My Holy Grail Skincare Products

If you know me, you probably know that I am a stickler for taking care of my skin.  My mom taught me at a young age (thirteen, to be exact) the importance of proper skin care and boy am I glad I actually took that piece of advice!!  As the years on the calendar pass by, I can honestly say they have been good to me.  My skin, in my opinion (and hopefully in yours, too), does not look it’s age.  There are two main skincare products that I can credit for that.

Today, I am passing them on to you in hopes that you will gain the same benefits from them as I have.

Holy Grail Product #1 – Skinceuticals CE Ferulic

Shop SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic at LovelySkin today.

Vitamin C should 100% be a part of your anti-aging skincare routine.  This particular formulation, by Skinceuticals,  reduces free radicals, firms skin, and increases collagen production.   Vitamin C should be used each morning (skip evening with this product) and it is the first thing I apply after my toner – which I will discuss next.   This CE Ferulic serum is on the expensive side at $165 a bottle, but it lasts for several months and it is SO worth it.  I haven’t found another vitamin C product that gives me the same results as this one.  I purchase it from Lovely Skin and I even have a 15% off coupon code for you – Save15

Holy Grail Product #2 – DDF Glycolic Toning Complex

DDF Glycolic Toning Complex

Glycolic acid is the other MUST in every anti-aging skincare routine and my favorite glycolic product is the DDF toner.  This toner gently exfoliates, refines pores, diminishes lines and wrinkles and encourages cell turnover.  After washing my face I apply this toner followed by the CE Ferulic serum every morning.  I, of course, complete my routine with an eye cream and daytime moisturizer with SPF.  I also use this toner in the evening followed by a skin oil instead of the Vitamin C and daytime moisturizer.  Again, I purchase this product from Lovely Skin and it is $43.

When I found these two products and began using them with each other I can’t tell you the changes I began to see in my skin.  The fine lines in my forehead are MUCH less pronounced, my pores are smaller, and my once extremely oily skin has leveled out.

If you take my advice and use these products, please report back to me!!  I know you will love the change in your skin!!

Also, if you have any holy grail products that you think I should try, please share them in the comments!!

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Erin Sharplin Love

What Happened to Manners?

Image result for manners 

Have you noticed that sometimes during the last decade etiquette has practically become extinct?  What has happened to manners?  Where have all of the Emily Post coffee table books gone?  Where are the classes that were taught when I was in high school?  What is happening to this world?  Am I the only one who has noticed this decline?

For example, below are some situations I have personally witnessed where manners were nowhere in sight:

  • A person knowingly lets a door slam on the woman struggling with a stroller.
  • A teenager bumps into someone and never utters a single “excuse me” or “I’m sorry.”
  • A guy puts his feet on the theater chair in front of him while someone is sitting in it!
  • A young man burps while dining at an upscale restaurant and laughs.
  • A driver stops to let a car exit a driveway amid a traffic jam and is never thanked.
  • Gifts are given and a thank you note is never received.

 

I could go on and on, and I am sure that each of you have similar stories and more.  The lack of decorum that is developing in our society is troubling, and it is something that needs to be addressed and corrected as soon as possible.   So, let’s start here.

 

Why are manners so important?  The reasons are so great that they deserve a bulleted list:

  • You will feel more comfortable and, therefore, more sure of yourself in social and business situations.
  • Those around you will feel more comfortable because displaying proper manners means that you care for others’ feelings.
  • Your communication with others will be clear and concise.
  • You will appear more successful and educated.
  • You will always make a good first impression.

 

How can we help to ensure that etiquette is not forgotten?

  1. In short, begin at home! Manners need to become an ingrained part of your everyday interactions and, therefore, must first be practiced at home.  Furthermore, children develop habits by watching their parents and siblings.  If you are practicing proper etiquette in your own home, it is sure to rub off on them.

 

  1. The rules of etiquette tend to change as society evolves, so keeping up with those changes is imperative. I recommend taking a refresher course in manners at least every five years.  All in all, the one rule that stays constant is The Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Stick to that rule, and you will always come out ahead.

