Thursday, May 31, 2012

{FAQ for DIY Urban Outfitters Art}

I have been happily overwhelmed by the response I have received from my DIY Urban Outfitters wall art. The amount of comments, pins, and features has been so exciting and humbling.

So first of all, thank you!

I have received quite a few questions about the products and techniques I used for the project, so I thought it would be easiest to include all of my answers in one post. If you don't see an answer to your question here, please leave one in the comments and I'll add it and my answer to this post. :)

Here we go...

Where did you find the copper tape, and what size did you use? 

I bought the tape at Hobby Lobby and used the 3/16 inch width. The size really is just a matter of preference, and they had quite a few different widths available.

Did you stick the tape on the photos after they were on the canvas?

Yes - I waited for the mod podge to dry completely and then stuck away!

I'm really curious to where you got the nature photos. Did you take them yourself or are they from calendar? 

I found all of the photos via Google searches. I had an idea of what images I wanted, so I did searches for words like "clouds", "birds in the sky", and "field of grass".

So mod podge just on the back of the photos? No mod podge on the front of the photos?

Mod Podge on the canvas, apply photo, then mod podge over the top of the photo to seal.

Were these pictures printed on photo paper? Did you have any issues with ink smearing? Any issues with brushstrokes from mod podge showing?  

I used a medium weight copy paper that had a matte finish. The paper was thinner than cardstock but a bit heavier than normal copy paper. I knew that light weight copy paper might tear, bubble or smudge easily from past experience, so I found this paper worked well. I would also recommend cardstock or even photo paper. I used a small foam brush, and made sure to brush in all directions to keep the brush strokes at a minimum. 

Did you use glossy or matte modge podge? 

I used matte mod podge, but that is really just a matter of personal preference.

Would it be okay to use photos printed on regular photo paper?  

I haven't used mod podge over glossy photo paper, but I have used it on just about any type of material and it works great. I don't think you would have any problem, but you might want to do a test photo first and see how it works. The key to a good result is to get a really good coat of mod podge under the photo to begin with as well. 

How did you blow the pictures up big enough to cut into multiple pieces without turning them blurry?

It was a bit of trial and error, and I had to discard a few of the photos I found because they weren't high enough quality. I increased their size in Adobe Photoshop for printing.

I hope this answers all of your questions! And...if you have made your own version of this I would love to see it, so link up your post about it or a picture!
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

{playing dress up}

Today has been so full of birthday celebrating that I almost forgot to post my WIWW!  I mean...this is quite distracting, right? :)

I'm a little light on outfits this week because I've been off of work quite a bit and busy getting ready for the boys' party. #1 is a work outfit, and #2 was from hair had a hot date with some scissors and color and I made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby for more party supplies.


Top and earrings: Kohls // skirt: Sears // Sandals: Target // Ring: Etsy


Top: Walmart // capris and sandals: Kohl's // Bag: Etsy

Hope everyone is having a good week! I'm back to work tomorrow after a super long and fun weekend. At least it is only two days and then its time for our superhero extravaganza! :)

Ooh...and if you haven't already, head on over and enter my Eclos Beauty Skincare Kit Giveaway!

Linking up with...

pleated poppy

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

{saying good-bye to three}

As we put the boys to bed tonight, all I could think about was that it was the last night putting them to bed as three year olds. They will be four tomorrow. FOUR.

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that number...especially when I look back on how we started out...

And then came their first birthday. One was a little bittersweet for me, but mostly exciting...a celebration of surviving the first year as parents of twins.

Two was even more of a celebration, and we had SO much fun picking out their gifts and personalizing everything for them...

I didn't think it could happen, but three was even more exciting. Three is such an age of discovery and the boys were turning into little people that we could have a conversation with and interact with on a deeper level...and their Despicable Three birthday party was so much fun...

But four...well now I'm realizing that they REALLY aren't babies anymore. They will start preschool in just a few months. They can go to the potty all by themselves. Well...when they want to. They talk to me about God, about what they want to do tomorrow, about what super-hero they like the best. They tell me they love me without me saying it first...

They are little men now.

Tomorrow will be a fun family day, just the four of us. We're going to take the boys out and let them do all of their favorite things...maybe some bowling, pick out a new book, a trip to our local toy store to pick out their free birthday present, whatever they want for dinner. And a little cake just for them.

And then on Saturday we'll celebrate with our family and friends...superhero style. :) I can't wait to share the best moments of their 4th birthday with you.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

{#EclosBeauty skincare review and giveaway}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of éclos Skin Care for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I was contacted by éclos to try out their éclos Anti-Aging Skin Care Starter Kit, and to offer a second kit to one of my readers, I was really excited. See...I have a little bit of an obsession with trying out new beauty care items. And now that I'm close to my mid 30's and those pesky little fine lines are showing up, I'm even more game for trying out any product that has "Anti-Aging" in the title.

Here is a little bit about the éclos products:
éclos features Apple Stem Cells extracted from a rare Swiss apple which have shown tremendous ability to stimulate skin stem cells, encouraging aging skin to behave like younger skin. Plant extracts, vitamins and anti-oxidants combine with the Apple Stem Cell technology to help minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and tired skin.

When my starter kit arrived I couldn't wait to try out all of the samples. It came in a cute little box and there were six products in the kit...

• Facial Cleanser Skin Prep
• Cellular Activator Face Serum
• Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream
• Restorative Eye Cream
• Instant Radiance Facial Scrub
• Skin Renewal Clay Mask

They also included an éclos Terry Cloth Head Band and a $3 coupon to use on a future purchase...

The first time I used the products, I noticed two things that made them stand out from other products that I've tried. They have a really great natural fragrance, which includes a clean and fresh blend of all-natural essential oils including rosewood, ylang ylang, palmarosa, cardamom, and geranium. They are also free from parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, or petro chemicals (potentially harmful synthetic chemicals derived from petroleum).

I split the products into two which included the Instant Radiance Facial Scrub, and one that included the Skin Renewal Clay Mask. Each separate product was wonderful in its own way. The facial cleanser was very light and foamy, and really felt like it was cleaning off my make-up and the grime from the day. The scrub had a sugar-like texture, and warmed up when I applied it to my face, almost melting away after a minute of massaging it into my skin. The clay mask left my skin feeling tightened and refreshed. The face serum is very light, and I only needed a small amount to cover my entire face. I love the texture and moisturizing quality of the regenerative cream. It left my skin feeling very moisturized and soft, but not at all oily or greasy. And the eye cream was the first product of its kind that I've tried. I noticed that the skin around my eyes stayed soft for up to a day after I had applied it.

Here is a photo from before I used the products. It is hard to tell in this picture, but I do have some fine lines on my forehead, and some more noticeable smile lines...

I noticed after using the products for a week that my smile lines were softer and not quite as noticable, as well as the fine lines on my forehead. I feel like if I continue to use them I will see more noticable results.

Here is an "after" photo and I think you can see a slight difference in my smile lines {the difference is more noticable to me in person}...

These products claim to help restore smooth,youthful texture to skin, tighten pores, and reduce the appearance of fine lines, and I can say from my experience that the products do deliver. They left my skin feeling softer, looking more even and radiant, and also lessened the appearance of my fine lines.

So would you like to try the éclos Anti-Aging Skin Care Starter Kit for yourself? They have generously offered a kit for one of my lucky readers!

Required Entry:
Leave a comment stating which product in the kit you are most excited to try.

Additional Entries:
Like This Girl's Life on Facebook
Follow This Girl's Life via GFC or RSS Feed
Share this giveaway on your Facebook, blog or Twitter {1 entry each}
*Be sure to leave a comment for each of these that you do!*

*Giveaway will be open until 12 pm EST on Sunday, June 3rd, and the winner will be chosen by random.*

éclos Skin Care

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, May 25, 2012

{instagram friday}

The weekend is almost here friends! It will be a long one for me...5 days to be exact! Of course Monday is a holiday, and Wednesday is the boys' 4th birthday so I decided to extend the weekend so we can celebrate a lot more with them. Plus it will give me time to prepare everything for the birthday party next weekend. The Ford house will be superhero central! :)

Linking up again today with Life Rearranged for Insta-Friday...

life rearranged

So here's what my past week looked like through my little camera lens...

1. My favorite color combo
2. "Real Italian" for superhero capes
3. Mouth full of breadstick
4. A squirrel button hat for a very special squirrel loving mom-to-be
5. Checking out the neighbor's flowers
6. Some days drying my hair just isn't in the cards

1. Awesome paper straws for the boys' birthday party
2. Melvin is always at my feet these days
3. A late night date with the treadmill
4. Beautiful skies
5. Watch out bad guys
6. A smoothie for dinner to combat my McDonald's lunch

Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

{Starbucks iced coffee at home}

It is no secret that I love coffee.

And now that the weather has warmed up here in Hoosier land, I'm craving iced coffee nearly 24/7. My drink of choice is a {ready for this?} grande iced decaf non-fat 6-pump vanilla latte.


