Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag Review February 2014

I got my first Ipsy Glam Bag in the mail today!   I am so excited to tell you all about it, especially since it's only $10 each month to receive FIVE beauty products and a cosmetic bag in the mail!  Ya'll, that $10 even includes shipping!  I found Ipsy Glam Bags while checking out Stitch Fix reviews on blogs.  A blogger also reviewed a Glam Bag, and I used her referral link to sign up for my own.  Here's a tip:  There is a wait time before receiving your first bag after signing up.  But if you share your Ipsy account with your facebook page, the wait time goes away and you can get your first bag the very next month.

Before I go any further, I want to share my referral link:  CLICK HERE.

What is an Ipsy Glam Bag, you ask?

Michelle Phan started out doing Youtube video tutorials.  She was constantly asked the question: "What are the right products for me?"  I totally understand that question, since I've asked it myself.  Choosing the best items for your needs can be a challenge! That was why Michelle created ipsy. Michelle and her team of stylists have selected products they love, for you to try.

Each month, subscribers will receive a beautiful Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products. Members can watch and play along with the stylists with the same products that they are using. All for only $10 a month.

When you sign up, you take a beauty quiz, asking all about your skin tone, beauty preferences, favorite brands, skill level, etc.  I love this service, because I never buy new beauty products.  I've used the same tube of mascara since I quit work and started staying home.  I never wear makeup, because it's not fun for me.  All of that has changed since signing up for Glam Bags!

I can't tell you how excited I am about primping a little, especially since I've got some nice new clothes from Stitch Fix (link) to wear too!

Ipsy is also very involved with social media:

  1. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date.
  2. Explore beauty Looks on and enter monthly "Look Challenges" to win prizes.
  3. Subscribe to the monthly Glam Bag... it's just $10/month and packed with beauty products.
  4. Reveal exclusive offers from leading brands in your personalized Glam Room.
  5. Tell your friends about ipsy by using your unique ipsyPoints referral link.


The Review

I received an email the second week of February, letting me know that my February bag shipped.  They provided me with a DHL tracking number, which was transferred for delivery by my local post office.   My Glam Bag was delivered exactly two days after receiving my tracking info.  This is the stock photo of the February glam bag.  I knew that I would probably get different products than pictured, since each glam bag is customized for your needs, skin tone, product preferences, etc.



First Item: Pink cosmetic bag with pink cheetah print lining

I really expected this bag to be poor quality, since the entire Glam Bag was only $10, and that included shipping.  But, this is really nice!   I feel like it would hold up well to being carried in my purse.

Second Item:  Plump Pout Mini in Peony Petal

This lip gloss is so nice and luxurious!  It goes on very smooth, not sticky at all.  I usually don't wear lip gloss because the wind blows my hair onto my lips, and then my hair has gloss in it.   This feels so smooth and sheer, I don't think that would happen to me at all.   I feel like this is just right for my SAHM lifestyle.

The product can be purchased here, and it costs $16! Since this item was in my Glam Bag, I get 25% the retail price if I order this month.

Third item: Zoya Nail Enamel in Dot


This is the first item I used from my Glam Bag.   The color is very subtle, which I love.  I have stubby little nails, and don't care for dark polish on them.   I put on two coats, and after two days it looks as good as it did when it went on.  This polish is ultra long-wearing, vegan friendly, and contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, dibutal phthalate, or camphor.

You can buy this polish here, and it's $9-$10 per bottle.   Zoya is offering special discounts to Ipsy customers this month:  I get buy 2 nail laquers, get one free.  PLUS a $6.95 shipping credit.  PLUS a free bottle of remover.    AWESOME!


 Fourth Item:Tini Beauty Eyetini Cordial Cream Shadow + Base In One in Violette

I love this creamy eyeshadow.  I also love that I don't have to use a base to make it stick to my eyes.  I don't have time to dig around for two different eyeshadow tubes.  I received this in the color 'Violette,' which is an Ipsy Glam Bag exclusive color!  How neat is that?  Eye Cordial's revolutionary formula glides on beguiling creamy color and sets to a transfer-resistant finish that doubles as a wear-extending base under powder shadow.

You can buy your own here.   Retail value for this tube is $18.  Tini Beauty is offering Ipsy customers 50% off their purchase, plus a free nail polish with every order.


