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I'll let you in on my secret. How I stay beautiful & a pretty sweet giveaway

28 June 2013

Hey ladies and gents! I'm all about being true to yourself and letting your inner beauty shine but there are just some beauty things that I do that are super weird, yet effective, that I just had to share them with you! I'm joining up with Ginny at Modern Commonplace Book who is hosting a giveaway with some awesome ladies: Kendra at Open SpacesChelsea at Lost in TravelsSarah at Limited Space Organizing, & Jacquelyn at Just Jacq. I'd encourage you to check them out and enter the giveaway below (of course after reading my beautification tricks). 

1. Deodorant on my feet. YUP. You read that correctly. I know that it sounds nuts but I hate having blisters on my feet when I wear heels for the night. I'm talking about for those long days at work or evening weddings where there is no way that I'm getting off the dance floor. And I'm no wimpy girl who takes off their shoes to dance, I'm tough. Thanks to deodorant . I apply my traditional deodorant to the sides, heels and tops of my toes where I know they are going to get sweaty and start to bark after a few hours. Surprisingly, it works! And it is easy for travel because you should be packing deodorant anyway. 

2. Exfoliating then shaving my legs with conditioner . YUP. I buy the cheapo coconut conditioner for shaving my legs. But I make sure to exfoliate before running the razor up my stems. I have been using the St. Ives knockoff from Target for years. In fact, it is still the same bottle. [Oh yeah. I just said that!] Anyway, I rub that apricot scrub vigorously all over my legs, rinse that off and start the shave-a-thon. My legs are smooth and the shave lasts about a day longer on average because of exfoliating first.  

3. Washing my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar . If you haven't caught on to the no 'poo trend I've been blabbering on about for the last month, then you should come back by the blog more often!! But basically, I've ditched traditional shampoo and conditioner for a more "natural" approach to hair hygiene. 

4. Vaseline on my cuticles. I have serious cuticle issues. I wear gloves and wash my hands all day at work so who would be surprised that I may pick at them in an OCD fashion? Well, I was talking to my Vietnamese friend at the nail salon and she recommended wearing Vaseline at night. You can put socks on over your hands to "seal" in the moisture or just go bare handed like I do. Anyway, in the morning, my cuticles look their best! And a jar of Vaseline is cheap!! 

5. Toothpaste on my pimples. Somehow I wasn't a few pimply teenage but when I would get the occasional red lump, my beautician friend told me to put some toothpaste on it. Use a thin layer for when you wear makeup because it will cake up like crazy but at night, who cares? I find white colored toothpaste to work better than any blue that I've tried. Sounds crazy, eh? 

What are some of your wackiest beauty habits?

How I Serve My Husband: Letting Him Know That I Need Him

27 June 2013

Hi friends! I'm guest posting for my home girl Ashley @ Let's Get Bananas on something very near and dear to my heart, my marriage. I got this idea from my sweet friend and fellow blogger Amberly @ Life with Amberly and Joe. She is super awesome and I'll tell you why! She sets goals for her marriage each month (here, here, & here). I know, so cool! Hop over to the guest post to read the rest!  

Top 5 Weekly Home DIY Pinterest Pins

26 June 2013

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I feel like I haven't talked to you all in ages. Between going to camp last week with our Youth at church to looming deadlines at work, life is making it practically impossible for me to keep up. Posts to come!

I've searched Pinterest to find my top 5 pins of the week. Several were chosen because they are a simple, possibly inexpensive home upgrade while others are just fun. Source links are provided for follow up or tutorial instructions. Enjoy!

Brick and Wood Entertainment Stand

Now I don't know how sturdy this would be with say, perhaps little ones running around but I think it elevates the look of the room to a modern/rustic level. And it can't be too expensive to make. 

Door Knocker Towel Rack
Young House Love

If you haven't heard of Young House Love, well then you should go fix that right now. This couple are all the rage and quite the blog success story. They are quirky and have great ideas for home projects. I personally, love the idea of the door knocker towel rack instead of just the traditional chrome ring or towel bar. Adds a little personality to a space. And I'm all about personality!

