February Favorites

This is a new series that I’ll be sharing on the last day of each month, a collection of favorite things that I’ve been using in my everyday life that I hope you’ll love like I do. These can be beauty products, recipes, accessories, whatever. Just a chronicle of great things!

 

1/ Oregon Chai Sugar Free Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
I’m diabetic and have been missing chai lattes since my diagnosis almost three years ago. While grocery shopping last month I found this sugar-free concentrate that I’ve been using to make dirty chai lattes (coffee + chai) and get my fix.

2/ Makers of Wax Goods Wood Wick Bourbon Candle
Sometime last year I picked a smaller size of this candle at Marshall’s because I really loved the packaging, but I feel even harder for the scent itself. Since then I’ve been addicted and have this candle in three rooms of my house!

3/ Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer
My skin has been flipping out this winter – flakey and breaking out. I’ve had to amp up my skincare game in a big way and this moisturizer is my latest discovery. It’s so lightweight, is absorbed immediately, and makes my skin feel plump and nourished.

4/ Scentered Therapy Balms
Part of my bedtime routine, somewhere between feeding the cats and reading Twitter one last time, includes the Sleep Well balm. I just rub some on my wrists and breathe deeply in and out five times. During the day I rely on the Stress Less to help keep me focused.

5/ First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream
I alternate between three different moisturizers depending on how my skin is behaving. This one is great to put on before going to sleep when I’ve had an especially stressful day and maybe haven’t eaten the best.

6/ Sephora Collection Lotus Face Mask
For Christmas my friend sent me a package full of different sheet masks and this one has made me a devotee. (You can actually get two uses out of sheet masks if you put them back in their package and make sure it’s tightly closed.)

7/ Herbivore Botanicals Jasmine Body Oil
Again with the dry skin. This body oil is super pure and smells heavenly, so much so that I skip the perfume on days I wear it.

8/ Fashionable Mini Tirhas Saddlebag
This bag was a Christmas gift from my stepdad that I’ve been carrying every day since. I’m a longtime fan of Fashionable and the quality of this piece is outstanding.

9/ NOW Rosemary Essential Oil
I’ve been adding this rosemary essential oil to my diffuser every afternoon before turning it on for an afternoon pick-me-up. It makes the entire first floor smell so fresh and clean.

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Printable Sensory Calendar

Monica Lee

A few weeks ago when I was in Palm Springs I attended a roundtable discussion led by my friend, Monica Lee. In it she talked about embracing your senses and using them to broaden the world around you, both for well-being and creative purposes. Lately I’ve found myself creating a bubble of health and positivity, and this idea of hers fit in seamlessly with the salt lamp and essential oil diffuser I’ve made room for in my daily life. Our senses are the way we experience the world, why not – literally – stop and smell the roses more often?

I asked Monica if I might share her idea with you, so we created a download that you can print and follow each day this March, it even includes a few thumbnails of her beautiful paintings. Each task is short and meant to be enjoyed while making you take notice of the things that might normally slide by.

 

 

Download the 31 Days of Senses calendar, then head over to Monica’s portfolio to see more of her feminine, romantic paintings and read about her outlook on art.

 

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Lindsay Stripling

 

San Francisco-based artist Lindsay Stripling creates dreams. Through watercolors and her brush, she paints folksy narrative and fairytale-like scenes that seem vaguely familiar in our minds if maybe a bit fuzzy. Lindsay’s stories have no beginning, middle, or end, leaving plenty of room for imagination. Be sure and check out her shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just Spices

 

The packaging for Just Spices is lovely on many levels. Each can is made of paperboard, an aluminum lining, and an extra membrane for freshness. Sunlight can affect the flavors of spices, but this packaging is 100% protected for optimal preservation of the USDA organic goods enclosed. And lastly, my favorite part – the portraits. Each one tells the story of local cooks who helped develop what’s inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Roza Khamitova

 

When you’re a fashion designer who ends up with too much inspiration you take it to the obvious place, your own bathroom. Roza Khamitova, who has clothing line Shovava, started by adhering her illustrations to the stark white bathroom walls and then connected them with more drawings. After working through bubbling paper and varnishes, her bathroom is a virtual forest full of birds, greenery, and more. I guess it’s always a good idea to have a fallback career!

 

 

 

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The Everleigh Cocktails

 

The Everleigh is a well-known hot spot in Melbourne that specializes in Prohibition-era style cocktails. To take their well-crafted drinks beyond the bar they partnered with The Company You Keep to design some of the best looking packaging I’ve seen of late. Taking their main inspiration from vintage perfume bottles, TCYK added the minimal amount of type necessary. The four cocktails available – Martini, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Negroni – can be purchased in a gift box of four or individually. Now the question is, could you bring yourself to drink them?

 

 

 

 

via Trendland

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Johnson Tsang

 

Johnson Tsang‘s completely contorted facial sculptures are so absurd they’re lovely. Hands play a major role in his Open Mind Series – extremities reaching up and out, stretching open an eye socket, or even squishing the face as you would a child’s. While maybe not for the faint of heart, each piece manages to look serene in all white bisque.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Master Bedroom Makeover Bits + Pieces

 

How happy am I with the makeover Quick•Step flooring and I worked on? So happy that I basically never want to leave my bedroom. I’ve never been a morning person and I now find myself waking up with a smile on my face. It’s utterly ridiculous and I’m completely head over heels for what I feel like is the first bedroom design that truly matches my aesthetic.

