4 EASY WAYS TO REFRESH YOUR HOME FOR SPRING

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Hi friends, Kelly here! Spring is here & summer is just around the corner, so if you’ve been following along with our tips on spring cleaning, you know that we are in full de-clutter, simplify, & refresh mode. We are all about some easy (& affordable) ways to refresh your space, so we are sharing some of our favorites below!

For me, spring is a season for open windows, floral candles, and gardening. It means winter is finally over, and I can look forward to the farmer’s market, weekend getaways, and workdays from the patio! Today, I’m excited to share simple ways to refresh your home in spring!

SIMPLE WAYS TO REFRESH YOUR HOME IN SPRING

ONE | Invest in a new area rug — or swap the rooms your area rugs are in. Area rugs can completely transform a room. While you’re exploring area rug options, be sure to clean your area rugs, too! There is no better time of year to be sure your rugs are fresh and clean. (This rug by Nuloom is a new favorite of mine!)

TWO | Explore colorful accents to brighten your home. Throw pillows are my favorite home accent — but there are plenty of accents, large and small, that can brighten your space.

THREE | Bring your throw blankets out of hiding. One of my favorite ways to create a welcoming and cozy living room is to keep throw pillows and blankets in plain sight. Invest in a straw basket to store your pillows and blankets. Straw baskets are not only great for storage, but they’re pretty, too!

FOUR |Find a favorite floral candle. There’s nothing better in spring!


 written by Kelly Zugay | image

HOME TOUR WITH NICK & JOSEPH

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourAre y’all ready for this insane home tour? No matter your decorating style, everyone can jive with Nick & Joseph’s love of creating a welcoming space, furniture with a story, and designing a home their friends never want to leave. We would expect nothing less coming from this dynamic duo (hello, prop stylist & graphic designer power couple) but after seeing their space we are itching to pack up and move to Des Moines and create our own little modern bungalow! 

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometour

NICE TO MEET YOU:

Nick Sellers (27) and Joseph Wanek (29)

CURRENTLY LIVING IN:

Des Moines, Iowa

WHAT DO YOU DO?:

Nick: Graphic Designer at Meredith Corporation

Joseph: Freelance Prop Stylist

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometour

WHEN PEOPLE WALK INTO YOUR SPACE, WHAT IS THE FEELING YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE?

We have large windows on both sides of our living room, so we want people to have a sense that they’re sitting outside. We have a large screened-in patio on the back of the house and, in the summer, we fill it with as many plants as possible. Last summer we had about 7 full-sized palm trees out there! It’s partially because we love the way plants make a space feel alive, but it’s also a way to create privacy from our neighbors.

Because we can only be outside for half the year in Iowa, at the end of the season we try to bring in as many plants as we can, so it feels like we are sitting on our patio even when it’s snowing outside. Our neighborhood is full of 1950s “California-style” ranches and that also helps dictate our space’s indoor/outdoor vibe.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWE ARE OBSESSED WITH YOUR LIVING ROOM – TELL US A BIT ABOUT IT

Given the clean lines of our mid-century home, we wanted the decor to feel fresh: decorated, but simple and modern. When we moved in together, we merged our two different styles using the items we had from previous apartments, creating an eclectic mix between mid-century and industrial. While some of our decor items are flea market finds, we have many pieces that have stories behind them. The oversized industrial coffee table was rescued from an old building Joseph’s family owned at one time, while the armchair, credenza, and other wooden mid-century pieces throughout the home are Nick’s grandmother’s original furniture. The great thing is that you could spend thousands of dollars at West Elm or CB2 for similar items, but we got them for free and they have been passed on from family members, making the space much more personal.

Another feature we love is our black accent wall. In a way, the TV visually blends in with the wall, so when it is not in use, it looks like there are just two staghorn ferns offset to the right. It’s a good way to hide electronics that would otherwise stick out.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR HOME?

