Friday, August 29, 2014

Posh Purpose Review: Downgrading Herbal Essence Naked Dry Shampoo

Earlier in the week, I posted about my review of the Herbal Essence Naked Dry Shampoo; and, despite some formula issues, I liked the price and the end result enough to give it a Posh Purpose Rating of "B."  Later in the week, I went to use the dry shampoo again and it was clogged.  After running the spray nozzle under hot water and shaking the can to try to break up the clog, I still couldn't get the aerosol can to start spraying.  I did a bit of checking on some other online reviews at Target and I found out this is a common complaint.

Although I have used this product multiple times, I had used less than half of the can and now I can't get the product to spray anymore which means this can is going in the trash.  Although the $5 price tag is great, I just lost $2.50...which makes me super unhappy.  Therefore, I'm downgrading our Posh Purpose rating:

Posh Purpose Rating: D

Styling a Manly Flower Arrangement

Women are usually the only people who care about having flowers at a party.  I bet there are also a zillion men out there who can't understand the importance of having flowers, even at a wedding (um, hello. decor for the photos and a table arrangement will give your guests something to look at rather than awkwardly staring across the table at another guest they probably don't know).  When I threw Mr. 3 a bourbon party for his birthday back in January, he specifically requested no decorations...HOWEVER, I'm pretty sure that's because I hadn't thought up the idea of having a liquor bottle arrangement!  Now, I think we are all well aware of how nice flowers can look in wine bottles, but I don't think that I've seen much in the realm of liquor bottles.
Please excuse the banged up table...I had yet to finish ironing my tablecloth that day.

Let me tell you, this is probably the easiest and cheapest flower arrangement you will ever make (minus the cost of the liquor of course).  I waited until we three empty booze bottles, which mind you, I have been collecting for the past 6 months...NOT the past 6 days.

The openings for the bottles are quite narrow, so I knew I wouldn't need very many flowers and they had to have small stems and bigger blooms in order to work.

So, I picked up a bouquet of pom poms for $4.99 at Safeway.  I decided to stick with white so the flowers didn't clash with the labels aaaand because pink and purple didn't seem so mantastic to me. 

Because the bottle necks are so slim, it's best to cut your stems really short.  I cut the thick part of the stem off of all the pom poms to start out, but because pom poms grow as groups of blooms (meaning several buds connected to individual thin stems, but are bunched together and connected to one larger stem) you will need to further cut them down and separate them out for this arrangement.  After separating each bloom, I trimmed the stems down to about 3 inches and removed any leafy bits still hanging around (if you don't take care of them and they get into the water, things get murky fast!).

After thoroughly washing out the bottles for any lingering liquor, I filled my bottles with room temp water, leaving only the neck of the bottle free.  It's best to use room temp water for flowers because cold water can shock the blooms.  I grabbed a couple of big blooms and put them in the bottle first, then worked in some smaller blooms, and finally put the buds in last.  By working in this order, the bigger blooms supported the buds and kept them from falling into the bottle.  I kept working the blooms in until I couldn't get any more into the neck to make the arrangement super fluffy.

I repeated with the other two bottles until I had this fun, fluffy display!

The best part about this arrangement is that it was sooooo cheap.  I made three bottle arrangements using $4.99 bouquet and had enough left over to put in a vase with three sunflowers.  I think you could easily get 6-8 bottle arrangements out of a decent sized bouquet.  This arrangement was also super easy to make!  I think it took me about 30 mins and that included washing out the bottles and stopping to take pictures.

I don't think I would suggest this for a wedding centerpiece, but it would be a really cute way to display the types of liquor being served at your wedding or celebration wherever you have your bar station set up.  I could also see setting up a display for the ingredients in a signature cocktail.  For example, if you were serving a Jack Daniels Honey Lemonade (which is just Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, lemonade, and a cherry garnish), you could create a flower arrangement in the bottle and display a bowl of lemons next to a sign for your cocktail.  This is definitely man friendly too and could easily be used at any man's birthday party or BBQ.  Mr. 3 came home after I had finished making the arrangements and he thought they were "pretty great" (love that man!).

Anyone else ever recycled their booze bottles into a vase?  If so, we'd love to see pictures!

***This is not a sponsored post.  We were not compensating in anyway, including free booze or flowers, to write this article.  We just like sharing easy and inexpensive ideas with our Posh Purpose Readers!***

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Product Review: Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo

Edit: After two more days of use, I had to downgrade the rating. Click through for more info

I'm a huge fan of dry shampoo.  I have fine hair and in the summertime I often need to refresh my hair at the end of the day if I'm headed out for dinner.  I also try to wash my hair every other day when I can because my scalp gets so dry (I usually only wind up skipping twice a week though, because I can hardly stand it to have dirty hair).  Since my hair is so fine, I can only get away with this because of dry shampoo which came onto the market a few years ago.

You can spend a lot of moo-lah on a good dry shampoo, which I have done in the past, but I'm always interested in trying to find a cheaper version at the drugstore.  Briana has experimented with a homemade version using corn starch, but found it didn't hold up during Florida's rainy season so I've still been looking for a cheaper brand.  When running through the Target a few weeks ago, I spotted this Herbal Essences Naked Dry shampoo and snapped it up to try.
Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo
Image Source: Target
I've used it off and on for the past few weeks, but I have mixed feelings about the product.  While I like that the Herbal Essences brand is paraben and colorant free, I'm not sure about the formula.  I skipped washing my hair yesterday and I needed to take care of a few oily bits on my part, around my face, and underneath my the back of my hair (it's important to get this area if you plan to put your hair up at any point in the day).  

Here's my part after I had brushed out my "bed head" and sprayed the dry shampoo on the oily parts of my hair.  It definitely makes my hair worse before it looks better.  The dry shampoo actually dampened my hair and also leaves tiny clumps of product that are much more visible in front of the mirror than this photo.

It also requires SIGNIFICANTLY more brushing to work it through once my hair dried and get rid of the white streaks (forget about trying to brush when your hair still feels just gets sticky and clumpy). Luckily, I'm blonde, so the white streaking is less noticeable, but I definitely would not recommend this product to anyone with dark hair.  You have to really get the underneath part of your hair brushed well as this was the area that has the most leftover white streaking.

This dry shampoo also has a bit of light fragrance.  The smell is described as "white grapefruit and mint essences," which is definitely true, but the scent quickly fades and leaves behind a different odor which I can't really explain or identify.  I'm not saying it's bad, just that the scent advertised doesn't stick around.  

Here's how my hair turned out after I brushed the dry shampoo through, styled it, and finished it off with some hair spray. 

Although I think the formula is a bit difficult to work with, the end result is pretty good (as an FYI, this photo was taken at about 7:30 AM before I went to work).  My hair has volume and doesn't look like "second day hair."  I'm not sure if I will purchase this product again or not.  The issues I've mentioned seem to be pretty consistent with each time I've used the product.  I love the price and the end result is good, but, in the past, I've used dry shampoos with a much better formula.

Posh Purpose Rating: B

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Trend Alert: Tasteful Animal Print

I can't believe that I'm actually about to type this, but I'm really liking animal prints these days! I've been anti-animal print ever since I worked for a year at Linens N' Things (anyone remember that store???) and I saw more than one lady buying tiger and cheetah coordinating bed in a bag sets and bath room collections.  It was the late 90s.  I doubt any of them were ever asked to appear in a home decor magazine.  

Animal prints have come a long way since that time and I'm happy to see them used in a more subtle and tasteful way - as opposed to the garish orange and black tiger stripe of (thankfully) long ago.  I think the key to keeping it classy and traditional is to use high quality fabrics and papers in neutral or subtle colors.  A couple of weeks ago, I instagrammed the perfect example of animal print done right from Traditional Home (however, please ignore the ugly yellow walls and oddly placed sculpture).

Image Source: Traditional Home
After a quick search, I found out that the fabric is a velvet called Leopold from Clarke & Clarke aaaand it also comes in this beautiful aqua color.  I would totally consider upholstering seats or chair backs in this fabric.
Leopold Velvet in Aqua from Clarke & Clarke
Image Source: Clarke & Clarke

I'm also loving this cheetah wallpaper for a home office or dream closet.  I think I like it because it's a close cousin to a polka dot!

Thibaut Tanzania Wallpaper
Image Source: La Dolce Vita 
Evidently, you can also find a similar fabric for a great looking chair.  I think this type of pattern would look best on smaller scale furniture such as benches or stools.

Image Source: Style Me Pretty Living
Finally, I recently discovered that Williams-Sonoma Home has a really nice selection of hand knotted rugs including this cheetah rug.  Priced at $5,295 - $10,295, this wool silk rug is waaaaay more than anything I could ever consider spending...BUT it is a great example of how an animal print rug can work in a room as a patterned neutral.