Hide the Electrical Panel
Charleston Crafted

Our fuse box in our townhouse is in the kitchen. I wouldn't exactly deem it an eyesore but I could see how eventually it could be. Ours displays our calendar which is held on a magnetic chip clip (classy, eh?). But a simple upgrade such as putting a picture on hinges to hide the thing it genious! Then you could even fake out your friends and tell them that you just have to get something out of your wall safe!

Cosmetic Contact Paper Upgrade
Popcorn Served Daily

Medicine cabinets are drab. With a little patience and contact paper add some color or pattern as one of the first things you see in the morning when you grab your toothbrush. 

Around the Corner Picture Frames

I have never seen anything like this. I'm not even sure if I like it or would want it in my home. I just think it looks neat! I suppose if you had two joining rooms, you could create a photo wall up the corner instead of a traditional photo wall?

This ain't the Hunger Games! My tips to avoid cracking at 3 p.m.

21 June 2013

I'm pretty predictable. And I know that 3 p.m. I'm going to get hangry (hungry+angry). Often it is fuel by boredom but at 3 p.m. I get a major case of the munchies. Since I am trying to be healthy by watching what I put in my body, it is super important to me to avoid caving into those cravings. Am I always good, oh heck no! Acknowledging the problem or weakness is half of the battle, right? I know I can't be the only person with this struggle because it seems like Yahoo! posts something on this topic each week. This is basically my attempt to share my tips for dealing with those hangry pains. 


Ok, so let's pretend it is 3 p.m. and I look down at the clock. I'm starting to lose my energy. You with me? Here are my go-to tricks to push past the hangry and treat myself right. 

1. Drink water and wait 10 minutes. The first thing I do is get a big ol' glass of water and chug it. I mean not really chug it to get sick but I make sure that I fill up on water first before snacks become an option. If I drink that glass of water and still feel hungry when the timer goes off, then I proceed.

2. Move around. Sometimes a simple distraction like walking to the bathroom or going up a few flights of stairs makes me change my mind about eating when I get bored.

3. Search health and fitness pins on Pinterest or watch workout videos. I'm sure you are all like,"what is she talking about?" Well, I've found that looking at food pins or searching recipes is the WORST possible idea when I'm bored-hungry. Instead, I look at pictures or videos of workout moves which makes me second guess the purpose of my snacking as well as realign my focus on why I'm foregoing mindless eating. My favorite videos are from FitSugar. If you aren't familiar, I'd recommend it! They post FREE ten minute videos that are great for a quick yet dynamic workout. 

4. Brush my teeth. I love the feeling of clean teeth! Do you? If I take a few minutes to brush my teeth there is no way that I want to get those pearly whites all dirty again. Also, the mint flavor of toothpaste makes some snack flavors sound a lot less appetizing. 

5. Have a sugar free snack like a handful of almonds. I order almonds ten pounds at a time. In moments where I cannot curb those cravings almonds are my go-to snack. Dried fruit is perfect for these moments as well. 

What do you do to curb snacking or hunger in the afternoons?

Spring is over...HELLO Summer!

20 June 2013

Are you as excited as I am that tomorrow is the first official day of summer? I know we all bust out the shorts and coolers on Memorial Day weekend like that is the beginning of the summer season but I'm playing it by the rules this year. Back in April, I started a Spring Bucket list and have earnestly worked at checking these items off.   

  1. Plant herbs in my garden. 
  2. Go to Cheekwood to see the Tulips.
  3. Buy three new skirts to show off my slimming legs! (1 of 3) 
  4. Fly a kite.
  5. Go fishing. 6/18/13
  6. Rollerblade three times.
  7. Ride my bike four times. (1 of 4)
  8. Walk to get ice cream. 6/18,19
  9. Run a mile. 06/6/13 (11:44 minute mile)
  10. Write three notes to random people in my address books. 6/20
  11. Go to the batting cages. 05/29/13
  12. Play sand volleyball.
  13. Hike at Radnor lake 06/01/13
  14. Eliminate 25% of my clothes on ebay.
  15. Plan a picnic with Mr. Collier (straw hat optional). Memorial Day

Last night, Mr. Collier and I came back from chaperoning camp for our Youth Group at church. We are beyond exhausted but it gave me a opportunity to cross the ice cream, fishing and note writing items off above. I can't wait to tell you more about camp!

