While the food and decor are usually the major focus for Thanksgiving preparations, it's worth thinking about what happens on Thanksgiving Day before and after the feast. Whether you want games to keep the kids busy while the adults are cleaning up, or family activities that everyone can do together, we have some ideas for fun Thanksgiving family games that might even distract everyone from rehashing the same old arguments. (MIGHT! We can't promise any miracles.)
Since cutting the ties with cable/satellite several years ago, we've become devotes of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. (Yes, all three.) It's gotten so
bad good that on the rare occasions when we do watch something on regular TV, the hubs invariably offers an aggrieved huff having to suffer through commercials. Although, considering
Save Money, Get Fit: How You Can Achieve Both Fiscal and Physical Fitness at the Same Time
Generally speaking, we all want to be physically healthier, and we all want to be more financially fit. Gains in both those spheres really boost our enjoyment of life, but attaining both those goals at the same time can seem intimidating. Can you save money and stay healthy? Do the two go hand-in-hand, or do they butt heads? Read on to learn about ways that will help you improve both your bodily and fiscal fitness. Put these tips into practice and reap two-for-one benefits!
Even if the weather where you live is still summer-like, the calendar is telling us that now is the time to transition into an autumn mindset. Use the fresh start of this new season to reset and plan. Make yourself an autumn bucket list and have the best fall ever!
Pinterest is a great source of information and inspiration. It's also home to slew of life hacks, some more questionable than others. In the past, we've tested organization hacks and cleaning hacks we've found on Pinterest to see if they actually work as well as they claim they will. Today, I'm here to test out another arena: beauty and health. Will these Pinterest beauty hacks actually work? Or did I just put a bottle of mayonnaise in my hair for nothing? Let's find out.
Test #1: Hair mask made from eggs, banana, honey, and castor oil
First up on my list of Pinterest beauty hacks to try is this all-natural hair conditioner. Touted as a "DIY deep conditioning treatment," this hair mask promises to transform frizzy ends and make them smooth again. Great! I have frizzy hair, and my locks could always use some deep conditioning, so I was game to give it a try.
The instructions directed me to mash a banana up in a bowl using a fork. Next, I was to add a tablespoon of castor oil, a tablespoon honey, and two eggs. The consistency was supposed to turn out as a paste-like mixture, but mine reminded me more of muffin batter. Yummy!
I added the hair mask to my wet hair, and let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing it out. Now, I've done some weird Pinterest beauty hacks in the past, including washing my hair with an egg, so I knew to rinse in cold water (if you rinse it in hot, you risk cooking the egg into your hair!). In spite of that, this hair mask still got fussy.
VERDICT: Major fail. I was combing pieces of banana out of my hair for 10 minutes straight, and had to wash my hair twice to get everything out. In the end, my hair felt drier and more straw-like than before. Perhaps pureeing my banana in the blender first would have helped with the leftover banana bits, but the mask itself didn't do anything for the health of my hair either.
Test #2: Coat eyelashes in baby powder before applying mascara to make them fuller
Baby powder is really versatile in the beauty world. I've used it to set lipstick before application, and as a stand-in face powder (the only time my pale, pale skin has actually been a bonus). So I wasn't surprised to see this hack show up a few times. The idea is that by applying baby powder to your eyelashes before you put on your mascara, you can make your lashes look plumper and fuller.
Because I didn't have a spare eyelash wand, I took the one from my mascara tube and cleaned it with makeup remover. I then dipped it in baby powder, and coated my lashes. This part was a little awkward, but fortunately I didn't get any baby powder in my eyes. Because my eyelashes weren't wet or anything, most of the baby powder didn't stick. Once my lashes were good and ghosty, I cleaned the wand, and applied mascara.
VERDICT: In the end, it worked - but not significantly enough for me to want to do it on the regular. It would be much easier to just use a volumizing mascara, but in a pinch this is a useful hack!
Test #3. Warm up a lash curler with hair dryer for a curl that lasts
This hack makes sense in theory. Just like a curling iron, a hot eyelash curler would work better than a cold one, right?
VERDICT: I'm going to cut right to the chase here - don't do this. Yes, it worked, but it's a really bad idea. After running my eyelash curler under a hairdryer for a few seconds, it got hot. Really hot. The curl was fine, and it held up okay, but it wasn't worth the risk of accidentally burning myself and going blind. Don't put hot things near your eyeballs, people.
Test #4. Make a pore strip from egg whites
Pore strips are one of my favorite beauty products, and I think it's because they tow the line between satisfying and gross. The idea that I could make limitless pore strips using nothing but egg whites and a strip of a paper towel was very appealing.
