For the past two years I battled with myself over the design of our fireplace. We have an original brick fireplace in our main living room that I’ve wanted to paint white since the day we moved in! Coming to a decision about painting it or not proved to be quite a challenge. I mean honestly, an embarrassing amount of stress went into this decision. But painting brick is a very permanent decision that cannot be undone easily, so I really needed to make sure it’s what I wanted before going through with it! Turned out to be worth the risk because I could not be happier with the end result! Here is what our fireplace looks like now.
And here is what it looked like just one week ago.
Vases and Pottery
To update our fireplace I had the inside and outside of our fireplace and cabinetry professionally painted, removed the fireplace surround, and had the supports on our mantel removed to create one solid beam. This project could definitely be done as a DIY if you have the time to devote to it, but in the end I decided to have it done professionally as it’s the focal point of our home and I wanted to make sure it was done well!
Here is what our painter did:
Step 1: Clean the Brick
Clean brick with a stiff bristle brush, trisodium phosphate, and a shop-vac. Allow brick to dry completely.
Step 2: Prime the Brick
Prime the brick with 1-2 coats white primer. Be sure to use an oil-based primer to protect the brick from stains. Use a roller for the faces of the bricks and a brush to work the paint into the brick and grout.
Step 3: Paint the Brick
Paint the brick until desirable coverage is reached. Use an indoor latex paint. Our painter used a sprayer, roller, and also painted by hand to work the paint into the brick and grout. We used a matte finish on the sides and top portion of the fireplace, but painted a semi-gloss finish on the hearth.
Step 4: Paint the Firebox
We simply used a high heat resistant spray paint for the interior portion of our fireplace. Now, I must caution you! If you use your fireplace often, you may want to consider leaving the firebox unfinished. We live in California where it’s a bajillion degrees year-round, so our fireplace doesn’t get much use. For that reason, I felt comfortable painting the firebox as it’s mostly just for aesthetics!
Step 5: Helpful Tips
Once you are painting on your last coat, use a roller to smooth out the paint, giving it a nice, smooth finish.
Let the fireplace dry for at least three days before use.
Purchase felt pads for your cabinet doors if you painted your cabinetry. This will keep the doors from sticking and ruining the paint!
I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out. Our space feels so much brighter and cleaner! My advice to anyone who is thinking of painting their brick? Go for it! 😉 All sources listed below.
Does taking one look at these closet organization inspirations make you want to bomb your whole wardrobe and start with a clean slate? Yeah. Me too. I used to be a serial “cute top” shopper. Buying all the cute tops that crossed my path. Problem is a cute top here, cute top there turns into one big closet full of “cute tops” that never really get worn after their initial debut. I’m happy to report I’m a changed woman now. No more “cute tops” for me! I search high and low for the most quality, classic pieces that will stand the test of time. I’ve narrowed down the cuts, colors, and fabrics that I love and stick with those!
This brings me to the Shopbop sale that’s going on as we speak. Shopbop is an online marketplace dedicated to selling the most quality, name brand clothing. While these pieces have a reputation for their high cost, I’ve searched the sale to bring you my top picks that are all at a fair price. Most all of the pieces I’ve selected are under or around $100. Tack on the 20% OFF SITEWIDE discount and you can consider yourself one lucky shopper on their way to a dream wardrobe. Join me in my quest for a dreamy, minimalist wardrobe by shopping my selections below! Simply click on the photos to shop!
Fall. Is. Here! They say that true happiness comes from within. I suggest that true happiness comes from within the months of September-December ;). Pumpkin candles, cozy sweaters, and crisp air are among the many mood boosters that come with this new season. I know so many of you have been busy “fall-ifying” your homes, and I am loving all the seasonal decor! This year I have kept things simple by adding new artwork, candles, greenery, and neutral pumpkins in an attempt to embrace the season with simplicity. Which leads me to… the Beauty in Simplicity Fall Home Tour!
I have teamed up with five other bloggers to bring you simple fall design inspiration that will be sure to knock your socks off. Those warm, fuzzy, fall socks you got on. Yeah, those ones. So grab a PSL and enjoy the tour! If you scroll through to the bottom of my post you will find links to all the other talented bloggers. Make sure to check them out for more inspiration!
See something you just gotta have? Click on the shop-able pictures below each photo for direct links to products. Don’t forget you can also shop any photos you see on my Instagram through the Shop Instagram Page!
Make sure to subscribe for future post notifications and giveaways!
