Pores No More

September 29, 2014

I wish there was a miracle mask or miracle serum that would make pores be gone forever! I have always had larger, more visible pores than I would prefer...

Several months ago I started researching different products that might help the situation. I looked for probably a good two months online and read reviews on various serums. I had a mask that helped, and had been using this toner (which also seemed to help), but felt like I needed something specifically made for shrinking pores to add into the mix.

If you look on Sephora's website you'll see several products, most of them pretty expensive...but I saw that the Sephora brand Pore Refining Serum had a pretty high rating, and it was on sale. No brainer. Try it!

I am now on my second tube of this stuff. I honestly think it helps! I can tell that when I use it regularly (morning and night after washing) the pores are minimized. Miracle product? No, not really, but it's definitely made a difference so I keep using it.

The biggest bummer is that it does not seem to be on their website (might try a store), but I did find it on Amazon.

If you have the same issue with pores, and have something that works, please let me know!

Friday Favorites in Five

September 26, 2014


I've been all messed up this week. I woke up Tuesday morning and literally thought it was Saturday (I seem to be having this issue lately). So I obviously was extremely disappointed to learn it was still so far away. :( 

Since I'm still on the fall kick, and I put up my fall wreath and a few little pumpkins on my mantle, I decided to share my five favorite front porch decorations. I always find great new ways to decorate, but I always love the traditional looks.

1. This craft idea with wooden pumpkins is awesome! You can make them any color you want, and reuse them year after year. Love this!

2. Using a mix of corn and pumpkins adds different colors and textures.

3. Adding a blanket to your front porch rocking chair is oh-so-welcoming. I also love the colors in this one - the blue looks great with the fall orange and yellow.

4. I made it a goal last year to find colored pumpkins. I had one just like this, and love the idea of using some birch logs to accent with the green/grey color.

5. My favorite is probably traditional decorations. Mums, pumpkins, orange...yep, fall is in the air!

Happy weekend!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth.

Fall Lookbook

September 24, 2014

Every new season makes me want new clothes to go with it...especially Fall because I love layering.

I was browsing the other day at a few of my favorite places to shop, and I found several great tops. Side note - I also realized why I love shopping online so much...it's the most organized way to shop...you can choose what you're looking for, the color, and size! I get so frustrated when I go in a store because I can't find what I'm looking for. Oh, but you can bet I find it online! 

I love buying versatile pieces. Things that can be dressed up for work or paired with jeans for a dinner are my go-to's. I also try to look for colors that will go with things I already own to save from having to buy an entire new outfit every time.

Typically I figure that any top can go with a pair of dress pants and heels, skinny jeans and flats, or some jeans and boots...and that pretty much sums up my closet.

Creature of habit.
1. / 2. / 3. / 4. / 5. / 6.

It's pretty obvious that there is a trend with the flowy looks (that was not planned at all, promise). It makes sense that this would be my go-to look though - the style is easy to change up. You can add a belt for a more fitted look, keep it loose for a comfortable style, or pair it with a jacket for a more polished look. I do all three of these very often.

Okay, so I need the endless budget now please. Thank you. ;)

Happy Fall shopping y'all!

September Julep Maven Box

September 22, 2014

I have to say - this month's Julep Maven Box was lots of fun. It was bold, and had a little lip product that is really, really nice. I was excited to open it and use it right away!

The Plush Pout Lip Crayon came in the color Cardinal Red, and it's RED. It's a brighter color than I wear daily, but it will be fun to wear for a special occasion. I've always had trouble finding a red lip color that works with my skin tone, but I actually really like this one. This product has a moisturizing core, and it goes on so smooth!

The deep grey nail color is named Quinn, and it has a satin finish, which I think is kind of cool. It dries more matte than a traditional polish finish, but once a top coat goes on, it's hard to tell. You could do it either way though. The color is a nice dark grey with a hint of purple.

Being a lover of the classic red and pink polishes, this nail color is an obvious favorite. Lupita is a really pretty deep pink, and I know it will be an easy favorite to go to.

