A Charming Routine

If you know me in the real world, you know I can be frumpy. I tend to wear my hair in a messy bun almost every day and maxi skirts are my favorite piece of clothing ever invented. The thing is, however, I still try to feel good about myself, I just do it in a different way. How, do you ask?
My daily routine may not always involve makeup or a blow dryer, but it does involve a few other things that make me feel good about myself.

I start with what's underneath. It doesn't matter if I'm going to be the only person who knows in any particular day, pretty underthings always make me feel good about myself. If I'm not wearing makeup, I make sure my face is washed and my eyebrows look nice. My nails are always filed and clean (gel manicures are one of my indulgences in life) and I make sure that I smell pretty. The last bit in this formula is a bow, usually in my hair, though I've been known to wear them on my shoes or on a ring (too). It's not a complicated routine, and I can (and usually do) get out the door in less than fifteen minutes, but it works for me!

Bra and Panties :: Elle McPherson via Net-A-Porter // Perfume :: Chance by Chanel via Nordstrom // Shoes :: Kate Spade

Note that this post includes affiliate links, which means that I may make a commission from any purchases made via these links. You can read more about my blog's policies here. As a small business owner and self-employed blogger, I always appreciate your support and consideration!


A Personal Trip :: Cambria

I'm an introvert, and as such, I've never felt embarrassed or ashamed to be seen alone. I usually go out to dinner or happy hour by myself at least once every few weeks; it's my happy time, my time to recharge and just be

Last week was hard, you guys. I don't need to give details, but just believe when I say that I'm not being dramatic here; it was hard. Like, maybe the hardest week I've ever experienced. Character building, I suppose? But that doesn't make it any easier. 

After coffee with two of my dearest girlfriends, I realized what I needed to do for my sanity and my confidence and my marriage: I needed to get away. And I don't mean just getting dinner alone or staying with a friend or even taking a day off. I needed a vacation. I needed a personal few days. 

We're lucky enough to live near Santa Barbara and visit Santa Ynez wine country quite often, so that was out. Ojai was too close. Los Angeles too crowded and too familiar. I needed somewhere that was near enough to drive in a few hours, but somewhere I could experience all on my own for the first time. 

Lucky enough, the Central Coast is only a three hour drive from our little bubble, and I knew where I needed to be. 
Cambria. I'm fairly certain that this little slice of California, secluded and next-to-untouched, is one of the most breathtaking and reinvigorating places in the world. At least, in my world. 

I stayed at a little inn right on the beach. I drank wine on the patio, wrapped in a blanket, and wrote in my journal while listening to the waves crash. I rented a bicycle and did some wine tasting. I ate a lot of clams. I walked along the beach, taking in the chill in the air and thought about what I believed in, what would fulfill me in this life, what I need to change to be satisfied and feel good about myself. 

I left with a new sense of me. Corny? Sure, but it's the truth. When you spend forty-eight hours in a beautiful place, alone, left to stew in the thoughts of right and wrong and the idea that maybe life isn't so black and white, it's impossible not to change your outlook. Things aren't fixed, really, but I have a better idea of what I need to do in order to fix me. I don't know that I'm going to feel better right away, but at least I'm on my way


A Simple Spring Table at Home

One of my very favorite things to do is style a pretty table. For my shoots (the most recent of which is on 100 Layer Cake today), I always try to put a lot of thought and personality into my tables, from the linens to the flatware to the centerpieces and china. It's so much fun to play around with different patterns and colors and textures, to create something pretty and unexpected. There are times when I just bring out whatever I have at home on hand, and create something in our little apartment. And though it's a little gloomy outside today, I thought I'd bring a little sunshine into our home. 
I think sunflowers are the perfect flower to bring home. They're fairly easy to find, very simple to arrange, and brighten up a space. Nearly everything on this table I bought from Target or Pier 1 or Homegoods, and those little bowls were an amazing find at Cost Plus for only $3 each! How wonderful is that?


Three Ways I Make My House a Home

I guess the title of this post should really be "Three Ways I Make My Teeny Tiny Apartment a Home" but eh - semantics. I wrote a post a few months ago on Four Secrets to My Happy Marriage, and I wanted to expand on that idea with my home. The thought behind it is that what I do is what I do, and I want to share it, even if it isn't right for you. 

Creating my home has always been one of my number one priorities, other than nurturing my marriage. My home needs to be a place for us to feel safe and comfortable, a place that we want to come home to. It's a place that we entertain in, and where our friends can come for good food and good company. I don't think it would matter if we lived in a little apartment or a massive mansion - adding that personal element will always be important to me, and I think these things will be carried with me throughout my journey as a homemaker. So, here are a few ways that I make my house a home. 
1 // FIND BEAUTY IN THE IMPERFECTION. Robert and I don't have children (not for lack of trying), but we do have children come over to our home every once in a while. Though I have put a lot of thought and intention into the decor of our home, it's meant to be lived in. Children are welcome to come over with their sticky fingers and juice boxes and have free reign. It's that idea that things don't need to be perfect to be beautiful. Nothing is sterile here, because we actually live here. We spill things and things get messy and I would never be upset if a friend's child came over and broke something, even if it was important to me. That would be ridiculous. Children are children and we are people, and my priority is to ensure that everyone feel comfortable here, not like their flailing around in a china shop. Not cool. 

2 // MAKE MEANING. I have nothing against people that curate items for their home because they look nice or go with the aesthetic. Making a space beautiful is an essential part of creating a comfortable home. I do believe in using things are meaningful to you and your family, however. It's just about integrating these pieces in a way that fits with everything else. I don't believe in buying artwork or photos for decor; I just use what my family already has. I want it to feel like my family is present here, even if they live much farther away. And I have to say - I do get disappointed when I see home tours and there doesn't seem to be an ounce of personality or intimacy in the space. To each their own, but I wouldn't want to live somewhere so perfectly styled but void of personal touches. 

3 // IT'S ABOUT THE DETAILS. I have a tendency to collect knick-knacks, but I always buy them with the intention to use them. Think, paper straws, little dishes that are always filled with candy, a drink station right on the kitchen counter (coffee or tea or chai are always readily available in our home) and plenty of blankets and pillows on the couch to stay comfy. I think people notice when you put thought into the details in your home, and goodness knows that Robert and I prefer to keep it that way. It suppose it goes back to that first point - our home is lived in, and we want to make living fun and meaningful and memorable. 

So, there it is. Three ways I make my house a home. I know they aren't too significant, but I've put a lot of thought and effort and even research into how to make my home the sanctuary I've always wanted it to be. I know I'll learn so much in the next few years, and for the rest of my life, really, but this is what I value and live like now.