Friday, November 21, 2014

Trying to Select the Best Gift for Your Food Loving Friend?? #HolidayGiftGuide100Bloggers

Posted by Katie Garvin at 7:00 AM 0 comments
 
Our wonderful PR Friendly, Holiday Gift Guide 100+ Bloggers are narrowing down the best holiday gift choices for men, women, kids, coworkers, home and office. With the best of the best this year for you.  When it comes to picking the best holiday gifts for the food lovers, it can be daunting with so many things to select from. Or perhaps trying to find that perfect gift for your boss or coworker. We have you covered with Crio Brü. So much to select from! 
 
  
WHAT IS CRIO BRÜ?

Crio Brü is brewed drink made from 100% cacao beans (also known as cocoa beans), roasted to perfection. Named after the most prized of cacao beans, the Criollo, Crio Brü will astound your taste buds with its complex chocolaty flavors and subtle aromas which come right from the cacao bean itself! It is 100% natural and 100% pure.
Crio Brü is the ultimate superfood. It is low in calories and contains no sugar, no fat, no dairy, no sodium, no cholesterol and practically no caffeine, yet is extremely high in antioxidants, theobromine and a host of other vitamins and minerals.

Crio Brü is both a new drink and an ancient one. Ka'kao was an everyday drink of the kings and peoples of the great Incas, Mayans, Olmecs and Aztecs for hundreds of years, but was changed when the Old World met the New. The incredible health properties of cacao are currently lost in the process of making modern chocolate, but with Crio Brü, they are preserved. 

They have a Variety of flavors to choose from, including gift sets and baskets. Check out this fantastic gift set for only $39.99.  Would make a Great Boss, Co-Worker or Gift for any foodie on your gift list. Visit them today at: www.criobru.com and grab that perfect gift, shipped to your door in time for the holidays

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Encourage Your Child with this Huggable Buddy for Christmas! #HolidayGiftGuide100Bloggers

Posted by Katie Garvin at 7:00 AM 2 comments

When it comes to picking the best holiday gifts for kids, it can be daunting with so many things to select from. Our wonderful PR Friendly, Holiday Gift Guide 100+ Bloggers are narrowing down those choices to the best of the best this year for you. 
 


Bear On The Chair® $29.99

Parenting  is filled with challenges and decisions around every corner that could have a profound impact on your child. Having tools and options to make parenting more effective is something that can enhance a child's happiness and quality of life during critical stages of development. One of our most satisfying experiences with positive parenting has been with the creation of Bear on the Chair by our daughter Symonne.

Parents have found our bear very useful in their ability to motivate their children to brush their teeth, eat vegetables, and follow instructions when they are given. There is something the child finds extremely comforting in communicating with the soft and responsive bear. Parents and children alike really appreciate the story that comes with the bear, which sets an energetic tone for how positive  reinforcement will be used. The story gives the child a sense of imagination and wonder that assists in the usefulness of Bear on the Chair and positive parenting. Children are amazed to see their very own adoption certificate and are thrilled to have a new cuddly and friendly behavior buddy in the house.
Parents and teachers have shared how easy it was to see how having help in motivating children can be more effective and more enjoyable for parents and assists in the child learning empathy and making positive improvements in their behavior.
Bear on the Chair offers a chance to give toddlers positive reinforcementreduce tantrums, and give parents something to feel confident and positive about in the home. Bear on the Chair can help children with Autism and ASD by offering an outlet for communication and expression that is comforting and reassuring.

One Lucky Person is going to win a 
Bear On The Chair®
Click HERE to Enter!

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Get a Faux "Side Shave" Look with this Braided Tutorial (Hairstyle Tutorial)

Posted by Katie Garvin at 7:00 AM 12 comments
It's been a while since I've shared a hairstyling tutorial with you all. Have you missed them? Well, today's your day, because I've teamed up with Toni&Guy (through Birchbox) and Kiss (through Brandbackers) to bring you another easy hairstyle that incorporates both curls and braids (You know those are the hairstyles I LOVE!). At the end I will also give you a short review on the products from both these companies. So let's jump right in and have some fun!

