Thursday, July 31, 2014

Favorite Things

No one is coming to this blog for beauty tips, lest a rogue google search landed them here, but nevertheless, I thought that it would be fun to write about some of my favorite hair and makeup things these days. This is one of those posts that I'll later wonder why I wrote it, or perhaps laugh about one day, but still, here we go.

MetaGrip Premium Bob Pins in bronze.  I've used a lot of different bobby pins, and these ones have lasted the longest and are the only ones I'll ever buy again. I purchased them at someone's recommendation at the end of 2012 or the beginning or 2013 and I am still using those same bobby pins. Is that of no significance to you? It should be, because I used to go through maybe four or five packs a year. I was skeptical of these because they don't have the grippy things on the back that my previous ones did (I think those were Goody or Scunci brand) but for some reason, they're the best. They don't "stretch" like other ones do, and even with my thick hair, they stay put all day (I actually find them in my hair while I'm showering a lot of the time).

The best thing I've ever used to wash my face? Baking soda. I wet a corner of a washclosh, pour a little baking soda on it, get that damp, and massage it into my face. It's the cheapest thing ever, and my skin is way better when I'm using it. Not great for traveling, as I'm paranoid that my friends in TSA will think it's illegal drugs. Basically no chance that that would happen, but it's one of those strange fears.

For traveling, I love using face wipes. These ones are my favorites and they're from Forever 21. They were way cheaper than the ones at the store, with more in them. I've bought these three times in three different scents. The Grapefruit is my favorite. They're great for getting makeup off and take my mascara off surprisingly easily.

Covergirl Outlast Lipstain in Flirty Nude. I wanted to try a lip stain, so I chose this one once upon a time, probably because it was the cheapest I could find, or I had a coupon. But anyway, I chose well. I love this and have used this color many times. You need to make sure there's no dry skin on your lips and make sure you put something moisturizing over it, but other than those high maintenance things, I recommend.

I associate the smell of different chapsticks with different phases or specific places, and this Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil is one I associate specifically with my job. I like this chapstick so much that I bought it in bulk and keep tubes in pockets of different purses and in the pocket of my apron at work. I've used this for a long time and love it.

My favorite mascara is the L'oreal Voluminous Original in Carbon Black. However, I always use this one with another mascara. I will choose a random one that looks interesting and layer the random one, let it dry, and put this over it. On its own, I still like it, but to me it's best with another one. Right now the other one is L'oreal Voluminous Miss Manga in Blackest Black. The wand rotates, which is weird at first, but gets the bottom lashes and to the root of my top eyelashes. I'll buy it again!

I don't like spending lots of money on makeup, but I like makeup that works for me. A long time ago, I used liquid foundation, but found the application difficult with the little sponge thing, so I thought I didn't like liquid foundation. I switched to powder foundation and used  Bare Minerals, but it was far too dry, cost a lot, and ran out quickly (cost too much per use). So on a whim and probably at the positive review of a random blog, I bought the Rimmel Match Perfection liquid foundation. I use Ivory right now but in the cooler months I think I use the Light Nude.

Other cheap makeup that I love? ELF brand eye makeup. I use the eyelid primer in Sheer (I've used the Pearl, but the Sheer is my favorite), which costs $1, and I love it more than the tiny $20 Urban Decay tube. I think part of the reason I love it more is because I'm not spending that much money on something so small. But it also works exactly the same. I started using eyelid primer a few years ago and it was a makeup life-changer. I use the Baked Eyeshadow too and love it. I have the Bark and the Toasted colors - a dark brown and a pinkish brown.

For eyeliner, I love Revlon Colorstay liquid in Black-Brown. I don't know what it is about me, my eyes, or other circumstances, but eye pencils are not my thing. They pull, they look weird, and there's a gap between my lashes and the liner that I can't fix. But this is great. It lasts all day and is easy to put on. My sister-in-law told me about this. I've also used the liquid eye pen, which isn't as bold as the liquid liner is, but still great. I like that one best for lining under my eyes.

I'm not allowed to have painted nails at work, but I love painting mine when I have more than one day in a row off of work. My favorite nail polishes right now are Wet n Wild Heatwave and Sinful Colors Hazard (links are to Google Image results pages). Heatwave is my favorite-favorite and I keep going back to it, and Hazard is fun but takes awhile to dry and also several coats, so I don't love it quite as much.

Carson worked for a supplement store for four years. This means of course that we take supplements. At one point, I took 17 pills a day, but I didn't know what I was taking and thought that it was just too much to expect myself to swallow every single day. So now I take a more sensible 4, and two of those are the same pill. I know a small amount about these, so everything I say here is probably wrong. Carson's the supplement guru so he chose these for specific reasons.
I'm not pregnant, but I take a prenatal vitamin everyday. It's essentially a multivitamin, but it also has things I will need should I ever become pregnant. I take this GNC Women's Prenatal Formula with Iron. Never in my life have I had a blood test with normal iron levels, but with this, I have. And it doesn't make me nauseated, as other prenatals have. I used to take a gummy prenatal, which was tasty, but sometimes I wouldn't remember to take it until right after I brushed my teeth. This one is better quality and I just swallow it.
I also take melatonin, which helps me settle down and fall asleep at night. I'm actually not 100% sure this works. It could be a placebo. But it makes me FEEL more settled and better rested when I get up, so I keep taking it.
I also take DHA, mostly because I refused to take fish oil ever again. Fish oil makes me feel weird (Carson doesn't believe me, so this is possibly made up) and I feel like I have fish breath and fish (sorry) burps when I take it, so no thanks. But this is still getting some of that good stuff in me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Glass Etching!

Glass etching is something I've wanted to do for a very long time. I didn't until now because I really couldn't come up with anything I desperately wanted to etch and so I couldn't justify buying the etching cream. But when my cousin Morgan visited me in Tallahassee, she had just finished doing some glass etching and brought along her tools so that I could try it out too! 

I knew about it in advance, so I decided to etch my glass sugar and flour jars. I had my mom make some vinyl "stencils" for me to use in making this, just so it looked really crisp and good, and I love how it turned out! 

First I positioned the stickers on my jars and smoothed them down, trying hard to make sure the edges were stuck to the sides completely. I used a quarter to help. 

Then I just painted on the etching cream. Morgan bought the Martha Stewart brand, and although she'd done a few things with it at this point, it looked brand new, so I'm guessing it goes really far and lasts a long time. You let the etching cream sit for 15-20 minutes, and it doesn't look like anything is happening. And fun fact: it smells like molasses. I was expecting chemical smell, but at least this one didn't.

After the 15-20 minutes is up, just rinse in the sink. Dry it off to make sure you didn't miss any spots, touch up where needed, and then you're done! It was way less complicated than I thought it would be, and this could very well be addicting. I was trying to think of personalized glass things that I "needed" to buy. It would make a great personalized wedding gift to do something in the couple's last name, so I might do that next... because now I want to buy some and try this myself.

It would have been much easier to photograph in better lighting/with empty jars, but from the little bit you can see, doesn't it look good?!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Morgan Visits Tallahassee

Carson went on a rafting trip in Idaho, so my sweet cousin Morgan came up to Tallahassee to see our new place and to spend the weekend with me. It was great to have her up. 

She got there on Thursday night after work. We talked and went to bed. 

On Friday, we went to the beach! It was suuuuper hot and humid. We'd stopped at Target on the way there for magazines to read, and while we were lying on the beach, we put the magazines on our faces to shield ourselves from the sunshine. Did you know that the ink on magazines will come off if you do that? The huge smudges on our foreheads tell you that now we DO know...

We stopped for boiled peanuts on the way back from the beach because we love them and our husbands don't, so it was a win-win scenario.

We'd planned out some adventures in the sunshine for the next day, but it rained, so we put on our (matching - not on purpose I promise) raincoats and went to the mall.

We returned to complete a number of projects - I used Morgan's etching cream to etch my flour and sugar jars, I showed her how to make maxi skirts (this has for some reason been project of the year so far), and while she took a nap, I made a moss-covered letter like I saw online.

Later we learned that I can't open a wine bottle to save my life. We had eventual success but it was very touch and go there for awhile.

We made yummy smoothies.

