It took me about ten minutes after walking into our house for the first time to completely fall in love with it. One of the biggest reasons was the thoughtful layout, centered around family life. We were told it was built by a large Catholic family and all of the details they added make so much sense. This sun-drenched room was perfect for a children’s playroom; it has large built-in storage cabinets and a bathroom around the corner and I can see Georgie playing while I’m doing laundry and cleaning up after breakfast. It even has a cozy fireplace for chilly winter afternoons.
This was the first finished room in our house. (You can read the House Q+A I wrote from your questions submitted on Instagram.) We realized how much we utilized the playroom in our last house and we knew we would need a spot for Georgie to play during moving, unpacking, and all the repair/maintenance appointments that followed; I felt like they never ended and it was key to have a designated spot for her to be able to play without being underfoot!
My mom and I decorated this on our own but my decorator came up with the idea to paint the ceiling in Sherwin Williams’s beautiful “Little Boy Blu”, evoking the feeling of blue sky peeking through. The walls are Farrow & Ball’s “White Tie” and the trim is Sherwin Williams “Ivory Lace”. With a view of the outdoors, this room feels like a little garden oasis. In the future, we may do a trellis wallpaper or painted garden mural on the walls. And once the children need more of a study area versus a playroom, they will be relegated elsewhere and this room will become my office and craft area. (And I already have my sights set on a chintz-filled theme Mario Buatta would approve of!) But for now, it’s an ideal spot for Georgie to read and play while I’m still close by.
I feel badly using the real estate listing photo for the “before” photo, but I’m afraid this room was always so taped off during home improvements, I had difficulty getting a good “before” photo of my own.
A few tips I picked up while decorating this playroom…
Stick to neutral colors. I always lean toward soft neutrals when decorating a playroom; the colorful books and toys infuse plenty of color into the space.
Organize books by color. Speaking of books, one of the best things I’ve learned from watching The Home Edit is to organize books by color. It’s not only pleasing to the eye, it makes my mid-day and nightly tidying go so much faster.
Reduce clutter… Constantly. When I moved in, I needed/wanted to purge Georgie’s toys. I did this by asking myself how long she played with an item (stuffed animals were excluded as littles can be quite fickle with these). If she played with the item for less than five minutes, I donated it. Something tells me this will be a lifelong process, so when things feel cluttered again, I try to take a look at what I could rid out.
Contain small toys in bins. Bins seem to be essential for containing small toys and little toy collections like Georgie’s stuffed bunnies. I love these stacking bins, but you should be aware they come in rows so you will have to purchase the number of stackable rows you need. (We have three.) As a result, you’ll need to utilize the included hardware to attach them together and tether them to the wall for safety.
Store stuffed animals in baskets. Every mom I talk to mentions the dreaded stuffed animal collection… It never stops growing! But they’re darling, so I am happy to find a place for them. I love these stacked baskets for storing stuffed animals. They’re beautiful, light, and you can organize the stuffed animals by size.
Add some area rugs. Someone asked me if the rugs shed as reviews mentioned. I have not experienced shedding yet after nearly three months of use and this is in a very high traffic of our house. That being said, I don’t get down on the floor often as we have a shedding dog and I’m usually trying to keep my clothes clean. Maybe this process occurs in the future… But I haven’t seen shedding yet.
Tidy daily. “How do you keep it tidy” was a popular question. I try to tidy when Georgie takes her nap and after she goes to bed at night. I think it’s the only way to keep your sanity with a toddler. Some days I’m just too tired or have other things to do during those times and I always regret skipping it because I end up spending so much more time tidying later. If it’s too much to tackle at once, just set your timer for fifteen minutes and see what you can tidy in that amount of time.
You seemed to love the “bunny brunch” we had in the playroom the morning before Easter and had so many questions about this space, so I hope I answered most of them!
Thank you so much for submitting these questions via Instagram. It was fun to reflect and answer them for you! I truly love finding inspiration and then seeing the way decor transforms a space; I know so many of you love interior decor as much as I do. I can’t wait to share more about the decor progress as we continue to get settled in our new home.
