Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homemade Makeup Remover

I am so pumped to share this post, but I apologize I was not clever enough to come up with a fun title, a day full of work must have zapped some of my brain cells.

I found this tutorial for making an inexpensive, homemade eye makeup remover. I have never really used makeup remover. I usually skip that step and head straight to the face wash. But I've used it from time to time, and I'm a pretty big fan. So I decided to make my own. This blogger was pretty stoked about her recipe, so I was sold.

I went to Target and gathered the items I needed.

Empty bottles
Baby Shampoo
Baby Oil

I purchased mini bottles of the shampoo and oil, in case it did not work.

In my big measuring cup, I mixed one cup of water with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of baby shampoo and 1/8 of a teaspoon of baby oil.

I poured the dirty water look alike into my cute little bottles.

Now time to test it out!

I made sure I used very dark eyeshadow, black eyeliner (top and bottom) and lots of mascara.

I felt really dumb taking pictures of myself like this. So this face made me feel better.

I loaded up my cotton pad with my fresh makeup remover.

This is what it looked like after the one swipe I was promised would remove it all.

Two Swipes.

Three Swipes.

Still lots of eyeliner. (This is not waterproof or life-proof eyeliner, either.)

So I scrubbed and swiped a million times. This is the result.

Then I did the other eye.

So, overall it works. Just not as quickly as it should. I was hoping for a miraculous beauty product, but alas, that's not how life works. This turned out to be a big 'Oh Well.' I'll still probably use it, and make another batch, but I won't be peddling any to my friends. At least it only cost me about 3 dollars.

This is my 'Oh Well' face.

P.S. - After a few days - the makeup remover settles and looks creepy. If you decide to make this on your own, be sure to shake before you use it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I give myself an A+

I can not contain my excitement about this recipe! Seriously. Stop what you are doing, write down this recipe, and make it. Now.

I found this incredible recipe on Pinterest and it has made me a very happy girl. (P.S. if you're not on Pinterest yet - go request an invitation and get started. I'd love for you to follow my boards.)

The most important thing about this recipe is that it is a 'doctored' recipe. That means these cupcakes are made from a box of cake, tossed with a few other ingredients and then baked into awesomeness.

What you need for these cupcakes:

A box of 'moist' white cake
1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Flour
1 cup Sugar
4 large Egg Whites
3/4 teaspoon of Salt
1 1/3 cup Water
2 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

First mix the cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt.

Next add the water, oil, egg whites, sour cream, and vanilla extract.  Beat together with a hand mixer for about two minutes.

Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Fill 3/4 of the cupcake liner and bake at 325 degrees for 18 minutes.

They looked beautiful when I pulled them out.

The best part was they were not burnt!!!

This recipe made 36 cupcakes. The most I've ever made in one batch.

The next step is to make the buttercream frosting. This is not for the faint of heart. I suggest eating this once a year on a holiday only. There is an excessive amount of butter, but they are incredible. Indulge at your own risk.

Now that the health warning is out of the way, you'll need to gather your ingredients.

You need:
3 cups of Powdered Sugar
1 cup of room temperature Butter
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1 to 2 tablespoons of whipping cream

Cream the butter and the powdered sugar together with your hand mixer. This was really difficult. It takes about 2 full minutes until it gets creamy.

Yeah, it got a little messy. 
Then add the vanilla extract and whipping cream and you have butter cream frosting.

I scooped the frosting into a frosting bag, then realized I forgot to put the frosting tip in the bag.

So I ended up transferring the frosting to another bag with the tip included.

It turned out that there was barely enough frosting to cover the cupcakes. I ended up making another batch.

These are the best cupcakes I have ever made. GB ate about 4 the first day. The entire batch was gone in the next two days, so I'm sure he ended up eating a lot more than those first 4.

If you try this recipe out, I'd love to know how it turns out!

Monday, November 28, 2011


I was originally going to post today about some recipes I have recently tried, but seeing as how I am still STUFFED from Thanksgiving, I could not bare to look at photos of food. So instead, I thought this would be an excellent time to update you on recent projects.
The first update has to do with the wall vase project. 

