Thursday, December 12, 2013

Batiste Dry Shampoo {Product Review + Giveaway}

When I posted my birthday haul blog post about a month ago, I received an over-whelming response from y'all to do a review for the Batiste Dry Shampoo. 

I have used the product for about two weeks now and have really been loving it! Now, I will say that so far I have only used the Clean and Classic Original. I have not tried the one with a hint of color for blondes. That being said, I figured I would do a small review on why I wanted to try a dry shampoo, how I use it, and then do a list of PROs and CONs.

Why Dry Shampoo?: I have naturally curly hair. It is thick, getting longer, and just overall at times annoying. I prefer, when I'm heading out and about, to blow dry and straighten my hair. The whole process, for me, can take up to an hour without rushing through it. With the process taking forever, I find it really hard to motivate myself everyday to style my hair, especially when I'm busy for the day and just need to get a move on. The dry shampoo can help with this.

How I Use Dry Shampoo?: So in the morning of the following day that I had styled my hair, I still need a shower (in order to wake up and start my day). I put my hair in a bun and place a shower cap over my hair. I go about my normal shower routine except for washing my hair. After I am out of the shower I can then focus on my hair. I take the Batiste Dry Shampoo and following the instructions, spray in the necessary amount. I lift my hair at the front, crown, and a bit on the sides and spray. I then massage the product into my hair and it IMMEDIATELY eliminates any dirt or greasy feeling within the hair. I then touch up my styling.
 
 Batiste PROs:
Easy to use.
Great for travel.
Priced fair.
Elimanates any dirt or grease from hair.
Works on curly hair.
Doesn't effect other products for styling.
Can use effectively up to day 3 hair (I didn't go any longer).
A little goes a long way.
Scent is fresh and clean, but not over powering.
Cap stays on nicely (a must have then traveling).
Does not leave any residue when applied correctly.

Batiste CONs:
If you spray too close to scalp a white patch can occur, however it goes away after massaging out.
If used too many days in a row, product won't work as well.
Can get white residue on dark clothing if you don't wash hands after massaging in your head.


 Why I Chose Batiste?: I had read some reviews and heard a lot about this dry shampoo and that is why I decided to give it a try. There are several other dry shampoos on the market and they range from drugstore brands, which are a bit less expensive, and there are higher end brands that cost more than the Batiste. If you are looking for a good middle of the road dry shampoo to start with, I would highly recommend Batiste.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away TWO FULL Sized Batiste in the Clean and Classic Original Scent.
 
Giveaway Rules:
 Giveaway runs until Friday, December 20, 2013 and is for the United States ONLY. There will be TWO winners! Giveaway is hosted with Rafflecopter and is really easy to use. Just follow the steps below. The more entries you make, the more chances to win. You must have parental permission if you are under the age of 18.
The winners will be announced on the giveaway widget and will be contacted.The winners must reply (as directed in post) within 48 hours or I will pick someone else...
Good luck!

How to Enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Cheers!
Disclaimer: This giveaway and review is not sponsored nor was there any compensation received for this product rave post. All prizes were purchased by me. All thoughts and opinions on this product are my own.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

SNOW in NY!

Hey y'all!
For those of you who don't know I have been in New York for the past few days, and will be here until the beginning of next week.

Such a great time to get to visit family and spend time with friends during the holiday season!

I didn't get a chance to post my regular blog post yesterday, so I figured I would go ahead and send you some snow! My post scheduled for yesterday will be up tomorrow!

Cheers!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

House Projects {Outdoor Bleach?}

Have you heard of outdoor bleach before? I certainly had not, until I came across a bottle in Publix the other day.
My husband and I have been looking for something to use on the outside of our newly purchased home, that would take the green colored splash off the front of our house. It looked horrible as we would round the corner to come home. When I was shopping for bleach (for cleaning, laundry, etc.), I came across this outdoor bleach. Never heard of this before so we picked it up. Come to find out it has been around for awhile so I felt a silent awkwardness as I looked it up on the computer. Especially since I raved about it all the way home. Probably even more of a slight embarrassment really...

All this aside, it worked it's little miracle on the front of our home and we are going to use even more for our fence. It has instructions on the back that tells you how much to dilute it for the material you are going to be washing.

Here are some pictures to prove it!

Such a great difference! And before I get a million questions about it...yes those are colored rocks. No, we did not put them there. Yes, they will be going away once our new landscaping is finished.

What sorts of products work wonders for you?

Cheers!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

House Projects {Painting Outside Lamps}

The home projects have already begun. I am trying to do my part of the outside projects and recently I took on our outside lighting situation.
We decided that we liked the shape and type of lights that these were; but they really needed some love!
Let me show ya what I did...
1. I started by cleaning the lights. I just took a mildly damp rag and wiped off any dirt and spider webs from these old things.

