Archive for February 2013

Evolving Friendships

Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's weird. Weird the things I think of on my drives home. Today it was friendships. Old friendships, new friendships, friendships you think will be there forever. I started thinking about friends from my past that I haven't spoken to in years. Sure, I'm facebook friends with a lot of these people, but it's been years since we've really talked.


I think about friends I had in school. I'm talking all the way back from kindergarten & first grade. My mom was (& still is) a teacher, so in elementary & middle school my brother & I would get out of school, then we'd have to wait for her to finish up before we could go home. Another girl, Gina, her mom worked at the school as well. We became super close & had tons of adventures together - running around the school after hours was pretty awesome back then. I can remember spending the night at her house all the time. We would make no-bakes & mounds candy bars... jump on her trampoline & go paddle-boating around the little lake behind her house. We stayed friends throughout middle school, but somewhere in high school we drifted apart. I ran into her at Kroger one day & it was just so fun to briefly catch up. She went to art school for a while & now I think she is a server at this cool new restaurant in Louisville.

Another girl, Kim, was my best friend in elementary school. Then in middle & high we drifted apart. I can remember being at her house 24/7 almost. She had 2 sisters close to our age, who also always had friends over, so we never ran out of things to do. I can remember tons of adventures in her basement, cooking parties in her kitchen, & the fact that her parents always made everyone finish every last drop of milk with their dinner. Milk was the only option. To this day, I can't drink milk with any other meal than breakfast & even then it has tons of ice so it stays super cold. I went away to camp with Kim & one year my mom made our hair look like Cindy Lou-Hoo from the Grinch. It was pretty awesome. I ran into Kim at Starbucks about a year ago & then ran into her parents at a boat show. She went to Purdue University & is on her way to becoming a pharmacist.

It's funny because I can't remember the last time I hung out with these girls & more. It's like looking back, I had no idea I would drift apart from this person. No idea that we would just leave that sleepover or whatever & that would reallly be the last real time we hung out. Really hung out. It's crazy how technology allows us to sort of keep tabs on old friends. It's even better when we run into these old friends in real life & get to see what they are up to.

It's crazy to see where everyone ends up. I say 'ends up' loosely. Obviously everyone is still evolving & moving forward. Totally makes me rethink the whole attending my high school reunion when it comes (in 4 more years) thing. I never thought I would go... but you know what? Maybe I just will.

Do you like running into old friends?
Will you attend, or have you attended (how was it?) your high school reunion??

xo
Sam

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Life Lately + Sweetheart Vox Box Review

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hi ladies! It's been a while so I thought I'd check in & fill you in on my life happenings as of lately...
 
My dining room-to-office transformation is well underway... & I'm making progress.

You might remember this cabinet, my craigslist find, looking like this before...
Quite the transformation, huh? I repainted this beauty with gray paint we had around the house. It's like my little office cabinet, housing my computer, printer & office supplies.
Grand total - 50 smackeroos.
I'm still working on all the other details, but I'll be sure to post a full reveal soon with before & afters.
 
While on the DIY subject, Jason & I made ourselves a new little coffee table. I like to call it #imitationpotterybarn. Agree?
 
The base we found at our local Habitat ReStore... it was stained oak with a really ugly top.
We painted the base a satin black, removed the old top & replaced it with ancient true 2x12 pine boards. The boards actually used to be flooring at the Louisville Slugger factory back in the 60's/70's. It's old. Jason is lucky enough to be friends with one of the guys in the slugger fam.
Major score. So we stained the boards & attached for a new top.
Total cost - $50 bucks.
 
What else. What else, what else?
 
I learned this braid. Thanks to Ashley over at The Shine Project.
 
It's super easy to do & is great for cleaning or working out.
 
Speaking of working out....
I've been looking like this a lot lately. If you're looking for a new workout I highly suggest www.dailyhiit.com. Check it out, it won't disappoint. & it's FREE!
 
