Monthly Archives: May 2012

NYX Matte Lipstick Review

Every since I got an Instagram account and followed a bunch of makeup artists/lovers/collectors I have become obsessed with lipstick. The funny thing is I never used to understand why people around my age would wear lipstick. I kind of thought it was for old ladies *gasp* but NOT ANYMORE! Now I love the stuff!

Since starting my little lipstick collection I’ve tried a few different styles and brands. One of my favorites is the relatively new Revlon ColorBurst LipButters. They are extremely moisturizing and feel just like chapstick when applied. They have a pretty good color payoff and staying power but don’t last as long as say a MAC lipstick would. In my hunt for more lipsticks I kept hearing good things from a number of sources about NYX matte lipsticks so I decided to give them a try.

I was a bit leery at first to try these lipsticks because I already own a few of the NYX round lipsticks and found that those make my lips a little flakey looking unless I add a gloss on top. But I, being the lover of trying new beauty products that I am, decided to pick up two NYX matte lipsticks to try anyway. I’ve have had them for a while now and finally got around to trying them out a few days ago. My verdict issss… they are amazingggg!

NYX matte lipstick comes in a simple but sweet black tube packaging. There are 22 different shades available for purchase either in store (I bought mine from Ulta) or from a variety of other online retailers. The two colors I chose to test out were Summer Breeze and Angel. Summer Breeze is a true pink where as Angel is more of a pinky-red (swatches are included at the end of this post).

Okay, review time…

I love, love, loveeeed these lipsticks! They are extremely pigmented and very true to color. Only one swipe of lipstick to the top and bottom lip is needed to gain full coverage (…in my case anyway). Unlike the NYX round lipstick these matte lipsticks are extremely moisturizing and did not look flakey when applied. Since they are matte they almost look like more of a lip stain as opposed to a lipstick. Another similarity they share with lip stains is their staying power. I kept my first shade (Summer Breeze) on for several hours before switching to see what Angel looked like on. Throughout those hours the lipstick surprisingly didn’t lose any color. I almost didn’t even want to switch shades because I wanted to see how long Summer Breeze would last. However, I’m thankful I made the switch because I found I liked the lipstick even more the second time around.

Taking all these factors into consideration I, without a single doubt, am going to give the NYX matte lipsticks… 4 stars!

Aside from everything else I previously mentioned, one of the best things about these lipsticks is their affordability. The NYX website sells them for $6 each and the Ulta website as well as the retail store has them for $5.99 each. If you’re looking for an even better deal you can do like I did and grab them when Ulta is having a buy one, get one half off or a buy two get one free sale. I love a good deal… especially on beauty products!

Overall, this lipstick is definitely a new favorite of mine. I cannot wait until Ulta has another NYX sale so I can go back and get a bunch more shades to try out. I would definitely recommend these NYX matte lipsticks to anyone. Especially those who are new to the lipstick game or just aren’t a fan of how regular lipstick wears.

What are some of your favorite lipsticks? Leave me a comment so I can check it out.

– Katie


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Makeup Board Q & A

Before the magnetic boards go on sale I wanted to put together a list of some questions you might have with answers. That way you can get all your questions answered in one place and I don’t have to answer the same questions over and over and over again (hehehe).

How/when will you start selling?

I’m going to put up a blog post with pictures of all the boards I currently have done on Sunday June 3nd at 11am (Chicago time). Once the pictures are posted the sale will begin on a first come first serve basis. First person to claim a board is the one who will get it.

Will you ship the boards?

Unfortunately, I am not currently able to ship the boards. This first batch is my test run so I want to start off with getting one to everyone who wants one locally initially and see if that runs smoothly. Once all my local customers have been served I will possibly be opening an page to sell throughout the US. The boards are fairly large (see sizes below) so it’s going to cost an arm and a leg to ship. I’m also worried about them making it to the customer in one piece. With all that being said, if you still have any questions about having a board shipped to you, you can email me at (serious inquires only please).

How can I pick up my board?

We will discuss board pick up once you claimed a board.

How long do I have to pick up my board?

