Things I’m Loving

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Call me an old lady, but I am in love with these beautiful little pod thingies right here. Don’t they look like jewels?!

To be honest, I thought our dishwasher was simply not doing a good enough job. This meant we were completely rinsing and scrubbing any dish that had anything stuck on it before it went in the dishwasher to be cleaned with soap. It was as if we were hand washing our dishes before having a machine wash them. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a dishwasher, right?

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Well, one day I was at Costco and we had run out of our dishwasher liquid, so I was looking for a new kind – hoping I would pick something that would solve our horrible dishwasher. (to back track, I had already taken apart the dishwasher parts and cleaned out any food particles or sludge left behind…which to be honest, there wasn’t much of thank god…because GROSS. So that helped rule out that our dishwasher wasn’t the culprit of giving us dirty dishes after the wash cycle).

I spotted this giant tub of Cascade Complete pods which I had heard good things about, and decided to try them. You guys. They are a GAME CHANGER. I purposely put wicked dirty dishes in the dishwasher, without pre-scrubbing them, and they came out cleaner and shinier than when I would do all that extra work with the old detergent!

SOLD.

Check out the before and after of this spaghetti plate that had sauce microwaved onto it. You know it turns into spaghetti sauce cement once it hits the microwave.

Amazing, right!?

So before you think your dishwasher is crap, try switching to these soap pods and see if it works the same magic it did with mine!

Time to go empty the dishwasher! Do any of you use this stuff already and love it?

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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#motivationmonday3

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Hi lovelies!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and are carrying that energy into this week ahead! We got a chance to relax and get some sun at the pool and hang out with friends and meet their cute new pup!!!

Anyways, do you ever feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders because you put so much responsibility on yourself? How about you challenge yourself to delegate one thing to someone else in your life that you know you can let go of. Do you think you could do that? If you’re anything like me, that is HARD. I like being in control because I know the kind of work I put into something so I already know the outcome will be up to my standards. Does that make sense?

When you hand the power over to someone else, you no longer have the control over the outcome. Which is downright scary. BUT, it also gives you a sense of freedom.

Once you allow yourself to let go, you may find you love sharing the responsibility with someone else.

Try it this week, especially if you are a total stress case. And if that’s not enough to calm you down just a smidge, then just look at this beachy picture, close your eyes, lean back in your chair, and imagine you are breathing in that salty air with a frosty drink in your hand listening to the lapping waves on the shore.

Just don’t forget to come back to reality! And remember, you ARE enough.

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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Patriotic Mani Pedi

 

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I know it’s only June 23, but I have realized that in the blogging world you need to be ahead of the game when writing about things that people might want to replicate by a certain time. Case in point – this simple little DIY Patriotic Mani/Pedi. If I were to post this on 4th of July, who’s gonna stop what they’re doing and paint their nails? Not moi! I got fireworks to watch!

So for those of you that know me well, you know I love having nail polish on my nails at all times, and if I don’t it’s a rare occasion. I never spend the money on getting my nails done because, hello, $$ I don’t have, which means I get creative from time to time making mine fancy. I thought a great regular posting here at Perfect & Flawed would be a “Monthly Manicure” post. My plan is to post it every third Thursday. So if you’re a nail fanatic like me, you can have that to look forward to.

Anyways, I LOVE the 4th of July. It’s probably my favorite holiday. I’m not really sure why, but I think it has to do with being outdoors with family and friends, eating good food, and being nostalgic. There’s just an overall sense of happiness on this holiday in my opinion. And when I watch the fireworks go off at night I always get overwhelmed with emotion and get a little teary-eyed thinking about how good we have it here in the U.S. We have freedom and we have rights, safety, and the ability to do what we choose. I am so thankful for the country we live in, even with all its flaws (which, lately, there seems to be many).

Now, on to the fun part! I was inspired by Pinterest for this nail DIY – if you haven’t followed my Pinterest board, you need to!

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This cuticle oil pen is awesome - it's by ELF and $1. It soaks right into the skin and is not messy at all.
This cuticle oil pen is awesome – it’s by ELF and $1. It soaks right into the skin and is not messy at all.

