Monday, September 29, 2014

Insta-Becca: Letters & Dreamcatchers

A shot of my car decor on a particularly good day

This past week had its moments. I started training at a new job and attended a young adult gathering with people from my church for the first time. Today, I'm looking forward to what will happen this week. I'm excited to continue learning and training at my job. My sister's birthday is on Thursday this week as well! I learned that she asked for some nice luggage from my parents for travel, and so I jumped at the opportunity to get her some fun things she doesn't really need. I'll share more next week on the presents that I'm gifting to her. Stay tuned!

Some great love I received via snail mail from a friend

I was forced by my Facebook app to get the messenger app. That's right, I waited that long. I wasn't mad because they used this cartoon in the message. My sister and I are quite in love with it because we think it's an otter with a suitcase. It might be another animal, but we're ruling that it's an otter.

Happy to see Bethany Mota on the cover of Seventeen this month! I've been subscribed to her for the past 3 years on YouTube, and it's so cool to see all the success she's had lately!

Feeling this positive quote and the great graphic quality

Remember to follow me on my Instagram to get daily photos!
Have a great week friends!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Favorite Everyday Products

I've been wanting to do a post like this for a while. There are products, mainly makeup and hair care, that I reach for at least every other day. Every product on my list I've been using for over 6 months. I've been using some of them for years. Like most people, I'm loyal to products that work well with my skin and hair so I keep re-purchasing them. As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

So I got together my absolute favorite products that I use nearly every day. I scattered them on the rug in my room (isn't it a great rug?) and I'm pleased to see that the items can be purchased on a fairly low budget.

1. Small Polybands in Clear- These bad boys are so wonderful to have around. If I ever tie back half of my hair or do a braid, using a small clear elastic looks so much better than a bulky black elastic band. Be careful though, they disappear quicker than bobby pins!

2. Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette- Such a great staple for a makeup collection. I got this last Christmas and I still use it often. All but one of the six colors are matte and they have great color payoff. Don't underestimate a good neutral eye look. You can bet that I'm planning on getting the new Naked2 Basics Palette!

3. Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray- I use this spray to enhance my naturally wavy hair. You can use it on wet or dry hair. Typically, I use it on my hair after a shower when it is half-dry by scrunching hair as I spray. I also have its companion, the texturizing cream that makes hair curlier, but it's not necessary.

4. Suave Dry Shampoo- This is a product I always have on hand. I try to go two days between washes so that my hair stays healthy. My hair tends to get oily after a day (because I'm human) so this dry shampoo saves me every time. It also smells incredible and adds great volume to my roots. The shampoo itself is a light color, so people with darker hair have to make sure they rub it in. Oh, and did I mention that it is under $3?

5. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment in Brightener- Quite a long name for such a little thing. If you haven't heard of this product, I'm pleased to introduce the both of you. However, you probably have heard of this since it's a well-known favorite among many. It does a great job on dark circles, especially if you have allergy eyes like mine. It's easy to blend and has good staying power. If you have fair skin, I recommend getting the Brightener shade, it's more pink and it lights up your face.

6. Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation- This foundation took the place of my usual Revlon Colorstay, which by the way is a great product. This has great coverage and can also double as a concealer. It looks best on my skin when I apply it with a buffing brush. Just a warning- you'll try to keep the cap clean, but it will ultimately get messy.

What are your everyday products that you would recommend? What do you think of my roundup?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beauty Inspiration: Skins

I've been a fan of the UK show Skins for a while now. The series has ended, but it's on Netflix for anytime I want to re-watch the greatness. I liked each generation equally, and I loved the 3 characters they featured in the last season 7. Out of each generations, there was always a girl whose makeup/hair/style was inspiring to me. Just looking at photos makes me want to start experimenting more with makeup.

Her usual look, which consisted of fairly bare skin with a smudgy, smoky eye look.

I love this close-up shot of her eye makeup in the episode where they all go camping in the woods.

The evolution of Effy's makeup and style can be seen in this photo from season 7. Effy works in an office so her outfits are nicer and her eye makeup has been toned down a bit and she wears more color on her cheeks.

Cassie is probably my favorite character in the entire series. Most often she looks like this, with a very real no-makeup makeup look. You can tell that she wears no eye makeup and probably only wears a bit of foundation for the show. Her hair is almost always natural as well, and I'm often inspired to let my hair be, since it looks remarkably close to her's when natural.

On the rare occasions where Cassie gets done up, it's stunning. She is such a quirky individual that her style reflects that. The second picture is a cool look that I'd have a lot of fun replicating. The third photo is the crazy makeup Cassie wears as a model in season 7, which the show juxtaposes with her just as beautiful natural face.

Mini is fascinating as an "it girl" character that is quite insecure and emotional at the same time. I love her style and how she is able to pile on bracelets, necklaces, and big earrings on top of an already girly outfit.

I really want those earrings in the second photo. I love that the makeup artists on the show didn't cover up her freckles with foundation but enhanced her natural beauty. Her hair is usually in messy spiral curls that I ought to try more.

