First of all, this is the first #tinykelphouse post!! That is a big freaking deal. We bought our little 700-sq.ft loveshack in New Buffalo just before Thanksgiving and are just now, JUST NOW, able to sleep in their with running water, a functioning bathroom, no doors yet, but hey…it’s no longer yellow and it’s ours! We did about 80% of the renovations ourselves (which…plaster dust is not for the faint of heart or those looking to test their relationship) and while I now go shopping for power tools more than shoes, I can honestly say it was way more fun than not.
Besides the dramatic impact of the house no longer being yellow, these blinds are INSANE. They legit make the house.
First of all, they come with a magical remote control.
Okay, wait, wait, wait…let’s back up to the beginning.
When researching blinds I came across The Shade Store & feel in love. Fast. If you live in Chicago, you’ve probably heard of them or seen their showroom at the Merchandise Mart and let me tell you…it’s magical. I worked with Carol (or as I like to call her, the magical unicorn) at the showroom and she answered all of my questions. Like, “I feel like window treatments are an adult purchase?” Also, “how the eff do I get started?”
We walked around the showroom, talking about paint colors, I showed her pictures of the space, a general design plan for the house, and the overall vibe of the place. Ultimately, we decided on these gorgeous linen roller shades for the living room and kitchen french doors. Guys, they are magical. I mean….LOOK AT THEM.
They are a perfect “not aggressive white but calm white” shade of linen, they keep out the heat of the sun without blocking the light completely, and they roll up to almost nothing. Besides that narrow bar at the top, there isn’t anything to them. No cords or thick bars, just narrow little strip at the top that rolls up like nothing.
Best part? Besides making my house look finished, refined, and totally chic? EVERYTHING IS ON A REMOTE!
Our magical installer programmed all four roller blinds on to a combined channel, so now if I want to roll all of them up or down, all I do is hit “0” on the remote & magiiiic. They each have their own channel too, so if I wanted to roll the main front door shade up, but keep the rest down, I hit channel “2” – WIZARDRY I TELL YOU.
Here is the deal – if you are looking to update your window treatments or just want to give your home a refresh – hit up The Shade Store. They are beyond helpful, kind, and informative plus the shades are absolutle magic. If you are local, ask for Carol, she is a wizard.
thanks to the shade store for sponsoring this post
It’s no secret that we love a good cocktail around here just as much as we love self care. Most of the time those things seem mutually exclusive (although I am a firm believer in a glass of wine in the bathtub), but what would happen if you mixed the two? Maybe like adding turmeric to a cocktail – why not?!
Turmeric is absolutely, hands down one of my favorite go-to spices. It warms me up, helps fight off colds, packs an amazing flavor punch, and just about cures all ails – it is my personal magic bullet. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered Von Humboldt’s turmeric liqueur.
On its own, turmeric can have an intense, bitter flavor, but in this liqueur it’s been distilled down with coriander seed, rose petal, and lemon zest to sweeten things up a bit. It is a delicious earthy modifier that holds her own in a cocktail or enjoyed as a digestif after a meal.
Is there anything better than a warm weather brunch? The sun is out, every one is in a good mood, the champagne is flowing – it’s just magic all around. As you know, I love any (and all) excuses to throw a get together and hosting a brunch around a fabulous new serving dish is right up my alley. This weekend it was all about this gorgeous new Fleur Cocotte from Le Creuset.
Normally, I am very minimal and utilitarian about my dishes, but there is something about the embossed flowers on the lid and base of the cocotte that I couldn’t resist. Plus, it has a lovely matte finish that makes me feel all sexy and European when I am cooking.
IN FACT, I love it so much we are going to GIVE ONE AWAY!! Hop on over to @Lauren_Kelp and enter to win.
