How I Store My Makeup

My makeup storage is a little unconventional. I know a lot of women have sit down vanities with drawers and acrylic organizers but I have a standing wrought iron vanity mirror. I’ve had this lovely piece since I was about fifteen years old and sadly, it’s not available anymore. I even brought this thing with me to college in my dorm room and apartments. I really wish PBteen would bring something like this back to their store. You may be able to find this on eBay but I’m not making any promises!

Anyway, the first thing I love about this piece is that it’s pretty compact. I can stick it in the corner of my bedroom so it’s out of the way, but still accessible. I have it right next to the large window in my room for extra sunlight when I’m getting ready. The very top obviously contains a mirror with a magnifying mirror on the opposite side.

How I Store My Makeup | Emily Layne Designs Blog 

The vanity has four shelves and four rods to hang accessories on. Right now, I just use the rods for necklaces but I’ve also used them for scarves and purses. I really like that I can see everything at one time and it’s all easy to get to. An added bonus is that all the trays and rods are movable so you can swing them around which ever way you want them. Now, on to the makeup!

The two largest shelves sit in front. The one on the right contains all my foundations and “face” products so blush, bronzer, concealer, etc. I also have a glass jar from Dollar Tree that I keep all of my tube and pencil products in. This houses all my eyeliners, mascaras, and more concealers. The other largest shelf on left holds all my eyeshadows and eyebrow products. I really like that everything is out in the open so I can find exactly what color I’m looking for. And, yes, I know my makeup is dirty!

How I Store My Makeup | Emily Layne Designs Blog
How I Store My Makeup | Emily Layne Designs Blog

The back left shelf holds an old candle jar that I cleaned out. The jar hold all my brushes and some tweezers. Also on the tray, I keep a face moisturizer and a lip balm. The very last shelf on the right has a canister from IKEA that holds all my lip stains and lip glosses. I have my pencil sharpener and eyelash curler stored here too.

 How I Store My Makeup | Emily Layne Designs Blog 

How I Store My Makeup | Emily Layne Designs Blog

Lastly, I actually keep my lipsticks in an acrylic organizer on one of my dressers. I really don’t have that many, and usually wear a stain or balm on a day to day basis so I like that they’re stored separately. I feel like I really don’t have that much makeup. I only keep what I really like and use fairly often. I don’t have a lot of crazy colors that I never wear, only the basics!

How I Store My Makeup | Emily Layne Designs Blog


What does your “get ready space” look like? How do you store your makeup?


July Favorites | 2015

It’s already time for my July favorites? Seriously, where has this month gone? Oh well! Here are a few things I’ve been loving for the month of July!

1. Nine West Frolic Pointy Toe Pumps

I’ve had several interviews this month and these shoes have been a lifesaver. Even though they have a four inch heel, they’re pretty comfortable. I also love that they’re a classic black and the pointed toe makes my legs look longer. (Always helpful when you’re 5’2″!) I scored these babies at Marshall’s for only $35; not bad for leather heels!

 July Favorites | 2015 | Emily Layne Designs Blog

2. UPPTÄCKA Packing Cubes

I really enjoyed using these packing cubes a couple weeks ago when we went to the beach. From IKEA at about $8.00 for four, they made packing in my suitcase a lot more organized. And they’re pink so…

3. Polka Dot Utility Tote

Guys! You NEED to go see if your Walmart has these in stock. These utility totes are huge and come in a lot of different patterns. They’re perfect for beach trips, groceries, or just generically hauling junk. Best part? They’re less than $10! I definitely think they’re comparable to the Thirty-One Large Utility Tote which are $35! That being said, RUN to Walmart! Also, excuse the junk I have in mine. I’m hauling some stuff to Goodwill.

