Monday, January 30, 2012

What I wore

Just a quick outfit for today! I went to Joann Fabrics with Audrey this morning. I don't have time to put together a fancy outfit every time I leave the house with her, but I still try to be thoughtful about what I'm wearing. It just makes me feel good to be a little put together even if it's just for a quick errand!

My usual spot for taking outfit pictures is currently being occupied by Audrey's pack 'n play, so here we are in my living room for now...

Let's call this "mommy casual":





Pink tank top: A Pea in the Pod (yes...I'm still wearing some of my maternity clothes), buy it here. Non-maternity here.

White v-neck top: Express. Similar here.

Scarf: H&M. Similar here.

Leggings: Motherhood Maternity, buy it here. Non-maternity here.

Jacket: The North Face Apex jacket. Buy it here.

Boots: Jessica Simpson. Similar here and here.

Bag: Louis Vuitton Hampstead MM. Buy it here. Get the look for less herehere and here.

Pearl studs: Extra bridesmaid gifts from my wedding. Purchased at Topearl.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How to select paint colors for a whole house

This is a question I've been asked frequently by many of my friends and readers. I thought I'd go over some of my best advice based on my experiences and adventures in selecting paint colors!

1. Take your time. If you have the luxury of living in your space before selecting paint colors for the entire house, do it! It can be daunting to be pressured into selecting so many paint colors all at once, so take the pressure off of yourself and give it some time. Once you get a better feel for your space, and have spent some time living in it, color selection might even come naturally. If you have big ticket items to purchase for a room, it's an especially good idea to wait on painting it. It's always easier to match paint to something like an area rug or sofa, rather than the other way around!



2. Gather inspiration. There are so many wonderful places to look for inspiration. Pinterest is one great place to start, as are decor magazines, decorating blogs, or even a friend or family member's home that you admire. Once you find some images or real-life homes that you love, go to your local paint store and grab some swatches. Tape them up on your walls, narrow down your favorites, and then go buy some samples!



3. Samples are key. It's always worth it to spend a few dollars on a sample jar or can of paint! It's nearly impossible to tell from the tiny swatches how a color will really look on your walls. Once you have your sample colors up on the wall, look at them for a few days in all different types of light to get a real feel for how the color will appear in your space.

original source unknown


4. Consider long term plans for the space. Will any of your rooms transition to serve another purpose (like changing a guest room into a nursery)...will these colors still work for it? Will you be moving in the next few years...are you willing to repaint if necessary for resale?



5. Less is more. Sometimes selecting from a smaller range of colors for an entire home can make it feel more cohesive, overall. Consider staying within a palette of similar colors with some neutrals mixed in for a sophisticated look. Don't feel like you have to pick a totally different color for every room in your home! It can be jarring to walk through a home that is painted every color of the rainbow. Don't be afraid to use the same paint color twice. If you like a color in your foyer, maybe it could also work in your half bathroom? Not only does this save your sanity, but maybe your wallet too!



6. Look in your closet. What do you see? Do you have mostly black, white and gray pieces and a few colorful accessories in the mix? This might mean you'd be happy sticking with neutral walls in most of your rooms and throwing in some pillows and rugs for pops of color. If you have lots of colorful pieces, maybe you'd feel more at home with color on your walls too!



7. Think about your style. For a traditional feel in your home, stick with what I like to call "muddy" colors. For example, a color from Benjamin Moore's Historical Collection:

Benjamin Moore Jamestown Blue


For a more modern and fresh look, choose "clear" colors, like this one:

Benjamin Moore Sea to Shining Sea


More color tips:

  • Colors always appear darker/more saturated when they're on all 4 walls of your room. When in doubt, go one shade lighter than the color you're considering.
  • Paint your sample colors on a piece of poster board or cardboard and tape it to your wall instead of painting the wall directly to avoid unattractive swatches on your walls. This is especially helpful if you don't plan on painting immediately.

I hope you find these tips helpful! Do you have any tips of your own to share? Let me know in the comments!

If you have more specific questions about color, please contact me! I'd be more than happy to help with your color dilemmas!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stay Furniture Grippers

I wanted to share this product I recently found with all of you!

