June 29, 2012

Apps and Tunes


Some of my favorites apps and tunes lately:

1. The James Morrison Pandora Station. If you need chill background music, this is where it's at. It's music that calms my soul. 
*occasionally pandora will get a little bored and pick a totally random song to throw in there and I've definitely come across Black Eyed Peas on this station. #no
**also, how many times does a girl have to "thumbs down" Adele before Pandora will learn?

2. Dave Barnes, Stories to Tell. Love this dude's voice. Also, love his ridiculous YouTube videos. 

3. The Fitness Pal app. This is a food and exercise tracker to help you stay on track with your health goals. I like it because it makes me think twice before ordering that grande mocha cookie crumble frappucino with extra whip from Starbucks.
*sometimes I order it anyway

What are some of your favorite apps? (besides the obvious: instagram, twitter, etc) 
My sister and I are headed home next week so I need some apps to distract me while waiting in the airport!



June 28, 2012

Phloof & Satin Taupe

Every once in awhile I like to switch things up with my eye makeup. My sister wears lighter eye makeup than me, and I wanted to try her technique on my eyes. 
*for my daily makeup routine, click here (although a few products have changed)

Since I already had the same products, all I had to do was change where I put them!

Normally I wear Satin Taupe across my lids, Brun in the outer corners, and a little bit of Phloof in the inner corners.

For this look, I wore Phloof all the way across my lids, and higher above my crease, and Satin Taupe in the outer corners. It's incredible what a difference I think it makes when I don't wear the darker Brun color.
(all of the eyeshadows I am taking about are Mac)





Pardon the awkward photos. Its hard to show eye makeup without looking asleep. 

It's good to have a variety of shadows that all work together, so you can make quick changes that feel like a different look without buying new colors.

June 27, 2012

Birthday burgers and a fun collaboration



Yesterday was my birthday (thanks to everyone who wished me a happy one!)!


I've been wanting to eat at Chuck's with my husband for awhile now. But since it isn't exactly on the P90X meal plan, we've put it off until he's done with the program. 


But for my birthday, he said I could choose wherever I wanted.


So I chose Chuck's. It's quite possibly the best burger place I've been to. They cook them medium, unless you ask for something else, and have very creative options for the toppings. And the fries? They come with 3 dipping sauces. Yep.

So we headed to Chucks at about 5:45p


The restaurant was slammed. I'm so glad we got a table.         ::crickets::


I went with the Bear in Heaven, without cheese or mayo. Pretty plain, I know, but that's how I like it.


And it was delicious. My husband loved it too. Although, I'm pretty sure he'd be happy with anything besides chicken & rice at this point.

I topped off the night with an old favorite from ColdStone. I feel like I'm about, oh I don't know 8 or 9 years old when I order this. . . but I'm kind of into sprinkles. Excessive amounts of them. 



It was a great birthday. Definitely started year 26 off right.

__________________________________________________________

You've heard me talk about Three Bird Nest before. In fact, you may remember these flower bobby pins that I used in the Knotted Ponytail Tutorial.



She and I have collaborated to create a section of accessories in her shop called "Kate's Favorites". I'm so excited to curate a handful of items that I love! Photographed below are just a few of the initial items that we decided on. Be sure to check out her shop to see the color options too! 
The clips can be clipped in hair, on scarves, on belts, on shoes. . .the list goes on. And I love the hairbands for a jazzed up ponytail without the headache inducing tight elastics. And the last elastic would be cute wrapped into a messy bun!




June 26, 2012

It's my Birthday, here's a gift.

Well, today I turned 26. 


And it's June 26th.


So that makes it my golden birthday.


And I really was hoping I could give away some gold today, but. . .well. . .thats kind of extreme.


No but seriously, I'm so impressed by hearing how many of you are able to style your hair, and try new things. I get so excited when I see a photo of a successful "kate" style. I love it. I'm so glad. My whole point was to show you all how to do it, so I love seeing that you are.


So as a way to thank you all:
I compiled my "ideal birthday gift" to give away to YOU! There is a grand prize, and a smaller prize, but they are both pretty awesome.




