Where the heart is…

My husband, Brad, was born and raised in Winston-Salem, NC and his family still lives there.  I grew up in Cleveland, TN and my family now lives not far from there in Chattanooga, TN. Even though him and I have discovered a new city and state together, our hearts are in North Carolina and Tennessee. I needed a way to illustrate this in our home. I’ve never been much of an artistic person when it comes to painting a picture or doing arts/crafts type activities. But I was in major need of something to hang behind our couch in the living room. So I decided to get creative…

I went to Hobby Lobby and bought two canvases with burlap, orange and blue acrylic paint, a red and a black paint pen and 3 cheap paint brushes. (Also, don’t forget the glass of wine when doing anything creative)

 

 

 

art 1

 

I drew in pencil (to the best of my ability- the imperfections just add character, in my opinion) the state of Tennessee and the state of North Carolina on each canvas then outlined it with a black paint pen.

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I then painted each state their specific color (Vol orange and Carolina blue, of course).

art 3

 

I added small hearts where the Chattanooga/Cleveland and Winston-Salem areas are with the red paint pen and hung it behind my couch. It needed a little more so I hung our initials around to make it a tad bit more personal. Turns out, it was just what we needed.

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Now, every time I go in the living room, I’m reminded of where we came from and where the other half of our hearts reside.

Love y’all,

Kayla :)

First World Appreciation

Today, I’m going off topic from my usual fashion and makeup. Somedays your eyes are opened a little wider and today was that day for me.

My husband and I live in Anderson, South Carolina. We have been here for several months now and we love it so far. But never in my 25 years on this earth have I been faced with an issue we are facing right now. Anderson County, SC is under a “boil water alert”. From what I understand, it has something to do with the way the water is being filtered causing the tap water to become stinky and to taste dirty. Now, my initial reaction was totally and completely freaked out.  LIKE EWWWW, what kind of brain eating parasite have I picked up from this water??? I will admit, I’m a tad bit on the dramatic side. If you don’t believe just ask my husband. Anyway…

Let’s just say this morning was far from normal. First things first, after opening my eyes and hopping out of my nice warm bed, I couldn’t wait to jump in a refreshing shower on this wonderful Thursday (aka the day before Friday). When, lo and behold, there was next to NO water pressure whatsoever!  SO, it looked like a shower wasn’t happening for me today. I managed to throw my hair up in a pony tail and  just move on. Now, it was time to brush my teeth. Oh wait, I suddenly remembered I can’t drink the water. Luckily, I had some Dasani bottled water to help me out on this one. But have you ever tried to brush your teeth with a bottle of water? It’s just awkward. My morning was turning out to be less than pleasant. I eventually worked my way into the kitchen with hopes that a nice hearty breakfast would make my day better. Then realizing it was start the dish washer day which meant no clean dishes for me to eat this breakfast and no way of turning the dish washer on. My brain then flashes to coffee. MUST. HAVE. COFFEE. NOW. Well…guess what…it takes WATER to make it. THAT’S IT… I COULDN’T TAKE IT ANY LONGER. I left my house in a tizzy rushing to the closest grocery store to find myself some breakfast. Publix Grocery was packed full of people buying buggies FULL of gallons of water. I had never seen anything like it. I was the only one in the entire store with just a bottle of Diet Coke and a Pop Tart. I’m sorry, but I needed the caffeine. The people there had to have thought either A) I had been living under a rock or  B) I was just an idiot. I’d be willing to bet it was most likely the latter.

After a story like that, I think many people would title this post…First World Problems. I completely forgot how to function this morning without water. I think so often, probably more often than we know, we forget how important everyday resources are to us. Even something as simple as water. How foolish of me to get so upset and worked up over one day without immediate access to clean water?  There are many people on this earth that go days without water to wash dishes, make coffee, shower, or even worse, just having water to drink (much less clean water). As Americans we are so accustomed to having things handed to us at our beck and call. When that doesn’t happen we scream and pitch a fit like a 3 year old. Then turn around and make a joke of it by hashtagging “first world problems”. PROBLEMS??? This stuff should be the least of our worries. How about we start hashtagging FIRST WORLD APPRECIATION?? We may have problems and issues we face on a daily basis but I think it’s nothing compared to the suffering that is happening across the globe right at this moment. Today my eyes and my heart was opened. I had to take a moment to thank God for the blessings He puts in our lives everyday. Simple things like running, drinkable water. A resource Americans take for granted everyday.

Tomorrow morning I will approach my day a little different and just be thankful. Thank you, Lord, for the water I have to drink, the roof over my head and the food on my table each night! I don’t thank Him nearly enough. :)

Next time you go to use #firstworldproblems, how about you stop right there thank God for the blessings in your life and then use #firstworldappreciation.  We don’t realize how good we have it until it’s taken away. Never take anything for granted.

