9/23/14

Family Room Changes... Our Sexual Sectional.

I couldn't help it. That's what we call it.

Since basically all of my recent home posts on here have been nursery-related, I thought we'd take a break today and talk about a completely different space.  Probably the space we used the absolute most (now, anyway) in the entire house...  Our family room.

When we bought the house, this room was one of my favorite spaces.  Still is. We started with our furniture from our last house. Some pieces looked a bit small in here...


After this photo (taken a little over a year ago), we swapped out some chairs, lamps, added some sheer curtains, etc.  It was for sure pretty, but not the coziest. The furniture didn't exactly say, "You come here to me.. NO, no... You come here to me." 
But to save us some time and chit chat and just get to the good stuff, this is where we are now...


This is seriously my favorite room now. The biggest change, the big, soft Belgian linen sectional came about because of practicality. I find that all of the big changes that come about in our house are never usually because we're just ready for a change, but rather because of function.  When you live somewhere (or with certain furniture) for a while, you figure out what works and what doesn't.  You figure out that instead of relaxing on the couch during the day when you need a comfy place to sit (and perhaps write a blog post), you're sitting for hours at the hard kitchen table a couple feet away. Probably a sign that you need to make a change.
When we would relax in here on Saturdays to watch football, we would fight over the chair facing the tv (or try to smush ourselves into it). I love that we have so much space now to cuddle up and lounge and really enjoy our family room.  
I've always said I was a fan of leather furniture... still am. We have it all throughout our basement. There are a couple reasons why we didn't go with it in a larger sectional though.  It's durable and easily wiped clean, but it's not the most comfortable to me. Skin sticks to it in the summer time and because it doesn't breathe, you can easily get hot and sweaty. I wanted something cozy and soft that would breathe.


We lived with our leather couch and chair for years and while it was pretty and we liked it, it just wasn't working in this space. Life's too short, ya know? To me, I feel like a family room should be a cozy space with lots of soft seating and most of all, comfortable. So I started the search for a comfy, well-made, slipcovered sectional and happened upon the perfect one at a local furniture store. We're so in love with this room now!

The shape of the sectional "sections" off the room much better and makes the large, lofty space much cozier. I chose one with a chaise (and I'm SO glad I did) mainly because Brad really wanted one, but it also saves your coffee table from dirty feet.  Plus, I love that Brad and I can easily cuddle up together on it when we watch tv. We couldn't do that before. It's the little things...


Speaking of the coffee table, since there was SO much linen fabric going on in this room with the sectional and tufted chairs (which we already had for a while now, and ended up working perfectly with the new sectional), I decided we needed something a little smaller, lighter, and more airy. This little oval glass table from Pier 1 takes up a lot less visual (and actual) space than the large tufted one we used to have in here. The room needed a mix of different materials so the glass and metal really helped to balance everything out.  I still want to add some of my pretty books to the lower level of it.  It's really sturdy and well-made too, which is a big deal for a coffee table, which is a piece of furniture we actually use a lot.


Can't you just hear it saying, "You come here to me..."?? 

The lamps are just some that I've had for years and years with some mix and match shades. Not sure I'm in love with them, but that's something I'll probably change in the future if I find something I like better. Or, I may do what I always do and swap around some that we have in other places of the house. I always say, shop what you've got!

I mentioned that the slipcovered furniture (rather than upholstered) was really important to me. I love that if something gets spilled or stained, I can just throw the one piece's slipcover into the wash.  I also love that the color visually appears to be lighter piece of furniture in the room, but the actual color is a linen-stone-gray.  So it won't show every little thing or appear dingy like white or light cream furniture can. Anyway, I just love it and we couldn't be happier with it!

A few more changes...
First off, the hand made, one of a kind bench behind the sofa...


It couldn't be more perfect for this area! I considered a sofa table, which would mean moving the antique library table from in front of the windows behind the sofa, because to add another similar piece would be overkill.  We moved it behind the couch and it just wasn't right. I really wanted to keep the open feeling behind the couch and not obstruct the whole view into the room with the knick-knacks on the table or with lamps.  It would be silly to have a table there and have it be bare, you know? So I had the bench idea... All of the ones we already had were majorly too small.  I remembered seeing this one at the furniture store where I purchased the couch from and went back for it.  It's super long and narrow. Perfect for behind the couch.  Plus, I love that it's well-made and one-of-a-kind.


And finally, the curtains...


