A Simply Beautiful Home

Your guys know I’m a sucker for beautiful interiors. It’s my thing. Nothing inspires me more than a well designed room, or a beautifully styled table. Even a bookshelf done perfectly makes me stop in my tracks. It’s an addiction people. I’m the girl that visits Home Goods 2x’s a week, and squeals in Target when I find black lamp shades with gold leafing inside, and has 10+ interior design coffee table books on my Christmas wish list. My dream day would be to lay around (kidless of course) while skimming through all my favorite design books and drinking coffee in peace. Ahhhh!

One of my pet peeves about most interior design photos that I come across on Pinterest, in magazines, or in books is that they’re nearly unattainable. Not because the decor can’t be bought, replicated, DIY’d, etc. but because the space is unlike the homes that many of us actually live in.

Image Via

Image Via

Image Via

What’s the matter? Don’t you have intricate marble flooring, a palatial winding staircase, and enough room in your hallways to have a row of orange trees? Ya, me neither. So when I came across Jessica & Scott’s East Coast Nest I immediately fell in love. Their unassuming, 2100 sq. ft home, is a wealth of beauty.

Jessica is an interior designer, and creator of Nest Studio (Her drawer pulls are literally my favorite on the market. The gold and lucite…DROOL!)

That’s a hand stenciled floor…HAND STENCILED!! I’m just so in awe of what she’s done with this house. I also really enjoy seeing items from places like Target, and Ikea; places we all shop.

If you want to check out more of Jessica’s home, visit her blog here.

Today’s giveaway is one of my very favorite coffee table books, and a source of constant design inspiration and enjoyment for me. I flip through it at least once a week. It’s perfect for anyone starting on their home from scratch, or even someone who’s just looking for a change but doesn’t know where to start. It looks pretty sitting on my coffee table too. :-)

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Good Luck! XO – Samantha

PS…I was sent a fun game called “How Do You Shop Style?” that I thought you guys might enjoy checking out. The quotes are hilarious, and no surprise, it figured out that I have a shopping addiction. Oops! Here’s the link if y’all want to play too. You can also win a designer handbag just by playing. http://bit.ly/psssjgame

Minted Gifts & A Festive New Year

Calling all last minute shoppers! Yes, you…you know who you are. You’ve been lounging in your long-johns sipping hot chocolate and watching your favorite Christmas movies all month, and now you’ve realized you have less than 10 days before Christmas and you still haven’t ordered holiday cards to send your family and friends. It’s not too late!! Luckily for you, Minted has your back. If you’re feeling like you’ve missed out on sending Christmas cards, why not send New Years cards to the people you love most instead? Minted has some beautiful options, and you can receive 15% off all holiday and new years cards using code FLURRY15.

Here are a few of my favorite New Years Cards:

Confetti New Years

Cheers Garland

I love this next card, especially for any of you that are needing a last minute card, and you don’t have a photo that you’d like to share. Share all your favorite memories and achievements of 2013 with this fun “Year in Review” card.

No Photo – Year In Review

If you’re struggling to find a gift for you friend, coworker, or even mom or sister, then Minted has you covered there too. How about a beautiful calendar with photos of you, a grandchild, pet, or a vacation. Minted also has my favorite stationary which can be personalized for that extra touch of luxury.

A Year of Art - Perfect for art or home decor lovers.

Watercolor Brush Grand - Your friends and family will love hanging this (and bragging to their friends about it)

Hello Friend Personalized Stationary - I’m smitten with this stationary, and will be adding it to my desk very, very soon.

Paris + Vintage Ribbon

Audrey Stationary

Sanibel Island Stripe

There are too many gorgeous designs, how’s a girl to choose?! They also have more masculine designs for the man in your life.

Circle Circle Dot

You still have time to place your orders and receive your goodies before Christmas, but hurry, hurry, hurry! Save 15% off when you buy 3 or more gifts using code GIFTS15. The hardest part about ordering from Minted is deciding which beautiful card, or gift to choose. I could spend hours curled up on the couch with my laptop browsing their site, and personalizing everything from ink colors, card shapes, types of paper, card backing, and even custom return labels. It’s easy finding something that everyone on your list will love.

UPDATE: 12/17 & 12/18: Free shipping upgrade to Fedex 2-day on gift orders $50+

If you haven’t already, be sure to enter all THREE giveaways:

Giveaway 6 - ends today, so get your entries in!

Giveaway 7

Giveaway 8

XO – Samantha

Peppermint Oreo Milkshake

Hello!

I hope you all had wonderful weekends. We spent ours at IKEA buying a few items for my husbands new work office (that place is like a grown-ups playground, and I loved every second of it), and then we finally put up our tree. It feels so good to knock that off my to-do list. Woohoo!

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While we were being oh-so-festive, I made the most delicious milkshakes that I’ve ever tasted. If you like oreos, and a little dash of peppermint, then you’re going to L-O-V-E these shakes. My daughter was chugging hers so fast we kept having to take it away and make her take breaks to avoid brain-freeze. It only requires 5 ingredients, and takes 5 minutes to make. Can’t go wrong with that, can you? I would also HIGHLY recommend adding some liquor to these.

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Ingredients (For 2 shakes):

3 Cups Vanilla Ice Cream

5-8 Oreo Cookies (whatever kind you prefer, I just used what I had on hand)

1 cup Milk

 1/2 Candy Cane (Or peppermint schnapps)

Whipped Cream

In a blender, add ice cream, milk, oreos, and crushed candy canes. Blend until smooth. Serve in cold glasses and top with whipped cream & crushed oreos. Enjoy!

I’m also taking over My Simple Kitchen all week so come say hi! I’m using my leftover oreos to make White Chocolate Oreo Popcorn, and showing you how it can make the perfect gift for friends & coworkers. 3 ingredients, and less than 10 minutes.

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Have you entered my current giveaways? If not, you still have time.

6th Day of Christmas Giveaway

7th Day of Christmas Giveaway

Today’s giveaway is all about the pout. I’m giving away a few of my favorite lip products, including Revlon, Burts Bees, Rimmel, Maybelline, and MORE!! Follow me on Instagram to see sneak peeks at all my favorite lippy products!

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Good Luck! XO – Samantha

*UPDATE: Janet Martin, you won Giveaway #5! Congratulations!*

Lust List: 12/12

Lust List Image1.|| I’m co-hosting a giveaway for a beautiful Bindya scarf with Lulu of Simply Lulu Style today, so come say hi and enter to win!

2.|| Urban Decay released their Naked3 palette, featuring rose hued neutrals. I own both the Naked1 & Naked2 palettes and love them. (Naked1 is my favorite of the two, if you’re curious) The palette sells for $52 and features 12 NEW shades that are exclusive to this palette. I am not a fan of the packaging, which is the same as the 2nd palette. I do love their brushes though, and use mine everyday for my concealer (not for applying their eyeshadows).

3.|| I ordered kitty cat shoes from Daily Look for myself to match the ones that I bought from Old Navy for Camryn. I also bought her the fox ones, just because I know they’ll make me laugh every time I see her wear them.

4.|| This interview with Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked is so inspiring.

5.|| I’m loving this indian inlay stencil by Cutting Edge Stencils and really want to get my hands on one. Wouldn’t this be awesome on a console table?

6.|| I ordered this darling sweatshirt from GreyThread on Etsy for my tiny lady. Go check out Nichole’s etsy shop, she has a ton of super cute apparel, like this other shirt I bought Camryn.

7.|| Popular mens brand, Bonobos, is launching AYR for women.

8.|| 7th Day of Christmas Giveaway!! Win a manicure kit containing the ever-so-popular Seche Vite topcoat, Seche Vite’s Iconic Red nail polish, Absolute! nail polish removing pads in spring fresh scent, and an Apricot Vanilla hand cream. Enter to win below. Don’t forget to go enter Day 5, and Day 6 before they end.

Have a great weekend!

XO – Samantha

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Guest Post: Emily of The Style Hunter

We’re halfway through the week, loves! We will survive…at least that’s what I keep telling myself. It’s been one of those weeks for me. (You know, the ones that call for wine for breakfast…what? You don’t do that ever?)

I have Emily of The Style Hunter guest posting with me today, and we are showing you a few ways we’ve been styling Cobalt Blue into our wardrobes. First of all, I just have to tell you how much fun this adorable girl is; she’s pretty much the most fantastic person ever! I think Emily has great taste, so of course I follow her blog, but it’s her pictures that I love most. She’s always so happy, and looks carefree and like she’s having a blast! She never looks like she’s taking things too seriously….here are a few pictures to prove it. (Sorry Em, you’re just too cute to keep all to myself.)

Here’s a little about Emily, her darling blog, and how she styled cobalt blue:

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Hi! I’m Emily, author of TheStyleHunter. I’m the girl that loves all things fashion. I am utterly obsessed with texture, pattern, shine and a bit too much. A girl that will wear red lipstick to a football game or layer on baubles for a trip to the grocery store. I love a good bargain and believe that the happiness in life could come from a walk around your favorite store.
Pops of color are what I’m about. Having everything else be basically neutral, with one bold color as the focal point of your look. In this case, the cobalt blue pants are clearly the star of the show. I found them at the LOFT and fell hopelessly in love. A good pair of pants is like a good car. Side note, ironically my car is blue. Hmmm, I may quite possibly see a pattern emerging. You need something reliable, that won’t stretch or break down (i.e. rip or get a hole unexpectedly) and one that will be a showstopper. Clearly these pants do the trick. Add a dash of leopard, since leopard is indeed a neutral and you are set. I will add leopard to any and every outfit I can, it might be an addiction, but one I wear proudly. Another thing I like to do when creating an outfit is to add something unexpected. I like mixing colors or patterns that some wouldn’t necessarily think of. These (on sale at Target) Sam & Libby pumps for $11 do the trick. A little bit festive, but not as dominant as the pants. That is the key to mixing. When mixing unexpected items, have one still be the dominant so that they don’t compete, but compliment in a new way.
Emily1 emily2 emily3 emily4 emily5 emily6

You can shop my look here:

Pants // Tee // Scarf: similar // Leather jacket: (old) similar // Pumps // Sunnies: similar
xo, Emily
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Now that you’ve fallen in love with her too, you can follow her on bloglovin’ here. :-)

Neither Emily nor I knew what the other person was doing for this “challenge”, which honestly made it that much more fun to see the final pictures. I styled my outfit for cold, and colder weather. Austin can’t make up it’s mind and decide if it’s still fall or full-on winter yet. Here’s a glimpse of what I wore…

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Come visit me over at The Style Hunter to see the rest of my pictures, and to shop my outfits.

We’re also super excited to be giving away this gorgeous blue ombre scarf from Shoptiques!

Enter the giveaway below. Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday…and if all else fails, pop open a bottle and pour yourself a glass. It’s gotta be 5 o’clock somewhere!!

XO – Samantha

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How To: Wash Your Makeup Brushes

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We all wash our faces daily (at least I hope you do) and we spend so much time and money on our skin care regimens, but so often our makeup brushes get overlooked. Just like we cleanse the dirt and makeup from our skin, we need to regularly cleanse our brushes for the same reasons. Not only are these tools touching your delicate skin on a day-to-day basis, but they’re often times being dipped into your makeup.

These are the brushes I use most frequently, and tend to wash on a weekly basis. I also have a 2 year old who thoroughly enjoys playing in her makeup (aka chapsticks and clean makeup brushes) so I’m often having to wash more makeup brushes than I actually use in a week. Her little face is dirty, so makeup or not, her brushes get cleaned too.

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I am NOT a fan of cleaning my brushes. It’s a chore, just like doing dishes, and often times my brushes will still be damp the next morning, but it’s a necessary evil. If anyone has any tips or tricks to offer, leave me a comment!!

To cleanse my brushes I use Blender Cleanser, which can be purchased through Sephora. You could also use baby shampoo, or other brush cleansers (MAC sells some). I use warm water, a pea sized amount of cleanser in the palm of my hand, and then I swirl my brush in it and rinse. If you’re washing foundation brushes you’ll likely need to repeat this step until the water runs clear. Squeeze all the water from your brush and reshape them, and then lay flat to dry on a clean towel. Smaller brushes will typically be dry within a few hours, but larger brushes will take overnight. Clean a Beauty Blender in a similar fashion by applying a pea sized amount of cleanser to the soiled area of your blender, and lather and rinse until water runs clear. Set on towel to dry.

Here are a few of my favorite makeup brushes & cleanser (which are featured above):

RT-TRAVEL-ESSENTIALS-002Real Techniques Travel Essentials

I love the domed shadow brush for applying my under eye concealer, and the multi-task brush for my bronzer.

Blender Cleanser

Beauty Blender

Flawless foundation and concealer application.

These 3 amazing items are part of todays GIVEAWAY, valued at over $50! Enter below. Good Luck!

XO – Samantha

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Lust List: 12/6/13 & On The 4th Day of GIVEAWAY!

Well everyone, we survived the week, and now we get to enjoy a little R&R this weekend. Wahhooo! You know what I love most about Fridays? Knowing that I get to sleep in tomorrow morning because my husband will be home and will get up early with our daughter. I volunteer him for morning duties every Saturday. He’s a gem. :-)

Let’s kick this Friday off right with my Lust List, and then Day 4 of my “12 Days of Giveaway”!

Lust List Image

1.|| How Kids Decide Who To Marry (Short & Sweet Article that is sure to make you smile!)

2.|| I love this gift topper tutorial from the blog “The House That Lars Built”

3.|| I was sent a sample of an exfoliator that has officially stolen my heart. It’s the Microdermabrasion Paste from Rodan + Fields. It smells of citrus, warms as it exfoliates, and leaves your skin feeling softer than a babies bum. You guys know I love my face masks, and I will gladly put this in my top 5. It reminds me of Kate Somerville’s Exfolikate, but not as stinky, or green. I’ve had the opportunity to test a few Rodan + Fields products, and I’m really enjoying them. My favorite (daily use) products so far are part of the Redefine line, which are targeted at aging skin. I really appreciate the emphasis on using SPF, and that the package includes an eye cream focused on fighting wrinkles, which sadly, I have. :-( I’ll do a full product review when I’ve finished sampling all the lines. For reference, my skin is combination-dry, and does breakout on occasion. I have a lot of freckles, which make my skin look discolored the older I get (I swear the little bastards are joining together to become one giant freckle!) I love exfoliating products, and brightening products, or anything that helps fight wrinkles. I have deep set eyes, and in the last 2 years I’ve developed fine lines around the inner corners of my eyes, so I’m always on the hunt for a good eye cream. A special thank you to Paula for allowing me to try all of these products out and give my honest feedback and recommendations to all of you. My opinions are my own, as always. :-)

4.|| The perfect appetizer. These make my mouth water just looking at them.

5.|| Speaking of things that make my mouth water…Anyone want a Kahlua Hot Chocolate? Go check out this recipe from Damn Delicious.

6.|| Danielle, from THE EVERYGIRL, shares her fabulous Chicago Apartment.

7.|| My friend introduced me to the amazing world of Pinterest Fails. My husband and I cried laughing in bed the other night looking through them. My favorite part? “Nailed it!”

influental

8.|| Beautiful new “Influence” art by Jen of MadeByGirl would be the perfect addition to any gallery wall, or inspirational piece in your office, or closet. I love that Jen’s art is always classy, and clean, and always adds a touch of glamour to any space.

9.|| When you let your kids play ball inside the house…amazing things {sometimes} happen. Watch this video until the end. Very inspiring.

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10. Day 4 of my “12 Days of Giveaway”!! Win this eclectic collection of holiday gifting items, like a gold glitter journal (great for keeping in your purse and making notes or lists), a gold polka dot bag, gift tags, gold polka dot pillow boxes (perfect for gift cards), red and white striped twine, magnetic to-do list, thank you cards, all occasion “&” cards, and fun pens. I want you to recieve these goodies with plenty of time to use them, so this giveaway will only last 5 1/2 days. All entries will be verified. This entry requires to follow Playdates + Pearls (by e-mail, or on bloglovin’) AND follow Playdates + Pearls on Instagram. All additional entries are optional. Good Luck!

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Oh, and HAPPY FRIDAY LOVES!

XO – Samantha

On the 3rd Day of Christmas….

starbucks card starbucks mug Starbucks-Creates-Wonder-Shares-Joy-with-Customers-this-Holiday-Season

Today’s giveaway is my personal favorite. I may or may not be a coffee addict, and also obsessed with all things black, white, and gold. I bought this darling limited edition mug by Alice + Olivia for myself, and knew I needed to snag another one for one of you.

I’ve been loving Caramel Brulee lattes lately, and the crunchy little golden sugar bits on top are absolute heaven. Camryn and I make trips to Starbucks a few times a week for Mommy/Daughter dates, and usually end up at our park afterwards. If I order her a hot chocolate, she promptly corrects me with “No Mommy, Cammy likes warm chocolate, not hot!” (Yes, she refers to herself in 3rd person….she’s a pistol.) Which holiday drink is your favorite?

BONUS…The mug comes with a special treat inside! :-)

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Because this mug is fragile, this will be a U.S. only giveaway. Sorry.

If you haven’t already entered Day 1, & Day 2‘s giveaways, GO NOW! The first winner will be announced tomorrow.

XO – Samantha

PS…A few of you have asked who won the Giveaway that I hosted with My Simple Kitchen for the Anthropology Apron and “Can’t Cook Book”. The winner was Aliesha Pentecost. Congrats to Aliesha, your gift is on it’s way!

On the SECOND day of Christmas…Giveaway + Cyber Monday

Let’s kick off the day with my Second Day of Christmas Giveaway! Keep reading for Cyber Monday links, and product info, as well as a little chit-chat.

Too-Faced-Be-Merry-Bright-Palette-Set

Today I am giving away the Too Faced “Be Merry & Be Bright” face palettes valued at $45. Ulta describes them as ”12 merry and bright shadows, 2 perfect blushes, 2 sexy bronzers and a volumizing Lash Injection mascara - to create a festive face for every Christmas party. Or break apart and give one palette away and keep one for yourself! The two palettes are all in a purse-friendly kit (inspired by celebrity decorator and TV personality Mary McDonald) with a full-size Lash Injection Mascara, so you can create your look morning, noon or night.” These palettes are BEAUTIFUL, and I almost kept them for myself….almost. For a full review and swatches, check out this post. You can enter to win below. Good Luck! :-)

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It’s officially December, and WOW, everyone is in the holiday spirit. I on the other hand haven’t even dug my holiday decor out of my closet. We bought Camryn her first Christmas tree, and decorated it, but my own tree is yet to find it’s way home with me. Ba-hum-bug. I blame my husband. Every time I even bring up the subject of getting a tree, or digging out our boxes of holiday decor, he shuts me down.  We officially have more stuff than we need, so we’ll be adding very little to our wishlist this year. I guess that’s why it’s taking us longer than usual to get in the spirit and start decorating…usually I live for tree shopping and turning my house into a winter wonderland. We’re going to have a very small, relaxing Christmas this year. Instead we’re putting most of our energy into making an amazing Christmas for a family we’ve “adopted” at the Ronald McDonald House who are very far from their home in Barbados, and have a 13 year old daughter fighting cancer at Dell Children’s Hospital. Shopping for them has been SO MUCH FUN!! I’ll post more on that soon.

Speaking of shopping, today is Cyber Monday. Here are the stores I’ll be shopping:

Starbucks: Take $25 off any purchase of $60 or more + free standard shipping. I bought a few of these over the weekend as gifts.

Tory Burch: 20-30% off (based on spend) with code HOLIDAY

H&M: 40% off your entire purchase + 25% off sale items. I bought these pajamas, more of my favorite skinny jeans, and a few gifts for the girl I “adopted”.

Old Navy: 30% off with code CYBER. I bought Camryn a few bits and bobs: PJ’s, shoes, and more shoes

Gap & Banana Republic: 40% off with code CYBER (My sister asked for workout gear for xmas, so I snagged these, and some other goodies. Sister, if you’re reading this, stop snooping. Geez!)

Lulu & Georgia: 30% off with code THANKS30

CWonder: 30% off everything with code GIFTS30. I absolutely love this monogrammed jewelry box.

Ulta: Deals on individual products, including 25% off Body Shop products. They are also offering $10 off all purchases of $50 or more, and a free gift bag worth $100 when making a $40 purchase or more.

JCrew Factory: 50% off everything with code HOLIDAY50

Lands End: 30% off everything with code WONDERLAND

ASOS: 20% (additional) off everything using code EXTRA20

Serena & Lily: 20% off with code THANKS20

And my personal favorite….Freshly Picked Moccs: 25% off your entire purchase with code BESTYEAREVER

Bath & Body Works is also running a bunch of sales, and are offering the VIP bag for $20. I bought this last year and was really happy with the products.

This is NOT a sponsored post, these are just places I’ll be shopping (or have already shopped for Black Friday).

I will update this list with any new information as I recieve it.

XO – Samantha

Gift Guide: Gift Swap $25 or Less

Today I have rounded up my favorite gifts under $25. So many of you asked for co-worker gift ideas, or gift swap ideas, and I think these are all perfect. Many of these items are MUCH less than $25, so pick your price point and shop my finds. Gift Guide- $25 or Less

1.|| Pattern Post Cards

2.|| Turquoise Glass Water Bottle

3.|| Twisted Peppermint B&BW Set

4.|| Harry & David Snack Box

5.|| 2014 Calendar

6.|| Body Shop “Born Lippy” Balm Collection

7.|| Essies Winter Nail Collection

8.|| Rose Gold Travel Mug

9.|| Coffee Connoisseur Kit

10.|| Tea Lover Set

Gift Guide- $25 or less pt2

1.|| Fox Cocktail Shaker

2.|| Navy Anchor Note Set

3.|| Rifle Paper Co. Floral Coasters

4.|| Kate Spade Bookmarks

5.|| One Line A Day Notebook

6.|| Olive Oil Dipping Set

7.|| “Put some hair on your chest” Flask

8.|| Burts Bees Skin Care

9.|| Lush Rosy Christmas Set

10.|| Christmas Kisses Lip Prep Kit

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving! I’ll be back on Friday, and kicking off the official “12 days to Christmas” countdown with a “Naughty or Nice” inspired giveaway. I will be hosting a giveaway every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday leading up until the 25th. 12 days, 12 prizes, DON’T MISS OUT!

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 8.35.18 PMXO – Samantha

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