2015 GAME CHANGERS

I’m a marketer’s dream in that when I find something I love or that works really well I want to shout it from the roof tops and share with everyone I know.

I’ve come across some some amazing products and apps that have made my life better over the past year and have been wanting to share, so without further adieu, here are my 12 game changers of 2015!

STYLE/BEAUTY:

DryBar Buttercup: This is by far the biggest game changer in my day-to-day routine. I bought this set in November after zapping my T3 in South Africa (forgot about the voltage change–whoops!) I have really thick hair and the Buttercup took my dry time down to 25 min from 45! Reclaiming an extra 20 minutes of my morning was well worth the investment. I’ve also noticed less frizz and more shine. Truly no complaints or regrets on this one!

FRAME Denim: The most flattering and well-wearing brand of denim I’ve found. These are my favorite black jeans (they actually stay black after washing) and these are my go-to everyday skinnies. They have the perfect amount of stretch but don’t stretch out–I hate when jeans start to sag by the end of the day.

Mizon Snail Repair CreamI’m so suspicious when people claim “miracles in a jar”, but this has been just that for me. This was my first stop on the K-Beauty (Korean Beauty) train and now I’m fully on board. I saw a dramatic difference in my skin–an overall glow-ier and more even tone. This is like Photoshop’s blur tool in real life.

Kiehls Midnight Recovery OilI might be into K-Beauty lately, but I’m not into a 10 step routine. When I want to put in minimal effort and still wake up with happier skin I put a few drops of this oil on before bed. It was such a savior on our long haul flights to and from South Africa.

Betsy Burnham | Office

WORK:

Timer: I spend a lot of time on the computer for my job whether it’s drafting floor plans, or sourcing products for a design scheme, and accurately tracking my time is essential. I think we all know how easy it can be to get pulled down the rabbit hole online and I’ve found an old school timer to be the most effective way to keep to task. The one I use has intervals of 60, 30, 15, and 5 minutes and knowing I’m racing against the clock helps me to work more efficiently.

Wunderlist: I’ll always favor a written to-do list for my daily tasks, but for longer term to-dos I love Wunderlist. Each of my projects has its own list where I put down everything I need to do over the course of a project from start to finish. I also use it personally and have lists for each place we want to travel and add notes whenever I come across something of interest like a restaurant, shop, or hotel in that country/city. You can also share lists which is super helpful for things like grocery lists or household to-dos.

Pocket: Before Garrett introduced me to Pocket I perpetually had 6+ browser windows open and I’m 100% sure it wasn’t doing me any favors in terms of productivity or overall mental clarity. Pocket is basically like Pinterest for articles. Whenever I come across something I want to read, I save it to Pocket and tag it based on the category and topic so I can easily find it later. No more open tabs for things I “definitely want to read later”.

Yoga

HEALTH/FITNESS:

Classpass: I’m a late adopter on this one, but Classpass has been a total game changer for me in terms of getting back into an exercise routine. I had a favorite barre studio I went to regularly in DC, but when we moved down here I got lazy and post holidays it was time to make a change. I signed up for Classpass last month and have loved exploring different studios here in Raleigh. I’ve narrowed it down to about 5 favorites which means with Classpass’s 3 visit/studio rule I can get in a work out 15x per month at my favorites. Three to four workouts a week is realistic for me, but I can always add in new studios or types of exercise along the way if I want to up my workouts/month. It’s such a value for $79/month!

HeadspaceIf you’ve been interested in trying meditation but are kind of weirded out by the process or don’t know how or where to start I would highly recommend Headspace. I’ve been using it for almost a year now–you can start with a 10 day free trial to learn the practice–and I really notice a difference in my focus and reduction in my anxiety levels when I am meditating. An added bonus, the instructor has the most adorable accent!

Globe Trotter Luggage

TRAVEL:

Luggage: My sister gave me an amazing wedding gift: a piece of luggage of my choice. I did tons of research and decided on Briggs & Riley because of their excellent reviews and lifetime warranty. After a lot of waffling, this is the piece I ended up going with. The rolling duffle with a zip-off compartment is genius. After 11 flights in 2.5 weeks during our South Africa trip, I feel confident in saying I put mine through the ringer and it handled like a dream. No damage at all, and the medium was big enough to handle everything I packed while being light enough for the smaller planes we took. Better yet, I was able to use the zip-off compartment to segregate dirty clothes which was so key for a long trip. We’re planning on getting one for Garrett, too.

Hotel TonightWhen I need a last minute hotel, Hotel Tonight has become my go-to. A hotel clerk actually tipped me off to the the app to help me find a better rate when I was booking a room day-of–isn’t that so nice? Anyway, I’ve used it to find amazing deals (at non-shady hotels) in NYC, DC, & VA, but you can search anywhere! Lately I’ve been keeping my eye on deals in Charleston. I should also add that it doesn’t have to be for same day booking, now you can look a week or two in advance. This isn’t sponsored, but if you’d like $25 off you can use my code: LSPEACE2 and I’ll get $25, too.

HopperI’ve been using Hopper to find the best deals on airfare. You simply put in your travel details–departure city/arrival city/dates–and Hopper finds the best deals. My favorite part of the app is that it advises if you should book now or if prices will likely drop in the future. If they might drop, just save the trip and Hopper will keep searching for deals and send an alert when it finds the best price/time to buy. It’s like your own travel agent working silently in the background!

I hope some of these may be helpful to you, and if you’ve stumbled across any game changers of your own please share!

HELLO, DECEMBER

The Pursuit of Style | Hello, December

 Velvet Ribbon | Eucalyptus Wreath | Buffalo Plaid Clutch | Feathered Dress | EarringsMatchesMiles Redd Gift Wrap

And just like that it’s December! Did you wrap up your holiday shopping during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales? I was so overwhelmed by it all that I only managed to buy client gifts. Whoops.

It seems like every year OKL does a gift wrap collaboration with Gracie (manufacturer of the wallpaper of my dreams) and every year I miss it. It would have been perfect for my client gifts, but this Miles Redd designed paper is a close second! I picked up this pretty velvet ribbon to top things off.

Our new neighbors are making me realize I need to up my wreath game, and I’ve got my eye on classic magnolia, boxwood, and eucalyptus options. Wreath connoisseurs, is there any reason to consider one of these types over the others aside from aesthetic preference?

The holiday party circuit is in full swing and I’m clearly feeling a red, black, and gold palette. This feathered dress is SO fun. I changed into a feathered dress during our wedding reception and had the best time dancing in it. Pair it with this buffalo plaid clutch. I think lumberjack chic needs to be a thing because I’m craving everything plaid.

Happy December!

HELLO, NOVEMBER

The Pursuit of Style | November

Chair | Necklace | Slippers | Sweater | Syrup | Blanket | Plate | Napkins | Coat

After spending most of October in South Africa (where it is actually Spring!) I’ve had a tiny bit of Fall FOMO. It’s been awhile since I’ve put together a monthly mood board, and I’m really feeling everything on this one as we say hello to November.

The comfy vibe is on point with my horoscope, which, if it is to be believed, says I’ll be doing some hibernation this month. A fringed fisherman’s sweater, my favorite slippers, and a Pendleton blanket from this new collection sounds like a good recipe for hibernation, no?

Perhaps with a stack of pancakes with this maple syrup (that I’ll unabashedly purchase for the packaging) on marbleized plates if I’m feeling extra indulgent.

The real scene stealer though is this coat which I’m determined to make mine–even though I’ve heard it doesn’t get cold in Raleigh until much later in the season… Hopefully we won’t be hibernating too much as I’d really like to start exploring our new city now that we’re settled!

29 for 29

Today is my 29th birthday – I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling just the tiniest bit freaked out about leaving my “20 something” years behind me, but from what I’ve heard, your 30s are really where it’s at! Years ago I wrote and shared 26 goals for my 26th year which was a lot of fun so I thought I’d give it another go for 29.

Dinner with Jackson Pollock

Some are frivolous (#12) and some are pretty major (#10) but I’ve come to be a big believer in writing it down to make it happen so let’s see how many of these I’m able to manifest before the big 3-0 next year!

Cheers to making every day count.

P.S I’d love to hear what’s on your list (birthday or not) in the comments!

LIFE

1.    grow my business and continue to do what I love

2.    practice meditation regularly

3.    send more snail mail

4.    volunteer for a cause I’m passionate about

5.    stop comparing… seriously, stop.

6.    find ways to be a better friend, sister, daughter & wife

7.    have a project featured in a national publication

8.    design and manufacture that product I keep thinking about…

9.    cook at home for one month

10.  buy our first home (or move somewhere that feels like home) (September 2015)

11.   unplug earlier and often

STYLE

12.  take a flower arranging class

13.  upgrade to grown up luggage (October 2015)

14.  get serious about skincare

15.  add a new original piece of artwork to our collection

16.  invest in a classic to last the next 29 years

17.   learn how to needlepoint

18.  have personal stationery made

19.  read a book about wine

ADVENTURE

20.  run a half marathon

21.  take a solo trip

22.  master my Nana’s Portuguese cookie recipe

23.  take sailing lessons with Garrett

24.  do something that scares me

25.   hike Table Mountain in South Africa (October 2015)

26.  visit a new state

27.  visit a new country (October 2015)

28.  complete my 52 books in 52 weeks challenge

29.  plan an epic 30th birthday trip with friends

INSTA-OBSESSED: MATCHBOOK DIARIES

Matchbook Diaries Instagram
Matchbook Diaries Instagram
Matchbook Diaries InstagramInstagram is without a doubt my social media platform of choice these days. It’s instant visual gratification and I have to admit the ease of snap, filter, and post has become much more appealing than the hour(s) of research, photo editing/graphic creation, and writing that blogging can take. There also seems to be more engagement over on Insta–something I really miss from the early days of blogging.

I’m always finding new accounts to follow and thought I’d start sharing some of my favorites.  Last night I stumbled upon Matchbook Diaries, an account devoted to photos of–you guessed it–matchbooks. I’m incapable of leaving any sort of branded ephemera behind and as a result have become an accidental matchbook collector.

Naturally I completely nerded out when I discovered Matchbook Diaries and quickly found myself scrolling down the rabbit hole to see which matchbooks I already had in my collection and finding new spots to visit. Currently my matchbooks are in a big bowl on our coffee table, but seeing them lined up like this got my wheels spinning–wouldn’t they be amazing framed?

I’m not sure I could part with mine in such a permanent way, so perhaps this Danielle Kroll print I’ve had my eye on would be a better alternative!

Any other matchbook collectors out there?