April 14, 2015

Dry Skin? DIY 3 Ingredient Facial Scrub

I have dry skin.  Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.  Doesn't matter.  Keeping my face moisturized (especially around my mouth where I smile) and flake free is a battle sometimes.  Nothing looks worse than foundation on flaky dry skin.  The rest of my body is totally fine but my face is my problem area.  I'm jealous of all you oily people. :)

Over the last year I've really been working on it though.  I've been washing my face with less harsh soaps and exfoliating only 1-2 times a week.  I'm also not wearing makeup everyday which I don't normally do anyway but I'm more aware of it now so I am allowing my skin to breathe more often.  I've also been trying more all natural products. 

I was reading some beauty tips online and found this all natural recipe to try for dry skin using ordinary kitchen items.  I love trying new things especially if I already have the stuff on hand.  I used it for a week and I have to say, it really hydrated my skin.  It left my face feeling smooth and soft.  I was a little weary at first about using the evoo directly on my face because I thought it would clog my pores but it didn't! I love this stuff.

**The only thing I would do differently is use a more extra fine granulated sugar (the small white kind) versus raw sugar.  I felt like the raw sugar particles were too big but it still did the trick for me.  But definitely use the small white granulated version if you are going to try this recipe.  Organic is the best of course. 

Easy 3 Ingredient Facial Scrub

3 Tablespoons of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Organic Honey
1/2 cup of Organic Granulated Sugar (I used raw sugar because that is all we had at the moment but if I could do it over I would use the extra fine white granulated sugar)

Put in the oil first then honey then sugar.  It just helps everything mesh better.
Stir really well and cover with a tight fitting lid.  A mason jar is perfect.
Store the scrub in the pantry or under your bathroom sink until ready to use.  Don't put it in the refrigerator.  It will become too hard.  

When ready to use, cleanse your face normally and then use a small amount of the facial scrub to exfoliate.  The sugar will get rid of the dead skin cells and the evoo will help moisturize your skin.  Rinse and pat dry.

I recommend doing this 1-2 times a week.  :)

Mmmm smells really good too!

Note: If you use it in the shower be really careful as the evoo/honey will make your tub very slippery! 

Hope you enjoyed this really easy all natural facial scrub tutorial!

April 10, 2015

5 Life Lessons I've Learned from my Cats

I was never a cat person growing up.  I had dogs - lots of them!  Basset hounds to be specific.  They were rescued from really bad situations so it was not unusual to have 5 basset hounds at any given time.  Cats were not an option. 

In August of 2010, a family member found a newborn baby cat running around in their neighborhood.  Naturally they gave it to me because I had been thinking about getting a pet, even "trying out" a cat.  Long story short, 5 years later (I can't believe it has already been 5 years!!) I now have 2 cats (Poppins and Sir Didymus) and an English bulldog (Mr. Truck). 

I never thought I would own a cat, let alone two, but it has been a very good learning experience for me - and Matt!  I used to think all cats were mean and unloving, however, I learned over time this is not true.  I am proud to say I have the sweetest cats on the planet and I have really enjoyed getting to know their spunky little personalities over the years.

5 Life Lessons I've Learned from my Cats

1. Live for the moment.  Cats live for the moment.  They don't sweat the small or big stuff.  They don't worry about the past or present - only the right now.  We all say that we want to live more in the moment but my cats have definitely made me more aware of this over the years.  When I see them enjoying their daily life, it makes me happy and inspired to always do the same.

portrait of a hot mess cat (sir didymus)

2. Forgiveness is a beautiful thing.  3 years ago, Sir Didymus bit me very bad on my right hand.  It was truly an accident - he got spooked by the dishwasher noise while I was holding him.  I was in the hospital and had to have a lot of treatment to help with my recovery.  It was scary and very painful.  For a good 6 months after the accident, I wanted nothing to do with him.  He cost me a lot of money (despite having health insurance) and heartache.  I was bitter.  I thought about putting him down but I didn't have the heart.  I wanted to give him one more chance.  I wanted to give him a good life.  I did just that.

Over the last few years I have seen a huge change in him.  He is immensely more loving, caring, and affectionate.  Not just with me but with everyone he comes in contact with.  In a funny way, I almost feel like he is remorseful.  With forgiveness in my heart, I gave him another chance to prove to me he would be a loving part of our family.  He has proved me right over and over again.  Forgiveness really is a beautiful thing for it helped me heal, physically and spiritually. 

3. Enjoy the simple things in life.  I occasionally buy my cats toys but they usually ignore them.  They enjoy the more simple things in life like naps, sun bathing, bird watching, play fighting, and endless cuddle time.  Catnip ("nip-nip") and canned tuna are their weakness though.  They go bonkers when I get out fresh cat nip or make a tuna salad in the kitchen.  Those smells are heaven to them and their reaction always makes me giggle.  It's the little things that make life grand, isn't it?

