About five years ago, my mother & I decided the ugly purple color in my room had to go. Luckily, I was able to choose the color I chose, so I picked a light yellow. I like everything fairly bright, so the color would work even without artificial light.

Usually, this wouldn’t take long. But I was also a full time student nine months out of the year, going to Bangor Maine for my education. The room was painted in during the month of August so I had little time to re-think a new ‘theme’ before going back to school. During the next summer, I had convinced my dad to go shopping for armoire to hold my television set and massive dvd & book collection. That summer, I also purchased five rubbermaid containers for the top shelf of my closet to hold necessities and a rolling cart to hold everything else.

I was, again, OK with this setup but it wasn’t until a year ago that I decided to just go ahead and completely haul out my room. I just finished it, with everything being done except for repainting my closet shelf and closet back wall (which I plan on doing in a standout color to add a little pizzaz to the closet). Lucky for me, I’m a huge bargain shopper so the total re-haul came to a total of $87.

It may seem like a whopping total, but it includes all new storage units & a new bedside table. My father & I created a shelf for my armoire to increase storage space from spare wood we have had for years, plus a couple coats of primer we had sitting in the work room. The new bureau came from my oldest brother, who just moved out and gifted it to me. It’s a lot nicer than my old one and handmade as well. The nightstand for my bed is actually one that I’ve had for years but re-painted for a fresh look.

The total included:

2 cloth bin storage units (Target): $7 each on sale

Small cloth bin (Target, clearance): $3

Shoe storage bins, interlocked (Target): $8 each, sale

Larger wastebasket (Target): $3

Small round table (Christmas Tree Store): $20 (no tools necessary for assembly)

3 large wall frames (Sorority Sister Document & Graduation document, Diploma: $15 total (AC Moore/Michaels)

3 small tabletop frames (the grey one is DIY): $3/each Christmas Tree Store

Cork-board: $7 (Staples)

I’m still deciding on what color to pain the back of the closet (an idea I read about on Pinterest of course!) and I plan on just re-painting the closet shelf white to brighten up the space). Any ideas for colors? I was thinking something bright, like an orange or teal but I guess we’ll see!

I don’t have any ‘before’ photos, but here you can see the final result (excuse the mess of fabric scraps on top of the shoe shelving unit).

 

 

My “Kappa wall” as I like to call it, complete with my Pledge to Alumni forms, two paddles, Bid paddle, blanket, & a couple other knickknacks from my sorority. I also used the cork-board to hold bulky necklaces instead & display them as well. The bureau in the second picture is from my brother and the nightstand I’ve had for awhile, though I’m thinking of switching out the clothe bins for more colorful ones..we’ll see! 

The interlocking shoe shelves on the left also count as a little resting place for a couple things, with the shoes facing inward so you can’t see them from the doorway. The white armoire I bought years ago as well as the desk I received from a family friend. 

The inside of the armoire. The shelving unit my father & I built houses most of my dvd cases and at least 60% of my books. It’s also a nice space for a couple pictures, two bottles of SkinnyGirl drinks & a few small knicknacks I’ve collected.

Compared with prices I’ve seen for very similar units, this little tabletop (the bottom which now holds a few books standing upright) is perfect for my alarm clock & phone. I bought it for $19.99 comparable to $40 & up other places). 

I haven’t included a photo of the closet, because I’d like to get a ‘before/after’ photo of it once it’s done. But I’m in love with all the new storage solutions that I bought and will certainly continue to move once I move out.

Needless to say, I haven’t updated this blog as much as I had planned in the beginning. It’s been gnawing at me at the back of my mind because I have a lineup of posts that need to be edited & posted, so I wanted to give an explanation. 

Literally the day after I posted my last blog post, I had an accident at work. Short story: I sliced a significant chunk of flesh off my finger (…ew). I was rushed to the hospital & they gave me a surgical foam to keep on for three days. The bleeding had stopped by the time I got to my primary care physician but I was out of work for a week & a half and it was painful to do anything with my right hand. I could barely type, let alone edit, so I spent my time doing one handed housework, somehow organizing my closet (an entire blog post worth of awesome organization), and hanging out with family & friends. My finger still hurts now & again, but I’m able to type. 