I continue to be impressed with the quality of Julep products. From polish to skincare, everything is great quality! Right now, save on your first box by entering the code FREEFALL at check out!

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are completely my own.

Friday Favorites in Five

September 19, 2014

This week has been a whirlwind! I can't believe it's Friday already, but at the same time I felt like yesterday was really Friday...so this morning my brain kept telling me it was Saturday and I could sleep a few more minutes. Ha! Wrong.

I totally missed my usual Wednesday post (hello, time, where are you?), which also threw me off. Oops.

Today I decided it was officially time to start talking about fall in full swing. Yay!!! Fall is my favorite season. I've said this before. I truly love everything about it. So I'm going to share my top five favorite fall things (other than football). :)

1. An outdoor fire-pit to roast hot dogs or marshmallows. I love sitting by a fire.

2. Hot chocolate. There's no need for more of an explanation. 

3. Layers and scarves. I think I wear a scarf almost every day in the fall/winter. I'm not joking.

4. Pumpkins. I didn't used to get into fall decorating, but the last couple years my pumpkin purchases tend to grow. I love the different shapes and colors. I love using them inside and out!

5. And finally, the colors! Absolutely beautiful!

If you love fall as much as I do...tell me why in the comments!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth.

Tour Through Blogland

September 15, 2014

Happy Monday y'all!

Today's blog post is going to be a little different - more of a get to know me kind of thing. I was asked by Megan at Latte Everyday to participate in the Tour Through Blogland, which is a fun "tag" that has been going from blog to blog. Google it! You'll see some great blogs out there sharing their amazing work. Here are a couple favorites from Megan's blog!

Strawberry Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Now...for the questions!

1. What am I working on?
Oh goodness. Currently my Mother in Law is building a house, so we have been working on that BIG project all summer. :) As a designer, it's been fun taking part in the process. There has been a lot of hands-on from foundation to the current state (which is interior work), and it has been exciting to see it all come together. Here are a few pictures of that process, and if you want to see more from earlier stages, click here.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is hard, because I've never felt like I have one defining "stamp" on my work. I like a lot of different things/styles...and I try to do it myself which can be good or bad depending on what it is. If I'm cooking something, I want it to be easy (and fast). If I'm playing with makeup, I like to think of it as 'art' and play with shade and shadow, and I like it to be an every-day easy look because my skills aren't very advanced! As far as design goes, my style has settled some, and I like things comfortable, but tailored, and a little colorful. But that may change tomorrow. 

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Because I have a creative brain that doesn't quit!!! I'm a designer by trade, but my day job involves a lot of desk time. This blog is my outlet to let my creative juices flow and explore all these different ideas that fly around in my head. :) Here are a few examples:

This might be the easiest DIY yet...and truly an Ah Ha! moment for me...see more here.

My dream career is to be a container gardener...see more here.

I like to cook, mostly because I love to eat. This summer was all about tomatoes...see more here.

And finally, makeup. It's fun to play with and create different looks...see this tutorial here.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?
This makes me laugh, because I don't think there is a method to the madness. I typically just snap some pictures of whatever it is I'm doing, or of some new mascara I have, and sit down to write about the experience. I don't really have a step by step process that I follow. Just go with it! Maybe I should try to develop a process...hmmm...

So I know that I'm supposed to tag other bloggers to participate, but honestly I struggled finding some that hadn't participated already! So, I'm going to bend the rules a little and just name a few that I enjoy reading on a daily basis.

Delineate Your Dwelling (see Amy's Tour Through Blogland post here)
Baked by Rachel
Liz Marie Blog
A Lovely Living
Makeup by Tiffany D
Pencil Shavings Studio

Do you follow any of these bloggers? What are your favorite blogs to follow - or which blogs do you turn to for inspiration? I'd love to know!

Have a great Monday! 

Friday Favorites in Five

September 12, 2014

Happy Friday everyone! 

