Saturday, December 27, 2014

Winter Red

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I've been avoiding purchasing new beauty and skincare products this month and I've also been trying to go through all of my makeup and skincare products and look at what I have quite critically, deciding what to keep and what to pass on to the people around me who have requested the things that I don't want any more because I have a whole lot of extra beauty product and samples. They sit around or get used once or twice and I decide they're not right for me and I feel guilty just having them when I know I'll never use them again.

I recently went through my lip product pocket and dug out this MAC Ruby Woo lipstick I bought a while ago in my hunt for the perfect red. It makes for an interesting photograph but I think that it's just a bit too dayglow against my skin for everyday use. I've decided to hang onto it for the time being because it's a very charismatic color. I don't think it looks bad on me, per say, it's just a little louder than my usual makeup but I think it'd be fun to wear out places, especially at night so I'll be putting it back into rotation.

If you're curious, I did eventually find my perfect red lip color: MAC's Russian Red. A makeup artist put it on me and I fell in love instantly and went and bought the shade the very next day and have been wearing it ever since!

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***

Jacket: Land's End (Somewhat similar here)
Pants: Madewell
Dress: Madewell
Shoes: J. Crew

Monday, December 22, 2014

You Should Know: Turn Your Laptop Into an Inspiration Board

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You probably spend a lot of time on the computer. If you're like me your morning starts with grabbing a cup of coffee, opening the laptop, logging into a blog feed aggregator, (feedly for me, thanks Steph!) and catching up on the day's news, emails, and posts.

If you're a blogger (and I know many of my readers are!) you probably spend even more time on the computer editing photos or videos, writing up posts, communicating, and promoting your blog. I think my computer is probably the tool I use the most, even more than my camera. As soon as I got my first laptop, I knew that I wanted the thing I sat in front of for a long time to be not only functional (files organized, unnecessary programs deleted as soon as they became redundant, appropriate things backed up on an external hard drive) but also beautiful which is a lot harder when you're sitting in front of a cold piece of aluminum with a clacky keyboard.

Over the years I've put two things into place to turn my laptop into an inspiration board, both physically and digitally.

First, I use the rotating background photo feature on my mac to create an inspiration board. I have a folder saved on my desktop called "Desktop Photos" and whenever I see a beautiful piece of typography with a great quote or statement I right click and save the image to that folder so that it gets thrown into the queue. I have about thirty or forty beautiful quotes saved and they rotate every five minutes so that I never know what I'm going to get. Sometimes, when I close a program in frustration or wake up groggy in the morning and open the laptop lid I get a quote that makes me laugh or spurs me on and reminds me to put my best effort into everything. There's a lot of wisdom in this world and it's important for me to pay attention to it!

Second, I slip small momentos under a clear hardshell case and sometimes use washi tape to help keep them in place. When I got my first macbook I decided to invest in a case to protect it since I was traveling a lot at the time. I just wanted a basic clear case to keep the computer as simple as it came. A few years into having a clear case on my computer I discovered that I could slip things under the case and voila! Instant inspiration board! Over the years I've had a myriad of different things: pages torn from magazines, inserts from albums I have purchased, and assortments of small things that I've collected along the way. My most recent case iteration isn't completely clear because I bought a cloudy one on accident but I figured I'd give it a go and I do like how it looks - it tones down whatever I have on the back of my laptop which gives it a calmer and less cluttered feel.

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(Clockwise, from top left corner: The wine tag from a glass of wine from one of my favorite restaurants in Denver, "Adieu Tristess" clipping from a magazine, a 1940's photo of a girl on a motorcycle that I found at an estate sale, my name as written by the amazing Jessica Triggs, Coffee sleeve from a favorite cafe in Milwaukee, JR's old ID card from when he was a bike messenger) 

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

What Have You Accomplished This Year?

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December makes me feel like I haven't done enough each year. I keep an extra close eye on my calendar because the days seem to be scattering faster and faster as the month rolls along. As I lose my December,  I start looking ahead to January, making plans and goals for the upcoming year: "In January I will...I'd better start doing..."

I find that the things I've actually done this year, those well earned and wonderful things that move us forward in life, that are the foundation we are building our next years on get diminished into things that simply were. I don't honor them like I should: my goals and projects kept me company throughout the last year and helped propel me forward into where I am now, ready to take on a new set of goals.

I don't feel like I've done a lot but the reality is different when I calculate it. We moved across the country again. I re-settled into a new home. I made friends here and re-joined an old circle of friends I had dearly missed. I finished up a school year in one of the most difficult classrooms of my career. I took the horse I rode in Colorado from a walk to a trot to a canter, and took thousands of beautiful photographs of my life. I had a birthday, had an anniversary, went to Canada twice, and started work on a large project as well as lining up some traveling for 2015. I don't think I figured much out this year - this was a year of questions, not answers - but I do know that I got somewhere. My heart is at peace.

So, what have you accomplished this year?  That's my question to you as we walk forward into the next year together. I beg you to honor and not diminish the things that you have done this year as the foundation for all that you hope for and plan for next year. Let me know what you are proud of. Flip through your blog archives, journal entries, or sketchbooks and remember the things you've forgotten you've done.

