Friday Faves - Instagram Edition

Soooo, technically this could be called Follow Friday instedda Friday Faves, but let's not quibble, huh? Whichever way you slice it, I'm gonna serve you up some of my current (and some are long-time) favorite Instagrammers. Let's roll!


KAYLAH DOOLAN ~ The Dainty Squid

I started following Kaylah way back in my Flickr days - she has such a vibrant and fun feed - full of color, character and OH those animals! Her cats Professor Stingray (the Siamese shown above) and Squid (the namesake of her blog and IG account but not as often seen - she's shy!) and adorable doggy pal Klaus* are always sure to make you smile with their antics and expressions. She's a huge fan of her home city Cleveland, and takes glorious photos of her surroundings whether it's an abandoned building, a cicada-crowded cemetery, or the shores of her favorite "trash-collecting" lake. I'm never disappointed by a Dainty Squid post, and I bet you won't be either!

*I am almost 100% pawsitive I mess the spelling up EVERY.TIME. on this pupper's name! Kaylah's folks have a big hunka dawg named Krum who is featured occasionally too, and I never know which one is spelled with the "C" and which with the "K" haha! mahbad ๐Ÿ˜…

LOTUS CARROLL ~ Lotus Carroll

Another "Former Flickr Friend" - I started following Lotus when I kicked off my 365 self-portrait project in ... 2011? (and she was a huge inspiration for my getting a nose piercing at the same time!) She is a FANTASTIC photographer, and has some of the most interesting and creative self portraits you'll ever see. She also has a knack for captions that make you get all the "feels" when you look at her imagery. AH JUST LUB HER ๐Ÿ˜  

NINA BAGLEY ~ Nina Bagley

Actually, I think this lady is ANOTHER one I first "met" on Flickr - found & followed via another artist I believe - Nina's pictures are usually of her home and surrounding area in the NC mountains, so it's not hard to figure out why I love them so! Her dog Walter features prominently as well, and he is as charming a fellow as can be. I remember once posting a comment to Nina stating that I always got the feeling from her that we'd meet one day (a statement which was probably NOT made less creepy sounding by me prefacing it with "Not trying to sound like a creeper, ...") but my point is that every image of Nina's - whether it's a lovely vignette of a spot inside her Heartrock Hill cabin, a shot of one of her beautiful handmade jewelry pieces or a capture of a moment of a view from her front porch, you instantly feel like you are at home, sitting with a dear friend.

KATIE DAISY ~ Katie is a Daisy

One of my very favorite artists, Katie Daisy has such an organic & beautiful vibe to her illustrations and paintings - and one look at this shot of her home art studio sums up her style perfectly. I've ALWAYS dreamt of having my own woodsy-cabin-art-studio one day, and when I saw Katie's it was exactly as I'd always thought mine would be. It's so cozy and inviting, and when she posts her "woodland winter snow as seen from the studio" pictures? Well, I DIE from the charming! She also happens to have the most adorable lil boy, and he has been appearing a lot lately with paintbrush in hand - like momma like son!

KARLA REED ~ Karla Reed

Speaking of moms - this one is the bomb! I honestly don't even remember how I came across her feed originally - I no longer have little kids and I'm not really into fashion (though I do love thrifting), but whatever it was that got me here, I love it. Her momstyle is so real but also fresh and charming, and her kids offer up some of the most PERSONALITY FILLED photos you will ever see. In fact #littlecharlottefashions, while I don't think it's kept up anymore (hello? 3 kids now!) - is one of the best hashtags you're gonna see all day. GO LOOK AT THEM ALL! ๐Ÿ˜‚  Karla also does really great product reviews for beauty and kid stuff, if you're into that you'll dig'em.

PAM KESSLER ~ House of Hawthornes

If you like vintage, and thrifting, and cute and creative decorative displays - this is your place! Pam not only finds awesome things for her home, but combines them into artfully arranged seasonal and holiday themed displays (wait until Christmas, OH! mygosh) that are so fun and charming. I posted just today on my own Insta about a thrift-store-score of vintage badminton racquets - WHICH I knew to grab when I saw them BECAUSE of a House of Hawthornes post. So, you might learn a thrifting trick or two, too. Stop on by "The House" - I'm sure you'll feel more than welcome!

WELL, folks! I could keep going - I have so many favorite IG people and would love to share every single one of them with ya right here, right now. But I'll save a few for next time, how'a'bout? I hope you enjoy taking a peek at this small selection, and hope at least a couple of'em become faves of YOURS, too.

Enjoy your weekend!

FRIDAY FAVES - Six Things - April 1, 2016

No foolin'! I'm back at the blog, with another Friday Faves roundup, which coincidentally is where I left off, but a ton has changed since that last post - mainly, we moved from Florida to Tennessee (yay! liefelong dream!) and so the busyness of that took precedence and I wandered away from blogging again. I'll do an in-depth update on the move an all next post (and it WON'T be like, a year from now, haha! promise!) For now though - here's a buncha stuff I am into right now!


I know it's not as "sexy" as the DC cam for Mr President & First Lady who's baby eggs recently hatched, but - this one is semi-local to me and I've been maniacally watching it for weeks! Everytime you check in on it you have the chance to see something amazing - in fact, I JUST pulled it up on my phone to get a quick screenshot to put here and at that EXACT SECOND mama (or, daddy) flew into the nest with a fish - it was still flopping! haha, nature is great ... so's technology, for that matter ๐Ÿ˜‰

Harrison Bay Eagle Cam - LUNCH!

Harrison Bay Eagle Cam - LUNCH!


Like I said, we finally moved to our beloved Smokies this past summer, and while we're currently in a temporary home and area while we get acclimated and make decisions on the future, we LOVE this little town we ended up in, and the spot we call home for now is completely fitting and lovely for what we need at this time. I love to sit on the deck and look across the side road to our neighbors' places - one with a big old country barn in a field, the other with a totally charming yard that's picture-perfect with the spring flowers and trees blooming right now. There's also goats! ๐Ÿ  BAAAAAHAHAHA! Love'em!

My "across the road" neighbors - whatta charming place

My "across the road" neighbors - whatta charming place


The past several years I've been on a self-imposed self-improvement track, and while I've always been a big fan of books and a huge reader, I never really got into the whole self-help or inspirational positive message genre - then I started a new business and one of my mentors made a point of saying Leaders are Readers and gave a huge list of book recommendations and I was hooked! The Secret book is an older book that was real popular a few years back - I got it from the library recently - it's a really easy & fast read and it will change your attitude in a quick minute, believe that. The Crossroads of Should and Must is a well, MUST-READ for anyone struggling with how to find their true path in life - as an artist I was obviously drawn right to the cover (I saw it on a friend's Instagram feed last year) and bought it right away, but only just NOW started reading it! It's another really easy to digest format and it's just a lovely design as well.

note: those are Amazon links and I get a wee lil kickback from them if you order from here.
if ya do, thanks, if ya don't - no sweat, just full disclosure for ya ...
Two books you TOTALLY have time to read!

Two books you TOTALLY have time to read!


Ok, I guess I'm seriously turning into "that girl" - along with my mental outlook adjustment, I've been diving way deeper into the whole natural living thing (yes, I still do essential oils! DUH!) and while I'm not growing my armpit and leg hair out (gross. I mean, sorry, but- GROSS.) I am changing out a lot of the products we use in our home and on our persons. For me, I was never a super fanatic about wearing deodorant/antiperspirant anyway - turns out, that's kinda a GOOD thing! Have you read up on antiperspirant and how bad it actually is for you? We are SUPPOSED to perspire, it helps flush out toxins from your body, and if you're not flushing them out where are they going? They're hanging out in your lymph nodes, planning all kinds of "fun" things (hint: they're NOT even remotely fun.) Aluminum, parabens, petroleum based chemical ingredients? NAHTHANX. Kinda seems like a common sense no brainer really. So yeah I'm done with anti-persp, but I don't wanna stink, ya know! Cue this all organic, destinkerizer: Coconut Dream Natural Detox Deodorant by Organic Fields of Heather. Like, it seriously smells so good, feels like a literal dream going on, and I've been using it for a couple weeks now and I've noticed it lasts all day (I can still smell it when I go to bed) and my pit-skin feels so much softer and less bumpy & irritated. I know I had a commercial brand touted in my last FFaves post! but that was before I realized what a toxic garbage dump I was putting under my arms. DONE!