Per the instructions, I separated a paper towel into thinner layers, and used just one of those layers. After soaking the paper towel strip in an egg white, I then laid it across the bridge of my nose.
VERDICT: This pore strip took 45 minutes to dry completely. After it had finally hardened, I peeled it off. While it felt just like a pore strip, it didn't do anything like a pore strip would. Bummer.
Test #5. The mayo hair mask
It's time for an oldie, folks. If you've ever dipped a toe into the pool of Pinterest beauty hacks, you've probably seen recommendations for putting this bland condiment in your hair. Using mayo as a conditioning treatment is not a new practice, but it is one that I was eager(ish) to put to the test. Plus, after that first fail of a hair mask, my dry locks needed some loving.
I knew from the moment I put the first dab of mayo in my hair that I needed to stand in the shower to put this mask on. The water in my damp hair mixed with the mayonnaise immediately began to drip - major ew. As I worked the mayo from the ends of my hair to the roots, my whole bathroom began to smell like a concession stand.
I sat with the mayo in my hair for the minimum amount of time - 20 minutes (although some websites recommended waiting an hour). I rinsed my hair, and took a shower. Even after bathing, I still caught whiffs of mayo whenever the wind blew past me.
VERDICT: Success! The results weren't dramatic or anything, but the mayo hair mask definitely fixed the dryness that the first hair mask created. My locks did feel a little weighted down, but were also much softer.
Test #6. Apply white glue around your fingernails before painting to stay inside the lines
I've seen this pop up a few times when browsing Pinterest beauty hacks, but never gave it much attention. It seems too good to be true, especially for someone like me, whose right hand always looks like a 6-year-old painted it. The idea behind this hack is simple - paint white glue around your nail before you paint, and peel off the glue (and mistakes) when you're finished.
I used a small paintbrush to add white glue around my nails, and after that dried, I got to painting. Since I was painting my left hand (an easier feat for me than the right hand), I made a few extra "mistakes" along the way.
VERDICT: This hack really works! I first tried to remove the white glue by peeling it off with tweezers, but because I hadn't laid it down thick enough, that didn't work. However, since white glue is washable, what I ended up doing was simply washing my hands. All the glue (and stray fingernail polish) went down the drain. Success!
Test #7. Soak feet in mouthwash to remove dead skin
If you can't tell by how grainy the above image is, this is one of those Pinterest beauty hacks that's been passed around again and again. I was pretty excited about this one. I love tingly mint, and of course I love a foot soak.
Per the instructions found on multiple websites, I mixed 1/4 cup of Listerine (blue) with 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 cup of warm water. Then I doubled it, because the recipe didn't create enough foot soak to cover the bottom of a bowl! Already suspicious, I soaked my foot for the allotted 10 minutes.
VERDICT: Yeah, it didn't work. Not even a little bit. It did, however, turn my foot a tiny bit blue.
Test #8. Put freshly painted nails in ice water to dry faster
I can remember doing a version of this beauty hack back in middle school, where I ran my freshly painted nails under cold tap water to "dry" them. I didn't have much success with that trick, but maybe my water wasn't cold enough?
I painted my nails with two coats, letting the first coat dry before applying the second. I then dipped my fingers in ice water for as long as I could stand the cold (about 45 seconds, total).
VERDICT: My nail polish seemed to be hard to the touch on the top of my nail, but I could tell right away that it was soft underneath. Plus, the ice in the bowl of water ended up bumping into my wet nails, immediately messing up the polish. This one is a bust.
Test #9. Use baking soda and lemon juice to whiten teeth
VERDICT: I did my research before attempting this beauty hack, because I want my teeth to last a long, long time. I'm glad I did, because as it turns out, this is one of those Pinterest beauty hacks that's actually very harmful to your teeth. While the baking soda alone may be able to remove some outer tooth stains, it's the lemon juice that's the bad guy. The acid in lemon juice actually tears down the enamel on your teeth, and once you remove enamel, you can't put it back. It's best to stick to safer, dentist-approved methods of whitening teeth, and leave the lemons for the lemonade.
Test #10. The sparkling water face treatment
I saved my biggest skepticism for last. When I found this hack, I immediately assumed it was a hoax. From the overly simplistic diagram to that horrifying image of a woman trying to drown herself in four inches of water, I had my doubts.
According to multiple sources on the internet, I needed to put my face in sparkling mineral water for 10-20 seconds. The rewards of lightly waterboarding myself weren't promised immediately - this treatment is recommended to be done once a week for best results. I filled a bowl with bubbly bottled water, and took the plunge. The carbonation felt really weird. Bubbles kept making their way up my nose and forcing themselves into my eyelids. I made it to 18 seconds before I had to come up for air.
