On my Mind...Lately

November 21, 2014
This was my at 4th birthday party.  I wanted to be Sally from Wee Sing Together.  She wore a red dress and danced on the table and sang a song as she received her birthday presents.

Guess what guys!  It's my birthday today!  I used to (as in up until this year) make a big deal of my birthday and tell my family that it's my birthday month so I should be spoiled the entire month...but now I'm turning 28 and I'm not quite as excited to see the years fly by so quickly.  Not that I'm not excited for the future (and yes, I know I'm still young), but somehow I can't help but compare myself to where my mom was at 28.  She had me at 27, so I'm already "behind" in that category.  I know it'll be my turn to be a mom soon enough, and I really am so excited to become a mother when I'm meant to become one.  I have a feeling that 28 will be the best year yet, and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Now that that's out of the way, here are the things I've had on my mind this past week.  

1.  10 Tips on Working from Home.  I've been struggling with finding balance lately, and I attribute this to working from home and not having a regimented schedule like I did in the Army.  Often when Tom comes home from work I am in the same clothes I was wearing when he left (pajamas), and I'm lucky if I managed to brush my teeth.  I'll try to work on posts and projects, but then get distracted by some mundane task like organizing the closet or cleaning out the pantry.  It's hard to stay focused sometimes, but these tips by Emily of Cupcakes & Cashmere are very helpful and hopefully I'll get into a good routine soon enough.

Image via Leif Shop.

2.  Striped Marble Serving Board.  Isn't this black and white marble serving board gorgeous?  I'd love to serve a yummy cheese plate on this.

Image via Refinery 29.

3.  Louis Ghost Chair...for Less!  I've been hoping to stumble upon a Louis ghost chair for ages now (a knock-off version...no way could I ever afford the original Kartell version), and I finally found one at Homegoods!  There were 6 of them (that would have been so amazing around a dining table), but I am happy with my current dining chairs so I scooped up two of them for a steal.  I don't exactly have room for them at the moment, but that's ok!

Image via Home Depot.

4.  A Pretty Bed.  Isn't this bed beautiful?  Plus there is a sparkly disco ball next to the bed, so it's pretty much perfection.  All the rest of the pictures are lovely too, so if you want some Christmas decorating tips (and some bedding envy) check it out!

Image via PB Teen.

5.  Thanksgiving Place Cards.  Isn't this the most fun Thanksgiving table setting?  I love the ikat fabric, the gold flatware, the gold leafed pumpkin and the simple feather place card.  My friend Laurel from A Bubbly Life shared her Thanksgiving table on PB Teen this week, and I couldn't help but share it here too.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

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Festively Fabulous Holiday Decorating Necessities

November 19, 2014
Well y'all, I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet but I've got to share some of my favorite Christmas entertaining and decorating necessities that are available now.  These items are PERFECT for making your house look festively fabulous for any Christmas or holiday party!

Disco Santa / Stephanie Creekmur "Merry Little Christmas" Print / Gold Disco Ball Ornament / Cheers Tartan Napkins / Glitter Feather / Kate Spade Reversible Wrapping Paper / Merry & Bright Matchbox / Gold Glitter Cake Knife / Acrylic Christmas Trees / Wishbone Ornaments / Glass Christmas Trees / Blue and White Ornament / Stephanie Creekmur "Merry Christmas Y'all" Print

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C.Wonder Holiday Gift Guide

November 17, 2014
Alright everyone, it's almost the holidays, which means it's time to get shopping!  These are some of my favorite items from C.Wonder, and they're sure to make the perfect gift for a girlfriend, sister, or even for yourself!  Happy shopping y'all!

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On my Mind...Lately

November 14, 2014
Happy Friday everyone!  I am so sorry that it's been a few weeks since I did an "on my mind lately" post.  I try to write these posts Thursday night or Friday morning so that it truly is about what sort of projects, recipes, items I've been interested in lately, but sometimes when Thursday night rolls around I just don't feel like writing anything.  I tend to lose every ounce of discipline by Thursday evening...may or may not have eaten half of a large Pizza Hut stuff crust pizza last night...ugh.  I'll try to get better at my Friday morning posts though, I promise.  That being said, here are 5 things that I've had on my mind this past week.  Enjoy!

Image via Anthropologie.

1.  Tiny Copper String Lights.  These are so dainty and surprisingly bright!  They are perfect for wrapping around antlers or other odd things you decide to turn into Christmas decor (like I did).  A tad pricy but so cool!

Image via Pinterest.

2.  Simple Christmas Decor.  Isn't this simple boxwood wreath hung on a chalkboard beautiful?  Sometimes I wish I preferred simple things rather than sparkly and shiny things, because this truly is such a classic and lovely look.

Image via Pinterest.

3.  Cozy Reading Nook.  I'm working on a design project for some folks in Annapolis right now.  I was browsing Pinterest for a little inspiration for their reading nook and I came across this cozy space.  Wouldn't you just love to cozy up in this crushed velvet wingback and read a good book?  I know I would.

Image via The Hunted Interior.

4.  The Hunted Interior.  Have you checked out Kristin Jackson's blog before?  It's amazing y'all.  She has such an amazing eye, isn't afraid of taking risks, and seriously has the most beautifully curated spaces.  Plus she's Atlanta based and I always love seeing talented Southern women.

This brass peacock (and the bar cart) are examples of items I'd love to sell on Etsy!

