Friday, April 18, 2014

Hairstyling with NuMe - Easy Braided Bun!

I can't believe that we're almost to the end of the Hairstyling with NuMe series! Next week, on Friday, I will be posting one more hairstyle before my wedding. I hope to bring you my wedding hairstyle the Wednesday following my wedding, but we'll just have to see if I have time to prepare my post before the wedding. On that final post I will share the tutorial for my wedding hairstyle that I did, as well as announcing the winner for the NuMe Curling Jam set that I'm giving away on my original Hairstyling with NuMe post. :-) So be on the lookout for that! :-)

Today's hairstyling tutorial is a quick, easy braided bun that would be perfect for an elegant night out or your prom. :-)

Step 1: Tie Your Hair into a Pony Tail

My sister has really thick hair, as I'm sure you've noticed. But this hairstyle should work well, no matter your hair density. Start by combing your hair back into a sleek ponytail directly at the center of the back of your head. If you have bangs, feel free to leave this out.

Step 2: Start Braiding, Leaving Out Sections of Hair As You Go

This part can seem a bit confusing and tricky, but it's really not. Start braiding, and each time you cross a strand over, take a small section of hair out and let it hang free. I hope the picture above and below that I've created will help you understand how to do this. :-)

Step 3: Repeat Step 2 Till You Reach the End

Continue braiding, leaving out strands of hair as you go. Once you reach the last two or three inches, don't leave out strands -- just braid as normal and tie it off with a small hair tie the same color as your hair (if possible).

Step 4: Create a Bun

Now that you have a braid, begin wrapping it around your original pony tail, as shown above. Take as many pins as you need and secure the bun as you continue to wrap it around. Tuck the tail end of your braid under the bun, so you can't see the hair tie at the end.

Step 5: Curl the Strands of Hair that's Left Out

Now that you have your bun, take your NuMe curling wand -- whatever size you prefer, but I chose the smallest one -- and curl all the strands of hair that's hanging out of the bun. Don't worry if it looks lopsided (like my model's hair does :-), that will be corrected in the next step.

Step 6: Pin Up Curls Around the Braided Bun

Now's the time to let your creativity go to work! :-) Begin taking the curls and pin them up around the bun, however looks best to you. For me, because one side had more hair than the other, I took the longer curls and pinned them toward the other side, to even out the hairstyle. You really can't do this part wrong -- just start pinning up one curl at a time, filling in any holes, and it'll all come together. :-)

Final Results!

I added two Lilla Rose You-Pins to the hairstyle, just to give it a little sparkle, and I was done. :-) This hairstyle was really easy to do -- took me less than 30 minutes to do this hairstyle (and only that long because her hair is SO thick and she has so much of it! :-). It's really quick and easy, but looks really complex. I love it!

Remember -- don't forget to enter the NuMe giveaway for the Curling Jam set that's over on the original Hairstyling with NuMe post. This set is $280, so don't miss your chance to win this all for FREE!! :-D

Question to my Readers: If you try this hairstyle out -- or plan to sometime soon -- let me know! I was really excited to discover this quick and easy bun and I thought you all would be, too. :-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hangers that will make that special day even more memorable! (Review & Giveaway)

Today I'm featuring another business on Etsy called Rosa's Bridal Gifts. I thought, with my wedding only 12 days away, this would be the perfect time to talk about bridal accessories! :-)

Rosa Duarte opened her shop on Etsy in 2012 and have done over 3,000 sales with an average 5 star review. Her goal for Rose's Bridal Gifts is to "...fulfill your highest expectations! We are 100% committed to provide our customers with the best quality of products and services to make of your shopping with us a great experience!"

What does Rosa sell at her store? Elegant, personalized bridal hangers!

She sells a large variety of hangers ranging from different colors to different information on each hanger. If you only want your name on the hanger, it's $25 and if you want to add the date above your name it's only $5 extra. Pretty reasonable prices, in my opinion, especially for the quality you get with these hangers.