If you remember, I had previously added some sheer white panels to this space because I didn't want to obstruct any of the view and keep the light and airy feeling in the room. Well, that was great, but over time, I realized that what the room actually needed was some balance.  So I had been on the look out for the perfect ones for a while that were not only the right color, but also the right fabric.
Oh, and while these were definitely more expensive than the $20 sheers I had up before (which because of that, I didn't mind replacing), they were a great price for the quality and something I can definitely justify because of how much they add to the room.


They're textured Dupioni Silk in a beautiful taupe-silver shade. The room has so much warm cream and ivory shades going on that the cooler taupe-silver balances everything out and the material adds a ton of texture. I got them from Overstock and these are in a 120" length. 

I love the view now from the kitchen...


 I just love how everything is coming together. I feel like we started off on a great foot in this house when we moved in about a year and a half ago because we already had so much furniture from the last house, but I really believe that you have to make your house your home. The way I see it, houses are expensive. Too expensive to not be happy and totally comfortable in certain spaces.   Of course, there's lots of cosmetic things we'd love to change and completely overhaul (we've got big plans in the future for areas like bathrooms and kitchens and the backyard), but you have to take your time and see how spaces are really used and what you really need. Those spaces are functional for now, so we're definitely not in a hurry.  For spaces like a family room that you use a lot, really think out your furniture before you buy something and realize that what works in one home, may not work in another. Also, most importantly, don't just go for something solely on looks. Of course you should love it (I love the look of our room so much better now), but most importantly, consider the comfort and function of the pieces you buy.
I could go on and on, but basically, we're obsessed with this sectional and this room in general now. Definitely much more family friendly. :)

I should be back next week with another nursery update! I hope you all have a wonderful week!!


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9/20/14

Dior Star Foundation Review & Demo

Ok, so let me go on record and say that this is the last foundation review I'll be doing for a bit!! ;)
...maybe.

If you've been following me over the past few months, you've probably noticed that I've gone a bit foundation-crazy. While I'm happy to report that I've got a great little foundation collection going, I'm even happier to report that they're all pretty great. *I'm planning a little foundation "round up" soon comparing and ranking all of the ones I have and showing my collection, so stay tuned for that update!

So this foundation review is all about the Dior Star foundation. Super unique. Super awesome. Basically, it's my favorite foundation I currently own.

To see all the details about this stuff (seriously, everything you'd need to know from the best tools that work best with it, to a full demo of how I like to apply it), check out my full review video below!






So have you all tried this stuff?? What are your thoughts??




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9/16/14

90's Makeup Tutorial: UD Pulp Fiction Palette

Oh, 90's makeup...

This trend is EVERYWHERE right now! Sometimes I cringe a bit when I hear a decade followed by the word "trend" where makeup is concerned. It can get a bit crazy. Because no decade can really be defined with one specific look, I like to combine my favorite makeup trends from the decade to create something really gorgeous and wearable. Of course, this one has lots of 90's makeup little tricks as well (think blush on your forehead and powdered lips).

This one is especially fun because the 90's aren't too terribly far in our past.  Funny enough, lots of what defines a more "current" look of today is greatly inspired by this decade. I was surprised to discover that my go-to makeup style is very 90's! Hey, no shame. My earliest "real" experimenting with makeup took place in the 90's so it makes sense.

I really had a lot of fun with this one and I hope you guys will try it! Check out my full tutorial below for a complete step-by-step tutorial to get this look...


::products used::
Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation 
Nars translucent crystal setting powder 
Anastasia Brow Wiz 
Tarte CC Colored Clay Eye Primer 
Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Eye Palette  
Kat Von D Tatto Liquid Liner 
Chanel Volume de Chanel Mascara 
IT Cosmetics CC Ombre bronzer Warm Radiance 
Chanel Angled brush 
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light 
MAC Prep+Prime Radiant Rose 
Nars Madly blush 
Too Faced Perfect Lips Perfect Nude 
MAC Sweet Ever After Pro Longwear Lipcream
Anastasia Brow Gel Clear 

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9/11/14

Some nursery progress... lighting and nook plans

Ok, so last we left the nursery, it had gone from this...


To this...

...with the help of my sweet nursery-painting husband, and Sherwin Williams paint in Marshmallow.

