glue around the frame’s opening, and press very lightly down with your cardstock. Within seconds the glue will be dry and it’s time to add the peg to the back of the frame and display your creation!

This creation would be great for a cheap centerpiece, desk decoration, or wall art.

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