My love left me this little surprise on V-day morning. Plus a facial gift certificate. Thanks babe :)
 
 
Snagged these amazing chevron & burlap pillow covers at Hobby Lobby for 1/2 off. They rang in around $3.50 each. Total score!
 
 
Finished Gone Girl. Awesome book, but the ending totally pissed me off. 
Gillian Flynn is a great writer & I can't wait to read more from her.
 
Also... I was lucky enough to receive a Sweetheart Vox Box from Influenster.
The goods:
 
Olay Fresh Effects - Powered Contour Cleansing System
What is it? A vibrating brush that is said to clean 400% better than basic cleansing.
Thoughts? I liked it. It felt good on my skin. I will likely use it a few times a week.
However, I highly doubt it cleans 400% better than basic cleansing.  
 
Olay Fresh Effects - Shine Minimizing Cleanser
What is it? A facial cleanser with the power of a mask. Said to deep clean 
& reduce appearance of pores. 
Thoughts? I used it with the vibrating brush. The combination of both left my skin feeling smooth, we'll see if it helps reduce the appearance of pores with continued use.
 
Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response
What is it? A deoderant formulated to fight the 3 causes of sweat - heat, movement & stress.
Thoughts? Not gonna lie, hated this one. Don't get me wrong, it smelled great. However, it's the kind of deoderant that you 'roll up' & it's in a liquid/cream form. It makes my underarms feel wet.
If you like that type of deoderant, knock yourself out because it really does smell good, but I will stick with my solid deoderants.
 
Skinny Girl On-the-Go Bar ( in Coco-Nut)
 
 
 What is it? An On-the-Go bar high in protein & fiber, low in calories, sugar & carbs.
Thoughts? First off, I love Bethenny & her Skinny Girl brand. However, I'm a tough please with bars, just because a lot of them taste like cardboard! I'm happy to say this one was amazing though! I got the Coco-nut flavor & it really did taste like coconut & peanut butter. Plus, I was super happy with the nutrition content. 180 Cals, 8g protein, 5g fiber & less sugar & carbs than other comparable bars.
I will be adding these to my grocery list :)
 
Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray
 

 
What is it? A texturizing spray infused with sea salt, said to give you that 'beach babe' look.
Thoughts? I used the spray on hair that I had washed & flat ironed curled the previous day- then slept on. It brought life back to my flat iron curls & gave it a nice texture. Bonus? These waves stayed in place all day long, people! All. Day. Long. With naturally stick straight hair, this never happens!
Safe to say this full size product will totally be mine asap.
 
What have y'all been up to lately? Ever tried any of these products? 
 
I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.
Connect with these brands on Instagram or Twitter :)
 
@influenster
@FreshEffects #OlayGetFresh
@SecretDeoderant #StressSweat
@NYMBrands #NotYourMothers
@SkinnygirlDaily #SkinnygirlDailyBars
 
 
xo
Sam
 


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I'm the kinda girl who...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I'm the kinda girl who...
 

...attempts throwing together my own halloween costumes...

...would rather spend a night in than a night out 99% of the time...

... loves a good thrift store hunt...

... loves to explore & wander through different cities...

... smiles at people I pass throughout the day...

... has to get my daily sweat sesh in...

... gets super excited about being creative...

... wants to adopt any 'homeless' dog I see...

... wants to make a difference...

... goes through my closet & then picks through the get-rid-of pile & saves things...

... plans to travel the world at some point...

... likes adventure...

What kind of girl are you? Go link up with Holly!

 
xo
Sam

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20 Seconds of Insane Courage.

Monday, February 18, 2013


'All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of embarassing bravery, and I promise you, something great will come of it.' - We Bought a Zoo
 
We Bought a Zoo is one of those movies that I wasn't too interested in seeing in the beginning. Jason practically had to talk me into watching it. Well, we watched it, and I absolutely loved it. The above quote is so true, so unmistakably true. We just need to listen to it.
 
We all have fears. We all have opportunities. Sometimes these fears keep us from seizing these opportunities.
 
I know I'm guilty of it.
 
