Eyeliner. It's one of the products I can't live without, but it's also the bane of my existence at times. I know, I'm being dramatic, but I have a love/hate relationship when it comes to eyeliner. Some women can get away with applying eyeliner just in their waterline and some look fabulous without any eyeliner at all, but I'm definitely not one of those women. I've worn various kinds of eyeliner since I started wearing makeup as a teenager. Pencil, liquid, gel, you name it. I've even used eyeshadow as eyeliner and it was my go-to for many years. So if you're on the lookout for product recommendations or for ways to simplify your eyeliner routine, I'm sharing some of my opinions in today's post.

Allow me to preface the rest of this post with the idea that I'm not a makeup artist nor expert when it comes to makeup. I'm just a makeup hobbyist if you will and I'm always on hunt for ways shorten the length of time it takes me to get ready in the morning. I'm also fiercely loyal to MAC makeup with the exception of my favorite brand of drugstore mascara. If anything I share helps anyone in any way, I'll be totally stoked. And if you have any makeup tips or tricks to share, I'm all ears!

My journey with eyeliner started with an inexpensive drugstore brand of pencil liner. I didn't become an expert at it and some time during high school, I started using liquid liner. I don't know how I was able to use it so frequently without complaining about how long it took to apply, but I used it for a long time. Then during my first year of college, I paid my first visit to the MAC counter at Nordstrom. They taught me how to use various shades of eyeshadow as eyeliner by applying it with an angled brush and I used that for all my eyeliner needs up until a few years ago. That's when I was introduced to gel liner. And it changed my world for better and for worse. I was so excited that I could finally apply a product that would last as long as I wanted it to, but bummed because it took me so long to apply in the perfectionistic manner I like to apply it. After using it for a year or two, I found a brush that made it easier to apply, but I still wasn't sold because I felt like it took too long to apply. Recently, I paid a visit to one of my MAC friends and inquired about a simplified makeup routine I could use, particularly on Sunday mornings. Because church starts at 9 AM this year and we all know I'm not a morning person. She reintroduced me to pencil liner and now, I'm totally obsessed. Here are the eyeliner products that are in my current rotation:

1. Eye Kohl - I use this pencil when I want a smudged look. I can apply it more quickly than any other liner and it's perfect when I only have a second, but want to wear some type of eyeliner. I apply it to my eyelid and then smudge it with the #219 pencil brush.

2. Powerpoint Eye Pencil - I'm obsessed with this right now and it's the eyeliner I use the most frequently. It's fairly easy to apply and it stays on all day. I never expected that kind of staying power from an eye pencil, but this one is amazing. I should also note that I typically apply an eye primer before using this. I also use the #219 pencil brush to smudge areas where I haven't applied it as perfectly as I'd like.

3. Penultimate - I've been wanting to get back into wearing liquid liner for a while now, but I just haven't practiced enough with it. I currently have this liquid liner that I use very occasionally, but when I start getting into wearing liquid liner more often, I will definitely purchase a tube of Penultimate. I've used it before and I'm pretty sure it's probably the easiest form of liquid liner to apply.

4. Fluidline - This was the gel eyeliner I was telling you about and it has insane staying power. I love it, I really do. The only problem is that it takes more time to apply than an eye pencil. Obviously the more you practice, the more quickly you can apply it. But I still stray away from it for every day use just because I'm too perfectionistic. I used to apply it with the #263 small angle brush, but then I found the #211 pointed liner brush.

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ASHLEY ☆☆☆☆☆ (5/5)
It's no surprise I was ridiculously excited to see this movie. It's been a while since I've seen a solid chick flick in theaters, so this was long overdue for me. I had my suspicions going in that it would be slightly cheesy, just as most Nicholas Sparks story lines are, but I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn't! I'd heard rumors of different reviews claiming it is as good as The Notebook and although I wouldn't go that far because I feel like The Notebook is in a class of its own, Safe Haven was definitely a close second behind it. It had all the makings of a great love story and all the elements of a good drama. And in Nicholas Sparks fashion, there was a brilliant twist that absolutely made me fall in love with the entire movie. I realize I'm totally biased because I love chick flicks so much, but I'm completely crazy about this movie and can't wait to get it on DVD!

JEFF ☆☆☆☆ (4/5)
Well guys, this is a classic chick flick. So if you're looking for action, there is very little. But there are some intriguing characters that make this movie a bit more tolerable for those who don't like chick flicks. Me, on the other hand, I appreciate a bit of romance, so I thought the movie was good. It's not The Notebook status, but still good. The music was really good and very complementary to the scenes in the movie. I also think that Julianne Hough did a decent job in terms of acting, considering this is her first major lead role, at least in any film that I've seen her in. If you're a guy and haven't already been dragged to this movie, don't fret, it's actually pretty decent.

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Truth be told, I'm not very eloquent when it comes to writing in greeting cards. I don't know if it's me being perfectionistic as usual or if I'm really that horrible at greeting card prose, but I feel like I lack that particular skill nonetheless. I've let this idea prevent me from writing in cards more often than I should lately, but I decided that for Valentine's Day this year, I'm going to change my ways and actually compose something nice for Jeff. Let's face it, he's stuck doing a lot for me for Valentine's Day so I should probably attempt to be a good wife and return the favor.

I had a few extra paper hearts leftover from the paper heart garland I created last week, so I figured one of the smaller hearts would be the perfect for a handcrafted card. So just in case you're in the market for a last minute card and you don't like store bought Valentine's cards, I've got you covered. Have a Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

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Well, I finally did it. I painted the rest of the living room. It was something I've been debating for weeks now, both how many walls I would actually paint and what color I would paint them. I'm so glad there is finally paint on the wall and I'm even more glad I don't have to think about it anymore! We've sold all the old furniture and all our new pieces are in, now we just have to wait until the piano is finished and adorn the walls and our living room will finally feel like an actual living room again. Who knew a new couch would result in such a massive decor revamp?

Aside from being excited to finally be done with painting, one of the highlights of the weekend was, of course, the Grammys! You know me and red carpets. I love seeing what everyone is wearing and how everyone does their hair and makeup. In fact, I think I'm more interested in the fashion than I am the actual awards! Well, with the exception of the Oscars that is. That's when the red carpet and the awards might be on equal footing. I'll let you know how I feel in 2 weeks. Today, I'm recapping all my favs from this year's Grammys! Here goes.

I'm still not a fan of her purple hair, but I think Kelly Osbourne looked so classy. Her dress, her gold accessories and her middle part with a low ponytail. Such a great look for her!

Is it even possible for Carrie Underwood to not look beautiful? Her hair and especially her makeup are always flawless and I really loved her dress, although for some reason the light in this image doesn't do it justice.

I'm not usually a huge fan of the way Rihanna is styled, but I think she looked so beautiful last night! Her hair and makeup coordinated so flawlessly with her dress. I'm not even a fan of red, but this dress was incredible. The only thing I would change is that homegirl most definitely needed some support up top. And when I say support, I mean a bra.

Bad picture of her, but I really like Nicole Kidman's look as well. We all know how much I love gold, so her dress was of course, one of my favs and I think she wears pin straight hair so well.

Giuliana Rancic has such great style and even though I don't always put her red carpet attire in my collections of favs, I love this look. The color of her dress, her hair, her makeup, I love it all. Every time I see her hair it reaffirms my desire to cut mine mid length. All in good time...

Absolutely love Taylor's Swift's look! She looks like a greek goddess. I really loved the braids in her hair and I'm crazy about her dress. The only thing I would change is the t shaped strap in the middle of her dress. I like it incorporated into the rest of her dress, but that one piece, I just can't get used to.

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Valentine's Day: it's my 2nd favorite holiday and I think it's probably Jeff's least favorite holiday. It must not be fun to be a guy with a significant other this time of year. There are so many instances in which, I feel, being a guy would be so much easier than being a girl, but Valentine's Day is not one of them and I look forward to it every year. Did you know that Valentine's Day is also the second most celebrated holiday around the world? I checked wikipedia to see if Valentine's Day is supposed to have an apostrophe and found that interesting little bit of trivia. You know, just in case you're looking for a conversation piece these days.

It's been a while since I crafted anything, so I thought making some kind of Valentine's Day decoration would be just the thing to satisfy my need. I don't have a ton of decor for this particular holiday and because we're going through a bit of a living room revamp right now, I figured creating some kind of wall decor would be just the thing. There are tons and tons of garlands out there right now, but this one struck my fancy for some reason. Maybe it's because it's from Martha. It's perfect for Valentine's Day but can also be used for parties or even a wedding if the theme allowed for it. Here's how I created mine.

. stapler
. scissors
. glue stick (I also used scotch tape for reinforcement)
. card stock

1. Print out several copies of Martha's heart garland template and lay it flat on top of 2 pieces of card stock. (Martha's tutorial says to use 4 pieces of card stock, but I found it much more difficult to cut precisely with any more than 2 pieces.)

2. Staple the template to your pieces of card stock where the dotted line is in the center of the hearts. If you're stapler is small like mine, you can either trim the template slightly on the right or open up the stapler like you would do if you were stapling something to a wall. 

3. You're going to be cutting two different sized hearts with this template, the large one on the outside and the small one on the inside. Begin cutting along the outside border of the large heart until the entire shape is cut out. 

4. Make a small vertical cut along the solid line in between the two points at the bottom of the large heart and finish cutting the inner border. Repeat with the smaller heart.

5. Repeat steps #2-4 with as many different pieces of card stock as you'd like. The more pieces you cut, the longer your garland will be. 

6. Once you have all your hearts ready, begin linking 2 at a time through the cuts at the points of the hearts. Glue a small part of the ends of each heart together and reinforce with tape on the back. Then trim the excess so each heart forms a smooth point.

