April 30, 2014

{The Frank Effect}

Before last night, I only liked my coffee hot, rich, and in a Starbucks cup. But after trying Frank, I can honestly say that I now enjoy it just as much dryer and all over my body. Now I know you're probably wondering "who the heck is Frank", so allow me to formally introduce the two of you.

Frank is an all-natural, coffee scrub for your body (yes, I actually scrubbed coffee on myself last night). He's essentially an exfoliator made of fresh coffee grinds and natural ingredients like sea salt, almond oil and a botanical extract called jojoba. Frank is specifically known for his ability to target specific skin conditions like eczema, cellulite and varicose veins. 

I will admit I was skeptical about this brand and its product, so I did tons of research before actually purchasing. What I found particularly interesting was the fact that applying caffeine to your skin in this way can help stimulate blood flow and increase circulation. The ground coffee beans also aid as an exfoliator. This new take on "getting dirty" had me intrigued and after reading all positive reviews, I decided to give Frank a whirl. Their unconventional yet absolutely brilliant marketing also solidified my interest in the brand. With a slogan like "get naked. get dirty. get rough. get clean", you know this brand is down for a good time. Check out their INSTAGRAM page to see what I mean ;]

I opted for the Original Frank; there's also a coconut based scrub, and it arrived fairly quickly from its birthplace in Australia.

Despite his long journey, Frank arrived quickly and I was so eager to try it that I opted to take my shower earlier than usual. I will warn you, Frank is a messy man, but scrubbing the coffee all over my body was kinda fun so I embraced the mess. Instructions suggest that first timers let the scrub sit for 5-10 minutes, so my friends you might have to get creative with your shower time. And by creative I mean walking around your house covered in coffee while this sucker drys, for best results of course. So that's exactly what I did.

When it came time to rinse off I marveled in the smell of coffee and began to wash clean. The results; super soft skin. I'm talking like BUTTAHH. And just like that I was obsessed.

Of course I had to take an iconic Frank selfie. 

I encourage all of you to try Frank, he loves sleepovers! And since shipping is free to the America's, you don't have anything to lose, except for your dry skin ;] And just for the record, I plan on ordering the coconut scrub once I make a dent in this one { I want to dedicate myself to using Frank every other day for a month to see what kind of results I get}. 

If you want to know more about Frank and what he can do for you, check out the WEBSITE. You can also purchase HERE

If any of you have tried Frank feel free to leave your comments below! I would love to hear from you ;] 

Connect with Frank


April 27, 2014

April 2014 Blog Of The Month

Blog: Lush To Blush 
Girl Behind The Blog: Megan Elliott

I am so excited to share with ya'll my pick for April's BOTM! For me, when it came down to deciding who I wanted to feature, the choice was a no brainer! 

Allow me to introduce Megan, a 26-year-old blogger hailing from my home-state of Georgia. I discovered this beauty and her blog Lush to Blush while doing some research over on the Southern Blog Society's website! What attracted initially was Megan's fluid branding and ability to truly balance all facets of a lifestyle blog. And when I noticed that she offered blog consulting services I was sold, and have been working with her ever since that day! 
Her ability to turn Lush to Blush into a thriving business was truly admirable and I can honestly say it has been a pleasure working with her thus far!

 More than that however, her blog truly is a gem! Both relatable and unique, Lush to Blush is a must read for every girl out there!

Below you will find our interview. I hope ya'll enjoy!

Q: Where are you from and where do you live now?
I'm from everywhere! Originally from Alabama, most recently from Florida. Currently living in Atlanta.

Q: What was the inspiration behind Lush to Blush? And how long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging for two years now. I started the blog when the magazine I was writing for folded. I needed that creative outlet of writing every day. I love both writing and fashion, so this was the perfect mesh of the two!

Q: How would you describe your blog to someone who hasn’t visited your site before?
My blog is a collection of all the things I find lovely. Whether that be an outfit, a recipe, or a beauty product - I share the things I love. Everything I post is original and exclusive to Lush to Blush, so you'll never see the things I post anywhere else.

