Thursday, December 20, 2012

Saw It. Pinned It. Did It.

Today I am doing my first link up!  I am linking up with Katie and Steph for Saw It. Pinned It. Did it.

I have two super easy holiday decorations for you.  The first is just finding a cute printable, printing it, and framing it!  I saw this super cute printable on Pinterest one day and knew I wanted it in my living room for Christmas.

Original Pin:
found here

All I did was download the picture, print it out in the size I needed, put it in a frame, and displayed it on a shelf in my living room:

Total cost of this project was $0.  I already had the frame, just had to print the photo.

The second project is also super easy.  I had seen all kinds of lanterns on Pinterest and knew I wanted one.  So the last time I was at IKEA, I picked up a black lantern for around $8.  I was just going to put a candle in it and call it good, and then I saw these super cute lanterns decorated for Christmas:

found here

found here

When I was getting my ornaments out to decorate my Christmas tree, I remembered seeing these pins, and decided to put some of my ornaments in my lantern.  I love how it turned out!  Super easy and super cute!  I want to get more ornaments after Christmas so I can fill up my lantern next year.  I'd also like to get something fun to tie on the top of it, but I'm happy with it for now!  Here's how mine looks:

Total cost of this project was about $8.  I already had the ornaments, and you could always pick some up the day after Christmas for a good deal!

Be sure to visit Katie and Steph to see more great Saw It. Pinned It. Did It. projects!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December Birchbox

December's Birchbox was another good one!  Here's what I received this month and my thoughts on each item:

ModelCo SHINE Ultra Lip Gloss - I received the full size lip gloss!  I love it!  The lip gloss has a little mirror on it, which is great for applying on the go.  The gloss gives a little color and great shine.

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream - You've probably heard of BB creams (which I love).  This is a CC cream.  I haven't tried it yet, but the sample size is decent, and I'm excited to try it.

Nick Chavez® Beverly Hills Advanced Volume Shampoo with Expansion Technology® - I haven't tried this yet either, but it is a large sample size, so I'm excited to try it out.

Cartier DĂ©claration D'un Soir & Cartier Baiser VolĂ© Eau de Parfum - This is the men's cologne and women's perfume fragrances.  I really liked the perfume and have worn it a couple of times.  Kevin said the men's cologne smelled like bug spray.  I didn't think it smelled anything like bug spray, but it was not my favorite men's cologne.

Frownies® Eye Gels - I haven't used these yet, but maybe I will over one of the long holiday weekends.

Overall, I was very pleased with December's Birchbox.  Can't wait to get my next one in January :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Tree & Decorations

This year we have our first Christmas tree for our first Christmas in our house!  I was excited to start decorating for Christmas, and then I realized that I really don't have very many Christmas decorations.  Our apartment wasn't big enough to have tons of decorations, so I never really bought any.  So this year, I am super excited to hit up some great day-after-Christmas sales to get lots of decorations for next year.  Here are some pictures of our tree and the decorations at our house this year.  Enjoy!

Of course I have to start with The Admiral.  He is wearing his Christmas shirt and collar:

 Cute Christmas printable I found here:

 Lantern from IKEA + glitter Christmas ornaments = Cute, easy, and cheap Christmas decoration!

A couple pics of the tree

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Save-the-dates are finally in the mail!  Yayy!!!  I was very glad to get these done and mailed out!  There are a few that we are still trying to get correct addresses for, but I would say 95% have been mailed.

We are trying to keep wedding costs down where ever possible, and the save-the-dates were one place I think we were able to save some money.  Here's what we did (sorry it's such a long post, but I feel like it has some good info in it):

I loved the idea of the magnet save-the-dates, but when I started looking in to them, they were more expensive than I thought.  And to be honest, who really keeps the save-the-date once they get the invitation or once the wedding is over?  I didn't want to spend a ton of money on this part.  Then I thought about doing post card save-the-dates.  We would have saved some money on stamps, but then I was worried that the post card might get ruined in the mail (you know how sometimes they get ink on them, or get wet, or ripped, or something).  I wanted to put one of our engagement pictures on whatever type of save-the-date we did, and I didn't want it to get ruined, so I decided I wanted something that we could put in to an envelope to mail so it would be somewhat protected.