The grand prize includes: My FAVORITE Target watch (that is always confused for a Michael Kors), The Zoya Blogger Collection nail polish, some of my favorite and best-selling earrings from my sister & my jewelry shop, a lovely solid fragrance from Anthropologie, and a YEAR subscription to Birchbox! 


**


The second prize includes: The Zoya Blogger Collection nail polish, a set of 3 journals from Target, and some of my favorite and best-selling earrings from my sister & my jewelry shop




Enter this giveaway using the tool below! The winner will be chosen Friday! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Winners are. . .


Grand Prize: Diane Erickson & Second Prize: Cynthia Barton! (I've sent you both an e-mail!)

30x30, Week Two

Here are the next three outfits from the 30x30 challenge. My sister Lauren & I are embarking on this challenge to switch up our wardrobe a bit. We got the idea from Kendi, Kendi Everyday, and hope that you'll join us too!

I usually try to choose a nice location for my photos, but these had to be taken in my bedroom. 

It's just too dang hot outside. And 3 outfit changes? Forget it.

Plus, the cats really enjoy being on camera. You'll see what I mean. . .

necklace: Francesca's

This look is casual and comfortable. The shirt is quite bright in real life, and makes for a pretty girly outfit. I thought the grey necklace would add some more neutral in there to balance it out.


Next, I threw on this Banana Republic skirt and some grey pumps. Super plain (in a way) but a very "easy" look. The brightness of the shirt is enough. And it isn't overly dressy, but a step up from the cropped jeans and sandals. 


oh, hey grits. 


Necklace: Target

Then I thought, "Let's finish with a dressier look Kate!" And so, we did. I simply buttoned this Banana Republic Outlet sweater, tucked it in, added jewels and peep toes and there ya go. 


oh, hey gravy.


Are you joining us? If so, be sure to link up over at From My Grey Desk! We'll choose our favorite outfit the monday after the link up, and feature it during the next link up! 

June 25, 2012

Emily Inspired Hair

I'm sure you've seen photos of Emily Maynard around lately. Either from tabloids or the show The Bachelorette.
Her signature look these days is long with a little twist/curl toward the ends. I like how subtle it is, without being too curly.

See how the top sections are mostly straight?


Here is my closest look to "Emily hair". The key is to soften the curls immediately after you take them out of the iron. 


*curling iron is 1 1/4 inch




about 8 hours after it was styled that morning:


Shirt: J. Crew
Jewelry: Elisabeth Ashlie Jewelry

It held up pretty well, right? That's how wonderful Kenra Volume 25 hairspray is! 


June 22, 2012

Group Chat!

A few weeks ago someone tweeted at me asking if I would ever do a group chat about various topics. And I thought that was a great idea. 


So, I tested out Chatzy the other night with a few girls who followed the link from twitter and it was exactly like a middle school chat room. Remember those? Good gracious.
We had fun just chatting about random stuff like ice cream, girl talk, and how calories don't count during the summer. (Who knew!? ) #groupchat


So I want to try to coordinate some times that will work for you all to meet me in a Chatzy room to chat!


I'm on the east coast, so all the times will be EST. 


Why don't' we shoot for the first one to be on Monday 6/25 at 9:00pm EST for 30-40 minutes?


Topic: Blogging
-anywhere from starting a blog, to finding balance between blogging and life. 

I'll try to wrangle my sister into the chat room too, depending on her work schedule.


So here is how to enter the chat room on Monday night:


Follow me a Twitter.
Check for a Tweet from me that links to the chat room at about 9:00pm
Enter room.


. . . really can't be easier.


Start thinking of any questions this weekend!


Looking forward to chatting with you all! 

June Birchbox

A very late post on my June Birchbox!



