Decor and Fashion: Weeked haul and other things

1/31/2010 08:39:00 PM Ashley 3 Comments

Productive weekends are always nice. After a shopping trip on Saturday, we came home with more stuff from Target. Damn that place and their awesome deals and goods. I was able to get the last few things I wanted for our bathroom!

Finally a place for our hand towel! Can I just say how much I love Umbra? They have some of the best designs around. Not only does this hold a towel, but it has the bowl at the bottom to hold jewelry.

I also got all of the things I needed, at Michaels, to put together the brush holder that I saw over at Life with Lulu.

I went with 2 thinner vases, because it will fit better on the ledge once I move my perfume (I'll get to that in a second).

Michaels had a lot of different vase fillers, but I went with the smaller clear beads. One bag was enough to perfectly fill one vase.

One vase holds all of my eye brushes and the other holds all of my face brushes.

Here's the great mirrored tray I found at Target. I'm going to use it for displaying my perfumes on the dresser in the bedroom. Once I have it set up I will snap a picture of two and post it.

{item linked in photo}

While I am on a clothing purchasing hiatus, I may have snuck in an accessory purchase. Say hello to my beautiful new purse from Radley (by way of TJ Maxx). I had never heard of this company, but after some research on the brand, I'm very very excited to have found this purse.

Funny thing...for as many purses as I have, I have never owned a black purse that isn't a clutch of some kind.

The leather is butter soft. As in I may have been petting it as I carried around TJ Maxx and after I put it into use. The black is one of those blacks that change colors depending on the lighting. While in the store I would have sworn that it was a dusty teal color, yeah not so much.

This cute little puppy is the companies "mascot". He dangles from all of their items and can sometimes even be found as part of the purse.

Polka-dots *swoon*. I may have bought the purse just for this fabric. Hello way too cute purse that I love a lot. It might be hard to see, but some of the accent leather is a dark gray. Swoon all over again!

Other than the shopping and organizing I did try to paint my nails. I was apparently having a 5 year old day and slopped nail polish all over my fingers. Major nail fail. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.

What were your weekend hauls?


Organizing: Card organization

1/29/2010 11:24:00 AM Ashley 0 Comments

Back to home stuff. I know...I know, I keep coming back to all things home. It's just that time of year for me. I always go cleaning crazy around this time of year. It seems as though while I am cleaning, I am also going on a crazed organizational redo of a lot of things in the house. Yesterday's redo was my storage for all of the cards I keep.

Side note: I keep tons of cards (birthday, thank you, blank etc...) around for those "just in case" moments. I like being able to have what I need right there. It's something that my mother did and I always thought it was such a brilliant idea. If I find a great card I buy it, knowing that I can put it away for the perfect moment and/or perfect person. I am not safe in places like Papyrus or cute card stores that carry unique finds.

Anywho...back to my updated storage.

Old card storage
I've had this poor file folder for probably going on 6 years. It's seen better days and can no longer hold the amount of cards I need it to.

Stretched out band
I also discovered that the band that holds the folder shut has snapped into a bunch of pieces.

Overflow of cards
Some of the many cards that I keep. As you can see, I needed a better storage place for the thicker cards.

Outside of box
My new file folder box! A great find from Target (it also comes in green, pink, orange and black), though of course I can't find it on their site for the life of me. Also, if I had been smart, I would have taken a picture to show the great handle cut outs on the side. I went with the blue because it will match the blue in our office.

Pattern close upUp close of the pattern on the box. You don't notice it unless you are really looking at it.

New card storage
The inside with all of the labels. I have two file folders in use for the cards I keep stock in the most (birthday, thank you and blank). The rest just get one folder (engagement/wedding, love, get well soon/sympathy and holidays).

Card lables
A close up of the tabs (sorry for the blurriness of the other photo).

Favorte cards
This is one of my all time favorite cards to give. This small "Bloom" unfolds into a pretty flower with the chosen sentiment written in the center of the flower.

