Microblading @ Browworks by Nori

Microblading @Browworks by Nori

Hey ya’ll guess what I had done? That’s right, I got my eyebrows microbladed and I love them!!! Mother’s Day is right around the corner and May is a great month to treat mom to a spa treatment she has always wanted. 

I have been wanting to share my recent microblading experience, with Browworks by Nori, for about a month now. I am sure many of you have probably seen my preview pictures below, and mid procedure progress teasers. You see, I actually started my microblading journey back in February, but keep in mind the entire microblading process takes around 4-8 weeks from start to the final heal. Therefore, I have delayed my post so I could include my final healed photos after my touch up. This photo below is from my initial microblading procedure, and have since had one touch up to complete my brows.  

WHAT IS MICROBLADING

So many of you may be asking, what exactly is microblading? By definition- Microblading is a form of semi-permanent tattoo, that involves using a small specialty blades to deposit pigment under your skin. Ok, so now that your mind is reeling, let me just say it is painless, all you feel is a light scratching sensation on your brows. The final product is a set of flawless eyebrows with out any additional work from you. 

CLIENT PREP-

There are a few things you need to know prior to getting your brows microbladed. Nori at Browworks by Nori will be more than happy to go over all pre and post care procedures, and what you need to know leading up to your appointment.  It all pretty basic stuff like avoid tweezing or waxing your brows, mainly since your new brow shape will be based on measurements done before starting the procedure. Nori was great and made sure I liked the proposed new brow shape, size, and color prior to starting the procedure. You want to avoid using exfoliators and any skincare products containing glycolic acid, Retin A, Renova, and alpha hydroxy acids 72 hours before procedure. You will also be asked to avoid any blood thinning medications, such as aspirin, pain relievers and alcohol 24 hours before procedure. Pregnant, nursing, and diabetic clients should avoid the procedure all together. 

MY EXPERIENCE-

As you can see in the picture below, I have blonde hair, so my eyebrows have always been light. Although I am not sure where my eyebrows went over the years, as they have gotten progressively thinner the older I have gotten. I was so excited to hear that I could have a  proceedure to end my morning routine of filling my eyebrows just to make them even show up. To me the entire experience was relaxing, think of like a spa experience to get beautifully shaped eyebrows. The entire procedure takes about 3-4 hours, depending on how extensive your microblading needs are.  The first step as I mention above the to define your shape. The first hour Nori, measured my brows, drawing the shape in with removable eye pencil as guide. During this time, she could show me a basic idea of shape prior to beginning the procedure. Nori was actually able created a higher arch on top of my existing brow, essential giving me a brow lift as well, bonus!!! She truly is a brow genius.As far as the color goes there 5 main color that can be mixed to make 100’s of custom combinations to either match your natural brow color, or if you your like me to darken up what you already have and define your brow line. I was a mix of the light brown cappuccino with a just hint of boudreaux, since I do have red undertones in my natural hair color. Just like a visit to the hair salon, Nori keeps a client file with your custom mixed color so your touch ups are flawless.  

Before the microblading procedure begins, a topical numbing cream is applied to the brow area to minimize discomfort, followed by a liquid anesthetic. Once successfully numbed the blading process begins. You will hear a scratching sound, so if you know things like that bother you just ask for a headset during your procedure, or bring along some earbuds for your phone to listen to your own favorite tunes. Again as I mentioned above, it does not hurt, you just feel a slight pressure as the blade is pressed into your brows to make the surface cuts. Although some clients may feel a slight discomfort, I personally found that the procedure is relatively painless.  Also if I notice my numbing cream starting to wear off, I would let Nori know and she would add more numbing cream to the offending brow, and then move her work to my other pre numbed brow. 

As you can see in these pictures one brow is completed, and Nori is starting on my second brow. The pigment, located in the super cool the ring cup, is being injected directly into my brows, via the blade. After the cuts are made additional pigment can be wiped across the brows for additional absorbtion.

AFTER CARE-

The healing process is different for everyone, and it takes between 25 and 30 days to totally heal.  Keep in mind that you can not wash or even wet the area for the first week. The after care is similar to that of a tattoo: No pools, no sweating, using a healing cream like Aquafora. I did find that my brows swelled a lot the day after my procedure. So you might want to make sure your schedule your appointment during a stretch of down time, where you are not going to events, parties, etc. In about 5-7 days I looked completely healed, and was able to wash my face completely.  
This is a picture taken immediately after my first microblading touch up session. As you see my brows are very bold, full and starting to swell just a bit, which is to be expected. Now as for my unruly hair that’s an entirely different post….lol. 

TIP- After scheduling my touch up procedure,  I found out I would need to be in attendance at a funeral. Since I knew I had some swelling the previous time, I iced my brows the night after my touch the procedure. The next morning, I looked much better than the first time round. No redness or swelling, and I retained all my pigment. Losing pigment is a common concern when icing, so most technicians don’t recommend it, but if you find yourself in pinch like I did you can try it, but be  warned it could result in loss of pigment, I guess I was just lucky.

TOUCH UP’S-

About a month after the initial procedure it is recommend that you have one touch-up. Nori includes one touch up in your initial investment price. You can check out pricing at her link here, Browworks by Nori. The touch up is mainly to check how your body healed, make sure the pigment took properly, and if needed add in some additional strands to complete the fill process. If you have read anything about microblading, all professionals agree that you will retain more pigment your second time. In my opinion I agree with them, it seems like my brows stayed fuller and darker from the final touch up. I am now 6 weeks healed and they look amazing. In fact, they are so natural I have to tell people that I had them done, but when I look back at pictures pre microblading the difference is so dramatic. This is my completely healed picture 4 weeks after my final touch up. I am very happy with the final look and love the fact that I no longer have to pencil in my eyebrows to have them show up. So take if from me, if you are in the market for some new brows, I highly recommend Nori Blagg, @Browworks by Nori.

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE- Southern Style Sleeping Porch

One Room Challenge: Accepted

Mission: A Southern Style Sleeping Porch, completed in 6 weeks

Iā€™m so excited to announce that as of today, JENRON DESIGNS will be a guest participant in the Spring 2017 One Room Challenge Event (link here).  In case you are wondering what the “ORC” is, here’s the scoop. Twice a year, April/ October, for the past 11 seasons, the ORC has hosted over 200 interior design bloggers, as they join together and choose one room in their homes to make over. The designers only have six weeks, from start to finish in order to complete a full room transformation. Each week the guest designer’s will link their progress to the ORC host page Calling It Home (link here), and share their room’s progress. The best part you will be able to follow along with all the participants progress just by clicking the ORC (link here). The final completion date and big reveal of my Southern Style Sleeping Porch makeover will be on Thursday, May 12th!!!

 MY ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: A SOUTHERN STYLE SLEEPING PORCH

I have always wanted to have a sleeping porch for as long as I can remember. Picture it, being able to sleep outside under the stars, in the comfort of a screened porch on a plush full size bed. You slowly drift off to sleep form the sounds of the babbling creek, tree frogs and crickets. It sounds just like a little slice of heaven to me.  As you can see we have a pretty view from our back yard and porches. Our north 40 includes a small fishing lake view, and tree lined creek. Since we are so close to water each evening around 7:00pm the glorious sound of tree frogs begin followed by the the crickets as it gets darker at 8pm. As we get closer to summer the fireflies will also start to appear along the tree line. That is why I am so excited to be transforming our master bedroom screen porch into my long awaited sleeping porch. Honestly, the weather here has been so beautiful, my husband and I find ourselves falling asleep on the porch with just our comfy chairs and an ottoman, I can’t imagine actually having an actual bed out there. Oh, and I am sure the cats are going to love it too, they already spend so much time on our numerous porches add a bed and they will never leave this one. 

Here are some of the before pictures of our existing screen porch. This first one is from a year and half ago when we first moved in. It was all still raw wood, and no furniture, but you can see how private the yard is when the trees are greened up all the way. 