We love the mid-century character of our house and that it has a better allocation of space than older sectioned-up homes we looked at in the area. For the most part, the living room, dining room, and kitchen all feel like one space, which is closer to the open concept being built in homes today. We also love that the large windows on both sides of the living room are original to the house and that the window supports create mini shelf space, the perfect spot to set more plants!

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST DESIGN CHALLENGE?

One challenge was choosing the right paint colors. Our home’s color palette goes from white to black and what seems like every shade of gray in between. Grays and whites are the hardest because you can end up with a very blue or brown gray, or a dirty beige white. While all the colors work together, each space has its own shade, giving every room its own personality.

Our other big challenge was deciding what to put on the walls. It’s tough because, art is so expensive, we’ve been waiting to find the perfect thing for above the couch and we just haven’t found it. Stuck somewhere between having bare walls and spending a small fortune, we decided to create our own art. We bought the oversized frames from Ikea and went to the Des Moines Botanical Gardens to take up-close, almost abstract photos of palm trees and got them printed on a large format printer for fairly cheap.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourView More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourIF YOUR HOUSE HAD A SPIRIT COCKTAIL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

More like, what wouldn’t it be!? We love entertaining, especially in the summer when we can be on the patio, and the type of gathering usually determines the signature drink. Our favorite mixed drinks are margaritas, mojitos, mules, and martinis but we also show wine and champagne a lot of love.

One of our favorite cocktails is one taken from a rooftop bar in San Diego. “The Cougar” has a ridiculous name, but it’s a summery take on a Greyhound.

 

THE COUGAR

2 shots pear flavored vodka

Splash of St. Germaine

Fill the rest of the glass with Simply Grapefruit juice and ice and do an optional sugared rim.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWE LOVE A GOOD ENTERTAINING TIP, DO YOU HAVE ONE YOU TWO SWEAR BY?

The right playlist can make or break a party. Our favorite is Pandora’s Hipster Cocktail Party station because it can work for a dinner party or for a more lively get together.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometour

DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN STYLE & WHAT INSPIRED IT

Our style is modern but still warm and livable. We have such an eclectic mix of things that it’s hard to define. We definitely think balance is key. Whereas the living room has a lot going on, we balance it out with simplicity in the other rooms. Some of our black accents bring a polished and sophisticated feel to the space and help ground the pops of color and greens from the plants and art.

Our style has many influences and is forever changing. It changes based on the space we live in, places we travel, and what we see at work. Because we both work in the world of publications and design (we both met on a photo shoot) we have the benefit of being around other creative people and seeing what great new trends are coming up.

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WHAT IS NEXT & WHERE CAN WE FIND MORE?

Although we are at a point where we feel good with our home’s decor and renovations, we still have a long way to go. We hope everyone will check out our brand new lifestyle Instagram, @nickandjosephstyle, to see before photos of our house, travel experiences (including our recent trip to Thailand), entertaining inspiration, and upcoming DIY home projects. But let’s be real, you should actually follow it to see more pictures of our cat, Julio!

Joseph and Nick

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometour


Photography by the lovely, Lauren Konrad

HOME TOUR WITH MICHELLE PIMM

xm1X6LVzBkSc-3hhIOCDVirqHuJ44vRsjw1fNoTdyNsStep inside the home of Austin cool gal, Michelle Pimm & prepare to fall in love with her story-inspired style. Part time freelance writer & full-time host of the amazing podcast – I Was Just Saying That – you can’t help but love her vintage pieces, boss lady attitude, and penchant for a good time.

