11.26.2014

DIY Thanksgiving Pumpkin

I know orange pumpkins totally work as Thanksgiving decorations, but I was starting to get a little tired of our Halloween pumpkin that has been on our porch since mid-October. So I pulled out my craft box and gave it a little update.


OK, Here's the deal.


I gathered up all of my white shades of craft paint. Most bottles were dried up (they are old), but I managed to mix a great creamy color. 


Gave the pumpkin two coats and let it dry for a few hours.


I picked up this pretty striped ribbon and gold patio paint from Michaels. (If you order online, use Ebates to get 3% cash back at Michaels and tons of other stores (cash back % varies).)


...and I painted "Give Thanks" on the pumpkin. I'm sure most of you have better handwriting than I do.


...and I tied a bow with the pretty ribbon on the rotting stem (guess pumpkins don't last forever, after all).


Pretty darn simple. Ready to welcome family to our home for Thanksgiving!


11.25.2014

tis the season to shopbop

Can't let this day pass without sharing my picks from the Shopbop "Big Event," where you can save 15% off orders of $250+, 20% off of $500+, and 25% off of $1000+. And as always, free 3 day shipping, free return shipping, and no tax (for SC, at least?). You know I can't pass up a Shopbop sale. 
1. Stuart Weitzman Sandals: Would be a staple for any formal event.
2. LNA Ribbed Top: Love interesting cut outs on tops!
3. Madewell Cuff: Green + gold is always a great combination. 
4. Splendid Boots: These just look like they would be worn a million times this season because they would go with everything.
5. Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody Bag: LOVE this color.
6. Three J NYC PJ Set: Pretty jammies are a must. 
7. Oliveve Haircalf Clutch: Fun prints like this are the best thing to pair with solid colors.
8. Stuart Weitzman 5050 Boots: If you don't own these, now is a great time to jump on that train!
9. Karen Walker Sunglasses: Always drawn to these shades and I love the new mirrored lens.
10. Rag & Bone Hat: All about hats this season. This one is so good.
11. Blaque Label Blazer: Love the slim, feminine fit of this blazer.




11.24.2014

5 things I'm loving

I have been loving this Lululemon Clip-In Tank so much. It has somewhat of an open back, so you can choose to leave it open or tie it together, as seen in the second pic (that's what I do). It's so unique and I love the cut of the neckline! I have it in the black in a size 6.

I've been wearing the GiGi New York Madison Crossbody in the color "stone" all week. It's my new favorite. There's something so freeing about wearing a small little hands-free bag when you're running around town. Don't worry, I'll soon post plenty of pictures of mine, which I have personalized with my initials, MSS, in gold.

This Michael Stars scarf has been my jam lately. It's the best scarf I've ever owned because it's incredibly soft, it has both beige and black (matches with everything!), and the price isn't half bad. 

These Kenneth Jay Lane Pave Stud Earrings are just gorgeous. I've worn the heck out of them and have just owned them for less than a month. I was wearing them in my October Favorites video. They are stunning.
You may have seen this photo already on my instagram ...I can't get enough of this jacket. I'm wearing an XS, but honestly think I could have gone down to an XXS. It runs big. Save 40% with code SHOPANN.



11.21.2014

weekly roundup


Aside from feeling like the North Pole, it's been a pretty solid week, but I'm so thankful it's Friday. We have our first Christmas party tonight, so that's sure to bring out the holiday spirit and legitimize the holiday music that's on the radio 24 hours a day. Ah! I can't deny how much I love this time of year, though. It's kind of my favorite.

Have I ever mentioned my love for Pottery Barn Teen? I need this gold scallop mirror! I think it would be perfect in our powder bath. And this bookshelf? The teens. They get the best stuff. 

If you have a baby girl, you've got to see these adorable head wraps. Seriously precious.

I made this classic recipe this week and it was a hit in our house. Definitely recommend if you're wanting an easy and comforting dinner.

This bag is great.

Wrote three features this week for The Everygirl. You can check them out here, here, and here. If you want to :).

This recipe would be so good on Thanksgiving! Or any day.

