Monday, July 14, 2014

Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living InParis



Today I wanted to share a book that has truly inspired me. We recently went to the library and I stumbled upon the above book, 'Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris' by Jennifer L. Scott. Truth be told I thought it would be a lighthearted "beach read" on how french women do it best but in fact it is much more.

The book is filled with stories of Jennifer's experience during her six months of studying abroad in Paris and ideas on how to live life well. She stayed with a very traditional family who were quite chic in seemingly every aspect of their life. Jennifer speaks mostly on the advice she received from the lady of the house, whom she affectionately calls Madame Chic, and also what she learned from simply watching Madame Chic and her family. 

Madame Chic would be what we Americans consider prim, proper and elegant. She quickly showed Jennifer that you needn't have many "things" in order to live well. Madame Chic was clean and organized, she cared for herself, for her home and for her family.  She didn't worry with trends. She knew what looked good on her and didn't stray from what made her feel beautiful. From the hairstyle that fit her best to the cut of the clothes she wore, she was a woman who knew what quality truly meant.

Jennifer touches on many other topics such as: having a love for the arts, eating meals filled with quality ingredients, having an air of mystery, how to carry yourself and how we should invest money into core, quality items for our wardrobe. 

After reading I felt inspired to get up the next morning and to live differently even if no one would know.  Jennifer often mentions that the Chic Family were presentable at all times. They cared for the way that they looked even if it meant that they were not going to see someone that day. She encourages that you wear your favorite dress and that you should use your china as often as possible. Why wait for a special occasion when everyday is an occasion.

What I took away most from this book is that we can all be Madame Chic. It's the notion that you can cultivate a lovely life whether you're living in the sixteenth arrondissment of Paris or in middle Tennessee. It is about making a conscious decision to love what you have and have what you love. By purchasing quality items that you cherish and take care of, you find that your need for more, more, more has lessened.  This also speaks to the food you eat, the music you listen to and the books you read. It's about quality, not quantity.

I am inspired to cultivate a beautiful life. I had lost sight of the beautiful and lovely things during this transition we are in but am ready to live well regardless of our circumstances.

I hope you check out Jennifer's book, her blog which she updates frequently along with her videos on YouTube

Have a wonderful evening, friends. I hope your Monday went well!
xoxo bd

Sunday, July 6, 2014

4th of July Vacation: Birmingham

Hello friends!

After spending a few days in Birmingham with family for the holiday weekend, we are settling back into our daily routines and I wanted to take a moment to share a few photos of our time with you.

For the past 12+ years my family and I have visited my Aunt, Uncle and cousins in Birmingham, AL.They have a lovely home with a large pool and the most relaxing sun porch made for reading and naps, of course!
Adam and I decided to go up a couple of days early to have some alone time in addition to exploring the city and suburbs of Birmingham. I took some time prior to arriving to research a few places to visit and was lucky enough to do it all. On Wednesday we had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen followed by shopping at The Summit (Madewell, C. Wonder, Sur La Table). I purchased a couple of turkish towels at sur la table for our future home and am so I'm excited to be able to use them.


Thursday we ventured to a small but very affluent town, Mountain Brook. Driving through the tree lined winding roads you were met with beautiful custom homes on both sides. I apologize for the photos being slightly grain-y but we were going about 45 mph so this is as good as I could get. I must say, the Colonial home was my favorite.

We drove into one of the villages they have in Mountain Brook, specifically English Village to have brunch at Chez LuLu. Having arrived a little before they opened, we meandered about the shops and grabbed a couple of treats and an iced latte at The Continental Bakery.
The thumbprint cookie with raspberry jam and the the french love cookie, respectively.


After walking about the village we sat down at the tables outside of Chez LuLu (adjacent to the Continental Bakery) for lunch and were able to eat with my cousin, Tessa.
First they greeted us with a bread basket and dipping oil, so naturally we felt like we made the right choice.
I ordered the soup and salad sampler with my choice of any soups or salads offered. I chose two salads, the roasted walnut, goat cheese and pear salad with a champagne vinaigrette; the beet and avocado salad; a warm carrot soup (this was absolutely amazing!) and a cup of the gazpacho whose descriptors have left me. It was yummy, that's all I can recall.












Adam had the Goat Cheese, Pesto and Tomato Sandwich along with a cup of the gazpacho as well. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon in and out of the local boutiques and later saw a movie with the family!


On the 4th we all slept in and enjoyed a pancake breakfast thanks to my Aunt Beth. It was red white and blue themed, of course. We had our bathing suits on, magazines out and sunscreen applied by mid morning. It was so relaxing!
After swimming and hanging out for quite a while we hopped over to Steel City Pops for an afternoon treat. They make  gourmet popsicle's  and let me tell you, they do it well. Hello, Coffee Pop!




By the end of the day I looked like one hot lobster. I don't tan, I mainly burn, so I am still reeling from the effects of the sun. Regardless of my candy cane lookin' legs, we had a wonderful time. I realized after uploading all of the photos that it was mainly of the fun food we ate and none of us or our family! 
If ever you find yourself in Birmingham or in the very least passing through, I suggest you take a few minutes to explore this fun city.

