Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pin Review: Cocoa Cornstarch Dry Shampoo


Hey everyone! I hope you had a good Christmas. I love how acceptable laziness is in the days after the holiday, and this dry shampoo I am reviewing today is perfect for days full of lounging around the house.

I  usually have to wash my hair every day because it tends to get greasy. I would like to be able to wash it less often, but I don't want to go through a gross period of greasy hair while my scalp gets used to being shampooed less often. So, I turned to dry shampoo. On days that I don't have too much going on, especially in the evening, I'll skip washing my hair and use dry shampoo instead.
I love using natural products, especially when they're DIY. I found a wonderful pin for homemade natural dry shampoo that I love. It only uses a few ingredients, and they're ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Here is the link to the dry shampoo "recipe": 

She mentions using an essential oil, but the cocoa already makes this dry shampoo smell great! Since I know my hair tends to be greasy, I didn't want to risk adding an oil to the dry shampoo.
To apply the shampoo, I use my large kabuki face powder brush. I put a little on the brush and tap it onto my hair at the roots. Then, I comb it in. It's so quick and easy!

This dry shampoo does such a great job, and you can adjust the shade of the powder by the amount of cocoa you put in it. This keeps you from getting that gray-ish shade in your hair that some dry shampoo causes.
I read a useful tip for using dry shampoo that said to apply it the night before as well as in the morning. This has helped absorb more oil on my scalp and stop my hair from getting greasier through the night.

A huge plus to this recipe is that it works really well as face powder too! When my face is a little shiny, I sweep some of this dry shampoo on my face. It's sheer and takes the sheen away.
I love how easy this DIY was, and it solved two of my beauty problems! Don't you love when a pin is just as great as it sounds?!
Do you use dry shampoo?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Birthday Freebie Bonanza


How often do you get to use the word bonanza? It's a great word that doesn't come around very often.
My birthday was a few months ago, which is hard for me to believe since the time has flown by since. I had been brainstorming fun ideas for it for a month (okay, probably two months) beforehand. I knew you could get freebies on your birthday, and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity because, as my hubby will tell you, free food tastes the best. I signed up for a lot of email lists (this would be a good time to make an email that you use solely for email lists and online accounts). I did this about a week before my birthday. Most of the freebies I signed up for were food. I used this list to find the deals: http://www.heyitsfree.net/birthday-freebies/.

On my birthday, K and I went to Caribou Coffee for my free coffee, and then to Krispy Kreme for my free donut and drink. I had the coffee, and K had the drink from Krispy Kreme. We bought an extra donut for K. Then, we watched "You've Got Mail" at home, which is one of my favorite movies (daisies are the friendliest flower!).

We also went to Moe's Southwest Grill, which is so delicious. I got a free entree with the purchase of a soft drink, and K and I shared it. Then, we went to Firehouse Subs to get my free sub, which we saved for lunch the next day.

That night, we went out to eat (and paid full price) at a whimsical local place and sat out on their patio.
Later, I got an offer from Zaxby's in the mail for some free food for my birthday. It took a few weeks to get to me, but it was worth it!

K and I had a lot of fun running around town for our free food. I recommend doing this for your birthday. Some companies also give you a reward when you sign up for their email list as well.

Do you have any tips for getting free stuff for your birthday? Let me know!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

9 Personal Gifts to Give Your Man


Christmas music is on the radio! I'm so excited for the holidays! I love how sparkly and cozy everything becomes at this time of year. Since it's the season of gift giving, I decided to share a post with 9 ideas for personal gifts to give your man. Here they are:

1. Photo book
Photo books are just awesome. How cool is it that we have the technology nowadays to design a photo book online and have it printed and sent to us?! I have a lot of fun designing photo books online and making it match my style and personality, and it's a great way to reminisce about some of your favorite memories. Ideas for photo books include a wedding album, honeymoon album, engagement picture album (which makes a great wedding guest book!), or an album of pictures that you've taken throughout your relationship. I use Shutterfly, and you can find some great Shutterfly coupon codes and deals. I've gotten deals for Shutterfly through Target (when K and I did our wedding registry) and through Kellogg's rewards emails. There are a lot of other companies to choose from that do photobooks, but Shutterfly is probably the most known. The books look professional, and there are so many ways to customize them. This is a gift that takes a lot of time and planning, but it's a lot of fun and definitely worth it.

2. Scrapbook
Alternatively, you can make a scrap book. This is a great way to use prints of pictures that you have sitting around, and it's another fun project to work on. You can even find themed scrapbooks at Michael's and other craft stores that are already made for gift giving that you just fill with pictures and keepsakes, like old movie tickets.

