Friday, November 30, 2018

A Few Recent Favorites!

Recent Favorites // www.pugsandpearls.com

Lennox
I had my nephew Lennox for a morning a few weeks ago and I just couldn't help but do a mini photoshoot in the backyard! He is just absolutely the happiest and most photogenic baby. I had to share a couple of my favorite shots!

Recent Favorites // www.pugsandpearls.com

Recent Favorites // www.pugsandpearls.com

Recent Favorites // www.pugsandpearls.com

Home Body
I told myself I wasn't going to buy this book. I just don't believe in collecting coffee table books. I find that they clutter spaces and just end up collecting dust. So, as much as I really wanted to buy Reese Witherspoon's book, I didn't. I wasn't going to buy Home Body either, that is until I started flipping through it at the store. This is not just a book of pretty pictures, it's actually helpful! She shares different design styles, and helps you identify what you like. I'm not finished with it yet-it's giant! But, so far, I'm really glad I bought it. And when I'm done I'm going to pass it along and not let it collect dust. 

I got glasses a few years ago to help me see at a distance. Although those black frames are super cute, I never loved them. They sat crooked on my face, and I found that they didn't really help enough to make them worth how much eye strain they caused when I switched between up close and far away. So, I quit wearing them. 

When work picked up this summer, I found myself leaving the office with a headache all the time. My screen time has increased tenfold this year, so I was very interested in getting a pair of blue light filtering glasses! Eyebuydirect has some EXCELLENT prices on frames! (Plus cash back with Ebates!) It's easy to add your prescription and add in things like a blue light filter. Love these! 

Kind of a weird thing to be excited about, but we recently added a stack of cloth napkins to a tin next to our kitchen sink. I really love it! It's a great way to save on paper towels and napkins. These are mainly for drying hands, because they aren't super absorbent for spills. I also grab a few for the dinner table and use them instead of paper napkins. I keep a little hamper out for dirty dish towels anyway, so these are easy to toss in for the next load of laundry. The little bucket and sponge holder are from Grove Collaborative, and if you use my referral link to sign up you get a free 5 piece gift set. (Ebates has cash back for them too!)


Recent Favorites // www.pugsandpearls.com

We are such a Google family! We both have (and love!) Google phones, and several Google Homes around the house. And sharing a Google calendar has literally been one of the keys to our successful marriage! Being on the same page is so, so important. 

Anyway, I didn't know how much I would love the Google Home Hub until we got it. We got a really good deal for Cyber Monday, and now I want one for every room. We use our Google Homes every single day, but having the screen in the kitchen is even more useful! Seeing your daily schedule, the weather, easily setting a timer, watching Youtube while cooking...oh! and it displays photos too! 

Recent Favorites // www.pugsandpearls.com

One thing that didn't arrive in time for our office tour was my Erin Condren mouse pad! It's so cute and it matches my planner. Am I a nerd for loving office supplies? Probably. ($10 Erin Condren gift certificate here!) 

I haven't used a mouse pad in years, but my new desk just doesn't work that great with my mouse for some reason. 

Recent Favorites - Erin Condren Life Planner and Mouse Pad // www.pugsandpearls.com

Gallery Wall & Fiddle Leaf Fig
When I visit other people's homes, I really love to look at all of their family photos. I don't care if I don't know who the people in the pictures are! It's just so fun to see glimpses into time. 80s hair...wedding dresses...I love it all. So, for a person who loves that so much, I realized I had very few photos around our own home! When we moved our Disney prints into our office recently, that left two empty walls in the dining room that I thought would make a perfect place to do a gallery wall. 

We bought some great frames at Walmart, and drew up a diagram! Blake is probably holding a grudge against me because I made him lower all the frames after he had already did one wall. (He should have asked me where I wanted them to begin with, I will argue!) 

The fun part was going through old photos trying to pick what was print worthy. I'm still singing the praises of our Canon printer! It's maybe the best purchase we've made all year. It took no time at all to print out some photos, and it will be easy to print new ones in the future to swap out! 

Recent Favorites // www.pugsandpearls.com
The pattern repeats on both sides of the door, each with 7 frames. 

Additionally, I sold our little bookshelf that was in the dining room on Facebook marketplace, arguably the easiest way to make a sale like that! It wasn't really storing anything important anymore, and it became just something else to dust. Instead, I found a great faux fiddle leaf fig tree to take it's place! It's so cute and a really good fake if you are the in the market! It's from Hobby Lobby, and don't forget that HL always has a 40% off one item coupon on their website! Not to mention 2 % cash back with Ebates right now....can you tell I'm Ebates biggest fan yet? I put the tree in a cute bucket I picked up at Ikea a few weeks ago. It fits perfectly even though I took a gamble and bought it without measuring. 

