Saturday, January 11, 2014

House Cleanse: Day 1 Goodbye Extra Bedding

So I have a lot of stuff. As in a absurd amount, that takes up way to much room, and basically is stressing me out. I moved last month and that gave me a wakeup call that I don't need this much stuff. But you know what getting rid of it is really difficult. I am constantly thinking, what if I need it eventually? I don't want to buy something that I already have. This cleanse is an attempt get rid of that mentality and make life slightly simpler.

Day 1 consists of me getting  rid of all of the extra bedding I have. This means I am giving away the following:

Throw pillows (I did keep three, two for my bed and one for my reading chair).
European sized pillows that I needed for my old comforter set. (I have decided that even if I get a new comforter that has European Shams I am not going to use them. They just end up on the floor by my bed).
Several sets of full sized sheets (I have a queen bed why in the world am I keeping the wrong size sheets?)
My comforter set from my sophomore/junior year of college (I have since had two other comforters and was keeping it just in case).
Several blankets
Some blue sheer curtains that matched my old comforter.

All of this will be donated to my local non-profit thrift store.

So far I am feeling good about this. We shall see how the rest of it goes!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dressember: Day 1

Dressember Day 1:

What I'm wearing: 

Black Maxi Dress from PacSun bought in 2009
"Love" Sweater by Modern Lux bought at Ross earlier this year
Thrifted Red Belt
Black Flats by Mad Love from Target

Sorry about the poor photo quality. My camera is out of commission for a few days so I was forced to take these with the webcam on my computer. Obviously not the best option.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wine Crate Bookshelves

So I haven't posted anything in almost three months. No I didn't die or give up on this blog. Much more exciting that that: I moved to California. So moving, finding a new job and then a new apartment has kind of been all consuming of my life. But I am back now with so much amazing stuff to share. I am working on a gazillion projects to get my apartment all in order and here is the first installation: Wine Crate Bookshelves.

I love these shelves from DesignedforUse on Etsy but at $275 a pop they were a little out of my price range.  Luckily I was able to find a man who had tons of old wine crates and was able to create my own. So here is how I made them:

Piece of wood to help sturdy the book shelf
Power Drill
Drill bits

Find some crates. Look on craigslist. Or buy some from the craft store.

Stain your crates. I used Ebony stain from Home Depot. I used the staining technique described in Young House Love (which might be my new favorite blog. Just saying) to make new wood look old.  Wear gloves or you'll end up with hands like mine.

Sand down any parts that are too dark.

Screw the crates together. Make sure you screws are long enough to go through both crates but don't go all the way through the second crate.

Take you piece of wood and attach to back of crates. Drill holes in the wood first to keep it from cracking.

Add a piece of nylon ribbon to the top. Use this to secure it to the wall. Mine were still a little wobbly and this definetly made me feel much better about them. Throw a few picture frames on top to hide that part.

A couple of things I noticed:

Make sure all your crates are pretty much the same dimensions. When I was picking mine out there were some that were as much as 1/2 inch deeper. That would make for a slightly wonky bookcase.

When I was screwing the crates together they didn't exactly lie flat against each other. This is ok as long as they are securely connected. When you add the stabilizing board it will help to keep them together as well.

There is a slight hight difference in my two shelves. It doesn't bother me but it did mean that one of the stabilizing boards is slightly too tall. I only measured one bookshelf and it happened to be the taller one. I might go back and cut off the extra but I doubt it. If this is something that would bother you make sure that you measure both shelves before getting your wood cut.

PS. I just had the guys at home depot cut the stabilizing boards for me

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ten Tips for Gorgeous Winter Skin

After a beautiful indian summer, it is finally starting to cool down in Colorado. This means I now get to enjoy many of my favorite things: hot coco, fires, snowball fight, wrapping up in an afghan and reading Harry Potter, and snowboarding. The one downside to the cold weather is my skin dries out like crazy. Growing up in Colorado I have learned a few ways to help keep your skin looking great.