2. I then sanded the rough, rusty spots down with sand paper and a Dremel tool. Provided by my husband ;)

3. I cleaned off the lamp again. This time it was to make sure all the dust created by the Dremel was cleared off.

4. I used painters tape to tape all the windows. To make such an awkward taping job easier, I just used an X-acto knife to cut the tape to size while on the window.


Here are some more pictures! This was a such a fun little project.

Glad we decided to re-purpose these outdoor lights! Saved some money and they look good as new. Now I just have to keep up with the glass cleaning!

Cheers!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

How I Stay Organized {5 Tips for Seasonal Decor}

It is getting to be that time of the year. I am starting to think about pulling out my Christmas/Winter decorations and putting my Fall decor away.
 I don't have too many decorations to store, but I do have a few tips and pointers for y'all in order to keep your seasonal items organized.

1. Storage-  The biggest problem with our seasonal decorations is that we only use them one time a year for a short period of time. It is best to store your items in a low traffic area that doesn't affect the functionality and storage space of frequently utilized items. Additionally, when thinking about choosing a storage location for your items, choose a location that is safe and problem free. For example, I live in Florida and I don't have a basement. The garage would be my next guess, but as it's humid here 98% of the year I would rather store my seasonal decor in my larger guest bedroom closet.

2. Group Decorations- How many seasons or holidays do you decorate for? How much decor do you have? These are questions to ask yourself as you are deciding how to group your decorations together. I prefer using bins to separate my seasonal decor, rather than boxes. I use bins for each season and/or holiday I decorate for. Since Christmas is the holiday I have the most decorations for, I have two bins. I have a few items for fall that are separate from Halloween, but I can't justify a fall bin just yet; therefore I use Ziploc bags and small bins to store my fall items and just include them in the larger bin.

3. Label Your Bins- Label your bins. It is easy to pull out your Christmas decorations if you know that is the bin with the Christmas items. I even like to take it a step further if I have multiple bins. I take a Post-it note and write down what is in the bin. I stick it on the inside of the lid. That way, when I open a bin I don't have to dig through the bin to find out what is included. I just glance at the Post-it and know what I have in that particular bin.

4. Purge Items- Did you not use an item this season? Or did you buy some new items to replace older decorations? Make sure you are mindful of your storage space. If you don't have the space to keep all your new and older decorations, take the time to go through your decor items and purge what you don't use in your decorating scheme.

5. Putting Decorations Away- If you start decorating in a certain room each time the season rolls around, then you might try putting your decorations away in that reversed order. This way the room you always want to start in is on top. Same goes for the storage of the bins. When you put your Christmas bins away for the season, don't just set them on top of your spring decor. You would then have to move all your Christmas bins just to get to the other seasons/holidays. Make sure you are rotating your bins each time you pick up your decorations and put them away.

Happy Decorating!

Cheers!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Moving: A Fresh Start

You know...there is something about moving. After all the stress of packing, hiring movers, moving,changing addresses, updating family and friends, there is something peaceful about it. It's like a fresh start.
Now the fresh start feeling doesn't come right away. Nope. When I was sitting in my house with boxes piled to the ceiling I just felt overwhelmed and stressed. I never thought it would get finished. But somewhere in the middle of the unpacking I started to feel a joy. Yes, it could be because the excitement of owning our first home was starting to actually take shape, but it was something different for me.
A fresh start.
The idea of a blank canvas and a new layout to play with. I wasn't confined to the same setup as in the condo and it felt awesome to design our new rooms. The fun, new organization that was taking place with the new space meant different functionality and ideas.
To me, it was interesting to experience the wave of emotions after a physical and emotional move, and the only way I can really sum it up is the feeling of a fresh start.
Something new.

As we start to settle into our new home and tackle some house projects I can only feel a bit anxious as a first time homeowner. Will we do it right? Will we make it worse?
I'm grateful to have such a smart, hard working husband who knows way more than I do about any of this; that helps.
But when I start to get worried I try to correct myself. I repeat...
It's a fresh start.
A new adventure.

Cheers!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Birthday Haul!

Ahhhhh! What a whirlwind this past week has been! I didn't get a chance to blog on Tuesday as per my usual schedule due to moving and having a million and one things going on.
Butttttt.... I'm back with a fun post :)

I was able to do some birthday shopping yesterday at Ulta and Home Goods, and I thought I would share my purchases from Ulta. I will be doing a living room tour when the house is all situated and that will include the items from Home Goods.

I purchased the Original in Clean and Classic and the Hint of Color for Blondes. I haven't tried a dry shampoo before and I decided to pick one up because it takes me so long to style (straighten) my hair. By the time my second day hair rolls around it isn't super dirty but I still want my hair to feel clean without having to wash my hair for the day and redo all my styling

I had my eye on this Tarte Gorgeous Getaways Portable Palette since I received the Ulta catalog in the mail.
I apologize for the poor quality in these photos. My lighting wasn't ideal. I picked this up because the deal was AMAZING! The palette includes 16 new full sized Amazonian clay eyeshadows, 4 new full size Amazonian clay 12 hour-blushes (which is the reason I bought it), and then 3 new full full size maracuja lip-glosses. It also includes the portable palette compact so you can pick out what you want to take with you.
I love Tarte blushes, so the blushes themselves were an amazing deal. I can't wait to play with this palette.

This little baby I wanted to try for before I blow dry my hair. I had read good reviews about this new Living Proof line and this product in particular.

Looking forward to trying my new products! Let me know if you want a review on any of the above products and I will do one after I try it out for a bit.

Cheers!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How I Stay Organized {Gift Giving Holiday Checklist}

Ahhhhhh... it is that time! The time when I start to think Christmas! Truth be told I have been working on Christmas for awhile now; but, nonetheless I have really pressed the play button on getting my Holiday Gift Giving Checklist up and running.

Now I have to mention this, I did not create this particular checklist. I have created my own in the past, but early this year I stumbled across a Professional Organizer (like myself) named Alejandra and she just had a great checklist in my opinion. I will point out what really made me switch when I go through it all.

I will have links to her video and where to download a copy of this at the end of the post.
Now I changed the colors because I'm all about brighter fun colors!

Lets take you through this!
1. Family/Friend: This is self explanatory. List everyone in your family (and your spouse's family, if married). This includes everyone that you will give a gift, card, or stocking to.

2. Card Dates: This is the main reason why I decided to go with Alejandra's checklist. I love the idea of this card process. The card dates listed are December 1st through the 9th. The way this is set up, it allows you to write out Christmas cards a little bit each day. I hate when I have to do so much writing in one sitting. Breaking it up by day allows you to do a bit everyday until December 9th, which is a perfect time to finally send out all your Christmas cards :)

3. Gift or Stocking? Or Both?: These two columns are just for me to check off if I have purchased the gift item and/or the stocking items. You will notice the blacked out cells which just mean the particular person is not receiving a gift and/or stocking stuffers.

4. Grey Area: This is just a personal section that I wanted to explain because it is different from the blacked out cells. The grey area is where I write the different stocking stuffer ideas I have. I made it grey so I know they aren't really gift items. Trust me...this girl has got to distinguish between the two!

5.Deadline for Gift: This is helpful when you need to set a timeline to be finished Christmas shopping. You will notice I have two pretty different dates. I am celebrating Christmas earlier this year with my family, so my deadline to have their gifts purchased is December 11th. However, my husband's family's gifts can be purchased all the way up to December 23rd if need be. I don't like to wait that long though...

6. Budget: I like this column because you can set limits on your Christmas shopping. It is helpful to keep track of how much you want to spend on each person, but also it is perfect for those Christmas exchanges. For example, my dad's side of the family does a small gift exchange. We draw names out of a hat and we each have one person to buy for rather than buying for everyone (budget friendly). There is also a limit, or budget, to how much the gift can cost. That is perfect for me to write in the budget category because I usually have a harder time sticking to a budget. One thing I am going to change for next year is inserting a column for money actually spent. It will be nice to know if I go over budget on a gift and how much I was over.

7. Thank You Cards: I typically don't send out Christmas 'Thank Yous'. Mainly because I'm with my family and I thank them for any gifts at that time. However, some families are split for Christmas or you may get a gift sent in the mail. A Thank You card would be nice to send upon those occasions.


Happy Holiday Prep!

Cheers!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How I Stay Organized {Packing to Move:Disheveled}

As an organizer, it is painful to see my condo slowly come to it's demise. Box after box seems to be piling up and it is only a few more days before I lose my mind.
I have discovered a few tips to help keep order when order seems lost.

1. Re-arrange: In order for me to keep our packed moving boxes in a easy, central location to get to; I just went ahead and moved my couch. Rearranging at moving time might seem weird, but you don't want to start piling boxes in a corner that will take a maze like path to get to when trying to load a moving truck.

2. Location of Boxes:
Are you moving all at once? Or a bit at a time? This matters. If you are moving in several trips the location of your boxes is everything. Make sure you have your most needed essential items ready to go for the first day of moving. Then leave some items you can live without for a few days behind for your other trips.

