May 31, 2013

Makeup Organizer and Giveaway

With the help of the internet and all the cool makeup tutorials  I have become a makeup addict. Picking up a few things here and there my collection has grown over the past several months. I needed a way to keep things organized on my vanity. My vanity is just a white Ikea desk that wasn't being used anymore, I added a mirror and lamp and of course my makeup collection. I remember seeing all the acrlyic makeup organizers out there and ultimately decided to use Jen from IheartOrganizing's idea and repurpose an acrlyic drawer organizer into a vanity tray.  I used my Silhouette Portrait to cut some cute art and text.


It's perfect for sitting atop my vanity and holding all of my loose products in one place.



These are so cute. I think every makeup hoarder should have one...that is why I have decided to sell these on my Etsy shop. You can either purchase the entire tray already with your personalized labels or you can just purchase the vinyl labels to add to your own organizer. It's your choice.

I also I'm giving one away here on the blog. One lucky winner will receive one acrylic tray with six personalized vinyl labels. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 28, 2013

Getting Skinny and Staying Happy

Since I can remember my sister and I have always shared our favorite things; a love for good television, shopping, and of course food. We love to eat, shop, and "veg" out in front of the screen. When eating and lazy afternoons combined with post baby weight it got a bit out of hand. So we are trying to get moving and get skinny. Yep, just two sisters bringing sexy back. My sis and I are two peas in a pod when it comes to our take on finding easy ways to shed a few pounds and look better. I wanted her to pop in and share a few fun thoughts on getting skinny but more importantly on being happy with who you are. Welcome Tiffany!
If your anything like me, you are the kinda gal who seeks out and graciously accepts anything that will:

1.) Make life a little easier
2.) Make me skinny
3.) Make me look younger,
4.) Make me really skinny .

I have tried , trialed, reviewed, failed, tested, and searched for things over the years. Somethings I have found to be full proof , others not so much. I'd like to offer my not-so-expert opinion on a few things , that I'm sure, you've heard a time or two about. Warning: I am not a doctor and in no way authorized to be giving advice or information in regards to health, mental or physical, or life in general. Just sayin' you were warned.

1.) Drink 8 glasses of water a day. Apparently this is the secret to the universe and all things good.  And don't worry if you lose count during the day on what glass your on, just start over. I mean who doesn't have time to sit around and chug glasses of water all day... Just drink as much water as possible, and if you can't remember, write it on your forehead in permanent marker. I find this helps . Oh and sodas are the devil. Stay away. Bad sodas.

Image from here

2.)  Take in a nutritional diet that has the following , calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B, B-12 , oh heck let's just say vitamins A-Z...moving on.. magnesium, folic acid, fiber, protein, good carbs, no carbs, only fruit , only vegetable, only raw, only organic, unflavored, sugar free, and of course zero calories. Also remember this nifty fact, if it tastes good it's bad for you. I'm kidding of course, but who has time to follow guidelines like that? The answer , that perky, perfect supermodel mom ,who probably has two nannies and more money than you and I combined. But for the rest of us regular folk , I say do your best. Make healthy decisions, and if you don't always get that opportunity its not the end of the world. If you need and want that Big Mac, and feel like you will not be able to go on with life without it...then do it, and enjoy it! Don't stress over it. Stress is worse for your health than chowing down on that big juicy burger. ( Darn, I'm hungry now..)


3.) For my last tip {it's simple}, just be HAPPY! I know our lives are different, and of course this is a wide, general statement. I know certain situations occur to make it impossible for us to think positive. ( Like NBC cancelling SMASH just when it was really getting good). But honestly I try to keep my chin up everyday, and count all of the wonderful things that I have in my life. I might not be the skinniest or prettiest girl but hey, I'm living and I get to enjoy this wonderful world every day. Even when my kids are driving me crazy, I'm running late, or things seem dim.. I try to remind myself that I am blessed! So no matter what situation your in, or what's going on, look on the bright side. Find that silver lining... even if you need a microscope. Things will get better. We shouldn't let society or anyone else effect that. Keep the wins and victories. Don't let them get one on you.  And trust me, if you find the things that make you really happy, than you my dear, have already won!


