Friday, May 30, 2014

This week on Marlborough 5.30

^Beautiful Colby college in Maine

Happy Friday! This past week I swam in the pool for the first time this season, grilled as much as possible despite the rain, and watched my little brother graduate from Colby college (go Sam!). I also prepped for a weekend full of some big events: my little sister's 21st birthday and one of my best friends' bridal showers. This last May weekend is sure to be one for the books. And then I can't wait to welcome a less-busy June and just take one giant, deep breath!
Here are some fun links from this week...

  • The Copley Farmer's Market has started up again! I've definitely been coming home with as many veggies & flowers as I can carry. 
  • A great marketing idea from Slurpee.
  • This guest house has me dreaming of Morocco. I want to go back so badly! It was definitely one of my favorite places I visited while studying abroad. 
  • Love this simple and rustic Idaho cabin. 
  • Love Herman Miller as much as I do? Our annual sale (featuring the best deals you'll find ever) is happening now! 
  • This tulip installation is incredible. 
  • A proposal video that took 4 years (and 28 countries) to make! 
  • One day I'll have a DIY wood wall
  • Major outdoor dinner party inspiration

Until next week! xx

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My natural summer makeup routine

My little sister Caroline is definitely the artist of the family, and her makeup skills are no different. The lines she draws with eye pencils and blush brushes follow the same accuracy, creativity, and beauty of those that she draws with a pen and paper. I always recruit her to do my makeup for special events (including Emily's wedding), and she never fails to make my skin look effortlessly pretty, something that I struggle with doing myself. Over the past few years she has converted me from a cheap CVS makeup junkie into a believer that quality really does make a huge difference when it comes to makeup. She has a gift!

So when Mary Kay sent me a bunch of products to try out, I knew that I needed my sister to help me put them to good use. I enlisted her to teach me (and you guys!) an easy summer makeup routine using my favorites that I already owned as well as some of my new goodies from Mary Kay. And I must say, I've followed this routine almost every day since and love how it's given me a completely refreshed and healthy look for the season.

So without further ado, here is my go-to guide for getting a natural summer look, as taught by Caroline.
1. Concealer
Once your face is completely bare, start with a lightweight concealer to hide any imperfections or spots. Under your eyes, put 3 dots of concealer under each eye and then dab them repetitively with your finger to blend the concealer and hide any bags.
My concealer: Bare Minerals correcting concealer in medium
2. Mineral Powder
Use your favorite mineral foundation as a base to even out your skin. Apply with a good powder brush and buff the powder in a circular motion over your entire face.
My powder: Physician's Formula mineral wear (can find at any convenience store)
2. Bronzer
Use a bronzer to highlight the areas of your face that the sun would hit naturally. My sister taught me to create a number "3" on your face with the bronzer brush, starting on your forehead bordering your hairline, moving down to the cheek, and then finishing the "3" at your chin. Finally, brush a bit of bronzer on your nose. When it comes to bronzer & blush, I am a huge Nars fan.
My bronzer: Nars Laguna