Right now, you can save 30% off at J. Crew with code SHOPNOW. Great time to pick up a classic denim jacket, their popular Downing tote, or my favorite - this jacket.

Love this.

image via

11.18.2014

three thanksgiving outfits

Here are three outfit ideas that I think would be perfect for Thanksgiving. The best part is that everything is from Piperlime and they currently have a 30% off everything coupon code if you spend more than $200. Just use the code HOLIDAY30 ...ending tonight! Plus, free two day shipping with code CHEER.

outfit one //

outfit two //

outfit three //




11.17.2014

weekend

Hello and happy Monday! Here are some scenes from my weekend. I'm starting with Thursday night because I like to think it's worth sharing. I kind of mentioned this on Friday, but I attended a cooking demonstration on Thursday night by celebrity chef Hugh Acheson at Le Creuset L'Atelier. The dishes he prepared are in his cookbook, A New Turn in the South, which I happily now own and can't wait to use. We had pickled shrimp + farro salad and the best fried chicken I've ever had in my entire life with housemade bread and butter pickles. 



On Friday night, Brandon and I went to dinner with about 18 friends to celebrate Ryan's 28th birthday.


(She was #feeling22.)


We hit the farmers market on Saturday morning. I was feeling pretty inspired from the cooking demonstration and thought I would try my hand at some farm to table meals, so we picked up a loot of veggies. By the way, the Transport Tote makes for the perfect market bag. I kept cozy with this jacket, this scarf, these jeans, and some 5 year old boots from Banana Republic, which I just had resoled (they are the best). I scooped up the hat at TJ Maxx the other day (in West Ashley, Charleston girls), but this one looks very similar and for the same price.


My glasses are a discontinued style by Jack Purcell, but these are similar and here are some more. Brandon's face cracks me up!


He ate his first crepe. We had ours made with nutella & strawberries, naturally.

 

It was COLD. The weather went from 76 on Thursday to 36 on Saturday morning!


Then on Sunday, I fell in love with this piece of furniture from the Mt. Pleasant Mall.


...I think that covers the important parts. Here's to a great week! xo

11.14.2014

weekly roundup


I'm not even joking when I say we are on our 15th sample of paint. So far, we've tried BM Revere Pewter 50%, BM Edgecomb Gray 70%, Sherwin Williams Repose Gray, SW Repose Gray 75%, BM Classic Gray, BM White Wisp, SW Passive, SW Agreeable Gray 70%, SW Zurich White, Valspar Cornflower, BM Aloof Gray, SW Windfresh White, BM Halo, and now we are trying BM Ashwood 50% and BM Sea Pearl.

omg.

Let's not even talk about that even more ...before I cry at how much money we've wasted on gallons we ended up not liking and not to mention, all of those samples. I've now started getting them mixed at Lowe's because the $7 samples at Ben Moore and Sherwin Williams were starting to get a little crazy. Anyway, here are this week's worthy links.

I am truly obsessed with this settee. I just need something in that Hermes orange.

I really love this article, which highlights what 16 extremely successful people were doing at age 25. Proves that you don't have to have it all together in your 20s (or for that matter, even in your 30s and 40s), for those of you like me that feel like everything has to happen now. (20-something crisis)

I just discovered Willa Skye Home on Etsy and I'm obsessed with her pillow covers. (...and I have three coming my way!)

Last night, Ryan and I went to a cooking demonstration at L'Atelier Le Creuset by celebrity chef, Hugh Acheson. He's a James Beard award winner and is a judge on Top Chef, in addition to a lengthy list of impressive accolades. We got to enjoy some of his amazing food and get his cookbook, A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen, signed and personalized. I'm obsessed with the recipes! Everything is simple, but he concentrates on bringing out flavor in foods and supporting your local farmers. I'm feeling inspired and plan on hitting the farmer's market this weekend to stock up.

The best reminder.

I might try to paint our pumpkin this weekend to look like this. This is a great way to soften the look of Halloween-ish pumpkins for Thanksgiving.

J. Crew is offering 25% off your purchase with code SHOPNOW. I love this colorblock sweater and this buffalo check vest. A whole lot. And this hat, too.