Q: As an avid follower myself, I love that your content is always unique and fresh; where do you find the inspiration for your blog posts?
Thank you! I find inspiration everywhere. As someone who works from home, it can be hard pull away from the computer and live life, but that's where the inspiration is. You have to go out and experience the world around you. 

Q: What I admire most about Lush to Blush is your ability to really brand yourself and develop a business out of blogging. What pushed you to take this step with LTB?
Thank you! Everything just happened really organically. I was working at a dead end job and couldn't take it anymore; I was miserable. So I decided to quit without any backup plan. During my new free time, I searched for jobs and worked on my blog. When I was able to focus on my blog so much, it really began to grow and before I knew it, I didn't need a new job anymore. 

As far as the blog consulting and design goes, I realized that I really found joy in sharing my experiences and helping fellow bloggers succeed. I started getting tons of emails and a friend suggested I start offering a more structured program. I tried it and it was an instant success. Who knows what's next!

Q: What advice do you have for girls out there that interested in revamping their wardrobe for spring?
Be true to yourself. Don't buy things just because they are a certain designer or they are on trend. My style motto is this: If you have great style, it doesn't matter where you shop. Besides that, I say keep it classic by collecting a good base of neutrals, and use accessories and jewelry to add pops of color, texture or print.

Q: How do you balance being a blogger with the rest of your life?
I don't. Haha! I work pretty much 24/7, but that's the life of an entrepreneur (which I somehow became?). I'll gladly work 80 hours a week building my dreams so I don't have to spend half that building someone else's.

Q: What’s been your most rewarding moment as a blogger?
Seeing myself in Marie Claire magazine! I still can't believe I was on those glossy pages in March. It was incredible! I was also floored when I was contacted by Oprah.com to feature one of my recipes. 

Q: What is your ultimate goal for Lush to Blush?
I know this is horrible to say, but I don't really make long term goals. Not for my blog, not for my life, not for anything. I just like to kind of go with the flow. I would definitely love for my blog to be as well known as Song of Style or Gal Meets Glam. Wouldn't it be amazing to be the face of a brand or a featured stylist for a fashion house? 

Connect with Megan


April 23, 2014

It Was All A Dream

My impromptu trip to the mall the other day proved to be successful after wandering over to the LUSH corner located in Macy's. If you aren't familiar with this brand, which has become a household name through it's fresh handmade cosmetics, you've got to stop by and check them out!

I always end up roaming around; picking up and trying out different products, which they strongly encourage. And while I typically leave with one of their bath bombs, during this particular visit I knew I was interested in tying something new.

Introducing DREAMWASH, described by the people at LUSH as a "shower smoothie" that calms and smoothes irritated skin. 

One of the first things that attracted me to this product in store was the smell. Made with soothing ingredients like aloe vera, lavender, rose, tea tree, calamine and chamomile, its perfect for both relaxation and reducing irritation from the eczema on my skin. 

The consistency of the smoothie is creamy, not as thick as I expected it to be, making it glide across the skin.

To try this product simply wet your skin and lather the smoothie on, then rinse off and pat dry. I will admit that I initially didn't feel a difference in my skin, but once the water fully evaporated it felt SO SOFT! And after trying the product I can honestly say that I am hooked. 

There is a part two to this smoothie, its called the DREAMCREAM. This hand and body lotion is LUSH's #1 selling product and after trying it I can completely understand why. 

The cream itself is made of oat milk, lavender, and chamomile; another perfect solution to relieving dry skin and eczema.

If you're intrigued by LUSH and its products, stop by a store and ask to try something! The baristas are always very helpful to perform tutorials or answer any questions that you may have about the brand and its products! 

Happy Tuesday!

April 22, 2014

The Art of the Bar Cart

Bar Carts; maybe it's the nostalgia, or perhaps even the festiveness that's insinuated by the presence of one in a living space that has me obsessed. Regardless I think they are the perfect addition to any home,  a necessity even, depending on who you ask.

