July 17, 2017

JGB Travels: Outfit packing guide

Destination --> DENVER



In a few days, my entire family and I are packing up & heading to Denver, CO for my brother Quinn's wedding!  We have all been so looking forward to this because we are just so excited for Quinn & his amazing fiancé Alyssa.

Packing for this trip has been so much fun. I'm used to going to the beach, on short buying trips (when I only need 1 or 2 outfits) and to both my parents' and Eric's parents' lake houses.  Usually when I go on these kinds of trips, I pack a bunch of my basic, go-to outfits that I can mix and match throughout my trip because there are never defined plans. But, we are going to be in Denver for almost a week and have stuff planned all day, every day.


This time of year, packing is much easier than in the fall/winter when sweaters are bulky and you want to layer.  I have been trying to make this a really easy process and pack mostly jumpsuits & dresses so I have ONE piece to put on & add shoes. 

This denim jumpsuit is a dream, and so flattering (if you're between sizes, go down a size! Its running a bit big in the bust) 

I always like to pack a few basics just to hang out in. This sweatshirt dress (on sale!) is made with a fabric that we call 'buttery french terry' because it is just so so soft and comfortable.  I have this dress in both black and grey and wear them constantly. I usually add sneakers and a neck scarf to run my errands. 

  

Anytime I travel, I like to bring a denim jacket for chilly nights and super air conditioned restaurants.  This denim jacket has been on repeat (last seen on my instagram here)

Shoes are ALWAYS an issue for me while packing.  I want to pack like...every pair I own.  This time I'm going minimalist and packing nude shoes that go with everything with the exception of these KILLER neon sandals 



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June 23, 2017

5 of the most asked questions

#letsbereal 
Your beauty & lifestyle questions answered! 

I love getting questions from you guys.  A lot of them I answer directly through DM on Instagram or through email, but I wanted to take a minute to answer some of the most asked questions as part of my #letsbereal series that I started a while ago.

I also get a lot of business questions regarding day to day routine, how to work from home, and tips for small business owners.  I will most definitely do a separate post on all of that for you guys! This is the first segment of questions that is beauty and lifestyle related, I hope you enjoy!

What are your favorite skin care, hair, and make up products? 

SKINCARE
I have combination skin that is also really sensitive, I feel like a lot of skin care doesn't agree with me & I have tested a lot (a lot) of product.  I had terrible skin throughout college, probably due to ‘stress’ and lack of nutritional diet…*this is me laughing at my college self thinking I was stressed.* I will be the first to say that skin care works differently for everybody.  What works for me, might not work for you, but I wanted to share what currently works for me.  

 I have been using Bobbi Brown products for about 2 years now and they are my absolute favorite.  I use this day cream, this night cream, and this eye cream (both day & night).  In the winter I am vveerrryyyy dry, so I use this skin supplement every night in the winter, and about once a week during the summer.  You can purchase the eye cream, supplement, and day cream in a smaller size for a discounted price here (this a great package if you're trying it out for the first time or traveling!) 

I also am VERY MUCH in love with these alpha beta peel pads My mom originally got me interested in them.  She uses the extra strength ones (which may be good for your skin if you're a bit more oily!).  I use the gentle peel version because the extra strength was too much for my skin.  These pads definitely have a hefty price tag but, I have had the same package for about a year.  I only use them about every 7-10 days (in the morning) and feel that they give me that extra uumph that you just need sometimes. 

When I am feeling extra sleepy, I love using these eye pads. I keep them in the refrigerator because the cool temp of them really helps to de-puff my eyes.  

*SKINCARE HACK*
A Sephora employee just gave me and my mom an A-HA moment in skin care.  Most of us exfoliate, use face masks, and use peels at night before bed. But, we want our best skin during the day, so why are we doing these things before we go to sleep?! She's so right....both my mom and I have started to do these things in the morning, before our make up and have seen a really big improvement in our skin throughout the day. 






HAIR PRODUCT
Right now, I am so in love with OUAI products for hair.  I have been using their REPAIR shampoo & conditioner for about 6 months now and I just adore how it smells & how it makes my hair feel.  I also love their dry shampoo. Since I have really dark hair, not all dry shampoos work for me because they leave white residue.  I have tried a few 'brunette' dry shampoos and have hated the way that they make my hair feel.  This one just really takes the cake for me. For extra volume throughout the day, I use this texturizing spray with this comb.  I usually keep a travel size texturizing spray & one of these combs in all of my totes/purses to spruce up my hair mid day. I love these combs (much more than a mini hair brush) because it doesn't attach to the hair & there aren't little hairs floating around in my bag (TMI, but TRUE!) 