And the next day we went to a church we definitely won't visit again. That experience needed something savory, so we went to Jimmy Johns which made the day better.

Crafting, late nights talking, a beach trip and shopping - not a bad weekend!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Last Week in the 216

A late posting, but better late than never. Or maybe not, but posting anyway. I keep letting things hang out in the drafts folder and never actually scheduling them to post. Sorry! 

On our last week in Cleveland we...

(Sunday before) Went to dinner at Carrie and Abe's house and then out to ice cream at Sweetie Fry, where they told us that Baby Rickenberg was on its way. Cat's out of the bag now, which is why I mention it. 

(Saturday before) Carrie and I huddled under blankets on the couch watching season 3 of Call the Midwife. We've been Call the Midwife buddies, loving the time together even though we have to put the subtitles on to understand them and are completely terrified at some of the scenes.

(Sunday of) Went to our last church service at Gateway, where we both teared up and wondered why on earth we would leave this place. They brought us up and announced that we were leaving, which almost made me cry, except that they made a joke and I laughed instead.

(same day) we tried Zoup! a soup and salad place that went in that week. It's a chain but we'd never been and it isn't in Tallahassee which stinks because we loved it. I had a Cobb Salad (mistake - I hate gorgonzola/blue cheese) and mushroom bisque (my second favorite soup - favorite is lobster or crab bisque).

(Monday of) worked with Evan for the last time! We were all roomies for three weeks, plus I basically lived with his sister for two years in the Reilly building, plus he got me this job, plus told us about our church. So a picture was needed.

Had my last week of work. My boss gave me a hug, and I teared up.

(Tuesday before) Had lunch with Lana at Hodge's downtown. I had the shrimp and grits and it was phenomenal. We got stuck at a light right at the big outdoor chandelier they put in and snapped a few pictures.

We had the hanky pankys and the deviled eggs - both amazing.

It was instagrammed, obviously.

My wonderful dish.

Lana got a sampler and it looked good, but I think mine was still better.

Afterward, we walked to East 4th street and she bought me a Cleveland shirt and magnet to represent while I'm in Florida.

(Tuesday evening) sorry, roomies. Had to snap a shot of the roomie situation. Cozy.

(Wednesday of) My last day of work! After I clocked out, we took pictures.

(out of order; the Sunday we moved) We came home from church to a deer in our yard! On occasion we'd seen them there before, but not all that often, though since we lived in a really suburban area, I'm not sure where they lived. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Church

Disclaimer: This post is sort of how I'm feeling right now, but not expressed perfectly, and not exactly what I want to say. If you have a grain of salt, take this with it.


The number one thing that was holding us back from fully deciding if we wanted to move to Tallahassee or stay in Cleveland was our church.

I'm certain I've written about it before, but we never hunted for a church in Cleveland. Before we moved from Spokane to Cleveland, we were living in intern housing at our Spokane church. Some of our best friends in Spokane, John and Rachel, lived in that building as well, one apartment over. Rachel, it turns out, is from northeast Ohio, and her older brother Evan, it turned out, had moved back to Cleveland a few months earlier. Evan was willing to give us pointers on where to live in Cleveland before we'd ever met... and one day he called Carson and asked if I'd like a job, which is how I got my job in Cleveland. He told us about his church, which sounded good, but we weren't sure about it.

Well, Carson went to church there on our first Sunday in Ohio (I was a loser and slept, since I was in a wedding that weekend, just two days after moving, and EXHAUSTED). He came back and told me that he'd found the church for us. I didn't believe him, since I assumed that would be one of the most difficult parts of settling in.

I was wrong, and we never shopped around for churches because we really found a home there. It was almost a year old at the time, full of life and breathing out the gospel. We couldn't wait to be a part of it. We joined Cory and Jasmine's community group and made great friends there. We were sad when they asked us to leave that to start our own, which grew both of us and also made our experience at Gateway Heights what it is. Through the church, we were ministered to, able to serve, built great friendships, and grew to love the city of Cleveland. I cried more leaving Cleveland after a year and ten months than I did leaving Spokane, our home of four years. We loved our people in Spokane, but we felt like we were a part of something in Cleveland.

