Saturday, June 29, 2013

Revamp Your Makeup Bag: 5 Summertime Essentials

It's summertime ladies, and life is easy breezy. You've got a fashionable wide-brimmed fedora, Panda bamboo sunglasses, the latest book by Carl Hiaasen, and sunscreen in your beach tote. But now your makeup bag looks pretty neglected. For one, it seems to be missing the pale shades and vibrant hues of St. Tropez. Not okay. Revamp your makeup bag with these 5 summertime essentials.

1. Luxe Lip Gloss

Stylists say minimal makeup has the maximum effect in the summer. Okay, beauty queen, you don't have to go completely au natural. If you want plumper, fuller lips, you need an ultra-shiny gloss. With a vinyl-like shine, glosses not only look stunning in the summer sunlight, but they make it appear as though your lips have fewer lines. Smashbox O-Gloss creates a color on lips based on skin chemistry, which means you'll radiate with a one-of-a-kind glow.

2. The Perfect Eyeliner

Ah, you've finally decided to ditch those chunky cat's eye glasses and buy contact lenses. It's about time. Face it, darling, you only wore those specs because the Brooklyn hipster you dated thought they were retro-chic. Of course, this guy also thought Rheinhart was a cool name for a kid because it sounded artisanal. Free of those frames, you're halfway to sexy. recommends the MAC 2013 Art of the Eye limited collection to enhance your open eyes. Whether you want mono eye shadows, dark or smoky eyes, or glittery and dramatic eyelashes, the MAC collection has the goods to make you look fabulous.

3. Soothing After-Sun Lotion

Faherty Brand's Japansese Kakishibu-styled bikini, which is repurposed from recycled plastic soda bottles, would be quite a luxe purchase, unless you're winning big on the roulette tables in sunny Monaco. However, you can still go eco-friendly with your sun protection for the beach. It's inevitable. After living like a vampire all winter, you're going to get sunburned. Hopefully it won't be so bad that you look like a Maine lobster when it's time to have dinner with your loved one. suggests Yes to Cucumber's Natural After Sun Serum. While it won't diminish the lobster hue, the aloe and green tea combination will soothe the pain. Its shimmery and shiny finish also makes dull or damaged skin look like a million bucks.

4. A Summery Scent

Tennis at the country club at 10 a.m. is on your itinerary, and then it's off to lunch. No matter if it's a beach-side shack serving fried clams and oysters, or a bistro with white-linen tables overlooking the coast, you want to smell like you just went shopping at Tiffany's — not like you just played a grueling five-set match in 80° heat. The cure? A splash of perfume. Smell like luxury by spritzing Desire, Miss Dior or Dolce & Gabbana's new fragrance.

5. Wrinkle Management

It's impossible. You can't feel the summer sunshine and not reminisce on your childhood. While Ponce de Leon never found the fountain of youth, he found Florida instead. (We can thank him for all the fine, white beaches.) Lancome's Advanced Genifique youth activating concentrate is the next best thing for preventing the aging process. In other words, say goodbye to fine lines, wrinkles and saggy skin. This innovative formula will have you looking as radiant as the summer sun — as smooth and clear as the Caribbean Sea.

 * Danielle Hernandez
Originally from Seattle, Danielle moved to Phoenix for love. She enjoys writing about a variety of women's topics.

Much Love & Hugs,
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Friday, June 28, 2013

Sahara EOTD

I know that color can be sort of a scary thing for some of you who prefer a more natural makeup look. But sometimes taking a risk and stepping out of our comfort zones can really do some good! You all know I LOVE color. I'm not afraid of a fun colorful eye look... But I dont often wear orange. I just dont think of orange as a color that would look good on.... And I bet you may have thought that too.

However, I decided to give an orange look a try! I must say that I LOVE the results. Orange and coral like colors are amazing for green or blue eyed gals. Just check out how much it makes the green in my eyes stand out! And even though orange may seem like a "wild" color, just look at how neutral it actually looks.... Well I think it looks pretty neutral and natural. 

