Monday, February 11, 2013

Making Skull Crayons...

There is an obvious trend that you may see in my life,
Sooo...this weekend, Oliver and I made some SKULL CRAYONS!
He is two, so naturally he has more then a few handfuls of broken crayon bits lying around that he really doesn't like to use anymore. Of course he still LOVES to color, we just need some bigger crayons he can wrap his cute little hands around!
I had these skull molds lying around, that I bought to make candy cupcake toppers around Halloween, and thought they might be a fun little mold to make crayons with.


The most tedious step was peeling the paper off the crayons...I am STILL digging colored wax out from under my nails...ewww.
Once that task is finished the fun begins!
I let my son put whatever colors he wanted to mix into the silicone molds, after I lightly greased them, of course.
Then we baked them in the oven at 300 degrees until they were melted. Next, I took them out and sat them on a heat safe surface to harden and cool.
Once cooled, we popped them out of the molds...easier said than done...and we got busy coloring and trying them out!!!
He INSISTED I take a pic with his little foot, I complied.
peace, love and color.

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Face Monday...

Taking care of my skin has ALWAYS been a priority! In the past, I have always washed my face daily and applied a moisturizer of some sort before my makeup application routine, etc... 

During college I worked at a few upscale salons (ahhh the perks!!) and have learned more about skincare then I would have liked...sometimes ignorance is bliss, right?? WRONG!! Being informed on your type of skin and the proper way to care for it can change your life, literally taking years off of the way you look now and will look in the future.

I have fair skin with freckles. I am not prone to acne, but I do suffer from dry spots in my t-zone, which can break out if improperly moisturized. So after years of lectures from my wonderful esthetician friends, here is what we have come up with that works best for MY skin...

Step 1. Cleanse...AM and PM

I wet my face and apply a dime sized amount of Philosophy's Purity Cleanser onto the brush head of the Olay Pro X. I turn it on speed one and scrub my face, constantly moving the brush around, for 60 seconds. Then rinse and pat dry... 

Step 2. Exfoliate...PM only

Next, I use Aveda's Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant. I apply enough to moisten a cotton ball and then wipe cotton ball all over face and neck.

Step 3. Tone...AM and PM

Toner is a wonderful product that I have been introduced to over the years. Now that I have experienced it, I can't imagine my routine without it! I spray my entire face and neck area with Aveda's Botanical Kinetics Skin Firming Toner Mist. This product INSTANTLY tightens and refreshes my skin!!

Step 4. Eye Cream...AM and PM

This is the most important step, to me. The area around the eye is the finest skin on the face and it tells our life story like no other.

-For example everything you do can be told by you eye area...not enough sleep, someone had too much to drink last night, someone enjoys the sun, laughing, etc.

I squeeze out a dime size drop of Philosophy's Eye Hope and split it between my two ring fingers. I then gently dab the cream under my eyes and the surrounding areas, until the cream disappears.

Step 5. Apply Face Serum...AM and PM

Face serums are a great way to customize and change up your skin care so that you are always getting the best results. I am a twenty something who is concerned about sun damage from the past and to slow down future aging.

I apply a thing layer of Philosophy's When Hope is Not Enough face serum all over my face and neck area twice a day. It makes my skin feel so soft and provides me with a beautiful dewy glow.

Step 6. Moisturizer...AM and PM

This is the second most important part of my routine. As I mentioned before I suffer from dry patches and it can be tricky to moisturize them without over doing it.

I find the perfect moisture balance, summer and winter, with Philosophy's Hope in a Jar. I apply a liberal amount to my face and neck and rub it in until I see no more white lotion on my face.

Hope in a Jar has a PERFECT smooth, non-greasy formula that blends perfectly into my skin. It provides the moisture I need with out con isn't the best smelling product, but that doesn't bother me one bit!
If you are interested in trying some of the Philosophy products I mentioned without spending big bucks and getting full sizes...try Philosophy's Radiant and Refined value kit, which features three of the products that I use on a daily basis!

Skin care is A LOT of work...
but your face will thank you!!!
What's your routine like??

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Recycled Valentine's Day Decoration...

Painted Cardboard Hearts...

As I have mentioned before, I have a LARGE amount of cardboard at my disposal. Every now and then I try to come up with different ways to recycle it and create a project to enjoy with my son and it usually involves paint! 

Since the next holiday we are celebrating is Valentine's Day, I wanted to create some decorations to hang around our house. Of course I wanted to make hearts <3 so we pulled out the card board and got to work.

Step 1. Cut 19 heart shaped pieces of cardboard.
(I based this number off of how many letters it takes to spell "Happy Valentine's Day" including the apostrophe.)

 I free handed cutting the hearts so they're all a little different looking, but generally all the same size.

Step 2. Paint the hearts red/pink/white

Getting messy!!

Step 3. Let hearts dry


Step 4. Paint the letters "Happy Valentine's Day"
on your hearts...we used black because I wanted it to stand out...and we ran out of white!

sorry for the crappy pic, camera battery was on its way out!