Since we got our laminate floors installed last summer, our loveseat has been sliding all over the place. Our sofa isn't a problem since it's against a wall, but the loveseat is in the middle of the room, so every time someone sits in it, it slides backwards. Not so fun for our guests!

I've tried those sticky rubber tabs that are sold at Home Depot and they would work for about a week before falling off. It was getting so frustrating to have to lift up the loveseat to replace them every other week. Not only that, but they were leaving sticky, black film on the floor.

After some searching around, I decided to order Stay Furniture Grippers. I'm so happy to report that our loveseat has not moved in two weeks since I've been using them! I also love that they aren't sticky at all, so there's no damage to your furniture or your floor. You just put the pad under the foot of your furniture and it stays. It sort of works like memory foam so that your furniture leg sinks into it.



They come in round or square and sizes ranging from 2-6 inches. They also have an Etsy shop here, which is where I ordered mine.

I hope this review is helpful to anyone out there who also has trouble with their furniture sliding on hardwood or laminate floors!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette

Just last week, I got my Urban Decay Naked2 palette! I purchased it from a friend since at the time, there were none in stock, anywhere! Actually, there still aren't any available that I know of. Sephora briefly restocked the palette, but it quickly sold out. It looks like they're getting more at the end of January if you're interested. Urban Decay doesn't indicate when they'll be restocking it, but you can sign up to get a notification when it's available again.

Anyway, onto the fun stuff...


I love that this palette comes with a mini Lip Junkie lipgloss in "Naked". 








I never bought the original Naked palette, so I can't compare the two, but so far I'm loving this one! Here's one look I create with shades from the palette.... 

I used YDK as my base, Busted in the crease and Blackout just on the outer edges of my eyes. I used Bootycall to highlight my brow and Urban Decay's 24/7 eyeliner in Demolition.






I'm wearing the lipgloss in this last shot. You can see how it's just slightly pink. Based on how the color looks in the tube, I thought it would be much darker, but it's quite transparent with just a hint of pink. 


Do you have the Naked2 palette, or do you plan on buying it? I can't wait to play with these colors. There are so many possibilities with this palette!



Monday, January 16, 2012

Living room update: New window treatments

I just bought these roman shades from JCPenney for our living room.

For the past couple of months, I had just been living with the drapes pulled shut so that I can feed Audrey in the living room, but I really didn't like how they looked that way. I was always adjusting them, and they never looked quite right.

Here's how they look now with the new roman shades:



Here's a picture with the flash on so you can see the color of the shades a little better:


The color is "Goldust". I thought about going with a white shade since I have the same white shades in my kitchen and hallway, but I knew I would never get them to match the white drapes close enough. I think the Goldust color looks nice with the other gold touches in the room though, and also the gold rug in the dining room. 

I have to tell you, I had major issues getting these installed! The other shades in my kitchen and hallway didn't give me near the same trouble. I don't know what it was, but I had the worst time getting the headrail to stay clipped to the bracket. Maybe the brackets that came with these are faulty? I don't know, but it was not a good time getting these to stay up! They are pretty inexpensive, so I don't expect top of the line quality, but I do expect to be able to hang them without so much difficulty.

I would still buy them again though, because like I said, my other shades weren't this difficult to install.

Here's one more picture with them rolled up halfway:


I'm happy that I can finally open my drapes again!

I hope you liked this update. Have a great Monday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Birchbox-January

I just got my first Birchbox! I can't tell you how excited I was. It was like a little present just for me!



If you aren't familiar with Birchbox, check out their webiste here. You can sign up for $10/month to receive a box of deluxe beauty samples tailored to your skin type and overall beauty preferences. 



Here's what was in my Birchbox this month:









Plus, these cute little cards with a description for each sample enclosed:


Also:




So cute, right? I thought the little extra cards were a nice touch!

I'm already looking forward to my next Birchbox! I'll keep you updated and let you know if I fall in love with any of the products! 

Have you signed up for Birchbox, or do you plan to?! Let me know in the comments!

If you're interested in signing up for Birchbox, please feel free to use my referral link if you'd like!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Beauty product review

Before Audrey was born, I ordered several new products from the Sephora Friends and Family Sale. Now that I've been using them for a while, I thought I would update you on how they've been working for me.

