30 March 2012

Caught My Eye This Week


A different take on the flat iron curls I've tried before. Going to give these a whirl as I strongly dislike my hair when it's stick straight. I've been wearing my hair more like this on a daily basis. I love the look of straight ends and intentionally avoid the last inch and a half when curling my hair.

I don't know if it's the back and forth weather, or the fact that I've fallen asleep with my makeup on more often that I should lately (oops), but my skin has been dull and dry. I've gotten back into this beauty regimen this past week and I swear that my skin is thanking me. 

Now that I'm creeping up on my scary age this summer (28!), I have sort of started to obsess over my skin, examining every fine line and sun spot I can see. I found these great tips for keeping your skin fresh and wrinkle free. I also need to kick up the SPF and stop pretending I'm a sun baby.

I want to have more fun and be more experimental with my manis. TBD has tons of awesome manicure ideas, this one is my favorite.

I'm a big fan of the natural makeup look for Spring/Summer. Bye-bye heavy eye makeup and dry looking powder, hello fresh, dewey skin and pink cheeks.

Free People April catalog preview.


I've told you about my friend Andrea's tumblr EatBetterLiveWell. I've really been trying to add more kale and quinoa to my diet and she offers some great recipes that I plan to try. Andrea gave up meat for lent and has been substituting quinoa for the protein in her diet. I'm proud to say that I've been eating healthier than usual lately (with the exception of a few treats) as well as exercising a lot more than normal. I can say I really notice a different in how I feel on a daily basis.

I want to eat this for lunch everyday.


I found myself pinning two great terrarium inspirations (here and here) within the past week. I think I'm ready to give my own a try. 

I'm ready to jump on board with the paint chip art trend. Now to decide what color scheme to go with and where to put it...

I'm currently in the middle of a wall art project inspired by this great herringbone painting I pinned a while back. It's taking me a while to complete, but I'm so excited with how it's turning out. Can't wait to show you all.

I just came across this post yesterday as I've been trying to plan some good lighting for the guest room. Very seriously considering this beauty. Hello gold!!

What caught your eye this week?

29 March 2012

Impromptu Change and a Little Kitchen Envy

Do you ever get random motivation to clean or reorganize something in your house? I have moments that prompt me to clean something that isn't normally cleaned on a weekly basis. Like a trip to the grocery store will inspire me to completely clean out the fridge: pull out the drawers and give them a good soapy scrub, toss out expired dressings and reorganize the entire thing.

This weekend I was motivated by some gorgeous glassware I bought from Pottery Barn. I wanted to add some more pretty clear glasses to the shelves above the sink that hold our dishes and glassware. 

In order to add these I needed to do some reorganizing. This is how the shelves have been looking for the most part since taking the doors off a few years back.

Rather than just squeezing the glasses in somewhere, I took this as an opportunity to take everything off the shelves and give them all a good wipe down. I needed to reorganize the shelves anyway, so why not give them a scrub? To continue on my cleaning, I took some of the dishes or glassware that isn't used as often and ran them through the dishwasher to get rid of some dust that may have accumulated. Obviously the plates and glasses we use regularly are washed almost daily and didn't need to go in the dishwasher.

Once everything was wiped down, ran through the wash, dried and put away, the shelves looked good as new!

Notice anything different? Yup, I decided to take the doors off the two cabinets above the sink. I've been considering it for a while and took this impromptu cleaning as the perfect opportunity to do so. I grabbed the baskets off the top of the cabinets and used them in the top shelf to hold bottles, nipples, pump accessories, and other miscellaneous Lucy's items. I put some of the fun bright bowls I've purchased from Anthropologie on the shelves to add a little color. This space looks so much bigger with more open cabinetry.

While I like how it looks, the dark blue backsplash does clash a bit with the colors on the shelves. My dream would be to have a kitchen with white cabinets and white subway tile backsplash. Then I could use all sorts of bright Anthro dishes on the shelves to brighten up the space. The cabinets we have are in great shape and it would be foolish to repaint them (especially considering we aren't staying in this house for more than a few years). Also the tile work is gorgeous and done really well, it's just not my personal taste. And again, it would be wasteful to replace perfectly good tile in a house that we don't plan to make our 'real' house. These are a few of the many things that get added to my Big Girl House Wish List (Like a kitchen with a big window! But more on that another time.)