Here’s what you need:

  • red nail polish
  • blue  nail polish
  • white nail polish with a skinny detail brush (or use normal white polish and a separate skinny brush for detail work)
  • clear top coat
  • nail file
  • an orange stick or something to push your cuticles back
  • cuticle oil

P.S. – I got my bottle of white polish at the dollar store! You can find a lot of those detail bottles at the dollar store I have found 🙂

Manicure:

  1. Paint all nails except ring fingers red
  2. Paint ring fingers blue
  3. Do 2 coats on everything and wait to dry
  4. Take your white nail polish and draw/paint a star on your ring fingers
  5. Wait for it to dry completely (to avoid dragging the color) and apply top coat

Pedicure:

  1. Paint big toes blue
  2. Paint the rest of your toes red
  3. Do 2 coats of everything and wait to dry
  4. Take the white nail polish and draw/paint three little stars (or however many you have room for on your big toe!)
  5. Paint two THIN diagonal stripes on all the red toenails
  6. Wait to dry
  7. Add top coat to everything

Remember you can always remove the nail polish if you mess up. I find that if I’m not striving for perfection, it actually comes out a lot better than I planned!

Enjoy your handiwork (haha pun intended!)

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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Summer Bucket List

Since we have finally reached the official start of summer I thought it would be nice to dream a little by making a summer bucket list!

Whenever I see someone else’s wish list of things they want to do over the summer it always makes me want to make my own.

Will we accomplish all the things on this list? Who knows! (Probably not lol) but I’m sure gonna try!!

I hope my list helps inspire you to do some fun things that you normally wouldn’t do or have always wanted to do!

My Summer Bucket List

  1. Take a weekend trip to Austin, TX
  2. Practice my photography skills
  3. See a summer movie and order all the popcorn
  4. Grill at the pool
  5. Attend an outdoor event that only happens in the summer
  6. Make homemade ice cream
  7. Have drinks in my bathing suit (an adult drink)
  8. Visit Magnolia Farm in Waco, TX (any Fixer Upper fans out there??)
  9. Start and finish a book – any suggestions for a really good one?
  10. S’mores!!!!

What do YOU wanna do this summer?!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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#motivationmonday2

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Hi Ya’ll! Happy Monday! At least I hope you’re having a fabulous start to the week!

This weekend flew by! Geoff has been away for 2 weeks, and I did a pretty good job of keeping myself occupied while he was gone, BUT I am so glad he’s back now! You can only trick yourself into thinking you’re not lonely for so long!

Oh, and if you celebrated Father’s Day yesterday I hope you enjoyed your time with your loved ones! Dad’s are the best 🙂

Now, back to why I started this post! If you’re already feeling like this week just isn’t your week….study. this. picture. Embody this picture. Shout it from the rooftops. (ok, maybe wait until you’re NOT at work to shout that!) Because YOU are going to make tomorrow your BITCH! I believe that you can conquer this week! You are a badass! Stop trolling Facebook and getting sucked into the fake reality that everybody else’s lives are happier, trendier, more perfect that yours. Trust me, you’re good.

So finish up this Monday with a positive attitude (or fake it, you’re allowed!), have a glass of wine when you get home, make a to-do list for tomorrow — wait, make that a TACKLE list — and go to bed thinking about how GREAT tomorrow is going to be. Because you are a rockstar and tomorrow is not ready for this bossbabe <– that’s you! coming at ’em!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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No-Mess Marbled Clipboard

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Am I a basic bitch? Because I love anything marbled. #sorryimnotsorry? I’m so basic that I almost cut my hand off trying to remove the clipboard hardware so I could spray paint it gold. I mean, C’mon! Gold and marble???? No brainer.

Alas, I could not remove the hardware, so we have the original silver clipboard clip. Ho-hum. (but still sooooo chic!) Who doesn’t love cute office/stationary supplies?

I felt like a kid on Christmas once I had the supplies to make this and I literally couldn’t wait to see how it turned out. It’s “No-Mess” because you don’t have to do any of that whacky marbling in a big tub full of water and assorted paints. We’re using contact paper!

In all honestly, it’s got some flaws, but it wouldn’t be in true “perfect & flawed” fashion if it was, like, 100% perfect. Plus, whenever a DIY is so perfect and you try and recreate it at home, it just adds to the pressure. amiright?