You may notice the (de-boobed) boob light in the photo above. Not really anything I was super excited about. Also, the fan in the little nook area.  A lil' backstory... When the room had the bunk before, the previous owners must have swapped the fan (which was originally meant to be in the middle, large part of the room) with the little boob light because of the bunk bed. The last thing you need is a kid getting a fan blade to the head while climbing up to bed. So that made sense for that situation.
Problem was, the room is wired for the fan to be in the middle of the room. There are two switches on the wall that control that particular fixture box (one for the fan, one for the fan light), and then a third, single switch on the wall to control a singular fixture in the little nook.
While it worked with the fan, you couldn't control the fan and light separately and because the boob light was wired to a fan box (with two controls), one switch on the wall was useless.

So we figured it would make the most sense to put the fan back where it belonged so we could control it correctly from the entrance of the room and pick out something a little fun for the nook.

Here's the "little something fun" we picked out for the nook...


Well, I should say I picked it out. Brad isn't too choosy in the chandelier-picking-out department. I've been eyeing this beauty at Pottery Barn for years and years. My version is from Overstock, almost exactly the same, and best of all, a fraction of the price. But there are some differences...


It looks great once it's up, the glass accents are solid and heavy, and it's the perfect size for the room. It's not too large, and we can still easily walk beneath it. One of the reasons I didn't purchase this before for any spaces at our last or current home is because it's an odd size. To me, it's too small for over a dining table or a large room, but it's perfect for a smaller bedroom, or in our case, what will become our gal's little play nook.  It looks a bit young and whimsical too, which I love. 

The problem with this fixture is that you have to definitely work for that cost savings. Brad (or my dad who is a retired electrician) always wires our fixtures within reach, which is never a big deal. Brad can get a fixture put up in no time (he had the fan hung and wired in less than 10 minutes). But this fixture was totally unassembled. Each arm and socket was completely separate, which meant the fixture itself had to be wired correctly before even wiring to the box in the ceiling. One. Million. Wires. It was ridiculously hard to get all of the correctly joined wires shoved into the small space at the bottom without loosening any of them.  It was a hassle. If you were going to hire an electrician to hang yours anyway (which you totally should always do if you aren't familiar with wiring fixtures), then they should do this step for you. But I guess in the long run, the trouble was worth the savings. There was seriously a moment where we were going to put the whole thing back in the box and splurge for the Pottery Barn (assembled) version because it initially freaked us out a bit.

The fan is working out so much better in the main part of the room as well. We decided to use the one that was already there because it seems to be working perfectly and isn't hideous.  I'm really glad we were able to keep a ceiling fan in there and also have some fun with a chandelier. I'm a big believer in ceiling fans in bedrooms. Seriously couldn't survive without one.

About the little medallions around the fixtures on the ceiling... They're awesome. Seriously wish I would have put these on all the fixtures we swapped out when we moved in.  They're really cheap and you can get them at any "big box" home supply store. Seriously it makes such a big difference!

I keep referring to the little area as a "nook". Our plans for this space is to eventually have it house a lot of her play things. Just to keep things a little separate from the main part of the room. Plus, there's a little fun finished play area in one of the little wall spaces. I would have LOVED that as a kid!  Granted, I more than realize that when she becomes more playful and mobile, the whole room will likely look like a toy explosion, but it is nice to have a little designated area to put them all in.

I absolutely cannot wait to show you all the drapery and crib! So much progress has happened in there lately.  
My goal is to be pretty much done with the nursery sometime in December. I know it feels like we have forever to go, but I always knew I wanted to enjoy this whole nursery-decorating process and not be stressing at the last minute. Since this is a home we want to stay in for a very long time, I wanted to go ahead and really create her her own special place here that she can grow into.  I figured that since parts of October, November, and pretty much all of December will be pretty busy for us, it would be best to get the major stuff out of the way now.  Since she's due in January (and I'm thinking I'll definitely not be into doing anything too major around that time), I'm glad it's coming along at a great pace so far!

We also made a pretty big change in the family room! So much to share in the next few weeks. We'll talk about all that soon... ;)

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9/9/14

Current Favorite CC Cream Review & Demo: SUPERGOOP

Guys...

This CC Cream... Yeah, It's pretty amazing stuff.

I know, I know... The foundation kick I'm on continues (spoiler alert...It's only going to get worse in the coming weeks). BUT, out of all my latest discoveries, this may be the best.  I could go on and on about it and make this post super wordy and lengthy (restrain yourself, Tiffany... restrain yourself...).  So feel free to watch the video below for all the details and a demo to see exactly how the stuff actually covers and works.


