Friday, May 30, 2014

~up close & personal~{in the garden}

I do not consider myself a gardener, but I am really enjoying spending time outside lately poking around and doing what I can to make things look pretty.

I walked around yesterday and took a few photos of some of the things popping up.
These photos are mainly close ups, but hopefully I will be taking some all over shots in the near future.

Isn't this time of year magnificent?
Hope you all are having a great Friday!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

~some great before & after photos~{our house}

First of all I want to thank all of you for keeping our family in your thoughts and prayers.
This month we lost my father in law, and just recently, if you follow me on instagram, you know we lost our fur baby Hunter.
I am really hoping next month will be a better one!

When we bought our house about 16 years ago, I did not take many before photos. But I took a couple and dug them up to show you a few side by side before and afters.

You can click on each photo to enlarge.

Lets start with the kitchen.
This was the first room we tackled in the house, adding a skylight. 
That skylight was the very first project here on Crystal Lake and things took off from there.

Here is a fun fact: Layla from The Lettered Cottage gave me the idea to do "kitchen words" around the skylight area.

There was no turning back after we cut the huge hole in the ceiling.

The pantry/nook area did not always look very pretty. 
Check out this before and after:

We got rid of the freestanding stove and chimney and made it into a nook, which has recently become a small baking center. The area to the left of it became our pantry.

And one last before and after for today, and possibly the biggest change~the exterior.

I'd say we've come a long way! 
This just shows that with a little blood, sweat, and tears, you can create the home of your dreams, out of , well, a shack!

{or a caretakers cottage in our case!}


Monday, May 26, 2014

~outdoor furniture choices~

All weekend we have been shopping, online and in stores, for a
 inexpensive sofa option for our outdoor space.

We ended up last night at Ikea and purchased this: 

What I like about it is that you can purchase individual seats and keep adding on. You can make it as big or as small as you like, even adding corner pieces.

We opted for the black cushions, but they had light grey and beige as well.

Then I purchased some cabana stripe fabric to make additional pillows.

The image below was found here. They put two of the small side tables together to form one coffee table~clever.

So, today we will be putting it all together. The space we are working with is a work in progress but I promise to share photos with you when we are finished!

Speaking of outdoor spaces, have you seen this? 
One of my favorite makeovers of all time!


Friday, May 23, 2014

~coffee addict~

I got "happy mail" yesterday.
You know, the kind that Fed Ex delivers vs. the post man.
The kind that comes in a box instead of the paper kind with return envelopes.
Those ones are not happy.

Here is what was inside the box, and as I type I am sipping on a vanilla latte with almond milk :)

I thought the price was really reasonable.
I figured it costs about the same as 87 Starbucks lattes. :)
Get yours here.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

~how to make a faux wood arrow~{thrifty thursday}

While I was hard at work on the One Room Challenge, one of the things I looked into was new flooring. Although those two things called "time" and "budget" came into play, so we ended up just touching up the floor we have. 

One thing home improvement stores are offering now is free floor samples.
I think this is genius for visual people like myself.

You can bring home samples and lay them out to see what it would look like.

Here are some samples I brought home. It's a whitewashed faux wood.
Each piece measures approx. 3x6"

After sitting around for a while I decided I'd put them to use and make a faux wood arrow, and here is how you can as well!

Gather your supplies.
You will need:

Liquid nails, or another strong glue.
Blue painters tape {optional}
MDF, I had some left over from my faux snakeskin drawer liners.
A pencil and ruler. {Or tape measure}
A jigsaw.

Lay out your pieces of flooring on a piece of MDF and glue down.

Place heavy objects on top and let dry several hours to overnight.

The following day, remove your heavy objects and using a pencil and ruler sketch out your arrow shape. There are so many different arrows to choose from.
You can make a whimsical one, or a traditional one, up to you.

{If you need a pattern you can enlarge one that you print from home at a copy center, cut out, and trace around it.}

I used blue painters tape to outline where I had drawn the pencil because it was a little hard to see.