That way we can be cooking twinzies and make all sorts of delicious fun things in our fancy new Fleur Cocotte
Speaking of delicious things, have you tried a carrot ginger soup? Sister, I am hooked! We made one a few months ago and they have been on steady repeat ever since. I love this recipe (don’t worry, it’s below) because it’s light, fresh, super good for you, and wildly easy to make. PLUS, it is a dream for entertaining. It’s pretty and tasty – what could be better?
1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sliced fresh chives
Heat ½ cup broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in ginger, carrots, potato and remaining broth and heat to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
In batches, carefully puree in a blender.
Add water or broth if needed to thin to desired consistency.
Reheat soup if necessary. Stir in lemon juice and garnish with chives.
Are you convinced yet that you need the Fleur Cocotte in your life? Don’t forget to head over to @Lauren_Kelp for your chance to win one! Giveaway is open to US only (sorry!) and we will be picking the winner tomorrow!
SHOP THE BRUNCH
thank you Le Creuset for sponsoring this post. all thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own
If I am being honest – and we are all friends here, so of course I am being honest – this end of winter/beginning of spring in between season always kind of gets me down. Call it the wacky weather or maybe because the skies tend to be more gray than blue, either way, I get bummed out. So, in an effort to simplify things, I am trying to make some small changes with big results. So…for this weeks challenge….
Here are several ways I am trying to simplify my life this week. Some of these might be up your alley, some maybe not so much, but I would love to hear your thoughts!
1 – No more falling asleep with the TV on
I know, I know, it’s a bad habit, but some nights my mind is racing so much that the only thing that will help me go to sleep is watching mindless TV shows (Arrow, anyone?) But, as we all know, falling asleep to the TV doesn’t exactly provide the foundation for rest, now does it? This week, I am putting down the remote and picking up a good book.
2 – No more waking up & checking emails
Do you do this? It’s the first thing I do when I turn the alarm off at 5 a.m. It’s like clockwork. I turn off the alarm, refresh my email, check the news (depressing), and Instagram. Immediately I feel stressed and rushed and it’s no bueno. This week I am putting my phone on airplane mode and giving myself a little extra time in the morning to ease into things.
Airplane mode keeps all your notifications from coming through (i.e. no emails, calls, texts, Instagram notifications, and all the other nonsense you get notified about). Here is to hoping this small change makes a BIG difference.
3 – No more chips and salsa for dinner
Tell me I am not alone in the weeknight meal struggle. Sometimes it’s hard to whip up a meal after a long day, you know what I mean? And once the pizza guy knows your name, that relationship has to end ASAP.
For those of you who meal plan, I envy you. While it’s not hard, it is just a bit time-consuming which is always the hurdle. This week, my goal is to meal plan for three dinners, nothing crazy, just something basic and easy to work into being a fully functioning adult.
4 – No more double booking
Scheduling every moment of every day is exhausting and a fool-proof way to set your plans up for failure. Happy hours and catching up with friends are meant to be fun, not stressful. Try limiting your hangouts and catch-ups to two days or swapping the happy hour for a walk outside or spin class. This week I am opting for a fewer hangouts of higher quality – you in?
5 – No more stuffing & cramming
By no means am I a hoarder, but there are just certain things that I can’t seem to organize. Random match books, receipts, random screws, you know, normal things. And don’t even get me started about the chair. You know when clothes aren’t dirty enough for the hamper, but not clean enough for the hamper — it’s the chair. So between the chair, the random junk drawer, and the other corner piles, something has got to go. This week, it’s time to tackle the chair…
6 – No more elaborate morning routines
When I was in college I was all about the elaborate morning routine. I woke up, stretched, journaled, had some quiet time, made breakfast, showered AND blow dired my hair, plus probably singing to the plants and talking to the birds because that is how much freaking free time I had. Who the eff has that kind of time now? Not I, said the over scheduled fly, not I.
While I am still a huge proponent of a morning routine (we talked all about it here), mine looks way, way different. It is all about waking up 10 minutes early, leaving my phone on DND, meditating for a few minutes, and giving myself a little extra love – maybe some mornings that means actually make a breakfast, or taking time to do my hair, or hey, here’s a big one, trying to make that morning meeting on time.
