Tuesday, November 18, 2014

DIY: Polymer Clay Bowls

Lately I've been on a bit of an organization/tidying/decorating streak. Which means way to much time trying to organizing a way too large collection of hair products to fit into a single basket under the bathroom sink. It also means way too much time tying up chords and controllers in the living room so they'll fit into one basket under the coffee table, and finally coming up with a way to keep myself from constantly losing my keys! I've done all this, but I had yet to solve the problem of all those tiny things that go missing...

There are a few things in my apartment that never seem to find a proper place, so instead they end up everywhere. the biggest culprit of this (and I know every girl can sympathize with me on this) is bobby pins! 
After much procrastinating researching on pinterest, I took a time out from my cleaning and organizing for a little bit of crafting and DIY! 
These polymer bowls are simple, pretty, and the perfect size to go on my nightstand, makeup table, bathroom counter, living room side table, anywhere basically. Which means now there is a place for my bobby pins, rings, and elastics. All those things that tend to get lost between the couch cushions. I've been using these guys for about 2 weeks now, they work like a charm! And they're so easy to make and easy to customize!
I plan on making plenty more as easy little christmas gifts, they're just too cute not to share!!

  • White Polymer clay - I used Craft Smart
  • Parchment Paper
  • Rolling Pin
  • Knife
  • Tools for adding texture - get creative! (I used my knife, a drink stir stick, and edges of a textured glass)
  • Circular Cookie Cutters or tools for making discs (I used a measuring cup, and various sized glasses)
  • Mason jars slightly wider-rimmed than your finished piece
  • Gold Paint or Gold Paint pen, I love the Krylon Leafing Pens!
1: Begin by working a golf ball size amount of stiff clay with your hands until it is pliable enough to roll out onto your parchment paper. Be sure to use the paper because the clay can ruin certain furniture finishes before it's baked.

2: roll out the clay until it is about 1/4 inch thick and is about as round as you can manage.

3: Now is the fun part! Create a design in your clay. I wanted to try a wood-grain looking pattern so I used my tools to create a rough pattern, then went in to do a bit more detailed lines with a knife, and finished it with my drink stick again. I did another bowl with small divets by rolling a bubbled glass through the clay. The nice part about this is if you mess up just crumple it up and roll it out again!

4: Cut a circle out of your clay using a cookie cutter or other round object, if you used something dull like I did, you may need to cut around the object to get all the way through the clay. Be sure to clean up and imperfect edges.

5: Lay your piece upside-down over the bottom of a mason jar and lightly round the edges down to create a bowl shape. Or lay your piece on the mouth of the mason jar and lightly concave your piece into the jar to create a bowl shape that way. (I found the second way worked best for me.) Whichever you do, the thing here is to be careful not to mar your design. 

6: Place the piece and mason jar onto a baking sheet and bake according to the package directions of your specific clay.

7: Take your pieces out and allow to cool and harden completely before adding any painted embellishments!

This is such a simple and enjoyable project, something you could definitely do with kids too! I'd love to see if you try anything with polymer clay!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Makeup Favourites: FLOWER Beauty - Part 2

Flower Beauty, Drew Barrymore's Cosmetics line, available exclusively at Walmart, is relatively new to the drugstore cosmetic's world. They do things a bit differently than some of the biggest competitors - all the products are made in the US, the packaging is beyond anything you've ever seen from drugstore makeup, and the biggest deal for me, they never test on animals.
If you remember from my original first impressions post about Flower Beauty, the Walmarts in my town didn't stock the full line of Flower cosmetics right off the bat. But now they do!

I picked up a few more products to try out and I'm really happy with all of them. I grabbed the powder foundation, two cream blushes, and a chubby blush/lip combo stick.

My favourite product by far is the pressed powder. I went with the lightest shade, and use it to set my foundation every morning. Surprisingly, I adore the little brush it came with! It's fantastic for using under my eyes to set my concealer as well as along the sides of my nose. I use my regular powder brush for the rest of my face. The powder itself it soft and mattifying. I love that it lasts all day and matches my skin tone nicely.

