Monday, June 30, 2014

Paula's Choice - A Beauty Resource

Several months ago, I was looking for beauty reviews for cosmetics and I stumbled upon Paula's Choice.  I'm not sure how mainstream this website is, but Paula's Choice is a website that contains beauty product reviews (in addition to a line of skincare).  I've learned a lot from reading through the website, it looks like the major no-no's for skin care products revolve around packaging and fragrance.  Air and light degrade the healthy benefits in anti-aging products and I learned that I should stay away from jar products at all costs.  The jar lets far too much air and light in, while a tube or a bottle with a pump is a much better choice because there is less exposure.  I've actually had eye creams turn from creamy white to yellowish (ick!), so this makes sense to me.  Fragrance is also really really bad because it causes irritation to your skin (even if it is just on the cellular level).

When I started looking at beauty product packaging, I realized that soooooooooo many products come in jars (side note: why don't cosmetic companies know this?).  So, I began using Paula's Choice to find new products. It can be a little daunting to narrow down the selection and figure out what to choose, because you can search by item or by brand for pretty much anything (no hair products or really new products).  There is a lot of information, including: product name, whether the product has been discontinued, purpose of the product, number of oz., price, and overall rating...that's just on the first page.

Once you find your product of choice, there is both technical information and also any relevant information on characteristics, like texture, that wouldn't necessarily be obvious from it's chemical components.

Although the reviews are generally short, I found that there were a lot, and I mean A LOT, of high-end or well-known brands, not to mention cult favorites, that are essentially...junk...and more than likely, expensive junk.  I took quite sometime to look through Paula's Choice reviews and revamp my skincare and makeup.  Now, I don't make a purchase without consulting the website first.  Why waste money on products that don't do the job or are actually harmful to your face (hello, you only have one!)?

Hope this helps you with your future beauty purchases!  Anyone else tried Paula's Choice?
***This is not a sponsored post and we weren't compensated in any way.  We just like sharing our valuable resources with our Posh Purpose Readers!***

Friday, June 27, 2014

Old Governor's Mansion

Mom and I went to Milledgeville, GA primarily to visit the Old Governor's Mansion. It has been beautifully restored and the pictures of furniture online were just too wonderful to pass up. Tickets are $10 each for adults and well worth the price.

I love visiting old buildings, but it irks me when you can only see a small percentage of the rooms. The Governor's Mansion does not do that. You get to see all but three bedrooms, which have been converted into offices, and to make up for it the tour guide shared that the three bedrooms you do see are pretty much identical. Bedrooms were not all that unique back in the 1800s.

Here are some highlights before I jump into the pictures:
1. The carpets are not original (surprise, surprise), however they were recreated by the original carpet company based on their ancient paperwork and descriptions from visitors. And that carpet company? They are located in England and provide carpeting for Buckingham Palace.

2. The flooring on the first floor (used for housework, not seen by guests) is also not original. Someone in their infinite wisdom decided to remove the original heart pine flooring. Fortunately, the team restoring the Mansion was able to acquire enough heart pine flooring from an old tobacco building to redo the entire first floor. Fun fact: the new flooring is actually a year older than the mansion.

3. The hardware is all original to the house and is made out of sterling silver. The only reason why the hardware is still intact is because Sherman (who slept in the house) did not know it was silver! How is that possible when Sherman was a sterling stealing fiend, you ask? Because the governor at the time had advanced warning and ordered that all the hardware be covered up with black polish. Smart and resourceful.

Our tour guide was so awesome and knowledgable. She shared far more and everything was extremely interesting. I fully recommend you visit. Now onto the pictures!

A hand painted silk shade in the ladies formal sitting room. There were four of these total, each painted with a unique scene. I have decided Mother needs them in her house.

Maybe not interesting to all, but here is how the shades were strung. You are looking up behind the draperies

I'm so disappointed the colors didn't turn out in this picture. Check out that carpet! And the level to which the house has been furnished!

Mom loved this little table. Again, the carpet. I took most of my pictures in the ladies formal room because it was just so lovely. The wall is actually a lovely shade of pale lavender.

