kayla & the puppy || portraits

Meet Kayla...
Kayla has a new puppy. Her name is Ellie. Ellie and Kayla are best friends.

Yesterday, Kayla sent me a text that said "I got a puppy!" For some reason, this did not surprise me. Kayla and her family are the biggest dog-lovers I know. Besides Ellie, they have two other dogs, which they love to death, and they are always going to the Humane Society to volunteer. So this news did not surprise me.
However, that did not take away from the pure cuteness of the puppy. She's a small bundle of fur, super playful, but really quiet. One of those puppies that make your heart melt as soon as you see them.

Can you say "adorable"? I can!

Do you have any pets?


goodbye summer

Goodbye summer....

How nice you were, with your hot sun and watermelon. Your dirty bare feet and ice water with chunks of lemon.
You are gone now, but never forgotten.
Remembered with joy, but not missed.
Because I have something to look forward to everyday now. Something that's just as sweet as summer's own watermelon...
unattractive first-day-of-school picture. Yes, I'm pretty excited ;)

School. Friends. Teachers. Art.

What has been your favorite part of summer?


glamorous nails // a product review+important giveaway announcement!!!

Lately I've been kind of obsessed with these Wet n Wild MegaLast Nail Colors. I mean, who doesn't love gorgeous nail polish?

from left-to-right: Private Viewing, Bite the Bullet, Candy-licious, I need a Refresh-Mint


Private Viewing

I Need a Refresh-Mint

Bite the Bullet

My favorite out of the bunch is without a doubt "I Need a Refresh-Mint". It's the perfect tiffany-blue/aqua color and the first light blue that I actually like the look of on my nails.
The formula of these nail polishes are super creamy, but the opacity definitely varies.
For "Candy-licious", I could do two coats (maybe even get away with one) and be good to go. But "Private Viewing" demanded 3-4. "I Need a Refresh-Mint" and "Bite the Bullet" called for your average 2-3.

It's a warm hot pink-ish salmon-ish color. Definitely very unique and by far the most opaque in the bunch. It really stands out on your nails!

I Need a Refresh-Mint:
Like I said before, it's pretty much the perfect tiffany-blue/mint/light aqua color. Don't know how else to describe it, haha! It's GORGEOUS!!! I've been wearing it 100% nonstop for the past 2 weeks!

Private Viewing:
I was surprised with how much I liked this color. In some light it looks like more of a light beige-brown color, and in other lights it appears more peach-y. Very interesting :)

Bite the Bullet:
This color is sort of a gray-sh violet/lavender. It's pretty, but doesn't work well with my skin tone. I think it's a bit too dark for me. I usually gravitate towards lighter colors because I am extremely fair-skinned.

I was really impressed by how long these polishes lasted. On average, they lasted a good 6-7 day without chipping. Um, how amazing is that?!?! Being a lazy person, I only like to paint my nails once a week/every two weeks. Now I have an excuse to!

I would rate these polishes 5 out of 5 stars. I love the formula, how long it lasts, and (most of) the colors.

Also, about the important announcement:
Stephanie, who won the blog design, is passing it on to someone else because she is unfortunately leaving blogger. So that means we have to pick a new winner! The winner is.....

Bri from Diamonds and Pearls! Congrats Bri! Please email me :)


the end of a rainbow

What do you think of when you hear "the end of a rainbow"? A pot of gold? Leprechauns? Riches and wealth that will last a lifetime? Perfect happiness?

I don't exactly know what to think. But rainbows fascinate me. They always have. Tell me I'm not the only one who wanted to slide down one as a kid ;)
But what is at the end of a rainbow?
It's one of those things we'll never know. But we can always imagine...
Or maybe I can just show you:

Are you seeing this right now? Are you seeing this? That, my friends, is the end of a rainbow. And where does it lead to? A farm.

I know, you're probably thinking, "Hannah, how and when did you see this?" Well, I'll tell you:

Last week we were driving to my great aunt's house and lo and behold, there was a rainbow. Naturally, everyone was craning their necks to see it, because it was just so dang bright. But after driving a few more miles, we saw it. The end of the rainbow.
I have never seen anything like it in my life. It was so amazing.

Have you ever seen the end of a rainbow?


winner winner chicken dinner!

Yes folks, this is it-the moment you've all been waiting for: The announcement of the giveaway winner!

The winner is #12 Stephanie!! I'm so excited to start working with you Stephanie :) Please go to my design site and fill out the order form and email it to me!

Photo-post coming soon guys! I have something unbelievable I have to show you!! :D



interview with Brianna

Today I am bringing you an interview with girl who has been in the blog-o-sphere for quite some time. She is a very talented graphic designer and photographer, and her blog is pretty much awesome. Folks, I present to you, Brianna from By the Way.

1. Hey Brianna! I'm so excited to feature you here on "beautiful". Tell us a little about yourself:

Hi, there! I'm Brianna of "by the way" or Näna as I'm better known. I am 16 years old (days away from 17), love everything posh, classic and technological (and no, that is not an oxymoron) and am about to start by 12th year of school. I love my family to death and am pretty sure I couldn't get on without them. I am a perfectionist, I read Martha Stewart Living religiously and nothing makes me happy like a cup of coffee and a hoagies. I live in central Maryland and love the northeast US to death. My favorite movies range from Star Wars to Pride and Prejudice to Oceans 11 to The Count of Monte Cristo. There are many other things I could say that would give you a little insight into who I am, but the one vital key to understanding me is to know that I am a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. He came to earth and suffered death on the cross for the express purpose of having a relationship with me. That is a beautiful thought but it's even better than a thought because it is a reality. 

2. How many people are in your family? What are your sibling's ages?

My family is made up of ten fabulous, loud, extremely Italian, crazy, people. We amuse ourselves :) My siblings are Kaitlin (20), *insert me here*, Emma (12 soon to be 13), Nathaniel (10), Aedan (9), Samuel (7), Ellie (4) and Carmella (or Winnie as she is more often referred to on my blog, 1)
3. You seem very devoted to your faith. Were you raised to be so, or was it your own decision?

While I was raised in a Christian home, everything I believe was 100% my own decision. One of the things I appreciate most about my parents is that, while they do teach us about the Bible and train us in godly character, they encourage us to study things out for ourselves and at the end of the day what we believe is our own.  

4. What are some of your hobbies?

I blog (obviously), read, dabble in web and graphic design, play piano badly, knit even worse (which is odd because knitting is so not a me thing :P), bake probably even worse than I knit and try out diys.  

5. Have you ever thought about what you would like your career to be?

Oh yeah. It's something I've given quite a lot of thought over the years. Until I was 12 or 13 I wanted to be an OB/GYN. Ambitious, no? :) And then  I decided that 10 years of schooling and the amount of debt that would bring around and then Maryland is notorious for lawsuits against doctors that maybe that wasn't the best path. After that I started praying what is it that God would have me pursue as a career. I've tossed around many idea: web design, software programming and party planning (among others thing) but none of those seemed to be right. Above all else (the salary, location, etc.) I want whatever I do to be something that will help people. I don't want to just talk about the thing I am passionate about I want to be devoted everyday to resolving them and doing them and making a difference. God has been laying a few things on my heart this summer and we'll see how they pan out. Thankfully, I still have one year until graduation and the time I'll have to start making decisions.    

6. Do you have any pets?
I do not personally but my family has several. A cat (Noel) who adopted us (it's a long story), a turtle(Zipper), and two parakeets (Cocoa and Ginger).

7. What are your absolute favorite and least favorite foods?

Absolute favorite food: A hoagie and a cup of coffee. It's my Italian/Jersey roots showing :) Absolute least favorite: fast foods. Really processed and fast foods are the only things I won't eat (oh, and organs...those are just...yeah). My mom always taught us to eat everything we were severed and pretend we liked it even if we didn't and after 16 years of that I'll eat pretty much anything and genuinely enjoy it.   

8. What do you enjoy doing on a rainy day?

I enjoy reading and blogging on rainy days but one thing a little more unique is making bagels. They take a long time to rise rise and such so slow paced rainy days are the best time. And they are just too good.

9. What inspired you to start blogging?

My mom started a blog and it looked like fun. lol. I created a Blogger profile so I could comment on her blog and one thing led to another and here I am today a full fledged blogger :) Not very clever...I know :P

10. Do you see yourself blogging throughout your life?

Yes, I do. I love blogging and "By the Way" has become a close friend. There have been many times I've looked through old posts and thought "what the heck was I thinking!" I've come so close to deleting them but I can never bring myself to do it. I can't help but think that years down the road I will look back and love those first posts. So I keep them.

Hannah, thanks you so much for hosting me on "beautiful"! It was a pleasure to get to know you better.


Be sure to check out Brianna's blog, By the Way! Also, she interviewed me over there, so be sure to check it out!

p.s. Don't forget to enter the giveaway! I'll announce the winner tomorrow, so get your entries in tonight!


extreme dreams

If you combine all these photos, you pretty much know what my dream home looks like. Happy drooling!

Source: pbteen.com via Laura on Pinterest

Also, I'd like to mention that I am now selling pre-made blog designs in my etsy shop. So far I've only listed one, but I'm hoping to add more in the next two weeks :) Go check it out!

p.s. Want to win a blog makeover? Click here!


just because || a giveaway

Just because...

>>>I love you guys

>>>I'm in a good mood

>>>I feel like creating

>>>and it's almost fall

I've decided to give away a package from my design site, Simply You Designs. Just because :)

This package includes:

Sound good to you? Excellent. Here's how you can win this:

[Leave each entry in a separate comment]

>>Mandatory Entry<<
You must be a follower of beautiful

>>Extra Entries<<
Follow Simply You Designs [+1 entry]
Follow me on twitter [+1 entry]
Follow me on Pinterest [+1 entry]
Blog/tweet about the giveaway and include link [+1 entry for each (separate comments)]
Tell me what color scheme you would like for your blog if you won [+1 entry]

This giveaway closes on Wednesday August 15th.

Good luck!


2 in 1 || review+tutorials

I was so excited to start using the Wet n Wild 8-Pan Comfort Zone eyeshadow palette! I had been eyeing it at my local drugstores for a while, and when I discovered it was packed in the box with the other Wet n Wild products I was kind of pumped (to say the least).

retails for $4.99

without flash
 All swatches were made without a primer.
with flash
As you can see in the photos above, all the shadows in this palette contain shimmer, some more than others. However, it's not too overpowering, so I can use them easily for every-day looks. The shadows are what I would say as "buttery" as you can get for a powder product. Extremely soft, but, well, buttery and smooth. 
With a soft texture like they have, they do have some fallout, but not to the point where I can't work with them. All I have to do after creating a look is take a q-tip with a bit of makeup remover and swipe it under my eye.
I find this palette to be very versatile. You can create dozens of different looks that can be both dramatic and natural. The colors are gorgeous as well as useful. As you can see, you have your basic cream-colored highlight shade, a nice copper-y color, and several different options for darker colors. You can use them as liners or give your crease extra depth!

Here are two looks I pulled together with this palette. One is natural, and one is much more dramatic. Hope you like them!
1) Sweep the light cream color all over your lid.
2) Apply the Eyelid color from the brown side of the palette on the outer half of your lid.
3) Softly line your eye with the dark brown Defining shadow
4) Line your waterline with a copper pencil liner
5) Highlight your inner corner with the other "browbone" shade
6) Apply mascara and you're done!

And on to the dramatic look:
1) Sweep the copper crease color into your crease
2) Pack on the bright green lid color
3) Line your top lashline with the dark green crease color and wing it out slightly
4) Smudge the copper crease color into your lower lashline
5) Pat the cream Browbone color onto your inner corner
6) Apply a few coats of mascara and line your waterline with brown and viola! Finished!

I hope you guys enjoyed these tutorials+product review!
Which look is your favorite? What other ones would you create if you had this palette?



monday questionnaire

It's the start of a new week friends, and I thought to kick it off I'd answer a few questions in this Monday Questionnaire (stole the questions from this blog!).

1.) Mood:
Content. Happy. After writing this post I'm going to head to my bedroom to sketch a bit, and even the thought of that makes me happy :)

2.) Can you say the ABC's backwards without stumbling?
I actually used to be able to, but after trying just now I've discovered that sadly that extreme skill has vanished.

3.) What is the closest green object to you?
My brother's baseball cap

4.) Current nail polish:

5.) What is your favorite song at the moment?
Gaahhh I hate questions like this because it's nearly impossible to come up with only one answer! Um, I definitely love A Fine Frenzy's "Electric Twist". I can seriously listen to it over and over and OV-AH again! (And now that I've mentioned that song I've opened it in a separate tab and will be dancing to it while I write the rest of this post :])

6.) Current outfit:
Short denim shorts from Kohls, black cami from Forever 21, Tribal print crop top from Forever 21, random bracelets and of course, bare feet (they're so in this season!)

7.) What coverage of foundation do you prefer most: light, medium, full, or none at all?
Even though most days I go without foundation, I like when my skin looks healthy and clear. So, like Alison,  I'm gonna have to say a lightweight, medium coverage foundation.

8.) What color are the walls of your bedroom?
A light turquoise. I share a room with my sister and we've been discussing changing it around a bit. Hopefully painting the walls white and having the whole room be a white/black/coral theme.

9.) What is your zodiac sign?  Do you think its characteristics represent you?
My zodiac sign is Virgo (the Ox) and I must say I think the description of Virgos fit me pretty well ;)

10.) Weekly goals:
Drink more water, draw more, clean and clear out my room!

What are you doing this fine Monday?


weekend at the cabin

Cabin weekends are my favorite. For multiple reasons, really, but all the little details intertwine and come together to create two days of joy. Here are some scenes from a most memorable time:

homemade pizza...

cartwheels across the yard at dusk...

fresh garden produce...

pepperoni roll...

cream soda...

ping pong...

It was a great weekend. But it's nice to be home ;)