Seeing as I just talked about how I love to have cards around, here are some of my favorite card makers that I stock up on.

~Papyrus: A go to, they have everything you could possibly want for whatever you need.
~Bloom by Artecnica: Wonderful little flowers that you fold open to reveal a message and flower. They also have a sticky back so you can hang it somewhere.
~Squibnocket: These cards are hard to find, but if you find them, snatch them up. They are funny and just overall wonderful cards to give.
~Offensive+Delightful: The name gives it all away. If you like dirty humor then this is your card company.
~Quotable Cards: You may have seen these around as they also make magnets as well as many other things. I love some of the beautiful quotes, because sometimes other people can and have said it better than I ever could.
~Cielo Blu: Another amazing card company. They are hand screen printed on shimmer paper. I love them so much that they made our wedding invitations. Now, for some reason they have disappeared (their website no longer works). This saddens me to no end, I hope they come back.

Do you keep cards in your house? What are some of your favorite card companies/places to get cards?


Beauty: Makeup brush cleaning

1/27/2010 12:50:00 PM Ashley 2 Comments

I know...I'm actually getting back to blogging about beauty. Gasp!

After my bathroom redo and cleaning, I realized I have neglected my makeup brushes. I know, bad Ashley. Luckily I just bought a brush shampoo from Sephora. I usually use shampoo for major cleaning and then a spray from Smashbox to daily touch ups. I actually like the Smashbox cleaner a lot. It pulls a lot of stuff out of the brushes even for just a quick clean up.

So far I am actually really happy with the Sephora brush shampoo. It's my first time actually using something that is specifically made for brushes, so all I have to compare it to is hair shampoo. It creates a wonderful lather and pulled A LOT of stuff out of the brushes. Plus is has this really nice scent. It's not over powering by any means, I can't quite explain it (trust me, I'm sniffing my hand right now trying to place the scent).

*Note to self, wash your brushes more.*

Clean, happy brushes. So far they look really good and seem to be drying fairly quickly. I try to rotate the brushes so that they dry evenly and as they are drying I reshape them. Oh and yeah...I have a lot of brushes. This is what happens when I buy those special edition makeup packages.

You may have noticed this pink guy, I know I sure do every time I see it. It's from Sephora's double-ended color dipped brush line. I got it thinking that it would be great for travel (less brushes, less hassle). It's not as small as I would like (read, it barely fits in my makeup travel case), but overall it has been a good brush. Though cleaning it has me a bit worried...the water was running hot pink. I'm hoping that because this was the first wash it got, that the color will stop running. Here's hoping.

With the organized bathroom I am trying to figure out how to store my brushes. *I saw on a blog somewhere (I can't find it for the life of me, so if you know who it is, let me know), that someone took a square container (vase perhaps) and filled it with those PVC beads (like at Sephora) and had their brushes sitting upright in the container. I like that look, but would need to find a place to put it (maybe on the ledge if I move my perfume).

* I figured out who's blog it is! I saw the wonderful idea over at Life with Lulu (specifically this entry). Seeing the pictures again, I still think it's an awesome way to store your brushes!

How often do you shampoo your brushes? What do you use? How do you store your brushes? Any ideas for what I should do for mine?


Decor: Master bathroom redo continued

1/26/2010 01:46:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments

Yesterday I talked about getting organized and decorating our master bath, you can find that post here. Today I am going to talk about the rest of the bathroom. Oooo exciting I know! I couldn't exactly decorate one side of bathroom and ignore the other.

Our garden tub and huge window. Luckily they chose a window that has a textured frost to it, because if it didn't...hello everyone who is walking their dogs. You can see the matching artwork up on the wall. Honestly I am so happy that I finally found a great use for them. On the window sill are 4 metal tea light holders from Umbra, which I got at TJ Maxx for a $1 each!

I used the third pot I had as a place to hold some basic things on the edge of our garden tub. I know the area could use some more decorating, but right now this will have to do till I can think of something else to do.