Once a board has been claimed I will hold it for no more than 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks is up I will place all boards which have not been picked up back on sale.

What sizes do you have?

There will be two different sizes available:

– Small board (20 inches long by 9 inches wide)

– Large board (28 inches long by 12 inches wide)

How much do they cost?

Small boards are $35* and large boards $55*

*price includes: all board materials, magnets and labor

What do I get with my board?

– Small board: board, 25 small rare earth magnets, 5 large rare earth magnets and an instruction/information/idea sheet.

– Large board: board, 50 small rare earth magnets, 10 large rare earth magnets and an instruction/information/idea sheet.

What are rare earth magnets?

Rare earth magnets are a very strong type of magnet. The magnets you will receive with purchase have an approximate pull force of 1.6 pounds (small) and 2.4 pounds (large).

What kind of paper did you use for the background?

At the bottom of this post I included a picture with the 6 different background papers I used for this set of boards.

Do you take custom orders?

I’m not taking custom orders at the moment but it may be something that will happen in the future if this run goes smoothly.

I hope this Q & A was helpful. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to either leave a comment on this post or email me at

– Katie

Here are the papers I chose to use for the background. I stuck with mostly neutral choices, that way the boards can grow with you even as your style changes.


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Saturday Arboretum Fun!

I’m still fairly new at this blogging thing but I’m slowly getting the hang of it as I go. One thing I know, it’s important to have a picture of yourself up. As a blog reader myself I like when bloggers have pictures of themselves on their site. It helps me identify with the author on a more personal level and I feel like I truly know them. That being said, I want everyone who reads my blog to experience that same level of closeness with me so yesterday my mom, her best friend and I took a trip to a local arboretum so I could take a picture. I don’t have the finished products yet but since everything was so pretty I figured I could at least share some pictures with you that I took with my iPhone.

While we were there they were in the process of constructing a bunch of small play houses for kids. Let’s just say this is going to be a kid’s dream land. They have a tiny castle, boat, farm, a few houses and a bunch more.

My mom and I.

Julie and I.

Photo bomb courtesy of Julie…

I love this woman!

I’m not a big flower girl but this neon flower was gorgeous!!!

Much needed water after a long day of walking in the heat.

After putting about 87 miles on my Nikes I finally got the chance to sit and look through all the pictures from the day.

I’d like to say a BIG thank you to Julie for driving over an hour out to the arboretum so that she could take pictures of me for my blog. She was able to get some good ones. I can’t wait to get them back! I should have them by sometime this week and of course I’ll be sharing them with you.

It’s going to be super hot outside today (anything over 85 is super hot for me and today the high is 97… yikes) so if you need me I’ll either be hibernating inside or in my pool.

– Katie

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Makeup Board Sneak Peak!

I know I promised more blog posts this week but I have been a busy, busy bee the past two days. I wanted to check in anddd give you a peak at what I’ve been doing. Before I say anymore here are some pictures…

In case you ever wondered what over 1,600 rare earth magnets look like…

Pink nails and power tools make me happy!

Oh, there’s just my dog being lazy in our backyard on his 8th birthday.

Plywood is all cut!

This little guy wanted to crash the party. Eeeek!

The awesome floor mat in our garage.

When you cut sheet metal these pretty spirals happen. I was thoroughly amused.

And now the messy parts begin…

See, I wasn’t lying! Manicure = A little China Glaze Pink Voltage and a little liquid nails.

You will be flat whether you like it or not!

Background application in full effect = perfectionism in full effect.

Side note: being a crafter and a perfectionist usually ends with someone being unhappy and that person is usually named Katie.

My stepdad’s new table and in case you were wondering we definitely got out a stopwatch and it only takes 6 seconds to set up! Again, thoroughly amused.

Why yes, it was 90 degrees (F) in the garage the entire time this was taking place. Hopefully I at least sweated off a few pounds! *fingers crossed*

Ahhhhh, I’m covered in glue AND pink glitter! Needless to say there is glitter all over everything!