3. "Open when..." letters
If you use Pinterest, you've probably seen this idea floating around. Write letters to your man for him to open on different occasions. You can write letters for him to open when he needs encouragement, when he wants to laugh, on your anniversary, on Christmas or his birthday, when you have an argument, etc. If you search for ideas for this gift, I'm sure you'll find a lot. This is a fun gift because it lasts a long time.

4. "Reasons I Love You" journal
Fill a journal with reasons you love your man. You can put little things, like the way he smiles, and big things, like how well he treats you. I made a "Reasons I Want to Marry You" journal and gave it to K on our wedding day. Doing this also reminds you of how grateful you are for your relationship.

5. "My Favorite Memories of Us" Journal
Similarly, you can fill a journal with descriptions of your favorite memories of the two of you. You could also add pictures and make it into a scrapbook.

6. Year of Dates
You can find this awesome gift idea here: http://www.whatsupfagans.com/2014/02/how-to-make-a-year-of-dates-gift/. The idea is to pre-plan a year's worth of dates for you and your guy. I did this as a Christmas gift for Kyle and I. I wrote a couple of date ideas on index cards and put them in envelopes for each month. So, I ended up with 24 different date ideas. I tried to make most of them free or cheap. It was fun catering the dates to the season they were in, and Kyle and I love opening up the envelope every month and looking forward to our dates.

7. Write Him a Poem
If you love to write, a poem about him or your relationship is a wonderful way to express your love in a personal way. You could type it out and frame it for him.

8. Make a Box of His Favorite Foods
Food is always a welcome gift. Buy him a bunch of his favorite snack foods and candy and put it in a box or basket. You can even make him a man bouquet, which you can find on Pinterest.

9. Storybird book
I just found out about Storybird, and I'm still learning how to use it, but I'm already impressed! It's a site that allows users to create stories using art uploaded to the website. There are lots of different styles of art on the website to suit a variety of tastes and get your creativity going. You can also read stories authored by others. The Dating Divas came up with a great idea to make a story featuring you and your guy to give to him. You can email it to him for free, download a PDF version, or order a real book (similar to Shutterfly). This would be such a fun project to work on, and it's a unique gift. Here is the link to the Dating Divas article about it: http://www.thedatingdivas.com/you-me/show-him-the-love/create-your-own-storybook/.

What personalized gifts have you given your man?


Monday, November 17, 2014

13 Ways to Be Productive on Pinterest


Pinterest is my favorite website. It's so fun to look at all of the amazing ideas. Pinterest is a great way to relax and spend some down time, but there are also productive advantages to the website. Here are some ways to be productive on Pinterest:

1. Use it for meal planning
Not only are there articles on how to meal plan on Pinterest, there are so many unique and easy recipes. Most of my dinner recipes are from Pinterest. I love the pins that group a bunch of similar recipes together, like groups of slow cooker recipes or recipes using chicken. It saves me time since I'm not trying to come up with dinner recipes off the top of my head. I also don't get stuck in a food rut since I'm finding new recipes all the time. You can also find a lot of decadent dessert ideas, yummy drinks, breakfast ideas - really any type of recipe. This is a great resource to use when planning food for a party.

2. Plan a Party
I've seen a lot of ideas for "Frozen" parties based on the movie. Search for any theme party and you'll probably find a lot of fun (and probably DIY) ideas. You might even be able to find printables to make it even easier.

3. Save Money with DIY ideas
There's no end to the DIY ideas on Pinterest. They range from cute jewelry DIYs to pallet furniture for your home. You can save a lot of money by finding DIY tutorials instead of buying things. I love the pins with DIY versions of Anthropologie or Pottery Barn items. DIYs are a fun way to personalize your home. You'll also become more crafty and resourceful.

On a related note, you can use Pinterest to get your finances in order. There are a lot of resources to help you make a budget, get out of debt, and start saving. 

4. Use it to Promote Your Own Blog or Etsy store
Pinterest is a great way to get new followers for your blog. By posting pins of your new articles, people who follow you on Pinterest will see them. If your followers pin your article, their followers will see it as well and the process continues. People are also more likely to continue reading your blog if your articles are showing up on the Pinterest home page. You can also use Pinterest to promote your Etsy store by pinning your items.

5. Network through Pinterest
Follow other blogs with similar topics and connect with other businesses. Doing this can garner lots of new followers for you and help you become more known.

You can also use it for your career. I see a lot of pins related to nursing and teaching. I've also searched for pins related to my field and found some good articles to read. It's worth a try!

6. Follow Your Favorite Blogs
Similarly, following your favorite blogs on Pinterest keeps you easily updated on their new posts and gives you a way to save your favorite articles from their blog.