I love the artwork on this wall, but am realizing that I need to move it over to the right more so that it is centered over the tub better. The metal dipped leaves have always been there, mostly because there were nails there already. I want to get shadow boxes for them, though they may no longer live in the bathroom after that.

The wall that separates the tub from the sinks has become the home to my perfume. I know that it's not the best place in the world for it, but it's where it lives for now. In the corner is all of my "daily" products. I'm in the process of trying to work my way through a lot of purchases. Hopefully soon enough I won't have so much stuff in that basket!

Back to the perfume...I know I have a lot. It's bad. Some, though, are not mine. At least five of those were my mom's. While I use 2 of them, I have them there for the memories. She very much had a signature scent and smell is a huge memory source for me.

The area between our sinks is the "community" area...we try to share this stuff. The two jars hold our Q-tips and cotton balls. I found them at a local home store. I guess they were really the start of the green in the bathroom. The only thing I really want is a hand towel stand, because we have nowhere to hang them.

I'm really happy with everything. I know there will be a few tweaks here and there, but it finally is a place that I like being. Nate was really excited to come home to the new look, which is always nice.

My next decorating task will probably be our bedroom. I dream of a beautiful yellow and gray room. Funny how I have ignored our personal areas, while the rest of the house is pretty well decorated. I guess I've ignored it because people really never see our bedroom. That really needs to change.

So now that you have seen it, what do you think? Is there something you think I could add that would make it even better? Let me know!


Decor and Organizing: Master bathroom redo

1/25/2010 07:23:00 PM Ashley 3 Comments

It's been two days, but I have finally emerged from our very clean and very organized master bath. Sadly our bathroom has always been a little lack luster and was just a place to get ready in the morning. I'm not a fan of the color in the bathroom and even less of the fan of the wallpaper border, but we rent so changing it is not an option. I finally decided to suck it up and give the bathroom a much needed face lift. Also, I did a HUGE spring cleaning and got rid of a ton of stuff that I never used (but swore I would). It felt wonderful to purge so much stuff!

Another issue is for as large as our bathroom is, there isn't a lot of storage space. That was remedied with a shelving unit from Target and lots of plastic storage bins. Even still, there was something missing.

Honestly I disliked having everything just sitting out in the open on the shelving. I really wanted things to be nicely hidden. Plus that whole corner was just sad and drab.

My quest has been to brighten up an already very sunny room. With our master bedroom already being done in a soft green , I decided to carry the green into the bathroom. Though I wanted it to be a brighter, more cheery green. Nate and I found awesome rugs at Crate and Barrel, but after that our search for all things green went down hill. Then a few days ago we went to Target and I hit the holy grail for all things perfect, both in color and for storage.

These boxes are exactly what I was wanting for the shelf. I ended up buying 6 (3 in each color) as well as a larger one in the dot pattern. Here you can also see the rugs that we got (the top picture is the truest color).

They are the perfect size to hide 2 extra rolls of toilet paper, among other things.

All done! Everything is in its place and looking amazing! The bottom boxes are filled with girlie goodies. The two lidded boxes are from Origins gift packages. They matched perfectly and I love that I found a way to reuse them. I already had the two pots and had no use for them (they have no holes, which isn't so good for plants). The artwork is part of a set that I got at Target's Global Bazaar a few years ago.

Can I just say that I am super bummed that Target stopped doing the Global Bazaar. Boo Target. Boo.

The top Origins box is filled with all of my extra razor cartridges. It keeps them close, but also keeps them hidden (soon I hopefully won't need them anymore).

The bottom Origins box is filled with all of those small bottles of lotion you always get for free. I wanted to keep them in one place so I can grab one and toss it in my purse when need be.

Lots of pictures...which means I should probably stop for now. Don't worry though, I will post the rest of the bathroom tomorrow. That way you can see the overall look and also how I have organized my overflowing makeup collection.

What do you think of the "make over" so far? What's something you've done in your own bathroom to make it look better?