If you decide to remove cabinet doors like this, one thing I would suggest is is to keep all the screws together with the cabinet door they correspond to. Rather than putting them into a ziplock bag tossed a drawer to get lost or forget what they go to, I wrapped the loose screws in painters tape and taped them to the back of the door. The painters tape is gentle enough not to damage the wood like duct would, and when the time comes to sell the house we can easily put the doors back on.

Speaking of dream kitchens with white cabinets, we had a family party over my brother's house this past weekend and before people started showing up and before we started cooking I snapped a few shots of his kitchen. I love my brother's kitchen. It has so many elements of my dream big girl kitchen: a large farmhouse sink, white cabinets, gorgeous countertops, and a window (I love me some natural sunlight). He uses the glassfront cabinets to display his glassware above his dry bar on the counter. What guy doesn't have a bar right in their kitchen?

Another angle. The stovetop is built into the island - I love that. And a vegetable sink! Perfect area for prep work and cooking. Plus you don't have to wash your veggies over your dirty prep dishes. You can see his kitchen table at the far end of the room by the window. He also has two stools on the opposite side of the island to serve as a breakfast bar. 

Here is the last angle. Look at all that cabinetry/storage! I would have a blast filling up that space. I purchased the "Good Times" sign above the doorway for my brother as part of a little inside joke we have. You can see that he painted an accent wall a deep red on one side of the kitchen. That color is mirrored in the dining room that you can see a little bit of in the first picture.

My brother's house is still a work in progress, but I will share more pictures with you once it's more complete.

When my brother first moved in, I had serious hardwood floor envy. I pined after these floors until Jordan and I saved up enough to get our own hardwood. Now I just have kitchen envy!

Have you all learned by now that I tend to do things on a whim? I'm the type of person who decides they want to do something and have to do it right then and there.

Any impromptu mini-makeovers in your house?

What's on your dream house list?

27 March 2012

25% Off Ends Soon!

Don't forget the 25% off discount available from Pillow Confections for the month of March is only available until the end of this week! Get your orders in now!

Get the details here.

DIY T-Shirt Scarf

1. Tools: scissors and an old t-shirt (I purchased a bunch at the thrift store).
2. Cut off and discard the hem. Start cutting 1 inch strips from the bottom up.
3. Pull and stretch each strip to create long, thin 'tubing' as the cotton curls.
4. Separate your pieces by size, then double each loop so the seams meet.  
5. Gather together and take a piece of scrap fabric, tie it in a small knot and begin wrapping around the seams.
6. After covering all the seams, tie a knot at the end and tuck it under the wrapping.

A few notes:
- I found that soft t-shirts work better. They stretch nicer and the the loops are less likely to break.
- If your strip does break when stretching, you can just re-tie the seam.
- For a longer scarf, use a larger t-shirt not a small, fitted women's t.
- Shirts with a shape will result in a variety of loop lengths.
- Experiment using shirts with colorful designs or embroidered accents.
- Mix and match colored fabric.

26 March 2012

Photo of the Day 3.26.12

In honor of her milestones.
A shot of our big girl standing!

Lucy's 8 Month Milestones

These past 8 months have literally flown by. It seems crazy to think that Lucy is already 8 months old. I feel like she has made so much progress developmentally since last month.

- Eats solid food once per day, usually right before bed. Either rice cereal or some form of organic fruit or vegetable. Majority of her diet is still me.
- One little tooth on the bottom broke through two Saturdays ago.
- Just yesterday she did a mini crawl across the carpet at my brother's house. By mini, I mean just a few little shuffles. That's all we could get out of her.
- She loves to stand and is constantly reaching out to any person/thing that can help her stand up. This girl wants to walk!
- She will hold your hand and 'walk' across the floor.
- Losts of 'da-da,' 'ma-ma,' 'na-na,' 'ba-ba,' 'pa-pa,' etc. Also screams at the top of her lungs.
- Yesterday she was waving back when waved to.
- Recognizes that some things she does get a reaction (like laughter) and will do them for the reaction.
- I weighed her the other day and she came up at 16.8lbs. Not sure how accurate it is as I did the weight myself with and without her and subtract the difference trick.
- Update: Our babygirl officially crawled this morning. My mom just sent me the video!

23 March 2012

Photo of the Day 3.23.12

I love having a girl

2012 Swimwear

Can you believe it's time to start buying swimwear and gearing up for summer? It seems the warm weather is here to stay and I'm totally ok with that. We are planning a vacation for the end of April/beginning of May. Our first real vacation in almost two years unless you count our little rainy beach weekend getaway for our first anniversary. But I'm talking hopping a plane and heading down for some sunshine, and R&R.  Since I missed out on fun swimsuits last year due to being 10 month's pregnant in the midst of the summer, I decided to treat myself a little this year and buy some new swimwear. 