When I get out of the shower, I use this CC cream on my damp hair.  I usually leave this in my hair while I do my make up. Then, right before I blow dry, I use this hair oil.  This tiny little bottle lasts almost 18 months, it is unbelievable. I have been using it for roughly three years and only bought a refill once. 

TOOLS THAT I USE
This blow dryer
This curling iron 
This mini straightener (for all of the curly baby hairs close to my head) 
This round brush
This hair brush 






MAKE UP
Concealer - I wear A LOT of mascara (more about that here), and my eye lashes are on the longer side.  I have always had issues with black mascara residue under my eyes.  This stuff is liquid gold and my absolute favorite.  

Foundation: This Tom Ford foundation stick is amazing when looking for more coverage.  I use color FAWN.   It is a bit pricier, but I have never once had a bad skin reaction from it.  I also only refill about once a year because it lasts for a long long time.  When I have a spray tan & am a bit darker, I use this Bobbi Brown foundation stick  (color 4.5).  It is a bit less expensive and I don’t have a spray tan all the time, so I don’t want to splurge on a darker foundation.  

About 2 days a week, I have a ‘desk day’ where I sit my behind at my desk all dang day and get caught up on business emails, write my blog posts (!) and do ordering for No. 14.  I never want Eric to come home from work wondering what the heck happened to the girl he married, but I also don’t want to get dolled up just to sit in my office.  On those days, when I am looking for less coverage, I use this Bobbi Brown BB Cream. When I am tan, I use color ‘natural’ when I don’t have a spray, I use color ‘fair.' I also use these whenever I'm at the lake because they have SPF 35 in them & I am all about protecting my face from the sun.



What breeder did you use for Roo? How did you get her?  How did you come up with her name? 

I’m not proud to say that I actually do not know the name of Roo’s breeder.  I found her through ‘cook’s weiners.’  At the time I had inquired, they did not have any puppies, so they referred me to their friend who had two pups left.  I got in touch with them, they sent me a picture of her, and I got in the car. No questions asked.  It was that little stripe down her head & those green eyes! I couldn’t resist.  

How did I get her?

I actually surprised Eric with Roo for his birthday.  He had been itching to get a pup and we agreed a weeny would be the perfect fit for us.  When I received that picture of Roo from the breeder, I sent it to my mom.  She texted me back “so when do we leave to get her?” 

Eric had a late night at work, when he got home, my mom & I were eating cheerios (nutritious dinner) at our kitchen island and Roo walked around the corner.  He was completely shocked and tells me every day that I will never top Roo as a gift.  Obviously we treat this dog like she is our child, so we are definitely happy with her! 

Where does her name come from?

Roo’s name is really special to us.  Eric played football in college at Virginia Military Institute.  E’s freshman year, his parents, along with another teammate’s parents rented a house a few miles from campus so the football guys could retreat there on the weekends after football games (military school isn't for wimps & campus was no fun). This house turned into a ‘football house’ where everyone would gather and it eventually received the name “the Roo House.” SO many of our memories lie in that home. It will forever be part of me, part of E, and part of our relationship.  The friends that we made at VMI are not friends, they're family.  They're some of the best people we know and E and I just wanted the legacy to continue in our little pup.  

What are your favorite places to eat in Pittsburgh?
THIS IS THE HARDEST QUESTION IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

 If you are familiar with Pittsburgh, you know that right now, it is a mecca for new restaurants.  I swear that every week there is somewhere new and trendy to go.  I was recently interviewed by The Urbanist about this exact topic- you can read that article here.  

Here is a little compiled list: 
Penn Ave Fish Company- Eric and I actually eat here 2/3 times per week, anytime we don't feel like cooking at home, we drop everything and high tail it to Penn Ave. This place has THE BEST fish in the city, by a long shot.  We usually order their sushi (literally eating takeout sushi from here while I type this).  We also love going for brunch (we order the tuna steak & eggs).  Also it is BYOB, which is amazing because we love to bring wine from one of our wine clubs that we signed up for on our honeymoon.  We also purchase our fresh fish to grill at home from here.  We especially love their salmon & their scallops.