We knew that "church shopping" was something we'd do in Tallahassee, and we have. With the exception of the Sunday that we moved here and the Sunday we went to church in Ocala, we've visited a different church each Sunday. And... it's difficult. Though we look the churches up online and even listen to sample sermons, it's not the same as visiting a church in person.

The church is not a building. It's people, individuals with struggles and joys and different personalities and strengths. Searching for a church here has honestly been a little frustrating. We were hoping to find a church that loved Jesus and talked about Him before all other things. Instead, we've gone to a few that sugarcoat the gospel or make the whole thing out to be about humans. The people we've come across have largely been very friendly, and the preaching has mostly been okay.

With a TON of churches left to check out, I'm sure we will find something that exemplifies Jesus and encourages us to run the race well. And for the record, the ones we've visited haven't been "bad", but they really haven't given us much to be excited for either.

But all in all, it makes us very thankful for what we had in both Spokane and Cleveland. We don't want to go to church because that's what's expected of "good Christians". We want to be a part of a church that is living in light of the gospel. I am thankful for church leaders, and those who follow them, who pursue Christ in a way that makes others want to follow him also.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

DIY Moss Covered Letter

This is something I've wanted to try for awhile but wasn't sure if it was going to be too expensive or messy. While browsing Hobby Lobby with Morgan, I noticed that the moss was pretty cheap, and letters weren't too bad either, so I bought both with coupons and went for it. 

I did this project in less than thirty minutes, while Morgan was sleeping on my couch.

You'll need:
A letter or something to glue the moss to
Glue gun and lots of glue
Sheet moss (near decorative rocks and fake flowers at Hobby Lobby)
A porch or somewhere where you can make a huge mess and not freak out about it

Tear off little pieces of the moss (lots of it is in little pieces anyway, so just tear it off in shapes that best fit your letter) and glue it on the letter.

Keep glueing. Don't forget to get the sides. Use tiny pieces of moss for those. 

Make sure it's on there really well so it doesn't shed later on. Lots of glue. Shake it a little bit to make sure it's not flapping anywhere.

So pretty! I glued things to the front first and then wrapped around the edges to give it a cleaner look as I went.

See? Not really an indoor project.


It looks different inside my apartment because it's dark, but I love it. I hung it on my gallery wall mirror from a satin ribbon I had sitting around from my wedding gifts.


Home Sweet Apartment

Now that we've been here for a month, it's high time that you get a little tour of our new place. It's an apartment, which was a little sad for us because we loved the freedom of a house (i.e. you can nail pictures in the wall at midnight and no one cares). It's a bottom floor though, which I prefer, because yes, you might get someone loud above you, but at least YOU aren't the loud one.

Finding our apartment
We found our apartment on Craigslist, which despite all the "ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THAT?" comments we got did not bother us. It's how we found our last house, our car, and quite a lot of our furniture. We looked (online) at lots of places before we came to this one. Many of them had pools, gyms and other amenities, but they were either out of our price range or "fixed income" and we weren't sure what that would look like, since many of them were also clearly marketed to students. Our place is part of a four-plex, so there are only three other apartments, not a huge complex, which is nice. In the past we've sort of just hoped for the best in our homes, but this time we had a few things we were looking for: washer and dryer included, far enough from campus to not be in "party central" every single night, two bedrooms, and, if possible, two bathrooms. The latter one was my personal hope. While there were houses available in our price range, we decided pretty early in the hunt that we didn't really want to have to keep up with a yard. It didn't take THAT much time out of our lives, but with where we are in life, it was an added hassle. I'm looking forward to one day buying a house, something that could potentially happen while we're still here, but right now, it's pretty nice letting school and work be our priorities.

We had an apartment sort of lined up, but mailing our application to the landlord took a long time and someone got to it before we did. But this one happened to be on Craigslist on the day we got turned down for the first one, maybe two weeks before we moved. Carson called on it that day and by that afternoon, we had a lease. The other one was a top floor, which I didn't want, and looks to be in full sun (it's about five houses down, actually), with a driveway that's at the bottom of a hill. I'm not sure how we'd have gotten that huge moving van down there, and I'm betting that our bills would have been much higher for air, since right now our apartment is pretty much a cave. It's REALLY dark in here, but I think of all the money we're saving on keeping it cool and I don't care about having to turn on a light anytime I enter a room.

