How to grow your lashes naturally in one step!

How to lengthen lashes nautrally -

Guys! I have to share this secret with you.  It is life changing.  I have always had two major issues with my eyes: dark circles and short lashes. I am working on the dark circle issue and will tell you guys about what I find in another post, but for now I can share a tip I found on how to grow your lashes naturally which has changed my life…. ok, well, totally enhanced my life.

It is so ridiculously simple: 2-3 drops lavender oil in my mascara.
That is it.

How to lengthen lashes nautrally -

I wish I had super scientifically legit before and after photos.  But I have a confession: When I first tried this trick I didn’t think it was actually going to work! lol. Even though essential oils have done so much for my family now, when I first tried this I was still a total skeptic! So no official before + afters. But here’s what I do have:

Lashes Before -   How to grow longer lashes naturally -

The first is a professional shot and edited image of moi with LOADS of lengthening mascara (and a generous helping of photoshop.) The second is me on a normal day with one coat of mascara and ZERO photoshop lash enhancement. Here’s another set of images from the same days:

April -  How to grow longer lashes naturally -

Two things are obvious from these photos: I need the ever-talented Lindy Rojas to follow me around and capture every moment of my life because she is amazing… and that my lashes are SOOO long! Never before have my lashes extended out this far. This is ONE COAT of mascara, people. Just One. (and NOTHING on the bottom lashes of the current photos. I usually put a coat on there, but now they have grown so long I do not need to anymore!)

Here is my totally unprofessional opinion on why I think this works:

- Lavender has been shown to be antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial (see source list below for more information.

- Healthier hair follicles and hair will grow longer before falling out, thus allowing for longer lashes.

Like I said, I am not a professional, but I am the proud owner of these (now) long lashes and I am so stoked! If you have been looking for how to grow your lashes naturally then all you need is 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your mascara tube!

I personally use and trust Young Living Essential Oils.  If you are interested in learning more about Essential Oils and what to look for when deciding to buy, you might be interested in this post about Essential Oil Basics which discusses oil safety and has fun charts like the one below for all my visual people, this one includes some everyday uses for Essential Oils (like lavender!)

Essential Oils Everyday Uses -

Do you have any uses for Essential Oils to share?

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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

1. National Center for Biotech Information
3. Oxford Journal


5 Items Every Woman Needs to Keep in Her Car

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DropShopAndOil #CollectiveBias

5 things every woman needs to keep in her car -

Ladies, can we talk cars for a minute? I know for some of us this is not something we worry too much about – we either have a parent, significant other, or roadside assistance service that we use or maybe we don’t have one of those and we just ignore car-stuff for the most part. But I think there are 5 items every woman needs to keep in her car in order to be safe on the road.  The first thing you need in order to be safe is regular car maintenance.  This is important because a certified mechanic can check your vehicle for things you might not know or think to look for: fluid levels, battery, ect.  So, regular oil changes are a must to keep your car running and to get that mechanics eyes on your car.  So here’s how we keep our lives easy: next time you have to run errand at WalMart, take your car around to the maintenance department and drop it off for an oil change while you do your regular shopping.  And while you are there, add these things to your shopping list:

1. Jumper cables
2. Flares
3. Tire Pressure Gauge
4. Headlamp / Flashlight (sporting goods)
5. First Aid Kit (pharmacy)

5 things every woman should keep in her trunk -

While you are there hit up the sporting goods section and grab a bag to keep everything in – this is actually a tackle box, but it works perfectly and is cheaper than all the other bags in the the store (well, in my WalMart anyways.)  It comes with two extra plastic organizational boxes that will work perfectly in your craft room for small organizational needs.

Use a tackle box to keep your car safety kit contained -

Your First Aid Kit (available in the pharmacy section) will come in handy all the time.  If you are at the park and your child skins their knee, no need to go home, just patch em up and send them back to the play ground. The jumper cables (auto center) should fit perfectly in this great tackle bag.

5 things every woman should keep in her car -

and your flares will fit right in front.  I like the LED ones as opposed to the traditional flares because the old school ones can leak, and nobody has time for that.  These new ones have little magnetic bases to keep them sitting up right on the road and they last.  I have this little kit in order to be prepared, and I want it to work when I need it in an emergency without having to check on it all the time. We are building a reliable kit here, guys.

