links + loves


Blush stick, Tinted Sunscreen, Setting Spray, Earrings

I had a full week this week but I’m happy to report that it was filled with really fun and exciting things. On Wednesday evening I headed out to a wonderful dinner with my team and came home at 11:45pm to see the new countertops in our kitchen installed! The timing of it made it so it felt like the biggest surprise!

I shared a photo of the kitchen on Instagram, click here to see it!

I’m blown away but the simply changing up of one surface has made everything in that room look brand new. I’m really happy with it.

Then, on Thursday I had a hair appointment and Jordan brightened my blonde up a bit. Many of you know I colored my own hair for years, and while it looked “okay”, it certainly wasn’t a level of quality and skill that Jordan can do to my hair. I haven’t been this happy with my hair in a long time, and that is all thanks to Jordan.

I’ve gotten a few questions about whether or not my porch ceiling is painted blue and after a quick google, I learned the history of why porches in the southeast are sometimes painted blue!

I’ve worn this green gauze dress a few times in different Instagram stories and photos, and I saw that it’s restocked!

I wore this shelf bra top from Lululemon very often during our Palmetto Bluff trip. It’s perfect for a hot, humid day when you only want to wear one layer!

I’m feeling a little bit of pressure to see all my friends and do all the things before to head up to Wisconsin in July. It will be a wonderful trip, I’m sure, but 10 days sounds like a long time and I know I’ll miss so much about being in Raleigh!

Justin and I started a new show on HBOMax this week. It’s called Mare of Easttown. We’ve only watched one episode so don’t share any spoilers but the cliffhanger at the end of episode one had me VERY excited about watching the second episode!

And here are a few things I mentioned on Instagram Stories recently that you may have missed: 

lululemon Cross Body Shoulder Bag

Target Fanny Pack/Shoulder Bag

Tupelo Goods Beach Bag

Madewell Tank

Kendra Scott Earrings

Dolce Vida White Platform Slides

Amazon Criss c=Cross Bright White Sport Sandal

Stone Ground Grits

Woom Bikes

Hand-Held Clothing Steamer

GAP Linen dress

Black and White dress

Biltmore Wines


This week’s discount codes (#partnerships): 

Aera: Use my code KATE20 for 20% off the Aera diffusers!

Miranda Frye: “Smallthings10” will get you 10% off and free shipping!

Spanx: Use code “Katexspanx” for 10% off plus free shipping!

Sugarwish: Use code “SmallThings7” for $7 off at (good for 1x use per user email)- Good only 6/20

Beddy’s: Code “SmallThings” saves you 20% !

Questions from Monday’s Q&A box on Instagram:

What is the Brazilian blowout? Is it worth it? I never was trained to do these but I had clients who would have them done with other stylists and they were fantastic! Based on what I saw, it’s a great way to eliminate a lot of frizz and natural coarse hair into a smoother and softer finish.

Do you have a link to your porch swing? Looks like mine is sold out, but this is similar!

Advice on having two kids close in age? It’s really busy when they are little but man, it pays off to have built-in best friends as they grow older!

How often do you change your Billie razor blade? Usually once every two weeks. The blades last a while in my opinion!

How do you avoid breakage when you pull your hair back for workouts? Honestly, I use Gimme Beauty hair ties and I don’t have breakage!

Have you tried Bondi Boost? I haven’t.

What do your mom and dad do? They are retired.

Favorite body wash? I really love anything from Philosophy or Fresh.

Are you still using the Shani Darden Retinol? Yep! Usually 5-ish times a week. Still love it!

Thoughts on Kevin Murphy hair products? I used them YEARS ago and really liked them!

Is Justin currently training for any adventures? He’s pondering a few options right now!

What are you currently reading? Malibu Rising by Taylor Reid.

What’s your natural texture? Fine and limp.

How do you have the energy/stamina to keep up with everything? I like to stay busy/active and my life is simply in a stage where I have to be involved in a lot of things. I’ve never been happier.

Best no-show socks for sneakers that don’t slide down? I really love my socks from Cole Haan.

2 Matte Foundations for a Humid Summer (or anytime!)


During a humid summer, I sometimes shift over to a more matte finish in my liquid foundation to combat the natural shine that comes from the heat and moisture in the air. I most prefer a medium coverage, but I found a nice full coverage option that still feels flexible on the skin and wears nicely!

