faking a pregnancy "glow"

This time around, being pregnant has been quite the roller coaster ride.  From the first 18 weeks of constant nausea and vomiting and having to wear a hip to toe compression sleeve in 100 degree weather, to the food aversions and hormone fluctuations, the one thing that has actually stayed the same throughout the last 36 weeks is - surprisingly - my skin.  No breakouts, blotchiness or irritation, thankfully, but I do need a little help evening out my skin tone normally.  I don't typically wear a lot of makeup, but I've always loved cosmetics that give a natural looking glow without looking like I'm wearing anything.  Here are a few products I'm loving lately that give that "pregnancy glow", even when I'm feeling anything but glowing:

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream - I've never been a fan of foundation, opting instead to use a tinted moisturizer whenever I wore anything on my skin but lately I've wanted a little more coverage and a less dewy finish, so I tried IT Cosmetics CC Cream.  It's super lightweight and the finish is absolutely flawless! 

Bare Minerals Complete Coverage Concealer - I've blogged about this stuff before but it definitely deserves another mention because it's the absolute best at covering under eye circles and redness.  I've tried every under eye concealer on the planet and this is, hands down, my favorite.  I put it under my eyes, along the corners on my nose and dab a little on my chin and, along with a little mascara, it makes me look wide awake and refreshed, even when I'm anything but!

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Blushing Bride - This stuff lasts all day and I love the color; it looks like you've got a permanent flush!

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder - My favorite bronzer - no shimmer or sparkle, just believable tan shades.  Sometimes, I'll just brush a little of this across my cheeks, nose and forehead and be done.  I also love this Buriti Bronzer by RMS Beauty. 

Rosebud Salve - The pale pink tint adds just a dab of sheer pink; I'm so obsessed with this stuff!

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Bare Sparkle - I get so many compliments whenever I wear this stuff.  It's so sheer but has the prettiest, palest bit of color. 

I'm off to pack my hospital bag; Happy Thursday!


5 home purchase/upgrades I'm so glad we made!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Ours was so good, I was sad to see it come to an end, but I was up and at 'em super early this morning, working through my to-do list while my princess slept in!  I was talking with a friend over the weekend who is giving her entire house a little refresh - nothing big, mostly cosmetic - and she asked me if I thought any of what she was doing would help increase the aesthetic value when she goes to sell her house in a couple years.  I've staged my fair share of homes to go on the market in the past and while I'm not a realtor, it doesn't take much to know that a beautifully designed and decorated home will show better than one that doesn't. 

Whenever we've made any changes to our home, I always keep two things in the back of my mind: first, is this something that will help increase the appeal when we go to sell?  And second, will I get my money back when I do sell?  While furnishings, accessories and art, all make a house feel like a home, it's changes made to the bones of the house -  millwork, flooring, tile choices, etc. - that really make a huge impact when someone walks into your home.  Here are a few purchases, investments and upgrades we've made over the last few years that I won't ever regret:

Built-ins. What ended up being a necessity when I couldn't find furniture to fit large, awkward spaces (the corner in my living room, as well as the vaulted wall in my breakfast room that made every hutch and buffet look like it belonged in a doll house) turned into the best money we have spent on our house, to date. They both look amazing, the storage space they provide is irreplaceable and the drama from the size makes for a great first impression!  I would have them made all over again in a heartbeat!

Grass cloth wallpaper.  Wallpaper isn't for everyone, I'll be the first to admit that, but when it flows with the rest of the house, is in a neutral color and has lots of texture, it can take an ordinary space and make it extraordinary (ESPECIALLY when you put it in an unexpected spot like the ceiling or behind bookshelves).  And besides, who doesn't LOVE grass cloth???

Paint upgrade.  I'm all about getting the most bang for your decorating buck and paint is the one thing that can completely transform a room without breaking the bank. I always recommend spending just a little bit more for the better quality, lower VOC paint that is SCRUBBABLE because kids, guests, pets, get togethers, cocktail parties, etc. happen and it's worth every dime when you can simply wipe it clean!

Beadboard and "Board and Batten".  Crown molding, beadboard, board and batten, wainscoting are all beautiful and their effect on a room is definite.  The best part is that they are relatively inexpensive to install!  When we built our house, we had the builder hang beadboard in the dining room, all the bathrooms and under the countertops on the bar side of the kitchen.  I always get compliments on the fact that I ran it vertically instead of horizontally!  And after the hubby installed our version of "board and batten" in Lydia's nursery, I ended up loving it so much that we put it in our foyer and painted the ceiling a contrasting gray/blue for a great first impression when you walk into the house!

