Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bookshelf Styling

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WicklessWonders #CollectiveBias 

As soon as we moved into our house, I knew I wanted to put an Ikea shelving unit along the back wall of our living room. It would be inexpensive for our almost non existent furniture budget and I love the mixed of industrial looking with our more traditional sofa and coffee table. We opted to buy the single and double shelf and stick them side by side. You can barely tell they are two separate shelves unless very up close. For awhile, I thought about spray painting them gold, but have since kept them their black and glass look-  can always go back and do it if I change my mind. 

I love how our bookcase is styled, old and new. So I thought today I would share some bookcase styling tips that seem to work for me. 

1. Add something that tells a story: old, new and blue perhaps? The magnifying glass below, the pineapple and the white milk glass vase are all items I found meandering through at antique stores. They probably are worthless, but I love the story they tell and the visual appeal they bring to the shelves. Every time I walk by, I am reminded of antiquing with my mom and dad or Aaron and I remember the exact day and time I found the item. 

2. Use Books to your Benefit: I love decorating with books. They are in almost every room of our house and we have a ton, so it's a good thing. Although my favorite books aren't all out, I picked some that either were the right color, or the right shape and used them to create inexpensive appeal on my shelves. Stack them, keep them upright- regardless use them! I love this design book. 

3. Use Color in an Interesting way; On the bottom shelves, I stacked three stacks of books and kept them all either black or blue depending on the stack. I love how uniform it is without being the same.

4. Hide Useful items within your shelf: Since our units are glass, I don't like to actually light the candles we use on our shelves. However, the elephant below is my secret weapon. While wandering through Walmart, I found this little Aroma Breeze and I couldn't resist, I love elephants (but they also come in other amazing animals, shapes, etc.). This thing is amazing because it makes our house fragrant without me lighting a candle (it can run on battery or electric) so it's not only safe, but also clean. The little discs last forever and come in an array of different scents. We are using Sweet Pea right now and is ahhmazing. I use it as a bookend and it served dual functionality! Just make sure to follow directions! Useful items can also include little storage boxes, candy dishes, etc. 

5. Get creative with Bookends: Sure, actual bookends are super cute. I am thinking about getting these, however, think about everything else you can use decor wise that's great for keeping your book erect. Candles, vases, etc. This is an opportunity to get creative!

6. Lastly, don't forget to add dimension. You can see from below, I try to use dimension in decorating my shelves. Add pictures in the back of loved ones to keep it personal and then some fun/funky items in the foreground. You can also get creative and hide wall items (i.e. our thermostat can't be seen b/c of that pate when looking straight on). 












I hope that helps a little. I am in no way a professional, but I do love home decor styling, so I hope you find some of these tips helpful. I love places like HomeGoods, Amazon, Walmart, One Kings Lane, and Target for cheap and unique filler pieces. Antiquing and used book stores are ALWAYS a fav of mine too!

Also, can you tell Jodi Picoult is a favorite author of mine? Her books are amazing. 

What are your tips and secrets for decorating these types of spaces? Make sure to check our AromaBreeze products!

Also, poll- bookshelf, gold or leave as is? I appreciate the feedback!


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Where I go, My Dell Goes



Almost a month ago (wow times flies), I shared my Dell XPS  experience with y'all here. I can't say enough about this little laptop. It has truly become a grab and go piece for me because it compact size and lightweight allow me throw it in my tote and use it almost anywhere. For someone who is always on the go like me, this computer is honestly perfection. It has everything I need, a long battery life, lightweight design, functionality and speed (thanks to the 5th Generation Core Processor)

When I say this computer has an amazing battery life, I am not even kidding. It has over 15 hours of use which means if I turn on the TV and start watching Keeping up with the Kardashians and forget to charge my battery, no big deal- Ill have plenty of juice in the morning for blogging! And while I don't recommend it as a chew toy, it's durable too considering our puppy thinks it's fun to try to eat! I guess she is jealous mom spend so much time with her Dell. And who doesn't love a computer you can throw in a tote and not feel bogged down by? This girl!









Look 1: Dress DVF, similar (25% off similar here ) / Bag / Shoes / Necklace c/o ShopRiffRaff (similar) / Watch / Bracelet / Sunglasses / Khaki Blazer (similar)
Look 2: Dress c/o CheekyPeach (similar here) / Jean Jacket / Sunglasses / Phone Case
Look 3: Kimono / Jeans c/o ShopRiffRaff (similar) / Watch / Sunglasses
Look 4: Sweatshirt Nation / Pants c/o Onzie / Sunglasses / Camelback

As you can see from above, this computer gets around in my everyday life. Whether I'm running errands and stopping to do a little blogging at Starbucks, writing thank you cards on my back deck with wine (while using my address spreadsheets- total nerd) or just checking my email while lounging on the front porch, the Dell XPS goes too. Remember this scene when J.Lo says she has her world in her bag? I TOTALLY feel like that when I have my purse and a computer inside of it. Literally my world (material speaking!). 

