Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cleaning Brass Jewelry

So I've been on this delicate jewelry trend for a while now. 
Midi rings, very breakable gold necklaces, tiny bands with tiny stones, you name it. Problem is, if you buy it from Forever 21, the gold covering will rub off within 1 month and your finger will turn green.
So, since I don't want green fingers, I buy my delicate jewelry from a local store, Homegrown Silver and Stone. They have sterling silver and gold filament jewelry with brass accents, and it's really nice stuff. Their stuff holds up really well - I've had a couple of their rings for two years now and they aren't showing any sign of decay or tarnish. (Here's a link to their Etsy store if you guys want to check them out)
Except for my brass stuff.

Brass is different from sterling and gold: it gets dirtier quicker and you can't let it get wet, or it will show signs of damage. The good news is that you can clean your brass jewelry really easily with stuff you have in your house! I actually found this method on Jewlry making Journal and I wanted to share my awesome results!!

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-Mild soap
-Olive oil
-Worcestershire sauce
-Cotton balls
-Running water


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-First you'll need to wet your jewelry and use a Qtip (or a soft toothbrush) to scrub it a bit.
-Rinse all the soap off. It should look shinier already!
-Drop some of the worcestershire sauce onto a Qtip. Scrub softy in a circular motion for 30 seconds or so.
-Wash off all the sauce and dry your jewelry thoroughly.
-Put a little olive oil onto a cotton ball and dab it onto the jewelry.

Here's my before and after:

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I was pretty amazed with the results of this little experiment, so I just cleaned all my jewelry!

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All the jewelry above is from Homegrown Silver and Stone. Definitely check them out if you like any of it!


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Makeup review: Maybelline Nudes Palette

So recently i've been trying to switch to more natural brands for all my health/beauty products, as well as all of my food stuffs. It started with switching my body wash to organic and spiraled completely out of control.
I actually just bought some eyeshadow from NYX, my usual go to brand. Then I checked the label and it has two or three parabens in it as well as several other harmful chemicals. Then I thought I may as well finally splurge and get a HE nude palette. But seriously - Urban Decay, Too Face, Lorac, all full of crap. 

So then I decided I should try some drug store brands before I burned down Sephora.

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This palette doesn't have any parabens (at least none that I can see from the tiny ingredients) and the chemical list doesn't seem super bad for you. Hopefully Good Guide will have the full breakdown soon, but until then, let's live in some blissful ignorance, shall we?
The colors in this are actually not that bad. They aren't super buttery like HE brands are, but it's a ten dollar palette, so really what's the best you can expect?
I swatched all the colors in order, in sections of four.

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  The third matte color is either my exact skin tone or not at all very pigmented. But the first color is shimmery, and has a sort of pink gold pearl finish. I really love it. The bronze metallic color on the end is super pigmented as well. 

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The darker matte shades are fairly pigmented, and there's a good bit of color variation in the mattes as well.

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The gold in this palette goes on SUPER gold and really pretty. 

So far I'm pretty happy with this palette. The metallic colors do go on better than the mattes, but aside from that, it's a really good mix of brown tones with a pretty equal number of lights and darks. I'm not sure on the staying power of these, but since it's a drug store brand, I would definitely recommend a primer.
Hope this was helpful to anyone who was interested in this palette! If you guys like this stuff, let me know and I can do some more makeup reviews from paraben-free products.

Love love,

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My life in Instagram

I'm probably the world's shittiest blogger.
I'm still on here some, but most of my posts never get finished, so they never end up getting posted.
I stopped taking outfit of the day posts a while back - I quit school for a year due to credit issues, and I was sort of depressed with everything. I just looked sad in all the pictures I took, and I didn't really think posting them was the best idea.
I actually got into nursing school this year :)
I am both excited, and super nervous. I've been out of the saddle for a while now, so it'll take some real catching up.
I want to get back to blogging, but I'm still trying to catch up on that, too.
I spend most of my time on instagram now, so feel free to give me a follow.
You can see stuff like my first tattoo, my trip to the aquarium, my faun costume, etc. 


Monday, April 28, 2014

Nanny for a year

Last year, I had a really rough reality thrown at me: the nursing school I wanted to go to wouldn't accept two of my credits until the current year was up, which was after their deadline. Which means that I wasn't going to get in - at least, not for another year. Then we got kicked out of our apartment. Three girls+a 2x2 stackable washer and dryer= clothes thrown literally everywhere. We had to move, and I had to find my first job ever, all in the same month.
I'm incredibly greatful my parents still chose to support me through it. We found a wonderful home we still live in now, which I clean fervently on a regular basis. Finding work was a little different, though. When I first contemplated getting a job, I realized that I had never really had one. I worked at my karate studio for a fee summers, volunteeres at our local library, but I knew that kind of experience wasn't going to get me work. I turned in over 30 applications in a day - I literally parked my car and walked down North shore - sort of like Chattanooga's little strip area. No one called back.
I hadn't been a big babysitter growing up
 I was an only child, and the only people I ever watched were the kids at my karate studio, and a the child of one of my mothers coworkers. The only thing I had going for me was my CPR and first aid certification card. I didn't know if that would be enoguh, but I loved kids, and wanted to take care of one. I put my pofile up on the website, and applied to probably 10 jobs in one day.

