Chocolate Body Scrub : Beauty Tuesday

I absolutely love homemade body scrubs! They always smell good and leave my skin so soft and who wouldn’t want a delicious smelling body scrub? Make up a batch of this and save half for yourself and give the other half to a friend. I promise they will love you for it! It’s also edible so you could use it for a lip scrub as well!

Chocolate Body Scrub
1 cup granulated sugar (brown or white)
1/2 cup sweet almond oil (olive oil will also work)
1/2 tsp Vitamin E oil (or 2-3 vitamin capsules)
1 tsp real vanilla extract (optional)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp chocolate shavings

Combine all ingredients except chocolate shavings in a bowl and mix until sugar and oil are combined. Add chocolate shavings and fold in. Store in air tight containers.

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Paris Charm : WIP Wednesday





I finally finished the quilt top! I still haven’t decided on what to use for the backing.. but I am thinking I might like a simple Eiffel tower pantograph like this might be nice..

After finishing up this one, I went back and hunted down two more patterns from the company.. now that they are out of business, it’s really making me sad because they had some incredible designs!! I picked up this peace sign pattern, it’s a baby quilt but I intend to make it much larger.

and then I came across this one and I just had to have it!

I know some of you will want to know where to find them and unfortunately I have no leads for you :( I would suggest you google “Blue Meadow Designs pattern”.
Pattern: Paris Charm by Blue Meadow Designs
Fabric : Hello Luscious by Basic Grey

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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Manicure Monday :

I wish I had, had more time to photograph this manicure :( the color is a beautiful deep purple with fine flecks of glitter inside. Life has been far too busy lately and sadly I just don’t have time to keep up! :( Sorry about the strange shadows across my hand, it’s from my cell phone.

Base Coat: Nail Tek Maintenance Plus & Nail Defense by Orly
Polish: Finger Paints Polish in Icy Iris
Top Coat: Seche Vite

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Travalo : Beauty Tuesday

Have you heard of Travalo travel sized perfume atomizers? They are supposed to be super easy to use by just placing the end on top of your standard spray perfume and pump. They also make roller ball styles which really got me excited because I love roll on perfume!

Sounds easy right? I ordered the black roller ball style and anxiously counted down the days to delivery. When it came I was so excited so I grabbed my bottle of my favorite perfume and tried to fill it.

Only, it wouldn’t fill. At all. It just kept spilling my expensive perfume all over the base. It never held more than 3 pumps after wasting about 25 — obviously I stopped using the expensive perfume and switched to trying a body spray.. thinking maybe my perfume top may have been too large or small.. the body spray had the same result. To say I was disappointed was the understatement of the century. HOW could these things have such amazing reviews?! Obviously mine was defective? So I set about getting a return.. then I decided to order the spray instead of the roller ball to see if I could compare and test.

Here’s a shot to compare. The spray filled with no problems at all and I was satisfied that I had a product that I could carry around…. until..

See that? that is perfume leaking from the bottom. Now, to be fair, this only happens when the bottle is held on the end and is warm (like being held)…… but if you are using a travalo, I would seriously advise not using any perfume that is too spendy because evaporation and leakage WILL happen.

My advice? Save your money. Buy one of those with the screw off tops and use a funnel to fill. They cost about the same and your product isn’t going to leak. I kept the pink one but had someone told me that they leaked this way, I probably would have purchased something different.

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Manicure Monday : Mellow Yellow


It was a little hard to get the glitter polishes to photograph while keeping the yellow accurate in the different lighting conditions. The yellow is a bright, buttery yellow (similar to the color of a #2 pencil) while the glitter polishes on the ring fingers shine with all the colors in the rainbow. The yellow went on pretty opaque and only took two coats for a nice even polish. The Luxe & Lush polish is a little gummy but I am not sure if its just my bottle though.. It always goes on with a thick layer so this time I concentrated on applying the Opal Glitter first and then followed up with the Luxe.

The polish has held up well throughout the week and I had no chipping until about day 4 and even then it was along the top of one nail only. I love this look!