Okay, enough writing; PICTURES!

We'll begin with the exterior. It's not pretty but who cares?

And here's how it looks as you're coming up the stairs (the light is generally not on and the door typically stays closed).

And the view from our front door... I fixed our garbage can lid moments after taking this.

Here's our front door. This wreath hung unadorned on our last door and I never got around to doing anything to it so this little paper banner spices it up a little.

You enter in a little dark hallway with the guest bedroom to your immediate right, the pantry (WE HAVE A PANTRY) right next to that, and the water heater or something ugly next to that. To the left is the kitchen. Straight ahead is the living room/dining room combo, and the other two doors on the right are the laundry area and then our bedroom.

Most of the places we saw had these pass through areas in the kitchens, which I didn't really care for. Carson LOVED them though, which was good because there weren't many other options. It's grown on me a lot, and I think it will be great for setting food on, or just keeping tabs on what's going on in the living room.

This kitchen has so much more counter space than any place we've lived. It's almost overwhelming and I haven't measured but I'd be willing to bet that it tripled our counter space from the Cleveland place. There are more cabinets too, and since we have our great little pantry to put food in, we have even MORE space to put things. I really like the layout of this kitchen too. I think it was planned way better than our house's kitchen.

Across the hall is the guest bedroom/office/library. The bedroom set was my graduation gift from my parents and I'm happy to finally have it in my own house. It makes the guest room seem more like a functional room, whereas an air mattress on the floor with random bookshelves wasn't so welcoming. I like this little room.

Over the bed is a poster of colorful tickets that I found at IKEA in May, which Morgan graciously stored until I actually moved to Florida. It was always my plan to put it in this room, and I like it there. Also on the wall is a picture of Jesus that Carson loves. Over the desk is our message board, which we've never really used functionally but it works here. My craft stuff is in the closed cabinet, Carson's books are on the big shelves (he got rid of SO many of them when he was going through boxes - so proud) and the little white shelf holds our DVDs.

 This house was advertised as having two master suites, which I didn't really get at first, but I guess it just means that both bathrooms are connected to the bedrooms. This one seems to be "hotel style" to me, since there isn't a door separating the bedroom from the sink part. The shower and toilet are in their own little space, and there's plenty of room under the sink for storing towels and extra toiletries.

The guest bathroom has what I like to call "country kitchen" wallpaper, which is fairly subtle for wallpaper and doesn't bother me too much (but I would rip it out in a heartbeat if we owned this place). We're using our old orange shower curtain in this bathroom, partially because when we moved in this was the only bathroom with a shower rod, and partially because after four years of living with it, I was tired of how dark and not my style it was. Sorry, guests. 

The guest closet is its own special little thing. It's a big mess. For the last four years, we've had some form of extra storage, and with this place of course, that didn't happen. So to go from a full sized basement to a closet isn't THAT bad. It needs organization, but that will come (and you're not going to get a closer picture until that's done).

Along the same wall you walk in on is the laundry... area. I'm not sure if it's fair to call it a room because it's basically a closet with a washer and dryer in it. It's a far cry from the scary basement and really convenient to have it in the middle of everything. Our Christmas tree somehow fits next to the dryer, and as you can see, we've stored an exercise ball and coolers in addition to actual laundry stuff. Can I also say how great it is to have a shelf? In our scary basement, there wasn't a shelf, so I stored the detergent and dryer sheets on top of the washer, which was slanted toward the ground because everything was angled toward the drain. This is way better, and isn't likely to be as frozen in the winter. 

Back out into the hallway, we come to the dining, and then living room. When I first walked inside the apartment, this space was the biggest disappointment to me. For some reason (probably seeing tons of pictures of different places, and then they all mashed into my head to form a new house), I thought that there would be a little dining room. Of course there isn't, and when I first walked in, I didn't think we were going to have enough room. I was soon convinced that I was wrong, and actually NOT having a separate room for the table was great because we were able to put the leaves in the table. I didn't even know we had leaves for the table until this point. We haven't eaten in here yet, as we prefer to eat on the couch, but we've done lots of studying and projects here.