 

  1. Talk to schools and churches about welcoming an etiquette teacher to share her skills with the students, staff, and faculty. When it comes to manners, practice makes perfect, so reiterating the rules on a yearly basis is a great idea.

 

  1. Host an “etiquette party.” After all, learning can be fun!  Invite friends and family members over for dinner and drinks, all while learning how to navigate a table setting and how to properly hold a wine glass.

 

  1. Make displaying and learning proper etiquette easy for you and those in your home. For instance, I recommend having plenty of books ready for any social situation that may occur. I even love the idea of having an etiquette book on a coffee table for all to peruse when they enter your home.  Also, have plenty of “thank you” notes and a good pen ready when needed.

 

In the end, it all starts with YOU!  Keeping manners at the forefront of your own life is the only way to ensure that they remain an important part of your world.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this article!

Thanks for reading!

Erin Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Hang a Great Gallery Wall

Don’t let the thought of hanging a gallery wall intimidate you!  It can seem daunting at first, but I am going to give you some tips on how to perfect a gallery wall!  No stress involved!

Erin (@textured.living.interiors) • Instagram photos and videos

  1. You need an anchor piece!  The anchor piece is usually the piece that is the largest or simply the one that stands out the most.  All of the smaller parts will fill in the space around your anchor piece.  They, in effect, will play supporting roles for your most important piece.
  2. Keep the “rivers” (the space between each picture) the same.  They don’t have to be EXACT, just not too close together or your wall will look crammed and too random.  I recommend around a two inch river.
  3. Choose a variety of art work (quotes, pictures, artist renderings) and frame sizes (you will want to choose some that will hang vertically, as well as, horizontally). Also, I LOVE to mix in accessories such as monograms, letters, shelves, planters, baskets, and other decorative pieces.  It adds interest and variation to your gallery wall.

Vintage Inspired Staircase Gallery Wall

4.  I suggest keeping a fairly consistent color palette, but don’t get obsessive about it.  It’s alright to have a variation in wood grain, for instance, and to add a pop of color.  However, too much can be overwhelming and throw off the entire wall, so add color sparingly and continue the theme in at least one other place on the wall.  Check out the picture below – Notice the pink flowers and then the pink in the decorative wood piece.

Eclectic gallery wall - love that lion head door knocker!

5.  Finally, before you start banging holes in your wall, I suggest that you lay your gallery wall out on the floor (or other hard surface) to make sure you like the order and such.  Keep moving items around until it is perfect!  Take a picture of it and start hanging.  You can even go a step further by measuring each piece and creating a faux picture out of cardboard or paper and then taping it on the wall.  Then you can live with it for a few days and make changes until you are completely happy.

"Gallery walls can be a great way to camouflage or deemphasize the less-than-favorite aspects of home." ~ Sarah of Luck Photography

Or…you could simply call me and I can come hang your gallery wall for you!  Ha!

Thank you for reading!!  I hope this post inspires you!

Erin Sharplin Love

CRUSHING for Fall

Well, can you feel it??  Fall is in the air and that means pumpkin lattes, falling leaves, and a warmer wardrobe!  As most of you know, I enjoy adding a few essential items to my wardrobe each season and this time I wanted to share them with you.  I hope you enjoy!

Jo Malone London™ Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne

Yes!  Perfume should be part of your wardrobe and I love this one by Jo Malone.  This larger size is a bit pricey, but they have a smaller version that is comparable to most other high-end perfumes.  Here are the notes – It smells amazing!!  I have already purchased it!

-Top: bergamot, ambrette seeds, buchu leaves.

– Middle: sea salt, mineral accord, dry fruits.

– Base: driftwood accord, guaiac wood, white musk, sage.

To purchase go to Jo Malone or Nordstrom.

Topshop Katrina Buckle Ballerina Flat (Women)

Until very recently I ALWAYS wore high heels (how many of you can attest??), but with children heels are not always feasible!!  I have been searching for the perfect flats, because I prefer myself in heels.  They are elongating and make me feel better about myself and my outfit.  Anyway, I am considering trying these for fall.  What do you think?

These are by TopShop ($68) and can be purchased at Nordstrom.