Here I’m spilling about how I pulled it off and the items I picked up to give the room a great refresh, and over on Quick•Step Style I’m sharing more about which flooring I chose for the RoomUP Challenge, as well as five tips for making your space feel bigger (trust me, they’re really good ones). Head over there then meet me back here… I’ll wait…

 

 

Okay, let’s start with those lamps. (Oh, if you need a refresh of what the master bedroom looked like before, here you go.) I loved the old lamps hard, but it was time for a change that blended more seamlessly with the rest of the room. This pair of Helene white ceramic table lamps* match the boho chic vibe I was going for. Their basketweave-patterned bases and linen shades add a nice touch of texture and the size isn’t too overwhelming for the Penelope nightstands.

 

 

 

 

When it comes to dresser mirrors I’m more of a leaner than a hanger. I finally upgraded the round vintage mirror that sadly cracked in half and that I sadly kept using for more than two years with a larger 36-inch one, the HUB Mirror. It’s rubber rim fits snuggly against my mid-century 6-drawer dresser‘s surface, leaving me unafraid of a crash in the middle of the night. You can’t beat the price of this piece either – it’s huge and quite a deal when compared to other large mirrors.

 

 

 

I’ve been on the lookout for a great floor mirror for years, and that’s not an exaggeration. The Payne antique gold full length floor mirror* got my number and called the next day. Its windowpane style has an art deco feel to it, and the gold calls out some of the other metallic accents in the room. I made space in my mini gallery wall for it, because it really does feel like a piece of art.

Speaking of art, my very good friend who is also a very talented artist – Jaime Derringer – made me four pieces of 4 x 4″ art for the revamped space. I have a few more things I’d like to do in this bedroom (new light fixture, different floor rug, adding a bench, etc) and framing these is at the top of the list. I love her abstract style and am thrilled to add these minis to my ever-growing collection of her work.

 

 

This piece, Stormy Drive, used to be a huge statement over my headboard. After relocating the bed to under the windows, I chose to lower the gigantic frame to be level with the door and let it own the entire wall. It’s so striking from this angle!

 

 

 

I’ve been toying with notion of painting this room the same pale pink as the accent wall in my office, and to ease into the idea I added this Mongolian pink fur pillow* to the mix on my bed. The texture is fantastic and I’m so much closer to pulling the trigger on that paint job.

There’s only about twenty feet between my house and the neighbors’. So when I first moved in I picked up some tension rods to get curtain up ASAP and, well, never replaced them. This trio of brass Cappa adjustable single curtain rods look at least one hundred times better. At least.

 

 

The vintage light fixture fit in much better once I removed the ornate decorative rims – dare I say it looks modern even? It ties the curtain rods, the fixtures on the dresser and nightstands, and the edging on the floor mirror together oh so nicely.

The last addition is the Murray modern mahogany platform bed*. I was honestly pretty nervous about mixing mahogany with the other two wood finishes in the room, but it fits in seamlessly and actually manages to set off the Quick•Step flooring. I love having such a low-profile bed more than I expected I would, it just helps the room feel that much more open and airy which was my number one goal in this project.

If you ignored me above, click over to Quick•Step Style to read more about the transformation and process, the amazing flooring, and five tips for making your space feel bigger. And then enter the RoomUP Sweepstakes for a chance to win up to 500 sq ft of Quick•Step flooring for your own project, as well as see other transformations from other RoomUP bloggers!

 

 

This post sponsored by Quick•Step. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content! Get more inspiration from Quick•Step on Facebook and Pinterest. You can also download their Style My Floor app to visualize their floors in your own home.  *product provided by Lamps Plus

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Riin Kaljurand

 

Riin Kaljurand‘s art is heavily influenced by her geopolitical origins, she makes it plain to see in her textural collages that are full of women hard at work in traditionally masculine settings like farms, factories, and construction sites. Each piece is created from dried layers of acrylic or household paint – manipulated at different stages of drying – by scraping, folding, cutting, drawing into and layering. Often the paint ends up looking like some other material altogether as a response to the materials shown in the source photographs.

I also use mass-produced tools, considered traditionally feminine, like icing nozzles and hair combs to create my paintings. To give my work a three-dimensional sculptural form, I make acetate structures by vacuum forming traditionally considered feminine objects like combs, brushes, cosmetic items, polishers, files, toys etc. Then I fill these forms with paint and when paint has dried, I remove these sculptural paint objects from acetate structures and incorporate them into my paintings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cardamom 12 Ways

Cardamom is one of my favorite spices to bake with, I love the warmth and spice it exudes. But after doing some investigating it seems I’ve been selling my tastebuds short because you can use it in so many more ways than the oven. Here are twelve recipes I’d love to try featuring cardamom, including a few baked goods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on each image to go to the recipe.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

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