How to Feel At Home (When You Live Abroad)

Hi hi hi!

Moving abroad is hard. Plain and simple. You’re moving to a country different from your own, with different customs, different shops, different ways of life. And in most cases, it’s up to you to figure it all out. That’s not to say that it isn’t an incredibly, amazing, life-changing experience either. But some days you’ll wish you were home again hugging your parents and snuggling your puppies.

But, I have found that there are things to make it a bit easier.

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DIY Hair Bows

Hi friends!

I recently purchased a new sewing machine- yay finally! – and have been playing on it daily since. Don’t you just love when you find a hobby you’re so passionate about that you can spend hours doing it and it feels like no time at all has passed?

That’s how sewing is for me.

I’ve noticed a spike in hair accessory trends lately- they are all over the fall runways. This gave me the idea to play around with different hair bow patterns. I ended up finding/modifying one that I really enjoyed and is super simple to follow!

Step 1: Cut out two pieces of fabric; one at 2x3inches and one at 9×6.5inches.

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Step 2: Fold each piece lengthwise and stictch along the open edge (right sides together). I used about a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

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Step 3: Turn each piece right-side-out and iron flat with the seam running down the middle.

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Step 4: Fold each piece upwards and stitch along the raw edge – right sides together. Again, I used a 1/4inch seam allowance.

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Finally, turn the pieces right-side out. You will have two circular pieces at this point. Your last step will be to put the larger piece through the smaller piece until the smaller piece is in the center. Then you will fluff out the ends of your larger piece until it looks how you’d like and ta-da! Your very own bow!

To make it into a hair clip, I purchased a box of 100 hair clips from Sally’s Beauty Supply for about $7. I simply hot glued a clip into the center piece in the back.

 

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And there you have it- a simple and easy DIY hair bow- perfect for sporting events, sororities, or everyday wear!

-xobrendykins

P.S.- if you feel like seeing what else I’ve been up to, check out my other sites at Bloglovin‘, Twitter, or Instagram!

DIY: Jewelry Holder

Hello friends!

I love wine. #amirightladies?

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Being a mid-twenty-year-old female, I drink wine. We go wine tasting, go out to dinner, have girls nights out, and wine flows abundantly throughout these evenings.

These end with quite a few empty bottles floating around my house. Now I do recycle quite a few of them, however I got to thinking; what else could I do with these bottles?

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(btw: super good inexpensive wine I found at Target!) 

Also being a girl, I have quite a lot of jewelry; particularly bracelets. I don’t know how you all store your bracelets, but I had utterly no idea how to store mine. I tried a jewelry box, laying them out, but nothing worked. I could never find one to wear with my outfit.

So to merge these two issues I decided to make a bracelet holder with these wine bottles. Its a great way to display your jewelry so you can see what you own, look at what matches with each outfit, and its super cute to leave on your dressing table!

100th Post! Following Your Dreams: Careers

12Hi friends!

This is my 100th post on this blog! I have always loved writing, and I am so happy I get to share my passion with whomever feels like reading it- so to those of you who do I want to say a big thank you! With this being a momentous occasion, I thought it only fitting to write a bit more of a lifestyle post. So here goes!

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How cliche of a title is that?

Sometimes I feel insanely lost. Like, all my friends are married, getting engaged, starting amazing careers and on and on….

Yet I’m over here hopping from job to job, struggling to decide whether or not I want sulfate in my shampoo.

For me, a job is one of the biggest reasons behind why I feel like I’m not achieving enough or successful enough. Now, its worth being said that I am by no means an expert. I am simply a 24-year-old girl who is trying desperately to find my place in this world, and dragging you along for the journey. 

I often face the conundrum of whether to take a job that bores me for the constant pay, or to risk it all for what I’m passionate about. Taking that initial leap is beyond frightening, and I still have troubler doing it, but the payoffs are worth it. Its like the constant battle between risk and reward; the greater the risk the greater the reward, and vice versa. (See mom, my finance degree was worth something)!

So, here are my five simple tips to start following your dreams!

