Plan with Me: The Week of Love!

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I wrote a post last month detailing my new year’s resolutions (here), one of which was getting organized.  My goal was to get my personal life, work life and everything else all on the same page… literally! I was determined to begin “planning”, and what better way to help me stay organized and dedicated, than letting my crafty and creative side come out when scheduling my week.

Since beginning my organization journey, I’ve switched planners, I’m now a Happy Planner believer, become obsessed with stickers and spent hours watching “plan with me” video’s on YouTube.  So here it is.. time to say it.  I, Kelli, am officially obsessed with designing my planner.

When it came to this week’s theme inspiration, I was having a serious inner struggle trying to decide if I wanted my design to reflect Mardi Gras or Valentine’s Day. Someone please tell me why two holidays have to fall within the same week! In the end, the day of LOVE won out! BUT.. only because I had been working on creating and printing my own Mardi Gras stickers (details coming soon) and I just wasn’t quite done!

Like most of you, I don’t have a large amount of expendable income to blow on expensive planner stickers, stamps and inserts.  I buy most of my items from the dollar tree or the clearance rack at Michaels and put a little imagination into it. Before you know it, I’m able to turn a once blank space into something that makes me excited about my week. And my Valentine’s Day spread was no different!

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I started by trimming and pasting some pink and red scrapbook paper to the weekend boxes and several of the week day boxes. Next, I added some pink lace washi that I purchased from Amazon.  The shipping took a month but it finally made its way stateside from China just in time for this love themed week. And seriously, I think it made a huge impact on the look and feel of this design.  Once I had the basics, I then got to decorate! I added the pink label to the bottom boxes, the pink mirror design stickers, the adorable Valentine’s inspired words stickers from the Dollar Tree and finally some fun gift tags I scored from the dollar spot at Target!

Are you a planner-ahohlic? Do you want to see more planner design posts? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Tuesday Round Up: elf Eyeshadow Palettes

It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge ELF fan for years.  So, it only feels fitting to feature this affordable brand on my first Tuesday Round Up of 2016!

When it comes to make-up, I play it pretty safe. I’m not into extreme contouring, crazy lip colors or super bold cheeks.  Instead, I choose to give life to my eyes.  I love mixing colors and blending shades that compliment my outfit or my mood. A couple of years ago, elf came out with a gorgeous palette that I just had to try. And guess what? I fell in love! Ever since, they’ve been my go-to for inexpensive and long lasting eyeshadows.

For this week’s round-up, I’ve chosen to share my top 3 palettes. As always, all products are available online and extremely affordable.

Elf Round Up

1. Elf Everyday Smoky Eyeshadow Palette ($10.00) – Out of my whole collection, this is my newest elf palette. The colors have amazing pigmentation and are perfect for highlighting, shading and blending.  While I normally apply them wet, they also work just as well dry.  The best thing about this palette? It also comes in Mad for Matte, Need it Nude and Day to Night.

2. Elf Baked Eyeshadow Palette ($10.00) – Remember when I said I saw a beautiful palette that I just had to try? Yep, that’s this one! These baked eyeshadows have some of the most amazing staying power of anything that I’ve used. I first tried them dry, which was ok, but when tried wet, they were amazing! The color payoff was so strong and beautiful. And when I combined it with elf’s lock and seal, this stuff was going nowhere. Just like the Smoky palette, this one also comes in four different city inspired collections including California, NYC, Seattle and Texas.

3. Elf Prism Eyeshadow ($10.00) – Have you ever heard of saving the best for last? This prism palette is the holy grail of elf shadows. The pigmentation in this set is beyond exciting and the fact that each shadow had a bit shimmer is an added bonus. I’ve used these both wet and dry, and like the baked shadows, I prefer them wet.  The application is flawless and I can easily create simple day looks for the office, or dramatic looks for a night out on the town. Just like the two before, this one comes in several different collections including Naked, Sunset and Smoke.

Do you have a favorite eyeshadow palette from ELF? Let me know in the comments!

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New Year – New Resolutions

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. Mainly because I’m terrible at keeping them but mostly because I think it’s a bit cliché. So many people set goals to get healthy, get out of debt or volunteer their time and they only last for all about 10 seconds.  Halfway through January, they’ve thrown their resolutions out the window, never looking back.

Do you ever wonder why there’s such a low success rate?  In my experience, I’ve never succeeded because my goals weren’t truly reachable.  I had these big ideas with no way to execute them.  This year, that’s not going to happen. Why, you ask? Well, it’s because I’ve made two resolutions that I know I can make happen!

First of all, I’ve promised myself that I WILL get back to blogging.  I love writing and blogging is a great outlet.  I don’t know about you, but for me the hardest part of blogging is finding the time.  I can’t be the only one… right? You have all these ideas for posts and you tell yourself, “I’ll write it tomorrow”… then tomorrow turns into this weekend, which turns into next week. The next thing you know, you’ve gone months without a post and your blog is left feeling so unloved! Well… not in 2016!