However, I just kept forgetting to update the blog. I would put it on my lists of things to do and it never got crossed off. Until this week. I will be updating this blog at least twice more within the next week, I promise. I have too many things to post, to talk about, and to share in order to just let it go. 

 

So, hello again. Welcome back to PeaceLoveKappa. 

I love reviews. I love reading and writing reviews. I rarely buy something that I’ll use consistently without first looking at reviews. I even look at reviews for things I don’t want to buy; I just like to know everyone’s opinions on certain items. 

Which brings me to today’s post: 4 reviews on 4 beauty products that have become a staple in my life. 

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So, today I’ll be reviewing the following four products: 

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Hairspray
 Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo
L’Oreal Skin Genesis Pore Minimizing Gel Cleanser
Avon Eye Makeup Remover Lotion

First up; John Frieda Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Hairspray

This particular product promises a quick drying time for the ultimate hold that battles frizz, rain, & shine. It comes along with a UV filter and from a company that I trust with my hair. During the summer, my hair is constantly battling frizz, not to mention that misty rain that always threatens to turn my hair into a fuzz-ball. 

About six months ago, I bought a double pack of this on sale at Target for $6. I knew it was a great deal, Frieda usually runs a little more expensive than it’s drugstore counterparts. The next day I opted to straighten my hair and test it out during a little humidity spell. Usually, I’d have to have an arsenal of trial-size products to keep my hair tame during the summer months, but with this I was pleasantly surprised. Even at it’s price tag (I bought this particular one on sale for $4.50), I’d still get it all the time. In fact, it’s become a staple in my routine. I straightened my hair a few days ago and have used this product once a day in my hair. It’s managed to keep my hair tame and frizz-free, even in the unusually high wind gusts outside. Plus side? It does contain ingredients that will protect your hair against the sun. 

Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo

The one reason I bought this (again) is to give it another go. When Suave first came out with this product, I bought it one sale and was sorely disappointed. It seemed to contain little to no dry shampoo. Luckily, Suave refunded my money and I received an e-mail two days later saying I got a ‘dud’ from their plant: it didn’t contain the usual amount of the spray. So I gave in and bought it again when it was on sale. For something on the inexpensive side (not on sale, it rings in at $2.99), I’m pretty happy with the product. Where I could go with Tresemme’s dry shampoo, I use Suave quite a bit for my shampoo & conditioner and trusted the brand name enough to go for it. 

It works great when I straighten my hair. I spray directly onto the roots (only the ones along my hairline) and it gives my hair back it’s shine & bounce. I have yet to really test it post-wash on my curly hair, but I don’t see a particular problem with it. It’s a great item to have on you if you’re someone who has done anything to their hair and needs an extra boost. You shouldn’t regularly shampoo your hair every day as is, so this is a great alternative for between-washes. Apparently, they do have a spray on conditioner, but I haven’t seen it yet. I don’t know how it would add up to the leave-ins though. 

L’Oreal Skin Genesis Pore Minimizing Gel Cleanser

I picked up this bad boy at a 50% off sale, or else I would never look at it (price tag usually reads $6.99 at most drugstores, whereas my usual cleanser reads $2 less). Seeing that I was out of my usual (Dove) and that I desperately needed something for my upcoming vacation, I picked it up. I’m a little obsessed with my pores (okay…a lot), so it seemed like something I would like and (plus side!) I trusted the brand name. 

Lets just say I’m pretty happy with the results. Because it’s a gel cleanser, this does come out a little bit thicker than the others. However, it’s also gently enough to remove most eye makeup, which is a plus side. It’s gentle on my combination skin, particularly around the T-Zone area. And it really does work. I’ve noticed a considerable improvement in my skin since I started using this, prompting me to head back to the store & pick up the last bottle they had sitting on the shelf. I’m onto the second bottle right now and use it day and night. You can use it in the shower as well, it doesn’t matter where you use it because it doesn’t strip your skin of it’s natural oils. Unfortunately, L’Oreal apparently stopped selling this particular gel on the store shelves, though you might be able to find at retail price or below on Drugstore.com or Amazon. 

