house to myself || baking

"Have a good game" I waved to my little brother as he scooted out the door, with his baseball bag slung across his shoulder.

I stood in the kitchen for a moment, relishing in the complete and total silence. The air conditioning coming from the vents on the floor brushed my feet, sending a slight tingling sensation up my legs. What to do when I have the house to myself? Read? Blog? Watch t.v? No, none of those were quite right. I looked around the kitchen.

A dusky room like this needed life, attention. Sure, it got plenty throughout the day, but I'm sure it missed the one and only Hannah whipping up something delicious in it quarters. It's been a while.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup of butter
1 1/2 cups of white sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp of vanilla extract
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp of hot water
1/2 tsp of salt
2 cups of chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time and add vanilla. Dissolve the baking soda in hot water and stir that in the mix. Add salt and gradually beat in flour. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop onto un-greased cookie sheets with a tablespoon.

3. Bake for 14-17 minutes (yes, that long) for a nice crispy cookie (not burnt though!)

4. Pour yourself a tall glass of milk and enjoy!

p.s. please vote on the sidebar poll, and don't forget to check out my blog design sale!


photo challenge || winner

Alrighty everybody, it's time to announce the winer of my black and white portrait photo challenge. Despite the few entries, I enjoyed looking through them and coming to a conclusion on the winner.
So, without further ado...
{Photo is unavailable. Click here to see it}

Yes, the lovely Emily has snagged first place!
I love this photo because it's so full of life! And how cute is this little girl? Pretty dang adorable :)

Congrats Emily! Please email me at hmphillips97@gmail.com to claim your prize!

don't forget to check out my design business's sale! It ends in 5 days, so place your orders today :)


mountains again

a natural elevation of the earth's surface rising more or less abruptly to a summit, and attaining an altitude greater than that of a hill, usually greater than 2000 feet (610 meters).

The first thing I always notice when we go up to our cabin is how crystal clear the air is. My lungs drink it in, reveling in how they can actually breathe. I take great gulps of it, and immediately the filthy smog that is called "city air" is flushed out of my system, leaving me refreshed and awake.
Through vacuuming bugs, unloading the car and unpacking my stuff, all I can think of is getting outside to do something, anything. As it turned out, I shot slingshots with Mark for about a half hour. I wasn't too bad, getting the feel for it pretty quickly. And, I can't lie, I got insanely giddy excited every time my stone hit the desired target.
The real fun began when our family friends arrived. Softball games, frisbee, quad rides, and bocce occupied the next few hours, with brief intermissions for lunch and chats. Despite the ridiculously hot and sticky weather, we enjoyed ourselves immensely and were disappointed when the day was over.

The next day consisted of church, grasshopper hunting, and fishing. Coming home was something I looked forward to after our day of wonderful chaos, but I would miss the fresh mountain air and the other little country novelties I've come to know and love every time we visit.
Now we're home again, and instead of sweating in an open field, a fan is blowing on me as I sit composing this post.

It's good to be home.

p.s. vote on the sidebar poll! And don't forget about my design sale!


simply you designs || summer sale

When new seasons roll around, it's time to spruce up your blog. I don't know if you guys know, but I have my own blog/web design business, and it's called Simply You Designs. I offer cute, chic designs at affordable prices, and now it's even more affordable!
From today until June 4th I'm offering the Blog Design package (originally $35) for only $20!! And it gets better! If you're an aspiring/professional photographer, the Photographer's Package (originally $45) is now only $30!!

Simply You Designs
Order your design today!
p.s. don't forget to vote on the poll in the sidebar and enter my photo challenge :)


bohemian love

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

All images via pinterest

I've been craving to go on a bohemian photo shoot-actually, just a photo shoot in general. I want to go out into a field of flowers with a camera strap around my neck and a model ready to be photographed and just snap away.
With summer approaching, I'm hoping to photograph some new people and span out in my photography "business". What are your plans for summer?

p.s. enter my photo challenge!! And please vote on the poll in the sidebar :)


makeup tutorial: "one for all"

The name of this tutorial pretty much says it all: this look will work for anyone. These colors are universal, they make any eye pretty much pop out of their sockets ;)

Products used:
Revlon Cream Shadow
Coastal Scents 88 original palette
Boots No. 7 Shadow
Revlon Quad in Natural Khakis
Wet n Wild Pencil Eyeliner in Dark Brown & White
Wet n Wild Color Icon Pencil Shadow in Pixie
CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara


First, as always, apply a primer so your eyeshadows will be nice and bright and stay all day.
Next, sweep a matte shadow all over your lid. The shadow should be 2-3 shades lighter than your skin tone.

Take a copper/orange/gold color and sweep it back and forth into your crease.

 Then take a slightly shimmery peachy-pink color and pat it on the outer half of your lid.

 And with a smudge-brush, apply a dark plummy-brown shadow to your very outer corner. Smudge a bit into your upper lash-line.
 Next, take a brown pencil liner and line the outer half of your upper lash-line.

 Then, apply white eyeliner on the inner half of your waterline. This really helps brighten up the eyes and makes them look more awake.
Apply mascara. I find if you take the wand, start at the roots of your lashes and wiggle it gently back and forth as you bring it to the tips of your lashes, you get the most volume.