Well at least those books JJC wouldn’t buy back are put to good use…

By this time you may have guessed that construction of magnetic makeup boards is in FULL SWING! More details will soon follow but until then here’s a peak at some of the boards…

Well I did say it was only a peak! You’ll get to see the finished products soon enough.

Have to go back to construction now, byeee.

Everyone smile! It’s Friday!

– Katie

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Top 10 Favorite iPhone Apps

It’s no secret that I’ve been damn near inseparable from my iPhone since I bought it last October. That being said, I decided to compile a list of my top 10 favorite apps for you. Now, when I was naming this post I couldn’t decide whether to call it “Top 10 Favorite Apps” or “Top 10 Favorite iPhone Apps.”  I decided to just call it “Top 10 Favorite iPhone apps” because I know for a fact all these apps can be downloaded on an iPhone. Although, I’m sure some can be downloaded on other devices as well.

1. Weather

This specific weather app comes preloaded onto the iPhone when you buy it. When you pull up the weather app it’ll give you 6 days worth of highs and lows starting with the local weather. It also gives you the current temperature and if you click the current day it will give you what the weather is estimated to be every hour on the hour for 12 hours. Another great feature is that you can save multiple cities at once (I have my hometown and Chicago saved) then you can just flip back and forth between the cities.

Cost: Free.

2. Emoji Free

Emoji Free allows you to say so long to those boring and generic smiley faces. With Emoji Free you can add hundreds of different smiley faces and other emoticons into texts, tweets, etc… I loveeee this app and think it’s a must have for all iPhone users. The only downside is that non-iPhone users cannot see the emoticons. Instead, they just see a square (I think) in its place.

Cost: Free.

(there is a pay version also… I’m not sure the difference between the two)

3. Gas Buddy

Gas Buddy allows you two options: option one is to type in a city, state or zip code and option two is to just press the “Find Gas Near Me” button.  Each option will pull up all the gas stations around you within a certain radius. You can then choose the type of gas your car takes and sort the gas stations by distance or price. Another feature the app offers is you can click the different gas stations and it’ll show you what that station offers (types of gas, air hose, car wash, pay at pump, ATM, convenience store, whether or not it’s open 24/7, pay phones, restrooms, etc…). The last thing I want to mention is that you can also report the gas prices at different stations and you earn 150 points for each time you report a gas price. You can earn points on the first 5 reports per day and every 1,000 points gets you one ticket into a weekly drawing for a prize (usually it’s a preloaded $250 gas gift card).

Cost: Free.

4. Chase

Before I go into detail about this app I just want to warn, DO NOT USE THIS APP UNLESS YOU ARE ON A SECURE NETWORK. The last thing you want/need is to have someone, somehow, steal your information.

Now that that’s covered, the Chase app allows you to find a Chase ATM and/or branch near you. Another option is to securely log on and view all your information just like you would on an actual computer. You can view your balances, account activity, and rewards points. You can also make transfers among accounts, pay bills or pay credit cards. This all allows me (on a daily basis) to easily manage my accounts and see everything that takes place with them. But again, MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON A SECURE NETWORK BEFORE LOGGING ONTO YOUR ACCOUNT.

Cost: Free.

5. Pinterest

The Pinterest app is just like the website… addicting! From the app you can view the pins of people you are following, explore the different pin board categories, repin things or add your own by either choosing an existing photo in your album or taking a new photo, view the activity of your pins, and view your Pinterest profile (boards, pins, likes, account information and finding more friends).

Cost: Free.

6. Michael’s

Using the Michael’s app you can view their deals (such as the weekly ad and featured deals), create lists, view your My Michael’s account, scan QR codes and look up store locations, events, projects, or products. Lastly, and my favoriteeee part of the app is the coupons feature. This feature allows you to pull up that days/weeks coupon(s) and Michael’s can scan it right off your phone! I love that I’m never without my coupon(s). I wish every store would do this!

Cost: Free.

7. My Fitness Pal

The My Fitness Pal app is just like the website giving you the option to track daily/weekly calories in order to reach your goal weight, stay the same weight or just track calories to track calories. Using the app you can view your daily summary, daily nutrient details, and weekly net calories. You can add a WIDE variety of foods from the database or scan barcodes into your food diary, add exercise, look at your progress, and manage you’re My Fitness Pal friends. This is a good app for keeping track of food even on the go, making it easy to see exactly what you’re in taking each day.

