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Posts in “Lifestyle”

Living Room Ideas to Inspire You

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Living room ideas for your home. Get inspiration on how to decorate your own space.

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Interior decorating is something I would love to learn more about, especially choosing the right color palette for furnitures and accessories. I always like the feeling of entering a living room that is inviting, clean-looking, and functional. Brent and I just moved into our apartment here in Houston, so I’ve been looking for inspiration on how to decorate it. We’re looking for the right kind of furniture and style to use for our space, while being kid-friendly. We are planning to furnish our space little by little, to accommodate our time and budget. However, this compilation of ideas is helping us think, plan and get creative with the type of atmosphere we want for our home. Here are some living room design ideas I’ve been inspired by, to browse. Enjoy!

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Photo Source

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Add with Boho Pillows

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Teepee Tent for the kids! Photo Source

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Black and White Modern Style + Plants

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Live like in Villa

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I think Brent would love that door!

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Beach life feel. I think this is one of my favorites even it’s not actually a living room (but a master bedroom).

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Country Style

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Another beach life feel

What kind of style or vibe would you like for your living room? Minimalist, tropical, country, shabby chic? Comment and let me know. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts and ideas.!

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Embracing Summer With Kids

Sunday, August 21, 2016

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Summer is almost over! We’ve been experiencing rain these past few days. Before I know it, it will be cold again! Even though summers in Texas are hot, we embrace them. We try to do some fun activities outside the house, to entertain my two little munchkins. Especially if we don’t have playdates with other moms and kids, these are a must. I wanted to share the simple ways we enjoy summer, without needing to drive.

 

MORNING SUNSHINE

I always try to bring my kids outside after breakfast to see the morning sunshine. Whether walking around the neighborhood, playing on the grass, going for a stroll, or biking I want them to go outdoors. I think it is healthy for them to go out at least twice a day to get fresh air and see nature. It is not quite as hot before 10AM, so that’s the perfect time to enjoy the morning sunshine with kids.

SPLASHING IS LOTS OF FUN!

My kids love to play in the water and get wet! Aside from bringing them to splash pads, I usually let them swim and play in the front yard before their afternoon nap. It’s a win-win because they have fun and can use up all their energy. This causes them to sleep longer (Mama’s Goal!). We used  this pool and put in under a tree for some shade. This pool is affordable and durable. It’s been almost 2 years now since we bought it, and it still looks great. You can also put something like this  Little Tikes First Slide to make this activity more fun!

DIGGING A HOLE

Since I became a parent, I was surprised at how nature offers a lot of entertaining toys for my two kids. They love picking up rocks, acorns, small branches, and are curious about the ants etc. Recently, their favorite activity, especially my toddler’s, has been digging holes. We have been reading a book called Sam and Dave Dig a Hole,and it’s funny to hear from my eldest son about how he wants to find the diamond underground… Well good luck, kid.

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similar One-piece Swimsuit

Any favorite outdoor summer activities with your kid/s that you will miss this coming cold season?

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Feels Like Home: Moving Back to Houston

Monday, August 15, 2016

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Houston is the first place I lived when I moved to the United States. It was where I met new friends, and learned how to drive, not to be shy, and say, “Hi” to people passing by on the street. I made some improvements with my English too. For example, instead of saying, “Turn off the lights” I used to say “Brent, can you close the lights?” He would tease me and reply with, “It’s not a window.” Houston has been a big part of my adjustment with culture, language and style of living. When it came to culture shock, I had so many different experiences with it. I was shocked by things like the large food servings, big fast food drink cups, unlimited refills, etc. I saw other things that amazed me as well, things which are not a big deal for others, like the garbage disposal! I also remember my first year in Houston, I tried to make friends with our neighbors. I knocked on their door and the couple that lived there were so confused when I handed them some dessert. I don’t know if it’s uncommon in the U.S., but in the Philippines it’s common to bring food over to someone who has just moved into the neighborhood. It’s a friendly gesture and way of welcoming them. 

 

A couple weeks ago, we came down to Houston to check out possible places to live, and I’m so thankful that we found one that we like! Brent and I are SO excited that we are finally moving back there in the next few weeks. Due to Brent’s grad school, internship, and post-doctoral fellowship, we have been moving a lot! We’ve gone from Houston to LA, to Dallas, and now back to Houston again. I think we’re experts with packing our stuff now. 😉 Going back to Houston and having our own place to live with our children, are one of the things that we have been praying about for the past year. Now, God has answered those prayers!

