September 14, 2014

September Birchbox + First Impressions

It's that time of the month again!  Birchbox time!  This month's box was geared towards the beautiful change from summer to fall which I am loving right now as the breeze blows in through my open windows...you already knew that though if you follow me on Instagram where I just posted this picture of sweet Charley playing guard dog. :)

If you aren't following on me on Instagram, head on over {HERE}...I post all sorts of stuff and a lot of times it's when I'm out and about and find beautiful pieces I want to share with YOU!
So back to the Birchbox!  Here's what came in my monthly subscription box:

  • Acure Organics Day Cream
  • Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah body wash
  • Macadamia Professional Healing Oil Spray
  • Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel
  • TEMPTU S/B Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer
  • Bonus: ChapStick Hydration Lock 2n1 stick
My first impressions:

  • Acure Organics Day Cream: It smells fabulous!  It's very citrus-y and reminds me a lot of Origins Ginzeng Face Cream.  It's pretty light and moisturizing for a first use.
  • Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah body wash: I got this a few month's back in a body lotion and LOVED it and when I saw the body was was in this box I got super excited...then I realized over half of it had leaked in the box...major bummer!  The smell is fabulous!
  • Macadamia Professional Healing Oil Spray: I use the conditioning mask religiously and have tried a sample of the oil before so I'm super excited about trying multiple uses of it now.  It's light and smells delicious!
  • Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel: I have not had a chance to try this yet but I am excited!  I'm all about facials and peels for super rejuvenation!
  • TEMPTU S/B Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer: This is a beautiful bronze shimmery liquid highlighter.  It comes out a little dark but once blended in looks stunning!
  • Bonus product: I may have found my new favorite ChapStick!  It goes on like butter and my lips still feel fully moisturized after 30 minutes (and still going)!
Overall grade of this month's box:
A+

I really love getting this box every month and I'd love to know what your favorite subscription box is...leave it in the comments below!

I hope you enjoyed a tour through this month's Birchbox, and as always, thanks for stopping by!
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Master Bedroom Part 1: The Paint

While most people focus on getting their master bedroom done first, it's always the last thing we do.  It's a combination of it being the room that gets the least amount of visitors and poor decision making between Adam and I.  I talk a little more about our master bedroom problems in {this} post where I showed you the duvet cover we FINALLY picked.

Today, I want to share with you the most recent update and that we finally got our bedroom painted!
The paint we chose is the same we used in the wet bar.  It's Sherwin Williams Pavestone and it's a beautiful warm grey.  It blends perfectly with the creamy whites, black and greys throughout the rest of our house.  It also looks great with the super dark stained wood of our nightstands and bedframe.
As you can tell, we still have A LOT of outdated outlets to replace, but hopefully that'll be something we're able to tackle soon...because I really HATE yellowed outlets and plate covers...and half of them don't work...

(PS I apologize for the sub-par pictures...I'm still learning how to use my new umbrella lights.)
I'm loving this color and so far EVERYTHING in our master looks great with it!  As I was writing this, we finally made a decision on our bed too and I can't wait to get that project done!  Let's just say it involves a minimal makeover and cowhide!

I hope you enjoyed this quick DIY update, and as always, thanks for stopping by!
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September 5, 2014

How I Created a Custom Watermark Using PicMonkey

Today's post is another for those beginning bloggers out there.  I want to share the easy steps I took to create my custom watermark for all my photos and how I add it to every one of my blog photos.  You may be wondering why you'd want to create a watermark when you can just type it in during the editing process.  I'm here to tell you that creating one, saving it to your computer and just simply adding it to the image is WAY easier and looks so much better!
When I first started blogging, I never put our blog name on our photos.  At the time, I was just trying to get the hang of even editing photos that adding a watermark was not on the top of my to do list.  In case you don't know, a watermark is the faded name of the photographer or company/brand on a photograph...in my case it says "ABC's of Life".  Watermarks can be big or small, semi faded or almost white, in the middle or on the top of the photo.  It really just depends on your personal preference.

For me, I want to make sure I'm getting our brand out there so a watermark is not just about protecting the copyrights of my picture but also a way for people to see our blog name.  So I created one that's semi-dark and usually put it somewhere in a lighter spot of the picture.

