Creative Inspiration

 

Oh Joy!

Launched in 2005 as a graphic design studio, the Oh Joy brand now includes various licensed product lines, how-to lifestyle videos, and a daily blog with a focus on design, fashion, food, and joyful moments from everyday life. Founder Joy Cho, has also authored two books and consulted for hundreds of creative businesses around the world.

 

 

Lovely Blonde Closet

Amaris is a wife to her handsome husband Joel, & a mama to her baby, Addilyn Everly. She created this Life + Style blog to document the things she loves and to inspire others through the beauty of everyday life and to share her journey of motherhood and all the things that come with it!

 

Emily Henderson

Hi. We are a design/style LA based company specializing in mixing eclectic styles on moderate budgets. Also we have a strange amount of fun blogging about all our design and style adventures. Right now I’m happy to say that I’m Target’s home spokesperson, bringing accessible/stylish design to the masses.

 

A Beautiful Mess

Sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, from Missouri, own A Beautiful Mess, "a women's lifestyle company focused on creating happiness every day through a homemade lifestyle." On their blog they share home decor projects, recipes, and crafts.







First Picking Trip of the New Year!

My blog has come a long way since its humble beginnings, but its always fun to take time to revisit the reason behind it's existence.

It all started with the suggestion that I start blogging about all of my antiquing trips and keep everyone in the loop on what's out there, and the best places to go around northern Virginia.

A few weeks ago, my dear friend Anna, scooped up this very pregnant lady and whisked her away to the magical land of Lucketts near Leesburg, Virginia. It was a sunny but chilly January day, and we happened upon quite a few lovely treasures and home decor inspiration. 

We made the somewhat lengthy drive from Alexandria to Leesburg in about an hour. I was delighted to see the small town charm of this tucked away land of antiques, including a sign for Saturday Night Bluegrass. That's when I knew I would love this place. 

We began our excursion at the famous "Old Lucketts Store," and were immediately swept away by vintage lust. 

Furniture

There were a few pieces of furniture that really caught my eye. My only regret is that I don't have a bigger car or a bigger house because it felt like everything was adorable and on sale.

I love this piece! I could see it as a hutch in a dining area or in a bedroom. 

The metal wiring makes this hutch look a bit "cagy," but I found myself surprisingly drawn to it.

This cabinet is adorable and could be used for so many things. I think it could display dishes or hold linens, but I could also see it in a kitchen with tea cups and bakeware. Love, love, love!!!

 

Fashion

One of the main things that I always look for, while out hunting for vintage treasures, is fashion. Some of my best outfits are decades old. They have stood the test of time and are classic looks that can be mixed with modern pieces. We went up to the top floor of Lucketts and happened upon an attic-like room full of amazing clothes and accessories. It was like grandma's attic times ten! Jackpot!

Hat, coats, jewels, oh my!

So many Pinterest projects in this bowl...

Joy Cho made a youtube video about fashion and used a fun hodge-podge of different antique broaches to decorate the upper left side of a jean jacket. You could even use these with a scarf, on a solid sweater, or to even bling out a plain pair of ballet flats.

And this little gem...I wish I had somewhere to wear it. :)

 

The Yard

After picking through three floors of vintage goodies, it was time to explore the porch and yard. I love this huge door. I have no idea what I would do with it or where I would put it, but it made me want to figure something out.

This area doesn't look like much, but I wanted to clean it up, make it over, stage some more chairs, and host a garden party. Can't you see it? Some hanging white lights...finger food...cool beverages on a Spring night...yup, this is working for me...

 

BeeKeeper's Village

If Lucketts wasn't enchanting enough, we headed next door to the BeeKeeper's Cottage...

We walked in, turned the corner, and BLING!!!!! Needless to say, I felt right at home...

BeeKeeper 2_WE.jpg

Look at that sneaky photographer in the mirror...so subtle...

BeeKeeper 3_WE.jpg

I'll take one of each...

 

After an enjoyable day drinking in all the antique sites and sounds, we headed to quaint, downtown Leesburg for lunch. We chose Georgetown Cafe for a hot beverage and a bite to eat. Their menu is based on foods from the 1700s in sandwich form. We even tried peanut soup. It was a hearty end to a fun day of picking.