Or, I can hit the high points for ya below if you don't have time to watch (definitely leaving out quite a bit that is covered in the video, but you get the idea).

PROS:
  • amazing coverage
  • doesn't leave any greasy residue and really "sets" to your skin 
  • holds up super well on oily skin 
  • versatile (can be used as a primer under foundation for more coverage, or on it's own)
  • feels clean and light
  • natural-looking
  • good ingredients and a good SPF
  • self-adjusting shades
  • a little goes a very long way

CONS:
  • I have to mix 2 shades to get my perfect shade (fair-light and light-medium)
  • only 3 shades to choose from (they're VERY different, hence mixing two)

So without saying, you can probably tell I love the stuff. It's definitely been my go-to product for weeks now. I like to replace my skincare in the morning with it (instead of using moisturizer/spf, I use this) and it perfects my skin enough to where I don't feel like I have to apply a ton of makeup afterward, or at all.  Most of the time, I'll apply my foundation over it and that works out great as well. Since it's not heavy at all and feels very "set" and, to me, almost primer-like, it works beautifully like this.

So have any of you guys tried this one?? What are your thoughts??







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9/4/14

Nursery Update 1... PAINT and Tips

Finally, a nursery update! So y'all have probably noticed that there hasn't been a whole lot of regular home-bloggin' going on around here, but it's mainly because where our home is concerned, the main focus has been on getting the nursery all ready for our baby girl.

Last we spoke about this space, we had removed the bunk bed that was built in (and taking up a lot of space).


Seriously it's deceiving how much space this was taking up. So we removed it and it really opened up the room.

We were left with lots of unevenness in the sheetrock where the bed connected to the walls, some huge anchoring bolts sticking out of the wall that literally broke off as Brad removed pieces of the bed, and lots of paint to touch up.

So Brad sawed off the bolts with a Dremel tool and patched and sanded the walls.  Only thing left to do was choose a paint color.

 We thought about using the existing paint color (I was pretty sure I knew what it was), but the more I looked at it, the more I wasn't too thrilled with how yellow-beige it looked against all the stark white trim, especially since I'd be bringing in some pink tones to the room. I just thought it wouldn't look quite right.  The issue with choosing a color was that it would have to be something that we could continue along the ceiling as well like the old color did. If we had just painted to the ceiling, the existing color on the ceiling would have really looked beige and out of place.  The room has a pitched ceiling in certain places too, so I didn't want to just slap up some white paint on the ceiling and then do a stripe of color just on the walls above the bead board. I felt like it would be pretty choppy-looking.

So I knew we'd have to choose a shade that was a bit light and bright so it wouldn't look too enclosing continued all over the ceiling as well. Because of all the stark white trim in there on the bead board, it made it easier to pull off a lighter and brighter color without looking too plain because all the tones show up against the stark white.
Sounds a bit confusing, but stick with me...

So I chose a shade technically in the "white" color family, but with a lot of pink tones.  The color is Marshmallow by Sherwin Williams.

This was taken when the paint was still a bit wet, so you can see a bit of it drying still on the ceiling.





I remembered this shade because I had considered it for our foyer but ultimately ruled it out because it read very pink compared to other whites with different tones. So I knew it would be pretty perfect for our gal's room. We really love how it came out.

This was Brad's first painting adventure solo. He did such an amazing job (and was so happy when it was all done).

Funny because if you painted this shade in a regular room with no stark white trim (like the large area of bead board on the wall) it wouldn't read as pink. I've seen photos of this color used throughout entire homes! It's just crazy how different whites can be.  Anyone that has seen the nursery in person has commented on what a pretty soft pink it is.

While I'm no painting expert (and while Brad did amazing considering it was his first go-round doing a whole room by himself), we do have some tips to share (if you've followed for a while, you know I've painted almost every room in our homes). These were the main ones I passed on to Brad when he began painting the nursery:


  • Don't waste money on plastic paint tray liners! Buy a metal paint tray once, and cover it with heavy duty aluminum foil before pouring paint in. Easy clean-up, and you can re-use the (clean) metal paint tray indefinitely.
  • Skip painter's tape if you have a steady hand and go around all the trim, doorways, corners, ceiling, etc. with an angled brush first, then use a roller to fill-in.  This is just the basic way to paint and it works. Saves time, tape, and your sanity.  If you've ever taped-off an entire room, you know what I mean.
  • When you use the roller, roll suuuuper sloooooow. Seriously ridiculously slow. Even if you don't think you're dripping anything, you'll leave tiny micro-splatters (totally a legit thing) all over the room and yourself.
  • Drop cloths and broken-down cardboard boxes are your friend. You can lay out all your paint supplies on the flattened cardboard box and move it all around the room wherever you need it. And drop cloths... just use them to cover nice things you don't want to remove.