Last summer we painted the posts and rails to match the trim paint on our house which is Sherman Williams SW 7631 City Loft. I also decided to stain the floors with Thompson’s Water Sealer in Acorn Brown. I love the classic cape cod feel it lends to this space. I personally find that when you have a contrasting floor color and utilize your existing exterior trim color for railings, it tends to elevate the design of your deck or  screened porch, giving it a more custom designed look. Yes it is more labor intensive and takes time, but in this case I think the work is worth the reward.   As you can see we have utilized the space with basic outdoor deck furniture we had from our previous house. The layout is very basic and needs a wow factor . I am hoping that the edition of a full size custom made day bed will do just that. 

Also you can see that my porch is mainly utilized by my 5 cats (2 out of 5 seen here).They have a tendency to make an appearance when the camera comes out and have been seen in some of my previous posts. Since this was just the before pictures, I did not have the heart to wake them or move them out of the frame shot on such a pretty sunny day. 

MY COLOR INSPIRATION: SHADES OF SEA GLASS

My color inspiration comes from the shades of sea glass. I have always loved sea glass, pretty aquas, teals, greens and blues. I find these color very serine and relaxing, so it is fitting I would surround myself with them on my sleeping porch. Below is my inspiration board for where I would like to see my Southern Style Sleeping Porch project ending up. It is rather funny to think when I was interior design student, (OMG 20 years ago) that we used to cut fabric swatches and pictures from magazines to glue them on to an inspiration board. Now with modern technology I can digitally create a fabulous inspiration board.  

THE PLAN

So here is the plan, we are going to build a custom DIY bed out of old pallets, fingers crossed all goes well with that part. While I like the rustic style of this bed above, we plan to build ours in a day bed shape, so it will have a back and two arms. While the arms and back will be finished in the manner above, I want to keep the front side open showing off the pallet construction. Inside the open pallets we will add lights to create a ambient glow from inside the base of the pallets. We plan to obtaining a full size mattress fitted with an outdoor water proof mattress slipcover. Bedding in a similar color scheme as above, and a ton of pillows to lounge about on to sip wine and read a good book.

 I also plan  to install several outdoor curtain panels. A set of thick light blocking white linen panels for the  day time heat,  artfully tied back with a thick rope, and 1 set of sheer panel to obscure the view and blow gently in the breeze. I am thinking of utilizing iron plumbing pipe for drapery rods to add a rustic feel, and not mention hold up against the elements.  

As far as the accessories I am aiming for a rustic beachy vibe, maybe driftwood, glass buoy’s, possible a bench that could be pulled over as a ottoman or a rustic sideboard style table. Not sure what all that looks like just yet but we will get there. 

THE HISTORY OF HAINT BLUE CEILINGS

We will be painting the ceiling a historic Haint blue color from Sherwin Williams (story in link), a soft blue-green color which is a true southern porch tradition. A haint blue ceiling can be found on many famous southern porches from Charleston to Savannah. Legend has it that people painted the ceilings haint blue to look like the sky in order to confuses all the ghosts, spirits, haints or boohags, so they can’t come into you house. That’s right I said “boohags”, see I am truly a born and breed southern girl. Haints and Boohags are restless spirits of the dead who, for whatever reason, have not moved on from their physical world. Historically Haint blue, can also be found on door and window frames and, is intended to protect the homeowner from being “taken” or influenced by haints. It is said to protect the house and the occupants of the house from evil. We will only being doing the ceiling which I hear  you get less bugs on your porches with haint blue ceilings. Apparently the insects also think it is the sky, and not a shelter, so they are less likely to build a nest or web. 

THE BUDGET

As an ORC participant most interior designers procure sponsors to help off the project’s budget. Since this is my first time participating, and  I have not currently received any sponsorships, we will be taking on the entire budget ourselves. That being said, we are hoping for a cost effective out come and would like to keep the entire budget for this room under $1,500-$2,000. Since we plan to do a fair amount of DIY projects I believe this goal will be completely obtainable. 

 

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Chandelier Shopping

Chandelier Shopping

As many of you have seen JENRON DESIGNS company tag line is ” Good Designs Never Goes Out Of Style, It’s a Way of Life.” Today I would like to share with you all why  I believe this statement to be true. 