This box was full of summer necessities. 
The tanning wipes are a great way for pale people like me to get a little color. I haven't used them yet, but I definitely will the next time I wear a skirt.
I was excited to see that Beauty Blender Cleanser. The Beauty Blender is a great tool for blending foundation beautifully. And the cleanser can be used on brushes too! 
The Leave in Spray is from Number 4. During the summer, I recommend that if you are spending time in the pool, or at the beach, to throw some leave in spray in your bag and spritz your hair after you get out of the water. Of course it's best to rinse your hair with fresh water asap, but that is not always an option. This travel sized leave-in is perfect for travel. In fact, you can throw it in that cute zippered plastic bag that came in the box as well! 
The lip stain is a little dark for my taste, but is probably quite flattering on a lot of women!


Finally, they included a little Birchbox Man sample of fragrance! 


Click here for more information about Birchbox if you are interested! 

June 21, 2012

DIY Yarn Garland

My office has become quite the explosion of pink/coral and grey. And I love it. 

I needed little something to go above my desk in the office so my sister and I created our very own yarn garland. 

It was a quick and relatively painless task. And I already owned almost all of the yarn that we used!

I'm sure you can figure out how I did it by looking at it, but I'll talk you through it in case that helps. 
DIY Yarn Garland
1. Cut strips of yarn to desired length. I chose longer and slimmer "bunches" but my sister went with shorter and fluffier ones. 

2. Lay a few pieces (3) of yarn down--this will be the main string that the bunches are attached to. Fold a bunch of yarn over the main string. Place a smaller string parallel to the main string and wrap it around the bunch until it's secure.


 3. Tie in a knot.

4. Keep cats away from yarn at all times. Good luck with that one.


5. Watch cat's exhaust themselves right into a nap.

6. Continue tying bunches until your string is complete!



 A simple craft that really spices up a room! This would be great to have on hand to use for a party, or to give as a house-warming gift. Or be like me and hang it in your office!


June 20, 2012

Poppy Shrimp?

I was enticed by this lip color months ago when it first came out. It was a custom shade created just for J.Crew in the perfect color--a universally flattering shade of red/orange/pink/coral


And then I saw it was on sale. So I snatched a tube.


And then I discovered something. . .



It nearly matched my nails exactly. Cajun Shrimp is a popular shade of polish from OPI that isn't too orange, but isn't red. And Poppy King for J.Crew is almost identical in nature--it isn't too orange, but isn't red either. So if you ever wondered what Cajun Shrimp would look like in a lipstick shade, well I think Poppy King is as close as you will get. 


And there you have it. My discovery for the day. 


Consider yourself enlightened.


*I rushed and rushed and rushed to get these photos taken so I could post this and you would be able to get the lipstick while it was on clearance. But unfortunately J.Crew sold out. I'm sorry! If anyone knows any shades similar to this one, share it in the comments below! 

June 19, 2012

eCookBook Giveaway

Today's giveaway comes from MamaBabyLove


Stephanie says:
"The whole idea for slow cooker freezer meals came from me doing many months of once a month, bulk freezer cooking. I loved the concept and loved all the pretty food ready to freeze at the end, but it was overwhelming and exhausting. At the end of my cooking day, my whole body would ache and I was so tired. Looking back it was probably because I started doing bulk freezer cooking when my daughter was 6 months old and life in general was overwhelming and exhausting.
But I decided that there had to be an easier way.
What I do is the combination of the easiest type of freezer cooking, which is meals that only require assembly, and no cooking on your actual cooking day by using the slow cooker, which allows you to walk away and mostly forget about it until it’s time to eat."
I got to scan through her ecookbook a few weeks ago and it's full of really creative ideas for slow cooker freezer meals.


And who doesn't like the convenience of a slow cooker PLUS a freezer meal? I mean, dinner can be a daunting task at the end of the day. . .so "checking that off the list" ahead of time is a great way to finish the day.


Would you like to win a copy of MamaBabyLove's cookbook?


*like MamaandBabyLove on Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

30with30, Week One


And so it begins.

Here are the first 3 outfits from the 30x30 challenge. My sister Lauren & I are embarking on this challenge to switch up our wardrobe a bit. We got the idea from Kendi, Kendi Everyday, and hope that you'll join us too!