Fifth Item: skyn ICELAND Fresh Start Mask with Ice Age Mud


I'm sure I got this product because I indicated in my beauty quiz that I have extremely dry skin.  This 10-minute weekly treatment polishes and re-texturizes skin to reveal a luminous, youthful translucence for a fresh start.  Guys, you put on a clay mask, and then use an activating gel on top of that.  AND it effervesces with a warming sensation that oxygenates, clarifies and smoothes the complexion.

This product can be purchased here.  Retail value for this is  $39 for 6 treatments.  And skyn Iceland is giving Glam Bag recipients 50% off the first product, and 20% off subsequent products.  They also have free shipping on all orders over $25.  This is the discount I plan on using.


Sixth item:  J.Cat Beauty Eyelashes + Eyelash Glue


This is the item I thought I would never use.  It's not something I need, or care about.  BUT, I decided to expand my horizons and try it out for my Valentines Day date night.  Here is the nice thing about Ipsy:  I had no clue how to wear these, or apply these, or anything.  I was eyelash illiterate.   So I hopped onto my ipsy account and watched a couple of stylist video tutorials for applying them.  And it was so easy.  And fun!!!

You can buy these here, and you can take your pick from 30 styles that you won’t be able to resist.  Each includes an individual eyelash adhesive for endurance through a night on the town!  Each set of eyelashes is $3.99, comes with adhesive, and lasts for up to 10 uses.  Ipsy customers get 25% off their purchase, if they decide to buy these.  And I have to admit, it's fun to wear them!


My Thoughts

This was an awesome experience.   For just $10, I got at least $35 worth of product, including three full-size items (eyeshadow, nail polish, and eyelashes).  Plus I easily got double that amount in coupons and online discounts.  I've already ordered more face masque, and received half off my $40 masque set.

Is this worth my time and money? YES!   Will I continue to use this service?  YES, and I have no reservations about continuing this service indefinitely.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Stroller Caddy Organizer DIY

So.   I need a Stroller Caddy Organizer thing.

I want something like this:  LINK

Or even better yet, this:  LINK

But.  I don't have a lot of extra cash, and I need it for a trip in 4 days.   I would probably settle for the ugly version and buy the cheap one from Babies R Us.... except.  The closest Babies R Us is 80 miles away.  Even if I ordered it online, I wouldn't get it in time for my trip.

So I decided sew one, and figure it out on my own.  I thought I would share the process here, in case someone else is interested in doing one of these.


I measured my Chico umbrella stroller and decided that a 16in x 16in organizer would be best for me.

I needed a large compartment in the back to hold toys and a change of clothing for the girls.

I also knew I wanted two small front pockets to hold sippy cups, and a small front pocket to hold my cellphone.

And I wanted one pocket to hold diapers, and one to hold wipes.

I had some yellow chevron canvas that I used for a tablecloth at a craft sale, so I grabbed it to use for the fabric.  If you're buying fabric, 1.5 yards is plenty.


Two pieces 16in x 16in, on the fold.  (this will be the front an back of the caddy)
One piece 16in x 6in, on the fold. (this will be the top row of pockets on the front)
One piece 16in x 9in, on the fold. (this will be the bottom row of pockets on the front)
Four pieces 2in x 12 in (these will be the ties)
One piece 4ft x 1 in for binding, or buy a package of binding in a coordinating color.

Oh also, I ran out of parchment paper, and drew my pattern pieces on aluminum foil.   My goal was to only use what I had laying around my house, so I didn't run out and buy any parchment paper :)

(Not pictured is the skinny 4ft piece for binding.  Because I didn't realize I needed it until about an hour after this photo was taken)

I situated all of my pieces so that the fold was at the top of each pocket.  That way I wasn't sewing lots of square pieces of fabric together and ironing them.  I hate ironing seams and top stitching.  Notice the pins at the top of each piece of fabric.  That's where the fold is on each of them.  If you turn each cut over, you see that the fabric doubled.


1. Sew the tops of the four caddy pieces, on the fold.

Fold each piece so that the right sides are facing out.   Each pocket, as well as the front and back pieces should be situated to have a fold at the top.  

I wanted to make the top of each pocket a little stiffer, without using interfacing.  So I topstitched three seams across the top, where the fold is.

First top stitch.   The fold is at the far right side of the fabric.

Second top stitch:

Third Top Stitch:

Do this for the front and back pieces, as well as the two pieces for the front pockets.