To prep for my shopping I did a little googling of some 2012 swimwear trends. I came across a website that hosted some of the top style shown at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion week. These are my top three favorites.

Coral is such a great color. It makes anyone look tan which is a nice added bonus for the summer.

I'm a lover of all things boho. I have an inner hippie child side that likes to come out from time to time. The fifth swimsuit is my favorite of this bunch. That hat is pretty sassy, too. And I'm loving her hair.

I'm not usually a blue person, but I'm digging the cobalt I'm starting to see everywhere. I just purchased a cobalt blue dress the other day and I'm excited to implement that color into my wardrobe this summer. 

See these and more swimwear trends here.

I tend to follow most trends in my everyday clothing, but when it comes to swimsuits, I lean more towards classic styles that I can wear for many years. I also am big on mixing and matching tops and bottoms from different suits, which in turn doubles your swimwear wardrobe (win-win!). I love love the retro swimsuits with high waisted bottoms, cinched waistlines and thick halter straps. I wore a one piece pink polka dotted retro suit from UO last summer when we went to the shore for Labor Day. Not only are they super chic, but they are incredibly flattering for all body types and those a little more self conscious about their body which I was 6 weeks after giving birth. I think the retro looks are great for pool parties or BBQs, but I prefer something a little more traditional for the beach.
So while those were my top three favorite trends from MBFW, funny enough none of the suits I puchased followed any of those trends. I did a little online shopping and picked up these three suits from Victoria's Secret. And they arrived in less than a week!

1  |  2  |  3

I'm a huge fan of bandeau style tops. I wear them both with everyday clothes and with my swimwear. They work really well for body types like mine (aka little boobs). I love layering bandeau bras under flowy or sheer tops. The middle, striped suit actually came with a removeable halter strap that I didn't realize until it was delivered, and I love that addition. It actually gives the suit that little retro look I mentioned above. I'm sort of over the whole 'string bikini' look, I usually like more of a 'hipster' bottom, but I loved the top on the first suit and couldn't turn it down.

I also really like the floral design on this one and I'm considering splurging and treating myself to one more suit. I've really been into florals lately if you remember from this post.

Since our little weed is growing day by day, Lucy needed a new swimsuit for vacation, too. I grabbed these summer goodies for our girl from Gap and Children's Place. I'm really excited to start implementing her spring and summer wardrobe. Goodbye layers, hello dresses!

1  |  2  |  3  |  4

Are you getting your wardrobe ready for summer and shopping for any new swimwear?

22 March 2012

A New Look & Some Good News

What do you all think?? Pretty different, right? 

I guess I don't need to tell you all that we've swapped the Simple Kind of Life layout for a cleaner, brighter, fresher look. I've been working with Kaelah from Lil Chief Honeybee for the past month to create this new design and I must say I'm so excited that it's finished! I'm loving the new look and I hope that it will bring me motivation to make the rest of the blog better, too. I would highly recommend Kaelah if you are interested in designing (or redesigning) your blog. She was so great to work with - easy going, super accessible, and creates great work. Check out her site here and you can see some examples of her blog designs.

There are still a number of things that I plan to be working on over the next few weeks, so bear with me. I need to finish or update a number of the pages and new features so just know that the blog will just keep getting better and better. 

In other news, I have my pictures back!! I went to the Apple "Genius Bar" after work today armed with my laptop and external drive and within minutes the tech had my iPhoto library back. I can't tell you how excited I was. The thought of losing every picture I had taken over the past 6 years was pretty daunting. I had never used any sort of Apple tech support before, so I'm really impressed with how easy and fast they were.

Between the iPhoto problem and getting the new blog layout setup, this week was a bit slow on the blogging front. I'll be back to my regular blogging tomorrow and be ready to share some DIY fun next week. For now, enjoy the new look and be prepared for bigger and better things over the next few weeks.

21 March 2012

iPhoto, iLost, iCried, iDon'tHaveAPostToday

First my mini-sob story, then I need some help!

Today's post was going to be dedicated to Lucy's 8 month milestones. On Monday, the 19th our little bug reached her 8 month birthday! 