I was browsing Pinterest and the web, when I came across these cute little save-the-date cards on 123Print.  They were super affordable, so I figured we'd order them and if we didn't like them, we wouldn't be out too much money.  They were nicer than I expected when they arrived, so I was pretty happy.  They had a nice glossy finish and were very clear.  We put one of our engagement photos and the info on the card.  I thought these were the perfect size for someone to stick on the fridge or put in their wallet or whatever (they are about the size of a business card).  Did I mention it was only $5.95 for 100 of them?!?  And when you sign up on the site, you get emails with discounts, so I think I ordered them when I had a coupon code for 15% or 20% off my entire purchase.  We ordered 300 of the save-the-date cards (way more than enough, but we wanted to be sure), and with shipping and my discount, it was only $21.50.  That means the cards were just over $0.07 each!

(They turned out much nicer and clearer than they look in this picture)

I also wanted to include an engagement picture that people could put on the fridge or frame or something, since the picture on the card was kind of small.  I thought this would be especially nice for family and close friends.  Since I had the rights to make copies of my engagement pictures, I ordered the photos from Walgreens and got a great deal on them...I got 200 4x6 prints for just under $16!  I checked around to see if anyone had any coupon codes (since it is holiday time) and Walgreens had the best one.  That means each print was only $0.08 each!

I purchased the stamps and envelopes from Meijer and just used plain white no. 10 envelopes.

So, in total, with the cost of the save-the-date card, photo, envelope (I think they were just under $4 for a box of 120), and stamp (I already had labels) it only cost us about $0.62 per save-the-date.  I think that is a pretty good deal!  And I don't know about you, but I love a good deal :)

Does anyone have any other money-saving wedding ideas?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving (Yes, I know I'm a little Late...)

Thanksgiving and the weekend came and went so fast, I can't believe it's over already!  Kevin and I went to Muskegon to our parents for the weekend.  We had three, yes THREE, Thanksgiving dinners on Thanksgiving day.  We started out at my parents, then went to his Dad's, and finished the night at his mom's. Yes, I ate at all three...I was stuffed by the end of the night!

Friday morning my mom, my sister, and I got up and did some Black Friday shopping.  I didn't really get a whole of Christmas shopping done, which was my goal, but it was still fun, and I got some stuff for myself which is always good :)  If you follow me on Instagram (erickamarie87), you saw the super savings I got at Kohls on Black Friday, but in case you missed it, here it is again.  I love how Kohls prints the amount you saved on the receipt...makes me feel so much better about spending my money!

My sister flew back to Tennesse on Saturday, so I said goodbye to her and then spent the day at Kevin's mom's house.  I came home on Sunday morning to try and get some stuff done around my house.  I caught up on laundry, put everything away from the weekend, and put the Christmas tree up!

I put up some Christmas decorations, but still have more to do.  I also wrapped a few Christmas presents the other night...can you tell I'm excited for Christmas?  I'll take better pictures (you know, ones that aren't from my phone) of the tree and our decorations and post them soon.

As far as wedding plans go, I'm getting everything together to send out save-the-dates this week.  I can't wait to check that off the "wedding to-do" list!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and TGIF (tomorrow)!

Monday, November 19, 2012

November Birchbox

More great products in my November Birchbox!

These are the products I received:

Miracle Skin Transformer™ Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector - I used this product this morning and I liked the feel/texture of it.  I'll see if I notice any improvements as I continue to use it.  The sample was big enough to probably use for a couple of weeks.

Chuao Chocolatier Assorted ChocoPod - This was actually really good!  I wasn't sure about a chocolate covered potato chip, but it was just the right amount of salty and sweet.  They are pretty expensive, so I'm not sure that I would buy them, but it was tasty :)

Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme Petite Cologne Absolue - I love getting perfume samples!  This one is not something I would have picked out for myself, but I do like the smell of it and I will wear it.  I probably wouldn't buy it for myself, because it's just not "my scent."

Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture & Volume Spray - I love this stuff!  I used it the other night on my "dirty" hair (I washed it the day before).  It gave great texture and volume to my day old hair.  I think I used too much though, because when I sprayed it, I didn't "instantly" notice the texture or volume, so I sprayed more.  About a half hour later, I could really notice it and I think I over did it a little.  But I have enough in my sample to use it a few more times.  I would totally purchase this product!

stila all over shimmer liquid luminizer - This is a fun product.  It looks like lipgloss, but it has a little brush applicator so you can apply the shimmer all over!  I've only used it on my cheeks with my blush and it gives it just a little hint of pink and shimmer.  Not something I would buy for myself, but it is fun to wear!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wedding Registries

Yesterday, Kevin and I went and registered for wedding gifts.  I was super excited for this part of our wedding planning.  We registered at Target (obviously) and Bed Bath & Beyond.  I had set up both registries online before we actually went to the store, hoping it would save us a little time.  We went to Target first and we had a blast in there.  The Target employee gave us the "gun" and let us go to town!  We found lots of stuff that we wanted (of course) and left Target feeling excited for BB&B.

