easy, breezy summer style

Here in Texas we’ve been hitting 90 degrees before noon. I always try to dress for comfort–especially in the sweltering heat. In fact, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t in a t-shirt and shorts 85% of the time, but there are also times that I want to look a little more put-together. I love dresses because they’re so easy. I’m never too great at putting separates together, but a dress requires no extra thought. Give yourself a cute little side braid, toss on a fedora and some stylish earrings and you’re good to go. No one has to know that you only spent 5 minutes getting ready!

easy, breezy summer style

 

 

 Whitney Port image source

loving lately

I’ve been challenging myself to break out of my shell as far as home décor goes. I’ve always loved color but I also tend to stay in a safe little bubble of beige and neutral. Boring! I solved that problem when I painted the wall in our entry/living room a bright turquoise color and I’m so glad I did! I’m not saying go buy a gallon of neon paint, but I do think it’s nice to do something to surprise yourself once in a while. I’ve enjoyed incorporating more color into our home which leads me to the theme of this loving lately post: brights + metallics foreva!

Valerie Wieners Art Names of God Print Lat and Lo Cuff Bracelet Swim Zip Swimwear Swankaroo Kaleidoscope backpack Kris Nations Custom Stud Earrings Stay and Co Pillows

Valerie Wieners Art Names of God Print
Lat and Lo Cuff Bracelet
SwimZip Swimwear
Swankaroo Kaleidoscope backpack
Kris Nations Custom Stud Earrings
Stay and Co Pillows

 

1.) Valerie is one of the gals I love to see in my Instagram feed. Her artwork is gorgeous and SO unique {and she has an amazing testimony!} I love the way she illustrates and hand-letters scripture and want her work all over my home! This print doesn’t even show a fraction of her talent–it’s just one of the many on my wish list! If you’re one of those people that says “oh, I’ll check it out later..” DON’T WAIT! Go check it now because she’s having a HUGE sale that starts tonight! I’m also loving her instant printable coloring pages.

2.) Lat and Lo is not helping my jewelry obsession at all! These cuffs are such a great gift idea {hint, hint, husband!} for anyone. I love meaningful, custom jewelry. I also love the fact that if you don’t know the coordinates of your location they will find them for you! So cool!

3.) If you’ve read my post about sunscreen then you know how I feel about littles and sun safety! How cute and practical are these SwimZip suits?! A direct quote from the site says “all SwimZip swimwear styles provide 50+ UV Protection and block 98% UVA & UVB rays.” They have the cutest styles for boys, girls and adults as well. I just couldn’t resist this sweet watermelon print for girls!

4.) Is it irrational that these Swankaroo backpacks make me giddy like a schoolgirl? I really want one. I mean, Remi is the one that needs a backpack but I REALLY am looking for a good excuse to buy myself one as well. So far I’ve got nothing. I figure the camo one would be perfect for my little guy but maybe I should just get the cute Kaleidoscope print and carry it for him? ;)

5.) Yet another custom jewelry option…I may or may not have a jewelry problem! One of the coolest things about these Kris Nations stud earrings is that you can choose from symbols, letters and states. You can also pick your finish of gold, silver, or one of each. Just another thing to add to my ever growing wish list and gift idea list!

6.) I’ve been swooning over these Stay and Co. gold pillows for a few months, but since painting our living room wall and changing a few things up {namely, adding gold and coral as accent colors} I think they would look perfect in our living room! Stay and Co. is a mash-up of two successful stand-alone shops that grew exponentially and decided to join together, hire help, and develop a new brand. I love their play on words for “Stay Home” and “Stay Little“.

 

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Easter pictures {part two}

Technically, these are really our Easter pictures, taken on Easter Sunday. The other pictures I posted {mainly of Remi} were from a few days before Easter. We had a great Easter and I’m so glad Jarrett got to be home! We were able to celebrate by going to church as a family {woohoo!} and then had lunch at my mom’s house. The Easter Bunny still visits and fills our old baskets. :) Remi had lots of fun checking out his new goodies, hunting eggs and dying them too!