The cream blushes are lovely. I've not used too many cream cheek products in the past but I do know they can help to give a really natural glow to your face. These blushes do this that! I love using one along with a highlighter to really give a beautiful glow to my cheeks. These are definitely a product I've been gravitating towards on "no makeup days". They're so easy to apply, just use your fingers, and it look so natural! The colours I chose are a light dusty rose shade - "Forget-me-not", and a deeper cherry red - "Elegant Azalea".

The Lip & Cheek Chubby Stick I chose is in the shade KM5 "Raisin the Roof". It's a very dark, vampy red that I thought would be gorgeous for Autumn/Winter and upcoming holiday parties. I haven't used it too much yet as I haven't had the oppourtunity but a little goes a long way with this one on the cheeks. It's quite opaque. A few dots is all you need, then you're able to blend it out nicely. I think applied to the lips it would be best to use a liner and a brush, to get a really stunning look.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your favourite bits and pieces from Flower Beauty? All in all, I have been so impressed with everything I have gotten from this brand. From the beautiful packaging to the quality and variety of the products, I'm a huge fan.

This is kind of an continuation post about my first post on Flower Beauty, Read the first post too!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

11 Simple and Affordable Statement Necklaces for the Holidays

This little post on simple, beautiful, and casual statement necklaces was brought on by a recent trip to Old Navy. Crazy right? Old Navy is a store that I don't often go into, but Mitch really likes their T's. We popped in and I saw the Jewelry. Oh my Goodness. They have some beautiful things for the Holidays!
I didn't plan on buying anything but regardless, I left with two necklaces because I just couldn't choose! They have some lovely themes running through their accessories right now. I picked a gold statement necklaces with a kind of art-deco theme, it reminded me of Great Gatsby! And a simple pounded gold and silver metal triangle necklace. They were under $14 each, which is a wonderful price as they don't feel cheap. I don't know what exactly the deal is but I couldn't find Old Navy's Jewelry section on either their Canadian or US site. So we'll just have to live with that little problem for now, unfortunately.

Simple statement necklaces, particularly gold ones like these, are a jewelry item I have a nice collection of. I love wearing them at work as I wear all black. I find the gold pop with my black blouse or sweater always looks flattering and a bit fancied up without that "you're wearing that to work?" impression.
I can easily imagine the above necklaces or any of these necklaces in the collection below going perfectly with a classic little black dress for all those exciting holiday parties coming up!
I'm sure you can see a trend here with what I'm drawn to: Gold. Fringe. Tapering. 

What kind of things do you look for in jewelry pieces?

Friday, November 7, 2014

October Makeup + Beauty Faves

So that was October, was it? A blur of orange leaves and a few days with scarves. I wish it had lasted longer. It's pretty clear we're getting into November. It's raining. It's dark by 4 O'clock. And I'm unwillingly thinking about Christmas. I love fall but it goes too fast!
I've only just now realized my favourites from October make it look like I had a lot of skin issues. I'm only just now realizing I think I actually do have a lot of skin issues currently. Chalk it up to the drastic change in cold weather and wind? Yeah, let's do that.

I shopped the drugstore as well as my stash a lot this month. I actually have somewhat of a little drugstore haul from this past few weeks. (Anybody care to see?)

My biggest love from this month is actually something I had in my cupboards all along. The Simple hydrating Light Moisturizer has been fantastic. I use it every night as well as most mornings. You only need the tiniest amount to cover your whole face. I love how few ingredients it has and that there's hardly any scent. It's just well-rounded product that does everything I need it to do and nothing extra. It's exactly what I've been needing lately.

Of course, as usual the Body shop Cleansing something-or-other has made it in to my favourites AGAIN. This time I'm back on The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil ($18). There's something about just seeing all your makeup wash down the sink that's completely satisfying. I pay extra attention to my eyes and mascara when washing my face with this stuff too. Making sure I get off as much liner and mascara as I can. It does a darn good job. I always use this to start off my night time face routine followed by the face wash or cleanser of the night to wash away that slightly oily feeling as well as any additional makeup.