VERDICT: I have to admit, the results were really nice. My skin immediately felt a lot softer. I don't know that it cleansed my skin and refilled my pours with mineral water, but it did something. The sparkling water treatment is intense, but I am loving the way my skin feels a day later. I'd do it again.
Before I embarked on my Pinterest beauty hacks myth-busting session, I thought I knew which ones would work, and which were just hoaxes. I was wrong! I was disappointed by some that didn't work, but was also pleasantly surprised by the ones that did. And I am definitely going to be using white glue to paint my nails from here on out. If you ever embark on a beauty hack, don't forget to do a little research first to make sure you're only putting things on or in your body that are safe for you. Happy hacking!
Are there any Pinterest beauty hacks that are your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
Looking for more beauty hacks? Check out these four all-natural body care recipes!
If I'm ever put in one of those awkward share-something-about-yourself scenarios, my default answer is to say: I love coffee. Because it's just so true. I love coffee which ever way it's prepared, and I feel like I'd tried them all... until I did a little research. It turns out there are a LOT of weird ways to make your coffee in the morning, from putting it in a sock to adding butter. Let me know in the comments if you've braved any of these weird ways to make coffee!
Despite the fact that I hate to move, I've done it 12 times in my life...mostly in the past 15 years throughout college and during my twenties. So through trial and error, I've developed some pretty helpful moving tips and tricks. Keep reading to check them out!
Cleaning hacks. They're everywhere on Pinterest, and they all claim to be the answer to your toughest, messiest dilemmas. But are they really? I tested 10 hacks in my own house and here's what I found out.
Every January, people across the globe make a goal of living a more simple and clutter-free life. We all have our take on being minimalist and how best to achieve it. Here are five minimalist blogs you should be reading to help you on your way!
Meal prep has been a popular topic in the blogospher for a while now, and with good reason... it's a great way to get in the habit of eating healthy meals and controlling portion size. But it just doesn't work for me - and here are five reasons why.
It can be tough to make a living in a creative field - but living a creative life can be so expensive! Oh, the irony. We get it... so today we're sharing some tips on how to live your best life on an artist's budget.
The news is generally disheartening. Work is stressful. Bills keep coming every month. My washing machine is making a weird sound. Life is rough, right? I need a break! Sometimes I just want to stare at my phone and enjoy myself for a minute. The problem is that scrolling through social media - a once relaxing and enjoyable experience - has turned into a version of hell all its own. Some accounts on Instagram are annoying. Everyone on Twitter is fighting about politics. And Facebook gives me all the FOMO. Where do we go? Where do we turn for a few minutes of mindless entertainment?
I've searched the depths of the internet to help you answer that question. The good news is, there are still a few rays of sunshine in the dark cloud of online content. So when you're not reading Curbly, or watching The Office once again - check out these links to help you recharge your batteries.
With Mother's Day right around the corner, many of us are on the hunt for gifts for those new moms out there. The best gifts usually involve something that will save her time or give her a bit of extra time to herself. So we've done the research and rounded up the best ideas from around the web. Here are 17 gifts for new moms that will put a smile on her face this Mother's Day (or any day of the year!).
Many of us wish we could keep a journal. It's comforting (and handy) to have a personal record of your life to look back on. Journaling also makes you a more disciplined and mindful person, which I, for one, could certainly benefit from. Keeping up with the habit of writing something down every few days is nice in thought, but generally it's hard in practice. There's always an activity that's more important or interesting than journaling. Maybe writing isn't your strong suit. And let's face it, life is sometimes boring and there's just nothing to write about. Regardless of the barrier that's keeping you from your journaling goals, this technique may help you stick to a routine. Instead of the traditional diary, try the Gratitude Journal. It'll actually make you happier along the way.
It's easier said than done: go to bed early and get a good night's sleep. If you suffer from occasional or chronic insomnia, then you'll want to keep reading. Today we're sharing ten steps to achieving the ultimate calming bedtime routine.
It's Thursday, and you're sitting at your desk. Your stomach rumbles. You glance up at the clock. It's finally lunchtime! What do you do? The way you spend your lunch break can have a major effect on how the rest of your workday goes. If you use your break to scroll through your phone, check emails, or (worse) just skip it entirely, your energy levels will keep declining as the day goes on. It's time to reclaim your lunch breaks, people! That 30-60 minutes are yours and yours alone. You can use that time to strengthen your body, calm your mind, and feed your emotional well-being, meaning you can return to work recharged. Here are a few empowering ways to make the most of your midday break.