( source )

Bar carts are the trendy version of actually having a bar in your home and what sets them apart is their mobility. In addition to storing your alcohol, bar carts are perfect for displaying your decorative glassware, garnishes, etc.

I can't wait to get my own place so I can add one of these little babies to my home, but until then I can dream a little bit, and encourage you to dream along with me. I have attached some of my favorite bar cats to this post! Check them out below and over on my Pinterest and let me know what you think!


 Machbook Magazine was kind enough to layout the essentials to creating the perfect bar cart so I had to share this little gem with ya'll.

My favorite addition to any bar cart would have to be decorative paper straws! They are so adorable!



April 21, 2014

Coffee Talk With Kate Beebe

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a great Easter weekend!

Continuing the theme of interviews, today's Coffee Talk features a conversation I had with Kate Beebe, graduate of the University of Kentucky who currently works as a Social Media Specialist in Cincinnati!  I met Kate at my college's annual Alumni Talk and I knew instantly that I wanted to share her knowledge and insight with all of you! Her tips are invaluable and I hope you enjoy the story!

We'll be back with the traditional Coffee Talk format next Monday.

Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Where do I begin? The short answer is, I’m from Lexington, KY and currently live in Cincinnati, OH. However, I also credit a number of other cities I’ve called “home” for making me the individual I am today: Athens, GA; Louisville, KY; Chicago, IL; New York, New York.

How did you begin the daunting task of searching for jobs post graduation? 
Did you do anything to help set yourself apart?
Attention, marketing and advertising young professionals - you won’t get anywhere in this business if you don’t know how to market yourself. Treat the interview process as a new business pitch and make note of all the key objectives you want to get across to your potential employer – what’s more, do it in an interesting way!

I credit all my jobs (yes, I’ve had several over the course of the last 5 years), with my tenacity and strategic sales pitch. The best advice I can give is to think like a marketer, and find an innovative way to cut through the clutter of the competition that’s already bombarding your target.

It also helps to rack up experience and relationships while you’re still in school. These are key stepping stones to future opportunities down the line. So, take internships, interview like crazy and build those resumes!

How has graduate school changed your perspective on this industry?
When I first embarked upon my MBA, I got quizzical looks from every direction.

But despite the critics in my corner, I knew that this was the right move. I knew it was important to get a degree in an area that would require me to think differently. One that would challenge me and make me a better individual and professional. One that would make me marketable and a more valuable asset to my current and/or future employers. One that would allow me to see marketing as a part of the larger picture, as opposed to the provincial view with which I was currently familiar.

Two and a half years and $$$ in Starbucks later, and I’m finally about to walk away with my degree. And I must report, in addition to the points I listed above, it’s been worth so much more than I thought it’d be.

What is your favorite thing about you’re current position?
I recently made the leap from the agency world to corporate life to focus on my love for design and retail full-time. I love being surrounded by beautiful things and intelligent people. There’s nothing more inspiring. (Not to say all retail corporate environments are like Cinmar. I think I got lucky.) The employee discount ain’t too shabby either…

  I loved your outfit when you spoke at the alumni talk, how would you describe your style?
In one word: eclectic. If it’s unique, colorful, shiny or leopard, you better believe I’m all over it. I’ve never been one to shop the matching look off the mannequin. I’m in the habit of collecting bits and pieces over time to curate a funky and distinguishing look that stands apart from everyone else.  From my grandmother’s vintage Hermes scarves to the flannel A&F button downs I wore in middle school (never throw anything away), fashion to me is whatever I dream it to be.

Of course, I must note, that it’s not what you wear, but how you wear it. Whether it’s couture or a white tee, flaunt it with confidence. After all, your personality is your best accessory.

 I know it know may be hard to put in to words, but describe your dream job?
While I adore the rush that comes with branding and marketing, design and fashion are my true loves. I worked all through college for a handbag company and have had the design itch ever since. In five years, I hope to own my own comparable business, where I can brand my own product for once.

What advice do you have for recent or soon to be graduates?
Never, never, never, never settle. Do what you love. Don’t take a job to take a job. Have a goal and set benchmarks for yourself to reach it. You can do it!