I am notorious for changing multiple times in a morning, are you that way? Even if I think I know what I want to wear, majority of the time I spend half the morning picking out shoes or switching a top – it’s a nightmare. Your decision making skills begin to decline once you’ve made a certain amount of decisions in a day (it takes a lot of energy to make decisions all day and your brain gets tired), so spending a lot of time and energy on choosing an outfit takes away strong decision-making skills from something else.
This week I am giving my brain a hand and selecting outfits ahead of time, that way I don’t have to worry about it!
What about you? What changes have you made in your life to feel less stressed?
Party people, what’s happening?! Is this warm weather not the absolute best? Every time spring rolls around all I want to do is entertain. The windows are open, the grill gets fired up, and it’s a non-stop open house!
We recently moved in to a new space, so naturally we had to throw a housewarming party! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE housewarming get-togethers. Home ownership is a big deal and so it absolutely deserves to be celebrated and y’all know how I love to celebrate. But I also think that moving is a big deal and should be celebrated (congrats, you made it through a move….real life, that’s a big deal) so why not throw a housewarming party for a new apartment?! All the house parties!!
We are sharing four fabulous tricks to hosting a stress free housewarming party over on the Kendall Jackson blog, so head on over and get you some pointers. Real talk though, housewarming parties shouldn’t be stressful – don’t let them be. Who cares if you haven’t unpacked all your boxes and if the house isn’t perfect? There is something charming and refreshing about a space that isn’t perfect, you know?
Last week we hosted our little housewarming bash and I made my absolute favorite seasonal salad. I call it seasonal because it sounds like it won’t always be there, but truthfully, we have it in the dead of winter, so it’s really an all year round salad, it just tastes better in the spring-time. Meet the kale & avocado salad!
It’s got delicious chickpeas, yummy kale (that you rub a lemon vinaigrette on the leaves and it tastes like magic), and lots of avocado (because, hellllllo). It is perfect for a crowd and tastes like absolute heaven with a glass of crisp white wine. That is why we served K-J AVANT by the boatload. Salads and wine are like the grown up peanut butter and jelly and deserve to be enjoyed just as often.
Here is what I love about pairing a really healthy, delicious salad withK-J AVANT the earthy taste from the salad is sweetened by the vibrant fruity notes from the wine. The Chardonnay is crisp and cool and when it meets the avocado and chickpeas it is like a magical garden party. Plus, the price point is wildly affordable, so I always have it on hand for parties so we never run out!
For the dressing, combine lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
Once thoroughly mixed, slowly add in the olive oil while whisking until creamy.
Add your kale to a large bowl and pour the dressing over the leaves and gently massage the dressing in to the leaves (this takes the bitterness out of the leaves and ensures a nice lemon flavor with every bite)
Rinse and drain your chickpeas and dice your avocado into little cubes and gently fold in to the salad.
Before you start thinking I’ve gone off the deep end, or have a penchant for psychedelics, hear me out… I’ve been adding mushrooms to my morning routine and it has been AMAZING! Mushrooms might just be the next big superfood and if they taste as good as Four Sigmatic’s, we are all in.
It is no secret that certain mushrooms are packed full of healthy heroes that help your immunity, digestion issues, and various other healing properties, but knowing, finding, and using those magic mushrooms has always been a bit of a hurdle. Luckily, a bunch of guys from Finland set out to make mushrooms (and all their good juju) more mainstream and now we have Four Sigmatic in all it’s glory.
Here’s the shroom boom breakdown:
Mushrooms like reishi are adaptogens (turmeric is a popular adaptogen) meaning they help your body manage stress.
Their blend gives you the boost of caffeine without the jitters, in fact, it actively works to heal your body from stress induced issues
Reishi, Chaga, & Cordyceps are three main types of mushrooms the teas tend to focus on…
Reishi is the Queen B of mushrooms because it helps regulate hormones, lower stress, and break down cortisol.
