Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Budgeting Bloggers: October

Taking a break from my break to share with you all my October clothes budget! I know you've been waiting on the edge of your seats for this and I wasn't about to let you all down. You may recall, because you read with rapt devotion, my saying that I wanted to try to only buy a pair or two of boots this month, without blowing my $100 budget. I'd say in that respect, this month was a mild success. See for yourselves:


1. Merona "Morgan" boots via Target. I noticed that my black slouchy boots were seriously scuffed on the toes. As in, the toes were wearing through completely. I could have colored them in with marker, but I wanted a boot that a) wasn't slouchy and b) would keep my toes dry if it rained. Problem, solved. | $39.99 {exact}
2. Madden Girl Elsiee boots via Famous Footwear. My cognac slouchy boots were in even worse shape than my black ones. I realized that I wore my cognac boots more than any other pair last year, so I decided to invest in a nicer pair this year. These were a little more than I usually pay for boots, without taking up my whole month's budget. | $69.99 {exact}
3. Sunnies via Target. To replace the identical pair I've been wearing forever, including when riding Perdita the Scooter. The original pair has a lot of scratches, so they've been designated my official scootin' sunnies. | $13.49 {exact, but a different price for some reason}

Grand total with taxes: $133.16. Okay, so it's a tad overbudget. But considering what I got, I'm not at all disappointed :)

Disclaimer: I also bought a dress for my Halloween costume that I might be able to rewear, but I'm not counting it. Because Halloween.

How did you do on your budget this month?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DIY: Our save-the-date magnets

Howdy folks! Taking a quick break from editing my friends' engagement photos to post a little DIY featuring our engagement photos! I knew I wanted to do a magnet save the date, both for the convenience of the recipients and frankly because it's just kinda cool. But when I researched prices from places like VistaPrint, it was just more than I wanted to pay. So when I found this tutorial for DIY save-the-date magnets, I was sold.

I have InDesign, so I figured doing the magnet layout wouldn't be too hard. I was wrong, or more accurately, I severely underestimated my perfectionism; it took me something like two weeks to design the dang thing. But once I finally settled on my fonts, graphics, photos and overall layout, I was ready to go.

I found a nice paper cutter and some 8.5-by-11-inch sheets of magnet with adhesive backing on Amazon, and found a nice semi-matte paper at Staples. I decided to print on 11 by 17 paper; fewer sheets meant more cutting but a lower cost. So once the sheets were printed, I had this:


Then I just had to cut them in half, so each 11 by 17 sheet became two 8.5 by 11 sheets:


Then I peeled the backing off of a magnet sheet and very carefully laid the sheet of save-the-dates on the adhesive side:



That actually took a bit of trial and error, but luckily I thought to have extras, so ultimately there was no lost. Then, it was just a matter of cutting out the individual save-the-dates:






This wasn't quite the end, though. The paper cutter was nice, but it wasn't exact. And to be honest, I was kind of hurrying to get them all done. So I tended to wind up with some imperfect edges:


Soooo I just trimmed them by hand with scissors:


And here they are! Just over 100 save-the-date magnets, all done in an afternoon!


If anyone's wondering, I went with a "tying the knot" theme because Matt and I climb; that's our first climbing rope in the top photo. The shot on the side, with the two big columns, is the Ohio Statehouse — where he proposed :) And the shot in the bottom-right is us at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park, which has the nicest faux-rock wall I've ever seen. Bonus: It's outside, and it's free to use! Oh and I apologize for the blurred line, but I didn't feel like advertising our wedding website — with details on the time and location of everything — in a public forum. #sorrynotsorry

Anyway, there you have it. Easy-peasy save-the-date magnets!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Jamberry Nails (aka my latest obsession)

Heyyyy folks...Long time no see! I'm still around and prepping for the insanity that is to come this month, but I thought I'd pop in real quick to shamelessly self-promote the online Jamberry party I'm hosting.

Some background: I first heard of Jamberry just last month, when my friend Kathryn hosted a party. I'll paraphrasing her sentiment on the matter, which I agree with wholeheartedly. Direct marketing sucks. It's a goofy thing and no one likes it. But Jamberry really is a cool product, which is why I'm schilling it here. Also, if just two more nail wraps are purchased before my party closes at 8 pm EST tonight, I get free stuff. So, full disclaimer there. I like free stuff.

So what is Jamberry? Basically, it's a nail wrap. A sticker thing you put on your nail. It lasts for up to two weeks (depending on how fast your nails grow). I'll admit, I was skeptical at first. Anything that claims to stay on your nails for two weeks typically tends to spend half the time on my nails. I have oily nail beds or something. Even a gel manicure didn't last longer than a few days for me! But these things, oh man. Jamberry nails really do last. My Jams typically last me 10 days, at which point my super-fast-growing nails make them look a bit silly. But in that 10 days? I rock climbed four times, one of them on real rock outdoors, and I saw nary a chip or peel.

These nail wraps really are that good.

The Jams I've bought so far, clockwise from top-left:
Vintage Chic, Sweet Nothing, Birds of a Feather, Midnight Celebration.

Other fun info you might like to know: Each sheet should get you two manicures AND two pedicures...unless you have crazy-big nails or something. They're non-toxic, vegan, and gluten-free. (So those with super-high gluten sensitivities won't be affected by them touching your skin/nails.) To apply: peel one off the plastic backing, stick a teeny edge of it on an orange stick or cuticle pusher, heat it over a hair dryer for a few seconds (like, five MAX), then just gently press it down onto your nail. You trim the excess with nail clippers or manicure scissors. To remove them: just soak a cotton ball in regular nail polish remover, soak it over the wrap for a few seconds, then use the orange stick/cuticle pusher to gently lift it off. Fun fact: You can also use coconut oil!

Bonus: If you buy three, you get one free!

If you're having trouble figuring out when the nails might look like on a real hand, you can search #(wrapname)jn on Instagram. Right now, I'm wearing Vintage Chic. So if you wanted to see my photo of that, and literally hundreds of others, you could search #vintagechicjn on Insta. (JN = Jamberry Nails, natch.)

Soooo if you want some sweet mani/pedis, head over to the site and select "Emma" at checkout

Just some of the Jams I want to get soon!
Top row: Icy Boysenberry Polka and Boysenberry Chevron; China Rose Tip and China Rose.
Middle row: Urban Lights and Gilded Leopard; Puppy Love and Bright Noise.
Bottom row: Flirty Flair, Glam, Pumpkin Spice.

The legal stuff: I was not paid for this post and it is not sponsored by Jamberry. I really, truly like the product. I hosted a party and wanted to get some extra sales so I could be eligible for freebies. Views and opinions are my own.