8 Ways to Repurpose Your Ipsy Makeup Bags

If, like me, you subscribe to Ipsy- the beauty subscription that comes with a makeup bag each month- you may find yourself overwhelmed with cute, little makeup bags and not enough uses for them. Sue, I can use them for carrying makeup, and for toiletries for overnight trips, but there are still more lingering and more piling up each month. So here are eight ways to put these bags to use and feel good about it. So grab some labels and prepare to repurpose those bags and perhaps even get a little organized while you’re at it.

1. First Aid Kit

What a cute way to carry around extra bandages, gauze, wipes, antiseptic sprays and lotions. Keep it in your car, your purse, or anywhere you might need it around the house. Slap a label on it so everyone knows what’s inside and you are good to go.

 

2. Pencil Cases

If you have kids these are great for pencils, pens, markers, crayons, really any type of school supplies. The kids need them for school anyway and now you have them ready and backups for when your kids wear them out. I use them to organize all the different writing tools I use and keep them in my backpack. If you don’t have kids, consider donating them to your local school, where kids in need can use them for the same purpose.

3. Chargers and Earbuds

My entire family is notorious for losing chargers and earbuds, especially when we are traveling. These little bags make it easier for everyone to keep track of their own accessories. I keep one in the car and one in my backpack just for myself. Label each family members’ case so that everyone can be responsible for their own accessories.

4. Toys

If you like your toys organized, or your kids do, these make-up bags are perfect for game board pieces, trading cards, Barbie shoes and accessories, pretty much any little toy that can get lost in the shuffle.

5. Gift Bags

Some of the bags I get from Ipsy are so pretty they are better than gift wrap or a store bought, paper bag. Fill the bag with small gifts or stuff it with cash or gift cards, either way it’s an original and functional way to present a gift.

6. Loose Change

Let’s face it that loose change in the car never really makes it into those little individual coin holders. Instead, it usually ends up all over the center console and then stuck to the bottom of a cup holder. One little make-up bag can help with all that. Putting all that extra change in the same spot makes it easier so you can actually grab it when you need that change on the go.

7. Clean out that Junk Drawer

Everyone has one of the these drawers somewhere in their house, maybe even more than one. Use these bags to organize all that junk. Playing cards can go in one, extra batteries in another and screws, clips and tools in one more. You’ll get organized and all your “junk” will now be in cute little bags.

8. Extra Scraps

If you are into crafts like scrapbooking or sewing, chances are you have little bits and pieces of materials and tools that you don’t want to throw away. Use these little bags to organize your scraps so that they can be right at your fingertips the next time you need them.

Give Back Box

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In my closet, filling up my first box.

Ok so it’s the new year and whether you make resolutions or not, what I am about to offer you is really something you could do anytime of year. I am just pushing it now partly because I just discovered it and partly because I am a New Years Purger. I like to get out the old junk and start the year fresh and reorganized. Couple that with the fact that I just moved and I have a tiny bit of an online shopping addiction. What that means is, I have a lot of empty boxes laying around. Enter Give Back Box! Their mission is to help you recycle your old boxes by providing “an effortless and convenient method of donating your used household items.” You fill an old box with your old stuff and ship it to them for free!

Here is how it works: Open your package and empty out all your new goodies. Dump in all the old stuff you don’t want anymore. Tape it up, print a shipping label, slap it on, and drop it at the Post Office. You can even schedule a pick-up from your house if want! How easy is that?

For me, I use New Years to set goals and one of them this year is to organize the closets and storage areas in my house. Give Back Box is perfect for this, because now I can dump all that stuff I want to get rid of right into one box and ship it off. My closets can be clean and I can I do some good!

You would think that since I just moved I am totally organized. In my dream world, I carefully packed my house up, getting rid of stuff I didn’t need, donating and organizing as I went. My boxes were perfectly labeled and placed in the correct rooms when we arrived at our new house and I carefully put our belongings away in an organized and timely manner. Yeah right! In reality, I was offered my new job on a Thursday and moved a family of six on Saturday so I could start work on Monday. Yes, we had a ton of help from friends and family on both sides of the move and I am grateful for all of their help. But it was, and still is, a huge mess. There were boxes full of random toys, towels, food, and toilet paper. Boxes that were labeled and boxes with labels I couldn’t read. Just last week, I opened a box that had dirty laundry from August in it!

As we moved box after box and as we slowly unpacked (and continue to) my husband and I keep asking “why did we pack this?” and in some cases we didn’t actually pack it. But we have it now and so it goes to the donation pile and sometimes, rightfully so, the trash. Thus, I am far from organized or even unpacked, but I do have a lot of boxes that I need to get rid of. Add to that, the boxes of Christmas deliveries and  I need Give Back Box in my life!

Side story: Last Christmas we were given a beautifully hand-carved nativity that’s also a music box. I forgot to put it away with the other Christmas decorations and so I wrapped it up and put it in a box in my closet where I knew it would be safe. Fast forward to the end of the summer, and while frantically packing up my house, my friend Stephanie stopped by for a few hours to help. I showed her the way to my closet and told her to throw everything in boxes and mark them as my clothes and shoes, so at least I knew I could get dressed for work once we moved. I left her to work and went to pack up another room. When she finished, she whispered to me, “I got everything packed, except your naughty box.” What!?! I looked at her like she was crazy and said, “You are our of your mind! I don’t have a naughty box!” She simply said, “don’t worry, I didn’t look in it.” I followed her up to my room and she pointed out the box. A box that I had hastily written, in my horrible handwriting “nativity” and she thought it said, “naughty.” We laughed about that one as we packed the rest of the day and I giggled again as I unpacked that box this Christmas.