Hitting the Reset Button on Life

Last week was our annual Barone family trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Each year this trip is filled with fun, laughter, game nights, beach days, and plenty of nostalgia.

This year was little Olive's first time on family vacation. So, it was super special, and quite ceremonious, when Michael dipped her chubby, little feet into the ocean for the first time. The look on her face alluded to confusion and dislike. However, she really seemed to enjoy the pool and her new octopus toy.

 A girl and her octopus....  

A girl and her octopus....
 

The week leading up to our vacation was total insanity to say the least. Nevertheless, I somehow managed to clean my house, do all of the laundry, and pack everything with the exception of the baby's sunscreen.

All week I couldn't stop thinking about sipping coffee on the back deck of our beach house, swimming in the pool, napping on the beach, inhaling the sea air, reading a good book, and listening to the salty waves.

As a Christmas gift to ourselves last year, we purchased a nice camera. We figured that, since we would want to take 9 million pictures of our child, it might be a good investment. So, I brought it along this year to capture the beauty of this place.

This week has been a time for me to connect with family, bond, think, dream, and evaluate. Its been nice to have the space to think (since its hard for me to keep a whole thought in my head for more than 5 minutes, as of late). 

I wanted to share some moments that really capture the ambience of this place. 

It's clear to see why we keep coming back year after year. 

Product Girl Says...

Confucius says, "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. "

I'm certainly no Confucius, but I do know a thing or two about health & beauty products.  I am what one might call a "product girl."

My linen cabinet used to be filled with different soaps, hair products, moisturizers, creams...you name it. After some trial and error, I have stopped loading up on product and now purchase what I know really works. 

From the perfect lipstick to things I never thought I would try,  I say...

Honest Face + Body Lotion

Someone gave me a set of honest bath and body products for my daughter. I loved the lotion and it made her skin feel so smooth. I noticed that it wasn't gooey and sticky, and that it absorbed quickly. It's also all natural and safe enough to use on a baby. I had been trying all different types of lotions to cure my post-pregnancy skin. One day I thought I would try this and I love it. I keep a bottle on my dresser and on hers. I use it confidently knowing its clear of harmful ingredients and it really works. 

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Multi Surface Cleaner

I visited a barre class and noticed that the cleaner that everyone was using to spray down their mats after class smelled divine. I was told that it was Mrs. Meyers Multi-Surface Cleaner in "Basil." As a human who is super sensitive to smell, I just adore how my house and car smells after using this stuff. It gives my car interior and dashboard a clean, new car scent. It's delicious.

Suave Professionals

People always told me how well Suave worked but, being a product snob, I always bought the expensive salon stuff. I tried this once in a rush when I had no other option and I was super impressed. It really does work well and makes my naturally curly hair super smooth. I typically use the Almond and Shea butter and have recently tried the Rosemary and Mint, which I really like as well. 

Almay Make-up Remover Pads

I love these! Most eye make-up removers have oil in them, so my eyes feel slimy and blurry after use. These pads clean without irritating. They are also great first thing in the morning to wake up tired eyeballs. 

Tarte: Lights, Camera, Lashes

Finding good mascara has been an endless journey of trial and error for me. My two runners up would be Dior and Benefit, but after using all three, I keep going back to Tarte. It stays on, but doesn't feel crusty or heavy. It also comes off easily but doesn't run. How did they do that? Who knows? I will just apply and enjoy. :)

Neutrogena Pore Refining Cleanser

As someone who admittedly has large pores, this stuff really does reduce their appearance. I use it in the shower and have seen actual results since I started using it last year. 

Body Benefits Bath Gloves

I used to use those fluffy poof things to wash off in the shower until I discovered these. You just FEEL so much cleaner and they exfoliate so much better than other scrubbers. I started using bath gloves when I was pregnant and I haven't turned back since.

Dove Purely Pampering

I discovered Dove Purely Pampering when a friend left a bottle at my house by accident. Like any self-respecting hostess, of course I tried it. ;) This stuff is the ultimate in getting smooth, clean skin. Paired with the bath gloves, this is a totally luxurious experience. Forget expensive scrubs, this is it. 

