Front Room Makeover

I haven’t been able to make sense of the front room of our house since before we even moved in. It’s very small, really it’s probably intended to be an office. My husband uses the bonus room as his office, and we didn’t have any other need of an office. I thought about making it a playroom, but that turned out just to be code for a junked room filled with every toy the kids ever wanted to forget about. The room really wasn’t serving any functional purpose.

One idea I had when we moved in was to make it sort of a school room /art station for the boys. I wanted to run a desktop along the far wall and just have an area for each boy to sit at, and maybe keep their art supplies handy. The idea was for them to have a place where they could be creative when they wanted, without me worrying about what shape the dining room table was in.

It only took three years (haha) (cries), but we got it done.

First up I knew I wanted the room painted white. I bought (no joke) eight samples of white paint. And none of them seemed right. I didn’t want the white to feel sterile, but also I wasn’t looking for a cream color. We ended up going with Benjamin Moore’s White Heron. I was so pleased with the white. I’ve been nursing a growing discontent with the color of our interior walls — that’s a story for another time, but to sum up my theory has been the wall color gives the house a dingy feel overall. Seeing the white in the front room confirmed my theory. It looked clean and lovely, and happily neither sterile nor drab. I loved the shade we ended up with.

For the desktop, I cut two 2×12’s to size, finished them with polycrylic (I opted not to stain them), glued them together, and used pocket screws to join them (shout out to the Kreg Jig). We had some drama dealing with them, and it was apparent early on why lumber was not recommended for such a job, especially the wide boards I picked. They are considerably warped, and I despaired for awhile that we could get them to function in the way I hoped at all. The upside was they were cheap, so if it didn’t work out it wasn’t much of a loss. Thankfully, though they’re slightly bowed at one end, after joining them and clamping them for a couple of days, they straightened out a good bit. And the boys definitely don’t mind — they’ve been so tickled to have (another, haha) space of their own.

The shelf is a 2×8 board cut to 5 feet, supported by these brackets from World Market. My idea is to use it to justify buying children’s classics purely on how pretty the spine looks. There are worse things, right?

For lighting I was initially thinking swing-arm sconces. I even bought some but they didn’t feel right to me. I’m happy we ended up with these rope lights. I feel like they anchor the space nicely. I’m still tossing around the idea of adding pendant lamp shades.

The space still feels unfinished to me. I’d like to add some color but I haven’t settled on what or how. At first I was going to do a half wall behind the desk, but I couldn’t come up with an idea I was crazy about. I’ve thought about colorblocking, or something similar. For now I’m enjoying the cleanness of the white in contrast with the dingy greige it replaced.

What would you add or do differently? Let me know in the comments!

Styling the Breakfast Nook

The Tulip table was provided by Poly & Bark for review. All opinions are my own. 


Poly & Bark Daisy Tulip Table Coffee


Some months back, when I was planning out the design for our new house, I knew exactly what I wanted to do in the breakfast nook. I saw some great dining area photos of Saarinen Tulip tables, and separately, great pics of clear Ghost chairs, and I knew I wanted to pair them.


Poly & Bark Daisy Tulip Tabletop


Historically I haven’t been a huge fan of either item. I think maybe because so often you see the Tulip table paired with Saarinen’s Tulip chairs and the whole thing just comes off space-agey to me. But as soon as I envisioned the table with different chairs…I felt that my eyes had been opened, and I had seen the light.


West Elm Sphere & Stem Pendant Light


The light fixture is the Sphere & Stem pendant by West Elm. I’ve had my eye on that for a long time. I think it worked out nicely in this area. We (the husband and I) did have some drama about making a decision regarding the hanging height of the pendant. He was in favor of the current height and I wondered if it would have looked better a little higher. What do you think? It’s a mostly moot point now, as it was kind of a pain to hang and neither one of us is eager to pull it back down and do the whole thing again.


Poly & Bark Daisy Tulip Table Selfie


The artwork is from Urban Outfitters. I first saw it in Elsie Larson’s living room tour and immediately started trying to think of a place for it in our new house. I love the white, gold, and pink color scheme going on here. It feels very fresh and makes me think of candy, in the best way.


Poly & Bark Daisy Tulip Table Side


And the table — the piece de resistance. It’s really beautiful. It’s the Daisy Dining Table from Poly & Bark. This one is fiberglass, and it has a super pretty glossy lacquer coat on top. Which means I’m soliciting tips on how to maintain a glossy lacquer coat, so, bring forth your best cleaning advice immediately if you would.