At BB&B, the employees were super friendly and gave us lots of information about the store, products, wedding registries, etc.  Then they gave us the gun and let us go to work.  They kept "checking" on us and suggesting stuff to us.  Now, I know they were just doing their job and being helpful, but I did end up get a little annoyed.  I mean we don't need an $800 set of dishes.  We have dishes that are nice and that we like.  We don't need a $250 set of silverware (or "flatware" as I've now known them to be called).  We just registered for silverware at Target ;)  By the time we left BB&B, we were pretty worn out from all of the registering...if I did it over, I'd probably just register at one place and go to the second one on a different day.

But we're done registering, yay!  I have a feeling I'll be adding things to the registries online as I think of them.  We realized that it was a little harder for us to register for stuff because we already have a house and have many of the things we need.  But, it is nice to register for new things to replace some of the old.  And to register for things we still need, or things we wouldn't normally buy ourselves.

After that, we went to the food court in the mall for dinner and then rented movies.  We rented "The Watch" and it was pretty good - I recommend it if you like funny movies.

Hope everyone had a great Friday and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another Recap

Here's a recap of another busy week/weekend.  We dog sat this weekend for two of Kevin's mom's dogs.  Admiral enjoyed having someone to play with all weekend :)

I had a sample sale with some of my Premier Designs Jewelry pieces on Saturday.  I made lots of snacks and had lots of jewelry to sell at super discounted prices!  It was a great opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping (and hang out with some great people).

Also, one of my best friends is in town from California, so she came over (along with her sister and my other bff) to see the house on Saturday and we had dinner at her parents on Sunday night.  I can't wait until she's back for good, so the three of us can hang out all the time again :)

On Sunday morning, Kevin and I got up and raked and bagged lots of leaves in the front yard.  I think it took us 3.5-4 hours to do all of these bags:

Tomorrow we are going to do our wedding registries and I'm super excited about it!  I think our weekend will also involve more raking and bagging leaves.  Yay for the weekend!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Long Time No See

I know I've been MIA lately, but I've been busy.  I'll recap what's gone on since my last post...mainly with pictures :)

First, here's some pics of our Halloween and Fall decorations at our house.  I took down the Halloween ones now, but the Fall ones are still up.

Kevin and I carved our pumpkins last Saturday (the Saturday before Halloween).  We had our pumpkins sitting on our front porch before we carved them, and something started eating mine.

(I did a skull and Kevin did the bat signal from Batman)

I made pumpkin seeds and they were yummy:

(Just poured melted butter on them, sprinkled some garlic salt, and baked them at 300 degrees for about 45 minute)

Kevin and I did not dress up for Halloween this year.  We stayed home and passed out candy on Halloween.  We had 130 trick-or-treaters on our first Halloween in the house!

We got our save-the-dates in the mail this weekend, so I'll be busy getting addresses together to send those out.

I took a shopping trip to IKEA, Home Goods, and World Market on Friday with my mom and her friend.  It was so fun!  I'm ready for another trip back to IKEA!

And of course, some pictures of The Admiral from the past week:

 We got a new computer this weekend and it has Windows 8 on it.  I have no idea how to use...anyone have any tips??

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wedding Cake & Weekend Plans

We finally decided on our wedding cake!  We are having Sue, from Cakes and Crafts By Sue do our cake.  She is a super sweet lady who is very passionate about her cakes, has very reasonable prices, and of course yummy cakes!  If you're planning a wedding or any other event that you might need a cake for, check her out!

We aren't going to do the typical tiered wedding cake.  We will have several different size round cakes all spread out on different "pillars."  I'm excited to do something a little different with the cake.  I have an idea of how I want it to be decorated, but not exactly....luckily I have lots of time to figure that out!

I think that is the last BIG thing we had to check off our list.  Now it's getting down to all of the details.  I'm hoping to finish the guest list this weekend so I can order save the dates and get those mailed out before the busy Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons start.