Oversized Crossover Top

You may just see me in this super cute, oversized sweater from Anthropologie!  I love the comfort that comes with oversized shirts and they look great on all figures.  It’s all about creating the right silhouette for your body type.

You can purchase this top here.

Slide View: 1: The Essential Slim Trouser

Red is one of the hot colors for fall so these cigarette pants would be the perfect addition to your (my) wardrobe!  AND I can wear them with the TopShop flats if I decide to get them!

You can get them at Anthropologie.

Product Image: City Slicker Opal Necklace

I LOVE interesting jewelry and am always a sucker for a cool necklace.  This one follows all of the upcoming trends – choker, gold, and precious stones!

Free people

Main Image - gorjana Power Stone Bracelet

A gorgeous semiprecious-stone beaded and adjustable bracelet that promotes positive vibes – What’s not to like??  This is already in my shopping basket!

Get yours at Nordstrom.

Main Image - 1.STATE Rida Studded Bootie (Women)

These have my name written all over them!  I am SO crushing on them!!  Two things are holding me back – the price ($148) and the real leather (I am trying to limit the amount of real leather I purchase because I care about the animals).  I want them…anyone know a vegan leather shoe that is similar??

I WANT!

Main Image - Leith Grosgrain Cold Shoulder Top

I love cold-shoulder tops!  They add the right amount of interest to any outfit and they look good on everyone!  Shoulders are sexy!!

Get your sexy on!

I hope my crushes have inspired you to start getting your closet ready for fall!!  What are you crushing on?

Erin Sharplin Love

 

Creating a Productive Workspace

Image result for organized desk

Surprisingly, having an inadequate workspace can affect you personally, emotionally, and financially. Rather, it should be a place where you enjoy spending your time, and it should be organized and productive. If your workspace doesn’t inspire and motivate you to create the best work in an efficient manner, stay tuned.  My tips below should help!

  • Begin by decluttering. In the end, you want your workspace to be clean and clutter free, so always begin by removing anything that doesn’t serve a specific, work-related purpose. Some items will be trash, while other items will simply need to be relocated. The clearer our desks the clearer our
  • Create smart storage. Take note of all the ways you could possibly store and organize your things. Maybe you could add shelving to the walls surrounding your desk, for instance. I like to keep floors clear, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t add a stylish filing cube of some sort. I also suggest sticking to one color scheme when purchasing organizing products, such as baskets, bins, filing racks, etc. Although bright colors can promote happiness and alertness, too many colors can distract. Finally, I always utilize labels in a productive
  • Prevent piles of mail from accumulating. Flat surfaces tend to attract stacks of paper, so don’t let that happen by going vertical! In other words, use some stackable trays or hang baskets vertically on an empty wall to sort through mail. As soon as mail comes into your home, categorize it by the action that needs to be taken, such as bills that need to be paid, invitations that need responses,
  • Keep supplies at your fingertips. Make sure you can find a pencil, pen, eraser, paper clip, or any other item in a moment’s notice. There is nothing more frustrating than having to dig through a bottomless and unorganized drawer. Instead, use clear, plastic containers to categorize each item and keep your drawers neat and
  • Wrangle the myriad of cords! An office can accumulate an unbelievable array of cords and wires, so take the time to sort through them all and get rid of any cords that you no longer Then neatly wrap and label each cord according to use.  There are several ways to organize cords, but my favorite (and the least expensive) is to cut a toilet paper tube in half, cover with washi tape and slip the cords inside. You can then use a marker to label each roll or you could use a label maker. Another easy way to wrangle your cords is to wrap them in reusable Velcro ties.
  • Finally, you must make your area inviting and beautiful so you will want to spend time Below are a few of the ways I style a workspace:
    1. Add pictures and art to the surrounding walls and/or desktop. When you are pondering something and staring off into space, it will help to have something positive surrounding you.
    2. Employ a corkboard to serve as an inspiration board! This might be one of the most important things you can add to your workspace. After all, if you can dream it, it can happen!
    3. Greenery always livens up an area, and it will help clear the air of toxins. However, if you don’t have a green thumb, a faux plant will

 

