Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Deck the Halls

The other day you saw my hall from afar, now it's time for a close up. Prior to hanging these prints, our hallway was bare boned. Hanging the prints was not very exciting or fun - in fact, Matt and I got in a fight while hanging them until we went to go get a laser level. That made things better. 

Doing the math to try to get the pictures perfectly spaced and hung straight was something else. I think I measured and remeasured 20 times before we started drilling.

As you can see above, I still have the ugly thermostat. I'm pretty sure we are going to be getting The Nest, but we need to save up the monies a little more.

The print on the right is a quote from the Lumineers "Ho Hey" and on the left is a blank print. Matt and I use it to write notes to each other and then just wipe them off and rewrite them!

This print is another quote, this time from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. It says "home is wherever I'm with you."

Last but not least we have the wall that gave me the most trouble. Three frames all in a row. On the left we have California. The print you see are the counties in San Diego. In the middle is a hymn, "Come thou fount of every blessing..." and then we have another blank print on the right for our notes to each other.

How does your hall look? Do you have prints or actual pictures?

Monday, April 29, 2013

DIY: Facial Serum

For the past few years I've been making my own facial serum - ever since I looked up the ingredients of the serum I used to use. Before the first time I made it, I looked up what different essential oils were good for my skin type (Quick Guide) and bought various essential oils along with carrier oils, or the main oils in a serum. I purchase jojoba, almond and apricot.

No two serums of mine have been alike, mostly because I'm too lazy to measure everything out. I guesstimate and figure if it's slightly different each time, that's okay! Also - I will warn you that the upfront cost is expensive, but this has lasted me over 2 years and I still have plenty of essential oils and apricot oil left, jojoba is the only one I have run out of (as you will see). I've made probably 6 batches at an upfront cost of roughly $60. The serum I used to buy was $20.

Here is what I used:
Fennel Essential Oil
Glass Dropper

Step 1: Assemble your products (as you can see, I wasn't TOTALLY out of my serum, I had a day or two left, so I just added to it. Again, I don't have a formulated system for this!)

Step 2: Put in your carrier oils. My first one was jojoba. I didn't have enough for two more serums, so I just used the rest.

Here is the bottle after I put in the jojoba. It's a little more than I would normally put in there, but that's okay.

Step 3: Put in your other carrier oil if you choose to do so. I used it to fill it almost all the way up.

Step 4 (not shown): Put in your essential oils. I typically put 5-10 drops depending on which oil it is and what my face has been doing lately. However, I don't put more than 20 drops of essential in total. This time I did 5 drops of fennel, 7 drops of lavender and 8 drops of lemon oil.

Now, all you do is shake it for two minutes and you're good! I do give it a good shake before I put it on as well. I use it only at night and put it on after I wash my face. You don't need to use very much either, which is awesome!

Tip: Either wet your hands of have your face slightly damp before massaging (yes, massaging!) in the serum. This helps it absorb.

Have you ever DIY'd your own facial skin care? Let me know!

Friday, April 26, 2013

InstaFriday: #3

I'm linking up with Courtney at Joyful Joyful and Kristin from Buttons and Pockets, who link up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged for my 3rd InstaFriday.

This was a pretty busy week. Matt's parents and grandparents came into town Thursday (side note: we ate at 10 restaurants in 5 days. New record?) and stayed until Tuesday morning, we had friends come over for dinner Wednesday evening, last night we went to go see a friend's band play and I'm still handling 2 books of business at work among other things. Eesh. Here is my week in photos.

Friday was a good day. We went to eat at Chuy's, went and bought Matt new birthday boots at Allen's Boots. He ended up getting some pretty bad-a ones!

After we picked Matt up his new boots, we went downtown. We drove by the Capitol, and went to Jo's Coffee to get some caffeine before heading to our next spot which was...

...The Easy Tiger. Which is where I got a Lagunitas IPA and this drink, a Tiger's Blood. Delicious. After we hit up Easy Tiger, we went to Esther's Follies (if you visit Austin, I highly recommend it!).

Saturday we went to the Square in Georgetown after driving by Southwestern University. We went to eat at the Monument Cafe, which is delicious if you haven't been!

Then, we went to get cupcakes at Galaxy Cupcakes and coffee. Winning combination right there.

While we were sitting enjoying our sweets and beverages, I snapped this picture of the Courthouse. It was the perfect day. And we've had so much rain this year that everything is green for a change! We also went to Jack Allen's Kitchen for dinner. I didn't snap any pictures because I ate everything way too quickly. Go there. Then thank me later!

Sunday we went to church, stopped by family's then did some shopping. In between that, we went to Starbucks and I got my normal venti iced green tea, unsweetened with no water. Try this too.

Monday before we went downtown, I snapped this photo of bluebonnets growing near our house. This is the first year that bluebonnets have been growing all over (you know, because of that rain I mentioned earlier).

We went to the Bob Bullock Museum and in the gift shop, this was the first book I notced. Thanks, Texas.

As we were leaving, I took this picture of a HUGE lonestar outside of the museum. Another perfect day.

As I said, Wednesday night we had friends over for dinner. Friday Matt's parents had taken us to Central Market for grocery shopping, so we had to share our yummy food before it went bad! I made this cheese plate because who doesn't want to eat grapes, cheese and crackers? No one.

Another picture of my cheese plate and wine Matt's parents bought us. Rutherford Hill 2007 Merlot. Amazing.

After Wednesday I was too tired to take more pictures. Which is okay. As you can see, I really Instagrammed it up this week.