Check out Michelle’s home tour, learn a few things vintage collecting in the South, and learn about your new favorite podcast (seriously though, it’s hysterical).

gJUip1nc78fDVa-dbSD8fPgJxrByv2x6h5yrrjhRV3ANAME:

Michelle Pimm

AGE:

30

CURRENTLY LOCATED IN:

Austin, TX

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Writer, Founder, & Host of I Was Just Saying That

ISAgGrX_4AGroUvqnAX7TCKRe-jQBdIrNEoa38Lm5QYTELL US ABOUT YOUR INTERIOR STYLE & WHAT INFLUENCED IT:

I think it would be considered eclectic, but honestly, I think I’m still figuring it out. I’m always drawn to vintage pieces or volunteer to take the piece that’s been in the family for years. I believe a home should remind you of where you came from, so I have old photos sprinkled around the house. If it has a story, I’ll take it.

mjp_1YOU RUN A PODCAST! TELL US ALL ABOUT IT:

Growing up, I secretly wanted to be in radio, and I think that idea was fostered by the lovely compliments I’ve received over the years about my voice. And when podcasts became more popular, I dabbled with the idea. Then one day a friend told me she was on a run and thought she’d rather be listening to a show hosted by me. So I took that as a sign to just do it already.

The podcast is called I Was Just Saying That, and it’s basically me chatting with funny, talented women about everything from career to pop-culture. The show is for any gal that wants to just let loose and laugh a little. Think happy hour with your girlfriends, after one or two drinks… Needless to say, it’s a good time.

unspecifiedWHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR SPACE?

I think I enjoy my vanity/reading nook. I intend to read many books there—even though my dog has claimed the chair has his own. The vanity was my Nana’s, and I have fond memories of her putting her makeup on there.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST DECORATING CHALLENGE?

Our home is a rental, which means we can only do so much to make it our own. It’s also so, so dark. Natural light? What’s that?

mjp_2WHAT’S NEXT ON YOUR DECORATING LIST?

I’m not sure I’ll ever be 100% satisfied, but I’m currently working on making our guest room have a little space for me to work on iwasjustsayingthat.com. I feel like every boss lady needs her own command center.

WE LOVE A GOOD ENTERTAINING TIP, WHAT IS ONE YOU SWEAR BY?

I’m a novice home entertainer, but one thing I learned the hard way is that when someone asks you if they can help you prepare for your get-together, you say yes.

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photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

QUICK AT-HOME RESET because some days you need a do-over

IMG_6592Since I started working from home a few months ago, there are some days when I just annihilate my to-do list. But then there are those days where I get distracted by everything & just can’t seem to get in a rhythm. Does this ever happen to you?

Naturally, I googled a million different things to help reign in these wonky days & the only one that seems to work (for me anyway) is to take a quick yoga break. As much as I would love to do a whole sequence several times a day, I can’t really justify leaving my desk for more than 15 minutes, so I improvised!
IMG_6512We found this killer yoga mat company called Copy Cat Yoga Mat (adorable, right?) on Facebook & it’s like an at-home yoga instructor. The hand and feet outlines do a great job at showing you where your body should be in each pose & there is even a simple, easy breezy sequence to follow right down the middle of the mat.

As much as I love watching videos & following along, sometimes you just need a quick and easy self guided practice & this is totally it! Even if you don’t have the mat, it’s a great idea to get up when you feel restless or when you feel frustrated, roll out a mat, and stretch it out.

You will reset your attitude, amp up your energy, and maybe most importantly, you will help contribute to your mental well-being. IMG_6538Now, that you’ve got your afternoon pick me up plan, it’s time to talk about updating your workout/leisure wardrobe. I am all about the multi-purpose pant (because who likes to do laundry), so when we discovered Albion I about passed out. These pants, while technically Joggers, have become my favorite Saturday-morning/errand running/work from home & don’t want to feel like I am in my pjs/fitness pants.

I am serious, they are fantastic, super comfortable, and totally bridge the gap between leisure, workout, and running around attire. Go get you some!
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YOU ARE IN LUCK!

Love these pants as much as we do? You’re in luck! We are giving away at $50 gift card to Albion so you can update your workout wardrobe! Head on over to Instagram to find the details. Want an extra entry? Go find out how!