7. Get Decorating Tips
Pinterest is known for it's decorating and organization tips. There are tips for painting your house, ways to arrange wall art, and DIY decoration ideas. There are so many pictures of furniture and houses to give you inspiration. There are also a lot of helpful tips for maximizing small spaces and decorating dorm rooms. Who needs an interior decorator when you can just look at Pinterest?

While you're at it, organize the rest of your life. Once you're done decorating, you can organize your desk, your hall closet, or your kitchen pantry. There are a lot of ingenious ways to organize lots of areas of your life to mark everything run smoother.

8. Get Perspective with Inspiring Quotes
Sometimes you just need a paradigm change. Looking at quotes on Pinterest is a great way to alter your perspective and give you motivation.

9. Plan Your Wedding
Pinterest gave me a lot of wonderful wedding ideas. I found love quotes to use for decorations, bouquet ideas, and dress inspiration. There are a lot of fun guestbook alternatives on Pinterest and planning tips as well. Pinterest is especially perfect for planning a rustic or vintage themed wedding.

10. Life Hacks
Life hacks are awesome. They make life easier and a lot of simple ways that make a big difference. Just do a search for them on Pinterest, and you'll find a bunch.

11. Make your Bucket List
Making your bucket list is a lot like daydreaming, but the point is to make a list of things your really want to do, and then actually go out and do them! Search "bucket list" on Pinterest and you'll find a lot of cool ideas to add to your bucket list, like "swim with dolphins" or "learn to surf."

12. Work Out
Working out from home is a wonderful way to get fit without having to push yourself to go to the gym. You can find workout videos and charts with workout moves and reps. There's a variety of exercises you can find on Pinterest, so you can find something that works for you. With all of the dessert recipes I pin, I am grateful for workout pins! :)

13. Design Your Dream Home
For a lot of us, designing a house is definitely daydreaming, but it is a reality for some. And who's to say that we won't eventually make enough money to get to this point? As the Gilmore Girls say, "If all else fails, you can marry rich." There are a lot of gorgeous houses on Pinterest, and there are even some floor plans. It's the perfect resource for design ideas. I can't guarantee that you'll stay within budget, though.


What do you love to use Pinterest for?


Monday, November 3, 2014

14 Ways to Live Like a Gilmore Girl


"Gilmore Girls" is my favorite TV show. You can't beat their quick wit, charming town, and quirky characters. Plus, who doesn't love watching a show that has a set that is decorated with twinkle lights, snow, and fall leaves? I would love to attend some Stars Hollow events, like the Founders Day Festival (just don't drink too much of Ms. Patty's punch). Since I can't actually live in the show, I've come up with some fun ways to live like a Gilmore Girl.

1. Drink Coffee
Even if you've only seen a couple of episodes from the show, you know that Lorelai and Rory love coffee. It's an essential. They don't head to Starbucks for a fancy flavored cup, though. They just get some from their good friend, Luke, who "keeps them in coffee." (find reference)

2. Wear Chinos and Jean Jackets
This applies more to the earlier seasons, when the show was at its best. Rory especially wore a lot of chino pants and jean jackets. They also wore corduroy pants and jackets. Similarly...

3. Be fun with your style
Lorelai wears what she wants to wear, and always looks fabulous. She wears cheetah print, loud colors, and lots of jeans. I love the sweater she wears in [episode] with a sparkly kitten on the front. It may seem childish, but I love that it says that she's wearing it because it's fun, and she doesn't worry what others might think of her outfit.

4. Wear braids
Along the same lines, and more applicable to the early seasons, Rory and Lane wore a lot of braids. Rory often wore two face-framing braids on either side of her head with her hair down. Lane liked to wear pigtail braids. Braids are a fun way to pull back your hair, and you can style them to look casual, like Rory and Lane usually wore them, or more put together.

5. Value a few strong friendships over a lot of acquaintances
Rory and Lorelai have a few very close friends throughout the show, and they nurture these relationships instead of juggling a lot of sort-of friends. Rory has Lane as her best friend, and Lorelai has Sookie. Rory is also friends with Dean and Paris, who becomes one of her best friends later in the series. Lorelai and Luke have a funny, sweet friendship that's made stronger by the hard times they go through before, during,and after dating. While they love and are loved by their town and all of its characters, it's obvious that it's important to the Gilmore Girls to have quality friendships with a few people.