I hope your holiday weekend was enjoyable! We'll talk soon, I promise.
xoxo  bd

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ipsy June 2014


A couple of days ago, as posted on instagram, I received the June ipsy glam bag. I had initially subscribed to ipsy last June/July but after a few months cancelled due to my growing makeup collection. First world problems, right? I decided after watching a couple of videos on what some subscribers received in their May bags and decided I wanted in, if only for one month.
I must admit, very rarely have I been disapointed in any month that I received a bag. The products are more often than not full sized makeup, haircare or tools. For $10/month, you tend to receive items that total more than that amount. 

Be A Bombshell Lashout Mascara (full size)

Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray (large travel sized sample)

NYX Buttler Lipgloss in Apple Strudel (full size)

Essence of Beauty Body Mist in Forever Paris (travel sized sample)

NickaK Shimmer Eyeliner in Green (full size)

Very cute tropical flower print nylon bag with fabric designed by Rebecca Minkoff, renowned handbag designer.

Each of the products I have received, including the bag, I could definitely pop in my beach bag for touch ups after a long day by the pool or on the sand.
So if you've ever been on the fence about whether or not to try this subscription service out, I say give it a go! If you are not into experimenting with different beauty brands but know someone who is, this would be a great gift.

For more information on ipsy, click here.

Talk to you soon...

xoxo bd

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Inspiration




A little inspiration from my tumblr to start the day off well...
With the first day of summer being this Saturday I have found myself dreaming of vacationing to Italian beaches, reading a captivating novel and jumping into crystal blue waters. Needless to say, I'm counting down until vacation days in July. 

xoxo bd

Monday, June 16, 2014

Current Skincare Favorites


For a couple of years I was in serious makeup mode but decided this year that I wanted to focus on skincare. 
I have invested more money and time into the care of my skin and have noticed a difference.
A couple of years ago I could have gone to bed with makeup on and may not have felt a kick back the following morning but now my skin reacts for a couple of days. If I want to wake up blemish free, I must put the time into properly cleansing and moisturizing. 

Bosica Little Black Book

About a month and half ago I purchased the Bosica Little Black Book Skincare sampler. Never having used the Bosica brand before I was slightly hesitant to try it out due to my sensitive skin. Oh me of little faith. That entire line is wonderful and has even received rave reviews from Adam. 
I have used the Detoxifying Black Cleanser and the Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel the most.  The sizes as you can see are quite small, far from being the full size, but after almost daily use of the cleanser and twice daily use of the hydration gel, I still have plenty to use.
 For more info, click here.

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre

This creme is a cult favorite for many makeup artists. It can be used as a moisturizer which has been my prime use or it can be used as a primer for your makeup. That tube above is the second one I have purchased. I tried to use another daily moisturizer but powered through it so that I could purchase this one.
As you can see Embryolisse is a french brand and the beauty of using French skincare and makeup products is that they are much more regulated than American brands. Far less chemicals and unnecessary additives can be placed in their products. It has a lovely scent and feels light on the skin. In my case a little goes a long way so one tube will last you for roughly 4-6 months.  
For more info, click here.

Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream

First and foremost I must give Benefit 5 stars for their branding. They make products that are so pretty you hate to place them in your drawers after each use. They deserve a little spot on your vanity, don't you think?
Cute packaging aside, this eye cream has been a wonderful addition to my nightly skincare routine. It is lightly scented and very creamy. A little goes a long way as I will tap the tip of my ring finger into the cream and can use what was picked up on both eyes. The packaging may be small but it will last you for ages. Case in point, I checked on my Sephora account and this item was purchased on 7/28/13. We are going on almost 1 full year later of using it every night! As you can see in the photo below I have now reached the end but have probably one month's use left. 
For more info, click here.

 
It may or may not be obvious that I have many other products in rotation but the above featured ones are my daily go to favorites. 
I hope you have found these recommendations to be helpful especially if you've been on the look out for a new cleanser or moisturizer.
I'll talk to you soon, friends...   xoxo bd


Friday, May 30, 2014

Life Lately


As I mentioned in my previous post, life lately has been busy and constantly changing. We made the decision about 6 weeks ago to move in with my in-laws for a few months to prioritize a few things such as saving up to purchase a home, a new couch, bed, washer/dryer, etc.  They were gracious enough to invite us in to stay for however long we would like. They live on a beautiful piece of property with a large porch and lush green grass. There are even a couple of too-darn-cute kitties by the names of Dot and Lillie that prance around quite a bit as well.  

The transition thus far has been nice and it is a happy and quiet place to come home to after a long work day. We are so grateful for their generosity.


But let’s be honest, I’m a girl on a mission to save up as much money as possible so that we can start a new chapter in our lives.  There are hopes and prayers for babies and a place to call our own.  With that said, below is our life lately:






Most photos above are from my updates on Instagram- follow along if you like!
Instagram.com/LovelyBDavis
We have already arrived at another weekend. I hope yours is filled with lots of sun and summer experiences.
I'll talk to you soon... xoxo bd

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Breathe.


Oh, hi there. It has been all kinds of a hot minute since I posted in this little space of mine.

Its amazing how in a short period of time your life can change and 2014 has been filled with changes for this Davis family.

We've moved... and our life has been upside down along with many other things that have gone on with our families and their daily lives so needless to say I feel like we have major things to catch up on.

But I wanted to pop in, if only for a second, to say hi and to say that I miss you.

xoxo bd