Avon Eye Makeup Remover Lotion 

Though the above removes most eye-makeup lotion, I’m a fanatic when it comes to taking the makeup off my eyes. On sale for $0.99 (yes, you’re reading that right, under a buck), Avon’s eye makeup remover is just hands down amazing. And it’s simple. You take a dot of the lotion, rub it around your eye, then wipe it off with a damp cloth or tissue. It softens the skin & easily removes the makeup, even Avon’s own stubborn mascara. Some claim it doesn’t work, but if you follow the oh-so-simple directions, it does. A friend of mine was a non-believer; she bought the product & said it didn’t work. So one night, I had her try it again and noticed she put the lotion on the tissue before using it remove the makeup. Which is something you can do with a liquid or gel-like remover, not the lotion. So she tried the right way on the other eye and it worked like a charm. 

 

I keep going back to these four products for a reason: they all work great. They’re not only staples in my drawer, but should be staples in every girls drawer (whether it be these particular products or not, every girl should have these kinds of things in their routine). 

…if you live in New England and haven’t been stuck in some cold, dark room (or living under a rock) for the past two weeks, you’ve probably noticed that it’s basically spring time.

Yesterday’s temp in Boston was a ‘cool’ 78 degrees. In  my little suburb ten minutes north, it was around the same (without all that smog & smelliness from people who don’t know what deodorant is). It was…too warm.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the spring & summer months as much as the next Cape Cod-beach-dwelling-20-something, but it’s MARCH. This sudden change from snow (Well, the meager snow we got this winter) to 78 degrees has been making some of us, legit, sick.

I’ve been battling the onslaught of a soon-to-be-sore throat. It’s one of those sore throats that you know is coming on, because you can feel it for a couple days. Thus far, I’ve been able to battle it down, but if we get more of this ’50’s one day, 75 the next’ type of forecast, it’s going to wreak havoc on my immune system.

But…enough of the physical part of the whole ‘whats up with this weather?’ story. The great thing about this weather? Boat shoes & spring cleaning.

Let me just say, I am by no means an extravagant person. Though some (ahem..all ) of my sisters would disagree, I don’t think I am. At least by the monetary standpoint and fashion standpoint. I’m not flashy with my choice of outfits and accessories (and do I LOVE accessories!), so I buy my all these (especially shoes) with caution. I also won’t pay full price for basically anything, except for this one outfit I HAD to have at JCP’s. I’ll go over that in a later post..trust me. It’s amazing.

So when it comes to my shoes, I’m always looking for something inexpensive but ‘so me.’ Boat shoes? So me. I could literally wear them all summer and winter if I could (or had the money to buy all coordinating ones). And when I get real  boat shoes, I don’t buy anything but Sperrys. Which means I wait until the summertime to buy them. And let me just tell you how excited I was to learn that Famous Footwear actually CARRIES them. The woman who was working that day told me “Oh…we’ve carried these for years in this store..”

Yeah. Okay. That’s why every time I came in during the summer, I had to order off their website and wait three weeks for them to ship from Seattle? Oookkaaay.

So when I went in this past week, when they were (*gasp*) advertised, I was pretty stoked. And then I got really annoyed because they didn’t even have a display for the most well-known boat shoes in the world. I walked around like a lost kitten until I came across the selection of boat shoes (all the way in the back of the store? Really?).

At last! My boat shoes! I picked up a pair of Sperrys that were on sale for $40, and paired with both my Famous Footwear Rewards & an online coupon, bought them for $28.