Cost: Free.

8. Waze

Google Maps is the preloaded GPS app in iPhones but I wanted to have an additional navigation app because Google Maps isn’t the most reliable source at times. After reading reviews on a bunch of navigation apps I decided to download Waze. Waze is kind of social networking navigation app (however, I don’t use it for those purposes). Using the app you can set your home, work and favorite location addresses. Navigate (directions to and from locations), view reports around you, as well as report things yourself (traffic jams, police, accidents, hazard, cameras, “chit chat,” map issues, where pavement work is taking place and check in on foursquare). You can also view your My Waze profile, share things (such as destination and location), tweak your settings and turn the app off. Overall, I really like this app and always recommend it to anyone looking for a non-iPhone navigation app.

Cost: Free.

9. Instagram

As I mentioned in my 21 Favorites at 21, Instagram is photo editing and sharing app. The best way I can ever describe it is as a sort of social network for photos. You can upload pictures by either using an existing one from your album or taking a new one using the app itself. Instagram offers a variety of different filters which have different frames. You can turn the frames on or off depending on your preference. There is also an auto fix button and you can even use a built-in blur feature to create focus on a certain object or objects in the photo. Once loaded Instagram automatically saves a copy of the edited photo to your album. Other than uploading features there are a few other sections within the Instagram app. The home section is where you view photos that the people you are “following” have uploaded. The star section brings you to the “popular page” which shares Instagram’s most popular photos at the moment. The conversation bubble section shows you your news, in addition to the news of those you are following (which photos they liked, comments they made and who they recently followed). Lastly is the profile section where you can view your Instagram profile, find friends, invite friends, search Instagram (names, usernames or tags), look at your photos, photos you’ve liked, edit your profile or sharing settings, etc….

Cost: Free.

10. ShopSavvy

ShopSavvy is an app you can use to scan the barcode off or search for a product and (if that product is in its system) it will give you the cheapest place to purchase that product. Once a product has been scanned it brings up prices from online retailers and local stores. As well as any reviews on that product they have in their system. You can click any of the choices in the online or local store options which will either allow you to buy that product on the spot from the selected online retailer or it will pull up the selected local store’s information for you. ShopSavvy saves your scanning histories and has a deals section which can be sorted by either store or categories. Deals include sales and/or coupons available for that store or category. I literally use this app to scan anything and everything in store before I purchase it because if I can find it cheaper somewhere else I’m doing it! Who doesn’t love saving money?!

Cost: Free.

Hopefully this list gave you an idea of some AWESOME apps to download. My favorite apps are ever changing as I download new apps all the time, but these 10 have seemed to stay at the top since October. I love downloading new apps to mess around with so if you have any suggestions pleaseeeee leave them in a comment for me so I can check them out.

– Katie

Oh, and it’s my Friday! No work until next Tuesday so expect a few more good posts this week! Wooohooooo!


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DIY Corner Bookmark (Step-By-Step Instructions)

Since it’s officially my summer break I’m already starting on my summer to-do list. No procrastination here… for once! Number 2 on my list was to read. I have about 8 or so books that I had bought last summer to read which I never got around to and I also just bought another book. I started reading my most recent book purchase, “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher on Saturday night and realized I didn’t have a bookmark. This is a major problem that I often find myself coming across. So much so that I have probably 3 or 4 books at home that I’ve already started but have no idea what place I’m at. Eventually I’ll just have to start over from the beginning.

Anyways… the reason I’m rambling on about this is that yesterday I decided to make my own bookmarks. A few months ago my mom had shown me some awesome page corner bookmarks in a magazine (I think) so I decided to create a template on Word and try to make my own. The trial was a success so I decided to share the finished product and do a tutorial on it.

Corner bookmarks are great because they don’t stick out or easily fall out of your book. They’re super easy and extremely inexpensive to make so I hope you’ll give it a try.