4. Blush
I love blush, but use a little less of this in the summer than in the winter, since my cheeks are hopefully more brown than red. :) For this step, use a separate cheek brush to highlight the apples of your cheeks in a upward facing line.
My blush: Nars orgasm
5. Translucent powder
Finish with a translucent powder to set all off the powders you've applied in the last three steps and also control shine throughout the day. Just put a tiny bit into the cap and swirl it around with your brush before applying to your face. After this, the skin steps are done!
My translucent powder: Mary Kay translucent loose powder
6. Eyebrows
If you have light/uneven eyebrows like I do, you'll want to fill them in with an eyebrow powder or pen. To do this, use an eyebrow brush and apply the powder along your brows. If I'm having an especially unruly day, I also use Anastasia clear brow gel to tame the stragglers.
My eyebrow powder: Anastasia brow duo in blonde
7. Eye shadow
In the winter, I try to play up my eyes with shadows in darker colors since my skin is pale and I don't want to draw much attention to it. However, for summer, I always go with a light, shimmery eye shadow to create a more natural, sun-kissed look. For this step, use an eye color brush to spread the shadow over your entire lid. I am recently obsessed with Mary Kay's cream eye colors - they spread on so easily, dry quickly so they don't smudge, and last for the entire day! Caroline also applied a more silvery powder from the Naked Palette right under my brows.
My eyeshadow (day): Mary Kay cream eye color in apricot twist
My eyeshadow (night): Urban Decay Naked palette
8. Liquid Eyeliner
Liquid eyeliner is a recent addition to my makeup routine, and I don't know how I survived without it for so long - I feel so bare without it now! For this step, apply the liquid liner to your eyelids right along the eyelash line and let dry.
My liquid liner: Sephora liquid liner in "starry sky" grey
9. Mascara
My favorite step! I love seeing my lashes go from blonde and wispy to thick and black. For this step, curl your lashes first with an eyelash curler and then apply a generous amount of mascara.
My mascara: Mary Kay Lash Love mascara in black
10. Eyeliner
I don't wear too much eyeliner in the summer, but apply just enough to define the bottom of my eye since my lashes are so light. As a rule of thumb, only apply eyeliner to where your lashes end. I love all the eyeliner colors that Sephora offers for only $5 each.
My eyeliner: Sephora nano eyeliner in "gri gri"
11. Lips
The final step! Caroline always does a lipstick/lip gloss combination that I love for summer. Plus, putting on both gives you color, shine and moisturized lips all at the same time.
My lipstick: MAC in creme cup
My lip gloss: Nars larger than life lip gloss in Odalisque
And that's it! Phew. That was a lot of super awkward close-up pictures of my face, but Caroline makes me look so much better towards the end. And it sounds like a lot when written down, but these 11 steps only take about 10 minutes in the morning. I'm not a die-hard loyalist to any certain makeup brand, but really do love the "cocktail" of makeup items listed in this post that I've grown to rely on. And although I'm pretty committed to them, I always love trying new things. So if you have a makeup staple that you live by, please feel free to share below!

Disclaimer: Mary Kay sent complimentary products for this post. All words & opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, May 23, 2014

This week on Marlborough 5.23

Happy Friday! As you know, josh and I spent the first half of the week soaking up the "Bermudiful" sun, so the rest of the week has flown by. Our trip to Bermuda was completely incredible  - the island was even more beautiful than I remembered (photos to come!). It really is such a special place, and I'd definitely recommend making it one of your next travel destinations if you haven't been. Putting my post-vacation depression aside, I'm so happy to be back and to be celebrating one of my best friend's birthday's tonight, as well as my little brother's birthday and college graduation over the long weekend. 
Here are some fun links from around the web this week!
  • Rap shirts for white people. Hilarious. 
  • One of my fave blogs,, launched a shop! And of course I want everything. 
  • This father/daughter duo made me laugh. 
  • Love this textile shop full of handmade creations that I stumbled upon. 
  • So excited for Oh Joy's summer collection of party goodies
  • All my friends live in Somerville these days. I loved this guide to the area. 
  • A yummy twist on jello shots for summer. 
  • Been eyeing some things on Wayfair? We're having a huge Memorial Day blowout sale right now
  • Did everyone watch the Voice finale?? If you didn't you're really missing out. It's basically a 2 hour free concert from the comfort of your couch. And although (spoiler alert!) my girl Christina didn't win, I loved her performance of "Cant Help Falling in Love" and her duet with Ed Sheeran. She just has the coolest voice!
  • And because of his performance during the Voice finale, this is the Coldplay song I've been jamming to this week. 

I hope everyone has an amazing Memorial Day weekend! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Let there be plants!

This spring, I went from knowing nothing about plants to knowing something (a small something) about plants thanks to my green thumb mama. I feel like knowing about gardening is a sort of right of passage into adulthood in a way. It's something that I never cared about before but as I've gotten older, have more and more wanted to care about. Both of my grandmoms and my own mom get such joy out of gardening and have talked to me about plants for as long as I can remember. I have such fond memories of my mom's mom kneeling on her gardening mat in her floral, skirted bathing-suit for hours in her garden overlooking the beach, her happy place. Similarly, my dad's mom is equally committed to her vegetable and herb gardens down in Westport, MA and I love seeing them flourish each summer. I'm excited that this year I've gotten one step closer to being in this special gardening club that I've always witnessed but never been a part of.