Be forewarned, this post is very picture heavy. :-)

Quick Side Braid & Curls Tutorial

Step 1: Brush Hair & Protect
It can be a nightmare if you try to curling your hair when you have knots. Always be sure to thoroughly brush through your hair before you begin. Also, since you'll be using heat on your hair, make sure you use some type of hair protector so you don't burn the ends of your hair. (That's never fun!)

Step 2: Part Your Hair to the Side
Part your hair to the side. If you normally do a side part, I would recommend parting it a little deeper than usual. This will  giving you a more edgy, faux side shave look once we're done. :-)

Step 3: Apply Some Hair Wax
This is mainly to keep all those fine, baby hairs that are around your hairline from sticking up and giving your braid a 'fuzzy' look. (They drive me crazy!) The Toni & Guy's Stick It Up Gum works perfectly for this.
Not only did it keep my fine hairs smoothed over, but it also gave my hair a glossy finish. :-)

Step 4: Dutch Braid till Past your Ear
If you don't know what dutch braiding is, it's exactly like french braid --- except that instead of braiding the strands over each other, you braid them under each other. If you still are not sure what dutch braiding is, head over to Youtube and check out Kayley Melissa's tutorial on how to do a dutch braid.

Once you know, all you're going to do is dutch braid until just past your ear. Once you reach it, do a regular braid once or twice and now you're ready for the next step. :-)

Step 5: Secure with Bobby Pins
Use however many bobby pins you need to secure the braid at the back of your head. Make sure that you are pinning the braid underneath your hair, so that it will cover the bobby pins and make your braid look like it just disappears into your hair.

Step 6: Spray Braid with Hairspray
At this point I sprayed my braid with Toni&Guy Medium Hold Hairspray to keep it secure.
I didn't want to go in with too strong a spray, just in case I needed to change things up. Always save the strong hairspray until you're completely done and satisfied with your look.

Step 7: Curl Remaining Hair
Now comes the fun part! I got out my new InstaWave from Kiss. I've seen a few reviews on YouTube for it, and they were all very favorable, so my hopes were high. I set my wand on the 'high' setting, as my hair is usually very difficult to curl. Of course, if you don't own this curling iron, then use whichever one you have available. :-)
It took a few tries to figure it out, (You should have seen my puzzled look!) but once I did, I had a beautiful curl! And I like the fact that the wand wraps the hair around for you, so there's less for your hands to do. :-) It also gives you a very natural, relaxed wave that I really liked.

Step 8: After Curling a Section, use a Texturizing Spray
This is a step that I like to include, because my hair can be very stubborn. After I've curled a section of hair, I give it a light misting of Toni&Guy's Sea Salt Texturizing Spray and scrunch it up just a bit.
I've been doing this step for the past year or so, and have noticed a BIG difference in how much longer my curls last because of it. If you have easy-to-curl hair, than feel free to omit this step. :-)

Step 9: Finish your Hairstyle with Hairspray
Once I finished curling all the sections of hair, I grabbed the Toni&Guy's Strong Hold Hairspray and gave the curls -- and my braid -- a good misting to set the hairstyle.
And that's all there is to your hairstyle! You're all set -- and looking fabulous! ;-)

~  FINAL RESULTS  ~

My Thoughts on the Toni&Guy Hair Products

Toni&Guy sent me several products from four of their lines: Classic, Casual, Creative, and Glamour. I was really thrilled that I found a hairstyle that would incorporate a product from each of the lines. That way I would get a really good feel for the brand as a whole. I loved how they color-coordinated the products with their different lines. :-)
I love how all of the products smell! If you're like me, how my hair products smell is an important factor when I'm shopping for hair supplies. All the products have a slightly sweet fragrance. Not too strong, though, which is also nice. (I don't want to knock people out when I walk by!)
Toni&Guy is a high-end brand in the hair product world, so I was pleased to find that all the products feel luxurious and work better than the drugstore brands that I've tried in the past. This is a really important fact for me -- I'm not just going to pay more money for the name, I want the product to be worth the price. And these are!
I think out of all the products, I loved the hairsprays the most. I hate buying drugstore firm hold hairsprays, because I just feel like it's spitting glue into my hair. My hair feels gross and looks like it would snap off if I tried to bend the strands. But with Toni&Guy's hairspray, it gave me a firm hold on my hairstyle, without the "cement" feel.
The texturizing spray, also, was exceptional. The nozzle just gives you a light misting and it isn't as sticky as some of the sprays I've used in the pass. It does give your curls that slightly crunchy feel, but not overly crunch. Just enough to really grab onto the curls and help them hold throughout the day. This product would work well if you wanted to spruce up your curls partway through the day.
All in all, while you are going to pay a few more dollars than the regular drugstore hair products, they're definitely worth it! The products won't leave your hair feeling gross the next day (big plus!). Toni&Guy feels and smells luxurious and the results I get with their products outshine the other hairstyling products I currently have underneath my bathroom sink. Definitely worth the splurge!