Poly & Bark Daisy Tulip Table Close-up


I initially found Poly & Bark when I was searching for the Ghost chairs. We bought those first, and were so pleased with the quality we decided to get our Tulip table from them. Poly & Bark kindly sent it to me in exchange for this review. And it’s as good as it looks on the website and better still. The table itself of remarkably good quality. So much so that the husband even remarked on it while setting it up (he’s not one to be impressed easily). It’s heavy, and solid. I hadn’t expected that from the pictures but it’s pleasing.

(I also purchased a Nelson-style platform bench for the entryway from Poly & Bark — you’ll see that in another post coming up soon!)


Poly & Bark Tulip Table Kids Eating


This table provides the perfect setting for the kids to eat breakfast and still see the tv — I mean, be together…(did I say that out loud? Ok, but seriously, how do you get anything done in the morning if your kids aren’t in front of the tv? I mean really. Sorry to be That Mom, but there you have it).


Poly & Bark Burton Ghost Chair


As I said earlier, the Ghost chairs are also from Poly & Bark. We’re loving these. They’re as durable as they are attractive. You parents know what I’m talking about. Our previous dining chairs were upholstered. What was I thinking, I mean actually? I’m pretty sure the kids tagged each other in some game hidden to us parents to make sure at least one of them got ketchup on a chair at every meal. Even meals where ketchup wasn’t being served. It just happens.


Poly & Bark Table in Cafe Area


I’m overall really pleased with how the breakfast nook has come together. It’s one of those rare occasions where it looks in real life exactly like the picture I had in my head. What do you think? What would you add or take away?

Next time we’ll visit the entryway as mentioned above. Until then, be well friends!





8 Things I Learned as a New Blogger

8 Things I Learned As A New Blogger //

It’s been exactly three weeks since I’ve had reliable internet access. I feel a bit like Tom Hanks in Castaway to be honest, especially when he’s sitting on the beach squinting into the ocean, just pining for rescue. Overly dramatic? Maybe.

We were in the path of Hurricane Irma, and the storm knocked our power out for only a day. But we lost internet for about a week (disclaimer: not complaining here — we were extremely lucky, particularly in light of the recent devastation in Puerto Rice and Houston, that we have no real tales of woe). Then a few days later we moved into our new house (yaaassss!! It’s real and it’s spectacular. More on that later)…that was a week ago, and we still haven’t managed to get a connection up.

The lack of internet connection made some things logistically difficult; my husband works from home, and isn’t able to work without internet access. But it’s also been kind of nice to take a step back from this space and have a chance to think about it.


8 Things I Learned As A New Blogger //


In terms of the blogging world, my blog is a brand new baby. I only started my blog a little over two months ago. So I definitely don’t have a lot of experience yet. But I’ve managed to let it take over my life in the short time since I started it. It’s been good for me to take a minute to think about it, and to seek some balance. I honestly fell in love with blogging once I started, but I have a tendency to go overboard with the things I love.

Needless to say, I’ve already formed a lot of thoughts about blogging. I have a serious problem with over-researching and over-thinking just about everything, but today you can benefit from a little bit of my crazy. If I had a friend thinking about starting a blog and looking for advice, this is what I would tell them.


8 Things I Learned As A New Blogger //


Here are some of the things I’ve learned as a new blogger:

*Note: I haven’t necessarily been great about following my own advice. Some of these things I’m doing better at than others, but this whole thing (like so much in life, right?) is a work in progress.


1) Blogging is time consuming.

I’m saying that with a nice snicker in my voice, because that there was sarcasm. And a serious understatement. Blogging is crazy time consuming. I’m learning that it can take as much time as you want to put into it. Before I started my blog, I had a vague idea that this was true — like in the sense that I get that writing can take some time. But it kind of baffled me to hear people say they blogged full-time. Like when you say “full-time,” you don’t mean full-time like other people mean it, right? There’s no way you can spend 40 hours a week on a blog. Now I’m debating whether to laugh or cry at my old sweet innocent self. Now when I think of my blogging heroes who are doing this for a living, I wonder how in the world they could fit that into a mere 40 hours a week. Think about it —  here’s breakdown of just some of what’s involved in (serious) blogging —

  • coming up with great, engaging ideas for posts
  • researching those ideas (and as we all know, research can take as much time as you want it to)
  • writing up those ideas and transforming them into posts
  • thinking up ideas for sharp, interesting photos for those great, engaging posts you’ve written
  • taking those photos
  • editing those photos
  • getting the word out about your posts (a.k.a. marketing) — a step that can be, again, as time consuming as you want it to be. This can involve something as simple (ha) as posting to all of your various social media outlets, including (but not limited to) the Big Four as I like to call them: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. And if you’re a less established blog, you have to go deeper to get your post out there. You’re probably involved in Facebook groups, which can involve a lot of work reciprocating engagement for fellow bloggers. And you’re probably on Pinterest group boards, and maybe in Instagram comment pods.

I’m sure I’ve missed some things here, but this (I think) covers a lot of what goes into creating a single blog post. It’s a lot, right?? Especially when you factor in that a serious blog is publishing posts multiple times weekly. And we haven’t even touched on, not even a little bit, monetizing here…that’s a whole other ball of wax.


2) Content is everything.

This should go without saying, right? The heart and soul of a blog is the posts, this should be obvious. It feels silly to even say it. But…you read all the steps involved in creating a post and trying to get those sweet little baby posts out in the world where the good people called Your Audience may find and read them. It’s a lot. And I think as anybody who’s blogged even a little can attest to, it’s unfortunately easy to get so wrapped up in the process that you forget the #1 Golden Rule of Good Blogging: Write good posts. Write them regularly.


8 Things I Learned As A New Blogger //


3) Define your niche.

Something I hear over and over again is that as a new blogger you need to decide what your niche is — that is, the subject that you’ll be writing about the majority of the time — and then stick to it and don’t stray from it. You could pick a few different topics, but the newer your blog is, the more it serves you decide what you’re about and then…be about that thing. Think about it: if somebody came to your blog to read about financial investment strategies, they likely won’t be clicking through to your posts about your best crochet projects. Then again, as Shakespeare said, to thine own self be true. This advice (really, on that note, this whole post) is mostly aimed at serious bloggers looking to grow an audience and eventually monetize — if you’re a hobby blogger just having fun and you don’t care whether anybody reads your blog or not, then you do you! But if your blogging efforts are part business/side hustle, defining your niche matters.


4) Be friendly.

This is a big one. One of the best things you can do as a new blogger is to get out into the blogging community and get to know your fellow bloggers (also, give them a chance to get to know you!). Make a point of finding a bunch of blogs about your topic. Comment regularly on blogs in your niche — and not just spammy comments like, “Great post!” but lengthy and thoughtful comments that truly add to the discussion. The blogger will notice you, and maybe visit your blog in return. Other readers may notice as well. Plus, that’s just being a good friend, right guys? Email bloggers whom you’d like to get to know better. Join Facebook groups — this can be a good way to find potential readers for your blog, but — even better — it’s also great for getting encouragement and support. The blogging community is a surprisingly small world in many ways, and you’ll be surprised how often you run into the same people again and again in different places. Get yourself out there.


5) Don’t get hung up on Instagram.

I never used Instagram until I started my blog in July. Right away I saw what the fuss was about, I saw what I had been missing. I fell in love. And for the first month I lived and died on what was going on with my Instagram account — did someone follow me? Did someone unfollow me? It drove me a little bit crazy, to be honest. But I have found that in the two months I’ve been blogging, Instagram isn’t converting into blog traffic (at least not for me, at least not yet). Instagram is fun, but when it comes to my blog, it just isn’t worth the time I had been putting into it. Which isn’t to say you should neglect your Instagram account entirely, but keep an eye on your stats, know what it’s worth to you, and invest your time accordingly. I’m aware that this might be a controversial thing to say. I know there are bloggers out there who do really well on Instagram. I’m just saying my perception so far is that doing well on Instagram is a lot more time intensive and takes more work than doing well on other social media channels.

8 Things I Learned As A New Blogger //

6) Pinterest is your friend.

Pinterest, on the other hand, is hands down the biggest driver of traffic to my blog. Blogging guru Melyssa Griffin makes the excellent point that Pinterest is more of a search engine than true social media outlet. This makes a ton of sense, and puts a different spin on how you might approach Pinterest as a blogger rather than a casual user. A lot of it involves paying attention to keywords and the descriptions in the pins you’re pinning, making sure they are more truly descriptive than cute and catchy. I’ve read that you should be pinning 20-40 pins a day (too few won’t help you much, too many is spam), at different times of the day to reach people in different time zones. Obviously this is somewhat difficult (and certainly time consuming). This is where pin schedulers like Tailwind and Boardbooster come in. They put your pinning on autopilot, and as such are pretty much a must for the serious blogger. I started using Tailwind a month ago and immediately saw my blog traffic increase. I would be remiss not to mention group boards here. Group boards on Pinterest might be the single easiest way for a new blogger to get visitors to their site. Maybe you don’t have that many Pinterest followers, but when you join a group board you benefit from the followers the other contributors bring. Look for group boards in your niche and try to join some, then pin regularly to them. Ideally you’re pinning more of your own content than others’.


7) Don’t let it get you down. 

In blogging, as in life, I tend to ride an emotional roller coaster. I’m up or down; it’s awesome or it’s horrible. And once it’s horrible, I begin to spiral. Blogging is hard work, and when it doesn’t seem like it’s going well, then I start to get worked up about how much time I’m investing in something that I’m clearly not good at, not succeeding at, will obviously never succeed at….you get it. You know what I’m talking about. I think we all go through times of feeling like that about any new endeavor. It’s been helpful to remind myself that hard times are generally followed by good times, and not to get too down about a slump. I guess this is true for life in general as much as it is for blogging.


8) Have fun.

My biggest surprise in this blogging journey so far has been how much I just straight up enjoy it. I enjoy the writing itself. I love to think and talk about the topics I cover. I’ve enjoyed making friends, and getting to know fellow bloggers in the community. Also, and I can’t overstate this — as a stay at home mom, it’s been so rewarding to have something that I get to do that is my own. That might be what motivates me the most. I genuinely look forward to spending time working on the blog.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading! What are some of the most important things you learned as a new blogger? What advice would you share with someone just starting out with their blog?

8 Things I Learned As A New Blogger //

If you’re looking for some great resources on blogging to help you get started or improve your experience, here are some of my favorites so far:

Melyssa Griffin

Her Paper Route

Amy Lynn Andrews

Katie Mander

Helene in Between

Comment and share your favorite blogging resources!




Sofa Showdown: Article Sven (and Tan Leather) vs. Ikea Vimle (and Beige Polyester)

Friends, I’m calling on you. The husband and I are at a standstill over which sofa to buy for our family room. If you would, scroll through our thoughts on each of the contenders, check out the mood boards we put together, and weigh in with a comment about which choice you would vote for.

In his corner, Vimle by Ikea: Ikea Beige Vimle Sofa with Chaise

The Lowdown on Vimle:

  • Cost (in the configuration shown): $799
    • At this price, if it gets destroyed (by boys or dog or act of God) in the next couple of years, it’s not as big of a deal.
  • Material: machine washable slipcovered polyester.
    • I’m gonna be honest with you, I am absolutely NOT on top of getting dirty slipcovers (or anything else…) in the wash in a timely manner. This is a negative for the Vimle.
  • At around $200, a back-up cover is super affordable.
  • It could be hacked with some new legs to make it sleeker.
  • A color this neutral really would go with anything.
  • My husband: “It’s not very expensive. We have three small boys (a.k.a. Destroyers of Furniture, The Three Reasons Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, The Mess-Bringers) and are soon (apparently??) getting a puppy (!), who maybe will shred everything we own. And it’s cheap. Also you can store stuff in the chaise! Also, it doesn’t cost much.”


In my corner, Sven by Article:

article sven sofa.jpg


Arguments for Sven:

  • Cost: $2999
    • While this may not be a lot for a leather sofa of this quality, it’s still more than double anything we’ve paid for a sofa before. And certainly a lot if it gets ruined in the next couple of years and we have to replace it sooner than we’d like.
  • Material: Full grain Italian leather
    • Beautiful, soft, buttery, WIPEABLE leather.
  • Reviews say it’s dreamy and comfortable.
  • Me: “It’s so pretty. I just really like it. And in case you missed it when I mentioned it before, YOU CAN WIPE SPILLS (or whatever) OFF OF LEATHER. It makes me happy to look at it. It’s the correct choice for our family — wait, for my heart.”


So with that said, here are the mood boards I created as mock-ups of our family room.


