Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Bathroom is Organized!

For the longest time my bathroom cabinets have been a huge jumbled mess of a disaster. Every morning when I get ready I get more and more pissed off at the avalanche of beauty products that inevitably tumbles out of the cabinets. Not to mention the rats nest of cords from the blow dryer and curling irons and such. This weekend I finally reached my breaking point and decided to do something about it.

Now I really didn't spend much... I bought a few magnets to stick on the back of my eyeshadows and some of those pantry organizer wall thingies used for tin foil and such, but that's it! Everything else I found around the house.

So here's my make-up cabinet. I have a few larger items that I use on a daily basis, so I cut the top off a box and put them all inside. That way I can just put the little box out on the counter, use all the stuff and then put it back. I grabbed a mason jar from the cabinet to keep all my makeup brushes and tools in, and another box was used for refill type things like new bottles of lotion, toothpaste, and razors (close to the shower so I can reach it when I realize I'm out of shampoo!). I already had the metal bucket with dividers in it and used it for all my brushes and combs (more frequently used items towards the front). Good news was, I could stick all my eyeshadow to the front so I find them easily and don't have to clutter up my makeup bag with things that aren't used every day. I used an empty baby wipe container to hold all my little barretts and clips and such.

Moving on to the cabinet under the bathroom sink. This was the real disaster area. Everything was just shoved in and it was a giant mess. First I mounted one of the organizers onto the inside of the door. The fit was pretty tight... it's barely small enough for the door to close and is just wide enough that I could screw it into the fat parts of the cabinet and not have the screws bust through the other side. Whew. This thing works great for my blow dryer and heat tools. Then, if you look inside the cabinet, I've got a shelf: top for tp and bottom for a basket full of awesome "girl stuff" HA! (notice I never painted the inside of my vanity...)

On the other side of the cabinet, I mounted another organizer shelf. This one I filled with all the hair products and lotion that I use frequently. No need to shuffle bottles around to find the one I want or have 50 bottles fall out on my foot! Yeah!

Inside this cabinet I put another shelf. On the top I used a long tin container to hold all the bottles of less frequently used products... shampoos, more lotion, etc., in front of which I put a couple items that get used on a regular basis but didn't have any other spot to go (gotta make sure the spider spray is in easy reach!). On the bottom I put a cutlery tray and used it to hold headbands, travel size shampoo & such, teeth related products, soap, & lesser used make-up.

So there you have it! My newly organized, highly efficient bathroom!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bedroom Decor on a Budget

So I'd been wanting to give our bedroom a little make-over since we moved into our house. I purposely painted all the bedrooms a neutral beigey color so I could add whatever colors I wanted as accents and still have it look good. Since the duvet cover we already had was brown, this didn't exactly make for the most interesting of rooms. Over time I collected ideas of what I wanted to do and found cheap ways to accomplish it. I thought it turned out pretty good! Granted, we still haven't dealt with the closet/storage situation in that room, but we'll get there eventually.

Here's what the room looked like when we first bought the house... two words: GROSS.


Here's the breakdown of the costs:

Lamps: $9 for 2 bases at thrift store + $18 for 2 shades + $6 spray paint= $33

Sconces: $3 for 2 sconces at thrift store + $1.76 for 2 tapered candles + $4 spray paint= $8.76

Headboard: $50 on sale

Bedding: $176 with 20% off coupon  (duvet cover, 2 pillow shams, 1 decorative pillow)

Mirror: $20

Total: $287.76

Not too bad, eh? I have a few other projects in the works, mainly decorative items for the surrounding walls, but most of these are super cheap and involve spray painting old bottles and other misc. things. And maybe we'll get some curtains eventually too. But as it is now, it has a much more put-together feel and actually like going in there. Huge difference from where we started!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Wall

Remember this big blank wall I mentioned a while back? The one I was clueless as to how I should decorate it? Well, I came up with an amazing idea ( I thought so anyway...) and have finally finished my vision.


 Big, boring, and devoid of color (unless you count beige as a color)


Look at all the things!

So what is all that stuff? Well I'll tell you. I had this idea to create sort of a family history wall. I wanted to hang up pictures and some objects that represent our ancestors and maps of where me & Seth's families are from. Thing is, my vision sort of had to be tweaked a little bit because of a couple hiccups, but the general idea I had is still there.  Turns out old photos don't have the best quality so I couldn't blow them up large enough to fit the frames I had. They are also black and white photos which doesn't really help add color to an already drab wall. So, I used current color family pictures for this wall and put the black and white ones above the piano on the orange wall. 

I also would have liked to hang all the pictures on a big tree mural, but that wasn't a very realistic option budget-wise and there's no way I could paint a nice looking tree on that giant wall myself. But, I think it looks nice without it, so no big deal. I also don't have all the frames and shelves filled up yet, but at least they're hung. All that other stuff can be filled in later easily enough.

I got almost all of the shelves and frames on the beige wall from Ross for way cheap. They have a lot of great decorating stuff there. I got all of the old maps and plates from Etsy shops. So fun to look around on there for cool odds and ends. Oh and just in case you're in the mode of hanging pictures, I found a great tip to help hang pictures straight, more specifically, the pictures with dual hooks on the back. Check this out! AWESOME and EASY! So that's it! Pretty cool eh?


Friday, November 4, 2011

Crazy Skin Care Tips

Lately my face has been driving me crazy. I'm always breaking out and my skin is super oily and well, it just doesn't look very good. So I tried to find something that would help improve my skin.

