14 WEEKS OF MELODIES, #14.

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Long Black Road-Electric Light Orchestra

… And here we are. It’s the last of the fourteen weeks for this blog hop as 2013 comes to a close, so I won’t bore you by droning on and on about this week’s pick. I’ve been loving listening to the American Hustle soundtrack (which is incredible, by the way) as a little 70’s throwback, and the song Long Black Road? Yes. I’m obsessed. It’s not for everyone, but I do love listening to it while jogging (I’m a bit of a sucker when it comes to 70’s and 80’s music…). I can’t believe I actually managed to do every single post in the blog hop; I’ve been quite busy but I’m happy I stuck with it and did all fourteen. Wishing you all a very happy New Year’s tonight :)

 

MY FAVORITE BLOGS OF 2013.

blog favesWith this being the year I got into both reading blogs and running my own site, I wanted to give a nod to the ones that both inspired me to start my blog and those that I’ve enjoyed reading all year long.

Porcelain Shree

I adore Shree’s blog; she always keeps her reviews detailed, but still very to the point. A lot of blogs I read usually don’t include any lifestyle/personal bits, so I love how refreshing it is that even though she stays true to chatting about beauty, she gives her readers peeks into her own life and updates us about what’s going on. Plus, I’m a sucker for pretty blogs, and her new layout is seriously gorgeous. Love.

20/30 Glam

My first ever comment from a reader on one of my posts came from this lovely pair of bloggers, Julie and Ashley. Besides being two of the sweetest people, they keep the reviews coming and I seem to always end up ogling the products on their blog. I don’t tend to see many tips/tricks posts around the blogosphere, so I love that they’ll do series of quick bits about new ways to use the products you’ve got.

But First, Coffee.

I’ve been reading Kallie’s blog for a while now, and I actually just saw that she reached a thousand Bloglovin’ followers, which is huge, so congratulations to her! First off, she’s seriously gorgeous, and I love watching her on youtube as well (you can check out her channel here). She gives great reviews for products, and I love reading her Sunday Inspiration posts as well.

Ana Céline Labod

I started reading Ana’s blog a few months back after seeing her Face of The Day post (here) and I remember noticing how absolutely stunning she is. I read a few of her older reviews and loved her style as well, and from there I was hooked. I love the way her blog looks (sensing a pattern here?), and her reviews are honest and concise, with some gorgeous photography thrown in.

hanhabelle

Since discovering Hanh’s blog a little while ago, I always do that thing when a post of hers pops up on my bloglovin’ reader where I drop everything to read. She has lovely taste, and her blogging style reminds me a lot of Kate’s from ghostparties., one of my favorite blogs. I love good photos when flipping through blogs, and hers are no exception, always sharp and stunning.

The Beauty Recensionist

Giada’s been a pretty constant reader of my blog, which always makes me happy; I love knowing that people out there actually care about what I write. Her own blog is fabulous; great photos, reviews, the whole nine yards, very reminiscent to me of Vivianna Does Makeup. Lovely read.

There you have it! My most-read blogs of 2013, simples.

14 WEEKS OF MELODIES, #13.

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Bartholomew-The Silent Comedy

We’re almost at the end of the road here with this hop, and this week’s pick is another from the last episode of The Originals that I mentioned last weeks. I’ve been listening to Bartholomew by The Silent Comedy nonstop this week. NON. STOP. It’s not the most incredible of songs, but damn is it catchy. It’s very rock-chic esque, kind of one of those songs you envision playing in the background if this moment in your life was actually a scene from a movie and you’re about to do something totally bad*ss. Love.

Don’t forget to check out the host blog, Beauties Unlocked, here.

RETURN TO TIFFANY.

close-up sunnies

sunnies side

DSC_0328I’ve been lusting after these sunnies for over six months now after having spotted them in my local Sunglass Hut, so imagine how excited I was when my mum left this pair under the Christmas tree! These are the “Return to Tiffany” Aviators, and I absolutely love them. I fell in love with my last pair quite a few years back, so I thought it was finally time for a new investment. The frames are just the right size for my face, and I think they suit me better than the Ray-Ban Clubmasters I was ogling at the beginning of the summer. They’re super light too, which is nice since they don’t leave the bridge of my nose all bruised after hours of use. I love how the metal detailing on it is subtle because of the brown-toned color; I think it’s less flashy than gold/silver-rimmed lenses. Overall, I’m totally obsessed with these. My sincere thanks, Santa.

DIY PRADA MARFA SIGN.

