Monday, August 24, 2015

My Dramatic Bedroom Makeover

Before we begin, I feel like I need to say that commitment to life-long things has been hard for me. Also, I have completely obsessive tendencies where I need things to be just right and perfect. 

No, this is not a therapy session between my blog and me. It's to help you understand why I had been living in the same non-designed space for the past 5 years. When I graduated college and moved to Atlanta I had all of my college furniture and I was OK with that for the time. When I moved back to Arkansas a few years later I started to upgrade my couch, tv stands, dining table, and small things. The one room that I hadn't touched at all was my bedroom. Besides the king-size bed my mom bought me for Christmas one year, that's the only thing I had really done. 

Needless to say ... this is what my bedroom has looked like lately: 


So. A blog is meant to be what you want it to be and well... my in always honest of what's going on in my life. This was my bedroom. No headboard, two mix-matched nightstands, and two lamps from college. 

A tv stand that most people use for their garage storage. It had a cool look to it when I was 19. Now that I'm 29 I think it's time to mature a bit. 

After living in this space for 5 years I've realized it's time to make an investment in myself. (That's the excuse I always say when I know I'm about to spend some money...) Invest in yourself! 

My budget was $1,000. 
(I had been saving around for about two years and wasn't sure what to do with the money, but knew it was going to be spent on a bedroom set or a Louis Vuitton bag. Maybe later fancy bag.)  


My new bedroom sanctuary! It's such a beautiful space (maybe artless) but I'm so happy! 

Headboard - $150 from Wayfair 
End tables - $300 from 123stores.com 
Lamps - $140 from Target 


This is the new dresser that has made watching TV much more ascetically pleasing. 

Dresser - $400 from Cost Plus Furniture in Little Rock. 

Headboard - $150 
End tables - $300 
Lamps - $140
Dresser - $400
GRAND TOTAL: $990 

I did everything under budget with $10 to spare. 

To add the cherry to the top, I even made myself a little personal jewelry vanity area! 


I feel like I am living in a completely different space that makes me so happy and grateful. I worked hard to save the money (when I could have spent it on a lot of frivolous things), and worked hard to find things that fit within budget. 

This was a fun project over the past few weeks that had a lot of hiccups but that's what makes it fun. 

Let me know, and I can do more of an detailed post about what I bought. There's still more to be done at some point, but today, I am content. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ipsy: August Glam Bag Review

It's my first Ipsy glam box! My cousin Sarah has subscribed to Ipsy for a few months now and kept sending me photos and talking about what she was getting. After giving up Birchbox a couple of years ago, I was ready to find a new subscription service that would be fun (and not break the bank). 


For $10 a month Ipsy sends you a new glam bag and five items based on your profile of beauty items you're interested in. 


Briogeo Blossom and Bloom 

LOVE trying new hair things - thickening, volumizing, you name it and I like to try it. I've used this twice now and I actually do like it. Most of them I feel make my hair fall flat but I had extra volume in the crown of my head (where I applied the product). It has a nice smell and didn't make my hair tangle like so many volumizers do. 

Will I buy it? Not sure. I'll try out this sample before I purchase. 



Skone Cosmetics Luxe Doubler Eye/Lip Pencil in Wine
This is a double eye and lip pencil? I'm not sure I could use the same pencil on my eyes that I do my lips. I'm also not sure what a wine pencil would look like on my eyes. I haven't tried this yet but I will ... on my lips of course. 

Will I buy it? I highly doubt it. I will try it once though. 



Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in Elegantly Wasted

Bleh. Purple nail polish is really not my thing. It's pretty but there are certain colors that I just don't wear and purple is one of them. 

Will I buy it? No. I will give this one away though. Who wants it?? 


noyah Natural Lipstick

Yeah! One of my new beauty goals is to wear more lipstick so I was happy to see this pretty, neutral color. I actually wore it this morning and thought it was pretty. 

Will I buy it? Possibly! Let's see if I get any compliments on it. 


La Fresh Group Good Night. Night Cream

Plumper looking skin? I'll try it! I think this is something I will save for when I'm traveling and I don't want to tote a lot of creams around. 

Will I buy it? If it plumps my skin I'll take a bath in it. 


This #AugustGlamBag from #Ipsy was fun! I will do it again next month after I change my settings a bit. I perfer to buy my own nail polish so I'll remove that next time. 