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Love y’all,

Kayla :)

 

Brushwork…

A good artist never starts a new painting before making sure his/her utensils are cleaned and ready for new artwork. I view makeup brushes no different. Your face is a canvas and your makeup is artwork. It is so important to take care of the brushes you use to apply your makeup. AND GUESS WHAT…you don’t need to spend a thousand dollars to make this happen. Just $3 from Target. It’s elf cosmetics, OF COURSE!! :)

Here is the before and after photo of one of my own brushes (#55 Sephora Brush for Foundation).

Left is the BEFORE photo and right is the AFTER photo:

 

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My brush was in rough shape and, as you can tell, it now looks BRAND NEW! I used the elf Cosmetics Brush Shampoo. Did I mention it’s three bucks from Target? Anyway…wet your brush with lukewarm water (not too hot or not too cold) put about a quarter size drop of the shampoo directly on the brush then rub in really well. Rinse with water, straighten the bristles and let it dry laying flat on a paper towel overnight. And VIOLA!!! Your brush is brand new again and ready for more artwork.

Not only is this important for makeup application, it’s also vital to the life of your brush. They will last so much longer if you clean them periodically cause those guys aren’t cheap!

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Love y’all,

Kayla :)

Drugstore: Day #5

And here we go with the fifth and final day of my favorite drugstore products…since I have posted about makeup all week I’m gonna end on a hair product note.

OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Intense Moisturizing Treatment at Ulta for $7.99:

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Everyone needs a good deep moisturizing treatment for their hair. If your like me, you REALLY need it. I have put color and all kinds of other harmful things on my hair for many years now. My hair hates me for this. It’s so important to make sure your hair is taken care of and that can be done by applying a moisturizing treatment on your hair about once or twice a week. It gives your hair those extra vitamins it needs to remain healthy. The Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil is great to have on hand. It’s cheap, simple and easy.  By the time I take a shower and wash my hair the last thing I want to do is spend tons of time treating my hair. That’s why I use Organix. All you have to do after showering is comb the product through your hair, clip it back for about 3-10 minutes (the longer the better it will be conditioned), then rinse it out and blow dry. Your hair will be so soft. Moroccan argan oil is great for your hair but you don’t have to spend the big bucks to get it. SO there you have it…

Love y’all,

Kayla :)

Drugstore: Day #4

I have a major issue with chronically dry and cracked lips. It’s the worst. I envy those people who can just throw on some lipstick and their lips look perfect. If I did that, it doesn’t matter what lipstick I use, my lips would look so flakey and gross. I hate it. UNTIL…I found my solution at Target. And EVEN better it’s elf cosmetics and it’s only $3.

elf Lip Exfoliator at Target for $3:

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This lip exfoliator WORKS. I rub this on before applying my makeup in the morning to prep my lips for the day. It is amazing what it does. You can literally feel it scrubbing the dry skin off your lips. It leaves your lips feeling brand new.

It has a gritty surface and it’s not moist like most chapsticks. It is suppose to be used to exfoliate so don’t be alarmed if it feels a little rough at first. The harder you rub the more you will exfoliate. I always use my EOS lip balm after to give my freshly scrubbed lips some moisture. It also has a nice smell which is a plus. But the best part is…it’s $3 and its one of my favorite drugstore finds. I believe everyone should have at least one of these in your purse and one in your makeup bag!!

Love y’all,

Kayla :)

 

Drugstore: Day #3

Day 3 is all about mascara. I have tried ALLLL kinds of mascara over the years. There are a lot of Sephora style mascaras, (for example: Benefit) that are awesome but for me…they aren’t any better than something you can buy at any drugstore.

I’ve come to the conclusion, it’s all about the way you apply mascara. It is so important to make sure you are getting EVERY SINGLE lash from the end of your lash closest to your eye ALLLL the way to the tip of your lash. Don’t forget those little baby lashes in the corner of your eye either. You gotta REALLY get in there!!!! Don’t be scared. I truly feel it doesn’t matter what mascara you are using as long as its applied properly. You will see a major difference. Trust me. That being said, here are my favorite mascaras and they both so happen to be drugstore brands! Yayyy!

Maybelline Volum’ Express The Mega Plush Mascara at Ulta for $7.49:

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L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara at Ulta for $7.99:

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Love y’all,

Kayla :)

 

Drugstore Day #2

Today is gonna be all about the greatest duos at the drugstores. Bronzer and blush are SOOOO important to your makeup routine. I like to refer to it as the cherry on top or the icing on the cake. It makes the final product that much better. So, it REALLY pleases me when blush and bronzer are together in one…not to mention at a DRUGSTORE price. Here are my favorites…

Elf Contouring Blush & Bronzer in St.Lucia at Target, $3.00 (left)

Flower Blush Bronzer Duo in Beachy Keen at Wal-Mart, $9.98 (right)

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First off, the elf blush and bronzer duo BLOWS my mind every time I use it. This stuff is $3 at Target and it is SOOOO very comparable to Nars. If you aren’t familiar with Nars, it will run you close to $50 individually for both blush and bronzer. The elf duo is definitely one of my MOST favorite products in my makeup bag. This stuff works like the expensive stuff and I mean every word of that. IT IS AMAZING.