First up...

Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel


I've been using this eye gel nightly, as recommended. It is a bit sticky, but not enough to bother me. This gel claims to reduce puffiness, sagging and wrinkles around the eyes. For me, it seems to reduce puffiness a little bit and there is a nice, cooling sensation when applied. My eyes definitely feel more refreshed in the morning after using this...definitely something I need after being up 3 to 4 times each night feeding Audrey! At $38 this is a great value; just a little bit of this gel goes a long way, so it will definitely last a very long time.




This product is supposed to reduce signs of fatigue around the eye area. I haven't seen a great difference in my eyes when I've used this. I haven't used it everyday, but maybe if I did, the results would be more noticeable. I feel that it's a bit pricey at $44 and the packaging is not the greatest either. Sometimes I have to click the button on the bottom of the tube more than once before the product comes out and overall, there seems to be very little product for the results and the price. I'll use this more often before I decide if I'll buy it again, but at this point I'm not sold. 




I know I'm way late to the party on using this product, but I finally bit the bullet and bought it. For the longest time, I didn't see a point in using an eyeshadow primer, but now that I have been using this one, I wonder why I waited so long to try it. My eyeshadow now has more staying power and the primer even makes my cheaper shadows look more pigmented. I highly recommend this product!





I love this tinted moisturizer! It gives me just enough coverage to look like I haven't just rolled out of bed, but not enough that it looks like I'm wearing a full face of foundation. It gives my skin a glowing look without being too shiny...and I love the fact that it's SPF 20 for extra protection. For your reference, I wear "Agent 02" and I'm quite pale. I'll definitely continue to buy this product!




I don't know what I've been doing all this time, not using Urban Decay eyeshadows! The pigment is amazing and I love the Polyester Bride shade in particular for highlighting my brow or the inner corners of my eyes. It does have a shimmer to it and some sparkly fallout, so take note of that if you're looking for something that is more matte. I love this shadow so much that I just purchased their Naked 2 palette from my friend Mary who had an extra one. (Thanks Mary!!!) Sephora actually just got more of them in stock though, if you are looking for one! I'll be sure to follow up with a review of the palette once I've tried it out, although I'm sure I'll love it.


I hope these reviews were helpful! Have you recently tried any new beauty products that you're loving? Let me know in the comments!



Friday, January 6, 2012

Baby headbands




As promised, I'm going to show you how to make a couple of cute baby headbands today! As usual, it's a super easy project! I made these to go with Audrey's outfits over the holidays. Ready? Ok...

Gather your supplies:



3/8" elastic (any width you'd like would be ok too)
Fabric remnants (I used silk and taffeta)
Beads or other embellishments
Needle and thread
Measuring tape
Scissors

Headband #1

Cut your elastic to about 15" long (or take exact measurements of baby's head and go from there).



Cut 5 fabric strips, 3" long by 2" wide.



Begin weaving your needle and thread through the first strip of fabric...



run the strip of fabric down the thread...



continue adding each strip, using the same piece of thread, and you'll have something that looks like this.



Without tying off your thread, add the fabric flower to your headband...this step allows you to close the headband and add the flower all at once.




At this point, you can round off the edges of your flower petals or leave them as-is. For this headband, I rounded them off.




Now, go ahead and add some beads to the center. You can sew them on or glue them, depending on the type of bead you're using.


That's it for headband #1! On to the next one...


Headband #2

Cut a strip of fabric about 5" long by 3.5" wide.



In a similar fashion to headband #1, weave your thread through this piece of fabric. 



Slide the piece of fabric down to the end of your thread and pinch it together. 



Attach it to your headband in the same way as headband #1 and you're done!



I told you these were cute and easy! And don't forget, you can change the size of your fabric to make the flowers larger or smaller. For more ways to make flowers that could work for these headbands, see my flower belt tutorial here.



The white flower headband above was made using the same steps as headband #1, but without the embellishments. 


Check out Audrey wearing one of her headbands on New Year's Eve!



It's hard not to make one to match all of her outfits!

I hope you liked this tutorial. Let me know if you plan on trying it out for yourself!

Have a great weekend!

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