Hi friends! I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my monthly favorites. I love seeing what products people are buying and using. Let's get into it...
CLOSET // I bought a few necessities for my closet, all of which I'll share at the end of the summer when I'm prepping for my fall capsule, but these are my standout favorites. This H&M denim jacket (similar, H&M) is my go-to piece. I've hardly worn denim bottoms at all because I'd rather wear this jacket on top. It's a little bit cropped, more toward the back, and fitted, which wasn't what I was originally looking for, but I find that it pulls together a casual dress like no other. With this 90+ degree weather, sandals have been the only option this summer. I've been reaching for these Loft leather sandals (no longer available), which I picked up on sale, and they're great. Super simple, and go with everything.
BEAUTY // I made it a priority to start using SPF on my face everyday under my makeup. I did a lot of research, and while I was hoping for something more natural, I couldn't find the balance between natural ingredients and quality of the product. I picked up this La Roche Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid ($33.49, Target) and I'm in love. The price is a bit steep, but the product is very liquid, and a little bit goes a long way. The finish is perfect for under makeup, and looks natural, is not oily, and leaves the face feeling super soft. I actually think my makeup looks better over the top of it than other lotions. I've been into lip color lately, which is new for me, and have been in search of the perfect coral lipstick (in my price range). While I haven't found it yet, I love the sheer, bright color of this L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Pop Balm in Caring Coral ($5.39, Target, though I can't find the color on their site, so check stores). It feels moisturizing, and the color is sheer, not overdone. It's not a perfect finish, but unless people are inches from your lips, it's not a problem. Finally, I've had my eye on this palette for a few weeks now, and when I got paid the other day, I picked it up. It's the Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette ($11.99, Target). I'm a total eyeshadow girl, and my Urban Decay Naked palette is my best friend. I love the look of the Naked 2, but I'm not willing to shell out $50 for it, so this palette gives me the same type of shades, for a lower sticker. The quality is very good for the price, some of the best drugstore eyeshadows I've used, and the colors are pretty.
HOME // This month I've been reading Essentialism and The Fringe Hours, Both books are in the general realm of identifying what is important for you, clearing out what isn't, and making time for yourself. I've only finished The Fringe Hours since it was from the library, but will be picking Essentialism back up immediately to finish it up. Highly recommend both. My Rewined Candle in Rose ($28, West Elm) is my favorite thing ever. I actually bought it in June (I think?) at West Elm, and since there was a tiiiiny chip on the edge, the cashier gave me 25% off. Steal! These candles are a bit of a splurge, but very worth it. Each one is fashioned after a different variety of wine, and the notes that are often found in those wines and are made from recycled wine bottles. Rose smells like "rose petal, white peach, pink peppercorn and crisp minerality" AKA really good.
NOT PICTURED // These two items, though they didn't make it in the photo, might be my favorite acquisitions of all. In my quest to sleep better, I picked up a sleep mask (Alaska Bear Pure Silk Sleeping Mask, $9.99, Amazon) and real pajamas (Gilligan & O'Malley Fluid Knit Top and Short Pajama Set in black, $19.99, Target). I'm really sensitive to light when I sleep so these bright summer mornings (and my neighbors porch spotlight) keep me up, and this sleeping mask, the first I've ever used, blocks that out and is so soft. I've also been wanting some grown up pajamas, instead of my old t-shirts and track shorts. Sleeping feels so much more luxurious now!
What were your favorite things, old or new, this month?
Sometimes we come across really amazing pieces, but aren't quite sure what to do with them. I want to take some of these tough to style, but beautiful, finds and show you two ways to style them depending on what look you want. I truly believe that if you love a piece, you can make it work with your home's style, with the right pairings. I fell for this pretty copper table from Target when I did last week's round up, and it's been on my mind since then. What do you do with an hourglass shaped, metal table? I came up with two very different styles, and this table works so well in each. This table is surprisingly versatile. Which is your favorite: global chic or feminine glam?
The piece: Table
Over the next few months, I'm going to be setting myself up for a few 30-day challenges. I've heard that it takes 4-6 weeks to create a new habit, so 30 days seems like a good, easy to measure place to start. My first challenge: sleep. For the month of August, I plan on keeping to the same bedtime and waking schedule every single day, including weekends.