If you're in the market for a great, compact and quick computer that challengers MAC Book Air fiercely, then make sure you check out the Dell XPS. You wont be disappointed by the functionality, sleek design nor the price tag!

Also, just a sidenote, but I've been on the hunt for some bright floral shoes and these are exactly what I was searching for. They also come in polka dot- eat your heart out! Also, if you don't already own a khaki blazer, I suggest you get one- such a staple for spring when black and white just doesn't cut it!

Thanks for stopping by friends, it means a ton!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Faux Peplum


Top c/o (similar actual peplum), shop additional peplum here / Belt / Shoes c/o OffBroadWay Shoes (similar here, love these for spring) / Bag c/o / Sunglasses / Necklace c/o (old, similar) / Skirt c/o PB&J Boutique / Lipstick

So, I love this OASAP combo, but sadly, when I tried on the pants they didn't fit me right. With that said, I still loved this gorgeous drape top which I've worn much like the picture. However, when pairing it with this gorgeous PB&J Boutique skirt, I went for a belted look to create a little shape. A love the power of a skinny belt. This skirt is amazing quality and how perfect for spring? I love that it's in dark hues as opposed to your typical pastel hues. Plus, the whole site has ADORABLE clothing, make sure to check it out! 





This weekend was such a fun time celebrating with Aaron and friends. I always get a bit nostalgic during holidays/birthdays away from family, but my friends here and life with Aaron is such a blessing!

Thank you for reading!

p.s. shop more amazing floral skirts here




Friday, March 27, 2015

5 Bras Every Woman Should Own (and a $200.00 gift card giveaway)

1. The T-Shirt Bra: Known for it's minimalist design and comfort, the T-shirt bra is probably one of the most poplar bras in every woman's closet and also one of my personal favorites. I'm bigger chested, so it's all about keeping the ladies up and alert (remember this show and how they referred to this as the ladies?). While other bras are all about the sex, this one steers to remain completely invisible which makes it perfect for tight clothing and silk blouses. 
one / two / three 
2. The Bralette: I think this bra is the closest thing that you can wear without feeling like you're actually in a bra. They have more sex appeal than a sports bra, but give you more shape than a bandeau bra. I actally don't own one of these, only because Im not sure they work with larger chested girls, but maybe Ill try one out just in case. Who doesn't love something comfortable and delicate in lace? These little babies can get quite expensive, which is why I love places like Kohls for more affordable options. 
one / two / three 
3. A Great Sports Bra: Does this need an explanation really? If you work out, you know how important this can be, especially for more busty girls. I'm one of them. This is the only sports bra I LOVE for running, but I have to admit, when I'm doing yoga, house work or anything low impact, I love a good tie dye version or something that seems slightly more "chic." Regardless of what you do physically, one of these numbers needs to make you feel confident and confined when you "werk it."
one / two / three 
4. The Plunge Bra: Need a little cleavage or a perfect bra for that deep cut top? The Plunge Bra is what you need. It's made to stay hidden, but creates cleavage with it's deep cut nature and under wire. Perfect for date night and a little sex appeal.  
one / two / three 
5. A great Convertible Bra: Why buy a strapless, a crisscross back and a normal bra individually when you ca buy one great bra that can be worn numerous ways. This is definitely not a bra I would skimp on and try to get the cheapest. Spend the money to get one that fits great, has great support as a strapless and is a neutral color. These bras are lifesavers when it comes to summer dresses and tops with the most unusual cuts. Shopbop's combos are also perfection- some great variety of all five of my MUST HAVES!


Of course, above from a Kohls screenshot, you can see that there are TONS of amazing bra options, but I find these five above to be the best go-tos in my bra drawers. I think it's easy to automatically assume VS is the only great place to buy bras, but as I shop around, I'm slowly realizing so many great places are amazing for bras! And let's face it, an outfit can be ruined with a bad bra. Keep those ladies up! 

Kohls recently revamped their bra department. I was shocked to know that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. WHOA. You can use their new online fitting tool to find your size which can make a huge difference. Plus, let's just admit that Kohls has amazing prices on their bras. Sometimes you have to search different locations for different bras, and I definitely think for the great prices at Kohls, I could shop for a bralette and some of the other options above and not feel terrible if it's not a bra match made in heaven. I visited the bra department at Kohls last weekend and picked up some great options Im already loving. They have such a diverse variety perfect for any woman, any shape, any size. 

