Sunday, June 21, 2015

house in the 'hood

One look at the entrance to this next stunner
and no other words are needed as to why
this is my most recent drool-worthy choice
for my favorite house in the 'hood this week...
I know.
Stop drooling.
Where to start? 
Steel front door.
Walnut floors.
Antique doors from Joyce Horn flank the wine bar...
with its 147 bottle wine refrigerator.
Mine kind of people lived here :)
A row of Bevolo lanterns dangling like beautiful earrings.
I'll take it all.
{to my Round Top peeps...crate ensconced demijohn alert :)}
 Every room is pin worthy.
Don't say I didn't warn you...
I love the wall detail in the formal living room...
and the coffered ceiling in the formal dining room...

  Is it wrong that I gasped out loud when I saw the fireplace?
Reminds me of the ones at the Biltmore House...
so big you could stand in them.
I'll be showing this to our builder for sure.

On the other side of the fireplace...a picture perfect living area.

 The living room would be my happy place
while the game room...

Well, I could divide my time easily between these two rooms.
Couldn't you?
I wish they'd shown the barn room door that describes as closing this area off
plus a nearby mudroom with lockers and a second half bath.
Sounds like heaven for a family full of boys doesn't it?
Speaking of heaven take a look at the master bedroom...

Absolutely divine.
As is the master bath.
I love their Circa light fixtures...
simply stunning.

The secondary bedrooms are nothing to sneeze at either...

Here's a perfect way to pop some pink...

much better than pink walls in my opinion.

I love the color combinations used in the boys' rooms...

I will definitely be studying these when we update the twins' room soon.

How's this for a study area?

 One with a gift wrap closet,
a doggie house {note the little doorway}
and bookshelves galore.
Yes please.
And I'm pretty sure that the laundry room beyond
is bigger than one of my college apartments.
I don't know about you but I'm in love.
Lots of ideas to dream about for a new home.
Hope you Dads out there had a very Happy Father's Day!
Enjoy your week!!!!
all images via

Friday, June 19, 2015

new face

I apologize now for two beauty posts in a row.
Some may call it shallow.
To me its a part of survival.
Of the forties :)
Stick with me for a minute.
I had the pleasure of going out for a beer last night.
Which is a funny sentence to write because truth be told I'm not a fan of beer.
But for my peeps I'll do just about anything.
Last night we raised a glass {or more} to celebrate our friend little E.
{she's the shorter more petite of our two friends named Erin}
and her last chemo treatment.
Can I get a hallelujah please?
She and her chemo fanny pack whom she nicknamed Newman
after the annoying character on Seinfeld
kicked some cancer booty over the past few months.
She is a warrior y'all wrapped up in a tiny package
and I am so honored to call her friend.
Last night I also met a new friend named Kim,
a mutual friend of Erin's and Laura
{you remember Laura right?
she's the Maverick to my Goose or vice versa}
and together with Joyce we hooted and hollered
like we'd known each other for like EVAH.
At one point the conversation turned to wrinkles and Botox.
Kim made a beautiful point when she spoke up
and was like "screw Botox,
how about we all just embrace our lines and wrinkles?
I've earned every one of them!"

I love her.
I wish I could be more like her.
I'll have to work on it though.
Because like I told my husband the other day
when he suggested I just suck it up and accept that I'm aging.
I will refrain from using the words that first
came into mind when he said that to me.
Here's what I said instead:
NO!I'm not going down with a fight.
While I know I will never do an injectable
{and I'm not judging you if you have or you will}
I am definitely in the camp of beauty product junkies
that are willing to
smatter, smother, and cover my way to a smoother face.
I'll buy any product, gadget or gizmo that proclaims to lift, tuck, or smooth.
And if that's wrong I don't want to be right.
Case in point...
I bought one of these a few months back...

