Favorite department store products

April 30
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Favorite Department Store Beauty Products. My favorites for Ulta and Sephora.

 

I love finding great products at the drugstore, but sometimes its worth spending the cash and getting the high end item.  These are a few of my favorite department store products that are worth every penny.

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Naked 2 Palette by Urban Decay 
I am sure you’ve heard about the amazing line of Urban Decay Naked products. They basically exploded a few years ago.  Well, in case you haven’t tried the shadows, they are amazing.  I know that $50 sounds like a lot for eye shadow but this palette will last a long time.  I’ve had mine for two years and it’s still going strong.  If you’re a eye shadow person this is worth the cost.  What makes it so great?  These shadows are perfectly pigmented to provide the perfect color application.  Not to heavy, not to light.  Also, the palette comes with enough colors to give you severals looks from a day at work to a night on the town.

 

 

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade
Brows are in and with this product my brows stay on all day. I used to use a cheap brow gel and half way through the day my brows were gone.  With Anastasia they are “on point” until I take my makeup off.  This little tub was only $18 and has lasted me way over a year and I still have a ways to go.  I use it with a E.L.F. brush instead of the one they sell.

 

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Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush
I discovered these blushes through fellow blogger Kate at The Small Things Blog.  She raved and raved about them so I figured I’d try them out.  Turns out she is right.  These really are lovely blushes.  They are well pigmented and go on smooth.  They last all day for a great look.  I own blissful and Tipsy.  Look around and find the color that works best for you.

 

katKat Von D  Lock-it Tattoo Foundation
I did my own makeup for my wedding.  One of the things I was concerned about was my foundation so went searching for a super strong all day foundation.  I wanted something that would cover any blemish, conceal redness and issues, and last 12+ hours.  I found this in the Kat Von D Lock-it foundation.  Now, I have to admit that was not a brand I had every really thought was worth it, but it is.  Her products stay all day, something very important to me.  I mix this with a little bb cream for everyday use to thin it out a little.  I get the best application with a stippling brush, but a beauty blender would be great too if you’re into that.

 

Interested in how you can save money on department store beauty products? Check out my post here.

Have you tried any of these products?  What do you think?  Of course everyone is different and what works wonders for me may or not be your cup of tea, but these are just some of my faves.  I have an order coming in next week from Tarte so you can look forward for my thoughts on those products as well.

 

 

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Birthday planner stickers

April 27
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Like these stickers?  Follow me on Facebook to be in the know about new stickers and other planner freebies. 

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free.Anyways, enough talk, here is the printable.  Enjoy!

This printable is designed for sticker paper you can print onto regular paper as well. As always, I have provided this printable in both PDF form as well as a Silhouette file for those with Silhouette machines.  Silhouette owners- download the file and open it with the silhouette software.  The cut lines will be ready to go.  Be sure to check your blade settings! Download the Silhouette file HERE.

Click the image below to be taken to the full size image.  Print and cut.

Birthday week layout

Looking for sticker paper?  I buy this one from  Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget?  Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.

Looking for more?  Check out my archive of free printables.

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Brunch Ideas

April 26
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With Mother’s Day coming up I wanted to share with you some of my favorite and some new brunch recipes. I don’t cook brunches very often, but when I do, I stick to a few staples.

Mini-Spinach-Quiches I’ve been making these Muffin Frittatas for a few years now. I love they are crustless so they are low carb. I use Turkey Sausage and lots of veggies. The best part? You can freeze them and then pull them out one at a time for hearty on the go breakfasts.

overnight-blueberry-french-toast-3 My mother ran across this recipe for Blueberry French Toast Casserole in an issue of Taste of Home magazine back in the mid-1990s. Ever since then we’ve been making it here and there both as a breakfast and a dinner. What I love about this recipe is it is an overnight meal. You put it all together at night and then just pop it in the oven when the time comes. Perfect for entertaining and overnight guests.

sheetpan-hashbrowns-d I am a HUGE Hash Browns fan.  Whenever I am in a restaurant that serves them, I need an order.  However, I am not the best at cooking them.  Mine always come out too crispy or too soggy, its a mess.  Anyways, I really want to try this Sheet Pan Hash Browns recipe and see if it could be my hash browns savior.

