Daily Dose of Design: April 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

Currently Craving: April Favorites

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I know I say this every month, but another month is seriously over?! I'm not sure if it's series' like this one or what making the time go so fast, but I sure am excited for summer so no *real* complaints here! Yesterday was my last day of classes for undergrad and I'm seriously so beyond excited. Two essays and two tests stand between me and summer/no more school!
I feel like I say this a lot too, but there has been SO many amazing products I've tried and loved or have found and want this April. It's been a busy shopping month - mainly because of Mother's Day (check out my gift guide ideas here!) but I could never complain about shopping, let's be real here ; )

Finding product favorites isn't exactly hard, clearly - but figuring out which are my favorite things is also good for figuring out what to buy, what to pass on and what to wait on until it goes on sale. In case you missed my previous Currently Craving posts, here are January's, February's and from March.

From shoes to bags to fun summer must-haves, it's been hard to narrow it down to less than a million products to share here, but here are some of my absolute favorites:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

How to Grow Your Etsy Shop {Like a Pro}

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In partnership with ezebee.com

In August of 2015, I began my Etsy shop as a fun little side job and hobby. It's definitely been that since I started, but more recently, I've been considering expanding it - adding more categories and listings, etc. - and to do so, I realize that I need to increase my Etsy strategy and do more promoting than I've been. It's kind of crazy to add this to my plate, but it's something I enjoy doing. I've tried a few things here and there, but I definitely haven't been consistent and honestly, for not much of any promoting at all, I think my shop is doing okay.

Etsy has grown so much and there are over five million active listings on Etsy right now. That's INSANE! As a small business owner/blogger, I love to go to Etsy to shop for almost everything. And as an Etsy shop owner, I know how important it is to help support each other if and when possible. Etsy is wonderful for unique items, gifts, and especially my favorite - monograms! There's endless amounts of things you can buy on Etsy and honestly, it's one of the best platforms to sell on if you ask me. But with selling comes the challenges of keeping up sales, keeping up with sales and gaining clients that are new and returning too.

Here are some of the tools I've been using to up my Etsy game in the past few weeks:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Magnolia Home Collection

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I may or may not be beside myself with excitement right about now! I literally JUST found this as I was shopping (shocker, I know!) and it's absolutely AMAZING and quite the game changer if you ask me. Get ready...

Joanna Gaines now has a home collection at Nordstrom!!!

That's right my fellow Fixer Upper fans!! You can now shop products just like Joanna does when she goes to those amazing antique stores, to Clint's woodworking shop or tag sales. A few months ago, I wrote all about 10 ways you can decorate like Joanna Gaines would and now that dream just may be coming true in an easier way than ever! Talk about making a week day a good day! The collection is small still, but I have a feeling it's going to grow and it's going to all sell out pretty quickly. This stuff is amazing and at pretty good price points too which is even more exciting.

My favorites from the Magnolia Home Collection (so far):

Friday, April 22, 2016

12 Hacks to Successfully Shop at Home Goods

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If there's one way to describe myself, it would be saying I'm indecisive - to say the least. I'm always "in the mood" to redecorate and I never am not shopping for home decor, even if it means I'm going to need a storage unit soon ; ) There are always new things to find, want, love and need, duh! Constant change when it comes to home decor keeps a room feeling fresh and updated. As I watch the season five premiere of Million Dollar Listing New York, I realize more and more how much of a dream designing and selling homes is to me, but it also makes me realize just how expensive decor can be.

Home furnishing stores are everywhere; Pottery Barn, Pier 1, ZGallerie, Lulu & Georgia, Restoration Hardware, etc etc... but the holy grail of it all - Home Goods. Honestly, I don't know what I did before I a.) realized how many Home Goods stores were so close to me and b.) shopped there. If you've never been to Home Goods, then march your you know what there ASAP!! It's not just an addiction, it's a lifestyle. For real.

Since each store is different in terms of stock and layout, there's different ways to plan your attack. Guys, this is more than a shopping trip, it's a mission.

Okay maybe that's a little dramatic, but I have a real Home Goods obsession. There's aisles and aisles of amazing deals on designer home furnishings of all type and if you miss one aisle, you could be missing a LOT. I tend to make it to a Home Goods once a week.. sometimes twice; here are my top tips for shopping at Home Goods and finding the best items in the store:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Guide

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We're getting closer to Mother's Day and I'm realizing I need to get to shopping! There are always so many fun gift ideas, but this year I think I've hit the jackpot with fun ideas. I hate feeling like I buy the same things for people over and over - especially for Mother's Day - so coming up with new things is important for me, but also can be really hard. My mom is probably the least picky person in the world, but I find her hardest to shop for always! Anyone else?! My favorite thing to do for Mother's Day is to put a gift basket together with a bunch of fun things in it. I try and stick to a theme, but that usually doesn't work (shocker..)