  1. Stay Hydrated: I know everyone always harps on about drinking water but seriously just do it. Your skin cannot look great if you don't have enough water in your system. In the winter you might not think you need to drink as much water because you aren't sweating. Well you do. A
  2. Use a Humidifier: If you live in a really dry climate like Colorado, using a humidifyer is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your skin looking great. When you turn on the heat in your house the humidity automatically drops. A humidifer will increase the moisture in the air which can then be absorbed by your skin.
  3. Exfoliate: About once a week I use Shavano's La Plata body sugar scrub to get all the dead skin cells off. For everyday showering I use Sunlight Tea Tree and Lavender soap. There are lavender seeds in the bar so it gently exfoliates while still smelling and feeling amazing. 
  4. Temperate Water: While in the shower/bath don't use really hot water. This dries out your skin even more. 
  5. Switch to a Body Oil: In the summer I find an oil is a little to heavy for my skin unless I am just getting back from the pool but in the winter I love it! When I get out of the shower I typically slather on Shavano Antero Body Oil. I love that it quickly absorbs into the skin so I don't have to worry about it getting on my clothing. At night I generously apply it to my feet and then put on some of those aloe socks (although I typically end up kicking the socks off at night. Hehe)
  6. Wear Sunscreen: Some of the worst sunburns I have ever had have been during the winter after a day of snowboarding. Just because it is overcast doesn't mean you can't get burned. Snow can refelect the sunlight back at you causing a more severe sunburn. Couple that with wind burn can make for a very painful couple of days. Therefore, make sure you use sunscreen and are covered up.
  7. Stay Away from Tanning Beds: I know it can be very tempting to go to the tanning salon in order to maintain your gorgeous summer glow. Please don't. Not only are you increasing your chances of skin cancer but you are also prematurely aging yourself. Trust me ten years down the road you will thank me for this. If you must have a tan look into spray tans. I love getting a really good airbrushed tan. These are customizable so you don't end up looking like you just stepped out of The Jersey Shore. For short term gratification use a bronzer. 
  8. Don't Forget Your Scalp: My scalp gets really dry in the winter. I typically do a deep conditioning on my hair once a month but will sometime do it more frequently if my hair and scalp seem to be particularly dry. I know its a little old school but I swear by hair Cholesterol. You can pick up a tub of it from Sally Beauty for around $5.00!! I also try not to blowdry my hair as often because that will also dryout the scalp. 
  9. Fish Oil: Not only will this help with your hair and nails but you skin will also glow from taking this. 
  10. Moisturize More: A couple a weeks ago I posted about my skin care routine to deal with hormonal acne. In it I only used my Snowmass Facial Lotion in the morning. Well when it starts to cool down I also mosturize at night before bed. I also apply hand lotion much more often during the winter. I usually keep some by my bed and put it on before I go to sleep. I also keep it in the kitchen next to the sink. Someone please remind me to bring some into Beau Jo's as well.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

She is Too Fond of Books

So this is a project that I have actually had done for several months but never got around to hanging up. Well it is finally mounted on the well and I must say. I'm in love with it. Back in June my best friend from home and I decided it was time to do some book art.

Now, to give you a little insight into our relationship with books. At one point both of us wanted us to be librarians when we grew up, in high school we were often found hanging out in the library just because, we tend to name our pets after literary characters (well Harry Potter ones anyways) and we both have massive book collections considering how often we move.

 Like I said, we really needed some book art. Keeping with the theme, I chose this quote from a Louisa May Alcott book (which like an idiot I misquoted but hey I am only human!) I originally saw the idea on Life as a Thrifter Blog and new I had to recreate it. Since, she does an awesome job showing you how to do it I won't create a new tutorial, instead just tell you how I did mine differently.

First off instead of plywood, I used a canvas. The only problem with this was that it tended to bubble the old book pages. At first this stressed me out a bit but then I decided I actually liked the added texture. Instead of gluing my pages on in an ordinarily manner I did it much more sporatically. Since, I used an old poetry book this worked out better because some pages had more text then others. This way I could cover up blank spaces if necessary.

Finally instead of painting on the quote (I am fairly limited when it comes to those artistic skills) I printed out the quote on card stock paper and glued the letters on. I then did one more layer of Mod Podge to seal everything down.

Heidi's version is much closer to the original, except she used one of those trifold presentation display boards. That way she was able to use the big and little pieces as well. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

OMG! IS THAT A ZIT?!?! Treating hormonal acne with Shavano Skin Care

For most of my life I have been blessed with very good skin. It tends to be on the dry side but that is something very normal for Colorado. However, I occasionally go through phases of hormonal acne that can be pretty bad. Over the years I have tried tons of different treatments, from Proactive to Clearasil to Skin ID (does that even still exist?) to plain old soap and water. Some treatments seemed to help, others did nothing and some even made my skin worse! When I start to have one of the these breakouts, I just assume that there is not much I can do and it will clear up over time. That mindset completely changed when I started using Shavano Skin Care Company products.

