Reads from the Anthro Sale

2015/01/img_0370.jpgA new year means out with the old and in with the new. Fortunately for us, retailers share this sentiment, which means it’s time to hit the sales. Check out my finds from Anthropologie’s sale. I scored this magazine and book for just $5 and $10! Hitched magazine’s HOORAY issue covers everything from invitations to table settings. Design Bloggers at Home gives us an inside look at the homes of design bloggers. Picture perfect!

*You’re Cute cards ($12, not on sale)

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The Perfect Good Morning Smoothie

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I try to start each morning fresh. That includes what I eat and drink. Here’s the recipe for my Perfect Good Morning smoothie. Thank you Amy Cuccia for introducing me to this!

The Perfect Good Morning Smoothie
– 1 cup orange juice
– 1 cup frozen strawberries
– 1 banana
– half a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt
– ice

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend well. Depending on what I have in the kitchen, I’ll add chia seeds for extra protein or a couple handfuls of spinach to add a little veggie to my morning. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like spinach or chia seeds – you can’t even taste them. So this is a great way to get extra nutrition in if you have a hard time with veggies.

Waking Up in Vegas: What to Know Before Your Trip

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This year, we decided to ring in the New Year in Vegas. It also happened to be our first time in Sin City. After our trip, we compiled a list of things to think about while planning your trip to this beautiful city. 

Budget. Most hotels are cheap because they make so much money in the casinos. Know how much you want to spend before you go.

Walk around. The hotels are so big you could literally never leave. Inside the hotel are restaurants, shopping, casinos and clubs. Don’t get sucked in. Get out on the strip and explore. Also, be aware that what may look like a short walk, may actually be pretty long. The strip is very long and each hotel takes up a few blocks.

Stay on the strip. It’s better to stay at a hotel on the strip rather than off, so that you’re closer to everything. Especially if you’re coming in town for a holiday (like New Year’s Eve) because when they shut down the street at night, Uber won’t do you much good.

Shuttle. The shuttles at the airport offer cheap shuttles to and from the airport to any hotel on the strip. Book a round trip shuttle ticket for around $20 – and don’t worry, if you change your flight because you plan on staying longer, you can reschedule your shuttle pickup.

Downtown. The Strip isn’t all that Las Vegas offers. Downtown is considered the “Old Las Vegas” and there’s still a lot to do there.

Watch the weather and dress accordingly. It is pretty warm inside most places. If it’s cold out and you’re walking from building to building, you may be better off wearing a lighter jacket so you don’t have to carry it. You don’t want to be caught outside with a sleeveless dress on.

Go to shows! Some of the best performers of all time are there, so take advantage. This means shows, Cirque du Soleil, concerts, whatever performance strikes your fancy. This was what made our NYE so special.

Be aware of your time. There are no clocks anywhere in Vegas. Keep track of time so you can make the most of it while you’re there. We did a lot while we were there, but couldn’t help but feel like we could have done more.

Pack light. Get everything you need in that suitcase, but consolidate as much as possible. Neither of us checked a bag, everything was carry on. We were there for three nights, had outfits for every day/night, all the toiletries we needed and even fit in a mini clothing steamer and gel nail kit for last minute mani-pedis. You don’t need a trunk to travel well.

Go for a holiday. We went for NYE, and it was incredible. The city was packed and star-studded. Performers for the week included: Justin Timberlake, Iggy Azalea, Britney Spears, Ryan Lewis and Macklemore. We were lucky enough to see Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga before ringing in the New Year with Drake. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to ring in the New Year. Hello 2015!