Tip: click on a picture to view it larger and scroll through.

I love that all families celebrate differently. What are your Easter traditions?

xo, Kelsey

loving lately

This post is dedicated to a little {big} holiday coming up soon. Nope, Easter was last weekend. I’ll give you a hint: you’ve got about 17 more shopping days for this special day. And trust me–you’re definitely going to want to buy something for your MOM! Let this be a little guide for that hard-to-buy-for Momma of yours. While you’re at it, have a listen to one of my all-time favorite Mom songs {With the exception of Mama Tried}. Blame it on my roots.

loving lately gift guide via this heart needs blog

1. Voluspa Baltic Amber Candle 2. Dolly and Frances Teepee 3. Custom Watercolor Home Portrait via Pattern on Pattern 4. Nena and Co. Crossbody Tote 5. The Painted Arrow print

 

1.) Indulge mom {and yourself} with one of Voluspa’s candle tins. If you’ve ever been to Anthropologie, you’ve experienced these candles! All of the scents are lovely and the packaging is gorgeous which is a win-win in my book. I’ve bought a few candles that smelled great but just didn’t sit pretty. I love that these are the best of both worlds. There are several different scents, but I chose the Baltic Amber. I’m beginning to love more complex, warm scents in lieu of sugar cookie and other sugary sweet scents I would have chosen a few years ago. You can read more details and purchase this from one of my favorite local boutiques, Ruffled Feathers.

2.) I know this isn’t exactly a mom-friendly gift, but what is a loving lately post {from–ahem–a momma} without something for the babes?! I’m all over the teepee band wagon. I think they are such fun gifts and really encourage imaginative play. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful handcrafted teepees, but never any this intricate. These are works of art! While I’ll admit they’re a little frilly for my boy, I think they would absolutely enhance a little girl’s room. I kind of want one. For my room. Dear husband, purchase here. HA!

3.) Not only would these custom watercolor home portraits make the perfect Mother’s Day gift–they would be great wedding gifts as well! This custom art piece comes on an 11×15 piece of watercolor paper and looks beautiful in a frame. I’m not even sure if our first home is still standing, but I definitely want one of the home we live in now! It’s meaningful to me since it’s the house that made us homeowners and holds many memories and firsts for our little boy. Another memorable option would be a portrait of the house your mom was raised in or the house she raised her family in.

*edit: Save 15% if you purchase here, but they’re selling like hot cakes so grab one quick!

4.) Perfection in a crossbody bag. I’ve been following Nena and Co. on Instagram for a few months now and have been coveting these gorgeous hand loomed Guatemalan patterns. Do yourself a favor and read about the “Peace Pilgrim” and SADEGUA projects that the company is involved in. I can’t think of a better reason to buy this fringed beauty!

5.) Another pretty print that’s gift-worthy for mom. Hillary of The Painted Arrow is immensely talented and I’m happy to say I have two of her prints in my home! I love the fact that you can either purchase a physical print OR a digital download to be printed in the comfort of your own home. Pajama shopping is the best shopping. Am I right? While you’re at it, why don’t you snag this recipe card on sale for five bucks. Perhaps with the intentions of learning the secret of mom’s famous banana nut bread? ;)

 

One last thing I’m loving lately is the American Blogger film by Christopher Wiegand. I can’t wait to sit down and watch it uninterrupted. Christopher’s wife, Casey Wiegand is one of my favorite bloggers. You may have heard of her. Casey, along with two other bloggers, dreamed up and brought to life HopeSpoken. I’m praying that God will work out the details and I can go next year. I need that kind of sister-to-sister fellowshipping in my life!

 

Ok, one last love: this sunshine!