Chaga has the highest source of antioxidants, helps lower cholesterol, and has been proven to help manage diabetes
Cordyceps are really good for oxygen intake so it’s great for runners and athletes
In a small sauce pan, heat all ingredients to a simmer.
Transfer the liquid to a blender and blend slowly until nice and frothy
Pour into a mug and enjoy hot!
What do you think? Would you jump on the mushroom train? After a week of drinking their blends, I feel caffeinated without the jitters and have noticed that I am more steady and focused then ever before. Plus I feel bad ass because I am drinking mushrooms every morning.
I am a big believer in creating good energy in your home, because truthfully, it helps me stay balanced. My personality is a MASSIVE introverted extrovert, meaning, I love people, I love hanging out and doing things, but they don’t fill me up. I get filled up by being at home, reading books, gardening, or (no surprise here) taking a bath. So when my day is filled with extroverted activities, it is really important for me to come home to a space that is clean, quiet, and filled with good vibes.
Actively working to create a space with good vibes is something that is crucial to my mental health and a little habit that really helps my self care practice. For you, it might mean burning incense or using smudge sticks – both are awesome & if that works for you, don’t change – but for me, it is slightly more involved.
Doesn’t this sound like I am a cheesy mall photographer trying to upsell you on a package? I promise, it’s nothing as creepy as that…
For me, creating moments means having little spots around the house where I can instantly sit back and relax. Most of the time it involves trays. I don’t really know why, maybe it’s because my slightly type-A brain loves the organization and compartmentalizing aspect of trays…either way, trays are the trick to moments.
For example, I always have a tray sitting on my coffee table with a candle, matches, and some reading material. This allows me to sit down on the sofa, light the candle, grab a magazine, and relax without any prep work. My brain is tired from making decisions all day, so this is an easy, decision free way to just take a break from things for a bit.
Naturally, I get all the best trays in my house and candles in my house from Marshalls, because a) they are AMAZING and b) fantastically affordable. This little round guy is perfect for outdoor entertaining and the Peony Petal candle is my absolutle favorite. Every time I go to Marshalls I stock up on as many as they have. I have a whole shelf in my office dedicated to this candle…no joke. My husband thinks I am insane, but I like to think that our house smells like a magic English house in the country, so…worth it.
CREATE YOUR OWN MOMENT
This could also be called “Manage Clutter Well” but soothing visuals made this tip sound more zen and important some how, so let’s roll with it. Okay, so what the F does “soothing visuals” mean? Well, young padawan, let me explain…
Your brain processing a million pieces of information a day and there are about a katrillion things vying for your attention at any given moment, so part of my good vibe practice is to create a space that is soothing, relaxing, and doesn’t need anything from me.
Again, I like color and organization so organizing my bookshelf by color is weirdly cathartic for my mind. Every morning when I spread out the various piles, paperwork, and nonsense I have to get through in a day, it is nice to have this colorful wall to look up at and space out on.
For you, that might mean sparse bookshelves, a gallery wall, a cabinet full of plants, it could be any or all of those things, but try setting it up in a room you are frequently in.
I also love filling my bookshelves with little trinkets from trips, items that make me smile, and all of the plants. Honestly, if I could live in a greenhouse I would be thrilled. Elated actually, but that is besides the point.
On a recent trip to my favorite store (cough cough Marshalls) I found those three blue and white Chinoiserie vases – aren’t they cool? They add some height and drama to the shelves without being loud or trendy. Plus, I can move them to my dining room table to spruce things up, or in various other places in the house when I get the itch to rearrange (which is daily, mind you). That big guy on the right was under $50, can you believe? Run, go get them, right now, GO, we will wait…
Basically, I try to make my living room as comfortable as possible. We’ve got books stacked on almost every available surface (in a chic, no cluttered way of course), candles are always within an arms reach, and everything basically begs you to sit down, unplug, and recharge. Also, this is a phone free zone in our house. While our TV is hanging on the opposite wall, we try to leave our phones on the dining room table, so when we are in the living room, we spend time together. That could mean watching a movie, binge watching a show, or snuggling, reading, or just catching up on our days.
