Black Friday: Gift Guide for the Stylish Lass….

I like to shop but I hate crowds.  I would rather punch myself repeatedly around the eyes, nose and throat than deal with the hordes of shoppers looking to score a deal.  Instead, I will be at home, nursing a rather large delicious treat as I watch movies on Netflix.  Why will I be so stress-free you ask?  It’s because I will be doing my shopping online and having UPS and Fed Ex act as my little gift elves delivering retail happiness to friends and family across the nation.

If you are of sane mind and lack the will of a mother lion looking to protect her young, then I encourage you to join me on the proverbial couch and relax.  But like I have all this week, I am not leaving you to your own devices to twist in the cruel retail winds.  My staff and I have pulled together different gift guides each with a different focus.  Even better is that everything on them is under $100!

So let’s get this baby rolling with the first gift guide – Stylish Finds for the Sassy Lass curated by my assistant Michelle who is one uber-stylish lady ….

Stylish Girl Gift Guide by Courtney Out Loud

[clockwise] West Elm Gold Flatware // Restoration Hardware Faux  Fur Throw // Mor Emporium Black Collection Scented Candle  // Bespoke Home Monogrammed Natural Linen Jewelry Roll // The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp // Yosi Sarmra Chain T-Strap // Deepa Gurnani Crystal Petal Earrings

Stylish Girl Gift Guide 2

[clockwise] Tinley Road Vegan Leather Jogging Pant // West Elm Marble Silk Pillow // Hudson Grace Marble Cheese Board // Modern House Wine by Alexsis Swanson // The Head & The Heart – Let’s Be Still // Sole Society “Skylar” Bootie 

I love Michelle’s picks and have ordered a few things for my sister from this list.  Now if you excuse me, there is a piece of pie and a hunky Norse god that goes by Thor awaiting my arrival on the couch.  Happy Shopping……

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Enjoying the Rainbow With Lamps Plus …

Hi – my name is Courtney and I like color.  I love a beautiful neutral space, but color gets my heart racing.  Color gets me excited.  Color is my equivalent of “design MSG” – I think everything looks better with a touch of it.

Thankfully, the folks at Lamps Plus think the same thing because they recently launched their Color + Lighting Collection featuring over 100+ colors and a variety of different lamp styles.  From the classic gourd to groovy floor lamps, this collection really covers the gamut and gives something customers more options than even many custom lighting companies I have worked with in the past.

Lamps Plus has a huge selection of lamps outside its Color + collection that features beautiful colors.  If you lean more towards modern then I suggest the Delta Peacock Lamp from Robert Abbey…..

Robert Abbey LAmps Plus

For a lamp just shy of 2 feet tall, it packs quite a design wallop thanks to its geometric shape.  Just like the Color + Collection, it comes in a multitude of colors including new two-tone variations which I absolutely adore.  It is on my short list (I know – bad pun!) for at least two different clients – one we will use it in their office and the other will find itself on his night stand.

So embrace your inner Rainbow Bright and throw caution to the wind!  After all, it’s only color!

[photo credit: lamps plus//collage credit: courtney lake]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

disclaimer:  lamps plus was a sponsor of blogtour london 2013 but all thoughts and opinions are mine.

Loving Out Loud: Kari Gran Skin Care ….

Contrary to popular belief, I am a pretty simple person when it comes to my daily “beauty” routine.  Face wash, astringent (occasionally), facial moisturizer & lip balm – 5 minutes tops and I am done.  Not sure if its impatience or a “guy thing” but anything more complicated and I am probably not going to do it.  However, I have noticed that after a certain age (cough….) that your skin needs a little help to look its best.

Enter Kari Gran ……

Kari Gran CollageThe Kari Gran brand was founded by Kari Gran (left) and her longtime friend Lisa Strain (right). Lisa and Kari, both successful real estate brokers, met “in the business”, and became close friends. It was Lisa who originally inspired Kari to move beyond her kitchen where she made her first batches of eco-skin care products for friends. Today the two partners work in a loft in Downtown Seattle making products and running the Kari Gran e-commerce business.

I had the opportunity to hear Kari talk during my trip to Seattle and was struck by how honest she was about starting her business, but also by her skin.  Seriously, the lady is a walking testament to her products!  At the end of her talk, Kari provided the audience with samples of her skin care line which I politely took but secretly plotted to gift to a friend upon my return to San Francisco.  But as luck would have it, the evening I returned home, I ran out of my normal face wash.  On a whim, I decided to use Kari’s line and after one use understood why Kari’s skin looked so luminous  …….

Kari Gran

The line is based on a three-step process of cleansing with oil, misting with a hydrating tonic and applying a moisturizing serum.  I will skeptical on multiple levels; first, I have oily skin and putting oil on my already acne prone skin seemed a recipe for disaster .  Second, reading the instructions for the process made it seem rather involved, mind you not complicated, but more time-consuming that my standard 5 minute regimen.  Last, it just made me feel a bit too “girly” for my comfort and this is coming from a guy who has toggled between Steel Magnolias and a Golden Girls marathon on TV on more than one occasion …….

But I figured, the worst I could get was a pimple, so I tried it out that night and subsequently for the rest of the week.  While I didn’t get pimples, what I got was a glowing complexion!  After a week of use, I saw the forehead furrow lines minimize and my general complexion improve.  I got compliments on my skin and I actually started to look forward to my nightly routine.  As for the time commitment, I found myself still spending about 5 minutes but once a day in the evening rather than twice a day.  It actually reduced the amount of time I spent on my skin while making me feel better — so I consider that a “twofer” in my book — less time + better complexion = win!  An added bonus was that since I shave, I found this routine to reduce ingrown hairs and overall shaving irritation, so while I may have still felt a ting girly, it was now mixed with the manly affirmation that the routine was good for shaving, so I was able to save face (pun intended)…..

So while I wouldn’t say I am now a slave to beauty, I will definitely call myself an acolyte of Kari Gran.  Now if someone could make flossing more interesting and a little less gross, I would be all set…..

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to wear your sunscreen kiddos!!

[pictures courtesy Kari Gran, Belathée Photography & moi]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

disclaimer:  i was gifted a sample of the kari gran skin care treatment but all thoughts and opinions are mine.