5 things every woman needs to keep in her car -

Another thing you will want is a headlamp.  WalMart sells this combo pack headlamp and flashlight in the sporting good section.  Here’s why this is a good idea: if you are alone and it is dark when something goes wrong with your vehicle, then you will need light and both your hands in order to change that flat, pop the hood and check out what is happening, or whatever it is that is happening – in the dark when you are alone.  The headlamp will be a lifesaver.  If you happen to have someone with you, then they can hold this little LED flashlight for you. Now you will have two lights. The more light the better when you are fixing a car issue in the dark. Amiright?!

5 things every woman needs to keep in her car -

This is a tire pressure gauge.  This $1 investment can save you from having that flat tire in the dark.  I periodically check my tire pressure when I am at the gas station because they have air + water there for use.  Your vehicle’s user manual should indicate the appropriate tire pressure (known as PSI.) You can also find PSI on your actual tires.  When you look at your tires there is a lot of writing on them, you will want to find the word “PSI,” the number directly before that is the pressure you want in your tires.  Not only is this the safe pressure, but will actually help save you money because properly inflated tires allow your car to work more efficiently and therefore cost less in gasoline.  So this little $1 investment will save you money in the long run. Here’s how you use this little guy:

how to check your tire pressure -

how to find your car's tire pressure on tire -

how to read a tire pressure guage -

How to check your tire pressure -

how to check your tire pressure -

So you can grab all these things and do all your regular shopping in the short time it takes WalMart to change your oil. Can I just stress again how important routine maintenance is, ladies and gents? Seriously, investing a little into your vehicle will go a long way. When I do my preventative maintenance (read: regular oil changes) I throw down the few extra dollars for quality oil.  Pennzoil makes a special motor oil for High Mileage Vehicles. And if you are taking car of your car it will last you and someday it too can join the ranks of the super elite “High Mileage Club.” Pennzoil High Mileage Vehicle oil helps to clean out sludge, to reduce leaks and oil consumption in worn or higher mileage engines, is designed for complete protection, and will allow you to drive an extra of 550 miles per year (as opposed to a dirty engine… which is an unhappy engine.) It’s a motor oil that is specifically designed for new or late model vehicles with over 75,000 miles, to help keep the engines running clean and going strong for a long time. Both my husband and I have a similar mindset with cars: drive them until they die. Our cars are currently 15 and 20 years old, and running strong because of proper preventative maintenance. Give your car a little love and it will carry you for a long time. Literally.

WalMart Oil Change with Pennzoil -

And your little emergency car kit can easily be stowed easily in trunk of your happy, smoothly running car (mine is with my snow chains and my reusable grocery bags because I live in the mountains in Southern California.)

5 things every woman should keep in the back of her car -

This car emergency kit can be a lifesaver for you, if you make it and keep it in your car BEFORE you need it. Preparedness is key here. Like routine vehicle maintenance, this only works if you complete it before you need it. What would you add to this kit?

Exciting news: Pennzoil is offering 3 lucky winners the chance to win a trip to one of the Richard Petty Driving Experiences (each trip valued at $1,100).  That means you could climb into a NASCAR car for an adrenaline-pumping experience that simulates real NASCAR driving! So cool! Enter via the rafflecopter below.

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Pennzoil Richard Petty Driving School “Experience of a Lifetime” Giveaway

How to repair interior window sills damaged by dogs

Sponsored and Affiliate Post disclosure statement -

The huge front picture window of our home needed some love because we have a curious German Shepherd, Kara, who is constantly putting her paws up there as she conducts Neighborhood Watch.  This has meant our builder-grade window casings (just texture and paint right over the metal flashing) were torn up and dirty.  So we put up window moulding with an interior window frame in wood to prevent the damage. So now we know how to repair interior window sills damaged by dogs. Being a home owner comes with a steep learning curve.