6. Keep Investing in Your Relationships with Family
Even though Lorelai and her parents often have disagreements and hurt each other, their relationship continue to be important to them. I think even before Lorelai asked her parents for money for Rory's school and was still very distant from them, she still desired to have a better relationship with them. They go through times of feeling like they should just give up trying to get along, but the eventually mend the relationship and keep on going. Emily sometimes seems unsupportive and unloving, but it's motivated by her love for Lorelai and her desire for Lorelai to have a good life. The problem is that Emily and Lorelai have different definitions of a "good" life. Despite these difficult times, Lorelai appreciates the love that her parents show for Rory, and both Lorelai and her parents enjoy giving to each other.

7. Give People Second Chances
Rory and Paris did not have a friendly relationship when they met, and it continued to be a rocky relationship for a while. Eventually, they became true friends. Rory had a lot of patience with Paris, and she saw Paris's good attributes even when others wouldn't. Rory also understood that a lot of Paris's behavior came out of a bad family life. Rory and Paris challenged each other in school and helped each other become better students and friends. It's valuable to have a friendship that helps you become a better person, and the hard times in the relationship are worth it.

8. Add a Feather Boa to Your Stuff
Rory's alarm clock has a pink feather boa across the top, and Lorelai decorated a hammer with pink boas when Rory volunteered to build a house. Rory even mentions that Lorelai decorated her white-out bottles to look like people.

9. Pursue Your Dreams
Lorelai and Sookie dreamed of opening their own Inn for years, and they always had hope that they could do it. They had confidence in themselves and worked to make it happen. They didn't wait around until it was easy to do, because they knew it would be a tough but rewarding process. Lorelai especially had a hard time saying goodbye to the Independence Inn because of the memories she and Rory had there, but she was so happy to run her own inn with her best friend.

10. Don't Let Calorie Counting Rule Your Life
Obviously, the amount of food that Lorelai and Rory eat, and the types of food they eat, is really unrealistic considering their slim figures. However, I do think that a lesson can be learned from them. It's important to take care of yourself, but it's also important to live life and eat a mallomar once in a while.
11. Reference Your Favorite Books and Movies in Conversation
The Gilmore Girls are known for their fast talking and pop culture references. You don't have to understand all of their references to be a savvy conversationalist. Referencing the books, TV shows, and movies you like is a fun way to get your point across and introduce people to some awesome culture.

12. Go to Fun Events
Stars Hollow has a ton of fun events throughout the year, like the aforementioned Founders Day Festival. They also have the summer carnival, the dance marathon, the knit-a-thon, the winter carnival, the Festival of Living Art and the Thanksgiving celebration. Rory and Lorelai always participate, and these episodes are always extra fun to watch. Look for unique events and festivals near where you live.

13. Stay True to Who You Are

Rory is given a hard time by administrators at her school when they think she isn't socializing enough. Instead of sitting with a large group of people at lunch at school, she likes to take that time to listen to her Walkman and read a book. When she's told that this could affect her recommendation to university, she tries joining a group at school. Once this group, a secret society, breaks into the school one night for an initiation ceremony and is caught by the headmaster, Rory stands up for herself. By telling the headmaster that she was just doing what he had demanded and that she was fine with her life the way it was, she avoided punishment and was left alone. Rory knew who she was and knew that she didn't need to change her personality just to please others.Similarly, Lorelai knew she didn't want a life like her parents, and followed her own path as soon as she could.

14. Don't be Afraid to be Silly

Sookie is so adorable and genuine. I love that she dances, sings, and jokes around with confidence. Her personality is playful, and she's unafraid to be silly. Life is too short to be serious all the time.

What do you love about Gilmore Girls?


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

We Were Nominated for the Liebster Award! Yay!

We have been blogging for a few months now, and we're so glad to have met awesome bloggers and their inspiring blogs! Blogging opens a lot of doors to amazing opportunities, such as the Liebster award. This award is for bloggers with under 200 followers, and blogs are nominated by other bloggers. We were nominated by Stacy at Anastasia Vintage. You should definitely check her blog out! She has so many gorgeous projects on her site that you can buy or use for inspiration in your home. Plus, her writing is so well done and entertaining. Thanks, Stacy!

Below, I (Livi) have answered 11 questions that she gave me, and then I will nominate 11 other blogs with less than 200 followers. They will answer 11 questions and repeat the process.

1. How did you decide on the title of your blog?
I wanted to blog with my mom, who shares a lot of the same passions as I do. We both go by nicknames that sound similar, and we thought it would be cute to put them together as our blog name, hence Vicki and Livi!

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why? 
I think "creativity" is a great way to sum it up. Our passion for creative activities is what inspired us to blog, and most of our posts are related to creativity. Even our posts about faith can relate to creativity since God is the ultimate Creator!

