2017 GAME CHANGERS

We’re well into 2018, but I couldn’t let January pass by without hitting publish on my annual game changers post. I’ve enjoyed sharing the standout products, apps & practices the past few years (read 2016 & 2015and wanted to continue on with the tradition.

STYLE/BEAUTY
Oribe Impermeable Anti-Humid Spray: my hair is super thick and wavy and this spray is the only thing that keeps me from going full on Monica in Barbados in the southern humidity. I truly can’t imagine surviving another Raleigh summer without it. Plus, like all Oribe’s products, it smells divine.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara: I had been loyal to L’Oreal’s Voluminous since middle school (!) before a sample of this mascara made me a convert. The curved applicator gives insane length & curl. Pair it with my favorite lash serum for even more dramatic results.

Kule Stripes: if, like me, you’re constantly searching for the perfect striped shirt, look no longer. I prefer the Boyfriend cut which is slightly longer and have been really pleased with the quality.

LIFE

Mariage Frères Tea: on our trip to Paris last year, we had afternoon tea at the Mariage Frères flagship which was such a wonderful experience. I brought back several canisters of their iconic blends, and brewing a pot of tea has been a part of my morning routine ever since. Their Marco Polo blend is by far my favorite. I use this kettle and found the same adorable tea pot they used in the flagship.

Pillows: conquering my sleep issues was a big focus in 2017 and we’ve both noticed a serious improvement in the quality of our sleep since upgrading our pillows to Pacific Coast’s Down Surround. Less tossing and turning, more restful nights.

Blackout Window Treatments: in the same vein as the above, investing in custom blackout lined window treatments in our master bedroom was a huge game changer. I sleep so much more deeply now. If custom treatments don’t make sense for your situation, there are some attractive retail options out there.

The Defined Dish: I enjoy cooking but become easily overwhelmed with menu planning for weeknight meals. Enter my favorite resource for delicious, healthy, and most importantly, easy meals: The Defined Dish. We’ve especially loved: crockpot chicken tikka masala, mongolian beef stir fry, potato leek soup, and pork chops with mushroom gravy. Most of the recipes are Paleo or Whole 30 approved which I take an 80/20 approach to, but Garrett (who takes a 100% approach to carbs, dairy & sugar) has loved all of these too.

Life 360 App: Garrett travels often for work and is notoriously bad about letting his phone go dead or missing calls which, being the worrier that I am, gets my overactive imagination going thinking of all the harm that could have befallen him (please tell me I’m not alone on this). Enter peace of mind via Life 360 – a location sharing app that allows you to see your loved ones in real time on a map. It even shares the battery life on their phone so I’ve had no more “he must not be answering because he’s dead” moments, which I think we can all agree is a pretty big win.

WORK

Unplugging: okay, this might not seem worthy for a list of game changers, but 2017 was the year that I really learned the value of unplugging. After going too hard for too long, I experienced some serious burnout this Fall. Feeling that mentally, physically, and emotionally depleted made me reevaluate my relationship with work & technology and recognize I needed to implement better boundaries. If you don’t put yourself first you can’t give your best to those that you serve.

A few strategies that have helped me below…

Turning Off Automatic Email Fetching: I can’t not read an email once I see that little red icon pop up on my phone which makes it pretty difficult to “turn off” on nights and weekends. Having to manually check for new mail helps me to stay present and not a be slave to my email box even during the work day.

Airplane Mode on Vacations: even if I have an out of office up, I find I still end up responding to emails or spending too much time on social media. Keeping my phone on airplane mode allows me to use my phone to take photos and videos, but keeps me away from other distractions which lets me fully relax.

Deleting Instagram: whenever I feel particularly scattered, spending too much time on social media is usually the culprit. Lately I’ve been doing some “intermittent Instagram fasting” if you will, and deleting the app for a few days at a time to give myself a break from the noise. Try it for a few days, I guarantee you’ll notice a difference!

The E-Myth Revisited: I read this book when I first started my business and re-read it this year. It’s fascinating how different parts of it have resonated with me at different times throughout the life cycle of my (still somewhat nascent) business. If you’re an entrepreneur I’d highly recommend it.

And there you have it, my game changers of 2017! As always, I’d love to hear yours – especially if there are any apps you’ve been loving, I was a little light on that front this year.

2016 GAME CHANGERS

Last year I rounded up a list of the products and apps that made my life better in 2015. I got some great feedback from that post so I thought I’d do the same for my 2016 favorites.