  1. Make sure your chair is comfortable! Add pillows and a throw blanket for when you get a chill.
  2. Add an alternative light source, such as a lamp or desk light. Not only are they beneficial for completing necessary paperwork, they also add a bit of ambiance to the
  3. Don’t forget to add your favorite candle to complete the space. Watching the flicker of a flame can be

Once you complete these tips for creating a productive workspace, I can guarantee that you will work better because of the neatness and functionality.  I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips!  I would love to hear your tips!  Please comment below.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Love,

Erin

How to FOCUS and Stop Wasting Time

Image result for focus

Do you have a “word of the year”?  If not, do you know why it is important, not to mention, life-changing to choose a word of the year?  First of all, it starts you from where you want to BE, instead of a typical New Year resolution that focuses on what you want to change.  So if you want to BE courageous, for example, your word of the year could be BRAVE.  The awesome part of choosing a word of the year is that once you have chosen your word, the whole world starts shifting. Not massively at first. But your word is with you all the time so you will see it pop up in everything you think or do.

With that said, my word for this year is FOCUS!  As a mom, wife, daughter, business owner, accountant, friend, pet owner, philanthropist, and a personal growth enthusiast, I never could get everything done and in a way that made me happy and whole.  I knew that I wanted to change and the only way I could do that was to FOCUS.   It took some adjustment, but once I made up my mind and dove right in!  Now I want to share my tips on how I focused and stopped wasting time.

  1. Silence your cell phone! The number one tip that I started to implement into my routine was to periodically silence my cell phone.  For instance, during dinner with my family there is no cell phone use.  When I am writing an article, such as during this moment, I turn the ringer of my cell phone off so there are no distractions.  When are your most important times and how can you implement this tip?
  2. Clean and organize your space(s). Whether it is your work desk, your family playroom, and/or your kitchen, nothing wastes time more than having to search for an item that has disappeared into a cluttered pile.  Make sure you take the time to clear and organize your spaces.  You will immediately feel and see the difference it makes in your schedule.
  3. Keep a notebook handy. While you are focused on one action there is bound to be something that pops in your head that you need to do or remember.  Acknowledge the thought and get it out of your head by immediately writing it down in a notebook.  Then you can refer back to the notebook when your current task has been completed.
  4. Take a break. If possible, take a break between each task.  This will keep you motivated and deter burnout.  I like to take a quick walk or simply fix a cup of tea or coffee to enjoy for ten minutes.  It’s all about focusing on the break, though!  Everything you do should come with focus.  Try not to think of anything else but the task at hand.  I know this is hard, but it can be done.  It just takes practice.  For instance, if you are playing with your children, that should be the only thing you are focused on in that moment.  Just set realistic timers for moving on to the next task.
  5. Delegate! I will admit that this one is hard for me.   I feel like I need to be the one to do it if I want it to be done right.  (Yes!  I am one of those people)  However, a lot of tasks are menial and can and should be delegated to make the best use of your time.  Take note of which tasks you may can delegate.
  6. Track your time. A good way to see where you time is actually going is to keep track of what you are doing hour to hour.  It will help you to see where the bulk of your time is being wasted, so you can preempt it before it happens next time.
  7. Batch similar tasks. For instance, make and return all phone calls at the same time every day.  This also works with emails!  The trick is to train yourself not to then check your emails throughout the rest of the day.  Run all of your errands while you are out and about instead of making multiple trips.
  8. Stop Multitasking!! Multitasking is one of the biggest time wasters there is! You can’t do two, or more, things at one time and do them well.  Focus on one task at a time and then move on to the next task.
  9. Prioritize. I suggest making a to-do list each morning and grouping items into 3 different categories – MUST, NEED, and WANT.  Obviously, the MUST do tasks should be the first things you complete.
  10. Discover your “prime time.” Are you a morning person or do you seem to get more done in the evening?  I used to be a night owl, but kids can quickly turn that around!  Haha!  Now, my prime time is early morning or early afternoon.  For instance, it is 2:00pm while I am writing this article.

FOCUSing is now enjoyable and fun for me, but had I not made it my word of the year I may still be floundering in my to-do lists dazed and confused.  I hope this article both inspires you to focus and stop wasting time, as well as, to inspire you to create a word of the year!  If you want to share your word of the year with me, email me at erinlove@panachebyerin.com or comment below!