Next up in the Beauty in Simplicity Fall Home Tour is Rachel Elizabeth! Head on over to check out all of her beautiful, simple fall decor. Make sure to visit the other talented bloggers who have joined me on this fall home tour! Here they are:
I just love a good piece of art. It pulls a room together and adds character to your space! While choosing art for your home can be a bit intimidating, the good news is that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a gorgeous piece of artwork! Recently, I purchased my first oversized piece of art, and it has me inspired to add more throughout our home. Today I’m sharing my favorite paintings and prints that are both beautiful and affordable! Go big and grace your walls with something fabulous, or keep it small and update your frames with something simple yet unique. No matter what size you choose, each of these prints will be sure to add style to your space.
Shop the artwork and decor you see in this post by click on the icons and photos below!
Last weekend we went up north to visit some friends who just so happen to be almond farmers and live on the most gorgeous property. Their farmhouse is surrounded by almond trees as far as your eyes can see. Not to mention the most darling of all farm animals, cows and horses, are grazing in the fields right outside your door. The wind blows just perfectly there, forcing the leaves to twinkle in the soft sunshine. It’s nothing short of a dream come true for me, really. We spent the weekend relaxing on the porch, watching the cows graze in the pasture, slow cooking ribs in the smoker, and enjoying each others company with a glass of wine in hand. I am convinced that is how life was intended to be lived.. slow, simple, and surrounded by friends.
Whenever you’re visiting a farm, I think it is safe to say flannel is an essential. This trip I brought along a few plaid dresses over my usual flannel shirt. They did not disappoint! I think plaid dresses are so cute yet practical. I wore them all weekend and will be wearing them all throughout the fall and winter. Thanksgiving outfit perhaps? Here are a few photos from our trip and my favorite flannel dresses!
Pair it with Cute Booties
Dress it Down With Sneakers
Don’t forget to subscribe for post notifications and exclusive giveaways!
There’s a rather large collection of high heels stacked up in my closet that I’ll probably never wear again unless by some miracle. Now that I think of it, I have a pretty big collection of wedges too that go mostly untouched. When I found out arthritis had decided to stake its claim in my ankle, my shoe wardrobe seem to be a little useless. I’ve traded high heels for Nikes, but have recently developed a love for slides and slip ons. They are so simple and seem to suit my casual style while pulling my outfit together a little better than my trusty Nikes. Not to mention they are absolutely perfect for this time of year! Hear me out…
You know that awkward period of time between summer and fall where you want to wear all things flannel and boots, but it’s just not that cold out yet? Slides have been my solution! They get you out of your flip flops, but postpone the bootie stage until the weather permits. Out of my love for these shoes, I have put together a list of all of my favorite slides. So before you start filling your closet with cute booties, slip into some slides if you’re looking to combine comfort and style.
Here is a List of my favorites. As usual, just click on the photo to shop!
Slides with Support
Hope you found something you like! Thanks so much for stopping by and following along.
Labor Day is amazing for so many reasons. The first one being I have a three day weekend. Praise. And the sending being that there are tons of sales going on! Labor Day sales are well timed, allowing us to shop discounted products right before fall arrives. Here are a few of my favs otter sale items that are sure to make your three day weekend that much better!
Dresses + Rompers + Skirts
Pants + Shorts
Lighting + Rugs
Hope you enjoy some time off (and sale shopping) this weekend. Thanks for stopping by!
Make sure to subscribe to receive post notifications and to be included in the seasonal giveaways. There’s no catch here and definitely no email blasts… It’s just the best way for me to stay connected with you!
This post is divided into three sections: My Skin Story, My Makeup Routine, and My Skin Care Routine. I know it’s a bit more wordy than normal, but I truly hope you will take the time to read each section. You won’t regret it, I promise
My Skin Story
“It’s like peaches and cream.”, or “You look like a little porcelain doll.” are comments I remember hearing about my skin as a little girl. While I didn’t make much of the comments as a young child, I would come to long for those days of peaches and cream skin not too shortly after that… By the age of twelve to be exact. I remember going in for my fifth-grade school pictures and being worried about those bright red spots on my face. Why did I seem to be the only kid my age with these unattractive things gracing my cheeks and chin? I scanned the room looking for another student I could relate to, but all I saw was peaches and cream. Little did I know that was the start of a very long, challenging journey with troubled skin.
By seventh grade, I had paid many visits to the dermatologist with the hope that they could remedy my skin situation. After testing out various topical treatments that simply weren’t strong enough for my oily, cystic acne prone skin, we found a solution. The solution required me to take medication, twice daily, coming to a total of five pills each day. I was on my way to peaches and cream skin, but at what cost to the rest of my body?