Fashion: Monday Shoes

1/25/2010 08:30:00 AM Ashley 0 Comments

Terra Plana was a shoe company that I lucked into finding. Not all of their shoes are exactly my style, but they always have a few that I lust after. The great thing about them is that they try to be as eco-friendly as they can be. They use as little glue as possible, use natural dye and also use recycled fabric in some of their designs. Bonus...they are crazy comfortable! I own a few of their shoes and I love them all. Today's shoes are the most recent addition to my collection. The color is wonderful and they totally make me think of spring.



Designer: Terra Plana
Name: Caro
Color: Sky blue
Material: Leather
Heel: 3 inches

~ You can still find this shoe at 6pm and Overstock, though only in limited sizes.


Decor: Target finds

1/23/2010 09:38:00 PM Ashley 2 Comments

A quick stop into Target turned into a organizational shopping spree of sorts. They had everything I had been looking for, in all the colors I wanted. Such luck!

I had been wanting to change out our flour/sugar canisters in the kitchen for awhile (3 years). We had some cheap white canisters that have been getting us by, but I just don't like white in the kitchen. I was looking for glass or stainless steel, but the green of these match our KitchenAid mixer perfectly. Plus they were on sale for $11 (for all three) at our Target!

We also got some great storage bins for the bathroom. Apparently they do not exist on the Target website, so as soon as they are up and storing I will take pictures!

I'm really happy with the stuff I have been finding at Target. Have you been finding anything good there? If so, what?


Beauty: TRIA (session #2)

1/21/2010 08:23:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments

Today was my much anticipated second session with the TRIA. So after a good shave, I got to it. There isn't really a change in my hair growth. I have a few patchy spots, but I'm guessing that's because of my hair growth cycles.

I was quickly reminded that it hurts a bit more on darker freckles. Now TRIA says to stay away from them, but I have a lot of them and sometimes they get hit. If I know I am coming up on one I try to drop the power to the lowest level. Again, the pain is like the snapping of a rubber band and you will for sure feel something if you have freckles.

Also there is this sweet little grid that they include in the pamphlet that shows you how many times you should set off the laser on a square inch of skin.


Lets just say that I have not exactly been setting off 25 laser pulses in a square inch. It's hard to do when you don't have a grid to follow on your leg. I do the best I can, but understand that I may have to do an extra treatment or two because of my lack of perfection.

Other than that, I don't have a lot to update on. Though if you have any questions, please let me know. Also, if you want a refresh here is how it all started...

Silky Smooth (dreaming of the TRIA)

This is my giddy dance (getting the TRIA)
TRIA (session #2)


Review and Beauty: L' Orèal Go 360 Clean review

1/21/2010 11:04:00 AM Ashley 1 Comments

I started seeing commercials for L' Orèal Go 360 Clean line a month or so ago. It looks like your basic face cleaner with the added bonus of a face scrubber. There's four cleansers to pick from; Deep Facial Cleanser, Deep Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin, Deep Exfoliating Scrub and Deep Cream Cleanser.

I chose the Deep Exfoliating Scrub, because I was noticing some dry flaky spots on my nose and forehead. I really wanted to like this stuff. I really did. It just didn't happen.

First I'd like to point out how different what the actual product looks liked compared to what they are advertising with...

{Image from L'Orèal Paris USA}


Yeah, not so much. I get that they want a eye catching look for their advertisement, but come on this is a bit much.

So onto why I didn't like it. To me, the scrubber is too soft. It didn't feel like the little nubs on it did anything other than press back into the pad. It also felt like the scrub in the cleanser was nowhere to be found. I think it got lost in the pad itself. Then there was the lackluster lather. I got a better lather with this product by just using my hands, plus then I was able to feel the actual scrub. My face felt fine after cleaning it. It wasn't any softer than normal (not like it is after I do the OCM), plus I still had flakiness after a few days of using it. All in all, it's a fine product. Not something I will ever be buying again.

Seeing as I didn't try the other three cleansers from the line I can't say if they are any better. Maybe they are. I do plan on messing around with the little scrubber and testing it out with other face products I have.

