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Friday Favorites

Friday favorites august 18

Happy Friday!

It’s been another crazy-busy week with work and blog planning. Thankfully, the weather finally cooled down around here so I can work outside! I missed sitting outside and soaking in the sunshine, but the 90+ degree temperature and smoky air made it impossible.

We don’t have any real plans for this weekend – I may end up doing some thrift shopping in Seattle, or taking a long hike. I spent last weekend sick, so I look forward to accomplishing more and finding time to relax, too!

Here are some of my favorites from the internet this past week:

  • I’m obsessed with face masks right now, and Hello Glow posted a handy guide to choose the right mud for your skin type! My next purchase will probably be some Fuller’s Earth Clay Powder to combat the hyperpigmentation I’m fighting this summer!
  • During the summer, I am lazy as shit when it comes to my hair. I usually just let it air dry, or put it up in a bun and leave it be. Camille Styles rounded up the best products to use while air drying your hair to leave it silky, beach-wavy, and smelling great!
  • It’s that time of year again when I start eyeing up new sneakers – and these from Nike are my current favorites. I am keeping a close eye on Amazon to see if they go on sale!
  • Man Repeller asked their readers for the most addicting books, and they delivered! I will need to add a few of these to my library list!

Oh, one last thing – a few people wanted to know about the large plant in this photo. It’s a Calathea Lancifolio, also known as a Rattlesnake Plant. I got it a couple weeks ago and love it – the leaves fall in the morning, and close back up by evening – you can even see time-lapse videos of them opening and closing online!

Happy weekend!

Home Update: A Silky Flower Solution

commercial silk flowers

One goal I set for myself this summer is to finally get our house in order, design-wise. The master bedroom is the only room in the house that’s “mine” to decorate how I want. I want to focus on injecting more color into my home, and flowers are an easy way to do that.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, I find keeping plants alive damn near impossible. Our apartment gets amazing light during the summer months, but the rest of the year it’s just not bright enough. I even tried growing low-light plants with no success. It sucks because I want to inject more plants and flowers into my home decor. It’s also a huge waste of time and money to keep throwing away dead plants!

So when Commercial Silk Int’l. contacted me about using their silk plants to decorate my apartment, I jumped at the chance to try out their potted flowers. I chose a bright yellow and pink orchid, which adds a major punch of color to a mostly black, white, and grey bedroom.

To be honest, this is the first time I used silk flowers instead of real ones. I was really curious how it would look, and I have to say it’s perfect. It’s so realistic looking that when it arrived, my husband texted to ask if he should water it!

If you have a black thumb, or live somewhere that makes growing plants impossible, I highly recommend checking out Commercial Silk’s website. They have flowers, plants, trees, and even outdoor boxwood hedges you can use to cover up unsightly air conditioners or trash cans without the high maintenance of actual shrubs!

My next purchase may very well be their fiddle leaf fig tree – a plant I’ve heard is insanely hard to keep alive, but I really want to add to my bedroom or home office!

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Connect with Commercial Silk on their website or on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest!

(*Note: Commercial Silk sent these products as part of a promotional campaign to review.  All opinions are entirely my own – and I can’t wait to buy another plant for my home, for sure!)

Friday Favorites

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Happy Friday!

My main goal for this weekend is to go for a hike. I haven’t gone at all this year, and I’m itching to get back out there. I can only hope the weather holds up!

Have a great weekend!

Friday Favorites

friday favorites april 8

(Finally back to work after a month of moving, unpacking, and lots of allergy meds!)

Friday Favorites

I’m not sure what my plans are for this weekend. Last weekend was a busy one, since my husband basically kicked me out of the house all day Saturday (and for a good chunk for Sunday) so he could work on some writing alone. Hopefully he won’t do that again, but if he does, I guess it’ll be a good excuse to take my laptop somewhere awesome – like the Starbucks Reserve Roastery downtown. Come to think of it, I might have just come up with some plans!

What are you doing this weekend?

New Season, New Home!

new season new home

A sunny new apartment to decorate! / Swooning over flowers at Home Depot / So hard not to bring them all home from Home Goods / Organizing a small kitchen requires a trip to The Container Store

Welcome back everyone!

While I had every intention of continuing to blog during our move, it just didn’t happen. After a week of packing, and three days of hauling our stuff to the new place, I needed a week off to unpack, get organized, and work on some home-related projects. I still have a lot to do (no pictures are hung yet), but I’m hoping by the end of this week, our new place will look a little more like home.

