2/27/14

A fresh coat of paint in my office/sitting room...

So as promised, I'm back with my second decor post this week! I usually just stick to one here, but since I skipped last week, I'm back with another.

I had planned to post the second room I painted with my new paint "love"- the Benjamin Moore Healing Aloe- but I realized I needed something pretty specific for the room to "complete" it, so Brad and I are going to pick those up tonight and I will share that post next week. Sound good?

K, lets get on with this post already. ;)
So like I mentioned in the last post all about my little laundry room redo, I'm in the midst of a painting frenzy.
Well, I should say that hopefully I'm on the way OUT of the painting frenzy. Seriously, in the last week, I've painted four different spaces in our house. Two of which were a little tricky.
This was one of the easier rooms (the other being the laundry room).


This room is meant to be sort of a "formal living room" area. We use it as an office and a little sitting room. We actually use it quite often!
I've done a few posts on this space, so you're probably already sort of familiar with it if you've been reading for a while. :)

Here's the office side...


Before I get ahead of myself, here is what the paint in here looked like before...


This one was shot even before I painted the French doors black!


Really, it wasn't bad, but since we've moved in, I've been a bit indifferent to that golden tan shade that was used basically everywhere in the house. I LOVE it in certain areas, but others, not so much.
Also, since these shots (which were almost a year ago), I rearranged the furniture a bit and brought in the peacock mirror that used to be in the foyer. It lived in the family room at our old house and so I just kept seeing it over the couch... So I switched it a long time ago. The furniture and everything has actually been this way for over 6 months or so now. I changed it up shortly after that last office post.

So all those changes isn't what makes it feel new... It's all about the paint.


Funny how much paint can change a space.  I am absolutely IN LOVE with this color. The shade is Clay Beige by Benjamin Moore. This is the same color I used when I painted our kitchen months back.

Don't you love when you find that perfect shade for your house? Of course, while I mentioned falling in love with the Healing Aloe shade I've been using lately, that light aqua shade is a bit different. It's not one you'd paint everywhere in your home, you know? This shade I used in this post could be used anywhere. It's just perfect for any room.
It's awesome because it actually looks different in every room too.

Neutrals like this can actually be the most difficult to choose. They all can read so differently. Some are too warm, some are too cool. Some can look a bit boring.
This one is absolutely perfect because it has a lot of gray in it. So it keeps the paint from looking too beige.

...Although it looks really beige and a lot more warm than it actually looks in real life in the photo below. :/


However, it's a warm linen-gray, so it really keeps the room from looking too cold. My mom and I recently went on a tour of homes and the big thing seemed to be gray paint. Like gray gray. One house had used really cool grays and it felt too cold. So you just have to be careful.

At our last house, we were used to a color like this. It was a bit more "putty" and maybe a bit darker. So I think that's why the warm golden tan shade threw me off when we moved here. I just felt like my stuff didn't look right with it everywhere.

Again, it looks totally different from real life in the photo below...haha. Just shows how much it changes.


This photo below is probably the most accurate depiction of what the color looks like in real life (especially over there to the right where it looks more gray).


My personal preference for paint is that I like to use neutrals like this in larger areas- kitchens, family rooms, living rooms, bedrooms... Because I don't want to become limited by slapping up a "color color" on the walls. I like to add and layer personality and color to the room with accessories.
However for smaller spaces like a laundry room, bathrooms, etc, (where you won't have a ton of accessories to layer), adding a bit of color on the walls can pull everything together and add interest.

As for the actual office space in here...


Everything pretty much has stayed the same. I did replace the knobs (again) on my beloved Ikea desk (Still holding up perfectly after 3 years of use!). Remember this photo from my office re-do years back at our last house??
post on this space here
I mentioned in that post how easy it is to spruce up basic furniture by adding fun knobs. I actually used those black ones in our little "black suede" guest bathroom, and swapped them for some gold mother of pearl ones that used to be on the built-ins at our last house. 

