Sunday, December 1, 2013

DIY Cleaning Solution for Diamond Rings

Hey Everyone!!
Did you know you could clean your diamond rings with Windex at home? I recently discovered this remedy that makes your rings SPARKLE. Seriously, my ring has never been so clean. Even when I take it into the jeweler to have it cleaned, it has never looked as good as it does now.

What you'll need:
  • A glass/jar of your choice
  • Windex
  • A soft-bristled toothbrush
Steps:
  1. Place your rings in the glass jar.
  2. Pour Windex into the jar (just enough to cover the rings).

  3. Let them soak for five minutes. You can swirl them around a little to loosen up the dirt particles.
  4. Remove your ring and dip your toothbrush into the Windex. Then lightly scrub your ring and diamonds. Make sure you have a soft toothbrush so you don't scratch your diamonds. 
  5. Rinse with warm water, and pat dry
  6. Look at your ring sparkle! :)
Xoxo, Kristin

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DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner

There is no need to go out and buy an expensive brush cleaner solution when you can whip one up at home for less than 5 dollars. With three simple ingredients, you are bound to have these lying around in your kitchen. And if not, you can purchase them at any local grocery or drugstore!

What you'll need:
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 tbsp of vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of dish soap
    Steps:
  • Mix the ingredients in a glass/jar of your choice.
  • Take a few brushes at a time and swirl them in the solution for about a minute. For my bigger brushes, I do two at a time. For my smaller eye brushes, I do three or four at a time.
  • After swirling for about a minute, rinse them under water to get all of the solution out.
  • Reshape the brushes, and leave them to dry overnight. I set mine on a towel to dry.
    It is literally amazing to see how much makeup and product comes off your brushes.
    Before
    After


    It is recommended that you clean your makeup brushes every week to avoid getting bacteria and makeup built up in the brushes; which can lead to breakouts... eek! I'll be honest that I don't have time to clean mine every week, but I do mine every two weeks. I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial.

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Xoxo, Kristin

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

DIY Chirstmas Tree - Under $20

Hey guys! As November comes to an end, I thought it would be a good time to set up a Christmas tree. I know some of you may think Christmas in November is crazy but I love the holiday season. Since my fiance is in the military, we wanted to decorate a tree while he was home on leave. We didn't feel like pulling out the giant Christmas tree from the attic, so we went out and bought a tiny 2 foot tall tree. It ended up turning out super cute and cost us less than 20 dollars to make! Now that's a deal! This tree would be great for any apartment, dorm room, or small living area. Also if you don't feel like putting a lot of time and money into a tree, this is a great option. Its fun to make with your family or friends; so grab your loved one and get started :) Here is a picture of the finished product:



Things you will need:
  • The first thing you will need is a 2 foot tree. The bottom of the tree has a stump with burlap wrapped around it. I got this from Old Time Pottery and it was about $4. 
  • Next, you will need little tiny ornaments. I got red, green, and silver balls. I also got some other fun ornaments. These are also from Old Time Pottery and cost me a total of $6.
  • You will need some pipe cleaners, I got silver sparkly ones.
  • Then you will need 2 packs of battery operated lights. I got mine from the dollar tree.
  • You will need some type of star or angel to attach to the top of your tree.
  • Next, you will need a colored cloth napkin for the skirt of your tree.
    1. The first thing I did was wrap the battery operated lights around the tree. I started at the bottom of the tree and worked up. When I ran out of the first set of lights, I got the second pack and started where I left off. Try to camouflage the battery packs in the tree.
    2. Next, take the pipe cleaner and twist one of the ends together with another pipe cleaner. You want to make a really long line of pipe cleaners. This is going to serve as the garland for your tree. Then wrap it around the entire tree. 
    3. Take your ornaments and hang them all around the tree. Try not to put two of the same colors by each other. 
    4. Cut two small pieces of pipe cleaner and attach them to the top and bottom of your star or angel. Then wrap the pipe cleaner around a piece of the tree to attach the star. 
    5. Finally, cut a straight line to the center of you napkin. Once you get to the middle, cut a small circle to go around the base of your tree.
    6. Place the napkin around the tree to serve as your tree skirt. This will also cover one of your battery packs.
    Taa-daa now you have the perfect miniature Christmas tree! I hope you guys enjoyed this DIY project.

    Xoxo, Kristin

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sweet Potato Casserole

This time of year is my absolute favorite! I love everything about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Today, I am bringing you one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes! Sweet Potato Casserole, yum :) I haven't met anyone who doesn't love this dish. It is great to serve with all the other fixings at Thanksgiving or to serve as a desert after the dinner.

Since my fiance is in the military, we had an early Thanksgiving dinner earlier this week. And of course, his favorite side dish is the sweet potato casserole. This recipe is pretty simple, and you should have most of the ingredients in sitting around in your kitchen somewhere.

Main Ingredients:
  • 6-8 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Topping:
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Boil all of your sweet potatoes, then mash them in a bowl.

Add the main ingredients from the list above and mix.

Then pour this into a greased casserole dish. (I used a 9x13)

In a separate bowl, add the topping ingredients (exclude the marshmallows).

Pour the topping mixture on top of the main sweet potato dish.

Add marshmallows all over the top.*

Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes.

*If you don't want your marshmallows to be browned, bake the dish for thirty minutes without the marshmallows, then remove the dish, sprinkle with marshmallows, and bake for another ten minutes.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do!!

Xoxo, Kristin

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wedding Update! 11/23/13

Hey guys!!