Image found here

Good Luck,
Tiffany
Thank you, my dear sweet sister for sharing. I know when it comes to setting goals whether it's losing weight, starting over, or even the small things we can get lost in the view of society and lose our own perspective on the things that keep us happy. So I'm retitling my "Getting Skinny" challenge...it will now be "Getting Skinny and Staying Happy". Yes, mam! Sounds better already.

~S

May 24, 2013

New Series: Getting Skinny!


One thing vacation sadly reminded me of are bikinis and bikinis reminded me of my post baby belly. Yep, it's been almost a year since baby and I am still toting the extra hump in front. It has deflated some but nothing like I want. Needless to say I stuck with my tan-kinis on vacation and kept the flab hidden. But the truth is my weight in general needs work. My ten year high school reunion is around the corner and I would love to go with a new look. A forty pounds lighter look. Yes, forty pounds! That's my goal and I'm starting this week. I don't have an agenda or a great weight loss secret, I'm just going to start with eating right and moving more.

And since I'm a "do better when someones watching type of person", I think the only way I will be able to stay on track is if I share my weight loss endeavors with you guys. My goal for this new series is to work hard each week and then post my, hopefully lower, weight. 

So let's get this party started and get skinny!

Here are some recent full length photos {taken in the condo on vacation}..and NO their not in tight clothes or underwear. I would kill over before I posted a half nude photo of myself.Well, not until I shed the weight at least! :))))





As anyone can see in these photos I am no skinny-mini. But I don't want to be I just want to be able to fit into the style of clothes I like without feeling like a "fat guy girl in little coat bikini". So starting today I am off to great places...great skinny places.

In the Beginning...I Weighed...


Yes, I did it. I posted my real weight for the entire world to see. It's the only way I can keep honest about the whole process. My goal weight is less than 150. So I am setting a goal for 40 pounds. I don't want to set a deadline because I just want to take my time, but in reality if I do that I'll never get to where I want to be. So my goal is to drop 40 lbs by the end of summer. That's 17 weeks. If I average 2.5 pounds a week, which is a good steady pace, I think will make it!

I hope to keep a record of the main things I do during each week. Maybe even a food diary...etc. But you no me and my life. That might not happen...so no promises on that. I want to research some apps and websites and see what I can find that helps me personally. I already found this neat weight simulator. It allows you to put in your current weight and features as well as your target goals. It helped me to visualize what I'll look like when I drop the weight. Yes, please!



Is there anyone out there starting their own get skinny challenge? Maybe you already lost the weight, so how did you do it? If you would like to take this challenge with me let me know! I promise no judgement and only positive reinforcement. I might even do a post about my readers and their getting skinny trails, errors, and results.

Good luck!

May 22, 2013

Florida Vacation: Reviews, Tips, and Freebies

Happy Wednesday to all my wonderful readers. Well, I am back from our amazing family vacation and boy am I tired. I honestly think that it takes more energy to go on vacation than it does for a  normal day here at home. I think mommy and daddy deserve a second vacation by themselves...or at least a few days of uninterrupted sleep. I know it's been a couple of weeks since I posted but I had a great time with my wonderful man and our three littles.

VACATION RECAP AND REVIEW {ORLANDO}


PREPARATION

I spent most of last month preparing for our vacation. Packing up clothes and purchasing items whenever it was convenient versus making an expensive haul at once. I decided to follow some ideas I had found  here and there while packing for my family of five. I gathered a couple of large plastic containers and decided that I would try to pack everything as tightly as possible. We don't have a large cargo space in our SUV now that we have to use all three rows of seating. For my husband and I I packed everything we needed minus our toiletries in a large container. I was able to match up several outfits out of just a few pieces by following this tip I found on Pinterest. For the kids I used plastic Ziploc bags and matched up outfits {top, bottoms, and accessories} in each bag. Like this seen here:


This worked great for getting the kids dressed everyday. I just handed them a baggy and they dressed themselves. All I had to do was brush Lilliana's hair and put her matching hair bow in and we were good to go. As for the baby I did the same thing with her outfits and was able to get her dressed in a snap and throw a couple of packs into my diaper bag for backups. I packed my make up inside a plastic shoe box versus a traditional cosmetic bag to ensure safe keeping. When we arrived at the condo I took everything out and set it up on our vanity. It made getting ready super easy. And don't forget about the beach box. It worked really well traveling to and from the beach, but I left in the car and made everyone carry their own items. We didn't have far to walk from our parking to the sand, so it worked well!

