Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Links + Sephora Giveaway Winner

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you're all staying warm in these arctic temperatures. It's bitter cold outside so we definitely don't have any major plans this weekend (although Cleveland Restaurant Week starts today, so I might be tempted into attending)!

Most importantly, I'd like to announce the results from the Sephora gift card giveaway—the winner is Kayla Kelsey (@kaylaincle)! You'll be receiving an email from me shortly with the details of your prize. And it appears she's also a bride-to-be, so double congrats to you, Kayla!

Thank you all for entering and commenting about your skincare routines—I am such a product junkie and loved all of your recommendations. I've had a few questions about daily-use products, so I plan to do a follow-up post on that as well. In the meantime, I rounded up some tasty detox water recipes for anyone who's looking to spice up their water game. Enjoy!

1 | Raspberry Lemon water (Eat Drink Love)
2 | Lime Raspberry Mint water (Sammy and Bella) - I'd love to try this with basil!
3 | Cucumber Lemon Mint water (Sweet and Savory)
4 | Pineapple Sugarcane Spa water (A Spicy Perspective
5 | Cranberry Juice Detox drinks (Bembu)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Wedding Prep Skincare + Sephora Giveaway

 photo Wedding_Skincare_Philosophy_MicroPeel_zpsnx4eyjgq.jpg With our wedding slowly creeping up on us, I've been paying extra attention to keeping my skin healthy and happy. Besides my usual everyday products, I've been adding in some spa-worthy home treatments to up my game (and save me money on facials)! I definitely want to put my best face forward on our wedding day, so having a long-term, consistent routine will help me keep things balanced. I also try to get off on the right foot by drinking plenty of water—but hey, if all else fails, that's what makeup artists are for!

The products I use vary with the seasons (my winter skin and summer skin are nothing alike) but these are some of my consistent favorites for both face and body. Check 'em out below and be sure to enter my giveaway at the end of the post for a chance to win a $25 Sephora gift card!
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Left to right:

Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel | This is a quick, two-step treatment that exfoliates and resurfaces, but isn't too harsh. My face feels baby soft when I'm done using it. I especially love it in the winter when my skin is dry, flaky, and dull. Plus, the Vitamin C in it smells deliciously orangey and fresh! It's a bit pricey but a little goes a long way – when used twice a month, one set lasts me almost a year.

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub | Exfoliating your body is just as important as treating your face—this is especially true if you use self-tanner or plan on getting a spray tan for your wedding. This scrub makes my skin silky smooth and gets bonus points for smelling like a beach vacation (although it comes in many other scents if that's not your thing). Another winter staple, but also perfect for the spring and summer when you actually start showing some skin. I reach for this at least once a week and follow with...

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter | I bought this for the first time when I was drunk and watching QVC (don't ask...I blame Shark Tank) and I am so, so in love with it. I use Argan Oil on my hair so I was curious to try this body butter version, and it's wonderful. It's super creamy, yet light and fluffy, and moisturizes for hours without being gross or heavy. It's a luxurious upgrade to your daily body lotion.

Kiehl's Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment | Finding the right eye cream can be difficult, especially when the anti-aging results aren't instantly visible. I've cycled through a few and my favorite by far has been this one. It absorbs well and fight dryness. I've also found my eyes are less puffy when I wake up, which is sort of a miracle considering all of the bizarre wedding nightmares that interrupt my sleep.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask | Last but not least, my personal favorite—this is the mother of all facials. This stuff will purge your pores and smooth fine lines, all while making your face pulse (for real). It comes as a dry clay, which you can either mix with water or organic Apple Cider Vinegar, which is my preferred method. When mixed with the vinegar, the clay fizzes and bubbles and makes the mask easier to apply, when I've found water doesn't quite mix up as smoothly. Plus, you get the added cleansing benefits of the Apple Cider Vinegar to really make this a powerhouse treatment. I spread it on and let it sit until it's dry (about 15-20 minutes, or until you literally can't move your face). I love that it's cheap ($9!), lasts forever (I've had the same tub for over a year) and makes your pores disappear. My skin looks fresh and awake and it's super addicting—it's definitely a little intense so I try not to overdo it, once every other week seems to work for me.

