Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY WHITE TRIANGLE NAILS

DIY White Triangle Nails Tutorial

There is something about having my nails painted that makes me feel totally put together. I'll go au naturale for long bouts, out of ease and a lack of time, but when I get back into the nail painting habit I realize how much I missed it.

As for the whole nail art trend, it hasn't been my jam. I see the nail stickers and pens in the makeup aisle, but it's too over-the-top for me. All that changed when I started seeing geometric and minimal nail art designs popping up. I especially love this inverted triangle design that resembles a flipped french manicure. Now that's a trend I can get on board with.

DIY White Triangle Nails Tutorial

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: Nail Polish: ESSIE in Marshmallow, Top Coat, SECHE VITE, Tape: SCOTCH, Scissors

To see the DIY and tutorial, read on!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Healthy Vegan Snacks + Balela Recipe

Healthy Vegan Snacks Organic Lesser Evil Popcorn Trail Mix Kiwi Balela Recipe

Healthy Vegan Snacks Organic Lesser Evil Popcorn Trail Mix Kiwi Balela Recipe

Oh man, we are in the midst of some serious summer heat! It is unbelievably hot here in Pittsburgh and it feels like the air is weighted with moisture when you walk outside. In the midst of humid heat, I gravitate towards a snack-based diet. Preparing a big hot meal when it's 90 degrees just doesn't appeal. These are my latest favorite healthy snacks, and they all happen to be vegan. And there's a recipe for a wonderful balela salad at the bottom.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

High Waisted Denim Shorts + Vegan Leather Satchel

H&M High-Waisted Shorts and Vegan Leather Bag

High-waisted jean shorts are everywhere this summer. Seemingly overnight, gals have ditched their low-rise cut-off's for this look and I personally couldn't be happier about it. I appreciate finally having something to pair with the crop tops taking over my wardrobe. Peace out, midriff. And you guys, I am just so into this vegan leather bag. Black, camel, and wood accents look so wonderful together, and this purse gets a lot of compliments.

I'm really excited about carrying this look into autumn and pairing distressed shorts with some black tights and booties. But let's not think about the fall just yet, long live the summer.

Shorts: H&M LOGG, Blouse: H&M, Shoes: Kenneth Cole (last season), Purse: AVIGNON, Sunglasses: H&M

H&M High-Waisted Shorts and Vegan Leather Bag

Monday, July 21, 2014

DIY GOLD SOUP CAN FLOWER VASE

DIY Gold Soup Can Flower Vase // A New Bloom

DIY Gold Soup Can Flower Vase // A New Bloom
Happy Monday! Hope you all had an awesome weekend. Mine was filled with laughter, great conversation, and inspiration. It was my best friend's bridal shower and close friends from afar gathered together to celebrate her upcoming wedding. As we get older, it's difficult to coordinate visits when people are scattered all over, so weddings are an awesome reason to travel and catch up!

This DIY was inspired (and executed) by my friend Megan's incredibly talented florist mother (who did the flowers for the shower). It's a fairly simple project, but the results are stunning and made the tables at the shower ethereal and romantic. As soon as I got home, I had to photograph the results to share with you all!

See how to make these gold flower vases after the jump!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

AVOCADO + TOMATO SANDWICH (VEGAN)

Avocado and Tomato Sandwich Pesto Hummus Vegan Recipe

Let's talk about this sandwich. Oh man, it is GOOD. So good, in fact, that I have been bringing it to work as lunch for a few weeks straight and have not grown tired of it yet. It seems simple, right? That's because it is! The thing I love the most about this sandwich is that it completely fills me up and leaves me satiated for the entire afternoon. I feel great about the fact that it's made from whole, healthy, and fresh ingredients. And I don't need to think about preparing a different lunch each day, worrying that I'll be hungry later. Ready to try it yet?

Avocado and Tomato Sandwich Pesto Hummus Vegan Recipe

Avocado and Tomato Sandwich Pesto Hummus Vegan Recipe
Avocado and Tomato Sandwich Pesto Hummus Vegan Recipe

See the recipe after the jump!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SUMMER BLUES

\Style Look Anthropologie Blue Tidal Maxi Dress

There is something so whimsical and romantic about Anthropologie's current line of dresses. I had a seriously hard time picking just one to call mine. The color blue doesn't normally make it into my closet, but I'm trying to get out of my comfort zone color-wise, and this pattern sealed the deal. And their jewelry line right now, especially the gold pieces, are just to DIE for. But when aren't they?