I'll admit that when I was doing this look, I wasn't even sure I would like it at first. But once I was finished I was pleasantly surprised. And I think you might be too if you step out of your color box and try something fun and new for a fresh look! You just might be surprised at how well you can rock some color! So be bold and try a new color, then share the look with me! I'd love to see. ♥

All of these shadows were used with MBA Shadow Poxy, and can be found at My Beauty Addiction:
Shadows I used:
Tangelo, Cayenne, Islander, French Vanilla, and glitter in 'Sahara'
Catch a "live" peek at this look in this 36 sec video:

Much Love & Hugs,
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pretty Things #32

Pretty things Im lovin' this week.
#love #prettythings #purple #workout #faith #jewelry #hair #flowers #hope

Bubble Blower Necklace / / Work Sweat Achieve Tank / / Filagree Earrings

DIY Floral Headband / / Hope Art Print / / DIY Sunburst Mani

Big Ring Handbag / / Got Your Back Top / / Color Block Bracelets

Eye Shadow Sultry Collection  / / Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins / / Fit For A Queen

 What pretty things are you loving this week?
What blog posts are really inspiring and speaking to you this week?

Before you go!
Check out these giveaways:
Shabby Apple Giveaway (3 days left to enter)
$50 Sugar Love Boutique Giveaway(9 days left to enter)
$200 Toys R Us Giveaway (12 days left to enter)

Much Love & Hugs,
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

$200 Toys R Us Gift Card Giveaway

Welcome to the $200 Toys R Us Gift Card Giveaway!

Hosted by Giveaway Promote.
Sponsored by author Carole P. Roman.
Carole P. Roman takes you on a another journey, this time to Asia, landing in South Korea.
Once again, children can learn how life is like for young people on the other side of the globe. From food to famous landmarks, they will learn that's it's easy to find something in common with people in different countries.
This is the third book in the series, and we'd like to celebrate with a giveaway! One winner will receive a $200 Toys R Us Gift Card and a set of Carole P. Roman's cultural books.
The series includes:

Enter to win a $200 Toys R Us Gift Card and a copy of the "If you were me and lived in…" series

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.
Refer your friends using your unique link at the top of the Rafflecopter for even more chances to win.
One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
Open in the United States.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on July 9th, 2013.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Bloggers, if you'd like to participate in a giveaway event like this one, sign up for Giveaway Promote's weekly giveaway events newsletter.

Dont stop here!

Much Love & Hugs,
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Rockin' In The USA

Sometimes The Hubs takes my outfit photos, but mostly my 10 year old daughter, Kiah, takes my photos. This is what happens when my 10 year old takes my photos... I get suggestions like "Momma jump in the air" - me, in heels... OK! haha And then pictured above... That's me doing my "Rockin' in the USA" pose. HAHA Also suggested by the kid. ;) Fun stuff.
 Anyways.... So how cute is this outfit!? Ok usually when I do an outfit post, I dont just talk about the outfit... Cause I just feel like there should be more content, I dont know. But I just cant help it. I felt totally cute, comfy, casual, a little dressy and a little sassy in this outfit. 

I haven't worn my red skinnies in a long time, and I must admit I missed them! I really love the color red. I also love these heels... As if you couldn't tell... Ive been wearing them like crazy lately. Just check my last few outfit posts. haha Also I have a thing for hearts. So LOVE my headband and I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this shirt. Yes I love it that much. Its super cute. and SUPER comfy! I actually really love that its all flowy and not as tightly form fitting as other tanks. So that makes it comfy for me, but I'm loving that it looks form fitting, so I feel like it flatters me well. PLUS how cute are the gold stud stars on this tank!?

Love it all. Love how cute and patriotic this outfit is. Can you believe that the 4th of July is already around the corner next week!? How crazy fast is this year going by!? Anywho... If you want to rock a SUPER cute and patriotic tank like me for 4th of July (or any day!) You GOTTA check out Sugar Love Boutique... They have several! PLUS I've got a discount code for you! 30% OFF (this week only!) using code "agape"! Here is a look at some of their other 4th of July tanks, which is your favorite!?

ALSO if you are diggin' the rest of their clothes... Then you will definitely want to check out the $50 Shop Credit giveaway for Sugar Love Boutique! Yeah, don't miss out! Get all those entries in for your chance to win. ♥

What I'm Wearing:
Headband: VWB
Bangle: c/o  Sugar Love Boutique
Skinnies: l.e.i. brand at Walmart
Heels: Payless

Much Love & Hugs,
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Sparkle EOTD

Its Makeup Monday! Woot Woot!
Thanks for joining me today, be sure to link up all your beauty posts from the week below!

Today I am sharing a pretty summer sparkle eye of the day. This is a super simple quick look thats perfect for the summer. I'm simply using My Beauty Addiction's Twinkle dust in 'gold' over their shadow poxy (primer), and I love how it make my eyes stand out and sparkle in the summer sun without packing on a ton of eyeshadow!

I am seriously OBSESSED with this twinkle Dust. Its looks great over other eye shadows, and as you can see from this look its also amazing by itself! Twinkle Dust Glitters are mineral based and are made from mineral platelets of Calcium-Aluminum-Borosilicate which are very transparent and reflective. (Glitter is typically made from metal or plastic.). This also makes them much smoother & softer to the touch.
Twinkle Dusts look white in the jars but apply with brilliant bursts of color & sparkle.
To create this look I used My Beauty Addiction's Twinkle Dust in 'Gold' and MBA Shadow Poxy.
These products can be found at My Beauty Addiction:

I'm also using e.l.f. liquid eye liner.
Now its your turn to share YOUR beauty posts!!
Please be kind and visit/comment one or two (or more) other links.
This link up is for makeup/beauty related posts only!
This includes but not limited to beauty reviews, how-to's, hauls, giveaways, mani's, and look inspirations.
If you do not have a blog, but showcase beauty elsewhere like instagram or flicker,
you are still welcome to link up as well, please just link to a specific photo, though, not your whole account! :)

Also, be sure to Subscribe to the Makeup Monday newsletter if you want to stay up to date about the link up, features, challenges and giveaways!

1. Link to a specific Blog Post, not your entire blog
If you do not have a blog, feel free to link to an instagram or flicker photo!
2. Please grab a button to add to your blog/blog post or link back to Makeup Monday
3.* Follow Agape Love Designs
4.* Tweet about this linky using hashtag #MakeupMonday and Tag @mariagridley
*Not Mandatory but appreciated

Makeup Monday

Much Love & Hugs,
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

$50 Sugar Love Boutique Giveaway & Discount!

Happy Sunday! Its giveaway day here on Agape Love, and I am happy to introduce you to this adorable shop Sugar Love Boutique! Sugar Love Boutique has some adorable and totally affordable clothes, shoes and jewelry!

A little about Sugar Love:
"We are a family-run business that lives by the motto: work hard and play hard.  We love to travel and when we are in new cities, I always look for fun boutiques.  I have been a stay-at-home mom for many years.  Now that the kids are older and more independent, I decided that I needed a my kids like to say!  So, my girls and I decided it would be fun to open our own boutique.  We are enjoying learning about opening a business. 
Because I have three daughters, I understand that each outfit can't be too expensive.  That being said, everyone wants to look good too!  We will strive to bring you unique pieces at affordable prices."

Jill of Sugar Love Boutique is generously offering one lucky Agape Love Designs reader* a $50 Gift Card to Sugar Love Boutique! BUT thats not all! There is also a Discount code for you to use, in case you would like to purchase something now! ♥

Get 30% OFF using code "agape". WOW! (Code will be valid until June 30th)

 *This giveaway is open to Residents of the US Only. My apologies to all whom this excludes.

Enter to win using the rafflecopter widget below!
Be sure to check back daily for bonus entries!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Much Love & Hugs,
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Get The Perfect Mani With Jamberry Nails! {Review & Party}

Recently I had the opportunity to review some samples of Jamberry nails c/o Heather. I have never tried them before, and had seen some really great reviews and some not so great on them before. Still I was excited to try for myself.
If you have never heard about Jamberry Nails here is a little about them:
"What are Jamberry Nails Wraps?? They are an innovative vinyl wrap that is heat (from a blow dryer or heater) and pressure activated in over 280 different designs. The difference between Jamberry and those you see in the stores, besides being heat activated, is they are made in the USA and non-toxic! 

Jamberry Nails are Latex Free, Formaldehyde Free, Gluten Free, and have no odor or chemicals. The heat activation gives you a water tight seal that lasts anywhere from 1-3 weeks on fingers and 4-8 weeks on toes. They can be applied to short nails, long nails, curvy nails, acrylics, gels, shellac, and even toddler nails! They do not peel, fade, chip or leave awful stains on your carpet that the bottle of nail polish did! You can swim, go in the hot tub, wash the dog-kids-dishes, play in the garden and LIVE YOUR LIFE and still have a perfect manicure or pedicure!

One sheet of wraps has 10 different sizes and 18 total wraps. The new and improved back is clear so that you can easy apply the correct size for each finger or toe. Each sheet will do 3-5 manicures and 4-8 pedicures! That works out to about $3.00 a mani! And you don't have to throw out what you don't use like the store bought brands!

Here's the bottom line... instead of sitting for HOURS at a salon while someone is painting designs, waiting for them to dry and cure and UV and smells... only to have them chip within days or bump them on the door handle when you leave... you can have salon perfect nails in the comfort of your own home that will LAST for a fraction of the cost! You can use the leftovers for accent nails, swap with friends or do an entire manicure again. Remember, 3-5 manicures PER SHEET! Not ready to give up your nail polish? Use Jamberry Nails as accents!