Below is a picture of my favorite chandelier in the entire house. I just love the way the iron filigree casts a beautiful light design in my stairwell at night. We have added a dimmer, which I recommend doing to all your lighting if possible. A dimmer allows you to control the amount of light at all times, so I can create a relaxed ambient vibe or crank it up to full blown “mop the floors , better not miss a spot” functional.

So not only is this a stunning light fixture, it also has an amazing story to go with it. The story actually proves that my design mantra above is in fact a true statement. This gorgeous chandelier was purchased from Progressive Lighting, no surprise I am sure, but here is the kicker….. It was purchased almost 10 years ago. At a tent sale….. yes I said tent sale. I actually ran full speed across the Gwinnett County Fair Grounds, with 100’s of other crazy light fixture people. I latch myself on to this beauty in order to get it for the absolute steal of $75. I know it’s  unbelievable, but I promise it’s a totally true story. The next generation of this beautiful Maxim Southern Foyer Pendent is still available at Progressive Lightening today for an everyday price of $1,100. We totally got a deal!!!

So moral of this story:

1) Always go to the Progressive Lighting Tent Sale, and choose wisely.

2) If you miss the tent sale check out the Progressive Outlet located at the 400 Cumming location, it’s in the back warehouse behind the showroom.

3) Always get classic pieces that will hold the test of time. Feel free to embrace a current trend with changeable items such as paint, pillows & accessories.  

So people have asked, why did you buy a huge light fixture and store it in the attic of your previous home? Well why not, I knew I planned to build bigger home at some point it was inevitable. I also knew that I loved the style of  this lantern style chandelier, and it had a classic feel that I knew would never go out of style. As far as it’s grand scale, well I was hoping build my new home with ceilings high enough to accommodate such a large fixture.  I really loved the fixture so it really did not matter to me if it went into a foyer, master bathroom, or bedroom. When my husband and I saw this beautiful open stairwell in Sharp Residential Highcroft model home, we knew right away that our $75 tent sale find would be the crowning jewel this area needed desperately. Please keep in mind we did have to install this ourselves after we closed on our home and moved in. I am sure every home inspector that came by  wondered why we had such heavy bracing for a simple Jeremiah ceramic lamp holder …..lol.

 This is another one of my tent sale finds that we used in one of our guest rooms to glam it up and make it feel special. Be sure to sign up for our monthly email updates, to see this room along with our “Shop My Style Details” for  this room. 

 

SHOP MY STYLE

WALL PAINT- Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- Pure White Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Mohawk 3″Forrest Lake Oak Color: Oxford LANTERN LIGHTS- Brickyard 3 light Foyer Pendents Wayfair  LAMP- Pier 1 METAL WALL ART-“GROW OLD WITH ME”JDH Iron Designs CONSOLE TABLE- Black with storage baskets Kirklands PLANT STAND- Pier 1 

Breakfast in Bed, for the Birthday Boy!!!

Breakfast in Bed for the birthday boy!!! Happy Birthday to my better half of JENRON DESIGNS, Ron Gainer!!!

“As you wish, you shall have your favorite breakfast, in bed. What shall I make you?”

I feel that if you are making breakfast in bed for the birthday boy, it should really be something he loves. Ron’s favorite breakfast meal as a child was “Toad in the Hole”. For those of you unfamiliar with “Toad in the Hole”, it consists of a sunny side up egg dropped into a piece of toast with a hole torn into it. Personally,  I would like to make him something a little more grown up, so how about a double sunny side up fried egg.

Culinary Tip: You can create different egg shapes with a cookie cutter. Just place the cookie cutter into your lightly greased skillet and drop egg or eggs inside to create a fun breakfast shape. I picked a heart shape cookie cutter to show my love!!! 

I placed the egg on top of toast, instead of inside, to keep the toast from getting soggy. It provides him with extra toast for  dipping, since in a traditional toad in hole you tear out the center the toast. I  added a double side of applewood smoked bacon which happens to be another one of his favorites.  I rounded it out with a side of yogurt topped with granola, coffee and juice for the perfect breakfast in bed. So did you notice that I arranged the food to spell out xox, for hugs and kisses……yeah it’s the details and little things for me. 

I love this sweet little juice carafe, it is actually a 2 pc.Water Carafe Set, from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I find myself using this style carafe in so many places. You know, I really love a good multi tasking item, two differnt uses minimum. Over the years I have used this one in the bathroom for mouthwash, and in a guest room for water. In this scenario it makes a perfect juice dispenser for breakfast in bed.

The Beechwood Folding Bed Tray above was actually a wedding gift. Can you believe it is  still available today, almost 20 years later? This just shows that when it is a good quality product, with classic style, it truly can last forever. I guess it is true- “Good Design Never Goes Out of Style, It’s a Way of Life”- Jennifer Gainer 

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SHOP MY STYLE

WALL PAINT- Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- Pure White Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Mohawk 3″Forrest Lake Oak Color: Oxford  CEILING FAN- Mystique 52″ 5 Blade Progressive Lighting LAMPS – HomeGoods  CURTAIN PANELS- West Elm Cotton Canvas Stamped Dot CURTAIN ROD- Bali Mercury Glass Rod JC Penney RUG- Pottery Barn Braylin Tufted BEDROOM SUITE- Haverty’s Bahamian Classic- Tobacco Cherry (Discontinued) WALL QUOTE- Loved You for a Thousand Years Huckleberry Creations 

A Whiskey Tasting Birthday Celebration

 A 40th Birthday Celebration surrounded by family, friends, cake and a Whiskey Tasting Bar!! What more could a man ask for?

 It’s that time of year again….. Birthday Celebration time. When we celebrate “the Ron half” of JENRON DESIGNS!!!!  I got a little nostalgic thinking about my husband’s big 40th birthday party we had last year, what a fun day it was. This year he’s getting breakfast in bed and going to see Logan. This is all he’s asked for, thank God I got a simple man.

I decided that even though the pictures are not to my current blog quality standards, I feel the content and concept is still something I want to share for TBT. We truly went all out for this party and did a blind whiskey tasting bar for our guests. We paired the samples with a large variety of Ron’s favorite bar snacks. Let’s be honest it was an upscale frat party….hahaha, the only difference was higher quality whiskey. 

Okay it is very hard to come up with a theme for a 40 year old man’s birthday. Male birthday’s have a tendency to take on either a sports theme or Backyard BBQ feel. Since Ron has a winter birthday, BBQ in the yard was a no go. As for the sports…. well unless your are into NASCAR or golf, that’s all that is happening around this time of year. I decide I want something with a manly cigar bar feel. He doe not smoke, however he does love Jack Daniels, and always has. That’s it, a Jack Daniels themed whiskey tasting party.
 I decided to create a logo based on the Jack Daniels Old No. 7 logo.  I chose to make  it an old No.40 in honor of his 40th birthday. These are some of the cupcake toppers I handmade. I also created numbered tags for the blind whiskey tasting and food menus.

Here is a finished picture of the Jack Daniels Vanilla Bean & Honey Cupcakes. I infused the icing with Jack Daniels Honey and also put some inside the cake batter as well. They tasted pretty darn good if I do say so myself, just the right balance of the whiskey flavor. You can also see how the theme of Jack Daniels Logo was carries into the food ID cards.

 At a large party, 30+ people,  it is important to lable your food clearly. So many people today have food allergies, and by having proper labeling you can advert a crisis. I also like to make easy grab and go appetizers so it’s easy to mingle, like these cute crudite’ cups. Pre sliced peppers, tri-color carrots and celery with a ranch dip in the base makes it easy to grab and go with no hassle of carrying a plate.  