If you want to signup check it out here: Ipsy Glam Bag

Thursday, August 13, 2015

How to Organize the KonMari Way (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up)

Nothing in this world makes me feel better than everything being clean, organized and tidy. When you wake up in the morning and have your clothes neatly in your closet, your bathroom accessories all nicely laid out for use and your purse ready for the day, it feels very grown up to me and put together. 

Sadly, that never happens to me. From the moment I wake up it feels very chaotic. Clothes are hanging up, laying in a 'clean' pile, still in the dryer, draped over a chair or just lost. When I get ready my makeup feels scattered, hair products are on the counter or in the closet and I never know where my vitamins are. Though I deeply appreciate organization, I've spent hours organizing on a weekend only for the next week for things to feel completely disrupted again. How many times can I put away tank tops on Sunday and then on Monday they seem like they are missing? 

Ironically, a friend of mine started to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. She kept talking about the book and telling me the ideas it had about how to organize your things. So one weekend when she was out of town, I borrowed the book to read it. Here are some of the main topics that have improved my life. 

1. Organize by Category, Not Location 

This means you pick one category and do it all at one time. Don't do a room by room cleanup, instead do one category at a time. Pull out all of your shoes and put them in one central area then start the process of KonMuri. This way you can look at everything, then find it a place and that's where it will live. 

I decided to do all of my t-shirts. It was such a hassle to find shirts and I was only really a few of them over and over. I had a rotation to the ones I liked and the ones I didn't wear I kept pushing to the back. (You'll see here soon...) 

2. Ask yourself, "Does this spark joy?"

Instead of keeping things because you feel guilty about getting rid of it, focus on keeping things in your life that spark joy. This little question has changed my mindset on why and how I keep things. Why am I keeping things that I genuinely do not wear or like? Is it because I don't want to get rid of it because of how much I paid for it or if someone bought it for me? Why not let the item move on and find a new home with someone that will find happiness from it?

3. Visualize the Space You Want to Live In 

KonMari suggests to visualize the space you want to live in very specifically. Instead of, "I want to live in a clutter free home," say, "I want to live in a space that is elegant in design and brings me peace." 

So let's put this into practice ... 


My old t-shirt system. It was an absolute mess. 


 I dumped ALL of my t-shirts out into a pile. I had two categories ... keep or donate. My suggestion is to go ahead and have a bag or box to toss the donate items into so you won't be tempted to keep them. 


Does this bring me joy? This shirt is an child's large from my senior year of high school. (Over a decade ago...) Yes, it has great memories and I remember wearing it, but why am I keeping it? 

Donate. 


My old ASU shirts from college and after college (I'm a good alum). They were great when I wore them but I haven't worn them in 2-3 years. Either they've faded or they no longer fit. 

They bring me great memories, but no longer joy. 


These are the shirts I did keep. I folded them all so I could easily see them when I opened the drawer. 


When I finish each category I give a big sigh of relief because I feel like a little weight has lifted off my body. I can easily find things and know what I have. 

I'm not done yet with my KonMuri adventure, but I'm on the right path! 

xx, M

Thursday, August 6, 2015

StitchFix Review: August

Hi! So, I'm starting this blog post like my other StitchFix review - not a fashion blogger, not even going to pretend. (BTW, 'posing' for photos is REALLY hard) I enjoyed my June StitchFix box SO much that I was ready to do it again for August. It's still really hot here in Arkansas so I'm not ready to request fall clothes yet, but transition pieces. 

Let's get started in this month's box! 



Emer Printed Straight Leg Paint by Margaret M - $98 
These pants were VERY comfortable - and flattering. I was actually surprised trying these pants on with how much I liked them. 

Serrano Lattice Detail Blouse by 41Hawthorn - $64
I love a good blue top - it's one of my favorite colors to wear. 

Status: 
Both sent back - but only because I felt like they were too summer and I'm trying to transition into the fall. I did like the pants, but the pattern wasn't really for me. 



Cam Gathered Waist Dress by Donna Morgan - $118
This dress was a ... little... um... tight. 

Status
Sent back. The pattern was too much for me and the dress was a little too snug for work purposes. 


Rebekah Contrast Detail Blazer by Kensie - $ 88
I really like the Kensie brand, and LOVED this jacket. This is nothing I would usually buy for myself but I can't imagine letting this go. 

Status
KEPT! I won't be able to wear it until it gets cooler outside - it's suppose to hit 110 degrees this week, but this fall I will wear it! 



