Home Updates | Savvy Storage

July 31, 2014
Living in our apartment we've had to become pretty creative with our storage options (you seriously don't want to see what's under our bed) and since we just re-signed our lease for our third year we are looking to do a little updating!!  There are two specific areas we're hoping to spruce up! With storage space being a luxury here - hopefully with a little digging and your recommendations we can add, not take away any space!  
Sofa Table
The main source of contention is the back of the couch. We have enough space for something a little bigger, since we currently just have an over-sized ottoman that serves as storage. I love the idea of there being shelves and using the bins as storage, but I'm not sure it's the best solution. I found this and this at Ikea and with some measurements - might be a good fit! 
This is ideally what I'm going for, but not sure our couch is tall enough. 


Bar Carts
This is sort a new idea we've been throwing around. Currently we have a leaning bookshelf that stores some of the odd's and ends in our kitchen {cookbooks, wine bottles, liquor} and we figured out that by moving the bookshelf into our bedroom and getting a bar cart, would not only add storage, but change up the look of the entire kitchen! Mind you - we're not talking a large space here - the kitchen feeds into (pun intended) the living room for the open-concept we all love!! This one is completely out of budget - but so pretty! I'm also loving the idea of a acrylic one like this
{via and I'll take the wallpaper too}

This print will have to be purchased regardless of what option we choose! And then can you even imagine all the fun I'll have buying cute little things for said bar cart!? 

We're not looking to break the bank since this isn't our forever home - so pieces that can be easy to DIY or aren't as expensive are ideal in our situation! 

I'm also in love with this night stands - but that's another post...

How do you feel about redecorating? What would you do to add more storage space?

Linking up with Annie and Natalie

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Loving Lately | Beauty Edition

July 30, 2014
These are just a few products that have been on heavy rotation in my beauty routine and I wanted to share the details of each! 
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

I love NARS cosmetics, but was new to their concealers. After I finished Erase Paste I was on the hunt for a new one - just to see if I was missing out! Ladies - this stuff is amazing!! You can use it as a concealer or as a highlighter! It's totally worth the price tag and doesn't cake up like some other brands - it's very hydrating! It also helped me save face after we landed in London and I couldn't have been more tired!! But you couldn't tell in the photos! 

I sang the praises of Seche Vite being the best fast drying top coat - but this one is way better! I picked mine up at Wallgreens and the biggest difference I've found between the two is that this doesn't get clumpy like Seche Vite did. My nails are dry in one minute and with no chips for at least 3 days, which for regular people's nails is probably 7 days! While it's not a "no chip top coat" it does help better than other top coats I've used. 

I picked this up on a whim and I'm so happy I did!! It's been one of the best drugstore mascara's I've ever purchased and the little bristles at the tip of the brush really get into the corners of your eye so that no lash is missed. If I want extra drama I add on one more coat of Lancome Definicils. 

I mentioned back in June that I purchased the CC cream and I'm here to report back!! Let me start by explaining the difference between BB and CC creams - read the full article here, but the short of it is this:
BB: Beauty Balm and least amount of coverage and more like a tinted moisturizer
CC: Color (Complexion) Corrector gives your face a more even skin tone to start the make-up process. 
I switched from using the Garnier BB Cream (used it for over 2 years) to CC cream's for a more even application to my makeup. I love the Stila cream!! When you squeeze it out of the bottle it comes out blue, but then once rubbed in matches to your face exactly. I really love this product and for reference I purchased the "Light 02"

This blush boasts up to 12 hours of wear and it really does last that long!! I purchased the "warm golden apricot" color and it has just a hint of shimmer to it. I've been using it for the past 3 months and love how pigmented the color is, I have yet to make a dent in the blush at all.  I'm actually planning on buying "strawberry red" for another color option. 

I kind of saved the best for last! This eyeliner is $1.39!!! You read that correctly! This has been my go-to liner for about 3 years now and every time I try another one out, I just don't like it nearly as much as this Jordana brand!! I basically have it in every single color they make and Eggplant is my second favorite! You can buy these at your local Wallgreen's and one of the best features is that it's retractable - so no sharpener needed! 

So there you have just a few beauty products I'm loving!! Have you found any gems lately?

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Bachelorette Musings + Honeymooning

July 29, 2014
If you're not a Bachelorette fan - feel free to scroll to the second portion of this post!! I've kept pretty mum on The Bachelorette this season, mostly because I didn't want to admit how invested I was! After the disaster that was Juan Pablo last season, I was just not ready to watch every Monday and be disappointed again. But ABC did it again and I was watching the finale!! How they suck me in for 3 hours on a Monday night is beyond me!! (please tell me I was not alone) It's probably because I trust Chris Harrison that "It's something I can't miss!" But this time he was right!! 
{Do Not Read if you haven't watched and plan to watch!!}
I had Josh M. picked from the first night in the limo - seriously you can check my text messages with Amanda & Christina!! He just seemed like the perfect fit for her from the start and neither one of them would have to move or compromise anything to start because they already live in the same city!! 
Nick was a little too intense throughout the whole process...but he seemed genuine with his feelings!   Watching the after show - I couldn't help but be sorry for him. I also feel bad for his future wife - since he basically said he'll always wonder what could have been!! Doesn't bode well for him... 
I'm not sure we were ready for the bombshell that Nick dropped on us  - we all know what happens in the fantasy suite - but he went there and then twitter exploded!! 
I definitely think Andi is one of the prettiest bachelorette's they have had on the show even though when she says "Stop It" - I all but throw my remote at the TV!  I find it really admirable she didn't make Nick go through the proposal - so at least he didn't have that embarrassment! As always - I'm a sucker for a love story and hope she and Josh make it!! 
Switching gears a bit - I wanted to mention that my contributor post is live on Wedding Party's blog  - you can check it out here! This month after taking our own vacation as an anniversary trip for our first year of marriage - I thought of so many other wonderful honeymoon and just vacation destinations for couples!! If you have a chance to stop by - I'd be so happy to hear your thoughts!! 

P.S. Don't forget to enter for your chance to win a pair of Tieks!!
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Weekending + A Giveaway

July 28, 2014
Happy Monday!! This Monday is extra special because it just so happens to be my older sister's birthday!! 
She is without a doubt my best friend! There are two people in this world I would have trusted to do my make-up on my wedding day and the other one happens to be sitting getting her make-up done!! There are no words to describe what an amazing mother, daughter and wife she is - but most of all she is the best sister and I will forever be in awe of all she does and how she manages to look so fabulous while doing so!! 
When I was little I would watch her get ready to go out with friends, I wanted to be just like her and I guess I picked up all her mannerisms because people always say we are identical! Not much has changed and I still watch her get ready when we babysit the kiddies!! Wishing my sister a very Happy Birthday- I'm certain I would not be where I am today without her! 

Onto the weekend!! I mentioned Friday my parents were in town visiting for a few days and they came up to celebrate a couple of birthday's! If you've read my blog for a while then you know how spot on my mom is at picking stuff out for me and this time she really hit it out of the park!! 
I joked with her that she was better than the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale :) Not pictured are the two sweaters, maxi dress and makeup she also found! You'll also notice the crest white strips - my mom definitely reads the blog!! 
We spent Saturday at the beach and the weather totally cooperated!
My two nieces and nephew absolutely adore Gary and I'm chopped liver when he's around. Which I'll be honest is pretty awesome, especially when babysitting and they listen to him because they want "stories!"
My sister recently re-decorated their formal living room and it's quickly become my favorite room in their house!! Riesling on the right is also a favorite of mine - so yummy! 
Sunday afternoon I re-organized my closet. I don't organize nearly enough - but I bought Slim Hangers and have this thing where I need to make sure they all match! Is anyone else like that?
An hour later and everything was back in it's place - slightly more organized! You'll also notice I still need a few more of those skinny hangers - they really are the best and give me so much more space in my basically nonexistent closet!
Sunday night was spent planning!! The upcoming month calls for a new planner and a huge thank you to Ananya for hosting a fabulous giveaway so that I could finally get my hands on a Kate Spade planner!! 

And now it's your turn to win a little something!! I'm part of a seriously amazing giveaway for some Tieks!! I wish I could enter this one myself because these have been on my wish list for a while!! Which color would you choose?!

Brought to you by 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hope you all have a wonderful start to your week and good luck in the giveaway!!

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Friday Favorites

July 25, 2014
Woo hoo for Friday!! This week has flown by and I'm so excited because my parents are here and we have a full weekend planned! I've missed these round-ups with Amanda over the past two weeks so let's get right to it!! 

Favorite Recipe
Ashley had my mouth watering with these Cheddar Baked Chicken Fingers - can't even wait to try this one! 

Favorite Look
Jessica Alba is always crushing it with her style, but this casual outfit was a knockout for me - I just love that the belt matches the loafers and then the pretty pink lady-like bag - LOVE! 

Favorite Purchase
After seeing Tara wearing this necklace on a recent vacation - I had to find it!! Sadly the Zara's here in Boston didn't have it, so off to eBay I went. I found it brand new and for 50% less!! Can't wait to wear it! 

Favorite Workout
This workout is no joke!! I was sweating up a storm within minutes of starting!! 

Favorite Links
+I've been on a Washi tape kick lately - so finding new things to do with it is fun!
+10 foods to help you feel more energized during the day - printed this one out! 
+ July's B~Inspired Feature with Natalia

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you back here on Monday for Weekending!! 

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Paris Part Deux

July 24, 2014
I hope you aren't too tired of all the recaps and I haven't bored you to tears, but I promise this is the last one!! After we finished our mini photo shoot at the love bridge - we headed towards Pigalle & The Moulin Rouge. 
Paris In the Summer
{so scandalous}
The show would have been nice to see but it was outrageously priced and we've heard it's just not as good as it once was! The area itself is sort of, how shall I put, sketchy, but has been cleaned up in recent years (think red light district in Amsterdam)! 
We ventured here for two reasons, it was on our way to Sacré Coeur & we surprised Gary with lunch at the restaurant made famous by the movie Amelie. It's one of his absolute favorite movies - so he was pretty excited to walk through the neighborhood where all the scenes took place!
Sacré Coeur sits atop one of the highest points in Paris and you can climb all 300+ steps to get to the top to see the sprawling views! 
{worth the trip if you have the time}
After a day full of sights it was the moment I had been waiting for...my first ever macaron! 
{dramatic enough for you?!}
Michael took us to Pierre Hermé and it was the such a pleasurable experience - unlike the craziness of Laduree, which don't worry, I still went to anyway! 
These little guys were devoured straightaway and everything I had hoped they would taste like!

I'm  not sure if I mentioned this in my London post, but we were able to do a river cruise in London as well as in Paris - if I had to rate the two - Paris was way better! Both cruises were included in our bus tours, lasting about an hour in Paris and if you take it at night the views of the city are pretty incredible!! 
{she's a beauty}
Thursday: We pre-booked a trip to Versailles through Viator and again made sure to choose the one with a skip the line option - thanks to the suggestion from Birdie to Be!  
The Gardens were absolutely stunning and in my opinion better than the Chateau. To say the grounds are palatial would be an understatement - it sprawls over 80,000 acres (yep you read that correctly)!!!
As for the Chateau itself, it's ornate to the max, you can see why there was a revolution against the monarchy!! The Hall of Mirrors was my favorite "room" in the palace! 
We opted for a half day at Versailles because we wanted to get back and make it to the Lourve!
{they have little boxes set up so you can stand and get the perfect photo}
We hit all the highlights and some other things that Gary wanted to see - but our feet were absolutely throbbing so we didn't spend more than 2 hours there! It was a mob to get near the Mona Lisa, but you know me and I totally pushed my way to the front to get a picture! We stood off to the side for a little while just taking it in - it's another one of those bucket list items! 
We had the best dinner at Cafe Trama that night!  It's on a quiet side street in Saint Germain and offers delicious French cuisine with friendly service.
Croque Monsieur Sandwich and ice cream drizzled with espresso 

Friday: We had two items to tick off our to-do list's for our final day in Paris. First up were the Catacombs. The trick to getting in is to be one of the first 200 people in line, after that you could be waiting for hours!! It doesn't open until 10 AM, but if you arrive between 8:30-8:45 you're basically guaranteeing entry. 

It's pretty creepy if you let yourself think about the 6 million bodies that are buried under there! 
After a quick photo-op near near the Eiffel Tower we made our way to the Champs Élysées!
Had to make at stop at Louis Vuitton - my mecca! And finally tasted a Laduree macaron! 
We finished the night with another delicious meal at Pizza Chic and were ready to get back home! 

And just like that 10 days had come and gone and our European vacation was over! Thank you guys so much for reading, scrolling and commenting on these posts and also a huge thank you to Amanda, Pamela, Shelby & Brittany for their wonderful  guest posts!! 

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