Suzanne Kaslar Cheetah Wool & Silk Rug
Image Source: Williams-Sonoma
What do y'all think?  On board with animal print trend or passing on it?  Feel free to share any other sources of tasteful animal print I have been missing out on!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Etsy Shop Spotlight: Carolina Artisan

As a young professional, I've been lucky enough to skip over ~most~ of the Ikea purchases and go straight to having beautiful fine furniture in my apartments from the get-go, which is not something I could afford even at this stage in life...all as a result of my extremely talented father.  My dad has been making handmade, fine furniture since the 80s and he has built custom closets, built-ins, and unique pieces like the ones featured below.  Although he has mostly been working in the Carolina area, he is branching out and venturing into the world of online sales through his new Etsy shop Carolina Artisan!  All of his work is made from solid hardwood and fine finishes and easily fits into both modern and traditional homes.  While Carolina Artisan is mostly selling larger sized items, stayed tuned because he will also be featuring smaller gift items in the upcoming months such as cutting boards, business card holders, and jewelry boxes in the next few months (hopefully, in time for your Christmas shopping!).

Briana and I both use his jewelry boxes and cutting boards which are finer than anything you can buy in the store.  Briana and J have also said that if they had limitless funds, they would just set my Dad up in Florida and have him constantly cranking out fine furniture for their (yet-to-be-purchased) dream house.  Of course, he may be quite busy since I also plan to have him cranking out fine furniture for my own (yet-to-be-purchased) dream house.  We'll have to figure out some sort of rotation plan.  BUT dear readers, until those dream homes get purchased, Carolina Artisan is yours for the taking!

Mixed Materials Console
Gorgeous Makeup Vanity with Caned Seating
Unique Tree Fork Coffee Table

Unique Two-Sided Dressing Screen

Timeless Private Desk
If you live in North or South Carolina, my Dad is also still taking orders for custom pieces and design work.  If you would like a custom piece of fine furniture and live outside Carolina area, he does ship!  Please contact Hans (his furniture building alter ego nickname) at  Please check out Carolina Artisan Etsy Shop and feel free to pin anything you like!  Which pieces are your favorites?

If you run your own Etsy shop, send us a link!  We'd love handmade, original design goods!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Caroline's Ladies Luncheon, Part II

Now it is time for the food portion of Caroline's eleventh birthday party. If you want to review yesterday's post, you can see all the pretty vintage tea table settings Caroline and Kimberlee put together. Kimberlee made all the food herself and everything turned out delicious! And keep in mind, most of the serving pieces and place settings are thrifted and antiqued. Don't you just love seeing thrift store finds in action?

Miss Caroline with her kitty cat ear headband

The menu included strawberries, raspberries, and almonds mixed together with a ricotta topping to the left. This is a beautiful side dish that is perfect for any sort of shower or ladies event. 

 We also had mini tomato and asparagus quiches. Don't you love the pretty petal shaped crusts?

My favorite part of the meal was the cucumber sandwiches. I kept going back for more.

Kimberlee also made ham biscuits with peach preserves. While I don't normally like sweet on my foods, the flavor combo was actually really good.

Kimberlee served a colorful pasta salad with vegetables. You can always count on Kimberlee trying to sneak more vitamins into our meal.

My plate was so colorful! Mom always reminds me that for a meal to be attractive, you must have more than one color on the plate.

The cake was lemony delicious. I like how even Caroline's cake fit the vintage theme. When she was younger, she used to ask my mom to make her a pineapple upside down cake for her birthday party. This girl has been retro before she even knew it was a thing. Happy birthday, Caroline!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Caroline's Ladies Luncheon

I attended my niece's eleventh birthday party last Saturday. Caroline asked her mom for a grown up tea party and even invited our sewing instructor and wonderful family friend Mrs. Loveless. While the two boy cousins (already eleven years old) were heartbroken that they didn't get to attend Caroline's party, the rest of us ladies had a wonderful time at my sister Kimberlee's house.

Kimberlee has piles of vintage linens, appetizer plates, tea pots, and tea cups which made every table and place setting unique. Caroline's job was to pick out a tea cup for each of her guests. Caroline may be young, but her sense of style is developing towards vintage and shabby chic. She also likes to knit and sew and loves her pet cats and canary. Sometimes she jokes about us turning her into an old lady, but I think she is adorable!