Below are 10 of the products and apps that have been game changers for me over the past year.

STYLE/BEAUTY

Vintner’s Daughter: I’m a huge skeptic. Perhaps it’s our #sponsored, c/o culture, but the more glowing press a product receives, the more I find myself questioning whether the hype might be attributed to a healthy marketing budget rather than actual results. After reading review after review of Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum I finally bit the bullet and ordered a bottle in July. I’ll shoot straight with you, it’s expensive, but it’s my holy grail product and one I could get downright evangelical about. I notice calmer, more hydrated, glow-ier skin immediately after applying. I made the mistake of experimenting with a more budget friendly serum after going through my first bottle and my skin absolutely rebelled! Never again. I recognize Vintner’s may be cost prohibitive, so I still stand by my 2015 pick as an alternative.

NeuLash: Another product that seemed too good to be true but is actually legit. Swipe this serum along your lash line before bed each night and you’ll soon have thicker, longer lashes. For my fellow light eyed ladies, no terrifying eye color changing side effects! Now I just need to find a better mascara (and under-eye cream–hello 30!) Please send any and all recommendations. My dark circles thank you.

Eberjey Pajamas: For awhile this year I was seriously struggling with insomnia. I can’t claim that these PJs helped me catch more z’s, but I have come to learn the importance of establishing a nighttime routine to help you wind down. Part of mine is slipping into a pair of PJs. I feel so much more “together” in a pair of PJs as opposed to an old pair of yoga pants. It’s the little things, right? These are without question the softest and most luxurious feeling in my rotation. Bonus points for not having to iron them!

Natori Feather Bras: It seems a touch personal to be sharing lingerie recommendations but let’s just consider this a bonding moment. These are the comfiest for every day wear.

WORK

Boomerang: If you use Gmail, this plug-in is a godsend. It allows you to schedule emails to be sent at a later date and set reminders to follow up if you haven’t heard a response. I primarily use Boomerang for its scheduling function. I often draft emails Sunday night or in the evening during the work week–times when it wouldn’t be appropriate to actually hit send–and schedule them to be sent first thing the next day. It’s such a great feeling to to to bed knowing that something is already checked off your list for the week or day ahead.

Harvest: Accurate time tracking is so important in my line of work. A colleague introduced me to Harvest and it’s been such a game changer. Between the desktop platform and iPhone app I’m able to efficiently and accurately track my time for both client projects and administrative tasks. This year I’m hoping to dive deeper into the reporting functions. Knowing exactly how you’re spending your time is so valuable!

MileBug: If you need to track your mileage for your job this is another app that has been a life saver. Set up and save frequent trips (i.e Office->Design Center) and at the end of the year easily export all the data into an Excel spreadsheet your accountant will thank you for.

TRAVEL

Scott’s Cheap Flights: Guys, I have told everyone I know about this email newsletter which sends daily alerts on flight deals. If you have the travel bug it’s downright dangerous! We’re headed to Paris at the end of the month thanks to an insane deal that came through this Summer. Most of the flights are from major cities (i.e DCA or Dulles rather than RDU) but the savings are worth the extra flight or drive you might need to make.

Mophie Powerstation: I think Garrett actually bought this in advance of our 2015 Africa trip, so technically it should have been on last year’s list, but we’ve continued to get so much use out of the Mophie. Instagram with abandon and never be a slave to a power outlet again!

Cuyana Travel Case Set: I always have what we jokingly refer to as an “Armageddon bag” in my purse. It’s got a little bit of everything in it from Tide to Go to a tape measure. I recently upgraded to this chic travel case set–the small one is my new Armageddon bag and the larger one will be for makeup or toiletries. I love the gold foil monogram and was so impressed with the quality of leather.

So there you have it, my 2016 game changers. I hope you found something among them that will be useful to you as well.

Check out last year’s list here and I’d love to hear about your game changers in the comments!

CHEERS TO 2017

Fig leaf on fig leaf in our entry

2016 has been getting the short end of the stick (with good reason on the global and national sceneif you haven’t seen this scary movie parody it’s pretty hilarous!) but personally and professionally it was an overwhelmingly positive year that’s left me feeling very grateful.

In early 2016 I hit the ground running and ultimately tripled my client load with projects in Annapolis, DC, Durham, Cape Cod, New York, Raleigh and Virginia. Lots of beautiful things to photograph in 2017 and maybe time to consider expanding the team with an intern. This sweet nursery was a favorite I did manage to get photographed in 2016. I’m hoping for more nurseries in 2017, they really are my favorite. If you’re preggo, let’s chat. 😉

Admittedly, juggling my own work travel and adjusting to Garrett’s new work schedule with more travel and longer trips was one of the biggest challenges of 2016. Thankfully we did manage to fit in some personal trips (or join each other on work trips) and visited Dallas, Cape Cod, Charleston, Charlottesville, LA, Tulum, and Vermont.