With any excess mascara on the wand, apply it to your lower lashes.

You're done!

If you try this out, please post pictures on your blog and leave a link in a comment! I'd love to see how it works out for you :)
And if you have any requests for tutorials, product reviews, or anything else, just ask!

p.s. go enter my photo challenge! I've extended the entry deadline another week because I only have four entries :P Also, please vote on the poll in the sidebar!!


fashion show

Fifteen minutes late,
Sleepy eyes squint from the light.
Art starts my morning,
Brushes and mirrors.
Quick toast,
In the car, and then the bus.
Sleep, jokes, and friends,
Sleep, sleep, sleep.
Pull up, get off,
Friendly faces greet me.
Besties smiling, talking,
Walking to our first class.
Glue, scissors, cardboard,
Glue, tape, stress.
Changing, switching, nerves,

I am modeling in a cardboard fashion show.

Tasteless food, pointless conversation, high nerves,
Why did I agree to this?
Class discussions go through one ear,
Out the other.
Two o' clock,

Straight, stiff, cardboard,
Surrounds me.
Tape that, glue this,
Cut that off.
Other contestants, stressed designers,
A long, intimidating runway.
Directions, questions, judges,
Students, teachers, a crowd.

Omigosh. Omigosh.

Waiting, waiting, waiting, and then,
The music starts.

Omigosh. Omigosh.

Strut down the runway, pose, turn,
Smile at the highschooler's cheers and screams.
Then watch, and laugh, and wait some more.

Again? Really?

Strut, pose, turn, smile.
Stand and wait.
Judging begins.

Third place is called.
Second place.

I stand, relieved.
My name was not called,
I do not have to walk again,
Down that intimidating runway lined with students.

I didn't win.
But it was actually fun.


So here's the real story:
For the past few weeks, several groups of students in my school have been preparing for a cardboard fashion show. You could make anything, as long as the main element was cardboard. I was part of a group that had a dress completely made out of cardboard. Completely. It was awesome, but looked ridiculous on.
I was originally one of the designers. I had no interest in modeling the thing and luckily I didn't have to, since my friend said that she would.
My class had already started really late in this project, and the day before the fashion show we thought it was a lost cause. But today we really went to work, cutting and gluing and arranging.
My friend tried it on for about the millionth time, and we ran into our enemy:

Mr. It-Fit-Fine-Before

After one minor, but irreversible change, the dress was too small.
Enter panic mode:

"What are we gonna do?"
"I can't believe this. I can't believe this."
"Just suck in!"
"You've gotta be kidding me."
"GUYS! I'll wear it."
"Okay. Problem solved."

What did I get myself into?
The dress was switched over from my friend to me, and I instantly regretted being a big mouth. This piece of trash was shapeless. One of my best friends who was helping with the dress, just stood back and said: "That dress looks like a robot's going to prom."
It really did.
It wasn't the color or anything, it was the shape. The colors were actually gorgeous.

Anyway, fast forward about three hours.
I'm in the bathroom changing into the "dress". I'm walking down the hall. A quick rehearsal and then:

"Welcome everyone! Welcome to the first annual cardboard fashion show!" *insane amounts of cheering, screaming, and applause*

And the music starts. And unfortunately I was chosen to kick off the show. I didn't trip, the dress didn't fall apart, and kind of rocked the walk. I really couldn't help but grin when the 50 or so highschoolers started screaming and cheering for the first contestant.
It was over in a second, and I wasn't too phased when I was told I had to go out one more time. After my first pose, I gave the judges a rocker-peace sign thing, which got a good reaction from the crowd.
After the judging, it was revealed that our dress didn't even place.
So I didn't win, but it was actually fun ;)



rainy sunday

Rainy days tend to cast a spell over me. They put me in a mood that craves to be holding a paintbrush, a drawing pad, or just relaxing. I'm ashamed to admit that most days I wave the feeling away, and go blog surfing, but today I didn't.
Today, after coming home from church and celebrating mother's day with donuts, I curled up on the couch with my little brother Mark beside me and watched a ridiculous amount of Brady Bunch episodes (yes, Brady Bunch). It felt so good just to relax and not have a feeling of needing to get homework done for the next day or study for a test.
After my brain was fried enough, I asked my sister if she felt like painting. She eagerly said yes and I proceeded to get out the paint supplies, along with other miscellaneous crafty items.


They also make me want to write letters. Yes, I am one of those people who still gets excited when I get things in the mail or send letters to people. See that little duck painting? Yep, I like to decorate my stationary a little :) I just need more people to write to. Do you guys have any pen-pals?
And I also finally made my own little sketchbook (all credit for the idea goes to this lovely site) I can't wait to use it!
What activities occupy your rainy days?

p.s. I would just like to say happy mother's day to all the fabufull (fabulous+wonderful) moms out there. Thanks for everything you have given and taught us :)

p.p.s. Sorry for the unexpected change in design guys, I just felt like the other header was too busy. I love this one and plan to keep it for quite a while! Also, don't forget to enter my photo challenge and win a "fabuful" prize!