Here we go…

What you’ll need for this project:

1) Printer size cardstock (or other thick paper)
2) Bookmark Template
3) Paper scraps or other patterned paper
4) Scissors
5) Glue or tape (I recommend glue)
6) Pencil
7) Ruler
8) Eraser (that works well)

Step 1

The first thing I did was pick out the color cardstock I wanted then I went through my paper scraps and found patterns that matched the cardstock I have chosen.

Step 2

Print the bookmark template onto your cardstock then cut out the figures.

Take off the entire black line (without cutting off too much extra) from the square sides. The edges around the winged section don’t matter so the black lines can be showing. (pictured below)

Step 3

Keep cutting until all of the figures are cut out. You only need one of the separate little triangles so you can throw the others away. We’re going to use this for tracing purposes later on.

(Awesome shadow right…?)

Step 4

Next, using your pencil, ruler, scissors and patterned paper you’re going to make and cut out a square that will be for the bottom part of our bookmark. You want the square to be around 2 ¼ inches on each side (this will be smaller than the bottom but that’s the idea).

Step 5

Using the first square as a pattern trace as many squares as you’re making bookmarks then cut them all out. (It would work best if you trace on the back side of your paper because then you can skip step 6 all together. I wasn’t genius enough to think of this until step 7… whoops)

Step 6

Using your eraser (preferably one that works well) remove any pencil marks from the sides of the square pieces.

Step 7

Using the small separate triangle you cut out trace triangles onto your patterned paper. These will be for the top part of your bookmark. Again, trace as many triangles as you’re making bookmarks then cut out.

Step 8

Now that everything is cut out (you should have an equal number of bookmarks, squares and triangles) it’s time to assemble! For each bookmark you’ll need one square and one triangle.

(Awesome shadow again right…?)

Step 9

Take your bookmark and using the side with the black lines facing up you’re going to fold in both wings making a square.

Step 10

Put glue (or tape) on the back of one wing. Once glued place the other wing onto the glued wing and hold. Make sure you have a nice clean line at the edge (shown in the right-hand side picture). The paper may resist this but just hold it there for a minute. This lets the glue dry a bit and it will keep it in place.

Step 11

Glue the backside of your square then place all the way into the bottom inside corner of your bookmark.

Step 12

Glue the backside of your triangle then place onto the top outside of your bookmark.

Step 13

The top part of your bookmark may be bulging out a bit (from force gluing it into place) so just use your hands to press it flat.

Repeat steps 9 -13 for as many bookmarks as you desire and you’re done!

The only thing left to do is put it to use…

Got to go now… I have a book to read!

Give my tutorial a try? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear whether or not it worked out for you.

– Katie

P.S. If these bookmarks are too “Plain Jane” looking you can put a number of easy spins on them.

1) Make it into a monster eating your page.
2) Add eyes that are looking at your page.
(these two would be great for kids!)
3) If you’re a night reader like me you could also add on
the words, “you fell asleep here.”


Filed under DIY and Crafts

Katie: M.I.A.

I apologize for neglecting you this week but it’s finals week, aka my last week ever at junior college, so I needed to put my focus on studying for a KILLER chemistry final and creating a 200 point final portfolio for my technology in education class. And you know what…? I got an A in chemistry! Whew, all my hard work paid off. I don’t have my other grade yet but I’m sure it’ll be an A as well (I’m not cocky I’m confident, hehehe). These last two A’s mean I’ve finally brought my GPA up to a 3.5! I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and it feels great to actually have accomplished it.

Next fall I’ll be a new school. I’m nervous but excited to start this next chapter of my life. It amazes me how fast time is moving. It feels like just yesterday I was in high school and now I’m already moving on to my 4 year school. Before I know it I’ll be in my own classroom teaching full time (been dreaming of that moment since about first grade).

Anywho… it’s officially summer break for me and I can’t wait to start on my summer to-do list. I have so, so, soooo many good ideas for blog posts that I can’t decide which to do first. Guess you’ll just have to stick around to see and I promise you don’t be disappointed! It’s going to be a great summer I can feel it!

Have a good weekend everyone!

– Katie


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