 

Is your mom hard to buy for? I’d love to know if this gift guide gave you any ideas!

xo, Kelsey

how to style camo skinnies

Camo. You love it or you hate it. In this family, we love it. Not in a Mossy-Oak-living-room-furniture kind of way {although my husband would be totally for it}. But it’s definitely a common pattern seen in our home due to my man’s outdoors-y ways and my little boy’s desire to copy all things Daddy related. I, however, prefer to put a more fashionable spin on things. I spotted a pair of camo skinnies at Marshall’s during the holidays and fell in love. They’ve become a staple in my wardrobe and I love seeing how many different outfit combos I can come up with. Dress them up, dress them down–these babies are my new faves! {Sorry, yoga pants.} I’m a pretty casual gal so I wanted to share with you how I normally style my camo skinnies. I tried to find products that were most similar to what I have so ignore the price tag on those pants! I promise you I didn’t pay over $35 for mine!
casual in camo

H M blue top
$34 – hm.com

Mossimo grey shirt
target.com

R13 brown skinny jeans
$580 – donnaida.com

Converse sneaker
nordstrom.com

Charlotte Russe brown purse
charlotterusse.com

Would you ever wear camo pants? How would you style them?
xo, Kelsey

loving lately

I’ve been wanting to do one of these posts for so long! I have always loved flipping through magazines and seeing what the “hot” new products were for the season. When Remi was brand new I couldn’t get enough of the “baby must-haves” articles. Now I love scrolling through social media to see what is trendy {whether I follow the current trend or not!} I hope you enjoy this new little series called {loving lately}. I’ve curated a little sampling of things that I think are beautiful, fun and just plain happy. I love things that bring a smile to my face each time I look at them.

1. Freshly Picked Moccs 2. Whitney Dobson Designs earrings 3. Coconut Beach body scrub 4. Common Rebels night light 5. Pepper Ink temporary tattoos 6. Top Knot Goods tee

1. Freshly Picked Moccasins
2. Whitney Dobson Designs earrings
3. Coconut Beach body scrub
4. Common Rebels night light
5. Pepper Ink temporary tattoos
6. Top Knot Goods tee

1. Can we just begin with a big fat *sigh*?! I have been in LOVE with Freshly Picked Moccasins from the very first time I laid eyes on them. The lady that founded the company is SO stinking inspiring. She was recently on the show Shark Tank! How cool is that?! The camo moccasins just launched and they’re already sold out. I’m thinking Remi definitely needs a pair!

2. There are only three words you need to remember for all of your future wish lists: Whitney Dobson Designs. Stunning, handcrafted pieces. I cannot pick my favorite. I seriously just can’t decide. I want them all! My flavor of the week is the Rutilated Amethyst with Mystic Clear Quartz Earrings I’m not quite sure what all of those fancy words mean but they look like an absolute DREAM!

3. With warmer temps fast approaching, I need something to get my dry winter skin in tip-top shape. I’m thinking this Farmhouse Fresh Coconut Beach body scrub I spotted in the Junk Gypsy shop will be the perfect thing for that! Who doesn’t need a little pineapple coconut goodness in their day? I’m dreaming of the beach already!

4. We are super lucky that Remi isn’t afraid of the dark but I don’t think I’d mind if he asked for one of these Common Rebels nightlights! I stumbled across the Common Rebels website a while back and I’m so glad I did. The nightlights aren’t just for the kidlets either–they have some beautiful designs that would be perfect in a guest bathroom or hallway!

5. Did every teen have a rebel phase? I know I did. Sort of. I mean I never actually followed through with getting a tattoo but I thought about it a lot. HA! I’ve always loved tattoos–tasteful, meaningful ones. I’m too indecisive to actually get one, so these tiny temporary tattoos by Pepper Ink were practically made for me. They’re so cute!

6. Last but not least, I’ve been loving Top Knot Goods. Their clothes have a fun, carefree vibe that I’m really loving at the moment. I’ve mentioned before that I have no specific style. I just go with what I like at the moment. Their No Rest for the Rad tee makes me smile. I’ve seen it dressed up and dressed down and it looks great both ways! I think all moms need this shirt!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo, Kelsey

bohemian photo shoot

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen some pictures from the photo shoot I worked on a few weeks ago.  Well, I’m finally posting more pictures and details! This shoot wasn’t necessarily “for” anything…just for fun! It was a collaboration with a wonderful photographer friend of mine. We both had a tiny spark of a vision and he allowed me to run with it and fill in all of the details. I had so much fun finding inspiration photos, props, jewelry, and outfits. I have done hair and makeup quite a bit, but never styling or wardrobe. It was definitely fun to try out something new!