July Favorites | 2015 | Emily Layne Designs Blog

4. Microscope Beauty

I have been seriously obsessed with watching Kayla’s Plan with Me videos. This girl is awesome and an excellent example of great time management skills. She is in grad school, has a full time job (recently she announced that she’s quitting and I can see why), runs a YouTube channel and blog, AND runs a very successful Etsy shop. Oh, and she’s planning her wedding. You go girl! #goals Check out her YouTube videos if you’re looking for planner inspiration!

5. Conor Maynard – Talking About

I’ve been jamming out to this song all month. The beat is so catchy! I’m so ready for the new album!

How has your July been? What have you bene loving this month?

Holden Beach 2015

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA the past week and there’s been no blog posts. But, I’m back today with the reason of why I wasn’t posting. My family, boyfriend and I went to Holden Beach, North Carolina on our summer vacation. We had a great time so I thought I would share some of my favorite memories from the trip!

Holden Beach 2015 | Emily Layne Designs Blog

Me and my boyfriend, DJ, on the ferry from Southport to Fort Fisher

One of my favorite places we visited was Alligator Adventure in North Myrtle Beach. This place is seriously awesome! My boyfriend was a zoology major in college so he was definitely into seeing all of the different animals on site. One major exhibit is Utan, a 2 ton Crocodile. He’s huge! Alligator Adventure also houses other species of alligators and crocodiles, flamingos and ducks, snakes and lizards and tortoises! This place is really different from a regular zoo because you can get really close to the gators! (You’re protected by fences, don’t worry!)

Holden Beach 2015 | Emily Layne Designs Blog

It’s a really hard life being an alligator that’s fed every 2 hours

We also traveled to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Even though me and DJ had been there within the past year, there was a new exhibit we got to check out. Before they had a butterfly greenhouse/garden. An extra cost to admission, you were able to go in a greenhouse and experience hundreds of butterflies around you. It was beautiful! That exhibit is no longer there and has been replaced with Lorikeet Landing. This exhibit is also an extra cost to admission but is well worth it! You can purchase nectar and feed the birds in the a greenhouse area. Before you know it, you will have a slew of birds on top of you. I decided not to hold out any nectar because I was sunburnt all over and didn’t want the birds landing on my arms and shoulders. Definitely bring your camera because I got some great pictures of the brightly colored, gorgeous lorikeets!

Holden Beach 2015 | Emily Layne Designs Blog

Holden Beach 2015 | Emily Layne Designs Blog

I will say, most of my time was spent either on the beach or at the pool sipping a drink but Holden Beach is a wonderful place to go if you want some serenity, peace and quiet. Even though there’s not a ton of things around, you can travel to Myrtle Beach or Fort Fisher within an hour and a half. There’s also the town of Shallotte nearby. Our first day consisted a trip here to Planet Fun in Shallotte! Planet Fun has arcade games, bowling, laser tag and bumper cars all under one roof. My family and I did the all you can play deal on Sunday so we could play unlimited bowling, laser tag and some arcade games. We had a great time! It was really fun to scare my mom in laser tag!

Check out the cute little flag and kite shop on the island at Holden Beach. My mom bought a trick kite hoping to fly it on the beach but it’s a lot harder than it looks. We also saw this HUGE squid/octopus kite flying one day. It looked like a big purple mattress flying in the sky!

Holden Beach 2015 | Emily Layne Designs Blog

Lastly, I must mention this great little hotdog joint we went to for lunch in Carolina Beach. They had gluten free hotdogs and buns and a select variety of toppings. Sadly, their fries were gluten free but were cooked in the same frier with onion rings so we couldn’t have those. But, this was a great place to grab a quick bite! I highly recommend Island Hots if you’re gluten free or have celiac!

Where are you traveling this summer?


Fitness Planner Tour

I really need to jump back on the fitness train. I’ve gained quite a bit of weight since college and I need a way to track my food intake and workouts. (Plus, maybe talking about it on the blog will make me more accountable!) To help, I found this really great fitness and nutrition planner at Michaels as part of the Recollections planner collection. It was listed as $3.99 but with my 40% off coupon I only paid about $2.50. 

