Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Make Your own Laundry clothes pin holder

I am currently redoing my laundry room. The reason why I am doing that is because we have a pretty deep basement and I don't like going down there so I wanted to make a few changes to make it a little cozier down there and then I would be more likely to do laundry.
So I am making just a few simple changes and I will of course have a post and video on that when it's all completed.

One of the little DIY projects that I worked on is making a little clothes pin holder. We have a laundry line down there and I usually hang pants and sheets and things like that and didn't have a great place to keep the clothes pins.

So here is what I came up with and I''m pretty happy with it!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review: A Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

Have you ever heard of this book? I never have and then this came up as a book choice in my book club.  I will preface that my book club is made up of suburban moms in their late 20's to early 40's.  So my initial thought I'm not going to lie was that this was going to be a lame-ass book about raising your kids. Now I'm a mom and I can appreciate self help books but not for a book club , I was a little upset but then I sat down to read it and I was surprisingly intrigued.

                I will start with what I found positive in the book and what I could relate with. My parents are immigrants from Poland, so I felt that in some situations of this book I could relate. I tell you that my parents are immigrants because I think that this population of people came to the United States and things were not easy for them. The had to work really really hard just to make it and wanted to give their children (my generation) the best life they could give them.  So I felt that Amy touched on this alot in her book. She struggles with raising your children the 'Chinese' way or the 'Western' way. She critiques the Western way of raising children is very lax and without forcing children to do anything and this is why we have unmotivated kids.
       With an immigrants kind of mindset things are not always sugar coated for kids and kids need to work really hard to get some praise if any. At first it seems very harsh that Amy forces her children to practice hours and hours of piano and violin to be the best and she actually doesn't say great job she critiques them. I thought wow what a jerk I would be standing up and clapping if my daughter did that. But then I thought back to how my parents were. Really they weren't all that different. My mom never not once had a clue if I had homework that needed to be completed or if there was a project due at school it was just expected. If I brought home anything less then an A well then I was an embarrassment. I guess that was the driving force, I didn't want my parents to be embarrassed so I strived to do well. At one point in the story she buys a dog and tries to make it the best dog and tries to train it but quickly realizes that this is not something that can be done. She and her husband are very well educated individuals with several degrees and teach at an Ivy  League school. The vacations that they take are not your typical Disney Land or Wally World type trips. Instead they travel to foreign countries in Europe and still then the children are forced to practice violin and piano for hours. I thought this was insane! No vacation what so ever! I kept putting myself in her kids positions and I think I would have rebelled with piercings and tattoos and would have run away from home.

Towards the end of the book she begins to wrap things up and states that her daughters were grateful for this kind of upbringing. Very strict, very structured childhood. I think they didn't know any different. I always have felt your a kid once in your life and it never comes back so why not enjoy it! I don't think kids should run a muck but I think being creative and playing is the most valuable thing in the world. You have your entire adult life to work at things why not enjoy being a kid!

The biggest negative I could find about this book is that it felt very repetitive. She kept jamming piano and violin down her kids throats! She was repetitive with her reasoning like she was justifying  for herself what she was doing.   She mentions her husband a few times but I can't believe that he had allowed a lot of this to happen. There are some moments in the book that I thought what that's really intense!

Overall I say read it if this sparked your interest but if you never pick this up you didn't miss out on anything!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Best Pens for your Filofax

I'm always on the hunt for pens. I can scour Pinterest and Flickr for peoples pictures of pens. I just love pens. I love fountain pens especially. I just think they are so beautiful and I love filling them with ink! I just love all stationery. So anyway back to the point of this blog. I wanted to mention some pens that I found on Amazon.

These are Pilot pens and they are called Frixion point Erasable Gel Pens! Yes and the clear tip on the end of the pen erases your ink! It erases it amazingly. It's like using a pencil. I love this because I don't have to worry about it being permanent in my filofax!!
It is extra fine,0.5mm, this size is excellent because I have a personal filofax and it forces me to write more appropriately for the size of the filofax. I love all the colors (6), just love them!! I think I just love the fact that they erase so well!
The pens write very smoothly. I have written in Moleskine with them as well and they write beautifully in them as well.