3. What's your favorite pastime other than blogging?
I love baking and crafting. I love pretty much anything creative! It's also not uncommon to find me spending too much time watching Gilmore Girls.

4. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
I love using blogging to share ideas with people. When I feel inspired or I am excited about a project, it's fun to write about it and share the post on social media. It's also a great way to find other blogs!

5. Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you most like to try yourself? 
I love the DIY Deskless Drawer on Stacy's blog, Anastasia Vintage. I love the idea of an organizer for keys and mail by the front door. Right now, stuff like that gets dumped on a desk near the door, which can look cluttered. Also, my sunglasses need a home when they're not in use! :)

6. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from a lot of different places, but mostly from other blogs and Pinterest. I love finding ideas that are awesome and making them my own. Blogging is great because you find people with similar interests and they inspire your work.

7. What is one country in the world you would like to visit? Why?
I have always wanted to visit France. I love the French language and culture. Paris would be my first stop, but I would definitely want to visit Marseilles and see the countryside. I would eat lots of bread and cheese while on a picnic on the beach of the Mediterranean, and it would be heavenly.

8. If you have children, what are their names? If not, what are your favorite boy & girl names?
I don't have children now, but I really love the names Emma and Eli. I also like bohemian names like Sage. I would love to use the name Olive for a little girl, but my name is Olivia, so I think those might be too similar.

9. A long lost relative leaves you a large sum of money. What do you do with it?
My first impulse is to buy lots of clothes (which I probably will soon tire of and then I will find an excuse to buy even more clothes...) Craft supplies are also something I love to buy. In the end, my husband, the future accountant, would tell me to save most of the money. So, we would save a lot of it for the future.

10. In your opinion, what is the best blog post you've written so far? (Include the link!)
My favorite post that I have written is the Beach Date Night at Home. I love planning at-home date nights with my husband. My favorite part of these dates is that they are realistic and easy to replicate, so anyone can do them with their spouse. They're also just really fun!

11. What is your favorite food? 
Chocolate is definitely my weakness and my all time favorite food! As far as substantial food, I love salmon. So, hopefully, the healthiness of the salmon balances out the unhealthiness of the chocolate! :)

So, here are my nominations (based on number of facebook followers for their blog page):
Alysa @ AlysaLovely
Shelby @ Shelby Clarke Blog
Natalie @ Polka Dots & Pampers
Daisy @ Simplicity Relished
Heather @ Broken With Remedy
Alexandra @ With a Heart in Danger
Marissa @ My Old Heart
Martha Kate @ Seasons with the Strattons
Samantha @ Moving Peaces
Jen @ La Vida
Neive @ The Aussie Osborns

These are the steps to accepting your award:
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person that nominated you (see below). Please comment on this post with your link when you are done so I can see your answers!
  • In your post, link back to the person/blog who nominated you and give a little thank you shout out.
  • After completing the questions, nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers on the social media platform of your choice, and give them 11 questions of your choice.
  • Notify your nominees of their nomination, and provide a link to your post so that they know what to do.

These are your questions (I loved Stacy's questions, so I've kept them the same!):
1. How did you decide on the title of your blog?
2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why? 
3. What's your favorite pastime other than blogging?
4. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
5. Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you most like to try yourself? 
6. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
7. What is one country in the world you would like to visit? Why?
8. If you have children, what are their names? If not, what are your favorite boy & girl names?
9. A long lost relative leaves you a large sum of money. What do you do with it?
10. In your opinion, what is the best blog post you've written so far? (Include the link!)
11. What is your favorite food? 


Congrats, ladies! I loved finding your blogs and I will continue to read them! :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Geometric Triangle Manicure



Nail art is a great way to express yourself and stay on trend at the same time, but I usually don't have the patience to spend an hour doing my nails. ​

The other day, I did my nails in a simple geometric design that was ​
​fun and quick.
I used a gorgeous sky blue color by NYC called "Skyline Blue". I love the low prices of NYC nail colors. For the triangle, I used Essie's "Penny Talk", which has been my favorite nail color for a long time.​ 
This color is classy and trendy, and it works as an accent color​
 ​ as well as a base color.

For the triangle, I put tape on my nail where I wanted the edges of the triangle to hit. Then, I painted from the top of the nail to the tape.