 Define a time of Gorgeous Chaos in your own life? (Gorgeous Chaos is a moment in your life where not much of anything makes sense; chaos, but you know that it’s all a part of a journey you’re meant to be taking; gorgeous.
I’ve jumped from one job to another over the course of 5 years, which can only be described as “chaos.” I started my career with very little direction and literally made circles with my career moves, but it was all necessary in order to land in a place I really love. Now that’s “gorgeous.”

 What’s your favorite vacation destination?
Give me a pair of skis and a mountain and I’ll be good forever.

Aiden or Big?
I thought it was Aiden, until he fell asleep with a bucket of KFC on his belly in Season 4 – then I could never look at him the same way again. He broke my heart!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
This is by no means deep, but it definitely shaped the way I think about life (and fashion). When I was little and complaining about the itchiness of one of the frilly outfits I was forced to wear, my mother looked me square in the eye and told me, “Kate, it hurts being a woman.” Isn’t that the truth? 
(On so many levels.)

April 19, 2014

Weekend Roundup

Don't you just love sunny Saturday mornings? I awoke to this one ready with a smile and a plan; visit both the Lexington Farmers Market and Trader Joe's for the first time so that I could stock up on groceries and finally stop feeding my body crap. I also wanted an excuse to be outside in this beautiful bluegrass weather.

The farmers market was just what the doctor ordered. Call me crazy but I love discovering local brands and stocking up on fresh produce and yummy little things I truly can't find anywhere else. I snacked on macaroons from La Petite Sucre and sampled sauces and wine; the foodie in me was having a ball. I ultimately left with six macaroons, some fresh corn, homemade local pasta, and some farm grown potatoes. I also snagged a Lexington Farmers Market bag for future trips.

These macaroons are dark chocolate and pistachio from La Petite Sucre here in Lexington! Sylviana Herrin owns this boutique macaroon shop and you can always check her out at the market. 

Trader Joe's was an experience as well. I have always loved grocery shopping; mostly because I love eating almost as much as cooking, but experiencing TJ instead of your traditional grocery retailer was refreshing. I completely restocked my kitchen after this trip and even grabbed some flowers to stick in my bed and bathroom! 

 I like to call myself a part time floral arranger in my spare time. I enjoy having living things in my room since it's so small and this really helps. The two vases I found during one of my trips to Marshall's. 

 I hope ya'll are enjoying your weekend as much as I am! See you Monday!


April 12, 2014

Ashley Brooke Designs

I know I've been a bit neglectful, but I promise its for a good reason! I have been busy securing interviews and exciting new projects for Gorgeous Chaos that I can't wait to share with ya'll! One of those little presents you get to unwrap today! But first, let me set the stage for ya!

I have recently become fascinated with women who dare to define their own success. Women who grab life by the horns and create their own opportunities instead of waiting on life to give them the green light. I guess this obsession started because I know that college is ending soon and that I'll have to find something meaningful to do with myself.

So to inspire myself, and hopefully you guys as well, I reached out to some of my favorite business owners and asked to feature the story of their business on Gorgeous Chaos and to my delight, they said yes!

 To kick things off is Ashley from Ashely Brooke Designs. This 26-year-old owns her own company, creating "everything festive" to help you celebrate all of life's special moments. From custom stationary, to sassy mugs and t-shirts, Ashley has you covered; and then some. 
It was truly a pleasure working both with her and ABD brand relations director Francesca to make this interview a reality! 

Be sure to check out Ashley's work throughout this interview and head over to her site! 
Below you will find our interview! Enjoy and happy Monday!

Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I am from Titusville, FL (where the NASA shuttle used to launch!), and I now live in sunny Orlando, Florida… home of Mickey and Minnie!

Talk to me a little bit about your education background? What was your major in college?

I have a degree in interior design, which is funny because it has been surprisingly useful for my work now… who would have thought! Drafting was by far my favorite! I love that we would draw for hours and be able to create something beautiful! It was really the only class besides Rendering that allowed for that much illustrating.