Just last night, Jason & I went to this new sushi place. It was empty, literally just us at one table, one other customer sitting at the sushi bar, and three employees. I have this weird thing I do where I'm not trying to listen in on other people's conversations, but I just pick up on bits & pieces. I guess part of it's due to the fact that Jason & I are at the point in our relationship where we don't have to be talking 24/7, we can just be.
 
So anyways, I overhear this customer talking about his move to Chicago. He's talking about where he'll live, & saying that he will still be visiting Louisville quite often because some of his team is here. He mentioned selling his car, because he will be able to rely soley on public transit in Chicago.
 
He mentioned nothing of his house, or living situtation. But it's possible he had a home to sell in Louisville, right? So I thought, I'll slip him a card on the way out, say I overheard about his move to Chicago, & let him know I'd love to help him with any real estate needs.
 
Great idea, right?
Yeah, but I didn't do it.
I let myself walk right out the door after thanking the sushi chef (is that what you call them?) & left the opportunity on the table.
 
Why? Why didn't I say anything? It's that voice in my head saying
well, he probobly doesn't have a house to sell, maybe he was a renter...
I'm sure he already has an agent.
He likely already has a plan, he's already sold his house here, or tied up any loose ends.
 
Maybe one of those was true. Maybe he had no use for a realtor. But guess what? Now I don't know.
Say I put myself out there, introduced myself, gave him a card. Anything could have happened.
 
Maybe he needed a realtor. Maybe he didn't need a realtor, but guess what? He liked my spunk & if he ever did need a realtor in Louisville, he knew who the heck I was. Maybe one of the employees needed a realtor, & they would speak up. Maybe he would pass my card along to a friend.
 
Hell, maybe this guy was a total jerk & he would be annoyed with me for interupting him & refuse my card. I doubt it, but it could happen. Even if it did, at least I would know! Would that really be that bad? No.
 
But now, because I didn't put it out there, I missed any opportunity (now or in the future) that could have come from taking the risk.
 
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
Well, it's true.
 
Sure, this was just one opportunity. There will be many more. Normally, I'm good about seizing opportunities. But after this little experience, I'm sure as hell going to seize any opportunity that comes my way. I'm even going to create opportunities. Because this feeling of missing out, kicking yourself for not speaking up... it's no good.
 
The only one in my way is me.
The only one in your way is you.
I plan on getting out of my own way.
 
Maybe I'll start tracking my '20 seconds' & document them for you here on the blog. What do you think about that?
 
xo
Sam
 
 
 

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Five Things

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hey ladies!
I've seen this idea floating all around blogland & I thought it looked fun & like a great way to get to know all of the blogging crew a little better :)

So here goes...

5 things about yours truly...


5 things...

...you'll find in my purse...
- my chapstick. I'm wayy addicted.
- approx. 14 different lip balms, glosses, etc. Not even kidding!
- my wallet with all of my various cards (debit, gift cards, health ins, license...)
- my kindle
- my phone

...you'll find in my bedroom...
- my latest book on the nightstand. Right now it's Gone Girl!
- lotion
- jewelry displays
- chapstick (again, yes!)
-an array of ever-rotating decorations on my nightstand

...I've always wanted to do...
- chop my hair off or dye it red... something drastic!
- skydive (i did it once here, but I want to do it from a higher altitude now)
- go to Chicago, NYC & Vegas. Vegas is in May!!
- volunteer working with animals and also for big brother big sister.
- go through a real bootcamp course just to see if I could do it.

... I'm currently loving...
- Gone Girl! After waiting on the library waiting list for months, it's finally mine. I'm about half done.
- Red Stamp app for Iphone. Get it, you won't be sorry :)
- my lovely coffee mug from Ashley Brooke Designs.
- this season of PLL (pretty little liars, duh!)
- the fact that Jason is now a sushi-eater. I am more than meeting my sushi quotas now.