Kara the window ledge ruiner -

This is a photo of the culprit: “Kara: ‘The Window Sill Ruiner'”.  She seems so sweet and innocent with her deer-like ears … but she is a mad dog when it comes to the neighbor’s cats sitting on her lawn. That is her lawn and she will bark and freak out until they respect her authority and leave her property.  That lawn is hers and no other animal’s.  Sadly, the window ledges have taken the abuse she wishes she could hurl at those cats.

Ruined Window ledge -

I know, that looks nasty. Trust me, I know.  But that was as clean as I could get it due to the texture of the wall coating, and the fact that Kara has literally dug her claws into the window ledge and removed a lot of that coating, leaving the flashing exposed (the darkest parts on the corners)… as well as gotten dirt into every possible crevice. Yuck.  So we decided the best thing to do was to put some moulding around the window, including a flat board on the bottom of the sill which we thought would be easier to clean than this textured non-sense.  And if worse came to worse, we can always remove the board and replace… and opposed to this sill which technically cannot be removed and replaced.  So after measuring the length, width, height, and breadth of the window and sill…off to Home Depot we went:

How to install window trim -

The moulding section is cray. I see why some people shy away form home improvement projects and home improvement stores. Moulding comes in huge long pieces, towering over you.  But no fear. You can cut it down to the size you need right there in the aisle with a saw provided… just add about 6-10 inches to your window dimensions in case you make a cutting error… no big deal.

Flat board for inner window sill -

We chose this 1/2 x 2-1/2″ primed pine for the bottom of our sill.  I decided on a pre-primed piece because it saves me work :)


For the moulding we went with this 3″ Del Mar MDF – also pre-primed.  I am a fan of MDF over wood for a few reasons: 1. MDF is more affordable 2. pre-primed saves me labor 3. MDF is usually very straight as opposed to natural wood which is often warped and can cause me headaches.  Obviously I am a lazy DIYer.

Here are the tools we used at home:

How to install window moudling

Arrow Pnumatic Brad Nailer PT18G
Box cutter
Brad Nails 18GA 1-1/2″
Saftey Googles
Measuring Tape
(not pictured, air compressor & saw)

How to install window moudling

The husband came home and marked off the measurements for the boards.  FYI, I feel like I should mention a few things: 1. If you are an avid illistyle reader you are probably wondering why the pink dresser is under the window? 2. What is that piece the TV is on? 3. And what is on the wall opposite the window? 4. Where’s the sofa?  Lemme ‘splain: we were given some nice sofas, guest room furniture, and that TV stand.  So here’s the plan:  1. We have friends getting married who want the guest room furniture 2. Once they pick that up the pink dresser will be moved to the guest room 3. We want to build some sweet shelves and mount the TV over the fireplace, so the current TV stand is temporary.  Everything is always temporary, am I right? lol.  But back to the moulding.

How to install window moudling

We then cut the boards (and by we, I totally mean Evan), leaving them slightly longer than we thought needed, so we could trim as necessary. You can always shave more off, but if you cut a board too short, you cannot put any back on.  Ya know what I mean?  And *safety first guys: make sure you protect your eyes by wearing googles.*

How to install window trim -

We then worked as a team to hold up the moulding, place it, and use the awesome pneumatic brad nailer to keep those bad boys in place.  Oh goodness.  This was my first time using a pneumatic gun and I loved it. I wanted to nail all the things… but Evan said no. I will say, at first I was a little intimidated… but once I tried the brad nailer, I loved it.  It’s light and easy to use. Lighter than a regular hand drill so your arm doesn’t get fatigued.  It only took us a few minutes to actually install the boards once everything was cut.  The whole project from measure, to purchase, to cut, to install was less than 2 hours.

How to repair window moulding after dog scratch damage -

This is what the board and moulding look like next to one another with caulking and paint (additional time was required for that).  Much cleaner and nicer than that metal-showing, dirt-catching, scratched-up mess it was before, right?

How to fix window trim -

If you have a dog who you love, but has messed up your window moulding, then this fix is easy to do. We are keeping our dog, but have found a way to protect our window sills from her scratches and dirt.  The window sill is now easy to clean, looks awesome, and can be replaced at minimal cost/labor if our dog really tears it up.

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Thank you to our sponsor, Arrow Fasteners, for providing the pneumatic brad nailer for this project.  All opinions are my own.

How to conceal window trim damaged by dogs -

How to make mini pom poms

How to make mini pom poms tutorial -

If you guys have ever seen those cute little teeny tiny pom poms and thought, “How do I make those?”  I am here to tell you: “easily.”  Making mini pom poms is a breeze.  Here’s how to make mini pom poms:

You will need:

Yarn (any color you want)
Yarn Needle
A Fork

How to make mini pom poms -

Here’s how ya do it:

Place yarn through middle tongs of fork, with tail of yarn on the neck of the fork

How to make mini pom poms -

Wrap yarn around fork – I did this approximate 50 times. More wraps = thicker, fluffier pom pom

How to make mini pom poms -

Cut yarn and thread through yarn needle

How to make mini pom poms -

Push needle through middle of wrapped yarn

How to make a mini pom pom -

Wrap yarn around outside of wrapped thread and tie needle end to starting end

How to make a mini pom pom -

Slide bundle off fork

How to make a tiny pom pom -

Cut loops which were created by looping yarn around fork

Easy mini pom pom tutorial -

Trim any stray long pieces and trim to shape your pom pom uniformially

How to make mini pom poms -

Now you have a little pom pom ready to be strung for a mini pom pom banner

MIni Pom pom banner -


These darling Mini Pom Poms are so easy to make and take almost no time at all.  Once you make a few you will be able to fly through them and make them in just a few minutes.  This is the kind of craft I like to do while watching TV with the hubby because my hands can work without having to think too hard about what I doing.

What’s your favorite mindless craft?

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia -


How to Make a GIF in Photoshop

How to Make a GIF -

Hey guys!  Recently I posted my How to Make a Tissue Paper Tassel Banner tutorial, along with this sweet GIF.

how to make a tissue paper tassel banner GIF -

FYI: I made that.  The banner.  And the GIF. Obviously I am feeling real good about myself right now.  I used to be intimidated by making GIFs, but they are easy, lemme show you how to make a GIF in photoshop:

Step 1: Open all your images

How to make an Animated GIF in photoshop -

Step 2: Create a new (duplicate) layer for each image on your first image document placing them in reverse order – first image on bottom, last on top.

How to make a GIF -

How to make a GIF -

Step 3: Go to the “Window” Tab and choose “Timeline.”  (Timeline will open at the bottom of the screen)

How to make  GIF in Photoshop -

Step 4: Turn off all image layers, except your first image

How to make  GIF in Photoshop -

Step 5: Set your image delay below your timeline layer (time this image shows before switching to next image)

How to make  GIF in Photoshop -

Step 6: Create a new timeline layer by clicking the page button below, and then turn on your next image layer

How to make  GIF -

Step 7: Repeat step 6 until you have all your images in your timeline

How to make  GIF -

Step 8: Save your GIF by pressing CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + S or by Selecting “Save for Web” then choose your GIF option from the drop down menu at top of the pop up window

How to make  GIF -

Look, I even made this tutorial into a GIF.  It took about 8 minutes, start to finish.

How to Make an Animated GIF in Photoshop GIF -

See, only 8 steps.  Making a GIF in Photoshop is not difficult at all.  Now you can use it on your blog for tutorials and look just as geeky as me.

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DIY My Little Pony Masks with Printable Templates

MLP DIY Masks with Printable Templates -

Hey yo to all the My Little Pony fans out there!  If you have ever dreamed of being Twilight Sparkle or any of her pony friends? Well, now you can!  I made these felt masks for Ava’s 5th birthday (if you wanna check out the other MLP crafts I made, check out this post.)  And because I L.O.V.E. love you guys, I made printable templates so that you can make them too! Check em out- DIY My Little Pony Masks with Printable Templates (10/17/14 All Masks are viewing and printing correctly, please let us know if you experience any trouble and we will fix ASAP):


Twilight Sparkle DIY Mask and Printable Template -


MLP Mask Rainbow Dash Mask -


MLP Mask Pinkie Pie Mask -


MLP Fluttershy Mask -


Apple Jack My Little Pony Mask -


How to make a MLP Mask Rarity -


Felt in desired color (indicated by photos above)
Printable PDF of desired Pony Mask (available by clicking desired Pony Mask above)
Fabric Glue