With Ikea’s Vimle sofa:




With Article’s Sven leather sofa:


family room leather sven sofa


So what do you think?? I promise not to try to get (too) upset if you don’t side with me. Give me your best thoughts and opinions — we’re moving in 10 days and I need to get this settled ASAP!

Sofa Showdown: Article vs. Ikea // Napkin Soup



I’m super excited about today’s post. We’re featuring a stunning bohemian bedroom that marries vibrancy and serenity. It’s dark, colorful, and moody, filled with global textiles, vintage furniture, and thrifted finds, as well as furniture and art made by the owners themselves. The lady of the house, Bethany Riggs, is an artist and creative genius, and I can say that with full confidence because she’s been my best friend for 20+ years now.

Boho Artist Bedroom Corner

House Tour: Moody Bohemian Artist's Bedroom


Part of Bethany’s goal in decorating this house is to create a sense of refuge. They’re new to this house — they only moved in late last year, after tragedy forced them out of their previous home.

In August of 2016 they were living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. If you were following the news last year, you may recall a catastrophic flood in Louisiana — and by catastrophic I mean Louisiana was hit with three times the amount of rain as it received from Hurricane Katrina. Bethany’s family were woken in the middle of the night by a neighbor who warned them to get out immediately, which they did. They scooped up their two kids and sweet dog, Leo, and anything they could take in their arms. They fled to a shelter, as floodwater surged up around the tires of their car.

Their home was lost, as well as nearly everything inside of it.

Boho Artist Bedroom Dresser and Art

This home is part of their process of rebuilding, literally and figuratively, physically and emotionally.
To me, Bethany is the embodiment of a vibrant human being. She is passionate about travel, art, good food & drink, and deep conversations with friends. I always know that if I pitch an idea to her, she’ll be up for trying it. I think her bedroom conveys this feeling, wouldn’t you agree?

So that you can get to know her as well as I do, I thought I’d interview her for you.

Napkin Soup (<-- psst, that's me): Hi! Pleasure to meet you. 

Bethany: And you as well? You’re being weird.

Napkin Soup: Naturally. Ok, so tell us about yourself in a few sentences.

Bethany: I’m an artist, mother, homeschool teacher, interior design junkie (seriously, it’s bordering on problematic at this point), and gin aficionado. How’s that for a start?

Napkin Soup: It’s excellent.

Bethany: I’ve been in love with nature, mermaids, magic, and gypsy/bohemian/tribal aesthetic since I was very young. I’m a firm believer that you can’t have too much color or pattern if you know how to use both.

Bohemian Artist's Dresser and Art

Napkin Soup: A bold philosophy. What inspired your bedroom’s decor scheme?

Bethany: It was the wall tapestry over the bed. After losing all our furniture and decor in the flood, I was doing a lot of online shopping and stumbled across The Jaipur Art Factory‘s page. Their line of woodblock-print fabrics is incredible. I fell in love with the one in the picture (I mean, c’mon, ORANGE ELEPHANTS, Y’ALL) and ordered it immediately. And it just kind of became the starting point that I built my room around.

Bohemian Artist Bedroom Tapestry

Napkin Soup: How long have you been interested in creating? Tell me about an early memory of art-making.

Bethany: I don’t remember the experience, but my parents took me to see The Little Mermaid when I was three. It was my first movie theater experience and apparently I was obsessed from the opening credits. My mom has file boxes filled with drawings of mermaids that I churned out over the next decade or so. I’ve always loved drawing but I didn’t start really experimenting with art techniques until college.

As for interior design, my parents were very open to creating beautiful bedrooms for all us kids. We could choose paint colors, bed sets, wall stencils, etc. So I have a wide variety of design phases I’ve gone through since I was about 7 years old.

Bohemian House Tour Art

Napkin Soup: How would you describe your work as an artist?

Bethany: At this moment? A chronicle of my descent into insomnia and madness.

But seriously, one continuing theme of my work since college is the interplay between rigid structure and fluid movement. I feel like my whole life is a constant struggle to maintain a balance between the two. So in my work I try to meld them. If I get too obsessive about the precision the geometry requires, I get stressed and lose my mind. If I just paint flowy abstracts I get bored and listless. I need both to keep me centered.

Bohemian House Tour Star Pendant Light

Napkin Soup: I love that observation. I think most of us can relate to that in some way. Tell me about your interior design style.

Bethany: Eclectic to the extreme. I never worry if something I like will work with everything else I already have. I just buy it if I love it. Lately though I’ve been leaning very heavily towards a moody bohemian aesthetic.