... Quirks I have...
- OCD about always being on time, therefore I'm always, always early. It never fails.
- OCD about being prepared. To the point that I waste time & double check myself.
- I go insane at the grocery. One, because I always get the loudest cart in the place. Two, because     people are just plain oblivious to what's going on around them. Get out of the isle. Jeez.
- Sometimes, just sometimes if I'm out of coffee creamer I use vanilla ice cream. Most of the time milk, but sometimes vanilla ice cream.
- I talk to Kobe like he's a human. Don't we all do that with our dogs though?

Come on now, that was fun! I dare you do do your own post.
If not, at least leave me 5 fun facts in the comments. That's an order!


xo
Sam

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Be Mine xoxo [Creating E-cards with Red Stamp App]

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Girls. A couple of things...

1.) Happy Valentines Day!!
2.) I have found the perfect app for creating photo art.

 photo vday_zps5bfa9a24.jpg
 
See that little pretty? Umm, yeah. I made it using the Red Stamp app for Iphone. [I don't think it's available for Android] Basically you download the app [did I mention it's FREE?], choose your template, upload your photos & send. You can send via text or email.
 
So go create some of these bad boys for yourself! Send to your special someone, family or friends.
 
Oh, and Happy Valentines Day!
 
What's your favorite photo app?
 
xo
Sam
 


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Good Morning Doll Face!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Holy crap. Y'all. I won a giveaway! Take a moment to check out this swag from the lovely Ashley at Ashley Brooke Designs.

How adorable is that mug? Good morning doll face!


How cute would these straws be served in mason jars...

& filled with these babies!

You are the cherry on my ice cream cone! Adorable ;)



How fab is that? I'm pretty much in love with her website now. Just sayin'.
Find her here:

www.ashleybrookedesigns.com
Instagram - @ashleybrookedesigns
Twitter - @abdesigns
Facebook- Ashley Brooke Designs

She is awesome! Oh, and FYI, that table runner? Yep. Bed Bath & Beyond. It's a newbie & got it for ony $10.99. Love finding steals like that!

xo
Sam

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DIY Easy V-Day Gift [for him or her]

Monday, February 11, 2013

It's that time of year again! Valentines day is upon us & I guarantee a lot of us are scrambling to figure out the perfect gift. I've always been one to cherish handmade or thoughtful gifts over expensive gifts. I mean, OK, I'll totally take that edible arrangement bouquet, but give me something you made & I'm even happier!

Here is a simple gift idea that will totally make the love of your life melt. It doesn't have to be a Valentines Day gift (even though it makes a dang good one!) It can be an 'Anyday' gift, too.



What you will need:
-printed maps from google earth
-scissors
-carstock
-glue (stick glue works best, but elmers will also work)
-floating frame (or any frame of your choice)

I've tried to rack my brain & come up with a cute name for this project, but I've got nothing.
Therefore, we'll call it the 'Framed Heart Map'.. - That's really bad. Major points to whoever thinks of a name for this badboy.

Basically, you go to Google Earth & print out a map of each city you & your love have traveled to together. Anywhere works! I printed mine on basic white printer paper, but you could use photo paper as well.


Next, you cut each map into a heart shape. I made all of my hearts the same size, but you could use all different size hearts & that would be cute, too!


Then you will glue each cut out map heart onto colored cardstock. I used about 4 different coordinating cardstocks.


Once the map hearts are glued onto the cardstock, cut them out, leaving a little carstock edge around the map.

Finally, place them in the frame. If using a 'floating' frame like I did, you will position the hearts in between the two peices of glass. If you use a regular frame, just make sure to use a solid background behind the hearts. Then - voila! - you have an easy-peasy thoughtful valentines gift sure to knock the socks (& more?) off your V-day sweetie.


Now I'm just banking on the fact that Jason doesn't read this blog very often ;)
What do you have up your sleeve for Vday?? Do tell!

xo
Sam

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'Me Day' Essentials.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sometimes you just need to have a 'Me Day'.
A day dedicated just to you.
A day to be selfish.
Not a day to catch up on laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping...
Just a day to do what you want when you want.
No to-do lists, just in the moment.

