HOLIDAY

December 31, 2016 |

New Year’s Eve!

His: J.Crew coat (old — similar here and here) | ASOS jeans and shirt
Hers: Aritzia coat (similar) | Sezane blousebag, and shoes | Madewell jeans

How has another year passed by? We spent some time earlier today going through photos and early blog posts from this year and it somehow feels so long ago. Out of all the things to reflect upon over the last twelve months, we couldn’t be more grateful to simply be side by side for another year and welcome in a few gray hairs together. 😉  We’ll share a recap of the year on the blog tomorrow, but for now we wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year’s Eve with those close to them!

If you’re looking for any last minute holiday hair ideas, check out our post with Aveda here featuring this low bun style. It was so easy and you could keep the first part for New Year’s Day tomorrow. 😉

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Thank you to Willow Greene for capturing these images of us. We’re so happy to have these photos as a send off to 2016!

December 27, 2016 |

December Recap 2016

His: Tretorn boots | ASOS jeans | UO jacket and shirt
Hers: Seychelles shoes | Madewell jeans | Aritzia jacket (similar here)

This holiday season really got away from us. With the move and some projects filling our days these last few months, we found ourselves in Target the night before Christmas Eve, picking up a few last minute gifts, and realizing that we’d be gathering with friends the next day for a little celebration. The days kind of began to melt into each other, and it caught up with us Christmas morning, feeling a little under the weather. We decided to cancel our plans and stay inside with some new jazz records spinning, cozied up in our pjs all day. We felt bad not being able to be with those close to us yesterday, but I think a little rest was what our bodies needed. It can sometimes be hard to realize that and just take the time for yourself. We heated up some leftovers from Christmas Eve (pasta and chicken parm) and played a few rounds of Parcheesi, before calling it an early night.

Thankfully the holiday wasn’t a total bust. We did have some fun moments leading up to the 25th: holiday parties, walking around our neighborhood to see the holiday lights with hot cocoa, watching our favorite movies, and Christmas Eve we even had a few friends over to celebrate. We felt a little strange having people over for a holiday with very little set up…the house seemed pretty bare, with rooms just partially decorated and unfortunately the perfectionist side of us kicked in. Once everyone arrived, we quickly realized how silly we were for feeling that way and the laughter, music, food and drinks that filled the night were all we needed. We can’t wait to host more dinner parties here, and see this place come together.

Here are a few photos from December we never got around to sharing on the blog…

Ikea ottoman | Maewoven pillow | UO shirt 

We hope everyone had a very happy holiday season! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the new year!

December 17, 2016 |

Holiday Gift Guide: The Go-Getter

Each season we try to start a littler earlier with checking a few gifts off our shopping list and every year we fall victim to the same go-to gifts for our loved ones. We’ve been trying to think outside the box a little bit and find some useful and fun gifts those close to us. We’ll be sharing a series of gift guides over the next few weeks and thought we’d kick things off with some gift ideas for the “go-getter” in your life. Think: the one who loves being outdoors, into music and all the new gadgets, the one who’s always ready for anything, the adventurer.

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More gift ideas:

Don’t forget the pretty gift wrap:

 

December 16, 2016 |

Holiday Hair with Aveda

We tend to fall into a routine when it comes to getting ready, go-to outfits, the usual hair style, the “what’s easy today” sort of thing, but in celebration of the holiday season we wanted to mix things up a bit! We have some fun holiday parties coming up, along with a NYE bash we’re looking forward to, so we were really excited to team up with Aveda to bring you guys some holiday looks.

My sister recently graduated from the Aveda institute in Florida, and has been sharing all the tips and tricks she’s learned over the course of the 13 months she studied there. Unfortunately we never got the opportunity to visit her school, but we recently visited Juut Salon here in Scottsdale and got a closer look at the Aveda process. It was really special getting to see everything she’s told us about and picture her in a similar space, styling and getting people ready for some big events. She’s talented that one. #Proudsistermoment! 😉

We spent the afternoon with the very skilled and kind, Molly and Amie. We tried out three looks for the ladies, that are surprisingly easy to recreate at home with just a few products, and a classic men’s style that’s perfect for everyday while still being polished for an evening out.

Check them out below!

ELEGANT SIDE SWEPT CURLS

Christina:

This look was inspired by a style worn by Emma Stone — love her! I don’t often wear my hair to the side like this because I’ve had trouble keeping everything in place, but Molly prepped my hair with Pure Abundance Hair Potion, which really created great volume and texture, then secured it with a few bobby-pins in the back at the nape of my neck after curling. She used a 1 1/2″ curling wand, beginning with curling away from the face and then in the opposite direction with each new section, creating a pretty sleek look. The Smooth Infusion styling creme helped battle any frizz I might have been welcomed with. These curls lasted all throughout the next day!

