Ipsy vs Birchbox

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Which subscription is better?

This was the question I wanted answered to about a year ago when I heard about these crazy beauty subscriptions. Which one is better? Which one gives you more bang for your buck? Well, I am now a subscriber of both Birchbox and Ipsy and have been for nearly a year. Which is better you ask, well I’ll let you decide. This is a review of this month’s (July’s) goodies. I’ll give you a detailed listing of what came in both subscriptions this month and how much each product retails for.


For those of you that have no clue what I am talking about, Birchbox and Ipsy are monthly beauty subscriptions. When you sign up for the subscription, you take a brief survey about your beauty needs and routines. Based on your survey results, they will put together a monthly bag (or box) of goodies and send them to your door each month. Normally you receive 5 products and occasionally some of them are full size products. I really enjoy having these subscriptions because I always discover new products that I love. I’ve customized my Ipsy bag to mainly contain makeup products, with an occasional surprise here and there. I’ve customized my Birchbox to cater to my hair and skin care needs with an occasional makeup product. I feel like both Birchbox and Ipsy do a great job at sending me what I want. Here is what they sent this month:

Birchbox:

Sea Salt Spray by Daviness

FullSizeRenderI haven’t tried it yet because I just got my box today but I’ll definitely let you know how I like it. It smells terrific, though! It’s funny because I have been on the hunt for a new sea salt spray. I’ve been using Beach Beauty sea salt by Sedu for the past 2 years and I love it but I would like to find something new. Hopefully this will be it! This bottle retails for $28.

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8 Apps You Need on Your Phone

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Who doesn’t love a good app. I love discovering new apps that make life a little easier. These days there is an app for anything (“There’s an app for that!”) so why not take advantage. I compiled a list of a few of favorite apps and some really helpful websites that I love. The best part about this list? All but one of these are FREE.

Food.com Food App

(This website is also available as an app.) This is BY FAR my most used food app. When you first create an account, you can add all of the ingredients that you already have in your kitchen. Using that information, it will populate recipes that you can make just based on what you already have. Is that not the coolest thing!? There are also thousands of recipes available. You can search by category which is what I usually do. (My husband loves chicken so I normally browse chicken related categories.) They have recipes for everything: main entrees, side dishes, desserts, drinks, low calorie meals, etc.

Here is how I use this app to make my life a little easier: Over the weekend, I browse through recipes and find 2-3 new dinner options for the week. I select those recipes and click “add to grocery list.” It will then add all of the ingredients for those recipes onto a Continue reading

Makeup on a Budget

MAKEUP ONMakeup is a big weakness of mine. When I walk down the cosmetic aisles of a store, I begin filling my basket like it’s nobody’s business. I just can’t help myself sometimes. My poor husband has spent countless hours following me around Ulta while I test just about every sample in the store. I’m assuming that we all share this weakness, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this post. Makeup is fun! It makes us happy! So why not treat yourself a little every once in a while.

I also don’t discriminate when it comes to makeup. I like high-end brands and I like cheap brands. I like shopping at Sephora and the makeup counters at Dillard’s but I also love make up from Walmart, Walgreens and even the Dollar Store. (Yes, the Dollar Store!) Which leads me to the topic of this post: Drugstore Makeup! Let’s face it…. Not all of us have extra cash to spend on expensive up-scale makeup. And we don’t have to! Drugstore makeup has come a long way and the makeup selection that they have now is even better! Am I the only one that is blown away by the Walgreen’s makeup selection? While it’s nice to treat ourselves every once in a while to a high-end product, it’s not always necessary when there are so many cheaper options out there that are just as great of quality. I’ve pulled out some of my favorite drugstore makeup from my collection to share with you. There are so many great and cheap products out there, but these babies definitely take the cake.  Continue reading

My Top 5 Fruit Infused Water Recipes

5 Fruit Infused Water Recipes

It’s that time of year again! It’s time to ease up on all those hot drinks and bring out your freshest fruit. Last year I jumped on the fruit infused water band-wagon and quickly became obsessed with it. What an easy way to get those 8 glasses of water in each day! Last spring I spend quite a bit of time experimenting with different flavors and mixtures. I found a lot of great recipes on Pinterest and came up with some of my own too. I thought I’d share my top 5 favorite recipes with you.

