Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Recent Inspirations

Wow! I just checked my blog page for the first time in a week and notice I have over 1,000 views. How did that happen! I'm surprised because I really haven't told anyone about the blog and the views aren't from me because of my settings. So thanks to anyone who checks out my page, I really appreciate it!! And thanks Pinterest for help spreading the word. Crazy. All of the views inspire me to keep on writing :)

I just wanted to touch upon some things that have been in the news for the past couple of days. First, the horrific Sandy Hook shooting. How can someone purposely do such an awful thing to innocent children?! The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach and my thoughts are with everyone who was affected. The tragedy has inspired people to step up and try to get the gun laws changed. I personally am completely on board for changing the gun laws. Guns lead to nothing good. Most people say that this won't stop people from killing others and blah blah but it would make things a lot harder and I believe that it would stop at least some. A day or two before the CT incident, a man in China attacked around the same amount of people with a knife. The difference between the knife and gun incidents? No one died when the knife was involved in this particular example. And unstable people also should not have access to guns and shouldn't be allowed to practice shooting. I would think that this would be common sense...

The other thing that has been all over news today is the Instagram policy changes. People are freaking out because they think that starting mid January, Instagram will own all pictures posted to the app and that they will be able to use them without permission in advertisements. I think the people freaking out and deleting their account is a little unnecessary. The policy isn't going to stay in place, especially once Instagram realizes that every company, magazine, celebrity, photographer, consumer is going to delete their account (which they have already started to realize). If they don't change the policy at all, I will definitely be deleting my account but until then, people should just carry on doing what they're doing. Let your voice be heard but don't freak out and lose your pictures just yet because I would bet that they are going to change this. There's a reason why they announced the policy change so early. Instagram has inspired so many people to take gorgeous pictures and I'm confident that this will continue.

Until then, feel free to check out my account @ @alwayssinspire. I'll be posting some recent pictures from the MET soon. Absolutely loved the Warhol/60's Pop Art exhibit. I love how he can take things that are so simple and turn them into art. He has truly inspired so many people. My only complaint that you cannot take pictures in the particular exhibit.

Andy Warhol - Marilyn Monroe lipsNYC

Thanks again and always inspire :)
xo ~CM

Friday, December 7, 2012

What is Art.

In honor of this weekends Art Basel Miami, I decided to write about one of my favorite places in the city, the MoMA museum. While Art Basel is becoming more of a scene where people go to party, I like to think that art in NYC is still about, well, art. I've been a member of the MoMA for the past couple of years and it's a fun, relaxing atmosphere and there's no better place to get inspired at. It's just such a laid back place and you could just chill at for hours. Some of the pieces are absolutely amazing and while others you question what it's doing at a museum and that I've done better.

There's currently an exhibit devoted to Edvard Munch. He's such an artist; in some of his pictures, you could truly see into his soul. Like in this painting of his sister who died young:

Edvard Munch at the MoMA

In this exhibit, I also learned that in "The Scream," the man in the picture isn't actually screaming. He's really covering his ears to block he howling of the wind. Who would have thought!

Edvard Munch at the MoMAEdvard Munch at the MoMA

Of course it's not a trip to the MoMA without visiting my favorite artist, Warhol. Here's one of the pieces that is currently at the MoMA. I just happen to have a miniature version of this hanging in my apartment. He was truly an icon and genius. And like all great artists, a little off.

Check out my Instagram for other pictures of my visit @alwayssinspire. And, hey, maybe I'll start working on my masterpiece soon ;)

xo ~CM

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dry Nails QUICK!

A couple of months ago I was looking for a way to dry nail polish quick and I think I found it on Pinterest! And, if you could believe it, it's PAM cooking spray! I would never have thought that something like PAM can dry nails quick but it actually works. When I tried it, my nails were completely dry in the matter of seconds. The only bad thing is that it makes your fingers and nails very messy so make sure you have quick access to a sink and soap after spraying your nails.

Dry Nails Quick! With PAM!

Now I just have to find a way to dry nails quick that isn't as messy.

xo ~CM

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Inspirational New Yorkers

There is nothing more inspiring than what I have witnessed over the past week. A devastating storm hit the NY area and instead of freaking out and complaining, I have seen so many New Yorkers come together.

I spent the first couple of post-Sandy days in Manhanttan. I was in the lower half of the city - the part with no power or water. The part that started to smell after a couple of days. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, New Yorkers hit the streets and spent the day walking around and making conversations with strangers. Companies let locals charge their phones and other devices in their stores. People were quick to help each other out. Incredible. Let's face it, New Yorkers aren't usually known as being friendly but when faced with disaster, we come together like no other.

I spent the next part of post-Sandy in Brooklyn. It consisted of gas chasing, some trick or treating, hearing lots of stories about people who lost eerything and a lot of Facebook'ing. I'm usually not on Facebook that much but it was a way to keep in touch with friends, family and co-workers and checking up on people who had houses in hard-struck neighborhoods. People were quick to help people when they had a question, even if it's someone they haven't talked about in a while. It was also a way to find out how and where to help. After talking and seeing so many people who lost all of their belongings, I, like many others, knew I had to help out.