Using your jigsaw carefully cut out along your pencil/tape lines.
I left my edges raw but you could always add a contrasting color of paint for fun.

I think it turned out so cute!
This could be hung indoors or out, or just propped on a shelf.

Happy crafting!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

~my top 10 beauty splurges~

Yesterday I showed you my top 10 drugstore beauty products.
Today I am going to show you my top beauty splurges.

1~  First up is Origins Ginger Scrub. 
This smells amazing and leaves you skin so smooth.
It's around $35.00 and can be found here.
By the way, it lasts forever!

2~  This light scent is perfect for summer.
It reminds me of being on vacation, which who wouldn't love?
It's $76.00 and 
you can find it here.

3~  Kerastase shampoo and conditioner.
This stuff smells amazing and is well worth the money!
You can find it here.

4~  Pureology root lift is around $25.00 and it lasts a long time. I use this every time I blow dry my hair {which isn't often} but it is true to the name.
You can find it here.

5~  Origins Clear Improvement mask.
Love at $24.00.
You can find it here.

6~  When Hope Is Not Enough Serum.
$43.00 here.

7~  Origins whipped body cream.
Use this after the scrub for a total baby butt skin :)
$31.00 and it lasts forever too. You can find it here.

8~  MAC Studio Fix. You can wear this in place of foundation, or on top of.
Great for touch ups during the day. I have used this studio fix for over 10 years and swear by it.
Buy yours here.

9~  MAC first response eye cream, because anyone my age or older should eye wearing eye cream!
Find it here for around $30.00.

10~  Sebastian Shaper Hair spray. Another product I've been using for years. I am addicted to the smell. It's around $15.00 and works great!
You can find it here.

That's it friends, my top 10 beauty splurges. 
Have a great rest of your day!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

~my top 10 drugstore beauty products~

You know I like a bargain and getting quality makeup and skincare products for less is no exception.
There are certain things I like to splurge on in this department, but there are certainly a ton of products under $15 that are amazing.

Here are my top 10 in no particular order: 

1~  Burt's Bees Lip shimmer. I like all the colors but currently I am loving the color "watermelon" It's $4.99 and can be found here.

2~  Revlon Colorstay foundation. This is good if you like a lot of coverage. It stays on forever, never tested it for 24 hours though! It's $9.99 and you can find it here.

3~  Loreal double extend mascara is seriously the best mascara ever! It has a built in primer and is super fun to wash off. You will see what I mean when you do :) It is $8.99 and you can find it here.

4~   Suave dry shampoo. I honestly don't think I could live without this! I only wash my hair every 3 days and this stuff saves the day. It smells good and works better than ones I have paid $36 a can for. It's a mere $2.89! I buy about 3 at a time, and you can find it here.

5~   Toni & Guy leave in conditioner found here. It's under $15.00 at $13.39. I have a ton of hair and I need a deep conditioner to get all the tangles out. This stuff is amazing.

6~  Burt's Bees deep pore scrub. Its $7.99 and you can find it here. It's gentle enough that I use it once a day.

7~   Crest 3-d whitening mouthwash. I used to use whitening trays from my dentist, but using a whitening toothpaste and this mouthwash now, does the trick. You can find this great mouthwash here.

8~   Sally Hansen airbrush legs. This stuff is amazing. I mix a little bit with a big dollop of sunscreen and after rubbing my hands together, apply it like lotion to my legs. That way you can control the amount of color.  It's $11.79 here. 

9~  Halfway through the day I always need these. There's no sense in covering up oily skin with more makeup like powder, so these always work like a charm. Any brand is good. These ones are $4.49 here.

10~  Eucerin body smoothing lotion is fabulous straight out of the shower or tub. It's $9.99, unscented and not greasy. You can find it here.

I would love to hear what some of your favorite bargain beauty products are.

Tomorrows post is all about my beauty splurges!