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If you’ve never made your own fruit infused water, it’s easy! All you need is a pitcher (or you can use large mason jars like the cool kids do), fresh fruit, and water. Combine your sliced fruit and water in your pitcher, put the lid on, and then put it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. (I usually let mine infuse overnight.) Side-note: The smaller the container, the more kick you will get from your fruit. I like to use a large pitcher which makes the fruit taste a little less pungent.)

Enjoy! berry lime

  1. Lemon, strawberries, and 1 basil leaf
  2. Blueberries and lime
  3. Lemon and lime. (I prefer mine with just 1 lemon slice and 1 full lime sliced.)
  4. Berries and basil (You can choose any kind of berry you want! I like to mix raspberries and blueberries for this one.)
  5. Orange and kiwi
  6. Strawberry and kiwi (Sometimes during the summer I like to add a little watermelon too)

I hope you enjoy these recipes. There are a ton of different mixtures out there! Let me know which ones you like! Happy Spring!

How to be a Proverbs 31 Woman

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Have you ever met a woman that just seems to have it all together? She has a happy marriage, she is a wonderful wife, she has a successful career, her kids are well behaved, she does volunteer work in the community, she cooks dinner every night, her home is spotless, and she looks her best every day. tea-party-1001654_1280Maybe you might know one of those women-maybe you work with her or she’s a friend of the family or you know her from church. She’s the one that asks you how your day is and genuinely seems to care. She has a glow about her. She beams with joy each and every day. When she smiles you want to smile. She’s captivating. The women that I have met that resemble this persona all have one thing in common. They all remind me of a woman that I have read about time and time again. They are all the same woman in fact: the Proverbs 31 woman.

Being a Proverbs 31 woman has been an aspiration of mine since I got married. I’ve actually always wanted to be a Proverbs 31 woman but now that I have “wife” under my title, it seems that aligning my marriage and my spirit with this chapter is even more desired. So a little over a year ago, after the honeymoon was over (literally after the honeymoon was over…. not the pun), I sat down with my Bible and flipped it open to Proverbs 31. I skimmed over it and then quickly began to copy verses 10-31 down in my journal. FullSizeRender.jpg “Here we go…. Proverbs 31 woman. Yep! Here we go.” After writing them down, I began to thoroughly read these verses and then tried to think of ways that I could align my life with them. I mean, surely I already do some of these thing, right? The more I read the more I started to feel a bit overwhelmed. “Wow, that’s a lot of stuff God,” I kept thinking to myself. “How am supposed to do all of this?” Well, after a ton of reading and continuous prayer on each verse, I’ve found that the Proverbs 31 woman possesses certain virtues in her life. By living her life according to these virtues in Christ, the spirit of the Proverbs 31 woman is born. By relentlessly living her life for Jesus, the rest of her life fell into place perfectly.

Seek God’s kingdom and all the other things you need will be given to you.” Luke 12:31

I really enjoy reading Proverbs 31 in the Message Bible. That’s my “Bible study go-to” anytime I need a little translation or need to find some relation in the content. Below are some of my favorite verses in chapter 31:

  • “A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.
  • Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has a reason to regret it.
  • Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.
  • She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.
  • She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.
  • First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
  • She senses the worth of work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
  • She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.
  • Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
  • When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.
  • Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.”3

While I am still learning and praying about this Proverbs 31 woman that I admire so much, I have found that the goal isn’t as far away as I had first thought. I have realized that each virtue of this woman is a result of one common factor: her love for Jesus. She wants to live her life glorifying God in everything she does. She wants to please God in every aspect of her life so she makes Godly choices throughout her day.

If you want to be a Proverbs 31 woman but feel a little intimidated, just know that it all stems from one component: loving your Savior. Oh, you already do that? Well look! You’re already becoming her! God has been showing me more and more that just by trying to please him in our actions, we are already becoming this woman that we yearn to be. Yeah, maybe she’s a bit more diligent than we are, but we’re on the right path. 2

Yeah, I’m sure this woman has bad days and I’m sure she cries. Luke 6 says, “You’re blessed when your tears flow freely. Joy comes in the morning!” These days don’t keep her from loving God. They probably bring her even closer to Him.

There are so many other things we can work on, study, and pray about when it comes to our relationship with Christ. So many pieces of ourselves that need to be chipped away so that we can be that image of Christ. Sometimes it may seem like the characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman are so far from our reach and that we will have to discipline ourselves to commit to them each day. It’s okay to feel that way. Our hearts are already starting off in the right place because we love Jesus. I’m not worried because I know that God while walk with me through this journey. He will shape me. He will chip away pieces of me that are not a resemblance of Him. With His help, I know I can live like this woman that I’ve wanted to be for so long. And you can too! I mean, we do have a pretty remarkable leader. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and we get to spend as much time as we want with Him! That’s truly amazing if you think about it. The creator of all things- yeah, I talk to Him every day. He loves me. I mean, that’s enough reason in itself for me to want to live a Proverbs 31 life.

 

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The Beatitudes | Salt and Light

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Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5: 1-16

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There is something quite enchanting about these verses. Something to ponder, something to grow, something to love. I love how Jesus speaks to me and tells me He loves me when I need it most. He truly is a God of love. During these weeks when Spring begins to set in, I am reminded even more of His love for us. He makes such beautiful things and brings us flowers every spring.

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Books on my nightstand. What I’m reading now.

I’m definitely not a person that reads one book at a time. I have different types of reading for different moods. I love seeing what other people are reading so I thou…

Source: Books on my nightstand. What I’m reading now.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Makeup

21 Beauty Hacks

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Let’s just take a moment to be thankful for the power and magic of makeup. Ha! As shallow as that may sound I sure am happy that I can whip out my concealer anytime I have a blemish I want to hide or dark circles under my eyes! I think I can speak for most of us when I say that sometimes makeup can be a little difficult to master. Well, I’m no expert but I have been obsessed with makeup since I was a little girl and I’ve picked up some great tricks and beauty hacks over the years. I thought I’d share them with you in hopes that some of these tips will make your makeup application a little easier.

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17 Easy DIY Ideas for Spring

SPIRITED

Now that spring is quickly approaching, I have been inspired to add some fresh and crafty accents in my home. Check out these fantastic weekend projects that won’t hurt your budget!

1.Floral Arrangements with a Twist!

flower letter 2
themrsandmommabird.blogspot.it

Super cute idea! You could customize the frame shape and color and even the type of flowers you use.

I think this would be a really great wedding present as well. For all you bridesmaids out there, take note! You know the bride is excited about her new name and this is a beautiful way to personalize your gift!

Click here for the tutorial!

 

 

 

 

flower letter 1
themrsandmommabird.blogspot.it

2.Umbrella Wreath

umbrella flowers

 

DIY wreaths are all the rage right now. I don’t think I’ve come across one that is this cute, though! Reminds me of a spring time Mary Poppins!

I would probably keep this gem up into the summer months as well and just change out the flowers every few weeks to freshen the look up.

Click here for the tutorial!

 

 

 

 

 

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How I lost 20 pounds in 2 months without exercising.

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I am not good at counting calories or counting grams of fat. I can’t keep up with the calculations of calories per portion and when I try, it drive me nuts. A couple years ago, I was searching for a miracle diet that would help me lose about 15 pounds over the summer. I had tried and failed every diet or weight loss program that I came across- not because they don’t work, but because I couldn’t complete them successfully. I knew that I needed to find something easy that didn’t require portion control, counting calories, and….. exercise.  I needed to find something that I could completely cut out of my diet so that I didn’t have to keep up with anything extra. Something like a ‘just don’t eat this and that’s it’ type of diet. A few months prior, I had just finished a year of vegetarianism and it actually wasn’t too hard for me. (I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could be a vegetarian for 1 year. Not for any particular reason, just to see if I could do it.) It was simple, I just didn’t eat meat and that was it. I wanted a diet similar to this for the simplicity.

Well, I found something that worked for me. I refer to it as my ‘secret weapon diet’ because it works fast, is pretty simple, and I can do it anytime I need to shed a few pounds quickly. Short disclaimer- this is not necessarily a diet that will leave you with long lasting results because it’s probably not something you will want to commit to for the rest of your life. If you are looking for a diet that is actually more of a lifestyle change that you will continue to do for a long time, this probably isn’t what you’re looking. However, if you are like I was and desperate to lose a few pounds in a short amount of time, whether it be for an upcoming event or just to lose that extra weight you gained over the holidays then keep reading.

I am about to share with you how I lost 20 pounds in 2 months without any exercise.

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