In addition to having basic party drinks of bottled water, sodas, tea and lemonade, which can all be used as mixers for stronger drinks. I had him pick 6 whiskey’s he wanted to try and of course we made No. 7 would be his favorite Jack Daniels. Above is how we set up the actual whiskey tasting bar. We actually placed the various Whiskey’s  into matching decanter’s with numbers for a blind tasting. Some had fun flavors whiskey’s, while others were more refined international blends like Canadian or Irish Whiskey. I was able to find plastic thimble sized shot glasses, at Oriental Trading Company.  That way people could try all 7 kinds,  without having 7 full shots of whiskey. We also had tasting sheets for people to guess or make notes of what they tasted from each bottle before the big reveal. 

When you have a large party it always nice to have a fun activity to commemorate the event. I rented a photo booth because lets be honest if your drinking a lot of whiskey who doesn’t want pictures of that? We used great local company which provided all the props and even was able to match our custom logo theme to the top of the commemorative pictures. As the host we received a CD of all pictures taken and the guests were able to request the number of copies they wanted from the photo attendant.

I always like to do party favors, or giveaways. To me if people take the time out of there busy lives to come to your event, you should make them feel special. I found this cute idea on Pintrest and I just added our Jack Daniels theme to it. As our guests would leave for the evening, we plied them with a “Hit the Road Jack n’Coke” for night cap for later. Who says the party has end after you go home right?

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SHOP MY STYLE

WALL PAINT- Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams TRIM PAINT- Pure White Sherwin Williams FLOORS- Mohawk 3″Forrest Lake Oak Color: Oxford CEILING FAN- Fanimation Odyn: 8 Blade Brushed Nickel, Black Progressive Lighting  TV- Sony 65″ LED – 2160p – Smart – 4K Ultra HD TV Best Buy  SPOOL CHAIRS- Fabric: Cruise Adrift  Henderson Chair Birch Lane SWIVEL CHAIRS- Milo Leather Gray Hayneedle NESTING TABLES- Granger Nesting Side Tables Pottery Barn  RUG- Emilie 10×12 Joss & Main TOBACCO BASKET- Yesterday’s Antiques Gatlinberg, TN 

Bathroom Makeover- DIY Barn Wood Mirror Frame

Bathroom Makeover- DIY Barn Wood Mirror Frame

The Sneak Peek is complete!!!!  Presenting our DIY barn wood mirror frame

This was quick DIY project from the past weekend. Yes, I know it is more shiplap…. I told you it was migrating all over my house. On this project we used the barn wood colored trim boards instead of the actual shiplap cut boards.  Honestly, the last two projects of the Fireplace (click to link) & Drop Zone (click to link) that we have done; this project is actually the perfect way to use up extra supplies you might have bought. For example too many trim boards during your fireplace project šŸ™‚

So as you can see we have the standard install builder grade flat sheet  mirrors. They provide no character or interest to the space, but I do like the size. They reflect a lot of light which makes our bathroom seem much larger. I could easily rip them down and put fun individual framed ones; but because of the scale of the bathroom along with length of the vanities I felt incorporating smaller framed mirrors would not read as well as the larger mirrors do. So the decision was made to frame them out. We did this same technique in our previous home and loved the outcome. 

We measured the length and height of each mirror and decided in keeping with our rustic theme, we would blunt cut or square cut the boards instead of mitering the corners together. I personally felt like to miter cut the corners were a little to traditional and formal for my current home. Our previous home was a traditional style, brick home so it warrented miter cut corners, but we built our new home to the feel of a modern farmhouse. In the spirit of a farm house we opted for simpler cuts, which my husband was thrilled about, it made the project much easier for him. 

Once you have made your cuts all you have to do is glue the boards to the mirror. We used Liquid Nails Fuze It- multi surface, which will adhere wood to glass. It takes about 10 minutes to permanently set. We used 3M Scotch Blue Painters tape to hold the frames in place over night just to be safe.  As you can see the finished project gives a whole lot charter and interest for very little time, effort or energy. Designer Tip: If you are not very handy, you can purchase pre cut frames from Mirror Mate, keep in mind that your are paying for the measure and cut work to be done for you, but you still have to adhere it to the mirror yourself.

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The Art of a Perfect Bath

The Art of a Perfect Bath

Have we lost the art of a perfect bath?