But I don't have the moohlah to run to Starbucks whenever I please to drop $4.50 on one. So I decided to put together a quick and easy iced "latte" of my own at home...

All you need are three ingredients...

1. A Starbucks Via iced coffee packet
2. Coffee-mate vanilla creamer {or your favorite brand/flavor}
3. Cold water and lots of ice

I began by filling my mug up about 1/2 full with cold water, and then added about 3/4 of the Starbucks Via packet and mixed it up. Then I added the vanilla creamer until it was the light brown color of my perfect mug of coffee {I like a little coffee with my creamer}. Finally I filled the mug up the rest of the way with ice cubes.

Then I popped in a straw, and took it to the patio to relax with my favorite orange cat and a new bottle of nail polish...

Do you have a favorite warm weather drink?

Tell me about it...and better yet...leave the recipe in the comments so we can try it!

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, Italian Roast
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

{playing dress up}

Happy What I Wore Wednesday friends! 

If you are new to these posts, I link up on The Pleated Poppy along with lots and lots of other cute and inspiring women to share how we get dressed each week.

I realized today that I hit my one year mark with first post was May 11th last year! Whoa how does the time fly. And also crazy how much my hair has grown! Let's compare, shall we?

It is crazy to me how quickly my hair grows...I have only had one or two trims between. I liked my hair short but I feel like a totally different person with it long...having fun with it. :) Going in next week for the works...color, highlights and a trim. I can't wait! let's get on to my outfits from the past week, shall we?


Top: TJ Maxx // Skirt: Sears // Flats: Kohls // Necklace: SarieJune


Top: Walmart // Capris and Sandals: Kohls // Necklace: Target


Dress: TJ Maxx // Cardigan and Necklace: Kohls // Sandals: Dillards


Top: maurices // Sweater & Necklace: Kohls // Skirt: Walmart // Sandals: Target


Layered tank: Meijer // Cardigan: Dillards // Capris and Flats: Kohls // Ring: InPink

Flower necklace: The Birds Papaya


Dress: Target // Bracelet: Claire's // Sandals: Dillards // Bird pendant: Hobby Lobby
Earrings: Kohls

And I just realized I'm wearing a similar outfit today to my very first WIWW post...same earrings and bracelet and a Target chambray dress. Some things never change. :)

Linking up with...

pleated poppy

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Monday, May 21, 2012

{weekend lessons}

Lessons learned over the weekend...

1. I need to invest in spanx, especially when I have a baby shower to go to on my most bloated day of the month {TMI? Yes.}

2. Related to the above, never sit next to the filter-less guest at said baby shower when you are feeling less than happy with your appearance. And remember that your baby bump, although it was almost 4 years ago, is still not off limits for comment. Apparently someone felt that it was "not cute."

3. Never...and I repeat, NEVER, attempt to put your sons' fishy tent together when you are on your worst PMS day of the year {notice a trend in this post? ;)}. I think I scarred them. Enough said.

4. And to remedy all of the above, an iced coffee from Starbucks tastes sooo much better in the mug Landon got me for Mother's Day...and even better when accompanied by a new shade of nailpolish and my favorite orange cat...

Did you learn any good lessons over the weekend?

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Friday, May 18, 2012

{dream vs. reality}

So I posted this cute pic of the boys out digging in the dirt in our yard yesterday on Instagram...

And got quite a few replies on Facebook about how awesome their playhouse is.

And I was like....ummm...

Its a birdhouse.

Life is all about perspective, right? 

The end. :)

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{instagram friday}

Ahhh Friday again...are you as ready for the weekend as I am? Tomorrow is the baby shower for my hubby's cousin's wife {got all that? :)} and she is having a girl, so we are all super excited for the pink and bows that go along with that. The last girl to be born in our family was 18 years ago!

Here's a little peek into my past week through my instagram photos...

1. Ben and my nephew Noah "camping"
2. We have been having beautiful weather
3. Love those toddler toes
4. Mother's Day love
5. Dan spoiled me with a homemade scone and vanilla latte for Mother's Day breakfast
6. My Mother's Day gifts from the boys

1. Goofy boys
2. Digging in the dirt {my friends pointed out that the bird feeder looks like a full size house in this    pic...funny optical illusion}
3. We have a *slight* mole/groundhog problem
4. Starbucks morning thanks to my sister-in-law
5. Pretty little yellow flowers from the yard
6. Amazing amount of Pinterest traffic to my blog from my DIY Urban Outfitters wall art post

*If you want to follow me on instagram my name is mandy_ford*

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Linking up with...

life rearranged

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