There are so many girls that have looked stunning on Skins. These three are my top go-tos for inspiration, but there were others that I looked to as well. Runner ups would probably include Emily's cute outfits and some of Franky's nice makeup moments.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Insta-Becca: Three Different Trees

New set of Thank You Card Stationary and black fountain pens from Paper Source

This past week caught me off guard. I've received letters from friends in the mail and also felt love from those who have received letters from me recently. I was hired to work in a store that I love, where I get to be creative and inspired by the items around me. To cap it all off, yesterday I was asked by a couple in my church if I would sing for their wedding early next year. All of my talents are gifts from God that he has lent me, and to see people appreciating them everywhere is a wonderful feeling.

Words I always see on my way toward downtown Houston on I-45

A great shot of Abby after we walked around the park but before we visited Pet Depot

A close-up shot of some excellent woodworking that will be auctioned by my church at the Texas Mennonite Sale & Auction for World Relief this November. This mancala game is made of wood from 3 different trees- maple, cherry, and oak. This comes from the Instagram account, which I started recently. Follow here to see more!

Big smiles from me and and a best friend after we ate some great Indian food and went shopping in weird stores.

Follow me here on Instagram to see photos like this daily! Have a great week!

Friday, September 19, 2014

DIY Fall Leaves Jar

I started finishing up several of my Bath and Body Works candles, and I wanted to do something with them. There are a few tutorials out there on how to transform old candles. I like this one because it's specifically for fall and quite easy to do. Enjoy!

How to Clean Out Your Candle:

Step 1: Put your candle in the freezer for several hours.
Step 2: Use a butter knife to break up the candle wax. It will easily break into chunks and fall out.
Step 3: Wash the jar out with soap and water. The front label will peel off easily.
Step 4: Use the butter knife to scrape off the bottom label after getting it wet.
Step 5: The bottom, side, and inside of the candle will be sticky from wax and labels. Remove any stickiness with Goo Gone and some paper towels. Rinse out afterwards.
Step 6: Dry the jar, and it's all clean!

How to Add Fall Leaves:

You Will Need:

  • Mod Podge (I'm using Hard Coat)
  • Sponge brushes
  • Fake leaves (mine are from Michael's)
  • Your clean candle-free jar
  • Scissors (not pictured)
  • LED tea lights (not pictured and optional)
Prep your leaves. Mine came on a large stick in the flowers section of Michael's so I had to cut all the stems off. I separated each color into piles so that I could see my color options. Using scissors, cut up the center of each leaf, about 3/4 up the leaf. If you don't do this, it's extremely difficult for the leaf to lie flat on the jar.

Using the brush, apply liberal amounts of Mod Podge to the back of the leaf.

Carefully place the leaf on your jar. Often, parts of the leaves be too big and stick out over the top of the jar. I like the way it looks when a few of the leaves stick over like this. However, if you don't you can fold the tops over and adhere them to the inside of the jar with Mod Podge.

Once you have placed down the leaf, start applying Mod Podge to the top of it as well. Always go a bit over so that the edges stick down. Not all of the parts of the leaf will stick down, just try to press down so that most of the leaf adheres to the jar. Once the leaf is mostly dry (the white will fade to clear) you can start putting on more leaves.

Here I added 2 more leaves next to the original I placed on the jar. I like to have them overlapping a bit, but not too much. It all depends on your preference. I recommend not putting on more than 2 at a time, since the leaves do tend to slip a bit when they're first put on and it's easier to deal with just a few.

Here is the same shot a few hours later. I propped my jar on its side while it dried, since standing it upright would cause the leaves to slide down. In this photo, it's mostly dry, but when it's completely dry all of the white will have turned clear. I alternated the position of the leaves. some were straight up, others were angled, and some were on their sides. After you have all of the leaves on, let the jar sit overnight so that it is completely dry.

As a final touch, I placed an LED tea light in the jar. You can use a real tea light, just be sure to keep an eye on it. I like this kind because it's a special Electronic Flickering kind that I purchased from Michael's. It looks like a real candle is burning through the leaves.

Here's the final product! Have a happy and crafty fall!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Here are some quotes I'm inspired by this week. For more, visit my quote board on Pinterest, or follow me on Pinterest here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Thoughts on Miss America 2015

Miss New York, Kira Kazantsev, was crowned Miss America last night, making this the third time in a row that Miss New York has won. The new Miss America is a first generation American; her parents immigrated to the U.S. from Russia. She triple majored in political science, global studies, and geography at her university and plans to use the scholarship she won last night to attend law school. Her pageant platform is "Love Shouldn't Hurt: Protecting Women Against Domestic Violence," and is inspired by personal experience from an abusive relationship.

Looking at all of these facts, I'm impressed with the new Miss America. However, as I was watching the pageant last night with no prior knowledge, I started rooting for Miss New York as soon as I saw her in the Evening Gown portion of the night.