To help keep myself in the game and my eye on the ball, I told myself “you’ve got to get organized.” And guess what? That’s exactly what I did! I knew I had do something to make all that planning fun, so I purchased a day planner, washi tape, colored pens, stickers and markers and have been having a blast putting my ‘days’ down on paper.

I started by picking up an adorable Divoga weekly/monthly planner from Office Depot for around $24, and about 10 rolls of washi tape that were on major clearance! Because the packages of colored pens were so expensive at OD, I decided to walk next door to the Dollar Tree and browse their office/craft isle.  Seriously … I hit the jackpot.  I picked up some gold and silver gel pens, multi-colored ballpoint pens, about 10 different packages of stickers, some glittery washi inspired tape and some colorful marking flags .. all under $25! Awesome.. right!? I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to get home and start planning!

Once I put pen to paper, I felt so accomplished and organized! My week was down and after a few well placed stickers, my first planner looked like this…

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So how about you? Do you use a day planner? Does it keep your life on track and organized? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time..

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Tuesday Round Up: Rompers

Last week, I received an overwhelming response to my dry shampoo post (here). I was truly amazed at how many of you commented, liked and sent me messages about the products in my post. Thank you! I love sharing my favorite items with you and getting feedback. It’s always fun to see what might have worked or didn’t work for you.

Because the large response, I’ve decided to reserve every Tuesday for a segment I going to call my ‘Weekly Round Up’. Each week I will feature a different type of product, clothing or item that I’m loving or crushing on. If you’re a new reader, don’t forget to press that follow button so you can keep up with all the fun things I have in store for the next few months!

So, without further ado .. here’s this weeks Round Up.

                                                                                             

Now that the weather is getting a bit warmer, I’m slowly transitioning my closet from fall and winter clothes to my spring and summer wardrobe. I have a ton of shirts, skirts and fun summer tops but one thing that’s not in my closet is an adorable season appropriate romper. Not because I don’t like them, but because I just haven’t found the one. I’ve never been a big fan of wearing sleeveless outfits which seems to be some of the only rompers I can find in store. Thus my Sunday night consisted of scouring the internet for the most adorable and figure flattering rompers to hang in my closet. As always I’ve done my best to make sure everything is affordable and available online for you to snag up if you wish!

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1. S.H.E Long-Sleeve Button-Front Romper – I don’t know what I love more about this outfit. It might be the color, the button-front or the tie at the waist. Whatever the reason, isn’t it cute? Living in hot Central Arkansas, I clearly wouldn’t be able to wear this in the middle of the summer. Can you say sweat? Honestly though, I think this could work amazing in the spring with some sandals and simple jewelry and then transition effortlessly into the fall with black tights and booties. It retails for $70.00 but is currently on sale for $34.99. There is also a teal version here.

2. Wrap It Up Ikat Romper – If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I have a love affair with Cato Fashions. They once again followed through when I discovered this fun ikat print in their web store. Now, the little dolman sleeves are borderline for me but I feel like I could work with it. I don’t think it can be dressed up as much as the others in the post, but it would be a perfect choice to wear running errands, to a summer cookout or to a brunch with your girlfriends. It retails for $17.99 and comes in a plus size version here.

3. Stevie and Lindsay Plus Size Short-Sleeve Printed Romper – I’m in that         in-between area where I can wear the larger misses sizes and smaller plus sizes. So, when doing research for my spring wish list post (here), I stumbled on this cutie. I don’t know what type of print you would consider this romper. Maybe a bit of tribal mixed with ikat? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that this little lady will be in my closet very soon. It was originally listed at $44 but is on sale until today for $24.99!

4. Drape Neck Romper – This simple black romper is another fab find from Cato Fashions. I’m loving this outfit because of how easily it can transition from day to night with a change of shoes, some dramatic makeup and gold jewelry. I have several cocktail hour events happening this summer and it would be smart to add a piece like this to my collection. You can pick this romper up for $29.99!

5. Floral Print Chiffon Ruffle Romper – There are so many things I love about this romper, I don’t know where to begin. For starters, the print is great for the spring/summer season. The ruffles at the bottom of the shorts aren’t something you see everyday. The chiffon makes it airy and perfect for those hot summer days and the wrap style makes it visually slimming. Want to know my favorite part? It has pockets! It’s currently listed for $29.99 but order fast and you can take advantage of the Charlotte Russe buy one get one for $10 sale!

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A Twist to Easter Egg Dying

Last night, for the first time since I was 10, I dyed Easter eggs. I don’t know about you but as a kid I remember being so excited when my Mom helped us make beautiful pink, green, yellow and blue eggs. As a grown up it really isn’t as exciting so you look for other ways to make fun and creative designs.

Several months ago, while on Pinterest, I discovered this fun way of creating marbled nail polish. I pinned the picture and even watched these fun YouTube video’s here and here. Due to my impatience when it comes to painting my nails, I had yet to attempt this idea of DIY marbled nails.

