Brush Cleaning Day

I am no makeup guru because I am waaaaaaay too lazy for that. I have never been one of those people who wakes up early to do extra things to my face and hair. Most mornings I get ready in about 30 minutes (because I wake up late and literally have no choice).

contour

I am also lazy at cleaning. BUT this means I always look for the most efficient way to get things done as quickly as possible.

Last night I wanted to make sure I had fresh make up brushes for the morning, so I cleaned my brushes before bed and thought I would share my lazy girl method with ya!

Supplies:

  • Dirty make up brushes (duh). I use something similar to the Sonia Kashuk Essential Eye Kit brushes and a few Real Technique brushes from Wal-Mart
  • Small bowl or cup
  • Shampoo (but not just any shampoo. I use an organic, paraben and sulfate free shampoo)
  • Hot water

What you do:

  • Run your faucet until your water is hot
  • Pour about a quarter size dollop of shampoo in the bottom of your bowl or cup
  • Add an equal ratio of water to shampoo
  • Swish your dirty brush around on the bottom of the cup. You will notice the make up coming off the brush and changing the color of your shampoo
  • Once the brush is saturated with the mixture, scrub it a little bit more using your fingers
  • Rinse under the faucet and repeat if necessary!
  • Shake or towel dry to remove excess water from brushes
  • Set brushes horizontally (like over the edge of the sink) to allow to air dry

I have messed around with different brands of store bought cleaners and so far this is my favorite method. Another trusty method is to use equal parts dish soap, white vinegar, and water as the cleaning mixture, but I didn’t like my brushes smelling like vinegar.

Bonus tip: have a back-up brush/sponge in case your brushes aren’t dry by the next time you need them. I’ve learned this from experience… 🙂

Here’s to clean brushes!

xoxo,

Melissa Sue

 

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My Favorite Travel Option

I like to save money wherever I can (who doesn’t?!). My mom always jokes that I get it from my papa, but my mom raised me going to thrift stores, so I think they are both to blame. We have just always been thrifty people!

The other thing that I like is getting a true feel for where I am traveling. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for hotels. My mom and I had the trip of a lifetime traveling from Denver, Colorado to Boise, Idaho when I was returning for my Junior year of college. My mom put me in charge of lodging and I went pretty cheap (see: Motel 6, Budget Inn, anything with “cheap” in the name, etc.). By the time we rolled into Boise, we were desperate for deep, quality, sleep and my mom booked us a room at Holiday Inn Express. We walked in and it was like we had emerged from a month of being stranded in the wilderness. “It smells like fresh laundry! They serve cookies at the front desk! The room is so quiet!” Hands down one of my favorite memories.

So, hotels are good BUT I AirBnB whenever we are wanting to get off the beaten path.

Here are a few reasons why I like AirBnb (also check out VRBO):

  • You rent from locals.  And most of the time they can give you really good suggestions for places to eat, local things to do, the best coffee shops, etc.
  • Free parking. Caveat: not always, but more often than not. Chances are, they are renting to you because they are out of town, so if you rent their apartment downtown, you also get to use their parking space. You don’t get “valet” but you also aren’t paying $20+ a night to park.
  • Free other stuff. Wifi. Pool use. Coffee and creamer. Cooking staples. Netflix/cable. Some will even include bikes to use, pool/beach towels, beach chairs, and equipment that you can use appropriate for the location.
  • A kitchen! Again, depending on your needs and booking preferences, some rentals will not have a kitchen or it will be limited to just a mini fridge and a mircowave. We always like to have a kitchen if we are staying longer than 2 days so that we can visit the local grocery store/farmer’s market/bodega and make something for a night in. This helps save us money and we can just enjoy the location and each other’s company.
  • Personalized feeling. The hosts are usually pretty great. You can write a message telling them why you’re coming before you confirm the reservation (“my birthday weekend” or “bachelorette weekend,” etc.) and they host will usually leave you a little treat. When we booked a house in Nashville, the host left us some things to get us started like coffee, snacks, and a local candy along with a welcome note. It was so nice and made us feel very welcome.

If you’re planning on traveling, sign up for AirBnb and use my referral code to get $35 in travel credit.

xoxo,

Melissa Sue

 

Are You a Pinterest Addict?

