Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Randoms

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Happy Friday!  This week actually flew by, but I'm not complaining.  Winter, hurry up.  We've been busy, busy over here and the weekend will be no different.  Nick is heading out on a ski trip with his friends, so my friends are coming into town for a little girls staycation!  Shopping, eating and checking out baby shower venues are all on the agenda. Nothing better than girl time!  

Right now, I'm just sitting here catching up on Vanderpump Rules and these kids are so ridiculous that I think my brain is actually getting dumber (but I can't stop watching), so what's more appropriate than a random brain dump post to kick off the weekend?!

Speaking of TV, I'm loving this season of The Bachelor.  Ben is sweet and while there are a few nut job girls (looking at you, Olivia), I think he also has some keepers in the group.  I'm calling Lauren B. the flight attendant as the winner!

So this is kind of gross, but our white rugs in our bathroom have seen better days.  As in, they're not white anymore.  I was going to buy new ones this week, but I thought I'd try throwing them in the wash machine first and talk about making a huge difference!  All I did was wash on cold and tumble dry on low and seriously, they're like brand new.  I also freshened up our bath towels using this tutorial and five stars for that, too.

I've been living in this sweatshirt since last week.  I was planning on picking up the Patagonia Better Sweater jacket for our Colorado trip next month, but when I stumbled upon this one looking so similar for a fraction of the price = sold. It's SO warm and comfy and despite looking short on the websites picture, it's the perfect length to wear with leggings (which is all I wear these days).

Work on the nursery has begun!  We're testing paint colors - looking for that perfect pale pink - and going to check out cribs next week.  One thing I know we will be ordering is this chandelier.  In. Love.

Has anyone tried this moisturizer?  I recently read a few glowing reviews of it and was intrigued... and then once I saw that it was completely sold out on Sephora's website, I'm officially dying to try it.

I've discovered the perfect nude polish!  Essie Prima Ballerina is my newest favorite.  I'm kind of over the dark colors of fall/winter, but it's a little too soon for the pale pinks/pastels of spring, so for the in between time, I'm all about the classic, simple nude nails.

I have an all new appreciation for mom bloggers now that I'm trying to learn about all things baby.  I just discovered Southern Mama + Child and Little Baby Garvin and have completely stalked them all week.  What are your favorite families to follow?

Have you guys heard about the Zika virus?  It's a mosquito carried virus affecting mostly the Caribbean and is especially dangerous to pregnant women and unborn babies.  Our doctors have warned us against traveling there right now and I know a couple other expecting ladies that have cancelled cruises/Mexico trips just in case.  Sooo, a Caribbean babymoon is out.  I'm thinking it will just be safer and easier for our peace of mind to stay in the country when we do a little getaway this April.  Maybe The Keys or Palm Beach?  Open to any ideas!

Whew, sorry for the novel.  Hope you guys have wonderful weekends!


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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Three Brushes


Ahhh, new makeup brushes.  These have been a LONG time coming for me - I think I've been talking about getting new ones for at least a year now!  The reason I stalled for so long was because the options out there are kind of overwhelming.  So many different choices, so many different price points.  One brand I'd always heard consistently great things about was Sigma brushes, but I'm cheap and tend to not want to pay for shipping (being honest here) so I never pulled the trigger.  Until a couple months ago when Nordstrom started carrying them!  Free shipping + free returns always seals the deal for me.  I ordered three of their most popular brushes and haven't looked back since.  

Here's which ones I picked up...

Sigma 3DHD Kabuki Brush | I use this bad boy to apply my foundation (currently LOVING this one) and holy cow, game changer.  Confession: this is actually the first brush I've ever used to apply foundation - I've either used my hands or my beauty blender (which I also love).  However, this brush has my makeup going on so smoothly and naturally.  I love that the 'point' allows it to get foundation into every little nook and cranny of my face.  

Sigma F84 Angled Kabuki Brush | This brush is for my setting powder - I rotate between this and this - and it creates the most flawless finish on my skin.  You could also use it for bronzer or blush as the angle makes it great for contouring.  The soft, dense fibers are awesome as it doesn't eat up a lot of product.

