Wednesday, June 25, 2014

DIY Entry/Foyer Decor for UNDER $40! (including the furniture!)

Our entryway was basically empty for a while and I was searching high and low for the right decor within our budget... which was basically $0. lol Luckily, I'm a bit thrifty & crafty so I was able to figure something out with a little creativity!

First, my husband made the moose antler lamp. He's extremely talented. If you're interested in a deer antler lamp, check out his website -

I scored the table off one of those Facebook resale groups that are so popular right now. $15 bucks baby... yep. So excited about that deal!

Before:


I went thrifting where I found 3 wooden frames (from the 1960s). I bought some cheap craft paint from Walmart and painted them myself (after some extensive Googling to ensure they weren't worth a $1000. lol I've watched too many of those shows on TLC, History Channel, etc)

Frames:  $1.50 each


I searched high and low for the perfect table runner but never found what I wanted... so in true Lindsay fashion, I just made one. :) I recycled the paint I used for the picture frames. Bought burlap at Hobby Lobby and the stencil at Michaels. (Use your coupons!! Both stores ALWAYS have a 40% off coupon available!)

Burlap (2 yards):  $8 
Stencil:  $10



After! Total, I spent less than $40 for the frames, paint, burlap, stencil, AND the table!


A few tips for finding furniture deals:
- When out thrifting, look for fixer-uppers
- Check Craigslist
- Keep an eye on Facebook resale groups!
- ALWAYS offer a lower price than what they are asking! 99% of the time the buyer will accept or counter with an offer more than your offer, but still lower than asking.

Happy hunting!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

*Mascara Addicts Anonymous*: Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal (A Review + Pictures!)


Ok, ok... maybe "addict" is a bit extreme.  But if you are like me, you can never have enough mascara! My husband constantly pokes fun at me for having 10+ tubes (at times) and still coming at him with, "But this one's newwwwww. It's volumizes AND lengthens!" I could be speaking another language for all he cares. lol

Although I venture at times (guilty), Maybelline is still my go-to for mascara. Colossal is my favorite so far, so when I saw they have Pumped Up Colossal, I just had to have it!






 
Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal


First impression:  You gotta love the hot pink tube! It stands out in my makeup bag and makes it very easy to find (in what I refer to as... "the black hole.")

No mascara:

 One coat:

Two coats:

The brush:  I LOVE this brush. I seriously think almost any mascara is a "good" one as long as it's got a nice, fat brush! Anything I've tried with a scrawny brush has left me disappointed. I won't even buy a mascara now unless the brush is huge.

The formula:  It went on smooth. Wasn't too runny or watery... I hate mascara that's runny. Obviously, not like water but do you know what I mean? I like it thick so it sticks to my lashes! lol I applied one coat, let it dry, then applied a second coat. It stayed on all day and I didn't have an issue with flaking. I even had a bootcamp workout yesterday evening and it lasted without smearing or flaking through that!

Conclusion: I don't think it's that much different than the original Colossal but they are the same price. So why not? I would buy it again!


I love trying new mascara! What's your favorite?


*All opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any way by Maybelline (I wish!). I just really love their mascara and wanted to share with you!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Throwback to my Pregnancy - Throwback Thursday

I am a little sad that I took my hiatus from blogging basically throughout my entire pregnancy. I wish that I would have wrote about the different stages. It was such an interesting time! This post is just a little "Throwback Thursday" about my pregnancy in general.

I was extremely lucky, or blessed, with this pregnancy.  Little-to-no morning sickness. For the longest time, I couldn't wait until I could feel him move just so I could feel pregnant! lol In the beginning, I knew something was up. My skin started to break out like I was a teenager again. I was extremely tired... I mean, falling asleep like I had narcolepsy at times! lol I was so, so tired in the beginning! I took two tests - one on a Friday (negative) and another on the following Monday (positive). 


I was considered "high risk" due to elevated hormones. I had to see a specialist weekly the last two months which got pretty stressful. However, I did love getting a sonogram monthly then weekly! I got to see him grow and develop before my eyes. It was pretty neat! The first part of the pregnancy goes by pretty fast... but the last month seems to drag on! I think that's pretty normal for most women. 

Pregnancy was pretty incredible! Growing human life inside of you. We definitely want more kids, but not any time soon! lol I'm still working on getting my pre-baby body back. Next time, I want to take better care of myself. Exercise more. Not gain as much weight. My goal is to get to my goal weight before our next baby. 

Wish me luck. ;) I'm not 21 anymore! lol

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Declutter Your Life :: Closet Edition


My husband is quite the handyman... so his gift to me for Mother's Day is that he's going to re-do my closet! He's going to building a custom closet for me, BUT first I had to clean it up.

- BEFORE -
cluttered chaos



- DURING - 
empty the closet

- AFTER -
neat & organized



I enlisted the help of my good friend who owns Southern Maids. She organized my clothing by sleeve length and color. I got rid of a lot of clothes. I was holding on to items from college just in case I magically drop 50lbs or something. lol I decided to get rid of anything that was way too small. I'll slowly build up my wardrobe again :)

Here are a few tips:
- buy a cheap shelf for your shoes
- displaying items give you a boutique feel
- get rid of the clutter
- everything must have a place
- maintenance! Take the extra time to keep clothing & shoes in order

Do you have any organization tips?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

My very first post... ever.

