Category Archives: DIY

Can I Get A Hand?

Being a mother, you learn quickly that there are not enough hours in the day. You have kids that you actually have to keep alive! That means, feed them, make sure they use the bathroom (hopefully in the toilet), sleep, stay clean, and learn something in day. That is a whole day in itself. So how in the world are you suppose to get everything else done? You just figure it out.

 

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Kids had one too many macarons!

 

I won’t lie to you; most days, I have one or multiple piles of clean laundry laying around waiting to be folded and put away. I go to start, and then a kid starts screaming and I get distracted and have to make lunch then find out we are late for a doctor appointment… and the laundry gets forgotten about. “Maybe Tomorrow” is spoken way too often out of my mouth.

In the midst of all the madness, you have to remember to take care of yourself too. Recently, I’ve taken up BUTI Yoga. I got a subscription so I can workout at home, anytime I want and my kids can join me if they want to. It’s been a good way to focus my physical energy to better myself and know that it’s helping me focus on one thing for a restricted time.

I’ve been trying to go “hands-free” as much as possible. I recently finished up a whitening session with Smile Brilliant. I first sent in my personal compressions and had custom teeth whitening trays sent back to me. It turned out to be way easier than I thought. Sometimes I would pop them in before leaving the house since they can stay in anywhere from 45min-3hours. Pop them in, go grocery shopping, come home, work out, and during all of that, I’ve whitened my teeth. Being an avid coffee and wine drinker, my teeth were desperate for some attention.

My teeth before starting my whitening trial

After being approached by Smile Brilliant, I started my whitening sessions. Most of them were done in the evening before bed but I also whitened on the way to the beach, and once while at my grandmother’s house for a few hours. Simple, comfortable, and efficient. Perfect for a mom on-the-go!

Smile Brilliant Whitening Kit!

 

Before starting my sessions, I looked through some teeth whitening testimonials and a little research on what to expect before whitening. My teeth do tend to be a little sensitive so I made sure to get approval from my dentist. Other than some slight tingling on my gums, I never had any issues or side-effects. My smile is my favorite feature, It’s not perfect but it gives everyone else a spark of positivity and joy! If there’s a way to make it shine brighter, I’m all for it.

My pearly whites after completing my Smile Brilliant Whitening Kit

Aside from being able to whiten my teeth hands-free, I’m always trying to do some sort-of social gathering through the week. As much as I love staying home in my yoga pants, being around others gives me energy and lifts my spirit! It can be a lot to juggle but I always try to remember there are only so many hours in the day and to make sure to spend those good hours focusing on what’s worth living. My family, my friends, and myself! If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of everyone else.

 

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Multitasking while watching the eclipse, not watching my children…
For a chance to win you’re own Whitening Kit, enter into our giveaway we are offering from today: August 30, 2017 until  September 6, 2017
For a coupon when you order for $20 off, use the code: thatswhatsarahsaid20

 

Finding Neverland

This week we had professional family photos done for the first time ever! I told my photographer, Kristin from Bella de Beau Portraits that we were pretty laid back and that she should be creative and do something she normally wouldn’t. She had this magical idea of doing a woodland-neverland themed photoshoot and I almost died when she told me! I’m a huge fan of Peter Pan so my answer was an obvious yes!

For the first sitting, Kristin made her own teepee and had us gather tightly inside. Even posing for the photos felt magical. The kids even did a great job sitting and listening for these!belladebeau.ashtonfamilyportraits-31

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didn’t even have to bribe them!
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breathtaking
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Look at that handsome stud!
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I love you more every day.
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This whole photoshoot was done in Kristin’s neighborhood so for the next scene, we jumped in the car and just drove up the road to a cute wooded area for Charlotte’s fairy session.

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my little Tinkerbell
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“smell the beautiful flower, mommy!”
We finished up doing some cute shots on a bench area. We had to hardcore bribe the kids with gummy bears and ice cream by this time but they still did a great job!

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If you’re looking for a great photographer in the San Antonio area, contact Kristin Werthman at Bella de Beau Portraits and Makeup Artistry.
email: info@belladebeau.com
phone: (808) 298-9089
Instagram: @belladebeau
website: belladebeau.com

Hope you enjoyed my photo dump. The pictures were too pretty not to share! Now go into the woods and take some photos!
With love,
Christina & fam

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Eye Eye Eye Wall

Among my 5 siblings, I was dubbed The Artistic One way back in the day. Since The Bossy One and The Cool One were already taken, I was more than happy to accept my fate as the only one who can wield a paintbrush. These days, saying “I was an art major” is one of my favorite pretentious things to say to people who never even asked.

One thing this artsy fartsy gal has been in desperate need of is a space to create. Besides past bedrooms and art classrooms, I haven’t ever really had my own designated space to paint or draw. I’ve always gotten by portably, setting up shop as I go and cleaning up when finished. I have fallen asleep with paper, pens, and markers scattered among my bed many times.