First up, I tried to find something that would make my make-up last longer and keep my face from looking so oily. I know this is going to sound weird, but I've started using milk of magnesia & chafing gel. HA! I found this video (she's a little blah blah blah but gets around to the point eventually) and was so curious to see if it worked. To my surprise, it did! I've tried several mattefying products and primers and nothing ever works.

Here's what I use:

Phillips Milk of Magnesia ORIGINAL flavor only! This only cost about $2. I shake up the bottle before each use, moisten a cotton pad with it and wipe all over my face. Then...

Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel: This cost about $6-7, but you only need a pea-size amount for your entire face. It makes your skin feel super smooth without being greasy. I love this!

I was really skeptical about this. I did not think it'd work, especially because when products are supposed to work for oily skin, it doesn't mean OILY like mine. I never see any difference, but I have seriously been amazed at how well this works. My make-up looks great pretty much all day. Huge improvement. I've been using these for about a month now and I haven't noticed any bad side-effects like break outs. Woo hoo!

Next up is a new method for washing my face. This is going to sound insane. I did not think it'd work but it totally does. Use oil to clean your face. That's right. OIL. The stuff you want to take off your face. Like dissolves like. Who would have thought? If you want to see all the different kinds of oils and ratios you can use for your skin type, take a look at this site. I'm just going to tell you what I use.

I actually started out with extra virgin olive oil only because it took me a few days to find castor oil (I found it for $2 at Walmart... not at Target or Walgreens. Look by the laxatives. I've been spending a lot of time in that isle lately eh?)

Castor Oil


Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Right now I'm using a mixture of about 3 parts olive oil to 1 part castor oil (I put mine in a little travel size plastic bottle).  I squeeze about a quarter size amount into my fingertips and massage it all over my dry face in a circular motion. After a minute or so, I get a washcloth, soak it with hot water, wring it out and put it on my face to steam for about 10 seconds. Then I gently wipe all the oil off, rinsing the wash cloth with hot water a couple times as I go. When I'm done, my face feels super smooth and soft and all the dirt and makeup is gone! Even mascara! I was shocked at how much better it cleaned my face! Even more surprising is my skin has improved dramatically. My breakouts cleared up really fast and my skin looked great. And I found I didn't really need the daily exfoliant I'd been using to keep my pores clean. Great thing is, this is quite a bit cheaper than the Cetaphil I'd been using and I always have olive oil around the house!

So there you have it. My new, cheap, amazing skin care routine! It really does work so give it a shot!

Mama's Got a New Pair of Pants

You ever have that favorite pair of jeans that gets washed and worn so much that the color fades to a weird shade of blue? Yeah me too. I hate that. Everything about the jeans is perfect... they aren't torn, they fit great, they're all broken in... but the color looks crappy.

Have you ever noticed the Rit Dye in the laundry section of the grocery store? Have you ever wondered if it works? Or if it was actually feasible to dye your clothes? Well... so have I. But it's something I always just forgot about. But the other day as I was doing my shopping wearing my faded (and not so cute) pair of jeans I thought, why not? What have I got to lose? I don't like how these jeans look anyway so if the color gets ruined, no big deal. I read the box to see how much dye I needed and ended up getting 4 boxes of dye: 2 Navy Blue and 2 Black. I wanted a dark blue result and thought this would be the best way to achieve the look I wanted.

To my surprise, dying my jeans was not hard or messy. First you need to wash them to make sure there's no dirt or stains. I decided I wanted to dye 2 pairs of jeans and a hoodie and 4 boxes of dye just happened to be the right amount for this quantity. The dye needs to be dissolved in hot water first, along with a cup of salt (for cotton clothing). To avoid a mess, I dumped the salt and dye into an empty gallon jug, added the hot water, and shook it up to mix. I took my freshly washed clothes out of the washing machine, set it to the "Large" load size, and filled it up with hot water. After dunking each item of clothing in the hot water, I took them out and set them aside, dumped the dye into the washer and let it agitate for a few seconds to mix, then added the clothes back to the washer. The clothes need to soak in the dye for 30 minutes, so I set the washer to the longest cycle (18 mins. on my machine), then reset it for another 18 min. cycle before it got to the rinse stage. After the second 18 minute cycle, I let the washer run through the complete rinse and spin. Once the dye cycle was complete, I ran the clothing through a regular cold wash cycle with a little detergent then dried as usual. And that was it!

There is a little clean-up involved... I ran my washer through another hot cycle with bleach to clean out the drum a little more (as suggested on the dye packaging) and wiped off the splatters of dye on the washer lid, but it wasn't bad at all and my washing machine was just fine afterwards! I couldn't believe how well this worked. It's like I got a couple pairs of brand new jeans and my hoodie looks just as it did when I bought it! Woohoo! And the great thing is, this cost under $10!

Sadly, I forgot to take a 'before' picture of my clothes before I got them wet, but my jeans were a medium weird shade of blue, close to this:



Front View- Jeans & Hoodie
(Don't you just love my clunky work shoes?)

Side View

Also, you'll notice the stitching on my jeans isn't dyed, which is awesome. That's because generally the stitching on jeans is a different material which doesn't absorb the dye. This also means that this dye will not work with certain types of materials. 100% cotton is best, but there are some blends and other fabrics that will work, you just have to alter the process. Best to check first to see if your article of clothing is dye-worthy though.

So there you have it! A cheap, easy way to bring new life to old clothes. Who'd have thought?