Now I have raved about these pens especially since on amazon I found them for $7, but of course there is one bad thing. I did find that I can not write for a long time with them. It may be that they are just so fine that the ink flow can not keep up, but if you try to journal with them they start to run a little dry.  For jotting quick notes in my filofax it works perfectly so I mainly only use them for this purpose!

Overall, wonderful pens if you are looking for something to use in your filofax!!
Do you have a favorite pen that I have to check out? PLEASE let me know!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Midori ....Oh no a Faux-dori!!

On my mission this New Year I was looking for the perfect planner. I have an Erin Condren planner which I absolutely love and I did a review on this planner because I really do love it but I wanted something that I could customize even more. Where did I turn to....well Pinterest, Youtube and blogs of course. I spent hours and days looking for one and I finally found it........a Filofax!!

Yes the filofax, how I drooled over this planner on Pinterest. All the beautiful inserts and washi tape and stickers, oh I just could not get enough. I watched endless hours on how people organized their planners and all the printables I was able to find I just knew this planner was something I had to have.

Well all that research and I finally placed my order but in the middle of searching for this perfect planner I also stumbled upon a community that uses Midori Travelers notebooks. I was immediately intrigued because I love notebooks. All kinds and I love small ones, large ones, fancy ones etc.  I have plenty of Moleskines and I pretty much use them for everything!!

Well the Midori was awesome because I could have multiple little notebooks all in one carrier with a beautiful piece of leather and some great elastics. It looks so beautiful and when I watched reviews I also became obsessed with this little notebook. I almost pressed the order button but then refrained because of the price. Yes it's a beautiful piece of leather and yes I use notebooks all the time but I could not justify the price....$65.00!! My husband would kill me. Now this isn't to say that I will never purchase one but I set out to find something that acted like a Midori but wasn't so expensive. Where else would I turn but Etsy.

Oh how I adore Etsy. My prayers were answered and I found this great kit that acted like a Midori and I could even dye the leather!!!

A wonderful Etsy seller and this kit was only $14.95 plus shipping which I think was $2. It came so fast!! I ordered some leather dye off of Amazon in an oxblood color because I just think it's so beautiful and I began my little project. First I dyed the leather which is super super easy to do and not as messy as I thought.

Oh I just get giddy with this thing. By the way the size on this is the passport which is smaller but it comes with a Cahier Moleskine notebook and I have tons of these so it was the perfect size for me!!

Putting the elastic together is so easy and then I just used rubber bands to hold the notebooks together!

Oh it's just so beautiful and I love it so much! I want to get more and dye them all different colors!! Great kit to get if you are interested in getting a Midori but don't want to pay the price!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Stella & Dot Spring/Summer 2014 Collection!

Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I about died when I saw the teasers for this collection. I was just beyond ecstatic to place my order. I obsessively scoured the site and counted down the days until I could place my order with Stella & Dot!

It's finally here!!!

I am just so in love with pretty much everything in this collection! The gorgeous scarf was a definite for me and also the beautiful getaway tote that is a great size for travel and even moms on the go.
Don't even get me started on the beautiful jewelry that was released its just full of colors and mixed metals. I love it and I think you should check it out too!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cute and Easy DIY, old frame into a Chalkboard!

I recently found this old frame in my storage room. I was no longer using it and I hate to throw away something like this. I looked at the three slots and that's when it hit me.....I could use this in my office as a pin board/message board!! And pulled out some materials I already had around the house! You could do this with any old frame you have laying around and spruce it up and give it a new life!!

Here is what I did!!

They came out better then expected!!

So here is what I used to make this adorable DIY!

 I first gathered all my needed supplies. You will need an old picture frame. Take the glass out and spray paint it with the chalkboard spray paint. I found mine at Hobby Lobby but I know that I have seen it at Michaels as well for about $7.99. Trust me once you have this spray paint you will turn everything into a chalkboard!! I can't tell you how many times I have used this finish.
Once you decide your layout you will have to fit your cork board.

Glue it all together and I added a pretty ribbon so that I can hang them!
It's honestly a super super easy DIY project and took me about 30 minutes to make.

Check out my Youtube video for a more step by step tutorial!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Awesome Gadget the Astro Mini quick charger!!

On my mission to find a quick battery charger I found this little beauty!!