It’s amazing and I totally suggest instituting a tech free zone of your house. Try it for a week and watch what happens. You’ll be amazed.
Part of making a room cozy is having places to rest your cup of tea, a book, or a candle and these stools (again from Marshalls, again in amazing blue and white) are beyond perfect. They are roughly 24″ tall, so the perfect height for a sofa or a chair, blend in nicely with almost any decorating style, and easily under $100. I loved them so much I bought two extra ones to use as our bedside tables – OBSESSED.
If I was a betting gal, it would be easy money to say that you and everyone you know is taking about collagen. It’s the latest super supplement and it’s popping up on every heathy list imaginable – but what is it all about?
I wanted to see what all the hype was about, so naturally I dove right in, headfirst, and went gangbusters for a week. I ate, drank, gargled (jk, I didn’t do that), and breathed collagen (by only by accident because I sneezed while scooping some out….oops) and there are legit some amazing benefits…
Here is why everyone is loving collagen:
Great for your bones, joints, and muscles
Helps with digestion & is great for anyone with acid reflux, IBS, or leaky gut
Does wonders for your skin (goodbye wrinkles), teeth, nails, and hair
And, rumor has it, it supports a healthy nights sleep
After doing some research, I ordered Dr. Axe’s Multi-Collagen Protein and started adding two scoops to my morning smoothies. This particular mix is a high-quality blend of bovine, chicken, fish, and egg collagens, providing collagen Types I, II, III, V and X (hence, “multi” collagen).Types I and III are amazing for your skin, hair, and nails while Type II collagen, which supports gut health, joint health and healthy immune system function.
This mix is great because it’s super high quality, easy to absorb, tasteless, and has absolutely no smell (which, to me, is a big win). Smoothies are a super easy way to work collagen in, but I have also mixed it in to my cup of tea in the evening, and lots of people use collagen in their recipes!
I’ve been drinking collagen for about two weeks now and I can tell that their is a difference in my skin, energy levels, and my hair feels more healthy. It’s so easy to work in to my morning routine and with noticeable results in such a short time, it’s definitely become a beloved part of my health regime.
What do you think? Would you try working collagen in to your routine?
FRIEND! Ooh do I have a treat for you today! It’s been kind of an icky, rainy week and not only in Mercury in retrograde, but 3 other planets as well (woof), so clearly, we are all in need of a cocktail. Luckily, I take my job very seriously and do a lot of research and development of fabulous new cocktails and products to make your bar cart and happy hour easy, delicious, and relaxing.
So, that being said, meet the latest addition to your bar cart – The Owls Brew. First of all, it was started by two women, so that is reason enough to pick up a few bottles (at least in my book), secondly it’s one of the best cocktail mixers I have ever tried.
All of their mixers (and they have a great variety) are tea based (HOLLA!) And let me tell you, they are absolutely fantastic. Like, order-all-of-them-and-have-them-on-hand-at-all-times fantastic.
Plus, they are super easy to mix – ready, two parts mixer & one part booze. DONE. If that doesn’t meet 30-second cocktail qualifications, I don’t know what does.
Alright my clean beauty babes, it’s time for another roundup. March marked the beginning of our journey in to clean beauty, ditching dirty products, swapping them for clean ones, and educating ourselves on ingredients and learning just exactly is in our beauty products. This all started because I downloaded the Think Dirty app and went to town scanning in our bathroom products and became freaked out because of what I was putting on my skin. It’s freaky stuff, babes, freaky, freaky stuff.