Chandelier, medallion, mirror. All giant and wonderful. The ceiling medallion is original. The light fixture is a reproduction of what used to be there. All the light fixtures were reproduced so they could operate from electricity.

The drapes and drape holder system were one of my favorite things. All the textiles in the house are gorgeous, so its hard to choose.

This is a former first lady. The Mansion has a ton of portraits of Governors and First Ladies who lived there.

The molding is magnificent throughout the Mansion.

More draperies! The sun is a bit bright, but this window also had a silk shade but without the lovely paintings. Instead, the tassels that held up the shade hang down long in front. Please also admire the carpet.

I absolutely love this fireplace. And see those cards on the table in the foreground? Even those are antique!

Because I love the fireplace so much, we need a closeup. So beautiful!

If you want to read more about Milledgeville and driving through that part of the state, check out this post. Yesterday's post was about Milledgeville's antique store. And definitely share with us if you visit Milledgeville or have other recommendations!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Consignment Store Finds

Remember when I shared about my trip through Georgia? I promised to give more info on Milledgeville and apparently it took at least two weeks for me to make that happen. Tardiness is part of my identity.

So let's get started. The store name is Auntie Bellum's Antiques and it was quite the adventure. The website states they have "odd and unusual stuff," and I can't agree more. I forgot to take a picture of the front, so please accept my screen shot from Google street view instead.

full of thrills
This store is made up of multiple booths stocked by individuals. This means there is a huge variety in the objects. I found legit antiques a few feet away from 1980s toilet lids and beer posters. Not joking.

This child's school desk was pretty cool and $85. I never see things like this in thrift stores.

This glassware set had been marked down to $40 from $75 and yet it was still there. The pieces seemed to be in good shape, but I didn't inspect them all.

The label says "old whiskey" and it was priced at $18. I don't know about you, but J prefers his whiskey in less pink vessels. That being said, I did consider buying it anyway.

Pile of antique headboards. One clamied to be from 1840 and was priced at $300. Overall, good condition and interesting pieces. I like the one in the back the best. Of course, antique bed sizes aren't standardized so make sure you measure before purchasing.

Remember that beer poster I mentioned earlier? I snapped a picture, just for y'all.

I love old trunks but can't stand the smell. I don't remember the prices sadly.

Toilet seat and scary faces. I did say it was an adventure in here.

Pile of pink depression glass, all in great shape. The prices were fair but not exceptionally low.

Cool old chair Mom almost bought. It was priced at $75.

 Anyone looking for a vintage hair dryer? This could be yours for $15! Unlike Habitat, there was no sign of "tested and works" stickers or available outlets to test out the goods.

Welcome to Georgia.

Cool poster next to interesting sconces, which were $22.50 for the pair. Right next door, you can pick up a can of coke classic or an old green coke bottle if that strikes your fancy.

The store was quite full and had piles of linens that I did not photograph. If you find yourself in Milledgeville, you should definitely stop by. Who knows, maybe you will find that perfect antique side table you have been hunting for. Or perhaps a retro beer poster will catch your eye and be perfect for wherever one would hang such an item. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Friends and Family at Restoration Hardware!

It is my favorite sale of the year! Now is the time to buy if you have been eyeing one of those great couches or dining chairs. 20% off everything!

Source: Restoration Hardware email

Restoration Hardware has no idea I have written this post. I just like to share when I get the Friends and Family emails. For one, people don't necessarily know you can get 20% off if you wait for the right time. And another, I like to document when the sales happen each year. In the event I want to order more furniture, I can look back in Posh Purpose history to get an idea of how long I need to wait for the next sale.

Recovering Paint Store Chairs

As I mentioned a while back, I am slowly working towards updating my family's paint store. My mom ventured over with me and we picked out fun paint colors to show off Benjamin Moore's great selection while also appealing more to women.

We are waiting for the usual summer slump before we dismantle the store and paint the walls and baseboards. But I just couldn't stand waiting! I decided the chairs were just too worn to be tolerated any longer and needed to be recovered immediately. The problem? I was swamped with work and trying to leave early for the airport but didn't want to waste my free shipping code! Thank goodness for Melinda. I told her the names of my paint choices and sent her a picture to refresh her memory of the paint store appearance. With that information, she gave four recommendations with this one being her first choice.

$10.80 per yard at Online Fabric Store

This fabric is just perfect. It pulls out the colors we chose for our walls and is very durable! And the busy pattern will hide any stains that break through the water repellent treatment. Let me repeat: Thank goodness for Melinda

the stained before and happy after

This was the first time I recovered chairs so I won't be writing a tutorial (you can find plenty of tutorials including this one by Young House Love). Instead, I will share some tips that I figured out while winging it - my favorite approach to DIY projects.

1. It took me less than an hour to do all four, which included taking pictures. However, my paint store guy helped by taking the chairs apart and putting them back together. Plan on having lots of time so you don't have to rush. It is no fun pulling out staples, as I learned that day.

2. I ordered 2 yards, which was a bit more than necessary but I wanted to make sure I could choose which section of the pattern to center on each chair rather than be concerned with conserving fabric. I measured my chairs and added 4 extra inches to each side for overlap, just to be safe. However, I could have probably gotten away with 2.5 inches on each side. I had enough fabric left over for my niece to make me a purse (surprise birthday gift from her) and a swatch large enough to redo a chair in the event of an unfortunate accident.

3. Decide how you will center the pattern on each chair before getting carried away with the staple gun. I decided to put a hexagon in the center, but did each chair with a different one since I had four chairs and four designs to use. I also decided to put the pointy ends of the hexagons up/down rather than going across the width of the chair.

different design in the center

4. I found my chair looked the best when I stapled in the order below. Otherwise, the corners weren't as perfectly folded. Really put thought into how you are approaching your project. It depends on the chair shape. Also keep flipping the seat over to make sure you are happy with how the fabric is working. Agani: pulling out staples is no fun.

repeat this patter for the two back corners

This project was super easy and I am very happy with how the chairs turned out. The paint store is much cheerier, even after that little bit of work. Melinda suggested I get a few pots of succulents for a low maintenance (and small) centerpiece and an outdoor rug to go under the table. The goal here is to improve the store's appearance without adding onerous chores to my paint store guys' responsibilities.

Do you have any DIY projects to share with us? We love to hear from y'all! Tweet or instagram at us! And great news! This project was featured on Roadkill Rescue!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Introducing Patio Parties!

I dearly love a good party, but sometimes it's nice to just have a small get together.  For the next How to Host Series, we're going to be introducing Patio Parties!  The idea behind a patio party is to have 4-6 people over to sit outside and enjoy the weather.  Briana and I have come up with a simple formula to keep costs down and the work to a minimum so you can enjoy your time hanging out with friends.  Let's get started!

Posh Purpose Patio Party Formula

1 Cocktail
2 Savory Appetizers
1 Sweet Treat

To start, pick out an easy to make cocktail with the alcohol you already have available.  For me, I had some boxed wine that I didn't care for and a bottle of sangria mix that I bought from Williams-Sonoma on clearance a few weeks ago (even though it was on clearance, it wasn't expired yet).  I also threw some frozen strawberries in to keep the drink cool and add some extra flavor.  

For food, pick two savory appetizers and one sweet treat.  To make it really easy on yourself, make two of the three from store bought goods and devote your time towards one really great dish.  Bonus points if you don't have to turn the oven on!  Mr. 3 found a great deal on baby back ribs so we served those with store bought mini cornbread loaves.  I also grabbed a bag of peanuts in the shell.  Finally, I made a slab pie with store bought crust, blueberry pie filling, and fresh blueberries.

Invite your guests over around 2 or 3 PM - you won't have to make a ton of food like would you for lunch or dinner which will keep costs down and the event casual.