Sigma 3DHD Precision Brush | Same as with my foundation, I've always applied my concealer - this one is always my go to - with my hands until this little guy.  It's just the right size to get into all the little nooks of your face and the dense fibers are great for blending.  There is nothing worse than feeling like you're pulling your foundation off by applying concealer!

Also pictured above in the clear bottle is MAC's Prep + Prime Mist that I'm loving.  It's a finishing/setting spray and I like to use it twice during my makeup application: right after moisturizer before I apply any products, I spray this on and let it absorb for 30 seconds and then as my very last step to set my makeup.  It's really hydrating and helps things stay in place longer.  You can try the sample size for only $10, so why not right?!

But back to the brushes... next on my to buy list is this NARS Ita Kabuki Brush for contouring.  SO many beauty bloggers love it and swear by it, just have to save my pennies first.  Expensive, yes, but I'm starting to realize you get what you pay for when it comes to brushes!  

What are your favorite ones?  Seeing how much of a difference a good brush makes when it comes to application may have opened up a whole new world for me so let me know your faves!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What We're Eating This Week

Meal planning is one of my favorite things ever.  I started doing it a couple of years ago - around the time we got married and I figured I should start making proper meals instead of cereal for dinner ;) - and really haven't looked back since.  I love it because I spend about an hour on Sunday or Monday planning out what we're going to eat every night, make my grocery list, head to the store and then I'm set for the entire week.  Quick, easy, efficient and I don't have to worry about that 6 o'clock struggle every evening, hallelujah.

Every once in a while I get in a rut with the meals I make so I turn to different places for inspiration.  Pinterest is a huge one of course - follow my food board here! - as are cookbooks, magazines or cooking shows.  I also love when my blogger friends share their favorite meals because I know they're going to be delicious and usually easy, too.  Since it's January and we could all use a little cooking inspiration, I thought I'd share what we're eating this week.  AND I've put together a grocery list for you at the very end, taking even more of the work out of planning for ya!  Enjoy :)

MEAL ONE | Easy & Healthy Chicken Fried Rice via Dash of Herbs
I will actually be leaving the chicken out of this recipe this week and instead serving it as a side to Trader Joe's Orange Chicken.  But I've made it the proper way before and think it tastes just as good as fried rice you'd order at a Chinese restaurants, bonus that it's way healthier!


MEAL TWO | Poached Eggs with Avocado Toast via Pinch of Yum
Having breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite things in the world.  This is about as easy as it gets on a weeknight - poach your eggs, chop up a few cherry tomatoes and slather your toast with avocado.  Delicious, filling and so, so easy.


MEAL THREE | Crock Pot Chicken Tacos via Yellow Bliss Road
On busy nights, you just have to let your crock pot do the work for you (and don't forget your crock pot liners for easy clean up).  There is nothing better than coming home to a house smelling of dinner!  I love that you can use this chicken a million different ways - tacos, taco salad quesadillas, whatever.


MEAL FOUR | Pesto Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup via The Londoner
Winter comfort food at its finest.  This tomato soup is so good and worth the extra effort rather than just opening a can of Campbells.  The one thing I do skip during this recipe?  Making my own pesto.  I buy it in the jar and it tastes just as good!

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Monday, January 25, 2016

It's A....

blazer (similar) // striped top // leggings // boots

...GIRL!!!

And I'm still totally in shock!  I 110% thought this entire time that we were having a boy, I was so so sure of it, ha!  But our ultrasound on Thursday clearly showed a baby girl and we are beyond excited :)   It was honestly one of the coolest moments of my life so far.  As soon as we got started in the right "area", the US technician said "do you want to take a guess?" to which I responded with "boy for sure" and she was like "do you want to guess again?" and I just kind of stared at her before she said "it's a girl!" - such a surreal, awesome moment.  I've always wanted to have a daughter and it means so much to me that after losing my mom at a young age, that I get another chance at having that mother/daughter relationship.  And Nick will be the cutest with a little girl ;) Definitely all the emotions!

We ended up telling our parents when they all came to town on Saturday night.  We decided to wrap up a big box full of balloons and it was so fun to watch them tear into it and shriek when the pink balloons flew out!  Afterwards, we had a nice long dinner where we talked about all things baby: showers, nurseries, names, everything.  Is it weird that I still can't believe this is happening?!  Despite the fact that our family and friends have already begun spoiling us with all things pink and girly, it still almost feels like we're playing pretend!  