What did you do this week? Do you have weekend plans?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Affordable Thursday: Picture Frames

Yesterday, you saw a glimpse of my hallway - which I still need to write about. Today I want to talk about affordable frames - and let me tell you, affordable is key because if you are buying multiple frames, those little things add up. Quickly.

The frames you could kind of see yesterday are the Ikea Ribba Frames. We bought the 8x10" which with that mat in there fits 5x7" prints. At $4.99 you can't really go wrong. Except for the length of time it takes to get through Ikea and then the time it takes to wait in line. But, for that price, it's worth it.

If you love color, the Malden frames from Kohl's are a great value at $5.99 each or two for $9.99!

This one is a little bit more price wise, but the Acacia Wood Frame from JC Penney's is really pretty and would look awesome on a crisp white wall. It's either $14 or $18 depending on the size, but I think it's worth it!

Last but not least is a picture frame set from Walmart - nice and cheap. 5 frames, $16.97!

Other great places to check for affordable frames would include Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Ross and Tuesday Morning. Unfortunately though, none of those places have online stores so if you see a great frame there, snag it before it's gone!

Have you found a good place for affordable frames?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bright Lights, Big City

Oh hey... sorry about yesterday. I got caught up at work and then went home and never got a blog post up. Bad me. But, now that company is gone, I should be able to get back to it. 

The other day I was looking at our walls and I realized how yellowish-green the light made them look. What did I do? I decided I needed to go buy new lights right. that. second.. And I convinced Matt to come with me. Hooray! 

We decided to try out natural light - the cheapest we could find. And the verdict? I love them. Let's look at the difference it makes, shall we?

Breakfast area (Before): So you can tell the walls are grey, but they have a bit of yellow/greenish to them. Even the ceiling looks grungy. Ignore the fact that there is a chair missing, Matt was using it by his computer.

Breakfast area (after): Muuuuuch better! For one, we have flowers courtesy of Matt's parents (thanks, MIL!) But really, can you tell the difference? For one, the light isn't so glaring. The walls look grey, the ceiling looks white and the table looks like it's actual color. Man, the flowers REALLY add a lot (take note, husband).

Living Room (before): This one doesn't look quite as bad, but it does look a little green. Also, do you see the look of confusion on Astro's face?

Living Room (after): This room isn't s noticeable (as I mentioned before), but you can see something, no? More grey, less green, no Astro.

Hallway (before): Last but not least we have the hall. This one isn't so green, but it doesn't look like our grey. either. You can see some of our prints I hung a few weeks ago though! I will post about them soon.  

Hallway (after): You can see a difference here. The walls look a bit more crisp and lighter in color. Also, this view is from the other angle if you couldn't tell. The first door on the left is our half bath - I'll do a post on that sooner or later as well.

 Do you like the natural light or the soft yellow more? Do you buy natural light for your own home?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Styling Shawna Simple

Hey, everyone! Today Matt's parents and grandparents are still in town so I asked one of my bffs Shawna to do a post for me (you'll love her). I'll be back tomorrow!


Hi, Style Me Simple readers! My name is Shawna and I normally blog over at Doe Loves Buck. But when Ashley asked if I would be willing to write a guest post, I knew I had to help her out. I mean if it wasn't for her, there would be days I would be dressed like this:

I know - it's a scary, scary thought. Thankfully, she has saved me more than one time from a fashion faux pas. For example, this weekend when I couldn't decide how to tie my scarf. Ashley helped me out!

Or the time I decided to do dark denim jeans with a chambray top. It can look good, but only if you tuck your boots into your pants, other wise you look like a cowboy.

Ashley even taught me that is was perfectly fine to wear black and yellow and not look like a bubble bee. Yikes!

Trust me when I say she knows her stuff! Who knew when I initially stalked googled her name (a really good story for another day!) I would not only gain a best friend but a personal stylist. Thank you Ashley for styling me simple and keeping me from looking like a long lost Olsen twin, er... triplet.

Friday, April 19, 2013

InstaFriday: #2

I'm linking up with Courtney at Joyful Joyful and Kristin from Buttons and Pockets, who link up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged for my 2nd InstaFriday.

This week has been crazy - and busy. A crazy, busy week. But fun too. Which is always good.

I finally figured out the perfect way to make cookies with our oven. It took ten months, but now that I know, I think my cookie baking skills will go up exponentially. Looking at these cookies makes me want them - again. I made the first batch for Matt's birthday last Thursday, but then had dough in the fridge that I baked Friday evening annnnnd then some more I baked Monday. Mmmm, cookies.

Friday night I also made an Ikea trip. As fast as I could which meant speed walking through the maze and carrying boxes in my arms while doing it. Cart schmart. Or rather, a cart would have been smart, but it sounded like too much work at the time. Anyway, I got home and then spent another hour or so putting together this cart which I'm now using in my laundry room and love it. LOVE it. I'm keeping our detergent, softener, etc. on there, so it's great for us and probably wouldn't be so great for people who have kiddos.

Sunday was homemade guacamole and chips night. It started out by me making guacamole and then telling Matt that chips sounded really good over and over until he made me some. SUCCESS!

This is the mug I used Wednesday morning. I got it at Disneyland when I was 14. I ran out of plain white, large mugs and decided that Tinkerbell would be a good

Matt's parents got into town yesterday. It was awesome. We went to Central Market, Salt Lick and hung out. Astro however was dead tired by 11:30pm (I was too!). I was putting dishes away when he did this. I think he was trying to tell me something!

Last but not least, Matt and I just took a picture together before we head out for the day. Love him.

Any weekend plans? I'm sure I'll have LOTS of pictures for next week!