April Favorites

 

1/ Tea Tree Oil
I’ve been using this stuff in multiples ways, including in my diffuser and on blemishes.

2/ PureAir 50
This little plug-in ionic air purifier is amazing. It cleans 350 sq. ft. of air by removing odors and reducing bacteria and viruses with activated oxygen. I have mine next to the cats’ litter box – the danger zone! – and noticed a total elimination of smell within about 15 minutes. It emits a kind of white noise sound when turned on, but I quickly got used to it.

3/ Lamb’s Ear
After years of admiration, I added one of these perennials to my porch collection. I’m hoping to keep it in a pot rather than have to plant it in the ground, but only time will tell how the plant tolerates it.

4/ Froozer Blue Aloha
These super natural treats are basically a frozen smoothie in a tube. They’re super tasty with only 35 calories and 9 carbs, which is a necessity for snacks with this type 2 diabetic.

5/ Common Goods Lavender Linen Water
I’ve been using this on my bedsheets for a few years now, I’m a real sucker for anything lavender scented as you may have noticed. This linen water is scented with 100% pure essential oil, is plant based, and biodegradable.

6/ Function of Beauty
Everyone’s been chattering about this line of shampoos and conditioners can that be personalized to your hair’s specific needs, and I’m here to report that the hype is 100% true! I love it and may never use another brand ever again. (Grab $5 off your order here.)

7/ Round Taper Planters
This spring I had to replace the large bamboo planters I’ve used for the past several years due to normal wear and tear. I wanted something simple and affordable that would complement my new black shutters and came across these fade and weather resistant ones at Target. They’re available in four colors and seven sizes! (I also have four of the 6-inch ones indoors)

8/ Vineyard Hill Naturals Cardamom & Fig Candle
You might think this scent sounds a bit heavy for spring, but it’s quite the opposite. And the soy-based candle’s jar is one I’ll definitely be reusing with that Greek key pattern.

9/ Spruce Cleaning Wipes
I’m kind of the worst at keeping my electronics clean, and these little wipes are a fun reminder (those faces!) to wipe everything down – they’re also great for your eyeglasses. Made in the USA, free of harsh chemicals like alcohol and ammonia, and vegan.

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Smoothie Bowls 12 Ways

While you’ll never convince me that a smoothie bowl is anything other than an excuse to eat your drink with a spoon, I’ll happily admit that they offer up some high quality visual appeal when done right. What’s more, if they get you to eat more fruits and vegetables than usual who am I to judge the method of transport. These beautiful concoctions have caught my eye and now I’m wondering – do you subscribe to the smoothie bowl trend? Have a favorite recipe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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20 Pillows to Change Up Your Home’s Spring Vibe

There are three pieces of decor I switch up for spring and fall – bedding, rugs, and pillows. These are pieces that are easy to swap out to freshen up the feel of your home, as well as ones that don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not running out twice a year to purchase new ones, rather just bringing them out of the guest room’s closet.) I tend to stick with a lot of neutrals so the switch may not be noticeable to anyone else, but even just a change in pattern makes me happy!

 

Cersei Decorative Pillow // Forma Pillow // Frayed Shaped Pillow Cover // Fringed Diendra Pillow

 

Geo Pillow // Indro Cushion // Linework Woven Decorative Pillow // Ligne Particulier Pillow

 

Macrame Diamond Pillow Cover // Nautique Pillow // Pleated Chevron Decorative Pillow // Roped Pillow

 

Bali Throw Pillow Collection // Stitch Stripe Pillow // Texture Knot Decorative Pillow // Totem Cushion

 

Vacita Pillow // Villa Stripe Pillow // Wallace Sewell Kente Crewel Pillow Cover // Zurich Geometric Throw Pillow

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Daydreaming About A Frames

Sarah Abbott

While I’m 110% in love with my house, I also know that it’s probably not my forever home. Sometime in the next few decades I really want the experience of building from the ground up. And while my architectural taste runs the gamut, lately I find myself really drawn to a-frames and their steeply angled rooflines and modern yet cozy vibe.

 

via Design Milk

 

Dwell

 

via Hi Consumption

 

Alpine Modern

 

Sunset

 

Airbnb

 

Zillow

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Let’s Talk Pergolas

The to-do list for my home is a mile long, but near the top is the addition of a pergola. If you’re unfamiliar, a pergola is an architectural element originally used in ancient Greece and Rome to better define an outdoor space that’s gaining momentum in the current day. It usually consists of parallel colonnades that support an open roof of girders and cross rafters.

Pergolas are great privacy and shade solutions because, really, there are no rules. They can be built out of wood or steel, with a traditional or modern design or somewhere in between. Add fabric panels to the sides for additional privacy, let vining plants climb up to and cover the roof, add solar panels, or top it off with a plexiglas covering for protection from the rain. Your pergola can be freestanding in the middle of the backyard or built on top of a porch or deck, or maybe you’d just like to build one over your old concrete patio. See? Not many rules here.

I’d like mine to be similar to the second one below, but the wood painted white instead of black to keep the heat to a minimum during summer. Honeysuckle would climb all four colonnades and wind around the girders where it would mingle with strands of lights with edison bulbs. I’d have a few planter boxes on one or two of the sides that would blend in, and maybe a canvas tarp that could be attached to the four corners for shade on especially hot days.

But I haven’t put much thought into it.