Joel and I always knew we’d have some sort of office space in our home, but didn’t start putting it together until recently. In our three bedroom home, we have our bedroom, “the middle room” (where we have a very big/comfortable but hideous sectional, Joel’s stationary bike, a TV, and two stinky AF litter boxes for our children cats), and our guest room. Since we will probably have to take a wrecking ball to the side of the house to get the giant sectional out (seriously don’t know how we got it in there in the first place), the guest room is underway to double as an office.

Last weekend, I started getting the ideas for our office space/guest room out of my head and into, well, the room. I told Joel I wanted to paint some “out there” murals and he didn’t even bat an eye when I told him my idea to paint an eye print on one of the walls.

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I still have a few touch ups, but it only took me a few hours and about $10 worth of paint to finish this. I am loving it. It’s creepy in the coolest way possible.

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The inspiration for the wall came from my friend’s Instagram account who had photos of similar eye street art somewhere in Spain. I’m really excited to be working on this space in our home and I feel pretty hashtag blessed to have a husband who is so on board with my wacky decor ideas. Most importantly though, our guests aren’t going to be able to shake the feeling that they’re being watched when they stay with us. That’s so funny to me… Eye can’t stop laughing.

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Turn And Face The Strange, Ch-Ch-Changes

Being a blonde hairstylist with ADHD, I can get bored with my hair really fast! I need change often and change can be expensive and damaging when it comes to your hair! I try as best as I can to take care of it and keep it healthy. Washing it only once a week, and doing deep conditioners every other week. When I was at a hair appointment last summer, my stylist told me about a brand of shampoo called Pure Blends by American Culture Hair, you can use the shampoo to help either maintain colors, enhance colors, or use it to temporarily stain your hair. This immediately got my attention. It’s hard to go back and forth with most fashion colors which are semi-permanent, you use a lot of bleach and it can take a lot of time. I decided to try it out and I loved the results! The color mixtures I used came out vibrant and the fade is always a new shade. I would get excited to shampoo my hair because that meant it would be a different color when I was done.

The first trial I did was with the red shampoo on dry hair for 20 minutes. It came out to a soft pink and stayed vibrant until my next shampoo, then it turned into a rose blonde with my next wash, and by the third wash, it was almost all gone. Since I only wash my hair once a week, this color was the perfect amount of time to try something out without getting bored.


Next, I wanted to try purple which I loved so much because it faded into a silver. I re-did this color probably 3-4 times because I loved it so much! With the balayage/root-look being in-style, I was about to go a few months without getting my roots touched up. The purple/silver hair off-set the fact that I had 4 months of grown out roots. Saved me money and I got to change my hair color all at home!

Throughout the process of using this shampoo, I had been posting a ton on Instagam and making sure to tag American Culture Hair in the process. A few months passed and a representative of American Culture Hair contacted me about a blogging opportunity.  She sent me a few products to test out and that’s where I am at today.


Today, I used the Pure Blends Temped Pink Conditioner. I applied it to my prelightened hair and let it sit for 20 minutes. Viola! My hot pink barbie dreams came to life!


This is an awesome product to try out if you want a fun change! It’s also amazing to help maintain your natural colors and enhance the vibrancy of your hair. All of the shampoos are sulfate and sodium chloride free. They also smell like candy so it gives your nose a nice little treat when washing. If interested in trying out the conditioners, you can use my discount code to save 25% XTINA25 at their website. (Conditioners only) the price is not bad at all and you’ll get free shipping over $46!

Shampoo Cocktail recipes:
Soft Pink: 2 parts Chestnut – 1 part Cherry
Lavender: 2 parts Cocoa – 1 part Violet
Ice Blue: 2 parts Orchid – 1 part Violet
Rose Gold: 2 parts Sun – 1 part Cherry
Silver: 2 parts Violet – 1 part Orchid



p.s. if you have any questions at all about the products, feel free to message me, comment, or email me and I’ll answer them to the best of my knowledge.

Your Chariot Awaits, Princess

Today my daughter turns 3 years old and we celebrated by taking a hill country drive to Floresville, TX on Sunday. The day couldn’t have been more perfect! Clear skies, 75-degree weather, and surprisingly, no traffic for the last day of Spring Break. This wasn’t just any normal drive, we were heading to a party fit for a princess.


My daughter was born 3 years ago and we made the awesome decision to name her Charlotte. We didn’t name her after anyone in particular, I’ve just always loved the name and thought it was beautiful. One year and about a month later, The Princess Charlotte of Cambridge was born. I always like to joke around and say that Kate and William called me up before she was born and asked us what would be a good name for their baby. Naturally, I suggested the best name out there, no big deal. But since then, I feel like we’ve had to up our game with party planning since most of Charlotte’s friends refer to her as “the princess”.