Step 5. Hang hearts on a string to make your own Valentine's Day garland!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Turn Around...

I am a strong advocate of reusing/recycling materials to create art and jewelry for a few different reasons...

1. The Earth- Mother Earth has been kind to me, but I do not always treat her with the respect she deserves. By reusing and recycling items to be used in artwork or jewelry making I am accomplishing a few good things...extension of resources...litter reduction...preserving landfill space for stuff we can't reuse...improving the quality of the environment, or at least making it pretty :)

2. I'm Frugal- I like to get my money's worth out of things...even out of gifts or items handed down to me that I didn't have to pay for. Basically I can stretch a buck, and there's no better way to do that, then turning trash into cash...or treasure!

3. Convenience- Sometimes the things we need or are looking for are right under our noses! I have made many wonderful, FREE, toys/games/household items out of old cardboard boxes. Obtaining these boxes was as easy as opening my closet!

4. Uniqueness- I like original things. Having something that is one of a kind just makes me feel special! Also, giving someone a handmade, one of a kind piece makes them feel special too.

5. Bragging Rights- When someone asks me..."Where did you get that?!?"...I LOVE being able to say I made it out of things that they would not expect.

Soooo here is a shot of a set of earrings I made from old junky costume jewelry...

More Tuesday Turn Around to come...
with tutorials!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

mini pumpkin muffins...

I love pumpkin and all things tiny, so I have decided to celebrate both of my interests by making...

mini pumpkin muffins!

  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups whole-wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

  • Cooking Directions

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

    Brush 24 mini-muffin tins with vegetable oil or spray with Pam; set aside.

    In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda; set aside.

    In a large bowl, whisk oil, pumpkin purée, yogurt, eggs, and 1 cup sugar to combine; add 1 cup walnuts and reserved dry ingredients. Mix just until moistened (do not over mix).

    Divide evenly and spoon batter into mini-muffin tins; sprinkle tops with remaining walnuts and sugar.

    Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Top with cream cheese frosting...I cheated...its from a can!



    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    My Green Smoothie Challenge...

    So I have been reading sooo many different websites and blogs that talk about various types of Green Smoothie Challenges. Here are a few points of interest or reasons that I would like to take the
    -Increase my energy levels
    -Cleanse my body of toxins built up over the holidays
    -Improve overall health
    -Help with weight loss
    -Encourage myself to consume things that will help me feel better and live well
    All of the websites had great information and ideas, however, I didn't really find an exact regimen that will fit my needs and lifestyle, so I've decided to make my own Green Smoothie Challenge!!
    I will be challenging myself to replace one meal daily with a Green Smoothie for 30 days!
    My first Green Smoothie!!
    Green Smoothie #1
    -2 handfuls of organic kale
    -1 banana
    -1 handful of grapes
    -6 oz Greek yogurt (plain)
    -6 oz water
    -1 tablespoon of honey
    This smoothie was SOOOO GOOD, even my 2yr old son drank some!! I can consume the amount of greens that I need to be healthy and it can taste this good?? Not only was it delicious, it was super filling...which is very important when you are replacing a meal with a drink. I'm beyond excited to continue this challenge and to help myself and my family become more healthy!

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

    Goodbye 2012, Welcome 2013...

    New Year's Eve and Day are by far my most favorite holiday of the year...
    To me, it is a time of reflection, renewal, and second chances. A chance to celebrate was has occurred and anticipate all the beauty and wonder the New Year will have to offer...
    Philadelphia Skyline 2013

    So 2012 was completely life changing for myself and my family. We moved from Chicago to the East Coast, changed careers, adopted a 16yr old (Tyler's younger brother), and snuck in some trips here and there. It was a whirlwind to say the least. 2012 went by faster then any other year of my life!
    Slowing it down for 2013...
    Oliver is growing by the minute and the days past by faster then I ever thought they could. So for 2013, my biggest resolution is to slow it down and enjoy the moments. Now, I can't slow down time or keep Oliver 2 forever (I wish!) but I can slow down my own pace and focus more being in the present. I want to stay calm and focused and resist the urge to unravel when things don't go my way. My main goal is to be the best me and take things in stride.
    Cliche Resolutions...
    Everyone makes promises (while some are emptier than others) this time of year to work on themselves and I am no different. Here are a few cliche self improvement projects I will be working on and posting as I go...
    #1- The 14 day Green Smoothie Challenge

    I want to feel better...and if drinking this pretty green drink makes that happen then maybe I will keep it up even after the initial 14 days...

    #2- Sketch Daily
    In an attempt to get my creativity charged and ready for a productive year ahead, I will be taking time out to do some small scale sketches along side of working on bigger projects...

    I have seen many inspiring posts on Instagram lately and I am up for the challenge of walking or jogging one mile a day. Making time for this, consistently, will be my biggest challenge...but if there's a will there's a way, right? Bring it on! Who knows, maybe this could lead to a larger goal of let's say Philadelphia's Half Marathon!
    Well there you have it, a few things to look forward to in 2013!
    Happy New Year's!