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Nicole Risinger, Author at Imperfect Homemaker

All Posts by Nicole Risinger

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes Review

Note from MaryEllen: I asked my team member Nicole to review this for the Christmas Gift Guide and share her experience with us. For more Christmas gift ideas that will help support other homemakers from this community, be sure to check out the Christmas Gift Guide.

 

If you would have asked me during my growing up years, I would have claimed to be a tomboy: climbing trees, rambling through woods, and staying far away from dolls and “girly” stuff. By the time I hit college however, I had discovered there is a fun side to being female. Things like makeup, hairdos and accessories became a fun new world to be explored!

I think I have come a long way from my tomboy days…at least I hope I have! I have to say I enjoy dressing up, getting all “beautified” and the primping that comes with it when I have the time.

That is one reason I jumped at the chance to review Younique's Moodstruck 3d Fiber Lashes. It is not just a mascara, this 3-step process is a whole new way to pamper and define your lashes!

my eyes with Moodstruck 3D fiber lashes

One eye with 3D Fiber lashes, one eye without!

I received the product from Younique in a nice case to hold both tubes of product. It already felt fancy!

Inside is a tube of Defining Gel and another tube of Natural Fibers. The best way to learn how to use these is to watch the video, but basically you put on a coat of Defining Gel, then while that is still wet you follow it with the Natural Fibers. Complete the process with another coat of defining gel, and you are done! The whole process doesn't take very long at all!

My beautiful cousin came to try it out with me.

My beautiful cousin came to try it out with me.

Things I liked:

It is easy to use. It doesn't take any more time than regular mascara.

It defines your eye without a whole lot of makeup – I find I use less eye shadow when I am wearing this.

It washes off pretty easily. I use makeup removing wipes and it wipes right off.

The fibers are natural, not chemical. They are green tea fibers and I love that I'm not putting harmful things on my eyes!

It is feminine and fun!

 

Beautiful gal, beautiful lashes!

Beautiful gal, beautiful lashes!

My one complaint:

I find that because you re-apply the defining gel after applying the fibers, the gel gets clumpy because fibers get inside. At first this resulted in clumpy eyelashes. I have found I can avoid most of the clumping by using strokes that go all the way from the root of my eyelash to the tip. However the gel does still tend to be more clumpy than regular mascara.

 

You can try Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber lashes for yourself by clicking here. I also found it on Amazon but it was more expensive…just showing you that this is a great company to buy from!

I'd love to hear if you have tried it and how you like it! Have you ever used any other Younique products I should know about? Please share!

Tips for Organizing your Vehicle for Summer

Guest post from Imperfect Homemaker contributor Nicole.

 

Now that summer weather has finally arrived, I for one find myself spending a lot of time in my vehicle! Between work, events with family, local events such as this, or church events, there are lots of great reasons to be on the go. The lack of organization in my car, however, was starting to drive me nuts! For something we use often, it is easy to let the cleanliness slide.

So I decided to do something about it!

organizing your vehicle

 

I started by cleaning and vacuuming out the entire inside. I found all kinds of garbage under the seats…gross! How does that happen?

Once it was all sparkling clean, I made a list of the different items I wanted to put back in the car to be prepared for whatever a day might bring. Then I got to organize it all inside…that is the fun part!

I knew I wanted a bag for garbage. I hung a plastic grocery bag on the bottom part of my seat buckle. It hangs down behind the center console. I rarely have backseat passengers, so it is a great place to keep it within arms reach. If you do not have a center console, a bag like this will hang nicely between the two front seats, either on the buckles or the arm rests.

Next I added some items to the center console. I put a stack of napkins in there (just ask for some extras when you go through drive-through!) as well as a package of disinfecting wipes. I grabbed two packs of these wipes at the dollar store for $1 each. I stuck the extra one in my glove box so I won't run out! These wipes are great for sticky fingers if you eat on the go. I also use them to wipe down surfaces inside the car….like the steering wheel. Do you know how gross and dirty that gets? Totally worth a few seconds for a wipe-down…you can do this while sitting at a red light! (and then drop the used wipe in the garbage bag…so handy!)