Sir Didymus sneaking some kisses from Mr. Truck

4. The differences between friends cannot but reinforce their friendship.  In the beginning, I worried that my cats would not get along with my bulldog.  I didn't know what dynamics would exist between the three of them.  I feared they would keep their distance and not want anything to do with him.  Hah!  I was so wrong!  Sir Didymus and Mr. Truck are the bestest of friends.  Completely inseparable.  Witnessing their love and friendship blossom over the years has given me so much happiness and joy.  I can't even explain how warm and fuzzy I get inside when they groom each other or snuggle up on the couch together.  I will always stop whatever I'm doing and observe their "bromance" because it's just so stinkin' cute.  Poppins loves Mr. Truck too, but on her terms. 

5. Adopt.  As much as I love purebreds (especially English bulldogs) so many animals need homes.  I would rescue them all if I could.  Adoption is a wonderful thing.  It is truly gratifying to save an animal from imminent death and give it a second chance at life.  There is something very special about that.  It made me a better person inside.  My cats taught me that you can absolutely find great pets at the animal shelter.  Any animal will be grateful for a loving and caring home and they will love you for it for a lifetime... <3

April 8, 2015

The 2015 Southern Women's Show, Raleigh + Win 2 Free Tickets!

Hey everyone! Today I am excited to share with you a really fun event that will be happening in the Triangle in the next few weeks.  You don't want to miss it!

The Southern Women’s Show is the premier weekend-long event for women in the Triangle community and attracts tens of thousands of guests each year.  It features celebrity guests, shopping, and workshops on food, fashion, beauty, health and fitness, business, education, home, travel, and more. 

Attendees can shop and experience more than 400 different clothing, beauty, food and other brands. They will also receive special discounts, giveaways (yay!) and exclusive offers, along with enjoying celebrity guests, cooking demos, fashion shows and more

The show will take over two buildings at the N.C. State Fairgrounds Friday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Reality TV star Randy Fenoli from the TLC network hit show “Say Yes to the Dress” headlines the weekend’s entertainment.  He will speak at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 26 on the Fashion & Entertainment Stage.

Other special guests include:
Celebrity hairstylist Michael O’Rourke, who will randomly select women from the crowd to transform their looks with dramatic new hairdos in a live demonstration 
Local matchmaker Angela Kelley, presenting’s on how to find love after 35
National recording artist and Gospel Queen of Neo-Soul Cynthia Jones
Every little girl’s favorite Snow Princesses from Frozen  

Along with these special guests, throughout the weekend show attendees can enjoy
A variety of fashion shows from favorite women’s brands as well as the steamy 14th Annual Firefighter Fashion Show and the popular Fido Fashion Show.
Wine samples from Little Black Dress Wines, the official wine sponsor of the Southern Women’s Show, and a complimentary glass of wine Friday evening with a coupon from this link: https://southernshows.com/wra/discount  

Headlining the weekend’s culinary entertainment is a series of events taking place on the Food Lion Chef Challenge Stage. These demonstrations are designed to provide easy, fresh meal ideas for moms on a budget. 

Attendees will enjoy: 
Chopped Challenges: See chefs go head-to-head in the kitchen during the ultimate cooking competition. Audience members will choose items from a pantry of quality Food Lion brand items to challenge chefs to create a delicious meal under pressure and on a budget.    
The Recipe Box: Chefs will demonstrate their favorite easy, fresh and affordable recipes while showing guests how to prepare delicious meals with seasonal ingredients. Plus, they will share tips and techniques from their own restaurant kitchens to save attendees time and money.  
The Taste Challenge: Food Lion only puts its name on quality private brand products customers can count on every day for taste and an affordable price and will prove it by going head-to-head with national brands in a Taste Challenge. Guests can compare a variety of Food Lion products to their national brand counterparts and cast their vote for their favorites.

Wow, doesn't this sound amazing!?  I have personally never been to the SWS so I will definitely be going this year.  I'm really interested in checking out the clothes, beauty products, and entering some of the neat giveaways they are offering throughout the weekend.  I will be doing a follow up post to share my experience and some of the goodies I buyGrab your girlfriends and make a date to attend the Southern Women's Show in Raleigh during the last weekend of April. 

Speaking of giveaways! I have another one for you this week! :)  

Enter my giveaway below for your chance to win 2 free tickets to the Southern Women's Show in Raleigh April 24th-26th.  It is going to be a wonderful event.  Good luck!!

Disclosure: Open to US Residents from North Carolina only. Giveaway ends Sunday, April 12th, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST.  The Southern Women's Show is providing one Buttergirl Diaries reader 2 free Tickets to the Raleigh show in April 2015 . In exchange for my review I was also compensated.  All opinions expressed in the above post are 100% my own.  All photographs courtesy of Southern Women's Show. 

April 7, 2015

Easter Recap + Some Spring Arboretum Pictures

Good Morning! I'm just now drinking my first cup of coffee and finally feeling awake.  I have Mondays off so Tuesday is my Monday.  I'm on the struggle bus this morning and I'm really hoping to get off soon.

I hope you had a great Easter.  I had a fantastic and extremely relaxing long weekend.  I'm not religious at all so I didn't go to church or do anything like that but I did take some pictures of some eggs and ate eggs for breakfast Saturday and Sunday morning, if that counts. 

