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Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Top Five of the Moment

I've actually been meaning to write this for awhile, but since I'm so fickle about everything, I wanted to make sure I continued to love the following items for a whole month just to be on the safe side...and I do...so here we go...

1.  Smashbox Softbox Eye Palette (Limited Edition)- I wear this every.single.day.  The colors range from soft vanilla and peach to smokey gray to deep bronze.  I wear the nude and peach colors during the day for a natural look and then at night switch to the bronze and pewter colors.  The palette even comes with an amazing duel-ended brush and two cream eyeliner/shadows AND Smasbox's famous eye-primer.  Not to mention, it includes photo How-To Guides on creating certain looks - fool proof!!  The primer makes my shadow and liner last all day but the shadow is such good quality, it lasts even when I forget the primer.  This is a summer must-have!  The pic below is from Sephora since they are featuring the palette at a special price of only $48 and again - it's limited edition, so I recommend scooping this up asap!



2.  Aveeno Nourish and Condition Leave-In Conditioner - Again, I put this on my hair every.single.day.  I am desperately trying to grow out my thin, frizzy hair that NEVER seems to get past my shoulders.  I think the main reason is that when it gets to a certain length, the ends become extremely brittle and dry so I end up getting frustrated and chopping it off again. But since using this product, I have seen a huge difference in the texture of my hair.  There's nothing in it that makes hair grow, it just makes the ends of my hair silkier and prevents breakage so that it looks great while growing out.  With the help of this product, I have finally left my hair alone and it's longer than it's ever been!  Even if you aren't growing your hair out, this product is still great on any length hair to help with damage with my REDcard but you can get it anywhere from the grocery store to Walmart.
3.  Target's Mossimo Cotton Tanks - So I am always on the never-ending search for the perfect tank.  It needs to be the perfect length, the perfect strap-width, the perfect fabric...and even though I'm this picky about it, I'm still not willing to spend a ton of money on it...because after all, it is still just a tank.  So I am so happy to report that I have finally found the perfect tank and it was under my nose at Target the entire time!  The Mossimo long and lean tanks are super soft cotton, with medium width straps, the perfect length and only $8...yes, $8.  They come in every color and I seriously never want to take them off.  I wear them underneath a cardigan for work, or by itself on the weekend.  My never-ending search has finally come to an end.

4.  Pinterest.com - I probably should have made this Number 1 on my list, even though this list is in no particular order...but I am seriously obsessed with this new website.  For years now I have been trying to keep ideas, pictures, recipes, etc...that I like all together somehow.  I even tried making a 'scrapbook' of sorts that held photos and magazine pages I ripped out with things I wanted to keep and remember for future reference.  Why does that never seem to work?  Nor does it work to save files in my email or bookmark them on my internet browser because things are still spread out all over the place and impossible to find again.  Finally, some genius has created pinterest.com where you can create 'Clipboards' to house all things you love.  You do this by 'pinning' photos or websites you want to keep onto your designated Clipboard.  I find myself going there every single day to look at the photos of decor, style, makeup, recipes, etc...whether I need an outfit inspiration or idea for what to cook that night.  You can also browse other people's Clipboards and 'follow' them if you really like what they are 'pinning'.  It's hard to explain - but go check it out and I swear you'll become addicted too.  Check out my Boards and start pinning!  Since I will be decorating my soon-to-be office, here is a pic I found that will serve as my inspiration.  I have it pinned on my 'Decor' Clipboard:



5.  Paul Newman's Frozen White Pizza - I would like to say that my boyf and I are what you could call 'frozen pizza connoisseurs'.  We turn to this delectable dish when we're in a hurry or just too lazy to make a real dinner.  I know it doesn't seem hard to find a good frozen pizza when there are hundreds upon hundreds of brands, styles and flavors to choose from, but as a connoisseur, I can tell you that it is.  Or so I thought until I tried Paul Newman's White Pizza.  It's made with feta instead of ricotta that gives just the perfect flavor along side the 'not-frozen' tasting spinach...Mmmmm...it is pure heaven.  I can literally eat the entire thing myself.  And did you know that all proceeds from any product Paul Newman makes goes to Charity?  How can you resist?  We actually buy alot of his products - anything from salsa to cereal and they are all worth trying.


Monday, May 23, 2011

A Little Paint Goes A Long Way...