I'm SO excited for everything that is to come over these last 20 weeks and simultaneously hope the time goes so fast so we can meet her and also so slow because there so much to do!  But my biggest hope is that things continue healthily and happily for both of us. Thank you for all of your well wishes on Instagram and Twitter this weekend - it for sure made sharing our big news that much more fun!  You guys are the best.  Hope you all had fabulous weekends as well!  
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Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday + Links

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Fri-YAY!  Thank you for all of the well wishes and prayers sent our way yesterday!  We had a great appointment - everything looked perfectly healthy and we couldn't be more relieved.  We were also able to find out the gender and it's taking everything in me to not spill the beans right now, haha.  It's worth the wait though to be able to tell our parents in person - Saturday can't come soon enough!!

Before I give anything away, I'm just going to go and leave you with a few of my favorite links from around the web this week...

Loving this master bedroom reveal with Joss and Main.  That headboard is to die for!

The popular Street Level reversible tote now comes in a smaller crossbody version and it's amazing (of course).  The hardest part is going to be choosing which color to get.

Can't wait to try this Olive Garden copy-cat Zuppa Toscana soup that Christina shared.  And with the cheesy rosemary crescents?  Just yes.

Thanks for all of the great suggestions on my acrylic makeup storage hunt - I ended up buying this one and
so far, so great!

Grain free dog treats that can be easily made with only five ingredients that we all have in our pantries.

6 secrets from a hairstylist for achieving perfect hair - they even recommend my newest favorite shampoo

Ps. this cape that I mentioned last week came in and was sadly way too big on my short 5'3" frame.  However, it was gorgeous (in the gray) and I really wish I could have kept it, so for my tall friends:  grab it while you still can! 
It would look so good paired with this sweater.

Enjoy your weekends!!!
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Boy or Girl Predictions

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Today is the big day!  The 19 week anatomy scan.  I've been looking forward to it for so long that the days were dragging, but honestly now that it's here, I feel SO nervous.  I just want everything to look okay and after the week we've had so far (a broken furnace and garage door that won't open - woof), I'm definitely feeling anxious.  I'm sure this is normal, but if you wouldn't mind saying a little prayer, I would appreciate it times a million!

Fingers crossed that we can find out the sex today, too.  Not that I haven't been trying to figure it out at home - we've all heard about the million different old wives for predicting gender ;) I thought it would be fun to go through them today before we find out and see which ones end up ringing true!  

SLEEP POSITION
Pay attention to which way you lay down in bed tonight.  If you prefer sleeping on your left side, you'll have a boy.  Right side for a girl.

GIRL. I've always been more of a right side sleeper though.

MORNING SICKNESS
Little girls aren't always sweet.  Extreme nausea means you are having a daughter.

BOY.  While I definitely had nausea for a few weeks, I don't know if I would consider it extreme.  But I did have allll the food aversions!

CHINESE CALENDAR
Consult here using your lunar age and lunar month of conception.

BOY.

FOOD CRAVINGS
Craving salt?  Potato chips, pretzels and popcorn means a boy is on the way.  Need a little something sweet?  Ice cream, chocolate and candy means you're having a girl.

BOY.  My sweet tooth is not at all what it once was (probably a good thing) and I have developed a new found love for barbeque ranch potato chips (probably not a good thing).

SOFT OR DRY HANDS
If your hands are dry during pregnancy, you are having a boy.  Soft for a girl.

BOY.  But again, my hands are always dry!

ADULT ACNE
If altering hormones makes your skin break out, expect a girl.

GIRL.  It's safe to say my skin has never, ever looked worse.

MOOD CHANGES
If you're experiencing mood swings, you're having a girl.

BOY.  I've had a few mental breakdowns here and there, but nothing too crazy.  Except that time I cried for a half hour over a broken Tupperware container...

GRACEFUL OR CLUMSY
If you feel as though you're gliding through the day, you'll have a girl.  Stumbling?  It's a boy.

GIRL.  I don't know about gliding, but I'm definitely not stumbling.