Napkin Soup: How do you make your eclectic pieces work together?

Bethany: I constantly move things around until I find an arrangement that suits. If I find a weird knickknack at a thrift store and it’s some hideous color but I like it anyway, I’ll spray paint it a color I like. I also tend to group different styles of things in different rooms. If I buy a throw pillow I love that doesn’t work in my living room, I’ll move it to the couch in my room or a bedroom where it fits better. Of course, the main benefit of being eclectic/bohemian is that nearly everything can work anywhere, since you’re not trying to maintain any one style or color scheme.

Bohemian House Tour Velvet Sofa

As an artist, I look for pieces that are solidly built with interesting details, and then I try my best to bring those details out in the refinishing process. I don’t worry too much about clashing styles, because a good coat of paint or stain can help tie anything together.

Napkin Soup: You’ve mentioned thrifting. I get easily frustrating when thrift shopping because I can never seem to find good stuff. What are some of your methods for thrifting successfully?

We’re a single-income household, and I’ve always had to live on a moderately tight budget, which means we thrift a lot of our big furniture pieces. Usually we refinish or reupholster items to suit our tastes, but with Craigslist and Goodwill, you only have so much to work with in terms of finding the perfect piece. It can be a lot of fun though, like a treasure hunt, and often we get incredibly well-made items for very little, simply because they’re outdated or in rough shape. Then the challenge becomes making them fit our space and style needs.

Boho House Tour Nightstand

Before we’re done here, I want to be sure to include the canine among us.

Meet Leo:

Bohemian Dog Leo

And Laila:

Bohemian Dog Laila

Aren’t they lovely?? (They are.) I want to send a big thank you to Bethany and her family for sharing their beautiful home with us!

What do you think of this bohemian bedroom? Would you go this dark and moody? Tell us what you think in the comments below!


:: list contains affiliate links ::

the ultimate guide to modern rattan chairs

Modern Rattan Chair from The Citizenry
fact check: the above is *not* a rattan chair — it’s actually leather. BUT it did make me think of rattan chairs, so there you go

After seeing and instantly falling in love with this chair from The Citizenry, I’ve been fixating on modern-style rattan chairs.

I’ve never been a big fan of rattan. Historically I’ve associated it with the kind of wicker furniture you might associate with your grandparents’ patio.

Fun fact — it turns out wicker is a furniture-making technique, and wicker furniture can be made out of many different materials. Rattan, on the other hand, is a material — a vine, to be precise, closely related to the palm tree. Rattan is actually one of the strongest woods.

I’m happy to see rattan enjoying a comeback. Check out these photos for some examples of rattan done right — and inspiration for your very own rattan furniture that will fit in with your completely stylish modern bohemian home (right guys??):

Rattan Flynn Lounger Chair form World Market


Rattan Kids Chair Antoinette from The Land of Nod

Diamond Rattan Chair from Wend Studio


Rattan Hanging Chair from Anthropologie


Rattan Luna Chair from Article


Rattan Basket Chair from Modish


Rattan Chair from


Rattan Pari Chair from Anthropologie


What do you think? Are you ready to welcome rattan into your home?

The Ultimate Guide to Modern Rattan Chairs ::

5 Target Face Masks Under $5

This post contains referral links.

5 Target Face Masks Under Five Dollars

Who doesn’t love a good face mask? I like to use them on weekend evenings, after the kids are asleep, while I’m chilling on the couch with the husband. They’re a great way to pamper yourself and take care of your skin at the same time. Dermatologists agree that face masks benefit your skin.

While I’d love to try out some higher end products like this:

Glamglow Supermud Face Mask
Supermud by Glamglow

or this:

Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy Face Mask
Blue Tansy by Herbivore Botanicals

the fact of it is that spending money on face masks just isn’t my greatest priority, budget-wise (I know, shocking, right?).

So in cases like these, I turn back to the one who will never let me down — of course you know I mean…Target.

Target Bullseye Logo
Majestic, right?

I picked up these 5 face masks on a recent Target trip, and spent the last week trying one every evening, just to deliver these reviews to you (you’re so welcome, the pleasure was all mine!).


Clockwise from top left, the line-up:

Miss Spa Hydrate Facial Sheet Mask

Pretty Animalz Panda Calming Facials Sheet Mask

Miss Spa 24k Gold Radiance Mask

nügg Hydrating Face Mask 

Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal DIY Powder-to-Clay Mask

First up: the Hydrate mask from Miss Spa.