But! Thanks to a little digging, ditching, and trial and error, I present to you the first ever Use This, Not That clean beauty roundup. Ideally, I want to do these every month and showcase new, clean products that work just as well as your tried and true beauty favorites, just this time without all the icky chemicals.
I’ve talked about this cream before and I will talk about it again and again because it is truly amazing. It’s different than a normal lotion in that it isn’t creamy, more solidified like a coconut oil, but man is it amazing. Rub a little bit of this on after the shower and you feel soft and subtle all day long. Seriously, it’s totally worth it.
Everyone and their mother is obsessed with Glossier right now and truthfully, you should be too. I use their Super Pure serum for my acne-prone skin, but each of the three – Super Pure, Super Glow, Super Bounce – are all equally amazing. Not greasy or slimy, the serum blends easily and absorbs within a few seconds, leaving your skin feeling super (sorry, I had to!) Plus, with minimal ingredients, it’s a major clean win.
SWAP FOR: H20+, Caudalie, Clarins, Lancome face serums
Another skin care line you’ve probably been hearing left and right is Beauty Counter, and again, it’s because they are absolutely killing the organic, clean, not weird beauty game. Now, this Dew Skin is everything you ever wanted if your goal is the Non-makeup, makeup look. If you want glowing skin that says, “I don’t sweat, I glow,” this is abso-freaking-lutey it. It’s disgusting how amazing this skin tint is.
PS – if you want to try some BC products or looking for more information, visit this linkand get connected with my gal Clare. She is an absolute wizard on natural skin care and beyond helpful. She even taught me how to apply concealer the right way.
It clicks, it’s in a gold pen, and it’s basically real life photoshop. No joke. I am terrible at makeup (meaning, I don’t know how to do it and I rarely have time for it) but this is an absolute goldmine if you use concealer. Perfect for under eye or for spot touch-up, the concealer isn’t shiny or oily and it lasts all-freaking-day.
Again, you’ve probably seen this all over the internet, but it really is worth the hype. If I am in a rush, I usually throw on some face oil, a shade of lipstick, and run these through my eyebrows and it always makes me feel more polished and put together. Brow Boy comes in various shades (I use brown, but clear is a great option as well) which lightly fills in your eyebrows, making them slightly more full and keeps the hold without the powder or putty finish.
For all my highlighter loving babes, toss out whatever you are using and get ready to be swept off your feet by Ilia. It comes in a fat little stick, so it’s perfect for your cheekbones, but it’s translucent enough to go on just about everywhere.
SWAP FOR: Revlon, Almay, Rimmel London highlighter
After learning what was in my regular eye cream, I ditched that as fast as I could and straight into the arms of thisBeauty Counter favorite. A little dab around your eye sockets (the boney part above and below your eye) and your eyes feel hydrated, fresh, and bright all day long. I love this cream because the skin underneath my eyes feels amazingly soft and never oily or greasy. Total must have if you like eye cream.
This is my favorite spot treatment because it gets the job done and is light enough to wear under makeup during the day. It has Vitamin B3 in the formula (and while it isn’t the cleanest product out their, it isn’t wildly terrible either) and it blends evenly into skin and works to help reduce the appearance of blemishes.
SWAP FOR: Neutrogena or Clean & Clear spot treatments
Cruelty-free, biodegradable, vegan soap in a gently formula (that smells faintly of rose…AMAZING) and while you can use it on your face, hair, and skin, I just use it as my shower soap. I love Dr. B’s because it moisturizes, fortifies + nourishes skin with natural oils for a thorough, fragrant clean that won’t strip your skin of natural oils.
SWAP FOR: Ivory, Dove Shea Butter bar, Yes to Tomatoes, Old Spice, Olay bar soaps
What clean products are you loving right now?
Okay, little disclaimer, do your own research. These products are based on my personal review as are the suggested swap products. Some of these companies might have great, clean beauty lines, and that is totally up to you whether you want to use them or not. That’s the joy of having so many beauty options!