BABY'S HEARTBEAT
If the baby's heart beats more than 150 times per minute, you're pregnant with a girl.  Less than 150, it's a boy.

GIRL.  It's always been over 160!

EVEN AND ODD
If your age and year of conception are both even or odd, it's a girl.  One even, one odd means a boy.

GIRL.  I'm 27 and conceived in 2015, so both odd.

Final score: GIRL =  5 //  BOY = 5

Tied!!  That being said, I totally think it's a boy ;)  Our parents are coming into town for dinner on Saturday night so we can tell them in person (if you have any cute ideas how, let me know!) and then I'll probably be sharing with the world over on Instagram!  Happy Thursday, friends!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Glam Makeup Storage

My makeup "storage" (if you can call it that!) is a disaster - anyone else?  I have all of my products just thrown into two bathroom drawers and it's a total mess.  Worst of all, I don't use half of the stuff that's crammed into the back of the drawers because for me, out of sight = out of mind.  

Nick recently refinished a dresser for our bedroom and upon getting it set up this weekend with the new mirror, I realized how amazing the natural light coming in a nearby window would be for getting ready.  I decided to officially claim the dresser as my vanity... but now I need some pretty storage for my makeup.


Ahh, the acrylic makeup holders.  Glamboxes were made famous by the Kardashians a few years ago and as much as I would LOVE one of these, I could never bring myself to pay the (insane) amount they're asking.  I've heard good things about these shoe box containers from The Container Store, but does anyone else have a similar, more affordable option that they use/would recommend?

I love to use my Anthropologie initial mug to hold my makeup brushes (I just ordered a few Sigma brushes and I can't wait to try them!) and empty Diptyque candles make great storage for q-tips or cotton balls.  

And of course, a small vanity mirror that has a magnifying side is a must for eye makeup application.  I've seen this one in store and can attest to the beautiful gold and that it is a super sturdy little mirror.  In fact, I think I'll be going back for it ASAP.  All this paired with some fresh flowers would make for one gorgeous vanity!

What's your go-to form of makeup storage?  Can't wait to share the vanity with you once it's all put together!
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

10 Things To Do For Your Blog In The New Year

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It's the new year and we're all looking to improve where we can, our blogs are no exception.  Luckily, there are quite a few little (easy!) things that you can do today that will help enhance your blogging experience for both yourself and your readers.  I truly believe that continuous growth and progress are so important in this little hobby of ours, and these are a few of my favorite tips I've picked up over the last couple of years.  Read on, my fellow bloggers...

1. Turn Off Captcha
Captcha is the word verification that requires your readers to make sense of little squiggly numbers and letters to be able to leave you a comment.  It's such a pain and ain't nobody got time for that.  Most people turn it on because of spam comments but instead of making your readers jump through hoops, just approve your comments before publishing or switch to Disqus.

Now, you may not know you have captcha turned on (this happened to me once and I'm still sorry!) so check out this tutorial to make sure it's not/how to turn it off.

2. Make Your Email Address Visible 
Your email address should be the easiest thing to find on your blog.  Make sure a link to it is on your home page and also written out on your About Me or Contact pages.  Make it simple for readers/potential business partners to be able to contact you!

3. Set Up Google Analytics
Google Analytics will provide you with valuable information about your blog; everything from your page views, where your readers are coming from, how long they are staying on your page, your bounce rate and more.  Plus, it's 100% free so there is no reason not to have it!   

It can be a little overwhelming at first, so make sure to check out this easy tutorial/explanation for getting started on Google Analytics.

4. Create An Editorial Calendar
I LOVE working with an editorial calendar.  I do a monthly one and instead of setting my posts in stone for each day, I come up with about 10-15 ideas I would like to write about that month.  I can't tell you how much time it's saved me by avoiding that "what to write about tonight...." panic.

If you love a good print out, here is one to get you started!

5. Spruce Up Your About Me Page
This one is on my to do list :) About Me pages can be hard to write, but they're so important.  When I visit a new blog that I'm interested in, I always check out the About page and sometimes they can be a make or break deal for whether or not I end up following the blogger.  Some ideas include a list of your favorite things, Q&A, or even have someone else write a short blurb about you (and don't forget a picture of yourself).