Fitness Planner Tour | Emily Layne Designs Blog

The very first page of the notebook has a quote that says “Decide today to make a change”. I love when planners and notebooks have inspirational quote and messages! There’s also an 8-week goal page to put down your target weight, calorie intake, etc. after 2 months.

Fitness Planner Tour | Emily Layne Designs Blog

Each week starts with a goals page. For the upcoming week you can look at your current weight, how many times a week your exercising, calorie intake and your exercise schedule. I also love that there’s a spot for a reward. Sometimes you just need an incentive! 

Fitness Planner Tour | Emily Layne Designs Blog

Next are the daily logs. You get a whole page for each day. I had recently tried tracking in the Erin Condren Wellness Journal but there simply wasn’t enough room to write my food and calories in the little bitty squares. Every page contains everything you need to track including water, sleep and exercise. There’s even a spot to do a bit of journaling. 

Fitness Planner Tour | Emily Layne Designs Blog

After the daily logs, there’s a week review page. This is a spot where you can check-in and see how your progress is going. I think my favorite part of the week review is that there’s a spot to journal so you can write down how your feeling physically, mentally and emotionally during this progress.

Fitness Planner Tour | Emily Layne Designs Tour

I’m really exciting to start using this tool to (hopefully!) help in my weight loss journey! Leave a comment down below if you’d like weekly updates!

Do you track calories? What’s your fitness routine?

Easy Fourth of July Drink!

So if you’re anything like me, when I make a drink, I want it to be super easy to do, with as few ingredients as possible. I still wanted a Fourth of July drink to have but I didn’t want to go out and buy anything extra. My boyfriend and I aren’t planning on entertaining (honestly I’ll probably be working on my Etsy shop because he has to work) but I still wanted to celebrate at my desk with a festive beverage.

I’m a lover of margaritas. Like, they’re seriously the best so I created a USA themed one that’s only a few ingredients and you can make with items you probably already have in your bar.

I stuck with the usual tequila and margarita mix to make the actual margarita and then just added blue Curaçao. If you don’t want extra alcohol, you can always just add blue food coloring. I like that the blue Curaçao gave it a hint of orange flavor to mix with the lime.

Also, a fair warning that I’m not a professional mixologist so if you don’t like the flavor of this drink, feel free to change it up to make your taste buds happy!

I made some ice cubes with blue food coloring and also colored some salt for the rim red. Drop in a festive straw and voilà! You have a super easy, but patriotic, beverage to enjoy on the fourth!

Easy Fourth of July Margarita | Emily Layne Designs Blog

Easy Fourth of July Margarita
Write a review
  1. • 1.5 oz. Tequila
  2. • 2 oz. Blue Curaçao Liqueur
  3. • Margarita Mix (fill shaker or add measurement you like per bottle instructions)
  4. • Salt (Optional)
  1. Shake together tequila, blue curaçao and margarita mix. Pour over ice.
Emily Layne Designs

June Favorites | 2015

I hope you’ve had a very happy June! I can’t believe we’re over half way done with the year! It seems like the older I get, the faster time flies! I have several items this month that I have been loving!

June Favorites | 2015 | Emily Layne Designs Blog1. Murder, She Wrote

I remember when I was younger, staying with my grandma during the summer, and watching older TV shows with her. One of those shows was Murder, She Wrote. Staring Angela Lansbury, the show follows a mystery writer named Jessica Fletcher as she always seems to find herself in the middle of a murder scenario. Even though the show can be a bit cheesy at times, I still really enjoy trying to figure out who the murderer is! And, there’s twelve glorious seasons on Netflix. Yeap, 259 episodes.

