New Orleans Jazz-Inspired Nursery for Baby Brooks

New Orleans Jazz-Inspired Nursery

Sweet baby Brooks is nearly 6 months old already!  How did that happen!?

He's still sleeping in the pack-n-play in mom and dad's room, which has given me ample time to get his nursery in tip-top shape.

Like his brother's nursery, I didn't want a room that screamed "baby!" Instead, I wanted something that will grow and adapt as Brooks does.

New Orleans Jazz-Inspired Nursery

I was inspired by the beautiful sounds of New Orleans in designing the space.  The theme is subtle, but encapsulates the charm that makes the Crescent City so unique.

I started with grey-blue walls, mimicking the rushing waters of the Mighty Mississippi.  The floor-length curtains are made of burlap, offering a casual, rustic feel.  The room is anchored with neutral grey Restoration Hardware rug.

The crib, changing table and leather chair are re-purposed from Beau's old nursery, while the end table and bookcase were leftovers from our guest room.  The only new "furniture" elements are a woven hamper and toy chest from Restoration Hardware.

New Orleans Jazz-Inspired Nursery

The decor is what really brings the nursery to life.  I clad a vintage mirror with burlap music note pennants, handmade by my amazing friend, Chriss.  On the opposite wall are two prints of antique New Orleans maps, framed in grey driftwood.

You'll find stuffed animals scattered about, with navy ticking stripe and Belgian linen bedding.  Shining over the space is a stunning Restoration Hardware chandelier that offers a warm glow and casual, rustic appeal.

Although he may not be the next Louis Armstrong, I hope the nursery will foster in Brooks the same love and appreciation for New Orleans jazz that I have!

Review: Kismet Cosmetics Semi-Matte Lipstick

kismet semi-matte lipstick

When it comes to makeup, I've started seeking out healthy, natural products more and more. As a breastfeeding mom, I have to think about everything I put in my body and ON my body, because it affects my baby as well.

Enter: Kismet.  This company is awesome.  It's all made in the USA and actually comes from right here in Louisiana!  Plus, I don't have to freak out over chemical ingredients I can't pronounce.

I'm absolutely loving their super popular semi-matte lipstick.  The velvet collection is all-natural.  It's paraben, phthalate, talc and lanolin free.

The texture is smooth and a little heavier than what I'm used to, almost like a lip balm.  I prefer wearing it with a liner on air, but it works great alone for a more casual feel.  It's also moisturizing, so my lips don't feel dry or chapped like they do with other brands.

I'm love the "Amber Energy" shade.  It's sort-of a mauve tone, but really changes depending on your complexion and hair color.  You can tweak the tone with a slightly more pink or brown lip liner.

Kismet lipsticks start at $16 and are available on their website.

kismet semi-matte lipstick
kismet semi-matte lipstick

Review: Putting Arbonne's RE9 Advanced to the Test

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Julia Bruck is a dear friend of mine.  We both started our television careers in the tiny town of Casper, Wyoming longer ago than I'd like to admit!  Over the years, we've moved up the ranks and around the country, but we've always kept in touch.

Recently, Julia stepped away from the grueling life of a journalist to do something she's become incredibly passionate about: helping friends and family look and feel their best with a company called Arbonne.

Arbonne's products all use pure, botanically based ingredients and scientifically-tested products.  I've purchased some of their skincare serums and creams from Julia before, and was incredibly happy with the results.

Recently, she asked me to test out their brand new line called RE9 Advanced.  The line features ingredients like sustainable orange stem cells, peptides and alpha hydroxy acids, to combat the signs of aging.  Usually I only pick and choose one or two products, so it was exciting to try an entire line.  I used almost the entire regimen for two weeks and was very pleased with the results!

The standouts for me were the toner, serum and night cream.  I love that the RE9 Advanced Regenerating Toner is a spray!  It doesn't dry out your skin, but really helps remove excess makeup and prepare the skin for your creams.

My favorite product was the RE9 Advanced Intensive Renewal Serum.  Because I have to wear so much makeup at work, I need something light to go underneath.  The serum is a powerful treatment, but is immediately absorbed by the skin, so it doesn't feel heavy.  On weekends, I coupled the serum with the RE9 Advanced Restorative Cream SPF 20 Suncreen.  During the week, I wore it alone.