Since I didn't post yesterday, I feel that it's important to note that it was 9/11. We watched 9/11 last night - it was the first time I've watched this documentary. It was intended to be about a firefighter trainee at one of the firehouses in NYC, and the brothers filming happened to be present on 9/11 capturing scenes of the firefighters as they responded. It was unimaginable, and emotional. It was also pretty amazing to hear their take on that day, and how it changed their lives. It's a saying you see each year, but it's so true, we will never forget.

On a lighter note, this week was good overall...it seemed busy but it was good. I got my hair cut and colored Wednesday, which it felt like it had been forever, and now I feel so refreshed. A weight has been lifted, literally. After the pampering I did a little shopping, and saw CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS! What?!?!? It's not even Halloween. It's not even October for cryin' out loud. I was shocked. I expected pumpkins. 

I love me some Christmas, but I also really enjoy fall. Don't take fall away from me. I won't allow it. Let me enjoy my fall leaves, my pumpkins, and my hot dog roasting over the open fire before we start singing Christmas carols and jingling bells. Summer is barely over. When I say barely I mean it's still reaching high 80's almost 90's. Stop it!

Alright, now I'm done.

Last week I shared some of my favorite bright and colorful rooms. Today I'm going to do the opposite and share my favorite neutral rooms...which I love. The best part about going neutral is that it can so easily be changed with a few colorful accents. It's the perfect option for someone that changes their mind a lot (like me) and wants new fresh designs periodically.

 1. This bedroom is a perfect example of layering neutrals. There are creams, whites, tans, and a little color in the rug, but still very subtle. 

2. Yes, I know, this dining room has a little color in the walls and the rug, but I picked this image because it is still mostly neutral with the white. Just a great example that you can still add some color on the walls without it being overpowering. 

3. The reason I picked this image is because it proves that "neutral" doesn't have to mean light colors. Grey is a beautiful neutral color, and what's fun in this space is that there is a lot of contrast. That in itself is a little more bold...even though it's still neutral colors.

4. When you think neutral, this is probably the most common visual. Very light colors, natural fiber rug, medium toned flooring. Classic neutral space. It just feels happy because it's bright, and the natural elements make it lived-in, warm and comfortable.

5. This room is amazing. The ceiling, light fixture, floor color, the doors opening to the outside (looks to be screened in) dining area...I'll take it! The walls and trim are almost the same color, which makes it seem even larger because there isn't a visual separation. It's more formal than I would typically go for, but very pretty!

Which room is your favorite? Do you go neutral or do you have to have color?

Butterfly "Wings"

September 10, 2014

I'm sure you remember me raving about mascara, and I'm here to do it again. Because I think I'm obsessed. Today I'm sharing something that I've mentioned before, but it deserves its own post. 

To say that I like this better than the BTS might be a stretch, but then again it depends on the day and how my lashes react. Sometimes they have better days, just like my hair. Is that weird? I do, however, really like it for a drug store mascara. 

What is this close tie to my all-time favorite? The L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara. The best part of this mascara is the unique brush shape. It flares at one end, which captures the outside lashes beautifully! It is so easy to apply because of this brush. It's awesome.

Bare lashes / 1 coat / 2 coats / 3 coats

I love how it separates my lashes. It doesn't get clumpy, and with more coats it adds pretty good volume. The only reason that I don't grab this everyday is that I didn't buy the waterproof. I haven't had any issues with it fading or running during the day, but I usually try to do a final coat with a waterproof mascara just to seal it off. 

There is a waterproof version (here), but I haven't tried it yet. Sometimes I find that the waterproof versions of mascara aren't the same as their twin non-waterproof formula, so I can't guarantee that it would provide the same results!

I would highly recommend this mascara, and right now Ulta is offering buy 1 get 1 at 50% off on this product, so get the regular and waterproof version to test out (you can always return the one you don't like)! If you don't have an Ulta near you, you can find this at any drugstore as well.

Firm & Lift

September 8, 2014

One of my favorite things about shopping at Sephora is the samples. I get really excited when I have points built up and can get a high end product for free (essentially)! I don't like spending a lot on products unless I know they'll work, or they have amazing reviews. 