I also picked up a little wire cup for a dollar to corral some loose change. Next to it all I tucked a pen and pad of paper. I'm glad to have all of these items easily within reach!

center console

Another item I wanted to include was a package of tissues. I grabbed one of Puffs soft package tissues. This package is designed to go anywhere, so if I decide to shove it in my glove box or in the pocket of my car door, it will fit! Genius!

puffs soft pouch tissues

The glove box is harder to get to from the driver's seat, obviously. So I put items in there that I wouldn't need while driving. I have the extra package of disinfecting wipes in there, as well as a box of Larabar protein bars for when I need a little nutrition on the go. (Lets be honest…I will probably eat these every morning on the way to work, since I run out of time or forget to eat breakfast. Whoops!)

glove box organized

The last items I gathered were some personal items. I grabbed a zip pouch from my etsy shop and filled it with band-aids, a small comb, hair elastics, chapstick, and a few, um….lady items. (Psst! These zip pouches are the perfect size to hide those!! Just an FYI! {wink!})

zip pouch of personal items

 

Depending on what your summer plans are, there might be other ways you can plan ahead to save you time and headache later on. Do you go to the beach often? Keep a tote full of beach toys, towels, and sunscreen. Do you picnic? Keep a tote full of paper plates, cups, and silverware. You may want to throw in an umbrella, especially if you live in Florida. {wink!} In the winter I include a bag of emergency overnight items. Figure out what items that your family needs, and keep them in your car so you are never without them when you need them. That is the key to organization, right? Having what you need, when you need it to save you time and energy.

Do you keep your vehicle organized? What items are essential to your on-the-go days? What other items should I include to prepare for any situation? Share your thoughts below!

 

Organizing Your Finances {with a free printable!}

If you knew there was a simple step you could take that would add money to your family's bank account, wouldn't you take it? Today I'm sharing a finance tracking method that has done just that for me!

Money is a part of daily life in today's society. Whether we like it or not, we are required to use and have money on a daily basis. And I bet there is not one of us that is not concerned about our money to some degree – where it is coming from, where it is going, and what we are doing with it while we have it (however brief that might be!)

A couple years ago I became frustrated with the way I was handling my finances. In my case, I have no one to blame but myself! I found myself spending little amounts here and there, and finding out when it was too late that those innocent little amounts add up fast! Another scenario was not being able to remember where I spent the money…all I knew was that it was gone. Have you ever had that happen?

It was time for something to change. So I designed a printable Spending Record!

my finance tracker

The concept is pretty simple. It keeps track of all my money, coming or going. Because I have bank accounts on both sides of the border, plus a paypal account, I wanted to be able to see all the balances in one place.

I made a colourful sheet with 8 columns. Five of them show my different personal accounts, one keeps a running overall total, and the other two are for the date of the transaction and the Activity and Purpose. This is where I log the amount spent or received, and what is was for. I then add or deduct it from the appropriate account and write the new balance in the column.

spending record close up
I've been using this system for quite some time, and it works so well for me! Being able to keep track of all my money and accounts in one place is so simple.

spending record 2

The best part of this system is that now I can see exactly where every dollar is going. I don't have a lot of income, and every dollar counts! I am sure many of you are counting your pennies just as carefully. With this system of recording every transaction, I can see where I'm spending more money and what I can do to save in certain areas.

Since starting this system, I have my “total balance” column grow and continue to grow more steadily then it did before. I think that is happening for a couple of reasons:

1. Knowing I will have to record every dollar makes me second-guess impulsive purchases or just unneeded items. I'm not saying that I don't ever spend money on little pleasures (Hello Dunkin!!) but I do rethink the purchases that aren't as important.

2. I believe the Lord honours those that strive to be good stewards of what He has given us. I Corinthians 4:2 says, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” In addition, I Corinthians 14:40 states, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” I believe both of these verses can be applied to our finances! The money God gives us here on earth is simply a tool to accomplish His will and working in our lives. I believe the least we can do is manage it decently and faithfully!

I'd love to help you take control of your finances and see your bank accounts grow and grow, so I'm offering this printable, which normally is sold at So Sew Organized, FREE for any Imperfect Homemaker readers! Throughout the month of April you can get your own copy of this Spending Record at no cost just by leaving your name and email address in the comments of this post. (You can also email me directly if you prefer: soseworganized(at)gmail(dot)com. Just mention you are from Imperfect Homemaker!)

The printable you will receive will have blank columns for you to customize to fit your own needs, and of course I'll put your name on it instead of mine. =) I can do other customization you may prefer as well…just give me all the details in your comment! Be sure to request your copy before the month is up!

This method has saved me money, and I'm so glad I can pass it on to you! What other ways does your family keep track of your finances? Any other tips to share? What methods do you use to stretch those hard-earned dollars?

 

The Power of a Thank You Note

The following is a post by Imperfect Homemaker contributor, Nicole.