 

Here are a few photos I snapped during our trip. We just celebrated our 5th year anniversary! I praise God for teaching us a lot of life lessons concerning love, understanding, and patience. What we’ve learned has helped make our relationship stronger, with unity and hope as a married couple.

 

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I found this J.Crew dress and Talbots handbag in thrift store. But here are other design items to buy for DRESS and HANDBAG :)

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5 years of marriage!

 

P.S. Hello Houston makeup clients, Em Smith makeup artistry is back! For bookings or inquiries, contact me :-)

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Introducing: Hello Island Mama (+GIVEAWAY for 2!)

Monday, August 1, 2016

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For the past few months, I’ve been thinking of changing my blog’s name, as well as its domain name. As a makeup artist, this site served as my makeup portfolio for the past 5 years. However, after becoming a stay-at-home mom with my 2 little boys, I became more active and excited with blogging. It has kept me connected with the art and makeup fields. It delights me how blogging allows me to continue to use the skills I have acquired from Fine Arts college. Of course, it allows me to use the talents that God gave me too! I’m the type of person who likes to try different hobbies that will keep me productive and busy, especially when my kids are napping. My blog has allowed me to channel that creativity and desire to learn!

I’m very excited because starting this month, I’ll be blogging about more than just makeup and DIY tutorials. Now, I’ll be blogging about home decor, family life, stylish outfits (mostly from thrift stores btw, so no high-end stuff here ;)), food recipes that I love using, and other fun stuff that I love to do! vertical_hero_hello_island_mama_philippines_islander_blogger_life_design_makeup_beauty_diy_art_photography_logo_inspiration

With the help of my college friend Feli, owner and designer of Paper Thread Studio, we designed a new logo for my blog called Hello Island Mama. Why Hello Island Mama? Before moving to the U.S., I was raised and born in the Philippines on small island called Marinduque. The logo was inspired by the coconut trees there that I grew up with. It’s also home to things I miss, like the beautiful beaches, fresh seafood, fresh sweet mangoes, and even the tropical weather (especially if it’s winter in Texas).

To celebrate my first blog post on Hello Island Mama, I’m giving away an Amazon or PayPal gift card to 2 winners. Each winner will each receive $25 via Amazon or PayPal (winner’s choice) as a thank you to all my readers who support this blog! I am truly thankful for all of you! Contest ends on 8/6 at midnight. This contest is open to residents of the U.S.A. and all over the world! Enter via Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What topics do you want me to talk about on my blog? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below :)
I’m looking forward to many more adventures with you on this blog! Again, thank you for your support! :-)

Em

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Change Your Mood With Music + DIY Sharpie Mug

Monday, May 9, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #SongsToShare #CollectiveBias DIY_do_it_yourself_sharpie_mug_music_song_inspired_coca-cola_sing_for_joy_em_smith_2

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I’m thankful that I learned how to play some basic chords to play on the guitar. My brother taught them to me when I was in middle school. There is something about strumming a guitar and singing that makes my day relaxing and calming, especially with the kids. One time, my toddler was being fussy and suddenly my youngest son started to cry too (it’s like a domino effect, isn’t it?). I grabbed my guitar and started to play while singing a random song. Suddenly, the room was filled with silence. It was amazing! It is so wonderful how music can positively affect someone’s mood.

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Today, I’m so excited to share how Coca-Cola™ products from Brookshire’s inspired me with their new campaign, “Share a Coke and a Song.” It gave me the idea of creating an inspirational mug that can be made at home. Coca-Cola has always come up with great ways to inspire people to be creative, and connect with loved ones.

Here are the things you’ll need to create a DIY Sharpie Mug,

Design for your mug (Here’s a FREE printable one I made for you to use!)

Plain Mug

Pencil

Oil-based Sharpie

Masking or Cellophane Tape

Alcohol

Q-tips

Oven and Tray

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  1. After you print your design (or the one I shared above), cut it out to fit on the mug.
  2. Start using the pencil to shade the back of the paper with the design.
  3. Put the design on the face of the mug, and use clear tape so it won’t move.
  4. Using a pencil, start to trace the design over the paper while applying a good amount of pressure. This will help the pencil marks be more visible. The pencil from the shade will stick to the mug better and It will give you a more visible guide to follow for Step 5.
  5. Remove the paper and check to make sure the pencil markings are visible. Begin to draw by tracing over the marks left by the pencil. I used an oil-based Sharpie.
  6. If you need to fix up some mistakes, don’t worry. Just use Q-tips with alcohol to clean the areas you want to fix.
  7. Put your mug in a tray and bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Make sure to put the mug in the oven before it’s hot, so that it won’t get cracks.
  8. Remove the mug from the oven. Let it cool, and it is done!

