Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Hello All!

Over the weekend I did my last gemstone haul for the year. I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to gemstone shopping. It's my retail therapy. I came across so many gorgeous gems at the GTS Bead Show. Take a look at some of the strands of beads I purchased. I can't wait to turn these gemstones into hip jewels!
Orange Coral is gorgeous. I'm thinking chunky tribal themed necklace.

Coin shaped freshwater pearls are my favorite. Bridal party jewelry inspo.

Salmon pink coral chips will be great for designing hoops. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cyber Monday Sale...

Hello All! Hope you had a fabulous holiday weekend! Today is the last day to take 25% off all jewelry in my etsy shop. See picture below for details. Go here to take advantage of this great sale! I put a lot of passion in my designs and work. Thank you all for supporting Sydney Austin Designs and other small business owners.

I am also pleased to be mentioned in Afrobella's list of Black-owned businesses to support. Go here to see this wonderful list of over 350 black owned businesses.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Birthday Sale...

Hello All!

In celebration of my birthday week, I'm having a sale in my etsy boutique. Take 25% off all jewels from now until 12/1/15. Use coupon code BDAY25  at checkout. Click here to purchase. New jewelry being added daily. Thank you for supporting independent artisans this holiday season!

Citrine and deer antler necklace. Only 1 available.

Brass hoops with wire wrapped pearls.

Kyanite and gunmetal chain chandelier earrings.

Hammered brass discs. Domed and super lightweight. Perfect for everyday.

Copper and cowrie shell earrings. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October Essence Beauty Box Review...

Hey All!

Last month Essence debuted their Inaugural Essence Beautybox with women of color as their target audience. I received an email inviting me to join this subscription box program for $15 a month. I cancelled my Birchbox subscription over a year ago so I hopped on this. October's theme was "Finishing Touches for Fall." Take a look at the box contents.

Love the artwork on the box lid!

Pretty presentation which included a product guidebook.

The beauty products. Nice sizes. 

 Tarte Brow Architect. All in one brush, pencil and concealer for your brows. 

Calvin Klein Eternity Now perfume and L'occitane shea butter hand cream. Love them both! The perfume has grapefruit notes that I really like. The hand cream is awesome.
I highly recommend this brand. The best hand cream on the market!

Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea Leave-in and Curls Creme Brule Curl Cream. Love Eden Bodyworks products. This leave-in is wonderful. Curls Creme Brule curl cream is nice too. Doesn't leave my hair dry or sticky like some curl creams. 
Overall I give this box a B. The reason is I can't figure out how to use the Tarte Brow Architect. If you received this box, let me know what you think. I'm excited to receive November's box!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Thrift Store Finds...

I love a great deal. I'm really into thrift and consignment shopping. Thrift shopping takes patience and you have to dig in the racks. A lot of trips to the thrift store are hit or miss. I'm a big fan of Goodwill. I look for jeans (to DIY), clutch bags, coats or jackets, and sweaters.

A few tips:

* If you want to DIY a pair of jeans:  shred, fray, distress, cut off the hem, etc. I highly recommend going to the thrift store to purchase a pair. Prices range from $3- $5 for denim jeans.

* Remember alterations are possible. Find something you love but it's too big, get it altered. Buttons missing, hem needs to be shorten or lengthen, no problem take it to your tailor.

* Ask about sale days. Goodwill has tag sales, where they attach color coded tags to items for a additional percentage off. Major score!

* Love a trend but don't want to pay a fortune for it to go out of style next season, thrift!  Fringe, plaid, high waists and skinny scarfs are all the rage this season. Visit your local thrift store to try out a trend for less.

Check out my latest thrift store finds below!

Great fitted black jacket for day or evening. Love the sequins on the collar and sleeves.
Cost $5. Excellent condition.

Vintage red silk cardigan Neiman Marcus. Great piece when your outfit needs a pop of color. Also perfect layering piece. Has shoulder pads that I will remove. Not trying to look like Alexis Carrington from Dynasty. Cost: $3. Condition: Good

Bad picture poor natural lighting (Ugh darn this rain). Anyway I was looking for a pair of straight denim jeans for a DIY project that I have in mind, instead came across these. Straight leg olive jeans. Will look great with riding boots and a chunky turtleneck sweater. Cost: $3.  Condition: excellent like new.

Are you a thrift store digger?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Current Beauty Product Faves...

Hey All! Hope you all had a great weekend. The weather here in NC is gorgeous! Sharing some of my current beauty product faves.

Current Beauty Product Faves

For Body

Crystal Essence Deodorant: Think I finally found a natural deodorant that works. Love the smell and it holds me through a workday. 
Jason Coconut Oil: I can not longer use coconut oil on my hair. My hair has enough protein. Love it for my body. I rub this all over my body while still damp and my skin is soft and moisturizing all day.