ACCOMMODATIONS

ORLANDO:When it came to our accommodations we shopped around for a bit but ultimately found the best deals on Ebay. We have purchased our vacation stays through Ebay for the past several years. We booked our first suite at Grande Villas in Orlando and only paid $ 149.00 for three nights which is really reasonable, I think {the seller even has a full seven days for $149.00} Our condo was small but had everything our small family needed. This was our second trip to Grand Villas but stayed in a two bedroom last time. The two bedroom is extremely larger than the one bedroom suite. If you like to have a good amount of space, a full kitchen and eating area, two bathrooms, and a washer and dryer defiantly book the two bedroom. The one bedroom has a master, one bathroom {you have to walk through the bedroom} and a living space with a pull out sofa is pretty much in the kitchen. Overall the small space was a little tight but very well styled. And for only three nights it worked pretty well. The condo is backed by a good size pool and miniature golf area.



WESTON: After spending three nights in Orlando, Fl we packed everything up and headed south to the greater Fort Lauderdale area. This was our first time here. Again, we found a condo on Ebay for $289.00 for an entire seven days. Vacation Villages in Weston, Fl sits about thirty miles west of the coast and is submerged in the middle of nowhere. It is relatively close to large shopping malls and restaurants but is a good 45 minutes or more to the beach front. We made the trip several days and it was such an inconvenience, I would prefer an oceanfront condo. The condo was secluded from the main interstate and defiantly requires an updated GPS. We got lost everyday! Overall the condo was much bigger, still a one bedroom, and was clean and comfortable. The full kitchen was nice and we prepared most of our meals in room. The pool was clean and the area was really relaxing. We had the pool to ourselves a few times. I would recommend this area only if you don't wish to go to the beach everyday and are familiar with the area.



LEGOLAND AND ATTRACTIONS

ORLANDO: With only three days in Orlando we wanted to make the most of our time. We usually try to visit at least one theme park and in the past years we have done Disney and the Universal parks. We wanted to try a more kid friendly location. And since our son, Jackson, is Lego crazy we opted for a day at Legoland. Legoland Florida has only been opened for a little over a year so we decided it would be a perfect place for our little Lego lover and since it was new to us all it would be a fun adventure.  I was able to get free child tickets to Legoland by visiting here. If you are staying in the greater Orlando area prepare for about an hour drive out to the middle of nowhere to visit Legoland. It seemed like such a long drive and we missed out the early part of the day because by the time we got there it was lunch. The park is perfect for children between the ages of 4-12. My 3 and 6 year old loved it and it was worth every dime for them to have a great time. However, if you are looking for thrill rides this park is not for you. I was a bit disappointed at the size of the park and the rides. Most of the rides, with the exception of a few small coasters, were rail rides. You know the kind, just simple trains on rails. They move really slow through tiny Lego built scenes. Some were even boring for my two kiddos. All day long I was prompted to buy Legos. Gift shops on every corner. I honestly felt a little overwhelmed. I felt that I paid a lot of money to visit a huge Lego store. I think we all agreed that at the end of the day we would of had a better time at Epcot or Magic Kingdom. Lessons learned.




Also, while in Orlando we went to Ripley's Believe it Or Not Museum {thanks to a Groupon}. It was fun and we all enjoyed it. It was pretty interesting to see all the neat art and interesting facts. The kids and hubby really liked it. We went to the Disney Boardwalk one night and to Downtown Disney during the day. I love both I think I like them more than any park. I like walking around, shopping, and sight seeing. On our last day in Orlando we went to the Flea Market. It's really large and a great place to pick up inexpensive souvenirs and gifts.

WESTON: Pompano Beach was really nice. We spent a few days here and had a good bit of beach to ourselves. The water was warm and the sands were clean. On a side note check your sunblock's expiration date. We learned the hard way. :( Everyone enjoyed the beach despite the fact that we were sunburned. We spent Mother's day at the condo relaxing and swimming. It was honestly my favorite day. Hubby cooked dinner and we ate out on the balcony. We went to several different places. We went to Sawgrass Mills Mall, which is the largest outlet mall in America. It was AMAZING! It even has a Super Target inside. HEAVEN! You can tell I love to shop. The boys went deep sea fishing one night and caught several fish, which made for a great meal. On our last night there the hubby and I went on a sushi/movie date and had a blast. Over all the experience was great but I can honestly say living in North Carolina I don't think I'll make that drive again. I much prefer NC's coast and the drive of only 5 hours versus 15. Yes, please!