White and metallic colored gowns were popular among the finalists, but Miss New York's gown stood out to me. She opted for a fashion forward gown. The white dress is classic and beautiful, only with embellishments on the ends of her sleeves. This was the only long-sleeved dress worn, proving to America that in order to be beautiful, women don't have to expose a lot of skin.

Other dresses were nice, and I was also a fan of Miss Arkansas' embellished white gown (below), but it was clear to me that I wanted Miss New York to win with this dress. Every other evening gown had a plunging neckline, and was often accompanied by a high slit. True, Miss New York's dress dips lower in the back, but it was classier than the several gowns with a trendy circle cutout in the back.

In the final lineup of the remaining 5 contestants, the future Miss America stands out in her striking dress. I should also give her props because it's an expected trend for the evening gowns to have lots of sparkles and shimmer, which she strayed away from.

I'm also in love with Miss New York's outfit choice she wore while performing her talent. The shoulder embellishments are something that I still love, and the blue jumpsuit looked so comfy as she sat cross-legged on the stage.

There were many negative comments on her talent, which was her singing Happy while tapping a red cup rhythmically. She said that she was inspired by Anna Kendrick, who tweeted this funny reaction when she saw the performance. People on twitter accused Miss New York of not doing anything particularly talented or difficult. I do agree that many of us could have sung and tapped that performance, but according to Miss New York, that was the point. She says that she chose to do something that many could do because she wanted to inspire young girls to see that many of them could be Miss America. I don't think this was a blunder, she got the audience clapping and since so many contestants sing for their talent, she took it to a more trendy and interesting place. Singing is a beautiful talent, but about half of the contests sang last night, and it has become a difficult one to stand out in, which Miss New York accomplished.

The question portion was where Miss New York did her best and impressed me the most. All 5 of the women did well and there weren't any blunders. Kira stood out because she didn't just answer a question with grace and in a professional way. She was asked a hard question about an issue, and in her answer she brought up another important issue. She was asked about the female U.S. Senators and instead of giving a bland answer about how important it is that women are in politics, she said that they should press the issue of combating sexual assault in the military. It aligned with her platform, and you could hear the passion in her voice. The judge who asked the question, gave a big smile in response to the answer, and it was clear the judges were impressed.

The judges say that the decision of who should be Miss America was unanimous. I'm so happy to hear that. The new Miss America's intelligent answer in the question round makes me hopeful that we'll continue this trend. I'm also a big fan of the Miss America they crowned last year. Miss America shouldn't just give a politically correct answer, like Kira, she should give intelligent insight and bring up important issues in our country. I'm also exceedingly proud that she won wearing a fashion forward, more modest dress. Of course, the judges are looking at the beauty and figure each woman has, but I think it's so important in what way they show it off. Little girls everywhere can look at the new Miss America and tell their parents that they want to be her when they grown up. And their parents can look at the pageant winner, and happily agree.

Friday, September 12, 2014

DIY End of Summer Inspiration Board

I have a small cork board on the wall in my room. Since it was given to me, it has collected many pins and random flat objects. At first, I tacked pictures of family and pets on the board. Since my board is only about a foot long, I ran out of room and began pinning and layering the pictures on top of each other.

Several years later after piling invitations and cards over the already crowded pictures, it looked like this:

Poor lighting aside, this was just a mess. While many of the pictures and invitations are important to me, it's difficult to appreciate them like this. I decided to keep pictures in photo albums or frames where they look best. I also am working on making up a scrapbook for all of the save the date and wedding invitations I receive from friends.

The first step I took to turn my cork board into an inspiration board was to take everything off and started fresh. I also made a deal with myself- my material would only come from magazines or art. Since I was working for an End of Summer inspiration board specifically, I ripped out pages of exclusively younger and more colorful magazines like Seventeen and Glamour.

Here's what I ended up with:

For this board, I only needed a few pages because of my limited space. For my Fall Inspiration Board (coming soon), I intend to fit a bit more images with smaller pages or pages that have been trimmed to get more of a collage effect.

I'm pleased with the overall effect of this board. Whenever I see it, I instantly feel cheerful. I immediately think of flowers, the beach, color, and sun. The colored pins add to the color as well, which has me contemplating buying clear pins for the fall and winter.

What do you think of my board's inspiration? Do you think that I need more room to encapsulate what's inspiring me? What is your inspiration board like at your home?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Alice Art

Lately, I've been wanting to get an Alice In Wonderland art print for my room. Since my entire blog is inspired by the book, it seems appropriate that I should have a representation of it in my space. Etsy has a range of art prints that are Alice themed, many look like actual books and others are more colorful and graphic.

Here are my top choices:

1. Curiouser & Curiouser- this would pay tribute to my blog in an obvious way
2. Tea Print- this works for my love of tea and color
3. Book Cover- the image of Alice falling down the rabbit hole
4. Rabbit Timing- pocket watches and a rabbit over text looks so quirky
5. We're All Mad- one of the most commonly quoted lines, the pop art quality is great