Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

I thought I would change it up this week and bring you an edition of "Thursday Thoughts,"... because the truth is, I have about 10 posts in draft form that I do not have time to finish right now. :) Just real life stuff.

As much as I love my job, I sometimes wish I could be a full-time stay at home dog mom/blogger! That would be the life. But also, probably not for me.

Anyways, here are some of the things that I've run across this week that I want to share with you all!

| Ibotta App

This is an app that allows you to find frequently purchased items (milk, eggs, bread) at most major stores (grocery, gas, retail, etc.) and then add them to your dashboard. (Sort of like Target's cartwheel app if you are familiar). When you check out, you simply take a scan of your receipt and watch the savings pile up! And you get it back.. IN CASH! No gift cards, no coupons. Straight cash! I have had it for just a couple weeks and I already have $15 in my account just from buying basic items that I would have purchased anyways. $15 isn't a lot, but... it's $15 I wouldn't have had otherwise! Totally cool app, download it for free on your phone!

| Dog bathing

Um... least favorite activity. Usually my husband takes care of this and does it SO much better than I can do, but lately Brick has been rolling in a lot of unfavorable substances outside. I don't know where or how he always finds it, but it calls for an immediate bath. And not always when Clay is home! Brick despises bath time. Showers or bathtubs are out because he tries to escape the whole time. Does anyone have any suggestions for the dog who HATES water?! Check out this face....

| Freaky tornado weather

A tornado basically happened in Omaha yesterday. It was not super close to my location, but my co workers and I definitely saw funnel clouds outside and had to take shelter. I always try to talk myself out of the fear, but tornado weather is so creepy.

| Hot topics.

So I typically (read: never) talk about controversial issues on the blog. And to be honest, I don't discuss them in real life, either. Unless it's with someone I feel close and safe with. I hate controversy and I think there is more to life than whether you agree or disagree with someone about hot topics. But in light of all of the constant posts on Facebook and other social media about transgender/bathroom issues, a friend posted this on Facebook and I was just like...yes. YES! This is the bottom line. Read the article.

| Life

I'll leave you with this sign I saw and snapped a pic of. Because apparently this gloomy weather is making me extra introspective as of late. Ha!

Happy Thursday!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Favorites

I am SO HAPPY it's Friday! My alarm didn't even go off this morning... because I didn't set it. Because apparently that's how exhausted I was last night! I hear the weather is supposed to be HOT this weekend and I am welcoming it with open arms! We have weddings tomorrow and I am all about not being cold in my dress. :)
I'm sharing a few of my recent favorites with you all! Feel free to link up or share in the comments!
1. MultiVites
I don't know about you, but taking vitamins is not my strong point. It's hard for me to find a place to keep them where I remember to take them consistently! But that has changed due to MultiVites! I keep them on my desk at work and it is SUPER easy for me to grab a couple throughout the day - sort of like a candy fix!

2. Sunless Tanning @ SunTan City
I know.. I'm probably completely behind on the times, but every time I get a spray tan, I always make an appointment and have a live human being spray me. I completely avoided the machine sprays because I imagined the Ross scenario from the Friends episode where he forgets to turn.. you know?  And I could see that happening to me. Anyways, I was in desperate need of a spray tan this week and wasn't in the mood to bare all for some random lady. So I checked around, and you can spray tan for FREE at SunTan City (if it's your first time!) Wednesday - Sunday. Every week! So I was like... umm yes. Nothing to lose!
I gotta say.. I probably won't go back to my old ways! I did the clear spray which was awesome because I didn't have to worry about spray tan all over my clothes or sheets. AND I could run errands after without looking all weird and orange. And a few days later, I have to's probably one of the most even and natural sprays I have ever had! Sold!

3. NYX Lip Cream "Stockholm"
How many times am I going to bring up NYX Lip Cream you ask? Probably every time I buy a new color that I can't live without. I LOVE this one. It may even replace "Abu Dhabi" as my current favorite.

4. Floral Rompers
I want them all! I am obsessed! I love this look.
I am especially into this particular one...which is not sold out yet...
Might have to pin that..... cleavage is not my forte.

5. Target online subscription
Ok, again, everyone is probably already doing this and I've just been missing out. But for a long time now I have been meaning to start buying all household necessities online. I feel like it just makes sense, ya know? Stock up on toilet paper, detergent, toothpaste, etc. and use coupons. Plus, free shipping and less of me trying to tote around heavy items.
I finally got around to this the other day and was totally confused when I saw the "subscribe" option at checkout on So I checked it out, and they have it set up so that you can automatically receive some of these items every (2 or 5 or 10 or whatever weeks) AND you get a discount for doing so! I mean... obviously! If I don't  have to remember to buy laundry detergent on my own, why not? Totally awesome. So if you are like me and unaware... there ya go. You're welcome!

Hope everyone's weekend is fantastic!


Thursday, April 21, 2016

LP Update + my new chair!

Happy Thursday! I've been a little absent on the blog lately, but work and people have to come first! I love having this space to discuss products and happenings, but it's also the first thing that has to go when I get busy. Such is life!

Anyways, Living Proof. Several months ago I caved and tried their dry shampoo since it was getting all the rave. And... I didn't like it. Ugh! I hate when that happens. I wanted to love it, I really did. One of my favorite blogs in the world, Maskcara, has been very open about her decision to switch to the Living Proof hair line. I seriously trust her opinion on hair and make up, and it was enough for me to want to give it a go.

In the last few months I have needed a "refresher" and usually completely changing up products will do that. With the help of one of my local Beauty First employees, I landed on the No Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner + the new  Perfect Hair Day - Fresh Cut Split End Mender. After using the products for a few weeks, I finally have an opinion!

No Frizz Shampoo & Conditioner:

Pros: Smells so light and clean, all day long. I LOVE scent that holds on all day. It gives you that squeaky clean feeling without drying your hair out. Smooths out hair.

Cons: I experienced my hair getting oily FASTER rather than slower/less washing. (I typically wash every 3-4 days and I was feeling like I needed to wash more like every other day). I had to use extra conditioner to get it to "work." And... of course the price tag. Salon products are expensive. And I will always invest in good shampoo and conditioner, but $24 (a piece) for an 8 oz bottle is a little bit of a stretch! Yikes!

Perfect Hair Day - Fresh Cut Split End Mender:

Pros:  Again, the smell. I love it! It is such a unique, light scent. I also love that you can use it while your hair is wet OR dry! It really does smooth hair out if you are getting ready to blow dry and style.

* I have to be honest and say I got a trim RIGHT  before I started using this product and so I really don't have split ends right now. That makes it difficult to see how it is "repairing." Soon enough ....

Cons: I cant find any. The price I guess. Again, to be expected. It's $24 for 3.4 oz. Which seems crazy, but you really don't use that much, and I expect this tube to last me quite a while.

So, here's the deal. I think this line is a winner. I'm not going to use their dry shampoo because it just didn't work for me (And...hello Drybar detox. My absolute favorite!) I wish I would have known that the LP website is awesome and has this handy little quiz tool to help you decide which product is best for you. I took the test AFTER the fact, and the website recommended that I try the Perfect Hair Day shampoo and conditioner.

Since Beauty First is awesome, and lets you try their products for up to 60 days, I think I am going to go ahead and trade out for the PHD shampoo and conditioner. I just want to find my "perfect combo" because I think these products are worth it!

SO... who has tried LP? What is your perfect combination?! I would love to hear more ... email me or let me know in the comments! :)

And... I have the sweetest husband in the world! As I mentioned here before, I refinished a vanity for my closet. I wanted to get a stool for it, but I never got around to it. When I came home last night, this was all set up. I LOVE IT! It's perfect and I probably couldn't have picked something out better myself. Plus, Oreos and the perfect Spring flowers?!  Yes!!

Don't mind my messy makeup situation! Real life.
Sans Oreos.
I have a BIG weekend ahead. A wedding double header plus lots of friends and family time, starting tonight! See you next week!



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Healthy Bites

Hey! So the weekend AND Monday ran together for me and suddenly we are at Tuesday.... whoa. Times flies when you are having fun and working your buns off.

I HAVE to share this recipe because it is unbelievable. Unbelievably simple and unbelievably delicious.

I found this recipe on Southern In Law blog and when I saw the ingredients, I seriously questioned how it would turn out. But since it had THREE ingredients and would take about 5 minutes to find out, I figured, why not?

*disclaimer: I think you may have to use a food processor to make this work. Or something that has similar capacities.

Anyways, if you are anything like my house, you crave something sweet A LOT. Like, after every meal. And in between meals. And before bed.

And when you wake up. So, when I saw this recipe had (again) THREE ingredients that are healthy, gluten free and vegan... it was kind of a no brainer to give it a whirl.

What you will need:

1 cup medjool dates (or dried dates) *I bought the pitted dates my grocer had available. It worked.
1 cup cashews
2 tsp vanilla (I added a little extra. Because I always add extra vanilla) 
Optional: a pinch of sea salt (recommended!)

What you need to do:

Measure out a cup of dates and a cup of cashews.

Pour them into your food processor. Pour the vanilla over the top.  It will look like this. Ew. I almost stopped at this point. That looks like a creature.

Process. I pulsed the food processor until it started to look like it could be shaped. It took a few minutes.

I had to pulse for another minute or so after this picture was taken!
If you feel like it is not coming together, add a splash of water and process a little bit longer. Remove from the food processor. Form into small balls with your hands. Put on a plate and chill in the fridge or go ahead and give it a taste! Seriously.. YUM!


Don't mind my manicure, it cannot keep up with my life.
And... enjoy! Seriously, these are delicious. Thanks again to Southern In Law for the recipe!
These disappeared pretty quickly from our fridge. I will absolutely be making them again! I'm also planning to mix and match this this recipe with some other flavors. Any recommendations?  

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Favs on Friday

Yay it's Friday! My week seems painfully fast. Does that make sense? It's when your week is so busy that each day flies by and you don't know what happened. But not really in a good way…. 

Anyways, it's Friday. And I am thrilled. I have picked up quite a few things recently that I am really loving and I thought I would give a quick run down. Especially if you happen to be in the market… 

Yes, I know, I already talked about it. But i'm talking about it again because it's that good. Talk about amplified volume! If you need a root lift, look no further. This stuff is no joke. And can we talk about the smell? YUM. 
So, a 4.2 oz bottle is $26. So yes, it's a little on the higher end of things. I will say a little bit goes a long way! 

I have been using this now for several week and I am super impressed! I have heard great things about the brand, but have never tried any of their products. A sweet friend gifted this balm to me and I am loving it! 
Again, $24 is a little much for a balm. I get it, and agree. But it takes so little… I'm going to go ahead and say this will be well worth the dime! 
I had a friend recommend this book to me. I will admit, I was a little bit slow to start but I am REALLY enjoying it! A lot of great points. I haven't finished yet but I can already tell you: worth a look! 

I know this post is called "favs" but I had a big "miss" in there. If you are anything like me, you like to hear the "what not to buy" as well, right? 

Well, I feel like I have to preface by saying I will always be faithful to Bare Minerals. They are hands down my favorite makeup to wear… on my face. I recently purchased their "Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara" ($19) and I have to say… unimpressed.

 I liked the brush and the way it went on, but after a couple hours, it was coming off in little chunks that were getting into my eye! I had bloodshot eyes all day, and felt like I was constantly digging things out… not at all pleasant. Big miss! Oh well, they can't do everything right! 

Any big product finds lately? Let me know in the comments or link up (below!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Thursday Confessional

Yes. It's that time. 

I confess that:

…It felt weird to write an article about my latex fruit allergy. Yeah, I didn't know that was a thing either. You can check it out here. Or if you don't want to, you can know that it helped me figure out why I was getting horrible stomach aches ALL THE TIME! 

…I feel like I can never have enough lip color. Every small change in shade represents a different mood. Am I the only one? PS- currently still loving this stuff. I have it in "Abu Dhabi" but basically want to buy it in every shade. My next purchase will most likely be "Stockholm" or "Istanbul." Yes… I love a neutral lip! 

…I recently purchased these shoes. When I say recently I mean about 10 minutes ago. Fingers crossed for comfort because they are obviously darling. 

…I think I want a Toddy Cold Brew. I love iced coffee. Way more than a hot cup of coffee. I am pretty sure from Spring to early Fall my coffee intake triples -  simply because I think I HAVE to have an iced coffee almost daily. I'm pretty good about finding a reason, too. I haven't done a ton of research but this one seems popular. Does anyone have it? Or something better? Please share!

…I can't get on board with flare and "regular" jeans. I know...never say never, right?  I actually think I said I would never wear skinny jeans at one point, and here I am, claiming I will never go back to my old ways. But yeah, I'm just not seeing it at this point. 

…that I think my dog is a major nerd. But he sure is cute. 

That's all! And now it's your turn! Link up with Jess @ The Newly blog to share your confessions! Enjoy your Thursday… because the weekend is right around the corner! Woo! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blog Makeover + Meet Erin!

Umm... 5 days have passed since I last posted?! What!!!
Sometimes I get that feeling  that I am just "behind." And it starts to overwhelm me. I've learned the best way to combat that I'm drowning feeling is to identify what the REAL issue is before you are taking a small amount of stress and spreading it over your entire life.
And I did. I know for me, right now, my stress is coming from my job. As in the thing I do the majority of the day when I am not here! I love my job. LOVE it. And that is not sarcastic. But also not to say that some days I am absolutely, completely and utterly drained by it.
I won't spend anymore time on that. But I wanted to touch on why it has taken me WEEKS to acknowledge how thrilled I am that Sweet and Modern has a new look! And the only reason that is possible is because of Erin! I asked Erin of Primavera Studio to share with us about her studio, her passions, and how Primavera Studio came to life!
Meet Erin!


Tell us about Primavera Studio. What kind of work do you do?
Primavera Studio is a graphic design company that focuses on small business branding and website building, with some fun projects sprinkled in like ebook and devotional design. At the core of it all is a heart to equip and encourage other women to go after what they’re passionate about and help them create a platform to let that shine. It’s truly amazing how much our gifts overlap, and I love playing on each other’s strengths to create a beautiful end product for a client.

How do you get inspired when you start a new project?
    Mostly, what inspires me is my clients’ story. I love chatting about what fires them up, why they do what they do, and what’s at the core of their brand. Because really, any sort of visual brand needs to stem from a solid heart message and I love walking through that process together.  From there, Pinterest plays a big part in visual inspiration -- building boards, brainstorming, and lots of sketches.

Do you have any life rules you live by?
    One of the main motivators for my design work is the opportunity to stay home and raise our daughter, and also get to stretch my creative muscles on the side. So when it comes to priorities, it’s family first, then work. Keeping that balance helps me stay fresh for new projects and fills me up with inspiration to keep going.

What is your favorite thing right now?
    Favorite thing? Anything?! Well, I’ve recently discovered some chai tea concentrate at the grocery store that’s been changing my hot beverage game in a major way. It’s the little things, right? Also, eyeliner art. Ha! It’s probably a phase for me, but playing with makeup is just too much fun to not mention.

I know from your gorgeous blog that you are also a mama! How do you balance Primavera Studio with mom life?
    I often joke that I run a naptime business, and really, it’s true! When my daughter is awake, I do my best to draw those boundaries and enjoy my time with her. And when she’s sleeping, it’s work time. Some days are harder than others finding that balance, but ultimately I’m super grateful to be able to do both. It’s a lot of prioritizing and exercising that laser focus when I have those pockets of time to work.

Tell us something random about yourself.
    I am totally, completely, a Fixer Upper junkie! Just can’t get enough of that Joanna Gains and her farm sinks ;)
*Me too, Erin! All the way.

What is something you are proud of?
    When I think of what I’m proud to show off, a few things come to mind. My daughter (I’m totally biased but she really is the best), my work, and my community. We’ve done a lot of moving these last few years and handled a lot of life change. When I think about it, I’m proud of how our little family has grown together and bonded during that process of transition and unfamiliar territory.

 Your most treasured moment in the last year?
    Some of my close college friends have gotten married in the last year, and those are truly treasured moments for me. Getting to rally together and celebrate something like that is really special since we don’t get to see each other that often.

Erin, I truly enjoyed working with you and appreciate all of your patience. I have to tell my fellow bloggers: if you are looking for someone to work with who will understand your vision and style, Primavera Studio is IT. My only problem with Erin was trying to narrow down all of the amazing blog redesigns she came up with! :) Erin's work is peppered throughout this post and it is all gorgeous. Check out her equally beautiful website/blog here.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Confessional Thursday

As a pre confessional to my confessional....

....I confess that I am only doing this confessional because my husband asked me "What happened to Confessional Thursday?" It's good to know I have one loyal reader. :)

Today was a long day at a conference out of town, and after completing my "chores," I seriously had plans to crash on the couch. But after a little thought... I realized I actually have a lot of things to spill!


I confess...

...that I am in love with Drybar products. Seriously, they can do no wrong. I got my first bottle of Triple Sec in the mail the other day and I'm already wondering how I ever did my hair without it?! (More details and most likely a complete post on this)

...I love Sia. It seems like something I would have liked in junior high as well. I love Cheap Thrills!

...I sort of want to get hair extensions. But I know nothing about them. Is it easy to get a decent clip in and it not be ... gross?! I know nothing about this subject matter. It just sounds fun.

...There are few things I look forward to more than a fresh cut. Steph @ Bah Shah salon in Lincoln always gives me my very small trim and I look forward to it every 3 (to 5 ;) ) months. This happened the other day.

...that I don't know if I believe that pills that say they make your hair grow and nails better actually work. I mean.... are they that much  better than prenatal vitamins? Can anyone attest to them working that much more quickly?  I once spent $40 on a bottle of "Hair and Nail" growth pills from Complete Nutrition and literally saw no difference. So, yeah. Not interested in making that mistake again.

...that I don't have any laundry to fold. Yes, you read that correctly. I know that a majority of my previous confessions were that I had so much laundry to fold that I wanted to cry. But I've implemented some changes around this place! (More to come on that as well!)

...I seriously cannot sleep without my husband. I know... cheesy, whatever. But seriously. I tried to go to bed early last night and I basically just laid there for almost two hours until he got home.

...I kept the girlfriend jeans. In fact, I ripped the tags off of them 15 minutes after this photo.

That's it! Okay... now I'm seriously crashing on the couch.

Everyone... link up with Jess for your Confessional Thursday! Or tell me in the comments! :) 

Have a very happy rest of your Friday eve!


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Vanity Remodel

I can't say enough how much I LOVE General Finishes paint. Just last week I posted about our coffee bar project, and I am finally getting around to showing off my little vanity! 

I personally have never liked doing my make up in the bathroom. I don't like standing next to a mirror. In high school/college I actually preferred to sit on the floor with a full length mirror so I could get up close and personal! It's really the only way I can apply mascara accurately ;) . 

I told Clay that I wanted a vanity that had some vintage appeal that I could sit at, but get close to the mirror if needed. We had been keeping our eyes open at various thrift shops and antique stores.

Notice the stickers that I had to scrape off prior... that only happens in some instances. 
 I finally found this one at our local gift shop/antique store, and I refinished it using General Finishes milk paint in "Linen." I can't stress again how easy this stuff is to use! No sanding, no priming, no prepping needed! Seriously. That's it. 

So, here's the final product! 

I am pleased with how it looks, and even MORE pleased that my make up isn't spread out all over the bathroom anymore! I love having my own little corner in my closet to get ready at. 

If you are thinking about refinishing something, you have to try General Finishes milk paint. It's so great!

PS - they aren't paying me to say this, I just seriously love their products! 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Boyfriends & Girlfriends

Not that kind of boyfriends and girlfriends!

I'm talking about the jeans.

This pair from Nordstroms...
I've been crushing on a pair of boyfriend jeans for the last 1+ years and I STILL haven't found any that fit me!

I've tried them on at everyone's favorite places. And nope. For some reason multiple issues have continued to abound: they fit my butt, they don't stay up. They are too tight on the leg and gapping at the waist. I just could not get it right!

So I basically gave up. Then I started noticing that a lot of places were selling "girlfriend" jeans. If  you are like me and wondered what that meant exactly, I'll fill you in.

By fill you in, I mean from my Google research, the "girlfriend" cut is basically a slightly less baggy and slightly more feminine version of the "boyfriend" jean. And that seems to be consistent with my overall findings. One of the things I appreciate about the girlfriend jean is that it seems to have shortened the zipper region. I can't get on board with an overly saggy crotch on jeans. Too boyfriend-y for me.

So this weekend I finally made the purchase. The Express outlet had a really cute, distressed pair that I actually could pull up. They fit a little bit baggy but they also have a feminine cut that doesn't make me feel like I am actually wearing guy pants.

The exact pair from Express that I bought.
The only issue is with the waist. And to be honest, this is an issue for me with regular jeans as well. It's super hard to find a pair of pants that fit my butt and thighs AND doesn't gap in the back. And no, like I tell my husband, I will not wear a belt.

Do I just need to get a tailor and start taking all of  my clothes in for small alternations?

The tags are still on the pants and I plan on trying them on a few more times before I make a decision. All of this rambling to say... does anyone else have this issue? Have you found a pair that works? Fill me in!

Oh, and happy Monday!