6. Get on a Regular Posting Schedule
Now this doesn't mean post every single day, because that is hard!  But try and post on the same days so your readers know when to expect new posts.  Maybe M/W/F or one weekly post - whatever works best for you - but try not to disappear for random lengths of time as your readers may start to disappear, too.  Also try and have your posts go live at the same time.  I like to schedule mine for midnight EST.

7. Improve Your Images
Blogging is a visual game so this means that great images are essential.  It's something that I am constantly working on improving - as I'm sure most bloggers are!  Whether it's investing in a new camera or a new editing app for your phone (I've been loving PicTapGo or VSCO Cam), it's worth it.  Beautiful, crisp and clear pictures are more likely to be shared which will help grow your blog. 

Here are a couple of my favorite photography tutorials: Styling & Shooting Tips and Tricks // DSLR Tips // Editing Your Photos (Without Photoshop)

8. Set Goals
Goals are necessary as they give us something specific to work towards.  I like to set a couple each month as I find these are easier to keep me on track.  Blog specific goals can be things like an x number of page views/Instagram followers/re-pins.

9. Install A Pinterest Pin It Button
Speaking of Pinterest... make sure your images have a 'pin it' hover button!  I did a tutorial on this last year so check it out HERE.

10. Open Links In A New Tab
There are few things more annoying than clicking on a bloggers links and having their page redirect/ them not opening in a new tab.  This is also bad news for the blogger because it means that readers are leaving your page without finishing your post or exploring your blog further (reducing your bounce rate).  

Here is a visual explanation of how to set up your links to open in a new tab.

And lastly, have fun with blogging!  Now go download Google Analytics and work on that About Me page ;)
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Monday, January 18, 2016

Life Lately

Helloooo, Monday.  I have been waiting for this week for SO LONG because we have our 19 week anatomy scan on Thursday!!!  I'm dying to find out if we're having a boy or girl and start shopping and working on its room!  So flippin' excited.  We've been trying to stay busy so the time goes faster (that works, right?!) and that made this weekend a really productive one.  Accomplishing lots of housework, dinner with friends and my new iPhone 6s Plus were definitely the highlights!  I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking...

{It was a good weekend for shopping all around: The Paris Wife // Striped Long Sleeve Tee (comfiest thing ever)
// Gray Sweater // Black Sweater (on major sale!)}

{Hanging out at breweries isn't quite as fun when you're sober...}

{Uhhhbsessed with our new clock!  Brady is, too - don't let his grumpy eyes fool you ;) I decided that acrylic pedestal table was too small for the space so this one is on its way to us instead, along with a shorter lamp, ha}

{Our friends brand new baby girl - Stella Rose.  I have spent about zero time around newborns/babies in general so Stella is going to provide me with lots of good practice over these next few months!} 

{Behold the beautiful glow in the dark hand print wall found in what will be the baby's room.  We finally sanded that thing down (and when I say we, I mean Nick) and gave it a thick coat of primer in preparation for painting - which will happen once we know the gender!}

{The best Sunday snugs}

And that is all.  Hope you had a great weekend, too!

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Confessions + A Rant


We're pretty much living in a snow globe in West Michigan right now - it has snowed almost all week long!  It's given me a chance to play around with my new camera when taking Brady out, although I will admit that like 95% of the pictures so far are no bueno.  Except for that one above, progress!  I'm practicing on manual mode mostly and hopefully soon I'll be able to take a decent picture on the third fifteenth try.  Also need to work on Brady not being terrified of the camera.  I'm pretty sure it's the moving lens that he doesn't like - he either growls at it or refuses to look at me, haha.  We're all a work in progress over here!

On to my monthly 'fess sesh...

I confess that I'm seriously considering buying the Justin Bieber CD.  I don't even know who I am anymore, but I am ridiculously obsessed with his new songs, specifically Sorry.  Sorry I'm not sorry (get it).

I confess that this weekend I will be repainting our guest bedroom for the THIRD time.  Whoops.  Something about this room is so hard for me, I think it's the fact that the headboard and dresser we have in there are black and I don't know how to decorate with black.  But I'm determined to get things in order in that room, so I'm painting it Sherwin Williams Sea Salt (inspo pic) and I found a super cheap upholstered nail trim headboard on Wayfair that I'm going to order and then paint the dresser white.  Hopefully third times the charm!