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Here’s what you need for this DIY:

  • Marble contact paper (I used this stuff, after doing much googling for the perfect design)
  • a clipboard
  • x-acto knife
  • pencil (if you are type A and must use it, otherwise you can eyeball things)
  • scissors
  • credit card (to smooth out the contact paper)
  • pin/sewing needle (to pop any bubbles you might have in the end)

So, you’re going to measure your contact paper so you have a couple inches overhang on all sides. If you flip your contact paper over, you’ll see there is a grid so you can cut a straight line (see? no pencil needed!)

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If you don’t have a clipboard that has hardware that’s easy to remove, start at the bottom of the clipboard with your contact paper. (If you are able to remove your hardware, take it off and then start on whichever end you prefer).

It’s important you set your contact paper up straight (use the grid on the back of the paper to line it up with your clipboard bottom), or else it won’t smooth nicely as you move up the board. Don’t worry though, because this paper is forgiving and you can stick and restick it if you need to adjust things.

Fold the contact paper under the clipboard and press the paper down onto the back. Leave the sides unattached until the very end! If you start folding over the sides, it makes it VERY hard to get a smooth surface as you work your way up the board.

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Work in small sections as you move your way up. Peel a little, then stick, peel a little, then stick. I held down the clipboard with my foot as I was doing this sitting on the ground with the board in between my legs on the ground. I won’t show you that picture because so many people hate the sight of feet!

The trickiest part of this DIY is getting the paper around the clipping device at the top of the clipboard.

Open the clip and press down the contact paper, smoothing under the lifted up clip until you get to the hardware that is stationary on the board. Let the clip clamp back down – it’s ok if it clamps on your pile of contact paper! Use your scissors to cut a vertical line so you can separate that piece of contact paper from the stuff that is stuck on the board beneath the moving clamp. You want to do this on both sides of the contact paper/clip, keeping in mind that you need to do it so you will cover the exposed part of the clipboard at the very tippy top of the board once you continue laying the paper down. (to help you understand a bit more, we are sticking the contact paper to the metal hardware AND the board, and then removing it from the hardware AFTER the fact).

 

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Now cut a horizontal line with your x-acto knife where the contact paper meets the hardware underneath the part of the clip that goes up and down. You are going to remove that center square of contact paper so you have what looks like a “U” of contact paper. At this point in time the sides of the “U” are hovering over the top of the stationary hardware (the part that is screwed down to the board that does NOT move up and down).

Continue to adhere the contact paper to the hardware, then to the little bit of board showing at the tippy top of the board, and onto the back side of the board. Do this on the other side of the hardware as well. (so, the left and ride sides are done)

Then take your x-acto knife and trim away the contact paper that is stuck to the hardware following the outline of the hardware.

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Now we have to deal with sticking down the sides to the back of the board, and also with the corners. Corners on a clipboard are not straight; they’re curved. This means you need to pull the contact paper tight around the curve and then stick it down. Use your scissors and cut a slice in the paper to help keep the corners tight and have as little bulk as possible with the paper laying on top of each other. Once you do the two bottom corners, then you can adhere the paper on the right and left side lengths of the board to the back of the board. (Not the top yet)

Repeat what you did with the bottom corners to the top corners, and then fold the top length down in the back and adhere.

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See? Nice rounded corner!

If you have some bald patches around the hardware (like I did because I kinda screwed up), use some white/grey acrylic paint and a skinny paintbrush to fill in the gaps. It is super duper camouflage.

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I carefully filled in the bare spots where I screwed up with the paint.

Lastly, if you want to even out the back side of contact paper overlap, just use your x-acto knife and trim off what you don’t want. BUT remember to leave a fair amount of overhang, because that is what is helping it stay really good and stuck and keeps the front looking amazing.

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Oh and I almost forgot – If you have any bubbles on the front of your clipboard and can’t smooth them out? Take that sewing needle and put a little pin prick in the bubble, and then smooth the air out. You won’t even be able to see the pin hole!

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Step back, enjoy your handiwork, and see how good it looks on your desk! Pretty right?!

love & cupcakes,
Katie

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Things I’m loving

You know when you just love something so much you want to tell everyone about it? That’s how I feel about these three products! These are long time favorites and no matter how many times I buy a different kind of product “just to see” if I like it better, I always come running back to these originals.

Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Dry Shampoo

I love this shizzzz. I have to say, I am not the type to spend a ton on fancy schmancy hair care products. If it works AND it’s cheap, I like it even more. (doesn’t matter what it is!) Usually I’m all for more is more, but in this case, don’t go crazy folks. If you use too much or spray too close to your hair, you WILL see white residue.

On days when I use this I spray it in my hair (unbrushed, bed head, all nasty lookin’) and put it in a messy bun on top of my head. Then I get in the shower…if I’m not washing my hair, I’m at LEAST washing my body. (You can spray it and then do your makeup while it works too!) I swear this time that it’s sitting in your hair while you’re going about your morning routine is when the serious magic happens. When you’re out of the shower, all you have to do is massage your hair around at the scalp. Really go wild here – the more you rub, the “cleaner” it gets. Then brush, style, and pat yourself on the back for having awesome 2nd day hair. Or third or fourth day hair if you’re a lucky lady and don’t have to wash your hair errrrday. Whenever I use this dry shampoo I get complements on my hair. Go figure.

Oh, and P.S. – it smells so fresh. (and so clean clean) 😉

Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser

You guys. I have finicky skin. It’s oily. It’s dry. It’s sensitive. It’s a royal pain in the butt. I am no stranger to the dermatologist, and if I stray from my skincare routine, I break out like a hormonal teen. I have tried once before the normal Cerave cleanser, but it doesn’t foam and it felt like my face was still dirty/oily/had makeup leftover. I would also still break out when I used that kind. Then my dermatologist recommended I try the foaming kind (and she recommends Cerave brand over Cetaphil; take that as you will). I will seriously never stop using this face soap. It’s gentle, gets my full coverage foundation and mascara off of my face and eyes, and I can’t remember the last time I had a real breakout. *someone knock on wood* Sure it’s more expensive than your walmart brand face soap, but you can also find coupons on Cerave’s website. Who doesn’t love $2 off?!?! When your next bottle of face soap runs out, try this one!

L’oreal Voluminous Mascara

I saved the best for last. I don’t own an eyelash curler, and I haven’t my entire life. Some would say it’s because I’m blessed with long lashes. I say, it’s because I use an awesome mascara! I’ve used this stuff since undergrad…so around 10 years. Yup, 10. Not many people can say that they are loyal to many products for such a long time. I get asked all the time what I use on my eyelashes, especially from people who see me up close – my hairdresser, dentist, doctors, cashiers, complete strangers….you get the point. This stuff is GOOD. Funny side story, every time I go home to visit my family, my mom ALWAYS asks me what I use on my eyelashes. My answer goes something like this, “That L’oreal stuff that you introduced me to years ago….” Funny how that works.

You have to get the curved wand, though. Straight wands are worthless. I hold the curved wand wrong (I think). I don’t hold it so the curve “cups” my eyelashes. I hold it sort of sideways so the wand bumps into your eyelashes and pushes them upward more. Two coats are perfectly daytime dramatic, but you can go more if you’re not afraid to go there. Just be careful you don’t go all spidey-lash on the world.

Alright! Those are the things I’m loving right now and felt I HAD to share them with you. I realize not everyone has the same hair/skin so some products might not take to you as well. For example, that Great Lash mascara in the pink and green tube that everyone raaaaves about is garbage on my eyelashes. I might as well wear none at all. So if you hate some of this stuff, I get it!

Thanks for letting me “girl out” with you!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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#motivationmonday

This is my first of hopefully many #motivationmonday posts!

The point of them is to be short and sweet, and mostly to inspire you so you have a little pep in your step for the beginning of each work week. I encourage you to really think about the quote in the picture, and reflect on it – basically the exact opposite of what you would do if you were scrolling through Facebook and saw it (admit it, you keep scrolling past!)

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler

Time really does fly, but we are the ones in control of what we do with our time. That is a powerful thing, and we should all take advantage of it no matter how scary it may seem! Case in point, I have wanted to start this blog for years and I realized the more I just thought about it meant that I let so much time pass before I actually did something about it!

