5 Beauty Products for Spring

Today I am over at Eco Diva Beauty sharing 5 beauty products perfect for spring time! Click here to read more! 



Checking In...


I needed to check in here on Dwell in Beauty to post that I'll be taking a little bit of a break for the next week maybe two or so from blogging here. There is a lot of emotional & challenging situations going on in my life at the moment and I cannot concentrate on being creative while going through this difficult time. I promise I'll be back soon, and you will still find me over at Eco Diva Beauty's blog! 
"I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude."
 ~Henry David Thoreau


Monday Musings // Quote of the Week


I often get asked or commented about my Quotes of the Week. Why I choose what I choose... Sometimes it depends on my mood, others may be more personal to what is occurring in my life at that moment. I love quotes, poetry, lyrics. They are beautiful phrases of truth, beauty and wisdom that I soak right up. They offer perspective and meaning. I also enjoy seeing feedback from my followers about the quotes I choose.  It brings a smile to my face knowing that the passage I chose for the week helped, inspired or offered something to my readers that I will never know. That above all else makes me feel good and gives me the inspiration to keep posting a quote each week. Today's quote is by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was and still am a fan of hers. I used to read the "Little House" series when I was a little girl and they were one of my favorites! I must've read them over and over til the books turned to pulp! She offers such simple wisdom in her words for this weeks quote. It's all about the "real" things, and I'm definitely reflecting on that. Have a great week!

Last Minute Easter Decor


Easter is only a couple days away! If you're in need of some elegant yet easy to-do decor or inspiration to add to the festivities, look no further! Personally I believe less is more and I don't like to decorate with bunnies or rabbits, so you shall see none here! No offense, its just my personal preference. Instead I love to decorate with fresh flowers, sculptural pieces that are also functional for the edibles! Scroll on through for more...



Most of the items I used in my Easter/Spring decorating I already owned. I only bought the blossom branches, tulips, moss and candy! Use your pretty desserts to add to the decor. Think of food as art! Food can be so sculptural and looks great layered or decorated. As you can see I made a cake! It's a delicious Lemon Bundt Cake with a Lemon Glaze! It is so good for Easter brunch to enjoy with a lovely cup of tea or coffee! I also love to collect antique, or unique plates, small bowls & vases of all kinds (I think I have enough to embarrass my local floral shop!) I love decorating with my unique finds! I used an antique plate underneath my bowl of egg candy to add color, texture and dimension. The Cadbury White Mini eggs are mostly white in its tone, but does have soft pastel flecks in it. Easter candy is so pretty anyways, you can't go wrong in your choice!



 Flowers, flowers, flowers! I could never have enough, especially for springtime! I found these flowers & branches at the grocery store the other day, I knew they'd be perfect for Easter! I love the blossom branches! What says spring more than that? For a super easy floral design project- get a small pot of tulips and another larger vase or bowl that is transparent or clear. Set the tulip pot in the center of the large clear vase and fill in the gaps about halfway with moss of your choice! I found mine at World Market and only needed less than one bag to use in my design. As a side note, I used a white vase (shown above) to hide the plastic pot the tulips were in.


There you have it! Easy and Elegant Easter Decor! I hope you found lots of inspiration through my tips  and design! Happy Easter!

Soapwalla Luxurious Body Oil Review


Happy Good Friday! Today I am over at Eco Diva Beauty sharing my thoughts on the oh so wonderful Soapwalla Luxurious Body Oil. Click on over to read the full review and helpful application tips! Also stay tuned for my easy, last minute Easter decorations! 


Five Favorite Decorative DIY Easter Eggs

Easter is right around the corner and I've been eyeing some amazingly beautiful Easter eggs while perusing the internet! Its incredible what creative minds come up with, each Easter egg is a work of art! I remember when I was a little girl delighting in dying my Easter eggs with the ink bought from the grocery store. Those eggs sure were fun but you can't compare to the ones I've listed today. I hope you find the inspiration to add a bit of Easter spirit and festivity to your home and family in a creative and artistic way. Here are my top 5 favorites...