Last night as we were starting to dye our eggs, I had what I thought was a genius idea. Why not try this marbled nail technique on the eggs. Now let me be honest. In my group of friends, I’m known for my large number or Pinterest fails or Pinstrosities as my friend JP likes to refer to them. But you know what? It worked! Between my friends and I, I honestly don’t know who has more surprised.

For my first try, I created this egg by dying it a light purple and then marbled it with pink and black nail polish.

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I then dyed this egg blue and marbled it with black and grey. It turned out to be my favorite of the night!

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If you’re interested in trying out this technique, I highly suggest checking out the YouTube links above. They’ll give you all the information needed to make these fun and creative designs that can be transitioned into very unique Easter eggs!.

Word to the wise. I started using a styrofoam cup but dropped the polish from too high of a distance and it sank to the bottom. Several minutes later a minor flood started to appear under the cup due to the polish eating through the styrofoam. I think switched to a plastic bowl which proved to be a much smarter option.

Happy Easter!

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Dry Shampoo Round-Up

Wanna know a secret? … I only wash my hair once a week! Don’t get me wrong, I still shower. I just don’t wash my hair every time.

For those of you who are every day or every other day shampooers, I know what you’re thinking. There is no way I could go that long without washing my hair. Am I right? The good news .. YOU CAN! It just takes time to get there.

Several years ago I became sick and my doctors didn’t know why. Because of this I was stressed and anxious. My hair started to fall out, break and split. My beautiful healthy and thick hair was gone and I was devastated.

Realizing that a majority of my loss occurred right after my morning shower routine, I decided that I would try to wait one more day before washing my hair. During the first week or two my third day hair was oily and unruly. But a couple weeks into the process, my third day hair looked just like my second! Thus continued a cycle until I was able to only wash my hair once a week.

But don’t think that I wake up everyday with amazing hair. If not for the help of some amazing dry shampoos, I’d be walking around with a greasy lifeless mop. Over the last couple of years I’ve tried just about every dry shampoo around.  Here’s what I’m loving now.

The Budget Saver:

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Suave Professionals Refresh and Revive – $2.88

I love the lemon scent that this product gives off. Unlike many other drugstore versions, this product can be used in very small amounts to achieve maximum results. It’s priced at an affordable $2.88 with results that rival it’s expensive competitor.

The Median:

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Batiste Dry Shampoo – $8.99

I first discovered Batiste at my local Walgreen’s and found that it worked better than any other dry I had tried at that price point. After using up three bottles of the Blush scent, I was hooked. It smelled amazing and worked fabulously. It wasn’t until later that I discovered their Hint of Color line. This specialized dry comes in three different tinted shampoos to match your hair color.  The medium/brunette works best for me but they also offer dark/deep brown and a light/blonde. With most all drys coming out white, this was a nice change. It didn’t take as much work to mix into my hair and blended with my color perfectly.

The Splurge:

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Oribe Dry Texturing Spray – $42.00

My roommate turned me on to this amazing product. While not advertised as an everyday dry shampoo, it works just the same. However, not only does this spray soak up the oil at my roots but it also gives me incredible volume! Because it is at the higher price point, I do use it sparingly. It is great for those days when you want a bit of tease and want to add a bit of texture.

What about you.. Do you have a dry shampoo you love?

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

I don’t know about you ladies, but I often get into a routine of making/eating the same foods for dinner. We all have good intentions when saving or printing those amazing looking recipes but for some reason they hardly ever make it to our dinner table. This week, I decided I wanted to invite several of my coworkers over for dinner and wine. Thus, bringing on that “what am I going to cook” feeling!

I scoured through my Pinterest board looking for something that didn’t look too hard or too elaborate. (There’s nothing like experiencing a Pinterest fail with witnesses!) After a bit of digging I stumbled on a delicious looking recipe that involved chicken, brown sugar, garlic and honey. I thought to myself.. “this is so crazy it might just work.” You know what? I did and it was too good not to share. Check out the recipe for my version below!

Kelli’s Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

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Ingredients:

  • 4 Bone-In/Skin-On Chicken Thighs
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of Butter or oil (unsalted butter is best but I only had salted)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of Chopped Garlic
  • ¼ Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of Honey
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Basil
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Oregano
  • ½ Teaspoon of Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon of Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place chicken thighs on cutting board with skin side up.
  3. Season to preference with salt and pepper
  4. Turn thighs and season skin side down with salt and pepper.
  5. In a large oven proof skillet, place butter over medium heat.
  6. Once butter is melted, place chicken in skillet skin side down for 3-4 minutes or until seared a golden brown.
  7. Turn things and repeat 6.
  8. Remove chicken and set aside.
  9. Add garlic into the skillet stirring continually for 1 minute.
  10. Stir in honey, brown sugar, oregano, thyme and basil until will blended.
  11. Return chicken to the skillet with skin side down and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  12. Once chicken is complete transfer to a serving dish placing them skin side up.
  13. Garnish with parsley and serve.

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The final product was so good, and easy, that I made it again today and I can’t wait to take the leftovers as my lunch tomorrow! If you try to make this in your kitchen, let me know how it turns out in the comments.

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