My Review...

I was really pleased with how this showed up at my house. With it being a hanger, I knew the package would be bulky and there's always that chance of something getting bent or broken during shipping if you don't package it correctly. Rosa did an amazing, superb job at packaging it well. It was in a really sturdy box and the wire lettering was protected with cardboard (see picture above). No fears about the hanger breaking during shipment -- that fact get's two thumbs up from me. :-)

I wasn't sure what kind of wire to expect on these hangers -- I mean, I've seen everything from really flimsy to thick and durable. I was delighted to find out that the wired used to spell out the bride's name was decently thick. The wire is suspended  between the hanger and everything about the wire and the wood hanger feels and looks really high quality. I love the detail that she incorporated into the hanger, like the heart over the "i" in Garvin. 

Any Major Likes/Dislikes...
There was nothing negative about this hanger -- the quality was great and the size of the words was really decent. Definitely something that can be seen and ready easily. I really like that it's fancy cursive writing, but still totally eligible and easy to understand. A hanger with my soon-to-be new name on it is something that I've always thought as extremely special and unique. 

Final Thoughts...
I highly, highly recommend Rosa's Bridal Gifts hangers. If you are getting married anytime in the near future, this would be a lovely addition to have on your wedding morning -- just imagine how beautiful your dress will look hanging from this hanger, and your new name displayed in the picture. Or if a friend of yours is getting married, this hanger would make the most perfect, meaningful, and special bridal shower gift for her. Rosa's packaging and presentation got 2 big thumbs up from me, and so does the quality and appearance of the actual hanger. Definitely a lovely gift to give or a special accessory on your wedding day. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above from Rosa's Bridal Gift's Etsy store for review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

The Giveaway...

Rosa has very kindly offered to give one of my followers the chance to win something from Rosa's Bridal Gifts! The winner will receive a 20% off coupon code to use on any item in her Etsy shop. This is a great opportunity for any bride's getting married in the near future -- and for those who want to start getting things for that special day right now! ;-) Don't forget to check out all of Rosa's social media spots, too!

Rules: This giveaway is only open to GFC follower of Legacy of a Writer, so be sure you are a follower! There are many chances to earn extra entries, so come back every day to take advantage of them. :-) This giveaway will run for three weeks, ending at midnight on Monday, May 5th. 

---> ATTENTION: Please make sure you are following all the instructions in order to be entered into the giveaway. I do check it all, once the giveaway is over, and hate to disqualify winners. Thanks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hairstyling with NuMe - Easy Curly Updo!

Let's dive right into today's hairstyle. This is something I kind of created on my own, so there's no real name for it. I just like the look and enjoyed doing my own little touches to it. :-)

Step 1: Curl Your Hair!

Just like we always do, begin your hairstyle by curling your hair. If you would like a step-by-step tutorial, click this link here to see me curl my hair. :-) Make sure you always use a heat protectant on your hair before beginning to curl -- don't want to damage your hair!

Step 2: Take a Section at the front and Braid it

Take a 1 inch section near the front of your head (I do on the right side, but if you prefer it on your left, feel free to do so). If you have bangs, or like having hair frame your face, leave them out.

Begin french braiding your hair, only incorporating hair within that 1 inch section, and work your way down toward your ear. Keep your braid loose -- it gives the hairstyle a very elegant look. If you have trouble with flyaways, use a paste to smooth them down.

Once you reach right above your ear, finish off with a regular braid and secure it with a small elastic band.

Step 3: Give Yourself a Bump at Your Crown

If you like to have a bit of volume in your crown, tease the hair right at your crown just a little bit. Or if you like a lot of volume, go to town with the teasing. :-) Basically tease it however much you like. :-)

Step 4: Twist Hair at the Crown and Pin

Lightly smooth over the tease so you get a very smooth finish. Then gather the hair at the back of your head, right below the crown of your head, and twist it once or twice. Just to help your bump stay up and give your hairstyle visual appeal. :-) Once you like how the hairstyle looks, pin in place. I used two pins, crisscrossing them so that they were secure. Feel free to use as many as you like, but if possible keep that hidden. Then it looks like your hair is magically staying in place by itself ;-)

Step 5: Pin the Braid Back Against the Twist

If you left your bangs out, twist them lightly around the braid you made on the right side. Play around with it until you like how it looks.