Base Coat: Nail Tek Maintenance Plus & Nail Defense by Orly
Polish: Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in Mellow Yellow, China Glaze in Luxe and Lush, & Sunful Colors in Opal Glitter.
Top Coat: Seche Vite

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Make-Up Brushes & Cleaning : Beauty Tuesday

I posted this photo on instagram/facebook while cleaning my make up brushes and, I got some questions about what I use to clean them & keep them looking nice. I thought I’d share the recipe here as well. :) I’ve had my brushes for years and years and this recipe keeps them looking like new.

DIY Brush Cleaner
1c Distilled/Filtered Water
1/4c Distilled White Vinegar
1/2TBLsp Gentle Baby Shampoo
1/2TBLsp Gentle Dish Soap
1TBLsp Leave-In Conditioner

Mix together gently and store in a clean, air tight container. To use, add a small amount to a cup or bowl and swirl brush in the liquid, rinse and dry your brushes on an absorbent towel. Never dry brushes standing in a cup as this can destroy the brush.

NOTE: If you share your brushes, replace the vinegar with equal amount of isopropyl alcohol. I find that the vinegar does the job of disinfecting just fine and is less drying to the brushes however, if you share your brushes it’s important to remove any bacteria and alcohol is the better choice.

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Manicure Monday: Black, Gunmetal & Green

It’s terribly overcast here today so trying to photograph the green polish was a nightmare. It’s a shockingly bright, neon green. I’m on a fun polish kick. I really loved the look of last week’s manicure so I continued this week with a darker theme. I have come to find that the Orly Liquid Vinyl is my favorite black polish of all time. I really should stock up!

I also found this amazing video on YouTube that has these amazing polish shelves, I am going to have to get my husband to do this! I’m now dreaming of transforming one of our spare rooms into an entire make-up room!

Base Coat: Nail Tek Maintenance Plus & Nail Defense by Orly
Polish: Orly in Liquid Vinyl, China Glaze in Kiss My Glass, & China Glaze in I’m With The Lifeguard.
Top Coat: Seche Vite

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Hello in Paris & Exciting News! : WIP Wednesday

I really wish the Blue Meadow Designs company were still in business.. they had some really amazing patterns! I found this pattern around the same time that Hello Luscious was released and I just knew that it had to be made in this fabric. I hung on to the fabric though and this project sat in my box waiting to be put together for a long while… which led to some problems as it turns out!

I laid all of my pieces out to get a feel for the colored blocks.. it turned out to be a bit more tricky than I thought to get the pieces to lay the way I wanted but after 3 attempts, I finally settled on this layout and began stitching up… and then the problems began.

Originally I had intended the cream fabric to be the inner border and the pink to be the outer.. however, whomever sold me the fabric cut me 1 square yard (36″x36″) not 1yrd by the width of fabric which I thought I had bought. The problem then was, I didn’t have enough fabric to be wide enough for the inner border. My husband (the math genius) discovered that I had just enough of the hot pink (because Moda cuts with generous yardage! YAY!) to swap the borders..

The wonderful Tracey Jay offered me some yardage but we had already cut.. but everyone on instagram seemed to like to new layout better than my original plan.. and it’s grown on me too! That light pink is the binding! I never bought backing for it.. but I am actually thinking I might back it with snuggles! Wouldn’t hot pink minkee be amazing!? I’ll have to see if one of my quilters will longarm with minkee (I know some who won’t).. I am pretty sure someone I know will!

I’ve got most of it stitched up, I just need to sew on the applique and then sew on the borders. It’s stitched up pretty quickly. The pattern was pretty well written (although some of the fabric requirements were a little confusing at first glance but it was easy to figure out.) I am loving this quilt. It’s a touch busier than I thought it would be but I think everything blends together very nicely.

I also asked my husband to build me a quilt ladder to display some of my quilts and this past weekend, he did! Isn’t it beautiful?! I want to make another and stain it to match our furniture, this one will go into my quilting studio… and guess what?! I won a contest!!