Mango-Carrot-Smoothie-Culinary-Hill-3Wouldn’t this Mango Carrot Smoothie be fun to try? Perfect for a quick breakfast for overnight guests. The recipe only takes FOUR ingredients!

What are you go to brunch dishes?  Do you like heavy casseroles or lighter fruit options?  Tell me below!

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Floral planner stickers

April 23
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Free Printable Planner Stickers. Floral stickers perfect for the Happy Planner or Erin Condren planners. Plan with me! AmberDowns.net
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free.Anyways, enough talk, here is the printable.  Enjoy!

I haven’t posted a free sticker set in a while so I put this one together to share the other day.  I love the light shabby chic colors and flowers.

This printable is designed for sticker paper you can print onto regular paper as well. As always, I have provided this printable in both PDF form as well as a Silhouette file for those with Silhouette machines.  Silhouette owners- download the file and open it with the silhouette software.  The cut lines will be ready to go.  Be sure to check your blade settings! Download the Silhouette file HERE.

Click the image below to be taken to the full size image.  Print and cut.

Flower sticker set

Looking for sticker paper?  I buy this one from  Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget?  Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.

Looking for more?  Check out my archive of free printables.

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Uncoiling the Simplified Planner

April 22
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Transferring a coiled planner to an a5 with the Simplified Planner. Love a coiled planner but want to use a binder planner? Uncoil it! AmberDowns.net

So as you may remember, I purchased a Webster’s Pages Color Crush planner a few weeks ago with the intention of adding daily inserts and using it as a work planner.  Well I looked around and never came up with a daily insert set that really met my needs and was affordable.  I ended up deciding to purchase a Simplified Planner to uncoil and place in the planner.

I love how simple and to the point the Simplified Planner it.  It really is simple.  Anyways, I had seen someone else put it into an a5 planner so I figured it would be easy.

First I took and opened the planner so that the cover was wrapped around the back.  I then used a planner band to hold the pages together while  took out the coil. The coil ended up being super easy to take out.  I just pulled a bit and it came off like a zipper.

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After I took the coil out I took off the cover. I had originally been under the impression that the planner would fit without being punched but I was wrong.  Luckily I had my Rapeco personal/a5 punch and was able to punch the hopes super easy.

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Doesn’t she look pretty?

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I loved the super cute extras from the Webster’s Color Crush Planner so I went ahead and keep them in this planner.

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The Simplified Planner tabs looks great in the planner and fit perfectly, don’t you think?

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Ready to go!

 

What do you think?  Does it work?  Would you have done the same or do you have a better idea for daily a5 inserts?

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$9 linen closet makeover

April 19
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I am blessed with an awesomely large linen closet in my master bath due to the addition that was added to our home.  (Years ago, prior to purchase.)   However, with great amounts of space come great mess.  So, its generally a disaster.  I store bed linens, towels, and all kitchen linens in this closet along with miscellaneous  extra beauty and personal care products.   You can only imagine. how crazy it was.

$9 Dollar Tree linen closet makeover with free printable.  organize your linen closet and more. AmberDowns.net

Anyways,  I saw these super cute pins on pinterest of these linen closets with cute baskets and ribbon and stuff and they were cute, but I wasn’t prepared to spend a few hundred dollars on baskets and ribbon.  Its just not happening.  Then I saw this super cute post by Erin at A Bird and a Bee and figured I could do something like that with the same bins I used to organize my freezer last year.

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Anyways, so I took my rear end to the Dollar Tree and grabbed these bins.  They are the same bins I used in my freezer so I can mix and match if needed.

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I went back to my closet and went through my things. (It was a disaster, I know.)  I went ahead and used this time to purge items that we no longer needed. (A little Konmari if you will.)  I got rid of sheets I won’t ever use and the ones that fit beds we don’t even have any more.

I then sorted the rest of the linens out into 5 separate categories.  Sheets, hand towels and wash clothes, kitchen towels, special kitchen linens (tablecloths and holiday stuff), and duvets.  I also used a larger laundry basket to hold a heirloom blanket so that it was held nicely and wouldn’t get messed up.  I used another basket to hold our beach towels, my husbands trunks, and a few other beach essentials.  This way we can toss this basket in the car on beach days and be ready to go.

I used Canva to whip up these cute little labels.  I made a blank set if anyone wants them.  You can download them HERE.  They would look great laminated or just printed on card stock like I did.