2.  Sew the top front pocket (16in x 6in)

You've already top stitched along the top fold for the pocket.    Now, place the correct sides together (wrong sides out) and sew along the bottom,

Leave the sides unsewn.  Turn it right side out and press it with the iron.  This will give you a 'tube' of fabric, that will become the top pocket on the front, for sippy cups, etc.

3.  Sew the ties

Take two 2in x 12in pieces, and sew them together with the correct sides facing each other.  Be sure to leave one short end open!  Turn it right side out, and press with the iron,  Then sew the open end closed.  Repeat with the other two 2in x 12in pieces.

 These become the ties that attach the caddy to the stroller.

Here they are before I sewed them together, turned them right side out, and closed the end with a seam.  I forgot to take a photo afterwards.  Sorry :)

4.   Attach the ties to the back panel of the caddy.  

Fold each of the 12in long tie pieces in half. The fold should be at the bottom, with the two end pieces facing upward.   You'll use the two 'tails' to tie to the caddy to the stoller.

The tie will be sewn to the top corner of the back of the caddy.   Pin it about 1 inch from the side of the 16x16 piece, along the top.    The fold should be facing down.    Sew it to the back panel of the caddy  using a box and an "X".

Reapeat with the other tie, on the opposide side.

Now the ties are secured to the back piece of the caddy.

5.  Now, assemble the front piece of the caddy.  Lay the other 16in x 16in piece flat (the one that you didn't attach the ties to).  Pin the 6in tall pocket piece to the top portion, about 1/2 inch from the top., Pin the 9in tall pocket piece to the bottom portion, about 1/2 inch below the top pocket.

    -  Sew a horizontal seam at the bottom edge of the top pocket, securing it the the 16in x 16in panel (dotted line in the photo).  Then sew a vertical seam 6 inches from the side, on each side.  This will divide the top pocket into 3 sections (top two black arrows).

   -   Sew a vertical seam in the middle of the bottom pocket, dividing it into two sections (bottom black arrow).

6.  Sew the back and front panels together

Layer the top panel on top of the bottom panel, with the correct sides facing up.  Pin everything together.  Use your binding to attach the two panels together.  This will finish all of the side seams.

If you don't know how to do binding, I would go to Youtube and watch videos.  It's so much easier to understand than if I tried to take photos and explain it in writing.

Finished Stroller Caddy Organizer!

Simply tie it onto the handles, and you're ready to go!    I love this for Disney World, because the bright fabrics make my stroller instantly recognizable.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Stitch Fix Review #2 - February 2014

My second Stitch Fix has arrived!!   If you're not familiar with Stitch Fix, check out this post here to see what it's all about.  My stylist this time was Michelle, and just by seeing the online invoice earlier this week, I am really really impressed by her selections for me.  She totally nailed my style - now I just hope it all fits!   When my husband saw the contents of my box, he asked how much it was going to cost us to buy all five pieces, because he saw how perfect they were for me!

Check out the link for my first Stitch Fix here.

What is Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix is a personal styling service. You tell them all about your style, size, and budget preferences, and your personal stylist sends you a box of clothing and accessories to try on at home. Each Fix is unique and hand-picked just for you.  You keep what you like, and return the other items for free!

My main reasons for using Stitch Fix:
  1. I am a SAHM.  I cannot take a 3 year old and 1 year old shopping, while maintaining my sanity.
  2. I live really far from shopping options.  I live 40 miles from Target and Kohl's.  I live 115 miles from Gap, Anthropologie, H&M, Dillards, etc. I can't just run out and find cute, good quality, unique clothing, unless I make a day trip of it.  And there's no way I could do it if both my girls are with me.  It would not be fun at all! 
  3. When I factor in gas costs for a shopping trip, it's worth it to pay slightly higher prices through Stitch Fix.  Even if I could pay a few dollars less by shopping sale racks at the mall, the travel expenses and headaches to get to the mall aren't worth the savings.  Plus, Stitch Fix makes me go outside my comfort zone, and I need that!

I Cheated.  Again.   :)

I got an email last Saturday afternoon, letting me know my fix shipped via Fedex.  So I once again logged into my Stitch Fix account to see a list of everything in my box.  Then I googled all the item descriptions to get an idea of what I was receiving!

Based on what I found, my stylist did great!  I asked specifically for print or colored denim skinny jeans, and shirts or blouses with quirky prints or nautical stripes.  My box contained a nautical stripe tee with a bejeweled neckline, a stripe maxi skirt, cobalt blue skinny jeans, a stud detail shirt, and a heart print tab sleeve blouse.  