I remained on this medication from the age of fourteen to the ripe old age of twenty-two. While I struggled with break-outs at times along the way, this remedied the situation enough for me to go through high school and college without being known as “pizza face.” Any time I tried to go off the medication, the acne would come back with a vengeance. So, on that medication I remained, dreaming of the day when I would be back to peaches and cream skin for good.
It was at the age of twenty-two that the medication began to rear its ugly head through various side effects. Melasma (a dark brown discoloration of the skin) covered my face, and stomach aches started to be my new normal. I began to question just how negatively this medication might be affecting my body. Thinking about how long I had remained on that five pill a day regiment started to seem a bit outrageous, and I knew I couldn’t continue any longer. That’s when I finally agreed to take Accutane, the king of all acne medications, with the hope of clearing my skin for good. Accutane was my final resort and seemed to be my only option as I was going on my tenth year in a battle against cystic acne that didn’t look like that was about to end any time soon. I knew the side effects of this drug had some risks, but I was willing to go through with it in order to have clear skin. At this point, I was growing very weary of this battle, and so I began my six-month long treatment on Accutane.
My Accutane experience was what I would describe as, well, TERRIBLE. The drug was not working as it had on other patients, so my doctor increased my dosage. Once, twice, and finally a third time until we saw an improvement in my skin. Sure, my skin was clear now, but over half my hair had fallen out and my joints began to stiffen as a result of the increased dosage. These extremely challenging side effects proved to be a lost cause when after six months of treatment, my cystic acne came back just as strong as before. Only now I had barely any hair to mask my face. Here is a photo of what my skin looked like once I finished Accutane.
Am I going to have acne the rest of my life? I didn’t know any eighty year olds with cystic acne, but I felt like I had a good shot at being the first. I felt like doctors had failed me. Allowing me to remain on medication for such an extended period of time, and increasing my Accutane dosage to three-times the recommended amount for my body weight seemed like very poor practice in hind sight. I decided my only option was to take my health into my own hands. And so, I began my research. Countless hours were spent on the computer researching and learning about acne, it’s causes, and possible solutions. Here is a summary of the three main things I learned that helped me reach my life-changing solution:
The skin is our body’s biggest organ. If our skin is showing signs of sickness, it’s being caused by something internally. This is usually related to the gut, hormones, or stress. (Make sure to get all of those in check if you deal with any skin conditions).
Food and digestion have a lot to do with the inflammation in our body. Inflammation displays itself in many different forms, acne being one of those.
Foods like gluten, dairy, caffeine, and sugar are known to cause inflammation in our body.
I stared into the computer screen, the light illuminating my sick skin. YES! I thought. THIS COULD BE ME! By the next day, I was passing on all foods that fell into any of those four categories. No gluten, dairy, caffeine, or processed sugar. Within a few weeks, my skin was 100% clear and I have not had a cystic pimple since. AHHHH! I honestly had never felt freer or more accomplished in my entire life!
Years of acne concealing techniques and strategizing how I would mask my skin were now a thing of my past. It was back to peaches and cream for the first time in over eleven years. Now, honestly, every time someone comments on my skin I have to refrain from sharing my skin story that I am oh so passionate about. Often times I respond with an, “Oh thank you so much, that means a lot to me.” But all of you, my faithful blog and Instagram friends, prompted me enough to share the FULL story. Thank you for being interested enough to ask and to listen. It means the world. I hope that you find this story inspiring and please be sure to pass it along to anyone you know who struggles with their skin.
It was truly my skin story that inspired me to start Halfway Wholeistic. I learned that living a holistic lifestyle is the best way to live a beautiful life, but living it without becoming consumed by holistic remedies is even better. Living a Halfway Wholeistic lifestyle means following the rules of being holistic about 85% of the time, while still enjoying a scoop of ice cream or a bite of my husband’s pizza every Friday night. It means buying high-end, natural products for things that matter most, and learning to compromise when it doesn’t. Most importantly, living Halfway Wholeistic is a reminder that we will never be WHOLE, or complete during our lifetime. Curing my acne and living a holistic life has improved my life in so many ways, but it is in no way the end to all challenges I still face and will face in my lifetime. For this reason, I am still only halfway whole on my own. The only way to be truly whole comes from within. For me, that wholeness comes from the Lord. He is the one I rely on to make me completely whole in this broken world. I know I will face many more challenges in my lifetime, living a holistic lifestyle and relying on the Lord are the two ways I see most suitable for facing those challenges.