1. What made you decide to move?
The decision to move was one that took us a while; my husband and I aren’t the type that enjoys moving every 3-4 years. We really love investing in a home, making it ours, and filling it with memories. Both our parents live in the same houses we spent the majority of our childhoods in and we would like to recreate that for our own children.
Ultimately, we simply outgrew our previous house. I know I could probably expand into a 20k sq ft space if given the opportunity, but… We really did run out of space for our needs. It felt like things were just exploding out of every drawer and corner. We needed an additional bedroom(s) and a bigger playroom for our growing family, more storage space for decor and children’s items, and more general space for the family to spread out and relax. After living through lockdown and the pandemic, we realized we preferred to be in a safe, quiet neighborhood with a larger yard for our children to play in. We were tired of city living and felt that a more quiet, distant place better suited our current family lifestyle.
2. Anything about the old house you will miss?
It was nice to be so close to everything – especially before we had Georgina when we wanted to go out a bit more. And I will miss my big, beautiful dressing room I created in an extra bedroom that was all mine! It was fun to have a designated closet space like that. But again, that was my pre-mom life and my priorities were different and I had more time to get dressed and play in my closet!
I will always cherish that house because of the memories we made there; it’s where we began our little family. We bought it just after we got engaged, came home to it after our wedding and honeymoon, planted the garden together by hand, brought our newborn daughter Georgina home from the hospital and celebrated her first birthday in that garden, and I said goodbye to my sweet dog Lola there this past year. Seven years of memories!
3. Did you know you were pregnant when you were house shopping?
Actually, we didn’t! We started our last round of house hunting in September and we found our house in October. A couple of months later, we closed on our house and found out I was pregnant just a few days later! We were both so shocked and excited! It was the best surprise ever. During the negotiation process, I was getting frustrated and told my mom I felt like the little girl in A Miracle on 34th Street who asks Santa for a house and a baby. I guess Santa certainly delivered on that wish!
The timing was difficult in the first trimester, but I’m so glad to have the most difficult parts of renovating, packing, moving, and unpacking behind me. We did about two months of home improvement projects, then moved in and put our old house on the market. I can’t imagine doing that in these last months of pregnancy. I’ve started nesting and now I just want to organize, finalize projects, and work on the nursery.
4. How did you decide to buy vs. build?
We did about 2-3 rounds of house hunting and we did consider building; we looked at both lots and houses. But we felt both of us having only owned new construction builder homes previously, we just didn’t have the experience necessary to build a custom home from the beginning. (I have to say, simply going through these minor renovations and home improvements has reinforced that!) And we didn’t want to wait so long to move – now knowing I’m pregnant, thank goodness we didn’t!
My husband and I love traditional, classic, older homes which are rare here in Denver so we knew there was a chance we might have to build what we wanted. Luckily, we soon found our perfect home and completely fell in love with its classic character and charm. We both got “that” feeling and knew it was ours from the moment we set foot in it.
5. How did you find your house?
My husband saw the listing for our new house online and it was in the area we had been hoping and praying to be in… So we made a showing appointment with our realtor and drove up to the house, surrounded by all of this gorgeous fall foliage and leaves gently falling down around us. It was so picturesque, I felt like we were in a Nancy Myers film or something. As soon as I saw the interior and we walked the layout I was positive this was the house for us. I would go to sleep looking at photos of it every night; I was completely smitten. Since moving in, John and I have both noticed how it immediately felt like “our house”; we instantly just felt at peace here, so I think it was meant to be.
6. Will this be this your “forever” home?
If you ask my husband, he will say we will move one more time and build our retirement home. But I truly despise moving and having all of our things out of place, so I honestly don’t know if I could go through a major move again. I also think it would be hard for me to leave the house where our children grow up and make so many memories. I’m too sentimental!
Instead of moving again in the future, I would love to have a vacation spot in a warm weather location. That way, we could spend time with our family there over the years while keeping our home base. Maybe escape these lengthy Colorado Spring snowstorms! But never say never…
7. Where do you find your traditional furniture and decor? What is the title of the painting (pictured above) and the artist’s name?