The idea was a bohemian, 70’s-inspired shoot. I wanted a care-free style that still felt chic. A polished, Anthropologie vibe if you will. Several people have seen the photos and said “I don’t get it.” Don’t think too hard. Just enjoy!

Katie (the gorgeous model) has such lovely features. I die over that eye color and those perfectly plump lips! I gave her a whimsical braided crown across the forehead with loose, un-done curls. Bronze-y lids, lots of lashes, natural looking flushed cheeks, defined brows, and a pretty rose lip. PERFECTION!

on the drive to the location. isn't she just gorgeous? so glad to have Katie as our model!

on the drive to the location. isn’t she just gorgeous? so glad to have Katie as our model!

So without further adieu, I present to you the AMAZING pictures!

model in front of vintage Paramount movie theatre in Marshall, Texas

Paramount Theater | Marshall, Texas

model on bench downtown Marshall, Texas

I swear Marshall is literally a ghost town until you start taking pictures in the middle of the road!

I swear Marshall is literally a ghost town until you start taking pictures in the middle of the road!

model with aviator sunglasses and braided crown

gah..just perfect!

Mr. Photographer posing Katie perfectly

Mr. Photographer posing Katie perfectly

The above photo is from my iPhone. John had the vision to use this brick storage shed as a backdrop. I agreed it would be interesting, but had no idea how it would end up looking with the graffiti and what not. OH MY GOSH. When he sent me the picture below I almost flipped out. That’s talent, y’all! I don’t even know how he does it. I don’t even want to know!

model in downtown Marshall, Texas

another favorite. yet again, I already owned all of the jewelry. the charm bracelet is my grandmother’s.

Next, we took our shoot a little ways down the road to North Longview. These beautiful pastures close to where I grew up have always been near and dear to my heart. They were the perfect backdrop. My only regret is that we did not have enough time to get all of the shots we wanted after the sun went down.

a little shot of my big ol' messy bun in action! haha

a little shot of my big ol’ messy bun in action! haha

bohemian princess holds embellished bouquet

total bohemian princess!

bohemian model in open pasture

Finally, a not-so-serious expression! Definitely a fun, care-free shot. The dress was found at Ross. The necklace was previously a tassel that hung out on my Nanny’s dresser until I revamped it. The lace shawl also belongs to my Nanny. Everything else was something I already owned. I literally cannot express how much fun it was to find all of these things for cheap or free. That’s just my style. I love a good bargain! The lanterns pictured below were created from jars, lace, twine, and wire I already had at home. I absolutely LOVE the ambiance they created for these dusky pictures.

model in wooded pasture with mason jar lanterns

lantern light

I will always treasure these photos from my first photo shoot! Thanks to John Preston for bringing my vision to life and for allowing me to post these pictures! I can’t wait to work with you again! Thanks Miss Katie (soon-to-be-MRS.) for being the perfect model! I am so thankful for friends and family that believe in me! I hope all of you loved these photos as much as I do!

Don’t forget there is a contact form if you are interested in booking me for makeup for your special event.

To view more of John’s work click here.

To view a video of the shoot, click here.

love, love, love,

Kelsey

that’s the good stuff

I started writing this post about a week ago. I struggled with deciding if I should even post it. I didn’t want to let anyone know that I’d been going through anything. It’s so much easier to pretend things are great. But that’s the problem with our social media obsession–we think things are just fine with everyone. We feel abnormal if our life isn’t perfect. I want this blog to uplift people. This is where I tell my story–where I share the things I’ve experienced. That is what this heart needs. To share, to vent, to learn. That’s what this is all about.