My Thoughts on the Kiss InstaWave

After curling my whole head with this wand, I've been able to form a pretty definite opinion on this curling wand. Before I forget, it retails for $59.99 -- which isn't a bad or outrageous price for a hair tool, in my opinion.
I will admit it took my several tries before I finally figured out how to work it without getting my hair all tangled on the prongs. (Now, this might just be because I can be a bit clumsy at times!) After reading the directions carefully and doing several trial runs with the wand turned off, I finally figured it out. Once I got the hang of it, curling my hair went really quickly.
The Kiss InstaWave does make curling your hair easier, in my opinion. Not having to use both my hands to hold it in place really makes a difference. And while this tool isn't super-light, I didn't notice my arms getting tired at all. I also like to think that, since the hair is sitting lightly wrapped around the wand, it isn't as damaging. :-)
Because this curling iron has the prongs that help to keep the hair around the wand, it does also cause the hair around it to get caught up if you're not careful. If you're going to use this wand, you will definitely need to make sure you section off your hair and keep the hair separate from your curls. And even then, if I tried to rest the wand too close to my hair while twirling it, the curls I'd already done would start to get caught up around the wand! So, depending on the individual, this might be a con. For me, personally, I don't mind it. I just have to keep it in mind when clicking the button to twirl it.
One thing that I considered a negative aspect of this wand is that it is very hard to get a close curl when doing the sections at the back of my head. Because you can't see it (or maybe because I'm not very flexible) I found it impossible to get the wand close to my head and curl the strand without the prongs getting all caught up in my hair. So for me, I just brought the hair around my shoulder and curled it as far up the strand as I could go.
All in all, while this curling wand does have a few cons, I found that I really loved the curls that I was able to get with the Kiss InstaWave. They held up beautifully all day and still had a lot of curl left the next day. As I mentioned, I loved that the curl it gave was very loose and effortless. I don't like ringlets when I curl my hair, but neither do I like fallen waves. This curling iron gave me the perfect curls. I think it will really come down to your own personal preference as to whether or not you will like this curling iron. If you love trying new and different hair tools, then you're going to love this!


Y'all made it to the end! Bravo! I hope this post wasn't too long winded. There was so much information to share with you all. :-)

Question for My Readers: What do you think of the InstaWave? Do you like trying new curling wands? Or do you just like your tried-and-true curling iron? :-)


I received one or more of the products mentioned above from either Brandbacker or Birchbox. I only share information that I think will be useful for my readers and I only recommend products I have personally used. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Results of my Sephora VIB Shopping Spree!

Posted by Katie Garvin at 7:00 AM 4 comments
Who wants to see what I got during the 20% off Sephora VIB/VIB Rouge sale??? This is the first year I've participated and received the coupon, so I had fun daydreaming about all the products I would love to get (which you can see here). But these products are the ones that I actually ended up purchasing.

Enjoy!

My Sephora VIB Sale Purchases

Sephora Favorites Fragrance Sampler for Her

My Price: $44

I didn't mention this set in my Sephora Wish List post, but I really wish I had. It's such an incredible value and a big reason why I had to shrink my wishlist so I could accommodate this purchase.

This set gives you 10 fragrance samples to try out...but the best part is that this set also includes a voucher to redeem a full-size bottle of your choice from the set for FREE. So....if you do the math like I did, I paid $44 to (potentially) get a fragrance bottle that retails at $72.

Talk about some savings! And you also get a bunch of sample fragrances from high-end, really luxurious brands. I love getting sample perfumes as they're perfect to throw in your purchase or take while traveling. And I like to mix up my fragrances. :-)

TooFaced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer

My Price: $24

I've been wanting to expand my (very) small collection of bronzers. I've eyed the TooFaced Chocolate Soleil bronzer before, loving the idea that it smells nice and (from what I hear) looks very natural on our skin. So what better time to try it out than when I can get it at a discounted price! :-)

I haven't had the opportunity to try it out yet, but I can't wait!

