Bring the Beach

Summer is upon us! 

I am especially excited because Kyle and I are going to Jamaica in mid June and I am already dreaming of laying by the pool, with a cocktail in my hand, and no care in the world!

My new favorite drink for the spring and summer is a Amaretto Cherry Sour.
It's nice and refreshing and not too strong. Easy to make and such a crowd pleaser.

All you need is:

Put it all in a tumbler, give it a shake, and pour over ice. I love to float lots of cherries in the bottom for a fun treat at the end of the drink.
What is your go to summer drink?

House Update and Guest Room Inspiration

Life is busy. So busy. I apologize. This poor little blog has gotten neglected. With 3 kids 3 and under, a photography business, and starting a new business with Matilda Jane (that's for another post), I barely get any time to just sit. So unfortunately blogging has gone to the back burner, but I promise to start dedicating 1 day a week to posting. I'll have to set an alarm on my phone to remind me, but I'm really going to try!

So as many of you know we bought and renovated a home back in August 2016. We moved in in February 2017 and I have slowly been redecorating and we are almost done! We still have the dining room, guest room/office, and our bedroom. Even though Kyle would beg to differ that our bedroom needs to be redone, but it does ;)

Over Christmas we had the siding replaced as well as having the brick painted. It made a HUGE difference!

Here is what the house looked like before.

Here is after the paint!
Night and day!

And then Kyle built shutters as well. I swear, the man can do anything. He just needs a picture! They turned out exactly like I wanted.

Eventually we plan to put a porch across the front. Probably sometime next year. We really need to replace the fence first. It's in bad shape.

This is the end results that we hope for! And we will eventually add on to the right of the house too like this picture, but that won't be for like 8-10 years.

So yes lots has been done to the house and I'm so ready to finish up the inside too. I've been dreaming, pinning away, and trying to decide what I want to do with our 5th bedroom. Eventually it will be a baby room and according to Raegan it will be a baby sister. Slow your roll little missy, you have 2 brothers that can keep your busy right now! For now though I need a place to work. Now that I am doing photography part time and am a trunk keeper for Matilda Jane, I need a work place that isn't my dining room table, but we still need a place for guests to sleep if necessary. So here's what I'm planning out for the room.

I wanted to do a day bed with a trundle to allow the room to not be filled with a bed and that's it. I'm all about tufted furniture right now and just love this day bed!

I also wanted a desk area for editing photos and all my of my MJ paperwork. This desk set comes with a filing cabinet and it's cute! Not that ugly metal. Score!

Of course a beautiful desk needs a beautiful chair and this one just screams farmhouse to me.

I also wanted to have a chair I could put in a corner as a reading chair and again tufted won. It's just too good!

I love this bookshelf that I can store Matilda Jane samples and books in. I'm still trying to find some kind of garment hanger to put on the walls to hang my samples from. Still searching.

I have so many decor items to go in the room, but the rug, lamp, clock, and scale were some of my favorites!

I'm still debating on bedding, but I'm really loving this quilt from Matilda Jane.

Wayfair really does have it all and the prices can't be beat. Grab a glass of wine and some pandora and have an evening of putting furniture together with the hubs and we will hopefully have our guest room done SOON! 
New Britain Daybed with Trundle New Britain Daybed with Trundle Oridatown Single Pedestal Computer Desk with Lateral File Oridatown Single Pedestal Computer Desk with Lateral File Libourne Side Chair Libourne Side Chair
Orville Cube Bookcase Orville Cube Bookcase Dorothea Ivory/Gray Area Rug Dorothea Ivory/Gray Area Rug Monro Shiplap 18 in. Wall Clock Monro Shiplap 18 in. Wall Clock
Alejandro 26 in. Desk Lamp Alejandro 26 in. Desk Lamp Rustic Scale Decor Rustic Scale Decor Hodgson Button Tufted Wingback Chair Hodgson Button Tufted Wingback Chair

Living Room Reveal

The living room is FINALLY done! It has taken MONTHS. We were waiting for couches to be upholstered and for Christmas to be over so I could take pictures. The day has finally come to share this beautiful space and I am proud of it. 

Do not be fooled. It NEVER looks like this. Normally there are toys all over the place and Landon's bouncer and play mat. Fortunately the kids played outside this morning and I was able to snap some pictures without little hands or feet in them.

When planning out our home we went with a farmhouse look. After decorating the living room it became more of a chic/glamorous farmhouse and I absolutely love it!

All links will be included at the bottom of the post. Here's what it looked like before.

And after.

couch, chair, pillows (Tybalt Mica fabric)// Weirs
wing back chair// Target
rug// RugsUSA
home picture // Small Wood Home
lamps// Target (similar)
ottoman// Wayfair
wooden box// Hobby Lobby
aqua wall decor// Hobby Lobby
wooden tray// c/o Wayfair
lantern//  c/o Wayfair
entertainment center// c/o Wayfair (similar)
glass table vase// c/o Wayfair
candlesticks and candles// c/o Wayfair
flowers and ratan vase// Hobby Lobby
topiaries// c/o Wayfair
decorative books// Hobby Lobby

Thank you to Wayfair and Small Wood Home for their collaboration on our living room.

