the body shop

A long, long while back I wrote a post about the Leaping Bunny program.

Last Monday, I spent the afternoon in search of new hair care products and makeup. I used the Leaping Bunny App on my phone to help me. It was so useful!

I set my sights on Ulta thinking they’d have a lot of products on the list but I didn’t find much so I headed on over to The Body Shop. I saw on the App that The Body Shop was listed under every category of product that I needed!

On my way over I was optimistic that I was going to find my new one stop shop for beauty and skin care products.

I totally did and then some.

At The Body Shop I found not only a friendly sales person but a girl who was genuinely excited about the product and the core beliefs of the company. I may be way behind on the times but I had no idea that The Body Shop was so focused on helping others. Such a breath of fresh air!

A quote from the founder:

“The business of business should not just be about money, it should be able responsibility. It should be about public good, not private green.”
-Dame Anita Roddick. Human Rights Activist. Founder of The Body Shop (sourced from the ‘Our Company’ page)

Not only is the company against animal testing which I’m all about but it has four other core values that are just as great: Support Community Trade, Defend Human Rights, Activate Self-Esteem, and Protect Our Planet.

I love it.

Like me, you’re probably very tired of politics so I’ll leave it at that and move on to the awesome product!

I wanted to buy everything I laid my eyes on but Al would have killed me so I picked up only what I needed which was shampoo, conditioner, and eye shadow.

With my degrees in graphic design, I’m all about the look of the product! If it looks nice, I want it. A good example of this is wine. Doesn’t everyone buy the bottle just because it’s pretty or is it just me? 🙂

The packaging at The Body Shop is clean and pretty. It’s not too busy and focuses on explaining the product well.

Technically I have a lot of hair but it’s also thin so I went with the volumizing shampoo and conditioner. So far my hair really does seem a lot thicker. It also isn’t weighed down and greasy which often happens with other products that I’ve tried.

Both have nice, floral scents that I totally want as a perfume. Course they may have it! Next time.

I’ve only used the eye shadows once but they were super smooth and therefore easy to apply. The shimmer looks a bit strong in the case but it’s subtle on the skin.

After realizing that I loved the store and didn’t want to leave, I joined the rewards program. You get 10% off all your purchases, coupons when your points build up, free shipping online, and a couple of other perks too.

I promise, The Body Shop has no idea that I’ve written this post! I just had to share my positive experience with you.

Do you have a favorite store or beauty product?

decor dash

Before our family visited a couple weekends ago, there were couple of sad rooms that we had just shoved stuff in when we moved here last December.  The week before they got here, we finally got our act together.  Now we only have ONE, albeit giant, room of random storage crappola.

This being our first house and the first one we’ve had to overhaul and decorate, every time we tackle a room I feel overwhelmed.  I often think that we don’t have the right pieces of furniture or decor items.  Well, when we finally got around to ‘finishing’ one of the two guest rooms, I only had a week left so I didn’t have time to fuss over the little things.  Let me correct myself, when I say week, I actually mean about one hour on Thursday night and a touch up on Friday afternoon.  Stresssss.

I thought it might be interesting to go through how I attacked the space and my thought process.  I read decor blogs daily and sometimes I just think, How the heck did they come up with that?!  Today, you don’t have to wonder.

The process was definitely a ‘dash’.  I probably looked like a crazy person, just ask Al.  When I decorate I stand there thinking, picturing things in my head, and then move at light speed.  If that idea doesn’t work or I have another idea, I’ll change course in a second.  This often leads to lots of furniture moving (Sorry Al!) but hey, it works!

The room is about 10 x 10 in size.  I knew I needed to get the bed, the side table, and the dresser into the space so I started with that. My first attempt at the arrangement made the space too crowded – the bed was centered and the dress was on the opposite wall. To remedy the problem, I first shifted the bed to about a foot away from the adjacent wall.  This way it’s not too much of a pain to make the bed!  Then, I had Al help me move the dresser to the doorway wall.  It worked.  You could now easily walk into a nice, open room and get to the different elements.

I initially had the 5×7 rug perpendicular to the bed but it didn’t cover enough of the space.  When getting into bed you would’ve been walking on the bare floor.  So we shifted the rug again, turning it parallel and off-center to cover the floor more.

To complete the first layer of the room (all the big pieces), I moved in an amazing antique desk that I had just brought all the way back home from my grandparents house in New Jersey.  I needed a spot to place my fan -> one of only two purchases that I made for the room!  The sun beats down on that room so the fan was necessary.

I put it in that corner because I already had a lamp on the dresser and if it were on the side table, the wind would have blown our guest out of their bed.  Ha.

Oh and the second purchase was the tan bed skirt. A small purchase that we really needed since for years now we’ve had the box spring and metal bed frame showing.

I decorated the dresser area with a couple of pieces.  The lamp is a thrift store find and so is the mirrored tray.  I figured our guests could wrangle any little items in there.

To figure out where to hang our wedding photo (which I printed at home!), I stepped back to see how it would play off the lamp position.  I forgot to take a dead-on picture of the two to show you but I hung the frame higher than the lamp and off-center from the dresser.

When approaching an arrangement, you want to go with variety.  I’ve got the tray which is super low, a slightly bigger vessel, a taller lamp, and then the frame which is the tallest.  I used to like stuff really aligned with things centered and the same size but I’ve found that moving away from that to more of an extreme (compared to the ‘safe’ centering) really adds character to a space.

Next up I pulled a couple of art and design books from the hundreds in my office -> that’s another room that needs major help.  I stacked them up on the side table and topped them with one of Al’s photos from a high school trip to Germany and some sand (?) from New Zealand that his best friend gave him.  A little interest and more personalization.

In the following photo (that you saw earlier), you can see the art above the bed.  They are just some prints from my graphic design thesis.  I combed through my inventory and found art that I thought would match best with the bedding.  The purple flowers in the prints somewhat match the purple quilt and flowers on the pillows.  I centered the frames above the bed – high enough so our guests wouldn’t hit them when they sleep but low enough so they could work as a mock headboard.

My final touch was to bring in my little indoor plant and a mister.  It really doesn’t water the plant enough if I just mist it so I take the top off and dump the water in. I’ll sacrifice for pretty decor. 🙂

I was shocked at how put together the room looked once I had finished and it only took me about a hour!!  If you ever feel overwhelmed like me just take it one layer at a time! Big items to small.

Of course we’ve got a couple more projects left until I can say this room is complete:

  • update the dresser – paint it or new knobs?
  • update the side table – sand, paint, and stain?
  • paint the walls
  • iron the stinkin’ bed skirt 🙂
  • spruce up the lamp shade with fabric or paint

But for now, I love it!

Thanks for listening, I talked a ton today! Hopefully you learned a little something after reading all that. 🙂

Do you have any questions about the process? I needed to stop myself somewhere!

crisp, clean fireplace

Paint is the bomb. It has taken our den from night to day. It feels more inviting, cozy, and MUCH brighter.

Let’s go back to the beginning for a nice, dramatic before and after.

Here’s what the fireplace and den looked like before the sellers moved out and we moved in.

The first thing I did to update the space was spray paint the fireplace cover to get rid of the gold.

Then we painted the paneling a green which gave the room a big boost of light.

Our most recent step was to paint the massive brick wall.

We started off by vacuuming the brick to remove any dirt and dust. Then we primed it with two coats of Multi Purpose Latex Primer from Valspar. Followed by two coats of eggshell white latex paint. Al also used caulking to fill in the many gaps and holes between the brick, paneling, and trim.

Oh and after we realized the soot around the edge of the fireplace was bleeding through, we painted over those spots with some Valspar High Hiding Primer.

Then the fireplace was complete!

So pretty.

This final step took a while – three weeks. Mostly because after the first weekend I didn’t feel like painting anymore and moved on to other projects so Al finished it up for us me. So when I mention ‘we’ throughout this post I really mean just Al. 🙂

I have proof that I did other stuff though! You’ll see it all in the next week or so.

P.S. I know I have the same exact mirror on the other fireplace right now. I just love them! Last year I found the pair at Marshalls for $12 each then spray painted them yellow.

This little piggy bank is the cutest. The bright colors are awesome. I hope to bring some of them up onto the mantel to balance it out.

Now all we have to do in this room is paint the door (I’m thinking a fun color) AND put down bamboo flooring. <- only the biggest job we will attempt yet.

Sheesh. This reno stuff is tiring but now that we see some major progress we’re feeling the motivation. Al is super proud of his fancy white fireplace and I am too!

Did you enter the giveaway yet? You should!