Well, last night my computer had other plans. Because of the bulk of photos I have between this blog and Lucy and the fact that the photos from our Canon are large files, I was quickly running out of space on my laptop and recently switched my iPhoto Library to an external harddrive. Great idea, right? Well it is. Except when you let your external drive fall off the couch and the plug pulls out of the computer without being 'properly ejected'. That's exactly what happened last night. And when I plugged my external drive back in, my iPhoto Library is showing ZERO photos.

As much as I want to cry at the thought of losing every photo I've taken in the past six years, I'm not going to weep into my k-cup decaf this morning. I'm not going to throw myself a pity party either, but instead will look on the bright side.

I can access pretty much all of my blog pictures from Blogger or Photobucket (which I just started to use and now wish I had been using it for longer). The only blog pictures I can't get are the ones I took this past weekend and planned to post about this week. Annoying, but I'll live. I'm a little upset about some of the fun friends and family pictures, but I realize that the ones I really love are either on Facebook, someone else has a copy or I've posted on this blog. I'm heartbroken that every single one of my million Lucy pictures are no longer here. Again, I have my favorites and people have copies, and luckily I post about our girl on this blog and can save some from here. I just won't have every single photo, including the adorable ones we took on St. Pat's. I only uploaded a few before I lost the photos

Lesson for the day: I need a picture backup system. This was bound to happen sooner or later. Also, I now need to get an office space where I can properly work at a desk and not on the couch with a computer on my lap. That I actually do have in the works for our spare roon in the basement. Jordan is working on trying to salvage my pictures today using a few tricks we researched online and people have suggested. Maybe just maybe he will have some luck and my pictures will be found by end of day. Otherwise a trip to the Apple store is in order. I do have Picasa on my computer, but I use the program so infrequently, that the photos aren't up to date and are sort of random and scattered. 

Here's where I need your help:
Bloggers - How do you store/backup your photos? The external drive is a great idea for those who aren't clumsy and accident prone like myself (seriously, I can't even eat a meal without spilling down the front of me). But I need some sort of backup system. Any suggesstions are greatly appreciated!

Now, let's turn that frown upside down and end with a picture of me and my girl on St. Patrick's Day (that I had uploaded to Blogger before this fiasco).

20 March 2012

Painting with Corks

I've found that some of the best art is art that is both easy to do and inexpensive to make. We have tons of corks at the house. And I mean, TONS. I've been trying to come up with great, unique ideas to use them in the house, both practical and decorative. 

I had been thinking about this 'dotted' Etsy painting I pinned months ago that I've wanted to use as an inspiration to create my own art. It wasn't until recently that I thought to use a cork as sort of a 'paintbrush' and use it to apply paint onto the canvas. 

I really like how each dot is different depending how much paint was on the cork and how hard I pushed the cork against the canvas.

I'm loving this cheap and easy DIY art.

Have you used something in a way it wasn't meant to be used to create your own art?

16 March 2012

Maxi Re-Do

I know I talk a lot about DIY in the home, but there are times when I DIY some of my clothes, too.

Like many other girls my age, I loved watching Sex and the City. I found Carrie Bradshaw's wardrobe to be incredibly inspiring - not just because she wore gorgeous pieces, but because of the innovative way she dressed. So much of how they dressed Carrie was a DIY project in itself. Her character would take something simple and wear it in a way it wasn't meant to be worn. Carrie would wear a sleeveless or backless cocktail dress paired with a very bold, visible bra underneath. Or she would take the simplest t shirt and wear it with an elaborate skirt and heels. She wasn't afraid to push the limit and show a little belly or wear a ridiculous headpiece. I wished I could dress like that and get away with it.

1 | 2 | 3

Also, I think we all should acknowledge that Carrie Bradshaw was years ahead of the whole ombre hair trend.

This week I did my own little mini DIY to my outfit. I've been seeing Maxi skirts everywhere and while I've been loving the trend, I have yet to jump on the bandwagon and buy one for myself. Now I have about a dozen maxi dresses from when I was pregnant and pretty much wore a maxi dress everyday that I wasn't in leggings. 

Years ago I bought this maxi dress from Urban Outfitters. I love the print and have worn this dress dozens of times. Who doesn't need a good black and white dress?

While I love my maxi dresses, the strapless and opened back isn't really suitaut to wear a cardigan or blazer on top.

