Have A Tasty Weekend!

Happy Friday, my sweets!  Doing anything fun this weekend?  Travis and I are going to a beer and bbq tasting on Saturday!  I’m not much of a beer drinker, but tastings are always fun (and I’ll never say no to bbq!)

Before we kick off the weekend with fun links, I’d like to congratulate Julie Hawkins, the winner of this week’s Benefit bronzer giveaway!  (For those that didn’t win: I’m doing another awesome giveaway on Monday, so check back!)

Origami shadow art!

Creative gift wrapping ideas.

Have you heard of the no-heart curl technique?  Here’s a tutorial.

A powerful story about The Beatles’ “Let it Be”.

DIY glitter polish!

Such a pretty wedding ring…

Love this skirt!

Cute tush :)

BRILLIANT craft table.

And a few {bb} posts you may have missed…

Heart garlands…

Warm weather nail polish faves.

Five reasons to hire a videographer for your wedding.

Are you a beer drinker?  (Ever been to a tasting?)  What are you up to this weekend?  Any fun plans?  Share in the comments!

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A Luxurious Spa Day… at Home!

We all paint our nails at home and sometimes we color our hair, but every once in a while, it’s fun to have an all-out spa day.  You could drop $500 at the spa, but budget-minded gals know how to create the perfect spa environment at home.

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Invite a girlfriend or two to join you.  Make sure you pick up a bottle of champagne and turn “Spa Radio” on Pandora to get your spa day off to a perfectly relaxing start.

Treatment 1: Hair Repair Masque

Mix one mashed banana, one egg, three tablespoons of honey, three tablespoons of milk and five tablespoons of olive oil together in a bowl.  Apply the masque to dry hair, cover with a shower cap, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  This mixture will add strength and gloss to your hair, especially perfect if it’s color treated or if you use a lot of heat styling.

Treatment 2:  Prep Your Nails

While your hair masque is doing its work, take some time to prep your nails the way the pros do.  Soak your hands and feet in warm, soapy water for 5-10 minutes to soften your skin and nail beds.  Then, clip and file as necessary.  (Don’t forget to gently clip stray cuticles!)  Finish off by rubbing a little olive oil onto the tip of each finger and toe.

Treatment 3: Exfoliation

Mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, three tablespoons olive oil, and a few drops of water.  Step into your shower without turning on the water and rub this body scrub all over in circular motions.  When you’re done, remove your shower cap and rinse out the hair repair masque while you rinse away the scrub.

Treatment 4: Deep Conditioner

Now that you’ve fortified your hair with a masque, seal in the moisture with a deep conditioning treatment.  Before you step out of the shower, wring your hair as dry as possible.  Then lather your hair with your regular conditioner.  Did you know that by leaving regular conditioner on your hair for an extended time, it will penetrate deeper?  Put your shower cap back on and step out of the shower.

Treatment 5: Face Mask

Your shower cap will keep all of those pesky stray hairs out of the way, so this is a perfect time for a face mask!  Mix two tablespoons honey, one teaspoon nutmeg, and one teaspoon cinnamon.  Nutmeg and honey are anti-inflammatories, so they’ll soothe and calm your skin.  Leave the mask on for 30 minutes, then hop back in the shower and rinse both your face and hair.

Treatment 6: Polish Your Nails

When you step out of the shower, slather your body with your favorite lotion (I love anything with deeply moisturizing shea butter).  Since your nails have already been prepped, it’s time to finish off your spa day with some polish!  If you have a friend over, you can paint each other’s nails.  Otherwise, take your time, choose a spa-worthy color, and go to town.  If you get polish on your skin, dip a small paint brush in nail polish remover to get rid of the excess without smudging your manicure.

Have you ever done an at-home spa day?  Got any other good treatments to recommend?  Tried any of the ones above?  Share your experience in the comments!

P.S.- Today is the last day to enter the Benefit Bronzer Giveaway.

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Wedding Wednesday POLL: Should You Live Together Before Marriage?

I have a friend who is planning to move in with her boyfriend in the coming months, and we were talking about living together before marriage.  Travis and I moved in together less than a year into our relationship and spent three years shacked up before heading down the aisle.  My friend agreed that living together was important for her before marriage, but she was happy spending a year or less under the same roof before making the plunge.

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For me, I feel like living with someone before you agree to spend your entire life with them is a smart move.  What if you’re styles of cohabiting are totally different and living together is more stressful than fun?  Beyond that, I know from experience that Travis and I learned a lot about each other simply from being around each other all the time and living in the same apartment.

On the other hand, I have another friend who won’t move in until after the wedding ceremony.  And there’s something unbelievably romantic about that.  When she gets married, she will really be starting her life with her husband.  (Travis and I had “started our life together” years before he put a ring on it.)

I’d love to know what you think…


Will you (or did you) live with your significant other before marriage?  What made you choose to do one or the other?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

P.S.- Click here to enter this week’s giveaway :)

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DIY Yarn Necklace

I’ve always got a basketful of yarn in the house to tide me over during knitting sprees.  But my knitting is generally reserved for fall and wintertime, so my pretty yarn doesn’t get much attention in June.  I thought it would be fun to rock a yarn-tastic accessory in the summer months, so I came up with this fun project…

All you need is yarn (you could use one color or many, like I did), thread, a needle, a sewing pin, and scissors.

Step 1: Build your yarn balls by tying your yarn in a knot.  Use the knot as a base to wrap the yarn around itself in varying directions.  A ball will start to form.

Step 2: When you’ve reached your desired size, stick a pin into the ball to hold it into place.  Then, thread your needle with a color that matches your yarn ball and run the thread through the entire ball a few times.  Make sure to alternate directions, so you keep the ball together once the pin comes out.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 & 2 until you have a good handful of yarn balls.  I did mine in varying sizes and colors to keep my necklace extra-playful.

Step 4: Use thread (in any color) to string your balls of yarn together, then tie it off at both ends.

Step 5: Instead of using a chain to complete this necklace, I used more yarn!  Slide a piece through the end of your last ball, then tie a slip knot.  Do the same on the other side.

Step 6: Make sure the yarn is long enough to slip over your head, then tie it off.  And, voila!

Easy enough, right?  This could be a fun summer break project to do with kids.  You can make ‘em in all different colors and sizes!

What do you think of my DIY yarn necklace?  Do you ever use yarn for projects other than knitting?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

P.S.- Don’t forget to enter this week’s giveaway!

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Benefit Beautifying Giveaway!

It’s been far too long since I’ve done a giveaway on the blog, and you ladies deserve a dose of summery beauty!  So, today, I’m giving away one of my favorite bronzers ever…

Benefit’s Hoola (a $28 value)!

This matte bronzer is great for giving your cheeks a little color, but it’s also perfect for contouring!

Here’s how to enter:

1) Leave a comment on this post for ONE entry.

2) Leave a comment on another post (and tell me about it here) for ONE entry.

3) Become a fan of {blending beautiful} on Facebook (and tell me about it here) for TWO entries.

4) Follow {blending beautiful} on Pinterest (and tell me about it here) for TWO entries.

5) Post a link to {blending beautiful} on your blog/website/facebook page/twitter (and tell me about it here) for FOUR entries.

That’s TEN ways to win!  All entries must be in by midnight on Thursday.  I’ll announce the randomly-picked winner on the blog on Friday morning.  Good luck!

Update: Congrats to our winner, Julie Hawkins!  (For those that didn’t win: I’m doing another awesome giveaway on Monday, so check back!)

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