For my Face

DIY Rosewater Moisturizer: Love spritzing rosewater on my face. I made my own using rosewater, almond oil and vegetable glycerin. 
Pixi Glow Tonic: Have you tried this? I heard rave reviews about it. Some call it liquid gold. Target now carries it but it sold out fast. I grabbed the last bottle on the shelf at my local Target. It smells great. I apply it to my skin after cleanses.
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil Lavender: NYX is a great wallet friendly cosmetic line. I love their products especially their lip and eye makeup. I use this jumbo pencil as an eyeliner or highlighter.
Botanics Organic Facial Oil: This is perfect for my dry skin. Does not leave my face oily/greasy looking. 

For Hair

African Shea Butter: I add my own oils to this and apply to my ends as a sealant or whenever my hair needs extra moisturizing. Oils I mix are extra virgin olive oil, almond oil, Castor oil, and rosemary oil. 

What are your current beauty product faves? Have an awesome week!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Lace-Up Pointed Toe Ballet Flats DIY...

Hey All!

 I love shoes. Sandals, boots, sneakers, ballet flats, loafers, pumps, I love them all. Earlier this summer I spotted a pair of lace-up pointed toe ballet flats on Instagram. After further investigation, I discovered they were these, Aquazzura Christy Lace-up flats that retail for $675. I don't care how hard I hustle, I'm not paying $700 for a pair of trendy flats. Moving forward months later and to my surprise one of my fave bloggers, Carrie Bradshaw Lied, did a fabulous lace-up ballet flats DIY blog post. Check it out here.  I just had to try it. Check out my results below.

Materials Needed:
ballet flats
drawing pencil
leather hole puncher
satin cord 1.5mm (same color as shoes)

Take drawing pencil and mark when you want to make holes for your laces. I made 4, one in front, 2 on sides and 1 in the back. Add 2 more holes to the sides if you want it really lacy. 

Using leather hole puncher, select the right size for your punch. Make sure the hole is big enough for your cord to go through. Squeeze the handles and punch.

Cut about 5 feet of cord for each shoe. Start at the front double the cord and loop through tying a knot. Next, separate the cord and go through side holes from inside of the shoe. Lastly, pull both ends of cord through back hole. 

Wrap around your ankles and tie in the front or back. Snip off excess cord. Total cost $35. 

Cost breakdown:

Shoes - Target $25
Leather Hole Puncher - Michael's $10  50% coupon $5
Satin Cord 2mm - Michael's $4

Way better than $675.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lately Summer Recap...

Dorm room

 Hey All! Can not believe summer is over. It is still blazing hot in the Carolinas but let's face it summer is over. School has started, it's Labor Day weekend, and the stores have replaced sandals with boots. Here is a summer recap of what I have been up to lately.

Life Changing: The above picture is my daughter's dorm room. Why didn't my dorm room look like that? As much time as we spent in and out of stores and on Pinterest this summer, her room should look like something out of a magazine. I'm so proud and excited for her. It's weird not seeing her bubbly face everyday. Move-in day was exhausting! I was too tired to cry.

Joyful: My dad received a great report from his doctor. There are no signs of lymphoma in his body. God has been so good to us!

Aha: My Aha moment this summer was, start using MyFitnessPal app. I mean it's on my phone, just enter the foods you eat and how much you exercise, and you just might lose some weight! It worked, I'm down 5.6 lbs for the month of August! I'm celebrating all accomplishments big and small!

Stop Being A Procrastinator: I'm sure you all know about Nordstrom's Anniversary sale that happens every July. Being the bargain shopper that I am, I had several cool stuff in my online cart. Went back several days later, and gone! Sold! We no longer have your size available. Ugh! This really cool drape front faux leather jacket was super cute. I guess there were lots of people who thought it was super cute.

Serene: The most serene moment of the summer was going to Kiawah Island with my BFF/sis-n-law. Just the two of us. I just love the beach. We had a great time. Sun, sand, ocean waves, cocktails, food, no kids, no husbands of course we had a great time!

Funniest: I always have a great time with my girlfriends. I must say the funniest was going out dancing for my friend Lydia's birthday. If I didn't laugh at her all night long! She danced with everyone. We laughed until we cried.

I Just Can't: My line sisters and I are reading Go Set A Watchman together, plus it just so happens to be my bookclub's pick for our next meeting. However, before I read it, I want to read To Kill A Mockingbird. I just can't finish that book. Everytime I pick it up I fall asleep.

You Made That: I made the best salad this summer. Arugula, crumbled bleu cheese, watermelon chunks, and a little vinaigrette. Amazing! Tasty!

So, what have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Girl's Night Out Wine Glass Painting...