I'm sitting here, literally waiting for paint to dry.  I am almost (key word 'almost') done with what seems to have been the never-ending Cabinet Make-Over for our new home.  We loved everything about our home before purchasing except for the light golden-colored cabinets that were in both bathrooms, laundry room and kitchen. We contemplated buying all new cabinets - but thought why not put our money towards our other big projects such as new flooring instead; so we opted to paint.  I knew I wanted a deep espresso color for all cabinets to contrast with our very light bluish-gray walls, but didn't know how to actually go about painting them.  After a plethora of varying advice from everyone we know, searching the internet and asking the trusty Home Depot employees; we finally got it down.  I've had so many people ask me what kind of paint to use and how to do it, so  I thought I'd share it with everyone. 


First, take a peek at our Bathroom Cabinets BEFORE:
Excuse the messy countertop
Now, take a look at what a difference a little paint makes:
Excuse the bad photography
Here's what you need to get started:


-Sanding Paper
-Denatured Alcohol 
-Primer (since we were painting such a dark color, we had the paint people at Home Depot tint the primer as dark as it could go) We used Behr Premium Plus Enamel Undercoater Primer and Sealer
-Porch and Floor Paint - Yes, Porch and Floor Paint!  I know it sounds weird, but the people at Home Depot assured us that it was the best choice for cabinets in high traffic areas since it's a heavier duty paint.  I can't find the paint color we chose but I think it was something like "Java Bean" but it was seriously one of the darkest colored brown paints I could find.
-New Hardware (optional)


Here's how to do it:
1.  Sand surface lightly
2.  Rub cabinets with Denatured Alcohol - this cleans the cabinets of all oils, dirt and dust.  I put the alcohol on a clean rag and rubbed it all over both sides of the cabinets
3. Prime surface with one coat of Primer
4. Paint!  Because our paint was so dark, we actually had to paint on 5 coats - but totally worth it to get that rich espresso color.
5. Add new hardware - this of course is optional.  Our old knobs weren't bad, but I wanted to update them just a bit.  We used Liberty's 25mm Satin Nickel Knob (found at Home Depot)


OLD:






NEW:






It really is easy and inexpensive to do.  One Gallon of the paint got us through our Master and Guest Bathrooms as well as the Laundry Room.  We just bought another Gallon for our Kitchen and even though I'm almost completely finished, it looks as though I didn't even put a dent into the additional Gallon.


So literally, a little paint...goes a LONG ways.


Unfortunately, I don't have a before of our Kitchen - but the cabinets looked exactly like the above BEFORE bathroom pic.  (I'm still working on the other side of kitchen)


Here's a pic of our progress so far:




The only thing about my new-found love of our cabinets, is my new-found hatred for our White Appliances that now pop against the surrounding darkness.  That's okay - Stainless Steel Appliances are coming soon:-)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dining Room Makeover - Part 1

So obviously most of my posts have been about food and makeup but since I have become completely obsessed with decorating the home my boyfriend and I purchased last year - I figured I should probably document my progress.  
I begin with my dining room set that for the past year I was trying to sell.  The boyf and I decided that we didn't need a 'formal' dining room since we already have dining seating in our kitchen.  He had actually convinced me that we should change the Dining Room into  a bar...and I agreed!  I think at that point, I was just desperate.  Don't get me wrong, it was a beautiful set to begin with, but not exactly my style anymore.  And for some reason, the seats didn't exactly look like they could be covered, so that thought never really crossed my mind...until...I found this fabulous fabric by Waverly that changed everything...
This fabric, my friends, is what has started my desire to redecorate everything in my house as well as provided the inspiration for color palette and design.  


Check out the dining set BEFORE:
As you can see, the shape of the chairs aren't bad - I actually love the antiqued rubbed finish the black wood has...I just couldn't get past the drab gold/tan fabric; especially since the wall color is a medium slate gray.  


Now, feast your eyes on the AFTER:


Here's a close-up of the one of the chairs BEFORE:
and AFTER:
How did I manage to do this you ask...well, I didn't use a tutorial - I honestly went off pure memory.  My mom taught me how to recover a chair cushion many many years ago.  I remember her telling me that it was just like wrapping a present...and it really is.  Just make sure you have a heavy duty stapler!  For those who want a step-by-step guide on how to do this go here.


Next step to completing my Dining Room Makeover is tackling this beast:


This China Cabinet has been in my family longer than I have so I can't possibly bare to part with it.  But again, same as the dining room set, it is just NOT my style.  I didn't know what to do with this huge piece until I stumbled across this Dining Room Makeover on my fave Decor Blogger, Emily Clark's Blog that will serve as my inspirashe:


I'm thinking of using glossy white paint on the front and instead of the gold background, I'm thinking Jade Green??  
Stay Tuned for Part Two of my Dining Room Makeover...