Weekend Plans:  Maybe raking the yard, AGAIN.  We raked the back yard last Saturday and it now looks like this:

Everyone says to get a leaf blower, which we probably will eventually, but I really don't mind raking.  It's a good work out.  And with Kevin and I both raking, it doesn't really take that long because our yard is not huge.

Tonight we are going to an engagement party for some friends, so that should be fun.  Kevin and I haven't gone "out" together in a long time, so I'm excited!

This weekend I also want to organize the office so that we can actually start working in there.  I really hope to get that entire room done this weekend.

We also need to carve our pumpkins this weekend.  They do look cute sitting on our front porch, but we need to get them carved before Halloween...I'm craving some pumpkin seeds!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Bedroom is Finally Painted!

I finally did it.  I FINALLY painted the bedroom!  The color is not exactly what I had hoped's lighter than I thought it would be, but I like it.  I think anything would have been better than the green that was in there.  I wanted a light color to brighten up the room because there is so much dark wood in that room (floors, trim, closet doors, headboard wall, dressers...).  I also wanted something neutral   The color is called "Brandied Pear" and it's Olympic paint from Lowe's.  I used the paint and primer in one, but I still had to prime the room first.  Because we were going from such a dark color to a light color, the guy at Lowe's said we'd probably either have to prime first or do two coats of the paint/primer.  We already had some primer at home, so instead of buying two gallons of paint, I just used that primer and bought one gallon of paint.


(Please don't look at the mess on the floor.  The Admiral thought he needed to be in the pics.  And the sign above the bed is not staying--I don't like it there, at least not by itself, but for now, it's there.  I took the "after" pics at night, so they aren't good, sorry.)

As you can see, the bright green would not have matched our blue and brown comforter.

I wanted the wall color to be more like the tan on the bottom of the comforter, but it obviously is not that dark, but I still like it better than the green!

Kevin still thinks I painted the walls white and I guess I can't blame him, it is really light!  But it does have a yellow/tan-ish tint to it.  Overall I'm happy with the way it turned out...I'm just glad the green is gone and now I can really start decorating the bedroom!

We had a really productive weekend.  On Friday night we got pizza, rented movies, and just hung out at home, since it was a rainy night and we knew we were going to busy the next two days.  Saturday we got up and got rakes and paint from Lowe's and then went grocery shopping.  We got the back yard all raked Saturday afternoon.  Then I went to work priming and painting the bedroom--that was an all night project, but totally worth it.

Kevin and The Admiral when we were raking the back yard:

 He made a nice cozy bed on the floor to take a nap after his long day raking:

Sunday I woke up sore from raking and painting (can you tell I'm really out of shape?).  We got ready and headed to our parents for the day.  My mom and I went and visited my friend Kristen and her new baby boy--I swear I could just hold him and stare at him all day, he's too cute!  Then Kevin and I went to lunch with his family at his grandma's before headed back home.

We were all pretty tired from our busy weekend, so we just kind of hung out and watched football for the rest of the night.  The Admiral went and got in bed at 7:30 p.m. because he was tired from his long weekend too :)

Have I mentioned that I'm reading Fifty Shades of Grey?  Kevin got me the trilogy for an early Christmas present....I'll admit, I'm addicted.  I'm about half-way through the first one and I'm enjoying it so far.  Anyone else reading them or already read them?  What did you think?

Friday, October 19, 2012

October Birchbox & Cute Dog

Yayy for my October Birchbox!  This was my third box I've received and it might be my favorite one so far!

In this box I received:
Kiehl's Aromatic Blends: Orange Flower & Lychee - Liquid Body Cleanser  (I haven't tried this yet, but it's a large sample which is great)
Joanna Vargas Daily Serum  (I like this, but I don't love it...I like an actual moisturizer better than a serum)
Naked Princess Naked Shine Luscious Lip Gloss  (LOVE this lip gloss)
LUNA Fiber Chocolate Raspberry  (I haven't tried this yet either)
essie fall picks Nail Polish Collection  (I received the "power clutch" color and I love it)

I also wanted to share some pics of my cute dog.  Ok, I'm a little biased, but you have to admit he is kind of adorable :)

Kevin and I usually get home from work right about the same time each day, but Kevin worked late the other day, and Admiral just did not like that.  Every time he heard a noise, he hoped it was Kevin coming home from work. 

So then he finally realized it wasn't him, and sat down on the couch and stared at me, like "hey, where is he?"

So then I told him that he wasn't going to be home for a little while and he laid down and pouted.

I'm pretty sure he might be part human :)