Great light and window treatments.  I don't know about you guys, but bright and airy spaces are so much more appealing to me than dark rooms with little natural light.  The best compliment is when windows are dressed with simple treatments - bamboo Roman shades paired with white panels are my favorite, inexpensive way to make a room feel complete (even if it's anything but!)


clean + classic bathroom plans

I think we're the only people on the planet who are crazy enough to embark on a pretty decent sized renovation while well into my third trimester but, hey, that's how we roll.  I've mentioned before that we were in the process of finishing our upstairs and turning it into a full-on guest suite, complete with a bathroom, walk-in closet and additional storage space for all our crap.  It's also the reason why nursery progress has been at a standstill because it is currently housing all the furniture that is all going to be moved upstairs. 

Well, last week our contractor started on the bathroom upstairs and while we are still realistically looking at a completion date after baby bear gets here, I'm excited to have a separate space far, far away from baby and toddler rooms, where our friends and family won't have to tiptoe to the bathroom in fear of waking a babe in the middle of the night!  I'm also looking forward to have a little getaway for the hubs and I to escape to after said babes go to sleep so we can pretend we are away at a hotel, because, let's face it, that isn't going to be happening any time soon!

The bathroom is my main focus right now.  I wanted something simple, clean and classic  - something that will look as amazing today as it will ten years from now, while also being extremely mindful of the budget.  This bathroom by Tamara Magel Design is exactly what I'm feeling:

I'm sticking to slate floors and white (possibly board and batten walls) for contrast, gleaming chrome or polished nickel fixtures, classic subway tile and a pedestal sink to save some space (and money).  Here is my plan as of now:

I found an insane deal on this cast iron tub by Kohler at Lowe's that comes with great reviews.  Not only do I love the price (less than $400), but I love that we can actually afford to not go with fiberglass, which would cost pretty much the same. White subway tile is another classic choice that is super affordable and dark blue, 16x16 inch slate floors from Home Depot  will add just the right amount of contrast without breaking the bank. 

I have yet to find a chrome pedestal sink base and top that doesn't cost as much as a down payment on a car, so we will probably end up going with a 30-inch white pedestal sink like this one.  It's clean lines and classic shape are not only eye candy but it'll free up some space, too. 

We'll see how close my plan actually comes to the finished product and I promise to post progress pictures along the way.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


a love affair with a hutch

Of all the corners, nooks and vignettes in my house, I'm pretty sure the built-in hutch in my breakfast room is the most photographed, by far!  (If you've been following along on Instagram, you know this to be especially true!)  This little corner of our home gets beautiful morning light, looks out over our deck, pool and backyard and is where we eat all our meals, where little miss paints and colors and it's also where I've been blogging as of late.  And yet, it rarely, if ever, makes an appearance here on the blog.

When Annie over at Most Lovely Things tagged me over the weekend to share a picture of my favorite, cozy weekend spot, I didn't hesitate to post this little corner.  What makes it so special for me is the ginormous hutch we had installed about a year after we moved in!  It took about that long for me to realize that nothing I put in this space would ever look proportionate with the vaulted ceilings unless I had something custom made to fit and I'm so glad I bit the bullet and had it made.  Sometimes, custom is the only way to go and, in this case, it ended up costing much less than some of the bookshelf options from big box retailers!

I ended up commissioning a local cabinet maker with whom I had worked on a number of new construction homes for past clients and he did such an amazing job of making it look like it had been here for years!  (I know the chandelier is hanging too high; I'm in the process of replacing it!)

For those of you who were asking about details the other day, here they are! 

- The hutch itself is almost just under 9 feet tall and 5.5. feet wide. 

- A row of Shaker-style cabinets are along the bottom (there are 4 doors) to match my kitchen cabinets, since this space is directly adjacent. 

- Beadboard runs vertically along the back of the plate wall to match the wainscoting in my bathrooms, dining room and under the kitchen countertop/bar side. 

- Paint is Sherwin Williams Extra White, to match all the trim and cabinetry in the rest of the house.

I honestly couldn't love this little spot any more and the drama and interest the oversize hutch provides when you walk into my house (you can see it from my living room, too) just can't be beat.  Sometimes, it's so hard to pull the trigger and have something custom made but when you are having trouble finding a piece that fits your space and your budget (especially for those vaulted ceilings like mine or awkward large walls), but I promise it's so worth it! 


inspired in sag harbor

I've never been to the Hamptons, but I know I would be just darling at living there.  Shingle-style cottages, a great mix of modern and rustic interiors with just a little bit of blue and white thrown in for good measure?  Yes, please!  This 19th century cottage in Sag Harbor is home to Bloom antique shop owner Mona Nerenberg and is, for me, quintessential Hamptons style.  A black and white color palette is warmed by tons of texture (the handspun jute rug in the living room is to die for!), beautiful antiques and a pared-down approach to decorating where less is much, much more.  I'm obsessed with every inch of this four bedroom beauty:

Here are a few of my picks for getting a similar look:

Mirror / Basket / Pillow / Rug / Vase / Chair / Seaside print / Sofa / Pendant light / Abstract painting

Happy Tuesday!