Written by: Emily & Caroline

2015: New Year, New You

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Every year, we all make ourselves New Year’s promises that we’ll do better. And many of us set goals of consistency. We tell ourselves that we’re giving up gluten for the entire year, or that we’ll work out five days a week without fail.  Something that I’ve done the last couple years is set a goal for myself that I’ve either completed or haven’t by the end of the year. In 2014, my goal was to have taken care of my skin to the point that I felt comfortable leaving the house for the day without makeup on. Within the last month or so, I’ve been doing that more and more. I’ve found that when I’m working toward something positive and the focus is on improvement, instead of staying on a strict I always did this or I never did that, I tend to do a lot better and actually achieve my goals. There wasn’t a resolution to break, just a continuous goal to work toward. I was striving for progress, not perfection. Among my goals for 2015, I’ve decided I want to be consistent with taking care of my body, and by the end of the year, I want to feel like I look great no matter what I’m wearing – even sweatpants. Because if you feel great in sweatpants, you’ve gotta always feel great, right? What are your goals for this year? Do you make strict resolution or set goals? What works for you?

Christmas Cookies

Every year, I look forward to Christmas. The lights and decorations, the love of family and friends, giving and receiving of gifts, the general spirit. Each Christmas Eve, we go see my Granny for dinner and gifts.  Then go to my parents’ house for our traditional cheese, summer sausage, crackers and sparkling drinks. This year on Christmas Eve, I decided to add in a little something different. We made gingerbread Christmas cookies to decorate.

I’ll have you know Christmas cookie cutters are much more difficult to come by than I ever would have thought. After asking around though, Williams-Sonoma came to the rescue, and they have them in all shapes and sizes. Just a tip for gingerbread cookies and cookie cutters: gingerbread tends to be a little softer and oily than other doughs, so I had to add flour to each little ball of dough so that it would keep the mold of the cookie cutter, and I could peel away the edges.

For the royal icing, I combined a mix of confectioner’s sugar, milk, almond extract and food coloring in a mixing bowl to taste and consistency. I preferred only a capful of almond extract. I separated the icings into ziplock baggies and snipped a tiny hole in one corner so that I could outline each cookie and fill it in before designing on top of the base color.

How fun are these cookies? And how beautiful is this carerra marble?!  Thank you to Granite Countertops Fabricator for all your help getting my marble! It’s beautiful and been quite a treat!

Festival Weekend: Simple Flower Crowns

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 1.16.33 PMTomorrow begins the start of a wonderful weekend. For many people, that means the Red River Rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl. For people like myself who would rather get out of Dallas for the weekend, that means heading down to Austin to hear some great live music with your friends from college. I relish in the opportunity to channel my inner flower child. And every flower child needs a flower crown.

Supplies Needed:

  • Silk flowers of your choice
  • Green wire
  • Wire cuttersFlower crown supplies Once you have your supplies, unravel a good amount of wire. Fit the wire to where you want to wear your flower crown and wrap wire around itself to secure. Continue to wrap around a few times so that the crown is at least two or three wires thick. This way, your flower crown won’t be flimsy. Flower crown tutorial Cut the flowers you would like to use, leaving just a little stem at the end for flowers that you want to wrap around the crown. Wrap wire around to secure. Make sure that it is wrapped tightly at the ends. For this weekend, we only wanted simple flower crowns. So next week, I’ll post a full tutorial with a bigger, more complex crown!DIY Flower crown tutorial

Coconut Oil & Why I’ve Nixed Moisturizer (and a Few Other Products)

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I frequently get on my soapbox about being a steward of what you have. Yes, that means your skin, too.

Something I’ve recently adopted as part of my daily routine is coconut oil. I started using it a few months ago when my boss told me the wonders it has done for her skin. So I decided to give it a shot. I headed to Trader Joe’s and grabbed some of their Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. After I got out of the shower, I’d apply it all over like a moisturizer. Any dry spots I had cleared up. Sometimes I get these small bumps on my legs… Gone. Any acne I had? Significantly better. The overall texture and appearance of my skin has improved. It looks moisturized. Now I use it for everything: body moisturizer, facial moisturizer, shaving cream, deep conditioner, cuticle oil… you name it.

Once I had seen what it could do for my skin (all over), I decided to look at coconut oil a little more closely. Huffington Post has a great article about it’s benefits for skin, body and hair, where they explain how coconut oil is different from regular moisturizers and why that matters. On top of skin and hair benefits,  Dr. Oz talks about the health benefits coconut oil has.

Give it a try and let us know what you think!