Once you like how it looks, pin the braid against the twist you made in the back of your head.

Step 6: Pin the Hair on the Left Side Back

Now take the hair on your left side, near your hairline, and twist it back loosely before pinning it against the twist right below the crown of your head. Make sure the hairstyle is secure and add any pins to areas that feel loose or insecure.

Step 7: Accessorize!

I always like to add something to a hairstyle, so of course I added a Lilla Rose clip that has beautiful dangles that totally completes this elegant curly updo.

All done!

That's it! All there is to this hairstyle -- it's really quick and easy, but looks rather complex. I was thrilled to see how well this turned out, and plan to do it to myself something in the very near future. :-D

Don't Forget! The giveaway NuMe is sponsoring on Legacy of a Writer is still going on! There's still time to get in your entries for a chance to win a Curl Jam Set. Click this link to find out how to enter!

Question for My Readers: How much time do you usually get to do your hair when you're going to a special event? 15 minutes? An hour? :-)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Enter to win a Kindle HDX from @TLHigley in THE QUEEN’S HANDMAID giveaway! (Litfuse)

About the Author...

Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at age eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored nine novels, including Garden of Madness and So Shines the Night. Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures. See her travel journals and more on her website (below).

More about Tracy Higley...

Website  /  Facebook  /  Twitter

About the Book...

From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled. 

Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC

Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra's palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm's length. She's been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.

But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.

Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

Where you can purchase The Queen's Handmaiden...

My Review...
Photo Credit

I've read several books written by Tracy Higley, and each one of them I've thoroughly enjoyed. She has a talent for bringing her stories to life and I always come away from them appreciating the time and research that she puts into each of her books. I think  Tosca Lee describes her writing as "spell-bindingly written with luscious prose...", and I'd have to agree!

I love many different time periods in history, and the years of Egyptian power and majesty are definitely one of them, so I jumped at the opportunity to review The Queen's Handmaid . From the very beginning, I was caught up in the palace intrigue and danger that surrounded and followed at the heals of where ever Lydia seemed to go. The secret Samuel entrusted to her with his dying breath really amped up the danger-level in this book! I was a bit mystified why Samuel didn't tell Lydia about her parentage well before he died -- as she was, at that time, old enough to handle herself -- but I suppose there are many things many people do in our own lives that we never understand why, right?

Photo Credit
It is amazing how the royal people's lives were not their own! In our day and age -- I felt Tracy did a wonderful job of portraying how difficult this was for some people and how much it effected their lives and spirits. Everything was about power and getting ahead -- so many feelings were crushed and lives ruined because of greedy people. It is amazing how power and wealth can completely twist a person's thinking and how quickly they can become a monster in many people's lives.

The plot of The Queen's Handmaid  was really intriguing. I enjoyed every moment I spent in the book -- from the palace intrigue to the mystery and danger surrounding the scrolls. I know a lot of why I enjoyed this book was because I just love history -- and Tracy puts a lot of history into this story, and I just ate it up! There are certain author's that I always keep my eye out for when looking at new releases, and Tracy Higley is definitely one of them. If you like history sprinkled generously with intrigue, danger, romance, and suspense, this is one of the author's you should definitely check out!

I reviewed this book for Thomas Nelson via Litfuse. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done. 

Find out what readers are saying HERE. (Click the 'REVIEWS bar.)

The Giveaway...

Tracy L. Higley is celebrating the release of The Queen's Handmaid with a fun giveaway.

Retailers + Resources gave it this glowing review: "Rich in historic detail, Higley’s vivid writing brings to life the plots and intrigues that swirled through the ancient world as alliances were built and broken on the calculated schemes of power-mad monarchs." 

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 19th. Winner will be announced April 21st on Tracy's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Tracy's blog on April 21st to see if you won.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Purifying Mud Mask that Treats Acne, Exzema, and Psoriasis! (First Impression Review)

The count down is drawing ever closer to the 26th! It's only 19 days away now, and things are starting to get a tad more crazy and busy for me. With that in mind, I am afraid I'm going to have to be more absent from the blog from now on. Just until after I return from my honeymoon. I will still continue to bring you the weekly Hairstyling with NuMe tutorials, but unless I have already schedule posts, I won't be posting on Mondays and Wednesdays like I normally do. I hope you all understand my absence -- I'll miss interacting with you all! But I'll be back in full swing, Lord willing, once I'm settled in my new home. :-)

One more thing before we dive into today's post. Sometimes companies send me products that they want me to then review right away. They're looking for more of a 'first impression and ease of use' kind of review then a review after I've thoroughly tested it. So, to keep it fair to everyone, I'm going to start calling these reviews "First Impression Reviews" so that you know I'm only bringing my thoughts after trying it out a few times. If you ever want a more in-depth review after I've used something for a few weeks or months, all you need to do is let me know in the comments and I'll be sure to do an updated review for you. :-)

Okay, on to the first impression review for today!

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

About Adovia Dead Sea Mud Mask...

This Dead Sea Mud Mask contains 30 Treatments which lasts for 3-4 Months. Each treatment provides the ingredients and results of a $120 facial at a high end dermatology spa! Made with Pure Dead Sea Mud with the highest concentration of minerals - vital for facial skin treatment glow. This mask is made in Israel - by the Dead Sea experts and contains the highest and freshest concentration of Dead Sea Mud. Reduce Oil and Blackheads and get more clear and radiant skin. Works great for Eczema and Psoriasis as well due to Dead Sea salt and mud known properties that help relieve Eczema, Psoriasis and acne symptoms. 

Apply a layer to clean, dry skin once per week or as needed, as a facial mask for the whole face or as spot treatment for blackheads or pimples.

My First Impression Review...

The mud mask is packaged really professional looking and the design on the tube is simple, yet attractive. Initially I was under the impression that this Adovia Purifying Mud Mask was rather expensive. But while it is $30 a bottle, you get a little over 5 fl oz of product in this tube. Which will last you quiet a while, as you don't need much each application. And even less if you're just spot treating a few areas.

Product & Ease of Use...
Because I already have a routine for my weekly face mask and I didn't want to change it up so close to my wedding :-) I decided to try this mask out as a spot treatment. I've used this about three times so far, and really like the results I get. It's a thick consistency, making it easy to apply over your face without making a mess.

I give it a good 20 minutes to dry, then wash it off. I get some cystic acne every now and then, and that's where I used this mask. I noticed that it helped the redness go around and my pimple didn't look as inflamed after I washed off the mask. And it resulted in the pimple going away faster than my cystic acne usually takes to run it's course. :-) This, of course, is an awesome fact that really makes me like this product!

Any Likes & Dislikes...
Nothing really stands out to me as a dislike. The mud mask is a really dry, thick consistency, so it's not as obvious when it's 'dry' as some of the masks I've used in the past. There isn't a big change of color. So I just tap it and see if any transfers onto my fingers. There's no distinct smell to this mask -- at least, none that I could detect. So that's a great plus! I can't stand to put stinky stuff anywhere near my nose. :-P I really like the fact that this helps to draw out the impurities in my cystic acne, helping my skin to recover faster than it usually does. :-)

Final Thoughts...
I really like the Adovia Purifying Mud Mask! I have very oily/acne-prone skin, so masks have always been a must in my skincare routine, and this is something I'm thrilled to add to my regimen! I'm really looking forward to seeing the long-term benefits of using this mask.