Recent Favorites // www.pugsandpearls.com

I may need to do an updated dining room post for our home tour! Since I shared those photos I've removed the dog kennel, redecorated the blue dresser, sold the bookshelf, and now added the gallery wall...It's definitely got the same decor style though, so it wouldn't be a jaw dropping transformation or anything.

The Netherlands!
Our plane tickets and hotel are booked for our trip to the Netherlands next year!! We are so excited and overwhelmed with this trip...but mostly excited! Have you ever been before? I need tips!


Leave a comment below with what you have been loving recently! Are you a big fan of Ebates, like me? Let me know if you also love office supplies and geek out about them. Do you love to look at people's photos when you go over to their houses to visit? And, if you've been to the Netherlands please leave your best travel tips for me!!

*Don't forget to enter the giveaway in my last post!*
This post contains affiliate and referral links at no cost to you!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Formulate Custom Hair Care System Review & GIVEAWAY

I first shared the brand Formulate with you back in July when the company launched! So, I'm really excited to tell you about my personal formulation today, and give you the opportunity to win your own! A huge thank you to Formulate for gifting me my set of shampoo and conditioner and for sponsoring a second giveaway! (Blog Disclosure Here)

Formulate Custom Hair Care System Review // Pugs & Pearls Blog

The Brand & It's Concept
Formulate has such a cool concept! My hair is naturally stick straight, thick...but fine, and I have to wash it every single day. My husband's 100% the opposite-his hair is coarse, wavy and water rolls right off of it. And I'm willing to bet your hair is nothing like either of ours. So, it doesn't make sense that we would all use the same shampoo and conditioner. 

Formulate is a company that makes a custom shampoo and condition to match your hair. First, you fill out a hair profile, and you will be asked questions like what texture of hair you have, and what climate you live in. You also get to select your own scent! It's a completely custom system just for you. Here is my hair profile, where you can see what kind of hair I have, and what my goals are when shampooing.

They get major bonus points from me for being cruelty free!

Formulate Custom Hair Care System Review // Pugs & Pearls Blog

Formulate Custom Hair Care System Review // Pugs & Pearls Blog
The Process
After you fill out the Formulate questionnaire, that's all you have do! Their chemist (yes, literal scientists work on your shampoo!) will get to work formulating your shampoo and conditioner set. Then, just check your mail! I found the shipping to be lightening fast, so if you are running low on shampoo this is a great time to switch! 

Included along with your shampoo and conditioner will be a complete list of all the ingredients in your set! There are no parabens, sulfates or preservatives in any of the formulas. 

So, what happens if your formulation isn't right? Well, that happened to me! My formula needed some adjustments. That's okay! Formulate's customer service is off the charts. Abby was SO helpful and was adamant about getting my system perfectly tweaked. Formulate has an app where you can give feedback to the chemists and make any adjustments. (Plus, if you aren't happy they promise a full refund.) 

I love the scent I chose, and I've absolutely noticed a decrease in the amount of split ends I usually get. 

Formulate Custom Hair Care System Review // Pugs & Pearls Blog

Formulate Custom Hair Care System Review // Pugs & Pearls Blog

The Price Point
After you fill out your hair profile you will be given two options: You can try a 4oz bottle of shampoo and a 4 oz bottle of conditioner for $19.95 or you can get the 14 oz of each (which is what I have!) for $49. The 4 oz bottles are a great way to give it a try (or you can enter the giveaway below and get a set for free!)! 

I'm an advocate for spending money wisely, so please make your own decisions about what you are willing to splurge on! This is not a budget shampoo and conditioner. But, neither is it budget quality. This is much more comparable to salon grade products. You would also expect to pay more for a personal cosmetic chemist creating a product just for you! 

If you are a person who has tricky hair and you've struggled for years to find something that works, I really think this would be worthwhile. If you are a person who can pick any bottle off the pharmacy shelf and it works great, then you go girl! 


Formulate Custom Hair Care System Review // Pugs & Pearls Blog
Giveaway
Wanna give it a go? Please, please enter my giveaway to win your own custom hair care set! One winner will be chosen to receive 1 shampoo and 1 conditioner. The giveaway ends on December 6th, so pop over and enter

Leave a comment below to tell me you've entered the giveaway! What shampoo and conditioner do you use? Are you happy with it, or would you like to try something else? 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Home Office Makeover


Home Office Makeover with the Kallax Desk from IKEA // ww.pugsandpearls.com

I thought I had completed our home tour for a little while, but I should know myself better than that. It's so fun for me to refresh a space and make it new again! As I've mentioned a few times, I'm working from home 50% of the time right now and we've been doing some volunteer construction work that requires quite a bit of paperwork and office coordination. Our office went from a seldomly used space to a room we are in every day for a few (or more) hours! 