When I saw this Algenist Firming & Lifting Cream I definitely wanted to test it out! This cream retails for $94.00 (wow), so in my mind I thought it would work some miracles.

The cream itself had a nice consistency, and it didn't have a strong odor. If you have sensitive skin or a sensitive sense of smell, you'll be happy about that! 

Some of the ingredients are Alguronic Acid, ProPeptide3, Avocado Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, and other natural ingredients. I always like using a product that has natural aspects. It is also Paraben free!

The claims are pretty hefty. It's supposed to support the skin's production of structural proteins to firm and tone along with moisturizing and nourishing the skin to protect against aging or damage. Some those claims you wouldn't be able to see necessarily, but I was fully expecting some results with the firming.

Unfortunately, I didn't see much change. It felt nice, but in my opinion (take it or leave it), it wasn't worth the price tag. It does have some good reviews though, so maybe it's just me. For $94.00 I want to see some dramatic changes though, so I won't be purchasing the full size.

Friday Favorites in Five

September 5, 2014

Short weeks are the longest weeks. Period. You lose a day which totally throws you off, and everyone tries to cram all sorts of things into 4 days...as if it's life or death! It's not, trust me. But you know what? That's ok, because it keeps it interesting. Today I was in the mood for some brightness. get ready.

I love color, but I rarely use it in large doses in my own personal home. I don't know why that is! It's like an inner battle with my mind.

Oh that turquoise sofa is gorgeous!
Yes, but it's crazy! You'd get so tired of it!
No I wouldn't. I love it. Throw some fun patterned pillows on it - perfect.
Don't do it. It's too much. It's too loud.
Okay, fine. I'll go for beige.
Much better.
You'll thank me later.

I typically compromise with a neutral base, then introduce some pattern or color in the accessories. Today though, I'm dreaming. Here's my five favorite bold colorful rooms! This is my mischievous design side speaking...maybe next week I'll share my neutral design side. :)

1.  Really, why not do a bright bold sofa with fun bright accents and patterns!? 

2. I'm all about this color scheme - the coral and turquoise = ocean sunrise.

3. Orange has always been a fun color. This bold stripe is great on the floor, and I love the other colors mixed in.

4. I've seriously considered purple chairs in my living room. I got on a kick trying to find just the right purple shade. I still haven't found it...but this room works great with the different shades of purple and the bright white. 

5. Completely sold on the bright paint inside the shelving. This would be a great addition to my bedroom. The wheels are turning...

How do you handle color in your design style? Everywhere, small doses, not at all?

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth / September Farm / The Farmers Wife / Meet @ The Barre / The Grits Blog.

The BB Battle: L'Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Skin Beautifier

September 3, 2014

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day holiday! I didn't post Monday because, well, I was taking a break and we were pretty busy all weekend...so there wasn't much time devoted to this little blog.

Today I'm going to continue the BB Battle, and the product that I'm sharing has been the one I tend to grab most often, surprisingly, because it was not a loving relationship at first! Ready for the third round? Let's get to it...

L'Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream. Uhhh, where to start. It's weird. Honestly, when I first opened it I was a little confused. It was white, with little specs in it. I thought that I picked up the wrong product! I went with it...and it changed color (magic?). I suppose that is the "beautifying beads" that claim to do wonderful things for your skin.

This BB cream is what I would describe as a light coverage. The color I purchased was medium, but it's a lighter shade than other "medium" shades I've used. However, because of the light coverage, it blends well.

For application, I've been using my hands or a foundation brush. It seems to work best because it "activates" the product better than a sponge.

To say I was skeptical the first few times I used this would be an understatement. I really didn't think it would work. I tried it twice then ended up throwing it in the back of my makeup drawer.

One day I was going to run some errands and didn't want much on my face, so I gave it another try. Honestly, the more I use this BB cream, the more I like it. It leaves a matte, velvety finish on my skin. With that said, if you have dry skin, you may not like that aspect.

Has anyone else tried this BB cream? Were you as skeptical as I was?

For more in the BB Battle, click below:
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB
Garnier Skin Renew
Revlon Photoready BB