11.13.2014

new favorites face masks

I scooped up two new masks during the Sephora VIB sale, both by Peter Thomas Roth—the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask and the Therapeutic Sulfur Masque. I'd never tried either, but I've known that Morgan from Rich Kids of Beverly Hills swears by the sulfur one and pumpkin? Well that's a no brainer. If it smelled like I hoped it did, then did it really matter if it worked? 

So now that I've had both home and have given them a couple tries each, I'm proud to report that I'm totally happy with my purchases. The sulfur mask is very similar to one by Clinique which I've used for years and is now discontinued. And yes, the pumpkin enzyme mask smells just like pumpkin pie, but only one that the spa would bake for you with their wonderful, clean smelling scents. Does that makes sense?


Let's talk about the Therapeutic Sulfur Masque first. It's ingredients include:
  • 10% Sulfur: Dries and clears blemishes
  • Kaolin: Helps absorb excess oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil: Helps prevent future breakouts
  • Aloe Vera: Soothes and hydrates skin

My thoughts? I felt that its claims to exfoliate dead skin cells, absorb excess oil, and help purify clogged pores to be completely true. I have oily combo skin and after using this, my skin did feel a little dried out, but still soothed. I was ready for a nice, hydrating serum and moisturizer afterwards. Overall, my skin looked clearer after using this and my pores weren't as noticeable. I love this more than the GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Mask (you know, the gray one in the white tub that people are cuckoo over) and that's hard to say because I really do love that one. But the GLAMGLOW is $70 for 1.2oz! That's crazy talk. This Sulfur Masque has 5oz for $40. It would cost $288 to receive that much of the GLAMGLOW mask! (I just had a moment when I realized that.)

Now, the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. It's ingredients?
  • Pumpkin Enzyme: Gently dissolves dead surface skin cells
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid: Peels away dull surface cells revealing a youthful radiance
  • Aluminum Oxide Crystals: Provides an effective physical exfoliation to polish skin

My thoughts? If I could leave this on my skin all day, I would... if it wouldn't burn my skin off, that is. Aside from the smell being lovely, it's a gentle way of giving your skin a good one two punch in terms of brightening. I have some melasma that I'm trying to send packing and this, in just two uses, has made a difference. The alpha hydroxy acid, combined with the gentle exfoliation of the aluminum oxide crystals and the pumpkin enzyme, provides younger-looking, radiant skin. No joke.

Both of these aren't exactly cheap at $40 and $58, but they come in large tubs and only require a tiny bit per use. At this rate, I have no clue how long it will take me to finish these tubs, but it's going to be a long, long time.



11.12.2014

gift guide no. 1 (for her)

I can't believe I'm already doing a holiday gift guide, but believe it or not, the time is upon us. I say this every year, but this year especially felt like it has gone by in the blink of an eye. It's probably because we have had so much going on—moving from Charleston to Ridgeland, then to Beaufort, then back to Charleston ....all in about nine months. Yeah, 2014 has been all over the place. 

This gift guide is for your best friend, your mom, a sister, or even for yourself. It's for any woman in your life you're wanting to treat this Christmas (or Christmahanakawanzika). Of course, I'm only listing items that I would actually gift myself, so you know each item has been curated thoughtfully! These are things that the receiver may not purchase herself, but all incredibly lust-worthy, if I do say so myself.



 The image above is clickable! But here's another way to shop the items:
Henri Bendel Mini Ring Box - $38

So which one is your favorite? I think those slippers were made for my feet, just sayin'. And that Bobbi Brown brush set? It's all the tools she'd need to do her makeup while traveling ...and all in one stylish kit, to boot.

11.11.2014

the great paint debate (guest room, bath, and powder room before & afters!)

You know when you agonize over a decision over and over, then finally choose something completely off the wall, so different than the things you were originally considering? 

Well that's exactly what we did with our guest room, guest bath, and powder room paint color decisions. I figured these rooms aren't used as often and they were my chances for having a little fun. 