 

Better Homes & Gardens

 

Helt Enkelt

 

Almost Makes Perfect

 

Homes to Love

 

Style Room

 

Better Homes & Gardens

 

Ernskie

 

Decoist

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5 Favorite Food Blogs of the Moment

Heartbeet Kitchen is a celebration of sweet and savory recipes along with some other tidbits from author Amanda’s life in Minnesota. The recipes are based around seasonal vegetables and whole grains, as well as eggs and dairy from happy animals. Many are vegetarian, and all are gluten-free with a specialty in baking with alternative flours.

Recent Favorites: Creamy Polenta Porridge with Berries and Honey, No-Bake Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Pots with Pretzel CrunchRoasted Cabbage Steaks with Garlicky Beet Sauce

 

The Vanilla Bean Blog, aka Sarah Kieffer, is a site I’ve been following for several years now. Started as a way to document her family’s food history, it’s also a space full of baking recipes, kitchen moments with friends and family, occasional musings and reflections, and some poetry and prose – in another word, connection.

Recent Favorites: Olive Oil Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze, Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream, Blackberry Jam Buns with Creme Fraiche Frosting

 

Salt and Lavender is full of delicious from scratch recipes that are also simple to make. Fresh, real ingredients play a big role, with not nearly as much salt as the name might indicate. Author Natasha provides a healthy mix of good for you foods mixed with a few indulgences.

Recent Favorites: Tropical Chicken Nachos, 15 Minute Garlic Lime Cashew Zoodles, Thai Sweet Potato Coconut Red Curry

 

The Almond Eater is the place where self-taught cook Erin shares the wholesome recipes created in her kitchen. Each one is double-tested before she shares it on the site. (Quiet admission: we also both live in Pittsburgh and have the same two major food dislikes – mustard and pickles!)

Recent Favorites: Coffee Orange Granola, Cinnamon Tahini Pancakes, Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Salad Sandwich

 

What to Cook Today is a newer find, there are just so many talented Minnesotans out there! Marvellina shares recipes she grew up with in Indonesia that have a heavy Chinese influence as well as local flavor – think lots of boldness often sweet, sour, salty, spicy, and umami all combined into one dish! Marv also experiments with plenty of foods from other continents though, if southeast Asian flavor isn’t your cup of tea.

Recent Favorites: Mexican Cinnamon Horchata, Panko Chicken and Waffles, Pumpkin Custard Baked Buns

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Tips + Tricks: Creative Business

 

It’s been awhile since we last shared a tips + tricks column, so today I thought I’d share a little about what I’m always reading up on – running a creative business. You don’t have to be a blogger to benefit from this list of advice, honestly you don’t even have to work in a creative field. I’m forever searching for a work/life balance, trying to figure out my next step should be in this ever-evolving field, and how to make the most of the 24 given hours in each day. (And about 100 other things.) Drop any go-to advice of your own in the comments!

 

How to Negotiate Your Own Licensing Agreement

You Need a Contract, Here’s How to Make One

5 Tips for Writing a Solid Business Plan

MailChimp for Designers

Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance

How to Get Your Life Back When Freelancing Has Taken Over

10 Steps to Get Verified on Facebook – and Why You Need to

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Hire?

Your Ultimate Goal to Saying No to People You Can’t Say No to

13 Gmail Hacks That’ll Instantly Maximize Your Productivity

Photo Tips From Instagram Stars

How to Get a Reply From a Cold Email

45 Things You Can Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

6 Scientific Hacks to Keep You Focused at Work

7 Tips for Working From Home

10 Habits of Healthy and Happy Business Owners

What to Say When a Non-Profit Asks for Free Work

What to Call Yourself When You’re a Multi-Talented Freelancer

Why Every Solo-Preneur Needs a Hobby

Media Kit Checklist: 15 Must Have Items

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11 Perfect White Tees

Few things in my wardrobe have been more elusive than the perfect white t-shirt. One that’s not too long or too short, too tight or too loose, with a neck that’s not too big or too small. It makes me feel like Goldielocks. When I think back, the closest I ever had was a sort of thin, boxy cut version from the Gap when I was in high school. (My Grandma actually found it at her house and we were reunited last year!) How about you, have a favorite white tee that just goes with everything?

 

Basic White Tee from Sabo Skirt // Relaxed Casual T-Shirt from James Perse // T-Shirt from Baserange

 

The Cotton Scoop-Neck Tee from Everlane // The Cotton V from Everlane // The Luxe Drape Deep V Tee from Everlane // The Perfect Pocket Tee from Levi’s

 

Remade Dancing Tee from Urban Renewal // V-Neck Tee from Wear Pact // Valmere T-Shirt from Talula // Whisper Cotton V-Neck Cotton Tee from Madewell

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16 Face Serums

You may have noticed during our monthly favorites posts just how obsessed I’ve become with face serums. I resisted for months, thinking that they’d probably only serve to clog my already problematic skin. Then in February I as convinced to try one and I’ve been hooked ever since – the hydration! the smoothing! the glow! I now use two different serums a day, vitamin C in the morning and a rejuvenating formula before bed. Do you have a favorite?

 

Aesop Lucent Facial Concentrate // Balm & Co. Glow Serum Nourishing Facial Oil // Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum // Deciem Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

 

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel // Fig + Yarrow Rosehip + Argan Facial Serum // First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum // Glossier Super Glow

 

IT Cosmetics Feel the Moment Anti-Aging Hydrating Sensory Awakening Serum // Kate Somerville Quench Oil Free Hydrating Face Serum // Skin Inc. Hyaluronic Acid Serum Long-Lasting Hydration // Lapcos Blue Water Micro Serum Mist

 

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum // Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil // Vinter’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum // Youth to the People Kale Tri-peptide 37 Vitamin C Age Prevention Serum

 

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