Over the past decade, we've seen a major dip in the prioritization of vacations. After the financial crisis, our work-life balance system was pretty much thrown out the window. As a result, Americans are taking way less vacation time than they accrue. If this is you, you may have struggled with trying to pack your infrequent travel plans with a myriad of activities. Understandably, you want to make the most of your time off. What you really should be doing is almost nothing. The one thing you should avoid doing over your next vacation is
Mid-Century Modernism is ubiquitous - from Ikea to West Elm, Architectural Digest to Houzz, the sleek, clean style remains atop interior design charts almost ten years after its resurgence began (often accredited to the onset of Mad Men in 2007). This article provides a crash course in the movement's important figures, furniture and interior design styles. Learn how to get the mid century modern look in your home without paying a fortune.
Table of Contents
What is Mid-Century Modern?
Simply put, Mid-Century Modernism (MCM, or often spelled without the hyphen as "Mid Century Modern") was the period of architecture and graphic, industrial, and interior design popular during the 1940s to the late 60s. The overall aesthetic is one of simplicity: clean lines and sculptural forms. During this period, less really was more.
Mid-Century Modern Architecture
Mid-Century Modern homes are all about light, space, and form. Large, sweeping windows create a vital interplay between inside and outside, bathing interiors in swaths of natural light and fostering integration between the house and its surrounding site, as seen in this house by Richard Neutra:
High ceilings in common areas create room to breathe and provide airy, open spaces. MCM architecture puts warm materials to work: wood, brick, and stone make for inviting interiors - sleek and modern - but never sterile. These buildings often took sweeping and dramatic forms, fostered by improvements in building technology.
The most popular and influential architects of the Mid-Century period include Eero Saarinen, Richard Neutra, Paul Revere Williams, John Lautner, and Joseph Eichler in the US, Alvar Aalto in Finland, Felix Candela in Mexico, and Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil.
Mid-Century Modern architecture was imbued with the optimism of the post-WWII era, focused on expressing the idea that technology would pave the way for a better world. Futurism became a common theme in Mid-Century design, and nothing captures this theme better than the furniture and interiors of the time.
Mid Century Modern Furniture
The Mid-Century movement spanned disciplines, and the incredible furniture designed by Mid-Century architects has proven itself timeless. The sculptural, sleek forms of architect-designed furniture revolved around the new concept of physical ergonomics. This was the idea that furniture and other objects should be designed to complement the human body and prevent discomfort.
New materials like plexiglass, fiberglass, and tubular steel coupled with new manufacturing techniques (such as improvements in molding wood) inspired MCM furniture designers to create pieces that seemed to defy physics, such as the Tulip chair by Eero Saarinen.
It's easy to forget how revolutionary this chair was when it first appeared. These days, we're so used to seeing design that we skim over the fact that it's an engineering marvel - that slender base improbably holding up the single-piece, molded seat.
The most popular American MCM furniture designers included Charles & Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi, Harry Bertoia, George Nelson, Paul McCobb and Florence Knoll.
Scandinavian designers like Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl, Jens Risom and Arne Jacobsen were also popular. They brought a more natural and traditional approach to furniture design than did the poppy Americans.
While Mid-Century Modern furniture is stunning and interesting on its own, one doesn't need to buy expensive architect-designed furniture or live in a modern house to enjoy the MCM aesthetic. For most of us, MCM looks are closer than we think.
How to Get the Mid-Century Modern Look on a Budget
You don't need to spend $1500 for a single chair at Design Within Reach to decorate your home the Mid-Century way. A lot of the aesthetic begins even before we consider what goes inside. Here are some basic rules of Mid-Century Modern interior design, followed by some real rooms from the period and tips on how to recreate them on a budget.
- Get rid of the clutter! The modern look starts with open space and sparse decorating. Go minimal! Remove anything that makes the room look closed-in, busy, or chaotic - such as oversized furniture and cluttered trends like picture walls. The houses of the 50s and 60s were much smaller than houses are today, and families decorated sparsely in order to avoid feeling cramped.
- Let the light in. Natural light makes for an airy space connected to the outside world. Do away with heavy drapery and valances, opting for sleeker, monochromatic curtains or blinds.
- Find a focal point. Common areas such as living rooms revolved around a central focal point, usually a fireplace or large window. This orients the room and draws the eye to its most important features. I know it's hard ... but try, just try, to see if you can make that focal point something other than a TV. Notice the complete lack of televisions in most of these photos?
Color and Pattern
- Go Natural! Mid-Century Modernism emphasized natural materials: wood, brick, and stone. If you're lucky enough to have wood-paneling or a brick wall, embrace it! Rooms with lots of natural light benefit from lighter shades of paint. Consider light, cool base colors, warm grays and off-whites. Avoid the sandy beiges of the 2000s - they don't usually blend well with MCM furniture and patterns.