So yeah, again, when I "redo" a room, I try not to buy more stuff. The paint was the only new thing for this current space. Well, that and some pillow covers (I've had this set for a while, so I didn't really count them as newly purchased just for this little makeover). Everything else was just rearranged from other places or within the room itself.

It just works so much better with the gray ottoman and the blue tones in my blue and white vases/jars.  It basically just pulled the whole room together nicely.


I also love how it looks coming in from the foyer.


It just feels more cohesive now.

I also love that it plays really nicely off the gold and crystal accents in the room.



I've had one set of these for a while now, but I recently had a few more made. These are custom pillow covers I had made through Etsy. These are really great quality and super unique. That's why I love getting my pillow covers custom made from unique fabric I like. You can get what YOU like specially made and not end up with a lot of mass-produced stuff that everyone has. (OMG, totally just had a flashback of the whole "Phoebe hates Pottery Barn" Friends episode...)
Your home should reflect your style, not someone else's. Sure, it's nice to get inspiration here and there, but what makes our home feel like ours is that it's our unique tastes. It's no fun to always get something someone else has. So that's the beauty of getting custom things made like this. You can get exactly what you want for your space. 
It's also a great way to support really talented people with small businesses.  Mine came from this seller and I've been super happy with them. (and no, I was not perked in any way to link to her. I'm just really happy with mine!) She has SO many fabrics to choose from so you can get something unique for your space that works with your home.


I also purchased the lumbar style for the new chairs in our family room. I'll share more on this space soon!


And I totally realize this post is on photo-overload, but here's a shot of how nicely the color works with the neighboring original tan/gold in the dining room.
My camera battery died while doing this post so I snapped a quick kind of crappy photo with my iPhone to give you an idea.  Oh and ignore the weird bench to the right... haha. It sort of floats around.


So yeah, long story short, I'm loving this color! Painting is so therapeutic to me. I've always enjoyed it and have never really been afraid to do it, but if you can get up the courage to do it the first time, you'll see that it's not that bad.  I have two more posts to share from my recent painting frenzy I've gone on, but maybe after those have gone up I'll do a whole post on some of my painting tips that I always use to make it easy. I'll have to plan a post like that soon! Those kinds of tips are always helpful because I know painting can be a bit intimidating.

So what do you guys think?? What are your "go-to" paint colors in your home??

reference:
paint: Benjamin Moore Clay Beige (not sure of the exact original color or dining room color)
ottoman, mirrored chest, sunburst mirrors- Ballard Designs
blue and white decor- TJ Maxx, Antique stores
rug: Overstock (no longer available)
chairs: Sears
pillow covers: Etsy
peacock mirror: Wisteria
white couch: Rooms to Go
desk: Ikea




not a sponsored post

2/26/14

Chanel Jumbo Classic Flap Review/Story and OOTD

Hello and happy Hump Day y'all! So today I posted a little (well, pretty long actually) bonus video on my YouTube channel all about my new Chanel Jumbo flap bag.  I wanted to give you all a better idea of the size and how it actually looks, so I thought I'd grab some photos of me wearing it that same day as Brad and I headed out.


So this bag has a story... This was a purchase I've contemplated for a very long time now. Chanel handbags are obviously an investment and something that I wanted to be absolutely 100% about before purchasing. My issue was that I wanted a "single flap" version of the Jumbo flap. Which sadly has been discontinued for a few years now. Now, they only sell "double flap" versions of these bags, which essentially look exactly the same from the outside, but they have an extra flap on the interior of the bag. So when you need to open the bag, you have to open two flaps. I also wanted one of the last actual gold plated versions. They stopped actually gold plating the hardware to this particular bag in 2009. So after learning that little fact, I really wasn't happy knowing that the new versions, although gold, weren't actually gold plated. Not that that's a big deal, but just knowing they used to be, made me want one of those.

So knowing this was a big purchase, and something I knew I didn't need to have right away, I kept my eyes open for a preowned one that was in excellent shape rather than spending that much money on something I wouldn't be 100% happy with.

