Deep Red

Friday, April 18, 2014

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Description of PhotoHow gorgeous is this deep rich red? We were inspired by Susie's red locks and created a poison ivy/fairy look...

Baby Ballentine Is:

We are BEYOND THRILLED that we get to raise a little boy! We were convinced that we were having a girl, but now I can't imagine anything different :) We didn't have any creative way to announce, so I (quickly/last minute) made baby HIS first set of tools! Robbie and I are still praying over what to name sweet boy, so we'll probably let ya'll know later- Let the awesome boy toys/clothes/crafts/nursery things begin! 

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Thanks for sharing your joy with us :)

The Fresh Collective

Monday, April 14, 2014

Today was rainy, but it was a spring rain. Cool enough to drink some hot chocolate but warm enough to enjoy the doors open. How great is this mug by The Fresh Collective? Heather Grace of Garland of Grace Blog (who is also behind The Fresh Collective) was sweet enough to send us this "It is well with my soul" coffee cup! We find it fitting, especially in this point in life. Can't wait to drink my morning tea with it while reminding me of this sweet reminder. (while also wearing my new PrettyPlumSugar lounge pants!)
"The Fresh Collective Co. was established in early 2014 with the purpose of exhibiting artist's original work on coffee mugs while maintaining quality, inspirational products. We have a passion for seeing skilled, hard-working artists with dignified brands and growing businesses thrive in their industry. Thus, we have collaborated with them in such a way that allows the artist to focus more on their life-giving passion of creating beautiful art. All artwork is donated and mugs are produced with the intention of crediting and promoting each individual artist. The Fresh Collective Co. is ecstatic to be partnering with such talented creatives!"

Wouldn't it make such a great gift? check them out! Also add Garland of Grace to your daily morning round up!!
Ps. This is pregnant Joanna at 20 weeks :D


Whipped Lemon Vinaigrette

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

We don't know what the coolest part of this recipe is... Is it the cool genius idea of blending all your ingredients in a mason jar and keeping it stored for up to a week? Or is it that this is the quickest salad dressing ever? Or the fact that its literally the best tasting salad dressing we've ever tasted? You be the judge. Our lovely friend Rylee Hitchner (Scarbrough) has been making this salad for me for a while, and I finally convinced her to share it with the world! Ps. did you know your mason jar fits your blender?! Let the possibilities begin!!

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Whipped Lemon Vinaigrette:
Feeds: 8 people with leftover dressing to save in the fridge for a week.

Ingredients & Tools:
2 bags of Mixed Greens 
1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
1 &1/2 Lemon, Zest and Juice
3 Whole Garlic Cloves
One Spoonful of Dijon Mustard
2 Chives
Shaved Parmesan Cheese (I also love goat cheese in this salad!!)
Black Berries
Almonds without skin
Sea Salt
Fresh Black Pepper
1 Mason Jar
1 Blender
1 Mixing Bowl

In the mason jar, use the lines on the jar to measure 1/2 cup of Olive Oil. Roll your lemons on the counters as you would a rolling pin to loosen up the juices inside. Zest 1 of your lemons and put the zest to the side in your mixing bowl. Juice 1 and 1/2 lemons into the mason jar, avoiding the seeds! Add your the 3 whole garlic cloves & spoonful of mustard to the mason jar. Add Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper to taste. (I like a lot of both!)
Attach the mason jar to the blender and blend for 10-15 seconds.
Pour a few spoonfuls into the bottom of your mixing bowl and turn your bowl around to allow the dressing to thin out around the sides of the bowl. Add your mixed greens, fruits, nuts, and cheese and toss.

DISCLAIMER: Only put ingredients that are in small amounts and NOT HOT! 

Quick Salad Recipe For People Like Me Who Work At Home And Don't Go By Recipes:
Feeds: 1

Method & Ingredients:
The classic vinaigrette ratio is 3:1, oil to acidic (lemon or vinegar). I generally have that in the back of my mind but am mixing to taste. 
3:1, Oil to lemon, drizzled into a deep mixing bowl.
1 clove of minced or pressed garlic
Sea Salt & Fresh Pepper to taste
Roll the dressing around in the bowl and toss salad.
Whatever fruit or vegetable I have in the fruit bowl. Blackberries & strawberries are my favorite right now. But I always have apples.
Whatever cheese is in my fridge- parmesan, goat cheese, or feta are most commonly found in my fridge.

Other flavors for variations I try often: 
-a splash of worcestershire sauce for a salty, caesar like salad (best with Romaine) 
-a splash of Soy Sauce in replace of the salt
-a spoonful of honey for a sweeter salad
-a spoonful of mustard
-switching out lemon juice for apple cider, balsamic, or white wine vinegar.
-a sprig of fresh thyme
-adding Onions or chives
With each salad this week, try one of these variations to mix it up.

Switch Outs That Will Change Your Salads Life:
-switch out dressing your salad on the plate for pre dressing it in a mixing bowl
-switch table salt for sea salt
-switch table pepper for fresh ground pepper
-switch dry herbs for fresh herbs
-switch pre-grated parmesan cheese for a fresh block of cheese
-switch out store bought lemon juice for fresh lemons
Seeing a pattern? Fresh = More Life

Salads I've Had And Liked:
-Pear Arugula Salad-  Blue Eyed Daisy Serenbe GA- Arugula, Pears, Pecans, Blue Cheese, & A Mustardy Vinaigrette (I get it every time I visit there and often see Daryl from The Walking Dead while lunching)
-House Salad - Five Bar Birmingham- (We're lucky to live one block from this place and have this salad with their burger and matchstick fries more often than we'd like to admit!)
-Zesty Local Arugula Salad- Sauce New York City- Arugula, Parmesan, Lemon, Tuscan Oil & Grey Sea Salt (Had this on a Tuesday and went back Wednesday for more...)
-House Salad- Slice Birmingham- Mixed Greens, Cherry Tomato, Candied Pecans, Alabama Goat Cheese, Dijon Vinaigrette (Who knew a pizza place would have a great girly salad like this??)

Thank you Rylee for sharing your amazing secret!!

quick blowdry technique

Monday, April 7, 2014

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Its no surprise that we don't like to wash our hair everyday. Mainly because we have to blow dry and style it- the laziness!  But when we do, we still like to find the fastest way. We blow dry our hair this way 100% of the time! The main technique here is blowdrying the wetness out as much as possible before going in with the round brush. I can't tell you how long it takes if you start with the brush on a wet head! (I'm sure you'll get great muscles tho)  In our experience blow drying this way leads to a more soft and voluminous blow dry. So hope this helps speed up your process and learn some new tips for your daily blow dry!

STEP 1: Apply the proper product! So important! We start with Bumble and Bumble Prep (this helps with detangling, nutrients, and making our hair smell good!) spray Prep all over roots to ends. Then we add Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray (this helps make our roots have a bit of hold and volume!) spray this from roots to mid-shaft (middle of hair). Finally we finish with Bumble and Bumble surf spray! We use this sucker all the time. This helps with adding grit to the hair (so its not too silky smooth and flat) Also, surf helps if you plan on adding in any kind of texture or curl afterwards! 
STEP 2: Start blowdrying (with just your hand) ONLY at the roots. Blow dry in the opposite of the direction of hair growth. This is where you will establish your volume. (you're going to be flipping your head side to side, take some advil) Try to get your roots 98% dry and really grab the sections that tend to stick to your head or have any weird growth patterns.
STEP 3. Once you feel like you've dried the roots, put the blowdryer down and take a triangle section for your bang if you have them. By triangle section we mean: take your thumbs and placing them both at either side of your temples (wide part of triangle) then bring thumbs together to a point at the top of your crown. This is where you will introduce the round brush, take it and start drying them forward and up. The reason why we take a triangle part is because it will frame your baby hairs in the front. See photo above to the right.

STEP 4: Once you dried your bang area, put the round brush down and continue to dry the rest of your hair with your hands. Dry up to 90-95%. See how in the right photo its basically dry? Make sure for this step you only blow dry down, in the direction of the hair cuticle. Get as much of the moisture out as possible (you will notice you will frizz a bit, don't worry next step we'll fix that :)
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STEP 5: Alright, here is where we finally bring in the round brush. We call this the "polishing" stage. Use your round brush only to polish and you will save yourself so much time and energy! We typically start with the front because thats where you want it the smoothest since its around your face. So take big sections in the front and smooth them toward your face. Using the heat and tension to smooth out the imperfections.
STEP 6: Continue to the back. This is usually the hardest part for people...even for us! Because, well your arms can't detach from your body. Bummer right? We recommend starting with the nape (lowest back part) pulling the sections forward similar to the picture in Step 5. After that you will move further up your head taking the sections and placing them on the brush before you start the blowdryer. Then once everything is in place turn it on and dry it back and out. Since the section should already be almost fully dry by now this shouldn't take more than a few motions to smooth! You're almost done so keep going!
STEP 7: Once you finish the bottom sections, move up to the crown. Since you already dried the bang, you'll only have a bit left. Grab the hair and place it on the brush and start blowdrying up and back. This is where you want the most volume so be sure to pull straight up from your head. 
Congrats! You finished! Now run your hands through your hair and put some lip gloss on because you lookin' good.Description of Photo
Keep in mind these steps will work for any hair texture! You will be amazed how smooth you can get it with just your hands. If you have super curly hair make sure to have a lot of tension when your in the pre-drying stage. Use your hands to pull your hair tight.
Let us know if you have any questions about the tutorial We can answer in more detail, hope it helps your styling routine- Happy Monday!

Happy Weekend!

Friday, April 4, 2014

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Happy Friday guys! 
What an amazing week of weather we've had! Hopefully this weekend welcomes the sun too :) Here are a few links around the web we thought were funny/cool/informational/or just random that would be worth sharing:

Proof that children are so weird

Random thought: I've had people ask me how we keep our dogs at a healthy weight (Golden's tend to get overweight) Try this trick!

Great for dogs coat and skin!

One of my favorite maternity shoots. So beautiful.

Irrelephant was on BUZZFEED! Were the cool #23 :)

The perfect shade of lips.

The perfect summer night soundtrack.

A out of the ordinary summer staple.

I only cheat on Bumble and Bumble with this. Shhh.

So I'm at a weird stage...not big enough for maternity pants but definitely not small enough to fit in my normal pants. All of my friends say I don't have to buy maternity pants and that I could get away with stretchy/yoga/lounge-y wear...but the problem is, the seam is right where my incision is so its highly uncomfortable and sorta painful. So with the temperature still a little on the cool side, I still need to wear pants! I gave in a went to Motherhood. I tried on so many pants but my legs were still a little too small for the leg part. Until I found the Jessica Simpson line. You guys- if you're on the petite side this line is perfect! big enough for a growing belly but slim enough for your regular size legs! (which i'm sure will beef up with the months to come) Anyways, I live in these. Especially for work!

Enjoy the weekend!

-photo of the cutest pixie of the the most beautiful freckled boss.

New Home: and its starting projects

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Here is my new home! We truly love our new neighborhood, full of friendly neighbors and old homes full of character. With that being said, we still think our first home needs a few things to make it more "us".  The above photo is the house right when we bought it, pretty plain for now but we're imagining some ivy growing on the side of it, new wooden railing and maybe some shutters! We started with taking off the glass screen door then sanding and staining our white door! Sanding... that thing took forever. But the outcome was truly rewarding:
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One step closer to what we're imagining! What do you think about leaving some of the white? At first we were just being lazy and not sanding in the creases but after looking at it, we love the unique statement it left!
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