7. Repeat step 6 until your garland is as long as you'd like it to be!  

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Growing up, spring was always my favorite season. Both in terms of weather and seasonal fashions. I just felt more myself in soft pretty pastels and floral prints and I always felt like I knew how to dress for spring better than any other season. Then some time during the first year of our marriage, I fell in love with autumn. I have no idea why, but the cozy sweaters and cooler weather just made me feel so at home. It's been this way for me ever since and that's even how this blog got its name.

But over the past month, something weird has been happening with me and it's like all of a sudden I am SO excited for the spring! I don't know if its because it has actually been cold this winter, cold for SoCal that is, or because this year has felt like a year of new beginnings so far, but whatever the case, I am all about spring right now! It's as though all the difficulties of 2012 represent the winter and this new year feels like the world around me is awakening and everything is being reborn. That's the very essence of spring, isn't it?

It's not quite warm enough to be wearing short sleeves on most days, but I've started to celebrate spring slightly early with spring colors (I'm all about seafoam right now), bold floral prints and a fresh coat of pink nail polish on my toes.  

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ASHLEY (4/5) 
When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I had no interest in seeing it. I probably watched it at least 5 different times during the previews for different movies and I guess I just sort of warmed up to the idea of seeing it after a while (pun intended). I think it was the chick flick aspect of it that finally got me and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not at all into anything zombie related but I really enjoyed this movie! The idea behind the plot was totally unique and what I loved most of all was the movie's take home message at the end. There were some really great one liners as well ("What wonderful thing didn't start out scary?") and I really liked the narration. Somewhat contrary to Jeff's opinion, I thought the acting, at least on the part of R's character, was pretty well done. I'm 99% sure I'd be horrible at playing a zombie, despite taking quite a few acting classes at different times in my life.      

JEFF (3/5) 
For all you men out there, note to self: this was definitely a chick flick. Yes, there are zombies and yes, there are some gross parts, but for the most part, it's a love story. The acting was just okay, nothing that will win an oscar. There was some decent old school music. I'm giving it 3 out of 5 stars because as much as it was a chick flick, there were a few scenes that intrigued me, so I didn't want to go any lower in my rating.

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Life has been crazy busy lately and as a result, our DVR is full of multiple episodes of our favorite shows we haven't had time to watch yet. I realize this is a first world problem, but like too many trivial things in life, it stresses me out. Maybe it's because it indicates a lack of balance between work and relaxation in our lives, or maybe it's because I'm afraid popular plots will be ruined for me! Perhaps it's a little bit of both. Because I'm longing for the opportunity to be a major couch potato and play catch up with our DVR, I thought I'd post about some of my favorite new shows this season, as well as my thoughts on new seasons of old favorites. So go grab some popcorn and we'll dive in to a discussion of all things TV!


1. Nashville - I realize this show actually started in the fall, but I am absolutely obsessed! I'm always scared about starting new shows because I never think I'll love them as much as my old favorites that have ended (Gossip Girl!), but I always end up surprising myself. I really love how original songs are incorporated and I especially love how you're constantly learning so much about each character because the plot always seems to thicken. I'm also totally obsessed with Hayden Panettiere's character. If you're not watching, you can purchase the first 5 episodes on DVD at Target (on sale for $9 this week!) and jump in. And no, Target does not pay me to advertise for them. I should be so lucky.

2. The Carrie Diaries - This show took the place of my beloved Gossip Girl and I was of course, hesitant. Especially because I have never gotten into Sex and the City. Both the show and the movies. I've only seen the first episode so far, but I have a major crush on this show. The writing is amazing and despite not knowing much about any of the characters on Sex and the City, I'm totally into it and on board. I'm not a big fan of 80's fashion in general, but I'm actually liking quite a few of the pieces from the first episode. It's crazy how much current fashion is influenced by the 80's. Neon anyone? Even the cars on the show are time period specific and I love that. So far it's a bit too girly for Jeff, but he's a gem and I know he'll keep watching with me because we watch most of our shows together. That is except for Duck Dynasty (his show) and Tia & Tamera (my show).


1. The Bachelor - This one is obvious, I know. And this is the only one I forcefully make time to keep up with when schedules get crazy. But I'm loving this season. I think it helps that we have a decent and genuine bachelor who I think is legitimately that way this time. Unlike seasons in the past (cough, cough, Jake Pavelka). I still haven't narrowed down a favorite yet, but I'm liking a few of the girls so far. That is except for Tierra. She reminds me of a best friend I had in middle school who ended up betraying me. She even looks like her and it drives me nuts! Let's see how long it takes him to get rid of her. P.S. I'm extra excited we get TWO episodes on 2 different nights next week!

2. American Idol - I've known it for a while now, but I think this show is finally going downhill. I thought it would end when Simon left, but much to my surprise, it didn't. Then they enlisted JLo. And I loved it. I loved seeing how she was styled every week and I thought she was a decent judge. But this season? I just don't even know. I've only watched half of the first episode and just as I predicted, I can't stand Nicki Minaj. Even Mariah is driving me nuts because she comes across as arrogant. I know I need to catch up on episodes and perhaps, give Nicki a fighting chance, but I'm afraid for this season. Very, very afraid. Thank heaven for X Factor.

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