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***

Yes, I broke my rule of not portraying Detroit as a ruined city but when you find yourself here with a bunch of friends you just have to seize the photo opportunity. Sorry, Detroit. 

Hat: Carhartt
Shirt: From a clothes swap with friends
Pants: Madewell
Shoes: j. crew


Monday, December 15, 2014

Everyday Workwear Makeup Tutorial




This week I wanted to put together a tutorial for the makeup that I was wearing in my workwear photos for you all! It's an easy, effortless look perfect for every day  casual wear or a work day. 


➳ MUSIC
Podington Bear - Ember

➳ FONT
Notera

➳ Product List:
MAC - Blanc Type Matte Eyeshadow  (http://tinyurl.com/nv4vckd)
Smashbox - Photo Op Trio in Screenshot (http://tinyurl.com/qcnn4th)
The Face Shop - Make Me Star Waterproof Gell Liner (http://tinyurl.com/6qah584)
Revlon - Eyelash Curler (http://tinyurl.com/otrgzso)
Makeup Forever - Smoky Extravagant Mascara (http://tinyurl.com/noklgdh)
The Face Shop - Design My Eyebrow Brown Color 2 (http://tinyurl.com/noklgdh)
MAC - Pro Eye Makeup Remover (http://tinyurl.com/pnqswo8)
MAC - Pro Longwear Concealer N15 (http://tinyurl.com/la5pco5)
Clinique - Rich Nude Rich Texture Blush (Not Available Any More...I should invest in some new blush!)
Makeup Forever - Mat Bronze Matte Bronzer (http://tinyurl.com/kfxunjr)
NARS - The Multiple Luxor (http://tinyurl.com/mvtk9sr)
Makeup Forever - Rouge Artist Natural N9 (http://tinyurl.com/moyaqd6)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Compass

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God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Rilke's Book of hours I.59

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***

Coat: Barbour
Jacket: Unknown
Jeans: Madewell
Boots: Steve Madden
Hat: Carhartt
Scarf: Unknown


Monday, December 08, 2014

You Should Know: Winter Workwear - Three Essential Cold Office Survival Tips

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This was a year of huge changes. We moved from Colorado to Michigan (talk about culture shock!), I took a break from teaching, and there are more big things in store for us this year, too!

One of the big things that changed was my work dress code. As a teacher it's all about comfortable shoes, durability, and whether or not you have to dry clean your clothes because when you work with 26 eight year olds your clothes will get dirty.  This year I have found myself working in a very different setting! I sit most of the day and the dress code requirements are a stricter than my Colorado Elementary School (no jeans, ever!).

I work in a large drafty studio with huge windows that was built in the early 1900s and the heating and cooling in that place is very inconsistent! I've learned a lot about staying warm at work this year and I wanted to feature a few practical office appropriate outfits that I can wear to work and share what I've learned about working in a c-c-cold place! Luckily I do work in a creative/design oriented department so being fashion forward or trying out a new look to see if it's going to work is totally appropriate...it just needs to be professional!

1) Layer Up! - The temperature of my workplace fluctuates from day to day so I have found that layering is the perfect solution. I'll wear three or four thin layers to work so that I can adjust to whatever temperature they decide to set the building at that day. An example of layers would be something like a cotton base layer (tank top), a long or short sleeved shirt, and a blazer or sweater. Sometimes I'll even pair a larger sweater over a blazer or a larger blazer over a cardigan. Layers, especially if you concentrate on a singular color palate and correct fit, can look completely professional. I rotate a few large pashmina scarves with my coats every day, too, and can pull those and put them on even after my coat has been taken off or use them on my lap or around me as a blanket under my desk, too! 

2) Fabric Content Matters! - This is the most important tip I can give you. If you really want to stay warm invest in some wool or cashmere sweaters, blazers, and base layers. I know for sure that a wool sweater is going to be significantly warmer than an acrylic sweater or cotton sweater of the same weight. I don't like bulky, shapeless layers so picking thin layers in the right fabrics helps me to stay put together looking and feeling. The blazer featured in this post is actually a polly/wool blend and is incredibly warm and cozy! I have a few vintage blazers that go a step above and beyond and are a thin wool suiting with a silk lining and they are the warmest of them all! Silk can keep you incredibly warm even though it is very thin. 

3) Coffee/Tea/Hot Cocoa is your friend! - Does your office have a hot water heater or coffee maker in it? Drinking warm beverages really does help warm you from the inside out and can be a great way to cope with a freezing office! If your office doesn't have one, you could consider bringing one in. Many years ago I worked for one winter in an office that didn't have anything like that set up. I bought a super cheap electric kettle (with an auto shut-off!) and some tea and brought it in for everyone to share to help us stay warm and cozy under the guise of it being a winter treat for my co-workers. Everyone loved it and started bringing in their tea, hot cocoa, and even a french press coffee maker for everyone to share. I only invested about thirty bucks in the whole thing but it really helped me stay warm and build the office community. 