What are your favorite nail art designs? I'd love to hear them!​


I have not received payment or compensation for mentioning these products, I just personally like them.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Inexpensive Ways to Show your Alabama Crimson Tide Pride

Inexpensive Ways to Show Your Crimson Tide Pride

Alabama football is so fun to watch, and I love being a fan. There are a lot of ​(girly) ​ways to show your Crimson Tide pride without having to spend very much. Here are some ways to pull that off:



1. Use Crimson and Houndstooth Ribbon

This is a more subtle way to show that you're a fan, and it's perfect for decorating. Get some pretty crimson and houndstooth patterned ribbons and stick them anywhere! You could wrap these ribbons around vases and jars, make a garland with them, or even tie curtains up with them. You could also add these ribbons to pillow covers or use them to add a bow to a frame.​ These ribbons would go really well with some twine or rope for a rustic look.

Crimson Tide Home

As for accessories, those ribbons would be perfect for making a headband or hair bow. You could also make a simple ribbon belt with them, or turn the ribbons into a necklace.​ 
Tying houndstooth ribbon onto the straps of red flip flops would be super simple and quick.

2. Dress in Crimson and Houndstooth
If you have a houndstooth scarf, all you have to do is wear it with crimson shirt! Or vice versa. It would be so cute to wear a red shirt with a houndstooth skirt. Any clothing combination using these would be adorable and work really well. You can find a lot of houndstooth dresses and skirts. It's nice being a fan of a team with pretty colors/patterns!

For more inspiration, see my post about Crimson Tide Fashion.

3. Make it Yourself
If you have some sewing skills (or in my case, if your mom does!), you can design and make your own Alabama-themed shirt or scarf, which would probably end up being less than buying one already made. I love thinking of fun designs for clothes, and it's a great way to make a unique shirt to show off your pride.

For the shirt, you could make one or buy a red or houndstooth one. You could incorporate an elephant design, houndstooth and crimson, and words like "Crimson Tide" or "Love Alabama" on the shirt. To do this, you could cut and sew fabric in the shape of an elephant onto the shirt, find an iron-on letters or patch in the shape of an elephant, or print the design on iron-on material to transfer to the shirt. You could even add those ribbons as well! You could also use fabric markers to draw on the shirt, or use a bleach pen in the same way (directions for using a bleach pen to add designs to a shirt are easy to find on Pinterest).

For a scarf, you could simply make a circle scarf with red and houndstooth fabric, and you could even add a cute elephant design with an iron-on patch.


For other DIYs, you could also paint a simple Alabama "A" on a canvas or wood in crimson and white, or draw it on paper and frame it. Another idea is to add it to simple coasters. 

My father-in-law recently made a ping pong table (which the whole family has fallen in love with) and painted it red. He added Alabama themed duct tape as a border and Alabama decals on the top of the table. Another idea is to make personalized corn toss boards by painting the Alabama "A" on them. There's really no limit to the ways you can show you're a fan!


How do you show your Alabama pride?


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review of the Dean's List VoxBox


I was so excited to find out that I was chosen for a VoxBox from Influenster. I heard about influenster.com from a blogging group that I'm a part of on facebook. You sign up and connect your social media accounts to your Influenster account. Then, the site tells you your impact score, which is based on how many people follow you on social media. You also answer questions, what they call "snaps", so that Influenster can find out more about the types of products you like. Then, you wait to be chosen for a campaign. It's good to check your account frequently because more snaps will appear over time. Once you are chosen for a campaign, you are sent a VoxBox. This box is full of awesome free stuff for you to review and tell your friends on social media about. 

The Airheads Bites are missing because I ate them before taking a photo of the box contents. :)
I just got my first VoxBox, which is the Dean's List VoxBox for college students. It got here about a week ago, and I've had so much fun using my new, complimentary products. This is what I received:
  • Pilot FriXion Clicker Pens: These pens are so cool. I love gel pens because they write really smoothly. The best part about these is that the ink is erasable. So, these are easy to write with and they erase really well. Erasing the ink doesn't damage the page, and it's as easy as erasing pencil. Also, it doesn't leave eraser shavings. These pens make my notes look so much cleaner since I don't have a bunch of scribbled out words.
  • Softlips Cube: I was so excited to try this lip balm. I love that it comes in this sophisticated cube. I got the mint scent, which is so fresh smelling. It glides on really smoothly, and it contains SPF, which is a big bonus. My lips feel so pampered.
  • Airheads Bites: This candy was delicious and reminded me of my childhood. I loved the flavors, especially watermelon and blue raspberry. The flavor was unique and tasted just like the regular Airheads. Yum!
  • Playtex Sport Fresh Balance Tampons: These are lightly scented, and are perfect for me since I just started playing intramural volleyball at school. I love that they are made for being active. The scent is fresh without being overpowering.
  • Luden's Watermelon Throat Drops: I love watermelon! I love that these don't taste like typical cough drops. They also have blue raspberry flavor, which sounds really yummy. These are a great way to brighten up your day when you're not feeling well.
  • SinfulColors No Text Red Nail Polish: This red is gorgeous. It's a crimson shade, which is really elegant. I love the message behind the nail polish as well. It's a campaign to keep people from texting and driving. The idea is to paint your thumb nail red to remind yourself not to text and drive. I think this kind of message is valuable.
  • Kiss Looks So Natural Lashes: These lashes are gorgeous. They look natural and are so glamorous. They're so fun!
I love my new Pilot FriXion Clicker Pens!