Keeping yourself on the same sleep/wake schedule every day gets your body into a regular routine it can understand, and over time will make it easier for your body to fall asleep at night, and feel awake during the day. I have always had issues falling asleep at night and feeling alert in the mornings, and want to see if sleeping and waking at the same time every day can help me.
Late last year I made it a goal to drink more water, as we've all heard the numerous benefits of drinking plenty of water every day. I was a bit skeptical, especially in how it would affect my skin, but everything I read about it is true. I now drink plenty of water every day, and have noticed significant health benefits. My hope is that with these 30 day challenges over the next few months, I will develop more of these healthy habits that will make me look and feel better. For the month of August I am sticking to a schedule of a 10:00 pm bedtime and 6:00 am waking time for a full 8 hours of sleep every night. This works for me since I leave for work at 7:30 on weekdays, leaves me plenty of time on weekend nights to do things, and will help me have more productive weekend mornings. I always kick myself for sleeping too late on weekends.
Sleep is one of the top success factors in all areas of life, and I want to develop better sleep habits while I'm young. I'll be tracking my progress on Instagram with the hashtag #boulevard30. I've been trying to ease into it over the past couple weeks, and this week am really putting effort into starting the schedule now, so that it is easier once we hit August 1. At the end of the month I'll recap the month's challenge and introduce the next. If you'd like to join me, let me know in the comments! Let's do this together!
Let's talk about wall-hangings. All things woven, stringy and macrame have been popular all over blogs and Pinterest for a while now, and I've been itching to give them a shot myself! I think these DIY options are the perfect option for inexpensive, and potentially large-scale, wall art. I love these for around the house, but think some of these simple ones, can easily be scaled up for a pretty photo backdrop at a wedding or party! Here's five of my favorites from around the web. [main image]
1. Wood beads via Oh The Sweet Things
2. Round and beaded via All Sorts of Pretty
3. Simple yarn art via La La Lovely
4. Woven wall hanging via Honestly WTF
5. Tassle yarn wall hanging via Designlovefest
I think this is my favorite concoction yet.
My first French 75 was about 2 years ago, when I bought The Great Gatsby (the new one, with my love Leo) and wanted to make a date night watching it with B. Freshly out of college, I was really into experimenting with "real cocktails" (no more pink lemonade and vodka for this girl!) For my 21st, B bought me a little cocktail book with all the classics, so I hunted for something fancy. What could be fancier than a champagne cocktail? That recipe looked similar to this one. For the record: the French 75 is really good (and a little dangerous).
Fast forward to a few days ago. I'm trying to come up with a new recipe, and wanted something a little more festive. One of my best friends is getting married tomorrow (!!!) and I thought a champagne cocktail would be perfectly celebratory. I flashed back to the French 75, but felt like dressing it up a bit, making it more summery.
Then I remembered the honey. The little bottle of lavender honey we received as a gift so long ago, and have never known what to do with. Lemon + honey + lavender...that's about as summery as it gets! Throw in a little bubbly and gin for good measure, and this is a summer celebration in a champagne flute.
3 tsp lavender honey
1 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 shot gin
HOW TO MAKE IT //
Slightly warm honey, to thin it and easily mix with other ingredients. Mix lavender honey, lemon juice and gin in a jar or shaker. Pour into champagne flute and top with chilled champagne. Enjoy!
NOTE // Obviously, this recipe is a little particular, as lavender infused honey isn't sitting on everyone's shelves, and I don't expect anyone to buy it specifically for this. (Although, if you need an excuse, I had a delicious lavender honey syrup at Slappy Cakes a few years back, so there is use #2 for it.) You could make your own a la Martha Stewart, or I'd bet you could find it at Whole Foods. Other options: use regular high-quality honey or make a floral simple syrup with lavender. Even if you never make it, I'd be doing you all a disservice if I never shared this delicious concoction.
I love discovering new shops with beautiful home goods. Yesterday, when I came across Mexchic, I knew I had to share. Mexchic is a Mexico-based home goods and accessories company founded by American designer Christina Hattler. She works with local artisans, following strict World Fair Trade Organization standards, who help design and make these beautiful goods. The company's dedication to good design without compromising ethical practices is a huge part of what draws me to them. While I can't yet afford a $250 blanket, I can sure look and wish right?
Shop all their beautiful goods here.
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