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***
Jacket: Express (ca. 2006, so no longer available.)
Blazer: Ann Taylor ( can't find this online anywhere! I'll update if I do.)
Shirt: Old Navy
Shoes: J. Crew
Purse: Franklin Covey (somewhat similar here)


Thursday, December 04, 2014

You Should Know: How to Make Your Own DIY Luxury Sleep Mask

Sleep is important, right? It's a fact that's drilled into us from an early age but so many of us, myself included, struggle to get our required 8 hours a night. I don't know if you're like me, but I'm a very light sleeper. I need white noise, complete darkness, and the right type of pillow (memory foam!) in order to make it through the night without disruption.

Recently, I saw Lisa Eldredge's Long Haul Flight beauty routine and the thing that stood out the most to me was the fabulous sleep mask she uses on flights. It had two ribbons instead of an elastic band, was filled with lavender, and was made out of the loveliest fabric. I wanted one to use to sleep with on a nightly basis instead of just throwing a T-shirt over my eyes. When I looked at the price tag (around $100!) I decided I could make my own luxury sleep mask using scraps of fabric from my fabric stash. Surprisingly it took me only about five to ten minutes of sewing to make this! Photographing it took far longer.

DIY Sleep Mask

Materials:
- Scrap Fabric
- Pen
- Paper to draw pattern on
- Thread
- Ribbon
- Sewing Machine
- Pins

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Directions:

1. Take the paper you are going to use to draft your pattern and draw a sleep mask pattern. You can trace one you already have, you can trace a pair of sunglasses (like I did - old, giant, vintage Ray Bans make a great sleep mask pattern!), or download one from the internet and print it (try here!). Go ahead and cut it out and try it on for size to see if you want to modify it at all!

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2.  Fold your fabrics in half and stack them on top of each other. I decided to use three per sleep mask - a silk inner lining that rests against my face, a cotton interlining to make sure it blocked out all the light, and a fun japanese linen to decorate the outside! Add the pattern that you just drew on top of it (folded in half and lined up with the folds of the fabric!) and cut through all the layers of fabric. You can also cut them one at a time if you need to.

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3. Pin the silk layer and the interlining together and sew around the edge so that they become one piece. This will make the silk easier to work with, especially if you used lining silk like I did! 

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4. Take your ribbon pieces and pin them to the RIGHT SIDE of your fashion fabric. I chose to have them cross so that when they were tied they angled up above the ponytail I always have in my hair when I sleep. Run a few stitches to secure the ribbon so they don't move while you sew the rest of the sleep mask. 

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5. Secure the ribbons to the center of the sleep mask using pins - this makes it more difficult to accidentally sew the ribbon into the edges of the sleep mask when you in the next few steps.

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6. Pin the RIGHT SIDES together - this means that I put the silk fabric facing the ribbons that I had just secured onto the fashion fabric and pinned. Sew around most of the edge but leave a little gap to turn the sleep mask inside out. 

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7. Turn the mask inside out using the little gap that you had left. 

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8. Press the sleep mask flat, and concentrate on pressing clean seams for that gap, too. We are going to use the pressing + topstitching to close the gap instead of hand stitching the gap closed. 

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9. Topstitch around the whole mask. This will help stabilize it and close the gap in the mask as well! All done!!!

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If you have any questions or need anything explained further please feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email! If you do make this project I'd love to see a picture, too! 

PS: Have you checked out my giveaway? I'm giving away a few of my favorite beauty products to celebrate my November Beauty Wrap Up! You can find it here

Monday, December 01, 2014

November Beauty Wrap Up!

My newest beauty wrap up is up and running! I think I will be doing Vlogs wherever possible for beauty posts because it's so easy to demonstrate how the products work using this format!

Also included in this month's beauty wrap up is my very first blog giveaway! Check out the video (you can click here to skip directly to what I'm giving away) to see what I'll be giving away and use the rafflecopter below the video to enter!



➳ MUSIC
Elizabeth Royal - Ashes

➳ Product List:
Kiehl's Rosa Artica (http://tinyurl.com/o94fcv7)
OST C20 Original Pure Vitamin C Serum (http://tinyurl.com/p5tbosc)
Sonia Kashuk No. 27 Gel Eyeliner Brush (http://tinyurl.com/osh5qdl)
Makeup Forever Aqua Creamliner Sample set (full sized here: http://tinyurl.com/nalecuo)
Holika Holika Nail Polish (Various nail polishes here: http://tinyurl.com/lccnhvz)
Holika Holika Jewel-Light Waterproof Eyeliner (http://tinyurl.com/m2flrhu)
MAC Pro Eye Makeup Remover (http://tinyurl.com/m2b7v4p)
Vitamin Cleansing Dessert Magic Cream Soap in Berry Mix Extract (http://tinyurl.com/k77s3w5)
Sheet Masks - My Beauty Diary (Huge assortment here: http://tinyurl.com/kmma77e), Holika Holika (http://tinyurl.com/pomx5wq) and Etude House (http://tinyurl.com/p48u9qw)
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (ttp://tinyurl.com/ov6wcl8)

(Some links may be affiliate links, FYI. None of the products in the above video were given to me by the company, I purchased some of them and a friend with too much makeup gave me the rest!)



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