Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Decor: Planters + Vases

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As stated in my last post, one of my favorite ways to refresh my space for spring is with flowers and plants. I also have a very bad, bad addiction to shopping for vases. I impulse buy vases like it's my job. So, at least I can make myself feel better about my purchases by sticking some beautiful flowers inside them!

I didn't shop for planters much until we moved into our house, and realized we needed more plants around our outdoor hangout spaces. Having potted plants on your patio, steps, or porch add depth to your landscape and make the space more welcoming. Plus, it's a great excuse to get a cute watering can (holla)! Right now I'm really digging these utilitarian concrete slanted planters from CB2.

A wide, glass vase is my go-to favorite for spring flowers, especially tulips. They spread out so perfectly and droop over the edges...it's a great look. Crate and Barrel has THE BEST basic vases. You can't go wrong, and they're so affordable.

Are you a vase addict like me? What decor just gets you every time?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Day of Spring: Spring Cleaning Checklist

 { photo source; lettering mine }

It's the first day of spring! It sure doesn't feel like it (it's 40 degrees and cloudy) BUT it's a step in the right direction.

When the snow starts to melt, I always get the spring cleaning bug. Opening the windows and cleaning seems to clear out the winter blues and wash away the stuffiness of being trapped indoors. It's been a long and brutal winter and I think I speak for all Midwesterners when I say that we can't wait for spring. This year more than ever.

Here are some of my surefire ways to remove winter blahs and get the house ready for spring:

Clean your windows – Inside and out. It's a task, but don't skip the outside (if your windows allow). When the sun starts coming through, you'll want to see the flowers outside, and not salty streaks left over from the snow and slush.

Get under the furniture – Move your couch, tables, chairs, etc. out of their usual spots, and vacuum up the critters living underneath. I didn't do this much in the past, and it led to some embarrassing discoveries upon moving (it was like someone dumped a box of Nerds under our couch. What can I say...I love Nerds). So now I say NO MORE under-the-couch Nerds, and we clean under there at least twice a year. Plus, now that we have Cooper, we rediscover a lot of his old toys as well. He's a big fan of this.

Facelift the floors – If you have hardwood floors, vacuuming is a weekly thing that just has to happen. Ours don't get mopped every week, but I try to do it at least once a month. This is something I'm always sure to do in the spring, especially since I tend to go barefoot when the weather gets warm. If you have carpet or rugs, renting a steam cleaner is a great way to remove stains or refresh a rug that's become a victim of high-traffic walking. Locally, I've rented them from Drug Mart (because seriously, what can't you get at Drug Mart).

Bring nature in – Houseplants do double duty: they look great, while purifying your indoor air. Bring some into your home and you'll feel great with nature around you, even when things aren't quite yet green outdoors. Fresh flowers also never fail to boost my mood. If you don't have a yard, an indoor herb garden is also a great thing to start in the spring. I find that having herbs on hand makes meals much easier to plan, and I enjoy finding new recipes that incorporate the herbs I have.

Clean painted walls – Over time, walls will acquire scuffs that you might not notice until you look. You can use a damp sponge or a Magic Eraser (my personal fave) to remove marks and smudges from your walls. It's amazing how many you'll find once you start looking.

Wipe down your lightbulbs – This is weird, but satisfying. Just look into each of your lamps – I bet there's dusty ass lightbulbs in there.

Scrub the bathroom – Our bathroom gets a good clean every weekend, but sometimes the tub and grout need extra attention. Here are some homemade, natural cleaners for tubs, showers, and tile that utilize baking soda and vinegar for non-toxic power. Some of the tile cleaners I've used (such as Tilex) smell so strong that they really irritate my nose and eyes while cleaning. I can't imagine it's a good idea to be inhaling that stuff anyway.

Organize your closet – Out with the old, in with the new. My rule for weeding out clothes is that if I haven't worn it in two years, it's out (unless it has a sentimental value, or was purchased on a vacation, etc.) Donate your clothes and shoes, or sell the unworn/more valuable items through consignments shops or sites like eBay or Poshmark. Or, as my friend Emily has done, throw a clothing swap party with your friends. You can trade and end up with things you really want! Also, new hangers make a world of a difference. I had mis-matched plastic hangers for years and recently bit the bullet and replaced them with all velvet hangers. I LOVE them. Nothing falls off, and their slim profile gives me more closet space.

What do you do to freshen up your space for spring?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Black + Blingy Bachelorette Invites

This year seems to be the year of the wedding! I'm busy with invites, save the dates – you name it. Good thing I just love love.

My pal Jenna was planning a winery bachelorette party for her friend, and wanted a bold, blingy invitation to match her inspiration. The party will incorporate black, gold, glitter, and hot pink – which is a color just made for bachelorettes. I love it.

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I took her inspiration and created a double-sided card with the night's itinerary on the back, which kept the front clean and simple. Add in some faux glitter letting and elegant font mixing, and you've got yourself a chic, penis-free invitation (though I can't speak for the party itself..!)

I always adore working with Jenna and especially love designing custom invites and paper suites. If you or someone you know is having a bangin' party, bachelorette, or wedding, I'd love to discuss your project with you! I also just completed some illustrated save-the-dates for one my high school BFFs, which I also can't wait to share.

Hope you guys have a great Monday, and HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! Go drink some green beer.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Spring Beauty Picks

1) Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, 2) OPI Nail Lacquer in My Vampire in Buff, 3) Chanel Chance Eau Tendre, 4) NARS Blush in Sex Appeal, 5) Library of Flowers Hand Creme in Linden, 6) St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, 7) Tarte Matte Lip Stain in Lucky, 8) Stila Eye Shadow in Cloud

When it comes to spring beauty, I like to keep things fresh and light. Although I hate letting go of fall and winter colors (I'll miss you, burgundy lipstick!) I think we're all ready for everything to be all flowers and bunnies and sunshine. I know I am.

I always switch out my usual foundation for a tinted moisturizer (this stuff is the best) and add a weekly faux-glow with this St. Tropez bronzer. It lasts for days and has no sketchy orange undertones. As Midwesterners we're all coming out of winter looking like ghosts, so bronzer is the only way I allow myself to start wearing t-shirts! Nude nails look especially great with a little color on your skin.

I save shimmer for summer and opt for a matte blush instead, and pretty peaches are my current favorite for cheeks. I also love the look of a soft neutral or gray eye shadow, paired with a pretty pink lip. This lip stain is like a crayon, and goes on just as easily. I have it in a hot pink color and love how simple it is to use. My hands are always still dry from winter, so I keep a hand creme on hand (hah) at all times. This one from Library of Flowers is divine– it smells like a garden (in a good way). Not to mention the packaging makes it such a visual treat.

What do you change about your routine in the spring? And are you as pale as I am right now?