So even though now it’s getting close to fifty (since I posted this two days later, oops!), I’m pretty excited to wear my shoes. Word of caution: If you want to get a good life out of your shoes, buy a couple pairs of no shoe socks or stockings. I picked up five pairs of Meronas at Target for around $4 today. A great deal, since I can also use them for my ballet flats.

So, I’m a craft nut. If it can be made, I’ll probably make it. 

If it has anything to do with anchors or the ocean, I’ll also probably make it. So I went to Michaels Craft Store two days ago because I had a laundry list of things I wanted to pick up. About four projects in total, to be exact. The first was a coaster set, which are basically done (and super easy), the second and third were nautical rope bracelets & headbands. Neither of these I can do, as of yet, because Michaels has nothing in the way of rope cord or anchor charms (or, for that matter, crimping beads..I mean, c’mon?!). So I picked up the fourth project, which is below. 

 

I saw block anchors on Pinterest awhile ago, but decided to do my own version in white & an ocean-teal (Craftsmart’s Ocean Breeze to be exact). 

It’s a fairly simple project I did in under a day. I sanded down part of the oval block first, because some of it wasn’t as smooth as I would’ve liked. Then I traced an outline of an anchor with a pencil onto the plain block. I already had a wooden anchor that I used, but anyone else can simply Google an anchor drawing & print it. Or free-hand. Either way. 

I then used a thin-ish paint brush (the cheap kind you get in the pack with the sponge brushes, I paid $4 for mine) and used white acrylic paint to outline the anchor (Photo 1) 

 

I then painted inside the anchor and used the ocean breeze to carefully outline the outside of the anchor, then painted again. I did a double coat of both, then used a sealer to..well..seal it. Since the back of the wooden piece had no wall hanging, I just stuck some 3M mounts onto the back. It doesn’t weigh much, so it stays. 

 

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It may only be February, but the spring season’s top lists are starting to come out of the closet.

Spring is a time of awakening, which is why the spring trends seem to last the longest. Last year, the ombre hair color was on the forefront and continues to be so currently.

A noticeable trend in all the following is this: they’re easy, can be done at home (such as the ombre), and have a multitude of both video and blog tutorials on how to achieve each look.

2012 Spring Hairstyles: 

Long Hair:

Bouncy: The long bouncy look is in again, though I’m not a big fan. I consider myself someone who could never live in the ’80’s, being that I like my hair sleek & all in place. The bouncy look gets it’s roots from the ’70’s and continues to be popular today.

At home curls: No, we’re not talking curling irons & the like. I’m talking the kind that you can do without heat, such as pinwheel curls & the internet’s infamous sock curl (a quick search will bring up A Spotted Pony’s tutorial, excellent reference).

Rockability: Rockability is the fashion craze right now. I’ve seen this show up as early as Fall 2011 but this season and summer will be the onslaught of the hair fashion of rockability. I’m a huge fan of this style, it’s sleek & stylish and goes well from work to night.

The bouffant, a la Bridgette Bardot: Quick, look up Bardot. See her hair? Impeccable bouffants are back in style, just like this classic beauty always had. It gives new meaning to the ‘bump-it’ (since that trend seems to be leaving slowly. It pushes the bump to the back, which might make it easier for those shoulder length girls to style as well.

 

Mid-length hair

Faux bob: I’m in love with this look. It’s retro and modern all at the same time. It has its roots back in the days of “Stepford Wives” and continues it’s tradition to be classically stylish even today. note: this hairstyle works best on straight hair, however if you manage to tame your curly or wavey hair down, it would work as well. 

Wet look chignon: Wet looking hairstyles are always in for the summer, but for the spring? I was a little dubious. But I tried it out (Garnier Fructic wet look styling products is amazing for this) and I loved it. I can wear it to my “hair up only” job and still it’s stylish. Best yet? Works on ALL hair types.

Piled & pin: It’s exactly what it sounds like. Use a lot of bobbi pins and pin up your hair, but don’t make it too tied together. The whole point of this style is to make it sleek & messy (think; the messy bun). Again, it works if you need to keep your hair out of your face, yet it’s also stylish. I tried this out the other day and pair it with some heeled boots over dark jeans and some edgy jewelry paired with a long cardigan & white top. It fit perfectly, but could also fit well with a dressed up look.