How fun are these gold confetti Easter eggs?
I love the pretty colors of mint, peach and lilac against the festive confetti!



Soft and natural- An organic way to dye Easter Eggs using fruit and vegetables!
Perfection!




Gold never fails. and these solid gold eggs are chic and glam. 
A perfect holder for little pews of flowers.



Get your white pens ready! A fun way to get creative drawings on brown, unbleached eggs.



Pretty gold foil! I love how each egg is completely unique and each design different than the next.

Monday Musings // Quote of the Week


How is it Monday already? I hope you had a fantastic weekend!? Mine was decent, more like up and down. I don't usually get into intimate personal things going on in my life, but things have been somewhat of a roller coaster- when it rains it pours! I'll spare the details. So naturally, I want to focus on the positive and dwell in beauty. I've been retreating outdoors because my little toddler is happiest out there, playing, getting messy, dirty and exploring everything. I've been doing a bit more gardening as well, and am happy to see my little yard turn into a more lush, green and inviting space to spend time in. We also had some time to spend at the beach Sunday morning before J's nap... I don't know why we don't go more often since we live so close! I've been spending SO much time outdoors my childhood freckles are making their appearance again over my cheeks and nose! I snapped some photos of my little garden progress to share today. Have a beautiful week!



Update // DIY: How To Gold Leaf A Lamp

For some time now I have been meaning to do an update article on one of my more popular DIY tutorials: How To Gold Leaf A Lamp. I get asked so often how well my lamps have held up over time since gold-leafing them. So here's the scoop! I want to first mention, that none of these photos have been touched up or enhanced. They are and look exactly as I shot them in my home. 


Here is a full view of the long and slender silhouette of these once boring Ikea lamps! The modern shape is made classic by the simple elegance of the gold leaf. As you can see, its held up extremely well over the last few years and in my opinion the gold leaf finish has improved! 


I normally keep this small garden stool in front of my gold leaf floor lamp and next to my sofa, so we have an extra spot to put our drinks or place fresh flowers atop.


As you can see in the close up images, gold leafing is anything but perfect. That's the beauty of it! It will naturally take on a sort of distressed, semi-worn look but will still shine beautifully! Over time I have noticed a slight change in the finish for the better! The patina has mottled a bit due to oxidation. I love that its looking more unique and taking on a beauty of its own. I must mention too that I have never had problems cleaning my gold leafed floor lamps. I only dust them, I have never applied chemicals or cleaner of any type to their surface. Interested in gold leafing for your next home decor project? Click here to read the instructions

Monday Musings // Quote of the Week


These words couldn't have been said any better about how our surroundings reflect our essence. I hold a high value to the meaning of today's quote. It speaks to me and so much of what I represent in my life as a designer and creator of beauty.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend?! It has been beyond beautiful weather here in Southern California, and I am caught up in Spring Fever! I was able to spend some time in my garden over the weekend, doing a bit of gardening and clean up around the yard. I loved watching my son splash and play with his little water table. He's getting the hang of walking, so many precious moments! We were all intoxicated with the sun, the flowers blooming and the warm breeze... I even had a moment this weekend to relax and finally read through this months Domino! Can I get a cheer for Domino being back in print!?! Yessss!!!!! Finally. Thank you Domino! 

By the way, did you all get a chance to check out my newest recipe post on Eco Diva Beauty? My Almond Oat Pancakes are incredibly healthy and so yummy! In all honesty, I whip up several batches of these pancakes every week. My family and I, including my son who can be a picky eater these days, gobble them right up! Click on over to read more. 

Almond Oat Pancakes

Happy Sunday everyone! It is a beautiful spring day here in Southern California! I wanted to share that my healthy and delicious Almond Oat Pancake recipe is over at the Eco Diva Beauty Blog right now! I honestly make these yummy pancakes several times a week for my family and I! Click on over to read more!  