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HOME TOUR WITH KATELYN HERLEIN

921239_10153916996975407_8046886323809239054_oOoh friends, today is going to be such a fun day! We are stepping inside the gorgeous home of Katelyn Herlein, blogger behind Katalina Girl, E-commerce Editor of Meredith Corporation, and about a dozen other amazing side hustles that I won’t spoil for you now.

You are going to fall in love with her sunny space, her adorable pups, and her philosophy on decorating is something we can totally get behind. Scroll down and discover your new favorite home inspo – yep, it’s that good!
View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/katalinagirl

Full name: Katelyn Herlein (Soon to be Katelyn Cheek in 4 weeks to the day)

Age: 24

Location: Des Moines, IA

Current title/company: 

E-Commerce Editor for Meredith Corporation (Better Homes and Gardens, Fitness Magazine, Shape Magazine, Parents.com, MyWedding.com, Recipe.com)

Founder/Owner of Katalina Girl

Director of Sponsorship for Go Blog Social

Home Designer for Oakstone Homes

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/katalinagirl

 Describe your interior style and who influenced it. 

My interior style is inspired from growing up living in the country or on a lake my entire life. We were always running and playing in and out of the house and that’s still how my fiancé and I are. We need a house that’s livable, not one that’s filled with expensive items that if they get dirty or ruined it’s the end of the world. I love a space that you feel comfortable in with cozy textures and soft, feel-good colors. I wanted my house to feel like a home but a stylish home—with the fixtures and finishes I was given. My ideal décor style is a farmhouse or something French country. I just designed this modern farmhouse kitchen for one of our clients and I think it speaks to a lot of my true interior style. I love whites and grays. I truly believe people live longer and are happier in brighter spaces.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/katalinagirl

How were you able to arrive at such a cohesive style and presence?

I’ve always been a girl that admires a lot of different styles but when it comes to my own home, I know exactly what I want. I crave a cozy, livable home with neutral colors and rustic elements. I love the farmhouse style with modern bohemian touches—that’s where the small pops of color comes in. Plus I believe that by keeping your house neutral, it’s easier to decorate for holidays and other occasions without spending a fortune.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/katalinagirl

What is your favorite part of your space?

My living room! It’s where my fiancé and our pups spend most of our time. I love my cream-colored couch, Safavieh rug, wood + gold metal coffee table—it was a Home Goods find. I also love my hanging plant with macramé holder. You can never have enough plants.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/katalinagirl

What has been the biggest challenge?

It’s a really small space. The back-story…My fiancé—Brandon—and his dad own a home building business called Oakstone Homes. Brandon and I had been trying to sell our house and it had been on the market for almost 6 months. (Brandon is also a realtor.) We went to Hawaii in late February, early March and got engaged. When we returned from our trip we had an offer on the house. Great new, right? The buyer wanted to move in within 10 days. We weren’t going to let this seller pass us by after 6 months of sitting on the market. We agreed to sell and have a 10-day closing. Our plan when we initially put our house on the market was to one, either have a longer closing or two, rent a place until we could build another home. As homebuilders we’ve never lived in a house that we haven’t built. Financially it’s silly.

Obviously we weren’t going to be able to build a house in 10 days and finding somewhere to rent for 6 months with a 200lb Great Dane was impossible. We ended up buying a twinhome, which was really our ONLY choice. And if you didn’t know, most houses take a minimum of two weeks to one month to close on. Luckily we knew the builder and we were able to move into the house before closing. It was a wee bit of a nightmare. All-in-all it had standard fixtures and standard finishes. Not my dream home by any means at a mere 1,300 square feet. We had only planned on being there for 6 months while we built our new house but wanted to keep the twinhome to rent out as extra income.

With planning and paying for a wedding, I didn’t think I could take on the extra stress of building a new home right away. We’ve now been in our home for about 9 months and I’ve been able to make it ours with a few fixture upgraded and the right décor. It’s been a process. I hope to build our new home in 2016 or even 2017. I’m really in no rush now. Now that I do all of the design work for Oakstone Homes it keeps my love of home design fulfilled so I can put my home off for awhile. I’m currently designing a modern lodge home on a wooded lot. It’s going to be amazing—think timber beamed ceilings.

kataline pups

 You always seem like such an amazing hostess. What’s your secret for great hospitality?