Eyebrow Microblading 101

I’ve been interested in microblading my eyebrows for a while now and know a handful of people (including a fellow blogger friend- Amber Massey) have had it done – and I’ve loved seeing their results! Aside from my love for the overall look that microblading your eyebrows provides, I loved how permanent makeup can help save time in one’s morning routine. Especially for those who prefer to color in their eyebrows regularly or are having a hard time with their shape like me! I wasn't able to have it done while pregnant so I was so excited to finally get it done after having Landon.

The below photo is my eyebrows before microblading, and after the first treatment:

Before full face (filled in with make-up):

After first session:
After touch-up session:


Picking a technician:
My advice is to ask around! Your best bet is finding someone that a friend used that can give a real review on their services. Once you've found someone, ask them about their training. Do they have a license, where did they receive it. Amanda at Harper Blvd Spa did mine and she is amazing! She has even started holding classes to teach others her microblading technique!

How much does it cost?
The price can range, however don't try to find the cheapest person out there. You get what you pay for and you want someone who knows what they are doing! This is permeant make-up and you want it to look good! If you are in the DFW area, Amanda charges $600 BUT if you mention my name, she will give you 20% off coming out to $480.

How do I make an appointment?
If you’re looking to book with Amanda, she is currently taking appointments at her salon, Harper Blvd Spa. Click here to book or call her at 972-383-9772.

So what does it mean to microblade one’s eyebrows you ask?
Microblading is a semi-permanent tattooing technique that creates hairlike strokes to fill in sparse or thin eyebrows. It also helps create a shape for those who lack shape and want to fill out even more thick eyebrows (like mine). The technician will use a small tool to make small cuts and then apply a layer of pigment (which is really like dye) over the brows which will set into the strokes that were etched into your brows/skin.

What does semi-permanent mean? 
Semi-permanent means that the ink will fade within a 1-2 year time frame depending on your lifestyle and how well you care for your brows and face. It does not last forever and to keep the desired results for a longer period of time you will need to get them touched up yearly.

Is it painful?
In my experience, it was a bit painful, but only on the first pass. Amanda did apply a topical lidocaine to my eyebrow area before making any cuts, but it wasn't until after the first pass when she put on another layer of lidocaine did it numb it enough that it didn't hurt anymore. Pain tolerance varies from person to person. Once I was num though it wasn't too bad. It kind of felt like tugging and scratching. There is one part of the procedure called shading. That kind of hurt, but bearable. I've been through child birth and nothing compares to that pain ;)

What is the procedure like?
When you get to your appointment you’ll talk about what your desires are for your brows. I took along a few examples of what I liked so Amanda could see what I liked. In the end, your technician should be trained to know what sort of overall shape you should have and what fits your face. You can help dictate thickness and the fullness of the brow, but the shape is best left to your technician. A good technician will talk you through what they think. I will say the first time she recommended the shape and size and I said I thought it was too much. But in the end she was right. When I came in for my touch up I had her do what she wanted to do the first time and it looked amazing. The technician will then choose a pigment color and by matching to your complexion and current eyebrow hair color. Then they will have you lay down so they can map your eyebrows before starting to make the cuts!

What is eyebrow mapping?
Eyebrow mapping is the outlining of where your brows SHOULD be and help identify their overall shape. When people see the mapping, they get nervous because they think that the outline of the map around the eyebrows is how big the eyebrows will be – but it's not – your technician will only work within the space they have outlined during the mapping. I didn't get to grab a picture of the mapping during my session, but here's an example I found on google :)

What are passes?
A single pass is this process on BOTH eyebrows: Cuts on each eyebrow – application of a layer of pigment – wipe off pigment – apply lidocaine to each eyebrow – and repeat. I'm pretty sure Amanda did 2 passes and then the shading technique to fill in the sparse places.

What did you have to do to prepare for the procedure?
I actually came in with a full face and Amanda just cleaned the makeup off my eyebrows before starting.

What is it like immediately afterward?
My eyebrows were sore. If I scrunched my nose I could feel how sore my eyebrows really were. When I did the after care washing I had to be very gentle with them for a few days.

What can one expect afterward?
It’s true that there’s an “ugly” period following the procedure. They are very thick and very dark! This picture was the day after my touch-up session. Very dark!
Amanda provided an after care instruction sheet and also the emotions I'd feel as they healed. It was pretty spot on! It typically sets in around days 2-5. Everyone heals different and responds differently, but for me I didn't feel that days 2-5 were that bad. Some individuals might experience redness and slight swelling due to sensitivity. There is definitely scabbing. I didn't experience it that much after the first treatment, but I was very viligant with applying aquaphor for the first few days so there wouldn't be that much scabbing. During the scabbing part (days 2-5) you’ll feel like your brows are darker than normal and pretty dramatic. I found if I did the rest of my make up it didn't look as bad. I knew they would fade as they healed, which they definitely did! Follow the advice of your technician and you'll have some amazing results!

How long does it take?
The procedure itself takes about 2 hours (give or take) it depends on what you need to have done and how many questions you have for the technician prior to the process. After the initial procedure – you'll wait a month then you’ll go back in for a touch-up which is crucial to the final look.

In the end I am very happy with my results! Amanda is so much fun to hang out with as she does my sessions and we always have fun!

Before Picture (no make up) vs after first treatment):

 After first session:

 After second touch up session (and an eyelash fill):

Want to win a microblading session with Amanda? Make sure you head over to my Instagram to get entered!
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