The Issues
Make sure you stop by our original office post for some before shots. The office looked great, but there just wasn't enough work space. Sharing a desk was starting to complicate things, so we decided to add another one to the space. It took some thought! I always thought this room was very small, but once we started clearing it out I was amazed! We had to rehome one of our leather arm chairs, and the golf clubs got retired to our storage shed. (Blake almost suggested we get rid of them, but I am determined to start playing golf regularly again!) 

I also have to mention Blake's Star Wars collection! There was a lot of it. I love Star Wars as much as the next girl, but it was taking up lots of room and hard to dust. Plus, it polarized the space. He loving decided to take his Star Wars stuff to work, so that our office felt more like a collaborative space. In the near future he is supposed to be moving to a new office at his job and that room has the perfect shelf for his Star Wars museum. (The guy has an actual life-size lightsaber.) We've replaced the Star Wars wall with our Disney print gallery. Funnily enough when we bought those prints this was where I envisioned them going anyway. The Disney prints were in our dining room, so stay tuned to see what we put up instead!

The Solutions
I saw the Kallax desk (desk I bought) system on Ikea's website and I thought it would work really well for me! I have a lot of craft supplies and I have really been hoping to get a Cricut machine, so I thought the shelf system would be great to organize it all. 

We intended to attach the desk and shelf as it is online, but once we got it put together and in the room-something felt off. I played around with it for a few minutes and decided this layout would work much better. This layout allowed for a much better location for our printer and made the room feel huge! 

One of the armchairs was placed in the opposite corner, and it's the perfect place to read or work from my laptop. Mainly though, Bailey has claimed it as her throne to watch me work. The other two pugs love the giant dog bed we plopped down. Pugs have to be near you at all times, so it's nice to have a little spot for them in the office.

Blake's desk has been great, and it's also from Ikea. I can't recommend it enough! I still use our desktop computer, but it's really nice to have been able to clear off that desk and tuck away all the odds and ends that we used to keep on it. 

Home Office Makeover with the Kallax Desk from IKEA // ww.pugsandpearls.com

Home Office Makeover with the Kallax Desk from IKEA // ww.pugsandpearls.com

Home Office Makeover with the Kallax Desk from IKEA // ww.pugsandpearls.com

Home Office Makeover with the Kallax Desk from IKEA // ww.pugsandpearls.com

Home Office Makeover with the Kallax Desk from IKEA // ww.pugsandpearls.com

Home Office Makeover with the Kallax Desk from IKEA // ww.pugsandpearls.com

Home Office Makeover with the Kallax Desk from IKEA // ww.pugsandpearls.com

Home Office Makeover with the Kallax Desk from IKEA // ww.pugsandpearls.com

Home Office Makeover with the Kallax Desk from IKEA // ww.pugsandpearls.com

Home Office Makeover with the Kallax Desk from IKEA // ww.pugsandpearls.com

Sources:
My Desk, Shelf, Drawer, and Chair
Blake's Desk and Chair
Planner and Notebooks & Washi Tape

We have really been enjoying this new layout! It's always so fun to change up a room in your house. I'm especially happy that we did this on a limited budget. Buying furniture is never cheap, but Ikea is such a nice option for nice looking things that don't cost that much. Plus, we had fun exploring the new Ikea in Jacksonville! We've always gone to the one in Orlando before. Jacksonville is only one story, and it's still sparkling clean! Other than purchasing my desk, shelf, chair and the glass whiteboard-we were able to shop our house for the other little touches. 

Most of all this space is functional! We are ready to get some work done! Leave a comment below and tell me if you have a home office! Is it functional for you? Do you share a workspace with your spouse? Does that work well in your family? Do you work from home?! I need all the tips I can get! Also, tell me what you think of my new Disqus commenting service! Is Disqus something you enjoy using?

Make sure you check out the home tour page, so you can see a layout of our house and see how our office fits in!
Affiliate links are present!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

October Recap and November Goals

October Report
I didn't set any extra goals for October, because I knew we were going to be having a whirlwind month. I'm glad that I didn't put that extra pressure on myself. Instead, I focused on keeping up with the house and work between traveling every weekend. We had an amazing month, even though it was a little extreme on the travel side of things. Traveling every weekend was actually pretty fun, and I even found myself a little bored back at home! I know I couldn't live like that full time, I like my routine too much!