My friend is a longarmer and she does AH-MAH-ZING!! work. She recently held a contest on instagram where she picked 2 winners, one would win a mini quilt and the other a $100 gift certificate towards machine quilting. She pulled my name for the machine quilting! Can you believe it!? I never win anything let alone something that amazing!! I’m sew excited! I’m working on 2 other quilts (I’m waiting on fabrics so you’ll hopefully see those in the next few weeks) and I am definitely sending one of those her way! I’m still in shock! Check out her work here on facebook or on instagram.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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Black, Pink, & White : Manicure Monday


It’s been a long while since I’ve done a manicure post! Truth is, I haven’t done much with my nails in a long while. I was growing out some damage, I’d get a break, I’d cut back, regrow, and repeat. I think I am at the point now where they are in decent condition again so the manicures are back! This time I ventured into some nail art by painting stripes and discovered that my line brush is in desperate need of replacement! But, I am wearing them (and sharing) anyway, squiggly lines and all! These are fun and very different from my usual style. My husband hates them, I love them lol.

Base Coat: Nail Tek Maintenance Plus & Nail Defense by Orly
Polish: Orly in Liquid Vinyl, China Glaze Shocking Pink, & China Glaze White on White
Top Coat: Seche Vite

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Filofax Malden vs. DayRunner Signature : Filofax Friday

One of the questions I am asked over and over are “what should I start with? where do I begin?” and I usually repeat my mantra “start with a binder you like, if you like it, you will want to use it.. it’s that simple.” This still holds true. I know many of you want to try out an organizer but don’t want to invest your hard earned cash on something you may never use.. the same was true for me. My first real planner was a DayRunner and I purchased it in high school and it still looks pretty good today! AND it’s still functional and in my opinion, it’s the perfect ‘starter’ option.. especially if you like the Malden or Metropol lines. Let’s take a look..

DayRunner Signature:

It is NOT leather but it has the look and feel of leather. It’s smooth and soft and has plenty of card pockets in the front as well as a large pocket. The rings are slightly smaller than the Malden but not by much. It is punched the same way Filofax’s are so the inserts can be used in both. It is classy enough that you could pull it out at a business meeting and it wouldn’t look ‘cheap’. The only con that I have is about the pen loop, I wish it had some subtle stitching around the edges.. that however, would not prevent me from buying the organizer (obviously).

The Malden:

This is a highly coveted design by Filofax and it is not hard to see why. It has decent sized rings, it’s completely stuffable, a nice long strap, tons of pockets and spaces to store things, it is leather, and it’s just plain gorgeous. Complaints about the Malden? Yes, I have some. Some of the finishes (mainly the colored ones) are easily scratched and when the leather wears it can take on a suede like appearance and, it’s leather.. that’s a con for me since I like to be as animal friendly as I can be. It’d be fabulous if they offered a Vegan line. I am fairly gentle with my planners and I have not had any trouble but I do have friends who have suffered unfortunate scratches.

DayRunner L – Malden R:

In my opinion if you cannot afford the Malden (as I think it’s pretty much the perfect planner) or you want to try the planning thing with a nice planner but an affordable option, the DayRunner is a FABULOUS choice. The accessories included according to the DayRunner site:

Ring size: 3/4″
Internal pocket, room for business cards, and pen loop
Binder Includes: 13 weeks of undated weekly pages, undated monthly pages, Holiday and Events calendars, 8 year overview, contact pages, business card holder, page marker ruler, note pad, zipper pouch
Available as an Assortment of Black or Red. Please indicate color preference in order comments on the shipping page. We will do our best to honor color requests.

Compared with the Malden:

Design Features:
Left: Two credit card pockets and one zipped pocket.
Right: Notepad pocket, wallet pocket. Pen loop.
Ring mechanism size: Six rings of 7/8″ (23mm)


Transparent flyleaf
Week on two pages diary
Ruler-page marker, black
Subject Index Tabs, 5 Subject, cream
To do, five language
Finances (with icons)
Pink ruled paper
Beige ruled paper
Yellow ruled paper
Blue ruled paper
Lavender ruled paper
Name, address and numbers, five language
AZ index, cream, two letters per tab
Transparent envelope, top opening

Calendar Included: Supplied with a 2014 week on two pages diary.

Please keep in mind that you can purchase all of the Filofax & DayRunner accessories to go with either binder. If you can afford the Malden, get one! If you can’t, I don’t think you could beat the DayRunner.

You can purchase the DayRunner here. You can purchase a Filofax here.

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