Being prepared. I’m always over prepared for everything. I know I hate going somewhere that doesn’t have a drink or food I like so I like to be really accommodating for my guests. It keeps them coming back. It also helps having a wedding registry to get all of the home and kitchen items I’ve had on my wishlist for a while.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/katalinagirl
We love a good entertaining tip, do you have any you swear by?

Fresh flowers make all the difference. 100% whenever someone comes over, I always make sure I have fresh flowers. It’s an instant room-pick-me-up without trying too hard. A tip for buy fresh flowers…Whenever I go to grab flowers at the grocery store or market, I grab the ones that have started to bloom and then ask for half price. It’s silly to pay full price for flowers that won’t last as long as the ones that still a bud and 9 out of 10 times, they give me half price. I usually walk out with bouquets for under $5 or $10.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/katalinagirl


Photography by Lauren Konrad Photography

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AN ELEGANT AT HOME FRIENDSGIVING

An Elegant at Home Friendsgiving

It’s almost that time! Maybe you are headed home for Thanksgiving, or maybe you decided to play host this year. Either way, we want to celebrate getting together with the ones you love and spending time giving thanks. This year, Entertaining Contributor, Lindsey Brunk is hosting a sweet Friendsgiving with some of their oldest friends. Take note, their table isn’t decked out in gourds and glittered DIY’ed things. It’s simple, honest, and thoughtful – just like Thanksgiving should be. xoxo-LK


One cold New York winter I stumbled upon this chicken and dumplings recipe and it’s been a winter staple in the Brunk household ever since. You know what else it’s wonderful for? Repurposing your Thanksgiving leftovers into a whole new yummy dish!
An Elegant at Home Friendsgiving An Elegant at Home Friendsgiving This year we wanted to host a little mini Friendsgiving with our friends Brittany and Jordan. We’ve known them since my Baylor days and we all lived in New York for a while before making our way back to Dallas. Everyone has busy schedules, but it’s so important to remember to make time for friends over a glass of wine and delicious meal. I feel like modern entertaining is all about carving out time for one another and keep things simple and elegant.

An Elegant at Home Friendsgiving

TURKEY & DUMPLINGS:

Cooked turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving

1 cup diced carrot

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, smashed then minced

¼ cup flour

6 cups chicken stock

½ cup dry white wine or apple cider

2 teaspoons sugar

2 bay leaves

5 peppercorns

½ cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

salt/pepper to taste

FOR THE DUMPLINGS:

2 cups cake flour (or all purpose flour)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1- 1¼ cups milk

An Elegant at Home Friendsgiving

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil on medium high heat.

2. Add carrot, celery and onion and sauté until crisp-tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Add flour and toss to coat. Cook another minute.

3. Pour chicken stock into pan and stir well to dissolve the flour. Add wine or apple cider, sugar, bay leaves and peppercorns.

4. Add leftover turkey (including any pieces still on the bone) and cover Dutch oven. Let cook for 15 minutes.

5. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add melted butter and 1 cup of the milk and stir well to mix. Add flour if dough is too sticky to work with, add milk if it’s too dry. It should be thick and cake-like.

6. Using a spoon, scoop out 1 ½- 2 inch dumplings and place them on a parchment-lined baking tray. Set aside.

7. Remove turkey pieces from the broth and using a fork, pull the meat off the bone. Use one more fork and shred meat into about 1- 1½-inch chunks. Add the turkey back to the pan and remove bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and add dumplings.

8. Cook, COVERED (to steam the dumplings) for 15 minutes. Do not remove lid while dumplings are steaming (this will ensure they are fluffy).