For healthy skin, I suggest:
Cutting out or limiting gluten, dairy, sugar, and processed foods.
Drinking a lot of water!
Using quality products on your skin.
My Makeup Routine
Pictures of Jennifer Aniston and J-Lo seemed to find their way to my Pinterest boards whenever I was searching for my ideal makeup look. Now that I had clear skin, I wanted that dewy, glowy makeup look to go with my peaches and cream. Can I get an amen? I went to just about every beauty counter in the mall and collected samples so I could find the one that worked for me. I narrowed my search down to a small list of makeup essentials that I use to create that dewy look I envied for so many years. I’m a minimalist, these are literally the items I use every day… I own nothing more than what you see here. I don’t want to spend money on endless beauty products (let’s be honest, there’s A LOT to choose from) so I stick with what works. Below you will find all the products I use as well as a video tutorial of my makeup routine. Make sure to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and I will get back to you!
My Skin Care Routine
Like I mentioned before, living a Halfway Wholeistic lifestyle means finding a middle ground in the holistic world. I do not purchase the most expensive, holistic products. I have found products that are paraben free and get the job done well. Alba Botanica has been my brand of choice. By the way, this post is not sponsored in case your “This is a fake sponsored post” antennae are going up. This is just a list of products I’ve come to love and use every day!
Natural Acne Topical Treatments
I use tea tree oil and Sovereign Silver Gel to keep my skin clear if any breakouts do arise. SERIOUSLY. Do yourself a favor and purchase the silver gel. My husband and I both use it for acne, burns, and cuts. It’s a miracle worker! I also use the liquid for to treat my colds and have even cured an eye infection as well! No joke. This stuff is amazing.
Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read. I hope you found encouragement here, and maybe a few makeup tips as well! Have a great weekend my friends!
If I told you Abercrombie was having a sale what would be your reaction? I’m assuming you would do one of two things. You would either raise your eyebrows at me in question of why on earth I was telling you about a sale going on at a teeny bopper store, OR you would head over and check it out because you admit their clothes are quite adorable regardless of that early 2000s stigma that goes along with the name. I for one LOVE their clothes and think stores beloved by my 12 year old self (Abercrombie and Old Navy to name a few) don’t get quite as much attention as they should. I’m all about texture and quality over brand, and the fabrics used for Abercrombie clothes top the charts in my opinion! So, if I’ve convinced you that Abercrombie isn’t just for teeny boppers, check out my favorite picks from the sale that’s going on now! Be sure to use code 11017 for an extra 30% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE!
Hope you found something you like! I have a few of these items already and they are among my most prized pieces in my closet. Have a great weekend, friends!
Over the past two years, our entryway has been through many changes. It was like a revolving door for throw pillows and decor. This month I decided to focus in on this space and design it once and for all. Here are my four tips for creating the perfect entryway you won’t get tired of. As usual, click on the links and photos to shop the products I used. Make sure to leave a comment and tell me what you think!
1. Pick a Paint Color
Before my entryway makeover, this space was painted in a light gray color like the rest of the walls in our house. While the gray looks good in other spaces within our home, it did not suit this space. The lighting and brick floor did not work well with the color of the paint. To brighten up the space I decided to paint this room white. 18 hours of painting was a bit rough, I’ll admit, but worth it! It brightens up the room, accents the brick floor, and showcases the furniture and artwork. Our walls are painted in White Dove and the baseboards are Swiss Coffee.
2. Make Necessary Structural Changes
I made three structural changes to our entryway in order to allow the furniture to flow and fit within the space. I removed the hanging pendant and opted for recessed lighting. The light I put in is a recessed light fixture that fits in a space created for a ceiling light. I did not have to add canned lighting for the recessed light to fit! I also moved the light switch over in order to be able to center the artwork on the wall. The final change I made was to have our old outlets replaced with new ones. All of these structural changes allow the space to look fresh and updated.
3. Choose a Focal Point
Before I began the entryway makeover, Jordan and I had made a bench out of rubber wood and hairpin legs I bought on Amazon. I knew I was going to use this in my entryway, so I worked around this as my focal point. If you are not up for a DIY project, you can find a similar bench here!
That’s it! Hope you guys like it! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think 🙂 Don’t forget to subscribe to receive notifications about new blog posts and seasonal giveaways. Oh! And check out the gallery below for more inspiration and to shop my favorite entryway decor.