THE GENTLEMEN’S CUT

Robert:

When I met Amie, we discussed the type of hair I have and the style I usually gravitate towards.  She wanted to maintain my look, but use Aveda products that she thought would help save me some time when doing it myself.  She first cleaned up my fade that had started to darken from waiting a couple weeks longer than usual in between cuts.  When you have a beard that can look a bit unruly, it’s important to keep a nice fade to keep a balance from hair to beard, otherwise it can look a bit overwhelming.  Once Amie was finished with the fade, I got the full Aveda treatment which included a hand and scalp massage which could’ve lasted all day and I would’ve been okay with, a shampoo + condition and possibly a minute or two nap ;).  I have naturally very curly hair, which can be tough to style.  After I discussed that with Amie, she recommended the Smooth Infusion which progressively loosens curls for a straight style.  This was exactly what I was looking for and is a perfect product to use to get this classic, “gentleman’s style” I very often use.  She added a bit of hairspray to hold the style and off I went.

 FISH TAIL BRAIDS

Christina:

This was such a fun look to create and I can’t wait to try this one at home. Molly prepped the hair with Shampure Dry-Shampoo for a bit of texture and then followed up with Aveda’s Air Control light hold hairspray to make sure everything stayed in place, without weighing the hair down. After dividing my hair down the middle for the pigtails, she sectioned each side into two equal parts. She started from the front pulling the hair from one section over to the other, and continued on alternating sections, making sure to pull tightly in between. Her hands moved so quickly braiding my long hair in a flash!

EFFORTLESS LOW BUN

Christina:

This third and final look was my favorite and we ended up taking a few more photos later that evening. It feels like the perfect New Years Eve look and a pretty nice upgrade from my usual high top-knot. You start out with a side pony tail.  Add a bit of height to the top of your head for some extra volume if you like that look, I do. 😉  Molly achieved this by back-combing the hair at the crown of my head a bit and then smoothing everything out with a round brush and a bit of hair spray. Section by section, begin creating loops with your hair rolling from the bottom of your pony tail up to the base. Repeat all the around and secure with bobby-pins!

Hope these looks give you some holiday hair inspiration!
Keep an eye out for more photos of this beautiful low bun. Can’t wait to share!

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Thank you to Aveda for partnering on this post.

December 13, 2016 |

Gifting Nespresso

His: H&M shirt (similar) | ASOS denim | Urban Outfitters socks 
Hers: Urban Outfitters jeans | Aritzia sweater | Eye Buy Direct glasses

We’ve been carving out some time early each day to embrace the quiet, brisk mornings with our doors and windows wide open. The chill when stepping out of bed when our bare feet hit the hardwood can sometimes be a bit shocking, but once we’ve thrown on some cozy clothes and have gotten ready for the day, the lower temps are pretty calming. We still can’t believe we live here. It really feels like we found a special piece of the country tucked away in Phoenix. Our neighborhood is pretty quiet, with the occasional rooster or chicken exercising their vocal chords each morning (I guess you could call some of our neighbors “urban farmers”) and we welcome their clucks while prepping our morning brew.

We’re a coffee loving, few cups of caffeine a day family around here. Cappuccinos, espressos, lattes, the list goes on — we don’t discriminate, so we were pretty excited to add Nespresso’s Evoluo Machine from their VertuoLine range. We ditched our traditional coffee maker a while back, and found ourselves getting into pour overs. They can be a bit timely but we love the taste of a strong Americano, so we were really eager to add the the Evolou Machine to the mix. We’ve been sharing a bit about it on Snapchat, experimenting with the Aeroccino4 Milk Frother, and chatting with a few of you about the process. It quickly brewed an 8 oz cup of coffee and shot of espresso, while still delivering a quality cup of coffee. If you’re looking to get fancy in your kitchen and make a couple of cappuccinos, try it with a double shot of espresso.

The machine has a nifty capsule receptacle, so once you open the machine to pop in a new capsule to brew, the used one drops off into the compartment on the side. You can pick up a recycling bag for free at any of their boutiques or order them online and then drop off all your used capsules at a UPS store to recycle, which is pretty cool too.

Nespresso Evoluo Machine | West Elm tea towel

With Christmas just around the corner, we have found ourselves reminiscing quite a bit on our childhood and the holidays growing up. Maybe it’s all the sappy Christmas music or the smell of cookies that we’ve been baking several times a week (no excuses, just fully embracing a sweet tooth over here!), but we can’t help it. The other day over breakfast, we found ourselves laughing over a similar memory we both shared involving our parents on Christmas morning. After a few big toys were opened our dads always snuck away, dragging their slippered feet into the kitchen to get a big pot of coffee brewing.  Meanwhile our moms held down the fort in the living room, with bows and colorful paper flying everywhere. Madness. We all gathered in the kitchen afterwards for a holiday breakfast, parents on their second cup of coffee, kids with orange juice or milk, scrambled eggs, pancakes — the works.  No matter how crazy of year it was, gathering together before our extended family came over was always a special time.