Screen-Shot-2013-05-21-at-9.11.33-AMIf you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you’ll now how much I love Gossip Girl. If you watched the show, then you’ll also know that in her apartment on the Upper East Side, It-Girl in chief Serena Van Der Woodsen has this stunning Prada Marfa canvas. After doing some snooping, I found the piece for sale by the artist, Elmgreen and Dragset, on Art.com for $430. Take a sec to imagine how much makeup $430 can buy. So, after doing a bit of searching on some décor blogs, I figured I could make my own for under $50.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

Canvas (I used a 30 x 40 like the original, but you can use whatever size you want)

Black Acrylic Paint

Paintbrush (If you’re buying a brush, I found the Filbert brush to work the best.)

Painter’s Tape

Black Permanent Marker

Photo Editing Software (Adobe Reader and Photoshop)

I first found a photo of the artwork online here and copied and pasted it into a photoshop file, which should have the same dimensions as your canvas. After cutting the sides down and stretching it to fit the background, I saved the file as a PDF file. Next, I opened the file using Adobe Reader to print it to scale. This took some trial and error, but I found that if you set the dimensions to the size of your canvas and set the print setting to “Tile” for a large poster, the lettering is spaced out over around 7 pages to scale.

sign 1

sign 2After cutting those with an exact-o knife, I spaced them out and taped them onto the canvas, making sure they were leveled correctly with a ruler. Next, I traced the letters and numbers onto the canvas lightly. I can’t stress this enough; paint is much easier to erase than pencil on blank canvas.

pencilWhen that was done, I removed the stencils and traced over them with permanent marker. Make sure everything’s clean; you want straight lines and even edges all the way through.

penone

pentooAfter that, all that was left was to fill them in with black acrylic paint. Because it’s water-based, it helps to wet your brush and wet the paint a bit before you start to thin it out; start with thin layers of paint and then build them up until it looks jet-black. If you make any mistakes, just grab a paper towel, wet it, and rub away any stray paint marks carefully. It helps to wrap the wet paper towel around your index finger and almost “scratch” away the paint lightly. After all that is done, wait for it to dry and you’re done! Serena’s chic Prada sign, simples.

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AND THE WINNER IS…

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 10.22.33 AMMerry Christmas everyone! So it’s the end of Blogmas, and of my first giveaway here on succhisimples. And the winner is… Heidi A! Congratulations, and we will be emailing you soon to ship over the goodies:) I have a lot coming up for the next year, so stay tuned for a few updates here on my blog. Thank you so much to all of you who entered, to Stylinspire for collaborating with me this month to bring you this giveaway, and to all my new followers! Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

14 WEEKS OF MELODIES # 12.

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The Neighborhood- Let It Go

So we’re nearing the end of this series as the year draws to a close, and I know I’m a little late with this post, but it’s just a quick bit today I promise. Not sure how many of you guys watch the Vampire Diaries, but I happen to be a huge fan, and I also follow the spin-off, The Originals (which I gotta say I’m starting to prefer over its parent show). Since the beginning, TVD has had one of the best soundtracks on  TV, and its sister show is no exception. We’ve all heard the buzz about The Neighborhood and Sweater Weather, but I actually prefer this one to the über-hyped track. It’s called Let it Go, and it’s one of the songs that played during The Originals’ Winter Finale. Have a listen here, and don’t forget to enter my Blogmas giveaway below! There’s still time to enter, and don’t forget to have a look at this Hop’s host blog, Beauties Unlocked.

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SCRUB A DUB DUB.

scrub 1

scrub 2I’ve always loved me a good ol’ lip scrub, but I’ve mostly made my own since they’re incredible easy to whip up, so I haven’t really seen the need to spend money on one. That is, until all the buzz started up about the Lush Popcorn lip scrub, and then of course I had to have it. So, on my latest quest to my not-so-local Lush shop, I finally went home with my own little tub, and I am so in love with this thing it’s probably unhealthy. The taste is amazing, it has this incredible salty-sweet taste that’s basically the best popcorn medley in the entire world all in one little glass jar. The only downside I found with this one is that because it is on the dryer side of lip scrubs, it is messy since the sugar tends to break up when you apply the product, but I put a few drops of water into the tub (and I do mean drops) and it totally did the job. While browsing the lush website, I also happened upon the new Santa’s lip scrub for Christmas, which is cola-flavored with cherry and date infusions, and even includes little edible red hearts. This one is beyond cute, and seriously tastes like a good cherry cola. Fortunately, I have an amazing friend who happened to be on her way to a Lush store and picked one up for me, so yeah, I’d say it was kind of a Kwanzaa miracle, but I digress. Do you need at least one of these? Yes. Will your life be a thousand times more enjoyable with both? Absolutely.

What are your favorite products to exfoliate your lips? Let me know below! And don’t forget to join in on Blogmas and enter the giveaway below!

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A VERY LUSH CHRISTMAS.