I repurchased Rimmel's Wake Me Up concealer ($7) after holding off as long as I could. It's my favourite, I can't deny it any longer. I've tried a few more expensive (still drugstore) concealers but they just don't do what the Rimmel Wake me Up line can do for me. It's perfect for not only under my eyes but all my spots and around my nose area. Love this stuff!

Finally, A brand new Makeup product, for me, and for everyone! Flower Beauty Launched this month in Canada and I've fallen in love (I even wrote about my first impressions). One of the many Flower products I picked up this month is their pressed Powder Foundation (in shade PP1) ($10). I normally use the Fit Me! pressed powder to set my foundation, but I've been using this consistently since purchasing it and it's a new favourite. The colour is a perfect match for my pale, pale face and the finish is a nice, invisible matte. Something I didn't expect to love so much about it is the brush it came with! That dinky little thing is perfect for setting my under eye concealer! (that Wake Me Up that I just raved about!)

What were your fave products as of late? Anything I'm missing out on?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sweet Georgia Brown Pumpkin Pie

So, apparently I just can't make a normal Pumpkin Pie. But really, normal pumpkin pies are about as common as finding a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch. Common in baking is usually boring, sometimes it can be perfect. But let's be honest, usually it's boring-town. 
Last year I made Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie, that was amazing. But I've upped the stakes.
This year I made Sweet Georgia Brown Pumpkin Pie. Otherwise known as Pumpkin Pie scattered with hidden pockets of molten milk chocolate, sweet drippy caramel, and roasted and salty pecans. Now come on, don't tell me you still want a normal pumpkin pie! We're totally over normal.

Sweet Georgia Browns are the most amazing things and they're made by Purdys Chocolatier, a local Chocolatier here in BC. They're treats are available in BC, Alberta, and Ontario, and online
If you can't get these bad boys, it's also super-okay to sprinkle chunks of quality milk chocolate, pecans and caramel bites into your pie. However you do it, do it.

I always use The ED Smith Pumpkin Pie recipe. Yup, the one on the can, for all my Pumpkin Pies. It's delicious, firm and not too sweet.

Let me show you how I did it!!
Floury dough looks light and dreamy.

Always make two pie crusts at once, half the work - twice the pies. Freeze one for later, you'll be thankful.

While your dough chills, begin a little pie assembly station.

You'd never know the goodies hiding inside this thing.. Just you wait.

You can juuust make out the darker spots in the pie where there's chocolate hiding. Also, I hate stabbing my baked goods, not cute. So I made a pattern hoping it would look like an aesthetic decision. Unsuccessful.

Inside each slice is pockets of extra dessert! just look at that chocolate cave. We've created dessert inception.

Ingredients & Instructions makes one 9" Pie
For the Crust
For the Pie Filling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 796 ml can of Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Cup packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Grond Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 6 Milk Chocolate Sweet Georgia Browns, regular sized. can substitute for chocolate chunks, pecans, and caramel pieces
Prepare Pie crust as directed in your paticular recipe. Lay it into your pie plate. Don't bake it.
Preheat your oven to 425 F.
Beat the eggs in a medium bowl and add pumpkin puree, sugar, spices, and salt.
Stir until everything is combined.
Stir in evaporated milk.
Pour about one third of the mixture into the bottom of your prepared, unbaked pie shell. 
Gently rest each Sweet Georgia Brown on top of your filling, being careful not to let them sink, in a round pattern in your pie. I was able to do 5 around the edges and one in the centre.
Pour the rest of your filling over the sweet Georgias, covering all of them.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F and continue to bake for 30-40 minutes or until a knife comes in and out of the pumpkin filling cleanly (when testing for done-ness be careful not to stab a chocolate, it will come out chocolaty and you won't know if your pie is done).
Cool and serve at room temperature, or slightly warmer.

I'm already dreaming of other things I can hide in pies! Is that crazy? Maybe, I think there's a nursery rhyme about that, or a prison story... Forget it. Are you going to give this a go? I'd love to see!

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