I can not begin to tell you how sad it makes me, to hear that people today are opting out of bath tubs in their homes. I have heard people say ” they are just dust catchers” and ” just give me a huge shower”. Well yes, I love a palatial shower as much as the next guy, in fact I have huge a double headed shower in my master bath. Although, I  could not image living without my jacuzzi bath tub. I try to take a relaxing bath at least once a week, especially in the winter when it is cold outside, a nice hot steamy bath cures all that ails you.

Yes, the perfect bath is truly a lost art. I have said before in previous post that I believe in living a resort lifestyle, where you are able to integrate work, play and relaxation. Stress is one of the big killers today, it ages us, causes us to develop physical and metal illnesses; it effects our sleep habits and lets not even get me started on “eating your feelings”. So don’t you think your health is worth carving out a little “you time” and relaxing with a dip in the tub?

Well once you have decided to allow yourself some much needed R&R, my advice is not to skimp on the bath products. After all if you taking the time to do something nice for yourself, using good quality products will only enhance your tub time. I like to create my own spa like experience at home. Soft tranquil spa music, super fluffy white towels, maybe some scented candles and fantastic products. I have specific seasonal items I use depending on the time of year, to sooth my skin or sore tired muscles.

BEAUTY SECRET: It is incredibly good to dry brush your skin prior to baths, or even showers, especially during the dry winter months. I like the softer boar bristle brush shown above, it’s not not harsh but does a nice job of exfoliating my skin prior to a nice hot soak.   

I personally love Jo Malone Orange Blossom bath oil in the winter. The bright citrus smells perks up any cold dark day. It is a  fresh mixture of clementine flower, orange blossom and water lily, with warm undertones of orris and balsamic vetiver. The oil is enriched with sweet almond, jojoba seed and avocado oils, are natural conditioners to soothe and hydrate my dry skin, so it is a pure delight for a sumptuous bathing treat especially in the winter months.

SAVVY SHOPPER HINT: If you sign up for email reminders from Jo Malone they offer free engraving of their products. Nothing says “Lux” to me, like having my initials engraved atop that pretty silver cap of my favorite Jo Malone fragrance. 

Another good bath product to aways keep on hand are Epsom Salts. I am sure you have heard of Epsom salt baths from your mom or grandma when you were a kid, it’s a cure all. Epsom salt is a natural exfoliate and anti-inflammation remedy that can be used to help to relieve sore muscles and will actually pull toxins out of your body. Epsom salts are perfect to relieve the pain from tired achy muscles if you have a cold, or as a post exercise workout treatment. They also have the ability to reduce swelling and increase circulation, soothe muscles, relieve tired feet, aid in leg cramps, and relax the mind. Did you know the quickest and most effective way for magnesium to be absorbed through the body is through an Epsom salt bath? Magnesium is responsible for many different processes in the body including, controlling blood sugar, regulating blood pressure and making new proteins. I personally like the Dr.Teals brand of Epsom salts they have lots of different types and scents for specific skin type.

DESIGNER TIP: I store mine, as seen above, in a pretty glass apothecary’s jar and use a large scallop sea shell for the scoop. I really like the idea of displaying my bath products as part of the bathroom decor.

I also use an apothecary jar to store hand creams I might have picked up while traveling. **Some hotels have very high end creams which are totally worth squirreling away in the luggage for later. 

I also use an Apothecary jar to store my large collection of LUSH bath bombs, these bath bombs are by far my favorite on the market today. LUSH is a great company, with organic handmade products, no animal testing and environmentally friendly. In addition to the fact they have so many amazing, one of a kind scent combinations, which really plays up the aromatherapy spa portion of bath time. If you have never used them be prepared, some of them such as the Dragon’s Egg have gold glitter and confetti inside the bombs, which are completely biodegradable, but can leave behind some tub residue. Nothing has ever stained my tub or made a huge mess. In fact, the Dragon’s Egg is one of my all time favorite bath bombs, the color is visual stunning while dissolving, the lasting smell of lemon and bergamot makes me smile, and don’t forget about that kiss of gold sparkle on left my skin.  

Ok, so maybe you are a purest and sparkles and rainbow swirls are just not your thing. Then allow me to present my favorite soap, the Lemon Verbena Organic Olive Oil Soap by 100 % Pure. These “superfatted” bars contain highest amount of organic plant oils and steam distilled essential oils to make them a very high quality extra luxurious organic soap, with a very full rich lather. It is a soap that smells amazing and you can feel good about, organic palm oil is RAN (Rainforest Action Network) certified, the organic red palm fruit oil produced in Brazil with no orangutan habitats or other wildlife affected from the harvesting of the palm nuts. 100% Pure is company that is also a passionate advocate for animal rights and is committed to producing the highest quality products without ever directly or indirectly hurting animals.BEAUTY SECRET: I also like to give my hair a hot oil treatment or moroccan oil treatment, while I am in the tub. I apply the oil to my dry hair and the wrap in a twirly towel and the steam from the tub and towel do the rest. 

Finally enjoy your soak, and do whatever it is that helps you to decompress and relax. Whether you put cucumber slices over your eyes and meditate, catch up reading a good book, or like me flip through the pages of your favorite magazines. Whatever it is, just enjoy your time to yourself to clear your mind, recharge your battery and become a better you. 

DESIGNER TIP:  I prefer the usage of all white towels in a home for three reasons:

  • One, white invokes a spa like quality of cleanliness.
  • Two they are very easy to keep crisp, clean and maintenance, by bleaching and there is no color fading.
  • Three easy of replacement, since they are all white it’s a snap, no color matching.

If this post isn’t enough to make you want to go take a good soak, you must not be a bath kind of person. Well I am, and I can hear that tub calling my name right now. Happy Bathing!!!

 

Just in case you want a little extra reading while you enjoy your bath:

 

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The Lux Mini Bar Armoire

THE LUX MINI BAR AMOIRE

How to put a luxurious, rockstar mini bar in your very own bedroom. 

One of my favorite things about going on vacation is booking a super luxurious hotel room. You know the kind, with a super plush luxurious bed all made up with high thread count sheets, a fantastic bath suite full of fancy spa themed toiletries, and of course an off the chain mini bar.

Now everyone knows the mini bar is a complete rip off. I mean $12.00 for a bag of pretzels and $8.00 for Sprite, that is not the way to spend your hard earned cash on vacation. But we have all done it… yes, we have open up the illicit mini bar just to peer inside at all it’s tasty contents, only to slam it shut and think, oh my why did I even have to look. 

Well I believe in living a resort lifestyle so that every day in your own home feels like a mini vacation. In fact I love my house so much, the hubby has to take me to some pretty special places to even get me out of it. So I decided to adapted my old, antique Armoire into my very own mini bar. The armoire over the years has lost it’s usefulness, as we no longer use it to hide away the television and all our clothes go into the closet. Then it hit me, I know we will buy a mini fridge and put it inside to create a mini bar in our master bedroom…..GENIUS!!! So that is exactly what we did, and now we live like rockstars in our daily lives.

As you can see we purchased a mini refrigerator, you can pick one up for about a $100 at most local retailers, I think ours came from Walmart. I personally liked the ones that had a small freezer, so you can have ice for drinks, or store some ice cream snack bars.

DIY TIP: If your armoire does not already have cable holes in the back you may have to drill one out for the plug to pass through.

Then we added clear stackable acetate closet shelves bins for snack storage. We purchased them from The Container Store, the large bins were $19.99 and the small bins were $9.99. I added a cute linen bar topper, sparkly glassware and voila, your very own in room mini bar.

BEAUTY SECRET: I also like to utilize the mini bar to store some of my beauty products as well, like face masks, and cooling eye gels. Oh they feel so good when they are applied straight from the refrigerator cold, and it also really helps with eye puffiness too.

So save your self the trip down stairs for that late night snack of cookies and milk, or just hide all the really good snacks from the kids, either way it’s a win win. Everyone I have shown this too loves the idea, and can’t wait to add one to their home. 

This can also be a super cute idea for a guest room, as well, however your guests may decided they never want to leave.      

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