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I love the lyrics written on this Coke can that reads, “Lean on me.” The song reminded me that I can lean on someone like my husband whenever my day is challenging. In addition to saying a prayer, finding something to do like playing guitar, singing, or walking outside with the kids, help to make my day better. They refresh my mind and thoughts. In fact, my husband and I were discussing how sometimes it’s difficult to control our feelings. However, we can find ways to control our behavior.

Here are few of the songs from these special Coca-Cola cans that you can check out!

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By the way, Brookshire’s has a program called “YourPoints” that helps you save on fuel and groceries. Just sign up and use your registered Thank You Card every time you shop. You can earn one YourPoint with every dollar spent. I also got a new app called “Shazam” on my phone to play songs from the Coca-Cola’s Share A Song. This app is available on most mobile devices for iOS and Android.

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What song from Coca-Cola products will you get inspiration from and to whom will you share it with?

 

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Importance in age of 20s

Thursday, April 21, 2016

20s

As I turn 30 this weekend, I thought I would share some of my favorite lessons and journeys that I’ve been on during my 20’s. I don’t normally share details about my personal life on this blog, especially about my past, but I felt it would be good for my readers to learn more about me in addition to my makeup and art :)

So here are a few of my favorite memories from my 20s, ones that I cherish and am thankful for! :)

welcome2 MOVING TO THE UNITED STATES –  Coming here was a big adjustment for me. I remember how afraid I was to go out of the house and meet people. Speaking English was also one of my weaknesses when I came here. I was very shy and conscious about my grammar and how my pronunciation sounded. I’m more comfortable with the way I speak now though. I’m also used to my family and friends in the Philippines joking about my English 😉 But hey! I think my English has improved (according to my husband 😉 ). Another big challenge for me was learning how to drive here (especially on highways) since I never drove in the Philippines. Driving is just one of my fears. I used to cry when someone would honk at me after I did something wrong. It would really hurt my feelings. LOL Now, I’m more cool with it. I just tell myself that they don’t know me, so let’s just move on. 😉 Finally, like I had discussed in a previous post, living here in the US has taught me to really appreciate a lot of different things. (Read my post here .)  marriage_1 GETTING MARRIED – When I was 25, Brent and I had a simple garden wedding in Dallas. None of my family was there, since they couldn’t get travel visas in time. However, Brent’s family and friends were there to witness and celebrate our wedding. I won’t lie, the first year of marriage was tough since I was totally immature. Marriage got even more challenging, especially after we had kids. This is how we can feel that God is really testing our patience and our trust in Him. Marriage taught me not to be self-centered; not “I” but “We”. I’m a person who doesn’t like to communicate when I get angry, but Brent always reminds me that we are a team that needs to help each other. We don’t have a perfect marriage; we have arguments and fights, but the important thing is that we are learning to talk about and share our feelings, as well as apologize to and forgive each other. My husband has been a big impact on my life. Although I know that he wasn’t the one who changed me, I believe God used him to open up my eyes.  baptismal_em_accepted_christ ACCEPTING CHRIST – Around the summer of 2012, I decided to get baptized and accept Jesus Christ into my life. It was at Impact Church of Christ in Houston that I got baptized.  When we were still living in Houston, this was the church we attended. Before I met my husband, I hated God so much that I would even curse at him a lot. I would blame him for every bad thing that had ever happened to me. I never felt peace of mind. I always felt empty and “emo.” Lol I made a lot of bad decisions in life. I smoked a lot, got drunk often between classes, cursed (because I thought it made me look cool and strong), told dirty jokes, and I was just a bad influence on my friends. It took a while for me to believe in and surrender to God. It was like taking baby steps. I still remember the feeling when I got baptized. I felt reborn again and that God forgave my past sins. I like how my husband continues to help me understand and learn more about the importance of Christianity. It helps remind me that there are things much more important in life than makeup or fashion. He never nags me to attend church nor to read the Bible. Instead, he leads by example, showing how Christians should act through his actions and heart. He also loves to share his favorite Bible verses which inspire and encourage me. Of course, I’m still an imperfect person and have weaknesses, but knowing what is right from wrong saves me from big consequences in life, and has taught me to repent.  motherhood MOTHERHOOD – It’s like a roller coaster!! Whoaaa! This is the most patience I have learned in my entire life.  Being a mother has taught me to sacrifice my time and even my career. It was really hard to leave work and be a stay-at-home mother with the kids. My husband has been supportive and reminds me that this is just a small amount of time to take care of my little boys. Soon enough they will go to school and I can go back to work and do whatever I want with my career. One thing that I love about being a mom is that it has taught me to go back to being silly, and to laugh about the little things; to not be too serious all the time! I’ve also learned that it is okay to cry when your day as a mom has been frustrating and challenging. I think it’s a good way to recharge your body and mind. Having kids has taught me to appreciate my own mother more and to be closer with my siblings. They always want to see my kids on videochat! Maybe I should charge them $100 per view? Haha! Kidding!  423818_10151188243562349_1671896357_n OPENING UP- Last year, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law invited me to join a Bible Study Fellowship. Since we have two kids, things have been challenging all the time. If you knew me before, I would like to make jokes about God, the Bible, and the people who believe in them. If you asked me to join a Bible study 5 or 10 years ago, I would have just laughed and not spoken to you anymore. In my mind, I’d think about how boring it would be, that it was only for old people and not cool to do. At first, I thought that Bible study was only for good people, but I was wrong. As a person shared to me, the Church and the Bible are actually for sinners because they need help and need to hear God’s word. Christians are not perfect, we are sinners. The important thing is that we confess our sins, repent, ask for forgiveness, and stand up again when we fail. There are so many things that I’ve learned from this study. Here are some of the verses that inspire me and convict me:

1 “Do not be shaped by this world..” Romans 12:2 – This verse reminds me that I should not try to follow what the crowd says, and be aware of who I admire and follow. This verse is very convicting, since I am person who easily admires others by the way they dress and what material things they have, even though I know that they do things that are against God. But I’m slowly learning to appreciate and admire people (especially in social media) by how they act as a good example, speak gently and respectfully, and how they are so dedicated to share God’s word. This year, I’ve come to realize that a person can look and feel “cool” without doing such offensives things to Him.

2 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” John 15:18 – I was always afraid to share or say something about God and Christ. I even felt shy to pray publicly because I felt people would judge or make fun of me. But what I learned from this verse is that if we believe in Him, we should be proud of saying his name. I also learned that if someone is against what we share about Christ, we should correct them gently and with respect. But if they try to argue in a harsh way, just stop and pray! 😉

3 “Think only about the things in heaven, not the things on earth” Colossians 3:2 – It is hard not to think about material things, especially when everyone around you has them. With all the advertisements, social media, and even blogs, they can make you feel left out if you don’t have these possessions. This verse makes me feel guilty sometimes, yet it has taught me to slow down. I’ve always loved makeup, but I’ve learned to slow down and stop thinking that, “It is my life, and I need these things.” Instead I think, “It is just makeup, material, a thing”. I remember telling my husband how I worried about my career and wanting to have more stuff. He told me that makeup, clothes, and shoes don’t matter in the end, as they will vanish and be destroyed. But living to the fullest and practicing to do good, will give us a great reward in heaven.

4 “So faith comes from hearing the Good News, and people hear the Good News when someone tells them about Christ.” Romans 10:17 – I also learned to find a church that bases its sermons on the Bible, not just stories and storytelling. I really wish I knew how to read the Bible before. I just realized how important it is for me, and even for my kids and marriage. I think if I just went to church and didn’t read the Bible, my faith would be incomplete. I’m not intelligent or smart person like other people I know, but reading the Bible helps strengthen and grow my faith as well as my decision making. I am still a newbie when it comes to all of this, but I can’t wait to learn more!  BSF_childcare Oh by the way, it’s amazing at church because if I go to the class, I can leave my kids at a childcare with awesome, loving people who will take care them. My son loves it because they sing. He loves to sing “Jesus Loves Me,” dance, and hear stories about Christ. Did I mention it is FREE?? BSF is all around the world. Check out their classes here. They have it in the Philippines too. Try to locate your country and find a class here. Don’t hesitate to call or come by, they are always happy to help and accommodate.  EmSmith(1of1)-29 BLOGGER X BRAND – I left my full-time job after giving birth to my first child. It’s a good thing that I’ve loved blogging and sharing images ever since I started doing makeup. Now, it gives me a chance to stay connected with the beauty, makeup, and creative industry. Early this year, I started to monetize my blog (meaning Brands pay me for my posts) and had the privilege to work with brands that I like!  My latest partnership was about Jergens.  I’m so thankful for my family and friends who support me in blogging! I appreciate them so much!  cooking LEARNING TO COOK AND BAKE!! –  It is just awesome to look back and see this accomplishment in my life: learning to cook! LOL Shameful to say, but my mom is the one who cooked our meals all the time when I lived in the Philippines. That’s why it was a shock for me to live in the US without knowing how to make my own food! (Well, I could make instant noodles. Does that count?). Since I love to eat, I was forced to cook my own meals for myself and for my husband. I learned how to make Filipino foods like Empanada, Lumpia (Egg Rolls) and other foods (I love Panlasang Pinoy for recipes and video tutorials). I also tried to make other western foods (Mostly from www.allrecipes.com).