  1. Make a dream/vision board. It doesn’t matter if it’s on paper, cut out of magazines or on the computer. Create a board of all the words, phrases, and images that inspire you.
  2. Do something that isn’t for money. We live in a society that is so wrapped up in monetary devices that sometimes it is hard to separate yourself from them. That being said, my advice is to find something that you’d do for no pay- whether it’s an internship, volunteer work, or simply indulging in a hobby of yours such as photography or writing.
  3. Test the waters. We’ve all had jobs we’ve despised. Flipping burgers isn’t for everyone, but my parents have always taught me that even the worst jobs can teach you something. Your first job doesn’t have to be your career. So take a job, then another, and absorb as much as you can from each opportunity.
  4. Ask. This is such a simple notion, but for some reason it’s so underutilized. If there is something that you find interesting- find someone else who is interested in it too and chat! Make friends, make acquaintances, and make business contacts. Send that book author a note telling her how much you enjoyed her writing style. Email the professor and ask them how they got to where they are. Talking and asking questions doesn’t hurt anyone.
  5. And finally, be happy. This is by far the most important and most difficult step in any career. In my opinion, this is what distinguishes a job from a career. Happiness doesn’t happen overnight, and sometimes its more difficult to find for some than others. But you deserve to be happy. So devote 15 minutes of each day to find what makes you happy, I promise I will too.

And those are my tips to trying to find your way just a little more!

-xobrendykins

DIY: Bathroom Accessory Holders

Helllllo again!

Today I’ve got a DIY special coming at you with what I do with my burnt out candles!

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I don’t know about you, but I run through candles ridiculously quick. I love to have them burning in the evening while I get ready for bed, around the bath, and throughout the house to make it feel cozy and warm. This means I end up with quite a lot of empty candle jars. These glass containers can make amazing craft projects!

My favorite way to clean out these candle jars is to burn them as low a possible then place them in the freezer. I usually leave them in there for around 24 hours- or until I remember that I put them in there. Then I scrape out the frozen wax with a butter knife over the garbage can until I get the majority of the wax out. Finally, to clean out all the residue I let the jar sit in the sink with hot water and scrub it all out!

These jars, cleaned out, are so useful! They have a secure lid, are functional and the perfect size!

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I chose to use these in the bathroom to store my cotton buds and cotton pads. Its a cute and trendy way of showing whats usually hidden away in a drawer. I think it gives a modern look to the room and I am very happy with the results!

-xobrendykins

My Self-Tan Routine

Hello hello!

Sorry about the delayed post- I try to post every Monday….but sometimes life happens.

Any who.. it’s no shock that it is finally summer. And with this new season comes the expectation to be tan. Now, I love pale skin, I think on certain people it looks flawless. However, I just prefer my skin to be a little bit bronzed, to each their own!

To achieve my (slightly more) tan skin I tend to stick to safer methods. I never ever ever go in tanning beds. I have heard too many horror stories and would rather have orange-streaked legs than tango with skin cancer. Instead, I enjoy a good at-home self-tanning method.

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Having tested many a self tanner, I can honestly say that the St. Tropez tanning line is my absolute favorite. I picked up mine at Ulta in store, but you can also put it up online here! The bronzing mousse is so easy to apply and I have never seen streaks on my skin after applying. I use it with the St. Tropez tanning mitt.

I apply the mousse after showering, shaving, and exfoliating my skin. I make sure to apply a rich body butter to my knees, elbows, ankles and wrists- then I go to town with the self tan!

It’s important to let your skin thoroughly dry before putting on clothes or crawling into bed as to not transfer the tan. But once the tan is dry- it doesn’t budge!

To keep my tan intact, I have been loving the Maui Babe After Browning Lotion (available here). I picked this bad boy up at Ulta recently after hearing my good friend rave about it. It’s perfect to whack on your skin after spending a day out in the sun as it keeps your skin nourished and honestly keeps the color longer!