Its a NuFace toning device and it works.
It uses micro currents to stimulate collagen production.
Think of it like a no scalpel mini face lift.
Today only on QVC you can score this on sale for $150 plus $3 S&H.
Best thing on the Q is that you can break it down into 4 payments.
Just saying.
Its definitely an investment but in the words of L'Oreal you're worth it.
The key is you have to use it regularly, make it a part of your routine.
I've seen good results with the eleven lines between my brows
and maybe its just my bad eyes but I do think its helping pull up what's sagging.
Dear makers of NuFace...I'm waiting for the full body size version :)


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

recent beauty finds

I've walked by this product at Target a couple of times.
I was able to resist until recently.
I'm glad I threw it in the basket.
Once I figured out its not a screw top
but rather you just pull the top off
then pump the top to get the product out
{you'll thank me for these tedious instructions}
it went on like butter.
That's a good thing like how butter makes everything better :)
I have sensitive ie crazy, aging, confused skin
so I'm scared to try things I haven't read reviews about.
Not only has my skin NOT broken out it seems to me
that its doing what it claims in that my skin tone feels more even.
I love a good retinol product but most make my skin burn when I put it on
or turn red and peel like a bad sunburn...not good.
This is apparently a 1% retinol/ceramide complex which makes me
think that's why my skin isn't freaking out like it does with a typical retinol.
Plus my dermatologist has recommended other Cerave products to me
so if its a brand she trusts well, that's good enough for me.
I found it on sale at Ulta in case you're interested.
Speaking of dermatologists you know how they feel about sun exposure.
Cover up and use sunscreen.
Well, I don't know about you but I'm a girl who likes a little bit of a tan.
Just not a real one from the sun.
Problem is fake tans, let me rephrase that, good fake tans can be hard to come by.
Last year I tried and liked this one by Tarte.
Somehow, maybe it was late night QVC watching
{thanks to another fun fantastic thing about my forties...insomnia}
but I stumbled onto this...
Problem was I wanted to try it before our recent cruise.
I didn't want to scare fellow cruisers with my pasty skin in a swim suit
and I didn't have time to wait on qvc shipping times
so I ran to Ulta and picked up the smallest size they had.
It was a 50 ml for $18.
The things you do to feel good about yourself.
{rolling my eyes at myself}
The key I think is exfoliating beforehand and
using an application mitt {which I already had}.
Now if you're anything like me the main thing
I hate about fake tanning is the smell.
I've read some people apply the self tanner at night
then let it dry and sleep in it, letting the tan develop overnight.
I have all white bedding.
And OCD.
Need I say more?
This may be TMI but here's how I did it...
1. used skin brush all over to exfoliate dead skin
2. used my Clarisonic plus body brush in the shower
3. I put a little lotion on my elbows and knees
4. then applied the self tanner with an application mitt
following the directions in the video you can find in the Ulta link above.
I did this on a weekend that I didn't have to go anywhere.
It goes on and has a bronze tint that helps you see where you've put it.
Good thing because you know my eyes are bad.
 I wore dark colors that day since I didn't want to ruin any light colored clothes
and I didn't get dressed until my skin felt dry.
I let it stay on for six or seven hours and honestly the smell wasn't bad.
I ended up showering again before I went to bed
because, again, I didn't want to take the chance of
getting any color anywhere but on my pasty skin.
I have to say that I was quite impressed with the color.
My arms looked unbelievably good,
my legs, well, I have skin issues I've mentioned before
so they weren't picture perfect but it wasn't because of the tanner.
I have little patches of psoriasis that make picture perfect unattainable
and I'm ok with that...its just a part of me I live with
just like my eye color or my hair.
I do dye my hair but you get my drift.
Previous beauty buys I'm still loving are Clinique's Long Last Gloss.
I scored it recently at Nordstrom during a bonus buy event.
I'm going to order a couple so that I'm never without it.
Its that good in my opinion.
Their Redness Solution makeup is terrific at hiding my rosacea
but to me its heavier than I like so I've been mixing it
in my palm with my Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer
Clinique has deals on their site like 15% off when you sign up for emails.
Plus they have free samples and free shipping for over $50.
Just saying.
I still use Day by Day Beauty vitamin C serum daily and love it.
Its currently not available but I'm hoping it comes back in stock asap.
As long as I'm doing an update I got this in the mail recently...
I was so excited that my beloved Tracy Anderson had a new Dvd
that I ordered it as soon as we got back from the cruise.
Here's what.
You might know that I've had foot problems
since training for the full marathon last year.
Honestly when I saw the Dvd cover I thought it was all about sculpting
with the included sculpting band.
Turns out the first two of three workouts on this video are cardio
as in jumping and dancing around cardio.
While that's great for some people, for me and my foot?
Its not going to work out.
And the band portion?
Let me be honest.
I love Tracy Anderson's Method.
I love her videos.
I do at least one every day.
Personally I can not do this video.
This was super advanced or at the very least
for someone more coordinated and balanced than me.
If that's you...perfect, you'll love it.
Me? Maybe one day if my foot heals completely but not now.
I'm pretty sure I fell over at least twice trying to do some of these moves.
Now that's a video I'm sure you'd love to see. ;)
Ok y'all.
Have a great day!
We're just sitting tight waiting for Tropical Storm Bill to pass through Houston.
So far its been a bust for us and that's a good thing.
No flooding like last month = no complaints from me.
Stay safe :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

summer reads

You might be as impressed with me as I am with myself.
Because for the first time evah
I downloaded not one, but three books off of amazon in the last week.
You know I'm a self professed technically challenged person
but it started with this book...
A friend alerted me to it and with a title like that how could I resist?
Although I am now questioning why my friend thought of me in the first place.
Maybe because that particular day you could download it for free.
Yeah, let's go with that.
She didn't think I was a hot mess but rather she knows I like free stuff :)
I hope that was her reason anyway :)
Once I downloaded it
I was able to add the kindle reading app to my iPad.
Believe me it took a minute or two to do that
but I'm proud that I didn't have to youtube it.
I'll take it.
After I got the mindful mom book I decided I was all big time
and decided to order a couple of others I'd been planning to buy in hardback
like Design Chic's Kristy Harvey debut novel Dear Carolina...

Such a great summer read.
My only regret is not getting it before our recent family getaway.
We took the boys on their first cruise.
{More on that later.}
What's so funny is that while I love to read
I barely have time to read the mountain of parenting books on my bedside.
Before the trip I had planned to go to the local bookstore
and grab one for the plane ride.
It never happened.
I told myself I'd grab one at the airport.
Didn't happen.
Oh well I thought.
No phones, no email, no book either.
I just set up camp by the pool and watched my boys
do a constant loop for the "aquaduck"
{think roller coaster with water}.
So I'm sitting there, watching the boys and I happen to notice
a lady posing for a picture.
Her husband was taking the picture.
At first I was going to offer to take their picture together.
Then I noticed she was holding a copy of the book Dear Carolina
so of course I start shouting like a crazy woman:
"Hey! I know that book!
I've been wanting to read that book!
Its by a blogger I "know"!!!"
Turns out this couple is from Kinston, NC
and they know the author Kristy Harvey!
Its a small world after all kind of moment.
I shouldn't be surprised though.
It was a Disney cruise after all.
Dear Carolina was such a fun book to read
about two strong southern women brought together
by marriage and motherhood,
their stories intertwining like wisteria vine,
blooming with each chapter.
I finished it and immediately emailed her to see if she was writing a sequel.
Please Kristy tell me you're writing a follow-up...
I need to know what happens next.
The third book I devoured just as quickly as Dear Carolina.
It too was about strong women.
Unlike Dear Carolina though the women in Ashley's War are real.
The author Gayle Lemmon, well, I can't think of words to adequately describe
what a beautiful story she weaves about a team of women
that served alongside military special operations units in 2010.
Beautiful not because everything is picture perfect...war never is that.
Beautiful in that you're reminded that good people truly exist,
people that follow their heart,
that always try to do the right thing.
No matter what the cost.
You know how in certain movies
where you see a crowd running from something bad
and amongst this crowd
you see somebody running towards the bad thing,
that person being the hero of the story.
In Ashley's War there so many heroes.
I finished it days ago and I still wake up thinking about this book
and the brave men and women in our military stationed world wide,
and their families back home.
This book will definitely remind you how blessed we are
to have people willing to put their lives on the line every single day
in circumstances most of us can never imagine to be true.

How about you?
Read anything good lately?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

handbag heaven, all under a hundred

I promise I wasn't looking for a handbag.
I was ordering a gift for my husband for Father's Day.
I'm serious.
Maybe I got sidetracked after I placed the order.
You would be proud though...
I just looked.
I didn't order anything.
But for $38 can you blame me for being tempted?
I also debated about this...
but maybe I have too much blue and white
so there's this one to consider instead...

Both are by Sole Society and for a little bit more
but still budget friendly at $59.95.
Another black and white favorite find...
or if you need a little color in your life you might try this one...

Speaking of more color, 
I spied this in one of my favorite color combos...
And lastly, just in case no color is your taste there's this...
Best part of this one is that its half price right now.
{UPDATE: Its now sold out :( }
I'm trying to be good though
and only buy what I need, not always what I want.
But part of the fun in finding these is sharing them with you.
If you do grab one of these let me know. :)
Just don't tell your husband that I had anything to do with it.

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