The smell of coffee this time of year always rekindles these fond memories. Nespresso has some limited edition capsules with some of our favorites like Banana Bread, Pumpkin Spice Cake, and Gingerbread.  Our parents always feel so difficult to shop for. They’re not picky, but I think we just struggle with finding something that is practical and also meaningful to surprise them with. We’ve been thinking about gifting them with a new Evoluo machine, along some capsules to get them started, and a personalized photo album with memories from past Christmases. It feels like it would be pretty perfect for them, with a big bow and tag that says “Open This One First” so they know it’s something they’ll want to open and enjoy right away. We think we just might hit a home-run this year in the gifting department. 😉

Anthropologie holiday plates | Bloom and Give tea towel

What are some of your favorite gift ideas? Do you have anyone close to you that is a little harder to shop for?

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Photos by: Willow Greene

Thanks to Nespresso for sponsoring this post. As always all thoughts & opinions are our own.

December 9, 2016 |

Holiday Gift Guide for Him with UGG

New Darlings - Holiday Gift Ideas for Him with UGGNew Darlings - Holiday Gift Ideas for Him with UGGNew Darlings - Holiday Gift Ideas for Him with UGG

Last night we drove back from Joshua tree (that place was such a dream!), picked up a pizza to-go on the way home, curled up, and watched The Santa Clause by the tree. As much as we look forward to Christmas day, the build up and little traditions carried out during the holiday season is our favorite. The music, movies, gift giving…just call us Clark Griswold. We love it all!

We’re excited to share another gift guide this season with some cozy gift ideas for the guy in your life. One of our favorite things to do on the weekends, especially this time of year is take the mornings slow, brew a cup of our favorite coffee, and cozy up in loungewear with a record spinning in the background.  UGG has some great gift ideas for men this year with everything from soft knits to leather backpacks, and all-weather boots for your next adventure. We rounded up a few of our favorites below:

New Darlings - UGG Holiday Gift Guide
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December 7, 2016 |

Cluse for the Holidays

New Darlings - Cluse for the HolidaysSézane sweater and belt | Cluse watch | Madewell denim | Kat Von D lipstick in “Outlaw”
New Darlings - Cluse for the HolidaysNew Darlings - Cluse for the HolidaysNew Darlings - Cluse for the HolidaysNew Darlings - Cluse for the HolidaysNew Darlings - Cluse for the Holidays New Darlings - Cluse for the HolidaysWest elm Christmas holiday stockings
New Darlings - Cluse for the HolidaysAnthropologie stocking holders (old, but similar here and here) | Urban Outfitters candles

It feels SO good to have the house decorated for the holidays. At first it felt a little silly busting out the holiday decorations as quickly as we did, but with designs and decor up in the air for most of the rooms in the house (we can’t wait to mix things up a bit), it’s been nice having a room that feels somewhat complete. When we take everything down in January, it’s going to be a sad day in this bare living room, but that’s a ways away. For now, we’ve been enjoying trimming the tree and adding little holiday touches here and there. Picking up some fresh garland for the mantle and the archways makes everything feel so cozy. A few of you guys asked on instagram if we made it — I wish! We picked it up from a local nursery: Berridge Nursery in Phoenix. If you’re in the area, definitely check them out. It’s where we get most of our house plants too.

Now that we’re getting into the holiday spirit over here, we’ve been brainstorming some gift ideas for friends and family. We’re a bit late to the game this year, due to the move and we skipped Black Friday shopping, so we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite companies that have some great gifts this season. You might remember us posting about Cluse a few times. They are such a great company if you’re looking for a quality watch without breaking the bank, plus good things come in small packages, right? 😉

Here are a few of our favorites from them:
newdarlings-cluseholidaywatches

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Thank you to Cluse for sponsoring this post. As always all thoughts & opinions are our own.

November 1, 2016 |

Pumpkin Carving + Henry’s First Playdate

New Darlings - Pumpkin CarvingNew Darlings - Pumpkin CarvingNew Darlings - Pumpkin CarvingNew Darlings - Pumpkin CarvingNew Darlings - Pumpkin CarvingSaturday night we gathered with some friends at our place to carve pumpkins together.  We indulged in some Chinese food takeout and Halloween movie classics, while the pups had a playdate and guys, they actually played! They didn’t just bark at each other, as Henry has been doing with every dog he sees on our walks. We think he is still getting the hang of this whole “I’m a dog and can play with toys and other dogs” thing. He seems a little timid from the shelter and whatever may have happened in his past, so we were all pretty excited when they began frolicking around the apartment together…and of course, we took a ton of photos like proud parents. Haha!