When I made these wall vases I was thrilled that I would always have fresh flowers in the house. I love the smell of fresh flowers. As much as I wish, scented candles and plug in air fresheners just can not compete with fresh flowers. 
After about a week of the fresh flowers hanging out on the wall, they began wilting which means the water needed to be changed.

 I spent quite awhile staring at the vases trying to figure out how to do this.

There was no way I was going to unwrap the wire and redo it after cleaning the vases. The blocks of wood were too large to try to maneuver in my sink. 
I hate fake flowers. They don’t smell like springtime. I think they are obvious and I’ve always associated fake flowers/plants with little old ladies in weird smelling houses. 
It took me awhile, but I realized I had no choice. I had to use fake flowers. 

Turns out, they aren’t too bad. I vow to keep the faux foliage to this small section of our home - but for now, they will do. 
The other update I have for you has to do with my original craft, the sunburst mirror made with paint sticks. 

Ever since I hung that behind the couch, I’ve wanted to do something else, to add something. The wall is too big to only have one piece of decor. 
My sister, Sly, came up with the idea of doing mini versions of the mirror and place them on either side. I thought I would do 3 on each side. 

My first thought was to use wooden stirrers from Starbucks, those are free just like paint sticks. 

Unfortunately GB and I make coffee at home everyday so I’m rarely at Starbucks to grab the sticks. 
I found similar sticks at the local craft store so I bought a big pack, small round mirrors, small embroidery hoops and small pieces of wood for the backing. 

I cut the sticks in half (well, really I just broke them in half).  Then I laid them all flat to spray paint. 

This was a really annoying task. The force from the spray paint would send the little sticks flying. They were wet with paint so this made them stick together. Typically, I was infuriated. A half hour later they were dry, and I began gluing the sticks around the mirror.

When all was said and done - this is what I had. 

I was less than thrilled. I thought it looked very ‘arts and crafts’ rather than cute and crafty. I wanted to think about it for a day or so to decide if I wanted to continue making these and put them up. 

The next day when I picked it up, the embroidery hoop fell off. I think that was a sign. These baby mirrors are a no go. Back to the drawing board. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Most Frustrating Craft Part 2

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I did! I think I’m still full. 
This the second part of a 2 part craft post. To catch up to speed make sure you read The Most Frustrating Craft Part 1
After a few days of staring at my lopsided, word missing, wonky wall art, I decided to start over. 

There was no way I was cutting out individual stencils again, so I hopped on Amazon and ordered these stencils. They were smaller in height than the stencils I made, so there should be room for every word. 

I painted it white and began painting away with the stencils. 

When I was finished I realized two things. I forgot the word 'For' again. 

The words were not lined up symmetrically. I envisioned the first letter and the last letter in each row to be on the edge of pallet, to give it a very symmetrical, square look. 
The misaligned words I may have been able to live with. But I could not live without the word ‘For’. 
I realized I had to start over, again. 
At this point - I began swearing. I began swearing a lot. This had officially become the most frustrating craft ever. 
I really liked the placement of ‘You’, ‘My’ and “Heart.’ So I covered those up with newspapers and covered the bad words with white spray paint. 

This is when I realized the white wall paint I had been using is completely different than the white spray paint. 
More swear words. 
I didn’t care at this point. I was determined to keep going, finish this and move on. 
This final time, I lined up the stencils and words the way I really wanted it, and got to spraying. 
Too bad the stencils were made of paper. I had painted them too many times and when I lifted the stencil, the paint had seeped through on multiple letters. 

I used this lighting to show you the difference between the two whites. It may not be super noticeable to you, but I can see it and it drives me crazy! 

I have the accurate words, lined up the way I wanted it, but now I had multiple shades of white with messy letters. 
Sometime in the future I will use a very small paint brush and use white paint .I will clean up the messy blue letters. But for now, I give up. This craft has gotten the best of me. Perfection is something I am not good at. This will just have to do for now.  

Preview: In a few weeks, I'm going to show you step-by-step how GB and I have completely redone our sun room. This is where this art is living for now. I'll show you how it looks in it's new home.