Outfit # 1




*watch: Target; earrings: Francesca's



Outfit #2



*necklace: Ebay, earrings: The Limited

Outfit #3 





The challenge has started off easy! I think I'm going to have more trouble when it comes to the more casual outfit ideas because I tend to dress up more than dress down. But, we'll see if I can do it. 
And even if the challenge was over now, it was worth it--because my sister and I spent about an hour going through my closet pairing items together. And there was plenty of laughter involved too.

Are you joining us? If so, be sure to link up over at From My Grey Desk! We'll choose our favorite outfit the monday after the link up, and feature it during the next link up! 


June 18, 2012

The Soft Swoop

Bangs are a great way to add a little "something" to a haircut under 2 circumstances: 1. They will work with your lifestyle and 2. You are willing to style them.
Bangs usually require a little bit of effort, some product, and a strategic method for styling. For the longest time, I had a shorter, side-swept bang that I show you how to style here.
But I've let my bangs grow. I was pretty sure I wouldn't make it this far, but somehow I managed. So now they are long, about to my nose, and I'm enjoying the change. I've been styling them to blend into my hair more, so here is a tutorial for those of you with a long bang section.







Necklace: Target
Earrings: Elisabeth Ashlie Jewelry
Lip color: Tarte's Amused Lip Tint

The Bland Bathroom Makeover + A Giveaway!


We recently moved into a house that's closer to my husband's job. We're still renting, but this time we are renting from homeowners instead of a rental company.
Let me tell you, there is a big difference.
Fixtures are nicer, there are different colors of paint on the walls, and the place is just in better shape than our last place.
Surprisingly, almost all of the paint colors have worked perfectly with our furniture. There isn't a single room in the house that needs†to be painted...except for our guest bathroom.†

It's bland. It's a sandy beige that just doesn't add any interest to the bathroom. The floor is tiled in creamy golden hues and the walls just don't flow well.

And the bathroom accessories we brought from our old place do not work with the color on the walls either.





See what I mean?†

I'm already working with two grey areas--one is my office, and the hallway is a dusty blue-grey--so I think I can really go for a brighter color in this bathroom since all the surrounding spaces are semi-neutral. But there is a fine line between too bright and just bright enough.†

I also want to find a loud shower curtain to add some "art" to the bathroom. The current shower curtain is great for simplicity but pretty boring.

For help, I'm using Sherwin-Williams's really cool Chip It! tool. Check it out!

This was created for people like me, who are visual but need a little guidance in the "choosing the correct paint color" department.
Chip It! is a resource that automatically creates coordinating colors based on the colors in a photo. All you need to do is install it on your toolbar (just like you would get the Pin It button for Pinterest), and you can chip any photo online.
It basically does the work for you.
No more guessing whether that green is warm enough or too minty. Chip It! will decide on the correct color for you. †Drag the Chip It! button below to your toolbar so you can start using it too!†
Chip It!
I'm leaning toward a sunny yellow in the bathroom, so I found a few photos that include the color that I'm drawn to.†

(source: my own photo)

I like the brightness of the flower on the right but also the deeper yellow on the sunflower.

I'm also considering this shower curtain from Target, so I went ahead and "chipped" it so I can see the colors that will coordinate!

(screenshot)

All I did was click the "Chip It!" button on my toolbar, hover over the photo of the shower curtain, click "Chip It!" and it shows me the chips.†
I love the color Bee†in the left column, although I need to make sure it's not too bright. I like Tibetan Sky too! It's a pretty icy blue.†

So while there are still choices to be made about the color, at least the Chip It! tool narrowed it down to a smaller number to choose from. I promise it saved me hours and hours of work!

If you are working on a home project, or if you just want to see what chips Sherwin-Williams comes up with based on a photo, be sure to check out the Chip It! tool. There's a short video instructing you how to use it and how to install the Chip It! button to your bookmarks bar.†

Would you like to be eligible to win a†$1,000 Visa gift card and a $200 Sherwin-Williams gift card?
Chip the image of the flowers and then guess which palette is my favorite--that one or the one for the Target shower curtain.

Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from†6/18/2012 to 7/6/2012.
Be sure to visit the Sherwin-Williams brand page on BlogHer.com, where you can read other bloggers' posts!