New Darlings - Pumpkin CarvingNew Darlings - Pumpkin CarvingNew Darlings - Pumpkin CarvingNew Darlings - Pumpkin CarvingNew Darlings - Pumpkin CarvingNew Darlings - Pumpkin CarvingNew Darlings - Pumpkin CarvingNew Darlings - Pumpkin Carving

We didn’t get many trick-or-treaters by our apartment complex, but we had fun with these two little munchkins.

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

See our pumpkin picking post here, Halloween costumes, and all of last years pumpkin carving action here. 😉

 

October 30, 2016 |

This is Halloween…Halloween! Halloween!

New Darlings - Couples Costumes - Mimes - HalloweenNew Darlings - Couples Mime Costumes - Halloween 2016

Friday night was our friends’ Matt and Leah’s annual Halloween bash! They have an amazing historic property, Tremaine Ranch, south of Phoenix and always throw the best parties. The grounds are beautiful with all the twinkling lights and old willow trees. You kind of forget you’re in Arizona with all the lush greenery. They always go all out with handmade trophies for best costumes, an interactive graveyard, and even made a photo backdrop to look like the living room from Stranger Things. They’re so creative, those two.

After running out of time with our handmade DIY costumes (maybe we’ll save them and finish it next year), we decided to take a quick trip to the mall to see what we could come up with. We found these body suits, grabbed some striped shirts, and berets and went as mimes. Simple and easy, plus we always love doing face makeup for Halloween so it was a win win for us.
New Darlings - Halloween 2016New Darlings - Halloween 2016New Darlings - Halloween 2016

Leah as Cruella Deville (wish you could hear her laugh, she had it down perfectly!) & Matt as Wolverine (the hosts of the party), us mimes, and Cody and Andrew as burglars.

New Darlings - Halloween 2016New Darlings - Halloween 2016

Casting our vote for the costume contest. We are always so impressed that there are never repeat costumes. Some of our favorites were David S. Pumpkins from SNL and Harry & Marv from Home Alone complete with an iron mark on Marv’s face. Haha

New Darlings - Halloween 2016

Loved the table set up with brass candlestick holders. Matt made all these tables, by the way!

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Brendan as a Friday’s waiter with all his flair — that he made himself.

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Hanging out with a couple of troll dolls — Paige & Savannah

New Darlings - Halloween 2016

Ending off the night with a little a lot of dancing. 😉

Hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween! What is everyone dressing up as?!

Shop our costumes below:

October 19, 2016 |

The Crafter’s Box

New Darlings - Crafter's Box - Wooden Scandinavian beads New Darlings - Crafter's Box - Wooden Scandinavian beads New Darlings - Crafter's Box - Wooden Scandinavian beads New Darlings - Crafter's Box - Wooden Scandinavian beads

When I was in elementary school on Friday nights, I used to go with my mom and sisters to my mom’s good friend’s house. The kids would play and run around in the yard until we tired ourselves out, while the adults would drink coffee after coffee and craft for the holidays. I didn’t think much of it when I was younger, I just remember them making little village setups with festive ice-skaters and wreaths for every occasion. They clearly enjoyed themselves and my sisters and I loved seeing what they made at the end of the night, along with taking home some extra ribbon. Now I realize, it was more than them just getting their craft on, it was a stress reliever and way to gather with friends. I took on the crafting gene I guess, taking every opportunity to create a Halloween costume or paint in my spare time. My ultimate favorite when I was younger was the weaving loom. Anyone remember those? Oh man, I think everyone in my family received several pot holders from me that year.

I recently had the pleasure of getting an early kit from The Crafter’s Box, for their November project. I discovered them back in April when I began chatting with Morgan, the creator of The Crafter’s Box. She described what she was building as an “artisan-led community” and I was so intrigued by what she was creating. They offer monthly crafts and online workshops with everything from fiber arts and block printing to leather working and weaving.  When you sign up you receive instructional videos and kits with everything you need, which is a major plus, because I don’t think I’m alone when I say, sometimes the most difficult part of getting started on a project is dragging yourself to the store for materials. 😉 I’m really excited about the November box by Lynn Muir, which features Scandinavian wooden beads for the holidays. It really brought back some memories for me and I’ve been enjoying putting together some decor ideas for the coming months. (I know Halloween hasn’t even come yet, but I’ve already got Christmas on the mind. I know…I know…)

Here are some of my favorite ideas below:

newdarlings-craftersboxI began the garland, which is a bit of a larger project, but it seems like once I get a nice rhythm going it will be a breeze. The ornaments and napkin holders may be a great place to start for a craft night. The beads are pretty versatile for any time of year, so a Thanksgiving tablescape with these could be fun too. I’m thinking a little dessert potluck, Frank Sinatra spinning, and crafting with friends next weekend may be in order. 😉

Anyone else into crafty projects like this?
I would love to hear what you like to create in your spare time!

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