Friday, September 12, 2014

the friday happy list: the beauty edition

It's been a while since I've done a Friday happy list. There is a lot to be happy about right now - football is back, the Nats are in first place, fall is just around the corner, and all kinds of fun things are happening around the house. But this week I wanted to focus on a few beauty products that I can't seem to get enough of lately, which may not be saying much. Just last night Jon asked me: "Do you wear makeup anymore?" It was right after we noticed someone on TV (a Kardashian, probably) wearing a ton of makeup so I think he was trying to be nice and say that it's great that I don't do that.....but...still. I guess I should step up my game even though I'm home by myself most of the day.

Here are all the beauty products I currently love...and should probably be using more according to the Ginger.

Oribe dry texturizing spray - My stylist introduced me to this product and I can't live without it now. It's a dry shampoo and texturizing spray in one. It absorbs oil, but also gives her hair a nice boost. It's perfect for in between washings and it smells ridiculously good. I've been known to use it on clean hair just because I'm addicted to the scent.

Ole Henriksen cleansing cloths - I'll admit it, I can be pretty lazy. I hate washing my face at night. Hate it. I use cleansing wipes while I'm traveling, but they never made my face feel as clean as the water/cleanser method. Until I found these. The textured side is great for buffing and they make your face actually feel completely clean. I love splashing on cold water after using them for a nice tingly sensation.

Bite BB for Lips - Goes on like a chapstick, nourishes like a balm, colors like a lipstick, Enough said.

Hourglass mineral veil primer - Primer works wonders - especially if you have oily skin or live in an area with high humidity - like the swamp that is D.C. I've tried and hated a lot of primers in my day. This one is light and silky, but most importantly, it keeps oil at bay without making my skin feel tight.
Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil - when Megan was in town we went to our (errrr, everyone's) new favorite restaurant, Rose's Luxury and had a dessert that tasted like a meadow. Who knew you wanted to eat things that tasted like meadows? Well, you do. And you probably want to smell like a meadow too because that's exactly how I would describe this perfume. Bright, happy, fresh, clean. I loved this scent for spring and summer. I'll probably retire it soon for something more fall-ish, but I'm sure I'll still pull it out on those gloomy winter days when I need a boost of something cheery.

Fresh Life body oil - I'm a big fan of the Fresh line of products - I love that their interesting scents are soft, natural and not over-powering. (Can you tell how important the smell of my beauty products is to me?!) Like a lot of products on this list, I made the mistake of testing this out at Sephora before looking at the price. Thus, I use it sparingly only on days when I need some pampering. It will be nice to have on hand as the weather turns colder and drier. It's over-priced and the bottle is completely impractical, but it smells so good and makes my skin so soft that I don't even care.

L'Occitane Creme Divine - This stuff is a true miracle worker. Again, tried it as a free sample from Nordstrom before I saw the price tag. I can be a product junkie so it's rare for me to buy a skincare product more than once - especially one this steep - but I'm on my third or fourth jar of this miracle product. I've tried a few other things in between, but I keep coming back to this moisturizer. It just melts into my skin unlike anything else. It's pretty moisturizing so I don't always use it during the day in the summer, but it's perfect for night and those dry winter days. Your skin will thank you and then you can thank me.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

the stair runner

I am soooooo excited about how this project turned out!! It's been a long time coming, and the end result was even better than I hoped it would be.

You may remember that a couple of months after we moved in, Jon took a little tumble down the stairs and broke his ribs. Turns out bare wood floors and socks aren't a good combination. Since then, we've been planning on adding a stair runner. We wanted the safety factor, but I also loved the idea of adding some design interest to the otherwise plain, boring stairs.

The problem is that we have a lot of stairs. The two upper staircases that connect the three main floors of the house are within eyesight of each other and you see them as soon as you open the front door. Whatever we chose to cover them with would have a major design impact on the entire house. I was completely overwhelmed by choosing a stair runner that would set the tone for everything else in our home.

It all started with a little entry rug.
Enter the Dash & Albert zigzag rug. My In-Laws bought us the 2'x3' version of this rug to use as our front door mat last fall. I walked by it every day for at least 6 months before the lightbulb finally went off - I should use that rug to cover the stairs!

I mean, why not?! I knew I loved the rug and how it looked with our wood floors. I loved the colors and graphic chevron pattern. Not to mention that since the rug had been serving as our heavily used front door mat for months, I could vouch for it's high quality and excellent dirt-hiding abilities. Luckily for me, the rug came in a runner length, and it was the exact width I needed for my stairs. I was so happy I almost cried.

I called my favorite carpet installer to see if it would be possible to retro-fit the rug as stair runner. He said he could make it happen so I ordered six (6!) rugs and crossed my fingers. This was either going to be really great or really horrible.

Installation day was a bit nerve-racking. Per usual, we ran into a few minor glitches. I was nervous so I hid downstairs and vowed not to look until they were finished. Ta-Da! It looked amazing! They did such a great job matching the pattern and retro-fitting six individual rugs to look like one seamless stair runner. I was completely blown away. It also helped that the installers loved it too. The poor guys were thrilled to be installing something other than the norm beige carpet.
Now that wall nook is just dying for some attention.
Don't worry, little buddy, I haven't forgotten about you.
These colors. Swoon.
The 2nd staircase leading up to our master bedroom got some runner love too.
Getting dizzy yet?
It makes such a fun statement. My stairs went from boring to fab in one afternoon. Since the rug is a flat woven wool, it also has great traction. Looks great + added safety = win, win. Now I plan on using the colors in the rug as a starting point for the color schemes of the living room and dining room. It's almost more inspiration than I can handle.

I really didn't know I could gush this much about a rug, but apparently I can. I think I'm just proud of myself for pulling the trigger on a bold design. Playing it safe is for the birds. I'm so happy I took the chance. I love walking into my home. It makes me happy to have a space that is really starting to reflect our personality. If you are having trouble being brave....just go for it. You might surprise yourself.