DIY Sofa Table

I recently decided to sell my coffee table and go with this round ottoman my friend found for me via @whimseygirldesign’s daily farmhouse décor deals, available at Wayfair. I was excited for the change, but I knew I needed to find an alternative place to put my coffee in the morning, and wine at night.

I follow several interior designers on Instagram; one particular favorite is Rachel at @shadesofblueinteriors. She’s definitely worth a follow if you’re looking for some inspiration. One day I noticed this sofa table behind her couch and I became obsessed. I asked her where she got hers and she responded letting me know that she and her husband actually built it themselves; she did her own design (as they often do), but pointed me in the direction of where she knew online plans were for something similar. You can find those plans here via @jennasuedesign and give her a follow because she’s also super inspiring.

Ryan and I have gotten pretty handy over the past three years of home owning, but building actual furniture is something we hadn’t attempted. Ryan’s a civil engineer, so he has the right skills needed to follow a design and I was confident he could do it.

Here are some pictures of the process from start to finish.

We definitely learned some things along the way and will be slightly altering the design if we decide to build another one. A friend of mine wants one, so we’ll likely tweak the design to our liking. Not to say there’s anything wrong with Jenna Sue’s – her design totally works.

I mixed my own stain to give it that rustic Restoration Hardware look. After I was done staining, I went back over it with 220 grit sandpaper to rough it up a little. I then used Finishing Wax and did another light sanding job to rough it up a little more. I used Benjamin Moore paint in White Dove for the legs.

Since I’m sharing so many of my favorite Instagram accounts for design inspo, I should also include Aly McDaniel at @thedowntownaly – her feed is super inspiring and it helped me style my new sofa table. Give her a follow if you like farmhouse décor and also her Instagram stories are hilarious.

 

How I Sleep Trained my Baby by Accident

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Before I get started with this, I think it’s important for me to make clear that I do not consider myself to be an expert mother. I get frustrated and yell sometimes (although yelling is something I’ve been MAJORLY working on). I do things I probably shouldn’t, like let my three year old have fruit snacks at 8:30 a.m. just to get him out of my hair; I let my BABY watch his big brother’s TV shows; I forget to send thank you cards after my son’s birthday (or I just never get around to it); I force my baby to skip his morning nap because I selfishly want to get all my errands done while my oldest is in Preschool; I prop my baby up on a boppy with a bottle so I can get some stuff done while he eats; I could go on and on about everything I do that I know some moms consider deplorable.

Today I’m going to share with you one thing I did right, but it was by accident.

My second son, Preston, started sleeping four hour stretches as early as two weeks old and I felt very optimistic that he was going to be one of those freak babies who sleeps through the night at two months old; and then he was and I felt like I hit the jackpot.

Then came his first cold, which lead to his first ear infection…then another, and another. It was downhill from there and we were back to waking up every two hours. After numerous failed antibiotic treatments, he had his ear tubes surgery when he was about eight months old. I naively thought that would be the magic flip of the switch to get him sleeping through the night because that’s how it went for my first son. I. Was. So. Wrong.

Preston had sleep regressed to the point where waking up was ingrained in him, even without the ear pain. After a couple weeks post op, he still wasn’t sleeping well and it occurred to me that we might have to actually “sleep train” our baby. Then Preston got sick again, and that idea got shelved. He ended up with a double ear infection despite the tubes, but this time the antibiotic treatments actually worked. Once again, I naively hoped that would do the trick and he would start sleeping.

Eeeeehhhh. Wrong again.

We were so desperate for sleep it never seemed like a good time to “sleep train.” We would instead just pop a bottle in his mouth to get him back to sleep as quickly as possible. It didn’t help that our toddler shares a wall with him and we were always afraid he’d wake up.

Then one random night when he was nine months old, I sort of snapped. He woke up at 2:30 a.m. like he always did, and something changed in me. I got up and instead of making a bottle, I went into his room, gave him his paci and Little Unicorn swaddle blanket that he likes to nuzzle his face in and I told him to please shut up shuush and left the room. The screaming intensified when I left and Ryan asked me if he should go make a bottle. My response: “NO! He’s almost nine months old; he does not need food anymore during the night and hasn’t for a while. He needs to shut up and go to sleep! I can’t do this anymore…he’s fine. He needs to figure it out. Humans sleep at night and he will do it too.”