Then, there is the Flower Beauty blush and bronzer duo. This brand is by Drew Barrymore. From what I have tried, this is a great brand of makeup AND its made in the USA. I haven’t been using it as long as the elf duo but from what I have seen so far it is very similar and I find myself reaching for it every morning when putting on my makeup. If you are familiar with Flower Beauty, I suggest y’all read more about it here. They try hard to bring the good quality at a lower price. It’s available only at Wal-Mart. I look forward to trying more products by Flower Beauty.

Love y’all,

Kayla :)

Drugstore: Day #1

My life has been a whirlwind the past couple weeks and I have been unable to blog as much as I should. This week I’m gonna blog everyday…all about my favorite drugstore makeup.  Anyone who enjoys makeup has their own list of their favorite products that can be purchased at your Walmarts, Walgreens, Ultas and Targets. Over the years, I have spent my fair share of money on expensive brands from Sephora. While there are MANY products at Sephora that are TOTALLY worth the pretty penny you spend, there are those areas you can save if you just try the stuff on the shelves at the drugstores. I’m gonna bring you my list of my favorites this week. So here comes day #1…

NYX Incredible Waterproof Concealer Stick: $4.99 at Ulta

NYX waterproof

If you follow this blog, you already know how much I enjoy NYX makeup. For the most part, it is good quality for the best price. In my opinion, it’s the best drugstore brand. I have blogged about a different concealer by NYX before but I have discovered one I love even better since then. It’s the NYX Incredible Waterproof Concealer Stick. I didn’t think I would like it as much since it is a stick but it turns out that’s what I love most about it. It makes it so much easier to put on. Once you put on the concealer, let it sit for a few moments before rubbing it in. This is a trick I have learned to be very helpful. I will move on to the next step in my makeup routine then return to rub concealer in. It gives it time to dry making it a lot easier to manage. I will say though, this concealer is not the best when it comes to covering blemishes but it’s great for under the eyes. I highly recommend.

Love y’all,

Kayla :)

Sidenote: ALWAYS make sure you buy your under eye concealer a couple shades LIGHTER than your foundation. It brightens your eyes and it’s an easy way to contour your face.

 

Blonde Girl Probs

Being blonde isn’t always about having more fun. There are some downfalls (especially being a fake blonde like myself) and no it isn’t all those dumb blonde jokes. With my hair being naturally dark brown it has potential to get very brassy and dull after a couple weeks of wear and tear. Every hairstylist will tell you the MOST important product to have on hand is purple shampoo and I have found this is absolutely TRUE. The purple tones the brass and brightens your hair back to that beautiful blonde you had when you left the salon. I have tried purple shampoo by John Frieda and Aveda. While both of these shampoos are great, they never seemed to really do the trick. Then I discovered Sally Beauty Supply held the key to taking away that brass. The brand name version is called Clairol Shimmer Lights Original Conditioning Shampoo. HOWEVER, Sally’s has an off brand version that is LITERALLY the same exact product called Generic Value Products Conditioning Shampoo Compared to Clairol Shimmer Lights Original Conditioning Shampoo (that’s a mouthful) for only $5.50. This is the kind I use. This stuff is HEAVY DUTY and gets the job done. TRUST ME!

You use it like regular shampoo and leave it sitting on your hair for NO LONGER than 3-4 minutes. This stuff realllllly works so if you leave it on any longer than that your blonde could turn white. After your rinse the shampoo, use whatever conditioner you prefer. They do have a matching purple conditioner but I wouldn’t recommend using it unless you want silver hair. But hey…to each their own.

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Love y’all,

Kayla :)

Favorite Friday…

The name of my favorite item right now speaks for itself…It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Product. It really is a 10 and also a MIRACLE. After all the years of coloring my naturally brown hair blonde, my hair needs all the help it can get. So, I’m constantly on the lookout for anything that will give my hair the boost it needs. I have tried every brand from cheap ole Suave products (which I DO NOT promote) to having a monthly subscription of Wen. However, recently, I found It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Product to be perfect for my situation. I spray it in right after I wash my hair, before I brush it out and blow dry it. Not only does it make it easier for me to get a brush through when it’s wet but it makes my hair feel so soft and so healthy when it’s dry. AND it leaves a pretty shine on my hair afterwards. I can seriously tell a difference. My favorite part…It’s NOT a 10 step process. All you do is spray it in, brush it through, blow dry and your hair feels brand new again!! You don’t have to go anywhere special to find it. It is sold at any drugstore or Ulta, of course! 

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Love y’all,

Kayla :)