The company is great to work with. Really quick to ship, too, as I received my product in less than a week from when my order processed. I was impressed! This mask is recommended for people who suffer from acne, oily skin, blackheads, exzema, and psoriasis. So if you are issues with any of these, I'd encourage you to give this mask a try!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Hairstyling with NuMe - Boho Braids with Curls!

It's Friday again and time for another Hairstyling with NuMe post! :-) For those who follow me on Instagram, you know I had an all-day hair styling session with my family and was able to take pictures of the rest of the hairstyles for this series. :-) I can't wait to share them with you, as I was really pleased with how they all turned out. Stay tuned in the coming weeks. :-)

Oh, before we dive into today's tutorial, I just wanted to let you know about an amazing deal that NuMe has going on right now. Right now, you can purchase one of their Classic Curling Wands for only $79, and get a second wand for FREE!

These wands normally sell for $169, but if you use this link, put two wands in your shopping cart and enter the coupon code "BOGOCLASS" at checkout, the total will come to only $79! That's a savings of over $250!

This is a really awesome deal to take advantage of, especially if you've been wanting to try a NuMe curling wand out -- that's like getting each wand for $45, which is a crazy-amazing deal! I don't know how long this coupon code will be valid, so if you've been thinking of getting one...don't delay! :-) Okay, let's get into the tutorial. :-)

Step 1: Curl Your Hair

Curl your hair with a curling wand. If you want a detailed tutorial on how to do this, check out my first tutorial in this series where I show you step-by-step. :-)

Step 2: Take a 1 inch Section

Grab a section of hair near the front hairline. It doesn't have to be exact or perfectly 1 square inch -- this hairstyle is supposed to be really loose, natural, and effortless-looking.

Step 3: Braid the Section

Braid that section of hair, angling the strand backwards toward the back of the hair (so there are no weird 'bubbles' later when you pull the braids back). Keep the braid loose -- you don't want them to be tight, tiny, and rigid. Secure the ends with a small tie or bobby pin (this is only a temporary hold).

Step 4: Take Another 1 inch Section

Now take another section of hair -- about the same size as the braid you just did. I took a section below and a little behind my first braid. Keep in mind the end results you are looking for when you are doing this hairstyle -- it will help make sure everything looks right when you pull it all backwards.

Step 5: Braid that Section

Now braid that section back, just like with the braid before (step 3). If you like variety in your braids, then feel free to take a smaller or larger section so that the braids vary in size for the end results. Secure the ends of the braid with a tie or bobby pin.

Step 6: Do One More Braid

Same as we've been doing, do one more braid on the left side. You should have three strands now, and you're done with this side. If you want more braids, please feel free to do more! It's really whatever your preference is. :-)

Step 6: Repeat the Previous Steps on Right Side

Now just repeat the step's we've done on the left side, on the right side. I did four braids, since my sister has a side part, and more hair is on her right side. As I said already, you can do more or less -- whatever you like. :-)

Step 7: Weave Braids Together

Now that you have all the strands braided, weave them together. There's no particular way to do this -- just however you'd like. Use a clip to keep all the strands together and do the same on the other side.

Step 8: Join All the Braids Together

Now take the two sections of braids and join them together at the back of the head, directly in the center. Use a small tie the same color as your hair to secure them all.

Step 9: Decorate!

Embellish the style with anything you'd like. I used a Lilla Rose mini clip to go over the black hair tie. It really helps beautify the hairstyle even more -- like jewelry. :-)

And you're done! That's all there is to this hairstyle -- very easy to do and would look great on curly or straight hair. It's a quick hairstyle, too, especially if you just use your natural wave pattern. The braiding took less than ten minutes for me, and then I just draped it all toward the back and secured it.

Don't Forget! The giveaway NuMe is sponsoring on Legacy of a Writer is still going on! There's still time to get in your entries for a chance to win a Curl Jam Set. Click this link to find out how to enter!

Question for My Readers: Which is your preference when it comes to hair -- straight, wavy, or curly? I'd love to know. :-)
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