Here are the steps of how I created my custom watermark using PicMonkey.

1. Open up PicMonkey and click on "Design"
2. When the empty image opens it will be a white square and should automatically open to the "Canvas Color" selection.  Click the box for "Transparent canvas" (which will make you white square image look like a grey checked image).  Click "Apply".
3. Click the "Resize" selection and resize the image.  Ours is set to 400x200 (this will look like a horizontal rectangle) because our watermark is one line of words.  If you are creating your watermark to have multiple lines or possibly an image you can play around with that number to get the right shape and size.  The main thing to note here is that it doesn't need to be the automatic 2000x2000 which is way too large for a watermark AND that you want to resize the image BEFORE you add text because it will change the shape of your text. PS Uncheck "Keep Proportions" if you don't want a perfect square.  Click "Apply".
4. Click the "Tt" to add text.  Get creative here and find the right text that matches your brand or look.  You can also upload your own font if you have one saved that you love.  Once you've found your font, click "Add text".
5. Drag out the text box to cover the entire checked/transparent image and type you blog's name or brand into the text box.
6. Change the font position (left, center, right), color (remember it will be faded) and fade amount.  Our fade is set to about 32%.  You can also add an image (from PicMonkey or upload your own) by clicking the butterfly icon if you'd like.
7. Click "Save".
8. Change the title of your image to something you'll remember like "watermark" and set the image type to png.  Click "Save" to save to your computer or external hard drive.
Now you have created your watermark!  When you are ready to add your watermark to your photo, here's how in PicMonkey.

1. Open PicMonkey and click "Edit".
2. Open the image you want to add your watermark too.
3. Once the image is opened in PicMonkey (and edited if you need to edit it), click the butterfly icon on the left.
4. Click "Your Own" at the top of the icon list.  This will open up a box for your computer.  Open your watermark that you previously saved by double clicking it (or click once and click open).  TIP!!  I save a original watermark image in my template folder and the copy the image to the folder that holds the images I'm editing so I don't have to go back and forth between folders to find it.  This saves time when editing multiple pictures at once.
5. Once your watermark has been added to your picture, position and resize it so it fits with the picture.  Here you can also fade the watermark even more if it's too dark for that particular image.  (This is why I only fade my original watermark to 32% so it's not too light on certain pictures.)

Now you have added your custom watermark to your images!

I hope you enjoyed this beginning blogging adventure, and as always, thanks for stopping by!
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September 3, 2014

Guest Bath Reno Days 6-8: Paint It All!

I want to apologize it has taken me so long to get this post up as I didn't realize how long all the grout on the floor would need to sit before I made my way back in there to paint and finish some of the final touches.  But nonetheless, here we are at the last days of the actual renovation before the final reveal!!!

Here's what's happened since the last post:

Used my favorite handy spackle with spackle knife lid to fill any holes and go over all the nails in the baseboards and trim once more to make sure they will not be noticed once painted.
Taped up clear plastic sheeting over the tile to protect the grout.  This actually took forever because in some spots my arms just weren't quite long enough and I was balancing on my toes but it definitely protected from the paint.
Painted the walls and ceiling with Sherwin Williams Snowbound.  Same paint we used {here} in the playroom.
Got the vanity cleaned up and hung {these} shelves from Target...that I love for the bathroom!
Painted the inside of the sunken cabinet with Sherwin Williams North Star that was left over from the paint in Bailey's room {here}.
I also painted the trim with the same color as the walls and ceiling so it all flows together and just appears even brighter and bigger.
 Got the door and casing painted but need to replace the handle still...it's beyond repair of some spray paint.
 My dad was so generous to also replace the light switch with one easy for Bailey to turn on and off and...
 ...change out the GFCI outlet for us so now everything really is new!
Well, up next will be the final reveal and I can't wait to show you!  If you aren't following me on Instragram head on over there NOW because I have been posting some amazing sneak peeks of the decor going in and I'm loving it all!

I hope you enjoyed this renovation journey, and as always, thanks for stopping by!
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