I hosted my first patio party a few weeks ago and it was a big hit!  Here are a few snapshots from the patio party:

Rather than making a huge formal flower arrangement, I bought $9 worth of gerbera daisies and just plunked them down in a pitcher.  I used paper plates and napkins from Target and Home Goods and I topped off my table with a retro table square I bought a few weeks ago.

We'll be sharing more patio parties as the summer goes on!  Anyone else done any great entertaining lately?  If not, consider throwing an impromptu patio party this weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Part 2: Touring Richmond

Yesterday, I shared with y'all my tour of Richmond by way of thrift stores.  I had a great time shopping around and here are my thrift store purchases:

Set of 4 Brand New Mikasa Cheers Balloon Glasses - Retails for $50, but I grabbed them for $9.95!  Red isn't my usual go to color, but these will be great for Christmas or even 4th of July!
Found at Second Debut by Goodwill

Georges Briard Cheese Platter - $2
Found at Love of Jesus Thrift

Georges Briard is a retro designer whose home goods were sold at Neiman Marcus in the 60s.

Arthur Court Tray for $2
Found at Diversity Thrift

I also wanted to share with you my other favorite Richmond places that I stopped in to check out:

Revival Home Furnishings - Awesome consignment store!  Everything was in great shape and really well laid out.  Nothing seemed overly crowded or junky.  The prices were higher than a thrift store, but I really love consignment stores because they won't take anything that isn't in excellent condition.  If you are looking for a newer piece of furniture Revival Home Furnishings is a great resource.

Pretty pair of lamps

Such a beautiful store.  That black, cane backed headboard was gorgeous!

$99 slipper chair!

Beautiful leather bar stools

Love this cabinet!

Sweet framed poems for $31.50 each

Baggio - This high-end clothing consignment store is located in the same shopping center as Revival Home Furnishings.  It's a decent sized shop with tons of high end designers like Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Hermes, Lanvin, Burberry, etc.  That said, these are not bargain bin prices like you would find at TJ Maxx.  The prices were higher, but I also noticed that they do mark downs if the pieces have been in the shop for awhile.  I spotted a pair of Christian Louboutin evening shoes that were marked down with additional discounts to $280.  While this is still a very expensive pair of shoes, it was much more obtainable than the $1000+ price tag most of the shoes usually carry. (Note: I still didn't buy them.  This Posh Purpose girl has no need for evening shoes at this point in time!)

Lou Lou Boutique -  This super cute accessories store is located in Carytown, not too far from the Second Debut by Goodwill shop that I mentioned yesterday.  They have a number of locations in the DC-MD-VA area and I think I have been into one in DC before, BUT this location in Richmond had a really great lofted space with stationery.  I bought a new hat (yay fedora!) and a lightweight scarf (love this lobster print!).


Sugar Shack Donuts - This local donut shop has a tiny parking lot and a long (but quickly moving) line.  Sugar Shack makes every donut by hand through a three-hour process.  They often sell out in between batches.  Ummmmm...confession.  We went here both weekends.  The first time I grabbed the strawberry glazed and samoa donuts.  It's hard to say which I like better...being that one was fruity delicious and the other tasted EXACTLY like a Girl Scout cookie...but yeasty.  The second time, we had chocolate with sprinkles and vanilla caramel which were sooooo yummy.  I also tried the coffee here which is totally legit and will grow hair on your chest.  Holy goodness.  I would want these donuts aaaaaallll the time and probably make up many excuses to do a drive by so I could try aaaaaall of their flavors.

The Daily Kitchen & Bar -  Really, really well designed restaurant in Carytown.  The lattes were awesome and so was the service.  I've had better brunch, but it was still pretty tasty overall.

The Mill on MacArthur -  Yum, yum, yum.  Best biscuit I've had in a really long time, no extra butter, honey, jam, or any other type of spread required.  The biscuit came on the side with my main course of shrimp and grits which was also great.  The Mill is located in the historic Bellevue area which has my favorite era of houses (20s-50s).  There are lots of tree lined streets with beautiful old houses to walk around and see.

So that's my round up!  Anyone else have any Richmond spots to check out the next time I'm in town?  I could definitely see Mr. 3 and me living there...someday!