They were the first family I found, and the first one I interviewed with. They had a little girl, 16 months. She was still non-verbal, shy. Wouldnt come to me, or really even get near me. I liked them almost instantly; they reminded me of me. Dry humor, similar interests, love of card games. The time frame was perfect: one year. After that, she would go to school and so would I. I was really excited when they hired me. 
Starting off was incredibly difficult, and after two weeks I was wondering if j had made the right choice. She loved her parents, and was incredibly wary of strangers. For the first two months she would sob when I would take her to the living room to play. She didn't know me, and certainly didn't like me. She cried when I arrived, usually for at least 10 minutes everytime, and was overjoyed when i left. There was a certain feeling of rejection that came with it; odd, I know. But I really adored this kid. I just didn't want her to hate me. 
It took her three months to acclimate to my being there. She still wasn't exactly fond of me - she would cry for her parents probably every other day, but it usually wasn't terribly bad. Usually. Once she actually cried for half an hour. Even worse, I couldn't do anything about it. When I would try to comfort her, she would kick, and scream louder. 
We had two days good, three days bad for a while. After six months, she finally stopped crying when I arrived. I think that's when my hazing was finally over and she started to actually like me. 
One of the coolest parts of it all was when she finally started calling me something. It was probably around December, when she was really starting to talk. I was fiddling with something on her bed when she came up to me, handed me a book, and said "Read, Treea". 
Now she actually calls me Treena, sometimes Atreena. She'll get the Ka part eventually. 
Its been a year since I started, and in August, we'll both be onto different journeys. But I can't begin to explain how big of an impact this experience has had on me. It's been difficult, frustrating, and wonderful. Learning how to be a part of her life has been one of my biggest challenges, but I've learned more about kids, parenting, and patience than I ever thought I would. She's taught me more than she'll ever know about two year olds: how they cry about literally nothing, how they find the strangest things funny, and about how much freaking fun they can really be. 

Leaving this job is going to be extremely hard. When you're with something 20 hours a week, you bond with it. I bonded a lot with her, and I feel like she's bonded with me, too. I know I'm still going to see her, but its going to be hard not seeing her everyday.

I know she won't remember me. She won't remember all the fun we had, that time she painted all over my face, or the time she spilt an entire thing if bubble soap on herself and cried for like 20 minutes, or even today, when she jumped into my chin and busted my lip. She won't remember all the towers we built, or the books we read, or the pictures we drew. She'll look at the toy fox I gave her for Christmas one day, and won't remember where it came from. I'll fade to ghost in the back of her mind as she grows up. 
And as painful as that is, I know that I will never forget those things, or my time as her nanny for a year. 


Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Seriously, who keeps looking at my blog?


I'm not ungrateful or anything for my 11,000 views. I find it wonderful and awesome and full of gumdrop candies and sugar lump shit. I just don't get it!
Well, whatever it is, I'd like to say - Thanks, you google searchers, you.
Also: if you DO find your way here, an enjoy a post of mine, please let me know! I love seeing comments, and I'd love to hear what sort of content you guys are interested in seeing. 
So comment! Let me know what you guys enjoy and what you'd like to see more of.
I'll just be here.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Life as a curly-haired girl.

I don't think i've ever actually done a beauty blog entry on here - which, when I think about it, is kind of unusual considering how addicted to beauty products I am. But I was thinking about it, and I decided that I should do one for my fellow curly-locked warriors, out there on the battlefield between crunchy mousse and oily serums. 
You should take a note, that this is only what works for ME. All curls are not created equal, and what might make my ringlets may not make your day. All of this is just 12ish years of research done by yours truly as to what works and what is a piece of crap. 

Caring for your Curls
I have a confession for you internet: I don't wash my hair. Ever. I'm serious. I haven't for like, three years. The reason I initially stopped was from a horrible hair fiasco three years back where my bangs broke off to like, three inches. It was awful. I knew my hair couldn't handle any added stripping, so I stopped washing it entirely. After my hair grew back, though, I figured out that I didn't actually need the shampoo. After some internet research, I found out why. 
Curly hair is curly for a number of reasons, but one of the trademarks of curly hair is how dry it is. This is because when you have straight hair, sebum (the oil produced by your skin and scalp) can travel easily down a straight shaft of hair - it has more difficulty making it's way down a spiral. (Read more on that here.) To top it all off, you should know that shampoo is a detergent - it strips your hair of literally everything, including the stuff to make it soft and shiny. I find that the pressurized water from my shower head and conditioner is more than enough to remove any "grease/dirt" from my hair.

