Friday, February 5, 2016

January Favorites

The only experience I have with favorites videos are from makeup gurus on Youtube and those usually exclusively feature makeup.

While I enjoy makeup I'm not someone who changes the products they use on a monthly basis. I get in a groove and I stay in that groove unless I buy something amazing and then feel the need to shout it from the rooftops. Like in this months post!

First up we have my beloved Cricut. I received this as an early birthday gift from my husband and I've already used it so much the mat is losing it's stick. Now, I have a deep love for scrapbooking and I'm fully aware it's not everyones cup of tea. I could and most definitely have, done it for hours at a time. The thing I love about the Cricut Explore Air is that you can cut so much more than paper. It also cuts fabric and vinyl something which I'm insanely excited for. I can now make my own vinyl decals. I'm living the Pinterest dream. The other thing is that you can use templates from the Cricut website without having to purchase multiple cartridges. There is a monthly fee of $9.99 to access the site but I received a month free upon purchase and I'm trying to knock out a ton of designs I know I'll be using. I've got that frugal mom stereotype down pat.

I have been watching the new Netflix series called Chelsea Does which is a docu-series where Chelsea Handler "does" different subjects like marriage, drugs, technology etc. I'm not sure which episode it's in but she mentions the app Duolingo if you're looking to learn a new language. If you know me you know that I've been trying to learn Spanish for what feels like and actually is, ten years. My husband is Mexican and speaks fluent Spanish but he's uncomfortable teaching me and doesn't speak it unless he's in conversation with his family or a close friend. So, needless to say it's made it a little hard for me to learn. Now that I have my little chick it's important for me to be able to teach her Spanish because it's part of her culture.

Try as I might I just can't find anything that makes it easy for me to retain the information. Enter Duolingo. The app works similar to a test where you pick your answer and it will tell you if your wrong or right and then tell you why. It moves quickly and you can work on your weak areas at anytime. If you feel like you've got that lesson down before it's over there is also a test out option. I like it because it shows your progress in a nice little chart and for my personality it irritates me if I've missed a day. You can also choose how long you'd like to spend learning each day. I've started with 10 minutes and I've already learned more in the last few weeks than I did with two years of high school Spanish.

Burts Bees is my go to lip balm because it works and I feel like it has a very non-offensive smell. When I was at Target the other day I noticed they'd jumped into the lipstick game and they were packaged so attractively that I scooped up two of them. The colors from left to right are Sunset Cruise and Lily Lake. The thing I love about these is that they aren't opaque. It's a light wash of color which means it's something I can apply in a hurry without worrying about blending it in too much. It's my kind of everyday lipstick and it doesn't dry out my lips. A++ in my book. I'll definitely be buying more of these.

Last but most definitely not least is my beloved planner. I did an entire post on it here. If you don't feel like reading it the bottom line is that I've owned several planners throughout the years and I'd gladly pay the extra money for this one hands down.

That's all for this month! What are some of your favorite things?

To stay up to date on my posts please follow me here!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Trying Pinterest: Painting Fabric with Chalk Paint

Hello and welcome to another week where I try crafts I find on good ol' Pinterest.

This week we're painting fabric with chalk paint.

So, lets get a little backstory on these bar stools shall we?

My mother in law gave these to me about seven years ago when my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I moved into our first house. They were given to her by one of her clients who just didn't use them anymore.

They were hate at first sight. At the time they sort of maybe matched my kitchen decor but mostly I just didn't know what to do with them. Keep in mind this was in a time before Pinterest. I know. Can you imagine?

Anyway, I eventually found out that people were using chalk paint to cover up ugly couches and chairs all across the world. The first thing that came to mind was my ugly bar stools and so I opened a new tab to search Amazon for chalk paint. Just kidding I always have an Amazon tab already open.

Admittedly, this was about a year ago and I'm just now finally getting to it. What can I say? I'm a busy lazy girl.

Here are the supplies I used.

The first thing you're going to want to do is to spray down the fabric with water. This way it's easier for the paint to seep down into the fabric. I used a mason jar to mix the paint with the water because I have too many and nowhere to put them.

Now, many of the tutorials I read instructed you to mix equal parts water and paint. This did not work for me at all. As you can see it just ran right off the chair.

It was at this point where I almost threw in the towel but instead I just added more paint. I can be dramatic when things don't go how I expect them to.

The left bar stool is one coat with the one to one ratio of paint. The right stool is one coat of paint with a lot less water. I really have no idea to the ratio but I would say that I added about 1/4 of a cup of paint and 5 to 10 squirts of water. You want to thin out the paint but not so much so that it becomes too much of a liquid. Basically you're going to have to play around with it.

This is after three two coats.

Here is three coats of paint.

I did one more coat and then let them dry fully. I'm really happy with how they came out and I would definitely try this again. I have a super comfortable, super ugly chair I'd love to paint over. Next time I'm going to use the laytex/fabric medium method and see if that works any better.

A couple of ending notes:

I think this method would work better with a more absorbent fabric. The fabric I had feels like a nylon/canvas mix.

Let the coats dry a little before applying the next one. I waited about 20 minutes in between coats.

If you think it looks bad wait until it dries. I went from "meh" to really liking the finished product when they had dried completely.

To follow my trials and tribulations with Pinterest projects follow me on Bloglovin!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Erin Condren Life Planner

Another year another planner. I finally did it this year guys. I finally took the plunge and ordered THE Erin Condren planner. And you know what?

I love it.

Every year I end up heading over to the website to lust over the cute designs, add one to my cart and then ultimately head down to Barnes and Noble and just pick some random one up.

I could never bring myself to spend the $60 plus dollars on what is basically just pretty paper. But, last year was a little different. I found a company on Etsy who made similar personalized journals at a cheaper price and decided to order one from them instead.

The funny thing is, I spent about $48 dollars on that one when for about $12 more I could have gotten the Erin Condren planner I had been lusting over. Now, don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the planner I bought last year. I did a review about it and I honestly loved it at the time.

But, this planner? This planner is gorgeous. I can now see why there is a whole world of crafting dedicated to decorating your planner. Even if your not into that and I'm not sure I will be, there are a lot of little extras included in the EC planner to get you started and help you plan better.

How pretty is this already? The box, the tissue paper, the cute little sticker, I'm a big sucker for packaging. Can you tell?

I'm not much of an inspirational quote kind of person but theres something about these that make me nod my head in agreement. If you do like that sort of thing there are inspirational messages at the start of every month as well as on a few stickers they include with your purchase.

I was really excited about these stickers so much so that I couldn't even wait to photograph them before I started sticking them on the pages. They even include two pages of blank ones so that you can make your own.

In the back of the planner are two folders; one paper and one clear plastic one filled with samples of little additional things they sell. I think this is an awesome idea since it lets you try a few more of their products without having to spend the extra money. They also include a coupon for $10 dollars off your next order that doesn't expire, something I'll definitely be using.

I have to say that I'm extremely happy with this purchase. I don't feel like I wasted my money which was always the reason I never wanted to take the plunge. You definitely get what you pay for here. There are a lot of details and extras that I've never gotten with any other planner I've purchased. If you like planners check this one out. I promise it's worth it.

And just in case you were wondering; no, this post isn't sponsored. We're not that special over here at BB. ;)

Follow me on Bloglovin to subscribe to my weekly posts!