I *think* my stylist may have checked out my pinterest page.  I just went back and counted.  I pinned the stud detail shirt 11 times.  I also pinned 20-something pairs of colored jeans.  LOL!

Before I move on to the review, I want to share my referral link.  I'm not compensated by Stitch Fix for this review.  BUT... if you use my link to sign up, I'll get a small credit to use towards my next 'fix.'  I would be really grateful for a referral credit!

The Review

So, here's a pic of the box I got in the mail.

And once again, my items were so nicely presented.

There was a note from my stylist, and cards that showed me how to style the items in my fix.  But... um.....  Those jeans aren't cobalt blue.  They're 'dark denim'  -  nearly black.  I snapped a pic of the style card with the jeans, and emailed customer service right away.  I still tried them on, even though I don't need jeans this color.  I bought a pair of jeggings  from Old Navy last month in a pinch... since I knew I had asked for printed or colored jeans this month.




First Item:  Lulu Sheer Stripe Bejeweled Neck Top - $48

Now THIS is why I love Stitch Fix.   I would have NEVER chosen this for myself, even though it is definitely my style.   I love the nautical stripes, as well as the contrasting mint color on the neckband accented by jewels.  So cute!  My only reservation -  I tend to stay away from jeweled clothing.  If I lose a jewel, then the shirt is ruined.  When I tried it on, I noticed that the hem bunched up all the way around.   I think my hips are a little too wide.  Had there been a slit in the side hem, this would have been great.   Also, the material is 100% polyester, so it doesn't stretch when I move.  If I decided to keep all 5 pieces, this would have been totally fine to keep, the slight bunching really wasn't horrible.

Item:  Lulu Sheer Stripe Bejeweled Neck Shirt by Ellison Ellison Ellison
Status:  Sent Back



Second Item: Moni Stud Detail Dotted Print Top - $58

This is the shirt that made me want to try Stitch Fix.  It is so stinking cute!  I had high hopes for this one!   I am so glad that even though this was a teensy bit over the price range in my style profile, my stylist sent it anyway. (I have my price range for blouses set at "cheaper the better")  I wasn't able to discern the color of the blouse from all my Google searches, so it was a nice surprise to pull this out of my box!  I love polka dots, and I don't have anything this lovely burnt orange color.

(Notice the Harper photo bomb.   She was yelling 'cheese!!'  And I was laughing.)

Item:  Moni Stud Detail Dotted Print Top by 41 Hawthorn
Status:  KEPT!!!! I would probably buy this in another print :)



Third Item:  Elouise Striped Maxi Skirt - $70

Holy cow.  A $70 maxi skirt!  I just bought one last week for $16, and considered that to be the top of my budget.   So before I saw it, I knew that there would have to be something special about it for me to keep it.  And I love the unique striped print!  Plus, the fabric feels super nice.   To give  my stylist credit though, I upped my budget for bottoms this month.  I changed my style profile to "$50-$100" for bottoms, because I was trying to make it clear that I was okay paying more money for skinny jeans. So $70 is right in the middle of my price range for bottoms.

I tried it on with an open mind... because I really hoped it would all fit and I could buy the entire box.  And I LOVE it!!!  If I keep the whole box, I would love this.

Item:  Elouise Striped Maxi Skirt by
Status: Sent back




Fourth Item:  Colibri Heart Print Tab-Sleeve Blouse - $48

How cute are these hearts?  And I love the longer length hemline for this shirt.  This is so perfect for Valentines day, which I'm sure is a big reason it was included in my box.  It is pictured on the style card with a cobalt blue skirt, and my stylist suggested pairing them with the cobalt blue pants that were included in the fix.  Except. The jeans in my box were black.  And the shirt is true navy.   I wore this outfit today with my Old Navy jeggings I bought last month.
I love this blouse.  It's a nice weight material and it's tunic length, which is something I mentioned I was looking for in last month's fix.   I wish the skinnies in my box had been cobalt, but I tried to brighten up the outfit with a red scarf and shoes.

Item:  Heart Print Tab Sleeve Blouse by fun2fun 
Status: Kept... I think Kelly or Mint Green skinnies would look good too.

Fifth Item:  Amrita Skinny Jean by Just Black - $68

I got jeans!!! Happy dance!!!   Here is the trouble with Google.  It couldn't tell me what color these jeans would be when they arrived on my doorstep.  I saw them on different Stitch Fix reviews in navy, burgundy, bright blue, plum, green, and dark teal.  But OH how I hoped they would be green!

