links + loves


Shop the outfit here! 

THIS Tarte kit looks amazing. Perfect for travel, all really wearable shades!

Yep, plants are the best accessory.

I am loving the Young House Love Has a Podcast Podcast. Each episode is so fun to listen to and I usually have some kind of revelation after it’s finished. Whether it’s a house tip, like cleaning, or something about blogging as a business. It’s good stuff. I met John and Sherry at a book signing a while ago but I wasn’t a regular follower/knew terribly much about them. I feel like I know them so much better now and would actually really like to have lunch somewhere. Just sayin’. #crushinghard

I have an embarrassing amount of paper products (notebooks, calendars, etc) and also pouches. But these are all really cute.

I’m excited to be featured on Meg Biram’s Beauty Experts post!

I’m not really a bracelet gal but my eye caught this simple accessory for springtime.

This looks like a perfect eyeshadow palette. A bit large, but great if you get bored with your eye makeup quickly.

I’ve been eyeing some lighter wash jeans for spring! These look cute!

These warm summer days equal lots of this shade on my lips.

A great spring jacket that goes with anything for about $40! And a cute striped dress with “cold shoulders”.

In this post:

Welcome to my Porch


We’ve lived in our house for about 2 years now and the longer we are here the more and more I’m loving it. It’s only a 20 year old home, but there have been some pretty major expenses that put a bad taste in our mouths within the first year. The way it’s laid out is a bit unconventional in that there is an apartment/mother-in-law suite attached to the home. Therefore, we have 2 HVAC units for the house. As you can imagine, it gets expensive to fix them and we had to replace both of them last year. We also had to get a new roof (which was free thanks to insurance) and there have been other things that have popped up along the way.

Most desperately, in my mind, is new carpet upstairs. It’s the cheapest stuff on the planet, I’m convinced. But as soon as I get up the confidence to pitch Justin on the idea, I’ll catch one of the kids creating a huge mess with food on the carpet. And then I tell myself that we should probably wait a few more years before we invest in the good stuff.

Anyway, I’m here to talk about my porch! I love our porch! It’s screened in which is perfect for kids and cats. We basically live with the door to the screened in porch open most of the spring and a lot of the fall/winter. I love the fresh air, the cats love going in and out, and the boys love being out there as well. We eat a lot of our meals out there too, which does my heart good. I love being outside.

If we were to move, a screened in porch would be on my short list of “must haves”!

My mom decorated our cement slab screened in porch at our town home, which is where we lived before we bought this home. It was a surprise and I loved it. We duplicated it over at this house with all the same items, and she added cafe lights to the ceiling edges here to bring a little warmth and character. It’s completely charming.

I was growing a bit tired of the pink, so after a trip to Ikea and many inspirational photos from Pinterest, I decided to give it a new look. All of the furniture remained, which is the reason for buying neutral main pieces, and a few extra accessories and a new rug make it feel brand new.

This cheap little IKEA kid table got a coat of spray paint and it lives near the door. This is where the boys will eat their lunch, and I can be inside cleaning the kitchen and still keep an eye on them.

The casual seating (not at a table) wraps around the outside of the porch to allow for plenty of space for play on the rug. David and Luke will bring their toys out there, and sometimes I’ll move the kid table to the center of the room if we are playing at a table, but I like the open space. My sister suggested a coffee table for in front of the bench seating, but I think I may just move the side table that is currently next to it into the center if people ever want to put their feet up.

I added some functional storage and hooks to the main wall to be used as towel hanging and goggle storage in the summertime. It looks a bit sparse right now, but I like the minimal look. I may look for a throw to place in the basket next to the rocker for chillier mornings. Wouldn’t that be charming?

The door you see below, on the right side, is the entrance to the apartment. We almost never use this door so I don’t mind it being a bit blocked off. I’ll open it and allow air to blow through the screen, but otherwise that’s about all we do with it.

Finally, if you turn back toward the door to the kitchen, you’ll see this table with 4 chairs. I can’t remember where it came from because I’ve had it for so long. It’s got a bit of rust and shows every single spec of pollen in the springtime, but I think a nice coat of spray paint could give it some new life. I considered buying a new table, but everything that caught my eye looked really similar to this so I’m going to try to see if I can refresh it a bit instead of buying a new one. Ultimately, it can be moved out to the pool if we want to, but we use it a lot now so I’d like to keep it here.

The plants are all fake, but I’ll be adding some real herbs and things once the risk of frost is officially over.

This ends the tour! I’m so, so happy with it. We entertain a lot so this refresh makes me to excited to host girls nights and dinner parties this summer!

On the Porch:

main seating, rug, plants, similar dining table, IKEA kid table, cafe lights, lantern, similar hanging candle lanterns, planter, accessories from IKEA

I’m wearing this skirt, these booties, and this top.

For more peeks around my home, check out family calendar gallery wall and command center!

In this post:

A bronzer for the palest of pale girls


Benefit’s Hoola Matte bronzer was sitting in my beauty closet unused for I’m not even sure how long. I forgot about it, to be honest. I never LOVED the packaging, so it wasn’t something I grabbed for enough to keep on my vanity.

But I pulled it out a bit ago and remembered how nice the warmth is from the bronzer. I always had to have a very light hand, like I do with many bronzers, to make sure it wasn’t too dark on my light complexion. You can imagine my EXCITEMENT when I learned they were launching Hoola Lite, a lighter version of the original bronzer. I first heard it was going to be released in April, but I got a promotional email from Ulta and in it was the newest bronzer! I made a point to swing by there to pick it up, and was very hopeful that it would be the right fit for me when I wear bronzer in the spring and summer.

Here are the two shades next to each other on an alarmingly close photo of my arm that needs a bit of lotion.

It should be obvious, but the original is on the left, and Hoola Lite is on the right. It’s VERY light compared to the original formula. But it feels and applies the same in my opinion. They are both matte, which I love with all my heart because shimmery bronzers are not my jam.

Hoola Lite is on the left, and original Hoola is on the right.

I found that I did have to work a bit to get the color to show up on me. It was the opposite problem I had with the original formula that was a bit too dark. I love the subtleness of it, and how it’s nearly impossible to apply too much, but I would say that it’s probably too light for my skin. I’ll still use it because I’ve never liked a deep bronze, but if you have similar coloring to me you may have the same issue.

However, if you have lighter coloring than me or are really apprehensive about bronzer, definitely try this shade out. Think Nicole Kidman or Julianne Moore skin tones, you know? This bronzer shade would be perfect for them!

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