Thursday, April 04, 2019

Home Tour - A Minimal Farmhouse

Friends! Today I'm bringing you photos of my pal Shawna's home. We originally met when we were both living in Europe and as life would have it, we ended up moving to Texas within months of each other and live just two doors down from one other! They say "it's a small Air Force" and it really is.

Shawna is one of those rare people that I instantly connect with in so many ways, one of which is being homebodies! I think that's one reason we both LOVE decorating and organizing and we're both self-professed minimalists.

I asked Shawna a few questions relating to her home and I'm excited to share her answers as well as photos of her place. When I walk in her home I instantly feel relaxed. It's so neat, clean, yet feels cozy. You can tell she's intentional in her decorating and I can tell she's lived in England because her antiques are amazing and alway leave me longing to go back to the UK.

But enough talk, let's jump in and pick Shawna's brain, shall we?

How would you describe your decorating style?

Farmhouse feel with some French country and modern touches with a minimalist outlook. 

Where do you get your inspiration from when decorating and choosing pieces for your home?
I have always been a Joanna Gaines fan! I love finding vintage or antique pieces that I can incorporate into my design. I love following bloggers that have farmhouses with character such as Liz Marie.

What are some of your favorite stores to shop at for your home?

I love local antique stores such as Alley Cat here in Wichita Falls. I also love Kirklands, Hobby Lobby and Pottery Barn.

If there was one thing you could change about your home what would it be?

I am currently working on revamping my Master bedroom. I have always been a fan of the "All-white bed" from Pottery Barn and would like to purchase a bed frame instead of just having a headboard.I feel like I have focused my attention in different rooms around the house and now it is finally time to re-decorate our bedroom.

What’s your favorite thing about your home? 

I love my old farmhouse table that we found at an auction while stationed in England. It is well-loved and has so much character. All of our family meals take place around this table and lots of conversations. 

What advice would you give to someone that wants to make their house beautiful and cozy but they don’t know where to begin? 
I would say first find your style. Log-on to Pinterest and see what inspires you. Don't strive to make your house match a particular picture but instead use it as a tool to guide your inspiration and add your character and charm to it!

This sweet, simple, metal sign by her front door makes me grin every time I see it. It's Shawna to a tee, she's such a positive soul to be around and her home reflects that! I hope you all enjoyed these little glimpses into her home as much as I do.

Thanks so much for letting me run around your home with my camera, Shawna! It was a pleasure. 

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Personalized Hair Care!

Happy Thursday! This week is flying by, no? So I wanted to talk to ya'll today about my experience with Formulate's personalized shampoo and conditioners. If you follow me on Instagram you probably recall seeing a post as well as a highlight about my collab with Formulate. Well, it's been a bit over a month since using the product and let me tell you, I'm sold. And excited. And telling everyone that'll listen!

But let's start from the beginning, shall well? It starts online, you go to their website and fill out a survey all about your hair type as well as any challenges you have with your hair and what you want to accomplish with your hair. In my case, I have natural ringlets that crave moisture and easily dry out if they don't get enough so my number was goal was moisture. I'm also a year postpartum but I've been either nursing or pregnant for almost FIVE YEARS! Yeah, you read that correctly. So I'm convinced the postpartum hair loss you get has been going on for years for me since my body has yet to get a "break", and my hair is already fine, so that's been fun for my hair... 

My sixteen year old have pretty similar hair to mine and has been using the product as well., so it was nice to use it with another person and compare results. 
And during this whole process I've personally been working with Caroline and she's been amazing, you can tell she truly enjoys her job and wants to educate others on how to accomplish their hair care goals.

Fast forward a few weeks and my custom formula arrived. The package was adorable and the shampoo bottles are sleek as well. Which may sound silly to some but that stuff is important to me, I'm the gal that puts my hand soap and lotion in amber bottles partially for aesthetics, so yeah, cute Formulate bottles were a win for me.