To spread the love to all you brides and lovely ladies out there, I'm hosting a giveaway for a $25 Sephora gift card—the contest begins today and ends at midnight on Thursday 2/19. One winner will be announced here and notified by email on Friday, 2/20. You can enter through the widget below by completing any/all of the three options.

Good luck in the giveaway, drink your water, and don't forget to treat yo self!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Zero disclosure here, this contest is not sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Home Series: Before & After | Attic Home Office

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Our third floor space was always on our to-do list, and when Jim's new job required a home office, we knew the attic was the place to set it up. The problem was, it looked like THIS:
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Yeah. Not great. When we moved in, we used the attic as a dumping ground for our junk and hadn't gone through it since. Not to mention the green carpet and unpainted wood trim – not exactly the type of space you'd want to spend 8 hours a day in.

We also knew our junk wasn't going anywhere, and that we'd still need long-term storage for things like Christmas decorations and childhood items. Jim and his dad drew up a plan to include a closet, built-in cabinets, and shelving that would store our things out of sight and keep the space tidy. Painting the ceiling, walls, and raw wood trim would transform the space, and the green carpet had to GO. The floors underneath were nothing special so re-carpeting was the best option, and also would make for a cozier room. We opted for hardwood floors throughout our entire house, so we liked the idea of having something different upstairs.

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The guys started by ripping the existing closet out – then they built a new structure, which would feature four doors instead of the tiny single door we had before.
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After the closet framing was built, we ripped up the carpet and installed the cabinets. The walls on the left and right of the photo were cut away, so the cabinet units could be built in – which helped us maximize the room's square footage.

Once the structures were in, we spent WEEKS painting. Seriously. Weeks. Every cabinet door had to primed, painted, flipped...repeat. The trim had to be primed and painted (all the way down the stairs, all around the windows, all of the shelves) as well as the walls and ceiling. There was so much surface area to cover...we were having flashbacks to our first few weeks in the house!

When we finally finished, we organized all of our storage items and purchased the furnishings for Jim's office setup. It was important for the room to continue our house's modern cottage style, but to also feel a little masculine.  photo Attic_Makeover6_zpsli0lgmpn.jpg
To achieve that look, we chose Serious Gray by Sherwin Williams for the walls, and accented everything in Pure White semi-gloss. The custom shelving around the windows gives added storage to a previously useless wall – we went with contrasting metal brackets to enhance the cottage feel.
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The shelves are a perfect place for storing books and nicknacks...and a mini bar (because it's a long walk down to the kitchen, duh). We bought a few air plants to add life – they're low maintenance and enjoy all of the natural light this room gets. The plants and cute containers are from Bird and Feather Co. on Etsy.
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I LOVE that the cabinet layout allowed for a window seat, they're so charming and we knew Cooper would enjoy sitting here and looking outside. We ordered it custom through Cushion Source—it fits perfectly and came in about four weeks.
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The new closet features double doors for easy access, and there's a clothing bar and shelves for off-season clothes and shoes. The Eames lounger was a Craigslist score – Jim gets all the credit for tracking it down!
 photo Attic_Makeover2_zpstw68uh3p.jpgWe only had one TV in our living room, so adding another one up here keeps us from fighting over the remote. We chose an internet TV with apps to avoid the messy cables, and truthfully we watch most of our shows on Netflix and Hulu anyway. Jim custom built this TV cabinet with a perfectly measured shelf for a sound bar (because why not). We picked up the floor cushion at World Market to cozy up the floor space (and for Cooper to lay on, let's be serious).  photo Attic_Makeover4_zpspxk9zepb.jpgA nook for reading or watching TV. photo Attic_Makeover5_zpspqggqjgy.jpg
We added a console table in the corner to hold a lamp for more light, and it doubles as storage for my record collection. The table and lamp are both from Target.
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Overall we're SO thrilled with this complete makeover – it turned out to be more work than we anticipated, but it was worth the long process. It's done and we love it. It adds a fully-functional room to our house, where an empty, useless room existed before. All of junk is still there, you just can't see it! We've already enjoyed spending time up here, and know we'll get a lot of use out of the room. Additionally, it will add great resale value to our home. It feels great to be done! I hope you guys enjoyed our little attic tour, and please feel free to message me or comment with any questions about our process!