The Co wash
Many curly girls, myself included, live by the co wash: using a conditioner to wash your hair as opposed to a shampoo. Co washes (conditioner wash) aren't really a new concept, but Wen took it a little more mainstream; all those women were at least enough to convince a large group of gals to join the no poo movement. If I can be honest- I really didn't like Wen. Okay, not actually fair since I only tried the knock off version. But still. It left my hair dry and frizzy.

Up until recently, I've used a drug store conditioner as my co-wash: Neutrogenas triple deep treatment conditoner. Not actually supposed to be a co wash, but that's what I used it for. It made my hair silky, but I needed something a little more moisturizing.

Right now I'm a little hooked on Carol's Daughter products, so I'm using their moisturizing black vanilla conditioner instead. It doesn't weigh my hair down at all, and I don't notice any excess dryness until the next morning. And it doesn't hurt that it smells like a carton of Bryers ice cream. There are a lot of co washes out there which are actually marketed as co washes, but like I said - I used a drug store conditioner for a long time as my co wash. When you're shopping for a co wash, you'll want to avoid sulfates and silicones. Many co washers recommend you use a sulfate free shampoo at your roots every now and again, but its really all about your hair type.

Drying your curls
I know this may sound stupid, but hear me out: that towel you're using yo dry your body? Yeah, that one over there- stop using that to dry your hair.
The typical terry cloth towel is way too rough on your hair's cuticle: the shingle like structures that go down the length of your hair. Upsetting and fraying your cuticle causes frizz. Instead, go buy some microfiber cloths. They're way more absorbant and they're way gentler on your curls. You can buy microfiber towels specifically for hair, or you could just go buy some from an autobody shop.
When you use the microfiber towel, don't ring your hair or rub it up and down. Huge no no. Instead, pat and scrunch it dry.

Styling your curls
(This is for sure the part where preferences will split off. But this is just my everyday styling routine, and results may vary.)
So when I style my hair, there are a few key elements that I'm looking for: volume, curl definition, and minimizing frizz.


For volume, I go for the bodifying booster from Hairtrition. I was so shocked at how big my hair got when I first starting using this stuff. I spray at the roots, trying to go all over but especially focusing on my lower layers, then I blow dry upside down (after adding my curl defining product). When uaing this stuff, I have to be sure not to spray too much, as it will result in my hair lookong oily. Another volumr product I've used is the Organix brand sea salt spray. I find this stuff better for when you're trying to sort of refresh your curl's volume after you'vr been out all day.


So for curl definition, I have not found a better product that the hair pudding from Carol's Daughter. I got a sample from Ulta and fell deeply in love. I use a reeaaally tiny amount every day (about a quarter) rub it all over my palms, and scrunch it evenly into my hair while its still wet. When it dries, my curls are soft, touchable, and non greasy. The price is pretty steep for this stuff: the jar costs $22. But I figure it'll last me at least three months given how little I use.

So far, the hair milk takes pretty good care of my frizz problem; but its also winter, meaning that by summer, frizz will be back with a vengeance. So, how to combat it? Oil.
Frizz is caused by a damaged, over dryer cuticle. So the best thing to do is put some oil into the mix. If I'm in a pinch, my go to is a smoothing serum. There are lots of these out there, and honestly, I've found that most of them are the same. But when you look for one, make sure it doesn't contain alcohols or silicones. And bear in mind that a little goes a LONG way, and adding too much will make your hair super greasy.

The Dreaded Hair Cut
After my last hair dresser made my hair a purple maroon color when I wanted a natural copper, I've been a little too afraid to try another. But getting a bad dye job is not the only struggle facing a curly girl with split ends. Elizabeth from Delightfully Tacky really said it best: some hair dressers just don't get curly hair.
I've been trying to grow mine out - that mixed with my fear and my impeccable cheapness is preventing me from going to a hair salon. I trim my own hair, and had my room mate help me to put a couple layers in it the other week. When it comes to fluffy, curly hair, layers are pretty much something you need; without them, you end up with triangle head. If you're curly, you know exactly what I'm talking about. So when you go for a cut, make sure it's with a qualified stylist who actually understands how your hair works.

I hope you enjoy this extensive rant on hair care! I would love to hear any other comments or reccomendations from you guys, so, leave them below!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

DIY Constellation Phone Case

I just got a new Droid Maxx, after sending my POS Nokia windows phone to the graveyard (aka my nightstand drawer). My Nokias screen actually cracked to pieces on its first accidental drop, so I was determined to not let that happen again. 
Enter: The Cyclops by Trident.
I read some great stuff on the internet about how durable Trident cases were, so I decided I would shell out the $35 to get one. 
But you guys know me.
If I'm going to have a super bulky case on my pretty slim phone, its going to need to be cute.
Trident had colored options, but I went for the all black so I could make a constellation pattern :)

This was actually really easy! All you need is a fine point oil based white sharpie. You can find them at probably any crafters store. I just pulled up a constellation map and started drawing. This diy was a quick one, only about half an hour. 

Happy crafting!