But the most inspiring thing I saw was in the Rockaways. These people lost everything. EVERYTHING. Instead of complaining or feeling sorry for themselves, they were all thankful. Thankful that even though they lost everything physically, they still had their family and friends. And thankful for the outreach from the community. If you said sorry to them, they would respond saying that there are people worst off then them or that they are just happy that they survived and that their family was okay. These people were so strong, definitely something to aspire to. 

Every since witnessing them, I'm trying to have a much more positive look at life. How can I complain about such trivial things when I have a wonderful family and friends who care for me. It also made me have even less respect for people who intentionally bring harm to others, who are fake, and who don't care enough to check up on people they claim to care about. Hardships definitely bring out true colors so I'm proud to say that those from NYC shine like no others. 

There is nothing stronger in this world than those born and raised in New York City. And don't you forget it :)

Stay safe.
xo ~CM

Hurricane Sandy
Manhattan 10/30

Hurricane Sandy - Rockaways
Rockaways 11/03

Hurricane Sandy - Rockaways
Rockaways/Some Breezy Remains 11/03

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Travel Packing Tips

I travel a lot, both for business & personal, so I try to make packing as easy as possible. I am always looking for helpful packing tips to make packing even easier for myself. I also try and be as efficient as possible so I can fit that extra outfit into my bag since I do over pack. Recently I saw a couple of easy and simple tips on Pinterest.

I usually bring my straightening iron with me when I travel. The only hard part about doing this is that I cannot straighten my hair right before packing because I don't like to put the iron in my bag when it's really hot. But recently on Pinterest I found a solution to this. All you have to do is put your iron into an oven mitt. So easy! And now I don't have to worry anymore.

Who has ever had their liquids leak all over their bag and things? I have. And it's really annoying to have all of your things covered with shampoo, especially when you're in a hotel and can't do laundry. On Pinterest, I finally found a tip that will (hopefully) help. All you have to do is put plastic wrap over the top of the lid, and then close the top. All of your things should now be protected. Since using this tip, nothing has leaked. I've used this tip once and so far, so good.

prevent leaky liquids & shampoo while traveling

Here are some of my personal packing tips. Hope they're useful!
  • Instead of bringing full size products with you (or buying travel size), just use free samples that you have. From Sephora and other places, I use my sample moisturizer, brushes, shampoo, perfume, and more. It makes things a lot easier to pack. I leave these smaller products in my travel bag so I'm ready to go at anytime.
  • Try and bring a shoes that go with more than one outfit. I know, it's hard. But your bag be a lot easier to carry and you'll have more room in your bag for souvenirs for the trip home!
  • Every time I pack all of my clothes that I want to bring into my bag and then I take everything out and remove at least one piece of clothing. Trust me, you won't be wearing it.

Any other useful travel tips?

xo ~CM

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sparkling Microwave & Unclogged Tub

Things have been pretty busy lately so I've been letting some of my cleaning slide which has been driving me crazy. Yesterday morning when I was catching up on some cleaning, I figured it was a good opportunity to test out some of recent pins I have seen on Pinterest that uses white vinegar.

The first pin I wanted to try uses white vinegar to clean the microwave. I forgot to take a picture of the microwave before it was cleaned but trust me - it was pretty freakin gross. I followed the directions on Practically Functional's website and was amazed how easy the whole thing was.

I put about a cup and a half of water and a tablespoon and a half of white vinegar and a toothpick into a microwaveable bowl and put the solution in the microwave for five minutes. After the the five minutes were up, I kept the microwave door shut for an additional minute, just to make sure the steam soaked up all of the dirt and grime.

Next I took the bowl and tray out of the microwave with mits (they will be hot!) and started wiping down everything. All of the the dirt and grime came off immediately! I hardly had to put any elbow grease into it. And even more amazing, it took me about twenty seconds to clean the tray in the sink despite all of the grossness that was caked on there.

clean microwave with vinegar

While I was cleaning the microwave, the solution I found on this pin was doing it's job on my shower drain and followed these simple directions from tidymom.net:

  • Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of table salt. Pour down drain.
  • Pour 1 cup of heated vinegar down the drain (I heated it for 30 seconds in the microwave). It will foam and bubble.
  • Leave it for 15 minutes (I cleaned the microwave while it was sitting).
  • Run hot water for 30 - 60 seconds.
unclog tub

And that's it! In less than 20 minutes, I had a sparkling clean microwave and an unclogged tub. Couldn't believe how easy it was!

Pinterest tested. CM approved :)

xo ~CM

Monday, September 24, 2012

Storing Nail Polish

Lately I've had the problem of having too much nail polish. I know, I know, it doesn't sound like much of a problem but it's hard to store it all. I've been getting more and more free nail polish lately so they aren't fitting in my cases (below) any longer and I feel like I have nail polish in random spots all over my room. 
nail polishstore nail polish

I tried looking online for a solution but I didn't see that many solutions that I liked. I have been looking for a container like this for a while since I have makeup stored in similar looking cases but I haven't had much luck. I decided to pull out two wicker baskets and try them. It seems to work for now. I do like that they hold my nail polish removers and fits perfectly on my bookshelf.
store nail polish

store nail polish

If anyone has any other ideas, send them my way!

xo ~CM