Anyone else obsessed with cinnabuns? Trader Joe's has the "healthy kind" :) - they only have about 4 ingredients in them (versus 400)   Absolutely delicious yall.  
Over the weekend I mainly just did a lot of eating, sleeping, running, taking pictures (lots and lots of them!), working on my blog, babysitting on Saturday night, cleaning the house, painting, cooking, hanging out with my bestie Colleen, and watching college hoops.  Speaking of that, I can't believe Kentucky lost.  That was crazy and totally not expected but I'm happy for Duke.  They had such a great team this year and I watched almost all of their games.    

Funny thing happened on Saturday night when I went to go babysit.  I locked my keys, purse, and cell phone in the car right when I got to their house.  Story. Of. My. Life.  No worries - I have a lock box underneath my car with a spare car key in it, just in case this sort of thing happens (I used to be notorious for locking my keys in my car!).  Well the box was gone.  It was nowhere to be found.  It must have fallen off my car despite being an extremely strong magnet.  Oh well, still not stressed - I have AAA!  They came in about 15 minutes and unlocked my car.  I have never had a single bad experience with them, ever, and I have used them a LOT since I started driving.  AAA to the rescue! And just in case you were wondering, if I didn't have AAA, a locksmith would have cost $50. 

On Sunday Matthew and I went to Earth Fare, got some nut butter (omg!) and other goodies, then hit up the Raleigh Arboretum - one of our favorite places to take pictures.  It wasn't as in bloom as we would have liked but we made it work.  I'm sharing some of my favorites that I took.  And I'm moving towards a new editing style - matte finish.  I'm loving it so much as it offers a unique look to my photography.  Hope you like!

Have a great day!

April 1, 2015

10 Don'ts for New Bloggers


Today I am finishing up a two part series on blogging tips for beginners.  Last week I covered 10 Do's for new bloggers! Be sure to check that out for extra tips on what you should do if you are considering starting your own blog- because you totally should!! :)

10 Don'ts for New Bloggers

1. Don't write too much.  Everyone is busy....and trying to divide their precious time among many different interests on the internet.  I've learned over the years that less is more when it comes to writing a blog.  Get in and get out.  Sweet, simple, and to the point is a great philosophy to have when writing your content.  Occasionally it's appropriate though- I save my "novels" for my personal types of posts.   

2. Don't have grammatical errors.  We all make grammatical mistakes from time to time- I do and there might be one in this post. :)  But for the most part your blog should be spelling free and grammatical error free.  After you write a post, walk away.  Come back later and proof read your post then proof read again even after you hit publish.  You will be surprised at the little things you find. 

3. Don't cuss.  Yes, there are actually vulgar blogs out there that have no filter at all.  I have read a few.  I learned this tip at the NC Blogger Meetup last year.  You will not get sponsors.  Period.  Companies and brands do not want to tarnish their reputation by working with people who cuss and swear in every single post. 

4. Don't write negative reviews - most of the time.  I think this is a good rule in the sense that bloggers shouldn't spend their time bad mouthing companies left and right.  But I don't necessarily agree in the "review" aspect.  Negative reviews, while occasionally might be seen as a "mean-spirited review", are often my favorite reviews.  I learn more about the product/service and it makes me feel like the blogger is more genuine.  I also think a negative review can be beneficial for companies in the long term.  If the consumer doesn't like a product/service then they need to know about it so they can make adjustments.  Thus, I partly agree with this one but I had to throw it in the mix because it is pretty important to know.

5. Don't steal photos.  Take your own.  Why would you want to steal pictures off of the internet when you can have so much fun taking them yourself? :) Your blog will be a LOT more successful if you take your own pictures.  It looks way more neat, relateable, and professional.  

6. Don't forget to take vertical pictures for Pinterest!!  May I please stress the importance of this- to myself!! lol. I aaaaalways forget this one.  This explains why my pinterest is not doing so great.  I published my snack post the other day and completely forgot to take vertical pictures for pinterest.  Sooooooooooo annoying.  Nobody pins horizontal pics anymore.  Nobody! I hate being a horizontal picture taker.  Haha.  Drama.  :)

7. Don't neglect the "visitor experience"  De-clutter your blog!  Get rid of all that fluff and use your white space to your advantage.  Smooth, very clean lines.  Keep it fresh, modern, and pretty.   This will ensure that your readers will have a good experience when they come to your blog.  You don't want to scare them away after the first second.  Look and be professional

8.  Don't be negative.   We all have bad days but try and be on the more upbeat and positive side when it comes to your blog.  We all love a good controversial post but not constant negative energy.   You will loose readers this way.

9. Don't have an enormously thick header image.  I see this way too often.  Don't make it so the visitor has to scroll down excessively to see the content.  It's extremely annoying.  I mostly see this with some of the photography blogs I visit.   

10.  Don't pretend to be somebody you are not.  If you aren't really into your blog and your content, you will get bored and so will your readers.  If you don't like cooking, don't try to convince us you are a chef.  Write what you know and what you love.