Even with everything going on we still managed to have some new friends over for dinner, get to the dentist for our biannual cleanings, deal with a hurricane (too close to home!) and get through a terrible cold! Being on the beach with a cold is just not what I hoped for. It was still great, but not ideal. Oh! And I've been heading up our 'work-from-home initiative' at work! I'm officially working from home for half of my work days, and I've gotten everyone else set up to do it too. It was a huge undertaking. We literally have hundreds of thousands of files that still need to be uploaded to the cloud. 

Because I only managed to blog about one of our trips, here are a few photos from the month: 

The first weekend in October we spent at Disney with Blake's parents and sister. His parent's celebrated 40 years this year, and we wanted to do a trip together. It was so good to be back at Disney! We enjoyed a day at the pool and then a day in EPCOT. We felt really rusty. When we arrived Friday night we headed right to Hollywood Studios to check out the new Toy Story land. It's precious! We stayed for the fireworks, which were just okay. The real show were these very entertaining kids who wanted to play with my niece Gia's bubble maker. It's just a fact that kids go through this really awkward time when they aren't little anymore and they just become really weird. 




The Food and Wine festival means lots of fun things to try! I snapped this picture before the heavens opened up and the rain started pouring! We ran into the French perfume store for shelter. #Florida.


My nephew Zane was diagnosed with Autism this summer. He rarely looks right into the camera so I was stoked to get this cute shot of him! He is just the smartest little boy. I can't wait to have conversations with him!

The following weekend we spent in West Palm! We attended a class on Saturday morning and then relaxed the rest of the weekend! It was heaven. We usually stay at this resort with family, so it was a little weird to be just the two of us. I also mentioned that I had come down with a cold this trip. I didn't let it stop me from enjoying my first trip to the beach ALL YEAR! 

One thing I love about this place is that there are full kitchens. After a day at the beach, we cooked some yummy meals together and then ate out on our balcony. Followed by a walk down the beach. Basically my perfect day. 




On our way home we made a pit stop at Animal Kingdom! We hadn't seen the new Pandora section yet, and we really wanted to check it out. My cousin/bff was also there with her family so it was really cool to see them as well. Pandora did not disappoint! It's very cool. Flight of Passage is hands down the best ride at WDW. It's exhilarating and really well done. We didn't have time to wait for the other ride, so we hope to do that next time. 


The weekend after our Amelia Island trip, we spent in Jacksonville for a three day class for the volunteer construction work we do. It was so much fun and we learned a lot. Lots of work next year with that for us, but it's good fulfilling work. Plus now I can teach fall protection safety! 




Thanks for sticking it out! I'm actually really glad I decided to recap everything here. It's been so hectic, but I do want to remember it all! Blogging is a really fun way to scrapbook. On to November! 


November Goals
Finish office refresh. With so much time spent in our home office lately, we knew we were going to have to make some adjustments. My first thought was that we should switch our guest room for our office, but we ultimately decided to do some reconfiguring and get an additional desk. We've already started this, and there are just a few things left to tidy up!

Post office refresh on the blog. I've already shared a full home tour here, but I want to make sure to update those posts when we change things up! I'm making this a goal because staging a room for photos is a little time consuming, and since we actually use our home office everyday it's going to be a task. 

Share Formulate results! I talked about my partnership with Formulate in July when they launched, and I've been using my own custom formulation of shampoo and conditioner! My plan is to share my thoughts on this product this month. Sponsored posts or posts partnering with brands take longer than you may think!

Switch closet for next season. We have had some cooler days lately, and I think it's safe to start switching out my closet. It's a little tricky because it doesn't get really cold here until January, but I also don't really need my tank tops out either. Also tricky because we are going on a cruise at the end of this month and I will need my bathing suits! I love changing out my closet because it's a good time to really assess what I really wear and declutter! 

Successfully film our cruise. Last year Blake and I made a vlog style video from our beach vacation, and I LOVE watching it. Everytime I see it I smile the whole time. Especially seeing the kids and how big they've gotten since. Video is truly a window into the way things were. I just love it. My sister asked if we could do another one when we go on our cruise this month. So, my goal is to successful get as much footage as possible! I'm not sure if we will actually be able to crank out the video by the end of the month, but that would be icing on the cake. 

Happy November everyone! I so appreciate you keeping up with me. It's hard to document things when you are busy, but I know I love reading about what everyone else is up to. Leave a comment below if you think you could travel all the time and never get sick of it. How was your October? Have you ever been sick on a vacation? Tell me what your goals are for November! (and let me know if you watched that GIF over and over, haha!)