We randomly found ourselves in Lowe's last Sunday and I pulled out the 200 paint chips I've been hoarding in my handbag over the past month. I laid them all out on the counter, basically closed my eyes (ok, you know this isn't completely true, but I may as well have had them closed since I'm usually so analytical with decisions) and pointed to a pretty gray color for the guest room and bath. I wanted this color to be different than our common living areas, where we're going with a barely there, warm gray. For the guest room, I knew I wanted something soothing, a little darker, and a cooler tone than elsewhere in the house. So I picked the first pretty paint color I saw... Aloof Gray by Benjamin Moore. I had Lowe's color match it with Valspar's Reserve paint. Ok, that was easy.


Here's the guest room before...
...and after.

I haven't done any styling whatsoever, so pay no attention to everything except the walls, but you can see how the Aloof Gray completely brightened up the space. I suppose it also helps that I took the photo when it was sunny outside vs. at night, when I took the before photo.

We used the same color in the guest bath. Here's the before...
...and after:

Still have work to do on the shower curtain, rugs, and styling in general front. But overall, I love the color! It's a nice, slightly greenish gray. Almost a silver. I think it rocks.

Now for the powder room. I originally wanted to do wallpaper in there and don't tell Brandon, but I probably will still do wallpaper eventually. But I really love the paint choice we made. This was completely off the wall. I looked on Valspar's giant wall of paint colors and went where my brain took me first. Blue.

I love a good french blue. We have a few pieces in Le Creuset MarseilleI've always been drawn to that color. I found a beautiful dusty blue color that's a little more muted and a little more gray than Marseille. It's called Cornflower Blue and basically, it was game over for the half bath paint decision.


Here's the powder room before:
and after...

We originally wanted to put this faux bamboo in the bathroom, and we still might, but it didn't fit between the console and the light. We'll just have to tackle that later. One thing at a time now. Paint only.

We're definitely taking baby steps over here, but there's our progress so far! Brandon started on the paint for our common areas tonight, so that reveal will come next!

11.10.2014

(you don't want to miss this) #bagUP with thredUP

For me, one of the best feelings is reducing clutter in my life. I hang on to very little "extras," although I must admit that after packing and unpacking all of those moving boxes, I'm beginning to question that statement. But when it comes to my closet, I absolutely cannot stand to look at pieces I don't use on a regular basis. That's why companies like thredUP are so wonderful because on their website, you can sell your like-new, quality women’s, juniors and kids clothing without ever leaving home. (Remember when I talked about their handbag launch?)



thredUP is basically like a consignment store, but it's better because the process couldn't be easier and can be done completely online while you're on the couch watching Real Housewives. Here's the simple process: You just order a complimentary "Clean Out Bag", fill it with your clothes, then send it back to thredUP with their prepaid shipping label. Once your clothing sells online, you will be paid up to 80% of the resale value. You can be paid cash through Paypal or receive a thredUP credit to shop like-new clothing from over 25,000 brands on their website—at prices up to 90% off retail. Sell clothes you don't wear, then buy new ones without leaving home.... not too shabby.

The best part of all is that starting today through 12/31, you can send your handbags in to thredUP to receive 100% of the amount the bag sells for. There's no catch; they're giving you every penny that someone pays for your bag, taking 0% commission.

As always, thredUP will cover the cost for you to send your handbags to them in one of their "Clean Out Bags." They do all of the work to photograph, list, and sell your bag.

The icing on the cake is that thredUP is giving away six designer handbags from brands including Fendi, Jimmy Choo and Stella McCartney. Enter at thredUP.com/bagUP by sharing the contest on Facebook. Entries will close on Friday night and the winner will be announced on Monday (One handbag given away per week until 12/22!). Selection is random, but you can enter daily to increase your odds of winning.

I just think it's the coolest thing that thredUP is helping women earn money over the holidays, a time so focused on spending. It's their way of giving back to customers during the season of giving. Pretty neat!

*This post is brought to you by thredUP. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

11.08.2014

Sephora 20% Off VIB Sale | My Recommendations

It's the greatest time of year, meaning the Sephora 20% off sale is happening now. This is when I stock up on makeup. Why not do it now when you can save a pretty considerable discount? 

Here's the nitty gritty. You have to be a VIB or VIB Rouge member. Then use code GIFTVIB to save 20% off, in store or online. Ends on Monday, November 10th! 