Here is a quick 36 sec video of my mani to give you a "live" look.

As you can see I used the Jamberry Nail Wraps as an accent to my nail polish. And it looks super cute! The process is actually pretty easy, and they go on almost seamlessly. As you can see there is one spot where the wrap bunched on the side. But I think that was due to the fact that it was my first time trying to apply. I did a lot better when I put some on my daughter, who's mani you can see in the photos below!
Here is a quick video of Kiah's mani:

Jamberry has soooo many adorable styles to choose from! I created this collage to show you some of my favorites!!  

If you want to try them for yourself I would LOVE to invite you to shop my online party! 

Just visit Heather's Jamberry website, and purchase the designs you want, when you go to checkout it will ask if your purchase is associated with a party and then you just click my name "Maria Gridley, Apage Love Designs".

If you have any questions, just leave a comment below, or you can contact Heather: 
Contact Info
Phone 765.655.3376

Much Love & Hugs,
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Friday, June 21, 2013

I Confess...

Hello, hello, and happy Friday sweet friends!
Its gonna be a good day. :)
Today I am thrilled to introduce to you a NEW bi-weekly series I'm doing with Michelle of Let it Shine.
This series is called "I Confess" and we will be doing just that, fessing up!
And the awesome thing about this series, is it is a linky party too!
So YOU can join in on the fun, so go ahead... Fess up.

I confess... I go all Napoleon Dynamite on my kids by giving them "Your Mom" jokes. 
Don't worry, I keep it clean, people, dont freak! 
Example #1... 
Kid: Momma, can I use your tablet? Me: Your Mom can use my tablet!
Example #2...
Kid: Whoa, That's so cool. Me: Your moms so cool!

I confess... That Yahoo recently sucked me in with their article "Miley's most audacious video". Usually I dont get sucked into these little yahoo "news" stories... Ive got other things to do. But I was sucked in, "had" to watch the video. And even though it was shocking and oh so trashy, now I cant get the song out of my head.

I confess... I looked over my shoulder several times while watching the video to make sure The Hubs or the kids hadn't woken up and "caught" me watching the video. HAHA That makes me laugh, and felt sneaky/naughty, but yeah it was THAT bad of a video. In my opinion, at least.

I confess... That I realize me talking about how bad this video is, is probably making many of you WANT to see it out of curiosity (if you have not already) and I apologize for piquing that curiosity..... 

I confess...that I think Grumpy Cat is the best meme ever!

I confess... that when my 4 year old wakes up extra early, sometimes I hand over my tablet to him so he can play angry birds quietly while I get another 30 minutes (ok an hour) of extra computer/blog work done.

I confess... that I always have a goody ouchless elastic hair band on my wrist, unless its in my hair already.

I confess... I've deceived you in any outfit posts where you dont see a band on my wrists. Because its either hidden under a bracelet or in a pocket somewhere.

I confess... I prefer them over the cutesy foe elastic bands that are oh so popular right now! Sure they make cute bracelets, and dont dent your hair. But to me they just dont feel secure enough.

I confess... that even though I dont prefer them, I still get irritated when I see commercials for them from big companies because I know they originated in the handmade small biz community!

I confess... that little rant felt good. ;)

I confess... that I hope we can still be friends after everything I said about hair bands just now.

I confess... When I came home Tuesday night from Zumba and was smelling pretty awful, I realized I hadn't actually showed since Saturday. This is what happens when you have a pool, you swim and forget you need to bathe.

I confess... I really really hope you will post some of your own confessions and link up, so Michelle and I aren't the only ones calling ourselves out! ;)

Link up your confessions! By the way, there are no rules for this linky, but it would be fabulous if you could link back to one of us! And if you want, you can save the Confession photo above to use in your post if you want, only if you want. ;)

Much Love & Hugs,
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pretty Things #31

Pretty things Im lovin' this week.
#love #prettythings #stars #workout #faith #jewelry #independanceday #redwhiteblue #america

Starlet Jeans / / American Woman Tank / / Star Spangled Nail Polish

Mommy of Three Workout Tank / / Blue/Pink Silver Bow Arm Candy / / Eye Shadow Color Stacks

Feather Dangle Earrings / / Loving Hearts Necklace / / Wood Tile Art Pendant

Coffee Cozy  / / Scipture Memorization / / Acrylic Flower Clip

 What pretty things are you loving this week?
What blog posts are really inspiring and speaking to you this week?