I confess that I can't decide if I like this sweater/cape or not - but I ordered it anyway.  I mean it is  on sale and free returns if it's ugly, right?

I confess that I don't understand blog newsletters.  I get that it's a way to get more content out to your readers, but why don't you just put that all on your blog?  All the Pinterest blogging tutorials say that I should have one and I'm just confused as to why!  I'd love to hear what you think about them if you have one yourself.

I confess that I ordered these (finally) in cream, but they look pink in real life.  The box says cream and they don't even make them in pink, so I have no idea what is going on!  I can't decide if I'm going to keep them or not because they look straight up baby pink to me.

I confess - and this is my big rant for the day - that if one more person says something to me about once the baby is here that I will realize that Brady is really 'just a pet', I am going to p-u-n-c-h them.  I have had numerous people say this to me and it seriously makes my blood boil.  I get that the love that you have for your child is different than the love for your dog, but why in the world would having a baby make me love Brady any less??   Sure, his hair is everywhere and he barks whenever he sees his favorite Fed-Ex guy (haha) and he drags all of our nice blankets around, but this is his house too and he is more than 'just our dog'.  He was here first and while I know he's going to get less attention than he does now, he will NOT be loved any less.  And like what am I supposed to say to people when they say this?  I try to be polite, but it's hard.  Anyone else deal with this?  I'm sure we could all write crazy posts on things you shouldn't say to women when they're pregnant!

Aaand end rant.  I hate to leave on such a negative note, so I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  We'll be doing (you guessed it) more housework and I'm hoping to get out and see The Reverent finally.  As always, make sure to follow along on Instagram! :) See you back here on Monday!

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

On My Radar

Happy Thursday!

It's been way too long since the last edition of On My Radar (since November!), so I'm here to bring it back today.  A little round up of a few pretties around the web that I've had my eye on...

Kind of obsessed with these Sam Edelman Rubber Booties... thinking I may need them for our Colorado trip next month!  Could anyone vouch if they're warm or not?

These Bauble Bar Pink Angelic Earrings are dreamy.  I love the pastel hues for winter.

You really can't beat the price of this H&M Jacquard Weave coat - so cute and perfect for work or date nights (or any time).

This Soft Joie Deslsie Sweater Dress is THE sweater dress.  You could dress it up or down so easily and the gray would go with everything.  Already picturing it with tights and booties... bonus: it's on sale! 

Confession: pregnancy has given me bacne.  It's not pretty, but supposedly this Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleanser has helped others clear theirs up.  Look at all the amazing reviews, too!

Loving the Laura Mercier Velour Lip Colors.  This Sensual shade is a great neutral, muted pink.

I'll be back tomorrow with a whole host of additional confessions that you don't want to miss! ;)

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ways to Stay Creative


As bloggers, I think most of us would consider ourselves to be at least somewhat creative people.  We show up here every day and write and share and discuss.  Some of us have even been at it for years, and at times I think it's totally natural to 'run out of ideas' or become uninspired.  This always strikes during the winter for me.  Life is slower and quieter and it's so dang cold out that we're all just hunkered down inside (watching Netflix).  I have to work to keep myself inspired and I have a feeling I may not be the only one that suffers from the winter blahs!  

Here are a few of my favorite ways to stay creative when I'm not always feeling it...

Carry a notebook everywhere with you to jot down ideas
Step away from the screens - the phone, the computer, the TV
Get some fresh air
Listen to different music
Meditate
Browse a magazine
Spend time with other creatives
Sweat it out
Move to a new surrounding - a different room in your house or a coffee shop
Ask for feedback from readers
Don't force it - take a day off instead of putting up a mediocre post
Clean or organize your workspace
Drink a tall glass of water
Collaborate with other bloggers
Write out a list of your blessings
Set a 30 minute timer and free write
Pick up fresh flowers for your desk

How do you stay inspired when posting 5x a week for 52 weeks a year?!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Recent Beauty Hits & Misses


True life: I'm a beauty product junkie.  All it takes is one glowing review of a product, and there is a 99% chance that I'm going to purchase it and try it out for myself.  You never know when you're going to find your next 'must have' and there's no hurt if it's a dud because I always make sure to buy from stores that have awesome return policies (Sephora, Ulta, Target).