Soooo if the creative arts don’t spark your interest or you’re not too keen on reading about the discovery one’s self, this post is probably not for you. Jarrett, you’re totally excused from reading this one! ;)

cre·a·tive

krēˈātiv
adjective
1. relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work.
  • (of a person) having good imagination or original ideas.synonyms: inventive, imaginative, innovative, experimental, original, artistic, expressive, inspired, visionary, enterprising, resourceful
noun informal
noun: creative
1. a person who is creative, typically in a professional context.
 

I’ve struggled with myself for a long time—with thinking I’m not good enough–wondering what is enough? The enemy has played upon my insecurities for far too long and I’m starting to figure it out. This post is about that discovery and then some. If you’ve ever dealt with that same struggle, I hope you’ll keep reading.

I’ve loved the arts for as long as I can remember. I’ve always looked for ways to exercise my God-given abilities in some creative outlet: I danced. I sang. I played piano. I played the trumpet. I made jewelry. I wrote. I drew. I painted. I took pictures. I did makeup. I stitched. I crafted. I love all of these things. They each make up a tiny piece of me that can never be taken away. But I never considered myself good. I never thought I was creative enough or interesting enough or inspired enough to create something that someone else could enjoy. I did these things for me, of course; but I wanted to create something that someone outside of myself would love. I never once thought that maybe I wasn’t seeking the right audience—I just thought I wasn’t creating the right things. So I stopped. I stopped creating. I stopped thinking about creating and I lost a little part of my happiness. Now, I can see the bigger picture.–bigger than East Texas. It excites me to know that my work can travel farther than I ever could. Knowing that someone in another country is viewing my blog, for example, is so awesome to me. However, it’s not about my recognition–it’s about making HIS name known. My blog has a platform {however small it may be} to tell someone about Christ and I pray that He is always at the center of each one of my endeavors. With that being said, here are a few things I’ve learned along this journey:

  • When you stop worrying about how things are “supposed” to be, you can start creating something that’s worthwhile.

  • Stop apologizing for the things that you love.

  • Learn to let yourself be vulnerable.

Anyone that has any kind of talent and puts it out there for the world to see is putting themselves in an extremely vulnerable position. If you fail, at least it means you tried. If someone else doesn’t like what you do–WHO CARES? You should be creating things that YOU love. That’s the good stuff…the stuff that matters. Do things that make your heart happy! Creativity aside, I feel like these little bits of “wisdom” {for lack of a better word..I’m so not calling myself wise!} can be applied to so many aspects of life:

Family: every single family is different. Just because you’re not a Pinterest-ing, stay-at-home, home-schooling, fashion-blogging, every-single-meal-cooking mom does not mean you’re not a great mom. Just because you don’t send your child to a private school or make scrapbooks to document each month of your child’s life or make all of your child’s clothes does not mean you don’t love your kiddos! You have to find what works for you and your family. There is no right or wrong. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Remember that everything is not what it seems–people choose what they put on the internet. The rest can be pretty messy. Trust me.

Fashion: this goes back to the creative thing. Style is something so personal and expressive that no two people should have the exact same look. It’s one thing to be inspired by someone’s style but it’s another thing to completely copy it. Be yourself. Don’t buy things just because they’re trendy or popular. Buy things that you love–things that you know you’ll wear for years to come. Guess what…I still wear clothes from high school! I have some really great pieces that have held up well over the years and the best part is I still love them. When you buy into the trends you’re wasting your money. Do you really want to sink your hard earned money into a new wardrobe every season because it’s trendy? I know I don’t! Stick with what you love. Don’t let your own personal style be defined by someone else or by what’s on the runway. If you must have that tribal print top {or other fashionable item} search at places like TJ Maxx and Target. Don’t sink your money into something you know you won’t wear that often anyway. Look for bargains and shop clearance racks. Shop your closet, shop your mom/friend/grandma’s closet. You would not believe the things I’ve found in my Nanny’s closet. Just a little Macklemore style. Ha! It’s way more fun to find a bargain on something and then save that cash treat yourself to a latte. Am I right?