Black Sharpie

General Directions:

1.Click on desired mask
2. Download PDF
3. Print PDF
4. Cut out peices
5. Using a pencil, trace around peices, onto felt
6. Using fabric glue, attach pieces to main mask
7. Using sharpie, draw on lashes as shown in photos above
8. Using glue, attach string
9. Wear with Pony Pride

All of the masks can work for kids and adults.  I realize that Rarity looks funky around the eyes in the photo above, if you are making the Rarity mask for an adult, please feel free to widen the eye holes in order to get your peripheral vision back.  Also, you will want to cut the top of Rainbow Dash’s head to connect to her ear (as shown), this will serve as the backing for her bangs. Trust me, it is a necessary thing.

All of these masks are free for personal use.
I would love to see the photos of your masks!
Tag @illistyle in your FB / Twitter / Instagram photos!

Who are you gonna be for Halloween?

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DIY Giant Confetti (with Silhouette Cut Files)

Easy DIY Giant Confetti with the Silhouette Cameo -

Well hello again! Here we are with Day 4 of our My Little Pony Week and today I am going to show you how I made this DIY Giant Confetti. Actually, I am just gonna straight up give you the Silhouette cut files to make your life easy. You’re welcome. Each piece of confetti is approximately 1.25″ in diameter. On the whole sheet you can cut 65 of these bad boys. I made these using my Silhouette Cameo, and since I am a hippie at heart and don’t want to waste, I actually made them at the same time I made Ava’s My Little Pony Happy Birthday Banner and used all the extra space around the pennants for the confetti.  Instead of wasting that excess card stock around the pennant piece I got 35 pieces of large confetti out of it.  Boom. I obviously expect a Thank You card from Mother Nature any day now.

Giant Confetti Silhouette Cut Files -illistyle.comGiant Confetti and Pennant Banner Silhouette Cut Files


Card stock in your party theme colors

Silhouette Cameo

Full Sheet of Giant Confetti (cut files)

Pennant and Giant Confetti (cut files)


1. Download the desired Confetti cut file (either the full sheet or pennant banner sheet above)

2. Open your Silhouette Studio software

3. Open your cut file into a new document

4. Load your media into the Silhouette

5. Cut

6. Confetti the heck outta your life

It’s so so simple.  If you are making a banner for a party … then you obviously need confetti too, so use the Pennant Banner cut files (above), and have coordinating confetti. Peer pressure. But if you are anti-confetti and just want the pennant banner cut files you can find those here.

DIY MLP Happy Birthday Banner -

DIY Giant Confetti-

 creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia -

How to Make a Tissue Paper Tassel Banner

Hi guys! Welcome to day 3 of My Little Pony Week here on illistyle.  If you missed day 1 or 2 you can find them here and here. Today we are talking about how to make a tissue paper tassel banner like this one I made for Ava’s 5th birthday. This banner looks great and sis o so festive.  I have seen for sale online and in stores for sale for a LOT of your hard earned dollars… but why, when you can make so easily and tailor it exactly to your party’s color scheme/theme.  Here’s how we do it:

how to make a tissue paper tassel banner -

Tissue Paper in desired colors (3-4 is usually enough, unles syou want each one a diffrent color – which is cool too)

Instructions (to make one tassel):

1. Take one sheet of tissue paper and lay flat

2. Fold in half toward you

3. Fold in half to the left

4. Fold in half again to the left

5. Cut up the folded edge of tissue, stopping 1.5″-2″ from the top seam

6. Fold in half a third time to the left

7. Repeat Step 5

8. Cut line up the middle of the tissue, stopping 1.5″=2″ from top

9. Unfold tissue

10. Starting from the side, tightly roll the tissue along the middle (uncut) portion of tissue

11. With tissue in a cylinder shape with tassels at both ends, graps the tissue at top of each tassel and twist

12. As you twist the tissue a natural loop should form, go with that

13. Secrure loop by twistting tissue back on itself

14. Repeat as needed

15. Hang all tissue pompoms from a string

16. Get this party started

What colors would you use?

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(PS don’t forget, I will be back tomorrow with DIY Cutie Mark Temporary Tattoos for you guys!)