Thought I'd share some recommendations with you...products I've come to love and totally think are worth the splurge. Here goes!


The NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette is so on point. First of all, it has everything you need for everyday makeup and then some. Perfect for travel or just ease of use in general. It has a highlight color, three beautiful blushes, and a bronzer. Not to mention, it's a $151 value for just $65 ($52 with 20% off!)

If you're not a lipstick or lip gloss person (or heck, even if you are), then you might really enjoy this Fresh Lip Legends kit. It includes seven lip treatments with SPF that are tinted in a beautiful shade. These are seriously the best lip balms I've ever used. This set is a $79 value, but is only $44 after the 20% discount.

The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is an intense moisturizer that penetrates into the skin deeply, but is incredibly lightweight at the same time. Being that it is made with colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, soothing eucalyptus oil, and ceramides, Ultra Repair Cream can be used on the body or face and is made for anyone with severely dry, scaly skin.

This is also a great time to get a back up of your favorite perfume. I have adored Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum since I was a freshman in college. It's been with me through a lot and I never abandon it, no matter how many other wonderful scents I find along the way. It's my signature go-to.

If you don't have a Clarisonic, it's time to get on that. It cleanses your skin six times better than by traditional methods. Helps with wrinkles, skin texture, and discoloration. I prefer the Mia because it's compact. Not terribly priced to begin with at $99, but the sale knocks it down to $79. Not too shabby. I've had mine for five years and it's still running like a champ!

The Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is currently a bestseller at Sephora. I absolutely love it. In fact, I just loaded up on two colors yesterday: Vanilla for under my eyes and Custard for facial blemishes. Sometimes I just wear this instead of wearing foundation and it gives me a polished, yet fresh look.

I also love grabbing one or two face masks during this sale. I recently got the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask and y'all, it smells just like pumpkins! If that's not reason enough (I know you agree.), it exfoliates with pumpkin enzyme, peels with alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and polishes with aluminum oxide. It's a great remedy for a dull, congested complexion.

The Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick is all kinds of wonderful. Their shade range is fantastic and the best part? The line is completely natural! They say their lipsticks are healthy enough to eat and contain a ton of antioxidants. Which is pretty brilliant considering we technically eat the lipstick off of our lips as it's worn throughout the day. All healthiness aside, this stuff performs amazingly well. It lasts a long time on the lips and feels nice and moisturizing.

Other great recommendations are the Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothe Operator Finishing Powder (because I've never tried a better translucent powder), the Pro Flawless Airbrush #56 for applying foundation (seriously, it's called airbrush for a reason), and the Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream because (do I dare say?) it makes me look like I get eight hours of sleep at night.




11.05.2014

october beauty favorites (vlog)



I decided to create a video to talk about my October favorites. They're just too good not to. Here are the links to the products mentioned:
Batiste Blush Dry Shampoo
Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Moisturizing Body Cream
Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Hydrating Serum
Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Lip Colour in #99 "Pirate"
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask
Smith's Rosebud Salve 
Maybelline Brow Drama Brow Mascara 
Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream
Sultra "The Bombshell" 1-Inch Curling Rod
Dr. Teal's Lavender Epsom Salt
Ah! I'm wearing a Michael Stars scarf, a top by ASOS, and Kenneth Jay Lane earrings, which are also big favorites for this past month. What's on your favorites list?




image via

11.04.2014

skirting the issue




five  |  six  |  seven  |  eight

Skirts are having a total moment. They're one of the most, if not the most, versatile pieces of clothing a woman can have in her closet. They can be worn year round, paired with practically any type of top, and they bring on a fun, feminine vibe. Plus, depending on what you pair with it, a skirt can be dressed down for a day look or dressed up for an evening event. For these cooler temperatures, just throw on a pair of tights underneath, along with some booties like these or these, and you're good to go. Oh, and while we're on the topic... don't forget that all shoes and boots are 25% off at Piperlime with code FANCYFEET (ends tonight, 11/4!).

Which skirt would you choose? I love them all! Here are some more that have caught my attention...



image via

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