So long story short, I found a great one and couldn't be happier! For the whole story and details on where and how I got mine,  check out the video at the bottom of this post!

But first, here's the look...






I love the size of this bag... It easily fits everything that any of my larger bags hold. However, it easily goes from day to night.  I love that I can carry it for an evening out as well and not feel like it's too large or "tote-like". It's just really versatile, which was important to me when investing in a handbag like this.  You better believe I'll be carrying this baby everywhere!

top- Splendid
shoes- BCBG
bag- Chanel


So like I said, the bag has a story, so check out my video below for all the details!! WARNING...It's a doozie! haha... There's so much in this one! Not just info about how I got the bag, but a little review on the bag itself, as well as some of my biggest tips on buying anything "preowned". Hope you guys enjoy it!!




See you all right here tomorrow!! The paint saga continues... ;)


2/24/14

My Favorite Soft & Simple Smokey Eye

Happy Monday Everyone!!

So today I wanted to share a little tutorial I filmed over the weekend... My absolute favorite smokey eye.  You know how you have some outfits (or in this case, makeup products), that just always work? Those that you never have to second guess or worry about?

Well, this is one of those makeup looks for me.  Mostly because of my long-time love, NARS Cordura eye shadow duo. Seriously, it's so easy to apply and the colors blend together effortlessly. It's also super versatile.
I love that this look can really be worn anywhere and look great with any type of look. From an elegant event, to a fun night out, to just running errands or shopping, you can seriously wear this simple smokey eye anywhere and look amazing! I hope you guys like it as much as I do!



Products Used:
*Save 10% on all Sigma products used by entering code "TIFF10" at checkout!




Hope you enjoyed the video! See you all tomorrow!!



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2/20/14

Hourglass Ambient Blush SWATCHES and REVIEW!

It's no secret I'm a bit obsessed with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders... When I heard they were releasing 6 shades of Ambient Blush- an entirely new product that mixes beautiful and bright shades of blush with a swirl of the Ambient Lighting Powders- I got super excited, as you can probably imagine.
*To see swatches and my thoughts on the regular Ambient Lighting Powders, check out the posts here and here.


Now that they are readily available and have released fully at Sephora.com, I wanted to share these new pretties with you all!  They apply so smoothly and really do create sort of a soft focus, 3D effect on the skin, rather than a flat finish.  I could go on and on, but I'll let the photos speak for themselves!

Here's what the packaging looks like. They're about half the size of the Ambient Lighting Powders.



Each shade has a unique "swirl".   No two are alike...



Ambient Lighting Blush, $35 each (.15 oz)
available now at sephora.com


Diffused Heat
"Vibrant poppy blush combined with Diffused Light for a subtle halo effect"


Dim Infusion
"Subdued coral blush fused with Dim Light to add warmth"


Ethereal Glow
"Cool pink blush fused with Ethereal Light for a moonlit luminosity"


Luminous Flush
"Champagne rose blush fused with Luminous Light to evoke a candlelit glimmer"


Mood Exposure
"Soft plum blush fused with Mood Light to brighten the complexion"


Radiant Magenta
"Golden fuchsia blush combined with Radiant Light for a summer glow"



swatched, left to right: Diffused Heat, Dim Infusion, Ethereal Glow, Luminous Flush, Mood Exposure, Radiant Magenta



Check out my video below all about these for even more!











So what do you guys think of these? Will you be picking them up? What shade stands out most to you??

post contains affiliate links products provided for consideration by Hourglass with no agreements or obligations to feature or review

2/19/14

Chocolate Whiskey Cake Recipe (2 versions)

I will (shamefully) admit... I'm not a chocolate person. Chocolate cake? My least favorite type of cake.

Oh, and I'm not a whiskey person, either.




But this cake is in my top 3 cake recipes ever (fyi, number one being Betty Crocker Rainbow Chips, but that's another story).  It's just so moist and delicious. The flavor of the whiskey, rich chocolate cake, and the crunch of the semi-sweet chocolate chips all work together so nicely.  I think I love it so much because the cake has more of a dark, semi-sweet chocolate taste rather than a typical chocolate or milk chocolate-y taste. I really quite like dark chocolate.

So while I obviously like this cake, the real reason I make it is for my husband, Brad. He LOOOOVES it.

I started making this cake years ago, before we even got married. I think I remember finding the recipe in a magazine (not sure which one it was exactly).
Anyway, it's a winner. I used to make it every Christmas for the fam's get-together, but when we started hosting Christmas at our place and were already cooking so much and getting the house together, it sort of fell off the menu since it does take a bit of time to make from scratch.

The good news is that I actually found a version using store-bought cake mix and frosting which actually tastes JUST as good! I was skeptical, but I did try that version of the recipe out a while back and I could not tell the difference.  I did modify the recipe a bit. I replaced a few ingredients and nixed the pecans, because neither Brad nor I are fans, and I think it's perfect!

Anyway,  I still make this yummy treat for Brad for special occasions to surprise him. Most recently for Valentine's day! So since I got so many requests for the recipe on Instagram, here is my original version...


Chocolate Whiskey Cake (scratch version)


  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup whiskey
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 cans (16 oz/ each) chocolate frosting  **you can make your own, but this is just as good and cuts a lot of time
  • more mini semi-sweet chocolate chips for garnish
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 2 (9") round cake pans (or heart-shaped ones like I used if you're feeling fancy). Line pan bottoms with wax paper; butter and flour. Combine milk, eggs, and vanilla; reserve.
In a bowl combine next 6 ingredients. At low speed gradually beat in butter until coarse and sandy. Gradually beat in egg mixture. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Gradually beat in water then whiskey until combined. (Will make a thin batter.)
Divide batter between pans; sprinkle tops with measured chips. Bake 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean (keep in mind, it may not come out completely clean because of the melted chocolate chips in the batter). Cool on racks 20 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on racks.
Place 1 cake layer on serving plate; spread with 1 cup frosting. *I like to sprinkle more chocolate chips over this middle layer of frosting. Top with remaining cake layer.  Spread tops and sides with remaining frosting.  Use remaining chocolate chips for garnish.



Not the simplest of recipes. But still worth it if you have the patience.

Usually, you can tell a huge difference between something made from scratch and something, well, not completely made from scratch. This version below using store-bought cake mixes is seriously just as good. After making both and comparing them (I had to make the scratch version one more time just to make sure I wasn't crazy), it is seriously the same. I'll probably make this "short-cut" version from here on out.

Chocolate Whiskey Cake (my short-cut version)



  • 1 box (around 16 oz.) Betty Crocker "Super Moist" Devils Food Cake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used low fat)
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whiskey (I added just a splash more, and used the Jack Daniel's "Tennessee Honey")
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cans chocolate frosting
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour 2 (9") cake pans. Combine cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and whiskey with a mixer on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat another 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter between the pans and bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (keep in mind, it may not come out completely clean because of the melted chocolate chips).  Cool on racks in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on the racks.
Frost one layer of cake on a serving platter (I sprinkle more chocolate chips into the middle layer of frosting before putting on the top layer of cake), then add the top layer and frost completely. Sprinkle on more chocolate chips on top for decoration.




So that's my yuumy cake recipe!! I hope you guys love it if you make it! Let me know how it turns out!!


2/18/14

Feline sweatshirt OOTD

In yesterday's video, you may have noticed my sweet little "Feline" sweatshirt. Thought I'd show you how I styled it...



Super easy and stylish way to stay warm, huh? I wore this out with Brad to do a bit of shopping and then out to dinner. I did bring some flats with me to shop around in since these shoes were fairly new and I didn't really know how they'd "shop". ;)
Then I put them back on for dinner.


This just shows how easy putting things together can be. A fun, easy sweatshirt, black "jeggings", an easy trench and some fun shoes. Boom. Instant outfit that looks put together, but not to fussy.