- Paint color? Go retro. Check out these color palettes from the 1950s and 60s when choosing your paint. There's nothing like authenticity! You can be very modern without having to rely on shocking colors.
- Consider an accent wall, but don't go overboard. Busy and bold wallpapers may be fun, but the larger the wall, the less effective they become. Consider avoiding them in large spaces in favor of more confined rooms, like bedrooms or dens. In MCM architecture, the accent wall was often glass, and the accent was the outdoors!
Choosing Furniture and Layout
Mid-Century Modern interiors revolve around a few choice pieces of furniture. The goal is not to have as many famous chairs as possible in a space - it's about having minimal, open rooms that highlight each piece as unique.
Most Mid-Century Modern living rooms consisted of:
- A sofa
- 1-2 accent chairs (ottoman optional)
- A coffee table
- 1-2 end tables
- A large storage system (such as a wall-to-wall bookcase or credenza)
- A large ceiling lighting fixture as a focal point
- Accessories: 1-2 dramatic table lamps, an area rug, 1-2 pieces of wall art (large paintings and clocks were popular), curated items on display such as pottery or coffee table books.
MCM dining rooms rarely need more than a sideboard or credenza, a table and chairs, and perhaps a bar cart. Bedrooms? A bed, bookshelf, nightstands, a dresser and maybe an accent chair. Remember: openness is the priority for maintaining the style.
Where to Buy Vintage Mid-Century Furniture
Fortunately for most of us, Mid-Century Modern was unpopular throughout the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s (meaning people are still wanting to get rid of their parent's old furniture), as well as insanely popular for a the last decade or so (meaning there are tons of new and inexpensive MCM replicas or MCM-inspired pieces).
Where to Look For Used Mid-Century Furniture:
Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or other thrift stores. Often-times, these places have no idea what they have, furniture-wise, and whether it has any value. Avoid going to stores near large cities, as these are usually picked over. Thrift stores in small towns tend to have the best finds and prices.
Craigslist and similar sites. There are always some folks trying to get rid of stuff online. Hope that you stumble upon someone who's moving and needs stuff to go ASAP. Pro tip: look at Craigslist listings outside of your immediate area. Be willing to negotiate!
Flea Markets. Don't be afraid to check out the local flea market - they often have great finds. Flea Markets are best for smaller items like tableware, art pieces, and accessories rather than big ticket items like furniture.
Yard Sales and Estate Sales. While it can be tiresome to driving around to find them, yard sales and estate sales are great place to look for both large pieces of furniture and small items like lamps and clocks.
Antique stores and vintage stores. These are great places to find unique pieces, but you'll definitely be paying more for them!
Where to Buy New Mid-Century Modern Furniture
Luckily for all of us, the Mid-Century look has seen such a resurgence in the last few years that the style is now affordable for the average Joe.
Target, Ikea, and West Elm all sell Mid-Century Modern-styled furniture for affordable prices. Here are some of our favorites, all under $200:
There's also a set of more specialized online retailers that offer a great stock of MCM-inspired furniture at affordable prices. Here are some of our favorites (with links):
- Joybird (great for sofas, beds, and credenzas)
- All Modern (huge stock that's great for everything from decor to tables and chairs)
- Hayneedle (great for desks, coffee tables, lounge chairs and ottomans)
- Lexmod (we love their sofas!)
- Emfurn (they carry just about everything, but we love their dining sets most)
- Joss & Main (they have a robust, rotating selection of MCM items - be sure to search for Mid-Century to weed out some of their other styles)
- Amazon (we've had great luck with Eames-esque chairs and smaller MCM decor)
- Wayfair (lots of MCM-looks to choose from, and their reviews tend to be reliable)
Two Looks from the Past and How to Get Them
A lofty, open mid-century-styled living room:
This is a great example of how Mid-Century Modernism can free up a small space, making it look lofty and airy.
A minimal bedroom with solid colors:
For more looks from the past, try browsing Flickr for vintage magazine scans, or see if you can find books from the MCM period at thrift stores or used bookstores.
I hope you've enjoyed this introduction to Mid Century Modern design!
We are toe-deep in this air plant trend (I say only toe deep because they are very teeny plants). Also known as tillandsia, air plants are are everywhere you look. If you're like me and you're always on the hunt for an easy-to-care-for plant, chances are you owned at least one. Air plants are cool because they require no dirt, but what if I told you there was a plant that requires no watering because it lives in water?? Ladies and gentlemen, meet the coolest plants on the block: Marimo moss balls.