Now go be a pilot!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

 

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How To: Fix a leaky shower head

I think of myself as the handy one in our house. No offense to Geoff, but if there’s something that needs doing that typically “the man” would do, I usually end up doing it myself (and sometimes with a little help from “the man”)  😉  If there’s anyone out there that thinks a guy is sexy when he’s under the kitchen sink, they have never been serenaded on a daily basis by the sweet sounds of a classical pianist. That’s right, ladies….I’ve got a hunk who knows how to use his hands in other ways.

Anywhooo, I credit my basic knowledge and ability to get my hands a little dirty from my dad. THANKS DAD! I watched him around the house growing up – he was always fixing something, improving something, or maintaining one of our cars. It was great because I know it saved my parents a lot of money not having to have a handyman come over for every little thing. It was also great because I learned a lot just by watching, and being curious as to what he was doing meant that I was always asking my dad questions too.

Looking back on it is actually a really sweet memory. I’m so thankful I have a dad like mine whom I could learn so much from. I’m always sure to tell my dad whenever I fix something or bust out some tools around the house – because I want him to know I was able to do whatever it was because of him. 

That brings me to our leaky shower head…..oooo exciting I know! BUT it’s a good skill to have, as I’ve done this with our past 3 showers. I can’t be the only one who doesn’t want to have a pool of water trickling down the outside of their tub.

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You only need two things for this fix: Thread Seal Tape and some kind of wrench or pliers. Oh, and I will mention one thing. The tape is gonna set you back a whopping 97 cents. I’m not kidding.

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First you need to unscrew the shower head from the pipe going into the wall. Get it started with your wrench, and then you can probably unscrew it the rest of the way by hand.

Remember, Righty tighty, lefty loosey.

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Once you do that you will take your Thread Seal Tape and wrap it around the threaded part of the pipe. You will wrap it about 4 times around, CLOCKWISE, leaving a small bit exposed (the bit closest to where you will reattach the shower head). It helps if you keep the tape taught as you wrap. When you are done wrapping, rip the tape, and smooth then end onto the pipe. It sticks to itself.

Reattach the shower head, turn on the water, and check that the water isn’t leaking from where you attached the shower head. If it is, you either didn’t use enough thread seal tape, or you simply didn’t tighten the shower head enough with your wrench/pliers. Use your muscles!

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I decided since I had the supplies out I also added Thread Seal Tape where the hose attaches from the hand held shower head. That bad boy is never gonna leak!

If you have a leaky shower and have been intimidated by fixing it, DON’T be! It’s SO easy peasy!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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Waterwall Park

My hubby and I are relatively new to Houston. We haven’t yet lived here one year, and are slowly getting to know the area’s attractions. This city is so completely huge that you really can find anything you want in terms of things to do.

It just so happens that my freshman year roommate now lives in Houston, and we HAD to get together when I came apartment hunting a year ago May. We went to brunch with my mom, went wedding dress shopping (as I was planning our wedding at the time), I said “YES” to the dress (!), and then we ended up at the Waterwall!

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I didn’t quite know what to expect. I remember thinking, “Sooooo, a wall of water?” I definitely couldn’t picture what I was going to see.

Let me give you some history on this beautiful park. The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park was created in 1983. It started off as a privately owned park, but the city bought it in 2008 in an effort to preserve an important amenity of the city. Situated on 2.8 acres of land is this semi-circular “architectural fountain” that is 64 feet tall. Each minute that you stand there looking at this fountain, in a trance-like state I might add, you will witness 11,000 gallons of water recirculating as it cascades down the fountain walls. The park is lined with oak trees which gives a nice respite from the blazing Houston sun.

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When we got there it was really beautiful right in the middle of all the Uptown hustle and bustle, but it’s laid out in such a way that you don’t notice the streets or traffic surrounding the park.

You’ll see dogs running, people picnicking, photographers with their clients, and business people enjoying some fresh air.

This is directly opposite the Waterwall on the other side of the lawn.
This is directly opposite the Waterwall on the other side of the lawn.

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If you want to see a beautiful landmark in the middle of a city, then this place is for you! I recommend going in the evening when the sun isn’t so hot and you can linger on the lawn and enjoying the babbling of the Waterwall.

If you know of any other cool and beautiful spots around Houston, PLEASE let me know in the comments! We love to be tourists and see new things!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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