KIDS EAT FREE CARDS

Another deal we found on Ebay was two Kids Eat Free Cards. This saved us so much money. I found the two cards from a seller for $17.00 {$23.00 cheaper than the normal rate}. The card works for a ton of places in Orlando and the surrounding areas and allows each child to eat for free. We used them at Unos, The Sizzler, Ci-Ci's Pizza and even McDonald's. It worked great! I highly recommend them for families if your traveling to Disney or Orlando.

This ten day trip was really nice and overall less expensive than some of our past trips. We were able to find good deals on accommodations, free tickets to Legoland, and our kids ate free several meals.

Anyone planning a trip to Orlando or Florida soon? Having any additional packing tips or traveling advice?






May 2, 2013

The Beach Box



As a family grows so does their stuff. A simple trip to the beach that use to consist of a towel and some sunscreen now consist of toys, chairs, umbrella, towels, different types of sunblock, beach blanket, snacks, drinks, etc. Traveling to and from the shore is almost more work than fun. Cramming everything a family needs inside one bag is somewhat impossible. The bag either has to massive or the stuff needs to be minimal. One thing I hate is getting settled at the beach only to realize we forgot something. And carrying a overfilled beach bag, chairs, and umbrella is hard enough, and even harder while carrying little ones. Simply said one bag never seemed to hold everything we needed without the excess falling out the sides. So I have decided that this year, as we prepare for vacation, that we will do away with our ol' beach bag. I have come up with a far better resource than the bag...enter the BEACH BOX!

THE BIRTH OF THE BEACH BOX

As I was searching the www for motivation and space saving ideas I came across some great tips. We have a SUV with three row seating and that works great on a daily basis. However, the cargo section is super small and barely holds two small suitcases. In the past we were able to remove the last row and use the emptiness as luggage space. But, this trip will be our first since the arrival of baby and we will actually be using all three rows for carseats. So we are attempting to consolidate and pack as tight as we can. Our goal is to fit everything we need inside the vehicle and eliminate the need for rooftop storage. Fingers crossed.

Speaking of luggage, our set is completely shot. I debated buying another set or two but honestly we would only use them once or twice a year and they would ultimately end up in the attic for months. I just can't justify spending hundreds of dollars on something that doesn't serve a greater purpose. So I invested a little over twenty bucks for some Rubbermaid storage containers. We will be packing everything in them. Clothes, toilietries, snacks, beach items...everything.

THE BOX

I started with a light weight Sterlite container from Wal-Mart. I paid a little over five dollars for it. I like that it has color but is still transparent. I purchased a beach cut file from the Silhouette shop and cut it in premium vinyl with my Silhouette Portrait.






FOR THE  BEACH

I started with a list of items that we, as a family of five would, need to comfortably spend a day in the sand and sea. Assuming everyone wears their swim suit, cover ups, and flip flops to and from the beach here is what we will need...
{CLICK HERE for your FREE COPY OF BEACH ESSENTIALS}
Of course some of these items like the cooler, chairs, and umbrella will not fit in my box and will still need to be carried to the sand. However the cooler rolls and I hope the beach box will sit nice and snug on top of the cooler that way we can just wheel it on down. Now I wont add the smaller stuff like sunglasses and snacks until we leave for the beach but here is what I have packed so far.

Stuff for the kids...


and mom...



I like to keep the plastic zipper pouches that sheet sets come in. It worked perfectly for holding all of our sunblock and pool toys. Since our condo supplies pool towels the only thing we will need to take out of this box is this plastic bag. We can just grab it and head to the pool, leaving the box just for beach days.


I packed everything inside the box all nice and neat. Sand toys, plastic pouch of fun in the sun items, towels, beach reads, hat, and baby powder. I'll put the rest in right before we go. This stuff can stay in the box year round and take house in our linen closet.




I hope that this works better than lugging two or three bags every time we go to the beach. My idea is that it will be super simple. And what is really cool is that the box it self can act as a chair side table for drinks and my beach radio. Score again! Well, I'm off to pack some more. Vacation is getting so close!

Do you have any packing tips or tricks? What about good advice for taking little ones to the beach for a day?
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