Caroline's big sister was given the polka dot tea cup
Kimberlee set up three different tables for fifteen guests. One of my favorite parts of the party that did not revolve around Caroline was getting to admire a lot of Kimberlee's thrifted and antique finds all at once. Normally I only get to see bits and pieces, but having everything out at once shows how pretty a collected look can be.

overview of the older girls' table
my place setting
my teacup
My teacup belonged to my great grandmother. Caroline did a wonderful job because my cup was my favorite out of the whole bunch!

Mimi's place setting

overview of the adult table

Caroline selected a colorful yellow floral tea cup for herself

Isn't everything beautiful! And we had such a great time celebrating Caroline. Come back tomorrow to see the delicious food!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Posh Purpose Pinterest Revamp!

Briana and I have been diligently working on reorganizing our Pinterest boards to make them more accessible for us and our Posh Purpose readers!  And by diligently...we are still having phantom pain in our poor fingers from all the clicking to repin and headaches from trying to classify a pin for furnishings vs. a pin for a living room.  Also, we discovered we like dessert and clothes more than anything else on the internet.

BUT we are finally finished and we think our revamped look conveys our personal style and overall design aesthetic for our readers, while providing Briana and me a way to better visualize and organize our thoughts on home decor, fashion, party planning, and weddings, as well as, highlight our favorite recipes and the ones we'd love to try!

If you aren't following us on Pinterest yet, please use our pin logos on the right side of the page to find us! Or, you can use the following links to add us:


We can't wait to see what y'all are pinning too!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Nespresso Corner

I shared a long list of upcoming projects back in February, all of which have come to a stand still. Since J and I are house hunting, I don't want to start slinging paint around and then find out the colors don't work in a house we purchase.

But this isn't about how I fail to finish projects (yet keep thrifting). We are here to talk about my newly styled Nespresso corner. J made an executive decision to nix the ugly cheap tray. But I'm ok with it.

the "before, but also intermediate" picture

J didn't like the tray because his coffee mugs didn't slide directly under the Nespresso machine. And I'm ok with the change because I could never settle on a method for redoing the tray (haven't given up though!) and my newly staged Nespresso corner is even better.

Teacup and saucer - Anna Weatherly Simply Anna

While the Nespresso habits are no longer contained in a tray, I think this set up works better for us. The thrifted green candy dish works so well for our purposes and it would not have fit on the tray we had. We keep it filled with a variety of flavors so anyone who visits can find one to their liking. And this means people don't have to check out my disastrous drawer filling abilities. I also keep the purple candle out since it is my favorite new scent: lavender chamomile. J and I found the candle at Marshals for $8, but I might have to hunt down more when this one burns out.

Does anyone else have a special set up for their favorite part of the day? What is your favorite coffee/espresso makers? Melinda jumped on the Nespresso bandwagon a while back and now it is a ritual for us while visiting.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Vegetable Heavy Chili

I don't care to write detailed recipes mostly because I don't really measure when I cook. That being said, I made such good chili Wednesday light that I have to share it. The chili was also super easy and very colorful.

sloppy plating/keeping it realistic at Posh Purpose - let's call it 'rustic'

Chili is customizable. I like to add tons of chopped bell pepper and onion to mine while Melinda skips the beans and uses mushrooms instead (crazy, I know). I don't view this post as a recipe or how to cook chili. A better purpose is to use my chili as inspiration for your next batch.

I used my Staub Coq Au Vin for everything but the pasta. The pot is pricy, but you can use the 20% off coupons at Bed Bath and Beyond, which is what I did. Melinda has easy access to a Williams Sonoma outlet so she was able to score hers at an even bigger discount. The pot is so pretty that I leave it out on the counter! It also keeps food warm for a lot longer than stainless steel so it is good for parties where people graze rather than sit down at once.

I tossed a large bell pepper and onion (chopped) into the pot and let them cook until they started to get soft. Then I added ground turkey (I'm not a beef fan) and mixed in garlic powder, black pepper, and chili powder. I stirred until the turkey was pretty cooked - that way my turkey was in tiny pieces rather than clumps. It is all about personal preference.

After adding Tobasco, I also used two different cans of beans: Publix black beans (love Publix store brand foods) and pinto beans with chili sauce. Those were mixed in and I covered the pot so the beans could heat up without the liquid evaporating out. Once I started cooking my pasta in a separate pot, I added a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies into my chili. Then I called my mom because the chili flavor was a bit lacking. She saved the day by suggesting a few dashes of cumin after I listed off the ingredients. Yay for mothers!