Hilson Pleat Detail Blouse by Papermoon - $48
I loved the color of this shirt - because pink is a great color for blondes! This shirt was a little too wide for me at the bottom. I like something more fitted.

Status
Sent back. Sadly though because I do love the color. Personally I just like more fitted shirts. 



If you want to try a Stitch Fix box for yourself click this link to get started on making your personal profile! You will be charged a $20 styling fee upfront however, if you keep any item [one or more] you will be credited the $20 to the total amount that you're charged. If one top is $40 and you have a $20 styling fee, then you will only owe $20 on the total charge. 


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I signed up for Stitch Fix and purchased the box myself. I’m sharing my opinions because I think they will help others. If you decide to signup for Stitch Fix after reading this point, please use my referral link: Stitch Fix

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Eggshells Kitchen Co: Ann Potter Baking Cookie Class

Last Thursday, one of my good friends from high school Sara and I went to a cookie decorating class at Eggshells Kitchen Co in Little Rock. Sarah Eaton DeClerk, the mastermind of Ann Potter Baking hosted this fun class and shared so many tips and tricks on how to bake and decorate sugar cookies - the fancy ones. 


We had no idea what the class would be like. We didn't know if we would get to be hands on or just watch, but it was the best of both worlds. Sarah showed us how to make a chocolate sugar cookie with icing, then we got to practice decorating. 


It wasn't just a class where we had to sit and watch, we were able to get up and really see the techniques that she uses to outline and 'flood' a cookie with icing. For instance, she showed us that it's easier to outline a cookie when you raise your hand up and the icing is a little higher. It's true! I was much easier to control the cookie outline icing when you give yourself more room to control it. 



This was my first cookie that I practiced decorating. 

Then somehow I turned it into a weird looking cookie eye. 


Sara was doing a REALLY good job outlining her cookie and I was getting really jealous. 
A photo posted by Maegan Clark (@maeganclark) on
We had to capture the moment and share it on Instagram - otherwise, it didn't happen, right?  



These are how my cookies turned out in the end. Not the best... but I don't think that they're terrible! The class at Eggshells was SO much fun! I feel liked I learned a new skill but now I need to get some cute cookie cutters and start to practice on my own. 

Here are a few tips that were shared with us tonight: 
- If you want your cookies to be shiny, then place a fan around your cookies when they are drying. 
- The outline icing needs to be the consistency of toothpaste. 
- Flood icing needs to be the consistency of shampoo. 

And, my FAVORITE tip is how to make cleaning up pipe bags a breeze - I thought it would be hard to explain so I found a YouTube video from Lindsey Ann Bakes to explain: 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

GIVEAWAY! Win a Philosophy Beauty Bundle!

Hi friends! If you know me or you’ve seen my blog then you know one of my favorite skincare products is Philosophy. After learning about Philosophy in 2007, I’ve been using their products ever since. Two of my all-time favorites are Purity Facial Wash and Renewed Hope in a Jar. No matter what other brands I’ve tried I’ve always gone back to those Philosophy classics because they do the best job at cleansing and moisturizing my skin.




One of their newest products that I have been LOVING is the Microdelivery Overnight Anti-Aging Peel. I wrote a post about it a couple of weeks ago and even wrote about it in my PhilosophyBeauty Believer post!

The peel is really great for those who want to treat their skin well, but don’t have a lot of time to do it. You can apply it to your skin before you go to bed and it does all the hard work for you! That’s my pitch about Philosophy – it’s beauty I believe in because it does all the heavy lifting. These three products also makeup Philosophy's Cleanse, Peel and Treat routine. As long you use the products, the products will change and transform your skin into something even more beautiful. 

I could go ON and ON and ON about these products but I have something better in mind... a GIVEAWAY of these three products! With the help of Philosophy, I am giving away a Purity Facial Cleanser, a Renewed Hope in a Jar AND the Microdelivery Overnight Anti-Aging Peel. (You can learn more about all of these products HERE.)

All you have to do is comment on this blog to enter. If you’re interested, check below to see how you earn extra entries! 

Giveaway ends Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at midnight. I will contact the winner Wednesday, July 29, 2015. 

Rafflecopter giveaway

Good LUCK! 

as a philosophy brand ambassador/ "beauty believer", i received a free products in exchange for writing reviews. this giveaway is sponsored by Philosophy. all opinions expressed and content are my own. though I would give this stuff away to all of my friends if I could! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Stitch Fix Review: June 2015

Hi! Happy Monday! Let's start this off by keeping it real that I am not a fashion blogger by any means. I just love fun clothes and I'm REALLY good at shopping. I've received a Stitch Fix box here and there for the past few months and thought I would share my experience and tips I suggest if you are doing it or want to try it. Now, I'm in a 'curvier' stage of my life that I like to blame on my love of eating out and not working out lately. 