2. Silhouette Cameo

If you’ve been following any of my DIYs on the blog, you know I have been using my Silhouette machine like crazy! I love that you can use almost any material with it and it’s super easy to use. It was a bit expensive, but if you’re an avid crafter like me, you need one of these in your life! I’ve had several questions about it recently so I’m planning on doing a blog post all about it and its features! Stay tuned!

3. The 1975

I’ve been listening to this album for months but it seems like I’ve been listening to it even more this month. I just love this album and I can’t wait for their next one. I believe it comes out next year, or so I’ve heard! I was really hoping to go see them in concert as they’re touring the States but sadly, they’re not coming to NC. Bummer. But, this album is probably one of my favorite albums of all time. If you’d like a list of my favorite music, let me know in the comments down below!

4. Minions

I am OBSESSED with the minions from Despicable Me and I cannot wait for the Minion movie that comes out next month! You best believe I will be there the day it comes out! I’ve even added a minion sticker to my car. I’m contemplating buying this shirt purelyto wear to the premiere.

June Favorites | 2015 | Emily Layne Designs Blog

5. Monster Trail Mix

I picked up this trail mix while I was in the Target check out line one day and needed a snack. Those darn snacks and random goodies get me every time! I honestly wouldn’t really call this trail mix because it’s mostly chocolate, which is why it’s so delicious. It consists of peanuts, M&M’s, raisins, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. If you need a chocolate fix, definitely grab a bag!

Are you going to go see Minions? What have you been binge watching on Netflix?

Around the Apartment: My Bar Cart!

Around the Apartment: My Bar Cart | Emily Layne Designs | Blog

I spent forever looking for the perfect bar cart back when I moved into my apartment. There’s an awkward chunk of wall space right beside the dining room that I didn’t know what to do with. It was right next to the air conditioner/water heater closet and also had the ugly thermostat. I originally thought about adding a small accent table but once I realized my bar collection was quickly growing, I went on the search for a bar cart.

I found some beautiful carts like this one but they were sadly, way out of my price range. Then, I found the perfect option on Pinterest. (Pinterest never fails to let me down!) After seeing how others had styled the IKEA cart, I picked one up the next time I was in Charlotte.

At only $30 it went with my broke grad student budget. I decided to give it a little more flair and paint it gold. I used Martha Stewart Liquid Gilding in Gold. This little jar of paint is about $6 but trust me, a little goes a long way. Also, you can paint just about anything with this stuff. I’ve used it on plastic, metal and fabric. I know there’s some spots that need to be touched up, but hopefully I can spray paint it soon! The apartment life doesn’t leave a lot of space for spray painting!

Around the Apartment: My Bar Cart | Emily Layne Designs | BlogOn the top of my bar cart I keep our most used glasses. The tall ones are from IKEA that I got in the clearance section for $0.50 each. The short ones came in a set that I got for Christmas. I also keep an ice bucket; this one is from Target that I also got on clearance. I really love the texture of it too! It has a smooth white metal base with a wooden top. The shaker is from my parent’s house and they never used it so, of course, I took it. (Thanks Mom!) I have some tools like a bottle opener and a jigger in a cleaned out candle container, some pretty straws in a glass that’s from the Dollar Tree and some pretty cocktail napkins from Target.

We have a white and gold polka dot towel hanging on the side. We never use it, I just have it there purely for decoration. It was a steal too at Hobby Lobby for 40% so only about $3!

Around the Apartment: My Bar Cart | Emily Layne Designs | Blog

Around the Apartment: My Bar Cart | Emily Layne Designs | BlogOn the middle shelf we keep more glasses. The short ones are from Tuesday Morning and the margarita glasses are from World Market. In the white box from IKEA we keep cards and other group games. Usually when we’re using the bar cart we have company over and always want to play cards. On top we have a copy of The Bartender’s Guide. This a great little book that has all kinds of recipes and information about different liquors. If you’re looking to learn the basics about alcohol, definitely find this book on Amazon; we bought ours for only $4!