Why you might ask did I even look for this gadget? Well I hoped you would ask that question. I catch myself so many times where I am out of the house and I have about 5% battery left on my iPhone! I get so mad when that happens. Not only do I feel really mad because 'what if I need directions?' or I'm lost and I have no battery life, or I get so excited to listen to a new playlist and the phone is dead. I also have a little baby and god forbid my car breaks down and I have no phone I wanted to have this little gadget in my car! This product I purchased on amazon for $19.99. The shipping was really really fast and I can't tell you how I relieved I am that I have this in my purse and never have to worry about being stranded without a phone!! It also charges an iPad if you are someone who travels with all of your gadgets.  You can put whatever you'd like because it has a usb and a mini usb port!

Here are some techy specs:

The official name is Astro Mini External battery.
It holds enough power for 1-2 charges on most smartphones. From reviews I read that some people were able to get 3.
It's made with Grade A cells and premium microchips.
Charges your mobile devices anytime, anywhere.
Fits easily into any bag with a small and lightweight design.
Lifetime charge cycles- 500 times or more
It weighs 2.6 oz
Input DC 5V/0.8A
Output DC 5V/1A

I love the pink color I think it's super cute and it comes with this adorable mesh case that is really really great quality. The inside has another lining and it's just great.  This is a little life savor for me and I never need to worry about running out of juice for my iPhone!!
Hope you check this out!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What Are Jamberry Nails?!?

So I had a girlfriend a few months ago mention Jamberry Nails. Being an absolute nail polish junkie I was immediately on my iPad googling Jamberry. What I found just amazed me!! The website has so so many nail appliqués to choose from!

Ok so the ones I included here on my blog are only a small percentage of what I found on the website! I went nuts with all the super cute holiday decals. They are just so adorable. I then found on the site that you  can also be a Jamberry employee by doing trunk shows and selling the product! I did look into this but I am already a Stella & Dot stylist and I think I have  exhausted all of my friends and family with hosting . It seems like a really great opportunity if you are someone who is looking for a job out of your home and creating your own business.
My next thoughts were how do I apply these? The website features a slightly different way of applying these appliqués. You use heat! I was immediately intrigued because I have used the Sally Hansen ones and some other ones at Ulta but found that they come up or are basically stickers on my nails, so using heat seemed like a really great idea!
I then of course turned to YouTube and found some videos of people applying and
so I was sold on these!!

 I think these are super duper cute. I did get a chance to speak with their PR folks and they are really really nice so I imagine that the company is a really great one to work with!
Hope you get a chance to check these out if you love nail polish as much as I do!!

 Don't forget to check out my Youtube video if you are interested how they apply and
What they look like on my nails!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Let it Snow Nails!!

We got hit with a ton of snow these last couple of days in Chi town!! They have actually nicknamed it Chi-beria! It hasn't been this cold here in nearly 20 years. Something about a north pole vortex breaking free and expanding across the country.  There is a ton of snow and some sun so of course what did this do for me....well it inspired some nail designs of course!!

What I began painting my nail base color is a color from the Sephora Formula X brand in the color 'Infatuated'. It's this beautiful blue color that just made me think of the winter time.  For an accent nail  I used the glitter color 'Turbulent" also from the Formula X line! They are great quality nail polished is you haven't tried them out yet!

 The top one is Infatuated and the bottom pic is Turbulent~~

Now for the nail art part it's really very simple.  I took a dotting tool, you could just use a q tip if you remove the cotton part or break it in half or a toothpick, and dip it into a white nail polish.  The next step is totally up to your artistic self, decide if you want the base of the snow at your cuticle or at the top of your nail. Which ever you choose you want to put dots very closely together to make it look as though the snow is accumulating. Then as you work your way away from wherever you choose the base to be you want to make your dots more sparing. This will give the effect that it's snowing on your nails! I love this nail art. It's super easy and fun and great for a very chilly and snowy day!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Gellish Easy at Home gel manicure kit and you can change your Nailpolish anytime!!

Hi Everyone,

I have been using this kit for about 6 months now and I absolutely love it. I have a 1 year old at home and two fur babies so my hands are constantly being washed. I could not get a manicure to last me more than a day. I went to my local Sally Beauty Supply store and stumbled upon this gem! This is the gellish at home manicure kit. You do have to purchase the cure light separately. I don't remember the exact price of this whole system but I believe it's some where is the $100 price range.  I felt this is justifiable because if I were to go to the salon and have this done every week the cost of that would add up quickly!!