Even though it felt like we spent most of 2016 living out of a suitcase, we did officially put down roots in Raleigh and bought our first home. I shared some progress (and then dropped the ball on updates) but you can see bits & pieces on Insta. Locally, I was also excited to have the opportunity to design a chair to support a local charity.

As we usher in 2017, I’m focusing on intentions rather than resolutions and my intention this year is to be fearless.

So, let’s do this 2017!

BLACK FRIDAY SALES NOT TO BE MISSED

Vogue | Terry Richardson

After finishing off an extra generous slice of apple pie I’m digging into another indulgence: holiday sales. I normally find Black Friday to be super overwhelming, so I’ve narrowed down my list to six I’ve hit tonight.

Furbish Studio – 20% Off w/ Code: HOLIDAY20

Moon & Lola – 30% Off w/ Code: MERRY30

  • Because who’s not obsessed with their dog?
  • Loving these turquoise and tortoise beauties.

Nordstrom – extra 20% off selected sale items

  • This is such a classic piece.
  • I’ve seen such dramatic results after using this product for three months.

Serena & Lily – 20% Off w/ Code: THANKYOU

  • this sale is HUGE! Take advantage of savings on big ticket items like rugs, furniture – I adore this, this & this – and lighting.

Shopbop – Buy More, Save More w/ Code: GOBIG16

Tuckernuck – 20% Off w/ Code: GIVE20, 25% Off $500+ w/ Code: GIVE25, 30% OFF $1000+ w/ Code: GIVE30

  • the spot for baubles to complete your holiday looks. These, these, and these are my picks.

LATELY I’VE BEEN…

Good Vibes Only

 this sign is 100% – a must have for my new office?

I’m SO excited to usher in a new month. Guys, I don’t know what it was, but last month had some bad juju. It started with a smashed car window welcoming us home from vacation, was quickly followed up by a flat tire in the fast lane of 495, two stolen packages (hope you’re loving your new long lashes, an upgrade to the best bras, and my favorite sandals, jerk!), a broken water heater upon moving into our new house and a sink that kicked the bucket shortly thereafter. What the what? Sincere apologies to whoever I maligned to receive such a karmic kick in the pants. Message received, over and out.

Misadventures aside, the month wasn’t without its bright spots. We kicked things off with a last minute trip home to the Cape for the Fourth. I’ll drive any distance for some salt air, sand beneath my toes, and a clam strip roll – really it’s all about the clam strip roll.

The Pursuit of Style Provincetown

This view isn’t too shabby either….

The Pursuit of Style Clutch

I’ve been carrying this clutch all summer long. Best accessory purchase of the season! I can’t find the exact one online – I bought mine at Fleur in Raleigh – but shop other styles here. Also, if you find yourself in Provincetown, eat on the back patio of The Canteen. I’ll vouch for their lobster roll.

The Pursuit of Style Provincetown House

I tore through a ton of easy beach reads to unwind. Some favorites included: Eight Hundred Grapes, Barefoot, In a Dark, Dark, Wood (if you liked The Girl on the Train you’ll love this one!) One I didn’t love was Rich and Pretty anticlimactic plot line and not particularly likable characters.

After vacation it was all about werk, werk, werk. Thankfully none of my foibles last month extended into my professional life. A few bits and pieces from current projects below. I love that each and every project I’m working on right now has such a different vibe.

Lindsay Speace Interior Design | Paul Yanko

In Logan Circle this 4′ x 4′ abstract by Paul Yanko is enlivening a modern industrial condo. An awesome mix of pillows is coming soon to the sectional below.

Lindsay Speace Interior Design | Spool Chair

In an Annapolis project it’s all about classic Americana. Red, white, and blue, baby!

Lindsay Speace Interior Design

Here in Raleigh it’s serene ice blues and grays for this master bedroom – at least for now. Custom coral bordered bedding is coming down the pipe!

Lastly, my Georgetown kitchen reno is finally complete and that bad boy is getting its own post as soon as I have it professionally shot. It’s come a long way!

So that’s what I’ve been up to – oh, and moving into our new house – but we’ll save #homespeacehome updates for its own post. 😉