Charlotte asked for a unicorn themed party this year with ponies and carriage rides and that’s exactly what she got. My old neighbors live on a ranch with miniature ponies and horses so they offered to host the party, we were very blessed to have that opportunity. I whipped out my old cake skills and made a unicorn pull-apart cupcake cake. I was lazy and just bought a box of funfetti cake mix but I did follow the original icing recipe and it did not disappoint. I think I might do cupcake cakes from here on out. You can make pretty much any shape you want in hardly any time! It was super easy and no knives were needed. To wash it all down, we had some refreshingly sweet unicorn punch!





All the kids had a great time and stayed entertained with the pony rides and carriage rides. There was even a 2-hour old baby goat, no seriously, 2 hours old! (rejected by the mother) that was taken in from the owners and the kids fell in love. Overall, everyone had an amazing time and we’re all still talking about it. Perfectly fit for a princess.





 

 

Lazy Girl’s Guide To Party Decor

An alternate title to this post is: How To Decorate For A Party So Well That Nobody Notices When You Leave Said Party To Hide In Your Room To Read… Because The Decorations Look That Good.

With the exceptions of our annual 4th Of Juluau and Halloween parties, our hosted social functions mostly consist of spur of the moment shindigs involving a lot of running around and throwing stuff together at the last minute. Okay, wait, no… that’s how we throw all of our parties, even the ones we’ve been mentally planning for months. Maybe that’s how everyone throws a party? Procrastination is somewhat of an art in this house, and I’ve got my last minute party decoration set up down to a science. As you may or may not know, it’s pretty easy to break the bank when you’re setting up for a grand event, but I’ve come up with some surefire cheapskate ways to decorate that will save dough and wow your guests. Plus, they’re easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Exhibit A: the gender reveal party we threw for some of our best friends who are expecting their first baby. I was elated at the chance to get to put this soiree together because it combines so many things that I love: Babies! Booze! The colors blue and pink and yellow! Pregnant friends! Secrets! Guessing games! Secrets Revealed!

I set this all up in the span of 2 hours, then I had to stand back and applaud myself because everything looked so cute.

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TIPS FOR GOOD/INEXPENSIVE PARTY DECOR:

    • get creative with balloons and streamers! cover a wall with streamers or balloons and you have a great photo back drop to impress all of your friends on Instagram.
    • two words: Candy Tray. two more words: Make One
    • THROW CONFETTI EVERYWHERE, WORRY ABOUT CLEAN UP AFTER.
    • spray paint is your best friend! (I spray painted our recycled Topo Chico bottles and some old vases different shades of blues and pinks and can always repaint them for future events)
    • use paint samples from the hardware store to make triangular, colorful garland.
    • make a signature drink with whatever is in your liquor cabinet.
    • match La Croix boxes and cheap candles to the color scheme.
    • don’t tell spray paint, but food coloring is also your best friend (dye the shit out of some ice cubes)
    • HAVE. A. CAKE. GUY. (my sister is a culinary genius and my go-to Cake Guy)
    • keep whatever decorations you can salvage because you can reuse more than you realize.

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Okay now that I’ve listed some of the ways I decorate for a party, I don’t sound like such a lazy gal after all. Effort or not, my favorite part of any party we throw is the part where I can sit back, drink a beer, and let everyone thank me for putting it together. YOU’RE SO WELCOME!

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Unicorn Bark

Have you ever felt the need to ingest some magic into your belly? Now you can with this guilt-free SNACK!


I pulled the original recipe from glow by pop sugar. Since trying the original, I’ve made my own revisions that I personally think make it taste a little sweeter. It’s completely sugar-free but is naturally sweet to enjoy.

Recipe

5-6 chopped strawberries

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup blackberries

3 cups full-fat plain Greek yogurt (separated into 1 cup portions)

3 tbsp honey (separated into 1 tbsp portions)

2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

3 tbsp chopped sugar-free chocolate, or sugar-free chocolate chips (I used Lily’s Chocolate)

Directions

  1. Microwave each fruit in a separate bowl for 90 seconds
  2. After being microwaved, mash down each fruit with a fork
  3. Add 1 cup of Greek yogurt to each bowl and mix with a fork
  4. Add 1 tbsp of honey to each bowl and stir until combined
  5. Grab a baking sheet and line with parchment paper
  6. Scatter big spoonfuls of each mixture across the baking sheet until full.
  7. With a butter knife, marble the yogurts together
  8. Sprinkle coconut flakes and chocolate on top of the yogurt
  9. Cover with saran wrap and freeze for 4 hours
  10. With knife or a cookie cutter, cut out yougurt into small chunks and serve
  11. If not eating right away, store them in a covered, freezer-safe container.


Enjoy your magical snack, tag me when you make it! @xtinatheunicorn
xoxo,

Christina