Unfortunately, my skin has been a-w-f-u-l lately and I've been trying anything and everything to help the teenage like pimples and blotchy red skin subside.  I'm thinking it's hormone related, but if you have any recommendations, feel free to send them my way because I'm a desperate lady.  Combine that with the Sephora VIB sale back in November and Christmas gifts/money, I have lots of products to review today!  Let's get right to it....

H I T S
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask | Despite the high price tag, this is a product I won't be without now - it's that good.  I use it a couple of times a week and it really is like a facial at home.  It makes my skin so smooth, soft and glowing and helps clear up some of the blotchy redness.  I also love that it's free of a lot of scary ingredients found in so many cosmetics these days.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Correcting Creme | LOVE.  This is not your typical creme/lotion, it's more of an all over concealer that you apply after your moisturizer.  It's tinted and completely 100% covers up redness... it's actually kind of amazing.  The only downside is that it only comes in one 'tint' so I can see how it wouldn't match everyone's skin tone.  It's actually a little dark for mine in the winter, but since I apply my foundation over top of it, it works for now.  I think it'll be a perfect match come summer!

NYX Wonder Pencil | This is a great little multi-tasking product for under $5.  I like to use it to on the rim of my eyes to brighten them up (doesn't bother them at all and my eyes can be sensitive), under my eyebrows to define them, and as a nude lip liner. 
   
Ole Henriksen Brightening Cleansing Cloths | I've always been a big fan of the O.H. brightening line and these cloths don't disappoint.  I love to use them first thing in the morning to brighten up my dull skin - the orange scent is also perfect for the AM.  They're super nice for traveling, I brought them all over during our Christmas travels! 

Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo | This shampoo is great for getting rid of the build-up that products can leave in your hair.  It really does leave your hair feeling silky and soft, maybe a little dry but just make sure to pair it with a good deep conditioner <-- the best.   I use it once every couple of weeks and I can tell a HUGE difference in the volume of my hair afterwards - it just feels so must healthier and lightweight.

Fresh Sugar Shine Lip Gloss | We're all familiar with the Fresh lip balms, but their newest product is this lip gloss that's pretty awesome.  It's super moisturizing and provides just the right amount of color and shine.  You can use it alone (usually what I do) or on top of a matte lipstick.  I have the berry shade, but want to get all of them!

M I S S E S
Becca x Jaclyn Hill Highlighter | So this was just okay.  I didn't think it was anything super special (especially for the price which I thought was high) and honestly reminded me a lot of my Bobbi Brown shimmer brick.  I returned it to Sephora.
 
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads | I love the idea of toner pads, but so far they just haven't worked out for me.  I've also tried the Arcona ones and both have irritated my skin.  I'm a huge fan of all of the other First Aid Beauty products that I've tried though, just not the pads!

Hot Tools Thermal Hot Brush | I've tried to use this thing so many dang times with all bad luck.  I want to love it so bad because lots of other people use it and their hair looks awesome (Karly!), so I think this is more of a miss because I don't know how to use it, haha.  
 
Clarins Toning Lotion for Normal/Dry Skin | The reason this is a miss: the scent.  I just can't get past it, the stuff smells like FRUIT LOOPS.  No joke, I was literally craving Fruit Loops after using it for a week and yes, I did buy some ;)

What are some recent hits or misses for you?!  You know I'm always looking for new product to try!

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Scarves On Sale

It's a snowy, cold (cold) morning over here in Michigan.  We had a good weekend, but it was nothing especially blog worthy so instead I thought I'd recap what I spend an hour doing on Sunday night: browsing Nordstrom's sale selection of scarves.  I'm at that awkward point of being pregnant - it looks more like I just ate way too much over the holidays, yet it's still too soon to be all out shopping for maternity clothes - so I'm really digging the accessories these days to update my look.