Muddy Waters: This is an Oyster bar with all of the fixings.  We were here last week and I actually had ALLIGATOR as my entree?!? Its delicious and I really love the atmosphere.

TAKO: Probably my favorite restaurant in the city.  I have never had a bad meal here, everything on the menu is amazing & the atmosphere is so fun.  Beware- there is ALWAYS a wait- so be prepared to grab a drink in the interim. 

Altius- If you’re visiting the city, I definitely recommend treating yourself to a nice dinner on Mt. Washington. You will see the best views of the city! & this restaurant gives you popcorn when you sit down, so its A OK in my book.

Espresso A Mano- This is the coffee shop that I post about ALL the time.  Me & E love to walk Roo here & grab our favorite coffee.  

Millie’s- Only the best ice cream you’ll EVER have- I recommend going to Muddy Waters (above) then Millie’s for a treat- they're right up the street from each other!

This is a really short list, because I feel like this post is already so so long. If you'd like me to do a Pittsburgh Guide, let me know! 
What is that banana bread you’re always making?! 

HAHA I get this question at least once a day since I originally posted about making it. This is a recipe for gluten free chocolate chip banana bread and its GOOD guys.
I try to find a lot of gluten free recipes through Pinterest.  My dad is gluten free & he’s also the only person that will eat dessert with me (I totally inherited my sweet tooth from him). I also highly recommend snagging a slice once its cooled for about 15 min, the chocolate chips are still warm…..you'll thank me later. 

You can find the recipe on my Pinterest under the "breakfast" board.


Who designed/decorated your house? Did you hire someone?

We used Michael Wright who owns Steel Town Properties in Pittsburgh.  He actually purchased our house sight unseen with intention to renovate and sell.  I wanted to get in on a house at GROUND LEVEL because I wanted to be able to pick out all of the little details.  I had contacted him a few days before he closed on our house & he took me through and showed me all of this plans for the layout etc, the rest is history!  Michael is amazing, you can find his Business’s Facebook here, and if you’re local & looking to renovate around the city, he is your dude. I'd be happy to give you his contact if you are interested, just drop me a line here.

 In terms of decorating, we did not hire someone.  I chose to do it on my own (with a ton of help from my mom, because she's the decorating guru).  There is a lot I’m still eager to do, I have yet to put a single hole in these walls! We are having a ton of fun living in our house and I feel like we'll be updating the decor all the time. You can see a mini house tour here




June 16, 2017

Pearly Toes

I'd been eyeing up these pearl slides online for a few weeks.  I saw them in person last week and immediately fell in love.  I took a picture of them on my feet and the first thing I did was text my mom asking if she wanted a pair.  Needless to say, we now have matching shoes.


I am really happy I got try these on in person because they run really small.  I am a very true size 8, and I have very narrow feet.  The size 9 fit me perfectly! 

I am loving all pearl embellishments right now.  These slides and these booties have also been sitting in my cart for a few days.  I think I'm going to end up with these booties in the 'natural color' so I can transition them from late summer to fall with rompers and dresses.

My slides are the "crushed taupe velvet"


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June 15, 2017

Office Florals




My office continues to be a work in progress.  I shared a few peeks of this floral wall decal I did on Insta stories as I was placing them on the walls.  I absolutely L O V E  how these greyscale peonies transformed my room and give it the feminine feel I was hoping for.  



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June 5, 2017

What's in my lake bag


This weekend, we are at Eric's Parents' lake house in GA.  It has been so much fun to spend time with family and get some much needed sunshine.   A bit later this week, I will be dropping E off at the airport, and picking up my mom, because we are headed to market for Holiday '17 buying (can you believe it?!)

Holiday is one of my least favorite buying trips because we have to do it right in the middle of the summer.  I have to zap my mind out of light dresses & espadrilles and channel cozy snow days and glittery holiday parties, which is tough to do! But, none the less, my mom & I have so much fun going on these trips together and it really is fun to see the upcoming seasons, regardless of the weather!



I pack a little bag with me anytime we leave the house while we've been here.  Whether we are headed out on the boat or to the lake club, these are the essentials that have been coming with me.