Faith: I will never, ever, ever apologize for what I believe. I will never apologize for loving Jesus. I will not be quiet about a gracious, loving God that has redeemed me. I am REDEEMED! I can’t keep something like that in. I pray that I can fully understand the power of that statement. I’m feeling quite vulnerable as I write about this, but I’m also feeling confident. Confident that someone needs to read this. I don’t want to be shy about my faith. I want to share it. I want to obsess over my relationship with Jesus before I even think about my first cup of coffee in the morning. I want to encourage others just as I have been encouraged. It’s easier said than done, but I know that’s what God wants for me and for you. I also know that when you pray for the will of God it will happen every. single. time. That’s encouraging!

Goodness gracious! If you stayed til the end, props to you. I always start out with an idea about where my post is going and before I know it, all of the million other thoughts in my head spill out onto the keyboard. Just imagine what’s going on inside this red head of mine 24/7! Yikes! And I’m pretty sure I just came up with a new tagline: Family, Fashion, Faith. Except I’m not fashionable. At all. Awkward. Maybe it’s a good tagline for someone else!

And because a post is not complete without a Remi picture….remi laugh remi sleep

As Remington would say, “See ya lata, addigatuh!”

the perfect neutral lip

I’ve been meaning to do a tutorial on this for a while now. I always get asked what I’m wearing on my lips. It’s not really just a lipstick…it’s a formula. A “secret recipe” if you will, and today I’m sharing my secret. :) I’m going to go ahead and apologize for the pictures. They’re pretty terrible and definitely don’t do this lip color any justice. I waited too late in the day and the lighting in my house is less than stellar!  I’m not wearing any makeup on my face so that’s why you’re getting an awkward close up of my lips. I felt kind of like Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights “I don’t know what to do with my hands!” Except I didn’t know what to do with my lips! Ok, on to the tutorial!

LIPS

1.) Start with a lip liner a few shades darker than you natural lip color. As always, I just use what I have on hand. In this case, I used Stila lip liner in Contour No. 4.  Line all the way around the lips concentrating more of the product on the four corners of your lips. Basically, you want to keep the four corners of your lips darker and the inside lighter to create the appearance of fuller lips. I had a hard time finding out if this lip pencil is still available for purchase {I’ve had it forever!} but I’ve read that it’s very similar to Wet N Wild’s Brandywine lip liner.

2.) Fill in the rest of your lips with a lip pencil that is closer to your natural lip color bringing it up and out to slightly overlap the darker line. I used Rimmel Lasting Finish lip liner in 049 Natural. This color matches my natural lip color so it’s hard to see, but notice how it blends the harshness of the original line?

3.) Apply a neutral {not nude} colored lipstick all over the lips, slightly overlapping the darker line. I used Ulta’s 225 In the Buff. It’s my favorite lipstick that I’ve ever owned. It is slightly sheer and also matches my natural lip color. It’s so creamy and great by itself as well.

4.) Finish with a gloss. My favorite to use with this particular look is MAC’s Lipglass in Enchantress. It’s such a gorgeous pinky, peachy color with the perfect hint of golden shimmer. I’m going to have to repurchase it soon because I use it ALL the time!

LIPS2

I apply my lip color last so I usually have foundation on the edges of my lips. This helps to conceal the natural lip line in case you need to fake your desired lip shape with liner. I typically overdraw my lips ever so slightly because they are thinner than I’d like. I also prefer to accentuate the points along my Cupid’s bow. If you desire for your lip line to look really crisp and precise you can take a small concealer brush and clean up along the lip line with a bit of foundation.

I know this may seem like a lot of steps for an every day look, but it’s so gorgeous and really takes your overall look up a notch. I get compliments on this little “concoction” all the time. Although I do love nude lips, I feel like this is more wearable and flattering on most skin tones because it plays up the natural lip color. I’m definitely not a perfectionist when I do my lips, but they somehow always look great. I’m convinced it’s my secret lipstick recipe. If I haven’t already mentioned this 10 times, this is my go-to lip color for myself and everyone that I do makeup for. It’s just universally flattering! Try it out and let me know what you think!

 

And Happy Anniversary to my amazing husband :)

 

Until next time,

Kelsey