Hello All!

Summer is here! Need a girls night out? Check out your local area for a cool painting class. Last week four girlfriends and I went to a wine glass painting class. We bought a Groupon for the class. The class was a lot of fun. If you live in the Greensboro area, check out Art by TJM. Check out our fun night below.

Tracey has an awesome art studio located on the side of her house.

Some samples of painted wine glasses.

Inside her art studio. For an indie artisan such as myself, this studio was totally cool!

You had a choice of painting stemless or stemmed wine glasses. I did 2 of each.

Of course our GNO's always include food and drinks.

Butterfly stencil I used for my stemless glasses.

Tracey giving instructions to my friend, Kim.

My sister-n-law is really into her painting.

Other ladies that were in attendance also having a GNO.

My glasses. Birds and butterflies. 

After baking in the oven so the painting doesn't come off, this is the finally product.
Wine anyone?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WIP Wednesday Recycling Vintage Jewelry...

Hello All!  I want to share my latest Work in Progress (WIP). My mother-n-law recently gave me quite a few pieces of vintage jewelry that belonged to her deceased girlfriend. I love vintage. I'm excited about taking these pieces and upcycling/repurposing them into something new and fresh! Take a look.

Love cameos. I plan on taking the 2 brooches and turning them into pendants for a statement necklace. 

I'm taking the necklaces apart and using the beads and findings for new designs.

Coffee bean beads. These will look great on a tribal themed necklace. Perfect colors for summer.

The best part about this necklace are the brass components. I'm using them for earrings.

What are you working on? Any DIY projects?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pre Summer Reading...

Hey All! I've selected a few books that I want to read by the end of June. These are my pre-summer reading books. Check them out below.

1. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.  This book tells the story of a Mississippi Gulf family in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. Selected by a member of my book club for our June discussion.

2. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. I'm currently reading this book. If you liked Gone Girl, you would like this book. I can't put it down. Very suspenseful.

3. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. This book was recommended by someone I follow on Twitter. The story of an albino West African girl born in New York City but lives in Nigeria. She doesn't seem to fit in anywhere. Then she learns why.

What are you reading this Summer?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Mother's Day Sale...

Hello All! Happy May!

May is a month filled with celebrations. Mother's Day, Graduations, Weddings, Proms, Preakness, Memorial Day, Bridal Showers, Teacher Appreciation Week, Cinco de Mayo, and my Mama's birthday. We are having a sale in our etsy boutique going on now through May 18th (my Mama's birthday). All items are 20% off the retail price. Enter coupon code MOM20 at checkout. Go here to visit our etsy shop. image

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ulta Spring Haul...

Hey All! I have to admit that I am a product junkie! I love hair, beauty, and bath and body products. I am a marketers dream. Over the weekend my daughter went to Ulta to buy makeup for her prom. I decided to tag along so I could pick up a few treats for myself. Take a look at some of my current favorites and some newbies that I can't wait to try.

Ulta Spring Haul

  • Shea Moisture Dry Oil Mist (Tahitian Noni & Monoi) - I love Shea Moisture's Dry Oil Spray. This will be my first time trying the Tahitian Noni & Monoi. I've tried the Argan Oil & Raw Shea and it was amazing. It's not a heavy oil so it's perfect for the Spring and Summer. 
  • Shea Moisture Lemongrass & Ginger Shea Butter Soap - As you can see I'm a big fan of Shea Moisture. This soap lasts a long time and the smell is wonderful. 
  • C.Booth Honey Almond Body Lotion -  I have tried C. Booth's dry oil spray and it was great. This is my first time trying their lotion. It's a little runny but it keeps dry skin away. 
  • Earth Therapeutics Loofah Scrub Oatmeal & Honey -  This smells so yummy! This brand is a newbie for me. It was part of a special deal. I love scrubs and body products scented with honey. 
  • NYX  lipstick Chloe - I love NYX. A fantastic brand with fantastic prices! Chloe is new for me. It's an iridescent fuchsia color that will be fab for Spring and Summer. I tend to lean towards bronzey colors for Summer. This will be a switch.
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil Lavender - Another newbie. Their jumbo eye pencils were recommended to me by another blogger. 
  • NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray - This is for my daughter. She wants it for prom. I prefer a dewy finish she likes matte. 

  • Cover Your Gray Touch-Up Stick - pretty self explanatory. Chalk it up to genetics I have some gray hair. This touch-up stick is the best for in between dye jobs. I see my stylist every 8 weeks, but by week 3 my gray starts peeking through. I wipe out this stick and walla gray be gone! 

What are some of your favorite beauty products? Try anything new? I like a natural look with a hint of color, thus the reason I love bronzey colors. This season I'm stepping outside of my box and trying something new. Bolder colors.