5.  Future Etsy Store?  I tossed this idea out a few days ago on Instagram but I'll go ahead and toss it out here too!  Y'all know I love love love vintage pieces, and my favorite thing is to style them in unexpected and modern ways.  This got me thinking...would anyone out there be interested in me opening an Etsy shop full of vintage treasures?  I'd style them on the blog showing you how to use them in interesting ways, and then make them available for you to purchase via Etsy!  Down the road I'd love to open a brick and mortar home decor boutique selling both old and new stuff, but the Army is unpredictable and it doesn't make sense for me to put roots down anywhere just yet (which is why I'm toying around with an Etsy shop).  I'd love to hear if you'd be interested in something like this!

Have a lovely weekend and stay warm in this freezing cold weather that seems to have swept most of the country!!

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Daily Beauty Essentials

November 12, 2014

I love to try new beauty products whenever I get the chance, but sometimes there is just something to be said for sticking to the basics.  I've had very little variation to my daily beauty regimen over the past few years, so I figured I'd share with you the 7 essentials that I always have on hand.  (I have oily skin, so if you have dry skin these may not necessary be right for you.)

1.  Maybelline Expert Eyes Eye Makeup Remover (for Waterproof Eye Makeup).  Some other eye makeup removers make my eyes sting, but this is so mild and it removes waterproof makeup in a cinch.  

2.  Burt's Bee's Brightening Refining Tonic.  This is the newest addition to the bunch, and I've been using it for about a year.  It removes all the leftover gunk my cleanser didn't get, and it brightens my skin and makes my skin tone more even.

3.  Olay Age Defying Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream.  Never too early to start fighting wrinkles!  I use this right before bedtime.  It sort of smells like something your grandmother would wear, but it's so thick and creamy that I don't even care.  (Unintentional rhyme, I swear.)

4.  Purity Facial Cleanser by Philosophy.  I use this day and night.  It's mild, effective, smells nice, lasts forever, and does a good job at removing eye makeup.  

5.  Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with Sunscreen (for Combination/Oily Skin).  This stuff is great.  I always wear sunscreen on my face, and this moisturizer has SPF 15, and it isn't overly greasy or thick.

6.  Sephora Instant Depuffing Roll-on Gel.  I must admit: I received this item for free with my Sephora points a few years ago, and it has since become a staple.  I role it under my eyes in the morning to make me look less puffy.

7.  The Microdelivery Purifying Peel by Philosophy.  Ok so I don't use this everyday, but it is definitely an essential item in my skincare routine.  I use this once or twice a week, and it's great for refreshing your skin and making you look bright and refreshed.  (Tom even notices when I use it and says I look like I'm glowing.)  It only takes 3 minutes too.  Just be careful and make sure you wear sunscreen if you go out in the sun after using this.

Does anyone have a good recommendation for a facial scrub?  I haven't found one I'm crazy about, and I know I'm not supposed to use the St. Ives apricot scrub anymore because apparently it's rather harsh on your skin.  I'd love your input! 

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Gold and White Pineapple Jar Update

November 10, 2014

 How do you react when you see something unsightly or not-so-pretty?  While I don't always react positively, I normally try to see the beauty in everything.  A few weeks ago I was browsing an antique store (naturally), and stumbled upon a set of 4 ceramic pineapple jars.

 They weren't the prettiest, but I saw potential in them because the had such a fun shape.  Plus the whole set was just $49, so I had to scoop them up.  I knew that with a coat of paint they'd look nice and refreshed, and perfect in a beach cottage.

I don't have pictures of the first step, but I primed them with spray paint primer.  This was essential because paint won't adhere to ceramic alone.  After priming the entire pineapple I used two coats of white spray paint on the base and the lower part of the lid.

Once the paint on the lid was completely dry I wrapped the lower part of it with plastic wrap to protect it from the gold paint.  Then I painted the top of it with gold spray paint!

At first I thought about using painter's tape, newspaper, or a plastic bag to protect the bottom, but plastic wrap ended up being the perfect choice.

After drying for a full day the texture of the pineapples was still a little bit tacky.  I decided to cure the pineapples in the oven to seal everything in.  What do I mean exactly?  I put the pineapples in the oven (while it was cool before turning it on), set it for 300 degrees, and once it hit 300 I "cooked" them for 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes was over I turned off the oven and left the pineapples in there until they were cool.  This time in the oven before and after the actual cooking part is important, because things tend to crack if there is a drastic change in temperature.

After I cured the pineapples they looked and felt like they had always been white and you couldn't even tell that they had been spray painted.  Aren't they great?

I ended up leaving 3 of the pineapples at my family's beach cottage, and brought one back home with me.  Now it's gracing my mantle and I absolutely love it!

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Have an Idea for Content? Let me Know!

November 7, 2014

Happy Friday everyone!  So...I need your help.  Sometimes I feel like I'm writing without much focus or plan (probably because I haven't quite committed to a content planning calendar like I should), and I want to make sure I'm giving all you wonderful readers what you want to see.  (In the Army we would call this an azimuth check (a land navigation analogy making sure you're going in the right direction and haven't strayed off course.))  

Am I on the mark?  
What type of posts do you enjoy the most?  
Is there something you don't enjoy?  
Or do you have a specific decorating problem you'd like some help with?  
Or a great idea for me to write about?  

Please let me know!  I want to provide the best content I possibly can, and most importantly I want to be helpful and inspiring and I want you to want to read it!  If you'd leave a comment with your thoughts I'd realllllly appreciate it.  Or if you're more of the private type please shoot me an email at katie@lifewithadashofwhimsy.com.  Y'all are the best and I can't wait to see what sort of ideas you have!

Have a great weekend y'all! 

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