Shop this outfit: Dress: Anthropologie, Shoes: MICHAEL Michael Kors, Earrings: Anthropologie

Style Fashion Anthropologie Blue Tidal Maxi Dress

Style Fashion Anthropologie Blue Tidal Maxi Dress

Style Fashion Anthropologie Blue Tidal Maxi Dress

Style Fashion Anthropologie Blue Tidal Maxi Dress

Style Fashion Anthropologie Blue Tidal Maxi Dress

Monday, July 14, 2014

THE KITCHEN

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation

The day is finally here! I am so excited to share our kitchen. It has been a LONG time coming and this project felt, at times, as if we tackled more than we could handle. All of the work of this remodel was done by Rich, myself and gracious friends and family willing to lend expertise and muscle. Despite its challenges, we finished. And all of the blood, sweat and tears (yes, literally) were worth it because we ADORE this space.

Here's the before shot of our kitchen. The photo quality isn't great, but they are the most forgiving and appealing photos I could track down. I don't need to explain the cons of our previous kitchen, but our main issues were the fluorescent lighting, dark wood cabinetry, beat up/burnt laminate countertops, butter yellow brick accent wall, and fake brick as backsplash. I also had a hard time with all the upper cabinetry. Since it's a galley kitchen layout, I didn't have anywhere to do all of my food prep, so some of the upper cabinets had to go to give it a more open feel with additional work space.

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

And in case you missed that...
  Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

Refinishing the cabinetry was, by far, the most labor intensive part of this remodel. We wanted to keep the original cabinets because they are a great brand, Wood-Mode, and the wood itself was in good condition. Plus, I dig the cabinet style as it mimicks the white paneled look we have throughout the rest of the house. So we broke out the white paint. 

The process included cleaning, deglossing, and sanding (using multiple grits) until they were smooth. Then we primed using Zinsser Shellac primer. We have painted a TON of wood in our house, and believe me when I say this is the only primer that worked for us (water based just didn't get the job done). We painted them using 2-3 coats of CabinetCoat in White Dove. This product is amazing and worth every penny. This self-leveling paint has a protective enamel coating, so even with Scout regularly nose-diving for food scraps, our cabinets don't have a single chip and look like a professional job. 

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

The countertops are IKEA's Numerar butcher block in beech. We needed three 73 inch pieces, and had some leftover that we made into cutting boards. We were worried about care and maintenance of unsealed butcher block, but it has held up beautifully with regular use of mineral oil.

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After


Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

Our kilim runner rug is one of my favorite parts of the kitchen. I have kilim rugs all over the house and just can't get enough of them. It brings much-needed color into the space and their low pile quality holds up to high foot traffic. I snagged it almost a year ago, and even though it's a one of a kind pattern, you can still find plenty like it online. 

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

Our entire remodel was extremely budget conscious, but when it came to picking brackets for the open shelving, Rich and I both felt like we couldn't skimp on hardware. We spent a good week researching open shelving designs and chose the brass wishbone brackets from Anthropologie. They matched the gold/brass cabinet pulls and have a sleek look from all angles. For the horizontal shelf, we bought a 1x8 board that we cut in half and primed/painted them using the exact same materials as the cabinets. 

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

White subway tile is paired with a brown-gold grout. Rich and I tested at least four different grout colors with the white tile before choosing this. It may just be that we are perfectionist color freaks, but picking a grout color other than black or white was tough. We landed on the color Haystack by Polyblend. I've heard some complaints about this grout bubbling, but it worked like a charm for us.

Listen up, my advice is to test a small section of tile before committing to the whole area. Use a hair dryer to quick-dry the spot to be sure you love the color. The amount of light you have in your kitchen and the color of tile you choose will make each grout color look very different. 

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After

Modern White Eclectic Kitchen DIY Renovation Before and After
SOURCES: Cabinet Pulls: IKEA. Cabinet Pull Spray Paint: KRYLON, Countertops: IKEA, Cabinet Paint: CABINETCOAT in White Dove, Subway Tile: LOWES, Grout: POLYBLEND in Haystack, Open Shelf Brackets: ANTHROPOLOGIE Cabinet: Marble Pastry Slab: CRATE & BARREL, Lighting: IKEA, Kilim Runner Rug: OVERSTOCK, Wall Color: BENJAMIN MOORE SIMPLY WHITE

Are you thinking about doing a kitchen remodel? Have you done one recently? Ask any questions or tell me about your own experience in the comments!

{next house reveal: the breakfast nook!}

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