Yes, hello. My name is Melissa and I’m addicted to Pinterest. I don’t care if you say it like Pin-trest or Pin-ter-est. I just know I’m crazy about organizing random images that I will most likely never need ever again.

As I was creating this blog one of my biggest desires was to be able to embed pins.
I’ll admit, I started searching on Pinterest on how to do this and wandered down a few rabbit trails before I stumbled upon the *actual* guide.

Thanks to WordPress, it is an EXTREMELY EASY process. Check this out.

Happy Pinning!

xoxo,

Melissa Sue

Word of the Year

If you’ve grown up in or around the church, I’m sure that you’ve heard the verse “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” – Philippians 4:13. Fun fact: it was my husband’s senior quote for the yearbook. 🙂  It is a wonderful verse that can serve as a reminder where our inner strength is rooted. However, not many people include the prior verse (v 12) in their quotation.

Verse 12 says, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Coming from Paul, the author of Philippians, this is a huge deal. (Read a brief overview of the life of Paul here) He had his fair share of suffering as a follower of Christ. Yet, he speaks of being content whether he is fat and sassy (paraphrasing) or hungry, and either having much or having little.

This year, rather than making resolutions, I have chosen the word “Content” as my focus. It is my goal to be content in any and every situation like Paul. Easier said than done, I know. However, through reading books (most importantly, the Bible), blogs, and listening to podcasts about “minimalism,” I know that this is something that I truly want to work towards. We are surrounded by advertisements always telling us that we need to upgrade, that we need more stuff, and more space that is bigger and better. However, God is constantly calling us back to Him, to simplicity, to a life that is Holy.

I hope that you will occasionally check in with my blog and read a little about my journey along the way, as well as pray for me as I seek to emulate Paul.

xoxo,

Melissa Sue

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.’ ~Lao Tzu

Planning to Fail Pt. 2

So the whole point of a capsule wardrobe is to take away the stress of too many daily choices. Have you ever been to Cheesecake Factory? There are like 1243741942348203957 flavors of cheesecake to choose from (ok, there are actually only 33 flavors, but still). IT IS OVERWHELMING! You could always go for the classic, but then you might be missing out on the strawberry cheesecake, or the chocolate-diabetes-attack flavored cheesecake.

The same thing can happen in your closet. You probably have too many outfits to choose from (I know I do). This leads to spending extra time pairing things together, or trying on one thing and finding that it isn’t fitting the way that you would like, or maybe the colors aren’t right, or you can’t find the pair of shoes that matches with the shirt, etc. There are too many decisions!!

The capsule wardrobe curates 33 pieces appropriate (including shirts/pants/dresses/accessories/shoes/jackets) for the weather/season that you can easily choose from to reduce the daily stress. Courtney Carver, the creator of this project sums it up perfectly:

Remember that this is not a project in suffering.

Like I said in my post yesterday, I completely failed at this initial downsizing. What I did accomplish is picking 30 of my favorite shirts, 5 pairs of bottoms (pants/skirts), and about 5 dresses. I didn’t go through my jackets, blazers or shoes. See? Failing miserably.

BUT, I did take out a giant garbage sack of clothes that I was no longer wearing to be donated. These are clothes that I was flipping over morning after morning in search of my other favorite shirts. They were wasting my time and closet space! Not anymore.

I also came up with a challenge for myself because I have 29 shirts and 4 pants that aren’t my favorite, but that still fit/look good and I like them enough to not part with them at this point. What I have done is separated the favorites from the “just ok.”

For the next 3 weeks I can ONLY choose clothes from the “just ok” side of my closet for work and casual outfits. If at the end of the 3 weeks I have avoided the clothes, or dug into my favorites side to make an outfit, the remaining clothes are going in a box and being sealed away for 30 days. Then, if I don’t miss anything from that box, the box automatically gets donated.

I know it probably sounds a little silly, but I love a good challenge…even if it’s just against myself. Maybe I will eventually get to 33 items, or maybe I’ll find that I feel better at 40. I’ll never know until I try. Wish me luck.

xoxo,

Melissa Sue

Shed stuff for the right reasons. Define why you want to shed your stuff, or you will end up filling those empty shelves with meaningless stuff again. Having less than another does not make you a better minimalist and living with less is not a competition. The purpose of simplifying is to have more time and space for what matters most to you. – Courtney Carver, bemorewithless.com