I really like how many colors were in my chili this week. It makes the dish feel healthier and look prettier than your typical bowl of chili. The two different colored beans also helped. And customization doesn't have to stop in the kitchen. J added cheese to the top of his bowl while I added some sour cream. We each added more Tobasco because we like it spicy.

I ended up making enough food for supper and lunch the next day with enough left over to freeze for next week when I inevitably don't feel like cooking. If you think chili over pasta is odd, you can always make cornbread (easy clean up with a cast iron) or rice (not my thing, but go right ahead). What are your favorite chili ingredients? Anyone else use mushrooms like my bean-hating cousin?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Save $: The Today Show Steals & Deals

I recently found out about a great resource for gifts and coupons that I wanted to share with all our Posh Purpose readers!  For those of you who have been at working or don't own a TV (I know Briana doesn't!), The Today Show has a segment called "Jill's Steals and Deals" which runs twice a month and has coupon codes and special deals for different products.  I caught the first segment for this month and found that there are some great opportunities to spruce up your home, apartment, or dorm room and stock up on gifts!

4 Full Sized Products + Tote
Full Price: $94 Today Show Price: $29

Linum Home
Turkish Pestemal Towels
Full Price: $98 Today Show Price:$22

Four Pack of Candles
Full Price: $104 Today Show Price: $37.95

Frog Hill Designs
Toss Pillows
Full Price: $159 Today Show Price: $25

Nine Space
Linen & Cotton Sheet Set
Full Price: $200-$240 Today Show Price: $60

These are excellent deals and great gifts!  I've used Bliss products in the past and they are super luxe and you cannot beat the Today Show price.  Even when I've found them at Nordstrom Rack or Marshall's they are still at least $15 each.  I also just found the Aquiesse candles in a fancy pants store in Davidson, NC and they were super yummy - I really liked the lavender candle! - but also $25+ each.  I've also heard wonderful things about linen sheets and Turkish towels and at these prices you could definitely do a mini-makeover for a guest bedroom orrrrr treat a college student to some nicer goods for the dorm room - who wants to read or study when lounging on scratchy sheets?  Anyone else ever shopped the Today Show Steals & Deals?  

***I've put a link to Jill's Steals and Deals on each product image above, but you can also access the links and codes here.  All images are sourced from the main web page or the individual shopping pages.  We were not compensated in anyway by the Today Show or any of the individual companies.  We simply like to share opportunities to save!***

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Thrift Store Finds

Every once in a while, I like to switch things up by sharing thrift store finds that I actually buy to give y'all a better idea of what actually comes home with me. Surprisingly (and sadly) enough, I bring home much less than I photograph. Here are a few things that found new homes during the past few thrift store trips, either through my mom or myself.

I bought this fabric for 25 cents. There are no stains and it is huge! Probably over two yards long with a standard bolt width. I have absolutely no idea what to do with it, but how could I pass it up now that I am taking a sewing class?

This retro carving board came home with me for $2.50. I was on my way out the door and spotted it right before J was able to escape. I almost missed it! This is why it is important to peruse the shelves and aisles multiple times.

 I almost didn't bring these guys home. I quickly came to my senses when I reminded myself that for $2.50 and the opportunity, everyone should snag a pair of creepy carved men (aliens?) on serving utensils.

Who can pass up a $10 chair? Not me, that is for sure. This chair needs to be repainted and recovered but I love it! It doesn't require much fabric, so I may just use some leftovers from the chair project we discussed last week. If you haven't noticed yet, I have an illness that requires me to buy chairs constantly.

Ignore the sink and focus on the laundry basket. Mom picked it up for my little sister's new apartment for $2. It is tall and skinny which is perfect for her one bedroom layout. The top had a minor tear in the fabric, so Mom is probably going to recover the top with different material. Staple gun to the rescue! Mom also picked up two brand new oval mirrors the same day for $5 each. Home Depot apparently donated quite a few, boxes and all! My sister's apartment is going to be well outfitted by the time Mother gets done.

Want to see more thrift store finds? We have a whole category just for that! We would love to see your finds, so feel free to share in the comments section. Or holler at us on twitter or instagram and hashtag it #ThriftStoreFinds.