This one’s pretty straightforward. It’s easy to use, it smells nice, kind of floral. My skin felt happy and soft afterwards. At less than $2 a pop, this is one to go in your regular skincare rotation. 5/5

Next: the Panda Calming Sheet Mask from Pretty Animalz.

animalz panda face mask

It’s cute, right? I’ll be honest it’s a little less cute once you’re wearing it. Some husbands (mine) may have done a double-take, and offered helpful comments like “What the actual hell,” and “That’s terrifying.” Sweet, right? I took pictures but…I decided you don’t want to see them. Also, this one didn’t smell that great. It did soften my skin some, but not enough to save my opinion otherwise. 2/5

Next up: the 24k Gold Radiance Mask from Miss Spa.

Miss Spa Gold Radiance Face Sheet Mask

I enjoyed this one. The gold was novel and pretty. It smelled lovely, it was easy to apply and pleasant to wear. My skin was moisturized and had a luminous glow afterwards. The only downside was that the gold gel stuff got on my bathroom sink and hasn’t come off yet, so I’d be careful not to get it on anything. All said, I’d use this one again. 4/5

Next up: the Hydrating Face Mask with Camellia Seed Oil from nügg.

Nugg Hydrating Face Mask with Camellia Seed Oil

I had never used a face mask that wasn’t a sheet mask before trying this one out. I was surprised how much I liked it — I enjoyed it more than the sheet masks really, because it didn’t shift around like the sheets do and I felt like I could get it into more places on my skin. There was a surprising amount in the little container — I had extra leftover. This one smelled the best of any of the masks I tried, and I think my skin was the softest after this. I’ll be using it again, and looking to try other masks by nügg. 5/5

And finally: the Detoxifying Charcoal DIY Powder-to-Clay Mask by Yes to Tomatoes.

Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal DIY Powder-to-Clay Mask

This one was the most fun of the five. It comes with a little paper bowl, a packet of charcoal powder, and a spoon for mixing. The back of the package has suggestions for different food items to mix with the mask to supposedly achieve different benefits — yogurt for moisturizing, honey for smoothing, lemon for brightening, etc. I added a bit of honey and stirred my mask up. This one definitely took the longest to apply — I spent between five and ten minutes pasting the mixture onto my face. I let it sit for the longer suggested time of 20 minutes before rinsing. I really couldn’t tell any difference at all in my skin afterwards — it didn’t even feel particularly moisturized. But I did enjoy wearing it, so that counts for something maybe? 3/5

That’s the roundup for today! Have you tried any of these? Share your favorite face masks below in the comments.

weekend link fest – 08.26.17

weekend link fest – 08.26.17

Here’s what I’ve been loving around the internet this week:

Target Project 62 Midcentury Modern Collection

Domino had a great write-up about Target’s upcoming mid-century modern collection, Project 62. Have you heard about this?? If not, hold onto your wallets babies. Target is aiming to bring mid-century modern to the masses. The collection will hit the internet September 16th, and stores September 19th. Jesus take the wheel.

ikea catalog 2018

In further retail news: The design-loving part of the internet has been abuzz this month over Ikea’s 2018 catalog, which is said to be the best yet. Check it out for yourself here.

Paige Jones Bohemian Nursery

Yesterday I came across this nursery from Paige Jones, and I can’t. stop. looking. I mean, how perfect is that? And I don’t even mean just for a nursery, I mean for any room. I love literally every element of this room’s design. Now I’m setting out to DIY myself a hanging shelf, looking for a white chair like the one above, and trying to find the perfect vintage rug to go with all this boho love. Click through to see all the photos — seriously, the entire room is this good. This one’s getting bookmarked at the top of my list for design inspiration. Job well done Paige.

Kate La Vie Salted Passionfruit Margarita Cocktail

Well, as you no doubt know if you live on Earth, tonight is the season finale of Game of Thrones, the (objectively) best television show ever made. Dry your tears, it will be back next year for the (now you may cry) final four episodes. Tonight the husband and I will have a babysitter for the kiddos so we can join friends for a GoT finale party. We’ll be bringing these Salted Passionfruit Margaritas with us to win friends and influence people. Head over to Kate La Vie for the cocktail recipe.

Have a good one everybody, and don’t forget to turn off your curling iron before you leave the house.