Dill & Veggie Garden Pasta Salad


Spring is in the air! What better way to celebrate the change in seasons than through food? I was inspired to create this dish after attending an interior design event a couple weeks ago, the food there was catered and delicous. The pasta dish I had at the event was made of orzo pasta, dill weed and shrimp. It was missing the abundance of fresh veggies. But I enjoyed the pasta so much I decided to make my own version of it, eliminated the shrimp, changed the orzo to a gluten free alternative pasta. I also added in crispy, refreshing cucumbers and sweet red onion and bell peppers. Its balanced off with a healthy and light lemon and olive oil dressing, and zesty feta cheese. Its one refreshing pasta salad that will be the hit at your next spring soiree or as side dish for your family meal. I even think this would be a great Summer dish as well. Have a great weekend and bon appetit!




Ingredients:

4 C Gluten Free Pasta (I used a pasta made from quinoa & brown rice)
3 Persian Cucumbers
2 Bell Peppers ( I used red and orange bell pepper, yellow is good too!)
1/4 of a medium Red Onion
4 Stalks Fresh Dill Weed
1/2 C Crumbled Feta Cheese
2 Lemons (Juice)
1/4 C Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Bring about 8-10 cups of water to a boil and cook the gluten free pasta noodles. It should take approximately 10 minutes until the noodles are al dente! In the meantime chop the persian cucumber, red onion, fresh dill weed, and de-seed the bell peppers and chop as well. Set them aside. Once you have drained the pasta in a colander, throw the pasta and veggie mix together in a mixing bowl. Toss together well. Next, using a strainer, squeeze the juice out of two good sized lemons over the pasta mix. Add the olive oil and mix everything thouroghly. This will allow the juice and olive oil to deliciously and lightly saturate all ingredients with their flavor. Add salt and pepper to taste. The last ingredient to add is the feta cheese. Make sure the mixture has cooled well before tossing in the feta. Chill the pasta for an even more refreshing dish! Enjoy chilled or at room temperature! Its delicious either way! Enjoy!

DIY: Faux Window Treatment


I am so excited to share today's post! It's one that's been in the making for awhile... Well more like I had this project idea circulating around in my imagination for quite some time. My little office is upstairs in my home and gets flooded with lots and lots of natural light! I usually tend to gravitate towards curtains or draperies for window treatments but in this case I really wanted something to dress up my windows without taking up floor space in my little home office. It just wouldn't do to have full length drapes in this space. I decided a faux window shade was exactly what this space needed and what my bank account would thank me for as well. This project was incredibly easy to do, requires NO sewing and is indeed very budget friendly. All you need is to carve out a bit of time and get your DIY mindset going, and you can create a beautiful window treatment of your own! Scroll through to get the instructions!  

Materials: 

Fabric
Ribbon
Glue (Aileen's Tacky Glue)
Sticky Back Velcro
Iron on Adhesive (I used Heat n Bond) 
Iron & Ironing Board
Good Scissors
Large Ruler or Measuring Tape
Wrapping Paper or Butcher Paper
Pen/ Pencil



First, measure your window and determine how long and wide you would like your faux shade to be. Take into consideration proportion, fabric choice, and how much light will be filtered through or not based on your choice. I measured mine based on scale and proportion and knew that my white linen fabric choice would still allow lots of light to shine through. Once I had my measurements I cut the exact size of my shade out on a sheet of wrapping paper that I already had. You can also use butcher paper or newspaper as well.


Next I placed my fabric below my pre cut wrapping paper shade pattern and started cutting. I made sure to leave approximately 2 inches extra around the perimeter of my fabric (as shown above) This is extremely important because you need the room to hem the edges to give your shade a trim, neat and even look!