So a couple of weekends ago, my mom and I went to Kane's in Danvers to find some pretty things for my outdoor planters. Walking into the plant store was like walking into heaven - there are just so many beautiful options. We were fairly restricted when choosing plants due to the lack of sunlight in our outdoor space, so I learned a lot about which types of plants can thrive in the shade. After nearly an hour of ogling over all the colorful choices, we decided on a mix of pink geraniums, licorice, and hanging vinca for the box planters. We also picked up a gorgeous hanging fuchsia plant.
^ Here's how the planters looked before (sad face)
^ and here's how they look now!
And I obviously couldn't leave the plant store without choosing some succulents, including a few of my favorite types (donkey tails and string of pearls!) for some DIY hanging planters that I wanted to add to our patio trellis. For this project, we used bamboo some fun and lightweight utensil holders ($15 each here) as pots since the succulents won't need much water. Then, josh just drilled a hole in each one and then after potting the succulents with some soil, we slipped a clear zip-tie in the holes and around the trellis to hang them. Such an easy way to create your own hanging succulent display! I found the cute porcelain planters with leather straps at a garden store, but it looks like you can also find them on Etsy.
It's amazing what a difference the plants have made on our patio! It finally feels so summery out there. Planting those box planters was also the last thing we had to cross of our lengthy to do list, which means I'll be sharing photos of the entire finished space very soon!

And a BIG thanks to my mommy, for getting her hands dirty to make our look patio so pretty.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DIY Painted Jute Rug

So I know you're probably thinking "wait, you can paint a rug?!" which was exactly what I was thinking when I took on this project. I was especially weary given the uneven/risen nature of jute rugs. But it turns out the answer is yes, you can! It's not the quickest project, but it's definitely a way to create a beautiful, custom rug for a lot less than you could buy a patterned rug for in stores. All you need to get started is a natural rug (flatweave, jute, sisal, etc.), painter's tape, and regular wall paint in your choice of color.

This project was part of a larger paint campaign I was doing for Wayfair. Basically, we challenged some of our favorite bloggers to take everyday household items like baskets, curtains, or rugs, and transform them with paint. I chose this lovely thick jute runner in the 2'3" by 11' size and decided to recreate the herringbone look of these rugs I love from Serena & Lily. Here's how I did it!

First, lay your rug flat and tape off your vertical lines with painter's tape, making sure to measure so that your lines are evenly spaced apart.
Next, begin adding your smaller horizontal lines, laying them at an upward angle. I made two dots (5 inches apart) on a piece of paper and moved it up for each piece of tape to make sure they were all evenly spaced.
When you start on the next row of horizontal lines, start angling them in the other direction to create a "V". Make sure to continue using the piece of paper to keep the lines the same distance apart.
I'm not going to lie, these first couple of rows take a long time (you'll notice my two different pairs of socks because I had to spread it out over a couple of days). Play some good music, zone out, and stick with it! The last two rows get easier because things start to line up. Luckily, I had a cute pup to keep me company and josh joined in to help crank out the last pieces. If you start with a smaller rug, this step will obviously be much quicker and if you choose a bigger rug, godspeed.
When your done taping (congrats!) make sure to really push down on the painter's tape to make sure it's suck firmly in all those crevices. Then, you're ready to paint! I did some research on painting rugs and it seemed like just using regular wall paint was the way to go, so we used a can of blue that we had leftover from our painted accent wall. I'd definitely recommend assembling a team for this part. Josh and Sean worked on covering the rug with a generous amount of paint (thanks guys!!) with large brushes while I followed their path with a small foam brush to cover all of the places that the big brush missed. You'll probably want to do this outside, but it was raining so we had to move the operation indoors. You'll also probably want a good beer nearby.
Next, let it dry overnight. I know it's so tempting to want to pull off those pieces of tape and see the amazing, clean lines underneath, but you really want it to dry fully so that the paint doesn't run. Once dry, rip off the tape and admire the beauty!
I love how it turned out and how it looks in our kitchen! We've actually had it for a few months now, and I'm pleased to report that the rug and paint are both holding up perfectly, despite always being underfoot.

What do you think? Would you try painting a rug? If you are going to attempt this project, I'd definitely recommend getting a good quality jute/sisal rug for the best results. Also, be sure to check out my rug and all the other blogger paint projects over on Wayfair!