Bottle with the scrubber popped out.

Here you can see the apricot seeds waiting to scrub your face...kind of.

The scrubber is made of a squishy plastic. In all honesty I think it's too soft.

Scrubber with the cleanser on it and ready to go. For it being a scrub, there didn't seem to be enough in there. You can also see that there are two different textures on the scrubber. I still don't know why it's needed.

The best part of all of this was realizing that the back part of the scrubber acts as a suction cup.

So as I said before, it's not something I will be going back to.

Have you tried any of these cleansers yet? What did you think? Are you going to try one? If so, let me know how it works for you.


Cleaning: What is currently in my bathtub

1/19/2010 03:58:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments

If you love fashion and clothing, then you too have those dreaded items. Those "dry clean only" and "hand wash only" peaces that you love, but hate to clean. If you're lucky enough to have one of those new washing machines, then I am very very jealous. I dream of the day when my washer will have more than 4 settings, until then I actually have to hand wash. Going through my small pile of hand wash items, I was hit by an idea. Instead of only being able to wash one or two things in my sink, why not use the bath tub? After years of washing clothing, this idea just hit me. I'm a little slow sometimes.

A tub full of cool water and Woolite is a happy sight.

So far, so good.

I'm really happy I am able to get so much clothing clean at once.

What is your great idea for tackling not only hard to wash, but everything you wash? What laundry products do you use the most/work the best for you?


Fashion: Monday Shoes

1/18/2010 08:30:00 AM Ashley 0 Comments

Today's shoe is a basic, with a punch of color. Every shoe wardrobe has to have a few good basic shoes, both in color and shape. This shoe has a great pointed toe, that is rounded off a little. Also I enjoy a slingback with a dress or skirt. It gives off a lighter look, while still looking pulled together. While I already had some good basics, I liked the idea of color of this shoe which is a deep red and if you look very closely you can see a slight shimmer to it.



Designer: Anne Klein
Name: Kahn
Color: Deep red/burgundy
Material: Patent leather
Heel: 2 3/4 inches


Organizing: For Emmett

1/16/2010 04:28:00 PM Ashley 2 Comments


This dog of ours is very very spoiled. Between the Lovesac (that he has turned into his own over sized dog bed) to the copious amount of toys, he never has to worry about anything. Recently I've been noticing that his stuff has overflowed to a cabinet in the kitchen, a cabinet in the laundry room and a box out in the garage. I decided today that I would work on getting his stuff organized and to hopefully be able to use the cabinet in the laundry room for laundry related things.

A lot of this is from the laundry room and the box we keep outside. This is the pile that started forming as I was cleaning out both of those things.

This is the cabinet that is in our kitchen. We mostly kept his treats, wet dog food, pills and paperwork in there. Though slowly we started adding his back-up stuffed animal and ball collection in there and as you can see it exploded everywhere.

The box. Empty, clean and ready to go. I decided to use it for all of his extra toys, because we don't readily need them and they can be kept in the garage next to his food bin.

All of his toys packed up and ready to be played with. We do go a little overboard with the toys, but he rips through stuffed toys like nothing. So with-in a day we have stuffing everywhere while he plays with the empty shell. The remote control car is a fun indoor, bad weather toy. He loves chasing it around the house. The long stick in the front of the box is a bubble wand. He could chase bubbles and pop them for hours.

The laundry room cabinet is all clean with actual places to put my laundry stuff. I'm still using a small shelf for his shirts, brush and leashes. It's really the best place for them, so I don't mind half a shelf.

Here's the kitchen cabinet all organized. I decided to keep his treats, wet dog food, pills, paperwork and tooth brush in there. It keeps the treats in a spot where we will actually remember to use them. Plus we don't have to worry about things getting buried under all of those toys.

Well, there was an hour long of organizing and I must say I am very happy with it. What can you get done in an hour? Is there something that you need to organize, but just haven't gotten to? Let me know in the comments!