Around the Apartment: My Bar Cart | Emily Layne Designs | Blog

The bottom shelf stores all our liquor, wine glasses, a very large beer mug (my boyfriend’s) and a Dollar Tree container filled with bottle caps. My boyfriend and I just think it’s fun to keep all the caps and I think it adds some nice color to the bar cart.

Around the Apartment: My Bar Cart | Emily Layne Designs | Blog

I really like that this cart provides plenty of storage but isn’t too large for the space. I also like that I decided to go with a cart instead of a piece of furniture so I can move the cart around if I need to. Oh! I forgot to mention that this cart has a drawer for even more storage. We just keep some extra straws, a few coasters, and a wine stopper.

Do you have a bar cart? Do you use a cart for any other area of your house?

What’s In My Bag?

I’m definitely all about having a functional purse that holds everything I need and have items easily accessible. I currently carry a Longchamp Le Pliage Medium Shoulder Tote in Black. Originally, I thought these bags were WAY overpriced but now that I own one, I LOVE it! The bag is made of nylon so it’s pretty water resistant and the straps are made of leather so they’re really durable. I literally carry this bag EVERY SINGLE DAY. I’m also really glad I got black because with the brown straps, the bag goes with almost anything I wear.

Lonchamp Le Pilage Tote

Hair brush, wallet, spray, tissues, coin purse, emergency kit

First thing I carry in my bag is obviously my wallet. I absolutely love this wallet! The wallet really reminds me of the Kate Spade Lacey wallet but with a dramatically lower price! From Target, this wallet comes in a variety of colors and it’s only $15! It holds a ton of cards, has two slots for cash and checks and a zipper slot for change. Plus, the wallet zips all the way around so nothing’s going to fall out and it’s easy to get in and out of. I keep all the usual wallet things inside along with a couple ink pens and some business cards.

Another essential that lives in my purse is my phone. I just got the Gold iPhone 6 Plus and I LOVE it! On it, is a Kate Spade case with a monogram I made off my Silhouette machine.

Front iPhone
Back iPhone

Next is my emergency kit. I’m not sure where the little cosmetic is bag is from as it was a gift from a friend. Inside I keep a variety of things that I might need on a day to day basis. Below is a picture and list of everything I keep inside. My little emergency kit has really come in handy multiple times!

Items inside my emergency kit

  • Headphones
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine Supplies
  • Plastic Bag
  • Purell Sanitizing Wipes
  • Pepto-to-go
  • Advil PM
  • Eyedrops
  • Benefit They’re Real! Mascara
  • Maybelline Fitme! Powder
  • Mini Tape Measure
  • Small Notebook
  • Bath and Body Works Fragrance Waters in White Citrus
  • elf Blotting Sheets
  • Microfiber Cloth for my Glasses
  • Tweezers
  • Tide to go Pen
  • Colgate Wisp Toothbrush
  • Hair Tie & Bobby Pin


Inside my Coin Purse

I keep a small Vera Bradley coin pouch in my purse to hold essential things that I find myself reaching for very frequently. Inside I keep my pill box with headache medicine, some lip balm.

Another item I keep loose in my purse, purely because it won’t fit in my emergency kit is Poopourri. If you don’t know what Poopourri is, I won’t embarrass myself by explaining what it is. You can click on the link and watch the video that explains what it does. (The video is totally hilarious by the way!) All I’m going to say about it is that it’s great to have when nature calls!

Last but not least is a small hair brush. It’s too big to fit in my emergency kit but it really doesn’t cause a problem just floating around in my bag. And since it’s bright yellow, it’s easy to find! Oh! And I also have some tissues!

I’m really happy with how my purse is set up! It’s not too big but still large enough to carry everything. I can even still fit my planner inside if I want!

What’s your everyday purse? What do you keep inside?