Before you go!
Check out these giveaways:
June Group Giveaway (3 days left to enter)
Wild Butterfly Boutique Giveaway (6 days left to enter)
Shabby Apple Giveaway (10 days left to enter)

Much Love & Hugs,
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Inch By Inch - Weight Loss Update

Hello sweet friends. Today I have a weight loss update for you!
I FINALLY have some good news.... 

After literally months and months and months, since November I believe, I have been STUCK at 170 lbs.
Of course probably from Nov.-Feb. it was mostly my fault. I got comfortable, and I wasn't really giving it MY ALL. But I have really been doing my best to eat right/stay under my calories, and get as much exercise in as I can! Whether its at the gym, swimming or taking a nice walk after dinner. Each week I have been weighing myself and stepping off in disappointment with those same numbers staring back at me. Frustrating me. 

Some days I would step on and see 173 or something like that. And I'd just want to cry. But I sucked it up, determined not to let it get to me. To keep trying, and remind myself that I am doing my best! For some reason my weight just didn't want to reflect that. What I found interesting though was that many people would tell me how it looks like Ive lost more weight, and ask me about it. Its such a bummer to have to say "Thanks, but no my weight is still the same!".

I was also getting very frustrated because aside from people telling me I LOOK smaller, my clothes have actually been getting baggier too! I just thought things are not adding up. Either I am just imagining my clothes seeming bigger, and people are just being nice... Or my scale is broken! lol Anyways... I'll skip the long drawn out dramatic conclusion and just tell you all the "GOOD NEWS". I have FINALLY broken through my plateau!! Wanna know by how much!?

ONE POUND. Wah, wah, wah....... Yeah its exciting and silly to me at the same time. Like SERIOUSLY... All this HARD work, and Ive only lost ONE STINKIN' POUND! haha It makes me laugh thinking about it. But at the same time I am also excited too. To FINALLY be out of 70's and holding strong at 169 lbs for  about a week and a half now... It gives me some hope.

The other thing is that Ive realized that I really AM getting smaller. My weight may not be dropping, but my body IS shaping, slimming down as I am toning up! It was not my imagination. My pants have all been getting loser. And even belts are "bigger" on me. I realized this when I put on a dress I last wore about a month ago. I had to make a new notch in the dress's belt to make it bigger to fit me. That notch is now about an inch and a half too big for me! The belts original notches fit me. So I AM in fact getting smaller... Even if my weight isn't reflecting that.

After seeing a similar photo to the one below, thanks to my girl Salena, and talking to The Hubs, and a few other people Ive realized that as I'm building muscle, my weight can still be the same even though my body is getting slimmer. Why? Well, just check out this picture below:
As you can see, even though the weight of the muscle and fat are the same, the size is a pretty big difference! Isn't that crazy!? Its also very exciting, and makes me feel so much better about all the effort I have been giving. So, my weight hasn't gone down much, but I do know that I HAVE been toning up quite a bit. My thighs and calves especially are getting pretty muscular. And even my stomach, which still has a lot of chub to lose, but when I flex you can feel my abs tightening. Its wonderful! With this new (to me) way of looking at weight loss, I have decided to start measuring my weight loss progress in a new way. Rather than JUST look at my weight, I have decided to keep track of inches. 

I really sort of wish I would have measured myself from the beginning to really see how many inches I've lost. But oh well, I'm starting now. And I am excited to see how many inches come off me each month. I know that I have lost at least an inch off my waist, judging by the belt notch thing I mentioned above... But Anyways... I had The Hubs help me measure myself, and yes I will be sharing those measurements with you! I really dont know what is typical for measurements... So these numbers seem weird to me. And if I am being honest the most embarrassing one is my arms! UGH... They are so huge and flabby/droopy. Blah. But anywho... These are my measurements current at of June 14th.
(Weight 169)

Waist: 35
Hips: 41 1/2
Chest: 39 1/2
Thighs: 26
Calves: 17
Arms: 14 1/4
Neck: 13
Butt: 42 1/4

I am excited to keep pushing and working hard to get my body in shape, and see how (and if) these numbers change much next month! I'll be keeping you posted. Thank you all so much for your interest in my weight loss journey, progress and process! You all help keep me accountable, and I love it! ♥

What I'm Wearing:
Custom Shirt: Allied Shirt
I loved the saying "Sweat Like A Pig, Look Like A Fox" so I designed the graphic and made myself a custom shirt via Allied Shirts! If anyone is interested in getting themselves a shirt like it, let me know and I'll post the graphic free for all to use! ♥

Much Love & Hugs,
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