February 29, 2012


Whew. Where do I begin?

First, if you have not heard: I went to Blissdom this weekend. A 2-day long blog convention in Nashville, TN. Read more about it here

The first moment I knew that this could be a pretty great weekend was when we arrived at the Nashville airport. I got off the plane, and was walking toward baggage claim when I noticed my surroundings. 
I had been here before. 
I saw a Starbucks and then it came to me.

That Starbucks was the one I sat in when I created this blog. 

I had a 3 hour layover upon returning from a trip to Denver over the summer. So I sat in Starbucks, logged into Blogspot, and started thinking of new domain names. 

And The Small Things Blog began. 
(while I've been blogging for over a year, I've only been here on blogger w/ this blog name since June 2011)

And here I was, attending a conference in the same city for this little blog that I created while killing time during a layover. Wow.

Blissdom was a great experience for me. I've been blogging for over a year but I still feel like I have so much to learn. Actually, it's not a feeling--it's a fact. The most common question I asked this whole weekend was "What is that?" or "Who is that?". But now I have a starting point and can only gain knowledge and information from here.

The funniest thing about a blog conference is this: Bloggers have the ability to whip out their phones and check twitter or instagram in the middle of a session, or even a conversation, and not be offensive. We're all in the same boat, and either connecting with our readers with an instagram photo, or tweeting at our friends to meet up after a session.

I used twitter so much that my roommates and I started using the word "hashtag" in actual conversation.


Another thing is that there seemed to be a general sense of kindness at this conference. Either that, or I just met and hung with some exceptionally great people. My group discussions were helpful and motivating. And it doesn't matter how long you have been blogging, the mere fact that you blog connects you with so many other people. 

Finally, the majority of the speakers, in various sessions, were fantastic. They really knew their topic and explained it well. I attended a photography session, a few business sessions, and a few writing sessions. And each was helpful in their own way. Even the least helpful session of the weekend turned into a great joke with my roommates. #awkward.

As for the entertainment, Joe Jonas, Rascal Flatts, and Chris Mann performed. 
Here we are with Rascal Flatts:

and now for the rest of the conference. . . told in Instagram photos:

(crooked smile?) Thats me and CarolineG

biz card collection

Can't wait for next year. 

February 28, 2012

Caroline G. Giveaway//closed

Once of the best parts of Blissdom(which I'll blog about tomorrow) was getting to know my roommates. And one of those lovely people was Caroline, of Caroline G.

She makes absolutely beautiful bows that can be clipped into hair, or as an accent on other accessories.

Hi, I'm Carrie from Caroline G. I started my shop while teaching preschool two years ago and it quickly took off. I left teaching at the end of 2nd year to run my accessory shop. I am drawn to bright colors which can be found in many of the pieces I design. Since I started my business while teaching little ones, my products were originally made for all the sweet little ones in your life. I have since expanded out to include products for teens, woman, and weddings.

Blog   I   Twitter   I   Facebook   I   Shop 

Carrie is offering a $30.00 store credit to her online shop! 
Make sure to check back here on Friday March 2, 2012 to see if you won!  
{enter using the new giveaway management tool below, just follow the steps}
*comments left in the standard comment window will not qualify for this giveaway. You must enter by using the giveaway tool below.

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February 27, 2012

The Double Bun

I'm back from Blissdom, my first blog conference. It was incredibly inspiring and motivating, and I met a lot of great people. 
The first day we arrived, my hair was pretty much a disaster. After the airplane, a ride in a taxi with the windows down, and walking through the humid jungle that resides in the lobby of the hotel, I knew I had to do something about it before I actually met people. I mean, it's kind of my best advertisement.

So my roommate and I dropped our stuff in our room and I threw my hair up in this double bun style. It took all of 5 minutes. 

I love messy, but stylish, pulled up hair. This is a technique for styling hair that encourages a nice, full messy bun in the back with soft and pretty sides. You can center it, or move it to either side of your head for something different.

Refer to this post to see what's in my hair. 
Refer to this post to see how my hair is curled. 

Polka dot top: TJ Maxx
Blazer: Gap
Earrings: c/o Stella & Dot

February 24, 2012

Gussy Sews Winner

The winner of the $50.00 Gussy Sews Giveaway is. . .

(we are pointing at YOU Liz!)
(that's me and Maggie! I'm SO excited that I got to meet her at Blissdom!)

My favorite item is the TANGERINE TWIRL NESTING TRIO :)

Congrats Liz! You will be contacted via e-mail!

So Blissdom? Awesome. I'm so inspired. I have so enjoyed meeting so many other bloggers that I look forward to connecting with beyond Blissdom. 

Oh and my roommates? Awesome.
Check 'em out:

February 23, 2012

Flat out Blissdom.

Today I'm heading off to my first blog conference

What is a blogging conference you ask? 

I'll get to that.

First, these shoes need to be introduced.

I picked these up at Old Navy recently. Very recently in fact. I needed some cute and non-round toe-d flats. 

I tried some on at Gap

But the toe part was just sooooo looooong. I mean look at it?! Elf shoes. 

Anyway, the Old Navy pair was half the price of the Gap shoes and much more what I was looking for.

Thats all about shoes for now.

This blog conference is in Nashville, Tennessee and called Blissdom. This will be my first visit to Nashville! I'm looking really forward to networking, meeting other bloggers I'm familiar with AND new-to-me bloggers, and learning. There will be different sessions on various subjects all having to do with blogging. Some on the sessions are on photography, writing, business and life development.

Since I'm only a year into this blogging gig, I thought now was as good as a time as ever to try out a blog conference and see what I learn. 

Wish me luck! 

February 22, 2012

February Birchbox

My February Birchbox is here! And has been here awhile. I'm just late in posting about it.

This month had 2 wonderful products, and some medium-ly nice products, and one product that is simply not my style. But it was interesting nonetheless!
I love love love the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. I didn't think I would like the powder + water= paste texture. . .but I do. And I adore the smell of Dermalogica products. I've been familiar with this line for over 8 years. They make good products. 
I still have a good amount of my Philosophy microdelivery exfoliating wash, but I may consider this new Daily Microfoliant next. It's gentle, but gets the job done.

I also looooove my Beauty Blender (the pink sponge). You can read more about that here

The Jouer tint is great for accenting cheekbones, or highlighting areas, in case you don't want to use it all over your face.

The Eye Rock sticker liners--not a favorite of mine. I don't typically wear any kind of dramatic eye makeup, even if I were to be going out, so I simply would use them. 
The heart shaped nail file was cute! And is perfect for your purse since it won't be as likely to snap in half. And finally, they included a little card to check out some new tunes!

So there you have it! That was my february box. While overall it may have been luke warm, I was thrilled to discover the beauty blender and the exfoliating product!

Are you getting Birchbox's? If not, click here if you want more info!

February 21, 2012

Beauty Blender

I received that pink teardrop shaped sponge pictured above in my February Birchbox. It's called a Beauty Blender. It is used for applying liquid foundation.
It's been years since I've used any kind of sponge to apply my liquid foundation. I remember hearing that it can absorb the product and therefore "waste" some of it, and I'm sure I stopped using it shortly thereafter. I have no idea if it actually absorbs enough to waste the product, but nonetheless, I switched to brushes. 
I really like brushes. I also really like to use my fingers. 

but now. . .

I really like the Beauty Blender. I read somewhere that it makes your foundation "look like it's airbrushed". I think thats actually true. The foundation goes on smoothly and evenly. And I don't have use a lot! 
I was using the beauty blender dry until I actually read the directions and saw that you should wet it (but then squeeze it out really good), and then use it. I tap about a quarter size amount of foundation on the top of my left hand, then dot the beauty blender on it and apply it to my face. 

I've been using it for about a week and only really used one section of it. I'm hoping to slowly work my way around so I use a "fresh" section each day. I'm curious to see how long it lasts!

So if you were looking for a new application method, or also received the beauty blender in your February Birchbox (lucky you), I'd highly recommend it. 

February 20, 2012

Gussy Sews Giveaway//closed

I'm excited about this giveaway for 2 reasons. 
1. I LOVE Gussy Sews products. You may remember this tutorial featuring her headbands. 
2. I'm about to meet her in person at the blog conference I'm attending this weekend! We may even come up with a creative way to announce the winner. :)

Gussy Sews makes and sells pouches, headbands, totes, wristlets, etc. Be sure to check out her shop to see everything.