And Nordstrom did not disappoint.  I love a good neutral scarf because they go with everything and most of these are under $15!  That's a crazy good deal, considering the cold weather is just settling in for the next four months (ugh) so join me and stock up on these bad boys while the price is right.  And even if you live down south and don't need to bundle up - jealous x 1000 - I always love tying a cute scarf on a bag like this to mix things up!


BP Woven Stripe Scarf // BP Chunky Oversized Infinity Scarf // BP Plaid Scarf <-- all 3 under $15!
Nordstrom Personalized Blanket Wrap (Love this + would make a great gift.  Under $30)
 Capelli Plaid Square Scarf // Nordstrom Feather Print Wool Scarf // Halogen Polka Dot Cashmere Scarf

Hope you all have a great Monday!  I'll be back tomorrow with a big old post on my recent beauty faves!
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Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday + Links


Happy Friday!  Hope the first week back to the real world wasn't too rough for everyone.  Ours was actually pretty busy - two nights of Junior League meetings, I finally got my act together and organized my pictures, and my good friend had a baby girl on Wednesday night!  So much exciting stuff going on.  

The weekend ahead looks like lots of house work and lots of snow - we're supposed to get almost a foot by Monday.  I'm kind of excited for it!  For being cozy inside by the fireplace and for getting out and playing with my new camera, because there are few things as pretty as freshly fallen snow.  Before I go, a few of my favorite links from around the web this week...

This locals only guide to Palm Beach has me wanting to book a weekend trip - anyone in?

A round up of the 10 best beauty products to buy at Trader Joe's.

These Steve Madden boots are Stuart Weitzman look alike, but for literally a fraction of the price.

Spinach and artichoke dip stuffed garlic bread... #drooling

Joanna Gaines owns these exact earrings - we should, too.

The redness in my face has been unreal this winter, so I picked up this highly rated creme this week.  Fingers crossed it works!

Completely obsessed with everything in this Etsy shop - I can't even pick a favorite piece.

And lastly, a shameless promotion: I'm bringing back my Twitter!  Follow me here :)

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Design Finds

You guys, I have been on a rollll with the house stuff the last couple of weeks.  After a summer of being insanely too busy and a fall of feeling pretty terrible, I have been so ready to get back at it.  Most of the rooms in our house are half done and just need a few filler pieces here and there so those have been easy to knock out with some decisive internet shopping.  And now is the time!  January and February are great months to buy furniture because of all of the sales (don't ask me why).  I'm looking forward to having our house feel more 'complete' this winter and hopefully sharing some room tours.  Finally, right? ;)


West Elm Modernist Pedestal Side Table | I've been crushing on these acrylic tables for such a long time so when this one went on sale (still is!), I grabbed it for our living room.  Sadly, it's a little small for the spot I had in mind, but I'm hoping it will fit somewhere else in the house - aka I'll make it fit somewhere!



House of Hampton 3 Drawer Nightstand | I'm patiently waiting for these to come back into stock - hopefully in February.  I think they will be perfect for our guest bedroom that desperately needs a lot of love!
Howard Miller Postema Gallery Wall Clock | This beauty just shipped out to me yesterday - all the heart eyes.  I love the oversize and think it's going to be perfect in our living room.  Bonus: it's for sale on a lot of different sites, but I bought mine through Bed Bath & Beyond so I could use a 20% off coupon!


West Elm Rectangle Lacquer Trays | I have a couple of these throughout my house (on coffee tables, dressers) and they are the best little catch-alls.  Although white is my boring favorite, they come in tons of fun colors and are on sale right now.



California TV Stand | I didn't know it was possible to be so excited over a piece of furniture, BUT I cannot wait for this beauty to arrive.  It will be the focal point of our living room and a gorgeous one at that.  Unfortunately, shipping is scheduled to take about a month so we won't have it until February.


World Market White Cotton Voile Curtains | Nothing too exciting, but we picked these up last month for our living room and are really happy with them.  They are a great basic white curtain option with the best price I could find - $30 for a set of two!  You can't beat that.

PB Teen Maison Bookcase | I haven't pulled the trigger on this yet due to the price, but I really really want to.  I love the gold and the detailing... basically everything about it.  Anyone know of any similar, but more affordable dupe?  

Only one more day til Friday...!

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