There are tons of things I love about Shavano. First is that all their products are all natural made with essential oils, vitamins and minerals. There are no harsh chemicals that dry out the skin.

Shavano Skin Care is a small, local company based out of Denver! This allows Shavano to make product in small batches to ensure freshness. They are also surprisingly affordable. Prices are comparable to drugstore products and much cheaper than designer ones.

Finally, Shavano does amazing things for my skin, especially my hormonal breakouts. I use three of their products on my face and will never go back to anything else.

Here is my treatment process;

At Night:

1. Wash face with warm water and Humboldt Peak Repair Soap. Vitamins and minerals in the soap help repair skin and acne scars, while preventing breakouts. Geranium Oil revitalizes skin tissues, cleanses oily skin and keeps skin supple. This soap is specifically recommended for hormonal break outs.

2. Towel dry face. With a cotton ball apply Sunshine Peak Facial Toner. This removes any dirt or make-up that is still on your face while moisturizing as well. Lemon and lime oils are natural disinfectants that clean your skin without drying it out. Lemon grass oil is used to naturally dilate the blood vessels (which helps to tighten pores) and clears up excessive facial oils. Witch Hazel is a natural astringent that doesn't dry out your skin and also is an anti-inflammatory which is useful in helping to calm down those swollen red pimples.

Ok, so after reading that you might be thinking. That is a lot of oil to be putting on your face. Wouldn't it just make your acne worse. I used to think like that until I started using Shavano. I did a little research and this article from the Beauty Bean explains why these natural oils work so well. Basically, when you use harsh cleansers your skin dries out and therefore produce more oil to compensate for what has been stripped away. Oil based cleanser remove makeup, impurities and excess natural oil, while moisturizing your skin. I love the fact that it moisturizes as it cleanses. One less step for me to do!

In the morning I apply an over counter salicylic acid spot treatment to any huge pimples and then use the Snowmass Facial Lotion allover my face before putting on my makeup.

The results of this routine are incredibly dramatic and I can always tell when I haven't been using my products as regularly.

If you would like to buy any of the products I mentioned here you can contact me directly at or order off the website at

**While this post was not sponsored by Shavano Skin Care Company, I am a paid employee. However, I would not recommend this line of products if I did not truly believe in them!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What have I done?

So I might have done something slightly crazy... I registered to run a 5K at the end of September. The Color Me Rad 5K to be exact. For those of you who don't know what this is, let me explain. Basically as you are running the approximately 3 miles people through cornstarch dyed different colors at you so that by the end of the run you are a brightly colored hot mess.

Now I am not a runner. Generally, I would say I hate to run more than almost anything but I really want to start getting into better shape and decided I needed something to kick my butt into gear! So this was my solution. I am now officially registered the the Team: The Muska Mind Readers with my best friend Heidi (who fyi is a runner who just finished her first half marathon!). And while this is slightly daunting I am really excited about it!

To help me start training I found a couple of 5K training schedules. I am actually doing a combination of two different programs. The first one if from the Mayo Clinic and is a 7 week program. This works out perfectly because the run is in 7 weeks. However, I felt that this was designed for someone who is really out of shape and I wanted something a little bit more of a challenge. Therefore, I am also using C25K app that I found.

I like this because it has longer run/walk ratios (run for 60 seconds, walk for 90 seconds for the first week). On this program you are training for three days over 8 weeks. I think I am going to actually run 4 days a week (depending on how I am feeling). Another thing that I love about this app is that while you are running/listening to music it tells you when to start the walking/running sections. This is amazing because it means I don't have to worry about checking my watch or resetting timers, I can just keep moving. The only bad thing about it is there isn't a GPS with it so I don't know how far I have run. My solution to this was to also have the Map My Run app going as well. This way I know how many miles I have gone.

I also have to share something rather astonishing. I have bought my first pair of tennis/running shoes since my Sophomore year of high school (yep over 8 years ago). The only shoes I wear are ballet flats, boots, heels or flip flops so I haven't felt the need for new one's until now. I picked up an amazingly comfortable pair from Marshall's for $30.00! I think they are pretty cute for running shoes as well!