Just call me pina-colada pits, haha! *item shown not actual size < hah!

Just call me pina-colada pits, haha! *item shown not actual size < hah!


Along the same lines as the all-natural deo, I have been swapping out some other commercial made HBA products, and one of the funnest (and seriously, easiest) things to do is MAKE YOUR OWN SOAP! I went the super lazy way on these by using a pre-made goat's milk soap base which you can get at pretty much any local craft store (Hobby Lobby is MY choice but when your husband works there you're kinda obligated AMIRITE? haha good thing I also happen to dig'em!) and I added my own essential oils* - I used Bergamot, Orange and a Young Living blend called Stress Away, and added some coconut oil for extra yummy moisturizing softness. They smell so good I wanna eat them! You know you wanna make some too, now - don't worry, I'll be sharing recipes & DIY how-to's for fun stuff like this in future posts, you betcha!

*note: I use only Young Living essential oils, and am an Independent Distributor with them. The link will take you to their Seed to Seal page if you'd like to read more about the company, their oils, and their process - if you ever have question or want to know more about it, just ask!
Handmade goat's milk &amp; essential oils soaps

Handmade goat's milk & essential oils soaps


and finally, lest you think I'm some kinda full-on New Age hippie weirdo with all my natural products, let's have a fess up moment where I tell you yes I TRY to eat pretty healthy most of the time, and fresh, organic, local and responsibly sourced foods are a high priority BUT THEN THE WEEKLY FLIERS COME IN THE MAIL AND THERE'S A COUPON FOR BOGO BURGERS AT HARDEE'S AND YOU'RE ALL: MMMMMM, DINNNNNNER! Therefore, I give you:

There were also bacon topped cheese fries cuz WHATEVER, I'M GETTING CHEESE FRIES

There were also bacon topped cheese fries cuz WHATEVER, I'M GETTING CHEESE FRIES

Sweet & Smoky Moonshine Sauce, Crispy Onion Straws & Applewood-Smoked Bacon Strips on a 100% Black Angus Beef patty all served on a Fresh Baked Bun. (do not, I repeat DO!NOT! look up the "nutritional" data on this bad boy. just eat it and be damn happy.) Granted mine didn't LOOK like the picture on the flier (do they ever?) but it was so damn delicious I did not even care. They did forget the crispy onion straws on BOTH our burgers, and I think they used the wrong cheese, but that just means I'mma hafta go back and get another one, hehe. Oh, and hey - here's a coupon - you're welcome ๐Ÿ˜ 

And THAT, as they say - is a wrap! Enjoy this wonderful first day of April, may you not get pranked but if ya do fall for anything, I hope it's fun and funny (mean pranks make me mad) and have a super stellar weekend!

Friday Faves - Beauty Products | July 10, 2015

Happy weekend! This week's faves are all beauty product related (plus a bonus *fave* at the end) and are items I am using pretty much daily since I tried them. Let's have a look at'em:

this week's Friday Faves - all products I use

this week's Friday Faves - all products I use


I got a small sample packet of this Shea Moisture baby lotion and shampoo/wash from PinchMe a few weeks ago - I don't have any babies anymore! so I planned to use these on myself. I loved the dual wash & shampoo, but I REALLY LOVED that lotion! I am all in with aromatherapy and essential oils, so I liked the fact this lotion contained chamomile, frankincense and myrrh essentials, and argan oil and raw shea for moisture. It smells LUSH and is really quick to absorb and leaves your skin nice and soft, a wee bit scented, and - as I use mine at bedtime on my legs, hands and feet - I think it really does have calming properties that make a for a peaceful, pleasant drift-off. The only downside is the packaging - the first one I bought (I get mine at Target) was way too thick to pump out, and eventually the pump-tube came off and got stuck in the lotion. I took that one back and got another, which has been working fine, so I maybe got an odd batch or old product the first time. VERDICT: I'm buying! but making sure to check the product date


my free full-size sample of Dove sent via Influenster

my free full-size sample of Dove sent via Influenster

Oh, wow - this Dove Advanced Care anti-perspirant, I just can't believe! This is another one that I got as a free sample to test, this time from Influenster via a VoxBox I qualified for, and it was a full-size product (the one shown is the one they sent). From their website product page:

Featuring a light coconut scent with jasmine floral notes and NutriumMoisture that helps skin repair itself from shaving damage, this antiperspirant deodorant delivers 48-hour odor and wetness protection for the ultimate care after every shave.