And that’s it in a nutshell! Don’t forget to apply sunscreen regularly while you’re out as well- I love anything by Hawaiian Tropic- it just smells like summer to me:)

-xobrendykins

Contouring: The Everyday Girls Guide

Hello hello!

Hands up if you’ve dabbled in the world of contouring and absolutely destroyed the look you were going for!

*raises hand*

Ok, now that I’ve admitted my problem, it’s time I remedy my mistake.

When done correctly, contouring and highlighting can add dimension, accentuate your best features, and completely alter any look. Done incorrectly, it can make anyone look like they rolled around in the dirt fighting a squirrel for its last acorn. #guilty

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Step one: gather your materials.

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I like to use a good bronzer, highlighter and a quality brush. When choosing your bronzer color make sure to test out the samples in store. Is it too red? Too orange? Since I have more of a fair skin tone I like to choose a buildable shade with bronze/gold undertones. In this tutorial, I used the middle bronze shade from the Anastasia contour kit.

For highlight, I like a slight shimmer with a bit of yellow or peach in it. The yellow color acts as a brightener while the peach can divert attention from any blue circles underneath your eyes (college anyone)? Again, I used the top row, middle color in the Anastasia kit.

And finally, your brush. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a quality brush. Heck, I’ve purchased some of my favorites for less than $10! Look for something that’s a bit more dense and has angled bristles. Real Techniques make great affordable options.

Step Two: What look do you want to achieve?

Before diving headfirst into the contouring cavern, decide what features you want to make more pronounced. Do you want more intense cheekbones? A slimmer nose? A good bronzer can do wonders.

Step Three: Application

I like to apply my contour over my foundation, but underneath my translucent setting powder. And always remember; apply with a light hand. Suck in your cheekbones, and lightly apply your bronzer in a sweeping motion. I use a clean brush (or my foundation brush) to blend the harsh edges of any contour. I always like to take a bit of bronzer and apply it in a “3” shape around the edge of my face:

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For highlight the basic rule of thumb is to apply it wherever light would naturally hit your face first. For me, I love using it across the top of my cheek, my brow bone, down the bridge of my nose, and a dab on my chin.

Step Four: Check your light

This might be the most important step in the contouring/makeup application process. Your mirror might look one way, but go outside, take a snapshot on your phone and see how it looks in natural light. The best kind of contouring looks effortless and natural. If you ever apply it too harsh, use your foundation brush and the remaining base color to blend it out!

Well, I hope this little how-to helped some of you. I know I’m no professional, but I have definitely had a bit of trial and error 😉

-xobrendykins

Power Smoothie Recipe

Hey guys!

So ill admit, I know virtually nothing about nutrition besides the fact that I probably don’t get enough. I eat what tastes good, what’s simple, and convenient not also the healthiest. I took it upon myself to try to eat healthier. And for anyone that knows me, you’ll know that is a feat in itself.

I’ll paint you a picture.

My favorite food is carbs. Bread. Pasta. Bread. My favorite snack is candy- any kind; I don’t sugarcoat it. Haha get it? I’m so punny. 🙂

That all being said, I have read a lot about ‘power smoothies.’ Drinks that keep you energized, give you good nutrition, and a healthy dose of veggies that you wouldn’t normally eat in a day. This is also a good option for those of us *cough*me*cough* who tend to skip meals because they are too ‘busy.’

Now, me being me, I chose not to follow a recipe. I simply gathered ingredients I had read a lot about (and that tasted good), gave a good trial and error for portions, and created my own signature drink- the Brendykins Power Smoothie!

The Brendykins Power Smoothie:

1

(single serving)

1 cup Almond Milk

1 cup baby spinach greens

1 tbsp honey Almond Butter

2 tbsp Chia Seeds

1 whole Banana

Pour all in blender, and blend away!

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Who has an amazing smoothie recipe they’d like to share?? I’m loving these lately and would love to try another persons fave!

-xobrendykins

*Disclaimer: I am not in any way shape or form a health educator, nutritionist, or anything of that sort. I simply created this recipe to get a little more healthy!