Chignon with side waves: Chignons are making a big comeback, partly due to the emerging trend of classic makeup & style. A perfect little chignon with half the hair done with soft waves pinned to the sides. It’s interesting and very cute.

 

Short hair

I’ve always found that short haired girls are having problems year in and out. There never seem to be a good amount of hair styles for short hair. So I’ve scoured the internet and dug into the minds of both my own hairstylist and my friends who are hairstylists to come up with more than just one or two:

 

Afro hair: I put this first, because it goes with the bouffant & faux bob trend: it’s retro. The afro, for those gals with curly hair, works well with short hair (in fact, it’s the only one it goes well with).

Mod hair: Bardot had this, so did Twiggy. It works for those who have wavy or straight short hair, but doesn’t work well for curly girls. Again, it’s retro. Pinning one side with also give it a different look.

Bobs: Bobs seem to always be in, but they’re in BIG time this season (and the summer season). Whether it’s a reverse or classic bob, they’re coming back after a few seasons in the dark.

Choppy layers: Again, doesn’t work if you have incredibly curly hair (unless you can straighten it or tame it), but the choppy layers always work. It gives your hair depth as well as an edgy feel without going over the top.

I hate job searching.

I mean, I guess you could call me one of the lucky ones. Scratch that, actually. I am one of the lucky ones. I’ve had the same part time job for close to eight years now, minus the two months they laid off over 200 people in one store because we weren’t making enough money. Lucky for me (again, that word ‘luck’) the former store manager called me up to work in the store the next town over. I’ve been working since I was fifteen. I find it hard to believe that there are college students who have never held a job, even after they’ve graduated. But…it’s true. I would say these are the same graduates who have no job currently in this economy, but let’s face it: no one has a job.

The only good grace that comes from graduating college is that I don’t have to apply for student loans again. I have that blissful six month grace period to wait until I start paying loans, but I’m no procrastinator. I’m in the process of buying a used car under $6,000 (and, believe it or not, there are some great finds out there), but I’m still saving 75% of my weekly check to go towards my school loans. Consolidation is key on this point and I’m forever grateful that all public loans are being bought up by the Department of Education, which allows for an easier process and lower overall interest rate. My private loans are another matter completely. I have to call them, schedule a time to consolidate, then go over every little piece of paper with their name on it to stamp down a correct interest rate. Biggest headache ever.

But I can live with that, right now. What I can’t live with is being stuck in a part-time job. Let me just tell you all a few things that I did while in college: I was an active member of my sorority, held three positions the last semester in my chapter, held two senior positions in two other activities, co-produced & hosted a radio show, and produced a sports talk show on television. And I thought it wasn’t enough.

I thrive off being busy. I love it. So the part-time job thing is killing me. I’ve been clearing out stuff in my parent’s house like a mad woman, cleaning & doing laundry for the entire household (except my three brothers, they’re on their own), and crafting Christmas & birthday gifts…yes, it’s January but who doesn’t love getting an…eleven month head start?

But I’ve been applying to full time jobs like crazy. I have no reservations about working for anyone. I just want to get out of the hairnet and into the work force. I want the full time job, so that I have something to do and that something is something I love. Because I love everything I did in college. I want to do it again. My goal is to have a job by March. I think that specific goal is fair enough, given the success of fellow sisters & friends. Everyone who has a job has gotten said job within a couple months. It would be great to pick up the phone tomorrow for an interview, but I won’t get my hopes up.

……….

So, what exactly, is this blog about then? It’s about everything; from that huge job search to weight loss to organization to crafting. I have more than enough things to talk about, rant about, & blog about. So I hope to keep you all entertained, maybe inspire one or two of you, and to (in general) help with basic life things. I may only be a ‘college grad’ but I have a lot to teach people and a lot to learn.

peacelovekappa