I also enjoyed the RE9 Advanced Night Repair Cream.  There's nothing like a rich, high-quality cream overnight to make your skin glow the following morning!  This one features a hydrating blend of botanicals and collagen-supporting ingredients.  My skin definitely looked and felt more youthful in the morning.

If you're interested in checking out the line or other Arbonne yourself, Julia would love to hear from you!  You can visit her website to purchase products and get in touch.

I loved using the serum under my work makeup

I loved using the serum under my work makeup

My skin looks healthy and youthful after using the night cream, even with my crazy morning show anchor schedule!

My skin looks healthy and youthful after using the night cream, even with my crazy morning show anchor schedule!

Review: Jane Iredale's Retractable Brow Pencil

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I never thought twice about my brows until about two years ago.  They were always full and thick.  In fact, I was more worried about keeping them plucked and waxed then filling them in.  However, age does a funny thing with eyebrows and suddenly, they're thinner than ever.  

I've tried a few different options.  Shadow with a small, angled brush is nice for a natural filler, but it's tough to get precise.  Pencils give you a cleaner line, but can look extremely "painted on" and if the pencil is too thick, game over.

I recently discovered Jane Iredale's Retractable Brow Pencil and it really fits my needs.  It has an insanely thin point, which allows you to get a precise, but also natural look.  It also lasts the entire day without smearing or fading one bit.  I'm using the "Brunette" shade, which is light enough to work with my dark blonde/light brown hair.  I think the "Blonde" color would work as well.  

Because the pencil is retractable, there's no need to sharpen it, which makes life a lot easier.  Plus, it has a built in brush... they call it a "shaping spoolie"... that is really great for separating the brow hairs and getting everything in place.  It works SO much better than the combo eyebrow brush/eyelash comb I normally use.

The website recommends light, short strokes to get a natural look, which really does work best.  Avoid any long, heavy lines.  After I've applied the pencil and shaped the brows with the "spoolie," I also like to go over the top with a light powder, to soften and set the look.

Jane Iredale's Retractable Brow Pencil is available on her website and at other retailers in blonde, brunette and dark brunette.  It sells for $20.

Jane Iredales Retractable Brow Pencil
Jane Iredales Retractable Brow Pencil

Beauty Review: Charlotte Tilbury's Instant Look in a Palette

I usually shy away from palettes, simply because I like to choose the colors I like.  However, there's something to be said for colors that are perfectly matched to work together. This palette hits the nail on the head!

Charlotte Tilbury has a few different options in her "Instant Look in a Palette" collection.  I tried Seductive Beauty, which also comes in an all-in-one makeup set called "The Instant Seductive Beauty Look."

There are a few things I really like about this palette, starting with the versatility.  The colors are neutral enough to wear for day, but can be amped up and applied more heavily for night.  Likewise, the shimmer is beautiful for a summer glow, but can also have a dramatic effect for a special occasion.

I also like that the colors are both cool and warm.  The #2 Eye Enhance is a neutral taupe that can go with brown or grey tones, depending on how it's applied.  The #3 Smoke is described as chocolate brown and has beautiful copper undertones. 

Finally, I love that it's all in one.  If you're traveling, this has everything you need from your eyes to your bronzer, blush and highlight.  You can even use the bronzer as a brow filler if you're really in a pinch!  The color is a subtle brown and not overly orange like a lot of other bronzers out there.

To apply... follow the numbers and adjust for what looks best with the shape of your eyes and face.  I prefer to start with #2, then apply #1, followed by #3 and a quick tap of #1 again to finish.  However, that's my preference.  Do what works best for you!

The "Seductive Beauty", "Natural Beauty" and "Beauty Glow" Instant Looks in a Palette are available for $75.00 each. 

Or if you really want to go big, check out the "Instant Seductive Beauty Look" I mentioned earlier, which retails for $190.00, but also comes with mascara, eye and lip liner, lipstick and lip lustre!  The "Complete Natural Glowing Look" retails for $144.00 and comes with mascara, lip liner and lipstick.

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