It's always exciting to me to get a box of clothes in the mail that have been picked out with my taste in mind - I like a classic, fitted look that's trendy, but long-lasting. The older I get the more I want to buy good, quality pieces that will last instead of one-season throw away pieces. 



Every box comes neatly packed with a style card that shows you ideas for how to wear each piece they have sent you. 


I really enjoy the style card because it can easily show you how versatile one piece might with clothes you already have in your closet. Now let's get to the pieces! 



Primrose Sheath Dress by Kut From the Kloth - $88
Kut From the Klouth has some great pieces and this sheath dress is a great staple! It was light and very comfortable. 

Status: Sent Back. In the end, as much as I loved this dress I sent it back because the key hole in the front was a little too low for me. Everything about it I loved... (except not loving the bra lines you can see in the photos though. Sorry!)




June Polka Dot Skirt - $58 
I LOVE this skirt! It was the right size, had patterns on the bottom, and was flatter from the bum area. Let's be real, when you got a bum you have to make sure it looks good in what you're wearing. 

Status: KEPT!  
The only thing I have to do is find new nude shoes to wear with them. The shoes I am wearing in the photo are mine - but it's like they've expanded because they are too big for me now. 




Shenley Mesh Detail Knit Tank by Loveappella - $48 
I LOVED this top. It fit perfectly and had a really nice detail at the top of the shirt. This tank would have also been great for layering if it ever decides to cool down in Arkansas. 

Status: Sent Back & regretting it. When it came time for me to check out on Sitch Fix I decided to send it back because the price was making me think twice. However, I do wish I had kept this top. It was soft and fitted.


Alliyah Button Down Top by Mavi - $68 
I LOVE these types of shirts, they are light, but build-able in a way that you can throw on a jacket, or a vest, or a scarf and are fashionable. I can roll the sleeves up and wear with shorts, or roll down and layer it with other things. The only thing I wish I had done differently in this photo is put on lipstick. and blush. and maybe makeup. 

Status: Kept! And it's currently hanging up in my closet. 


Lyd Mesh Neckline Knit Top by Pixley - $58 
Back is one of my favorite colors to wear. I was a little unsure about this top when I pulled it out of the box but once I tried it on I knew it wasn't right for me. The gathered material in the front would be forgiving, but the mesh at the top made it feel too adolescent for me. I liked the idea - but it wasn't right for my body. 

Status: Sent Back 



3 Stitch Fix Tips for Getting The Perfect Box 
1. Create a Pinterest board that you use in your profile. You can see my style board here - and you can see the official Stitch Fix board here. I like to pin items that I see directly from the Stitch Fix boards because that means you will be more likely to receive those pieces.  
2. Be honest in your style comment box A tip I learned is to tell your stylist what's going on in your life and what exactly you are looking for in terms of clothes. That's going to help them find the right pieces for you. Also, if you change your comment box every new fix, those other comments won't be seen by the stylist again.  
3. Try on the pieces a couple of times with different pants/etc before you makeup your mind You can easily pull a piece of clothing out of a box and say 'no' based on what you see. That's not fair to you or to the clothing. I suggest that you try on each piece and see how you would wear it, it might show you that you really like the piece. Maybe you try it on and still isn't a fit for you - at least you will know and can send it back with no regrets.  
Bonus Tip: Do Stitch Fix with a friend and get your boxes delivered around the same date. Just because you didn't like/want a top/dress/pant in your box, doesn't mean that you friend may not want it and vis versa. I got a GREAT jack and I love so much from one of my friend's boxes and she got a great skirt that she loved from one of mine. It makes the process more fun and get everyone involved! Have a girls night Stitch Fix try-on party! 


If you want to try a Stitch Fix box for yourself click this link to get started on making your personal profile! You will be charged a $20 styling fee upfront however, if you keep any item [one or more] you will be credited the $20 to the total amount that you're charged. If one top is $40 and you have a $20 styling fee, then you will only owe $20 on the total charge. 


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I signed up for Stitch Fix and purchased the box myself. I’m sharing my opinions because I think they will help others. If you decide to signup for Stitch Fix after reading this point, please use my referral link: Stitch Fix