Party Proof Lipstick

I discovered Party Proof Lipstick in a Birch Box. I really love how smooth and light it is. It doesn't feel waxy and sticky. It stays on, but doesn't dry to the lip. My favorite color so far is "Dusk til Dawn."

Revlon Gel Nail Envy

I went to my favorite nail salon the other day (Present Nails-for you DC folks) and as I was checking out after my "Lavishing Lavender" pedicure (I know, right?), the owner complimented my finger nails and said how great of a job "she" did. "She" had only done my toes. My nails were the product of about $10 and 5 minutes at home with Revlon's Gel Nail Envy. There is no harsh light or special removal. All you do is put on two coats of color, add the diamond top coat, and let dry. You can remove it with regular nail polish remover. If you re-apply the diamond top coat daily you can get a good 5-7 days out of one application without chipping. Its amazing!!!!

I love so many products! I hope this helped and can save you some time and money. You can live vicariously through my trial and error. Until the next review, happy shopping!

Great Days

It's summer and that means day trips! I compiled a list of some of my favorite places to visit in the NOVA/DC area that I hope will inspire some memorable adventures for my local friends. To learn more about each location, just click on the underlined name to be directed to their website. 

So here's the list...

 

Hillwood Estate

The beautiful and fabulous Hillwood Estate is nestled in a quiet neighborhood in north west DC. Michael and I originally visited this 1920's style mansion for their annual Seer Sucker Social. There's certainly nothing like experiencing a piece of history with the costumes to match. When there isn't an event at the estate, it is open Tuesday through Sunday for visitors to tour the house and the grounds, relax in the backyard, saunter through the gardens, and even enjoy Sunday afternoon tea at the estate cafe. This is quite the city escape. For a moment, you will forget you are in a big, bustling city while you are immersed in chrystal chandeliers, high ceilings, tapestry, and sparkling jewels.

Red Bus Tour

I could go on for pages about what to do in DC proper, but your one stop shop for seeing everything that you absolutely HAVE to see, is the DC Red Bus Tour. It's a "hop on, hop off" experience that follows several different routes around the city, stopping at every notable site along the way. 

Middleburg

This has always been a favorite ever since I moved to the DC area in 2007. The downtown area is quaint with beautiful shops, restaurants, and even an authentic soda fountain above the local general store. We also love the new coffee shop Common Grounds as a place to relax and enjoy a beverage after walking around and shopping all day. Middleburg is close to Chrysalis Winery and the tiny village of Aldie is also nearby. There are historic buildings and churches, and so much beauty and history to soak up. 

Flint Hill Public House

For a Bachelorette Party, a few years ago, I had the opportunity to stay the night at this place and tour the many surrounding wineries for a day. The Inn has an unexpected element. Outside it looks like a quaint, country bed and breakfast, but inside the decor is modern and contemporary. We enjoyed a lovely dinner in the restaurant. They regularly host themed meals with several courses, and often have live music on the grounds when it's warm outside. This is a nice, quiet getaway that isn't a long drive from the city. 

Lucketts

There are just so many things to look at in Lucketts Store. This wonderland of antiques and vintage items is nestled just outside of adorable downtown Leesburg. After you sift through lots of beautiful antiques and roam around the yard for precious treasures, you can go next store to the Beekeeper's Cottage for some jewelry and speciality gifts. And if you have some time left over after drooling over vintage goods, you can check out downtown Leesburg. If you go on a Saturday, you can stay for Bluegrass at the local community center in the evening. Oh the down-home goodness!

Massanuten Water Park

Do you want to have the most fun day of your adult life? Do you want to relive every summer memory of water parks and giant slides, but in the winter..or...eh...summer? Well, you're in luck. Virginia has a giant indoor water park that guarantees all the childhood summer fun you could possibly have all year long. Yes, you heard me right. This place is open 365!

Sherando Lake

Lake-01.jpg

We spent a delightful weekend camping at Sherando Lake two summers ago. The campsites were a little too close together for my liking, but honestly that paled in comparison to the location, beautiful lake, swimming, grilling area, and hiking. The hills surrounding the lake are picturesque. You can swim from shore to a tiny island in the middle of the lake. After a nice swim, you can picnic or grill out, or pick up a sweet treat from the camp store nearby. We enjoyed a steep, but view-filled hike with a lot of nature to observe along the way. This is perfect for a day trip or even a weekend away!

And if all of these places weren't enough to keep you busy for at least a few weeks, here are some honorable mentions:

National Air and Space Museum-Dulles

United States Botanical Gardens

Monticello

Mount Vernon

The Tulip Farm (aka Burnside Farm)

Or for more visit Virginia is For Lovers or Destination DC

HAPPY SUMMER!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signs

So, here I am typing with one hand and snuggling baby Olive in my other arm. I'm feeling rather unmotivated to work today. Honestly, I'd rather just nap on our recliner with her and watch reruns of "The Voice." I realized this morning that I could use a bit of a pick-me-up to get my week going. 

Here are a few little slices of inspiration that I found on the web. These messages may be helpful in getting things started. 

1. Some food for thought...

2. Will this help me feel less guilty if I don't do my Jillian Michael's "Extreme Shed and Shred" video today?

3. I vote that this becomes our Monday mantra.

4. I feel like this would be the most amazing April Fool's joke ever! Next year?

5. This....because sometimes its hard enough just keeping up with yourself.

6. You can't go wrong either way. 

7. There are things you can overcome this week...just have faith. :)

8. FRIEND!!! Get yourself some java, make a "to-do" list, embrace today, and don't let this happen to you...

Treasures of Target: The Style Edition

Has anyone noticed how totally cute everything at Target is right now? I mean, have you been in there lately?

I recently started following @targetstyle on Instagram and have been really impressed by the looks this season. 

What is even more awesome is how totally affordable these pieces are! 

 Bib Necklace $19.99

Bib Necklace $19.99

 Woven Bag 23.99

Woven Bag 23.99

 Fringe Sandal $15.99

Fringe Sandal $15.99

 A-Line Dress $39.99

A-Line Dress $39.99

 Satchel $26.99

Satchel $26.99

 Clubmaster Sunglasses $16.99

Clubmaster Sunglasses $16.99

 Multicolor Tank $17.99

Multicolor Tank $17.99

 Woven Belt $12.99

Woven Belt $12.99

 Drawstring Trouser $24.99

Drawstring Trouser $24.99

 Bird Print Scarf $14.99

Bird Print Scarf $14.99

 Peplum Jacket $34.99

Peplum Jacket $34.99

 Long & Lean Tank $9.00

Long & Lean Tank $9.00

 Jean Legging $27.99

Jean Legging $27.99

  T-Strap Sandal $56.99

T-Strap Sandal $56.99

 Weekend Bag $27.99

Weekend Bag $27.99

Christmas in Black and White

I come from a long line of "movie guys," namely my grandpa John on the Barone side. Coincidentally, I married a "movie guy," so watching a line up of holiday favorites was a family tradition that was easy for me to get my hubby on board with.

Each year, we watch a whole line up of favorite Christmas movies...new and old...animated and film...for big kids and little kids. 

If there is one thing that greatly influenced my movie watching experience, it was the way my grandfather got us all hooked on classic, black and white movies that have become a staple for our family and a timeless source of joy and entertainment. 

Here are a few classic Christmas films in black and white that just never get old for me. If you have never seen them, I encourage you to break tradition this year and incorporate some of these classics into your own holiday movie line up.

Miracle on 34th St.

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing. (www.imbd.com)

It's a Wonderful Life

An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. (www.imbd.com)

A Christmas Carol-with Alastair Sim 

An old bitter miser is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. (www.imbd.com)

The Bells of Saint Mary's

At a big city Catholic school, Father O'Malley and Sister Benedict indulge in friendly rivalry, and succeed in extending the school through the gift of a building. (www.imbd.com)

The Bishop's Wife

A bishop trying to get a new cathedral built prays for guidance. An angel (Cary Grant) arrives, but his guidance isn't about fundraising. (www.imbd.com)