Napkin Soup // Weekend Link Fest

nightcap: the basil lime vodka fizz

fresh cut basil leaves

Have you ever noticed in the supermarket how they sell herb plants near the fresh herbs? And how similar in price the plants are to the cut herbs? It always seems so tempting to me to buy the plant instead of the package of cut herbs — there’s more on the plant anyway! And just think about how cost effective it is if you keep it alive!

If you keep it alive.

Well. I don’t know about you, but keeping a plant alive is something I’ve just about never managed to do. Nonetheless, last week I found myself in need of fresh basil, and I fell for the plant bit again. Which means…I’m desperately trying to come up with uses for fresh basil before the little guy inevitably dies.

basil plant
As you likely know if you live on Earth, Sunday is Game of Thrones night. And Game of Thrones night, at least in my house, means Special Drinks (spoiler alert: I really don’t need much of an excuse for Special Drinks).

Obviously I had to try to incorporate the basil into this week’s Special Drink. Enter the Basil Lime Vodka Fizz. Bright, bubbly, summery, and enhanced by the depth of flavor that only fresh herbs can bring, it’s perfectly refreshing.

basil lime vodka fizz cocktails
And especially suited to watching fire-breathing flying dragons and war-mongering hordes of zombies (apparently).

Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Basil Lime Vodka Fizz


For the Basil Simple Syrup:

  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • approximately 10 fresh basil leaves

For the drink:

  • 1.5 oz. vodka (pro tip: store your vodka in the freezer)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 to 3/4 oz. Basil Simple Syrup (to taste — recipe below)
  • club soda as desired (roughly 2 – 3 oz.)


  1. Make the Basil Simple Syrup — on the stovetop (or in the microwave), bring sugar and water just to a boil and remove from heat. Add in 5-6 basil leaves, let steep 30 minutes.
  2. In a highball glass filled with ice, add vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup. Stir together.
  3. Top with club soda and garnish with basil leaves. Enjoy immediately if not sooner.

Basil Lime Vodka Fizz Cocktail

entryway design ideas: boho style

This post contains affiliate links.

Hey babies! Today we’re talking entryway design ideas. Have you thought about the first impression your home gives when you walk through the door? Paying particular attention to styling the entry is a great way to set the tone for the design scheme of your entire house.

round mirror wooden slat bench entryway

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

large round mirror entryway amber interors

snake plant round mirror entryway

pretty boho entryway a pair & a spare

While I was researching this post I had a hard time zeroing in on one design style. There’s a lot of good stuff out there! So we’re going to do a series of entryway posts, and for this first one we’re focusing on bohemian style, with a minimalist flair.

You might have noticed in the pics above a few unifying elements. There are several low benches, a few Turkish runners, round mirrors (because obviously), and greenery everywhere (praise the almighty snake plant!).

Personally I’m digging those chairs as well, I think they add an element of coziness to a design style that might otherwise feel a little sterile. I also like the hooks for keys, purses, and whatever else. You could do hooks in addition to or in place of a mirror.

designsponge entry

We’ve done the dirty work for you and put together a shopping list for you to style your own bohemian entryway. No need to thank us, that’s the kind of friends we are.

  • Entryway bench

Stow your purse, stack some books, faux-casually drape your most beautiful throw over it.

// the low-profile slatted wooden bench:low wooden slatted dwrNelson Platform Bench,

  • Modern-profile planter

You’ve got to have somewhere to put your obligatory snake plant or ill-advised cacti.

// the sleek white planter:

case study planter modernica

Case Study Large Cylinder with Stand, Modernica

  • Entryway side chair

Let’s be honest, no one is *ever* going to sit on this thing. But it looks good, and that’s what’s important, right?

// the leather sling chair:

brown leather butterfly chair cb2

Brown Leather Butterfly Chair, CB2

  • The runner rug

This is where you can add in some color and a bit of a busier design if you like.

// the Turkish runner:

vintage runner rug nuloom

Traditional Runner Rug in Blush, NuLoom

  • The round mirror

The pièce de résistance of your (and by your, I mean my) entryway. You can’t legally call it boho without this, just trust me on this one.

// the (brass) round mirror:

infinity brass round mirror cb2

Infinity Brass Round Wall Mirror, CB2


What are your thoughts? Would you add (or take away anything) in designing a bohemian entryway? Let us know in the comments!

entryway design ideas