Now that you know where your two inch marks are, you can attach the No-Sew Iron On Adhesive to your fabric! I creased my fabric and followed the crease line to help me determine where to attach the iron-on-adhesive. Once I rolled out the adhesive tape I cut the tape to the length I needed and folded over the extra fabric. Using a warm iron, run the iron over the fabric. The iron on adhesive is sandwiched between the fabric and the heat will activate the adhesive to bond to the fabric. Its so easy and quick too!


Continue this process until all sides are hemmed... You may cut the remaining fabric that you did not use in the adhering process.


This next step is optional... Once I finished my no-sew hemming, I went right into embellishing my fabric. Since I was going for a classic look for my office space, I added simple black grosgrain ribbon to my white linen fabric to dress it up a bit. Using Aileen's Tacky Glue, I glued my ribbon about 2 inches inside from the hem, following the same linear shape as my shade. It took 3 parts of long ribbon to accomplish this look. 


While the glue is drying the ribbon in place, move onto the next step. In my office I already had blinds which have standard valences to them. I took the plastic valence part off and adhered Sticky Back Velcro right below the indented part of the valence (shown below). Now, there are two sides to this. The first side was the rough velcro side, which I attached to the plastic valence first. Once that was secured, I placed the fuzzy velcro side on top to attach the pieces together. I then peeled the plastic cover from the velcro which protects the sticky side. From there I placed the top of my faux shade in line with the sticky back velcro. Smooth the fabric where you have placed it on the sticky back velcro. This will secure it in place and get rid of any little bumps or air bubbles that occurred while adhering. 
   

Hang your valence with its new window treatment back in place, and voila!


Here is the finished product! Please let me know if you have questions or comments! I'd love to hear from you!

March Birchbox


Hope you all had a day filled with laughter, silliness and happiness yesterday for April Fools! 

I was incredibly happy with my March Birchbox! Here's what I thought about each sample I received! 

1. S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting Serum + Primer | Grand Central Beauty: (I have yet to use the product, once I do, I shall update this post!)

2. Cleanshine Energizing Shampoo | Keims: One of my favorites of March Birchbox! I probably would never have tried this shampoo if it weren't for Birchbox! Keims is a Spanish brand and they specialize in combining the best of Nature and Science. I loved washing my hair with this Shampoo! It has an invigorating cleansing sensation because of the Peppermint and my hair was left super soft and extra shiny because of the macadamia nut oils and all the other antioxidants that make up this incredible product! I think I will buy the full size when my current hair wash runs low! 

3. BB Body Cream | Jergens: I honestly am not a fan of using body lotions, I prefer to use body oil as my method for moisturizing my skin. I feel that I was not the best person to write a review on this particular product. The BB Body Cream states that in 5 days I would notice an improvement in my skin. For one, I didn't notice an improvement and secondly, I didn't feel like there was anywhere I could notice such drastic results in only 5 days. Sorry Jergens, nothing against you, this just wasn't the product for me! 

4. Rescue Balm | Air Repair: I loved this product! I would say this ranks up next to the Shampoo I so loved in this months March's Birchbox! I loved the texture of the balm. I used it on my lips and they felt instantly hydrated, moisturized and protected from environmental stressors. Its a velvety smooth, easy glide on balm. I also loved the delicate fragrance. It was a delightful blend of refreshing earthy herbs and sweet almond! J'adore! I highly reccomend this product and would buy the full size!  

5. Lip Glaze in Berry Banana | Stila:  I've been a fan of Stila Cosmetics for years! I think they do a great job keeping their makeup palettes natural and pretty for any woman no matter her age or style. I recieved the lip glaze and I really enjoyed it! For one, I couldn't believe my sample was so generous! It looks almost like a full sized glaze! Thanks! Anyways the color was a neutral pink. It looked pretty on my lips alone or worn with lip liner and lipstick. Its a nice neutral pink without over powering what it is gliding over! Plus the pen-style applicator makes applying so easy breezy!