So if you are subscribed to my YouTube channel (keepingupwithkristin1), I posted a Blog video, which you can see here:

I mentioned that I was getting married November of 2014 and I would like to Blog about the whole experience along the way. I am hoping to be doing some DIY videos about things I make for my wedding and also share some tips and advice about weddings. So to update you all, my fiancé and I recently toured some wedding venues and found the perfect one! Not only do we have a view of the water, but we also got an amazing, all inclusive price. Since he is in the military, we found a venue that does weddings for a lot of military families. They have a nice deck outside so we have our ceremony out there. Then inside they have a beautiful ballroom, where we will have our reception. I like the idea that we can have both the ceremony and reception at the same venue because a lot of our guests will be coming in from out of town and I don't want them to travel more than necessary. So I think this venue is perfect! Originally, I wanted to have a rustic wedding, but with this venue I don't think that will be possible because the setting is on the water and is a little more fancy. Therefore I am switching my theme to something more romantic. 

For my color scheme, I am thinking of coral as the main color. Then also having neutral colors as the accent colors. I love this picture that I found on Pinterst! It describes my vision perfectly. If you guys haven't checked out Pinterest, I highly suggest that you do. You can plan your entire wedding on there! 

So a little information about my fiancé and I:

We have been together four years. We started as high school sweethearts, and continued to date through college. Then my fiancé joined the military and we had to start a long distance relationship. Although it was tough, I think it brought us closer together. If you guys have any questions about long distance relationships or military life, please feel free to ask me! I would love to give you guys advice :) If you guys send me questions, I could make a video answering your questions! Or I could answer them in my blog.

Check back for more updates coming soon!!


Xoxo, Kristin

S'mores Cookie Cake

Hey everyone! :) So today I bring you an amazing recipe that I made over the weekend. This was so delicious and everyone who tried it, loved it! So I thought I would share it with you guys so you could try on your own.

Ingredients:

1 cup of graham crackers (about 8 crushed crackers)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup mini-marshmallows
1/2 cup of chocolate chips
7 oz. marshmallow cream

Yield:

Two 6" pans, or one 10" pan (cast iron skillet)

Directions: 

Preheat your oven to 350 F, and spray either two 6 inch cast iron pans, or one 10 inch cast iron pan. I made mine in one 10 inch cast iron pan and then cut it like a pie. The first thing you want to do is to crush the graham crackers. Take a plastic bag and put the graham crackers in, and crush them until they are in fine crumbs. Next, whisk together the graham crackers, flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside for a moment. In another bowl add the butter and both sugars and mis on medium until soft and fluffy. Next, add the egg and the vanilla and beat again until well mixed. Stop the mixer and add the bowl of dry ingredients and continue mixing. Next you are going to add the chocolate chips and mini marshmallows to the dough. Make sure to evenly disperse them. Place into your one or two skillets. Bake on 350 F for about 25 minutes, until they are gold and puffy. Finally you are going to top it off with marshmallow cream once your cookie has cooled. Spread it all over the top of your cookie, it doesn't have to be pretty. Then place it back in the oven on the broiler element for approximately 1 minute but keep a very close eye on it! The first time I did this, I left it in there for a minute and when I took it out the marshmallow cream was burnt. So i scraped off the cream and put it back in for about 45 seconds and it was perfect! So be careful with this step. To top off your marvelous creation, you can add chocolate chips and extra marshmallows if you want :) I cut mine like a pie and served it on plates. If you choose to be less civilized then feel free to eat it right out of the pan, but be careful because cast iron pans stay very hot for awhile!

DIY Foot Scrub - Instantly Softer Feet

DIY FOOT SCRUB

Hey guys! So as we get into the colder months, your feet can become dry and cracked. This foot scrub can help make your feet softer after just one use. It is made out of all natural ingredients and are products that you can find at any local store. I love this foot scrub because you can add any scent you want to it and switch it up when you run out. I think you will all enjoy this as much as I do :)

Ingredients:
Baking Soda
Sugar
Olive Oil
Almond Extract

If you guys are not a fan of almond extract, you can also try using peppermint, vanilla, lemon, or even lavender. After I get out of the shower, I use an exfoliating foot scrubber, to get off all the dead skin cells. Then I take my homemade foot scrub and work that into my skin for about two minutes. Following that I will rinse it off with water and then apply a peppermint foot lotion. If you do this once a week, you will see an improvement in the texture of your feet. 

Hope you all enjoyed this video! Subscribe to my YouTube channel, keepingupwithkristin1

Thanks for watching,

Xoxo, Kristin

Monday, November 4, 2013

DIY Lip Exfoliant/Scrub

video
Hey everyone! Im Kristin. I recently started a YouTube channel to post DIY and beauty videos. I am really passionate about being healthy and living a happy life. I think those are two of the most important things. This first video is a DIY Lip Exfoliant/Scrub Tutorial. We all know that as the cooler months of fall and winter arrive, our skin gets dry and flaky! This all natural lip exfoliant is a great way to get rid of the dead skin cells and to keep your lips moisturized.

Ingredients:
Olive Oil
Honey
Vaseline
Sugar
Chapstick
Small Container

After I get out of the shower, I will get some of lip exfoliant on my finger and rub it on my lips for a few seconds; making sure the sugar is exfoliating both my top and bottom lip. Then I let it sit on my lips for about a minute, then I wipe it off with a towel. Following that, I put on my favorite Burt's Bees Chapstick. Guaranteed you will have softer lips after the first use :)

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Xoxo, Kristin <3