When taking the survey I asked for minimal scent and picked an orange scent. Its very subtle and fresh. If you like more scent you can request that during your survey, if you don't want any scent they can help with that as well. This truly is tailored to your needs.
When using the product for the first time, the conditioner IMMEDIATELY made my hair feel incredibly soft. Over the course of a few weeks both my daughter and I didn't even require additional leave-in conditioner in our hair because the shampoo and conditioner alone were keeping our hair's moister level right where it needed to be. I've literally never had a product that's done that before.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I'll just let the photo do that talking.
Check out Formulate, guys! And if you have any questions let me know. You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Formulate - Personalized Shampoo and Conditioner

Disclaimer: This post is made possible my Formulate. Thanks for supporting companies that support this blog!

Happy Wednesday, friends! I woke this morning thinking it was Friday and that's because it feels like we've done a week's worth of living in just a few days, seriously, it's been crazy around here but I'm powered by chaos and caffeine, so don't worry 'bout ya girl...

Most of you are probably here because of the giveaway I announced over on my Instagram page! It's for a chance to win your own personalized shampoo and conditioner from Formulate, an amazing company whose mission is is to "solve the world's personal care struggles."

What they do is create a product just for you. Literally. You head to their website, fill out the questionnaire about your hair type as well as what your hair goals are (ex: more volume, more moisture, less greasiness) and their experts create your formula based on your answers. 

Another awesome thing? If you're trying to leave unneeded junk out of your everyday products you'll be stoked to know Formulate is sulfate-free, preservative-free, cruelty free, and paraben free.

I've been using the product for about a week now and I'm already loving the results. I have fine, curly hair that really needs loads of moisture and I can already see a difference, I can't wait to share with you all after giving it a few more weeks.

In the meantime, follow this link and enter the giveaway, they are giving one of you your own personalized shampoo and conditioner set! You have nothing to lose; *chants* do it, do it, do it, do it! ;)

Monday, December 03, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide for Baby

Happy December, friends!

With the holidays coming up I thought it'd be a good time to share a gift guide for the little people in your life. So I've put together a list of all things baby! 

For my little ones, I try to make sure most their toys are open-ended and I'm not a fan toys with batteries (I think we have one, literally one).  I also try to keep plastic to a minimum as well since it's not very friendly for our planet. Before you roll your eyes into the back of your head, I'm not saying they don't have a couple plastic toys they love, but just like light up toys we try to keep those few and far between. 

One thing I got my youngest this year are these adorable silks (and clips). He loves playing peek-a-boo and ends up using the sheer curtains in our living room most days so I think these will be a big hit. Pair the silks with these clips and your kids can have open-ended play building forts, using the silks as a cape to be a super hero, or simply playin peek-a-boo to name a few.

This rainbow stacker is in my Amazon cart for my youngest's first birthday coming up next month. It's a more eco friendly version of the old-school plastic stacker I think we've all seen back in the day.  Not only is it good for fine motor skills but it'll look cute on their shelf too. Win-win.

This alligator shape-sorter is the cutest damn thing, and he's a pull-toy too. So he can do double duty. Or give him to my toddler and she'll come up with 473 other ways to use it because that's just who she is as a person and I dig it.

My mom is super supportive of my minimalist habits and will ask me what to get the kids and she actually sticks to getting exactly what we ask for. I heart her for some many reasons and that's just one of the small ones. We asked for these one holiday and she delivered. These are one of the plastic toys I mentioned that my kids have and love. My toddler makes houses, trains, roads, castles, shapes, and so much more out of these. She's even made furniture for her doll house with these. They're one toy I recommend to everyone. They're pricey but so, so worth it. And yes, baby can play with these. My little guy loves to match them together.

Lastly, this little teether is perfect for tiny hands. It's great for sensory motor skills, feels good on baby's gums, and it's made from all-natural rubber.

I hope this quick little list helped spark some ideas for the baby in your life! Have a great week, guys!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Life Lately

Guys! It's been so long since I've updated my little old blog. I often have ideas for posts but they end up just staying in my head because its tough for  me to find time to sit down and just write. Instead, I do things like spend 30 minutes attempting to get a fly of out of the room my baby is sleeping in because I don't want it landing on him and waking him up. True story. This exact scenario just occurred like ten minutes ago. 

Seriously though, the lack of posting has a lot to do with how go-go-go our last year has been. I mean, is life every really not go-go-go when you have a basketball team of kids? I was just thinking the other day and ya'll, I have a child in college, one in high school, one in middle school, my toddler goes to an elementary school half the day for Pre-K, and then there's the baby. All five kids in five different ages and stages of life. We've got it all covered. Wanna hear about how London Bridge is Falling Down? I got you covered. Want to help try to find an elusive college textbook that no store has in stock and costs $4.7 million dollars per page? Got it covered. Ready watch the door at curfew to make sure the 16 year old walks through on time? I'm your girl. Wanna get a tutorial on Fortnite from your middle-schooler? I. got. chu.
Like everything is happening. At once. All the time. Then my hubby, the pilot, was in some super intense training for the last year so while he was physically present, he really needed to focus on studying so his mind was being pulled elsewhere. This left me to zip and zoom all over town and do so much without relying on him since his schedule was...well...unreliable due to no fault of his own. When my oldest was still living at home he helped with pick ups and drop offs but he's gone to college out of state now. Luckily, the pilot finished training and he's home so much now. Like, so much. Its heaven really. Granted, he'll be back in the books in a few months but until then I'm loving the brunch dates, the help with pick ups and drop offs, the late nights where the kids are in bed and we pop open a bottle of wine and hang out, the bedtime routine he's now able to be a part of, watching our toddler follow him around like a lost puppy because he's the current favorite and she's a daddy's girl through and through. So yeah, maybe in a few months when things get kicked back into high gear for my other half I won't get to sit down like this and make updates anymore, I don't know. But for now I'm taking full advantage of it. 

I have so many posts I'm excited to share with you guys, and so many topics to cover. A few of my friends will say "you should write a post about *insert the subject*" so I plan to. And I've also received a few DMs on Instagram about some topics I'd love to cover as well. So I will and I hope you'll pop in every now and then to see what's new. 

Later, friends!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Whitening Sensitive Teeth at Home

Disclaimer: I was provided with the products in this post at no cost however all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make this blog possible!

One of the things I love most about Instagram is getting to work with companies that I would have otherwise not known about. So when Smile Brilliant came to me about their customised whitening trays I immediately went to their website to do a my own research and after reading about their process I became so excited to try it out! 

First, this isn't the whitening kit you're going to find in your local supermarket, no generic strips that you do for a few days and call it done. Instead, they create custom whitening trays based on your dental impressions, you then fill the tray with the whitening gel and the rest is history. 

Just before beginning the whitening process I discovered I was pregnant so I asked my sister-in-law if she would be interested in testing out the Smile Brilliant system since I was unable. She happily obliged!

When talking to her before, during, and after the whitening process here are the highlights/tips from her experience:

• Creating the custom trays was a breeze! Smile Brilliant sends you everything you need to accomplish this, you send your impressions back in a prepaid box, and you receive your custom trays shortly thereafter. 

•The number of applications you use depends on how you answer some of Smile Brilliant's questions. For instance, my sister-in-law has sensitive teeth, therefore she was given whitening gel specifically designed for sensitive teeth. 

•Build up to the length of time you wish to keep each application on your teeth. Smile Brilliant will give you a suggestion of a range of how long to keep each application on. My sister started at the lower end of that suggestion and worked her way up to the higher end with each application. She loved that she could easily talk and go about her normal activities even with the tray in! She said she even went to work with it in on an occasion or two!

•Also, a tip she has is to follow ALL the instructions given to you by Smile Brilliant. This sounds obvious but let's be honest, how many of us follow instructions to a tee? (i.e. Strand test before each hair dying experience? Never. Admit it) Her big tip was don't brush your teeth before doing an application. The instructions specifically tell you not to do this but my sister did brush her teeth before one application and said she had a bit of temporary sensitivity due to not following that particular instruction. 

After talking to my sister about how simple and great her experience was with Smile Brilliant I cannot wait to be able to try it for myself eventually. Click on over to Smile Brilliant's website and check things out! You'll like what you see. And for a chance to win your own custom whitening kit from Smile Brilliant click here! Winner will be selected at random one week from today! Don't want to wait?! Get 15% off your purchase using code: theprettyandthebrave15


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Super Simple DIY Train Board

Alright, so I've an insanely simple DIY for you today. A train board! 

My youngest loves her train set, and in our old house I kept it downstairs so she'd just set it up on our hardwood floors and it was fine. But in our current home we keep it upstairs, and upstairs is carpeted so I've been wanted to  make her a simple train board she can set the tracks on. When my teenagers were her age they had an actual train table. The thing was big. And don't get me wrong, it was super nice and super cute but over a decade later and it's not ideal for our current way of life. First off, I'm totally a minimalist (I just recently stopped calling myself a wanna-be minimalist but that post will wait for another day) so the thought of having a massive train table like I did ten years ago for the big kids annoyed me for several being the footprint it'd take up; the bigger our family has gotten and the more psychotic passionate about minimalism I've gotten. I want to do more with less and I knew there had to be a way to incorporate the function of a train table without it taking up the space of a train table which is essentially the size of a toddler bed. 

So I did some thinking and I was like, "Eureka! I can make something that can just slide under her bed when it's not in use!" This way she had something to put her trains on and yet it wasn't taking up a valuable floor space when not in use. I knew to move it easily in and out from under her bed I wanted it to have wheels. Then I thought about what it should look like and I immediately was like "all white". But let's be honest, like most of our house is white. So then I thought it'd be fun to paint trees and water and what it on it but that felt too limiting because I started to imagine her also using the board to build legos or stack blocks, etc on. Finally I decided to just use paint I already had because who really cares what color it is, right?

So here's what you need to make this yourself:
  • Piece of wood cut to desired size 
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint
  • Polyurethane 
  • Wheels
  • Screws
  • Sander

I had everything on hand already so this project cost me a whopping $0. Pro tip: if you have a Kelley Moore Paint store you can get a free quart of paint from them using a coupon (that's where my paint came from and was left over from painting the baby's dresser). 

  1. Measure the underside of the piece of furniture your train board is going to be stored under. Take into account you want a bit of wiggle room
  2. Cut your wood to size. If you're buying from Lowes or The Home Depot they'll cut it for free. I usually take advantage of that but since I was using left over wood I just used our jigsaw for this project. 
  3. Sand the edges of your board really well, you don't want little fingers getting splinters and you don't want sharp corners. I use an electric sander and it's one of my most used tools and still going strong after almost 10 years, if you DIY a lot it's a good investment. 
  4. Attach wheels. I had these left over casters from a previous project and like how chunky and sturdy they are. 
  5. The fun part! Paint or stain your board! I got away with a single coat of paint but usually you want at least two. 
  6. Let paint dry fully then add a few coats of clear poly if you want the paint to stay as is. If you like the chipped or worn look then you can skip this part and your board will get nicks and scraps naturally with use. (Note: Obviously don't apply poly to the board if you use chalkboard paint and want it draw on it) 
  7. Admire your work! 

I hope you found this tutorial simple enough and gained inspiration to recreate it or to put your own twist on it for some other use. 

Avery loved helping me with the project (especially the painting) and was so excited to put her trains on it when we were done. 

Total cost for this project if you didn't have any of the materials on hand would be around $30. But chances are if you take on DIY projects you probably have most of this on hand making it even cheaper. 

Free, functional, and I can wheel it under the babe's bed when it's not in use. My kind of project. 

Hugs, guys.