I will say up front I really dislike deoderant/anti-perspirant and kinda rarely use it even though I should. (I live in Florida and am a sweater - and not the fun & hilarious knitted Christmas Cats kind!) I think it feels gross, usually irritates my sensitive pit-skin, and doesn't seem to work (I'm not just a sweater, I'm a "breakthru-sweater", wheeee). So anyway. I went ahead and tried it - and it's their kinda corny hashtag but it really was #LoveAtFirstSwipe - has a soft but not perfumey scent, it felt nice and smooth going on, it didn't leave white residue or chunks of gunk, and the kicker? I am in the middle of a double bathroom reno so showers are at a premium lately - not only did I not have breakthru sweat at any point the first day - but, after a non showering second day and no reapplication of product - I STILL had no breakthru sweat OR ODOR. That's pretty significant to me 'cuz I can always smell pit-funk thru even a fresh application of deoderant. I haven't been using it long enough to really tell if it's doing the underarm skin-repair thing, and mine are super sensitive and shaving makes them so much worse, so if that claim works even a tad as well as the others, it'll be a bonus. VERDICT: I'm buying!


Younique 'Refreshed' Rose Water&nbsp;

Younique 'Refreshed' Rose Water 

Y'all know I am into my essential oils, and I had heard great things about rose oil for skin, like getting redness under control - but MAN, rose oil is super duper expensive! and outta my reach for now. My good friend happens to be a Younique presenter, and I saw where she was using this rosewater facial spray they make, so I asked what she thought of it, and ended up buying one. And I! LOVE! IT! firstly, I mean - just look at it, SO pretty! I know you're not supposed to buy stuff based on packaging, but (sorry. I'mma sucka for pretty package design! or, if the labelling says "NEW!", heheh). Anyway - I'm not a super big fan of the scent of roses, but this one is quite bearable - nice and soft but not powdery, just floral enough but not sickeningly so. And the way it feeeeeeels and makes my skin feel, more than makes up for any scent issue I have. It's quite light, feels so wonderful to spritz on (especially on a hot summer dayif you've just come in from the garden, say) and I am definitely noticing reduced redness and softer feeling skin overall. It does NOT irritate or make my sensitive skin breakout, and while it's marketed as an under-and-over makeup prep and setter, I don't wear a lot of makeup so I use it as a after cleanser moisturizer and skin refresher throughout the day. VERDICT: I'm buying! on repeat!

please note: this product is only available through a Younique presenter. I've included the link to my friend Aimรฉe's presenter page here, but I get nothing in return for that, it just happens to be where I got mine :)


Young Living Lip Balm Trio

Young Living Lip Balm Trio

Another total fave-rave here! I got this 3 pc set of essential oil infused lip balms (they no longer offer the 3pack, that was a special promotion - but you can get each one seperately) in one of my recent Young Living orders, and that's IT. I am in LOVE. The smooth and silky application, the all natural ingredients, the benefits of essential oils. It's all good! I am a HUGE lip balm user! I don't wear lipstick, but I balm it up all day long! I keep the Lavender one by my bedside, the Grapefruit one in my bag - and my son, who is also on the balmwagon ;-) usually keeps the Cinnamint one with him (I had to go searching for it to get the photo!) They don't irritate, they dont really have a flavor, but a mild aroma, and they keep my lips soft and moisturized for hours. I've replaced all other balms with these *EXCEPT* for my tinted BabyLips balms - I still love those and use'em when I want just a kiss'a'color. VERDICT: I'mma keep buying! though I'm bummed they're not offered 3-up any longer

note: these lip balms are only availble for purchase through the Young Living website via a Young Living distributor, of which I am one. If you don't know a YL distributor, feel free to message or email me and I can help you out :)

and finally, the bonus: THIS VIDEO!

I saw it this week, and say what ya want, I don't care! I LOVE IT! Makes me happy <3
Have a wonderful weekend, people!