After 15 minutes of crying, it intensified and I decided to go reassure him. I gave him back his paci and swaddler he had thrown, gently rubbed his back and told him it’s time to go night night. I went back to bed and the crying continued.

This time I waited 30 minutes. Reminder, none of this was planned.

30 minutes later, he was still crying. I went in and did my reassuring thing and went back to bed. Still crying.

This time I waited an hour. In my head I thought, “He’s fine. He’s safe in his crib, he doesn’t need to eat every three hours at this age.” 45 minutes later, he was silent. He slept until 6AM.

The very next night, he slept from 7:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Same story the following night every night since barring one or two exceptions. I’m sure I’m jinxing myself by writing about this, but I’m excited and feel like I need to share this for any tired moms out there who are hesitant to “sleep train.”

I just want to say this: It doesn’t need to be a big complicated deal. You probably don’t need to read an entire book about it. You might just need to let him/her cry a little. And yes, it sucks. It’s like nails on a chalkboard and your heart aches and you feel like you need to rescue your little one. But what are you rescuing him/her from? You’re not! You’re enabling their poor sleeping habits (in my opinion). That’s what helped me realize that it’s ok if he cries a little in order for me to start getting some sleep. Sleep deprivation is a real form of torture and my tirednesss was making me a worse mom.

So, I sleep trained my baby by accident. I have no clue if this would work for any of your babies, but I thought it was a story worth sharing.

 

 

*photo credit: Hilary Blair Photography*

 

Fire Engine Red for Christmas

I remember being pregnant this time last year, which is when I discovered Pink Blush’s line of cute maternity clothes. I literally Googled “cute maternity clothes” and it popped up. I was in love with their fashion forward styles and they were all super affordable. Their dresses made me feel confident and beautiful for my maternity photo shoot and again at my baby shower.

Fast forward to nine months postpartum and I’m still loving Pink Blush! They have an entire line of non-maternity clothes that are perfect for moms. I still don’t have my pre mom abs back (working on it) so I felt like I hit the jackpot with this dress: It’s my favorite bright fire engine red, it has bell sleeves (my current obsession) and it just made me feel pretty and classy. It helps that my friend Hailey and I got our make-up done at the MAC counter, which by the way  is something we definitely should do more often. I linked all my outfit details below if you’re curious.

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Pink Blush Dress

Topshop Purse

Kendra Scott Necklace in Rose Gold

Steve Madden Heels obviously I also need these in glitter rose gold

Men’s Gift Guide, written by him

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I started compiling a “men’s gift guide” earlier this month and it occurred to me midway through that it might be helpful to get a man’s perspective. I trashed my gift guide and asked my husband to compile one. Full disclosure, my husband is by no means a fashionista. He’s an engineer and he’s kinda low maintenance, other than his difficulty finding a good jean (he’s 6’5”, slim waist). When I reviewed his picks, I was glad I did this because there are items on here I never would have included. If you’re like me and still haven’t finished the bulk of your shopping, hopefully this list helps you cross your guy off your list!

8 gifts under $80

Bluetooth headphones, $52

These are over the ear headphones designed for exercise; compatible with Android and iOS

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Phone Case with extra battery for iPhone 7, $50-80

This item is customizable (2 wallet alternatives or an extra battery)

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The Ridge Wallet, $65

Slim, sturdy, holds the essentials, replaceable elastic, and blocks RFID (wireless theft)Screen Shot 2016-12-14 at 8.08.33 AM.png

 

Eddie Bauer Jeans (with flex fabric) $42

I love these because of the 2% elastane, which provides great flexibility in the fabric

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Leather Gloves (with finger touchscreen ability) $51-68

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Video Game for PS4 and Xbox One  $50-60

Voted Best FPS (first-person shooter) of 2016

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AAA Emergency Roadside Kit, $26

We could all be a little more prepared for a disaster right? haha

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Scotch, $79.99

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6 Red Lipsticks to Rock this Holiday Season

Guest post by my dear friend and talented make-up artist, Gina Marie Wheeler. You can read about her background in Voyage LA Magazine.

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Nothing says holiday makeup like a red lip moment. Everyone looks good with a red lip, which is why new and seasonal collections always include the timeless hue. There are a few common reasons why some people avoid the bold color and I’ve found that most of the time it’s just intimidation. I’m here to tell you, it’s all in your head. You can and should rock a red (especially during the holidays). MAC Cosmetics is my go-to brand when wanting extensive color options. The quality is superior to most and the price point is great. I’ve narrowed down the 300+ color options that MAC offers to 6 Lipsticks and 2 Lip Pencils. These colors can truly be worn by ALL.img_1561

PREP + PRIME LIPS

PRO TIP Before wearing any bold or pigmented color you need hydrated, soft lips. MAC makes this great lip primer that not only moisturizes, but eliminates feathering. Every lip product looks and wears better on top of Prep + Prime Lips.

Price: $17.50

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LIPSTICKS

LADY BUG LIPSTICK

“If you’re still feeling a little red lip shy, try Lady Bug, it’s sheer and effortless”

Yellow Tomato

Finish: Lustre/Semi Gloss

Price: $17.00
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DUBONNET LIPSTICK

“If you think of red wine as the perfect lip color, Dubonnet is your shade.”

Deepened Claret

Finish: Amplified/Cream Finish

Price $17.00

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DARE YOU LIPSTICK

“If you feel comfortable with red but still want to keep it natural, Dare You looks like a lip stain”

Deep Brown Red

Finish: Creamsheen/High Shine

Price: $17.00

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RUBY WOO LIPSTICK

“Ruby Woo is a cult classic; it’s been around for decades and is a true Pin-Up red, that makes every lip pop.”

Vivid blue red

Finish: Retro Matte/Very Matte

Price: $17.00

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STUDDED KISS LIPSTICK

“Punk rock lips have continued to stay on trend for the past few years, so if you like a dark lip or are ready to go a little vampy try Studded Kiss.”

Dark oxblood red

Finish: Matte

Price: $17.00

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CHATEAU M RETRO MATTE LIQUID LIPSTICK

“Liquid lipsticks are so popular, their pigment and stay power make them low maintenance and opaque perfection.”

Deep Red Wine

Finish: Retro Matte

Price: $21.00

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LIP LINERS

PRO TIP If you worry about feathering, or fading, get one of these amazing lip pencils. They are creamy and glide on nice and smooth but set and stay for 8 hours. Line your lips and fill in with your pencil prior to lipstick for ultimate wear and color. You can also wear this Pro formula liner alone.

DIVA PRO LONGWEAR LIP PENCIL

Intense Reddish Burgundy

Price: $21.00

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HE SAID, SHE SAID PRO LONGWEAR LIP PENCIL

Brick Red

Price: $21.00

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The key to the red lip is, let her be the star. Don’t think you need to balance that lip with a Smokey Eye… Red Lip look should include:

  1. Flawless Skin
  2. Groomed & Filled in Brow
  3. Bare Eye or Winged Liner
  4. Heavy Mascara or False Lash
  5. Light blush

 

 

Holiday Wish List by NYC Stylist Phoebe Elizabeth

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I’m back with more from my dear friend and NYC Style Curator, Phoebe Elizabeth. She always manages to find the CUTEST stuff, so I asked her to share with me what her holiday wish list is!

Holiday mugs

perfect for Christmas morning coffee (or spiked cider)!

$14.00

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Carry on Cocktail Kit – just add booze

seriously coveting this for holiday/winter travel

$24

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My absolute favorite collection of holiday candles

$18.00 – $42.00

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Fireside PJs

an added bonus that they share my name!  

$130
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A little something special

…for layering…or for him 😉

$385.00

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Giving back

just one of the charities close to my heart

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A divinely feminine watch

comes in some other lovely color options

$125.00

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The perfect work satchel

Cuyana has a wonderful give back drive that’s definitely worthwhile

$395

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Faux Fur Hat

$75

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Beauty brush set

added bonus; this set has antibacterial properties, which can help prevent blemishes

$62.00

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Nars Body glow

Helps me keep that radiant look all winter long

$59

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Rodan & Fields eye cream

I finally tried this stuff and it’s amazing; I literally use it everyday

$62.00

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Say it with a sweater

or this one; or this one – I can’t decide!

$98.00

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