When I opened my envelope, I saw the style card and thought, "Cobalt Blue.  Not what I would choose, but still nice!"  My stylist did a good job getting me to go a little outside my comfort zone. Then, I opened my box, and saw the blackish denim jeans.  Super dark wash.

I was bummed.   BUT -  I'm grateful to be able to try a new brand of jeans in any color, ya know?  They were too long, so I turned the hemline under for the pics, which I totally don't mind.  The fabric was nice and thick, soft, and so luxurious.

Item:  Amrita Skinny Jean by Just Black 
Status:  Sent back.  Better luck next time!!
Note:  I did email Stitch Fix about the mix up on Wednesday.  I was really hoping they would find my AWOL jeans and offer to send them to me, since I kind of wanted that 25% discount.  Friday morning, I woke up to a reminder email to send back my unwanted items.  I still hadn't heard from customer service, but was worried that Stitch Fix would charge my account for the whole box if I didn't check out soon.  So, I gave up on my 25% discount and checked out with the two shirts I couldn't live without.  About 2 hours later, I received a super sweet reply email from Customer Service.  They offered to take the pants off my invoice, so I could still get my discount.  By then I had already checked out with my two shirts and dropped my package off at the post office.   I had also just ordered these jeans from Nordstrom, in the color 'oxblood.'  I am settling for a more subdued color with the Nordstrom pants...  I just can't wait another month for Stitch Fix to send me jeans, by then I'll be wearing shorts down here in the South.  It's not a big deal, really.  Just a bit frustrating.


The Verdict

So, if I had kept all five items, I would have received a 25% off discount, plus the $20 credit from my styling fee.  Which means I could have gotten five items for $206.  Now, this is significantly more than my first fix, which would have been $132 for all five items.  BUT - the items I received this month were perfect for me, and within the limits I set in my style profile.  I ended up keeping the two shirts, and paying $106.

 Was my Stitch Fix experience fun, convenient, and delightful?  Sure!   Was it the right size and the right style?  Mostly!  My stylist did a great job!  Yes there was a problem with the jeans, which I am bummed about.  But it's all good. :)

I decided to skip my box for March.  I really need to spend my money on jeans, in the next week or so.  Otherwise I'm not going to have much time to wear them before temperatures get into the 90's here.

As of right now, I have a box scheduled for April.  I asked for cute, comfy clothing that I can wear at Disney World.  We have annual passes, and I spend a lot of time in the parks.  I am also going to request the same stylist again next time.  She nailed my style, and I feel like she listened to what I wanted, and then pushed me to try clothing right outside my comfort zone.  Thank you to my stylist, if you happen to read this!  You did great!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Swimsuit Shopping for my Girls

I am loving all the spring items that are cropping up in our stores lately!   I fell in LOVE with a Garnet Hill kids swimsuit last season, but alas I waited too long to purchase it.  And it was sold out.  I was heartbroken, and so decided to order swimsuits early this year!   I found a few cute options online today, and thought I would share them on the blog.

1 - Circo Infant Toddler Girls' 2-Piece Tankini Set

  1. At $12, this is so cute!  The suit I missed out on last year was chevron. 


2 - Garnet Hill Kids Ruffle-Trimmed Halter One-Piece Swimsuit

This is the newer version of the suit I missed out on last year.  I love that it is fully lined, and covers all that parts of my little girl that I don't want everyone on the beach seeing.  This suit is available in lots of fun prints, and on sale right now for $20!

3 - Kelly's Kids Halter Style Bikini Top and Matching Skirted Bottoms 

Seersucker, embroidered whales, and the ability to monogram??? Yes please!!!  This is a little pricier... the top is $28 and the bottoms are $26.  Plus you have to pay $10 extra for monogramming, and also you must pay shipping on this site.  But gosh it's cute and preppy!

4 -  Carter's One Piece Ruffle Shoulder Swimsuit

My girls love flamingos.  The local high school has a flock of fake flamingos, and will put them in your yard as a fundraiser.  You can pay to have your friends' yards 'flocked.'   Since the flock landed on our lawn last year, the girls have been all about 'pink birds.'  Plus, this ruffled shoulder style is so cute too.  This suit is on the Carter's website right now for $20.40 on sale.

 So there you have it!  My favorite cute toddler swimsuits for Spring 2014!