Helene in Between & Venus Trapped in Mars started a link up called #firstsTOTALSOCIAL. I thought it was pretty neat! I didn't necessarily intend on linking up...but I was curious to go find my very first post on this blog.

Monday, April 20, 2009

http://bellacene.blogspot.com/2009/04/well-hello.html

I remember starting this blog. I had no idea what I was doing... or where it would go. I've come and gone... a couple times. I give up, get busy, or take a break but I always come back. I started this blog to share about my handmade jewelry once upon a time. Then I discovered a passion to write about budget fashion and beauty. Life in general. Now, 5 years later... I'm a new mom and I find myself reinventing the blog again. I guess that makes sense. I do consider it a "lifestyle" blog so the blog kind of grows with me. I really need to commit more time to it. I love going back and reading through the stages in my life.

Now I can write about growing into motherhood. I am still myself... I love fashion, beauty, budget-friendly finds, traveling, etc. You'll find a little bit of it all here :)

Helene in Between

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Birth Story

My husband and I had our first child on December 28, 2013. Up until that day, one of my biggest fears was childbirth. Luckily, I had a DREAM experience! I wanted to share my story...

I went in for an induction on Friday, December 27. You can't tell by this photo... but I was FREAKING out. Still, we were so excited to meet our little man. It had been a long 9 months! Anyone who's had a baby knows... the last month or two are... the... LONGEST. lol My husband and I decided to go on our last date before the baby to the place where it all began. Our first date:  Red Lobster. lol


We got to the hospital by 6pm, like we were told. Once I got changed into my beautiful (sense the sarcasm?) hospital gown, that's when it all hit me. I broke down in tears! I had never been so afraid in my life! Just like I handled all the other uncomfortable parts of the pregnancy, my husband prayed with me and I was just going to take it moment by moment. Honestly, I was most afraid of the epidural and I thought to myself, "You don't HAVE to get the epidural." 


The nurse came in, got my IV hooked up and the heart monitor on my belly to keep up with Luke's heart rate.  Hint - make sure you get your IV in the OPPOSITE hand you typically use! I'm right handed and for some reason, let the nurse put it in my right hand and then I had to sign a bunch of papers and other stuff. It was so difficult and uncomfortable. Next time, I'll definitely get it in the left hand. lol

Here's where it gets exciting:

The nurse put this pill in my "lady parts" (lol). It's supposed to dissolve and soften the cervix. The nurse warned me that the pill can cause cramping. After about an hour, I started having mild period-like cramps, so I asked for my first dose of pain medication through the IV. Earlier, the nurse has given me an Ambien so I could get some rest before the big day. I woke up after a little bit because the cramps were back. They weren't terrible. I was breathing through them like I'd always heard and read. Honestly, I've had period cramps worse than these. The nurse checked me and I was actually in labor and dilated to a 4! She offered the epidural but I was reluctant. Luckily, she convinced me to get it now instead of later... and I'm glad I did! Here's the timeline from the epidural:

4:00am:  I got the epidural. Was not at all like I was expecting! Didn't hurt and was over rather quickly. 
4:30am:  My water breaks! I'm at 6cm
5:00am:  I'm dilated to a 10!! My mother and doctor were nowhere to be found. lol
5:30am:  The doctor and my mom finally arrive. It's time to push!
6:06am:  My beautiful baby boy is here!


I am so blessed with such a smooth birth experience! I am so happy that I only had to have the epidural in for just a couple hours. Luckily, I didn't have any of the terrible side effects I'd read about! I loved my doctor so much. Ironically, he's known me since I was a little girl. lol He delivered all of my siblings! (all 5 of them!) I trusted him 100%. 

Look how happy he is!
  

Daddy & baby Luke:


Oh. my. gosh. The drive home was the scariest drive of my life! It felt like every car was so close to us! My husband typically drives pretty fast and "knows his truck well". lol I'm pretty sure he barely touched the speed limit. lol I was so relieved to make it home!


No matter how you choose to give birth (naturally, medicated, at home, hospital, birth center, etc)... our goal is all the same:  a healthy baby.


No matter how you choose to have your baby, you're a good mom.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My First Mother's Day

This past Sunday was my very first Mother's Day as a mommy! I had our baby boy, Luke, in December. He's 4 1/2 months old now.


So far, I've been blessed with a calm, content baby. But on Mother's Day, I woke up to a pissed off, screaming child. lol Fitting... I thought. I'd hoped to sleep in but Luke had other plans. We finally all got up, grabbed a quick McDonald's breakfast that we ate in the car... not to dare wake Luke up from his much needed nap.

He was pretty unusually grumpy the whole day... but I would not trade it for the world! I'm pretty sure he's going through a growth spurt or something. They tend to be easily agitated in those times. lol

My child looking like the infamous "grumpy cat" in this photo:
Happy Mom & Dad: "Let's go have a wonderful family lunch!"
Grumpy Luke: "No."

lol

So much changes when you have a baby. You can never truly be prepared. You just take it day by day and you'll love it more than you can imagine. My world revolves around him. The decisions I make, big and small, are all made around him. It is no longer about me. And that's okay. :)

Happy Mother's Day to all you mommy's out there!