I had so much fun receiving and reviewing this VoxBox! Influenster is an awesome website, especially for bloggers and people who love social media.

Which of these products would you try?


I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Fashion Inspired by "You've Got Mail"

Fashion Inspired by "You've Got Mail"

"You've Got Mail" is my favorite movie. I love how charming and quaint it feels, and it's the perfect movie for a relaxing night at home. I think the best movies and TV shows feel like fall and have twinkle lights (which applies to "You've Got Mail" and "Gilmore Girls").

Kathleen Kelly is such an adorable character who is down-to-earth and easy to relate to. I love her simple, feminine style. It's so elegant and classy. After watching the movie again this weekend, I put together some outfits inspired by Kathleen.

"Don't you love New York in the fall?"
"Don't you love New York in the fall?" by ijustbeolivia 

The movie starts out in fall, which makes this feel-good movie even cozier. I love that Joe says he would send ShopGirl/Kathleen a "bouquet of sharpened pencils". Kathleen's style is casual but still feminine. She wears some slouchy cardigans over her skirts and tights. She also wears a simple black coat. These pieces are neutral and easy to wear in different combinations. The boots cater to the grungy feel of the cardigan, while the tailored purse goes well with the collared shirt. I added light pink nail polish because Kathleen isn't one to wear bright colors. The pieces in this look are timeless and could be worn by someone of any age.

"It will all shake out. Meanwhile, I'm putting up more twinkle lights."
"It will all shake out. Meanwhile, I'm putting up more twinkle lights." by ijustbeolivia

Kathleen wears a lot of simple shift dresses in the movie. I love this forest green shift dress with the black long sleeved shirt underneath it. It's unique and classy. The boots and tights polish the look off, and the gorgeous bag emphasizes the green in the dress. This is a great outfit for work, but it's still casual enough to wear on the weekend.

"All this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings."
"All this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings." by ijustbeolivia

The scene in which Joe brings Kathleen flowers when she's sick is so adorable. It's so sweet that you can tell that they're about to become friends. Her pajamas are cute, and of course, classic. I love that she wears a trench coat to answer the door. Her coat is another closet staple.

"Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?"
"Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?" by ijustbeolivia

You see Kathleen wear a lot of skirts and cardigans throughout the movie. In the spring, she wears linen and gauzy cardigans. She also wears a lot of simple white tees. True to form, she sticks to pretty neutrals and pastels. This khaki linen skirt goes perfectly with a light blue cardigan and tan accessories. I added some lovely blue nail polish (can you tell I like Essie brand?) This outfit formula is perfect for the transition from spring to summer or from summer to fall.

"I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly."
"I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly." by ijustbeolivia

The last scene of the movie is so sweet and perfect. I love the setting and music. Kathleen's outfit is adorable in that scene. She wears a simple linen dress and 3/4 sleeve cardigan. Sandals are the perfect match for this outfit, along with some taupe nail polish and a stylish tote bag. This linen dress is a wonderful day dress that could easily be worn with a lot of different cardigans and shoes.

What's your favorite scene from "You've Got Mail"?

The Deliberate Mom

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chocolate Cinnamon Bun Oatmeal On-the-Go


Breakfast is a meal that my hubby needs on-the-go because he often works early mornings. Since flavored oatmeal packets are expensive and aren't very filling, I decided to make my own oatmeal mix. It's saved us money, and they taste good! It's a simple recipe, and it's guaranteed to not be bland oatmeal (though it's also guaranteed to not be super healthy :]) Here's the recipe for one zip lock bag of oatmeal, which is about 3 or 4 servings:

-2 cups oats
-1/2 cup chocolate chips
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1 tablespoon cinnamon

These measurements are just an estimate since I wing it whenever I make a bag. It's an easy recipe to tweak. 

Once you want to make a serving of the oatmeal (which is about a quarter of the oats in the ziplock bag), just add enough water to soak the oats with a little water resting on top. Microwave for about 45 seconds to a minute.




What are your favorite breakfast recipes?