Here is what my perfect 'Me Day' might look like... Care to join me?




-waking up with no alarm
-a venti skinny cinnamon dolce latte
-a fun new exercise class, maybe pure barre
-a long shower & plenty of time to get dressed
-thrifting
-a Target & Home Goods run to buy things I want but don't need
-a healthy lunch somewhere I've never tried before. Maybe thai. Or sushi.
-facial
-walking around Hobby Lobby exploring.
-a long walk with Kobe on the trails
-a sweet treat.. or two. [I worked out after all. Ahem.]
-a bottle glass of wine & a good - no great -book
-napping on the couch
-going to bed early

Ahhh... I feel relaxed just thinking about it.

What does your perfect 'Me Day' look like?

xo
Sam

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A Change...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hey frannddsss! Happy Sunday!

Anybody notice something different around here?
That's right. I changed my name. gasp.
My domain is still the same - 'confessionsofarealestatediva'...
But my blog title will now be known as 'The Style House'.


I'm not sure if this is some sort of blogging sin, but I've been mulling over this change for a while now, & it seems to be the right move for the direction I want this little blog to go in.

From this point forward, I hope to incorperate more of my personal style along with my passion for design. We will still have a little real estate flair, don't worry! I'm thinking 'The Style House' represents all of those things. 'Style' as in color, design, fashion & well, style. Then 'House' as sort of a clever play on words with real estate.

Not to mention that it's also the name of my Etsy shop.

I hope you will come along for the journey with me!
 

What do you think of the new title?

xo
Sam

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10 Ways to Get Inspired

Friday, February 1, 2013


We all need a little bit of inspiration every now & then in every facet of our lives. Whether it be work, relationships, syle ... you name it. Sometimes we need to step outside the box & break our normal routines in order to experience that 'break through' we've been waiting for. I personally draw inspiration by letting my creativity go wild, but there are all sorts of little things we can do in order to get inspired in our everyday lives.



Here are some of my picks:

Get creative. Yep. This is a big one for me. A lot of people think of creativity in terms of art, but it can be so much more than that. Grab your camera & take a walk around the neighborhood. Paint your nails a bright color. Put on a different shade of lipstick or some funky eyeliner.


Rearrange your space. It's hard to get inspired when your environment is as uninspiring as they come. Sometimes you're not able to get out for a change of scenery, so what's better than changing up your current environment, whether it be your office or maybe your home. Rearrange your furniture or add a fun pop of color in a new accessory or accent pillow. I am constantly moving around accessories.


When in doubt, post it. That's right. Post -it notes. Write an inspiring quote and stick it somewhere that you will see it, or can specifically look at it for inspiration. Maybe on your desk at work, on the refrigerator or on your bathroom mirror. Want to go a step up from this? Get yourself a cute little notebook from Target with a quote on it :)



Turn to your blogroll. That's right ladies. We can draw inspiration from one another! I love design blogs for inspiration!

Take a break. Ideally an hour or so to get away from your surroundings. Take a walk, listen to music or a podcast, go walk around and window shop. One of my favorite things to do is walk around Home Goods or pop into a little boutique :)

Coffee or tea time. A warm handcrafted bevie [made by starbucks or yours truly] is sometimes all you need to refocus.

Something sweet.  I don't know why this gets me inspired, but I can only describe it by saying sometimes you just need, well, something sweet! Even better if it's sweet and pretty.

 
Put on a bright color & pull it together. Bright lipstick, pants, a scarf... something bright is an instant mood booster. Red pants? Check!
 

 
 
Sweat it out. A good workout will get your endorphins flowing & clear your mind. It's a MAJOR stress reliever.
 


Change up your daily routine. If you normally work out at night, change it up & workout in the morning. Add a fun exercise class every now & then. If you work from home, go work from Starbucks or a local coffee joint instead. Wear your hair a different way. Call a friend you haven't talked to in months/years. Switch. it. up.
 
 
How do you get inspired??
 
xo
Sam
 


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