I chose to not mess with the bath towels.  I wanted to find a good basket for them but didn’t come across anything so I think they will be ok on their own.  With the extra space saved I was able to use a shorter basket for toilet paper storage.  We hadn’t stored TP in this bathroom before this so this will come in handy.  😉

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Overall we are pretty happy with this makeover.  I only spent  a few bucks and now I am no longer embarrassed when this closet is open. Also, hopefully this will be easy to maintain as the baskets are all labeled so can just toss item in the correct place.  (No, they are not folded, and that is 100% ok with me.)

How do you keep your linen closet neat?  Do you use a basket method or just folding and stacking?  Any other hints I could use?

 

March Faves

April 16
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March Favorites (1)

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Currently watching: 11/22/63
I read the book back in 2012 and let me tell you, I loved every minute.  It took me FOREVER to get through it, its a long book, but it was worth it.  Naturally,,when Hulu announced that they were going to do a mini series on the book I was super excited.  The problem?  They announced the series in September with a February release date.  So of course I did what any sane person would do.  I made myself forget about the announcement because I am impatient and unable to wait that long.  Waiting drives me crazy. Anyways, fast forward to the middle of March.  I finally remember about 11/22/63 and decided to try it out.  Well folks, its good.  Hulu decided to follow  a regular T.V. style release of the show so viewers only get one new episode a week.  Lucky for me, I wanted so I was able to binge on 5 in a weekend.  It was awesome. Of course now I have to get around to watch the new few, but that’s ok.  Keep in mind that the show does not follow the book completely.  If this drives you crazy then skip this one, but overall (so far) I think this is a great mini series.


Currently eating:-Quinoa bowls
Guys, guys, have you tried a quinoa bowl?  It is basically  a heather version of a chipotle bowl.  You can add whatever you’d like and give it tons of flavor.  My favorite combo?  Avocado, kale, cilantro, salsa, and lime juice.  Super fresh and healthy.  Check out a ton of combination ideas here.


Currently reading: Horrorstor
This nifty paperback masquerades itself as an Ikea catalog.  Perfect coffee table book material! The book is a story of mysterious happenings inside an Ikea knockoff.  Although the title makes it sound scary, the actual book is more of a humorous casual read.  Perfect for weekends and the beach. as its not to deep.  Check it out if you’re looking for a good relaxed read.  Perfect for vacations. MY favorite part?  The illustrations of furniture inside just like  real Ikea catalog.


Currently testing:  Tender Romance by Ralph Lauren
Ifluencer sent me this fragrance to try out and I am really liking it.  It is a nice soft flirty scent that makes me feel young and cute, like a spring afternoon.  Try it out next time you’re at a fragrance counter.

 


Photo edited with PicTapGo
Current favorite app:  PicTapGo
This app is my current fav photo editor just because it is so easy.  It opens up to your camera roll so you grab a photo and then it lets you edit it with their suggestions and your own recipes.  Then you can save it to your camera roll or push it to social media.  It is so quick and easy I have been using it all the time.  Try it out! (I believe it is currently just for iPhone. Sorry android users)

 

Hamilton: The Revolution

April 13
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Hey guys, I just wanted to take a second to tell you about a book we just purchased.  My husband has been a huge fan of the new musical Hamilton.  We haven’t had the chance to see it yet, but we have listened to the album on Amazon Prime. (Free to stream and download for prime members!)  Anyways, when we heard that Lin-Manuel Miranda had written a book with an annotated libretto (lyrics), the history of the musical and cast, and photographs; we had to have it.  Due to our Amazon Prime account we were able to have it delivered Tuesday (the day it came out.)  I was super surprised to see how big the book was!  It is the size of a college textbook. Anyways, I just wanted to share about it for a second in case anyone was on the fence about this title.  Although I haven’t had a chance to totally dig into it, I really think we are going to enjoy going through this book together.

Here are a few shots from the book.  When we pre-ordered the item I wasn’t sure what all it entailed so I figured a few images would help you get the idea.

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My husband’s favorite part?  The rough-cut pages.

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Are you a Hamilton fan?  Have you seen the musical?  What did you think?  Have you tried Amazon Prime?  If not, try a free 30 day trial today.

 

Disclosure:  The post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission from any purchases made via these links. This does not affect the price. I use these links to help offset the costs of hosting this site.  Thank you for your understanding.