Thursday, September 11, 2014

DIY Fabric Scrap Garland from Old Clothes

I've been wanting to make a garland for a while, and my bedroom window was begging for some decoration. I have a lot of old clothes lying around that I don't wear anymore, so I decided to use those to make fabric strips to tie onto my garland.

First, I decided on my color scheme. I love cool colors, so I went with blue, green, off-white, and gray.

Next, I found some twine to tie the fabric on. I had some thin twine, but I decided to use some thicker twine since the garland would be heavy. I suggest using thick twine or slim rope. Then, I looped each end and tied it in a knot so that the loop could hang on a nail.

Then, I cut the clothes into strips. This would be so much easier with fabric scissors, but I was able to use my paper scissors. I tried to keep the strips about one inch wide and eight inches long. The great thing about this type of DIY is that it's supposed to look rustic, so it's okay if it's imperfect.

I didn't try to estimate how many strips I would need, I just started out cutting about 5 strips from each piece of clothing and tying them on. Once I ran out of strips, I would cut more. It's not an exact science. :)



Next, I started tying the pieces onto the twine. I started at one end and kept tying until I got to the other end. I just did a simple knot once with each strip. I alternated the colors.

Once I had finished tying the strips on the whole garland, I was done! It was a fun, relaxing project. I love DIY decorations, especially when they use materials that I already have on hand. The best part was that I was able to upcycle some old clothes. This is perfect if you don't sew and don't have any fabric lying around.


What DIY decorations have you made for your home?


Included in the Southern Girl Blogging Community That's Fresh Friday linkup: http://www.thespeckledpalate.com/2014/09/11/southern-girl-blog-community-presents-thats-fresh-friday-link-42/

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Banana Bread


Banana bread is one of my favorite recipes to bake. It's simple, moist, and sweet. Plus, you can get away with eating it at any time of day. I decided to take my favorite banana bread recipe and tweak it so that it had a little more pizzazz. I love Yammie's Noshery's banana bread recipe, which you can find here:
http://www.yammiesnoshery.com/2013/10/the-best-banana-bread-muffins-ever.html#wl5di0ueeGSlclSB.32

To make my banana bread, I used her recipe with just a couple of differences. My changes are in bold letters.

-3 brown bananas (1 cup mashed)
-2 eggs
-1 cup sugar
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-3/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon cinnamon

-1/4 cup brown sugar (approximately)
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1 teaspoon vanilla


Yammie tells you to make it in a gallon zip lock bag, which is a great idea. I didn't have any big zip lock bags, however, so I just mixed the ingredients together in a bowl. The great thing about this recipe is that you can easily mix it by hand with a fork; you don't even need an electric mixer or whisk. Here are the baking steps: (my changes to the recipe are bold)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and mash the bananas.
2. Mix in the eggs.
3. Add the sugar.
4. Add the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
5. Mix in the oil and vanilla.
6. Grease your pan and pour in half of your batter. Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar generously over the batter. 
7. Add the rest of your batter to the pan and sprinkle more cinnamon and  brown sugar on top. Swirl it together with a fork.
8. Bake for 10-20 minutes at 375. Check after 10 minutes to make sure it hasn't started to over cook. 
9. Cool and dust a small amount of brown sugar on the top.
I skipped making the glaze since this was sweet enough on its own.

This bread turned out really well! It tastes like banana bread with a little extra cinnamon-y sweetness. Enjoy!

Livi

Included in the Southern Girl Blogging Community That's Fresh Friday linkup: http://www.thespeckledpalate.com/2014/09/11/southern-girl-blog-community-presents-thats-fresh-friday-link-42/

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Popcorn Bar and Movie Date Night


Relaxing at home with a movie is one of my favorite things to do with my husband. The other night, I decided to surprise my husband with an extra fun movie night by adding a special snack. Naturally, popcorn is the perfect snack to go along with this date night. I popped some popcorn on the stove and set out our toppings. Our toppings were spray butter, chocolate chips, and taco seasoning. Additionally, we had m & ms and mike 'n ikes to eat as they are or mixed in with our popcorn. 

I also made a movie themed quiz for us to take. I wrote out the quiz on a piece of paper and titled it, "What Movie Genre are You?" I asked questions like, "What's your favorite food?" and "What's your favorite music genre?" The scoring system was the type where every type of question answer (i.e. all A answers, all B answers, etc) correlated to a certain quiz answer (i.e. you are the comedy genre, animated genre).

For decorations, I drew pictures of popcorn, a movie reel, and a movie clapper with our names on it and our date night as the "production".




We had fun mixing up different flavors of popcorn, and it made a fun date night extra special. 


You could also make puppy chow popcorn, which I have the recipe for here.

What do you like to do for date night?
Livi