Back to College: Bedding

It’s that time of year again! Graduation caps are flying up in the air and lots of kids are going off to college soon! It’s been almost five years since I started my freshman year of college and since I was the first born, I really had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t really know exactly what I needed and since I tend to overpack anyway, I brought A LOT of stuff. My sister is also going to be a senior in high school this year (I feel old!) and we’ll be buying lots of things for her dorm room when the time comes. With all this going on, I thought it would be beneficial to start a series about what you DO and DON’T really need at college.

Me in front of the Yosef statue, freshman year of college

Freshman year of college in front of the Yosef statue in 2010

Me at ASU Graduation

Graduation day in December 2013

This post is going to be all about bedding. Bedding is a really important purchase when it comes to your dorm room. If you think about it, your bed is where you’ll obviously sleep but also lounge to watch TV, sometimes study or read, and where you’ll hang out with friends. Basically, your bed will serve as a glorified couch if you don’t have a futon or other sitting space in your room.

Mattress Protector & Pad

You definitely need a good mattress protector to protect yourself from anything that might be living in your mattress! Hopefully you won’t have this problem but better safe than sorry. Make sure your mattress protector is bug proof! Just remember you aren’t the first person to sleep on that mattress and you won’t be the last! You’ll also want to purchase a mattress pad to make your bed a little more comfortable. I recommend not going the cheap route on this. You want the best nights sleep possible after long hours of studying!


You obviously need a comforter or duvet cover with an insert. I HIGHLY recommend getting an all white comforter and here’s why. Because you’ll be using your bed so often for so many different things, it’s going to get dirty. Since your comforter is all white you can easily bleach it to have it looking brand new again. Also, with white, you can incorporate any colors you want with other items such as throw pillows and sheets. Another great thing about a white comforter is that for your other years of college, you can easily change up your space. One last benefit of white, they’re cheap! You can a plain white duvet insert at Walmart or Target for about $20.00 – $30.00!


Next, you’ll need sheets. Double check with your university or college but most beds will be Twin XL. You don’t want to get regular twin size linens because they won’t fit! You can find Twin XL sheets just about anywhere including Target, Walmart and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Also, it’s a good idea to get two sets of sheets just in case. You could get sick in your bed or spill something and it’s nice to have an immediate change of sheets. It also wouldn’t hurt to get another set of pillowcases.


That brings me to my next piece, pillows. GET COMFORTABLE PILLOWS! I made the mistake of taking the cheap route on pillows and my neck paid dearly. Get more than one of these too.

Accent Pillows

Now for the fun stuff, accent pillows! I know it’s easy to go overboard with so many cute options but you don’t need a ton of throw pillows. Unless you are one of those people who make their bed every single day, you’ll have to find a place to store your accent pillows when your bed’s not made. I say three pillows is a good number. I know that accent pillows can get really expensive so check out DIY options on Pinterest and Etsy. Another cheap alternative that I love is the pillow covers at Hobby Lobby! Most are only $5.99 each and they have a ton of cute patterns! Let me know in the comments below if you’d like some DIY pillows!

I really hope you found this tips helpful! Below are some pictures of my dorm rooms and apartments over the years! Sorry they’re not great quality! Most were taken on my phone! Enjoy!


Freshman dorm room! It was TINY!


Sophomore year dorm room! We were in a brand new dorm that was really spacious and we had our own bathroom!


Junior year bedroom in my very first apartment! Most of the pillows were DIY!


Senior year apartment bedroom!

Bed in graduate school apartment

Graduate school apartment bedroom!



Hilarious Father’s Day Cards!

Looking for a unique card to give Dad this year for Father’s Day? If you know your Dad has a sense of humor, check out these great cards that you can order from Etsy or DIY yourself!

I can truly relate to the IKEA card. My dad has put together so many pieces of furniture over the years with moving in and out of dorm rooms and apartments! Also, how cute is the raisin card?! And who doesn’t love a good pun?!

Father's Day CArds

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Looking for more card ideas? Check out Cool Mom Picks list! Are you giving one of these cards to your father?