Just so you know, these shoes were very comfortable. You may remember me showing them in this haul video.  They were a really great purchase.



trench: H&M (no longer available- similar)
shoes: BCBG
sunglasses: Tom Ford





See you here tomorrow Loves!

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2/17/14

Jewel Blue Makeup Tutorial

Blue is my all-time favorite color. Blue eye shadow? Definitely not something I wear too often. 

Let's change that...


When I do bright colors, I definitely like to darken it up a bit and add a smokey element to keep the look sexy and smoldering. Not too bright or cartoon-ish.  So I LOVE this jewel, cobalt blue. Just proves that blue eyeshadow can totally be sexy and fun without looking like "too much".









products used...


Save 10% on the brushes used in this video (and your entire purchase)! Click here and enter code "TIFF10" at checkout!

Look for a NEW post tomorrow right here for all the OOTD details from the look worn in this video. See you then! Hope you all have a FABULOUS Monday!!!


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2/15/14

Basement table redo...

I hope you all had a very lovely Valentine's Day!

So last we spoke about the basement, I had found some great pieces for our bar area. A beautiful, counter-height table (that can double as an actual "bar" for seating) and a gorgeous leaner mirror.

The table is amazing... A gorgeous, trestle-style table with a thick, chunky, and beautiful natural top (definitely not touching the top with paint or anything else ever).
Oh, and the price was pretty perfect. The problem? The base was finished pretty awful. At first glance, it's not bad, but from the moment I got a closer look at it in the store, I knew if I got it I would be refinishing/painting it.
So I did.

Here's the before...


Not cute. I'm a big fan of the whole "Restoration Hardware-ish", lightly washed wood look, but this was not it.  This photo is of course, not reading true to color, but the base also read very blueish gray. Aside from the color, it was also just actually done very poorly. I love the whole "distressed" look on furniture, but there was a weird breakthrough of black showing beneath the blueish white and it was just plain weird.  It looked like someone had made a mistake.

For the basement, we like to keep things much darker and more industrial looking so I knew we wanted it to go dark.

So I put down a huge drop cloth underneath the table, sanded the heck out of the base to be painted, and then used some leftover paint from when I painted our French doors in the foyer black. It's just a latex-based paint in a formula with the primer built in (so it just applies a bit thicker I find), so I figured it would be fine for this part of the table since it's held up so nicely on the doors. I probably wouldn't use this on a table top, but for the base which isn't touched often, I feel like it will hold up really well.


Here she is! So much better I think!! We love how it goes so well with the other dark furniture in the room now. We have a few other little black accent pieces of furniture so it all pulled-together nicely.
I used Black Suede by Behr. It's a soft, almost brown-black.
Oh, and please ignore the dusty floors. haha ;) I had just removed the drop cloth, and I totally didn't notice all the sanding debris and dog hair that flew off of it apparently.

I used an angled brush to get all the little crevices and around the areas where it met the table top. For the rest, I used a medium-sized foam roller. I did two very light coats. It covered SO well. Probably because the paint adhered better because of the crazy sanding. But rather than giving it a "painted furniture" look, it sort of blended right into the wood, still allowing all the character of the wood to show through.



Yes, that is Christmas garland you see there...  I couldn't bring myself to remove it because I thought it looked sort of rustic with the pinecones and branches.  But in photos? Totally Christmas. Yeah, I probably need to get on removing that.


So that's it for now! I'm so happy with how it turned out. Like I mentioned in my last post about this area, I'm on the lookout for some industrial style stools for it still. Not in a hurry... When I see them, I'll know. :)
We're SO loving how the whole basement is coming together. We still have so much more of it to work on. This whole bar/ living area and the media room is coming together really well so far. The largest room down here is still totally empty though. We're thinking of making it into a game room eventually, who knows.  We even have a little unfinished "workout" room that we're wanting to fix up a bit soon, but it's fine for now. SO much to do down here and so much more to share. I'll continue to update you guys in these decor posts!  Oh and if you want to see more about the basement, you can check out some older posts (here,  here, and here) to get a better idea.

Have a wonderful weekend!! See you Monday!