3. Find a Happy Balance:
Between what you ask? Between packing and doing other house chores as you go. I get burnt out if I try packing for 8 hours straight. I just can't do it. So in between I take small breaks to get my cleaning in, laundry, or baking some cookies :)

These are very simple tips that I'm not the first to think of, but they serve as a small reminder that there is away to keep semi-organized during a disorganized time.

Cheers!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Recipe Share: Chili Con Carne!

I love Chili! Absolutely. In. Love.
I am even more in love with the recipe that I have been using that has been passed down to me from my mom. Being in Mississippi recently, my mother in law made some chili and it got me craving my mom's chili recipe.
I decided to make some the other night and figured I would do a recipe share.

Katrina's Chili Con Carne

Ingredients:
2 lbs Hamburg
1 Small Onion, pealed and chopped
1/2 Cup Water
2 Cans Tomato Soup
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
Hot Sauce
1 1/2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Large Spoon Fulls of Brown Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1tsp Oregano
Red Pepper Flakes
2 TBS of Chili Powder
2 Kidney Beans
Olive Oil

In large pot, cover bottom with olive oil and put in onion. Cook down for 7 minutes on medium heat.
Next, put in meat with salt, pepper, oregano, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and cook until fully cooked through.
When meat is fully cooked, drain and then add 1/2 cup of water and both cans of tomato soup. Additionally, add diced tomatoes, hot sauce to taste, worcestershire sauce, and vinegar. Mix together, then add brown sugar, chili powder, and both cans of kidney beans.
Make sure you stir well and taste. Add additional spices and hot sauce to taste!

Let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Serve with cheese on top :)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Find the Right Tablet {Guest Post: Kristine Williams}

 To be honest I'm not very technical. I mean, I keep up with how to use items in the tech world, but when it comes to really figuring out which direction to go, I'm utterly useless.

My guest blogger today loves tech and has written a blog post to help people (like me) figure out their options. Here is a message from Kristine and make sure to read this post!

Guest Blogger: "Hello everyone, I'm Kristine Williams, a tech savvy mom who has a strong passion for writing, and fortunately for me, Katrina has been kind enough to let me share my writing on her great blog. So today, I'd like to share with you tips on choosing which tablet is best for you! If anyone has any questions don’t hesitate to ask; feel free to email me!"

Finding the Right Tablet for You
 
In the last year or two, tablets have really made a big splash!  They can be used for anything from streaming movies, to reading, to researching recipes, and more. They are much more convenient to travel with than a laptop and oftentimes can be just as powerful. There are a variety of different tablets on the market today and it is easy to get overwhelmed when trying to decide on the right tablet for you. Here are some points to consider when picking your perfect tablet.

Screen size and weight: Whether you are looking at a reader or a full-feature tablet, one of the first features to consider is screen size and weight. Tablet sizes generally run from seven inches to 10 inches and weigh from roughly one pound to three pounds. While these weights may not sound like a real consideration, it is important to remember that after holding a tablet for a little while, it can prove uncomfortable.

Features: Think about how you will use your new tablet. Will you use it to primarily read books? Stream movies? Just check email and look at social media sites? How you will use your new tablet will have a direct correlation to the features that are most important. For example, if you are looking to just read with your tablet, then you may want to look at either the Kindle Paperwhite or the Barnes & Noble Simple Touch Glow Light. If you want a full-featured tablet, you may want to look at either the Apple iPad or the Samsung Tab.

Operating System: Just like the Apple-PC war years ago, it is now the iOS-Android war. And just like the original operating system war, the battle lines are again clearly drawn. Those who use iPads running iOS are often already Apple users and are comfortable with the navigation and system similarities. Those who utilize Android tablets generally like the openness of the operating system not offered by Apple. The iPad is offered in a few different configurations, sizes and price points, but are all from Apple. Android tablets are offered by a wide variety of manufacturers, creating a broader market and more price competition. Add to the tablet war, the recent emergence of the Windows Surface tablet running the Windows operating system has really added an entirely different component to the mix.

Price: While we all wish price was not an object, the truth is this can be a huge factor in your decision process. Prices can vary from less than $100 for a basic reader to multiple hundreds of dollars for a full-feature tablet. By considering all the points listed above, you can begin to have an idea on the price range for a tablet to meet your needs. What is most important is to go to an electronics store where all the tablets you are considering are out and available for you to try. You could do plenty of research ahead of time, and you should, but until you hold the tablets you are considering and see how they perform, how you like the screen, how comfortable it is to hold, you will not be 100 percent sure. When I was deciding on my tablet, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted – until I went to the store and saw all of them in person. Then my number three choice became my top choice and ultimately my purchase.

No matter what tablet you decide to purchase, make sure you get coverage for your tablet that will protect your investment. As you look at all the different tablet options, you will quickly discover you can wind up spending a lot of money. And if you drop it and crack the screen shortly after its purchase, you will have a constant reminder as to how fragile this piece of electronics is. Make sure you purchase tablet coverage like one of the plans offered form ProtectCELL, so you are covered not just for small issues, but if you accidentally drop your tablet in a puddle or your kids spill their juice on it while streaming a movie. Then you can be sure you will enjoy your tablet for years to come.
 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How I Stay Organized {Packing to Move Series}

We are on our way out of the condo! In about two weeks we will be closing on our first home and moving. The packing has begun, and I figured it would be nice to share how I stay organized while packing to move.

First off, we picked up some materials.
We get our boxes from U-Haul. I like the policy they have that if you don't use all the boxes, they will buy them back from you at the same price you purchased them. Joey likes to get the medium sized boxes because they are the easiest to carry without a dolly. If you go much bigger it is hard to wrap your arms around them.

We also got the wrapping paper, newsprint. This time we only got one box because previously when we moved we had too much left over that has since then disappeared.

When I pack, I like to established a color key for my boxes. I do this using different colored and sized Post-it notes.
The larger Post-its I use for the larger rooms in the home. For example, our kitchen, living room, formal dining, etc. Then the smaller Post-its I use for some of the smaller rooms.
So how this works is each Post-it note color corresponds with a room in our new house. Then on those I can write what is in the box.
I normally don't write which room the box goes in on the Post-It, this one was an exception. Typically the color of the Post-it dictates where it belongs in the new house.

I made a video to help explain some of this and it is done more in a vlog type style for those of you who are interested. It can be seen here.

More to come as we pack up to move!

Cheers!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

More Candles! {PartyLite}

Y'all know that I love me some candles! I talk about the BBW candles all the time and love to add them to my home as I decorate for the different seasons.
I was contacted by a friend from college who is now an independent consultant for PartyLite and she asked if I would like to try some of the candles they have to offer.
OF COURSE!
I love candles!
So I had this package waiting for me when I arrived home.
The first item I was sent was an "Escential Jar" scented candle in the scent Autumn Glow. This is a one wick candle and it is 8 oz. The scent is a mix of apples and pears with spices and a hint of pine. Makes for an AMAZING harvest scent. The candle is very smooth to the touch and doesn't have a waxy smell to it, like some candles can. You can really smell the scent by having it sitting on the counter; when you walk by you can catch a waft. They are listed on the website as $15.00 regular, and it looks like right now they are on sale for $11.25 ea. According to the site, they burn from 40-60 hours. I have not burnt mine all the way yet, but for the price that seems like a GREAT burn rate.
BBW 3-wick candles are advertised as burning 25-45 hours. Those are 14.5 oz. Don't get me wrong I love my BBW candles...LOVE them. But if you can't get them during the 2 for $22 sale they can be on pricey side for burning 25-45 hours.
The next item I received were the Universal Tealight Candles in the scent Iced Snowberries. This scent has a mix of berry scents with fresh crisp winter air. They are $10 per dozen. They even have an offer right now for 3 dozen for $25 and you can mix and match scents. There are over 40 scents to choose from!
I absolutely love this scent and I'm definitely going to order it in the larger jar candle.
 The final item is the Woodland Retreat Tealight Trio. I couldn't find this on the website so I'm not sure if the product is out of season or if it is a PR product only.
This trio is too cute! Perfect for the fall season to house these little tealights :)
Looking forward to placing these around my home!

Have y'all ever tried PartyLite candles? If so, what did you think? What scents would you like to try?

I will have to give you another update as I burn through these candles! If you are interested in checking out everything PartyLite has to offer check out their website!


Cheers!
***Disclaimer: I was sent these items for review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. I did not receive compensation for a positive review and I am not affiliated with PartyLite as a consultant or employee.***

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

BACK IN FLORIDA!

We are back in Florida!
I will be back to my regular posting schedule on Thursday!

Cheers!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Game Day Bliss! {Ole Miss}

Even though Ole Miss lost to Texas A&M...I still had an AMAZING first time in The Grove!
It is so beautiful in Oxford, MS! 
Everyone gathers in The Grove and at The Circle! They set up tents (usually the night before) and bring all kinds of yummy food, Ole Miss decor, lights, and TVs. We got there around noon and were there until about 6:30 PM with a game time at 7:30.
Even the kids love The Grove!

I had a blast :)

Cheers!