I’m excited to share some projects with you soon, and how we pulled off one of the shortest moves we’ve ever done (we moved 3 buildings over). It wasn’t the easiest move we’ve ever done, but it certainly wasn’t the hardest! I’m also very happy that our apartment gets some decent light, which means I can actually share more of our home this time around!

I hope you’re all enjoying the first days of spring, and I’ll be back soon with some great home projects to get things ready for spring and summer around here!

Home Inspiration: Going Green

Home Inspiration: Going Green

Clockwise from top-left: The Everygirl / Design Sponge / Sarah Vickers via The Glitter Guide / The Aestate

Home Inspiration: Going Green

We’re moving today, and while we’re only moving a few buildings over, it still has me excited to decorate a new space. I’ve been going through my Pinterest boards recently for inspiration, and noticed a trend lately – a lot of green!

Green isn’t a color I gravitated to in the past, even if I’ve used it in a lot of my home decor choices in the past. I love hanging pictures of nature on my walls, and it’s a color that seems to work better with our “apartment beige” walls and carpet. It also matches up well with our neutral furniture, which is always a good thing. I’ve always fought against the terrible paint colors in apartments, but lately I’ve discovered it’s better to work with it instead. If green works, it works!

I’m looking forward to adding more green elements indoors, perhaps with a new shower curtain, some more nature-inspired wall hangings, and textiles – and plants, of course. We have more (and better positioned) windows in our new place, and I’m hoping they’ll bring in enough light to grow a small herb garden (I’m tired of paying so much for herbs…seriously). Our current place is so dark that almost nothing has survived the past year, so I can’t wait to live somewhere that things might actually grow.

This is also the first time we have a real balcony space we can decorate without the worry of cats eating our plants or people stealing our patio furniture. I can’t wait to make that a calm, plant-covered space to relax and enjoy as the weather gets warmer.

Moving to a new place is always a hassle, but knowing I get to decorate a place from scratch is a great motivation to get through it – even if it is only a short walk between the two places!

Life Lately

Life Lately

Happy Monday!

Last week was a long, dreary one (thanks to a rainy PNW winter), and I’m happy to be starting Monday off on a much better foot…if that makes any sense. Here’s a little taste of what I was up to last week:

  • Started off the week feeling like I was catching a cold, so of course I picked up some wine to help fight it off (antioxidants, amiright?). Not sure it worked…haha…but it was a great bottle of wine that paired nicely with Ree Drummond’s Roasted Butternut Squash Salad and steak!
  • After getting one of the worst breakouts I’ve had in years, I hit up Amazon for some skincare magic. It turns out something in my multivitamin was causing it, so goodbye vitamins…and hello to Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel. This stuff smells amazing and really does the job! I’m also loving the Embryolisse Lait-creme Concentre, and the OGX Argan Oil Body Lotion
    I’ve used for years (I think I’m on my 4th or 5th bottle). My skin is much happier now from head to toe!
  • To help bring some cheer into such a grey and rainy week, I decided to do some thrifting. I came home with a few silk scarves and some new handbags that are perfect for spring. I can’t wait to share them with you when the sun comes back out and I can photograph them!

Here are a few other things I enjoyed online over the past week, if you need a bit of a mid-day distraction. Hope you are having a great start to your week!

  • Here is a list of 10 “little-known” beauty products with amazing reviews on Amazon. I’ve heard of most of these, but I was interested to see a $40 straightening iron that outclassed most $200 versions! (Byrdie)
  • Man Repeller’s review of the J. Crew Fall/Winter ’16 show has the perfect slideshow to get you ready for spring. I know, the clothes are fall/winter, but the colors are straight springtime! (Man Repeller)
  • If you’re like me, and shudder at the thought of staying at a crap hotel near your alma mater, check out this video on “graduate hotels.” A design company is turning crappy, outdated college area hotels into amazing, luxurious, and nostalgic experiences for returning alumni. I’d gladly visit my old college stomping grounds more if I knew I could stay in one of these, rather than a seedy motel! (Goop)
  • The Savannah College of Art & Design recently unveiled a project that turned unused parking spaces in a parking garage into functional, beautiful micro-living spaces for college students. They are looking at solutions for cities dealing with housing shortages, and found that while there often isn’t space for housing, there are 5 parking spots for every 1 car in the U.S., which means precious land in our major U.S. cities often sits empty. Living so close to Seattle, I know firsthand how tough it is to find any housing…let alone decent housing within a realistic budget. I’m excited to see where this project leads, to be honest! (Design Sponge)

Life on Instagram: January

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is doing well, and getting hyped up for the weekend!

Today, I thought I’d share my favorite Instagram photos from the past month! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at @afternoonglow!

Life on Instagram: January

(Clockwise from top-left)

Packing away the holiday decorations! / Enjoying the pretty flowers my mother sent me while planning for the new year / Started off the year working on a few DIY projects! / New mantle decor to bring in some color (and more candles)

Life on Instagram: January

Started off the year with the lightest dusting of snow. / Breaking in my new trail running shoes / The fog here is serious…and creepy / I’ve only been out hiking twice in January, so I’m sharing both!

Hope you had a great start to the new year, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for February!

2015 Year in Review: Home

2015 Year in Review: Home

Decoration Inspiration: Thanksgiving / Spooky Fireplace / Holiday Decor: A Compromise / Home Office Makeover

My home-related posts this year were…not great. While I enjoy decorating our home, this year was challenging. We moved from a tiny, one-bedroom apartment that I lived in alone half the time, to a much larger two-bedroom apartment.

We have more space than we really need, very little storage, and I’m back to compromising with my husband. Add a tiny budget to that, and I’ve had to get very creative!

This is also the year I discovered Pinterest. It has been both a huge time-waster, and a great way to gather inspiration for future projects. I think it has helped me figure out what my home decor style really is, and I’ve enjoyed all the DIY projects they have on there to make my home amazing on a very, very tight budget!

2015 Year in Review: Home

Maintaining Wooden Cookware / Recent Thrift Store Buys / Thrifty Fall Updates / Easy Green: Potting House Plants

Even though I spent most of 2015 fantasizing about what I would love my future fantasy home to be like, I did also tackle some projects around the house. I learned how to take better care of my stuff, killed a few houseplants, and found some amazing thrift store buys.

I hope that next year I can tackle more DIY projects (I have one already in the works), figure out our storage problems, and since we’re planning on moving again soon, maybe find a place that meets more of our needs (like light…not that it’s easy to find here).

What are your home goals for 2016?

Holiday Decor: A Compromise

2015_Holiday_Decor_2

Holiday decorations in our home are a bit of a struggle every year, and it’s the one time of the year I have the toughest time compromising for one very big reason:

I hate Christmas. More specifically, I hate Christmas decorations.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy the holiday season in general. I like the good mood most people are in, the twinkling lights, all the cookies and candy, and yes, even snow (as long as I’m not driving in it). However, as someone who lives the other 11 months out of the year in a simple, clean, clutter-free house, Christmas decorations represent the very opposite to me, and it stresses me out.

I would love to have one of those homes with a simple tree, and the only sparkle coming from twinkling lights. Instead, I usually end up with a house covered in sparkly garland, snowflakes taped to the walls, and an enormous tree covered in mismatched ornaments. Why do I end up doing this to myself?

My husband.

He lives for this shit. This is the only holiday he actually likes, and he pitches a major fit every year when I want to simplify things. He gets all geeked out about buying ornaments, stringing random glittery things all over the place, and generally annoying me by making every Christmas song into something raunchy or gross.

In fact, the mantle you see above isn’t how I originally decorated it. When I did it, there were no tiny houses, candy, and the only toys were the nutcrackers. I also have candles up there that I actually lit every day for about a week (now I can’t because everything up there is a legit fire hazard).

2015_Holiday_Decor_3

As we do every year, we struck a compromise. I let him indulge himself with this “tiny town” idea he had, but that was it. Hence the tiny houses all over the mantle and on the ground – like I said, when he gets an idea, he goes for it.

In exchange, there will be no snowflakes taped to the walls (if you can’t tell, that was my least favorite of his past ideas) and no extra stuff around the house. Christmas is kept to the living room only, and frankly, I’m okay with that.

2015_Holiday_Decor_4

Someday, I will get my Pinterest-worthy holiday, but until that day comes I have to live with Christmas as a combination of what I want and what my husband clearly needs.

Besides, after Christmas is over, I get my living room back…and I can’t wait to do some redecorating. 🙂