The living room is part of the the dining room, but I wanted to make them seem separate. The couch turned the way it is helped with that, even thought it is still very open. Since it's dark in here, the mirror on the mantel was my favorite option, in hopes of reflecting some light. The gallery wall is fun, and I'm glad Mom and I spent hours (felt like hours) working on it. Before we moved, I decided that I wanted a dresser to go in the living room, and I'm glad that I did. It gives us space to put things like wrapping paper and chargers, and is another piece of living room furniture that fills the space but isn't overwhelming.

Just over the bar seemed like the perfect place to hang our "Bay" sign that we love. Over the couch are big pictures of us (it was going to be something neutral, like places we lived, but I have almost none that are portrait orientation), one from last year's visit to Old Sheldon Church and the other from a wedding we attended in Spokane in 2012 a week before we moved and never blogged about. The lamp is "new", from a thrift store. Everything else I think you'll recognize from our other homes, though isn't it funny to see things in a new space? 

The door goes to our little porch, which gets no sun, but does allow you to be protected from rain. It's a great place to go outside and read because it's cool out there and really private (it faces some trees). We will likely invest in an outdoor chair or two for here, but we're fine dragging our dining room chairs out for now.

The sliding door on the porch goes to our room, and we really don't use it. It's sort of a hassle to move those blinds to go out there, and it's not like you can watch amazing sunsets or anything from there, so we just go around to the back door and treat this sliding door as a window (and this is also how light it gets in our room... yikes!).

Our room is a little bit strange because you go through the bathroom to get there. I imagine that if we have guests over this will be nice, so that we can close our door and let them use this one, but I think it's strange.  Also, check out the wallpaper. It's special.
So you enter into the little sink area, which has the toilet and shower straight ahead, and the closet to the right. I leave the closet door open with my shoe holder (which I've owned since I first went to college for some reason).

The bathroom part of the bathroom is the lightest part of the whole apartment. It's the only place that doesn't have lots of dark wood or weird wallpaper and that's so nice. I found the shower curtain at Big Lots for $8. Somehow in planning to move I'd forgotten that two bathrooms meant double the bathroom stuff, like shower curtains. I've had the orange one for so long that this light colored one is great. The art on the wall is a painting by a Beaufort artist, Nancy Rhett. I felt a little bad about putting art of any kind in a bathroom, but the colors worked and it was nice and light.

Back in the entry bathroom, we have a couple of frames on the walls. Whoever lived here before put holes in the walls there, so I just stuck my own nails right where those were. Nice. I keep my tank tops on that over the door hanger, a Pinterest hack.

And here's our bedroom. It's also SUPER dark in here, even during the day. It's GREAT for taking naps or sleeping in, since additionally, it's really quiet.

In the past, our room was one of the last places where we hung things. Part of this is due to the fact that we don't have a headboard, and I don't own anything big enough to fill up a huge wall behind the bed. When we were making the gallery wall for the living room, making a little "collage" on the wall occurred to me, and I made my dad put nails in the right places there. We also hung a full-length mirror, our wedding vows, and the collage of wedding pictures that have previously hung in our dining and living rooms. It feels more like a room with things on the walls.

Forgive the curtains. I don't love that they are a foot off the ground (which you conveniently can't see) or that they are cream when everything is white, but you win some you lose some. They're hung on a piece of PVC pipe that we bought when Mom and Dad were here for a LOT less than we were seeing for a curtain rod.
The blue thing on the wall in this picture is a frame with our wedding vows written on it. I loved the idea, and still do, but can't seem to get it right, so a couple days after I took this picture, I replaced it with a new piece of art.

Now that we have my furniture from my room in South Carolina, we each have our own dresser! I'm using this one with a mirror over the top, and Carson is using the tall one. The one in our Cleveland house is the one that's out in the living room.

Whew. I knew that would be wordy and picture heavy, and I'm sorry that it is so that way, but I'm clearly not THAT sorry. Thanks for reading, or perhaps just looking at pictures, or perhaps scrolling past and saying "NEXT!" We like our little Florida home, despite its cave-like attributes.
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