Weekend Trip Recap

April 29, 2015

Last weekend my husband and I went to the Biltmore for an overnight stay (let me clarify: we didn't stay at the Biltmore...we stayed close by) with one of their hotel package deals. It was awesome!

I've always wanted to go in the spring to see the tulips and all oft he flowers blooming. Dream garden. Seriously. 

The grounds were really pretty with a huge variety of trees, flowers and shrubs. I can't even imagine having to maintain all of that. And the house, good grief the house. I wonder how many housekeepers were on staff because it would take me at least 2 months to clean. Without taking any breaks.

The craziest thing to me is seeing their way of life, seeing the "modern technology" of that time, and seeing how far everything has come since then. When you really think about it, there have been so many advances in what is actually a pretty short span of time. 

It was a great trip. I highly recommend going if you've never been. Gorgeous views, good places to grab a bite to eat, a winery to tour and sample Biltmore wines, tons of activities, and downtown Asheville is a short drive with several cool places to go eat. We've talked about going back during Christmas and taking one of the behind-the-scenes house tours!

Design Files: Exterior

April 27, 2015

I'm having major urges to do something drastic to the outside of my house. I've been doing a ton of dreaming lately. :) Houzz is kind of the best and worst thing to ever happen to someone like me.

You do it too. Don't lie.

We painted our shutters a few years ago, and one side of the house (that gets the majority of the sun) now has faded and looks bad. I ordered a single pair of new shutters to test a color that I thought would be the perfect mix of brown and grey. So not. Love the color, just not with our house. Then I thought "what if we try to paint our brick and get new siding, or try to 'weather' our brick somehow. That would be awesome!" Stop it.

Now I'm debating whether or not to re-paint them, have them fade again, or try to order another color.

^^^ And that is what started the dreaming about exteriors. ^^^

I really want to grow something amazing on our house like this picture. I tried to grow jasmine on our pergola a couple years ago. The winter got too cold and it died. I haven't replaced it with anything yet...

These colors have been top of my list lately. I love the deep grey! I think part of the reason I like it so much is because you could put any color with it and it would pop.

Even though I think light colors would be super hard to maintain, I love how crips they look.

I've always had a thing for arched windows and doors.

This house is just okay. HA. Kidding. It's amazing. Every detail is impeccable. The view!

So tell me. What styles do you like best? I'd take any of these!

Friday Favorites in Five

April 24, 2015

Oh I love Friday. Best day!

This week I got the latest Pottery Barn magazine. Good grief.

Also this week, flowers started blooming at my house. YES. Only issue is that some of them didn't make it through the winter. Guess someone gets to go flowers shopping. Dang!

1. I LOVE  turquoise. I want all of these little trinkets

2. They did it again with these wonderful patterned pillows! I already have some of these colors going on in my house, but this gives me an idea on how to brighten it up even more. Yay!

3. Promise that I didn't intend this to be a catalogue for Pottery Barn, but so many good things this season! I love this outdoor dining setting.

4. Vintage posters are a good way to add color to a room. Also, how beautiful are these walls and the dark wood floor together? It screams lake house!

5. Okay, so this is probably not an outfit I would be able to pull off, but LOVE the combo!

Hope these colors have brightened your day! Have a good weekend. 

Simple Every-Day Highlight + Contour

April 23, 2015

Let's be real. There are a TON of tutorials out there for detailed highlighting and contouring. Video tutorials that literally take 20 minutes or more to complete the process.

When I first started playing with contouring, I quickly saw that it can add so much definition to the face, and can even help my face look a little thinner or more "chiseled" if I really put some effort into the process. On a daily basis though...I just don't have time for that. 

Don't fret (if you were starting to). There is a way to contour that adds just a minute extra to the whole process. I do this most days.

After some practice I have found that it doesn't take much extra time, and you can see subtle differences looking at the before and after pictures! Is it crazy dramatic or will people stop me on the street and say "Wow! That's some killer contouring and highlighting you have goin' on there!" No. But do you really want that? I don't.

A trick to mapping your face for contour and highlight is to take a picture looking directly at the camera (like I did) and study to see where you need more definition or where you want to accentuate. Then play with products to find what looks most natural.


Friday Favorites in Five

April 17, 2015

Has this week flown by, or is it just me? 

So glad it's Friday! We're taking a trip this weekend to get away for a couple days. Looking forward to that, for sure.

This warmer weather makes me want to start planting flowers again!!!!! I think it's probably safe...I think. I've spent most of my time on Pinterest looking at garden inspirations.

Ready for my favorites? Okay. Me too.

1. Lovely.

2. Heat loving container plants. I need this...because I sometimes forget to water...oops.

3. I don't think P. Allen Smith has ever created a garden design that I didn't like. This container is amazing. I'll take ten.

4. I just want to transplant this to my own back yard. Why don't my hostas look like this???

5. Remember last year I was all about the raised gardens? Well, guess who has a raised garden this spring? ME! Yes! Pictures coming soon. I do love how they have stone around this garden though...hmmm...

Yep. I'm ready for spring. Bring. It. On.

Have you started your garden or have you put any flowers out? I haven't even looked at any flowers yet. I literally had to walk the other way when we went to Lowe's the last time. I didn't want to tempt myself! :)

Have a great weekend!

A Gift for Good Luck

April 14, 2015

This post = super exciting stuff.

Okay. It's not really super exciting. I know what you're thinking - all of my posts keep you on the edge of your seat. Sorry, who am I kidding?!? I forgot!

A few weeks ago one of my friends was preparing to take a pretty big test...which I also had to take to become a Registered Interior Designer. Ugh. I am NOT a test taker. Yuck. I'll never forget the nerves.

I wanted to do something for her as a little good luck gift. Of course, my destination was Target to search for goodies that would be appropriate. The dollar section. A win every single time.

Good Luck Gift:
1. Fun festive cup - just because it's cute
2. Gum - to preoccupy the mind and calm nerves (maybe?)
3. Eraser - for drawing
4. Hand lotion - because everyone needs it
5. Sketch book - for notes aka cheat sheet
6. Pencils and led - because this was for a test...and you need pencils

Of course, anything could be included! I tried to do a few goodies related to the design/test taking theme. Themed gifts are always a good idea. :)

I think she was pleasantly surprised by the gift, which totally makes it worth it. 

Friday Favorites in Five

April 10, 2015

When was the last time I wrote a Friday Favorites? 

Forever ago.

I'm pretty happy that it's Friday. Work is busy (which means weeks are super fast) and I'm ready for a couple days to catch up on my own thoughts. I also need to take care of business...like getting my oil changed...which is super fun and exciting stuff. not.

1. It's been almost summer temperatures around here. Lovely, but seriously, let's have a little spring why don't we? Source.

2. Cookouts. We've already had a couple, and we're having another one this weekend. I'm making this corn salad dish. It's totally delicious. Trust me, the Fritos chili cheese chips make it.

3. Spring always makes me want to add color...everywhere. These tinted mason jars look like a fun craft project for a weekend! 

4. This doesn't look anything like my porch, or my rocking chairs, but I really kind of wish it did so I could say "and here's my front porch!" *sigh* Anyway, I decided last weekend to re-paint our rocking chairs. They're not done (of course). So that's this weekend's project.

5. Speaking of porches. This house. So cute! I never thought I'd like the cottage style, but I could live here. With lots and lots of gardens and flowers and comfy wicker furniture on the porch. Near a beach. Yes.

Hope you've had a good week, and an even better weekend (because let's face it, weekends are usually the best).

DIY Pen Caddy

April 8, 2015

What is a "pen caddy" you ask? I don't know...just a name I made up because I couldn't think of another good way to describe this thing! 

Ever since I can remember I've had a small obsession with writing utensils. I go to an office supply store and always search the pen isle for fun new pens to test. Geek alert. Pens in different colors get me every time.

I only tell you about my guilty pen pleasure to lead into this "pen caddy" that I made recently. I have used a notebook portfolio for a few years, but they only have a spot to hold one pen. Terrible design. If I want to carry four pens with me that day, I want the option. 

Ahhh...yes. Hello, friend. 

So I made this little notebook band, pen caddy, whatever you want to call it. I really should think of a cool name. It has been fantastic.

To start, I simply wrapped the notebook I wanted to use with the elastic, and placed a pin to hold it in place while I stitched it together. 

Once the first stitch was in place, I created little loops with more pins to complete the band. Each loop was sewn in place, and the end of the elastic was finished with a final stitch.

I'm pretty excited about this gadget. It could be made in all sizes for large or small notebooks too! I also bought some new pens to go with it...hehehe.

Linking up with The Party Bunch / Show Me Saturday.

Tightline Made Easy

April 6, 2015

Happy Monday!

After some time away from blogging, I'm back...hoping to be back that is...going to do my best. Because I really miss it! Not only have I not been blogging recently, but I haven't even been reading my favorite blogs very often. :(

Today I'm going to share a beauty product that I've used for a while. It's become something I would definitely keep on the favorites or must-have list!

When I first saw the tightline concept, I was skeptical. It seemed dangerous. I remember watching You Tube videos of people tightlining with eyeliner and it made me cringe. 

I tried it. It felt unnatural. So I didn't do it.

Then I saw this creative little product from It Cosmetics. Brilliant!

Say hello to the Tightline Full Lash Length Mascara Primer (which should get an award for the longest name). It is essentially a super tiny mascara wand with really short bristles that can easily get in between lashes. I wouldn't say that it could totally replace eyeliner, but it definitely helps add definition to the lash line, and it makes tightlining so easy! 

It is also perfect for the lower lashes. I have struggled to find a good mascara that stays put on my lower lashes and not "melt" when my skin gets oily. Because this formula is meant to tightline it dries fast, which means that it stays! 

It claims to be a lash primer as well, but I find that it dries a little too fast for that on the upper lashes.

I have used this product for tightlining and lower-lash mascara for right at a year now, and though I've tried a couple other similar products here and there, this is still my favorite!