Hi there {waves!}, I'm Maggie Whitley, owner & designer of Gussy Sews. I spend my days working on my blog and my shop which are my dream jobs! On my blog you'll find tips on how I left my day job to focus on my business and different prompts/projects that help build a handmade community of inspiration & adventuring. Interested in what fills the "shelves" of my shop? All sorts of sassy, girly, colorful accessories: *new* camera strap slipcovers, tote bags, zipped pouches, eReader cases, headbands -- all sporting my signature ruffle ;)

click here to see her shop
click here to follow on twitter
click here to see the Facebook fan page

Maggie is giving away a $50.00 gift card to Gussy Sews

Here is how to enter:

1. Leave a comment here telling me your favorite item from Gussy Sews.

2. For a second chance to win, subscribe to the newsletter and leave an additional comment telling me that you did.

Please include your e-mail address in each comment so I can contact you if you win!

The winner will be chosen randomly on Friday, February 24th and announced here on the blog!

Good luck! 

The Fishtail

Braids are very in right now, and so are fishtails! A fishtail is just a different kind of braid only using two strands instead of three. The final result resembles an actual fish tail. . .which is where it got it's name. 

You'll notice that I'm wearing my clip in extensions in this video. I will try to research and find the name of the brand, but it's been so long since I've bought them that I have forgotten the brand! I never wear these unless I'm trying a new hairstyle in my bathroom for these Monday tutorials. I like them, as far as extensions go, but I don't like the added weight to my head. 
My hair is straightened in this video prior to adding the extensions, and I have a tutorial for that here
Click here to see the products I use on a daily basis.

*pardon the mess. You can see why I added extensions. My natural hair length is not quite long enough to create a smooth fishtail. :)

Scarf: Target, Sunglasses: The Loft, Earrings: Elisabeth Ashlie, unavailable. 

February 17, 2012

Sonia Kashuk Perfectly Neutral

I picked up this palette several days ago in order to show you a similar look to my daily makeup routine for less! 

The price of this Sonia Kashuk Palette is about the same as 1 eyeshadow from Mac. 

There, I said it. 

Frankly, I've found that if you use a good quality primer, even less expensive shadows last nearly as long as the pricey ones. 

For any questions about the brushes that I'm using, see this post

February 16, 2012

Home Updates

I was feeling the urge to spruce up the house a bit. . .call it spring fever/cleaning. So thanks to T.J. Maxx, Target & some Christmas gifts I have yet to share. . . .sprucing accomplished! 

I added this little wire basket, from T.J Maxx ( or Home Goods. . .) in an empty corner.

This rug, from Target, was perfect for adding some spice to my kitchen.
It's a repetative pattern that I buy and decorate in repetitive patterns. See what I mean?

This lovely mixer decal was  a gift from my mom Christmas. Isn't it lovely? I love it. It went on like a breeze and hasn't budged. Click here if you would like one for yourself!

My mom also bought me this extra large cookie jar for, well, cookies. But I try to keep those out of my house. So I turned it around (it said "cookies" on the front) and I filled it with my Kcups. If you don't know, Kcups are the prepackaged coffee grinds made for your Keurig. I seriously love my Keurig. And my new Kcup container. 

So, while these are just minor changes and updates, it feels good to change things up every once in awhile. :)

February 15, 2012

Pink Polka

Have you noticed that polka dots are everywhere? 

I have. 

And I noticed this polka dot top at T.J. Maxx the other day for $16.99. 


So I picked one up for my sister and me. 

Will you incorporate polka dots into your spring wardrobe? 

February 14, 2012

DIY Heart Nail

Well, it's valentines day. And I'm sick at home with a cold. 

So I thought I would paint a heart on my nail. 

My nails are Shellac-ed with Romanitque by CND.

*pardon my dry hands. It's winter.

Grab a pink polish, like Flirt (how appropriate) by Essie, and a few toothpicks.

Dip a toothpick in the polish and begin outlining the heart. "Pull" the polish toward the center of the heart by dragging your toothpick inward. Don't worry if it's uneven--you can add a drop of fresh polish right on top of the center to smooth it out at the end. 

(I'm showing this on a tissue but you do this on your actual nail)

*less is more here. You can always add more color, but its hard to work with big globs of color.

 Use a clean toothpick to push in any color that seeps out. Less is more! 

Once the heart is absolutely completely dry, coat with a layer of top coat. 

Happy Valentines Day!