Raised by Design

small luxuries

5 Ridiculously Cheap Back-to-School Buys for Adulting

Even though my school days are way in my rear view mirror, Back-to-School is still pretty much my favorite time of year. Who says the fun is just for your school daze? Here are my back-to-school picks for adulating your way through September.

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Wet Brush Pink Detangler Hair Brush – My current (nine dollar) beauty obsession. It reminds me of calling my boyfriend after my parents fell asleep and twirling a phone cord. Plus, this  throwback works better than any of the high end brushes I’ve tried.

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GAP Soft Lapel Jumpsuit – This day-to-night jumpsuit is going to save my ass this fall. For a night out I’ll pair it with strappy heels and sparkly earrings. For the playground or a trip to the aquarium I’ll throw on a colorful scarf and my slip ons. At $80, I’m a happy girl, but wait for one of GAP’s almost daily sales and you could snag it for 40% off like I did! Suh-weet!

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Ashley G Weekly Planner – Even though I keep most of my notes and important dates in my phone, I still can’t resist a new planner and I always feel more productive when I write things down. I don’t remember ever having one this cool though! Maybe because Ashley Goldberg is younger than me so she wasn’t making them yet. $17

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Snarky Pencils – These genius pencils are actually proven to make you smarter, faster, better, stronger. Or at least smile. $7 for a set of 5.

http://amzn.to/2c4iolG

Bikini So Teeny Nail Polish – I only indulge in painting my toes about once a month (you know that means it’s really 2 months, right?) so I try to choose a color that I’ll like for a long time and that goes with everything I wear. This is it, right herr! Trust me, all the cool girls are doing it! PEER PRESSURE! $9

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Loveyoubye! Maggie

Wrapping Up

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Today I’m wrapping up some DIY gem magnets I made to add to the goodie bag at my Mom, Charlotte’s Vermont Getaway next weekend. I’m honored to be contributing something as a sponsor – there are some ridiculously talented ladies in her circle. I hope they like them!

I’m also wrapping up from our weekend with family at the beach in Old Lyme, CT. It’s one of my favorite places to be – the beach. I love everything about being near water. Especially the breezy New England beach on the Sound up at Old Lyme. It’s the best of both worlds – the coast and the country smooshed together in a kind of heaven that seems like it was made just for me.

old lyme beach weekend

This weekend had all the bells and whistles: kayaking, birding, reading, puzzling, fried clams, bonfires, sunset cocktails, painting, morning walks, pockets of shells and rocks, hot dogs, playoff hockey and long meals with loud laughs. I always wonder if life were like this all the time, would I love it this much?

old lyme beach weekend

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Loveyoubye! Maggie

Small Luxuries – My Dresser and Vanity

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Ok, first off, I want to clear the air. I have absolutely nothing against poor Keanu Reeves. Except for his nasty facial hair, he’s a perfectly charming guy and plus, he was awesome in Bill and Ted’s.

Moving right along, this week I found it a little tough to set aside time for blogging, as you may have probably barely noticed. I struggled to allow myself enough time to even throw on some mascara before I got out the door. And that’s unfortunate, since someone, at some point in my life said, “a lady should never leave the house without at least putting on mascara – you never know who you’re going to bump into.”  Which reminds me…a couple of years ago, while recovering from having my appendix out, I left the house without getting dressed OR putting on mascara and guess who I bumped into on my quiet nobody famous ever comes here Main Street? Keanu Reeves. And guess what? He was pretty hot. And I looked like a homeless gym teacher. So, listen everyone…put on your mascara! (btw, he was filming this movie, which I never saw – was it any good?)

In a time when we seem to be in a constant state of running out the door, I like the idea of carving out one space in the house and an extra ten minutes in our schedules for some good old fashioned primping. It’s a small luxury that can be worked into any space with a little creativity.

When we were rethinking the floor plan at Lil’ Spot we decided to take the smallest room as our master bedroom. Consequently, my “dresser” is actually a built-in bookshelf that we designed into the space when we redid the adjoining bathroom.

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The built-in unit is about 10″ deep and has adjustable MDF shelves that we painted white. The unit handily houses my shoes, jeans, scarves, jewelry boxes, makeup, perfume collection, a baseball hat and a few things I like to look at.  Although having open storage means that everything has to be kept neat and tidy, it’s fun to get dressed when your things are displayed as if they’re in a fancy boutique. I rotate shoes and scarves seasonally and bring forgotten pieces out of my jewelry box to remind me to wear them more often.

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My ‘vanity’ space occupies one of the shelves hung at eye level with a thrifted mirror leaning against the back. I keep it from looking too cluttered with a variety of trays, cups, bowls and dishes. This is one of the all-time best and easiest styling tricks! Plus it justifies my totally unchecked hoarding of new and vintage dish ware. I keep my perfume collection on a vintage beaded glass tray.

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My makeup is tossed in a vintage African bread basket (big enough for me to rummage around in) and my makeup brushes are in a gold-trimmed glass.  There are also some thrifted elephants that might be ivory (?) but they were probably just found on the floor under some dirt and junk mail so I’m not contributing to the demand for illegal ivory, I swear.

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I drape favorite necklaces over the mirror or hang them on a pair of brass scallop shell hooks. My scarves are kept in another vintage African basket. Baskets all up in here.

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Sure, it’s a standing room only situation in a tiny room with a basket of laundry that I haven’t put away yet. But it’s a space just for me, that is entirely dedicated to getting pretty for dinner. It’s a small luxury. And we like those!

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