Here's some things I've found this year that will work great for Mother's Day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rise-n-Shine Strawberry Banana Smoothie

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MySmoothie #CollectiveBias

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and a great way to jump start your day. It isn't every morning that I find myself having time to sit down and eat breakfast (unless it's a day off or on the weekends) and these also tend to be the days that I'm hungriest in the morning, go figure!

My two go-to ingredients for breakfasts that are quick, easy to make and east to grab and go are Jif™ Creamy Peanut Butter and Dannon Vanilla Lowfat Yogurt. These are two ingredients that are used for so many different types of recipes, but my favorite are smoothies. All sorts of smoothies are one of my favorite things to eat at ALL times of the day! Not only are peanut butter and yogurt two of the yummiest things ever, they're also so good for you and the best way to get your day started. Any meal that includes peanut butter and yogurt will be so energizing too.

Having a breakfast option that is easy to make in a rush and portable is important for a lot of us - and smoothies are just that!

Here's a super simple and extremely delicious smoothie recipe for rushed mornings, sluggish afternoons, or even relaxing evenings when you crave something sweet:

Monday, April 18, 2016

Using Groupon Coupons to Save this Spring

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Thank you to Groupon Coupons for partnering with me on this post!
We all know and love Groupon, and it's become a shopping staple in most of our daily lives. I think it's mostly because it's so easy to use and there are SO many great things you can buy via Groupon. My first thought when I'm looking to buy something is to check if there's a Groupon for it or even if there's a Groupon Coupon for it, which there likely is! This time of year is so busy with gift giving for Mother's Day, communions, graduations, etc. and considering how easy Groupon Coupons are, there's no reason to not use them and their awesome selection of coupons!

There's a ton of brands that use Groupon Coupons and these coupons always work and are verified - no more wondering if there's a "success rate" for coupons that you get off of Google. When you have a shopping addiction, it isn't every day you're able to save moeny, so when I can save money it's a really exciting day!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Versatile Spring and Summer Looks with Devlin

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I've been shopping at Nordstrom and Dillards for Devlin clothing for a long time now and they never fail to disappoint! The spring and summer collections always feature the most beautiful clothes and they're fun for so many different ages too. My little sister is 16 1/2 and since she's been going to tons of parties like Sweet 16's, etc., I thought it was time that she had a chance to experience how amazing the Devlin clothing is too. Since Devlin is available at both Dillard's and Nordstrom, we've been able to find tons of Devlin clothing in the mall near us - the best part of the store(s)!

Girly prints, colors and textures are what Devlin is all about. Quality and chic are two things I look for in my clothing and what I've tried to do in helping my sister find some cute clothes too! Here's one of the adorable looks we put together:

Friday, April 15, 2016

Strawberry Lemon Prosecco Spritzer

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Ever since I turned 21 last September, I love to entertain my friends with fun cocktail parties and get-togethers that include beautiful days, cute outfits and of course, cocktails! There are so many possibilities when it comes to fun drinks and trying new recipes is by far one of the funnest things to do when you're preparing for any type of party. I recently came across VOVETI Prosecco and it's my new favorite alcoholic beverage for SO many recipes. VOVETI is a chic and modern Italian based prosecco that gives you the ultimate symbol of what prosecco is and it's affordable too, which you'd never guess by the great taste!

This strawberry lemon prosecco spritzer is a recipe I put together recently and it's SUCH a hit every time I make it! This drink is quick and easy to make and it's simple enough that everyone will love yet still has such a great taste. The fun days of summer are getting closer and this drink recipe is sure to impress all of your guests!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Go-To Looks for Spring

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There is nothing I love more than the beautiful spring weather and the cute clothes there are for spring! I think this is the best time of year to dress cutely because it isn't too hot or too cold and there are so many possibilities. Playing with colors, mix and matching patterns and trying new trends are the best part of outfit styling and there's no better feeling than finding a piece that you know will be timeless in your wardrobe! Spring is in full swing and it's time for some new outfit inspo to say the least!

Here are some of my favorites:

Monday, April 11, 2016

Summer Ready Legs: Schick 7 Day Shave Challenge

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Schick, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #pmgschick #7dayshavechallenge #ad http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

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Warm weather means one thing: leg shaving season. I'm positive that I'm not the only one who doesn't worry all that much about the appearance of my legs in the winter - amiright? Yes, I shave them of course, but who cares what your legs look like when you get to wear long pants all season?! I don't know anyone who enjoys shaving, but it has to be done, so it should at least be enjoyable. Using hydro silk blades are the perfect way to start the season, especially to avoid irritation in or after the winter.

I'm so excited to be partnering with Schick to take the 7 day shaving challenge to get my legs silky smooth and ready for shorts season! My legs get super dry throughout the long, harsh winters of New York and they always need some serious TLC come spring time. With Schick and the 7 day shaving challenge, my legs will be on a whole new level and SO ready to get tan and summer-happy! ; )

Friday, April 8, 2016

Backyard Patio Refresh with Big Lots

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigLotsOutdoor #CollectiveBias

MLB is back which means spring is in full gear! My favorite living space starting now and basically through the end of October is my backyard and the patio space in the backyard. There's nothing better than sitting at the pool by day and relaxing on the patio with a fire by night! I'm a firm believer that one of the best things you can do is be outside as much as possible, so making my outdoor living space as cozy, relaxing and stylish as possible is just as important to me as it is to creatively and beautifully decorate any room inside of my home. There are so many ways to update an outdoor space and honestly, it's the funnest area to makeover! The options are endless and there's so many different routes you can take - beachy, modern, rustic - the list never ends.

Big Lots has been a life saver when it comes to outdoor decorating; not only do they have really great, stylish outdoor decor and furniture, but everything is so affordable and of great quality too! Mixing and matching pieces often works the best in an outdoor space; this is when I take full advantage of fun pattern and color mixing! The seasonal/outdoor d├ęcor and furniture sections of the store are so extensive too - there are endless aisles and displays of gorgeous, high-quality pieces that are perfect for any type of yard refresh you're going for.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Bingo Inspired Home Decor

Interior designers, furniture makers and the like seek inspiration for their works from various outlets and verticals which then guide them to either create something out of nothing or re-purpose objects that look as good as new. And when it’s time for us to decorate our home, many of us begin brainstorming contemporary design concepts to fit our modern lifestyle, but there’s something quite homey about vintage accessories that is often missing from an obscure metal sculpture or any other futuristic items you might come across. Other than affordability, Houzz explains, “Vintage decorations are stylish and timeless and this is also one of the reasons why people are opting more for these kinds of interiors for their home.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bloomingdale's Friends and Family

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Award season may be ending, but spring, warm weather and major sales are here!! The Bloomingdale's Friends and Family has started and there are SO many great things you need to snag from this sale! Although some of my favorites like Tory Burch and Kate Spade are excluded, I've still found a couple of really great things to get ready for the warmer months.
Especially with Mothers Day coming up, graduation season (hint hint to any family reading this! ;) and such, this is the perfect time to stock up on presents too! And lets be honest, even though some of the best brands aren't included in this sale, the element of surprise and happiness always sinks in when you realize something you're looking at is included in the sale!

Here are some of my favorite things from the Friends and Family sale:

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Style Your Space with Pantone's Colors of the Year: Rose Quartz and Serenity

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Every year I look forward to seeing the chosen Pantone Colors of the Year and this years colors could NOT be any more beautiful together! Especially when decorating with the two - check out this awesome guest post from Luxe Decor!

2016 marks the first year that Pantone named two different colors for its annual "Color of the Year" selection. This year’ s picks are Rose Quartz (a soft shade of pink) and Serenity (a relaxing sky blue tone). Light and airy, these delicate, chalky pastels are perfect for springtime decorating. Here are our tips and tricks for decorating with Pantone’s Colors of the Year:

Monday, April 4, 2016

10 Beauty Products You Need Under $10

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My favorite thing to buy every time I go shopping are new makeup products. I have a huge bag filled with things I still have yet to try! There's always the question of how much you should spend on makeup products and I definitely believe that 9 times out of 10, the more expensive products have better quality. But there are still a ton of products that don't break the bank and are way better quality than you would expect; especially when it comes to drugstore shopping.

Places like Nordstrom and Sephora are my favorite places to shop for makeup, but the occasional CVS shopping trip never hurts, am I right?! ; ) Some of my favorite products I've ever tried have come from a drugstore and have been $10 or less. I always go by quality over price, but these under-$10 products definitely have the quality factor I look for: