Month: March, 2014

fig tree



as an early birthday present, I got something I’ve been wanting for a while now- a baby fig tree! it’s the perfect size and I’m really excited to care for it (really manifesting its health and longevity… haha). its new home will be underneath my south facing window, behind my couch, and I’m planning to make this plant stand for it… or this one. I’ve got to make the hard decision about which one would stand up to curious kitties the best. I did some research before deciding that I’d try my hand at fig-tree-raising, and found these links helpful- apartment therapy, gardenista. my house is pretty dry (gas fireplace heat sucks the moisture out of everything!) so I’m considering getting a small humidifier to keep near it- maybe that’s crazy, I have’t decided yet. anyways, once I get it home I’ll post about my new glass shelves (for my succulents) and where Figus, as the tree has been christened, will be living. stay tuned.


necklace from urban outfitters, similar here, dress, shoes



discovered: candles



okay, so I know it seems crazy to shop for candles online when you can’t even smell them. or at least I feel a little silly saying I want something, whose main purpose is fragrance, when I can’t  sample it first. but these are just so elegant! I’m pretty sure I’d love them no matter what they smelled like 😉 and at the very least they are timeless decorations. I’d save every single one of these and reuse them after they burned out.

(links listed clockwise)

etsy éclat



here are my four wants from etsy this week. with spring coming on I’ve been desperate to get more green living things in my home! this hanging planter is the best. the adorable little bunny was hand crafted by my best friend. it’s extra special because it’s one of the first things she’s hand sewn, but it’s still perfect! since I’ve been focusing on the art in my home lately, I’ve decided to do a grouping of photos and paintings of trees. this print would fit in nicely! and these gold and white bowls are the perfect thing to herald spring into the kitchen- they remind me of a sunny day.

(links listed clockwise)


made: cafe lights

DIY_ping_pong_lights6 IMG_20140319_195612

this is an adorable diy I recreated from liz stanley at say yes (her picture on the left, mine on the right via instagram). all it requires are some ping pong balls and a strand of LED lights. in the tutorial she used colored ones and I chose to go with white ones. it was a very easy project but rather tedious to cut the holes in the ping pong balls (I didn’t have an exacto knife so I just used a kitchen knife!). head over to her blog for the full tutorial.



this clean, white, open kitchen with all the glassware and light makes me think there are some huge bay windows right across from it with a beautiful trellis covered in climbing roses. the kitchen belongs to kate davidson whose incredible apartment was featured on design sponge (link to post). she has a beautiful way of mixing thrifted and family pieces in an airy, relaxed way that makes her home feel like it is surrounded by sprawling countryside.

discovered: moroccan style rugs


I’ve been trying to decide on a rug for my living room for a long time now. I’ve got an old console from my grandparents that I painted white, and a thrifted couch I’m going to paint charcoal (more on that later), so I want something light colored with a dark pattern to tie it together. I love how moroccan/kilim style rugs look, but they are so expensive! especially since I’m going for at least a 7 x 10 size. fortunately I spotted some cheaper alternatives over at target that I’m definitely going to be investing in soon. the top two are beauties from west elm. maybe someday! (links clockwise)


dished: green bean crunch


this beautiful picture is from wandering spice. their recipe is similar to what I did so feel free to click on the picture and refer back to it. if I had taken the time maybe my dish would have looked as pretty as theirs!

it’s a pretty simple recipe and I’m sure there are plenty others like this online.

what I do:

steam green beans (I use frozen organic ones from costco); drain

put a couple pats of organic salted butter into a frying pan until they are sizzling; saute a couple sliced up garlic cloves until slightly browned. dump the green beans in and stir around for a few minutes so they all get coated. add generous amounts of himalayan pink salt (or whatever you’d like), pepper, and onion powder.

top with toasted almond slices (I use the garlic flavored tasty gourmet brand). if you are a super chef you could make some from scratch (these sound fabulous!).

that’s it! a very good recipe for someone lazy about cooking like me 🙂 the crunchy almonds are a delicious contrast to the buttery green beans. I served them with home made mashed ‘taters and creamy macaroni and cheese.

products: exfoliants


here are some great exfoliators suitable for most skin types. as always if you have any concerns or questions about your skin contact your aesthetician.

REN glycolic lactic/juice beauty green apple/ ole henriksen walnut scrub/arcona enzyme gel

skincare: the basics

as a licensed aesthetician, I’ve heard and seen a lot of crazy things people do to their skin. I wanted to cover the basics of skin physiology and care because it’s really important to maintain health of the largest organ in/on your body! today I’ll try to keep things simple and as time goes on I’ll do more detailed posts about individual aspects of skin and products. if you’ve got any questions please let me know and I will cover them in future posts.

anything I say here is meant to be educational in a general way. any advice about skin care will not apply to everyone- you need to get to know your own skin and what works for you. please visit a licensed aesthetician regularly to keep your skin in the healthiest state it can be and to deal with any issues you have. always do your own research on products and treatments and stay educated on ingredients and what you put into/onto your body.


this is a diagram of the part of the skin visible to the naked eye- the epidermis. the very top layer (stratum corneum) is really all we see. the important thing about this picture is that it shows how skin cells grow and migrate. they are created at the bottom, the stratum basale, and over four to six weeks in healthy skin, flatten and die as they reach the top. during their journey they develop color and receive protein which hardens them so they are more protective. as we go about our day (and when we shower and wash ourselves) the dead cells on the top flake off on their own and the process repeats.

this matters because as the body ages, this process happens more and more slowly. the dead cells on the top don’t flake off on their own and the stratum  basale works much more slowly. the skin takes anywhere from six to eight weeks, or even more, to completely renew itself. this is why healing times increase with age and the skin can lose vitality.

in oily skin this process is also hampered. too much oil on the surface of the skin slicks down the cells so they can’t slough off. this gives the skin’s surface a rough texture and the oil and dead skin cells can block pores over time, causing congestion and papules. bacteria are naturally present on the surface of the skin because they feed on oils. when no oxygen reaches the inside of the pores, bacteria can thrive which is what causes infection and inflammation. this is the basis of acne.

exfoliation is using a physical or chemical substance to remove the dead cells from the top of the skin. it is very important to exfoliate at least once a week (but consult your aesthetician for your particular skin type). physical exfoliation sloughs the dead cells off, and chemical exfoliation dissolves the bonds that attach the cells to one another. both types get the job done with different advantages. many exfoliants have both a manual component and an acid.

the types of products I am referring to in this post are all consumer-friendly products with low percentages of acids, not the professional strength peels you would receive from a dermatologist or aesthetician.

types of acids:

glycolic– an alpha hydroxy acid that aids in reduction of wrinkles, scarring, and general texture issues. it is commonly used in brightening treatments because it’s great for hyperpigmentation. it is found in sugar cane.

lactic– found in sour milk products, this alpha hydroxy acid is probably the reason why milk baths were/are so popular to soften and beautify the skin. lactic acid not only exfoliates but is also a humectant, which means water binder, drawing water out of the air into the skin. it has the largest molecule which makes it a gentler option.

salicylic– this is a beta hydroxy acid and has the smallest molecule of all acids. it is small enough to fit inside pores and clean them out which is why it is used so often in treating acne and congestion. it also controls sebum production and is antibacterial an anti-inflammatory. it comes from the bark of the willow tree.

enzyme based exfoliants- these work in the same way as chemicals, dissolving the bonds between dead cells, but are much gentler and don’t go as deep as most acids.

exfoliating stimulates skin cell turnover and the production of collagen and elastin. in aging skin this can improve fine lines and wrinkles as well as textural issues and healing times. in oily skin it can balance out oil production and improve congestion and inflammation. if you have acne or any inflammation it is better to use an enzyme or chemical based peel rather than a scrub, since anything rough can accentuate inflammation.

CAUTION- look for scrubs with fine, smooth pieces in them like little beads or balls, rather than rough jagged pieces or kernels. a good example of a scrub that is not good at all for your skin is the popular st. ives apricot scrub- the pieces in this exfoliant are very jagged and can cause micro-tears in the skin, allowing bacteria to breach the skin’s barrier and causing redness, inflammation, scarring, and even hyperpigmentation in skin prone to it.
make sure that you do not exfoliate 24 hours before or after any waxing services and always let your aesthetician know what products you are using!

wear a sunscreen!! it is very important to wear SPF daily, whether you will be outside or not, but especially when you are exfoliating regularly in attempt to heal the skin, exposing it to UV light will cause even more damage when the skin is in a vulnerable state from exfoliation.

etsy éclat


etsy is an incredible place. I love being able to communicate directly with artists and I am routinely blown away by the beautiful things they make. needless to say there are a million things on my ‘like’ list but I’ve picked four to start with- one for the wall, one for furry babies, one that’s beauty related, and one for the kitchen. I have the utmost respect for these makers and the creative genius they’ve got! (listed left to right)