I attended UCF Business School from 2005 to 2008, and also attended Seminole State College of Florida during the same period. I graduated from Seminole State College with an Associate of Science in interior design.

I read in an interview that you started Ashley Brooke Designs when you were just 21 years old! That’s absolutely amazing! What inspired you to launch your brand and what were your first initial steps?
Honestly, it was an idea that was birthed out of necessity. I was laid off from my fancy interior design job when the market crashed and just decided that I needed to do something and do something fast. No one was hiring for ANYTHING, so I decided to do my best to take control of the situation and start something. I put all my skills together with the resources I had, and Ashley Brooke Designs was born. It’s been pretty crazy.

I didn’t have a business plan or an outline. I just asked a bazillion questions to anyone who would listen to me, read every business book I could get my hands on and hustled. I worked really hard and made lots of mistakes, but every once in a while I would succeed and that is what kept me going. I have a fairly persistent personality, so I focused all my 
energy on that.

Walk us through a “typical” day at the ABD office.
Oh gosh, it changes a bit everyday but the normal day usually looks like this:

Spin Class from 5:45 a.m. - 7 a.m.

House Chores, taking Lucy for a walk, and getting ready 7-8:30ish

I sit down to do my daily devotions and journal around dish

…And around 10 we start! We have our morning conference calls around 1o o’clock every morning and depending on what we talk about in that call really roadmaps the rest of my day! I then work on e-mail, social media, and blogs and spend the rest of the day working on projects!

Describe your workspace? Do you think that it plays a role in your creativity?
Ha! Well, right now we are in the middle of re-doing my office, so it’s not quite how one would envision it but, I will say there is a lot of white space… I can’t handle clutter and really can’t think in mess! So, for the most part, my studio is very clean!

How has your faith played a role in your business?
God has provided in so many wonderful ways and has shown me strength and taught me a whole lot of patience. ABD would not be here today if we didn’t have God in the center of our business. Lots of things have happened over the past five years and God continues to show up each and every day. Life is hard, there are struggles that seem like they are unmanageable, but I have found that when I give up all of those worries and anxiety and just follow God’s lead, life is easier. And things start to really fall into place.

How would you describe your brand?
Ashley Brooke Design is for the girl who loves life, and is always looking for an opportunity to be just a bit sassy!! Our brand has really become a lifestyle brand and I think that sets us a part in a BIG way. When you buy something from ABD you are buying a feeling and that is what we want.

What has been your most rewarding moment as a business owner? Most challenging?
Our biggest struggle changes all the time. One that we are facing right now is growth. I love it, growing is good… but where in the heck are we going to fit all of these mugs?!!!??? I am assuming God has an EXCELLENT answer for that, He just has yet to share that particular answer with the class.

As a soon to be graduate, the idea of being in the “real world” can get very overwhelming. Do you have any advice for getting through this time of gorgeous chaos?
Take it one day at a time! Sometimes the big picture can be unhelpful, and when you stick to what you know you are good at and keep trying everyday to move forward in small action steps, that’s when the biggest things come together. Persistence, endurance, and faith are key.

What’s your ultimate dream for Ashley Brooke Designs?
I have so many dreams for ABD, I can’t just settle on one!

Describe a time of Gorgeous Chaos in your own life? (Gorgeous Chaos has many definitions, but to me, its a moment in your life that is full of uncertainty but you know that it’s a journey you’re meant to be taking)
Right now! Honestly, we have a plan for ABD but things keep changing so quickly that it becomes a bit chaotic! I love the excitement and a bit of the unknown… I think that’s what makes my job so magical!

What’s your favorite fashion accessory?
A fancy watch and bright lipstick!

How would you describe your style?
Preppy, girly, and classic… I don’t like to be any one of those things… I like when all three come together! Like a tutu and an oxford… the perfect match!

What’s your favorite coffee mug phrase?
“Everyday I’m Hustlin’ “ it was the first mug, and by far my favorite!

Connect with Ashely!
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