Top 5 Weekly Home DIY Pinterest Pins

19 June 2013

I've noticed over the last few weeks that subtle themes are reoccurring among pins [usually of the clock or pallet variety]. This week is no different. Apparently my subconscious-eye is searching for upcycling types of home improvements. Whether yard sale or thrift stores, may your projects be plentiful! 

Penny Vase
Vone Inspired

Covering things in pennies is quite popular! I personally am head over heels for this vase! Take an ordinary vase, paint it a dark color and cover it in pennies! It will literally cost you cents [hahah...pun] to make.

Two-Toned Bar Stools
Morgan Goes to Rome

Sure you can find bar stools at just about 3 in 5 yard sales, give or take. Painting them a flashy fun color like the coral is cool but you can take it to the next level like Morgan did here and play with an accent color such as gold. Turquoise would be another excellent color to complement the gold. 

To-Do List Heaven

Are you a crazy person like me that has to have a To-Do list going at all times? Well think about the possibilities [besides Pictionary or an never-ending game of kitchen hangman] for this beautiful creation. Use butcher paper on a rod to always keep track of your empty items or memos to self. 

The Coolest Couch on the Planet
[no it does not have a foot rest that kicks out]
Mettes Potteri 

I love the idea of putting two twin beds together to create a "day time" living space and a "night time" guest space. I'd totally put this in a spare room or even in a finished basement. What you are looking at is two, twin beds that are hooked together underneath with folded foam as the couch cushions. When you are a host, unhook the beds from the "L" shape and make two, twin beds or one full/queen sized bed. GENIUS!

Upcycled Plate Shutter Storage

I love how country chic this dish rack is created out of a worn window shutter. The simplicity just draws me in! Not only is it a very creative storage solution, it functions as wall decor. Imagine Fiesta ware dishes in multiple ombre shades cascading down the shutter slats. Oooh!! So cool!! 

SHE & HIM, The Ryman & Bra Straps Are Apparently Fashion Accessories

18 June 2013

Hey all! I'm guest posting about the She & Him concert Mr. Collier and I attended on Thursday night at Keeping up with Kelsey! Go over there and check it out. I also talk a lot about bra straps too! 

The Dish on Ellie Workout Wear

14 June 2013

Hey fitness ladies! Yes, you! As many of you know, I have been busting my butt at BarreAmped 3-4 times a week now and was in a sad situation when it came to my workout wear. I had two tops that I purchased when training for my first 5K in 2009 and a few pairs of Target yoga pants. I was blessed by new yoga pants around Christmas when Mr. Collier pulled through on hearing my hints dropping like rain in an April shower. But I needed a wardrobe update. That is when I found Ellie. In fact, I had not even heard of Ellie until two of my bloggy friends Kelsey @ Keeping up with Kelsey and Emily @ Newlywed Moments turned me onto this brand.

Ellie is an workout wear company that has some really cute stuff! Their prices are generally cheaper but still competitive with other more popular brands out there. I would rank them akin to the Lucy line. Anyway, I had a chance to review two items of my choice for free and become an Ambassador for Ellie. That means I can offer you 20% off!!! You can also find a link on my sidebar. 

The coolest aspect about the Ellie brand is that you can become a "Fit Club Member" where for $50 a month, you can select two new items from the Ellie collection. It can be two tops, two bottoms or a new outfit all together. And did I mention that as a Fit Club Member that you receive FREE SHIPPING? And new items are added each month! The new styles were launched this week and many of them are already gone! If you aren't interested in a "member" type thing, just purchase the items you want solo. 

Let's talk prices. Tops usually run between $35-60 and the bottoms range from $50-70.

My review: 

(I received both the SuperNova and Love Struck Leggings for free by Ellie to review and these are my own opinions of their product)

I knew from my parking lot of my complex that I had received my "goods" because they come in a bright pink metallic envelop! How cool, right? I selected the SuperNova top because of the open back design. Super hot! There is built in support but I'd still feel more comfortable with a sports bra underneath for inversion type social workouts. Don't want the ladies to be slipping out. And it certainly is not enough support for more bustier girls. The Love Struck Leggings are super comfortable and I thoroughly enjoy both the thick waistband and lean seam design. I've worn both to BarreAmped and have been pleased (especially from all of the compliments). This line is unique and not many folks know about it yet. In other words, it is a chance for you to be a trendsetter! 

Top 5 Weekly Home DIY Pinterest Pins

12 June 2013

The Wednesday, my top 5 home DIY weekly pinterest pins are back! Last week, I took a break from home stuff as I was crushing hard core on new recipes so be sure to check those out! I've got a variety of pins picked out today. Some furniture, some simple upgrades. Enjoy! Be sure to follow me on Pinterest to see what else I'm pinning each week. 

Mega Furniture
4 the Love of Wood

Seriously, this is the Frankenstein monster of furniture. Pick up an old coffee table, bookshelf or dresser and crown molding and you have yourself mega furniture. But it has a very French feel to it, right? Sorta classy and Alice in Wonderland-ey. 

Fancy Pump Soap

How simple! All you have to do is spray paint the plastic pump soap bottle from the store! Add a small monogram and you are golden. Everyone will be coveting your newest sink accessory. 

Photo Curtain
The Craftster

Do your grandparents or parents have a bunch of slide photos hanging around? Whether they are of the family car, house, random extraneous family you never even met or a road trip vacation to the Grand Canyon, The Craftster tells you how to turn those photos into window art. Sure, you can't see out the window but it is certainly a conversation starter! 

Bike Spoke Clock
Architecture Art Designs

Upcycling projects make me salivate. So true is this awesome bike spoke clock! The red makes the hands really POP!

Wooden Crate Coffee Table
DIY Vintage Chic

If you don't already have a collection of wooden crates from your wine drinking habits, then you can pick one or four up at Hobby Lobby, Michaels or JoAnn's. Stain them to match your living room and assemble this very unique and storage-conscious table on wheels! 

Spring Bucket List Revisited

11 June 2013

I only have 9 more days to finish this list!!!! Ahhhh!!! 

Apparently, true spring lasts from March 20th through June 20th according to Google. Therefore I've created a spring bucket "To-Do" list of all the things I want to achieve before summer rolls through!

  1. Plant herbs in my garden. 
  2. Go to Cheekwood to see the Tulips.
  3. Buy three new skirts to show off my slimming legs! (1 of 3) 
  4. Fly a kite.
  5. Go fishing.
  6. Rollerblade three times.
  7. Ride my bike four times. (1 of 4)
  8. Walk to get ice cream.
  9. Run a mile. 06/6/13 (11:44 minute mile)
  10. Write three notes to random people in my address books.
  11. Go to the batting cages. 05/29/13
  12. Play sand volleyball.
  13. Hike at Radnor lake.  06/01/13
  14. Eliminate 25% of my clothes on ebay.
  15. Plan a picnic with Mr. Collier (straw hat optional). Memorial Day

My latest fix....Natural Homemade Peanut Butter

10 June 2013

Have you ever tasted REAL peanut butter? I am not talking about the shelf stable canisters marked "natural". I'm talking about straight peanuts crushed into peanut butter. No sugar, no salt, & no additives. Well, a few months ago I tried real peanut butter without salt, sugar or weird additives and let me tell you, it is delicious! AND I'VE BEEN HOOKED SINCE!

Planter's Peanuts for Natural Peanut butter

After my MarshMellow [A.K.A. my Cuisinart Food Processor...what it is incredibly normal to name your kitchen accessories, right?] made its counter debut, Mr. Collier and I have been buying things to process! The first thing I tried was bulk raw, unsalted nuts online on Amazon. For 5 lbs of peanuts, it is around $18 with our Prime membership plus free shipping!!! Whoop, whoop!!!! Besides snacks it is a whole heck of a lot of nuts (that's what she said)!  

I mean seriously. Look at how pretty MarshMellow is! I may be moderately obsessed. Sometimes I think I missed my calling as a professional taste tester, food critic or chef. ....Back to this peanut butter recipe. You literally add one cup of dry, unsalted nuts to the processor and press "on" until it becomes smooth and creamy peanut butter. If you are into a more salty thing, add salt. If you like it chunky, stop it early. Really the entire process is customizable to your palate. For each tablespoon (16 total per cup) is around 53 calories. Store it in the fridge in a air tight container upside down to prevent the oils from separating. In my experience, this peanut butter should last about a week in the fridge if it makes it that long!

Top 12 Weekly Food Pinterest Pins

05 June 2013

Yup! That is right ladies and gents! I'm changing it up this week since for whatever reason my focus has been fixated on food all week long. I thought what batter way to further indulge than share some recipes that I've been oogling on Pinterest this week! 

Which one can you not wait to try? 

Homemade Fruit Leather Super Easy & Healthy Tutorial

04 June 2013

It is a mighty recipe Tuesday and I'm pretty much sharing this for Ashley @ Let's Get Bananas who has oohed and ahhed about my fruit leather postings on Instagram!! I am here sharing my new favorite snack that is nutritious, homemade and actually good for you. It is 100% fruit--dehydrated into, you guessed it, homemade fruit leather or fondly remembered as fruit by the foot! We all had fruit roll ups during our youth which seemed "healthy" because it was made with REAL FRUIT or so promised. Throw that stuff away because I've got the low down on the real thing.

Kroger had strawberries, raspberries and blackberries on sale this week for $1.88 each. For $5.64 and just 367 calories for the entire tray it is beyond a bargain. Trust me, if you are calorie counting it is a great snack!! If you are anything like Mr. Collier and me, fruit leather does not last long around the casa! 

I've tried this recipe with and without the parchment paper. Honestly, I prefer the parchment paper because of easier cleanup and much less damage to the baking sheet in the long run. But essentially pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees F. and cover the baking sheet with parchment paper or brush with olive oil. 

Cut up the strawberries into quarters. The raspberries and blackberries can go right in! Feel free to substitute any flavor of fruit you would like. Apricot, date and cherry would also be delicious. *Note that berries will make your fruit leather more seedey. Keep that in mind for texture later. I don't mind but I'm sure some folks do! You could also strain out the seeds after the puree step below. 

Combine the berries in a pot and fill with water until the fruit is covered. Simmer until the fruit is extremely soft and the color begins to fade from the strawberries. 

Let the mix cool a bit and throw the entire mixture into your blender. I'm going to be bitter for a moment and say that the only use I get out of the MAGIC BULLET is for smoothies and soft things. Otherwise just a serious pain-in-the-you-know-what! Again, at this stage you can attempt to strain the seeds if you are concerned. The fruit will seriously appear to be a smoothie when you are done with this step. 

Pour the "smoothie" on the prepared baking sheet. Be sure to even out the mixture because this makes a big difference in the cooking quality. Place the baking sheet in the oven and let it dehydrate for 6-8 hours. At this low temperature, I feel perfectly comfortable setting this up and letting it dehydrate throughout the day. But again, it depends on how comfortable you are with that. You will want to let the fruit leather continue to dehydrate until the mixture is not wet to the touch. 

Once it is done, let it cool for a few minutes before tearing. I know it is incredibly tempting to start ripping the thing apart as soon as it comes out. I prefer to tear the leather while warm and this especially is important for those of you who cook without parchment paper. The warmer it is the easier it will be to get off of the sheet. 

But that is pretty much it! Super simple and delicious!