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Emily Ley – The Simplified Planner review

April 11
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The simplified planner review.  A review of the 2016 simplified planner by Emily Ley.  This is a dated daily coil bound planner like the Day Designer  So as you may know from my latest planner review, I recently purchased an a5 planner from Webster’s Pages.  Anyways, I had planer to used that planner as my work planner, but I had a hard time finding the best dated daily pages for it. That was, until I ran across an instagram post about putting a Simplified Planner into an a5.  I saw it and LOVED the idea.  It fit perfectly and her pages are perfect.  Because it is early April, I was able to purchase the planner in a boutique for 40% off which was a great deal.  (FYI this planner is currently sold out online but they will be introducing an academic version soon.) I wanted to share a quick review of this planner because I am really loving it and want to share a little about it.

In case you are not familiar with the Simplified Planner, it is the creation of small business owner Emily Ley.  She created her own brand to produce and sell items to help women live a simple, intentional life.  She has been making this planner since 2008.

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The cover of this planner is a nice hard cardboard.  I love how sturdy it is and can tell that this planner is made to last. Each year Emily releases the planner with a few cover options.  The one I grabbed was baby blue with white dots.  The coil is large but sturdy.  I can say from experience that a coil that seems larger than necessary is a good thing because by the end of the year your planner will be so stuffed with notes and papers that it will need all that space.  It is important to note that inside under the paragraph “Caring for your simplified planner,” Emily mentions that the planner is meant to be used lying flat and not folded over.  She also says that it should always be opened and closed from the front cover, not the back.  This is to keep the wire i good shape.

 

Inside you’ve got a sturdy pocket which is the perfect size for many of Emily’s other products.  The front page is set up for your personal info.  Be sure to add your name and some contact information here so that if your planner is lost it can find its way back to you.  Worried about the finder not calling?  Mention a reward!

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Inside there is a super sweet note from Emily about how and why she created this planner.  Have I mentioned how sweet and inspiring this woman is?  I cannot wait for her book to come out.  One the next few pages after the note Emily goes on to explain how to use the planner and great tips on how to plan your life and focus on what really matters in life.  Seriously, this lady is super inspiring.

 

img_3945Before the actually calendar pages start you’ve also got a 2016 at a glance, a spot for a 2016 bucket list, and a list of 2016 holidays.

 

 

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Each moth includes a monthly view calendar with a Sunday – Saturday setup.  (So many planners put this page as a Monday- Sunday which really doesn’t work for me.)   There are also flags at the top of important dates  with holidays.

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The daily page setup includes two columns.  Today and To Do.  Today is a dated calendar from 6 am – 9 pm.  One line per an hour.  The To Do column is just that.  A place to list you’re tasks with radio buttons to check off once they are completed.  The bottom of the sheet had a large spot for Dinner and Notes.

The weekend is together on one page with a half size untimed Today and a To Do column.   Sunday has a Weekly prep list to help you get yourself prepared for the week.  There is also a section between the days to jot down a happy memory from the week.  This is great for those who save their planners to review later.

 

The paper in the planner is thinner than that of thick weekly planners like The Happy Planner, but it needs to be to be able to fit the entire year into something manageable.

 

Of course, I told myself that I was going to uncoil this planner to place it in my a5, but its so pretty.  Do you have this planner?  Are you considering it?  Are you an Emily Ley fan?

 

 

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Purple planner stickers

April 7
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Free printable planner stickers for the Happy Planner and Erin Condren. Print and cut with silhouette. Free stickers for your planners. AmberDowns.netDisclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free.Anyways, enough talk, here is the printable.  Enjoy!



After making my last sticker set I suddenly was ready to make another. I made these purple, why? I’m not even sure, but go with it.  I have some more ideas for stickers, but I need to make a few new color combos, I am not color savvy.  Anyways, here you go.
This printable is designed for sticker paper you can print onto regular paper as well. As always, I have provided this printable in both PDF form as well as a Silhouette file for those with Silhouette machines.  Silhouette owners- download the file and open it with the silhouette software.  The cut lines will be ready to go.  Be sure to check your blade settings! Download the Silhouette file HERE.

Click the image below to be taken to the full size image.  Print and cut.

april freebie

Looking for sticker paper?  I buy this one from  Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget?  Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.

Looking for more?  Check out my archive of free printables.

RELATED POSTS