Lancome Teine Idole Ultra Wear is a 24H full coverage matte foundation. I wear shade 260. It applies really nicely and I have to say I’m really impressed with the wear. It looked great toward the end of the day when my foundation will sometimes separate or cling to dry patches. I like to apply it with a brush (my current favorite is the Artis Oval 7) and occasionally set it with setting powder if I feel like I need it. My go-to setting powder these days is the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, though another fantastic option for staying matte all day is the Urban Decay All Nighter Lightweight Loose Setting Powder. I use a fluffy brush, such as this large powder brush, to tap it onto my face, and use soft circles to blend it out!

Another foundation I love is the Urban Decay Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation. It’s a long-wear medium coverage matte foundation that somehow stays matte all day. It’s difficult to find a good matte medium coverage, so this is a big winner in my book for the summertime! My shade is 31NN and it’s a pretty great match for my skin. I’ve applied this with my fingertips, as well as the foundation brush I mentioned earlier, and love the results for both. Fingertip application is typically more natural-looking and sheerer than brush application, so the decision is based on how I want my makeup to look that day.

The last step of my makeup, always, is setting spray. I love how it brings everything together and “locks it in”. The Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray in Ultra Matte is my favorite to use all summer long. It’s the kind of makeup product that if I forget to use it, I can tell within a few hours.

P.S. If you enjoyed this, you may like reading about my favorite medium coverage foundations!

In this post:

Sophisticated Home Fragrance


I’ve had an Aera Smart Diffuser for quite some time and I absolutely love the touch it gives to our home. It’s been difficult to nail down my favorite scents since there are so many great ones to choose from, and Aera has just recently launched even more scents through a collaboration with The Laundress.

The Laundress, in case you aren’t familiar, is a premium brand that focuses on top-of-the-line fabric care products infused with some of the nicest, most sophisticated scents. Personally, I was made familiar with this line of products when I was looking for detergent for my silk pillowcases, so I was thrilled to learn that Aera was partnering with The Laundress to create 4 signature scents.

The 4 scents are Classic, No. 723, No. 10, and Baby. I have to say, I’ve been playing “Classic” in my bedroom for the past few weeks, and even if there are clothes on the floor or piles of linens that need to be folded and put away if I walk into my bedroom and my Aera Smart Device is playing the scent, my room still feels inviting and calm.

The Aera for me is one of my favorite and most effortless ways to make sure my home smells nice. I use the Aera For Home app to set schedules for each diffuser on a schedule to come on at different times depending on how we use the rooms, and I love that all I need to do is change out the capsules after several weeks and insert a new scent.

The Laundress collection offers wonderful scents that can be enjoyed year-round, but they arrived to my home right at the start of the warmer months, so I associate them with a new season. A fresh start, if you will.

The Classic scent is the iconic “clean laundry” scent. I’ve been playing it in my bedroom, but would happily move it up to my office if I wanted a change.

No. 723 is rose-focused with a spicy twist. This would be great in a bedroom as well, or a living room since it mixes masculine and feminine scents so nicely.

No. 10 is a mix of warm musk and bold spice. I love this for our main floor.

Baby is a calming blend of vanilla, musk, and lavender. As soon as my current capsule runs out in our playroom, I’ll be using this scent in there! This is also the room where Justin and I enjoy our movie nights on the weekends so this fragrance is a happy balance of 3 crowd-pleasing scents.

The Aera Smart Home Diffuser is the most automated of the Aera devices. You can hook it up to WIFI, schedule different on/off times for each device (if you have more than one), and turn it off or on via the app. There is another diffuser option as well, the Touch Diffuser, which is lower priced but doesn’t offer the app feature.

Personally, I love that each device is on a schedule since they are the Smart Diffusers, and that allows me to enjoy the scents easily and without effort.

As a partner with Aera, I have a few devices, but I started out with only one that I placed in my living room. Some scents have a bit more throw than others, and it was quite common for me to smell the living room scent all the way up on the second floor. While I enjoy having a few different devices in order to try and experiment with different scents, one device goes a long, long way in delivering fragrance to your home, especially because the capsules also last on average up to 800 hours.

If you want to buy an Aera to enjoy in your home, use my code KATE20 for 20% off of the diffusers!

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