Thanks for reading!

Erin Sharplin Love

 

 

Getting Organized for Back to School

Image result for back to school

Move over, summer!  A new school year is almost here and that means hectic schedules, alarm clocks, and paper piles.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with it all, but with a little organization you can create order out of the chaos.  Check out my tips below:

Take the time to transition!  Don’t let the school year sneak up on you.  Begin easing your children into their new bedtime routine gradually.  For instance, begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier until it’s closer to the hour they will need to awake for school.

Organize their school clothes.  Go ahead and set aside a space in your child’s closet specifically for school clothes.  If your children do not wear uniforms, it may be a good idea to put together outfits a week at a time to avoid a war in the morning.  Or if you need to shop, check out the next tip.

Plan before you shop.  The beginning of the school year is always the biggest shopping time for stores, so it’s a good idea to be prepared.  Make a list of what your child needs so you won’t wander aimlessly and then leave with nothing, or worse, leave with way more than you need!

Create the perfect backpack nook.  This could be in a mudroom, laundry room, or simply inside the door they use the most.  I suggest hanging a coat hook for the backpack and placing a roomy basket underneath for papers and other paraphernalia.  Stopping paper clutter at the door is a must for any organizing junkie!

Make a plan for those piles of paper.  I suggest that you go ahead and devise a plan for what you will do with the paperwork that is soon to bombard you.  I love the idea of scanning coloring pages, A+ grades, and other keepsake pages and tossing the original.  Another idea is to create a display area for special papers and rotate them as needed.

Create a homework station.  Make doing homework more fun by creating the perfect space for your little one.  Let them help by decorating it and then storing it with papers, pencils, crayons, and other school work necessities.

Invest in a large calendar.  If you haven’t already, I suggest purchasing a large calendar that you can put in a central location for all to use.  When you begin receiving special dates from the school and/or sporting teams, put them in the calendar immediately.  I can imagine that nothing would be worse than missing your daughter’s school play or your son’s first t-ball game.

Create a nightly routine.  I promise this will save you from becoming crazed every school morning.  The more you can do the night before, the better.  For instance, go ahead and plan breakfast, pack lunches, choose outfits, scan backpacks for missing homework, projects, or library books, and make sure music and/or sports bags are packed and ready.

Remember…you can never be too prepared!

Happy new school year!!

 

Utensil Etiquette

First of all, if you participated in this Facebook post, thank you!!  I love seeing all of that interaction on my posts!!  Wasn’t this etiquette quiz fun?  Did it make you want to learn more?  I hope so!  I am planning an etiquette course for adults and children, so stay tuned! If you would like to be notified of the courses, please consider subscribing.  🙂

Ok…on to the answer to my quiz!  Where do your utensils go when you are FINISHED with your meal?  The answer is C!  How many of you got that??

The picture in Exhibit A is what your plate should look like DURING your meal.

The picture in Exhibit B is what your plate should look like if you need to get up from the table and you have NOT COMPLETED your meal.

and

The picture in Exhibit C is what your plate should look like when you have COMPLETED your meal.

Now, next time you go out to dinner you will be confident and relaxed because you know what to do!

If you have any etiquette questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments!

Thank you for reading!!

Erin Sharplin Love

Panache by Erin

 

The MUSTS for Being Organized

If you truly want to get and STAY organized, there are several MUSTS that you need to abide by.  First and foremost, it is important to note that you must change your mindset in order to truly get and stay organized.  You have to WANT to get organized and then you will be able to set yourself up for success.   Above all, there are “musts” that every organized person knows and adheres to.  I am sharing them below:

Everything in your home must have a specific home!

After you use an item in must be returned to its home immediately!

Follow the one in, one out rule.

Procrastination will kill your success!

Never leave a project unfinished.

If an item remains unused for more than two years, get rid of it.

Take a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day to put items away.

Make adjustments to your organizing process as needed!

Never go shopping without a plan!

STAYING organized is much harder than getting organized, but not if you follow these “musts”!  I hope they help. 🙂

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post!!  Please feel free to share it!

Love,

Erin Sharplin Love

Panache by Erin