Today, Kohls is giving a CB&BP reader the chance to win $200.00 to shop their bras (or anything else you'd like). Enter below with the Rafflecopter!






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tunic Dress


I love a good tunic and this one from WH Clothier is no different. It's actually a dress, but I tend to like everything a little long, so I just paired this with jeans and it was perfection. I know this dress/tunic will be a staple in the fall too with tights and boots. I can already see it! WH Clothier have adorable clothing that's really unique and great pricing. I love a good stripe number and if that's wrong, I don't want to be right. Can we talk about this swoon worthy dress? Additionally is everyone on the ripped denim? My husband didn't understand these kneeless jeans, but I love them. I sized up, but looking back, I could have probably went with my normal size. If these are too much knee for you, here is another great price option




Dress c/o (worn as tunic) / Jeans c/o (similar here) / Bag / Jean Jacket / Necklace / Watch / Bracelet / Converse c/o Off Broadway Shoes (also here) / Bracelet 2 / Sunglasses / Lipstick

I am so thrilled it's already Thursday! I am taking tomorrow off work since Aaron is on vacation. This Saturday is my birthday and while we aren't doing anything too crazy, I am hoping to get our weeds/lawn mulched and then relax with some wine and cupcakes (two of my favorite things!)

I hope y'all have an amazing Thursday, tomorrow is Friday!

Thank you for reading as always!

Right now WH Clothier is offering 10% off for readers with the code  CBANDBP10. Make sure you check them out!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Gingham


I really do love gingham for all seasons, all year long. There is something so fun about pairing it with anything and I love that it's seems like such an innocent print but goes with everything. It just always makes me think of Christmas time, summer picnics and in the fall hayrides. I am eyeing this pink version right now and debating snatching it up at 30% off right now. Also, ShopBop has an amazing selection of gingham. Additionally, I am surprised how much I love these lace up heels and I stumbled upon these and I am beyond in love, I think I need them for spring, yes? Shop more lace heels, here




This week, Aaron is off work and he has been staying at home doing little "honey do" chores which I appreciate. However, he is also taking care of our new family member, Georgia- so he isn't accomplishing much trying to entertain and potty train a puppy all at once! Pics to come soon!

Hope y'all have a great weekend and thank you all for reading!

p.s. this lipstick is Pink Pigeon by MAC. It's similar to Candy Yum Yum, but a little more neon and I love it!



Today Im also excited to team up with some other fabulous ladies to offer the chance to win the Chloe Blush Bucket Bag and a pair of Wildfox Silver Reflective Sunglasses (see image below), just in time for the spring and summer months ahead. To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open until 11:59pm PST on March 30th, 2015 and remember, the more entries you complete, the more chances you have to win! Open to US residents only. Good Luck!

Hosts

Co-Hosts

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

REESE's Stuffed PB Cookies

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #snacktalk #CollectiveBias   

With bathing suit season just around the corner, I should be making asparagus pies instead of delicious cookies, but I just cant. With springtime BBQs in full swing and Basketball happening, our group of friends are constantly throwing together last minute get togethers and hang outs. Every year, I have the New Year's resolution to learn to bake and while Im not OMG awesome at it, Im not burning cookies and cakes nearly as much as I did. Im slowly starting to think outside of the box and challenge myself more than just buying a pack of break and bakes (come on, you know they are good). I shared this easy recipe last week and today I want to share some delicious REESE'S Stuff PB Cookies with y'all! 

I love REESE'S- I always have some unwrapped minis at work, so why wouldn't they belong sandwiched into an already delicious cookie? I started with this recipe, but switched it up a little as below. 

Ingredients
____________________________________________________________________________

  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened (not melted) butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
Mix all ingredients together in mixer. Chill dough. One dough is chilled, line un-greased baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll 1 inch balls, place REESE'S cup in center of dough. Add a smaller, additional ball on top and pinch the sides around the Reese cup. I then re-rolled the cookies which ended up making about a 1.5 inch ball. (See pictures below)

Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cookie rack. 











We may or may not have made these twice this week (one for a small gathering and a batch for home). It's truly sad Wal-Mart is less than a mile from our house. It makes grabbing anything we need (and don't need) much too easy. 

Are you a REESE'S fan? Do you make anything delicious with them or just pop them? I also snack on them at work, there is always a bag in my desk drawer (le sigh). Make sure to follow REESE'S on Twitter @ReesesPBCups2Make and share your REESE's recipes


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