Bite Beauty Best Bite Remix

My Price: $20

This is actually the only item that I ended up getting from my Sephora Wish List post last week. How funny how that all turned out!

These lip pencils look so beautiful! I love the pigmentation that Bite Beauty always gives, so I know I won't be disappointed in that area. The value for this set is really awesome. The price for a full size is $24, and the fact that you get 4 decent sized lip pencils...just made this a no brainer for me! :-)

Keep an eye on my Instagram for more picture love and swatches.

Stila Stay All Day® Liquid Lipstick

My Price: $17.60

This was an impulse buy, but I was really intrigued by the claims of this lip product. I've been on the hunt for a product that will dry on my lips and not budge the entire day. Like the Kat Von D liquid lipsticks. This color really seemed right up my alley.

I've worn it once since purchasing it, and loved how it dried onto my lips so quickly and with a lot of pigmentation. Now I just have to try it out and see how many hours it lasts!

Sephora Collections Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color icon

My Price: $12.80
I just realized how many lip product's I purchased in this haul! Wow! Well, I can no longer say that I don't have a large lip collection. :-P

I haven't tried this one out yet, but it's claims are similar to the Stila lipstick that I mentioned above. I've tested it out in the stores before, and it seemed to dry and stay in place. So I have high hopes for this one!

I purchased it in a lighter color than the Stila lipstick because I wanted a longwearing lip color that I could wear for an every day look. Because if you're like me....I enjoy wearing lipstick every day, but it isn't very practically when the hubby comes home and doesn't want to get any lipstick on his own lips. :-P


So what did you get at Sephora with your 20% off coupon? Please share with me in the comments below -- I love hearing what other people are trying out.

Also, if you want to see reviews on any of the products I've purchased...yep, you know ---> leave me a comment! Love you guys!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Create A Super-Easy Striped Nail Art Design (Nail Tutorial)

Posted by Katie Garvin at 7:00 AM 3 comments
Planning to paint your nails and want to spice it up a bit? Today I'm sharing a SUPER easy tutorial. I learned it when I was 12 or something and have loved doing it to my nails ever since. Let's dive right in!

Easy Striped Nail Art for Beginners

This nail design is super easy and, besides the normal nail supplies you would need for a manicure, you also want to get your hands on two striper nail polish. One of the stripers has to be a solid color and the other striper has to be a glitter polish. You can change up the colors, however you wish, just make sure one is a solid color and the other is glitter.
Always remember to apply basecoat. Not only will this protect your nail from being stained by the color you apply, but it will also help your manicure and art work to last a lot longer!
Now take whatever color you want to use and apply the first coat. Make sure you allow at least 5 minutes between each layer of polish. If you apply it all at once it will take forever for your design to finally dry. Allowing time between the layers helps the process to go quicker. (And if you're like me, it's hard to wait more than an hour after I do my nails before I need to do something that requires me to use my fingers. :-)
I always like my colors to be really opaque. Though with this Sinful Color nail polish, I could've probably gotten by with just one coat. But....I like pigmentation!! ;-)
Now comes the fun part! But super easy, I promise! Pick a corner that you want your stripes to meet at. I pull all the colors to the corners, as I think it gives me a more seamless look.
Take your glitter striper and go in between the black stripes. You can make this as elaborate and as many stripes as you want.

Depending on the day I do my nails, I sometimes do the black and gold stripes on each nail. But for today I decided to just do an accent nail on my ring finger and then applied a little glitter polish to the rest of my nails.
Don't forget to apply a top coat once you are done! A topcoat helps to seal in your design and prevent chipping for a longer period of time.

That's all there is to this super-easy nail art! It's a really fun way to spice up your nail color and takes almost no time! I've been using this technique for years and love it! :-)


If you give this a try, I'd love it if you'd tag me and hashtag #LadyKaty92_Nails on any of my social medias!

I hope you all enjoyed this nail tutorial. I know it isn't rocket science, but I've frequently been commented on my nail art when I do this, so I thought to share.

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