What comes in this kit. It is a mini kit, which I was more than happy with especially when I am trying something new out. I have been using this non stop for the past 6 months so I am most positive I will be buying full sizes.
Anyway!! Here is what comes with your kit
Mini pH bond
Mini foundation
Mini top coat 
Mini Nourish (cuticle oil)
Mini artificial nail remover
Mini surface cleanser

The Sheer gel color is something I chose separate and does not come with the kit. I chose the sheer vs a color because I like to change my nail polish very often so I can't commit to a color for longer than a week.   The curing lamp is separate but I really like it because when you press the button it turns off in the appropriate time needed to cure. The kit comes fully with instructions and walks you through what you need to do. It was very easy to do at home and I get better with it each time I use it. I would say that I can get this done in about 30 minutes and I usually can go about a week and a half without having to redo the whole manicure.

Some tips to keep in mind. Make sure you cover the entire nail and then the tip before you cure. This is a very important step. If you do not do this then you will notice that dirt, particles and water will get underneath and ruin the manicure. Your manicure will peel off your nails and cause damage to them. Make sure to work with good lighting so that you can see your entire nail and are applying enough and covering the surface.

This kit is a ten out of ten for me because my nails are super strong and I can change my nail polish color as often as I like. Make sure you use a non acetone nail polish remover if you are choosing to do this. If you try to use a nail polish remover with acetone you will unfortunately ruin the gel manicure and it will start to come off your nails.

For a demo of how I do this on my nails be sure to check out my YouTube video below!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Pretty Little Liars "Deadly" Book #14

Ok ok, so I can't believe we are on book 14 and we still don't know who A is!!

I am going to start by saying that I love the books and I love the show. The show is currently on a winter break and is coming back January 7, 2014. I can't wait!! So, to get my Pretty Little Liar's fix I had to read this book!  The book overall sheds a lot of light on things that happened in the past. We open the book with Allie so we get a little more insight about her. We find out some secrets about the mysterious guys (Phineas, the guy who helps Emily when she is pregnant)  in all of the girls lives. It's a pretty great reveal and I don't want to give that away with out you reading it for yourself. I did have some moments where I was like ' I can't believe I didn't see that'. It's honestly what keeps me going with this series.  She is a little wild and pulling for things where I think 'oh that's just ridiculous'  For example I think it was in two books back where Aria sees Noel Kahn's dad and he dresses up like a woman and you think it's this huge reveal but really the mom knows about it!! Ridiculous!! So anyway Aria has issues with Noel in this book because he lied to her and he was with Allie and you find out that they were closer then we thought so Aria is not speaking to him.  Hannah is dealing with the death of Graham and all the weird stuff that went down in the burn clinic. A manages to really screw up their lives and the girls think that they might end up in a prison in Jamaica for Tabitha's death.  There is a lot of energy that you feel very on edge like maybe they are going to end up there. Iris has gone missing and this isn't as big of a deal as I think it should have been. Come on a crazy person has escaped and no one really thinks anything of it!! A is really really hard on them in this book and really wrecks their lives.  So if you like to read about the girls squirming, then this book if something you will enjoy a lot!! We like Melissa in this book, she seems to be helpful along with Wilden. So lots and lots of topics are touched!!

If you are not familiar with the series but you watch the show, don't be discouraged that you can't read the books. The books are nothing like the show. The show has a different story line. The characters are the same personality wise but physically different. An example is Spencer is a brunette in the show and a blonde in the books. Also Emily has a sister in the books and I don't think I have seen a sister in the show.  If your interested in reading the books because you are a fan of the show definitely do so because the show will not ruin anything for you.

I have heard that Sara Shepherd has a contract to go up to book 16, so we know we still won't know who A is until then.  One thing I will say is that there are some major things revealed in this book but sorry we still don't know who A is. We assume it is Allie and pretty much know it's her but how does she do it? I think thats what we all are really waiting for. Is it a team who is in on it and how is it that she is always there without anyone seeing her. I'm hoping everything will be revealed because it's driving me crazy.

I overall was satisfied with the read but I am hoping that the next two books will tie everything together. I think we are all waiting for the answers and need them sooner rather than later. I wouldn't be surprised if she wrote another book this year but who knows!

Happy reading and please let me know what you thought of this book!!