9. Stir in cream, parsley and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

An Elegant at Home Friendsgiving


Photography by Taylor Lord

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FARMHOUSE POTTERY GIVEAWAY

giveaway0002Hello, party people! As y’all know, October is my absolute favorite month & so to celebrate we wanted to do a fun giveaway of this amazing match striker from Farmhouse Pottery! Have you ever heard of a match striker before? Better question – can you now live without one?

This Milk Bottle Match Striker is super rad. Just strike your match against the stoneware and voila – a spark! It’s absolutely perfect for that adorable little candle nook you worked so hard to style (and it looks great, by the way), a gift for a friend, or perched smartly on a tray in guest bed or bath. Either way it’s adorable and I’ve already been fielding not-so-subtle hints from friends and family that this striker has definitely made it to the top of their holiday wish list!

giveaway0003Here is the other super cool bit about this striker, it’s handmade by the most wonderful people . If their modern farm aesthetic with farm-to-table values don’t jive with you, you might be in the wrong place. We are ga-ga over their authentic mission of bringing character and true craftsmanship to the things we surround ourselves with. But for real though, promise me you will check these guys out. If their Instagram doesn’t inspire you to get back to your day dream (or move to a farm in Vermont), we’ve got to talk 😉

So, how do you enter?!

Visit @LaurenKelp to find out!
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SEASONAL DECORATING FOR THE MINIMALIST WITH COVETED HOME

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetYou guys are in for a real treat today! Baller style guru Jaclyn Joslin of The Coveted Home is hanging out at LK HQ chatting about how to decorating your home for the upcoming seasons. But don’t fret, we aren’t going to tell you you need a million pillows and garlands, Jaclyn is all about minimal transitions with a high impact. It’s perfect if you are scaling back, on a budget, or just don’t want to bring a bunch of crap into your home because it’s seasonal (HELLO, THAT’S ME!). So sip that first cup of coffee & jump right in! – xoxo, LK


Hello! Jaclyn here of The Coveted Home & we are talking home decor transition today. Truthfully, I’m not in the habit of “decorating for the seasons”, I’m actually quite the minimalist when it comes to seasonal decorating. A few adjustments to my decor is all I need to transition from spring & summer into fall & winter. A few weeks ago I started planning to make one of those seasonal changes to my living room– to welcome in fall with its darker days and colder temps.

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I love me some hi/low, so a mix of items from my shop, Coveted Home, along with a few pieces from Target did the trick for an easy seasonal update.

I kept it simple by switching out my summer pillows, which were more colorful and bright, for some more neutral colors and opted to keep the color palate on the sofa just black, white and blue. The new pillows I introduced can be found here and here.

I found the black matte candelabra at Target and immediately snatched it up. I love the drama it adds to my coffee table while keeping the palate neutral.

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Every few months I change things up on my bookshelf to keep it fresh. By simply rearranging a few of the shelves I was able to add just two new accessories which gave it a completely different look, easy peasy! You can find my newest additions here and here.

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I love picking out flowers to match the new scene. Here I added some seasonal flowers with fall colors and little baby pumpkins that instantly amped up the fall vibe!

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Once I made all these updates and my house was clean (for a change) I thought “what better way to celebrate the beginning of fall than to host a little ‘end of summer’ gathering?!”

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I love to host potluck style dinners. Fortunately I have a nice back yard, so this usually entails grilling, and yard games are a must. I’m a low-key kind of entertainer — cooking for large groups of people stresses me out so I usually ask my guests to bring items for the grill or side dishes. I normally take care of the apps and always set out a few unique pieces of cheese for people to nibble on as well as hummus, olives and maybe some veggies or chips. This time I grilled some jalapeños stuffed with a mixture of blueberry compote and cream cheese–so yummy!

Easy seasonal updates, easy entertaining. With my busy life, that’s just how I roll! Thank you for letting me share it with you!

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SHOP THE POST


Photography & Text by Jaclyn Joslin of The Coveted Home

HOME TOUR WITH LAUREN KELP

HT|DWF0025Hello friends! We’ve been doing Home Tours for a while now & I can honestly say they are one of my favorite series of the site. It’s so fun to take a peek inside someones home, see how they decorate, learn about new spaces, and get to know someone better. Today is an extra fun Home Tour for me because today we are stepping inside our Chicago home!

If you’ve been following the site for a bit, you might remember our Phoenix home tour. From Austin to Phoenix to Chicago in a quick two years, we’ve gotten really good at moving! But, this January we moved downtown Chicago and plan on kicking it around the Windy City for a bit. So come on in and let me show you around!

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We developed a love for weird, funky art while living in Austin & Arizona, so you can defiantly see the Southwestern influence throughout the house.HT|DWF0019 HT|DWF0016My parents live in Chicago, so since moving home, we’ve been able to…commandeer a few of their pieces. This red chair used to be my Grandfather’s and was a staple in my Dad’s house growing up. Whenever he comes over, he looks at it, smiles, and settles right in. HT|DWF0015 HT|DWF0013

Between Hendrick’s Gin (or Koval if you are local) and a good bottle of wine, I am a happy gal.HT|DWF0012I don’t care what anyone says, the Ugly Doll stuffed animals are hysterical. This guy always makes us smile when we walk upstairs.
HT|DWF0011 HT|DWF0010Oh, so this was a really fun project! I’ve always wanted to try my hand and an industrial rolling rack and this was the perfect excuse. This little guy was so fun and super easy to make!
HT|DWF0004 HT|DWF0003 HT|DWF0002et Voila! Our first spot in Chicago. There is lots of work to do, but we think the bones are pretty fun. You can’t beat 19 foot ceilings downtown!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
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HOMEMADE INSECT REPELLENT

BREANN0008A few months ago, Lauren, Stancy and I headed out to a gorgeous Phoenix neighborhood to take a few photos of moi for the website. It was a warm Autumn evening, and the lighting was seriously dreamy. Having your photo taken can be a really awkward experience, but Stancy and Lauren gave me the best direction, and really helped me to feel confident and comfortable. Their work definitely resonates in the images Stancy captured, but there was one thing about the shoot they just couldn’t help me with.

You can’t see it in the photos, but there were about a MILLION mosquitos swarming my legs. (Okay, maybe a million is a bit dramatic, but there were definitely a lot.) I could feel several at a time biting at my shins and ankles. My face may seem cool and collected, but I was screaming inside. I had about a dozen large welts on each of my legs for about a week afterward – not pretty.

Since then, homemade insect repellent is one thing that always remains in my cosmetic bag. Sure, it’s kind of like medicine rather than a beauty product, but if you guys had seen my legs, you’d definitely consider it for vanity purposes too!

IMG_3908One thing I can’t stand about store-bought insect repellent is obviously the scent. Most repellents smell like poison to me, and to be honest, I don’t like using products with so many chemicals on my skin. All you long time subscribers of #LKbeauty know I love to take a natural approach to things, and this is no exception. After a little online research, I came up with my own blend of insect repellant!

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YOU WILL NEED:

– A small spray bottle – really any size will do.

– Witch Hazel (can be found at Walgreens and even Target)

– Lemon or Citronella Essential Oil

– Melaleuca Essential Oil

HOW TO MAKE IT:

– Simply fill the bottle about 3/4 full of Witch Hazel.

– Next add 5 drops of each oil

– Shake the bottle vigorously before each use and apply liberally.

– It’s THAT simple!

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Since the weather has been warming up here in Arizona, we are starting to see little mosquitos re-populate. I’ve been using this blend for a few weeks now, and all the pests have steered clear of me. What I love most, is the citrus scent! It’s really perfect for this time of year, and I doubt anyone will tell you that your essential oils smell bad. I now look forward to a Summer of bite free legs, and more time spent outdoors!

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Plan on making some of your own insect repellant? Snap a pic and tag us on Instagram/ Twitter with @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty.


 

breann bowman