There are so many places to search if you love traditional furniture! We do take a lot of hand-me-downs from parents; great pieces have great bones and can easily be reupholstered or updated through the years. It’s one of the most sustainable things you can do! There are amazing finds to be had at estate sales, local antique shops, eBay Local Pickup, and even Craigslist. I am never above hunting for the right piece.
If you love to travel, bringing home a beautiful piece of art or a special antique can help you cherish those memories forever. Compared to prices in the US, I’ve found that antiques in the UK and France are priced comparatively low which gives you a little wiggle room to pay for shipping. Walking through the Cotswolds and Provence was one incredible antique shop after another. They have such lovely pieces, I would ship home entire shops if I could!
The painting you’ve asked about (pictured above) is new and called “Luscious” by Stephanie Birdsall (website here) a talented artist of whom I now consider myself a devoted fan for life. The way she captures the femininity and softness of flowers is breathtaking. Another artist I would recommend is a young, up-and-coming artist named Anna Rose (website here) from Denver. I’m lucky to have one of her pieces and find myself admiring it all the time.
8.What were your priorities for renovation? Would you recommend your painter/contractors?
One of the major selling points of our new house was the fact it was in such great condition – especially for being an older home. And we were so grateful none of the previous owners had altered the classic details that made it so special to us; the beautiful trim and millwork throughout. So many elegant old houses here in Denver have (attempted to be) converted into modern houses and they just look and feel strange to me. This house has all its original charm intact and we truly cherish it! We didn’t want to change it in any material way or take the character away from it.
I would say a list of priorities is the most important part of starting a renovation because you never know what is going to eat up your timeline and budget. My top priorities were new paint throughout, new carpeting, and then simple things to freshen it up like new light fixtures, new can lights/exhaust fans, and new hardware here and there. Then came wallpapering Georgie’s bedroom to recreate her nursery and freshening up her bathroom without doing a full reno. The current projects are wallpapering the powder room and dining room, starting the new nursery and nursery bathroom, and replacing the tile in the kitchen. Down the road we will replace the tile and wallpaper the guest bathroom; this project left the priorities list once we found out I was pregnant!
We had a fantastic carpet layer who did our carpet throughout and even figured out a solution to complicated custom staircase runners. Our wallpaper installer is incredible; he drives down from the mountains to do our projects and is a true perfectionist when it comes to wallpaper. The person who did our painting and contractor work would be great for any painting or handyman projects you have; he’s affordable and knows how to do everything from plumbing to electrical work, so it’s nice to have all of that done with one person. I may reach out to someone else for the tile/bathroom projects specifically, because I simply don’t know much about that and I don’t know if I could properly direct/supervise the person we’ve been using for everything else. Happy to share these contacts if you need.
9. What was the process like for your trim work? Would you recommend doing this?
Since our trim is all original to the house, we didn’t have to do much! We had absolutely everything painted before we moved in and we chose Sherwin Williams “Ivory Lace” in semi-gloss for all the trim, doors, and cabinetry. It’s a soft, warm white and it just looks beautiful on the details in the trim.
I personally love trim and crown moulding. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I do think it adds such charm and elegance to a space. Even adding it in a few certain areas like your dining room or staircase will make a major impact.
10. What paint color combinations did you use in your house? Paint advice? What paint color looks best with gold gilt frames?
The importance of paint color combinations is one of the things I had no idea about before we renovated this house. I painted two ceilings pure white before my decorator got her hands on me and said, “No no no!” Hahaha. You don’t want stark white, boring ceilings or walls… There’s so much warmth and feeling you can bring in through paint colors and I’ve learned so much through this process.
We listened to everyone else who suggested satin and eggshell finish for the paint, but regretted that decision every time. I recommend using a matte finish on your wall colors (trim is a different story and needs to be semi-gloss) because it looks much nicer; we even had a few rooms repainted in a matte finish because we hated the sheen of the satin finish so much.
You also need to test and retest paint colors in different lighting; paint an entire wall, watch the way the colors change throughout the day and evening. I made this mistake in Georgie’s bathroom and the color is much too saturated; I think we will have to repaint this space all because I didn’t take the time to paint the entire wall and keep monitoring it throughout various lights. These are all lessons learned and completely normal during the renovation process!
As far as gold frames go, I don’t think you can go wrong… They are my personal favorite! But I have to say, gold really pops on the creamy white of Farrow & Ball’s “White Tie” and looks incredible against the soft blue of Sherwin Williams “Sleepy Hollow”.
Master Bedroom: Sherwin Williams “Maison Blanche”
Master Bathroom: Sherwin Williams “Sleepy Hollow”
Family Room: SW “Clary Sage” on walls, SW “Colony Buff” on ceiling (was supposed to be SW “Patience”)
Playroom: Farrow & Ball “White Tie” on walls, SW “Little Boy Blue” on ceiling
Kitchen, Hallways: SW “Natural Linen” on walls, SW “Honied White” on ceiling
Piano Room: SW “Pavilion Beige” on walls, SW “Colony Buff” on ceiling
Dining Room: Schumacher “Brighton Pavilion” wallpaper, SW “Light French Gray” on ceiling
11. One thing you learned while renovating/doing improvements?
Always plan for your projects to cost more and to take longer than expected. And as I mentioned above, I learned so much about the importance of paint and getting the color and finish just right.
Another thing I learned… It’s so tempting to do little bits of projects; a light fixture here, painting that room over there. But suddenly you’ve spent so much time and money and no one room truly feels finished. I was told I couldn’t take a section of tile out from Georgie’s bathroom and now I’m wishing I had looked for someone else to do it; the room will never feel finished to me until I do. Jenny from Tallwood Country House (@tallwoodcountryhouse on Instagram) once said to focus on one room/project at a time and do it well. This may mean you live with some spaces in need of updating, but that’s okay… I personally enjoy always having a project ahead of me!
12. Are you finished with renovations or do you have more projects in store?
I don’t know if a house is ever truly finished; especially if you love interior decorating. By the time you’ve finished your current list, it’s time to reupholster a few chairs or renovate a bathroom.
My goal is to take a little break from major projects once the new baby is here! We’ve talked about doing a full kitchen reno down the road in 3-5 years, but kitchen renos are so beastly I will put it off for as long as possible. The idea of littles and no refrigerator or oven for a couple of months sounds brutal.
13. What is the mud room/laundry room organization like?
We don’t have a mud room in this house. But we do have built-ins in our garage, a garden shed, and a coat closet. I do love a mud room, but it seems with these other areas we don’t really need one right now.
My previous laundry room was more like a closet and when I was pregnant with Georgie I could barely get past the doors with my bump and a full basket of laundry! We now have a proper laundry room with plenty of storage and it is so nice. I have been working on organization in this area so I can share it with you. I think it’s an area we all struggle with in terms of organization.
14. What is your home office/command center organization like?
This is one piece I sacrificed when we moved here! I used to have my own office, but once I had Georgina I found I was much more likely to grab my laptop and do some work from the sofa or even my bed. It was much more important for John to have a nice office to work from home and the children to have their own space for a playroom. My desk and computer are currently in our cozy family room where I will be able to watch the children more easily. And the large antique piece I use for office storage is in the piano room, so I dart in there if I need my camera charger or a stamp. Once the children are older with less toys and prefer to be away from us to study we will make an area for that and I will get to decorate a feminine space for my office in their former playroom.
15. Your favorite part about your new house?
Oh my goodness. Everything! Aside from our neighborhood which I have completely fallen in love with, I would say the traditional layout is my favorite part of the new house. It just fits our needs perfectly and feels like a truly cozy family home. In our previous open floor plan house, we felt we just lived in one main area the entire time. Most of Georgina’s toys were always out in our main living space and I couldn’t hide them if someone popped by. Now everything seems to have its own space. Lots of natural light, lots of great built-ins for storage, and space.
16. Does Georgie like the new house? What is her favorite part?
Georgina has always been such a great sleeper, so we were terrified she wouldn’t sleep at the new house! But we moved her crib in first and she actually sleeps better here than at the old house. She settled in right away and loves wandering around, exploring the rooms.
I think Georgie’s favorite part of this house is her playroom. She loves coloring and making her little play dough creations at her table. And I love peeking around the corner and seeing her looking through one of her books in her little armchair. I’m working on a playroom post with all the links for you – it should be posted soon!
The Shopbop Spring Style Sale has been one of my favorites for years because you can find new Spring and Summer styles on sale. It’s a spend-more-save-more sale; just use code STYLE for up to 25% off. Browse the linked collage items above, or take a peek at all my favorites down below!
When I dreamed of my daughter’s first birthday, I certainly didn’t envision social distancing, a restricted guest list, and individually-packed lunches. Not to mention our state of Colorado was simultaneously battling wildfires, a drought, and a heat wave. But we are all getting through 2020 together and I was still able to make the day special for this little one that is so very special to us.
I wanted Georgie’s first birthday to feel like an extension of my baby shower; soft pink florals, lots of greenery, and a garden feel. I still call her my little “Bunny” so bunnies made a major appearance on her special day with bunny motifs on signs and thank you tags, plus an “Adopt a Bunny” station with little furry stuffed friends for children to bring home. At my baby shower, Georgie’s stroller was covered with a beautiful floral arrangement near the gift table. And at Georgie’s first birthday, her first little doll stroller made an appearance with a gorgeous bow on top too.
Some changes we made were having a very restricted guest list (my friend in healthcare suggested no more than 15 people), hosting the party in our little backyard garden, providing hand sanitizer upon entry and exit, social distancing as much as possible, individually packaged lunches, and only having two people handle food and beverage.
Newberry Brothers Floral created a whimsical, girly dream in our tiny backyard. We found a canopy tent we can reuse in the future and they brought in all the table + chair rentals, table linens, and florals to make our backyard a little oasis. I loved the balloon arch they brought in and the dreamy tissue poms hanging from the ceiling of the canopy tent. Despite the changes we had to make, Georgie’s birthday was lovely and she was the happiest girl in the world that day. My favorite part was watching her dig into her smash cake; she was having so much fun discovering the tastes and textures of the cake and frosting. I will cherish these memories and photos for a lifetime!
Georgina just turned one in August, and lately she’s been bringing me books to read to her throughout the day. Before she was mobile, we would read books over and over, but since she started walking she hasn’t been as interested in reading, which concerned me a bit. My husband and I have always loved reading and it’s been one of our dreams for our daughter to discover the joy, knowledge, and escape books provide.
Georgina definitely has favorite books and I find that reading these has been the key to getting her to pay attention long enough to get through a book or two. She is a busy lady, but I have been trying to work more books into our playtime so her language skills can continue developing. I am on pins and needles, waiting for her first few words beyond “mama” “dada” and “hi”! I can’t wait to hear her little voice, chatting away.
I thought I would share our current favorites for babies around one year of age. Would love to hear your favorites as well!
DryBar Dry Shampoo: My favorite dry shampoo of all time. I’ve tried others, but always come back to this for its impressive ability to freshen and add volume to limp, lifeless hair.
Dermaflash Device: This exfoliation device allows you to dermaplane in the comfort of your own home. Dermaplaning removes the top layer of dead skin as well as peach fuzz, and better prepares your skin for skincare products.
GHD Curling Iron: My favorite and most-used curling iron. It heats up quickly, has a clip, and creates voluminous curls that last for days.
L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil: The most luxurious shower oil that slightly lathers and provides lots of hydration. I have used this as a shaving oil for years.
Barefoot Dreams Cardigan: There’s a reason this brand has a cult following. They make the softest products to cozy up with and this cardigan is no exception. I love throwing these over pajamas or athleisure when I’m around the house.
Barefoot Dreams Blanket: If you don’t have one of these, treat yourself to one during the sale. They are perfect for cuddling up during a movie and make a great gift as well.
Moonlight Dream Pajamas: I think I have these pajamas in every color. They’re super soft and wash well. Order in your regular size for a loose, comfy fit.
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Trio: As a busy mom, I love the idea of a quick and easy-to-apply eye shadow stick. I bought these during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, received my order, and quickly fell in love with these. The colors are gorgeous and they’re easy to apply and blend.
North Face Oso Zip Hoodie: These sweet little jackets are so soft and come in both pink and blue. I got one of these for Georgie and I think it will make a perfect play jacket for her this fall. Runs true to size. I ordered the 18-24 month size for Georgina as she just began wearing size 18 months and I think this will fit her through the spring.
Jelly Mary Jane Flat: Georgie got so excited when I gave her these. Jelly shoes are fun and easy to clean if she wears them out in the garden. She kept walking around and staring at her shimmery golden shoes! Runs true to size. Georgina wears a size 5.
Little Giraffe Blanket: The softest baby blanket you’ll ever snuggle a little one with! This is like a Barefoot Dreams blanket for babies. I got one for Georgie because we’ve started letting her snuggle blankets during her naps. It would make the perfect gift for a new baby.
Nuna Rava Car Seat: We just switched to a Nuna brand car seat (this is the one my mom gave Georgie for her birthday) and it is so much more functional and efficient than the Maxi-Cosi infant seat we used. One of my sorority sisters messaged me recently to tell me how great she thought it was as well; she doesn’t have a baby yet, she was just helping her friend with her baby and thought it was that amazing!
Tom Ford Sunglasses: These are my favorite timeless sunglasses I wear year after year. You can’t go wrong with a classic style like this.
Dior Lip Set: Two of my favorite lip products in one great set, along with a cute Dior cosmetic pouch and the Dior lash primer. You’ll love these lip products because they hydrate and gently plump your lips, while creating a natural pink glow with your body’s own chemistry so the color looks slightly different each time you wear it.
Cubic Zirconia Stud Earrings: These earrings have a cult following. I’ve heard some people say they wear them to travel and some say they wear them every single day, just as they would diamond earrings. These aren’t to be missed during this sale.
Vince Crop Flare Trousers: I love this pant. It looks so polished and elevated, even when you just throw it on with a tee. It isn’t really “flared” on me – I think I would call it more of a straight leg. Really flattering and true to size.
I feel as if it’s been ages since I’ve tried some new products and wrote a proper review. (I’ll blame it on having a baby.) But this summer I’ve been enjoying taking a little time to get myself ready during Georgie’s morning nap and as a result, I’ve stumbled across some new favorites I had to share with you.
Just because many of us are raising littles or working from home or hidden behind face masks, it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the little things that make us feel great about ourselves each day. For me, taking the time to make myself presentable makes a huge difference in how I feel and even increases my productivity for the day. Lately I’ve been doing a really natural look that focuses on glowy skin, lashes, and rosy cheeks. Here’s to pretty packaging and products worth the spend…
1. Tatcha Liquid Silk Canvas: Featherweight Protective Primer
In the past, I’ve struggled with finding really great primers; it seemed like the ones everyone was raving about would never work for me. I saw this primer during a sale, was intrigued by the clean beauty stamp, and decided to try it. As soon as I applied this over my moisturizer I saw a visible difference in my skin. My pores and even my under-eye circles were minimized, my skin looked smoother, and my skin had an almost filtered appearance. I am sold on this primer, ladies. Never letting this one go!
I have had dark under-eye circles for years; I think I started noticing them in college, but they’ve definitely gotten worse since I developed allergies and became a permanently-tired mama. It’s difficult to find products that conceal them without looking cakey… Until I discovered this little tube of magic. I wear shade #2 and I think that’s key for concealing because it has a peach pigment that counteracts blue and purple undertones. It brightens my under-eye area and conceals beautifully. Sometimes I apply with my BeautyBlender and sometimes I apply with the little concealer brush it comes with. Either way, this is a godsend as I no longer look like I may be auditioning for a vampire series when I apply it. This is definitely the chef’s kiss of under-eye concealers.
I discovered this dream product last summer when I was pregnant. It’s a creamy bronzing base that also offers beautiful coverage. It comes in a sleek little tub and you can use fingers, a brush, or a sponge to apply.
My preference? After moisturizing and/or priming (sometimes I use this product in place of primer) I apply a little concealer with a damp BeautyBlender, then use the same sponge to dab and blend this product all over my face. Remember to blend down onto your neck – it’s important since this product does give you a little dose of bronzed color. Et voila! You’ll have a glowy, sun-kissed daytime look. You can add foundation on top of this for even more coverage and a more “finished” evening look. This has become a “Holy Grail” product for me. When my skin is looking a little dull or pale, I add this into my routine and I instantly look fresh and brightened up.
While this product line is new to me, the makeup artist Gucci Westman who created it is not. Before I became a wife and mama, I worked for a skincare and cosmetics company. Gucci Westman is known to everyone in the industry as the skin goddess to models and celebrities. Her artistry for balancing skin tone and creating a flawless canvas are unparalleled. So when I was sent some Westman Atelier products to try, I was thrilled.
I was a bit nervous to use a stick foundation, but I jumped in with both feet, ignoring my foundation brush and using my fingers to melt the product and blend into skin a la Gucci herself. To be honest, I was floored. At the risk of sounding cheesy but being completely honest here… My skin looks like I’m wearing one of those Instagram filters when I have it on. The stick formula is easy to build where I need it and gives me beautiful, barely-there coverage where I don’t. In the eloquent words of my UPS delivery man, who I see nearly every day, “What did you do to your face? You look twenty-one today.” Thank you, sir. The first time I wore this foundation I got ready around 11 AM for friends to come over and they didn’t leave until 8:30 PM when I finally checked my face; the foundation still looked great and hadn’t creased at all.
I use shades Atelier II and III and blend them according to my skin tone at the moment. I love placing the slightly darker shade along my hairline and forehead, down the sides of my nose, under cheekbones, and around my jawline for a natural, effortless looking contour.
5. Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in “Dou Dou”
I’m going to go ahead and say it. This is my favorite beauty product of 2020. This creamy blush stick can be used on cheeks and lips and this particular color called “Dou Dou” gives such a perfect rose glow, you could be an extra in a Jane Austen period drama. It’s perfect.
I use two fingers to rub the top of the blush stick, then I gently dab onto the apples of my cheeks and I use the extra to dab a little color onto my eyelids and bridge of my nose for a natural flushed look. Then I go back to the blush stick and dab onto my lips. You will love this product. I’ve shared a swatch above to show both the blended out color and the color applied straight out of the stick.
I’ve been forgoing contour lately and just doing a little highlight instead. I think it’s more natural and youthful. This highlight stick isn’t shimmery; it just kisses the skin with the perfect touch of dew-like finish. I dab a little on my brow bones, cheekbones, the tip of my nose, and my cupid’s bow. Effortless and fresh.
I am picky when it comes to mascaras. For the past ten years or so, I’ve been alternating between two main favorites. I’ll admit, I decided to try this mascara for the pretty pink and gold packaging. Imagine my surprise when I applied it and it gave me long, perfectly black, flirty lashes. Who knew?! This mascara is a gem. It’s less clumpy than my previous #1 favorite (Chanel Le Volume), but still gives volume and major length.
When I want a natural pink glow to my lips with just a little shine, I reach for this gorgeous balm-meets-lipstick. I love it so much, I think I’m on my third tube since discovering it a few years ago.
This lipstick reacts with your natural chemistry to produce the perfect pink flush for your skin tone. I’m no scientist, but I can tell you this product somehow looks uniquely gorgeous on every person I’ve seen wearing it. And the mango butter in it is so moisturizing. If I had to pick one lip product right now, this would be it.
What better way to make the most of time at home than with a backyard tea party in the garden? Grab an old quilt – this one under $100 is my favorite we’ve been using lately – and place on the ground. An upturned picnic basket makes for a great table. Tea isn’t required if little hands are involved, but Georgie will tell you these delicious cream buttermintsabsolutely are a must! (They’re the kind of cream buttermints I remember grandmothers bringing to luncheons and bridal showers when I was a little girl.)
We’re using this Blue Willow Tea Set – it’s under $200, so appropriate for picnics or outdoor tea parties and you have to worry you’ll break your grandmother’s tea set in the garden. It’s a beautiful set and I have mine displayed in our breakfast nook’s glass china cabinet when we’re not using it.
Our little city garden is small, but we make the most of it! If you don’t have a garden, head to a local park or try opening up all your windows and have a picnic on your apartment floor. What activities have you been doing with your little ones to keep them occupied and enjoy the warmer weather?