I decided to do two things: 1. wear the dress that I love in a way that's appropriate for work, and 2. create the look of a maxi skirt that I craved without going out and buying a skirt. To do this, I simply folded the top of my maxi dress in at the empire waist paired my dress with a simple v-neck gray t shirt and fitted waist belt. ble to wear to work. And because it's been so unusually warm this past week, I wasn't abo

Maxi dress: UO; v-neck T: F21; necklace: F21; belt: gift

Sure this isn't that crazy and innovative, but it was wearing something in a different way than it was meant to be worn. I'm vowing to be more creative and thoughtful in the way I dress. I still think that I missed out on a good 6 months of fun clothes when I was pregnant and now I'm making up for it!

While I can't ever say that I don't repeat outfits, I do try my best to re-wear certain pieces in different ways and pair them with items I wouldn't necessarily think to at first. I hate to take staple item and wear it the exact same way with the same pieces each time, no matter how much I love the outfit.  Call me crazy but I think a really good outfit should only be worn a handful of times before it's been overdone.

It's 6:00 and it's still gorgeous out! Jordan and I are off on a date night tonight, then enjoying family time all day tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Spring Cleaning - Mini Blog Update

I apologize for how light my posts have been this week, but I promise it is all for a good reason.
While I haven't been doing many DIY around the house this past week, I have been doing a lot of behind the scenes work on the blog. For the past three weeks I've been working closely with a designer who has redesigned the SKOL blog.  We are hoping to have it completed in the next week and installed shortly after. I'm also trying to clean up some old posts, fix pictures, edit tags, blah blah blah.

Basically, Spring is coming and I'm ready for a fresh, lighter and brighter look and a more organized blog. We can call it a 'spring cleaning' of the blog.
Here is just a sneak peak of the new layout.

We still have a few small tweaks and proofs to go through before it's up and running. I'm so picky that I'm sure I'm driving the designer nuts. I can't help it though, I'm a detail oriented person.
I'm really excited not only with how the layout is going to look, but with the new direction I am planning to take the blog. Included in this blog 'spring cleaning', I am working towards having an up-to-date house tour page, and an actual 'about me' page among other things. I am also creating a completely organized and easy to maneuver catalgoue of all my DIY projects in one place. 
I also plan to branch out a little with my blogging. While this blog is primarily a DIY blog that talks a lot about home decor, I would like to do more with the lifestyle aspect. I've done a few clothing or beauty posts in the past and a recipe post or two, but would like to make it a weekly occurance. So I have decided to dedicate Friday posts to a 'lifestyle' topic, whether it be fashion, nutrition, recipes, fitness, whatever I'm feeling that week. I'll let the next few weeks be sort of a test run and see how it goes.
Check back later to read my first Friday Lifestyle post!

And don't worry, I'll be back next week with some fresh DIY and a pallet update.

14 March 2012

Inspiration: Florals

Maybe it's because Spring is around the corner, or maybe it's the fact that I can't keep a real flower alive for more than a week, but lately I've really been into floral patterns both in home decor and in clothing. I'm seeing flowers everywhere. I been craving those bright florals, and have been mixing them with gold and lace - so girly and so unlike me!

Even the Anthropologie homepage is covered in blooms.

I just bought myself one setting of these dishes from Anthropologie to use on my place rack in the dining room. I love the hand painted look of the design on these dishes and the colors look so good against the dark furniture and neural colors in the dining room.


I bought this sachet from Anthropologie a few months ago and stuck it in my undies drawer. Not only is it an dainty little accent, but it makes my clothes smell so pretty.

I recently bought this adorable floral contact case from Urban Outfitters to keep on my nightstand for those nights that I don't fall asleep with my contacts in!

The frame is an another Anthropologie purchase. It's one of my favorite little floral details that holds the first picture of Jordan and me as a couple almost 6 and a half years go.

Here are a few other florals I've been liking lately:

These two gorgeous upholstered chairs from Anthropologie.
here and here

I'm finally coming around on the idea of wallpaper in the home. I used to be very anti-paper, but now think it would be cool to use on an accent wall, or inside of a small closet. These are my two favorites:

here and here

If you aren't quite committed to going as bold as wallpaper, there are many, smaller accent pieces that can be incorporated in your home instead.

Pillows are the easiest way.

I love, love this LOVE pillow

You could also go simpler with a shower curtain or duvet cover.

here and here

And if you're willing to splurge a little, this flower rug pretty fabulous.

 I'm certainly loving and craving florals for Spring and Summer and plan to incorporate some more into our home. How do you feel about florals?