 

 

Flying and sweating- seriously sweating!

This year, instead of the long drive to visit family for the holidays we bought some cheap tickets and used some sky miles to shorten that trip and make the most of our time. The airport here is tiny- seriously tiny (picture the old TV show Wings and then shrink it). And as soon as we get there, I’m thinking the ten hour drive might have been a better option.

Let’s start with the fact that we are traveling with four children- so I’m already sweating from packing and hauling all these bags and picking up dropped blankets, dolls, and earbuds every five seconds. Add to that, I have a baby siting on my lap for the flight, so at check-in I find out my seat options are very limited. Apparently on these tiny planes you can only sit on an aisle (fine by me) and you can only sit on the right side of the plane….whatever. However, my 12 year old is having a melt down, saying he is too scared to fly and needs to sit next to me. The guy at the counter tries to put this puzzle together and basically my husband ends up with the three year old near the front of the plane and I have have everyone else in the back- now I’m sweating just a tad bit more.

We get through security fine, but now we are trapped in an enclosed portion of the airport with no bathrooms, one broken vending machine and not nearly enough seats for all the passengers. Just as everyone is crammed in there, that’s when the plane we are flying on lands and the departing passengers need to trample through our area to get out. Now we have to smash up against a wall, to make room, holding all of our stuff and keeping a toddler and baby out of the way. Did I mention that it’s -15 degrees outside so I am also holding everyone’s winter coats, hats and gloves? So, even though a gust of cold air comes flying through (because yes, the doors open right to the outside runway) I’m seriously sweating now.

When they call for boarding we hang back a bit, to avoid spending any extra time in our seats. And while I’m a little excited to board a plane like I’m the President, I can’t really enjoy it because my 12 year old is now really worked up, saying he will just stay- because he can not get on the plane. He’s walking backwards and so I have to practically shove him out the door and onto the plane while carrying the baby- I’m dripping sweat at this point. There is no way I’m taking my coat off, because I am completely pitted out.

I’m essentially the last person to board this tiny aircraft and I can see the look on everyone’s face. The flight has already been delayed. It’s the day after Christmas and people just want to get wherever it is they are going. The plane is almost full and those few who have an open seat next to them are silently praying I don’t sit next to them all because of what I carry in my arms- my daughter. (I’m not here to debate if people should travel or not with babies- I just wish we could forgo the looks). Here’s the thing, I don’t want to sit next to you just as much as you don’t want to sit next to me! I sit down and the fist thing my daughter asks for is dad. I say, “oh sorry baby dad has to sit up front” and immediately the guy next to me pipes up- “do you want me to switch seats with him?” Yeah sure buddy, lIke I didn’t think of that before. I have to crush his dreams by telling him, I have a three year old that my husband needs to sit with and he sighs and looks back at his phone.

Here’s how the flight goes: 12 year old asks 5000 questions before take-off and I hold his hand until we are in the air at which point he turns and says “hmm, this isn’t so bad”. Baby sits like an angel until 12 year old calms down and then she figures it’s her turn. She squirms, kicks, throws things and yells for dad. I am doing everything in my power to calm her, including sweating buckets. I am desperately waiting for the snacks and some water because at this point I think I’m dehydrated. But, when we get served, she grabs the water bottle and all the food. So I don’t get anything, but she’s at least sitting still for a few minutes and I have some peace. I’m thinking that it’s only a 45 minute flight right? How bad could it be? I’m drenched in sweat trying to hold a baby who wants to run around, yelling for her dad, praying we land soon, but praying more that I don’t have a sweaty butt when I finally stand up.

When it’s over, I’m exhausted and I still have to get all these kids and all their bags across an airport and to a car. I am hungry, thirsty, and sore. I feel like I just finished a marathon and at that moment my 12 year old turns to me and says “that flight was so relaxing- didn’t you think so Mom?”

Side note: My 9 year old was with us-we did not forget him Home Alone style. He took care of his own carry-on, found his seat, popped in his headphones, and never made a peep! He is the real hero of the story, because if he had any issues I might have lost my mind!

A Little Full, A Lot of Sap

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Here it is, all aglow. And it hasn’t fallen over again!
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Clark W. Griswald and his tree

I have always loved National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It is a must watch every year around the holidays and I’ve watched it so many times I could identify any quote from pretty much any scene. Even though my love for this movie did not inspire my son’s name, I think it’s hilarious when people call him Clark W. Griswald and is wasn’t until this year that I realized he had never seen the movie- I must have been watching it alone all these years!

So, a little over a week ago, my son and I finally sat down and watched it. I think he liked it as much as I did and we joked about the size of their tree and how we could probably fit an even bigger tree in our house. Well, my husband overheard us and the challenge to out-Griswald the movie was on. The very next day we went out to  “kick off our fun, old-fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbol.” We drove to the family property and cut down a Griswald-sized  tree. It was a wild ride trying to find it and even more so bringing it back and standing it up.

I have to say this thing is outrageous and I don’t know if we can keep it watered for the entire season, but the kids love it and that’s what counts, right? The house was over flowing with pine needles and the fresh scent for the first few days and it only tipped partially over once (so far!) Now the quest is on to decorate this monster. We need a ton of lights and stringing them up is going to be work (if she doesn’t take another spill). Then there is tinsel and decorations… Hopefully we get it done before the big day.