Let it come as no surprise, I am a huge lushie. I love most everything about the brand, from their whole natural philosophy to their adorable merchandise. So I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t at least a little giddy when their Christmas collection came out. The full collection includes over 30 different bath and body products, as well as a few skincare bits. I recently popped into the shop after a trip to my not-so-local Ikea store, but I mainly stuck to bath bombs, with a few scrubs in the mix.

cindersFirst up, meet Cinders. This one’s described as a “warming cinnamon crackler” by the brand, and it’s priced at $4.95 here. It’s meant to give you the experience of sitting fireside, and I have to admit it does make your tub look (and smell) like a vat of bubbling cider. While it did fizz when first popped in and bubbled for a while, I had expected more of the “crackling” action to be going on; instead, there’s a few pops in the beginning and then it kind of settles to a normal bath bomb experience, although it did leave my skin feeling soft and smelling yummy after use. It’s nice, but I don’t think I’ll be stocking up on this one for the year.

snowmanNext, we’ve got the scrumptious vanilla ballistic, Snowman, priced at $5.95. For any Butterball lovers, this one has the same scent, if in a bigger size. Lush says that, “Snowman’s cocoa butter melts into hot bath water to get skin seriously soft,” which I have to agree on. I’m a big Butterball fan myself, and this cute rendition is irresistible. Love.

secret santaAs soon as I saw this next one in the store, I almost fell over it’s so freaking cute. Enter, Secret Santa. Here’s what Lush has to say about this one: “Modeled after the very first LUSH Shop in Poole, England, this limited edition holiday invention holds an exclusive new perfume called 29 High St! Drop the entire house into your tub or break it in half for two baths and revel in the cheerful orange water as notes of jasmine, lime, tonka and Sicilian lemon envelop your senses.” This definitely smells of a lush shop (I’m even considering picking up that new perfume just because it smells so damn good) and I love that you can break it into three pieces and get three full baths out of it. It’s on the pricier side of their bath bomb range at $9.95, but totally worth it in my opinion for the large size. My personal favorite.

bombardinoThe undisputed winner of cutest bomb (which sounded way better in my head) is baby Bombardino. This little guy smells of lemon cheesecake and is supposed to have a bit of champagne in there too. In summation, he smells divine. Great quickie bath and great gift, especially for kids.

puddy in your handsLet me preface these next two bath ballistics by saying that I’ve got some pretty amazing friends, one of whom was shopping at the nearest Lush and immediately called to ask what I wanted her to pick up. SQUEAL. First we have Mr. Pud (whose full name is Luxury Lush Pud, if you were wondering.), who smells exactly like my all-time favorite, Twilight, but with festive colors. I love this one, and I love that it’s big enough to split into two baths, since I hate only getting one use out of bath bombs.

sex bombThe second bath bomb she picked up for me, which is actually not a part of the Christmas line but their most popular item I’ve been wanting to try for a while now, Sex Bomb. They’re not kidding, this one smells seriously sexy. It’s packed with Jasmine, among other things like Sandalwood to keep things sweet but a bit musky.

oh yes, please pass me my ponchoOff the bath train and into the shower, I picked up the Ponche shower gel. This stuff smells amazing, especially for those mornings when you’re feeling particularly groggy. It’s got orange and tequila in it, and really gets me going for the day. I would say use a scrub afterwards, as it leaves things a little film-y, which would normally be fine, but because of the color, it is a bit annoying to towel off and see that the cloth has turned orange-y. Guilty as charged.

I did also pick up the Popcorn Lip Scrub and was given the Santa’s Lip Scrub as another gift by the same amazing friend (are you sensing a trend here?), and I have a review on both to come, so stay posted!

We are also still in the midst of Blogmas, and the giveaway is ending in six days! If you haven’t already entered, please do so below! What are your favorites from the Lush Christmas 2013 line?

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BLOGMAS DAY 2: HOLIDAY NAIL ART.

nail 2Hello everyone! Hope you’re all having a great month so far. I’m more than a little late with this post, but here’s the second in the Blogmas series. If you don’t know what Blogmas is, check out my post here. I knew that for my nail post, I wanted to do something simple that didn’t require loads of stamps, etc., and I think this look turned out really well.

nails 1 First, I blocked out the shape of the tree with tape (I couldn’t find striping tape, so I actually used painter’s tape I bought from Home Depot forever ago and tore up little pieces with straight edges. I then painted the inside with Butter London’s British Racing Green and took off the tape while the polish was still wet. Next, I took a dotting tool and and painted the “ornaments” inside the tree with NYC’s Times Square Tangerine. I cleaned the dotting tool and painted the “star” at the top of the tree with OPI’s Goldfinger. Last, I used the same tool with NYC’s polish in White. After a quick swipe of Seche Vite, we’re all done! Christmas tree nails, done. Simples.

If you haven’t entered my giveaway with the lovely Sadia of Stylinspire yet, enter below!

 

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