So the moral of this story is that we're really happy with the paint, and to also never overlook colors in the white family for rooms. They can be pretty perfect when you don't want the focus of a room to be the walls, but still want to complement the tones in the decor you're going to add. One in the perfect tone can change the whole feel of the room without being so "in your face".

So as I've mentioned in many of my pregnancy vlogs, the nursery has come a lot farther than this! While it's still kind of a mess (no super pretty after photos in this one, sorry!), there's a lot more progress to share like lighting, window treatments, the crib (!), etc. So I'll definitely keep you updated on our progress in the coming weeks!

As always, thank you all for being so happy for us and so supportive as we share this special time with you all. It's obviously a huge part of our life right now and we couldn't be happier to be experiencing all of it and being able to share it!

9/3/14

Too Faced Cocoa Powder Foundation Review/Demo

I'm on a bit of a foundation kick lately (you may have noticed...).  SO many new ones to try! 

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with pressed powder foundations. I have oily skin, so if the formula is right, they can be a lifesaver for combatting shine and keeping my skin looking matte and fresh throughout the day.  They're also super easy and convenient.
However, certain formulas can look a bit cakey, settle into lines, and dry out your skin like nobody's business.
Seriously, nobody has any business dealing with those types of problems when you're spending a lot on a makeup product.

So I decided to give this one a go after reading all of its seemingly miraculous claims of a "rose petal matte finish" (Who doesn't think that sounds good?), not settling into lines or drying out skin, medium-full buildable coverage, and probably my favorite part, the sweet cocoa powder scent.


I use shade "light", which is a pretty perfect match for me. When I first opened the packaging and smelled the chocolate (exactly like that of the Chocolate Bar palette or their cocoa powder-infused bronzers if you're familiar), I got a little woozy...  Good woozy.

But I'm a skeptic where powder foundations are concerned so I gave it a good go for a few weeks and tested it in a variety of conditions (applying it lightly vs. heavily, applying it on super humid and hot days, touching up vs. not touching up all day, using certain concealers with it, primers, CC creams, you name it...) and think I've found the application method that works perfectly for me at this point.

As I've mentioned, I do have some skin issues going on right now (nothing major, but a bit more hormonal breaking out than usual due to my pregnancy), so I feel like it's the perfect time to really put some of these foundations to the test.
We all know that anyone with perfect skin can pretty much make any foundation work for them, but sometimes it's best to really put the stuff to the test and see how it works with breakouts, discoloration, and even all of this southern heat and humidity we've been experiencing in my neck of the woods lately.

While I did a complete video review of this stuff (seriously, it's pretty thorough), and a demo showing you exactly how I've been using it lately in the way that works best for me (video at bottom of post), I'll go ahead and hit some of the high points and final thoughts...

First of all, it really lives up to all the claims it makes. It indeed does not settle into fine lines, look cakey, or dry out your skin, which is often my biggest complaint with pressed powder foundations. The finish IS beautiful. The whole "matte rose petal finish" description is pretty spot-on.  I've also found that the coverage is above average for a powder foundation like this, and indeed can be built up (and built up quickly).  To me, that is so important. While I like the actual results of the loose mineral foundations I've reviewed recently, I really get impatient working with the stuff for so long. All the building up of small amounts and blending and building and blending...  It can suck up some serious time in your routine.
This stuff is great because with the right brush (I detail all of my favorites in the video/demo), you can seriously pile the stuff on (not the best description for makeup application...), blend, and you're good to go.

For me right now, with all the discoloration I've got going on, I do have to add some concealer (and I even like to start with a CC cream as my primer step beforehand just to start off with a bit of coverage, however, when all that goes away and my skin is back to normal, this foundation will be even easier, because I don't think I'll need to add so much concealer to it. I find that it covers typical unevenness and discoloration pretty well on it's own.

Whew. So those are some of my main thoughts on this stuff.  To seriously get every little detail (and of course, the demo/tutorial), check out my complete video below!






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