Hey y’all, how’s everyone doing? I’ve actually had a pretty good week, albeit the cabin fever is real 🙂 I hope you guys are hanging in there! I had one of my first big bouts of creativity with work yesterday and was excited to finally be in the mood to plan content for you guys! Creating content obviously has its challenges at the moment and I don’t want to repeat what’s already everywhere on your feed, but I think we have some cool things coming your way!
For now, I’m finally getting you guys this month’s FRIDAY FIVE. I appreciate your patience as this took me about a week longer than expected, but as you’ll read below, I’m all about giving ourselves grace during this crazy season of life.
First Five Places You’ll Go After Lockdown is Lifted
Pretty sure this is on most girls’ lists, right?! Never ever will I take an appointment to the salon for granted again, that’s for sure. I’m actually still on the hunt for a stylist in London so if you girls know of anyone, please let me know. My grays are out of control so they’ll need to be professionally touched up ASAP! I’m so envious of people who have local salons / stylists and can grab a root color touch-up for home. Such a genius idea! For now, I’m surviving with the help of THIS root touch-up spray in the dark brown shade!
I think a lot of us who can’t be trusted to handle painting our nails on our own – and it looking nice – can agree that the same goes for not taking a quick manicure for granted! John told me that I have boy hands the other day, and I gotta admit, he’s not wrong. I haven’t seen my own hands without nails in years and let’s just say these fingers need some MAJOR help. I actually decided that it was time to open myself up to what I used to use in middle school – glue-on nails! And, to be honest, I don’t hate the way they look! The brand I’m using isn’t available in the States but, from what y’all have told me … the brand Impress is where it’s at!
going out for a meal
I can’t wait to get dressed with somewhere to go [where there will be other people around] that ISN’T a grocery store! John and I have been having so much fun living together and being able to actually spend time together, and I wouldn’t want to spend this quarantine with anyone else, but this time is definitely reminding me what a beautiful thing community is and how important it is to have OTHER people in your life outside of your spouse or significant other. While I am an introvert, I find myself really looking forward to the virtual plans that we have with our friends throughout the week. It is so cool what technology is doing for all of us right now. I absolutely love that it is keeping us connected but, I don’t think any of us can deny how good it feels to give someone you love a hug or cheers to a fun evening spent together. We are both so excited for the day we can meet up with friends and / or family for a nice meal, particularly out in the sun.
the airport to pick up the boys
This is proof that this list is not in order of importance. Realistically, it’ll take some time to coordinate the boys’ travel once more airline ports open for pet travel so, I assume I’ll be able to enjoy the first three things above before getting the boys! BUT! I guess that just means I’ll be looking and feeling a little bit more like myself and even more excited to welcome them into their new home! Haha .. you guys, I miss them on a deep, deep level and I truly will be a mess when I get them in my arms again.
L O N D O N!
I can’t wait to get back up to the city! While it’s small potatoes compared to what others are going through, it was a bit of a bummer to move here and not really be able to get up into central before all of this started to get really serious. Don’t get me wrong, though. While I’m excited for the day I get to go up there, I think there will definitely be a little bit of fear being that the virus spread so widely up there. We have to remember that this virus will still continue to affect us after the lockdown lifts but I do look forward to going up to London and finally seeing friends and my favorite city!
Five Recent Purchases Under $50
THIS COTTON RUG – We needed a runner for our hallway and I wanted it to be neutral and light to brighten up the space. This one was so affordable [under $35] and literally could not be more perfect! I love it! I got a non-slip mat to go under it.
LACE TRIM BIKER SHORTS – Last year, I deemed biker shorts ‘summer leggings’ and, since it’s starting to get warm now and I won’t be going back to Florida to get the black biker shorts I already own, I decided to get this really cute lace trim pair. I purchased an XS and they fit perfect. They’re really cute on. I’ll be sure to share a little video on stories of me wearing them so you can see!
NEW MILK FROTHER – I’m almost kicking myself that I didn’t get this milk frother earlier. I’ve never really been super happy with the Nespresso one. I feel like it only REALLY froths the milk well a quarter of the time. But, I guess I just thought, since it’s Nespresso, that’s as good as it would get. I looked into different frother’s a few weeks ago and then my friend Mollie purchased a Nespresso machine and she just so happened to pick up the frother I was looking at purchasing. Of course, I had to get her take and she said she couldn’t compare the two [because she never had the Nespresso one] but that she really liked the new frother she got so, I decided to give it a try. Plus, it has almost 2,000 four / five star reviews on Amazon so … that’s always a good sign you may be on to a good product. I used it for the first time this morning and … wow. Just … wow. I have been missing out, that’s all I’ll say. See more on IG stories today … and check out my Nespresso blog post from a few years ago reviewing the machine we use, sharing the pods we like and the storage drawer we use, as well as links to everything!
THIS PINK BASEBALL CAP – Y’all, this little cutie has been getting lots of use now that my grays are starting to get real confident during lockdown, ha! I absolutely love the color and, even though it gives away that I’m an American from a mile away, I think it’s super cute for Spring and Summer. Everyone’s dressing super casual right now anyway so it literally goes with every outfit!
OLAPLEX NO. 7 BONDING OIL – I should have bought this stuff a long time ago. I’ve heard so many people say it’s amazing and I’ve just been set with my tried and true Kerastase Ultime Elixir Oil [which I still love and will use to the last drop but, it’s not cruelty free so I won’t repurchase; I’ve used it since 2012]. But, what I love about the Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil is that it it not only nourishes my hair but it renews and repairs the broken bonds making it stronger. It protects color treated hair and fights frizz, which I know I definitely need. And, it also gets bonus points for being cruelty free!
Five Movies / Series To Watch Right Now
I mean, there are definitely some obvious ones here but I think, at this point, everyone has seen Love Is Blind and Tiger King. So, I thought I’d share some old options I love as well as some new ones that I either love or want to watch!
FATHER OF THE BRIDE
Five Home Accessories That Instantly Elevate Your Home’s Overall Look & Feel
COFFEE TABLE BOOKS
Coffee table books are one of my favorite ‘tools’ in home decor. They fill up empty space beautifully and create height between different decorative pieces like candles, vases, and picture frames. I highly recommend taking a look at the dimensions of the books linked below so as to not get one too small or too big for the one you’re filling. I am decorating a tray for our coffee table at the moment and bought this book for the bottom and this one to go on top. For me, I want the one that sits on top to be neutral so as to not distract the eye at all. I also like the spines of the books to be similar or the same color if they’re going to be on a shelf on show. So, for example, I love the Cupcakes and Cashmere books [individually linked below] layered on top of each other because they’re both white and the same size. I have those sat on top of the Photography book in my office. So, those are a few things to take a look at when you’re choosing your books! Of course, to each their own!
SPA SCENTED CANDLES
Is there not anything better than walking into a space that just smells divine? Any time you walk into a spa, there’s just something that the smell does to your psyche. For me, I am instantly relaxed and my stress starts to melt away. That’s the feeling I want when I walk into my home. I want it to feel like an escape and I want to instantly know, from the smell, that it’s time to relax and wind down. So, for me, I like to choose scents that give me that feeling. I absolutely love the smell of Bergamot and Sandalwood but, really, who can beat the good old smell of Volcano?
I’m a sucker for a gold accent. I feel like it instantly gives your space a luxe, glam appeal. You have to be careful not to overdo it, though. Use gold in moderation so as to not come across as tacky. But, here are some gold accents that have caught my eye recently. Some affordable finds I’ve snagged recently include these gold boxes and this adorable tea light holders.
FAUX FUR BLANKET
In my opinion, varying textures is a great way to make your home look more luxe. Adding a faux fur blanket across the end corner of a bed with a cotton duvet is an easy way to give your space a cozy, inviting and glamorous feel. I personally have my eyes on this one from West Elm but, sadly, it’s sold out in the UK. If you’re not a fan of faux fur, my next recommendation would be a chunky knit blanket as it is typically a different texture to the bedding, which creates an elevated feel to the room. It also makes the room feels more complete, along with a few other elements, of course.
heads up! West Elm is offering 20% off your purchase [and additional offers on certain categories like 30% off rugs and 30% off select furniture] and Pottery Barn is offering 20% off furniture and 25% off everything else for Earth Day!
REALISTIC LOOKING FAUX FLOWERS
Remember how I talked about creating height? Putting together a nice vase and beautiful realistic looking faux flower combination is another way to create height and dress up a space in a really romantic and chic way. I had these faux cherry blossom sprays in my bathroom [in this vase] in Florida for a few years and it really livened up the corner of my counter nicely. [styled them differently here] I also moved it to the edge of my nightstand just before leaving [you can see it in the background of my YouTube videos] and they looked so pretty! I actually just found them on the UK Amazon after weeks of not seeing them in the search results so I purchased a few of the white ones [trying to minimize the pink around here because it just doesn’t suit John’s taste and I’m trying to fuse ours in a cohesive way]. Obviously you don’t want to have too many of those larger arrangements so you want to throw in some medium and small arrangements around, as well. Here’s a good little mix of arrangements that look really nice:
Five Ways To Stay Sane During Quarantine
Limit the amount of news intake
Create a structure to your day and have a few achievable goals set
Get outside and get moving
Give yourself grace
While I planned on seeing many of my friends and family’s faces over the phone now that I live on a different continent, I didn’t know I’d be so reliant on it for human connection in general! I truly believe staying connected and catching up with people is good for the soul – we all need it as humans to thrive and are definitely not meant to live isolated. If you have nothing left to talk about, think about a virtual book club, watching a show with your friend over the phone, using the Houseparty app to invite others, doing workouts together [like these], virtual dinner parties or wine tasting, etc. We are also hosting little quiz nights with friends on Zoom. I’ll talk more about that on stories today! I’m also enjoying a handful of LIVES whether it’s other influencers and professionals discussing topics or working out. The point is, stay connected to others – especially if you’re in lockdown alone.
Have y’all watched any of these shows or used these tactics for staying sane? And where will you be heading to first? I’d love to hear since I found these topics so much fun to write about!
Also, before you go, don’t forget that the Sephora Sale just launched for ROUGE members! Here are a few of my picks.. I’ll be sharing more in the coming days!