I popped into the mall right before we left and spotted this striped pouch that I immediately fell in love with.  The pink ribbon on the zipper just gives it that perfect girly element, and the kicker? The inside leather is the same shade of girly pink! I was sold! When I got home, I realized that it was part of a set, so I snagged this cosmetic bag & this mini pouch online (they're all currently 25% off!)

We got new sunnies in at No. 14 right before I left.  This pair is one of my favorites because they're unframed & mirrored.  They also go with everything because they're black and silver.  I also got a lot of questions about this rose gold pair from this instagram a few days ago, so wanted to provide a link for them as well!

Okay.  Why am I just discovering these hair ties?! Am I really late to the game?! Girls, don't walk. RUN. These are the best hair ties because they don't kink your hair or give you a head ache.  A few days a week, I have designated 'desk days' where I tackle my emails, make new buys, & write blog posts! These days I am usually in leggings and a sweatshirt with my hair in a messy bun.  These hair ties keep it all in line.  They keep my hair up and if Eric comes home and wants to go out to dinner, I can take the hair tie out, and have good 'next day curls' rather than having to go through the washing/styling process all over again. (and no this is not sponsored, I just really love them)

   

Protecting my face is something I am adamant about.  I was on accutane in college and had to be so cautious of skin exposure because of how sensitive the drug makes your skin.  Ever since then, I have been so aware of how important it is to keep my face protected by the sun.  This make up setting spray is AMAZING.  I bought it a few weeks ago to test prior to this trip.  It has a high SPF of 50, and sets your makeup at the same time.  I honestly will be wearing this daily, not just while in the sunshine. When we head out on the boat, I have been using this SPF lip balm.  You can use it on your face as well, but I specifically use it on my lips and it definitely does the trick. Not to mention, it smells amazing.







May 24, 2017

Pittsburgh Magazine 'Haute House' & Mini House Tour

#HOUSEOFKORDS


Throughout our renovation and since we've moved in, I have shared bits and pieces of our home through instagram stories.  I have gotten so many sweet messages from followers asking about a house tour.  I told myself I'd do a full blown, in depth, house tour of #houseofkords when I was finished with decorating.  Buttttt when Pittsburgh Magazine comes knocking at your door, you cover your home fresh flowers and pretend it looks perfect!

Eric and I are so excited that we are in Pittsburgh Magazine's June HOME issue!  I was so honored when one of the journalists, Jessica mentioned the feature to us and even more honored when they asked me if I'd be interested in photographing the house myself.  It was such a compliment and I had so much fun spending the day arranging my house.

I definitely don't feel like our house is done, and honestly don't know when the heck I will feel that it is 'finished.'  If anything, I've learned that a home is a constant work in progress, but E and I are 'home' people.  We love our house and love working on our house so we are definitely enjoying making it a priority.

Some backstory on our home search: 
Where we live, is a very 'redone' area.  All of the homes and storefronts are old, and have been recently renovated, or are in need of some work.  Everyone around Pittsburgh refers to it as "up and coming."  If you have been following No. 14, you know that my parents renovated the building that houses our store.  So, when we were looking for our home, we knew that we would be renovating.  I was so excited because I knew we could make the house completely us and that we could make sure that it has all of the things that we really wanted.  

 Request #1:  More living space/dining space
  Our rental was so teeny that we didn't have any room for a sectional, or a dining room table. E and I love to have our friends and family over, and our last house just wasn't conducive to entertaining.  

The whitewashed beams and the shiplap are my favorite parts about our living space. They definitely warm up the space that could otherwise feel a bit cool with the industrial elements that are built into our home.




This piece is one of a kind, and from a local vintage shop a few blocks from our house call Toll Gate Revival.  Seth, the owner, has an incredible knack for finding vintage pieces and restoring them. This piece used to store old courthouse documents...and now houses our red wine. You know...priorities ;)

One of the most asked about pieces in our home is this wooden bead chandelier.  It is definitely the focal point of our first floor and the first thing you see when you walk into our house.  I absolutely adore these pointed chairs, I love the modern architecture they bring to the room and how incredibly affordable they are (the link is for a set of two!) I found dining room table and chairs to be one of the hardest things to shop for!