 

Once upon a time, people looked forward to the arrival of the mailman each day. Yes, sometimes bills or other discouraging things are found in that little metal box, but there was the possibility of getting a real, tangible, heartfelt letter from a friend. Remember those days?

Now, getting a pen-and-paper note is very rare. We check our email and social media several times a day, no longer waiting for that one moment when mail is delivered. Being able to communicate more often, and even immediately, with friends and family is a blessing of the internet age, but at the same time we miss out on something by not getting the meaning that goes into a handwritten note.

With the price of postage, I don't generally turn to handwritten notes very often, but there is one exception: Thank you notes. I think that a written thank you speaks volumes to the recipient, and shows that you really are truly thankful for the service they gave you! It doesn't take much to type out a quick thank you in an email, but to take the time to write one out, and then pay to mail it, shows a more genuine thanks.

Here are some things that I believe deserve a genuine Thank You note:

  • When you've received a gift
  • When you've been a dinner guest
  • When you've been an overnight guest in a home or guest house
  • When someone has done a favor

Some of these may be more informal at times, and a thank you note might not be necessary. But many times, they are! I like to look for opportunities where a note would be a blessing and show just how thankful I am.

Here are some fun ways to write thank yous:

  • After spending the night in someone's guest bedroom or a prophets chamber, leave a note on the bed where the hostess can clearly see it. Makes for a fun little surprise!
  • Have kids that were included? Let them write their own note on the card, or sign their own name. If they are too young for real writing, let them color in a blank space or dictate a short note. If nothing else, the hostess will get a little chuckle.
  • Include a picture that was taken during your experience with the host/hostess. Makes it a bit more personal.
  • Add a meaningful Bible verse.
  • Use a fun pen, or add a colorful embellishment.

 

Now I'd love to hear your thoughts…how often do you write a handwritten thank you note? When is a thank you appropriate? Have you ever given a gift, and never received a thank you for it? How did you feel about it?

 

Preparing my Heart For Easter

preparing my heart for Easter

March 31 marks a very special day in all of our lives. For some, it is simply a day to usher in spring…with bunnies, lambs, candy and fun games. But for every born again Christian, it is an important celebration of the coming of The Lamb, the Savior of the world.

Ever since 2011, I have made it a point to not let that day come and go as just another holiday. No, I think that every believer should allow Easter Sunday to make a difference in their spiritual lives – our own personal reawakening, if you will.

Think about this:

Christmas is the day we celebrate Jesus birth on this earth. We spend weeks, even months preparing for that day. Yes, we do spend a lot of time and effort on the commercial aspect of Christmas, but most Christians also spend plenty of time preparing to celebrate His birth. We prepare special musical numbers, and even spend months preparing choir presentations and cantatas, all to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. There are many great activities and such that we do with our children and Sunday Schools to teach the nativity story. I even spent weeks focusing on the Christmas story on my blog this last year, in an effort to not forget what the season is really about. All of this is right and good! But why do we spend so much time on His birth, and only one single day on His death?

Yes, His birth was important and fulfilled prophecies and was completely necessary for redemption’s plan. But it wasn’t the only step of the plan. It was not His birth that washed my sins away…it was His death! And I personally do not want to forget all that He suffered for me.

Cook quote

So each year, I take the weeks leading up to Easter and spend some concentrated time focusing on Christ. I normally study Christ’s life, death and resurrection more fully from the Bible passages that deal with these events. I spend some time memorizing and meditating on verses related to our salvation. And I also read a book that digs into redemption’s plan.

I find that this concentrated time of studying Christ makes a big impact on my spiritual life! Spending time each morning focusing on Christ alone is so, so refreshing. It also takes me back to what I was before I got saved – a lost, hell-deserving sinner. It makes me so much the more grateful to Him and makes me want to serve Him in a greater way!

Why not give it a try? There are still almost 2 weeks before Easter Sunday. Take the time in those days to spend concentrated time focusing on your salvation. Include your family as well!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Our family has enjoyed using these Resurrection Eggs to tell the Easter story in the 12 days leading up to Easter. The last egg is especially thrilling! 🙂

Here is a great list by another blogger with loads of kiddo ideas and resources.

Grow your own Garden Tomb! Here is how one blogger did it.

Do you typically observe the Resurrection in a special way? How do you bring the focus of Easter back to the Lord? Any other activities you've tried before?

 

https://sheilawraygregoire.thinkific.com/pages/affiliates?fbclid=IwAR0aCpdRU-J7BcKePidq1qlLwEjIjILJSIvHrlE4ToV9zCDqPvMXnt-VLjo