I hope you had as much fun learning more about me, as I did sharing about my life. Thanks for reading my blog, and thank you for your support! :)

Happy weekend!!

P.S Check out my birthday giveaway HERE! Please make sure to follow @ShkadoodleNoodle in Instagram too! :)

 

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My Birthday Wishlist (+GIVEAWAY for TWO!)

Monday, April 18, 2016

I’ll be saying goodbye to my 20s next weekend! Am I excited? Yes! I feel that the more I age, the more new things I learn (like about motherhood and marriage) and the more I learn to mature. I wonder what my 30s will be like!  While writing down what I would like for my birthday, I actually thought, “Hmm… What else do I really want, aside from sleeping without early-morning interruptions from my kids, and a vacation in the Philippines?” Here are a few ideas I came up with:

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  1. Bare Minerals Eyeshadow – I’ve heard good things about BM eyeshadows. They focus more on natural looking to wearable smokey eyes, which I’ve been using lately! This palette is good for a day-to-night eye makeup look.
  2. Hello Panda + Yakult – Most people prefer coffee as an energizer, but I prefer Yakult! I’ve been drinking it since I was a kid. I remember when I used to paint in college into the middle of the night, this was my power-up! I also think that a great match for Yakult is Hello Panda.  Brent knows how much I love Hello Panda. I always receive a BIG box every Christmas! PS: This is not an exotic food. It’s a chocolate-filled biscuit. Try it and let me know what you think!
  3. Becca Backlight Primer – It’s a primer that gives your skin a luminous glow!! Ahh! This is gorg for Summer!
  4. Tweezerman Pro Eyelash Curler – I have short eyelashes, so I’m always looking for a great eyelash curler. I’m looking for one that not only curls my lashes, but keeps them up. Has anyone used this Tweezerman curler before? Thoughts?
  5. CVS Photo Prints – I bought a big photo album a couple months ago, but I haven’t been able to use it. I always want to print my favorite shots of my family, friends and photography works since I have tons of them in my computer. It’s just that I never have a chance to print them out! I’m happy with how CVS photo prints work, as it it is affordable and the colors are great. I still like the way traditional photo prints look compared to photo books. I’m just more on the traditional side sometimes. :)
  6. Chicken Pad Thai – I love Thai food, and this means Pad Thai with Som Tum Salad. Brent is really good at making Pad Thai… Maybe he can make me some on my birthday… *cough* *cough* Maybe he can also make it spicy, please. 😉
  7. Thrift Store Day – This is the place where I can say I relax by digging through clothes and a variety of items. I love to grab my kids’ clothes here too! I just like how it challenges me to find good things that I can style, and at a very cheap price!!

After I finished writing this, I realized that if I had to pick my top 3, I’d choose: Chicken Pad Thai, Hello Panda + Yakult, and Thrift Store Day! Haha

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April is my birthday month, so to celebrate and show my appreciation, I’m giving away these gorgeous green leaf makeup pouches for you and a friend (it can be your mother, sister, cousin etc.). My friend from college who is also based here in the the US, just launched her Etsy shop. I want to support her by sharing her shop with you all. I actually requested her to create a pouch inspired by a tropical summer island. The fabric is so beautiful, soft, and well-made. It’s big enough to store cosmetics, makeup brushes, hair accessories, or a phone. Whether you are bringing it to the beach, pool party, brunch date, or matching it with your outfit, this pouch is perfect on the go for summer!

How to enter and WIN:

  1. Simply follow me @emsmithartist and @ShkadoodleNoodle on Instagram
  2. Tag a friend in the comment box of my Instagram giveaway photo. That’s it!

Contest ends on 4/25 at midnight. I will message the winner in her Instagram. This contest is open to residents of the US and all over the world! :)

For up to 3 additional entries, do any of the following:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone!!

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, design, and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of three boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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