Request #2: Natural Light 
Our kitchen is something that I was very nervous about throughout our renovation.  Our rental had an island and a lot of prep space, and I was really concerned I'd regret 'downgrading' space to a galley kitchen. The space was also very very dark.  If you look back at this previous post you'll see my mom standing on the dirt floor of our kitchen.  Our contractors ended up putting a 4x4 foot window in our kitchen above our sink and it makes ALL the difference.  (our project manager made fun of me for how many windows I wanted, he stopped asking me if I wanted more windows because he knew the answer was always MORE NATURAL LIGHT PLEASE!) Fast forward to living in our home- it is a dream, and ironically, we have more than double the storage from our previous kitchen.  The path is very very wide and I think the best part is that our kitchen does not 'end,' rather, it leads into a hallway with our pantry.  Which then leads into my office, which gives the illusion that kitchen goes on and on. 

One of the things that sold me on this house is the exposed brick in the kitchen.  Exposed brick is very true to the industrial elements of Lawrenceville and I was really happy that we could add this touch as our backsplash.  I was also hell bent on having open shelving in our kitchen.  I felt it would make our galley kitchen feel a bit more open. I was so excited to display all of our kitchen accessories and dishes and honestly, the joke is on me! I feel like I am always rearranging these shelves!  They're never quite perfect, but I'm okay with that.






Request #3: A bar
 We had a wet bar in our old house & felt that we would really need another bar space for entertaining.  We of course, wanted a beverage center to keep our drinks cold.  I have always wanted a retro fridge, especially a smeg.  If you look at my Pinterest, you'll see that most of my dream kitchens involve a smeg fridge.  The problem is that they just aren't practical spatially.  We wanted a full service refrigerator in our kitchen because we love to cook at home and need the space.

I found looking for a beverage center so hard. Everyone we spoke to told us how disappointed they were with their beverage center if they chose a less expensive models and we were constantly told that it is worth investing in a more expensive one.  Well, the expensive ones range from $1700-$3000 and we just were not comfortable with putting that type of money into something that made wine cold. We considered the mini smeg, but the size and price just didn't make sense to us.  After doing some research, I found the mecca!  Our adorable little DAEWOO retro mini fridge.  This fridge is another one of my most asked about items in the house and you guys, it was so much more affordable.  I am so thrilled with it and feel like it really just brings our house full circle (Eric even loves it?! SCOREEEE)



Request #4: Outdoor space 
We live in a very condensed area, which obviously has its perks and its downfalls.  We adore that we can walk right out our door and be at a dozen different bars and restaurants within seconds.  But, you sometimes lose sight of nature and what it feels like to be on a patio. We really wanted to have a space where Roo could bop around and we could take an evening outdoors if we are entertaining.  We have a little bistro table where E and I have dinners on warm evenings and we recently added a lounge space with fire pit that we are really enjoying. This space is perfect for us because it is very private, despite having neighbors behind us, and beside us.  







There are still some elements of our home that are definitely not complete.  Eric's office, our bedroom, and my office still need a bit of TLC. If you've been following on Instagram stories, you know my office has gotten a big update (ahem...wallpaper!) and I am thrilled with the way it turned out.  I'll definitely be posting more updates as our home continues to evolve.  Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions you' like to have answered in future blog posts, I love to connect directly with what you guys are searching for!

To see the Pittsburgh Magazine Article, click here!

Paint colors:
 Walls: Behr- ULTRA WHITE
Interior Doors: Behr: SILVER SHEEN 
Exterior Doors: Behr: SUMMER HOUSE








May 10, 2017

Straw bags to lust over


This new Nannacay Straw tote is something I was eyeing up for a long time. Of course the straw bag is a major trend for this spring and summer, but I was a bit weary because straw is...straw.  I wanted to be able to carry something that held up! I finally bit the bullet when the weather got nice enough to carry it everyday and I have no regrets! I was having a hard time picking between the black poms vs. the rainbow poms, but ended up with the black because I have so many other colorful bags.  

I've carried for about a week now and love how open it is, you can just pop anything into it, and know exactly where it is.  Sunglasses, check! Wallet, check!  (if you follow me on Instagram, you saw that last weekend, I even had a little popcorn snack in my bag, and my family was making fun of me. whatever! We were going to brunch and I didn't want to be starving if we had to wait for a table....You're never too prepared!)  

Here are my favorite straw bags right now: